Thursday, 15 March 2018

15 ND:Mecca Masjid blast: Aseemanand’s confession document traced in NIA court ‘after missing’ /TDP set to exit NDA alliance, will back YSR Congress’ ‘no-confidence’ motion in Parliament




Evening NEWS DIGEST  
15 March 2018:26 Jamadiul-2 1439:Vol:9, No:143
INDIA
Mecca Masjid blast: Aseemanand’s confession document traced in NIA court ‘after missing’
Hyderabad: A day after a key document in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case could not be found, court officials on Wednesday traced “disclosure memo” and “discovery memo” of key accused Swami Aseemanand. The document was produced before the 4th additional metropolitan sessions judge cum special court for NIA cases. On Tuesday, the document — marked as “Memo of Disclosure” No 88 in NIA chargesheet contains names of senior political leaders as disclosed by Naba Kumar Sarkar aka Swami Aseemanand before CBI, explaining the alleged conspiracy — was untraceable. Court proceedings had to be stalled before staff found some of them. On Wednesday, the court staff traced the document and produced it before the judge.On the second day of evidence, the chief investigating officer and CBI SP T Rajah Balaji were cross-examined by defence counsel. Top NIA officials said they had all the documents pertaining to the Mecca Masjid blast case. Aseemanand was arrested on November 19, 2010 from Haridwar for his alleged role in the Mecca Masjid blast. On May 18, 2007, a bomb blast inside the Mecca Masjid during Friday prayers killed nine people and injured 58. Later, 5 others were killed in police firing.
Makkah Masjid Blast Case: Document pertaining to Aseemanand’s confession traced out
Lt Colonel Purohit moves court Seeking discharge
Mumbai: Lt. Colonel Prasad Purohit has approached the Bombay high court, challenging the order passed by the special NIA court rejecting the discharge application filed by him in the 2008 Malegaon blasts’ case. The grounds are that Col Purohit was informing his seniors about details of meetings and was gathering intelligence for the army and for the same reason, he had to act like he was with the accused persons.The other grounds are that there was no conversation about bomb blasts in any of the meetings, and telephonic conversation between him and Retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay could not be considered as that was after blast and the conspiracy ended. Col Purohit’s lawyer Amit Ghagh confirmed it and said that appeal would be heard in due course.AsianAge
Jay Shah case: SC asks Gujarat trial court to suspend proceedings against The Wire till April 12
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Gujarat trial court not to proceed with criminal defamation proceedings against news portal The Wire in a case filed by Jay Shah till it hears the matter related to the quashing of the case next on April 12. The top court also asked Jay Shah, who is the son of BJP president Amit Shah, and others involved, to file responses within two weeks to the plea filed by the scribe.The apex court also criticised the media in general over irresponsible reporting.CJI Dipak Misra said he was against gagging media but also said, “we expect the media should be responsible, electronic media should be more responsible.” Senior Advocate NK Kaul, appearing for Jay Shah, contended that The Wire story was a “manufactured story, scurrilous reporting” and was meant to damage Shah’s reputation. “The reporting was part of a design”, he saidKapil Sibal who appeared for the news portal said it was only asking questions to Shah. “If journalism is going to be throttled like this, no journalist can ask questions,” he said.indianexpress
TDP set to exit NDA alliance, will back YSR Congress’ ‘no-confidence’ motion in Parliament
Hyderabad: TDP is all set to break its alliance with the BJP and could exit NDA as early as Friday. The party has also decided to support the YSR Congress Party’s no-confidence motion in Parliament tomorrow.TDP president and AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu has called a politburo meeting Friday to take a final call on the issue of exiting from NDA. Sources said that a majority of the members including MPs, MLAs and senior leaders have already told Naidu to quit NDA. “This is the final option. CM is livid that instead of resolving issues faced by the state, the BJP is indulging in dirty politics that it played in Tamil Nadu,’’ TDP leader Kambhampati Rammohan Rao said.On Thursday, in a teleconference with his MPs, Naidu accused the BJP and PM  Narendra Modi of using YSR Congress Party and actor K Pavan Kalyan’s Jena Sena Party to target him and TDP. Naidu told the MPs that Modi was applying the same strategy that was used in Tamil Nadu where BJP supported OPS faction against EPS in the AIADMK. Naidu said that instead of addressing the issues raised by the state such as allocating special funds, bridging revenue gap or special category status as promised in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, PM Modi was using the Tamil Nadu template to pit YSRCP and Jena Sena against TDP.indianexpress
Kerala: Bharat Dharma Jana Sena withdraws support from BJP in by-election
Alappuzha: BDJS, BJP’s strongest ally in Kerala, announced that it won’t back the BJP in the soon to be announced Assembly by-poll at Chengannur constituency. Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) is the political arm of the SNDP, which works predominantly for the backward Ezhava community. It was formed in 2015 and secured 4.47 %  votes in 2016 in Assembly elections in the state.BDJS chief Tushar Vellapally said after a meeting of his party that they had decided not to cooperate with the BJP in the Chengannur by-election as and when it is announced.“We have also decided to call a meeting of all the allies of the NDA barring the BJP. We are pained that a section of the state BJP has spread baseless rumours that I am going to be chosen by the BJP national leadership to contest the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls,” he said.IANS
Expect a faster ED, CBI action in UP and Bihar now: Tejashwi after BJP’s dismal show in bypolls
New Delhi:RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav took potshots at the BJP after the saffron party was handed a crushing defeat by the Samajwadi Party in UP and just managed to retain Bhabua assembly seat in Bihar.A jubilant Tejashwi dealt a sarcastic blow to the BJP after his party won Jehanabad seat in Bihar bye-elections saying he expects more ED and CBI actions now. “Bihar CM Sushil Modi is accused in corruption cases. But no investigation are being conducted. However, after the bypolls results, we expect Modi and Amit Shah to speed up ED and CBI probe in Bihar and UP,” said Yadav. indianexpress
Govt, not RBI, controls public sector banks: RBI Governor
Breaking his silence on PNB fraud, RBI Governor Urjit Patel said that RBI has better regulatory control over private sector banks while PSBs look up to the finance ministry Two weeks after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley blamed RBI for PNB fraud, Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel blamed the finance ministry for not giving RBI sufficient power over public sector banks. RBI Governor broke his silence in an address at the Gujarat National Law University at Gandhinagar.Finance Minister Jaitley was quoted last month as saying, "We must always remember that regulators have a very important function. They ultimately decide the rules of the game and they have to have a third eye kept perpetually open and turned towards the sector. But unfortunately, in (the) Indian system, we politicians are accountable, the regulators are not."nationalheraldindia
Nirav, Choksi, Mallya Among 36 Businesspersons Absconding Abroad: Govt.
New Delhi: Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya and Mehul Choksi are among 36 businesspersons who have absconded abroad after being named in scams or massive loan defaults, the Govt of PM  Narendra Modi told the Parliament here. Against some of them, MJ Akbar, Minister of State, MEA, said the Govt has sent extradition requests to concerned foreign countries.In a written reply to the question of some Members of Lok Sabha regarding the absconding businesspersons, Akbar provided two lists of absconding businesspersons – one prepared by Directorate of Enforcement, New Delhi and another provided by CBI.caravandaily
India supports developing Chabahar port as alternate access route to Afghan, Central Asia: MEA
New Delhi:India has said while it’s Iran’s prerogative to choose partner for developing infrastructure facilities at Chabahar port, it supports developing the project as a robust and alternate access route to and from Afghanistan and Central Asia. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said significant progress has been made in operationalising Chabahar port.2 days ago, Foreign Minister of Iran Javad Zarif had invited Pakistan to participate in the Chabahar port project, Pakistan daily Dawn had reported. Zarif, who was on a three-day visit to Pakistan, was quoted by Dawn while delivering a lecture at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad as saying, “We offered to participate in the CPEC. We have also offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chahbahar.” indianexpress
Pakistan raises Kashmir issue at UN, India says don’t need lessons from a ‘failed state’
Using a 2-pronged tactic in the Human Rights Council, Pakistan has raised the Kashmir issue while speaking on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and then for itself.In its reply during the debate on Wednesday at the UN in Geneva, India rejected the OIC statement saying the group had no standing in India’s internal affairs and accused Pakistan of using “terrorism as a state policy under the guise of concern for human rights.”Islamabad also brought up Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in Pakistan accused of being an Indian intelligence agent, while replying to India’s counter statement.IANS
Terror funding: NIA detains Hizb chief’s kin
Srinagar: NIA has detained four family members of Hizbul Mujhadeen chief Syed Salahuddin in connection with a terror funding case, sources said.NIA picked up Salahuddin’s 3 sons, Shakil Ahmed, Javaid Ahmed and Muhammad Moieed and his son-in-law Muhammad Umar. Sources said that all the four were detained and questioned by an NIA team at their Srinagar office. While Javaid Ahmed was released after questioning, the rest of the family members were still in the custody of the NIA till late evening. Hizb chief’s another son Shahid Yousuf is already languishing in Tihar Jail. Meanwhile, photo journalist Kamran Yousuf, who was arrested on stone-pelting charges last year, has been released from Delhi jail Wednesday morning.timesofindia
JNU removes 7 Chairpersons, Deans over attendance row
New Delhi:JNU VC removed at least 7 Deans/Chairpersons for not complying with or refusing to implement the mandatory attendance system in their respective Schools/Centres. University would set up an inquiry committee against erring heads.The daily accessed office orders issued to the chairpersons of the Centre for French and Francophone Studies; Centre for Linguistics; Centre for Historical Studies; Centre for Economic Studies & Planning; Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Thought; and the Centre for English Studies.A similar order was also issued to the Dean of the School of Arts & Aesthetic, Kavita Singh, on Wednesday. Signed by AD Bahuguna, Section Officer (Academic), it said, “Executive Council in its 272nd meeting held on March 13 confirmed the decision taken in 271st (emergency) meeting of the EC on resolution number 08 of 144th (A) meeting of the Academic Council, held on Dec 1,2017 regarding compulsory attendance in all regular courses, and authorised V-C to replace the existing Deans of Schools/Chairpersons of Centres who have not complied with, or refused to, implement the attendance system in the university, with the Acting Deans/Chairpersons.” indianexpress
Ayodhya dispute: Will see if 1994 ruling on mosques in Islam needs re-look, says Supreme Court
New Delhi: A Supreme Court bench hearing the Ayodhya title suit said it will first examine whether the apex court’s 1994 judgment in the M Ismail Faruqui case — that a mosque was not an essential part of the practice of Islam, and hence could be acquired by the state — needs to be sent to a larger bench for reconsideration.The court ruled out sending the entire title suit to a larger bench, and underlined that it cannot compel the parties involved in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute to arrive at a settlement.A three-judge bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices Ahok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer said: “After due deliberation, we have thought it appropriate that we should hear Dr (Rajeev) Dhavan, learned senior counsel appearing in one of the appeals on behalf of the appellants, whether the judgment in Dr M Ismail Faruqui requires reconsideration…. We must immediately make it clear that our addressing the said issue shall singularly relate to whether this bench should think the dictum in Dr M Ismail Faruqui…requires reconsideration.”In that event, the bench said, it “may pass appropriate orders for placing the matter before a five-judge bench for consideration”.A 5-judge Constitution Bench, headed by then CJI MN Venkatchalliah, had in 1994 held, “under the Mohammedan Law applicable in India, title to a mosque can be lost by adverse possession…. If that is the position in law, there can be no reason to hold that a mosque has a unique or special status, higher than that of the places of worship of other religions in secular India to make it immune from acquisition by exercise of the sovereign or prerogative power of the State. A mosque is not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam and namaz (prayer) by Muslims can be offered anywhere, even in open.”Accordingly, the court had then held, “its acquisition is not prohibited by provisions in the Constitution of India.”Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, who raised the question of the Ismail Faruqui case, submitted that the court will “have to decide what is the concept of mosque to Muslims”. indianexpress
Ayodhya Dispute: SC to reconsider 1994 verdict which said “offering Namaz in Mosque is not integral part of Islam”
Muslim women stage rally in Bhagalpur, Saharsa against talaq bill
Bhagalpur/Saharsa: Muslim men and women took to the streets in Bhagalpur and Saharsa to protest against the ‘triple talaq’ bill.In Bhagalpur, the rally passed through the busy thoroughfares of the town. Later, some of the leaders submitted a memorandum to the DM. Maulana of Khankah Shahbazia Mufti Farooq Aalam Asharfi said, “The Bill is against the Shariat and against the Muslim personal law.” Lauding the rally taken out by Muslim women and men, Asharfi said they would intensify their stir at the state and national level in order to pressurize the Central Govt to withdraw the bill that is likely to trigger more problems in Muslim families.Meanwhile, thousands of women wearing burqa in Saharsa took out a silent protest march near collectorate on Wednesday to protest against the triple talaq bill.It was for the first time in Kosi region that such a large number of Muslim women, mostly from the rural areas, had come out of their houses and participated in a stir. The protest march was surprisingly an all-woman affair as no male members were allowed to interfere. "talaq bill wapas lo”, “shariyat me hastakshep band karo”, “triple talaq bill will ruin family and society,” etc.Some prominent women leaders associated with ‘Islah-e-Muashra’ and ‘Tahaffuj-e-Shariyat’, including Hina Farooqui, Kokab Sultana, Mahjabi Naaj, Sophia Parween addressed the rally before submitting a memorandum to the Saharsa DM which was addressed to the President of India.TOI
Over 3 lakh people attended protest march against Triple Talaq bill in Bhagalpur
After Bombay HC's intervention, Thane college allows student to wear hijab
After the intervention of Bombay High Court, a Thane-based homeopathy college, has allowed a Muslim student to pursue her medical studies, wearing a ‘head scarf’ and full length gown, while attending classes.The student had filed a petition in the high court alleging that the college objected to her wearing the traditional dress, which is commonly worn by Muslim women.The college, in its affidavit, said the student insisted on wearing a full burqa or a veil whilst coming to the college. The student in her plea had sought directions to the college to grant her a NOC, and that University transfer her to another homeopathy college for her to pursue her education. A division bench of Justice RM Sawant and Justice Sarang Kotwal were informed by the college chairman that the student can continue her education wearing the dress without covering her face, and putting the apron, as and when required during classes, over the burqa.The student is allowed to be admitted in the repeaters batch of the academic year 2016-2017, which has already commenced. Advocate Deepak Salvi, appearing for the college, said “There was no restriction on the wearing a hijab and the student had to repeat because of low attendance, which did not qualify her for appearing for the exams.”The court disposed off the petition considering the issue as resolved.dnaindia
Kerala HC says govt can't question citizens' right to religious conversion by insisting on certification
Kerala High Court has held that people don't need certificates from Govt -approved institutions in order to change their religions, holding that Govts cannot question citizens' rights to convert to another religion.As reported by TOI, the court made the observations while hearing a petition filed by Aysha, a 67-year-old woman from Perinthalmanna, who was born as Devaki, before converting to Islam with her son. The report said that when Aysha tried to fill out an application with the directorate of printing to notify her change of name and religion, she was asked to produce a certificate from a Govt recognised institution.The court of Justice A Muhamed Mustaque said, "The right to profess and practice a religion is a Fundamental Right. One has the liberty to choose his own faith. The Govt , therefore, will have to act upon one's declaration as to the change of his faith or conscience. Maturity of such decision cannot be subject to any examination," it said.firstpost
Govt can’t insist on certificate for religious conversion: Kerala HC
​ Agra: Admin asks Pollution Control Board to inspect mosque creating ‘noise pollution’
AGRA: City magistrate has written to officials of UP Pollution Control Board’s (UPPCB) Agra unit, asking them to send a team to check the volume of the four loudspeakers installed at the mosque in front of Mantola police station near Sadar Bhatti roundabout. This comes a week after officials from Mantola station filed a written complaint with the administration regarding the inconvenience caused to them and local residents due to the high volume of loudspeakers.Mantola police station in-charge Santrunjay Singh told TOI, “This is a communally sensitive area. We have often received complaints from locals about the loud noise created by the four loudspeakers installed at mosque, especially during azaan. By using a sound measurement app, we have found that the decibel level of these loudspeakers is higher than the maximum permissible limit of 75 dB. The mosque has permission to use loudspeakers, but it needs to lower their volume.”In Mantola, 21 out of 22 shrines (including mosques and temples) have permission to use loudspeakers. TOI
Jaipur: Tension over mosque wall demolition
Jaipur: Tension prevailed in the district HQRS town on Wednesday after members of a minority community took to streets opposing demolition of the boundary wall of their religious shrine by the district administration for widening of a road. As per reports, the administration has launched a demolition drive to widen Municipality roads, parts of which are under encroachment. On Tuesday night, officials of Revenue and Roads and Building departments started razing illegal structures along Medical Chowk and the Ring Road stretch by excavators and earth movers.However, while demolishing the boundary wall of the mosque at Gandhi Chowk, JCB machine accidentally hit the roof of the shrine. As a result, a small portion of the roof collapsed. When the news spread, local Muslim residents rushed to the spot and stopped the demolition drive in protest. The agitators allegedly broke some machines used in the demolition work. Sensing trouble, police personnel were deployed in large numbers near Gandhi Chowk to avert any untoward incident.newindianexpress
Will visit mosque if I get an invitation:CM Adityanath
UP  CM  Yogi Adityanath today took a jibe at SP chief Akhilesh Yadav for calling himself a Hindu. Speaking at India TV Samvaad Conclave in Lucknow, organised to assess the performance of his 1-year old Govt , CM said that Akhilesh and Congress president Rahul Gandhi have understood the power of Hindus.Replying to Akhilesh’s remark that he is a ‘backward Hindu’, he said, “Hindus are neither backward, nor forward. People who used to worship Lord Hanuman within their home, today are coming outside of their home and speaking.”To a question will he ever visit a Mosque, he said, “I had visited a Gurdwara and that I will surely visit a Mosque of I get an invitation.”indiatvnews
Bhima-Koregaon: Maha withdraws cases against all rioters, sets up committee to probe serious offences
Mumbai: Maharashtra Govt  on Tuesday announced its decision to withdraw cases against all accused booked for violence during a statewide shutdown in January that took places after clashes broke out in Bhima-Koregaon in Pune. One person was killed while 100 others were injured during the caste riots that gripped the state after New Year's Day. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis announced the decision in the state assembly today. CM Fadnavis added that the state Govt  would set up a committe to take a decision on the cases of serious offences filed in the matter, which would be required to submit its report within 3 months. CM  also informed the house that the state Govt  will give compensation to the people who suffered during the rioting, IANS reported. He also said that state will take over the management and maintenance of the samadhi of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj in Vadhu-Budruk village, around five kms from Bhima-Koregaon. A total of 58 cases were filed in connection with the riots by the Pune police and 162 accused were arrested, the CM said. timesnownews
Bhopal Jail-break,  encounter report to be tabled before MP Assembly
Bhopal: Shivraj Singh Chouhan Govt in MP cleared the decks for tabling before the State Assembly the much-awaited report of the single member judicial commission that probed the killing of 8 alleged SIMI men.The state cabinet chaired by CM decided to table the report of the single member commission which has already been submitted to the Govt in August 2017. “The report has been submitted to the state Govt and the cabinet has decided to table the report,” said state Govt’s official spokesperson and minister of public relations Narottam Mishra. Importantly, single member commission headed by retired judge of HC Justice SK Pandey had submitted its voluminous report to the state Govt  in August 2017. Report, however, wasn’t tabled by the state Govt in the winter session of the State Assembly. With the state Govt  now deciding to table the report, the report is now likely to be tabled in Vidhan Sabha’s ongoing budget session, which ends on March 28.newindianexpress
Muslim Leaders Condemn Ban on PFI in Jharkhand
New Delhi: Eminent leaders of the Muslim community have strongly condemned the ban imposed by the BJP Govt  of Jharkhand on the Popular Front of India (PFI). In a joint statement, they termed the ban as “unjust” and demanded its withdrawal.Leaders of important Muslim organisations and leading figures of Muslim community considered the ban tantamount to murdering democracy.Muslim leaders demanded that the ban on PFI in Jharkhand should be withdrawn forthwith.The joint statement was issued by Maulana Wali Rahmani, General Secretary, All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Head of Imarat-eShariah Bihar, Jharkhand & Orissa; Maulana Mahmood Madani, General Secretary, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind; Maulana Muhammad Sajjad Nomani, spokesperson of All India Muslim Personal Law Board; Maulana Mufti Mukarram, Shahi Imam & Khateeb, Fatehpuri Masjid, Delhi; Maulana Asrarul Haq Qasmi, MP; Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, President, Ittehad-e Millat Council; Prof. Akhtarul Wasey, President, Maulana Azad University, Jodhpur; Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood, Chairman, ZFI; Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, Chairman, Delhi Minorities Commission, and Dr Tasleem Rehmani.In a separate statement, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has also opposed and expressed deep concern on the ban on PFI.Muhammad Salim Engineer, Secretary General of Jamaat, said: “Jamaat disturbed by reports of Jharkhand Govt banning the activities of PFI under section 16 of CLA Act, 1908. We are highly concerned and condemn this culture of banning organizations. It is a clear violation of the fundamental rights protected by the Constitution and goes against the democratic ethos and basic civil liberties’’. In another statement, Jamiat Ulama has also opposed the ban. caravandaily
Media blamed Rohingyas for attack on Journalists in Jammu for which 2 locals were held?
Jammu:Rohingya refugees in Jammu have once again become the target of vicious media reporting after a group of journalists were beaten while covering a story in the Rohingya slums in Keriyan Talab area of Bathindi in Jammu district.According to reports, on Tuesday, March 13 a group of reporters from national news channels along with a local RTI activist had gone to cover a story on ‘illegal’ sim cards obtained by the Rohingya refugees, where they were harassed and beaten by a group of youths which the reporters alleged were from the Rohingya community. The video of the incident which has gone viral on the social networking websites is being circulated as the alleged handiwork of the Rohingya, but a close look at the attackers make it clear that the assailants are locals and not Rohingyas.“The media persons came here at 2 pm. While they were taking the video, a car belonging to a local hit the car of media persons leaving scratches. The argument among both the groups led to the physical assault.  Those involved are local persons,” said Mohammad Ali, a Rohingya refugee labourer.Another Rohingya, Mustafa Farooq, said that the latest incident is part of the already running campaign to defame and demonise the community, “The attackers were not Rohingya. Media persons are lying and defaming us. They are even saying that our women beat them despite the fact that there wasn’t even a single Rohingya woman on the road that time.”SSP Jammu, Vivek Gupta in an interaction with media has clearly said that they have made 2 arrests who were locals and not Rohingya.“We have arrested 2 local youths, Mohammad Ashraf and Sher Mohammad. They (media persons) have not been attacked by Rohingya, I should be very clear on it,” he said. TCN
Indians are an unhappy lot, but Pakistanis get more joyful: UN report
Indians, it appears, are getting unhappier by the year, while their not-so-well-off neighbours in Pakistan are becoming more joyful, shows the latest UN ranking of the world's happiest countries.India, which dropped four places in the 2017 World Happiness Report, fell a further 11 places in the 2018 report. It now ranks a low 133 on the list of 156 countries monitored by UN' Sustainable Development Solutions Network for its annual 'joy' report.By comparison, terror-ravaged Pakistan, which was already 'happier' than India in the 2017 rankings, is shown as being even happier in the 2018 rankings. It's on number 75, up five spots from last year.TOI
WTO dispute on export schemes: India to engage with US
New Delhi;India on Thursday said it will engage with the US to explain its position on export schemes following America’s decision to drag India into the WTO against programmes to incentivise shipments, a top official said today.America challenged India’s export subsidy programmes such as Merchandise Exports from India Scheme in the WTO, saying these initiatives harm the US companies by creating an uneven playing field. They have sought consultations with India under the aegis of global trade body’s dispute settlement mechanism.PTI
WORLD
Limited food allowed to enter Syria's besieged Eastern Ghouta
Some 25 trucks of food aid have entered the town of Douma in Syria's besieged Eastern Ghouta, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The convoy, facilitated by the ICRC as well as the UN and the Syrian Red Crescent crossed into Douma on Thursday through the al-Wafideen crossing.The ICRC said they were delivering food including 5,220 food parcels and 5,220 flour bags, enough for 26,100 people, with each parcel of food meant to last a family of five for a month.At least 125,000 people live in Douma.aljazeera
Water cut in Afrin as Turkey completes encirclement
Water to Syria's Afrin has now been cut for a week, the UN said on Wednesday, as Turkey's military finished encircling Kurdish city in preparation for a major ground assault.  Access to clean drinking water ended after Turkish troops and allied Syrian fighters seized the main dam and water plant from People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in Kurd-dominated region in northwest Syria."Local workers were unable to access the dam controls to pump water. The water supply has been cut off," UN office for humanitarian affairs said in a statement.Residents have relied on untreated water from boreholes and risk contracting diseases, it added.aljazeera
Israeli paper  Haaretz: Hamas has no interest in targeting Hamdallah
Israeli newspaper Haaretz said yesterday that Hamas does not have any interest in targeting the convoy of Palestinian Authority (PA) PM  Rami Hamdallah.Israeli writer Amira Hass said that it is easy to accuse Hamas of carrying out the attack “but there are much more likely suspects”.She added:“Hamas does not and could not have any interest in attacking senior Palestinian Authority officials on their way to inaugurate a sewage treatment plant that residents of the Gaza Strip have long awaited.”According to the Israeli paper, Hass expected that Hamas would not allow or turn a blind eye to anyone planting an explosive device to target Hamdallah’s convoy because it wants to appear to be a strong player on the ground.She also said that Hamas is ready to give up part of its power for the sake of its people, not due to its failures.middleeastmonitor
Morsi is not an ordinary prisoner, British MP warns Egypt
A British Member of Parliament has pointed out that former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted in a military coup in 2013, is “not an ordinary prisoner.”Crispin Blunt MP warned the authorities in Egypt that if Morsi dies in prison, the consequences will be greater than if the victim was anyone else, Anadolu has reported.Blunt, who heads Westminster’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said that a request by a group of British parliamentarians to be allowed to visit Morsi in prison has not received any response from Egyptian Embassy in London.Morsi’s family have repeatedly voiced concerns about his health and the lack of medical treatment available in prison. His son Abdullah said earlier this month that Morsi’s request for urgent medical treatment during a trial session was refused.“We believe that he has not received any adequate treatment for his diabetes or blood pressure,” explained Abdullah Morsi. “Because he has not received any proper treatment for his diabetes, he has now lost most of sight in his left eye and needs urgent surgery.”MEMO
Saudi Crown Prince says will develop nuclear bomb if Iran does
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia will develop a nuclear bomb if Iran does so, the kingdom's 32-year-old Crown Prince has said in a preview of a television interview released on Thursday.“Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible,” Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS in an interview that will air on Sunday.REUTERS
Democrats demand Jared Kushner's dismissal
A group of House Democrats called on White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to dismiss President Donald Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner.25 legislators, led by Representative Don Beyer, sent a letter to Kelly expressing their disillusionment with the president's son-in-law, citing media reports alleging a number of countries have discussed ways to manipulate the 37-year old. "It is impossible for the American people or their elected representatives to have faith that Jared Kushner will put their interests above his own personal and financial interests," the letter said."The only path forward is clear: Jared Kushner must resign immediately. If he will not, we believe it is your duty as White House chief of staff to fire him." aljazeera
Attacks against Muslims on rise in Germany; 3 assailants involved in attack on masjid
Berlin: A masjid in Berlin has been set on fire by masked assailants in the early hours of Sunday morning. According to police, the masjid was damaged but no one injured in the incident. Though the police have not disclosed to which group does the assailants belong, but they have declared the move as deliberate. According to the eyewitnesses, three assailants with covered faces threw burning material and immediately ran away.As part of the anti-Islamic activities the Aksemsettin Mosque – belonging to the Muslim-Turkish association Islamic Community National View (IGMG) – in the town of Lauffen am Neckar was also attacked on Friday.Islamophobia and anti-Islami activities have increased following ISIS attacks in European countries during 2017.According to German home ministry, 950 attacks on Muslims and Islamic institutions have been recorded during 2017. The report stated that 33 people have injured in the attacks and while in 60 incidents masajid have been directly targeted.siasat
In joint statement, US, UK, France and Germany agree Russia behind nerve agent attack on ex spy
Moscow:The leaders of the US, France, Germany and Britain say they are united in blaming Russia for a nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal. In a rare joint statement, President Donald Trump, President Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel and PM  Theresa May say “there is no plausible alternative explanation” to Russian responsibility in the March 4 attack in England.They say Russia’s failure to respond to Britain’s “legitimate request” for an explanation “further underlines its responsibility.” The leaders say the use of a chemical weapon is “an assault on UK sovereignty” and “a breach of international law.” Britain has expelled 23 Russian diplomats and suspended high-level contacts with Moscow over the incident.Russia is expected to take retaliatory measures soon.AP
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
'People in UP Are Rejecting BJP's Anti-Dalit, Anti-Minority Politics':thewire
Lack of evidence put Stephen Hawking’s Nobel Prize hopes in black hole:AP
Pakistanis Happier than Indians: World Happiness Report's Findings Unlikely to Bring Cheer
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:56 PM)

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