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Latest update : 2012-07-04

Mexico: student movement challenges election results

Mexico’s student movement challenges Sunday’s presidential election results. Russia’s crowd sourcing project to find missing children. And the New York Times launches its Chinese language website.

Mexico: student movement challenges election results

Thousands of students took to the streets of Mexico City on Monday to challenge Sunday’s presidential election results. Enrique Peña Nieto, candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party, the PRI, that governed the country for over 70 years up until the year 2000, has been officially declared Mexico’s new head of state.

But the results have been contested by left wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the "#YoSoy132" student movement that arose spontaneously amid campaigning against the PRI’s return to power.

Students have been campaigning via social networks over the past few weeks; saying voting has been plagued by irregularities. Different reports have been collated on this interactive map, specifically designed to monitor the vote. Some complaints have been filed by ordinary citizens who have even uploaded pictures suggesting, for example, vote buying or ballot stuffing.

Another online initiative is inviting web users to take a photo of the tally sheets in their polling station. Activists then compare the shots with official results announced by the electoral commission. The aim is to identify any attempt at manipulating election results.

Activists from the "#YoSoy132" movement have set up camp in the town centre of Mexico City, protesting electoral fraud, intent on contesting Enrique Peña Nieto’s victory in the presidential election.

 

Russia: crowdsourcing project to find missing children

Marina, 13 years old, went missing from her home in Tula in southern Moscow on June 12. She was found safe and sound four days later around 50 kilometers away; thanks to the help of a group of volunteers who left no stone unturned until they found her.

The search was coordinated by Liza Alert, an NGO that was set up online following the tragic fate of Liza Fomkina. Back in September 2010, the four year old went missing when she was walking through a forest with her aunt, on the outskirts of Moscow. Police abandoned the search after a very short time and an appeal for help was launched on an online forum. Dozens of web users set off on the trail of the little girl and her aunt, but they were both found dead nine days after they were reported missing.

The volunteers involved decided to set up an organization that now has several thousand members. Missing persons reports are filed for adults and senior citizens, but the NGO is focusing on children. Once the alarm is raised, web users, whether they are students, the retired or housewives, join the search for the missing person. The story does not always end happily, but they never give up.

To begin with their work compensated for shortcomings within the police service: official figures show 15 000 children are reported missing in Russia every year. But the NGO and the police are now concentrating on working together more closely, with officers and volunteers joining forces whenever another child is reported missing.

 

New York Times launches Chinese website

Well known American daily, the New York Times has launched its Chinese language website, geared towards the country’s Chinese community and also expanding its reach to international readers. Contrary to the international version, readers will not have to pay to access content. An account was also set up on China’s Twitter equivalent, the social network Sina Weibo, but was blocked immediately by the Chinese authorities.

 

Now trending on social networks

American web users have been posting under the hashtag « #WaldoCanyonFire », to comment on the forest fire currently burning out of control in the state of Colorado. Residents have been sharing accounts of the devastation with hundreds of houses destroyed. They can also access regularly updated information posted online by the authorities and local media, and also offer a helping hand to those in need. Some are providing food and board to people who have had to evacuate their homes, whilst others are doing what they can to save pets.

 

Video of the day

An Austrian entrepreneur is offering a 1000 m2 floating manmade paradise: it’s called Orsos Island. As we can see in the presentational video, the island comes equipped with all sorts of luxurious equipment. And if you want to cruise the oceans from the comfort of this villa, then you can expect to pay somewhere in the region of 5 million euros.

By Electron Libre

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