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Hagia Sophia’s contested history over 15 centuries and two faiths

ISTANBUL: A Turkish court on Friday annulled a 1934 government decree that had turned Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia into a museum, opening the way for the sixth-century building to be converted back into a mosque. President Tayyip Erdogan, whose ruling AK Party sprung from political Islam, has said the cavernous domed building should revert to being a place of Muslim worship....

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Hagia Sophia’s contested history over 15 centuries and two faiths

ISTANBUL: A Turkish court on Friday annulled a 1934 government decree that had turned Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia into a museum, opening the way for the sixth-century building to be converted back into a mosque. President Tayyip Erdogan, whose ruling AK Party sprung from political Islam, has said the cavernous domed building should revert to being a place of Muslim worship....

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Turkish court to decide Hagia Sophia verdict in 15 days

A court in Turkey has delayed a decision on whether the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul can be converted into a mosque or not. According to the BBC, the Council of State, Turkey’s highest administrative body, said it would make a ruling within 15 days, after a hearing lasting just 17 minutes. The Hagia Sophia is 1,500 years old and is listed...

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US Supreme Court rejects Trump’s presidential immunity argument

The United States Supreme Court on Thursday rebuffed President Trump's arguments of sweeping presidential immunity, ruling that a New York prosecutor can obtain his financial records as "the public had a right to every man's evidence". However, the order prevented - at least for now - Democratic-led House of Representatives committees from getting similar documents The twin 7-2 rulings authored...

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Asia Cup 2020 postponed due to coronavirus pandemic, says ACC

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) announced on Thursday that this year's Asia Cup, scheduled to be held in Pakistan in September, has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement, the ACC said that the executive board met on multiple occasions to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on the tournament. https://twitter.com/ACCMedia1/status/1281210026397298689 "From the onset, the board was...

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Afghanistan to release 600 Taliban prisoners in bid to push for peace talks

KABUL: Afghan authorities on Thursday said it will release 600 prisoners it had deemed "too dangerous" in the hope of getting peace talks going, a day after they had refused to release the captives. Disagreement over about 600 prisoners from a total of 5,000 the Taliban want released has prevented the launch of US-brokered peace talks aimed at ending nearly...

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Nation remembers services of Abdul Sattar Edhi on fourth death anniversary

The nation commemorated the services of philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi on his fourth death anniversary on Wednesday. The renowned humanitarian, who founded the world's largest volunteer ambulance network, died on July 8, 2016, in Karachi after a prolonged illness. Edhi, who was born in 1928, migrated to Pakistan in 1947 along with his family and dedicated his life to the...

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US drone strike that killed Iran´s top general Qassem Soleimani was “unlawful”: UN expert

GENEVA: The US drone strike that killed Iran's top general Qassem Soleimani was "unlawful", the United Nations expert on extrajudicial killings concluded in a report released Tuesday. Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, concluded it was an "arbitrary killing" that violated the UN charter. The US had provided no evidence that an imminent attack...

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Hajj 2020: Saudi Arabia imposes new health protocols to curb spread of coronavirus

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has imposed a new set of instructions for Hajj 2020 pilgrims in a bid to keep the COVID-19 from spreading, as new cases of the infection continue to emerge from several countries across the globe. Saudi Arabia decided in June to limit the number of domestic pilgrims attending the Hajj to around 1,000 to prevent...

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Modi visits Ladakh where ‘violent face-off’ with Chinese troops took place

NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew into the Ladakh on Friday, officials said, weeks after Indian and Chinese troops clashed in the valley leading to a escalation of tension. Modi, who has been under pressure to respond to what India deems Chinese incursions, met troops at a base in Ladakh’s Nimu area, pictures from Reuters partner ANI showed. Officials said...

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24 shot to death in attack on drug rehab center in Mexico

Gunmen burst into an unregistered drug rehabilitation center in central Mexico and opened fire on Wednesday, killing 24 people and wounding seven, authorities said. Police in the north-central state of Guanajuato said the attack occurred in the city of Irapuato. Three of the seven wounded were reported in serious condition. Apparently the attackers shot everyone at the rehab center. State...

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Gas explosion at medical clinic kills 19 in Iran

TEHRAN: A gas explosion at a clinic in northern Tehran on Tuesday killed at least 19 people, Iran's semi-official news agency ISNA reported. The blast at Sina At'har health centre caused damage to buildings in the vicinity and sent a plume of thick black smoke into the night sky, state television reported. "An explosion was reported at 20:56 (1626 GMT) followed by...

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Nigar Johar appointed as first female lieutenant general by Pakistan Army

Lieutenant General Nigar Johar has become the first woman officer in the history of Pakistan Army to reach the three-star rank, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Tuesday. The newly appointed lieutenant general, who hails from the Panjpeer village in Swabi district, has been appointed as the first Surgeon General of Pakistan Army, the military's media wing added. https://twitter.com/OfficialDGISPR/status/1277921755466731521...

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6 cricketers cleared to tour England after second coronavirus test comes negative

Six Pakistan cricketers, including former captain Mohammad Hafeez, have been cleared to join rest of the team in England after returning a second negative result in Covid-19 tests, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Tuesday. Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz also tested negative for the second time in three days and will join...

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Vietnam grounds Pakistani pilots over dubious licence concerns

Vietnam’s aviation authority said on Monday it had grounded all Pakistani pilots working for local airlines, amid concern from global regulators that some pilots may have been using “dubious” licences. The issue of dubious licenses drew global attention after Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan in the National Assembly declared that 150 pilots of the national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines,...

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China sent martial artists, mountain climbers to India border before Ladakh clash

China's state media reported that it reinforced its troops at the Ladakh border with martial arts fighters and mountain climbers, before the deadly clash between Chinese and Indian troops that saw 20 Indian soldiers killed and others captured. Tensions are common between the two nuclear-armed neighbours in the mountainous border terrain, but this month's fighting was their deadliest encounter in...

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Russia offered Afghan militants bounties to kill American troops: NYT

WASHINGTON: A new report by the New York Times has alleged that Russia offered bounties to Afghan militants last year to kill American troops and other coalition forces. Citing officials briefed on the matter, the Times said the United States determined months ago that a Russian military intelligence unit linked to assassination attempts in Europe had offered rewards for successful attacks last year. Militants, or...

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