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Al-Qaeda warns Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman over ‘sin’

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DUBAI, June 01: Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has warned Saudi Arabia’s reformist Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over his “sinful projects”, in a bulletin released Friday.

Prince Mohammed has spearheaded a string of policy changes in ultraconservative Saudi Arabia, including reinstating cinemas and allowing women to drive.

“The new era of Bin Salman replaced mosques with movie theatres,” the Yemen-based jihadist group said in its Madad news bulletin, picked up by the SITE Intelligence Group.

He “substituted books that belonged to the imams… with absurdities of the atheists and secularists from the east and the west and opened the door wide for corruption and moral degradation,” it said.

The Sunni jihadist group AQAP has flourished amid a complex war in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia heads a military alliance battling Shiite Huthi rebels.

In its statement, AQAP slammed April’s WWE Royal Rumble event in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah, near the Islam’s most holy sites in Mecca.

“(Foreign) disbelieving wrestlers exposed their privates and on most of them was the sign of the cross, in front of a mixed gathering of young Muslim men and women,” it said.

“The corruptors did not stop at that, for every night musical concerts are being announced, as well as movies and circus shows,” SITE quoted it as saying.

AQAP in southern Yemen is the target of a long-running drone campaign by the United States, which regards it as the most dangerous branch of the extremist group.

Yemen’s conflict has left nearly 10,000 people dead, tens of thousands wounded, and millions on the brink of famine.

The United Nations has called Yemen world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in the war between Yemen’s Huthi rebels and the government of now-exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi in 2015.

They have landed on a United Nations blacklist over the killing and maiming of children.

The Huthi rebels, linked to Iran, have also come under fire for neglecting to protect civilians and targeting the press and minorities.

The rebels have controlled the capital Sanaa since 2014.

North Korean official to visit White House to deliver letter to Trump

Washington, Jun 1 : North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol would be visiting the White House today to deliver a letter from his leader Kin Jong-un to President Donald Trump, a presidential spokesperson said yesterday.

The visit to deliver the letter, which is being highly anticipated by the White House, would be historic given that Kim Yong Chol is still under American sanctions and this would be the first instance of a North Korean official entering the grounds of the White House.

Logistics of his visit are still being worked out, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters abroad Air Force One en route to Dallas from Houston.

“We now know that we’re going to welcome the North Koreans to DC tomorrow. We understand there’s a letter coming, and we look forward to receiving that letter and are trying to work towards our ultimate goal of denuclearisation,” he said.

Gidley did not respond to a question if the letter would be received by President Donald Trump himself.

“No one is saying they’re sitting down in the Oval Office yet. The details are still being worked out,” he said.

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