• Which country really has the cleverest students?

    Higher education has a strong sense of hierarchy. And high-profile international league tables are a very public form of this pecking order. While these might measure a whole range of factors - from reputation and staff ratios to research output - what they do not compare is the ability of students who have been taught in these universities. But the OECD, in its annual Education at a Glance, has published test results comparing the ability of graduates in different countries. And it shows a very different map of higher education than the ranking tables, which are dominated by US and UK universities, such as Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge and UCL. The OECD tested literacy skills among

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  • OPINION: Oman, between the Gulf and Iran

    To those who don’t understand it, Oman is a mysterious country. Muscat’s government has not become involved in regional conflicts for decades, despite the fact that it occasionally voices its stance on issues. Kuwait was invaded by Saddam Hussein and Saudi Arabia would have confronted this same fate if it hadn’t fought against him. The UAE has islands occupied by Iran.

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  • Saudi blogger Raif Badawi 'faces new round of lashes'

    Supporters of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi have expressed alarm at a report that he faces a new round of lashes. A Canadian foundation campaigning for his release said a source had told it the flogging could happen at any time. European Parliament President Martin Schulz, who gave Mr Badawi the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2015, said he was shocked and saddened. The 32 year old was sentenced in 2014 to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for "insulting Islam" online. There was an international outcry after he received the first 50 lashes in public in January 2015, and he has not been flogged since. The Raif Badawi Foundation said in a statement that it had "received from a private

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  • No plan to deport expats above 40, says ministry

    Saudi Gazette report JEDDAH — An official source from the Ministry of Labor and Social Development has denied rumors circulating on social media and online news sites that expatriates over 40 years of age would be deported. The source said that it was a false news story and that such rumors harmed expatriates in the Kingdom. He said that the ministry issues rules and directives through official websites. Professor of criminal psychology and head of academic studies at King Fahd Security College Dr. Nasser Ali Arifi said that the main motive behind spreading rumors is to destabilize the economy, spread chaos and harm the relationship between citizens and expatriates. “Enemies of the country tend

    Saudi Gazette q
  • Donald Trump: Iran should write us a thank you letter

    During the third presidential debate, Donald Trump said that Iran should write us a thank you letter if we were to take control of Mosul.

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  • Russia's naval task force: Power play or just theatre?

    A Russian aircraft carrier and other warships will soon head towards the UK. The naval task force from Russia's Northern Fleet will proceed past the British Isles, down to Gibraltar, and through the Mediterranean Sea to join the Russian combat mission in war-torn Syria. Why is Russia enhancing its naval presence off Syria now? The answer is part capability and part theatre. Russia has already flexed its naval power during its operations in Syria, with warships firing cruise missiles at land targets from both the Caspian Sea and the Mediterranean. But naval involvement has never been a critical factor. Most of the targets hit could equally have been struck with aircraft either based in Syria or

    BBC News q
  • Love Island will return for a third series

    Good news for fans of Love Island - ITV has announced it will be back next year. Bosses have ordered a third season of one of the summer's most talked about shows. Its second run is thought to have doubled last year's viewing figures, with an average of 1.3 million people watching each episode. "We can't wait to do it all again next year," said ITV Studios creative director Richard Cowles. Although the series officially finished last night with Nathan Massey and Cara De La Hoyde crowned champions, it will return for a special episode on Sunday 17 July. Love Island: Heading Home will follow the islanders as they're reunited at the wrap party. Which will no doubt mean clashes as exes come face-to-face

    BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat q
  • Envoy: Top Filipino drug kingpin arrested in UAE

    DUBAI: A man named by Philippines’ president as a major drug kingpin was arrested in the capital of the United Arab Emirates after apparently fleeing his country, a Filipino diplomat said yesterday. Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr was arrested Sunday night in an apartment in Abu Dhabi, Ambassador Constancio Vingno Jr told AP. Abu Dhabi investigators used intelligence gathered by the Philippine National Police to locate Espinosa, Vingno said. He said that his country hopes to extradite Espinosa soon. Filipino media quoted local police as saying an overseas Filipino worker tipped off authorities. An Interpol red notice for Espinosa, the son of a mayor also accused of being a drug kingpin, says he

    Kuwait Times q
  • Americans in Philippines remain jittery - President Duterte rails against United States

    OLONGAPO: In a bar along the Philippines’ Subic Bay owned by an American military veteran, the main topic of conversation is not the upcoming US election despite the Donald Trump coffee mugs, photographs and caps on display. The talk is of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s tensions with Washington and his courting of China, which is worrying the bar’s mostly American clients who have settled in the vicinity of the huge Subic Bay base, a former US navy installation. “The biggest fear is that one day he’s going to wake up and say ‘everybody from the US, get out of town’ and we’d have to leave our loved ones behind,” said Jack Walker, a retired Marine sergeant who has lived in Olongapo, the

    Kuwait Times q
  • Police van rams protesters in front of US Embassy in Manila

    MANILA, Philippines: A Philippine police van rammed into protesters, leaving several bloodied, as an anti-US rally turned violent Wednesday at the American Embassy in Manila. At least three student activists had to be taken to a hospital after they were ran over by the van driven by a police officer, protest leader Renato Reyes said. Associated Press TV footage showed the van repeatedly ramming the protesters as it drove wildly back and forth after activists surrounded and started hitting the vehicle with wooden batons they seized from police.

    Arab News q
  • Melania Trump: Billy Bush incitó a mi esposo a decir cosas sucias

    Melania Trump conversó con Anderson Cooper para CNN. Es la primera entrevista que la esposa del candidato presidencial republicano realiza tras el escándalo por la conversación obscena de 2005.

    CNN q
  • Saudi Arabia vs Dubai: The 2020 Race For The World’s Tallest Tower

    It seems like Dubai is bored of smashing Guinness World Records, as flagship developer Emaar Properties announces plans to construct the world’s tallest tower, surpassing the Burj Khalifa that currently holds the current world record, but will Saudi Arabia steal the title? The race is on as property developer Emaar has announced plans to build a new tower, with an estimated cost of $1 billion, that will stand a ‘notch’ taller than 830-metre Burj Khalifa. The proposed project expects completion by 2020, which coincidentally will be the same year that Dubai will host the World Expo Trading Fair. The announcement explained that Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls is expected to devote

    Cairo Scene q
  • 'The Biles' and other famous moves named after Olympic athletes and footballers

    Even if you don't consider yourself a gymnastics "fan" you've probably heard of Simone Biles. At Rio 2016 the 19-year-old won the individual all-round gold by a larger margin than 1980 to 2012 combined. The American is credited by many for turning the artistic gymnastics world upside down and even has a move named after her. Here's her move and some of the other famous sporting moves you may, or may not, know are named after an athlete. In gymnastics, if you do a double layout with half turn then you're doing a 'Biles' No idea what we're talking about? Us neither... It was officially recognised in 2013 at the Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp. Simone isn't the first gymnast to have her

    BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat q
  • China: Philippine bilateral talks over sea dispute to resume - International - World

    China and the Philippines have agreed to resume a dialogue on their dispute over the South China Sea, a senior Chinese diplomat said Thursday following talks between the countries' leaders. The move appeared to be a diplomatic victory for Beijing several months after an international arbitration tribunal invalidated China's expansive territorial claims over the resource-rich waters in a case put forward by the Philippines. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing as part of a charm offensive aimed at seeking trade and support from the Asian giant by setting aside the thorny territorial dispute. Duterte hailed a warming of relations with China

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  • Exorcism in Italy a job 'too scary' for young priests

    "That is a possessed woman there," says Fr Vincenzo Taraborelli as he points up to an 18th Century fresco in his Roman church. "They're holding her with her mouth open. She has little devils coming out of her body. She's being freed." It is a scene the 79-year-old priest says he knows well. For the past 27 years, Fr Taraborelli has performed exorcisms - the Catholic rite of expelling evil spirits. He stumbled into the job when a fellow priest needed help. "I didn't know what it was, I hadn't studied it," the father says. "He told me what to do. I was totally ignorant." He has since become one of Rome's busiest exorcists, and the Catholic Church is struggling to find younger successors. Working

    BBC News q
  • Turkey: Army kills up to 200 YPG fighters in Aleppo

    The Turkish military said its fighter jets hit Syrian Kurdish targets in northern Syria, and killed up to 200 fighters, according to state media. The jets hit 18 targets in Maarrat Umm Hawsh, a region north of the city of Aleppo, the official news agency Anadolu said. Quoting the army, the report claimed that between 160 and 200 fighters from the YPG, the People's Protection Units, were killed in the raids on Wednesday night. A Syrian-Kurdish forces leader, however, said that while Turkish jets and artillery were attacking, no more than 10 fighters had been killed so far.  The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said at least nine YPG fighters were confirmed killed and 26

    Al Jazeera q
  • ‘The Fast and the Furious’ to be re-released in cinemas to celebrate 15th anniversary

    "The Fast and the Furious", the first ever film in the franchise of the same name, is set to be re-released to mark the movie's 15th anniversary. Fans will be able to see the film on the big screen once again when it is released in around 1,500 cinemas on Wednesday June 22, the date when the original movie opened back in 2001. The original story follows a police officer in Los Angeles tasked with infiltrating and breaking up the street-racing scene, only to find himself hooked on the illegal sport. The film was a surprise hit at the time — partly due to a cast of mainly unknown actors and actresses — and has gone on to spawn six sequels to date. The original film featured male actors Paul Walker

    Egypt Independent: Cinema/TV q
  • Egyptian Girl Sold Into Slavery at the Age of 8 Publishes Her Memoirs

    Despite having been heavily covered by western media, the sad saga of an Egyptian girl who was robbed of her childhood in the cruelest way possible is only just beginning to become known here in Egypt after one Facebook user took to the social network to share her story, which is rapidly going viral  Although born in 1991, Shyima Hall’s life didn’t really begin until 2002 when she was freed from the shackles of slavery her own parents had sold her into for the mere price of $30. Born in grinding poverty, little Shyima lived with her parents and ten siblings in an Alexandria slum until she was traded to a rich family for whom her older sister used to work as a maid. The wealthy employers accused

    Cairo Scene q
  • “I Flew to the USA Not Knowing I Would Be Sharing a Stage With Barack Obama”

    It was the aftermath of the January 25th uprising when Mai Medhat’s startup idea sparked, while she was heading off to 'crash' Egypt’s Startup Weekend with her now business partner Nihal Fares. “I wasn’t invited, but we crashed the event because we really wanted to see it,” says the determined 28-year-old entrepreneur, who shattered the glass ceiling shaped by apathy, powerlessness, and traditional social mandates by crafting her own startup, Eventtus, in the midst of a convulsed, post-revolutionary Egypt. In less than five years, her online event management company set up its second office in Dubai, racked up 8,000 events under its belt, and raised two rounds of investment led by giants including the likes of Vodafone.

    Cairo Scene q
  • Why this giant rat photo may not be quite what it seems

    This is the giant rat photo being shared and talked about on social media. An electrician is holding it up for the camera after he found it dead in a bush on a housing estate in Hackney Downs, east London. His colleague Tony Smith took the photo and he claims the rat was four feet long and was bigger than his cat and Jack Russell dog. "We were going to stick it in the bin," said Tony. "But before we did we thought we better take a picture... people won't believe it's real." They say the rat was found near a children's playground which backs onto a railway track. Professor Jane Hurst from the Institute of Integrative Biology at the University of Liverpool doesn't believe the photo. "No way a brown

    BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat q