Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST (Late)
14 Feb.2017: 16 Jamadiul Awwal 1438: Vol:8, No:116
SC steers clear from Uniform Civil Code issue, to decide legal validity of triple talaq, polygamy, halala
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday made it clear that it will not go into the question of uniform civil code but confine itself only to the legal validity of `triple talaq’ raised in various petitions. A 3-judge bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justices NV Ramana and DY Chandrachud gave this clarification when counsel wanted know whether uniform civil code is one of the issues to be taken up for consideration. CJI said “UCC is not an issue at all in this case. It is a pure question of law. It is more of a human rights issue.” Terming triple talaq as a serious issue of human rights, the Supreme Court today said that it will not hear the issue of the Uniform Civil Code along with it as it was a different matter altogether. The SC further stated that it will begin hearing on the matter from May 11."It's a matter of human rights, so we would deal with it properly," the SC observed. The court was hearing a bunch of petitions on the Constitutional legitimacy of triple talaq and polygamy in the Muslim community. The matter also involves a suo motu case initiated by the Supreme Court in this regard.The SC also asked the parties to frame the issues and decide on the lawyers who will be arguing the matter.“Sit together and decide and let us know”, the court said and posted the matter for day after tomorrow.“We will post it for hearing in the first week of summer vacation,” remarked Justice Khehar.The Bench asked the counsel to submit a list of points to be decided by the court on Thursday.  The issues to be decided by the court include: Whether the SC has the jurisdiction to examine the constitutional validity of the religious practices under challenge (talaq-e-bidat, nikah halala, and polygamy)?Whether triple talaq, a religious practice is an integral part of religion and, therefore, neither protected by Article 25 of the Constitution nor immune from judicial review? Whether polygamy is neither a positive tenet of Islam nor a valid religious practice?Whether instantaneous triple-talaq in one sitting (talaq-e-bidat) in the absence of witnesses and without any attempt at reconciliation is legally permissible? Whether the religious practices under challenge have been abolished by various Islamic states, which establishes the fact that such practices are not integral to the practice of Islam?Whether SC needs to intervene and protect the Fundamental Rights of Muslim women of India in the face of gender discrimination?Whether the religious practices under challenge have been denounced by recognised international organisations, including the UNO, as they cause gender discrimination and also impact India’s treaty obligations under international treaties and covenants that India is signatory to?Whether the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and similar associations have the authority to determine and declare the personal law applicable in India for the numerous sects and sub-communities of Islam that exist in India and practice Islam in various ways?Asian Age/ India TV news
Uniform Civil Code and triple talaq are separate issues;SC
Triple talaq an issue of human rights, says SC; hearing to begin May 11
Will deal triple talaq as human rights issue, says SC
Will deal with only legal aspect of Polygamy, triple talaq, Halala: SC
No need to stand during national anthem when part of a film: Supreme Court, modifying earlier order
Modifying its earlier order, the Supreme Court has now said that audience need not stand when the National Anthem is played as storyline in a film, newsreel or documentary. The apex court also said it is not mandatory to sing the anthem in cinema halls. On Nov.30, the apex court had ruled that cinema halls across the country must play the national anthem before the screening of a film and people should stand up as a mark of respect.The court also directed that the national flag should be shown on screen when the anthem is played."People must feel this is my country and this is my motherland," a bench of justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy had said while stressing that it is the duty of every citizen of the country to show respect to the national anthem and the flag. outlook/pti
No one is obliged to stand up when national anthem is played as part of a Film, documentary:SC
National anthem should be made compulsory in schools: Govt tells Supreme Court
New Delhi: Modi govt wants singing of the national anthem made compulsory in all schools, its top law officer told the Supreme Court. Nationalism had to be instilled and it should start from childhood, said attorney general Mukul Rohtagi, opposing the recall plea.“Compulsion to stand and sing (national anthem) as a part of school curriculum is required to be debated,” he said.The court had in August 1986 exempted three children, who belonged to the Jehovah’s Witness sect, from singing the anthem at their school. Forcing the children to sing the anthem violated their fundamental right to religion, the court had said.Rohtagi also called for a relook at a law that makes insulting national anthem and emblems an offence but is silent if one needs to stand up when the song plays.The case will now be heard on April 18. hindustantimes
SC on National Anthem: Overzealous patriotism has made Jana Gana Mana feel like product placement: Ajay Kumar
Vemula, mother Radhika are OBCs, not Dalits: AP govt
AP govt has declared Rohith Vemula, the research scholar of University of Hyderabad whose suicide in Jan.2016 triggered a nationwide uproar, as belonging to the OBC and not a Dalit. District Level Scrutiny Committee in Guntur district of AP, which was reviewing Dalit status of Rohith Vemula, submitted its final report to the govt stating that neither Rohith nor his mother Radhika were Dalits, reports News18.The govt has also decided to cancel the SC certificate “fraudulently” obtained by the duo, reports Hindustan Times. The govt also served a show cause notice on Radhika as to why she cannot be declared as belonging to the Vaddera community, which falls under the OBC category.Earlier on 17 Jan, his first death anniversary, his mother alleged that govt s were desperate to declare him an OBC."Govts are desperate to declare Rohit as OBC. After my son's demise... they are now behind me. They want to declare my son as OBC. I know what humiliation I have undergone being Dalit in the society," she alleged. Firstpost
Vemula's SC certificate to be cancelled by AP govt
ELECTIONS & POLITICS
Supreme Court Convicts Sasikala convicted In DA case; Can't Contest Elections For 10 Years
AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala was convicted by the Supreme Court which set aside the Karnataka High Court verdict acquitting her in the 19-year-old disproportionate assets case that also involved late CM  J JayalalithaaThe SC restored in to the judgement and the findings of the trial court in Bengaluru which had held guilty all the accused including Sasikala's 2 relatives, VN Sudhakaran and Elavarasi.2-judge bench comprising Justices PC Ghose and Amitava Roy directed Sasikala and the two relatives to surrender forthwith to the trial court in Bengaluru and serve the remaining part of 4 year jail term. The verdict disqualifies Sasikala from becoming a legislator, and consequentially she can't be CM either.The bench read the operative portion of the voluminous judgement saying that "according to the materials and evidence place on record, we set aside the judgement and the order of the high court and affirm in toto the judgement and order the trial court convicting the accused persons." PTI
DA case: Subramanian Swamy, the man who lodged the complaint
While Sasikala gets four years in DA case, Subramanian Swamy picks up another trophy
Sasikala DA case verdict: Panneerselvam expelled from AIADMK, Palaniswami  named CM candidate
DA case verdict: Palaniswami or Jaya’s nephew? Spotlight on who will be Sasikala’s pick for CM job
Live: Sasikala's pick Palaniswami meets Governor, stakes claim to form govt
AIADMK legislative party Leader 'Edappadi' Palaniswamy calls on Tamil Nadu Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao to stake claim to form govt, at Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Tuesday.He reportedly handed over the letter of support from 127 MLAs.In his report to MHA, the Tamil Nadu Governor said he took legal advice from 3 people-AG Mukul Rohatgi, advocate Mohan Parasaran and Soli Sorabjee.While Mr.Rohatgi and Mr Parsaran advised composite floor test, Mr Sorabjee said invite the leader with largest number of MLAs. Maitreyan and Manoj Pandian from Paneelselvam camp also met the Governor at Raj Bhavan. Following Sasikalla's conciction, Edappadi K. Palaniswami was chosen as the AIADMK legislative party leader and O. Panneerselvam was expelled from the party. thehindu
Sasikala convicted in DA case, Palanisamy stakes claim to form govt: All that has happened so far
BJP cheers Sasikala’s conviction in corruption case, pins hope on Panneerselvam
BJP is cheering AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala’s conviction in a corruption case, which brings to an abrupt end her bid to be the CM  of Tamil Nadu.Sasikala, a confidante of late CM  J Jayalaithaa for more than 30 years, was perceived to be close to the Congress. PM  Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah suspected that her husband M Natarajan was working at the behest of Congress, sources said.They didn’t want the state, which is vital to its calculation in Parliament, to be led by a person close to the main opposition party especially after their cordial ties with JayalalithaaHT
2nd phase of UP polls will be a big test for Muslim leaders
As the second phase of polling begins tomorrow, all eyes are again focussed on Muslims voters, especially among the 11 districts of Western UP and Rohilkhand areas where Muslims form a sizeable chunk of voters.After the first phase where Muslims were divided among many seats, political pundits are keeping a tab on Muslims votes. Among the 67 seats, there are presently 22 Muslim MLAs. It is the highest concentration in any phase. In 2007, among these districts, there were 20 Muslim MLAs.uslim population is more than 30% in 37 assembly seats in this phase. These seats are in Saharanpur, Sambhal, Rampur, Bijnore, Amroha, Bareilly, Moradabad and Shahjahahanpur. On another 17 seats, Muslims are between 20-29%. It means that here Muslims are in a position to directly affect the result.Presently, the highest number of Muslims MLAs-7-are in Moradabad and Sambhal (taken jointly). Bijnore, Rampur, Bareilly, Amroha, have three Muslim MLAs each while Badaun has two and Pilibhit has one Muslim MLA.Surprisingly, Saharanpur which has around 39% Muslim population did not elect any Muslim MLA in 2012.Twocircles
BSP will sit in Opposition, but not extend support to BJP: Mayawati promises Muslims
Lucknow: Addressing a political rally in Kanpur, BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday announced that her party will not forge an alliance with BJP post elections. She said that her party would choose to sit in opposition rather than extending support to BJP. Rumours aired by the BJP only reflects its nervousness ahead of voting on Wednesday.However, she appeared confident about forming a majority govt in the UP. She also denied chances of forming a govt with the help of Samajwadi Party. She alleged that she was attacked fatally in 1995 on the directives of former CM  Mulayam Singh Yadav. India.com
Dainik Jagran’s online editor Tripathi arrested for running exit polls
Ghaziabad: Ghaziabad police arrested Dainik Jagran’s online editor Shekhar Tripathi and took him to the court on Tuesday. The action has come after Election Commission (EC) on Monday ordered the District Election Officers (DEOs) of 15 districts in UP to lodge separate criminal cases against the editors of Dainik Jagran newspaper for running an exit poll on the first phase of polling held in the state last week.Ghaziabad DM Nidhi Kesarwani told The Hindu that the EC had asked for 15 separate FIRs to be lodged against Resource Development International (I) Pvt. Ltd, the agency that conducted the poll, and the editorial head of the Hindi daily under Section 188 of the IPC read with Section 126A and 126B of Representation of People (RP) Act, 1951. Offences under Section 188 of IPC are cognisable, which means the police have the authority to make an arrest without either a warrant or the permission of a court. On Feb. 11, around 7.30pm, Dainik Jagran reportedly released the results of an exit poll on its website after polling in 73 seats was complete. The exit poll agency, which claimed to have interviewed 5,700 voters across 38 Assembly seats covered under the first phase of elections, projected BJP as the front-runner followed by BSP and the SP-Congress alliance. The results were taken down from the website on Monday morning after the alleged violation was reported by a section of the media. thehindu
UP election exit poll case: Jagran dot com editor Shekhar Tripathi arrested
For posting UP exit polls, EC orders 15 FIRs against Jagran
UP polls: Dainik Jagran online editor arrested for publishing exit poll in BJP’s favour during elections
Why Dainik Jagran Consciously Violated the Law by Publishing an Exit Poll:  MK VENU
AAP leaders meet Chief Election Commissioner, alleges breach of EVMs' security in Punjab
New Delhi: A delegation of AAP leaders today met the Chief Election Commissioner here and sought an inquiry over the alleged breach of security of EVMs at strong rooms in Punjab, where polling was held recently. The delegation led by Delhi Deputy CM  Manish Sisodia submitted a memorandum alleging that there are "multiple instances of breach in EVMs' safety" in the state, where the party is hopeful of forming govt. PTI
AAP expresses apprehensions over removing of EVMs
Kejriwal posts ‘shocking’ video, says Punjab officials trying to remove EVM machines
Irom Sharmila Claims BJP Offered Her ₹36 Crore To Contest Manipur Election On Party's Ticket
Imphal: In what may bring embarrassment to BJP ahead of the Manipur Assembly polls, social activist Irom Sharmila has revealed that she was offered ₹36 crore to contest the elections on the saffron party's ticket."Just after my fast, I met a BJP leader who suggested that I will need lots of money depending on current system of politics. He said I will need on an average ₹36 crore for fighting the election, if I have that amount I need to produce it, if not the Centre will give it," she told reporters. huffingtonpost
OTHERS
BJP IT Cell member arrested for being ISI agent hated Kejriwal, was follower of Tarek Fatah
BJP IT Cell member, Dhruv Saxena, who was recently arrested by Madhya Pradesh ATS, was a follower of suspected Pakistani agent, Tarek Fatah, and hated Delhi CM  Arvind Kejriwal. A cursory look at his Facebook timeline explains the extent of hatred he harboured for Kejriwal and other Indian elected representatives.His social media posts also highlighted his admiration for the RSS’s poster boy and suspected Pakistani agent, Fatah.On 28 Jan, Saxena had posted a photo of Republic Day event slamming Vice President Hamid Ansari for not saluting India’s tricolour while the national anthem was being played. This despite the fact that there’s no requirement to salute national flag during the national anthem. Few months ago, he had done his best to drum up the support for PM Modi’s demonetisation announcement by sharing series of videos. It was during this time that he also posted a video of Fatah, where the controversial Pakistani was seen hurling insults at Delhi CM, his West Bengal counterpart, Mamata Banerjee and ex-J&K CM, Omar Abdullah by passing disparaging comments on the latter’s look. Jantakareporter
SIM box fraud with Pakistan trail: Congress seeks probe into ‘saffron association’ of arrested men; BJP denies link
7 yrs after lawyer Shahid Azmi shot dead, trial yet to begin
Mumbai: IT HAS been 7 years since advocate Shahid Azmi was shot dead in his office at Taximen’s colony in Kurla on Feb.11, 2010. Among the cases Azmi was representing as a defence lawyer was the 26/11 attack. Trial of Azmi’s murder is, however, yet to begin. Last month, the main accused in the case, Devendra Jagtap, the alleged gunman who shot dead Azmi was denied bail by a sessions court. Another co-accused Hasmukh Solanki, too continues to remain in judicial custody while two others have been granted bail and one accused has been discharged in the case. Azmi’s younger brother, Khalid, who also is an advocate says that the family gets solace from the fact that the main accused in the case are behind bars. “It has been 7 years. The accused had made an application in the court that they should be granted bail due to the delay in the trial. Their plea was also to not begin trial till they bail applications are heard by the court first. But, the court found merit to reject bail to them. To know that they are behind bars is enough for me for now, since it proves that the prosecution is doing its job,” Khalid says.Khalid also laments the neglect of Azmi’s murder trial by Jamiat Ulama-i-Maharashtra, providing legal assistance to accused of terror. Indian express
Kodnani deposes in Gujarat riot case, denies allegations
Ahmedabad: Ex-Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani, an accused in 2002 Naroda Gam riot case, on Monday deposed before a special court here and denied all the allegations made against her by the witnesses.11 accused including Kodnani were called to record statements before judge PB Desai.PTI
Malegoan blast: NIA records statement of ATS officer
New Delhi:  NIA has recorded the statement of a suspended Maharashtra ATS officer who made a sensational claim before a court that two absconding accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case were dead. NIA had recently summoned former senior inspector Mehmood Mujawar of Maharashtra's ATS in Mumbai and recorded his statement, official sources said.The sources said he had been asked to provide evidence about his claims made before Solapur court that Ramchandra Kalsangre and Sandeep Dange are "no more". PTI
Parliamentary panel on Pathankot attack puts Punjab Police SP Salwinder Singh under cloud
Chandigarh: Parliamentary standing committee on home affairs has wondered why Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists let go Punjab Police SP Salwinder Singh after waylaying his official vehicle and using it to reach the Pathankot airbase on January 2, 2016 to wreak havoc. The multi-party committee has also asked the govt  to probe the role of drug smugglers in facilitating the jihadis' entry into India.The committee, headed by ex-Union home minister P Chidambaram, has several MPs, including Prem Singh Chandumajra of the Shiromani Akali Dal and Kirron Kher of the BJP. While its 70-page report submitted on Feb.8 directly attacks Punjab Police, it also questions the role of NIA."The committee is unable to understand why the terrorists let the SP (Salwinder) and his friend (jeweller Rajesh Verma) off, which should be thoroughly examined by NIA.  The committee understands that in this attack, the role of Punjab Police is also very questionable and suspicious as even after abduction of Punjab Police SP, the Punjab Police took long time in arriving at the conclusion that their abduction was not just a criminal robbery but it was going to be serious national security threat," the report points out."The committee is unable to understand that in spite of terror alert sounded well in advance, how terrorists managed to breach the high-security air base and subsequently attack (it)," the report reads.TOI
2005 Delhi blast case verdict on Feb.16
New Delhi: A court has said it will deliver on Feb. 16 its verdict in 2005 Delhi blasts case which killed over 60 people. Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh, who was scheduled to announce the order on Monday, put it off for Thursday.Tariq Ahmed Dar, Mohammed Hussain Fazili and Mohammed Rafiq Shah are facing trial in the case.IANS
3 soldiers, 1 militant dead in Kashmir gun battle:Reuters
Srinagar: 3 Indian soldiers and one militant were killed on Tuesday in a gun battle in its restive region of Kashmir, in the second deadly clash between security forces and separatist fighters in three days. 5 soldiers were also wounded in the shootout in North Kashmir's Bandipora district as a joint army and police team mounted a search following a tip-off that up to 3 gunmen were in the area, a defense spokesman said. "During the searches, militants hiding in a house opened fire, triggering off an encounter," Lieutenant Colonel Rajesh Kalia told Reuters.He said there were no arrests, while the remaining gunmen were unaccounted for.Reuters
FIR against Army for shooting at youth along LoC
Jammu: Less than 24 hours after Army claimed to have shot at an intruder trying to damage barbed-wire fence along the LoC in border district of Poonch, the J&K  Police have registered a case of attempt to murder against the Army unit.“Yes, a case under FIR No. 12 stands registered against Army’s 62 Medium Regiment unit deployed in Khari area under Section 307 of RPC and Section 3/25 of the Arms Act,’’ police said. Identified as Showkat Hussain, 28-year old was critically injured when he was shot at by a sentry along the barbed wire fence erected at Khari Karmara on LoC in Poonch Sunday. Reportedly, the youth is mentally unstable. Indian express
Shot in the eyes: Kashmiri girl tells her story: aljazeera
Shocking stats: India topped the list of bombings in 2016; witnessed more attacks than Iraq, Afghanistan
New Delhi: India witnessed the maximum bombings in the world last year, even more than war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report.There were 406 such incidents, which include IED and ordnance explosive blasts, in the country. Iraq came second with almost half the number at 221, the report by National Bomb Data Centre (NBDC) said though it did not mention the casualties.NBDC functions as the nodal post-blasts investigation department under country's federal contingency force NSG. The report did sound a word of caution on the global data saying the centre obtained these figures from "open source".Pakistan witnessed a total of 161 incidents during 2016 followed by Afghanistan where 132 bombings were recorded, 92 in Turkey, 71 in Thailand, 63 in South Africa, 56 in Syria, Egypt 42 and 29 in Bangladesh among others.PTI
Modi govt ‘sponsors’ Karachi Lit Fest, another U-turn in foreign policy towards Pakistan: jantakareporter
Indian govt led by the BJP was condemned by its political rivals for its another ‘U-turn’ on its foreign policy towards Pakistan. Congress’s Manish Tiwari slammed Centre’s Modi govt  after it emerged that the govt ’s flagship cultural body, Indian Council for Cultural Relations’ (ICCR), was one of the sponsors of the just concluded Karachi Lit Fest.Tiwari termed the development bankruptcy of foreign policy under Modi govt. He said, “It’s another example of complete and absolute bankruptcy of the Modi govt  when it comes to their policy towards Pakistan.
Over 50% Saudi jobs meant for Indians shifted to Bangladesh, Pakistan in Modi govt: jantakareporter
New Delhi: When Narendra Modi made his maiden visit to Saudi Arabia last year, it was widely hailed as another masterstroke by the Indian PM with commentators dubbing his act as ‘Modi scoring big with befriending Saudi.”Modi’s supporters in media and outside argued that by befriending Saudi, Modi had effectively neutralised the influence of India’s arch-rival, Pakistan. However, the latest data shows that 50% Saudi jobs meant for Indians shifted to Pakistan and Bangladesh under Modi as India’s PM. Modi govt had come to power on the promise of creating two crore jobs early but half of its tenure has passed and the unemployment rate is continuously increasing. This has been admitted in the Rajya Sabha by Minister of State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh.
HC 'foxed' by no result on Najeeb whereabouts as family of missing JNU student lose faith with Delhi Police
The Delhi High Court said on Monday that it was foxed by the lack of information about missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed's whereabouts even after five months since his disappearance. Najeeb Ahmed's family now hope that the probe will be handed over to some other agency.
No forced lie test in Najeeb Ahmad case: Delhi High Court
Students demands are unacceptable, says JNU VC
2nd year in row, data on suicide by caste and religion is not disclosed
New Delhi: For the second year running, the annual report published by NCRB on accidental deaths and suicides does not include data compiled under caste and religion. And, once again, the report was released before elections in a state where caste equations were crucial.In 2014, NCRB had, for the first time, collated data on suicides based on religion and caste groups. While the report was released in July 2015, before the Bihar assembly elections in Oct-Nov that year, caste and religion-based data of suicides was withheld.This data, which was obtained by Indian Express under RTI and published on June 6, 2016, showed that a Christian was 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide as compared to a Hindu while tribals and Dalits had the highest suicide rates among caste groups. This time, NCRB was expected to publish the caste and religion-based data for 2015 in its 2016 report. But the data is missing from the report released in December 2016, less then two months before elections were announced in caste-sensitive UP. Indian Express
Members seek names of big defaulters: Cashless drive a ‘cruel imposition’, says PAC chief
New Delhi: Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman KV Thomas has criticised Central govt’s pitch to “leapfrog” into a new cashless, or less-cash, mode as a “cruel imposition” on millions. During the committee’s meeting last week, the issue of rising non-performing assets (NPA) in public sector banks saw members from the BJP and Opposition making common cause in seeking to name and shame big loan defaulters. In the backdrop of PM Narendra Modi’s emphasis on adopting digital monetary transaction, Thomas is learnt to have said at a meeting of the PAC on Friday that with 25 %  of the population still illiterate, the country is nowhere near attaining the level of financial and digital literacy required to make a smooth transition into cashless transactions for the bulk of its population. indianexpress
Demonetisation has demolished embroidery industry in Bareilly: IndiaTomorrow
Bareilly: Demonetisation of old high-value currency notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 has hit various industries, particularly the small cottage industries in the country.The embroidery industry in Bareilly is one of them.  "Since the demonetization (8th Nov 2016), our embroidery work has almost stopped due to shortage of money. We have only 8-10 % work left," says Mohammad Mushtaq, an embroidery worker.Mohammad Nayeem, another worker, says: "Before demonetisation, we had 10-12 workers, now there are only two. Some have moved to Delhi, some others to Punjab."Nusrat, also a worker, says, "The work was going fine earlier. It is very bad now."Her husband Mohammad Shamim says, "We are facing problems everywhere, do not have money to pay fee in school."We work for 14 hours, and then get only Rs 200, says another worker.
Gujarat: RSS body reaches out to Muslims in Surat
Surat:A day after it opened its state office in Ahmedabad, Muslim Rashtriya Manch,Muslim wing of RSS, on Monday held a public meeting in Surat, inviting people from the community to join the outfit. Addressing the public gathering, MRM national convener Mohammed Afzal said:“This year onwards, MRM will start accepting zakat from the Muslims across the country and the amount will be used for education of the children of the widows across the country.” indianexpress
MP Vyapam scam: SC cancels degrees of 634 doctors
New Delhi: Coming down hard on corruption in MBBS admissions in Madhya Pradesh between 2008 and 2012, the Supreme Court cancelled the degrees of 634 doctors on Monday and said admissions obtained through a mass fraud called "Vyapam scam" could not be condoned. timesofindia
India, China accounts for 52% of premature deaths by air pollution: report
AMU launches Aligarh Open University programme
Only 5% Of Women In India Choose Their Husbands, 80% Need Permission To Visit A Health Centre
65% Indian women are literate, 5% have control over choosing their husband: report
Delhi crime data: Rape every four hours, murder every day
WORLD
US court blocks Trump’s immigration order because ‘it discriminates against Muslims’
Earlier today, Virginia federal district court Judge Leonie Brinkema issued a preliminary injunction against President Trump’s executive order on immigration, based on the fact that it discriminates against Muslims. Judge Brinkema’s opinion is especially notable because it is the first judicial ruling against the order based on the issue of religious discrimination.The opinion relies on Trump’s own statements advocating a “Muslim ban,” and those of his adviser Rudy Giuliani as evidence of the discriminatory intent underlying the order. I defended such reliance here and here, and Judge Brinkema’s opinion is based on similar reasoning. The recent Ninth Circuit appellate court ruling against Trump also concluded that these statements were relevant, but did not reach the question of whether the religious discrimination claim was strong enough to prove a “likelihood of success” on the merits; it instead based its ruling against Trump on the Due Process Clause. Judge Brinkema also rejects the notion -advanced by administration lawyers – that the “plenary power” doctrine requires absolute deference to the president on national security and immigration issues. Washingtonpost
Federal judge halts Trump travel ban for Virginia residents
Trumps NSA Flynn quits amid controversy over Russia contacts
Washington:President Trump’s embattled NSA Michael Flynn resigned today amid allegations that he secretly discussed US sanctions against Russia with its envoy before Trumps inauguration and then tried to cover up the conversations. Flynns departure came soon after reports surfaced the Justice Dept.warned the Trump administration last month that Flynn misled administration officials regarding his communications with the Russian ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak and was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.Flynn, one of the early backers of Trump during his presidential run, remained in the top position of National Security Advisor for just three weeks, making him one of the shortest-serving senior presidential advisers in modern American history.Flynn has been replaced by Lt General (rtd) Joseph Keith Kellogg as acting NSA, White House announced.PTI
Senate Republicans are worried Trump is mentally ill, says Democrat Senator Al Franken
Republican senators are concerned President Donald Trump is mentally ill, Democratic Senator Al Franken has claimed. Minnesota senator told CNN's State of the Union the worries of "a few" Republicans comes from "the way that we all have this suspicion" that Trump "lies a lot."He added: "He says things that aren't true. That's the same as lying, I guess."Franken cited Trump's evidence-free claim he would have won the popular vote in the presidential race if not for three to five million immigrants in country illegally voting for his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. Independent
UN: 'Looming catastrophe' in 4 Syrian besieged towns
A senior UN official in Syria has warned of a "looming humanitarian catastrophe" in four besieged towns and called on President Bashar al-Assad to allow safe passage for life-saving aid to some 60,000 trapped civilians.Ali al-Zaatari, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Syria, warned of dire conditions in Zabadani, Madaya, Fua and Kefraya; towns besieged by govt troops and the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah."60 thousand innocent people are trapped there in a cycle of daily violence and deprivation, where malnutrition and lack of proper medical care prevail," he said in a statement released late on Monday. Aljazeera
Syria rebels cast doubt on attending Kazakhstan talks
Syrian rebels have cast doubt on attending Russian-backed peace talks this week, accusing Moscow of failing to get Damascus to fully comply with a ceasefire or take tangible steps to fulfil their demands. A rebel official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that at most a handful of rebels might attend, but only if progress was seen in next 2 days.aljazeera
Baghdadi targeted in air strike, says Iraqi military: Reuters
Iraqi airforce carried out a strike on a house where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was thought to be meeting other commanders, the Iraqi military said on Monday, without making clear whether he had been hit.In a statement, it said Iraqi F-16s had targeted the house in western Iraq on Saturday. It published the names of 13 IS commanders it said had been killed in the air strike, but the list did not include Baghdadi.3 other IS positions in western Iraq were targeted in the same wave of air strikes, killing 64 fighters, the statement said. The military said Baghdadi moved last week in a convoy from Raqqa, in Syria, to the region of al-Qaim, on the Iraqi side of the border, to discuss with commanders "the collapse happening in Mosul and to chose a successor for him".US-backed Iraqi forces have completed the first phase of the campaign to retake Mosul, removing the militants from the eastern side of the city last month.
UN chief says Fayyad right choice as Libya envoy despite US objection
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday he believed former Palestinian PM  Salam Fayyad was the right person to be the world body’s envoy to Libya after the United States raised objections.US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has expressed disappointment over Guterres’s choice, saying the United Nations has for too long been “unfairly biased in favour of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel.”“It is a loss for the Libyan peace process and for the Libyan people that I am not able to appoint him,” he said at a summit in Dubai. middleeastmonitor
Pakistan: DIG, SSP among 18 killed in Lahore blast
Lahore: 18 people including DIG Traffic Ahmed Mobin and SSP Operations Zahid Nawaz Gondal, DSP Pervez Butt and three other police officials were killed and about 60 others injured, about a dozen seriously, in a bomb blast in front of the Punjab Assembly Chamber on Monday. Blast occurred during protest of chemists. DIG Traffic Ahmed Mobin alongwith other officials was negotiating with protestors when there was a bang and a huge blast and everybody ran for safety. pakobserver
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:36 PM)

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