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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 : 2011-01-25

Brazilians are mobilising support for flood victims

Brazilians are mobilising support for flood victims. South Sudan is dealing with a mass influx of refugees returning to their country of origin. And 3 Americans surf a wave for 45 minutes.

Floods in Brazil

The death toll from the terrible floods that hit Brazil around ten days ago continues to rise. There are now hundreds reported dead or missing and many others are now living in dangerous conditions after losing everything they had in the floods. Brazilians are mobilizing online to communicate emergency relief efforts and help the victims.

There has been considerable damage, notably in the mountainous area to the north of Rio de Janeiro, which was one of the worst affected areas. A great many videos like these ones are circulating online and show that entire villages have been destroyed. The images give a better insight into the extent of the flooding.

The emergency services are ready and on hand to help victims. Temporary camps have started to appear in certain flood affected provinces; like this one set up in São José do Vale do Rio Preto. So far the camp is providing shelter for around 150 families, but this could soon rise to up to 1 000.

And citizens are also mobilizing on social networks. Brazilian web users can share information on the floods via the Twitter thread #Ajude, meaning aid. Some local companies are joining the effort, companies like Vale which has promised, via the social network, to make a donation of one real to a fund for victims, each time users of the micro blogging site mention their solidarity message.

And finally the NGO « SOS Sudeste » is calling upon Brazilians to show their generosity and send in donations to help buy essential goods for victims. The organization has already raised around 170 million real and distributed over 200 tons of food and clothes but says there is still not enough to go round.

 

Refugees return to South Sudan

Will South Sudan’s economy be able to cope with the massive influx of refugees from the North? This is the question Glen Pearson is asking. This Canadian politician is at the scene as an international observer of the independence referendum and here he shares his fears of a humanitarian crisis as tens of thousands of exiles come back to South Sudan to take part in the region’s reconstruction.

As this site which is updated as vote counting progresses, there is no longer any doubt as to the final outcome of the ballot, because South Sudan has voted overwhelmingly in favour of succession. And many therefore are planning to return to their country of origin.

Like Lucia Thomas Loro. As the 56 year old teacher explains in this photo montage, she had been living in Khartoum for the past 21 years and decided to move back to Juba, the capital of South Sudan so that she could finally live in peace and also actively take part in the region’s economic development.

But other refugees have met many obstacles on their way home. Mawien Tong’s journey proved itself to be particularly dangerous. According to the student, members of Arab tribe The Messiria from Western Sudan fired at the coach taking him from Khartoum to his home town Abyei. The NGO “Enough” is discussing this violence and reports on its web site that several militias are present in this oil rich region which is coveted by both the North and South.

According to Deng Arop, insecurity will be the main obstacle to overcome in the construction of South Sudan and the future government’s biggest challenge. For this local politician, forces in the region will need to be disarmed for things to return to normal. And he does not think this can happen without the cooperation of the UN.

 

China strikes

Catalogue all the strikes in China and Manfred Elfstorm has used mapping site Ushaidi for this project. This student at Cornell University in the United States is listing all the strikes by taxi drivers, miners and also electronics factories on an interactive map in order to visualize social movements carried out by workers in the country. Chinese web users can also add to the map according to current affairs.

 

Predict your baby

Future parents this is for you, you can see what your baby might look like on the site « predict your baby ». The principle is very simple, as you just need to download a photo of both parents and the site will then generate the baby’s face using a scanner. It also possible to visualize what celebrity babies might look like, by randomly selected photos of two well-known figures.

 

Video of the day

Surf a wave for over 45 minutes … This is what 3 American surfers did in Alaska thanks to a tidal bore, a relatively rare wave, which covers a long distance and is caused when the leading edge of an incoming tide pushes against an opposing current or the direction of a river. This video will most certainly be a hit with surfers from all over the world.

By Electron Libre

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