Thousands protest deal offering wider use of Albanian language in Macedonia

SKOPJE: Several thousand people protested in Skopje against an agreement that would ensure the wider use of the Albanian language in the ethnically divided state. Last Thursday, the leader of the Social Democrats, Zoran Zaev, said he expected to be able to form a government in March after he had secured support from ethnic Albanian… Read More »

Iraqi forces aim to secure Mosul bridge, link up to east bank

MOSUL, Iraq: U.S.-backed Iraqi forces pushed deeper into western Mosul on Sunday, aiming to capture a bridge across the Tigris which would link the city’s government-held eastern bank with the ongoing offensive against remaining militants in the west. The bridge is the southernmost of five bridges spanning the Tigris. All were damaged in strikes by… Read More »

'Arab Idol' talent show win sends Palestinians into raptures

GAZA: Palestinians took to the streets to celebrate the victory of their compatriot Yaqoub Shaheen on Saturday in “Arab Idol”, a hugely popular Middle East television talent show on the Dubai-based channel MBC1. This year’s final, filmed in Lebanon, was between a Yemeni, Ammar Mohammed, and two Palestinian competitors, Shaheen from Bethlehem and Ameer Dandan… Read More »

Zidane warns Real to be wary of 'game of the year' for opponents

REUTERS: Real Madrid’s players need to be prepared for rival teams raising their game when they meet the La Liga leaders, coach Zinedine Zidane said on Saturday. “We know we have to always improve but it’s difficult because when teams play us it’s always their game of the year,” Zidane told a news conference. “Sometimes… Read More »

First planned North Korea-US contact in Trump administration cancelled: WSJ

SEOUL: Plans for the first contact between North Korea and the United States after President Donald Trump took office were cancelled after the U.S. State Department denied a visa for the top envoy from Pyongyang, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. The talks, between senior North Korean foreign ministry envoy Choe Son Hui and… Read More »