NYC guitar concert by Hinckley, who shot Reagan, is canceled

NYC guitar concert by Hinckley, who shot Reagan, is canceled
US Marshals escort John Hinckley Jr. as he returns to a marine base via helicopter in Quantico, Virginia, Aug. 8, 1981. (AP/File)
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Updated 16 June 2022

NYC guitar concert by Hinckley, who shot Reagan, is canceled

NYC guitar concert by Hinckley, who shot Reagan, is canceled
  • The Market Hotel in Brooklyn cited “very real and worsening threats and hate” in its announcement on social media
  • The now 67-year-old Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the March 30, 1981 shooting

NEW YORK: A concert by John Hinckley Jr., who shot and wounded President Ronald Reagan in 1981, has been canceled even as Hinckley was freed from federal court oversight, the New York City venue that had booked the performance announced.
The Market Hotel in Brooklyn cited “very real and worsening threats and hate” in its announcement on social media Wednesday that it was canceling the July 8 concert.
The now 67-year-old Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the March 30, 1981 shooting of Reagan in Washington, D.C.
Reagan was seriously wounded in the assassination attempt, and his press secretary, James Brady, was permanently disabled.
Brady went on to campaign for gun-safety legislation until his death in 2014. The Brady Bill that passed in 1993 required a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases and background checks of prospective buyers, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence are named after Brady and his wife, Sarah.
Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty were also wounded in the shooting, which was motivated by Hinckley’s obsession with the actor Jodie Foster.
Hinckley spent decades in a mental hospital before being released to live with his mother in 2016. He was freed from court oversight as of Wednesday, writing on Twitter, “After 41 years 2 months and 15 days, FREEDOM AT LAST!!!”
In recent years Hinckley has released songs on Spotify and posted videos of himself singing and playing a guitar on YouTube.
Several public performances had been planned following Hinckley’s release from court supervision, but venues in Chicago and in Hamden, Connecticut, had already canceled Hinckley appearances when the Market Hotel announced that the concert it had scheduled would not take place.
“There was a time when a place could host a thing like this, maybe a little offensive, and the reaction would be, ‘It’s just a guy playing a show, who does it hurt — it’s a free country,’” the Market Hotel said on Instagram. “We aren’t living in that kind of free country anymore, for better or for worse.”
Hinckley tweeted Thursday that his promoter was looking for another venue.


New Dubai Hindu temple goes digital with QR-coded bookings

New Dubai Hindu temple goes digital with QR-coded bookings
Updated 27 sec ago

New Dubai Hindu temple goes digital with QR-coded bookings

New Dubai Hindu temple goes digital with QR-coded bookings

DUBAI: A Hindu temple, set to open in Dubai later this year, will be accepting QR code-based appointment bookings for visitors, officials told national daily, Gulf News. 

The online booking system for visitors was launched with the aim to prevent crowding in the area and ensure the safety of visitors, officials said, adding that the temple accommodated about 1,000 people. 

“We will be opening the booking system through our existing website and a new app that will be launched by September 1,” temple trustee Raju Shroff told Gulf News. 

The temple – an extension of the Sindhi Guru Darbar temple in Bur Dubai – will open on Oct. 5, but bookings can be made starting from September. 

The 70,000-square-feet temple and community center is located in the Corridor of Tolerance in Jebel Ali that houses several churches and the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara, the report added. 

Temple officials said it would be opening in two phases: the place of worship will open in October and the rest of the facilities will open by Jan. 14. 

The facilities include a 4,000 square-foot banquet hall, a multipurpose room, and a knowledge room. 

The knowledge room is open to interfaith leaders who want to organize on-site and online sessions, the officials added. The temple will also organize celebrations for Hindu festivals such as Diwali and Navratri after the official opening.


Petoya Lounge is Saudi Arabia’s ‘first five-star hotel for cats’

Petoya Lounge is Saudi Arabia’s ‘first five-star hotel for cats’
Updated 10 August 2022

Petoya Lounge is Saudi Arabia’s ‘first five-star hotel for cats’

Petoya Lounge is Saudi Arabia’s ‘first five-star hotel for cats’
  • Staff say the animals that stay there will be petted and exercised several times a day, and owners can check up on their furry friends by watching live streaming video using a free app
  • The hotel’s founder and owner, Houda Al-Otaibi, said that this first facility is for cats and kittens but more will open soon for other animals

RIYADH: Cat owners in Saudi Arabia can now send their beloved pets on a vacation to the Petoya Lounge in Riyadh, which describes itself as the country’s first five-star hotel for pets.

Cats and kittens can be booked into the facility for a few hours or several days. Staff say the animals will be regularly petted, eight times a day, and exercised, three times a day. Owners who are missing their furry friends can even check up on them by watching live streaming video using a free app. The facility also offers a variety of food and treatment options for its residents.

In a video about Petoya Lounge published by Reuters, a woman is shown sitting on the floor surrounded by more than seven cats, some of which eat from her hand. Kittens can also been seen jumping around on furniture and playing with wooden objects, tunnels and other toys provided for their comfort and entertainment. Several are shown being placed in small beds.

“Petoya is the first authorized five-star hotel in Saudi Arabia for pets,” said its founder and owner Houda Al-Otaibi, who appears in the video playing with a kitten, gently petting it and feeding it.

“This is our first branch, for cats, and (other) branches that will be for other animals are coming soon.”

She added that the hotel aims to be “an outlet for cats and their owners to rest and feel comfortable.”


Apparent photo of Adele in Egyptian music icon’s dress sparks controversy

Apparent photo of Adele in Egyptian music icon’s dress sparks controversy
Updated 09 August 2022

Apparent photo of Adele in Egyptian music icon’s dress sparks controversy

Apparent photo of Adele in Egyptian music icon’s dress sparks controversy
  • The stunning dress was purported to have previously been worn by Egyptian music icon, singer, songwriter and actress Umm Kulthum
  • The image sparked debate among Egyptian and Middle Eastern social media users

DUBAI: A photo of Adele in an elegant dress, alleged to have been worn earlier by Umm Kulthum, spread like wildfire across social media in Egypt and the Arab world on Tuesday.
On Monday and Tuesday, social media users exchanged a photo of English singer and songwriter in the dress.
The stunning dress was purported to have previously been worn by Egyptian music icon, singer, songwriter and actress Umm Kulthum.
The image sparked debate among Egyptian and Middle Eastern social media users who were split between those who believed it was true and those who said it had been faked.
According to fact check, the image turned out to have been photoshopped and the photo was published in 2017 when Adele wore the green Givenchy gown to the 2017 Grammy Awards red carpet.
A comment read: “International singer Adele wears the same dress and shoe of late Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum.”
The photoshopped image garnered thousands of likes, shares, retweets and comments, with the post proving especially popular among Egyptian users.
However, the buzz soon died down after it transpired that the Adele image had been published on Getty Agency’s website.
Al Arabiya Egypt tweeted that an Egyptian designer had modified the image of Umm Kulthum in the dress in June 2019 when he attached it to his digital CV on a specialized website for graphic designers’ resumes.
The publication then conducted an online vote asking participants whether they believed Adele did wear Umm Kulthum’s dress.
Over 3,600 users voted, with just 15 percent of respondents saying that they believed that Adele wore the late Egyptian icon’s dress.


Sailing ship Shabab Oman II departs Denmark after participating in racing competition

Sailing ship Shabab Oman II departs Denmark after participating in racing competition
Updated 09 August 2022

Sailing ship Shabab Oman II departs Denmark after participating in racing competition

Sailing ship Shabab Oman II departs Denmark after participating in racing competition

DUBAI: Shabab Oman II, a training ship for the Royal Navy of Oman, left the port of Aalborg in Denmark after participating in the Long Dhow Racing Festival 2022, national daily Times of Oman reported. 

This was part of the ship’s sixth international voyage “Oman, the Land of Peace” to the European continent. 

The vessel won this year’s International Friendship Cup for Tall Ships in Denmark as part of the Tall Ships Races 2022, which ran from Aug. 4-7.  

This came during the announcement of the results of the Long Dhow Sailing Race, during the closing festival of the Long Sailing Race 2022 in Aalborg.


Woman injured by polar bear on Norway’s Svalbard Islands

Woman injured by polar bear on Norway’s Svalbard Islands
Updated 08 August 2022

Woman injured by polar bear on Norway’s Svalbard Islands

Woman injured by polar bear on Norway’s Svalbard Islands
  • Svalbard is dotted with warnings about polar bears; visitors who choose to sleep outdoors receive stern warnings from authorities that people must carry firearms
  • Some residents in Svalbard, home to more than 2,500 people, want a round-the-clock polar bear watch, while others advocate killing all bears that get close to humans

COPENHAGEN, Denmark: A polar bear attacked a campsite Monday in Norway’s remote Arctic Svalbard Islands, injuring a French tourist, authorities said, adding that the wounds weren’t life-threatening. The bear was later killed.
The woman, who was not identified, was part of a tour group of 25 people camping at Sveasletta, in the central part of the Svalbard archipelago, which sits more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of the Norwegian mainland. The campsite was located across a fjord from Longyearbyen, the main settlement in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago.
Authorities responded to the news of the attack, which came shortly before 8:30 a.m., by flying there in a helicopter, chief superintendent Stein Olav Bredli.
“The French woman suffered injuries to an arm. Shots were fired at the polar bear, which was scared away from the area,” he said. Further details on her injuries weren’t disclosed. She was flown by helicopter to the hospital in Longyearbyen.
The main newspaper on the Arctic archipelago, Svalbardposten, said the victim was a woman in her 40s, and quoted local hospital official Solveig Jacobsen as saying that the woman was slightly injured.
Bredil later told Svalbardposten that the animal has been “badly injured” and following “a professional assessment” it was put to sleep. It was unclear how it was killed.
Svalbard is dotted with warnings about polar bears. Visitors who choose to sleep outdoors receive stern warnings from authorities that people must carry firearms. At least five people have been killed by polar bears since the 1970s. In 2011, a British teenager was killed and the last time a fatal polar bear mauling was reported on Svalbard was in 2020, when a 38-year-old Dutchman was killed.
Following that attack, there was a debate as to whether people should be allowed to camp in tents but no ban has been decided.
Some residents in Svalbard, home to more than 2,500 people, want a round-the-clock polar bear watch, while others advocate killing all bears that get close to humans.
From 2009 to 2019, 14 polar bears were shot, Norwegian broadcaster NRK said. An estimated 20,000-25,000 polar bears live in the Arctic.
In 2015, a polar bear dragged a Czech tourist out of his tent as he and others were camping north of Longyearbyen, clawing his back before being driven away by gunshots. The bear was later found and killed by authorities.