LIVE WORLD NEWS

26 November 2016

Evening NEWS DIGEST
26 Nov. 2016: 25 Safar 1438: Vol: 8, No:45
With no jobs, hungry daily wagers turn to langar halls
New Delhi:About 500 kg of dal, 600 kg of vegetables and one tonne of rice is what it takes to feed thousands of people at the Sis Ganj Gurdwara in Chandni Chowk on an average day. The langar or community kitchen at the popular gurdwara has always been busy, with everyone from local shopkeepers and foreign tourists to the faithful and the destitute sitting down for a meal.But for the past 2 weeks, the lunch rush at the langar hall has been more hectic than usual, and officials of the gurdwara management say extra food is being cooked.That’s because the usual lunch crowd is now being joined by daily wage labourers, who have been left without work due to the ongoing cash crunch.With job offers drying up and their pockets empty, labourers from around Old Delhi are making their way to gurdwaras and other religious places in search of a meal.Every day since Nov.9, when govt withdrew Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes from circulation, a group of workers who gather at Hauz Qazi Chowk has made its way to Sis Ganj Gurdwara around 2pm Making daily 1 km pilgrimage for food provides the only meal for most.Before the cash crunch, the carpenters, painters and construction workers would gather at the chowk in the morning and be picked up for jobs around the city. Now, they wait there all day, hoping to find work.thehindu
Modi graft case: SC refuses to order probe into ‘Sahara-Birla papers’
New Delhi: Supreme Court refused to order an investigation into a tranche of documents recovered during raids at the offices of the Aditya Birla and Sahara groups in 2013 and 2014 allegedly showing entries of “massive” bribes paid to high-profile politicians and ministry officials.A Bench of Justices JS Khehar and Arun Mishra said the entries did not “arouse its conscience” enough to order a probe. Among the records is an email dated Nov. 16, 2012 found in the laptop of an Aditya Birla executive which contained a cryptic entry of bribe paid to “Gujarat CM”. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had recently claimed in the Assembly that it was a reference to PM Modi.“We cannot initiate an investigation just because a big man has been named by someone. He is a high public functionary and we cannot proceed on materials like this.We need better material,” Justice Khehar told senior advocate Shanti Bhushan, appearing for NGO Common Cause, on Friday. The SC ordered NGO to produce “better material” by Dec. 14 or withdraw the case.
No credible reason for probe into Birla, Sahara I-T raid papers: SC
‘Small setback’ says Bhushan on SC’s observation in Sahara Bribery case
Renowned Supreme Court lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, on Friday termed the SC’s observation in Sahara/Birla bribery case a ‘minor setback’ but added that Supreme Court should have followed the same principles it had laid down in Jain Hawala case.He told Janta Ka reporter, “Supreme Court in Jain Hawala case had said that if a raids at the premises of business houses throw up documents showing payments of bribery to public servants, then a probe must happen because there’s a prima facie evidence of payment here.He said, “Supreme Court today questioned the authenticity of documents.Now, authenticity will only be proven if a probe is commissioned. In Birla’s case, the Income Tax authorities questioned its officials based on the documents they had seized. Birla officials conceded that they had indeed made Hawala payments in crores to various big names on the instructions of the company’s group president Shubhendu Amitabh.” jantakareporter
CBI not probing Modi will be travesty of justice: AAP
New Delhi: Taking on PM Narendra Modi on the issue of demonetisation and for allegedly taking a bribe from Sahara Birla, AAP has said that it will be a big travesty of justice if CBI does not investigate him.Convenor of the AAP’s Delhi unit, Dilip Pandey told ANI, “See the irony, there is so much chaos in the country because of demonetisation and PM  Narendra Modi is the one who has done a scam of 8 lakh crore. The blame of taking a bribe from Sahara Birla of crores of money is on him. The blame of purchasing lands with black money and converting the black money in white before demonetisation are on BJP. What will be a bigger travesty of justice than this that the CBI cannot do an investigation against them?ANI
BJP ‘lands’ into trouble, land buying spree in Bihar questioned
 BJP has found itself in some trouble after BJP leaders in Bihar have come under the scanner for their land buying spree at 6 locations in Bihar.The land was reportedly bought before Narendra Modi’s announcement to demonetise ₹500 and ₹1000 rupee notes.Times Now have accessed papers that reveal that 25 land plots were purchased by BJP in Bihar weeks before the demonetisation announcement. The land plots were purchased by BJP in Bihar's Madhepura, Katihar, Madhubani, Lakhisarai, Kishanganj and Arwal districts.Names of 3 state BJP leaders - Dilip Kumar Jaiswal, Sanjeev Chaurasia and Lal Babu Prasad – have been mentioned in the papers. The size of the acquired plots ranges from 250 square feet to about half an acre and the value of each land plot ranges between ₹8 lakh and ₹1.16 crore.The documents accessed by Times Now shows BJP President Amit Shah’s signature authorising the purchase of the land. Opposition has now demanded a probe into land purchases by BJP unit in Bihar. Opposition has alleged that land was bought days before announcement of demonetisation and has now sought a probe into the controversy.The JD(U) has now alleged that BJP leaders had an inkling of the move to demonetise currency, and that the leaders rushed to buy this land to “convert their black money into white.”“The total revenue of BJP is around ₹970.43 crore and the land deals is predicted to cost around ₹1914 crore. So we would like to know from the BJP, where did this money come from? And right before the decision to demonetise the currency, in the past 3 to 4 months, you registered land deals in various locations. So was this a way to convert black money into white? BJP must clarify where the money came from and where it was used," stated Neeraj Kumar, spokesperson of JD(U).“BJP, just before demonetisation, purchased lands worth crores and crores of rupees across the country. We have given out details of 8 land transactions, most of which are in the name of BJP National President Amit Shah,” said Randeep Surjewala, Chief of the Congress’ media cell. Timesnow
Before Modi banned Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes BJP was busy investing in real estate
BJP purchased properties worth crores of rupees days before note ban
JD (U) accuses BJP of using black money for buying land below govt rate to evade tax
Nitish reiterates support to Modi over demonetisation, but denies cosying up to BJP
One-time 60% penalty for voluntary cash disclosure
New Delhi:Govt has devised a two-track approach towards disclosure of unaccounted cash in excess of Rs 2.5 lakh threshold announced by PM Modi by setting a moderate penalty for voluntary action but imposing stiff fines on tax evaders caught trying to beat demonetisation.Those who come forward with disclosures will be asked to pay a penalty of 60% of the amount. This will ensure that the cash that remains with them becomes "white", providing a legal alternative as opposed to illegal parking slots like gold, real estate or offshore accounts.The new penalty is higher than the 33.9% tax levied on current (high) income. However, those detected trying to squirrel money into multiple accounts or converting it into other assets will face the full force of the law, a senior govt  source said. 60% penalty option is seen as income declaration scheme part 2 with a rate that is higher than the 45% fine in the just concluded IDS 2016. The funds collected through fines will be placed in a "PM Garib Kalyan Kosh" planned by Centre — a measure intended to underline the govt's claim that demonetisation is a pro-poor measure. Timesofindia
Defects in new Rs 500 notes, RBI blames it on rush
New Delhi: As the crisis owing to demonetisation persists, reports have emerged that the new notes issued by banks are surprisingly different in colour and design from each other. TOI reported on Friday about at least 3 cases where there was a marked difference between two new 500 notes.Report said such differences in legal tender could cause counterfeiting easier, which was one of the reasons cited for effecting demometisation.RBI, for its part, told TOI that the defect could be due to “rush” in printing and that people could use these notes or return them to RBI. indianexpress
FIR Against RBI Governor By Congress Lawmaker Who Spent Hour In Bank
Bharatpur:  He couldn't draw enough money from the bank, so a Congress lawmaker and former royal in Rajasthan has filed a police complaint against RBI governor Urjit Patel.Vishwendra Singh, 54, went to the police in exasperation after failing to withdraw Rs. 10,000 from a bank in Bharatpur.On Thursday, he stood in line at the Oriental Bank of Commerce for about an hour to withdraw new currency after the abrupt ban on Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes on Nov. 8. ndtv
 Demonetisation move declares all Indians as possible crooks, unless they can establish otherwise:Amartya Sen
Demonetisation is a draconian move: Greek Minister
Demonetisation: Don't laugh at Manmohan Singh, a 2% GDP fall can get really painful
India's cash crisis could kill its economic boom: CNN
Demonetisation is a permanent transfer of wealth from poor to the rich:Shankar Gopalakrishnan
Cash shortage to continue for 4 to 5 months: Bank Employees Federation
Hyderabad: 6 arrested for printing fake currency including newly introduced Rs 2,000 notes
Cash crunch hits cycle hub: no sales, production slashed, workers leave
ZAKIR NAIK
Zakir Naik links ban on IRF to demonetisation drive, asks why no action on Yogi Adityanath or Sadhvi Prachi
Mumbai: Dr Zakir Naik on Friday released his second letter. Naik linked ban on his NGO IRF to PM Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive and called it a ‘communal decision’. Naik, in his letter, said the ban on IRF is an attack on Indian Muslims peace, democracy and justice”, and vowed to fight it tooth and nail. In a 3-page open letter issued here, Naik said it was timed to coincide with the demonetisation ‘fiasco’ to prevent resistance and divert the media’s attention. “It is now proven that the decision to ban the IRF was taken months ago and it is a communal decision. Before investigations were done, even before reports submitted, the ban was already decided. IRF was to be banned. Whether it was owing to my religion, or some other reason, it does not matter,” said Naik. He  said his completely lawful work of the past 25 years has been banned, “which is most unfortunate for India”. “I won’t be surprised if this ban is meant to distract the media from what is going on in the country. For, public starved of cash, trade and basic amenities, one cannot expect much of resistance,” Naik said. He said it must be the most unique ban in Indian history as he was not even questioned once or given a chance to explain himself before the ban.“No notice, no summons, no calls, and no contact ever made with me to get my side of the story. I kept offering my help in investigation but it wasn’t taken. I have no choice left but to answer them only through the legal system, and not personally. Their agenda is open and clear: Implicate me by hook or crook, which I will fight,” Naik stated. On the UAPA, Naik said since the plan was to ban IRF and not investigate, the govt invoked the draconian law. “The law does not seem to apply to the likes of Rajeshwar Singh, Yogi Adityanath or Sadhvi Prachi, who continue to make inflammatory speeches. “I will fight this ban, come what may, with all legal options to repeal it,” Naik said. india.com
Zakir Naik slams govt, dubs ban ‘communal decision’
IRF ban to ‘distract from demonetisation fiasco’: Naik
Abu Azmi defends Zakir Naik, alleges RSS, VHP creating "negative perception" about Islam
New Delhi: Backing Zakir Naik's claim that he is being unnecessarily targeted by the Centre, Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi on Saturday said the imposition of the UAPA against the former's IRF is wrong and alleged that the right wing organisations like RSS and VHP were creating a negative perception about Islam.ANI
Zakir Naik believes no religion is better than Islam: BJP
New Delhi: Welcoming the Centre`s decision to ban IRF, run by Zakir Naik, BJP on Saturday asserted that the preacher believes no religion is better than Islam.ANI
Trouble for Zakir Naik grows after ban: NIA tightens noose, IRF staff resigns
Mumbai: Trouble seems to be brewing for Zakir Naik and his NGO IRF.While the NIA is tightening its noose on IRF after the ban on one hand, on the other, the IRF staff has resigned. Fearing the impact of the ban on their careers, all the staff of IRF, including CEO Manzoor Shaikh, has given their resignation to an official identified as Shaukat Jamati. Indiatoday
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Shiv Sena opposes Centre’s Islamic Window idea
Mumbai: BJP ally Shiv Sena has opposed the Centre’s proposal for an “Islamic window” or “Islamic Banking” however the Muslim community has welcomed the decision while expressing concern over politicising the issue.H. Abdur Raqeeb, general secretary, Indian Centre for Islamic Finance (ICIF), said that though a committee helmed by ex-RBI governor, Raghuram Rajan, pushed the idea of inclusion of Muslim community into the mainstream, the move was needed right from the time of recession in USA in 2008-09.“Several committees were instituted and several discussions were held. Later, experts from the Muslim community were involved in the committee and finally, Modi govt took a decision to start at least an ‘Islamic window’ in the conventional banking system,” said Raqeeb.He added that there was no need for an amendment in the existing Banking Regulation Act and simply a notification would suffice. Raqeeb said that the move would attract trillions of dollars into India which would boost the economy. However, Sena threatened not to allow banking in the name of any religion. Referring to the demonetisation drive, Raqeeb said that the Muslim community had been most affected as a majority of Muslims did not have bank accounts. He said that if the Islamic Banking facility was made available in India, the community would suffer less. “If Japan has an Islamic Bank, London has it, and most of the non-Muslim countries have it, why not India?” he questioned while praising PM Narendra Modi for his decision. Asian Age
What is Sharia banking? Here is an insight into Islamic dos and don’ts: financialexpress
Parbhani masjid blast: Imam, not Maharashtra govt, files appeal against acquittal of all accused
Aurangabad (Maharashtra):Hafeez Abdul Qadir, original complainant in the Parbhani masjid blast case and Imam of Mohammadiya Masjid where a blast took place in 2003, has challenged the acquittal of all 4 accused from the case before Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court. Maharashtra state has not filed appeal against acquittal so far, even though time limit of 90 days after the judgment for filing such appeal expired recently.On Nov. 21, 2003 a bomb exploded at Mohammadiya Masjid, Parbhani killing 1 person and injuring 34 others. Nearly three years later, on Aug. 18, 2016 the Parbhani sessions judge MS Jawalkar acquitted all four in the case citing lack of evidences.The acquitted included Rakesh Dhawade who is currently an under trial in Malegaon 2008 blasts case.The revision petition was filed on Wednesday with a prayer of ‘denovo trial’ meaning a re-trial as Abdul Qadir alleged that prosecution did not carry out the trial with full strength and crucial evidences were not brought before trial court.The petition alleges that in addition to the dubious conduct of prosecution agency trial court also remained a mute spectator and did not utilize its powers to call upon any person or document which was likely to be affecting the outcome of trial. Surprisingly, Maharashtra state has not challenged acquittal of all the accused from case due to which Abdul Qadir, being a complainant in the case was forced to file revision petition.“Looking at the prosecution’s conduct during trial I knew state will not appeal against acquittal and therefore I approached Jamiat Ulama-e-Maharashtra to provide legal aid so that justice can be provided to the victims of the blast. I wish to get justice from high court”, Abdul Qadir said.TCN
No more fireworks: Supreme Court orders complete ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi, NCR
The Supreme Court on Friday has banned sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR in an attempt to keep the rising pollution level of the capital and its surrounding areas under check.Where initiatives by older people and veteran campaigners failed, 3 infants have pulled it off.  Passing orders on a joint PIL by Arjun Gopal, Aarav Bhandari and Zoya Rao Bhasin, all aged between six months and 14 months, the SC banned the sale and stocking of all kinds of firecrackers, taking into consideration the grave quality of air.The court also imposed a ban on issuance of new licence in Delhi and National Capital Region with immediate effect. However, there is no restriction on bursting crackers as it would be difficult to implement and monitor, the apex court has said.DailyMail
CBI files corruption case against leader Amanatullah in Waqf Board
In another setback to the AAP, CBI registered a case against party MLA from Okhla, Amanatullah Khan, on Friday for the alleged recruitment scam and financial irregularities in Delhi Waqf Board when Khan was its chairman. Agency registered a corruption case against Khan after Lieutenant Governor  Najeeb Jung recommended a CBI probe into scam allegations, after he dissolved the board in October. This is expected to further escalate tension between the Centre and the AAP govt ."We have registered a corruption case against the then chairman of Delhi Waqf Board and unknown persons under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act related to criminal misconduct and corruption," said a senior CBI officer.DNA
Swamy, Owaisi both say they will abide by SC's decision on Ram Mandir
New Delhi: Fierce opponents BJP MP Subramanian Swamy and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said today they both will accept the decision of the Supreme Court on the disputed Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi site, no matter what that decision is.And that's not all they agreed on. They both were united in their distrust for finance minister Arun Jaitley. Owaisi openly talked about that while Swamy mostly alluded to it.The two were debating at the Times Litfest in Delhi and TV journalist Rajdeep Sardesai moderating."I will accept anyting the court decides,"Swamy said. "I am not advocating violence, I am advocating the decision of the law,"he added.Owaisi too said the same thing.If one were to score the debate it would seem Owaisi would score a tad higher, as he was more reasonable and backed his arguments a lot better than Swamy did.Swamy cited Directive Principles(DPs)of the Constitution to justify a ban on cow slaughter, and to justify the call for a Uniform Civil Code (UCC).Owaisi reminded the audience that DPs were just that - 'directives.'And that Fundamental Rights were a lot higher in hierarch than DPs. Freedom of Religion, a Fundamental Right, therefore takes primacy over religion, Owaisi said.Swamy, on his part, talked about Hindu civilisation always being accepting of other religions. He spoke of how India welcomed Jews, Christians and even Muslims way back in the day, in Kerala.At this point, the moderator TV journalist Rajdeep Sardesai asked whether it was right to avenge in 2016 (or 1992 when the Babri Masjid was destroyed by Hindus) an act of violence that occurred in the 17th century. He also made a veiled accusation that Swamy is communal.TOI
Ram temple should be an issue in UP polls: Swamy
India isn’t secular, says Saaed Naqvi
Madras HC sets aside order banning protests on Dec.6
Madurai: A Division Bench of the Madras High Court Bench here on Friday set aside an order passed by a single judge of the High Court on Dec. 4 directing State govt  not to give permission for demonstrations, rallies or any other form of protest by any religious organisation on De.6, the day when Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was demolished, beginning from this year. Disposing of a writ appeal preferred by an office-bearer of PFI, Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and J. Nisha Banu set aside two paragraphs from the single judge’s order passed on a writ petition filed by an office-bearer of the Hindu Munnani seeking permission to hold a demonstration in Dindigul on Dec.6, demanding construction of Ram temple at site where the 16th century mosque was demolished in 1992. The hindu
Congregational prayers allowed at Jamia Masjid after 19 Fridays
Congregational Friday prayers were offered at historic Jamia Masjid today after remaining barred for nineteen consecutive weeks. Witnesses said that siege was lifted from the areas surrounding the mosque in downtown Srinagar today for the first time in the ongoing unrest triggered by the July 8 killing of militant commander Burhan Wani.A large number of people offered prayers at the mosque today, they said.However, Hurriyat (M) chairman and chief priest Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who delivers the sermon every Friday at the mosque, continued to be placed under house arrest.
Detention of rights activist Khurram Parvez illegal, release him: J&K HC
Haneef seeks bail, says religious preaching not illegal
Mumbai: Mohammed Haneef, a religious scholar from Kerala — booked for radicalising son of a Mumbai-based businessman and inducing him to join ISIS — moved a bail plea before the sessions court earlier this week, saying that preaching or providing religious knowledge is not an offence under the law.In a bail plea filed by advocate Sharif Shaikh and his associates, Haneef said he was falsely implicated. “He was undertaking religious work as an Imam in Masjid, according to Islam and its customs. Haneef said he did not engage or participate in or became a member of any unlawful organisations at any point. He also claimed that the allegations against him were concocted.HT
Veteran Journalist Dileep Padgaonkar Passes Away
Senior journalist Dileep Padgaonkar passed away at a private hospital in Pune on Friday morning.He was 72 years old. Padgaonkar, who was ex editor of TOI, began his career as a journalist at the age of 24.He was born in Pune and studied at the St Vincent High School and Fergusson College.He later received a doctorate in humanities from the Sorbonne in June 1968 and joined TOI as its Paris correspondent. He served the paper in various capacities before he was appointed its editor in 1988, a post he held for 6 years. He also worked with UNESCO in Bangkok and Paris from 1978 to 1986.AP
Muslim youth arrested for allegedly circulating objectionable photo of Modi
Morena: A man was arrested in Banmore town in MP for allegedly circulating an objectionable picture of PM Narendra Modi on social media, police said on Friday. Aslam Khan (25), who runs a mobile shop, was arrested Thursday for allegedly circulating the objectionable photo of PM, Banmore SDOP Atmaram Sharma said.siasat
Govt, cops get notice after Najeeb's mother moves HC
More than a month after JNU student Najeeb Ahmed went missing under mysterious circumstances, his mother Fatima Nafees on Friday filed a Habeas Corpus petition in the High Court, expressing dissatisfaction over the police investigation in the case.The matter was listed before the Division Bench comprising Justices GS Sistani and Sunita Gupta, which issued notices to the Delhi govt  and the police, asking them to come up with explanations. Bench also directed the Delhi Police to come up with their investigation report within 3 days.In her petition, Nafees expressed dissatisfaction with the way the Delhi Police have been conducting the investigation and accused the varsity administration of "shielding the persons responsible for her son's disappearance". dnaindia
VC's confinement: JNU issues show cause notices to Kanhaiya, 19 others
New Delhi: JNU administration has issued show cause notices to 20 students, including sedition accused Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid, seeking explanation for the alleged " illegal confinement " of VC and other officials in the varsity building.A group of agitating students had confined the VC and other senior officials in the administrative building for over 20 hours last month alleging inaction on the administration's part in locating missing student Najeeb..PTI
Rally for missing JNU student Najeeb: Expedite search operation, demand Mumbai students
Mumbai students protest over missing JNU student
Bulandshahr assault victim says she was gangraped too by Bajrang Dal men
Khurja: The woman, who along with her friend was assaulted, allegedly by Bajrang Dal members, in Khurja town of UP’s Bulandshahr district Sunday, has alleged that she was gangraped too but police did not lodge her complaint in this regard. The victim’s statement was recorded before the court Thursday. Police have included the gangrape charges in FIR on the basis of her statement in court. Draped in a burqa, the woman in her late 20s told The Indian Express that she lived in Bulandshahr city with her husband and three children and had come to visit her parents in Khurja a few days ago. According to her, she and her friend were talking while waiting for pizza when some persons, claiming to be Bajrang Dal members, attacked them. “They sexually abused me. When police arrived, they tried to strangulate me with my dupatta,” she alleged. “I was to return on Sunday. These people did this. They made a video too. My husband asked why I went there and banged the phone. Where will I go now? The wounds may get healed, but my life won’t be fixed. I need justice.”In the video that has gone viral, the man and the woman, both Muslims, can be seen being assaulted with sticks.Police have arrested five persons, including district convener of Bajrang Dal Praveen Bhati. Circle officer Vijay Prakash Singh said the man and woman were old friends. Both were in Khurja on Sunday and decided to meet.“They went to a confectionery shop to have pizza, but wanted to talk in private. This (attack) happened when some Bajrang Dal men noticed 2 and were told that one of them is a Muslim. Bhati thought it was a case of ‘love jihad’. Later, he found both were Muslims, but beat them up anyway,” he said. He said they had named 20 persons, including Bhati, in FIR. They have been booked under charges of rioting, attempt to murder, illegal detention and molestation. While four accused are still in jail, Bhati was granted bail Wednesday. indian express
AIMPLB's smartphone app receives massive response
Hyderabad: AIMPLB smartphone app, designed by a city-based techie, has received massive response with thousands having downloaded it.App was designed so that those supporting the Muslim panel could take photos of a board released form signed by the user who declares full faith in AIMPLB in matters of marriage, divorce and other aspects of faith.TOI
Bareilly:Clerics form panel to oppose uniform civil code
RSS leader to talk on 'Uniform Civil Code' on Nov 30
Bangladesh PM Hasina to honour Indian soldiers killed in 1971 war, will meet their kin
World
Israeli PM trying to benefit from Haifa fires:Palestinian Knesset member
Jerusalem - A Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset has accused Benjamin Netanyahu of seeking to achieve "political gains out of an unfortunate state of events".The accusation came in response to to a barrage of statements by the Israeli PM  and members of his coalition blaming Israel's Arab minority for the fires that have swept across the country since Tuesday."Israeli ministers not only blamed Palestinians for igniting the fires, but Netanyahu, the PM , and Aryeh Deri, the internal affairs minister, suggested revoking the citizenship of anyone who lit fires," said Jamal Zahalka, a Knesset member of the Joint List, a coalition of Arab Palestinian political parties and leader of Balad faction.Since Tuesday, strong winds and dry weather have fuelled hundreds of fires across Israel and occupied Palestinian territory.Tens of thousands of residents were allowed to return to their homes in Haifa on Friday after being evacuated on Thursday, but fires raged around Jerusalem, northern parts of the country and parts of the occupied West Bank into Friday night.Israeli fire crews received air support from Cyprus, France, England, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Russia and the US, Rosenfeld said.Palestinian firefighters assisted Israeli crews in the efforts on the ground and the flames were pushed back by night. 40 Palestinian firefighters travelled to Jerusalem on Thursday night after the Palestinian Authority offered to assist in efforts to contain the spread of the fires.After the fires in Haifa were contained, Palestinian crews travelled to Jerusalem, said Nael Azzeh, spokesperson for the Palestinian Civil Defence.Micky Rosenfeld, Israeli police spokesperson, said that "12 people had been arrested in connection with the fires" in recent days, without elaborating further on individual cases.Meanwhile, Palestinian agency Wafa reported that a fire that broke out near Palestinian town of Huwwara in the occupied West Bank on Thursday was allegedly carried out by Israeli settlers from Yitzhar.Al Jazeera
Palestinian firefighters arrive to fight Israeli wildfires
Netanyahu thanks Turkey for plane to fight wildfires
EU slams Israel over settlement construction
European Union (EU) slammed Saturday the Israeli decision to advance plans for 500 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo settlement illegally built in occupied Jerusalem.PIC
Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary, Dies at 90
Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader, bedeviling 11 American presidents and briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war, died Friday. He was 90. His death was announced by Cuban state TV. nytimes
Syria's war: Aleppo residents '10 days from starvation'
The inhabitants of besieged eastern Aleppo have fewer than 10 days to receive aid or face starvation and death from a lack of medical supplies, according to the head of Syria Civil Defence, or White Helmets. Volunteer group, which works in opposition-held territory and has rescued thousands of people from buildings bombed in the civil war, is also running out of basic equipment from lorries to diesel and gas masks."You cannot imagine how the situation is," Raed al-Saleh told Reuters.With freezing winter conditions setting in, about 275,000 people are trapped in eastern Aleppo, where the last UN food rations were distributed on Nov.13. Aljazeera
Suu Kyi accused of 'legitimising genocide of Rohingya Muslims'
Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi, stands accused of not protecting Rohingya Muslims in the country and potentially “legitimising genocide”.Military operations in Rakhine State have caused thousands to flee across the border to Bangladesh. A UN official said Rohingya in Burma were being ethnically cleansed with Rohingya alleging that govt  soldiers have killed and raped civilians. Military action – launched in response to coordinated attacks by armed men on border posts in Oct - has left scores of people dead.Army says it is fighting an armed insurgency in the region and the govt denies abuses.“International community misunderstood us because of Rohingya lobbyists who distributed fabricated news,” the presidential spokesman, Zaw Htay, said this week. independent
Myanmar crisis sparks Muslim protests in Asian capitals
Burma is pursuing ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Rohingyas: un
‘They raped us one by one,’ says Rohingya woman:AFP
Qamar Javed Bajwa appointed as Pak New Army Chief
New Delhi: Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif on Saturday appointed Lt General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the country’s new army chief.Bajwa would take over as Pakistan's 16th army chief from Raheel Sharif, whose 3-year term ends on Nov.29.Bajwa belongs to the Balochistan Regiment and is currently serving as Inspector General of the Training and Evaluation.Others in contention for the post were Lt. General Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed, Bahawalpur Corps Commander Lt General Javed Iqbal Ramday and Lt Gen Zubair Hayat.Outgoing army chief Raheel Sharif's choice of successor was said to be Lt. General Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed, who enjoys a high reputation within the force. But PM Nawaz Sharif was said to be wary of Nadeem’s “straight and blunt” approach.CNN-News18
General Qamar Javed Bajwa named new Pakistan Army chief:Reuters
Lt Gen Qamar Bajwa chosen as new army chief: Dawn
Pakistan allows Russia use of Gwadar Port under CPEC
Ashgabad:Pakistan on Saturday decided to accord approval to a Russian request for using the Gwadar Port for its exports as Moscow has also showed its willingness to be part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).Following Iran and Turkmenistan, Russia has decided to use the Gwadar Port for trade to have an access to warm waters, a top official privy to the development told Geo News. Russia also wants to join the CPEC to reap maximum dividends. In addition, Russia aspires to develop strategic defence ties with Pakistan, Geo News reported. Islamabad has moved forward with a green signal allowing Russia to use the Gwadar Port for trade.IANS
Hungarian village bans mosques, muezzins, burqas, burkinis to block migrants
Budapest, Hungary: The far-right mayor of a Hungarian village says councilors have voted to ban the construction of mosques and the activity of muezzins, as well as the use of veils and headscarves like burqas, chadors and burkinis worn by Muslim women. Asotthalom mayor Laszlo Toroczkai says the ordinance was adopted to defend the village's "community and traditions" from any EU scheme to resettle asylum-seekers among the members of 28-nation bloc. Southern village is on the border with Serbia and has been a major entry point into Hungary for migrants on Balkan route trying to reach Western Europe.AP
Scores killed in Iran train collision
At least 44 people have been killed and 100 others injured when two passenger trains collided in Iran's north-central province of Semnan, and the death toll is likely to rise, according to news reports and local officials. aljazeera
Turkish foreign minister visits Iran, meets Rouhani
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited Iran on Saturday and met President Hassan Rouhani, Iranian state media reported, in rare previously announced talks between the regional rivals.Cavusoglu was also due to meet his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif during the visit, the official news agency IRNA reported."Despite (their differences), the two countries' officials are looking for solutions and seeking to draw closer their points of views, especially on Iraq and Syria," IRNA reported, without giving details of the talks.
Erdogan,Putin in Syria talks after Turkish soldiers killed
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed the Syrian conflict with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by phone Friday after the Turkish army accused Moscow ally Damascus of killing its soldiers in northern Syria.Erdogan informed Putin of the strike that killed four Turkish soldiers, presidential sources said, which the Turkish army assessed to have been by the forces of Bashar al-Assad early on Thursday.World Bulletin
Return of secret informants scares Sunnis in Iraq
The reactivation of a programme of secret informants in the predominantly Sunni Arab Iraqi province of Diyala has frightened residents who fear this would lead thousands of them to prisons by vengeful and deceitful informers, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported yesterday.During the reign of former PM  and current Vice President Nouri Al-Maliki, thousands of Iraqis were sent to prisons based on false information provided by secret informants. After an agreement with Sunni political groups and tribes, current PM Haider Al-Abadi agreed to stop the use of these informants. middleeastmonitor
Iraq parliament recognizes Shia militia
 Iraqi parliament Saturday voted to recognize the Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia as an official force. Some 208 MPs of the 328-seat parliament attended Saturday’s vote, which was boycotted by Sunni lawmakers. World Bulletin
Egypt: Brotherhood official insists dispute is with Sisi, not military
A senior official of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has told the Cairo Criminal Court that the movement has every respect for the armed forces, and its dispute is with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.Mohamed El-Beltagy said that militant factions are wreaking havoc in Sinai because they believe that the current regime has no legitimacy.He made his comments when a video was presented as evidence in court. It showed him at the pro-Morsi Rabaa Al-Adawiyya Square sit-in, stressing that terrorist acts would stop only with the reinstatement of the ousted president.“This video clip,” he told the court, “was political and did not incite violence…We hold every respect for our armed forces; our dispute is with Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.” middleeastmonitor
World’s largest university for women in Saudi to boost female sports
Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University (PNU), which is believed to be the largest women’s university in the world, has signed an agreement with the Saudi govt  General Authority for Sports to promote healthy lifestyles amongst women and to increase women’s sports participation. middleeastmonitor

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:27 PM)

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