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July 2, 2014

An estimated 20 million visitors are expected to attend Expo 2015, of which 7.6 million will travel to Milan by air, the two airlines said in a joint statement.
15:23 GMT
Etihad Airways and Italy’s Alitalia have been named as the Official Global Airline Carriers for Expo 2015 in Milan.
Tim Howard
15:15 GMT
USA's Tim Howard saved 15 goals against Belgium in Salvador, Brazil, setting a new World Cup record.
ISIS declared the establishment of an Islamic State on Sunday (Welayat Salahuddin/AFP)
15:11 GMT
Top leaders among Jordan's jihadist movement denounced the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria's declaration of a caliphate earlier this week.
Nick Kyrgios
14:58 GMT
After his match-winning performance against 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon on Tuesday, Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios has said he would like to be world number one some day.
The new route departs Doha at 8.10am and arrives in Dallas the same day at 3.35pm.
14:54 GMT
Airline begins daily services to Dallas, Texas, from Hamad International Airport
A similar visa policy is already in place for nationals from 38 countries, and once implemented, it will be available to 102 countries in total, EDB stated. The new policy was presented in a cabinet meeting earlier this week by Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s first deputy PM and chairman of the EDB.
14:38 GMT
Bahrain is mulling the implementation of a new visa policy, under which nationals from 64 countries will be provided a one-month visa on arrival.
Uighurs in China have been persecuted for their religious beliefs for years (AFP)
14:27 GMT
In China, Muslims will not be allowed to fast during the holy month of Ramadan, at least not legally.
Most of the personnel killed over the past six months are from Yemen's army (File Archive/AFP)
14:04 GMT
At least 374 Yemeni security force personnel have died this year in Sanaa's offensives, including attacks on Al Qaeda, this year.
Syrian rebels have been intensely fighting ISIS in parts of the Aleppo province, as well as in Raqa and Deir Ezzor (File Archive/AFP)
13:40 GMT
Syrian rebels will lay down their arms within the next week if they do not receive support from the exiled opposition to fight against the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).
Lebanon's army patrols the streets of Tripoli (File/AFP)
13:16 GMT
Four people were injured Wednesday when an unknown assailant on a motorcycle threw a hand grenade into a coffee shop in Tripoli. One of the wounded is believed to be in critical condition according to sources.
Luis Suarez
12:56 GMT
Andoni Zubizarreta, sporting director of Barcelona football club, in a press conference, commended Luis Suarez for his humility after the Uruguayan striker admitted the bite for the first time via a twitter message.
Jamal hopes that his fans will love his latest role as Gamal Abdel Nasser. (Image: Facebook)
12:38 GMT
Jamal Suliman is careful to spare the feelings of his son Mohammad when it comes to Facebook!
Friends and relatives gather around graves of the three Israeli teens in the Israeli town of Modiin (File/AFP)
12:22 GMT
It's unforgivable what happened to the three Israeli teenagers killed by Palestinians. But acting in the name of revenge to a Palestinian teenager this morning is equally deplorable.
The Iraqi army launched a major offensive against ISIL militants in recent weeks after the extremist group took over Mosul (File/AFP)
11:57 GMT
Dozens of ISIL militants were killed in an air raid over the northern city of Mosul, according to the Iraqi army.
Three journalists were also injured by Israeli forces in the Shufat neighborhood of East Jerusalem (File/AFP)
11:26 GMT
Dozens of Palestinians were injured during clashes with Israeli forces in East Jerusalem following the kidnap and killing of a 16-year-old boy.
Israeli policemen search the area after a body of a Palestinian youth was found in Jerusalem's forest area on July 2, 2014. [AFP]
11:25 GMT
In the public statement the Prime Minister called on all sides not to take the law into their own hands and noted that Israel is a nation of laws and everyone must act according to the law.
Asala is loved by exactly 10 million people! (Image: Facebook)
11:16 GMT
Everybody loves Syrian superstar Asala Nasri, just ask her Facebook followers!
Those who photocopy or tamper with original documents could also face up to five years in jail (File/Shutterstock)
10:36 GMT
Anyone caught using fake certificates to get a visa or job could face up to ten years in jail, so make sure you're up front about your grades in the UAE!
Israeli soldiers arrest Palestinians in the Israeli occupied West Bank city of Hebron on July 2, 2014. Israel is weighing how it will strike back at Hamas militants it holds responsible for the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers who were laid to rest in an emotional farewell. [AFP]
10:01 GMT
Military spokesman says demolition of West Bank house belonging to Ziad Awad, who was released in Schalit deal, was intended to serve as deterrent to terrorists.
KSA, the UAE and Kuwait are strong allies of Egypt's president, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (File/AFP)
09:58 GMT
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait released 152 Egyptian prisoners as a goodwill gesture for Ramadan.
Jordanian Hisham Said performs in Sofar Cairo (Image: Rowan El Shimi)
09:35 GMT
Cairo hosts its first ever Sofar concert, part of a global movement that brings live music to people’s living rooms.
Abbas al Noury plays one of the characters on the traditional TV series "Bab Al Hara." (Image: Facebook)
09:28 GMT
Twitter users gave Syria's famous Bab al-Hara TV soap opera a Lebanese twist Monday, with people making jokes about common national stereotypes they said would creep into the popular Ramadan show if it was set in Beirut rather than Damascus.
Masoud Barzani's statement comes days after Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu backed an independent Kurdish state (File/AFP)
09:26 GMT
President of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, Masoud Barzani, said on Tuesday that a Kurdish referendum will take place "in a matter of months."
Iraqi motorists queue for fuel following the country's recent violence (File/AFP)
09:11 GMT
Russia called on the UN Security Council to bar crude oil sales by terrorist groups including the the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.
George's parents jetted into Lake Como where it is believed the star will be hosting his big day. (Image:
08:55 GMT
Now George Clooney's parents jet into Lake Como ahead of wedding of the year... after Amal visits Italian villa with her mother.
Young Syrian-Kurdish refugees play in the children zone, recently erected by United Arab Emirate's Red Crescent, on June 22, 2014, at the Qushtapa refugee camp, 15 kilometers South of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. [AFP]
08:42 GMT
The UN children’s agency and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have called for the release of more than 100 Kurdish schoolboy and girls abducted by Takfiri militants in Syria late May.
Children stand in Rashidiyeh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon (File/AFP)
08:38 GMT
Amnesty International slammed Lebanon after a leaked document instructed airlines no to bring Palestinian refugees from Syria to Lebanon.
Palestinian women mourn as they watch the funeral procession of Yusuf Abu Zagher, 18, during his funeral in the Jenin refugee camp, in the northern Israeli occupied West Bank on July 1, 2014. [AFP]
08:24 GMT
Israeli police found the body of a teenager in the Jerusalem area on Wednesday after it was reported that a Palestinian youth had been kidnapped in the city’s east, sparking speculation of a revenge attack for the murder of three Israeli teens
Assaf said that he needs treatment for the health issue he's facing. (Image: Facebook)
08:22 GMT
Yikes! Mohammad Assaf can't get out of bed thanks to a health glitch!
Lebanon's security forces dismantled three terror cells this week after a wave of suicide attacks (File/AFP)
07:48 GMT
Both Hezbollah and Lebanese security forces prepared to coordinate against any potential ISIS attack, a senior security source said, Tuesday.
Israeli forces launched a wide scale operation across Gaza and the West Bank after the bodies of three missing settlers were found (File/AFP)
07:34 GMT
Palestinians held the funeral of a 20-year-old man who was shot dead during a raid in the Jenin refugee camp Tuesday.
Israeli PM Netanyahu delivers a speech next to the bodies of Gilad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel, both 16, and 19-year-old Eyal Ifrach, as he attends their funeral on July 1, 2014 in the cemetery of Modiin. (AFP / BAZ RATNER)
07:31 GMT
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Joss Stone took her singing magic to Lebanon Tuesday night.
05:56 GMT
In light of Lebanon’s recent spate of bombings, raids and clashes, you might assume British soul singer Joss Stone was a bit nervous when she flew into Beirut Tuesday night, but she got her game face on and made her way there.
A packed out Jerash Festival. (Image: Facebook)
05:27 GMT
The 29th Jerash Festival for Culture and Arts was a grand slam success with A-list stars storming the stage and fans that followed them to the Roman city.
This will be the sixth round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 since the preliminary nuclear deal was reached late last year (File Archive)
05:00 GMT
The sixth round of nuclear talks between Tehran and the so-called P5+1 are set to resume Wednesday.
Fancy a new friend at home? You can buy crocodiles in Lebanese pet shops for less than 100 U.S. dollars (File Archive)
05:00 GMT
Beirut's infamous crocodile who has been living in a polluted river for years near a company plant was moved to a crocodile zoo in the UK this week.
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said last month that Turkey will begin exporting an additional 4,000 tons of refined oil products to Iraq daily
04:55 GMT
According to Moody's, Turkey's exports could decline by 15 percent if the fighting between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Iraqi military forces continues.
A preliminary Reuters poll estimated a decline of 2.3 million barrels.
04:55 GMT
Brent oil held steady above $112 per barrel as upbeat manufacturing data in China pointed to demand growth while conflicts in Iraq and Ukraine continued to underpin supply concerns.
Many Egyptians were freed from prison this Ramadan because of a Gulf tradition.
00:17 GMT
The Kings of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates issued pardons and reduced prison sentences for over one hundred Egyptians this Ramadan; remembering the Egyptian youth who stood up; and Ramadan is about the true jihad of the soul.

July 1, 2014

Belgium 2-1 USA (AET): De Bruyne and Lukaku book quarter-final date
23:52 GMT
Two goals in the first additional period were enough to dispatch a brave challenge from the Americans, who got one back through Green to set up a tense finale
Saint Hoax uses cartoons to show the horrors of incest.
21:57 GMT
What better way to bring the awareness of the massive percentage of sexual abuse happening within the family tree than using Disney characters to drive home the point; Maliki lingers on; and Wikileaks and the 2008 Lebanese Elections
Shin Bet has also arrested hundreds of alleged Hamas activists in Netanyahu's offensive on the Palestinian group (File Archive)
20:00 GMT
Israel's Prime Minister confirmed Tuesday that Tel Aviv is planning to target Hamas in Gaza in response to the recent kidnapping and deaths of the three Israeli teens in the West Bank.
The MV Cape Ray will be used to destroy what are considered Syria's most dangerous chemical weapons (Mario Tosti/AFP)
19:56 GMT
The American MV Cape Ray arrived in Italy's Gioia Tauro port Tuesday to aid in the destruction of at least 1,300 tons of chemical weapons from Syria.
Argentina 1-0 Switzerland (AET): Di Maria strikes at the death to seal quarter-final spot
19:54 GMT
The Real Madrid winger curled a low shot past Diego Benaglio after Lionel Messi's run and pass to see off a spirited challenge from Ottmar Hitzfeld's side
An Egyptian police officer looks over the damage caused by Monday's bomb attacks (Mohamed Al Shahed/AFP)
19:20 GMT
An Egyptian militant group claimed responsibility Tuesday for Monday's bombings at the Ittihadiya palace.
Official: Chelsea agree Diego Costa deal
18:36 GMT
The 25-year-old has long been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, and the switch has now been confirmed by the Blues
An alleged member of ISIS examines an abandoned border crossing on the day that the jihadist group announced their establishment of a renewed Islamic caliphate (ISIS/AFP)
18:20 GMT
Iran's deputy foreign minister said Tuesday that Tehran is ready to supply weapons to Baghdad if Iraqi leadership asks for help, while ISIS front man calls for more jihad during the holy month of Ramadan.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organization under law late last year (File Archive/AFP)
17:00 GMT
Three top Muslim Brotherhood-linked leaders were arrested in Egypt Tuesday ahead of the anniversary of former president Mohammed Morsi's oust last year.
The fee for this aviation adventure starts from Dh270 ($73 USD). The first realistic A380 simulator landed in April at the Dubai Mall, where a 30-minute experience costs Dh350
16:19 GMT
Budding pilots and curious daredevils can fly the prestigious Airbus A380 in Dubai, within a realistic flight simulator, at a second location in Dubai.
Deir Al Zor province has been a frequent place of fighting between ISIS and the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front (File Archive)
16:17 GMT
Some Islamist groups in Syria have "dismissed" the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria's claim that they have established an Islamic caliphate.
He's still smiling, but Amro Waked wants you to help by watching the show. (Image: Facebook)
15:59 GMT
The recent political remarks made by Egyptian actor Amro Waked, which many had opposed, have negatively impacted his latest television drama “Ahil Iskandaria” (the People of Alexandria).
There are 204 domestic Haj companies serving the local pilgrims. Around 60 percent of them transport their pilgrims on Saudia's domestic flights.
15:56 GMT
Saudia had refused to respond to the requests of the domestic Haj companies for meetings to discuss the problems they had been experiencing," he said.
Athar Al Hakim is a happy woman now that her episode on Ramiz's show won't be airing.
15:53 GMT
After claiming that filming the episode nearly cost her her life, Egyptian actress Athar Al Hakim won a lawsuit against the prank show “Ramiz Qirsh Al Bahr” (Ramiz Shark of the Sea) .
Positive affirmation junkie Haifa Wehbe wants to know what you think.
15:46 GMT
The Lebanese diva's "Words on Papers" season has commenced, and she wants to know what you think, assuming it's positive, of course.
Adam Lallana
15:24 GMT
The midfielder joined the Anfield club for a fee of €31m on Tuesday and revealed it was his "wish" to play for such a "special" team
Bassem Kousa stars in the Syrian drama "Pack Your Bags". (Image courtesy of Daily Star Lebanon)
15:13 GMT
As can be expected, Syria’s once-proud television drama and comedy industry continues to decline. This season, the few shows that exist are not as well done as years before the crisis began.
The advertisement targets Saudi investors and invites them to apply for Canadian and Greek citizenship through an investment program.
14:11 GMT
A Canadian immigration company has, in violation of Saudi citizenship laws, posted an advertisement on the newspapers encouraging Saudi citizens to apply for Greek and Canadian citizenship, Makkah daily reported.
The Salafist movement in Tunisia gained serious momentum under the former Ennahda-led government (File Archive/AFP)
14:06 GMT
At least six security force officers were killed from a roadside bomb that exploded in Tunisia's Kef region Tuesday.
The aid will be distributed via the United Nations. (AFP/File)
14:01 GMT
Saudi Arabia pledged $500 million in humanitarian aid to Iraq Tuesday.
Only 75 MPs attended the parliament session to establish new leadership to handle the ongoing crisis in Iraq (Ahmad Al Rubaye/AFP)
13:45 GMT
More than 2,400 were killed in Iraq in June in what has developed into the deadliest month in the country this year. Baghdad also failed to elect a new parliament to handle the growing crisis Tuesday over lack of quorum.
Fast-growing Middle East airlines such as Qatar and Emirates have said that European governments were seeking to restrict fair competition by giving airlines based closer to home preference when awarding airport slots.
13:31 GMT
"If they (European airport slots) are limited further, we will stop buying European aircraft. We have 186 orders at Airbus. What impact would that have on German jobs?"
Pakistani women's rights campaigners in Lahore march during a rally against violence (File/AFP)
13:22 GMT
In another horrific case involving a man's so-called "honor", a Pakistani woman's eyes were gouged out by her ex-husband because he claimed he "wanted to send a message through her to all women with loose morals.”
Many believe eating locusts cures many diseases including diabetes and high blood pressure. (AFP/File)
13:18 GMT
Saudi Arabian men are consuming locusts by the hundreds because they believe it will help their libido.
World Cup 2014: Belgium v USA Preview and Projected Lineups
12:59 GMT
Belgium and the United States of America both have their work cut out for them in this afternoon's clash of wills in a chase for a place in the World Cup quarterfinals.
ISIS announced the creation of an Islamic caliphate this week (File/AFP)
12:56 GMT
ISIS captured a strategic Syrian border town from rebels, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
World Cup 2014: Argentina v Switzerland Preview and Projected Lineups
12:56 GMT
Argentina will look to be the favorites to advance on the day as Lionel Messi has proven he is out to make sure his nation are a major factor in this summer's competition having been their hero several times in the group stages.
Prime Minister Erdogan has faced heavy criticism in recent months for his handling of mass anti-government protests. (AFP/File)
12:44 GMT
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) has named Prime Minister Erdogan as its candidate.
Barzani said he hopes other countries will respect the Kurdish vote. (AFP/File)
12:16 GMT
Iraqi Kurds will vote on an independent Kurdish state within months.
Morning sickness is an immediate golden ticket out of the starvation blues..(never mind post natal blues that might descend in later stages). Find yourself pregnant (just a few weeks along will do nicely) or actually do get knocked up, just in the nick of time!
12:09 GMT
14 ways to get out of Ramadan for out- of- practice Muslims: Celebrating a pro-choice Ramadan with exemptions and get-out clauses in support of your decision to skip the fasting!
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon also praised the Lebanese Armed Forces for maintaining calm amid border tensions with Israel (File/AFP)
12:01 GMT
The United Nations hailed Lebanon's army for its efforts in controlling the country's security situation after a wave of terrorist attacks.
Saudis and expats have welcomed the move to close retail shops at 9 p.m., saying it would have a positive impact on social life and productivity.
11:46 GMT
The higher committee for regulating the working hours of retail shops has completed a draft law that will force all shops and sales outlets across the Kingdom to work anywhere between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Who will make her character work better this Ramadan? (Image: Albawaba edit)
11:46 GMT
Haifa Wehbe and Myriam Fares are both making their TV drama debuts this Ramadan, but their characters have already been criticised for being way way too similar!
The finance minister said the budget would push debt down from 94% of GDP, registered in the FY 2013/2014 budget, to around 90% of GDP
11:23 GMT
“The wages system in Egypt is closer to randomness than to being organised,” the minister said, adding that “a project for income law will be submitted to the cabinet during the coming period.”
Kurdidish regional government president Massud Barzan shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on June 24, 2014 (File/AFP)
10:46 GMT
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc on Monday said Ankara does not favor a divided Iraq.
ISIL has called upon fighters from Western countries to join their ranks. (AFP/File)
10:29 GMT
An alarming number of extremists are leaving their Western countries to fight alongside ISIL.
Qamar managed to escaped unharmed from her attackers. (Image: Facebook)
10:24 GMT
Poor Lebanese singer Qamar almost got killed this week. Why would anyone want her dead?
Pascale didn't get to sing in Tunisia this June! (Image: Facebook)
09:35 GMT
Pascale Machaalani was set to host her annual concert in Tunisia, when something horrific forced her to cancel.
President Obama will deploy an additional 300 troops to Iraq in order to project U.S. interests (File/AFP)
09:28 GMT
President Barack Obama announced deploying an additional 300 U.S. troops to Iraq, bringing the total number of American personnel in the country to 750.
Morsi's overthrow angered many Muslim Brotherhood supporters and sparked nation-wide protests. (AFP/File)
09:25 GMT
The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy has called on Egyptians to stage mass demonstrations on July 3 to protest President Sisi.
Lebanese security forces are on high alert after the Duroy Hotel bombing on June 25 (File/AFP)
09:09 GMT
Fear is growing in Lebanon that terrorist attacks in the country could escalate during Ramadan. Western diplomatic sources expressed concern after Lebanese forces dismantled three terror cells this week.
The woman was arrested in her apartment after a tip off. (Shutterstock)
09:08 GMT
A British woman was sentenced to four years in jail for consuming hashish.
The 18-year-old Palestinian was shot dead only hours after the bodies of three missing Israeli teens were found near Hebron (File/AFP)
08:23 GMT
Israeli soldiers shot dead an 18-year-old Palestinian during a raid in Jenin, early Tuesday. The raid came hours after the bodies of three Israeli teens were found near Hebron.
Will Janet really be observing Ramadan as rumored? (Image: Twitter)
08:21 GMT
Rumor has it that Janet Jackson is fasting this Ramadan!
Lebanese officials said the clashes were related to drug trafficking. (AFP/File)
08:17 GMT
Three men were killed and seven people injured during clashes at Shatila refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut.
The bodies of the three missing teens were found late on Monday near Hebron (File/AFP)
07:51 GMT
Human rights group B'Tselem Monday called on the Israeli government to refrain from acts of vengeance after three bodies of missing Israeli teens were found in the West Bank.
A ball of fire is seen following an Israel airstrike in Rafah, in Gaza, on July 1, 2014. Israeli warplanes launched in the early morning hours of Tuesday, dozens of airstrikes on different targets in Gaza, including sites belonging to Hamas & Islamic Jihad. No casualties were reported, a Palestinian security official said. (AFP / SAID KHATIB)
07:42 GMT
A ball of fire is seen following an Israel airstrike in Rafah
It is unclear whether current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will stay in power once the new government is formed. (AFP/File)
07:41 GMT
A parliamentary session to begin forming a new government will begin Tuesday.
The bodies of the three missing Israeli teens were found Monday. (AFP/File)
07:04 GMT
Hamas has warned against any Israeli attack on Palestinians in retaliation for the recent deaths of three Israeli teens.
Fayrouz's latest music video is reminiscent of her earlier work. (Image: Screenshot from video)
05:33 GMT
As Muslims focus on their faith, classic Christian-background songstress Fayrouz released a music video, paying tribute to her late hubby
Ramadan has begun and so has the intense TV show watching!
05:04 GMT
Muslims might be fasting and all that jazz, but some deem the Ramadan dramas promote decadence instead.
Superbugs pose a serious health risk. (Shutterstock)
05:00 GMT
A 29-year-old Saudi scientist developed a test to immediately recognize superbugs.
Lebanon has not had a president since late May. (AFP/File)
05:00 GMT
Michel Aoun proposed that the constitution be amended to allow the Lebanese people to directly elect the president.
Activity in Qatar's construction sector soared 19.6 per cent from a year ago in January-March, faster than a 13.6 per cent rise in the whole last year,
04:55 GMT
An expansion of Qatar's gas facilities helped fuel breakneck GDP growth averaging 17 per cent a year between 2006 and 2011.
S&P noted that hydrocarbon revenues constitute almost 46 per cent of nominal GDP and three-quarters of total exports of the six GCC nations.
04:55 GMT
Increasing dependence of the GCC states on oil revenues poses a rising credit risk, a new survey by S&P says.
Change requires a figurehead or a face of the change, one that represents hope in a ‘better’ future.
04:55 GMT
Regardless of what the real business issue was behind the scenes of Arabtec, confusion reigned publicly, and undoubtedly privately also, resulting in an unhealthy knee-jerk reaction in the market.
Accommodation at five-star hotels skyrockets to anywhere between SR31,000 to SR40,000 for a 10-day period near the end of Ramadan.
04:55 GMT
Travel operators in Riyadh will increase the prices of weekend Umrah packages from SR90 ($23) per head to SR160 ($42) from Wednesday thanks to the influx of pilgrims during Ramadan.
The Iranian carmaker Iran Khodro has resumed automobiles exports to Russia, which it halted in 2009 when Russia adopted stricter Euro-4 emission standards.
01:55 GMT
The resumption of car exports to Russia comes at a time of greater openness to trade with Iran in the wake of an interim nuclear deal.
Germany 2-1 Algeria (AET): Schurrle and Ozil ensure Low's side scrape through
00:12 GMT
The Chelsea forward turned home Thomas Muller's cross before the Arsenal playmaker fired home just before Abdelmoumene Djabou scored a consolation in the dying seconds