Geopolitics

Pakistani Teenage Peace Activist Injured In Gun Attack

THE NEWS INTERNATIONAL, NEWS PAKISTAN, GEO NEWS (Pakistan), BBC URDU (UK)

Worldcrunch

SWAT - Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old peace activist has been shot in her hometown of Swat in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in northern Pakistan.

The children’s rights activist was injured along with two other girls when unknown assailants opened fire on the vehicle driving her home from school, the website Geo News reports.

Police said Yousafzai was shot twice, and was rushed to the District Headquarter Hospital in Saidu Sharif, before being transferred to a hospital in Peshawar. According to BBC Urdu, Yousafzai sustained a bullet wound to the back of her neck, however initial reports say the teenage activist is now out of danger.

Yousafzai had recently received threats to her life, after which she was provided with a special car and unarmed security personnel, News Pakistan reports. According to the news website, the attacker - who was wearing a police uniform - stopped Yousafzai’s vehicle near her school and opened fire after inquiring about her.

Malala Yousafzai came under the global spotlight in 2009 for her efforts to bring back peace to her hometown Swat, which notably included writing a diary for the BBC about the atrocities of the Pakistani Taliban regime, reports Pakistan’s The News International. She was awarded the first National Peace Award by the Pakistani government on 19 December 2011.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raja Pervez Ashraf has condemned the attack.

To those who targeted Malala Yousafzai: It is against Pashtun culture to violate women. Nor is it manly. Pick on somebody your own size.

— Wajahat S. Khan (@WajSKhan) October 9, 2012

Let’s not fool ourselves – Malala Yousafzai, a teenaged school girl was targeted because she stood up to and spoke out against the Taliban

— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) October 9, 2012

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Future

How Facebook's Metaverse Could Undermine Europe's Tech Industry

Mark Zuckerberg boasted that his U.S. tech giant will begin a hiring spree in Europe to build his massive "Metaverse." Touted as an opportunity for Europe, the plans could poach precious tech talent from European tech companies.

Carl-Johan Karlsson

PARIS — Facebook's decision to recruit 10,000 people across the European Union might be branded as a vote of confidence in the strength of Europe's tech industry. But some European companies, which are already struggling to fill highly-skilled roles such as software developers and data scientists, are worried that the tech giant might make it even harder to find the workers that power their businesses.


Facebook's new European staff will work as part of its so-called "metaverse," the company's ambitious plan to venture beyond its current core business of connected social apps.

Shortage of French developers

Since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his more maximalist vision of Facebook in July, the concept of the metaverse has quickly become a buzzword in technology and business circles. Essentially a sci-fi inspired augmented reality world, the metaverse will allow people to interact through hardware like augmented reality (AR) glasses that Zuckerberg believes will eventually be as ubiquitous as smartphones.

The ambition to build what promoters claim will be the successor to the mobile internet comes with a significant investment, including multiplying the 10% of the company's 60,000-strong workforce currently based in Europe. The move has been welcomed by some as a potential booster for the continent's tech market.

Eight out of 10 French software companies say they can't find enough workers.

"In a number of regions in Europe there are clusters of pioneering technology companies. A stronger representation of Facebook can support this trend," German business daily Handelsblatt notes.

And yet the enthusiasm isn't shared by everyone. In France, company leaders worry that Facebook's five-year recruiting plan will dilute an already limited talent pool, with eight out of 10 French software companies already having difficulties finding staff, daily Les Echos reports.

The profile of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg displayed on a smartphone

Cris Faga / ZUMA

Teleworking changes the math

There is currently a shortage of nearly 10,000 computer engineers in France, with developers being the most sought-after, according to a recent study by Numéum, the main employers' consortium of the country's digital sector.

Facebook has said its recruiters will target nations including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands and Ireland, without mentioning specific numbers in any country. But the French software sector, which has so far managed to retain 59% of its workforce, fears that its highly skilled and relatively affordable young talent will be fertile recruiting grounds — especially since the pandemic has ushered in a new era of teleworking.

Facebook's plan to build its metaverse comes at a time when the nearly $1-trillion company faces its biggest scandal in years over damning internal documents leaked by a whistleblower, as well as mounting antitrust scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators. Still, as the sincerity of Zuckerberg's quest is underscored by news that the pivot might also come with a new company name, European software companies might want to start thinking about how to keep their talent in this universe.

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