There are over 300 million tweets sent from around the world every day. Because Twitter has become such a major source for global news and conversations, we pull weekly trends to discover what the world is talking about. Here’s some of the highlights:
In Lebanon’s capital of Beirut on Tuesday, two suicide bombers attacked the Iranian Embassy killing 23 people and injuring 147. This comes in response to neighboring Syria’s civil war, where Lebanese-based, Iran-backed Shiite militia – Hezbollah – are being sent in support of Syrian government forces. A smaller less known group linked to al Qaeda called the Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter. They are against Iran sending militia in support of Syria’s war and also demanded the release of their members that are being held in Lebanese prison.
These attacks not only trended on Twitter as news sources updated the world, but also because the group claimed responsibility via Twitter.
On November 8th, the Philippines and surrounding countries were hit with the typhoon, believed to be the most powerful storm on landfall ever recorded. Displacing 4.4 million people and affecting 13.2 million, the country is still reeling in the aftermath of the super storm. But the Philippines is not alone. According to a humanitarian aid database, the United Nations relief agency has had a strong response to emergency financing – receiving nearly half of the requested amount in the first week.
One look at Twitter and you’ll see hundreds of thousands of tweets in support of sending aid to relief funds such as #REDCROSS.
The southern coast of India has had more than their fair share of typhoons and cyclones recently. After Cyclone Phailin devastated India’s eastern coast last month, thousands evacuate and embrace as Cyclone Helen makes landfall. Bringing winds of up to 90km/h (55mph) and heavy rain, Helen is expected to trigger storm surges of up to 1.5m (5ft).
In other cyclone news, the Italian island of Sardinia was hit this week with Cyclone Cleopatra – evacuating thousands and bringing flooding and devastation throughout the region.
In the wake of the Rana Plaza Factory collapse in Bangladesh, two groups representing North American and European retailers have agreed with the Bangladesh government to improve worker safety standards. “The reason garment factories continue to be unsafe is not for a lack of common standards. It is because the monitoring visits carried out by brands were not conducted by competent engineers, not done in manner that is transparent, and did not include any commitment by brands and retailer to finance repairs,” said a spokeswoman for the Worker Rights Consortium, a European labour rights group.
These updates on safety standards in Bangladesh factories take place in the midst of a massive factory fire last week. The fire destroyed the factory and took the lives of several of the 170 workers in the cramped, unsafe working conditions.
#5: Climate Change
After reading these trends, it’s no wonder that climate change is on the top of people’s minds. As super storms, tsunamis, floods, volcanoes and earthquakes rock all corners of the globe, ignoring climate change is becoming more difficult. This comes in the wake of the United Nations annual two-week summit on climate change – where nearly 200 governments clash over financing global warming and reducing emissions.
And, as Japan significantly scales back its commitments to reduce carbon emissions and Australia tries to remove its carbon taxes, environmentalist groups around the world protest – both on and offline. According to new research, “the climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age.”
Gamers rejoice. After PlayStation 4’s release on November 15, GameStop has sold 80% higher than the total number of PS3s sold during the entire 2006 fiscal year. Setting itself up to be the “game of the year,” PS4 is breaking records in stores and across social media.
If this launch video doesn’t get your heart racing, it’s hard to say what will:
#7: Monty Python
Reuniting after four decades since they last performed on a British stage is the infamous Monty Python comedy sketch group. Scheduled to release a one-off show at London’s O2 arena in July, the group promises “a little comedy, a lot of pathos, some music and a tiny bit of ancient sex.” Some things are timeless, but is comedy one of them?
#8: FIFA World Cup
Two of the world’s top football teams battled it out on the field to qualify for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2013 games. This week’s big game was between Portugal and Sweden. “I just did my job,” said forward Cristiano Ronaldo after his hat-trick earned his team a spot in the World Cup.
#9: Kanye West
Haven’t seen the new Kanye West music video that the world’s been talking about? You’re in for a real treat…