Chinese Propaganda Authorities Promote Clinton-Trump ‘Love Song’ Spoof Videos

Chinese netizens are chattering about a series of new spoof videos that features remixed footage from the October 9 US presidential debate. The videos depict Clinton and Trump as lovers, singing romantic songs to each other.

But these are not the average spoof videos made by teenager with too much time on their hands. News outlets and social media accounts affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party and the government are jointly promoting the series of videos remixed by “netizens”. Since they can’t stop people from following the news, propaganda authorities are doing their best to keep the focus on the more absurd aspects of the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Mexican Protesters Have a Message for the President: ‘Resign Now’

With social discontent reaching a boiling point in Mexico, the country’s social media users started sharing the hashtag #RenunciaAhora (Resign Now) to mobilize people for a massive march on September 15, 2016, demanding the resignation of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

In Mexico City, the march began at 5:00 p.m. local time, assembling at the Angel of Independence and continuing to the Zócalo. The demonstration was timed to coincide with the president’s customary “Cry of Independence” at the the National Palace, when the government remembers the beginning of the Mexican war of independence, marking the occasion with nationwide festivities.

Empathy for the Enemy and the Oppressed: Political Pop Songs from the Eighties

Themes of love, loss and the other trials of our personal lives have been the mainstay of popular music for centuries. But in every generation there are pop artists who have taken on that other great theme called politics, responding to current events and instances of injustice both domestic and global, and bringing often controversial issues to the attention of the young people who make up their audience.

Growing up in Macedonia in the 1980s, my awareness of global politics was very much influenced by pop music, as a number of A-list artists during that era released huge hits addressing political issues, some of which were considered quite controversial at the time.

Jalisco Moves to End Political Immunity and Usher In a New Kind of Politics for Mexico

In Jalisco, located in western Mexico, the state Congress oversaw a historic session on July 14, 2016, when they approved the removal of the fuero, a law that offers constitutional protections to the political class and government employees, preventing them from being prosecuted for crimes while still in office. The approved reform would take this political privilege away from 1,598 public employees, including the governor.

To be enacted, the constitutional reform needs the support of at least 63 of the 125 city councils in Jalisco. Whatever happens with the city councils, the Jalisco Congress’ unanimous endorsement is being widely described as a milestone in the fight against political impunity and corruption.

Macedonian Youth Speak Out About Freedom of Expression Through Mini-Videos

Young video artists from Macedonia tackled the issue of free speech through a series of short videos, which were produced as part of an open competition and screened during the French Film Festival in Skopje. The festival and the competition are part of the long-term cultural cooperation between France and Macedonia.

The two main entries were made in the silent movie tradition, which immediately expanded their reach and relevance with viewers, regardless of language. The video which was finally selected as the winner of the competition is “Shhh…” by Bruno Veljanovski:

Brazilian Musicians Mount an Orchestra Against Brazil’s Interim Government

(GVO) – A few weeks ago, a famous Brazilian musician and critic wrote a poignant article pointing out how the events that have recently rocked Brazil lack a soundtrack, a musical dimension as in previous political upheavals in the 1960s and 1970s, when Brazilian popular music was at the center stage.

Well, perhaps no more: Brazilian musicians are occupying and organizing in social media classical concerts in buildings owned by the Ministry of Culture, which was recently extinguished by Brazil’s interim president Michel Temer.

A Japanese City Uses Frightening CGI to Teach Residents Tsunami Survival

The Japanese city of Kamakura has created a tsunami simulation to help its residents understand the danger they face and be able to plan an escape route that leads to safety.

Kamakura is small city on the Pacific Ocean located less than an hour by train from downtown Tokyo. The city crowds along the coast of a curved bay, just above sea level, and there is little to no protection from a tsunami should one occur.

The tourist town is often packed with visitors, and is threatened by at least two massive earthquakes that are due to happen at any time. There’s up to a 5% chance of a magnitude.8 earthquake in the Sagami Trough occurring over the next 30 years; there’s a 70% likelihood of a magnitude 7 earthquake occurring over the same period of time.

Lower Castes in India Are Still Clearing Human Waste With Their Bare Hands, Despite Laws Against It

About one billion people, or 15 percent of the global population, practice open defecation and a large portion of them are in India. Much of the poor hygiene practiced in India is deeply influenced by the country’s discriminatory caste system. Due to the lack of proper drainage systems, manual scavenging (cleaning human waste by hand) was designated to the lowest caste Dalits, earning them the name “the untouchables”. After decades of campaigning and improving sanitation systems, in 2013 Indian lawmakers passed the Prohibition of Employment of Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, criminalising the practice of employing individuals to clean manually, carry, dispose of, or handle human excreta from dry latrines, open drains, or pits and sewers.

According to a report by the Asian Human Rights Commission in 2015, however, many rural households in India continue to engage in manual scavenging, finding that the continued practice has less to do with poverty than with enduring caste-based discrimination.