Tick Tock, the clock is ticking. Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states have extended the deadline by 48 hours for Qatar to accept a list of demands or face further sanctions. The initial deadline for Qatar to agree to the group’s 13 demands, including the shutting down of the Al Jazeera news network, expired on Sunday. The Gulf state has said that it will submit its formal response in a letter delivered to Kuwait today.
Over in Mosul, it was a day of jubilation on Sunday, as Iraqi troops paraded and danced to music in the streets in celebration of an expected victory over the Islamic State, just blocks away from battles raging in the last few districts where the militants are dug in. Authorities are planning a week of nationwide celebrations, according to a government statement, and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is expected to visit Mosul sometime soon to formally declare victory. Reaching the river will give Iraqi forces control over the entire city and is expected to happen by the end of this week.
Lastly, happy birthday to world renowned professor Stephen Hawking, who gave a special interview on his 75th birthday. During the interview, he warned that US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement could lead to irreversible climate change. Prof Hawking said the action could put Earth onto a path that turns it into a hothouse planet like Venus. He also feared aggression was “inbuilt” in humans and that our best hope of survival was to live on other planets.