In this edition: the Mayor of Toronto takes leave as a new drug video emerges; the United States is using social media to combat terrorism; and a video of London… past and present.
ROB FORD TAKES LEAVE AS NEW DRUG VIDEO EMERGES
In a statement issued late Wednesday, the Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford admitted to having a problem with drugs and alcohol and said he would be taking leave from both his mayoral duties and re-election campaign to seek professional help. His decision, which has drawn widespread commentary on Canadian media, comes amid fresh reports of drug taking and lewd comments.
That`s right, as journalists from Canadian daily the Globe and Mail, and online platform Gawker have reported, three videos allegedly showing Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine have come to light this week. Those that have seen the hidden camera footage, which was apparently filmed last week by a drug dealer, say it shows the mayor of Toronto using a crack pipe.
Many have since taken to social networks to voice their outrage. Angry web users say this is probably one scandal too many for Ford and hope this will spell the definitive end to this very colourful character`s political career.
His critics don`t think this will happen however, they are convinced the Toronto mayor will pick up his re-election campaign after his time in rehab. They are even suggesting Rob Ford`s decision to “take a leave” is nothing more than a marketing ploy to convey his human side to voters and gain their sympathy ahead of the October election.
USA: USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO COMBAT TERRORISM
The U.S. State Department`s anti-terrorism unit is actively trolling radical extremists on Twitter using the @ThinkAgain_DOS handle which has been in operation since December; the aim being to dissuade potential Islamist militants by presenting an alternative viewpoint and deter budding extremists in the West from taking up arms.
So those preaching the ideology of Islamist groups on the social network will receive tweets marked with the #thinkagainturnaway hashtag. The American authorities are using this slogan to denounce the atrocities committed by groups like Boko Haram, Al-Shabab and also al-Qaida by retweeting Jihad propaganda and challenging it with their own and hard hitting words and images.
The US State Department responded to one web user who was wondering how they could go about joining terrorist group ISIS, by telling them they need to be a cruel criminal interested in slaughtering Muslims they claim to defend. And when one Belgian web user boasted about joining a terrorist group in Syria, Washington sent him a photo of murdered fighter asking if it was a friend of his.
The US Department of State also has a Twitter feed and Facebook page in Arabic aimed at deconstructing Jihad discourse. There is also a YouTube channel, which brought the Ministry of Foreign Affairs much media coverage back in May with this satirical spoof of an Al Qaida propaganda video.
NOW TRENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
Thousands of web users have been posting under the #KenyansForLindaOkello hashtag in support of police officer Linda Okello who was reprimanded for wearing a tight skirt, her bosses say it violates dress code and she could be facing disciplinary action. Kenyan citizens are also pointing out the authorities should be focussing on more pressing problems like corruption and the threat of terrorism.
STATS OF THE DAY
This infographic put together by real estate site Movoto asks the question “could sitcom characters afford to pay their rent in the real world?”. Its looked at 15 US sitcoms and concluded that the Simpsons could indeed quite easily afford their home in Springfield, but the guys from Friends or How I met Your Mother would find it very difficult meeting the payments for their spacious apartments in New York City.
PHOTOS CAPTURE THE WIDE RANGE OF HUMAN EMOTIONS
With his “Faceboard Project” American portrait photographer Mike Larremore showcases an amazing range of human emotions. Each image is made up of 16 individual photographs that show the subject in a variety of facial expressions. You can check out the entire collection on the artist`s website.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
This video called “Wonderful London 1924 and 2014” was made by Simon Smith who has merged footage from London captured in 1924 and 2014. It makes for a stunning meeting of two periods in time and highlights how the British capital has changed over the years. You can watch the video in its entirety on video sharing platform Vimeo.