Topics : All Muslim prayers at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound will be suspended from Monday until further notice in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus, religious officials said on Sunday.The doors of the mosque and the adjoining Dome of the Rock had already been shut, but worshippers were still able to gather in the open areas of the hilltop compound, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.”It was decided to suspend the arrival of worshippers to prayers through all the gates to al-Aqsa mosque starting Monday,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs in Jordan, which acts as custodian of the site, the third holiest in Islam after Mecca and Medina. The new edict suspends the outdoor prayers as well. Those sessions usually draw large crowds, though the numbers have dwindled in recent weeks.The Palestinian director of the mosque, Sheikh Omar Kisawni, confirmed the decision to Reuters.Religious leaders at other holy sites in Jerusalem’s walled Old City, such as the adjacent Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, have also set precautionary limitations.The compound’s religious workers and guards will continue to be allowed entry and the Muslim call to prayer will continue as normal, said the Waqf council, which oversees Jerusalem’s Islamic sites.
AUBREY BRUCEPittsburgh and the western Pennsylvania region was really a sports Mecca last weekend beginning with the opening of the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp at St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, Pa.The Meadows Racetrack and Casino featured “Madness at The Meadows” professional boxing in an outdoor setting that even an impending thunderstorm could not stop, although I am reasonably certain that at least two of the fighters wish that their bouts had been postponed.AT WAR—Dhafir “No Fear” Smith and Tommy Kapensky (Photos by Julio Torres)Last but not least, Pittsburgh got a taste of some serious soccer as two of our biggest allies from across the pond, the Manchester City soccer club from the United Kingdom faced off against the A.C. Milan Club hailing from Italy. Since everyone loves a good afternoon “spaghetti western” let’s call the three events, the good, the bad and the ugly.OUT—Jason Bergman KO/TKOFirst the good. The Steelers opened up training camp last Friday and as we all know in all training camps every team is a Super Bowl contender, until the regular season proves otherwise. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin seems to have filled most of the needs of the team at least theoretically, that may propel the team beyond an average 8-8 regular season mark and position the Steelers to make a run deep into the post season. As far as the offense and defense is concerned the questions are at running back, wide receiver, linebacker and the offensive and defensive lines may have been addressed, at least on paper anyway.