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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 : 2011-09-26

Shia opposition boycotts Bahrain by-elections

Bahrain’s by-elections boycotted by Shia opposition parties. Web users comment on the unauthorized publication of Julian Assange’s autobiography. And Nasa presents the aurora australis, as seen from space.

Shia opposition boycotts Bahrain by-elections

Many Bahraini voters joined the Shia opposition in boycotting the by-elections ballot boxes on Saturday. The elections were being held to fill 18 parliamentary seats left vacant last spring when deputies from the main opposition party resigned in protest at government repression of the unprecedented uprising in Bahrain which broke out in February.

Voter turnout was the key issue in these elections. According to a local daily, and much to the concern of web users, the authorities’ had threatened to punish anyone found boycotting the vote. Bahrain’s Ministry of Justice later denied this was true.

There have been tremendous tensions in the run up to these elections, both on the web and on the streets of Bahrain which has a Shia majority and is ruled by the Sunni al-Khalifa dynasty. On Friday, anti-government activists gathered in a shopping centre in the capital Manama. The rally was broken up by police soon after it began, and several arrests were made.

Police interventions in the suburbs appear to have been much more violent, and in the village of Sanabis in particular. A group of young protesters had organized a march to return to Pearl Square which had been the epicenter of the pro-democracy protests in Bahrain. Various pieces of amateur footage have been posted online showing the violent clashes between demonstrators and police. There was a heavy police presence in the village.


Julian Assange’s unauthorized autobiography

"Canongate has acted in breach of contract, in breach of confidence"…  Julian Assange has been voicing his anger in an online statement. The Wikileaks founder is accusing the Scottish publishing house of releasing his autobiography, without his consent. It’s an unusual upset and is being widely discussed online.

Assange has stated on his website that the published book is an unfinished draft. The manuscript was written by author Andrew O’Hagan after around fifty hours of interviews with Assange. But the specialist in releasing sensitive information online was not happy with the draft and felt a great deal of changes needed to be made.

The publishing house obviously does not agree, and says here that it was Assange who said he wanted to cancel the contract back in June, and that he had never paid back Canongate for his advance. And so the company felt they were within their rights to publish the memoir of the Wikileaks founder.

There has been much talk about the book on social networks, where people are discussing the irony of it all. Many feel he is quite simply getting a taste of his own medicine: Wikileaks recently posted thousands of uncensored diplomatic cables online, and so as the founder of Wikileaks he cannot really complain about personal information being released without his authorization.

But others are defending Julian Assange, like Nick Davies for example, a journalist for British daily, The Guardian. He says the publishing house is looking to make money from the book and the autobiography does not appear to have been completed because it does not go into the release of the US diplomatic cables and is full of inaccuracies.

 


Crimebook, le site pour comprendre le droit pénal

Lawyer David Metaxas set up Crimebook.fr so that web users could gain a better understanding of French criminal law and how the justice system works in France. The site is based on a search engine format, it contains over 3 000 criminal offences, and tell you all need to know about them. Crimebook also provides information on some of the most notorious criminals in history, both in and outside of France, to try and analyze the evolution of criminality.


Prescreen

With Presecreen.com you can check out a different film every day. Independent producers can use this site to reach an audience without having to go through the traditional distribution channels. Each new release is announced via email and members of the site can then watch the film via streaming for 4 dollars the first day and then 8 dollars if you keep it for longer than 24 hours. Web users can get reductions on these prices by recommending films they have enjoyed on social media platforms.

 

Video of the day

Nasa has uploaded this stunning video of the Aurora Australis, otherwise known as the Southern Lights. The images were shot from the International Space Station as it passed over the Indian Ocean. Like its northern hemisphere counterpart, the Aurora Borealis, this natural phenomenon occurs when ions in the solar wind collide with atoms of oxygen and nitrogen in the upper atmosphere.

 

By Electron Libre

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