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Salman, Tillerson discuss region in key meeting
RIYADH: Top US diplomat Rex Tillerson pursued efforts to curb Iran’s influence in talks with Gulf allies on Sunday, but there was scant hope of a breakthrough in attempts to reconcile Saudi Arabia and Qatar. As well as talks with senior Saudi officials in Riyadh including King Salman, Tillerson attended a landmark meeting between Saudi Arabia and Iraq aimed at upgrading strategic ties between the Arab neighbours. The meeting
 
 
Einstein’s theory of happy living emerges in Tokyo note
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: A note that Albert Einstein gave to a courier in Tokyo, briefly describing his theory on happy living, has surfaced after 95 years and is up for auction in occupied Jerusalem. The year was 1922, and the German-born physicist, most famous for his theory of relativity, was on a lecture tour in Japan. He had recently been informed that he was to receive the Nobel Prize for physics, and his fame outside of
   
Saudis crave revival of night out at the movies
RIYADH: The lights go out, the projector whirls and entertainment-starved Saudis sink into plush seats to soak up an experience they have been denied for decades — a trip to the cinema. The rare movie night this week in Riyadh was a precursor to an expected formal lifting of the kingdom’s ban on cinemas. Following a decree allowing women to drive, authorities have hinted cinemas would soon be permitted as part of ambitious reforms
 
 
Abadi hailed as ‘hero’ for defeating Daesh in Iraq
BAGHDAD: When Haider Al Abadi was tasked with forming a new Iraqi government in August 2014, just weeks after a lightning offensive by the Daesh group, many believed he would fail. Three years later, the stocky prime minister with a close-cut white beard has transformed what many in Iraq considered “mission impossible” into a success story. He has rebuilt the crumbling armed forces, chased Daesh from more than 90 per cent of
   
UN-backed Libya talks fail to pave way for elections
TUNIS: Month-long UN-backed talks aimed at bridging differences between rival Libyan factions ended on Saturday with no discernable progress towards stabilising the country and paving the way for elections. A month ago UN envoy Ghassan Salame, the latest in a series of Libya envoys since a 2011 Nato-backed uprising ended Muammar Qadhafi’s 42-year rule, announced a one-year action plan for a transition towards presidential and
 
 
‘Good morning’ FB post leads to arrest of Palestinian man
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israeli police have mistakenly arrested then released a Palestinian who posted “good morning” in Arabic on Facebook after software mistranslated it as “attack them,” police and a media report said on Sunday. Police only confirmed that a Palestinian had been mistakenly arrested then released following suspicions of incitement, but a report in Haaretz newspaper provided further details. According to the report,
   
US-led coalition accused of ‘wiping Raqa off earth’
MOSCOW: Russia accused the US-led coalition in Syria on Sunday of wiping the city of Raqa “off the face of the earth” with carpet bombing in the same way the United States and Britain had bombed Germany’s Dresden in 1945. The Russian Defence Ministry, which has itself repeatedly been forced to deny accusations from activists and Western politicians of bombing Syrian civilians, said it looked like the West was now rushing to
 
 
Arab leaders condemn terror attacks in Egypt, Afghanistan
RIYADH: Arab leaders have strongly condemned the terror attacks in Egypt and Afghanistan. King Abdullah II of Jordan sent a cable of condolences to President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi on Saturday over the death of security personnel, who were killed in Friday’s shoot-out with armed terrorists in Giza, southwest Cairo, and which also claimed the lives of dozens of innocent victims. The Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted King Abdullah as
   
Deadly bombing ‘highlights Somalia’s fragility’
NAIROBI: Last weekend’s truck bombing in Mogadishu killed at least 358 people, making it the deadliest in Somalia’s history, an attack that analysts say underscores the fragility of the internationally-backed government. With Somalia’s security forces disorganised and riddled with corruption, and deepening suspicion between central and regional governments, the Oct.14 blast highlights the Al Qaeda-aligned Shabaab’s ability to
 
 
Children die of hunger in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta
HAMOURIA: One-month-old Sahar, her ribs protruding under translucent skin, breathed her last on Sunday in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, where a crushing regime siege has pushed hundreds of children to the brink of starvation. Only a trickle of humanitarian aid ever reaches this rebel-held region east of Damascus, under a tight blockade by Assad regime forces since 2013. Eastern Ghouta is one of four “de-escalation zones” set up in May
   
Terrorist cell to face military trial in Bahrain
MANAMA: Bahraini authorities have referred a group of civilians accused of targeting security forces to a military court, state media said on Sunday, months after a constitutional amendment expanded the court’s reach. General Youssef Rashid Fleifel, the head of Bahrain’s military justice department, announced a “terrorist cell” had been charged and would face a military trial, state news agency BNA reported. Fleifel did not give
 
 
Yemen seizes Iranian ship off Socotra Island
ADEN: An Iranian ship suspected of smuggling, with 19 sailors onboard, was seized on Saturday by fishermen off the coast of Yemen’s Socotra Island, according to Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid Bin Daghr. A report presented to the Yemeni cabinet at its regular meeting on Saturday by the Ministry’s Under-Secretary, Ahmad Ali Masood, said that an investigation is currently underway to gather more details of the ship’s cargo and
   
Hamas deputy leader vows to continue fight
GAZA STRIP: The deputy head of the Palestinian group Hamas vowed to keep close ties with Israel’s arch-enemy Iran and to maintain its weapons, Iranian media reported on Sunday, rejecting Israeli preconditions for any peace talks. Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist group by Western countries and Israel, signed a reconciliation deal this month with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction.
 
 
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