The singers Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson and AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys perform on ABC's Good Morning America. Mike Coppola / Getty Images
The singers Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, Kevin Richardson and AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys perform on ABC's Good Morning America. Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Today in Hollywood: Michael Shannon on Man of Steel role

Michael Shannon's streak of playing bad guys continues in the forthcoming Superman film Man of Steel, in which he plays the superhero's nemesis General Zod. Shannon said he nearly "had a seizure" when director Zac Snyder tapped him for the role. "I would've never seen that coming in a million years," said Shannon at the Venice film festival, where he attended the world premiere of his new movie The Iceman, in which he plays a mafia hit man. Man of Steel is in post-production and due for release mid-2013. - AP

Backstreet Boys producing new album

The Backstreet Boys are reuniting. Nick Carter, Brian Littell, AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson and Howie Dorough reunited on the Good Morning America show on Friday to announce a new album. "2013 is our 20th anniversary. We're in the studio right now working on an album," said Richardson, who quit the band in 2006. "My heart said, 'Now's the time.' It just felt right." The band, who also announced a music cruise next October, are recording the album in London. "The vibe is fantastic. It's revitalised. We're living in a house together out there."

Pranksters plot Taylor Swift gig

Taylor Swift could find herself singing to deaf youngsters if social media pranksters have their way. Swift, promoting her forthcoming album, is offering to do a concert at whatever school reaps the most votes in a Facebook campaign. Users of the website 4chan responded with a call for mass voting in favour of Boston's Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing - an idea that swiftly went viral on Twitter and Reddit. The contest ends September 23 and many Reddit users doubted Swift would risk her good-girl image by snubbing a school for the deaf. - AFP

Seal accuses Klum of cheating with bodyguard

In an interview with TMZ on Saturday, Seal said the reason he and Heidi Klum filed for divorce in April is because she cheated on him with her bodyguard, Martin Kristen. "I would've thought Heidi would've shown a little bit more class and at least waited until we separated first. But to be quite honest, if there is going to be somebody else in their lives, I'd much rather it was a familiar face," said Seal. "I guess you now all have the answer you've been looking for the past seven months." Klum has fired back at the claims. Her representative told Access Hollywood: "It's sad Seal has to resort to false accusations."

Jones to get award at Spanish festival

Tommy Lee Jones will receive an award at the 60th San Sebastian film festival, held from September 21 to 29. The 65-year-old actor will collect one of the festival's Donostia Awards, "given to a great film personality in recognition for their work and career". His latest film Hope Springs, in which he co-stars opposite Meryl Streep, will be screened out of competition at the festival. - AFP

Drishyam 2

Directed by: Jeethu Joseph

Starring: Mohanlal, Meena, Ansiba, Murali Gopy

Rating: 4 stars

The specs: Macan Turbo

Engine: Dual synchronous electric motors
Power: 639hp
Torque: 1,130Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Touring range: 591km
Price: From Dh412,500
On sale: Deliveries start in October

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

‘FSO Safer’ - a ticking bomb

The Safer has been moored off the Yemeni coast of Ras Issa since 1988.
The Houthis have been blockading UN efforts to inspect and maintain the vessel since 2015, when the war between the group and the Yemen government, backed by the Saudi-led coalition began.
Since then, a handful of people acting as a skeleton crew, have performed rudimentary maintenance work to keep the Safer intact.
The Safer is connected to a pipeline from the oil-rich city of Marib, and was once a hub for the storage and export of crude oil.

The Safer’s environmental and humanitarian impact may extend well beyond Yemen, experts believe, into the surrounding waters of Saudi Arabia, Djibouti and Eritrea, impacting marine-life and vital infrastructure like desalination plans and fishing ports. 


Artist: Taylor Swift

Label: Republic Records

Rating: 4/5

About Housecall

Date started: July 2020

Founders: Omar and Humaid Alzaabi

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: HealthTech

# of staff: 10

Funding to date: Self-funded

The US Congress, explained

- US Congress is divided into two chambers: the House of Representatives and Senate

- 435 members make up the House, and 100 in the Senate

- A party needs control of 218 seats to have a majority in the House

- In the Senate, a party needs to hold 51 seats for control

- In the event of a 50-50 split, the vice president's party retains power in the Senate

Company Profile

Name: Takestep
Started: March 2018
Founders: Mohamed Khashaba, Mohamed Abdallah, Mohamed Adel Wafiq and Ayman Taha
Based: Cairo, Egypt
Sector: health technology
Employees: 11 full time and 22 part time
Investment stage: pre-Series A

Name: Peter Dicce

Title: Assistant dean of students and director of athletics

Favourite sport: soccer

Favourite team: Bayern Munich

Favourite player: Franz Beckenbauer

Favourite activity in Abu Dhabi: scuba diving in the Northern Emirates 


The specs: 2024 Mercedes E200

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cyl turbo + mild hybrid
Power: 204hp at 5,800rpm +23hp hybrid boost
Torque: 320Nm at 1,800rpm +205Nm hybrid boost
Transmission: 9-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 7.3L/100km
On sale: November/December
Price: From Dh205,000 (estimate)

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

The Roundup

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Ma Dong-seok, Sukku Son, Choi Gwi-hwa
Rating: 4/5

Zidane's managerial achievements

La Liga: 2016/17
Spanish Super Cup: 2017
Uefa Champions League: 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18
Uefa Super Cup: 2016, 2017
Fifa Club World Cup: 2016, 2017





Heavily-sugared soft drinks slip through the tax net

Some popular drinks with high levels of sugar and caffeine have slipped through the fizz drink tax loophole, as they are not carbonated or classed as an energy drink.

Arizona Iced Tea with lemon is one of those beverages, with one 240 millilitre serving offering up 23 grams of sugar - about six teaspoons.

A 680ml can of Arizona Iced Tea costs just Dh6.

Most sports drinks sold in supermarkets were found to contain, on average, five teaspoons of sugar in a 500ml bottle.

Founders: Abdulmajeed Alsukhan, Turki Bin Zarah and Abdulmohsen Albabtain.

Based: Riyadh

Offices: UAE, Vietnam and Germany

Founded: September, 2020

Number of employees: 70

Sector: FinTech, online payment solutions

Funding to date: $116m in two funding rounds  

Investors:, Impact46, Vision Ventures, Wealth Well, Seedra, Khwarizmi, Hala Ventures, Nama Ventures and family offices

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices


Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends


Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Consoles: PC, PlayStation
Rating: 2/5

J Street Polling Results

97% of Jewish-Americans are concerned about the rise in anti-Semitism

76% of US Jewish voters believe Donald Trump and his allies in the Republican Party are responsible for a rise in anti-Semitism

74% of American Jews agreed that “Trump and the Maga movement are a threat to Jews in America"