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Saudi Ritz ‘gilded jail’ hotel to reopen

Saudi Ritz ‘gilded jail’ hotel to reopen

Image copyright AFP Image caption The hotel has been a luxury detention centre since early November A luxury Saudi hotel which has been a detention centre for dozens of princes and top officials held in a corruption drive since November is to reopen. The five-star Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh is taking bookings again from February, after […]

Hisham al-Omeisy: Yemen rebels release activist after five months

Hisham al-Omeisy: Yemen rebels release activist after five months

Media captionHisham al-Omeisy commented on the situation in Yemen through Twitter and, with this video, through the BBC A prominent Yemeni activist has been released by the rebel Houthi movement after five months in detention. Hisham al-Omeisy had provided regular commentary on Yemen’s civil war to his 35,000 followers on Twitter until he went missing […]

Netanyahu and Modi praise ‘new era’ in India -Israel ties

Netanyahu and Modi praise ‘new era’ in India -Israel ties

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) met his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Delhi India and Israel have hailed the “dawn of a new era” in their relations after signing key deals in defence, agriculture and aviation sectors. The deals were announced after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held […]

Syria war: Turkey denounces US ‘terror army’ plan for border

Syria war: Turkey denounces US ‘terror army’ plan for border

Image copyright AFP Image caption About half of the border force will be made up of Syrian Democratic Forces fighters Key powers involved in Syria’s civil war have criticised the US for helping an allied Kurdish-led militia set up a 30,000-strong “border security force”. Turkey’s president vowed to “suffocate” efforts to begin training members of […]

Jerusalem embassy: Abbas says Trump plan ‘slap of the century’

Jerusalem embassy: Abbas says Trump plan ‘slap of the century’

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Abbas (centre) spoke for two hours Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has described US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace efforts as the “slap of the century”. At a meeting of Palestinian leaders, he stressed he would not accept any peace plan from the US after it recognised Jerusalem as […]

Qatari royal says he is ‘being held against his will’ in UAE

Qatari royal says he is ‘being held against his will’ in UAE

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan A Qatari royal says he is being held against his will in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali al-Thani – who played a role in negotiating with Saudi Arabia during the Qatar diplomatic crisis last year – […]

Saudi female football fan: ‘We wanted to enter stadiums and we did’

Saudi female football fan: ‘We wanted to enter stadiums and we did’

Image copyright Sarah Algashgari Image caption Sarah Alkashgari at the first football match in Saudi history that permitted female spectators A woman who helped to organise Saudi Arabia’s first football match allowing female spectators has told the BBC it was a “great and surreal” experience. Football fan Sarah Alkashgari, 18, made history after she not […]

Police use tear gas on protesters in Tunisia, reports say

Police use tear gas on protesters in Tunisia, reports say

Media captionThe government is seeking to calm days of unrest Police in Tunisia are reported to have fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of youths protesting against new austerity measures. A Reuters witness said young people aged around 20 were throwing stones at police vehicles and setting fire to tyres. The clash happened in […]

Iranian oil tanker sinks off China

Iranian oil tanker sinks off China

Image copyright Reuters Image caption The Sanchi had been burning for more than a week since the collision An oil tanker burning in the East China Sea for more than a week has finally sunk, Chinese media say. The Sanchi and a cargo ship collided 260km (160 miles) off Shanghai on 6 January, with the […]

Tunisia protests: Reforms announced amid new rallies

Tunisia protests: Reforms announced amid new rallies

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Protesters turned out again in Tunis on Sunday following calls from opposition parties The Tunisian government has announced a wave of social reforms, reacting to days of demonstrations by anti-austerity protesters. There were fresh protests on Sunday, the seventh anniversary of the ousting of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. Emergency […]