The speaker of the senate in Gabon has been sworn in as the country's interim head of state, following the recent death of President Omar Bongo. Under the constitution, Rose Francine Rogombe, an ally of Mr Bongo, must organise elections within 45 days. On Thursday, Mr Bongo's body will be repatriated from Spain where he had been undergoing medical treatment.

Reporters Without Borders has written to communication minister Laure Olga Gondjout and National Communication Council chairman Emmanuel Ondo Methogo voicing concern about the suspension of two Gabonese newspapers, Ezombolo and Le Nganga, and the warnings issued to Radio France Internationale (RFI) and the Canal Overseas Africa satellite TV service over their coverage of President Omar Bongo’s health.

As the very grave health condition of the 73 years old Gabonese President Omar Bongo is confirmed, speculations over his succession are growing in numbers. Will it be a family affair as in Togo, or will it be a coup like in Guinea?

Six relatively unknown grassroots activists from around the globe receive a moment in the spotlight when the Goldman Environmental Prize announces its list of annual recipients. The prize, now in its 20th year, is considered the Nobel Prize for the environment. Past recipients include Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, former Brazilian environment minister Marina Silva, and Nigerian environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was killed seven months after his recognition.

French authorities have frozen Gabon President Omar Bongo's bank accounts. The move comes after a Bordeaux court ordered President Bongo to return a payment made to him to release a jailed French businessman, Rene Cardona. The BBC's Charles Mayard in Paris says it is the first time French authorities have frozen the accounts of an acting head of state.