• Iran in new military drills despite US warnings

    Tehran: Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard is to conduct military drills next week, a senior commander announced Saturday, despite warnings from the US and fresh sanctions over a ballistic missile test.“The maneuvers called ‘Grand Prophet 11’ will start Monday and last three days,” Gen. Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the force’s ground units, told a news conference. He said rockets would be used without specifying which kind. In early February, Iran conducted drills involving short-range missiles at a time of heightened tensions with the US. Tehran said the exercises were aimed at demonstrating Iran’s “complete preparedness to deal with the threats” and “humiliating sanctions” from Washington.

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  • Indian expats in Saudi Arabia advised to follow customs rules

    JEDDAH: The Indian consul general has released an official statement reminding Indian nationals to follow customs rules, after a number of arrests for attempted gold smuggling were made in Indian airports recently.“It is my advice to all nationals and visitors to India that there are some rules and regulations of the customs which should be followed by all the nationals and visitors of the country, and these rules and regulations are clearly mentioned on the Indian government customs department website and always displayed at the airports — how much and what are allowed from customs authorities, and what are needed to be declared in front of customs authorities. There are rules in the Kingdom

    Arab News q
  • Khamenei threatens Palestinians: ‘Continue the resistance’

    The supreme leader of Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urged the Palestinians to “continue the resistance” on the ground and “breakaway from the consequences of the Oslo Accords.” He also encouraged Palestinians to manage what he described as “internal differences,” before they turn into domestic conflict and confrontation, in a statement that echoed a threat. Khamenei’s assertion came during a conference organized by Tehran under the slogan ‘Supporting the Palestinian Intifada,’ which was attended by the representatives of a number of Palestinian groups, and in the absence of a delegate of the Palestinian Authority, the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

    News q
  • Islamic State tortures, rapes Sunni Arab women too: HRW

    BAGHDAD: Fighters from the Islamic State group, whose abuses against Yazidi women have been well documented, are raping and torturing Sunni Arab women too, Human Rights Watch said yesterday.  The watchdog documented cases of arbitrary detentions, beatings, forced marriages and rape by the jihadists on women who have fled the town of Hawijah, which is still under IS control. HRW recounted the story of Hanan, a 26-year-old whose husband had already fled Hawijah, who was captured by IS fighters along with other women when they also attempted to escape the town. IS fighters told her that her husband’s flight made her an apostate and that she should marry the local jihadist leader. When she refused,

    Kuwait Times q
  • Birmingham Children's Hospital 'like a big family'

    For many families who have required the services of Birmingham Children's Hospital, news that it is the first standalone children's hospital to be rated "outstanding" is no surprise. The hospital was criticised eight years ago for having an insufficient numbers of beds, operating theatres and trained staff, but now the Care Quality Commission has praised the NHS trust for "working effectively to provide the best care" at the Steelhouse Lane hospital. Families told the BBC the accolade was long overdue. 'Without their care my daughters wouldn't be here' Frederika Roberts' daughters Charlotte and Hannah were both born with life-threatening heart conditions. Now aged 19 and 17, they have spent their

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  • The Engagement of 2 Children Aged 7 and 4 in Qaliubiyya Prompts Anger on Social Media

    Photos of an engagement ceremony held in Qaliubiya for a 7-year-old boy named Ziad and his 4-year-old cousin, Farida, went viral, sparking outrage on social media. Talking to Youm 7, Farida's father said that "everyone in the family was completely happy with the engagement." The father was also reported to have said that he had promised Ziad, who happens to be his nephew, that upon passing his second year of primary education, he can get engaged to Farida. EGP 18,000 worth of jewellery (shabka) was reportedly bought to Farida. According to a UNICEF 2016 report, 17% of Egyptians are already married before they turn 18.  Here's a sample of people's comments on the story: "I really can't understand

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  • This Female Entrepreneur Just Created an App to Fight Sexual Harassment in the Arab World

    Zaineb is walking cheerily down the street in the Moroccan city of Efrane when she hears a whistle. Agitated, she pulls her hood over her head, alters her route, and army marches her way along with a poker face - but with no luck. He is still following her. His footsteps seem closer. Zaineb feels her heart pound faster as she fastens her pace and leaves the dimly-lit street. She finally reaches her destination, but she doesn’t feel safe. Across the Middle East and North Africa, thousands of women mirror Zaineb’s experience and have to walk the daunting path of everyday sexual harassment; according to research by UN Women, 93 percent of women across the MENA region have suffered it at least once

    Cairo Scene q
  • Saudi oil pipeline leak kills contractor - Region - World

    A contractor was killed and three other workers were injured in a pipeline leak in Saudi Arabia, state-owned oil giant Aramco said Sunday. "Saudi Aramco regrets to inform the death of one contractor, and three other injuries involving one employee and two contractors," Aramco said in a statement. Aramco tweeted that the leak occurred at the Abqaiq facility, located 60 kilometres (37 miles) southwest of the company's main Dhahran compound. The two contractors have since been discharged from hospital. Saudi Arabia is looking to diversify its oil-dependent economy. The kingdom has announced budget cutbacks after its 2015 deficit snowballed to $97 billion (93 billion euros). Aramco could be listed

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  • Listen to Emma Watson sing as Belle in the new Beauty and the Beast film

    A preview of Emma Watson singing as Belle in the new Beauty and the Beast film has got fans going crazy. The video released on social media, has now been viewed over 12m times on Facebook alone. Since it was announced in 2015 that the actress would play Belle in the remake of the Disney classic, fans have had high expectations. And this short but sweet debut of her singing voice has left them wanting to hear more. Beauty and the Beast tells the improbable story of a young maiden who falls in love with a beast. Emma found global fame as Hermione in the Harry Potter films but her singing voice appears to have been a well-kept secret. "THIS IS GOLD. She has reproduced so many different singing styles

    BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat q
  • Zayn Malik defends Gigi Hadid after 'racist' Snapchat video

    Zayn Malik has defended his girlfriend Gigi Hadid in a single tweet after her sister Bella posted a Snapchat video of her. In it, Gigi holds up a Buddha-shaped cookie, squints her eyes and smiles. Bella has since deleted it after fans called the model racist against Asians. But it's still been widely shared online. Critics were keen to highlight Zayn's Asian heritage, prompting him to defend her. After being questioned by fans about the video, Zayn replied to one saying: "Trust me.. she likes asians ;)". Gigi Hadid was named international model of the year at the 2016 Fashion Awards last December. But this isn't the first time she's been criticised. She had to apologise after co-hosting the American

    BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat q
  • Oliver Dearlove death: Killer 'was being laughed at'

    An unemployed plasterer killed a banker because he was "laughed at" and called a "half-chap", a court has heard. Trevor Timon hit Oliver Dearlove while he and his friends were talking to a group of women in Blackheath, south-east London, in August 2016. Mr Timon told the Old Bailey he was not trying to achieve anything by punching Mr Dearlove but had simply felt annoyed. The 31-year-old, from Plumstead, admits manslaughter but denies murder. Mr Dearlove, 30, who lived with his girlfriend Claire Wheatley in New Eltham, died within 24 hours of being attacked. Giving evidence, Mr Timon said he had met a close female friend and three other women in Morden's nightclub for a birthday celebration. He

    BBC News q
  • A guided tour of the cybercrime underground

    One of the strange features of cybercrime is how much of it is public. A quick search will turn up forums and sites where stolen goods, credit cards and data are openly traded. But a glance into those places may not give you much idea about what is going on. "Everyone can join as long as you speak Russian," said Anton, a malware researcher at security firm Sentinel One, who has inhabited this underground world for more than 20 years. "By Russian I mean the USSR, so there is Ukrainians, there is Kazakhstan, there is Belarus. The Romanians are doing all the dirty work like spam and maintenance so they are not really involved in developing malware," he said. "But, today, is it mainly Russian? Yes."

    BBC News q
  • US carrier starts 'routine' patrols in South China Sea

    USS Carl Vinson will be under US command during that period, the Navy said in a statement. The operation comes amid growing tensions between the United States and China over territory and trade. In a news conference Wednesday, China's foreign ministry said it heard about the planned deployment days before it happened, and warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty. "China respects and upholds the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, which countries enjoy under international law, but firmly opposes any country's attempt to undermine China's sovereignty and security in the name of the freedom of navigation and overflight," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

    CNN q
  • Riyadh Wonderland seeks to fill gap in local entertainment

    RIYADH — The one-of-a-kind carnival dubbed Wonderland Riyadh, launched for the first time here, seeks to fill a gap in the entertainment scene in Saudi Arabia, its organizer told Saudi Gazette. “We realized most Saudi families’ fun memories are abroad,” said Mishael Alrasheed, president of the organizing committee at Benya, an event planning company established last year. “Rarely do they have an opportunity to go out here as a family and enjoy quality entertainment. We decided to create our own memories through this quality event.” Riyadh Wonderland is a fair taking place at the stadium of the Princess Nourah University’s campus where an attendance capacity of up to 20,000 visitors can enjoy

    Saudi Gazette q
  • Can Iran change? We hope it will

    Our region is rife with turmoil. We have a crisis in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, Libya. We have an Iran that is rampant in its support of terrorism and interference in the affairs of other countries. We face terrorism, we face piracy, we face challenges of economic development and job creation. We face challenges in terms of reforming our economies and bringing the standard of living of our people to a higher level. We have the challenge of trying to bring peace between Israelis and Arabs. I am an optimist, because if your job is to solve problems, you cannot be a pessimist. We have to do everything we can in order to deal with the challenges that we face. I believe that 2017 will be a year in

    Arab News q
  • King Salman embarks on 5-nation tour next month

    RIYADH — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman will embark on a five-nation Asian tour early next month. The King will visit Indonesia, Japan, China, Malaysia and the Maldives. The high-profile visit shows the keenness of the Kingdom to expand its ties with East Asian nations in the changed global scenario, according to well-informed sources. Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saefuddin said that King Salman’s week-long visit to Indonesia will further bolster the strategic relations between the two countries. The Saudi-Indonesian summit talks, led by King Salman and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, will cover the entire gamut of bilateral relations. Saudi Arabia signed

    Saudi Gazette q
  • Cabbage attack The Sun after being tipped for success

    Manchester band Cabbage have attacked The Sun, after the newspaper tipped them for success in 2017. The five piece were among seven acts the paper championed as "the next big thing". But the boys dismissed the tag, calling the paper "odious" and "backward". In a tweet they told fans: "Don't buy The Sun. Don't even walk past it without burning it, or spitting on it. They try to tell you what to think." The band, who are also on the BBC's Sound of 2017 longlist, continued: "They pay no attention to what is real. "They exploit every single one of you and affect the way you think. "Everyone has a member of their family or a friend affected by this awful repeated propaganda. It's a crime." The lads

    BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat q
  • 'We're not here for your oil', US defense chief tells Iraqis

    Mattis distances himself from Trump’s oil comments BAGHDAD: The US military is not in Iraq “to seize anybody’s oil”, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said, distancing himself from remarks by President Donald Trump at the start of a visit to Iraq yesterday. Mattis, on his first trip to Iraq as Pentagon chief, is hoping to assess the war effort as US-backed Iraqi forces launch a new push to evict Islamic State militants from their remaining stronghold in the city of Mosul. But he is likely to face questions about Trump’s remarks and actions, including a temporary ban on travel to the United States and for saying America should have seized Iraq’s oil after toppling Saddam Hussein in 2003. Trump told

    Kuwait Times 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
  • Ex-Davao Death Squad leader: Duterte ordered bombings

    Lascanas gave testimony last year in a Senate probe in which he denied being a member of the squad and of having a close relationship with Duterte. Retired Davao Senior Superintendent Dionisio Abude during the same inquiry denied the existence of death squads. At the news conference, Lascanas said Monday he was confessing in an effort "to follow God's will ... and love for my country and for my own conscience." The event was organized by opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. Allegations of mosque bombings, killings Lascanas said the squad had undertaken many killings and other criminal actions, either at the orders of Duterte or his associates. Duterte served as mayor of Davao for 10 years

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