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Friday, October 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Very different, symbolic hajj in Saudi Arabia amid virus

Muslim pilgrims, donning face masks and moving in small groups after days in isolation, began arriving at Islam’s holiest site in Mecca on Wednesday for the start of a historically unique and scaled-down hajj experience reshaped by the coronavirus pandemic.

Surging U.S. virus cases raise fear that progress is slipping

World leaders must not politicize the coronavirus pandemic but unite to fight it, the head of the World Health Organization warned Monday, reminding all that the pandemic is still accelerating and producing record daily increases in infections.

U.S. Muslims try to balance Eid rituals with virus concerns

With no congregational prayers or family gatherings, Salsabiel Mujovic has been worried that this year’s Eid al-Fitr celebration will pale. Still, she’s determined to bring home holiday cheer amid the coronavirus gloom.

Saudi Arabia allows women to travel without male consent

Saudi Arabia on Friday published new laws that loosen restrictions on women by allowing all citizens – women and men alike – to apply for a passport and travel freely, ending a long-standing guardianship policy that had controlled women’s freedom of movement.

Syrian army declares victory as rebels vacate most of Ghouta

The Syrian army declared victory Saturday in eastern Ghouta after opposition fighters evacuated from most of the area near the capital except for the town of Douma, where negotiations are still underway for rebels there to leave or face an all-out government offensive.

3 Syrian rebel groups agree to Damascus truce

Three Syrian opposition factions have agreed to cease fire in southern Damascus under an agreement brokered by Egypt and Russia that was not signed by the Syrian government, officials said Thursday.

German runaway girl who converted to Islam is found in Iraq

A German girl who ran away from home after converting to Islam has been found as Iraqi forces liberated the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State extremists, German and Iraqi officials said Saturday. She is reported to be in good health and will be interrogated next week by Iraqi officials.

Rallies against Islamic law draw counter-protests across U.S.

Demonstrators at small but raucous gatherings around the country Saturday raised the specter that extremist interpretations of Islamic law might somehow spread across the U.S., but many of the rallies drew even more boisterous counter-protests by people who called such fears unfounded.

Germany’s Merkel to press Saudi Arabia on refugees, rights

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived on Sunday in Saudi Arabia, where she is expected to press royals on a number of sensitive issues, including taking in refugees, while also boosting important business ties in her first visit to the country in seven years.