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Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness
By HUSSAM AL MAYMAN - NOOR NUGALI - Rawan Radwan - HALA TASHKANDI ·

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Israeli military finds 4th Hezbollah tunnel from Lebanon

  • The military said it has placed explosives in the tunnel as part of an open-ended operation to identify and destroy the cross-border passageways
  • Israel has called on the international community to impose new sanctions on the Iranian-backed Hezbollah
By AFP ·

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US-led coalition destroys Syrian mosque used as Daesh command center

  • Daesh lost nearly all the territory it once held in Syria last year in separate offensives by the US-backed SDF on the one hand, and the Russian-backed Syrian army on the other
By Reuters ·

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Sign language and Braille Qur’ans to help pilgrims at Two Holy Mosques

  • Copies of the Qur’an in Braille along with other religious booklets are available, as are on-site specialists to help pilgrims during prayer times and guide them through the mosque sites
By Tareq Althaqfi ·

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Son-in-law of Iran president faces nepotism claims

  • The appointment of Kambiz Mehdizadeh was widely criticized by Iranians on social media
  • Iranians on social media renewed criticism of nepotism that had spread last year with the hashtag "#good-genes"
By AFP ·

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Macron’s ratings fall further after month of protests

  • Many of the protesters have targeted Macron personally, calling on him to resign
  • Until last week, a clear majority of French people had backed the protests, which sprung up initially over high taxes
By AFP ·

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UAE president orders reshuffle of central bank’s board of directors, governor to remain

  • Central bank governor Mubarak Rashed Khamis Al Mansoori has been reappointed for the next four years
By Reuters ·

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Egypt, South Africa bid to be replacement African Cup host

  • The executive committee will now decide who is awarded the tournament at a meeting in Dakar, Senegal on Jan. 9
  • Cameroon was stripped of hosting rights last month because of delays with its preparations and a violent separatist movement
By AP ·

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Nicaragua police raid opposition paper, end rights groups’ permits

  • Confidencial’s front door was sealed with tape following the raid. Police seized work equipment and documents
By AFP ·

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Worth the sting: Cuba’s scorpion pain remedy

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  • In Cuba, where tens of thousands of patients have been treated with Vidatox, each vial costs under a dollar
  • The scorpions are caught in the wild as Labiofam workers believe their venom — which is not dangerous — is not as potent when raised in captivity
By Reuters ·