Saturday, 30 September 2017

30 Sept. 2017 NEWS DIGEST



Evening NEWS DIGEST
30 Sept. 2017: 09 Muharram 1439:Vol:9, No:08
Cow protection goes beyond religion, ‘pious gau rakshaks’ need not fear govt or SC: RSS chief Bhagwat
New Delhi:RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has backed “activists” working for protection of cows from smuggling and slaughter, saying that it was “amply clear” that they have not been involved in acts of violence.“It is unfair to link the cow protectors or entire activity of cow protection with violent incidences or communal feelings without knowing or neglecting the facts,” RSS chief said in a speech to mark the Hindu festival of Dussehra on Saturday, making a distinction between “pious” activists and “criminals involved in violent activities”.The cow is a sacred animal for Hindus and vigilante groups that claim to be working to stop its smuggling and killing have been behind a string of attacks in recent years, some of them leading to deaths. The attacks have coincided with the growing strength of PM  Narendra Modi’s BJP, arm of RSS.Most of the victims, such Rajasthan’s Pehlu Khan and UP’s Akhlaq have been from the minority Muslim community. Bhagwat said a “nefarious campaign” was underway against cow-protection and urged people “who are piously involved in the activity” to not “worry or get distracted with the well intentioned statements by highly placed persons in the Govt  or remarks made by the Supreme Court”.RSS chief did not take any names but his comment seems to allude to PM  Modi’s condemnation of so-called gau rakshaks in July and the Supreme Court’s directions last week to states to ensure such vigilantes did not become a law unto themselves.The Sangh chief said protection of cows cuts across religions. “Many followers of Muslim faith are also involved in the activity of cow protection, cow promotion and management of gaushalas. Some of them told me that the nefarious campaign going on against the cow-protection unnecessarily creates tension among the people of different religions.”He urged Govt and administration to stay away from “misinterpretation” and ensure that “innocents are not troubled” during crackdowns on vigilantes.“The legal and virtuous work of cow-protection and cow-promotion will go on in the interest of the people and will increase in coming days. It will also be the apt answer to the situation,” he said. hindustantimes
Need to create conditions for Kashmiris to live securely like other Indians while remaining devoted to their religions: Bhagwat
New Delhi:Speaking on the problems faced by the permanent residents of J&K , who migrated from Pakistan in 1947 and the people who were displaced from the Kashmir valley in 1990, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat said necessary constitutional amendments will have to be made to bring a change in their life. He said that only with the Constitutional amendments can the residents of the state can be ‘completely assimilated with rest of Bharat and their equal cooperation and share will be possible in the national progress’.He said, “Problems of permanent residents of the state who migrated from the Pakistan occupied Jammu-Kashmir in 1947 and the people who were displaced from Kashmir valley in 1990 are remaining as it is. We have to create conditions so that our these brothers can lead a happy, dignified and secure life like other Indians by availing equal democratic rights and fulfilling democratic duties, even while remaining firm and devoted to their religions and national identity.For this just work, necessary Constitutional amendments will have to be made and old provisions will have to be changed. Then and then only, the residents of J&K can be completely assimilated with rest of Bharat and their equal cooperation and share will be possible in national progress.”PTI
Bhagwat’s remarks matter of shame for PDP: NC
Srinagar: NC said RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks about the need for constitutional amendments to repeal J&K’s special status was a matter of shame for the PDP and asked the party to introspect about the costs that the State could pay because of its "abject surrender to BJP and RSS to remain in power." NC State Spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu while strongly condemning RSS Chief’s remarks said J&K’s special status was the only constitutional bridge that connected J&K to the rest of the country and the RSS Chief should stop misleading the people to stoke passions in the face of growing criticism over the drastic economic slowdown in the country.greaterkashmir
Seeking abrogation of 370 is itself disrespecting Indian Constitution: MLA Rasheed to Bhagwat
Srinagar: Reacting to RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat’s demand of making constitutional amendments for abrogating Article 370 and other related provisions, AIP Supremo and MLA Langate Er. Rasheed has said that though there is nothing new in what Bhagwat has stated but the demand of demolishing Article 370 is itself an evidence that RSS and likeminded organizations don’t have faith in Indian constitution.Brighter Kashmir
Centre asks states for feedback on cattle ban order
New Delhi:4 months after its plan of notifying a ban on sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets met with opposition from several states, the Centre has decided to try a different approach — it is now asking states to write back, articulating their opinion.In a letter this month to chief secretaries of all states, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has sought comments and feedback on its May 23 notification on the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 that imposed a ban on cattle trade in markets for slaughter.The letter consulting the states is a reminder — the previous one was sent soon after the Supreme Court stayed the ban. While some states had replied with their inputs, the Centre wrote again, reminding others to respond. Consultations were also conducted with animal rights activists and traders.“Along with the letter is a copy of the notification on which states have been asked to send suggestions. A new draft notification will be framed, based on the feedback from states, after which it will be available for public consultation,” an official in the Ministry said. Indianexpress
Cow urine should be acceptable as treatment to Muslims too: Ramdev
Yoga guru and Patanjali founder Swami Ramdev said cow urine should be acceptable to Muslims too as something used for treatment."It is written in Quran that cow urine can be used for treatment. Some people are targeting Patanjali by saying that it is a Hindu company. Did I ever target Hamdard (set up by Hamid brothers)?"I have full support for Hamdard, and Himalaya drug company too. Farooq bhai of the Himalaya group even donated land to me for setting up yoga gram. If some people level such charges, they will only be creating a wall of hate," Ramdev told India TV's Rajat Sharma in the TV show Aap Ki Adalat.The show will be telecast on Saturday night, according to a press release issued by the channel.He said he has already prepared a plan of succession for his Rs 10,000 crore Patanjali group, saying that his "successor" would be a team of nearly 500 sadhus trained by him. Yoga guru said:"I never think small. I think big. I think about our nation 500 years hence. I think about Patanjali group for the next 100 years. I will be leaving my successor when I go.""My successor will not be a businessman or a worldly man, it will be a team of nearly 500 sadhus whom I have trained."IANS
Why trial court order discharging IPS officers in alleged fake encounter of Sohrabuddin not challenged?HC to CBI
Bombay High Court has asked CBI why it had not challenged the trial court orders discharging senior IPS officers in the alleged fake encounter case of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati. Hearing a revision application filed by Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin Sheikh, challenging the trial court orders of discharge, Justice Revati Mohite-Dere said the CBI should be “equally aggrieved” with the trial court’s order. She asked the probe agency whether it was planning to challenge the trial court orders of August 2016 and Aug.2017 discharging IPS officers Rajkumar Pandiyan, DG Vanzara, and Dinesh MN Justice Mohite-Dere also instructed the CBI counsel to refrain from framing of charges against any accused in the case until Oct. 12, the next date of hearing in the HC. Rubabuddin has filed separate petitions challenging the discharge of the three officers from the case. His counsel Gautam Tiwari told the court today that “citing the orders of discharge of the above three officials, several other accused persons too were securing discharge on the grounds of parity.” Special CBI court in Mumbai is hearing the case after the Supreme Court ordered the trial be transferred out of Gujarat. The court discharged the officials on the ground that CBI had failed to get prior sanction or the special permission to prosecute them and therefore they could not be prosecuted. Of the 38 accused in the case, 15 have been discharged by the special court. 14 of the 15 discharged are IPS officers.CBI has challenged the discharge of only one officer -- N K Amin, one of the key accused in the case. Justice Mohite-Dere, however, questioned whether the lack of such sanction alone could be adequate reason to warrant an accused person’s discharge from the case. She also dismissed the CBI’s argument that it had challenged the discharge of two Rajasthan police sub- inspectors-- Himanshu Singh and Shyam Singh Charan. PTI
Elphinstone Road station stampede: Death toll rises to 23
New Delhi:At least 23 people were killed while 38 others injured in a stampede at a footover bridge linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban railway stations in Mumbai on Friday morning. Police officials attributed the stampede to the rains and overcrowding. According to witnesses, people tried to rush into the station during a spell of heavy rain in the morning. Further, as trains pulled into both the stations, more people gathered. Indianexpress
In 2 places in MP, Ravan is the healer and protector, not a demon king
Mandsaur:Dussehra is celebrated as the occasion when Hindu god Rama slays the ten-headed ‘demon’ king Ravan, who is widely seen as the chief villain in Hindu epic Ramayana, that glorifies Rama.But, 2 places in MP deem Ravan their “healer” and “protector”.In Mandsaur, which is believed to be the hometown of Ravan’s wife, people consider him as their “son-in-law”.As per a belief of the region, those afflicted with various ailments tie a red thread on the left leg of the 35-feet high statue of Ravan in the town’s Khanpur area, believing it would cure them.“Ravan is revered and worshipped here and people have faith that if they tie a thread around his leg here in Khanpur, they would be cured of ailments.People, especially those who are suffering from fevers, come here to get healed,” says Dheerender Singh, resident.On Saturday morning, people in Mandsaur, especially womenfolk and members of the Namdeo community, started thronging Khanpur to offer prayers before the statue of Ravan.“People here have immense respect for Ravan and come to worship him, especially on Dussehra,” says another resident, Mohini Bai.And in Vidisha district’s Ravan village, where his effigy is never burnt, he is worshipped as “the bestower of good luck and protector”, without whose blessings no festive or special occasion is complete. No marriage is solemnised without first sending a wedding card to Ravan at his temple here. 2-wheelers and other vehicles in this village have Jai Lankesh compulsorily written over them. They believe it prevents accidents.This village, called Ravan, is located in the Nateran tehsil of Vidisha district, nearly 40 km from district HQRS, where for centuries, Ravan has been worshipped by Kanyakubja Brahmins, a Brahmin sub-sect, to which Ravan belonged.HT
NDTV India journalist Ravish Kumar writes open letter to PM Modi, urges him to unfollow communal bullies
In an open letter published on NDTV website titled "PM Modi, Will I Lose My Job?" Kumar said "that  such people should be able to claim or have any affiliation to you [PM Modi] does not behoove either you or the dignity of your office.""The sad part is that you happen to follow some of these people on Twitter who use grotesque language and indiscriminately dole out threats," he said.The letter is reproduced here as published on NDTV which however claimed that the opinion expressed in the letter is not of NDTV but of the author's own.
‘Is My Life in Danger?’ Ravish Kumar Writes Open Letter to PM Narendra Modi:THE WIRE
India focused on providing humanitarian assistance to Rohingyas
New Delhi: India has said its focus is on providing humanitarian assistance to displaced Rohingyas under “Operation Insaniyat”. On reports of discovering “mass graves of Rohingya Hindus”, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “We have seen press reports about these graves and have also seen the statement issued by State Councillor’s office.”“We condemn terrorism in all forms. We emphasise that there is no justification for any kind of terrorism which targets civilians in this conflict.“We hope authorities will be able to bring perpetrators of the crime to justice and that families of victims would be provided all possible assistance and normalcy would be restored,” he added.IANS
Rohingyas threat to national security, integrity: RSS chief
Nagpur: RSS cheif Mohan Bhagwat has expressed concern over the influx of Rohingya Muslims to India from Myanmar, terming them a threat to national security and integrity. He claimed that Rohingyas were driven out from Myanmar mainly because of their violent and criminal separatist activities and linkages with the terrorist groups. hindustantimes
Rohingya Muslims intruders, not refugees:Yogi
Lucknow:UP  CM  Yogi Adityanath on Friday backed the Centre’s stand on Rohingya Muslims who have fled from Myanmar and criticized rights groups for advocating sympathetic treatment for these displaced people.Adityanath insisted that Rohinyas were not refugees.“Centre has clarified its stand on Rohingyas. They are not refugees, they are intruders. Many innocent Hindus were killed in Myanmar, and it was found that they (Rohingyas) have a link with terrorist organisations,” Yogi told reporters on the sidelines of ‘kanya pujan’ programme at Gorakhnath Temple.“It is sad and condemnable that some people are expressing concern and sympathy for their plight,” he said. hindustantimes
Temple construction in Ayodhya only matter of time: Yogi
Even as the Ayodhya land dispute is pending before the Supreme Court, BJP leaders in UP  are out to rake up the issue on the public forum in the run to Lok Sabha polls 2019."It was the wish of the people that a grand temple in Ayodhya be constructed. But since the matter is sub-judice in Supreme Court, we have to wait for the court verdict," CM  Yogi Adityanath said."Ayodhya has a very special place in the hearts of people. No one can ignore its significance. It is a matter of time that the wish of people of the country would be fulfilled," he said dropping hints that BJP will not mind raking up the temple issue in 2019 polls. dnaindia
SC would decide in favour of temple at Ayodhya : UP Minister Sidhharth Nath
Lucknow: Govt spokesman and Health minister Sidhharth Nath Singh predicted that the Supreme Court would decide in favour of the temple at Ayodhya in the Ram Jnma Bhoomi-Babri masjid dispute pending before it. He also predicted that the construction work of Ram temple at Ayodhya will commence before the Ardhkumbh at Allahabad in 2019.  Singh quoted prediction by Swami Brahma Yoganand to buttress his claim. The minister said this after releasing Swami Yogannad’s book ‘Sampurna Bharat-Param Vaibhav Bharat’ at a function organised by VHP in Allahabad on Friday. "Swami Brahm Yoganand predicted that Narendra Modi will take over as PM  of India in 2014. Now he has predicated about Ram temple at Ayodhya. The temple exists at Ayodhya, only a grand new structure needs to be built there,’’ he said.The minister claimed that the construction of the temple at Ayodhya was always there in BJP's agenda and the party never deviated from its commitment for temple construction at Ayodhya. dailypioneer
Ram temple will be built before 2019: UP minister
Centre starts hunt for new BHU VC after violence
Centre has started hunt for a successor of BHU VC Girish Chandra Tripathi, who is in the eye of the storm after recent violence and cane charge on the girls on varsity premises.The HRD ministry issued an advertisement for the coveted post of the administrative head of the central varsity, established in 1916.The advertisement for the post of vice chancellor posted on the official website of the university said the appointment will be made from a panel of names recommended by a committee constituted under the provisions of the BHU act.HT
BHU protests: As District, University administration play blame game, students issues remain unsolved
The protest of female students at the Banaras Hindu University is nowhere close to reaching its aims of ensuring a more safe campus, but the University administration and the district administration are far more interested in blaming each other for the incidents of Sept.  23. In his report submitted to the CM , Varanasi’s commissioner Nitin Ramesh Gokarna put all the blame over the BHU VC Prof GC Tripathi, saying he did not handle the situation well which led to violence on Sept.  23. But looking at the facts and after talking with the witnesses of the case, it becomes evident that the administration at Varanasi was equally responsible for what happened in the University.As police resorted to lathi-charge in the night of Sept.  23, official version put the action as it was the university’s proctorial board which lathi-charged first.But as one student Rajkumar Singh said, “It is correct that first it was university’s proctorial board which charged at the students on the night of 23 Sept. , but one must know that University’s proctorial board does not have such manpower and resources to handle such a crowd of students.”TCN
Syrian Assad regime's head cleric describes Mehbooba Mufti as 'role model for Muslim world'
Srinagar:Grand Mufti of Syria Ahmad Bader Eddin Mohammad Adib Hassoun on Friday described J&K  CM  Mehbooba Mufti as a "role model for the Muslim world". Dr Hassoun called on the CM  Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar.During the meeting, the two leaders discussed several issues confronting the Muslim ummah and the need to weed out the cult of violence from the Muslim society, said an official handout. Grand Mufti informed the CM  that he was happy to meet her and know about her views on the subjects discussed. “You are a role model for the Muslim world and Syrian women would take an inspiration from your personality”, he told the CM  while extending an invitation to her to visit Syria.They also underscored the need for inculcating values of peace, tolerance and coexistence among the younger generation.CM  invited the Grand Mufti and his delegation to visit the State again for exhaustive sessions with the ulema, local religious scholars and academicians.The visit of the Syrian Grand Mufti has been coordinated by Indian Council of Cultural Relations, New Delhi. greaterkashmir
Top Syrian cleric, Mehbooba Mufti stress on weeding out ‘cult of violence’ from Muslim society
J&K  Jamaat spokesman ‘booked on flimsy charges’
Srinagar: Alleging that police was playing an undemocratic role, Jama’at-e-Islami J&K has police had detained and booked its chioef spokesperson on flimsy charges.A jamaat statement said that police has detained Zahid Ali inside district Jail Islamabad on 26 Sep and implicated him in an FIR No. 318/2016, where he is accused of committing “unlawful activities” while addressing a mass gathering in Urr Charsoo Pulwama on 18 August, 2016. Jama’at refuted the allegation and said that Zahid had neither visited the village nor address any rally in Kashmir on the said date. Kashmirreader
Afghan’s Abdullah says door open for talks with Taliban
Afghan chief executive Abdullah Abdullah on Friday said the doors were open for talks with the rebel Taliban against the backdrop of the US announcing a reworked South Asia policy that promises to stay the course in the war-torn country and seemingly putting talks with the insurgent group on the back burner.In New Delhi on a two-day visit, Abdullah also called on countries in the neighbourhood not to make any distinction between the Islamic State, which had established a presence in some provinces of Afghanistan, and the Taliban who have been fighting the US-backed Ashraf Ghani Govt  in Kabul.In an address to the Indian Council on World Affairs think tank, Abdullah welcomed the revamped US policy on Afghanistan but also stressed the importance of unity within the various sections of Afghan society.Abdullah said that the “doors for peace talks will always be open... hopefully the groups that are fighting will be convinced to sever links with terrorism and terror networks and to work for their own country”. livemint
India-China should start new chapter, 1 plus 1 should make 11: Chinese envoy
New Delhi:Chinese envoy to India Luo Zhaohui has said it was time for India and China to turn the old page and start a new chapter, stressing that the countries have made a lot of progress at bilateral level.Chinese President Xi Jinping met PM  Narendra Modi at the BRICS Summit in Xiamen earlier this month, and the two leaders sent a clear message of “reconciliation” and “cooperation”, he said on Friday in remarks which come in the backdrop of the Doklam row. “We should turn the old page and start a new chapter with the same pace and direction. We should dance together. We should make one plus one eleven. China is the largest trading partner of India. We have made a lot of progress at the bilateral level, as well as in international and regional affairs,” Luo said.PTI
China steps up security on borders with India, N Korea, Myanmar ahead of CPC meet
China has stepped up security on its borders with India, North Korea and Myanmar as the ruling Communist Party (CPC) gears up to hold a key national congress next month during which President Xi Jinping is expected to get an endorsement for a second five-year term.China's border police forces under the People’s Armed Police became the latest Govt  agency to make a show of support for President Xi, saying officers would focus on the frontiers to ensure stability for the 5-yearly gathering, the South China Morning Post reported.PTI       
I don’t know who abducted me, but they took care of me: Freed catholic priest
Bengaluru: Tom Uzunnzlil, 59, the catholic priest who was recently released from an 18-month abduction in Yemen said on Saturday that he has absolutely no idea about who his abductors were but added that they took good care of him and did not hurt him even once."I was shifted 4 times in the course of my abduction but I was never harmed even once. They ensured that I got my medication (for diabetes) and even procured insulin once. Even during Ramadan (Ramzan), they took care that I was not left to fast," Tom said on Saturday.A visibly weak Tom, who is yet to completely recuperate, said that his days in custody enhanced his belief in god and that it was his blessings that ensured that he returned unharmed."I have been informed by my relatives (in Kerala) that even our hindu and muslim brothers and sisters offered prayers for me. This shows that it was god's blessings that kept me safe and that there is some good in every person—which is why my abductors took such care," he said.Answering specific questions, he said that he had never had a conversation with any of his abductors and that his only communication with them was to seek things he needed. "I did not understand Arabic and they didn't seem to know English. The only words exchanged between us was when I had to use the toilet or when I needed something, even which was difficult," he said.Reiterating that he had no knowledge of who his abductors were, he said:"They took a few videos where they pretended to have hurt me, but in reality they did not harm me. There was some noise in the background, but I do not know anything else," he said.Tom was abducted on the morning of March 4, 2016 from outside the chapel he was praying at in Yemen, and was released on Sept.  12, 2017, after 18-months-and-eight days.While it is believed that he was abducted by ISIS, Tom is in no position to confirm that.TOI
Goa Church castigates errant Catholics for opposing Muslim cemetery
Panaji:Influential Roman Catholic Church in Goa on Saturday cautioned against "increasing intolerance" in the coastal state, while also disapproving efforts of a section of civilian Catholic leaders to obstruct allocation of land for a burial ground for Goa's Muslim community."It has been observed that when there are attempts to purchase land or even find a site for a kabrastan, there are often objections from some sections of the Catholic community, who are opposed to a Muslim cemetery in their village," says a statement issued by Fr. Olavo Caiado, Director of the Diocesan Centre for Social Communications Media, Archdiocese of Goa and Daman.The statement issued on behalf of the Goa Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, has also said that disposal of dead bodies is a basic right of every religious community, including Muslims, and appealed to Catholics to peacefully facilitate the setting up of a Muslim burial ground."Sadly, in the present times, we see increasing intolerance and even open conflicts drifting us apart. We must reclaim our traditional social relations and once more be the peace-loving sisters and brothers that we always were. Hence our earnest appeal for communal understanding and peace among the different communities in Goa," statement said.IANS
Tom Alter, Urdu speaking actor of American descent who brought 'Maulana Azad' to life, dies
Mumbai: Tom Alter, Urdu speaking renowned Indian actor of American descent died of cancer, family sources said in a statement released today. He was 67."It is with sadness we announce the death of Tom Alter, actor, writer, director, Padma Shri, and our dear husband and father", a statement released on behalf of actor's family said.Alter, who received the Padma Shri in 2008, was last seen in Sargoshiyan this year with Alok Nath and Farida Jalal. He is survived by his wife Carol, son Jamie and daughter Afshaan.Alter was born in 1950 in Mussoorie, the son of American missionaries.The actor however was also popular for his command over the Urdu and love for the language.In 2014, his audience were surprised when he quoted from the Bible to prove that Urdu is not the language of Muslims alone.Recalling his childhood, Alter said that he learnt Urdu from his father who was a priest, and there was always a copy of the Urdu translation of the Bible on his table. He said he was mesmerised by the beauty of the translation of the Bible in the language.Alter said that he was not the enemy of Hindi, English or any other language and regarded all languages with equal importance. He also described Hindi as the sister language of Urdu."However", he said, "The Urdu language has a special taste and power which other languages are lacking in."Tom Alter also staged his popular play Maulana Azad - a solo, on Maulana Abul Kalam Azad – one of the tallest figures of Indian freedom struggle and the country's first education minister.ummid.com
15 Indians’ death sentence commuted to life term by Kuwaiti Emir: Sushma Swaraj
New Delhi:Death sentences handed down to 15 Indians lodged in a Kuwaiti jail have been commuted to life imprisonment by the Emir of Kuwait, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday.She said the Emir has also directed that the sentences of 119 Indian nationals be reduced.“Emir of Kuwait has been pleased to commute the sentence of 15 Indian nationals from death to life imprisonment,”she tweeted.PTI
5 states get new Governors, Banwarilal Purohit moves from Assam to TN
New Delhi:President Ram Nath Kovind appointed new Governors on Saturday. Banwarilal Purohit, currently the Governor of Assam, has been moved to Tamil Nadu. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra, has held additional responsibility for Tamil Nadu till now.Admiral (Retd) Devendra Kumar Joshi has been appointed Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in place of professor Jagdish Mukhi, who has been moved to Assam.Brigadier (Retd) BD Mishra will be governor of Arunachal and Ganga Prasad that of Meghalaya: Satyapal Malik will be the governor of Bihar, the President’s office announced. Hindustantimes
WORLD
Iraq imposes flight ban on Kurdish region after poll
A ban on international flights into Iraq's Kurdish region has gone into effect after the central Govt  in Baghdad retaliated against a vote for secession that has also drawn opposition from neighbouring countries.Iraq's Kurds overwhelmingly backed a split from Baghdad in a referendum on Monday, defying foreign powers which fear the vote could lead to regional instability.The ban came into force at 6pm on Friday. Foreign airlines suspended flights to the region's Erbil and Sulaimaniyah, obeying a notice from the Govt  in Baghdad, which controls Iraqi airspace. Domestic flights are still allowed, so travellers are expected to travel to the Kurdish region mostly via Baghdad's airport, which will come under strain from the extra traffic.Erbil airport was busier than usual on Friday as passengers scrambled to catch the last flights out.
Iran, Turkey to help Iraq take control of Kurdish region’s border
Iraq plans to take control of the borders of its Kurdistan region “in coordination” with Iran and Turkey, the Iraqi Defence Ministry said.Its statement seemed to indicate that Iraqi forces were planning to move toward the external border posts controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Govt  (KRG) from the Iranian and Turkish side as a response to a Kurdish referendum that produced a vote in favour of secession.Around 3.3 million residents of the Iraqi Kurdish region turned to the ballot boxes to vote for separation from Iraq on Monday. News reports said that the turnout rate was 72% . middleeastmonitor
Raul Romeva: Catalonia referendum 'impossible to stop'
Catalonia's foreign affairs chief says a controversial referendum on the region's split from Spain "is impossible to stop" despite the central Govt  in Madrid insisting that the vote is illegal and it will not happen.Raul Romeva made the remarks in an interview with Al Jazeera on Friday, two days before the planned poll on Oct. 1.He called on the Spanish Govt  to allow Catalan voters to "solve the situation by democracy" and reassured that "there is not a single reason to believe that there is a risk of violence" on Sunday. aljazeera
Spanish police seal off polling stations in Catalonia
Spanish police have sealed off more than half of schools earmarked as polling stations for a banned referendum on Catalonia's breakaway from Spain, according to officials. Separatists in the northeastern region on Friday evening and Saturday morning started occupying voting stations in a bid to ensure Sunday's poll, which has been declared illegal by Spanish authorities, goes ahead. aljazeera
10 Bangladesh  Jamaat activists arrested in capital
Police in a drive arrested ten suspected Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami-Chhatra Shibir men from Bikrampur Garden City in Kadamtali area of the city on Friday night, reports UNB. Kadamtali police station officer-in-charge Abdul Jalil said on secret information that the Jamaat activists were preparing to “carry out subversive activities”, a team of police conducted a drive in the area around 8:30pm and made the arrests from the second floor of a 7-storey building.The police officer claimed that they had gathered there to “plan and possibly carry out some subversive activity – a somewhat archaic term still used here to denote any action aimed at harming, destabilising or even overthrowing the state. OC claimed that police also recovered explosives and some Jihadi books from the site, but it was not possible to independently verify the recovery. Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Maqbul Ahmad in a press release denied the police claim saying Jamaat leaders were arrested “unlawfully” while they were holding a regular meeting of the party.Condemning the arrest, Jamaat chief demanded immediate release of his activists. prothom
Syria monitor: 28 civilians killed in escalation zone
At least 28 civilians have been killed in air attacks in the opposition stronghold of Idlib province in northwestern Syria, according to a war-monitoriing group.Four children were among the dead in the overnight air raids on the town of Amanaz, a few miles from the Turkish border, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Saturday.An AFP correspondent who toured Armanaz on Saturday said entire apartment blocks had been flattened by the bombardment.It was not immediately clear whether the attack was carried out by Syrian Govt  warplanes or those of its ally Russia.According to the SOHR - which gathers its information from a network of sources inside Syria - dozens of people are still missing after the bombardment. aljazeera
58 Syria Govt  fighters killed in IS attacks:Monitor
Beirut: Islamic State group killed at least 58 Syrian Govt  troops and militia as the jihadists put up fierce resistance to a Russian-backed offensive against some of its last bastions, a monitor said Friday.Most of Thursday`s dead came south of the desert town of Sukna, east of the ancient city of Palmyra, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.IS put out a statement claiming to have killed scores of regime fighters.AFP
Hamas denies claims of military involvement in Libya
Palestinian Hamas movement denied on Friday claims made by a Libyan official that a terror cell affiliated to the movement was detained in the war-torn country, Safa News Agency reported. Several media outlets reported the head of investigations at Libya’s Attorney General’s Office, Sadek Assour, as stating a Mauritanian was arrested and that he was part of a Hamas cell, which had carried out operations against the Algerian army.He also claimed that the Attorney General’s office had information about cells trying to activate themselves in Libya, one of which is connected to Hamas.In response to these remarks, Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, reiterated that Hamas does not operate outside of occupied Palestine and that all these claims were “false.” middleeastmonitor
Israel to approve construction of thousands of new settlement units
Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to approve the construction of 3,300 new settlement units during the next meeting of the Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee, which is set to be held on 16 Oct., Israel’s Channel 7 has reported. Netanyahu made his pledge during a closed meeting on Wednesday with the leaders of the Yesha Council of the West Bank Settlements.Although all of Israel’s settlements are built on occupied Palestinian territory and are illegal under international law, Netanyahu claims that the Trump administration is prepared to “tolerate” limited settlement building. He told the settlers’ group that he has succeeded in convincing Trump to drop its distinction between settlement blocs and so-called isolated settlements. The US President is, he added, almost ready to present a plan for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. middleeastmonitor
Yemen’s Houthis threaten Israel’s basis
Houthi armed group has threatened Israeli bases in Eritrea if it considers joining the Yemen civil war, Al Masirah reported. Colonel Aziz Rashid, military spokesman for the Houthi armed group, warned ballistic missiles could be used to strike Israeli military bases in Eritrea if Tel Aviv enters the Yemen civil war. Houthi armed group deems Israel as an enemy, including anti-Israeli rhetoric on its flag “Death to Israel, Curse upon the Jews…” Abdul Malik Badreddin Al-Houthi in a speech in July said his fighters are ready to support a confrontation with Israel.It is not clear why the threats have been made at this time. middleeastmonitor
Bahrain committed to building relations with Israel, says prominent Rabbi
In a statement to Israel’s Jerusalem Post yesterday, Rabbi Marc Scheiner, one of New York’s most prominent rabbis, revealed an agreement reached between himself and the Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa during one of their meetings in Manama. The agreement concerned the King’s promise to work on adding Hezbollah to the GCC’s list of terrorist organisations.Scheiner said that based on the understanding between himself and the King, Bahrain proposed to the rest of the Gulf countries that Hezbollah be added to the GCC’s list of terrorist organisations. The proposal was accepted in a GCC meeting in March 2016.Scheiner told the newspaper, “Since I began working with the king in 2011, he had made it clear his commitment to building relations with Israel. In fact, in our first meeting we agreed that Bahrain and Israel share a common threat – Iran.” middleeastmonitor
Qatar: We will not extradite Al-Qaradawi
Qatar will not extradite preacher Yusuf Al-Qaradawi to Egypt because he is “not a terrorist but a political opponent”, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, said .Al-Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, is wanted in Egypt because he is a member of the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Al Thani continued by saying: “The information that led some Gulf Cooperation Council member states and Egypt to classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group does not correspond with the information that Qatar has. Therefore, we have not listed the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.” middleeastmonitor
Switzerland withdraws asylum of Libyan preacher after 20 yrs: middleeastmonitor
Switzerland’s Federal Administrative Court in St Gallen has revoked the asylum status of a Libyan preacher following allegations of spreading hate speech.Salah al-din Faitouri, known as Abu-Ramadan, obtained Swiss asylum in 1998 and has drawn regular social security benefits for the past 13 years. Abu-Ramadan is accused of spreading “hate speech” at the Ar Rahman mosque in Biel canton, Bern.He denied these claims and insisted that he had never delivered any hate speech, citing an inaccurate translation of his words from Arabic.
Reports of Quran crackdown in Xinjiang groundless;China
China on Friday dismissed as “groundless allegations” reports that authorities were seizing copies of the Quran from Muslim families in Xinjiang province, PTI reported. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said the situation in Xinjiang was sound, and local residents were working and living in peace. “We hope relevant parties refrain from making groundless allegations and rumours,” he was quoted as saying.Radio Free Asia reported on Wednesday that officials across Xinjiang were warning families and mosques that ethnic minority Uyghur, Kazakh and Kyrgyz Muslims would face harsh punishment if they did not hand in prayer mats and copies of the Quran.World Uyghur Congress group told the news website that the police were making such announcements through social media platform WeChat.“We received a notification saying that every single ethnic Uyghur must hand in any Islam-related items from their own home, including Qurans, prayers and anything else bearing the symbols of religion,” a spokesperson was quoted as saying. scroll
Suu Kyi portrait removed from Oxford college
A portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi has been removed by Oxford University, where she was previously awarded an honorary degree, amid criticism of her handling of the Rohingya crisis. Myanmar's de facto leader has been criticised for failing to address UN allegations of ethnic cleansing.St Hugh's College said her portrait had been replaced with a Japanese painting.It swapped the painting earlier for one by Japanese artist Yoshihiro Takada. The reasons for the portrait's removal are not clear. Communications manager Benjamin Jones said the portrait had been moved to a "secure location" while Takada's piece was to be displayed "for a period".The new painting was presented to the college earlier this month and is currently displayed in the entrance of the college's main building.
UN: 63 presumed dead in shipwreck involving Rohingya Muslims
Geneva:UN migration agency said Friday that more than 60 people are either confirmed dead or missing and presumed dead following the shipwreck of a boat carrying Rohingya Muslims who were fleeing from violence in Myanmar to Bangladesh. Spokesman Joel Millman of the International Organization for Migration told reporters in Geneva that 23 deaths have been confirmed after eight more bodies were found overnight following an initial count of 15.Based on interviews that IOM has conducted with survivors, Millman said, "We believe 40 are missing and presumed drowned" on the vessel, which was thought to have been carrying about 80 people.The agency says more than 500,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since Aug. 25, the start of a military crackdown triggered by a coordinated militant assault on 30 police posts and an army base in northern Rakhine state, where many Rohingya live.AP
Myanmar refugee exodus tops 500,000 as more Rohingya flee
Fear of epidemic disaster as disease stalks Rohingya camps






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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:34 PM)