• ANALYSIS: Did Khamenei gamble big by playing the Raisi card?

    There is no doubt that what is known as “presidential election” in Iran is held in a very oppressive atmosphere. It is fake and totally different from democratic elections held around the world. In this fake show, only two candidates out of a total of six, are approved by Guardian Council (which is a council consisting of members selected by Khamenei). The two main selected candidates are given full media attention and coverage and political analysts turn them into election highlights.

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  • 'Game of Thrones' Season 7 first look

    "The dragons this year are the size of 747s," director Matt Shakman told EW. The photo shows Daenerys, played by Emilia Clarke, appearing small on the back of her dragon, which is clearly ready for war. Actor Kit Harington, who portrays Jon Snow on the series, told EW the new season will have a faster pace. "This season is really different than any other season because it's accelerating toward the end, a lot of stuff collides and happens much, much quicker than you're used to seeing on Thrones," Harington said.

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  • Serena Williams takes on new challenge in Silicon Valley

    Tennis star Serena Williams has joined the board at technology firm SurveyMonkey and pledged to tackle the lack of diversity in the industry. Ms Williams, who is due to marry Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, said she is disappointed that high-paid tech jobs are filled by white and Asian men. It is unclear how she plans to address the issue. Tech firms based in Silicon Valley have been accused of failing to deal with sexism and a lack of diversity. "I feel like diversity is something I speak to," Williams said. "Change is always happening, change is always building. What is important to me is to be at the forefront of the change and to make it easier for the next person that comes behind me."

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  • Qatar hacking row fuels Gulf tensions

    Four Arab countries have blocked Qatari news websites following controversial comments attributed to the Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The website of the influential Al Jazeera network is among those now blocked by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain. Qatar says the comments attributed to Sheikh Tamim were fake and appeared after hackers took control of the state news agency website. Online users in the four countries have confirmed they could not access the websites. Praising Iran The disputed statement touched on many sensitive regional issues, but above all, praised Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran and carried thinly-veiled criticism of the kingdom. In the report,

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  • This is what it's like to wear a hijab and live in Donald Trump's America

    For some Muslim women who wear the hijab, Donald Trump's rise to power has made them question what they wear. "I personally know people who've taken off their scarves because they don't feel comfortable," says Instagram star Fatima Abdallah. She's been talking to Radio 1 about what it's like to live in the US as a Muslim woman at the moment. "I feel like it [the election of Donald Trump] has made hate a lot more tolerable," she says. Fatima and two other online stars - Kendyl Aurora and Mariana Aguilera - feature in Radio 1 iPlayer documentary New York Hijabis, which investigates what it's like to wear the garment in the US. Modest fashion, where clothing covers most of the body, has been getting

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  • Mel B's ex strongly denies 'years of abuse'

    Mel B's estranged husband is "vehemently" denying claims he physically and emotionally abused her for years. Lawyers for Stephen Belafonte released a statement after the ex-Spice Girl was given a temporary restraining order. She claims she was the victim of "multiple physical beatings" and that her ex threatened to destroy her career by releasing a sex tape. Stephen Belafonte's legal team calls the claims "outrageous and unfounded". They say: "When the degree to which Ms Brown has gone to create a false depiction of her marriage to Mr Belafonte is uncovered, real victims and survivors of domestic violence will be understandably offended, angry and upset." What the court papers say... In detailed

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  • Unidentified object flies from North Korea over border with South

    Seoul, South Korea (CNN)South Korea's military fired warning shots after it spotted an unidentified object flying from North Korea across the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two countries, according to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff. The object, which the South Korean military said was no longer visible, was spotted two days after Pyongyang test-fired a ballistic missile -- its second missile test in seven days.

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  • Pregnant teenager banned from graduation ceremony

    A pregnant US teenager branded "immoral" by her school and barred from its graduation ceremony is to have her own event, organised by her parents. Maddi Runkles, 18, who attends a small private Christian school in Maryland, has been told she is not welcome at the event, on 2 June, because she must be "accountable for her immorality". Instead, her parents have decided to organise a special party for their daughter the following day. The decision by the board of governors of the Heritage Academy, in Hagerstown, has drawn criticism on social media from those who say the school is showing no Christian compassion to the teenager. "Heritage Academy has opportunity to demonstrate love & grace of Jesus.

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  • India opens longest bridge on China border

    India has inaugurated a 9.15km (5.68-mile) bridge over the Lohit river, easily its longest ever, which connects the disputed state of Arunachal Pradesh with the north-eastern state of Assam. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as its own, and refers to it as "southern Tibet". Beijing recently strongly objected to India's decision to allow Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama to visit the state and has also protested against the development of military infrastructure there. But India has defended its right to do so. "With China getting more and more aggressive, it is time we strengthened our physical infrastructure to defend our territory," India's junior Home Minister Khiren Rijiju, a native of Arunachal

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  • Oil down as White House proposes selling US oil reserves

    LONDON: Oil prices fell on Tuesday, weighed down by US President Donald Trump’s plan to sell off half the country’s huge oil stockpile, threatening a future glut even as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies look set to extend output cuts in a bid to tighten the market. Brent crude ended a run of four days of consecutive gains to trade 21 cents lower at $53.66 per barrel at 1142 GMT. US light crude was down 19 cents at $50.94. The White House plan to sell off half of the nation’s 688 million-barrel oil stockpile from 2018 to 2027 aims to raise $16.5 billion and help balance the budget. It is only a proposal and may not take effect in its current form. “Congress

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  • Melania Trump in black at the Vatican. Why?

    Melania Trump arrived at the Vatican on Wednesday morning the picture of modesty: a knee-length black dress, arms covered and a black veil over her hair. Her choice of outfit - in particular, the elegant veil - did not go unnoticed by those keeping a close eye on the First Lady during her husband's first overseas tour as president. Among them was the BBC's North America editor, Jon Sopel. "Interesting micro point," he tweeted. "Melania Trump wears head covering for meeting with @Pontifex - but not when she was in Saudi Arabia." But BBC's David Willey in Rome was unsurprised. There is a strict protocol to be followed when meeting the Pope, which the White House will have been informed of. A quick

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  • Kylie Jenner accepts invite to be California teenager's high school prom date

    Kylie Jenner has surprised teenagers at a high school in California by turning up at their prom. The reality star was invited by student Albert Ochoa after his date turned him down. Videos posted on social media show the 19-year-old walking through crowds of people at Rio Americano High School on Saturday night. Kylie snapchatted a photo of herself in a prom dress with friend Jordyn Woods. "TELL ME WHY MY BROTHER TOOK KYLIE JENNER TO PROM 2NIGHT !!!!!!!", she wrote on Twitter. Albert retweeted videos showing him entering the prom with Kylie. Kylie attended high school until the end of ninth grade before being home schooled, and missed out on her own high school prom. She has previously talked

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  • Mount Everest: Bodies of four climbers found in tent

    Four climbers have been found dead inside a tent on Mount Everest, taking the death toll this season to 10. The bodies were discovered by a rescue team sent to retrieve the body of a Slovak climber who died on the mountain on Sunday. All the fatalities have occurred in or near the so-called "death zone", where oxygen levels are extremely low. Local media reported that the latest deaths were two foreign climbers and two Sherpa guides. This season has also claimed the lives of an Australian, Francesco Marchetti; an Indian, Ravi Kumar, whose body was found on Monday; and 85-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan, who died attempting to reclaim his title as the world's oldest person to reach the top. World-renowned

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  • China and Russia are coming for Boeing and Airbus

    China and Russia are teaming up to take on Airbus and Boeing. On Monday, the state-owned commercial aerospace enterprises of both countries formally established the China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Co., Ltd or Craic. The partnership will develop a new twin-aisle airliner that's meant to compete with the most advanced jets from Boeing (BA) in the U.S. and Airbus (EADSF) in Europe -- the 787 Dreamliner and the A350 XWB, respectively. The new project has backing at the highest levels of both countries. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin originally penned the agreement to join forces and take on the western jetliner industry in June 2016. There aren't

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  • How a botched raid led to martial law in Philippines

    MARAWI: It was meant to be a “surgical operation” to capture one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, who was hiding and wounded in a southern Philippine city. Three days later Marawi, the centre of Islam in the mainly Catholic nation was swarmed by tanks, attack helicopters and thousands of troops fighting Islamic State-linked fighters holed up in homes and buildings. President Rodrigo Duterte had also declared martial law across the southern third of the country to quell the crisis, while many of the 200,000 residents had fled… and security forces had lost their target: Isnilon Hapilon. Forces had initially been confident they would capture or kill the elusive Hapilon, regarded by the United States as one of the world’s most dangerous terrorists.

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  • The countries that cane their convicts

    Two men are due to be caned in public after they were caught in bed together in Aceh, Indonesia. The men will each receive 85 lashes in public, as punishment under the strict Islamic laws used in Aceh. It is the only Indonesian province where Sharia is in force. According to human rights campaign group Amnesty International, 108 people were punished for various offences in 2015. Their offences ranged from gambling to alcohol, adultery and public displays of intimacy outside of marriage. Pictures of these public punishments - designed to humiliate as much as to injure - show people being led onto a raised platform, and made to kneel or stand as a hooded man beats them with a long, thin cane while

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  • Bow Wow was photographed in economy class after claiming he'd taken a private jet

    On Tuesday, Bow Wow suggested he was travelling to New York on a private jet. Being a world-famous rapper with more than three million followers on Instagram, he posted a photo of the plane saying: "Travel day. NYC press run for Growing Up Hip Hop." Trouble is, someone travelling from Atlanta to New York on a regular commercial jet spotted the star sitting in front of him in economy class. And of course he took a photo. Another Twitter user has pointed out that not only wasn't Bow Wow travelling on the private plane, he couldn't have travelled on it anyway. The jet was from a stock shot from a website advertising VIP travel from Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Bow Wow said he was taking off from

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  • 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

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  • Riyadh summits... Iran’s elections!

    KING Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the modern Saudi state, once explained to his advisers: Britain is a friendly country, America is a partner, and in the balance of national interests, a partner weighs more than a friend. True! International relations are based on a win-win formula. There is no lasting friendship or permanent adversary, but permanent interests. Those whose best products are demagogic slogans either have no more valuable goods to trade, or it is a way to justify their failure in building partnerships, or because they covet hegemony without sharing an inch of interest with their counterparts. The Gulf relationship with the world has always been based on the principle of mutual

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  • Celebrities pay tribute to Manchester victims

    London (CNN)Celebrities took to Twitter to pay tribute and express their sympathy in the wake of a terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England on Monday evening that left at least 22 people dead and dozens injured. Fellow singers including Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles were among those who tweeted their condolences.

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