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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 : 2014-02-09

Journalists criticised online for complaining about Sochi

In this edition: journalists criticized for complaining about Sochi; protests in the US opposing the Keystone XL project; and New Yorkers under attack from zombies.



Hotels still under construction, no records of reservations, yellow brown tap water and lamps and curtain rails hanging off the walls or falling down… journalists from all over the world travelled to Sochi this week to cover the Olympic Games, and have taken to social networks to poke fun at and criticize their accommodation; their posts often come with photos, and have become something of a talking point online.


These accounts from journalists who find the situation both shocking and funny have been widely shared under the purposely created #SochiProblems hashtag. And web users are taking great delight in poking fun at the misfortunes of the Sochi correspondents.


But whilst some have taken the posts with a pinch of salt, others don`t find it funny at all. Some web users have openly slammed the journalists saying they should stop complaining and remember that a lot of people would love to be in their place, despite the state of the hotels. Some have adopted a more sarcastic tone saying if whining was an Olympic sport then the foreign correspondents in Sochi would be absolute champions.






To mark the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics, UK based agency Fiasco Design has released a Sochi interactive map packed with all sorts of info. Click on the buildings and you`ll learn some interesting facts; did you know for example that the Olympic village can host up to 3,000 athletes, that Vladimir Putin`s palace cost an estimated 1 billion dollars, or that the United States has deployed two US navy warships to the Black Sea as potential backup in the event of a terrorist attack.






The US State Department released a review of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline last week that found the project would have a “negligible” impact on climate change. If built the pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Canada into America to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas. The much anticipated environmental review has done little to allay concerns from ecologists.



Environmentalists and conservationists who, as we can see from these online documents, have wasted no time in making their fears known: thousands of people took part in over 200 rallies staged across the US on Monday. With protesters saying if the project goes ahead in 2015 it will be an ecological disaster.



A fear shared by environmental group which has posted this petition online addressed to Barack Obama, the ultimate decision maker, urging him to abandon the project. The document states that the Keystone XL pipeline is a big mistake on an environmental level because it will lead to an increase in tar oil production, and mining tar sands creates much more climate pollution than conventional oil.


And there`s also the risk of spills, as the “NextGen Climate Action” organization points out in this video which looks at last year`s disaster in the town of Mayflower in Arkansas when a pipeline burst. The film features victims, speaking with authority, saying the infrastructure is never 100 % secure and reliable, and constitutes a real danger to the environment.






Web users have been posting under the #FreeAJStaff calling for the release of 20 journalists working for the Al-Jazeera television network currently detained in Egypt. The campaign comes as the Egyptian authorities have announced they will be trying the news professionals in court on charges of spreading false information during the bloody crackdown that followed the ouster of Mohammed Morsi. The allegations have been strongly condemned online where messages and photos of support for the detained journalists continue to flood in.







What would Paris look like if all the ads plastered across the city were replaced with works of art? This is the idea explored by French artist Etienne Lavie in his project “OMG, who stole my ads?” using editing software he has incorporated some of the great classics into the subway and onto billboards across the capital, introducing a bit of beauty into an urban landscape totally overloaded with ads.







Zombies stuck in a New York City subway air vent, trying to devour passerby! As we can see in this YouTube video, some New Yorkers were in for a surprise and a shock that day. The video was produced by American network AMC to promote the new series of its hit show “The Walking Dead”.

By Electron Libre



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