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Saudi Arabia to resume building mammoth Makkah hotel: sources

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is set to restart work on one of the world's largest hotel projects, the $3.5 billion Abraj Kudai in Makkah, where a financial squeeze halted construction in 2015. When completed, the Abraj Kudai is meant to have about 10,000 rooms, 70 restaurants, several helipads and a section reserved for the Saudi royal family. Renewed plans for the government-funded project signal Riyadh is again willing to spend on strategic economic development projects such as tourism and are a boost for Saudi Binladin…

India-Australia resume bitter battle in Ranchi

RANCHI: Bitter rivals India and Australia resume their battle for Test supremacy on Thursday in Ranchi at the start of the third match in a series that has already dragged relations close to breaking point. India won the second Test in Bangalore to leave the series tantalisingly poised at 1-1 but simmering tensions boiled over when the hosts' captain accused his opposite number of abusing the decision review system (DRS). The International Cricket Council, which decided not to punish either Virat Kohli or Steve Smith…

Red Cross says hopes to resume Aleppo evacuation on Sunday

BEIRUT: Thousands of people congregated in a square in Syria's east Aleppo, waiting for buses to arrive and take them away from rebel-held areas as part of an evacuation that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hopes will resume on Sunday. Many spent the night sleeping in the streets in freezing temperatures while pro-government and opposition forces as well as their international backers worked on a deal to allow people to be escorted out. The Aleppo evacuation ground to a halt on Friday after a…

Russian jets resume heavy bombing of Aleppo: monitor

ALEPPO: Russian jets resumed heavy bombing of rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Tuesday after several days of relative calm, a rebel official and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said. Air strikes mostly hit the Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, Zakaria Malhifji of the Aleppo-based Fastaqim rebel group told Reuters. "There is renewed bombardment and it is heavy," he said. The Observatory said at least eight people were killed in Bustan al-Qasr and Fardous neighbourhoods. Moscow and Damascus…