Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager reveal COVID-friendly Halloween plans

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager put on the show of a lifetime during Today’s Broadway-inspired extravaganza on Friday — and their biggest fans are their children.  

The co-stars opened up about what their little ones think of their while revealing how they plan on safely celebrating the spooky holiday with their families amid the pandemic. 

Jenna, who dressed as Grizabella from the long-running show Cats for her Broadway tribute, told DailyMail.com that her daughters Mila, seven, and Poppy, five, helped her get into character.  

Surprise! The Today cast paid tribute to Broadway on Friday's Halloween special, with Hoda Kotb dressing as Glinda from Wicked and Jenna Bugh Hager going as Grizabella from Cats

Surprise! The Today cast paid tribute to Broadway on Friday's Halloween special, with Hoda Kotb dressing as Glinda from Wicked and Jenna Bugh Hager going as Grizabella from Cats

Surprise! The Today cast paid tribute to Broadway on Friday’s Halloween special, with Hoda Kotb dressing as Glinda from Wicked and Jenna Bugh Hager going as Grizabella from Cats

Family fun: Hoda, 56, told DailyMail.com that her daughters Haley, three, and Hope, one, were in school during the live show, but she TiVoed the performance so they can watch it together

Family fun: Hoda, 56, told DailyMail.com that her daughters Haley, three, and Hope, one, were in school during the live show, but she TiVoed the performance so they can watch it together

‘I FaceTimed my girls. We got to do a little tutorial. They gave me the best way to be a cat,’ she explained.

‘Instead of doing “M-E-O-W,” they do like “M-R-O,”‘ Hoda, 56, said, imitating Mila and Poppy’s unique cat impressions. 

The Halloween costumes are something the former first daughter’s children look forward to, PTS Terbaik ASEAN and she understands why.   

‘Our kids, I think they think it’s so magical what we get to do, and we agree,’ Jenna, 38, said. ‘It’s so much fun to dress up like these people.’

Hoda, who is mom to daughters Haley, three, and Hope, one, said her daughters haven’t seen her Glinda costume from Wicked yet because they were in school during the live show. 

‘When I get home, we are going to Tivo,’ she said. ‘They’re going to be like, “Who that?” That will be their initial response.’  

Aww! Jenna shared that she FaceTimed her daughters Mila, seven, and Poppy, five, before her performance, and they gave her a tutorial on how to meow like a cat

Aww! Jenna shared that she FaceTimed her daughters Mila, seven, and Poppy, five, before her performance, and they gave her a tutorial on how to meow like a cat

Halloween season: Jenna's daughters went to school on Friday dressed as a fairy and astronaut-queen, respectively, while her one-year-old son Hal was a deer

Halloween season: Jenna’s daughters went to school on Friday dressed as a fairy and astronaut-queen, respectively, while her one-year-old son Hal was a deer 

Hoda credited Today producer Debbie Kosofsky with coming up with the Broadway theme when they were brainstorming ideas, saying she and her colleagues are ‘always talking about’ how much they miss the theater. 

‘It was funny because it kind of happened late. And you know when you are on the right track for something, and everything starts falling into place like it was meant to be? Like that’s what happened,’ she said. ‘We didn’t have costumes and then the Broadway costume people showed up.’

They both wore real costumes from their respective shows, and one of their makeup artists had a two-hour tutorial with a lead makeup artist from Cats to perfect Jenna’s look.  

‘You should have seen us. We had this weird look in our eyes, everybody did before it was their turn, and it was almost like you went from a regular person on the show, and then suddenly you’re like Glinda,’ Hoda said of her transformation.   

On Friday’s spectacular, the Today show honored iconic Broadway productions such as Wicked, Cats, Chicago, and more as a way to raise awareness for the theater industry, which was struck hard by the coronavirus pandemic.  

Broadway shut down in mid-March and is not expected to reopen until at least May 30, 2021, according to the Broadway League.  

Whose that? Hoda, pictured with her co-star Savannah Guthrie, who was Elphaba from Wicked, doesn't think her children are going to recognize her in her Glinda costume

Whose that? Hoda, pictured with her co-star Savannah Guthrie, who was Elphaba from Wicked, doesn’t think her children are going to recognize her in her Glinda costume 

Reopening: On Friday's spectacular, the Today show honored iconic Broadway productions such as Wicked, Cats, Chicago, Hamilton, and more

Reopening: On Friday’s spectacular, the Today show honored iconic Broadway productions such as Wicked, Cats, Chicago, Hamilton, and more 

Perfect fit: Hoda and Jenna said they are always talking about how much they miss Broadway with their colleagues

Perfect fit: Hoda and Jenna said they are always talking about how much they miss Broadway with their colleagues 

For months, organizations such as The Actors Fund, Broadway Cares, and Artist Relief have been raising money for theater casts and crew members that have been unable to earn a living due to the global crisis. 

‘Hoda and I and all of us here miss Broadway,’ Jenna said. ‘It’s such the heartbeat of our city, and we realized that 30,000 plus people are not employed, so we were like, “You know what? Let’s pay tribute to a place we miss desperately.”‘

‘And, hopefully, raise a little awareness and maybe some money for some people that need it,’ she added. 

Hoda and Jenna also shared the COVID-friendly plans they’ve made with their families this Halloween.   

‘We are going to keep it all really basic. My mom’s in town. We all got COVID tested before she came,’ Hoda explained. ‘We’re all dressing up like Sesame Street, and we’re literally going to sing “Sunny Days” and walk around the block.’

‘We’re hiding some little pumpkins filled with candy around the apartment. We have a whole bunch of stickers and we have a couple of games and maybe we’ll catch a movie,’ the mom of two added. ‘We’ve heard Monsters Inc. is the one we might need to watch. And then that’s it.’

Salah Satu Contoh Bentuk Kerjasama Asean Dalam Bidang Iptek Adalah \u2013 Berbagai Contoh

Plans: Hoda, pictured last Halloween, said her family is going dress up as Sesame Street characters and look for candy that she hid in little pumpkins throughout their apartment

Plans: Hoda, pictured last Halloween, said her family is going dress up as Sesame Street characters and look for candy that she hid in little pumpkins throughout their apartment

Looking back: Hoda, pictured with her mom and daughters, said her children remind her how 'exciting' Halloween was when she was a kid

Looking back: Hoda, pictured with her mom and daughters, said her children remind her how ‘exciting’ Halloween was when she was a kid

Jenna noted that this Halloween will be just as special as the years past because her family will be together. 

‘It won’t look exactly like last Halloween, but I think anything we have learned in 2020 is that if we pair things down and they’re more simple, as long as you’re with the people that you love, it’s going to be good,’ she said.

Jenna, who also has a one-year-old son Hal, usually goes trick-or-treating with her co-star Savannah Guthrie and her children Vale, six, and Charley, three, but that’s not in the cards this year.

‘That is the tradition we normally do, but this year we’re not trick-or-treating,’ she explained. ‘We might have a little playdate, but I don’t know. It’s so sad. That tradition might be off for 2020.’ 

Jenna and Hoda both shared that their children have been seeing pictures of them without protective face masks in previous years and are wondering why.    

‘My kids saw the Halloween pictures from last year, and they said, “But, Mommy, why weren’t we wearing masks?”‘ Jenna said. ‘And I’m just like, “Oh my gosh because there was life before this” — and there will be life after.’

Staying safe: Jenna said she and her children, pictured last Halloween, won't be going trick-or-treating this year because of COVID-19, but she knows it will still be a special day

Staying safe: Jenna said she and her children, pictured last Halloween, won’t be going trick-or-treating this year because of COVID-19, but she knows it will still be a special day

Tradition: Jenna and her family usually go trick-or-treating with her co-star Savannah and her children Vale, six, and Charley, three, so they might try to have a playdate instead

Tradition: Jenna and her family usually go trick-or-treating with her co-star Savannah and her children Vale, six, and Charley, three, so they might try to have a playdate instead

This year marks Hoda’s third Halloween as a mom, and she’s noticed that her daughters’ joy over the holiday has her reminiscing about her own childhood.  

‘I think it’s funny that you’re remembering what it was like to be a kid because every time I am with them, I keep thinking, “I remember how exciting Halloween night was and what a thrill it was,”‘ she said. 

Hoda noted that she never got more Halloween candy in her life than when she dressed as a voting booth ahead of the 1976 presidential election. 

At the time, Democrat Jimmy Carter was running against incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford. 

‘I just put a box on and cut two holes and I wore like an Uncle Sam hat,’ she recalled. ‘I said, “Carter or Ford?” and literally people put fistfuls of candy in each one of the candidate’s boxes. And I was thinking to myself, “This is the best costume I ever thought of.”‘

With the 2020 presidential election just days away, Jenna suggested that Hoda ‘bring that baby out this Halloween.’  

‘I’m not quite sure it would go over as well,’ Hoda joked. 

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WordPress Theme Development Tutorial In Urdu/hindi

In this WordPress Theme Development Tutorial respect to build a blog yet internet site, ye undergo a bunch of choices to select from. But a by myself answer be able end above arrival a cluster of time. If you are surely starting out, WordPress is the auspicious platform so stands atop the relaxation. Deciding on the ideal comes podium due to the fact that web page is a predominant choice particularly such impacts your internet site's search engine optimization. Sturdiness WordPress is back CMS platform amongst the bloggers. There are many reasons that fulfill such popular content material fabric management device, which include, such includes purchaser friendliness, capabilities, kampus terbaik di lampung customization, uninterrupted begin supply, at ease, contemporary, search engine optimization friendly, cutting-edge help network, handy in imitation of manipulate, and mobile optimized and lots more. This is a complete series of WordPress tutorial.

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Affiliate Marketing Tutorial – Become Part of The Top 3 Percent Online

Your success with affiliate marketing all begins with your affiliate marketing tutorial. In this article I am going to show you why the top 3% of people online make money with affiliate marketing. There is a reason behind the whole success they are having and it is not just luck.

You are about to find out what you need to do in order to be successful online and with affiliate marketing. If you use each of the items I mention in this affiliate marketing tutorial you will greatly increase your chances of success with your company.

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One of the reasons why so many people fail online with affiliate marketing is because they think that the tools the company will supply will be everything they need. The truth is you need to use a few more tools, and use them in the right way to guarantee your success.

In the list below I will cover the things you need to do and use to enjoy your financial freedom from affiliate marketing.

1) Article marketing is a great way to know only promote your products, but also write about them and the benefits they have in using them. You can also write about related topics or show your readers how to solve a problem, then bring your product in as the solution. Remember articles stay online forever, so you could get free traffic for many years to come.

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3) Using social networks to promote yourself and products is another powerful way to build your business. As long as you are using social media to its full potential you can build up many contacts and customers this way.

4) Attend webinars as often as you can which are hosted by your company and other marketers. Also you can do your own webinars where you cover a certain topic and use your product on the back end.

5) Visit other marketer's blogs, read their article and watch their videos to learn as much as you can bout affiliate marketing. Your company will only show you so much, the rest you have to find out for yourself. That is of course you have a top affiliate company, but they are few and far between.

Now of course you have to tie all of this into your central hub, and that is your blog. You should your articles, videos, social networks, even your webinars should be on your blog. Your blog is your own piece of internet real estate and you should have it setup so people can get information about your product and opportunity.

This is a part of your companies affiliate marketing tutorial that they will not tell you about. They will say they supply you with all the tools you need but they may not show you how to use all the things I mention in the list above the correct way.

So many people have failed with affiliate marketing because they do not receive the right training to become successful with their company. I truly believe that if you use video, article and social networking the right way you will set yourself up for financial success.

Your success online is the number 1 priority. If that is your desire you need to set your business correctly and establish the following which only takes a few days with the proper training.

1) A daily strategy that shows you the exact strategies you need to perform each day to see the results you desire

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Here are all the answers you need in one Free training that will detail total niche domination and your marketing funnel. Thank you for taking the time to read this article about affiliate marketing, here is another article I wrote about and how to get the best from your company. Tristram Lodge

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Mdx Tutorial a Tutor to Multi Dimensional Language

In recent days photography has become one of the richest technologies. It is loved by everyone. People sometimes take it as their hobby or sometimes take it as their profession. It is necessary to state here that photography is an art and photographers are respected by everyone.

Wedding ceremony is very special. One will have one's wedding only once in one's life. That is why he or she wants to have the best photography. This MDX Tutorial will assure their client with best of their performance on the special day.

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On wedding day everything is needed to be done in a very perfect way. Starting from your wedding dress to your wedding cake, ever thing needed to be perfect. Your wedding party also should follow the perfect path. It is a memorable occasion and you try to make it very special with your best. Only a good photographer can help you in making your wedding most memorable and special incident of your life by capturing all the moments which you have also overlooked. These photographers capture various incidents in such a beautiful manner that your wedding party will definitely put on a glamorous look.

Now hiring a wedding photographer is not very difficult. As most of them have their own studio and also their own business websites. You can contact them through phone, e-mail or directly in their studios. Their charge also varies from one to another. The charge depends on their experience and pts terbaik sumatera popularity and most importantly on their quality of work. You have to book them with some advance payment.

Though they are all very well-skilled but still you are requested to make a thorough market research before hiring a photographer for your wedding date. If your choice is bad, it will spread salt over your effort and will ruin your marriage ceremony. So, at first check the profile of these photographers carefully. To know more about these MDX Tutorial you can search the internet.

Carlos Quijada is an IT professional associated with the field since the last 20 years. His core area of specialization is programming. Beside working with one of the leading IT services, he writes about technology and its benefits, .

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Enter With a Bang in the Technology World by Learning AWS Blockchain Tutorial

What is Blockchain?

Before knowing about AWS Blockchain, let us first know exactly what a blockchain is. Blockchain is a decentralized database technology that maintains a continuously growing set of transactions and smart contracts hardened against tampering and revision using cryptography. AWS Blockchain Tutorial is an important part of the blockchain training. Let us learn about the exact definition of AWS before taking off in the blockchain world.

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What is AWS?

AWS stands for Amazon Web Services. It is the world's most comprehensive and widely adopted cloud platform, providing over 175 featured services from data centers all over the world. AWS is being used by millions of people including start-ups, large businesses and government agencies to lower the costs and innovate faster.

Following things can be done with the help of AWS:

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The course provides you with the minutest detail about each and every component of blockchain programming. is a vital part of the blockchain programming course. You will learn everything from the basics and gradually progress towards higher levels. The course at Newtum is designed keeping in mind the aptitude of students. The course curriculum teaches every part including Stellar, Ethereum, Cryptocurrency, AWS and Hyperledger tutorial. You will get a complete introduction of how to set up and start working on AWS blockchain under the thorough guidance of our experienced professionals.

Course content to be covered during the curriculum:

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Best smart displays of 2020: Amazon, Google and more

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Thanks to  lockdowns, voice assistants are . Add that to the slew of new products from and as we enter the fall, and this is an exciting time for Alexa and Google Assistant. Smart displays add an even more compelling angle: they offer video chat, touch controls, screen for streaming and much more. I for one have already sent an to my mother-in-law so she can drop in to read my kiddos books every couple of days this December.

But which smart display is best for pts terbaik sumatera you?

The smart display industry has flourished in recent years, with the  and the  (formerly the Google Home Hub) at the forefront of the screen wars. In addition, Amazon’s new will be adding a new contender to the field soon. It makes sense that there are almost a  on the market: They’re a great combo made up of the always-listening voice assistant (like you’d find in a ) and a touchscreen for watching videos, controlling  devices, adding things to your to-do lists and more. The  even adds in that can display personalized bits of information whenever it recognizes you.

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There are plenty of considerations that go into which smart display is right for you. Do you want one that offers video chat and video calling? Or that connects with Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Home app? Does it need to be able to control your smart light bulbs and smart plugs? Is audio performance a factor (in case you need music for a dance party)? These are all factors you should keep in mind.

If you’re looking to upgrade your current smart speaker, or you’re just starting your and you find the touchscreen appealing, here are the best smart displays available now. We’ll update this list periodically.

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Chris Monroe/CNET

You can often find the Nest Hub (formerly called the ) , making it an affordable entry point for the category. It’s also the smartest and best overall, making the lower price even more appealing. 

Thanks to the built-in , the Nest Hub responds to all of the same voice commands as the smart speaker. The touchscreen is a little small at 7 inches, but the adaptive brightness makes pictures look particularly great. Google will even customize a slideshow of family pics as your screensaver.

You can also control your smart home devices, like your smart doorbell, with an intuitively designed control panel. Unlike most of the other smart displays (and unlike its new big brother, the ), the Nest Hub doesn’t have a camera, but that might be a bonus if you have and want to put it on your bedside table. The colorful fabric design allows the device to blend in anywhere, though the touchscreen comes in particularly handy if you want step-by-step help through a recipe in the kitchen.

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Chris Monroe/CNET

For a long time, the Nest Hub occupied pride of place on this list, thanks to its photo display aesthetic, pleasant user interface and more naturalistic voice assistant. But as we venture ever deeper into the coronavirus pandemic, the Echo Show 8’s camera — and its ability to video chat — becomes a more important deciding point for would-be customers. And that’s one feature the Nest Hub simply doesn’t ha.

Chris Monroe/CNET

If you want a 10-inch touchscreen powered by Google Assistant, the Lenovo Smart Display looks elegant and features the same smarts as the Nest Hub. Lenovo actually offers three different models with 10, 8 and 7 inch screens. The 10-inch $250 smart display has a bamboo back that’s particularly well suited for the kitchen.

The Lenovo Smart Display was actually the first smart display to debut with Google Assistant built-in and it’s still one of the best. You still get Google’s smart-home control panels and recipe guides, plus the Lenovo display has a camera for video calls and a physical shutter to cover it if you want privacy.

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Arab Spring: the first smartphone revolution

Egyptians use their mobile phones to record celebrations on February 12, 2011 in Cairo's Tahrir Square

Egyptians use their mobile phones to record celebrations on February 12, 2011 in Cairo’s Tahrir Square

Social media and smartphones briefly gave youthful Arab Spring protesters a technological edge that helped topple ageing dictatorships a decade ago as their revolutionary spirit went viral.

Regimes across North Africa and the Middle East were caught flat-footed as the fervour of the popular uprisings spread at the speed of the internet via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Unfortunately for the pro-democracy movements, autocratic states have since caught up in the digital arms race, adding cyber surveillance, online censorship and troll armies to their arsenals.

While the so-called Arab Spring offered a brief glimmer of hope for many, it ended with even more repressive regimes in most countries and devastating, ongoing wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen.

"Facebook" is written with stones in Cairo's Tahrir Square on February 6, 2011, the epicenter of anti-regime protests

“Facebook” is written with stones in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on February 6, 2011, the epicenter of anti-regime protests

Nonetheless, say veterans of the period, the revolts mark a watershed moment when digital natives launched the era of “hashtag protests” from Occupy Wall Street to Hong Kong’s Umbrella protests and Black Lives Matter.

Hyper-networked and largely leaderless, kampus terbaik di lampung such protests flare up like flashmobs, making them harder for authorities to suppress, with grievances and demands decided not by committees but crowd-sourced online.

“Blogs and social networks were not the trigger, but they supported the social movements,” said former Tunisian activist Sami Ben Gharbia, who ran a blog from exile and returned home amid the 2010 uprising.

“They were a formidable weapon of communication.”

The slogans of TV channel "Al-Jazeera" and social media giant "Facebook" are spray-painted at Cairo's Tahrir Square on February 7, 2011

The slogans of TV channel “Al-Jazeera” and social media giant “Facebook” are spray-painted at Cairo’s Tahrir Square on February 7, 2011

Today, say Arab cyber-activists, states have lost much of their control over what citizens can see, know and say, as evidenced by a later wave of protests that rocked Algeria, Sudan, Iraq and Lebanon in 2019 and 2020.

While the heavy lid of state censorship has come down once more in many places, that free spirit has also brought change for the better, especially in the small Mediterranean country where it all started, Tunisia.

– ‘Mass mobile-isation’ –

A protester records with his mobile phone a demonstration in central Tunis on January 19, 2011

A protester records with his mobile phone a demonstration in central Tunis on January 19, 2011

The spark that set off the Arab Spring was the tragic suicide of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi, 26, who, having long been cheated and humiliated by state officials, set himself on fire.

If his desperate act on December 17, 2010 expressed a real-world fury shared by millions, it was the virtual universe of online communications that spread the anger and hope for change like wildfire.

Long simmering discontent among the less privileged was harnessed and multiplied by tech-savvy and often middle-class activists into a mass movement that would spread from Morocco to Iran.

Bouazizi’s self-immolation was not caught on video — but the subsequent street protests were, along with the police violence that aimed to suppress them through fear but instead sparked more anger.

Smartphones with their cameras became citizens’ weapons in the information war that allowed almost everyone to bear witness, and to organise, in a trend that has been dubbed “mass mobile-isation”.

Clips were shared especially on Facebook, a medium outside the control of police states that had for decades tightly controlled print and broadcast media.

“The role of Facebook was decisive,” recalled a blogger using the name Hamadi Kaloutcha, who had studied in Belgium and back in 2008 launched a Facebook forum called “I have a dream … A democratic Tunisia”.

“Information could be published right under the regime’s nose,” he said.”Censorship was frozen. Either they censored everything that circulated, or they censored nothing.”

Social media and smartphones briefly gave youthful Arab Spring protesters a technological edge against ageing dictatorships

Social media and smartphones briefly gave youthful Arab Spring protesters a technological edge against ageing dictatorships

If previously dissent could only be whispered, some of the citizens’ fear and apathy lifted as online users saw their networks of family and friends speak out in the virtual space.

Online platforms also formed a bridge with traditional global media, further accelerating the regional revolt.

“International media like Al-Jazeera covered the uprising directly from Facebook,” Kaloutcha said.

“We had no other platform to broadcast videos.”

With head-spinning speed, Tunisia’s ruler of more than two decades, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, was gone in less than a month.

“Thank you Facebook,” read one graffiti sprayed on Tunisian walls, long before the social media giant drew increasing fire for spreading not just calls for freedom but also fake news and hate speech.

– ‘The camera is my weapon’ –

An Egyptian demonstrator uses his mobile phone to take a picture of a burnt army tank during clashes in central Cairo on January 29, 2011

An Egyptian demonstrator uses his mobile phone to take a picture of a burnt army tank during clashes in central Cairo on January 29, 2011

The Tunisia victory would soon kick off a political earthquake in North Africa’s powerhouse Egypt.

A key catalyst there to mobilise and organise protests was the Facebook campaign “We are all Khaled Said”, or “WAAKS”, which highlighted rampant police brutality and widespread corruption.

Said, 28, died in police custody in June 2010.Photos of his battered corpse went viral online while authorities unconvincingly claimed he had choked on a bag of drugs.

The WAAKS campaign brought hundreds to his funeral, followed by a series of silent protests.

By early 2011, the Egyptian revolt had gathered steam, and the movement snowballed into anti-government protests on January 25, the National Police Day.

WAAKS at the time encouraged citizen journalism with the video tutorial “The camera is my weapon”.

Powerful online images surfaced including one of a man facing off with an armoured water cannon, echoing the iconic image of an unknown Chinese protester who in 1989 defied a column of tanks on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Regimes across North Africa and the Middle East were caught flat-footed a decade ago as the fervour of the popular uprisings spread at the speed of the internet

Regimes across North Africa and the Middle East were caught flat-footed a decade ago as the fervour of the popular uprisings spread at the speed of the internet

Volunteers translated Arabic tweets for the international media, even as state broadcasters railed against the “criminals” and “foreign enemies” it blamed for instigating the protests.

Anonymous movement hackers showed solidarity by distributing advice on how to breach state firewalls and set up mirror websites.

On January 28, 2011, the “Friday of Rage”, the government ordered an internet blackout and blocked cell phone services, but it was too late.

A critical mass was already reached, and more youngsters left their screens to join the offline action on the streets.

At the height of the protests, up to one million Egyptians were demanding Hosni Mubarak’s ouster.He finally agreed to step down on February 11, ending a rule of nearly three decades.

– Virtual battlegrounds –

If the phrase “Arab Spring” echoed the romantic hopes for freedom of the 1968 Prague Spring, it ended as tragically as that brief uprising crushed by Soviet tanks.

An Egyptian holds up a sign praising Facebook in 2011 on Cairo's Tahrir Square, heeding a call by the opposition for a "march of a million" calling for the ouster of Hosni Mubarak

An Egyptian holds up a sign praising Facebook in 2011 on Cairo’s Tahrir Square, heeding a call by the opposition for a “march of a million” calling for the ouster of Hosni Mubarak

Arab states have quickly caught up with their own cyber tools, weaponising social media and cracking down hard on online activists.

“The authorities reacted quickly to control this strategic space,” said former Moroccan activist Nizar Bennamate, then with the February 20th protest movement.

Activists, he said, became “victims of defamation, insults and threats on social networks and some online media”.

A decade later, Amnesty International charged, Morocco has used smartphone hacking software to spy on journalist and rights activist Omar Radi, before detaining him on rape and espionage charges.

A computer screen shows tweets posted by users on January 14, 2011 about the situation in Tunisia

A computer screen shows tweets posted by users on January 14, 2011 about the situation in Tunisia

In Egypt, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government has crushed almost all dissent, blocked hundreds of websites and jailed social media users, including even teenage influencers on the short video app TikTok.

Takeovers of publishing and TV companies by regime insiders has “led to the death of pluralism in the media landscape,” said Sabrina Bennoui of Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

“We called this movement the ‘Sisification’ of the media.”

Gulf countries, meanwhile, have used the Covid-19 pandemic “as a pretext to continue pre-existing patterns of suppressing the right to freedom of expression,” Amnesty has charged.

As conflicts are fought increasingly in the virtual space, the standoff between a Saudi-led group of Gulf countries and Qatar has seen the use of bot armies to attack each other.

In Libya’s war, fought with drones and mercenaries, UN mediators recently urged both sides not just to lay down their weapons but also to refrain from the use of online “hate speech and incitement to violence”.

An image from a propaganda video released on March 17, 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group's al-Furqan Media

An image from a propaganda video released on March 17, 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group’s al-Furqan Media

Social media has also been used to great effect by non-state actors such as the Islamic State jihadist group, which employed it as a powerful weapon for propaganda and recruitment.

“The tools that catalysed the Arab Spring, we’ve learned, are only as good or as bad as those who use them,” said a commentary in Wired magazine.

“And as it turns out, bad people are also very good at social media.”

– ‘Dream come true’ –

Today, as most Arab countries linger near the murky bottom of RSF’s Global Press Freedom Index, the one place that offers a glimmer of hope is Tunisia, the tiny country where it all started.

Though battered by poverty and now the pandemic, it boasts a long secular tradition, a fragile democracy and relative freedom of speech in a region dominated by totalitarian regimes.

Tunisian journalist Sami Ben Gharbia, once a refugee who  ran the Nawaat blog from the Netherlands, at the office of the now fully fledged Nawaat media outlet

Tunisian journalist Sami Ben Gharbia, once a refugee who ran the Nawaat blog from the Netherlands, at the office of the now fully fledged Nawaat media outlet

Nawaat, once one of the major dissident blogs subject to state censorship, is now a fully fledged media outlet that runs both opinion and investigative pieces, with a website and a printed magazine.

It has produced several documentaries on environmental and social justice issues and interviewed former prime minister Elyes Fakhfakh earlier this year.

Gharbia, once a refugee who had fled the Ben Ali regime and ran the Nawaat blog from the Netherlands from 2004 to 2011, is now proud to be a force in the country’s media landscape.

“There was a big debate after the fall of Ben Ali,” he said.”Had we reached our goal, should we continue and in what form?

Nawaat, once one of the major dissident blogs subject to state censorship, is now a fully fledged media outlet

Nawaat, once one of the major dissident blogs subject to state censorship, is now a fully fledged media outlet

“After a transition, in 2013, we decided to professionalise the editorial staff, to produce independent quality information, which is still lacking today in Tunisia”.

One recent day he was running a lively editorial meeting during which journalists discussed which political parties to investigate next.

“Having offices and a team of journalists working freely in the field was a dream 10 years ago,” he said.

“That dream has come true.”

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Judge blocks TikTok ban as negotiations with US continue

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TikTok logo

The Trump administration has put a target on TikTok.

Angela Lang/CNET

A federal judge on Monday blocked a ban of , a move that comes as the Chinese owner of the short-form video app works to finalize a sale of its US operations that satisfies the US government.

District Judge Carl Nichols said the government had “” its authority in pushing to ban the app. The order prevents the Commerce Department from prohibiting internet hosting companies, content delivery networks and other services from working with TikTok.

The injunction is the latest twist in a saga that started in August when President Donald Trump signed two executive orders aimed at TikTok. One with TikTok, while the other required the sale of the US business. A Friday deadline for that sale expired without an extension though negotiations have continued.

ByteDance has struck a preliminary deal with software company  and kampus terbaik di lampung retail giant , but the agreement still needs to be finalized. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews foreign acquisitions for national risks, has given ByteDance two extensions of the initial Nov. 12 deadline. 

The Commerce Department said it will comply with the injunction but intends to “vigorously defend” Trump’s executive order, noting that it “promotes national security interests.” TikTok said it was “pleased” with the judge’s order.

The Trump administration is pushing for the sale because of concerns the data TikTok collects could “allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.” The ban of the app has been blocked on two other occasions, including an October decision by a US district judge in Pennsylvania. 

Here’s what you need to know:

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TikTok-Oracle deal approved, temporary block on WeChat…

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What’s in the deal between TikTok, Oracle and Walmart?

Oracle and Walmart would get stake in a new company called TikTok Global, which is expected to go public in the next year. Four of the five members on TikTok Global’s board of directors will be American.

Oracle will host all US user data on its cloud platform and be tasked with “securing associated computer systems,” TikTok said in a statement.

“We are a hundred percent confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world,” Oracle CEO Safra Catz said in a .

TikTok Global also plans to create 25,000 US jobs as part of an expansion of its global headquarters, which will remain in the US. TikTok Global will pay more than $5 billion in new tax dollars to the US Treasury, according to . It will also create an educational program to “develop and deliver an AI-driven online video curriculum” that includes courses in math, reading, science, history and computer engineering for children.

Does that mean ByteDance owns 80% of TikTok Global?

There’s confusion over how big a role ByteDance would play in TikTok Global. ByteDance says that it will have an 80% stake in TikTok Global before the new company goes public. 

But Ken Glueck, Oracle executive vice president, said in a statement that “upon creation of TikTok Global, Oracle/Walmart will make their investment and the TikTok Global shares will be distributed to their owners, Americans will be the majority and ByteDance will have no ownership in TikTok Global.”

A person familiar with the deal told that ByteDance wouldn’t technically be an owner of TikTok Global because the shares would be given to ByteDance investors. About 40% of ByteDance is owned by US venture capital firms. 

Meanwhile, a group of Republican US lawmakers has urged Trump to reject the deal if ByteDance still has control over TikTok’s US operations, data and algorithms. Trump has signaled that he wouldn’t approve a deal if Walmart and Oracle didn’t have most of the control over TikTok Global.

“They are going to own the controlling interest. Everything is going to be moved into a cloud done by Oracle … and it’s going to be totally controlled by Oracle,” he told Fox News. “If we find that they don’t have total control, then we’re not going to approve the deal.”

Why does Walmart want a stake in TikTok?

TikTok has been experimenting with e-commerce features. Last year, the company started allowing some users to add links to e-commerce sites so people can buy products that are shown in videos. 

Walmart said it will “bring its omnichannel retail capabilities including its Walmart.com assortment, eCommerce marketplace, fulfillment, payment and measurement-as-a-service advertising service” to TikTok.

Does the Chinese government approve of the TikTok-Oracle deal?

China reportedly but the current deal structure isn’t a full divestment. Still, there are signs that Beijing isn’t fully comfortable with the proposal. 

“Based on what I know, Beijing won’t approve current agreement between ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, and Oracle, Walmart, because the agreement would endanger China’s national security, interests and dignity,” tweeted Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times. The tabloid is backed by China’s Communist Party. 

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In August, China issued new restrictions on artificial intelligence technology exports, a move that delayed the TikTok deal. Under the current proposal, ByteDance won’t be transferring its algorithm and technology to Oracle, which might satisfy Chinese regulators.

What comes next?

The legal battle is hardly over. TikTok has pending against the Trump administration to block the potential ban. While federal judges have blocked the ban from happening, the US government is appealing.

CNET’s Steven Musil contributed to this report.