Bomb threat spurs evacuation at Facebook’s Silicon Valley campus

Facebook's campus is seen on the edge of the San Francisco Bay in Menlo Park, California in this aerial photo taken January 13, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 12 December 2018

Bomb threat spurs evacuation at Facebook’s Silicon Valley campus

  • Another Silicon Valley company to face a security threat in the recent past was YouTube
  • Facebook and police said everyone was safe

SAN FRANCISCO: A bomb threat prompted authorities on Tuesday to evacuate a building at the Silicon Valley headquarters of Facebook Inc. near San Francisco, police said, but hours after a sweep of the structure began there was no word of explosives found.
The New York Police Department received an anonymous tip about a bomb threat regarding Facebook’s campus in Menlo Park, California, and alerted local authorities at about 4:30 p.m., said Nicole Acker, a spokeswoman for the Menlo Park police.
Acker said the evacuation was confined to a three-story facility on campus that she said was not the headquarters building, but a company spokesman said by email that “a few” buildings on the site had been evacuated.
Shortly before 8 p.m., San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad investigators with dogs trained to detect explosives were still combing the building in question and the evacuation remained in effect, Acker told Reuters by telephone.
But Facebook and police said everyone was safe. Acker said she had received no information of anything suspicious having been found inside the building.
“This is what we do for any bomb threat. We have to be very thorough,” she added.
Another Silicon Valley company to face a security threat in the recent past was YouTube. In May, a woman opened fire at its headquarters in San Francisco, wounding three people before she shot herself dead.


Arab films set for Red Sea Film Festival screening

Updated 24 February 2020

Arab films set for Red Sea Film Festival screening

  • MBC Group to support young film makers with training from industry professionals

LONDON: Young Arab film makers will have the opportunity to have their work showcased at next month’s Red Sea International Film Festival as investment in Saudi cinema gathers pace.

The Red Sea International Film Festival has announced a partnership with MBC Group, which will also broadcast the event’s opening ceremony on March 12.

As part of the deal, MBC Al Amal, MBC’s corporate social responsibility arm, will hold a Shorts pitch competition.

Ten short film projects will be selected from Saudi Arabia and the MENA region, with filmmakers being given a one-day workshop to prepare for a pitching session. 

Italian director and producer Stefano Tealdi will train the candidates to strengthen their skills and give them tips for better pitches, MBC said.

“We strongly believe that this new generation of talent is key in influencing change and creating the difference to the region’s media and entertainment content landscape, which of course includes independent film and mainstream cinema,” said Peter Smith, managing director of MBC Studios.

The region’s biggest broadcaster will also host talent days on March 17 and 18 to support Saudi scriptwriters, directors and producers.

The inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival takes place March 12-21 in Jeddah Old Town, under the theme “Changing the Script.” It aims to support and help grow Saudi Arabia’s emerging film industry which is attracting a slew of investment from homegrown dramas shot in the Kingdom to the construction of cinemas countrywide.

Real estate broker CBRE estimates that 45 new cinemas are expected to open this year.

The boom in cinema construction coincides with a push to develop the domestic Saudi film industry.

That is being driven by both the big and small screen as video-on-demand players that include MBC, Netflix and Amazon compete to deliver content that speaks to a young Arab audience.