United States’ President Joe Biden plans to withdraw the remaining U.S troops from Afghanistan by Sept 11, 2021, ending the 20 years presence of American forces in the Middle Eastern country since the 9/11 attack by al Qaeda. According to Reuters, U.S Secretary of State, Antony Blinken and U.S Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin are expected to brief NATO allies on Wednesday in Brussels, while the president may also make a public announcement on the decision. Also, a senior Biden administration official said “The president has judged that a conditions-based approach, which has been the approach of the past two decades, is a recipe in staying in Afghanistan forever.”
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has on Monday said only people immunized against COVID-19 will be allowed to perform the year-round Umrah pilgrimage from the Beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan. The country’s Hajj and Umrah ministry stated this in a statement explaining that there are three categories of people considered to be “immunised”, those who have been administered with the two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, people who have received a single dose of the vaccine at least 14 days prior and people who have recovered from the infection.
The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis and Iraq's top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani held a landmark interfaith meeting in the holy city of Najaf on Saturday 6 of March 2021. The religious leaders delivered a powerful message of peaceful coexistence between Muslims in the war-weary Arab nation and their long-beleaguered Christian minority.
An Indonesian Roman Catholic Cathedral in the eastern City of Makassar was rocked by an explosion on Sunday, causing a ruckus during the Palm Sunday mass. Though no Churchgoers were killed, 14 were injured and treated at the Makassar hospital.
The explosion occurred around the gate of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral. Shortly before the bombing, two people on a motorcycle were stopped by security personnel, who suspected they were targeting the church around the end of the Palm Sunday mass.
Myanmar’s largest trade unions have begun a widespread strike in the latest attempt to pressure the military to relinquish power after seizing power in a coup on February 1. At least 18 labour organisations representing industries including construction, agriculture, and manufacturing on Monday called on workers “union and non-union alike” to halt work to reverse the February 1 coup and restore Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government to power. The unions in a joint statement said “We are not content simply to create martyrs in the struggle for Myanmar democracy,” “We must win this struggle, and the extended nationwide work stoppage is the path to the people’s victory.”
Eighteen people have been confirmed dead and at least 200 people missing on Monday following the flood in Uttarakhand, India, suspected to have been caused by a chunk of glacier breaking off, the Uttarakhand State Government said. The water and debris shot down a tight valley in the Himalayan North region of India on Sunday, destroying roads, bridges and hitting two hydroelectric power plants. “There was a cloud of dust as the water went by. The ground shook like an earthquake,” a resident said. According to the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Trivendra Singh Rawat, most of the people missing were working at the power plants when they incident occurred, trapping them in two tunnels that were cut off by the flood, mud and rocks.