• Oman Air disables misnamed 'Persian' Gulf inflight maps

    MUSCAT: Oman Air has switched off an inflight map system that labeled the waterway between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran, the subject of a bitter naming dispute, as the “Persian Gulf”. The decision followed a storm of criticism on social media after a passenger posted a video showing the map in Arabic referring to the Persian, rather than Arabian Gulf. “Our crew have been notified to disable the disturbing maps,” the sultanate’s national carrier said in a statement on Twitter. Two Boeing Dreamliners hired from Kenya Airways used a different map system to its own, it said, adding that it had asked Panasonic, which runs the system, to change the maps “without delay”. One Twitter user called the

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  • Rihanna to be awarded MTV Video Music Award lifetime achievement prize

    Rihanna will receive MTV's lifetime achievement award at the Video Music Awards later this month. It's MTV's highest honour and is known as the Michael Jackson video vanguard award. Last year Kanye West won the trophy, with Beyonce, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears previously getting it. "[The award] reflects an artist's impact not just on music but on pop culture, fashion, film and philanthropy," says MTV. She will also perform at the ceremony in New York, as well as being nominated for best collaboration and best female video. Beyonce leads the nominations though with 11 nods, while Adele is up for eight. It's the first time the event has been held at Madison Square Garden and it will feature

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  • King Salman: An epitome of hope

    RIYADH: A towering figure and accomplished statesman Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman is a visionary, a great philanthropist, and above all an epitome of hope for the Kingdom and the whole Middle East region. King Salman, who succeeded his brother late King Abdullah upon his death on Jan. 23, 2015, is a stalwart among world’s statesmen, whose contributions to the Saudi nation, to the peace and security of the Middle East region and to the world at large have no parallels. King Salman is also credited with transforming Riyadh from a mud city to a thriving modern world-class capital during his tenure as governor. With his active support and governance, Saudi Arabia is becoming more prosperous besides being a significant donor of foreign aid.

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  • Japan scrambles jets over Chinese flight

    Japan says it scrambled fighter jets on Sunday after eight Chinese military aircraft flew between Japanese islands. The planes, thought to be bombers, surveillance planes and one fighter jet, flew along the Miyako Straits, between Okinawa and Miyakojima. China said about 40 of its aircraft had been involved in what it said was a routine drill. The planes did not cross into Japanese airspace, but the move is being seen as a show of force by China. It comes one week after Japan said it would take part in joint training exercises with the US navy in the South China Sea. Japan's top government spokesman said Japan would be watching China's military movements closely. Tokyo will "continue to devote

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  • Blake Lively doesn't want you praising her post-baby body

    Blake Lively says new mums shouldn't feel pressure to lose weight straight after having a baby. She's been on Australian breakfast show Sunrise, where she was complimented on how great she looked in a bikini in her new film The Shallows. The presenter commented on how the film was shot just months after Blake had her first baby. But the 28-year-old called it unfair that slimming down after birth is "so celebrated". "It's like, this is what someone looks like after having a baby," she said. "I think a woman's body after having a baby is pretty amazing. You gave birth to a human being. I would really like to see that celebrated." The ex-Gossip Girl star's now expecting her second child with husband

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  • Russia and Pakistan to hold first joint military exercise

    Former Cold War-era rivals Pakistan and Russia are due to hold their first ever military exercise this month, Pakistan’s military said on Friday, in another sign of shifting alliances in South Asia. During the Cold War, Pakistan spent a decade helping the United States funnel arms and fighters into neighboring Afghanistan to help insurgent groups fight Soviet soldiers following their 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. At the time, the communist Soviet Union was closely aligned with Pakistan’s arch-enemy India, while the United States was a staunch supporter of Pakistan. Pakistan’s top military spokesman, Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa, said a “contingent of Russian ground forces” arrived in Pakistan

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  • Italian driver races China daredevil road in record time

    An Italian driver has raced up China's Tongtian Road, considered one of the world's most dangerous, in record time. Fabio Barone covered the nearly 11km (6.8 mile) route in just 10 minutes 31 seconds, on 21 September. The road has 99 sharp turns on its way up Tianmen Mountain, rising from 200 to 1,300 metres above sea level. He had his Ferrari specially modified for the attempt, shaving crucial kilos off its weight by swapping metal for carbon fibre parts. Mr Barone is not new to racing hairy mountain roads, having set another speed record last year on the Transfagarasan mountain road in the Transylvanian Alps in Romania. Tianmen Mountain is no stranger to extreme motor sports either, having

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  • Oil prices rebound after Algeria says all options open at OPEC meeting

    Crude prices rebounded on Monday after Algeria's energy minister said the day before that all options were possible for an oil output cut or freeze at this week's informal meeting of OPEC producers. That came after prices tumbled 4 percent on Friday amid signs Saudi Arabia and Iran were making little progress in achieving preliminary agreement to freeze production. Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algeria from Sept. 26-28, where they will discuss a possible output-limiting deal. "We will not come out of the meeting empty-handed," Algerian energy minister Noureddine Bouterfa said in Algiers on Sunday.

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  • Manchester hit-and-run: Footage shows woman struck by car

    CCTV footage has been released of the moment a driver fled the scene of a hit-and run after a 67-year-old woman was struck by a car. The woman was crossing Chapel Street in Levenshulme, Manchester, when a silver Honda Civic, which was waiting at the junction, reversed and hit her on 13 August. The driver got out, saw the woman on the ground and returned to the car before leaving, Greater Manchester Police said. The woman was taken to hospital where she was treated for a broken ankle and a fractured arm. Officers said they were looking for a man of large build, in his 20s or 30s with short black hair.

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  • How a sleeping Kyrgyz boy prompted poverty conversation

    This image of a Kyrgyz boy sleeping on a piece of cardboard has triggered a furore on social media, and a wider debate about poverty in the Central Asian country. The boy is three years old and lives in the Osh region, in the south of Kyrgyzstan. It was posted to Facebook along with the comment: "It would be good if this innocent child slept in a kindergarten or at home, instead of at the market". And others were quick to offer similar opinions - blaming the mother of the boy for leaving him to sleep on the street. But many turned their attention to the government as well, criticising the authorities for the pitiful scene. "State jackals. You can't see how the people live," wrote one. Many took

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  • Two Muslim Women Kicked Off JetBlue Flight for ‘Staring’ at Flight Attendant

    In what would have been a shocking but is now an all-too-familiar Islamophobic incident, two Muslim women were led off a passenger plane as a flight attendant did not like the way the women ‘stared’ at her, according to DailyMail. On Saturday, two Muslim women in hijabs onboard JetBlue Flight 487 between Boston and Los Angeles were escorted out of the airliner by police as one of the flight attendants was concerned about the way the two women were looking at her. A video showing the two women being escorted out for questioning was posted on YouTube on Monday by Mark Frauenfelder, taken by his friend Sharon Kessler. In regards to the incident, Kessler told DailyMail that "it was a terrible moment

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  • 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

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  • Rouhani uses UN to hit US over nuclear deal - Region - World

    Iran used the UN General Assembly on Thursday to accuse the United States of failing to meet its commitments under a historic nuclear deal. President Hassan Rouhani complained that America is dragging its feet on its side of the bargain. "The lack of compliance (with the deal) on the part of the United States in the past several months represents a flawed approach that should be rectified forthwith," Rouhani told the world body. The agreement between Tehran, Washington and five other major powers came into force in January. Iran accepted curbs to its nuclear program in exchange for their lifting sanctions. While observers say Iran has met its commitments, Tehran accuses Washington of continuing

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  • Deputy Crown Prince: Young architect of Vision 2030

    DEPUTY Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, second deputy premier and minister of defense, is regarded as the youthful architect and chief promoter of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The vision, a blue print for the Kingdom’s shining future, unveiled by Prince Muhammad on April 25, will not only overhaul the Kingdom’s economy but has the potential to ensure its prosperity in all sectors for decades to come. On June 6, Saudi Arabia launched the National Transformation Program (NTP), setting targets for the program through 2020. The main objectives of the Vision 2030 and NTP are to create an environment of economic security and elevating the Kingdom’s regional and international status, without compromising

    Saudi Gazette q
  • Saudi central bank to inject $5.3 bln to boost financial sector

    Saudi Arabia's central bank said it would deposit about $5.3 billion (20 billion riyals) at commercial banks and introduce two new money market instruments to fight a surge in market interest rates caused by low oil prices. It will inject the funds in the form of time deposits on behalf of government entities to "support financial stability", it said on Sunday, without naming the entities or providing other details. It will also introduce seven- and 28-day repurchase agreements to lend money to banks when needed. Previously, the central bank has typically only used repo agreements with one-day maturities. Low global oil prices have slashed government revenue and the volume of petrodollars flowing

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  • A busy day at causeway

    Dammam — Some 70,000 vehicles from the Saudi and Bahraini sides crossed the King Fahd Causeway on Friday, according to Director of Saudi Passports (Jawazat) Brig. Gen. Marei Al-Qahtani. Citizens and expatriates in Saudi Arabia had an extended holiday for the National Day, which was celebrated on Friday. The causeway authorities opened all 21 lanes for the smooth flow of the heavy traffic. The lanes were monitored by 128 surveillance cameras linked to the operations room which was set up recently. The operations room is equipped withe the latest technology and has well-trained security staff to facilitate the flow of traffic to and from Bahrain, Al-Qahtani said. The 25 km-long causeway links the

    Saudi Gazette q
  • Daisy Ridley 'will not apologise' for her body size after Instagram criticism

    Daisy Ridley says she "will not apologise" for her body shape. She responded to an Instagram post of her character Rey, which criticised how thin she looked in Star Wars. "I can't believe the unrealistic expectations I'm setting for young girls," a speech bubble read. "Don't they know real women have curves?" She replied: "'Real women' are all shapes and sizes, all ethnicities, all levels of brave. I am a 'real woman' like every other woman in this world." Daisy deleted her initial response on the post. The actress said it wasn't her intention "for anyone to send messages to that poor person that posted the original picture". She then posted a full response on her own official account which included

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  • Are Children Being Exploited to Loot Millions of Dollars Worth of Egyptian Artifacts?

    This story is not about Egyptian heritage; it’s the story of mafia-like organisations taking the lives of Egyptian children to loot millions of dollars in ancient artifacts. According to a report by Live Science, more than 25 children exploited by gangs reportedly died last year, as they were recruited to seek relics across underground shafts in Abusir el-Malek - relics which were eventually sold on the black market. The investigative report, published on August 9th, states that over $143 million worth of artifacts were exported to the United States since 2011. Most of them, gold coins looted from tombs and ancient sites, made their way into New York, but they were not taken to museums - they were destined for personal or commercial use, as documents by the US Census Bureau indicate.

    Cairo Scene q
  • China spends more in the world than the world spends in China

    For the first time, Chinese companies have invested more abroad than foreign companies have invested in China, data for 2015 showed this week. Overseas investment rose 18.3% to a record $145bn (£111bn), compared to $135.6bn of foreign investment. It comes as China's economy last year grew at its slowest pace in 25 years. Slowing growth has seen many Chinese firms on a shopping spree abroad, picking up US and European firms for know-how, technology and influence. The past year's takeovers included Italian tyremaker Pirelli, US film studios Legendary, Swiss seed giant Syngenta and German robotics company Kuka. "We think Chinese companies' overseas takeovers can help them acquire high-end production

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  • Iraqi Prime Minister optimistic about Mosul liberation, Former U.N. climate chief on Paris deal breakthrough,

    Explore topics and guests discussed in this episode: Prime Minister Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi Iraqi Paris Mosul christiane amanpour ISIS U.N.

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