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Scottish referendum in the media

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Inger Andersen, Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, The World Bank

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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 : 2013-09-03

Stork arrested in Egypt on suspicion of spying

Today on the net: a stork is arrested in Egypt on suspicion of spying. An online campaign aims to end violence against children in India. And who do you think deserves to be buried in France's Pantheon?

Stork arrested in Egypt on suspicion of spying

A stork behind bars… As strange as it may seem, the Egyptian authorities detained a stork on Friday believing it to be carrying a spying device. It was found by a fisherman in the Qena Governorate in southern Egypt who thought the electronic device attached to its back looked suspicious, so he decided to capture it and take it to a police station.

But the veterinary committee called in to assist the government officials and environmental organizations involved in the enquiry determined the device was neither a bomb nor a spying system. They discovered it was quite simply a wildlife tracker installed by Hungarian researchers to follow the movements of these migrating birds.

Indeed, the white stork does have its own page on the scientific project’s website which features a satellite map showing the bird’s journey as it migrates toward the southern part of the African continent at this time of year.

And the arrest has inspired all sorts of mockery on social networks, particularly as the Egyptian authorities initially identified the stork as a duck. Web users have been poking fun and commenting on the story under the hashtag #SpyDuck, and also discussing Egypt’s intensified climate of distrust towards foreign nations following the ouster of Mohammed Morsi.

India: online campaign to end violence against children

UNICEF India has launched an online campaign against violence towards children with a particular focus on sexual abuse of young girls. Social networks play a prominent part in this campaign which is seeking to raise awareness about this terrible and tragic phenomenon.

On the campaign’s presentation page, which tells us that of the 24 000 rapes reported in 2011, 30 % involved children, the NGO is asking Twitter users to use the hashtag #EndViolence to tweet, retweet and speak out against child abuse, and also share their stories if they too were abused as a child.

Web users are also encouraged, like here on UNICEF India’s Facebook page, to put forward any ideas they might have about curbing the problem, with many saying that the focus should be on creating a protective environment for children, educating the younger generation and continuing to raise awareness about the problem of violence against children.

A number of well-known faces have also joined the campaign. In this video for example, Amitabh Bachchan, a living legend of Indian cinema, condemns violence towards children and appeals to the people of India to mobilize en masse to put an end to this national disgrace.

Web users to vote on French Pantheon burial honor

Who deserves to be buried in the Pantheon? Web users the world over have until the 22nd of September to cast their vote via the website belonging to the prestigious Pantheon mausoleum in Paris, which is the final resting place of some of France’s greatest men and women. The poll will be reported back to the president François Hollande at the end of the month and has seen a number of feminist groups campaigning for more women to be given the honour. 

Now trending on social networks

The Malaysian government is asking citizens to share their ideas on how public funds should be allocated next year by posting under the hashtag #Bajet2014. The authorities will consider suggestions when they begin drafting the 2014 budget in October. Social networkers have seized the opportunity to have their say with ideas on education, public transport and also the economy. They can also submit proposals via a special website set up by the government, a platform that is proving pretty popular indeed.

Video of the day

The man who made this video had a great idea which will be of great interest to anyone who feels they have better things to do with their weekend than mowing the lawn. He’s attached the mower to a post with a length of rope so it does all the work on its own: a simple and effective trick and will no doubt bring a smile to the faces of weekend gardeners everywhere...

By Electron Libre

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