The beauty pageant-mad Philippines welcomed home freshly crowned Miss Universe Catriona Gray on Thursday with a parade through the capital that drew thousands of screeching fans held back by police. The 25-year-old danced, smiled and waved a tiny Philippine flag from atop a float, shielded from the pounding tropical sun by attendants holding pink umbrellas as some in the crowd scaled utility poles to catch a glimpse. Manila's already notorious gridlock was brought to a complete stop by a police motorcycle escort that blocked roads as confetti canons sprayed the crowd, which was pushed back by officers. "I was overwhelmed when I saw her and she looked at me!" said Ednor Yaunbaes, 22, as he waved a pink flag.Al Jazeera
The Pakistani government has authorised its military to "respond decisively and comprehensively to any aggression or misadventure" by neighbouring India, as tensions soar between the nuclear-armed rivals. India has vowed a "jaw-breaking response" to a suicide bombing in the disputed Kashmir region last week that killed 42 Indian soldiers - the worst such attack since the start of an armed rebellion in 1989. Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the order in a government statement released after a meeting of his National Security Committee on Thursday. It said Pakistan was "not involved in any way, means or form" in the attack which it said was "conceived, planned and executed indigenously".Egypt Independent
President Donald Trump said Wednesday he is barring a US-born former Islamic State propagandist from returning home, making the highly unusual case that she is not a US citizen. Trump's refusal to admit 24-year-old Hoda Muthana comes just as he is pressing Europeans to repatriate their own Islamic State fighters and will likely face legal challenges, with US citizenship extremely difficult to lose. Trump said on Twitter he has “instructed” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the country” - a break with usual US protocol not to comment on individuals' immigration issues. “Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a US citizen and will not be admitted into the United States,” Pompeoenglish.alarabiya.net
Iran's navy says it will hold an annual drill in the strategic Strait of Hormuz as pressure mounts on the country months after the United States re-imposed sanctions on Iran, targeting its vital oil sector. The strait is located at the mouth of the Arabian Gulf and is crucial to global energy supplies, with about a third of all oil traded at sea passing through it. Iranian Adm. Hossein Khanzadi told state TV on Thursday the 3-day maneuvers will start on Friday.Al Jazeera
The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) says it has "modernised" its dress code with the rollout of a new rule, allowing leggings and mid-thigh length compression shorts to be worn without a skirt or dress during matches. Although there was no prior rule prohibiting a player from wearing leggings without a skirt, the WTA said it "approved language to make its position explicitly clear". "We wanted to be progressive and make sure that we were current with where fashion is going and competitive-wear may be going," WTA CEO Steve Simon said in an interview, explaining the changes. Top female players, who are often seen wearing leggings or three-quarter length tights during practise, have welcomed the change.Al Jazeera
The man expected to be this year's number one pick in the NBA draft has given potential suitors a real scare after a freak accident in a college basketball game. Zion Williamson's shoe exploded during Duke's showdown with archrivals, the University of North Carolina, on Thursday. The forward injured his knee after his foot slid out through the bottom of his sneaker. It happened 33 seconds in, and Zion missed the rest of the game. Duke are yet to confirm the full extent of the injury. However, it has already affected the maker of Zion's sneakers, Nike. After Wednesday's close, Nike's stocks dropped overnight by 1.17 percent. Nike is the biggest brand in basketball with the NBA locked into an eight-yearCNN Style
Beyoncé and Jay-Z have paid tribute to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, by swapping her with one of art history's most recognizable figures -- the Mona Lisa. While the Carters were not in attendance at Wednesday's Brit Awards, the UK's equivalent of the Grammys, they accepted the award for best international group via video message. In a scene reminiscent of their 'Apes**t' music video, in which they famously pose in front of Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" at the Louvre, the pair are seen standing either side of a portrait. But the famous painting has been replaced with an image of Meghan, or as Beyoncé later put it: a "Melanated Mona." "Thank you so much to the Brit Awards for this incredible honor,"