Thursday, 19 January 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
19 Jan.2017: 20 Rabius Sani 1438: Vol:8, No:93
PM Modi hails Indian youth for resisting radicalisation at a meeting with Muslim Ulemas and intellectuals delegation
New Delhi: Meeting a delegation of Muslim Ulemas and intellectuals, PM Narendra Modi today hailed the Indian youth for resisting radicalization and asserted that the country's culture, traditions and social fabric will never allow the nefarious designs of the terrorists or their sponsors to succeed. Modi told the delegation that it was "our collective responsibility" to take this heritage forward, a PMO statement said."The delegation congratulated the PM on the steps taken by the Union govt for inclusive growth, socio-economic and educational empowerment of all sections of the society including Minorities," the statement said. "PM said that youth in India has successfully resisted radicalization, which has affected several parts of the world today," it said.The credit for this must go to the "long, shared heritage of our people" and that "it is now our collective responsibility to take this heritage forward", Modi told the delegation, which included Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, AMU V-C Lt Gen (Retd) Zameeruddin Shah and Jamia Millia V-C Talat Ahmed.He said "the culture, traditions and social fabric of India will never allow the nefarious designs of the terrorists, or their sponsors, to succeed", the statement said.The delegation also included MY Eqbal, former judge of the Supreme Court and Shahid Siddiqui, Urdu journalist.PTI
Delegation of Muslim Ulemas, intellectuals, academicians calls on PM
Indian youth has successfully resisted radicalization: PM Modi to Muslim leaders
78 bank accounts of Zakir Naik, his NGOs and associates under NIA’s scanner
New Delhi: More than 75 bank accounts held by Zakir Naik, his 2 NGOs and its associates are being investigated over foreign funding, NIA said on Thursday. NIA has written to banks of 78 accounts of Naik, the Islamic Research Foundation and the Islamic Research Foundation International for details and around half of them have responded to its request, an official said. It is probing the foreign donations that came into the accounts. Naik’s empire consists of at least 37 properties, mostly in Maharashtra towns, NIA sources had earlier said. Of these, 25 are flats in Mumbai alone. “Conservative estimates put market value of these properties and other assets of IRF and Naik around Rs 100 crore,” said an NIA official who wished to remain anonymous. NIA also recovered Naik’s propaganda material contained in 14,000 tapes which amounts to around 5,000 terabytes (TB) of data.A team of NIA officials headed by agency’s chief Sharad Kumar travelled to Mumbai on Thursday and held discussions with the Mumbai police officials on recoveries made.NIA gathered details of these properties during its scrutiny of records of Naik and his outfit, IRF, which has been banned for 5 years. Naik and IRF also have properties in Pune and Solapur. Naik’s spokesperson was not immediately for comments. hindustantimes
Zakir Naik's 'NGO' has Rs 100 crore-worth real estate: NIA
NIA scrutinising 5 bank accounts linked to Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani
New Delhi: 5 bank accounts allegedly linked to separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani are being scrutinised by the NIA as part of its probe into suspected terror funding.The probe agency has roped in financial experts to scan these accounts -- two of Geelani and the rest owned by other persons linked to him, official sources said today.Preliminary investigation has found suspicious financial transactions through these accounts during 2014 and 2015.There are many layers of transactions to avoid detection of end use of the money, they alleged, adding that in many of the deposits, the details of the depositors were not known.A preliminary enquiry has been registered by the NIA to probe flow of funds into various bank accounts from overseas which in turn was allegedly being used for anti-national activities in parts of Kashmir.PTI 
No objection if bail granted to Malegaon blasts accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur: NIA
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/no-objection-if-bail-granted-to-sadhvi-pragya-nia-tells-high-court-4481980/
NIA on Thursday told the Bombay High Court that it has “no objection” to the Court granting bail to Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, arrested in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case.Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for NIA, told the court that the investigating agency had already said in its chargesheet that it did not have any evidence against Thakur.Besides, Singh said, the stringent charge of MCOCA, imposed by the ATS upon Thakur and her co-accused had already been dropped by the NIA following a “recommendation by the Apex Court,” and thus, the restrictions imposed on an accused person’s bail by MCOCA didn’t exist anymore.Singh also submitted that “even before NIA took over the probe, several witnesses examined by the ATS had already retracted their statements and alleged they had been tortured and coerced into testifying by ATS.” All the above factors, Singh said, were adequate grounds for Thakur to seek bail and for the court to consider her plea. “We thus, have no objection,” he said.The submissions came while the court was hearing an appeal filed by Thakur challenging a lower court order rejecting her bail plea. Indian express
Malegaon blast accused Ramesh Upadhyay allowed to contest UP polls, Hindu Mahasabha to field from 2 seats
Mumbai:MCOCA court in Mumbai has allowed 2008-Malegaon blast accused Ramesh Upadhyay to contest in UP assembly elections.Upadhyay had moved the election application last week and both the jail authorities and NIA said that they had no objection to him contesting elections.Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha has decided to field retired major Ramesh Upadhyay in the forthcoming assembly elections from two seats in UP - Bairia in Ballia and Meerut Sadar.india today
NIA says it arrested112 people in 2016, 64 for terror:NIA
New Delhi: NIA has revealed that in 2016, the top security body arrested 112 people, out of which 64 arrests were in cases related to Jihadi terror. NIA, incidentally, also registered 34 cases in 2016, which Is highest since its inception in 2009. “Govt of India entrusted investigation of 12 ISIS related cases to NIA, 52 accused arrested and 35 accused absconding in these cases,” NIA report said. “In 6 cases charge sheets and supplementary charge sheets have been filed, 8 cases are under investigation,” the report said. news nation
NIA, IB quiz terror suspects in Bihar:TOI report
Patna: Following the startling revelation by East Champaran police on Tuesday that the two recent train accidents near Kanpur in UP  were the handiwork of Pakistan's ISI, NIA and IB sleuths reached Motihari on Wednesday to probe Umashankar Patel, Motilal Paswan and Mukesh Yadav, 3 terror suspects who had confessed to their involvement in engineering the accidents. A team of UP ATS also reached Motihari and interrogated the three for their role in the train accidents. Altogether 151 people were killed and over 200 injured in Indore-Patna and Ajmer-Sealdah Express accidents near Kanpur on Nov.21 and Dec.28, respectively. 3 were arrested in Motihari on Tuesday for planting a cooker bomb on Darbhanga-Raxaul railway track near Ghorasahan station on Oct.1. The bomb was, however, defused. 3 suspects, taken on 6-day police remand from a local court on Wednesday, were taken to an unknown location for interrogation. The trio had received around Rs3 lakh from one Brij Kishore Giri alias Baba Giri, who was arrested along with Mujahir Ansari and Shambhu Giri in Nepal. Brij was the ISI link through another Nepal citizen Shamshul Huda in Dubai to carry out terror activities in India. 3 men in Motihari were arrested on the information received from Nepal police, who had nabbed Brij and his two accomplices from Bara district in Nepal.More than 12 criminal and Maoist-related cases are lodged against the trio with Motihari police. Intelligence agencies are scanning all the Maoist activities along Indo-Nepal border to ascertain any links with ISI. This is for first time in India that ISI has used criminals and Maoists, instead of dedicated sleeper cells, to carry out terror activities.
Railway officers say ISI link unlikely, NIA calls police claim ‘curious’
New Delhi:Bihar Police may have ignited speculation on a suspected link of Pakistan’s ISI in recent train accidents in Kanpur, especially the one near Pokhrayan that killed more than 150 passengers, but railway officials and investigating authorities remain sceptical.Railways officials said that all facts known so far do not point towards any explosion on the tracks, or any sabotage.Sources said in the Pokhrayan mishap of Nov.20, statements made by the loco pilot and the assistant loco pilot before railway authorities, as well as in the presence of the Commissioner of Railway Safety, never mentioned any explosion. These 2 functionaries are best suited to report any event of tracks being blown away by low-intensity explosives to cause derailment. “Statements made by the drivers point closer to a derailment due to classic rail fracture than tracks blown by explosives,” said a source.Thorough assessment by zonal railway functionaries immediately after the accident never threw up any indication of external factors such as sabotage in tracks or coaches. Removal of fish plates or vital track pieces missing — the conventional signs of sabotage — were never detected at the section concerned. indianexpress
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind expresses its deep concern and anguish over shrinking of democratic space in the country
Chennai: Central Advisory Council of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has expressed its deep concern and anguish over the radical shrinking of democratic space, sporadic incidents of violation of human rights, deprivation of autonomy of democratic institutions, illegal and unjustified hegemony of corporates over national economy and nexus between the neo-liberal market forces and Hindutva pushing the nation towards a despotic and tyrannical situation. It said, “the council is of the opinion that the basic values enshrined in the constitution of the country are being systematically trampled upon in well orchestrated and detrimental manner. Unhealthy changes are being made in the economic policies of the nation and to accommodate the vested interests of the corporates.  The Govt has resorted to the trend of ordinances and have passed over 23 ordinances in the just 30 months. It reminded the ruling establishment that it is the basic and constitutional duty of the Govt to ensure that human rights are respected and safeguarded that have been enshrined in the constitution, to protect the rights of various cultural and linguistic identities, guarantee the protection of rights of Dalits, Adivasis, and downtrodden section of the society, safeguard the dignity and chastity of women and to ensure the rightful autonomy of all constitutional institutions.” The council has also expressed grave concern over the heart rending civil war and chilling account of atrocities and gross violation of human rights committed in Syria by the Govt and foreign forces. It said, “the Council believes that the real motive of this war is the true imperialist designs of super powers i.e. capturing and taking possession of vast natural resources of the region. Council urged the Muslim countries of the region to display the bonding and strive for peace and universal brotherhood. The Council is also of the opinion that all the foreign forces should immediately be withdrawn from Syria, all the Syrian refugees languishing in different countries must return to their homeland and effort should be made to make the atmosphere conducive to establish democracy there. The meeting of Council was presided over by President Jamaat Moulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari and attended by 18 Central Advisory Council members, held at Chennai from 14 to 17 Jan.
SC rejects plea for legalising church divorces
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a PIL seeking legal sanction to divorces granted to Catholic Christians by Church-run canonical courts without subjecting them to go through the procedure under the Christian Marriage Act 1872.A Bench comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and DY Chandrachud said the petition was devoid of merit as Additional Solicitor General SK Kaul pleaded that the apex court had already ruled that only family courts and regular appellate courts had the jurisdiction to issue decrees in such matters.The petitioner, Clarence Pais, had pleaded that the Christian Marriage Act allowed solemnisation of marriages under the Canon Law, but did not recognise divorces granted by churches.However, Muslim men were being allowed divorce by saying ‘talaq’ thrice. Pais had filed the PIL in 2013 on which the apex court had sought the Centre’s views. tribuneindia
Divorce granted by church court can’t override law: SC
SC keeps itself away from pro-Jallikattu protests in TN
New Delhi: The Supreme Court preferred to stay away from the pro-Jallikattu protests across Tamil Nadu and said on Thursday the issue of protecting the agitating supporters of the bull-taming sport can be raised before the Madras high court.“Let the Madras high court deal with it. You (petitioner) go there. Why do you come all the way to Supreme Court,” a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud told a petitioner advocate who mentioned his plea seeking protection to the protestors who have assembled in large numbers at the Marina beach in Chennai for the third day on Thursday.HT
Jallikattu Matter Is Sub-Judice, Modi Tells Tamil Nadu CM
As jallikattu supporters grow more insistent, Dalit voices of protest against bull-taming emerge
DEMONETISATION
Banks will now report deposits of Rs 10 lakh/year, cash payment of Rs 1 lakh on credit card bills to I-T
New Delhi: Tax department has asked banks to report deposits in any account aggregating Rs 10 lakh in a year, as well as cash payments of Rs 1 lakh or more on credit card bills. In a Jan.17 notification, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) listed cash transactions which need to be reported to tax authorities and set up an e-platform for doing so. It reiterated its November 2016 instruction asking banks to report all cash deposits of Rs 2.5 lakh or more made in one or more accounts of a person during Nov 9 to Dec 30, 2016. "Cash deposits during the period Nov. 9, 2016 to Dec. 30, 2016 aggregating to Rs 12.50 lakh or more in one or more current account of a person (and) Rs 2.5 lakh or more in one or more account (other than a current account) of a person" will have to be reported to tax authorities, it said. economictimes
Budget 2017: Govt may toughen PAN requirements to Rs 30,000 on cash transactions
Govt is learnt to be considering taking steps to de-incentivise use of cash in the upcoming Union Budget 2017, including levying a charge on cash payments and cash deposits, and bringing more cash transaction under the radar of PAN (permanent account number) tracking, ET Now said on Thursday citing unidentified Govt sources. Govt may tighten the threshold for quoting PAN on cash transactions to Rs 30,000 from Rs 50,000. The threshold may be tightened for merchant transactions too, ET Now said.Currently, cash deposits in banks up to Rs 50,000 are exempt from quoting PAN, while those above Rs 50,000 have to mandatorily furnish PAN card details. financialexpress
Another bad news for Modi; now, India falls from top 5 most promising markets globally
New Delhi |;India features among top 6 for global executives when it comes to overall growth prospects over the next 12 months, but enthusiasm for investing in the country has dropped from 3 years ago, finds out a survey. According to the annual global CEO survey of consultancy giant PwC, released here at the WEF annual meeting, the top two markets from the growth point of view are US, as voted by 43% of respondents, followed by China (33%). Others in the pecking order are Germany (1%), UK (15%), Japan (8%) and India (7%). Last year, India was among the top 5 most promising markets globally.“Over time, CEOs have become less enthusiastic about India perhaps because structural reforms have been slow to come(and there have been recent short-term difficulties with its rupee conversion programme),”survey noted.PTI
Demonetisation greatest blunder in 70 years: Arun Shourie
Bengaluru:Calling the decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currencies the “greatest blunder in economic policy for 70 years”, Arun Shourie, ex-minister in NDA-I Govt  of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on Tuesday said RBI governor in this case has behaved “like an undersecretary in the Ministry of Finance”.“It (demonetisation) is the symptom of a pattern of Govt where there is no consultation. It may happen again and again. The fact that somebody keeps winning elections is no reason to change our mind. Those who vote will vote on other considerations, and they do not know how economy should be run,” Shourie said at a public lecture.“Somebody gets a brainwave, and because nobody can oppose them, there is demonetisation,” he said. indianexpress
STATES POLLS & POLITICS
SP rules out alliance with RLD; ‘tie-up only with Congress’
New Delhi:In a move that means there be will no Grand Alliance or Mahagathbandhan in UP, Samajwadi Party on Thursday ruled out any alliance with Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal for the upcoming assembly elections. Party’s national vice-president Kironmoy Nanda issued the official statement in this regard and said the SP will ally only with Congress. He also said that the SP will contest on over 300 seats out of the total 403, leaving the rest for the Congress.“We will forge an alliance only with the Congress. We will not ally with the RLD. No talks are going on with them (RLD). We will contest from over 300 seats (out of 403) and the Congress will be there for the rest of them,” said Nanda.As regards finalisation of candidates, he said, “SP has finalised its candidates for the first and second phases (of the upcoming polls). Now, it is up to the Congress to decide on their nominees.” indianexpress
Ateeq Ahmed may step down as SPs Kanpur candidate
Lucknow: UP Strongman Ateeq Ahmed has told ET that he will meet CM Akhilesh Yadav soon and could offer to step down as the Samajwadi Party candidate from Kanpur.ET had reported on Tuesday that Akhilesh had refused to let Ahmed be the party candidate from Kanpur seat after he was granted ticket by the Shivpal Yadav faction. timesofindia
OTHERS
State commissions contest Naqvi announcement of Mid-day meal scheme for Madrasas, say it is already being implemented in states : MuslimMirror
New Delhi: Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that central Govt will extend mid-day meal scheme to those madrasas which are imparting modern subjects in their curricula. However, this was contested by representatives of State minorities’ commissions. Talking to media after inaugurating Annual Conference of State Minorities Commissions at Vigyan Bhawan, he said he had held a meeting with representatives of such madrasas on Monday to discuss the issue and asked them to offer more suggestions in this regard. However, many representatives of state commissions told this correspondent that mid-day meal scheme for madrasas is already being implemented in their respective states and the minister’s statement seems to be out of ignorance or to do with the coming assembly polls.Gurbux Singh, a member of West Bengal Minorities’ Commission, who is also a former Hockey Olympian, said that mid-day meal scheme is introduced in all Madrasas in West Bengal without any exception. He said the minister might not be aware of this, otherwise, he would not have announced this.Echoing his views, PK Haneefa, Chairman Kerala State Commission for Minorities, said he was amazed by minister’s announcement as in his state Madrasas are availing the benefit of Mid-day meal scheme. Dr.Mansoor Ahmad Ajazi, Member Secretary Bihar State Minorities, also said vouched this saying in Bihar all officially recognized Madrasas affiliated to Bihar Madrasa Board have been providing mid-day meal to students since a long time when this scheme was introduced by HRD ministry.
Minorities not adequately represented in Police,DDA:report
Delhi: Delhi Minority Commission has flagged the issue of poor representation of minority communities in various govt departments. Delhi Police, which has over 77,000 employees, has just 2,993 personnel from the minority communities, a mere 4%. Other organizations, such as Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Metro and various departments of Delhi govt fare the same.Deputy CM  Manish Sisodia said they will examine whether it is deliberate and will act accordingly.“There should be a sense of security among minorities. But the report paints a dismal picture. We need to find out whether it is deliberate or on grounds of merit. Either ways, we need to take action and it has to be fixed. The recommendations will be studied and steps will be taken accordingly,” said Sisodia. The commission released its report on Wednesday and is also conducting a study on the shortage of space in graveyards since it is the most common problem faced by minorities in Delhi. “In order to ascertain the civic facilities available in the areas, where people from minority communities live, the commission is conducting a study. The study will find availability and requirement of education, health, water sewage and graveyards. For this we need information from municipal corporations and Delhi Govt ,” said Qamar Ahmed, chairman of Delhi Minority Commission.The commission received 109 complaints lodged by members of the communities, of which 56 were against police.HT
‘Minorities not adequately represented in police, DDA’
Few minorities in govt jobs: report
Delhi Govt to launch Awareness programme for minorities
Delhi Assembly for probe into police action against JNU students: indian express
New Delhi: After lashing out at the BJP over the Delhi Police’s ‘brutalities’ on students carrying out a ‘peaceful protest’ seeking justice for Hyderabad University student Rohith Vemula who died last year, Delhi Legislative Assembly Wednesday demanded an inquiry into the incident.Holding pictures of male police officers roughing up female students, AAP MLAs, including Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, accused the Centre of perpetrating atrocities against Dalits, women and minorities. Assembly adopted a resolution demanding that the Union Home Minister “initiate immediate action against the officers responsible for the attack on the innocent protesters.”
US, Indian navies sharing information on Chinese subs, says Pacific Command chief
New Delhi:Admiral Harry B Harris, Commander of the US Pacific Command, Wednesday said that US and Indian navies have been sharing information on the movement of Chinese submarines and ships in the Indian Ocean. He also said India should be concerned about the increasing Chinese influence in the region.“There is sharing of information regarding Chinese maritime movement in the Indian Ocean,” Admiral Harris said. US, he said, works “closely with India and with improving India’s capability to do that kind of surveillance. Malabar exercise…helps us hone our ability to track what China is doing in the Indian Ocean. Chinese submarines are clearly an issue and we know they are operating through the region.” Responding to a question, Commander said, “India should be concerned about the increasing Chinese influence in the region. If you believe that there is only finite influence, then whatever influence China has means that influence India does not have.” Indian Express
India should be concerned about Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean: USA
JK Assembly passes resolution for return of Kashmiri Pandits
Jammu;J&K Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution for creating a conducive atmosphere for the return of Kashmiri Pandits and other migrants to the Valley. Soon after the House met in the morning, former CM Omar Abdullah said the Assembly should pass a resolution for the return of Kashmiri Pandits and other migrants, rising above party politics.PTI
Court grants bail to Masarat Alam
Srinagar: A local court  accepted the bail plea of separatist leader Masarat Alam and ‘ordered’ his release.Speaking to reporters in Srinagar, Shah Reyaz, lawyer of Bhat, said the city magistrate, Srinagar, has accepted the bail application of Mr. Bhat, who heads the Muslim League. The lawyer said the court has directed the police to release him. thehindu
Burhan Wani’s kin not paid compensation
Srinagar: J&K Govt  said on Wednesday that the family of the slain militant Burhan Wani had not been paid any compensation for the death of his elder brother. To a question in the Assembly, the Govt  revealed that “no compensation has been paid to the family of Burhan Wani”.Khalid Wani, 25, who was killed in a controversial operation by the security forces, had figured among the 106 names on the compensation list of the Govt  last month. Khalid was killed on April 13, 2015, in a forest area in the Tral area of Pulwama. thehindu
Malda: Undertrial prisoner Rabijul Sheikh dies in custody
Malda: An undertrial prisoner lodged in a correctional home here died on Wednesday amidst allegation that he had been tortured in custody. Superintendent of Malda Correctional Home, D Bhutia, said the deceased, Rabijul Sheikh (32), was arrested in dacoity and Arms Act cases. Sheikh, who was forwarded to the jail on Jan.2, complained of chest pain this morning and was sent to Malda Medical College Hospital. There, he went to the toilet where he fell down and died, Bhutia said. Sheikh’s family members alleged that his body bore injury marks in the head and face.PTI
UP: 25 feared dead after Aliganj school's bus collides with truck in Etah district
New Delhi: At least 25 people including 18 school children were killed and 50 injured as a school bus was hit by a truck on Thursday in Etah district. Bus was ferrying students to Aliganj's JS Public School in Etah. Thirty 6 among the 50 injured are stated to be critical, sources said.According to eyewitnesses, it took an hour to take out the bodies from the mangled school bus.The victims were identified as students of JS Public school, Aliganj.The school was open even after the DM declared 3 days holiday considering the extreme weather. After the incident, DM, SSP, Aliganj CO and other officials visited the spot and Govt hospital where the victims were brought.TOI
24School children killed after bus collides with truck in UP
Jamia Millia Islamia to get postal cover on centenary celebrations
Jamia Millia Islamia launches film club to boost cinema education
Mumbai HC judgement has weakened the voice of inclusive, integrationist Kashmiri Muslims
By 2020, there will be no newspapers:  Aakar Patel.
Tarek Fatah under India’s hospitality: Playing Host for an Enemy of Peace: M Wadood Sajid, Urdu Media Monitor
WORLD
Israeli Prez: Time to admit that Israel is a sick society, Israeli Holocaust against Palestinians is worse than Nazis
The time has come to admit that Israel is a sick society, with an illness that demands treatment, President Reuven Rivlin said at the opening session on Sunday of a conference on From Hatred of the Stranger to Acceptance of the Other.Both Rivlin and Prof. Ruth Arnon, president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, which organized the conference at its premises on the capital’s Jabotinsky Street, spoke of the painful and bloody summer, and the resultant resurgence of animosity between Arabs and Jews that had escalated to new heights. Referring to the mutual expressions of hatred and incitement, Arnon said that Jews, who in the Diaspora had been exposed to anti-Semitism and persecution, should be more sensitive to the dangers of incitement. “But are we?” she asked.Rivlin wondered aloud whether Jews and Arabs had abandoned the secret of dialogue.With regard to Jews he said: “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings. Have they forgotten how to converse? I think that 'Holocaust' against Palestinians is worse than Nazis” In Rivlin’s eyes, the academy has a vital task to reduce violence in Israeli society by encouraging dialogue and the study of different cultures and languages with the aim of promoting mutual understanding, so that there can be civilized meetings between the sectors of society.He urged the academy to take on this challenge and to eradicate the violence that threatens to scar Israel’s image.
Israeli bill to annex Ma’ale Adumim settlement includes ‘E1’ area
A proposed Israeli law to annex the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim includes a clause that also annexes the so-called ‘E1’ area, according to a report in Haaretz, “as a result of its inclusion in the settlement’s municipal boundaries.”The draft bill will be voted on by Israeli ministers on Sunday, two days after US President-elect Donald Trump takes office.middleeastmonitor
EU Parliament to host international conference on Israeli settlements in March
Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) has started a campaign to organise an international conference against the Israeli settlements at the European Parliament in Brussels.The PLO Expatriates Affairs Department has invited a number of European parties, human rights and parliamentary organisations to participate in the anti-settlement campaign following the UN Security Council’s resolution No. 2334, which rejected Israel’s settlement policy and called for its end.
Israel deploys "Star Wars" missile killer system:Reuters
Jerusalem: Israel's upgraded ballistic missile shield became operational on Wednesday, in a "Star Wars"-like extension of its capabilities to outer space where incoming missiles can be safely destroyed.Defence Ministry said the US-funded Arrow 3 system, jointly developed by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and US firm Boeing Co., was handed over to the Israeli Air Force.Arrow 3, together with the Arrow 2, which has been operational since 2000, would "significantly reduce the possibilities of ballistic missiles" hitting Israel, the ministry said in a statement. Arrow 2 is designed to intercept projectiles high and low within the atmosphere. Arrow 3 missiles will fly into space, where their warheads detach to become "kamikaze" satellites that track and slam into their targets.Reuters
Trump’s UN envoy pick slams body’s anti-Israel ‘bias’
South Carolina Government Nikki Haley, whom President-elect Donald Trump has tapped to lead US efforts at the UN, said Wednesday the world body is biased against Israel.“Nowhere has UN’s failure been more consistent, and more outrageous, than its bias against our close ally Israel,” she said. Testifying before lawmakers during her Senate confirmation hearing, Haley said she “absolutely” supports her prospective boss’ comments to move the US embassy, long standing in Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem.middleeastmonitor
Meritocratic America could have woman, Latino or Hindu President in future: Obama
Washington: As long as the United States recognizes merit and provides equal opportunity to all, it will have not just a woman president but could also see a Latino President, a Jewish President, and a Hindu president in the future, America's first mixed-race President Barack Obama said in his final press conference in the White House. Timesofindia
Egypt to try 304 suspects including Muslim Brotherhood leaders for militant attacks: AFP
Cairo: Egypt's prosecution has referred 304 suspects including Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Turkey to military trial for allegedly organising militant groups that claimed several attacks in Cairo last year. The case is one of the largest to link armed attacks with the Muslim Brotherhood movement of Morsi, the president toppled by the military in 2013. A prosecution statement on Wednesday said the suspects, many of them abroad, had set up the Hassam militant group that claimed responsibility for several assassinations and attacks in Cairo and the Nile Delta. "Accused, after many Brotherhood leaders were arrested, agreed to revive armed operations," a prosecution statement said. It also accused them of establishing Lewaa al-Thawra, another group that surfaced in 2016 to claim several attacks in Cairo, including the assassination of an army general in Oct. The suspects include Brotherhood leaders and activists who fled the crackdown to Turkey, the statement said. Brotherhood, once Egypt's largest opposition movement, has long denied involvement in violence.
Egypt sentences 35 to death for Brotherhood membership
A military court in Cairo sentenced 35 Egyptians to death by hanging and 54 to life in prison on charges of storming and burning a police station, killing a low-ranking police officer and attempting to kill 2 senior officers.The events allegedly took place at the Tamiya police station in the Fayoum governorate during the 25 January uprising as part of the Arab Spring revolutions in 2011. The defendants are also accused of stealing weapons from the facility. 35 defendants who were sentenced to death include Ahmed Ramadan Eissa, who was present at the court, and Osama Yehia. Yehia, a leading Muslim Brotherhood member and former lawmaker, was sentenced in absentia. Though court acquitted 9 defendants, it sentenced 54 others to life in prison in a case related to the infamously violent dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda Square protest camps after the coup against President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Middleeastmonitor
Russia teams up with Turkey for first time to bomb Syrian militants after setting aside differences over  Assad
Moscow: Russia said its war planes had joined forces with Turkish jets for the first time on Wednesday to target Islamic State militants holding the town of al-Bab in northern Syria, evidence of increasingly close cooperation between Moscow and Ankara. Russia and Turkey are the main organisers of a new round of Syrian peace talks due to take place in Kazakhstan on Jan.23 and have set aside their differences over the political fate of President Bashar al-Assad to try to forge a wider Syria deal.Moscow backs Assad, while Ankara has diluted its demands for the Syrian leader to urgently step down as part of what some sources say is a backroom deal aimed at dividing Syria into informal zones of regional power influence. Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi, senior Russian Defence Ministry official, said that 9 Russian jets and 8 Turkish war planes had together struck targets in al-Bab, which is located around 40 km northeast of Aleppo."Today Russian and Turkish air forces are conducting their first joint air operation to strike Islamic State in the suburbs of al-Bab," Rudskoi said. Rudskoi said joint mission had been conducted in agreement with Syrian Govt. He said the Russian air force was also providing air support to Syrian Govt troops trying to fight off an Islamic State assault around the town of Deir al-Zor. Reuters
Military intervention looms in Gambia as Jammeh clings to power
Press publishing 'consistent stream' of inaccurate stories about Muslims: theguardian
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:12 PM)


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