The Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims make at least once in their lifetimes, began today amid heavy rains, BBC News. Pilgrims from Egypt were required to receive the H1N1 swine flu vaccine before beginning the journey, Voice of America. Complete coverage from CNN.
The Bariyapur festival, a celebration of Gadhimai, a Hindu goddess of power that is held every 5 years, has begun in Nepal. Over 200,000 animal sacrifices will be conducted during the festival. The festival has grown in recent years in Nepal because many of its neighboring countries have banned animal sacrifice, Associated Press.
The death toll from the pre-election massacre in the Philippines has risen to 57. A group was going to register file election paperwork for the office of governor of Maguindanao for Ismael “Toto” Mangudadatu. Mangudadatu’s wife and sisters were among the group as well at least 12 journalists. Mangudadatu had been warned not to file the papers himself, CNN.
U.S. President Barack Obama will give a speech on Tuesday, December 1 about U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan. Obama is expected to announce that he will send more American troops to Afghanistan, Reuters.