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Coverage of the third plane crash in one week - from France, Algeria and Burkina Faso

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Coverage of the plane crash that took 116 lives - almost half of them French

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Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

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Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

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Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

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Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

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Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

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French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

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Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

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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 : 2011-10-17

New Zealand on alert to contain oil spill

Netizens mobilizing as New Zealand battles to contain the oil spill. Yemeni web users are doubting doubt President Saleh’s pledge to step down. And a video which shows us the stages involved in creating a tattoo.

New Zealand on alert to contain oil spill

A black tide of oil slurry has swept over Papamoa beach … a horrified web user describes the scene at the Bay of Plenty in what the New Zealand government is calling the country’s worst ever environmental disaster.

Last week, the cargo ship Rena, ran aground off the Tauranga coast, in a well-known tourist spot and rich haven for wildlife. Hundreds of tons of fuel have already spilled from the hull, and clumps of heavy oil have washed up on the surrounding beaches.

This simulation was posted online by a maritime consultancy practice, and shows the path the oil is expected to take. And the worst is yet to come. The crack in the Rena’s hull is threatening to rupture meaning the 1700 tons of fuel on board could spill out into the sea, and the weather conditions are hindering efforts to pump the fuel from the stricken vessel.

Over the past few days, volunteers have joined cleanup operations on the beaches and the government is making online appeals for other citizens to join them.

A team of vets from Massey University are already on hand to treat oil covered animals. In this video we see them tending to a baby penguin. The wildlife center estimates that 500 dead birds have been recovered from beaches so far.

Greenpeace is saying the disaster should be taken as a warning, and in this online petition, the organization is urging New Zealand’s government to abandon any plans for deep sea oil exploration. In just a few days, the document has already gathered over 91 000 signatures.

Yemeni web users doubt Saleh’s pledge to step down

On Saturday, after more than eight months of unrest in Yemen, the President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, addressed the nation in a speech broadcast on state television, saying he would step down within “the coming days”. Many Yemeni web users have been voicing their doubts over his sincerity and do not believe he is ready to quit.

As Yemeni journalist Khaled Hammadi explains on his Twitter account, the majority of the country no longer pays attention to the President’s speeches which are perceived as delaying tactics to try and stay in power and calm the uprising. This other micro blogger agrees and says it’s only natural the people doubt him as this is the third time he has pledged to step down since the start of the popular uprising, and he has yet to honour his promises.

Some think the President’s announcement is simply a ploy to steal the limelight from Yemeni activist Tawakul Karman who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last week. Desperate measures say a number of web users, and a sign that the head of state will now try anything to deflect criticism or get publicity.

This tongue in cheek music video is currently enjoying great success on sharing sites and highlights the fact that Saleh’s credibility is being strongly questioned. The makers of the clip have taken a hit by American singer Katy Perry and used it to mock the fact the President has made the same announcement over and over again and is constantly changing his mind.

Nightmares Fear Factory

The "Nightmares Fear Factory” is an attraction at Canada’s Niagara Falls, and as part of their online advertising campaign they are posting photos online of scared visitors, most of them mid scream. Videos of the attraction are also being shown on the Nightmares Fear Factory web site and will probably tempt a thrill seeker or two.

Now trending on social networks

The attack on lawyer Prashant Bhushan is currently trending heavily on social networks in India. On Wednesday, as he was being interviewed by a local TV station, three people stormed into his chamber and began beating him. The apparent reason for the assault was recent remarks made by the lawyer about holding a referendum in Kashmir which is claimed by both India and Pakistan. Many web users have condemned the attack, whilst reiterating their belief in freedom of expression.

Video of the day

In this stop motion video, which was made using 2 700 photos, we see an arm tattoo gradually taking shape… we do not see the tattoo artists hands but we are with them every step of the way as they create this piece of body art…


By Electron Libre



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