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Ban on children at Haj under study ISLAMABAD: Senior Saudi pilgrimage officials are looking to ban children under 10 as a precautionary measure to protect them from the scorching summer heat.According to the proposal, children under the age of 10 will not be allowed to accompany their parents as they perform the Islamic ritual required of all adult Muslims at least once in their lives, The Gulf News reported.Officials at the Haj ministry said that children would face huge problems dealing with the high temperatures that reach 44 degrees in the summer months, local daily Al Watan reported.Pilgrimage was held this year in October, but with the Islamic calendar based on lunar months, the annual event will gradually be marked in the summer with soaring temperatures in the region. The Islamic calendar is made up of 354 days, 11 days short of the Gregorian year.The call to impose the ban was triggered by ministry reports that thousands ...

UN Security Council urges world to step up help to Iraq UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Friday urged the world to step up support for the Iraqi government and its security forces in their intensifying battle against fighters. In a unanimous statement, the 15-member council condemned the "vicious string of suicide, vehicle-borne and other attacks" in Baghdad and surrounding provinces carried out by the Islamic State (IS) organization. The council "urged the international community, in accordance with international law, to further strengthen and expand ...
Hajis stream into Madinah ISLAMABAD: An estimated 650,000 Hajis have already arrived in Madinah to visit the Prophet's Mosque since the Haj ended, with more expected over the coming days, according to officials.There was congestion on the Madinah-Makkah highway because of the increasing numbers of buses carrying pilgrims into the city. The security checkpoint at Kilo (meter) 9 has been staffed by special forces officers to inspect vehicles, limit the speed of vehicles and provide parking space for Saudi ...
Foreign Haj group leaders hail health services at holy sites ISLAMABAD: Haj groups leaders have hailed the exemplary health services rendered by the Saudi government during Haj this year."The efforts exerted by the Kingdom in the health sector are an honor for every Muslim. The hospitality shown to the guests of God is really unique," said Abdul-Malik Kuala, head of the Moroccan Haj Medical Mission, Arab news reported.Kuala pointed out that the quality and equality in therapeutic and health services provided to pilgrims were highly ...
Departing pilgrims face cap on Zam Zam water ISLAMABAD: Pilgrims returning home after completing Haj pilgrimage are becoming increasingly resentful of the five-liter cap on Zam Zam water imposed by the authorities.With the demand for the water from the holy fountain surging as pilgrims return home, the authorities have moved to increase the supplies of Zam Zam in Jeddah and Madinah, Arab news reported.While in Makkah, pilgrims have access to plentiful supplies of Zam Zam. However, the long tradition of carrying Zam Zam ...
Half a million pilgrims received medical treatment during Haj ISLAMABAD: Nearly half a million pilgrims made use of medical facilities that were available in Makkah and Madinah during Haj this year.Nineteen open heart surgeries were performed, Mansour Al-Hawasi, Deputy Health Minister for Health Affairs said.Al-Hawasi was addressing health officials here during an Eid party hosted by the Ministry of Health to thank health officials who were affiliated with the Haj program in both cities, Arab News reported.Some 22,000 health officials were deployed in the ...
Israel PM blames Palestinian 'extremists' for Jerusalem clashes JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday blamed "Palestinian extremists" for clashes at Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, denying that Israel was behind mounting tensions at the site."Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo exactly as it's been for many decades. What we're seeing is Palestinian extremists who are instigating violence through incitement," he said in the presence of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014 ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 20, 2014
Reserves $13.436 bln