• Istanbul Reina attack suspect says nightclub was chosen at random

    The man suspected of killing 39 people in an attack on the Reina nightclub in Istanbul on New Year's Eve said the venue was chosen at random, local media report. Abdulgadir Masharipov said so-called Islamic State (IS) initially told him to attack an area in Taksim Square. He was forced to change his target because of heavy security in the area, according to the Hurriyet newspaper. The Uzbek national was captured by Turkish police on Monday. Abdulgadir Masharipov said his instructions came from Raqqa, IS's stronghold in Syria, Hurriyet reports. "I came to Taksim on New Year's Eve but the security measures were intense. It wasn't possible to carry out the attack," he was quoted as saying. "I was

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  • Iran arrests corruption fugitive, Alireza Monfared, after international manhunt

    An Iranian man accused of helping to embezzle billions of dollars while the country evaded international oil sanctions has been arrested after a lengthy international manhunt, media reported Monday. Alireza Zibahalat Monfared, 43, is accused of involvement in Iran’s biggest-ever corruption scandal, working alongside tycoon Babak Zanjani who was sentenced to death last year for pocketing $2.8 billion while helping the country bypass sanctions. The head of Iran’s international police department, Masoud Rezvani, told Mizan Online that Monfared had been extradited via Havana and Moscow before arriving in Tehran on Sunday.

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  • Q&A: Iranian chess player Sara Khadem

    Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, better known as Sara Khadem, is a 19-year-old chess player from Iran who holds the titles of International Master and Woman Grandmaster. Like most other chess players, Khadem took up chess at an early age. She was eight when she first touched a chess board. Four years later, she was a world champion, winning the under-12 world championships. Women in Iran are traditionally banned from attending many sporting events. On the streets, women need to cover their heads. On the playing field, it is the same. Questions were asked when Tehran was named host of the 2017 women's world championships. Nazí Paikidze, US women's champion, called for a boycott of the games. But Khadem

    Al Jazeera q
  • Inaugural fashion, politics are intertwined this time

    NEW YORK: What’ll she be wearing? It’s a question that fascinates fashion-watchers — and lots of others — every four years: Which designer will the new US first lady choose to wear on Inauguration Day and, more importantly, on Inauguration Night? This year, as never before, the question is a loaded one. Dressing the first lady has long been considered a great honor for a designer — and a huge business boon. But in an industry that leaned heavily toward Hillary Clinton, a number of designers have indicated they have no interest in dressing Melania Trump. So the question is not merely whom she’ll be choosing — if she doesn’t simply buy off the rack — but also, in a sense, who will be choosing her.

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  • Week in pictures: 7-13 January 2017

    Our selection of some of the best news photographs taken around the world this week. All photographs are copyrighted.

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  • Who are the 8 richest people? All men, mostly Americans

    LONDON: The eight individuals who own as much as half of the rest of the planet are all men, and have largely made their fortunes in technology. Most are American, with one European and one Mexican in the mix. Several have pledged to give it all to charity. The eight tycoons’ net worth, as calculated by Forbes magazine, was cited Monday by anti-poverty activists Oxfam in a report highlighting income inequality. Although most of them will not be joining the annual gathering of business and political elites in the Swiss town of Davos this week, the extraordinary individual wealth they typify will be part of the discussions in Davos on inequality. Here’s a look at who they are. Bill Gates: $75 billion

    Kuwait Times q
  • Fake IDs may have helped crack 18-year-old kidnapping case

    Beaufort, South Carolina (CNN)Kamiyah Mobley spent the first 18 years of her life raised by her kidnapper, police say -- and she had no idea. "As she became an 18-year-old young woman and began to look for jobs and do different things, she had fraudulent identification," Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said Monday. The sheriff did not specify whether those fake ID cards or another piece of information led to last week's arrest of Gloria Williams, the woman who raised Mobley, in South Carolina. "We can't talk in too much detail, other than to tell you that we followed about 2,500 tips over the years on this case, and we received some at the end of last year -- really a series of tips at the end of last year -- that we were able to begin to build off of and that led us to South Carolina," Williams said.

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  • ‘Expatophobia’

    Mahmoud Ahmad LAST week, a shocking cartoon was published in a local Saudi daily targeting expatriate workers that sparked anger among many people, mainly expatriates working here in Saudi Arabia. As is my wont of reading local dailies every morning, I was doing just that when I received a phone call from an expatriate friend. He asked me my thoughts on the cartoon that had been published in a particular local daily, which I hadn’t seen at the time of the call. I quickly took out that daily from the bunch and what I saw was really sickening. The cartoon left me totally disgusted. The cartoon displayed what looked like an acrobatic Saudi man riding a unicycle on a rope, like the one we see in

    Saudi Gazette q
  • Iran in Yemen: See no evil, hear no evil

    Western leaders have displayed astonishing unwillingness to acknowledge the evidence of their own intelligence agencies and militaries concerning Iranian interference in Yemen and the region. During Gen. James Mattis’ Senate hearings for his appointment as defense secretary last week, it emerged the degree to which Barack Obama’s administration had closed its ears to Mattis’ weekly warnings about Iran’s destabilizing role in Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq and elsewhere during his tenure as America’s top military commander in the Middle East. Eventually Obama’s team, preoccupied with engaging Iran, had enough of being told what it did not want to hear, and the general was replaced. As Obama’s adviser Dennis Ross relates: “It was a kind of culture clash.

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  • Saudis, Egyptians at loggerheads over Tiran and Sanafir

    Saudis reacted to the Supreme Administrative Court ruling on Monday via social media, expressing anger at the verdict which nullified the transfer of sovreignty of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Some Saudi Twitter users called for Egyptian workers to be expelled from the Gulf kingdom, while others demanded international arbitration over the issue in order to seize the islands. The Saudi cleric Awad al-Qarni, a well-known personality in the gulf kingdom, stepped into the row over the islands by criticizing Emirati politician Abdel Khalek Abdallah, who had demanded that the Egyptian judiciary's ruling be respected.   Qarni said: "If an Iranian court ruled that the three islands [in dispute

    Egypt Independent: Egypt q
  • Scarlett Moffatt to host Streetmate dating show reboot on Channel 4

    Scarlett Moffatt will host a reboot of Streetmate for Channel 4. Originally presented by Davina McCall back in the 1990s, the programme helps single people to find a date with someone they see on the streets. "I can't believe Channel 4 have asked me to present this iconic dating show," said Scarlett. Channel 4 have signed the 26-year-old to co-host an entertainment show alongside Alan Carr, although further details have yet to be revealed. "I remember watching Davina on Streetmate when I was younger and thinking females can present entertainment shows too, I want to do that when I'm older," said Scarlett. "It's such a fun show and it's two of my favourite things to do, chat to randomers and a

    BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat q
  • Mother admits murdering children by driving into Australian lake

    A mother has admitted killing three of her children by driving them into a lake in southern Australia. Akon Guode, 37, killed one-year-old Bol and four-year-old twins Hanger and Madit in Melbourne's south-west in 2015. Another child, six-year-old Alual, was also in the car but survived. In the Supreme Court of Victoria, Guode pleaded guilty to one count of infanticide, two counts of murder and one of attempted murder. She entered her pleas with help from an interpreter. Guode arrived in Australia from South Sudan in 2008. Joseph Manyang, the father of the three children, told a hearing last year that Guode said she felt dizzy before the crash. He described Guode as a "loving mother" who would

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  • Rebecca Ferguson asked to perform at Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony

    Rebecca Ferguson says she's been asked to perform at Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony. The singer tweeted she would "graciously accept" the invitation from the American president-elect if she can perform Strange Fruit. "[It's] a song that has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States," she posted. Strange Fruit was originally recorded by Billie Holiday but was written as a poem by Abel Meeropol. A sample from Nina Simone's 1965 rendition was used on Kanye West's Blood on the Leaves. The words of Strange Fruit describe the lynching of African Americans in the early 20th century: "Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze". It's been described as one of

    BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat q
  • Philippines' Duterte threatens martial law

    Martial law could be imposed in the Philippines if the drugs problem worsens, President Rodrigo Duterte has said. The 71-year-old former state prosecutor said the aim would be "to preserve the Filipino people and the youth of this land". About 6,000 people have been killed in six months under Mr Duterte's anti-drugs crackdown. He says he is acting to prevent the country from becoming a narco-state. "If I wanted to, and it will deteriorate into something really very virulent, I will declare martial law if I wanted to. No one will be able to stop me," Mr Duterte said in a speech to businesspeople in the southern city of Davao on Saturday. "My country transcends everything else, even the limitations,"

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  • John Kerry finds Vietnam War site where he killed a man

    The outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry has visited the place in the Mekong Delta where he was ambushed during the Vietnam war. The former Navy lieutenant met a 70-year-old former member of the Viet Cong, who remembers the 1969 attack. The pair warmly shook hands. Mr Kerry, who is in Vietnam as part of his last trip before leaving office, won a medal for bravery for his actions but became an anti-war campaigner after returning home. Mr Kerry told his former enemy, Vo Ban Tam, he was glad they were both alive. Mr Vo, now a shrimp farmer, said he knew a man whom Mr Kerry shot and killed and remembered the plan of attack when they first spotted the US patrol boat. The Viet Cong unit had a

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  • Kate Moss has responded to fan mail... from 23 years ago

    Kate Moss must have got a lot of fan mail in her career and it seems that she's finally got round to opening letters from more than two decades ago. She posted a picture on Instagram of a letter from a fan called Fiona, sent in 1994. In it, Fiona asks two important questions of Kate Moss: How did she get into "modling", and was she really dating Johnny Depp? If so, she says, she would love Kate and Johnny's "altographs". Unfortunately, Moss was too busy modelling and dating Johnny Depp (it was indeed true, the pair got together that year) to reply to Fiona's note. But she's made amends now with an Instagram post showing the handwritten letter and saying that Fiona will be getting a signed Kate

    BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat q
  • China probes 'fake seasoning producing hub' near Tianjin

    Chinese authorities are investigating nearly 50 factories allegedly manufacturing fake versions of widely used food seasonings and sauces. It comes after Beijing News reportedly uncovered the elaborate operation near the city of Tianjin. The factories were using unapproved ingredients like industrial salt in seasonings including soy sauce and vinegar, the paper said. The products were labelled with brands including Maggi, Knorr, and Nestle. The seasonings, which include spices and chicken stock, are commonly used in Chinese cooking and can be widely found across Asia. China has been rocked by various food scandals in recent years, with tainted milk powder killing six babies in 2008 and making

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  • University of Sussex 'sorry' for domestic violence failings

    A university has apologised for the "inadequate" way it handled the case of a former student who was attacked by her lecturer partner. Allison Smith, 24, was "knocked out" by Dr Lee Salter in September 2015 but he continued teaching at the University of Sussex for another 10 months. The university commissioned a review to examine its response. Reporting on the findings, vice-chancellor Prof Adam Tickell said he was "very sorry for the failings". Salter was finally suspended by the university after a conviction in June 2016 and later lost his job. He was sentenced to 22 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months. The independent report by professor of criminology, Nicole Westmarland of Durham University,

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  • India v England: Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav lead stunning chase

    A Virat Kohli masterclass helped India complete the highest successful chase in a one-day international against England and seal a three-wicket win. Chasing 351, India were reduced to 63-4 in Pune before Kohli, who made 122, and Kedar Jadhav (120) shared 200. India completed the joint-fourth best run chase of all time in 48.1 overs. Ben Stokes earlier struck a 40-ball 62 as England took 105 from their final eight overs, but they still went behind in the three-match series. It is a demoralising result, coming after a 4-0 defeat in the Test series, and extends England's dismal record in India to only three wins in 24 ODIs. Though England racked up their highest score against India, they could arguably

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  • Islamic State and the crisis in Iraq and Syria in maps

    The jihadist group Islamic State (IS) has lost almost a quarter of the territory it controlled in Iraq and Syria over the past year, according to new analysis. IS militants were in control of about 60,400 sq km (23,300 sq miles) in December 2016, compared with about 78,000 square km (30,100 sq miles) at the start of the year, the report by IHS Conflict Monitor says. IS came to the world's attention in June 2014, when it overran Iraq's second city of Mosul and then moved southwards towards the capital Baghdad, routing the Iraqi army and threatening to eradicate the country's many ethnic and religious minorities. At its peak, some 10 million people were living in territory under IS control.

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