French sex workers fail in bid to overturn payment ban

AFP

PARIS: French sex workers failed Friday in their bid to overturn a law that bans paying for sex, as the country’s Constitutional Council ruled that it does not breach the constitution. A law introduced in 2016 made it illegal to buy sex in France but not to sell it, shifting […]

Taiwanese woman says her four pet pigs ‘clever’

AFP

TAICHUNG, Taiwan: Every year is the Year of the Pig in Jenny Tsai’s ninth-floor apartment in Taiwan’s Taichung City which she shares with one fellow human and four pampered porcine housemates.    Website designer Tsai says her pigs are so clever they’ve worked out how to open the fridge, which […]

Iran fetes 40 years of Islamic revolution at Khomeini tomb

AFP

TEHRAN: Thousands of Iranians packed the mausoleum of the Islamic republic’s founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran on Friday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the revolution that overthrew a centuries-old dynasty. Ceremonies for the 1979 revolution were launched at 9:33 am (0603 GMT), the exact time that Khomeini returned […]

‘Trump serious about Afghan withdrawal’

AFP

KABUL: US President Donald Trump is serious about getting out of Afghanistan, the Taliban told AFP Friday, outlining the “Islamic system” comprising “all Afghans” that the group says it hopes to establish under any peace deal. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid spoke to AFP via WhatsApp a day after the US […]

Deadly Brazil dam collapse raises fears of environmental woes

AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO: A week after a dam storing mining waste collapsed in southeast Brazil, the human cost is clear, with 110 killed and 238 missing, presumed dead, but the environmental impact is still being evaluated. Authorities fear the mineral-laced slurry released by the collapse could eventually pollute the Sao […]

US imposes visa restrictions on Ghana

AFP

ACCRA: Washington has imposed visa restrictions on Ghana following a row over the deportation of Ghanaians staying illegally in the United States. The move, which goes into effect on February 4, will also affect government employees and politicians. US officials have accused the West African country of refusing to accept […]

Afghan women fear cost of peace will be their freedom

AFP

KABUL:  It is naive to think the Taliban have changed their stance on women’s rights, says Kabul restaurateur Laila Haidari, who like many educated Afghan women fears any peace deal between the extremists and the US could erode hard-won freedoms. Draconian rules that once forced half the population behind closed […]

Ivory Coast’s Gbagbo to fight detention at Hague court

AFP

THE HAGUE: Ivory Coast’s former president Laurent Gbagbo on Friday appealed against his continued detention at the International Criminal Court following his acquittal on charges of crimes against humanity. The 73-year-old ex-strongman remains behind bars despite the fact that judges in The Hague cleared him and his right-hand man Charles […]

Inaugural visit by pontiff to UAE

AFP

DUBAI: Pope Francis’s three-day trip to the United Arab Emirates Sunday marks the first time a pontiff has ever visited the conservative Muslim Arabian Peninsula, where over 2.6 million Catholics reside. While the overwhelming majority of Catholics in the region are expatriates, according to the Apostolic Vicariates of southern and […]

Game over for gamers? UK studios count Brexit costs

AFP

LONDON: Could it possibly be game over for the bright minds behind “Grand Theft Auto” and other global gaming hits? UK developers have been quietly churning out video games like the urban crime smash series for decades to great critical acclaim — and commercial gain. Britons created the “Lara Croft: […]

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