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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 : 2012-11-15

USA: online petitions call for states to secede

Unhappy Americans are petitioning the White House to allow their states to secede. Meanwhile, British web users declare war on tax-dodging multinationals. And photos are circulating of cats posing as 1950s pin-up girls.

USA: online petitions call for states to secede

This petition was posted to a White House website less than 24 hours after Barack Obama was re-elected president, asking for the state of Texas to be granted the right to peacefully secede from the United States and form its own government. It has gathered close to 95 000 signatures in less than a week.

Unhappy with the re-election of the Democrat president, residents from over half of the 50 states of America have filed similar secession requests, the petitions submitted by Georgia and Alabama for example already surpassing the 25,000 signatures required for them to be reviewed by the Obama administration and to be given an official response from the White House.

But the requests have also drawn opposition across America. This counter petition for example is asking for permission for the city of Austin to withdraw from the state of Texas and remain part of the United States should the state be granted independence. Another request is demanding the states seeking secession pay their share of the national debt before leaving the union.

But could Texas actually withdraw from the union? According to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, an 1866 proclamation signed by then president Andrew Johnson, in the wake of the civil war, clearly states that no state has the right or power to separate itself from the American union.

British web users wage war on tax dodging companies

With the UK authorities implementing significant budget cuts, some British web users have decided enough is enough and have declared war on those multi nationals paying little or no income tax by using complex accounting methods to reduce their tax liabilities in the UK. The movement is being widely publicized online.

Grassroots movement UK Uncut which works to highlight alternatives to the government’s austerity measures and is known for targeting corporate tax avoidance has just launched a campaign against American coffee chain Starbucks, accusing it of tax evasion. The stated aim: make Starbucks pay for its greed by staging sit-ins in their coffee stores across the country on December 8, to convince the authorities to turn them into women’s’ refuges and homeless shelters.

So the aim is to highlight the unscrupulous and dodgy practices of certain companies, and it’s not the first campaign of its kind. From the end of August to mid-October activists from the charity Christian Aid travelled around the UK on a bus as part of its “tax justice” campaign… British citizens could visit the bus to, amongst other things, denounce the accounting trickery used by tax dodging multinationals.

This blogger has posted a list of companies who pay virtually no tax on cash raked in on British soil, suggesting public discontent looks set to grow in the coming weeks. The list includes Internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook and also fast food chains such as McDonald’s and KFC. Companies that pay little tax despite turning in colossal profits that may well be the next to feel the wrath of UK netizens.

Now trending on social networks

Someone in France claimed the record 169 million euros prize money in the Euromillions lottery on Tuesday night, sparking an avalanche of tweets. A staggering amount which has naturally got web users imagining what they might do with such a sum; some are even jokingly asking the winner to become their friend or simply share some of their new found fortune. Others have posted more serious messages to Twitter saying that such a huge amount of money should not be frittered away and could be used to help those who really need it.

Cats that look like pin up girls

This hilarious Tumblr blog "Cats that look like pin up girls" compiles pictures of the little fluff balls posing like the 1950’s models … and it will no doubt be a massive hit with feline fans everywhere…

Video of the day

Just like the characters in the Michel Gondry film “Be Kind Rewind”, the creators of this video have reproduced scenes from the Iron Man 3 trailer, due for release in 2013; they have used children’s toys, cardboard boxes, whatever they had to hand really; but the end result of the low budget remake is almost as gripping as the original…

By Electron Libre

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