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News seen on the web and about the web. From Monday to Friday at 8.20 am Paris time.



Latest update : 2014-01-08

African migrants protest Israel detention law

In this edition: African migrants' ongoing protests in Israel; China’s leaders urged to show more transparency; and what it’s like to be a colour-blind person behind the wheel.


Thousands of African migrants have gone on strike and taken to the streets of Tel Aviv, Israel, for the third day in row. The 72 hour strike began on Sunday and is to protest against Israel’s new open-ended law adopted last month that allows asylum seekers and refugees to be jailed and held without trial for up to a year.

Three days of unprecedented protests in Israel: as we can see from these amateur pictures, tens of thousands of African migrants gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin square on Sunday. And on Monday broke off into groups to protest in front of the German, Swedish and British embassies amongst others, to challenge foreign political representatives over the difficulties facing asylum seekers in Israel.

Israeli web users have been adding their support to the migrant workers movement. Members of the “Freedom4Refugees” Facebook group for example are calling on Israel to stop the systematic arrests of asylum seekers and refugees and to stop treating them like criminals. 


Fan Zhongxin is a man of his word. One year ago the law professor at Hangzhou university in eastern China posted a bet online saying China would require officials nationwide to publicly declare their assets of 2013, he promised to crawl on hands and knees for 1 kilometer if he was wrong. The academic did lose his wager and as we can see in this footage filmed by his wife and doing the rounds on Chinese social networks, he spent two hours last week crawling around a lake.

Countless web users have praised him for honouring his bet and the story has revived debate on achieving transparency in public life. One message which has been widely shared on microblogging platform Sina Weibo, calls on president Xi Jinping to set an example and prove he is as close to the people as claims to be, by disclosing his assets instead of dining out at a popular Beijing restaurant as he did recently.

Key players in civil society have been campaigning for some months now for the implementation of an assets disclosure system for political officials. But apart from a few pilot programs tested on a local level, the appeals have gone unheeded and over the past few months several anti-corruption activists have been sent to jail.

Human rights lawyer Xu Zhiyong and a number of other activists were arrested last year after posting an open letter online and organizing a rally in Beijing calling on the country’s leaders to disclose their assets. Charged with “disturbing public order “, they are currently awaiting trial and could be facing up to five years in prison. 


Web users living in the United Arab Emirates and visiting tourists are being encouraged to post photos and videos under the #MyDubai hashtag promoting the state and explaining what they like about it. The online campaign was launched by Dubai’s Tourism board, upon Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s request, as he wants to showcase the beauty, unique identity and true culture of Dubai. 


On average, sharks kill around ten people each year. But despite their reputation for being ruthless predators, they are nowhere near the greatest threat for humans. Jellyfish kill around one hundred people annually, and snakes some 100 000. But man’s greatest enemy is in fact the mosquito, which spreads deadly diseases like malaria; yes according to this infographic currently doing the rounds online, mosquitos are responsible for over one million deaths every year.


Stuffed birds; their beaks adorned with jewelry or styled with human hair… These creations were put together by American artist Karley Feaver. A strange collection of shots called “Becoming Otherwise”, available to view on the photographer’s website...


This video was recently posted online and explores how the road might appear to a colour blind person behind the wheel, and it shows us that people suffering from this visual impairment find it particularly difficult to differentiate the colours at the traffic lights…

By Electron Libre



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