• Oscars 2017: Which celebrities will get political?

    When the Oscars comes around on Sunday, there may be so many anti-Trump speeches they may need an award for the best one. This year, perhaps more than ever, the ceremony will be about who says what as much as who wins what and who wears what. Five weeks on from President Trump's inauguration, with the nation divided over the US president and his policies, many Hollywood stars will feel the need to take a stand on the biggest stage of all. Meryl Streep got the ball rolling at the Golden Globes seven weeks ago. That made her even more of a hero in Hollywood, pretty much secured her an Oscar nomination and gave other actors licence to speak out too. It's likely that most of those who want to make

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  • Security information director: Iran asked Al-Zarqawi to kill Iraqi Shiites

    JEDDAH: Col. Fahd Abdul Aziz Al-Ghufeili, director of information management and online public administration for intellectual security, on Tuesday said new evidence has emerged of Iran’s involvement to back Al-Qaeda and Daesh in an attempt to weaken Iraq’s American invasion resistance after the Iraq war in 2003. He said that Iran asked the late Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, a member of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, to kill Iraqi Shiites who were standing with the Sunnis to resist the occupation. Osama Bin Laden then asked Al-Zarqawi not to kill the Shiites due to to Al-Qaeda’s interests with Iran; Iran had separate plans to create disputes between the parties. Al-Ghufeili made his remarks during a lecture to students

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  • Melania Trump drops controversial language from $150 million defamation suit

    Washington (CNN)Lawyers for first lady Melania Trump changed and refiled her multimillion dollar defamation lawsuit against Daily Mail Online on Friday in New York. Trump is suing the media outlet for publishing a false story that claimed, falsely, she worked for a high-end escort service. The new version of the lawsuit leaves out a controversial portion of the original -- a section that argued the first lady's earning potential as a brand spokeswoman would be irretrievably damaged by the defamation. Critics questioned whether Trump would be attempting to cash in on her high-profile status as first lady of the United States. The original language, which has now been removed, stated: "Plaintiff

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  • Bahrain arrests 20 terror suspects, including four women

    Bahrain has arrested 20 terror suspects accused of plotting attacks in the small island Gulf kingdom. One of those captured on Tuesday was involved in the murder of police officer Lt. Hisham Hassan Mohammed al-Hamadi on Jan. 29. The arrests of the hidden cell came on the heels of recent security operations that saw three fugitives fleeing for Iran killed when they opened fire on coastguard personnel on Feb. 9. At least two of those arrested were found to have built secret facilities to build explosive devices while eight others were found to have received on arms and the use of explosives in Iraq and Iran.

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  • The woman who knows who's won the Oscars... but won't tell

    On Sunday, the eyes of the world will be on the Oscars. But two people already know who's won. You've never heard of Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan. They haven't been in any films or on any magazine covers. But they will be the most important people at the Oscars. They are the only two people in the world who know the names of the winners before each award presenter rips open the golden envelope and says the immortal words: "And the Oscar goes to..." Ruiz and Cullinan have counted the votes - and counted them again, and again, to make sure the results are correct. By Sunday night, they will have made sure the results are kept secret and delivered to the venue, no matter what, before personally

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  • Minister told to fix date for implementing selective tax

    RIYADH — The Council of Ministers on Monday authorized minister of finance to fix the date for imposing selective tax in the Kingdom. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman chaired the weekly session of the Cabinet at Al-Yamama Palace in Riyadh. Last month, the Cabinet approved the uniform agreement on Value Added Tax (VAT) and selective taxes. Saudi Arabia’s 2017 state budget recommended a five percent VAT from 2018, without any change in the prices. Other Gulf countries are also expected to implement VAT by the beginning of next year. In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency following the session, Minister of Culture and Information Adel Al-Turaifi said the Cabinet approved the decision

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  • What it's like growing up with older parents

    The US singer announced that she would be taking a break from music to start a family in April last year. But on social media sites some people debated whether she'd be able to do the things younger mothers would be able to do with their children when she was older. So Newsbeat caught up with two people to hear more about their experiences growing up with older parents. Technology can be a nightmare Jasmine is 21, her mum is 61 and her dad is 74. "Sometimes my parents will forget how to do really simple things like log into their emails. "But it can also be quite funny, like now my parents are completely obsessed with e-cards, they think they're really cool and will send one at any opportunity."

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  • Genghis Khan: Could satellites help find his tomb?

    For Shay Har-Noy it was an 800-year-old puzzle about the burial place of Mongolian ruler Genghis Khan that sparked a very 21st Century business. Mr Har-Noy was on an expedition to locate the lost tomb of the Mongol Empire founder, when satellite imagery firm DigitalGlobe donated some photos of potential areas for his team to scrutinise. These images, taken from space, were enormous, and as nobody knows what the tomb actually looked like, there was no obvious place to start the search. So Mr Har-Noy decided to crowdsource for clues. He returned to Mongolia three times to investigate what he calls "anomalies" in the photographs, submitted by eagle-eyed armchair enthusiasts. Could one of these have

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  • 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,

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  • Kendall Jenner reveals struggle with anxiety but 'is learning to cope'

    Kendall Jenner says she's been struggling with anxiety issues over the last year but is learning to cope. Writing on her own website, the reality TV star and model says she's learnt some breathing exercises which help. "Anxiety was a huge hurdle for me to deal with this past year (and security concerns didn't help), but I think I'm finally learning how to cope. "I once had a really bad attack on a plane and just had to ride it out," she writes. "I felt my heart beating a million miles an hour and I even went a little numb." She says she's now getting better at relaxing while working and travelling. "[I've] learned that it's all mental, so I try to prevent anxiety attacks by bringing my mind somewhere

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  • 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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  • 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

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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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  • How a selfie with Merkel changed Syrian refugee's life

    Syrian refugee Anas Modamani waited with his mobile phone ready at the entrance to his shelter in Berlin on September 10, 2015 - and when German Chancellor Angela Merkel emerged, he snapped a selfie. The photo quickly went viral, becoming a symbol for Merkel's refugee policy, when she opened Germany's borders to hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers. Overnight, Modamani became one of the most recognisable refugees in Germany.  "That photo changed my life," Modamani told Al Jazeera. Since then, however, the photo has appeared in numerous false stories on social media linking him to attacks across Europe, including the deadly truck attack at a Berlin Christmas market. He was also falsely identified

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  • Where was Sasha during Obama's farewell speech?

    Where was Sasha Obama? The goodbye photo clearly only shows 18-year-old Malia Obama on stage with mum and dad, Michelle and Barack, but there's no sign of her 15-year-old sister. ***Spoiler*** The simple explanation is that she stayed in Washington because she had an exam at Sidwell Friends private school on Wednesday morning. The school has educated the children of American presidents for years, including Chelsea Clinton. So it will be used to cracking down on pupils for trying to miss class because of official presidential engagements. But that didn't stop the #WhereIsSasha fun on social media. Some people hoped she was trying to stop Donald Trump getting into the White House Some tweeters

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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

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  • Iran bans drones in Tehran after device shot down

    TEHRAN: Iranian officials have banned the flying of all private drones over Tehran after two recent incidents led to one of the devices being shot down near the supreme leader’s office. “Based on a recent order regarding prevention of unlicensed flight by private drones, we have stopped these planes which had created security… problems,” said Revolutionary Guards official General Alireza Rabii, whose department is in charge of the capital’s security. The order comes after two separate incidents of security forces opening fire on small camera drones flying over central Tehran. The first one, owned by Iranian state television, was shot down in December for entering “the no-fly zone” over Enghelab square, which is near the offices of Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the president and several other state institutions.

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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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  • Syria war: Arab-Kurdish fighters enter IS-held Deir al-Zour province

    A US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab rebels has advanced into territory held by so-called Islamic State (IS) in Deir al-Zour province, eastern Syria. Kurdish military sources said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had captured some 15 villages from IS. Unidentified air strikes killed 11 people in one IS-held village, though it was unclear if this was linked. The SDF hopes to cut IS's supply lines from the oil-rich province to the group's stronghold Raqqa, in the north. Syrian government forces in Deir al-Zour have also been battling to push out IS, which commands most of the province as well as its capital of the same name. The latest development comes just days before UN-sponsored talks

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  • 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.

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