News and views across the globe.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
INDIA: POLITICS
Nitish’s Bihar govt gets 27 new ministers, including 12 from BJP; portfolios yet to be announced
Patnal: 27 new ministers of Bihar were sworn in on Saturday, with CM Nitish Kumar’s new ally BJP getting the highest number of cabinet posts ever in a Govt  run jointly with the JD(U). Of those who took oath of office on Saturday, 14 are from Kumar’s party, 12 from the BJP and one from National Democratic Alliance partner LJP. BJP MLA Mangal Pandey, who was absent during the ceremony, arrived later in the evening to be sworn in. Govt  in Bihar changed dramatically on Wednesday after Kumar decided to dump his previous allies, the RJD and the Congress, and ally with the BJP over an alleged corruption case that embroiled his previous deputy CM, Tejashwi Yadav. A day later, he took oath as CM  and BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi as his deputy to form the new NDA govt. Officials did not announce the ministers’ portfolios, and sources said a list could be released later on Saturday. Khurshid Alam and Manju Verma were the only Muslim and women representatives in the council of ministers this time. Bijendra Yadav, Shravan Kumar and Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan from the JD(U) have been retained as ministers. Apart from the deputy CM, Nand Kishore Yadav and Prem Kumar were the only BJP leaders who will have been ministers in both Govts. According to the formula worked out between the two coalition partners, JD(U) will have a total of 19 ministers, BJP 13 and one each from the other NDA allies: Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP, Jitan Ram Manjhi HAM and Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP.Union minister Upendra Prasad Kushwaha led RLSP, which got one berth, was asked to suggest someone for a berth that is yet to be allotted, and from LJP, Pasupati Paras — brother of Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan — was accommodated, though he is not a member of either house.Jitan Ram Manjhi, the one representative of his party, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) turned down a post, but suggested a member from outside the house over which no decision has yet been taken.Ex-Bihar BJP president and the current organisational in-charge for poll-bound Himachal Pradesh Mangal Pandey was unable to make it to the swearing in since his flight was delayed.BJP’s does not include any woman, though other castes were accommodated. The saffron party does not have a Muslim MLA.HT
Nitish's New Bihar Cabinet Signs In, BJP Gets 13 Ministers
'Forgive Me': Minutes Before He Quit, Nitish Phoned Lalu
Barely 10 minutes before he submitted his resignation, CM Nitish Kumar phoned Lalu Yadav who lives just next doors away in Patna."Lalu-ji, I beg your forgiveness, but after running Govt  for 20 months, I cannot do it any longer. I am going to quit," CM  told his ally, who hastily and fruitlessly asked him to reconsider.  NDTV
Welfare Party and SDPI accused Nitish of betraying mandate, demands fresh election
New Delhi: SDPI National President A. Sayeed, in a press statement said, “Nitish Kumar’s resignation from the post of Bihar’s CM  and shifting of loyalty from Maha Ghatbandhan to NDA is against mandate of the people of Bihar. Hence, Bihar assembly should be dissolved and a fresh election to be conducted to get a clear mandate from the people.”Not only SDPI, Welfare Party of India (WPI) has also called Nitish’s game as a betrayal to the mandate. WPI’s national president S.Q.R. Ilyas said in a statement that the new Govt is politically unethical and contravent to people’s mandate. He asked Nitish -Modi alliance to take people’s mandate afresh.TCN
2013 Muzaffarnagar riots: UP Assembly decides to not act against Aaj Tak, Headlines Today
Lucknow: UP Assembly today passed a resolution that no action should be taken against a private broadcaster over the airing a sting on 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. During the term of the previous Assembly, a House panelhad probed the sting operation and held officials of the TV Today group guilty of breach of privilege of Azam Khan, then a senior minister. Khan is a member of the current Assembly as well, representing the Rampur constituency. A resolution about not taking any action against the channel was moved by the state Parliamentary Affairs minister Suresh Khanna and was passed even as the opposition remained absent.“Media is the fourth pillar of democracy. I present a resolution to not take action against Aaj Tak and Headlines Today on the recommendations of a House committee for airing a sting on 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots,” Khanna said.In the previous Assembly also, BJP, then in opposition, had raised questions on constitution of the committee that had recommended action against the channels. The party had also staged a walkout on the issue. Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit informed the House that on Feb. 23, 2016, the House had summoned functionaries of the channels for their version but later, on March 4, 2016, Supreme Court had stayed the proceedings.PTI
Mohsin Raza, first Muslim in Yogi cabinet sacked
Lucknow: Mohsin Raza, the lone Muslim minister in Yogi Adityanath-led Govt  in UP  has been sacked.According to media reports, Minister of State for Muslim Waqf and Haj, Mohsin Raza is accused of violating laws and selling property, a charge denied by the latter. Shia Central Waqf Board spokesman Abid Raza says that Mohsin Raza is illegally selling Waqf property and family cemeteries of Waqf Alia Begum. Acting on this, UP Central Shia Waqf Board has dismissed Mohsin Raza, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Yogi Govt  from the Unnao Waqf Mutwali post and directly taken the Waqf under board control.The Board has also taken action against the state’s Secretary of the Friends Co-operative Housing Committee of Lucknow Rajbabu Rastogi, Asgar Raza, Saifi Mirza, Kafi Mirza, Younus Zahir, Saleha Begum, Akhtar Hussain Hadi and Feroz Rahim. siasat
Samajwadi Party MLCs resign, clear path for Yogi’s induction into UP legislature
Lucknow: UP CM Yogi Adityanath need not contest an election to become a member of the legislative assembly following the resignations of 2 members of the Samajwadi Party. Legislative council members (MLCs) Bukkal Nawab and Yashwant Singh quit their memberships on Saturday. Sources say more resignations from the council are expected. Adityanath, deputy CMs Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma and two ministers Swatantra Dev Singh and Mohsin Raza are required to get elected to either house of UP legislature. They now have only 2 months left to become a member if either of the two houses of the bicameral legislature. But with the resignations from the upper house, they need not contest elections to become MLAs. They can instead become MLCs. It is a route that previous CMs Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati had also opted for. hindustantimes
Panic-stricken Congress herds 44 Gujarat MLAs to party-ruled Karnataka
With 3 more of its MLAs resigning from the Gujarat assembly+ , and threat of more desertions looming large, a rattled Congress dispatched a plane-load of its MLAs to party-ruled Karnataka, to fend off more poaching attempts.Sources in Bengaluru said that 46 party MLAs landed at Kempegowda airport late on Friday evening and were spirited to a nearby resort by Karnataka minister D K Shiva Kumar who has handled similar situations for Congress in the past.Party circles in Ahmedabad, however, put the number of MLAs ensconced in the Karnataka capital at 40.The panic response was triggered by the resignations of three more party MLAs, taking the number of MLAs who have quit the party in the last 24 hours to six.Sources said that more MLAs had seemed set to resign, setting off alarm bells and leading the party managers to herd them to Bengaluru. Sources said they will return to Gandhinagar only on the eve of polling on August 8. Sources indicated that senior MLAs like Shaktisinh Gohil and Shailesh Parmar stayed put in Ahmedabad. The 3 who resigned on Friday are Chhanabhai Choudhary, Mansinh Chauhan and Ramsinh Parmar. Parmar is the chairman of Amul Dairy. Sources in Ahmedabad said that the three MLAs had planned to resign on Saturday, and more resignations would have followed, the daily routine of desertions jeopardising the chances of party nominee Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi's political secretary, in the Rajya Sabha polls. timesofindia
As BJP lures its MLAs away, Congress flies Gujarat lawmakers to Bengaluru
BJP’s ‘greed for power’ put democracy at risk, Mayawati lashes out at recent political developments
BSP chief Mayawati on Saturday that BJP's greed for power has put "democracy at risk".She was referring to the political developments in Goa, Manipur, Bihar, Gujarat and UP .“The political developments in Goa, Manipur, Bihar and now in Gujarat and UP  are proof enough that the Modi Govt  has put democracy at risk,” she said in a statement.“BJP’s greed for power has turned into lust for power.. the manner in which the official machinery and power is being misused is most condemnable,” she said.The BSP chief said the central Govt  had misused its power in a very blatant manner in Gujarat following which MLAs have been forced to leave their state and move to a safer place. southlive
 ‘Vande Mataram!’ ‘Jai Hind!’ ‘Go to Pakistan!’: MLA vs MLA outside the Maharashtra Assembly
AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan and BJP MLA Raj Purohit allowed a conflict of ideas to escalate into a shouting match outside the Maharashtra Assembly this week.In the video above, Purohit is heard insisting on the usage of “Vande Mataram” to which Pathan responds by shouting, “Jai Hind!” and “Hindustan Zindabad.” Towards the end of the clip, both leaders end up incoherently screaming out their preferred slogans. BJP MLA then tells AIMIM leader that if he has a problem with saying “Vande Mataram”, he should “go to Pakistan.”This ugly spat took place after Madras High Court ruled that Vande Mataram must be played in all schools, colleges and universities in the state at least once a week.The Hindustan Times reported that Purohit has demanded that this rule be imposed in all schools and colleges of Maharashtra, while Pathan and Abu Asim Azmi of the Samajwadi Party have reportedly said that such a move is “against their religion”. scroll
Mumbai: Rajasthan Hindu Sena activists threatens to kill SP neta Farhan Azmi, actor wife Ayesha Takia
Mumbai: Rajasthan Hindu Sena activists have threatened to kill the youth president of the Maharashtra unit of Samajwadi Party, Farhan Azmi, his wife actor Ayesha Takia, son and even his legislator father Abu Asim Azmi.The Hindu Sena activists called up Farhan on Monday night and made the threats. “Ask your father Abu Azmi to stop shouting like an animal else he will be bumped off. Also tell the son of #$% (sic) Owaisi that he too will not be spared,” Farhan claimed. When Farhan tried to downplay the warning, the caller threatened him for marrying Bollywood actor Ayesha Takia, a Hindu. “You all are animals. Have you forgotten that you have indulged in Love Jihad by marrying a Hindu girl?” the callers reportedly told Farhan. Sources said that Farhan told the callers that if marrying a Hindu girl was a problem, they should move court or meet him personally. “This is a personal matter. Kindly reveal your name, name of the organisation, before you go any further,” Farhan told them. The Rajasthan Hindu Sena seemed unhappy with Azmi’s stand on Azaan. Freepressjournal
Minhaj Khan. RJD leader close to Shahabuddin shot dead in Bihar’s Siwan
Patna: Unidentified gunmen shot dead a youth leader of the RJD in north Bihar’s Siwan district in the wee hours of Saturday, three days after a JD(U)-BJP govt assumed charge in the state. Police said Minhaj Khan was asleep at his house at Sheikhpura village in Basantpur police station area, 158 km north of Patna, when gunmen opened fire at him around 3am. Khan was district general secretary of the RJD Yuva Morcha and was a close aide of controversial former MP Mohammad Shahabudin, a Siwan strongman who is convicted in many criminal cases.Khan’s family members accused criminal Raju Khan and his accomplices of plotting the murder.hindustantimes
Bajrang Dal, VHP volunteers given arms training in Assam: Congress
New Delhi: Congress has alleged that arms training is being provided to Bajrang Dal and VHP volunteers in Assam to terrorise it and demanded action against those “practising this without a valid licence”.Assam Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ripun Bora said that as part of their organisational work in the state, 2 right-wing outfits were imparting arms and lethal weapon training to their members in Geeta Ashram, in Hojai. He also alleged that the VHP’s women wing volunteers ‘Durga Vahini’ were also imparted with such training in Nalbari.PTI
J&K  &  PAK - CHINA
If Article 35A tinkered with, there would be no one in Kashmir to hold tricolour: Mehbooba Mufti
New Delhi:If special rights and privileges to the people of J&K  are tinkered with, then there would be no one in the state to hold the tricolour, CM Mehbooba Mufti warned. She said, on the one hand, “we talk about resolving the Kashmir issue under the framework of the Constitution and on the other hand we flog it”. “Who is doing it? Why are they doing it? (challenging the Article 35A). Let me tell you that my party and other parties who carry the national flag there (in J&K ) despite all risks… I have no doubt in saying that there will be no one to hold it (national flag) (if it is tinkered),” she said at an event here. Mehbooba went on to add, “Let me be very clear. By doing all this (challenging Article 35A), you are not targeting the separatists. Their (separatists) agenda is different and it is totally secessionist.”“But, you are weakening those powers which are Indian and trust India and participate in elections and who fight to live a life honourably in J&K . This is one of the problem,” she said. In 2014, an NGO had filed a writ petition seeking the striking down of Article 35 A. The case is pending in the Supreme Court. Mehbooba said Kashmir is an idea of India. “The basic question is how much is the idea of India ready to accommodate the idea of Kashmir? This is the basic crux,” she said. She recounted how during Partition, Kashmir, even being a Muslim majority state defied the two-nation theory and the divisive separation on grounds of religion and aligned with India. “There have been special provisions in the Constitution of India for the state of J&K . Unfortunately, with the passage of time something happened somewhere that both sides started doing dishonesty.”Both the sides, she said while indicating towards the Centre and the state, may be became more greedy and the state had to suffer for the last 70 years. “Rather than addressing the problem, we took administrative measures like dismissal of Govt or making charges of conspiracy, sedition…we had all these things against separatists which at times led to their hangings, weapons exclusive to Kashmir and more security measures and increasing number of security people.“These administrative measures have not helped us to address the idea of Kashmir…,” Mufti said.PTI
'Don't tamper with Article 35A, else there will be repercussions', says J-K CM  Mehboob Mufti
BJP unhappy with Mehbooba Mufti’s flag remarks
Jammu: Article 370 was incorporated in Indian Constitution as a temporary provision. It (Article 35-A and Article 370) is not a sacred cow that cannot be touched, said BJP spokesperson. Expressing shock and surprise over its ally and J&K CM  Mehbooba Mufti’s flag remarks, the BJP asserted that Article 35-A of the Constitution which grants special status to the State is “not a sacred cow that cannot be touched“.State unit of BJP said that while the party stands by the Agenda of Alliance with PDP and won’t seek alteration of existing constitutional position,“it is equally true that Article 35-A has done more harm to the State than any other provision of law.”PTI
To debate J-K’s special status is to play with fire: Omar
New Delhi: Those seeking a debate on the special status accorded to J&K  are “playing with fire” as the issue is linked to the state’s accession to India, ex-CM  Omar Abdullah said today.His remarks came after Attorney General K K Venugopal recently told the Supreme Court that the NDA Govt  wanted a “larger debate” on Article 35A which provides special rights and privileges to the people of J&K .“How can you debate special status of J&K  without debating accession? You can’t. They are two sides of the same coin. J-K acceded to India on the special status that was granted to it,” Omar said. He said the BJP needs to understand that the outfits which are bringing this up are “playing with fire”.PTI
Engagement is key, need to have dialogue to address misconceptions: Pak  envoy Abdul Basit on Kashmir issue
New Delhi:Raking up the Kashmir issue on Saturday, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said that whatever India and Pakistan decide, if it doesn’t find resonance with the people of the state it’s useless. Basit said: “We need to see how we can work out a solution which is in sync with aspirations of people of J&K.” He further added: “What we need is to have a dialogue process in place to address perceptions and misconceptions. Engagement is the key. Dialogues are a necessity.”indianexpress
‘Who’s getting benefit from Kashmir conflict? It’s RSS, Pakistan and China’: Rahul Gandhi in Jagdalpur
New Delhi: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi slammed PM Narendra Modi on Saturday saying he gives long speeches on corruption but he can’t see the corruption of the Chhattisgarh CM. Congress vice-president was addressing a rally in Chhattisgarh’s Jagdalpur when he referred to the state CM  Raman Singh and his family’s name appearing in Panama Papers controversy. “Pak PM had to resign as his name was in Panama papers, Chhattisgarh CM & family’s name was also in it, but no action taken,” said Gandhi. Talking about Nawaz Sharif’s resignation from his post of PM, Gandhi said, “Nawaz Sharif resigned because his name appeared in Panama Papers. Here, CM and his family’s names have appeared in Panama papers. People in Pak, where law doesn’t work, have resigned, but this wont happen in Chhattisgarh.” indianexpress
India can meet any challenge: Union minister Singh on al-Qaeda in J&K
Jammu: Union minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday played down reports of former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Musa being named as the head of al-Qaeda’s cell in J&K , saying India is capable of meeting any challenge. Islamist terror group al-Qaeda had on Thursday officially announced the establishment of its unit in J&K , naming Zakir Musa as its chief in the troubled state.The announcement was made by the Global Islamic Media Front, the media wing of al-Qaeda and its allied jihadist groups across the world. “I think Kashmir today and India today is much more awakened than ever before. India is capable of meeting any challenge,” Minister of State in the PMO Singh said here while responding to a question on al-Qaeda’s new cell in Kashmir.PTI
Hizb’s aim political, unlike al-Qaeda; Omar Abdullah
New Delhi: Former J&K  CM  Omar Abdullah on Saturday said the aim of the Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest militant group in the state, was “political” and not Islamist like the al-Qaeda.“I think we need to understand that the largest militant organisation operating in the valley today is still the Hizbul Mujahideen. It is made up of predominantly Kashmiri youngsters. Their aim is political. Their aim is to remove Kashmir as a part of India, and not Zakir Musa’s Al Qaeda-driven aim,” Abdullah said at a meet here on Kashmir.IANS
No space for IS, al Qaeda: Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin
Srinagar: Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin warned “defeatist elements”, who want to “launch Daesh (IS) like organisation in J&K ”. He said there is no space for any international organisation “like Daesh (IS) and al Qaeda” in the state. “…some of our people, playing into the hands of our enemy, are trying to disrupt unity between people and the leadership and are trying to harm (our movement). We want to make it clear to them that they will not gain anything,” he said in a video statement in an apparent reference to Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind’s statement naming former Hizbul Commander Zakir Musa as its leader.“I, for the last time, appeal to these elements, who are trying to start this new game that they should stay away from this confusing, disuniting and damaging effort,’’ he said without naming anyone. “The elements, whom we know, are intentionally or unintentionally playing into the hands of the enemy and trying to create confusion and rift.”He added that “freedom loving people are misguided and confusion is created among them” in the name of shariah and martyrdom. “This is like serving the interests of the enemy,’’ he said.Salahuddin said they have “credible reports that that Indian imperialist power is trying its last weapon’’. He claimed that they want to launch a Daesh like organisation in J&K with the help of paid agents.He insisted that their movement is fully indigenous and has no global agenda.“Neither there is need nor space for any international organisation whether it is Daesh, al Qaeda or any other outfit,’’ he said. He asked the people to remain vigilant and to support militants fighting the “Indian rule”. “I appeal the people of my nation, especially the youths, that they should remain vigilant of the conspiracies of India and keep their relations intact with organisation fighting against the Indian army. (They should) not become part of any global agenda,” he said. He said that they want to make is clear that their movement stands on three pillars: Islam, unity and freedom. Separately, police sources said that they cannot authenticate veracity of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind’s statement circulated through WhatsApp that claimed Musa to be its leader.indianexpress
What you wear can be fatal; Tribunal grants bail to army men convicted in fake encounter because they killed youths clad in Pathani suits
 In its bail order which was accessed by the media, the tribunal, said, “Fact that the accused persons were terrorists… cannot be ruled out because they were wearing Pathani suits which are worn by terrorists.”Notably, the Pathani or Pathan suit is a common men’s clothing across Kashmir. 3 Kashmiri civilians Reyaz Ahmad Lone (20), Shahzad Ahmad Khan (27), and Mohammad Shafi (29) were shot dead in a fake encounter in 2010, which is known the Machil fake encounter. Later, investigations found the three were lured with the promise of jobs to an army camp in Kupwara where they were shot dead by soldiers looking to claim a reward for killing militants. An army court had sentenced six soldiers.Armed Forces Tribunal on Wednesday suspended the life sentences given to five of the accused — Colonel Dinesh Pathania, Captain Upendra, Havildar Devinder and Lance Naiks Arun Kumar and Lakhmi — and also given bail. The sixth convict, rifleman Abbas Hussain Shah of the Territorial Army, was already on bail.The tribunal further stated that they believed the three young men were not civilians because they had ventured too close to the frontier between India and Pakistan, which is often used by militants to travel between the two countries.“There was absolutely no justification for a civilian to be present at such a forward formation near LoC, that too during the night when infiltration from across the border was high,” the order was quoted by the Hindustan Times.The verdict was shocking for the family. Kin of the deceased said they would kill themselves if the convicts are not put behind the bars.“They (Indian Army) should have come and killed us all instead of bailing them out. We came to tell the Govt  that we will kill ourselves if these people are not put behind bars,” Reyaz’s father Mohammad Yasuf Lone said. southlive
‘Terrorists wear Pathan suits’: How tribunal justified bail for Machil soldiers
Justification for Bail in Macchil Encounter Case Scary: Omar Abdullah
Srinagar: Omar Abdullah on Saturday termed as “unbelievably scary” the "justification" for the Armed Forces Tribunal decision’s to grant bail to 5 army personnel convicted in the 2010 Macchil fake encounter case.“They wore Pathan suits, which are worn by terrorists...What an unbelievably scary justification. You can be killed for what you wear!” Abdullah wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter. news18
Media not allowed entry in Mirwaiz’s home for press conference
Srinagar:Police did not allow mediapersons to enter the residence of Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for a proposed press conference earlier today.A posse of policemen were deployed outside Mirwaiz’s residence in Nigeen area here and concertina wires were laid on either side of the lane.Police told the journalists that since Mirwaiz was under house arrest, no one was allowed to meet him.PTI
NSA Ajit Doval, Xi meet, but fail to break Doklam logjam
Beijing: NSA Ajit Doval's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping+ did not yield any breakthrough that could end the current standoff in Doklam. Analysts, however, said the cool off in the recent weeks may give leaders enough time to find a solution.Doval met Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior officials on Friday at the summit of Brics NSAs in the Chinese capital.There has only been a slight improvement of the situation that prevailed after Chinese leaders insisted for weeks that there could be no meaningful dialogue until Indian troops withdraw from their positions at the disputed site in Doklam.There is little possibility of Xi going back on the demand that Indian troops must withdraw ahead of the celebrations of the 90th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army on August 1, a Chinese analyst said."At best, the high level of belligerence can be allowed to taper off, giving leaders enough time to find a solution. But even this is not easy because there are hawkish voices on both sides," a Chinese analyst said, requesting anonymity. Timesofindia
OTHER
Palestinian ambassador hopes India follows principles, not just interests while strengthening ties with Israel
Hyderabad:Palestine’s Ambassador to India Adnan Abu Alhaija on Saturday hoped India will follow principles and not just interests while strengthening ties with Israel.“I hope this country will follow principles not only interests. I do understand their interests but hope they follow the principles at the same time,” he said while hinting that India’s attitude on Palestine has undergone some change since the times of Mahatma Gandhi.“Mahatma Gandhi used to say this openly and it was quoted by former President Pranab Mukherjee during his visit to Palestine. Palestine is to Palestinians like Britain is to British.” Ambassador was talking to reporters on the sidelines of an all-party meet organised by Indo-Arab League to express solidarity with Palestinians and to condemn the “Israeli atrocities”. Alhaija hoped there will never be any change in India’s stand on Palestine.Replying to a query, he felt India should have reacted to last week’s developments in the wake of Israel’s “act of provocation” at Al-Alqsa mosque in Jerusalem.He noted that India historically supported the Palestinian cause but in 1992, New Delhi started diplomatic relations and built them in subsequent years.“This time there is good relations between the two PMs,” he remarked referring to the recent visit by PM  Narendra Modi to Israel.Palestinian ambassador, however, said they were not upset over Modi’s visit.He hoped that India will use its relations with Israel to find a solution the Palestinian problem, saying it was central to the peace in the region and the world.He also did not agree that Modi not visiting Palestine indicated change in India’s stand on Palestine.“I discussed with the Indian officials who told me that we deal with Palestine as an independent country and not as a tail to Israel. (India’s Minister of State for External Affairs) M.J. Akbar visited Palestine but he did not go to Israel.”Alhaija termed as ‘sad’ India’s move to abstain at UNESCO when it declared Al-Aqsa mosque compound to be uniquely Muslim. He pointed out that the items imported by Palestine from India constitute a small portion as majority of the products were registered with Israeli companies and go to Israel. Palestine and India were working to find a solution.He also slammed the “blatant attempt by Israel” for Judaisation of the Al-Aqsa mosque.He said the world community should keep an eye on Israel’s actions, which has the potential to embroil the entire region into a mess.Stating that Israel must rein in Jewish settlers, Alhaijaa said Palestinians, both Christians and Muslims, can never allow their holy sites to be desecrated and destroyed.Earlier, an all-party meeting organized by Indo-Arab League condemned “Israeli atrocities on Palestinians”.IANS,
India is world’s third-biggest beef exporter and will remain the same for the next decade: FAO report
At a time the BJP-led Govt s in the Centre and the states are embarked on a crackdown spree on beef, a report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation (OECD) revealed that India is the world’s third-biggest exporter of beef and is projected to hold on to that position over the next decade.OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026 report released this week, said that India exported 1.56 million tonnes of beef last year and was expected to maintain “its position as the third-largest beef exporter, accounting for 16 %  of global exports in 2026” by exporting 1.93 tonnes that year.The type of beef exported was not specified, but the meat exported appeared to be mostly from buffaloes as the report specified the animal for imports by Myanmar from India. According to the OECD database, India imported 363,000 tonnes of beef last year and the amount was projected to stay the same over the decade. southlive
India is world’s third-biggest beef exporter: FAO report
Gau rakshaks on the rise: MP mob targets Muslim women over beef rumour, 27th attack this year
The video shows 2 Muslim women being slapped, kicked and abused for nearly half an hour by a mob of cow vigilantes, as police stand by. “Gau mata ki jai! (hail mother cow),” the attackers scream, as onlookers–one of whom filmed the video–watch but do not intervene. After the attack, reported by NDTV on July 27, 2017, the two women were arrested on suspicion of carrying beef, which is banned. Police later said it was buffalo meat, carrying which is not banned. The women were charged for trading meat without a permit. No action was taken against the attackers, the report said.The attack on the two women in the town of Mandsaur in western MP was the 26th in 118 days since 55-year-old Pehlu Khan died after a mob attack on April 1, 2017, bringing the count to 27 cases of cow-related violence in seven months this year, the most in eight years, according to an IndiaSpend database that records such violence in India. We have now recorded as many as 70 cases of cow-related violence over eight years.Created through a collection and content analysis of reports in the English media–which tend to have greatest spread of national news–database shows that 97% (68 of 70) of such incidents were reported after Modi’s Govt  came to power in May 2014.Over half or 54% of the cow-related violence–38 of 70 cases–were from states governed by BJP, when the attacks were reported, revealed our analysis of violence recorded until July 27, 2017. hindustantimes
MP Mob Attacks Muslim Women Over Beef Rumour; 27th Attack in 2017, Most In 8 Years
‘If we send them to Gujarat, it will create problems’, bizarre logic of a recruiting company to deny job to Muslims
Two Engineering Graduates from Jamia Millia Islamia alleged that a Noida based-recruitment company has denied permission to them to sit for an interview for an NTPC off-role firm. The consultancy JDVL Group was hunting engineers for a Gujarat-based company MBL Thermal and Hydro Power plant. The youths, Motassir Hassan and Abu Noman, both from New Delhi, told SouthLive that when they went for an interview at the consultancy on 26 July after receiving a mail from them, the youths were told that they are ineligible for the post because of their Muslim identity. The young engineers also alleged that they were told that the recruitment firm has “orders from the top” to not recruit” Muslims for NTPC Gujarat. “We went to the company after receiving a mail. After looking into our resume, the woman who was looking after the recruitment, directly told us that ‘we will not recruit’ Muslims,” Abu Noman told SouthLive.“I asked her why and she responded that they have ‘instructions from above,” Motassir Hasan added.
JNU Student Allegedly Beaten by CISF Personnel at Rajiv Chowk Metro Station
New Delhi: A JNU student has alleged that Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel beat him at Rajiv Chowk metro station on Thursday evening, abusing him for his beard and wearing kurta, and for being from JNU.In an account of the incident that he published on his Facebook page, Aman Sinha, a second-year MA history student, said that he was first stopped by CISF because he went through the security check with his headphones on (commuters aren’t allowed to use mobile phones during the security check). The guard, Sinha says, was “despotic” in the way he handled the situation – while most people are let off with a warning, he was told to go to the back of the rush-hour queue. According to what Sinha told the Telegraph, a different guard waved him towards the platform as passengers behind him were getting angsty about the delay. He was waiting at the other end of the security check for his sister, still in the women’s queue, when the angry guard came up to him and started yelling. He asked him his name and where he was from – when he said ‘Aman’ and ‘a student from JNU’, he said their anger increased and the other guards too started yelling at him.The Wire
JNU Student's Union skip meet in protest
New Delhi: The tussle between administration and members of the JNU's Student's Union continued on Friday when 3 members of the union refused to enter the meeting called by the administration "to discuss student-related issues".Members of the union claimed that they did not attend the meeting to protest the fact that their president was "physically stopped" by the guards assembled at the venue.The administration said that Mohit Pandey, JNUSU president, was not invited after he failed to pay the fine levied on him and missed out on getting registered for the monsoon session, thereby losing his position as a student of JNU. timesofindia
Man chased, beaten to death on railway platform in Delhi; no one comes to rescue
New Delhi:A resident of Jahangirpuri in north Delhi, Rahul worked as a loader at the wholesale vegetable market in Azadpur. 3 men chased a 20-year-old youngster for several hundred metres before beating him to death on the main platform of the busy Adarsh Nagar railway station in north Delhi even as no one came to his rescue.At least 50 passengers and vendors stood and watched as the three men rained punches and kicks on Rahul’s head, chest and private parts. The three could have easily gotten away after the murder but for a head constable who decided to take on the killers and nab them.While Rahul could never live to tell his story, the killers have claimed in police interrogation that they were chasing Rahul as he had allegedly snatched Rs 20,000 from one of their hands. No cash, however, was found on Rahul’s body or pockets after his murder. hindustantimes

Modi’s war on independent media: Now NDTV asked to pay Rs 429 Cr immediately, sinister move, says channel
"Law is taking its own course and there is no witch hunt against anyone at all as this Govt  does not believe in interfering"; This was the immediate response of I&B Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu when NDTV raised witch-hunt allegations against it by BJP Govt  following CBI raids on the news channel.However, the recent developments in the case suggest that, apart from law taking its own course, there is a push from the part of Modi Govt  to 'intimidate and paralyze' the channel.In an apparent act of witch-hunt, the Income Tax Department on Thursday demanded the channel to pay a whopping amount of Rs. 429 crores "immediately now”.This is the first time in the country a channel is being asked to pay such a huge amount as fine without any notice period.In a statement published on its website, NDTV called the move a 'sinister' one.“ Income Tax Dept's letter, sent today, says NDTV has to pay the amount "immediately now" (sic!).A demand for immediate payment without any notice period is unheard of and smacks of sinister motives by the IT Department”, the statement reads. southlive
‘Immediate’ tax demand of rs 429 crore is blatantly unlawful: NDTV
Ram Temple-Babri Masjid case: UP  Shia Central Waqf Board to move court seeking to be made party to dispute
Lucknow: UP Shia Central Waqf Board (UPSCWB) has decided to stake claim to the disputed Babri mosque and move relevant courts seeking that it be made a party in the ongoing litigations related to the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute. Chairman Wasim Rizvi said that the Shia board will seek review of a court order quashing its petition challenging the registration of the Babri mosque by Sunni board under its name in 1944. In the two-day meeting of the Board which ended yesterday, the members authorised Rizvi to take a decision on the process to be adopted for intervening in the court case related to Ayodhya issue. The board members are of the view that the Waqf Masjid Mir Baqi, popularly known as Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, was a Shia mosque built during the reign of Babur by Mir Baqi who was a Shia from Persia, Wasim Rizvi said. “Going by this fact it was always a Shia mosque…only the Imam and Muezzins of the mosque were Sunnis who were paid their due by the Shia Mutawwali. Namaz was offered by both Shia and Sunnis,” Rizvi claimed. In 1944, the Sunni board registered the mosque under its name which was challenged in court by the Shia board in 1945, he said.PTI
BJP’s new move in UP; Shia Waqf Board makes claim on Babri Masjid
SC seeks report from Maharashtra on removal of squatters near Haji Ali dargah
New Delhi: Supreme Court on Friday asked the Maharashtra Govt to apprise it within two weeks about the progress made by it in demolishing encroachments near the Haji Ali shrine in Mumbai. A bench comprising Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud also asked the Haji Ali Dargah Trust (HADT) to seize the opportunity to beatify the shrine by offering help in removal of encroachments. “We had stayed the demolition with regard to the ‘masjid’ and tell us what you (Maharashtra) have done with regard to other encroachments,” the bench said and asked the state Govt  to submit the report along with the site plan and photographs within two weeks.The state Govt , which was earlier asked to take a decision on the plea for regularisation of the Kinara mosque located near the Haji Ali shrine, sought three months time for taking a decision. Some portion of the mosque is allegedly on the encroached land. The bench said that it would take up this aspect later.PTI
BJP MPs flay Cong, demand probe into Samjhauta Express blast & Saffron terror row
New Delhi: The controversial Samjhauta Express blast and the issue of  ‘saffron terror’ figured prominently in the Lok Sabha today with 2 BJP Members demanding a thorough probe into it and made a veiled attack on UPA regime for misusing the Govt  agencies and machineries under the Home Ministry.Amreli MP from Gujarat Naranbhai Bhikhabhai Kachhadiya and Rajendra Agrawal from Meerut in UP raised the issue during Zero Hour and alleged that the official agencies were abused during the Congress-led UPA regime. Agrawal said,“…..it is a matter of concern that even official agencies were abused and people in power stood with the anti-national elements to draw political mileage”.Referring to media reports wherein narco-analysis interrogation of Safdar Nagori shows the former SIMI chief admitting on tape that Samjhauta Express blasts were carried out by those trained in Pakistan, he said an Indian army official Lt Colonel Shrikant Purohit has been “falsely implicated” in the case. He told Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who was on the Chair, that she would not be happy to note that a SIMI operative Adbul Razzak, who is said to have been involved in the crime, hails from Indore – the Parliamentary constituency of Ms Mahajan. Lawmaker from Amreli Naranbhai Bhikhabhai Kachhadiya said it is unfortunate that the phrase ‘saffron terror’ was deliberately brought in and even Swami Aseemanand,ex-RSS activist also falsely implicated. Both the Members demanded that there was a need to take a fresh look at the case. Congress Member Rajeev Satav strongly objected to certain observations from the BJP Members. dailyexcelsior
Zakir Naik now a proclaimed offender, his assets to be attached: NIA
New Delhi: NIA has declared the Zakir Naik as a proclaimed offender, PTI reported. His assets will also be attached said the investigative agency. On July 19, the Regional Passport Office of Mumbai revoked the passport of the founder of Islamic Research Foundation. Naik is wanted in connection with cases of alleged terror funding.According to a PTI report, the order to declare Naik a proclaimed offender was issued recently by a special court in Mumbai. Eventually, process of attachment of his assets under section 83 of CrPC has been initiated. indianexpress
Evidence against Purohit, not Pragya Thakur in Malegaon blast: NIA
New Delhi: NIA told the Supreme Court there were "several incriminating circumstances" against accused Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, which proved his "deep involvement and complicity" in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.NIA, however, told a bench comprising Justices R K Agarwal and M M Shantanagoudar it had not found "sufficient evidence" to prosecute accused Pragya Singh Thakur in the case.In an affidavit filed in the apex court on a plea by Purohit, who is seeking bail, the NIA said it had not objected to bail being granted to Thakur as it had not found sufficient evidence against her."It is not correct to say that the high court erred in ignoring the doctrine of parity by granting bail to the coaccused Pragya Singh Thakur," it said.The doctrine of parity was not applicable "since there are several incriminating circumstances" against Purohit which prove "his deep involvement and complicity in the crime", the NIA claimed.The SC sought a response from the Maharashtra Govt on a plea challenging the Bombay High Court's order granting bail to Thakur and listed the matter for a hearing on August 14, along with Purohit's bail plea.In its affidavit, NIA said during the probe it examined some defence personnel and their statements were referred to in the charge sheet.Nisar Ahmed Haji Sayed Bilal, the father of one of the blast victims, has sought a stay on the high court's April 25 order granting bail to Thakur. The court had granted her the relief saying there was "no prima facie evidence against her".The high court, however, had refused bail to Purohit.PTI 
Malegaon blast: SC seeks NIA response over plea to cancel Pragya Thakur’s bail
5 year jail for Bengaluru man working for Islamic State
Shimla:An NIA court has sentenced an ISIS suspect from Bengaluru to 5 years in jail.Special judge Virender Singh also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on Abid Khan alias Abu Mohammad. Khan, who was living in a church in Banjar area of Kullu district using the fake name of Paul C Neo, was arrested by an NIA team in Dec. 2016.PTI
CPI (M) makes a foray into Islamic banking in Kerala with Halal Fayidah
In Kerala, Islamic finance is a mission that has hitherto remain unaccomplished for several Muslim organisations and State Govt. Practical impediments deterred them from smoothly running Islamic banking. But the Kannur district unit of CPI(M) has made a foray into the Sharia compliant finance and started raising investment. The financial enterprises will function as a cooperative institution in party’s largest stronghold in Kerala. Named Halal Fayidah, the interest-free cooperative financial enterprise is aimed at mainly drawing Muslim investors who are hesitant to become part of banking due to a ban on interest by Islam. Besides, it will help the party strengthen its hold in the cooperative sector. Ranging from bank to beedi company, CPIM has added hundreds of cooperative institutions to its credit in Kannur district.Shajar Mohammed, DYFI leader and chief promoter of Halal Fayidah, said they were getting non-Muslim investors too.The party is mainly eyeing investments from expatriate businessmen in Kerala.“We are getting a good response from the expatriate community and they are keen to support us,” Shajar said.TwoCircles
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad ‘attacked in jail’; outfit cries foul
Leaders of Dalit resistant group Bhim Army has alleged that its Chief Chandrashekhar Azad was attacked in jail. The leaders have also threatened to launch a massive agitation and held a protest outside the office of DM on Friday and demanded a probe in the issue.They have also submitted a memorandum to administrative officials and demanded necessary action and an unbiased investigation into their charges.“We demand an independent probe in the issue and immediate medical help to him in the jail,” Bhim Army’s organisational in charge of rural Saharanpur Satish Gautam also said. southlive
Hyderabad: SIO to teach life skills to students
Hyderabad:This year, apart from career guidance, Students Islamic Organisation is focussed on working with schools students to make them more socially aware.Recently launched Education Development Campaign seeks to reach out to as many schools as possible in Telangana. SIO's new education dept, which studies educational policies and provides critical input, is working on the campaign. It has claimed to have reached as many as 150 schools, that is, 20,000 students. TOI
PAKISTAN
Pakistan PM: Shahbaz brother of ousted Sharif lined up to take over; Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to serve as interim PM
The brother of ousted Pakistani leader Nawaz Sharif has been lined up to take over as PM. The ruling PML-N anointed Shahbaz Sharif but he will first have to be elected to the National Assembly. Former petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will serve as interim PM.Nawaz Sharif stepped down on Friday following a decision by the Supreme Court to disqualify him from office over corruption allegations.The ruling came after an investigation into his family's wealth following the leak of the Panama Papers in 2015, which linked Mr Sharif's children to offshore companies.If Shahbaz Sharif, 65, is to take over, he must quit as governor of Punjab province and then win a by-election into parliament, which should take 45 days.Pakistan's Dawn newspaper said that Shahbaz Sharif's ascension to the PM 's office was "considered to be a foregone conclusion".Nawaz Sharif stepped down after five judges reached a unanimous verdict on Friday.The court's ruling stated that Sharif had been dishonest in not disclosing his earnings from a Dubai-based company in his nomination papers during the 2013 general election. Court recommended anti-corruption cases against several individuals, including Sharif, his daughter Maryam and her husband Safdar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and others.Sharif, who was serving as PM  for a record third time, was less than a year away from becoming the first in Pakistani history to complete a full term in office. The Panama Papers leaks in April 2016 revealed that 3 of Sharif's children owned offshore companies and assets not shown on his family's wealth statement. But allegations of corruption have dogged Sharif since the 1980s. Much of what the Panama Papers revealed was the subject of a federal inquiry in the mid-1990s.BBC
Nawaz Sharif's brother Shahbaz to succeed him as PM, Abbasi to take over in interim
Abbasi to be interim Pak PM, Shahbaz Sharif to eventually succeed Nawaz Sharif
‘Pak disqualified PM, Why no inquiry on Indians named in Panama papers?’ citizens express their exasperation on social media
After Pakistan PM  Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by Supreme Court, questions are being raised from many quarters on what steps Indian Govt  has taken to unearth the alleged illegal assets of Indian politicians and celebrities stashed abroad.Film stars Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,DLF owner K P Singh and nine members of his family are the prominent figures featured in the Panama Papers.Politicians Shishir Bajoria from West Bengal and Anurag Kejriwal from New Delhi, Gautam Adani’s elder brother Vinod Adani, promoters of Apollo Tyres and Indiabulls and several other millionaires had also been featured in the list. southlive
aL aQSA mosque & PALESTINE
'We won': Al-Aqsa Mosque reopened to all Palestinians
Thousands of Palestinians have re-entered al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, after Israeli authorities lifted an age restriction it had placed earlier on Friday. The Islamic Waqf religious authority that administers the compound announced that all gates would be opened to Palestinians of all ages.Earlier in the day, Israeli police prevented access to the holy shrine for men under the age of 50 and closed some of the compound's gates.The announcement came just a few hours before Friday prayers began. Thousands of men prayed in the streets and just outside compound's gates. According to religious officials, 10,000 worshippers made their way inside al-Aqsa Mosque compound for noon prayers. aljazeera
10,000 Palestinians pray at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque
Israel opens all gates of Al-Aqsa without restrictions
Aqsa preacher Sabri slams Arab leaders for attributing Aqsa victory to themselves
O.Jerusalem, (PIC)Aqsa preacher, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, said on Friday that Palestinians are the ones who achieved al-Aqsa victory.Sheikh Sabri criticized some Arab leaders for attributing the victory to themselves, stressing that Palestinians, who decided to do their duties toward al-Aqsa Mosque and protested at its gates, are the real reason behind the victory. Sabri, head of the Supreme Islamic Council in Palestine since 1997, told al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper that the people of Jerusalem as well as the Palestinian crowds coming from the West Bank and the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories were able to force Israel to remove the metal detectors and cameras and reopen the Mosque. He stressed the importance of preserving the Islamic identity of al-Aqsa Mosque, rejecting Israel's sovereignty claims over the holy site.
Protesters call for ending Jordan peace treaty with Israel
Protesters gathered near the Israeli Embassy in the Jordanian capital Amman today angry that an Israeli embassy guard who shot dead a Jordanian had been granted diplomatic immunity and returned to Israel.Reuters reported that around 200 people had assembled peacefully in the vicinity of the embassy. Scores chanted “Death to Israel” and called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and scrapping of the peace treaty with Israel.A heavy Jordanian police presence had sealed off the area around the embassy so the protesters gathered nearby. On Sunday an embassy guard shot dead Jordanian teenager Mohammad Jawawdah as well as the landlord of the house in the compound where the guard lived. middleeastmonitor
Turks rally in Istanbul in support for Palestinians, Al-Aqsa
A rally was held in Istanbul on Friday to show solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle against Israeli restrictions on Al-Aqsa Mosque.The rally in Sarachane Park in Istanbul’s district was held jointly by the Confederation of Public Servants Trade Unions (Memur-Sen), Genc Hareket (Young Movement), Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), Anadolu Ogrenci Birligi (Anatolia Students’ Union) and Turkey Youth Foundation (TUGVA). Ramazan Kayan from Anatolia Students’ Union said al-Quds is a source of pride and honor for Turkey, and “people in Turkey share the grief and pain of Palestinian people”. middleeastmonitor
Turkey, Israel agree to stop Twitter war of words
Officials at the Turkish and Israeli foreign ministries have recently agreed to stop the arguments and accusations that the two ministries exchanged via Twitter over the recent event at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth news site reported today that the two ministries’ exchange of accusations intensified to trigger increased tension, which could have resulted in both countries recalling their ambassadors for consultation. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan criticised Israeli policies and practices in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa. Israeli foreign ministry responded with strongly-worded statements and remarks by its spokespersons.Yedioth Ahronoth said that Ishak Ibrahimzadeh, head of the Jewish community in Turkey, was among those who called for Turkish-Israeli reconciliation. He called on Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to intervene, because he “knows how to make peace” and end the escalation. middleeastmonitor
WORLD
UAE: We want secular Govt s, Qatar has to stop supporting Islamists
Ambassador of the UAE in Washington Yousef al-Utaiba said that the existence of leaderships of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Taliban in Doha is not a “coincidence,” agencies reported on Friday.In a TV interview, he said: “If you asked the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Bahrain what kind of Middle East they want to see in 10 years, they would have a view opposed to that of Qatar. We want strong, stable and prosperous secular govts.”He continued: “In the past 10 to 15 years, we saw Qatar supporting groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Taliban and the Islamic militias in Syria and Turkey. This is the opposite direction which we want the region to go.” The ambassador added: “They [Qatar] want more groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Taliban. I do not think it is a coincidence that Hamas leadership, Taliban embassy, Muslim Brotherhood leaders and a group of speakers at Aljazeera encouraging and justifying suicide bombings are based in Doha.”Concluding his remarks, he said that if Qatar is free to choose retention of this foreign policy and free to say no to the blockading countries’ demands. “Then, we have the right to say we do not want to maintain relations with it.” middleeastmonitor
Qatar accuses Saudi of politicising Hajj: aljazeera
Qatar has accused Saudi Arabia of politicising Hajj, claiming Riyadh has imposed restrictions on Qatari nationals planning to travel to Mecca for the annual Muslim pilgrimage. Qatar's NHRC said that Qatari citizens have been told they can only enter Saudi Arabia through two airports, and that they must travel via Doha to be allowed in. This would be challenging for Qataris who do not live in Doha, such as those studying abroad. NHRC said it has filed a complaint with the UN special rapporteur on freedom of belief and religion over the restrictions, which it said were in "stark violation of international laws and agreements that guarantee the right to worship".
Egypt hands life terms to 58 anti-coup activists
An Egyptian military court has handed over 70 people sentences ranging between seven to 25 years for committing violence after the 2013 military coup, according to the lawyer for the defendants.“The military court in Asyut Governorship [south] sentenced 58 civilians to life in prison after being convicted of storming and burning the Magaga Police Station in Minya Governorship,” Khaled Al-Koumi, a member of the defendants’ defence team, confirmed.“ Same court sentenced five defendants to 15 years in prison, 5 to 10 years, and two others to seven years,” he further added. middleeastmonitor
US tells Syrian opposition not to target Assad
A local Syrian group that was part of US-led coalition in Syria has left after being told that forces allied to the US had to focus exclusively on fighting Daesh and not fight against the Syrian regime.Militant group Shuhada Al-Qaretain which means “Martyrs Brigade of the two villages” left the coalition to carry out their own military operations.Their departure follows confirmation by the head of US Special Operations Command, General Tony Thomas, of a report that Trump administration had ended a classified CIA programme to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria. In a tweet on 25 July, US President Donald Trump had accused the Washington Post of fabricating the news that the funding had ended. middleeastmonitor
More than 830,000 still displaced around Iraq’s Mosul
More than 830,000 people — including nearly 140,00 families — remain displaced after the battle to retake the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, once a bustling city of over 1.4 million, a UN agency said Friday.“Since the beginning of the Mosul operations in October 2016, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) whose locations of displacement and/or return have been identified by the IOM Emergency Tracking for Mosul Operations (…) reached 178,952 families, corresponding to 1,073,712 individuals,” according to a new report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).The report said some 839,118 individuals (139,853 families) remain displaced in the aftermath of heavy fighting to retake Mosul.“Some 234,594 IDPs (39,099 families) have now returned [to Mosul], with an estimated 80 %  going back to their districts of origin in East Mosul,” the report added. middleeastmonitor
Mosul's bloodbath: 'We killed everyone - IS, men, women, children'
Mosul: Iraqi soldier looks out from his tiny 3-walled room across a wasteland of rubble that crumbles steeply down to the banks of the Tigris River, and contemplates the last days of the savage fight against the Islamic State (IS) group. "We killed them all," he says quietly. "Daesh, men, women and children. We killed everyone."What remains of this part of Mosul's Old City, where IS militants made their last stand, and what lies beneath betray the horrific final days of the battle. 'We killed them all. Daesh, men, women and children.We killed everyone'Hundreds of corpses lie half-buried in the broken masonry and rubble that was once a bustling, historic quarter. The stench of decaying flesh, which comes fast in the 50C summer heat, overwhelms the senses. Feet are the most distinguishable remains; there are many poking from the rubble. That final killing spree has left its mark, and it is one some appear keen to cover over. middleeastmonitor
N.Korea can now fire missiles at across US:experts
North Korea has the capability to “hit everything from LA to DC,” a leading missile and non-proliferation expert has claimed, and the US now must now “accept its vulnerability”.  Jeffrey Lewis, of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California, said the US had to adapt to a “new reality” and focus on reducing tensions with North Korea, also known as the DPRK, rather than using coercion against it. An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, was fired from Mupyong-ni, in the north of the DPRK on Friday evening, and landed within 200 nautical miles of the Japanese coast. The Independent.
Sri Lanka, China Sign $1.1 Billion Hambantota Port Deal
Colombo:  Sri Lanka has signed a US $1.1 billion deal to sell a 70 %  stake of the strategic Hambantota port to China, amid concerns over the massive debt the island nation incurred in building the port.The deal had been delayed by several months over concerns that the deep-sea port could be used by the Chinese navy.Cash-rich China has invested millions of dollars in Sri Lanka's infrastructure since the end of a brutal civil war in 2009.As part of the deal, the stake in the loss-making port has been sold to China's state-run conglomerate China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPort). The agreement was open for further amendments, he said. The deal may raise security concerns in India.The new provision is seen as an attempt to allay India's concerns over Chinese navy's possible presence in Sri Lanka. The port, overlooking the Indian Ocean, is expected to play a key role in China's Belt and Road initiative, which will link ports and roads between China and Europe. PTI
Rights commission to submit recommendations to Myanmar
A commission tasked with finding solutions to complicated issues in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state is scheduled to submit its final recommendations to the Govt  by mid-Aug. A member of the advisory commission led by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said on Saturday that they had been finalizing the report in Geneva for the past several weeks. Anadolu
FLASH: NEWS & VIEWS
How Shiva was transformed from a meat-loving deity to a vegetarian god: Ruchika Sharma
Bring out white paper on lynchings Rising parochialism threatens orderliness in India: Let us defend the real nationalism:Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood
Nitish Kumar's exit from Mahagathbandhan is likely to alienate Pasmanda Muslims in Bihar: Nalini R Mohanty
China's anger has to do with India building alliances with its adversaries in Asia, US:Praveen Swami
Nawaz Sharif ouster: India rewards Panama Papers accused as rest of the world punishes them:Suraj P Singh


 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:05 PM)


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