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Laquan McDonald, #OptOutside, and #OrangetheWorld



#LaquanMcDonald and #FreeMalcomLondon

American Laquan McDonald was 17 years old when a police officer shot him to death. It happened last year in Chicago, Illinois. On Tuesday, the police officer, Jason Van Dyke, was charged with murder.

Police released video of the incident just after the charges were announced. A reporter had requested the video be made public under the Freedom of Information Act.

The video has no sound. It shows McDonald walking down the middle of the street. Van Dyke fires his gun. McDonald falls and the officer continues to fire. McDonald was shot 16 times.

On YouTube, the video has more than 400,000 views. #LaquanMcDonald trended on Facebook and Twitter.

Demonstrators gathered Tuesday in Chicago to protest the shooting. Five people were arrested during the protests.

The video’s release also led to protests on social media.

Malcom London, a 22-year-old poet and activist, was among those arrested in Tuesday night’s protests. A police report says London hit an officer. Protesters say the report is false. They started the hashtag #FreeMalcomLondon on Twitter. It trended most of Wednesday in the United States.

Prosecutors dropped charges against London on Wednesday afternoon.

Instead of #BlackFriday, many Americans are choosing to #OptOutside

The U.S.-based outdoor gear store REI announced earlier this month it would be closed on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The day is the biggest shopping day of the year in America. It is known as “Black Friday.”

REI urged its customers to go outside and enjoy nature, and not wait in long lines indoors to buy things. The announcement came as part of its hashtag #optoutside campaign on social media.

#Optoutside caught on quickly. And many state and national parks joined REI’s efforts to urge Americans to explore the outdoors instead of stores. Many parks are even offering free admission on Black Friday.

#OrangeTheWorld

November 25 is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. On Twitter, people marked the day with the hashgtag #orangetheworld.

The hashtag comes from the United Nations’ Orange the World campaign. The color orange is meant to symbolize a bright future free from violence against women.

From politicians to Hollywood actors, people joined the #orangetheworld conversation on Twitter.

Over the next two weeks, cities around the world plan to turn major monuments orange.

On Wednesday, people began tweeting pictures of orange monuments in their cities:

I’m Ashley Thompson.

Ashley Thompson wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

What is trending in your country today? Let us know in the comments section or find us on Facebook.

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Words in This Story

gear - n. supplies, tools, or clothes needed for a special purpose

elimination - n. the act or process of removing something or someone

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