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06 January 2018

06 Jan. ND: Fodder scam: 3.5 yrs jail for Lalu; Will challenge Lalu's jail term in HC:Tejashwi/ Govt to push for triple talaq bill in Budget Session/ AIMPLB seeks meeting with Prez on talaq bill, saying definition of 'talaq' in bill takes all forms of divorce, criminalises all forms



Evening NEWS DIGEST  
06 Jan.2018: 17 Rabial Aakhir 1439:Vol:9, No:91
india
Fodder scam: 3.5 yrs jail  for Lalu, Rs 10 lakh fine imposed
New Delhi :Ex-Bihar CM  and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was on Saturday sentenced by a special CBI court to three-and-a-half years of rigorous imprisonment (RI) in a fodder scam case. Jagdish Sharma, the then Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman, and former RJD leader R K Rana, were sentenced to seven years and three-and-a-half year RI respectively.3 IAS officials – Phool Chand Singh, Beck Julius and Mahesh Prasad – too were awarded RI for three-and-a-half years. Two other officials, Subir Bhattacharjee and Dr Krishna Kumar, were sentenced to a three-and-a-half year and seven-year RI respectively. Among the suppliers and transporters, Raja Ram Joshi, Sunil Kumar Sinha and Sushil Kumar Sinha were awarded three-and-a-half year RI. The remaining five – Tripurari Mohan Prasad, Sanjay Agarwal, Sunil Gandhi, Jyoti Jha and Gopinath Das – were handed a seven-year term. Yadav was also imposed a cumulative fine of Rs 5 lakh in connection with charges under the Indian Penal Code and Rs 5 lakh pertaining to charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Failure to pay the fine will attract a further RI of six months. Fines were also slapped on the three IAS officials to the tune of Rs 10 lakh (cumulative); Rs 5 lakh for Joshi and Sunil and Sushil Sinha. Besides, a fine of Rs 10 lakh was imposed on the five suppliers and contractors.Reacting to the order, Lalu’s son Tej Pratap Yadav said they won’t be cowed down. “We are confident that he (Lalu Yadav) will get bail. We have full faith in the judiciary. We are not going to be cowed down,” the former Bihar minister said. Moreover, soon after the sentencing, a tweet went out from Lalu’s official account, saying, “Rather than practising BJP’s Simple Rule – “Follow us or We will Fix you”. I will die happily fixing myself for Social justice, harmony & equality.” Earlier, the hearing of argument over the quantum of sentence of all the convicts was concluded through video-conferencing at 2 pm, following which special CBI Judge Shivpal Singh delivered his order at 4 pm. The conclusion of the process of sentencing, which had started on Jan.3 and kept getting deferred due to various reasons, brought curtains to the suspense over whether or not Yadav would get bail from the lower court.“We will go through the judgment and approach the Jharkhand High Court for bail. Had the sentence been of less than three years, our client could have got bail immediately,” Yadav’s counsel Prabhat Kumar said. In this particular case, Yadav has already undergone incarceration for nearly one year. indianexpress
Will challenge Lalu's jail term in HC: Tejashwi
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav today said a special CBI court verdict sentencing his father Lalu Prasad to three-and-a-half years in jail in a fodder scam case will be challenged in the high court. A bail plea will also be moved in the high court, Tejashwi told a press conference at the residence of his mother and former Bihar CM  Rabri Devi. PTI
Would rather die for social justice than follow BJP's 'rule', Lalu after sentencing
Shortly after being sentenced, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad has said his conviction is the result of political vendetta. Taking to twitter Lalu said that "Rather than practising BJP's Simple Rule - "Follow us or We will Fix you". I will die happily fixing myself for Social justice, harmony & equality."Meanwhile, Lalu's son and former Bihar Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav said, "We will move to high court against Lalu Prasad's conviction and appeal for bail after studying the court verdict." oneindia
Lalu writes letter for people of Bihar, talks about rights of Dalits, SCs, STs
Money laundering case: ED files second chargesheet against Lalu’s daughter Misa , her husband
New Delhi:ED has filed a second chargesheet against RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughter Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar before a Delhi court in connection with a money laundering case. Special Judge NK Malhotra rapped the central agency for its repeated chargesheets and berated it for not letting the trial commence. Both chargesheets will be considered by the court on Feb.5, reported PTI.“Will you let the trial begin or keep filing complaints? How many supplementary charge sheets will you file? You are a premier investigating agency. You cannot behave like this. It is an ill-drafted complaint,” the judge was quoted as saying by PTI.
TALAQ BILL
Winter Session Of Parliament Ends, Govt to push for triple talaq bill in Budget Session
New Delhi: Notwithstanding Opposition stalling the passage of the contentious triple talaq bill, the Govt  is set to push for its nod in the Rajya Sabha in the Budget Session, asserting that it is committed to it.Briefing reporters at the conclusion of the Monsoon Session, parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar also attacked the Congress, which had not opposed the bill in Lok Sabha but voiced its strong opposition in the Upper House. However, Govt  is "committed to passing the law and empower our Muslim sisters", Kumar said.A united opposition stalled talaq bill in the Rajya Sabha with the Congress moving a motion that the bill should be sent to a select committee for further scrutiny, a move strongly opposed by the treasury benches.When the Budget Session starts on Jan.29, the motion, which was moved by senior Congress leader Anand Sharma, will be taken up for consideration. Govt  sources said they would seek its passage in the first phase of the session and would be holding talks with opposition parties to arrive at a consensus.With Govt  recommending a schedule for Budget Session, it is unlikely to bring in an ordinance over the issue and will seek the bill's passage in the next session, official sources said.Treasury benches had also cited a Supreme Court order, which had invalidated the practise of triple talaq, to push for a law to criminalise the practise.PTI
Winter Session Of Parliament Ends, Triple Talaq Bill Pushed To Budget Session
Instant triple talaq Bill deferred, penal clauses offer room for give-and-take: indianexpress
As the winter session of Parliament drew to a close Friday and the fate of the Bill to criminalise instant triple talaq hung in the balance, the matter of ring-fencing penal provisions in Bill emerged as the central issue for some give-and-take before the next session to break the stalemate between the ruling BJP and the Opposition over the Bill.After the session concluded, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, offered to agree to the penal provisions in the Bill, provided it is insulated from outside interference and has a mechanism for subsistence allowance.“We don’t have any problem with sending the person (who resort to instant triple talaq) to jail if such a step proves to be a deterrent.But to make it cognizable…”He indicated that the penal provision be reworked only to allow “the aggrieved party”, and not a “non-aggrieved party”, to lodge a complaint because this would rule out potential misuse of the law.Objecting to current provisions in the Bill on criminalising talaq-e-biddat, lawyer and Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi suggested that the legislation stands to benefit if it has a provision that grants the aggrieved party a “clear right to withdraw criminal complaint and/or to settle/compound”.“Congress rightly believes that criminalisation is highly inappropriate, unnecessary, and in fact achieves the opposite of that which is intended. There is no question of deal-making. We genuinely believe that had it been referred to a select committee, improvements would be brought about. These include, but are not limited, (a) to provision of specified subsistence allowance; (b) clear right to withdraw criminal complaint and/or to settle/compound them; (c) some element of wilfulness or mental element which appears to be missing currently. At the moment, the language allows you to accuse without a mens rea,”he said.He too said that another improvement in Bill could be allowing the wife to be the only complainant in the matter so as to prevent misuse of the law.
BJP selling lies, Bill won’t help Muslim women: Azad
AIMPLB seeks meeting with Prez on talaq bill, saying definition of 'talaq' in bill takes all forms of divorce, criminalises all forms
Lucknow: All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has decided to approach President Ramnath Kovind over the triple talaq bill. Board fears the central Govt  may bring an ordinance on the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage bill, 2017, if it fails to get it passed in the Rajya Sabha."We think the Govt might bring in an ordinance and if it does so the haste will only prove that the Govt  is against democratic process. It will be against the spirit of Constitution. Which is why we are seeking to meet the President on the issue," said AIMPLB spokesperson Maulana Khalilur Rahmad Sajjad Nomani. Board has also requested opposition leaders to appeal to the President not to sign any such ordinance if it is sent to him, said Nomani.AIMPLB has, however, clarified that it is not against the bill but opposes its certain provisions. "There should be a strong law against the practice of instant triple talaq, but it has major lacunae which need to be resolved in consultation with genuine organisations working on the issue of triple talaq. AIMPLB being the apex Muslim representative organisation should be consulted," he said.Accodrding to AIMPLB, provisions of the bill are anti-women, against Sharia and an interference in the Muslim personal law, all of which will affect the welfare of the Muslim family. The Board added that some provisions of the bill are an attempt by BJP Govt  to fill jails with Muslim men. It has said that the definition of the word 'talaq' in the bill takes into account all forms of divorce over and above instant triple talaq, thus criminalising all forms. It has also objected to third party interference and complaint in a case of an alleged instant triple talaq, which will initiate police action against the husband on any person's complaint.TOI
Triple Talaq Bill: Modi ji has taken Mohammed Saheb’s message forward, says UP minister Raza
UP's Haj and Waqf minister Mohsin Raza has said those opposing the triple talaq bill are not just anti-women but also anti-human, hitting out at AIMPLB for "politicising" the bill. "They think they are the thekedars (caretakers) of Muslim. We don't need them to understand Shariat. Triple talaq is neither a part of Shariat nor insaniyat (humanity). AIMPLB should first learn the basics of Islam," said Raza, the lone Muslim minister in UP. “We must thank Modi as he has taken forward Mohammed sahab's message. Mohammed sahab would stand up in the respect of his daughter. The same is being done by Modi ji for all the Muslim daughters," Raza said. economictimes
Present talaq bill will double Muslim women's woes: BSP
Lucknow: Anti-triple talaq bill, if passed in the present form, will double the problems of Muslim women as it has many shortcomings, BSP president Mayawati said today."The bill has many serious shortcomings... If it is passed in the present form because of the rigid and undemocratic stand adopted by the Modi Govt  and becomes law, it will do more harm to Muslim women and double the atrocities faced by them," she said in a statement here."BSP is not against the bill but the provision of punishment in it will pose more problems for divorced Muslim women and they will become victims of more atrocities," she said.Modi Govt  needs to accept these shortcomings with an open heart for which a demand is being made to send it to the select committee of Rajya Sabha for scrutiny, she said.Noting that detailed discussions and home work needed to have taken place before bringing this bill, especially in view of the importance attached to it, the BSP president said the haste in bringing the bill goes on to show that it was not a mistake but indicates that their intentions were mala fide.PTI
Muslims up in arms against Centre’s move on talaq
Nizamabad: Muslims have criticised the Centre’s efforts in amending the Sharia (Muslim Personal Law) by moving the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill in Parliament, calling it “unnecessary intervention” in civil matters. They said it was a futile effort as 99.5% of Muslim women were opposing the Bill. Even if it was passed, they would abide by the Sharia, they said: “We will oppose the amendment tooth and nail to protect our Sharia.”Former chairman of AP Urdu Academy and AIMPLB executive member Mohammed Raheemuddin Ansari said Muslims would not accept changes in the personal law and protect it from the Govt  as well as the judiciary. Marriage and divorce were purely civil matters, as previously confirmed by the Supreme Court.“The amendment imposing three-year rigorous imprisonment (on men resorting to triple talaq) is not correct. Who will protect the children if the husband is sent to prison? Last year, we sent 2.5 crore signatures of Muslim women opposing the amendment to the National Law Commission,” he said.Opposing the Bill, the board is organising “Tahffuz-e-Shariat and Islaha e Mashera” (public meeting and awareness programme) on a big scale at Eidgah in Nizamabad on Saturday and in Adilabad on Sunday. MP Assaduddin Owaisi, Raheemuddin Ansari, Muqbool Badesha Shuttari, Hameed Mohammed Khan, president Jamait e Islami, Telangana, and a galaxy of Muslim elders are expected to attend the meetings. Meanwhile, Sadia Begum, principal of Women’s College here also said that a majority of women among Muslims were against the amendment as the Sharia itself protects women’s rights. thehindu
Central govt stand on triple talaq creating sense of discrimination- CPM state secretary Kodiyeri
Kozhikode: The approach taken by the central Govt on the triple talaq issue has created a sense of discrimination among the Muslim community, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said. Kodiyeri said that the stand taken by the central Govt  on the issue has given rise to the feeling that Govt is not treating all religions equally. timesofindia
OTHERS
Uttarakhand Madarassas Refuse to Abide by Govt's Order to Display PM Modi's Photo
Dehradun: madrassas of Uttarakhand have refused to implement the order of the state Govt asking educational institutions to display picture of PM  Narendra Modi in their premises. Citing the religious grounds, madrassas and senior clerics said that Islam prohibits the display of pictures for its followers. State Govt  had issued an order for all educational institutions to display the picture of PM Modi inside their premises and to take a pledge to implement Modi’s vision of building a new India by 2022.The officials of the Uttarakhand conceded that the order was met with opposition on religious grounds. “Madrassas in the state have not installed pictures of the PM because of religious considerations as Islam prohibits installation of pictures of living beings in mosques and madrassas,” said Deputy Registrar of Uttarakhand Madarsa Board Akhlaq Ahmad.He added that the refusal should not be seen as the opposition to any particular individual. “They aren’t opposed to any individual in particular. It is purely due to religious beliefs. Islam does not permit us to install pictures of living beings or individuals, including religious leaders inside mosques or madrassas,” Ahmad said.The opponents of the order also said the issue may be given a political color to entire issue too. “The state Govt ’s insistence to put up a picture of the PM is not possible for us since it is against our religion to do so. Also, the move might give political colours to madrassas. Our task is to instill morality and unity among children and not indulge in politics,” TOI quoted veteran teacher Ehsaan Saheb as saying.A similar order by the UP  Govt  to videograph the independence day functions in Madrassas was met with protests too.india.com
NCERT textbooks to be ‘optional’ for UP madrassa students; books to be available in Urdu
Bareilly: Months after Yogi-led BJP Govt  decided to introduce NCERT textbooks in madrassas across UP , state minority welfare minister, Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary, said that studying these books will only be optional for the students. For facilitating those whose English is weak, the state Govt  will also provide books in Urdu.“We will have Urdu translations of these textbooks. Aim behind introducing CBSE-like syllabus pattern in madrassas is to help students get jobs. We will not bring any change in the religious education being taught in madrassas,” said the minister.Asked if the Govt  will appoint trained teachers to teach the NCERT textbooks to madrassa students, Chaudhary said, “Each madrassa has 15 teachers, including a principal, and some of them are able to teach NCERT textbooks. We will appoint more teachers if the need arises.”Several madrassa managements, however, said that modern formal education in madrassas will defeat the purpose of constituting Islamic religious schools altogether. Mufti Mohammed Miya Qasmi, the founder of a madrassa in Bareilly, said, “State Govt  should first consult madrassa teachers about the syllabi before introducing NCERT books. There is no harm if students are given basic knowledge of other subjects but introduction of NCERT textbooks will increase burden on them and many may not be able to give enough time for religious lessons.”Deewan Saheb Jaman Khan, state general secretary, Teachers’ Association Madaris Arabia UP, said, “State Govt  had introduced new subjects such as computer and philosophy in madrassas in 2012. But despite our repeated demands, no teacher has been appointed to teach these subjects.”TOI
Govt lifts Haj ban on people with disabilities
New Delhi :Following protests from disability rights groups against India’s discriminatory Haj guidelines, the Ministry of Minority Affairs has decided to lift its ban on persons with disabilities from applying for the pilgrimage.  Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: “These guidelines have been in place for the last 60 years or so. Maybe, Saudi Arabia had certain restrictions. However, from this year on, we will allow persons with disabilities to apply for Haj.”The ministry has directed the Haj Committee of India, which facilitates and subsidises the pilgrimage, to align its 2018-2022 guidelines in keeping with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. Haj Committee’s guidelines state that “persons whose legs are amputated, who are crippled, handicapped, lunatic or otherwise physically/ mentally incapacitated” cannot apply for Haj. The ministry has already taken down the offensive clause from its website and replaced it with the line: “This clause of eligibility is under review”.On the demand for certain reserved quota for those with disabilities, on the same lines as the Haj quota for the elderly, Naqvi said the ministry will study “whether such a quota can be permitted as per Haj rules of Saudi Arabia” and take a call on the matter. 2018-2022 guidelines were issued based on a review committee’s October 2017 report, which retained the clauses that banned persons with disabilities from applying for Haj. indianexpress
Things that 'hurt the sentiments of Muslims' should not be done: Cleric on Haj House controversy
New Delhi:An Islamic cleric has addressed the controversy over the exterior of Lucknow's Haj House being painted saffron, and said that things that "hurt the sentiments of Muslims" should not be done, reported ANI."Saffron color is the identity of a particular religion, while Haj is associated with Islam. So nothing as such should be done which hurts the sentiments of Muslims," ANI quoted Maulana Nadeem-ul-Wajidi of Deoband.Earlier today, UP minister Mohsin Raza had said that saffron was an "energetic" colour, and such controversies should be avoided."There is no need for controversy in such things, saffron is an energetic and bright looking colour. The building looks beautiful. The Opposition has no big issues against us, so they raise inconsequential things," he had said. timesofindia
UP State Haj committee office painted in saffron; move draws criticism from opposition, Muslim leaders
No beef sale in Goa from today, traders protest against vigilantism
Panaji:Harassed by vigilante groups, Goa’s only beef traders association on Friday said they will go on an indefinite strike from Saturday, until the Govt  cracks down on vigilante groups who hamper bringing in beef from neighbouring states.The association said the strike would go on till the Govt  eases procedures to bring beef into the coastal state. Manna Bepari, president of the Qureshi Meat Traders Association of Goa, said no beef would be available for sale in Goa, until Govt  steps in and resolves the issue.“We are tired of these raids. They are not allowing our business to function. Every other day these groups target the beef consignments which we order from the open market in Karnataka and Govt officials also keep harassing us,” Bepari said.“No beef shop will be open until the Govt  helps us and stops these vigilant groups from taking law in their hands,” Bepari said.He also said more than five raids were conducted in the last few weeks, especially during the Christmas and New Year period, when sale of beef is at its peak in Goa.Beef is normally consumed in the form of stew, curries, roasts, soups and is an essential protein, and one of the cheapest meats in most Christian and Muslim homes in the state.Minorities comprise more than 30 %  of the state’s 1.5 million population.Cheaper than mutton, beef is also commonly consumed in the tourism-oriented coastal belt, which sees nearly six million tourists, half a million of which are foreigners. According to official statistics from the Goa Meat Complex, the state’s only abattoir facility allowed to slaughter cattle and buffaloes, the state consumes nearly 30 tonnes of fresh beef every day.And with the Complex not functioning to full capacity over the last few months, a majority of the beef is brought in from Karnataka by the meat traders in Goa.IANS
Preacher Called 'Zakir Naik of Kerala' Cries Foul After State Shutters His School: news18
New Delhi: A day after the Kerala Govt  ordered the closure of Peace International School near Kochi for teaching objectionable and extremist content, Islamic preacher MM Akbar, who is also the MD of the school, accused CPM-led Govt  of targeting a minority institution that laid emphasis on “national integration and social inclusion.”Akbar is known as Kerala’s Zakir Naik thanks to his fiery speeches that enjoy wide circulation in social media.Akbar told News18 from Qatar that he hasn’t received any formal order yet to shut down the school. “But if it is indeed the case, it is unfortunate that it has happened. The move is aimed at shutting down an institute that is completely lawful and was inspiring students towards national integration and social inclusion. It is sad that the Govt  is targeting such an institute. Yes, there are religious teachings that happen in the schools that are not part of CBSE, but it is the same religious education that any other minority-school in the state imparts,” he said.Peace International School’s curriculum allegedly encouraged students to give up their lives for Islam.“The whole controversy is around one chapter of the book published by Burooj Realizations. Now, one must know that we only used books that were available in that area. We didn’t think there was anything highly dangerous in those books. And if at all there are things are like this, we don’t teach the children those things. And now, since the Govt  had issues with it, we stopped using it. Even after that, if the Govt  is still shutting our school, it is unfortunate,” he said.He said that they decided to go ahead with the book because it was an “activity-oriented textbook aimed at enhancing children’s creativity.”“We focus on skill-based, activity based teaching rather than just restricting to books. I don’t why the Govt  ordered for the school to be shut, but I think it’s been done so that people from the Muslim community don’t get a shot at entering mainstream. That is the only logical conclusion I can make,” Akbar said.
Fact finding team to visit Rajasthan to probe mob lynching and attacks on minorities
New Delhi: A fact finding team comprising of MPs, MLAs, Supreme Court advocates, leaders of farmers’ union and journalists will visit Rajasthan on Saturday and Sunday. The visit aims at unveiling the attacks made on minorities in Rajasthan, which has of late become a hub of extremist saffron forces.Over 30 Muslims have become the victims of Gau Rakshaks’ attacks in the country.These include those incidents which could find place in media, however the actual number of incidents is still unknown.The delegation of Bhomi Adhikar Andolan comprises of Rajya Sabha MP of Kerala K K Ragesh, Lok Shaba MP of West Bengal Mohammed Badrudduja Khan,Bihar MLA Mahboob Alam, the SC advocate Surendernath, advocate Rasmitha, advocate Subhash Chandran and Bhomi Adhikar Andolan leaders.The fact finding team members will first meet the family of Umar Khan, who was brutally killed in Alwar by so-called gaurakhshaks. siasat
NRC :Congress alleges negligence in minority-dominated Assam districts
Guwahati: Congress in the state on Friday alleged that there was 'deliberate negligence' by the NRC updating authorities in verifying documents in 208 NRC Sewa kendras of 13 districts where linguistic and religious minority groups are the dominant groups.A delegation of the state PCC submitted a memorandum to state NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela at his office demanding a full proof verification of the remaining 1.39 crore people as per the NRC rules and guidelines.The party also demanded correction of the errors in names and addresses of the people who have been covered in the first draft that was published on December 31 midnight.The memorandum stated that in 208 NRC Sewa Kendra of 13 districts, the work of verification had not done properly and as a result, in those areas the names of only 10% of the population have appeared in the first draft. timesofindia
Vadodara: Left without homes, 550 displaced Muslim families of Kalyannagar to restart stir
Vadodra :Almost a year after the construction of their in-situ rehabilitation project was discontinued since Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) “exhausted” its funds, about 550 Muslim families of Kalyannagar, who were displaced in the Nov. 2014 demolition drive undertaken by the civic body, have vowed to restart their agitation against the civic body.Professor J S Bandukwala, who has been leading the agitation since 2014, has now written to CM  Vijay Rupani, likening the developments to the apartheid system of South Africa, and terming BJP-led VMC’s conduct “most shameful”.Bandukwala’s memorandum to Rupani rejects the offer of VMC to facilitate alternate relocation of the families to Tandalja, after discontinuing the rental compensation of Rs 3,000, that was agreed upon in a 2015 resolution between the VMC, elected BJP MLAs and the representatives of the families to end the deadlock over the rehabilitation. VMC, in its 2015 resolution, had promised to reconstruct the new homes in-situ at Kalyannagar under the then existing Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) scheme. However, VMC said it had “exhausted funds”, and ordered a probe against the executive engineer. The construction came to a standstill and, in August 2017, the civic body discontinued the rental compensation, stating that the families “have the option of accepting the new homes in Tandalja”.Stating that Muslims have the right to live anywhere, and not just in Muslim ghettos like Tandalja, Bandukwala said, “The conclusion we can draw is that Muslims can only live in select Muslim localities. This is segregation as practised in the USA before Martin Luther King struggled to abolish it 50 years ago. Note that this apartheid system last prevailed in South Africa… Does Gujarat want a repeat of this apartheid in 2018 vis-à-vis Muslims?”indianexpress
Maharashtra Bhima-Karegoan riots: 74 agitators arrested
Aurangabad; In the aftermath of state-wide violence that erupted after the bicentenary commemoration of 1818 battle of Bhima-Karegoan, the City police had registered 40-riot-related cases, 26 non-cognizable offences and arrested 74 agitators including women at different police stations.Giving this information on Friday, the police sources said that security personnel were massively deployed in trouble-torn parts of the city to ensure law and order situation.Thousands of people had came on the streets to protest against the Bhima-Koregagon incident.Police sources alleged that the agitators had pelted stones on security forces and set fire several vehicles, in which 17 police vans and 107 private vehicles were damaged and 44 policemen injured.According to the reports, atleast 50 stone pelting incidents were reported and police resorted to lathicharge at 15 places.UNI
PM Modi Should Not Walk On Manusmriti's Path, Must Speak On Dalit Targeting: Jignesh Mevani
Dalit leader and Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani has asked PM  Narendra Modi to speak up on dalit targeting.Mevani said, "After incidents of Una, Saharanpur, Rohith Vemula episode or Bhima Koregaon violence; time has come when PM  Narendra Modi should open his mouth. Social justice must be ensured in this country and targeting of dalits should be stopped."He also said PM Modi should not walk on the path of Manusmriti. "Everybody in this country must rise above caste and religion and become a human. The country's prime minster should also understand this and it is expected of him to talk about constitutional values and should not walk on the path of Manusmriti," the dalit leader said.He added that he would ask PM  Modi to choose between Manusmriti and Constitution at a rally in the national capital on Jan.9."On Jan.9, I will hold Constitution in one hand and Manu Smiriti in other hand and would like to ask PM  Modi whether this county would run on Constitution or Manusmriti," Mevani said.Mevani and Assam peasant leader Akhil Gogoi will hold 'social justice' rally to highlight various issues of dalit community, educational rights, employment, livelihood and gender justice.He also termed registration of an FIR against him in Pune for delivering inflammatory speech as a childish act of RSS and BJP.He added, "Jignesh Mevani is going to prove costly to them (RSS and BJP) in 2019 that is why they are targeting me. But, we will continue to fight within the ambit of Constitution and law."ANI
Jignesh Mewani, Umar Khalid speeches to be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube
After student outfit Chhatra Bharati was denied permission to hold a seminar in Vile Parle on Thursday, it will now hold its conference online on Jan 10.As part of the seminar, Dalit activist-legislator Jignesh Mewani and student leader Umar Khalid will give speeches, which will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube. Hindustantimes
Bhima-Koregaon case: Athawale says Mevani 'innocent' after police file FIR
Mumbai : While the Pune police have registered a case against Jignesh Mevani for a "provocative speech", Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Saturday said the Gujarat MLA was not responsible for the violence at Bhima-Koregaon in Pune district on Jan.1.After meeting Maharashtra CM  Devendra Fadnavis, Athawale, a prominent Dalit leader, said there was tension in the area even prior to the 200th anniversary of Bhima-Koregaon battle on Jan.1.Dalit leaders had blamed certain pro-Hindutva leaders, who were opposed to the anniversary celebrations, for the attacks, while the latter sought to blame Mevani's "provocative speech", which was delivered a day earlier."Jignesh is not responsible for the violence at Bhima- Koregaon. There was tension in the area prior to Jan. 1. I had visited the place and the tension had eased. So, I had returned to Delhi on Dec. 31. On the same day, Jignesh had delivered his speech at the Shaniwar Wada in Pune. He had not gone to Bhima-Koregaon. Some groups had held a meeting at night and the violence took place on Jan.1," the Union minister of state for social justice said.IANS
Communal politics may create 'many Hafiz Saeeds' among Hindus: Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar
Bhopal: The politics of religion, if not checked, could give rise to "many Hafiz Saeeds" among Hindus, Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar said." Politics of religion can become uncontrollable if it is not checked and it can give rise to many Hafiz Saeeds among the Hindus," he said, referring to the Pakistan-based co-founder of LeT."This new order, in the name of religion, that is coming into existence is like Hitler-shahi (Hitler's rule)," Ambedkar said, addressing the gathering at a programme, organised to mark the birth anniversary of ex-Satna MP, late Sukhlal Kushwaha.Referring to recent violence in Maharashtra over the 200th anniversary celebrations of the battle of Bhima- Koregaon, Ambedkar, who had subsequently called for a bandh which brought life in Mumbai and elsewhere in the state to a halt, said, "People belonging to Hindutva organisations attacked those from the backward classes. We are demanding that the (Maharashtra) Govt arrest those who were involved, but the Govt  appears to be helpless. It is Govt 's responsibility to act and if not checked immediately, it (violence against Dalits) may spread to the other states."He urged the backward class communities to recognise their electoral strength and vote only for backward class, Dalit and tribal candidates, so that they could control the reins of power.PTI
Frequent data breaches dent Aadhaar’s role as a unique identifier: petitioners tell SC
New Delhi:Multiple data breaches from Govt al portals resulting in unfettered, unauthorised access to Aadhaar details have affected 135 million Indians and exponentially increases the danger of perpetuating Aadhaar as a “universal, unique identifier,” the petitioners responded to the Centre in the Supreme Court.Coupled with this is the studied opacity shown by Aadhaar’s nodal agency, UIDAI, in revealing to public the number of data breach incidents on its servers, they said.A Right to Information query on the suspension/blacklisting of enrolment operators till Oct. 31, 2016, revealed that despite having received almost 1,400 complaints related to bribery, duplicate enrolments etc.,UIDAI only initiated police complaints in three cases. “There is no obligation on the UIDAI to provide any reasons for taking or failing to take any action,” petitioners submitted in the apex court.The Govt ’s insistence on seeding Aadhaar furthers the risk of identity theft as mere possession of the Aadhaar number can enable an identity thief to access a host of other information linked to Aadhaar numbers stored in different databases, the petitioners, represented by senior advocate Shyam Divan and advocate Vipin Nair, submitted in a detailed additional affidavit. thehindu
Bhopal-Ujjain Passenger Blast: Accused Charged With Sedition, Plotting Terror Attack
Bhopal: A special court on Friday framed sedition, murder and other charges against the 4 accused in the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train blast case.According to the chargesheet presented before the court, ATS has alleged that the accused were planning to flee to Syria after the incident. After planting the bomb in the train, the accused had taken Piparia road to reach Kolkata but were nabbed by the police.A blast had taken place in Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train close to Jabri railway station on March 7, 2017.The special judge Girish Dixit framed charges on the basis of 25 points against the accused – Gaus Md Khan, Md Danish, Mir Hussain and Atif Muzzafar under sections of sedition, involvement in terror activities, murder and other crimes. 3 accused, lodged in Bhopal Central Jail, were produced before court through video conferencing.News18
Now, NIA to probe Hadiya's husband Shefin Jahan for terror links: indiatoday
 NIA probing Kerala's own 'love jihad' case of Hadiya or Akhila Ashokan is all set to tighten noose on her husband Shafin Jahan.The investigation team obtained permission from the NIA court to question two accused who were arrested for suspected ISIS links. NIA team had earlier arrested six men from Kanakamala in Kannur while holding a secret meeting to plot terror attack in Kerala.The investigation team will now question two men from this including Manseed who created a secret WhatsApp group. According to top sources in NIA, Shafin Jahan was a member of the WhatsApp group which was propagating extremist content.Hadiya or Akhila Ashokan hit the headlines across the country after 23-year old from a Hindu family converted to Islam and married Shafin Jahan in 2016.Akhila, BHMS student at a homeopathy college in Salem took the name Hadiya after conversion to Islam. Following this, the family and Hadiya engaged in a heated legal battle.
CBI arrests accused in 1993 bombing of RSS’ Chennai HQ
New Delhi:CBI on Friday arrested Mushtaq Ahmed, an accused in the 1993 bombing of RSS’ Chennai HQRS in which 11 persons were killed.Ahmed, 56, who had eluded the CBI for 24 years was arrested in the morning from the outskirts of Chennai, CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said here.PTI
Govt  says no to Islamic Banking
New Delhi:Govt on Friday rejected a proposal for introduction of Islamic banking in the country, Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State (MoS) for Finance, said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.MoS said the Govt  cannot pursue a proposal for introduction of Islamic banking due to legal hurdles. Islamic or Sharia banking is a financial system based on the principles of not charging interest, which is prohibited in Islam.In 2016, RBI has proposed the opening of “Islamic window” in conventional banks for “gradual” introduction of Sharia-compliant or interest-free banking in the country. However, the central bank decided not to pursue the proposal a year later.india.com
Swaroopanand Saraswati Alleges VHP, RSS Have Weakened Ram Mandir Movement
Lucknow:Shankaracharya of Dwarka Peeth, Swaroopanand Saraswati, has alleged that the VHP and RSS have weakened the Ram Mandir movement. He has also claimed that the lock of the disputed site was opened by former PM  of India Rajiv Gandhi, after consulting him.Swaroopanand said, “The locks were opened by Rajiv Gandhi after my consultation. But RSS and VHP people took out victory procession which, in turn, hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community. They have weakened the Ram Mandir movement. They want Hindus and Muslims to always fight among themselves. That is why they make sure that people like Owaisi continue to spit venom so that Hindus continue to hate Muslims.”Speaking further on the Ram Mandir issue, Swaroopanand said that there was enough evidence in the Skanda Puran about the birthplace of Lord Ram. “I am not against Muslims, but if they build a mosque next to a temple then there will always be a problem. That is why a mosque should not be built next to the temple,” he added.News18
Father-son duo held for fire in Mumbai’s Garib Nagar
Mumbai: Police on Jan. 6 arrested a man and his son in connection with a fire incident during a demolition drive carried out by the local civic body in a slum colony in Mumbai in Oct.2017, an official said. Salim Sayyad alias Salim Lightwala and his son Salman were arrested by the Nirmal Nagar Police, said DCP Sachin Patil, a spokesperson of the Mumbai Police. With this, three persons have been arrested in the case till now. Salman Lightwala is suspected to have set a gas cylinder on fire that started a massive blaze in the Garib Nagar slums in Bandra (East). Salim Lightwala is the main accused in the case, police have said.PTI
No bias, more Muslims held for clashes than Hindus: Karnataka govt
Bengaluru: Countering allegations made by the opposition BJP that incidents of communal violence have increased sharply due to Congress' policy of minority appeasement, Karnataka Govt said it had cracked down on criminals and mischief-mongers irrespective of their religion or political affiliation. Between 2013 and 2017, 670 Muslims were arrested for communal violence against 578 Hindus, it said. In all, 1,254 people have been arrested for communal violence in the past three years; besides Hindus and Muslims, 6 Christians were arrested."When it comes to communal violence, we have not supported any community," said home minister R Ramalinga Reddy. "We have arrested the perpetrators of violence irrespective of their political or religious affiliations and have filed chargesheets in these cases. We have allowed law to take its course," Reddy added.Congress rebuttal is aimed at blunting BJP offensive which has intensified following the death of Hindu activist Deepak Rao in Mangaluru..TOI
Karnataka CM warns of action against those instigating ‘communal sentiments’
Ishrat case: CBI Court reserves order on IB officers’ plea
 Ahmedabad:A special CBI court here is likely to pronounce its order on Jan. 23 on a plea by two Intelligence Bureau officials challenging the summons issued to them by a magistrate in Ishrat Jahan alleged fake encounter case.Rajeev Wankhede and T S Mittal, assistant central intelligence officers at the time of the alleged fake encounter, have challenged the summons issued by a metropolitan magistrate’s court here. CBI judge J K Pandya reserved his order on their pleas till January 23.PTI
JNU Students say 'Haazir Janaab' to resist varsity's compulsory attendance circular
New Delhi: JNUSU has launched a mass signature campaign against varsity's new "Compulsory Attendance circular".In response to the varsity's "Compulsory Attendance circular", JNUSU called a signature campaign today at VC office saying "Hazir Janaab"(reffering to VC M Jagadesh Kumar), where hundreds of students submitted their mandate to oppose the circular. According to JNUSU, over 2000 students have signed the memorandum rejecting the circular. In the wake of gathering of students security guards had been deployed in high number outside the admin bloc. Students wanted to meet the V-C, but Chief Proctor Kaushal Kumar who met JNUSU representatives and students said that VC was not available in office. Objecting over the circular, JNUSU submitted a memorandum to the Chief Proctor and demanded an appointment of the meeting with VC. Simone Zoya Khan, vice president of JNUSU said, "Entire student community and teachers are opposing this move. This circular has been brought arbitrarily by VC without consulting with the students and teachers. Admin has not even stated clearly about how much percentage of attendance they want."IndiaTomorrow
Unhappy Farmers Dump Potatoes Outside CM Adityanath’s Residence, Police To Take Action
UP  CM  Yogi Adityanath Lucknow woke up on Saturday to the sight of tonnes of potatoes strewn on the roads.Farmers frustrated at un-remunerative prices for their produce had brought tonnes of unsold potatoes in tractor-trolleys, trucks and dumped them on roads, right in front of the CM House and UP State Assembly.With the price crashing to Rs 4 per kg, the farmers are demanding a minimum of Rs 10 per kg.The Govt  response was typical. The development sent the district administration and security officials in a tizzy as the act was carried out in high-security zones. apnlive
Hyderabad seminary bars Muslims from eating prawns:TOI
Hyderabad: City-based Islamic seminary, Jamia Nizamia, has stirred up a controversy by issuing a decree (fatwa) that consumption of prawn is not permissible for Muslims. The fatwa was issued on Jan. 1 by Mufti Mohammad Azeemuddin, chief mufti of the 142-year-old Islamic deemed university. Many Muslim religious scholars have, however, differed with it. According to the fatwa, prawn is an arthropod (to which insects also belong) and it does not fall under the category of fish. The chief mufti labelled prawn under the category 'makruh tahrim' (strictly abominable) and advised Muslims against eating it. In Islamic jurisprudence there are three categories of food — lawful (halal), haram (prohibited) and makruh (abominable). Foods falling under makruh are sub-divided into makruh (abominable but can be eaten) and makruh tahrim (strictly abominable and thus should be avoided). timesofindia
Adult Girl Entitled To Make Her Own Choices, Courts Shouldn't Assume To Be 'Super Guardian', Says SC
The Supreme Court today acceded to the wish of a girl, for whose custody her estranged parents have been fighting legal battles, saying that she was now a major and entitled to enjoy her freedom and the courts should not assume the role of a "super guardian".A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud interacted with 18- year-old girl in a packed courtroom during which she said that she has become a major and has been pursuing studies in Kuwait and wanted to live with her father.Trashing the plea of the Kerala-based mother, who was seeking her custody, the court said that the daughter of the couple "without any hesitation, clearly stated that she intends to go back to Kuwait to pursue her career"."In such a situation, we are of the considered opinion that as a major, she is entitled to exercise her choice and freedom and the court cannot get into the aspect whether she has been forced by the father or not," the court said.The bench was hearing the plea of the Kerala-based woman seeking contempt action against her Kuwait-based estranged husband for not obeying the orders of the apex court in the custody matter of their son and daughter.While the daughter has now turned major, the son is still a minor.PTI
Agra :Son of deputy bank manager of nationalised bank arrested with 5 others for robbery
AGRA: Greed for making quick buck led a group of school and college dropouts to jail including a son of deputy bank manager of nationalised bank and grandson of Muslim cleric.On Friday Agra city police claimed to have arrested 6 youths age between 18-20 years, for allegedly involved in 15 criminal cases including robbery, chain & mobile snatching and vehicle theft. Apprehended accused were identified as Aman Prakash, son of a bank manager, Ali Khan grandson of Muslim cleric, Harsh Gupta (BSc first year drop out), Rahul Mishra, Aman Kushwaha and Guddu Faujdar. The other two absconding youths were Deepak Singh and Kanhaiya Gautam.According to police, Aman Prakash and Harsh Gupta had recently served jail term for two-wheeler theft, while Ali Khan was arrested for attempt to murder, while trying to snatch a 2-wheeler from a local resident last year. All the three accused were on bail.TOI
Lingayat issue: HC puts rider on process of examining demand for religion tag
High Court of Karnataka has put a rider on the process initiated by the State authorities to examine the issue over demand for a separate religion tag for minority status to Veerashaiva Lingayat/Lingayat community. HC made it clear that all further proceedings pursuant to a notification, issued by Karnataka State Minorities Commission (KSMC) on Dec.22,2017, constituting a 7-member panel to look into the demand and submit a report, will be subject to the final decision of the court on petitions, which have questioned the actions of the State Govt as well as KSMC in examining the demand. thehindu
In Maharashtra, 40 men protect 93k acre of wakf land
Imagine having over 93,000 acre of land spread out across prime locations with just around 40 employees to protect it, identify new properties and collect revenues. This is the story of the wakf board in Maharashtra. While wakf properties in the state have been encroached on, the board has skeletal staff for duties like managing these properties and preventing encumbrances. State Govt  statistics suggest that Maharashtra has around 93,418 acre of wakf land spread over about 23,566 registered properties, with most land parcels in Aurangabad division, which was part of the dominion of the Nizam of Hyderabad."Today, the state wakf board has just 38 staffers across Maharashtra, of which most are clerical. We have just one regional wakf officer for the seven districts of the Konkan, including Mumbai, which has 5,941 acre wakf land," explained a senior official from the minority welfare department.He added that the master plan developed by the department envisaged the recruitment of 106 officials and the infusion of Rs 9.50 crore as grants for a 5-year period. It is proposed that the board may become financially self-sufficient by collecting 2% of the income from wakf institutions. dnaindia
Moazzen murder case: Muslims in Guntur district of AP  seeks justice
Guntur: Muslims in the city took out a rally on Friday demanding the arrest of real culprits in moazzen murder case in Rajamahendravam. They took out a rally from BR Stadium to Hindu College. Seer Venkateswara Swamy Guruji of Mangalagiri condemned the murder of moazzen. He suspected the hand of a few anti-social elements behind the murder of moazzen. He urged the Govt  to conduct a thorough investigation and punish the real culprits.Welfare Party of India State president Shabbir Ahmed and Muslim Association Guntur president Md Zahid demanded that the Govt  provide security outside mosques across the State. Leaders from various organisations submitted a representation to DRO K Naga Babu seeking a thorough inquiry. Minority leaders including women participated in the rally.newindianexpress
4 policemen killed in IED blast in J-K’s Sopore
Sopore: 4 policemen were killed in a powerful IED explosion on Saturday, which had been planted by suspected militants, in Sopore, Baramulla district of J&K . The explosion took place at Gole Market, where separatists were observing a bandh. There was heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces in the town at the time of the incident, to maintain normalcy and prevent any protests. According to sources, militants had planted the bomb inside the market after sensing heavy presence of forces today. The wreath laying ceremony for the victims will be held today. indianexpress
11 killed in avalanche in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district
Srinagar:11 people, including a 2-year-old child and an engineer of Border Roads Organisation (BRO), were killed as an avalanche hit north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Friday evening, officials said.In one incident the avalanche swept away twelve people -- including seven in a passenger vehicle -- while at another BRO official MP Singh was hit while on duty on Friday evening, a senior police officer said. Both the incidents occurred near Sadhna Top area of the district.HT
WORLD
UN rights office raises alarm over reported executions of 20 people in Egypt
UN human rights office has expressed "deep shock" and concern over the reported executions of 20 people in Egypt over the past two weeks. Due process and fair trial guarantees appear to have been disregarded, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) noted in a statement issued on Friday. On Jan.2, five men were reportedly hanged in Alexandria after being sentenced to death by an Egyptian military court; four had been convicted over a 2015 blast in Kafr al-Sheikh that killed three military recruits and injured two others."We understand the defendants were tried by military judges on the basis of legislation that refers cases of destruction of public property to military courts and in view of the victims being from the Egyptian Military Academy," OHCHR spokesperson Liz Throssell told reporters in Geneva. "Civilians should only be tried in military or special courts in exceptional cases."Previously, on December 26, a group of 15 men convicted on "terrorism" charges over the 2013 deaths of soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula were executed.Military courts typically deny defendants the rights afforded by civilian courts, Throssell said, citing reports "that the prisoners who were executed may have been subjected to initial enforced disappearance and torture before being tried".The UN human rights office has urged Egyptian authorities to "reconsider" the use of the death penalty, noting that executions "should not be used as a means to combat terrorism".According to figures from Cornell University's Death Penalty Worldwide, there has been a sharp increase in executions in the years since Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took power.Sisi's Govt  has also overseen an increasing crackdown on journalists in Egypt. Reporters Without Borders placed the country at 161 out of 180 countries in terms of press freedom.aljazeera
Israeli MPs to submit new bill to annex WBank settlements
A group of Israeli parliamentarians are intending to submit a bill that would “apply Israeli law to Area C of the [occupied] West Bank”, reported Jerusalem Post on Friday. Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich tweeted that he plans “to submit in the coming days, with God’s help, a new, broader proposal that will match the Likud central committee decision to apply sovereignty on all settlements”.At the same time, Smotrich has pulled a separate draft bill that would see Israel annex Ma’ale Adumim settlement east of Jerusalem, apparently “at the request of the Likud’s settler pressure group, the Likud Nationalist Camp”.The latest development follows a recent vote by the Likud central committee to support the annexation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, as well as a decision in the Knesset to “instruct all legislative committees’ legal advisers to have the panels discuss how each bill on its agenda will apply to the West Bank, whether in the text of the law or through a military order”. middleeastmonitor
Hamas, Islamic Jihad call on PLO to withdraw Israel recognition
Gaza: Islamic Hamas movement and Islamic Jihad in Gaza on Friday called on PLO to withdraw its recognition of Israel. Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesmen in Gaza, said that PLO "should immediately withdraw its recognition of Israeli entity", reports Xinhua. He also called on the Palestinian National Authority to stop security coordination with Israel."The arms of resistance are a red line that can never be overcome, dropped or to be discussed," Qassem was quoted as saying. PLO recognised Israel and signed Oslo peace agreements in 1993 throughout an exchange of letters between Palestinian and Israeli leaders,where Israel recognised PLO as representative of Palestinians.Meanwhile, Khader Habib, senior Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza, said it is important to carry on with the Palestinian Intifada, or uprising against Israel in the Palestinian territories.He said the Intifada broke out in response to Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Habib told demonstrators in southern Gaza that the PA "must have severe security coordination with the Zionist entity and PLO has to withdraw its recognition of this entity."-IANS
2-state solution is not dead:Israeli minister
Jerusalem - An Israeli minister has said US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital does not signal the end of the two-state solution, with Israel willing to grant Palestinians their own independent state but with limited sovereignty.Tzachi Hanegbi, minister of regional cooperation, said Trump's controversial decision on Dec.6 should not hinder Palestinian claims to have occupied East Jerusalem as their capital."We claim that Jerusalem is our capital and should not be divided, but that's only a claim, not a diktat," Hanegbi, a member of PM's Likud party, told Al Jazeera at his office in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. aljazeera
Battle with Zionists not just about Al-Aqsa Mosque, but the whole sanctuary:Grand Shaikh of Al-Azhar
The Grand Shaikh of Al-Azhar  said on Friday that the battle with the Zionists is not only about Al-Aqsa Mosque, but also the rest of the 35 acre sanctuary around it, Quds News Agency has reported.“Al-Aqsa Mosque is not a small area of land,” explained Shaikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb. “The sanctuary also includes the Dome of the Rock Mosque, wells and corridors.” All of them, he pointed out, make up Al-Aqsa Mosque.The Grand Shaikh’s comments came just days ahead of Al-Azhar’s International Conference about Jerusalem, which is scheduled to be held in Cairo on 17 and 18 Jan. middleeastmonitor
Rwanda, Uganda deny deal to take migrants from Israel
Rwanda and Uganda have denied claims of an agreement with Israel to receive African migrants that the Zionist state plans to deport, Arabs48.com reported on Friday. “Rwanda has no deal whatsoever with Israel to host any African migrant from that country,” insisted the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Olivier Nduhungirehe on Twitter. “This story is no news. It is fake news.”In a previous report for Israel Hayoum, both Rwanda and Uganda had been mentioned as “third countries” which had agreed to receive African asylum seekers for possible economic and military gains. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu met Rwandan leader Paul Kagame in Nairobi last month, Turkey’s Anadolu reported, and the two are said to have talked extensively about such a deal. middleeastmonitor
Gaza is dying and, for some, war is no longer the worst option, claims Israeli report
Israel’s Walla! website has warned that the unprecedented deterioration of living conditions in the Gaza Strip may lead to the outbreak of another war. This, it said, may in turn hinder Palestinian reconciliation, despite the fact that neither Hamas nor Israel want this escalation.Walla! has reported that at a time when Israel is looking for the party which fired mortar shells on Wednesday, the residents of the Gaza Strip are living in a state of desperation and frustration due to the difficult economic conditions. These have intensified since the supposed reconciliation deal put together in Cairo, in part because the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has refused to lift the sanctions that it has imposed on Gaza for more than 8 months.“3 mortar missiles were fired on Wednesday in open spaces in Gaza,” said the anonymous Walla! Report.MEDMO
Moroccan Jews call on King to block attempts to withdraw citizenship
In the wake of international objections to Donald Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem, Morocco’s Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) has announced its intention to submit a bill stipulating the withdrawal of citizenship from Moroccan Jews living in the occupied Palestinian territories. The move is apparently supported by those opposed to normalisation with Israel and calling for the Kingdom to sever ties with the Israeli occupation authorities.Moroccan Jews have described the PAM bill as “reckless” and called on King Mohammed VI to interfere and put an end to this proposal. The draft bill has not yet been submitted, but Morocco’s Hespress news site quoted PAM’s Aziza Chagaf MP, who confirmed that it was discussed at a recent meeting with the former head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, in Rabat on Tuesday. middleeastmonitor
Saudi arrests 11 princes over economic protest: report
Saudi officials have arrested 11 princes for staging a protest against the kingdom's austerity measures, according to a report from the Saudi news website Sabq.The princes, who gathered in the historical Palace of Govt  area in the capital Riyadh on Saturday, were demonstrating against a Govt  decision to suspend payment of their utility bills, Sabq said. Upon arrest, they were reportedly sent to Ha'ir prison, a maximum-security facility south of Riyadh.Saudi Arabia recently introduced a raft of economic reforms, including a VAT and a halt to state payments of water and electricity bills for royal family members.On Saturday, King Salman decreed a series of financial payouts to ease the cost of living. Each Govt  employee will receive a monthly bonus of $267 for the next year, while military personnel serving in Yemen will be paid a one-off fee of $1,330.Students will have their allowances increased by 10 % for the next year, while retirees and social security recipients will get a monthly stipend of $133.The unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia surpassed 12 % last year as the economy grappled with the fallout from low oil prices. Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has been spearheading attempts to diversify the country's oil-dependent economy. According to Saturday's decree, Saudi Govt  will absorb the cost of the tax for citizens purchasing private healthcare and education, and for first-time homebuyers of properties valued at up to 850,000 riyals ($226,660).aljazeera
Over 2,000 Afghans sent by Iran killed in Syria: official
Tehran: Over 2,000 Afghans deployed by Iran have been killed fighting in Syria on the side of Bashar al-Assad's regime, an official in the volunteer force told Iranian media.Fatemiyoun Brigade of Afghan "volunteer" recruits has been fighting in Syria for five years, said Zohair Mojahed, a cultural official in the brigade."This brigade has given more than 2,000 martyrs and 8,000 wounded for Islam," he said in an interview with the reformist Shargh paper published Saturday.AFP/PTI
US working 'to fix' Iran nuclear deal: Tillerson
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the US is working on a plan "to fix" the Iran nuclear deal as speculation continues on whether Donald Trump will scrap the famous agreement. Changes to American law codifying US participation in the 2015 agreement could come as early as next week as US officials negotiate with legislators, Tillerson said. aljazeera
Russia: US exploiting Iran protest to sink nuclear deal
US is exploiting the protests in Iran in order to derail the landmark nuclear deal with the Middle East country, Russia's ambassador to the UN alleged.The comments came after the US called an emergency meeting at the UNSC to address the deadly demonstrations that began in late Dec in Iran. aljazeera
Yemen could be 'worst' humanitarian crisis in 50 years
People in war-torn Yemen are facing a situation that "looks like the Apocalypse", the UN's humanitarian chief has told Al Jazeera, warning that the country  could become the worst humanitarian disaster in half a century. Arab world's poorest country has endured nearly 3 years of war between Houthi rebels and Saudi-backed forces loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.The conflict is having a devastating effect, causing widespread food shortages and a major cholera outbreak as well as leaving millions in need of humanitarian assistance."Situation in Yemen - today, right now, to the population of the country - looks like the apocalypse," Mark Lowcock, UN's undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said on Friday."The cholera outbreak is probably the worst the world has ever seen with a million suspected cases up to the end of 2017." aljazeera
Rohingya rebels ambush Myanmar soldiers
Rohingya rebels attacked an army truck in Myanmar's restive Rakhine state and wounded five soldiers, state media said.A spokesman for Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) claimed responsibility for the ambush on Friday."A vehicle ... was attacked by 20 insurgents from the mountain using homemade mines and small arms," Govt said, adding about 10 rebels were involved.The military added "extremist Bengali terrorists ARSA" carried out the ambush.aljazeera




FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
10 bills cleared during Parliament’s winter session, 15 set for Jan 29
Triple Talaq Bill a Political Gimmick for BJP Ahead of 2019 Polls:Arati R Jerath
Watch: Jignesh Mevani’s speech did not disrespect Ambedkar. In fact, it did the opposite
All is not well with Aadhaar, UIDAI’s denials are increasingly unconvincing:Usha Ramanathan
1.56 crore abortions across India in 2015: Health ministry

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