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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 : 2011-09-13

Iranian homosexuals launch online campaign to defend their rights

Iran’s LGBT community launches an online campaign to defend gay rights. Web users in Texas are mobilizing online to fight the devastating wildfires sweeping through the state. And a herd of cows are treated to a private jazz concert.

Iranian homosexuals launch online campaign to defend their rights

Iranian homosexuals from all over the world are taking part in an online campaign in defiance of a regime that criminalizes homosexuality. Their slogan: “We are everywhere”. Despite President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claiming in New York in 2007, that there were no homosexuals in Iran, over 1 900 web users have joined this page which encourages gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Iranians to share their personal stories.

Some, like Farnaz or Iman are showing their faces, whilst others are not revealing their identity. In Iran, homosexuality is punishable by death.

A man going under the name of Mehdi says he is always pretending to be someone he is not, and always has to hide part of himself from others ... like he is doing in this video.

This other web user has written a message on a roll of kitchen towel which he unravels in front of the camera. He says he has had to leave his family and seek refuge in Turkey, which is now home to many Iranian gay asylum seekers who have fled the anti-gay repression in Iran.

The NGO "Iran Human Rights" has claimed that three people were recently hanged in Iran, convicted of sodomy. The organization adds that the Iranian authorities rarely admit to executing people for taking part in gay sex, and normally present such cases as rape.


Online mobilization against Texas wildfires

The US state of Texas has been facing its worst drought in a century, and has been battling devastating wildfires for over a week now. The net has become an essential communication tool for the authorities, so they can warn residents of areas to avoid. The Texas Department of Public Safety has been sending out regular messages on Twitter, issuing warnings and giving residents firefighting tips.

The Texas Forest Service has been updating a map in real time, which shows the locations of wildfires, so as to evacuate vulnerable residents as quickly as possible. By knowing exactly when and where each fire broke out, firefighters are able to work effectively to coordinate their efforts. Web users can also help out by reporting any suspected fires or signs of smoke on this Facebook page.

Citizens living in the state of Texas have been supporting one another. An “Adopt a family” page has been set up on Facebook with members offering those who have lost their homes in the wildfires, a roof over their heads. Hundreds of offers have been posted already, and this number keeps growing.

And as the fires appear to have calmed down over the past few days, some have decided to return to where their homes once stood. This Texan man describes how nothing remains of the house he used to live in with his family, but he did get a happy surprise, as in the midst of the ruins, miraculously spared by the flames, stood all of the ducks he had been rearing in his garden.

 

Jesus Daily, the most active page on Facebook

The New York Times has announced that the most active page on Facebook belongs to Jesus. The page “Jesus Daily” was set up by Aaron Tabor, a nutritionist from North Carolina, and has over 8 million fans. And what’s even more impressive is that over 3 million comments or links are posted on his profile page every day, a page which also includes daily prayers or quotes from the bible. Not even Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga have reached these kinds of figures on the social network.

 

Dutch web users forced to return to the fax

Dutch web users were forced to return to the fax age after a number of the Netherland’s government web sites fell victim to a massive hack attack, affecting the entire country, to such an extent that the government advised citizens to temporarily stop using the Internet. The suspected culprit is a 21 year old Iranian man, who had already made a name for himself in May when he attacked a number of IT security companies.


Video of the day

These musicians decided to put on a jazz concert for cows… and the music seems to be a hit with their unusual audience as the cows listened intently throughout the performance.

 

By Electron Libre

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