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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.



Latest update : 2011-07-11

Bearded Mickey Mouse cartoon stirs anger in Egypt

An Egyptian millionaire has sparked controversy by posting a bearded Mickey Mouse cartoon online. Chinese web users are poking fun at an edited photo of three government officials. In Italy, the Naples garbage crisis has inspired a local poet.

Bearded Mickey Mouse cartoon stirs anger in Egypt

Naguib Sawiris, one of the richest men in Egypt has found himself at the centre of controversy after he posted a picture online of Mickey Mouse with a beard and Minnie in a face veil. The Christian businessman posted the cartoon on Twitter, angering Egypt’s Islamic hardliners.

Naguib Sawiris has apologized and deleted the picture, but the controversy continues to rage. Salafi lawyers have even filed law suits against this telecom tycoon accusing him of contempt against Islam.

A campaign has been launched on social media calling for a boycott of his companies, and in particular his cell phone company Mobinil. This Facebook group is accusing him of creating a bad image of Muslims in the media and on the Internet.

Others however are trying to play down the affair and are defending Sawiris in the name of freedom of expression. The image has in fact been circulating on the net for some time, with the caption “this is the future of Egypt”, and reflects the concern felt by many over the growing power of Islamist groups since the fall of Mubarak.

But Alaa Mohssen Nassef feels the airing of this image by someone as well known as Sawiris could not have come at a worse time, just when the country is witnessing a revival of tensions between Muslims and Christians.

Local Chinese government's image ridiculed online

A photo was posted on the official web site of Huili County Government in China’s south western Sichuan province two weeks ago. It shows three local government officials inspecting a new road. But the shot has been poorly edited and the three men appear to be levitating off the ground.

The photo was immediately circulated all over the web, and has sparked an avalanche of reactions from web users, some are outraged but many find it hilarious.

Local authorities quickly deleted the picture and set up a blog to explain themselves. They claim the three politicians were indeed present for the inspection, but the photographer was not satisfied with his work and so decided to superimpose two of the pictures he took that day.

But web users are having a field day nonetheless and poking fun at the photo.  Discussion forums have been inundated with take-offs of the photo, depicting the three men on the moon, amid dinosaurs, and also in the White House’s “situation room” alongside Barack Obama.

This blogger thinks the affair is a reflection on the problems in China’s bureaucracy where subordinates are making bad decisions in their enthusiasm to impress their superiors who are obsessed with short term results. And he says although it is not the case this time, it is generally ordinary citizens who pay the price. 


Poet inspired by Naples garbage crisis

  "I love Naples, and even if I was from Milan, Stuttgart, Antwerp, Toronto, Palermo or Addis Ababa, I would still love it”; this is the opening line to writer Francesco De Filippo’s poem published on the web site Infinito Edizioni: A poem which denounces all those who have contributed to the city’s garbage crisis.

The Mayor of Naples, Luigi De Magistris, has found encouragement in these words, and continues his uphill battle to rid the city of the tons of garbage sitting on the streets.

Gravedate, a dating site for the living impaired

This ad is pretty intriguing. Gravedate will soon be going live, it is a dating site on which single zombies can look for and hopefully find eternal love. It is not yet known what this site for the loveless living impaired actually offers, but its promotional video is already enjoying huge success online.


 Video of the day

One year old Trent and this 180 kilo lioness seem to really like each other, but not necessarily for the same reasons. The moment was captured on film at Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in the US by the little boy’s parents.


By Electron Libre



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