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LEBANON ORDERS 111 TOWNS CLOSED TO CURB PANDEMIC: Authorities on Friday ordered the lockdown of more than 100 towns and villages across Lebanon after hundreds of people tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days and amid a shortage of hospital beds. Outgoing Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi said in a statement the complete lockdown of 111 towns and villages will go into effect Sunday morning and last until Oct. 12. Lebanon has witnessed a sharp increase of cases in recent weeks with more than 40,000 cases registered since February in the small country of 5 million. The country has registered 386 deaths so far. On Friday, a new daily record was registered with 1,291 new cases over 24 hours, including 12 deaths, according to Lebanon's Health Ministry. The total registered cases now stand at 42,159.
Image Credit: AFP
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JORDAN CABINET RESIGNS: Jordan's King Abdullah accepts resignation of Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz but asked him to stay on as a caretaker premier until he designates a successor to oversee parliamentary elections on Nov. 10, state media said. The monarch dissolved parliament last Sunday at the end of its four-year term in a move that under constitutional rules meant the government had to resign within a week. A new government will pave the way for the November vote, as the country grapples with the rapid spread of COVID-19 infections over the last month that the last government had been widely criticised for.
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AN ARAB COUNTRY TOPPED THE LIST OF COFFEE CONSUMERS: One Arab country is among the most consuming countries of coffee. According to data published by the global website specialized in statistics and figures, "Statista", the Netherlands made on top of the list of the world's most coffee-consuming country, and at the Arab level, Lebanon is the country that came at top of the list. The Lebanese top the list of coffee consumers, at 5.3 kilograms annually per person, and thus they are the most consuming Arab nation
Image Credit: Pexels
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IN IRAQ'S MOSUL, NEW STATUES RISE FROM ASHES: As sunset nears, the residents of Iraq's Mosul flock to a golden-tinted statue of a woman looking out over their scarred city with an expression of steady defiance. It is one of a half-dozen works by local artists that have been erected across the northern Iraqi city since the Islamic State group lost control of it three years ago. The artworks are helping residents shake off memories of brutal punishments meted out by IS in squares and roundabouts, even as much of their city remains in ruins. "My Lovely Lady" was the first, erected in September 2018 in a traffic circle where IS fighters used to behead or lash residents who had broken its ultra-conservative rules. "By placing this statue here, I was trying to erase these dark, terrifying images from people's minds," said Omar Ibrahim, the 35-year-old artist behind the work.
Image Credit: AFP
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UMARAH PILGRIMS RETURN TO MECCA: Hundreds of resident pilgrims were welcomed in the holly city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to perform Umrah, Islam’s minor pilgrimage, amid strict health protocols to stem the spread of COVID-19, local media reported. Umrah pilgrims circled the sacred Kaaba - a cubic structure inside Mecca's Grand Mosque towards which Muslims around the world pray - along socially distant paths. The Kingdom is gradually resuming the year-round umrah pilgrimage for Muslims, seven months after it was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Image Credit: Reuters