• Unpaid Pakistani workers to fly home

    RIYADH: Hundreds of Pakistani construction workers are to fly home from Saudi Arabia this week but without the salaries they have waited months to receive, embassy officials told AFP.A total of 405 Pakistanis owed wages by once-mighty Saudi Oger will fly home from Wednesday courtesy of the Saudi government, said Abdul Shakoor Shaikh, the Pakistani Embassy’s community welfare attache. They are among more than 6,500 Pakistanis who, he said, have not been paid by the construction giant for that past eight or nine months. Large contingents of Filipinos and Indians have also gone months without pay from Saudi Oger, which is led by Lebanon’s billionaire former premier Saad Hariri. In all, more than

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  • Rare chance to see Cambridges as a family of four

    This was a still rare chance to see the Cambridges as a family of four. Prince William and his wife continue to shield their children from the spotlight. They landed in a city named after William's great-great-great-great-grandmother. Despite the honour, Queen Victoria never made it to this part of her empire. Her descendants will be here for eight days. They represent the future, as things stand, of the throne she once occupied - in both the UK and some 4,000 miles away in Canada - where the British crown replaced a French one. Despite a sizeable minority of the population yearning for a Canadian-born head of state, there is, as yet, no concrete political drive to change the status quo. That

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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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  • Video: Cut's 100 Years of Egyptian Beauty Breaks the Internet!

    The latest video of Cut's 100 Years of Beauty series, which has already covered the evolution of beauty in countries such as India, Russia, and Korea, just managed to fit 100 years of Egyptian beauty in less than two minutes of footage. Featured looks are a documentation of Egypt’s political shifts and their effects on Egyptian society and, by extension, Egyptian women’s sense of style.    “The look chosen for the 1910s represented the urban look that women would wear to step outside the home,” researcher Jacinthe Assaad says in a video detailing the research behind each look. According to Assaad, the 20s look is inspired by Egyptian feminist Huda Shaarawi who took off the veil in resistance.

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  • Iran introduces credit cards for first time

    Iran introduced credit cards for the first time on Sunday, the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported. In January, world powers had lifted sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for Tehran complying with a deal to curb its nuclear ambitions. Valiollah Seif, the head of the central bank of Iran, cautioned that it could take some time for banks to get used to the credit card system. “It would be incorrect to think that these cards will be used quickly within the banking network,” ISNA quoted Seif as saying. The cards will be offered with limits of approximately 3,000, 10,000 and 15,000 dollars and can be used for purchases in shops or online.   Last Update: Sunday, 25 September

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  • Duterte pivots to China, Russia as investors flee

    MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said yesterday he would visit Russia and China this year to chart an independent foreign policy and “open alliances” with two powers with historic rivalries with the United States. Duterte said the Philippines was at the “point of no return” in its relations with former colonial ruler the United States, so he wanted to strengthen ties with others, and picked two global powers with which Washington has been sparring with on the international political stage. He last week declared he would soon – and often – visit China, with which ties remain frosty over a South China Sea arbitration ruling won by the Philippines in July. He said Russian Prime Minister

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  • Saudi women file petition to end male guardianship system

    A petition signed by more than 14,000 Saudi women calling for an end to the country's male guardianship system is being handed to the government. Women must have the consent of a male guardian to travel abroad, and often need permission to work or study. Support for the first large-scale campaign on the issue grew online in response to a trending Twitter hashtag. Activist Aziza Al-Yousef told the BBC she felt "very proud" of the campaign, but now needed a response. In the deeply conservative Islamic kingdom, a woman must have permission from her father, brother or other male relative - in the case of a widow, sometimes her son - to obtain a passport, marry or leave the country. Many workplaces

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  • Kashmir territories profile

    The Himalayan region of Kashmir has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for over six decades. Since India's partition and the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the nuclear-armed neighbours have fought three wars over the Muslim-majority territory, which both claim in full but control in part. Today it remains one of the most militarised zones in the world. China administers parts of the territory. MEDIA Reporting on Kashmir from both India and Pakistan mainstream media is deeply politicized and reflects the tension between the two countries. Media in Indian-administered Kashmir are generally split between pro- and anti-secessionist. Local journalists work under strict curfews and also face

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  • 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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  • 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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  • Gunman kills Jordanian writer charged over anti-Islam cartoon: Report - Region - World

    A gunman on Sunday killed prominent Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar outside a court where he was facing charges for sharing a cartoon deemed offensive to Islam, state news agency Petra reported. Hattar was struck by three bullets before the assailant was arrested, said Petra. Witnesses told AFP that a man had opened fire in front of the court in Amman's Abdali district. The 56-year-old Christian was arrested on August 13 after posting a cartoon mocking Islamist militants on his Facebook account. He was charged with inciting sectarian strife and insulting Islam before being released on bail in early September. Jordan is a leading member of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in

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  • China flies military jets over strait near Japan

    BEIJING: China has sent fighter planes for the first time over a strait near Japan, the two governments said Monday, after Tokyo announced it may patrol alongside the US in the disputed South China Sea.More than 40 Chinese military aircraft on Sunday traversed the Miyako Strait between Japan’s Miyako and Okinawa Islands, to carry out training in the West Pacific, according to a statement on China’s defense ministry website. The Sukhoi Su-30 fighters, bombers and refueling aircraft did not violate Japanese airspace. Japan’s defense ministry said it was the first time Chinese fighters had passed over the strait. The drill is aimed at “testing far sea combat capabilities,” the Chinese statement

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  • Petition seeks full rights for Saudi women

    RIYADH: Thousands of Saudis have signed a petition urging an end to the guardianship system that gives men control over the study, marriage and travel of female relatives, activists said yesterday. The petition calls for the kingdom’s women to be treated “as a full citizen, and decide an age where she will be an adult and will be responsible for her own acts”, said campaigner Aziza Al-Yousef of Riyadh. The retired university professor told AFP that she tried unsuccessfully to deliver the petition containing 14,700 names to the Royal Court on Monday. The activists will now send it by mail as requested. Saudi Arabia has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women, and is the only country

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  • Swimming feat by Saudi woman to highlight plight of Syrian orphans

    Saudi Gazette report Jeddah — Mariam Saleh Binladin has become the first person from Saudi Arabia to make a solo assisted crossing of the English Channel, the world’s most celebrated open water swim. Mariam took on the Channel swim as part of a series of ultimate endurance challenges to raise awareness about the plight of orphan children from Syria. The story of Mariam’s epic swimming feats will be told in a film documentary ‘I am Mariam Binladin’ to be premiered in December this year. Mariam’s Channel swim was ratified by the Channel Crossing Association (CCA) which permits swimmers to wear wetsuits and receive assistance to ensure a safe crossing. Mariam completed the swim in 11 hours and 41

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  • Champions League: Barcelona survives Monchengladbach scare

    Barcelona, which is expected to be without Messi for three weeks after the forward sustained a groin strain, has scored 20 goals in its past five matches. This victory, which ended Monchengladbach's run of 11 consecutive home wins, leaves Barcelona with maximum points from its two games in Group C. Celtic holds City In the group's other game, Manchester City was forced to come from behind on three separate occasions to claim a 3-3 draw at Celtic. City, which had won all 10 of its games under new manager Pep Guardiola, was stunned as early as the third minute when Moussa Dembele fired the Scottish champion ahead. The visitors leveled eight minutes later through Fernandinho only for Raheem Sterling's

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  • 23 Absurdly Fab Photos from Karim El Chiaty & Victoria's Secret Model Ana Beatriz Barros' Wedding

    You might have noticed people making the move to Sahel, Gouna, and other such dreamy beachy lands during the Eid weekend, but what about the mysterious case of Mykonos? Why were our social media feeds suddenly flooded with images of the Greek tropical island? A coincidence? We think not. Everyone in the country (or world) has been buzzing – about what can only be described as the biggest, most glam wedding of the year where Brazilian Victoria’s Secret supermodel Ana Beatriz Barros tied the knot with Egyptian-Greek billionaire Karim El Chiati. You could say a few celebrities made an appearance. Nothing special. A slew of luxurious villas held over 400 guests who flew from all over the world for

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  • Viewpoint: How India's response to Pakistan weakens Sharif

    As Delhi explores its options to respond to the attack in Uri, which killed 19 soldiers in one of the worst terror attacks in Kashmir in recent years, the Modi government seems to be making a strong case for strategic restraint. Amidst growing demands, especially from his ruling BJP party's rank-and-file, for strong action against Pakistan - who India blames for the attack - the Indian prime minister managed to turn attention from incessant warmongering towards long-term challenges facing the region. Pakistan has strongly denied involvement in the Uri attack. In his speech to his party cadres, Mr Modi challenged ordinary Pakistani's to a race on development as opposed to one on military engagement.

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  • India tries to make money from satellites

    Space exploration is an expensive endeavour ...unless you're India. The country launches satellites for a fraction of the amount other countries spend. India's space agency, ISRO ,has also found a way to make money, by allowing foreign satellites to piggyback its launch vehicles. The BBC's Yogita Limaye reports from Bangalore.

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  • 90% of GCC land ‘not fit for agriculture’

    DAMMAM: A study by a top expert has confirmed that more than 90 percent of the total area of the Gulf states is unfit for agriculture.The study conducted by Faisal Al-Otaibi shows that the lands of GCC countries have a low fertility and only a small part can be classified as “excellent” for agriculture. The lands fit for agriculture and those for crops only represent 1.63 percent of the lands of the GCC countries, put at 257 million hectares. The forests and woods represent only 1.8 million hectares, a small percentage compared to the region’s area. Natural forests represent 1.5 million hectares, and these are in the highlands in the south of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman; this means the issue

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