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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 : 2013-11-14

Occupy Wall Street activists buy $15 million of Americans’ debt

Today on the net: Occupy Wall Street activists buy 15 million dollars of Americans’ personal debt; thousands of web users across the US sign up to make a kid’s wish come true; and passengers on the Moscow subway are given free tickets in exchange for a spot of sport.

Occupy Wall Street activists buy $15 million of Americans’ debt

Activists from the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street movement launched the "Rolling Jubilee" campaign last year. A campaign that has seen them buy almost 15 million dollars of Americans’ personal debt, mainly debt incurred paying medical fees, and then abolish it, freeing individuals and families from their repayment bills.

Expenses that should have been covered by free medical insurance says the group which purchased these millions of dollars’ worth of debt with just 400 000 dollars. As explained on the Rolling Jubilee website, as creditors have very little hope of being paid back, they sell the debt on to a third party, typically for a few cents on the dollar.

But contrary to collection agencies that then try and recoup the debt from the individual debtor, and thus make a profit, the Occupy Wall Street activists strike it off. The operation has been funded by micro-donations from individuals made via the website, and is described as “a bailout of the people by the people”. It has helped over 3,800 Americans so far, all of whom received letters informing them their medical debt had been lifted.

The Occupy offshoot group has another 200,000 dollars left in their bank… and they’re going to use it to help American students as college loan debt has risen dramatically in recent years, and now exceeds 1 trillion dollars. 

USA: thousands sign up to make kid’s wish come true

Over 10,000 and counting… that’s how many people have said they will be in San Francisco in the US on Friday 15th November to take part in an action packed day and make 5 year old Miles, who has leukemia, dream come true. The “Make-a-Wish Foundation”, a charity that grants wishes to children living with a life threatening condition, is planning to transform San Francisco into Gotham City for the day, so Miles can follow in the footsteps of his favourite superhero.

That’s right, Miles will become Batkid, Batman’s son, and he will take on one of the Caped Crusader’s worst enemies, the Penguin, as thousands of people, volunteers, look on cheering. People signed up via social networks and have been posting messages under the #SFBatKid hashtag urging others to do the same. Miles’ supporters are also encouraged to wear this BatKid t-shirt to promote this amazing event.

Web users across the US who won’t be able to make it to San Francisco on November 15th have also been keen to do their bit, and have been posting messages or photos online to remind Miles that a lot of people are behind him in his fight against leukemia.

Now trending on social networks

Hacker group Anonymous has launched a campaign to shut down a boarding school for troubled teenagers, the Logan River Academy, after former students from the Utah based facility claimed they had been subjected to beatings, bullyings and solitary confinement. The allegations have shocked web users, many of whom have been posting under the #ShutLoganRiver hashtag, demanding a thorough investigation into goings on at the school. 

Health Sherpa, a working alternative to HealthCare.gov

This website for US citizens is not the one launched by the Obama administration after the implementation of their new health care system… This platform was created by a trio of young coders from San Francisco. Users just have to enter their zip code long with details about their family and income and the site will find suggested care plans in their area. An easy to use tool which hopes to fill the gaps in the official website which has been plagued with technical difficulties since its launch on October 1st. 

Video of the day

As part of the promotion campaign, the Russian Olympic Committee has been encouraging residents of Moscow to get more active in the run up to the Winter Games due to be held in Sochi in February 2014. And as we can see in this recent online video, they set up a rather novel ticket machine in one of the capital’s subway station which gave passengers the opportunity to get a free ticket in exchange for thirty squats, and it proved to be a very popular deal indeed!

By Electron Libre

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