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Latest update : 2011-10-03

Indigenous Bolivians protest against Amazon road

Amazonian Indians campaigning against plans to build a road through a nature reserve. Web users in the Philippines report on the damage caused by Typhoon Nesat. And a video capturing all the high points of a Break dance festival in the Netherlands.

Indigenous Bolivians protest against Amazon road

The anti-government protests continue in Bolivia despite the authorities suspending controversial plans to build a road through a nature reserve in the Amazon. As we can see in this amateur video footage, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of La Paz on Wednesday to show their solidarity with the Amazonian Indians opposing the construction of this road.

Because back in mid-August hundreds of indigenous Bolivians embarked on a march towards the capital, in protest of this 300 km long highway which would cut the Tipnis reserve in half.

The march was violently broken up by security forces in the village of Yucumo on Sunday, shocking public opinion. Three ministers have since resigned in protest and President Evo Morales has suspended work on the road.

But the indigenous protesters are continuing their campaign. This blog has been set up to explain what they have been doing and give the movement more visibility. In this video message, one of the leaders of the movement Justa Cabrera appeals to both the people of Bolivia, and to the rest of the world, asking them to join the fight to protect the “lungs” of our planet.

And there has been a recent proliferation of online initiatives. A design competition has been launched on this Facebook group, with artists from all over the world competing, expressing their condemnation of the road. The entries will be publicly exhibited across the country from next week.

The NGO Avaaz has started this online petition demanding Evo Morales protects the ecosystem and the Amazon. It has already been signed by over 290 000 web users from all corners of the globe.


Typhoon Pedring devastates the Philippines

Towns and cities have been devastated, shops completely gutted and rivers have burst their banks … Typhoon Nesat has ripped through the Philippines, causing considerable damage which will cost millions of dollars to repair, and dozens of people have reportedly lost their lives. Web users at the scene have been sharing their accounts online.

As we can see in these amateur videos which are currently circulating online, the Philippines was hit by extremely powerful winds and violent downpours on Tuesday. The area worst hit by the storms was Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines which houses over half of the population of 90 million people.

The torrential rain also caused a lot of flooding in the country, making driving condition extremely difficult, as we can see here. The capital Manila was not spared either. Some neighbourhoods were submerged in one and a half meters of water, forcing residents to flee to makeshift shelters.

It would appear the authorities have already started work on repairing the considerable damage caused by Typhoon Nesat. These shots posted on Flickr show reconstruction work on the banks of the river in Manila. And residents are also joining the cleanup efforts.

Web users have also been showing their support. As is often the case with these types of natural disasters, many have been mobilizing for the victims via social networks by sharing links to local NGOs, like the Philippine Red Cross, which are collecting donations and providing first aid and humanitarian relief.

 

Video clips reconstructed from brain activity

On the left hand side are extracts from a film watched by three human guinea pigs. The clips on the right are the reconstruction of this segment, created by measuring blood flow to active areas of the brain. This video was uploaded by researchers from Berkeley University, and shows how they have managed to decode these brain waves. In the long term similar methods could be used to communicate with stroke or coma patients, and perhaps even reconstruct people’s dreams or memories.


Now trending on social networks

One of today’s top trending terms on micro blogging sites is « Things Stronger Than The Kenya Shilling ». Wet toilet paper, the Three Little Pigs first house: as web users have been saying, albeit with more than a drop of sarcasm, it would appear that everything is stronger than the Kenya shilling at the moment. The currency has taken a hit on the exchange market and since the beginning of the year has lost over one quarter of its value against the dollar. And even though the situation could get even worse, micro bloggers prefer to see the funny side of things.


Video of the day

"The Notorious IBE" is one of the most popular break dance festivals in the world. It takes place in the Netherlands and draws thousands of break-dancers each year. This video is for all those who were not been lucky enough to attend the 2011 edition at the beginning of September. It looks back over the high points of the festival and showcases some of the amazing performances.


 

By Electron Libre

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