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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 : 2011-08-01

The US debt debate continues to rage online

The US debt debate continues to rage online. Web users are campaigning for the UN to recognize Palestine as an independent state. A New York Times’ project presenting portraits of everyday New Yorkers.

 US debt debate rages online

The computer graphics on this site illustrate the colossal scale of American debt by visualizing it and piling up 100 dollar bills. 15 trillion dollars would equate to a huge mountain of green notes, shown here, to scale, next to the Statue of Liberty. 

Because with Democrats and Republicans still to reach an agreement over raising the legal debt limit, US debt is likely to rise to 15 trillion dollars over the next few months.

There has been a great deal of online debate over the past few weeks with political organizations trying to outdo each other in finding creative ways to put their opinions across. Conservative group “Concerned Women for America” recently uploaded this video which has been viewed over one million times in one week. It’s a parody ad promoting “Spenditol”, which is presented as the White House’s miracle remedy for all the problems in the country, but it has certain side effects like a mountain of government debt to leave to future generations.

‘Reason’ a self-professed nonpartisan Think-tank has produced this satirical music clip with a rapper appealing to Congress to raise the American debt limit. The song is full of irony, and denounces the lifestyle of the politicians’ who are seeking to increase public spending. 

 

Campaign for recognition of a Palestinian state

Should the UN officially recognize Palestine? Debate is raging online, as President Mahmoud Abbas plans to submit a UN membership application in September. 

The United States has already expressed its opposition to the idea and European countries have not yet reached a decision. This online petition, which has gathered over 400 000 signatures, is asking Europe to promote peace by supporting the project.

A number of Facebook groups have also been set up to back the project. This one for example hopes to collect 10 million signatures from all over the world to support Palestine’s application for UN membership.

Many web users, like Egyptian cyber activist Wael Ghonim, have been demanding the recognition of Palestine as an independent state, on the Twitter thread « #StateofPalestine »

Israel in the meantime has also been busy on social networks. Danny Ayalon, Israel’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs features in this video which was posted online two weeks ago. He argues that the Palestinian request is invalid.

He also explains why he thinks the West Bank does not represent « occupied territory » but « disputed territory ». The video has amplified the already tense relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, with just several weeks to go before the UN’s next General Assembly.


« One in 8 million »

Meet Michel the tailor, Joel the local chemist and also Melissa the taxidermist …the New York Times project “one in 8 million” is a series of portraits of every day New Yorkers. Each photo comes with an audio account from an ordinary person telling their own extraordinary story. The collection gives a real insight into the diversity of New York’s population.
 

PhotoRank

Posting one’s digital photos on the Internet has become something of a habit. And with the site Photorank, you can now measure the impact they have online. By signing up to the site you give it access to your pages on social networks, like Facebook or Twitter, so it can calculate how popular your photos have been with other web users.

This is a great tool for budding or experienced photographers who want to manage their online reputation.

 

Video of the day

In this video, the environmental organization « Sanctuary Asia » is depicting planet earth as a living breathing woman. The video is more than a simple display of beautiful landscapes; it also highlights the severity and force of natural phenomena, like cyclones and floods.
 

By Electron Libre

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