• 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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  • The woman who knows who's won the Oscars... but won't tell

    On Sunday, the eyes of the world will be on the Oscars. But two people already know who's won. You've never heard of Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan. They haven't been in any films or on any magazine covers. But they will be the most important people at the Oscars. They are the only two people in the world who know the names of the winners before each award presenter rips open the golden envelope and says the immortal words: "And the Oscar goes to..." Ruiz and Cullinan have counted the votes - and counted them again, and again, to make sure the results are correct. By Sunday night, they will have made sure the results are kept secret and delivered to the venue, no matter what, before personally

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  • Melania Trump drops controversial language from $150 million defamation suit

    Washington (CNN)Lawyers for first lady Melania Trump changed and refiled her multimillion dollar defamation lawsuit against Daily Mail Online on Friday in New York. Trump is suing the media outlet for publishing a false story that claimed, falsely, she worked for a high-end escort service. The new version of the lawsuit leaves out a controversial portion of the original -- a section that argued the first lady's earning potential as a brand spokeswoman would be irretrievably damaged by the defamation. Critics questioned whether Trump would be attempting to cash in on her high-profile status as first lady of the United States. The original language, which has now been removed, stated: "Plaintiff

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  • Saudis await visitors but will they come?

    RIYADH // It’s the day before the grand opening of Shaden, a luxury desert camp in Saudi Arabia where air-conditioned tents look out on sandstone cliffs. A princely delegation is on its way. But the place isn’t quite ready. Peacocks for the garden of the 10,000-riyals-a-night royal suite have not arrived. The cow brought in to provide fresh milk for the cafe has been mooing all night. "He won’t shut up," laments Ahmed Al Said, the project developer, as he gives orders over the clang of hammers and shovels. Saudi Arabia as a whole isn’t ready for tourists either. But its rulers are intent on revolutionising the economy, and tourism is high on their list. They figure it can create jobs for a youthful

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  • Bahrain arrests 20 terror suspects, including four women

    Bahrain has arrested 20 terror suspects accused of plotting attacks in the small island Gulf kingdom. One of those captured on Tuesday was involved in the murder of police officer Lt. Hisham Hassan Mohammed al-Hamadi on Jan. 29. The arrests of the hidden cell came on the heels of recent security operations that saw three fugitives fleeing for Iran killed when they opened fire on coastguard personnel on Feb. 9. At least two of those arrested were found to have built secret facilities to build explosive devices while eight others were found to have received on arms and the use of explosives in Iraq and Iran.

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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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  • Genghis Khan: Could satellites help find his tomb?

    For Shay Har-Noy it was an 800-year-old puzzle about the burial place of Mongolian ruler Genghis Khan that sparked a very 21st Century business. Mr Har-Noy was on an expedition to locate the lost tomb of the Mongol Empire founder, when satellite imagery firm DigitalGlobe donated some photos of potential areas for his team to scrutinise. These images, taken from space, were enormous, and as nobody knows what the tomb actually looked like, there was no obvious place to start the search. So Mr Har-Noy decided to crowdsource for clues. He returned to Mongolia three times to investigate what he calls "anomalies" in the photographs, submitted by eagle-eyed armchair enthusiasts. Could one of these have

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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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  • Donald Trump's golf hobby under scrutiny with Clinton tweet

    A Hillary Clinton retweet has drawn attention to President Donald Trump's golf outings, which critics are hoping to turn into a political handicap. The former Democratic White House candidate shared a graph suggesting her former rival spent 25 hours on the links during his first month in office. Mr Trump made his sixth trip to the golf course on Sunday, joined by professional golfer Rory McIlroy. The Republican was a frequent critic of Barack Obama's fairway excursions. According to an analysis of Washington Post pool reports that was retweeted by Mrs Clinton, the president has dedicated 21 hours to foreign relations, 13 hours to tweeting and six hours to intelligence briefings in his first weeks.

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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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  • 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

    Kuwait Times q
  • How a selfie with Merkel changed Syrian refugee's life

    Syrian refugee Anas Modamani waited with his mobile phone ready at the entrance to his shelter in Berlin on September 10, 2015 - and when German Chancellor Angela Merkel emerged, he snapped a selfie. The photo quickly went viral, becoming a symbol for Merkel's refugee policy, when she opened Germany's borders to hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers. Overnight, Modamani became one of the most recognisable refugees in Germany.  "That photo changed my life," Modamani told Al Jazeera. Since then, however, the photo has appeared in numerous false stories on social media linking him to attacks across Europe, including the deadly truck attack at a Berlin Christmas market. He was also falsely identified

    Al Jazeera q
  • 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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  • 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

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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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  • 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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  • ‘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
  • Egyptian Airport Security Victoriously 'Flips the Bird' After Confiscating EGP 1.36m Hidden in Ducks

    Earlier Today, EGP 1.36 million has been found stuffed in raw ducks in the luggage of a man en route to Kuwait, according to Al Wafd. Port security manager General Hossam Nasr caught the man, who goes by the name of Tamer, in customs, smuggling the duck-filled money in Asyut airport. Tamer’s luggage had initially passed the first phase of airport screening without the ducks being detected. After discovering the money hidden within the ducks, the team behind the bust decided to pose for a photo with one guard 'flipping the bird' in celebration, which has since gone viral on social media.  According to Sadaa News, The smuggler is an Egyptian who originally resides in Abnub, Asyut. He has a bachelor

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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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  • Oliver Dearlove death: Trevor Timon cleared of murder

    An unemployed plasterer who killed a banker with a single punch on a night out in south-east London has been cleared of his murder. Trevor Timon hit Oliver Dearlove while he and friends were talking to a group of women in Blackheath in August 2016. Timon, aged 31, from Plumstead, had admitted manslaughter but denied murdering Mr Dearlove. He will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday. Mr Dearlove had been drinking with former Portsmouth University friends on 27 August when members of the group were approached by Timon as they spoke to four women. The 30-year-old, who lived with his girlfriend Claire Wheatley in New Eltham, was knocked unconscious when he was attacked. He died 24 hours later.

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