AYM ’09: Moldova's “Twitter Revolution”

Interviews from the Alliance of Youth Movements summit: Natalia Morari. On the 6th of April of this year, 15,000 Moldovans...

Interviews from the Alliance of Youth Movements summit: Natalia Morari.

On the 6th of April of this year, 15,000 Moldovans rallied in the streets the day after their national election to protest the Communist Party's rigged victory. It might have looked like any post-election protest in an emerging democracy but there was an important difference: This protest was organized entirely through new media-Twitter, email and text messages, and social networking sites. The number of peaceful protesters continued to grow over the course of a few days, and they eventually succeeded in upsetting the Communist Party's majority in parliament.Guest blogger Erin Mazursky spoke with Natalia Morari, one of catalysts of the protests and keynote speaker at the recent Alliance of Youth Movements summit. Morari now leads ThinkMoldova, a platform to help young Moldovans take part in the future of their country.ERIN MAZURSKY: How did you mobilize so many people in such a short period of time?NATALIA MORARI: When the results were announced the day after the election, with the Communist Party as the winners, so many of my friends were saying they wanted to leave Moldova. The country was in mourning. So a few of us met up at a café to talk about what we might be able to do. We decided to do a flash mob that evening in the center of Chisinau, Moldova's capital city.We immediately began sending out messages in every way we could-through Twitter, Facebook, email, SMS-with the message: "If you believe your vote was stolen, if you did not vote for the Communists, come to the center of the city." And people came. We are generally a quiet people, and tens of thousands in the street is a big deal.EM: What is your hope for Moldova?NM: My dream used to be to live and work in Moscow. I left for Russia in 2002, went to college there, and became a journalist. In 2007, I was arrested in Russia because I was writing about various corruption scandals. The experience made me come back to Moldova, and I realized that my place is there. I really want to do something great for my country's future and raise my children there.So many young people leave for the West, get their degrees, and never come back, but these days more and more of these young people are coming back with the intent of making real change. My hope for this country is that together, these young people can help shape a better future.EM: How is ThinkMoldova helping to make this happen?NM: ThinkMoldova is currently creating a platform for young, educated people interested in politics, economics, and social life to come back and talk about how we can best develop the country, and who are willing to start working on the issues in our country when they are young. We are bringing in people from all over the world who have helped shape progress in their own countries on issues from tax reform to infrastructure building so that we can learn from others' experiences and apply it to Moldova.EM: How is this generation, the so-called Millennial generation, different from generations past?NM: The only thing that's different about our generation is that we have this great opportunity to feel like we are a part of the big world. If I were born in Moldova 100 years ago, I never would have seen other European countries or dreamed about visiting America. Now, we can travel all over the world sitting just in front of a laptop. We have more freedom of expression, a greater access to information, and new experiences just because we can communicate with each other through the internet.It's a question of who uses this information and to what ends, of course, but you are not just born in your country. Our generation isn't confined to our respective nationalities-American, British, Moldovan-we are global-Americans, global-British, global-Moldovans. We have more possibilities now, and I think that's great.EM: What was your favorite part of your experience at the Alliance of Youth Movements summit?NM: It was really crazy to meet someone like Oscar Morales, who mobilized 12 million people around the world against the FARC, or a kid like Shubham Kanodia, who is just fourteen, who made a great social movement in India after the Mumbai attacks. The most interesting thing was to find how similar we were and know that, for example, someone who was in Ecuador is experiencing different problems but driven by the same principles. All these people were young and all these people do believe that they can make real changes. To feel like we were all connected was the great thing about A.Y.M.Erin is a proud member of the Millennial generation, an independent nonprofit and political consultant, a fellow at the Truman National Security Project, and a contributor to the GOOD column Canapés and Kalashnikovs.

Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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The healthcare systems in the United States and the United Kingdom couldn't be more different.

The UK's National Health Service is the largest government-run healthcare system in the world and the US's is largest private sector system.

Almost all essential health services in the UK are free, whereas in America cost can vary wildly based on insurance, co pays and what the hospitals and physicians choose to charge.

A medical bill in the US

One of the largest differences is cost. The average person in the UK spends £2,989 ($3915) per year on healthcare (most of which is collected through taxes), whereas the average American spends around $10,739 a year.

So Americans should obviously be getting better care, right? Well, the average life expectancy in the UK is higher and infant mortality rate is lower than that in the US.

RELATED: The World Health Organization declares war on the out of control price of insulin

Plus, in the U.S., only 84% of people are covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Sixteen percent of the population are forced to pay out of pocket.

In the UK, everyone is covered unless they are visiting the country or an undocumented resident.

Prescription drugs can cost Americans an arm and a leg, but in the UK, prescriptions or either free or capped at £8.60 ($11.27).

via Wikimedia Commons

The one drawback to the NHS system is responsiveness. In the UK people tend to wait longer for inessential surgeries, doctor's appointments, and in emergency rooms. Whereas, the US is ranked as the most responsive country in the world.

RELATED: Alarmingly high insulin prices are forcing Americans to flock to Canada to buy the drug

The New York Times printed a fair evaluation of the UK's system:

The service is known for its simplicity: It is free at the point of use to anyone who needs it. Paperwork is minimal, and most patients never see a bill. … No one needs to delay medical treatment until he or she can afford it, and virtually everyone is covered. …

According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States spent 17.2 percent of its economic output on health care in 2016, compared with 9.7 percent in Britain. Yet Britain has a higher life expectancy at birth and lower infant mortality.

Citizens in each country have an interesting perspective on each other's healthcare systems. UK citizens think it's inhumane for Americans have to pay through the nose when they're sick or injured. While Americans are skeptical of socialist medicine.

A reporter from Politics Joe hit the streets of London and asked everyday people what they think Americans pay for healthcare and they were completely shocked.