Latest Mecca News

South Korean police officers wearing face masks and face shields to help protect against the spread of the coronavirus, walk in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. Seoul city temporarily banned outdoor rallies with 10 or more people over infection risks against the spread of the coronavirus. South Korea's new coronavirus daily tally has remained in two digits for a third straight day as authorities called for public vigilance during one of the country's biggest holidays. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The Latest: S. Korea reports virus numbers trending lower

Oct. 4, 2020 9:42 PM EDT

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 73 new cases of the coronavirus, its fifth straight day of below 100, although officials expressed concern that could rise because of increased travel during a five-day holiday period that ended Sunday. The figures released by the Korea Disease Control and...

CLARIFIES THAT THE UMRAH PILGRIMAGE CAN BE UNDERTAKEN AT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR -- In this photo released by Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, Muslims practice social distancing while praying around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque during the first day umrah pilgrimages were allowed to restart, in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. The umrah pilgrimage, or smaller pilgrimage, can be undertaken at any time of the year. A very small, limited number of people donning the white terrycloth garment symbolic of the Muslim pilgrimage circled Islam's holiest site in Mecca on Sunday after Saudi Arabia lifted coronavirus restrictions that had been in place for months. (Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah via AP)

Pilgrims return to Mecca as Saudi eases virus restrictions

Oct. 4, 2020 9:43 AM EDT

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A very small, limited number of people on Sunday donned the white terrycloth garment symbolic of the Muslim pilgrimage and circled Islam's holiest site in Mecca, after Saudi Arabia lifted coronavirus restrictions that had been in place for months. The kingdom had taken the rare...

In this image made from UNTV video, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, at UN headquarters. (UNTV via AP)

Saudi king's rare address to UN showcases monarch in charge

Sep. 23, 2020 3:32 PM EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s King Salman made a rare address to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, using the moment to highlight the foundational notions of his regime — his steadfast commitment to the Palestinians, his stature as custodian of Islam’s holiest...

FILE - In this May 25, 2019 file photo, Muslim worshippers circumambulate the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, during the minor pilgrimage, known as Umrah in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Authorities on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, released new details on how it plans to gradually allow Muslims back to Islam's holiest site in Mecca to perform the smaller-year-round pilgrimage, which has been suspended for the past seven months due to the coronavirus (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

Saudi Arabia to lift ban on Mecca pilgrimage amid virus

Sep. 22, 2020 5:17 PM EDT

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia on Tuesday said Muslims will be allowed to perform the smaller, year-round pilgrimage starting Oct. 4 as the kingdom gradually begins lifting restrictions that had been in place on Islam's holiest site for the past seven months due to the coronavirus. State media...

FILE - In this May 25, 2019 file photo, Muslim worshippers circumambulate the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, during the minor pilgrimage, known as Umrah in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Authorities on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, released new details on how it plans to gradually allow Muslims back to Islam's holiest site in Mecca to perform the smaller-year-round pilgrimage, which has been suspended for the past seven months due to the coronavirus (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

Saudi Arabia to launch app for Mecca pilgrims amid virus

Sep. 21, 2020 10:45 AM EDT

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia on Monday released new details on how it plans to gradually allow Muslims back to Islam's holiest site in Mecca to perform the smaller, year-round pilgrimage, which has been suspended for the past seven months due to the coronavirus. Hajj Minister Muhammad Benten...