Turkmenistan unveils $5 bn city in honour of national leader

Turkmenistan on Thursday inaugurated Arkadag, a $ 5-billion "smart" city built in honour of former strongman leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, cementing one of the most extraordinary personality cults in the world.. The new city built in the foothills of the picturesque Kopet-Dag mountains is named after Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who ruled over the country between 2006 and 2022 and now carries the title Hero Arkadag (Protector).

Hurt felines: Japanese app aims to detect cat pain

Cats are considered lucky in Japan, and owners of the popular pets spend big on their care.. Now the app "has an accuracy level of more than 90 percent", he told AFP. According to the Japan Pet Food Association, 60 percent of owners take their cat to a veterinarian at most once a year.

Young Thai chefs shake up Bangkok's food scene

Thitid Tassanakajohn has a degree in economics from Thailand's top university, but turned his back on a stable career in finance to launch a high-end restaurant in Bangkok -- a city famed for its street food.. Educated and trained at top restaurants in New York City, Chef Ton said he learned from the best about how to push culinary boundaries.

Hollywood braced for 'double strike' as actors' deadline looms

Hollywood's summer of discontent could dramatically escalate this weekend, with actors ready to join writers in a massive "double strike" that would bring nearly all US film and television productions to a halt.. While the writers' strike has already dramatically reduced the number of movies and shows in production, an actors' walkout would shutter almost everything.

Living near green space makes you 2.5 years younger: study

City parks and green spaces help counter heat, boost biodiversity, and instill a sense of calm in the urban jungle.  . "We have more and better scientific evidence to increase and promote the use of urban green spaces," added Franco, who was not involved in the study. ia/jh

Mystery line on Biden's face caused by sleep device

The White House on Wednesday put to bed speculation about a mystery line on President Joe Biden's face, explaining that he has begun wearing a CPAP device to help ward off sleep apnea.. As the oldest president ever in the White House and seeking another four years in office in the 2024 election, Biden's health is under constant scrutiny. sms/bgs 

Nigerians mark Eid festivities navigating economic woes

Nigerians marked the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha on Wednesday with prayers, celebrations and family dinners as many navigated high inflation, a steep currency devaluation and growing transport costs.. Eid al-Adha is one of the two largest Muslim celebrations and is meant to mark the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

Gunfire shatters Eid prayer for peace by fed-up Sudanese

Hundreds gathered in the Sudanese capital Khartoum Wednesday to pray for peace on the first day of the Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday, but gunfire shattered the brief respite, residents said.. Similar prayer gatherings took place outside Khartoum, including in Jazira region where many have fled from the capital.

Quake temporarily shutters Siena cathedral in Italy

An earthquake in the Italian region of Tuscany sparked the brief evacuation of the cathedral and closure of museums Wednesday in the tourist hotspot of Siena.. The cathedral was evacuated for about an hour, its press office told AFP. The quake caused bits of plaster to fall off the famous monument, according to Italian media reports, but the cathedral's press office would not confirm.

Elderly Muslims perform hajj after restrictions lifted

Alsafi Mansur's "lifelong" wish to take part in the hajj pilgrimage came true this year, after Saudi Arabia lifted curbs that kept the elderly away from the compulsory Islamic ritual.. "My dream of hajj has come true again before I die," said the 76-year-old.  ht/ho/th/hkb