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 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.


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Scores missing in South Korea ferry disaster

The ferry carrying 477 people, most of them high school students, sank in cold waters off South Korea’s southern coast, killing at least two and injuring seven.

In pictures: South Korea ferry disaster

Nearly 300 people were still missing on Wednesday several hours after a ferry carrying 477, most of them high school students, sank in cold waters off South Korea’s southern coast, killing at least two and injuring seven.

Nagasaki survivors express support for UAE’s efforts against nuclear weapons

Residents of a nursing home for atomic bomb survivors said they hoped countries like the UAE would transmit their anti-nuclear message to the rest of the world.

‘Cherry tree from space’ amazes and baffles Japan

The four-year-old sapling, grown from a cherry stone that spent time aboard the International Space Station, burst into blossom on April 1, possibly a full six years ahead of Mother Nature’s normal schedule.

Rare Ming Dynasty ‘chicken cup’ fetches $36m at Hong Kong auction

Sotheby’s said a mainland Chinese collector was the winning bidder at Tuesday’s auction.

North Korea opens to tourist runners for Pyongyang marathon

For the first time ever, North Korea is opening up the streets of its capital to runner-tourists for the annual Pyongyang marathon, undoubtedly one of the most exotic feathers in any runner's cap.

Yakuza launches website complete with corporate anthem and anti-drugs message

Japan’s biggest organised crime syndicate has launched its own website, complete with corporate song and a strong anti-drugs message, as the yakuza looks to turn around its outdated image and falling membership.

North and South Korea exchange fire across disputed western sea border, Seoul says

South Korea on Monday returned fire into North Korean waters after shells from a North Korean live-fire drill fell south of the rivals’ disputed western sea boundary, a South Korean military official said. Residents on a front-line South...

In pictures: Earth Hour 2014

Composite photos of the world’s iconic buildings illuminated and dinned during Earth Hour 2014.

Japan orders man on death row since 1980 to be freed as new evidence emerges

A Japanese court has decided to release a man on death row for more than 30 years in a high-profile murder case based on new DNA evidence.

Tiger slaughtering show for Chinese rich and powerful: report

More than 10 tigers have been killed as 'visual feasts' to entertain officials and rich businessmen in a Chinese city, state media reported.

Missing MH370: Angry relatives demand answers at Malaysian embassy in Beijing

Angry relatives of Chinese passengers aboard Flight MH370 scuffled with security personnel Tuesday as they descended on Malaysia’s embassy in protest, weeping as they demanded answers on the crashed plane.

In pictures: Malaysia PM announces fate of missing MH370

Malaysia said on Monday the passenger jet which went missing more than two weeks ago crashed in the Indian Ocean, but shed no light on the mystery of why it veered from its intended course.

Missing plane crashed into Indian Ocean, says Malaysia PM

The sombre announcement on the fate of the plane ended 17 days of agonising uncertainty for relatives of those on board — two thirds of them Chinese.