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01 October 2017

01 Oct. 2017 NEWS DIGEST



Evening NEWS DIGEST
01 Oct.2017: 10 Muharram 1439:Vol:9, No:09
Rtd army officer in Assam, appointed by Abdul Kalam, asked to prove Indian citizenship after 30-yrs of services
An Indian Army’s retired Junior Commissioned Officer, Mohd. Azmal Haque has been accused of being an illegal immigrant by the Assam Police after having served the forces for 30 years.In a strange but common situation in Assam, the officer has been served notice to prove citizenship by the Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT). Azmal Haque, who joined the Indian Army as a mechanical engineer in Sept.  1986 and served the Indian Army for 30 years, last held the rank of a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) when he retired. He was appointed by then President late APJ Abdul Kalam in 2003.This is not the first time Haque has been acquainted with such an allegation. Azmal Haque’s wife Mamataj Begum was accused as illegal immigrant earlier, however, Foreigners’ Tribunal later declared her an Indian citizen.Ex Army officer was born in Kamrup district of Assam in 1968, “My father’s name (Maqbool Ali) is in the 1966 voter’s list, and in village surveys in 1961, 1962 and we have kheraj patta from 1963, while my mother’s name (Rahimon Nesa) is mentioned in the 1951 National Register of Citizens (NRC),” he says.Haque also said that the summon states, that he had entered India after 1971 without any documents. National Register of Citizens, 1951 is a register prepared after the conduct of the Census of 1951 in respect of each village, showing the houses or holdings in a serial order and indicating against each house or holding the number and names of persons staying therein.These registers covered each and every person enumerated during the Census of 1951 and were kept in the offices of Deputy Commissioners and Sub Divisional Officers according to instructions issued by the Govt of India in 1951. Later these registers were transferred to the Police in the early 1960s, as reported.Azmal Haque’s son is also a student of the prestigious Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Dehradun, which is a feeder institute to NDA, NAVAC and Indian Defense Services. He has also expressed his desire to serve Indian Army.Haque exclaimed,“I am a khilonjia axomiya (someone whose origins are in Assam); I belong to this soil. Why is the Govt  trying to harass us on communal grounds.”Another such incident occurred when earlier Assam Police had accused its own Constable of being an illegal immigrant. On Sept.21, 2017, the Foreigners Tribunal had declared him an Indian citizen as well.Aman Wadud, a Guwahati based activist and advocate said that it was a modus operandi of Assam Police. Indian citizens are being accused as illegal immigrants without any investigations. jantakareporter
Retired army officer from Assam Azmal told 'prove you are Indian' after 30 yrs of service
Paramilitary readies ‘non-lethal’ alternatives after criticism over pellet guns
New Delhi: Stung by criticism for using pellet guns that left unarmed protesters blind, especially in Srinagar, paramilitary forces are now readying new crowd-control devices — long range acoustic devices (LRADs), sticky foam that immobilises people, shock batons and the world’s hottest chilli pepper, ‘bhut jolokia’ of Assam.The weapons, currently under trial, are being introduced with the intent to boost the usage of “non-lethal” or “less lethal” technology to combat unrest, especially in J&K , senior paramilitary officials told HT.The weapons will be used by RAF, the riot control specialist wing of CRPF, as soon as DRDO clears them.RAF is, however, not deployed in Kashmir, and it will be CRPF, responsible for peace-keeping in the Valley, that is likely to use the “less lethal” weapons, given that defence and home ministry back these.Among weapons that are being currently tested are long-range acoustic devices (LRAD), designed to frighten people with a high-pitched sound. A similar weapon was first designed by Israel, named “The Scream”. It has been used by the US forces in Iraq for crowd control.Second on the list is the laser dazzler — a non-lethal intense ray of laser light that can cause temporary blindness. RAF is also likely to use ghost pepper or ‘bhut jolokia’ as the main component in chili grenades, which will replace PAVA shells that were also used mostly in Kashmir. PAVA shells, considered an alternative to pellet guns, are made up of the organic compound found in natural chili pepper. It causes severe irritation to eyes officials said. Security forces in Kashmir have received a lot flak from human rights groups that accuse them of excessive use of pellet guns against agitators in Kashmir in recent years. Officials said ‘bhut jolokia’, which is found mostly in India’s north-eastern states, is likely to be used in pepper grenades to disperse crowds .The chili was once certified by Guinness World Records as the hottest in the world and is known to cause extremely painful burns when it comes in contact with skin. hindustantimes
New Haj policy this week, Mumbai-Jeddah sea route to be revived
Centre is expected to come out with a new Haj Yatra policy this week aiming to ensure a smooth pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, Govt  sources have said. A key feature of the policy, expected to be implemented from the next year, will be to revive the option of sending pilgrims via the sea route to Jeddah, after a hiatus of more than two decades, they said.The option of ferrying the faithfuls from the coastal city of Mumbai to Jeddah has been considered as the Supreme Court in a 2012 order asked the Centre to abolish by 2022 the airways subsidy offered to Haj pilgrims.Govt  feels the sea route will help cut down the travel expenses.The Muslims, however, will continue to have the option of travelling to their holiest site by air from 21 embarkation points in the country, including Delhi and Mumbai, the sources said. Another feature of the policy is to limit the pilgrimage to once-in-a-lifetime affair, they said, adding the Govt will come out with the policy this week.“It is in line with the apex court’s order and revives the option of sending pilgrims via ships to Saudi Arabia as it is a cheaper yet comfortable option,” a source said. The practice of ferrying the pilgrims by waterways was discontinued in 1995 on account of MV Akbari, the ship which used to transport them, growing old, the source said. The sources said a modern ship can ferry 4,000 to 5,000 passengers at a time and cover the 2300-odd nautical miles distance between the two cities in 2-3 days. Before the sea route was closed, it used to take nearly a week for the pilgrims to reach Jeddah from the Yellow Gate in Mumbai’s Mazgaon, source added. On the idea of restricting the pilgrimage to once in a lifetime, another source added it is to ensure that all desirous people get a fair chance to undertake the journey.PTI
UGC panel seeks to curb AMU say in picking its V-C
New Delhi: A Govt audit of AMU has recommended that the selection process of its V-C should be tweaked to align with the appointment procedure followed by other central universities. Unlike other centrally-funded varsities, AMU has a unique process to select its head. The university’s Executive Council shortlists a panel of five candidates and forwards it to AMU Court, which, in turn, selects 3 names and dispatches the list to HRD Ministry.President then appoints one of the three finalists. The audit report, submitted to UGC recently, has suggested that AMU should no longer be an exception and follow the process adopted by its counterparts. For most central universities, V-C is appointed through a competitive process. Applications are invited via a public advertisement, and are then screened by a Govt -appointed selection committee. The committee usually shortlists a panel of 3 names and forwards it to the HRD Ministry. President appoints one of these three finalists as V-C.According to a member of the audit committee, who spoke to the Sunday Express on condition of anonymity, the report has also flagged the culture of “inbreeding” in AMU, under which a majority of faculty appointments are of former students of the university.“There should be a rule that ensures a gap year or a cooling-off period before an AMU alumnus is immediately absorbed as a teacher,” said a panel member. That apart, committee has also called for more transparency in the university’s functioning. One of the ways to achieve this is to follow the policy of self-disclosure under the Right to Information Act, the member said.Audit report has made close to 15 suggestions to improve the functioning of the university. According to sources, UGC hasn’t taken any decision on the recommendations as it is waiting for other audit reports to be submitted.UGC has ordered an audit of 10 central universities, at the behest of HRD Ministry, to probe complaints of financial, administrative and academic irregularities.indian express
‘Inbreeding’ at AMU affecting diversity: Central panel
Sharp spike in buffalo meat export via south ports raises beef question
New Delhi:A sudden jump in buffalo meat shipments through southern ports has raised the question whether some of these might actually be beef from cattle (cow and its progeny), the export of which is banned. The basis for this is primarily two-fold. Between 2014-15 and 2016-17, India’s buffalo meat exports fell from 14.76 lakh tonnes (valued at Rs 29,289.16 crore) to 13.31 lakh tonnes (Rs 26,307.93 crore).This was reflected at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at Nhava Sheva near Mumbai, the country’s biggest container-handling port, where the consignments fell by over a fifth.But the same period saw exports through Chennai and the nearby Kattupalli port going up by roughly five times (see table).Secondly, quite a few of those exporting sizable cargoes — between 50 and 250 full container loads (each of 28 tonnes) annually — from the two southern ports have processing plants in places as far away as Dasna (Ghaziabad) and Sahaspur (Bijnor) in UP  and Burma Camp (Dimapur) in Nagaland. The choice of ports, 2,000-3,000 km away from their plants, has raised questions. “We have asked the firms to submit all the relevant documents to enable us to verify whether the exports are genuine buffalo meat consignments,” Devendra Kumar Singh, chairman, Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) said.  indian express
How this Hyderabad qazi solemnized 200 weddings without Wakf board's certificate: oneindia
The Hyderabad police who have arrested foreign nationals in connection with 'child bride for sale' racket has alleged that a qazi used fake certificates to solemnize illegal marriages. The number of marriages he solemnized, including those involving minor girls, stands at a whopping 200. Hyderabad police are questioning Ali Abdullah Rafai over using fake Siyahnamas (marriage forms) to solemnize marriages. A qazi from Mumbai, Farid Ahmed Khan, is also being interrogated for following a similar modus operandi and being an associate of the accused qazi. The police have so far arrested 3 qazis and have found that the Waqf Board had not issued a single Siyahnama to Rafai since 2014. He has, however,solemnized 200 marriages, including those of minor girls to Arab nationals. Marriages have taken place using fake certificates not authorized by the Wakf board in the last 2 years. Officials probing the racket told the media on Friday that when they contacted the Waqf Board authorities to ascertain the authenticity of the Siyahnamas issued by Rafai for the marriages, the board claimed that they had not supplied a single Siyahnama to him since 2014. The board however, claimed that the certificates may have been what was issued to Rafai's father, who was also a qazi, before he passed away. Officials were also told that qazi in question, Rafai was even suspended from his post but had moved the High court against the order which is currently pending. Wakf board even claimed that the qazi did not have the permission to perform the duties and hence Siyahnamas were not given to him. Police, who are having a tough time communicating with the accused in the same, have sought the help of Waqf Board's Nasirul Qazath, supervisor of qazis, and 2 Waqf Board employees who are experts in Arabic. Wakf board members are helping the police search and understand documents from Rafai's room, most of which are in Arabic. OneIndia News
Fake Hyderabad qazi solemnised 200 weddings
Did US intelligence agency try to protect Mahatma Gandhi, questions PIL in Supreme Court
New Delhi:This question is one among many raised before the Supreme Court in a petition which has sought the re-opening of the investigation into Mahatma Gandhi’s murder, suggesting whether it was one of the biggest cover-ups in history.In his written submission, Dr Pankaj Phadnis, a researcher and a trustee of Abhinav Bharat, Mumbai, who has filed the petition, said telegrams were sent from the US Embassy to Washington on Jan.30, 1948, after the assassination of Gandhi and one of the reports relating to it still remains classified.He has put on record one of the telegrams “obtained officially” by him during his recent visit to the National Archives and Research Administration, Maryland in USA, during a visit in May this year. Phadnis maintained that as per the “restricted” telegram of January 30, 1948, sent from the US Embassy at 8 pm, Herbert Tom Reiner, Disbursing Officer, was within five feet of Gandhi when he was shot, and with the aid of Indian guards, he had apprehended the assassin.PTI
Congress takes a dig at BJP, says there's a difference between 'Ramrajya and RSS Rajya'
New Delhi: Congress has used the occasion of Dussehra to "distinguish between Ramrajya and RSS Rajya," in a stinging commentary on RSS and NDA Govt  at the Centre.Accusing RSS and PM  Narendra Modi's Govt  of subverting the vision of Mahatma Gandhi to propagate "tyranny," Congress insisted that it is "reclaiming the concept of Ramrajya."The party charged that PM Modi's "leadership can only be described as being informed by RSS rajya, not the ideal of Ramrajya.""They are in the habit of reducing Lord Ram to a signifier of difference based on who worships Him, rather than adhere to the secular takeaways of his rule during what many of the faithful believe was a temporal kingship. There is a clear departure between the Modi Sarkar as a political phenomenon and his leadership can only be described as being informed by RSS rajya, not the ideal of Ramrajya," it accused.It contrasted this with Mahatma Gandhi's understanding of Ram and Ramrajya, stressing that to the father of the nation, "Lord Ram embodied the triumph of good over evil and Ramrajya the happy human condition under a culture of good governance.""By Ramrajya, I do not mean Hindu Raj. For me Ram and Rahim are one and the same deity. I acknowledge no other God but the one God of truth and righteousness. Whether Ram of my imagination ever lived or not on this earth, the ancient ideal of Ramarajya is undoubtedly one of true democracy in which the meanest citizen could be sure of swift justice without an elaborate and costly procedure," the commentary quoted the Mahatma as saying.TOI
Rahul may take over as Congress chief after Diwali: Pilot
New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi may take over as the Congress president shortly after Diwali, Rajasthan leader Sachin Pilot said on Sunday, stressing that the time had come for the party vice president to lead from the front.PTI
Rane announces his new party Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha, expected to align with BJP
Mumbai:Nearly 2 weeks after quitting the Congress party, senior leader Narayan Rane on Sunday announced formation of his new party, named Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha. While Rane was mum over whether he would back the ruling NDA, he did announce his support for the bullet train project and backed the development agenda of the BJP. This pointed towards his possible support to the ruling alliance in the near future.Rane took potshots at Shiv Sena, while sparing BJP from criticism. "Shiv Sena will never leave power until it has been voted out by the voters," Rane said on the party's constant threats to pull out of the Maharashtra govt. Criticising Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray for his salvos against PM Narendra Modi, CM Devendra Fadnavis and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, Rane said, "Who is Uddhav to talk about these elected leaders. Udhhav is just the leader of the Shiv Sena. He has no credentials to criticise them." firstpost
Bullet train will kill rail safety, says Chidambaram
New Delhi:Former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday came down heavily on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project, saying “it will be like demonetisation” and “will kill everything else including railway safety”. The money for the project should instead be spend on improving railway safety, Chidambaram said in a series of tweets a day after the Elphinstone stampede in Mumbai.He alleged that the project being executed with Japanese technical and financial assistance “is not for ordinary people. It is an ego trip for the high and mighty”. indianexpress
No Durga idol immersion today despite Calcutta HC nod. Another victory for Mamata govt?IndiaToday
New Delhi:The state Govt had imposed restrictions on Durga idol immersion on Vijaydashami on Sept.  30 after 10 pm and Oct. 1 which is 10th day of the holy month of Muharram.But the order was stayed effectively by the Calcutta High Court. Regardless of the high court order, no organising committee sought permission for idol immersion today, thereby silencing the BJP and Hindu hardliner outfits who had long been trying to browbeat TMC Govt.According to sources, about 95% TMC leaders are associated with pandals or organising committees in their districts, which could have pivoted the Durga idol immersion plans in favor of Banerjee Govt . Interestingly, of all 25,000 worship communities in Kolkata, not one has till now sought permission from the police or the local administration for statuary immersion. indiatoday
Amit Shah to kick off campaign against ‘CPM intolerance, Muslim extremism’ in Kerala
“CPI(M)’s intolerance” and “Muslim extremism” will be the dominant themes of BJP’s 2-week Kerala ‘janaraksha yatra’, which will see a battery of the party’s national leaders joining the state-wide campaign on foot.BJP national president Amit Shah will inaugurate the yatra at Payyannur in Kannur on Oct. 3. He will be part of the yatra for 2 days when it will pass through CPI(M)-dominated areas in Kannur district, which has been witnessing political violence.The group will tour Kannur for 4 days and other districts for a day each. Leaders will walk 10km every day. BJP leader V Muraleedharan said Islamic terrorism and CPI(M)’s intolerance are the topics that would be debated during the yatra. indianexpress
Teen elopes with Muslim boy, electrocuted by father,uncle
Chandigarh: A 17-year-old girl, who had allegedly eloped with a Muslim boy a fortnight ago from Joshi village of Panipat, was brought back and electrocuted by her father and her uncle in the name of family 'honour'.They tied her up and killed her by putting live power cables in her hand in the wee hours of Friday and then quietly cremated her. The incident came out on Friday afternoon when a police party headed by Matlauda SHO Narender Singh reached the village. Girl's father Suresh Kumar and uncle Shyam Pundit have been arrested. Matlauda DSP Bali Singh,who is the supervising officer in the case, said the girl was the second of 7 children of Suresh. He said she was a school dropout and used to help her mother in household chores. Police said a group of masons had come to Joshi last month and the girl got involved with one of the masons and eloped with him to Kandhla town in Shamli district of UP. TOI
Not a single Rohingya entered Mizoram:Home Minister
Aizawl: Mizoram Home Minister R Lalzirliana today said that the state Govt  has not received any report of even a single Rohingya Muslim entering its soil till date.Centre had alerted the state Govt to beef up security in view of Rohingyas entering North Eastern states adjoining Myanmar in the wake of recent clashes between the Myanmar army and the Rohingyas. Lalzirliana said that security forces guarding the borders were instructed to step up vigil along the Mizoram-Myanmar border and Mizoram-Bangladesh border.PTI 
India asks Myanmar to take action over killings of Hindus
Myanmar troops have accused the Rohingya Muslims of killing over 45 Hindu villagers, following which the Indian Govt  has sought action against those responsible for the murder of hundreds of Hindus in Myanmar's Rakhine.This comes after mass graves of Hindus were discovered from the eastern province which is in the grip of an ethnic conflict.Raveesh Kumar, External affairs ministry spokesperson, said that as per the statement of the office of Myanmar's state counsellor, all the bodies found in these graves are of Hindus."We emphasise that there is no justification for any act of terrorism which targets civilians in this conflict. We hope authorities will be able to bring to justice perpetrators of the crime," he said. Indiatimes
Over 300 Dalits convert to Buddhism in Gujarat
Ahmedabad:Over 300 Dalits have embraced Buddhism in Ahmedabad and Vadodara on the occasion of Ashoka Vijaya Dashami -- the day the ruler is said to have pledged non-violence and converted to the religion -- coordinators of the programmes said.Around 200 Dalits, 50 of them women, converted to Buddhism at a programme organised by the Gujarat Buddhist Academy here, said the organisation’s secretary Ramesh Banker.“Deeksha (initiation) was given by a Buddhist religious head from Kushinagar, the place where Lord Buddha gave up his body to attain Parinirvana,” Banker said.At a function in Vadodara, over 100 Dalits converted to Buddhism. Pragna Ratna, a monk from Porbandar, gave them the Deeksha, said Madhusudan Rohit, coordinator of the event. “There wasn’t any particular organisation behind this program...over 100 persons converted voluntarily,” said Rohit, who is the zonal coordinator of the Bahujan Samaj Party.PTI
7 members of Babbar Khalsa held, five aged below 23
Ludhiana: Punjab police arrested seven youths on Saturday for allegedly being members of terrorist organisation Babbar Khalsa International (BKI). The arrest was facilitated by the counter intelligence wing of Punjab Police.Sources said four of the ac cused are aged between 18 and 23 years. One is a minor. Commissioner of police R N Dhoke said, "BKI was planning to carry out subversive activities in Punjab, especially against anti-Khalistan and anti-Sikh groups. These seven were handpicked by England-based Surinder Singh Babbar, who approached them through social networking sites."timesofindia
In Kasab hanging, secrecy was priority. In Memon case, entire country was watching: Meeran Chadha Borwankar
Mumbai:“The biggest challenge in (Ajmal) Kasab’s case was the secrecy. Former Deputy CM  and then Home Minister RR Patil Sir was very emphatic about this. Given that right from the signing of the black warrant by the court, to transporting him from Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai to Yerawada Central Prison in Pune, where the hanging was to take place, to the actual execution, there were so many agencies involved, this was a huge task. And Yakub Memon’s hanging was just the opposite — we had to work with the spotlight on us,” said Meeran Chadha Borwankar, ex-IG (Prisons), Maharashtra, who oversaw both the hangings. Borwankar retired as DG, Bureau of Police Research and Development,on Saturday. Borwankar, only woman IPS officer in India to have witnessed hangings, spoke about 2 most challenging and controversial assignments of her career spanning 36 years —hangings of Ajmal Kasab in 2012 and Yakub Memon in 2015.indian express
WORLD
Spain: Catalonia's controversial referendum kicks off, several injured in security forces’ crackdown
Spanish riot police clashed with Catalan voters in Barcelona on Sunday as the controversial referendum on breaking away from Spain began. Spanish national police began to seize ballot boxes and voting papers from Catalan polling stations, Interior Ministry said.Our correspondent at one confrontation saw several people with bleeding faces after they were beaten by security forces. Some people who attempted to vote and fought with riot police were taken away in ambulances after being injured. At another polling station, would-be voters chanted "we are people of peace" and "we are not afraid". Half a dozen armoured police vans and an ambulance stood ready nearby, the witness said.Catalans were defying rain and police orders to leave designated polling booths as the referendum got under way on the region's secession that has challenged Spain's political and institutional order.Organisers have asked people to block entrances and use passive resistance during voting, which started 9am. Spanish riot police smashed their way into a polling station in Sant Julia de Ramis,near Catalan city of Girona, where Catalan President Carles Puigdemont was expected to vote. Civil Guard officers with shields used a hammer to smash the glass of the front door and lock cutters to force their way in. Scuffles erupted outside between police and people waiting to vote. aljazeera
Police fire rubber bullets at voters, smash into polling stations with AXES as Catalonia's independence vote
Kurds' vote a step towards Mideast partition: Hezbollah
Hezbollah says the Iraqi Kurdish independence vote marked a first step towards the partition of the Middle East, warning it would lead to "internal wars" and must be opposed.Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Iran-backed group, said at a Saturday night rally events in northern Iraq - where Kurds overwhelmingly voted last week - were a threat to the whole region and not just Iraq and neighbouring states with Kurdish populations."It will open the door to partition, partition, partition," Nasrallah said. "Partition means taking the region to internal wars whose end and timeframe is known only to God."
Kurdish authorities ‘will pay price’ for vote: Erdogan
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said Iraqi Kurdish authorities would pay the price for an independence referendum which was widely opposed by foreign powers. Iraq’s Kurds overwhelmingly backed independence in Monday’s referendum, defying neighbouring countries which fear the vote could fuel Kurdish separatism within their own borders and lead to fresh conflict.Erdogan has built strong commercial ties with Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq, which pump hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil daily through Turkey for export to world markets. middleeastmonitor
Turkey opens military base in Somali to train soldiers
Turkey opened its biggest overseas military base on Saturday in Somalia’s capital, cementing its ties with the volatile but strategic Muslim nation and building a presence in East Africa. Over 10,000 Somali soldiers will be trained by Turkish officers at the base, a senior Turkish official said ahead of a ceremony in Mogadishu attended by Turkish military chief of staff Hulusi Akar.The opening of the $50 million base signals ever-closer ties between Turkey and Somalia.Turkey’s relations with the Horn of Africa date back to the Ottoman Empire, but Turkish Govt has become a close ally of the Somali Govt in recent years.At the opening ceremony on Saturday, Somali PM  Hassan Ali Khaire thanked the Turkish Govt  for opening the training school and said it would help the Govt  “reconstruct” its national force, that is: middleeastmonitor
Saudi authorizes women to issue Fatwas
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia women can now issue fatwas after the historic recommendation was approved by 107 votes in the Shoura Council.With this, 45 years old tradition of only specialist men being able to issue fatwas in the Kingdom ended, a report claimed.The recommendation, made by one of the members of the Shoura Council was approved during the 49th meeting. Till now, the only govt body authorised to issue fatwas in the Kingdom was the General Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta.Recently, Saudi Arabia allowed its women to drive in the country. The reform will be effective from June next year. The move is being seen as a stern blow to several Islamic clerics who justified banning women from driving by saying that it would lead to promiscuity and the collapse of the Saudi family.india.com
First time in Saudi, women authorized to issue fatwas
2000 Rohingya wait at Myanmar coast to cross over
Yangon: Over 2,000 Rohingya have massed along Myanmar's coast this week after trekking from inland villages in Rakhine state to join the refugee exodus to Bangladesh, state media reported Saturday.The refugees follow more than half a million fellow Rohingya who have emptied out of northern Rakhine in a single month, fleeing an army crackdown and communal violence the UN says amounts to "ethnic cleansing". AFP
UAE collects 'sin' taxes on tobacco, energy drinks
UAE begins collecting new "sin" taxes on tobacco products, energy drinks and soft drinks.Beginning on Sunday, tobacco and energy drinks will be taxed at 100% and soft drinks at 50%. Shoppers could be seen stocking up the day before. The new tax push comes as UAE and other oil-rich Gulf nations have struggled with low global energy prices. UAE will start collecting a 5-% value-added tax on certain goods in Jan.AP
Pak overhauling communications system with help from China: Report
 Pakistan is working on a massive project with China as part of the $55-billion CPEC project to develop a communications system which is not routed through India and US, a media report said on Sunday.The roadmap of the Long Term Plan (LTP) for the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was developed from Nov.2013 to Dec. 2015 by officials and experts from both countries, the Dawn reported. PTI
US: Are 'anti-Sharia' bills legalising Islamophobia?
At least 13 states across the US have introduced bills that seek to ban Islamic law this year, with Texas and Arkansas enacting "anti-Sharia" legislation, according to a report. Researchers and critics fear that right-wing legislators are increasing anti-Muslim sentiment as Islamic law, known as "Sharia", was targeted by some 194 bills between 2010 and 2016, according to the report by the University of California, Berkeley's Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society.Of that total, 18 bills were signed into law in 12 different states."Anti-Sharia law movement, by way introducing and enacting anti-Sharia law bills across the US, seeks to legalise the othering of Muslims, as well as to perpetuate a fear of Sharia, Islam and ultimately Muslims," said Basima Sisemore, a researcher and an author of Legalising Othering: The US of Islamophobia. aljazeera
Syrian Observatory: Daesh captures town from Govt
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Sunday that Daesh fighters had seized control of the town of al-Qaryatayn in Homs province, part of a wider counterattack by the militants as they resist a fierce offensive in eastern Syria.There was no comment from the Syrian army on the report that Qaryatayn, 120 km northeast of Damascus, had fallen.Syrian Govt  forces recovered Qaryatayn from Daesh some 6 months ago. Observatory said Daesh fighters had seized control of Qaryatayn in a surprise attack launched after its fighters had infiltrated the town. middleeastmonitor
Russian raids killed thousands in Syria since 2015: NGO
A total of 5,233 civilians have been killed in Syria since Russia began airstrikes against opponents of the Syrian regime in 2015, according to a Syrian NGO. The fatalities included 1,417 children and 886 women, the London-based Syrian Network for Human Rights said in a statement on Sunday. Syria fell into a civil war in 2011 after the regime of Bashar al-Assad put down pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity. Anadolu
Iran recruits Afghan children to fight in Syria: HRW
Kabul:An international rights watchdog on Sunday accused Iran of recruiting Afghan immigrant children to fight in Syria for the regime forces. In a latest report, the HRW said Afghan children in Iran as young as 14 had fought in the Fatemiyoun division, an exclusively Afghan armed group supported by Iran that fights alongside Syrian regime forces. According to HRW, the international law considers recruiting children under the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities a war crime.The watchdog said that its researchers had reviewed photographs of tombstones in Iranian cemeteries, where the authorities buried combatants killed in Syria, and identified eight Afghan children who apparently fought and died in Syria. Anadolu
Civilians armed to protect mosques during Ashoura
Authorities in Afghanistan have tightened security in Kabul in advance of Ashoura on Sunday, the holiest day in the Shia Muslim calendar, fearing attacks on worshippers.Afghan capital witnessed increased security, with extra police checkpoints set up in parts of the city where Ashoura processions traditionally take place.But Kabul residents have raised concerns at the Govt 's security plan, which includes arming hundreds of civilians to help protect mosques and religious processions that have come under attack recently. Many residents Al Jazeera spoke to say the policy could be misused in the future.Last week, Govt  provided basic defence and weapons training to at least 500 volunteer guards to protect nearly 400 Shia mosques in Kabul."I think at the moment it is better to have extra security, but in the long run I don't feel comfortable with the idea of civilians in possessing weapons," Mohammad Sabir, a 50-year-old Shia worshipper, said. aljazeera
Austrian police force women to uncover their faces as country's 'burka ban' comes into force
A Muslim woman was forced to remove her veil today as the ban on full-face veils came into force in Austria.Items concealing the face in public places, such as the full Islamic veil, medical masks and scarves to cover faces have been outlawed. Only under certain conditions, such as 'at cultural events', will people be able to wear them in public. The laws are aimed at 'ensuring the cohesion of society in an open society' and anyone violating the rules could be hit with a €150 fine. On Sunday, a Muslim woman defying the rule was spotted being told to remove her veil in the town of Zell am See. In a ruling announcing the ban, officials in Vienna said: 'Acceptance and respect of Austrian values are basic conditions for successful cohabitation between the majority Austrian population and people from third countries living in Austria.'The measures, similar to those in other EU countries, also apply to visitors even though large numbers of Arab tourists holiday in Alpine country.The legislation was brought in by the outgoing centrist Govt  of Chancellor Christian Kern.DailyMail
New report shows Human rights violations in Bangladesh
Almost a hundred people were killed by law enforcement agencies in the last nine months of this year, according to a report by Bangladeshi rights body Ain o Salish Kendra. It published information based on the national dailies of Bangladesh.It documented victims’ family and eyewitnesses as saying that law enforcement agencies in civil dress arrested more than 50 people which was also published in the national dailies. However, only a few of them returned. The bullet ridden bodies of others were found. But the law enforcement agencies denied these allegations, says the rights body. According to the report, 588 women have been raped. The majority of them killed after rape; some commited suicide.World Bulletin
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
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