Ban Over Internet Calls Lifted in Saudi Arabia


The ban that Saudi Arabia had imposed on call applications has been removed. The lift over the ban will be effected from Wednesday onwards. The nation has banned Whatsaap and Skype and other similar apps as they did not comply with their “regulations.” These apps fall under the Voice over Internet Protocol ( VoIP), which the ministry of communications has finally made available to the conservative country.

Since 2011, the restrictions over the internet have increased. In 2013 the Saudi government even explained the reason for the ban stating that they wished to protect their society from negative aspects that harm public interest. They also justified the ban saying it would boost the economical conditions of the state. Reportedly, resident of Saudi Arabia found a way around the ban by using a virtual private network (VPN). But the calls faced connectivity issues often.
Saudi’s three major telecom companies will expectantly take a hit, because of the volume of international calls that are made by a population of 12 million foreigners living there. Saudi Arabia is famous for having blocked several websites and its online censorship- not just pornographic sites but also several other sites that are not supportive of Israel or their country. This is in accordance with the strategy of the crown prince, Mohmmed Bin Salman to breathe some fresh air into all sectors of the economy.
Source: BBC, Telegraph

Saudi Arabia lifts ban on internet calling apps

The Saudi Arabian administration has lifted the ban on voice calls on Skype, WhatsApp and other applications. Voice and video calling apps such as WhatsApp and Skype will be “widely available to users”, said the government in a statement on Tuesday, September 19. “Access to VoIP (voice over internet protocol) will reduce operational costs and spur digital entrepreneurship – that’s why it is such an important step in the Kingdom’s internet regulation,” said the government further. The objective of this move is to improve business confidence and encourage entrepreneurship as the kingdom transitions into a post-oil era.

The ban was justified by the Saudi Arabian administration in 2013 to “protect society from any negative aspects that could harm the public interest”.

The telecom regulator in Saudi said that residents would be able to use internet voice and video call services from midnight but some residents said that they were able to use Skype and Facetime from early Wednesday morning. Earlier many people in the country used virtual private networks (VPN) to get around the ban , although calls made through VPNs were slow and often crashed.

The lifting of the ban has come after the crown prince of Saudi, Mohammad Bin Salman, launched an ambitious national strategy to diversify the country’s economy and wean it off its dependence on oil.

The strategy, known as Vision 2030, aims at bringing up new economic sectors like tourism, entertainment and telecoms.

Sources: The Telegraph UK, Scroll

Mexico struck by second earthquake, more than 200 killed

A massive earthquake reportedly hit Mexico on Tuesday afternoon, killing an estimated 216 people. The casualties were revised to 248 later as fresh reports arrived.The tremors shook Mexico City and the neighbouring states of Puebla, Mexico and Morelos. Scores of people were killed and left trapped beneath buildings, including a school that collapsed in the capital city.

The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.1 with its epicenter at a distance of 2.8 miles from San Juan Raboso and 34.1 miles in the southwest direction of Puebla. Just in the previous week, tremors of 8.1 magnitude had struck the southern coastline of Mexico leaving 90 dead in its wake. Soon after the quake was felt, thousands of soldiers, rescuers and civilians, many of whom were college students rushed to save people stuck in emergency situations, buried under heaps of the rubble. People ran onto the roads as buildings fell, glasses shattered and gas leaks left strange smells in the air. In several portions of the worst-hit parts, you could see the damage almost immediately as was in the case of the airport.
The date of this earthquake falls on the anniversary of another great disaster from the past. On September 19th, 1985 when another earthquake of 8.0 magnitude had hit Mexico killing 9,500 people in the vicinity of Mexico City. The quake had led the country to incorporate several preventive changes and mitigation measures.
President Enrique Pena Nieto issued a statement declaring that the country was facing another emergency on a national level.

Bhutan and Japan bilateral relationship have benefited both

Bhutan and Japan bilateral relationship have benefitted both the countries, according to Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) executive senior vice president, Kazuhiko Koshikawa. He was in the country for a four-day visit from September 15 to18.

Kazuhiko Koshikawa said that the Japanese learned a lot from Bhutan in terms of Gross National Happiness (GNH) concept. “We work too many hours and the idea of happiness shocked our people,” he said. “That’s why today many people in Japan talk about GNH.”

He said young Japanese volunteers, who stay in the country learn GNH. “This is Bhutan’s contribution in developing the human resources of Japan.”

Kazuhiko Koshikawa also said that His Majesty the King’s speech in 2011 was the inspiration to the Japanese people. “Japan has learned many lessons over the years as it developed.”

He said the machinery that Japan donated about 40 years ago was still in use indicating proper care and maintenance. “The taxpayers in Japan would be happy to know that their money has been used productively.”

News Sources- Kuensel Online

Hafiz Saeed’s JuD a terrorist organisation to contest in Pakistan general election in 2018

Hafiz Saeed a man behind Mumbai terror attack will contest in Pakistan general election in 2018. His venture into Pakistan’s political scene announcement was made after its candidate finished third in a crucial by-poll.

In the month of August, the Hafiz Saeed’s outfit Jammat-ud-Dawah (JuD) announced the launching of Milli Muslim League (MML), which was formed at a time when Saeed was detained in Lahore. Sheikh Yaqoob, a JuD-backed candidate recently lost to Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of overthrown Prime minister Nawaz Sharif from a parliamentary seat that fell vacant after Supreme Court disqualified him. Yaqoob desired to contest election from MML that was launched just before NA-120 by-pool but could not achieve, as it is yet to be registered political party by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

It was stated that the MML wants to strengthen Pakistan against its enemies like India, USA, and Israel, with the mentality to improve the basic livelihood of the people. JuD was tagged as a terrorist organization in 2014 by the USA and has a bounty of USD 10 million on the head of its leader.

News Sources- Times of India

President Donald Trump shares US spotlight at UN Gathering with Ambassador to the United Nations

The President of United States of America, Donald Trump will take his first world stage at the United Nations this week along with his envoy Nikki Haley the public face of US foreign policy.  The diplomat says MS Haley, the then governor of South Carolina has stood out as a high-profile member of president trumps administration, out-casting the secretary of the state Mr. Rex Tillerson despite lack of experience in foreign policy.  A senior European diplomat said, for the US Nikki Haley is remarkable and someone who is very approachable and politically very assertive. Which is hard to find in the Trump administration.

Ms. Haley has a potential to take over from Mr. Tillerson at some point and can see her long-term objective is for the presidency, the diplomat said. Though Ms. Haley dismisses speculation and told Mr. Tillerson is not going anywhere and she use to work well with him.  President Trump’s speech on Tuesday at the UN General Assembly will serve as the privilege to explain his foreign policy vision expressed in his America First agenda.

News Sources- NDTV, DNA

Aung San Syuu Kyi breaks her silence over communal turmoil in Myanmar

Aung San Suu Kyi in a 30 minute televised speech reached out to the global community for support in a refugee crises that the UN has labelled “ethnic cleansing”, gathering outsiders to help her unite her Nation across ethnic and religious lines.

Communal brutality since August 25 has left hundreds dead and driving more than 410,000 of the Rohingya minority from Myanmar into Bangladesh.

“Despise and dread are the primary scourges of our reality,” she said  “We don’t need Myanmar to be a country isolated by religious convictions or ethnicity”.

While expressing her distress for “all” crowds dislodged by savagery, she said her Nation stood prepared “whenever” to reclaim displaced people subject to a “confirmation” process.

It was not promptly clear what number of the evaluated 410,000 Rohingya who have fled Myanmar would fit the bill to return.

The UN has blamed Myanmar’s armed forces for “ethnic purging” over a campaign of claimed murder and arson that has left scores of Rohingya towns in ash.

The military denies that, demanding its operations are a relative reaction to the late August assaults by Rohingya activists, who they mark as “extremist Bengali terrorists”.

Sources: Reuters, NDTV