Saudi Arabia bans haj camel slaughter
JEDDAH • Saudi Arabia has banned the slaughter of camels during this year's haj pilgrimage, after a surge in deaths from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) virus linked to the animals.
Camels will not be allowed to enter the holy sites of Mecca and Medina, the Permanent Committee for Fatwa said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
Hundreds of thousands of faithful from around the world have begun to gather for the annual haj, which is expected to begin on Sept 21.
Najib to announce new economic measures
KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to announce measures to strengthen the economy tomorrow as falling commodity prices weigh on growth and the ringgit currency plumbs near 18-year lows.
Datuk Seri Najib is expected to announce the new measures at around 11.30am after a weekly meeting of the economic council tomorrow, officials at the Prime Minister's Office said yesterday.
Iran finds high reserve of uranium
DUBAI • Iran has discovered an unexpectedly high reserve of uranium and will soon begin extracting the radioactive element at a new mine, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation said yesterday.
The comments cast doubt on previous assessments from some Western analysts.
Any indication that Iran could become more self-sufficient will be closely watched by world powers, which reached a landmark deal with Teheran in July over its nuclear programme.
California approves assisted suicide Bill
SACRAMENTO • In a landmark victory for supporters of assisted suicide, the California state legislature has given final approval to a Bill that would allow doctors to help terminally ill people end their own lives. The Bill will now go to Governor Jerry Brown.
Four states - Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington - already allow physicians to prescribe life-ending medication to some patients.
NEW YORK TIMES