Muslim pilgrims are streaming into Iraq’s holy city of Karbala on the occasion of Arba’een. The pilgrims are converging on the city for the annual event that marks the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. This year, Arba’een falls on September 28th. Every year, the occasion draws millions of people from around the world, but the Iraqi government has restricted the number of foreigners due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year, it only allowed 40-thousand foreign visitors, many of them Iranians. Imam Hussein and his 72 companions were martyred in the unequal battle of Karbala by troops of the tyrant ruler of their time, over 13 centuries ago.
Russia NATO expansion warning
Moscow says the expansion of NATO’s military activity in Ukraine crosses a red line for Russian president Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin spokesman said Russia and Belarus will act to protect their own security. Earlier in the day, the Belarusian president warned of a joint response with Russia to the increased activity of the Western military alliance in Ukraine. Alexander Lukashenko accused the United States of setting up military training centers in Ukraine, which he said amount to military bases. Kiev started joint military exercises with the US and other NATO nations last week, while Moscow and Minsk held large-scale drills in Russia, Belarus and the Baltic Sea. Ukraine is not a NATO member but has been seeking closer integration with Western militaries.
Britain fuel crisis
The UK's Petrol Retailers Association warns that gas stations are running dry across the land as panic buying continues throughout British stations. The association, which represents independent fuel retailers, said some big groups in English cities are reporting that 50 percent to 90 percent of pumps were dry. A dire shortage of truck drivers in Britain has triggered panic buying in some English cities. The panic buying forced the government to suspend competition laws and allow firms to work together to ease shortages. Worker shortages are a growing problem in Britain, which had a record one-million job vacancies between June and August.