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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 : 2012-08-22

China: web users react to Gu Kailai’s sentence

Chinese web users react to Gu Kailai’s sentence. Online support in the UK for a paralyzed man’s right to die with dignity. And some wind tunnel acrobatics from a group of skydivers.

China: web users react to Gu Kailai’s sentence

On Monday a Chinese court suspended the death sentence of Gu Kailai, wife of disgraced Communist Party senior official Bo Xilai after finding her guilty of the murder of a British businessman. The sentence has been met with widespread reaction from Chinese web users.

Censorship on social networks was indeed relaxed following the announcement of the verdict. It’s a sensitive case for the government and the names of the key people involved remained blocked, although the key words “Gu Kailai” were temporarily unblocked on certain sites.

Many web users have reacted to the outcome of the trial, condemning the sentence saying it is too soft. This web user says the court was too lenient for a woman found guilty of premeditated murder, but comes from the ruling Communist Party aristocracy.

Lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan denounces a two-tiered justice system. And wonders what the sentence would have been if it had been an ordinary Chinese citizen found guilty of the murder of a foreign national.

And some web users foresee Gu Kailai, who has escaped a death sentence, having her life imprisonment sentence reduced, adding she will probably end up being released in a few years’ time for medical reasons.

All these arguments have prompted this blogger to say the death sentence should quite simply be abolished in China. He says that convicted prisoners in China do not have equal standing as far as capital punishment is concerned, with the rich and powerful generally being let off, whilst the less fortunate end up being executed. He thinks it’s high time for this injustice to end.


UK: online support for Tony Nicklinson

Tony Nicklinson has been suffering from locked in syndrome following a severe stroke in 2005. Totally paralyzed, the 58 year old man’s only means of communication is via blinking or a computer triggered by blinking and head movements. The situation has become increasingly unbearable for him and his family, and he had appealed to Britain’s High Court to allow doctors to end his life. His plea was rejected last week, prompting widespread reaction from web users across the UK.

And Nicklinson himself was the first to speak out. He has shared his disappointment and condemns the judges for lacking courage on his Twitter account, which he started back in June. But he is not about to give up, and promises he will continue to fight for his right to die with dignity.

Nicklinson has the unconditional support of his family. His daughter Beth posted a message to Twitter saying she and her father will not give in until their demands are met. And in this video posted online just several hours after the highly criticized ruling was announced, his wife Jane, stands alongside him, denouncing the lack of compassion shown by the legal authorities and appeals to web users to campaign to help bring about a change in euthanasia legislation in the UK.

Her appeal appeals to have been widely circulated on the web; Nicklinson’s wife started this petition last week, demanding he be allowed to end his life without suffering and has already gathered over 20 000 signatures.

And there has been mass mobilization on social media platforms too. Messages expressing solidarity with Tony Nicklinson have been pouring on to Twitter, with web users saying they hope he wins his right to a pain free death.


Wanted! Britain publishes photos of tax evaders online

In Britain tax evasion and fraud is not something to be taken lightly. The UK tax authority has published photos of 20 of the country’s most wanted tax fugitives on its Flickr page, people believed to have cost British tax payers over £765 million, that’s around € 975 million. Tax officials hope the public will have information to help track down these “most wanted” and bring them to justice.


Now trending on social networks

“In cases of legitimate rape the female body has ways to prevent impregnation and it is extremely rare a woman falls pregnant after being raped”. Many Twitter users have been left shocked and outraged by these comments made on Sunday by the Republican Senate nominee from Missouri, Todd Akin. Web users have been stating that rape is never legitimate and slam Akin’s insensitivity towards victims. Some think the controversy could well cost him his place in the senate in November.


Video of the day

In this video, we see Sky diving collective “Soul Flyers” perform a free fly routine in a wind tunnel in Prague in the Czech Republic; a wonderful acrobatic performance with winds blowing at over 240 km per hour.

By Electron Libre



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