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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 : 2013-08-08

Pakistani activists challenging YouTube ban

Today on the net, pakistani activists challenging the country’s YouTube ban. Costa Rica to close its public zoos: the web reacts. And a drum-playing grandma becomes a web sensation.

Pakistani activists challenging YouTube ban

Web users in Pakistan have now been denied access to YouTube for close to a year. The government banned Google’s video sharing platform back in September after it showed clips of the controversial anti-Islam film, "Innocence of Muslims", which prompted a wave of protests across the country.

Measures which are now being challenged by the NGO "Bytes For All", which has started legal proceedings to try to end this ban. 

The digital rights organization is also running an online campaign around freedom of expression on the Internet. These digital posters denounce the ban on sites like YouTube, with activists saying penalizes students, for example, who use the web for research or study. 

YouTube has also helped Pakistani musicians launch their careers and make a living, and they too have joined the campaign. Up and coming talent Usman Riaz for example learnt how to play the guitar by watching videos on the famous sharing platform. 

But the Pakistani authorities are not ready to lift the ban on YouTube just yet. At least not until a filtering system has been put in place in Pakistan, to block all content on the video platform deemed blasphemous by the government.

Costa Rica to close its public zoos

Costa Rica is planning to close the country’s two public zoos. The announcement was made on Monday by the small Central American nation’s Environment Minister René Castro who said the zoos would become botanical gardens. The authorities want the animals to be released back into the wild where possible, for Costa Rica to become a cage free environment, and the decision has been met with strong support on social networks.

Many web users feels the move, which is a world first, deserves great praise indeed, hailing Costa Rica for it’s work on preserving its natural resources and biodiversity, and also mentioning the country’s long standing commitment to animal welfare as circuses with animals and sport hunting have been banned since 2002.

But although the majority of web users are in favour of the measures, some have expressed concern over what will become of the animals once they are released back into the wild. This Twitter user for example thinks a lot of them will die. The foundation that runs the two animal parks has voiced the same fears, explaining that once the animals have been released, the specialist veterinary services will no longer be able to care for the different species and their specific needs. Another fear is that there will be less foreign visitors to Costa Rica because they will no longer be able to get a close glimpse of the animals that inhabit the country.

Breathtaking Tokyo panorama

No less than 8000 images were used to piece together this incredible panoramic photo of Tokyo, the world’s second largest photo, after that of London. It was shot by photographer Jeffrey Martin, and immerses us in the Japanese capital; the detail is extraordinary, meaning web users can truly explore the city from the comfort of their own home.

Califone’s interactive video

American rock band Califone has put together this clip to promote their new album “Stiches” due for release next month. The video which is only available online features images published on blogging platform Tumblr that are displayed randomly to the music each time you view it. So you will never see the same video twice. It’s an innovative approach and will no doubt inspire many more … 

Video of the day

She's 63 years old and hasn’t played in nearly 20 years, but as we can see in this video filmed at a music store in Wisconsin in the US, Mary Hvizda doesn’t seem to have lost her talent for the drums. The video is enjoying massive success online and has already racked up some four and a half million hits on YouTube, making the women who has been dubbed “Grandma Drummer” the latest web sensation …

By Electron Libre

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