Oddly Enough is back for the fourth week with a mix of news and interesting stories you may have missed out on. This week, read up on a mysterious event in Mexico where rescuers searched for a girl who never existed, Cambodia’s media crackdown on several radio stations, watermelon snow that’s pacing up melting, China’s propaganda move for its students and much more.
Buried And Vanished – Girl trapped in rubble never existed in Mexico
Mexico has been grappling with the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that happened a few days ago and recently the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that has destroyed many buildings and reportedly killed 300 people. Amidst all of this, rescue operations are taking place on a fast pace. In one such operation in Mexico City, rescuers were making efforts to find a girl reportedly trapped under rubble who told them her name and even wiggled her fingers. But, ‘Frida Sofia’ never existed and wasn’t found.
You can read this story on Associated Press.
Off Air – Cambodia’s media crackdown on radio stations
Ahead of the 2018 elections, many independent radio stations in Cambodia have had their licenses revoked without notice. Even though access to internet and smartphones isn’t difficult, many people in smaller towns and villages are highly dependent upon radio stations for their news. Studies have also shown that places where the FM radio was heard were those zones wherein the majority lost out on votes. This crackdown has also caused the shut down of Cambodia’s bestselling English newspaper, The Cambodia Daily.
You can read this story on Al Jazeera.
Watermelon Snow – Algae in snow that speeds up melting
Found in the nineteenth century, watermelon snow was known to Aristotle. But it is only now that scientists have begun to understand its implications on the environment. Red algae in snow thrive on climate change and are melting snow and glaciers much faster. The red pigment comes astaxanthin, a cousin of the chemical that makes carrots orange. In the age of disappearing ice caps, snow algae will eventually disappear too. But before that happens, the last snow could be pink or red.
You can read this story on The New Yorker.
‘War On drugs’ – How Portugal fought and won
Both United States and Portugal were struggling with rampant drug abuse. But, both countries took separate routes to tackle them. It’s been more than 15 years and the results are evident. While, United States turned to mass incarcerations, Portugal decided to treat drug use as a medical challenge rather than a crime. In this story, the journalist speaks to those people whose lives changed due to this reform. The story also analyses the measures Portugal took to combat overdosing on drugs and stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.
You can read this story on The New York Times.
Propaganda For Grades – China wants its students to post online about socialist values
In a bid to push for the Communist Party’s agenda in academia, the country is encouraging professors and students to write online articles to tell the China story in good light. A notice issued by a university in China says that content which promotes ‘core socialist values’ with ‘correct thinking and culture’ in the form of video, essay or animation will have the same weight as an academic paper. Many professors have objected to this as they want universities to enjoy their freedom from politics.
You can read this story on South China Morning Post.
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