Saudi textbook features image of Yoda with King Faisal

Image copyright Shaweesh/Gharem Studio Image caption Shaweesh said he included Yoda because, like King Faisal, he was “wise, strong and calm” Saudi Arabia’s education minister has apologised for the production of a school textbook in which the Star Wars character Yoda is seen superimposed on a photograph of the late King Faisal. Ahmed al-Issa said […]

Syrian activist and daughter ‘murdered’ in Turkey

Image copyright Orouba Barakat Image caption Orouba Barakat and Halla Barakat’s family said they had been “assassinated” A prominent Syrian opposition activist and her journalist daughter have been found dead in Turkey, police say. The bodies of Orouba Barakat, 60, and her 22-year-old daughter Halla were discovered overnight in their apartment in Istanbul’s central Uskudar […]

Iraqi Kurdish referendum: UN warns of ‘destabilising impact’

Media captionKexit? Iraqi Kurdistan referendum explained – by the voters themselves The UN Security Council has warned of the potentially destabilising impact of a planned referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The 15 member states said Monday’s non-binding vote could hinder efforts to counter so-called Islamic State (IS) and help displaced Iraqis […]

Iraqi forces launch offensive to retake Hawija from IS

Image copyright AFP Image caption Hawija was surrounded and cut off from other IS-held territory more than a year ago Iraq has launched an offensive to expel Islamic State militants from Hawija, one of the last two areas in the country still held by the jihadists. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the attack on the […]

Iranian translator defends Trump speech omissions

Image copyright Getty Images On Tuesday, President Donald Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly for the first time. He reaffirmed his pledge to put America first, said the US might “have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” and roundly criticised Iran as a “rogue state”. But some viewers watching in Iran may […]

Iran nuclear deal: US ‘sunset clause’ concern remains – Tillerson

Image copyright Reuters Image caption All seven countries which negotiated the nuclear deal were at the talks US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said Washington continues to have “significant issues” with the Iran nuclear deal, after his first talks with his Iranian counterpart. But Mr Tillerson said the talks were “very matter of fact”, […]

Iran’s leader Hassan Rouhani slams Donald Trump in UN speech

Media captionTrump and Rouhani trade insults in UN podium duel President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has used a speech to the UN General Assembly to hit back at Donald Trump over the US president’s criticisms of his country and its 2015 nuclear deal. In his debut speech to the UN on Tuesday, President Trump included […]

Iran’s leader Rouhani slams Trump in UN speech

Media captionWhich ‘rogue states’ are in Trump’s new axis of evil? President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has used a speech to the UN General Assembly to hit back at Donald Trump over the US president’s criticisms of his country and its 2015 nuclear deal. In his debut speech to the UN on Tuesday, President Trump […]

Syria war: Assault on IS-held Raqqa in ‘final stages’

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Syrian Democratic Forces fighters took full control of Raqqa’s Old City earlier this month A US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters says it has driven Islamic State (IS) militants out of 80% of the northern Syrian city of Raqqa. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that its three-month-old assault […]

Saudi Arabia to lift ban on internet calls

Image copyright AFP Image caption The Saudi authorities said they had blocked VoIP apps in 2013 in order to “protect society” Saudi Arabia is lifting a ban on voice and video calling apps such as WhatsApp and Skype, in a move aimed at boosting productivity and economic growth. The ministry of communications said access to […]

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