• OPINION: US eases critical Iran sanctions

    The harsh rhetoric of Iran’s hardliners toward the United States and other “rivals” of Tehran has not moderated. Nevertheless, the Obama administration continues to soften its stance toward the Islamic Republic. Figures on sanction list are free The sanction relief against Iranian banks remove a robust mechanism that was in place to monitor the country’s compliance with UN resolutions in areas such as ballistic missiles and nuclear materials Dr. Majid Rafizadeh Iran can also use US currency Banks off the hook Last Update: Friday, 21 October 2016 KSA 10:05 - GMT 07:05

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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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  • 'Cat-eyed' tea seller sparks soul searching

    ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani tea seller with velvet eyes saw his life changed this week when his portrait spread around the Internet, sparking ardent debates on class, objectification, and the place of ethnic Pashtuns in society. Arshad Khan had no idea he had set the Internet alight from Pakistan to India and beyond: He has no phone, and cannot read. “It was a real surprise,” the young “chaiwala”, or tea seller, told AFP. “I was aware that I am handsome but you can’t do anything when you are poor,” he said, adding that the image has “changed the way I think.” In the candid photograph, snapped by a passing photographer and posted on Instagram, Khan prepares Pakistan’s ubiquitous milk tea, his blue

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  • Crane damages a wall near Saudi’s Grand Mosque

    A documentation office outside the Saudi Arabia Grand Mosque was damaged when a crane hit the outer walls after its brake failed. The crane is involved in the expansion project of the Grand Mosque, said a source. There were no injuries or casualties. Last Update: Sunday, 23 October 2016 KSA 09:09 - GMT 06:09

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  • Which country really has the cleverest students?

    Higher education has a strong sense of hierarchy. And high-profile international league tables are a very public form of this pecking order. While these might measure a whole range of factors - from reputation and staff ratios to research output - what they do not compare is the ability of students who have been taught in these universities. But the OECD, in its annual Education at a Glance, has published test results comparing the ability of graduates in different countries. And it shows a very different map of higher education than the ranking tables, which are dominated by US and UK universities, such as Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge and UCL. The OECD tested literacy skills among

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  • Philippines: Did Duterte's China gamble pay off?

    Before meeting Xi, Duterte had told reporters that the issue "would take a back seat." The usually brash and outspoken Duterte appeared much more statesmanlike in China than he has on previous trips overseas, said Richard Javad Heydarian, a political science professor at De La Salle University, Manila, "Duterte has been careful not to slight his hosts, he's been very deferential to the Chinese. It's raised eyebrows in the Philippines but pleased people in China," he said. MUST WATCH Pivot Duterte's pivot towards China comes as relations with long-time ally the United States are at an all-time low. At a press conference in Laos in September, he called US President Barack Obama a son of a bitch,

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  • Saudi Prince execution: Equal justice for all

    Many Saudi personalities have reached out to mainstream media and through social media to comment on Saudi Prince Turki al-Kabir’s execution, with some applauding Saudi Arabia for carrying out justice and due process of the law regardless of status and lineage. A statement from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior confirmed on Tuesday that it had carried out the execution orders on Prince Turki after he was found guilty of murdering Saudi citizen Adel bin Suleiman bin Abdulkareem Al-Muhaimeed during a mass brawl in al-Thumama region on the outskirts of Riyadh. Many Saudis commented to how the ministry’s official statement issued after the execution mentioned that authorities carried out justice on “Saudi citizen Turki al-Kabir’s” without referring that he was a Prince.

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  • Saudi minister: Oil-price downturn coming to an end

    Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid al-Falih said on Wednesday that the oil-price downturn was coming to an end. Speaking at the Oil & Money conference in London, Falih called for new investments to avert a supply shortage in the future, a Saudi Gazette report said. “We are now at the end of a considerable downturn,” he told an audience that included top executives from oil firms such as Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Total SA. Falih said the oil industry was starved of financing during a downturn over the past two years in which crude prices fell to less than $28 a barrel this year from $114 a barrel in 2014.

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  • Pakistani 'chai wala' turns model after finding fame

    A handsome "chai wala" (tea seller) in Pakistan has seen his life change overnight after a picture of him at work swept the internet. Arshad Khan, 18, was photographed pouring tea at Islamabad's Sunday Bazaar by photographer Javeria Ali. Thousands of lovestruck Twitter users quickly shared the picture, swooning over his piercing eyes, and #ChaiWala began trending across social media. Days later, Mr Khan shot his first modelling campaign. Fitin.pk, an online shopping site based in Islamabad, rushed to sign Mr Khan up and is already using pictures of him modelling menswear. A message on its website and Facebook page reads: "Chai wala is not more chai wala now he is fashion wala!" In an interview

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  • Donald Trump: Iran should write us a thank you letter

    During the third presidential debate, Donald Trump said that Iran should write us a thank you letter if we were to take control of Mosul.

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  • Jim Carrey now sued by ex-girlfriend's mother

    The mother of Jim Carrey's ex-girlfriend Cathriona White is suing the actor for wrongful death. It's less than a month since Ms White's estranged husband filed a similar lawsuit. Both claim Ms White took her own life in September 2015 by overdosing on prescription drugs obtained by the actor. His lawyers have previously said the allegations are "bogus" and "catagorically disputed". But Brigid Sweetman says Mr Carrey should be "ashamed" of his treatment of her daughter. "As a family, we want the world to know the truth about who Jim Carrey really is - a man that will give your daughter three STDs, lie about it, call her terrible names and demean her, use his high priced lawyers to try and shut

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  • Philippines: Duterte's split with the US: Not so fast, says trade minister

    (CNN)- Philippines officials have gone into damage control mode after controversial President Rodrigo Duterte said the country's long-term alliance with the United States was over. Philippines Trade Minister Ramon Lopez told CNN the country "would not stop trade and investment with the US." "(Duterte) has decided to strengthen further and rekindle the ties with China and the ASEAN region," Lopez said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. There was widespread shock after Duterte announced his "separation" from the US, suggesting he would cut both economic and military ties, in favor of moving closer to Beijing. "America has lost now. I've realigned myself in your ideological

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  • US warship challenges China’s claims in South China Sea-officials

    WASHINGTON: A US navy warship sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Friday, the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing’s efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, US officials said. The guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur challenged “excessive maritime claims” near the Paracel Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The latest US patrol, first reported by Reuters, is expected to anger Beijing and could further escalate tensions over the South China Sea. The destroyer sailed within waters claimed by China, close to but not within the 12-nautical-mile territorial limits of the islands, the officials said.

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  • 'The Biles' and other famous moves named after Olympic athletes and footballers

    Even if you don't consider yourself a gymnastics "fan" you've probably heard of Simone Biles. At Rio 2016 the 19-year-old won the individual all-round gold by a larger margin than 1980 to 2012 combined. The American is credited by many for turning the artistic gymnastics world upside down and even has a move named after her. Here's her move and some of the other famous sporting moves you may, or may not, know are named after an athlete. In gymnastics, if you do a double layout with half turn then you're doing a 'Biles' No idea what we're talking about? Us neither... It was officially recognised in 2013 at the Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp. Simone isn't the first gymnast to have her

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  • Malala calls on Muslims to respect Islam’s true message

    SHARJAH: Pakistan’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, giving a speech Wednesday in the UAE, urged Muslims to respect the “true message of Islam” and unite against wars in their countries.The 19-year-old, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 after she had publicly advocated education for girls, urged the world’s Muslims to “come together... and follow the true message of Islam as they join hands in the struggle for peace.” “We cannot talk about investing in our future in this region without calling for an end to these bombings and these attacks,” she told a conference in the southern Gulf emirate of Sharjah on the future of women in the Middle East. “We must not forget that

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  • Saudi Arabia borrows $17.5 bn in first international bond offering: HSBC - Region - World

    Saudi Arabia borrowed $17.5 billion in its first international bond issue, HSBC announced Thursday, after the bank took part in the transaction. Saudi has divided the total into three tranches with maturities of five, 10 and 30 years, respectively, tailor-made for the US market, HSBC said.

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  • Shrinking Population: How Japan Fell Out of Love with Love

    Tulip Mazumdar explores how young people's rejection of intimacy and their embracing of singledom has left Japan's authorities struggling to tackle rapid population decline. Traditionally, the working husband and the stay-at-home housewife defined a Japanese family. Now, with society changing, young people are choosing independence over 'troublesome' relationships. The result is an uncontrolled decline in population, where a decreasing birth rate and rapidly aging population paints a bleak outlook for Japan's future.

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  • The power of sleep

    Staying up late in Saudi culture is so common that it has become the norm. The reversal of sleeping patterns disrupts the body’s natural biological clock and it goes against the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is alarming to find out just how prevalent lack of sleep really is in our society, and the detrimental effects it has on the mind and body.    A study conducted by Boston College in 2013 found that 73% of 9 and 10 year old school children in Saudi Arabia were sleep deprived, and this adversely affected their math and science test scores.     In a study published in Sleep Medicine by researcher Roah A. Merdad and colleagues, high school students in Jeddah were surveyed

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  • Battle for Mosul – risks and temptations

    The battle for Mosul is attracting global attention and has given some breathing space to the international community from the conflict in Syria. It has also eased off the tension in the media and in diplomatic circles between Russia and the US and its allies over Aleppo. ISIS can be defeated only if it is seen and dealt with as a common enemy by all the sides and by putting all geopolitical rivalries aside Maria Dubovikova The Syria spillover Last Update: Thursday, 20 October 2016 KSA 13:45 - GMT 10:45 Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.

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  • Islamic State group: Inside abandoned tunnel in Iraq

    Iraqi government forces and Kurdish groups continue to close in on Iraq's second city, Mosul, occupied since 2014 by so-called Islamic State. The BBC's Ahmed Maher gained access to a tunnel dug by IS in a village east of Mosul that the group abandoned in the face of the advance.

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