Thousands of Chinese demonstrators protest plans to expand a petrochemical factory. The U.S. Presidential candidates court undecided voters. And two students have stirred up lively debate by selling their virginity in an online auction.
Protests in China over chemical factory expansion
Thousands of demonstrators gathered in the streets of Ningbo in eastern China on Saturday chanting “protect Ningbo”. Over the past week, residents have been protesting plans to expand a petrochemical factory in the port city.
The project has raised strong concerns among locals. Web users have taken to social networks to voice their fears over the impact it will have on the environment and on the health of people living in the vicinity, and are urging people to join the protests to demand local authorities abandon the plans.
The movement has been widely relayed on the web despite the censorship in place and the silence of local media. Numerous pieces of amateur footage of the rallies have been posted online in recent days, also bearing witness to the riots that broke out on Saturday when police intervened after 6 days of protests.
The city government has said however that it is prepared to enter into discussions with opponents of the project intent on having their demands met [update: local authorities have since promised to halt the project]. There have been growing environmental protests across China in recent months, some prompting the authorities to back track. Back in July for example, the city government in the south western city of Shifang axed plans to construct a copper alloy plant following anti-pollution protests by residents.
USA: presidential candidates court undecided voters
In just over a week the people of America will be going to the polls to elect their president; and with some of them still to make their mind up, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are busy posting videos on the web to try and win over these undecided voters.
Mitt Romney published this video online a few days ago, warning Americans it would be dangerous to re-elect Barack Obama; in the video, which is illustrated with clips from the third presidential debate, the Republican candidate explains that this election is a chance for Americans to choose one of two path; his opponent’s path which will lead the country towards bankruptcy, or his own path which will get the US back on track.
And to really hammer the message home, Romney is also airing this campaign ad which features five reasons why American voters should not choose Barack Obama on November 6. The former governor for Massachusetts says, amongst other things, that if the outgoing president is re-elected, national debt will explode and there will be significant tax hikes for the middle class.
And of course the Democrat camp wasted no time in responding to these attacks. In this video which is being aired both on the television and the web, Barack Obama states that although his first term in office has not been perfect, the US is doing better now than it was when he first came into power, and he urges citizens to allow him to continue the work he has started over the past four years. The president also lists some of the priorities he will address if elected for a second term: reduce deficit, revive industry and end the war in Afghanistan.
And here, Obama hits back at Mitt Romney, portraying him as a liar, who is prepared to say anything and everything to win over votes. The current occupant of the White House urges his fellow citizens, and women in particular, to be wary of the Republican candidate, as they will be the first to suffer from his policies.
Two students sell their virginity in online auction
20 year old Catarina from Brazil sold her virginity for 780,000 dollars in an online auction. 21 year old Alexander, from Russia also sold his, for 3,000 dollars. The initiative has sparked lively debate on the web with many saying it is disguised prostitution. But the Australian film maker behind the project rejects these accusations, saying it’s all part of a documentary about chastity. The two students meanwhile are completely comfortable with their decision and are even saying they will donate some of the money to charitable causes.
Tumblr blog presents the everyday life of French diplomats
This Tumblr blog "Chroniques diplomatiques" was set up by employees from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and presents the everyday life of French diplomats through all sorts of animated images. It’s a bit of fun and not to be taken too seriously, but gives a comical insight into how a diplomat feels after a mission or the feeling pervading them as they enter talks with a foreign power.
Video of the day
Witches, pumpkins, yes Halloween is almost upon us and some people are really entering into the spirit of things. The owners of this house for example have put together a spectacular sound and lights show, to the music of the global mega hit by Korean performer PSY. Here’s to Halloween 2012, “Gangnam style”.