Monday, 13 February 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
13 Feb.2017: 15 Jamadiul Awwal 1438: Vol:8, No:115
India will host Palestinian leader Abbas before PM Modi heads for Israel: TOI
New Delhi:India will host Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a diplomatic balancing act before PM  Narendra Modi heads for Israel towards the middle of this year for the first visit by an Indian head of Govt to Tel Aviv since establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations in 1992. Furthering strategic ties with West Asia has been a priority for the BJP-led NDA Govt. It has walked the extra mile to engage the Arab countries as well as Iran, even as it has consolidated relations with Israel, with an aim to create an anti terror narrative and secure its energy and human resources in the region. While Abbas has visited India in the past this will be his maiden trip to India since the Modi Govt   assumed office in May 2014.Abbas will be making a standalone trip to India, without including Pakistan, which he visited separately recently. Strategic affairs analysts said that most leaders from West Asia, Gulf and Egypt are increasingly undertaking standalone trips to India. The de-hyphenation comes in the backdrop of India’s growing economic profile and rising threats from terror groups that also have a presence in the Af-Pak region.The visit will be held in the backdrop of the first Indo-Palestinian Joint Commission meeting last year and India’s participation in a conference on Israel and Palestine organised by France in Paris. India is expected to extend further assistance to Palestinian capacity-building during Abbas’ visit besides exploring business ties, people familiar with the developments said.“No country is big or small and every country is a sovereign entity. This has been the motto of PM Modi as his Govt has embarked on a mission mode to engage with all nation states,” said an official, who did not wish to be identified.  TOI/ET
Kerala Jamaat meet: Hamas spokesman calls Indian govt to continue unwavering support for Palestinian cause
Kottakkal, Kerala; Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s Malappuram district conference, which was attended by more than 100,000 people, has called upon authorities to withdraw the Draconian UAPA law that targets Muslim youth, and incriminate individuals and organizations who intentionally try to promote Islamophobia through strident campaign against Islam and Muslims.Jamaat’s all-India vice president Nusrat Ali inaugurated the mammoth conference in Kottakkal and denounced the ruling BJP Govt’s move to create communal polarization by imposing rigid nationalism. He denounced the endeavors to tarnish the image of Islam and Muslims using pseudo Muslim individuals and link Islam with terrorism and extremism.Kerala state president M.I. Abdul Aziz presided over the conference and lambasted US President Donald Trump and Indian PM Narendra Modi for promoting racism and intolerance.Hamas spokesman and Arab National Council member Osama Hamdan addressed the conference through videoconferencing from Beirut and called upon the Indian Govt to continue its unwavering support for the Palestinian cause. He urged the Indian media to expose Israel’s atrocities against unarmed Palestinian people and its human rights violations. saudigazette
SC refuses to interfere with selection, appointment of new AMU VC
New Delhi:Supreme Court today refused to interfere with the process of selection and appointment of VC for the AMU and dismissed a plea in this regard. The apex court also declined to de-tag another plea in which the appointment of the current VC has been challenged from the petition in which AMU’s status as a minority institution was held as unconstitutional by the Allahabad High Court.Before dismissing the plea challenging the ongoing process on appointment of VC after the retirement of the incumbent, a bench comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice NV Ramana took on record that the 3 shortlisted candidates fulfil the academic guidelines laid by UGC for the post.AMU submitted that since it was a minority institution, it was not mandatory for it to adhere to the UGC guidelines but in the current process, all the three candidates out of the five, who were in the fray, fulfil the UGC guidelines.PTI
HC ‘foxed’ by no result on Najeeb’s case; kin lose faith in Delhi police
New Delhi: Delhi High Court today said it was “foxed” by the lack of information about missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed’s whereabouts even after 5 months of his disappearance, as his family sought that the probe be handed over to some other agency.“It is very strange. 5 to 6 months have gone by since he disappeared. Something should have come out, even if something worse has happened, it should have come out by now,” a bench of justices G S Sistani and Vinod Goel said, adding “that is why, we are foxed”.Najeeb’s family said they wanted some other agency to probe the matter as they had no faith in the Delhi Police as its investigation has hit a dead-end.They said if the police continues to probe the matter, every month it will come with some new story.The bench then said every missing person was important and it does not talk highly of any society, if people go missing without any trace.The bench asked the police to carry on its investigation in the manner it wants to, but in accordance with law.The court’s observation came during the hearing of an application by one of the nine students, who are suspects in the case, seeking recall of the high court’s Dec 14 and Dec. 22, 2016 orders.PTI
J&K:Curfew imposed in Kulgam, Sophian after latest killings
Srinagar:Curfew was on Monday imposed in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district and Shopian town after two civilians were killed on Sunday, one in an encounter between militants and security forces and another in the protests that followed. Valley-wide strike called by the separatist leadership to protest the deaths evoked mixed response.“Curfew has been imposed in entire Kulgam district and Shopian town to maintain law and order in the wake of the killings yesterday,” a police official said. Meanwhile, the strike called by separatist groups to protest the civilian killings evoked mixed response on Monday.Chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference — Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq — and JKLF chief Yasin Malik had called for a complete shutdown on Monday and ‘Kulgam Chalo’ on Feb.15 to protest the civilian killings.PTI
J&K Congress seeks probe into civilian killings in Kulgam
Jammu: Congress has asked J&K  Govt  to conduct a probe into the killing of two civilians in Kulgam district and bring those responsible to book..PTI
J&K: 8 die as protests, encounter disrupt peace in Kulgam
Pellet returns, 2 teenagers hit in eyes: Greater Kashmir
Srinagar:2 teenagers with eyes hit by pellets were brought to Srinagar’s general specialty SMHS hospital from South Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday, bringing back the chilling memories of 2016 summer uprising in Kashmir when over 1,500 people were injured in eyes by the ‘deadly’ metallic ammunition used by forces.Scenes of angst were witnessed at the hospital when Saqib Ahmed (18) and Aqib Ahmed (16) were rushed in with their eyes perforated by the pellets. While doctors gave them the preliminary treatment to “seal” the injury in their eyes, they kept inquiring if more youth had been injured in the southern area where protests erupted during and after a gunfight between militants and forces on Sunday.
Jammu: Hoardings ask Rohingya, Bangladeshi Muslims to leave
Jammu: Hoardings have come up in and around Jammu city, asking Rohingya and Bangladeshi Muslims to leave the area, while urging local residents to unite so as to “save history, culture and identity of Dogras”. Carrying photographs of J&K National Panthers Party leaders, including its chairman Harsh Dev Singh and state president Balwant Singh Mankotia, these hoardings ask Jammu to “Wake Up”. “It is the question of the very survival of Dogras who have already lost their identity due to the settlement of people from other parts of the state on the outskirts of Jammu city,’’ Harsh Dev said.Last week, a division bench of the state High Court, comprising Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, had issued “post admission notices’’ asking Chief Secretary, Commissioner-Secretary Home, DGP and IG for Jammu zone to file their response within two weeks to a PIL that sought identification and deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis from the state. The notices were accepted by Deputy Advocate General Raman Sharma.PIL was filed by advocate Hunar Gupta, a member of the state BJP’s legal cell. indian express
Centre to take on board Kashmiri Pandits before formulating roadmap: BJP MLC
Jammu;BJP MLC Surinder Ambardar has said that central Govt  led-by PM  Modi will take on board displaced Kashmiri Pandit community before formulating the roadmap for their return to Kashmir Valley. “Central Govt will make the roadmap for the return of the displaced Kashmiri Pandit community to their homes and hearths only after taking them on board as KPs are a major stakeholder,” he said here. Ambardar claimed, “A comprehensive policy for the return of the KPs is in the process.” “Framing the viable module is only possible once the community is taken on-board, and as such BJP is committed to make sure that only once the major stakeholder is on-board, will they give it a formal shape”, he said.PTI
MP Pak spying racket: 5 sent to judicial custody
Bhopal: 5 of the 11 people, arrested in Madhya Pradesh for their alleged involvement in a spying racket run from Pakistan, were sent to judicial custody till Feb.27 by a local court.Judicial Magistrate Shalu Sirohi sent to jail Trilok Bhadoria, Ritesh Khullar, Jitendra Yadav, Jitendra Singh Thakur and Lashkar Pandit from Gwalior.They were arrested on Feb.9 by the Madhya Pradesh ATS and charged with anti-national activities.
Bhopal: BJYM IT expert held by ATS tapped phones of BJP leaders
Bhopal: Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha district coordinator of IT cell Dhruv Saxena was not only involved in ISI espionage case, but also taping the phones of the BJP leaders, on the instructions of the stalwart politicians. Dhruv had been arrested by the ATS in ISI espionage case on Thursday.The mobile of Dhruv seized by the ATS has the ‘Spoof App’, through which caller ID spoofing was done. The app causes the telephone network to indicate someone else’s number to the receiver other than the true originating station or the caller.He was having good connection with one of the stalwart BJP leader, for whom he used to work.  He used to visit the leader frequently and work accordingly on his instructions. Free press journal
Fake Rs 2,000 notes from Pakistan reach India via Bangladesh border
New Delhi:It took barely 2 months since the demonetisation policy was announced for Pakistan-based counterfeiters to come out with fake Rs 2,000 notes, which were pushed by smugglers through the porous India-Bangladesh border, official sources said, citing recent seizures and arrests made by NIA and BSF. Latest seizures were made on Feb.8 in Murshidabad from Azizur Rahman (26), who hails from Malda in West Bengal. Sources said Rahman, who was carrying 40 fake notes of Rs 2,000 denomination, told investigators that they had been printed in Pakistan, allegedly with the help of the ISI, and had been smuggled across the border from Bangladesh. Citing interrogation records, sources said smugglers were required to pay Rs 400-600 in genuine currency for each fake Rs 2,000 note, depending on the quality.Indian Express
Within 3 months of Modi’s demonetisation move, fake Rs 2000 notes from Pakistan enter India
It’s time Modi Govt   said demonetisation was a mistake: Rajesh Mahapatra
Sartaj Aziz sounds alarm over ‘nuclearisation’ of Indian Ocean
Islamabad:Pakistan is determined to counter growing threats to peace in the Indian Ocean, particularly from its “nuclearisation” by India, Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said. Aziz said the Indian Ocean faced challenges to peace due to its militarisation, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, increased missile capabilities and power projection by foreign militaries, Dawn online reported.IANS
ASSEBLY POLLS & POLITICS
Violating Election Commission Ban, Dainik Jagran Runs ‘Exit Poll’ Showing BJP Ahead
New Delhi: In what may be the first major violation of the election code of conduct by the media in recent years, the Dainik Jagran group – publishers of the largest circulating Hindi daily in the country – released the results of an exit poll report soon after polling for 73 seats in the 1st phase of UP polls was held on Feb.11. The published report claims that the BJP will emerge as the top party in the first phase, followed by the BSP and th SP-Congress combine. Dainik Jagran report said that the findings came from an organisation called Resource Development International (RDI) but mentioned no further details of either the body or the party which commissioned the survey.  report also called the survey a “feedback of voters” but followed all the norms and methodologies of an exit poll – which is banned by Election Commission of India until the last phase of voting in the current set of assembly elections ends. Opposition parties are likely to see the Jagran report as not just deliberate defiance of the EC’s ban but also an attempt to try and influence UP voters in favour of the BJP even as 6 phases of the election still remain.THE WIRE
UP: Muslim, SC or Jat seat, turnout jumps all over
Lucknow: Whatever their community profile, the turnout rose consistently in most of the 73 seats that went to polls Saturday. Compared to 2012, the turnout was higher in 15 of 17 Muslim-dominated seats, 11 of 12 reserved seats, and nine of 11 Jat strongholds. Overall, the turnout was 64.22% , up 3 points from 61%  of 2012.Among 17 seats where the Muslim population is 40%  or higher, the SP had won six in 2012, BJP and BSP 5 each, and the Congress one.In a region where most parties vie for the Muslim vote, and where the BJP banks on polarisation and a divided Muslim vote, the turnout saw varying increments everywhere except in Meerut and Murad Nagar, where it fell by 2.2 and 1.3% points respectively. Meerut contest features BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpai against the SP’s Rafiq Ansari. The highest increase recorded among these Muslim-dominated seats was in Muzaffarnagar, nearly eight points from 56% to 64.Local politicians interpreting the turnout felt the Muslim vote across the first phase has split between SP-Congress alliance and BSP, which has fielded 21 Muslims among its 73 candidates. At least one leader of Muzaffarnagar, however, felt that the higher turnout did not necessarily mean higher voting by Muslims.“Muslims in western UP always cast their votes in any case,” said the leader, who belongs to the RLD. “If the turnout has increased, it means more Hindu voters have come out to vote than earlier.” Indian expres
UP  Assembly elections 2017 second phase: It’s a Muslim-Jat showdown in polarised Bijnor
UP polls: On campaign trail, Rajnath Singh’s themes; Pakistan, national pride
In Kairana, around 1,000 riot victims miss out on voting
Shamli: Kairana recorded a decent 69.36 % voting in the first phase of the UP Assembly polls but the inmates of Alfalah Colony in Daberi Khurd were not among them. 230-odd families, roughly 1,000 people, living here did not exercise their franchise — they claim their names were not on the voter list though they had valid documents. The colony houses victims of 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots who shifted here from the Malakpur relief camp in summer of 2014.Islamu’s brother was killed and his son had a narrow escape during the riots, his entire family displaced by the violence that polarised the entire western region of the State. While he is today forced to live in deplorable conditions, Islamu is also upset that he could not vote. A senior administrative official from Kairana admitted that names of some inmates got excluded from the list due to some fault and that the State would take action. While the authorities probe the missing names from the list, activists say that Daberi Khurd is not alone. According to Akram Chaudhary, director of the NGO AFKAR, 6,000 of the 20,000 riot victims living in various camps around Muzaffarnagar and Shamli could not vote due to omission. He has sent complaints to the Election Commission and the district administration. thehindu
After currency, it’s time to ban BJP;Uddhav Thackeray
Mumbai:In yet another attack on his party’s former ally in the civic body, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said it was time to ban the BJP. “I am not supporting the Congress but they did some development work. I am only showing what this Govt, which takes credit for their work, is really like. You have undertaken notebandi, it is now time to have BJP-bandi as well,” he said at a rally in Mumbai. He took on the BJP over the demonetisation decision and claimed that even soldiers had to pay with their lives because of the move. indianexpress
Not only minorities, media too living in fear under BJP regime, says Chidambaram
Mumbai:Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday said not only Dalits and minorities but the media too was living in fear and pressure under the BJP-ruled Central govt.“Dalits are living in fear, minorities are living in fear, students and universities are in fear. Media is also in fear,” he said at a function in Mumbai.He observed that the media had become very “stingy” while covering parties other than BJP.The Congress leader, who is a Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra, is campaigning for the high-stake BMC elections slated for Feb.21.Coming down heavily on the fourth pillar of democracy, he said, “Most channels today are cheerleaders and most newspapers today are mute. It is a sad state of affairs in a democracy.” He however, praised regional media for being more independent than the national media.HT
Hindu population reducing in India, minorities flourishing: Union Minister Rijiju
New Delhi: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju has said Hindu population was reducing in India as they “never convert people”, while minorities are flourishing unlike some other countries, in remarks that can stoke a controversy.“Hindu population is reducing in India because Hindus never convert people. Minorities in India are flourishing unlike some countries around (sic),” he tweeted.Minister of State for Home’s comment came after Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee accused Modi-led BJP Govt  of trying to convert Arunachal into a Hindu state.Rijiju is a practising Buddhist.PTI
Tamil Nadu crisis: SC to announce verdict on Sasikala DA case tomorrow
New Delhi; Political drama in Tamil Nadu seems to be coming to a head with Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi advising Governor C Vidyasagar Rao that a floor test will have to be conducted in the Assembly within a week. Meanwhile, AIADMK chief V K Sasikala held a press conference, her second since 6 more MPs, including one from Rajya Sabha, joined the Panneerselvam camp on Sunday night. indianexpress
OPS vs Sasikala: Hold floor test in Assembly within a week, Attorney General advises TN Governor
New Delhi: Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi has advised Tamil Nadu governor to hold composite floor test in the Assembly pitting O Paneerselvam against Sasikala to test who commands majority. timesofindia
Tamil governor gets a big cue from Centre,SC verdict next
OTHERS
Govt panel to study role of cow urine, dung in curing diseases
New Delhi: Amid demands from certain quarters to check the veracity of ancient knowledge through scientific research, the Centre has decided to set up a central body, comprising scientists and health experts, to study the role of cow urine and dung in curing diseases.The central body — a national steering committee for scientific validation — will evaluate whether 'Panchagavya' — a concoction of cow urine mixed with cow dung, milk, curd and ghee — can cure diseases.This programme will be coordinated by the Centre for Rural Development and Technology (CRDT) at IIT Delhi. The idea to evaluate the role of 'Panchgavya' was first mooted when scientists from across the country floated the proposal at a workshop organised by IIT in Dec. 2016.Head of CRDT professor Virendra Kumar Vijay told TOI that the centre will hold its national working committee meeting in IIT Delhi on Monday where the issue would be discussed in detail. "The ministry of science and technology will soon announce the composition of the steering committee which will work for scientific validation to evaluate the role of Panchagavya," said Vijay, who has been working on cow dung and cow urine based products for long. Timesofindia
Karnataka assembly legalises Kambala - bull races
Bengaluru: Karnataka legislature today legalised Kambala, bull runs and bullock cart races as traditional sports and exempted them from prevention of cruelty to animals act, by amending it with a legislation. However, the bill was carefully worded and said there should be no harm to the animals.The bill, passed unanimously by the state assembly, said, "Notwithstanding anything...conduct of "Kambala" or "Bulls race or Bullock cart race" shall be permitted, subject to condition that no unnecessary pain or suffering is caused to the animals, by the person incharge of that animal used to conduct "Kambala" or "Bulls race or Bullock cart race" as the case may be and subject to such other conditions, as may be prescribed."TOI
India’s first minority digital village project shuts down amid chorus for Digital India
Alwar:The country’s first minority cyber village project has died a quiet death in Rajasthan’s Alwar, barely 150km from New Delhi, amid the chorus for Digital India.With that died hopes of several schoolchildren who were dreaming big after meeting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.In Feb.2014,govt launched a “minority cyber-gram” project in Chandoli village, where more than 70% of people are Meo Muslims. Project was aimed at training the villagers to become Internet savvy.That year in Oct Facebook CEO visited Chandoli. But 3 years on, Congress-led UPA govt’s project has been shelved. No official reason has been given. Move was surprising as it contradicts Modi Govt’s push to bridge the country’s technology divide through its Digital India initiative, with plans to provide e-governance and phone connectivity to the entire population. Digital Empowerment Foundation, NGO, ran project at Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendra in the village. Centre was renamed Atal Sewa Kendra when BJP-led NDA came into power. “We were asked to vacate Govt building in Feb.2015,” said Yousuf Khan, a regional manager of NGO. “We thought one day we will also make software and websites and bring laurels to our village. With the centre closed, we feel our dream will never fulfill,” said Hazrat Sapwan, one of the many child dreamers in village.HT
Law Minister to HCs: Act on your own to free undertrials
New Delhi: With over 2-thirds of the prisoners lodged in jails across the country being undertrials, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has written to chief justices of all high courts to “review all such cases” and “take suo motu action for their release”. According to NCRB data for 2015, of over 2.82 lakh people behind bars, over 67% inmates are undertrials. About 65% spend 3 months to 5 years in jail before securing bail. In his communication sent to 24 high courts last week, Prasad urged the chief justices to ensure that “the basic human rights of undertrials are not undermined” by their imprisonment for terms longer than period mandated by law. indianexpress
German Bakery Blast case accused: Himayat Baig discharged in ‘jihadi literature’ case
Pune:After setting aside death penalty in the German Bakery blast case, there is yet another relief for alleged terror suspect Mirza Himayat Baig (32). A magistrate court has discharged Baig, along with alleged IM operative Maulana Shabbir Hussain Gangawali, in the case registered by Maharashtra ATS under the stringent UAPA, for allegedly circulating jihadi literature to Muslim youth in Pune, who were alleged members of the banned SIMI.Judicial Magistrate (1st class) VB Gulve Patil, Shivajinagar Court, passed on order in this regard on Dec.22, 2016. Court ordered release of Baig and Gangawali in the case, after hearing from assistant public prosecutor and the complainant — Assistant Police Inspector Sastish Gurav, who was then attached to ATS.Meanwhile, in 2011, Gangawali was convicted and awarded 5 years’ rigorous imprisonment in fake currency possession case.Later, he was arrested in connection with serial bomb blasts in Bengaluru in July 2008. Gangawali is currently lodged in a Bengaluru jail. Baig is lodged in Nashik.
Recitation of Quran gives me peace of mind: TRS MLA Rekha Nayak
Hyderabad: TRS MLA of Khanapur (Adilabad), Ajmeera Rekha Shyam Nayak organized Quranic recitation program at her residence. The program started with the recitation of Quran by Sara Khan. Rekha also recited Quranic verses with respect. A large number of ladies and girl students attended the program. She said that the Quran is a guide for all the human beings of the world. She also said that she is found of recitation of Quran. She expressed her delight by saying that whenever she sees Muslim girls reciting the Quran, she feels happy. She mentioned that she has an attachment with the Quran right from her student days. She mentioned that whenever there was a program of recitation of “Ayat-e-Kareema” at the residence of her friends, she also used to participate. She said that after listening to the Quran, she feels peace of mind.Siasat
Surat: 3 women killed, 20 others injured as slab collapses during religious event
Surat: 3 women died and 20 people were injured when a slab connecting two tenements collapsed at Surat, Gujarat, in the early hours of Monday.The deceased were identified as Rizwanabanu Saiyed, Jamilabi and Samima Sheikh. Injured – some of them children – were rushed to a Govt  hospital.HT
Shehla Masood murder: ‘She was shot dead in front of her house…I was so relaxed’: indianexpress
WORLD
Palestine condemns latest Israeli bill to ban ‘Azaan’
Ramallah/Gaza: Palestinians have reacted angrily to an Israeli draft bill that bans mosques from using loudspeakers for the call to prayer at night in Jerusalem and Israel.A new version of the Muezzin bill approved on Sunday prohibits the use of loudspeakers for religious purposes from 11pm to 7am, Xinhua reported. The bill affects al-Fajer prayer. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the bill, saying it "would drag the area to disaster".Abbas called for an immediate Arab and Muslim move to pressure Israel to annul the bill.Palestinian Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs Yousif Idais said the bill was an attempt to make the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a religious one.The bill was sponsored by 2 members of the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, representing the right-wing parties of Habayit Hayehudi and Likud, saying the calls to prayer early morning disturb the sleep of hundreds of thousands of Jews and Arabs.Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu approved the bill, saying people "of all religions have complained countless times about noise from the muezzin".In Gaza, Islamic Hamas movement spokesman Hazem Qassem said the approval of the bill to prohibit mosques from calling to prayers "is a continuation of the Israeli policy to wipe our people's identity by preventing them from practicing their religious rituals"."The bill is fully racist and would drag the entire region into deeper conflicts," the Hamas spokesman said. According to Israeli Radio, if the bill becomes law, it "would apply to mosques in annexed Arab east Jerusalem as well as Israel, but not to the highly sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam's third holiest site in the old city of Jerusalem". Critics of the bill have argued the draft legislation was superfluous given existing noise regulations, and therefore could be construed as an attack specifically targeting the Muslim right to worship.IANS
Israeli ministers endorse noise pollution bill said to ‘mute Muslim call to prayer’
 My family created Israel: Rothschild makes 1st public statement on Balfour Declaration
The current and fourth Lord Rothschild has described the Balfour Declaration that helped pave the way for the creation of Israel as a “miracle” and revealed new details about his cousin Dorothea’s crucial role.Speaking ahead of the 67-word letter’s centenary, they are his first ever public comments on the show of support from then-foreign secretary Lord Balfour to the second Lord Rothschild, his eccentric uncle Walter, and were made in a rare TV interview with former Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub as part of the Balfour 100 project.Jacob Rothschild, 80, head of the family’s banking dynasty, said the declaration of support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine went through 5 drafts before finally being penned on 2 Nov.1917, adding: “It was the greatest event in Jewish life for thousands of years, a miracle… It took 3,000 years to get to this.”The way it was achieved was extraordinary, he said. “It was the most incredible piece of opportunism. You had an impoverished would-be scientist, Chaim Weizmann, who somehow gets to England, meets a few people, including members of my family, seduces them,he has such charm and conviction, he gets to Balfour, and unbelievably, he persuades Lord Balfour, and Lloyd George, the PM , and most of the ministers, that this idea of a national home for Jews should be allowed to take place. I mean it’s so, so unlikely.”The letter “changed the course of history for the Middle East and the Jewish people,” said Taub, who interviewed Rothschild at Waddeston Manor in Buckinghamshire, a country pile bequeathed to the nation by the family in 1957, where the Declaration is kept.jewishnews
Netanyahu opposes Palestinian state, Israeli minister says ahead of US visit
Jerusalem: Benjamin Netanyahu opposes a Palestinian state, a senior Israeli cabinet member said on Monday, but left it unclear whether the PM would say that publicly in talks with US President Donald Trump in Washington this week. Netanyahu has never explicitly abandoned his conditional support for a future Palestine, and his spokesman did not respond immediately to a request to comment on Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan's remarks.Erdan belongs to Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party, whose leading members have often espoused a harder line than the PM  himself.Reuters
Israel wants settlements, not peace: Rami Hamdallah, PM of Palestine
Hamas military leader elected group's Gaza chief
Gaza City: Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas elected a hardline member of its armed wing as its new Gaza head on Monday, Hamas officials said."Yahya Sinwar was elected to head the Hamas political office in the Gaza Strip", the officials said. He will succeed Ismail Haniya, who is seen by many observers as the most likely successor to Hamas's current exiled leader Khaled Meshaal.In Sept.2015, Sinwar was added to the US terrorism blacklist alongside two other members of Hamas's military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades. A graduate in Arabic language, he was born in the Khan Younis refugee camp in southern Gaza and founded "Majd," one of Hamas's intelligence services.AFP
‘Islamophobia’ fuelling terrorism: UN chief
Riyadh: “Islamophobia” in parts of the world is fuelling terrorism, the head of the United Nations said on a visit to Saudi Arabia Sunday, as anti-immigrant sentiment rises in some countries. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the comment to reporters after talks with Saudi King Salman, Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.“One of the things that fuel terrorism is the expression in some parts of the world of Islamophobic feelings and Islamophobic policies and Islamophobic hate speeches,” Guterres said at a joint news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.AFP
US-born Muslim NASA scientist detained at border and asked to surrender his phone! indiatimes
A US born Muslim scientist Sidd Bikkannavar who works with NASA had an unpleasant experience while coming back home from vacation. Bikkannavar was on a personal trip in South America where he was pursuing his hobby for solar-powered cars. When he landed back at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas he was in for a shock of his life when he was prevented BY US Customs and Border Patrol agents from entering country.Employed by NASA’s JPL, Bikkannavar was asked to turnover his phone and was pressurised to unlock the PIN.
Why can't Muslims talk about the Muslim ban on US TV? Khaled A Beydoun
Switzerland: Anti-Muslim campaign backfires as people ease naturalisation path
Zurich:Swiss people’s growing familiarity with foreigners living in their neighbourhoods and a step-by-step path to citizenship helped doom the far right’s efforts to exploit anti-Muslim sentiment in a vote easing naturalisation for third-generation immigrants. Swiss People’s Party (SVP) used posters showing a burqa-clad woman with the slogan “no unchecked naturalisation” to fight the move, which won 60 % support in a referendum on Sunday even amid the increasingly anti-immigrant mood in many European countries.Reuters
UN: NATO air raids kill 18 civilians in Helmand
Civilians, mostly women and children, were killed last week in air raids by NATO forces in Afghanistan's Helmand province, an initial UN inquiry suggested.On Thursday and Friday as many as 18 civilians died in air strikes in Helmand's Sangin district, according to a UN statement released. UN said the strikes had been conducted by "international military forces," but only US aircraft have been involved in recent coalition strikes, according to US military officials. aljazeera
Another Pakistan Senator says he was denied US visa
Another Pakistani Senator has said his US visa application was turned down without a valid reason, a day after reports said the Senate Deputy Chairman, belonging to the same Islamic party as the legislator, was denied visa to visit New York.Hafiz Hamdullah said he had to wait in a queue for over four hours inside the US Embassy’s consular section before being told he could not be granted a visa, The Express Tribune reported.PTI
Syrian Govt 'ready' for prisoner swap with rebels:aljazeera
Syrian Govt signalled on Monday that it was ready to agree to prisoner swaps with rebel groups, a confidence-building measure that might help both sides prepare to attend peace talks. Govt is "continuously ready" for such an exchange with rebel groups, "particularly in the framework of efforts being made for the coming meeting in Astana", a news flash on the state-run Al Ikhbariya TV station said, citing an official source.
Mental health therapy for Muslims embraces religion:BBC
Muslims with mental health issues could be helped by re-embracing their beliefs and religious teachings, it is claimed. Traditionally, therapists have shied away from talking about religion as part of treatment - and can often see it as part of the illness. But an NHS project based on research by Leeds University is "showing some individual signs of success".
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:46 PM)

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