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The World This Week - 29 August 2014

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Latest update : 2013-07-31

'Go home' ad campaign targets illegal immigrants

Today on the net: controversy in the UK over a government campaign targeting illegal immigrants. Also, Russian web users have been poking fun at Vladimir Putin. And what would super heroes look like with a few unwanted extra pounds?

UK: 'Go home' ad campaign targeting illegal immigrants

In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest." … two billboards like this were mounted on vans and driven around a number of London boroughs last week as part of a UK Home Office publicity campaign. The aim being to urge illegal immigrants to make themselves known to the authorities so that they could be sent back to their home country. 

Not everyone in the ruling coalition supports the campaign and it’s also stirred up mixed and lively reactions on social networks. The vehicles used have been dubbed the “racist vans” by web users who slam the government for their uncompromising extreme right “go home” choice of words.

Others have shown their opposition to the scheme by doctoring the original billboard design, with more than a hint of irony, and urging tax dodgers to pay their taxes, or even calling for the unemployed to find work or be sent to prison.

Other more mischievous Brits contacted their Home Office using the number provided on the billboard campaign to ask if the government would be willing to pay their taxi fare, if they too asked to go home.

And despite the criticism, the government has said it was a successful operation, and according to reports from local media, the authorities are considering rolling out the campaign across the country.

Russian web users mock Vladimir Putin’s fishing trip

Russian President Vladimir Putin likes to be seen as a great outdoorsman, and photographed doing all manner of physical activities to show his fellow citizens what great shape he is in. And here’s the latest in this long line of sporty snaps. A spot of fishing in Siberia with the Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, during which the country’s strongman hooked and netted a huge pike fish which according to the Kremlin Press Agency, weighed over 21 kilos. His feat has been widely acclaimed on Russian television, but has made him something of a laughing stock online.

Indeed, scores of Russian web users have taken to social networks with sarcastic remarks, criticizing what they see as another ridiculous and pointless staged shot by their president. Netizens have also been poking fun at some of Putin’s poses during his fishing trip, and in particular, how he puckered up with the fish once it had been reeled in. His critics, like the person who produced this photomontage, are saying it shows how the recently divorced Russian leader has found a new companion…

But, more than anything, web users are taking issue with the claims of how much the fish caught by Vladimir Putin actually weighed. Many say the Kremlin Press Agency has quite clearly embroidered the story and with photos of similar fish to back them up, are saying the president fish weighs around ten kilos and not the 21 kilos stated. This blogger says the authorities often have a problem with reporting figures, particularly when it comes to counting the number of protesters taking part in anti-government demonstrations.

Now trending on social networks

French web users have been posting under the hashtag "Carla, faites un don" meaning "Carla, make a donation” urging Carla Bruni Sarkozy to reimburse, through charitable donations, the public funds used to finance her charity’s website. A petition has also been started and has gathered around 80 000 signatures. The campaign comes after a state auditor’s report claimed France’s former First Lady had cost the state some 410 000 euros. And despite her charitable foundation denying the claims, web users are not letting it go and have been suggesting other charitable organizations to which she can donate the money they say she owes.

Overweight comic superheroes

What would American comic book superheroes look like if they gave up sport and let themselves go? Mexican artist Carlos Dattoli has explored this very question, and depicted Batman, Robin, Superman and Flash with more than a few extra pounds … you can check out detailed shots of his illustration on the site behance.net.

Video of the day

Three friends took to the New York subway to see how residents of the Big Apple react if you fall asleep on them … and it would seem most of them take it pretty well. You can see the somewhat childish prank in this video which shows that although New York City is meant to be the city that never sleeps; its inhabitants don’t really mind if you do…  

By Electron Libre

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