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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

13 Dec. ND: Rajasthan govt seeks details of Muslim staff at health centres, doctors fear profiling/ OIC declares East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital



Evening NEWS DIGEST
13 Dec.2017: 23 Rabial Awwal 1439:Vol:9, No:71
INDIA
Rajasthan govt seeks details of Muslim staff at health centres, doctors fear profiling
Jaipur: Rajasthan Govt  has sought details of Muslims staff at health centres across the state, leading to apprehension among the doctors from the minority community that they may be targeted because of their religion.Centre has, however, termed the move as “not unusual” and said it “asks for such data periodically”.A flutter was created after joint director (administration), Dr BL Saini, on November 30 issued a letter asking CMHOs of all districts to seek details of Muslim staff at sub centres, primary, and community health centres. The letter said the information has to be sent to the Govt  of India but did not mention why it was being collected.The doctors have taken umbrage to the fact that information was being sought about health centre staff on the basis of their religion. “Muslim staff feels they are being targeted for their religion. They are scared,”said Dr Nasreen Bharti of All Rajasthan In-service Doctors Association (ARISDA).According to the letter, the CMHOs are required to send information about all groups of Muslim staff along with their place of posting to the health directorate in Jaipur.Saini told HT that his letter was in pursuance of another from the Union ministry of health and family welfare on November 20 sent to health secretaries of all states.Centre’s letter –HT has a copy of this – says information about Muslim staff was needed for “the implementation of recommendations of Sachar Committee for the welfare of the minority communities”.However, the letter sent out to districts doesn’t mention this.“I have received the letter for details of Muslim personnel but I am unaware about the reason for this exercise,” said Churu CMHO Dr Manoj Sharma.The doctors’ association said the exercise tantamount to religious profiling of Govt staff. “Govt already has information about its staff. Why does it want to know their religion now?” asked Bharti.Union ministry of health and family welfare, however, sought to allay the fears of religious profiling. “The information sought from health centres, police etc. is regarding the implementation of the recommendations of the Sachchar Committee for the welfare of minorities. We are just forwarding the request to the concerned departments,” said Ziley Singh Vical, deputy secretary in the ministry. Vical had sent the request to all state principal health secretaries. “If information on other minorities was not sought, it was because the Sachar Committee asked for information only for Muslims. It’s not unusual, Centre asks for such data periodically,” he added.HT
Zakir Naik moves Bombay HC challenging revocation of his passport saying agencies targeting because of religion
Mumbai: Dr. Zakir Naik has approached the Bombay high court challenging the cancellation of his passport by the external affairs ministry, claiming he had been targeted because of his religion. His passport has been revoked after he repeatedly failed to appear before NIA and the ED in connection with alleged terror-funding cases.In his petition, filed by his lawyer, televangelist claimed he had never incited communal disharmony or any illegal activity against any specific religion or community and that he had always condemned those who incited violence and terrorised people. He claimed the investigating agencies were targeting him only because he’s a Muslim and that his lectures were “distorted and doctored to implicate him in false and frivolous cases.”In his petition, Naik claimed that he had founded IRF in 1991 primarily for philanthropic works such as empowering Muslim women and to help needy Muslim youth. He claimed to have started various scholarships to fund education of poor and needy Muslim youth.Apart from challenging the revocation of his passport, the preacher also pleaded to the court to direct the investigating agencies to submit reports, along with evidence, to the court on the charges levelled against him. According to reports, Naik took refuge in Malaysia after obtaining permanent residency there. In his petition, the televangelist claimed he has never incited communal disharmony or any illegal activity against any specific religion or community and he has always condemned those who incited violence and terrorised people.He claimed investigating agencies were targeting him only because of his religion – for being a Muslim and “his lectures are distorted and doctored to implicate him in false and frivolous cases.”HT
Was given apology draft, asked to sign: Tarun Tejpal
Panjim;Former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal told the High Court of Bombay in Goa, during a hearing of his plea seeking the quashing of rape charges framed by a lower court against him, that his statements of apology days after the incident in 2013 were “sought on demand” and drafted by Shoma Chaudhury, his colleague at the time.“It was like a charter of demands… and he was just given a draft and asked to sign,” claimed senior counsel Aman Lekhi, who appeared for Tejpal at the hearing Tuesday. The apology was treated as a confession statement by Goa police investigating charges of rape levelled by another former colleague against Tejpal during an event at the Grand Hyatt in Panaji in Nov.2013.The court reserved its judgment on Tejpal’s plea on a day when heated exchanges were witnessed between prosecution and defence, prompting Justice Nutan Sardessai to reprimand both sides. The defence argued for the “precious reputation of a family man wrongly facing charges of rape”,while public prosecutor sought to “respect the statement of a rape victim given under oath”.Lekhi questioned the “quality of two apologies” sent by Tejpal to the victim within a gap of minutes, and said that they were “inconsistent with each other”.“She (Shoma) makes a charter of demands, which is contrary to what CCTV showed… How can there be apology on demand?” he argued.Referring to 2nd apology, a formal email to the victim, Lekhi claimed that Chaudhury had asked Tejpal to write an email “including points as suggested by her”. indianexpress
PM Modi’s Pakistan conspiracy remark: A strange story with no basis, says Khurshid Kasuri
New Delhi: Ex-Pakistan minister Khurshid Kasuri, who attended a private dinner hosted by now-suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar,  described PM  Narendra Modi’s claim that Pakistan was interfering in the Gujarat Assembly elections as “ajeeboghareeb kahaani jiska koi sar pair nahin hai” — (a strange story with no basis).Speaking to Pakistan channel Samaa TV, Kasuri said: “I am astonished… I had gone for dinner and I hear Pakistan is hatching a conspiracy … in that dinner ex-PM Manmohan Singh, former vice president Hamid Ansari, ex-Army chief Deepak Kapoor, 4 foreign secretaries and ex-Indian diplomats to Pakistan, military analysts were present… are they also part of Pakistan’s conspiracy. It is a cock-and-bull story with no basis.”The issue exploded into a full-blown war between the Congress and the BJP after PM Modi hinted that Grand Old Party was colluding with Pakistan. Kasuri claimed PM Modi must have made the remarks hoping to get votes. “Looks like everything is acceptable for the sake of elections. He (Modi) believes he will get votes on the basis of Pakistan angle. Which is why he must have said so. It is unfortunate if this is so,” he said. Kasuri also said he had met ex-RAW chief during one of his previous visits to India and it doesn’t imply they are all colluding.“I also met the former RAW chief in one of the previous seminars. Are they all colluding? I was here for an event organised by Aspen centre to talk on Pakistan-India relations. Likewise, I was called for a private dinner where Pakistan-India relation, which is disturbed, was discussed,” he said. Indianexpress
China denies building tunnel to divert Brahmaputra water, says ‘hope India won’t conduct unfounded speculation’
Beijing:China denied on Wednesday plans to construct a tunnel to divert River Brahmaputra amid reports of highly polluted waters from its tributary Siang flowing into India.“I would like to point out that China’s position on the eastern part of the China-India border is consistent and clear,” foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in response to questions about the reports on blackened, muddy waters with cement and sledge of the Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh.He refuted reports that it may due to a tunnel being constructed on Chinese side.“I have never heard of the project mentioned by the Indian side. It is hoped that the Indian side will not conduct unfounded speculation and reports,” he said in a written response to a question in this regard.In October, China had denied reports of plans to build 1000km long tunnel to divert Brahmaputra waters to the arid regions of Xinjiang, saying the report is untrue and false.There is, however, no explanation for the highly polluted waters in Siang river.Brahmaputra originates in Tibet where it is called Yarlung Tsangpo and is known as Siang in Arunachal Pradesh before it enters Assam and flows southwards to the sea through Bangladesh.PTI
India, China agree peaceful resolution of Doklam reflects their political maturity: MEA
New Delhi:Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday confirmed that Doklam issue was discussed with the Chinese Foreign Minister during the trilateral meet between India, China and Russia held in New Delhi on Dec.11. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj and they both ‘expressed satisfaction’ that the Doklam issue was resolved amicably, reported news agency ANI.To this effect, the MEA issued a statement today saying, “During the meet between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who meet on Dec.11 in Delhi, Doklam issue was raised, and both noted the challenge it had posed to their relationship and expressed satisfaction that it was resolved with the disengagement of troops at the face-off site through concerted diplomatic communications.” MEA statement also conveyed Chinese minister’s response. “The peaceful resolution of Doklam issue reflects political maturity on both sides. While agreeing with this, Sushma Swaraj reiterated that maintenance of peace in border areas is an essential pre-requisite for the smooth development of bilateral relations,” read the statement. Indianexpress
India’s Wassenaar’s membership won’t change our stand on NSG: China
Beijing:China on Wednesday hinted that India’s entry into the Wassenaar Arrangement will not necessarily pave the way for its membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).The foreign ministry said that different multilateral export control regimes had different standards of admissions. “We have noticed the report. As I understand it, different multilateral mechanisms have different roles and different standards for admitting new members,” said ministry spokesperson Lu Kang.
Can’t blame Myanmar for protecting country:International Buddhist Confederation leader
New Delhi: Myanmar cannot be blamed for trying to protect itself from "outsiders", Lama Lobzang, the outgoing secretary general of the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), has said. Lama Lobzang said that excesses against the Rohingyas in Myanmar were by the army, not ordinary Myanmarese. "Originally Myanmar Muslims were very few in number; just about 6% or 8%. The Rohingyas have come from outside, from Bangladesh, or those who are settled on the Indian border. There are more than 10-15 lakh such people. People there think that if you allow them to come and settle there, Myanmar will eventually become a Muslim country, so they try to push them out," Lama Lobzang said.TOI
RTI reply: 19000 Kashmiri migrants moved to Delhi, 40000 still settled in Jammu: dnaindia
Since 1990, due to militancy issues in Kashmir valley, 61,000 Kashmiri Pandit families along with some Muslim and Sikh families have migrated from the valley. However, surprisingly 40,000 are still residing in the state, and are in Jammu, while 19,000 have come to Delhi and remaining 2,000 to various other parts of the country.This has been revealed in an RTI reply from Ministry of Home Affairs (J&K Division), Govt  of India. RTI was filed by a Pune based entrepreneur Prafful Sarda seeking details on how many Kashmiri Pandita have been affected by the militancy. He had posed an array of questions, of which the ministry replied only this much. For the remaining ones he has been asked to apply under RTI rules prevalent in J&K state, which is different from the rest of the country. RTI reply reads, "Due to militancy in the state of J&K in the early 1990s most of Kashmiri Pandit families along with some Sikh and Muslim families migrated from Kashmir valley to Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country.Over 40,000 registered Kashmiri Migrant families are residing in Jammu, about 19000 registered Kashmiri Migrant families are living in Adelphi and about 2000 families are settled in other states."DNA
J-K: BJP leader Ashish Sareen poses with AK-47, party says ‘not an active member’
Jammu:A week after unfurling national tricolour at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, a youth Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashish Sareen in a bizarre incident on Wednesday posted his photograph brandishing an AK 47 with a caption “Don is Don.”After his photograph went viral, the BJP distanced itself from him saying that he was not an “active member of the party.” BJP state president Sat Sharma denied any knowledge about Ashish Sareen. “Hundreds of people visit our party headquarters every day and even attend meetings convened by us to redress their grievances, but I can definitely say that no person with such a name has been an active member of the BJP ever since I took over as president of party’s state unit,” he added. Ashish later withdrew his photograph from the social networking site. indianexpress
Geelani slams reopening of cinemas in Saudi Arabia
Srinagar: Syed Ali Geelani on Tuesday said he was dismayed over allowing movie theatres to operate in Saudi Arabia. “Messenger of Allah (PBUH) started his pious mission from this sacred land against infidels and polytheism and purified this land from all evils,” Geelani said in a statement.Geelani said that opening movie theatres is an “un-Islamic move.”“It is against the norms of Islam and keeping in view the sanctity of these places, move is quite disheartening and unacceptable,” he said.Cautioning about the consequences of this move, Geelani said that “rulers in Saudi Arabia being the custodians of the Holy places of Madeena and Mecca, need to be careful.” “However, it is quite unfortunate that the present ruling elite is allowing and promoting same obscene culture which Islam has prohibited,” Geelani added. Greaterkashmir
Anganwadi Workers Demanded Regularisation of Jobs - Yogi Govt. Slapped Sedition Charges
In a move which has sent shock waves across the country, the Yogi Adityanath Govt  in UP  has criminalised dissent and the idea of peaceful protests by booking anganwadi workers under charges of sedition when they demanded a better deal from the Govt .In Sitapur district, over 90 kms from the state capital Lucknow, four anganwadi workers had been active in organising protest demonstrations on their demands including an increase in their honorarium and regularisation of their jobs. UP police charged Neetu Singh, Sarita Verma, Manju Vanshwar and Santosh Kumari with the stringent IPC section 121A. They were arrested and sent to 14-days of judicial custody.Neetu Singh, who is district president of Mahila Anganwadi Karmchari Sangh, a State wide association of Anganwadi workers, along with fellow workers had staged a protest on Sitapur-Lucknow highway on December 8, the day of Adityanath's visit to Sitapur. The Sitapur Police filed an FIR against Singh, her 29 named fellow workers and seventy other unnamed persons case of rioting and criminal intimidation among other charges.Newsclick
India can’t be governed on basis of Hindi, Hindu & Hindustan: Owaisi
Hyderabad: President of AIMIM Asaduddin Owaisi Wednesday said that India cannot be governed on the basis of “Hindi, Hindu and Hindustan”.Owaisi, while citing a news report which claimed that a scuffle broke out between members of the BJP and BSP in Aligarh Municipal Corporation in UP  Tuesday after a BSP corporator took oath in Urdu, tweeted that he himself has taken oath in Urdu 3 times earlier as an MP and will do so again in 2019.“As an MP I have taken oath in Urdu three times, so is that unconstitutional and will again take in Urdu in 2019 InshAllah. India cannot be governed on the basis of Hindi, Hindu and Hindustan,” he said in a tweet.PTI
Muslims safest under Modi, Adityanath Govt:Kalbe Jawwad
Lucknow: Shia cleric Kalbe Jawwad has praised the Narendra Modi Govt  at the Centre and Yogi Adityanath Govt  in UP  for their "outreach to the minorities" and said that the Muslims were safest under their rule.Barring some incidents of `love jihad` and cow vigilantism, law and order in UP  had improved considerably under BJP Govt , the Shia cleric told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Kanpur late Tuesday."There has not been a single communal riot in the eight months of the Adityanath Govt  as against more than 600 big and small riots during Akhilesh Yadav`s tenure," he said.As for the Ayodhya dispute,He said all stakeholders should wait for the SC verdict on the matter.He accused the previous Samajwadi Party Govt  in UP  of being the "most corrupt and dishonest".PTI
New Members of Meerut Civic Body Row Over Vande Mataram At Oath Ceremony:NDTV
Meerut:  The controversy over the singing of Vande Mataram in the civic body of Meerut, a town in western UP , surfaced again today, with a clash between the BJP and Mayawati's party that swamped oath ceremony. While there was no actual violence, slogans were shouted, posters torn and the ceremony ended amid chaos.BJP has a numerical edge in the Meerut civic body, winning 38 of its 90 seats. But the Mayor's post has gone to Mayawati's party, which has also won 28 seats.This morning, as all civic bodies across the state held oath ceremonies for the new representatives, trouble broke out in Meerut corporation, where a move to make Vande Mataram compulsory was made after the Yogi Adityanath Govt  came to power in March. At the time, seven Muslim corporators had faced expulsion after they refused to sing along.Today, once the oath was over, the BJP members  stood up and started singing the national song. Guests -- assembled politicians and Govt  and civic officials -- followed suit. But the newly elected mayor of Mayawati's party, Sunita Verma, was seen sitting, pushing corporators from opposition parties to follow her example.When the song concluded, BJP members decided to start a protest on the spot. Slogans of "Jai Shri Ram" and Vande Mataram were heard, which was countered by slogans of "Jai Bheem" by the BSP side.BJP supporters then proceeded to tear up the posters put up by Mayawati's party outside the venue, saying party posters were not allowed in the building after the elections. The trouble finally stopped only after intervention of supporters from both sides."I want to work with everyone, we are not here to fight," said Sunita Verma, indicating it was the BJP's mistake to sing Vande Mataram instead of Jana Gana Mana. "On Vande Mataram, what is written in the constitution should happen. Jana Gana Mana should happen," she added.NDTV
Muslim worker killing: 2 held in Udaipur for posting inflammatory comments on FB
District police have arrested two persons for posting inflammatory comments on Facebook about the murder of a Muslim migratory worker in Rajsamand recently.Pintu Joshi (34), resident of Piproli area under Mavli tehsil and Kailash Dangi (22), resident of Subhagpura area in Udaipur, were booked for promoting enmity among groups on the ground of religion, the police said. “They have confessed to posting the comments on Facebook,” said Labhuram Vishnoi, SHO of Mavli police station.Commenting over the incident, IG of police, Udaipur range, Anand Shrivastava said, “We are very strict towards these types of incidents. We have formed a special cell to monitor provocative comments on social media.”“We received a complaint on Monday that a few men were posting inflammatory comments on Facebook in connection with the hacking of Muslim migratory labourer Mohammed Afrazul. Upon getting the information, we zeroed in on the accused,” said the police officer. One person was arrested from Udaipur on Monday and the other was held from Rajsamand today, he added. Police have taken suo motu cognisance and registered an FIR against them, Shrivastava said. Hindustantimes
Paradise Papers: Income Tax department sends out first set of summons, questionnaires
New Delhi: Paradise Papers: The Investigation unit of the Income Tax Department, a month after the publication of the Paradise Papers has began sending out summons and questionnaires to the people whose names appeared in the leak. Top Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) officials while talking about the global media offshore leak said that the summons have been issued under Section 131 of the Income Tax Act which ensures the appearance of persons called to give evidence, according to Indian Express. The official further stated that the first set of summons with specific questions for each were sent in end-November, less than a month after the publication of the Paradise Papers on Nov.5, 2017.18 months after the publication of the Panama papers, Paradise Papers disclosed a cache of 13.4 million documents.Indian Express
Govt extends deadline for quoting Aadhaar, PAN in financial dealings till March 31, 2018
New Delhi: Govt on Wednesday set March 31, 2018 as deadline for quoting Aadhaar, PAN in financial dealings. Earlier, it had set Dec.31 as the last date for linking the UID to bank accounts.“After considering various representations and inputs received from Banks, it has been decided to notify 31st March, 2018 or 6 months from the date of commencement of account based relationship by the client, whichever is later, as the date of submission of the Aadhaar number, and PAN or Form 60 by the clients to the reporting entity.” a notification by the Govt  said.The announcement comes after the Govt  on Friday extended the deadline to link Aadhar with PAN from Dec.31, 2017 to March 31, 2018. Sources said over 14 crore PANs have been linked with Aadhaar  till now, which is about 41%  of total 33 crore cards issued by Income Tax department. About 115 crore people have Aadhaar cards. indianexpress
SC likely to hear petitions challenging mandatory Aadhaar for welfare schemes tomorrow
Fake news by right-wing website and TV channel almost caused communal riots in Karnataka: jantakareporter
BJP’s attempt to use fake new to disturb communal harmony in poll-bound Karnataka has been exposed. This was after the violence over the mysterious death of a teenager in Honnavar in Karnataka last week spread to another town in Karnataka’s coastal Uttara Kannada district on Tuesday as the BJP stepped up its protest and sought an NIA probe in the case.BJP and its supporters on social media had made astonishing claims that 18-year old Paresh Kamalakar Mesta was tortured, his body mutilated and heads splits into two because he was a member of Sangh Parivar.The story was carried by a fake news website postcard.news, which has become notorious for peddling lies but is incredibly popular among some of the members of PM  Narendra Modi’s cabinet, who frequently share its links.Also joining the gang in spreading the false claims were some top BJP leaders including MP Shobha Karandlaje, who posted the following tweet with some gory images.
Hindutva brigade out to wreck peace: Karnataka Minister
Bengaluru:Home Minister, R Ramalinga Reddy on Tuesday accused BJP of stirring up communal trouble in Uttara Kannada district merely to win votes in the coming elections to the assembly.Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, he charged BJP  with trying to disrupt the peace of the district in the name of Hindutva. "The coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi  have been already converted into a Hindutva laboratory and efforts are  now on to extend this to other parts of the state. BJP is leaving no stone unturned to create communal tension in the guise of holding yatras," he charged, accusing Union Minister, Ananth Kumar Hegde and Member of Parliament,  Pratap Simha of instigating innocent people through their hate speeches.Deccan Chronicle.
Muslim performs last rites of Hindu septuagenarian in Bulandshahr:HT report
Meerut: A Muslim performed the last rites of a Hindu septuagenarian in village Mohammadpur Barwala in Bulandshahr.Former village pradhan Mohammad Anad Khan’s son Malahat Khan performed the ritual of ‘mukhagni’ of Thakur Jitendra Singh while members of Hindu and Muslim communities attended the last rites.Anad Khan said Thakur Jitendra Singh was a resident of district Budaun who came to stay in the village in 1967 and thereafter became like a family member. He has been living with his family and he was sick since last eight months and died after a prolonged illness on Monday.The family took his mortal remains on the bank of the Ganga where Malahat Khan performed the last rites. Another ritual of terhavi would be organised after consulting the Brahmins to decide the date as per Hindu tradition.
Hyderabad activists critical of draft law on triple talaq
Hyderabad: A proposal with a draft law sent by the Centre to the states, which makes talaq-e-biddat (triple talaq) a cognisable and non-bailable offence punishable with 3 years of jail and a monetary fine, has received criticism from activists in Hyderabad.“There is a proposal to provide subsistence allowance to Muslim women and dependent children in the event of pronouncement of talaq-e-biddat. The women will also be entitled for custody of their children,” the draft further states.  Jameela Nishat, a women’s rights activist from Old City, said triple talaq is a condemnable practice but not a crime. “If the judiciary wants to revise the law with an agenda to bring a reform and to empower Muslim women, it should bring in a clause for reconciliation,” she asserted.It would be a rational move if a law is framed which makes it mandatory for the qazi to hear both the husband and wife, and reach to a conclusion only after knowing from them the grounds for seeking divorce. The concerns regarding compensation or marriage alimony to be provided to the wife should also be discussed, she said. Ilyas Shamshi, a minority welfare activist, said, “My first question is who will look after the wife, in case she is not earning, after her husband is sent to jail for three years for pronouncing talaq. Also, if a sensitive relationship like that of a husband and wife, and their separation, are seen in the purview of crime, it will kill the soul of the relationship.”He also asked what would happen if like every other legal proceeding, a case of triple talaq reaches its conclusion only after years. “In such a scenario, by the time a husband is jailed for three years, the wife might have suffered for years already waiting for justice, and the husband would have remarried, “ he said. Some community leaders also asked that if talaq-e-biddat is criminalised and the husband is jailed, the children of the litigating parents will be deprived of the father’s affection.Ather Moin, an activist, said: “How can we expect that a person who undergoes a three-year prison term will accept his wife or live happily with her once he is out of jail? newindianexpress
Murder case:Court rejects convict Ameerul's plea,decision on quantum of punishment adjourned till tomorrow
Kochi: A hearing to decide the quantum of punishment to the lone convict found guilty in the rape and murder of a 30-year-old Dalit law student in Kerala last year, was held in a trial court here today.Ernakulam Principal Sessions court judge N Anil Kumar, who yesterday found Ameerul Islam, migrant labourer from Assam, guilty of raping the law student at nearby Perumbavoor, heard the versions of defence and prosecution in awarding the quantum of punishment in the case. He then adjourned the hearing to tomorrow, when the quantum of judgement is expected to be pronounced.Today, defence counsel moved an application seeking a fair probe, arguing that Islam,who only understands his mother tongue Assamese, was not given a fair treatment by the Kerala Police which probed the case.The court, however, rejected the application, saying that the application submitted by the accused for further investigation was not in accordance with law.PTI 
‘Haven’t Done Anything’: Ameerul after conviction
WORLD
OIC recognizes East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital
Pushing back against last week’s U.S. declaration, the final communique of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Istanbul summit on Wednesday recognized East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state, urging the international community to do the same.The communique came after Muslims leaders, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, gathered at an extraordinary summit of the OIC in Turkey’s commercial capital. Palestine has been an OIC member state for nearly 30 years.The communique said it "rejects and condemns in the strongest terms the unilateral decision by the president of the United States America recognizing Jerusalem as the so-called capital of Israel, the occupying power."It urged the world to recognize East Jerusalem as the occupied capital of the Palestinian state and invited “all countries to recognize the state of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital.”57-member bloc also affirmed “its readiness to take the Jerusalem issue to the UN General Assembly if the UNSC fails to take action” against the “grave violation” of the US decision.World Bulletin
OIC states recognize E. Jerusalem as capital of Palestine
Muslim states reject Trump's decision on Jerusalem
Envoys of Muslim countries meet to support OIC summit
Ethiopia: Ambassadors from Islamic countries that are accredited to African Union met on Wednesday to rally support for a high-level gathering of the OIC.The meeting was held in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa under the auspices of the Turkish Embassy.“We have one agenda item: the recent unfortunate development regarding Jerusalem,” Turkish Ambassador to Ethiopia and representative to the African Union Fatih Ulusoy said.The African Union, of which Palestine has an observer status, and Arab League have already condemned the Trump’s decision. Anadolu agency
Gaza plans million-man demo against ‘Trump Declaration'
Gaza:Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip have called for a "million-man demonstration" on Friday to protest last week’s recognition by the U.S. of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital."We are calling on Gazans to take part in a million-man march for a 'free Jerusalem' on Friday from the Salah al-Din corridor near the southern city of Rafah to the northern city of Beit Hanoun," Khaled al-Batch, a leading member of the Islamic Jihad group, said Wednesday.Speaking at a news conference in Gaza City, al-Batch said the planned march was intended to emphasize Jerusalem's Arab and Muslim identity and the city's religious significance for Muslims worldwide.He went on to warn that last week's controversial move by the U.S. could represent "a prelude to the annexation of more parts of the [occupied] West Bank by Israel".Anadolu agency
Will Erdogan cut ties with Israel over Jerusalem? aljazeera
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said an upcoming summit of Muslim leaders will mark a "turning point" in the response to a US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.A strong supporter of the Palestinian cause, Erdogan called Wednesday's extraordinary meeting in Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, under the auspices of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Erdogan has threatened to cut diplomatic ties with Israel over the issue of Jerusalem, declaring the city's status a "red line".Historical power centres of the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have also condemned US President Donald Trump's unilateral move, without, however, announcing any concrete measures of their own.Palestinians view East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state." Unfortunately, Erdogan does not miss an opportunity to attack Israel," Naftali Bennett, Israel's education minister, said in response to the Turkish leader's speech in which he threatened to sever relations with Israel,"if necessary". However, Erdogan has also spearheaded efforts to normalise relations between Turkey and Israel over the past year, after a near-break after Israeli forces stormed a Gaza-bound ship, resulting in the death of 10 Turkish activists. Israel and Turkey announced in June 2016 they would normalise ties after a years-long rupture. Israel and Turkey agreed to build an underwater pipeline connecting Israel's massive offshore gas field Leviathan to Turkey, Reuters news agency reported in March. This could be built within four years, according to one of the partners in the project.Israel has been pursuing several regional export deals for its newfound gas reserves and the Leviathan group is moving ahead with development plans since making its final $3.75bn investment decision.In November 2016, Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Turkey for sending specialised aircraft to help put out a rash of wildfires that broke out in several parts of the country.Turkey was the only country from the Middle East to provide such help to Israel. Greece, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus and Russia also offered to assist extinguishing the blazes.
Hamas leaders, MPs among several Palestinians kidnapped by Israel army
AL-Khalil, (PIC) Dozens of Palestinian activists and Hamas leaders were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces at daybreak Wednesday in abduction sweeps rocking the West Bank.A PIC news correspondent said Israeli army troops rolled into Ramallah’s western town of Beituniya at the crack of dawn and kidnapped the Hamas leader Hasan Yousef, also a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). The occupation soldiers ransacked Yousef’s family home before they handcuffed him and dragged him to an unidentified destination, his son, Ouways, told PIC, adding that his father was recently released from Israeli jails.The Israeli forces further broke into the home of PLC member Khaled Sa’id (MP) in the northern occupied West Bank province of Jenin and subjected him to exhaustive questioning before they ordered him to turn himself in to intelligence officers at the Salem military camp, west of Jenin, for further interrogation.The campaign culminated in the abduction of several of ex-prisoners and Hamas affiliates, along with a number of Fatah and Islamic Jihad leaders.The list of detainees included ex-prisoner Yaser Mana’, Mohamed al-Jamal, Muhannad Shahda, Saher Ghatasha, Alaa Saber, Saleh Abu Asab, Tareq Ubaid, and Ali Senya, among several others.
70% of Palestinians want Abbas to resign immediately
Some 70 %  of Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip want President Mahmoud Abbas to resign immediately, according to a new poll by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research conducted 7-10 December.The poll, conducted in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in the immediate aftermath of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, makes grim reading for Abbas, with those demanding his resignation up three points from September.Abbas’ net satisfaction rating, meanwhile, has dropped one point to minus 35, with just 31 %  satisfied with his performance, compared to 66 %  who are dissatisfied. middleeastmonitor
Doubts over impact of Putin's Syria withdrawal declaration
On a brief and surprise stopover, Russia's President Vladimir Putin landed in Khmeimim airbase in Syria's Latakia early on Monday.Addressing Russian troops before him on the tarmac, an upbeat and triumphant Putin claimed military victory in the war-torn country and announced that a "significant part" of the deployed force could now return home.It was the first visit to Syria by a Russian head of state since 2010. Yet, the declaration wasn't the first of its kind.As in both of those instances, Putin said on Monday that Russia's Khmeimim airbase and Tartus naval facility would continue their normal operations.This led many to downplay the military significance of the Russian president's latest declaration."This is not a withdrawal, since Russia is keeping its air and naval bases," George Alam, a political analyst in Lebanon's capital, Beirut, told Al Jazeera."And Putin did say, 'if terrorists come back, we will strike them'. So that means Russia's military strength is still present in Syria."Alam said Putin's orders may have a different aim: to send a strong message to the US.Describing the decision as "political", Alam said it was Russia's way of asking the "international community to pressure the US to withdraw its troops from Syria".He added: "Russia is bothered by what it sees as the illegal presence of US troops." aljazeera
Russian, Syrian jets hit Aleppo, Damascus countryside
Russian and Syrian fighter jets have launched attacks in southern Aleppo province and the Damascus countryside, causing civilian casualties in both locations.Rebel groups, for their part, made gains south of Damascus and in the eastern Idlib province, activists said on Tuesday.An Al Jazeera correspondent said hundreds of families were displaced from villages and towns in the southern Aleppo countryside because of heavy bombing by Syrian and Russian fighter jets.The attacks resulted in civilian casualties and extensive damage to homes and property, the correspondent said. aljazeera
Syrian opposition seeks direct Geneva talks with regime
 Syrian opposition has said it wants direct talks with the Govt , as it attends a fresh round of meetings in Geneva to discuss political transition.Al Jazeera's Maan Khader, reporting from the Swiss city, said that Syrian opposition perceives what was left of the Geneva talks as an opportunity to engage in direct negotiation with Govt.The opposition pledged to take the matter seriously in remarks after UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, conveyed the Govt 's refusal to engage in direct negotiations until topic of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's fate was off the table.De Mistura mediated between the two sides, and proposed to move discussions on Syrian constitution and possible elections to a conference scheduled to take place in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi, early next year. aljazeera
China creates Big Brother DNA database for entire population of Muslim region blighted by violence:reports
China has created a DNA database for the whole population of a Muslim region that has been blighted by violence, a report said.Authorities have collected DNA and other biometric data from the whole of the western region of Xinjiang, where hundreds have been killed in the past few years. Violence has been rife in the region between Uighurs, a mostly Muslim people, and ethnic majority Han Chinese, which Beijing blames on Islamist militants.Human Rights Watch denounced the Govt 's campaign as a gross violation of international norms in their report.The unrest has fuelled a sweeping security crackdown there, including mass rallies by armed police, tough measures that rights advocates say restrict religious and cultural expression, and widespread surveillance.Police are responsible for collecting pictures, fingerprints, iris scans and household registration information, while health authorities should collect DNA samples and blood type information as part of a "Physicals for All" programme, the New York-based group said in a statement, citing Govt  a document.Human Rights Watch's China director Sophie Richardson said: "The mandatory databanking of a whole population's biodata, including DNA, is a gross violation of international human rights norms, and it's even more disturbing if it is done surreptitiously, under the guise of a free health care program."mirror.co.uk
Billions ‘wiped off’ Al-Waleed’s fortune following his arrest
Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal’s fortune has taken a dramatic fall since his imprisonment, according to a report by the Financial Times. Billions of dollars is reported to have been “wiped off” Saudi Arabia’s most famous investor following his arrest under last month’s anti-corruption purge authorised by the Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman.According to the FT, the Saudi tycoon and his main investment firm, Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) has been losing billions due to uncertainty surrounding Bin Talal’s release. Citing Forbes the FT reported that KHC has lost nearly a fifth of its value since Prince Bin Talal’s detention, falling to $8.5bn and hitting the tycoon’s net wealth by $2 billion to about $16 billion.In an attempt to dampen concerns over the future of KHC, the chief executive of Bin Talal’s investment firm, Talal Al Maiman said that more than $12.5 billion is held by the management globally and the company “enjoys a solid financial position underpinned by a prudent and conservative funding plan”. middleeastmonitor
Yemen: Saudi-led coalition kills 39 in Sana’a strike
The Saudi-led coalition executed air strikes on a police camp in the Houthi-controlled capital Sana’a today, killing 39 and injuring more than 90, Reuters reported.The Houthis had held 180 Yemeni Govt al forces as prisoners in the police camp located in eastern Sana’a.Hussain Al-Bukhaiti, a Sana’a based journalist reported that in total six air strikes stuck the police station, around midnight.Some 60 were reported killed and more than 113 injured by the Saudi-led coalition strikes according to Al-Bukhaithi.Saudi Arabia has not publically commented on the strikes. middleeastmonitor
No evidence New York bomb suspect linked to Bangladesh militants: security chief
Dhaka: Bangladesh has found no evidence linking a Bangladeshi man charged with an attempted suicide bombing in New York with militants in Bangladesh, its counter-terrorism chief told Reuters on Wednesday.US prosecutors on Tuesday brought federal charges against Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi and self-described supporter of Islamic State, accusing him of supporting a foreign terrorist organisation.Ullah set off a pipe bomb in an underground pedestrian corridor between New York’s Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal at rush hour on Monday morning, injuring himself and three others.“We have collected evidence and information from his family members: his wife, father-in-law and mother-in-law,” Monirul Islam, head of the Bangladesh police’s counter-terrorism unit, said in an interview.“In Bangladesh we have not found any connection or have not been able to identify any of his associates who were or are involved with any terrorist groups.”Reuters
Philippines extends military rule in southern island
 Philippines;The Philippines' Congress on Wednesday approved a request by President Rodrigo Duterte to extend martial law in the southern Mindanao Island for another year.The move to uphold military rule till Dec.31, 2018 was approved by 240 lawmakers and opposed by 27 in the House of Representatives and Senate.Duterte imposed martial law in the region in May for 60 days. It was extended till the end of this year during a special session of the Senate and House of Representatives in July.Anadoldu
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Mani Shankar Aiyar Did Not Hold ‘Secret’ Meetings With Pakistan Officials, but Advani Did: THE WIRE
Gujarat elections: Does Congress have spokes to outrun the BJP wheel in final lap?Vinod Sharma
PM’s Gujarat campaign shows politics of hope has been replaced entirely by politics of fear:Pratap Bhanu Mehta
Remembering the Bombay Riots Part II: Story of Teacher, Journalist Firoz Ashraf:Meena Menon
Citizen Shambhulal is new face of Hindutva: Shiv Visvanathan
Leaked Email Reveals Philip Morris Funded Anti-Smoking Foundation Targeting Public Health Leaders With Grants: Anoo Bhuyan
Record high 262 journalists imprisoned in 2017: CPJ
Trump's Jerusalem move: 'A blunder with consequences':by William Roberts

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:16 PM)


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