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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 : 2014-06-30

Hong Kong's unofficial democracy referendum

In this edition: Beijing annoyed by an unofficial referendum on democracy in Hong Kong; a US church giving away rifles as raffle prizes; and an Australian woman dancing with tiger sharks.


Over 700,000 people in Hong Kong have cast their vote over the past ten days in an unofficial referendum organized by pro-democracy activists. Voting closed this Sunday, and saw the people of Hong Kong have their say on the introduction of universal suffrage in the former British colony which was handed back to China in 1997. 

The referendum, which lays down the gauntlet to Beijing, began as an online vote. Polling offices were then set up across Hong Kong after the purpose built website fell victim to a series of serious cyber-attacks. 

China which has promised Hong Kong direct elections for the next head of government, known as the chief executive, in 2017, has said the referendum is illegal. But democracy activists want the nomination process for the candidates to be open to everyone and are wary over China's growing control over local affairs, even more so after China's June 2014 “white paper” that appears to emphasize its authority over Hong Kong. 

The traditional July 1st annual protest rally for democracy will serve as something of a gauge for the opposition. This year the organizers are expecting a strong turnout from Hong Kongers demanding the right to choose their own political leaders, without interference from Beijing. 


In a bid to attract new members, the pastor of a church in Joplin, Missouri, decided to give away semi-automatic rifles as tombola prizes at the parish`s Father`s Day event. An interesting choice to say the least and it`s certainly set the web abuzz. 

Web users have taken to the community`s Facebook page with mixed reactions. Many think giving away a rifle sends out the wrong message, to children in particular. Others say they think it is a great idea and mention that US constitution amendment that protects the rights of individuals to keep and bear arms. 

And while debate is raging online, pastor Heath Mooneyham, the man behind the controversial raffle prizes, remains adamant. Talking to a local radio he said how surprised he was by the backlash. And despite the controversy he says the operation was extremely successful as the aim was to promote the church and it has certainly become a talking point.

It isn`t the first time the parish has hit the headlines … back in 2011 the church ran a campaign which encouraged married couples to have sex more often to help combat adultery and pornography. The “my sex life sucks” website was set up with a clearly stated objective: to highlight and condemn sexual relations outside of wedlock. 


Dave Tomkins was unaware his grandfather had travelled so extensively, until he found a box full of photos at his home. Now he couldn’t possibly work out where they were all taken on his own, so he has scanned them and posted them online, asking web users for help in finding their locations. The investigation is still underway on the site


How does a car engine or a gun actually work? what`s inside a television screen? With his “Animagraffs” project, graphic designer Jacob O`Neal has broken down these complex questions into easy to follow animated graphics, detailing the mechanics and components of everyday objects… the instructional charts are available to view on his website


Social networkers have been posting under the #BananasForIwata hashtag, wishing a speedy recovery for Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata who has undergone surgery to remove a growth. Web users are posing for photos with bananas, in reference to the 2012 press conference when the head of the Japanese company presented the new releases holding a bunch of bananas… 


This video shows Australian dancer Hannah Fraser in a performance protest against the Australian shark cull. She is dancing on the ocean bed at a depth of seven meters, surrounded by tiger sharks to demonstrate they are not as dangerous as one might think. This incredible performance is available on the YouTube channel of the director of the video Shawn Heinrichs. 

By Electron Libre



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