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IN THE PRESS

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2011-01-07

Homeless man with “radio voice” is now a star

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS, Fri., 7/1/2011: He’s America’s most improbable star… Ted Williams (not Edwards!) was an unknown homeless man just a few days ago. Now because of his booming radio voice he’s an international phenomenon, as the Chicago Sun Times reports. This and other stories in today’s international press review.

 

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Last week he lived in a tent near a highway in Columbus Ohio. Now Ted Williams' (who I mistakenly called Ted Edwards during the press review) booming radio voice has been heard by 10 million people on the internet, as The Chicago Sun Times reports. Local newspaper, The Columbus Dispatch put this clip up online which set the whole wheel in motion.
 
Since then, he has appeared on television shows such as NBC’s Today Show. The Los Angeles Times tells how such appearances led to job offers from the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers who also offered him a house formerly owned by one of their basketball stars. Williams has also been asked to do a voice for “The Simpons”.
 
The New York Daily News recounts how in the first two days of the clip appearing online, it got 20 times more ‘hits’ than British singer Susan Boyle did in 2009 during her overnight success. The paper also reports on Williams being reunited with his mother after 20 years.
 
One piece of information on the Ted Williams story is pertinent for another reason. According to Yahoo, 94% of users searching for him on their site “earn less than $50,000 a year”. This clearly indicates that Yahoo has access to data on the earnings of those who use its search engine.
 
Yet, it’s Google that is under the spotlight for privacy infringements. “Will Google's Wi-Fi Spying Engineer End Up In a South Korean Prison?” asks Gawker. Google revealed in May that its Street View cars had downloaded a trove of data including e-mail messages and passwords from unsecured private wireless networks.
 
“Nobody knows the identity of the rogue engineer who "accidentally" programmed Google's Street View cars to slurp up emails, passwords and other data from nearby wi-fi networks,” notes Gawker.
 
However South Korea has just finished an investigation into the matter and wants to pursue Google staff in the courts. A police official told the Korea Herald, "We are looking to penalize whoever ordered and developed the program, but are unsure as of yet who that might be." Countries such as the UK merely gave Google a slap over the wrist. Will South Korea prove more stringent on this matter and seek extradition from the US of those involved?
 
We finish with a look at the front page of Belgian paper Le Soir. The headline reads “Dead end for Belgium”, this after mediator Johan Vande Lanotte gave up on his bid to resolve the country’s dispute between the French-speaking Walloon and Dutch-speaking Flemish parties. He told the Belgian King, “You can bring a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.”
 
The Spanish paper El Pais’s editorial notes that Beligum has beaten the record of a European country without a Government. The Dutch had held the record with a 208-day impasse. The transitional team that is effectively governing the country “doesn’t have the capacity to sort out Belgium’s deficit and even less so to resolve the linguistic dispute,” says El Pais. “Europe doesn’t need two Belgiums. It’s necessary to insist that the parties maintain a federal organisation which gives each side what it wants without taking anything away from the other”…a somewhat utopian perspective.
 
 

 

By James CREEDON

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