Millions of Shiite Muslims in deeply religious Afghanistan are bracing for violence as they prepare to commemorate Ashura, one of the holiest days in the Islamic calendar.Full Story
Russian social media site VKontakte (VK) has followed Facebook by banning Myanmar's army chief and a nationalist monk known for stirring up Islamophobia in a country condemned globally for the treatment of its Rohingya Muslims.Full Story
More than 28 percent of Japan's population is now officially classified as elderly according to government data, the highest rate in the world as the first wave of postwar baby boomers enter old age.Full Story
The Dalai Lama will Friday meet a dozen victims of alleged sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers in what is believed to be the first such gathering with Tibet's spiritual leader.Full Story
France-based Algerian singer Rachid Taha has died. His record label, Naïve, announced his death at age 59 in a statement on its Facebook page.
Naïve said Wednesday that the singer who thrillingly blended Arabic music with rock and techno died overnight after suffering a heart attack at his home in the Paris suburbs.Full Story
Kurdish authorities in Syria's diverse northeast are facing swelling anger from the area's Syriac Christians after shutting down more than a dozen schools run by the ancient minority.Full Story
Hanoi officials urged residents on Tuesday to ease off eating dog meat, saying the popular dish is tarnishing the city's image and risks spreading rabies.
Roasted, boiled or steamed, dog meat can be found in markets and food shops across the capital city famed for its tasty street food, and the meat is traditionally eaten with rice wine or beer.Full Story
Two leading theater figures in Iran have been arrested over a trailer for Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" featuring men and women dancing together, a government official said Monday.Full Story
An hilarious black comedy about a botched coup in Turkey won a major prize at the Venice film festival Friday.Full Story
Standing in line in the courtyard of their school in the capital Damascus, scores of Syrian girls in pink and blue uniforms saluted the flag and sang the country's national anthem. A few miles away in a suburb, children played in the courtyard of a rehabilitated school, where shattered windows were replaced but charred walls and pockmarks from bullets remained on the building facades.
With fewer areas in active combat in Syria, more children are going back to school this year, the Syrian government said, putting the number at 4 million.Full Story