Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERSMore than a dozen high profile tech executives, including famous venture capital investors Marc Andreessen and former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick are part of a newly announced advisory panel for a $500 billion Saudi mega-city project.The panel was announced as much of the focus on Saudi Arabia turns towards the fate of a Saudi dissident who disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.Shortly after the list of advisors was published, the list was changed and Apple's Jony Ive was no longer on the list.An array of high-profile business and technology leaders, including senior executives from Google and Apple were named to a new advisory board for the Saudi Arabian government on Tuesday, even as controversy swirls over the disappearance of a dissident Saudi journalist.On Tuesday, the Saudi news outlet Argaam reported that Neom — a $500 billion megacity project being built by the country — has formed a new 19-member advisory board.
A $500 billion Saudi smart city project on Tuesday named multiple US tech leaders to its advisory board even as the country faces controversy over the alleged death of a Saudi journalist.The project, called NEOM, plans to build a futuristic cross-border city based on smart technology.Members of its advisory board, according to a post on NEOM's verified Twitter account, included top executives from the tech industry in the US, including Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen, co-chair of OpenAI Sam Altman, former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, CEO of Alphabet's subsidiary Sidewalk Labs Dan Doctoroff, former Dow Chemical Company CEO Andrew Liveris and more.Saudi news outlet Argaam on Tuesday initially published a 19-member list of the NEOM advisory board that included Apple Design Chief Jony Ive's name, according to Business Insider.But Apple late Tuesday said Ive's inclusion on the list was a mistake, and he has nothing to do with the project.The announcement came days after Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi dissident and critic of the Saudi government, disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, according to the New York Times.
The announcement’s timing was not ideal for members of this 19-member list, who signed on to the project months ago in some cases.At the moment, there’s growing outrage over the weeklong disappearance of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who Turkish officials say was murdered last week in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on orders from the Saudi Royal family, then chopped into pieces with a bone saw and removed from the building.Indeed, the advisory board announcement seemed very much a way for the prince, known as MBS, to brandish his powerful American friends just as many in the U.S. are beginning to wonder exactly what he is capable of.We might have wondered sooner, given that MBS has been fairly consistent about his lack of tolerance for either criticism or rivals since his rise to prominence was sealed by his appointment as crown prince in June of last year.Though MBS has been widely lauded for his reformist tendencies — he has “stood up to the religious elite to impose breathtaking social changes, including letting women drive and allowing concerts and cinemas,” as noted this summer in a WSJ opinion piece — he has also led air raids in Yemen that have killed many thousands of civilians (with White House support, to the dismay of lawmakers from both political parties).When Canada’s foreign ministry rebuked Riyadh for jailing them, saying it was “seriously concerned” with the arrests, Saudi Arabia expelled the country’s ambassador, suspended flights to and from Toronto, barred its citizens from receiving medical care in Canada, and froze new trade and investment with Canada worth billions of dollars.
The outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul at 1 pm on Tuesday, October 2, to obtain documents for his upcoming wedding.Saudi officials deny the allegations, and it's unclear how Turkish officials—some of whom have spoken to news outlets on the condition of anonymity—concluded that Khashoggi had been killed.But as Reuters reported Wednesday, two of those officials say that Khashoggi's Apple Watch has factored into their ongoing investigation."Intelligence services, the prosecutor’s office and a technology team are working on this," the official told Reuters.Depending on which model of Apple Watch Khashoggi had strapped to his wrist and his proximity to his phones, his wearable could have transmitted data about his location, his activity, or his heart rate to his devices—any and all of which could be used to help make clear what happened inside the consulate during the two hours in which Turkish officials say Khashoggi was assassinated.Fitness trackers have recorded all three forms of data during instances of violent crime.
Police investigating the missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are searching for his Apple Watch to obtain his health and location data before his disappearance.But that may prove impossible, according to new details learned by TechCrunch.His soon-to-be wife was waiting outside the consulate with Khashoggi’s iPhone.Khashoggi never emerged from the consulate, sparking a manhunt.The Washington Post reports that U.S. intercepts showed efforts by the Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman to lure the reporter back to the kingdom and detain him.The Saudi kingdom has denied any involvement with his disappearance.
Virgin's Richard Branson said he had scrapped talks with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund about a $1bn (£755m) investment into its space ventures late last night, in light of the disappearance of a prominent Washington Post journalist."What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government," Branson said in a statement.Branson said he would also be suspending his directorship of two Saudi tourism projects while he awaits a response from Saudi authorities with more information on Khashoggi's disappearance.A well-known critic of Saudi Arabia's policies, Jamal Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.Turkish sources have suggested that Khashoggi was killed inside the building.Several high-profile media outlets and companies have also pulled out of engagements at an upcoming investment conference in Saudi Arabia, including Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi and journalists from the Economist, the New York Times and CNBC.
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In recent years, the Saudi Arabian monarchy has poured billions of dollars into Silicon Valley, promoting the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a savvy reformer, eager to modernize the country.But after recent allegations that Saudi agents killed journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi, some of those companies and investors are tentatively backing away from the regime.As details emerged about Khashoggi’s disappearance, some tech figures have distanced themselves from high-profile Saudi projects.On Tuesday, Neom, a planned government-backed futuristic megacity, released a list of advisory board members.Venture capital investor Marc Andreessen declined to comment, and board members Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank, and Travis Kalanick, former CEO of Uber, did not respond to questions.Steve Case, a tech investor and former CEO of AOL, tweeted that his plans to attend the conference are on hold.
Saudi anti-government journalist Jamal chair missing to become a dangerous event has said that France's President Emmanuel Mac commercialization. Such incidents repeated to prevent also urged he. Iran-based news media passed hog at the information.Earlier on Friday, in a statement, Khashoggi look at what happened in Riyadh as clear to Will, said French Foreign Ministry spokesman afraid Darul.He further said, Istanbul from Khashoggi missing, resulting in many questions and down the has been made. The government of France, Khashoggi about own concerns about the Saudi government said.10 days ago in Turkey Istambul, Saudi consulate from Khashoggi missing to become the first French president in this regard responded to. The government of France, who at the time of the incident responded to, when the international media Khashoggi the disappearance of the matter in America, including Western countries, long silence, the criticism that was coming.At about WikiLeaks, the write has Saudi Arabia come from petrodollars flow to continue to the America and Britain Khashoggi carried off to be in question, as well as any reaction to them.Note, last 2 October, Jamal Khashoggi estamos Saudi consulate entered and out failure. Turkish security sources have already explicitly said that Khashoggi consulate in killed his body, piece by piece, the diplomatic mission has been removed from the.In this regard, Saudi Arabia claim that Khashoggi, his work ended, the consulate out of. But those outside the building, placed in the CCTV footage, the Khashoggi enter the theater to see, even when him go out, be seen.Saudi monarchy, the arch-opposition, Khashoggi in 2017 from America voluntarily exile cut was. Government opponents against the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman extensive round up operation after the start, he states, go to.
The Disappearance of Jamal KhashoggiWhat Happened: As the story of a missing journalist appears to turn into the story of a murdered journalist, people start paying attention.What Really Happened: The Washington Post first noted the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the start of the month, with the paper sharing that he had gone missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.It was concerning, but not a story that many people were paying attention to.And when pressed on the issue, it only got worse.As of this writing, Saudi authorities had pledged to investigate alongside Turkish authorities, while Turkish authorities claim they have audio and video proving he was killed.
Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist-in-exile, frequent critic of the ruling House of Saud, and Washington Post columnist, went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.Since then, Turkish government officials largely speaking under the cover of anonymity have insisted that Saudi security forces waiting in ambush inside tortured and murdered him in revenge for speaking freely about their autocratic rulers.Per CNN, the Daily Sabah reported that Khashoggi turned on the wearable device to record his interactions inside, with the events of his alleged murder picked up by the watch and later synced to his iCloud as well as an iPhone he left with his wife outside:The moments of his “interrogation, torture and killing were audio recorded and sent to both his phone and to iCloud,” the pro-government, privately owned newspaper paper reported.CNN wrote that Sabah reported Saudi torturers only later realized the implication of the Apple Watch on Khashoggi’s wrist and attempted to delete some of the recordings after accessing the device using his fingerprints:Security forces leading the investigation found the audio file inside the phone Khashoggi left with his fiancé, according to Sabah.
Silicon Valley’s deep financial ties to Saudi Arabia illustrate “the hypocrisy behind the ‘change the world’ fantasy” pushed by tech companies, said journalist Anand Giridharadas.Saudi backing for popular apps like Uber, Slack, and Wag offers proof that “the most idealistic companies on earth—in rhetoric—are very happy to take the dirtiest money on earth to grow and grow and grow,” he said.Giridharadas, author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the Word, spoke at the WIRED25 festival on Sunday, on a panel about the trouble with techno-utopianism.He argued that the uproar around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was allegedly killed by Saudi agents last week, forces the tech industry to face the reality of the Saudis.However, in light of the graphic details that have emerged about Khashoggi’s alleged murder, Silicon Valley can “no longer hide behind an idea that it’s another player in Davos in the Desert,” he said, referring to an upcoming festival in Riyadh arranged by the Saudi government.The panel was moderated by Virginia Heffernan, an author and contributor to WIRED, who quickly challenged Giridharadas on the idea that anyone came to Silicon Valley to associate themselves with repressive regimes.
The regional calls to boycott Uber were stoked yesterday by Saudi ally, Bahrain, whose foreign minister retweeted hashtags calling for a boycott of the company, according to reports by Bloomberg and Reuters.A few boycott calls circulating on Twitter urge app users to switch to Uber ride-hailing rival, Careem, though it’s unclear whether Uber alternatives are seeing any local uplift as yet.Anger at Uber has been sparked by the reaction of CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to the disappearance of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, who has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 for a pre-arranged appointment to obtain documentation for his forthcoming marriage to a Turkish citizen.And while independent CCTV footage shows Khashoggi entering the embassy but there is no proof to show he ever left.Following growing alarm over Khashoggi’s disappearance, Uber’s CEO was among several business leaders to announce they were pulling out of an investment conference due to take place in the Saudi capital later this month.We are following the situation closely, and unless a substantially different set of facts emerges, I won’t be attending the FII conference in Riyadh,” said Khosrowshahi in a statement last week.
Elon Musk said it's time for giant fighting robots.SoftBank shares have fallen dramatically, slashing its value by $20 billion.Chinese regional authorities laid out the kind of speech suppression that Google will likely have to facilitate for the country's persecuted Muslim ethnic minority to launch its new product in China.Tech billionaires Marc Benioff and Jack Dorsey are clashing over a key law that could seriously impact the San Francisco homelessness crisis.Proposition C would tax the largest businesses in the city to fund homelessness services, and it could bring in $250 million to $300 million in revenue annually.Two US senators encouraged the Indian Prime Minister to adopt a more lenient stance towards data localization.
People protest the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.Security and technical commentators have cast doubt on reports from the Turkish media that journalist Jamal Khashoggi's "torture and death" inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul was captured by his Apple watch and sent to his iPhone.Khashoggi is a Saudi Arabian journalist writing for the Washington Post, and he has been missing since 2 October when he was last seen walking into his home country's embassy in Turkey.According to media reports, Turkish officials say they have evidence of Kashoggi's murder inside the embassy, and that the journalist actually recorded what happened to him on his Apple Watch.Some have speculated that it's more likely the reports are a cover story, and the Turkish government had other means of obtaining information about Khashoggi.Technology and security experts are disputing the reports from Turkish press, reportedly seeded by Turkish officials, that journalist Jamal Khashoggi's Apple watch captured audio of him being tortured and killed inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul.
Microsoft wants its tech to be used for good, not evil, the company's CEO said.Satya Nadella, speaking Monday at the Wired25 conference in San Francisco, noted that the tech industry has a responsibility for how its technology is used."We start from saying, look we want to take tech and empower the world with it," Nadella said.Big tech has been facing questions lately about who it does business with.Employees at companies like Google have protested the use of its technology -- from cloud computing to artificial intelligence -- by the Defense Department.Saudi Arabia has been building relationships in the technology industry, particularly through its partnership with Japanese telecom giant SoftBank.
Google became the latest name in a long list of high-profile companies to drop out of an investment conference in Saudi Arabia late last night, amid building criticism of the state's handling of a missing journalist.A well-known critic of Saudi Arabia's policies, US resident and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.Turkish sources have suggested that Khashoggi was killed inside the building.Google Cloud chief executive Diane Greene will no longer be attending the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh next week, the company said in a statement provided to Reuters.No reason was given for the change in decision.Greene's withdrawal follows a number of business leaders pulling out of the conference, including the bosses of JP Morgan, Ford, Blackstone and Blackrock.
Exactly a week ago, we wondered if Saudi Arabia’s money might finally become radioactive in light of the disappearance of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.Almost no one who we reached for comment wanted to participate in the story, though behind the scenes, we heard the same things from different sources who have a vested interest in keeping the peace with the country and its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: There is no proof.We’re waiting to see what happens.In fairness, Silicon Valley companies are used to getting away with a lot.No doubt a week ago, there was an expectation that the media would move on from the journalist who vanished inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey one October afternoon.Consider: according to a senior Turkish official who earlier today described details from audio recordings to the New York Times, almost immediately after Khashoggi walked into the consulate, Saudi agents seized him and began to beat him and torture him, cutting off his fingers as he screamed, then cutting off his head and dismembering his body.
Twitter is subtly fighting fake news with a small addition to its Moments.The social network is adding "annotations" to its curated tweets, giving us more contextual information on the topic.The annotations are written by Twitter's curation team with the aim of clarifying its highlighted tweets, according to TechCrunch.Right now, they seem to only appear in the mobile app's Moments -- which are being discontinued on Oct. 23 -- and not those of the desktop version.We spotted one attached to a New York Times tweet about missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, noting that he was first reported missing on Oct. 2 and last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.Twitter didn't immediate respond to a request for comment.
After saudi Arabia was accused of the murder of a journalist chose Richard Branson to pause for Virgin galactic's space cooperation with the kingdom.Saudi arabia's public investment fund is planned to place 1 billion dollars in Virgin Galactic – the Richard Bransons space activities.the Money was intended for the further development of the company's spacecraft, which is aiming to become the world's first commercial rymdlinje.in return, would the Virgin Group to help create a visitor's centre with rymdinriktning in saudi Arabia.Now it seems the collaboration have gone by the wayside.the Reason is the mysterious disappearance of the saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, with the suspicion that he had been styckmördad at the saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier in October.