News and views across the globe.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
PM MODI’s ISRAELI VISIT
Israel now India’s 31st ‘Strategic Partner’: India –Israel sign 7 pacts; set up $40 million research fund
New Delhi: India and Israel have upgraded their ties to a “strategic partnership”, with both sides emphasising strong action against terror and cooperation in water, agriculture and technology. Though the Ministry of External Affairs does not maintain a formal list, a rough count by The Wire indicates this would make Israel India’s 31st ‘strategic partner’.2nd day of the first-ever visit by an Indian PM  to Israel saw the signing of 7 agreements. The joint statement issued after the formal talks  said that visit had “raised the bilateral relationship to that of a strategic partnership”.With a substantive stress on security cooperation, Modi said that both leaders had “agreed to do much more together to protect our strategic interests and also cooperate to combat growing radicalization and terrorism, including in cyber space”.He made common cause with Israel as a victim of terrorism, like India. “India and Israel live in complex geographies. We are aware of strategic threats to regional peace and stability. India has suffered first-hand the violence and hatred spread by terror. So has Israel,” he said. Joint statement noted that there could be no “justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever”. “Leaders asserted that strong measures should be taken against terrorists, terror organisations, their networks and all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups. They also underscored the need to ensure that terrorist organisations do not get access to any WMD or technologies,” it said.The statement also committed the two sides to work towards early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), a document the Indian Govt  has been pushing at the United Nations for nearly 2 decades now.There was no reference to “cross border terrorism”, as in the India-US joint statement, or listing of names of terror organisations. There was also another missing element. A report in Haaretz paper had pointed out that the Israeli foreign ministry “made every attempt to take the Iranian issue off the public and media agenda”. In 2013, Israel had claimed that Iran was behind an attack on the vehicle of the defence attache, which left his spouse injured.In a briefing ahead of the visit, Israeli ambassador to India, Daniel Carmon had said that India was “not covering up the investigation of the attack”. India, of course, retains close relations with the Iran, especially in energy and connectivity.On the defence front, there was not much action, beyond the joint statement affirming focus on joint development and ‘Make in India’ initiative. This despite the defence relationship being the most developed aspect in bilateral relations.In his oral remarks, Modi did not mention Palestine directly. “We also discussed the situation in West Asia and wider region. It is India’s hope that peace, dialogue, and restraint will prevail,” he said.But the joint statement had a more explicit reference. “2 PMs discussed the developments pertaining to Israeli-Palestinian peace process. They underlined the need for the establishment of a just and durable peace in the region. They reaffirmed their support for an early negotiated solution between the sides based on mutual recognition and security arrangements,” it said.Modi began his day with a call on Israeli president Reuven Revlin, who also was a recipient of Indian PM ’s trademark embrace. Thereafter, Modi went to join Netanyahu for formal talks at the King David hotel. Before they began restricted discussions, the Israeli PM  took Modi to the window to guide him to the main sights of old Jerusalem. Pointing to Temple Mount, which is also known as al-Quds al-Sharif, Netanyahu described that as “the cradle of our history”.Indian sources had said that a visit to the Temple Mount was never planned as part of Modi’s Israeli itinerary. Though Modi travelled to Jerusalem – half of which is under forcible Israeli occupation in contravention of international law – India has not changed its stance that the future of the holy city has to be decided by the Palestinians and Israelis.Continuing with his high praise, Netanyahu said that India and Israel are changing our world, “because this is a cooperation, it’s a marriage really made in heaven but we’re implementing it here on Earth”. In March, the Israeli PM  used the same conjugal analogy during his visit to China.Bitten by Modi’s obsession with acronyms, Netanyahu has apparently coined a mathematical ‘formula’ – IT into IT equal to I squared into I squared. This expands to “Indian talent into Israeli technology equals India Israel ties for tomorrow“,Indian foreign secretary S. Jaishankar told reporters later.As on the first day, Netanyahu accompanied Modi to nearly all his appointments on Thursday. He also went with Modi to the Israel Museum, where they viewed three India-related exhibits. Later, both of them went to Tel Aviv to address Indian-origin Israeli citizens. Modi announced that there would be a Delhi-Mumbai-Tel Aviv flight soon. He also opened OCI cards for Indian origin Israelis who had completed their military service.On Thursday, he will travel to Haifa to pay respect to Indian soldiers of 3 Indian princely states who fought and died in 1918 to wrest control of the then Palestinian city from the Ottoman empire on behalf of the British empire. In New Delhi, a central road, Teen Murti Marg is proposed to be renamed as Haifa Marg. With technology being the buzzword, both sides have established a $40 million fund for research in industrial development.TheWire
India, Israel to set up $40 mn research fund
PM visits Haifa to pay homage to Indian World War heroes
India, Israel ‘strategic partners’, send strong message on terror
Israel, India look past defence to broaden commercial ties
PM Modi announces Delhi-Mumbai-Tel Aviv flight service
Modi in Israel: Absence of Palestine statement noted by Israeli press
Pakistani newspapers castigate Modi’s trip to Israel
India and Israel must be conspiring against Pakistan: Modi's Israel trip surprises Islamabad
PM  Narendra Modi's visit to Israel has rung alarm bells in Pakistan for many top Govt  officials, defence analysts and politicians fear that both Modi and Netanyahu are now conspiring against Islamabad.'Israel and India has long been involved in causing unrest in Pakistan. Modi's visit to Israel and signing of defence deals is something Pakistan must be worry about,' said a senior official in Pakistan's foreign office.'They (India and Israel) must be conspiring against Pakistan,' Asif Kirmani, special advisor to Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif told reporters on Tuesday.DailyMail
PM Modi announces Indian cultural centre in Israel soon
 ‘Moshe, young survivor of Mumbai's Chabad House attack,  doesn’t know how his parents died’
India Must Not Betray People of Palestine: Civil Leaders
New Delhi: PM  Narendra Modi's decision not to visit Palestine during his trip to Israel - first by any Indian PM  to the Jewish nation since its creation in 1940s - is not being appreciated by the civil leaders in the country who term his move as betrayal to Palestinians."We had hoped that if Modi would not take up the issue (of Palestine) with Benjamin Netanyahu, at least he would also talk to the Govt  and the people of Palestine so that there was a sense of equilibrium, equity and equality that India is not just with the regime of Israel but also with the Govt  of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian people themselves who have suffered so much since 1948," said civil rights activist Dr. John Dayal. He went ahead to say "India must not betray the people of Palestine."Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, Editor, The Milli Gazette, said that visiting Israel and not visiting Palestine by an Indian leader is a digression from the country's long stand on Palestine."Until now, Indian leaders used to go to Israel and also visit Palestine. But he (Narendra Modi) is the first man who is not going to Palestine. This shows his inclination and his thinking which is wrong. I think he is digressing from a very long policy which our founding fathers and later leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and all of them followed," said Dr. Khan.Supreme Court lawyer Adv. Mehmood Pracha is not much hopeful about any big outcome of PM Modi's visit to Israel which, he said, has little to offer to a country as big as India."Israel as a country does not have anything to offer to India - to a country which is as largely developed as India. So,crucial question is: What are we going to gain from this visit," asked Adv. Pracha.IndiaTomorrow
India-Israel strategic partnership virtual abandonment of Palestinian cause: CPI
New Delhi: CPI(M) has said the announcement of a strategic partnership with Israel amounts to India's "virtual abandonment" of the Palestinian cause.In a statement, CPI(M) Polit Bureau said the visit PM  Narendra Modi to Israel marked a "rupture in the long-held position" of India, which has viewed Israel as an "occupying power" of Palestinian territories."The announcement of a strategic partnership with Israel in the joint statement, which is a strategic alliance, amounts to a virtual abandonment of the Palestinian cause. This was reinforced by Modi not visiting Ramallah and the Palestinian Authority. Throughout the visit, the Indian PM  did not say a word about India's stand on the issue of a Palestinian State," it said."The strategic alliance with Israel is part of the rightwing foreign policy shift under the Modi Govt . CPI(M) demanded that all security and military cooperation with Israel be ended forthwith," the statement said. deccanherald
Kerala CM calls Israel a terrorist state, declares solidarity with Palestine
New Delhi:After what seemed like an amply cheerful 3-day visit, PM  Narendra Modi is all set to go to Germany. As the way Israel and its PM Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed PM Modi continues to make headlines and memes, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has slammed Modi. In a Facebook post, Kerala CM Vijayan said making an anti-terrorism alliance with a country that kills innocents is an illogical move. Vijayan said, India's heart is against the brutality of Israel in Palestine. Referring to Israel as a country that kills innocent people accusing them of terrorism, Vijayan said that India is against how Israel sabotage Palestine people's fight and defence to live freely in their own soil. India Today
Andhra Dalit group claiming to be from a lost Jewish tribe pins hopes on Modi’s Israel visit
Guntur: The visit of PM  Narendra Modi to Israel has rekindled hopes of a small Dalit community which claims that it is one of the lost Jewish tribes, Ephraim clan.Head of the Bene Yacob Synagogue at Kothareddypalem near Chebrolu, 17 km from Guntur, Shadok Yacobi told The Hindu that he had sent an email to the PM  to pursue a long-pending request to Israel to absorb them in their country.Over the last 30 years, about 30 families who worked as farm labourers, have been celebrating Jewish festivals in the fervent hope that they will be absorbed back in the Promised Land some day.The community has attracted the attention of several scholars from across the world. Their hopes soared after Shadok’s brother, Shemuel Yakobi, whose son has been living in Israel for the last 25 years, was granted citizenship. “We will continue to practise our faith here even if the Israeli Govt  does not recognise us and we have also appealed to the Andhra Pradesh Govt  to give us minority status,’’ said Shadok Yacobi.The Hindu
INDIA-china STAND OFF
Chinese state media warns India: 'Back off border dispute or Beijing will support Sikkim's independence'
New Delhi: Chinese state media warned a "bullying" New Delhi that if it doesn't back down in the latest border dispute, Beijing may well begin supporting "pro-independence appeals in Sikkim". Supporting Sikkim's "independence" will "be a powerful card to deal with New Delhi", said an editorial in the hardline Global Times, which is run by the Communist Party of China's People's Daily newspaper.In fact, the editorial strongly advocated that "Beijing should reconsider its stance over the Sikkim issue". That's because it believed India "has to pay for its provocations" and because China needs to end "New Delhi's regional hegemony" which "is swelling to a tipping point". The editorial spoke of people in Sikkim being "sensitive" to how the world views them.TOI
China plans to launch rail freight service to Pak via PoK
Beijing: China is planning to launch a road and rail freight service to Pakistan through the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a move which could raise concerns in India.The new line will start from Lanzhou, capital of northwestern China's Gansu Province, travelling through Kashgar in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to the Gwadar Port of Pakistan,Xu Chunhua, director of Lanzhou International Trade and Logistic Park, was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.However, it has not been specified when the service will be launched.In May last year, a rail and road cargo service opened between Lanzhou and Kathmandu.Xu said the cargo service has been welcomed by south Asian countries.In 2016, bilateral trade between China and Nepal was over 3 billion yuan (about $440 million), and the volume is forecast to hit 10 billion yuan this year. Last November, China launched the first trade convoy carrying Chinese goods for export through the western route of $50 billion CPEC being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and shipped it through Gwadar port.CPEC plan included a train service connecting both the countries in addition to the road connectivity.The goods were brought by train till Xinjiang and then taken by trucks through the Karakoram mountains. Goods will be exported to countries in Middle East and Africa.PTI
Border standoff: Chinese state media takes aim at Bhutan, says they are not a happy lot
New Delhi: Chinese state media has now taken aim at Bhutan, saying that even though the Himalayan kingdom ranks high in the 'Happiness Index', its people are not a happy lot.Amid the continuing India-China border stand-off, which also involves Bhutan, Chinese state media has thus far refrained from slamming the small Himalayan country, painting it as a nation under India's thumb and therefore forced to acquiesce to New Delhi's diktats.Not any more. It's gloves are off.TOI
Atmosphere not right for Xi-Modi meeting at Hamburg G20 Summit, says China
Beijing:China today said the “atmosphere” was “not right” for a bilateral meeting between PM  Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, amidst a standoff between the Armies of the two countries in Sikkim section. The “atmosphere is not right” for a bilateral meeting between Xi and  Modi, Chinese Foreign Ministry officials said ahead of the G20 Summit in the German city of Hamburg from tomorrow. There were reports that Modi and Xi may meet on the sidelines of G20 Summit to resolve the standoff. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang expressed hope that “India can immediately withdraw the border troops to the Indian side of the boundary to uphold the peace tranquillity of the China and India border areas”.“I think this is the pre-condition for any meaningful peace talks between the two sides,” he said here when asked about the meeting between Modi and Xi on the sidelines of the G20 summit.PTI
India asks China to retreat from Bhutanese territory
New Delhi: Making it clear that it will not buckle under heated rhetoric from China, India said a diplomatic resolution resulting in a Chinese pullback from Bhutanese territory would resolve the current border stand-off near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction."This issue or tension should be resolved at the diplomatic level...It can be resolved diplomatically, which is what we want," said minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre, speaking to journalists here on Wednesday.TOI
China's envoy says Indian troops should 'unconditionally pull back from' trijunction area as 'precondition' for peace
China has warned that the withdrawal of Indian troops from disputed territory was a precondition for peace as tensions continue to rise over a border row between the two Asian powers.Indian and Chinese troops are reportedly facing off on a section of land high in the Himalayas near what is known as the trijunction, where Tibet, India and Bhutan meet.China's ambassador to New Delhi, Luo Zhaohui, said Indian troops should 'unconditionally pull back to the Indian side'.DailyMail
OTHERS
Bihar Muslim lawyer, sons convert to Hinduism, blaming his family forced to follow Sharia law by Muslim hardliners
A Muslim lawyer in Bihar's Begusarai district has reportedly converted to Hinduism along with his two sons.According to reports, Mohammed Anwar, 46, alleged that his family was being forced to follow the Sharia law by Muslim hardliners and so he, along with his sons, Mohammed Amir, 11, and Mohammed Shabir, 9, decided to embrace Hinduism on Tuesday."I am a liberal. I used to visit temples and mosques both, but hardliners in my community objected to it," Anwar told News18. "I was threatened for participating in events organised by Hindus."Anwar claimed that he then contacted members of the Bajrang Dal who told him about Hinduism."I was convinced that Hinduism was not a religion but a way of life. So, I decided to follow their advice," he said.Rejecting reports of any pressure, Begusarai Superintendent of Police Ranjeet Mishra said that Anwar had taken the step of his own accord."I have given an affidavit making it clear that I have taken my decision out of my will,'' Anwar clarified.Shubham Bhardwaj, district coordinator of Bajrang Dal, told News 18 that that he had been contacted by Anwar himself and that after listening to his ordeal, he helped the Muslim family convert to Hinduism."He was continuously harassed by the local Imam and their supporters. They were forcing them to offer Namaz 5 times in a day, and he was threatened for visiting temples. Recently, his house was attacked by hardliners, forcing him to seek our help. Our volunteers saved him and his family," Bhardwaj said.Anwar has been renamed Anand Bharti, and his sons Aman Bharti and Suman Bharti.HuffPost India
Bihar Muslim lawyer, sons convert to Hinduism
Kerala Muslim man challenges HC decision to nullify marriage with Hindu woman after converting to Islam, over suspected ISIS link
New Delhi:A Muslim youth from Kerala on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court, challenging a high court order that quashed his marriage with a Hindu woman- who converted to Islam- on a petition filed by her father.The moot question 27-year-old Shafin Jahan, who worked in the Gulf, raised is whether any court can cancel the marriage between two educated adults who are mentally fit.Since the BJP Govt  came to power at the Centre in 2014, hardline groups linked to the party in particular have stepped up a campaign against "love jihad" - a term for what they consider to be an Islamist strategy to convert Hindu women through seduction, marriage and money. However, there is another dimension in this specific case. Kerala High Court surprisingly observed that 24-year-old medical student Akhila, who adopted the name Hadiya after conversion, could have taken the most important decision of her life only with her parents' involvement.But it also found merit in her father KM Ashokan's statement that his daughter had been recruited by Islamic State's mission in Syria and Shafin Jahan was "only a stooge who had been assigned to play the role of going through a marriage ceremony".Most importantly, the high court bench of Justice K Surendra Mohan and Justice Abraham Mathew, noting that "national interest is at stake", on May 25 ordered Kerala's DGP to conduct "comprehensive" investigation into cases of "love jihad" and have incidents of forced conversion probed thoroughly.The judges emphasised "the existence of an organisational setup functioning behind the scenes in such cases of 'love jihad' and conversions". "Are there any radical organisations involved, are questions that plague an inquisitive mind. But sadly, there are no answers available in this case," said the court. Previous police investigations have found no evidence of an organised "love jihad".Denying the arguments of forcible conversion, the woman had told the HC that she came under the influence of Muslim religion, having heard about the teachings of the faith from her hostel roommates while she was studying homeopathy in Tamil Nadu. She had, therefore, attended a course at Satyasarani and had become Muslim by conversion. Shafin Jahan's petition in SC filed through his lawyer Haris Beeran says the high court erred in equating the marriage to a case of "love jihad"."The woman had converted on her own will to the faith of Islam, not for marrying the petitioner. It was after she had met with Shafin Jahan online and then they both decided to marry," it says. india today
Muslim man moves SC against Love Jihad ruling of HC

W.Bengal communal riots: Mamata accuses BJP of spreading rumours through social media
Kolkata: Accusing the BJP of misusing social media to spread rumour leading to communal riots, West Bengal CM  Mamata Banerjee said her Govt  has decided to raise a peace-keeping force to maintain sectarian harmony in the state."Social media is being misused. They (BJP) are spreading rumours through social media. This is a trend of BJP ... a modern design of the party ... That is why we are trying to caution common people," Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat."Govt has decided to raise a peace-keeping force involving local people mandated to maintain peace with assistance from the state administration and police,"she said.PTI
Centre Asks Mamata For Report On Communal Tension
New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh has asked West Bengal for a report on communal clashes in towns near Kolkata over a Facebook post. Singh spoke to CM  Mamata Banerjee. Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi discussed the situation last night with Home Minister Rajnath Singh after speaking on the phone to CM . NDTV
In W. Bengal's village, Hindus, Muslims joined hands to protect a 120-yr-old mosque
North 24 Parganas:Saumen Roy Chaudhury did not sleep the whole night yesterday. Nor did Fayaj Khan, Imran Khan or Aritro Banerjee. The men, all residents of Khanpara village of Basirhat, of North 24 Parganas district, which had been ravaged by a communal riot for the last 2 days, kept a night vigil yesterday to guard the 120-year old mosque of the village.What made the boys of the village, mostly inhabited by Muslims--there were only 2-3 families of Hindus among a cluster of about 50 Muslim families--was a threat by miscreants to attack the mosque, a pride of the villagers.``The mosque had to be protected at any cost. We were ready to shed our last drop of blood to save it from vandalism,'' Roy Chaudhury told this reporter who is also from the same village. Echoed Imran Khan, a friend of Saumen: ``We formed a vigilante group to protect this mosque. It was a combined defence,'' Imran told this reporter.In fact Fayaj Khan and his friends and relatives from the village threatened a Muslim cleric of the village with dire consequences when the man started a hate campaign against other communities and began instigating youth of the village to disrupt life in the area. ``We told him if he did not stop the hate campaign we will just kick him out of the village. He had no business destroying communal harmony that we are so proud of,'' Feroze Khan, another resident, told Echo of India.Even today, when some miscreants tried to create trouble in the village, the group showed utmost restraint and made fervent appeals to the administration to maintain peace in the area.Amid the mistrust, suspicion and fear in this town that followed sporadic violent incidents at Basirhat and adjacent villages, Khanpara remained an epitome of communal bonhomie and camaraderie. Echo of India
VHP, RSS plan stir over ‘plight of Hindus’ in W.Bengal
Kolkata:VHP and RSS are planning to highlight the “plight of Hindus” in West Bengal nationally, following the communal flare-up along the Indo-Bangladesh border in Bashirhat area. After Assam, the saffron brigade has now set its sights on West Bengal, highlighting the “critical” condition of law and order in the state. “It is unfortunate that even mediapersons are not allowed in the villages of North-24 Parganas, where jehadis are having a free run. Atrocities are being committed against Hindus. We will not allow West Bengal to become waste Bengal,” said Surendra Kumar Jain, international joint general secretary of VHP from New Delhi. indian express
Protest held in Latur against mob lynching and inaction of Govt  bodies
Protesting against series of barbaric lynching events, around 150 people were gathered on Wednesday in Latur district of Maharashtra demanding the Govt  to ensure the safety of Muslims and other targeted marginalised communities of the Indian society.The protest which was held under the banner of ‘Swabhimani Muslim Vikas Parishad’ also had a unique way to address the inactivity of Govt  over such events. The protest site had four beds marked Minority Commissions, State Govt s, Central Govt  and Opposition at states and the centre. People lying in beds represented the inactivity and non-cooperation of these bodies when it comes to lynching and killing.The event saw the public speaking by the activists Madhukar Munde, Govind Salsad, Murtaza Khan, RZ Hashmi and Mohsin Khan demanding Govt s and their bodies to provide enough security and peace to marginalised sections of the society.TCN
Vigilante Killings Will Damage India's Economy: Yashwant
New Delhi: In strong disapproval of the recent spate of lynchings in the name of cow protection, veteran BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has said the such incidents create a bad image for the country abroad and serve as disincentive for foreign investments."My view is that all such incidents, and certainly a clutch of such incidents, create a bad image of the country. Not only within country but also abroad," Sinha said."I am relating it to economic activities and I am saying that it has an adverse impact on the economic activities. As far as lynching per se is concerned, you know unfortunately in our society, such lynching has been going on. It is not always communal," he said.He recalled the Dec.2012 gang rape of a young woman in Delhi and said while he was giving a talk on the Indian economy in Germany, first question he was asked was about the horrible rape and murder."Similiarly, if people feel that it is mob justice, Govt s are not in control, it will be a disincentive for not only foreign investments but all investments of any kind in the country," the former BJP minister said.IANS

Lawyers' Body Formed to Protect Rights of Religious Minorities, Dalits and Tribals
New Delhi: In the wake of the growing culture of mob lynching and atrocities against religious minorities, Dalits and Tribals in the country, a group of lawyers on Tuesday launched a body to provide these communities with legal aid in order to get speedy justice.The body named as "South Asian Minorities Lawyers' Association" (SAMLA) will be working as a guard to protect the weaker and oppressed sections from discrimination and atrocities. As the first step, SAMLA will launch a nationwide movement "Dalit, Minority, Tribal Lives Matter".Supreme Court lawyer Mehmood Pracha, who is president of SAMLA, said that the hallmark of launching the movement "Dalit, Minority, Tribal Lives Matter" was inspired from the African Americans' movement "Black Lives Matter" to assert the rights of the oppressed communities in India.  "Although many minority people have been chosen for the highest position such President of the country but the plight of minorities that include Dalits, religious minorities and Tribals has continued unabated. One of the biggest problems being faced by these communities is that they are not only victimized but a campaign is being run against them to label them as wrong doers. Right from 1950s all these communities have been deprived of their rights and have faced direct or indirect discrimination from state itself," said Adv. Pracha on the sidelines of SAMLA's launch at the Indian Law Institute here in Delhi. Other eminent speakers included eminent civil rights activist Dr John Dayal, Kartar Singh Kochhar, general secretary, Panthak Seva Dal, academician Abdul Samad Ibrahim, Advocate Shams Khwaja, minority rights activist Anita Benjamin and Journalist Alim Naqvi. Eminent Muslim scholar and Editor of The Milli Gazette Dr Zafarul Islam Khan also featured the event. Besides social activists and community leaders, many young lawyers also participated in the program.IndiaTomorrow
NationalDastak barred from sharing content on its FBpage
In what seems like a case of an attack on Dalit-Bahujan spaces in social media, Facebook has barred National Dastak from sharing any links from their website on their Facebook page. On Wednesday morning, the admins of National Dastak found out that while they could share photos and write on their Facebook page, they were barred from sharing any link until. The National Dastak team has written to Facebook and is waiting for an official reason.National Dastak since its inception has found an extensive readership for its tough stance on caste issues, Brahminical setups in various institutions and Hindutva politics prevailing in India these days.National Dastak has provided a lot of space to writers and journalists from the Dalit-Bahujan community to present news and views which show their side of the daily reports and without a Savarna perspective. Dilip C Mandal, Former Editor of India Today magazine, is mentoring the National Dastak team.TwoCircles

Lalu appeals to non-BJP parties to unite for 2019 Polls, cautions there is an "undeclared Emergency
Patna: RJD leader Lalu Prasad once again appealed to all non-BJP parties or like-minded parties to come together to defeat the BJP in the next general elections. Addressing hundreds of party leaders and workers at a function to mark the 21st foundation day of his RJD, Lalu said there is an attempt to spread hate in the country by some "vested interests". Lalu cautioned party leaders that there is an "undeclared Emergency-like situation" in the country."BJP had promised lies to the people during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The central Govt  has cheated and betrayed people by not fulfilling any promises made to them in the last 3 years," he said."Where is the two crore jobs for the youth annually, where is the MSP for farmers, where is the black money from foreign banks, where is industrialization in backward regions, where is achche din (good days)? BJP led by PM  Narendra Modi has come to power because we are divided," he said, recounting the promises made by the BJP in the run-up to the 2014 polls.Lalu said there is an attempt to spread hate in the country by some quarters. "In the name of protecting the cow, people have been killed. Farmers have been committing suicide. There is a dangerous situation in the country."Lalu appealed to all non-BJP parties or like-minded parties to come together to defeat the BJP in the 2009 elections."If 2 ex CMs of UP Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav join hands, BJP will be finished," he declared. Lalu said BJP-led central Govt  is targeting AAP leader and Delhi CM  Arvind Kejriwal, BSP chief Mayawati, TMC supremo and West Bengal CM  Mamata Banerjee, and Congress President Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi, and also his own family "because if all of them join hands the BJP will be nowhere".IANS
Kovind not a Dalit, but OBC, says Lalu:IANS
Patna: RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Wednesday questioned Dalit identity of BJP-led NDA presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind and claimed that Kovind is not a Dalit but an OBC. “Kovind Dalit nahi hai, OBC hai,” Lalu said, addressing hundreds of party leaders and workers at a function to mark 21st foundation day of his RJD party.Lalu said Kovind has been made a candidate by the BJP due to the upcoming Gujarat assembly polls.“Kovind belongs to Koli caste, which is OBC in Gujarat and constitutes 18% of vote there,” Lalu said.
‘Only Rs 7,850 was spent on liquor over 7 yrs. Is it a crime,’ Teesta Setvalad asks SC
In the latest development in the alleged corruption case against Teesta Setvalad, the social activist on Wednesday told the Supreme Court, “Only Rs 7,850 was spent on liquor over 7 years and the expenditure was approved by Ford Foundation which donated money. Is it a crime?” Her response was recorded after the Gujarat Govt  informed the apex court that she had allegedly spent the NGO’s money meant for education for personal use, including buying liquor.The social activist and her husband Javed Anand are accused of corruption and misappropriation of funds that were allocated for rehabilitation of Gujarat riot victims. Indian express
 SC reserves order on Teesta Setalvad’s plea
New Delhi:The Supreme Court today reserved its order on pleas by activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband in a case lodged against them for alleged misappropriation of funds received by her NGOs for Gujarat riots victims of 2002. During arguments, Gujarat Govt  and Setalvad traded charges against each other with the state accusing her of “siphoning” the money collected in the name of victims for “personal use” like wining and dining and the activist claiming that the action against her was “completely malafide”. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Setalvad and others, countered the charges and said the money which she had spent does not belong to Govt  and there was no complainant who had said he or she has been cheated. He said the donation was given by Ford Foundation and others and when they had not come forward with any complaint, why did the police freeze the accounts of Setalvad, her husband and their NGOs, Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace.PTI
Students of over 50 Hyderabad schools, colleges found taking drugs
Hyderabad: Authorities here have asked as many as 27 colleges and 26 schools to take steps to check use of drugs by their students after a probe found that over 1,000 students, some of them as young as 13 are using ‘high-end’ drugs like LSD and MDMA, an official said on Wednesday. Advisories were sent to the educational institutions including prestigious international schools and engineering colleges following sensational finding by the Prohibition and Excise Dept. Announcing the arrest of 8th accused in the drug racket, ED Akun Sabharwal said that letters were sent to the heads of educational institutions, having sizeable number of users.IANS
Can't equate Taher Merchant to Tiger Memon: Defence lawyer of 1993 Mumbai blasts accused
MUMBAI: The defence on Wednesday opened the first of the arguments against death sentence sought by the CBI for three found guilty of being main conspirators in the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. Sudeep Pasbola, counsel for Taher Merchant, said the accused cannot be equated to the main brain and absconding accused Tiger Memon, as all he did was his bidding."It is not even the prosecution case that Taher knew the ultimate object of the conspiracy from beginning to end,'' said Pasbola, saying that Taher played a "peripheral role''. The court had found that Taher was one of the masterminds of the blast. Pasbola repeatedly pointed out the lack of evidence in prosecution's list of aggravating circumstances against Taher.  TOI
Abu Salem moves court against Delhi police for slapping "false and frivolous case'' against him
Mumbai: Abu Salem, held guilty in March 12, 1993 Mumbai blasts case, moved the special TADA court on Wednesday saying that the Delhi police had slapped a "false and frivolous case'' on him and sought to detain him in "gross violation of the 2003 extradition order".Special judge Sanap issued a notice to the Delhi police and posted the matter for further hearing on July 12.His lawyers Sudeep Pasbola and Farhana Shah, submitting the 3 page application, sought orders from special judge GA Sanap to the Delhi police chief. Salem was extradited from Portugal to face specific cases one of which was the 1993 blasts.TOI
Death: 200 Amreli Dalits threaten to convert to Buddhism
Rajkot:As many as 200 Dalits in Amreli district have threatened to convert to Buddhism alleging police inaction in conducting a fair probe into the death of a Dalit youth in judicial custody 2 weeks ago. This after police on Tuesday arrested undertrial prisoners on the charges of killing Sondarva during a brawl inside Amreli sub-jail on June 14. 4 — Shivraj Varu, Jamsinh Solanki, Kanu Satya and Laxman Vavadiya — had allegedly beat up Sondarva and smashed his head against the barrack wall after an argument. Sondarva, a resident of Dungarpur village who was arrested by Rajula police on June 12 for allegedly consuming liquor and was sent to jail after he failed to deposit bail money, died in a hospital on June 15.indianexpress
Stones from Rajasthan arrive for Ram temple in Ayodhya
Lucknow:A fresh consignment of 18 blocks of sandstones for carving out structures of the proposed Ram temple reached Ayodhya in 3 trucks on Wednesday. Four blocks of stones in two trucks had arrived in the temple city a week ago. All these sandstone blocks have been kept at Ramsevakpuram of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas. Ramsevakpuram is barely 500-metre from the VHP workshop, where carving of stones for the temple is going on since 1990.VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma said that ‘Ram bhakts’ have sent 2,000 cubic feet stones from Bharatpur in Rajasthan because Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas in June 2015 had appealed to them to donate stones instead of cash. indian express
It's one India, one tax as J&K accepts GST
Srinagar: J&K legislative assembly adopted on Wednesday a resolution to implement the goods and services tax in the state, paving the way towards a truly "one In dia, one tax system". J&K was the only exception when other states implemented GST on July 1. The resolution was moved by state finance minister Haseeb Drabu and passed by voice vote despite resistance from the opposition.The legislative council, too, adopted the resolution by voice vote. The resolution moved by finance minister Drabu also called for a presidential order to safeguard J&K's special status and its power to set its own taxes."Section 5 (J&K Constitution) and Article 370 of the Constitution (of India) will remain unchanged," Drabu assured those opposing the resolution during the special session. Section 5 of the J&K statute gives the state exclusive powers of taxation.The opposition National Conference, CP            M and Congress, however, demanded safeguards for the state's special status under Article 370 and said the assurances of the ruling PDP-JP  were vague.TOI
Extension of 101st constitutional amendment to J&K: Final nail in coffin of special status, says Ex-minister Rather
New Delhi: Former finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather has called PDP-BJP Govt ’s concurrence to extend the 101st constitutional amendment to the state “the final nail in the coffin of J&K’s special status’’. “The resolution that they passed today in the Assembly is vague and a ploy to hoodwink the public, which will not accept this substantial breach in our special status,’’ said Rather, the former chairman of the Empowerment Committee of State Finance Ministers on GST. “The resolution recommends consent to GST with a vague caveat saying that it must be done in a modified manner to safeguard the existing special constitutional position of J&K and legislative powers under the J&K Constitution. They did not agree to tell us what modifications are they seeking that would enable the safeguarding of our special status because they do not have anything.’’He said that once the cabinet gives its consent to extend the law to the state, it is an irreversible process. “The last bit of the powers that the state had left with it under Article 370 will also go,” he said. “This is why we have been consistently asking the state Govt , especially finance minister Haseeb Drabu, to tell us the nature of the safeguards they are securing for J&K’s special status, while giving consent for this new tax law.’’ Indian express
Soldier with AK-47 rifle goes missing, suspected to have joined Hizb
A soldier with the 173 Territorial Army went missing today from north Kashmir's Baramulla district, police said. According to reports, police suspect that Zahoor Ahmad Thakur may have joined hands with Hizbul Mujahideen.Thakur was reportedly missing from his camp in Gantmulla area along with an AK-47 rifle. "Thakur belongs to Pulwama district. A search operation has been launched," police sources said.Thakur's suspected joining of Hizb becomes more relevant as the terror outfit is planning to recruit more 40 local militants. J&K administration is already on the edge following reports that a large number of Kashmiris are planning to commemorate Wani's death anniversary with protests across the Valley. india today
Jawan with AK-47 rifle goes missing from Kashmir
J&K forces get tough with locals supporting terror
Srinagar: The security forces combating a nearly 3-decade-old militancy in J&K have been asked to take an aggressive stand to prevent people from joining militant groups. Also, a tough campaign has been launched against alleged overground workers of militant outfits and locals who often turn up in large numbers near encounter sites during cordon-and-search operations and make conscious attempts to help militants break the security forces’ dragnet and escape. Officials admit scores of Kashmiri youth have joined Hizb-ul-Mujahedin and LeT groups after the killing of Burhan Wani by security forces a year ago.The killing and resulting turbulence proved a huge catalyst for the Hizb to attract local youths. Over the past one year, the outfit is recruiting heavily in the Valley.This set off alarm bells in the corridors of power in Srinagar and New Delhi. However, about 2 dozen militants were killed in stepped up military campaign during the past two months. Also, security forces have come down heavily on locals accused of supporting or shielding militants. Acknowledging the ‘trend’, a senior Army commander said recently “Everyone is worried, be it the central Govt , the state Govt , the security forces or Army”. He added, “There are no easy answers that we will do this or that which will stop it.” ASIAN AGE
UK council withdraws permission to Burhan Wani rally
London: Birmingham city council today withdrew its permission for a planned rally to mark "Burhan Wani Day" on Saturday after India lodged a protest with UK Govt  against "glorification of terrorists".The rally was being planned by UK-based Kashmiri groups to mark the first death anniversary of the commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit killed in a gun battle with Indian armed forces in the Kashmir Valley on July 8 last year.India on Monday protested to the UK over the planned rally.PTI
In view of Burhan Wani’s death anniversary, J-K Police orders blocking of social media sites
Pakistan alleges use of 'chemical ammunition' in Kashmir
New Delhi: Pakistan on Thursday alleged that Indian security forces are using "ammunition containing chemical agents" in J&K, reported Pakistani media.He cited "charred bodies" found in houses in Bahmnoo and Kakpora in the Pulwama district suggested that chemical agents were used.."Charred bodies of Kashmiri youth were found in the debris of five houses destroyed by Indian forces at Bahmnoo and Kakpora in Pulwama,"Zakaria said, adding that the bodies were extensively burnt and beyond visual recognition.Zakaria added that the international community should investigate, ARY news reported."If use of chemicals in the ammunition is confirmed, then it would constitute a serious violation of international norms and India's international obligations under Chemical Weapons Convention," Zakaria said.TOI
Pakistan condemns NIA questioning Hurriyat leader's aide
Raghunath temple attack: Arrest, bail, rearrest… 15-yr ordeal for 6 Muslim men ends with discharge
Jammu/new Delhi: Follolwing a fidayeen attack on Jammu’s Raghunath temple on March 30, 2002, killing 12 people and leaving 20 injured, J&K police had arrested 6 villagers claiming their involvement — including a schoolteacher, a retired revenue official and a Special Police official — from Poonch district. 15 years later, J&K High Court has not only exonerated them but questioned the entire police investigation. J&K Police “didn’t even array as accused” Virinder Sharma, against whom they had “sufficient evidence” including “recovery of huge quantity of arms and ammunition at his instance”.These observations came in a judgment on March 15, 2017, when the court dismissed a revision petition by the state against the discharge of the 6 accused by principal sessions judge, Jammu, Subhash Chandra Gupta on Oct.30, 2006. “There was sufficient material showing involvement of one Virinder Sharma who has not been arrayed as accused,”HC Justice Mohammad Yakub Mir said. The court asked the trial court to proceed against Sharma and the investigating officer of the case. The attack was among incidents that had heightened communal tension in J&K at the time.The police are yet to act on the order. IGP (Jammu) SD Singh Jamwal said he isn’t aware about the matter and asked Indian Express to contact the prosecution wing (of police). Public prosecutor Rakesh Badyal said the court has issued a notice to inspector Ajay Jamwal as he had presented a challan in the court. Jamwal, now SHO in Surankote, said he was not the investigating officer and only presented the challan. The case, he said, was investigated by Razak Khan, Ashok Sharma and Pritam Singh who have all retired — Khan as SP, Sharma and Singh as DSPs. “Only they can tell the court who this Virinder Sharma is and why he was not arrayed as accused,” Jamwal said.Terming the trial court’s discharge order “well reasoned”, the high court’s Justice Mir observed that “while referring to the entire record, [the trial court] has drawn a conclusion that there is not an iota of incriminating evidence against the accused persons…” “An attempt has been made to show that [accused] are involved by referring a letter issued by Inspector, Toll Post Manda, Akhnoor, wherein it has been shown that a truck No 4167-JKS has passed…’’judgment said. “But in the letter it is specifically stated that truck was empty and nowhere is it said that any person was carrying any arms or ammunition in truck…”Those discharged are schoolteacher Kabir Din, his father-in-law Munir Hussain (a retired revenue official), Maroof Khan, Shabir Ahmed (a special police officer), Sarfaraz Khan and Mehmood Ahmed, all residents of Surankote, Poonch. The services of Kabir Dar and Shabir were later terminated by Govt  because of alleged involvement in terror activities. Indian express
Delhi HC raps Waqf Board for educational activity inside monument
New Delhi: Waqf Board was today pulled up by the Delhi High Court for "causing mischief" by allowing educational and religious activity inside a protected monument in the national capital. Holding the Board responsible, a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and SP Garg directed the authority to cooperate with the ASI in removing encroachments from the tomb of Khan Shahid, the son of the ninth sultan of Mamluk dynasty of Delhi Ghiyas ud din Balban."Something which was not there you (Waqf) are allowing to happen. You have caused the mischief. You cannot allow change of its (monument) use. "Where did the mosque, Imam and the madrassa go when conservation and restoration of the monument was going on? If you allow people to live there (monument) it will be defiled," it said. The court also refused to accept the Board's claim that it was in the dark regarding the encroachments or fresh construction inside the monument and that an Imam was appointed in 2014 to offer prayers. "Don't try to pull wool over our eyes," the court said. PTI
WORLD
UNESCO Adopts Resolution Reaffirming Israel’s Lack of Sovereignty over Jerusalem
World Heritage Committee UNESCO has adopted, a resolution which confirms Israel’s lack of sovereignty over occupied Jerusalem. It condemned, in a meeting in Krakov, southern Poland, the excavations carried out by the Israeli Antiquities Department, in Jerusalem.According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, Arab Group of Arab States submitted the wording of the resolution and, according to Israeli claims, Arabs and Palestinians softened the tone of the resolution with a view to be adopted unanimously, but Israeli pressures thwarted the attempt .According to the body, 10 countries voted in favor of Palestinian resolution: Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Lebanon, Tunisia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Turkey, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Cuba. 8 countries abstained: Angola, Croatia, Finland, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Korea and Tanzania. 3 countries opposed the resolution: the Philippines, Jamaica and Burkina Faso. IMEMC
World Heritage Committee Calls on Israel to Stop Illegal Practices in East Jerusalem
Arab League welcomes UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem
Israel decries new UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem
Hamas praises UNESCO's resolution which denies Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem
Israel to approve 800 east Jerusalem homes after Trump called on Netanyahu to curb settlement construction
Jerusalem:Jerusalem municipality said Wednesday it plans to approve 800 new homes in Jewish-populated areas of east Jerusalem in the coming month, a move that could complicate President Donald Trump's attempt to restart peace talks.The housing would be the first approved in east Jerusalem since Trump called on Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu to curb settlement construction in Feb.Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner arrived in Israel last month and sat down with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in an effort to help kick-start long-dormant negotiations. Kushner discussed potential actions to make progress toward "a genuine and lasting peace" between Israelis and Palestinians during his meeting with Netanyahu. But amid deep disagreements between the sides, he has not yet said how he plans to proceed.AP
Hamas chief warns of ‘regional peace deal’ with Israel
Hamas’s newly elected political chief Ismail Haniyeh warned against plans to establish a “regional or economic peace” with Israel. Haniyeh issued the warning at his first press conference since being elected to succeed Khaled Meshaal as the Gaza-based group’s political leader. He went on to assert that the US administration was hoping to forge a landmark “regional” peace deal, which, he warned, “would ultimately serve to extinguish the Palestinian cause”.“Since Donald Trump’s assumption of the US presidency, moves have accelerated — under Israeli pressure — to extort the Arab and Muslim states with the ultimate aim of destroying the Palestinian cause,” he added.
Hamas says Egypt ready to help Gaza
Gaza: Hamas leader Ismail Haniya said today recent talks in Egypt could lead to improving the humanitarian suffering in the impoverished Gaza Strip.The head of Palestinian Islamist movement said it found Egyptian officials "ready to work to address crises in Gaza" during a recent trip in which Hamas leaders, led by its Gaza head Yahya Sinwar, met with Egyptian officials in cairo."Egyptian authorities issued a package of measures and policies and fuel began to enter to the power plant, and work continues at the Rafah crossing to reopen it in the near future.""The result will have the effect of alleviating the burden of the siege against our people in the Gaza Strip," Haniya said.He did not give further specific details. out look
Improving ties between Egypt and Hamas unsettle Palestinian politics:Reuters
Israel to open airport in Eilat despite Jordan’s objections
Israeli authorities plan to open Ramon International Airport near the border with Jordan despite the objections of the Govt  in Amman, Anadolu has reported. The airport is being built in the Timna Valley 20k outside Eilat, which is adjacent to the Jordanian city of Aqaba, where King Hussein International Airport is located.Jordan said that it objected to the construction of the Israeli airport, which was given the go ahead in 2013, because it could affect radio communications at the airport in Aqaba. middleeastmonitor
US envoy Haley leads anti-Palestinian 'crusade': PLO
A senior Palestinian official has blasted US President Donald Trump's UN envoy, accusing her of carrying out a "crusade" against the Palestinian people. Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), said that Nikki Haley was leading a "one-woman crusade ... against Palestine and the Palestinian people individually and collectively". "Through an obsessive and targeted campaign of intimidation and threats, Miss Haley's crusade does not miss an opportunity to put pressure on anyone that seeks to challenge Israeli impunity," she added. Ashrawi said Haley was echoing remarks by Israeli PM  Netanyahu. Aljazeera
HRW tells Bangladesh Govt to end disappearances, extrajudicial killings of oppositions- BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami’s supporters
Security forces in Bangladesh have been accused of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and secret detentions, including of members of the political opposition, according to a report released by Human Rights Watch. "People are almost always worried that they are going to disappear, they are going to be killed, and no one will know what exactly happened to them," Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia Director of HRW said."Therefore, an environment of fear particularly among the people in political opposition and known Govt  critics has become intense." Govt  really needs to look into this instead of denying that things happened," she said. New York based rights body urged the Bangladesh Govt  to launch an independent probe into these allegations and "prosecute security forces responsible for such egregious rights violations".At least 90 people have been victims of enforced disappearance last year alone, according to 82-page report: "We Don't Have Him': Secret Detentions and Enforced Disappearances in Bangladesh".At least 21 detainees were later reportedly killed, report documented. "Disappearances are well-documented and reported, yet the Govt  persists in this abhorrent practice with no regard for the rule of law," said Brad Adams, Asia director at HRW. Since current Awami League Govt came to power in 2009, human rights organisations have identified over 1,300 alleged extrajudicial killings and 325 enforced disappearances.Leading up to 2014 general polls hundreds of people, including opposition activists, were illegally detained and held in secret detention centres, the report said."Since 2013 we saw a new trend: supporters of opposition political parties have been targeted, basically members of BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami have been targeted," said HRW's Ganguly."Some Jamaat members were picked up and shot in the knees."19 members of the opposition BNP detained by the security forces weeks before the 2014 general elections continue to remain disappeared, the report says.Moin Khan, ex-minister and a senior BNP leader said that "there was a gross violation of human rights in Bangladesh".Al Jazeera
Bangla opposition activists held in secret detention: HRW
HRW raises concern over CAR 'war crimes'
At least 566 civilians have been killed in war crimes committed by armed groups since 2014 in the violence-ridden Central African Republic (CAR), Human Rights Watch said.In a report published on Wednesday, the international rights body provided a detailed account of the widespread abuses committed against civilians by mainly Muslim Seleka and Christian anti-Balaka forces in the central regions of CAR.The rebel groups have also destroyed 4,207 homes between late 2014 and April 2017, the report said. aljazeera
Saudi-led block: Qatar not serious about demands
4 Arab nations that have imposed a blockade on Qatar for its alleged support for "terrorism" have issued a statement saying that Doha's response to their demands to end the crisis was "not serious". Wednesday's statement came after foreign ministers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain —Arab states involved in the dispute with Qatar — met in Egypt's capital after receiving Doha's response to their list of demands.Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told reporters at a joint news conference in Cairo that Qatar's response was "generally negative" and failed to "lay foundation for Qatar's reversal of the policies it pursues". Aljazeera
Qatar Airways removed from US laptop ban list
Qatar Airways has joined two other major long-haul carriers in the Gulf in getting off a US laptop ban list. Airline on Thursday said that with "immediate effect, all personal electronic devices can be carried on board all departures from Hamad International Airport to destinations in the US". Aljazeera
At least 500 civilians evacuated from western Mosul
At least 500 civilians have been evacuated from western Mosul in the last 24 hours, an Iraqi army officer said on Thursday. Many of the civilians were injured while fleeing the Old City district where there are clashes between Daesh and the Iraqi army, Col. Ahmad Hashim said. The Iraqi army on Wednesday recaptured 2 more neighborhoods in western Mosul from the Daesh terrorist group, according to an Iraqi army commander. But Daesh still controls a number of neighborhoods where tens of thousands of civilians are stuck in residences. Anadolu
9 Iraqi security staff, 18 Daesh fighters killed in Mosul
Turkey, Russia, Iran to form working group on Syria
Turkey, Russia and Iran will establish a joint working group on de-escalation zones in Syria, Kazakhstan’s foreign minister said.Kairat Abdrakhmanov’s remarks came during a news conference following the final day of 5th round of Syria peace talks in the Kazakh capital, Astana.Reading a joint statement from the 3 guarantor countries, Abdrakhmanov said the trio expressed their satisfaction with the progress in the delineation of the de-escalation areas in war-stricken country, which was agreed at the previous round of Astana talks on 4 May.
US would consider no-fly zone in Syria if Russia agrees
US is prepared to discuss with Russia joint efforts to stabilise war-torn Syria, including no-fly zones, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.He added the US wanted to discuss with Russia the use of on-the-ground ceasefire observers and the coordinated delivery of humanitarian aid to Syrians. "If our two countries work together to establish stability on the ground, it will lay a foundation for progress on the settlement of Syria's political future," Tillerson said in a statement on Wednesday before this week's Group of 20 summit in Germany. aljazeera
Calls for Egypt to revoke Morsi family’s citizenship
A lawsuit which calls for the citizenship of ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s children to be revoked has been referred for a legal opinion by an Egyptian court.The case, filed by lawyer Tariq Mahmood, claims that Osama and Shaimaa Mohamed Morsi obtained the American citizenship without prior permission from the Egyptian Govt , in violation of Article 10 of Nationality Law No. 26 of 1975.Mahmoud added that the first article of the US Constitution stipulates that naturalised citizens should pledge allegiance to the US and waiver their allegiance to any other state. Middleeastmonitor
Trump: Russia ‘may have’ interfered with 2016 Presidential election
5 months into his presidency, Donald Trump for the first time accepted that Russia “could have” interfered with the 2016 US elections. He, however, used the occasion to attack former president Barack Obama for failing to stop Russia from meddling with the elections despite prior knowledge of it.Fielding questions from the media, Trump, who is Poland, said: “Well I think it could very well have been Russia, could have been other countries, I won’t be specific. I think a lot of people interfere. It has been happening for a long time, it has been happening for many many years.”Blaming Obama for failing to act despite CIA briefing him months on the issue before the presidential vote, Trump said: “Now, the thing I have to mention is: Obama was president when he find out about this in August. The election was in November. That was a lot time. He did nothing about it. They say he choked. Well, I don’t think he chocked, when he though Hillary would have won the election, he said let’s not do anything about it. Had it been the other way he would have done something about. He was told in early August that Russia was trying to get involved or meddling pretty strongly with the election. The reason was he thought Hillary was going to win…” indianexpress
FLASH: NEWS & VIEWS
Israel is everything the RSS wants India to be, Modi is making it happen:Anilesh S Mahajan
PM Modi Should Launch Jewish Studies Against Islamic Studies to Fight Anti-semitism: Navras Jaat Aafreedi, Ass.Professor at Presidency University, Kolkata
Rules Against The Law: Why the Centre’s notification against cattle slaughter is controversial: P D T Achary
The polygamy myth:  SY Quraishi, Ex CEC
GST is no mean achievement but concerns over basic structure must be addressed in the here and now:Bibek Debroy
Hush-hush marriages to become impossible after Law Commission asks for compulsory registration within 30 days with no exemption to Muslims
PM Modi's Israel visit a hidden message of BJP about Muslim vote bank?India Samvad
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:48 PM)


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