Tag Archives: Lebanon

WHO Convenes Emergency Meeting On Monkeypox Outbreak!

WHO Convenes Emergency Meeting On Monkeypox Outbreak!

The WHO has convened an emergency meeting on the monkeypox outbreak that has spread to 56 countries!

Here is what you need to know…

 

WHO Convenes Emergency Meeting On Monkeypox Outbreak!

On 23 June 2022, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus convened an emergency committee meeting under Article 48 of the International Health Regulations to discuss the current monkeypox outbreak.

Chaired by Dr. Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele and Dr. Nicola Low, this emergency WHO meeting on monkeypox is only open to members and advisors of the Emergency Committee.

The findings of this emergency meeting would be conveyed to the Director-General of WHO, on whether the outbreak should be classified as a public health emergency of international concern, and also on potential recommendations on how to address it.

This meeting comes as an NGO called World Health Network (unrelated to WHO) issued a press release describing the current monkeypox outbreak as a “pandemic”, urging “immediate and effective action” from country and global health authorities.

This led to a bit of confusion, as their names and acronyms were similar (WHO vs WHN). To be clear, WHO has not declared a monkeypox pandemic.

Read more : What You Must Know About Monkeypox!

 

Over 4,000 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 56 Countries!

Discovered in 1958, the first human infection was only reported in 1970, and there were only like 400 cases from 1970 to 1986.

Monkeypox became more common over time, with 2000 cases per year reported between 2011 and 2014, and several outbreaks in the US (2003 and 2021), UK (2018 and 2021), and Singapore (2019)..

However, nothing has come close to the 2022 monkeypox outbreak which has now affected at least 56 countries outside of endemic African countries, with over 4,000 cases!

Country Confirmed
Cases
Suspected
Cases
Total
Spain 918 100 1,018
United Kingdom 793 793
Germany 676 676
France 330 330
Portugal 328 328
Canada 223 45 268
United States 173 173
Netherlands 167 167
Italy 85 85
Belgium 77 1 78
Switzerland 52 52
Ireland 28 28
Ghana 18 18
Brazil 11 6 17
Israel 16 16
Australia 13 13
Denmark 13 13
Sweden 13 13
UAE 13 13
Austria 12 12
Poland 12 12
Mexico 9 9
Slovenia 9 9
Hungary 7 7
Czech Republic 6 6
Uganda 6 6
Romania 5 5
Argentina 4 4
Finland 4 4
Malta 4 4
Norway 4 4
Somalia 4 4
Chile 3 3
Colombia 3 3
Greece 3 3
Iceland 3 3
Bulgaria 2 2
Latvia 2 2
Morocco 1 1 2
Bahamas 1 1
Cayman Islands 1 1
Fiji 1 1
Georgia 1 1
Gibraltar 1 1
Haiti 1 1
Libya 1 1
Lebanon 1 1
Luxembourg 1 1
Serbia 1 1
Singapore 1 1
South Africa 1 1
South Korea 1 1
Uruguay 1 1
Venezuela 1 1
Zambia 1 1
TOTAL 4,049 170 4,219

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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The Brief Kiss That Got Lightyear Banned In 14+ Countries!

Take a look at the scene that got the Disney-Pixar movie, Lightyear, banned in 14 countries, and likely China too!

 

Lightyear Movie Banned In 14 Countries + Maybe China Too!

Lightyear – the long-awaited Toy Story prequel from Disney-Pixar – has been banned in  14 Asian and Middle Eastern countries, and quite likely China too!

The ban started in the UAE, whose Media Regulatory Office of the Ministry of Youth and Culture announced on 13 June 2022 that Lightyear was banned from screening in all cinemas for “its violation of the country’s media content standards“.

A Variety report claimed that the UAE initially approved Lightyear for release, but revoked the licence after social media posts accused the movie of insulting Muslims and Islam.

That ban was then followed by other countries. The current list includes, but is not limited to :

  • United Arab Emirates
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • Bahrain

Although not confirmed yet, it is very likely that Lightyear will also not be allowed to screen in China.

Lightyear producer, Galyn Susman, said that Chinese authorities “asked for cuts”, which Disney declined to make. So she assumed that the movie would not be allowed to screen there either.

I’m assuming it will not make it to China. I know we’ve gotten requests for things to cut, Disney isn’t going to modify the material.

We’re not going to cut out anything, especially something as important as the loving and inspirational relationship that shows Buzz what he’s missing by the choices that he’s making, so that’s not getting cut

 

The Brief Kiss That Got Lightyear Banned In 14+ Countries!

The reasons why Lightyear has been banned in at least 14 countries, and possibly China too, is over a brief kissing scene.

In the first 30 minutes of Lightyear, Alisha Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) – a female space ranger and a close friend of Buzz Lightyear – shares a brief kiss with her same-sex partner.

That kiss was part of a scene showing milestones in the couple’s relationship. It also shows the couple’s son, although it is not known if he was adopted or conceived through assisted reproduction.

But it was the brief kiss between two fictional characters that broke the camel’s back for censors in those countries. They demanded that the scene be cut from the film.

Normally, Disney would quietly cut such a controversial scene from the movie to comply with “local sensibilities”, since it doesn’t affect the plot.

However, Pixar employees had earlier penned a letter complaining that Disney corporate executives were censoring “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection” in their projects.

We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were.

Nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest, regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar.

Disney caved to the pressure, and decided not to censor the kiss from Lightyear. And so, all those countries refused to grant a licence to screen the movie in theatres.

Read more : Lightyear Movie Banned In 14 Countries + Maybe China Too!

 

Lightyear Stars On Why Lightyear Was Banned…

Chris Evans, who voiced Buzz Lightyear in this prequel, labelled such objections as “frustrating”.

It’s great that we are a part of something that’s making steps forward in the social inclusion capacity.

But it’s frustrating that there are still places that aren’t where they should be.

He also told Variety magazine that he was frustrated that news coverage of the movie would be focused on such an issue :

It’s tough to not be a little frustrated that it even has to be a topic of discussion. That it is this kind of ‘news.’

The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is.

Taika Waititi, who voices the character of Mo Morrison in the film, added :

We’re hoping for a time when we don’t even have to have this conversation. We can watch a movie and we don’t even have to bat an eyelid.

We don’t have to think ‘Oh wow, weird’. It’s not weird, it’s normal and it should be normalised.

Whenever you have these small steps that studios are making – sometimes they may feel small but also, they are steps – and it’s steps towards normalising humanity and love. I really feel sorry for countries who don’t want this film because of a tiny, weird little thing like that

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Lightyear Movie Banned In 14 Countries + Maybe China Too!

The Disney-Pixar movie, Lightyear, has been banned in 14 countries, and quite possibly China too!

Here is what we know so far…

 

Lightyear Movie Banned In 14 Countries + Maybe China Too!

Lightyear – the long-awaited animated feature film from Disney-Pixar – has reportedly been banned in 14 Asian and Middle Eastern countries.

The ban started in the UAE, whose Media Regulatory Office of the Ministry of Youth and Culture announced on 13 June 2022 that :

The Media Regulatory Office announced that the animated film Lightyear, which is scheduled for release on 16th June, is not licensed for public screening in all cinemas in the UAE, due to its violation of the country’s media content standards.

A Variety report claimed that the UAE initially approved Lightyear for release, but revoked the licence after social media posts accused the movie of insulting Muslims and Islam.

That ban was then followed by other countries. The current list includes, but is not limited to :

  • United Arab Emirates
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • Bahrain

Although not confirmed yet, it is very likely that Lightyear will also not be allowed to screen in China.

Lightyear producer, Galyn Susman, said that Chinese authorities “asked for cuts”, which Disney declined to make. So she assumed that the movie would not be allowed to screen there either.

I’m assuming it will not make it to China. I know we’ve gotten requests for things to cut, Disney isn’t going to modify the material.

We’re not going to cut out anything, especially something as important as the loving and inspirational relationship that shows Buzz what he’s missing by the choices that he’s making, so that’s not getting cut

 

Why Lightyear Was Banned In Those Countries…

In Lightyear, the character of Alisha Hawthorne (voiced by Uzo Aduba) shares a brief kiss with her same-sex partner.

That’s it – a little kiss between two fictional characters. Unfortunately, it was a kiss too far for those countries.

Normally, Disney would quietly cut such a “controversial” scene from the movie to comply with “local sensibilities”, since it doesn’t affect the plot.

However, Pixar employees had earlier penned a letter complaining that Disney corporate executives were censoring “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection” in their projects.

We at Pixar have personally witnessed beautiful stories, full of diverse characters, come back from Disney corporate reviews shaved down to crumbs of what they once were.

Nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest, regardless of when there is protest from both the creative teams and executive leadership at Pixar.

Disney caved to the pressure, and decided not to censor the kiss from Lightyear. And so, all those countries refused to grant a licence to screen the movie in theatres.

Read more : The Brief Kiss That Got Lightyear Banned In 14+ Countries!

 

Lightyear Stars On The Movie Ban By 14+ Countries

Chris Evans, who voiced Buzz Lightyear in this prequel, labelled such objections as “frustrating”.

It’s great that we are a part of something that’s making steps forward in the social inclusion capacity.

But it’s frustrating that there are still places that aren’t where they should be.

He also told Variety magazine that he was frustrated that news coverage of the movie would be focused on such an issue :

It’s tough to not be a little frustrated that it even has to be a topic of discussion. That it is this kind of ‘news.’

The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is.

Taika Waititi, who voices the character of Mo Morrison in the film, added :

We’re hoping for a time when we don’t even have to have this conversation. We can watch a movie and we don’t even have to bat an eyelid.

We don’t have to think ‘Oh wow, weird’. It’s not weird, it’s normal and it should be normalised.

Whenever you have these small steps that studios are making – sometimes they may feel small but also, they are steps – and it’s steps towards normalising humanity and love. I really feel sorry for countries who don’t want this film because of a tiny, weird little thing like that

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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The Famous Jesus Tree Of Lebanon Miracle Explained!

Take a look at the famous Jesus tree of Lebanon, and find out what’s the true story behind those viral photos!

 

Is The Famous Jesus Tree Of Lebanon A Real Miracle?

Pictures of the famous Jesus Tree – a tree that looks like Jesus crucified on a cross – are often shared on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, emails and elsewhere online.

These pictures are often accompanied by prayers and claims that it’s a true Christian miracle.

It really looks like Jesus crucified on a cross, doesn’t it? It would be quite a miracle if a tree actually twisted itself to look like that.

Or is it just pareidolia – the perception of a familiar pattern or image, where none actually exists?

 

The Famous Jesus Tree Of Lebanon Really Exists!

For Christians who need vindication for their faith, we have good news and bad news.

The good news is the Jesus Tree exists. The bad news is it is neither natural, nor supernatural. It is certainly not miraculous.

The Jesus Tree is the artistic creation of Lebanese poet, painter and sculptor Rudy Rahmè, who carved it out of a dead cedar tree in the forest of the Cedars of God (Al Arz el Rab) in Northern Lebanon.

Here is the original picture taken by louppe1 in June 2007.

Credit : Louppe1, 6th June 2007

On the 24 July 2015, when a James Morales took this picture below, and made it viral on Facebook by calling it evidence of “the power of God’s goodness…” :

Credit : James Morales, 24th July 2015

The truth and the far more mundane fact is that it took Rudy Rahmè 5-6 years to carve that sculpture. Here is a closer look at the sculpture.

Credit : Maria, 24th March 2014

Rudy Rahmè did not just create that famous Jesus Tree. He also carved Jesus’ image into other cedar trees in the Cedars of God.

Credit : Commons.Wikimedia.org

Credit : Commons.Wikimedia.org

 

The Jesus Tree Was Created By Man, Not God

Instead of misleading other people into thinking that the Jesus Tree is a supernatural or miraculous creation, we should give the artist Rudy Rahmè props for turning these dead cedars into such incredible works of art.

He is the true miracle behind the Jesus trees of Lebanon!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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iflix Middle East & North Africa Goes Live!

April 27, 2017 – iflix today announced the launch of its revolutionary service in eight territories across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

 

iflix Middle East & North Africa Goes Live!

Consumers in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Egypt and Sudan can now sign up for a 30-day free trial, giving them unlimited access to thousands of the world’s best TV shows, movies and more on every device they own, with no credit card required.

The announcement follows just one month after the iflix launch in Myanmar, its tenth market in Asia, solidifying iflix’s dominance over the region with over six billion minutes streamed across ten countries since first launching in Malaysia and the Philippines in mid-2015.

With the launch of iflix Middle East & North Africa, iflix has established itself as the only international SVoD service with full-scale localized operations in each of its territories and a total global headcount of 700 staff across 24 offices worldwide, including new regional headquarters for MENA based in Dubai, UAE.

Each iflix subscription includes:

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  • Unlimited access to iflix’s vast library of thousands of first-run exclusive shows, award-winning TV series, blockbuster movies, popular local and regional Arabic and Asian content, children’s programs and much more;
  • Access to iflix on up to five devices at once, including phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, TVs and other connected devices;
  • The ability to download TV shows and movies to any phone, tablet or mobile device to binge-watch offline, when not connected to the Internet;
  • The ability to share the iflix subscription with family or friends and watch shows on two different devices at the same time.

iflix Group Co-founder and CEO, Mark Britt commented: “Our launch in the Middle East and North Africa represents the incredible vision, hard work and sacrifice by everyone in the iflix team. To have grown from a small, but ambitious 20-person operation without a live service to launching a global business, in now our second region with eight new markets and 80 staff in MENA alone in less than two years, is a testament to that commitment. MENA is one of the fastest growing and most exciting online markets in the world with data savvy consumers who share a passion for entertainment. We are thrilled to make iflix’s world class service, premier digital experience and the most comprehensive selection of content available to them, as part of our mission to redefine entertainment in emerging markets.”

Now available in 18 markets across Asia and MENA, iflix offers consumers, a vast library of top Hollywood, Asian regional, and local TV shows and movies including many first run exclusives and award-winning programs, each subscription allows users to access the service on up to five devices, including phones, laptops, tablets, and television sets, for viewing wherever, whenever.

For new subscribers, iflix offers a complimentary one-month trial with full access to its service, features and content.

 

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