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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 : 2011-04-11

Japan: online SOS from the mayor of Minamisoma City

The mayor of Minamisoma City in Japan in an online appeal for help. Barack Obama’s opponents react to him standing for re-election. And the American Smithsonian Institute has uploaded thousands of shots of wild animals.

Japan: online SOS from the mayor of Minamisoma City

"We need volunteers to bring us relief supplies, but because of the government directive to remain indoors, volunteers must understand they enter the city at their own risk." This SOS was posted online by Katsunobu Sakurai, the mayor of Minamisoma, two weeks after the earthquake and tsunami devastated his city.

Minamisoma lies just 25 kilometers away from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, residents have been left isolated for a long time and media and relief workers were fearful of going there because of the radiation levels … until this appeal for help was widely relayed on the Internet.

Distribution of food and petrol; Nishida Katashi is a volunteer in the region and is keeping an account on his blog of the relief operations being carried out in Minamisoma.

Indeed, since this video was uploaded the city council says it has received many individual donations as well as help from numerous NGOs. On the city’s web site there are several series of photos showing what goes on in the city’s shelters. Most residents fled after the disaster.

Minamisoma has been particularly exposed to radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Greenpeace says the situation is alarming and is broadcasting these images online, showing one of their teams measuring radiation levels in the region and testing vegetables grown there. The NGO declared spinach from this garden unfit for consumption and expressed concern over the lack of information given to residents concerning risks of contamination.

 

Republicans react to Obama’s re-election bid

Barack Obama’s opponents have been reacting to the American President’s official announcement on Monday that he will run for re-election in 2012. There have been an increasing number of online attacks on the Head of State over the past couple of days, and his detractors are having a field day criticizing his first term.

Tim Pawlenty, former Republican governor of Minnesota has also recently announced his intention to run for US Presidency. The day after Obama’s candidacy was officially announced, “T-Paw” as he is known, posted this video online in which he challenges the changes the current President was supposed to bring about. He also says a new head of state needs to be elected in order to put America back on the right track.

The Republican National Committee has also joined in, proving that the 2012 campaign is well and truly underway. In this clip, which has been widely relayed on sharing sites, the Republican Party looks at how hopeful people were when Obama was elected in 2008. In the video American conservatives look back over the President’s term on an economic level, they say it was catastrophic, and hope is not enough to revive employment in the US. A site called “Hope isn’t hiring” has been set up to collect donations from web users with a view to beating Barack Obama in the 2012 election.

And it is not only Republicans taking part in the anti-Obama mobilization. Numerous citizens are sharing their frustration with the president on social networks and on Facebook in particular. Several groups like this one have been set up to campaign against Obama’s re-election in 2012, and are proving to be extremely popular, drawing in tens of thousands of members.

 

Smithsonian Wild

Over 200 000 photos of wild animals taken by surprise in their different habitats : These photos were recently published online by the American Smithsonian research institute which used motion triggered ‘camera traps’ to put together this amazing collection of images. This is a global project, set up to study the behavior of a hundred or so different species.


Help save Data.gov

Web users in the US are campaigning to save data.gov. The site was set up by Barack Obama who had made government transparency one of his key campaign themes, and for the past two years it has been publishing public data collected by the federal authorities. But the site is now at risk of being closed down, the budget is currently being debated in Senate and could drop from 34 to 2 million dollars.

 

Video of the day

An academy devoted entirely to freerunning and parkour, which consist of using the city and rural landscape to perform acrobatic movements. This is what the « Tempest Freerunning Academy » which recently opened in California is all about, as we can see in this promotional video. There’s a fully equipped gymnasium so students can work on their techniques in total safety.


 

By Electron Libre

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