Protests against healthcare cuts in Spain. An American reality TV show at the center of lively debate in the US. And an artist draws a tyrannosaurus from salt.
Spain: citizens protest against healthcare cuts
“Yes to universal healthcare”, this is the slogan adopted for a campaign launched in Spain protesting against healthcare cuts. Madrid is implementing a series of measures as part of its austerity plan and they are set to come into force on September 1.
These reforms to the healthcare system will notably entail cutbacks on health benefits, a system based on co-payment of medicines which will replace free prescription medicines, and limited health care access for immigrants without residency cards. Health professionals feel this overhaul calls universal coverage into question and have taken part in protests across Spain in recent weeks, like here in Oviedo in the north of the country.
Opposition is also being expressed on the Internet. The people behind the “yes to universal healthcare” campaign have uploaded this video to raise public awareness about the implications of these reforms. The clip features patients, doctors and nurses, all explaining how, in their opinion, these measures represent a step backwards, and they ask the people of Spain to join the campaign to protect their social rights.
Spaniards are being urged to practice civil disobedience. One doctors’ association for example, is asking members to register as conscientious objectors and continue to treat undocumented migrants free of charge. Over 1 300 practitioners across the country have already committed to taking part.
USA: new reality show stirs up controversy
New reality TV show "Stars earn stripes", started airing on American network NBC on August 13, and is currently at the center of lively debate in the United States. Some web users feel the program which combines military manoeuvres with athletic events, portrays acts of war in an all too favorable light. Netizens have been campaigning for the controversial show to be taken off air with immediate effect.
An e-petition has been started, demanding just this. Arguing the NBC show is indecent and an insult to all American war veterans, because it makes war into a game show, and as the people behind the petition state, war is anything but a game. For the signatories, the broadcaster has no choice but to end the show at the earliest possible opportunity.
Many, both ordinary members of the public and well known faces have also taken to the web, denouncing the program as unrealistic and ridiculous. Nine former Nobel peace prize winners including Desmond Tutu and Rigoberta Menchu have written an open letter to the President of NBC demanding the show in question be withdrawn from the air waves. Their main argument being war cannot and should not be glorified or used for purely financial gain.
But in view of the growing outcry online, some have decided to speak out in favour of the show. This Twitter user says “Stars earn stripes” is interesting because it reminds viewers of the sacrifices made by US troops on a daily basis. And this blogger says that it’s entertainment, nothing more, and should be accepted as it is; he adds that it is one of the few programs that pays tribute to the bravery of US soldiers.
Cameras than recognize you from your Facebook photos as you pass through a store to offer you customized deals based upon your activity on the social network. This is “Facedeals”, a new facial recognition app developed by an American advertising agency. Interested clients must give their authorization beforehand, but the cameras have sparked debate online, with web users concerned about the protection of personal data and the privacy of social networkers.
Now trending on social networks
It’s the latest summer craze on Chinese beaches and has been trending heavily on social networks. Holiday makers have been opting for these “Face-kinis” that come with a head to toe body suit. Tanning is not trendy in China, where pale skin is considered to be a thing of beauty, and so exposing oneself to the sun’s UV rays is out of the question, which largely explains the growing popularity of these “face-kinis” which also protect wearers from mosquitos and jelly fish.
Video of the day
Draw a larger than life tyrannosaurus using nothing but salt… this is what artist Bashir Sultani set out to do, and we can see him at work in this video… an astonishing feat with pretty impressive results…