Web users mobilise as Darfur is devastated by yet another upsurge in violence. South Korean bloggers doubt Pyongyang’s involvement in the sinking of naval ship Cheonan, and the prize for the most beautiful Tweet has been awarded at the Hay festival in the UK.
MOBILISATION FOR DARFUR
According to a confidential UN document, fighting in Darfur killed nearly 600 people during May, the largest monthly death toll since the deployment in 2008 to this western region of Sudan of the UN African Union peace mission, UNAMID. The web is closely following the situation and mobilising for the people.
The site « Save Darfur » is appealing to the US government to make Sudan a priority in foreign policy. Web users can amongst other things send an open letter to the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking her to increase pressure on Sudanese authorities. Several videos, like these ones are also available on the web site to raise awareness amongst Americans of the seriousness of the situation in Darfur.
On the Amnesty International site « Eyes on Darfur » the blogosphere can become directly involved in protecting the people. Using satellite images, web users can monitor several villages in Darfur at high risk of attack by rebel groups or government forces. It is a way of showing local authorities that the world is not left indifferent by what is happening.
Finally some are making personal sacrifices to demonstrate their solidarity with the people of Darfur. The site “Fast Darfur” calls upon those who have been moved by the situation to fast for as long as possible in support of the Sudanese people. The idea was launched by the actress Mia Farrow and many web users have since followed her example.
SOUTH KOREA: THE CHEONAN SINKING
Last Friday, South Korea formally asked the United Nations Security Council for action over the sinking of the ship Cheonan. According to an international investigation, a North Korean submarine fired torpedoes at the naval ship, killing the 46 marines on board, Pyongyang denies these allegations. Some South Koreans are sharing their skepticism over this version of events online.
The blogosphere is wondering about this serial number found on part of a torpedo propeller. It is a typically North Korean inscription and is seen to be an important piece of evidence to prove Pyongyang’s involvement. These photos are trying to prove that the number was placed on top of a rusted surface and that this piece of evidence has been tampered with.
Shin Sang-chul shares this point of view. This maritime expert was part of the national Investigation Commission, but was replaced after being accused of spreading false rumours. He does not think it was a torpedo that caused Cheonan to sinks and shares his point of view in this open letter to Hillary Clinton that he has posted online.
And as this video available on sharing sites demonstrates, people are even more skeptical due to the fact that the incident comes in the middle of the electoral period. Web users are accusing their government of manipulating public opinion and are asking for transparency in the affair.
Faced with this criticism, the Ministry of Defence is using social networks to try and win over web users. Several dozen influential bloggers have been asked to inspect the shipwreck for themselves.
MOST BEAUTIFUL TWEET CONTEST
« I believe we can build a better world! Of course, it’ll take a whole lot of rock, water and dirt. Also, not sure where to put it.” This is the short message written by Marc McKenzie a 41 year old Canadian. The British Writer and actor Stephen Fry, announced him as the winner
of the most beautiful Tweet ever in a competition organized for the Hay Festival, an annual event in Wales.
GEORGE W. BUSH ON FACEBOOK
Former US president George W.Bush now has an official Facebook page. And in less than one week around 130 000 web users have joined Barack Obama’s predecessor. The main objective of the page is to keep people informed on what the former president is up to.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
The World Cup is approaching and the latest video from prankster Rémi Gaillard places football in the spotlight. A different kind of football played in the street using amazingly precise shots. But the French comedian admits that it took several attempts to pull off some of the shots, not that this takes away from any of this former amateur footballer’s talent.