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Spanish Congress Comission Approves AEDE Tax or Google Tax

The Spanish Congress’ Commission of Culture approved the so called AEDE Tax (for the Spanish name of the Association of Editors of Spanish Newspapers), also known as Google Tax as part of the draft bill of the Law of Intellectual Property.

GurusBlog explains what is this tax about:

A tax by which an inalienable right is created so every journalistic update website automatically generates a collection right on any other website that links to it. An organ like a SGAE (for the Spanish name of General Society of Authors and Publishers) will be in charge of the collection and the distribution among its associates.

On Xataca they note:

Unlike Germany, the media group that is lobbying for this legislation -AEDE- gets the “inalienability” to be added so as to avoid to be self-evident: if Google has to pay a medium for linking from Google News, it would suffice to take it out, and after realizing the sudden loss of traffic, that medium might request to get back without any fee.

After some tweets, some netizens are upset:

Angrier than me with the AEDE tax. Überfav, unfortunately.

This AEDE tax is ridiculous and it goes against the nature of Internet itself! LINKING IS NOT A CRIME!

Other users are promoting not linking to the media:

WordPress plugn to block all URLs than link to AEDE y the Spanish Center of Republishing Rights.

2 Journalists Arrested for Alleged Defamation of a Minister in Madagascar

Two journalists from the daily paper Madagascar Matin were placed under arrest at Antanimora's jail, in the capital city of Madagascar, Antananarivo. Earlier this morning (July 23), both of them were summoned to the Brigade of Fiadanana for a hearing.  Solo Rajaonson, another local journalist,  posted the following update in Malagasy on Facebook :

About the latest news regarding freedom of press in Madagascar: our colleagues, the Publication Manager of the newspaper Madagascar Matin, Jean Luc Rahaga and his Editor-In-Chief, Didier Ramanoelina are placed under arrest at the penitentiary of Antanimora in Antananarivo, Madagascar. This is the result of a complaint of defamation from  Rivo Rakotovao, the Minister of Transport and Industry. So much for breaking away from our recent dark past, I guess

 

Chinese Activist Hu Jia Attacked

Prominent Chinese activists Hu Jia was attacked last night on July 16 in Beijing. He reported the incident in his Twitter:

Today (July 16), just now at 20:12, I was attacked by a number of plain clothes cops near the east wing of Caofang subway station at Chaoyang district, Beijing. They drove away immediately. As I dropped my glasses, I could not see the car plate number. Now I feel sick and have to rest on the pavement. Will call the police. Hu Jia.

A red cross was marked on the white fence next to the spot where I were attacked. My car was parked at the spot where I was ambushed.

I have just filed a written report at the Changying police station. The police officer (035658) escorted me back to the spot where I was ambushed. Now he has left. I will drive to the nearby Minhang Hospital to treat my wound before going home. The police had gone through the surveillant video and told me that they could not identify the number of the attackers’ car plate.

I remember clearly, a top guy wearing black clothes kicked my abdomen. They were very professional, caught my throat and hit my eye. In gangster's language, the method is called “eye blocking”. It was a heavy hit and my nose bled. Then came a round of random hits and kicks.

Nobody Should Be a Number: Names of Those Killed in Gaza

More than 100 Palestinians, many of whom were women and children, were killed since Israel launched Operation Defense Edge against Gaza last week

At +972, Michael Omer-Man lists their names in this post entitled “Nobody should be a number: Names of those killed in Gaza.”

No Israelis have been killed in the operation. Teju Cole comments:

The Story of Famine Refugees from Niger in Eastern Algeria

In the past few weeks, hundreds of Sub-Saharan immigrants from Mali or Niger have migrated to Algerian cities by the Eastern border. Liberté Algérie narrates the stories of those who made the choice to immigrate and why [fr] :

Les conditions de vie au hangar de la cité Bourroh sont inhumaines. A l’intérieur du hangar, les Subsahariens ont dressé des tentes, une soixantaine environ. A l’intérieur de chaque tente, trop exiguë, vivent, serrés les uns contre les autres, tous les membres d’une même famille. [..] Meriem et Aïcha sont deux sœurs âgées respectivement de 10 et 12 ans. Avec leur mère, elles ont fui leur pays d’origine, le Niger, à cause de la pauvreté. “Nous avons quitté notre pays, parce que nous n’avions plus quoi manger. Meriem et Aïcha sont deux sœurs âgées respectivement de 10 et 12 ans. Egalement originaires du Niger, Sakina, sa fille Asma et ses deux petits-enfants s’étaient réfugiés à Aïn Guezzam, dans la wilaya de Tamanrasset, à l’extrême sud du Sahara. Dans un arabe approximatif, notre interlocutrice nous apprendra qu’ils font partie d’un groupe qui a fui la faim au Niger.

The living conditions in the shed of the city of Bourroh are inhumane. Inside the shed, Sub-Saharan immigrants have pitched about sixty tents. Inside each (very small) tent, they all live together, tight against each other, all members of the same family. [..] Meriem and Aisha are two sisters aged respectively 10 and 12. With their mother, they fled their country of origin, Niger, because of poverty. “We left our country because we did not have enough to eat’ Meriem says. Also from Niger, Sakina, her daughter Asma and her two grandchildren are refugees in Ain Guezzam in the wilaya of Tamanrasset, at the extreme south of the Sahara desert. In a hesitant arabic language, Sakira tell us that they are part of a group who fled the rampant famine in Niger. 

Images of Air Algerie AH5017 Plane Wreckage in Mali Reveals Violent, Abrupt Crash

The first footage of the plane crash are now available thanks to a Burkinabe soldier present on the site of the wreck near Gossi, in Northern Mali. There are no survivors among the 118 people on board, including more than 50 French nationals. Algerian website Algérie Focus reports in French that:

Cette vidéo montre des débris éparpillés et broyés. La zone sablonneuse a été noircie par le crash. Sur cette vidéo, il est pratiquement impossible de repérer les pièces maîtresses de l’avion au milieu des débris.

The video shows scattered and crushed debris. The sand at the site was blackened by the crash. In the video, it is virtually impossible to identify the key components of the aircraft amid the debris.

Was Singapore Airlines’ Facebook and Twitter Message After the MH17 Crash Insensitive?

A Singapore Airlines flight on March 29, 2014. Photo by Flickr user Aero Icarus. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A Singapore Airlines flight on March 29, 2014. Photo by Flickr user Aero Icarus. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

After news broke out about the Malaysian Airlines MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine, Singapore Airlines posted this message on Facebook and Twitter:

Many netizens accused the airline of being insensitive. Sophie Chang commented on Facebook that “a better way for the airline to do is to express condolences first.” But Stephen Chapman believes that the statement “was intended to bring calm in a general sense.” Ryan Ik appreciated the clarification but he also felt that “without any words of sympathy, the update feels very cold.”

Insensitive or not, this short update has since then become a viral message in a matter of hours.

Typhoon Glenda Batters Luzon Island in the Philippines

Typhoon Glenda (International name: Rammasun) wrought havoc in Luzon Island in the Philippines. Netizens are using the Twitter hashtag #glendaph to monitor the situation.

A fallen tree in front of the presidential palace in Manila. Photo from the government's Tumblr page.

A fallen tree in front of the presidential palace in Manila. Photo from the government's Tumblr page.

Albanian Activists Condemn ‘Terrorist’ Murder Verdict in Macedonia

Balkan Insight reports that an ethnic Albanian NGO in Macedonia has condemned a recent court verdict convicting six Albanian men for the execution-style murder of five ethnic Macedonians on Christian Orthodox Easter in 2012.

The NGO claims that the entire investigation and verdict were politically-motivated and set against the six accused men from the beginning, leaving little to no room for other suspects or a more in-depth investigation. The six men stood trial for terrorism and were sentenced to the longest possible prison term for terrorism in Macedonia – life in prison.

Balkan Insight previously reported on the murders and the jailing of the six accused men.

Mapping the 567 Ebola Cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone as of June 18 2014 via CDC - Public Domain

Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone as of June 18 2014 via CDC – Public Domain

On June 16, 49 new Ebola cases, 12 of them deadly, were reported by the WHO. Bart Janssens, director of operations of The international NGO Doctors without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF)) released a statement saying that:  

The epidemic is out of control, with the appearance of new sites in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, there is a real risk of it spreading to other areas. Ebola is no longer a public health issue limited to Guinea: it is affecting the whole of West Africa.  

Since the onset of the outbreak in February 2014, 567 cases have been reported. 398 suspect and confirmed cases were suspected and confirmed in Guinea, 97 in Sierra Leone and 33 in Liberia. There is no specific treatment for the virus with a typical high death rate.

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