The latest and greatest on CNN iReport, brought to you by Team iReport.
It’s the first day of spring! (In the northern hemisphere, that is.) We teamed up with the CNN Weather unit for a one-day assignment on Instagram using the hashtag #springcnn.
The weather team will be showing some of the best photos on CNN International.
Check out some of the ones that have come in so far, and if you have a smart phone, go here to view all the photos coming in.
What spring means to me: Gardening, pups, outdoors
Photo by CNN Meteorologist Jennifer Delgado (@jendelgadocnn) in Atlanta, Georgia
Thanks to everyone who joined! CNN International showcased some of the best photos on air.
[Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET] Thanks for coming to the hangout! Here's the archives of the two parts of the discussion. Thanks to all who participated, and thanks to Wes Little for joining us as well.
[Updated at 2:59 p.m.] Welcome to the hangout!
TIP FOR BEST VIEWING: Keep this window open to comment, and view the stream in a separate window so you don't lose your place if you post. You can also send your questions via Twitter using the hashtag #timelapsecnn.
You’ve seen them all over iReport, television and social media –have you ever been curious about time-lapse videos? Ever thought about doing one of your own, but not sure where to start?
If so, we’ve got the roundtable for you. Please join us Tuesday, March 19, at 3 p.m. ET as CNN Digital video team’s Edythe McNamee and iReporter/time-lapse expert John Eklund share tips and answer your questions about this fascinating cinematic technique.
For the first time, we’ll host the roundtable via Google Hangout. Here’s how you can participate:
1. Submit questions ahead of time here in the comments, or on Twitter @cnnireport using the hashtag #timelapsecnn. Feel free to ask multiple questions – we’ll select some of the best ahead of time.
3. Come back to this page on Tuesday, March 19, at 3 p.m. ET, to join in the chat!Are you planning to join our Google Hangout? Looking forward to learning more about time-lapse? We hope you’ll be able to join us right here on Tuesday!
CNN iReporters were armed with binoculars, cameras and tripods Tuesday – ready to capture even just a glimpse of Comet Pan-STARRS.
At exactly 7:46 p.m., Brian Karczewski got the shot he had been waiting for in a California church parking lot. Karczewski, 24, captured the comet alongside the crescent moon overlooking the Ortega Mountains. It was barely visible to the naked eye and appeared as "a little orange fuzzy spot," but he used binoculars and his camera to pick it out.
"I love astronomy and find astrophotography a good challenge," he said. "I was very excited to capture the comet next to the Moon. Never photographed a comet before!"
Brian McMahon also waited patiently for the comet to appear. He began snapping photos after sunset in Richmond, California, pointing his camera toward Mount Tamalpais. McMahon said the comet appeared in the photos 30 minutes after the sun had set.
And in Galveston, Texas, web designer Vadim Troshkin shot this photo for Galveston.com and said he was glad to see the comet during “such a beautiful sunset.”
Did you capture Comet Pan-STARRS too (or any other interesting celestial sights)? Share it here!
Several months ago, we partnered with Travel + Leisure to ask you for your favorite restaurants to "eat like a local." You know, the fabulous places that aren't mentioned in any guidebooks but serve a heck of a meal. You sent in hundreds of delectable submissions, and we promised that 10 of your picks would be featured in Travel + Leisure's April 2013 issue for their "100 places to eat like a local" special.
Well, the time has come! T+L chose their 10 favorite submissions and the issue will hit newstands any day now. We were lucky enough to get an early copy, and were so proud to see your iReports in print. It's the first time iReports have ever been featured in a magazine!
Want to see if your eatery was among the 10 printed? Check out the gallery here, or download a PDF of the magazine article. And be sure to check out Travel + Leisure's website for the full list of 100 places to eat like a local.
Congratulations to the 10 iReporters who were selected! And thanks to everyone who participated for making us so very, very hungry at our desks.
Each year, as International Women’s Day is honored, there are celebrations and commiserations, steps forward, and steps back, in improving the status of women worldwide.
The day, first honored in the early 1900s in Europe, has since grown to a global phenomenon, and remains the largest celebration of women across the world.
Statistically, progress for women in all walks of life remain sobering:
- At least one in three women will be abused in her lifetime, according to United Nations statistics
- Disparity in pay is problematic, with Europe alone experiencing a 16% disparity between men and women's pay.
- Women are not empowered, with only around 20% of the world's parliamentarians being women
But, all is not lost! To honor the day, iReport asked women around the world what their one wish would be for women. The results, from India to Italy, were inspiring, moving, and very forthright.
“Stand up for your dreams -- and stand up for each other.”
In India, where the horrific rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi last December sparked weeks of protests and much soul searching about the status of women in the nation, the messages were blunt -- be fearless, be audacious, and above all, be brave.
"Have the audacity. Stand up for your rights. Stand up for what you believe in,” said iReporter Meera Vijayann, a writer and NGO worker,who urged women to have the self-belief to aim high and to help others on the heady upward climb.
"Stand up for your dreams and stand up for each other. With just enough confidence, we can truly move mountains.
“Stop underestimating yourselves.”
The age-old dilemma (for women) of the work/life balance was very much her fellow Indian iReporter Sharmita Mandal’s mind. She exhorted women to aim high.
“My wish is for all the women who left a job, thinking they wouldn't be able to do justice to both work and managing family,” said the Bangalore based PR consultant.
“You will never know what you are capable of unless you reach the finish line," she said, specifically with working women in mind.
Fear and lack of confidence within women was also a big issue for Italian iReporter Martina Lunardelli.
“I wish for all the women and girls around the world to never fear,” she said, “and to continue struggling for our rights and our dreams."
"I wish you all courage and strength"
But Veronica Lon Pantaleon Mendoza, an English teacher from the Philippines, was more reflective in her wish wanting to reassure them there is support for women who have suffered, and survived, sexual or domestic violence.
“I wish you all courage and strength, and also understanding and support from the people surrounding those women with children and who are abused,” she said.
"Growing up safe"
Children were also on the mind of Patricia Mouamar from Beirut, Lebanon, who works for the charity World Vision.
“My wish for women around the globe is to know that their children will grow up in a safe and loving environment," she said.
"We are all in this together"
When Australian student Jessica Arvela spoke to her friends and family about what their wishes would be, one thing she noticed was that all their wishes were for basic human rights -- rights that they felt were not being met.
“My wish is for us to support each other every day, to realise we are all in this together, that we are all on the same team,” she said.
But Arveta ended her message on a hopeful note. “One day, these wishes will become granted!" she said.
When rumors started swirling months ago that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had died, one Venezuelan citizen penned a passionate commentary. A piece he saved for the day that Chavez died.
Juan Francisco De León, a music teacher who lives in Caracas part-time, published his thousand-word commentary in the form of a comment on CNN’s Chavez obituary on Monday. His comment caught our eye and we invited him to share his perspective on CNN iReport.
De León’s words resonated with a wide audience. In less than 24 hours, "10 reasons why I will not miss Chavez" has received almost 150,000 views and more than 26,000 Facebook recommends.
As this iReport got so much attention, we decided to take a closer look at the sources and statistics he’s citing in his argument and offer a fact check:
TRUE AND FALSE: Even from your death bed, you had a Supreme Court justice fired because she didn't agree with your politics.
De León was correct that Chavez fired a judge, but it wasn’t a Supreme Court justice. Judge María Lourdes Afiuni was arrested in December 2009, and other judges were fired, but she is not a Supreme Court justice, according to Human Rights Watch. Then-Supreme Court justice Eladio Aponte, who is male, was fired from the National Assembly for alleged links to a drug suspect in March 2012.
TRUE AND FALSE: In 14 years, our homicide rate more than tripled from 22/100K to 74/100K. While judges were busy trying to prove their political allegiance to you, only 11% of homicides led to a conviction.
De León is right – the homicide rate in Venezuela tripled – but the numbers are different. There were 67 homicide victims per 100,000 in 2012, up from 19 victims per 100,000 in 1998, when Chavez took office. That’s according to the LA Times.
FALSE: 10.7% of Venezuelans are in extreme poverty.
Depending on how you define extreme poverty, the numbers vary. As of 2011, 31.6% of Venezuelans live below the poverty line, according to the CIA World Factbook. But, according to "official government figures" in a Guardian analysis from October 2012, there were 8.5% of Venezuelans living in extreme poverty in 2011.
CNN confirmed the following claims from De León’s iReport:
TRUE: In 14 years you built less public housing than any president before you did in their 5 year periods. Hospitals today have no resources, and if you go there in an emergency you must bring with you everything from medicines to surgical gloves and masks.
TRUE: When you took office, the price of oil was $9.30, and in 2008 it reached $126.33.
TRUE: You shut down more than 30 radio and television stations for being critical of your government.
TRUE (of course, “manipulated” is an opinion): You manipulated the elections in 2010 to make sure the opposition didn't get more than a third of seats in Parliament even though they got 51% of the popular vote.
Like most iReporters, De León isn't a trained journalist. But he’s someone who has been active in online discussions about Venezuela, and we're glad he shared his personal views with CNN.
Numbers aside, De León's sentiment stands and his commentary rang true with many readers. We invite you to read his perspective and weigh in with your thoughts on Chavez.