Makkah realtors cash in on ‘jinn’ rumors

// MAKKAH: There are widespread rumors among Makkawis claiming some abandoned buildings and estates are possessed by jinns. According to the widely circulated gossip, residents of these buildings located in various districts of the holy city, especially on the outskirts, say they vacated their dwellings after supernatural forces had harmed […]

UAE’s mission impossible: Cooling the desert

At its base, one of the world’s largest malls houses an Olympic-sized ice rink that helps keep some 150,000 daily visitors cool in the searing heat, desert dust and humidity. // DUBAI: Ali’s air conditioning quietly cools his spacious Dubai apartment around the clock and all year round, even […]

Drugs and the Valley

The two-decade conflict in Kashmir, the highest militarised region in the world, is responsible for a spiraling drug problem amongst its populace, psychiatrists maintain. In the Indian-administrated Kashmir, 80 per cent of the drug-using population comprises those who abuse prescription medicines, doctors say. Easy availability of medicines across the counter […]

The weakness of gravity

The story goes that a young Newton was sitting beneath a tree when an apple fell to the ground, which he famously attributed to a force of attraction between the apple and the Earth called gravity. He went one step further to suggest that it is the same force that […]

Centre-stage but invisible

IT is a required skill in a stage-play for an actor to be centre-stage and be ready to become invisible to the audience. // The trick, as theatre gurus such as Stanislavsky or Brecht would prescribe, is to harmonise your silence with the running dialogue of other actors on […]

Why we will be poorer

Rapidly aging populations in the developed world, Japan and Europe especially, will place enormous demands on public pensions and health systems just as the number of taxpayers to pay the bills shrinks. Citizens of industrial nations have no choice but to accept lower returns on investment, reduced government largesse, and […]

Mumbai rocked, Pakistan suspected

Terror returned to Mumbai on Wednesday nearly three years after the massive assault on the city that left 164 people dead. The latest attack was a relatively smaller incident, with three bomb blasts killing 21 people. The significance is no minor matter though, for while no group has claimed responsibility, […]

Law professors protest Israel’s Boycott Law

JERUSALEM, July 14 (UPI) — Dozens of Israeli law professors are protesting the controversial Boycott Law that they say is unconstitutional but the government says is necessary. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he backs the law passed Monday, adding that the measure does not hurt Israel’s image, Haaretz reported […]

Chavez expects chemo or radiation

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L) attends a mass at the military academy in Caracas July 12, 2011. Picture taken on July 12, 2011. CARACAS, Venezuela – President Hugo Chavez said for the first time Wednesday that he expects to undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment, providing the clearest picture yet of […]

Mumbai bomb blasts: Pakistan braced for blame game

As graphic pictures were broadcast on television of mangled bodies strewn across roads, commentators were quick to blame militant groups with ties to Pakistan’s intelligence services, particularly the army’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The claims resonated in a city regularly traumatised by rush-hour attacks. The principal suspect in Wednesday’s bombings, Lashkar e-Taiba (LeT) […]