KSA hits back at Qatar tennis ‘smear campaign’

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A beautQ gadget is shown in this image shared on social media. (Twitter photo)
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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media announced it has become aware of inaccurate and irresponsible accusations made by the Wimbledon Championships regarding piracy when broadcasting beoutQ.
Updated 08 July 2018
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KSA hits back at Qatar tennis ‘smear campaign’

  • Wimbledon should have checked first instead of parotting allegations emanating from Al Jazeera Media Network and its subsidiary beIN Sports,” which are biased, says Saudi Media Ministry.
  • Given Al-Jazeera’s known role in supporting terrorism and its inability to provide any media content in KSA, the ministry urged sports associations to end their ties with beIN Sports and other Al-Jazeera entities.

JEDDAH: Qatar was accused on Saturday of using world tennis authorities to pursue a smear campaign against Saudi Arabia. 

Riyadh denied allegations that a television channel illegally showing Wimbledon tennis matches is based in the Kingdom. 

A statement issued on the Wimbledon website called for the immediate closure of beoutQ for broadcasting tennis without the right to do so.

“Wimbledon’s press release baselessly claims that beoutQ is based in Saudi Arabia and suggests that Saudi Arabia is somehow complicit in beoutQ’s broadcasts,” Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media said.

It said Saudi Arabia had “relentlessly” combated beoutQ’s activities in the Kingdom, and restated its commitment to protecting intellectual property rights. “Wimbledon’s allegations parrot those emanating from Al Jazeera Media Network and its subsidiary beIN Sports,” the ministry said. “Suggesting that Saudi Arabia is in any way complicit in beoutQ’s operation both offends the Saudi people and is a malicious lie. 

“Wimbledon and the various tennis associations know or should know that beginning in June 2017, the Saudi government banned all broadcasts by Al Jazeera and its affiliates because Al Jazeera is a media platform for terrorists to propagate their violent messages and to promote instability in the region.

“It used beIN Sports’s World Cup broadcasts to defame Saudi Arabia, the Saudi football federation, and national team. For these reasons Al Jazeera, beIN Sports and their affiliates will never again broadcast in Saudi Arabia.

“Given Al Jazeera’s known role in supporting terrorism and its inability to provide any media content in Saudi territory, the ministry urges Wimbledon and the tennis associations to end their relationships with beIN Sports and other Al Jazeera entities.”

The statement said "the government of Saudi Arabia is and will remain devoted to protecting IP rights within the country.” 

It noted that the Saudi Ministry of Commerce has seized thousands of set-top boxes that would otherwise be used to violate intellectual property (IP) in the country.

"While Al-Jazeera has repeatedly accused Arabsat (a quasi-governmental entity of the Arab League in Riyadh, established by 22 of its member states) of facilitating beoutQ’s transmissions, however, to date, Al-Jazeera has not provided any credible evidence that it has done so. To the contrary, Al-Jazeera has repeatedly pointed to the “unparalleled sophistication” with which beoutQ has easily overcome Al-Jazeera’s and beIN Sports’ state-of-the-art anti-piracy technology. Therefore, Wimbledon’s suggestion that Arabsat is facilitating or otherwise turning a blind eye to beoutQ’s operations is simply more Al-Jazeera propaganda," it said.

“We are disappointed that representatives of credible tennis associations are being used in the Wimbledon press release as mouthpieces by Al-Jazeera,” the statement added.

Al-Jazeera’s response to the ban has been to escalate a political campaign against Saudi Arabia. It has used beIN Sports’ 2018 FIFA World Cup broadcasts to defame the Kingdom, the Saudi Arabian football federation, and national team. 

Given Al-Jazeera’s known role in supporting terrorism and its inability to provide any media content in Saudi Arabian territory, the ministry urged Wimbledon and the tennis associations to end their relationships with beIN Sports and other Al-Jazeera entities.


REVIEW: Second season of Sacred Games mirrors the ills of today's India

Updated 17 August 2019
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REVIEW: Second season of Sacred Games mirrors the ills of today's India

CHENNAI: The first season of “Sacred Games” last year was a hit, and the second edition, which began streaming on Netflix on Aug. 15, may be even more so.

The eight episodes explore some of India's most pressing current issues such as a nuclear threat, terrorism and inter-religious animosity dating back to the country's 1947 partition. It. It also addresses how religious men can indulge in the most unholy of acts, including helping corrupt politicians.

Some of the greatest films have had conflict and war as their backdrop: “Gone with the Wind,” “Casablanca,” “Ben-Hur” and “Garam Hawa,” to mention a few. The second season of “Sacred Games” also unfolds in such a scenario, with terrorism and inter-communal disharmony having a rippling effect on the nation.

Directed by Anurag Kashyap (“Gangs of Wasseypur,” “Black Friday”) and Neeraj Ghaywan (“Masaan,” which premiered at Cannes in 2015), the web series, based on Vikram Chandra's 2006 novel, unfolds with Ganesh Gaitonde (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui) escaping from prison and finding himself in Mombasa. He has been carted there by an agent of India's

Research and Analysis Wing, Kusum Devi Yadav (Amruta Subhash), who forces him to help find Shahid Khan (Ranvir Shorey), the mastermind behind bomb blasts and terror attacks.

In Mumbai, police inspector Sartaj (Saif Ali Khan) has just two weeks to save the city from a nuclear attack, which Gaitonde had warned him about. Both men love Mumbai and do not want it to be destroyed. But religious extremist Khanna Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi) and his chief disciple Batya Ableman (Kalki Koechlin) believe that only such a catastrophic destruction can help cleanse society and bring a cleaner, saner new order.

A narrative of deceit, betrayal, love and longing, the second season has a plodding start, but picks up steam from the fourth episode, with Sartaj and his men racing against time to find a nuclear time bomb that could wipe out Mumbai. Crude dialogue and a constant doomsday atmosphere could have been avoided, but riveting performances by the lead pair – Khan and Siddiqui (though he is getting typecast in this kind of role) – and nail-biting thrills make this Netflix original dramatically captivating.