World media’s failure to cover Houthi terror in Yemen fuels more attacks: correspondent

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Updated 10 June 2021

World media’s failure to cover Houthi terror in Yemen fuels more attacks: correspondent

World media’s failure to cover Houthi terror in Yemen fuels more attacks: correspondent
  • On June 5, a Houthi ballistic missile killed 21 civilians, including a 5-year-old girl

CHICAGO: The mainstream news media’s failure to fully cover violence in Yemen is preventing peace and fueling the continued Iran-backed Houthi violence there, veteran Yemeni journalist Saeed Al-Batati said Wednesday.

Al-Batati, a war correspondent for Arab News in Yemen, said that the absence of aggressive media coverage was a contributing factor in why the Houthis have rejected peace and continued their bloody violence. Some media have covered the violence but the reporting has been sparse, he said.

Saudi Arabia, which is leading a coalition of forces to stem the Houthi violence, unveiled a peace plan that was hailed as having the ability to help bring the conflict to a non-violent end. But the Houthis, without world pressure, rejected the plan and stepped up ballistic missile and drone strikes against civilian targets.

On June 5, a Houthi ballistic missile that many believe was supplied by Iran hit a gas station in Marib, killing 21 civilians, including a 5-year-old girl, and seriously wounding dozens more.

The emboldened Houthis doubled-down on their terrorism by sending a bomb-ladened drone to strike the ambulances and first responders sent to aid the victims.

 

“That was the deadliest attack and Houthi strike in areas that matter. A group of people, dozens of people were queuing outside a gas station to refuel. Then there was Taher Mohammed and his daughter Lian,” Al-Batati said.

“Suddenly a missile strike — a ballistic missile, local people said — a ballistic missile ripped through the area triggering an explosion. And when the people came, when the ambulances and first responders came to take the wounded, another explosion occurred there. Some said it was due to a ballistic missile, others said no, it was an explosive-laden drone. The strike killed at least 21 people, according to official figures. And then this horrible picture of a completely distraught father hugging his daughter.”

The image of Lian Mohammed’s charred remains shocked many but did not attract the coverage that violence in other areas of the region has received, Al-Batati said.

The Houthis denied the Marib attack took place, insisting that their assault targeted a government military base. But journalists at the scene confirmed the civilian deaths.

“This incident reminded me of another incident in January 2020 when the mood was high for a possible peace deal to end the war. Everyone was talking about the air strikes by the Arab coalition or planes dropping significantly,” Al-Batati said.

 

“We thought that we were close to a settlement, I mean a peace settlement to end the war. Suddenly, a deadly missile strike by the Houthis killed more than 100 soldiers and civilians in Marib. Now people are talking about heavy diplomatic efforts to end the war. We are happy that this war might come to an end soon because of these diplomatic efforts. And suddenly this tragic incident in Marib brings us back to the same area.”

In both cases, Al-Battati said, the failure of the media to give adequate coverage to the violence has allowed the Houthis to deny their terrorism and has muted world outrage. The result, he said, is that the Houthis are emboldened to inflict more death and destruction while denying their violence.

“If the deadly missile strike in Marib had happened somewhere else, or had been by the Arab coalition warplanes, there would have been much, much more coverage,” Al-Batati said.

“Other than some news wires, that was not much coverage … I don’t know why but Yemen is not getting much attention like other conflicts in the region such as Syria. This is what we see.”

  • Al-Batati was a guest on “The Ray Hanania Radio Show” which is hosted by the US Arab Radio Network and sponsored by Arab News newspaper. The radio show is broadcast live in Detroit on WNZK AM 690 radio and in Washington D.C. on WDMV AM 700 radio. The program was streamed live at Facebook.com/ArabNews and on at ArabRadio.us.

WEF unveils Global Collaboration Village to improve public-private cooperation

WEF unveils Global Collaboration Village to improve public-private cooperation
Updated 23 May 2022

WEF unveils Global Collaboration Village to improve public-private cooperation

WEF unveils Global Collaboration Village to improve public-private cooperation

DAVOS: An initiative to improve the functionality of the metaverse and increase public engagement within it was announced at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Monday.

The Global Collaboration Village, which was launched in partnership with Accenture and Microsoft, will improve public-private cooperation, a WEF statement said.

The initiative will provide immersive spaces where stakeholders can convene, create and take action on critical global challenges, it added.

“The metaverse will influence the way people, governments, companies and society at large think, work, interact and communicate for the purpose of collectively addressing issues on the global agenda,” said Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of WEF. 

“The Global Collaboration Village will be an extension of the World Economic Forum’s public private platforms and in-person meetings and will provide a more open, more sustained and more comprehensive process for coming together,” he added.

Julie Sweet, Chairwoman and CEO of Accenture, said: “While the metaverse is only in its early days, it already holds great promise, not only for redefining how organizations work and interact but also for fostering effective public-private partnerships.”

According to the statement, WEF wants to be a pioneer within the metaverse space and bring together others to co-create within it.


Digital Cooperation Organization to attend World Economic Forum this week

Digital Cooperation Organization to attend World Economic Forum this week
Updated 23 May 2022

Digital Cooperation Organization to attend World Economic Forum this week

Digital Cooperation Organization to attend World Economic Forum this week

DAVOS: The Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO) is sending a delegation to attend the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos this week.

The delegation led by Secretary-General Deemah Al-Yahya  will lead discussions around generating prosperity through digital FDI.

The DCO, which focuses on digital economy initiatives supporting youth, startup entrepreneurs and women, has nine member states with  a combined GDP of nearly $2 trillion and a population of nearly 600 million. It was founded by Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. 

With 70 percent of future economic growth set to be digital, DCO member states provide a valuable market opportunity to investors and entrepreneurs alike.

In Davos, the DCO will sign a major multilateral agreement on the digital economy, with further details to be revealed at the summit. 

It will host an event on Accelerating Digital Prosperity, bringing together some of the world’s leading players in digital investment from across the government and private sector spheres. Its secretary-general will participate in further events on the digital economy.

The World Economic Forum, a nonprofit organization which brings together Business, tech and political leaders from around the world,  kicked off in Davos on Sunday to discuss the world’s foremost challenges and opportunities.


Six Saudis make list of Arab world’s most inspirational businesswomen

Princess Lamia Bint Majed Al-Saud
Princess Lamia Bint Majed Al-Saud
Updated 21 May 2022

Six Saudis make list of Arab world’s most inspirational businesswomen

Princess Lamia Bint Majed Al-Saud
  • Princess Lamia Bint Majed Al-Saud among 50 recognized by Arabian Business magazine

LONDON: Six trailblazing Saudis have been named among Arabian Business magazine’s 50 most inspirational businesswomen.

The list, published last week, recognizes women who have used their influence, experience and ambition to make a mark in the region.

All of the Saudi women honored have made a significant contribution to the Kingdom’s evolving landscape, in fields as diverse as architecture and philanthropy.

Among them was Princess Lamia Bint Majed Al-Saud, the secretary general and member of the board of trustees at Alwaleed Philanthropies, who is regarded as a pioneer of women’s empowerment in Saudi Arabia.

Winner of the Achievement in Philanthropy prize at the Arab Woman of the Year Awards in 2017, the princess launched her own publishing company in 2003, which now produces three magazines from Dubai, Cairo and Beirut.

Given that female empowerment in the Kingdom is an integral part of Saudi Vision 2030, it was no surprise to see Mae Al-Mozaini, founder and CEO of The Arab Institute for Women’s Empowerment, on this year’s Arabian Business list.

Al-Mozaini is also the founder of Nusf, a social enterprise dedicated to helping advance the economic and social well-being of women across the Arab world.

Ghada Othman Alrumayan, group chief marketing and communications officer at ROSHN, was another inspiring business leader to make the list.

A national community developer and Public Investment Fund project, ROSHN is responsible for implementing one of the largest residential real estate projects in the Kingdom.

The three other Saudi women to be recognized were Mona Althagafi, Rabaa Abdulaziz Al-Othaim and Rasha Al-Hoshan.

As country director for Saudi Arabia at Serco, Althagafi is responsible for steering the British company’s growth in the Kingdom. With more than 20 years’ experience, she has held various positions within government and the private sector.

Engineer and founder of 4A Architects, Al-Othaim was recognized for her outstanding work in the Kingdom’s health, hospitality, residential and commercial sectors.

Owner and founder of interior design company Rasha Al-Hoshan Est, Al-Hoshan holds degrees in interior design and architecture from some of the world’s top universities. She is also responsible for introducing leading furniture brands like Nada Debs, Fendi Casa and B&B Italia to the Saudi market.

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TikTok plans big push into gaming, conducting tests in Vietnam

Featuring games on its platform would boost advertising revenue as well as the amount of time users spend on the app. (File/AFP)
Featuring games on its platform would boost advertising revenue as well as the amount of time users spend on the app. (File/AFP)
Updated 20 May 2022

TikTok plans big push into gaming, conducting tests in Vietnam

Featuring games on its platform would boost advertising revenue as well as the amount of time users spend on the app. (File/AFP)

HONG KONG/HANOI: TikTok has been conducting tests so users can play games on its video-sharing app in Vietnam, part of plans for a major push into gaming, four people familiar with the matter said.
Featuring games on its platform would boost advertising revenue as well as the amount of time users spend on the app - one of the world's most popular with more than 1 billion monthly active users.
Boasting a tech-savvy population with 70% of its citizens under the age of 35, Vietnam is an attractive market for social media platforms such as TikTok, Meta Platforms Inc's Facebook and Alphabet Inc's YouTube and Google.
TikTok, which is owned by China's ByteDance, also plans to roll out gaming more widely in Southeast Asia, the people said. That move could come as early as the third quarter, said two of them.
The sources declined to be identified as the information has yet to be publicly disclosed.
A TikTok representative said the company has tested bringing HTML5 games, a common form of minigame, to its app through tie-ups with third-party game developers and studios such as Zynga Inc. But it declined to comment on its plans for Vietnam or its broader gaming ambitions.
"We're always looking at ways to enrich our platform and regularly test new features and integrations that bring value to our community," the representative said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
ByteDance did not respond to a request for comment.
Reuters was not able to learn TikTok's plans for rolling out gaming features in other markets. Although TikTok users can watch games being streamed, in most regions they are not able to play games within the TikTok app.
In the United States, only a few games appear to have been launched including Zynga's "Disco Loco 3D", a music and dance challenge game and "Garden of Good", where players grow vegetables to trigger donations by TikTok to the non-profit Feeding America.
According to two sources, TikTok plans to draw primarily on ByteDance's suite of games.
While the company will start with minigames, which tend to have simple game play mechanisms and a short playing time, its gaming ambitions extend beyond that, said one of the people who had direct knowledge of the matter.
TikTok will require a licence to feature games on its platform in Vietnam where authorities restrict games depicting gambling, violence, and sexual content. The process is expected to go smoothly as the games planned are not controversial, the person said.
Vietnam's foreign and communications ministries did not respond to requests for comment.
Users of ByteDance's Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, have been able to play games on the platform since 2019.
TikTok's games are likely to carry advertisements from the start, with revenue split between ByteDance and game developers, a separate source said.
TikTok's foray into games mirrors similar efforts made by major tech firms seeking to retain users. Facebook launched Instant Games in 2016 and streaming firm Netflix also recently added games to its platform.
It also marks the latest ByteDance effort to establish itself as a major contender in gaming. It acquired Shanghai-based gaming studio Moonton Technology last year, putting it in direct competition with Tencent, China's biggest gaming firm.
Even without gaming, TikTok has seen advertising revenue surge. Its advertising revenue is likely to triple this year to more than $11 billion, exceeding the combined sales of Twitter Inc and Snap Inc, according to research firm Insider Intelligence.


Egyptian journalists launch award in honor of slain Palestinian reporter Shireen Abu Akleh

Egyptian journalists launch award in honor of slain Palestinian reporter Shireen Abu Akleh
Palestine’s envoy to Cairo tells memorial service that Abu Akleh’s ‘martyrdom will not be in vain’. (File/AFP)
Updated 19 May 2022

Egyptian journalists launch award in honor of slain Palestinian reporter Shireen Abu Akleh

Egyptian journalists launch award in honor of slain Palestinian reporter Shireen Abu Akleh
  • Palestine’s envoy to Cairo tells memorial service that Abu Akleh’s ‘martyrdom will not be in vain’
  • Egypt foreign ministry condemns ‘assassination’ of media veteran and Al-Jazeera correspondent

CAIRO: The Egyptian Journalists Syndicate will honor the late Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh with a special category in the Egyptian Press Awards bearing her name.

The award will be based on coverage of Palestine.

Syndicate head Diaa Rashwan said that Abu Akleh’s death had caused an emotional outpouring in the Arab world and around the globe.

The veteran Palestinian journalist, who worked for the Qatari Al-Jazeera network, was covering an Israeli army security operation in Jenin camp when she was shot and killed on May 11.

During an Egyptian Journalists Syndicate memorial service for Abu Akleh at the union’s headquarters, Rashwan promised that a section would be added to the site entrance bearing models of press martyrs, including Abu Akleh.

Egyptian journalists observed a minute’s silence for Abu Akleh during the memorial ceremony, which was attended by Palestine’s Ambassador to Egypt, Diab Al-Louh.

Abu Akleh’s martyrdom will not be forgotten in Arab and international history, Al-Louh said.

He told the Egyptian journalists that “Shireen’s blood will not be in vain.”

The envoy declared “May 11, the day of the martyrdom of the Palestinian journalist, is an international day of solidarity with the Palestinian press.”

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing its “condemnation in the strongest terms of the heinous crime of assassination of the late Palestinian journalist and Al-Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh.”