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Saudi Arabia has announced that it will allow cinemas to open in the kingdom for the first time in decades as part of social and economic reforms undertaken by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"Commercial cinemas will be allowed to operate in the kingdom as of early 2018, for the first time in more than 35 years," the culture and information ministry announced in a statement on Monday.

It said that the government would begin issuing cinema licenses immediately and that the first movie houses would be open by March.

The ruling party of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has won more than 90 percent of the country's mayoral races, after the opposition boycotted the election. Maduro said parties that sat out Sunday's vote will be barred from next year's presidential election.

Maduro's United Socialist Party of Venezuela won more than 300 of the 335 mayoral offices.

"We have obtained a big victory!" Maduro said in a speech in the capital's Bolívar Plaza late Sunday. "A popular, democratic, free, sovereign victory of an independent country!"

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