Meet the Debutante Girls of Lebanon’s High Society

24-year-old Dima Arabi peers from behind a curtain at 600 guests socializing beneath a glittering chandelier at the Casino du Liban in Jounieh, Lebanon. Nervously giggling with her girlfriends, she retraces her dance steps in a white floor-length ball gown. They are the Debutante Girls: daughters of the wealthy, connected families of Lebanese high society, […]

North Korean leader can’t take a joke. Bans sarcasm

Kim Jong Un just can’t take a joke. The last time the North Korean dictator found himself on the receiving end of some gentle ribbing, as the subject of James Franco and Seth Rogen’s assassination comedy The Interview, Kim’s repressive regime allegedly hacked Sony Pictures, apparently in retaliation. Now, the absolutist leader is taking his […]

French court suspends burkini ban, controversy goes on

A French court on Friday suspended a ban on full-body “burkini” swimsuits imposed by a Mediterranean resort that has angered Muslims, feminists and civil liberties campaigners. The Council of State’s ruling against Villeneuve-Loubet is expected to set a precedent for the dozens of other French towns that have also laid down such bans. But it […]

OK to have sex slaves under Islam, says Muslim preacher

A hardline Muslim preacher suspected of radicalising three British jihadis told teenage disciples that it is ‘permissible’ under Islam to have sex slaves. Ali Hammuda, an Imam at a Cardiff mosque where three young jihadis from the city worshipped before travelling to Syria to join Islamic State, also told the group of boys as young as […]

Thousands rally in Australia for same-sex marriage

Thousands of Australians marched at same-sex marriage rallies across the country on Saturday calling on whichever party wins a July 2 national election to quickly introduce same-sex marriage laws. Conservative Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull supports same-sex marriage and has pledged a public vote on the issue before the end of 2016. The Labor opposition […]

EU firms free to ban Muslim headscarves, court says

Companies in the EU can ban Muslim employees from wearing headscarves to work, a senior jurist has said in a case involving British security firm G4S. The headscarf ban “may … be justified in order to enforce a legitimate policy of religious and ideological neutrality pursued by the employer”, Juliane Kokott, a German advocate general […]