- Arab News
RIYADH: A project to add more than 3,000 meters square of courtyard space near to the Grand Mosque in Makkah is almost complete, Saudi Press Agency reported. The extension to the area will help control the movement of crowds near the mosque, the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques said. The work is 85 percent complete, the statement said. The expansion work involves the removal of a number of places designated for ablution and installing them under the stairs of the courtyard. Toilets have also been installed around the edges of the courtyard. The project, which is due to be completed at the end of this month, aims to increase the capacity of the Grand Mosque and its surrounding
- Arab News
DUBAI: “The Kitchen,” starring Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish and Domhnall Gleeson, is an ode to the ever-popular gangster movie, but also a reimagining. Three women who can't pay the bills after their mobster husbands go to prison decide to take over the organization themselves - becoming violent criminals in the process. Gone is the Don, in his place are the Donnas. “I love mobster movies, they're some of my favorite movies, but I think I always watched them and thought, 'Where am I in that story? Where am I represented?' I never am. The opportunity to put those two things together - a real authentic, gritty mob story that has interesting, flawed, human women at the center
An umbrella. A bauhinia flower. A bleeding eye. These icons have taken on new significance in the Hong Kong protests -- and now, a number of demonstrators are getting them inked onto their bodies. The pro-democracy movement, which is heading towards its 12th consecutive weekend, has inspired a wave of protest art. Posters, banners and flyers have offered protesters a way to spread their message, appeal to international audiences and satirize the embattled government and police force. Tattoos are the next step, illustrating the demonstrators' creativity and dogged commitment to the movement. While last weekend's protests were largely peaceful, violence over the past two months has escalated on
- Al Jazeera
Pakistan has lodged an official complaint with the United Nations, demanding the removal of Indian actress Priyanka Chopra as a UN goodwill ambassador over her "support for war" amid heightened tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. In a letter to the UNICEF chief Henrietta Fore, Pakistan's human rights minister Shireen Mazari accused the 37-year-old actress and former Miss World of publicly endorsing the position of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government in Indian-administered Kashmir. Earlier this month, the Indian government revoked the partial autonomy of the Muslim-majority region and imposed an unprecedented security lockdown and communications blackout,
- Al Jazeera
The music videos began appearing on social media within hours of the announcement by India's Hindu-led nationalist government that it was stripping statehood from the disputed region of Kashmir that had been in place for decades. The songs delivered a message to India's 250 million YouTube users about moving to the Muslim-majority region, buying land there and marrying Kashmiri women. It is the latest example of a growing genre in India known as "patriotism pop" - songs flooding social media about nationalism and the country's burgeoning right-wing ideology. Earlier songs were limited to the rise of Hindus in India, defeating regional rival Pakistan and hoisting the Indian flag in every household.
- Al Jazeera
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has inducted a locally built air-defence system into the country's missile defence network at an unveiling ceremony in the capital, Tehran. The display of the new system, Bavar-373, on Tuesday came amid heightened tensions with the United States, which last year unilaterally withdrew from a multinational nuclear deal signed between world powers and Iran and reimposed crippling sanctions on it. Iranian officials have previously called Bavar, which means "believe" in Farsi, the country's first domestically produced long-range missile defence system. Iran began production after the purchase of Russia's S-300 system was suspended in 2010 due to international sanctions
As President Donald Trump and Venezuela's socialist leader Nicolas Maduro confirmed secret talks between their governments on Tuesday, one key player appeared to be left on the sidelines: The opposition. Comments by both the US and Venezuelan presidents each revealed that high-level officials in their respective administrations have been meeting about ending the South American nation's deepening crisis. Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, said the US involvement could be critical in breaking the monthslong stalemate but that the Trump administration nonetheless should be careful not to overstep the delicate boundaries at play.