In this edition : Web users comment on the adoption of the healthcare bill in the US; the blogosphere reacts to the Pope’s apology over the paedophilia scandal in Ireland; and a man teaches web users how to defend themselves with a magazine.
USA: HEALTHCARE BILL ADOPTED
An historic victory for Barack Obama! The Health Care reform bill, a key component of the US Presidents’ electoral program, has been approved. The House of Representatives passed the bill, which was cleared by the Senate in December, in a 219-212 vote. There has been huge reaction online to this major vote.
Democrats are delighted and many have posted messages online. Tammy Baldwin, a democrat member of congress, has put this video on YouTube, sharing her great relief at the end of a several month long battle. She feels this vote responds to the needs of the American people.
As French journalist Corinne Lesnes stresses on her blog, the adoption of this bill represents a second political victory for Barack Obama, the first being his election over John McCain in 2008. She thinks the election gave him presidential legitimacy, while the adoption of the healthcare reform bill will allow him to establish authority.
On the blog Techpresident, one of its founders highlights the role played by Organizing for America. He notes that this organisation, which rallies millions of Obama’s supporters, had stepped up their campaign over the past 10 days. Hundreds of thousands of calls, texts and letters were sent.
Meanwhile, the many reform opponents have been expressing their discontent. This video, which was filmed during Sunday’s anti-reform demonstration in front of the White House, bears witness to the anger of certain Americans, like this woman.
POPE IS SORRY FOR CHILD ABUSE IN IRELAND
In an unprecedented letter published on Saturday on the Vatican’s web site, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the Catholic Community in Ireland and expressed the Church’s shame and remorse over the Irish paedophile priest scandal. The blogosphere is far from convinced by the apology.
This blogger shares his deception over the letter addressed to Irish Catholics. He does not understand why the Pope makes no mention of punishment for the priests who covered up the rapes of thousands of Irish children. He feels the Pope should ensure the Church does more to cooperate with the legal authorities concerned.
This web user expresses a similar sentiment; he feels the Pope’s apologies have come too late. Here, he asks why the Pope did not react sooner and wonders what reasons there could be for hiding the truth.
This journalist is less categorical, and looks at the positive and negative aspects of Benedict XVI’s declaration. He says it should be noted that the Pope formally acknowledges the Church’s failures, as well as the suffering the victims have endured. But he regrets that the Pope only addresses the Irish and not the entire planet as similar scandals are breaking more of less everywhere at the moment.
In the meantime, the Vatican has used the publication of Benedict XVI’s letter as a means to feature on the micro blogging site twitter. The initiative will allow the Holy See to strengthen its online presence and to publish information quickly in times of crisis.
IRAN: WEDDING ADVICE
Iranians are getting married later and later. And to fight this growing trend the government has launched a web site giving marriage advice, on which Iranians can take part in interactive lessons. Inaugurated by Iran’s Youth Organisation, the site hopes to answer young people’s questions. How do you find your soul mate? How much does the ceremony cost? How do you prepare a dowry ?
Ethan Nicolle is 29 years old. He is an artist and has launched an online comic. It’s particularity? It’s based on a storyline dreamt up by Malachai, Ethan’s five year old brother. This tale of a policeman who fights evil dinosaurs with pretzel heads and babies with unicorn horns is an online sensation. Ethan has even created a video trailer to promote the comic strip.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
If you feel unsafe in the street or on public transport, this video will help you allay your fears by teaching you how to defend yourself using a rolled up magazine. This weapon could cause serious damage to your attacker as a martial arts expert demonstrates here.