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A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

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Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

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Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

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AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

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Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

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Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

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Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

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Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

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France's Iliad reaches for T-Mobile

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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.

WEB NEWS

WEB NEWS

Latest update : 2010-09-13

GAS EXPLOSION IN CALIFORNIA

Californian web users comment on the gas explosion in San Francisco. An NGO denounces abusive Drug Detention Centers in Asia. And a video showing passengers aboard a boat caught in a storm

GAS EXPLOSION IN CALIFORNIA 

An enquiry into the huge fire that swept through a neighbourhood in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno is now underway. The fire was set off by the explosion of a gas line, and local residents have posted numerous videos online showing a huge ball of fire set the sky ablaze. The flames destroyed dozens of homes before firemen managed to contain the fire.

And in addition to these photos taken by web users the following day, Google has also posted satellite images online, giving an idea of the extent of the damage caused by this spectacular fire.

And the web giant is indeed rallying support. The offices belonging to its video sharing platform YouTube are situated in the vicinity of the main gas explosion. In this video, we see employees from the Californian company ask web users to show their solidarity and help the disaster victims, by making a donation to the Red Cross.

Web users can leave messages of condolence for the families of the victims on this web page created by a local daily. Several people have indeed lost their lives in this violent fire. 

But many bloggers are now asking themselves the question: could this disaster have been avoided? San Bruno residents have said they had smelt gas in the area over the past few weeks. And according to this Californian blogger who shares her experiences with the region’s gas company: it is not known for the quality of its maintenance services.

ASIA: DRUG ABUSE AND DETENTION CENTERS

This video was broadcast online at the beginning of the month by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, an NGO known for its work in human rights and protecting vulnerable populations. The first images show a detention centre for drug addicts in Asia. Vietnam, China, Thailand, Laos. According to the NGO, hundreds of thousands of drug addicts are being detained in inhumane conditions in rehabilitation centers. 

Although some have been sent by their families, the police are accused of using the drugs as a pretext to put away, for several years, anyone they consider to be “deviant”. Street children, prostitutes, and drug users are locked away without trial and without the possibility of an appeal.

This Human Rights Watch report had already described the same situation and also denounced the conditions in these centers in Cambodia. Forced labour, rape, torture, the prisoners are subjected to many inhumane practices.

Some NGOs have set up alternative centers like this one, set up NGO Korsang in Cambodia. Online channel Current TV went to visit the centre where around 70 drug addicts are given food and shelter, and avoid the risk of being arrested or beaten by the authorities.

@BIBLESUMMARY

Chris Juby, director of worship at a church in Durham City, in the UK set himself the crazy challenge of summarizing one of the Bible’s 1189 chapters per day in a 140 character Twitter message. This fastidious project will be completed in November 2013, and will give a complete summary of the Old and New Testament. You can follow the project on the account @BibleSummary . 

INSTRUCTABLES RESTAURANTS

It is now possible to download instructions for your own momentary restaurant, on the site “Instructables Restaurants”. The project is carried out in collaboration with the site Instructables.com, a platform that brings together DIY experts and enthusiasts from all walks of life. Web users can learn how to make their furniture and decorations using recyclable materials, as well as creating their menus and preparing their dishes. The project hopes to make the most of free knowledge sharing on the Internet. 

VIDEO OF THE DAY

This extraordinary scene was filmed by internal CCTV cameras aboard a cruise liner during a storm off the New Zealand coast. We see that nothing on the ship can resist the force of the waves and the wind … chairs, tables and even passengers are flung from one side of the boat to the other. This is not something the tourists on board will forget in a hurry.

By Electron Libre

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