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Saudi Arabia tests Japan-inspired ‘nap pods’ for hajj

RIYADH: Mansour al-Amer swipes a card to reveal a narrow sleep pod, reminiscent of Japan's famed capsule hotels. But this pod is in Saudi Arabia, where the Muslim hajj pilgrimage begins Sunday. The kingdom has plans to introduce capsule rooms in the western city of Mina in the coming days, as an estimated two million Muslim faithful gather for the six-day hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam. The free nap pods are part of new measures Saudi Arabia is rolling out this year in a bid to modernise the centuries-old…

India awaits Kohli magic in England Tests

Virat Kohli has plundered Test runs in virtually every corner of the cricket world but England is a scoring desert for India’s superstar captain ahead of a tricky five-match series. He returned from his first England series in 2014 with just 134 runs from five Tests, unable to counter swing bowlers. India, with Mahendra Singh Dhoni as captain, lost the series 3-1. The 29-year-old Kohli is now back in England as reigning International Cricket Council player of the year and the world’s leading batsman with an average of…

US using DNA tests to reunite children with migrant parents

WASHINGTON: US officials have resorted to DNA testing on up to 3,000 detained children who remain separated from their migrant parents, a top official said Thursday as President Donald Trump's administration struggles to rapidly reunite families at the center of a border crisis. The controversial procedures are part of government efforts to meet rapidly approaching court-imposed deadlines for reuniting children with their parents, and come as the president himself once again demanded swift action by Congress to fix the…

Sarfraz has high hopes for young Pakistan in England Tests

LAHORE: Pakistan cricket captain Sarfraz Ahmed said Saturday he had high hopes for his young and inexperienced side on their tough twin tours of Ireland and England starting this month. The 16-member squad fly early Monday and after two side games against county teams in England will play a one-off Test against Ireland at Dublin May 11-15. They then face a formidable England side in two Tests at Lord's (May 24-28) and Leeds (June 1-5). Sarfraz said his players were eager to do well. "Our hopes are very high and I…

Pakistan pick five uncapped players for Ireland, England Tests

LAHORE: Pakistan included five uncapped players in the 16-man squad announced Sunday for their Tests against Ireland and England starting next month, with an eye on the World Cup next year. The five include openers Fakhar Zaman, 28, and Imam-ul-Haq, 22. Batsmen Usman Salahuddin and Saad Ali, and allrounder Faheem Ashraf are the other three uncapped members of the squad. "The World Cup next year is in England. So we've decided to call up several young players to give them exposure to those conditions," chief selector…

Airbus tests self-flying taxi

Airbus said Friday that it had successfully held the first test flights of the Vahana, an electric, pilotless flying vehicle that it hopes will be able to ferry people around cities. The Wednesday flight at a test range in the US state of Oregon lasted just under one minute, with the aircraft lifting up five metres (16 feet) from the ground and landing without control from a pilot, the European aerospace firm said in a statement. Read More: Driverless hover-taxi makes first ‘concept’ flight in Dubai Propelled by eight…