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Swimmers attempt 7-hour crawl across shrinking Dead Sea

Associated Press
Tue, 2016-11-15

EIN GEDI, Israel: A group of swimmers is attempting to cross the Dead Sea from Jordan to Israel in a bid to draw attention to the body of water’s environmental deterioration.
The 25 swimmers started at dawn Tuesday on a 9-mile (15-kilometer) swim that is expected to take seven hours, and which organizers say is the first swim of its kind.
The swimmers, who hail from Israel, the Palestinian territories and as far as New Zealand, South Africa and Denmark, will wear special face masks to shield them from the briny water which is painful to the eyes and can be deadly to ingest. The group is also being accompanied by support vessels with medical equipment and food.
Environmentalists blame water mismanagement for the Dead Sea’s shrinkage over the last few decades.

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2016 on track for hottest year on record

Associated Press
Mon, 2016-11-14

MARRAKECH, Morocco: The UN weather agency says 2016 is set to break the record for the hottest year since measurements began in the 19th century.
The World Meteorological Organization said Monday that preliminary data through October shows global average temperatures this year are 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.2 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.
That’s getting close to the limit set by the global climate agreement adopted in Paris last year. It calls for limiting the temperature rise since the industrial revolution to 2 degrees C or even 1.5 degrees C.
This year’s temperatures were boosted by the El Nino weather event.
The previous hottest year was 2015. WMO said 16 of the 17 hottest years have occurred this century, with the only exception being 1998, which was also an El Nino year.

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Daesh uses wooden tanks and bearded mannequins in decoy attempts

Stephen Kalin | Reuters
Mon, 2016-11-14

BAWIZA, Iraq: Daesh is using wooden replicas of tanks and Humvees in a bid to subvert an air campaign by the US-led military coalition supporting Iraqi forces in the Mosul operations, even using bearded mannequins to simulate jihadist fighters.
The Iraqi army captured a handful of the mockups last week at a training site it retook from the group north of Mosul, the last major stronghold of Daesh (Islamic State) in the country, which government forces have almost surrounded but only breached so far from one direction.
When seen close up, the models resemble toys but from a long distance they might be mistaken for real vehicles.
“As our troops advanced toward the areas we were charged with liberating, Daesh used tanks and vehicles made of wood to divert the military planes,” Lt. Col. Abbas Al-Azaji said on Sunday.
It is not clear how effective the mockups have been at thwarting aerial bombardment, which has been essential to the Iraqi forces’ ground campaign to roll back Daesh from large swathes of territory it seized in 2014.
Baghdad-based spokesman US Air Force Col. John Dorrian said the coalition had been tracking Daesh’s use of such decoy vehicles for a while.
“We call it tactical deception. Daesh has been doing it and that’s certainly a tactic that enemies like to use,” he said.
“It is actually not as troubling as a lot of the other things we’ve seen,” he said, like setting fire to a sulfur plant and igniting oil wells south of Mosul.
Also found at the training site were two large armored vehicles the militants had used for assaulting enemy positions, and the blown out remains of more than a dozen vehicle-borne explosive devices which Iraqi forces had disabled.

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Egyptian actor Mahmoud Abdel Aziz dies aged 70

Agence France Presse
Sun, 2016-11-13

CAIRO: Iconic Egyptian actor Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, who starred in more than 90 feature films and worked under some of Egypt’s most celebrated directors, has died aged 70.
Abdel Aziz died on Saturday evening “in hospital in Cairo, at the end of his fight against illness,” Sameh Al-Sirity, from the Egyptian Actors’ Syndicate, told AFP.
His funeral will be held on Sunday in a mosque in a suburb of the capital.
Born in 1946 in the coastal city of Alexandria, Abdel Aziz cut his teeth in a string of television series before making the leap to the big screen.
He was most known for his role in the 1991 film “Al Kit-Kat,” where he played an eccentric blind man who dreams of riding a motorcycle.
Although a comedy, the film, directed by Egyptian realist filmmaker Daoud Abdel Sayed, was critically acclaimed for its searing social commentary.
In 2001’s “The Magician,” Abdel Aziz plays a single father who falls in love with his next-door neighbor, whose husband has recently left her to raise her son alone.
Abdel Aziz, who was admired for his ability to reinvent himself throughout his career, took a controversial role in “Raafat El-Hagan,” a 1980s television drama depicting the life of an Egyptian spy in Israel.
He was married to Egyptian actress Poussy Chalabi and is survived by two sons, Mohamed and Karim.

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The SR100 styling challenge: Are you game for it?

Mashael Fawaz
Fri, 2016-11-11

Most fashionistas today, be they celebrities, style icons or bloggers, can afford practically every brand and every designer. Some of them even endorse brands, in return for which they get freebies worth thousands of dollars. In the age of social media, where a specific standard has been set for those considered part of the fashionable crowd, the big question is: Can money buy style?
Whatever happened to smart buying and whispering to someone who compliments your outfit, “Shhh I got it from H&M on sale but don’t tell anyone...”?
Style on a budget is proof that you’ve got true style. The ability to get creative with basics and essential wardrobe pieces along with some styling magic using statement accessories or a classic investment bag goes a long way.
Two Saudi bloggers, Thana Abdullah of Milkyway and Nourah Al-Shammari of NMS Fashion, teamed up to undertake an interesting styling challenge to break the stereotype of high spending as being more stylish and fashionable.
The two bloggers came up with the SR 100 challenge — a mission to shop for an affordable and fashionable outfit with a price tag of SR 100 or under!
The challenge was to buy a full look (excluding accessories or as budget might permit) that can be styled in different ways for separate occasions. The bloggers hit the best high street stores together to decide on the ideal shopping destination that would offer both style and quality.
“The thought behind this concept focuses on personal style and not particularly the brand or the price tag of fashion. The message we are trying to send across is that anyone can have style and follow trends with any budget,” said Nourah.
“I shared the idea with Thana and she loved it! So we decided to take on the challenge together and share our experiences with our followers,” she added.
Nourah shopped her looks from H&M for under SR 100 — she purchased a white striped shirt dress on sale and a black silk slip dress. She had enough money left to spend on a set of trendy chokers from New Look to complete her look. She styled it with accessories from her wardrobe, a pair of knee length boots and an orange Furla bag.
Thana, meanwhile, didn’t find the challenge to be an easy task. Her objective was to look for a stylish and trendy outfit that would take her from day to night.
She zeroed in on a floral wraparound skirt and a black shirt dress from Forever 21 and styled them differently for separate occasions. Commenting on her experience, she said: “It was quite challenging to find a two-piece outfit on a fixed budget, and modest dressing isn’t easy to buy for either! The seasonal sale helped me a lot in choosing my preferred look.”
“The idea behind this challenge was to change the shopping attitude we have developed over the years that assumes expensive purchases make you stylish. Although modest buying is not cheap, being creative in styling your look can do wonders and can add personality to your outfits. Also, taking advantage of the sales helps a lot.”
Both bloggers managed to pull looks just under SR 100 with smart purchases and making the most out of promotional in-store offers.
Applying smart techniques into styling your outfit can uplift a dull and boring look into a glamorous and ultra-trendy outfit. Apply smart purchasing techniques while focusing on colors, cuts, and fabrics — black is king, so always look for classic black dresses, especially if they come in fancy prints or elegant fabrics such as silk, wool, or even velvet.
Don’t neglect your precious accessories hidden somewhere in your wardrobe. Smart accessory buying is about making investments as these precious pieces usually hold on to their stature after a long time, so get creative in pulling together a new outfit with old and timeless accessories.
Would you take on this SR 100 challenge when choosing an outfit for an upcoming occasion?


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