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Arabic press review: Egypt plans crackdown on Facebook and Google

Also: thousands of Yemenis continue to flee Hodeidah and polls indicate Jordanians are happy with their new government
Facebook, which floated in 2012, has made billions of dollars in advertising in the Egyptian market (AFP)

Egyptian government wants bigger cut of tech profits

The Egyptian government is planning to impose taxes on tech giants including Facebook and Google in return for doing business in the country, according to Arabi21.

Major tech companies have come to arrangements in other countries for governments to benefit from their revenues (Reuters)

The Egyptian parliament last month approved the organisation of the press and information draft law, which states that no website may publish advertisements in the Egyptian market unless they are subject to the provisions of the law. 

The government has said international social networking sites are making billions in advertising in Egypt, none of which is being taxed by the state.

But some critics say the move is intended to impose restrictions on online freedom and stifle opposition to the authorities.

Ahmed Mustafa, an information technology expert, said tech giants earned an estimated billion dollars in profits from ads in the Egyptian market in 2017. He said in some parts of the world Facebook, Google and other major tech companies had come to arrangements for governments to benefit from their revenues.

Thousands of Yemenis flee Hodeidah

The United Nations has reported that more than 121,000 people have fled the coastal province of Hodeidah in western Yemen because of ongoing battles between Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition, according to the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi.

Tribal fighters loyal to the Yemeni government in al-Faza near Hodeidah on 1 June 2018 (Reuters)
According to a report, issued by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen, "there is an ongoing process of displacement in the province of Hodeidah, and humanitarian organisations have confirmed that more than 17,350 families (more than 121,000 people) have left the province since 1 June”.

In addition, "more than 10,000 displaced families (80,000 people) have been provided with food, emergency supplies, and other life-saving support".

The report added that after days of relative calm earlier in the week, several air strikes were reported in the city near the airport, as well as on the Sanaa-Hodeidah road.

The UN also said that relief organisations have been able to enter and leave the city without much difficulty, but many roads in the centre are blocked because of traffic, while access to several other neighbourhoods is subject to negotiations.

Survey: Most Jordanians happy with government

Jordanians are positive about the kingdom’s new government led by Omar al-Razzaz, according to the results of an opinion poll, al-Ghad newspaper has reported.

The new government was appointed in June amid public protests at the country’s economic crisis.

Thousands of Jordanian professionals participated in a strike in May (Reuters)

The survey reported that 57 percent of Jordanians and 63 percent of opinion leaders in Jordan believe "things are heading in the right direction", compared with 40 percent of citizens and 31 percent of prominent influencers who disagree.

Of those who thought the country was now going in the wrong direction, 28 percent said it was because of rising prices and living costs, 19 percent cited deteriorating conditions and 20 percent said corruption.

The survey was conducted by the Centre for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan.

*Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye

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