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  • iStock/Thinkstock(JOHANNESBERG) -- Paralympic athlete and convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius was apparently bruised in a prison fight over a telephone, South African prison authorities said today. No serious injuries resulted from his altercation with another inmate over the use of the prison phone, Department of Correctional Services spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo said.“Pistorius wasn’t seriously injured; he was just bruised, although I haven’t received information about the exact location of the bruise,” Nxumalo said. “We do regard the incident in a serious light and will act once we have all the facts.” Pistorius, a double-leg amputee known as the “bladerunner” because of his prosthetics, was first convicted of culpable homicide (manslaughter) in 2014 for shooting and killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013. The Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa upgraded his conviction to murder in 2015 on appeal.The Pretoria High Court sentenced him to six years’ imprisonment in July 2016, which the Supreme Court of Appeal increased to 13 years last month. Pistorius, 31, has reportedly been on the phone quite a bit since then.Nxumalo, the prison spokesman, told ABC News an internal investigation, involving everyone including Pistorius, the other inmate, possible eyewitnesses and guards is underway."The outcome of the investigation would determine if any remedial action would be undertaken against any of the inmates involved,” Nxumalo said, stressing that any punishment is a long way off but could include forfeiting prison privileges such as visitation rights, phone calls and letters and Christmas concessions.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinstock(RIYADH, Saudi Arabia) -- Cinemas are set to open in Saudi Arabia in March 2018 for the first time since they were banned in in the early 1980s, according to the Saudi minister of culture. "It's a beautiful day in Saudi Arabia!" tweeted Haifaa al-Mansour, the first female Saudi director of a feature film, the acclaimed "Wadjda".  This is the second major social reform, after the lifting of the ban on women driving, announced in recent months as part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "Vision 2030", a socioeconomic program aimed at modernizing the Saudi economy and shepherding the conservative kingdom into the 21st century."This is the best news! I've been waiting for it for 33 years" said Nahar Alhamrani, a self-described movie fanatic from Jeddah. "It will spark creativity and help build a change in people's mindset."Cinemas existed in Saudi Arabia until they were banned in the early 1980s after a puritanical religious establishment gained control over social and educational affairs in the country."Today, the organized Islamist undercurrents that thrived in the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s no longer have influence in society," said Mohammed Alyahya, a nonresident fellow at The Atlantic Council.Back then, "young and old people traded DVDs, downloaded movies and visited Bahrain to watch movies. The reintroduction of movie theaters is long overdue" added Alyahya.A multimillion-dollar bootleg industry flourished as a result. Saudis amassed large collections of pirated DVDs of the latest Hollywood blockbusters, circumventing both the ban and censorship. It’s this revenue that the decision today also aims to recapture."Opening cinemas will act as a catalyst for economic growth and diversification," said Minister of Culture Awwad Alawwad. "By developing the broader cultural sector, we will create new employment and training opportunities, as well as enriching the kingdom's entertainment options"The Saudi cinema industry is still nascent but has been receiving more attention over recent years with breakthrough movies like "Wadjdah" and "Barakah meets Barakah."In September, it was announced that Saudi actress Ahd Kamel will star in the Netflix series "Collateral.""Born a King," a coming-of-age story about the teenager who would become King Faisal, wrapped filming last month. It is the first Saudi English-language feature film officially licensed to be shot in the kingdom.The announcement by the ministry of culture did not specify whether seating in cinemas would be gender-segregated as most public spaces are in Saudi Arabia or how heavily censored movies will be. Films are usually greatly censored with pixelation added to cover the chest and legs of actresses, as seen on a recent Saudi Airlines flight. Regulations are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.Multiple malls currently being built had already received licenses to build multiplexes before today's announcement.By 2030, over 300 cinemas with 2000 screens are expected to have opened across Saudi Arabia. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(RIYADH, Saudi Arabia) -- The White House called on the Saudi-led coalition Friday to allow aid and commercial goods into Yemen, as the humanitarian crisis there continues to escalate.Two weeks ago, the coalition -- which has been fighting Yemeni Houthi rebels for almost 3 years -- eased an air, land, and sea blockade of Yemen that had been in place for three weeks, putting millions at risk of starvation, according to the United Nations. The White House praised Saudi Arabia for opening one seaport and airport, but had called for "additional steps" to ensure an unfettered flow of humanitarian aid.When that didn't happen, President Donald Trump increased his pressure on the country, directing his administration to call the leaders of Saudi Arabia "to request that they completely allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it.""This must be done for humanitarian reasons immediately," Trump said in a statement on Wednesday.Now, the White House is repeating its call for the coalition to facilitate aid and goods through all Yemeni ports and allow commercial flights to resume out of Sana’a Airport."The Iranian-backed Houthi militias must allow food, medicine, and fuel to be distributed throughout the areas they control, rather than diverted to sustain their military campaign against the Yemeni people," Friday's statement reads. "This humanitarian aid must be allowed to immediately reach all points of need." Last weekend, the chiefs of several United Nations agencies and other top humanitarian officials said millions of Yemenis depend on supplies that can't get through the Saudi blockade, and many cities are already out of fuel, which means health and facilities can't operate.Nearly 400,000 Yemeni children suffer from severe acute malnutrition and more than 8 million Yemenis “could starve without urgent food assistance coming into Yemen,” they said. The most recent White House statement also condemned the killing of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Salih by the Houthis on Monday, as well as "their reckless missile attacks" against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.Salih had ruled Yemen for over three decades before being ousted during the Arab Spring in 2012."The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its partners are arming, advising, and enabling the Houthis’ violent actions, which accelerate the cycle of violence and human suffering, obstruct the flow of humanitarian aid, and disrupt efforts toward a political resolution," the White House said on Friday.Separately, the U.S. military announced on Friday that U.S. airstrikes had killed five al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants on Nov. 20.AQAP continues to operate in southern areas of Yemen in the midst of the country's years-long civil war.The U.S. military regularly strikes AQAP targets, and more recently in October, struck ISIS training camps in the same area. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Carl Court/Staff/Getty Images(ABU DHABI, United Arab Emerates) -- The newly opened Louvre Abu Dhabi announced that it will soon be home to a rare, privately owned work by Leonardo da Vinci that recently sold for $450.3 million at auction.The museum tweeted Thursday, "Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi is coming to #LouvreAbuDhabi." The painting of Christ — the title means "Savior of the world" — is believed to have been painted sometime after 1505 and is the only Leonardo work thought to be privately owned.The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the largest art museum in the Arabian Peninsula and one of the world’s newest, having opened its doors on November 8. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Richard Pohle/WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince William revealed his family kicked off their own Christmas celebrations this year by watching Prince George, 4, in his school's nativity play.George, the third-in-line to the throne, did not play the role of a king or a wise man in the play at St. Thomas's Battersea School in London, according to William."I went to my boy's nativity play. It was funny," he said. "He was a sheep."William, 35, hand-delivered George's Christmas wish list of a police car to Santa Claus last week while on a royal tour to Helsinki, Finland."I’ve seen you and I had to give you this letter," William said to Santa, affirming that George was indeed a nice boy. "He hasn’t written down many requests, so I think one request is probably OK."William revealed George's role in the nativity play during a visit to Manchester today with Princess Kate.The couple, who have been advocates of ending the stigma around mental health, spoke to young people about mental health challenges at the Children's Global Media Summit.Kate, 35, encouraged the teenagers to speak up and ask for help, saying, "People are so worried about what they say, they aren't saying anything at all, and what we've found from speaking to people is it's so good to have conversations."William, who formed the Heads Together campaign with Kate and Prince Harry to address mental health, spoke out about the growing acceptance of the issue."Mental health used to be this scary word that people didn't like talking about," he said. "And it's slowly getting better now."William and Kate later watched a performance by children and participated in a conversation on how digital media affects young people.The Duke of Cambridge also met with members from his cyberbullying task force while in Manchester. The task force, which includes leading tech companies, last month released a first-of-its-kind online code of conduct aimed at creating a safer space online for children."We have put the most powerful information technology in human history into the hands of our children -- yet we do not yet understand its impact on adults, let alone the very young," William said in a speech. "And let me tell you parents are feeling the pressure. We need guidance and support to help us through some serious challenges."Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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