10 Cities All Architecture Lovers Need to Visit Before They Die

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

Cities All Architecture Lovers Need to Visit Before They Die

From towering skyscrapers to the ancient Colosseum, the world is filled with architectural marvels. And since architecture is best enjoyed in person, here are 10 cities that architecture lovers simply must visit.

Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Credit: Semmick Photo/Shutterstock

It’s called the “City of Big Shoulders” for a reason. Chicago is home to some of the oldest skyscrapers, such as the Manhattan Building, built in 1891; the Reliance Building, built in 1895; and Chicago Savings Bank Building, completed in 1905. Most of Downtown Chicago was destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871, but the iconic Chicago Water Tower, built in 1869, was left standing. Built solely of yellow Lemont limestone, seeing the 182-foot tower firsthand should be on every architecture lovers bucket list.

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

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Rome is home to some of the world’s most photographed structures, including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Trajan’s Market. Had it not been for the Romans, designs like the arch and the dome would never have come to be. Rome’s classical structures are a must see. That’s a given. But the city’s Baroque style buildings, which were mostly constructed during the 17th century, are also well worth your time. The sheer grandness of structures like St. Peter’s Basilicaand the Trevi Fountain can’t be captured in a photograph. Few things in life will leave you as awestruck as taking a stroll inside St. Peter’s, with its massive dome, and looking up. You may never want to look down again.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

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Influenced by the legendary 19th century Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona’s architecture, much like the city itself, is imaginative and colorful. One sight that’s a must see is Gaudi’s Casa Batllo. The façade of the building is constructed of broken ceramic tiles, thus creating an eye-popping mosaic that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Other structures that are inspired by Gaudi’s vivid imagination include Jean Nouvel’s Tower, which is designed to resemble a geyser of water shooting through the air, and Frank Gehry’s Fish.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Credit: Rastislav Sedlak SK/Shutterstock

In addition to being home to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai skyline is filled with twisty-turny steel buildings. If you find yourself wandering in this desert city, be sure to check out the Burj al Arab, which is designed to look like an Arabian dhow ship, as well as the curving Cayan, with its seemingly impossible 90-degree twist. There’s also the famed underwater zoo located in the Dubai Mall, which features 300 different species of aquatic life, including all types of fish, sting rays and sharks.

Shanghai, China

Shanghai, China

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Fueled by government investment, Shanghai has grown rapidly in recent years. It’s almost as if a glossy new structure pops up each month. The architecture in Shanghai is modernistic, and best represented in buildings like the Hongkou Soho office building, with its pleated exterior. Shanghai is also home to the second tallest building in the world, the Shanghai Tower, which features a twisted, glass façade that stretches upward for 2,073 feet.

Paris, France

Paris, France

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The birthplace of Art Deco and Gothic architecture, Paris is a city whose rich architectural history stretches back centuries. Gothic style, which is marked by colorful stained glass windows and flying buttresses, can be seen in a number of Paris cathedrals, including the Sainte-Chapelle, the St-Gervais-et-St-Protais and, most famously, Notre-Dame, which was in the news earlier this year after sustaining serious damage during a 15-hour fire. Paris’s famed Art Deco buildings, with their notable exteriors that feature numerous horizontal lines, began popping up shortly before World War I and were dominant in the ’20s and ’30s. Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and the Grand Rex movie palace are two prominent structures that exhibit this style. This is a small sample of the numerous architectural wonders in the City of Light.

Moscow, Russia

Moscow, Russia

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The Russian capital is home to some of the most recognizable architecture in the world with a style known simply as Russian architecture. Arguably the most renown structure in the Russian style is Moscow’s Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Constructed in the 16th century during the reign of Ivan the Terrible, the cathedral is known for its vibrant, onion-shaped domes. Moscow is also home to more recent architectural wonders like the Ostankino Tower, which was completed in 1967 and was for a period of time the tallest building in the world, and a group of Moscow skyscrapers known as the Seven Sisters. The seven buildings, which were built during the reign of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, are wide and blocky, and scattered throughout Moscow. They were constructed in the Stalinist style of Russian architecture, which borrows elements of the Russian baroque.

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

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Several ancient monuments from Athens’s classical era are still standing, most notably the Parthenon, with its enormous stone columns. There is also the Theatre of Dionysus, which was the birthplace of Greek tragedy and the first theater ever constructed. And what would a historically rich city like Athens be without its ancient temples? During its heyday, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which was completed around the 2nd century, had an unthinkable 104 columns, although only a few remain standing today.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

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The most populous city in Turkey is known for two distinct styles of architecture: Byzantine and Ottoman. The Hagia Sophia, which was constructed in the 6th century, is a church that is emblematic of the Byzantine style, with its massive dome and elegiac mosaics depicting Christ and other biblical figures. The Ottoman style of architecture also flourished in Istanbul. Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries a number of imperial mosques were constructed throughout the city, including Faith Mosque, Yeni Mosque\ and Bayezid Mosque. The mosques all have the key features of the Ottoman style, with extensive use of domes and columns, and are an absolute marvel to experience in person.

New York City, New York, U.S.A.

New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Credit: GagliardiPhotography/Shutterstock

From the Art Deco masterpiece that is the Chrysler Building (1930), to the Gothic Revival design of the Woolworth Building (1913), to the more recent green design of the Conde Nast Building, New York City’s skyscrapers employ a wide range of stylistic elements. The character of the city can also be seen in the architectural designs used in its residential neighborhoods. From the brownstones in Brooklyn to the tenements on the Lower East Side, New York’s five boroughs are an architectural cornucopia whose styles are as diverse as the city itself.

UAE Adopts 122 Economic Activity of 100% Foreign Ownership

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

UAE Adopts 122 Economic Activity of 100% Foreign Ownership

Wednesday, 3 July, 2019 – 11:45
Dubai Cabinet Meeting chaired by Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (WAM)
Dubai- Asharq Al-Awsat
UAE’s cabinet approved a decision allowing foreign investors in the sectors and economic activities eligible of ownership up to 100 percent in the UAE.

A statement issued by the government said that the decision aims to support the country’s growth environment and reaffirm its position on the global arena as a hub for investment.

The cabinet meeting was chaired by Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid announced the decision in a tweet on his account, saying: “we approved 100% foreign ownership in 122 economic activities in fields including agriculture, manufacturing, renewable energy, e-commerce, transportation, arts, construction and entertainment.”

The Prime Minister declared that local governments will identify relevant ownership percentages in every activity, indicating that the goal is to stimulate, facilitate and activate business, open and expand new economic sectors, attract new investors and talents, and enhance global competitiveness of the national economy.

“We also approved a benefit-transfer scheme among the country’s pension funds. We want to facilitate procedures for our citizens to move between federal and local sectors and civil and military sectors, and vice versa. We are united to serve one country and one goal.”

As a result, a total of 122 economic activities across 13 sectors were specified to be eligible for up to 100 percent foreign ownership such as renewable energy, space, agriculture, and manufacturing Industry.

The decision provides investors with an opportunity to acquire various shares in a number of economic activities including the production of solar panels, power transformers, green technology, and hybrid power plants, according to WAM.

Areas of foreign ownership also include transport and storage, which allows investors to own projects in the field of e-commerce transport, supply chain, logistics, and cold storage for pharmaceutical products.

Other areas of ownership by foreign investors include hospitality and food services, information and communications, as well as professional, scientific and technical activities, thereby allowing for ownership in laboratories for research and development in biotechnology.

The list also includes administrative services, support services, educational activities, healthcare, art and entertainment, and construction.

In other governmental affairs, the cabinet adopted the restructuring of the Education and Human Resources Council, chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

It also approved the decision to finance the funding of federal universities and colleges based on performance results for the academic year 2018-2019, aiming to increase financial planning efficiency and implementation of the budget.

The cabinet reviewed a number of reports of the Higher Committee to measure compliance with international standards for combating money laundering and combating terrorism financing and corrective actions.

5 Over-the-Top Things to Do in Dubai

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Over-the-Top Things to Do in Dubai

United Arab Emirate’s city of Dubai lands on Guinness World Records lists regularly with its mad race to hold the world’s most amazing records. To name a few, Dubai is home to the world’s largest flower arrangement in the shape of an Airbus A380, the largest picture frame standing 492 feet tall, the tallest chocolate sculpture at 44 feet and the tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which soars 2,717 feet above this dazzling modern city. While a visit to the top of the Burj Khalifa is a must-do while in Dubai, you can find seriously over-the-top things to do here. Here are the top five:

Credit: anzeletti/iStockphoto

Ferrari World

Yes, it’s that red Italian sports car Tom Selleck used to drive around Hawaii in the popular 1980s TV series, “Magnum, P.I.” Fulfill your wildest roller-coaster dreams on the Formula Rossa at this Ferrari-themed park on Yas Island.

The Formula Rossa is the world’s fastest roller coaster, reaching 149 mph in 4.9 seconds! Then you can hop on the Flying Aces, another roller coaster that climbs at a 51-degree angle and reaches speeds of 75 mph. And, if you haven’t had your fill of roller coasters yet, head over to the Turbo Track where you’ll experience a vertical climb followed by a zero-gravity-drop fall.

Once your heart rate returns to normal, you can race your friends in the sophisticated racing simulator, the Scuderia Challenge, or race for real in the Fiorano GT Challenge, a parallel set of tracks featuring Ferrari F430 Spiders. For real-life driving experiences, you can choose from the Karting Academy, a 685-foot-long go-kart track, or drive an actual Ferrari around Yas Island!

These are just a few of the exciting attractions at the award-winning Ferrari World — watch shows, view car exhibitions, journey through 4D attractions, play games, dine and even shop.

Dune Bashing Desert Safari Excursion

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Venture away from Dubai’s scenic coastline to the Arabian desert for an unforgettable experience — dune bashing! Dune bashing means driving a specially outfitted 4×4 quad bike or dune buggy up and down the sand dunes, all while trying not to roll the vehicle or land nose down in the sand. Depending on the vehicle, a trained driver will take you, or you’ll be at the wheel.

You’ll find a variety of desert safari excursions that will combine dune bashing with other thrilling desert experiences, such as sandboarding, camel rides, gourmet dinners, belly dancing performances and spectacular sunsets. If you’re a morning person, you can choose ones that will take you out to enjoy the sunrise over the desert.

Ski Dubai

Credit: Rob Crandall/Shutterstock

When you’re packing for a trip to the desert, the last thing you’d think to bring is your ski or snowboard gear — but in Dubai, you really can find just about anything that gets your adrenaline going, including skiing and snowboarding! Located inside the enormous Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai offers almost 74,000 square feet of snow-covered terrain in an indoor space kept at about 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Strap or click into your gear and hit one of five slopes, including the longest at 1,312 feet — or head to the 14,763-square-foot Snow Park where you can choose from fun rides such as the Zorb Ball, Tubing Run, Bobsleds, Snow Bullet and Mountain Thriller.

Once you’ve run out of energy playing in the snow, you can get up close and personal with Ski Dubai’s colony of Gentoo and King penguins! King penguins can grow as tall as 37 inches and weigh 35 pounds. Interact with these funny waddling birds and then watch the daily March of the Penguins show.

Skydive Dubai

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Dubai has become one of the world’s most popular places to skydive, and offers world-class facilities, ridiculously breathtaking locations and expert instructors. Skydive Dubai manages all skydiving operations in Dubai and runs the world’s biggest skydiving school in the deserts just outside Dubai.

Choose from two amazing locations, The Desert Drop Zone or the Palm Drop Zone. If you choose the Desert Drop Zone, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of rolling desert dunes with the Dubai skyline in the distance.

For a truly unforgettable way to see Dubai from the sky, go with the Palm Drop Zone for magnificent views of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah island, which is an artificially made island shaped like a huge palm tree covered in luxury resorts, beachfront villas and apartment buildings. You’ll also see the world’s largest Ferris wheel, the iconic sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel, Dubai Marina and more.

Aquaventure Water Park

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In addition to your ski gear, don’t forget to pack a swimsuit so you can experience record-breaking water rides and slides, as well as swim with rays and sharks! The 42-acre Aquaventure is worth a trip just to see the incredible five-star Atlantis The Palm Resort located on Palm Jumeirah that houses it.

Spiral down the world’s largest waterslide, the Aquaconda, then hurtle down the 90-foot Leap of Faith Tower into a shark lagoon and finally plummet down Poseidon’s Revenge waterslides at 37 mph! Ride the Rapids and the Torrent to be bounced in the waves and then glide through the twisting tunnels on the Water Coasters.

If you want to get up close and personal with sharks, you can wear a special helmet and dive in the Shark Lagoon. For a tamer animal encounter, hand-feed cute cownose rays. You’ll find plenty to do at this award-winning waterpark!

Asia Cup 2018: India beat Bangladesh in last ball thriller to clinch title

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Asia Cup 2018: India beat Bangladesh in last ball thriller to clinch title

India pulled off a thrilling last ball win over Bangladesh to clinch their seventh Asia Cup title in Dubai on Friday.

CRICKET Updated: Sep 29, 2018 09:41 

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Asia Cup 2018,India vs Bangladesh,Kedar Jadhav
India defeated Bangladesh to clinch the Asia Cup 2018 title in Dubai on Friday.(AFP)

India clinched the Asia Cup 2018 title by beating Bangladesh by three wickets in a last-ball thriller at the Dubai International Stadium in Dubai on Friday. With 6 runs needed from the last over, Kedar Jadhav (23 off 27 balls) and Kuldeep Yadav (5 off 5 balls) kept their cool to guide the Indian cricket team to their seventh Asia Cup trophy.

Chasing a target of 223, skipper Rohit Sharma (48 off 55 balls) provided India with a good start but a couple of quick wickets tilted the match in Bangladesh’s favour. Nazmul Islam took the wicket of in-form opener Shikhar Dhawan while Ambati Rayudu was caught behind off the bowling of Mashrafe Mortaza.

However, MS Dhoni (36 off 67 balls) and Dinesh Karthik (37 off 61 balls) steadied the innings and were able to bring India back into the game with a 54-run partnership for the fourth wicket. But with both batsmen losing their wickets in a span of five overs, the pressure was once again on India.

READ: Asia Cup Final: Pakistan superfan cheers for India in Dubai – Watch video

Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja continued to fight against a disciplined Bangladesh bowling attack and although Kedar was forced to leave the field due to a hamstring injury, he came back to finish the match for India. For Bangladesh, Rubel Hossain (2/26) and Mustafizur Rahman (2/38) were the top performers with the ball but they were unable to guide their team to their first-ever Asia Cup title triumph.

Earlier, Kuldeep Yadav and Kedar Jadhav were quite impressive with the ball as Bangladesh were bowled out for 222. Liton Das slammed his maiden ODI century but he was unable to guide his team to a big total as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were ultimately bundled out in 48.3 overs.

READ: MS Dhoni takes one-third of a second to send back centurion Liton Das

Liton and Mehidy Hasan handed Bangladesh a brilliant start with a 120-run partnership, but it went all downhill after Mehidy’s dismissal. Bangladesh lost four quick wickets but Liton kept fighting on the other end and the 23-year old was able to bring up his hundred in 87 balls. However, his innings came to an end for 121 as MS Dhoni completed a brilliant stumping off Kuldeep Yadav’s bowling in the 41st over.

Soumya Sarkar (33) did try to add some crucial runs in the death overs but he was run out after a terrible mix-up. For India, Kuldeep Yadav (3/45) and Kedar Jadhav (2/41) were the wreckers-in-chief while fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal ended up claiming one wicket each.

First Published: Sep 29, 2018 01:45 IST

Missile Strikes on 2 Syrian Military Base’s Kills Dozens

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

 

Missile Strikes on Syrian Military Base Kills Dozens

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 27 people were killed in Hama, the majority of whom were Iranian

A Syrian fighter in Tadef in Aleppo province on Friday.
A Syrian fighter in Tadef in Aleppo province on Friday. PHOTO: SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

BEIRUT—Missile strikes on Syrian government bases overnight killed dozens of pro-regime forces, including Iranians, according to a monitoring group, in what could mark an escalation of hostilities between foreign powers fighting for influence.

“Enemy missiles” targeted military bases in Aleppo and Hama, Syrian state news agency SANA reported Monday. Footage circulated on social media showed a large ball of fire, purportedly from an explosion at a military base in Hama believed to house Iranian Revolutionary Guards forces.

There were conflicting reports about the death toll. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 27 people were killed in Hama, the majority of whom were Iranian, without providing further details. There were no immediate details about casualties in Aleppo.

Some Iranian media outlets, citing local sources, reported that 18 Iranians were killed in the strikes, but the reports later omitted the Iranian death toll. The semiofficial Iranian Students’ News Agency, which carried the original report, later quoted an intelligence source saying that no Iranian forces were killed in the attack outside Hama.

It wasn’t immediately clear who carried out the attack. Israel has conducted dozens of strikes against Syrian government positions, some of them targeting Iranian personnel. Israeli military declined to comment. It has a policy of neither confirming nor denying strikes in Syria.

Addressing allegations that Israel was behind the strikes, the country’s Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz told Army Radio: “The policy is clear: Iran won’t be allowed to establish a northern front [on Syria’s border with Israel].”

The explosions occurred hours after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv. On Saturday, Mr. Netanyahu also spoke with President Donald Trump by phone.

Syria’s Chemical Weapons and the West: From Diplomacy to Military Action

The airstrikes against the Syrian regime, in response to a suspected poison gas attack, underscore the West’s shift from pursuing a diplomatic solution to a militaristic one. Will this approach work?

The attack comes on the heels of U.S.-led airstrikes on Syrian chemical weapons facilities, in retaliation for an alleged attack with chlorine and nerve gas in a Damascus suburb earlier in April.

In the wake of the attacks, Syrian regime forces have continued to bomb areas outside of their control, in a push to continue gaining ground and end the seven-year war.

Iran has been a vital ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the war, sending thousands of elite Revolutionary Guard forces into Syria and training and arming foreign militias.

The semiofficial Iranian Labor News Agency reported that none of Iran’s Afghan Shiite troops were killed in the strikes on Aleppo. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the target in Aleppo was the Nayrab military airport.

“The base of this division near Aleppo is safe and none of the forces of this group have been martyred in the media-claimed strikes,” an unnamed commander of the troops was quoted as saying.

As Mr. Assad has gained ground—in part due to Russia’s intervention in 2015—Iran has extended its presence in Syria, causing concern in Israel, which views Tehran as its main regional adversary.

Israel for years largely stayed neutral in the Syrian war, launching airstrikes only against weapons convoys bound from Iran to Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia supported by Iran, which helps prop up Mr. Assad. But fearing that Tehran would establish weapons factories and military sites in Syria, threatening Israeli territory, Mr. Netanyahu’s stance has shifted, ordering the Israeli air force to repeatedly hit sites in Syria, raising the prospects of a wider regional war.

On April 9, in a strike that Russia blamed on Israel, missiles struck another Syrian base, killing at least 14 pro-regime forces, including seven Iranians.

Referring to the most recent attack, Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, told The Wall Street Journal that, “The magnitude and accuracy of the attack in Northern Syria is the capability of a state and not the Syrian opposition.”

“From the Iranian perspective, there is an open account with Israel. If they blame Israel for this attack, there is a higher risk of retaliation,” Mr. Yadlin said.

After the latest attack, an Israeli open source intelligence site posted purported satellite imagery on Twitter, saying that the target of the attack was an Iranian base recently erected north of Hama airport.

The site claimed that an Iranian plane had recently arrived from Tehran, likely carrying weapons, and showed images of an alleged Iranian drone at the base.

Write to Sune Engel Rasmussen at [email protected]

Bollywood superstar Sridevi drowned in bathtub after heart attack

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Bollywood superstar Sridevi, one of the Indian film industry’s most popular actresses, drowned after passing out in her hotel bathtub in Dubai, police said Monday.

The actress, who died on Saturday at the age of 54, was attending a family wedding in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“Following the completion of post-mortem analysis, #DubaiPolice today stated that the death of Indian actress #Sridevi occurred due to drowning in her hotel apartment’s bathtub following loss of consciousness,” Dubai police tweeted.
Police added that the case had been transferred to Dubai’s public prosecution office.

Sridevi, right, with daughters Jhanvi, center, and Khushi in 2012 at the premiere of "English Vinglish."

Bollywood greats and Indian political elites flooded social media with tributes to the actress whose work spanned five decades and included some of the country’s most beloved films.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the many who expressed shock at Sridevi’s death, with a tweet early Sunday extending his condolences to her family.

‘One of India’s first female superstars’

Born August 13, 1963, Sridevi made her film debut as a child actor at the age of four in “Thunaivan,” a Tamil Hindu drama directed by M.A. Thirumugham.
Her first leading Bollywood role came in the 1979 Hindi film “Solva Sawan.” Four years later, Sridevi broke through to the list of Bollywood’s most highly sought-after actresses with the action comedy “Himmatwala.”
Sridevi’s credits include some of the most watched films of the ’80s and ’90s, including “Mawaali” (1983), “Tohfa” (1984), “Nagina” (1986), “Mr. India” (1987), “Chandni” (1989), “Lamhe” (1991) and “Gumrah” (1993).
“I think she really was one of India’s first female superstars,” Bollywood critic Rajeev Masand told CNN. “It didn’t matter who the male actors where, the movies were shouldered by Sridevi.”
Sridevi took a break from the limelight to raise two children with her husband, producer Boney Kapoor, before returning to star in the 1997 film “Judaai.” In the film, she plays an ambitious housewife who inadvertently marries a man who can’t afford the lavish life she aspires to lead.
“Judaai” was a box office hit, but it was Sridevi’s performance in Gauri Shinde’s 2012 hit, “English Vinglish,” that solidified her comeback and confirmed her as one of Bollywood’s most treasured and enduring talents.

A picture of Bollywood actress Sridevi Kapoor is seen put up outside her residence in Mumbai on February 26, 2018, following her death.

Sridevi took the starring role of Shashi, an Indian housewife who only speaks Hindi but is thrust onto the streets of New York to help arrange her niece’s wedding. After a series of humiliations, Shashi decides she needs to learn English and enrolls in a four-week crash course.
“The way the character has been crafted by Shinde, and interpreted by Sridevi, is gloriously feminine, and uniquely Indian,” a review in the Hollywood Reporter said at the time.
Sridevi is credited with inspiring a new generation of Indian actresses by portraying strength with beauty and grace with comedic charm.
“Sridevi is one of the last great heroines of Hindi cinema who could hold her own against any hero,” said Rachel Dwyer, Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema at the SOAS University of London.
“A great beauty, a talented actress, a brilliant dancer, a delightful comedienne, she is a true legend.”

Indian Bollywood actors Akshaye Khanna (L) and Sridevi attend a promotional event for the film "Mom in Mumbai" on June 20, 2017.

Sridevi’s credits span Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada language films. She had broad appeal and was lauded for her captivating screen presence and versatility, even though she was quiet and reserved off-screen.

Stars pay tribute to Sridevi

Some of the country’s most prominent stars took to Twitter to express shock at her death.
Singer Adnan Sami tweeted that he was lost for words at the loss of “India’s sweetheart.”
Actress Kareena Kapoor called Sridevi’s passing “heartbreaking.”
India’s President Ram Nath Kovind and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi offered their condolences.
Sridevi’s impact was felt far beyond India, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan also paying tribute to the actress, whom he met last December.
Sridevi is survived by her husband, Boney, and daughters Jhanvi and Khushi Kapoor.

The Latest: UAE, Egypt cut diplomatic ties to Qatar

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

The Latest: UAE, Egypt cut diplomatic ties to Qatar

June 4 at 11:17 PM
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The Latest on the Gulf Arab dispute with Qatar (all times local):7:10 a.m.

The United Arab Emirates and Egypt have cut diplomatic ties to Qatar.

The two countries have joined Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in cutting ties to Qatar amid a growing Arab diplomatic dispute with the small, gas-rich nation.

Both the UAE and Egypt made the announcement on their state-run news agencies within minutes of each other.

Qatari officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The dispute between Qatar and the Gulf’s Arab countries started over a purported hack of Qatar’s state-run news agency. It has spiraled since.

___

7 a.m.

Saudi Arabia says it is cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar and it has pulled all Qatari troops from the ongoing war in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia made the announcement via its state-run Saudi Press Agency early Monday. It appeared to be timed in concert with an earlier announcement by Bahrain similarly cutting ties.

Qatar had no immediate comment.

The dispute between Qatar and the Gulf’s Arab countries started over a purported hack of Qatar’s state-run news agency. It has spiraled since.

___

6:50 a.m.

Bahrain says it is cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar amid a deepening rift between Gulf Arab nations.

Bahrain’s Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement early Monday saying it would withdraw its diplomatic mission from the Qatari capital of Doha within 48 hours and that all Qatari diplomats should leave Bahrain within the same period.

The ministry’s statement said Qatari citizens needed to leave Bahrain within two weeks and that air and sea traffic between the two countries would be halted. It wasn’t immediately clear how that would affect Qatar Airways, one of the region’s major long-haul carriers.

Bahrain blamed Qatar’s “media incitement, support for armed terrorist activities and funding linked to Iranian groups to carry out sabotage and spreading chaos in Bahrain” for its decision.

Qatar had no immediate comment.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Significant Breakthroughs For Riyadh Diplomacy In China And In The U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

Opinion

Significant Breakthroughs for Riyadh

This has been a significant week for Saudi diplomacy: reinforcing relations with China, the biggest oil importer in the world and opening a new page with US President Donald Trump to mend what has been ruined by former President Barack Obama who strengthened ties with Iran against Gulf and Saudi interests.

Saudi Arabia that has found itself cornered due to wars, oil and geopolitical changes is carrying out a defense campaign in return — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is convening with China leadership that asked to mediate with Iran that is now seeking reconciliation. Meanwhile, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz met with the US president.

A Saudi spokesperson described to Bloomberg the meeting in the White House as “a turning point”, saying: “Today’s meeting has put things on the right track and marked a significant shift in relations, across all political, military, security and economic fields.” There is a clear hinting on fixing what has been ruined by Obama and restoring special relations between the two countries – these relations were established based on the outcome of the meeting held between King Abdulaziz and US President Theodore Roosevelt on board of the Navy cruiser Quincy after the end of World War II.

Officially, little has been said on the meeting of Deputy Crown Prince and Trump, who has become a president two months ago, but the White House showed huge interest. Trump held the meeting two days ahead and included the vice-president in it.

What has been stated by unofficial sources reveals that Washington has changed its policy towards Iran and that it would not sit idle when it comes to Iran’s terrorist activities. Weeks ago, the US administration announced a different stance in which it permitted loading ammunition and providing intelligence information to support Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

Saudi-US relations were tense during the presidency of Obama. In fact, the whole region underwent an unprecedented turmoil because Obama’s openness towards Iran urged its military expansion in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Chaos is one of his tenure consequences, also.

Among the topics raised by Prince Mohammed during his visit was to persuade Trump with a new relation that seeks mending the situation, confronting Iran’s manipulation and fighting terrorism – the common enemy of everyone – via fighting it socially and economically. A spokesperson in the delegation pointed out that the US party is interested in reinforcing participation in the economic vision projects.

In China, Iran was not the only topic on the table especially that relations are good in: oil, economy, military cooperation and critical files, basically the military cooperation. There is also the promising project of China, the Silk Road – a giant economic project of complex political problematic issues because it passes in conflict regions. This road might benefit from Saudi Arabia as a passage or a parallel route.

Information released by Beijing reveals that it will quietly continue to consolidate its presence in west Asia and east Africa. China is the second strongest economic power after the US and, as major countries, needs raw materials, energy sources, trade passages and a protection for its investments and interests.

Unlike other major countries, China does not rely on military presence to impose its influence but rather uses its economic presence to impose its stances and secure its interests.

There are two models in the Middle East: one that seeks reinforcing relations via economic and development cooperation and another that uses wars and terrorism as a method to impose its relations.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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Iran Is Allowing Russian Bombers To Use Their Airspace And Military Base For Refueling

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)

Iran allowing Syria-bound Russian planes to use airspace-report

Iran has again allowed Russian planes to use its airspace during recent operations in Syria, a senior Iranian security official was quoted as saying on Saturday.

In August, Russian aircraft for the first time used an Iranian air base to conduct strikes in Syria. The Russian military said its fighters had completed their tasks, but left open the possibility of using the Hamadan base again if circumstances warranted.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said then that Russia had stopped using the base for strikes in Syria, bringing an abrupt halt to the deployment that was criticized both by the United States and some Iranian lawmakers.

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s National Security Council, on Saturday told the semi-official news agency Fars: “Their (Russians’) use of Iran’s air space has continued because we have a fully strategic cooperation with Russia.”

“In the recent cases, Russian fighter planes have only used Iran’s airspace and have not had refueling operations,” Shamkhani added.

The agency said Shamkhani was commenting on media reports that Russia’s Tupolev-22M long-range bombers had used Iranian airspace and a base in the country on their missions in Syria, where both Tehran and Moscow back President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

It was not immediately clear if the recent missions were linked to Russian air strikes on Thursday that accidentally killed three Turkish soldiers during an operation against Islamic State in Syria, according to the Turkish military.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

Suicide Bomber Kills At Least 50 Yemeni Troops In Aden

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES NEWS AND REUTERS)

Suicide bomber kills at least 50 Yemeni troops in Aden

WORLD Updated: Dec 10, 2016 23:35 IST

Reuters
Reuters
Dubai
The attacker blew himself up as the troops were waiting to collect their salaries, the government sources added.
A suicide bomber killed 50 Yemeni soldiers and wounded at least 70 others at a base in the city of Aden on Saturday, a medic at the scene and government officials said, in another major attack on forces allied to a Saudi-led military campaign.The attacker blew himself up as the troops were waiting to collect their salaries, the government sources added.

Islamic State militants have repeatedly claimed responsibility for deadly attacks on troops in the southern port city, which is under the control of the internationally recognized government in exile in Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015 to fight the government’s foes in the Iran-allied Houthi movement but have failed to dislodge the group from the capital Sanaa despite thousands of airstrikes on HOUTHI soldiers.

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Houthi forces were pushed out of Aden and much of Yemen’s south last summer, but the government and coalition troops have struggled to enforce their control as Al Qaeda and Islamic State militants use the security vacuum to carry out attacks.

At least 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict which has unleashed a humanitarian crisis on the impoverished country.

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