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

Qatar asked to shutdown Al-Jazeera

Qatar faces another setback after Arabian states asked Qatar to shut down Al Jazeera and cut off its ties with Iran, these demands have increased the already widening tension between Qatar and other Arabian states.

Al Jazeera responded to the demand by stating that anyone who wants to shut down Al Jazeera wants to silence the freedom of expression in the region. Al Jazeera has been the most popular channel of the Middle East and has a global outreach Other channels funded by Qatar including  Arabi21, Rassd, Al Araby Al Jadeed and the Middle EastEye are also been asked to shut down.

However, the demands do not portray what they would do if Qatar is unable to shutdown Qatar’s foreign ministry has refused to provide any comments and a statement is supposed to be made on Friday. A time period of 10 days has been given to Qatar to do so. Qatar has earlier been alleged by the Arabian countries to have ties with terrorist’s organizations. This includes the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Jabhat Fateh al Sham. Qatar has strongly reacted against it by calling it as “unjustified” and “baseless”. The three weeks of the embargo has seen a closure of borders and airways to Qatar, as a result of which Qatar is going through a financial crunch.

News Sources- Al Jazeera, The Guardian 

Qatar under pressure to shutdown Al-Jazeera

Qatar faces another setback after Arabian states asked Qatar to shutdown Al Jazeera and cut of its ties with Iran, these demands have increased the already widening tension between Qatar and other Arabian states.

Al Jazeera responded to the demand by stating that anyone who wants to shutdown Al Jazeera wants to silence the freedom of expression in the region. Al Jazeera has been the most popular channel of the middle east and have a global outreach Other channels funded by Qatar including  Arabi21, Rassd, Al Araby Al Jadeed and Middle East Eye are also been asked to shut down.

However, the demands do not portray what they would do if Qatar is unable to shutdown Qatar’s foreign ministry has refused to provide any comments and a statement is supposed to be made on Friday.

A time period of 10 days has been given to Qatar to do so. Qatar has earlier been alleged by the Arabian countries to have ties with terrorist’s organizations.

This includes the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Jabhat Fateh al Sham. Qatar has strongly reacted against it by calling it as “unjustified” and “baseless”. The three weeks of embargo has seen closure of borders and airways to Qatar, as a result of which Qatar is going through a financial crunch.

Source:

Al-Jazeera, Guardian

Image Source: CNN

Arab Allied Forces Captured Yemeni Red sea-islands from Houthis, Saleh

Source: http://yemenflag.facts.co/yemenflagof/yemenflag.php
The Yemen Flag

Image Source: Yemen Flag Facts

 

Saudi led allied forces have seized a Yemeni Red Sea archipelago controlled and used by Iran-allied forces. These islands were used to smuggle and store weapons into Yemen.

This coalition has been trying to capture this archipelago since September 2014. Houthis controls most of the former northern Yemen from Tiaz in the south to Saada in the north which gives then clear access to the coast. The main objective behind seizing these islands was to dislodge the Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Another reason being, to restore Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.

Fishermen informed Reuters by that the islands had been exposed to weeks of heavy bombing by Arab forces before being seized.

The archipelago was the subject of territorial dispute between Yemen and Eritrea, which captured the archipelago in the 1990s, until a London-based international arbitration court granted Yemen sovereignty in 1998.

Sources: Reuters

Female genital mutilation “almost universal”: UNCF

Africa: The tradition of female genital mutilation has seen no downfall in the past years. The ritual is still practiced in 29 countries in Africa and Middle East. Although genital cutting is on the decline, the practice remains “almost universal” in some countries, said the report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, released on Monday.

The 3000 year old practice is killing girls on a large rate. The figures of the girls dying in this practice are not recorded nor known to people. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation, and 30 million more girls are at risk in the next decade, UNICEF said. It is a known fact that the ritual is considered as religious obligation by Muslim groups in few countries and also linked to aesthetics in Egypt.

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Common Practice
Common Practice | Image Source: French Tribune