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Ukrainian arts enjoy surprise revival in conflict-riven east

DONETSK: In a grungy cellar bar, a young crowd sings along to a melancholy ballad in Ukrainian. Nothing unusual here -- except that the concert is taking place in the stronghold of Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian language has faced an unofficial ban here since war broke out between separatists and Kiev's forces more than four years ago. "Promise me that tomorrow will come for sure," a female vocalist sings to acoustic guitar in the city of Donetsk, the rebels' de facto capital, with…

Saudi Arabia to issue visas for sports, culture events

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will begin issuing visas to visitors to attend sporting and cultural events from December, officials said Tuesday, a first for the kingdom as it seeks to kick start tourism. "Saudi Arabia will open up its borders to fans of live sport, music and culture for the first time with the launch of a new online visa process dedicated to welcoming international tourists," the kingdom’s General Sports Authority said. The new visa process will be first introduced in December for a Formula E motor racing…