Saudi Arabia's King Fahd National Library Introduces 'Open Access' Initiative

The library wishes to encourage the public to seek knowledge
The library wishes to encourage the public to seek knowledge
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Saudi Arabia's King Fahd National Library Introduces 'Open Access' Initiative

The library wishes to encourage the public to seek knowledge
The library wishes to encourage the public to seek knowledge

King Fahd National Library has launched a new initiative, called "Open Access", to mark World Book and Copyright Day. It enables free access to a range of its publications on library and information science, Saudi history, and heritage.
By making these publications readily available, the library wishes to encourage the public to seek knowledge, which is vital to individual and societal development.
King Fahd National Library Secretary General Prince Khaled bin Talal bin Badr expressed pride in the initiative, and said that it will help wider dissemination and accessibility of knowledge.
The initiative is part of the library's continuous efforts to foster the culture of reading and scientific research, and position itself as a prominent knowledge hub in Saudi Arabia.
Furthermore, the "Open Access" initiative aligns with UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, of 2021.
It will benefit library users and strengthen partnerships with private, government, and semi-government entities such as the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP), the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission, the Libraries Commission, the Research Development and Innovation Authority, associations, public libraries, specialized libraries, academic libraries, academic departments, and research centers concerned with libraries, information, and publishing.
The "Open Access" approach is the core focus of this initiative; it enables users to freely access scientific and literary books through Creative Commons (CC) licenses that give online access to sources, with certain reuse rights, provided attribution is given to the authors.
The initiative aligns with the goals of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 by promoting the reading culture, scientific research, knowledge dissemination, and accessibility.



Colombia’s Congress Votes to Ban Bullfights, Dealing a Blow to the Centuries-Old Tradition 

An animal rights activist holds a puppy while taking part in a demonstration demanding the approval of a law that prohibits bullfights, cockfights and events where animals are abused, in Bogota, Colombia, October 5, 2022. (Reuters)
An animal rights activist holds a puppy while taking part in a demonstration demanding the approval of a law that prohibits bullfights, cockfights and events where animals are abused, in Bogota, Colombia, October 5, 2022. (Reuters)
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Colombia’s Congress Votes to Ban Bullfights, Dealing a Blow to the Centuries-Old Tradition 

An animal rights activist holds a puppy while taking part in a demonstration demanding the approval of a law that prohibits bullfights, cockfights and events where animals are abused, in Bogota, Colombia, October 5, 2022. (Reuters)
An animal rights activist holds a puppy while taking part in a demonstration demanding the approval of a law that prohibits bullfights, cockfights and events where animals are abused, in Bogota, Colombia, October 5, 2022. (Reuters)

Colombia’s congress voted Tuesday to ban bullfights in the South American nation, delivering a serious blow to a centuries-old tradition that has inspired famous songs and novels but has become increasingly controversial in the countries where it is still practiced.

The bill calls for the banning of bullfights in a three-year span, making the tradition illegal by the start of 2028. The new law now needs to be signed by President Gustavo Petro, who has been a longtime opponent of these events.

Bullfighting originated in the Iberian Peninsula and is still legal in a handful of countries, including Spain, France, Portugal, Peru, Ecuador and Mexico.

It was once a popular event, broadcast live by multiple television networks. But the tradition has come under increased scrutiny as views change about animal welfare, and many find it unacceptable to see an animal suffer for entertainment's sake.

“This ban is a huge victory for organizations that have worked to transform society and reject violence against animals," said Terry Hurtado, an animal rights activist and city council member in Cali, who has been leading protests against bullfights since the 1990s. “I feel relieved that bulls and horses (which also participate in some bullfights) in Colombia will no longer be tortured, and that children will no longer be exposed to this spectacle.”

In bullfights, a matador faces bulls that are bred to be aggressive. The matador taunts the bull with a red cape and kills the animal with the blow of a sword after it has been injured with lances and daggers, and is tired of charging at the matador in a circular arena.

In Colombia, where bullfights have been held since colonial times, less than two dozen municipalities continue to hold these events, although the annual bullfights in the city of Manizales still draw tens of thousands of spectators.

Bullfighting aficionados described the ban as an assault on the freedoms of minorities as well as a problem for cities where these events draw thousands of visitors.