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Net users react to Omar Bongo's death

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-06-10

Today on the Web: Net users react to Omar Bongo's death; the blogosphere calls for the release of the two US journalists imprisoned in North Korea; and the Interview Project, a video that is causing a buzz.

Omar Bongo

Following the announcement of Omar Bongo’s death Monday, reactions have been flooding in on the Web. Uncertainty dominates. On his blog, a journalist from the Ivory Coast questions the future of the country following the death of the "patriarch". Will power be handed over to the Senate? Is a fratricidal battle about to erupt? Will the army step in? (in French)

On this Gabonese news site, a citizen calls for democratic elections to be held. (in French)

Meanwhile, according to Elizabeth Dickinson in a blog on, anxiety reigns in the capital, Libreville. She says that shops are closed and that some people even began stocking up on food when they heard the first rumours of the president’s death.

Severo Moto, an opposition politician from Equatorial Guinea living in Spain, where has been granted asylum, has reacted on his YouTube channel. He offers his condolences to the African head of state’s family, but he asserts that his death could signal a new era for Equatorial Guinea. According to him, the dictator, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, has now lost his main supporter. (in Spanish)

In a musical video, a Net user welcomes the death of Bongo who, according to him, represented the relationship between France and Africa, dubble "Françafrique". He hopes that his death will offer the country a fresh start and allow it to develop an independent political culture. (in French)

One blogger has posted a video entitled, "It’s for Life", a song by the African head of state’s first wife, Patience Dabany, and an homage to the Gabonese president.

North Korea: Imprisoned journalists

US journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee have been sentenced to 12 years of hard labour on charges of entering North Korea illegally. Net users are calling for their release.

A Facebook group provides a link to an online petition already signed by 14,000 Net users. And people can follow the affair on Twitter, where a news link has been set up by a user.

A letter from Laura Ling to her family has been posted online on a site created after her arrest on March 17.

A photomontage recalls that the two women are married and that Euna Lee has a four-year-old daughter.

In a video on YouTube, Laura Ling’s sister calls on the US authorities to intervene, while keeping this affair separate from the North Korean nuclear dossier.

A video of a declaration recorded at a support rally organised last week in Los Angeles. The support initiative echoed via the Web, in several towns across the country.

The two women were making a documentary at the border of China and North Korea for Current TV. Some people are questioning the silence of the channel, founded by former US Vice President Al Gore. A Net user tried to get an interview with him on camera, unsuccessfully.

The attitude is explained, according to one blogger, by a possible trip to North Korea by Al Gore to negotiate the two journalists’ release.

North Korea on Google Earth

North Korea is one of the world’s most secretive regimes, but its secrets are now being revealed on Google Earth. Net users have collected all the information available on the country in order to indicate indicate key buildings photographed by Google Earth: hotels, restaurants, nuclear plants, labour camps and luxurious palaces belonging to North Korean leaders. The interactive map sheds light on the country’s secrets and even provides details of its electric network.

Interview project

"Interview Project" is Web series about a road trip where people encountered by chance are interviewed and talk about their lives. David Lynch’s produced the Web series, filmed by his son Austin and another filmmaker called Jason S. The site was launched last week and will offer a new interview every three days. Interview Project plans to broadcast 121 interviews, filmed over 70 days across the USA.

Video of the day

Here is a video currently causing a buzz: a group of Californian dancers storm a clothes shop in LA, wearing the famous shiny trousers worn by the 90s rap star MC Hammer. A "flashmob" that dances to MC Hammer’s biggest hit, “U Can't Touch This”, under the unbelieving gaze of shoppers.

Date created : 2009-06-10