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Taking The Sacred Hajj Pilgrimage ... VIP Style

More than two million Muslims are making the hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. The trip is expected to be spiritually fulfilling, as well as hot, crowded, and exhausting. But some travelers make the four-day pilgrimage in high style. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with Jamal Elshayyal of Al Jazeera English about VIP hajj packages.

Malaria Creeps Back Into Greece Amid Health Budget Cuts

After decades of being malaria-free, Greece is seeing a spike in malaria cases. And it's showing up in communities where the disease has never been seen before. Fewer resources for mosquito control and medications are fueling the reappearance of the forgotten disease, health workers say.
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Free Speech And Activism In Egypt, After The Revolution

During the revolution in Egypt, journalist Shahira Amin resigned from a state-owned TV network to protest its coverage protests. Film star Khaled Abol Naga was among the millions who participated in the uprising in Tahrir Square. We get their view of Egypt from the inside.


Italy's Berlusconi Given 4-Year Sentence For Tax Evasion; May Never Serve it

The appeals process may stretch the case beyond the statute of limitations. Meanwhile, Berlusconi is also on trial for allegedly paying for sex with a teenage girl and trying to cover it up.

Mecca In Flux As Historic Sites Are Torn Down

Muslims from all over the world have journeyed to Mecca for the annual Hajj. But they may find that many of the buildings around the holy area are changing. Audie Cornish speaks with Oliver Wainwright, The Guardian's architecture critic, for more on what's happening to the buildings and land in Mecca.

Syrian Government Agrees To Temporary Cease-Fire

The Syrian government has announced it will cease military operations for four days beginning tomorrow, to mark the beginning of Eid al-Adha. The Feast of Sacrifice is one of the holiest events on the Muslim calendar. The reaction from Syria's rebel forces has been mixed, with some commanders saying they will honor the truce but others insisting they won't. International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi proposed the ceasefire in hopes it would lead to negotiations on the political solution to the 19-month old conflict. As the truce was announced, heavy fighting continued in several areas, especially in Syria's largest city, Aleppo.

Israel Operates Inside Sudan, Israeli Official Says

It's the first time an intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, has confirmed the Israeli military operates in the country. The comments come just days after the government in Khartoum accused Israel of bombing an arms factory. The Israeli government has refused to comment on the accusation.