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01 August 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST
INDIA: EDUCATION & COMMUNALISM
New saffron schoolbook gets rid of Gandhi, Nehru, 331 yrs of Mughal rule but finds space for many right-wing heroes...claims Indian astronauts have been to moon!
A quiz book prepared by the ruling BJP to be used as the basic textbook to judge the general awareness of nearly 15 lakh schoolchildren in UP has removed Mahatma Gandhi from the list of India's great personalities.A chapter titled 'India's First' covers everything except the country's first PM, Jawaharlal Nehru. Revisionist exercise is part of a sweeping saffronisation project falling under the banner of the Pandit Deendayal Birth Centenary Celebration Committee. The group has organised a state-wide mega general knowledge quiz on August 20 for all school students from across the state, based on this new book. The contest will see participation of 100 schools from each district of UP. Mail Today reported on the party's plans on June 7. The state has 75 districts while BJP's internal geographical organisation of UP makes this tally 83. The book will be handed down along with the participation or registration form for the quiz.The book also claims that Indian astronauts have gone and come back from the moon.Nehru finds practically no mention in the 70-page booklet that is primarily woven around the life of right-wing ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay and his ideology of Integral Humanism.Gandhi is mentioned only in passing reference but not in relation to his contribution to the Independence movement. However, Sardar Patel's Bardoli Satyagraha is mentioned but only in opposition to Babasaheb Ambedkar.While Gandhi and Nehru have been kept out, those included in the great personalities list are VD Savarkar, RSS founder KB Hedgewar as well as Jan Sangh leader and ideologue Nanaji Deshmukh. It also includes tribal leader Birsa Munda, Sikh Guru Govind Singh and Madan Mohan Malviya from Varanasi, which is represented by PM Narendra Modi in Parliament.The life history of Ambedkar, incidentally, does not mention his role as Dalit redeemer or his conversion to Buddhism in his quest against Brahmanism.'Having said that, these personalities - Gandhi and Nehru - are not in need of some book to declare them heroes. Their contribution is well known,' said Congress leader RPN Singh.The book and the quiz, said member of the celebration committee and party spokesperson Chandra Mohan, would serve for a wide dissemination of the ideology of the BJP.Moreover, no Muslim - from the modern or the medieval times - finds mention in the list.However, the book quotes poet Muhammad Iqbal in reference to Indian nationalism, a person the right-wing has so far deprecated for having moved to Pakistan after Independence. While the medieval part of Indian history too is conspicuous by its absence, the ancient period has been characterised as one in which 'Varnashram Dharma, Purusharth and 16 Samsakaras were the ideal for all'. There are several references to 'foreign invaders' who 'corrupted' Indian culture and also fixes some of the blame on state broadcaster DD.'Afflictions of other cultures have crept into Indian culture owing to DD, cable TV…Corruption and inequality in India are diseases that came with foreign invaders in the past few centuries, otherwise they were absent in the days of Ashoka and Vikramaditya…'Only such instances of Muslim history have been mentioned in which either a Hindu king vanquished a Muslim king or had been the victim of torture and excess of some Muslim king. For instance, a question in the book says: 'Which Muslim invader was cut like carrot and radish by Maharaja Suheldev? Chapter on Indian economy starts only with 2014, when the BJP came to power at the Centre. Though it doesn't deal with much of Indian economy, it does point out that RSS wing Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh is the biggest workers' union in India.The chapter on current affairs is just a list of all the schemes and flagship programmes launched by PM Modi. DailyMail
Saffronisation project: No mention of Nehru, Mahatma in UP quiz book
CBSE UGC NET 2017: Students oppose suspension of entrance test for college teachers
Mumbai: Students have opposed the CBSE’s decision to skip UGC-NET for the first half of the year. The Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) has filed a petition in the Supreme Court (SC) asking CBSE to take back its decision to suspend the tests. It also wants the Govt  to conduct one more session in 2017 for students who are crossing the age limit.Those who aspire to be assistant professor or work as junior research fellow (JRF) in colleges and universities across the country are required to clear UGC-NET. The test is usually held twice every year - around months of June and Dec.In a July 11 notification, CBSE announced that the next UGC-NET exam will be held on Nov.5. The announcement came as a shock to teaching and research aspirants across the country who were anxiously waiting for the summer session of the test.SIO said that suspension will further accentuate shortage of qualified teachers in degree colleges. “Shortage of faculty has been a big hurdle in ensuring quality education. Thousands of teaching positions are vacant in the universities across the country. In such a circumstance, suspending UGC NET may lead to annoyance among student community, and a loss to the intellectual community of India,” said Syed Azharuddin, national secretary, SIO.CBSE had approached the ministry of HRD,expressing its inability to conduct the UGC NET exam due to capacity crunch as it was overburdened with other tests such as the JEE (for admission to undergraduate engineering courses) and the NEET (for admission to under-graduate medical courses).The student body also argued that suspension of UGC-NET stands in contrast to UGC’s intention to make NET or SET mandatory for pursuing PhD. It also said that the decision undermines union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar, who in a recently concluded parliamentary session, had announced that majority of vacancies in Universities would be filled up this year. hindustantimes
AMU Professor Discovers Molecules To Be Used As Drug For Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
New Delhi:  In 2014, AMU academic and scientist, Professor Asad U Khan found highly resistant 'New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-4 (NDM-4)' Superbug in an Aligarh sewage. According to a statement from the university, with hard work and consistent efforts, Prof Khan has now discovered new molecules effective against multi-drug resistant bacterial infections which will be used as an antibiotic drug.Prof Khan's new discovery will now leave physicians and scientists with a great sigh of relief, said the statement from the AMU."No molecules have yet been launched to control Metallo-betalactamases producing bacterial infections, these newly discovered molecules have shown good activity against the Superbug and its variants," said Prof Khan.Meanwhile his study on the discovery has been published in the leading International journal, 'Scientific Report of Nature Publishing Group'. Prof Khan has also developed a Gene editing technology to control biofilm mediated infections and a report on this technology was published in internationally known, 'Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology'. ndtv
Mewat villagers debunk claims of Hindu students forced to offer namaz,conversion, call it attempt to defame village
Rubbishing allegations that the Hindu students were forced to offer namaz and convert to Islam, residents of the Madhi village called it was an attempt to defame Mewat.Mewat district administration had on Friday suspended two teachers and transferred a third one following complaints of forced conversions.“Our kids study here and we too visit the school. Praying or not praying is solely one’s own wish. Neither the students nor any of the teachers have ever forced anybody to qubool (embrace) Islam,” 50-year-old Yaddin, Madhi village sarpanch, said.Yaddin said that though the area is Muslim-dominated, nobody has ever forced or even asked a Hindu to pray with them.Asar Khan, an ex-panchayat member, said that all the news reports stating that beef biryani was being made at the hostel and the Hindus were forced to offer namaz are false. “This is a school where students come to study. It doesn’t matter whether a student is a Hindu or a Muslim. All this is baseless and are only meant to give a bad name to Mewat,” Khan said.Siddique, the head of a committee who looks into the Madhi school and the one who represents the school in meetings of Mewat Development Agency (under which the school is run), said the suspension of teachers and these baseless rumours was a conspiracy by the school in-charge Navin Shakti and one of the teachers, Santram.“I have often noticed during my rounds that Santram was never in his classroom and always used to roam around. He used to sit with the new school in-charge. I personally saw him consuming alcohol in one of the empty classrooms around 8-10 days ago,” Siddique said.He said that since Muslim teachers used to tell Santram to focus on his work and villagers often scolded him, Santram decided to take revenge (by making up the forced conversion story).Mohd Arif, the hostel warden and the social science teacher, who has been transferred ,had a similar tale to tell.“We have been targeted by Santram and Shakti madam. Santram was earlier in Punhana and was suspended for allegedly harassing a girl,” Arif said.Arif said no forced conversion ever happened in the school or the hostel.“Letter of transfer doesn’t even mention the reason for the transfer. How can then one blame us for forcing our religion on the others?” he said. 3-member committee, headed by director of education, was formed to look into the issue on Friday.HT
INDIA, CHINA PAK & J&K
India created 'Chinese threat' to cover up internal failings, claims Beijing daily
India is making up an imaginary "China threat" because of growing threats to its own national unity, a leading Chinese newspaper said on Tuesday. "It is hard to understand India's groundless 'China threat' theory," said a report in the state-run Global Times by Long Xingchun, research fellow at The Charhar Institute and director of the Centre for Indian Studies at China West Normal University. "India probably just needs an enemy, even an imagined one.With multiple nationalities, religions and languages, plus intense internal conflicts and a strong centrifugal force pushing against national unity, India needs an external enemy as distraction. "The previous arch-enemy Pakistan will no longer suffice as India grows into a big power. China, with large border areas in dispute and the memory of 1962 war,naturally fills that place,"report said. IANS
'Western media favours India', says Chinese media
New Delhi:Miffed at international opinion seemingly tilted in favour of New Delhi in the Doklam standoff, China's aggressive state-backed media has accused Western media of being biased in favour of India simply because it is a democracy. What's more, India "arouses sympathy" because is "in a weaker position compared with China", said an opinion piece in China's Global Times on Tuesday."India in the Western media is a victim which has been bullied by China, even though India illegally entered Chinese territory and violated international law to unilaterally intervene in the 'territorial dispute' between China and Bhutan," said Global Times article.Western media reports "mainly cited India's rhetoric and what happened from the Indian media's point of view, depicting a mild India which called for a troop withdrawal and bilateral negotiations", said the opinion piece in the Chinese publication. timesofindia
Indo-Russia ties strong despite India’s growing ties with US, Israel, France: Russian military firms’ Chief
Russia will always be India’s strategic partner despite New Delhi’s growing ties with countries like US, France and Israel as there are certain defence products and technology that “no one else will give” except Moscow, a top Russian official has said. Sergei Chemezov, CEO of Rostec State Corporation, said cooperation with India will certainly continue, regardless of whether India cooperates only with Russia or also with Israel, France, US or other countries.“We have our own niche, these countries have their own directions for cooperation. Therefore, this does not mean that if India will work with some other countries, cooperation with Russia will cease. No,” Chemezov told a select group of reporters on the sidelines of Russia’s premier air show MAKS 2017 here.“There are defence products and technology that no one else will give except Russia. Therefore, Russia has always been and will be a strategic partner of India,” he asserted when asked about the prospects of Indo-Russia cooperation given India’s growing defence collaboration with other countries.PTI
NSAs in touch… hope this helps both countries come to table: Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit
NSAs of India and Pakistan have been in touch and have met, at least once in recent weeks, to explore ways to resume the dialogue process. Outgoing Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit, in an interview with Indian Express, confirmed that NSAs Ajit Doval and Nasser Khan Janjua have been in touch. “I believe they are in touch with each other. I don’t know if they met. Let us hope this will help both countries to come to the negotiating table,” he said.Asked if the meeting took place in Moscow on May 24 on the margins of an international security conference, Basit said, “You may like to ask your NSA to confirm.” In the interview, his last before he leaves India after three-and-half years during which the roller-coaster relationship touched several highs and lows, Basit said the SAARC summit will be postponed to next year.Indian Express
NIA may use ‘pro-freedom’ speeches, meetings against Jammu lawyer Devinder Singh
New Delhi: A day after raiding the residence of Jammu-based advocate Devinder Singh Behl, the NIA on Monday raided his ancestral home at Nowshera in the border district of Rajouri. The raids are part of NIA’s crackdown on separatists on the basis of an FIR accusing them of fomenting unrest in Kashmir with funds received from Pakistan-based terror outfits.Behl projects himself as a human rights activist and is chairman of an outfit called Jammu Kashmir Social Peace Forum, a constituent of All Parties Hurriyat Conference. He is known to be a close aide of Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and NIA suspects that he acted as a courier for money flowing into the coffers of separatists from Pakistan.While NIA is building a case against Behl based on his financial transactions over the years, it is also likely to use against him some “pro-freedom” speeches he has made in Kashmir and some meetings he has attended in Pakistan in favour of the “freedom movement”. Evidence regarding this, NIA officials claim, is available online and some were also recovered during the raids on Behl’s premises.NIA is closely looking at a poster inviting people in Islamabad for a free discussion with Behl on “India-occupied Kashmir”. The poster carries Behl’s picture and asks “What’s Happening in Kashmir?”. It then says “Meet & Talk With Advocate Divender Singh, Chairman, JKSPF, a constituent of APHC. indianexpress
Bar Association of Jammu expels Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s aide Devinder Singh Behal
Bar Association of Jammu on Tuesday expelled lawyer Devinder Singh Behal, a close aide of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, over allegations of “anti-national activity”, reported The Times of India. Behal’s expulsion comes a day after he was arrested by the National Investigation Agency in connection with a terror funding case.Behal is suspected to be involved in channeling funds to separatist leaders from Pakistan. He is also suspected of having passed national secrets, including the details of the movement of the Indian Army, to the Inter-Services Intelligence. Behal was allegedly in touch with officials at the Pakistan High Commission as well.“As soon as we came to know about his [Behal’s] activities, we verified our records and immediately decided to expel him without any notice from the primary membership of the association,” BAJ president BS Salathia said. scroll
Geelani's Statements Are Written by One of Mehbooba Mufti's Ministers: Farooq Abdullah
Ex-J&K CM Farooq Abdullah talks to CNN-News18’s Marya Shakil about Hurriyat leaders, his statements on the need to ask the US for help on Kashmir crisis and why he feels the incumbent J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti is a separatist sympathizer.Replying to the question that the Hurriyat was funded by the Centre and that Kashmir paid the price, Farooq said,"Yes, all were funded. If you read former RAW chief AS Dulat’s book, he was attached to the PM ’s office. That clearly shows that the money was being paid to these people." Answering to the question, 'Sir, on one hand, you are saying that the Mehbooba Mufti Govt is hand in glove with the Hurriyat and on the other hand you are saying it is the Centre that is funding the separatists?' he replied, "They did fund Hurriyat, I didn’t say that. I have said that they fund the separatists but Mehbooba if you remember called Geelani as her father and the PDP, won in south Kashmir, which has quite a lot of support for Geelani. Even today, the statements by Geelani, are written by a minister of her govt."CNN-News18
Human shield row:BJP leader asks Rights Commission to review decision to compensate Kashmiri man
Srinagar;A BJP leader from Chhattisgarh on Tuesday filed a petition before the State Human Rights Commission, asking it to “review” its direction to the State Govt  to pay Rs 10 lakh compensation to the Kashmiri man used as a human shield by the Army on the day of the Lok Sabha bypoll in Budgam in April earlier.J&K govt’s rights watchdog had earlier this month said that “protection of life and liberty of a citizen is the basic responsibility of the state Govt ”, and directed PDP-BJP coalition Govt  to pay Rs 10 lakh as compensation to Farooq Ahmad Dar — civilian who was tied to the bonnet of an Army jeep and paraded through villages to thwart stone pelting. SHRC, however, didn’t rule on the role and culpability of the Army officer, citing “limited applicability of the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 to the state of J&K ”. indianexpress
PoK or CoK? 30 jihadi outfits unite against India encouraged by Chinese influence and infrastructure funding in PoK: India Today
An India Today investigation has revealed how PoK is benefiting from the recent torrent of Chinese investment in more ways than merely infrastructure improvements.The terrorism framework in PoK is also benefiting from the fresh flow of funds as opposition to India hardens.Over 30 religious and jihadi groups have come together to form Daifa-e-Pakistan that has demonstrated and carried out rallies across Pakistan to step up terrorism in Kashmir.According to sources, the aim of the movement is to create a new force of terrorism and channel it against India.One such rally was organised by Daifa-e-Pakistan at Mall road in Lahore. Participants  included the leaders of the banned terror groups LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hijbul Mujahideen, Jamiat-ul- Mujahideen. They demonstrated against India and defined a new wave of negative propaganda. China's 'development' projects' in PoK and neighbouring Gilgit-Baltistan that involve several thousand Chinese personnel belonging to the construction corps of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) point towards Beijing's expansionist geo-strategic agenda in the region.Gilgit-Baltistan is part of the disputed territory of J&K occupied by Pakistan and is known as Northern Areas of Pakistan. Some part of the Aksai Chin region was also gifted to China by Pakistan. Many people living in Gilgit and Baltistan are unnerved by increasing Chinese presence in the area and feel that their resources and land are being sold to China by Pakistan without compensating the actual stakeholders, India Today TV found. dailymail
LeT commander Abu Dujana killed, street protests return to Kashmir
Govt  forces killed a top commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba in Kashmir on Tuesday, triggering street protests that left one person dead and prompted the authorities to shut down mobile internet and schools.Police said Abu Dujana’s killing was a “huge achievement” for the Govt  that has hardened its stand against militants after a recent spurt in violent street protests and attacks on security forces.Following the protests on Tuesday, the authorities shut down schools and colleges for the day and cut mobile internet, frequently targeted by authorities to stop the spread of what they claim to be rumours and fake messages that provoke civilian anger.HT
OTHERS
Sohrabuddin encounter: Police officers DG Vanzara, MN Dinesh discharged by CBI court
New Delhi: A CBI court on Tuesday discharged retired police officer DG Vanzara and MN Dinesh in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. Vanzara, now retired, was the then Gujarat ATS chief. Dinesh, an IPS officer, was with the Rajasthan Police. The total number of accused discharged by the court now stands at 15.On Monday, the court rejected the discharge application of two Rajasthan police officers Himanshu Singh and Shyam Singh Charan. The 2 police sub-inspectors are accused in the case and were then part of the Rajasthan police. CBI had opposed their discharge, submitting before the court that they were among the main accused and that they were accused of firing shots at Sheikh.A special court in Mumbai is hearing the case after the Supreme Court ordered for the trial to be transferred out of Gujarat. The discharge plea of some of the accused is still pending, after which the trial will begin in the case. A total of 38 persons were named as accused in the case initially. indian express
Sohrabuddin case: Court rejects discharge plea of Rajasthan cops
Jama Masjid blast: Delhi Court discharges 3 suspects
New Delhi:  A Delhi court today ordered framing of charges against Yasin Bhatkal and 10 others in the 2010 Jama Masjid blast case. Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma, however, discharged 3 alleged members of the outfit, saying there was not enough evidence against them. The court discharged Syed Ismail Affaque, Abdus Saboor and Riyaz Ahmad Sayeedi, who were named in the charge sheet by the police.The case pertains to an explosion near the historic Jama Masjid here on Sept.19, 2010 soon after 2 suspected IM operatives had fired at a bus from which foreign tourists were descending near a gate of the mosque. Today's order came on the blast incident.The police had charge sheeted these suspected IM members, including Yasin Bhatkal, in connection with the blast case and said these operatives had carried out the strike to dissuade foreign nations from participating in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.PTI
Malegaon blast: Spl court rejects accused’s plea on mistaken identity
Mumbai:A special court has rejected an application filed by a Malegaon 2008 blast accused, claiming his name was not Dayanand Pandey. Accused, Swamy Amrutanand, had told the court that his was a case of mistaken identity. He said that before renouncing the world he was known by the name Sudhakar Dhar Dwivedi. He submitted before the court that he had no idea who Pandey was. Maharashtra ATS, which had arrested him in 2008, had alleged that Pandey was his alias.He told the court that there was no material to show that he was Pandey and the prosecution had relied on the name only to falsely implicate him.He further said that 2 documents prepared by ATS showed that 2 different persons were arrested in 2008. indianexpress
Mohsin Shaikh murder: Prosecution lawyer Ujjwala Pawar opposes Desai’s provisional bail plea
Pune: District Govt pleader Ujjwala Pawar started arguments in the Mohsin Shaikh murder case in the sessions court on Monday and opposed the provisional bail plea filed by accused Dhananjay Jayram Desai, alias Bhai (35), who is the founder of the radical outfit Hindu Rasthra Sena (HRS). A native of Solapur who worked as an engineer at a private firm in Pune, Mohsin was allegedly killed during the communal clashes that broke out in 2014, after the circulation of objectionable pictures of Chhatrapati Shivaji and Bal Thackeray. His brother Mobin Shaikh (26) filed a complaint of murder in this regard at the Hadapsar police station. As many as 21 HRS activists, including Desai, resident of Parmar Bungalow in Paud, were arrested in connection with the case. Of these 21, 18 accused, including a minor, are currently out on bail. 3 others, including Desai, are still lodged in prison.Desai’s lawyer Milind Pawar had filed an application for provisional bail on medical grounds about two months ago. But the hearing on this application did not take place because advocate Ujjawal Nikam, who was then SPP, had suddenly quit. indianexpress
Hate speech case: HC allows challenge to govt ‘no’ on sanction to prosecute Adityanath
Allahabad: Allahabad High Court on Monday permitted the petitioners to challenge the UP govt’s refusal to grant sanction to prosecute CM  Yogi Adityanath — the prime accused in the 2007 Gorakhpur hate speech case.A 2-member bench dismissed UP govt’s objections to the petitioners’ contention that the prime accused had become the CM of the state and is thus, influencing the case in his favour. It also pulled up the state advocate general for being absent during hearings in the “important and serious case”.While hearing final arguments in the case, the bench had last week observed that people “cannot be left remedy-less” while asking the state counsel to substantiate what legal remedies were the petitioners left with when the state, in its May 3 order, had refused to grant the mandatory sanction for the prosecution of CM . State Advocate General Raghvendra Singh, appointed in April by the new govt, on Monday “contradict(ed)” his fellow counsel, Additional Advocate General Manish Goel, when he said a magistrate did not have the power to take cognisance of a case and begin trial despite a refusal by the Centre or state in granting sanction to prosecute.Last week, additional advocates general Manish Goel and AK Mishra had argued that the petitioners did not need to challenge the UP Govt ’s order in court because they had an “alternate remedy” of filing a protest petition before a magistrate if they were not satisfied with the investigation. Dismissing both Singh and Goel’s arguments as “meaningless”, bench told Singh:“There will be absolutely no alternate remedy for the petitioner…Decide amongst yourselves what argument you want to put forward…There is lack of conferencing amongst yourselves.”“We are passing a restraint order on the advocate general to remain here in Allahabad. You must have come down today and that is why you are not on the same page (with fellow counsels)… Stay here at least for this case… For most of the time, you are away in Lucknow when the principal seat of the advocate general is Allahabad…This is such a serious matter,” it added.Eventually noting that the state counsel could not “substantiate” its primary objections to the petitioners’ request for an amendment to the original writ petition, the bench dismissed the UP Govt ’s plea for a rejection of the amendment.The bench gave the petitioners’ counsel, Farman Naqvi, a day to submit an amended writ petition, which will be heard on Aug.9. The amended writ petition will challenge Adityanath’s May 3 order refusing to grant sanction to prosecute himself in the case.The original writ petition filed by Parvez Parwaz and Asad Hayat — through Naqvi — had asked for the probe of the case to be transferred to an independent agency because “UP Police was deliberately delaying investigation”. Indian Express
UP Police lathi-charge Muslims protesting to open Hajj house in Ghaziabad
On early Tuesday morning, UP police resorted to lathi-charge on nearly 600 protesters who were demonstrating for the opening of Hajj house for public use.The lathi-charge did not go down well with the protesters and stone pelting and violence started from the other side which only made the situation worse. This issue gained weight on Monday when district Congress committee started protesting with a large group of Muslim people to open the newly-constructed Ala Hazrat Hajj house situated in Ghaziabad. Hajj house was built during Samajwadi Party regime in UP and was inaugurated by Akhilesh Yadav last Sept.Naseem Khan from Congress attacked the state Govt  and termed it as “playing with the faith of country’s Muslims.”Moreover, the Muslim community members also performed Namaz outside the locked Hajj house and demanded a proper use of the facility. The problem becomes more grave if looked in the context of currently ongoing Hajj pilgrimage. Keeping the same in mind, Muslim Maha Sabha has written to state’s CM Yogi Adityanath requesting him to open the Hajj house as Hajj pilgrims from western UP are facing a lot of problems.Mahasabha president Imran Khan also met the city magistrate last week to hand out a memorandum to the CM  in the same regard. Imran Khan said that if UP Govt  does not want it (Hajj house) to be used by pilgrims, any institute or school must be started in the premises.The protest at the Hajj house on Monday was also accompanied by the Peace Party.TwoCircles
Ala Hazrat Haj House: Locals, police clash over opening building to public
No beef for animals in 2 UP zoos, Rajya Sabha told
New Delhi: Two zoological parks in UP faced difficulty in supply of beef meant for feeding carnivorous animals, following a ban imposed by the state Govt  on illegal slaughter houses, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Monday.Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan, in a written reply to the Upper House, said apart from these two zoos situated in Lucknow and Kanpur, no other zoo in the country faced any difficulty in feeding the carnivorous inmates.“As per information received from the Central Zoo Authority, only Nawab Wazid Ali Shah Zoological Garden, Lucknow, and Kanpur Zoological Park of UP faced difficulty in the supply of beef for carnivorous animals due to a ban on illegal slaughter houses,” he said.PTI
No information on 39 missing Indians: Syrian envoy
New Delhi: Syria has no information about 39 Indians who went missing in Iraq in 2014. Syria's Ambassador to India Riad Kamel Abbas, however, said that his country is "keen" to send them home if they are found in its territory.Abbas yesterday said an Indian delegation has made several trips to Syria and Iraq in the past to seek information about them and the chief of the Intelligence Department of Syria has also visited New Delhi in this regard."Indian delegation went to Syria many times and the chief of Syrian intelligence agency came to Delhi for it," the envoy said. "We are very keen to bring them (missing Indians) home if they are in our territory, but there is no official confirmation about it," he added.Early this month, Iraqi forces freed Mosul from ISIS, a development that gave a ray of hope to the families of 39 Indians.However, there was no information of the missing Indian nationals from the liberated city.PTI
Minority leader, Bodoland Student Union chief shot dead in Assam
Guwahati: Unidentified assailants on Tuesday gunned down Lafikul Islam, president of the All Bodoland Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU) and a popular minority leader in Kokrajhar in western Assam, with the police saying the culprits could be persons known to him. Islam was shot from point blank range inside a hardware store at Titaguri, about three km from Kokrajhar town at around 4:30 PM on Tuesday, where he had stopped after attending a meeting of the ABMSU in a nearby town.“2assailants had come on a motorcycle and fled immediately after gunning him down. Eyewitnesses said both assailants had helmets covering their face so that they could not be immediately identified. We have launched a manhunt for the assailants,” Kokrajhar SP Rajen Singh said.Islam, who had founded the ABMSU after the govt created Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in 2003, was instrumental in building up a movement to protect the rights of migrants Muslims in the four Bodoland districts. General secretary of ABMSU for the past few years, he had taken over as its president in 2016.
Zee News Anchor Rubika Liyaquat Shuts Down Mufti Aijaz Qasmi with ‘I Will Proudly Say Vande Mataram’
New Delhi: Zee News anchor Rubika Liyaquat on Sunday shut down a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, who blew harsh comments on her during a TV chat show. During a debate, AIMIM spokesman Syed Aasim Waqar used foul remarks against a female panelist on the show, following which Rubika interrupted and said this was not a Madrasa. On hearing this, Mufti Aijaz Ahmed Qasmi of the AIMPLB said she should be ashamed as she was a Muslim.To this, Rubika shut him down saying she was proud to be a Muslim and added that she would proudly say Vande Mataram. india.com

WORLD
Trump considers withdrawal from Afghanistan
Washington:Pentagon is finding proposed troop increases for Afghanistan to be a much harder sell than expected for President Donald Trump.Instead of an additional 4,000 forces to add to America’s longest war, Pentagon is having to prove to the White House why US forces should remain there at all, US and defense officials said.“They [Afghans] are really scared to death that we are going to pull the plug on this [continued US military presence],” a US official told Military Times on the condition of anonymity.For weeks, Pentagon officials talked about adding 3,900 to 4,000 additional U.S. forces to Afghanistan to prevent further gains by Taliban and Islamic State forces. Additional forces would join the approximately 8,500 US troops currently conducting counterterrorism missions and training Afghan security forces.But Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the White House is now instead considering the option of withdrawing US forces completely and potentially supplanting that presence with private contractors.Officials confirmed the Journal’s story and said the consideration of a withdrawal is part of the reason why the administration’s plan for Afghanistan, known as the South Asia plan, has been delayed.Military Times
US hides in Afghan as Trump mulls strategy: Watchdog
US questions millions spent in Afghanistan
A new quarterly report published by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) shows the US has failed to account for hundreds of millions of dollars it spent on propping up the Afghan Govt , while the value of opium production in the country has doubled in a year.aljazeera
Afghan Taliban: Qatar plays major role in peace talks
Qatar played a major role in facilitating peace talks between Afghan officials and the Taliban by opening an office for the group in Doha, a senior Taliban offical told Al Jazeera.The Taliban official's comments on Tuesday come as a series of leaked emails from UAE diplomats suggest the Emirati foreign minister was disappointed that US officials had chosen Doha over Abu Dhabi to host the office.June 2013 opening of the unofficial embassy allowed for talks to develop, said the Taliban official, who is based in the Qatari capital."We got a chance to discuss with Afghan diplomats, journalists and analysts face-to-face on how peace can be achieved in Afghanistan," he told Al Jazeera, speaking on the condition of anonymity.He also noted a separate meeting was held between the Taliban and Afghan journalists where both sides were able to discuss their ideas for peace.The official went on to say that demands on Doha by a Saudi-led bloc currently boycotting the peninsula are "unfair", and that the quartet should not "accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism".As part of its attempt to isolate the peninsula, the kingdom, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have derided Qatar for hosting an office for the Afghan armed group.But a series of leaked emails show UAE diplomats lobbied US officials so Abu Dhabi could host the office.Reported by New York Times on Monday, emails from UAE ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba apparently contradict a mounted campaign against Qatar for its alleged support of "terrorist groups".Otaiba said he received an "angry call" from UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, complaining that the Taliban had ended up in Qatar and not the UAE, according to messages in the ambassador's Hotmail account."I got an angry call from [Zayed] saying how come we weren't told," Otaiba wrote to an American official. Al Jazeera
UAE ambassador's  leaked emails: UAE lobbied US to host Taliban office
Qatar files WTO complaint against trade boycott
Qatar has filed a complaint with the WTO to challenge a trade boycott by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE.By formally "requesting consultations" with the three countries, the first step in a trade dispute, Qatar triggered a 60-day deadline for them to settle the complaint or face litigation at the WTO and potential retaliatory trade sanctions."We've given sufficient time to hear the legal explanations on how these measures are in compliance with their commitments, to no satisfactory result," Ali Alwaleed Al Thani, the director of Qatar's WTO office, told Reuters on Monday."We have always called for dialogue, for negotiations, and this is part of our strategy to talk to the members concerned and to gain more information on these measures, the legality of these measures, and to find a solution to resolve the dispute." aljazeera
533 Israelis break into Aqsa Mosque over past 2 days
O.Jerusalem, (PIC)192 Israeli settlers broke into al-Aqsa Mosque. At the same time, heavily-armed police troops cordoned off the plazas of the site. A Palestinian young man was arrested by Israeli police near al-Majlis Gate while a Muslim guard was banned from entering the site.On Sunday, 341 settlers stormed al-Aqsa Mosque during the morning and afternoon break-in shifts bringing number of Israelis breaking into the the holy Islamic site to 533 over the past 24 hours.
'The worst it's been': children continue to swim as raw sewage floods Gaza beach: theguardian
t is high summer on Gaza City’s beach. A horse and cart patrols the shore selling brightly coloured swimming rings. A small boat is giving joy rides out to sea. Families sit on chairs while a few children play in the water.Normally, in the midst of the school holidays, the beach would be crowded. Particularly this year, as an electricity crisis makes many homes unbearable during the heat. But these days many parents are keeping their children away.The first hint is the smell: the sulphurous odour of raw sewage.Where children are swimming the water is a murky brown, with a fine suspension of faecal matter visible to the naked eye. Small fish at the water’s edge, scooped out by the giggling children, are dead.While pollution of Gaza’s 25 miles of beaches is not new, what is different is the degree. These days, according to the last environmental survey, 73% of Gaza’s coastline is dangerously polluted with sewage amid an energy crisis that is now also affecting Israel across the border wall, sharply up from 40-50% a year ago.
Ex-Iranian president Ahmadinejad facing sentencing over misuse of funds: Reuters
Iran's ex-president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, faces sentences on 7 verdicts of misusing billions of dollars in Govt  funds while in office, the public prosecutor at Iran’s Supreme Audit Court said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday.In one case, dating back to Ahmadinejad’s second term in office between 2009 and 2013, the misused funds amounted to more than two billion dollars, the prosecutor, Fayaz Shojaie, said in his interview with the paper Etemaad. Verdicts have been announced to the parliament, Shojaie said. The Supreme Audit Court operates under the supervision of the Iranian parliament. It is not clear whether Ahmadinejad was formally tried by the court and is facing sentencing, or whether the Iranian parliament must now follow up on the court's verdicts. Ahmadinejad gained support among poor and working class Iranians by promising to share the country’s oil wealth with them. Subsidy reforms implemented in his second term were aimed at delivering subsidies to the most needy while cutting their overall cost to Govt.Shojaie said that he did not believe funds Ahmadinejad allegedly misused could be recovered.
32 Muslim Brotherhood supporters jailed for 10 years
Cairo: An Egyptian court has sentenced 32 people related to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group to 10 years in prison over riot and vandalism charges, the media reported.Citing MENA Xinhua reported on Monday that the defendants were accused of attempting to storm building of Qena governorate, south of Cairo, and setting fire to a nearby parking lot of two courts in August last year.Qena criminal court acquitted eight other defendants of the same charges.In Aug.2016, the prosecution charged suspects with murdering two individuals, assaulting security forces, inciting violence, as well as setting fire to the court complex and a number of vehicles in Upper Egypt’s Qena province.Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and leaders, including ousted president Mohammed Morsi, have received verdicts varied from death sentences to prison terms over violence and murder charges.IANS
Egypt launches new population-control strategy
Egypt’s Govt  announced yesterday the launch of a national “family planning” strategy to control the growth of the country’s high population growth rates, Al-Ahram reported, quoating Egyoptian Health Minister, Ahmed Emad Al-Din.Emad Al-Din added that the country’s “alarming” population growth had prompted the ministry to launch a new national strategy for family planning, which aims at reducing the population growth from 128 million to 112 million people by 2030. This will mark a decrease of 16 million people. Middleeastmonitor

Hundreds face judges in Turkey's biggest coup trial
Turkey is holding its largest trial over July 2016 coup attempt, with nearly 500 people appearing in court.The suspects, who are standing trial on Tuesday, are accused of conspiring to overthrow the Govt  from an airbase seen as the plotters' hub.A total of 486 suspects are going on trial in a purpose-built courtroom outside the capital Ankara, charged with crimes ranging from murder, violating the constitution and attempting to kill President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Anadolu reported.They are accused of running the coup bid from the Akinci airbase northwest of the capital, which the authorities regard as plotters' headquarters.A total of 461 suspects are held in custody, while seven are still on the run. aljazeera
South Sudan: Govt  attacks on civilians reported as humanitarian crisis grows
South Sudan's refugee crisis is the fastest growing in the world and humanitarian organisations are warning it is worsening because more people are fleeing conflict.It has spread to the Equatoria region where attacks against civilians by Govt  forces have been reported. Sudan People's Liberation Army is blaming a few undisciplined soldiers for the attacks. aljazeera
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi elected interim PM  of Pakistan until Shehbaz Sharif wins by-election
Senior PML-N leader and former petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will run the PML-N Govt  as interim PM  of Pakistan until Nawaz Sharif's brother Shehbaz is elected as member of parliament, according to Pakistan media reports. Abbasi got elected after getting 221 votes in the House of 342. Naveed Qamar of PPP got 47 votes, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf got 33 while Jamaat-e-Islami's Sahibzada Tariqullah managed just 4 votes.After announcing the results amid sloganeering, National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq asked Abbasi to take the seat of the PM  and address the House.Former petroleum minister Abbasi will be appointed as interim PM  to run the country until Shehbaz is elected as member of parliament, it added. firstpost
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 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:32 PM)


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