Culture
Latest stories
A Lifetime of Perks in UAE Help Cushion Wealth Gap

The United Arab Emirates contains the world's tallest building, an artificial indoor ski slope and man-made islands shaped like the world. Dubai's fleet of police cars includes a $2.5 million Bugatti Veyron and a $500,000 Lamborghini Aventador.

Look past the blinding glitz, though, and you discover a gulf separating the elite and their riches from most Emiratis. Yet in contrast to much of the world, a note of complaint is seldom heard here, and the reason is simple: Most Emiratis live lives of comfort that they owe to a bounty of perks and benefits from the government.

W140 Full Story
In Violent Venezuela, Bulletproof Everything

Venezuela is known for its obsession with beauty contests and plastic surgery. Now, the latest fashion rage is bulletproof clothes and cars to protect against rampant violent crime.

Miguel Caballero, a Colombian designer known for his bulletproof clothing, told AFP that over the past seven months up to 30 percent of his sales are with people sporting his style-meets-safety duds in Venezuela.

W140 Full Story
Slow Food Sows Message in Africa

Powerful herby coffee, sun-dried fish and succulent beef from Ankole cattle are just some of the Ugandan delicacies in a mushrooming movement across Africa to safeguard traditional foods.

Slow Food, a global grassroots organisation that promotes "good, clean and fair food", is spreading its reach across Africa after making its first inroads on the continent a decade ago.

W140 Full Story
Abu Dhabi Unveils Artworks Acquired for Its Guggenheim

The Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi offered a peek Sunday of several artworks which will be displayed at its Guggenheim museum, set to open in 2017.

Visitors got a glimpse of 19 out of the 200 artworks acquired by oil-rich Abu Dhabi that will be on public display from Wednesday until January at the museum.

W140 Full Story
Report: Murakami Says Japan Ignoring WWII, Fukushima Role

Japanese writer Haruki Murakami has chided his country for shirking responsibility for its World War II aggression and the Fukushima nuclear disaster in an interview published Monday.

Speaking to the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, the 65-year-old author said: "No one has taken real responsibility for the 1945 war end or the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. I feel so."

W140 Full Story
Israel Approves Law to Ease Conversion to Judaism

The Israeli cabinet approved a new law Sunday that would enable easier conversions to Judaism, a move advocates hope will encourage hundreds of thousands of "religionless" Israelis to become Jewish.

The new law, a ministerial compromise following a bill initiated by Elazar Stern of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni's HaTnuah movement, stipulates that the chief rabbi of each Israeli city would be able to form and head a conversion court, pending conditions to be set by the chief rabbinate.

W140 Full Story
You Say "Lady" I Say "Feudal Slave": Korea's Language Divide

North and South Korea have never found dialogue easy, but academics from both sides currently meeting in Pyongyang are trying to steer things in the right direction by at least getting them to speak the same language.

A 25-year old effort to produce a unified Korean language dictionary is, its compilers say, entering the home stretch in its bid to bridge a growing gap in vocabulary, if not ideology.

W140 Full Story
UNESCO Chief Slams 'Barbaric' Destruction of Iraq Heritage

UNESCO chief Irina Bokova on Sunday slammed the "barbaric" destruction of Iraq's cultural heritage, as jihadists from the Islamic State group destroy age-old sites in areas they control.

Iraq has "thousands of temples, of buildings, of archaeological sites, of objects, that represent a treasure for (all) humanity," Bokova said during a visit to Baghdad.

W140 Full Story
Greek Orthodox Church Bans Religious Rites at Cremations

The Greek Orthodox Church said Friday it would not provide religious rites for those who choose cremation, saying it disrespects the human body.

"The incineration of the body is not in keeping with the traditions and actions of the Church, for anthropological and theological reasons," the Church said in a statement.

W140 Full Story
Giacometti Sculpture Set to Fetch $100 mn at NY Auction

A bronze sculpture by Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti valued at more than $100 million and 20 works by pop art icon Andy Warhol headline New York's fall art auction season next week.

Art worth at least $1.7 billion from impressionist and modern; post-war and contemporary go under the hammer at Christie's and Sotheby's at combined evening and day sales from November 4 to 12.

W140 Full Story