News and views across the globe.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

25 March ND: New data leak hits national ID card database Aadhaar, claims report; India denies/ NaMo App Exposé: Rahul Gandhi Attacks PM Over Data Sharing



Evening NEWS DIGEST  
25 March 2018:06 Rajjab 1439:Vol:9, No:150
INDIA
New data leak hits national ID card database Aadhaar, claims report; India denies
India's biometric ID programme, Aadhaar, has been hit by another major security lapse, allowing access to private information, business technology news website ZDNet reported on Saturday.A data leak on a system run by a state-owned utility company can allow access to private information of Aadhaar holders, exposing their names, their unique 12-digit identity numbers, and their bank details, ZDNet said.Even though the security lapse had been flagged to some government agencies over a period of time, it has yet to be fixed. ZDNet said it was withholding the name of the utility and other details. Karan Saini, a New Delhi-based security researcher, said that anyone with an Aadhaar number was affected."This is a security lapse. You don't have to be a consumer to access these details. You just need the Uniform Resource Locator where Application Programming Interface is located.These can be found in less than 20 minutes," Saini told Reuters.UIDAI denied there was any leak.“We refute the reports in a certain section of media sourced from ZDNet which quote a person purportedly claiming to be a security researcher that a state-owned utility company has vulnerability which can be used to access huge amount of Aadhaar data including banking details,” the agency said in a tweet on Saturday evening. “There is no truth in this story as there has been absolutely no breach of UIDAI’s Aadhaar database.Aadhaar remains safe and secure.”Aadhaar, a biometric identification card with over 1.1 billion users, is the world's biggest database.But it has been facing increased scrutiny over privacy concerns following several instances of breaches and misuse. Reuters, tribuneindia
Indian agency denies reported security lapse in ID card project
Aadhaar face authentication feature from July 1: UIDAI
Amidst data leak claims, the issuing authority of Aadhaar, UIDAI is ready to introduce face authentication feature from coming July 1. Currently, Aadhaar only includes iris or fingerprint scan as security feature and means of verifying Aadhaar users. Introduction of this new feature by UIDAI has come after some people find difficulties in verification. The new feature will also help those who run into problems in biometric authentication due to old age, hard work or worn-out fingerprints.NewsX
Aadhaar matter: Now, UIDAI gets notice from Punjab and Haryana High Court for ‘wrong information’
In connection with a case of incorrect information printed on Aadhaar Card, High Court of Punjab and Haryana has issued a notice against UIDAI,Indian Express reported today. The HC has asked for a response from the identification agency. The incorrect information on Aadhaar Card came to light in the court after a plea request by Ferozepur-based runaway couple. They were seeking protection from their parents and relatives as they married against their wishes.On February 19, the case came up before the High Court for a hearing by Justice Amol Rattan Singh. At that time, the court was informed that the girl was over 19 years of age while her husband’s age was over 33 years. On her Aadhaar Card, the date of birth was mentioned as ‘01.01.1996’. However, the court earlier received and affidavit along with a petition which read that the girl was born on ‘05.10.1998’. What was more surprising was the age mentioned in her school register. As per records mentioned in her school, her date of birth is mentioned as ‘13.03.1999’. Punjab Police have been ordered to look into the matter where the date on Aadhaar Card was wrongly printed.The High Court order was issued by Justice Amol Rattan Singh on Tuesday. The order read: “It is being seen by this Court in such like matters that Aadhaar Cards are produced in Court giving therein dates of birth, some of which are found to be incorrect. Consequently, the Director / Deputy Director/ Head of Institution of the Unique Identification Authority of India, Regional Centre, Chandigarh, is ordered to be impleaded as respondent no.11.”financialexpress
BJP changes privacy setting on NAMO App
A day after the anonymous French cyber security researcher exposed that an Android App promoted by BJP and PM Narendra Modi was transferring user details to an American company, the privacy setting was “quietly” changed on Sunday.Pratik Sinha in Altnews, the Internet fact-checking website , was the first to notice the change. “ While the PM’s website claimed that personal information would not be provided to third parties in any manner whatsoever without the consent of the user, it was doing exactly the opposite,”“These hurried changes to the privacy policy further go onto prove that there was a clear privacy breach by PM Narendra Modi’s mobile app,” report went on to add.Till a day before the exposé, privacy policy on the website read “Your personal information and contact details shall remain confidential and shall not be used for any purpose other than our communication with you. The information shall not be provided to third parties in any manner whatsoever without your consent.”It has now been discovered that to cover-up this issue, the privacy policy on PM Narendra Modi’s website has quietly been changed to accommodate for this lapse.nationalheraldindia
NaMo App Exposé: Rahul Gandhi Attacks PM Over Data Sharing; BJP Hits Back
New Delhi:Congress President Rahul Gandhi attacked PM Narendra Modi on Sunday over allegations of data sharing from his official app without users’ consent, a charge the BJP trashed.Gandhi also accused the media of “burying” the story.His attack on the prime minister was based on a media report in which a French vigilante hacker has purportedly alleged that data was stolen from his official app — NaMo App — without consent of the users.“Hi! My name is Narendra Modi. I am India’s Prime Minister. When you sign up for my official App, I give all your data to my friends in American companies,” Gandhi said on Twitter.In the tweet, he also attached a news story titled – “Data theft allegations reaches PM Modi’s doorstep, French vigilante hacker’s stunning revelation“.BJP reacted on Twitter saying, it did not expect “any better” from the Congress chief. It also said the data is used only for analytics using third party service, similar to Google Analytics.thewire
Nikah After Marriage Under Special Marriage Act: Divorce petition maintainable before family court under Spl marriage Act: Delhi HC
Delhi High Court has held that Family Court can entertain and try a petition for dissolution of marriage under the Special Marriage Act, if the parties married under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, even though they performed Nikah ceremony subsequently. In this case, the Husband had challenged the jurisdiction of Family Court where the wife had filed Divorce Petition under Special Marriage Act on the ground that the parties subsequently performed Nikah ceremony and, therefore, the parties are governed by the Muslim Personal Laws. The Court observed that Certificate of Marriage issued by the Marriage Officer under the Special Marriage Act is a conclusive proof of their valid marriage under the Special Marriage Act and the husband cannot be permitted to challenge the jurisdiction of the Family Court to entertain and try the petition for divorce. “Even assuming that the respondent had embraced Islam prior to 20th August 1998, it would not in any manner, effect the jurisdiction of the learned Family Court to entertain and try the petition for divorce under the Special Marriage Act."Court then dismissed the plea challenging the jurisdiction of Family court, filed by the Husband imposing a cost of Rupees Fifty Thousand. livelaw
SC to hear 4 PILs against polygamy tomorrow
New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on Monday, 4 PILs challenging the legal validity of polygamy and nikah-halala being practised in Islam. A 3-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Kanwilkar and D.Y Chandrachud will hear the petitions filed by  Sameena Begum of Delhi, BJP leader and social activist Ashiwini Kumar Upadhyaya and two others seeking a declaration that Section 2 of Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937, as unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution, insofar as it seeks to recognise and validate the practice of Polygamy and Nikah-Halala. The SC is to take up this issue after triple talaq was banned last year.  The petitioner said she was a victim of polygamy and was filing this petition to highlight the plight of thousands of Muslim women across the country suffering due to the draconian practices of “Polygamy” and “Nikah Halala” that are rampant in the Muslim society.Ms Begum said she got married in 999 to one Javed Anwar and two sons were born out of the said wedlock. All the time when she was at her matrimonial home, she was tortured, bullied, beaten, and was asked to bring money from her parents house. After the repeated tortures, she filed a complaint U/s 498 A of the IPC. Getting infuriated with this, petitioner’s husband sent a letter giving her “Triple Talaq.”She submitted that Muslim Marriage Dissolution Act 1939 provides nine grounds for dissolution of marriage, including impotency, incapacity to fulfill martial obligations and cruelty but there is no eligibility pre-condition for marriage.ASIAN AGE
Jordan prince wants India to play key role in Syrian refugee crisis
Amman:India should play a major role in resolving the vexed Syrian refugee crisis, Jordan Prince Ali bin Al Hussein has said, citing the plight of millions in dire need of humanitarian assistance.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Jordan’s King Abdullah II during his visit to the Middle Eastern country last month during which both the sides held extensive talks on different issues including security.India and Jordan enjoy friendly ties since diplomatic relations were established in 1950.Ali, ahead of the second Laureates and Leaders for Children Summit 2018 here, said that India and Jordan have very good diplomatic relations.“Prime Minister Modi had recently visited Jordan during which both the countries had vowed to step up cooperation on a number of areas and held talks on several issues. India is a fast-growing economy and a powerful country. So we expect India to play a key role in resolving the Syria refugee crisis and other such issues,” Ali told reporters on Saturday.The Summit, to be held from March 26 to 27, will bring together Nobel Laureates and World Leaders with youth from around the world to deliberate and develop a plan of action to address the challenges faced by children.Ali is the co-organiser of the Summit.Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi said that India is the world’s largest democracy. It is the land which gives the message of peace and humanity.“India is home to the world’s third largest Muslim population where people have been living peacefully for the last several decades. Peaceful co-existence is India’s heritage. So, it becomes the responsibility of the people and the Indian government to spread this message to the other parts of the world. These ideas can go a long way in resolving the Syria crisis,” Satyarthi said.India has been extending a helping hand to many countries including Afghanistan, Nepal and South Sudan, he said.PTI
First India-Israel flight over Saudi airspace angers Israeli carrier El Al: aljazeera
As Saudi Arabia opens its airspace for the first time to a commercial flight to Israel, Israel's national carrier will take its own fight for access to Saudi airspace to the Supreme Court in Israel, according to officials.India's national carrier Air India is now reportedly offering three direct flights a week between New Delhi and Tel Aviv through Saudi Arabia's airspace, effectively ending a 70-year Saudi ban on use of its airspace for Israel-bound flights.Saudi Arabia does not recognise Israel and flag carrier El Al must take a more circuitous path to avoid Saudi Arabia, which adds hours to flight times.While a spokeswoman for El Al confirmed the company intended to bring its complaint to the Israeli Supreme Court, Yisrael Katz, Israel's transport minister, welcomed the direct route breakthrough."I hope that Israeli airlines like El Al (Israel's flagship carrier) will be allowed to use this route in the future."aljazeera
UP ATS arrests 10 for suspected links with LeT, terror-funding activities
Lucknow: UP ATS has arrested 10 persons, who it claimed were linked with Lashker-e-Taiba and allegedly involved in terror-funding activities.“10 persons were arrested from Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Pratapgarh and Rivan (MP) on Saturday by ATS. These persons were involved in terror-funding on directives from Pakistan,” ATS IG Asim Arun told reporters in Lucknow.The arrested men were identified as Naseem Ahamad, Naeem Arshad, Sanjay Saroj, Niraj Mishra, Sahil Masih, Uma Pratap Singh, Mukesh Prasad, Nikhil Rai alias Musharraf Ansari, Ankur Rai and Dayanand Yadav, he said.“A member of Lashker-e-Taiba used to remain in contact with them and ask them to open bank accounts in fake names and direct them as to how much money is to be transferred to which account. Indian agents used to get 10 to 20% commission for this. Till now transactions of over Rs one crore have come to the fore,” he said.He claimed the arrested persons had links with the LeT and some of them even knew what was happening.“Some them clearly knew what they were doing, while some considered it as a lottery fraud,” the officer said, adding a detailed probe was on and more arrests likely.The role of the bank staff too would be probed, he said.PTI
Pak-based D-company has diversified: US lawmakers told
Washington:Pakistan-based Dawood Ibrahim-led D-company has diversified in many other fields and built a powerful transnational crime-terror organisation in part from drug proceeds, US lawmakers were told today.Indian underworld don Dawood, wanted in India for a number of terrorist attacks, is now based in Karachi, according to the US and Indian officials. However, Pakistan has denied his presence in the country.“Pak-based crime-terror group D-company, whose origins lie in India, expanded Karachi’s historic role as a drug transhipment point, and built a powerful transnational crime-terror organisation in part from drug proceeds,” Dr Louise Shelley, Professor at Schar School of Policy and Govt at the George Mason University told lawmakers.Shelley claimed that D-company has diversified.“D-company,like Mexican drug organisations, has diversified.They traffic weapons, counterfeit DVDs and provide financial services through their extensive system of hawala operators,” he said during a Congressional hearing organised by the Committee on House Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance.India’s sustained campaign against Dawood was finally acknowledged by America in 2003 when US declared him a global terrorist having links with al-Qaeda. He also faces sanctions from the UN under its anti-terror resolution.PTI
Ram Navami on Sunday: BJP, VHP back armed rallies; police on high alert
Kolkata:With BJP and VHP maintaining that armed rallies will be taken out on the occasion of Ram Navami on March 25, whether they are granted permission or not, police said it is making elaborate arrangements to prevent communal tension.“We are making strong police arrangements for Ram Navami,”ADG Law and Order(West Bengal) Anuj Sharma said.Police have also alerted all stations and identified sensitive pockets ahead of Sunday. Additional special forces will be deployed in areas where Ram Navami is celebrated on a large scale and in regions that have witnessed communal violence in past — Chandannagar, Howrah-Dhulagrah, Birbhum, Hazinagar,Naihati and Basirhat-Baduria among others.“We are working in collaboration with all stakeholders. No rally with arms will be allowed. We have identified sensitive pockets and we have conducted meetings with locals, political representatives and other influential personalities from these areas to avoid any act that can create trouble. Also, no loudspeakers will be allowed,”Commissioner Ajay Kumar said. VHP on Friday said while it will not take out armed rallies, it will support those who choose to do so.Sourish Mukherjee, media-in-charge of VHP (South Bengal), said, “Nobody questions when other communities hold processions with swords. Only when Hindus assert themselves with swords and trishuls, government and police become extra cautious. There is nothing called ‘show of strength’;it is appeasement politics that keeps them worried and extra alert.”indianexpress
Bengal Child Rights Panel May Issue Warrants as Minors Rally With Arms on Ram Navami
MP: NSA against Muslim youth for circulating objectionable video on social media
Bhopal:Case under NSA has been slapped against Saddam for putting objectionable video on WhatsApp, by Sagar police.Saddam, a resident of Sadar area of Sagar had been arrested from Ajmer on Wednesday and had been booked under various sections.On Wednesday evening there was communal tension in Sagar and police had to lathi-charge right wing activists who wanted to ‘celebrate’ Saddam arrest, by taking out a vehicle rally in the Sadar area, which has several Muslim localities. The administration had not given its permission for the rally, but members of the fringe right wing group insisted on taking out a rally, and police lathi-charged to restore law and order.HT
Begusarai: Muslim women march against talaq bill
BEGUSARAI: Demanding revocation of the triple talaq Bill, hundreds of women took part in a silent procession march, a call for which was given by the women wing of the Tahaffuz-e-Shariat Committee, in Begusarai on Saturday.Led by zila parishad member Sultana Begum and Balia subdivision co-ordinator Haidri Noorie, women held placards and called the bill “an infringement on their fundamental rights”.“The Constitution guarantees the freedom to profess, practise and propagate one’s own religion. Since this freedom is given to every individual, the government should not interfere in the belief and religion of any citizen. The government cannot force Muslims to follow other communities in issues related to personal laws as it would amount to an infringement on their fundamental rights,” Noorie told reporters. Traffic movement on most of the roads remained affected for over two hours due to the march that ended after a memorandum addressed to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was submitted at the office of the Begusarai DM.TOI
Noida: Man opens fire on UP Police with AK-47, shot dead; 3 cops injured
Noida:A wanted criminal was shot dead in a gunfight early on Sunday after he opened fire at the police with an AK-47 assault rifle, injuring three policemen, the Uttar Pradesh police said. Shravan, 30, was carrying a reward of Rs 100,000 on his head. He was wanted in over 12 criminal cases of murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping and vehicle thefts in Delhi and the National Capital Region."A native of Ghaziabad, Shravan was the mastermind of a gang that snatched an SUV from the driver of a media group in 2017 here. He also murdered a man in Delhi over personal animosity in 2016," Senior Superintendent of Police Ajay Pal Sharma said.The incident took place near Parthala Chowk in the Phase 3 area. The police received a tip-off that Shravan and his associate were coming to the area.IANS
Rajya Sabha polls exposed BJP’s anti-Dalit face, made SP-BSP alliance stronger: Akhilesh
New Delhi:A day after Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati declared that the alliance with former rival Samajwadi Party was here to stay till 2019 Lok Sabha elections, SP chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav reassured of the same. 44-year-old leader said that though BJP wrestled its way to UP’s ninth Rajya Sabha seat, SP-BSP alliance had strengthened nevertheless.“The victory of the BJP on the ninth seat, contested by the saffron party with the help of money power, has given the SP an opportunity to expose the communal outfit’s anti-Dalit face. Because of the conspiracy hatched by the BJP against a Dalit getting elected, SP-BSP unity has got strengthened all the more for the (2019) Lok Sabha polls,” Akhilesh was quoted as saying by PTI.On Friday, BSP candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar lost despite the support of SP as well as Congress MLAs because of cross-voting done by BSP MLA Anil Singh — who was later suspended. As a sign of solidarity to BSP, Akhilesh later cancelled the function to felicitate SP leader Jaya Bachchan on getting re-elected to the Rajya Sabha. indianexpress
Together till 2019, Rajya Sabha setback won’t hurt SP-BSP alliance, says Mayawati
Lucknow:Putting official seal on BSP’s arrangement with the Samajwadi Party, Mayawati said on Saturday that the Rajya Sabha elections Friday where her candidate had lost would make no difference to the “alliance”. She also warned the BJP that the two parties were here to work together till 2019 polls. At a press conference here, Mayawati said, “Kal jo natije aaye hain, usse SP aur BSP ki aayi nazdeeki mein til bhar bhi asar parne wala nahin hai (The results of yesterday won’t make an iota of difference to the proximity that has developed between the SP and BSP).”indianexpress
Ready to fight again if govt seeks review: Maratha leaders after SC ruling on SC/ST Act
Pune:Leaders of the Maratha community have warned that they will be forced to relaunch their agitation — more aggressively this time — if the central government refused to accept the Supreme Court’s decision to dilute stringent provisions under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and went for a review. Congress, as well as Dalit leaders in NDA, have stressed the need for a review petition against the Supreme Court ruling. “… We welcome the ruling, but if the government goes for a review petition before the Supreme Court, we will have to hit the streets again, and this time more aggressively,” said Shantaram Kunjir, state coordinator of Maratha Kranti Morcha.indianexpress
2 criminals killed, 7 others held in several UP encounters in a day
Lucknow: In a crackdown on criminals in UP, 2 wanted law breakers were killed and seven others arrested in separate seven encounters in four districts, in which six policemen were also injured, police said on Sunday.The encounters took place in Saharanpur, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar and Muzaffarnagar districts in past 24 hours in which two wanted criminals were killed and seven others arrested, DIG Praveen Kumar said.6 policemen were also injured in the encounters, he told reporters in Lucknow.In Gautam Buddha Nagar, an encounter took place in Sector 119 (phase-3) area in which Shravan Chowdhury, carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his arrest, was injured, while his accomplice managed to escape, police officials said.Chowdhury was taken to the district hospital, where he died during treatment, they said.Crime Branch inspector Balwan Singh and constables Satyaveer and Sanjeev were also injured in the encounter, the DIG said.PTI
Uttar Pradesh: Six encounters in 24 hours, two criminals killed
Delhi Police files rioting case against JNU students
PRO, Delhi Police, Madhur Verma, however, denied the reports and told NH, “no fresh FIR has been filed”. But attempts to contact Romil Baaniya, DCP South Delhi, proved futile as he neither picked up phone calls, nor did he reply to the text messages sent to him seeking confirmation.A case of rioting, destruction of public property and obstructing public servants from discharging their duty was registered on Friday at the Sarojini Nagar police station after the police crackdown on the students. The fresh case, therefore, has come as a surprise.JNU students told NH, “Since they now know that they are incapable of catching real rioters, they want to frame us,” one of them exclaimed.A section of the media, some of whom were also caught in the melee and were assaulted by the police, have openly come out in support of the JNU students. Protesting against police high handedness outside the Delhi Police headquarters on Saturday, they declared that the long march by students was peaceful and policemen were the ones who manhandled the students first, used water cannon and tear gas shells before students clashed with the police.nationalheraldindia
PM’s flight records cannot be disclosed under RTI due to security reasons: Air India
New Delhi:Records pertaining to the Prime Minister’s chartered flights for visits abroad cannot be disclosed under the RTI Act due to security concerns as per instructions from the PMO, the national carrier has said in response to an application filed by an activist under the transparency law.In his RTI application dated Feb.2, 2018, Commodore (Retd) Lokesh Batra had sought to know from Air India the dates of invoices raised for chartered flights provided by it for foreign visits of the Prime Minister since November 2016, and the dates of forwarding each of these bills to the civil aviation ministry and the external affairs ministry.PTI
MP completes UID tagging of 2.5 lakh cattle
Indore;Nearly 2.5 lakh cattle, out of around 90 lakh in Madhya Pradesh, have been stamped with unique identities, similar to the 12-digit Aadhaar number, to enhance their safety as well as increase milk production, officials said. The ears of these bovines are being tagged with UID numbers as part of an ambitious scheme of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). An official said that cows and buffaloes are being tagged in this manner to create a nationwide recording mechanism called the Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health (INAPH).PTI
Shia-Sufi conference organises in Lucknow
Lucknow;Islamic-Sufi clerics from different parts of the country along with some foreign countries will gather here on Sunday for Shia-Sufi conference, organised to spread real teachings of Islam, said renowned Muslim cleric and Shia leader Kalbe Jawad.Mr Jawad told UNI “Islam teaches us peace but some so called religious heads misguide youth and promote terrorism in the name of Islam”.We will gather here to send clear message that terrorism is not accepted in any religion including Islam and massacre at the name of religion cannot be justified, he pointed out.“Jihad is the spiritual struggle within oneself against sin and not killing others for religion” Jawad underlined adding that the conference will send strong message of anti-terrorism and appeal to youth to take right way of Islam which never says to hurt anybody.UNI
IPS officer D Roopa refuses to accept award from NGO funded by BJP MP and Republic TV founder
Karnataka’s IPS officer, D Roopa, who had shot to fame for exposing VIP treatment given to V Sasikala inside a Bengaluru jail last year, has refused to accept an award from an NGO, run by BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar. She wrote to the chairman of Namma Bengaluru Foundation, a Bengaluru–based NGO stating that her ‘conscience does not permit her to accept the reward.’“Every government servant is expected to maintain neutrality and equidistance from all quasi-political bodies and associations that have even the bare minimum political overtone. Only then a public servant can maintain a clean and fair image in the eyes of the public,” she was quoted by ANI.jantakareporter
WORLD
Syria forces close to gaining full control of Ghouta
Syrian government forces are close to taking full control of Eastern Ghouta, the last rebel-held area near the capital, Damascus.Two out of three rebel groups that had been controlling the enclave have already surrendered, with thousands of fighters and their relatives departing for opposition-held areas in the north of the country.The third rebel group, Jaish al-Islam, which controls the city of Douma, has so far refused to give in.However, it is understood that Jaish al-Islam is also close to reaching an evacuation deal following negotiations with the Russian army, an ally of Syrian forces.aljazeera
Thousands evacuate from Eastern Ghouta, Douma holds on
Thousands of Eastern Ghouta residents are being evacuated from the besieged enclave on Sunday, Syrian state media reported, after large groups of residents already left towns in the Damascus suburb over the past days.State news agency Sana reported that buses carrying about 500 residents and fighters were about to leave the Irbin corridor, with hundreds more expected to leave later on Sunday.2 out of 3 rebel groups that had been controlling the enclave since 2013 have already surrendered, with thousands of fighters and their relatives departing for opposition-held areas in Idlib, a province in the country's north. On Saturday, opposition fighters and their families were evacuated as part of an evacuation deal that was reached between the Russian army and two main rebel groups in the area.More than 900 residents of Eastern Ghouta started leaving towards Idlib province on Saturday night, an activist inside the city said.Meanwhile, fighters from Jaish al-Islam in Douma, the largest rebel-held town remaining in Eastern Ghouta, have not been able to reach a deal with the Russian army - the Syrian forces' main ally - with about 150,000 residents still trapped inside.The people remaining in Douma face limited access to food and medicine, activists said.Al Jazeera
Turkey takes full control of Syria’s Afrin:military
Turkey’s military and its Syrian rebel allies have taken full control of northwest Syria’s Afrin region, a Turkish army source said on Saturday, as aid workers distributed food to people in the area.Turkish forces and the Syrian fighters swept into the main Afrin town last Sunday after an eight-week campaign to drive out the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara regards as a terrorist group.A military source told Reuters the last remaining villages had been seized and control established overnight, adding:"Control has been completely achieved in the Afrin region and search operations are continuing so that local people can return safely to their houses."In Afrin, people queued to receive hot food which was being distributed by the Turkish Red Crescent while Turkish soldiers kept security and armoured vehicles moved along the streets.“We are trying to bring back life to normal in the short and medium term here.” the aid group’s president Kerem Kinik told Reuters. “Our mobile kitchens are here, and our crews are in the villages.”“We want everything to be alright. We want our women and children to come back. They could not come back to their homeland,” said Afrin resident Abdurrahman Nahsen Suleymanoglu.middleeastmonitor
Bin Salman: Trump's decision to move embassy to Jerusalem is a painful step
London: Mohammed bin Salman told The Washington Post:My relationship with Special Adviser to President Trump, Jared Kushner, is part of the official relationship between our countries.Saudi does not use Special Adviser to the President to promote Saudi interests. In his interview with the Washington Post Mohammed bin Salman added “my visit to the US is in part to attract investment to Saudi Arabia. The Crown prince who is trying to reform and diversify his country’s economy added that Saudi Arabia hold 5% of of world uranium reserves” and he added, “ If we don’t make use of our uranium it is as if we have abandoned the use of oil.”Crown Prince also discussed the situation in the Middle East and he said that the region has potential “If we resolve all problems in our region the Middle East will be the new Europe.” and he added that his country is doing its best to help the region and “did not spare any opportunity to help Yemen.”On the question of peace between Israel and the Palestinians the Saudi Crown Prince said that President Trump decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem  is a painful step.In his discussion with the Washington Post the Saudi Crown Prince reiterated that “Islam is a moderate and tolerant religion, and it has been kidnapped in recent years. ARAB NEWS
Israel targets Hamas site in Gaza Strip
Israeli forces have targeted a Hamas site with four raids early on Sunday in the southern town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip,causing property damages.No casualties were reported.In a statement, Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said that the air raids reflect the crisis of the Israeli occupation, which are meant to "terrorise civilians".Israel said the raids came after an operation in which four Palestinians made it past the border fence east to the besieged coastal enclave on Saturday. According to local sources, the men attempted to damage Israeli equipment operating the underground barrier, which is being built to stop Palestinians from digging out of the strip through tunnels.aljazeera
Indian-American drove burning van to US Air Force base, no terrorism link found: FBI probing
Los Angeles:FBI is still unclear why Indian-American Hafiz Kazi drove a burning wan loaded with propane tanks and gasoline canisters onto a major US Air Force base in California and had a fiery death, according to media reports. FBI said Kazi’s intentions and motive for the bizarre incident at Travis Air Force Base remain a mystery, and it has not yet found any connection to terrorism.“Now the question is, why?” Sean Ragan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s field office in Sacramento, said in a news conference on Friday.“Why did this individual end up at the front gate of Travis Air Base, on fire, and now deceased? And we don’t have the answers to that.”It is not yet known what killed Kazi, Ragan said, and the Solano County Sheriff’s coroner is conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death, airforcetimes.com reported. Investigators found five propane tanks, three plastic one-gallon gasoline cans, three phones, and several lighters in the van, as well as a gym bag with personal items. Ragan said agents found one video on a phone that was of no real substance. He said agents found no “jihadi-type” videos suggesting a connection to or affinity for terrorism.“We don’t have any nexus to terrorism at this point,” he said.PTI
March for Our Lives: Thousands of students rally for gun control in US
Washington:Hundreds of thousands of students, teachers and their supporters have converged on Washington, DC, and other cities worldwide to march for their lives, demanding US legislators address recent school shootings and strengthen gun control laws.Edna Chavez, a teen from South Los Angeles, was among the students from all over the country who took the stage at the March for Our Lives rally on Saturday in the nation's capital."I am a survivor," she said."I have lived in South LA my entire life and have lost many loved ones to gun violence," she added, speaking about the death of her brother, Ricardo, who was killed by a bullet when he was in high school, and how the trauma and loss changed her life.aljazeera
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Chances of Modi becoming PM again in 2019 have diminished:Tavleen Singh
Sufi dargah passes no judgement, welcomes all: Rana Safvi
Adityanath has little experience in running a political party:Coomi Kapoor
In Yogi’s UP, Supreme Court, NHRC guidelines have little effect: ZAHEEB AJMAL
NaMo App: There's a Lesson to Learn from the Cambridge Analytica Scandal:
Srinivas Kodali
Shrinking Civil Spaces: 68 RTI Activists Killed In India Since Act First Passed:VINEET JOHN SAMUEL
Kejriwal’s Apology is Not What the Media Claims:SHRINIVAS DHARMADHIKARI
National Register of Citizens: What After Identification?ANGSHUMAN CHOUDHURY
Data Protection With Concrete Walls and Uncrackable Encryption:Really?SG VOMBATKERE
'Don't Wear a Hijab if You Want to Study Here':Sukanya Shantha
Can CJI emulate his Pak counterpart in showing empathy to Najeeb’s mother?jantakareporter

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:31 PM)

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