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Driving Damages Ovaries, Saudi Cleric Warns

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Saudi woman driving

Saudi woman driving

Apparently to discourage women from driving, one of Saudi Arabia’s top conservative clerics has said women who drive risk damaging their ovaries and bearing children with clinical problems, countering activists who are trying to end the Islamic kingdom’s male-only driving rules.

A campaign calling for women to defy the ban in a protest drive on October 26 has spread rapidly online over the past week and gained support from some prominent women activists. On Sunday the campaign’s website was blocked inside the kingdom.

As one of the 21 members of the Senior Council of Scholars, Shaikh Saleh Al Lohaidan can write fatwas, or religious edicts, advise the government and has a large following among other influential conservatives.

His comments have in the past played into debates in Saudi society and he has been a vocal opponent of tentative reforms to increase freedoms for women by King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, who sacked him as head of a top judiciary council in 2009.

In an interview published on Friday on the website sabq.org, he said women aiming to overturn the ban on driving should put “reason ahead of their hearts, emotions and passions”.

Although the council does not set Saudi policy, which is ultimately decided by King Abdullah, it can slow government action in a country where the ruling Al Saud family derives much of its legitimacy from the clerical elite.

 Shaikh Saleh Al Lohaidan

Shaikh Saleh Al Lohaidan

It is unclear whether Al Lohaidan’s strong endorsement of the ban is shared by other members of the council, but his comments demonstrate how entrenched the opposition is to women driving among some conservative Saudis.

“If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards,” he told Sabq.

“That is why we find those who regularly drive have children with clinical problems of varying degrees,” he said.

A biography on his website does not list any background in medicine and he did not cite any studies to back up his claims.

US diplomats in a 2009 Riyadh embassy cable released by WikiLeaks, described Al Lohaidan as “broadly viewed as an obstacle to reform” and said that his “ill-considered remarks embarrassed the kingdom on more than one occasion”.

The ban on women driving is not backed by a specific law, but only men are granted driving licences. Women can be fined for driving without a licence but have also been detained and put on trial in the past on charges of political protest.

Shaikh Abdul Latif Al Shaikh, the head of the morality police, told Reuters a week ago that there was no text in the documents making up Sharia law which bars women from driving. [Reuters]

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US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won

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US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won

Donald Trump

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has declared himself the winner of the US Election 2020.

President Trump declared himself the winner of the US election in a tweet on Monday morning, November 16 by simply tweeting: “I won the election.”

Also Read: US election: Trump says Biden won but again refuses to concede

This came hours after he tweeted that his opponent Joe Biden “won because the election was rigged.”

The latest vote tallies project Democratic candidate, Biden a clear winner in the state-by-state Electoral College that decides the presidency, with 306 votes against Trump’s 232.

However, President Trump has remained defiant, continuously claiming he won the election free and fair.

US election: Trump claims victory hours after saying Biden won

 

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Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead

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Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead

Jerry Rawlings

Jerry Rawlings, a former Ghanaian president has reportedly died from suspected COVID-19 complications.

The former Ghanaian leader died at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana on Thursday morning.

Rawlings led the country first as a military ruler and then as a democratically elected president between 1981 and 2001.

Also Read: FG Owes 3,504 Contractors, Fashola Tells National Assembly

Rawlings initially rose to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant in the Ghana Air Force, following a coup détat in 1979.

After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took control again in December 1981 as Head of State.

He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.

Rawlings left office in 2000 after exhausting Ghana’s constitutional term-limit of eight years for Presidents.

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US Election Is Far From Over — Trump

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US Election Is Far From Over — Trump

Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump has refused to concede after his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, secured the required number of electoral college votes to win the presidential race.

Shortly after Biden was projected winner, Trump in a defiant statement expressed that the election was “far from over” and criticised Biden for “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”

“Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.

Also Read: Joe Biden Defeats Trump To Win US Presidential Election

“Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.

“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.

“The American people are entitled to an honest election, that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots,” Trump said.

 

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