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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 : 2011-01-16

The web comments on the floods in Sri Lanka

The web comments on the floods in Sri Lanka. The people of South Sudan continue to cast their votes in the country’s referendum. And a former model displays the footballing skills of a professional.

Floods in Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka under water! Northern and eastern parts of the country have been hit by torrential rain for one week now, causing heavy flooding and claiming numerous victims. This catastrophic situation is being widely discussed online.

Dozens of amateur videos like these ones have appeared on sharing sites and show, amongst other things, how rising water levels have made the roads difficult to use.  These spectacular images were mostly filmed in Batticaloa one of the hardest hit regions, and give an idea of the magnitude of the bad weather. 

And as is often the case in this type of situation, the web is also being used to keep people informed or coordinate emergency relief operations. An interactive map has been created on Google Maps and in just a few clicks you can obtain information on the most affected regions or the areas which are most at risk. And because the information is regularly updated, web users can also find out where temporary shelters for victims are located. 

The emergency services are hard at work trying to get help to victims. In this video uploaded by the Sri Lankan air force, we see soldiers carrying out a rescue mission, in which they saved 54 people who were trapped by the rapidly rising waters. 

Finally NGOs at the scene are also mobilizing and are calling upon web users the world over to show their generosity towards the victims, there are now reportedly over 1 million people affected in the country. Some of the organizations, like « Caritas Internationalis », have already begun distributing food and drinking water in several of the worst affected areas, as we see in these Flickr photos. 

South Sudan referendum 

Since Sunday, voters in South Sudan have been casting their vote in the independence referendum. This historic ballot ends on the 15th of January and the people seem to have understood its importance. The people of South Sudan have turned out en masse to have their say, as illustrated in these photos available to view on Flickr which show the long queues outside the polling stations. 

John Jada Youngo, from Renk, in the south east, voted on Sunday and says here how happy he is to have participated in this referendum which will determine the future. In this video, he also asks his fellow citizens and the authorities to respect the result, no matter what the outcome is.

Lee Crawford is in no doubt as to the outcome. On his blog rovingbandit.com, this American economist and expert on South Sudan says that voters will choose independence. But he thinks the challenge will begin once the new state is in place. He explains that the future government will have to deal with a budget policy for the first time and will have the difficult task of creating a new currency and battling inflation.

Some locals meanwhile fear the electoral process could be hindered. One site devoted to the referendum, ‘sudanvotes.com’ , reports that South Sudan referendum officials are criticizing the authorities and complaining of hunger. They are asking for a 10 % advance of their salaries to buy food, and are threatening to disrupt the vote if this does not happen. Some election officials made the same demands last year during the general election and protested by keeping away from work.

Sonido ambiente 

Film artists singing in unusual places in Buenos Aires: this is the project launched by Argentine web site sonido ambiente.tv. We see the group Mompox for example performing their song Pony in a well-known cinema in the country’s capital. The site has just one simple rule: all the recordings must be done in one take. 

Wikileaks stories 

Video games inspired by current affairs and in particular the diplomatic cables leaked by Julian Assange. This is what the site Wikileaks Stories.com has on offer. Several games are available, like Leaky World, in which web users have to build reliable networks and stop any information being divulged…

Video of the day 

Sylvie van der Vaart used to be a model and is currently a presenter on German television and footbally-speaking, she is quite a match for her husband Rafael, who plays for Tottenham in the English premiership league.  Well this is what this video leads us to believe.  We see the wife of the Dutch international footballer, demonstrating her footballing talents … in stilettos. Camera trickery has been used and this is probably part of a viral advertising campaign.

By Electron Libre

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