Saudi Arabia has highest number of active Twitter users in the Arab world

Updated 27 June 2014

Saudi Arabia has highest number of active Twitter users in the Arab world

Saudi Arabia has 2.4 million active Twitter users, the highest number in the region, according to a survey issued on Wednesday.
The sixth edition of the Arab Social Media Report was launched on Wednesday by the Governance and Innovation Program at the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government.
The Kingdom accounts for 40 percent of all active Twitter users in the Arab world. There are 5.79 million active Twitter users in the region as of March 2014. An “active user” is someone who logs in once a month, according to Twitter.
Saudi Arabia has more than twice the number of users than second-placed Egypt. However, Egypt gained the largest number of new users since last year, at 571,000, compared to Saudi Arabia’s 514,000.
According to the survey, 55 percent of respondents said they strongly support the government’s use of social media for the design and delivery of public services. Respondents also agreed that social media facilitates better accessibility to government and public sector officials.
A report entitled “Citizen Engagement and Public Services in the Arab World: The Potential of Social Media,” states that social media is still used in the Arab region as a one-way information source for the majority of those who use it to interact with government.
Only 2 percent of respondents reported visiting official government social media pages or using their personal social media accounts for sourcing information on public services.
Of the 63 percent who do use government social media pages, 74 percent only use it to access information on government services and entities, while giving feedback, sending complaints or new ideas to government ranked lower.
The report shows that the public sector in a majority of Arab countries continues to “suffer from mounting deficiencies in terms of quality, efficiency and accessibility of government services despite the continued growth of social media penetration in the Arab region and its increasing potential for governments to engage citizens on enhancing public services.”

What happened to the Apollo goodwill moon rocks?

Updated 16 June 2019

What happened to the Apollo goodwill moon rocks?

  • Some of the gifts have either gone missing, were stolen or destroyed over the decades

HOUSTON, Texas: US President Richard Nixon gave moon rocks collected by Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 astronauts to 135 countries around the world and the 50 US states as a token of American goodwill.
While some hold pride of place in museums and scientific institutions, many others are unaccounted for — they have either gone missing, were stolen or even destroyed over the decades.
The list below recounts the stories of some of the missing moon rocks and others that were lost and later found.
It is compiled from research done by Joseph Gutheinz Jr, a retired NASA special agent known as the “Moon Rock Hunter,” his students, and collectSPACE, a website which specializes in space history.

• Both the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moon rocks presented to perpetually war-wracked Afghanistan have vanished.

• One of the moon rocks destined for Cyprus was never delivered due to the July 1974 Turkish invasion of the island and the assassination of the US ambassador the following month.
It was given to NASA years later by the son of a US diplomat but has not been handed over to Cyprus.

Joseph Gutheinz, an attorney known as the "Moon Rock Hunter," displays meteorite fragments in his office on May 22, 2019 in Friendswood, Texas. (AFP / Loren Elliot)

• Honduras’s Apollo 17 moon rock was recovered by Gutheinz and Bob Cregger, a US Postal Service agent, in a 1998 undercover sting operation baptized “Operation Lunar Eclipse.”
It had been sold to a Florida businessman, Alan Rosen, for $50,000 by a Honduran army colonel. Rosen tried to sell the rock to Gutheinz for $5 million. It was seized and eventually returned to Honduras.

• Ireland’s Apollo 11 moon rock was on display in Dublin’s Dunsink Observatory, which was destroyed in a 1977 fire. Debris from the observatory — including the moon rock — ended up in the Finglas landfill.

• The Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moon rocks given to then Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi have vanished.

• Malta’s Apollo 17 moon rock was stolen from a museum in May 2004. It has not been found.

• Nicaragua’s Apollo 17 moon rock was allegedly sold to someone in the Middle East for $5-10 million. Its Apollo 11 moon rock ended up with a Las Vegas casino owner, who displayed it for a time in his Moon Rock Cafe. Bob Stupak’s estate turned it over to NASA when he died. It has since been returned to Nicaragua.

• Romania’s Apollo 11 moon rock is on display in a museum in Bucharest. Romania’s Apollo 17 moon rock is believed to have been sold by the estate of former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was executed along with his wife, Elena, on Christmas Day 1989.

Spain’s Apollo 17 moon rock is on display in Madrid’s Naval Museum after being donated by the family of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, who was assassinated by the Basque separatist group ETA in 1973.
Spain’s Apollo 11 moon rock is missing and is believed to be in the hands of the family of former dictator Francisco Franco.