Muslim pilgrims circle Mecca’s Kaaba | AFP

Aerial shots of Muslim pilgrims performing Tawaf, which sees them circling the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine on the third day of hajj. The attendance has been dramatically downsized this year as the Saudi hosts strive to prevent a coronavirus outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage.

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The hajj: then and now | AFP

Mask-clad Muslim pilgrims begin the annual hajj, dramatically downsized this year as the Saudi hosts strive to prevent a coronavirus outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage. The hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam and a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime, is usually one of the world’s largest religious gatherings.

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The hajj: then and now | AFP

Mask-clad Muslim pilgrims begin the annual hajj, dramatically downsized this year as the Saudi hosts strive to prevent a coronavirus outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage. The hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam and a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime, is usually one of the world’s largest religious gatherings.

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Mecca: Muslims begin arriving for a downsized hajj pilgrimage | AFP

The first groups of Muslim pilgrims arrive to Mecca’s Kaaba as they begin the annual hajj, dramatically downsized this year as the Saudi hosts strive to prevent a coronavirus outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage.

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‘Trapped’ illegals in Saudi look to virus for escape | AFP

Jobless and broke, Sudanese electrician Hatem is stranded in limbo in Riyadh like countless other illegal workers, but he hopes the fast-spreading coronavirus will offer a chance for escape.

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Khashoggi murder trial begins in Turkey in absentia | AFP

The trial in absentia of 20 Saudi suspects accused of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, including two former aides to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, begins in Istanbul.

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Turkey trial of Saudi suspects in Khashoggi murder begins in absentia | AFP

The trial in absentia of 20 Saudi suspects accused of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, including two former aides to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, begins in Istanbul. IMAGES

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Muslims react to Saudi announcement to hold ‘very limited’ hajj over pandemic | AFP

Muslims around the world react to Saudi Arabia’s announcement to hold a “very limited” hajj this year with around 1,000 locals allowed compared to some 2.5 million from around the world last year.

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Saudi Arabia reopens mosques in the holy city of Mecca | AFP

Muslim worshippers pray while respecting social distancing restrictions after Saudi authorities reopened mosques in the holiest city in Islam. Mosques had been closed for three months closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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Saudi reopens mosques in Riyadh after easing lockdown restrictions | AFP

Muslim worshippers pray while respecting the social distancing restrictions at the Al-Rajhi Mosque in the capital Riyadh after Saudi authorities reopened mosques, more than two months after they were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Saudi Arabia has officially recorded 83,384 COVID-19 cases and 480 deaths from the virus. IMAGES

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Local flights resume as Saudi lifts domestic travel ban | AFP

Passengers undergo temperature checks at the departure hall for domestic flights at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh following a sanitary protocol amid the coronavirus pandemic after Saudi lifted a domestic travel ban. IMAGES 1st IMAGES

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Trump calls allegations against Pompeo ‘stupid’

Asked about reports that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is under investigation for improperly ordering staff to run personal errands and subverting Congress on Saudi arms deals, President Trump said he’s not concerned about the allegations. (May 18)

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AP Top Stories May 18 P

Here’s the latest for Monday May 18th: Dems say Fired watchdog was looking into Saudi arms sales; Pensacola military base shooter linked to al-Qaida; Early coronavirus vaccine results are encouraging; Western NY begins phased reopening.

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Mecca’s Grand Mosque empty as Ramadan begins | AFP

Drone images show the Grand Mosque and its surrounding, deserted on the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in the Saudi holy city of Mecca, during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis.

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Coronavirus: Deserted roads in the Saudi holy city of Mecca | AFP

Drone images show the roads of the Saudi holy city of Mecca deserted during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Saudi Arabia’s health minister warned of a huge spike in coronavirus cases of up to 200,000 within weeks, state media reported. The warning came after the kingdom extended the duration of daily curfews in multiple cities, including the capital Riyadh, to 24 hours in a bid to limit the spread of the deadly virus.

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Pompeo hosts Saudi Foreign Minister at State Department | AFP

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomes the Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud to the State Department. IMAGES

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AP Top Stories January 13 P

Here’s the latest for Monday January 13th: U.S. sending Saudi cadets home after Fla. shooting; Snow blankets Pacific Northwest; Calif. sends emergency crews to Puerto Rico and Queen agrees to Harry, Meghan UK-Canada plan

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US sending home Saudi cadets after shooting

The United States is removing nearly two dozen Saudi military students from a training program and sending them back to Saudi Arabia after an investigation into a deadly shooting by a Saudi aviation student last month. (Jan. 13)

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Islamic leaders gather for summit shunned by Saudi Arabia | AFP

Leaders of Muslim nations, including Saudi rivals Iran, Turkey and Qatar, attend a summit in Kuala Lumpur, which analysts say is aimed at rivalling the OIC, a 57-member pan-Islamic body headquartered in the Saudi city of Jeddah. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday mounted a veiled attack on the summit, saying such gatherings would weaken Islam. IMAGES

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AP Top Stories December 11 A

Here’s the latest for Wednesday December 11th: Jersey City Mayor says gunmen targeted Jewish market; New Zealand volcano vents more steam and mud; President Trump says articles of impeachment name no crimes; Saudi oil company makes record IPO.

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Pensacola cyberattacked; no link to shooting found

The FBI said Monday it found no signs of any link between a cyberattack on Pensacola, Florida’s computer systems and last week’s attack at the naval air station there in which a Saudi flight student killed three sailors and wounded eight others. (Dec. 10)

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