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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 : 2014-03-25

Polling booth selfies sweep French local elections

In this edition: polling booth selfies sweep France's local elections; web users in New Zealand submit ideas for a new national flag; and a Ukrainian daredevil in some death defying stunts.


Obviously inspired by their Dutch counterparts who inundated the web with selfies last Wednesday as they cast their ballot in the Netherlands’ local elections, French voters have also had their smart phones on hand to immortalize their moment in the polling booth during the first round of France's local elections.

French web users have been sharing pics holding their voter ID card or the envelope containing their voting slip, to social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, under the #selfisoloir hashtag which translates as polling booth selfie.

It`s not forbidden to do so but the government does advise against it as it could compromise the “secret ballot” principle. The Huffington Post spoke to France's Interior Ministry ahead of the local elections and was told posting a polling booth selfie could cast doubt on whether the person`s voting choice has been influenced; have they been pressured into voting in such a way and posting the proof online.

But others say it should be encouraged as it prompts others to get out and vote. in a bid to combat abstention, the “Jeune`xprime” group which is based in Amiens has been urging young voters across the city to share photos as they cast their ballot. 


New Zealanders will soon get to vote on whether to change their national flag. Ever since Prime Minister John Key announced the plans to hold a referendum, redesigning the flag has become a hot topic online with countless web users submitting their designs for the new flag under the #NZFlag and #NZFlagDebate hashtags.

Some would like to get rid of the British Union Jack that features on the current New Zealand flag. Although it's still part of the Commonwealth, people share the head of government's wish to do away with this reference to New Zealand`s colonial past and focus on the four stars that represent the Southern Cross constellation.

The silver fern is also featuring prominently on Twitter. The popular image already appears on New Zealand`s coat of arms and on one dollar coins, and many feel it would be perfect for the new flag. Particularly so with a black background, like the strip worn by the country`s national rugby team – the All Blacks.

And there have of course been some more outlandish proposals. The person behind the "New Zealand – Shacks" Twitter handle thinks the stars on the current flag should be replaced by the Prime Minister`s face. Another wacky suggestion, which has been put forward by a number of web users, is to include some characters from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as the Peter Jackson movies were filmed in New Zealand.


Crimea's newly appointed Attorney General Natalia Poklonskaya has most definitely won over Japanese web users. The video of her first press conference after taking office went viral in Japan and has inspired artists there to give the 34-year-old the manga treatment. And although her Facebook page now has some 40,000 likes, some are less enamoured and think this massive popularity is part of Moscow`s propaganda ploy regarding Russia`s annexation of Crimea. 


Is that a polar bear, scratching its back on a building? An elephant shopping for underwear? Eggs trying to escape from the supermarket shelves? American artist Marty Cooper dreamt up these unlikely scenarios ; he doodled his work on to a transparent sheet and then held it up so it interacted with the real world behind… you can check out the collection on the "Hombre McSteez" Tumblr page.


Swedish developer Einar Öberg has created a Google Street View hack that allows you to turn any real world location into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. So we see the streets of Stockholm, New York City or San Francisco over grown with creepers, climbers and foliage. If you want to see more head to the "Urban Jungle Street View" website, and make sure you're using the Google Chrome browser. 


Walking along a high rooftop, perching on a fast moving train, performing a balancing act way up above the sea, here`s Ukrainian daredevil “Mustang Wanted” in some of his most thrilling stunts, all completed without any protective clothing or equipment… Impressive stuff indeed which you can check out in this best-of compilation video put together by YouTuber PrintTM.

By Electron Libre



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