News

Muslim Cyclists Biking Across Nine Countries Finally Reach Saudi Arabia for Hajj

Eight British Muslims have arrived in Saudi Arabia for Hajj after five weeks of cycling across nine countries and 3,200 kilometres. Known as the “Hajj Riders,” the eight men started from the East London Mosque in the British capital and biked through the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Greece and Egypt before arriving in

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Who Owns Mars?

By Chris Arsenault TORONTO, Aug 21 – Can anyone claim the red planet or natural resources on asteroids? Business leaders and legal experts say the question has become more than philosophical as a growing number of firms, often backed by capital and technology from Silicon Valley, have set their sights on the resources of outer

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The Victor, the Spoils? Trump Eyes Afghanistan’s Elusive Mineral Riches

By James Mackenzie KABUL, Aug 21 – U.S. President Donald Trump is eyeing Afghanistan’s mineral wealth to help pay for a 16-year war and reconstruction efforts that have already cost $117 billion. Investors who have studied the country, one of the world’s most dangerous, say that is a pipe dream. Ever since a United States

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Gaza Fisherman Finds Message in a Bottle from Greek Island

GAZA, Aug 21 – For Palestinian fisherman Jihad al-Soltan, it was a surprise summer catch — a message in a bottle that he netted off a Gaza beach. It had bobbed its way in the Mediterranean for nearly 800 km (500 miles) from the Greek island of Rhodes, placed in the water by a vacationing

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Mosques Speak Out in Indian City to Stop Sale of Brides to Arab Men

By Roli Srivastava MUMBAI, Aug 21 – Mosques in the Indian technology hub of Hyderabad are joining a growing campaign to stop schoolgirls being sold as brides to elderly Arab men, authorities said on Monday, amid an outcry about a new spate of cases. India launched an investigation last week into the marriage of a

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Raqqa Families Make Daring Escapes from Daesh Stronghold

By John Davison RAQQA, Syria, Aug 21 – As Shawakh al-Omar huddled with 16 relatives in a single room in house in Daesh Syrian stronghold Raqqa, a mortar round slammed into the home next door, killing four people and shaking the building. The 57-year-old decided they should make a run for it. “We didn’t even have

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Saudi Plane for Qatari Pilgrims Waits on Doha for Landing Rights

DUBAI, Aug 20 – Saudi Arabia’s state carrier said on Sunday it had been unable to send planes to transport Qatari pilgrims to the kingdom because it had been unable to get permission to land at Doha airport amid a diplomatic dispute between the two countries. Qatar and Saudi Arabia, along with three other Arab

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Syria’s Assad Says War Still Not Won But West’s Plots Foiled

AMMAN, Aug 20 – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday that while his country had foiled Western designs to topple him, his army had not won Syria’s war and the fight was continuing to crush a six-year old insurgency. In an televised address, Assad said that even though there were signs of victory after

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Stifled in Middle East, Lebanese Band Finds Audience in West

By Sarah Dadouch BEIRUT, Aug 20 – Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila’s blend of indie rock and lyrics about social and political injustice has won a passionate following among fans seeking an alternative to Arab pop with its romantic themes. But securing a firm footing in the Middle East has been difficult for the band. Jordanian

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Israel’s Netanyahu to Discuss Middle East with Putin

JERUSALEM, Aug 20 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will discuss the Middle East with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet in the Russian resort of Sochi next week, his office said on Saturday. Israel is concerned Iran is trying to establish a permanent military foothold in Syria. Netanyahu said in a speech last

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