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One year of viral video: ‘BBC Dad’ finds it funny

SEOUL: The Korea politics professor who became a viral sensation after his children interrupted a BBC interview says he has been pulled over by police for selfies and photographed buying milk in the year since the broadcast. Robert Kelly of Pusan National University was commenting on the downfall of impeached president Park Geun-hye when his…

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Here is how men’s salons are becoming a part of Pakistani lifestyle

ISLAMABAD: Nails are buffed, blackheads scrubbed and coffee sipped to the sound of clipping scissors inside the “Men’s” salon in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, where a growing number of male patrons are set on revamping their style. But savvy entrepreneurs in urban centres have latched on to a new metrosexual trend: male beauty salons. While women…

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Breaking Taboos: Qandeel Baloch continues to defy norms

ISLAMABAD: In life, she chased fame, hoping to make her mark in Pakistani society. In death, murdered social media starlet Qandeel Baloch may have achieved her goal. Today she is a household name, and her tragic story has been turned into a soap opera — one of several immensely popular TV shows seeking to challenge…

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Teaching Casablanca’s young people to dream again

CASABLANCA: “Teaching young people to dream again” is the vision of a Moroccan cultural centre in a rundown Casablanca district, once home to a group of suicide bombers who killed 33 people in 2003. Based in a white building next to a tramline and opposite a mosque, the Stars Cultural Centre in Sidi Moumen regularly…

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Here is how life has become harder in Berlin

BERLIN: Party-goers and tourists love Berlin, the capital of techno and home to a vibrant art scene. But behind the trendy facade lies an overstretched administration battling chronic understaffing and drastic cost cuts. The heavily indebted German capital has been on an austerity drive for the last 15 years, leaving some public services in a…

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Cockfighting mixed with Balinese Hindu traditions goes on

KARANGASEM: A volcano may be rumbling off in the distance, but for a group of Balinese men and their fighting roosters it’s the roar of the crowd that says the show must go on. Far off the Indonesian resort island’s tourist trail, heavily-tattooed men gather at a clandestine site where birds battle each other —…

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Afghanistan’s ‘hill of widows’ live in a world apart

KABUL: The first women settled on this stony slope outside Kabul in the 1990s hoping to escape the stigma those like them are forced to endure. Today it is known as Afghanistan’s ‘hill of widows’, home to a cluster of women who have eked out independence in a society that shuns and condemns them as…

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Three men, 96 children: Pakistan’s population booms

BANNU: Three men who have fathered nearly 100 children among them are doing their bit for Pakistan’s skyrocketing population, which is being counted for the first time in 19 years. But in a country where experts warn the surging populace is gouging into hard-won economic gains and social services, the three patriarchs are unconcerned. Allah,…

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Stories of Hong Kong: Hopes and fears on landmark anniversary

HONG KONG: Divided by age, wealth and politics, the people of Hong Kong will mark the 20th anniversary of its transfer from Britain back to China with contrasting emotions: anger and pessimism, pride and celebration. The semi-autonomous city still enjoys freedoms unseen on the mainland, but in recent years there has been increasing unrest. There…

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Five things to know about Morocco’s Rif

AL-HOCEIMA: Morocco’s northern Rif region has been rocked by protests since the death of a fishmonger crushed in a rubbish truck there last October. Here are five things to know about the region: – Berber identity – The Rif is a mountainous region largely inhabited by Berbers who speak the Tarifit dialect of Amazigh. Morocco…

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Afghan beauty parlours are a sanctuary for city women

KABUL: The photos in the window promise much: languorous, kohl-rimmed eyes and bright, bold nails — but once you enter the beauty parlours of Kabul, it becomes clear the images outside are a pale reflection of the vibrant reality inside. After the Taliban regime was toppled in 2001, small oases of glamour began to flourish…

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International Men’s Day, yes you heard it right, It exists!

By: Noman Naushad Lalani International Women’s Day was observed on March 8 to celebrate and promote the economic, social and political uplift of women. While a vast majority lauded the momentous contribution of women in the society, some coined the idea to mark an International Men’s Day. But to everyone’s surprise, we affirm there already…

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Ageing cheerleaders offer glimpse of world’s longest-living women

SAMCHEOK: Waving white pom poms in the air, dozens of grey-haired cheerleaders in matching red and white uniforms hop and skip to K-pop music that fills the practice room. Halfway into their two-hour practice session, most of the elderly dancers are panting and sweating, but do not let their bad knees or back pain stop…

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Women at wheel of ‘pink taxis’ challenge Jordan norms

AMMAN: Nisrin Akoubeh checks the oil and water before getting into her taxi and pulling into Amman’s heavy traffic for another day of shuttling fellow women across the Jordanian capital. The red-haired mother of three works a gruelling 10-hour shift in her taxi — a rare occupation for a woman in this conservative Muslim society….

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Bollywood celebrity Shilpa Shetty trolled after book gaffe

Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty on Monday became the center of a social media trolling following her suggestions that Animal Farm, George Orwell’s celebrated analogy of the Russian revolution during the Stalinist era, be included in school syllabus to teach kids love and care for animals. English daily The Mumbai Times asked Shilpa Shetty for her…

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India’s poor fear ‘rent-a-womb’ industry shut down

INDIA: At a hostel for dozens of pregnant women, impoverished widow Sharmila Mackwan weighs up her decision to carry twins for another couple — her only ticket out of poverty — as the government moves to close India’s multi-million dollar surrogacy industry. She has left her own children at an orphanage for the whole nine…

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Small Gesture Goes A Long Way

Two enthusiastic firefighters from New Jersey, Tim Young and Paul Hullings, head to a diner nearby after spending 12 tiresome hours fighting a fire breakout. In a state of complete exhaustion at 6 in the morning, they order the strongest coffee available. Liz Woodward, the waitress serving them that morning, overhears the two firemen discussing…

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Pakistan appreciates US cooperation in economic, social sectors

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday expressed its deep appreciation for the United States cooperation particularly in the economic and social sectors through United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It was conveyed by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in a meeting with Acting Administrator USAID Alfonso Lenhardt in Washington DC Thursday. Foreign Office Spokesperson while giving…

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'Anti-Facebook' social network gets fresh funding

SAN FRANCISCO: Flush with a reported $5.5 million in fresh funding, upstart social network Ello on Thursday legally changed its corporate standing to back a promise to remain ad-free. Ello converted to a public benefit corporation, which it described as “a new kind of for-profit company in the USA that exists to produce a benefit…

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Facebook tightens reins on research at social network

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook tightened the reins Thursday on its research methods in the wake of an outcry by members who felt manipulated by a secret study into how posts affect moods. The world's biggest social network announced that a panel of senior personnel from a range of teams was created to review proposed research projects,…

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Obama under fire on social media

Watch an interesting video of Barack Obama saluting marines while holding a coffee cup in his hand. The video uploaded on White House’s Instagram page sparks severe criticism on the US president.  

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