Winter Storm Juno began to descend on north-eastern America and several US states declared states of emergency as hurricane-force winds and more than 90cm (36in) of snow was expected. With all non-emergency vehicles banned on New York City’s roads after 23:00 local time, 6,500 flights in and out of airports along the East Coast cancelled and schools and businesses stopping early on Monday night, what was there left to do for all those trapped inside?
On Wednesday the French government launched a website to counter terrorism in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Its message of national unity, aimed at young people who could be radicalised as well as the general public, quickly made a splash on the internet. The site was liked 17,000 times on Facebook; its official Twitter hashtag (#StopDJihadisme) was used 12,000 times; and a slick video meant to counter jihadist recruiters got over half a million hits.
Inspiration has not been in short supply at this year’s New York Fashion Week. One item on the runway has caused a stir, however, after a designer claimed on Instagram that her dress had been copied by another designer. Native American fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail posted a comparison of a dress she had released last year and a design shown this week by London-based KTZ.
Fans, shocked and saddened by the death of Leonard Nimoy, took to social media on Friday to post tributes to the Star Trek actor and multi-talented artist. Nimoy’s last tweet, “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP” was published by the 83-year-old actor in the early hours of Monday morning.
US President Barack Obama will visit Selma, Alabama to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday”. That’s how historians refer to the violent clash between protestors and police when civil rights activists tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge as part of their walk from Selma to Montgomery to protest for voting rights.
Over the weekend, members of University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity were caught on video chanting racial slurs. That kicked of a controversy that has played out largely online – and provided new rules for how to handle a social crisis. Within 48 hours of the video being posted, the university’s president had joined a campus rally condemning the video, sent out a press release, held a press conference, evicted SAE members from the fraternity buildings and expelled two students.
A Starbucks PR campaign to unite customers with conversations about race appears to have backfired, as the company’s big roll-out was widely mocked. “Black Coffees Matter”, “African-Americano” and “Stolen-from-the-Gold-Coast Blend” – these aren’t unfortunate slogans for Starbucks drinks but jokes about the coffee chain’s latest marketing campaign. The race-related puns are just one aspect of a trending hashtag begun after the company launched “Race Together”.
A controversial telescope project on the top of the Mauna Kea mountain in Hawaii has sparked peaceful protests on and off social media across the United States. Opponents of the telescope, including celebrities, say the structure desecrates sacred land. They also say the land in question is designated as a conservation area.
A poster for a Louisiana strawberry festival showing two faceless black children has prompted sharply split online opinion over whether it is offensive and racist. The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people to the small city near Lake Pontchartrain every April, and according to organisers is second in popularity in the state only to Mardi Gras itself.
A new podcast hopes to capitalise on the huge wave of interest in the podcast Serial in order to bolster the case of Adnan Syed, who was convicted of murder but maintains his innocence. It was one of the buzziest podcasts in history, and the first series of Serial has now been downloaded over 20 million times. For those who weren’t obsessed, a recap: Serial re-examined the 1999 murder of 17-year old Baltimore schoolgirl Hae Min Lee, captivated US and world audiences and caused a wave of online amateur sleuthing. But as host Sarah Koenig and the team behind the series move on, the woman who originally brought the case to Koenig has not.