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Saudi to destroy extremist ideology and return to moderate Islam

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We will destroy them today and immediately, says Crown Prince

In a major development in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has pledged to destroy “extremist ideologies” and return to a moderate Islam that is open to all religions. He was speaking at a conference attended by foreign investors in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Salman was appointed as Crown Prince in June 2015. He has presented his Vision 2030, a plan to reduce dependence on oil, diversify economy, develop public service sectors, increase non-oil industry trade between countries and rise in military spending.

He played instrumental role in inviting US President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia in May this year: his maiden foreign visit after occupying White House. More than 50 heads of Muslim states were brought in Riyadh on the occasion.

While addressing Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference Salman said, “We are returning to what we were before — a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world.” The conference was attended by an audience of thousands of global investors and dignitaries.

The FII is an international event at which Saudi Arabia seeks investment into the kingdom from around the world.

The Crown Prince also announced Saudi Arabia will “eradicate promoters of extremist thoughts” saying the country was not like this in the past. “Seventy percent of the Saudi population is under the age of 30. In all honesty, we will not spend 30 years of our lives dealing with extremist ideologies. We will destroy them today and immediately,” bin Salman said.

He continued, “Saudi was not like this before ’79. Saudi Arabia and the entire region went through a revival after ’79. … All we’re doing is going back to what we were: a moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world and to all traditions and people. We want to live a normal life.”

“We are returning to what we were before – a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world,” the 32-year-old heir to the throne said.

1979 was a historical year in the region. Pro-US King Reza Shah Pehlavi was overthrown in Iran by Islamic revolutionists while fundamentalist Sunnis had seized Grand mosque in Mecca and country’s Shia minority had staged deadly revolt in Al-Hasa province.

Reacting to the situation, Saudi monarchy built ties with Wahabi religious establishment for restoring many hard-line stances. They even closed down the movie theatres in the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is home to the extremist Wahabism, propounded by Mohammed bin Abd al-Wahab, rejecting all other Islamic schools of thoughts, including Sunnis who offer prayers at the grave of Prophet Mohammed and visit the graves of other Islamic personalities or the Sufis and also the Shias, who reject first three Caliph and believe Ali and his family heirs as successors of the Prophet.

Crown Prince Salman’s remarks came a month after Saudi Arabia made a “landmark decision” to allow women to legally drive vehicles from June 2018. The move was criticised by conservative voices in the country but welcomed by right activists. The Kingdom is the only country on earth where women are not allowed to drive.

The present government in Saudi Arabia had recently allowed the first music concerts in decades, cracked down on religious incitement and granted womena growing list of rights, including driving vehicles.

In September, twenty prominent religious figures, intellectuals and activists, considered to be the dissidents were arrested in the kingdom. Amnesty International’s Samah Hadid was quoted saying, “In recent years, we cannot recall a week in which so many prominent Saudi Arabian figures have been targeted in such a short space of time.”

The organization said the rights situation in the country had “deteriorated markedly” since Prince Mohammed bin Salman took over as Crown Prince and heir to the throne on June 21.

The US based Human Rights Watch also suggested that the arrests could be connected to Crown Prince’s efforts to consolidate power.

Among those detained last month included prominent Islamic preachers Salman al Awdah and Awad al-Qarni, who opposed the presence of US troops in the kingdom in 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait. Both are accused of having links with Muslim Brotherhood, which has been blacklisted as terror group.

Most of the present day terror groups including Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Daesh (IS), Al-Shabab (in African continent), Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Haqqani network are considered to be the influenced by Wahabi extremist ideology. A senior cabinet minister had acknowledged movement of thousands of Saudi youth to Iraq after 2003 war.

Saeed Naqvi, a veteran journalist in one of his recent articles published by APN Live, had revealed Saudi connection to the extremist elements in Rakhine province of Myanmar. He said that in 2012, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, former Saudi ambassador to US had invited a Rohingya named Hafiz Taha to his office in Riyadh and assigned to develop “Islamic sleeper cells” in Rakhine.[/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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