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Mourners gather in Baghdad for Soleimani’s funeral procession

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TEHRAN QASEM SOLEIMANI PROTEST

Baghdad, Jan 4 A huge crowd of mourners gathered in Iraq’s capital Baghdad on Saturday to participate in a funeral procession for the Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump.

The crowd in Baghdad was also there to mourn the death of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Front (PMF), who was also killed in the Friday airstrike near the Baghdad International Airport, the BBC reported.

The gathering in Baghdad on Saturday marked the beginning of days of mourning for Soleimani, who was the head of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

Mourners started gathering in Baghdad from early Saturday morning, ahead of the start of the procession, waving Iraqi and militia flags and chanting “death to America”.

The procession then snaked though the streets, some carrying portraits of Soleimani and some of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Deputy Ambassador to Baghdad Mousa Tabatabaie told Tehran’s state-run IRNA news agency that funeral processions for Soleimani would also be held in the Iraqi holy cities of Najaf and Karbala on Saturday, reports Press TV.

Soleimani’s body will arrive in Iran on Saturday evening where authorities have declared three days of mourning.

According to Iran’s Mehr News Agency, a funeral procession for the IRGC commander will also take place in Tehran on Sunday morning, during which Khamenei will participate in a prayer ceremony.

The body will then be taken for burial in the city of Kerman, Soleimani’s birthplace.

Khamenei and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have vowed to retaliate against the US over Soleimani’s death.

Friday’s attack came after Iraqi protesters on Tuesday stormed the US embassy compound in Baghdad to protest the American air raids conducted on December 29 against five bases of Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria, claiming the lives of 25 people.

Disaster

US patient receives $840,000 bill for COVID-19 treatment

“It’s scary. I don’t care how much you have covered. It’s scary to see that kind of number and not really know.”

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US Dollar

Washington, May 31 : A high school teacher from the US state of Colorado was shocked to receive a medical bill of $840,000 for his treatment for COVID-19, local media reported.

The bill received by Robert Dennis, a Centennial High School teacher, covered Dennis’ time at Denver’s Sky Ridge hospital, where he was put on a ventilator in the intensive care unit for two weeks, reports Xinhua news agency.

However, what was not included was Dennis’ three weeks at Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital, or his wife’s trips to the emergency room when she was also fighting the virus.

The couple estimated that their total bills would top $1.5 million.

The couple had insurance and they planned to call to make sure that they were covered.

“Seeing that number yesterday for the first bill, it took your breath away again,” the wife said.

“It’s scary. I don’t care how much you have covered. It’s scary to see that kind of number and not really know.”

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Lifestyle

Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque reopens after 2 months

The Al-Aqsa mosque is part of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif compound, which is one of Islam’s holiest sites and the holiest site in Judaism.

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Masjid Al Aqsa

Jerusalem, May 31 : After remaining closed for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the compound of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, which is the third-holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, started welcoming worshippers from Sunday again.

Hundreds of people, many of whom wore protective masks, chanted “god is great” as they stood at the mosque’s wooden doors, while some kissed the ground, reports the BBC.

They were then greeted by mosque director Omar al-Kiswani, who thanked them for being patient.

The compound also houses the Dome of the Rock.

Prayers will be held in the open in marked sections, each holding up to 50 people, reports The Times of Israel.

The Al-Aqsa mosque is part of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif compound, which is one of Islam’s holiest sites and the holiest site in Judaism.

The site is a source of religious and political tension between Israelis and Palestinians and a frequent flashpoint for violence.

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Entertainment

Kendrick Sampson hit by rubber bullet at Los Angeles protest

In one video, LAPD officers can be seen firing rubber bullets to try and regain control at Pan Pacific Park.

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KENDRICK SAMPSON

Los Angeles, May 31 : “Insecure” actor Kendrick Sampson says he was hit by rubber bullets and even a police officer’s baton while protesting in California.

The “Vampire Diaries” star took to Instagram to show videos from marches in the Los Angeles area, reports usatoday.com.

“They’re gonna arrest all of us,” Sampson said in one video clip, adding: “Just to let y’all know, they’re telling us to disburse, but they boxed us in.”

The protests stemmed from the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.

In one video, LAPD officers can be seen firing rubber bullets to try and regain control at Pan Pacific Park.

“They shot me four times already. I already got hurt and I got hit with a baton,” Sampson said on Instagram.

Another video showed the actor backing away from the police, as he appeared to be hit by an officer’s baton, reports deadline.com.

aceY’all ain’t see no police f***ing up white folks when they took guns to the statehouse,” he said, while referring to an incident in Michigan over coronavirus restrictions, not in California.

“Ya all didn’t see police attacking white folks, beating em up with batons, shooting them with rubber bullets when they brought guns to f***ing state houses. We came up here with no weapons, with masks.a And we’re the ones who are not peaceful,” he added.

The actor also tagged “Black lives matter supporters”, and tweeted for elected officials to “defund police”, citing brutality in multiple cities across the US.

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