In this edition: celebrities commenting on the conflict in Gaza; US web users campaigning for the release of a man serving life without parole; and a mountain bike champ speeding down a volcano.
CELEBRITIES IN THE ISRAEL-GAZA CROSSFIRE
Zayn Malik from British boy band One Direction tweeted #FreePalestine on Sunday. He wanted to show his support for people in Gaza but has stirred up a storm on social media. While many have hailed his move, some of his Israeli fans seem far from impressed. They have been posting under the #ZaynYouHaveFansInIsrael hashtag sharing their disappointment over his stance.
And this isn’t the only case of a celebrity commenting on the Gaza conflict online. Last week Israeli actress Gal Gadot angered pro-Palestinian web users when she denounced crimes committed by Hamas. Although some have backed her post, it has been met with widespread criticism online. Some social networkers are even calling for a boycott of her upcoming film “Batman v.Superman” in which she takes on the role of Wonder Woman.
Whether they have the courage of their courage of their convictions remains to be seen, they may yield to online pressure, as have singer Rihanna, basketball player Dwight Howard and also model Gigi Hadid. They all posted messages of support for the people of Palestine but deleted the posts soon afterwards without ever explaining why.
USA: ONLINE CAMPAIGN TO FREE JEFF MIZANSKEY
61 year old American man Jeff Mizanskey has spent the past two decades in prison. In 1994 he was found guilty of possession and intent to distribute cannabis. It was the third time he was arrested on the same count and due to the state of Missouri`s “three strikes” mandatory sentencing policy he was sentenced to life in prison. His case has touched the hearts of many web users, and an online campaign is now underway.
Hundreds have taken to social networks, posting under the #Freejeff hashtag calling for his release. Web users say the sentence is unfair, particularly so as some states have since legalized marijuana. They have also slammed the fact he is serving a harsher sentence than certain dangerous criminals.
This petition testifies to the level of online support; it’s garnered some 380,000 signatures and is addressed to the governor of Missouri, asking him to grant Jeff Mizanskey clemency. A crowdfunding campaign has also been set up to raise awareness of his predicament and help cover legal expenses.
And as the site lifeport.org which campaigns for the release of non-violent marijuana prisoners points out Jeff Mizanskey`s story is not an isolated case. There are 21 prisoners like him in the US, 8 of them over 60 years old, serving life sentences for marijuana offences.
SARAH PALIN LAUNCHES ONLINE NEWS CHANNEL
9 dollars 95 per month, that`s around 7.5 euros. This is how much you`ll have to pay if you want to subscribe to the new online news channel launched by the 2008 vice-presidential candidate and former Alaska governor, Sarah Palin. She says she wants to provide an alternative for mainstream news media which she says is bias towards the US President Barack Obama. It`s also a way for the Tea Party muse to put forward her views and ideas, like in this video where she says America needs to develop its own energy resources…
NOW TRENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
Craig McCartney and Lindsey Haggerty have been documenting their trip around the world on the Lego Travellers Instagram page. The globe-trotting couple from Scotland have been using Lego figures to illustrate their journey. They take holiday photos featuring the little plastic people and share them online. And the pics are proving pretty popular indeed, their account already has over 10,000 followers.
FAIL OF THE DAY
When Lily Allen asked a group of Australian police officers to stage a fake arrest when she landed in Australia before a headline performance last week, she got more than she bargained for. The British singer got a police officer to put her in handcuffs for a photo. She then posted the photo to her Instagram account to share with all her followers. The Australian federal police are not best pleased however and have opened an enquiry. Lily Allen has since taken down the picture, but it continues to do the rounds online.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Mountain bike champ Aaron Chase got a helicopter to drop him off at the Volcano Navado de Teluca in Mexico and then rode down it! You can get a front seat view of his dizzy descent in this video which is available to view on the GoPro YouTube channel.