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December 30, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
More than 2 million Muslim pilgrims, mostly on foot, streamed down to Muzdalifah near Mecca, where hajj tradition says they should spend the night. Many carried their belongings on their backs, and some pushed relatives in wheelchairs. Earlier, pilgrims spent the day at Mt. Arafat, a sacred zone outside Mecca where the prophet Muhammad gave his last sermon 1,400 years ago.
December 30, 2006 | Larry Gordon, Times Staff Writer
For 94 members of St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine, the freeway drive north to Brentwood in morning traffic was the equivalent of a pilgrimage. They recently traveled in two buses to the Getty Museum and its current exhibition of ancient icons and spiritual artifacts from a monastery in the Sinai, a show that has taken on special meaning for Greek Orthodox and other denominations in Southern California.
December 29, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Two million Muslims began streaming out of Mecca in cars, vans and on foot at the start of their hajj, or pilgrimage. The white-robed pilgrims poured into a tent city in the plain of Mina to begin the five-day ritual, which is required at least once for every Muslim able to make the trip. With such large crowds, Saudi Arabia normally deploys more than 50,000 security personnel to try to prevent deadly stampedes and attacks by Islamists fighting the U.S.-allied government.
September 29, 2006 | PETE THOMAS
Today, Monterey Bay Aquarium; tomorrow, the world. Or, at least, the White Shark Cafe. To be sure, the young great white that is luring visitors by the thousands to this waterfront city's popular tourist attraction has a far more exciting future in store, if he can survive into adulthood. After outgrowing the Outer Bay exhibit in a few months, he'll swim to Southern California and spend a year or more preying upon rays, halibut and other fish.
September 9, 2006 | Patrick J. McDonnell, Times Staff Writer
Tens of thousands of Shiite Muslim pilgrims headed to a shrine city south of the capital Friday amid heavy security as the daily toll of casualties mounted in a sectarian war without respite. No major attacks were reported against the multitudes destined for Karbala, where today they celebrate the birthday of a revered imam who disappeared a millennium ago.
September 2, 2006 | Sara Olkon, Chicago Tribune
About 400 supporters of broader immigrant rights streamed out of Chinatown Square at noon Friday to kick off a four-day journey that will end at the district office of House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert in Batavia. The activists carried a message on T-shirts and placards: Immigrants' interests matter.
August 21, 2006 | Patrick J. McDonnell, Times Staff Writer
Gunmen took aim at multitudes of Shiite Muslim worshipers marching through this besieged capital Sunday, killing at least 22 and leaving hundreds injured in a vivid illustration of the sectarian violence driving Iraq toward open civil war. Panicked pilgrims, including women in full-length black robes, scattered in terror as opportunistic gunmen fired from positions on rooftops, inside buildings and on the streets.
May 28, 2006 | Bruce Wallace, Times Staff Writer
Some of Japan's corporate heavy hitters have set aside their usual caution and begun to demand that senior politicians stop making pilgrimages to Yasukuni Shrine, saying the visits to the controversial Tokyo war memorial threaten crucial economic ties with China. "It's not good to continue with this irritating situation -- like having a fish bone stuck in our throat," Canon Inc. Chairman Fujio Mitarai told reporters last week upon assuming leadership of the powerful Japan Business Federation.
January 14, 2006 | From Associated Press
Muslim pilgrims who ignored instructions to leave baggage behind and others who joined the rituals illegally, swelling the huge crowds, caused the stampede that killed 363 people during the hajj, Saudi authorities said Friday. The Interior Ministry defended the performance of security forces, saying they intervened within minutes and saved lives when the disaster occurred Thursday at Al Jamarat, a giant platform where three pillars representing the devil are located.
December 26, 2005 | From Associated Press
The congregation of First Emmanuel Baptist Church drove from Baton Rouge, La., Houston and other points far and wide on Christmas, then walked past collapsed buildings and piles of storm wreckage to worship in their church for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. "This means everything. We've come home," said Lila Southall, wife of the church's minister. "My house is gone, but I'm still home for Christmas."
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