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The World This Week - 29 August 2014

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Latest update : 2013-06-19

“Standing man” inspires Turkey protesters

Today on the net, activists across Turkey inspired by “standing man’s” silent protest in Taksim Square; fast food restaurants in the US hit by a series of embarrassing scandals; and one blog’s satirical take on recently exposed Internet surveillance program Prism…

“Standing man” inspires Turkey protesters

Erdem Gündüz came to Istanbul’s Taksim Square on Monday night as it was getting dark, and then the 34 year old choreographer stood there for hours staring at the Turkish flag and the portrait of the founder of modern Turkey Atatürk. Demonstrators were evacuated from Taksim Square on Saturday after near to three weeks of occupation. It has been sealed off from mass protests, but pedestrians are allowed to enter, so here we have a new form of resistance.

News of his peaceful protest soon spread across social media platforms under the hashtag “Duran Adam" meaning “Standing Man”. And although he was planning to standalone for one month, with just three hours break every 24 hours, as the evening wore on, he was joined by dozens of others who came to stand beside him.

But police moved in at around 2am to remove the silent protesters. A number of protesters were arrested and released shortly afterwards, Erdum Gündüz however managed to avoid any police contact.

It would seem his actions have inspired Turkish protesters, who have been looking for different ways of demonstrating their opposition. Standing man has indeed become one of the symbols of the protests against Prime Minister Recep Erdogan. As we can see from these photos which are being shared online, with activists staging similar silent standing demonstrations in symbolic places across Turkey.

 

String of fast food scandals in the US

This photo
of an employee at American fast food chain Taco Bell has caused something of a scandal. We see the young man licking a stack of Taco shells in the back kitchen. Unfortunately for him, the photo ended up on Facebook with the following comment: “This sure says a lot about your employees, food treatment, and what they post on the internet”. The pic has been widely relayed on social networks sparking lively reactions from disgusted customers.

The powers that be at Taco Bell issued a swift response, initially stating that it was just a joke. Following further investigation, the fast food chain posted another statement specifying that the photo was taken as part of an internal photo contest, and the food in the picture was used to train employees, and was not for public consumption. Some web users, like Nancy Scott however think Taco Bell is just trying to limit the damage to its reputation. Whatever the case, it didn’t spare the fast food worker from losing his job.

And this is not an isolated case. All sorts of photos of fast food employees larking about with food have found their way online since the star of the year. Web users find it repulsive, and regularly say so online. Comments poured in after photos emerged of employees standing in bins of lettuce at Burger King, and then more recently there was the photo of a Wendy’s worker devouring ice cream straight from the nozzle. Stomach churning shots which more often than not cost these employees their jobs.

 

“Obama is checking your email”

Whether it’s in his office at the White House, or on a visit to a school, or during a meeting with his advisors, Barack Obama always has a computer or smart phone at hand to keep an eye on your online communications. Well, this is what this satirical blog called “Obama is checking your email” is suggesting: the blog compiles photos of the US president looking at a screen and it is a swipe at Prism, the National Security Agency’s Internet surveillance program currently at the center of lively debate.

 

Now trending on social networks

The people of Canada are preparing for “National Stop Harper Day" on the 28th June. A day of action coordinated via Facebook to protest against the politics and policies of the Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In the run up, countless Twitter users have been listing the reasons they want an end to the Conservative government which has been in office since 2006. Canadians have notably been criticizing the government for its handling of the country’s economy, the amount of money spent on attacking the opposition, and also the abuses of power.


Video of the day

Some material, cardboard boxes, tissue paper, buttons and thread … this is all Akiko McQuerrey needed to create this seemingly wonderful world. In this stop-motion video, the Japanese film maker and children’s book author has created a new character, a piano playing octopus who yearns for the time he lived with his friends the shark, the whale and the tuna fish … it’s a stunning piece of work and very effective in denouncing overfishing – a must see.

By Electron Libre

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