Houthi positions in Taiz pounded

Updated 26 April 2015
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Houthi positions in Taiz pounded

SANAA: Saudi-led coalition airstrikes hit a camp housing Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen’s third city Taiz on Friday, after a night of clashes and raids throughout the war-hit country, residents said.
Warplanes struck the camp, which was being used by a rebel army unit loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh in central Taiz, they said.
The main southern city of Aden also came under coalition fire as clashes between supporters of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and rebels raged until dawn, pro-government militiamen told AFP.
Residents in Yemen’s eastern Marib province also reported overnight airstrikes and clashes between local tribesmen and rebel forces.
Meanwhile, a US Defense Department official says tension has abated over the prospect of Iranian cargo ships delivering advanced weaponry to the Houthis. The Iranian convoy is now headed back in the direction of Iran.
Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said he couldn’t be sure where the Iranian convoy was heading. But he said it reversed its original course and was proceeding well to the northeast of Yemen in the Arabian Sea.
Warren says the prospect of a confrontation between Iranian and American or coalition ships off the coast of Yemen has receded. While the Iranian convoy was headed toward Yemen earlier this week, the question arose whether the US would forcibly intercede before the ships arrived at a Yemeni port such as Aden.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Riad Yassine on Thursday accused Tehran of trying to break a naval blockade on his country, describing the war as an “Iranian plot implemented by the Houthi militia.”
In another development, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Saudi charge d’affaires Friday to protest after the Kingdom’s warplanes allegedly turned back flights headed for Yemen, whose airspace is controlled by the Saudi-led coalition. Iran’s objection was announced to him.


Cirque du Soleil heads to Saudi in special one-off show

Updated 11 September 2018
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Cirque du Soleil heads to Saudi in special one-off show

  • More than 80 artists will take the stage at the King Fahd International Stadium for the show
  • About 250 costumes have been specially made to respect local traditions

MONTREAL: Cirque du Soleil will stage a show in Saudi Arabia for the first time later this month, the high-flying acrobatic troupe announced Monday.
The show will take place in the Saudi capital on Sept. 23 to coincide with the country's national day, public relations director Marie-Helene Lagace told AFP.
More than 80 artists will take the stage at the King Fahd International Stadium for the show, which will also be shown on Saudi state television. Cirque says it will be one of its biggest one-off productions ever.
About 250 costumes have been specially made to respect local traditions and conform to "the artistic standards for which we are known," Lagace said.
The announcement of Cirque du Soleil's appearance in Saudi Arabia was first made in Los Angeles in April, Lagace noted. But it was unclear whether the show would go on given the diplomatic tensions.
At the behest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has reopened movie theaters and allowed women and men to attend some concerts together.