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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 : 2012-05-14

Spanish protesters return to the streets

The web reflects a return to the streets by Spanish protesters. One of Barack Obama’s campaign videos causes online controversy. And child in-patients sing in a video to combat illness.

Spanish protesters return to the streets

To celebrate the first anniversary of their movement, Spanish protesters planned to reoccupy Puerta del Sol square in Madrid for four days. But as shown in this amateur footage, they were moved on by police in the early hours of Sunday morning after their first night in the square.

An operation which does not seem to have undermined the protesters’ determination. On Twitter, they promised to return quickly, while reasserting their exasperation with unemployment, austerity and politicians’ incapacity to lead the country out of the crisis.

The protesters are therefore attempting to return to the streets but during the last year they have also been involved in a daily struggle to find alternative solutions in order to improve their situation. Organised online by local groups, swap markets as shown here in February in one of Madrid’s suburbs, Mostoles, have multiplied nationwide over recent months. Markets at which the public can stock up on books, clothes and children’s toys without spending a thing.

Another initiative growing in popularity among the Spanish is time banks; based on the exchange of services. These internet platforms allow people to offer ironing in exchange for a cookery lesson or a photo shoot for example. A way to save money and to let the community benefit from your know-how.

 

America goes head to head in "#because of Obama" battle

In the States, one of the latest videos created by Obama’s team in the framework of his campaign for re-election next November is currently the subject of heated debate online. Initially diffused on TV, the advert, now available on the President-candidate’s site, shows a worker from Ohio thanking the head of state for saving the US car industry and asserting that it was thanks to Obama he was able to keep his job.

A relatively insignificant phrase which was nevertheless quickly seized by conservative net users, who attacked the President’s achievements. Messages on Twitter starting, ‘thanks to Obama’ flooded in to point out the catastrophic consequences on the US economy of measures taken during his first mandate. This user on the micro blogging site explains that ‘thanks to Obama’, his children will be in the first generation of Americans to live less well than their parents and another critic asserts that ‘thanks to Obama’ over 46 million citizens now require food vouchers to survive.

An avalanche of criticism which obviously led to the President’s supporters stepping in to defend him. Also using the key words, ‘thanks to Obama’ they were numerous to publish remarks on social networks in favour of their champion. Messages boasting the reforms undertaken by the head of state in the last four years and calling on voters to place their trust in Obama once more at the end of the year.

 

Portraits of elderly animals

After spending a year taking care of her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, US photographer, Isa Leshko began work on this series of portraits of animals in their declining years. Black and white images taken in shelters around the country which, according to the artist offer an outlet to her fear of ageing but also question the treatment of breeding animals.

 

NYC municipal archives released online

New York city hall recently posted online over 870 000 photos, cards and other archive documents looking back over one hundred and sixty years of the city’s history. The twenty five collections available include a series of photos of each of the Big Apple’s buildings as of the 1980s, crime scene photos taken by the police, or the original plans of Central Park. A cornucopia of documents which are set to please the city’s fans who can order prints directly on the site.


Video of the day

Making young in-patients, their parents and hospital staff sing and dance to the hit song, ‘Stronger’ by Kelly Clarkson to send a message of hope to all those fighting illness. This is the idea hatched by Chris Rumble, a young man aged twenty two, himself a leukaemia sufferer, in this video filmed in the haematology-oncology ward of Seattle children’s’ hospital. An emotion-filled video which is a real success online, where it has already been viewed over one million three hundred thousand times in under a week.

By Electron Libre

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