With suspended phone and internet services, various media and humanitarian organisations have warned that the communications blackout might subject the besieged Gaza Strip to Israeli war crimes. According to Palestinian telecom company Jawwal, Israel's indiscriminate bombing has destroyed "all remaining international routes connecting Gaza to the outside world". The Gaza Strip after being subjected to some of the fiercest Israeli bombings, has been cut off from the world for two days amid reports by Hamas of Israeli forces making a few small ground incursions throughout the night. Nida Ibrahim, reporting for Al Jazeera from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, said on Saturday that there was “very, very minimal” information coming out of the Gaza Strip.
Ever since the Palestinian freedom group Hamas shocked Israel with a series of massive attacks on the latter's soil, the debate over how the media covered the situation in ‘Gaza’ continues amid allegations, particularly from the Muslim and Arab world, that the West's coverage is "biased". In the digital and social media age, the most disturbing aspect of the media coverage was the spread of tons of ‘disinformation and fake news, making things worse. Unfortunately, there is no concept of "freedom of the press" and ‘freedom of expression’ within the Muslim and Arab world barring Al-Jazeera (Arabic and English), a Qatar-based news network, which today is competing with CNN, BBC, ABC, and other leading media outlets.
Nighat Dad, the executive director of the Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), on Friday was appointed to the high-level advisory board on Artificial Intelligence (AI) by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. The 39-member advisory board, comprising distinguished and accomplished individuals from around the world, will concentrate on addressing the global governance of AI, as their interim recommendations, expected by year-end, will focus on three main areas such as international AI governance, generative AI and shared understanding of the risks and challenges linked to the deployment of these technologies.
: Poliovirus was detected in the environmental samples collected from 11 more sites in all four provinces, officials from the country’s polio eradication programme told The News on Saturday only a day after the infectious disease left the fourth child in the country paralysed. “The Regional Reference Laboratory for Polio Eradication at the National Institute of Health Islamabad has confirmed the detection of Type-1 Wild Poliovirus (WPV1) in 11 environmental (sewage) samples collected in October 2023 (four from Peshawar, three from Quetta Block, two from Karachi and one each from Bannu & Lahore),” an official associated with the polio programme told The News. In Balochistan, poliovirus was found in Pishin, Chaman and Quetta, the official said, adding that in Pishin, the environmental sample (Grab) was collected on October 2, 2023 from the ‘Turwa’ environmental sample collection site. This is the second positive sample from District Pishin this year. The isolated virus is classified as YB3A cluster and 99.4% genetically linked to the virus detected in an environmental sample in Kandahar (Afghanistan) on May 21, 2023.
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