US, China agree to abandon trade war: Beijing

An employee uses a crane to lift container in Port Stanley20/05/2018 (Gulf Times – Qatar): Washington and Beijing have agreed to abandon any trade war and back off from imposing tariffs on each other, Chinese state media reported Sunday. The announcement came after high-level talks in the US capital and followed months of tensions over what President Donald Trump has blasted as an unfair commercial relationship between the two economic giants. Vice-Premier Liu He, who led Chinese negotiators in Washington said: ‘The two sides reached a consensus, will not fight a trade war, and will stop increasing tariffs on each other,’ state-run news agency Xinhua reported Sunday. Liu called the agreement a ‘necessity’, but added: ‘At the same time it must be realised that unfreezing the ice cannot be done in a day, solving the structural problems of the economic and trade relations between the two countries will take time.’ An earlier joint statement issued in Washington said Beijing would ‘significantly’ increase its purchases of American goods, but offered few details…



Sheikh Mohammed launches construction of Dh394m Shindagha Bridge project

20/05/2018 (Emirates 24/7 – UAE): His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, has launched the construction of the AED394 million Shindagha Bridge Project, which features an iconic design based on the concept of the infinity sign. The Shindagha Bridge is part of the AED 5.035 billion Shindagha Corridor Project extending 13 km along Sheikh Rashid Street as well as Al Mina, Al Khaleej and Cairo Streets. On arrival at the launch venue, His Highness was received by Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, along with several senior officials of the RTA…



Europe, China, Russia discussing new deal for Iran

20/05/2018 (Arab News – KSA): BERLIN: Diplomats from Europe, China and Russia are discussing a new accord to offer Iran financial aid to curb its ballistic missile development and meddling in the region, in the hope of salvaging its 2015 nuclear deal, a German newspaper reported on Sunday. The officials will meet in Vienna in the coming week under the leadership of senior European Union diplomat Helga Schmid to discuss next steps after the May 8 decision by US President Donald Trump to pull out of a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper said, citing senior EU sources. Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China would participate in the meeting, but the United States would not, it said..


Civilians risk their lives to cross river in Raqqah

Civilians risk their lives to cross river in Raqqah20/05/2018 (Anadolu Agency – Turkey): Civilians in a northern Syrian city have been risking their lives to cross the Euphrates River after bridges that the YPG/PKK terrorists destroyed have not been repaired even after a year. The bridges, which link Raqqah city center with southern and western rural areas of the country, on the river collapsed when the U.S.-led coalition forces attacked the city in January 2017 during a campaign against Daesh terrorists. Since October 2017, YPG/PKK terrorists have the control of Raqqah, which was once the enclave of Daesh terror group. The YPG/PKK terrorists do not repair the bridges to prevent return of more civilians to the city center and to hinder their free movement, a local source, who wished to remain anonymous due to security threats, told Anadolu Agency. The residents use unsophisticated motorized rafts, which provide no life safety…


Secularism: Differences among academics, radicals and Orientalists

20/05/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Fahad Shoqiran*): No concept has been distorted by Arabs and Muslims as much as secularism. It all began with the poor translation of the term and which did not end with explaining what it means. The explanation “the principle of separation of the state from religious institutions” remained common even among academics and intellectuals. However, secularism is more than that and carries several interpretations, dimensions, and multiple implementations. Thus, we cannot confine ourselves to just one political model as a basis to judge the difference between true and false secularism. The aim of the concept is to establish a more earthly atmosphere, to keep religion impartial and spare it from the conflicts between the masses or between different individuals in the one state.

*Fahad Shoqiran is a Saudi writer and researcher who also founded the Riyadh philosophers group. 


Lebanese film Capharnaum makes history with Cannes Jury Prize win

labaki20/05/2018 (Ahram Online – Egypt): Lebanese director Nadine Labaki won the jury prize for her film Capharnaum at the Cannes Film Festival, to become the first Arab filmmaker in 12 years to win in the official Cannes competition. Capharnaum was also notably one of just three films directed by women competing for the Palme d’Or. The film reportedly earned her a standing ovation that lasted 15 minutes when it screened at the festival on 17 May, with many viewers on Twitter expecting it could win the Palme d’Or. The politically-charged story follows a 12-year-old boy who is suing his parents for giving him life. A Lebanese actress, screenwriter and director Nadine Labaki graduated from Beirut University majoring in audiovisual studies…–Culture/Film/Lebanese-film-Capharnaum-makes-history-with-Cannes.aspx