KSA hits back at Qatar tennis ‘smear campaign’

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A beautQ gadget is shown in this image shared on social media. (Twitter photo)
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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media announced it has become aware of inaccurate and irresponsible accusations made by the Wimbledon Championships regarding piracy when broadcasting beoutQ.
Updated 08 July 2018
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KSA hits back at Qatar tennis ‘smear campaign’

  • Wimbledon should have checked first instead of parotting allegations emanating from Al Jazeera Media Network and its subsidiary beIN Sports,” which are biased, says Saudi Media Ministry.
  • Given Al-Jazeera’s known role in supporting terrorism and its inability to provide any media content in KSA, the ministry urged sports associations to end their ties with beIN Sports and other Al-Jazeera entities.

JEDDAH: Qatar was accused on Saturday of using world tennis authorities to pursue a smear campaign against Saudi Arabia. 

Riyadh denied allegations that a television channel illegally showing Wimbledon tennis matches is based in the Kingdom. 

A statement issued on the Wimbledon website called for the immediate closure of beoutQ for broadcasting tennis without the right to do so.

“Wimbledon’s press release baselessly claims that beoutQ is based in Saudi Arabia and suggests that Saudi Arabia is somehow complicit in beoutQ’s broadcasts,” Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media said.

It said Saudi Arabia had “relentlessly” combated beoutQ’s activities in the Kingdom, and restated its commitment to protecting intellectual property rights. “Wimbledon’s allegations parrot those emanating from Al Jazeera Media Network and its subsidiary beIN Sports,” the ministry said. “Suggesting that Saudi Arabia is in any way complicit in beoutQ’s operation both offends the Saudi people and is a malicious lie. 

“Wimbledon and the various tennis associations know or should know that beginning in June 2017, the Saudi government banned all broadcasts by Al Jazeera and its affiliates because Al Jazeera is a media platform for terrorists to propagate their violent messages and to promote instability in the region.

“It used beIN Sports’s World Cup broadcasts to defame Saudi Arabia, the Saudi football federation, and national team. For these reasons Al Jazeera, beIN Sports and their affiliates will never again broadcast in Saudi Arabia.

“Given Al Jazeera’s known role in supporting terrorism and its inability to provide any media content in Saudi territory, the ministry urges Wimbledon and the tennis associations to end their relationships with beIN Sports and other Al Jazeera entities.”

The statement said "the government of Saudi Arabia is and will remain devoted to protecting IP rights within the country.” 

It noted that the Saudi Ministry of Commerce has seized thousands of set-top boxes that would otherwise be used to violate intellectual property (IP) in the country.

"While Al-Jazeera has repeatedly accused Arabsat (a quasi-governmental entity of the Arab League in Riyadh, established by 22 of its member states) of facilitating beoutQ’s transmissions, however, to date, Al-Jazeera has not provided any credible evidence that it has done so. To the contrary, Al-Jazeera has repeatedly pointed to the “unparalleled sophistication” with which beoutQ has easily overcome Al-Jazeera’s and beIN Sports’ state-of-the-art anti-piracy technology. Therefore, Wimbledon’s suggestion that Arabsat is facilitating or otherwise turning a blind eye to beoutQ’s operations is simply more Al-Jazeera propaganda," it said.

“We are disappointed that representatives of credible tennis associations are being used in the Wimbledon press release as mouthpieces by Al-Jazeera,” the statement added.

Al-Jazeera’s response to the ban has been to escalate a political campaign against Saudi Arabia. It has used beIN Sports’ 2018 FIFA World Cup broadcasts to defame the Kingdom, the Saudi Arabian football federation, and national team. 

Given Al-Jazeera’s known role in supporting terrorism and its inability to provide any media content in Saudi Arabian territory, the ministry urged Wimbledon and the tennis associations to end their relationships with beIN Sports and other Al-Jazeera entities.


Facebook’s Zuckerberg: No plans to resign

Updated 21 November 2018
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Facebook’s Zuckerberg: No plans to resign

  • Facebook has stumbled from one mess to another this year
  • Zuckerberg defended his company against the broader wave of flak it has taken this year

WASHINGTON: Embattled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday he has no plans to resign, sounding defiant after a rough year for the social platform.
“That’s not the plan,” Zuckerberg told CNN Business when asked if he would consider stepping down as chairman.
He also defended Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who has drawn criticism over her handling of the social media giant’s recent crises.
“Sheryl is a really important part of this company and is leading a lot of the efforts for a lot of the biggest issues we have,” said Zuckerberg.
“She’s been an important partner to me for 10 years. I’m really proud of the work we’ve done together and I hope that we work together for decades more to come.”
Facebook has stumbled from one mess to another this year as it grappled with continuing fallout from Russia’s use of the platform to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election, the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which user data was harnessed in a bid to help candidate Donald Trump, and a huge security breach involving millions of accounts.
Most recently, an investigative piece published last week by The New York Times said Facebook misled the public about what it knew about Russia’s election meddling and used a PR firm to spread negative stories about other Silicon Valley companies and thus deflect anger away from itself.
“It is not clear to me at all that the report is right,” Zuckerberg said of the Times article.
“A lot of the things that were in that report, we talked to the reporters ahead of time and told them that from everything that we’d seen, that wasn’t true and they chose to print it anyway.”
Zuckerberg also defended his company against the broader wave of flak it has taken this year.
“A lot of the criticism around the biggest issues has been fair, but I do think that if we are going to be real, there is this bigger picture as well, which is that we have a different world view than some of the folks who are covering us,” he said.
“There are big issues, and I’m not trying to say that there aren’t ... But I do think that sometimes, you can get the flavor from some of the coverage that that’s all there is, and I don’t think that that’s right either.”