UAE to gradually reopen mosques, churches on July 1

The UAE said it was committed to cooperate with the international community to overcome COVID-19. (File/AFP)
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Updated 30 June 2020

UAE to gradually reopen mosques, churches on July 1

  • The mosques and churches can operate at 30 percent capacity
  • The country also announced the return of federal government staff to their offices

DUBAI: The UAE announced it will reopen mosques and other places of worship across the Gulf country on July 1 at 30 percent capacity, state news agency WAM reported.

The new decision excludes prayer areas on highways, industrial zones, labor camps, commercial centers, and parks.

It comes as the country works to return to normal life following the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The country also announced the return of federal government staff to their offices while adhering to health guidelines to avoid a new wave of infections.

Meanwhile, the UAE said it was committed to cooperate with the international community to overcome COVID-19.

Since March, the Gulf nation has assisted more than a million medical workers through aid including the supply of personal protective equipment.

“Today’s milestone of assisting 1 million healthcare workers affirms the UAE’s commitment to extending a hand of cooperation to the world, regardless of the religion, race, or ideology of recipients,” Reem bint Ibrahim Al-Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, said.

The number of people infected with the coronavirus in the UAE’s is 48,246, although more than 37,000 have recovered. But 314 people have died of the virus in the country.


Israel launches new spy satellite

Updated 06 July 2020

Israel launches new spy satellite

  • Israel has long sworn to prevent its nemesis from obtaining atomic weapons
  • Its latest asset to be deployed against arch-enemy Iran

JERUSALEM: Israel launched a new reconnaissance satellite early Monday, the defense ministry said, its latest asset to be deployed against arch-enemy Iran.
“The Israel Ministry of Defense and Israel Aerospace Industries have successfully launched the ‘Ofek 16’ reconnaissance satellite” at 4:00 am local time (0100 GMT), the ministry said in a statement.
The “electro-optical reconnaissance satellite with advanced capabilities... will undergo a series of tests,” it added.
Minister of Defense and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz hailed the development.
“The successful launch of the ‘Ofek 16’ satellite overnight is yet another extraordinary achievement” for Israel’s defense sector, he said.
“Technological superiority and intelligence capabilities are essential to the security of the State of Israel... We will continue to strengthen and maintain Israel’s capabilities on every front, in every place.”
Neither statement gave further details on the satellite’s mission, but Israeli public radio said it would be used to monitor Iran’s nuclear activities.
Israel has long sworn to prevent its nemesis from obtaining atomic weapons.
The Islamic republic denies its nuclear program has any military dimension.