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Murdoch’s News Corp. cements ties with Saudi prince

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Saudi prince al-Waleed bin Talal has been described by Forbes as the worlds fifth richest man. He is known for his financial ties to the Bush family and the Carlyle Group and for owning a fair-sized stake in Disney and in Citigroup.

These connections were not enough to keep al-Waleed out of trouble, however, when he suggested immediately after September 11 that US policies might have contributed to the attack. Then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani refused to accept a $10 million disaster relief contribution from the prince — and Fox News applauded Giuliani for his stance.

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Since then, al-Waleed has formed multiple connections with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., the owner of Fox News. In September 2005, he acquired 5.46% of voting shares in News Corp., and just a few months later, when Fox ran coverage of riots in Paris under the banner “Muslim riots,” he allegedly phoned Murdoch and had him change the heading to “civil riots.”

Now the partnership is growing even closer, with News Corp. acquiring a 10% stake in al-Waleed’s media conglomerate, Rotana, along with an option for another 10%. Rotana, which already broadcasts Fox programming in the Middle East, is involved in producing films, television, recordings, and magazines, and it is thought that Murdoch is hoping to get a toehold in the growing Arab market through the deal.

Glenn Beck on the air in Saudi Arabia? Probably not anytime soon. But it remains to be seen what really will come of the partnership.


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Trump only sees coronavirus as ‘something he needs to manage for his re-election’: MSNBC’s Chris Hayes

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On MSNBC Wednesday, host Chris Hayes blasted President Donald Trump's leadership abilities in the midst of the coronavirus emergency — and warned that the president is putting himself and his political prospects before any consideration of what would actually protect the country.

"One of the most important things the federal government is supposed to do is manage risk that cannot be managed by private citizens of the private sector because they are big risks. Said Hayes. "Call them tail risks. Unlikely — in some cases highly, highly unlikely — events that could be truly catastrophic if the government fails. That was Hurricane Katrina for the George W. Bush administration. Financial crisis for both the Bush and Obama administrations. On this administration, the response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Now, it could be coronavirus."

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‘He has no clue’: Internet slams Trump’s ‘breathtaking’ incoherence at coronavirus press conference

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump gave a barely intelligible press conference on the coronavirus outbreak, during which he claimed he saved America by shutting down flights, appointed Vice President Mike Pence to lead a coronavirus task force despite having few qualifications to do so, suggesting his public health budget cuts are no big deal because he can just hire more doctors later, and insisting that it was Democrats, rather than the epidemic, that tanked the stock market this week.

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Trump said coronavirus won’t spread — his scientists said the opposite right in front of him: Congresswoman

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Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL) blasted President Donald Trump after his press conference Wednesday because he contradicted his own scientists on the coronavirus.

During an MSNBC discussion after the Q&A, the Congresswoman explained that it only confuses Americans more.

"He's not doing very well on the coronavirus," she said. "Because the test of leadership is not talking about something you know very little about and he just confused the American people about whether this virus is going to spread. All the scientists said it is going to spread and the president gave the opposite impression. And presidents have to know that when they're in a situation like this with complicated science, they put the scientists, physicians in front of them, preferably, by the way, in white coats, and let them reassure the American people."

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