Al Arabiya team member ‘detained by security forces’ in Sudan

The member of the news channel’s team was reportedly covering a demonstration in Khartoum. (Shutterstock)
Updated 16 January 2018
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Al Arabiya team member ‘detained by security forces’ in Sudan

LONDON: The Dubai-based Al Arabiya News Channel has reported that one of its team was detained while covering a demonstration in Khartoum, Sudan.
The person was “detained by security forces,” the channel said in a tweet early on Tuesday.

The Arabic-language news channel was not available for immediate comment, but it posted a follow-up tweet Tuesday afternoon stating that it is holding Sudanese security officials responsible for the safety of their correspondent:

According to Al-Arabiya, its correspondent Abdulaziz Ibrahim was reporting on a demonstration against soaring bread prices, at which hundreds of Sudanese were protesting near a presidential palace in Khartoum. 
AFP reports that Sudanese anti-riot police fired tear gas and beat protesters with batons.
Bread prices have more than doubled after a jump in the cost of flour due to dwindling wheat supplies, after the government decided to stop importing grain and allow private companies to do so.
The protest was the biggest in Khartoum since demonstrations erupted in some parts of the country earlier this month following the price increase.
A senior leader from the Communist Party, Siddig Yousif, was detained along with several protesters, AFP reported.


Netflix to roll out cheaper mobile-only plan for India

Updated 18 July 2019
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Netflix to roll out cheaper mobile-only plan for India

  • India is among the last big growth markets for the company
  • Netflix faces competition from Amazon’s Prime Video and Walt Disney Co’s Hotstar
Netflix said on Wednesday it would roll out a lower-priced mobile-only plan in India within the next three months to tap into a price-sensitive market at a time the streaming company is losing customers in its home turf.
India is among the last big growth markets for the company, where it faces competition from Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video and Hotstar, a video streaming platform owned by Walt Disney Co’s India unit.
Netflix lost US streaming customers for the first time in eight years on Wednesday, when it posted quarterly results. It also missed targets for new subscribers overseas.
“India is a mobile-first nation, where many first-time users are experiencing the Internet on their phones. In such a scenario, a mobile-only package makes sense to target new users,” said Tarun Pathak, analyst at Counterpoint Research.
The creator of “Stranger Things” and “The Crown” said in March that it was testing a 250-rupee ($3.63) monthly subscription for mobile devices in India, where data plans are among the cheapest in the world.
The country figures prominently in Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings’ global expansion plans.
“We believe this plan, which will launch in the third quarter, will be an effective way to introduce a larger number of people in India to Netflix and to further expand our business,” the company said in a letter to investors released late on Wednesday.
Netflix currently offers three monthly plans in India, priced between 500 rupees ($7.27) and 800 rupees $11.63).
It has created a niche following in the country by launching local original shows like the thriller “Sacred Games” and dystopian tale “Leila,” which feature popular Bollywood actors.
The second season of “Sacred Games” is set to release in August.
In contrast, Hotstar, which also offers content from AT&T Inc’s HBO and also streams live sports, charges 299 rupees ($4.35) per month. Amazon bundles its video and music streaming services with its Prime membership.
“We’ve been seeing nice steady increases in engagement with our Indian viewers that we think we can keep building on. Growth in that country is a marathon, so we’re in it for the long haul,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said.