Colombians comment on the severe weather that has hit the country. The tax cut agreement between Barack Obama and Republicans sparks controversy in the US. And amazing images of Manhattan filmed from a radio controlled plane.
FLOODS IN COLOMBIA
« There is a lot of land available in non-flooded areas but government policy is stopping people from accessing it». This politician is criticizing the Colombian authorities as President Juan Manuel Santos has just declared a state of emergency in the country.
For one month now, Colombia has been dealing with the worst weather in its history, caused by weather phenomenon “la Niña”. The bad weather has generated extreme flooding and landslides across the country, as we see in these images. An interactive map has been set up on Google listing the towns and villages affected and identifying, in particular, roads that have become inaccessible due to the flooding.
And video accounts are also pouring onto sharing sites, demonstrating the extent of the extreme weather conditions. These images filmed in Medellin show the country’s second largest city completely flooded. And here we see a motorist, caught by the rising water levels taken to safety by the rider of a quad bike.
Many citizens are trying to organize the distribution of aid. This web user explains how you can help victims and encourages his fellow citizens to donate clothes, tinned food and other essential products by visiting the site “darporcolumbia” which has been set up especially. The appeal has been largely relayed on the web and in particular on social networks that have become essential in this type of mobilization.
USA: CONTROVERSY OVER TAX CUT AGREEMENT
In this online video, political organization “Move On” is asking the question: What happened to the tough, progressive Barack Obama, elected by Americans in 2008? Ever since he announced the controversial tax cut agreement with the Republicans, the US President has been under fire from some sections of the country. He is planning to extend all the George W.Bush era tax cuts in exchange for the continuation of long term unemployment benefits.
So « Move On » is waging war on this compromise that has yet to be accepted by congress. This extension of tax cuts will benefit all tax payers, including the wealthiest. The organization feels this agreement is unfair and is appealing to Americans to denounce it by signing this online petition or leaving a message on this virtual wall devoted to the reasons why the wealthy should not be able to benefit from these measures.
This young democrat from Michigan slams the Republicans attitude as they ran a fiscal responsibility campaign for the midterm elections. He thinks this agreement is, economically speaking, absurd, and he admits to feeling disappointed that Barack Obama did not fight harder to abolish the tax cuts like he had promised during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Many are sharing their feelings of deception on the web and Barack Obama wanted to reply personally in this video broadcast on his official website. He says that even if he is not entirely happy with this agreement, it was a necessary measure in avoiding dramatic tax increases that would have penalized, above all, lower income tax payers. But he is not giving up and promises to continue this fight in 2012.
VIRTUAL SMOKING PATCH
Stop smoking … with a virtual patch ! The site Arrêter de Fumer has a patch application. It updates itself daily and displays the number of days since you stopped smoking, on your Facebook profile, your blog, the choice is yours. It’s way of seeing your daily progress. Friends and visitors will also be able to see it and encourage you. This is an original 2.0 method of quitting smoking, at a time when the Internet and social networks are part of our everyday lives.
CONVERTISEUR ÉTRANGE / WEIRD CONVERTER
The « weird converter » is a new type of online converter. Instead of offering traditional conversions between two currencies or two units of measurement, the site provides wacky comparisons between objects that have nothing to do with one another. So we learn that Tom Cruise weighs the equivalent of 232 drinks cans, that an Airbus A380 weighs as much as 50 African elephants and that one polar bear is equivalent to over 19 000 US quarters.
VIDÉO DU JOUR / VIDEO OF THE DAY
See New York City like you will probably never see it again. Members of the “Black Ship” team, radio controlled vehicles enthusiasts, equipped a small model plane with a tiny camera and then flew it over Brooklyn and parts of Manhattan. These exceptional images were filmed with the collaboration of local authorities which gave the team permission to fly in these zones which are usually off limits for aircrafts.