August 18th, 2010
11:32 AM ET

World WebPulse: Australia election, Anelka, Fiona Coyne

Here's a look at some of the stories that are popular on Twitter, Google and other news and social media sites around the world.

French footballer speaks out: After France's dismal performance on and off the field at this summer's World Cup, many of the team's players were punished. On Tuesday, striker Nicolas Anelka - whose expulsion from the tournament in June sparked a revolt by his teammates - was suspended for 18 international games. "Nicolas Anelka" was a popular search on Google this morning because the French player had some choice words about his punishment. He said the people who punished him were "clowns" and that he is "dying from laughter" because of the suspension.

Australia election: As Australia's voters prepare to pick a prime minister on Saturday, the campaign is a hot topic on Twitter. Several terms related to the election were trending topics on Twitter. #Ausvotes is the main hashtag people are using to tweet about the election.

One interesting election discussion centered on a fake campaign ad for the Greens Party that was produced as part of a TV show about political advertising called Gruen Nation. The ad, which you can watch on YouTube here, was so popular online that the party wanted to use it as an official campaign commercial. But ABC, the network that airs the show, refused because allowing the ad to be used would make it seem like the network was picking sides, according to a spokeswoman.

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August 16th, 2010
11:56 AM ET

World WebPulse: North Korea tweets, mosque debate rages

Many of the tweets on the reported North Korean Twitter account are links to the country's official site.

Here's a look at some of the stories that are popular on Twitter, Google and other news and social media sites around the world.

North Korea Twitter account – 140 characters may be small, but it is becoming a big deal that the secretive North Korean government has opened a Twitter account, according to a report from Agence France Presse. So far the Twitter account @Uriminzok only has about 1,600 followers and most of the tweets are links to the country's official Web site.

AFP says one of the tweets dismissed accusations that a North Korean torpedo sank a South Korean warship in March while another criticized US-led sanctions against North Korea and Iran. This isn't North Korea's first foray into social media as the country opened a YouTube account recently.

China/Japan – Lots of people are searching on Google for the news that China is on track to overtake Japan as the world's second largest economy, according to figured released Monday.

Obama and the 'Ground Zero Mosque' – There's lots of discussion on social sites about the proposal to build an Islamic center and mosque near the site of Ground Zero after President Barack Obama weighed in on the controversy over the weekend. After seeming to support the controversial Islamic center, Obama then clarified his remarks by saying he was "not commenting on the wisdom" of the project but simply trying to uphold the broader principle that government should treat everyone equal, regardless of religion.

The debate continues to rage as the world's Muslims observe Ramadan, which has been a trending topic on Twitter since the holy month began. Check out CNN's Belief Blog for lots of interesting perspectives and stories on the proposed mosque.

What's your take on these stories? What else should we be paying attention to? Post a comment and let us know.