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BEIJING, July 17, 2018 (MENA) - The fourth Arabic Arts Festival kicked off on Tuesday in Chengdu city, the capital of southwestern China's Sichuan province.

During a press conference marking the launch of the festival, an official at the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism said about 20 cultural activities will be held from July to October within the framework of the festival whose theme focuses on "communication along the Silk Road .. linking people's hearts".

The event is organised by the Chinese ministries of culture, tourism and foreign affairs in tandem with the Arab League.

A forum of Arab and Chinese culture ministers will be held within the framework of the festival in addition to a cultural and tourism forum among Chinese and Arab cities, he said.

The official added that several artistic exhibitions will be also held.

He noted that an Arab fashion show was held on the fringe of the festival's opening.

PRAGUE, July 8, 2018 (News Wires) — I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians, a film by Romanian director Radu Jude, won the top prize at the Karlovy Vary film festival which ended on Saturday.

The Crystal Globe award winner tells the story of an ethnic massacre committed by the Romanian Army in 1941.

Rain Man director Barry Levinson and Shawshank Redemption star Tim Robbins also received Crystal Globes for outstanding contribution to world of cinema at the 53rd edition of the Czech festival.

Twilight star Robert Pattinson received the Festival President’s Award.

The festival in the spa town of Karlovy Vary, around 120 kilometres west of Prague, ran from June 29 to July 7 and attracted 140,135 cinemagoers, roughly the same number as in 2017.

PAMPLONA, Spain, July 8, 2018 (News Wires) — The second running of the bulls at this year's San Fermin festival in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona kicked off under heavy rain, with both bulls and runners slipping throughout the race.

Two people were injured and taken to the Navarra hospital after being trampled during the race, according to hospital doctor Tomas Belzunegui.

He added that two of the four people injured in the bull run a day before had undergone surgery and were doing well.

The animals in Sunday's race were reluctant to exit their pen and begin the 850-meter race that leads to Pamplona's bullring. They completed the course in two minutes and 45 seconds.

The nine-day fiesta was immortalised by American novelist Ernest Hemingway and draws huge crowds every year.

PAMPLONA, Spain, July 5, 2018 (News Wires) - Pamplona's famed San Fermin festival begins on Friday, overshadowed by a sexual abuse case that has tarnished one of Spain's best-loved traditions.

This year, in an attempt to reassure the thousands of tourists who come to party and take part in the hair-raising runs, the city in the northern Navarra region has dubbed itself "a city free of sexist assaults".

During the San Fermin festival in 2016, five men who called themselves "The Pack" filmed themselves having sex with an 18-year-old woman.

She said they had gang raped her while they claimed she had consented in a case that sparked a powerful feminist wave of indignation across the country.

An April court decision to sentence them for "sexual abuse" rather than the more serious offence of "sexual assault", a category that includes rape, pushed thousands of Spaniards onto the streets in anger.

Further fanning the flames, the five men were freed on bail just two weeks before the start of the festival, which means they could -- in theory -- return this year.

Incidents of sexual harassment are not new to the festival. In 2013, photos of women being groped by men shocked Spain.

Until then, "there was very backward thinking that justified men assaulting others under the effect of alcohol and in the party context", Laura Berro, in charge of gender equality at Pamplona city hall, told AFP.

Since then, police and the authorities have at least been more alert to the issue, although the 2016 sexual abuse case is an indicator of the scale of the problem.

A phone number is available 24/7 for people to report sexual violence. Police then attempt to identify perpetrators using CCTV footage.

LANDGRAAF, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - A van slammed into pedestrians near a campsite at a major music festival in the Netherlands on Monday, killing one person and seriously injuring three others, police said.

The driver fled following the incident at about 4am by the Pinkpop Festival in the southern town of Landgraaf, near the German border.

“The van involved is still being sought,” police said on Twitter.

Police have cordoned off the section of the road while an investigation is under way.

With Pearl Jam, the Foo Fighters and Bruno Mars headlining, the 49th edition of the Pinkpop festival has drawn around 67,000 fans a day since it opened on Friday, according to the director, Jan Smeets, quoted by the Dutch news agency ANP.

 

 

 

 

BUCHAREST, June 3, 2018 (News Wires) — Wait, did that statue really move?

It may have been the question many people asked while taking a walk in Bucharest over the past week, during the International Living Statues Festival.

Artists from eight countries embodied 64 statues in the old quarter of Romanian capital, in popular parks and in the garden of the spectacular Filipescu-Cesianu residence, built in 1892 in the Belle Epoque period.

Actors of the Romanian Masca Theatre, the festival’s organizer, brought to life Parisian street vendors from the 17th and 18th centuries in performances seen by an estimated 30,000 people.

Bucharest is one of several Eastern European cities known as the “Paris of the East” because of its French-inspired architecture and gardens.

Children, some very young, were the most visibly fascinated spectators.

The living statues from Britain, Germany, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Ukraine engaged in sudden moments of interaction with the public, often startling the spectators.

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