Fake news watch: Armageddon and bogus books

Reports on social media of an asteroid collision at the beginning of February have been dismissed as rumors. (Shutterstock/NASA)
Updated 24 January 2019
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Fake news watch: Armageddon and bogus books

  • The Union of Egyptian Publishers has stated that a viral social media post showing a book cover with an inappropriate title is unreal
  • Alleged reports on social media platforms claiming that an asteroid collision will take place at the beginning of February are mere rumors

1 A post showing a book with a title deemed offensive by some went viral in Egypt. It was apparently published by a fake publishing house.
The Union of Egyptian Publishers has stated that a viral social media post showing a book cover with an inappropriate title is unreal.
A post showing a book cover by a fake publishing house named “Al-Mohazaboon” aka “The Polite,” went viral in Egypt.
The union, headed by Saeed Abdou, denied that such a book exists and that no publishing house was registered at the union under this name.
He added that news about unveiling the book at Egypt’s upcoming international book fair was unfounded.
“We’ve seen on social media posts about this book being the book fair’s upcoming surprise...”
“After looking into the matter we found that no publishing house with this name is registered at the union ... and that we’ve never heard of it.”

2 Reports of end of world greatly exaggerated.
The head of the Jeddah Astronomy Society, Eng. Majid Abu Zahra, said alleged reports on social media platforms claiming that an asteroid collision will take place at the beginning of February are mere rumors.
The rumors claimed that the collision of asteroid NT7 2002 with Earth will take place on Feb. 1, 2019 and cause a “global catastrophe.”
According to the Saudi Sabq website, Abu Zahra added that asteroid NT7 2002 was discovered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on July 9, 2002, and it was observed that, unlike most asteroids orbiting the Sun at the same planetary level, in every 2.29 years, the asteroid sweeps through the inner part of our solar system, not far from Earth’s orbit.
NASA has announced that the asteroid is not considered a danger by the space agency since Aug. 1, 2002. However, conspiracy theorists who remain unconvinced continue publishing online content claiming that the world will end on Feb. 1, 2019.


French court throws out Qatari-owned beIN Sports’ ‘unproven’ broadcast piracy claim against Arabsat

Updated 1 min 46 sec ago
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French court throws out Qatari-owned beIN Sports’ ‘unproven’ broadcast piracy claim against Arabsat

  • The court rejected beIN’s allegations and demanded that beIN pay a fine of €6,000 to Arabsat’s adviser

LONDON: The Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris has thrown out beIN Media group’s allegations against the Arab Satellite Communications Organisation — better known as Arabsat.

The French court rejected beIN’s allegations and demanded that beIN pay a fine of €6,000 to Arabsat’s adviser, and the prosecution costs of Arabsat amounting to €25,000.

Arabsat said it welcomed the ruling, which made clear there was no link between Arabsat and piracy.

The court said beIN had failed to demonstrate “clear illegal disruption or prove immediate risk of commercial damage.”

In a statement issued after the conclusion of the legal proceedings in Paris, the satellite company said that it respected the integrity of the French judiciary and was pleased with how skillfully and professionally the allegations of Qatar’s Al Jazeera subsidiary, beIN Sports, were addressed.

“The French judiciary’s ruling, rejecting beIN’s lawsuit and allegations against Arabsat, has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt our organization’s valid position from day one, despite beIN Sport’s attempts to cast doubt on that position; its media smear campaign; and its relentless attempts to push bogus and misleading claims,” Arabsat said in a statement following the ruling.

It marks the latest legal chapter in a long running feud that has produced claim and counter claim.  In a press release issued on May 2, 2018 beIN accused Arabsat of “facilitation of satellite broadcasts by the notorious Saudi-based piracy network, cynically known as “beoutQ”.

Founded in 1976, Arabsat has grown to become the leading satellite services provider in the Arab world.

It broadcasts over 500 TV channels, 200 radio stations, pay-tv networks as well as HD channels to millions of homes across 80 countries.

It has an estimated audience of over 170 million viewers in the Middle East and North Africa.

Doha-based beIN was founded in 2014 and operates 60 channels in 43 countries.