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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 : 2013-02-19

Spain bank protest turns to video link

Activists in Spain are finding creative ways to protest against the country’s banks. Online reports continue to emerge of Friday’s meteor shower in Russia. And Hugo Chavez takes to Twitter to announce his return to Venezuela.

Spain bank protest turns to video link

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Spain this weekend, as we can see here in Barcelona, to protests against evictions of indebted homeowners, ruined by the financial crisis. Banks have been repossessing homes, further fueling public anger.

One web user who lost a large proportion of his life savings in a risky savings product has launched an inventive online campaign against Banco Santander, the bank that sold him the bonds. He has launched a video competition and is offering the winner use of his sports car for an entire weekend. Participants have to stage the most creative protests they can think of.

Spaniards are indeed resorting to increasingly creative ways of voicing their anger with banks. In May last year for example, activists conspired to shower clients with confetti when they came into a bank bailed out with public funds to close their own personal account.

One flamenco group staged a demonstration in a branch of the Bankia bank in Seville. The video of their protest performance went viral.

And more recently back in November, a day of action coordinated online saw web users depositing their rubbish in bank doorways across the country : a form of protest that was echoed this weekend in Portugal, which has also been hit by harsh austerity measures. 

Viral boom: Russian meteor fuels Internet frenzy

Sharing sites have become inundated with amateur photos and footage from Russia testifying to Friday’s meteor shower over the Ural mountain range that left many injured. Astonishing images that show both the meteor streaking through the sky and the long trail of white smoke left in its wake, as well as the extensive material damage caused by debris from the meteor which exploded as it entered the earth’s atmosphere producing an intense bright flash of light. In some videos doing the rounds on sharing sites, you can hear the explosion.

An extremely rare event which evidently took locals by surprise, and in some cases prompted panic, like in this school for example where visibly shocked student sought refuge in the schools corridors whilst they waited to be brought to safety after the explosion shattered all the windows.

The natural disaster remains a highly popular discussion topic online; there has been an outpouring of emotion. Some online comedians however haven’t been able to resist adding their own twist to events. A number of photomontages like these ones have emerged online, suggesting alternative explanations for what was seen in the Russians skies on Friday. Vladimir Putin or indeed online sensation, Nyan Cat, are put forward as being potentially responsible for the incident. It’s obviously tongue in cheek, and these outrageous pics prove that despite the damage caused by the meteor shower, Russian web users are managing to find something to smile about.

Now trending on social networks

Hugo Chavez took to Twitter on Monday to inform his supporters he had returned to Venezuela from Cuba to continue his cancer treatment. In a series of messages posted to his official account on the micro blogging site, the President said how happy he was to be back in his country, and thanked the Cuban authorities for their hospitality during his medical stay. And numerous Venezuelan web users have also taken to the web to say how happy they are to have him home.

Qwant, the French search engine that is not afraid of Google

French search engine Qwant launched successfully last week, in 15 different languages. A new platform with a particular onus on social networks because it searches the web, information sites, online retailers and also messages posted on Facebook and Twitter. It’s one of way of differentiating itself from and rivaling American giant Google which dominates the online search engine market. 

Video of the day

As we can see here, Israeli artist Ilana Yahav produces breathtaking works of art with sand. She has developed to perfection this technique using just her hands. It’s astonishing work and takes us to a fantasy world somewhere between dream and reality…

By Electron Libre

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