2 Gulf Daily News Monday, 2nd February 2015 24-hour Arabic news channel launched MANAMA: A New 24-hour Arabic news channel began broadcasting from Bahrain yesterday. Al Arab News Channel is the country’s first international satellite news station and will rival established names such as Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. The independent channel is owned by Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who has been ranked by Forbes as the 26th richest person in the world with a fortune of $20 billion. First guest on Al Arab yesterday was senior Al Wefaq National Islamic So- ciety member Khalil Marzooq, who was interviewed about Saturday’s announcement by the Interior Ministry that the citizenships of 72 people had been revoked. “Our job is to give the facts and leave the opinion to the viewer,” said Al Arab general manager Jamal Khashoggi. “We’re convinced that we will give space to every opinion.” The channel, which has over 280 employees and around 30 presenters, was initially supposed to launch in December. It is headquartered at the Bahrain World Trade Centre and comes under the banner of the Arab TV News Company. The channel is available on OSN Channel 454, Nilesat201@7°W SD (frequency: 12015MHz) and Arabsat Badr-4@26°EHD/SD (frequency: 11938MHz). l Our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej reported last night that the channel had been blocked for failing to abide by the customs and conventions prevailing in the GCC countries, including neutral media stances and non-involvement in anything likely to affect negatively the spirit of GCC unity and solidarity. n A presenter at one of Al Arab’s news studios Egypt deports journalist CAIRO: Al Jazeera journalist A security official said Fahmy was expected to be released from Cairo’s Tora prison in a few days. His fiancée said she hoped he would be free soon and deported to Canada. “His deportation is in its final stages. We are hopeful,” Marwa Omara said. There was no official word Canada’s foreign ministry welon the fate of his two Al Jazeera comed what it called positive develcolleagues – Canadian-Egyptian opments. “We remain very hopeful Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian that Fahmy’s case will be resolved national Baher Mohamed – who n Greste shortly,” it said. were also jailed in the case that Many Egyptians see Qatar-based Al Jazeera as provoked an international outcry. The three were sentenced to seven to 10 years a force set on destabilising the country, a view on charges including spreading lies to help a ter- that has been encouraged in the local media, rorist organisation – a reference to the outlawed which has labelled the journalists “The Marriott Muslim Brotherhood. One month ago, however, Cell”, because they worked from a hotel of the US-based chain. a court ordered their retrial. Egyptian authorities accuse Al Jazeera of being a mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement that was toppled in 2013 by President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi when he was Egypt’s army chief. The timing of Greste’s release came as a surprise, AMMAN: Jordan renewed an offer for the pilot, but the militants just days after Egypt sufyesterday to swap an Al Qaeda didn’t say at the time if they were fered one of the bloodiest prisoner for a fighter pilot held considering such a deal. An audio militant attacks in years. captive by the Islamic State (IS) message last week, purportedly More than 30 members of group, a day after a video pur- from IS, only said the pilot would the security forces were portedly showed the militants be- be killed if Al Rishawi was not rekilled on Thursday in Sinai. heading a Japanese hostage. leased on Thursday. The interior ministry said The fates of the pilot, Lt Muath The deadline passed after Joron its Facebook page that Al Kaseasbeh, and Japanese dan said it cannot free her withjournalist Kenji Goto previous- out proof the pilot is alive. Late Sisi released Greste under a ly had been linked. The video of on Saturday, the video purportdecree issued in November the beheading made no mention edly showing Goto’s beheading authorising the president to of the pilot, raising fears for the was released. approve the deportation of lieutenant’s life. “We will never forgive terrorforeign prisoners. Jordan’s King Abdullah II ists,” Japanese Prime Minister The journalists say they condemned the killing as “crim- Shinzo Abe told reporters at his were doing their jobs when inal act” and “stressed the need office, appearing to fight back detained. Their imprisonfor concerted international ef- tears. “We will co-operate with the forts to fight terrorism and ex- international community to make ment reinforced the view tremism,” the official news agen- them atone for their crimes.” of human rights groups that cy Petra said. “I can’t find the words to dethe government was rolling IS last week demanded the re- scribe how I feel about my son’s back freedoms gained after lease of Sajida Al Rishawi, an Al very sad death,” a sobbing Junko the 2011 uprising. Qaeda prisoner, who faces death, Ishido, Goto’s mother, said. Al Jazeera said its camfor her role in triple hotel bombHis brother Junichi Goto said paign to free its journalists ings in Jordan in 2005. he had been holding out hope, from Egypt would not end Jordan offered to release her “but that’s not possible anymore”. until all three were released. Peter Greste was released from a Cairo jail yesterday and left Egypt for his native Australia after 400 days in prison on charges that included aiding a terrorist group. Jordan pledge after hostage beheading Blasts rattle mall shoppers BANGKOK: Two explosions at a transit hub near major shopping malls in the Thai capital last night were caused by small improvised explosive devices, but no-one was hurt and damage was minor, police said. The explosions occurred at the Siam Square station of Bangkok’s Skytrain system, which serves several shopping centres, including the upmarket Paragon mall. The incident came at a time of slightly raised political temperatures in Thailand, as the country’s ruling junta has tightened its clampdown on critics of its rule.
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