Monday, 23 January 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
23 Jan.2017: 24 Rabius Sani 1438: Vol:8, No:96
 INDIA
Minority organisations ask Assam Govt to desist from eviction without planning
Guwahati: 23 organisations of minority communities of the State have demanded of the State govt not to carry out any eviction drive without prior arrangement of compensation and rehabilitation.A public meet organised by a united platform of the organisations named Sankhyalaghu Sangathan Samuhar Samanwayrakshi Samity today said a land survey of the State is a must to solve the issue of encroachment.“Targeting a few particular areas for eviction will never solve the issue unless a scientific plan is prepared, considering the extent of encroachment in the entire State. If the govt has no ill-intentions towards a particular community, eviction should be done on all the encroached land at the same time after proper survey,” said the chief coordinator of the forum, Azizur Rahman.Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Debabrata Saikia said the problems of minority communities do not just concern them, entire State is affected by such issues. Speakers included Udayaditya Bharali, Dinesh Baishya, Brajen Mahanta, Mehtabuddin Ahmed, TR Borbora, Atawar Rahman and others. The organisations included All Assam Minority Students’ Union; Assam Rajyik Jamiyal Ulama; Assam Sankhyalaghu Sangram Parishad; All BTC Minorities Students’ Union; Jamat-e-Islami-Hind, Assam & Assam Miyan Parishad.assamtribune
‘Muslims can do fruitful banking, investment’
Ahmedabad:Muslims from across Ahmedabad assembled at the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) to deliberate on the need to have Shariah-compliant banking to harness community finances, a demand that is fast growing. Experts from across the religious spectrum converged at the Conference on Islamic Banking & Microfinance in India under the aegis of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. Islamic banking, a window within conventional banking system, helps invest in products that comply with the Islam which prohibits earning of interest. Shariah does not allow investment in banks as earning of interest or paying interest on loan is considered un-Islamic. It also does not allow investment in companies that invest in equities considered haram or into speculation or gambling. “However, Shariah allows profit sharing and investment in country’s infrastructure,” H Abdur Raqeeb, general secretary, Central Advisory Council of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind said. Raqeeb said the visit by the PMto Dubai recently was a big trigger.“PM sought investment in India at a packed meeting but the business community conveyed it can invest but India needs to have a Shariah-compliant system. I know that businessmen in Gulf are eager to invest in India, they are already investing in China through Hong Kong. The oil industry from where the money comes from is on the decline at present and there are $3 trillion that they can invest globally. India has an opportunity to get a huge slice of these funds,” Raqeeb said. He said the biggest hurdle to Islamic Banking is that it needs legislative amendment and go through the Parliament.Ahmedabad Mirror
‘Note ban has caused Rs 20,000-50,000 per acre loss to farmers’
New Delhi: India’s cash-driven agri sector continues to reel under the effects of demonetisation, with farmers growing fruits and vegetables suffering “huge losses”, say farm leaders who want the Union budget to “compensate” them for these losses.Amid reports of farmers dumping or refusing to harvest crops like tomatoes and peas due to a crash in prices as traders did not have the cash to purchase the produce, farmer leader Ajay Vir Jakhar said, “Farmers growing perishables like fruits and vegetables have suffered losses of Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 per acre on an average.“The loss is huge,” Jakhar, Chairman of Bharat Krishak Samaj (Farmers’ Forum, India), said. Explaining the “very bad situation”, farm leader Sudhir Panwar, President of Kisan Jagriti Manch, told IANS: “When the trader says that there is no money to purchase the crop, what is way out for the farmer? Either sell at throwaway prices or dump the crop.”Fresh produce like vegetables and fruits are sold in cash, he said, adding that the trade remains affected even 2-and-a-half-months after govt scrapped higher-value currency notes on Nov.8.IANS
Demonetisation rips apart textiles from farm to loom, leaves 25 million tottered
Dilapidated, dirty and depressed, a town that was once called Manchester of Asia smells of textile starch, thinners, garbage and sewage.Since the turn of the century, Bhiwandi, 30 km north of Mumbai, has wilted against competition from Bangladesh and Vietnam. Bhiwandi holds more than a sixth of India’s 6.5 million power looms—machines that manufacture fabric from yarn—according to this April 2016 Economic & Political Weekly report. A congested city of about 1.5 million, it was once a key link in India’s cotton economy, which employs 25 million workers alone, the second-largest employer after agriculture, according to this 2015 govt report.Bhiwandi has now been further crippled by the aftermath of Nov.8, 2016, scrapping of 86% of bank notes, by value. Indian textile industry is already challenged by falling exports, low productivity and rising prices, IndiaSpend reported in July 2016. HT
Tamil Nadu Assembly passes Jallikattu Bill as protests in Chennai turn violent
New Delhi:Jallikattu Bill was unanimously passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly during a special session on Monday as protests over the bull-taming sport took a violent turn. It tabled by CM O Panneerselvam and was passed within a few minutes. The bill will now replace the ordinance promulgated by the state govt  Earlier in the day, students leading the Jallikattu protests clashed with police and torched several vehicles after they were forcibly evicted from the Marina beach, the epicenter of the protests. Pro-Jallikattu protesters set fire to vehicles parked at the Ice House police station and attacked police personnel. indianexpress
J-K govt identifies 100 acres for resettling Kashmiri Pandits
New Delhi:J&K govt  has identified 100 acres of land at eight places in the valley for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits who migrated from the state in the early 1990s following outbreak of militancy. These pockets, where Kashmiri Pandits are likely to be rehabilitated, will be spread across all 10 districts of the valley, officials in the Union Home Ministry said on Monday.According to the official figures, as many as 62,000 Kashmiri migrant families were registered with the govt out of which 40,000 were registered in Jammu, 20,000 in the national capital and remaining 2,000 in the rest of the country. NDA govt , after assuming office in 2014, had earmarked Rs 500 crore for rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Pandits who had migrated from the valley since Jan.19, 1990 following the rise in militancy. Taking up the issue of their rehabilitation, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had written to then CM Omar Abdullah to identify land for resettling them. Union Home Minister had suggested that land may be identified near their native places also keeping in mind the security aspect.PTI
Kashmiri militant sentenced to death: Kin say he was hopeful of release till a month ago: indianexpress
Srinagar: A day after Muzaffar Ahmad Rather (28) was sentenced to death by a Kolkata court for waging war against the state, his family in Kulgam said that the verdict came as a bolt out of the blue for them.Recalling a conversation with his brother Muzaffar, Riyaz Ahmad Rather said that till last month he was hopeful of being released, and had told him to come to Kolkata so that both could return together.But when Riyaz, his mother Nafeeza Begum and an uncle reached Kolkata they were sent back. “He told us that the next hearing would be on Jan.16 and we should come again then,” said Riyaz, adding that a day before they were scheduled to leave again Muzaffar “told me not to come here”. The 29-year-old school teacher said:“He told me that he feels the court wouldn’t let him free”.
In Kashmir, ‘resistance’ calendar counters J-K govt by honouring Burhan Wani
Srinagar: Kashmir has erupted again. However, the scene of the clash between various forces is not the streets of the Valley, but 2017 calendars, through which contrasting narratives are sought to be disseminated. It all began on New Year’s eve when state finance minister Haseeb Drabu unveiled the J&K Bank calendar for the new year. The calendar, which used to have photos of picturesque landscape of the region till now, featured 12 “achievers” from the state in different fields. Young sporting sensations Tajamul Islam (kickboxing) and Hashim Manzoor (karate), bureaucrat and civil services exam topper Dr Shah Faesal and artist Insha Manzoor were among those pictured.The popular calendar, found in most Kashmiri homes, offices and shops, came at a time the Valley was slowly recovering from a 5-month-long unrest. It instantly drew flak over its timing, choice of “achievers” and the supposedly underlying politics. Comments calling for its boycott flooded social media and many posted photos of torn calendars.HT
US wanted ‘nuclear emissary’ to reduce India-Pak tensions, CIA papers reveal
New Delhi: US was so concerned by the growth of the nuclear programmes of India and Pakistan in the 1980s that it toyed with the proposal of appointing a “nuclear emissary” to the two countries to help tamp down tensions. Proposal is analysed in a top secret memorandum dated Sept.6, 1985, part of about 13 million declassified documents from the CIA which have been released online.A year before the memorandum was drafted by CIA’s Office of Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis, then US President Ronald Reagan had warned Pak dictator Zia-ul-Haq that India could take “military action to pre-empt your nuclear programme”, according to state department documents declassified in 2015. Though Gandhi “probably will avoid anything approaching agreement to serious US involvement in the problem”, Pakistanis will “welcome an emissary but will want assurances that the US can deliver India on any specific measures”, heavily redacted memo states in its summary.HT
CIA files: Despite keeping tabs, US was unaware of Indira Gandhi’s Emergency plans
new delhi:In the days leading up to the 1975 Emergency, the US Intelligence had little or no information of PMIndira Gandhi’s intention to rule by decree, according to declassified documents posted on the CIA’s online database. These are among 930,000 documents made accessible on CREST, CIA’s records archive. The trove contains 12 million pages of dispatches, memoranda and records of briefings documenting the agency’s spycraft dating as far back as the 1940s.Early intelligence bulletins on South Asia were mostly regurgitated news reports offering very little new insight. Though ndia’s nuclear programme was closely monitored, day-to-day briefings were mundane and didn’t cover a lot of ground.HT
Suspects in missing JNU student case ignored police notice, HC told
New Delhi:Police today claimed in the Delhi High Court that they could not carry out lie-detector tests on nine suspects in connection with the disappearance of JNU student Najeeb Ahmad, as none of them turned up despite notices served to them on several occasions. Delhi Police contended before a bench of Justices GS Sistani and Vinod Goel that the “students should come forward and douse all the allegations being levelled so far against them in connection with the incident, otherwise it will raise doubt about their involvement”. “We (Delhi Police’s Crime Branch) have issued them notice on different occasions, but they refused to accept it. We are even calling them on their mobile phone and have also sent WhatsApp messages, but they are not responding.“Najeeb’s roommate, Mohd Qasim is also not cooperating in the investigation, due to which a needle of suspicion also goes towards him,” senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra, who was representing Delhi police, said.He said that everybody should come forward and cooperate in the probe, so that the boy, who is missing for the last 3-and-a-half months, is recovered. “If lie-detector tests are done on them, we may get some clue or if not we may investigate in some other direction, so that the boy is recovered, before its too late,” Mehra said. Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for one of the students, opposed the police contention, saying his client has been cooperating with the investigation and was ready to appear before the agency, but the probe should be done in a fair manner.PTI
Missing JNU student: Month after HC order, 9 yet to take polygraph test
SC dismisses petition to postpone Union budget
Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking postponement of Union budget presentation ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in five states, saying there was no illustration that it would influence voters.A bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar refused to admit the plea saying “there was not even a single concrete example that the presentation of Union budget would influence the minds of electorate in state elections”.PTI
RSS-led Modi govt is a threat to the Indian constitution: PADS
New Delhi: A concerned group of citizens under the banner of People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) has made passionate appeal to voters particularly UP voters to defeat the BJP in the coming assembly elections in five states. It said RSS-led Modi govt is a threat to the Indian constitution. Calling the ensuing elections as the most crucial, it said this time much more is at stake than usual and the people of UP have more responsibility than other state as UP is the largest state in the country and every fifth Indian lives here. So they have an opportunity in this election to defend India’s democratic rights, which are more important than sectional interests. Muslim Mirror
'Contact with Napoleon a death sentence for Tipu Sultan'
Jaipur:Napoleon's life and career disapproves the Leftist challenge to the "Great Man" theory of history, for he not only influenced the course of European history but also of faraway India, where it was his talk of alliance with Tipu Sultan, that ensured a virtual death sentence for the Mysore ruler from the British colonial rulers, says a leading British historian.'It was his letters to Tipu Sultan proposing an alliance that got Tipu into trouble.. were a veritable death sentence for him," Andrew Roberts said at a session titled "Napoleon the Great" at the penultimate day of Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 on Sunday, "This was despite no way that Napoleon, who was then in Egypt, could have marched on to India. He didn't have the requisite military strength, there were two major deserts on the way, and the British were too powerful. Nevertheless, it meant the end of Tipu and he was finally eliminated after the Battle of Seringapatnam in 1798," said Roberts, who has written an exhaustive biography of the French Emperor.Noting it is a rare historical figure whose legacy prevails despite his defeat and banishment from his homeland and his subsequent vilification by the victors, he said the influence on Napoleon still survives not only in France but the countries he conquered.IANS
Nearly half the practicing lawyers in India are fake: Bar Council chairman tells chief justice
A 2-year-long verification drive by the Bar Council of India has found that only 55% to 60% of practicing lawyers in India are genuine, council chairman Manan Kumar Mishra told Chief Justice JS Khehar, according to TOI. Speaking at a gathering held to felicitate Khehar, Mishra said that the council had received only 6.5 lakh applications during its verification drive, while 2012 election statistics state that 14 lakh of the voters were lawyers. The findings of the verification drive will help to root out those who serve as lawyers illegally, the Bar Council chairman said. “This will certainly improve the quality of our legal profession,” Mishra added.Chief Justice Khehar advised that the council launch an inquiry at the grassroots level, according to TOI report. “It is not only about people with false degrees, but also about those with no degrees. These people work without a licence. They go to court and practice without any authority. We need to start much before, right from the institutions,” Khehar said. scroll
45% of lawyers fake? Checking is on
Indian media world’s 2nd most untrusted institution :Report
New Delhi :According to a survey of 28 countries conducted by Edelman Trust on the behalf of World Economic Forum there has been a ‘global implosion’ in people’s trust in institutions like business, govt , media and NGOs.Indian media has attained an extremely noticeable position in the survey. It comes only second to Australian media in as far as people’s distrust in it is concerned. While 48% respondents globally had reported trust in media in Edelman’s last survey only 43% of the respondents have reported the same this time. In 17 out of 28 polled countries trust in media has fallen to an all-time low.According to Richard Edelman, President of Edelman Trust, “People now view media as part of the elite”. Revelations of the report’s findings have coincided with commencement of the World Economic Forum in Davos.Muslim Mirror
Inspection of DU records, including PM Modi’s degree, stayed by Delhi HC
New Delhi: A Central Information Commission order directing Delhi University to allow the inspection of records of all students who had passed BA examination in 1978, the year when PM Narendra Modi had also cleared it, was stayed by the Delhi High Court on Monday. Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, while extending the relief sought by Delhi University, which had challenged the CIC’s Dec.21, 2016 decision, also issued notice to RTI activist Neeraj seeking his response.The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on April 27, by when the activist has to reply to the petition filed by DU, claiming the CIC order is “arbitrary” and “untenable in law” as the information sought to be disclosed is “third party personal information”. PTI
Taslima Nasreen claims India needs uniform civil law; Muslim groups says she has got too much freedom
Jaipur: Taslima Nasreen, who has been living in exile since 1994 after facing the ire of fundamentalists, said India urgently needed a uniform civil law.During a surprise session at the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) 2017 in Diggi Palace, the controversial writer also said criticism of Islam is the only way to establish secularism in Islamic countries.  Nasreen said Muslim women are "oppressed" and that uniform civil law is the need of the hour to protect their rights. "If you have a set of laws for Hindus, if Hindu women can divorce their husbands and have a say in their property, and we have seen how progressive that has been, then why are Islamic fundamentalists against a uniform civil law? Is not having a uniform civil law democratic," the author of 'Lajja' said."A uniform civil law is urgently needed in India for the protection of women. The fundamentalists should introspect and ask themselves why are they not ready to accept criticism," the Bangladeshi author said.Outside JLF venue, Muslim organisations protested against the participation of Taslima Nasreen at festival. "Taslima was thrown out of Bangladesh. She was allowed to stay in this country, but she has got too much freedom," said Qari Moinuddin, convenor, Rajasthan Muslim Forum."JLF organizers have assured us that they will never call these two people (Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen) to Jaipur Literature Festival again without consulting us," said the convenor of Rajasthan Muslim Forum. indiatoday
Ujjain: NIA interrogates suspects in city; SP rubbishes claim: freepressjournal
Ujjain: 2 suspects of Indore-Patna Express accident case from Mehdipur, near here, was interrogated by NIA, which has been investigating the case as it suspects SIMI hands behind the deadly accident. Two youths, Shabir and Irfan, residents of Nagouri Mohalla in Mehidpur were called and interrogated by the team. “Both the suspects were interrogated for about 200 minutes at Madhav Nagar police station and were released later,” sources said. Meanwhile, SP Manohar Verma said that they do not have any such information about the NIA team picking up suspects from the district.
Give Rs 5 lakh relief to man acquitted of terror charges, says NHRC to Delhi govt
New Delhi: Observing that the actions of the state authorities took away “14 prime and precious years” of a man’s life, NHRC has recommended that the Delhi govt  pay Rs 5 lakh as interim relief to Mohammed Amir Khan — incarcerated since he was 18 — who was acquitted in cases of terror.In an order dated Nov.8, 2016, the commission noted that DCP, Vigilance, had forwarded an inquiry report to the commission, stating that Khan was arrested in cases related to a series of bomb blasts in Delhi and its adjoining states in 1996-1997. DCP said Khan was convicted in two cases and appeals against his acquittal in two other cases were pending before the Delhi HC.“The reply to the showcause notice is not based on merits. The notice was issued on the point of acquittal of the victim in 18 cases by the courts and long incarceration of the victim in prison. The commission is not concerned with appeals pending in 2 cases. The fact is the victim had to spend 14 years in prison for no reason, violating his rights.It finds no merits in the report of DCP, Vigilance, and recommends that Rs 5,00,000 as interim relief be paid to him,” NHRC order said.“Victim has been acquitted in 18 of 20 cases by astonishing acknowledgement of lack of evidence,” NHRC noted. indianexpress
No amount can bring back my 14 yrs, my father, mother: Amir on Rs 5 lakh compensation order from NHRC
Why Muslims want changes in Haj subsidy:HT report
Mumbai: Union govt  has set up a panel to review the subsidy given for the annual Haj — the last pilgrimage was 4 months ago — to the Muslim holy cities in Saudi Arabia. The subsidy, which covers the cost of air tickets, has been a divisive subject. Though every pilgrim travelling from India does not use the subsidy, the facility is often held up as an example of Muslim appeasement by the govt . The concession was introduced about 40 years ago to help pilgrims who could not afford air fares. Mufti A Rehman Mili, an expert on the pilgrimage, said till the 1970s most Indian pilgrims sailed from Mumbai to Jeddah. “Only some pilgrims could afford to travel by air. Hajis from all over India would gather in Mumbai and the Musafirkhanas – lodges – and Mumbai was known as ‘Bab-e-Mecca’ (Gateway to Mecca),” said Mili. The pilgrimage’s association with a sea journey meant that the agency that helped pilgrims was called the Port Haj Committee till the 1950s. Sea travel started fading away when two of three ageing ships that ferried pilgrims were withdrawn from services, forcing more people to travel by air. In 1994, when the shipping services were discontinued, around 5,000 – a fifth of the pilgrims — took a ship.Air fares were expensive and, in response to demands for help, the govt  introduced the subsidy to cover the cost of air tickets. “Indira Gandhi govt  decided that pilgrims will continue to pay what would have been the ship fare. Air India (the national carrier) was paid to fly the pilgrims,”said Mili.Some Muslims want the subsidy to go. “Govt can discontinue it because the Supreme Court has said it should be phased out,” said Salim Ansari, a former member of the Haj Committee of India. “Ordinary Hajis do not get any major benefit from the subsidy.”“The pilgrimage is compulsory only if a person has the wealth to spend on the travel,” said Syed Zahid Ahmed, a finance consultant. Maulana Mustkim Azmi, ex-member of the Haj Committee, is of the opinion that there should not be a sub-quota for tour operators.
Poet Manzar Bhopali gets summons for remark on ‘saffron undergarments’
Bhopal: An Urdu poet has been issued a summon in connection with a criminal defamation suit filed against him by another poet.Secretary of MP Urdu Academy Dr Nusrat Mehdi slapped the suit against poet Manzar Bhopali for allegedly accusing her of “saffronising’’ the govt  body and saying that “like other govt  officers and employees, she too has started wearing saffron undergarments”. A first class judicial magistrate’s court on Jan.11 issued summons to Bhopali. Bhopali made the alleged comment at a function in the old city in March 2016. Mehdi claimed that Bhopali not only defamed her, but also violated her dignity by referring to the colour of her undergarments in public. Indianexpress
Bahujan Kranti Morcha organises rally in Mumbai, asks for separate courts for Dalit atrocity cases
Bahujan Kranti Morcha, an umbrella organisation of various representatives of marginalised groups, organised a rally in Mumbai to press for a number of demands, including separate court for Dalit atrocity cases. The rally was organised in Azad Maidan and was attended by over 3,000 people. It followed meetings in 36 district o Maharashtra in which people were mobilised under the banner of ‘Mulnivasi. Nilesh Chavan, one of the organisers of the Morcha, spoke with Twocircles.net. “We are holding this rally to give a life of dignity to the Nomadic tribes, Dalits, Muslims and Women.Present govt  is more exploitative than what we thought. This is an attempt to respond to the actions of the govt ”.TCN
Confronting the ‘holy silence’ against child abuse: TOI
Kerala: Sandeep Adhikari's debut film 'Thoopu' speaks about child abuse. But for Zane Shah, the film student from New York who played the lead role in the film, it was not just an opening to the film industry but an opportunity to expose his harrowing experience at a Madrassa in Perumbavoor, 2 decades ago. Film was screened at Aries SL Cinemas on Sunday."This movie speaks at length about the atrocities and malpractices that occur inside religious institutes. When I was hardly 6 years old, Usthad at my Madrassa misbehaved with me and I was too scared to talk about it to my family. I am happy to be a part of this movie and expose such atrocities. Kids should not hide such incidents from parents and the film reveals the significance of maintaining a proper channel of communication between parents and children," said Shah, who is currently pursuing MFA at the New York Film Academy.
WORLD
Syria's warring sides kick off talks in Astana
A delegation of Syrian rebels attending a new round of talks in Kazakhstan's capital will not hold direct talks with representatives of the govt , according to opposition sources. The meetings in Astana, organised by Russia and Turkey, are aimed at strengthening a shaky ceasefire that has largely held despite incidents of violence across Syria.Opposition spokesman Yahya al-Aridi said the rebels had backed out of the first session of face-to-face negotiations on Monday, accusing the govt of Bashar al-Assad of violating the December 30 truce deal brokered by Russia and Turkey. "If there is seriousness in making these talks lead to something substantial, formality won't be that important," Aridi told Al Jazeera."We haven't seen any signs of commitment to the ceasefire; there should be clarity and agreement on this first."But Bashar al-Jaafari, the head of the Syrian govt  delegation, also accused rebels of not keeping their end in the ceasefire deal - particularly in Wadi Barada, a strategic area in the Damascus suburbs and home to a major water facility.Speaking to reporters in Astana, Jaafari repeatedly referred to the rebel delegation as representatives of "terrorist armed groups" and said the agenda for the talks is "not ready yet".Al Jazeera's Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting from Astana, described the start of the talks as "rocky", saying the lack of direct negotiations raised concerns about the effectiveness of the meeting."It is making diplomatic sources wonder how effective these talks will be, because these meetings really hinged on the idea that the rebels and govt  representatives will meet face-to-face," Jamjoom said.Organisers have played down expectations of a breakthrough, with Numan Kurtulmus, Turkey's deputy prime minister, saying the prospect of an immediate solution was still distant.
Bashar al-Assad reportedly suffering under 'psychological pressure'
The pressures of leading a country engulfed in a complex and chaotic civil war may be taking its toll on the health of Syria's embattled leader.Amir Taheri, a columnist with the Saudi-owned London based paper Asharq Al-Awsat, claimed in a piece published in Saturday’s edition that Bashar al-Assad's mental health is suffering after almost 6 years of conflict. Citing officials from Syria's ally Russia, he said Moscow insiders claimed on background the president is “exhausted” due to “psychological pressures.”“This is why Russian officials, speaking in private, now drop hints that Assad is ‘exhausted by 5 years of war and tension’ and may be is even developing a nervous tick in his left eye as a result of “psychological pressures,” Taheri wrote.The comment was picked up by various anti-Syrian regime outlets online, where the headline morphed into claims that Assad - who trained as an doctor - has been hospitalised with a nervous condition. Independent
After 6 years of war, ‘twitching’ Assad is ‘exhausted’
Syrian army, allies free east Aleppo village from IS’s grip: Reuters
Beirut: Syrian army and its allies on Sunday drove Islamic State from the village of Soran, east of Aleppo, state media and a military media unit run by Hezbollah reported, bringing them closer to territory held by Turkey-backed rebels. Several overlapping conflicts are being fought in Syria, dragging in regional and global powers as well as the govt  and local groups, complicating the battlefield in the north of the country and raising the risk of an escalation in the war.The main struggle in Syria’s civil war is between President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Iran, Russia and Shi’ite militias including the Lebanese Hezbollah, against rebels that include groups backed by Turkey, Gulf monarchies and the US.However, both those sides, as well as a separate group of Kurdish-led militias, are also fighting against Islamic State and retaking territory which the jihadist group controls in northern Syria.
Syrian regime uses napalm and barrel bombs on town near Damascus
Syrian regime has attacked the town of Ain Al-Fijeh in Wadi Barada near Damascus with napalm. Local sources said that a helicopter belonging to the Syrian Air Force dropped the chemical munitions along with barrel bombs, Al-Jazeera.Net has reported.According to the news site, the regime forces renewed their bombardment of the town on ten occasions during the night as the army and its Lebanese Hezbollah allies tried to storm it on several fronts. middleeastmonitor
US 'discussing' moving Israel embassy to Jerusalem
The White House said, on Sunday, that it is in the early stages of talks to fulfil President Donald Trump's pledge to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move opposed by the Palestinian leadership."We are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject," said White House spokesman Sean Spicer.Hundreds of Palestinians protested against the plans in cities across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, according to local media reports. Trump reportedly spoke to hardline, right-wing Israeli PMBenjamin Netanyahu earlier in the day.Jerusalem mayor, Nir Barkat, welcomed the Trump administration's announcement. Aljazeera


Donald Trump invites Israeli PM to White House:PTI
Washington: On Monday,US President Donald Trump invited Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House early next month, working quickly to establish close ties with a crucial ally in the Middle East who was often at odds with his predecessor. As the Trump administration took steps toward relocating the United States Embassy to Jerusalem, Trump, on his second full day in office, spoke over phone to Netanyahu and discussed ways to ensure security and stability in the Middle East. The President emphasised on the importance the US places on US-Israel close military, intelligence and security cooperation with Israel, which reflects the deep and abiding partnership between the two countries, it said.The two leaders discussed efforts to make peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.Trump and Netanyahu agreed to continue to closely consult on a range of regional issues, including addressing the threats posed by Iran, the White House said.
Quran verses were recited at Trump's inaugural service
US President Donald Trump listened to a Quran recitation as part of an inaugural service on Saturday.Imam who recited the verses, Imam Mohamed Magid, executive director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, had been expected to recite the call to prayer, instead he read out a verse from Surah Al-Hujarat:"O humankind, We have created you a single male and female (Adam and Eve) and made you into nations and tribes and communities, that you may know one another. Really, the most honored of you in the sight of God is the most righteous of you, and God has all knowledge..."The imam also read a verse from Surah Ar-Rum: "And among the signs of God is the creation of heaven and earth, and the variation in your languages and your colors. Verily, in that are signs for those who know." Imam was among 26 religious leaders from several faiths to participate in the service, according to CNN. Alarabiya
Muslim family gets heartwarming note after Donald Trump’s inauguration
Muslim farmers in Sri Lanka's Amparai district seek return of 2878 acres
COLOMBO: Muslim farmers in Ampara district in Eastern Sri Lanka are pleading with the govt  to return 2878 acres of agricultural land which ought to have been given back to them when the 30-year war ended in 2009.The non-return of these lands has affected 1406 families, who find that the end of the war has brought no relief to them in economic terms, according to K.Nihal Ahamed, Co-ordinator of the Ampara District Alliance for Land Rights (ADALR).The 'Good Governance' govt  of Maithripala Sirisena is as indifferent to their pleas as the previous govt  led by the hawkish Rajapaksa, ADALR stated.   

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:11 PM)

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