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Reuters | ThisWeek Middle East

Author: Reuters

Twitter posts strong user growth, shares soar

By Angela Moon and Rishika Sadam April 26 – Shares of Twitter Inc soared in premarket trade on Wednesday after the microblogging service reported better-than-expected user growth. Despite stiff competition from Facebook Inc and Snap Inc, Twitter’s monthly active users, one of the most closely watched metrics for analysts, increased by 6 percent, or 18 million, to 328 million in the first quarter from a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected 321.3 million monthly active users, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount. Twitter also said daily active users rose 14 percent in the first quarter from a...

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U.N. finds torture widespread in Afghanistan

By Josh Smith KABUL, April 24 – Torture and mistreatment of detainees by Afghan security forces is as widespread as ever, according to a U.N. report released on Monday, despite promises by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and new laws enacted by the government. At least 39 percent of the conflict-related detainees interviewed by U.N. investigators “gave credible and reliable accounts” of being tortured or experiencing other mistreatment at the hands of Afghan police, intelligence, or military personnel while in custody. That compares with 35 percent of interviewees who reported such ill treatment in the last U.N. report, released in...

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News Anchor Reports Husband’s Death on Live TV

Indian reporter Supreet Kaur was reporting a breaking news story on IBC24 about a fatal car accident when she realized – on air – that the accident involved her husband. She managed to keep her composure and finish the news segment, prompting audiences worldwide to applaud her professionalism in the face of such loss. Kaur has been with the station for nine years, and is a senior reporter...

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Putin says trust erodes under Trump, Moscow icily receives Tillerson

By Yeganeh Torbati and Vladimir Soldatkin MOSCOW, April 12 – Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday trust had eroded between the United States and Russia under President Donald Trump, as Moscow delivered an unusually hostile reception to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a face-off over Syria. Any hope in Russia that the Trump administration would herald less confrontational relations has been dashed in the past week after the new U.S. leader fired missiles at Syria to punish Moscow’s ally for its suspected use of poison gas. Just as Tillerson sat down for talks, a senior Russian official assailed the...

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Ai Weiwei calls on Gulf states to do more to help Syrian refugees

By Tom Finn DOHA, April 12 – Chinese artist Ai Weiwei called on wealthy Gulf Arab states to take in more Syrians displaced by six years of civil war, saying the surge of refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East was a “test for humanity”. Ai, often described as China’s most high-profile artist and dissident, has won acclaim for artwork highlighting the plight of Middle East refugees fleeing in boats to Europe. Last year Ai wrapped the giant columns of the Berlin Konzerthaus with 14,000 life jackets brought from the Greek island of Lesbos on whose beaches over a...

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Ex-president Ahmadinejad submits name for Iranian presidential election

By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin LONDON, April 12 – Iran’s hardline ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad submitted his name on Wednesday for registration as a candidate for May’s presidential election, defying the wishes of the country’s religious leadership. Although the move, reported by state media, was seen as an attempt by Ahmadinejad to bolster the candidacy of an ally, it was also a challenge to the authority of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who had warned him not to run. Registration for the May 19 election started on Monday and will last five days, after which entrants will be screened for their...

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Eighty-two-year-old DJ thrills crowds on Tokyo’s club scene

By Mayu Yoshida TOKYO, April 11 – By day, Sumiko Iwamuro runs a Chinese restaurant, where she has worked for six decades making “gyoza” dumplings, while by night, she spins records at Tokyo clubs under the moniker DJ Sumirock. But the juggling of long days and frenzied nights is not the most inspiring thing about Iwamuro. She is also 82 years old. Japan is known for its ageing demographic, with people aged 65 and above making up 26.6 percent of the population in 2015. A prime example of an active senior, Iwamuro plays to crowds mostly 60 years younger...

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United Airlines under fire after passenger dragged from plane; officer put on leave

By Alana Wise NEW YORK, April 11 – United Airlines sparked outrage on Monday for the treatment of a passenger who was physically dragged off a plane the airline had overbooked, and one of the security officers involved in the incident was placed on leave pending an investigation. Videos posted online by other passengers showed a man screaming as officers yanked him from his seat on United Flight 3411 before it departed from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky, on Sunday. The man, who appeared to be Asian, was seen being dragged down the aisle on his back...

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U.N. chief calls for restart to Western Sahara talks

UNITED NATIONS, April 11 – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for new talks over the long-running Western Sahara dispute, saying the negotiations should include proposals from both Morocco and the Polisario independence movement, according to a U.N. document. The U.N. call for a restart to talks came after months of tensions in the disputed territory, which Morocco claims as part of its kingdom and Polisario says belongs to the Sahrawi people who fought a guerrilla war until a 1991 U.N.-backed ceasefire. U.N. attempts to broker a settlement have failed for years in the vast desert area, which has...

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