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Beijing Smog, Bernie Sanders, and Vincent the Cat

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Visitors use mobile phones to take pictures and videos as they watch a flag raising ceremony at the Tiananmen Square amid heavy smog in Beijing, China.
Visitors use mobile phones to take pictures and videos as they watch a flag raising ceremony at the Tiananmen Square amid heavy smog in Beijing, China.

This is What's Trending Today...

Beijing Pollution

Beijing officials declared a first-ever "red alert" for smog. The officials warned China's capital would be covered in heavy smog from Tuesday to Thursday.

In an online statement, the Beijing government ordered all outdoor construction work to stop on those days. The government is also urging schools to close. The notice also limits traffic for some types of cars.

Beijing residents took to the Internet to criticize the government. Many said the government should have ordered a red alert earlier. Beijing had been under an orange alert last week.

On Chinese social media, one user asked, "If today is a red alert, then what was it I was seeing last week?"

China has a four-color warning system for air pollution: Blue, Yellow, Orange, and Red - the highest alert.

Phrases like "Beijing Pollution" and "China Pollution" trended on Facebook and Twitter.

Twitter user Sean Broderick wrote, "I guess they were shamed into doing a Red Alert."

And Leslie Montgomery tweeted: "They are poisoning their world...as well as mine."

Beijing's first-ever red alert for pollution comes during the 21st Conference of the Parties climate change meeting in Paris.

Many tweets using the hashtag #cop21paris mentioned the Beijing smog crisis as a major reason for the need to fight climate change worldwide.

Bernie Sanders wins online poll for TIME's Person of the Year

TIME Magazine said Monday that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders won its online readers' poll for the 2015 Person of the Year.

The magazine selects a notable person or group each year for its Person of the Year issue.

Sanders, however, is not included in the magazine's list of finalists for the title. Another presidential candidate, however, did make the list: Donald Trump.

People on social media said the omission of Sanders seemed like a "snub." "Bernie Sanders" trended Monday on Facebook.

​Others on the Person of the Year list include activists in the Black Lives Matter movement, Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Vincent the cat goes viral

Vincent is a 3-year-old cat who had no back legs. A video of the cat walking with his new metal legs has gone viral.

Dr. Mary Sarah Bergh is a veterinarian at Iowa State University. She performed the surgery to attach the metal legs. She posted a YouTube video of Vincent walking last week. Over the weekend, the video and Vincent's story took off on social media. By Monday, the video had received nearly 500,000 views on YouTube.

Vincent the cat is now one of an estimated 25 animals in the world that have had this kind of surgery.

Dr. Bergh says Vincent is able to walk around very well now, but he can't yet jump or walk down stairs.

And that's What's Trending Today.

I'm Ashley Thompson.

Words in This Story

smog - n. fog mixed with smoke

trend - v. to be the subject of many social media posts

poll - n. the record of votes made by people in an election (or competition)

omission - n. something that has not been included or done

snub - n. ignored in an insulting way

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