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First women-only car showroom opens in Saudi Arabia

Agency Press France

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JEDDAH — A Saudi private company has opened the first car showroom for women only on Thursday just five months before a decision allowing females to drive takes effect.

The showroom was opened in a shopping mall in the western Red Sea port city of Jeddah to allow women the freedom to choose their own cars before they hit the road.

In a historic decision late last year, King Salman gave Saudi women the right to drive, abolishing an almost three-decade ban based on religious reasons.

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The showroom offers a wide selection of vehicles from various makes and is staffed by women only.

It also provides women with solutions to finance their purchase provided by leading banks and financial companies.

The company plans to open more automobiles showrooms for women in the oil-rich kingdom.

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9 Syrians freeze to death while crossing to Lebanon

Gorkha Post

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BEIRUT — At least nine Syrians froze to death crossing into Lebanon when an icy storm hit a smuggling route in the mountains near a border post with Syria in the early hours of Friday, Lebanon’s army says.

Military officials said in a statement the Syrians, including two children and six women, were caught in a strong snowstorm while trying to cross the mountainous frontier between the two nations.

The military said in a statement that the bodies were found on a people-smuggling route in the early hours of Friday after a snowstorm hit the Masnaa area, where Lebanon’s largest official border crossing with Syria is located.

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“The army saved six other displaced Syrians, one of whom died later in a hospital from frostbite,” the statement added, raising the death toll to 10.

“The bodies were taken to the hospitals in the area, and the army continues to search for other displaced people trapped in the snow, in order to evacuate them and provide medical treatment for them.”

The army arrested two Syrians on smuggling charges and is still searching for others lost in the snow.

Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan have now all closed their border crossings to Syrian refugees.

Syrians wishing to enter Lebanon must prove to Lebanese authorities they have reason to be in Lebanon, such as property ownership, an embassy appointment, or a residency permit.

Reuters/AP

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