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Saudi Arabia: Qatar Not Allowing Riyadh for Lifting Hajj Pilgrims

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Saudi Arabia: Qatar Not Allowing Riyadh for Lifting Hajj Pilgrims

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Experts believe crisis far from over

Saudi Arabia, which led three other countries in severing ties with Qatar in early June this year, is now complaining Doha of not allowing its plane to lift Qatari pilgrims for performing Hajj. King Salman has recently offered free transportation of Qatari citizens by their official carrier Saudi Airlines.

According to Saudi Press Agency, Saleh al-Jasser, the Director General of the airline, said on Sunday that their aircraft have not been given permission to land in Doha to pick up pilgrims. He further elaborated saying, “Qatari authorities have not allowed the aircraft to land as it did not have the right paperwork, although the paperwork was filed days ago.”

Earlier on Wednesday King Salman had ordered the dispatch of a Saudi Arabia Airlines plane to fly Qatari pilgrims to Jeddah at his own expense. Riyadh had also announced re-opening of its land borders with Qatar to allow pilgrims’ access to Mecca. However, not a single convoy has registered movement on the immigration point till date. The Hajj will be performed between August 30 and September 4 this year. All pilgrims should be present in the kingdom during this time.

Aljazeera reports that Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has denied Saudi claim of refusing permission to Saudi Airlines to fly Qatari Hajj pilgrims. Qatari News Agency says that Saudi Airlines was advised to coordinate the request with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs through the Qatari Hajj Delegation. The two offices function under Doha government’s supervision. CAA says that their response was in accordance with the procedures followed in the past.

However, Qatar hailed the Saudi move, but stressed that it was politically motivated and voiced concern about the safety of its citizens in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj pilgrimage.

Since the blockade Doha has not fulfilled any of  the13 demands put forwarded by Saudi led quartet. They included severing ties with Iran, closing Turkish army base in its territory and shutting down Aljazeera news network. Qatar has not only denied supporting terrorism, instead Qatar Special Envoy Mutlaq Majed al-Qahtani, in an opinion piece recently published in Wall Street Journal has  recalled  that fifteen of the 19 hijackers in 9/11 attacks were Saudis. He has also alleged that thousands of Saudi citizens have taken up arms to join Islamic State (IS) and other radical groups.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the UAE had severed their diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar on June 5. They advised their citizens to return from Qatar and also asked Qataris to leave from their respective countries within 48 hours.

The four boycotting countries also closed their airspace for Qatar Airways. Since then the airline has stopped using their airspace by rerouting their flights through alternative paths including Iranian skies.

In a bid to relax the Saudi led siege, Qatar has recently announced to allow citizens of 80 countries, including India, to travel to their country without obtaining prior visa.

It would be interesting to note that a little known Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al-Thani of Qatar was recently welcomed in Riyadh by Crown Prince Mohammd bin Salman and then jetted off to Morocco, where Saudi King Salman hosted him at his vacation spot in Tangir. However Qatari government said that he was on a personal visit while some media outlets, considered to be close to Riyadh, portrayed it as a triumphant diplomatic effort.

According to Saudi owned Al-Arabia news network, the Sheikh is a scion of a ruling branch that was in power for decades until 1972. His brother Ahmad was deposed by Sheikh’s Tamim’s grandfather. The little known Sheikh has written on his twitter handle, “The king has honored me by accepting my mediation on behalf of my people in Qatar.” He has become social media celebrity attracting 250,000 followers within three days.

The visit of the Qatari prince was followed by Riyadh’s announcement of opening borders with Qatar and offered to dispatch planes at its own expanses.

Meanwhile, Al-Bayan, a Dubai based daily, quoted political analyst Abdulkhaleq Abdulla saying that promoting Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al-Thani is probably part of a plan to add pressure on Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, who has refused to capitulate to the quartet’s 13 conditions for ending the feud.

Abdulkhaleq Abdullah further said, “Saudi Arabia has many pressure tools that it hasn’t used until now and this is one of them.” He denied that Saudi led alliance is currently pursuing a policy to change the Qatari leadership. Yet should Saudi Arabia decide that is needed, it can mobilize a support network within Qatari society and the ruling family “to spur a palace coup,” he said.

Meanwhile Andreas Krieg, a lecturer at King’s College in London has said that sheikh is a London based businessman with commercial interests in the Gulf, but lacks public support that will help propel him to power. His emergence serves as a way of telling Qatari leaders and global powers that the crisis is far from over.

So far several mediation efforts have failed in resolving Qatar crisis. Kuwait’s emir has tried for mediation while US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and foreign ministers of France and Germany have also visited the region.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Slovakia’s Prime Minister safe after surviving multiple gunshot

The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

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Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister has confirmed today that Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition is stable, with his life no longer in immediate danger, following an alarming incident where he was shot multiple times.

The Prime Minister was shot by an assassin while he was leaving a meeting on Wednesday.The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

Following the attack, Prime Minister Fico was urgently airlifted to the hospital, where he underwent extensive surgery that lasted several hours. Defence Minister Robert Kalinak, addressing reporters from outside the hospital where Fico was receiving treatment on Wednesday, described the Prime Minister’s condition as critical, emphasising that he was fighting for his life.

The identity of the suspect is yet unconfirmed as the police further investigate. Unconfirmed reports from local media suggest that the assailant may have been a 71-year-old writer and political activist.

A video is currently circulating in which the alleged perpetrator can be seen. In the clip, he mentions that he does not agree with government policy.

The shooting has sparked international concern. Expressing shock over the incident, PM Modi conveyed his solidarity with the people of the Slovak Republic, wishing Prime Minister Fico a speedy recovery. He strongly condemned the shooting, denouncing it as a cowardly and despicable act while emphasising the need for unity against such violent acts and reaffirming India’s support for Slovakia during these challenging times.

Earlier, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen also expressed disapproval of the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico . On X, she stated that such acts of violence have no place in society, undermining democracy, the most precious common good. Von der Leyen extended her thoughts to Prime Minister Fico and his family, highlighting the European Union’s solidarity during this challenging time. The condemnation from EU leadership underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for a united stance against violence targeting political figures. As the investigation unfolds, international support for Slovakia remains steadfast, emphasising the importance of upholding democratic principles and ensuring the safety of leaders across Europe.

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World Earth Day 2024: Google Doodle showcases aerial view of planet’s natural beauty

Google celebrated Earth Day 2024 with a special doodle featuring an aerial view of our planet’s biodiversity.

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Google shared a doodle today to celebrate World Earth Day 2024, which showcased aerial photos of the planet’s biodiversity and natural beauty. Google reminded us of the importance of protecting planet earth for future generations with the help of this doodle.

The Google letters depict specific locations across the globe where people, communities, and governments work every day to help protect the planet’s natural beauty, biodiversity, and resources, according to the explanation of the annual Earth Day 2024 doodle on their website.

It said, these examples remind us that there’s much more to do to address the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, but also offer the promise of hope and optimism.

The islands of Turks and Caicos are represented by the letter “G.” The islands’ conservation efforts are concentrated on protecting important regions for biodiversity and addressing persistent environmental problems.

The largest reef in the southern Gulf of Mexico and a UNESCO biosphere reserve, Scorpion Reef National Park, is represented by the letter “O” in the Mexican flag.

The letter “O” features Iceland’s Vatnajokull National Park, which was designated as a national park in 2008 following decades of advocacy. The ecology within and surrounding the biggest glacier in Europe is safeguarded by this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The letter “G” has the Jau National Park in Brazil on it. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the biggest forest reserves in South America.

The Great Green Wall of Nigeria is represented by the letter “L,”  and the Pilbara Islands Nature Reserves of Australia are represented by the letter “E.”

Meanwhile, Earth Day is a worldwide event that promotes protection of the environment every year. April 22 serves as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts and sustainable practices to guarantee a healthier world and a brighter future.

The occasion inspires people across the world to come together and take action to protect the environment, strengthening our bonds with nature and promoting good change.

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Bigg Boss 14 contestant Rahul Vaidya struggles walking in knee deep water, compares Dubai rains with Mumbai floods

Singer and TV personality Rahul Vaidya was recently stranded in the Dubai rains.

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Rahul Vaidya, who was in Dubai ahead of his show which was scheduled to take place today, left the country due to heavy rains and reached Kolkata. The artist shared on social media his encounters in the UAE city, including challenges like walking through knee-deep water. Rahul provided an update regarding the heavy rainfall in Dubai on his Instagram profile.

The Bigg Boss 14 contestant revealed that he was in Kolkata and prepared to do an evening performance. Recalling the terrifying period he went through, Vaidya said there was a lot of confusion and panic in Dubai. The situation was similar to that when heavy floods hit Mumbai in 2005.

Vaiday also posted seval other images and videos of cars that were underwater and flooded roadways. The Bigg Boss 14 contestant, who shared his ordeal, claimed that even though it had just rained for two hours, the situation was dire.

In one of the video, which went viral he can be seen struggling in walking in knee-deep water. He can be also seen holding his sneakers in one hand and with other hand he was seen managing other things.

This is the result of the two hours of rain that it had, he can be heard saying in the video. Vidya also said he dosen’t believe Dubai is accustomed to a lot of rain. Everything had stopped working, he remarked.

After taking part in the first season of the singing reality show Indian Idol, Rahul Vaidya gained widespread recognition. In addition to Bigg Boss, he took part in Khatron Ke Khiladi 11.

Meanwhile, heavy rains that triggered flooding in the UAE and Bahrain, which left 18 people dead in Oman on Sunday and Monday, have paralyzed the financial hub of the Middle East, Dubai.

A lot of incoming flights were diverted from Dubai’s international airport because of the rain. At 7:26 p.m., the busiest airport in the world for foreign visitors stopped accepting new arrivals; a gradual resumption was announced for more than two hours later.

Images of planes navigating flooded tarmacs are making the rounds on social media.

According to pictures shared on social media, the flagship malls Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates both experienced heavy floods, while at least one Dubai Metro station had water up to the ankles.

There were several road collapses, severe flooding in residential areas, and numerous reports of leaks from windows, doors, and roofs.

Due to the unfavourable weather, schools around the United Arab Emirates were forced to close, and as more storms are predicted, the closures are anticipated to last until Wednesday. The government of Dubai allowed its staff to work remotely till this Wednesday.

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