ARTS & CULTURE | India Puts Back Taj Mahal Reopening Citing COVID-19 Risks

NEW DELHI – India has withdrawn a planned reopening of the Taj Mahal, citing the risk of new coronavirus infections spreading in the northern city of Agra from visitors flocking to see the 17th century monument to love.

Local authorities issued a new advisory late on Sunday ordering an extension of lockdown curbs on monuments in and around Agra. The government order did not specify the duration of the lockdown for monuments that have been closed since March.

‘In the interest of the public, it has been decided that opening monuments in Agra will not be advisable as of now’, the district authorities said in a notice published in Hindi.

Agra, one of India’s first big clusters of the virus, remains the worst – affected city in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state.

It was immediately not clear whether the federal government would scrap its plans to reopen other monuments across the country, such as New Delhi’s historic Red Fort.

Infections At Record High

India’s coronavirus infections are rising at the fastest pace in three months.

On Sunday, the health ministry reported single-day spike of 24,850 new cases and more than 600 deaths. That pushed India’s overall tally to 673,165 cases, closing in on Russia, the third-most affected country globally.

But the government has been lifting a vast lockdown of India’s 1.3 billion people that has left tens of thousands without work and shuttered  businesses.

While international flights remain suspended, domestic travel has been opened up, and the government is hoping visitors will start to trickle back to some popular  destinations.

Containment zones, areas identified as most affected by the virus, remain under strict lockdown, with restricted access and movement of only essential goods and services.

‘We don’t expect visitors here because clusters around the Taj, including shops and hotels are closed’, a local district administration official said in Agra.


Travel | Honduras To Reopen Domestic And International Flights In Mid-August

MILAN | ITALY – Honduras announced Tuesday it will reopen its airports to domestic and international flights in mid-August, after a nearly five-month closure due to the pandemic. The reopening of the airport is part of the government’s efforts to reactivate the economy, which is expected to contract between 7% and 8%, according to the … Continue reading Travel | Honduras To Reopen Domestic And International Flights In Mid-August

BREAKING NEWS | Trump Says Beirut Explosion Seems To Be ‘Bomb Of Some King’

MILAN | ITALY – President Donald Trump on Tuesday cast a massive explosion that killed dozens of people and wounded thousands in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, as a possible attack and offered U.S. help. ‘The United States ready to assist Lebanon’, Trump said at a White House briefing. ‘We will be there to help. It looks … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Trump Says Beirut Explosion Seems To Be ‘Bomb Of Some King’

BREAKING NEWS | Trump Says U.S. Ready To Assist Lebanon After ‘Terrible Attack’

MILAN | ITALY – President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he sent his sympathies to Lebanon for the dozens of people killed and thousands wounded in a massive explosion in Beirut, which he cast as an attack, and offered U.S. help. ‘The United States stands ready to assist Lebanon’, Trump said at a White House … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Trump Says U.S. Ready To Assist Lebanon After ‘Terrible Attack’

BREAKING NEWS | U.K. PM Johnson Offers Support To Beirut After Massive Blast

LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain stood ready to provide any support it could to help Beirut after a massive explosion in the city’s port area killed 25 people and injured more than 2,500. ‘The pictures and videos from Beirut  tonight are shocking’, Johnson wrote on Twitter. ‘All of my thoughts and prayer … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | U.K. PM Johnson Offers Support To Beirut After Massive Blast

BREAKING NEWS | Massive Blast Rips Through Beirut, Killing 50 And Injuring Thousands

BEIRUT | LEBANON – A huge explosion in port warehouses near central Beirut Killed more than 50 people, injured over 2,750 and sent shockwaves that shattered windows, smashed masonry and shook the ground across the Lebanese capital. Officials expected the death toll to rise further after Tuesday’s blast as emergency workers dug through rubble to … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Massive Blast Rips Through Beirut, Killing 50 And Injuring Thousands

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Following With Great Concern Consequences Of Beirut’s Explosion: SPA

RIYADH  | SAUDI ARABIA – Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that is it following with great concern the consequences of Beirut’s port explosion, according to the state news agency. The statement also affirmed the kingdom’s full support and solidarity with the Lebanese people. The death toll from a massive explosion in Beirut  on … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Arabia Following With Great Concern Consequences Of Beirut’s Explosion: SPA

TRAVEL | Jordan Delays Resuming International Flight After COVID-19 Surge Abroad

AMMAN – Jordan on Tuesday postponed a resumption of international flight services that was planned for Wednesday almost five months after they were suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, officials said. Civil Aviation Commission chief Haitham Mistro has announced last month that Queen Alia International Airport outside the capital Amman would reopen on Aug.5 for … Continue reading TRAVEL | Jordan Delays Resuming International Flight After COVID-19 Surge Abroad

SPORT | Red Card For Virus As Saudi Pro League Returns With Riyadh Derby

RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – The most popular rivalry in the Saudi Pro League (SPL) will take center stage as Al-Nassr host Al-Hilal on Wednesday, with safety precautions to allow the safe return of football in the Kingdom. The eagerness for football’s return will be highlighted when players arrive fully kitted at King Fahd Stadium, … Continue reading SPORT | Red Card For Virus As Saudi Pro League Returns With Riyadh Derby

ROYALS | Former King Juan Carlos To Leave Spain Amid Corruption Allegations

MADRID – Spain’s former king Juan Carlos has told his son, King Felipe, that he is leaving the country, the Royal House said on Monday, in a dramatic move designed to protect the monarchy after corruption allegations against him surfaced. In June, the Spanish Supreme Court opened an investigation into Juan Carlos’s involvement in a … Continue reading ROYALS | Former King Juan Carlos To Leave Spain Amid Corruption Allegations

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