• 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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  • 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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  • Breakup with Brad Pitt was 'very difficult': Angelina Jolie

    American actress Angelina Jolie, 41, recently said that her breakup with her husband Brad Pitt was difficult. Jolie is currently in Cambodia to promote her movie First They Killed My Father, her first major public appearance since she filed for divorce from Pitt in September 2016.  "It was very difficult," Jolie told BBC. "Many people find themselves in this situation. My whole family have all been through a difficult time.. my focus is my children, our children," she added. "We are and forever will be a family, and so that is how I am coping. I am coping with finding a way through to make sure that this somehow makes us stronger and closer." Jolie and Pitt's relationship started in 2004 amid

    Egypt Independent: Cinema/TV q
  • Philippines' Duterte a serial killer: Senator

    Senator Leila de Lima invokes ‘People Power’ revolution MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is a “serial killer” who should be forced out of office, one of his chief critics said yesterday, as she faced arrest on drug charges which she insisted were meant to silence her. Senator Leila de Lima invoked the famous “People Power” revolution that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos three decades ago, in her strongest comments yet against Duterte and his war on drugs that has claimed thousands of lives. “There is no more doubt that our president is a murderer and sociopathic serial killer,” De Lima told reporters, as she called on Duterte’s cabinet to declare him unfit to lead and urged ordinary

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Couples speak of pain over spouse visa rules

    Immigration rules that require a Briton to be earning a minimum amount before they can bring a non-EU spouse to the UK have been upheld in the Supreme Court. How does this policy affect families? "My son has seen his father a few times only," says British national Toni Stew. "I feel like a single mother rather than a wife." Ms Stew, from Worcester, met her Egyptian husband Mohamed El Faramawi, 33, while on holiday in Sharm el-Sheikh in 2009. They got married six years later. But, as the 25-year-old does not earn a minimum of £18,600 per year, her husband has been unable to join her and their 17-month-old son Ali in the UK. "I feel very guilty towards my baby," she says. "He hasn't done anything

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  • Nicole Kidman: I wish I'd had more children, 10/01/2017, Victoria Derbyshire

    Nicole Kidman tells Victoria she was brought to tears by the “beautiful” depiction of an adoptive mother’s love in her latest film, Lion.The film – based on a true story – sees Kidman’s character Sue Brierley adopt a five-year-old boy, Saroo. The actress, who has two adopted children in real life, also told Victoria that she would like more children of her own, but that her husband Keith Urban has told her to "shut down" such thoughts.

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  • Germany's Bavaria to ban full-face veil

    The German state of Bavaria has announced plans to ban the full-face veil in government workplaces, schools, universities and while driving. "Communication happens not only via language but also looks, facial expressions and gestures," said state Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann. But critics say the ban will have little practical impact in a state with only a small number of Muslims. They say the regional government is eyeing upcoming federal elections. The state's ruling conservatives, the Christian Social Union (CSU), are wary of a challenge from the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the polls in seven months' time. The draft law introduced on Tuesday evening would see the niqab

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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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  • 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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  • 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

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  • Kevin Pietersen says IPL auction is a 'slap in Test cricket's face'

    Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen says Monday's auction for the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition was "another slap in Test cricket's face". England duo Ben Stokes and Tymal Mills were bought for £1.7m and £1.4m by Rising Pune Supergiants and and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively. Pace bowler Mills only plays Twenty20 cricket because of back pains. "A T20 specialist becomes one of the current England team's richest players," said Pietersen. Pietersen has not played an international match since he was sacked by England in 2014. He has since become a T20 specialist and played in competitions in Australia, India, South Africa, the West Indies and in the Pakistani T20 tournament

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  • One-punch deaths: How lives are devastated by a single blow

    Trevor Timon has been convicted of killing bank worker Oliver Dearlove with a single punch. It's not the first case of its kind to make headlines, but how does one punch kill someone and what are the consequences for those involved? Robert Holland had been on a rare night out after months of working seven-day weeks. Before the 36-year-old went to the Oceana nightclub in Nottingham, he phoned his mother, Therese, to tell her he would visit her the next day. It was the last time they spoke. Hours later, in the early morning of 28 October 2011, Robert suffered fatal brain injuries from just one punch. Therese learned what had happened later that morning when police visited her home. "When they told

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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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