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

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Latest update : 2010-11-18

Online controversy over full body scanners in airports

A passenger has refueled the online controversy over full body scanners in airports. The American blogosphere looks at the heavy weight of national debt. And the Louvre is asking web users for donations to help buy a masterpiece.

CONTROVERSY OVER FULL BODY SCANNERS

Full body scanners were set up to detect dangerous objects without having to search passengers, and have sparked controversy. Debate has been refueled on the blogosphere ever since an American man refused to go through one of these scanners at San Diego airport in the US. John Tyner a 31 year old computer specialist then refused a body search and so was not authorized to board the plane. He filmed the scene with his mobile phone and posted it online, attracting the attention of many supportive web users.

This incident reflects the unease felt by many passengers. On his blog, John Tyner says he refused the scanner and the body search because it was an invasion of his privacy and also because he was concerned about the harmful effects these machines could have on his body.

This consumer group echoes this fear. It says the x-rays given off by some of these machines could mean that frequent flyers in particular are at risk for developing skin cancer as well as sperm mutations amongst men.

And this group is calling for a boycott of body scanners on the 24th of November, on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday, a very busy day for air traffic in the United States. The slogan "travel with dignity".

This aviation expert fears this scheme will make airport authorities focus their attention on innocent passengers. He thinks they must stop treating all passengers as a threat and show better judgment in spotting potentially dangerous individuals.

 

US NATIONAL DEBT

Could the burden of US national debt stop Barack Obama being reelected in 2012 in the event he runs for election again? This is the question presidential candidate Hugh Jidette is asking in these online campaign clips in which he also makes a tongue-in-cheek appeal to American citizens to keep borrowing without giving the country’s future a second thought. The actual aim of this proposition is to open tax payers’ eyes to the colossal amount of the ever increasing national debt, estimated today at over 13 trillion dollars.

Because Hugh Jidette is just a fictional candidate dreamt up by a non-partisan organization that campaigns against the poor handling of public funds and denounces the fiscal irresponsibility of successive American governments. This public awareness campaign was set up to encourage citizens to place pressure upon Barack Obama to deal with this critical problem.

National debt is in fact at the centre of many concerns in the United States. This organization campaigns to stop the government wasting money and has recently posted this video online. It takes place in 2030 and we see a Chinese teacher explain to his students how the fall of the American empire came about. The main cause being the enormous debt that ended up sinking the country’s economy.

This web user does not deny the problem of colossal debt but he does try to defend Barack Obama who is often criticized for his tax policies. The blogger has compared the debt increase under each President and says the current White House resident is far from being the most irresponsible fiscally speaking.

On this site meanwhile, you can follow the evolution of national debt in real time: debt that equates to over 44 000 dollars per citizen.

 

THE THREE GRACES

The Louvre museum has launched an appeal to individual donors to buy The Three Graces, a master piece painted by German artist Lucas Cranach in 1531. A web site has been created and displays information on the work, the artist and even a countdown to the end of the campaign on the 31st January 2011. Individuals can make online donations to help finance the purchase: the owner of this work of art estimates its value at 4 million euros.

 

ANTI-SMOKING MANGA

Will Hiro, Ren and Koichi stop young French people from smoking their first cigarette? These 3 characters are the heroes of Attraction, a manga launched in France on Tuesday as part of a national anti-smoking campaign. In the cartoon, the action starts in Tokyo in 2040, and targets 14 to 20 year olds. The aim is to delay the first cigarette, the cigarette young people smoke to rebel or to feel part of a group. The age at which the first cigarette is smoked is an important factor in becoming hooked.

 

VIDEO OF THE DAY

This American driver was on a motorway in Kansas and when he overtook another car he noticed that there was a horse in the back seat! How the animal got inside the vehicle remains a mystery.

By Electron Libre

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