• New hope for Yazidi women raped, tortured by Daesh fighters

    DOHUK, Iraq: It has been less than two weeks since Perwin Ali Baku escaped Daesh, after more than two years in captivity, bought and sold from fighter to fighter and carted from Iraq to Syria and then back again. “I don’t feel right,” she said, sitting on a mattress on the floor of her father-in-law’s small canvas-topped Quonset hut in a northern Iraq refugee camp. Perwin wants treatment, and is hoping to find it in a new psychological trauma institute being established at the university of Dohuk, the first in the entire region. It is the next phase of an ambitious project funded by the wealthy German state of Baden Wuerttemberg that brought 1,100 women who had escaped Daesh captivity, primarily Yazidis, to Germany for psychological treatment.

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  • 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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  • 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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  • Cheryl 'confirms' her pregnancy in photo from youth charity campaign launch

    Cheryl has confirmed she's pregnant for the first time while helping to launch a new charity youth campaign. The 33-year-old singer has previously refused to comment on whether she and Liam Payne were expecting a child. But this time there's no doubt, with Cheryl showing off a noticeable bump. The Prince's Trust and L'Oreal Paris are launching a three-year project aimed at helping raise the confidence of 10,000 young people across the UK struggling with self-doubt. Stars like Dame Helen Mirren and Katie Piper are also featured in the photo for a new programme called All Worth It. The Prince's Trust says it launched the campaign after a study it carried out suggested that one in three young people

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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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  • Several agreements to be signed during King Salman Asian tour

    Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud will embark on a five-nation Asian tour next week. Several landmark pacts are expected to be signed during the 31-day long historic and unprecedented royal visit to East Asia. Leading a strong contingent comprising several ministers and high ranking officials, the King will arrive in Kuala Lumpur on the first leg of his visit. After spending three days in Malaysia, King Salman will head to Indonesia for a 12-day official visit.

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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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  • 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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  • Kendall Jenner reveals struggle with anxiety but 'is learning to cope'

    Kendall Jenner says she's been struggling with anxiety issues over the last year but is learning to cope. Writing on her own website, the reality TV star and model says she's learnt some breathing exercises which help. "Anxiety was a huge hurdle for me to deal with this past year (and security concerns didn't help), but I think I'm finally learning how to cope. "I once had a really bad attack on a plane and just had to ride it out," she writes. "I felt my heart beating a million miles an hour and I even went a little numb." She says she's now getting better at relaxing while working and travelling. "[I've] learned that it's all mental, so I try to prevent anxiety attacks by bringing my mind somewhere

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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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  • Why is Nigeria's President Buhari still in London?

    As Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was beginning his latest visit to London more than a month ago, a new series of Big Brother Nigeria was getting under way. A former military ruler known for his no-nonsense style would appear to have little in common with a reality TV show where contestants engage in attention-seeking behaviour. But both subjects were soon generating headlines for the same reason - neither of them were in Nigeria. It turned out that Big Brother was actually being filmed in South Africa - a decision that led Nigeria's information minister to launch an investigation. While the howls of protests from outraged Big Brother fans soon died down, the clamour over Nigeria's leader's

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  • 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.

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  • Indonesia: Suspect was paid $90 to attack North Korean leader's brother

    Indonesian Siti Aisyah is seen in this undated handout released by the Royal Malaysia Police on February 19, 2017. Siti Aisyah was arrested in connection with the murder of Kim Jong Nam. (Royal Malaysia Police/Handout via Reuters) KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Indonesia’s deputy ambassador to Malaysia says the Indonesian suspect in the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half brother was paid $90 to help carry out the attack involving VX nerve agent. But Deputy Ambassador Andriano Erwin repeated Siti Aisyah’s previous claim that she was duped into the plot, thinking she was taking part in a prank. Erwin met Aisyah on Saturday in Malaysia, where the 25-year-old is in custody. Another alleged

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  • Kim Jong-nam death: Unravelling the mystery

    It's got all the markings of a John Le Carre novel: the killing of the North Korean leader's brother with one of the deadliest chemical weapons created by man. But who by? And why? Many questions remain unanswered. Here's a look back at how the killing unfolded, the details that emerged, and the subsequent accusations and diplomatic row. 13 February - The airport attack He was waiting at a budget departure hall inside Kuala Lumpur international airport when the attack happened. Leaked CCTV footage would later show the 45-year-old man loitering in the budget terminal, a rucksack slung over his soldier, ahead of his return flight to the Chinese territory of Macau at 10:00. Suddenly a woman in a

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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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  • 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

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  • Israeli minister: The Bible says West Bank is ours

    Last week, in a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump surprised the world by appearing to dismiss a long-standing US commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Prominent hard-right Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, welcomed the statement saying: "The era of a Palestinian state is over." "There already exists two states for the Palestinians: one in Gaza, a full blown state run by Hamas, and the other is Jordan, where 70 percent of the citizens are, indeed, Palestinians," Bennett told UpFront. "So, the discussion is whether we need a third Palestinian state smack in the heart of Israel, and the answer

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  • Focus on the Philippines: Supercouple AlDub to star in first TV series

    Alden Richards and Maine "Yaya Dub" Mendoza, known as the popular on-screen couple AlDub (a portmanteau of their names), will appear in their first romantic-comedy television series. The programme, titled Destined to be Yours, will air daily on the Filipino network GMA Network beginning February 27. The show will also air worldwide, including in the UAE, on the international network GMA Pinoy TV. The show marks the duo’s first television project since they catapulted into fame on the variety programme Eat Bulaga!, where they have appeared on a fictional rom-com segment since the summer of 2015. "I am excited to finally see the things we have been working on," said 21-year-old Mendoza, who was

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  • Cabbage attack The Sun after being tipped for success

    Manchester band Cabbage have attacked The Sun, after the newspaper tipped them for success in 2017. The five piece were among seven acts the paper championed as "the next big thing". But the boys dismissed the tag, calling the paper "odious" and "backward". In a tweet they told fans: "Don't buy The Sun. Don't even walk past it without burning it, or spitting on it. They try to tell you what to think." The band, who are also on the BBC's Sound of 2017 longlist, continued: "They pay no attention to what is real. "They exploit every single one of you and affect the way you think. "Everyone has a member of their family or a friend affected by this awful repeated propaganda. It's a crime." The lads

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  • Does the China-Pakistan economic corridor worry India?

    Srinagar, India-administered Kashmir - The multibillion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is being called a "game-changer" in Pakistan, has raised apprehensions in neighbouring India. In June 2015, barely two months after Chinese President Xi Jinping announced plans to invest $46bn to develop infrastructure and energy projects in Pakistan as part of the economic corridor, or CPEC, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi told China that it was "unacceptable". The ambitious project - part of China's "One Belt and One Road" or new Silk Road project - is a series of roads, railways, pipelines, hydropower plants and other development projects, being built from the restive Xinjiang province

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