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NEWS DIGEST

news and views from India and across the world

Monday, 20 November 2017

20 Nov.ND:India scrapping half-billion-dollar arms deal with Israel/ Israel Minister admits secret ties with ‘many’ Arab, Muslim states



Evening NEWS DIGEST
20 Nov.2017: 30 Safar 1439:Vol:9, No:52
Defence Ministry scraps $500 million Israeli missile deal, wants DRDO to make in India
New Delhi:Asking Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to indigenously develop and produce a Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) for the Army, Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided to cancel the $500 million deal for Spike ATGM with Israel. The deal, seen as another proof of growing Indo-Israel defence cooperation, was expected to be signed after price negotiations with Rafael Advanced Defence Systems of Israel were completed last year. In anticipation of this deal, Rafael had entered into a joint venture with Kalyani group for missile production in India. The missile sub-systems manufacturing facility, based near Hyderabad, was inaugurated in August.Ministry sources said that the decision to cancel the deal was based on the consideration that importing a foreign ATGM at this stage would adversely impact the programme for indigenous development of the weapon system by DRDO.Earlier, India had also rejected an offer from US-based Raytheon-Lockheed Martin for Javelin ATGM in favour of Israeli weapon system. “DRDO has successfully produced the Nag and Anamika ATGMs. It is confident about providing the Army with an MPATGM of 3rd generation missile technology, at par with Spike, within three to four years. It won’t also need any transfer of technology,” sources said.The decision to retract the Request for Proposal (RFP), however, will be a setback to the modernisation programme of the Army. In letters to the MoD, the Army headquarters had highlighted “the operational urgency of the equipment”, arguing that the Spike “gives a major capability impetus to troops deployed on the Line of Control, especially in the current operational scenario”.Spike MR missile is a 3rd generation, fire and forget, top attack, ATGM with a range of 2.5 km, which can operate both during the day and night. The Army is currently using 2nd generation ATGMs — Konkurs and Milan 2T — which do not have night-fighting capabilities. Moreover, Army currently has a shortage of around 68,000 missiles, with no missiles held as War Wastage Reserves against a Govt stipulation to build up stocks to last for at least 10 days of intense fighting. indianexpress
India reportedly scrapping half-billion-dollar arms deal with Israel: haaretz
Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Mosque in Lucknow: Shia Waqf Board's solution to Babri dispute
Reiterating its support to the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, the Shia Waqf board on Monday said that the Mosque can be built in Lucknow."After discussions with different parties we have prepared a proposal in which a Ram Temple will be built in Ayodhya and a Mosque can be built in Lucknow. This is a solution which will ensure peace and brotherhood in the country," Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Wasim Rizvi told ANI.OneIndia News
Shia Waqf Board chief’s game is over: Vedanti
Ayodhya: In a scathing attack on Shia Waqf Board chief Waseem Rizvi, former MP and member of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, Dr Ram Vilas Vedanti, said Rizvi was apparently acting at the behest of Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar with the sole aim of dividing Hindu leadership over Ram Janmabhoomi issue.“We have observed that Rizvi has all along been telling lies and misleading Hindu seers and leaders by saying that he would submit his draft proposal in the Supreme Court. This he has been saying for a long time, but hasn’t done so far,” stated Dr Vedanti told UNI.“Rizvi has been trying to get into the good books of the govt because he is facing CBI inquiry in several cases,” said the Hindu seer, adding, “that we have seen through his game and will not let allow him to interfere in the matter any longer.”“His only aim is to remain in the news by meeting Hindu saints and getting photographed with them,” Dr Vedanti said. He added, "We caught his lies. His game is over.”UNI
9 held for converting kids to Islam at Telangana orphanage
Hyderabad: Police have arrested 9 persons for allegedly resorting to religious conversions at their orphanage in Moulali in Telangana district.The accused have been identified as Mohammed Siddique, M Praveen, Syed Abdullah, Mohammed Shakeel Ahmed, Mohammed Ismail, B Someshwar rao alias Abdullah, M Sagar, Mohammed rabbani and Mohammed Fiazuddin.According to Malkajgiri ACP G Sundeep, the accused were bringing children from tribal hamlets in Khammam, Mahbubnagar, Suryapet and Warangal districts by convincing their parents that they will provide them with free food and education at their orphanage in Hyderabad. "After bringing 17 children to Peace Orphan Education Society, instead of providing them regular education, the accused made them study texts of a particular religion. Though in certificates the original names of students are not changed, the accused informally gave all students different names," ACP said.TOI
10 Arrested for Converting Kids to Islam at Illegal Orphanage in Hyderabad:CNN-News18
Christians held for ‘conversion’: MP HC reprimands GRP, orders probe into assault charge
Bhopal: Nearly 3 weeks after 2 Christians were arrested at Indore station on charges of kidnapping and converting children, Madhya Pradesh High Court has reprimanded railway police and ordered an investigation into allegations that the children were assaulted.“The conduct of SHO, Police Station, GRP Indore, in not handing over the custody of the children to their parents when they were brought to the railway station raises various doubts over his way of functioning and discharge of duties as SHO. Once the documents were shown to him by the parents and the children wanted to go with their parents, this court really does not know what prevented the SHO from handing over the children to their parents. Not only this, there is a total inaction on the part of SP, GRP, Indore, in not taking impartial view of the matter,” observed a division bench of justices SC Sharma and Alok Verma.On Oct.23, Hindu Jagran Manch activists made seven children alight from Mumbai-bound Awantika Express at Indore station after accusing Anita Joseph, who was to travel to Mumbai, and Amrit Kumar, who had come to see them off, of kidnapping and forcibly converting them.While Anita and Amrit were sent to jail, the children were sent to a shelter home, the location of which was not known to their parents.This, despite the parents telling GRP officials that they had consented to the trip and showing documents to establish that all of them were practising Christians.Thereafter, parents filed a habeas corpus petition before the high court. On Oct.30, the bench asked every child, aged between 5 and 17, if they were being taken to Mumbai forcibly. After hearing their replies, the court directed that they be immediately handed over to their parents. indianexpress
Lingayats set Dec.30 deadline for Karnataka to act on demand for separate religion tag
Lingayat Mahasabha on Sunday asked the Karnataka Govt  to write to the Centre by Dec. 30 to recommend a minority status for the community, the HT reported. The community wants to be recognised as a religion separate from Hinduism.Lingayat leader Mate Mahadevi on Sunday said the community would begin an agitation across Karnataka if the deadline is breached.Their demands also include the recognition of Basavanna, the sect’s 12th-century founder and social reformer, as the state’s cultural ambassador.“Elections are due next year and once the model code of conduct comes into force it will not be possible for Govt to do so [send its recommendation to the Centre],”Mahadevi was quoted as saying. “Hence, I call on the CM  [Siddaramaiah] to make the recommendation by Dec30.”State ministers MB Patil and Vinay Kulkarni were also present at the event where Mahadevi was speaking, and supported the demand. scroll
Seer tells karnataka govt to recommend minority religious status for Lingayats
After controversy, Bajrang Dal denies selling ‘love jihad’ booklet at Hindu outfit fair
Jaipur:A Bajrang Dal stall removed a booklet on ‘love jihad’ from its shelves on Sunday, a day after selling the manual ’ containing hate content against Muslims at a Hindu outfit’s fair in Jaipur. Stall managers denied having kept or sold any literature on love jihad, a conspiracy theory that Muslims woo Hindu girls to convert them to Islam.“We never sold any literature on love jihad. And whatever hate content you are talking about is certainly wrong,” said Mahesh Saini, who was manning the stall. He added that they did warn people coming to stall about love jihad.“It’swrong and we must stop conversion of Hindu girls to Islam. The only way is to inculcate Hindu values and traditions in the girls when they are young. We only want to protect and propagate our Hindu culture,” said he.HT
Alwar attack: 2 companions of killed cattle trader held on cow smuggling charges
Jaipur:Police in Rajasthan’s Alwar have arrested two men, who were travelling with murdered cattle trader Umar Mohammed, on charges of smuggling cows, officials said on Monday, as their families and activists accused the force of siding with the attackers. Tahir Khan and Javed Khan alias Jabba were transporting cows along with Mohammed through Alwar on Nov. 10 when alleged cow vigilantes opened fire at them. Mohammed died on the spot and his mutilated body was found dumped on railway tracks in Ramgarh area.They surrendered on Sunday and have been booked under the Rajasthan Bovine Animal (Prohibition of Slaughter & Regulation of Temporary Migration or Export) Act, 1995 and Rules, 1995, said the police.Activists have strongly condemned the arrest of the two men.“I think that the police are playing politics and it is a travesty of justice that instead of arresting the 4 absconding people, who attacked Mohammed and the two men, they have arrested the victims themselves,” said Kavita Srivastava of the PUCL.Earlier, the police arrested Bhagwan Singh Gurjar and Ramveer Gurjar in connection with the case. Hindustantimes
Silence against attacks worrisome:Harsh Mander
Chennai: How do we disagree in a civil manner? Any disagreement with a specific policy is portrayed as being anti-national. This is increasingly silencing our disagreement, said Harsh Mander, activist and former bureaucrat, while giving a talk on ‘Challenges to India’s Constitutional Values’ at the Goethe Institut on Saturday.The lecture was organised by the Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group (CAG).“We have been told that people who disagree with the country’s economic models cost the country a great fortune,” Mander said, adding that Dalits, Muslims and other minority groups were being made main targets by ruling party.Speaking about the extra-judicial killings by vigilante groups, Mander said these lynchings had sent out a message to the minority communities that they were not safe anymore. Thehindu
J-K: Over 2,500 pellet victims, Mehbooba Mufti govt looks at jobs for worst affected: Indian Express
New Delhi: At least 2,524 people were injured by pellets, many in the eyes, in eight of the 10 districts in the Kashmir valley during the crackdown on protests that followed the killing of militant Burhan Wani on July 8 last year, according to data compiled from official records by J&K Govt for State Human Rights Commission (SHRC).Of these, Govt has submitted a list to the commission of 1,725 victims, including 59 women, whose identities have been confirmed by district administration. Concerned by the extent of damage, official sources said that state Govt is devising a comprehensive policy to help those blinded or partially blinded by pellets including Govt  jobs, such as those of telephone operators, for the “worst affected”.SHRC chairman Justice (retd) Bilal Nazki said the commission had sought records of those who suffered eye injuries due to pellets from all 10 districts in the Valley in Dec. last year.SHRC is yet to receive data from Bandipore and Budgam, and the details submitted by deputy commissioners of Baramulla, Shopian and Kulgam include all pellet injuries. The report from Ganderbal did not specify the extent of injuries.“We are in the process of finding out the exact nature of injuries caused by pellets and identifying victims who have been fully or partially disabled or need extended medical treatment,” Justice Nazki said.With a large number of eye, “multiple” and “full body” injuries, the data reveals the extensive use of pellet guns by police and security forces during the protests and its devastating effect on the victims.“Once we took suo motu cognizance, we asked Govt to submit details about the pellet victims, the nature and extent of the injuries, etc., so that they get help for treatment and compensation. We have received a list of more than 1,700 people, but have been told that there are more with pellet injuries, especially in the eyes. I am requesting people to come forward to give us their details so that they get help,” he said. Once this process is complete, Justice Nazki said, SHRC will have “a clear idea about the level of intervention needed”.
Jammu man shocked on seeing his picture among dead LeT men
Jammu: In a faux pas, several media houses on Sunday reportedly carried the picture of a local youth as one of 6 LeT men killed in a fierce gun battle in Bandipora district of north Kashmir.“I was shocked on seeing my picture among the dead terrorists in electronic and print media. Somebody downloaded my picture from the Facebook and circulated it as one of the dead terrorists,” a shocked Abdul Majid said.He has demanded a probe into the conspiracy.Majid, who is married with 2 children, sells barbecues at Khati Ka Talab here and is also associated with a religious group preaching Islam. “I am not a terrorist. How can they carry my picture? It is the negligence of media and the state admin,” he said, adding that he has filed a police complaint.Majid, having a long beard and wearing Afghani cap, displayed several newspapers which carried his picture on the front page with an alias ‘Abu Zargam’.“News came as a big shock for my family. They are all very upset,” he said. “I do not know whose conspiracy is this. But whoever has done it has tarnished my image.It is the negligence of media and the administration – how did they publish the picture of an innocent without any proof,” he asked. “I want my name to be cleared as soon as possible,” he added.PTI
Egg prices hit a high, now as costly as chicken
New Delhi:Egg prices have gone through the roof, so much so that at current retail rates of around Rs 7 per piece, it may be more worthwhile for people to eat chicken instead. Poultry farmers in the Pune region are now selling eggs at Rs 585 for every 100 pieces, which translates into a price of Rs 6.5-7.5 a piece at the retail end. That works out to Rs 120-135 in per kg terms, taking an average egg weight of about 55 grams — which isn’t far too below the Rs 130-150 levels at which dressed chicken is retailing in Pune.Over the last 6 months, farm-gate prices of eggs in Pune have risen from Rs 375 to Rs 585 per 100 pieces, even as the rates for live broiler birds have crashed from Rs 90 to under Rs 60 per kg.“Egg prices usually rise at this time due to winter demand, while broiler rates fall because supply goes up, with the birds taking less time to reach slaughter weight. But we have never seen this kind of price spiral in eggs before,” said a leading egg products manufacturer based in Erode, Tamil Nadu.Raju Bhosale, executive member of National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), attributed jump in prices to an estimated 15%  increase in demand. That, in turn, has been primarily driven by vegetable prices. Onions and tomatoes are today retailing at Rs 40-50 per kg, while ranging even higher at Rs 60-100 for cabbage, cauliflower and brinjal. “When vegetables turn costly, people switch to eggs, pushing up its rates as well.This is simple substitution effect,” claimed Bhosale.MP Sateesh Babu, chairman of the Mysore zone of NECC (which is an association of poultry farmers and traders), however, sought to link the price spike to demonetisation. The collapse of demand from the sudden withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes from circulation led to lower realisations for eggs as well as broilers. Farm-gate rates for both averaged below last year’s levels right until July. “Simultaneously, drought in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu caused prices of maize, the main input for poultry production, to hit record Rs 1,900 per quintal levels. As poultry farmers were squeezed between low realisations and high costs, many of them resorted to premature culling of their birds, the effects of which are being felt now on the supply side,” noted Babu. √≠ndian express
Kairana-like Incidents, Communal Riots Won't Happen Again in UP: Yogi Adityanath
Lucknow: UP CM Yogi Adityanath said his Govt won’t let Kairana-like incidents and communal riots happen again in the state. Kairana town in Shamli district allegedly witnessed the migration of Hindu families due to communal tension. Addressing a public meeting in Lucknow on Sunday in support of BJP candidates contesting the upcoming civic body elections, Adityanath said Kairana-like incidents cannot recur as his Govt  has established the rule of law in UP .“On the basis of law, we have decided that Kairana-like incidents won’t happen again,” CM, as reported by Indian Express, said. BJP leader said further said his Govt  has wiped out criminals who were earlier given shelter by past Govts. India.com
SC's observation that no need to stand up in cinema halls to prove patriotism is ‘absolutely wrong’: Parrikar
Panaji: Goa CM Manohar Parrikar today said the Supreme Court’s observation that people need not stand up in the cinema halls to prove their patriotism is “absolutely wrong”. He said the observation will not deter people from standing up when the National Anthem is played.“There was a judgement recently which ordered that you need not stand up when the National Anthem is being played. I don’t want to go into the merit of the judgement but as per my opinion it is absolutely wrong one,” Parrikar said while addressing a gathering of teachers here under the banner of Gomantak Bal Shikshan Parishad this evening. The apex court on Oct.23 observed that people do not need to stand up in the cinema halls to prove their patriotism and asked the Centre to consider amending the rules for regulating playing of the national anthem in the theatres.“I had gone to attend a function where organisers told me that there is a judgement which does not make it mandatory for people to stand up when National Anthem is played and there is a confusion over the issue,” he said. He said he asked one of the organisers to not go into the merits of “judgement” and asked him to appeal to people present there to stand up when the national anthem was being played.PTI
Sonia Gandhi blasts delay in Parliament session, says govt sabotaging democracy
New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi accused Modi’s Govt on Monday of “locking up the temple of democracy” amid reports that Parliament’s winter session could be shortened because of elections in Gujarat.Her comments, made at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), came in the backdrop of a high-stakes election next month in Modi’s state, where an intense campaign is expected to keep many top leaders of both parties away from New Delhi.There is no official word on a shorter winter session, but Sonia Gandhi said the Govt was sabotaging it on flimsy grounds. Usually, Parliament meets mid-Nov. for a month. hindustantimes
Gujarat polls:Fading out:Muslim card losing relevance?
Everything changes with time, be it political scenarios or places. Equations and strategies also take a different shape with it. This could not have been a truer statement where the vote bank politics in the state is concerned.Developments in the past 3 decades have reshaped it in a huge way. The cash rich and socially powerful community is demanding a lion's share share in power, whereas Muslims, who constitute 9.67 % of the population have been marginalised in the Assembly. Congress claims to be secular and has been known to be generous with the Muslims. There was a time when it would field at least 12 to 15 Muslim candidates. Now it has started allotting tickets to hardly 5. This is not the only reason for the dwindling Muslim representation in the Assembly. There was a time when people from other communities and religions were candidates, as society was not vertically divided as it is today. Even with seats like Thasara,Gandhinagar, Balasinor, Palitana, Muslim candidates have been elected to the Assembly, where Muslims were thin in number.Political analysts say that after 1985, society was polarised. Major events like Ram Rathyatra, Babri demolition, post demolition riots in 1992, Godhra carnage and 2002 riots and Sachar committee report added fuel. Voters from before 1985 were voting for Muslim candidates because they committed to the society and their services were appreciated. That has become a thing of the past.Sociologist Parvez Abbasi's experience says that voters have started losing faith in their elected leaders as they never represented them in the Assembly. They lost the connect with the grass roots. This is happening with all representatives. Now, representatives have created an elitist club for them after getting elected. If representatives were honestly taking up issues Patidars would not be on agitating on streets. Same is the complaint of members of the minority community. Caste or religion are used only for vote banks.Abbasi believes that numbers of representative don't help much, it is qualitative representations and Govt  intention that helps a community progress and grow. If representatives are elected in good numbers, but the party is in opposition, it will have zero impact, especially in a time when the ruling party members are also alleging of not being heard.Taking this ahead, BJP's Muslim face Zafar Sareshwala alleges that Congress always loved the vote bank and not the Muslims.Refuting these claims and allegations, Congress' minority community cell chairman Gulabkhan Rauma said that the Congress was the only party that gave a platform to Muslims in the state. During the Congress regime, the community never had to complain about scholarships not released or funds not allotted for restoration of religious places, which was common during BJP regime.DNA
Padmavati row: Haryana BJP official mocks PM Modi; announces Rs 10 crore for heads of Deepika, Bhansali
New Delhi : Adding to the list of parties and individuals who are protesting against the controversy-riddled film Padmavati, the latest to make his presence felt is Suraj Pal Amu, Haryana's BJP Chief Media Coordinator. Ridiculing PM  Narendra Modi and Rajasthan CM  Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Amu said, “I want to congratulate Meerut youth for announcing Rs 5 crore bounty for beheading Deepika, Bhansali. We will reward the ones beheading them, with Rs 10 crore, and also take care of their family's needs.” He also said he will quit BJP if needed, asking PM Modi to exercise his powers to strike down the film. He said that the BJP and PM Modi use the Rajput community for votes and to assault Muslims during riots but now they are silent over the issue of Padmavati.   Newsnation
Delhi: Encroachers block heritage mosques, bar visitors
Delhi: Qasai Wala Gumbad, the only Tughlaq-era mosque with a hemispherical dome, on Muradabad Pahadi in south Delhi's Vasant Vihar is a heavily encroached heritage structure. It is a unique construction mainly because 2 mosques - one a Tughlaq-era mosque and other a Lodi-era mosque - stand adjacent to each other .Deep inside a park, few meters away from the Vasant Vihar Club, exist the two mosques. A huge gate, guarded by young kids, and a long pavement takes one towards the two marvelous white structures. One of these mosques is now used as a madrasah, known as Abdul Mannan Academy, where over 100 kids stay and study.2beautiful structures are encroached and nobody is allowed inside the main gate, except on Thursdays when people visit the Dargah, which is just next to the two mosques. Few people visit Dargah of Syed Murad Ali Baba Shah here on Thursdays for prayers. There is very limited access to the mosques as the structures are under the control of a religious organisation, that does not allow outsiders here, not even students' parents. When DNA visited the heritage structures, several questions were asked at the gate and the reporter was strictly asked to not take any pictures and leave within five minutes."We do not even let in parents of over 100 madrasah students. Archaeological Department is eyeing our mosque and a case is going on. This is our land,"says Mohammad Feroze, caretaker of one of the structures.Because of the encroachment, many Delhiites, even the historians, and locals living in the area are unaware of one of the Capitals's beautiful heritage. Dnaindia
China objects on President Kovind Arunachal visit
Beijing: China on Monday strongly objected to President Ram Nath Kovind's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying India should refrain from "complicating" the border dispute when bilateral relations are at a "crucial moment".President Kovind visited Arunachal Pradesh yesterday." Chinese Govt never acknowledged the so-called Arunachal Pradesh and our position on the border issue is consistent and clear," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told the media when asked about Kovind's visit to Arunachal, which China claims as Southern Tibet.China routinely objects to any senior Indian officials' visit to the area.PTI
210 govt websites made public Aadhaar details: UIDAI
New Delhi:More than 200 central and state Govt  websites publicly displayed details such as names and addresses of some Aadhaar beneficiaries, Unique Identification Authority of India has said. The Aadhaar issuing body added, in response to an RTI query, that it took note of the breach and got the data removed from those websites.It did not specify when the breach took place. It said Aadhaar details have never been made public from/by UIDAI.PTI
‘Interest’ is sin in all religions: Prof Zubair Hasan
New Delhi:Noted economist Prof Zubair Hassan has said that taking of interest is considered to be a sin not only in Islam but all religions. Addressing a group discussion on the ‘’Feasibility and Viability of Alternative Interest Free Economy” organized by Delhi-Haryana Zone of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, he said how in earlier times the flow of money was from the rich to the poor in the form of loans with exorbitant interest rates.He said: ’’Now times have changed and money flows from the poor to the rich as a large section of society subscribes to small savings, mutual funds and provident funds which ultimately land up with banks that invest in business fetching themhuge profits’’.Dr Waquar Anwar the event coordinator spelt out the need and objectives of the program. He said that: ‘’we wish to study the feasibility and viability of ‘’interest free’’ economy as an alternative way of evolving a system that tries to balance the needs of the market as well as the welfare needs of society." The program was presided over by Dr Javed Khan who said that: ‘’the last decade has seen a revivalism in the common man to seek out non-exploitive ways of accessing credit in the form of interest-free cooperative credit societies etc. The future of Islamic finance and banking is very bright and India will gain a lot in terms of FDI if it throws its doors open to Islamic banking’’.The program took place at the Constitution Club of India and was attended by academicians, economists, social activists and students. theindianawaaz
Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi passes away at 72
New Delhi; Veteran Congress leader and former union minister, Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, who was in a coma since 2008, passed away on Monday. West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury confirmed the news.“He died at 12.10 pm today (Monday). He had been critically ill for the past one month and unfortunately succumbed to his illness,” said Apollo Hospital.Dasmunsi, who was Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister, suffered a massive stroke in 2008 which left him paralysed and unable to speak. indianexpress
Delhi college renaming row: Vande Mataram Mahavidyalaya is a divisive name, say teachers
Delhi University’s Dyal Singh Evening College is a little paperwork away from being officially rechristened Vande Mataram Mahavidyalaya.The name was suggested at a meeting on Nov. 17 by the college governing body’s chairperson, Amitabh Sinha, a lawyer and member of the Bharatiya Janta Party. College principal Pawan Kumar Sharma said that the proposal was adopted with little resistance from other members of the governing body. scroll
WORLD
Israel Minister admits secret ties with ‘many’ Arab, Muslim states, but won't name them: AFP
Jerusalem:An Israeli cabinet minister said on Monday that Israel had covert ties with "many" Arab and Muslim states but was obliged not to name them at the other sides' request. A rare interview given by the head of Israel's armed forces to a Saudi-owned news site was published on Thursday, further fuelling talk of close links.It followed previous broad hints by PM  Benjamin Netanyahu and accusations by Hezbollah that Saudi Arabia was pushing Israel to attack the Lebanese Shiite group. "We have ties, some of them secret, with many Arab and Muslim states," Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israeli army radio on Monday."Usually the one who wants those ties to be discreet is the other side," he said in response to a question about ties with Riyadh."We respect the wishes of the other side when contacts are developing, whether it is with Saudi Arabia or other Arab or Muslim countries."Although Saudi Arabia and Israel have no official diplomatic relations, they share a common enemy in Iran, with both seeking to limit the Islamic republic's expanding influence in the Middle East. Netanyahu has also spoken repeatedly and with pride about growing rapprochement with "moderate Arab states" without naming them, although he is assumed to be referring to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies."We stand shoulder to shoulder with countries of the moderate camp in the Arab world, in the face of radical Islam," he told Israel's parliament last week."I think that this growing closeness and consultation is first and foremost good for security and ultimately for peace," he added.AFP
Israel has secret contacts with Saudi:minister
Saudi faces test of normalising ties with Israel via World Chess Tournament
Saudi Arabia is facing test of normalising ties with Israel as it is hosting World Chess Tournament next month, where Israeli players are eligible to participate, Quds Press said on Sunday. Kingdom is hosting the World Chess Federation’s International Speed Championship, which is given the name: King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship. It is planned to be held in Riyadh between 25 and 30 Dec.Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth said, according to Quds Press, that 11 Israeli players are eligible to participate in the tournament, including a number of the best chess players in the world. middleeastmonitor
Netanyahu: Israel, Egypt fighting against ‘terror of radical Islam’ together
Israel, Egypt and other countries are fighting together against terrorism that is being practiced by factions of “radical Islam,” Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu,said.“Today, Egypt and Israel, as well as other countries, are on one side of the barricade in a stubborn struggle against the terror of radical Islam in its various fronts,” Netanyahu underlined during his cabinet weekly meeting. “This contributes significantly to the security of Israel,” he told his ministers, hoping that “in future, it will also contribute to the expansion of the circle of peace.”At the start of the meeting, the Israeli leader noted to the 40th anniversary of the former Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat’s visit to Israel. “Today we mark 40 years to the historic visit of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in Jerusalem and Israel,” Netanyahu pointed out.“Since then, peace treaty with Egypt has survived despite its ups and down,” he stressed. middleeastmonitor
Israel is to deport 40,000 African asylum seekers
Israeli government is planning to deport about 40,000 African asylum seekers to a third country, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday, Radar2.net reported.These migrants, who are mostly form Eritrea and Sudan, are seen by the Israeli authorities as illegal, Radar2.net said, noting that Israel has only granted asylum status to few number of them. According to the website, Netanyahu said that his government has three stages in dealing with the issue of the migrants. The first is building a fence on the borders with Egypt and this actually stopped the migrants’ influx.2nd stage, according to Radar2.net, is deporting 20,000 African migrants and this third is the intense deportation of 40,000 migrants without their consent, noting this became affordable thanks to an international deal. middleeastmonitor
Israeli Attorney General opinion paves way to legalise at least 13 settlement outposts
A recently published legal opinion by Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, which addressed and approved of the expropriation of private Palestinian land, could pave the way to the retroactive legalisation of at least 13 settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank, Haaretz reports.Although Mandelblit’s opinion only dealt with one specific case – the expropriation of land for an access road to Harsha settlement outpost – according to Haaretz, “there are at least 13 such outposts in a similar situation”, based on official data.As summarised by the paper, at the core of Mandelblit’s opinion “is the finding that land owned by individual Palestinians can be expropriated to create an access road to an outpost even if the road is to be used only by Jewish settlers”. middleeastmonitor
Hamas: Cairo meeting aims to put ‘mechanisms to implement reconciliation deal’
Palestinian Islamic Movement Hamas said that it is going to Cairo on Tuesday to agree on the “mechanisms to implement the reconciliation deal” reached in 2011, Anadolu reported.“We will discuss in Cairo the issue of the PLO, general elections, security, social reconciliation, public freedoms and the formation of a national unity government,” Member of Hamas Political Bureau Khalil al-Hayya said in a meeting organised by the Palestinian Journalists’ Club that held in Gaza. “We have to form this committee or for a new national unity govt [during Cairo talks],”Al-Hayya stressed, noting that “a new govt is urgently needed as it became a popular and national demand.” Regarding the PLO, he said that the Palestinian factions are to discuss “reorganising its institutions, on top of which the Palestinian National Council, and to make it ready to accept membership of all the Palestinians.” middleeastmonitor
Hamas: Shutting PLO Washington office biased to Israel
Palestinian resistance group Hamas described the US decision to close the Washington offices of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as “biased towards Israel”.“Hamas considered the refusal of US State Dept to renew the operating permission of PLO in Washington and linking this decision to the membership of the State of Palestine to the international Criminal Court and its filing of cases against Israeli criminals as completely biased towards Israel,” Hamas said in a written statement. Group also criticized the decision as encouraging Israel “to commit more crimes without deterrence”.middleeastmonitor
Palestinian Authority Turns Against Its Own: Survival of Gaza Academics Under Threat
Gaza: Hundreds of tertiary education staff in the Gaza Strip are set to strike this week after facing eight months of extreme salary cuts and threats of forced retirement by the Palestinian Authority.The approximately 831 academic and administrative staff of in Gaza will be striking because the Palestinian Authority withdrew most of their salaries eight months ago, leaving them with between 20 and 25% to survive on ever since.The Palestinian tertiary institution staff have now decided to call on the universities they work for to pay 25% of their salaries from now on, until the Palestinian Authority restores their salaries to their normal levels.The problems for the tertiary education workers began in April this year, when Palestinian Authority unilaterally slashed the salaries of all staff working at universities and other tertiary institutes, leaving them without enough of a wage to survive on. Every month since then, the staff have been shocked to see the same pattern repeated – for eight months in a row now.Despite this, the staff have continued to report for duty every day and work to the best of their abilities as usual. Thecitizen
Hamas: Kuwait boycott conference step to isolate israel
Islamic Palestinian Movement Hamas hailed the conference on boycotting Israel held in Kuwait, noting it is a “step to isolate and expose the Israeli occupation,” PIC reported.Hamas Spokesman Izzat al-Reshiq said that it is a “strong message” to all of those who dream with normalising ties with the “rapacious entity” and those who want to “merge” it in “our” Arab and Islamic countries.“At the time the leaders of [Israeli] occupation thought that the regional circumstances are appropriate to penetrate the Gulf States, the conferment was held to slap the, and reinforce a fact that [Arabs and Muslims] object normalisation with children killers,” he said.
Egyptian court postpones Morsi’s trial to 3 Dec
An Egyptian court ruled Monday that the trial of former President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted and imprisoned following a military coup in 2013, was postponed to conduct a medical examination. The court postponed the hearing of Morsi and a number of other defendants who were accused of “espionage” to 3 Dec.The court also ordered the medical examination to be carried out at Morsi’s expense.Morsi is currently serving a 20-year jail term for “killing protesters”.The former president is also standing trial on several charges ranging from a mass jailbreak to espionage.Morsi, along with all of his co-defendants, insists that the charges are politically motivated. middleeastmonitor
Egypt allows routine medical check for Morsi
An Egyptian court has allowed a comprehensive medical examination of former President Mohamed Morsi at his own expense. The medical check-up results will be presented to the court at its next hearing on 3 Dec.During a session of his trial in Cairo, Morsi asked the court to allow him to have a comprehensive medical examination at a private hospital at his own expense, where adequate equipment will be available for specialist tests.“If this is not possible, I ask that the examination be conducted in a govt hospital with the necessary means for these medical examinations,” he said. middleeastmonitor
Saudi leads Arab nations in condemning Iran, Hezbollah
In a swift move Saudi Arabia has led Arab foreign ministers in condemning Iran and Lebanese group Hezballah at an extraordinary Arab League meeting held in Cairo on Sunday. The meeting was held at the behest of Saudi Arabia amid heightened tension with Iran over developments in Lebanon and ongoing war against Yemen.Arab foreign ministers’ meeting were also important with the recent resignation of Lebanese PM Saad Hariri in a surprise announcement made from Riyadh. He is currently cooling his heels in Paris, a journey connived by Saudi and French administrations. Hariri cited Iran and Hezballah for meddling in regional affairs and expressed fear of a plot to assassinate him.Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir told the foreign ministers of the region that his country “will not stand by and will not hesitate to defend its security” in the face of Iranian “aggression.” He further said, “Any leniency in dealing with their policies would only encourage them more, so we must stand together,” Jubeir said, referring to Iran.He alleged that Iran was aiming “to destabilise and fuel sectarian rift” on the region “and drive a wedge between ourselves and our people”.He further said “”This swift response reflects the gravity of the situation our countries are facing … as a result of the ballistic missiles violations of Iran and the blunt interference in the domestic affairs of Arab countries.” apnlive
Hundreds of rights violations documented in Yemen
At least 716 cases of rights violations were committed against civilians in Yemen last month, a rights watchdog has said.The Geneva-based SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties said in a statement on Sunday that among the violations were incidents of extrajudicial killing, physical assault, arbitrary detention, forced displacement, torture and violations of press freedom.More than 500 of the violations were attributed to Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who currently control the capital, Sanaa, while the Saudi-led coalition was deemed responsible for at least 100.A total of 115 civilians were killed in October, according to SAM. The group also reported 140 new cases of arbitrary detention in Oct, in addition to the thousands of civilians who were already being held by Houthi rebels and loyalists to Yemen's ex-president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. aljazeera
France to 'prevent' Muslim street prayers in Paris suburb
 Paris:French authorities will stop Muslims from praying in a street north of Paris, the country's interior minister said today, after a series of protests by lawmakers and locals over what they view as an unacceptable use of public space."They will not have prayers on the street, we will prevent street praying," Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told Questions Politics (Franceinfo, France Inter, Le Monde).Prayers in the street have taken place every Friday in the multiethnic suburb of Clichy-la-Garenne since March to protest the closure of a popular local mosque that had operated in a Govt  building but since been turned into a library.Worshippers have accused the authorities of not offering suitable land to build a new mosque and the interior minister acknowledged the need for an alternative: "Muslims must have a place of worship to pray.""We will make sure we resolve this conflict in the next few weeks," he added.A local Muslim association has said it intends to hold prayers in the city centre next Friday. outlookindia
Robert Mugabe ignores ZANU-PF deadline to resign
Harare: President Robert Mugabe ignored a noon deadline to offer his resignation, imposed by Zimbabwe's ruling party, as people remain in a state of shock after the 93-year-old leader's anticlimactic address to the nation.Public expectation was high that Mugabe would tender his resignation in a live address to the nation on Sunday evening. But after 37 years in power, Mugabe held to his throne longer.In a scenario that last week would have been unthinkable, tens of thousands of citizens and his ruling ZANU-PF party have turned against Mugabe after a military takeover on Nov.15 - which put the president under house arrest. aljazeera
German coalition talks collapse after FDP pulls out
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that her efforts to form a 3-way coalition failed after the liberal FDP withdrew from talks.Merkel's centre-right Christian democratic political alliance(CDU/CSU) secured 33% of general poll that took place in September, losing about 9% of votes compared to the last election in 2013 and failing to form a single-party Govt.The chancellor was holding talks with the FDP, which secured 10.7% of votes in Sept. and Greens, which scored 8.4% in the vote, to form a coalition Govt. aljazeera
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Gujarat model?Christophe Jaffrelot
Pradyuman case revives questions about the functioning of investigative agencies:Kapil Sibal
Rich Tributes Paid to Prolific Writer, Community Activist Ghulam Muhammed:Caravan Daily
A Family Breaks Its Silence: Shocking Details Emerge In Death Of Judge Presiding Over Sohrabuddin Trial:NIRANJAN TAKLE
How a bystander court went wrong in ruling Gujarat needn't pay for shrines damaged in 2002 riots:Satya Prasoon
Next Level: Cow Mobs Weaponised, From Lathis to Guns:The Citizen
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:29 PM)