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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 : 2014-05-11

Venezuela student protest turns violent

In this edition: online reports of fresh outbreaks of violence in Venezuela; a Spanish ad stirs up controversy; and a man performs the same dance routine every day for four months.


Students from the Andrés Bello Catholic University, UCAB, in Caracas, throwing all kinds of projectiles at men on motorbikes, said to be supporters of the Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro… scenes worthy of an urban war that illustrate the violence of the clashes that erupted on Tuesday, during a student protest in the capital. Clashes that have sparked widespread reaction online.

Many have taken to social networks condemning the violence and blaming the pro-government forces. Web users have been posting photos and videos online suggesting that what was meant to be a peaceful demonstration degenerated when government linked armed groups fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.

Dozens of demonstrators were injured, as we can see from these pictures which have been doing the rounds online, prompted web users to post messages of solidarity with the students. Social networkers have been posting under the #SOSColectivosDelTerrorAtacanUCAB hashtag which translates as “SOS terror group attacks UCAB” slamming the methods used by president Maduro and urging the authorities to put an end to the violence.


This ad for clothing brand Desigual has been at the centre of lively debate in Spain ever since it began airing on the Internet and Spanish television. The model is shown stuffing a cushion up her dress to look pregnant and then piercing a condom with a pin. The scenes have not gone down well with Spanish web users.

Many have used the ad campaign`s official hashtag #tudecides to share their outrage on social networks. They say not only does it show irresponsible behaviour, a woman who will stop at nothing to get pregnant, who won`t even ask her partner`s permission, it also minimizes the importance of using a condom to protect oneself from HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Some are so angry they have started a boycott campaign under the #BoicotDesigual hashtag, others are calling for the controversial ad to be dropped. The signatories of this online petition are urging the clothing company to repair the damage done, by producing a new campaign that promotes honest and responsible sexual relations.

Desigual has responded to the flood of messages on its Facebook page, arguing it is a fictitious ad and open to interpretation. The clothing brand has also posted a statement on its blog saying the campaign encourages personal freedom and the right to pursue ones dreams, adding piercing a condom could be seen as an ode to motherhood, and that everyone is free to imagine how this particular story ends.


The Russian activist punk-rock group Pussy Riot created a Twitter account in English at the beginning of the week, it’s called @pussyrrriot with three R`s and was set up ahead of their trip to the United States. The thread already has several thousand web users following the tweets posted by the musicians and activists, slamming the methods and policies of Vladimir Putin; by tweeting in English Pussy Riot hopes to reach as wide an audience as possible.


How much do American prisons cost tax payers? The answer is here, in this map now available online. It costs close to 8 billion dollars in California, where there are over 130,000 detainees. This interactive tool illustrates significant disparities between states, because the annual cost for a prisoner in Georgia is around 21,000 dollars but in New York this figure stands at over 60,000 dollars.


A panther wandering around the corridors of the Parisian subway, a lion slipping under the ticket barrier and a giraffe sticking its head out of the carriage to get some air … these pictures bring wild animals to public transport, and they look very much at home. The collection of photos is called “Animétro” dreamt up by French photographers Clarisse Rebotier and Thomas Subtil, and is available to view on Clarisse Rebotier`s website.


Matt Bray from America filmed himself every day for around 4 months performing exactly the same dance routine to a Jamiroquai track… and you check him out in this time lapse video available on YouTube. It’s enjoying great success with over 3.5 million hits in less than a week.

By Electron Libre



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