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For the First time, Saudi Arabia to Introduce Physical Education Programs in Girls’ Schools

In Saudi Arabia, women cannot drive or travel outside the country without a family member or guardian, which greatly limit their participation in social life and in the public sphere

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Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Wikimedia

Riyadh, July 12, 2017: The Saudi Arabian minister of education decided on Tuesday to start a physical education program in girls’ schools for the first time in Saudi Arabia, starting in the next school year.

In a statement published by the Saudi Press, Ahmed Al-Eissa said that the programme is designed according to the rules of sharia (Islamic law) and will be applied gradually according to the logistics of each school, until facilities in schools are prepared to accommodate such a programme.

The ministerial decision also includes the formation of a committee to oversee the program and work with universities to prepare women specialists who will contribute to the introduction of the innovative plan.

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In the ultra-conservative country, these types of classes were banned until in 2013 the ministry of education announced that it was developing this program and training 9,000 physical education teachers.

In recent months, local NGOs have pressured the authorities to start the program as soon as possible, as the rate of obesity among women has reached 62 percent.

In Saudi Arabia, women cannot drive or travel outside the country without a family member or guardian, among other restrictions that greatly limit their participation in social life and in the public sphere. (IANS)

 

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Is Islamic Law Above Civil Law in Indonesia’s Aceh Province?

Aceh is the only region in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country of Indonesia, that imposes Islamic law

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Aceh is the only region in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country of Indonesia, that imposes Islamic law.

By Kashish Rai

Recently on 21st April 2020, six people were flogged in Indonesia’s Aceh Province for violating Islamic Law in an indoor ceremony which was scaled down due to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic.

Aceh is the only region in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country of Indonesia, that imposes Islamic law. About 98% of Aceh’s five million residents are Muslims and therefore subject to the law, known locally as Qanun.

The practice of flogging is taken into practice for some actions which are Considered as offences in the region at the tip of Sumatra island, which includes drinking alcohol, gambling, adultery  and having gay or pre-marital sex.

Previously, public caning has been livestreamed and uploaded on the Internet, drawing international criticism.

The public canings in Aceh Province attract a large number of spectators witnessing this pitiable event and taking pictures on their phones, but this time the event had a handful of people there.

Out of the total 6 people who were flogged, one unmarried couple was ferociously punished after they were caught together in a hotel room, while the other four were flogged 40 times each for drinking alcohol.

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You can watch the video here:

The point of the matter is that, even at this crucial time when the world is suffering a global Pandemic, the Aceh Province of Indonesia considers religious law above any other code of conduct! The social distancing guidelines that has been issued globally has become a matter of no concern here.

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Recently on 21st April 2020, six people were flogged in Indonesia’s Aceh Province for violating Islamic Law in an indoor ceremony which was scaled down due to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. VOA

You can see in the video that through many of those watching this brutal act were wearing masks, while the cane-wielding enforcer wears a covering hoodie in any case – but pitifully, not all of the victims had their face covered.

The Rights groups in Indonesia and elsewhere have slammed public caning as cruel, and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has called for it to end, but the practice has wide support among Aceh’s population.

There are many cases associated with this practice of flogging. This video which was released two years back explains the plight of this heinous act where the people get subjected to canning publically.

Watch This Video From 2018: 

There are two questions that come up in the way, well, can we draw a conclusion forth that the Acehan Islamists consider the religion above humanity and human life? Is there no concern left for others’ safety during the time of such a deadly Pandemic?

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At this point of time, any religion shouldn’t be considered above humanity and the dignity and safety of humankind. This practice of flogging is indeed an atrocious act which shouldn’t be given mere importance.  The need of the hour is to ensure others’ safety and not being subjective of what needs to be done for vested interests.

 

 

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Know About the Concern Over Fluctuating Oil Prices due to Coronavirus Outbreak

Global Stock Markets Plummet on Oil Price Drop, Coronavirus Fears

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Stock markets plummeted across the world, plunging on dual concerns over oil prices and the economic effects of the coronavirus. Pixabay

By Ken Bredemeier

Stock markets plummeted across the world Monday, plunging on dual concerns over oil prices and the economic effects of the coronavirus that has spread to more than 100 countries. This is a breaking news.

Key exchanges in New York fell more than 7% Monday, following a 5% drop in some Asian markets, while European markets closed down about 8%.

The widely watched Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 key U.S. stocks closed down more than 2,000 points Monday for a loss of 7.9% while the S&P 500 fell 7.6%.

The steep decline at the New York Stock Exchange triggered an automatic 15-minute halt in trading to temporarily limit losses to 7%, a provision last employed in December 2008 in the depths of the recession.

Investors were spooked by plunging oil prices, with Brent crude, the world benchmark, falling more than 24% to $34.36 a barrel, on top of the coronavirus fears sweeping the globe. U.S. oil prices for West Texas Intermediate, a Texas light sweet crude, dropped nearly 25% to $31.13 a barrel.

The world prices of oil fell on fears that Saudi Arabia, launching a price war with one-time ally Russia, would flood the world market with oil in a bid to regain market share.

The plunge in oil prices was the worst since the Gulf War in 1991. Strategists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warned oil prices could fall into the $20s.

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U.S. oil prices for West Texas Intermediate, a Texas light sweet crude, dropped nearly 25% to $31.13 a barrel. Pixabay

Volatility has consumed markets around the world amid the coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 108,000 people and killed more than 3,800 people. At least 10 billion shares have traded on U.S. exchanges each day for two weeks.

U.S. stocks are now down 19% from a peak they reached last month.

U.S. President Donald Trump offered his rosy assessment of the stock market plunge and dropping oil prices, saying on Twitter, “Good for the consumer, gasoline prices coming down!”

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More broadly, he laid the blame for falling stock prices: “Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil. That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop!” (VOA)

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$20M Saudi Cup Attracts 143 Potential Entrants

With the inaugural running of the Saudi Cup scheduled to take place on February 29 2020

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Saudi Arabia is going to organize the world's richest horse-race event. (Representational Image). Pixabay

In August 2019 it was announced that a new race at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh had been created. But what made this particular race stand out amount its competitors was the staggering prize fund on offer. 

With the inaugural running of the Saudi Cup scheduled to take place on February 29 2020, $20 million is up for grabs. This will make it the richest race in the world, overshadowing the Pegasus World Cup Invitational which had a purse of $16m in 2018 and the Dubai World Cup which is worth $12m. 

Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia chairman Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal declared that the Saudi Cup is being designed to be long-lasting as well as lucrative. The prestigious race will also be limited to 14 invited runners. 

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This is a major coup for the Saudi’s who have been steadily trying to attract big sporting events to their country including boxer Anthony Joshua’s most recent heavy weight win against Andy Ruiz Jr. Wikimedia Commons

For those that do get the golden ticket to run in the Saudi Cup, the benefits keep coming. Not only is race entry free but the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia will pay for all shipping of horses as well as travel and accommodation for connections.  

This is a major coup for the Saudi’s who have been steadily trying to attract big sporting events to their country including boxer Anthony Joshua’s most recent heavy weight win against Andy Ruiz Jr. 

Given the money being pumped into the newly created Saudi Cup it will definitely attract a huge world wide audience. Maybe not as many as the 600 million viewers who tune in to watch the Grand National at Aintree every year but over time this new race will find its fans. And with $10 million going to the winner of the race, only the best thoroughbreds in the world will be running. 

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The prestigious race Saudi Cup will be limited to 14 invited runners. (Representational Image). Pixabay

So with the first ever Saudi Cup taking place in a matter of weeks, the race to get one of the 14 spots has already begun. A total of 143 horses have been put forward representing four continents, 16 countries and more than 60 trainers around the globe including huge industry names such as Saeed bin Suroor, Aidan O’Brien, Willie Mullins and Satish Seemar. The entrants include 32 Group or Grade 1 winners with plenty of American representation from the likes of Maximum Security, Midnight Bisou and McKinzie. 

Held four weeks after the Pegasus World Cup Invitational in Florida , it is also expected that the top three finishers in that race will also be issued invites even if they are not among the initial entrants. From there, entries will be whittled down to final fields, based on ratings allocated by former BHA senior handicapper, Phil Smith who spent most of his career being famous for handicapping the Grand National in England. 

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So who will race away with the $10M on February 29 2020? That is still unknown but as the entries get reduced over the next few weeks the picture will become a lot clearer. Will the Saudi Cup bring in the worldwide horse racing audience that it so desperately craves? Quite possibly, if only to witness history in the making as one horse wins the biggest race in the world.