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UN alarmed as US cuts aid to Palestinian refugee agency

Image copyright AFP Image caption Palestinians symbolically locked the gates of an Unrwa office in Hebron in protest The UN has expressed serious concern at the US decision to withhold more than half of a tranche of funding for the agency supporting Palestinian refugees. Washington will hand over $60m (£43m) ...

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Saudi Ritz ‘gilded jail’ hotel to reopen

Image copyright AFP Image caption The hotel has been a luxury detention centre since early November A luxury Saudi hotel which has been a detention centre for dozens of princes and top officials held in a corruption drive since November is to reopen. The five-star Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh is taking ...

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Wonder Woman Gal Gadot dress trouble for Lebanese designer

Image copyright Warner Bros Image caption Gal Gadot (pictured as Wonder Woman) served two years in the Israeli army as a combat trainer The posting of a photograph of Israeli actress Gal Gadot in a dress by Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab has caused consternation on social media. Israel and ...

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Tunisia protests: Hundreds arrested

Image copyright Reuters Image caption One person has died and hundreds have been arrested in protests in Tunisia More than 200 people have been arrested across Tunisia during a second night of protests, a government spokesperson has said. At least 49 police officers were also injured during clashes with demonstrators, ...

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Syrian shoe-shine refugee photo wins Turkish hearts

By George Pierpoint, BBC UGC and Social News And Dilay Yalcin, BBC Monitoring Image copyright Omer Yavuz For many, joining a gym in January is an annual ritual. However, for one young Syrian refugee in Turkey a poignant viral photograph has resulted in a free lifetime membership. In the photo ...

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Syria war: Assault on rebel stronghold of Idlib ‘displaces 100,000’

Image copyright AFP Image caption Fighting in south-eastern areas of Idlib province has forced civilians from their homes Some 100,000 Syrian civilians have been displaced by a government offensive on the country’s largest remaining rebel stronghold, the United Nations says. Since the start of November, fighting and air strikes have ...

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Israel searches West Bank after settler killed in drive-by shooting

Image copyright EPA Image caption The Israeli military said its focus was on locating a “terror cell” and preventing additional attacks Israeli security forces are searching for a suspected Palestinian gunman or gunmen who killed an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday. Raziel Shevach, a 35-year-old rabbi ...

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Oliver McAfee: Worries over missing NI cyclist

Image copyright Friends of Mr McAfee Image caption Oliver McAfee, from Dromore in County Down, had been cycling near the desert city of Mitzpe Ramon The family and friends of a Northern Ireland man missing in Israel say they are “very worried” about him. Israeli police and rescue teams are ...

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Imad al-Alami: Hamas official shot in head in Gaza ‘accident’

Image copyright AFP Image caption Imad al-Alami – pictured here in Beirut in 1999 – lived in exile for more than 20 years A senior Hamas figure in Gaza has been shot in the head in what the militant Palestinian group says was an accident. Imad al-Alami shot himself while ...

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Dab and dobbed

Image copyright @dawriplusksa It is not unusual for people to express their opinions and frustrations on social media during a football match. However, a player in Saudi Arabia has stirred controversy online, not for his skill on the pitch, but a movement made in the technical area. Footage of a ...

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US penalises companies linked to Iran missile programme

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionIranian state TV broadcast footage of a missile test in September The US has imposed sanctions on five Iranian companies it says are contributing to the country’s ballistic missile programme. The sanctions freeze any property the companies hold in the US, and ...

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Egypt singer held for ‘inciting debauchery’ in music video

Image copyright Laila Amer Image caption Laila Amer told a judge she had not written the lyrics and was just the performer An Egyptian judge has extended the detention of a female singer charged with “inciting debauchery” after her music video sparked controversy. Laila Amer was arrested on Tuesday after ...

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