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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 : 2012-05-22

Canada: student protests in Quebec

Student protests in Quebec. Environmental activists launch a campaign against marine pollution in Cannes. And web users pay tribute to singer songwriter Robin Gibb, who died on Sunday.

Canada: student protests in Quebec

Windows smashed in, burning barricades along the streets, and tense confrontations between police and protesters. Dozens of people were arrested late Sunday night and into the early hours of Monday morning in Montreal, Canada when a night time demonstration descended into riots.

Over the past few months, students in Quebec have been protesting against the provincial government’s plans to raise tuition fees. The authorities are trying to quell this unprecedented protest movement dubbed the “maple spring” and on Friday passed emergency legislation designed to curtail the freedom to protest. But instead of pacifying students, the controversial measures have only served to fuel their anger.

Online campaigning against this emergency law is well underway. Student groups have launched an e-petition demanding the law be annulled and say it has gathered over 150,000 signatures in a very short time.

Key figures in the movement are trying to coordinate actions, although it is now forbidden, and punishable by a fine, to launch online appeals for demonstrations. “Classe” for example, a coalition of unions and groups, has removed a calendar of upcoming protests from its website.

But other initiatives are emerging on social media platforms. One anonymous service is providing information on future demonstrations, but to avoid being caught out by the emergency law, is advising web users not to attend… Others have taken to Twitter to spread the word without actually saying the words. This micro blogger says that he will not be attending the next big rally scheduled to take place around Montreal’s Place des Festivals on Tuesday.


Online campaign against marine pollution in Cannes

With the 65th Cannes Film festival in full swing, and the stars, glitz and glamour making headlines across the world, the “Méditerrannée en danger” group has decided to draw attention to the problem of marine pollution just a few hundred meters away from the Croisette were the festival is held. This awareness campaign is being conducted via the web.

 

The environmental organization has produced a series of short video clips, under the theme, “les dessous de Cannes” meaning “underneath Cannes”, which are available to view on their website and also on YouTube. The videos are less than two minutes long and were filmed in the sea waters, around the hotels where festival goers are staying: theatrical productions, which show the huge quantities of waste strewn across the seabed around the Croisette. The first film “Sous les marches du festival” immerses web users in a sea of bottles to help bring home the extent of the problem.

Another clip produced for the campaign "Cannes a bout de souffle" focusses on the cigarette butts and empty packets that have invaded the shores of Cannes over the years. The images are quite simply shocking, and the creators of the video have chosen a somewhat ironic backing track: Serge Gainsbourg’s "Dieu est un fumeur de havanes", meaning “God smokes Havana cigars”.

It is a particularly novel initiative and hopes to have an immediate impact on residents of Cannes but also, and more importantly, on festival goers. During the two week film festival, the council has to contend with an additional 1200 tons of waste, some of which will unfortunately end up at the bottom of the sea.

 

Now trending on social networks

Messages are flooding onto social networks from all over the world, paying tribute to Robin Gibb who died in London on Sunday night, at the age of 62. The death of one of the founding members and singers of legendary group, The Bee Gees has sparked a wave of emotion on the web, with web users, both well-known and anonymous, hailing Robin Gibb as a musical genius, saying his work will go down in history.

 

Engineer plans to build real-life "Starship Enterprise"

In the famous science fiction television series “Star Trek” we followed the crew’s adventures aboard the "Starship Enterprise", the space ship was of course just part of the set, but one anonymous web user, who calls himself Dan and claims to be an engineer, is convinced that with modern day technology he can build a real-life “Starship Enterprise”. He has posted the blueprints online : it’s 960 meters long, can hold 1 000 people and would need a nuclear reactor to give it enough power to reach Mars in less than 3 months … the cost is estimated at 1 trillion dollars, so now he just needs to see what NASA thinks…

 

Video of the day

Los Angeles by night and its wonderful lights… this video was created by American photographer Nathaniel Smith, using the time lapse technique, and illustrates beautifully how the city of Los Angeles is constantly on the go...

By Electron Libre

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