Riyadh to allow non-Muslims to enter 4 mosques in Jeddah

Riyadh : Saudi Arabia will allow non-Muslims to enter four mosques in Jeddah, local media reported on Monday.

The main purpose of the move is to allow non-Muslims to get acquainted with the Islamic civilization, Xinhua news agency quoted a media report as saying.

Saudi Arabia banned non-Muslims from entering Mecca city, which is a sacred land for Muslims around the world.

Although many Islamic countries have been allowing non-Muslims to visit mosques as tourist attractions for years, mosques in the Kingdom until now were off-limit to them.

Saudi Arabia says Iran refused to sign Haj agreement

Riyadh : Saudi Arabia has blamed Iran for refusing to sign an agreement that would have allowed tens of thousands of Iranian citizens to travel to the kingdom for the annual Muslim pilgrimage of Haj amid souring diplomatic ties between the regional rivals.

Iran on Sunday announced that its citizens won't travel to the Saudi cities of Makkah and Medina for the Haj, which is taking place in September.

Iranian pilgrims' Haj looks 'impossible' this year: Minister

Tehran : Performing Haj ceremony is "impossible" for Iranian pilgrims this year, an Iranian minister said on Sunday.

Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati said: "We were supposed to wait until Sunday for the Saudi officials' response about our points in the negotiations."

"The rhetoric of the Saudi side with the Iranian representatives, and their obstructions showed that performing Haj rituals is impossible (for Iranians) this year," Xinhua news agency quoted Jannati as saying.

ELN rebels release two kidnapped Colombian journalists

Bogota : At least two Colombian journalists, kidnapped by ELN rebels and held for four days have been freed, their employer Noticias RCN said on Saturday.

The guerrillas released Diego D'Pablos and Carlos Melo on Friday, just hours after setting free Spanish journalist Salud Hernandez-Mora, who had spent six days as a captive, Efe news reported.

The Colombian reporters had travelled to the Catatumbo region, near Colombia's border with Venezuela, to report on Hernandez-Mora's disappearance.

Filipino journalist shot dead

Manila : A Filipino journalist was shot dead by an unknown assailant in Manila, officials said on Saturday.

The incident occurred in a street in Manila's Quiapo district when the victim, reporter Alex Balcoba, was shot in the head while talking on the phone on Friday night, Police Chief Inspector John Guiagui told state-run DzBB radio.

Balcoba, 56, who worked for the Brigada daily, was taken to hospital, where he died shortly afterwards.

Bihar Finance Minister meets NRIs in Dubai, asks them to invest in health and education in the state

By, Staff Reporter

Dubai: Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Finance Minister, attended a dinner on Monday, May 23along with a group of a group of eminent Non Resident Indians (NRIs) living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and he took the moment to speak at length about the prevailing socio-political conditions in India with special reference to Bihar.

Parents of 43 missing Mexican students stage protests

Mexico City : Parents of 43 students who went missing in Mexico in 2014 staged protests in front of embassies in Mexico City to demand long-term follow-up on the disappearances.

Thursday marked 20 months after the disappearance of the students in Iguala, in the state of Guerrero, EFE news reported.

Parents and relatives divided into four groups and went to diplomatic offices, where they delivered a document with their demands.

African envoys participate in event after assurances by India

New Delhi : Even as African envoys in India on Thursday decided to participate in the Africa Day event, following a "constructive meeting" with top Indian officials, the Indian government said that a few isolated cases of violence against African nationals should not be generalised to portray a climate of insecurity for African students.

On Thursday, African envoys decided to review their decision of calling for postponement of the Africa Day event, which was being read as a boycott, following the killing of a Congolese national in New Delhi last week.

UAE AMU Alumni Forum to build accommodation complex for 1,000 students in University

By Raqib Hameed Naik,

Dubai: In a significant move aimed at improving the infrastructure in Aligarh Muslim University, the AMU Alumni Forum United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said it will build a complex to accommodate 1,000 students, proposed to be built within the AMU campus.

The proposal of the building, named “Sheikh Zayed Complex” was unveiled during a grand Mushaira “Shaam-e-Majaz” organized by the Forum in Dubai on Thursday May 19, 2016.

Shake hands with female teachers or face fine, Muslim boys told

Geneva : Muslim school students in the Swiss canton of Basel cannot refuse to shake hands with their female teachers on religious grounds, otherwise their parents will face fines, local authorities have ruled.

“The public interest with respect to equality between men and women and the integration of foreigners significantly outweighs the freedom of conscience (freedom of religion) of the students,” the department of education, culture and sport in the canton of Basel-Landschaft, northern Switzerland, said on Wednesday, RT online reported.