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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 : 2013-12-02

Thai protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban

Today on the net: the controversial leader of the opposition movement in Thailand; some racist graffiti sets the American Twittersphere abuzz; and a video documenting the first weeks in the life of a giant panda cub…

Thai protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban

Suthep Thaugsuban is the leader of the opposition movement in Thailand, masterminding the anti-government protests of recent weeks, which have seen protesters storm and occupy a number of official buildings in Bangkok. His supporters and his 470 000 or so Facebook fans in particular, hold him up as a hero. Many say they will stand by him in his fight against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, no matter what it takes, they say she represents a corrupt political system.

But Suthep Thaugsuban is also a controversial figure. His critics say he has blood on his hands. Writing on the site “Asia Sentinel”, associate professor Pavin Chachavalpongpun, tells readers as deputy prime minister, he was responsible for a crackdown on pro-Thaksin red shirts in the Thai capital in 2010 in which 90 people were killed and two thousand others injured.

Social networkers are saying the opposition leader is hardly in a position to talk about ethics in Thai politics. As revealed in this US diplomatic cable exposed by Wikileaks and currently doing the rounds online, Suthep Thaugsuban, has been involved in a number of cases of wrongdoing in the past. But these scandals don’t appear to be stopping him from depicting himself as a figurehead in the fight against corruption. 

Racist graffiti against Sikh model in New York

This photo was posted to Twitter by a US journalist, some New Yorkers will have seen it in the subway: it’s an ad for clothing and accessories retailer GAP, that has been vandalized with graffiti. The subject of the racist graffiti is American actor and model Waris Ahluwalia who is Sikh. As we can see here, he has a beard and wears a turban, and the slurs liken him to a terrorist and include a line that reads “stop driving taxis”…

GAP soon responded to the act of vandalism via social networks, publishing the original poster on its Twitter account. Web users have since been inspired to share similar shows of solidarity for the Indian American actor, model and designer.

They have been posting under the hashtag #MakeLove which is the name of GAP’s advertising campaign. They have also hailed GAP for its prompt action and response to the graffiti, praising the brand for its commitment to combatting racism.

The campaign is proving particularly popular with members of the Sikh community who have even set up a Facebook page since the incident, acknowledging and thanking GAP for its support. American Sikhs are also using the platform to share their stories of the discrimination they face on a daily basis, to help raise awareness of this growing societal problem. 

DiedInHouse.com

Has anyone ever died in the apartment or house you are living in? American web users can answer that very question, by visiting the site “Deadinhouse.com” which collates obituaries with additional data published by the media or estate agents to provide this information which could well impact the value of a property. The site does not have every single US property in its database and charges 11.99 dollars for the service.

Riley the paleontologist

At just eight years, he is already considered to be something of an expert in paleontology. Dinosaur lover Riley Chandler has devoted a YouTube channel to his passion and regularly posts videos of his findings and learnings: Short clips in which the American schoolboy explains the differences between herbivores and carnivores for example. Dubbed “Dino Boy”, he’s starting to make a name for himself in the US. 

Video of the day

This giant panda cub was born at the Smithsonian’s national zoo in Washington, which released this video documenting the first three months of its life, and asking the public for help in choosing its name. Votes have been counted and in keeping with Chinese tradition the cub will receive its name 100 days after birth.

By Electron Libre

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