August 23 is first day of Dul-Hijjah month: Saudi Supreme Court

Updated 22 August 2017
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August 23 is first day of Dul-Hijjah month: Saudi Supreme Court

JEDDAH: The first day of the Islamic month of Dul-Hijjah this year is August 23, Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court declared on Tuesday.
The court issued the announcement after validating the testimony of a number of witnesses who said they have sighted the crescent of the month of Dul-Hijjah.
In accordance with the top court’s declaration, Hajj will begin on August 30, during which millions of pilgrims will gather in Mina, spend a day and night there in worship and meditation.
Arafat Day will be on August 31, when pilgrims will stand in prayer on the mount of Arafat near Makkah at the climax of the annual pilgrimage.
Eid Al-Ahda, or the Feast of Sacrifice, follows September 1, a Friday.
As of Tuesday, August 22, a total of 1,253,759 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom through airports, seaports and land crossings. The figure represents an increase of 269,141 pilgrims (27 percent) compared to last year’s figure, according to the Passports Directorate.


US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

Updated 18 November 2018
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US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

  • A US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case
  • ‘The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts’

JEDDAH: The US government denied on Saturday it had reached a final conclusion over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi after a US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case. 
“Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
“There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts,” she said.
“In the meantime, we will continue to consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.”

But President Donald Trump told reporters on Saturday that his administration would get “a very full report,” including who was responsible for Khashoggi’s death, on Monday or Tuesday.
The Washington Post published an article citing anonymous sources, who it says are close to the CIA which suggests the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing — something Saudi Arabia vehemently denies.
The Kingdom’s public prosecutor on Thursday released details of its investigation, saying the decision to kill the journalist was made by the head of a rogue mission during an attempt to repatriate him. The prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five of the suspects. 
On Saturday, Donald Trump spoke with CIA Director Gina Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from Air Force One, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. 
Trump praised US relations with Saudi Arabia when he was asked about the case. Saudi Arabia is “a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development,” the US president said.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman, strongly denied the Washington Post story, and said he did not tell Khashoggi to go to Turkey, as the report claimed. 
“I never talked to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to Turkey for any reason. I ask the US government to release any information regarding this claim,” Prince Khalid said
Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States, was a columnist for the Post.
He was killed on Oct. 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after he went to get marriage documents.