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Web users comment on the series of natural disasters in Indonesia
INDONESIA HIT BY TWIN DISASTERS
A 7.7 magnitude earthquake that triggered a devastating tsunami, followed by the eruption of Mount Merapi: in the space of 48 hours, Indonesia was hit by a series of natural disasters that killed hundreds of people and forced thousands of others to flee their homes.
On the web site of this charitable organization run by surfers, one volunteer talks about the tsunami that swept along the coasts of the Mentawai islands. He says his team has already mobilised support and aid for victims on these isolated islands and that emergency services have difficulty in reaching them.
This succession of natural disasters has sparked a huge outpouring of solidarity on the web. On micro blogging site Twitter, web users the world over, including celebrities like singer Justin Bieber and actor Tom Cruise, have expressed their support to the people of Indonesia who have been badly hit by the elements.
Some of whom are appealing for help via the web. This video blogger has recorded this message asking web users to send in donations to help his country get back on its feet after this series of natural catastrophes.
This other video blogger has composed a song to share his support for fellow citizens affected by the events of the past few days.
FRENCH HOSTAGES IN AFGHANISTAN
French journalists Stéphane Taponier and Hervé Ghesquière have now been held hostage in Afghanistan for over 300 days. Online initiatives are multiplying both to obtain their liberation and to keep them in the spotlight. The two men were kidnapped with their three Afghan guides on the 29th of December 2009.
A web site has been set up for the two hostages. The site’s patron is Florence Aubenas, a French journalist who was kidnapped in Iraq. There is a lot of news on different actions and other rallies that are being organized to obtain their freedom. There is also information on the different towns in France that support the two prisoners’ combat by displaying their pictures in the streets or on the façade of the town hall.
Web users are also invited to help the hostages by campaigning online. They can join this Facebook group that has over 15 000 members or sign this petition that is circulating on the web asking French President Nicolas Sarkozy to do everything in his power to obtain their freedom.
Numerous well-known figures are also showing their support for Stéphane Taponier and Hervé Ghesquière. Dozens of videos like these ones are circulating on sharing sites. We see politicians, journalists and also artists talking about the importance of freedom of the press and saying they hope the two hostages will be released soon.
And NGO « Reporters without Borders » has also launched a video campaign for the two prisoners. In the clips we see other French journalists explain that the entire profession applauds their bravery and is looking forward to them returning home safe and sound.
SCROLLS FROM THE DEAD SEA
The famous Dead Sea scrolls should soon be available to web users. The Israel Antiquities Authority and Google have teamed up to upload high resolution images of this 2 000 year old document. Considered to be one of the greatest archeological discoveries of the 20th century, the scrolls contain ancient biblical texts and shed an important light on Judaism and the beginnings of Christianity. The first photos should be online in the next few months. They will initially be available in their original languages, Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
On the 12th of November, a couple will enter the eBay apartment in the centre of Paris. A microwave, a refrigerator, a change of clothes for two days, a mattress, a bed cover, an Internet connection and an iPad will be waiting for them. But everything else they want or need will be part of a challenge: for a 10 week period they will have to get all their clothes and living essentials solely from ebay. The aim is to see if it is really possible to buy everything you need from the site. Their budget is 8 000 euros. The couple will keep a daily blog on their adventure with behind the scenes info.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Here is a video that might interest certain parents in the run up to Christmas. Instead of buying presents at ridiculous prices, the makers of this video decided to build this incredible circuit for toy cars that goes right through their home and garden. This will do doubt keep children occupied for hours on end.