Australians bear witness to the violent flooding in the country
FLOODS IN AUSTRALIA
Rockhampton is under water and some residents are using rowing boats to get around this city which has been cut off from the rest of the world. These images were uploaded onto YouTube by Icedspud, and are just some of the many images that have been posted online by web users bearing witness to the serious flooding that has hit the state of Queensland in North Western Australia.
On her blog, Bush Babe, a cattle breeder in the region, tells of how she tried to limit the damage caused by this disaster that is seriously affecting the local economy. She describes the operation carried out at her ranch to save a herd of cattle that had sought refuge on a hilltop to escape the rising water levels.
In Bundaberg, which is one of the most affected cities so far, the situation has been getting better over the past few days and life is slowly getting back to normal. Estate agent Michael Mark went to see the damage for himself, camera in hand. In this video, he describes, amongst other things, the smell of rotting vegetation now the water has subsided.
But for some parts of the region, the worst is yet to come. The Local Red Cross has responded to this exceptional situation, by, notably, setting up a service on its web site to help victims get in contact with their loved ones.
On her Twitter account, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, is asking her fellow citizens to support one another. She is also asking web users to make donations for the victims via the Queensland government’s web site.
PROTESTS IN TUNISIA
A protestor holds a sign saying "We are not afraid anymore Mr. President” during a rally in Tunis. Anger has been mounting in the country ever since the troubles began in the region of Sidi Bouzid.
The demonstrations were originally organized to protest against unemployment but in recent days protestors have been challenging Ben Ali’s political system, he has been president for 23 years.
According to Anis Bouddada, this revolt demonstrates the country’s frustration with a political system that is out of touch with the needs of Tunisian society. This 31 year old Tunisian man explains that the Sidi Bouzid riots have stirred up his fellow citizens’ conscience. He hopes these demonstrations will bring about political change in his country.
Mohammed Ali Châabane expresses a similar sentiment in an open letter broadcast online. This young business man addresses the President and says it will be difficult to stop the young protestors, even with truncheon blows.
But the situation has worsened since a protestor was killed by police fire last Friday. Lawyers have joined the social contestation across the country, like in Sfax or Tunis. According to A Tunisian Girl, whose blog is censored in Tunisia, the protests have been harshly suppressed. She talks of a demonstration on the 31st of December where several members of the bar were beaten or arrested.
Tunisians living abroad are mobilising to condemn this repression like here in Munich or in Beirut, and also on the Internet via the site nawaat.org, an information portal with contributions from abroad by the diaspora.
With Geogreeting.com you can create greetings cards using images found on Google Earth. Web users write their message in a dedicated box and then the site will then search for buildings in the shape of the corresponding letters on the American giant’s mapping software and spell out your message. This is a fun way to wish your friends and family a happy new year.
LADIE SHOES ME
One in three people looks at the other person’s shoes on a first date. It was with this in mind that creators of the French site « Ladie Shoes Me » set up a dating site based on shoe attraction. To sign up new members must post a photo of their favourite shoes online. This is an original concept which will no doubt help more than one single person become part of a perfect pair.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
A version of « Bohemian Rhapsody », the famous song by British group Queen revisited on the violin. This is what American musician Joe Edmonds is proposing in this video. It is all the more impressive as the young virtuoso used 4 violins to perform the piece. He does it particularly well and it starts off the New Year on a relaxing note…