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Top headlines: Abu Dhabi students to return to schools in Sept; First day of Eid Al Adha announced; Saudi King in stable condition after being admitted to hospital

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on July 21, 2020 | Last updated on July 21, 2020 at 06.28 pm

A summary of stories that made the top headlines over the last 24 hours.

Abu Dhabi students to return to schools in September

Students in Abu Dhabi will return to schools next academic year as the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) has given a green signal to continue in-classroom learning.

Adek has issued comprehensive reopening policies and guidelines to ensure the safest possible return for the Emirate's students and teachers from the beginning of the new academic year.

Eid Al Adha: Saudi Arabia announces first day of Islamic holiday

Saudi Arabia's Supreme Court on Monday said that the Day of Arafat will fall on Thursday (July 30) and that the Eid Al Adha holiday will be on Friday, July 31.

The kingdom also has announced Eid Al Adha holiday dates for the employees of the private and public sectors, the State-owned Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Monday.

Employees working in the country's private sector will get four days off, from July 30 until August 2.

Zul Hijjah crescent sighted in UAE, Eid Al Adha likely on July 31

The crescent moon of the month of Zul Hijjah 1441 AH was spotted in UAE skies on Tuesday, according to the International Astronomical Centre.

A picture of the crescent - sighted on Tuesday (July 21) at 11:30am from the top of Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain - was tweeted by the centre today.

Determining the start of the month would establish the dates of Eid Al Adha, which is celebrated on the 10th of the month.

Covid-19 test must for teachers, students before returning to campus

Students, teachers and administrative staff returning to UAE schools and colleges in the new academic year will need to undergo a Covid-19 test, an Arabic daily has reported. This is among the four conditions specified by the Ministry of Education for education institutes to reopen, Al Roeya reported on Tuesday.

The Covid-19 tests will be conducted in phases from August 16 in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Prevention.

Saudi King Salman in stable condition after being admitted to hospital

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia is in stable condition, three Saudi sources said, after the 84-year-old monarch was admitted to hospital in Riyadh on Monday with what state media said was inflammation of the gall bladder.

Three well-connnected Saudi sources who declined to be identified, two of whom were speaking late on Monday and one on Tuesday, told Reuters the king was "fine".

Saudi Arabia confirms scaled-down Haj pilgrimage start date

This year's Haj, which has been scaled back dramatically to include only around 1,000 Muslim pilgrims as Saudi Arabia battles a coronavirus surge, will begin on July 29, authorities said Monday.

Some 2.5 million people from all over the world usually participate in the ritual that takes place over several days, centred on the holy city of Mecca.

Dubai's Emaar eliminates job titles of all staff, including Mohamed Alabbar's

In a surprise move, Dubai-based real estate developer Emaar has informed its staff about the abolishment of all job titles, including that of the chairman.

In an internal mail seen by Khaleej Times, Mohamed Alabbar said job titles will no longer exist at the property giant. Going forward, business cards will simply state the name and the department of Emaar employees.

"When you reach the end of this email, you will notice something different. I have no job title. And from this moment onwards, nor do you," Alabbar said in the email.

Two Covid-19 vaccines keep hopes alive

Two Covid-19 vaccine candidates have proven safe for humans and produced strong immune reactions among patients involved in two separate clinical trials, doctors said on Monday.

The studies, published in The Lancet medical journal, constitute a major step on the road towards a Covid-19 vaccine that is effective and safe for widespread use.

The Oxford team found that among the 500 or so patients given a single dose of the vaccine - developed jointly with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca - their immune response peaked around 14 days and decreased slightly by day 56, the end of the study period.

US records more than 60,000 new coronavirus cases for 7th day running

The United States on Monday recorded more than 60,000 new cases of coronavirus infection for the seventh consecutive day, Johns Hopkins University reported in its real-time tally.

With another 488 deaths and 61,288 cases registered in 24 hours, the country has a total of 140,922 deaths and 3.82 million cases, the Baltimore-based university said at 8:30 pm (0030 4.30am UAE, Tuesday).

President Donald Trump on Monday finally spoke out in favour of mask-wearing -- a marked change of tune as polls show him headed for election disaster in November as the US has emerged as the world's worst-hit country in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Brazil coronavirus death toll surpasses 80,000

Brazil's coronavirus death toll surpassed 80,000 Monday, according to health ministry figures, as the country hit second-hardest in the world continued struggling to control the pandemic.

The figure, second only to the death toll in the United States, quadrupled in two months. Brazil passed the mark of 20,000 Covid-19 deaths on May 21.

Recently, the Latin American country of 212 million people has regularly registered more than 1,000 new deaths a day -- though the figure for Monday was lower, at 632, bringing its overall death toll to 80,120.

750 billion euros: EU leaders reach deal on post-pandemic recovery package for economy

European Union leaders reached a deal on a massive stimulus plan for their coronavirus-blighted economies at a pre-dawn meeting on Tuesday after a fractious summit that went through the night and into its fifth day.

Summit chairman Charles Michel tweeted "Deal" shortly after the 27 leaders reached agreement at a 5.15am (0315 GMT) plenary session.

While another official present at the summit said: "Conclusions adopted!".

Today's rents may surprise you, keep checking for deals in UAE

With rent taking up a considerable chunk of households' budgets, residents have been on the lookout for cheaper options amid the pandemic. And the real estate market has been responsive: Some landlords agreed to cutting fees, while others offered flexibility in payments. The best options are now out there, experts said, so choose wisely - instead of jumping on to the next available deal.

Considering all the rental options available these days, some residents are able to maintain their lifestyle, even with a tighter budget, industry experts said.

"The market has changed and you can see that there are more payment options now than before," said Fathi Akram Skaik, managing director and business owner, Noble Empire Real Estate.

Tickets bought for World T20 will remain valid if Australia hosts it in 2021: ICC

The tickets sold for the now-postponed ICC T20 World Cup will remain valid if Australia hosts the edition in 2021 instead of India.

In case the event is shifted to 2022, all ticket-holders will be entitled to a full refund, the ICC stated on its website on Monday night after postponing the mega-event this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The tournament was to be held in October-November but will now be conducted later because of the pandemic.



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