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Wednesday, 29 November 2017

29 Nov.ND: I want total freedom, I want to meet my husband, says Hadiya; father to move SC against college



Evening NEWS DIGEST
29 Nov.2017: 09 Rabial Awwal 1439:Vol:9, No:60
I want total freedom, I want to meet my husband: Hadiya
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/i-have-not-got-the-freedom-i-wanted-hadiya/article21073474.ece?homepage=true                                                
Hadiya, whose conversion to Islam and marriage to Shafin Jahan in Kerala triggered a national controversy, today said she needed total freedom and wanted to meet her husband. Ms. Hadiya, who was Akhila Asokan earlier, arrived in Salem on Tuesday evening escorted by police on the directions of the Supreme Court. Ms Hadiya told journalists at Sivaraj Homeopathic Medical College and Research Institute, about 10 km away from Salem, that she was asking only for her fundamental rights. She had made a plea to the court for freedom. “Till now I did not get the freedom I wanted,” she said. She was at the college to complete the formalities for submitting an application to the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University to which the college is affiliated, for ‘condonation of the break of studies period’ to enable her to resume the internship.Since the college needed further clarity on the SC order, she needed to wait for a few more days it took a final decision on her request. Ms. Hadiya said she was not in possession of any phone and had not contacted any person whom she wanted to speak to.Referring to her separation from her husband and confinement in her parents’ house for the past many months, Hadiya said that she was forced to put up with the people whom she hated. She alleged that her parents and relatives were compelling and making attempts to re-convert her.She said that her parents issued statements saying that she was not mentally stable.There were a lot of restrictions in the house. Her parents did not even provide TV in her room, due to which she could not keep abreast of the happenings taking place outside, she said.Police had made tight security arrangements near the hostel, where 114 students are staying.
Hadiya can meet husband with my permission only: College Principal
Hadiya breaks silence: Terms hostel as jail, says not free till she meets her husband
‘Yoga centre’ members tortured me to re-convert:Hadiya
"I was subjected to regular counseling, I don't know who they were, and nobody told me their names. They were people from Siva Sakthi Yoga Centre and they regularly counselled me. They tortured me to the maximum, compelled me to hold a press meet and declare that I have returned to Sanathana Dharma." This is what Hadiya said as she addressed media after getting back to the Sivaraj Homeopathic Medical College in Salem. Hadiya's father Ashokan said that he could not remember if members of Siva Sakthi Yoga Centre were among those who counselled his daughter. "There were so many people, I don't remember if they were one among the counsellers. I will have to think about it," Ashokan said. However, he did not deny centre's involvement. thenewsminute
Hadiya’s father to move SC against college
Thiruvananthapuram:Hadiya Jehan’s father KM Ashokan said he will move a contempt plea in the Supreme Court against Medical College in Salem where his daughter is studying for its decision to allow her husband Shefin Jehan to meet her at the college.He also questioned the college authorities for allowing her to meet journalists on the college premises. In the press meet Hadiya said she talked to her husband over phone after a gap of eight months and college authorities have allowed her to meet him in a couple of days.“The highest court of the country has sent her to the college to complete her education in a safe environment. If Jehan who has got an extremist link meets her it will compromise my daughter’s safety,” he said. He said it was not proper for the college to allow her to meet reporters“It seems the college is not taking enough measures to ensure her safety. I don’t want my daughter to revive her relations with Jehan who has got good connections with extremist elements like Islamic State. My whole fight is to block an extremist’s entry into my family,” he said.HT
Law Commission all set to go through family & personal laws of all religions
New Delhi: Law Commission is all set to examine family and personal laws of all religions to ascertain whether a uniform civil code is practicable in a country as diverse as India, people privy to the development told ET. Based on its outcome, the commission will take a call “if any recommendations are to be made for amending family laws of different religions” to bring them under one umbrella, an official said. With Supreme Court settling the legal wrangle pertaining triple talaq, Law Commission is focusing on the subject of uniform civil code on a request from the Govt. A uniform civil code will mean a set of common personal laws for all citizens. Personal law covers property, marriage and divorce, inheritance and succession. Currently, there are different personal laws for Hindus and Muslims. The pnael is also examining “practical difficulties” in its possible implementation, sources said. One such obstacle is exemptions granted in the Indian Constitution to few areas from application of laws applicable to the remaining parts of the country. For instance, tribal areas in the North East are exempted from certain provisions of civil procedure and criminal procedure codes. “This is a practical difficulty,” a senior Law Commission official told ET. “There are certain areas where customs prevail over law. To implement a uniform code in such areas where customs are preferred over gender-justice will not be an easy task, even if a decision in this regard is taken in future” the person said. The commission has so far tabulated more than 60,000 responses on the issue of uniform code, officials said. Economictimes
Ambani built Antilia on orphanage land illegally sold in 2005: Maharashtra State Board of Wakfs
Antilia, the home of India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, stands on land that belonged to an orphanage which was illegally sold, the acting CEO of Maharashtra State Board of Wakfs has said. In an affidavit submitted to Bombay High Court, the acting Wakf Board CEO said that a ‘mischief’ had been committed when the then chairman and CEO had ratified the sale of a piece of land at the heart of Mumbai city on March 9, 2005. The land in question currently houses, Antilia, the home of India’s multimillionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani. In an order dated July 21, 2017 a Bombay High Court bench headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur had directed the State Board of Wakfs to clarify their stand on challenging the Charity commissioner’s permission on the sale of the orphanage land.According to Livelaw, the affidavit was filed by Sandesh C Tadvi, joint secretary to Minority Development Department and acting CEO of State Board of Wakfs.Touted as one of the world’s most expensive private mansions, Antilia stands on land originally owned by Currimbhoy Ebrahim Khoja Yateemkhana, an orphanage.The land on which ‘Muffin-Antilia Commercial Private Limited’ is housed was purchased from the Trust in 2005. The Trust, which was instituted for the benefit of underprivileged children, had sold the 4,532sqm land to Antilia Commercial Private Limited in July 2002 for just Rs 210.5 million when its then market value was around Rs 1.5 billion.In April 2002, the Currimbhoy Khoja Trust filed an application with the Charity Commissioner for permission to sell the land to Antilia Commercial. The Commissioner granted permission on August 27, 2002. Later, the transaction was found illegal by the then Maharashtra State Board of Wakfs, and a notice was sent to Antilia Commercial citing that it was a violation of Section 52 of the Wakf Act, 1995.Section 52 of Wakf Act deals with recovery of Wakf property transferred in contravention of Section 51, which means whenever an immovable property belonging to the Wakf is sold without prior sanction of the Wakf Board.The orphanage trust challenged notice issued on April 22, 2004 by CEO, before a Wakf Tribunal. CEO of State Board of Wakfs settled the issue with the Trust during the suit, and the conclusion was arrived at that the trustees would accept that the land had indeed been Wakf property. It was also agreed that an annual contribution would be paid to the Board, and RS 16 lakh was subsequently deposited by the trustees as per Section 72 of Waqf Act,1995,in this regard. newindianexpress
First phase of Chabahar port work over, Iran tells India, eyes Sunday launch
New Delhi: Iran has conveyed to India that it has completed the first phase of work on Chabahar port. Tehran plans to inaugurate it on Sunday, with the country’s President Hassan Rouhani and officials from India, Afghanistan and other countries. Sources said that this is a major step, and discussions are under way in New Delhi on a political-level representation at the inauguration ceremony on Dec.3. So far, Indian diplomats based in Tehran are expected to take part. This comes exactly a month after India had operationalised Chabahar port and sent the first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan.The development assumes significance since India’s outreach through Iran is taking place at a time the Trump administration is planning to corner Tehran through diplomatic and economic means.New Delhi had recently started the air freight corridor to Afghanistan, and has sent 981 tonnes of fruit since mid-June this year. But the air corridor has limitations in terms of capacity,and the sea route has economic advantages. Pakistan has blocked land transit to Afghanistan, and it was at the forefront in blocking SAARC motor vehicles transit agreement in Nov.2014, which forced India to expedite alternative ways to reach Afghanistan.On Oct.28, shipment was flagged off from Kandla port in Gujarat — External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Afghanistan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani joined ceremony through video conferencing.Chabahar port is expected to open up new opportunities for trade and transit from and to Afghanistan and enhance trade and commerce between the 3 countries and wider region, which includes Central Asia. indianexpress
CPEC in dock after Pak, Nepal withdraw from dam projects
An expert has drawn attention to Pakistan and Nepal`s withdrawal from two dam-building deals functional with China, citing measures Beijing might have to adopt in order to ensure equitable terms and distribution of benefits among those that need the investment.A senior fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Dr James M Dorsey, in an article named 'Commercial terms call into question China's win-win Belt and Road initiative',emphasised Pakistani withdrawal took on an added significance because it was included in CPEC."The withdrawal coincides with mounting questions in Pakistan, a crown jewel in Chinese geo-strategic ambition, about what some see as a neo-colonial effort to extract the country's resources," he added.ANI
CPEC will aggravate India-Pak tension: US think-tank
Washington: Multi-billion dollar CPEC will deepen China's already formidable presence in the South Asian nation, and "aggravate" tension between India and Pakistan, a US think-tank said today."CPEC will deepen China's already formidable presence in the country and clearly aggravate India-Pakistan tensions. In addition, real questions persist about Pakistan's ability to finance its share of new energy investment," Michael Kugelman, deputy director and senior associate for South Asia Program at the Wilson Center said in a report published today. According to him, even though the CPEC may enable Pakistan to generate more power, it will not solve the country's broader energy crisis, which is rooted in factors that go well beyond supply shortages."Stability in Pakistan's security situation and economic performance is increasingly in critical interest for Beijing because it is a precondition for CPEC's success. Given New Delhi's strenuous opposition, CPEC will exacerbate India- Pakistan tensions," Kugelman wrote.PTI
Eye on China: India and Singapore ink naval pact
NEW DELHI: India and Singapore on Wednesday inked a naval pact to majorly crank up their maritime security cooperation with access to each other's bases, while reiterating the need for all to respect freedom of navigation and trade in international waters in the backdrop of China's aggressive and expansionist behavior in the Asia Pacific region.The naval cooperation agreement to bolster maritime security, joint exercises, "temporary deployments from each other's naval facilities" and mutual logistics support was inked after the delegation-level talks between defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Singapore counterpart Dr Ng Eng Hen here in the morning.TOI
36000 Rohingyas in India,terror links cannot be ruled out:BSF
New Delhi:  Around 36,000 Rohingyas are at present there in various parts of the country and BSF has upped its ante against illegal influx into India as their links with terror organisations cannot be ruled out, force chief said today.KK Sharma, the DG of the 2.5-lakh personnel-strong force, said his troops have apprehended 87 Rohingya along the Indo-Bangla border since the beginning of this year till October 31, and 76 "have been sent back to Bangladesh". "As far as my information goes, about 36,000 Rohingyas are there in this country at various places...This is one of those general observations and is based on inputs we received from our sister agencies (like police and intelligence)," he said.PTI
'We won't be treated as humans if we leave India!' Rohingya refugees in Gurugram
Mohamad Tahir, a 24-year-old Rohingya Muslim man who left Myanmar's violence-wracked Rakhine province in 2012, considers himself lucky to be living in the backyard of Delhi. Tahir, his wife and their year-old daughter are in a special camp at Siddiq Nagar in Haryana's Nuh town, about 100km from the city. They, like hundreds of refugees from the community settled in the NCR, do not want to return to their native country. The Supreme Court will next month hear the plea of 2 Rohingya refugees who have approached it against the Centre's decision to deport Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar. 'We would not even dream of going back to Myanmar. We are not treated as human in a state ruled by Buddhist people. We did not know what freedom is since childhood. We have experienced it only after reaching the soil of India,' Tahir said. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas have fled from Myanmar following a military crackdown, which the UN has described as ethnic cleansing, with many taking refuge in Bangladesh and some then crossing a porous border into India.  DailyMail
Fresh Myanmar crackdown on insurgents push 1,200 villagers into India
Guwahati:Nearly 1,200 people, including women and children, from Myanmar have fled to India in the past one week and taken refuge in villages in Lawngtlai district of southern Mizoram. The local authorities are struggling to keep them confined to the four border villages so that they can be sent back at the earliest.“More than 1,200 people have crossed over and taken shelter in four villages in Lawngtlai district in the past one week. We are providing them shelter on humanitarian grounds and are looking for an opportunity to arrange their return to their native country at the earliest,” Arun T, deputy commissioner of Lawngtlai, said.indianexpress
Govt officials ‘harassing’ us, say UP madrassa teachers
Bareilly: After Govt in UP launched a website making it mandatory for all madrassas in the state to get themselves registered, All India Teachers’ Association Madaris Arabia, an organisation of madrassa teachers, has now written to CM  Yogi Adityanath alleging that teachers and non-teaching staff of these institutions are being "exploited and harassed" by officials over submission of documents. Officials, they said, routinely threaten to hold up registration of madrassas. General secretary of the body, Wahidullah Khan Saeedi said, “Minority welfare department is demanding different documents in various districts. Some madrassa teachers who have been in service for over 30 years are being asked to produce newspaper advertisements after which they had applied for the post. In some districts, teachers were asked to submit receipt of registered post from which they received their appointment letters. Teachers who have been working for decades can’t provide these documents. Such demands, it seems, are being made only to harass the staff, as such demands are not being made in some other districts.”Registrar of UP Madrassa Board, Rahul Gupta, claimed that he is not aware of any such demands.Gupta said, “Madrassas have already fed information on the portal and officials are demanding documents to verify their claims. When a teacher is appointed at a madrassa, he is provided an approval letter. We are only demanding the approval letter or hard copy of their appointment letter. No other demand has been made from our end.”Saeedi added, “As madrassas are unable to provide these details,registration process has been held up. It will also affect the release of teachers’ salaries as a letter from director of minority welfare in August said that budget from Nov.2017 to Feb.2018 will be distributed only through the madrassa portal.”UP chapter of Teachers’ Association Madaris had written another letter to UP CM on Nov. 20 alleging that officials in Gonda and Balrampur districts are demanding one-month salary from teachers and employees, as bribe,to complete registration process.Indiatimes
Gorakhpur Riots: Allahabad HC orders Media gag on case against Yogi Adityanath
Allahabad High Court has prohibited the media from reporting on a matter concerning CM of UP , Yogi Adityanath.A Bench of Justices Krishna Murari and Akhilesh Chandra Sharma passed the order while hearing a petition filed by journalist, Pravez Parwaz and social activist Asad Hyat.The case concerns a speech made by then MP, Adityanath in 2007. It has been contended that Adityanath’s speech had contributed to the 2007 Gorakhpur riots.A complaint was registered by the police against Adityanath and three others in 2008. However, the State refused to give sanction for prosecuting Adityanath in May this year. This refusal was challenged in the High Court by the petitioners. barandbench
Muslim women made to lift 'burqua' for verification in UP civic body polls: deccanherald
Lucknow:Muslim women were reportedly made to lift their 'burqa' (veil) for verification at polling booths during the urban local bodies election in UP on Wednesday triggering sharp reactions from Muslim clerics and leaders.BJP leaders had met state poll officials a few days back and had demanded that 'burqa' clad women be verified at polling booths during the polling. According to the reports lady security personnel at several polling booths in Baghpat, Chandauli, Saharanpur and some other districts asked the women to lift their veils to enable them to match their faces with the identification cards produced by them for the purpose of casting their votes. Reports said that at some places the Muslim women objected to the orders from the security personnel but the latter did not relent.Clerics and community leaders sharply criticised the verification process saying that it was not only humiliating but also against the tents of Islam. ''Its very humiliating....it is also against the tenets of Islam,'' said senior Muslim cleric here.
UP Municipal Polls: Third phase Marred by Voters' list Discrepancies, EVM Malfunctioning
Lucknow: The third and final phase of UP municipal elections was marred by reports of names missing from the voters’ list on a large scale and EVM malfunctioning just like the first 2-phases. There was also a video that showed lathicharge by police officials in Ward 26, Peer Batawan, Barabanki. The video purportedly showed policemen lathi-charging without any provocation and then breaking the chairs, tables and even some makeshift shops.In Barabanki, voters from ward 131 Nehru Nagar and ward 8 Balmiki Nagar complained of their names missing from the list. The voters alleged that in Muslim populated areas and especially names of the female members of their families went missing from the list. The voters said they had exercised their franchise in the earlier polls.In Jaunpur' Ward 28 Jogiapur and Ward 24 Nakkhas, around 500 people started protesting when they found their names missing from the voters’ list. Seeing the situation getting out of hand, the police had to resort to lathi charge.The people alleged that their names have been deliberately struck off the voters list. They have also submitted a written complaint against BLO and other officials.News18
Gujarat polls: PM Modi pauses speech after hearing azan from nearby mosque in Navsari
New Delhi:PM  Narendra Modi, while addressing a BJP rally in Navsari, paused for a couple of minutes when he heard azan being played from a nearby mosque. He resumed his speech after the Muslim call to prayer has ended.In 2016, during an election rally in West Bengal’s Kharagpur, PM Modi stopped his speech for over 5 minutes when he heard the sound of azan. “I do not want to interrupt anyone’s prayers. So I decided to take a brief rest,” he had said after it ended.Earlier in the day, PM Modi addressed three rallies as part of BJP’s final campaign push ahead of the first phase of Gujarat assembly polls. He repeatedly targetted the Congress and its vice-president Rahul Gandhi in his speeches. Indianexpress
Panaji municipality bans prayers on loudspeaker at Muslim graveyard
Panaji:  Recital of prayers over loudspeakers at one of the largest Muslim burial grounds here banned by the city municipal corporation, it was revealed on Wednesday. The order drew protests from the Muslim community have demanded that the measure be withdrawn.Panaji Corporation Commissioner Ajit Roy, in an order issued here earlier this week, has said that the order was passed in order to prevent breach of peace and tranquility in nearby areas."It has been brought to the notice from surrounding area at St. Inez, Panaji, that the prayers are carried out through loudspeakers/public address system with very high decibels at the burial ground of Muslims graveyard at St. Inez," said the order dated November 24, when city was playing host to the 48th International Film Festival of India, the country's biggest film event."The community should ensure that no prayers to be held on Muslim burial ground/kabrastan by loud speakers/public address systems so as to avoid disturbing the public peace and tranquility in the surrounding area," the order further reads.In a statement issued here, the Jamat ul Muslamin Gausia Sunni trust condemned the order.IANS
Ivanka’s remarks that India lifted 130 million out of poverty was reference to UPA: Chidambaram
New Delhi:Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram claimed that US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka’s statement that India had lifted 130 million people out of poverty was a reference to the previous UPA Govt ’s tenure.“When Ivanka Trump said that India had lifted 130 million people out of poverty, she was referring to UPA govt’s period of 2004 to 2014 (number was 140 million),” he tweeted. indianexpress
Modi repackaged 23 welfare schemes of UPA: Congress
Vadodara:Congress MP Rajeev Shukla  has accused the Narendra Modi Govt  of “repackaging” as many as 23 welfare schemes that were conceived and introduced by the erstwhile UPA govt.“PM  Narendra Modi has repackaged and renamed 23 welfare schemes which were launched by the previous dispensation, and is fooling the people,” Shukla said. He said BJP had criticised Congress govt’s Aadhaar and MGNREGA schemes when in opposition but was now implementing them. “Barring demonetisation, which caused hardship to the common people, the Modi Govt  has not conceived anything new. NDA govt inherited 23 schemes on a platter which were already at various stages of implementation, but the Govt  has failed to implement them,” Shukla said.PTI


Mehbooba orders withdrawal of stone-pelting cases against 4,327 people
Srinagar: J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday ordered the withdrawal of cases of stone-pelting against 4,327 youths. This follows the recommendation of a high-powered committee headed by DGP SP Vaid which submitted its report to her on Wednesday, an official spokesman said.“Today’s decision marks the revival of process of withdrawal of cases started by Mehbooba last year immediately after taking over,” he said. Mufti had initiated a process of review of cases against youths from 2008 to 2014 and in the first instance 104 cases involving 634 youths were withdrawn within two months of her assuming power, the official said. The process got disrupted due to the continued violence and unrest for later part of the last year, he added. Mufti ordered the withdrawal of cases of stone-pelting against 4,327 youths in 744 cases, he said. hindustantimes
As attacks on Kashmiri prisoners rise, J&K Jama’at appeals to human rights bodies to intervene
Srinagar: Taking cognisance of the “deplorable” conditions of Kashmiri prisoners inside and outside the state, Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI) J&K, sought their unconditional release and appealed to the international and local human rights bodies to take immediate notice of their conditions.Jama’at spokesperson said that thousands of “innocent” Kashmiris are languishing in jails in and outside the valley only for the reason that they wish such a resolution of Kashmir issue which represents the wishes and aspirations of the concerned people. “This issue came to fore in 1947 when the accession of J&K was made to India without taking the aspirations of Kashmiri people into account but soon after the accession, the Govt  of India promised the people directly and through the medium of UNO that they would be provided an impartial chance to express their aspirations and their aspirations would also be accepted,” he said  .He further said that the jails in J&K are full of innocent Kashmiri detainees and a good number of them is languishing in Tihar and other jails of India.TwoCircles
Centre failed to control communalism, freedom of expression being trampled upon:Farooq Abdullah
Srinagar: Farooq Abdullah accused the Centre of “failing to control communalism” in the country and warned that if such incidents continued to take place, India’s secular character would get “destroyed”.He said communal incidents taking place since the last few years were hurting religious tolerance and religious freedom in the country. “Govt in New Delhi has failed to control communalism in the country. If it (communalism) goes on like this, then the country will reach the point of destruction,” Abdullah said at a meeting of party functionaries and workers.“It (communalism) will destroy the centuries-old secular character of the country. Incidents of communalism since the last few years are hurting religious tolerance, brotherhood and religious freedom,” he said.PTI

Give evidence against Hafiz Saeed instead of crying on US shoulders: son-in-law to India
New Delhi:Provide evidence against Hafiz Saeed instead of crying on America’s shoulders is the advice proffered by Khalid Waleed, the son-in-law of JuD chief.“India is always crying internationally. Why don’t you provide evidence instead of just using television clips of the Mumbai attacks? America has asked for Hafiz Saeed’s re-arrest only because of pressure from India,’’ Waleed told HT over the phone. Waleed is seen as Saeed’s successor and has figured in several intelligence inputs pertaining to terror attacks in J&K. Waleed also confirmed that Saeed had petitioned the UN asking for his name to be removed from the list of designated terrorists.HT
Dowry harassment complaints: SC to revisit stay on immediate arrest of husband, in-laws
New Delhi: The Supreme Court observed that it will reconsider its 2-judge bench order prohibiting the immediate arrest of husband and his relatives in connection with dowry harassment complaints filed by women. A bench, of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, said it will revisit the division bench's order which had put a stay on the immediate arrest of accused in dowry harassment cases filed by women. The SC held that the guidelines or policies earlier framed by the division bench on how to proceed in dowry harassment complaints was not required in view of provisions existing in the Indian Penal Code. The Supreme Court, however, had not fixed any date for further hearing in the matter, but it was presumed that the case would likely to come up for hearing in the month of Jan. Every year, there are countless victims of dowry harassment in India.UNI
NIA Arrests Odisha Muslim Youth In Cuttack Over Suspected Terror Link: odishasamaya
Cuttack: In a surprising sweep down Samantarapur village under Kishan Nagar police station limits in Cuttack district, an eight-member team of the NIA today arrested a native of the village allegedly over his link with a terror outfit. According to reports, NIA team arrested Akhtar Hussain Khan of the village under Kisan Nagar police station limits after conducting a 5-hour raid on his house today. Kisan Nagar police personnel cordoned off the place while NIA team arrested the youth after thorough grilling. Sources in Odisha police said that the accused Akhtar Hussain Khan will be produced before Cuttack SDJM and will be taken on remand by NIA for further probe.
WORLD
Saudi prince freed in $1 billion settlement agreement after corruption probe
Dubai: Saudi Arabia has freed influential Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, following a “settlement” with authorities reportedly exceeding $1 billion, more than three weeks after he was detained in a sweeping anti-corruption purge.The former National Guard chief was among more than 200 princes, ministers and businessmen who were rounded up earlier this month, as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tightens his grip on power.Prince Miteb, once seen as a contender to the throne, is the most high-profile royal to be released so far as the Govt  appears to be striking monetary settlements with some of the detainees in exchange for their freedom.“Yes, Prince Miteb was released this morning (Tuesday),” a source close to the Govt  told AFP, without outlining the terms of his release.The prince was released after paying more than $1 billion in a “settlement deal” with authorities, Bloomberg News cited an unnamed official as saying.Before his arrest the 64-year-old son of the late king Abdullah was sacked as the head of National Guard, an internal security force that has long been seen as a locus of tribal power.AFP
Senior Saudi prince Miteb released from detention
N.Korea says new ballistic missile puts US mainland within range of N-weapons
SEOUL/WASHINGTON:North Korea said it had successfully tested a powerful new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that put all of the US mainland within range, declaring it had achieved its long-held goal of becoming a nuclear power.Wednesday's missile test, North Korea's first since mid-September, came a week after US President Donald Trump put North Korea back on a US list of countries it says support terrorism, allowing it to impose more sanctions.North Korea has conducted dozens of ballistic missile tests under its leader, Kim Jong Un, in defiance of international sanctions. In Sept., it conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test.North Korea said the new powerful missile reached an altitude of around 4,475 km  - more than 10 times the height of the international space station - and flew 950 km during its 53 minute flight."After watching the successful launch of the new type ICBM Hwasong-15, Kim Jong Un declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, cause of building a rocket power," according to a statement read by a television presenter.In the statement, North Korea described itself as a "responsible nuclear power", saying its strategic weapons were developed to defend itself from "US imperialists' nuclear blackmail policy and nuclear threat".Reuters
UN: Syrian Govt  'agrees Eastern Ghouta truce'
Shelling has killed at least three people in Syria's Eastern Ghouta, according to a monitoring group, just hours before the UN announced that Syria's Govt  had agreed to a ceasefire in the rebel-held area, after days of intense bombardment.UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported the death toll, a day after air raids in the besieged district on the outskirts of Damascus killed at least 19 people.The report came as opposition delegates gathered in Geneva on Tuesday for a new round of UN-sponsored talks.Staffan de Mistura, the UN envoy for Syria, said in Geneva the Govt  of President Bashar al-Assad had agreed to a Russian plan for a truce in the rebel-controlled enclave. Aljazeera
Documents reveal how ISIL ran areas under its control:Al Jazeera
Documents from ISIL-held areas in Iraq have shed light on the armed group's tough rules of internal governance and the fate awaiting fighters who violated its code of conducts and laws.Obtained by Al Jazeera, the files also provide further evidence about the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant's structure and level of organisation.The documents were seized from al-Baaj district west of Mosul, Iraq's second-biggest city, following its capture by Iraqi forces in June.One of them, which bears the logo of ISIL's "Authorised Committee", directs all of the group's governing structures in areas they controlled to punish those who fled or attempted to escape the fighting with Iraqi forces.It also instructs ISIL, also known as ISIS, fighters to turn anyone they capture over to the group's "military court" and "army intelligence".Other documents provided to Al Jazeera were files of ISIL's police personnel who were caught violating ISIL's code of conduct and laws.The files contained the names, nationalities and pictures of police officers arrested for cases such as drinking alcohol, sexually molesting children, stealing and blasphemy.Stealing would typically be punished by cutting off a hand, while drinking alcohol would result in lashes and imprisonment, according to Abu Haniyeh.If a fighter was caught molesting children, the penalty would be several dozen lashes and jail time, he added.But if there was a homosexual relationship between two consenting males, the punishment for that would be death by being thrown from a tall building.
IS silent on Egypt massacre decried even by supporters:AFP
Cairo: The gunmen who massacred more than 300 worshippers in an Egyptian mosque made no effort to conceal their identity — they showed up raising the black banner of the self-styled “Islamic State”, authorities and witnesses said.The group’s militants had previously warned the North Sinai mosque associated with Sufis to end the mystical practices IS calls heretical, even visiting the mosque in person a few weeks before the attack, a Sufi sheikh said.But almost a week after the Friday massacre, IS has yet to claim the attack in a sign, officials and analysts say, that their gunmen might have gone too far even by the extremists’ standards.For all the indiscriminate carnage IS has perpetrated on almost every continent, never before has an attack shocked even its supporters who now insist the group is innocent. As the scale of the attack percolated in jihadist social media channels, pro-IS users denied the group’s involvement. hindustantimes
Bosnia general 'dead' after drinking poison in court
A commander of Bosnian Croat forces during the Bosnian War has reportedly died after drinking what he claimed to be poison at the war crimes court for former Yugoslavia in The Hague. The death on Wednesday was reported by Croatian state TV.Upon hearing that his 20-year prison sentence had been upheld, General Slobodan Praljak drank from a small bottle or flask after declaring: "What I am drinking now is poison"."I'm not a war criminal," Praljak shouted at the presiding judge before he sat back down and slumped in his chair.The judge suspended the hearing and called for a doctor. aljazeera
Pope meets Suu Kyi, fails to mention Rohingya in speech
Pope Francis has met Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi but avoided directly addressing the ongoing Rohingya crisis.At the meeting in Yangon on Tuesday, the pontiff stressed the importance of Myanmar respecting the "identity" of all of its ethnic groups, without using the term "Rohingya".More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh in fear of abuses by Myanmarese soldiers.Having previously spoken against the "persecution of our Rohingya brothers and sisters," the leader of the Roman Catholic Church had been advised by Myanmar's archbishop not to use the word Rohingya.Tun Khin, the president of the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK), told Al Jazeera that the pope's omission of the word "Rohingya" was "very sad"."The Burmese Govt  is denying our existence, and our identity," he said. "How can the pope raise the issue of the Rohingya crisis if he is not even using the name?"Khin said that the pope should use his platform to pressure Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar's military to "stop this genocide" and to allow humanitarian aid access to the Rohingya."He should have spoken out against this hate campaign targeting the Rohingya and other minorities in Burma," Khin said.International Rescue Committee expressed hope that the pope will address a number of key aspects regarding the Rohingya crisis. aljazeera
Turkish police raid 49 cities, detain over 300 soldiers over links tGulen
Istanbul public prosecutor issued arrest warrants for 360 people as part of a probe into followers of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen in the Turkish armed forces, state-run news agency Anadolu said.Those targeted include 333 soldiers, as well as 27 civilians suspected of being so-called "secret imams" who are alleged to be in charge of Gulenists in the military.Two of the soldiers were detained in the northern city of Zonguldak, Anadolu said.It said they will be taken to Istanbul where the investigation into the Gulen "structure" in the military is taking place.Of the 360 sought, 216 were soldiers on active duty, the private Dogan news agency said. 7 of the suspects sought are pilots.Turkey's Western allies have expressed concern over the magnitude of the post-coup purge in which more than 140,000 people have been suspended or sacked from the public sector including members of the military.AFP
Hamas: PA call for its workers to return to their posts ‘violation’ of Cairo deal
Hamas accused the Govt  of national accords, run by Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, of “violating” reconciliation agreements reached in Cairo, a press release said .“The Govt ’s call … is a violation of the Cairo deal reached on May 5 2011,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.In a statement, the Govt  based in the occupied West Bank stressed the “necessity of all old employees to return to work,” instructing ministers to arrange their return to their positions.According to the statement, this is part of full hand over of control of the Gaza Strip, noting that the role of the aforementioned committee is to look into the situation of the employees instated by Hamas after 14 June 2007. Middleeastmonitor
Israeli parliamentarians discuss clause allowing ‘Jews only’ communities
Israeli parliamentarians discussed the legality of a proposed clause in the ‘Jewish nation-state’ draft bill that would allow for ‘Jews only’ communities, reported The Jerusalem Post.‘Basic Law: Nation-State of the Jewish People’ is currently being shaped by a Knesset committee ahead of expected efforts by the PM  Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition to pass it into law.One article of the draft legislation states that “every resident of Israel, without difference of religion or nationality, has the right to act to preserve his culture, heritage, language and identity”, and that a religious or national community has the right “to establish a separate communal town”. middleeastmonitor
Israel plans to block Arabs from living in 1,000 neighbourhoods
Israel is planning to block its Arab citizens from living in almost 1,000 neighbourhoods and villages under the pretext that they were built for Jews only, Quds Press reported on Tuesday. According to a report in Haaretz, the Knesset (Israeli parliament) is set to discuss a law to build Jew-only areas in the country.Describing the proposed legislation as “racist”, the director of the Alternative Planning Centre, which specialises in planning and construction, said that it aims to prevent Arabs from living in new neighbourhoods. Hanna Sweed added that municipalities used to prevent Arab citizens from living in Jewish neighbourhoods, but this practice looks set to become enshrined in law.“There have been indirectly-racist laws in Israel,” explained Sweed, “but this law stipulates clearly the building of Jewish neighbourhoods without any Arab residents.” He warned that this might lead to more racist laws to put extra limits on Israel’s Arab citizens, who make up 20% of the population. middleeastmonitor
Netanyahu: Israel seeks to join African Union
Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed the desire for Israel to become a member of the African Union, in a renewed bid to increase cooperation with the continent, according to Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation.On a trip to several African nations, Netanyahu has repeatedly emphasised the importance of increased ties between Israel and African Govt s. During a speech in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, with 11 other heads of state present, Netanyahu pledged to deepen trade, security and agricultural relations with neighbouring countries.“This is my third visit to Africa and second to Kenya, we believe in the future of Africa, we love Africa and I would like very much not only to cooperate on an individual basis with each of your countries but also with the African Union.” middleeastmonitor
Palestinian Solidarity Day: 70 years since partition
International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is being observed across the world.The day marks 70 years after the UN adopted a resolution partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab states - a year later Israel was founded displacing millions of Palestinians. aljazeera
Secret documents reveal Mubarak’s plan to resettle Palestinians in Egypt
Secret British documents have revealed that deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had agreed to resettle Palestinians in Egypt over three decades ago. According to the documents, obtained exclusively by BBC following a Freedom of Information Act disclosure request, Mubarak was responding to an American request when he made his offer. The former president stipulated that in return for agreeing to the move, an agreement to end the Arab-Israeli conflict must be reached.The documents show that Mubarak revealed the US request and his response during talks with the then British PM , the late Margaret Thatcher. The talks were held during his visit to London on his way back to Washington, in Feb.1983, where he met with the late US President Ronald Reagan. Middleeastmonitor

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