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Trump’s ‘unpresidential’ Twitter activity & why Saudi Arabia arrested a man over breakfast

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Scores of migrants have died off the Libyan coast, and Alibaba’s new venture in Russia.

Saudi Arabia arrests Egyptian man after colleague feeds him a bite

Saudi Arabian authorities have arrested an Egyptian man after he was filmed being fed by a female colleague, Al Jazeera reported. The behaviour has been termed “offensive” by the country’s labour ministry.

The 30-second video, filmed by the man, went viral Sunday. It shows the man and the woman laughing and joking at a hotel desk before the woman appears to feed some bread to the man. It has reportedly been shot in Jeddah.

According to local media reports, the Egyptian national was “arrested and charged with failing to adhere to government regulations that stipulate a gender-segregated workplace”.

The local Alhurra TV network reported that the man could face charges of sexual harassment at the workplace and up to five years in prison.

“Saudi Arabia is known to enforce strict segregation between the sexes in public areas, places of work and restaurants. Men and women who are not married or close relations must sit separately from each other,” the Al Jazeera report added.

The man’s arrest sparked criticism as twitterati defended him, and the Arabic hashtag ‘Egyptian having breakfast with a Saudi woman’ became a trending topic.

The incident comes at a time when Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seeking to project the kingdom as reformist. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia ended a decades-long ban on women driving and allowed women to attend social gatherings like concerts and football matches.

Alibaba to help Russia make strides in online shopping

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has joined hands with Russian telecom company MegaFon, internet group Mail.Ru and Russia’s sovereign wealth fund to help the country tap into the online retail boom, reports CNN.

According to a report in The Wall street Journal, the joint venture, unveiled Tuesday at a China-Russia summit, aims to create the biggest online-shopping platform in the country. Apart from funds, Alibaba is contributing its existing Russian unit AliExpress Russia to the venture.

Once the transaction is approved, Alibaba will own 48 per cent of the joint venture, while MegaFon will own 24 per cent, Mail.Ru Group 15 per cent, and Russia’s sovereign wealth fund 13 per cent.

“Our experience in China and other markets around the world makes us uniquely qualified to help build the future infrastructure of commerce in Russia,” Alibaba chief Michael Evans said in a statement.

Trump’s tweets on 9/11 anniversary panned as ‘unpresidential’

US President Donald Trump showed clearly “unpresidential” behaviour on Twitter on one of the country’s most important anniversaries, CNN analyses.

Tuesday marked the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, with the country also bracing for a major hurricane, Florence, which is due to make landfall on the east coast this week.

However, Trump started his day with a tweet about the controversy surrounding alleged Russian intervention in the 2016 election.

When he did address 9/11, the tweet was “decidedly self-referential”, CNN said. First, he retweeted a post by White House aide Dan Scavino noting that Trump had signed a proclamation designating 11 September as “Patriot Day”. He tweeted it with the hashtags “#NeverForget #September11th”.

Next, Trump offered an ode to fellow Republican Rudy Giuliani, who was the mayor of New York City when the attacks occurred.

He then informed his followers that he and First Lady Melania Trump were going to attend a 9/11 memorial service.

And then he wrote:

“For Trump, the presidency isn’t about the country. It’s about him. And with every tweet, he makes that more and more clear,” wrote CNN.

Over 100 migrants drown off Libyan coast as boat deflates

According to an aid agency, approximately 100 migrants died in a shipwreck off the Libyan coast on 1 September, reports BBC. The figure makes the tragedy one of the biggest involving migrants undertaking deadly trips across the Mediterranean to reach Europe, largely to escape conflict, poverty and persecution in their home countries.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said the rubber boat deflated and sank.

The survivors, including pregnant women, children and infants, are being treated by MSF for pneumonia and burns from leaked fuel.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 1,500 migrants have died so far this year while attempting to cross the Mediterranean.

His ‘personal relationship’ with Trump will not help Japan’s Abe

US President Donald Trump’s apparent friendship with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe does not seem to be giving Tokyo any benefits, an op-ed in The Global Times notes.

A few days ago, in a phone call with James Freeman, assistant editor of The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page, Trump had hinted that Japan could be the next target of import tariffs. While Trump described his closeness with Abe in the call, he added “of course that will end as soon as I tell them how much they have to pay”.

“This is a sign of Trump pressuring Japan over the trade deficit issue and threatening to wage a trade war if talks don’t go as expected,” the op-ed by Chen Yang, an editor at The Global Times, states.

“Abe is eager to develop a close personal relationship with Trump…he is trying his best to lower the odds of a trade war by using his personal equation. Abe seems to have managed to delay Trump’s plan, but it doesn’t mean Japan has gained, at least it couldn’t avoid being a target of new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports,” the op-ed adds.

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