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Hotel bombing in Pakistan echoes online


Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-06-11

In this edition: Twitter was once again the tool of choice for web users wanting to relay information about the recent hotel attack in Pakistan; Indians in Australia try to raise awareness about racism in Australia.



At least 18 people were killed and over 70 injured in an attack on the Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan. The Web reacts. 


Messages were sent to the micro blogging site Twitter by users as soon as they heard the explosion. One person living next door to the blast describes its force.


A blogger living further away tells how she saw an orange light in the sky and feeling the ground start to shake, after hearing a deafening sound. She immediately assumed the explosion was a bomb.


Several photos of the destroyed hotel then circulated on share sites. 


The author of the New York Times blog states that the hotel was popular with foreign diplomats and Pakistani security agents. According to him, the terrorists carried out a targeted attack on the intelligence service, which is trying to put an end to their activities.  


But for this blogger on the foreign policy site, the main victims of this attack remain the millions of displaced Pakistanis, fleeing fighting between the Taliban and the army in the Swat valley. According to her, NGO staff may be scared off and stop going to camps to offer direct aid. 


The numbers of displaced people in distress are growing. On YouTube, many videos are being posted online by humanitarian organisations as testimony of the gravity of the situation and to request donations. 





'We demand justice!' Here is one of the slogans shouted by thousands of Indian students living in Australia, protesting about the rising number of racist attacks on their community in the last few months.


Many gatherings have been organised in recent weeks in the large cities - in Sydney and Melbourne in particular, as shown by these videos available online. The aim is to denounce the authorites' inaction.


There have been over 70 attacks on Indian students in less than a year in Australia. Assaults which are often filmed, then broadcast online, currently distressing many net users.  


However, this Indian blogger insists that Australian society should not be presented as being racist on the whole. He asserts that all countries are affected by this scourge and that not everyone can be tarred with the same brush.


But this Australian net user believes that not all the attacks on Indian students were racially motivated. He asserts that his country has been suffering a wave of crime for the last few years, something which could explain some of the attacks.


Meanwhile, many Facebook groups calling for mobilisation against racism in Australia have appeared. A message also broadcast on the Web via video campaigns like this one.





On Sept. 30, Canadian millionaire Guy Laliberte will set off for the International Space Station. Net users can monitor his preparations for the expedition on the One Drop Foundation site as well as on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube. The aim is to raise awareness about water-related issues.



Tell a film in three drawings. This is the aim of the site, ‘3 Frame Movies’. Created for those who are too lazy to watch a film through to the end, the site summarises a selection: three little drawings explain the story. Around 15 films - mainly US blockbusters - are on offer, including Star Wars, Titanic, and Dirty Dancing.  





Here is an interview with Matthew Alexander, a former US officer, in charge of interrogations in Iraq, denouncing the use of torture that he himself practised. In this interview given to Brave New Films studio and broadcast online, he asserts that the army’s interrogation methods do not save American lives, contrary to what was recently declared by former vice president, Dick Cheney, and even constitute a ‘recruitment tool’ for terrorists. 


Date created : 2009-06-11