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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 : 2013-09-18

USA: Washington shooting reignites gun control debate

Today on the net: the Washington shooting reignites the gun debate in the US; thousands of South Africans show support for a jailed truck driver; and a British video on demand platform invents a teleportation machine.

USA: Washington shooting reignites gun control debate

In a statement released in the wake of Monday’s shooting at a naval facility in Washington DC, Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein has asked "When will enough be enough?". Other members of Congress have joined her in calling for tighter gun control and are trying to bring this issue back to the debating table.

As countless web users have been saying, this is now more important than ever before. Many have taken to social networks to express their sympathy with victim’s loved ones, as well as share their frustrations over ongoing gun violence and recurrent shootings.

Calls for stricter firearm legislation have been multiplying on the web. Measures deemed all the more crucial given the suspected gunman at the Washington Navy Yard, Aaron Alexis, had displayed violent behaviour and outbursts in the past, and had notably been arrested in Texas in 2010 after discharging his firearm by firing bullets through his ceiling.

Others are saying this tragedy proves the background checks advocated by certain lawmakers to determine someone’s eligibility to purchase a firearm are ineffective. Aaron Alexis had a valid access pass for entering the US navy yard complex despite having been investigated by the federal authorities.

And some, like Robert Zimmerman, brother of George Zimmerman who was recently acquitted of the murder of a black teenager in Florida, have remarked that Washington already has very strict gun laws, but this did not prevent Monday’s shooting. 

South Africans show support for jailed truck driver

Thousands of web users in South Africa are campaigning in support of 23-year-old lorry driver, Sanele May. Ten days ago the truck he was driving in the city of Pinetown on the outskirts of Durban colliding into several other vehicles claiming numerous victims. The truck driver is soon to appear in court on charges of murder and reckless driving. Charges many have called into question…

14,000 people have signed this online petition urging South Africa’s judicial authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into the horrific accident and not make Sanele May the scape goat. Web users are saying the heavy goods vehicle he was driving was in very poor condition and the company that employed him, Sagekal Logistics, should also be held responsible, in some way, for the pile-up.

A Facebook support group has been set up for the truck driver and has over 7,600 members, all urging South Africans to reserve judgment until all the facts are in, and have some compassion for the driver who is said to be highly traumatized by what happened.

Strong mobilization, but it won’t be easy to convince the authorities however, as they have made road safety something of a national cause. South Africa does have a high rate of road fatalities; according to a recent report, around 38 lives are lost every day.

Now trending on social networks

Nina Davuluri, who was crowned Miss America 2014 at Sunday’s ceremony in Atlantic City, has been given a mixed reception on social networks. The student, who is from New York and of Indian heritage, has had to contend with a deluge of racist remarks on Twitter, some even saying she looked like a terrorist… hateful, offensive, cliché-laden comments that have drawn strong criticism from American web users who have hailed the jury’s decision saying it reflects the nation’s cultural diversity.

"Men taking up too much space on the train"

This Tumblr blog entitled "Men taking up too much space on the train", collects photos of men doing just that, on the subway, on the bus, and on other means of public transport… The author of the blog says it shows how contrary to women, men feel totally empowered to take up a lot of public space... 

Video of the day

In honour of the latest installment of the Star Trek saga being released on DVD, a British video on demand platform decided to trick passersby at a shopping centre into believing scientists had invented a teleportation machine. With the help of some fake customers who were in on the act, they left other shoppers stunned… Check out the video in its entirety on all good video sharing platforms...

By Electron Libre

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