In this edition: homophobic violence on the rise in Russia; campaigning against the Western Australian shark cull policy; and a giraffe joins diners at a restaurant in South Africa.
HOMOPHOBIC VIOLENCE ON THE RISE IN RUSSIA
Human Rights watch posted this statement to their website on Tuesday stating "The Russian authorities need to address a deteriorating situation of widespread and concerted abuse against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and activists". The NGO goes on to accuse the Russian government of encouraging the harassment and violence and turning a blind eye.
Human Rights Watch has released this video showing footage of attacks on gay people to illustrate the extent and seriousness of the problem. The video contains disturbing images, filmed and disseminated more often than not by those carrying out the vicious attacks. Groups like Occupy Pedophilia that arrange to meet their victims via online dating sites, and then beat, abuse, threaten and humiliate them.
The NGO believes the increase in homophobic violence is directly related to the anti-gay laws adopted by Russian parliament in 2013, but says the absence of relevant data makes it impossible to quantify the actual scale of the problem.
The Russian LGBT Network has taken steps to rectify this lack of reliable information by conducting an anonymous survey on homophobia in Russia. Over 50 % of people questioned said they had suffered psychological abuse, and 15 % said they had been physically attacked, because of their sexuality.
ONLINE CAMPAIGN AGAINST WESTERN AUSTRALIAN SHARK CULL
Packed beaches in Western Australia… these images were posted online over the weekend and testify to the mounting opposition to a new shark “catch and kill” policy in Australia`s largest state.
The shark culling program was implemented in Western Australia on January 21 and comes after a series of fatal shark attacks on swimmers. But the move has been met with widespread condemnation, with web users slamming the use of baited drum lines.
Many have been posting under the #NoSharkCull Twitter hashtag, calling the method “barbaric” and singling out Colin Barnett, the Premier of Western Australia. They say his policy is absurd as there are no more than 10 fatal shark attacks per year.
Environmental organization Greenpeace has published an open letter online explaining how the shark cull also puts endangered species under greater threat. Web users are encouraged to add their signature to the letter, entitled “Save Our Sharks”.
The scientific and research community shares similar fears, with 102 experts signing this letter opposing the shark cull, and urging the Government of Western Australia to rethink the control measures, and consider an approach adopted by Brazil for example, where they capture sharks and then release them off offshore.
NOW TRENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
The #SpeakAmerican hashtag has been trending on social networks with users criticizing the Coca-Cola commercial aired during the Superbowl. The ad was meant to showcase the country`s multicultural society, and featured a rendition of the patriotic “America the Beautiful” sung in various different languages. But a handful of US web users have taken to Twitter claiming the well-known song should only be sung in English. There have been all manner of shocking remarks that have prompted other web users to also take to the web to condemn their fellow citizens` racism.
RUMOR HAS IT...
Is there going to be a special episode of “Friends” in 2014, ten years after the final show was aired following a ten year run between 1994 and 2004?
This poster has certainly got web users wondering, as it suggests the hit US comedy will be making a comeback this year. News that certainly got a lot of fans very excited. It is however a hoax, the poster was put together by a Brit for his friends, and tricked a lot of, now very disappointed, web users into believing their favorite show would soon be back on our screens.
BUILD WITH CHROME
Google and Lego have teamed up to release the “Build with Chrome” app which allows users to build relatively complicated Lego creations on any platform supporting Google Chrome and incorporate them into the real world. So web users can now rebuild their favorite monuments and landmarks and then transfer their work to a collaborative Google map; so if you`ve dreamt of becoming a famous architect then this tool is most definitely for you…
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Park goers enjoying a meal at The Lion Park in South Africa were in for a unique dining experience that they will no doubt remember for a very long time. A giraffe most probably smelling the food, entered the restaurant and started wandering casually around. And the amazing moment was captured in this video.