Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
15 Feb.2017: 17 Jamadiul Awwal 1438: Vol:8, No:117
Religious majoritarianism and cultural nationalism key challenges confronting country: Hamid Ansari
New Delhi:Vice-President Hamid Ansari has identified “religious majoritarianism” and “cultural nationalism” promoted by “a section” as “key challenges” confronting the country.“The operative principle for this is ‘national-civic’ rather than ‘national-ethnic’ though a segment of opinion today would want to modulate or amend it and espouse instead an Indian version of ‘cultural nationalism’ premised on ‘religious majoritarianism’,’’ he said in K Subrahmanyam memorial lecture. “This would be in contrast to the hitherto accepted philosophy of liberal nationalism that ‘celebrates the particularity of culture together with the universality of human rights, the social and cultural embeddedness of individuals together with their personal autonomy.’’Ansari said that threats emanating from regional and social imbalances have given rise to and fuel insurgencies, terrorism, sub-nationalism and communalism in India and they must be dealt with appropriate policy initiatives. “7 decades after independence there is widespread unrest, discontent and conflicts among sections of population,’’ he said. “Economic disparities have created social tensions, urban unrest, rural upsurge and youth disenchantment.’’ He added that problems of deprivation, unemployment, poverty, hunger and food shortage, have given rise to anger and crime. indianexpress
Ravi Shankar Prasad crossing limits by pressurising Muslim community: Kamal Faruqui on triple talaq
New Delhi:Accusing Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad of politicising the ‘triple talaq’ practice, All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Wednesday said the former has crossed his limits for trying to pressurize the judiciary as well as threatening the Muslim community.“I am sorry to say that Law Minister have crossed his limits by almost trying to pressurise the judiciary as well as threatening the Muslim community which is highly objectionable and I hope he will resist from making such remarks in future,” AIMPLB member Kamal Faruqui told ANI over Shankar’s remark that the Centre is likely to take “a major step” to ban triple talaq after the ongoing Assembly polls.“The very concept of divorce is a very unpleasant thing which is not appreciated in our domain. We ask people for reconciliation,”he added. Responding to the Supreme Court terming ‘triple talaq’ as an issue of human rights, and that it will not hear the petitions related to Uniform Civil Code along with it as it was a different matter altogether, the Muslim Law Board member said the matter is subjuidice and that the apex court will take cognizance.“Unfortunately in our country some of the people have tried to politicize triple talaq which is very unfortunate. The matter is subjuidice and let us hope that Supreme Court will take cognizance of all this. We will be putting or point of view as through the legal compulsions and Sharias and related matters before the SC. We will also say as to why this divorce is allowed,” he added.Asserting that triple talaq is an easy route to end a bitter marriage, Faruqui said that Islam is a religion, which has bestowed the women with many rights.ANI
No to extravagant wedding? Bill in LS seeks cap on guests invited, dishes served; spending above Rs 5 lakh has to contribute 10% amount on poor girls marriages
New Delhi: A Bill in the Lok Sabha seeks to put a limit on the number of guests to be invited and dishes to be served in weddings to check "show of wealth" and wants those spending above Rs 5 lakh to contribute towards marriages of poor girls.If a family spends above Rs 5 lakh on a wedding, it has to contribute 10% of the amount on marriages of girls from poor families, according to the Bill introduced by Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of MP Pappu Yadav.Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016, may be taken up as a private member's Bill in the upcoming Lok Sabha session.The purpose of this Bill is to prohibit extravagant and wasteful expenditure on marriages and to enforce simpler solemnisation, Ranjeet said."Great importance should be assigned to the solemnisation of marriage between two individuals. But unfortunately, these days a tendency of celebrating marriages with pomp and show and spending lavishly growing in the country.”It says that after this proposed legislation comes into force, all marriages shall be registered within 60 days of the solemnisation.PTI
ELECTIONS & POLITICS
Team Sasikala meets governor, team Panneerselvam up next
 Governor C Vidyasagar Rao is likely to move this evening to end the transition era that Tamil Nadu has been struggling with, courtesy competing claims from within the ruling party over who should be CM. Sources say the front runner is the faction of the AIADMK that's headed by E Palanisamy. On the other side of the ring is O Panneerselvam, currently Acting CM. Both were invited to meet the Governor this evening - the meeting with Palaniswamy is over.NDTV
Tamil Nadu crisis: Governor likely to invite Sasikala loyalist Palaniswami, end of road for Panneerselvam?
Senior AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami is set to take over as Tamil Nadu’s new CM in a couple of days after sources confirmed on Wednesday that he would likely be called by the governor to form the next govt. Palaniswami – the state minister for highways, public works and minor ports – might be called by governor C Vidyasagar Rao late on Wednesday. 62-year-old has claimed the support of 123 MLAs, more than the majority mark in the 234-member assembly. Palaniswami was elected leader of the AIADMK legislature party on Tuesday soon after party chief VK Sasikala was convicted by the Supreme Court in a two-decade-old corruption case.Sources said legal advisers told the governor that in the present circumstances, there was no alternative but to invite Palaniswami to form the next govt and prove his majority on the floor of the assembly. Though Palaniswami has claimed support of 123 MLAs, the exact number would be known on the floor of the House, they said.Panneerselvam camp celebrated the conviction of Sasikala on Tuesday with the hope of large-scale defections from her camp, allegedly held captive at Golden Bay Resorts near Chennai.But nothing of that sort had happened and except for one MLA, S Saravanan representing Madurai South, who filed a kidnap case against Sasikala, no other MLA from her camp shifted their loyalty to Panneerselvam. hindustantimes
Sasikala, Ilavarasi sent to jail; Sudhakaran surrenders
VK Sasikala and Ilavarasi have been sent to jail after their surrender before sessions judge Ashwath Narayana at the Parappana Agrahara jail complex, Tamil news channels report. The third convict VN Sudhakaran Sudhakaran surrenders before Benagluru special court with sessions judge Ashwath Narayana rejecting his request to surrender tomorrow.Thehindu
Uttarakhand Election: 68% Overall Voter Turnout In 69 Assembly Constituencies As Voting Ends
 Voting has ended in Uttarakhand's 69 constituencies spread across 13 districts (7 in Garhwal region and the remaining 6 in Kumaon region of the state). Residents of Uttarakhand voted today to decide who will form the next government in the state. The overall voter turnout was 68%, which is 1.2% higher than the 2012 Assembly election (66.8%).NDTV
Uttar Pradesh second phase registers 65 per cent polling
Lucknow: Around 65 per cent polling was recorded in the second phase of the UP assembly elections on Wednesday, officials said."Polling for the second phase in up ended peacefully with around 65 per cent polling," an election official said.Maximum voting was reported from Saharanpur and Lakhimpur Kheri.Barring some places where EVMs developed some snags, polling was smooth and peaceful in most of the 67 assembly constituencies across 11 districts.IANS
Shia Leader Kalbe Jawad praises BJP, protests 'Secular Alliance' and prefers BSP:HuffPost India
Lucknow: Maulana Syed Kalbe Jawad Naqvi is one of the most influential leaders of Shia Muslims in India today. From his seat in Lucknow, he makes proclamations that influence and sway the Shia community who constitute around 25 percent of the Muslim population in the country.During election time, Jawad's directives on which party to choose carries much weight. The cleric has advised his community against voting for the alliance between the Samajwadi and Congress parties in the ongoing U.P. Assembly polls. The Shias had backed the SP in the 2012 Assembly elections. During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Shias were with the Bharatiya Janata Party.Jawad has recently announced his support for the Bahujan Samaj Party. A week earlier, while speaking to HuffPost India at his home in old Lucknow, Jawad said, "The people must choose between the BSP and the BJP."The question that stood out was why a Shia cleric should be open-minded about the BJP. This was a political party, not only rooted in the ideology of Hindutva, but which had not fielded even a single Muslim candidate in the ongoing polls. Jawad told this reporter that the Muslims were safe under the Modi government. He was dismissive of "gharwapsi," "Love Jihad" and "Anti-Romeo Squads" as the talk of some "crackpots" in the party.Referring to Modi, Jawad said, "When his government came to power, people thought there would be communal riots everywhere. Nothing like that happened. Where has there been the most communal strife? Here in UP, more than 500 episodes in 5 years."
Maya’s dream of Dalit-Muslim unity soars on BJP ‘vision’ to ban slaughterhouses: The Hindu Business Line
Kanpur/ Unnao:  BSP chief Mayawati’s endeavour to forge a Dalit-Muslim alliance in UP has received an inadvertent push from the BJP’s “vision” to ban all mechanised slaughterhouses in the State. BSP’s hope is that anger among Muslims and Dalits — two communities mainly associated with the slaughter trade — helps its cause is further fuelled by BJP’s aggressive campaign around this issue.It is estimated that three crore people are directly or indirectly involved in the meat, leather and cattle trade. Workers and owners of Kanpur’s age-old leather-tanning industry, which is already under duress because of demonetisation and the anti-pollution drive along the Ganga, are worried about their livelihoods if the BJP comes to power. Party, however, believes the issue holds the potential to consolidate the Hindu vote. The promise in the manifesto to ban slaughterhouses is thus an aggressive campaign issue. “All slaughtering units will be closed down if the BJP comes into power. Crores of farmers will benefit as milk and milk products have become the only source of income for them due to farm distress. We will not allow the ‘slaughtering’ of their only income,” said Om Prakash, in-charge of BJP’s election campaign in 52 constituencies in and around Kanpur.When asked about the possible job losses due to closing down of the abattoirs, he said Centre and the State government will take adequate steps to prevent this. “Centre is already providing subsidies for cattle shelters. The tanning industry can sustain itself with the leather of dead buffaloes as it did in the past,” he added.While 80% of workers in mechanised slaughterhouses are Dalits and Muslims, more than 90% of the workers in tanning units belong to these communities.
Slow death of Kanpur’s leather economy has fuelled UP’s job crisis
Slow death of Kanpur’s leather economy & UP’s job crisis
Muslims, Dalits hold key in 11 seats of Haridwar dist.TOI
In all 11 assembly constituencies in Haridwar district, Dalits and Muslims are in a position to decide the winner, and candidates of various parties are leaving no stone unturned to woo these sections of voters. According to 2011 Census, of the total population of 18,90,422 in Haridwar district, there are 6,48,119 Muslims (34.28%). There are 13,05,266 voters in these 11 constituencies, and Muslims, on an average constitute 20% of the voters in each assembly seat of the district.There are more than 6 constituencies such as Roorkee, Piran Kaliyar, Bhagwanpur, Manglaur, Khanpur, Jwalapur, etc where the percentage of Muslim voters can be as high as 25%.
Mulayam rakes Babri Mosque issue to unite Muslim votes in favour of SP
In an attempt to unite Muslim electorates in favour of the Samajwadi Party, party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday raked up the Babri Masjid issue and said that his government took up extreme measures to safeguard the interest of the minority community. While addressing a rally in Lucknow, Yadav said, ?Whatever happened in Ayodhya made few people angry but our priority was to stop the demolition of the Babri mosque because we could have not let a minority community and their interest suffer.?ANI
Jagran CEO’s new claims on exit poll being ‘paid content’ are even more serious
Jagran Group CEO and editor of the Hindi daily, Sanjay Gupta, has reportedly claimed that the exit poll, published in favour of the BJP soon after the first phase of Uttar Pradesh elections, was carried by the paper’s advertising department.“The exit poll didn’t appear in the newspaper. It was carried by the advertising department on our website. We have removed it now,” Gupta was quoted by Indian Express.Many would find Gupta’s claims an acknowledgement of having received money for an editorial that was carried as an exit poll. jantakareporter
OTHERS
India playing with ‘fire’ over Taiwan stand and ‘one-China’ policy: State media
China:India is playing with fire and will suffer losses by challenging the one-China policy and increasing engagement with Taiwan,nationalistic tabloid Global Times said on Wednesday. Beijing considers Taiwan a breakaway province which could be reunited by force if necessary.India doesn’t maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, an island off the southeastern coast of China, that follows democracy and has a free press.A rare women’s parliamentary delegation from Taiwan began an India visit on Monday, a possible sign that both countries are attempting to increase political engagement without New Delhi changing its “one-China” policy.It did not go unnoticed by China and its state-run media.HT
India dismisses China protest over Taiwanese delegation’s visit, says nothing new
India on Wednesday dismissed Chinese protest against the visit of a Taiwanese parliamentary delegation in New Delhi, saying that there is nothing unusual and no “political meanings” should be read into these trips.“We understand that a group of Taiwanese academics and business persons, including a couple of legislators, is visiting India. Such informal groups have visited India in the past as well for business, religious and tourist purposes.”“I understand that they do so to China as well. There is nothing new or unusual about such visits and political meanings should not be read into them,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.TOI
Pakistan to boycott South Asian Speakers meet in India
Pakistan has decided to boycott a key meeting of South Asian Speakers to be held in India later this month.2-day meet begins on Feb.18 at Indore in Madhya Pradesh. It will discuss poverty, development, environment and gender concerns in South Asia, home to more than 25% of the world population.Pakistan has decided to give it a slip in an apparent tit-for-tat over India’s refusal to attend a Saarc summit in Islamabad in November last year that got axed after many other member countries too pulled out.IANS 
Record 27 US Congressmen travelling to India this month
Washington:A record number of 27 US Congressmen will visit India later this month, reflecting the increased efforts by American lawmakers for strengthening ties with New Delhi. The top lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties are visiting India in two separate delegations.PTI
ISRO creates history with launch of 104 satellites, breaks Russia’s record
Space agency ISRO today scripted history by successfully launching a record 104 satellites, including India’s earth observation satellite, on a single rocket from the spaceport in Sriharikota. This is the highest number of satellites ever launched in a single mission. PSLV-C37 blasted off at 9:28 AM from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre and first injected Cartosat-2 series satellite into orbit followed by the other 103 nano satellites, including 96 from the US, in a gap of about 30 minutes.PTI
After Major's Death In Kashmir, Army Chief's 'Anti-National' Warning To Locals
New Delhi:  A day after four soldiers -- among them an army major -- died in Kashmir, Army Chief Bipin Rawat indicted it was time terror was controlled from the grass-root level in Kashmir. The army, he said, was not getting support from the local population despite trying to conduct "people-friendly operations". At a time the terrorists have "graduated" to villages, "harsher measures" were needed to control the local boys, he said."We request local population... people who have picked up arms, local boys, if they continue with these acts of terrorism, displaying flags of ISIS and Pakistan, they will be treated as anti-nationals," General Rawat said. "We request the parents of these boys to counsel them... We will have to continue with harsher measures if need be."NDTV
Those who display ISIS, Pak flags will be treated as anti-nationals: Army chief Bipin Rawat
Restrictions in parts of Kulgam ahead of separatist march
Srinagar:Authorities have imposed restrictions in parts of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district as a precautionary measure in view of separatists’ call for a march to protest the death of two civilians there on Sunday. Restrictions under Section 144 of the CrPc have been imposed in some sensitive areas of the district, including Kulgam town, to maintain law and order, said Deputy Commissioner Kulgam, Showkat Aijaz Bhat,.PTI
Kulgam encounter: Army searched home before gunbattle several times, couldn’t find militants hiding underground

MP man sent money to Jammu duo held for ‘spying for ISI’, say cops
Lucknow: Balram Singh, main suspect in SIM box fraud racket busted by MP ATS, had deposited around Rs 30,000 on four different dates in accounts of Satwinder and Dado, arrested in Jammu in the same case in November last year, a top MP officer said Tuesday.“In the money deposit slips, Balram had mentioned his telephone number, which corroborated his links with those arrested in Jammu,” Superintendent of Police, ATS (MP), Pranay Nagvanshi said. indianexpress
Kanpur train derailment: NIA arrests two from Motihari
New Delhi;NIA got a shot in the arm on Tuesday after two fresh arrests were made in Ghorasahan, Motihari case.While the agency is probing the role of ISI, which has allegedly conspired to cause derailment of Indian trains by use of explosive and IED's, the NIA will soon be able to lay its hands on Gajendra Sharma, who on Tuesday surrendered in the court of SDJM Raxaul at Motihari.On the petition filed by the NIA, the special NIA court, Patna issued a production warrant for the accused.
Shehla Rashid exploded media’s silence on BJP’S man links with ISI
New Delhi: Shehla Rashid blasted the media for ignoring BJP member Dhruv Saxena news who was caught along with 11 others by ATS for their links with ISI. JNU Student Union Leader questions Media and BJP for keeping silent over 11 ISI agents arrested in Madhya Pardesh on spying charges. According to a news item published by Irony of India, Indian media which ran a media trail on JNU student Umar Khalid linking him with Pakistan and JeM with doctored videos, which led to his arrest on sedition charges are silent on 11 ISI helpers who were arrested from MP, according to source one of the accused arrested by ATS is identified as Dhruv Saxena was a BJYM member  and had worked for BJP IT Cell.siasat
BJP disowning ‘ISI spy’ Dhruv Saxena is Hindutva hypocrisy at its worst: Angshukanta Chakraborty
Madhya Pradesh Jail department empowers guards to shoot to stop jailbreaks: Indian Express
Bhopal:Madhya Pradesh Jail department has issued orders empowering guards to fire to foil jailbreaks and weapons snatching attempts. The orders were issued after two under-trials escaped from Morena district jail on Monday even as the government had claimed that jail security had been stepped up following the alleged escape of SIMI activists from a Bhopal prison in October.“The jail guards are usually scared to fire during emergencies because there are no orders and no seniors to sanction it. The written orders will make them feel confident,’’ Additional Director General (Jail) GR Meena said. .
Setback for Shahabuddin, Supreme Court orders Bihar govt to shift RJD leader to Delhi’s Tihar Prisons
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered Mohammad Shahabuddin from Siwan (Bihar) to Tihar Jail in Delhi. According to the direction of the apex court, the controversial RLD leader Shahabuddin is to be shifted to Tihar Jail in Delhi and further trial in the cases registered against him are to be conducted through video conferencing. The court also stated that no special treatment will be given to Shahabuddin in prison. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy ordered Bihar government to transfer the criminal-turned-politician to Tihar Jail within a week, saying that it is the obligation and duty of the court to ensure free and fair trial. “We direct the state of Bihar to transfer Shahabuddin from district jail Siwan to Tihar jail Delhi,” the bench said.The order by the Supreme Court came in the wake of the pleas filed by Siwan-based Chandrakeshwar Prasad, whose three sons were killed in two separate incidents, and Asha Ranjan, wife of scribe Rajdeo Ranjan who was murdered in Siwan, seeking to move the RJD leader from Siwan jail. For a free and fair trial in the cases pending against him, the petitioners told the apex court that Shahabuddin should be transferred from Siwan jail to any other jail outside Bihar. financialexpress
ATS committed murder, claims Malegaon blast accused Purohit
Mumbai: The lawyer of Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit has told the Bombay high court that key accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, Ramji Kalsangra and Sandip Dange, were allegedly killed by the Maharashtra ATS during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The duo has been accused of planting the bomb. Purohit’s lawyer Shrikant Shivde told the court, “I have unimpeachable evidence which can prove my allegation.”In August 2016, suspended police inspector of ATS, Mehboob Mujawar, had submitted an application in a Solapur court, claiming that Kalsangra and Dange, who are wanted in 3 other blast cases, were killed by ATS officials. Shivde added, “I have a post-mortem report of 2 dead people who didn’t die due to bullet injuries during the 26/11 terror attack. Those two bodies are of Kalsangra and Dange.”Questioning Shivde’s claims, the NIA lawyer, Sandesh Patil told the high court that Shivde had not submitted any documents in the court to prove his allegation. He further added, “If the accused, Purohit feels that there is any change in circumstances, then he should withdraw his plea and file a new bail application before the trial court.”A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi was hearing a bail plea filed by 2008 Malegaon blast accused Purohit.Asian Age
Jaipur court sends IS suspect to 4-day police custody
Jaipur: A Jaipur court on Tuesday sent alleged IS suspect Mohammad Iqbal, 32, in 4-day police custody. Iqbal was arrested from Tamil Nadu-AP border on Feb.4. Rajasthan ATS Chief Umesh Mishra claimed that Iqbal has confessed to sending money to Islamic State through China.“How he used to send it is a part of the investigation. He had a hawala network and was also involved with gold and currency smuggling rackets in various countries, including India, Myanmar and Bangladesh,’’ he said. “He was a frequent flyer.’’indian express
Blasts case: 7-day emergency parole for 2 convicts
Mumbai: 2 convicts in terror cases, serving life imprisonment, have been granted 7-day parole by the Bombay high court to participate in the 40th day rituals of their deceased family members. Mushtaque Tarani has been found guilty in the 1993 serial blasts case, while Wahid Ansari, a former medical practitioner, has been convicted in the 2003 Mulund train blast case. In August last year, the state government issued a notification banning parole for convicts in rape, narcotics and terror cases and brought in Maharashtra Prisons (Mumbai Furlough and Parole) Amendment Rules, 2016, after Sajjad Mughal, the convict in Wadala lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha's murder case, jumped parole. The parole period for all categories of prisoners has been reduced from 90 to 45 days—it can be extended up to 60 days once in three years only in exceptional circumstances.In the second case, Ansari first filed an application for parole before the prison authorities, but it was rejected. Later, he approached the HC for a 10-day parole to attend the 40th day rituals of his mother Maimunnisa's death. The jail granted only one day emergency parole. TOI
Human rights body writes petition to President for repealing UAPA
National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO), an umbrella body of various human rights and civil rights organisations, has launched a petition requesting President Pranab Mukherji to repeal the draconian UAPA.The petition, which can be read and signed here, states that misuse of draconian laws has been so widespread that “one is inclined to believe that these enactments are instruments of harassment and repression with political objectives.”“UPA government in 2008 silently pushed through much more controversial amendments to UAPA in the Lok Sabha, making it as draconian as laws like AFSPA, POTA, and TADA. The amendments have made this law more stringent and law enforcement agencies less accountable, despite substantial proof of misuse of the repressive and arbitrary powers of the act,” the petition reads. twocircles
Collector’s notice to Rohith Vemula’s mother: prove caste or forgo your SC certificate
Hyderabad: The district collector of Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, has issued a third and final showcause notice to Rohith Vemula’s mother, Radhika, to prove her claim within 15 days that she belongs to a Scheduled Caste community. The notice, issued last week and received by Radhika on Sunday evening, states that if she fails to prove her claim then the SC certificates issued to her family members by a Mee Seva centre in Guntur would be cancelled.Recalling their last visit to the Guntur DC’s office in November last year, Radhika’s son, Raja Chaitanya said, “They humiliated us — their line of questioning was very humiliating. They cast aspersions on my mother’s character.”Chaitanya, Rohith’s brother, said, “Inquiry committee was supposed to ask us about our caste. Instead, they asked my mother how she brought up her children, as she was separated from her husband and was without a job. It was all planned and aimed at denying that we are Dalits.”Raja said they had received notices earlier, had replied and showed the authorities certificates issued by Mee Seva centres. “They are now trying to prove that certificates issued by them (Mee Seva) are false,’’ he said. indianexpress
During Rajan tenure, RBI said demonetisation was ‘not a wise move’: Chidambaram
RBI was opposed to the recall of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and conveyed its reservations to PMO 2 months before the decision was announced, former finance minister P Chidambaram has suggested.In an interview with HT on Tuesday, he said the central bank, then headed by Raghuram Rajan, had sent a 5-page note to PMO, saying that demonetisation was “not a wise move”. Prime Minister Modi, however, announced the decision on Nov.8 last year.“It’s fairly reliable that about the time Dr Raghuram Rajan demitted office, on behalf of RBI, a 5-page note was sent to the PMO on demonetisation. Now whether it’s correct or not, it’s for the government to confirm or deny. If such a paper exists, the government must make it public so that we could have an informed debate on demonetisation. I don’t know what the note contains but conclusion I believe was that demonetisation is not a wise step,” Chidambaram told HT.HT
‘Splintered Justice’ in Aftermath of Communal Violence: Mohammad Sajjad, associate prof. AMU
WORLD
UN chief: 'No alternative' to Palestine-Israel solution
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that there was "no alternative" to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, after a White House official said peace did not necessarily have to entail Palestinian statehood."There is no alternative solution for the situation between the Palestinians and Israelis, other than the solution of establishing two states and we should do all that can be done to maintain this," Guterres said during a visit to Cairo, echoing statements by Palestinian officials on Wednesday.On Tuesday, a senior White House official said that administration of Donald Trump would no longer seek to dictate an eventual peace settlement by insisting on a Palestinian state alongside Israel."Whether that comes in the form of a two-state solution if that's what the parties want, or something else," the official said at a press briefing, adding that Trump, while giving peace "high priority" would not try to "dictate" an agreement. Palestinian officials also issued their warnings to the US against abandoning a two-state solution."If the Trump Administration rejects this policy it would be destroying the chances for peace and undermining American interests, standing and credibility abroad," Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the PLO, said in response to the US official's remarks.Trump and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu are due to meet in Washington later on Wednesday for the first time since the US election in November that brought the Republican to office.
Minister claims Netanyahu and Trump to discuss Palestinian state in Sinai and Gaza
An Israeli minister has claimed that PM Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump will discuss a proposal put forward by Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to establish a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula. Such a state would not include the West Bank, said Ayoob Kara of the Likud Party. Netanyahu is scheduled to meet Trump on Wednesday in the White House.“Trump and Netanyahu will adopt the plan of Egypt’s Sisi,” Kara wrote on Twitter. “A Palestinian state in Gaza and Sinai. Instead of Judea and Samaria. This is how we will pave a path to peace, including the Sunni coalition.”The minister in the prime minister’s office said that the plan would revive a 2014 Egyptian proposal to resettle Palestinian refugees in over 1,600square km of land in the Sinai Peninsula to be annexed to the adjacent Gaza Strip. Israeli army radio reported the news at the time, but said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the plan.middleeastmonitor
Israel quietly withdraws embassy staff from Cairo
Israel has pulled its ambassador and entire embassy staff out of Cairo, citing security concerns, the Telegraph reported on Tuesday. Ambassador David Govrin left the Egyptian capital at the end of 2016 over fears for his life.According to the British paper, Israeli Shin Bet intelligence agency confirmed the withdrawal. “Due to security concerns the return of the Foreign Ministry embassy staff to Cairo has been restricted,” a spokesman said.In the meantime, Govrin is apparently carrying out his mission from Jerusalem. Israeli government hopes that he will be able to return to Cairo soon. Israeli foreign ministry, said the Telegraph, declined to comment on the reports. The sources did not give any details of the security concerns which pushed Govrin and his staff to return to Israel. middleeastmonitor
Americans Rate Jews Highest, Muslims Lowest On 'Feeling Thermometer': huffingtonpost
A new survey asked Americans to rate different religious groups on a “feeling thermometer” from zero to 100.Results revealed that Americans are warming up to people to different faiths.The survey, released Wednesday by Pew Research Center, found that Americans rate Jews the warmest and Muslims the coolest. Pew surveyed 4,248 adults between Jan. 9 and 23, 2017, and found that Jews got an average rating of 67 degrees, while Muslims came in at just 48 degrees.
UAE envoy al-Kaabi dies after injured in Afghan blast
The ambassador of UAE to Afghanistan died on Wednesday of wounds sustained in a bomb attack in Kandahar last month that also killed 5 Emirati aid workers, the UAE's foreign ministry announced. "With great sadness and sorrow, we mourn the martyr of the nation and his duty, the righteous son Juma Mohammed Abdullah al-Kaabi, who gave his pure soul for the sake of humanity," the ministry said. Taliban denied carrying out the bombing, saying the attack was a result of "internal local rivalry". aljazeera
Erdogan during gulf tour: We need GCC support to achieve regional stability
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is adamant that his country, Saudi Arabia and the international coalition forces should work together on fighting ISIS terror in the Middle East. In an interview with Al Arabiya General Manager, Turki AlDakhil, that will be fully aired later this week, Erdogan said that Assad’s regime has killed no less than one million people since the begining of the Syrian conflict.Erdogan said that he informed newly-elected US President Donald Trump, that beating ISIS will come through cleansing Al-Raqqa, which is the group’s main stronghold. Turkish President said that he does not consider the Muslim Brotherhood group to be a terrorist group, adding that Turkey would treat the group as a terrorist in case the Brotherhood carries out armed attacks.Alarabiya
Saudi, Turkey have identical views on regional conflicts
Turkey’s Erdogan in Doha for talks with Qatar officials
Much brings Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia together
Is Sudan abandoning the Muslim Brotherhood to mend ties with Egypt?Al Arabiya
Strained Egyptian-Sudanese relations appear to be easing amid reports that Khartoum has “expelled” Muslim Brotherhood members to mend fences with Cairo.The two Nile River neighbors have common bonds of history, language and religion. But diplomatic relations have been frosty over the past years due to various reasons.Among them was Khartoum’s alleged hosting of Muslim Brotherhood members who escaped Egypt following the ouster of former Egyptian President Mursi -- a member of the now terrorist-designated group. A news report by the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper suggested that Khartoum expelled “tens of Egyptian Islamists” who sought refuge in Sudan following the forceful dispersal of the pro-Mursi sit-in at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square. The Sudanese authorities reportedly “expelled” during the past two months tens of Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya members, Al-Hayat quoted a source as saying. alarabiya
What happened to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood?byKhalil al-Anani, Associate Professor in Qatar.
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:50 PM)

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