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.”
RAMALLAH: Shock, anger and sadness flooded through the Palestinian territories following the killing of senior Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, 51, at the hands of the Israeli army early on Wednesday.
She was shot in the head on the outskirts of the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank by Israeli Defense Forces.
Israeli forces initially raised the possibility that Abu Akleh might have been killed by stray Palestinian fire, saying militants were also present in the area.
However, army chief Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi later stepped back from that assertion, saying that “at this stage, we cannot determine by whose fire she was harmed and we regret her death.”
Abu Akleh, 51, was a respected and familiar face in the Middle East, known for her coverage of the harsh realities of Israel’s military occupation for the past three decades.
The US State Department called her death “an affront to media freedom.”
Her producer, Palestinian journalist Ali Samoudi, was hospitalized in a stable condition after being shot in the back.
Samoudi told Arab News that at the time of the shooting, there were no Palestinian gunmen in the area. He described how they advanced up a street carrying their cameras and wearing bulletproof vests on which the “press” sign was visible in English. Samoudi said that there were no pedestrians in the street, adding that there was no exchange of fire, and not even stones were thrown towards the troops.
Numerous videos that have surfaced on social media also show the absence of any violence when the journalists were attacked.
The Palestinian Institute of Forensic Medicine at An-Najah National University in Nablus said that the result of the autopsy indicated that she was hit by an explosive bullet that penetrated her head and killed her instantly.
It confirmed that the bullet that hit her caused an extensive laceration to the brain and skull, and the weapon used was high-caliber.
The deformed bullet is now being analyzed in the laboratory to ascertain who was responsible for her killing.
The Israeli military forces target Palestinian journalists extensively, by shooting, killing, injuring, arresting or beating them, often breaking their equipment.
After mourners gathered at Abu Akleh’s house in Beit Hanina, north of Jerusalem, Israeli police stormed the mourners’ camp, demanding that people dispersed and stopped playing Palestinian nationalist songs and waving flags.
The EU urged an “independent” probe into the killing while Thomas Nides, the US ambassador to Israel, called for a “thorough investigation” into the killing of the US citizen, who joined Al Jazeera in 1997.
Al Jazeera said that “the Israeli occupation forces assassinated in cold blood Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Palestine.”
The Palestinian Authority said it held Israel “responsible” for Abu Akleh’s killing.
The Qatari government, which funds Al Jazeera, condemned the killing “in the strongest terms.”
The Arab League condemned the shooting and blamed Israel. Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi called the killing “a heinous crime.”
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said: “With sad hearts, we mourn the death of the knight of the media and the icon of the national press. The martyr Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by the bullets of the occupation soldiers while she was carrying out her journalistic duty to document the horrific crimes committed by the occupation soldiers against our people.”
“Whoever was reporting the news became the news herself,” was the top trending hashtag trending on social media following Abu Akleh’s killing.
Elsewhere, the Israeli army shot dead a 16-year-old Palestinian boy in the West Bank city of Al-Bireh on Wednesday.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health said that the boy died after being shot directly in the heart while he was near his school.
LONDON: Google said Wednesday that it struck licensing deals with 300 news publishers in Europe in its latest effort to comply with a recently introduced European Union copyright law.
The tech giant signed the agreements with national, local and specialist news publications in Germany, Hungary, France, Austria, the Netherlands and Ireland and said discussions with many others are ongoing.
It didn’t disclose how much it’s paying or give names of the news outlets.
European Union countries have been adopting into local law a 2019 EU directive granting publishers additional rights over their content.
The new law allows search engines like Google to link to and use snippets of news content, while giving publishers new rights when extended previews are used online.
It doesn’t, however, specify where the line between the two lies. The agreements are aimed at avoiding costly and lengthy lawsuits over that distinction.
Google last year announced copyright deals with several large German publications and a group of French news publishers.
The company also said it’s rolling out a new tool to offer licensing agreements to thousands of other European publishers, starting in Germany and Hungary.
The tool’s licensing offers “are based on consistent criteria which respect the law and existing copyright guidance, including how often a news website is displayed and how much ad revenue is generated on pages that also display previews of news content,” Sulina Connal, Google’s director of news and publishing partnerships, said in a blog post.
LONDON: Arab journalists paid tribute on Wednesday to Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh who was shot and killed — which they blamed on Israeli gunfire — while covering developments in the West Bank.
Heartwarming and angry tributes flooded social media platforms with colleagues, journalists and admirers of Abu Akleh expressing their sadness over the Palestinian broadcaster’s death.
Linah Alsaafin, producer at Al Jazeera English, wrote: “My god. What news to wake up to. Veteren (sic) Al Jazeera Arabic reporter @ShireenNasri has been killed by Israeli forces while covering a raid into Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. We grew up watching Shireen on TV. Total shock.”
My god. What news to wake up to. Veteren Al Jazeera Arabic reporter @ShireenNasri has been killed by Israeli forces while covering a raid into Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
We grew up watching Shireen on TV. Total shock. pic.twitter.com/HclRU1xvxO
Similarly, Arwa Ibrahim, another colleague of Abu Akleh at Al Jazeera, tweeted how she listened to her reports growing up and said she was devastated by the news.
“I grew up listening to Shireen Abu Akleh’s brave voice on Palestine & became privileged to work alongside her while reporting from Jerusalem & the occupied West Bank. Shireen was shot dead by Israeli police while doing her job — reporting. This news tears into all of us,” Ibrahim tweeted.
I grew up listening to Shireen Abu Akleh’s brave voice on Palestine & became privileged to work alongside her while reporting from Jerusalem & the occupied West Bank. Shireen was shot dead by Israeli police while doing her job – reporting. This news tears into all of us. pic.twitter.com/8FVqrfKO4V
Dima Khatib, managing director of AJ+, praised Abu Akleh for her bravery and pioneering career in war reporting, tweeting: “Shireen Abu Akleh was one of the first Arab women war correspondents in the late 1990s, when the traditional role of women on television was to present from the studio.”
“Shireen was one of the pioneers of the generation that broke the stereotypical gender roles in television journalism. Her bravery has always been a huge inspiration to all of us.”
شيرين أبو عاقلة كانت من أوائل النساء العربيات مراسلات الحرب في أواخر التسعينيات حين كان دور المرأة التقليدي في التلفزيون هو التقديم من الأستوديو. شيرين كانت من طلائع الجيل الذي كسر نمطية الأدوار الجندرية في مهنة الصحافة التلفزيونية. كانت شجاعتها دائماً مصدر إلهام كبير لنا كلنا pic.twitter.com/9bfJLV5p2d
The 51-year-old was shot and killed on Wednesday morning.
She was a veteran reporter on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for Al Jazeera, and highly renowned across the Arab world as an authoritative voice on the region’s most contested story.
Abu Akleh had worked with UNRWA, Voice of Palestine Radio, Amman Satellite Channel, the Miftah Foundation and Monte Carlo Radio before joining Al Jazeera.
In a statement, Al Jazeera blamed Israel and said the occupation forces “deliberately” targeted and killed Abu Akleh. Meanwhile, Israel’s military said it was looking into the possibility she was hit by “Palestinian gunmen.”
Abu Akleh was wearing a helmet and a bulletproof vest, with “press” clearly written on it, when she was shot.
Salman Andary, a senior news reporter at Sky News Arabia, mourned Abu Akleh’s death in a tweet. “Targeting and assassinating colleague Shireen Abu Akleh in this way only indicates fear of the journalist’s voice and message and that no protective vest can deter the cowardly killers.”
“Shireen, the bride of Palestine and a colleague who we all grew up with her voice, messages and reports.. It’s a black, sad and terrifying day.. #Shireen_Abu_Akleh,” he added.
استهداف الزميلة شيرين ابو عاقله واغتيالها بهذه الطريقة لا يدل الا على الخوف من صوت الصحفي ورسالته. وان لا سترة حماية يمكن ان تردع القاتل الجبان. شيرين عروسة فلسطين. وزميلة كبرنا على صوتها ورسائلها وتقاريرها.. انه يوم اسود وحزين ومرعب.. #شيرين_ابو_عاقله
Lebanese journalist, Luna Safwan, joined the ranks in expressing her sadness over the journalist’s death, praising Abu Akleh for her tremendous inspiration.
Expressing how much of a loss this is, it’s just beyond words. I grew up watching Shireen’s coverage on TV. I learned about Palestine and the occupation through her coverage. Such an inspiring woman.https://t.co/DSgznemDsz via @AJEnglish
“Shocking and devastating” wrote Kim Ghattas, a contributing writer for The Atlantic while adding the hashtag #JournalismIsNotACrime to her mourning tweet.
“Shireen was an icon, a veteran, fearless and calm. Her colleagues described her being targeted by sniper fire even though she was wearing her press vest, and a helmet. She was hit below the helmet just behind the ear.”
Shocking and devastating. Shireen was an icon, a veteran, fearless and calm. Her colleagues described her being targeted by sniper fire even through she was wearing her press vest, and a helmet. She was hit below the helmet just behind the ear. #JournalismIsNotACrime https://t.co/XCGTB332R7
Meanwhile, Joyce Karam, senior correspondent at The National, wrote a tribute to Abu Akleh and proceeded to report in detail on the latest developments surrounding her killing.
Horrible news: Al-Jazeera senior journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh @ShireenNasri shot dead by Israeli forces while covering a raid in Jenin (West Bank) today. Veteran reporter, covered conflict for >15 years pic.twitter.com/nyPbOCwj19
BBC journalist, Rushdi Abualouf, wrote: “Shocking news, our colleague Al #Jazeera’s long-time senior correspondent in #Palestinian territories Shireen Abu (Akleh) was shot with a bullet in the head during an Israeli operation in Jenin refugee camp. RIP.”
Shocking news,our colleague Al #Jazeera’s long-time senior correspondent in #Palestinian territories Shireen Abu Aqleh was shot with a bullet in the head during an Israeli operation in Jenin refugee camp . RIP pic.twitter.com/5h8FnfZaar
LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was on Tuesday ridiculed online after announcing he had joined social media platform TikTok.
The PM’s video appeared as the first clip on the new @10downingstreet account, amassing more than 500,000 views and tens of thousands of followers within hours.
Follow us on @tiktok_uk for behind-the-scenes access and to see how we are delivering on our agenda of uniting and levelling up our country.https://t.co/JairuywXmC pic.twitter.com/3NriufVejb
In the announcement, Johnson told viewers that they would be unlikely to see him dancing on the video-focused service, but the account would give the public “behind-the-scenes” insights into the inner workings of Downing Street.
“You won’t necessarily catch me dancing on this site, but you will have all sorts of stuff about what we’re doing to deliver on our priorities, deliver for you on our agenda of uniting and levelling up our country,” he said.
People immediately took to TikTok and Twitter to poke fun at the premier’s announcement, while others called for him to quit.
One TikTok user said: “Boris, can you do a hairstyle tutorial please?” Another said: “Country going into recession, so the government made a TikTok to help us.” And another said: “Cheers, Boris, nan’s doing cartwheels to keep warm.”
One user even took the prime minister’s refusal to dance as a challenge, putting together a video showing Johnson dancing while holding a beer.
On Twitter, one user said, “Boris Johnson isn’t going to last two minutes on TikTok,” while another wrote, “can Boris Johnson get off TikTok please?”
can boris johnson get off tiktok pls
Boris Johnson isn’t going to last two minutes on TikTok https://t.co/tRViEQfaxv
SAN FRANCISCO: Apple on Tuesday put out word it is no longer making iPods, the trend-setting MP3 players that transformed how people get music and gave rise to the iPhone.
Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs introduced the devices nearly 21 years ago with his legendary showmanship flare, and the small, easy to operate players helped the company revolutionize how music was sold.
It packed “a mind-blowing 1,000 songs” the company said at the time, and together with Apple’s iTunes shop established a new distribution model for the music industry.
Buying complete albums on vinyl gave way to paying 99 cents a piece for selected digital songs.
Industry trackers and California-based Apple itself have long acknowledged that the do-it-all iPhone would eat away at sales of one-trick devices such as iPod MP3 players.
The trend toward streaming music services, including one by Apple, has made devices designed just for carrying digital tunes around less enticing for consumers.
Apple said in a blog post that the current generation of iPods will only be available as long as current supplies last.
“Music has always been part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the way iPod did impacted more than just the music industry,” said Apple senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Greg Joswiak.
“It also redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and shared.”
Joswiak said that the “spirit of iPod” lives on in its lineup of products including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and its HomePod smart speaker.
“Since its introduction over 20 years ago, iPod has captivated users all over the world who love the ability to take their music with them on the go,” Apple said in a blog post.
“Today, the experience of taking one’s music library out into the world has been integrated across Apple’s product line — from iPhone and Apple Watch to iPad and Mac.”
In addition, the Apple Music subscription service provides streaming access to more than 90 million songs, the Silicon Valley giant said.
The iPod endured despite analyst worries that the release of the iPhone in 2007 would destroy demand, since the smartphones provided much more than just digital music.
News of the end of the line for iPod prompted a flurry of sad, nostalgic posts on Twitter.
“Damn… low-key a little sad to see that Apple has officially discontinued the iPod from today,” said a tweet fire off from the verified @MrDalekJD account of a UK Gaming YouTuber.
“This thing changed the music game forever. RIP.”