• 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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  • 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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  • Islamic State tortures, rapes Sunni Arab women too: HRW

    BAGHDAD: Fighters from the Islamic State group, whose abuses against Yazidi women have been well documented, are raping and torturing Sunni Arab women too, Human Rights Watch said yesterday.  The watchdog documented cases of arbitrary detentions, beatings, forced marriages and rape by the jihadists on women who have fled the town of Hawijah, which is still under IS control. HRW recounted the story of Hanan, a 26-year-old whose husband had already fled Hawijah, who was captured by IS fighters along with other women when they also attempted to escape the town. IS fighters told her that her husband’s flight made her an apostate and that she should marry the local jihadist leader. When she refused,

    Kuwait Times q
  • Can Iran change? We hope it will

    Our region is rife with turmoil. We have a crisis in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, Libya. We have an Iran that is rampant in its support of terrorism and interference in the affairs of other countries. We face terrorism, we face piracy, we face challenges of economic development and job creation. We face challenges in terms of reforming our economies and bringing the standard of living of our people to a higher level. We have the challenge of trying to bring peace between Israelis and Arabs. I am an optimist, because if your job is to solve problems, you cannot be a pessimist. We have to do everything we can in order to deal with the challenges that we face. I believe that 2017 will be a year in

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  • Corruption Perceptions Index Names Egypt the 68th Most Corrupt Country in the World

    According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, Egypt ranks 108 out of 176 countries assessed for corruption in 2016, making it the 68th most corrupt country assessed. The Index uses a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), with the global median sitting at 43 – below the midpoint. According to this scale, Egypt ranked 34 – well below the midpoint.  Somalia, South Sudan, and North Korea were the top three most corrupt countries that were assessed, scaled at 10, 11, and 12 respectively. The least corrupt countries assessed were New Zealand, Denmark, and Finland scaled at 90, 90, and 89 respectively. The assessment was reported based on a country’s ability to

    cairoscene.com q
  • Birmingham Children's Hospital 'like a big family'

    For many families who have required the services of Birmingham Children's Hospital, news that it is the first standalone children's hospital to be rated "outstanding" is no surprise. The hospital was criticised eight years ago for having an insufficient numbers of beds, operating theatres and trained staff, but now the Care Quality Commission has praised the NHS trust for "working effectively to provide the best care" at the Steelhouse Lane hospital. Families told the BBC the accolade was long overdue. 'Without their care my daughters wouldn't be here' Frederika Roberts' daughters Charlotte and Hannah were both born with life-threatening heart conditions. Now aged 19 and 17, they have spent their

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  • Listen to Emma Watson sing as Belle in the new Beauty and the Beast film

    A preview of Emma Watson singing as Belle in the new Beauty and the Beast film has got fans going crazy. The video released on social media, has now been viewed over 12m times on Facebook alone. Since it was announced in 2015 that the actress would play Belle in the remake of the Disney classic, fans have had high expectations. And this short but sweet debut of her singing voice has left them wanting to hear more. Beauty and the Beast tells the improbable story of a young maiden who falls in love with a beast. Emma found global fame as Hermione in the Harry Potter films but her singing voice appears to have been a well-kept secret. "THIS IS GOLD. She has reproduced so many different singing styles

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  • Saudi oil pipeline leak kills contractor - Region - World

    A contractor was killed and three other workers were injured in a pipeline leak in Saudi Arabia, state-owned oil giant Aramco said Sunday. "Saudi Aramco regrets to inform the death of one contractor, and three other injuries involving one employee and two contractors," Aramco said in a statement. Aramco tweeted that the leak occurred at the Abqaiq facility, located 60 kilometres (37 miles) southwest of the company's main Dhahran compound. The two contractors have since been discharged from hospital. Saudi Arabia is looking to diversify its oil-dependent economy. The kingdom has announced budget cutbacks after its 2015 deficit snowballed to $97 billion (93 billion euros). Aramco could be listed

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  • Saudi Arabia leads nations in condemning Iranian foreign policy

    MUNICH // Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Sunday rejected Iranian calls for dialogue saying Tehran was the main sponsor of terrorism in the world, a destabilising force in the Middle East and wanted to "destroy us." "Iran remains the single main sponsor of terrorism in the world," Adel Al Jubeir told delegates at the Munich Security Conference. "It’s determined to upend the order in Middle East ... [and] until and unless Iran changes its behaviour it would be very difficult to deal with a country like this." Mr Al Jubeir said Iran was propping up the government of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, funding the Houthi rebels in Yemen and violent groups across the region. He said the international

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  • Indian expats in Saudi Arabia advised to follow customs rules

    JEDDAH: The Indian consul general has released an official statement reminding Indian nationals to follow customs rules, after a number of arrests for attempted gold smuggling were made in Indian airports recently.“It is my advice to all nationals and visitors to India that there are some rules and regulations of the customs which should be followed by all the nationals and visitors of the country, and these rules and regulations are clearly mentioned on the Indian government customs department website and always displayed at the airports — how much and what are allowed from customs authorities, and what are needed to be declared in front of customs authorities. There are rules in the Kingdom

    Arab News q
  • 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

    BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat q
  • Rebels seek 'direct negotiations' with Assad government

    Syria's main opposition group has called for face-to-face discussions with government representatives, as a new round of talks in Geneva begins one year after meetings in the Swiss capital fell apart. "We ask for direct negotiations ... It would save time and be proof of seriousness instead of negotiating in [separate] rooms," Salem al-Meslet, spokesman for the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) umbrella group, told the AFP news agency. During three previous rounds of talks in Geneva last year, the two sides never sat down at the same table, instead leaving UN mediator Staffan de Mistura to shuttle between them. No, I am not expecting a breakthrough," he told journalists at the UN headquarters on Wednesday, a day before the start of the fourth round of talks aimed at finding a political solution to Syria's long-running conflict.

    Al Jazeera 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

    cairoscene.com q
  • US carrier starts 'routine' patrols in South China Sea

    USS Carl Vinson will be under US command during that period, the Navy said in a statement. The operation comes amid growing tensions between the United States and China over territory and trade. In a news conference Wednesday, China's foreign ministry said it heard about the planned deployment days before it happened, and warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty. "China respects and upholds the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, which countries enjoy under international law, but firmly opposes any country's attempt to undermine China's sovereignty and security in the name of the freedom of navigation and overflight," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

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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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  • 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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  • ‘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
  • 'We're not here for your oil', US defense chief tells Iraqis

    Mattis distances himself from Trump’s oil comments BAGHDAD: The US military is not in Iraq “to seize anybody’s oil”, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said, distancing himself from remarks by President Donald Trump at the start of a visit to Iraq yesterday. Mattis, on his first trip to Iraq as Pentagon chief, is hoping to assess the war effort as US-backed Iraqi forces launch a new push to evict Islamic State militants from their remaining stronghold in the city of Mosul. But he is likely to face questions about Trump’s remarks and actions, including a temporary ban on travel to the United States and for saying America should have seized Iraq’s oil after toppling Saddam Hussein in 2003. Trump told

    Kuwait Times q
  • 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

    BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat q
  • Philippines says ASEAN concerned about recent events in S China Sea

    BORACAY, PHILIPPINES: Foreign Ministers of the Association of South East Asian Nations are worried about “recent developments” in the South China Sea and urged restraint and dialogue to prevent any escalation, the Philippine foreign secretary said on Tuesday.“A number of ministers expressed concern over recent developments and escalation of activities in the area which may further raise tensions and erode trust and confidence,” Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay told a news conference after a meeting of his Southeast Asian counterparts. “At the same time they noted the need to sustain the momentum of dialogue in order to ease tensions in the region.” Yasay did not say which particular developments

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