Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
22 Feb.2017: 24 Jamadiul Awwal 1438: Vol:8, No:123
Trump’s immigration plans could impact 3 lakh Indian-Americans
Washington:Nearly 300,000 Indian-Americans are likely to be impacted by Trump administration’s sweeping plans that put the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation. President Donald Trump has laid the groundwork for potentially deporting millions of undocumented immigrants by issuing new guidance that drastically broadens the ways in which federal immigration laws should be enforced. “Department no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement,” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in an enforcement memo.“Department personnel have full authority to arrest or apprehend an alien whom an immigration officer has probable cause to believe is in violation of the immigration laws,” it said. The Department of Homeland Security has issued two enforcement memos, which among other things, tightens deportation of illegal immigrants. The emphasis is on criminal aliens, though, but opens up the door for others too.Indian-Americans as per unofficial figures account for nearly 300,000 illegal aliens. According to the memo, the DHS Secretary has the authority to apply expedited removal provisions to aliens who have not been admitted or paroled into the US, who are inadmissible, and who have not been continuously physically present in the US for the 2-year period immediately prior to the determination of their inadmissibility, so that such aliens are immediately removed unless the alien is an unaccompanied minor, intends to apply for asylum or has a fear of persecution or torture in their home country, or claims to have lawful immigration status.PTI
1,000 Rupee Note Not Coming, Don't Overdraw From ATMs: Economic Affairs Secretary  Das
The government has no plans to re-introduce 1,000 rupee notes and is focusing to increase production of lower denomination currencies to address cash shortage, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said today. "No plans to introduce Rs. 1000 notes. Focus is on production and supply of Rs. 500 and lower denomination notes," he tweeted. In another tweet, he said: "Complaints of cash out in ATMs being addressed. Request everyone to draw the cash they actually require. Overdrawal by some deprives others."Last week, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the remonetisation situation with regard to replenishing the scrapped currency is "almost normal" now and the Reserve Bank is monitoring the supply on a daily basis.NDTV
Forget U-turn on Rs 1,000 notes, why did govt launch Rs 2,000 notes in the first place?Dinesh Unnikrishnan
Why ATMs don't have cash: Because of 'overdrawal', according to a new word coined by top official
Fake Rs 2,000 notes bearing ‘Churan Lable’, Children’s Bank of India dispensed by SBI ATM in Delhi
DELHI: The notes, dispensed on Feb.6, read ‘Children’s Bank of India’ in place of Reserve Bank of India and ‘Guaranteed by the Children’s Government’ in place of Guaranteed by the Central Gov.At a time when many people are struggling to withdraw cash, a State Bank of India ATM in South Delhi’s Sangam Vihar dispensed fake Rs 2,000 notes. The notes, which could be passed off as genuine at first glance, are replete with errors and seem to be a prank at people’s expense. The notes, dispensed on Feb6, read ‘Children’s Bank of India’ in place of Reserve Bank of India and ‘Guaranteed by the Children’s Govt’ in place of Guaranteed by Central Govt. ‘Churan lable’ in place of the latent image and a fake ‘PK’ logo instead of the bank’s seal, are among some of the other obvious deviations on the note.Confirming the development, a senior police officer said that ATM first dispensed four such Rs 2,000 notes to a customer. “We sent a sub-inspector to verify the allegations. He withdrew one Rs 2,000 note and that also turned out to be fake,” the officer said, adding that the other notes in the bundle were genuine.The man left with the fake notes has been identified as Rohit, a customer care executive at a call centre located in South Delhi’s Chhattarpur. He had visited SBI ATM at around 7.45pm on Feb.6 to withdraw Rs 8,000. “But all the four notes I withdrew were fake,” he alleged. Rohit noticed the deliberate mistakes on the note like ‘promise to pay the bearer two thousand coupons’ and ’Serial number 000000’ and immediately brought the fake notes to police’s notice after which a sub-inspector was sent to the ATM located at the T-Point of Tigri in Sangam Vihar.HT
A possible prank? SBI ATM dispenses fake Rs 2000 notes in Delhi’s Sangam Vihar, probe initiated
At SBI ATM In Delhi, Fake Rs. 2,000 Notes By 'Children Bank of India'
Kejriwal attacks Modi after ATM in dispenses fake notes
New Delhi:Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi after fake 2,000 rupee notes were allegedly dispensed by an ATM in the national capital. “A Prime Minister who can’t even print notes properly; how can he run the country? He has reduced the whole nation into a laughing stock,” he tweeted. Indianexpress
Amnesty International criticises India’s sedition law, demonisation move
London:Amnesty International on Wednesday criticised the Indian government for using the “crude, colonial-era” sedition law to “silence” its critics.In its annual human rights report, the UK-based NGO said, “Human rights activists and journalists (in India) faced intimidation and attacks from both state and non-state actors.”Rreport mentioned a crackdown on civil society organisations with FCRA being repeatedly invoked to “harass organisations that receive foreign funding”.“Crude, colonial-era sedition law was unleashed to silence government critics,” it added.“Caste-based violence and vigilante cow protection groups harassing and attacking people in states including Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka in the name of upholding laws prohibiting the killing of cows were also highlighted as areas of concern,” it said. “Tensions between India and Pakistan intensified following an attack by gunmen on an army base in Uri, J&K. J&K state witnessed months of curfew and a range of human rights violations by authorities,” the report claimed.Report also highlighted the consequences of the Indian govt’s move to ban large currency notes. “A ban on India’s largest currency bills, intended as a crackdown on the country’s black market, severely affected the livelihoods of millions,” the report notes.On a global level, the report covering 159 countries condemns growth of “politics of demonisation” which was breeding division and fear around the world.PTI
Zakir Naik's plea to record statements via video-conferencing rejected by ED
Enforcement Directorate (ED) has rejected Zakir Naik's plea to record summons and respond to summons via video conferencing or e-mails.Charged in money laundering case, the founder of NGO Islamic Research Foundation, had responded on Tuesday saying he is willing to give give statement via any electronic media facility. ET/PTI
Modi’s Ramzan-Diwali power supply remark communal: Shankaracharya
Mathura: A Hindu seer in Mathura on Tuesday termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on desirability of similar power supply situation in the state during festivals of different religions as one leading to “communalisation of politics” and rued the poll panel’s alleged silence over it.“The statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an election meeting in Fatehpur demanding similar power supply during Diwali and Holi and Ramzan and Eid is nothing but communalisation of politics,” said Mathura’s Goverdhan Peetham Shankaracharya Adhokshajanand Saraswati.The seer said the “silence” of the Election Commission was baffling because Modi had also given controversial kabristan and samashan statement.PTI
Shankaracharya questions Election Commission's silence on PM Modi's communal statement
‘Grave’ error by PM Modi: Akhilesh Yadav’s govt spent Rs 227 crore on crematoriums
Prime Minister Narendra Modi caused a massive controversy during his election rally in Fatehpur Sikri, saying that if there is money allocated for graveyards, there should be money allocated for crematoriums too. This, according to Modi, was an attempt to ‘expose’ the discriminatory politics of the current UP govt.While many people from UP and outside termed his speech as an attempt to spark communal fires and criticised it severely on social media, his defendants jumped on the bandwagon and said that Modi was only pointing out the truth. But beyond claims, what are the facts?It is clear that if one were to look at the state budgetary allocations, Modi’s claims fall flat on the ground. As per documents available with TCN, it is clear that while Akhilesh Yadav’s government has spent a sizeable amount on graveyards, it has at no point done so at the cost of crematoriums. In fact, both of them have been paid adequate attention by the SP govt.In 2015/16, an amount of Rs 200 crore was earmarked for graveyards in UP. On the other hand, the state’s rural development ministry allocated Rs 100 crore for crematoriums, while the Urban development ministry allocated Rs 100 crore for the same in urban areas.Twocircles
Rohit Vemula’s suicide letter made me cry: Varun Gandhi
Indore:BJP MP Varun Gandhi on Tuesday recalled how he broke down after reading a suicide letter written by the Hyderabad University Ph.D scholar Rohit Vemula before he hanged himself on the campus in Jan.2016. “Rohit Vemula, a dalit Ph.D student from Hyderabad committed suicide last year. When I read his letter, I broke into tears. Rohit wrote that he was taking the extreme step because he had committed the sin of taking birth in such form.This line pained my heart immensely,” arun said.He was delivering a lecture on “Ideas for a new India”, organised by a private school here.Rohit’s suicide had kicked up a huge uproar across the country, with many dalit organisations and opposition parties holding protests seeking ‘justice’ for the deceased.Notably, Union minister and BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya was booked along with others for allegedly abetting Rohit’s suicide.PTI
HC seeks response from UP on alleged Rs 100-crore scam
Lucknow: In a fresh trouble for the ruling Samajwadi Party, Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has sought response from the state government on a public suit that alleges a Rs 100-crore scam in the Samajwadi Ambulance Service, a dream project of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. While hearing a petition filed by Amit Mishra on Monday, the court was told of large-scale irregularities and it was claimed that the 102 ambulance service was in fact running only on paper. Litigant’s counsel Chandan Srivastava and Ravi Singh Sisodia also presented before the court documents, including letters from Health and Family Welfare Minister Ravidas Mehrotra, in support of their contention.The court has fixed March 20 as the next date of hearing.IANS
Shiv Sena not ‘Hindutva Vadi’, pretends to be one for political gains: VHP
New Delhi: VHP said NDA constituent Shiv Sena was never a ‘Hindutvavadi’ outfit and was pretending to be one only for political gains. Speaking to reporters here, VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain said that merely chanting King Shivaji’s name does not make Shiv Sena a ‘Hindutvavadi’ (one championing the Hindutva cause) party. “I don’t think Shiv Sena was ever a Hindutvavadi organisation. It is the media which gave this tag to Shiv Sena after Babri mosque was demolished,” Jain said. “It is pretending to be a Hindutuvavadi organisation for political gains,” he added.His remark comes against the backdrop of stinging verbal exchanges between long-standing allies Shiv Sena and BJP leaders ahead of Maharashtra civic polls, voting for which was held today. Seeking to buttress his claim, VHP leader stated late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray himself was “clueless” about his party workers bringing portions of the mosque down in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya in 1992.“When they talk about Hindutva…are Hindus from Tamil Nadu not Hindus? Whether Hindus from Bihar and UP are not Hindus? Even today, they are beaten there (in Mumbai). “Which Hindutva definition is this? Those who are fissiparous, they somewhere do not do justice to the broad concept of Hindutva,” Jain said.PTI
'If Modi is UP's son, he should find out his missing brother Najeeb'
New Delhi: Mother of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prove his relationship (‘adopted son') with Uttar Pradesh by finding out his ‘brother' Najeeb. PM Modi, in an election rally last week, had said UP has adopted him as son. Najeeb hails from Badaun district in the state."Modi says he is son of UP. If he is son of UP, why isn't he noticing that his brother is missing? If he is son of UP, why hasn't he found out Najeeb yet? He must look into the case and issue strong instructions to find out Najeeb. Only then will Najeeb be found out, I am sure," said Fatima Nafees while addressing over hundred youths and students outside HRD Ministry here today. Besides students from JNU, Jamia Millia and Delhi University and members of SIO, social activists and community leaders were also present at the protest demonstration outside HRD Ministry. Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar said: "For the last four months, many movements have taken place in various universities but nothing happened. This government is not peoples' government, it is a selfish government. If the govt does not search for Najeeb, we would need to accelerate our movement and lakhs of people will come on roads."Addressing the students, Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, former president of All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat said:"This is the failure of Police that it had been unable to trace Najeeb and take any action against ABVP." Welfare Party of India president Dr SQR Ilyas also addressed the gathering. indiatomorrow
Clashes at Ramjas College in Delhi over cancellation of invite to Umar Khalid
NEW DELHI:Clashes broke out between members of the RSS-backed ABVP and the left-affiliated All India Students’ Association (AISA) at Delhi University’s Ramjas College on Wednesday over the cancellation of a seminar invite to JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid.Trouble started after a planned protest march by some students to the Maurice Nagar Police Station was disallowed.Police resorted to a lathi charge to bring the situation under control.No one has been detained so far in connection with the incident. thehindu
Teesta Setalvad NGO: SC questions source of funding in activist’s frozen account
New Delhi:The Supreme Court Tuesday said that social activist Teesta Setalvad and her NGOs would have to disclose the source of money in order to buttress their argument for defreezing the bank accounts. These bank accounts were frozen by Ahmedabad police in 2015 in the wake of FIRs relating to misappropriation of money and fraud. indianexpress
Govt notifies protocol amending tax treaty with Israel
New Delhi:The government has notified the protocol amending the India-Israel tax treaty to provide for exchange of information on tax matters including bank details with a view to check black money flows. The amended treaty provides that information received from Israel in respect of an Indian resident can be shared with other law enforcement agencies like the Enforcement Directorate,Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and CBI with authorisation of Competent Authority.According a Revenue Department notification, the amended treaty provides for levy of capital gains tax in India on sale of shares or interest in a partnership, trust or other entity if it derives more than 50 per cent of the value directly or indirectly from immovable property situated in the country at the time of the sale of any time during preceding 12 months.PTI
Sterilisation drive: HC quashes case against doctor
Raipur:Chhattisgarh High Court has quashed criminal proceedings against Dr RK Gupta, who operated upon 83 women in a sterilisation drive in Nov.2014. All 83 were taken ill and 12 of them later died. Proceedings were quashed as the government failed to give sanction for the doctor’s prosecution. Gupta had sought relief arguing that it had not been established that the women died of septicemia and there was no sanction for his prosecution too.While govt had maintained that Gupta was negligent, it added that the sanction was not needed since he was terminated from service. indianexpress
70% callers to Muslim Personal Law Board helpline for Muslim women are men seeking info on triple talaq
Kolkata: An overwhelming number of callers at an all-India helpline for Muslim women are men, who seek clarification on divorce and property rights for women, counsellors have said.The toll-free helpline was set up by All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) last year to clarify, guide and help distressed Muslim women on various aspects of the Sharia law, especially on the issue of triple talaq, where men can divorce by simply stating their intention thrice.Experienced regional counsellors counsel and guide Muslim women in Urdu, English and eight regional languages.“Out of every 10 calls I receive, 7 or 8 are from Muslim men. Two or three are from women. The frequently asked questions range from the proper process of talaq, property rights of women and others,” Uzma Alam, joint secretary of All Bengal Muslim Women’s Association, said. “Since it is a helpline for women, we generally pass on our email id and ask them to mail their queries,” she added.Apart from different parts of West Bengal, calls from Bengali-speaking Muslims have also been pouring in from Delhi, Maharashtra, UP, Hyderabad and other states too. Alam is the only person who takes calls by Bengali-speaking callers and counsels them.Hindi and Urdu speaking Muslims from UP, Karnataka, Delhi and other states have also been calling to seek guidance, Alam said.Counsellors located in other parts of the country, who handle calls in Urdu and Hindi, too said that the majority of the callers are male.“Sometimes there are a dozen calls in a day, sometimes fewer. But 70% plus calls come from men. Some want to know the procedure of second marriage, some want to talk about their sons and daughters. We try our best and help out,” Yasmeen Farooqi told HT from Jaipur.Farooqi, a former government counsellor in a Jaipur family court for 12 years, is also the convener of AIMPLB’s wing in Rajasthan.“I think a large number of men who call lack proper understanding of religious laws. For instance, one of the men said that he has given talaq to his wife in a fit of anger and now wants to get her back. We even got calls from men saying that his wife is harassing him and he wants to know what is the way out,” Alam, who is also the convener of Calcutta Muslim Orphanage, said. Alam added that triple talaq is not the issue raised by women who call them. AIMPLB has been regularly holding workshops and seminars in different parts of the country, including West Bengal, to clarify Sharia law and ‘triple talaq’ issues among women.TOI
Animal rights group’s probe reveals cruelty to chicks by Indian poultry companies
New Delhi:An investigation conducted by an animal rights group has revealed cruelty that millions of ‘useless’ male chicks are subjected to before being killed by top poultry companies in the Indian egg and meat industries. The probe by Anonymous for Animal Rights was conducted last year and obtained by PETA India. Eyewitness investigation of several hatcheries and farms in AP and Telangana has documented, via a video, cruel practices – which include incubation, sexing, debeaking, burning, drowning among other atrocities – against chicks while they are still alive. The video also documented how unwanted chicks were being tossed into large grinders and drowned in bins full of water even as they tried desperately to escape, while others being crushed or suffocated to death by dumping en masse into large drums or trucks.
Obscene videos: SC asks about mechanism to identify culprits
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked internet services providers (ISPs) like Google whether there was any mechanism to identify culprits uploading obscene contents on websites. The SC did not prima facie agree with the submission that there cannot be preventive blockage but only curative blockage and said “we want prevention and not cure”. A bench of Justices MB Lokur and UU Lalit referred to the loss of reputation and dignity of women and children, whose offensive and obscene sexual offence videos were uploaded on websites and asked the counsel for Google about the mechanism, if any, to identify culprits before they upload such objectionable contents.PTI
Can uploading of obscene videos be prevented, SC to Google
Delhi HC pulls up Wakf Board on encroachment in Mehrauli Arch. Park
New Delhi: Delhi High Court today pulled up Delhi Wakf Board over its failure to remove encroachers from monuments in the Mehrauli Archaeological Park here. A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar asked the Wakf Board to take action against the people living there illegally and not moving out despite the court's orders."You take action. We will see what they are going to do," the bench said. "Why can't the Board take action? What kind of Waqf Board you are? You cannot even remove such people," court asked the Board. PTI
No More Lavish Weddings in J&K, Govt Imposes Curbs
Shrinking the big fat Kashmiri wedding and other opulent functions, the Jammu and Kashmir government has imposed curbs on expenses, the guest list and dishes to be served on such occasions.Also, it has put a ban on the use of amplifiers, loud speakers and fire crackers at such events in the state."The government issued a Guest Control Order to impose restrictions on the injudicious use of essential commodities during social, government and private functions and a complete ban on the use of amplifiers, loud speakers and fire crackers on such occasions," Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Choudhary Zulfkar Ali said.He said that the order was issued after the department received complaints and representations from civil society organisations regarding the "injudicious" use of essential commodities and exorbitant expenditures made on public and private functions.The department, after taking cognisance of the complaints, issued order, putting a complete ban on any person sending dry fruits, sweet packets with invitation cards to relatives, friends, guests etc.Ali said the number of guests to be invited on the marriage of daughter including baraat should be restricted to a maximum of 500 and on that of son, it should not exceed 400. timesnow
Kashmir: Govt lays restriction on weddings in state, cap on number of guests and menu
SC asks J&K court to proceed against NGO, others
New Delhi:The Supreme Court today directed a trial court of Jammu and Kashmir to proceed with a matter against NGO ‘Transparency International India (TII)’ relating to a media report on alleged corruption in lower judiciary. A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar asked the judicial magistrate-first class to proceed in “accordance with law” in the matter in which the lower court had sought the presence of officials of TII, Centre for Media Studies (CMS) and others to respond to the show cause notices issued against them earlier.The matter relates to a report of a survey conducted by the global anti-corruption NGO and on the basis of which a J&K-based newspaper had published an article on alleged corruption in lower judiciary in the state.PTI
2005 Delhi serial blasts: Forced us to eat faeces, made us sign blank papers, says Fazili
Srinagar: It has been almost 12 years since Mohammad Hussain Fazili was picked up from his Srinagar home by a special team of the Delhi Police. But even today, he vividly remembers each of the first 50 days he spent in police remand.
The 42-year-old returned home to Srinagar Saturday after almost 12 years in jail in connection with the 2005 Delhi serial blasts. Fazili and another accused, Mohd Rafiq Shah, were acquitted by a Delhi court last week.Sitting at home, Fazili alleged the Delhi Police tried everything — from mental to physical torture — to extract a confession. “I still tremble recalling those days,” said Fazili in a hushed tone so others cannot hear him. “They forced feaces into our mouth and then shoved rotis and water so we would gulp it down.”indianexpress
2005 Delhi blasts verdict: Police miserably failed to nail accused, says court
Delhi blast acquittals: When will politics go beyond my favourite innocent vs yours?Pratap Bhanu Mehta
Masood Azhar's actions well-documented: India on China's proof demand
BEIJING: India today hit out at China for demanding "solid evidence" for getting JeM chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN, saying the extent of his actions were "well- documented" and the "burden of proof" was not on it. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, while briefing the media on his extensive interactions with top Chinese officials and talks at the upgraded strategic dialogue co-chaired by him here, said the talks were "useful" in conveying India's concerns and priorities on key issues. "On the issue of 1267 Committee's sanctions on Masood Azhar, we again explained the rationale for that application and pointed out that this was really pursued by other countries, not by India alone," Jaishankar said, referring to the US' application backed by the UK and France this year to designate Azhar as a global terrorist. PTI
The Nagaland turmoil shows why a uniform civil code is neither possible nor desirable in India:Shoaib Daniyal

WORLD
Turkey to allow women army officers to wear hijab
Istanbul: Turkey’s army is lifting a historic ban on female officers wearing the Islamic headscarf in the officially secular country, state-run Anadolu agency said on Wednesday.The move, ordered by the defence ministry, applies to female officers working in the general staff and command headquarters and branches, it said.Women may wear the headscarf underneath their cap or beret so long as it is the same colour as their uniform and does not cover their faces. The reform will come into force once it is published in the official gazette. It was not immediately clear if it applied to women on combat missions. It will also apply to female cadets.The ruling Islamic-rooted AKP, co-founded by President Tayyip Erdogan, has long pressed for the removal of restrictions on women wearing the headscarf.AFP
Texas hunters who accidentally shot each other blamed undocumented immigrants, police reveal
A hunting guide and his client accidentally shot each other and then blamed it on undocumented migrants, police in the US have said.Officers attended the scene at a remote south Texas ranch, near to the Mexico border, in early January, finding the two men bleeding from gunshot wounds. A second guide was involved in the incident, but escaped without injury. The casualties, guide Walker Daughtery, 26, and client Edwin Roberts, 59, and the other guide, Michael Bryant, told police they suspected the shooters were undocumented immigrants they had seen on the ranch earlier in their trip. independent
US-backed rebels enter Deir al-Zor province for first time - Kurdish military source: Reuters
BEIRUT:US-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance has crossed into Deir al-Zor province for the first time as part of an offensive against Islamic State, a Kurdish military source said on Tuesday.The advance into the province, which is almost entirely under the ultra-hardline group's control, is part of an operation to encircle and ultimately capture its de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa in the north of the country. One aim of the campaign is to cut IS's supply lines from Raqqa to Deir al-Zor province."Military operations of SDF are now taking place within the provincial boundaries of Deir al-Zor, from the north - so, via southern Hasaka (province)," the Kurdish military official told Reuters.Reuters
Turkish military says 44 Islamic State militants killed in Syria:Reuters
44 Islamic State militants were killed by Turkey-backed operations around the Syrian town of al-Bab and in US-led coalition air strikes on Monday, Turkish military said on Tuesday. One Turkish soldier was killed and two were wounded during work to clear landmines and explosives in the area, the army said, reiterating that it had largely established control in the residential areas of al-Bab.Reuters
Azerbaijan's Leader Just Appointed His Wife as His Vice President:AP
BAKU, Azerbaijan: Azerbaijan's president on Tuesday appointed his wife as the first vice president of the ex-Soviet nation — person next in line in the nation's power hierarchy.Ilham Aliyev, 55 named his wife Mehriban, 52, to the position created after a constitutional referendum in September. Mehriban, who married her husband when she was 19, graduated from a medical university. She has served previously as a lawmaker and headed a charity.

Muslims raise $55,000 to fix vandalised Jewish cemetery
A crowdfunding project launched by Muslim activists has raised more than $55,000 in one day to repair a vandalised Jewish cemetery in St Louis.On Tuesday, Linda Sarsour of the grassroots civil rights MPower Change group and Tarek El-Messidi of the non-profit CelebrateMercy organisation called on people to donate after more than 100 headstones at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in the St Louis suburb of University City were toppled.By early Wednesday, at the time of publishing, $55,341 had been raised.According to reports, police said they did not yet know who was responsible for the vandalism.
Netanyahu first Israeli PM to visit Australia, delighted by Turnbull’s support
Australia: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday praised Australia for being “courageously willing to puncture UN hypocrisy” on anti-Israel resolutions.Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull marked the Israeli leader’s first visit to Australia by writing an opinion piece in Wednesday’s The Australian newspaper that backed Netanyahu’s criticism in 2015 that the United Nations general assembly had adopted 20 resolutions critical of Israel in the preceding year and only one in response to the Syrian war.AP
Israeli army evacuates Palestinian families for “training purposes”
Israeli army notified three Palestinian families on Tuesday that they should evacuate their homes near Nablus to allow soldiers to conduct training exercises in the area.According to local activist Yousef Deriyeh, the families will be kept out of their homes for two days while the exercises take place. He told Quds Press that the evacuation notices were issued under the pretext that the houses are located in an area declared by the army to be a closed military zone. Families living in Khirbet Tana are being told to leave their homes on Wednesday for the same reason.Deriyeh explained that the Israeli army would really like to displace the Palestinian families. He pointed out that the exercises are usually conducted using live ammunition, putting Palestinian lives at risk. Furthermore, fields and crops are damaged by the heavy military vehicles used by the soldiers.
Israel is ‘poisoning Palestine’, study reveals
Palestinians in the West Bank are facing serious human rights violations and increasing food insecurity as a result of the use of toxic pesticides in illegal settlements, a fact-finding mission has revealed.A joint research project carried out by the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature (APN) and the PAN Asia Pacific (PANAP) found that the occupied West Bank contains highly hazardous pesticides which are banned by the Palestinian Authority (PA).Half of the pesticides used within the areas under the PA’s jurisdiction are illegal, and five tonnes of them have been confiscated since 1995, according to the findings.Dr Meriel Watts, who took part in preparing the report, warned that the Israeli policies of control prevent the PA from restricting the trade and use of these pesticides.“It is unacceptable that the PA, with one of the tightest pesticide registration and compliance systems, including not allowing pesticides that are banned in their country of origin, is thwarted at every turn by the Israeli authorities who knowingly facilitate the entry of banned highly hazardous pesticides into the occupied West Bank.”
Israeli writer calls for West Bank to be handed over to Jordan
An Israeli writer called on Tuesday for discussions about handing over the occupied West Bank to Jordan as another possible option for solving the Israel-Palestine conflict, Al-Resalah newspaper has reported.In an article for the Israeli news website NRG, Yair Sheleg said that the agreement between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump not to stick to the two-state solution opens the door for other options. He noted that to-date there have only been two choices for solving the problem of the West Bank, which Israel considers to be the core of the conflict: the two-state solution or annexing the West Bank to Israel. Both are dangerous for Israel, he suggested. middleeastmonitor
Israeli businesses must openly declare settlement boycott
Israel approved legislation that forces businesses to display on their premises their decision not to provide services to residents in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.The legislation, initiated by MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli from the right-wing Jewish Home party, added an amendment to the Prohibition of Discrimination in Products, Services and Entry into Places of Entertainment and Public Places Bill which protects customers from being discriminated against by Israeli businesses based on their location of residence, according to a statement released by the Knesset. middleeastmonitor
Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood break their silence, respond to Haftar’s accusations
A leader of the Muslim Brotherhood group in Libya, Bashir Al-Kabti, has denounced the statements made by Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar in which he described the Brotherhood as a “terrorist” group and alleged that it constitutes the greatest threat to the country.Haftar’s remarks came during an interview with the Egyptian satellite channel ON TV on Saturday.Kabti, the Brotherhood’s former general supervisor, told the Arabi 21 website that Haftar is “ignorant about the facts,” and that he only seeks to appease Egypt and its president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi by making accusations against the Brotherhood.Sisi was Egypt’s defence minister when he led a military ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, was the country’s first democratically-elected president. Middleeastmonitor
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:08 PM)


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