CNN fires analyst Marc Lamont Hill after UN speech on Israel

Marc Lamont Hill, a professor of media studies at Temple University who had been a recurring political commentator on CNN, called for countries to boycott Israel. (File/AFP)
Updated 30 November 2018
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CNN fires analyst Marc Lamont Hill after UN speech on Israel

  • Hill called for countries to boycott and divest from Israel
  • “I support Palestinian freedom,” Hill tweeted

NEW YORK: CNN on Thursday parted ways with contributor Marc Lamont Hill after a speech the college professor made on Israel and Palestine at the United Nations.
A CNN spokesperson confirmed Hill is no longer under contract. The network did not give a reason, but the move comes amid objections to Hill’s speech by the Anti-Defamation League and other groups.
Hill, a professor of media studies at Temple University who had been a recurring political commentator on CNN, called for countries to boycott and divest from Israel in the Wednesday speech given for the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
“We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grass-roots action, local action and international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea,” Hill said in the speech.
The ADL and others said the “river to the sea” phrase is code for the destruction of Israel often used by Hamas and groups bent on its destruction.
“Those calling for ‘from the river to the sea’ are calling for an end to the State of Israel,” the ADL’s Senior Vice President for International Affairs, Sharon Nazarian, said in a statement, adding that the annual event at the UN “promotes divisiveness and hate.”
Hill sent a series of tweets responding to his firing and defending his speech.
“My reference to ‘river to the sea’ was not a call to destroy anything or anyone,” Hill said on Twitter. “It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza. The speech very clearly and specifically said those things.”
“I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination,” Hill tweeted, adding, “I do not support anti-Semitism, killing Jewish people, or any of the other things attributed to my speech. I have spent my life fighting these things.”


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.