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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 : 2014-05-14

Stars boycott hotels over Brunei islamic law

In this edition: celebrities calling for a boycott of hotels belonging to the Sultan of Brunei; Saudi web users show support for a lonely hospital patient; and a globe-trotter documents his trip around the world in selfies.


Ten luxury hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, including Le Meurice and Plaza Anthénée in Paris, Le Richemond in Geneva and Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles and currently the target of a boycott campaign. Celebrities, including American presenter Ellen De Generes and Virgin boss Richard Branson started the movement on Twitter in protest of the harsh Islamic penal code introduced by the tiny Asian nation.

The calls to boycott have been widely relayed on Twitter where web users are also voicing concerns over the Islamic code, which came into force on May 1st. The legislation which is being implemented in phases will soon impose stoning as possible punishment for adultery and homosexuality as well as amputation of limbs for theft. Many have voiced their outrage under the #StopTheSultan hashtag on social media, slamming the barbaric measures.

A number of US advocacy groups gathered in front of the the gates of the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles on May 5th, to deliver the message loud and clear. Protesters held banners with slogans defending women`s rights, gay rights, and demanding equal rights for all.

But web users from Brunei who support the implementation of Sharia law have also spoken out. Posting under the #BruneiUnited hashtag, they say they support the introduction of the Islamic code as it will act as a deterrent and help fight crime and they urge non-nationals to stay out of Brunei`s internal affairs.


“I am Ibrahim, I`m 24 years old and fully paralyzed. I`m lying in a hospital room in Riyadh, and I would love for you to come visit me.” This is one of a series of messages posted to Twitter by a Saudi patient last weekend, posts that were widely retweeted and shared.

Indeed, the tweets have mobilized the Saudi Twittersphere. Hundreds have since come to Ibrahim`s bedside to help fight off his loneliness. A wonderful wave of solidarity that many social networkers have documented in photos. We see the smiling patient surrounded by visitors, and we also see a long queue of people lining the hospital corridors as they wait to see him.

And as these other shots, also doing the rounds on Twitter, show, some brought Ibrahim gifts; flowers, football shirts, even pizza.

A solidarity initiative some web users now want to see rolled out to all hospital patients in Saudi Arabia. The person who wrote this tweet for example wants to set up a network of volunteers who go and visit the sick across the country, with a clearly stated objective, help patients combat the loneliness during their time in hospital.


A Toronto cop has set up the @torontocoldcase Twitter handle in a bid to solve murder cases that have gone cold. And so he`s asking for web users help in moving forward enquiries for some 500 homicide cases that remain unresolved. The initiative could well provide police with useful information and lead them to the killers, years after the events took place.


1,696 pairs of underwear, 28,482 cell phones, flutes, necklaces, even skis... As we can see in this infographic put together by the Fast Company magazine, these are just some of the diverse items left behind by passengers on the New York subway. The subway`s lost and found office has an inventory of over 160,000 articles… and the good news for their owners is that the office also has a 60 % return rate.


Australian artist “Work By Knight” is behind these cleverly put together portraits of well-known faces including Barack Obama, Beyoncé and Bill Gates. They are made entirely from keyboard keys. The artist uses a broad range of keyboards to obtain the most diverse palette of colors possible. He also revisits some of the great masterpieces including the Mona Lisa and some of Monet`s landscapes. You can check out the digital gallery on his website.


600 days around the world, travelling to 36 different countries and documenting the journey in selfies… this video was put together by young globe trotter Alex Chacon. It’s available to view on YouTube, meaning you can travel the globe from the comfort of your own home…

By Electron Libre



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