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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 : 2013-10-08

Muslim Brotherhood's four-fingered R4bia symbol

Today on the net: the "R4bia" salute, the new symbol for supporters of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Chinese web users campaign to get shark fin off the menu. And Saudi web users take to Twitter to demand wage increases.

Muslim Brotherhood's four-fingered R4bia symbol

Dozens of people were killed in Egypt in Sunday during clashes between security forces and members of the Muslim Brotherhood who had gathered to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. A lot of demonstrators were seen making this gesture with four fingers raised and the thumb drawn across the palm.

Known as the "R4bia" (Rabia, meaning "four" in Arabic) salute, it’s also a reference to the ruthless and bloody crackdown in Cairo’s Rabia al Adawiyya square. On August 14, the army stormed protest camps to forcefully evict thousands of supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.

The "R4bia" has since become a rallying symbol for supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, displayed in the streets or on social networks to pay tribute to victims of the repression, and also to denounce what they consider to be a military coup d’état against a democratically elected government.

And now Muslim web users the world over in Tunisia, Turkey, and also Indonesia for example are picking up on the symbol, using it to show their solidarity with Egypt’s deposed Islamist president and the Muslim Brotherhood.

There have also been countless parodies of the black image on a yellow background doing the rounds online, most of them created by opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood to poke fun at their political rivals.

Anti-shark finning campaign in China

Hundreds of web users across China have joined a social network campaign, pledging to no longer eat shark fin, a popular Asian delicacy, particularly in China where it is synonymous with luxury and sophistication. So activists have been posting photos online in which they pose with their hands over their mouth, alongside the caption “I’m finished with fins”.

The online campaign was started by international conservation organization Wild Aid China in a bid to protect the various shark species at risk of extinction from overfishing. The NGO estimates that 73 million sharks are killed every year, solely for their fin, used to make shark fin soup which is generally served at special occasion in China such as weddings and large banquets.


According to the “Zero Shark Fin” group which campaigns to get shark fin off the menu in restaurants across China, consumption has dropped since the end of last year. The decline could in part be linked to the Chinese authorities’ anti-corruption campaign which has prompted public servants and government officials to tone down their tendency for costly receptions.

Beijing did indeed promise last year to ban the dish from government banquets and official state dinners by 2015. In Hong Kong, which is the centre of the global shark fin trade, the government has already implemented the measure

Now trending on social networks

Saudi workers have taken to Twitter to call for higher salaries, under the hashtag "the salary is not enough", denouncing the unequal wealth distribution in the country which has one of the world’s largest oil reserves. Web users across the kingdom started campaigning back in early summer, urging the authorities to raise the minimum wage to counter inflation and the rise in unemployment. Some have also posted pictures online bearing witness to the poverty which affects millions in Saudi Arabia. 

YouTube announces first music awards

The first ever YouTube Music Awards will take place on November 2, in New York City. Data from users of Google’s video sharing platform will naturally drive the nominations and YouTube users will be able to vote for the winners. The awards ceremony will feature performances from Lady Gaga, Eminem and Arcade Fire amongst others and will of course be aired live on the site. The nominations will be announced on October 17. 

Video of the day

Norwegian photographer Stian Rekdal spent three weeks in September travelling around Iceland. He covered 4,800 kms, taking 40,000 photos along the way. Shots he has compiled to this video which gives us a glimpse into the enchanting landscapes of the island sculpted by fire and ice. 

By Electron Libre

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