British broadcaster Sky News covers ‘unprecedented changes’ in Saudi Arabia

Women were allowed to attend football matches in Saudi Arabia for the first time in January. (AFP)
Updated 12 February 2018
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British broadcaster Sky News covers ‘unprecedented changes’ in Saudi Arabia

LONDON: Sky News has run a report on the “unprecedented changes” underway in Saudi Arabia, visiting a football match and speaking with women about ongoing reforms in the country.

The British news broadcaster’s diplomatic editor Dominic Waghorn visited KSA recently with a news crew, as one of the “first foreign news media to film one major change being implemented: Women being allowed to go to football matches.”

The Sky News journalist spoke to secondary school teacher “Nora” at a football match, with Waghorn asking what it meant to her to attend games. Nora told him: “It means that I am human.”

Waghorn also spoke with Madeha Al-Ajroush, a campaigner for women being allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. Ongoing reforms will see women permitted to drive from June this year.

Al-Ajroush told Sky News that when she is legally able to drive she will have “mixed emotions.”

“I will be ecstatic, I will be happy. I will be sad for all the years that passed in my life that I wasn’t able to do such (a) basic elementary step of mobility.

“At 18 women usually automatically get behind the wheel and drive and do their errands. I had to wait until I was 63.”

Waghorn reports that the liberal reforms are part of Vision 2030, the program of social and economic reforms spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Part of the program aims to give people more freedoms and entertainment, changes that include the reopening of cinemas and permitting concerts.


New Malaysian government repeals law banning ‘fake news’

Updated 16 August 2018
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New Malaysian government repeals law banning ‘fake news’

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Malaysia’s new government has repealed a widely criticized law prohibiting “fake news,” in a move hailed as a landmark moment for human rights by a group of Southeast Asian lawmakers.
The bill was passed in April under former Prime Minister Najib Razak despite concerns that it would be used to silence dissent ahead of a May 9 general election.
Najib’s long-ruling coalition was ousted in the polls, ushering in the country’s first transition of power since independence from Britain in 1957.
After an intense six-hour debate in Parliament and protest by lawmakers in Najib’s party, the law was repealed Thursday with a simple voice vote.