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Russia: U.S. closure of diplomatic sites a ‘blatantly hostile act’

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(Last Updated On: September 4, 2017)

Moscow denounced the American decision to close three Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States as a “blatantly hostile act” that violated international law and demanded Washington reverse the order.

The United States has ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco and two buildings housing trade missions in Washington and New York. It is the latest broadside in a tit-for-tat exchange between the countries that has helped push relations towards a new post-Cold War low.

Russian diplomats were working to vacate the properties over the weekend, including the six-story consulate.

Relations between the two nations have been badly strained since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the subsequent separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, developments which led Washington to impose sanctions on Russia.

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Updates on protests over George Floyd’s killing – USA

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(Last Updated On: June 4, 2020)

All four Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s death have been charged, an Aljazeera report.

According to the report, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second-degree murder, up from third-degree murder. He also faces a second-degree manslaughter charge.

In the meantime, the other three are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

On the other hand, the US President Donald Trump has been criticized by his former defense secretary, James Mattis, who said he was trying to divide the nation.

Also, Trump’s current defense chief, Mark Esper, has said he opposed Trump’s threat to send in the military to control the unrest.

The report indicates that the protesters have remained undeterred by curfews and the presence of the US National Guard in some cities.

“Those protesting against police brutality have been met with, at times, excessive force by authorities,” the report reveals.

It is also said that some journalists have also been targeted by police.

There are reports of officers getting injured as well in the protests.

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Footballers ‘take a knee’ in commemoration of George Floyd

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

Liverpool players in a training session took a knee at the center circle at Anfield stadium.

Following the death of George Floyd and nationwide protests in the USA, Liverpool football players took a knee at Anfield Stadium on Monday in a gesture of support and unity, said an Aljazeera report.

The players posted a picture of the act on their social media accounts with the caption “Unity is strength #BlackLivesMatter”.

This was an act to show the solidarity of Liverpool players to the death of George Floyd who was killed in police custody.

Marcus Rashford, Manchester United forward also reacted to the death of George Floyd.

“Black lives matter. Black culture matters. Black communities matter. We matter,” Rashford wrote.

Apart from the Premier League, in Bundesliga, the Borussia Dortmund players Jadon Sancho and Ashraf Hakimi wore shirts on Sunday with the message “Justice for George Floyd” in a match.

It is to be recalled that Floyd died May 25 in Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on the Black man’s neck.

Floyd’s death has been followed by nationwide protests and chaos in the United States.

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Al-Aqsa Mosque reopens to worshippers – Jerusalem

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(Last Updated On: May 31, 2020)

After over two months of lockdown for the Coronavirus, Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound has been reopened, international news agencies.

The Council of Islamic Waqf, which oversees Muslim sites on the complex, said the restriction was lifted after the virus’ spread slowed down locally.

The council also imposed some precautionary measures to reduce the risk of contagion at Islam’s third-holiest site.

That is, worshippers must wear face masks and bring personal prayer rugs should they wish to pray in the mosque or on the grounds.

It worth mentioning that the Al-Aqsa Mosque which is located in the Old City of Jerusalem, is the third holiest site in Islam.

The mosque was built on top of the Temple Mount, known as the Al Aqsa Compound or Haram-e-Sharif in Islam.

Celebrating the reopening, dozens of Muslims gathered in front of the large wooden doors, pronouncing, “God is greatest, we will protect Al-Aqsa with our soul and blood.”

Reportedly, the resumption of prayers capped a somber period for Jerusalem’s Muslims, who this year marked the fasting month of Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr holiday without their usual daily visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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