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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 : 2012-06-21

Sudanese protest against austerity plan

Online reports of the protest movement in Sudan. The Korean airline ad that has outraged Kenyans. And a Swedish artist is recreating the film Blade Runner, in water colours.

Sudanese protest against austerity plan

This footage is said to have been filmed during a demonstration in the Khartoum suburb of Omdurman on Tuesday night. For several days now, Sudan has been rocked by a wave of protests against government austerity plans.

The movement began at Khartoum University where students have been gathering since Saturday on a daily basis to protest against rising food and transport prices. The economic situation in the country has become difficult since South Sudan split away last year, taking with it a large proportion of the country’s oil production revenues.

And when President Omar al-Bashir unveiled the government’s austerity plan on Monday, it added fuel to the fire. Anti-riot police were deployed en masse to the capital Khartoum, and as these amateur images which are being circulated online suggest, used tear gas and batons to quell protests.

And although many students have been arrested in recent days, the movement is not waning, quite the contrary, and has even taken a political turn. Protesters are now calling for the fall of the government and opposition parties have joined the movement. More than one year on from the initial protests which began amid the Arab Spring, protesters appear intent on maintaining pressure on the government. Activists have taken to social networks to call for a mass rally on June 30.


Korean Airlines ad sparks Twitter storm in Kenya

A Korean Airlines ad promoting the company’s new route from Seoul in South Korea, to Nairobi in Kenya, has sparked controversy on the web. The wording on the ad which was intended to praise the beauty of the African Savannah referred to “the indigenous people full of primitive energy” living in Kenya, and has provoked a barrage of reactions online.

Many Kenyan web users have been voicing their outrage on micro blogging platform Twitter, under the hashtag “primitive energy”, saying how shocked they are over the choice of words, which they feel insults an entire country. Some say the Korean airline is being racist towards Kenyans.

But others have taken a step back and are trying to see the funny side, posting sarcastic comments about the way Koreans perceive Kenyans. This young woman for example, says, with more than a hint of irony, her country is so primitive that the national marathon team is in charge of electricity supply and there are power cuts whenever they stop running. This other Twitter user says he’s about to go to the airport with his machete to show the Koreans just how primitive he is.

In view of the extent of the online outcry, the airline has withdrawn the controversial ad from its site and apologized via the web for any offence caused.


Retired soldier asks web users to help finance his book

Retired US army officer Konrad Ludwig was deployed to Iraq and involved in the Siege of Sadr City, in northern Bagdad from August 2007 to November 2008. 15 months of fighting with Shia militiamen which left hundreds of soldiers and civilians dead. The former soldier has written a book about this time, which he is hoping to have published. He’s asking web users for help on a website called “Kickstarter” to collect online donations to help finance his project. He has already been pledged over 30 000 dollars, which is over double what he hoped to raise.

 

Now trending on social networks

American actor Johnny Depp and his French partner Vanessa Paradis have split after 14 years together: and ever since it was officially announced, the news has been trending heavily on social networks. And although some web users find the news sad, the majority of posts on social networks appear to be pretty happy ones. Fans of the Hollywood star are overjoyed that Depp is now single, and some even intend to try their luck!

 

Video of the day

Swedish artist Anders Ramsell, has set about recreated Ridley Scott’s cult film Blade Runner in water colours. A huge undertaking and the first twelve minutes are already available to view on sharing sites: some 3200 paintings were needed to make the animations.

By Electron Libre

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