• 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,

    Kuwait Times q
  • 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

    BBC News q
  • 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

    Arab News q
  • Can Iran change? We hope it will

    Our region is rife with turmoil. We have a crisis in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, Libya. We have an Iran that is rampant in its support of terrorism and interference in the affairs of other countries. We face terrorism, we face piracy, we face challenges of economic development and job creation. We face challenges in terms of reforming our economies and bringing the standard of living of our people to a higher level. We have the challenge of trying to bring peace between Israelis and Arabs. I am an optimist, because if your job is to solve problems, you cannot be a pessimist. We have to do everything we can in order to deal with the challenges that we face. I believe that 2017 will be a year in

    Arab News q
  • 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

    cairoscene.com q
  • 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.

    News q
  • This Female Entrepreneur Just Created an App to Fight Sexual Harassment in the Arab World

    Zaineb is walking cheerily down the street in the Moroccan city of Efrane when she hears a whistle. Agitated, she pulls her hood over her head, alters her route, and army marches her way along with a poker face - but with no luck. He is still following her. His footsteps seem closer. Zaineb feels her heart pound faster as she fastens her pace and leaves the dimly-lit street. She finally reaches her destination, but she doesn’t feel safe. Across the Middle East and North Africa, thousands of women mirror Zaineb’s experience and have to walk the daunting path of everyday sexual harassment; according to research by UN Women, 93 percent of women across the MENA region have suffered it at least once

    Cairo Scene q
  • 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

    BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat q
  • Iran military gets financial boost to expand power

    Iran’s military spending has witnessed the highest rate of increase under the government of “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani than under any other administration since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979. The total official increase of its military budget under Rouhani has been nearly 65 percent: $9.29 billion in 2014, $12.02 billion in 2015, $14.5 billion in 2016 and $15.9 billion this year. Roughly a quarter of this is transferred directly into the military, ballistic missile and nuclear programs, despite Iran’s need to invest more in addressing high unemployment, increasing poverty, poor infrastructure, education and labor. The single highest increase has been designated to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which rose from $4.52 billion in 2016 to $7.01 billion in 2017, an increase of approximately 55 percent.

    Arab News q
  • Riyadh Wonderland seeks to fill gap in local entertainment

    RIYADH — The one-of-a-kind carnival dubbed Wonderland Riyadh, launched for the first time here, seeks to fill a gap in the entertainment scene in Saudi Arabia, its organizer told Saudi Gazette. “We realized most Saudi families’ fun memories are abroad,” said Mishael Alrasheed, president of the organizing committee at Benya, an event planning company established last year. “Rarely do they have an opportunity to go out here as a family and enjoy quality entertainment. We decided to create our own memories through this quality event.” Riyadh Wonderland is a fair taking place at the stadium of the Princess Nourah University’s campus where an attendance capacity of up to 20,000 visitors can enjoy

    Saudi Gazette q
  • Saudi oil pipeline leak kills contractor - Region - World

    A contractor was killed and three other workers were injured in a pipeline leak in Saudi Arabia, state-owned oil giant Aramco said Sunday. "Saudi Aramco regrets to inform the death of one contractor, and three other injuries involving one employee and two contractors," Aramco said in a statement. Aramco tweeted that the leak occurred at the Abqaiq facility, located 60 kilometres (37 miles) southwest of the company's main Dhahran compound. The two contractors have since been discharged from hospital. Saudi Arabia is looking to diversify its oil-dependent economy. The kingdom has announced budget cutbacks after its 2015 deficit snowballed to $97 billion (93 billion euros). Aramco could be listed

    english.ahram.org.eg q
  • Meet the real monsters of Loch Ness

    Surveys of a large forest near Loch Ness have recorded rare insect species, including a midge not previously found in the UK - that does not bite. The work at Findhorn-based Trees for Life's Dundreggan Conservation Estate also found a pseudo-scorpion called knotty shining claw. The charity said it was the first time the creature had been recorded in Scotland north of the River Tay. Two rare kinds of gnats were also detected in the forest in Glenmoriston. The name Dundreggan is derived from Gaelic's Dul Drea-gain - the Dragon's Haugh. Finds made in the latest surveys of the area, which were carried out last year, included: Non-biting midge Chironomus vallenduuki - a first record of it in the UK

    BBC News q
  • Oliver Dearlove death: Killer 'was being laughed at'

    An unemployed plasterer killed a banker because he was "laughed at" and called a "half-chap", a court has heard. Trevor Timon hit Oliver Dearlove while he and his friends were talking to a group of women in Blackheath, south-east London, in August 2016. Mr Timon told the Old Bailey he was not trying to achieve anything by punching Mr Dearlove but had simply felt annoyed. The 31-year-old, from Plumstead, admits manslaughter but denies murder. Mr Dearlove, 30, who lived with his girlfriend Claire Wheatley in New Eltham, died within 24 hours of being attacked. Giving evidence, Mr Timon said he had met a close female friend and three other women in Morden's nightclub for a birthday celebration. He

    BBC News q
  • King Salman embarks on 5-nation tour next month

    RIYADH — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman will embark on a five-nation Asian tour early next month. The King will visit Indonesia, Japan, China, Malaysia and the Maldives. The high-profile visit shows the keenness of the Kingdom to expand its ties with East Asian nations in the changed global scenario, according to well-informed sources. Indonesian Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saefuddin said that King Salman’s week-long visit to Indonesia will further bolster the strategic relations between the two countries. The Saudi-Indonesian summit talks, led by King Salman and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, will cover the entire gamut of bilateral relations. Saudi Arabia signed

    Saudi Gazette q
  • Asia Madani and Ahmed Omar Set to Shake Things Up at Cairo Jazz Club with Their Afro Inspired Sounds

    Sudanese vocalist and percussionist Asia Madani has been living in Egypt since the turn of the millennium, when she moved here to pursue her musical career and never looked back. Her music is rooted in Sudanese folklore, where she showcases the traditional sounds of her home country, incorporating modern and traditional instruments, vocals, and dancing. Part of The Nile Project (a cross cultural musical project bridging gaps between Nile basin countries), Madani has been exposed to multitudes of different styles from different African cultural backgrounds. She played some of our country's biggest festivals and venues like Oshtoora, 3al Ganoob, Room Art Space, the Cairo Opera House, The Citadel

    cairoscene.com q
  • 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

    BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat q
  • ‘The Fast and the Furious’ to be re-released in cinemas to celebrate 15th anniversary

    "The Fast and the Furious", the first ever film in the franchise of the same name, is set to be re-released to mark the movie's 15th anniversary. Fans will be able to see the film on the big screen once again when it is released in around 1,500 cinemas on Wednesday June 22, the date when the original movie opened back in 2001. The original story follows a police officer in Los Angeles tasked with infiltrating and breaking up the street-racing scene, only to find himself hooked on the illegal sport. The film was a surprise hit at the time — partly due to a cast of mainly unknown actors and actresses — and has gone on to spawn six sequels to date. The original film featured male actors Paul Walker

    Egypt Independent: Cinema/TV q
  • 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

    BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat q
  • Ex-Davao Death Squad leader: Duterte ordered bombings

    Lascanas gave testimony last year in a Senate probe in which he denied being a member of the squad and of having a close relationship with Duterte. Retired Davao Senior Superintendent Dionisio Abude during the same inquiry denied the existence of death squads. At the news conference, Lascanas said Monday he was confessing in an effort "to follow God's will ... and love for my country and for my own conscience." The event was organized by opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. Allegations of mosque bombings, killings Lascanas said the squad had undertaken many killings and other criminal actions, either at the orders of Duterte or his associates. Duterte served as mayor of Davao for 10 years

    CNN q
  • Trump presidency cause for optimism, says Saudi FM

    MUNICH: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir described US President Donald Trump as another Ronald Reagan in the making. Delivering a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, he said: “When Reagan was elected in 1981, there was a lot of concern in Europe. People thought World War III would take place. Reagan reasserted America’s place in the world. He made comprehensive arms control agreements with the Soviet Union, he pushed back against the Soviet Union and he ended the Cold War.” Expressing optimism about the Trump administration, he said: “One of the biggest factors that will help to resolve many of the challenges (in the Middle East) is the new American administration.” Al-Jubeir

    Arab News q