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19 December 2017

19 Dec.ND: After Gujarat high, Congress wins big in Rajasthan local bodies/Smriti Irani to be BJP's CM candidate in Gujarat?



Evening NEWS DIGEST
19 Dec.2017: 29 Rabial Awwal 1439:Vol:9, No:76
INDIA
After Gujarat high, Congress wins big in Rajasthan local bodies: Bags 26 of 45 seats
Congress in Rajasthan Tuesday got a reason to rejoice winning all the 4 zila parishad, 16 of the 27 panchayat samiti seats and six urban local body seats, for which bypolls were held recently.This comes a day after the party registered a significant improvement in its tally in Gujarat, where assembly election results were declared Monday.The ruling BJP in Rajasthan could win only 10 panchayat samiti seats, but performed a little better in urban local body where it won seven wards — one more than Congress.The ruling party also could not retain even a single of the four zila parishad seats —Banswara, Bhilwara, Jalore and Karauli.The bypolls to 27 panchayat samitis of 19 districts, 14 nagar palikas of 13 districts and four zila parishads were held on December 17. One seat each of the panchayat samiti and the nagar palika (municipality) went to independent candidates.State Congress president Sachin Pilot said the results show that the days of BJP government in the state are numbered. “The countdown to their fall has begun,” he said.Pilot said Congress won three out of four assembly by-elections (Weir, Nasirabad, Surajgarh and Kota) after the 2013 state polls. The party’s tally in the Assembly is 24. BJP has 160 MLAs.He said the state govt was working against the sentiments of people. “The govt has ignored people for last four years,” he added.HT
Congress wins majority of seats in local body by-polls in Rajasthan
Smriti Irani to be BJP's CM candidate in Gujarat?
New Delhi: BJP is reportedly considering UnionTextiles and I&B Minister Smriti Irani's name for the post of Gujarat Chief Minister.According to a report in India Today, the central leadership is keen on appointing a CM who has a strong public appeal and can fulfill the promises made to the electorate.  According to the report, what makes Irani a close contender for the post are her strong leadership qualities, a command over Gujarati and English and the proximity to the central leadership. Times Now
Hardik has a post-poll plan: Campaign against ‘communal distrust’ in Gujarat and EVMs
Hardik Patel, the Patidar leader who helped make this Gujarat Assembly election difficult for the Bharatiya Janata Party, has said he would launch a campaign for “removing communal distrust” and getting “freedom from electronic voting machines”.Patel had, in the last two years, come to embody opposition to the BJP’s 22-year rule, leading a mass agitation for reservation for his community in 2015, then aligning with the Congress and running a high-pitched campaign against the BJP in this election.In the end, though, ruling party prevailed. “Before the election we kept the focus so much on issues related to governance and democratic rights that the BJP found it difficult to build its usual Hindu versus Muslim narrative in the state,” Patel told Scroll.in after the BJP secured victory. “Now I will spend time in cities and villages and hold meetings to tell people they must unite against attempts to divide the society on communal lines.”Patel accused BJP leaders, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of “dividing the state” by employing ecommunal rhetoric during the election campaign. “It is now the responsibility of the people of Gujarat, especially the majority Hindus, to reach out to Muslims,” he added. “Modi and his men divide us and we will unite our people.”Alleging that the BJP won the election “by tampering EVMs and using money power”, he vowed to “expose these dirty tricks” and prevent them from being repeated in future elections. “Ensuring freedom from EVMs is as important as removing communal distrust,” he said. “Both are necessary to prevent the subversion of our democracy. There are doubts about the reliability of EVMs, and this is not good for any country. If something is not done quickly to remove these doubts, our protest will move to the streets.”Patel has shown he is not averse to changing goals, and allies, if it serves his politics, so it is no surprise he is turning his attention to the issues of communal harmony and EVM tampering. Raising these issues now that the election is done could help cement the support base he has built – largely out of the BJP’s traditional social base – in the course of this election campaign, and set him up as the main political challenger to the BJP in Gujarat. scroll
3 Muslim candidates fielded by Congress make it to Gujarat assembly
The campaign for Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017 has seen many communally driven controversies. From remarks ranging from Allauddin Khilji to Aurangzeb, almost everyone and everything became a part of the campaign.  Surprisingly 2002 riots which always remained the nerve center of Gujarat politics, was hardly mentioned by the opposition. The 9% Muslim population in Gujarat has always been sidelined. The saffron party has never fielded a Muslim candidate in the assembly elections. Contrary to this the Congress which calls itself a party for people of every religion and caste fielded five Muslim candidates in the 2017 Gujarat assembly elections, out of which three emerged victorious.Of the three Muslim candidates fielded by the Congress, Imran Yusufbhai Khedawal, a first time MLA defeated BJP MLA Bhushan Bhatt in the Jamalpur-Khadia seat by a margin of 29,339 votes. Congress MLA from Dariapur, Shaikh Gyasuddin Habibuddeen also succeeded in maintaining his seat in Ahmedabad by defeating BJP’s Bharat Barot by 6187 votes. Javed Peerzada Mahamadjavid from Rajkot’s Wankaner defeated BJP’s Jitendra Somania by 1361 votes. Both Javed Peerzada and Shaikh Gyasuddin Habibuddeen had also won in 2007 and 2012 assembly elections.NewsX
Gujarat election results have dealt a blow to BJP, show PM Modi has credibility problem: Rahul Gandhi
New Delhi Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday claimed moral victory in the Gujarat Assembly election 2017 and said that poll results have dealt  a massive blow to the ruling BJP. Speaking to media a day after the election results were announced, Rahul said, “3-4months back, when we went to Gujarat, it was said that Congress cannot fight BJP. We did hark work for 3-4months and you have seen the results. BJP has suffered a massive jolt.”He also said the people of Gujarat have given a message to the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the “anger that you have within yourself will not work and it will be defeated by love”.“A question has been raised at PM Modi’s credibility. Modi ji has a credibility problem,” he further said. indianexpress
Triple talaq not a religious issue, it is about women’s rights, PM Modi tells a delegation
Pune:A delegation of the Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal (MSM) held a discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the draft law on instant triple talaq, in New Delhi on Monday. MSM chief Shamsudin Tamboli said, during the meeting, they submitted a memorandum of their demands to the PM. The panel has suggested that the government should consider not only triple talaq, but also focus on polygamy and the practice of halala; with a compulsory condition of judicial intervention in every talaq, he added. In response to their suggestions, Modi said, “The issue of triple talaq is not religious. It is about the rights of Muslim women. We are genuinely trying to make this draft effective. I assure you that we will consider your recommendation and the opinions of other stakeholders and political parties. We will come up with a comprehensive and an all-inclusive draft.” Tamboli said they had a “fruitful” discussion with the PM, who has assured to consider all of their recommendations before finalising the draft.“The meeting was successful. Tomorrow, our delegation will meet the heads of political parties to appeal to them to not to politicise the matter. We will also ask them not to bring the matter of religion and hold fruitful discussions on the draft in the Parliament,” he added.Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, national vice-president of BJP, was also present during the meeting. MSM delegation included its president Tamboli, secretary Jameer Shaikh, treasurer Dilawar Shaikh, member Sameer Shaikh and former chief Sayyadbhai, alias Sayyad Mehboob Qadri. indianexpress
Meerut: Residents led by BJP youth wing allegedly prevent Muslim from buying home in Hindu area
The residents of a Hindu-dominated neighbourhood in the city of Meerut in UP have allegedly stopped a Muslim man from moving into a house he had bought in the area, Hindustan Times reported. Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, led the protests, which occurred on Sunday night. “Many Hindu-dominated localities like Shyam Nagar, Baniyapara, Tiwari quarters and Bank Colony have become Muslim areas in the last few years,” said Deepak Sharma, an office-bearer at the city unit of the organisation. “We cannot allow this to go on.”This was part of a “sinister strategy by members of the minority community to buy a house in a Hindu-dominated locality,” The Times of India quoted Balraj Dungar, the Bajrang Dal’s convener for Meerut province as saying. “Over time, due to their activities, their Hindu neighbours are compelled to sell their houses to other minority families and move away. In this way, the entire neighbourhood becomes dominated by that community and there is exodus of Hindus.”According to police, jeweller Sanjay Rastogi had sold his house to Noman, a resident of Ismail Nagar, for Rs 28 lakh. The residents staged a protest when Rastogi was about to hand it over to Noman. After the police intervened, the two sides reach a compromise, Inspector Yashveer Singh said. scroll
Hindus in Meerut locality protest against sale of house to Muslim
Fringe Hindu group asks Aligarh schools not to celebrate Christmas, UP police alerts all SPs
Lucknow:In view of the threat to Aligarh schools by a fringe Hindu group against the celebration of Christmas, the Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday directed all district police chiefs to ensure that festivities go smoothly without any untoward incident.ADG (Law and Order) Anand Kumar also directed all district police chiefs of the state to ensure the freedom of practising one’s religion is protected and appropriate action should be taken in this regard.“Aligarh SSP and all district police chiefs have been directed to take strict legal action against those indulging in intimidation of any sort,” he said.This directive comes after RSS-affiliate Hindu Jagran Manch issued a circular on Sunday, threatening the management of all Aligarh schools against celebrating Christmas saying, if they did so, it would be “at their own risk”. HJM has asked its district units in the state to visit private schools with a warning — don’t collect contributions for Christmas celebrations from Hindu students and don’t make it compulsory for them to attend the event. Alleging that schools promoted Christianity this way, the HJM has asked its district units to protest outside schools if their warnings were not heeded. indianexpress
Fresh communal tension erupts in Rajsamand
JAIPUR :Fresh communal tension erupted in Rajsamand district on Tuesday after people from two communities came face to face over the possession of a piece of land at Tarsingra village in Kankroli, around 67 km north of Udaipur.Policemen from four nearby police stations were rushed to the village to control the situation. Senior police officials have reached the place and monitoring the situation.According to reports, some time ago people of a community had installed an idol on a platform built on a piece of land in the village, on which another community also claimed rights and gave a memorandum to the district administration on Monday. A district administration team arrived in the morning on Tuesday and removed the idol and dismantled the platform.When the other group members came to know about the district administration’s action, they felt offended. Calling that the action was taken at the behest of the rival community, they restored the chabutara, reinstalled the idol of Lord Hanuman and also a put a saffron flag in the afternoon, following with people of both the communities came face to face, resulting in tension in the area. hindustantimes
BJP MP tries to give communal colour to girl’s suicide attempt in Uttar Kannada
Bengaluru:Uttar Kannada police have claimed to solve the alleged kidnapping attempt of a class 9th girl student of Honnavar. The girl, say the police, confessed that she had fabricated the kidnapping story and had, in fact, attempted suicide.The girl had complained that on December 14 around 7.30 am two persons attacked her from behind while she was on her way to the school and tried to kidnap her.  She said she sustained injuries from the knives the two men carried and due to her strong resistance the duo dumped her and ran away.At a time when Uttar Kannada district is already witnessing communal unrest and violent protests by the BJP against the mysterious death of 18-year-old Paresh Mesta, BJP MP Shobha Karandalaje immediately tweeted about the incident and blamed the members of the minority community for this incident.However, police say the investigation has revealed that the girl has been stalked and harassed by a youth Ganesh Ishwar Nayak, a resident of Bajjikeri of Honnavar taluk, for about 6 months. Newsnation
Shambhu Lal killed Afrazul by mistake, his target was another Muslim: Police
New Delhi:Shambhu Lal Regar target was another Muslim man but ended up hacking and burning alive Mohammed Afrazul in Rajsamand on Dec. 6, police said on Monday. According to HT reports, during interrogation, Regar admitted that 48-year-old migrant labourer Afrazul was not his target but he killed him by mistake. His intended target was one Ajju Sheikh, a migrant worker like Afrazul from Bengal.“He [Regar] wanted to kill one Ajju Sheikh because he was in contact with a girl whom Shambhu regarded as his sister,” Rajendra Singh Rao, police circle officer of Rajsamand, told the newspaper. “But we suspect Shambhu had an affair with her.”According to the police, Shambhu had reportedly spoken to Ajju on phone and did not recognise him in person.In his pursuit for Ajju, Shambu went to Jhalchakki market but when he couldn’t find him, he asked for his mobile number from another labourer.“Either the labourer misheard Shambhu, or he thought that since Shambhu needs to get some work done, why not help Afrazul, probably his acquaintance, get some work. He then gave Afrazul’s number to Shambhu,” Rao said. Siasat
Woman killed, 8 protesters injured in clashes with security forces in Kashmir
Srinagar:One woman was killed and eight people suffered injuries on Tuesday in clashes with security forces in Shopian’s Batmurran area, sparked by the killing of two militants in a night-long gunfight with security forces.According to hospital sources in Shopian, the woman, identified as Rubi Jan, was declared dead in the hospital. “She had bullet injuries in the abdomen and died on her arrival in the hospital,” said a hospital official.According to locals, the injured were “mainly hit by pellets fired from shotguns”.“Two bodies have been recovered from the encounter site so far,” said Director General of Police S.P. Vaid.Two weapons have also been recovered from the encounter site. Security forces used explosives to blast the house in which the militants were holed up.The gunfight erupted om Monday evening during a cordon and search operation by security forces.The identity of the militants is being ascertained, said the police. thehindu
Jammu and Kashmir: Militant and civilian fatalities in 2017 highest in four years, says Centre
The Centre told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that in 2017, security forces killed 203 militants in Jammu and Kashmir till December 10. Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir said 37 civilians had died because of militancy in the state, PTI reported.This is the highest toll of militant and civilian fatalities in Jammu and Kashmir in the past four years. Security personnel had gunned down 150 militants in 2016, 108 militants in 2016 and 110 in 2014. The government said 15 civilians died in the state in 2016, 17 in 2015 and 28 in 2014.The Centre told the Lok Sabha that 335 militancy-related incidents took place in the state till December 10. There were 322 such incidents in 2016, 208 in 2015 and 222 in 2014.As many as 75 security personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir in 2017, 82 in 2016, 39 in 2015 and 47 in 2014. Scroll
2 Kashmiris assaulted in Bengaluru: Mehbooba Mufti demands strict action
Srinagar/Bengaluru: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said she was disturbed to learn that two brothers from Kashmir Valley were assaulted in Bengaluru for not speaking in Kannada. She demanded strict action against those involved in the incident.“Very disturbed by the news of 2 brothers from Kashmir being assaulted in Bengaluru. I would urge the authorities to take strict action against the accused,” she wrote on Twitter.A group of at least 10 men allegedly beat up a 24-year-old hotel management student and his brother from Kashmir, and damaged their car as they could not speak Kannada.Based on the footage from a CCTV installed near the site of the incident, Bengaluru police have arrested two men and have launched a manhunt for others. The brothers were allegedly targeted while they were returning home in their car after having dinner at Bhoopasandra around midnight on Monday. They had stopped their car near a bus stand at NTI Layout in Sanjay Nagar to attend a phone call.DECCAN CHRONICLE
UIDAI tightens norms for Aadhaar-bank account linking
Following the Airtel India-Aadhaar subsidy fiasco, the UIDAI on Tuesday has tightened the norms for mapping Aadhaar number to a different bank account.According to the latest rules, ‘explicitly informed consent’ from customers has been made compulsory.National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will disable the override feature that UIDAI said was being misused by many banks while seeding Aadhaar to accounts without informed consent of residents.As a result subsidy from the government was being credited to new accounts without their knowledgeThe UIDAI further said that there have been complaints pertaining to customer verification. “When an Aadhaar holder visits the telecom service provider for verifying his mobile number, as per Supreme Court's Feb 6, 2017 order, the telecom firm is opening the customer’s payment bank account and puts that bank account on NPCI's Aadhaar Payment Bridge, overriding the existing bank account. The mapping was done without the informed consent of the Aadhaar holder, UIDAI said. Thehindu
India tops list of migrants living abroad at 17 million, 5 million residing in Gulf, says UN
UN:India has topped the list of people living abroad at 17 million with about 5 million Indians residing in the Gulf region alone, according to a new UN report.Mexico, Russia, China, Bangladesh, Syria, Pakistan and Ukraine also have large migrant populations living abroad, ranging from 6 to 11 million each, according to the 2017 International Migration Report released here. In 2017, India was the largest country of origin of international migrants at 17 million, followed by Mexico at 13 million.Other countries of origin with large migrant populations include Russia at 11 million, China at 10 million, Bangladesh at 7 million, Syria at 7 million and Pakistan and Ukraine at 6 million each. The number of migrants from India now reside in multiple destination countries, including UAE at 3 million, the US and Saudi Arabia at 2 million each, report said. Indianexpress
90 Indians facing modern slavery in Britain
London:As many as 90 Indian citizens were referred to Britain’s authorities dealing with modern slavery during 2016, a major audit report criticising the Theresa May government’s much-publicised campaign on the issue revealed on Tuesday.Indian citizens accompany their employers using the ‘domestic workers’ visa, but often end up in abusive situations and are paid poor wages.Being unable to change employer after arriving here, some are caught up in other categories of modern slavery.The report by the National Audit Office (NAO) lists India among the top eight countries whose citizens are in such situation in the United Kingdom. Hindustantimes
WORLD
US vetoes resolution rejecting Trump's Jerusalem decision after UNSC votes 14-1
The US has vetoed, as expected, a UNSC draft resolution rejecting President Donald Trump's recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and his plans to move the American embassy in Israel to the city. However, the proposed measure was backed on Monday by the 14 other Security Council members, including many US allies, highlighting Washington's increasing isolation over an issue that has triggered mass rallies in support of the Palestinians in major international cities."What is troublesome to some people […] is that the US had the courage and honesty to recognise a fundamental reality," Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said.Egyptian-drafted text reiterated the UN position on Jerusalem, affirming "that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council".Francois Delattre, France's ambassador to the UN, said his country regretted the US decision over Jerusalem. "This draft resolution confirms an international consensus on Jerusalem that has been built over decades," said Delattre. aljazeera
UN votes 14-1 to condemn Trump's Jerusalem decision, as US vetoes resolution
Palestinians turn to UN General Assembly over Jerusalem
UN General Assembly will hold an emergency meeting after the US vetoed a UNSC resolution rejecting the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The request for the General Assembly meeting was put forth by a bloc of Arab nations, Turkey and Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which bills itself as "collective voice of the Muslim world".The President of the General Assembly, Miroslav Lajcak, said that the emergency session will be conducted as soon as possible, while the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, expected it to be held on Wednesday or Thursday.Mansour said the request stipulated that the session be held in accordance with the principle of "Uniting for Peace", in reference to General Assembly 1950 Resolution 377A. ccording to the resolution, the General Assembly will take it upon itself to consider matters further if the Security Council fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.Turkey, which has been highly vocal in criticising the US administration over its Jerusalem decision, is leading the push in General Assembly. "The resolution can be passed by getting at least two-thirds of the votes of the members of the UN General Assembly," a Turkish foreign ministry source, who wished to remain anonymous, told Al Jazeera."We already have this number, but Turkey, as well as the other OIC members, are working hard to increase it," one of the sources said. Speaking after the US' Security Council veto, Mansour, Palestinian ambassador to the UN, said: "It is paradoxical that while we were waiting for a peace plan from the US, the administration instead decided to further obstruct peace and delay its realisation." Aljazeera
After US Jerusalem Move, Palestinians to Seek Full UN Membership, Join Dozens of International Groups
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that the Palestinians will seek full membership in the United Nations and join dozens of additional international organizations in response to the recent US policy changes on Jerusalem. The Israeli government opposes unilateral Palestinian attempts to join international bodies outside of the context of a final status agreement between the parties.Abbas’s comments, which came during a meeting of senior Palestinian officials in Ramallah, echoed threats the PA leader issued last week during an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation conference in Istanbul. Algemeiner
Erdogan repeats call for defending Jerusalem's status
Ankara :President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday renewed his call on UN member nations to back the status of the contested city Jerusalem.“I invite once again all UN member nations to defend the historical status of Jerusalem,” Erdogan said during a joint news conference with his Djiboutian counterpart Ismail Omar Guelleh in the capital Ankara.“We, as Turkey, will continue to follow this issue till the end,” Erdogan added. Anadolu Agency
Israeli troops injure 15 Palestinians in West Bank
JERICHO:15 Palestinians were injured Monday in the West Bank when Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.In a written statement, the humanitarian aid organization said the incident occurred in Ain al-Sultan refugee camp in the city of Jericho. It said three others were affected by tear gas.According to eye witnesses, the clashes erupted when a group of Jews entered the city under the protection of Israeli troops to pray at an historic synagogue.Anadolu Agency
Israel unveils new synagogue in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa
Israeli authorities today unveiled a new Jewish synagogue under the Al-Buraq Wall – known to Jews as the Western Wall –in occupied East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. “Following 12 years of construction, the new synagogue was opened on Monday evening,” the Heritage Foundation of the Western Wall, an Israeli governmental body, said in a statement.“The unique design of the prayer hall combines rare art and unique lighting, creating a wonderful contrast between ancient and modern,” the statement read.In recent years, Islamic institutions in East Jerusalem have lodged repeated protests over excavations being carried out by the Israeli authorities under the flashpoint mosque compound.In a statement, Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, head of Jerusalem’s Supreme Islamic Council and a former Al-Aqsa imam, stressed that the Al-Buraq Wall was a component of the Al-Aqsa’s western wall.“The wall is part of our Islamic heritage and will remain so until Judgment Day,” Sabri said. middleeastmonitor
Egypt releases more than 200 football fans accused of rioting during Cairo derby
Egypt’s military prosecutors have released more than 200 football fans who had spent over 5 months in detention accused of vandalising a stadium and attacking police, a lawyer said Monday.Police had detained hundreds of supporters of Cairo’s Zamalek club following a July 9 game against Libya’s Al Alhi SC, keeping 236 of them in detention ever since, said defence lawyer Mohamed Hafez, who represented more than 100 of them.Following months of investigations, the military prosecution released them Saturday “because there was not enough evidence to allow for a criminal trial,” Hafez said. Their release was also reported by state media. The supporters were accused of destroying seats at Alexandria’s Borg El Arab Stadium and attacking police, the lawyer said.They were also accused of belonging to the Ultras White Knights, a club of hard core Zamalek supporters, said Hafez, who is also a lawyer at the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression. “There was rioting inside the Borg El Arab Stadium, and some of the seats were destroyed, and then about 600 of Zamalek’s supporters were randomly arrested,” Hafez said.Eight of the 236 had remained in detention Saturday, apparently for investigation on other charges, although a further three were released Sunday, he added. Egyptian authorities in 2015 banned the ultras groups, hardcore supporters of local teams who were at the forefront of 2011 protests that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak and are openly hostile to the police.
China, Islamists top Trump’s enemy list; India is a partner in fight against both
WASHINGTON: United States President Donald Trump’s new national security strategy, announced on Monday, promises support for India’s emergence as a “leading global power,” while identifying China, Russia and Islamism as main threats.“We welcome India’s emergence as a leading global power and stronger strategic and defence partner,” the strategy document said. Enhancing India’s global standing from being a ‘balancing power’ to be a ‘leading power’ has been a stated strategic objective of the Narendra Modi government.“We will seek to increase quadrilateral cooperation with Japan, Australia, and India. …We will expand our defence and security cooperation with India, a Major Defence Partner of the United States, and support India’s growing relationships throughout the region,” says the strategy, finalised after months of internal deliberations in the government.India finds mention as a partner in Mr. Trump’s plans for South and Central Asia and Indo-Pacific, while China is named as a threat in both sections. The document saiys America “will help South Asian nations maintain their sovereignty as China increases its influence in the region,” and notes that many countries in the Indo-Pacific are looking to the U.S. for leadership even as “Chinese dominance risks diminishing the sovereignty of many states in the region.” thehindu
Catalonia election: Muslim woman on a political mission
"It's sad to turn on the TV and never see a black face or an Arab personality," says Najat Driouech, who is likely to become Catalonia's first female Muslim MP.She says she is used to being a pioneer, as the first girl from her community to have won a literary prize and gone to university."I don't want my children to suffer half of what their grandparents suffered, or a quarter of what I had. I want them to find a society that is inclusive, equal and recognises diversity."She arrived in Catalonia from Morocco with her parents as a nine-year-old, in 1990. She has been a community worker for her local council in Masnou, a town outside Barcelona, for 17 years.There are 515,000 Muslims in Catalonia, comprising 6.8% of the population.BBC
36,000 children vulnerable in Libya
TRIPOLI:Some 36,000 child migrants in Libya are in need of assistance, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya said Monday.Out of an estimated 400,000 migrants, nine percent are children, and shockingly, more than 14,000 children are also unaccompanied, it said in a statement on its website. The figures were revealed by UNICEF and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), it said.“This year, nearly 15,000 unaccompanied children have reached Italy by sea, travelling across the perilous Central Mediterranean route from Libya. Their journey is typically facilitated by smugglers and traffickers,” it said.“UNICEF estimates that more than 400 children have died trying to make this trip since the start of the year, while many more have suffered abuse, exploitation, enslavement and detention,” it added.Anadolu Agency  
Syria: Infant in E. Ghouta becomes symbol of resistance
EAST GHOUTA/ANKARA :An infant, who lost his left eye and his mother last month in an attack by Bashar al-Asad’s regime in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region of Syria, has become a symbol of resistance.Twitter users in East Ghouta are expressing solidarity with two-month-old Karim by posting their pictures with their hand clasping their left eye shut.Members of White Helmets, activists, and two sisters named Nour and Ela, who tells the catastrophe in the region through children eyes, posted solidarity messages via Twitter.Turkish social media users also expressed solidarity with Karim and Eastern Ghouta using hashtags such as #SolidarityWithKarim and #EasternGhouta.Messages in English Turkish and Arabic, “#BabyKarim I see you” and “#EasternGhouta siege must end” were widely shared. An Anadolu Agency video on the tragedy of the family has been widely shared on Twitter to promote solidarity with Karim in Turkey.Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Karim’s father Abu Muhammed said: “Life under siege is a nightmare. It is very difficult to find a proper job under these circumstances.”The bereaved father told that his children were starving for the last 24 hours and the only thing they could eat was bread.Anadolu Agency
Yemen's Houthis fire missile at Riyadh: Reports
SANAA:Yemen's Shia Houthi rebel group on Tuesday announced it had fired a "ballistic missile" at Saudi capital Riyadh, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masira television channel.The missile reportedly targeted Riyadh's Yamama Royal Palace, which houses the office of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz."The missile targeted a large meeting of Saudi regime officials that was held at the palace," the broadcaster reported, adding that the missile had "found its target".According to the Houthi-run television channel, group leader Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi will deliver and important address to supporters later Tuesday.Saudi Arabia’s official Al-Ekhbariya television channel, meanwhile, reported that the missile had been intercepted south of Riyadh before hitting its target.It did not, however, provide any more details regarding the missile's intended target or the damaged inflicted.Anadolu Agency
UN: Airstrikes in Yemen kill 136 civilians in 10 days
The United Nations on Tuesday warned of recent intensified airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition, which killed at least 115 civilians in Yemen in 10 days."We are deeply concerned at the recent surge in civilian casualties in Yemen," Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday.The recent surge in the country began following the killing of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on Dec. 4."136 civilians and non-combatants were killed and some 87 injured as a result of airstrikes in Sanaa, Saada, Al Hudaydah and Taizz governorates in the period from December 6 to 16," Colville said.World Bulletin
Bangladesh, Myanmar form joint panel to return Rohingya
DHAKA, Bangladesh:Bangladesh and Myanmar on Tuesday formed a joint working group for repatriation of Rohingya refugees.This came in a meeting between a Bangladeshi delegation led by M Shahidul Haque and Myanmar’s delegation headed by Permanent secretary at Myanmar’s Foreign Ministry Myint Thu in Dhaka.Since Aug. 25, 2017, around 655,000 Rohingya have crossed from Rakhine state into Bangladesh, raising the total Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar to 867,000, according to UN. Anadolu Agency
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Musta'ribeen, Israel's agents who pose as Palestinians:by Linah Alsaafin
Muslims in Karnataka lack strong leadership with mass appeal:TOI
The Politics of Jerusalem & the Arab World:Abdus Sattar Ghazali,
How ‘forced conversions’ lies are being spread to attack Christians in India:dailyo
Is the Modi Government Hiding More Than What It Is Revealing With the RTI Act?M.M. ANSARI
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:50 PM)

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