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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 : 2014-08-27

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

In this edition: an Indian journalist launches the ‘Rice Bucket Challenge’; Egypt’s tips to the US police force spark debate; and two kayakers hurtle down a drainage ditch.


Intrigued by the astounding success of the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’, which has enabled the American charity, ALS raise more than seventy million dollars towards its fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, journalist Manju Latha Kalanidhi decided to launch an “Indian twist offering a practical solution to Indian issues”. Rather than asking net users to pour iced water over their heads, the new ‘Rice Bucket Challenge’ encourages them instead to cook or to buy a packet of rice for someone in need. The project was launched online last week and has already taken the country by storm.

As shown by the countless pictures visible on the movement’s Facebook page, hundreds of Indians answered the call for help launched by the journalist, by offering a portion of rice to more disadvantaged members of society. The generous participants take a photo of themselves in action before urging their friends to do the same, using the hashtag: #RiceBucketChallenge.

And if they are unable to cook for those in need, web users are instead asked to make a donation to a charity helping the poor, such as the authors of this picture, which is currently being diffused on social networks, and in which we see cheques made out to various aid associations.

The movement seems to be garnering support from the Indian public but so far has not generated the same amount of success from local stars. The campaign’s organiser would like to remedy this situation quickly by using the web to call on the country’s celebrities to take part in her solidarity movement.


With over 12 million views, it is Bill Gates’ ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ video which has encountered the greatest success online among all those posted by celebrities. This chart offers an insight in to the enthusiasm shown in the challenge, which involves pouring a bucket of icy cold water over one’s head to raise awareness of ALS. And while net users clearly enjoyed watching Bill Gates getting wet, they also voted for the video posted by actor, Charlie Sheen, which has been seen over 11 million, 500,000 times.


The police must exercise restraint and respect citizens’ rights to peaceful protest... This was the message sent last week to the US authorities by the Egyptian Ministry of foreign affairs. The declaration came after violent clashes in Ferguson, Missouri and has caused reactions online.

Many people have criticised the message on Twitter. This woman asks whether the Egyptian government has the right to offer this type of advice, given that it is accused of orchestrating the bloody repression of protests in August 2013. This accusation is pointed out by another net user who denounces the deep hypocrisy of the Cairo authorities.

Meanwhile, some Twitter users have reacted with irony by offering tips to the American officers of the law inspired by those made by Egyptian police. These satirical recommendations include dressing police officers in plainclothes in order to attack crowds more efficiently, starting fires to destroy any evidence of violence and to firing real bullets instead of rubber ones to disperse protesters.

This criticism, aimed at the heavy handed methods used by the Egyptian security forces, is echoed by Egyptian blogger, Karim Shafei. In his article entitled, “Egypt isn’t Ferguson”, he recalls that US police officers suspected of violence will be judged by an independent court. This procedure, he explains, is rarely seen in Egypt.


To mark the one hundredth anniversary of the start of the First World War, Paul Destombes’ Twitter account will take net users back to the conflict. The man from Roubaix in France, who died aged ninety, left behind him several notebooks describing his life during the four years of armed combat. The content of his books will be tweeted in full each week, right up to the armistice centenary, in 2018.


Rock stars give it their all on stage and often end up exhausted by the end of their concerts. American photographer, Brandon Andersen aimed to show this by taking photos of rock stars’ faces before and after their energetic performances. The series of shots, entitled “Before and After” can be seen on the artist’s website.


As these images testify, kayaking fans, Ben Marr and Rush Sturges recently performed a daring feat when they opted to partake in their favourite sport in a wastewater drainage ditch in British Colombia. The high-paced video can be seen in full on the Go Pro YouTube account.

By Electron Libre



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