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As Muslims worldwide begin fasting, an overview of Ramadan

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The Islamic holy month of Ramadan has begun, and that means Muslims all over the world are fasting.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is a time when observant Muslims do not eat or drink from dawn until sunset. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Viktor Vasnetsov)

Ramadan is also a time when giving to the poor is encouraged, along with lots of prayer. (Via Flickr / Stephan Geyer)

>> Read more trending stories  

"After the evening prayer, more nightly prayer known as the taraweeh​ is recited. Throughout the Ramadan season, the Qu'aran is read as apart of the taraweeh​ custom," according to the History Channel.

Muslims believe the prophet Muhammad first received revelations from the archangel Gabriel during the month of Ramadan around A.D. 610. (Via Wikimedia Commons /  Zakariya al-Qazwini)

The word "Ramadan" is derived from a word that means "scorcher" in Arabic, since under the ancient Arabic calendar it took place during the summer. 

 But because the Arabic calendar is based on lunar cycles, the celebration has occurred during all seasons. Currently, more than 1 billion Muslims all over the world fast for Ramadan.  (Via YouTube / broeder dawah)

But not everyone in the faith is expected to participate. Those who are sick, traveling, breastfeeding or pregnant are exempt are exempt. (Via The Telegraph)

Ramadan ends July 28. Muslims generally celebrate the end of Ramadan with a feast. 

See more at newsy.com.

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  • One person was killed and two others were hospitalized after a shooting in DeKalb County. Police were called to the 700 block of Creste Drive overnight Wednesday, DeKalb police spokeswoman Shiera Campbell said. When they arrived, they found a man shot in a building breezeway. “The victim stated he had been walking along Snapfinger Woods Drive when four males in a white car tried to rob him,” Campbell said. “When he ran, they shot him.”  Soon after, officers got calls reporting two more shootings in the area. At Snapfinger Woods Drive and Shellbark Drive, they found a man dead inside a white Jeep. It had smashed into a tree, Campbell said. Less than a mile away, another shooting victim was found walking with his brother on Snapfinger Woods at Miller Road. The victim’s brother told police his brother was shot in the parking lot of a Texaco station. Investigators are trying to determine what led to the shootings and if they are related. The survivors, ages 26 and 18, were taken to a local hospital, Campbell said. One of the victims was listed in critical condition and the other was listed as non-critical. Police are not releasing the names of the victims at this time, Campbell said. In other news:
  • Lawyers, advocacy groups and former colleagues now get their say on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee. That's after Judge Neil Gorsuch emerged unscathed from two days of tough questioning at his confirmation hearing. Assured of support from majority Republicans, Gorsuch received glowing GOP reviews but complaints from frustrated Democrats that he concealed his views from the American public. Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge in Denver, refused repeated attempts to get him to talk about key legal and political issues of the day. But he did tell Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who worried that Gorsuch would vote to restrict abortion, that 'no one is looking to return us to horse and buggy days.
  • President Donald Trump has used his traditional pipeline to the people to help gain support for his plan to abolish Obamacare. >> Read more trending news  Hours before the vote is set to begin, Trump posted a video that spells out what he says were lies given to the American people when the Affordable Care Act went into existence while not explaining what his proposed American Health Care Act, or AHCA, does. Trump also encourages people to call lawmakers to show their support of AHCA. NBC News reported that he does not have enough votes to pass the AHCA, but negotiations went into the night. The House is scheduled to vote on the plan Thursday. 
  • Four people including a police officer are dead and a suspect is in custody after shootings at a bank and a law firm in northern Wisconsin, followed by a standoff at an apartment complex that ended in a volley of gunfire. Police characterized the initial shooting at the Marathon Savings Bank in Rothschild on Wednesday afternoon as a domestic dispute, but have provided no details about the suspect or victims. Authorities said late Wednesday that there is no remaining threat to the public. Jason Smith, a deputy administrator for the state Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation, said more than 100 officers are investigating and that more information will be released Thursday. The violence unfolded in a cluster of small towns south of Wausau, about 90 miles west of Green Bay. The officer worked for Everest Metro, a small, 27-officer force that serves Schofield and Weston. 'I would like to send all my thoughts and ask everybody listening, 'Thoughts and prayers to all the victims and their families.'' Everest Metro Chief Wally Sparks said. 'Please keep them in your prayers and be with our officers.' The shooting at the bank in Rothschild was reported around midday. Officers responding to a 'domestic situation' arrived at the bank to find two people were shot and the suspect had fled. It wasn't clear if those two victims were among the dead. A second call came about 10 minutes later from Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks, a law firm in nearby Schofield. The action then moved to an apartment complex in Weston. A woman who lives in the complex said she looked out of her apartment window about 1:15 p.m. to see a squad car approach, and a few seconds later heard a gunshot and saw an officer fall. Kelly Hanson, 21, told The Associated Press she saw other officers put the wounded policeman in an armored SWAT vehicle and take him away. She couldn't tell if he was alive or dead and police have not said if this was the officer who died. 'I thought, 'What is going on?' I know what a gun sounds like, and thought, 'This isn't good,'' Hanson said. She stayed inside her apartment. The Wausau Daily Herald reported that SWAT team members entered the apartment building about 2:30 p.m. Hanson said she heard about 10 shots at about 4:45 p.m. and began to 'freak out.' Another resident, Susan Thompson, told the Daily Herald that she heard gunshots and screams. Police told the 21-year-old mother to stay inside with her 2-year-old daughter and to lock her doors. ___ Associated Press reporters Jeff Baenen, Doug Glass and Steve Karnowski contributed to this report from Minneapolis.