Connect with us

Latest News

Saudi Arabia allows first woman to star in theatrical play

Published

on

It has been a whirlwind of change for staunchly conservative Saudi Arabia, and on Friday a sold-out audience in Riyadh was treated for the first time to a woman taking the stage alongside the men.

The actress, Najat Mouftah, played the evil character of Yzma in “The Emperor’s New Groove,” after she auditioned for the role to break the glass ceiling nearly a month ago.

“After my first scene, my mother was surprised by my performance as she did not believe that I would have the courage,” Mouftah, who is studying information technology, told local reporters. “She thought that I can only perform at home and make them laugh.”

“The Emperor’s New Groove” was performed several times last year, but this marked the first time that it was presented with a woman. In the past, men have played the female characters.

Based on the 2000 Disney animated movie of the same name, “The Emperor’s New Groove” is centered on an egotistical emperor who intends to destroy one of the villages in his kingdom to build a waterpark for himself. He fires his suspicious administrator, Yzma – played by Mouftah – who then hatches a conniving plan to seek revenge and take the throne.

SAUDI ARABIA SHOULD NOT ‘FORCE’ WOMEN TO WEAR ABAYA ROBES, TOP CLERIC SAYS

The Kingdom also announced over the past week, in keeping with scores of reforms that have swept through the country in recent months, that Saudi women were now allowed to start businesses without permission from male guardians.

saudi woman driver ap

Saudi women recently were granted permission to drive.

 (AP, File)

In the past, women were forced not only to seek male approval but also to visit a notary to register the company.

SAUDI ARABIA, AT WAR WITH YEMEN REBELS, SENDS AID TO NATION

But, as of Sunday, women have been given the green light to document their businesses electronically, in a larger quest to boost their participation in the economy.

Source link

Latest News

Jurgen Conings: Body of armed Belgian anti-vaccine fugitive found | UK News

Published

on

The body of a fugitive soldier who had gone missing with a stash of weapons after threatening a virologist has been found by Belgian police.

The Belgian federal prosecutors’ office said in a statement that Jurgen Conings had probably “died by suicide by firearm” but the cause of death would “have to be established during a future forensic examination”.

The body was found by people walking in the woods near the town of Dilsen-Stockem.

Armoured vehicles have been deployed in the search for Jurgen Conings
Image:
Armoured vehicles had been deployed in the search for Jurgen Conings

Conings, a soldier, had been the subject of a manhunt that was launched after he left his home near the Dutch border on 17 May with weapons including anti-tank rockets.

The fugitive had threatened virologist Marc Van Ranst for supporting COVID-19 vaccines as well as Belgian institutions and celebrities.

Police suspected Conings was heavily armed as weapons including anti-tank rocket launchers and ammunition, taken from a military base, had been found in his abandoned car near Dilsen in west Belgium.

Police and army personnel with search dogs
Image:
Police and army personnel with search dogs

The army deployed de-mining equipment and armoured vehicles to help police searching Hoge Kempen, a 12,000-hectare (30,000 acre) park of woodland, lakes and dunes.

Belgian authorities said Conings’s far-right tendencies had landed him on a list of potential terrorists compiled by OCAM, an organisation that assesses the threat of terrorism in Belgium.

Source link

Continue Reading

Latest News

French voters head to polls in regional elections – with Marine Le Pen poised to make gains | World News

Published

on

French voters have been heading to the polls today in regional elections that will test the appeal of far-right leader Marine Le Pen, less than a year before the presidential election.

The regional elections could see Ms Le Pen‘s National Rally (RN) make gains and move a step closer to the political mainstream, after more than a year of lockdowns, curfews and COVID-19 restrictions.

They will see new assemblies elected for mainland France‘s 13 regions and 96 departments – and President Emmanuel Macron‘s La République En Marche! party is projected to win none of the 13 regions, while RN is tipped to win at least one region for the first time.

Ms Le Pen has softened her image, which experts say make her a more appealing candidate
Image:
Marine Le Pen has softened her image and her party is projected to win at least one region for the first time

Ms Le Pen is not standing as a candidate but has been campaigning hard ahead of next year’s election and surveys show it could end up being a close race between her and centrist Mr Macron.

Despite limited regional police powers in France, Ms Le Pen is hoping to capitalise on a rebrand that has seen her ditch promises of “Frexit” and inflammatory rhetoric.

Her party has strong support in the region around Marseille and Nice, where a former conservative minister is projected to win in one opinion poll.

Far-right candidates are also likely to do well in the north, around Calais and in Burgundy, with RN’s chances bolstered by low voter turnout where attention is shifting away from the pandemic and to the summer holidays.

Gaining one region would give Ms Le Pen a major boost ahead of the presidential elections and would deal a major blow to Mr Macron – who has painted himself as a barricade against the far-right.

Conservative candidate Xavier Bertrand is running in the north and is tipped as the frontrunner to run against Macron in 2022
Image:
Conservative candidate Xavier Bertrand is running in the north and is tipped as the frontrunner to run against Macron in 2022

Of Ms Le Pen’s softened image, Bruce Teinturier, an analyst at pollster IPSOS, said: “She appears less extreme in the eyes of the French, less dangerous for democracy than she did a decade ago.”

In the north, the incumbent and frontrunner for the conservatives’ presidential candidate, Xavier Bertrand, is running against RN’s spokesman, Sebastien Chenu, and Mr Macron’s justice minister, Eric Dupond-Moretti.

Mr Dupond-Moretti will have to gain at least 10% of votes for the RN to force Mr Bertrand into an alliance, which would undermine the conservative candidate’s pitch as a challenger to Mr Macron next year.

Emmanuel Macron's party is projected to win none of France's 13 mainland regions
Image:
Emmanuel Macron’s party is projected to win none of France’s 13 mainland regions

But a win for Mr Bertrand would boost his chances of becoming the conservatives’ presidential candidate.

Mr Macron’s aides see the former health minister as a rival who would erode the president’s centre-right voting base.

Results on Sunday’s first-round will likely lead to frenzied backroom dealings between parties to strike alliances ahead of 27 June’s final round of voting.

Source link

Continue Reading

Latest News

US heatwave sees Phoenix hit record 46C for five straight days – as doctors warn of third-degree burn risk | US News

Published

on

The southwest of the United States is sweltering in record heat as the city of Phoenix saw temperatures hit 115F (46C) for five days in a row.

Forecasters have issued excessive heat warnings in Arizona and Nevada for the rest of the weekend – and doctors have warned of the risk of third-degree burns from hot surfaces.

Las Vegas hit 111F (44C) on Saturday, just three degrees short of its record temperature for June.

Temperatures in Death Valley, California reached a sweltering 129F (53C) this week
Image:
Temperatures in Death Valley in California reached a sweltering 129F (53C) this week

In Arizona, fire officials blamed extreme heat for the spread of a wildfire that started on Wednesday and grew by Saturday to nearly 27 square miles near two mountain towns.

Evacuations were ordered on Friday while an aircraft and almost 100 firefighters fought the flames.

Phoenix set a record for the city on Saturday as it 115F (46C) for five consecutive days – and Sunday could extend the record to six days, meteorologist Isaac Smith said.

The problem of burns from hot surfaces is growing in southwest states, as temperatures rise due to climate change and increasing urbanisation.

People cool off in the water in Lake Havasu, Arizona
Image:
People cool off in the water in Lake Havasu, Arizona

Arizona Burn Centre in Phoenix said 104 people were admitted in June, July and August 2020 with serious burn injuries due to contact with scorching surfaces – including seven people who died.

Its director Dr Kevin Foster said: “It doesn’t take much time to get a full thickness or third degree burn when exposed to hot pavement.

“Because if you look at hot pavement or asphalt at two o’clock in the afternoon in direct sunlight, the temperature is usually somewhere around 170 to 180F.”

The Elizabeth Lake in California has dried up after several years of extreme weather a drought conditions
Image:
The Elizabeth Lake in California has dried up after several years of extreme weather a drought conditions

Temperatures are expected to ease next week but could again top 110F (43.3C) in parts of southwest America next weekend.

Excessive heat warnings are also in effect in nearby California and Utah desert areas, as water levels in some areas dropped.

Lake Mead on the Colorado River supplies 25 million people with water in the southwestern states and Mexico. Pic AP
Image:
Lake Mead has seen water levels fall to a record low. Pic AP

Lake Mead in Nevada supplies 25 million people with water and saw its water levels drop to their lowest point since the reservoir was filled in the 1930s.

In California, farmers have ditched some of the thirstiest crops to save others, while people are debating whether to ration tap water.

Listen and follow ClimateCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Spreaker

Sky News has launched the first daily prime time news show dedicated to climate change.

The Daily Climate Show is broadcast at 6.30pm and 9.30pm Monday to Friday on Sky News, the Sky News website and app, on YouTube and Twitter.

Hosted by Anna Jones, it follows Sky News correspondents as they investigate how global warming is changing our landscape and how we all live our lives.

The show also highlights solutions to the crisis and how small changes can make a big difference.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending