LIVE WORLD NEWS

22 December 2016

Evening NEWS DIGEST
22  Dec.2016: 22 Rabiul Awwal 1438: Vol:8, No:69
Now, Law Ministry to bring tribals under Uniform Civil Code, too
New Delhi: While debate over Muslim Personal Law is still raging in the country, the Law Commission has now decided to bring tribals under the ambit of the proposed Uniform Civil Code (UCC). Tribals in India have so far governed themselves and decided their own customs through special constitutional rights. Top sources in the commission and law ministry told DNA that the commission is soon likely to come up with its second questionnaire seeking public opinion on whether tribals should be brought under UCC.The questionnaire is also likely to have questions pertaining to certain practices that are part of some tribal cultures. Some controversial practices in tribals include wife-swapping and mating of minors.The questionnaire did not have any specific questions related to tribals but a certain section of the community has already moved the Supreme Court against the UCC.Sources in the commission and law ministry confirmed the development and said that the decision to include tribals in UCC was taken in a high level meeting on Dec. 7. The officials also discussed the desirability and feasibility of a supplementary questionnaire for purpose of engaging tribals in the debate and the law commission chairman Justice BS Chauhan gave a go-ahead to the idea of second questionnaire, sources said."Certain constitutional and legal safeguards available to various communities and groups such as Article 371 A, 371 B, article 244 read with fifth and sixth schedule of the Constitution of India, Section 1 of CrPC and section 1 of IPC also needs to be taken into consideration while working on a UCC," Sources quoted Justice Chauhan from meeting.According to sources, the panel decided to include tribals in the proposed UCC after analyzing responses to the first questionnaire.Sources said responses to the Commission from Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM and West Bangal CM Trinamool Congress formed the basis of the idea. The two political parties questioned the fallout of the UCC on the constitutional provisions which provide special status to tribals. Quoting AIMIM's response to the commission, a source said, "Will a UCC not violate certain provisions of the Constitution. If exceptions may be created for certain groups-then what shall be the basis of such exceptions?" DNA
Sharia courts have role to play in dispute resolution: Faizan Mustafa, VC Law University
In an article on the recent Madras High court verdict that ordered state govt to ban sharia courts, V-C of NALSAR University of Law, Faizan Mustafa criticizing the order writes, "Madras High Court order on Sharia courts is strange as the Supreme Court itself in its landmark decision on July 7, 2014 has held that Sharia courts are not courts as the Indian legal system doesn’t recognise a parallel judicial system. No one has ever asserted that Sharia courts are ‘courts’ in the strict sense of the term. Is it not a fact that privatisation of justice is a fact of life not only in a developing country like India but in most developed countries?Does our law not recognise arbitration and other alternative methods of dispute resolution?Most businesses consider a private arbitrator anattractive alternative to a judge selected by the govt. A recent survey of 1,000 of the largest US corporations showed that 79% used arbitration to resolve commercial disputes in the last three years.Thus one of the central functions of govt, business dispute resolution, is largely escaping the State’s sphere of influence. The decline in the use of public court processes and the shift to private, largely unregulated and unscrutinised processes is a global trend. Govts do attempt to portray the court system as one of speedy and impartial justice. But in reality, traditional courts have many problems, just like the other appendages of govt al bureaucracy. They are often slow at their best and conduits for gross injustice at their worst.At a more fundamental level, no evidence shows that the adversarial system which our judiciary follows is the best way to solve disputes. Whenever parties choose arbitration rather than govt courts, it demonstrates that arbitration is making both parties better off." He continued, "A study of 94 years of Sharia courts’ decisions would show that the courts have been by and large pro-women and have saved hundreds of marriages and gave decisions in favour of destitute women."  HT
Triple talaq: Muslim law board clerics following Shaitaan, not Rahman, says RSS leader
Agra: In its efforts to turn Muslim women towards the BJP, the Muslim Rashtriya Manch, which is a Muslim frontal organization of RSS, has opened a front against the triple talaq issue in Agra. RSS leader Indresh Kumar held a meeting with the Muslim community of Agra in which he criticised the Muslim Personal Law Board's stand on triple talaq issue saying that the board appears to be standing alongside "Shaitaan" instead of "Rahman".In an interview to India Today, Kumar said that triple talaq has not been mentioned in the holy Quran and even if it is necessary, talaq should be given in the light of the quran and hadith. Talaq given under the influence of any drug or alcohol or in anger is 'haraam' and is deemed invalid in the eyes of the Islamic law.He said that the Islamic clerics are misleading Muslim men and women in the name of Islamic laws but in fact, they are keeping the Muslim populace ignorant about the real meaning of Islam. He warned the Muslims not to be misled by the 'maulanas' and not allow them to do what they please on the matter of triple talaq.Indresh said that the Muslim Personal Law Board needs to decide what path it wants to pick - that of the devil or that shown by the Prophet.So far, he said, the board has chosen the devil's path and ignored the rights of the 10-12 crore Muslim women in India, but it is time that the clerics give up their previously assumed stand and choose the righteous path in the light of the holy Quran and hadith.He said that the Prophet himself never used talaq in his life. It was his effort that all women should get equal rights in Muslim society and RSS will launch a nationwide signature campaign through the Muslim Rashtriya Manch on this matter. The campaign has been started from Agra and will continue across the country. Criticising Indresh for commenting on the Muslim Personal Law Board, Mufti Mudassar Ali Khan Qadri said "Indresh should first adopt Islam before commenting." He said that "if the RSS is so devoted towards securing Muslim rights in India, then Indresh should tell how many Muslims are there in RSS and their total percentage." Qadri said "there are very few Muslims seen at the meetings of RSS, which is a clear indicator of what place Muslims have in Sangh's organisation. India today
Uniform Civil Code no threat to pluralism: Katju
Kochi:Markandey Katju, ex-Supreme Court judge, has said that vote bank politics has stalled the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code in the country. Katju said that a common law did not mean that pluralism would come to an end in the society. “When the old Hindu laws were abolished, Hinduism was not abolished. Even if you abolish Shariat laws, Islam will not be abolished. Many Muslim women are now opposing the triple talaq,” he said. Asked whether it was proper to forcibly impose a common code, Katju said he believed some kind of force was required to eradicate backward practices in various religions.
Najeeb Jung resigns as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi
New Delhi:In a sudden and surprise move, Najeeb Jung on Thursday resigned as the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. He submitted his resignation to the govt of India. According to Raj Bhawan, Jung would be returning to his first love, which is, academics. He thanked PM Narendra Modi for all the help and cooperation he received during his tenure. Jung also thanked the people of Delhi for all their support and affection, especially during the one year’s President Rule in Delhi, when he got unstinted support from them and which in turn helped run the administration in Delhi smoothly and effortlessly.He was also thankful to CM Kejriwal, with whom he always had dispute over administrative jurisdiction,for his association in the last 2 years.
Najeeb Jung's resignation: BJP blames Kejriwal government, Congress says 'exit unceremonious'
Jung's resignation is a surprise to me: Kejriwal
Delhi HC directs lie detector test on 9 suspects in connections with Najeeb’s disappearance
New Delhi:Over the ongoing investigation on JNU scholar Najeeb Ahmed’s mysterious disappearance, Delhi High Court had, today, directed the police to conduct lie detector tests of 9 suspects allegedly having connection in the case and the matter had been adjourned till Jan.23rd, next year. In a status report submitted at the court, Delhi police had stated that 560 police officials along with the dog squad had conducted search operations at the JNU campus for 2 days, in the presence of the missing student’s mother and brother. Earlier, yesterday, the police, after their second day of search at the JNU campus, had said that it will conduct lie detector test on Najeeb’s room partner Kazim. The police Crime Branch started probe. on the Najeeb missing case, at the JNU campus from Monday. However, JNU students had expressed disappointment over the police investigation citing the delay in tracing the student, who went missing after being beaten up by a mob of 20 students, most of whom were ABVP members.financialexpress
Over 100 names in Sahara file, officials claim some pages may be ‘fabricated’
New Delhi: The purported Sahara “diary,” now in the Supreme Court, are, in fact, 11 pages of alleged “payment entries” that name more than 100 leaders across the political spectrum as recipients. These include those from at least 18 parties including BJP, Congress, JD(U), RJD, SP, NCP, JMM, JVM, TMC, BJD, BKU, Shiv Sena and LJP.There are 2 printed pages with two lists of names of politicians that have a total of 54 names. 2 handwritten pages and another printed page with some jottings repeat some of these names. Another 2 printed pages list 62 candidates contesting elections.One handwritten page has payment dates of 2010 against the alleged entries. The diary also include 5 pages of what it calls “received details” of incoming payments in a tabular form with “cash expenditure details” made between 2013 and 2014. The stated outflow of funds during 10 months, as per these entries, adds up to over Rs 100 crore.Senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan filed a petition in the apex court alleging a “cover-up” following raids conducted by the Income Tax Dept.against Aditya Birla Group companies in Oct.2013 and on Sahara India Group in Nov.2014. On Oct.25, 2016, Bhushan had sent his complaint to all investigating agencies and the two retired judges heading the Special Investigating Team on black money. indianexpress
Rahul Gandhi vs Modi row: Over 100 politicians listed in Sahara diary, but some pages may be ‘doctored’
Charges against Modi deserve proper response, impartial inquiry: Sitaram Yechury
DEMONETISATION
Amit Shah’s co-operative bank at Ahmedabad Ashramam road gets Rs 500 crore deposit, just after notes ban
Ahemedabad: Within 3 days after the announcement of demonitisation, a co­operative bank have got Rs. 500 crore deposit. BJP chief Amit Shah is the director of this Bank. Income Tax Dept.and Enforcement Directorate have started investigation on this information. The bank is at Ahmedabad Ashramam road. Major part of this 500 crore, is deposited on same night of announcement of demonitisation. There are 190 branches for this co­operative bank. But the money in such large amount is deposited only in its head office at Ashramam Road. The money has started flowing to the bank just after the demonitisation announcement.Small vendors and farmers form the majority customers of the bank. This strengthens the doubt that, form where did such a huge amount of 500 crore was deposited in this bank. IT Dept.is also verifying CCTV visuals from the bank.Various co­operative banks in Gujarat were also piled up with such illegal money deposits.india livetoday
'Demonetisation may have cost banks Rs 3,000 cr per day'
Bank officers hold demonstration at RBI offices across India
New Delhi: Members of All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) today held demonstrations at various RBI offices, including Mint Road headquarters in Mumbai, demanding adequate cash availability to banks and complete withdrawal of deposit cap rules. Besides Delhi, demonstrations were held at various offices of RBI, including its head offices in Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Jaipur.PTI
Volume up but value of card transactions falls to 9-month low
OTHERS
Lt General Bakshi meets Defence Minister amidst speculation he will resign from Indian Army
Lt General Praveen Bakshi, who was superseded to appoint Lt General Bipin Rawat as the new Indian Army chief, met Defence Minisre Manohar Parrikar amidst speculation that he would resign from Army, reported the Indian Express. The report quotes officials as saying that Lt General Bakshi had sought a meeting with Parrikar as a courtesy call. Bakshi also reportedly met the present Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag after that. While the Opposition has widely questioned the Modi govt ’s decision to supersede to senior Army officers, Lt General Bakshi and Lt General PM Hariz, defence sources have maintained the Rawat was chosen for his “tremendous hands on experience of serving in combat areas”. Some reports have also been suggesting that Bakshi may actually be appointed India’s first Chief of Defence Staff. Lt General Bakshi is currently the chief of the Eastern Command. financialexpress
Contain Zakir Naik for peace and harmony: Centre to tell Tribunal
New Delhi: A Zakir Naik's lecture that allegedly justified suicide bombings is one of the many documents that the govt has submitted before a judicial tribunal looking into the ban imposed on the IRF, the preacher's NGO.Tribunal was set up after the govt banned the NGO. Once a ban is imposed, a tribunal would hear out the govt as well as the organisation and decide if the ban is justified or not. Govt officials say that they have a strong case on hand and the ban was imposed after serious consideration of the records. Govt would, however, rely heavily on the cases filed against Naik and his NGO by Kerala and Maharashtra police. Centre, during course of arguments would also submit if Naik's NGO is not contained, it could lead to enmity being promoted between two religions. oneindia.com
Tribunal formed to look into IRF ban begins work
Centre may examine medicinal properties of cow urine
New Delhi:Science and Technology Ministry may now have to critically evaluate the role of cow urine and dung in curing diseases.On Dec.18 and 19, Union Science Minister Harsh Vardhan and a slew of senior officials from the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology and National Environment and Engineering Research Institute participated in a workshop.Titled ‘Scientific Validation and Research on Panchgavya’, it was held at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. ‘Panchgavya’, or mixture of 5 products from the cow, is a concoction of dung, urine and milk along with curd and butter. “I call for everyone’s support & participation in this noble effort,” Dr.Vardhan — a medical doctor — tweeted,“MoS&T is firmly with cause of panchgavya.” thehindu
Ayurveda Researcher Says Western Cows Fart To Destroy Ozone Layer, But Indian Cows Are Innocent
While scientists across the globe have been struggling to find ways to curb climate change, a researcher of the Jamnagar-based Gujarat Ayurveda University has claimed that the belching of the Western cows adversely affects the ozone layer, causing the hole in it, but holy Indian cows are not responsible for global warming.Dr Hitesh Jani, who has been given responsibility to conduct research by Gujarat Gauseva and Gauchar Vikas Board, in his research paper says that Western cows are responsible for global warming while glorifying cows of Indian origin."In India, we prefer our original zero-maintenance desi cow, rather than fat Jersey cows that keep eating and drinking through the day, fall sick more often and have to be pumped full of antibiotics. These cows fart methane gas, so often that the ozone layer has got a hole," reads his research paper, 'Panchgavya Chikitsa: The Medicine of Millennium', which glorifies Indian 'gau' over Western Jersey cows. The research paper says that the A-1 milk of Western cows is the root cause of many diseases, but the A-2 milk of Indian cows are a celestial remedy for all diseases. indiatimes
Pak accuses India of attempting to change Kashmir demographics
Islamabad:Pakistan has accused India of settling non-Kashmiris in Jammu in an attempt to change the demographic composition of the region.“Reportedly, PDP-BJP regime… in violation of UNSC Resolutions, has started issuing domicile certificates to non-Kashmiri Hindus in Jammu region.The move is part of the regime’s nefarious designs to change the demographic composition of the territory,” Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said.“This act of bringing material change in the disputed territory of J&K is a blatant violation of UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir. Kashmiris have hopes that international community and relevant international organizations will call India to the account,” he alleged.PTI
UN chief Ban Ki-moon asks India, Pakistan to resolve differences through dialogue
NSA to take a call on relief for Khalid Wani’s family
Srinagar: NSA Ajit Doval is likely to take a call on granting ex gratia to the family of the slain Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani for the controversial killing of his elder brother, Khalid Wani, in 2013.Sources said Doval would meet officials of the Army, the police and other security agencies and discuss the issue on Dec.27.Pulwama district administration has compiled a list of 140 cases, including that of Khalid, for paying compensation. Khalid, 25, was killed on April 13, 2015, in a forest area at Tral in Pulwama. Army said it was an encounter death. However, the family alleged that he was killed in “custody” and he was a “civilian”. thehindu
NIA registers case in cross-LoC almonds trade allegedly financing militancy in J&K
NIA has registered a case against unknown people in connection with the trade of California almonds across LoC in J&K, reported PTI. The investigative officials have carried out searches at the trade facilitation centres in Salamabad in Kashmir’s Baramulla district and Chakan-da-bagh in Poonch district of Jammu and seized 20 sacks of documents.“We are analysing the records. There is a huge over-valuation of products that come from Pakistan,” an official told The Hindu. This came after the NIA got a tip-off that proceeds from this trade was being used to fund militant outfits in the state. scroll
California almonds new mode of terror funding in LoC trade: NIA
Modi Govt wants more power for NIA, move could eat into states’ rights
New Delhi:NDA govt wants to expand the mandate of NIA, giving it powers to probe human trafficking, weapons dealers, hacking of important websites and violations of the explosives law. Home minister Rajnath Singh also wants to end central agency’s dependence on approval from state police chiefs before confiscating or attaching assets of people accused of crime. Unlike CBI, NIA was not dependent on the state govt’s approval before probing these offences. There were protests later that the provision violated the constitutional separation of powers between the states and Centre. Law and order is a state subject.Among those who protested was then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi.HT
Govt wants J-K’s penal law under NIA purview
No gallows in Telangana or AP to hang Hyderabad blast convict Yasin Bhatkal: HT report
How private companies using Aadhaar to try to deliver better services
Aadhaar, as India’s Unique Identity Project is called, aims to give a 12-digit unique identity number to all residents by collecting their fingerprint and iris scans. As of Sept., its database, maintained by Unique Identity Authority of India, held the names, addresses and biometric information of more than 105 crore people. Project was created by the UPA govt in 2009 to reduce leakages in the country’s welfare programmes. But, quietly, a range of private sector companies have started using it. This includes verification firms like Authbridge, banks like HDFC, telecommunications companies like Reliance Jio, among others.So far, most discussions on Aadhaar have focused on its utility for welfare delivery and the risk of govt surveillance. But as private sector companies incorporate Aadhaar into their systems, fresh questions and concerns are emerging about what this means. A recent tweet by a journalist that went viral encapsulated these concerns. Vijaita Singh tweets, "Yes, I was astonished to see my entire aadhar card replica on Jio salesman's palmtop, how can govt give them access to our private data?" scroll.in
UPSC Combined Medical Services Exam 2016: 43 Muslims among 894 recommended for various posts
New Delhi: 43 Muslim doctors are among a total of 894 recommended for various medical posts to be filled based on Combined Medical Services (CMS) Examination 2016 conducted by UPSC the final results of which were declared Wednesday. Out of the total 43 Muslim doctors, who made to the list of 894 successful candidates, 13 are female.As per the Merit List released by the UPSC, 09 Muslim doctors figure among top 100. Ahammad Kabeer bagged the 18th rank whereas Saif Anees ranked 22, Zeba Khanam 27 and M. Tausif Ullah ranked 28.Other Muslim doctors who are among top 100 are Nadeem Husain (rank 54), Ahsan Kamal (rank 61), Reham Ahmad (rank 72), Mahammad Samim Mandal (rank 76) and V Md Ismail Zabeehullah (rank 100). ummid
Muslim woman cohabited with married Hindu man gets share over his land: The Hitavada     
Raipur: A woman who cohabited without marriage with an already married man has got right along with other heirs in the land of the man after his death. The married man was follower of Hindu religion while the woman with whom he lived was a Muslim and the man had not divorced his first wife. It was on the basis of a ruling of the Supreme Court of India the woman other than the first wife has been given right on the land.In the Court of Additional Tahsildar, Thankhamariah, the son of the deceased man filed application for mutation of revenue records related to 3.69 hectares of land that was owned by the man. The son wanted the land to be in his name and also in the names of his mother (the first wife who became widow) and his sisters jointly. Muslim woman filed objection and demanded inclusion of her name and also the names of her two daughters with the property. The Muslim woman claimed to be the wife of the man and she also maintained that the man was father of her two daughters. She claimed that the man had married her.

WORLD
Report: Company building ships for Israeli navy owned by Lebanese official
Israeli TV has reported that a company building warships for the Israeli Navy is owned by the family of Samir Moqbel, Lebanon’s defence minister until last week.According to the Channel 2 report broadcast yesterday, the construction of four ships was agreed in a 2015 deal worth $480 million between Israel and German company ThyssenKrupp, which then subcontracted the work to the Moqbel-owned shipyard, now called German Naval Yards Kiel. As described by the Times of Israel, Channel 2 claimed that “the true ownership of the company emerged when Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit recently sent an urgent letter to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, calling on him to open an investigation into the affair.” middleeastmonitor
Hezbollah using US weaponry in Syria – senior Israeli military officer
Israel has informed the US that Lebanese Hezbollah fighters in Syria are using US armoured personnel carriers originally supplied to the Lebanese Army, a senior Israeli military officer said on Wednesday.US State Department said last month that the American embassy in Beirut was working to investigate images on social media purporting to show Hezbollah, which supports President Bashar al-Assad, displaying US military equipment in Syria.Those images were widely reported to have been of US-made M113 armoured personnel carriers, which the State Department said were extremely common in the region.In an intelligence briefing to foreign reporters in Tel Aviv, the senior officer showed a photograph of military vehicles, which he said included US-made armoured personnel carriers (APCs), along a road. middleeastmonitor
Saudi Egypt relations sour? Pro Al-Sisi Egyptian media calls King Salman a traitor
Egyptian campaign against Saudi Arabia has reached new heights when a newspaper loyal to coup President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi described the Saudi monarch, King Salman Bin Abdelaziz, as a traitor. In the meantime, pro-Sisi parliamentarians have launched a sharp attack on Saudi Arabia, expressing contempt for it. One of them said: “We want to position Saudi Arabia where it deserves to be placed.” Yesterday, the human rights committee of the post-coup parliament witnessed a stormy attack on the visit made on Friday to Ethiopia by Saudi officials and what has been reported of Saudi funding for the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is said to reduce Egypt’s share of the waters of the Nile.MP Said Shababik, one of the committee’s members, said: “We want to position Saudi Arabia where it deserves to be placed.”This came after MP Magdy Seif raised questions, during the committee’s meeting, in the presence of assistant Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Khalid Yusri, about the connection between the visit and the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.In a new escalation in the press, the pro-regime International News newspaper yesterday published a picture of King Salman on the front page with a headline which read: “His Majesty the Traitor”. The newspaper attacked the Saudi monarch and described him as a traitor.In a series of subheadings, the newspaper explains that it considers the Saudi monarch a traitor for three reasons:Some observers see such media attitude as a new escalation by the Egyptian press against Saudi Arabia. In the meantime, news reports have disclosed, quoting a diplomatic source, that the majority of agreements between Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been precluded or delayed except for the projects linked to Al-Azhar,for these have almost completely been implemented.The Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper quoted the source as saying that most of the investments that are backed by personalities close to Muhammad Bin Salman have been completely stopped in the aftermath of the suspension of oil supplies through the state owned Aramco. The source added that “the Saudi pressure will not force a change in the Egyptian position whether regarding the Syrian crisis or the Yemeni crisis and that Cairo will maintain communication with all parties without exception”.Arabi21/ middleeastmonitor
Turkish army suffers biggest loss in operation against ISIL in Syria
Clashes between Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and ISIL fighters have intensified around the northern Syrian town of Al-Bab, resulting in the deaths of 16 Turkish soldiers, the military's highest single-day toll of its 4-month campaign inside the country.Wednesday's battles, in which another 33 Turkish soldiers were wounded and 138 ISIL members were also killed, were some of the deadliest yet in Turkey's Euphrates Shield operation in northern Syria, according to the army."The operation to control Al-Bab, which is being besieged under the Euphrates Shield Operation, is ongoing," army said in a statement. The military had said earlier that rebel forces, which have been launching attacks on ISIL fighters in Al-Bab for weeks, had largely established control over the strategic area around the town's hospital.Turkey's military was pressing on with the operation after its foreign minister and his Russian and Iranian counterparts said in Moscow on Tuesday that they were ready to help broker a deal to end Syria's almost 6-year-old war.About 30 Turkish soldiers have been killed in the course of Euphrates Shield, which was launched to push ISIL and a Kurdish militia away from Syria's border with Turkey. Turkish air strikes on Wednesday destroyed 67 ISIL targets, military said. aljazeera
Death toll of Turkish soldiers in al-Bab increase to 16
UN to create team that will probe Syria war crimes
UN General Assembly has voted to establish a special team to "collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence" as well as to prepare cases on war crimes and human rights abuses committed during the conflict in Syria.The General Assembly adopted a Liechtenstein-drafted resolution to establish the independent team with 105 in favour, 15 against and 52 abstentions. The team will work in coordination with the UN Syria Commission of Inquiry. aljazeera
Russia: Assad's future not part of Syria talks: AP
Beirut:A top Russian diplomat says President Bashar Assad's future is not on the agenda of Syria talks involving Russia, Iran and Turkey.Foreign ministers of the three countries sat down for talks on Tuesday in what Moscow said was the "most effective format" to bring an end to the war in Syria.Sergei Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, said in an interview with the RIA Novosti news agency Thursday that Assad's future is "absolutely not a topic for discussion right now" between Russia, Iran and Turkey. Houstonchronicle
Common ground on Syria unites Russia and Turkey against the west
Thousands still waiting for evacuation from east Aleppo
Thousands of civilians and fighters are still waiting to be evacuated from the last rebel bastion in Aleppo city but difficulties including harsh weather are complicating the final phase of the operation, a rebel spokesman said.On Wednesday, bad weather and poor condition of some cars appeared to have slowed the operation which has already brought out thousands of others since late last week.Vehicles were still streaming out of eastern Aleppo on Thursday morning after an evacuation overnight monitored by the United Nations, a UN official in Syria said. aljazeera
Mosul : Daesh bombings kill 20 Iraq soldiers
A series of Daesh car bombs targeting an Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) staging ground just outside of Mosul has resulted in the deaths of approximately 20 soldiers today, while separate mortar attacks have killed four aid workers and seven other civilians this week. Daesh’s Amaq news agency said that three vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) targeting Iraqi soldiers in Gogjali, a satellite town just outside of east Mosul, had killed 20 soldiers. The Iraqi govt  gave no figures for their losses.Gogjali was recaptured from Daesh approximately two months ago, and had been declared “secure” by the Iraqi authorities who use it as a staging ground, resupply station and they have also located their field hospital there.The militant group’s ability to launch devastating attacks inside Gogjali suggest that the neighbourhoods claimed to have been “liberated” by the ISF and the US-led Coalition may not be as secure as previously thought. middleeastmonitor
Daesh strikes back in Iraq’s ‘liberated’ eastern Mosul
Iraq: Daesh claims 5,000 govt troops killed in Mosul
UNSC to vote on ending Israeli settlement activity
UN Security Council is due to vote on a draft resolution that would demand Israel "immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem".Egypt circulated the draft late on Wednesday and a vote was scheduled today.Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and seen as major stumbling block to peace efforts as they are built on Palestinian land occupied by Israel. The Palestinians want an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in a 1967 war. Aljazeera
Study: Illegal Israeli settlers receive 4 times the funding
Settlers receive four times the budget allocated to ordinary citizens living within Israel, a new study has revealed.They also receive 24 per cent more than those living in the Negev and 19 per cent more than people living in the Galilee.According to the study prepared by Dr Roby Nathanson from the Macro Centre for Political Economics, a settler in the West Bank will receive 1,923 shekels ($503) annually in the form of grants and tax privileges in the context of the state’s budget for 2017-2018, approved by the Knesset this morning. middleeastmonitor
Jerusalem: 19-year-old shot protesting home demolition
Israeli forces have shot dead a Palestinian teen during clashes that erupted when soldiers arrived to demolish the home of an alleged attacker. Soldiers opened fire on a crowd and fatally hit Ahmad al-Kharoubi, a 19-year-old Palestinian, during clashes with youth before dawn on Thursday in occupied East Jerusalem's Kafr Aqab neighbourhood.Including Kharoubi, the Al-Haq human rights organisation has documented the killing of at least 107 Palestinians by Israeli security forces or settlers."Perpetrators include soldiers (regular and so-called border police), settlers, police, settlement guards, settler escorts, private security company personnel, light train guards, undercover units and municipality guards," Al-Haq's Tahseen Elayyan told Al Jazeera. aljazeera
Muslim, Turkish Sevil Shhaideh set to be Romania’s first female PM
Bucharest: Romania could be headed for its first female PM, an economist who is a member of Romania's small Muslim and Turkish community.Liviu Dragnea, chairman of Romania's Social Democratic party, which won the parliamentary election, proposed Wednesday that Sevil Shhaideh take the post of PM . The announcement was a surprise because her name is not widely known in Romania.Shhaideh, 52, is a member of the Social Democratic Party but did not run in the Dec.1 elections. She was minister for regional development for 6 months in 2015, and is currently a senior official in the regional development ministry.AP
Romania Set for First Female, and First Muslim, PM
Nearly 5,000 expelled from universities over FETO links
The head of Turkey's Council of Higher Education has announced that nearly 5,000 people had been expelled from universities for being linked to the terrorist group FETO.A total of 3,850 academics and 947 administrative personnel were among the dismissed."Some applied to return to duty and 16 of them were reinstated," Sarac said.World Bulletin
UN advisor fears Myanmar situation may get out of hand
A top UN official is warning that the ongoing violence in Myanmar's west is in danger of “getting out of hand", and is asking the country's leaders to be more assertive in resolving historic problems faced by the area's Muslim and Buddhist communities.World Bulletin
Lame duck presidents and angry secularists should keep quiet; it’s Syrian voices which must be heard: Yvonne Ridley article
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:04 PM)


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