News and views across the globe.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

04 Oct.2017 NEWS DIGEST



Evening NEWS DIGEST
04 Oct.2017: 13 Muharram 1439:Vol:9, No:12
Notes Ban 'Largest Money-Laundering Scheme Ever':Arun Shourie
New Delhi: Arun Shourie, ex-union minister,was categorical today in blaming the economic slowdown on PM Narendra Modi's shock outlawing of high-denomination notes a year ago. "It was the largest money-laundering scheme ever, conceived and implemented entirely by the Govt," Shourie told NDTV today. It was an "idiotic jolt" he continued, "everyone who had black converted it into white."RBI has said that nearly 99 %  of the banned currency has been returned to banks, which suggests that black or untaxed money was not destroyed by the giant move.He was quick to add the new national sales tax -- GST -- to the list of Govt's misdeeds, stating that though it was an important reform, it had been poorly implemented. "The rules have been amended seven times within three months," said ex-BJP member in support of his claim, adding that what makes it worse is the "event management of GST -- imagine! A tax reform is being compared to the independence of India" he said about the special midnight session of parliament held to introduce the new tax in July. Shourie's relentless criticism of Govt's economic mismanagement comes days after ex-Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha,  said that the economy is a mess and that it will not recover, despite Govt's claims, by the next general election in 2019.BJP responded by dismissing Sinha and Shourie as frustrated politicians who are avenging their sidelining by the party by publicly dissing its leadership."This is their Standard Operating Procedure," Shourie said of BJP's response, adding "they should publish a list in advance of frustrated persons" as a pre-emptive strike against disagreement.He said major economic policies are being decided in "a sealed echo chamber" of "2.5 persons" whom he listed as "Amit Shah,PM Modi, and an in-house lawyer." His derision of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley echoes that of Sinha, who said the buck stops with Jaitley for the economy plummeting to 5.7% growth in the last quarter, marking a 3-year low.Shourie said that he agrees with Sinha's assessment that others in the BJP share their concern over the Govt's economic policies but are either prevented from or scared to raise questions. NDTV
Demonetisation was suicide, all arguments in favour have collapsed: Shourie
Demonetisation an ‘idiotic jolt’ to economy, GST badly implemented: Shourie
Demonetisation: Bank employees, yet to be paid for working overtime and on off days, threaten strike
New Delhi: Unions representing employees of Govt -run banks have threatened to launch a strike and head to courts if their employers don’t clear overtime dues from the time they worked long hours to handle the demonetisation rush. Union Govt ’s November 8 decision to scrap bank notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination wiped out 86% of the currency in circulation, triggering a countrywide rush as millions ended up in banks to exchange their notes for legal tender. In some cases, staffers worked 14 hours at a stretch and their leaves were cancelled as the system struggled to deal with the unprecedented chaos.A majority of those employees who put in extra hours were yet to get additional pay and overtime, almost 11 months since they worked the extra hours. The rush lasted around three months. At present there are about 8 lakh employees engaged with these banks. hindustantimes
India's crackdown on Muslim-run leather units dents exports, hits jobs:Reuters
New Delhi:A Govt  crackdown on Muslim-dominated abattoirs and the trade of cattle dragged down India’s exports of leather shoes by more than 13 % in June, as leading global brands turned to China, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan to secure supplies.The drop in exports of shoes and leather garments comes as a setback for PM  Narendra Modi, who has sought to create millions of jobs by more than doubling the leather industry’s revenues to $27 billion by 2020.Emboldened by the victory of Modi’s BJP in the 2014 general election, Hindu hard-liners, who consider cows sacred, became more assertive in their calls for a clamp-down on both the meat and leather industries, run by Muslims, who make up 14 % of India’s 1.3 billion people.“The writing was already on the wall,”Nazir Ahmed, CEO of shoemaker Park Exports, told Reuters by phone from Agra, a shoe-making hub and home to the Taj Mahal. “We have killed the goose that laid the golden egg.” India, the world’s second-biggest supplier of shoes and leather garments, exports nearly half its leather goods, with overseas sales estimated at $5.7 billion in the 2016/17 fiscal year to March, down 3.2 % from a year earlier. Footwear exports fell more than 4 % in April-June, to $674 million.In March, after being appointed chief minister of UP , India’s most populous state and a major leather exporter, Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu monk, ordered a closure of abattoirs operating without licenses.Slaughterhouse owners complain that much of India’s meat and leather trade takes place in the informal sector, and it’s hard to get licenses, especially for smaller units.In May, citing cruelty to animals, the federal Govt  banned the trade of cattle for slaughter, and restricted livestock sales only for agricultural purposes such as ploughing and dairy production. But the country’s top court overturned that order, citing the hardship the ban had caused.That has not brought relief as repeated attacks on trucks carrying cattle still rankle the leather trade.“The supreme court has allowed the resumption of trade for cattle, but the ground reality is that cow vigilante groups continue to be active and no one wants to risk his life by transporting cattle,” Ahmed said.Deterred by a clutch of measures that squeezed the supply of leather, a key raw material, brands like H&M (HMb.ST), Inditex (ITX.MC)-owned Zara and Clarks, cut back their orders to India, said M. Rafeeque Ahmed, a leading shoe exporter from the southern city of Chennai and former president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations.“We lost orders because our buyers were sceptical of our ability to meet their requirements. Instead, most buyers moved to rival suppliers in Asia and southeast Asia,” he said. Reuters
Maharashtra tops list of complaints of traders overcharging customers post-GST 
Maharashtra reported the most complaints of traders overcharging for packaged foods such as biscuits, chocolates and beverages after GST regime kicked in on July 1, consumer affairs ministry data shows.BJP-ruled state received 143 complaints between July 1 and Sept 30 followed by Odisha with 123, the ministry data, a copy of which is with HT, says. There were 42 such complaints in the country’s most populous state UP  while in seven states – J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Sikkim,Tripura and Rajasthan – consumers seemed to have no grouse against traders.HT
SC rejects govt’s stand on Rohingyas, says judiciary can review executive decision to deport refugees
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it has the authority to review the move to deport Rohingya Muslim refugees, rejecting NDA govt’s stand that the judiciary must not interfere with an executive decision.“To say this petition is not maintainable, I believe, is not correct,” said an apex court bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra. “I, for one, believe from my past experience of 40 years that when a petition like this comes to us,court should be slow to abdicate its jurisdiction.” The judge was responding to additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta’s argument that the Centre’s submission with regard to the case was justified.Mehta contended that the Centre had arrived at its decision (to deport Rohingya Muslims) on the basis of constitutional principles.“Various parameters are considered before Govt arrives at an executive decision,” he said.“It could be diplomatic considerations; whether a country can sustain refugees; what would be the repercussions of providing shelter among the local population…therefore, executive decisions should be left to the Govt unless any motive is attributed.” hindustantimes
Rohingyas have fundamental rights like indians; SC has jurisdiction to hear plea against their deportation: Nariman
No comparison of Rohingyas with Pakistan, Bangladesh refugees: Govt in SC
2 held for vandalism, mosque committee agrees to reduce prayer speaker volume
Noida: Police took 2 residents of a Noida village into custody on Tuesday for vandalism at a mosque there a day earlier and the district administration held meetings with members of two communities to work out a peaceful solution to a row that broke out over a loudspeaker being used to offer prayers.Around 9am on Monday, a group of 40-50 local youths entered the premises of Masjid-E-Noor in Chhaprauli Bangar Village in Sector 168,near Shiv Nadar School and just 2km from the Noida expressway. The brother of the local imam was also beaten up.Police said last Friday a number of people had gathered for prayers, and that parked vehicles had choked the adjacent road.A group of local residents took note of that and called a meeting of members of both communities on Monday. But members of the minority community stayed away, fearing an attack on them.Zainuddin-al-Hussaini, imam of the mosque who joined last year, said he and his younger brother Saba Hasan (19) were sitting in a resting room built as an annexure to the mosque when a mob landed there."They barged into the room and asked us why we use a loudspeaker for prayers. They held my brother by the collar and slapped him a few times," Hussaini said.When he called neighbours for help, the mob started retreating but threw stones at the resting room that shattered some window panes. There was no damage to the mosque. The mob had dispersed by the time a police team reached.Police later registered a non-cognisable report for voluntarily causing hurt and intentional insult to provoke breach of peace under sections 323 and 504 of IPC. On Tuesday evening, Om Dutt and Surendra, both local residents, were arrested.Noida city magistrate Mahendra Singh and circle officer Abhinandan held a meeting with members of the community members. Surendra Chauhan, who attended the meeting, said they objected to the use of a loudspeaker for prayers. "Also on Fridays, the mosque gets crowded and it creates a traffic jam as people park their vehicles on the road," he said. The minority community has sought deployment of police to ensure law and order in the area."We have warned of legal action if anyone threatens peace and tranquility in the village," circle officer Abhinandan said. The village is home to around 2,000 families.The imam said since the mosque is located near corporate firms, people working in MNCs along the expressway, and labourers at construction sites join Friday prayers, which leads to an unusual increase in the number of attendees from 8-10 on a regular day to 1,000-1,500 on a Friday.The masjid committee also agreed to lower the volume of the loundspeaker and mount it at a lower height. It also agreed to look into a solution to the parking problem.TOI
Ghaziabad: Saffron outfits dare police to make arrests for firing arms in Dasna temple
Noida:A number of saffron outfits on Tuesday came out in support of those involved in firing that took place at the ancient Dasna Devi temple in Ghaziabad on Vijaya Dashmi and condemned filing of an FIR in the matter.Hundreds of devotees had performed ‘Shastra Puja’ rituals and later fired weapons in the air inside the temple complex.A day later, SSP, HN Singh, took cognizance of a video that had gone viral on social media, showing the indiscriminate use of weapons and had ordered registration of an FIR at Masuri police station.On Tuesday, members of several saffron outfits came together to support the cause of temple’s mahant, Yati Narsimhanand, and said that it was an attempt on the part of police to curtail the rights of devotees.“We have been performing rituals and firing our arms on this occasion for many years now, to check if our arms are in order and the police also know of this. We opened fire inside the complex and not in a public place,” said Shashi Chauhan, a woman councillor from Dasna, who also featured in the video. hindustantimes
MP police force farmers to strip, sit in underwear in station after protest
Bhopal:Police in a MP town allegedly rounded up a group of farmers and forced them to disrobe after a protest demonstration, according to leaders of the Congress backing the agitation, who have decided to approach the country’s human rights watchdog.Dozens of farmers gathered in front of collectorate in Bundelkhand’s Tikamgarh on Tuesday afternoon to present a list of demands to the district administration. The protest turned aggressive, prompting police to use teargas, water cannons and sticks on the people to disperse them.Bundelkhand is one of the most distressed farm regions in Madhya Pradesh, which saw violent protests in June over the issue of loan waivers. Five farmers were killed in police firing at the time.Local Congress leader Yadvendra Singh said the protesters became angry after the district collector did not meet them.“Due to this protesters started losing their cool. The police used force and between 25 to 30 farmers were injured. When I reached home, I received information that around 30-40 farmers have been detained by police at Dehat police station. I went there and found they had been beaten up. They were made to sit just in their underwear,” Singh said.“ It is a clear violation of human rights and I will file a complaint with video and photos to NHRC and State Human Rights Commission. Tomorrow we have called for Tikamgarh bandh on this issue”, he said on Tuesday.The protest was led by leader of opposition in the state assembly Ajay Singh. Tikamgarh SP Kumar Prateek told HT that force was used after the crowd started throwing rocks. He said eight cops and one protester were injured in the scuffle.He said he was unaware of the protesters being made to strip and said police were only interrogating the detainees.Photographs provided to HT showed the men inside the police station only in their underwear.They were freed after Yadvendra Singh reached the police station.Falling yield, mounting debt and increasingly costly raw materials are seen as factors pushing farmers in several parts of the country to commit suicide. hindustantimes
Rajasthan farmers stay ‘buried’ in ground in protest over land acquisition
Jaipur: A ‘zameen samadhi satyagraha’ at Ninder village, which has farmers squatting neck-deep in pits to protest land acquisition by the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA), entered its third day on Wednesday as talks with Govt  officials remained inconclusive.JDA has been acquiring agricultural land for a housing project, drawing protests from farmers in Ninder area.Nagendra Singh, president of the Ninder Bachao Kisan Yuva Samiti (NBKYS), said the two parties were yet to reach an agreement on the issue. “After meeting urban development and housing minister Shrichand Kriplani, we proposed to JDA commissioner that a fresh land survey be conducted with specific points in mind. JDA has asked for a day’s time to discuss the issue before taking a decision,” he added. Hindustantimes
Why are Sanand Dalits of Gujarat changing their display picture to a moustache? indianexpress
New Delhi:Over 300 Dalit men from villages around Sanand in Gujarat are protesting against attacks on Dalit in a unique way: by putting up WhatsApp display pictures featuring a logo of a twirled moustache with a crown and Mr Dalit written on it. Read on to find out what has led them to protest in this unique manner.This move has come after multiple attacks on Dalits have surfaced from Gujarat in the past ten days. Dalits across Gujarat are also being attacked allegedly by upper caste members over sporting moustaches.The first assault took place on Sept 25, when Piyush Parmar (24) was allegedly targeted by Rajputs for sporting a moustache. According to the statement given by Parmar to the Gujarat Police, he was returning home from a garba programme in his village, Limbodara, when some members of Rajput community thrashed him over keeping a moustache.An FIR was registered on Sept 27 at the Kalol police station under provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, but no arrests have been made yet.According to reports, upper castes have been objecting to Dalits keeping a moustache as they feel it is a privilege which rests with them.
Dalit student suspended from Ambedkar University alleges harassment, discrimination at the hands of faculty
In another case of alleged discrimination against Dalit students, Akunth, a second-year BA student at the Ambedkar University, Delhi, was debarred from attending classes for a year for ‘failing’ one subject out of 14 papers. Akunth has alleged that this is a clear case of discrimination against his Dalit and queer identity.In an open letter published on social media in the last week of Sept , Akunth said he had been time and again targeted for his identity. “A Bachelor’s second year student needs to pass at least 14 courses to be promoted to the third year; I passed 12, failed 1 and challenged the results of 3 courses. This makes it impossible for me to be promoted unless I pass in at least two of the ‘challenged’ courses.”TCN
Citizenship notice to ex-armyman Azmal Haque was a case of mistaken identity: Assam Police
 Guwahati: Following huge media uproar over the citizenship notice to former soldier Azmal Haque who served the Indian Army for 30 years, the Assam police on Tuesday said the notice by the tribunal was because of mistaken identity."Assam Police which accused Haque of being an illegal immigrant now says it was a case a mistaken identity. The media outrage did d trick," said Haque's lawyer Aman Wadud. IndiaTomorrow
Kashmir protests: SC shocked over submission by J&K lawyers’ body
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Wednesday admitted it is taken aback by the version of J&K 's top lawyers' body that the accession of the State to India, rigged elections and the "catch-and-kill" policy of security personnel are “historical reasons” behind the street violence and protests in the valley.“We are slightly shocked,” a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra told the lawyers appearing for J&K High Court Bar Association.The court was hearing the arguments by the J&K High Court Bar Association, which has filed a public interest litigation petition for a ban on pellet guns.The court pointed out that the petition filed by the association dealt with extensive use of pellet guns by security forces for “crowd control”. However, the affidavit filed by the lawyers' body accused the accession of the State, rigging of polls since 1947 and the security forces for the violence.“We only tried to point out the historical reasons,” the association's lawyers responded.They submitted that the affidavit was filed after the apex court itself had asked them to give a background to the continued protests.The Centre, represented by Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, urged the court to dismiss the association's petition, arguing it was not maintainable.Kumar submitted that association crossed the boundaries of their petition with their affidavit which blames the accession of the State to India.“They say every poll since 1947 was rigged, that accession should not have happened, they say that instead of taking peaceful means, a catch-and-kill policy is adopted,” Kumar submitted. The court posted the case for hearing on Jan.18. thehindu
Army Major killed, 3 officers injured in accident in Jammu
Jammu:An Army Major was killed and 3 other officers, including a colonel, were injured when the car they were travelling in skidded off the Jammu-Poonch highway here today, police said. Their car hit a tree around 03.30 a.m. today at Thati-Gharota area in Jammu district, they said.An officer identified as Major Ashish died on the spot and a colonel and 2 other majors were injured, police said.PTI
Fidayeen are determined, can’t stop attacks in Kashmir, says BSF chief:HT
Srinagar: The chief of BSF KK Sharma said on Wednesday it is difficult to stop suicide attacks in J&K  as the militants come “wearing shrouds” and the only way to deal with them was the troops’ alertness, a day after the paramilitary force’s camp was infiltrated near the Srinagar airport.“Fidayeen are determined. We can’t stop their attacks. They will always manage to come but it is the response which is important,” Sharma said after participating in the wreath-laying ceremony for assistant sub-inspector of BSF BK Yadav in Humhama. Yadav died fighting one of the three militants who entered the highly fortified 182 battalion camp near the Srinagar airport early on Tuesday. All the three were killed after a gunfight that lasted hours.3 others security personnel also sustained injuries in the early morning attack, claimed by JeM which is blamed for similar strikes at Indian security bases including one at Uri in Sept.last year that killed 18 soldiers.The paramilitary force’s chief without naming Pakistan said such attacks would continue until people across the border don’t stop. “So long our friendly neighbour does not behave, I think we will expect we will have many more (such attacks),” he said. hindustantimes
US backs India’s opposition to China’s One Belt, One Road initiative
Washington:US has reiterated its support for India’s opposition to China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, a part of which traverses Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, with defence secretary James Mattis telling lawmakers “no one nation should put itself into a position of dictating such a project”.“In a globalised world, there are many belts and many roads, and no one nation should put itself into a position of dictating ‘one belt, one road’,” Mattis told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing onTuesday on US administration’s new Afghanistan-centric South Asia strategy. US support for India’s opposition to the Chinese project was first reflected in the joint statement issued by the two countries after PM Narendra Modi’s meeting with Donald Trump here in June.HT
Convicts too must breathe fresh air, maintain family ties:SC
New Delhi:Convicts too “must breathe fresh air” and be allowed to maintain social ties provided they show a tendency to reform,the Supreme Court has said and favoured a “humanistic approach” while dealing with pleas for parole or furlough to those serving long jail terms. A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan asked the Govt  to update its rules, framed way back in 1955, on granting of parole and furlough, saying these were skeletal in nature.It referred to one of the objectives of awarding punishment and said it was about reformation of the convicts.The verdict came on the plea of one Asfaq, who is serving life term in connection with cases lodged under TADA for his role in serial bomb blasts that had taken took place in five trains on Dec.6, 1993.Asfaq had moved the apex court against denial of parole by the authorities.The court, however, upheld the decision of the Rajashtan High Court with a direction that he may file a fresh plea seeking parole after some time, if the situation warranted.PTI
Case registered against actor Prakash Raj over his criticism of PM Modi
New Delhi:A case has been registered against National award-winning actor Prakash Raj in a Lucknow court on a complaint lodged by a lawyer over his recent remarks on PM Narendra Modi, ANI reported. The case is scheduled to be heard on Oct.7.On Monday, Raj stirred up a storm after questioning the “absolute silence” of PM Modi on those “celebrating” the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh.The actor, a close friend of the Lankesh family, said PM and others were acting as if nothing had happened despite having social media followers celebrating killing on social media.“Who killed my dear friend Gauri is not as important to me today as who has been celebrating her death. There may not be proof as to who killed Gauri but we can see who is celebrating it and from this we can form an idea of who could have killed her. The underlying cruelty in all of this is apparent to many people. Many of those celebrating Gauri’s death are persons followed by PM on social media. PM has been absolutely silent about these people,” Raj said while speaking at 11th annual convention of left-affiliated students’ group Democratic Youth Federation of India.indianexpress
Kaskar extortion case: Dawood shown as wanted accused
Mumbai:Fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his brother Anees Ibrahim have been shown as wanted accused in the case of extorting ₹3 crore from a prominent builder, in which their sibling Iqbal Kaskar is already booked, Thane Police said on Wednesday.This is the first such case of extortion in which the three brothers have been named, an official of Thane Crime Branch claimed. The Thane Police’s Crime Branch on October 3 registered an offence of extortion on the complaint of the builder against Kaskar and the gang members of Dawood, a police official said.PTI
Hindus, Muslims Will End Conflict Through a 'Hindu Way', Says RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat
Kolkata:Mohan Bhagwat has said that despite a conflict between Hindus and Muslims, one day the two communities will find a solution and that path would be a "Hindu way". Bhagwat referred to Rabindra Nath Tagore's views on Swadeshi Samaj, saying, “We believe in what he had said." Bhagwat said, “We may have different ‘chitt’ (mind), but despite that, we can walk together. There will be differences in opinion, but for Bharat, we have to walk together. Bharat is our Dharma and we have to look forward to Ek Bharat.”News18.com
'Love jihad' is a dangerous thing: Adityanath
New Delhi: UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday called 'Love Jihad', a "dangerous thing".UP CM was referring to an incident in Kerala of a 24-year-old Hindu woman who converted to Islam and married a Muslim man. The Kerala High Court annulled the marriage, after which the husband went to the Supreme Court asking it to set aside the high court's order.Adityanath, who is against such unions - and has been running a campaign against them for several years now - believes the CPM Govt  in Kerala needs to take a stand on the incident. "Love Jihad is a dangerous thing and the Kerala Govt  should make its stand clear about it," said Adityanath upon his arrival Wednesday in Kerala to participate in a BJP yatra protesting the killing of RSS workers in the state. timesofindia
Crowd mistook vendor’s ‘phool gir gaya’ cry as ‘pul gir gaya’: Elphinstone station stampede survivor
Mumbai:As the railways investigate the stampede in Elphinstone Road Station in Mumbai, a student survivor has told the inquiry panel that a flower vendor’s cry of “phool gir gaya [flowers have fallen]” being mistaken as “pul gir gaya [the bridge has fallen]” might have set off the panic.Vendors selling flowers and other products on the bridge is a common sight. However, a senior railway official said they were yet to ascertain if this was the sole cause of the mishap.On Sept  29, a massive crowd of morning rush hour commuters stampeded on the stairwell of a narrow foot overbridge (FOB) at the station, leaving 23 dead and more than 30 injured.On Oct.3, Western Railway launched an inquiry into the circumstances leading to the stampede.“A woman injured in the stampede told the inquiry panel that a flower vendor uttered the words ‘phool gir gaya,’ which others mistook for ‘pul gir gaya,” a senior Western Railway official said on Wednesday.the hindu
Internet services suspended in 7 districts
Patna:ITBP and SSB personnel were rushed to Katihar on Tuesday following communal tension over a report that a place of worship in the town was damaged while internet services were suspended in Arwal, Jamui, Bhojpur, Nawada, Katihar, Sitamarhi and West Champaran districts to check the rumours spreading after group clashes at several places during the last two days. At least 100 petrol bombs were seized at Arghara Chowk in Katihar.A company of central RAF allotted to the state by central Govt  for deployment in Patna was also rushed to Arwal town where curfew was imposed after the police along with STF recovered two pipe bombs and two petrol bombs from Sahi Colony under the Town police station area on Tuesday. The police lodged four FIRs and arrested 26 persons in connection with the clash in the Town police station area over tazia and idol immersion processions during the last two days. Source said STF commandos have also been deployed at several places in different districts where incidents of communal tension were reported. timesofindia
‘No permission’ from MEA,no Pak artiste at Jaipur Sufi fest
4-Day South Asian Sufi Festival, which begins in Jaipur on Friday, will not feature writers, scholars, or poets from Pakistan this year. The festival organisers said MEA and MHA turned down their request to invite 20 Pakistani authors for the Oct.6-9 event. MEA is one of the “collaborators” for the event, which is organised by Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature (FOSWAL), in collaboration with Diggi Palace, Jaipur, and supported by the Rajasthan Govt ’s Department of Tourism.In February, a Pakistani delegation was denied permission for the South Asian Literature Festival, also organised by FOSWAL. Punjabi author and Padma Shri recipient Ajeet Cour, FOSWAL’s founder-president, said,“We have to get permission from the political division of MEA (to invite Pak artistes). When they themselves do not give us permission, how can we invite? Without permission,they (MEA) won’t instruct our High Commission in Islamabad to issue visa…it is not in our hands.”
WORLD
Saudi's king in Moscow: An unexpected rapprochement
Moscow:Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry hailed this week's visit of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to Moscow as "historic". Diplomats rarely mean what they say, and the word is a bit of a cliche in their lexicon.But this time, it may be true.Riyadh and Moscow have been at odds for decades. The two oil superpowers produce almost half of the world's crude - and fiercely compete for market shares. Moscow's efforts that propped up Syrian President Bashar Assad's Govt  have pitted Russia against Saudis and other Sunni Arab states.Yet, in the past year, an unexpected rapprochement between the two nations has been in the making amid Moscow's deteriorating ties with the US, and US President Donald Trump's unpredictable policy shifts."Our main hope is that the visit will give a new, powerful impetus to the development of bilateral ties, because the potential of our ties is much richer than the de-facto situation," Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said Friday. Saudis no longer demand Assad's immediate removal from power and do not lambast Russia's military operation that has entered its third year on Saturday. aljazeera
Kurdish secession tops Erdogan's agenda in Iran visit
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Iran on Wednesday to hold crucial talks with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on the outcome of the Iraqi Kurdish referendum and other regional security issues.Erdogan's visit to Tehran comes as Ankara continues to seek regional consensus on how to block efforts by the Kurdistan Regional Govt  (KRG) to split from Iraq - a move Turkey fears would have a domino effect on its own 15 million ethnic Kurdish population. Ahead of Erdogan's visit, the Turkish foreign ministry announced on Tuesday that it wants Baghdad to take over from the KRG, the control of the border between Turkey and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq.On Sunday, Erdogan told parliament members in Ankara that he expects to draw up an agreement with Iran, on how to respond to the KRG referendum. aljazeera
Iran's Javad Zarif and Sheikh Tamim hold talks in Doha
Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, has met Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani for talks on relations and strengthening "cooperation" between the two countries after almost four months of a blockade against Qatar.The visit is Zarif's first to Doha since four Arab countries - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt - cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on 5 June and imposed a land, air and sea blockade."During the meeting, they reviewed relations of cooperation between the two countries in various fields as well as exchanged views on the current situation in the region," a statement from Qatar News Agency said, referring to Tuesday's talks. Zarif's trip comes after Qatar restored full diplomatic relations with Iran in Aug. aljazeera
Will the UN blacklist Saudi-led coalition over Yemen?
Human rights groups are urging the UN to include the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen on a blacklist over violations of children's rights. A leaked draft of the UN's Children and Armed Conflict annual report, set to be submitted to the Security Council later this month, showed that the coalition was on the list. The coalition was the only side in Yemen's war that was left out of last year's report.Though it had originally been placed on the 2016 report, it was later "temporarily" removed by then-UN chief Ban Ki-moon,who cited "unacceptable" pressure by the Gulf countries, including threats by Saudi Arabia to cut funding to the UN. Ban described his decision to remove the coalition off the list as one of the most "painful and difficult," but stood by his choice warning that "millions of other children would suffer grievously" in places such as Palestine, South Sudan and Syria if funding was cut.  Aljazeera
Afghanistan: Military blunders continue after Kunduz hospital bombing
Concerns are growing as military blunders have continued to kill innocent civilians in Afghanistan, two years after errant US air raids killed at least 42 people and razed an MSF hospital to the ground. On Oct.3, 2015, US raids bombarded the Doctors Without Borders' (MSF) hospital in the northern city of Kunduz.24 patients,14 staff and four caretakers were among the dead.US military said the air strike was a "mistake" and apologised, but insisted the attack was not a war crime. Human rights groups widely condemned the raids as they demanded an independent investigation.But 2 years on, relatives of those killed say rights groups are "silent" over the raids, as civilians elsewhere continue face mounting insecurity, displacement and death across the country."After every such mistake, they open an investigation and in a few days' time, we never hear about it again," said Zekrullah Ahmadi, a Kunduz resident whose brother Shafiq was killed in the MSF hospital tragedy." Afghan Govt does not even question [US] when civilians are killed in such air raids," he said, confirming he has not heard about the result of the investigation. aljazeera
Iraq's former President Jalal Talabani dead
Jalal Talabani, former president of Iraq and Kurdish politician, has died in Germany aged 84. He was Iraq's president from 2005 to 2014 and a key figure in the Kurdish region of Iraq, where voters last week overwhelmingly backed independence in a controversial referendum."Our leader died in Germany," an official with Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) said on Tuesday.A family member said Talabani's health had taken a turn for the worse and he been transported to Germany, along with his wife and two children, before the referendum. Zana Said, an Iraqi Kurdish politician, paid tribute to Talabani as "the only president whose death saddens Arabs, Kurds and all other ethnicities". aljazeera
Lieberman: European,Arab states lining up to woo Assad
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman believes that the Assad regime has won the ongoing war in Syria and many European and moderate Sunni Arab states are working to get closer to Assad, Arabs48.com reported.He told Hebrew media news website Walla: “We hope that the United States will be more active on the Syrian front and in the Middle East in general. We are on the northern front against the Russians, Iranians, Turks and Hezbollah.”“I am looking at one of the biggest contradictions,”he said. “It is what happened in Syria where about 600,000 were killed in a civil war during which all red lines were crossed…and [there are] seven million refugees. I do not remember any war bloodier than this since WWII.”
Report: Trump described Netanyahu as ‘bigger problem’ than Abbas
US President Donald Trump described Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu as a greater obstacle to advancing peace talks than Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, according to a report in Haaretz. Trump is said to have made the remarks in conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on 19 Sept , the paper says, citing a number of “Western and Israeli sources who were either present at or briefed on the meeting”.“Trump said both leaders are problematic,” said one Western diplomat. “But the general context was that from the two of them, Netanyahu is the bigger problem.”A White House official, cited by Haaretz, disputed the account of the meeting. “The president said that he feels both sides want to make peace and he remains optimistic about an enduring peace deal. We are focusing on our productive conversations and not on the noise created by spoilers.” middleeastmonitor
Hamas: Everyone has the right to arm themselves to resist the occupation
Head of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh has said that everyone has the right to own resistance arms, adding that that his movement has closed the chapter of internal division forever, Rassd.com reported yesterday.During a TV interview with the Egyptian journalist Amro Adeeb, who arrived in Gaza, Haniyeh said that any Palestinian has the right to bear arms and resist Israel.However, he stressed, arms of the Palestinian security services must be controlled by the state.The Hamas leader added: “We want a Govt  to dominate the West Bank and Gaza Strip and carry out its work without any interference from anyone. In order to achieve these goals, we are going to Cairo on Monday to talk about security, the crossing and other issues.”Haniyeh continued: “We are ready to discuss any issue with Fatah and the other factions to reach a united programme on identity, authority and leadership.” middleeastmonitor
Turkey warns of dangerous conspiracy against Palestine cause
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has warned of dangerous conspiracy being planned against the Palestine cause, noting that countries in the region are working to change the Palestinian Authority (PA) and instate puppets, the Anadolu Agency reported .Cavusoglu added that Turkey had been greatly criticised because it maintained contacts with Hamas since it won the elections in 2006.He went on to stress the importance of ending Palestinian division. Ankara, he explained, would continue all forms of support to rebuild hospitals and schools in Gaza, as well as to solve the electricity and water crises. middleeastmonitor
Egypt’s Sisi pledges support for Palestinian reconciliation
Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi has said that his country will offer all forms of support available to achieve Palestinian reconciliation, Quds Press reported yesterday. In a recorded message displayed on a screen during a meeting between the ministers of the Palestinian Unity Govt and the Egyptian Intelligence Minister Khaled Fawzy in Gaza, Al-Sisi said that Egyptian support would continue “without delay”. Al-Sisi also said that the day Palestinians achieve reconciliation would be a “historic” day. middleeastmonitor
Reports: Israel to greenlight new settlement between Jerusalem, Bethlehem
Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly set to greenlight a new settlement that critics claim will sever any remaining connection between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.Citing a “well-placed Govt  source”, the Israeli NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem claimed yesterday that Netanyahu intends to reverse “his previous instructions to refrain from publishing the Givat Hamatos tenders” for 1,100 new housing units.Givat Hamatos will be located in the southwest of occupied East Jerusalem, in between the pre-existing settlements of Gilo and Har Homa, replacing the latter “as the newest settlement to be built in East Jerusalem since 1997”.According to Peace Now, Givat Hamatos “will enhance the territorial continuity of Israeli settlements that create a buffer between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem”. middleeastmonitor
Egypt: Morsi’s ‘espionage’ trial postponed to 15 Oct
An Egyptian criminal court has postponed the trial of former President Mohamed Morsi and a number of other defendants in a court case in which they are accused of spying for Hamas; it is now due to take place on 15 Oct.Morsi was ousted in July 2013 in a military coup that was led by current President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi who was the country’s defence minister at the time. Since the coup, Morsi and scores of Muslim Brotherhood members and sympathisers, as well as pro-democracy activists, have faced trials, many of which have been described by international watchdogs as “political” that were fabricated as part of a wider crackdown on opponents.In the “espionage” case, Morsi, members of the Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau and a number of former members of parliament are accused of spying for the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organisation, Hamas, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. The defendants are also accused of cooperating with takfiri groups in the Sinai allegedly toward the goal of bringing down the Egyptian regime and taking over power. Middleeastmonitor
UN: Myanmar violence may be 'crimes against humanity'
UN rights experts have warned that violence against women and children in Rakhine State "may amount to crimes against humanity".UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Committee on the Rights of a Child called on Myanmar authorities to "promptly and effectively investigate and vigorously prosecute cases of violence against women and children" in northern Rakhine."We are particularly worried about the fate of Rohingya women and children subject to serious violations of their human rights, including killings, rape and forced displacement," the committees said in a statement."Such violations may amount to crimes against humanity and we are deeply concerned at the state's failure to put an end to these shocking human rights violations being committed at the behest of the military and other security forces, and of which women and children continue to bear the brunt."More than 507,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since Myanmar's army launched a military crackdown in response to an attack by Rohingya fighters on dozens of police posts and an army base on Aug25. aljazeera
Rohingya crisis heart-breaking, complex issue, says British minister for Asia
New Delhi:The issue of Rohingya Muslims, is a complex matter of ethnic cleansing and is a heart-breaking humanitarian crisis, said British minister for Asia Mark Field as he called for regional initiatives to help.Field, in an exclusive interview to HT on Tuesday, said Brexit will bring more good news for Indian businesses. Central London MP, who recently travelled to the trouble-prone Rakhine state in Myanmar and held discussions with state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, termed the Rohingya crisis “heart breaking.”“That is a pre-dominantly Muslim area. But those who are affected by the ethnic-cleansing include Hindus and Buddhists. It is a complex issue,” Field said.HT
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
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Sangh’s view of nationhood based on narrow definitions of faith, and the purveying of fear:Teesta Setalvad
Democratic Voices of Students Under Attack at BHU: Tarique Anwar
White Privilege of the “Lone Wolf” Shooter:Shaun King
If Only Stephen Paddock Were a Muslim:Thomas Friedman
Mumbai stampede was a systemic crime. The city needs an empowered Govt  of its own:Sudheendra Kulkarni
Is Facebook really blocking criticism of the Indian Govt , BJP and Hindutva groups? scroll
20 %  Countries of The World Have Preferred Religion
India in list of nations whose Govt s do not have official religion: PEW Research Centre

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:48 PM)

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