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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 : 2014-08-15

Online tributes to Robin Williams

In this edition: Online tributes to Robin Williams; a diner's discount for praying customers sparks lively debate; and a virtual visit through the streets of Pyongyang.


Emotions are running high on social networks following the death of American actor and comedian Robin Williams at the age of 63. He was found dead in his home on Monday in an apparent suicide. Tributes have been flooding in from web users the world over. 

Hundreds of thousands of people have posted under the "RIPRobinWilliams" hashtag, expressing their sorrow and voicing their admiration, describing him as a genius. They are also thanking him for all the joy and laughter he brought them through his films over the years. 

Countless well known faces from the worlds of politics and show business have also taken to Twitter to share their sadness over the death of Robin Williams. The president of the United States, Barack Obama for example and movie stars including Tom Hanks, Ben Stiller and also Morgan Freeman. Celebrities obviously extremely moved by Robin Williams` passing, saying he will never be forgotten. 

And some web users have tapped into their creative talents to pay their respects to the American actor. Here are some of the pictures doing the rounds online, bidding farewell to Robin Williams.


Mary`s Gourmet Diner in North Carolina has been offering a 15% discount for customers who pray before they eat. The diner`s owner Mary Haglund has been quietly issuing the 15% “praying in public” discount for the past four years, but has recently come under fire after a customer posted a copy of their lunch bill to Facebook. 

Many have since taken to social networks to criticize the discount, saying it discriminates against nonbelievers. The person who posted this tweet says the promotion is against the law and violates the Civil Rights Act which prohibits religious discrimination. But there are differing views being proffered online. Other web users have defended Mary Haglund`s actions, saying they have always prayed in public and in private and it has never posed a problem.

But despite these shows of support, the Freedom From Religion foundation did write to Mary Haglund to complain. Activists from the atheist rights group urged her to stop offering this discount as it was unfair to nonbelievers. And the restaurant owner, fearing legal action, heeded the warning. As we can see from this handwritten notice stuck on the restaurant window, she will no longer be issuing the controversial praying in public promotion. 


British born Australian author and beloved children`s book illustrator Graeme Base, has dipped into his previously unseen library of sketches and shared them on Instagram so web users can see the dozens of sketches that go into the finished pieces. They are proving hugely popular on the photo sharing platform, he already has over 11,000 followers.


Over 100 African elephants are killed by poachers every day and one rhino is slaughtered every eleven hours … startling stats that feature in this infographic put together by It highlights the level of environmental crime on an international scale, showing us for example that the global illegal wildlife trade is estimated at 19 billion dollars annually and illegal fishing at 23 billion dollars per year. And there is a long way to go to start curbing these alarming figures as just 1 to 5 % of all poachers are caught.


Bird enthusiasts know puffins for their distinctive, brightly colored orange and red beaks, and they also know that the puffin population along the coast of Maine in the U.S. has declined over the past few years. So members of the Audubon environmental organization are calling on web users to help save the save the species. They have set up three webcams in popular puffin spots so they can be observed in real time. The aim is to gain a greater understanding of the sea birds daily activities to help save their dwindling numbers.


With this time lapse video put together by photographer Rob Whitworth you can explore the streets of the North Korean capital Pyongyang, from the comfort of your own home. The British artist was given the rare privilege of being allowed to film in one of the most secretive and closed off cities in the world. You can watch the clip in its entirety on the JT Singh Vimeo channel

By Electron Libre



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