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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
INDIA
With one ‘Azan,’ Kerala mosques to chip in for noise control
Malappuram:Mosques here are leading the way in controlling noise pollution.The  authorities of 17 mosques at Vazhakkad in the district have joined hands to  curb the  indiscriminate use of loudspeakers. They have agreed that there will be only a single Azan, which is the call for prayer five times a  day, for all the 17 mosques in the entire region and have signed an agreement to keep the practice intact. Notably, all  the otherwise warring Muslim sections-- two factions of Sunni and Mujahid (Salafi), Jamate Islami and Tableeg Jamath-- have stopped the use of loudspeakers from last Sunday as part of the agreement. According to the arrangement,  the single Azan will be called from the Valiya Juma Masjid, the biggest mosque in the Mahal, the local Muslim council. The rest of the mosques would only repeat it without noise. Besides integrating the Azan five times a day, the use of loudspeakers for all other religious programmes in these mosques has also stopped. There are seven mosques run by various groups in the Vazhakkad town alone besides 10 others in the interior places.“The decision was in response to the public opinion that indiscriminate use of  loudspeakers had a negative effect on nearby schools, merchants and even public meetings of various organisations and that it should be stopped,” says TP Abdul Azeez, president of the council. The decision was followed by several rounds of deliberations between the factions. A 5-member panel has also been constituted to unify the timing of Azan of all the mosques. The panel would soon meet the leaders of all the Muslim groups  and  Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal  seeking  to unify the timing within a week.Deccan Chronicle
Kerala mosque to deliver only one azaan over loudspeaker to fight noise pollution
Muslims protest Yogi govt's move to make Muslim marriage registration mandatory
Agra:As UP  Govt  is planning to make marriage registration mandatory, Muslims are getting ready to come out on the roads in protest of this 'un-Islamic' move.Muslim leader Haji Jameeluddin said the Muslim community cannot accept the UP Govt 's edict to register Muslim marriages at the marriage registrar's office as Muslim marriages are only registered at the office of Waqf board of UP as per Nikahnama documents.He said Muslim marriages are already registered according to the Sharia law and there was no need to register them again merely to satisfy a Govt 's whim.He said the attention of both the Centre and the state Govt s have shifted from development and crime control to such frivolous issues. This is merely to divert the attention of the people from the issues raging before the country, which the Muslims will not tolerate. Bhartiya Muslim Vikas Parishad chairman Sami Aghai said that the Yogi Govt  seeks to keep the Hindus and Muslims of UP tied up in such petty issues so that they never raise their demand for development. He said that similar issue came up during the Samajwadi Party govt as well but the Muslims did not let it gain prominence with their protests and the Akhilesh Yadav govt had to shelve this topic.Former president of the Muslim wing of Samajwadi Party Md Yaseen Qureshi said  Muslim marriages get registered at the time they are solemnised so Muslims do not need an additional registration, whereas most Hindu marriages are conducted without any paperwork.Mufti Mudassar Ali Qadri said that Muslim marriages are conducted according to Sharia, which is why the Muslim personal law has been defined separately in the Indian Constitution. Qazi who conducts these marriages is registered with the state Govt  and he has to present the statistics of marriages conducted by him in a year to the state govt, he said. indiatoday
Triple talaq deterrent in Deccan since 90 yrs
Hyderabad:In a first,All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has issued an advisory to qazis across the country to insert a clause in the nikahnama which prevents a man from pronouncing instant triple talaq.While the move comes after an apex court suggestion to curb the controversial practice, a similar deterrent exists in the Nizam's erstwhile dominions of Telangana and parts of Karnataka and Marathwada for nearly a century."The decision to spread awareness against oral triple talaq in one-sitting was taken by AIMPLB's executive committee. If the bride wants the condition to be inserted in the nikahnama, she can. The silver lining for Hyderabad is that a similar condition is already present in the qazath system," said Maulana Rahmani. The condition prohibiting pronouncement of instant triple talaq is recorded in the 'Kitabchah Aqd-e-Nikah' (marriage booklet) issued by the state wakf boards of Telangana and AP, and now the residuary state of AP. Experts said pronouncing instant triple talaq could be tantamount to a breach of contract in areas where these booklets are in vogue. "Nikah is a contract between two individuals. If triple talaq is pronounced, it is a breach of contract as both bride and groom have signed on the booklet which states the man should not pronounce instant triple talaq," said Syed Akbar Nizamuddin Hussaini, chancellor of noted Islamic seminary, Jamia Nizamia. Hussaini, who is also a member of Telangana State Wakf Board, said while the nikahnama was designed by Jamia founder Maulana Anwarullah Farooqui around 90 years ago, during Mir Mahbub Ali Khan's reign as the Nizam of Hyderabad State, the booklet was later developed by Syed Mohammed Qutubuddin Hussaini.Making a case for the Hyderabad system of qazath to be replicated across the country, Nizamuddin said, "Qazath of Hyderabad is unique, strong and ahead of its time. It also prevents alteration of conditions as a copy of the nikahnama is kept with the head qazi, while another goes to the state wakf board and a third one to the state archives."Mohammed Ikramullah, hereditary qazi and secretary of Anjuman-e-Qazath, an apex body of qazis, said the clause can be found under the section -Huqooq-e-Zoujain' (Rights of Spouses). "The clause states a man should not pronounce oral triple talaq in one sitting.Instead, he should pronounce talaq once so that there's room for reconciliation," said the qazi.TOI
Restraining clause of triple talaq is in practice since Nizam’s Rule
Open to amending cattle rules: Harsh Vardhan
 Union Science and Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan has said he will consider amending the Environment Ministry’s notification disallowing the sale of cattle in animal markets for slaughter. “If at all there is a need to change some language, we will consider that,” he told The Hindu on the phone.“Right now, we are going through representations by farmers, traders, animal activists and the leather industry.” He, however, didn’t confirm whether a formal process had been initiated. thehindu
Attacks By Cow Vigilantes 'Aberration', Environment Minister Tells NDTV
'Milk of cats, dogs of no use, cow is life on earth and represents all animals': Animal Welfare Board
New Delhi: Govt's Animal Welfare Board, the main agency for framing laws for the protection of animals, has a predominance of members dedicated to cause of the cow. At least eight out of 10 independent board members are associated with cow research and cow shelters or have been vocal about cow protection. Board also has eight directors from the Govt .One of the independent members,Sunil Mansinghka, is the chief co-ordinator of the "Go Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra" - a centre for research on benefits of cow urine and dung. "Grab your opportunity to be a Gau Sevak (cow protector)" - urges the centre's website.Questioned about the tilt in Animal Welfare Board towards cow specialists, Mansinghka quipped: "In our scriptures, there are 84 lakh creatures, so do you think there should be 84 lakh members in the board?"He asserted: "Cow is life on Earth and represents all animals. The milk, urine and dung of dogs, cats and other animals are of no use." Board's apparent cow-centric approach, first reported by the Print, is at odds with its role as an advocate for all animals. The bios of the board members leave little room to question the perception that it is somewhat skewed.Mohan Singh Ahluwalia is the president of Gwala Gaddi, a company that claims to make "100% premium herbal cow ghee" and also claims to "promote and protect Indian cows" according to its Facebook page and  official website. NDTV
Allahabad: Qureshi community to shun Eid celebration to protest closure of slaughterhouses
Lucknow:Qureshi community of Allahabad, who are mostly into butcher trade will not celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr this year to protest closure of slaughterhouses after Yogi Adityanath-led BJP Govt  assumed power in UP . The decision was taken at a meeting of AIMIM and the Jamiat-ul-Quresh on Monday.“We will not celebrate the festival and tie black ribbons while offering prayers to protest ban on slaughterhouses,” said AIMIM’s city president Afsar Mehmud. “Situation is alarming for the Qureshis, who are mostly uneducated and have no expertise in any other trade,” he added, accusing the Govt of not paying attention to the community’s plight. hindustantimes
Buffalo meat shops open quietly in UP, administration looks away:TOI
Meerut:Days after the BJP came to power in UP, meat shops began shutting down across the state mostly due to the lack of "proper and licensed slaughterhouses", as well as a host of other "violations". Adding to the misery of meat sellers was the recent rule by the Centre prohibiting cattle sale for slaughter in animal markets.Two and a half months later, shops selling buffalo meat have quietly opened. Meat sellers in Meerut, for instance, are slaughtering buffaloes at homes as an authorised corporation abattoir still does not exist. Administration officials said they "needed to take a sympathetic view". "How long will we stop people from eating what they want. The govt has done nothing in the past three months to resolve the issue," an official told TOI. Meat sellers are happy, but cautious. "After over 2 months, we are finally doing some business. We had approached the municipal corporation many times for a licence, but officials did nothing. One day, after the month of Ramzan began, they told us that we could sell meat, but quietly. We are completely at their mercy," said a meat shop owner in Khair Nagar. A meat seller in Gudri Bazar said the supply of the animal is low. "Due to Centre's cattle law and the fear of gau rakshaks, mandis have disappeared," he said.TOI
Minorities commission chief & member divided over Saharanpur
New Delhi:Days after National Commission for Minorities (NCM) member Sulekha Kumbhare said that the panel members would visit clash-hit Saharanpur, NCM chairman Gayorul Hasan Rizvi said the issue was not within the purview of the commission and so there was no question of such a visit. On May 31, Kumbhare had said: “All the team members will visit Saharanpur next week to assess ground realities. Justice should be ensured…But we need to check the factual position first.” However, Rizvi said, “What has the commission got to do with Saharanpur? Those were clashes between Dalits and Thakurs.” Cycle of violence in Saharanpur began on May 5, when a man was killed and 25 homes were set ablaze in Shabbirpur village. The clash began after Dalits objected to a procession of Thakurs to mark the birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap. Sources in the commission said that Kumbhare made the statement at an impromptu press conference immediately after taking charge. Rizvi, who was in Lucknow at the time, was caught unawares and did not take kindly to it. His immediate fear, according to the sources, was that such arbitrary functioning in the commission could disrupt peace and inter-community amity. He said it was beyond the ambit of NCM to get involved in caste clashes.Indian Express
Gujarat: Now, trishuls to protect cows, fight 'Love Jihad'
VHP Bajrang Dal on Monday distributed trishuls (tridents) to 75 youths at a Trishul Diksha programme in Gandhinagar. The right wing organisations claimed the purpose was to protect cows, fight 'Love Jihad' and for Anti-Romeo squads near educational institutions. According to VHP general secretary Mahadev Desai, "In the past two-andhalf years, around 4,000 trishuls have been distributed to youngsters in Gandhinagar city and district." As per the VHP's mission, in the past five months they have organised one Trishul Diksha programme every month in the State capital and the last programme was held in Sector 7.In the last 6 programmes, around 700 trishuls have been distributed. "The trishuls are not to be showcased at home. We have given clear direction to the youths to carry the trishuls with them," Desai said. Talking about the concerns of carrying around weapons, Desai clarified that the trishuls were not classified as weapons. "The trishuls are one centimetre smaller than the prohibited weapons. Hence, it can be used to save cows. There have been several cases of cow slaughter in Gujarat and the police have failed to stop the crime. It is time the Hindu youth come forward to fight it.Moreover, we are also working towards controlling the menace of Love Jihad and are setting up Anti-Romeo squads around educational institutions in the city," he said. Claiming trishul is a symbol of confidence and power of Lord Shiva, Gandhinagar Bajrang Dal president Shaktisinh Zala said, "We want to make a strong unit of Hindu youth who staunchly follow Hindutva and our Trishul Diksha event in Gandhinagar is part of that mission."AhmedabadMirror
BJP man in Kerala sets up Christian helpline to fight ‘love jihad’:HT
A Christian man is starting his own version of the Sangh Parivar’s Hindu Helpline to stop alleged incidents of ‘love jihad’, describing it is an attempt to counter secret plots to convert Christian girls to Islam.Renjith Abraham Thomas, who is a leader of BJP’s minority religions wing, the Minority Morcha, said he had received encouragement from a wide array of Christians and others.Jimmy Poochakkatt, a spokesman of the Syro-Malabar Church, said he was aware of the formation of the Christian Helpline but declined to comment on it.The renewed attention to ‘love jihad’ comes within weeks of an unusual and communally-charged court case in Kerala. On May 24, the state High Court annulled a wedding between Shefin Jahan, a Muslim man, and Hadiya, a formerly Hindu woman who converted to Islam. The HC said that Hadiya (previously called Akhila) could not be married without the “active involvement” of her parents. It also ordered the police to conduct a probe into suspected conversions of Hindu women by groups linked to Islamic State.Hindu Helpline in Ernakulam, Kerala has been the subject of allegations of illegal or unethical behaviour. In 2015, a widely cited probe by the news sites Cobrapost and Gulail found it had coerced testimony from women, forcibly drugged some of them, and sought deliberately to “create a true fear in society,about Muslims,” as one member of helpline service was quoted saying.HT
BJP man behind helpline to save Kerala Christians from love jihad
Fringe Hindu groups meet in Goa today, agenda to turn India into ‘Hindu rashtra’ by 2023
Panaji:Right-wing Hindu Janjagriti Samiti is holding a 4-day national convention in Goa from Wednesday to push its agenda of making India a “Hindu rashtra” by 2023.“Our aim is to make India great again and this is something which can be achieved only by ensuring that it turns into a Hindu Rashtra,” claimed Ramesh Shinde, the national spokesperson of the Samiti.Around 400 delegates from across the country as well as neighbouring Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka are expected to attend the convention.The event at Ponda, the state’s industrial hub, is likely to be dominated by contentious issues like beef ban, amid a major controversy brewing in the state over the red meat. hindustantimes
Jharkhand: 2 Muslim men jailed for sharing objectionable messages on WhatsApp
Ranchi: 2 Muslim men were arrested and sent to jail in Hazaribagh for sharing communally-sensitive messages on a WhatsApp group, in the first crackdown on those circulating provocative content on social media in Jharkhand, police said on Wednesday.Hazaribagh SP Anup Birthare said Gulam Jelani and Mohammad Shabbir were charged for promoting enmity between different groups and deliberately and maliciously acting to outrage religious feelings and sent to the Hazaribagh Jail on Tuesday.Under the charges levelled at Jelani and Shabbir, they may face imprisonment of up to 3 years, police sources said. Jelani and Shabbir have also been charged under the information technology act.Police have warned the administrator of WhatsApp group on which Jelani and Shabbir shared the provocative content, and may detain them as well,sources said.They have also launched a manhunt for a Hindu man, who allegedly shared provocative content on another WhatsApp group run in the same district.HT
3 ‘thrashed’ in Punjab’s Dera Bassi for “wearing” skull caps: Police arrest one more person
Mohali: Derabassi police Tuesday arrested one more person for attacking 3 persons, identified as Ashfaq, Abdul Wahid and one of their friend, for “wearing” skull caps, Sunday in Mubarikpur village. Police said that the accused will be produced in court on Wednesday. The police have also beefed up security outside the mosque in the village.Ashfaq, who was injured in the incident told Chandigarh Newsline that he along with Abdul Wahid who is an Imam at the local mosque were returning home after their prayers Sunday evening when two persons attacked them with stones and a stick.“While I sustained injuries on my head and arm, Wahid also sustained injuries after a stone hit him. There were two assailants and they fled from the spot after injuring us. Some local people took us to hospital and my friend Shahubudin lodged a complaint at the police station,” said Ashfaq.When asked why the assailants attacked him, Ashfaq said that he did not have any enmity and he also did not know the reasons on my head and arm, Wahid also sustained injuries after a stone hit him. There were two assailants and they fled from the spot after injuring us. Some local people took us to the hospital and my friend Shahubudin lodged a complaint at the police station,” said Ashfaq.Sub-inspector Mewa Singh said that he had arrested 2 persons identified as Gaurav and Nandi.indianexpress
NIA probe: Zakir Naik made sister a director, firms routed money
New Delhi: NIA has found out that IRF president Dr Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, wanted in a criminal case registered last year, incorporated at least 11 companies in which he made his sister and a close confidant ‘dummy directors’ who kept transferring money from one company to another “as per Zakir Naik’s instructions”.Sources said this is what NIA has learnt after questioning Naik’s sister Nailah Naushad Noorani, close aide Aamir Gazdar and 2 others who helped Naik purchase properties in and around Mumbai. The probe agency, which is set to move to get Naik’s Indian passport revoked, believes he is in Malaysia where he is seeking citizenship. NIA has also initiated proceedings to get a Red Corner Notice against Naik. NIA has compiled a list of 11 companies and at least 19 properties that Naik, his companies and family members own and hold which, sources said, is “highly disproportionate to his ostensible sources of income in India”. The agency is now probing the source of funds through which these properties were purchased in the last few years and the routing of money from one company to another, from one bank account to another. Sources said the NIA has uncovered transactions running into crores of rupees ever since 1990. From the statements of Nailah, Gazdar and two others, NIA investigators learnt that the main source of funding of Naik’s companies was through “donations” and “zakat money received from donors in India as well as abroad”. Sources said Naik first incorporated IRF on Dec.20, 1990. He and his father Abdul Karim Naik (who has since died) were among its directors. Until 2015, Naik had incorporated at least 11 companies which were used by him to route funds from one company to another.While probing the financial transactions of Naik and his family members, NIA found that his parents had given a loan of approximately Rs 29 crore during 2013-2016 to his sister. Nailah told investigators that she extended this Rs 29 crore as loan to Longlast Constructions Private Limited and Harmony Media Private Limited. She is a director in both companies, she told the NIA.
Bhopal encounter: Panel dismiss kin’s plea to visit encounter site
Bhopal: The one-man commission probing the SIMI jailbreak and encounter Tuesday dismissed the pleas of kin of SIMI suspects' kin for a visit to the encounter site and video evidence.Counsel representing the families of the alleged SIMI activists who were killed in exchange of fire with police last year, pleaded with the commission, for taking them to the jailbreak and encounter site along with the commission, during the hearing.However, the prosecution sources said Justice SK Pandey commission has dismissed the application. While dismissing the plea requesting that the commission should visit the crime spots—jail and the encounter site—along with the advocates, commission observed that the visit is already in the commission's consideration.Apart from the request for visit, the counsel of the family members of the deceased SIMI suspects had also requested the court to summon the video and photographs taken by FSL team at the crime spots. While dismissing it, commission observed that the said evidences are already on commission's record, and commission will go through the evidences and inform the counsel representing the kin of deceased families about it,if required.Another application requesting the commission to summon the newspaper and TV reporters and journalists, who covered the audio-clips of the alleged wireless conversations between the police officials and the team present at the spot. Commission also dismissed the plea, observing that it will not be fruitful.TOI
Personal clash takes communal turn near Mangaluru
Mangaluru: Heated exchange of words followed by blows between 2 individuals led to communal tension in Kanyana near Vitla, 40 km away from Mangaluru, on Monday night. SP Bhushan Gulabrao Borase said the incident unfolded after Radhakrishna, 30, questioned Haneef, 30, a cattle transporter, who was standing at Mugali bus-stop near Kanyana, over the latter’s alleged act of verbally harassing a girl. This led to a fight between the two and Radhakrishna slapped Haneef. Haneef later returned with a group of people to Radhakrishna’s house where he was reportedly assaulted.A group of people then went around in Kanyana forcing a few shopkeepers to down the shutters. People from both communities tried to assemble at the Kanyana Junction on Monday night. Borse said Haneef and Radhakrishna, who suffered a minor injury, have been admitted to two different private hospitals. In a complaint filed to the Vitla police, Haneef accused the group of assaulting him as he was involved in cattle transportation. Radhakrishna has filed a counter complaint accusing Haneef of harassing a girl. thehindu
At root of Mandsaur unrest in MP, a young, jobless mob
Mandsaur:For thousands of unemployed youths who live in villages off the nearly 60-km stretch between Mandsaur and Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh , a solitary soybean plant is the only major hope of employment other than agriculture produce markets or mandis.There are some opportunities in the two towns themselves, famous for licensed opium cultivators and a parallel illegal market, which have brought relative prosperity to this region bordering Rajasthan. In between, however, there are no plants or factories to offer jobs.Job-seekers from these villages have to travel to Ratlam, Pithampur, Neemuch or to Indore, 200 km away. There are a couple of soybean processing plants in Neemuch and a cement factory in Nayagaon, 18 km away, but clearly not enough to absorb them all.After the winter crop is harvested and before sowing for kharif crop begins, youngsters of farming families have nothing on their hands. It was such a crowd that was on the streets from June 1, the first day of what was to be a 10-day strike called in support of fair price for crops.Even the opium growers had protested recently, as also last year, with an entirely different demand. Their protests went largely unnoticed outside because the number of licensed cultivators in Mandsaur, Neemuch and part of Ratlam — the three districts where legal cultivation takes place — is less than 20,000. indianexpress
India has 2nd highest number of obese kids in world: Study
 India has the second highest number of obese children in the world after China, according to an alarming study which found that 14.4 million kids in the country have excess weight. Globally, over two billion children and adults suffer from health problems related to being obese, and an increasing number die from these conditions, researchers said. However, of the four million deaths attributed to excess body weight in 2015, nearly 40% occurred among people whose body mass index (BMI) fell below the threshold considered "obese". Timesofindia
Mumbai top cop meets with Muslim leaders to counter radicalism: Mumbai Mirror
Commissioner's off-the-record meet with community leaders other than religious heads opens a conversation about ways in which radicalism can be countered.Mumbai Mirror has learnt that the top cop last month chaired a classified meeting with nonreligious Muslim intelligentsia in a bid to re-engage the community to counter extremist threats by inviting "unorthodox" suggestions for integrating troubled sections of the community. On May 23, police commissioner Datta Padsalgikar hosted prominent academicians, philanthropists, thinkers, and leading figures from the community to debate ways to augment inter-faith relations, and bolster the community's "working chemistry" with the police.About 90 people gathered for the first such meeting, which also saw joint police commissioner Deven Bharti and additional commissioner (special branch) Ravindra Shisve in attendance. Congregation, which sought to open a conversation with a different set of stakeholders, was pivoted on the idea that "policing is not what you do to the people but what you do with the people".One of the attendees, Dr Khalid Shaikh, director of Sai group of hospitals, said, "The aim was to bridge the gap between the police and Muslims. We need to work for the betterment of society and it is possible only if we do it together."Padsalgikar, an ex-IB officer, told Mumbai Mirror:"We touched on the aspects of bettering social interactions, tailored to chime with a series of social investments that can offset the problems we face as a society."The attendees agreed that "campus radicalisation" is gaining potency more than ever, since colleges and universities have become virtual recruiting grounds for terror operators. The problem is aggravated by the ease with which students can be brainwashed through social media channels into aligning with deviant ideologies.In this context, professors and teachers can play a central role in spotting and countering fanaticism, it was discussed.Another attendee, Dr Zaheer Qazi, chief of Anjuman Islam School, said, "A main area of concern is misguided youths. We need to identify the problem within and take corrective steps. It was a fruitful discussion and we are looking forward to more such meetings."
Non-bailable warrants against yoga guru Ramdev for beheading remark in Rohtak
Rohtak: A local court on Wednesday issued non-bailable warrants against yoga guru Ramdev in a case over his controversial beheading remark in April 2016.The order follows Ramdev’s failure to appear before the court yet again on Wednesday.Ramdev was summoned under Sections 504  and 506 of the IPC for his remark that he can “behead lakhs of people refusing to chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai if he weren’t bound by the law”.He was addressing a gathering in Rohtak when he made the remark. Ironically, RSS-backed Sadbhawana Sammelan was called to promote peace in the city that witnessed violence during the Jat quota stir. hindustantimes
GULF DIPLOMATIC CRISIS
Amnesty criticises Saudi,UAE,Bahrain for rights violations
British human rights group Amnesty International said on Monday that recent humanitarian measures by Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain were “vague and insufficient and do not address the human rights situation,”Qatar News Agency (QNA) has reported. The comment was made during a meeting between Ali Bin Samikh Al-Marri, head of the National Human Rights Committee of the State of Qatar, and Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty, in London.Both men raised the consequences of the siege imposed by the aforementioned Gulf States on Qatar, the serious violations of international human rights law and the violation of the basic rights of Gulf and Qatari citizens.Shetty condemned the violations, stressing that Amnesty would continue to work with all concerned parties to reach a resolution. He said that the rights of families split by the siege “must be restored in full, not only those chosen as exceptions,” stressing that these are basic human rights that cannot be fragmented.During his visit to London,Al-Marri held several meetings with other relevant bodies, human rights figures and international lawyers. middleeastmonitor
‘Are you with us or with Qatar?’ Saudi King Salman asks Pakistan PM Sharif
Islamabad: “Are you with us or with Qatar?” Saudi King Salman raised this question during a meeting with Pakistan PM  Nawaz Sharif, who had visited the Gulf Kingdom for finding a diplomatic solution to the Qatar crisis.The Saudi monarch asked Sharif to take a clear position on Qatar during their meeting in Jeddah on Monday, Express Tribune reported, citing diplomatic sources.“Pakistan has told Saudi Arabia it will not take sides in the brewing diplomatic crisis in the Middle East after Riyadh asked Islamabad ‘are you with us or with Qatar’,” the paper said.PTI
Gulf crisis: Qatar forced to rely on airplanes to import food
GCC countries' blockades against Qatar have precluded many vital imports from reaching the small country, including basic food supplies.Saudi Arabia's closure of Qatar's only land border means a lot of country's food has to be brought in by air. Al Jazeera's reports from the capital Doha on a major operation underway at Hamad Airport.Al Jazeera
Turkey: Isolation of Qatar is not Islamic
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has denounced the isolation of Qatar as "inhumane and against Islamic values", urging Saudi Arabia to take a leading role in resolving the ongoing crisis among Gulf Arab nations."Qatar has showed the most decisive stance against terrorist organisation Daesh alongside Turkey. Victimising Qatar through smear campaigns serves no purpose," he said during a parliamentary address. aljazeera
Putin warns Gulf crisis imperils Syria peace efforts
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has warned in a phone conversation with the king of Saudi Arabia that the blockade against Qatar by its neighbours will make it harder to reach a peaceful end to the war in Syria.Putin and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud "touched on the aggravated situation around Qatar, which unfortunately does not help consolidate joint efforts in resolving the conflict in Syria and fighting the terrorist threat," the Kremlin said. aljazeera
Bahrain prominent human rights lawyer  arrested after launching lawsuit against govt over Qatar blockade
A prominent human rights lawyer in Bahrain has been arrested after launching a lawsuit against the Govt  over its restrictions imposed on neighbouring Qatar.Issa Faraj Arhama al-Burshaid was detained after challenging Manama's sanctions, which include blocking Qataris from staying in the country along with other economic penalties.He filed the case with the Supreme Administrative Court in Manama against the Cabinet, Interior Ministry and Foreign Ministry. He described the measures taken by his country against Qatar as "arbitrary". "This siege has broken up family ties and hurt all Bahraini families," said Burshaid. "The decision to cut diplomatic relations violates Bahrain's constitution and laws." aljazeera
Saudi refuses to open airspace for Qatar
Saudi Arabia's civil aviation authority has rejected the opening of airspace for flights to and from Qatar, a day after the chief executive of Qatar Airways called for international action against the boycott imposed on Doha amid a major diplomatic rift in the Gulf.The agency said in a statement on Tuesday that the decision to impose the air blockade against Qatar was a precautionary measure and was within the kingdom's sovereign right to protect its citizens from any threat. aljazeera
UAE: 'No military component' in actions against Qatar
UAE' ambassador to the US said there was no military aspect to steps taken by Arab powers against Qatar but further economic pressure could be applied."There is absolutely no military component to anything that we are doing,"UAE anvoy Yousef al-Otaiba told reporters in Washington. Aljazeera
Jordan plunges into economic crisis following Qatar blockade: middleeastmonitor
Jordan’s economy has incurred losses worth $2 million since a closure of the Saudi land borders last week against the Jordanian exports heading to Qatar as a result of the Gulf diplomatic rift.According to sources at Jordan’s Exporters and Producers Association for Fruits and Vegetables, Jordanian traders who have previously signed exporting contracts with Qatar, started exporting their products by air.Jordanian shipments’ volume to the Gulf state has also dropped to 90 tons per day, down from 600 tons per day before the blockade.
WORLD
Cholera death toll in Yemen doubles in two weeks
The number of deaths from cholera in war-torn Yemen has risen to 923, nearly doubling in the past two weeks, according to the WHO.The disease is now affecting 20 out of Yemen's 22 provinces, with more than 124,000 suspected cases, said the WHO on Monday.WHO predicted in May that the cholera outbreak could affect as many as 300,000 people within 6 months. A state of emergency was declared in Sana'a in May in response to the outbreak.The charity group Oxfam says the disease is killing one person an hour in Yemen.
Israel in talks with Egypt, EU in bid to solve Gaza electricity crisis
Israeli authorities are in talks with Egypt and European countries in an attempt to solve the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip where 2 million residents have less than four hours of electricity every day, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. On Sunday Israeli ministerial council headed by Netanyahu decided to reduce Israel’s electricity supply to Gaza by 35 %. Israeli PM  Netanyahu initially attempted to distance himself from the crisis by claiming that the issue is part of an internal dispute between the Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas.
Gaza power crisis worsens with PA push to reduce electricity supply
Wednesday marks the 10th anniversary of Hamas rule in the Gaza strip. The decade has been marked mainly by conflict with Israel and economic collapse under the strain of the Israeli blockade against the Palestinian territory.Divisions between Hamas and the Fatah-lead Palestinian Authority have worsened recently, with the PA sharply reducing its support for Gaza's electricity supply.Al Jazeera's
Egypt cancels Fatah visit for duration of Hamas talk
Egypt has cancelled a planned visit by a delegation from the secular Fatah movement which would have coincided with an official visit by Hamas to Cairo for talks about mutual relations, local sources revealed to Quds Press on Tuesday.The Cairo-Hamas meeting will also look at issues related to easing the situation in the besieged Gaza Strip. According to the anonymous Egyptian sources, the Fatah delegation led by Azzam Al-Ahmad planned to ensure that the talks between Hamas and the Govt in Cairo are restricted to the Palestinian reconciliation issue. middleeastmonitor
Right-wing Israeli MK: ‘Palestinians were here before Jews’
A right-wing member of Israel’s Knesset has recognised that Palestinians existed on land now occupied by Israel before Jews came to the country. In the first statement of its kind issued by a right-wing leader, United Torah Judaism party Member, Moshe Gafni, said:"Israel has no right to negotiate with the Palestinians because they were here before it and the Jews drove them out of their land."“The important thing is for Israel to be a Jewish state. Apart from that, we have no right to conduct negotiations with the Palestinians because they were here before us and we expelled them from here,” Arutz Sheva reported him saying. middleeastmonitor
UK: 6 dead in massive fire at London residential building
London: A massive fire ripped through a 27-storey apartment block in west London in the early hours of Wednesday, police and fire services said. 6 people were confirmed dead and the number is expected to rise, police said.An emergency services official said that there are a number of fatalities. Police said they were evacuating the block and "a number of people are being treated for a range of injuries" including two for smoke inhalation. Emergency services said 50 people injured in the incident were taken to 5 London hospitals.Witnesses could hear screaming from the upper floors as the flames rose and one desperate resident could be seen waving a white cloth.The fire brigade said 40 fire engines and 200 firefighters had been called to blaze in Grenfell Tower, which has 120 flats.ANI/AFP
London fire: 6 killed as Grenfell Tower engulfed
Unknown number of fatalities' as blaze engulfs London tower block
‘Just save my children’: Desperate parents threw kids out of windows, say London fire witnesses
Senior US congressman Steve Scalise shot at in Virginia, several injured
Virginia:House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana was shot at during baseball practice, Fox News reported on Wednesday.Police in Alexandria, say they are investigating a shooting involving multiple people in northern Virginia.Appears at least five people wounded at congressional gathering: Rep. Mo Brooks tells CNN.
Millions of Muslims didn’t March against ISIS, that was fake news
Trending topics are known to be a trigger for spreading fake news. Recently as “ISIS attack Muslims during Ramzan” started trending, Alternative News Network wrote a piece on an instance that – ostensibly – happened in 2016.The piece titled, ‘20 Million Muslims March Against ISIS and The Mainstream Media Completely Ignores It’, writes about “tens of millions of Shia Muslims who made an incredibly heartening statement, by risking their lives to travel through war-stricken areas to openly defy ISIS”.The article that was published on 10 June 2017 writes about the March taking place on Sunday and Monday.The original story was published by American Herald Tribune on 21 Nov.2016. The publication is reportedly owned by a Canadian professor and conspiracy theorist named Anthony Hall. The story was then picked up by MintPress News the next day. Soon, several small and big news publications published it, seemingly without verifying.The Washington Post, International Business Times, The Independent and Reuters published articles that debunked the news put out by American Herald Tribune. The actual story was that millions of Shiite Muslims were marching together, but not against ISIS. Rather, they were a part of a march that is organised every year in Arbaeen, one of the world’s largest pilgrimages in Iraq, to honour a famous Muslim martyr. The people were marching in locations that is controlled by the ISIS, but it was not a march against the group.Additionally, the report about the mainstream media not covering the issue was also proved to be fake.Millions of marchers participate in the annual Arbaeen procession in Karbala. Each year, Sunni Muslims and followers of other religious groups such as Christians join the journey to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussein. Coming back to the Alternative News Network’s piece, the report is factually incorrect as the march did not take place on Sunday and Monday, that is 10-11 June. In fact, the march usually takes place in the month of November. The headline also is as misleading as the original piece published by American Herald Tribune. Interestingly, apart from the news reports, cleverly placed links in the story lead to e-commerce website such as Amazon and eBay. Looking at the trending keywords and searches, it seems the publication capitalised on certain keywords like ISIS, Muslim, etc. thequint
UN: 'Staggering' civilian deaths in Raqqa offensive
Intensified coalition air strikes supporting an assault by US-backed rebel forces on Syria’s Raqqa are causing a "staggering loss of civilian life", UN war crimes investigators have said. Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group of Kurdish and Arab militias supported by a US-led coalition, began attacking Raqqa a week ago to take it from ISIL. Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the UN Commission of Inquiry, told the Human Rights Council on Wednesday that the increased attacks have resulted "not only in staggering loss of civilian life, but has also led to 160,000 civilians fleeing their homes". Pinheiro did not provide a figure for civilian casualties in Raqqa, where rival forces are racing to capture ground from ISIL.SDF, supported by heavy coalition air strikes, have taken territory to the west, east and north of the city.Syrian army is also advancing on the desert area west of the city.Residents as well as the campaign group Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor also say air strikes have killed significant numbers of civilians. aljazeera
US: Attempted block of part of Saudi arms sale defeated
Washington:A multi-billion dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia moved closer to reality Tuesday after an attempt to kill part of the deal narrowly failed in the Senate.Following the 53-47 vote, Sen. Rand Paul, who was part of a bipartisan group of senators who sought to derail part of the arms package, pledged the group would continue to work to defeat the sale he said is worth $350 billion over a decade.“This is just the beginning, and we will continue to take a stance against waging an undeclared war and fueling an arms race in the Middle East," Paul said in a statement that highlighted the Saudi-led coalition's campaign in Yemen. Anadolu agency
FLASH: NEWS & VIEWS
Unemployment is Up Because ‘Make in India’, Other Official Schemes Aren’t Working:Jagriti Gangopadhyay, Wamika Kapur
Arab and Muslim World on the brink of a split: Dr. Waiel Awwad, senior Arab journalist
Attempt to reduce Kazi Nazrul Islam to ‘Hindu’ writer is travesty of his legacy:Ankan Kazi
Bipin Rawat did sound silly while elaborating on ways to deal with Kashmir issue:Alok Rai
Farooq Dar’s case has damaged India’s case in J&K more than anyone can imagine:Raja Muzaffar Bhat
What's At Risk If Triple Talaq Is Declared Unconstitutional: Mani Shankar Aiyar, ex Congress MP
Beware of the rise of Hindu supremacists in America: Vikram Zutshi, Los Angeles based filmmaker
Assam’s two-child norm could hit the poor, women and Muslims the hardest: Pallavi Gupta
Hatred for Gandhi is a fundamental element of Hindutva discourse: Shamsul Islam
Ashish Khetan: Look beyond the CBI raids on NDTV. Indian democracy itself is under siege

Lessons for India From Nepal’s History of Banning Cow Slaughter: Amish Raj Mulmi, Nepali writer

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:34 PM)

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