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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 : 2013-08-04

Gay activists call for the boycott of Russian vodka

Today on the net, gay activists call for the boycott of Russian vodka. A South Korean TV channel under fire for filming a suicide. And you can now take a virtual trip up Japan’s Mount Fiji.

Gay activists call for the boycott of Russian vodka

Gay bars and nightclubs in the US, the UK and also Australia, are no longer serving Russian vodka to their clients in protest of the Russian authorities increasingly aggressive stance towards laws concerning sexual minorities. Activists are particularly angry about two new laws banning “gay propaganda” to children, and adoption of children by same sex couples.

American writer and activist Dan Savage launched a boycott campaign on his blog last week, encouraging gay bars to stop selling Stolichnaya, one of the leading Russian vodka brands, to denounce the homophobic climate in Russia.

The company soon responded to this campaign via its website which was bearing the rainbow colours for the occasion. In an open letter the CEO condemns Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay policies and says the company stands with and supports Russia’s LGBT community.

And as it continues to gain ground each day, some are wondering what impact the boycott will actually have. In an interview for the site Gay Star News, activist Nikolai Alekseev says it will most probably have no influence over political decisions in Russia and thinks it would be better to target the homophobic lawmakers by, for example, calling on western countries to deny them entrance visas.

South Korea: TV channel under fire for filming suicide

South Korean television and radio network KBS is drawing strong criticism from web users after sending a cameraman to a bridge in Seoul to film a man who was threatening to jump off into the water dozens of meters below. He carried out his threat a few moments later, and the man behind the camera did absolutely nothing to stop him …

Many have taken to social networks slamming the broadcaster and its employee’s lack of ethics, saying they preferred sensationalism over helping a person in distress. Web users feel the cameraman could have tried to grab the man by the arm before he jumped and are calling on KBS to acknowledge its responsibility in this affair, which had tragic consequences as the man did not survive his fall.

 

 


But the television network and its employee are not the only ones under fire. Korean web users are also slamming the man who committed the desperate act as well as members of the “Man of Korea” organization, a contentious web forum advocating men’s rights, of which he was leader. He had in fact warned his supporters of his plans via Twitter a few days earlier, telling them he was going to jump off a bridge to spread awareness about the group. Two supporters were brought along to film him, which they did, instead of trying to persuade him down; and this has also been met with disbelief and outrage from web users across the country.

Now trending on social networks

Despite the ongoing violence and bloodshed in Syria between supporters and opponents of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian presidency has found the time to join Instagram. The account was launched on July 24th and features photos of the head of state and his wife Asma among cheering crowds, visiting the wounded in hospital, and also comforting children. The aim is to try and portray a more likeable side to the Damascus regime … and the page is proving popular, around 2 800 web users have subscribed in the first week.

Google lets web users climb Mount Fuji with Street View

Granted World Heritage status by UNESCO on the 22nd June, Mount Fuji is now accessible to web users the world over. Google has released over 14 000 panoramic shots on its Street View service so you can now visit Japan’s holy mountain from the comfort of your own home. So you can take a walk along the Yoshida trail or e-climb up the 3776 meter high active volcano. 

Video of the day

Do a backflip from one skateboard and land on another … after a few failed attempts, Icelandic skateboard champ Egill Gunnar finally pulled off this staggering stunt, which you can see for yourself in this YouTube video.

By Electron Libre

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