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25 finalists in Guggenheim-YouTube creative video biennial

Twenty-five clips from around the world were selected for the first creative video biennial run by the Guggenheim Museum and the YouTube video sharing site, highlighting online video as a popular art form. The finalists of the "YouTube Play, a Biennial of Creative Video" event range from South African rap to Brazilian animation, and were …

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Germany’s Hochtief courting Qatar to take stake: report

BERLIN: German building giant Hochtief is in talks with Qatar in the hope that the emirate will take a stake in the company in order to thwart a hostile takeover bid by Spain’s ACS, a report on Sunday said. News weekly Der Spiegel reported in an advance copy of its Monday issue that German Chancellor …

AFP

Jordan says freedom of expression guaranteed in election

AMMAN: Jordan’s information minister said on Saturday that freedom of expression was guaranteed after Human Rights Watch said there had been several arrests ahead of a November 9 general election. "Jordan guarantees the freedom of expression of its citizens, and there is a consensus among all parties concerned in the electoral process to guarantee this …

AFP

Palestinians welcome Catholic support for end of occupation

RAMALLAH: The chief Palestinian negotiator on Sunday welcomed a call from Catholic bishops for the international community to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. Saeb Erakat said Christians were an "integral part of the Palestinian people" and blamed Israel for their emigration from the Holy Land, which he added "gravely damages… the prospects of …

AFP

Iraq should probe reports its forces tortured: HRW

NEW YORK: Iraq should investigate reports that its forces systematically tortured and abused detainees, Human Rights Watch said Saturday after documents released by Wikileaks detailed abuse by Iraqi captors. "Iraq should prosecute those responsible for torture and other crimes, Human Rights Watch said in a statement. And "the US government should also investigate whether its …

AFP

Palestinian appeal to world bodies ‘unrealistic’: Netanyahu

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday urged the Palestinians not to abandon stalled peace talks in favor of an "unrealistic" appeal to the international community. "We expect the Palestinians to honor their commitment to hold direct negotiations," Netanyahu said at the start of a weekly cabinet meeting. "I think that any attempt to …

AFP

Radical Yemeni-US imam Awlaki in new Internet video

SANAA: A new video featuring wanted radical Yemeni-US cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki was posted on Saturday on the Al-Shammukh jihadist website. Awlaki, believed to be holed up in a tribal area of the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state of Yemen, is considered a dangerous "terrorist" by the US government. In April, a US official said President Barack …

AFP

Iran pays Afghan president’s chief of staff: report

WASHINGTON: Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s chief of staff, Umar Daudzai, has been receiving regular cash payment from Iran, which is trying to expand its interests in the Afghan presidential palace, The New York Times reported late Saturday. Citing unnamed Afghan and Western officials in Kabul, the newspaper said Iran had been using its influence to …

AFP

Yemen thwarts attack in south ahead of football tournament

ADEN: Yemeni security forces have thwarted a bomb attack in a southern city that is being prepared to host the 20th Gulf Football Championships, authorities said. Police in Aden arrested a man who was caught placing a plastic bag containing 1,800 grams of dynamite in the city’s "vital installations," the interior ministry said in a …

AFP

WikiLeaks document dump could threaten troops, Iraqis, says Pentagon

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon said Friday the threatened release of a massive cache of secret military documents by the WikiLeaks website could endanger US troops and Iraqis, but not offer any new insights into the war. "By disclosing such sensitive information, Wikileaks continues to put at risk the lives of our troops, their coalition partners and …

AFP

WHO rushes help to deadly north Haiti disease outbreak

GENEVA/PORT-AU-PRINCE: UN health experts rushed to northern Haiti to help tackle a sudden outbreak of diarrheal disease that has left 150 dead, after some initial tests showed traces of cholera, the WHO said on Friday. If confirmed, it would mark the first time that cholera has been reported in Haiti for more than a century, …

AFP

Australian study finds diabetes link to flabby dads

Men with high-fat diets are more likely to have diabetic children, research showed Thursday, in the first study linking a baby’s health to what their father ate. The study tracked a group of rats that were fed fatty foods until they were obese and showing precursory signs of type 2 diabetes and were then bred …

AFP

Federer, Soderling sweep to easy Stockholm wins

STOCKHOLM: Roger Federer, returning to the Stockholm Open after a decade away, swept past outgunned American Taylor Dent 6-1, 6-2 in his 900th career match on Thursday. It took a mere 49 minutes for the top seed to move through, a tennis lifetime after his last appearance at the Kungligahallen which ended with a second-round …

AFP

Angry Man United fans besiege Rooney’s house

MANCHESTER: Police have dispersed angry Manchester United fans who were besieging the house of club superstar Wayne Rooney reportedly in protest at his decision to quit. Officers were called out late Thursday after a mob of up to 30 supporters descended on the star’s 4.5-million-pound (seven-million-dollar) mansion in Prestbury, close to Manchester. It came shortly …

AFP

US public radio fires analyst over comments on Muslims

WASHINGTON: A top US public radio network has sacked a senior news analyst after he made disparaging remarks about Muslims on television. National Public Radio (NPR) said it notified Juan Williams late Wednesday that it was terminating his contract as a senior news analyst for NPR News. Williams was fired just two days after he …

AFP

China calls Darfur bullet allegations ‘groundless’

BEIJING: China on Thursday rejected a UN report that says Chinese bullets were used in attacks on peacekeepers in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region, calling the charge "groundless". "It is inappropriate for the relevant panel to make groundless accusations against member states on the basis of unconfirmed information in its annual report," foreign ministry spokesman Ma …

AFP

Ahmadinejad tells Saudi king he wants united Lebanon

TEHRAN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Saudi King Abdullah in a telephone call that the aim of his controversial visit to Lebanon last week was to promote its unity, his office said on Thursday. The Wednesday evening conversation between the two leaders — their second in eight days — came as the regional arch-rivals have …

AFP

Once-great Philippine comic industry fights for survival

Philippine comic books have nurtured talent for international TV and animation blockbusters, but the once-mighty industry is fighting to survive as it comes up against the internet and other new media. Comic books that dominated the Philippine publishing industry just a couple of decades ago are now largely relegated to photocopied titles sold in a …

AFP

Once-great Philippine comic industry fights for survival

Philippine comic books have nurtured talent for international TV and animation blockbusters, but the once-mighty industry is fighting to survive as it comes up against the internet and other new media. Comic books that dominated the Philippine publishing industry just a couple of decades ago are now largely relegated to photocopied titles sold in a …

AFP

Hobbit films poised to leave New Zealandm says director

New Zealand looks set to lose "The Hobbit" movies after a union row trashed the country’s image with Hollywood studios, jeopardizing its entire film industry, director Peter Jackson said Thursday. In a move Prime Minister John Key described as a potential "tragedy" for New Zealand, Jackson said Warner Bros. executives would travel to the country …

AFP

Italian author portrays a ‘different’ Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox, the American convicted of murdering a British student in a drug-fuelled sex orgy, is a thoughtful and bookish girl with melancholic blue eyes, the author of a new book out on Tuesday told AFP. The book by Rocco Girlanda, a member of the Italian parliament who says he has become a friend of …

AFP

Egypt calls parliament election for Nov. 28

CAIRO: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday set Nov. 28 as the date for a parliamentary election which the outlawed opposition Muslim Brotherhood has vowed to contest despite a wave of arrests. A total of 508 elected seats are up for grabs in the legislature, which is currently dominated by the ruling National Democratic Party. …

AFP

Obama drops India temple visit over headscarf fear: sources

NEW DELHI: US President Barack Obama has cancelled a visit to a Sikh temple in India, sources said Wednesday, over apparent concerns that photos of him with his head covered would revive claims he is a Muslim. During his state visit to India early next month, Obama was scheduled to tour the Golden Temple in …

AFP

Amnesty accuses Egypt of crackdown before election

CAIRO: Amnesty International accused Egypt on Tuesday of arresting dozens of Muslim Brotherhood members to disrupt the opposition group’s elections campaign ahead of a parliamentary vote in November. Police have arrested more than 150 people since the group’s leader, Mohamed Badie, announced on Oct. 9 that the Brotherhood would contest 30 percent of parliament’s elected …

AFP

Saudi prince jailed for life for servant’s murder in London

LONDON: A Saudi prince, the grandson of King Abdullah, was jailed for life by a British court Wednesday for murdering his male servant in a brutal attack at a London hotel after a long campaign of sexual abuse. Saud Bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir Al Saud, 34, was ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years …

AFP

Elders urge ‘more energetic’ Mideast peace push

DAMASCUS: The Elders group of retired world figures called on Tuesday for a "more energetic" drive for Middle East peace, warning that the major powers appeared to be more interested in conflict management than resolution. In a statement issued in Damascus after talks in Gaza and Egypt, as well as in Syria, the four-strong delegation …

AFP

Iran to open spy trial of US hikers on November 6, says lawyer

TEHRAN: Iran will begin trying three American hikers on espionage charges on November 6, their lawyer told AFP on Wednesday, as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said there was no basis for a trial. Two of the three hikers, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, have been held in a Tehran jail for more than …

AFP

UN Iraq envoy unhurt after bomb attack on convoy

NAJAF: The UN envoy to Iraq, Dutch diplomat Ad Melkert, was unhurt after a bomb attack targeting a convoy of vehicles south of Baghdad, UN and police officials said. There were conflicting reports over Tuesday’s incident, with Melkert saying he was in the convoy that was attacked, while senior Iraqi officials said he was not. …

AFP

For Palestinian snake charmer pythons are part of the family

RAMALLAH: A lot of fathers would prefer their two-year-old daughters not to ride a giant Burmese python down the street like a pony — but not Jamal Amwasi of Ramallah. The 35-year-old Palestinian civil servant is the proud owner of more than a dozen snakes, including several large pythons, all of which live in a …

AFP

377 dead in west and central African floods, says UN

DAKAR: The United Nations said Tuesday that 377 people had died in flooding in central and West Africa, with nearly 1.5 million people affected since the start of the rainy season in June. "2010 has seen the largest number of people affected and dying from flooding", the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs …

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