Ireland abortion: 'We can't keep painting over our problems'

  • 28 July 2016
Photo of woman hugging mural Image copyright Aisling Bea

A mural featuring a large red heart with the words "Repeal the 8th" painted across it was unveiled on the wall of Dublin's Project Arts Centre nearly three weeks ago.

The work by the street artist Maser triggered a swift reaction on social media with many people sharing photographs of the artwork. But on Monday the mural was painted over after Dublin City Council took action. And then the outcry really started.

"Repeal the 8th" is a slogan used by those calling for the relaxation of abortion laws in the Republic of Ireland. It refers to the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution which "acknowledges the right to life of the unborn." The eight amendment essentially gives constitutional protection to an unborn child. It is seen as the foundation for the country's strict anti-abortion laws. But pro-choice campaigners in Ireland want a referendum to repeal that amendment.

So the painting over of the wall was interpreted by some as a political act. There was a surge in the popularity of the hashtag #repealthe8th by people using it to criticise what they regarded as an attempt to stifle debate.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter/DebStudioTen
Image copyright CByrneGreen
Image caption A tweet by a local Green politician

Project Arts Centre said that it had decided to remove the mural after receiving a warning notice from Dublin City Council Planning Department that the work was in violation of a local authority building law, and not because it wanted to censor Maser or his art. There had reportedly been 50 complaints about the design.

Read full article Ireland abortion: 'We can't keep painting over our problems'

The loudest lawyer in America

  • 28 July 2016

Masked wrestlers, motorcyles crashing through walls and explosions galore. Not quite what you would expect from a lawyer seeking to promote his legal practice.

However, Bryan Wilson, a criminal defence attorney from Fort Worth, Texas, has become a huge internet hit through a series of bizarre adverts in which he appears as the larger-than-life Texas Law Hawk.

Read full article The loudest lawyer in America

'Black lives should matter in South Sudan too'

  • 27 July 2016
Nykhor Paul Image copyright Nykhor Paul/Wilhelmina

Nykhor Paul is a US-based supermodel from South Sudan. She enjoys a life of castings, photoshoots and travel - a world apart from the conflict which has scarred her homeland. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than 1.6 million have been internally displaced since 2013. An uneasy truce is currently in place after hundreds died in a fresh outbreak of violence earlier this month. Paul speaks exclusively to BBC Trending about using social media to campaign for a change and "build bridges" between her two worlds.

I live in New York. I'm full time model with Wilhelmina Models, which is one of the top agencies in the world - they represent Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato. My life involves castings, photoshoots and travel. My career has gone well; I used to be the face of Louis Vuitton and I've walked on global fashion shows for labels like Vivienne Westwood. My life now is a whole world away from where I was born and where I came from.

Read full article 'Black lives should matter in South Sudan too'

Rio 2016: Olympic opening ceremony outfits likened to erasers

  • 26 July 2016
Iranian meme comparing Iranian team outfits to popular brand of erasers. Image copyright Instagram/rambodjavan1
Image caption Iranians are sharing this meme which compares the national team's outfits to a pencil eraser

It can't be nice for a designer to have your work become the target of the unforgiving eye of a fashion critic. But a cultured reviewer is no match for the tirade that can come your way if you irk social media. Especially when the catwalk is one of Earth's most high profile and watched events.

More than one billion people around the world are expected to watch the cream of the globe's athletes take part in the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio on 5 August.

Read full article Rio 2016: Olympic opening ceremony outfits likened to erasers

This week in Turkey: live streaming's political moment?

  • 23 July 2016
Citizens wave Turkish Flags during a march towards Bosphorus Bridge to protest failed military coup attempt and to show solidarity with the Turkish government in Istanbul. Image copyright Anadolu Agency/Getty

Live video stream apps, like Facebook Live and Periscope, seemed to be the medium of choice for a new digital generation in Turkey this week, as they spread the news of recent political turbulence to the world.

In January 1991, Peter Arnett reported live on CNN from the Al-Rashid hotel as the first air strikes of the Gulf war hit the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. This was the moment of CNN's pioneering 24-hour news channel, changing the information sharing landscape permanently.

Read full article This week in Turkey: live streaming's political moment?

'Dear Mr Terrorist'

  • 22 July 2016

A Muslim beauty vlogger from Nice has gone viral with a video addressing those who carried out the attack which killed more than 80 people in her hometown last week.

The video entitled 'Dear Mr Terrorist' was made by 20-year-old Maroua Bekkouche, who was born in Algeria but has lived in Nice since she was three years old.

Read full article 'Dear Mr Terrorist'

Pokemon's tears for Syria

  • 21 July 2016
Pokemon in tears next to boy in Syrian war scene Image copyright Moustafa Jano

More than five years into the war in Syria it is not always easy for interested parties to get public opinion in the outside world to focus, yet again, on a conflict that can sometimes seem insoluble.

For many watching from a distance, the shock value of reports about the aftermath of barrel bombs, suicide attacks, torture and starving civilians can diminish with repetition.

Read full article Pokemon's tears for Syria

Hillary Clinton: "Secretary of the Status Quo"?

  • 21 July 2016
Trump supporter meme linking Hillary Clinton to banks Image copyright Twitter/M_RevereUSA
Image caption Both right and left wing critics have presented Clinton as the establishment candidate

As Mike Pence took the stage at the Republican National Convention he did something more than make his position as Donald Trump's running mate official. The Indiana Governor gave social media the gift of a meme and hashtag-worthy phrase.

In his maiden speech as the US vice presidential nominee, Pence turned his attention to the Democratic Presidential nominee, saying that she "personifies the failed establishment".

Read full article Hillary Clinton: "Secretary of the Status Quo"?

'Send me back to Africa' - a unique response to racism

  • 20 July 2016
Larry Mitchell Image copyright Facebook

"Put your money where your hate is."

This is the phrase being used by a crowdfunding campaign, currently going viral, which is being seen as a unique response to racism. The campaign seems to take racists at face value, and asks for donations in order for its black founder to be able to go "back to Africa."

Read full article 'Send me back to Africa' - a unique response to racism

'The least diverse selfie ever'

  • 19 July 2016

The US politician Paul Ryan has sparked a debate about diversity in Washington politics and "white privilege" after sharing a selfie with a group of interns.

Mr Ryan, who's the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, shared an image on Instagram with the caption "I think this sets the record for the most number of Capitol Hill interns in a single selfie."

Read full article 'The least diverse selfie ever'