The potential for expansion is significant, says Steffen Hertog, associate professor at the London School of Economics. He said pilgrims could, for example, be encouraged to extend their trips around the country to visit other religious sites or take part in recreation, especially during the year-round small pilgrimage, Umrah, when the bottlenecks associated with the Hajj can be avoided.
The number of pilgrims has dropped significantly during the pandemic, but the government plans to welcome 30 million pilgrims by 2030, an ambitious figure some analysts say.
According to Hertog, the pilgrimage drained public finances due to infrastructure, maintenance and security costs, but it generated a lot of money for the private sector.
Saudi authorities did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
The only threat to Saudi Arabia’s ambitions to capitalize on the pilgrimage “is the decline in religiosity around the world,” Al-Ubaidly said. “But as long as Muslims continue to want to visit these places, they will represent a huge economic opportunity for Saudi Arabia.”
Nadine Ebrahim of CNN contributed to this report.
Iran makes demands for nuclear talks, US says
- Background: The latest round of indirect talks between Iran and the US took place in Doha, Qatar. last week with the mediation of the European Union. The talks were the last hope that both sides would reach an agreement that would revive the 2015 nuclear deal aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear weapons capabilities. However, the two-day talks stalled, with Mulley calling them “a waste of time”.
- Why is it important: Iran is gradually approaching the level of enrichment needed to build a nuclear bomb, and Malli said it would only take them “a few weeks” to reach it. “Sooner or later they will have to make a decision,” Mulley said, “because at some point the deal will be a thing of the past.”
Ben & Jerry’s sues Unilever to block sale of Israeli business
- Background: On Tuesday, a Vermont ice cream maker filed a complaint in US District Court in New York, where it is seeking an injunction against Unilever “to protect the brand and social integrity of Ben & Jerry’s, which took decades to build.” Last week, Unilever announced that it had sold Ben & Jerry’s Israeli business for an undisclosed amount to American Quality Products (AQP), which distributes ice cream in Israel.
- Why is it important: Since 2021, Ben & Jerry’s has been vehemently opposed to selling its products in the West Bank, saying it would be “incompatible” with the brand. Ben & Jerry’s has been doing business in Israel since 1987 but has come under pressure in recent years for selling in West Bank settlements, which is considered illegal under international law.
Nazi war criminal Eichmann heard bragging about his role in the Holocaust in audio recordings
Audio recordings of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann bragging about his role in the Holocaust have surfaced. Recordings made in 1957 show Eichmann hailing his role in the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jewish people.
- Background: Eichmann was captured by Israeli secret agents in Argentina in 1960 and brought to Israel, where he stood trial for crimes against humanity. In his defense, he claimed that he was only following orders and that key decisions were made by other, more senior Nazi leaders. Eichmann was tried and executed in 1962.
- Why is it important: The recordings, which have lain in German archives for decades, have been shown for the first time as part of a new documentary about Eichmann called Confessions of the Devil. He can be heard saying that denying that the Nazis did anything wrong would be contrary to his most intimate beliefs. “If we killed 10.3 million Jews, I would say with satisfaction: “Okay, we have destroyed the enemy.” Then we would have fulfilled our mission,” he said.
The third racket of the world overcame a nervous start and beat Marie Buzkova 3:6, 6:1, 6:1 on Center Court.
Reaching the final four, she said that for her personally it was a long time ago.
“I have long hoped that I could get to this stage. Several times I fought in the quarterfinals,” Jabeur told reporters afterwards.
“I had a little talk with (former world number 22) Hisham Arazi and he told me, ‘The Arabs always lose in the quarter-finals and we’re sick of it. Please break it down,” she added.
This week, Algeria celebrated 60 years of independence from France after a bloody war of independence that has yet to heal.
France began its rule of Algiers in 1830. The city of Algiers was initially taken by the French as a military measure, but as more settlers began to arrive under French protection, France’s borders continued to expand.
In 1954, the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) was formed as a partisan group to liberate the country from the colonialists. This started an uprising that lasted for the next seven years, known as the Algerian War, which led to France granting independence to Tunisia and Morocco in exchange for the militarization of their borders with Algeria.
On March 16, 1962, an agreement was signed in France promising Algerian independence before a national referendum was held, and on July 5, Algeria celebrated independence from France.