Elected Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was killed by junta, says Erdogan

Agencies
June 20, 2019

Cairo, Jun 20: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said his close ally Mohamed Morsi was "killed" and accused Egyptian authorities of failing to intervene to save the ex-president.

"Morsi was struggling on the floor in the courtroom for 20 minutes. Authorities unfortunately did not intervene to save him," Erdogan said during a televised speech in Istanbul.

"Morsi was killed, he did not die of natural causes." Erdogan forged close ties with Morsi, Egypt's first civilian president and a prominent Muslim Brotherhood member.

He was elected president in 2012 in the country’s first free elections in decades following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.

Ankara's relations with Cairo ties deteriorated after the Egyptian military, then led by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ousted Morsi in 2013. Sisi then became president.

Erdogan has sharply denounced the military takeover in Egypt and called it a "coup".

On Wednesday, he said he would follow up on the process related to Morsi's death. "We will do whatever is needed for Egypt to be tried in international courts."

The attorney general's office in Egypt has said that Morsi was "transported immediately to the hospital", where medics pronounced him dead - a version confirmed by a judicial source.

Morsi was buried on Tuesday, as rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called for an independent probe into the causes of his death.

Erdogan on Tuesday joined in prayer at an Istanbul mosque for the former Egyptian leader.

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News Network
January 5,2021

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Riyadh, Jan 5: Saudi Arabia reopened its airspace and land and sea borders with Qatar on Monday, in a breakthrough agreement aimed at ending the three-year diplomatic dispute with Doha.

The full deal is expected to be signed on Tuesday at the annual summit of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders in the northwestern Saudi city of AlUla, attended by Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

The Anti-Terror Quartet — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain — imposed a diplomatic, trade and travel embargo on Qatar in June 2017.

Recent mediation efforts have been led by Sheikh Nawaf Al-Sabah, the emir of Kuwait. “Based on Sheikh Nawaf’s proposal, it was agreed to open the airspace and land and sea borders between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the state of Qatar, starting from this evening,” Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah said on Monday.

White House special adviser Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, is expected to fly to the Kingdom to witness the signing on Tuesday, along with US Middle East envoy Avi Berkowitz and Brian Hook, a special State Department adviser, Reuters reported.

“We’ve had a breakthrough in the Gulf Cooperation Council rift,” a senior Trump administration official said.

Under the emerging agreement, the four countries will end the blockade of Qatar, and in exchange, Qatar will not pursue lawsuits related to the blockade.

“At the signing on the 5th, leadership from the Gulf Cooperation Council plus Egypt will be coming together to sign an agreement that will end the blockade and put an end to the Qatari lawsuits,” the official said.

“It’s just a massive breakthrough. The blockade will be lifted. It will allow for travel among the countries as well as goods. It will lead to more stability in the region.”

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Monday that the Kingdom’s policy was based on a firm approach that achieved the national interests of the GCC and Arab countries, in order to achieve security and stability.

“The GCC summit will be an inclusive summit, unified in ranks and focused on prosperity … in terms of reunification and solidarity in facing the challenges in our region,” the crown prince said.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said: “More work lies ahead and we are moving in the right direction.”

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Agencies
January 8,2021

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Washington, Jan 8: Creating history, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who had once decided to sell off Tesla owing to poor results, became the richest person on the planet, going past Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos on Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world's 500 wealthiest people.

A 4.8 per cent rally in Tesla's share price on Thursday took Musk past Bezos, with a net worth of $188.5 billion, 1.5 billion more than Bezos, who has held the top spot since October 2017. Musk's net worth increased by more than $150 billion this year and Tesla's share price surged a massive 743 per cent last year.

He told Axel Springer in an interview last month that the key purpose of his wealth is to "accelerate humanity's evolution into a spacefaring civilisation".

The world's 500 richest people added a record $1.8 trillion to their combined net worth last year, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Tesla delivered 499,550 vehicles in 2020, slightly missing its most recent guidance of 5,00,000 vehicles.

In the fourth quarter, Tesla delivered 1,61,650 Model 3 and Model Y cars and produced 1,63,660 such vehicles.

The automaker also delivered 18,920 Model S and X vehicles and produced 16,097 of them.

"In 2020, we produced and delivered half a million vehicles, in line with our most recent guidance. In addition, Model Y production in Shanghai has begun, with deliveries expected to begin shortly," the company said in a statement last week.

The company achieved the feat despite closing its new factory in China as well as its vehicle plant in Fremont, California for several weeks as the new coronavirus spread.

Musk also tweeted: "So proud of the Tesla team for achieving this major milestone! At the start of Tesla, I thought we had (optimistically) a 10% chance of surviving at all".

Tesla delivered 88,400 vehicles in Q1, and 90,650 vehicles in Q2.

In October, Tesla said it delivered 1,39,300 vehicles during the third quarter, slightly better than the 1,37,000 Wall Street had expected.

For the year, Tesla delivered 4,42,511 Model 3 and Model Y cars, while producing 4,54,932 of the vehicles. It delivered 57,039 Model S and Model X cars while producing 54,805 such vehicles.

Musk has proclaimed that he wants to increase Tesla's vehicle sales volume from about 5,00,000 in 2020 to 20 million annually over the next decade.

Late last month, Musk told Tesla employees in an email to 'go all out' in order to achieve the 5 lakh vehicle delivery goal.

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Agencies
January 16,2021

WhatsApp to delay launch of new business features after privacy backlash |  Technology

San Fransisco, Jan 16: WhatsApp said Friday that it would delay a planned privacy update, as the Facebook-owned messaging service tries to stem backlash by users worried about the changes.

WhatsApp said it would push back the changes, to May 15 from Feb. 8, to give users more time to review what it planned to do.

This month, WhatsApp notified its users that it would give them new options to message businesses using the service and was updating its privacy terms. WhatsApp’s notification said users would have to accept the new terms by February or no longer have access to their accounts. Although little was actually changing, the company still needed user approval.

Many users and some media outlets interpreted the notification as a marked shift in WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices, mistakenly believing that the company could now read people’s conversations and other personal data. Misinformation spread through the service to users around the world.

People flocked to other messaging services, including apps like Signal — which offers so-called end-to-end encryption like WhatsApp — and Telegram, which offers some encryption options. This week, Signal became the No. 1 app in India, one of WhatsApp’s biggest markets, on Apple and Android phones.

Now, WhatsApp executives are assuring users that its changes are minor, that it cannot read users’ messages and that its services are more secure than those of some competitors.

“WhatsApp helped bring end-to-end encryption to people across the world, and we are committed to defending this security technology now and in the future,” WhatsApp said in a company blog post. “With these updates, none of that is changing.”

Some limited information from WhatsApp is shared with Facebook, WhatsApp’s parent company. But the changes to WhatsApp’s terms of service to enable that occurred in 2016, and the terms have not been substantially updated since.

The fallout reflects a rare misstep for the messaging giant, which Facebook bought in 2014 for $16 billion. For years, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, let WhatsApp operate largely as an independent entity, supported by Facebook’s infrastructure and resources. Over that period, WhatsApp grew to serve more than 1 billion users — most of them outside the United States.

That approach has changed in recent years. Jan Koum and Brian Acton, the founders of WhatsApp, left the company in 2018 after a falling out with Zuckerberg. Since then, Zuckerberg’s touch has grown heavier. He wants to stitch together the messaging services between Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, which will require years of engineering work.

While Zuckerberg has positioned Facebook as doubling down on user privacy, some former employees fear the integration could make apps like WhatsApp even less secure over time. WhatsApp is not yet connected to Messenger or Instagram.

The furore over WhatsApp’s privacy changes is bitterly ironic, given the company’s struggles with misinformation on its service. WhatsApp has been used to distribute misinformation around elections in Brazil and other countries, which has been difficult to combat because of the closed, private nature of the service.

WhatsApp has begun sharing graphics in multiple languages detailing exactly what the privacy policy update will mean.

“There’s been a lot of misinformation causing concern, and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts,” the company said.

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