Jordanian journalists stage sit-in after Al-Jazeera journalist killed in Jenin  

Special Jordanian journalists stage sit-in after Al-Jazeera journalist killed in Jenin  
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Journalists protest the “assassination” of Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist with Al Jazeera, who was killed in the West Bank town of Jenin, May 11, 2022. (AN Photo)
Special Jordanian journalists stage sit-in after Al-Jazeera journalist killed in Jenin  
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Journalists protest the “assassination” of Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist with Al Jazeera, who was killed in the West Bank town of Jenin, May 11, 2022. (AN Photo)
Special Jordanian journalists stage sit-in after Al-Jazeera journalist killed in Jenin  
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Journalists protest the “assassination” of Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist with Al Jazeera, who was killed in the West Bank town of Jenin, May 11, 2022. (AN Photo)
Special Jordanian journalists stage sit-in after Al-Jazeera journalist killed in Jenin  
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Journalists pay their last respects to Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist with Al Jazeera, who was killed in the West Bank town of Jenin, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo)
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Updated 11 May 2022

Jordanian journalists stage sit-in after Al-Jazeera journalist killed in Jenin  

Jordanian journalists stage sit-in after Al-Jazeera journalist killed in Jenin  
  • The journalists were joined by lawmakers and colleagues from Arab and foreign media organizations
  • They said they hold Israel accountable for the killing of Abu Akleh, calling for an international probe into what they described as a crime

AMMAN: Jordanian journalists staged a sit-in on Wednesday to protest the “assassination” of Al-Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin earlier that day.

The journalists were joined by lawmakers, and colleagues from Arab and foreign media organizations working in Jordan.

The journalists said they hold Israel accountable for the killing of Abu Akleh, calling for an international probe into what they described as a crime.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Abu Akleh was shot early on Wednesday while covering an Israeli military operation in Jenin and died soon after.

The ministry added that a Palestinian journalist working for the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds newspaper was stable after being wounded during the same raid.

The Jordanian Press Association (JPA) condemned the “assassination” of Abu Akleh, while Al-Jazeera said that it would “sue Israel at the International Criminal Court for the murder of Abu Akleh.”

Al-Jazeera bureau chief Hassan Shoubaki said Abu Akleh was directly targeted by Israeli forces and was hit in the head by a live bullet, describing the killing of the veteran reporter as a “premeditated and first-degree crime.”

In a statement, Al-Jazeera accused the Israeli authorities of a “blatant murder, violating international laws and norms.”

JPA council member Khaled Qudah described Israel as the “enemy of the truth,” saying that Israeli authorities have long targeted journalists and killed many of them.

“The killing of Abu Akleh was a crime, and Israel has to be sued for this,” Qudah said.

The founder and director of the Amman-based Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists, Nidal Mansour, said, “Israeli occupation troops have killed more than 1,000 journalists in Palestinian Territories and injured more than 7,000.”

Mansour also said Israel should be sued for its violations of human rights and press freedoms.

The Jordanian government also denounced the “assassination” of Abu Akleh, describing the killing of a journalist wearing a press vest as a “blatant violation of international law.”

Meanwhile, the Israeli military said its forces came under attack with heavy gunfire and explosives while operating in Jenin, and that they fired back. It said it is “investigating the event and looking into the possibility that the journalists were hit by Palestinian gunmen.”


Russia’s watchdog imposes measures against TikTok, Telegram, Zoom, Discord, Pinterest

Russia’s watchdog imposes measures against TikTok, Telegram, Zoom, Discord, Pinterest
Updated 33 sec ago

Russia’s watchdog imposes measures against TikTok, Telegram, Zoom, Discord, Pinterest

Russia’s watchdog imposes measures against TikTok, Telegram, Zoom, Discord, Pinterest
  • Russia's watchdog Roskomnadzor fined the companies for failing to remove content that it had flagged as illegal
MOSCOW: Russia’s state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said on Friday that it was taking punitive measures against a string of foreign IT companies, including TikTok, Telegram, Zoom, Discord and Pinterest.
In a statement, Roskomnadzor said that the measures were in response to the companies’ failure to remove content that it had flagged as illegal, and would remain in place until they complied. It did not specify what measures would be taken.
Russia has repeatedly threatened to fine sites — including Google, that violate harsh new laws criminalizing the spreading of “false information” about the Russian army.
On Tuesday, Russian courts fined US-based live streaming service Twitch 2 million roubles ($33,000) and messenger service Telegram 11 million roubles ($179,000) for violating military censorship laws.

Subscribers fall out of love with streaming services

Subscribers fall out of love with streaming services
Updated 21 min 33 sec ago

Subscribers fall out of love with streaming services

Subscribers fall out of love with streaming services
  • As the ‘Watch, cancel, go’ trend gains popularity, streaming platforms need to be smarter to retain customers

LONDON: A study released in July by the US-based subscriber-measurement firm Antenna revealed that streaming video services are finding it increasingly difficult to retain their customer base as users are switching between platforms in order to save money, changing subscriptions depending on which service hosts the shows or movies they want to watch at the time.

According to Antenna’s study, 19 percent of subscribers to premium services including Netflix, Hulu, AppleTV+, HBO Max and Disney+, canceled three or more subscriptions in the two years up to June 2022, up from 6 percent in the previous two years.

The study also found that streaming services need to allocate huge amounts of resources and capital to produce new shows to keep subscribers satisfied.

“You constantly need new content,” said Michael Nathanson, an analyst for “independent research boutique” MoffettNathanson. “Streaming services not only have to build vast libraries of old shows and movies, they also need a couple of nice big theatrical movies every quarter to make (consumers) feel like it’s really valuable.”

When a highly anticipated show or movie is released, streaming-video providers see an increase in subscribers. However, many of these new consumers cancel their subscriptions after a short period of time.

This “Watch, cancel and go” trend poses a problem even for the largest companies in the sector, with experts claiming that attracting new customers is five times more expensive than retaining loyal subscribers.

“With new streaming services popping up every day and subscriber churn increasing, you must invest in subscriber retention and loyalty programs to survive and thrive,” said Alp Pekkocak, global head of industry solutions & strategy, media & entertainment at Salesforce. “It costs five times more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. Yet most companies spend the majority of their marketing budget trying to acquire new customers.

“The old cliché ‘Content is king’ still holds true. No matter how good a personalized recommendation engine or user experience is, consumers won’t stick around if they don’t find content that speaks to them,” he added.

Despite the increasing customer-defection rate, the appetite for streaming platforms remains high. Over the next few years, the number of subscribers is projected to grow with global revenue from TV series and movies expected to reach $224 billion in 2027, up from $135 billion in 2021, a report by Digital TV Research revealed.

However, as market competition intensifies with more players entering an already-crowded sector, streaming services will be faced not only with the challenge of winning new subscribers’ hearts but will have to be smarter about how they retain and offer value to their existing customers.


Elon Musk targets ad tech firms in Twitter suit over takeover deal

Elon Musk targets ad tech firms in Twitter suit over takeover deal
Updated 19 August 2022

Elon Musk targets ad tech firms in Twitter suit over takeover deal

Elon Musk targets ad tech firms in Twitter suit over takeover deal

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is attempting to walk away from his deal to acquire Twitter Inc. , is seeking documents from advertising technology firms as part of his quest to gain more information on bot and spam accounts on Twitter, according to filings in a Delaware court on Thursday.
Twitter has sued the Tesla chief executive, who has accused Twitter of hiding information about how it calculates the percentage of bots on the service, for attempting to walk away from the $44 billion agreement. A trial is scheduled for Oct. 17.

Musk’s lawyers have subpoenaed both Integral Ad Science (IAS) and DoubleVerify for any documents or communications on their involvement in reviewing accounts or participation in any audit of Twitter’s user base.
IAS and DoubleVerify, which are both based in New York, use technology to independently verify that digital ads are viewed by real people. Advertisers use the services to ensure the ads they pay for are seen by potential customers and not automated bots.


Twitter, IAS and DoubleVerify did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In response to a tweet by a user who questioned how Twitter audits its service and also linked to a Reuters story on Musk targeting the ad firms, Musk tweeted: “Those are the questions that Twitter is doing everything possible to avoid answering …“
In a countersuit earlier this month, Musk claimed that Twitter’s monetizable daily active users are 65 million lower than what the company has touted. Twitter has said it stands by its disclosures.
The metric measures users who log onto Twitter through the website or apps that are able to serve ads or used paid products like subscriptions, according to Twitter filings.


Apple warns of security flaw for iPhones, iPads and Macs

Apple warns of security flaw for iPhones, iPads and Macs
Updated 19 August 2022

Apple warns of security flaw for iPhones, iPads and Macs

Apple warns of security flaw for iPhones, iPads and Macs
  • Apple released two security reports about the issue on Wednesday

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple disclosed serious security vulnerabilities for iPhones, iPads and Macs that could potentially allow attackers to take complete control of these devices.

The company said it is “aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited.”

Apple released two security reports about the issue on Wednesday, although they didn’t receive wide attention outside of tech publications.

Security experts have advised users to update affected devices — the iPhones6S and later models; several models of the iPad, including the 5th generation and later, all iPad Pro models and the iPad Air 2; and Mac computers running MacOS Monterey. It also affects some iPod models.

Apple’s explanation of the vulnerability means a hacker could get “full admin access to the device” so that they can “execute any code as if they are you, the user,” said Rachel Tobac, CEO of SocialProof Security.

Those who should be particularly attentive to updating their software are “people who are in the public eye” such as activists or journalists who might be the targets of sophisticated nation-state spying, Tobac said.


StarzPlay partners with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait

StarzPlay partners with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait
Updated 18 August 2022

StarzPlay partners with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait

StarzPlay partners with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait
  • The telecoms company’s subscribers on selected plans will get free access to the streaming service
  • StarzPlay is one of Virgin’s first partners in Kuwait to offer free subscriptions bundled with mobile plans

DUBAI: Streaming platform StarzPlay has partnered with Virgin Mobile to offer the telecoms company’s subscribers in Kuwait free access to its library of movies and TV shows.

Virgin Mobile users who sign up for selected monthly, six-monthly or annual plans will receive a free StarzPlay subscription. The cost of eligible mobile plans range from 7 Kuwaiti dinars ($23) to 19 dinars a month.

StarzPlay is one of Virgin Mobile’s first partners in Kuwait to offer free subscriptions bundled with mobile plans as a value-added benefit for customers.

“Bolstering our telcos (telecommunications companies) portfolio has been a strong focus for us from the start,” said Raghida Abou Fadel, StarzPlay’s senior vice-president of business development and sales. “Virgin Mobile has been a strong partner for us across the region.”

Last year, for example, StarzPlay partnered with Virgin Mobile in Saudi Arabia to offer free subscriptions to customers with selected plans.

“We want to make content easily accessible for our subscribers in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, and partnering with local telco players offers us a great opportunity to reach and connect with newer audiences,” said Abou Fadel.

Benoit Janin, the CEO of Virgin Mobile, said: “Our continued partnership with StarzPlay highlights our commitment to providing excellence and additional benefits to our customers and we are excited to extend this partnership in Kuwait.”

StarzPlay is home to original shows such as “Baghdad Central,” “Power,” and “Vikings,” among others. It also offers Western classics such as “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Office,” as well as Arabic and anime content.

It ranks among the region’s top three subscription video-on-demand services, according to the company, and is available in 19 countries across the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan.