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Monday, 7 May 2018

7 May ND: CJI impeachment notice: Congress MPs challenge Naidu’s decision in SC/ Haryana Waqf Board demands govt to remove encroachment from 19 mosques, its properties for Namaz/ AMU: Ex-city chief of Yuva Vahini among 2 arrested youth/


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
07 May 2018:20 Shaban 1439: Vol:10, No:15
INDIA
CJI impeachment notice: Congress MPs challenge Naidu’s decision in SC
New Delhi: 2 weeks after Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu rejected the impeachment notice against CJI Dipak Misra, 2 Congress parliamentarians on Monday challenged the decision in the Supreme Court and urged Justice Chelameswar for urgent listing of the petition.Congress MPs in the Rajya Sabha – Pratap Singh Bajwa from Punjab and Amee Harshadray Yajnik from Gujarat – in their joint petition said that once an impeachment motion was signed by the requisite number of MPs, RS chairman had no option but to constitute an inquiry committee to investigate the allegations against CJI. Petitioners also doubted the way Naidu handled the whole situation, saying the notice by the opposition MPs was given on April 20 and it was rejected on April 24.Justice Chelameswar, however, said since there was a Constitution bench’s decision on CJI being the master of the roster, the matter should be mentioned before Dipak Misra. To this, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who has promised not to practice before Misra’s court till CJI’s retirement, contended that since the impeachment notice was against CJI, senior-most judge of the SC could direct for listing of the petition. The SC bench, also consisting of Justice SK Kaul, however, did not pass any order and asked Congress leaders to return on Tuesday.Meanwhile,the SC also adjourned the hearing on a separate PIL that sought to restrain media from reporting and MPs from making any public statement with respect to impeachment motion against CJI. indianexpress
No precedent of govt returning collegium’s recommendation: SC judge Kurian Joseph
Referring to the Centre’s move to withhold the Supreme Court collegium’s recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand Chief Justice KM Joseph, senior SC judge Kurian Joseph on Sunday said “what happened should not have happened”. After releasing the autobiography of ex-MP Thampan Thomas in Kochi, said, “Unprecedented things are happening now.That is why more detailed discussion is needed on the issue.’’ He said things have never happened in this manner so far. It was the first time that the list of names recommended by the collegium has been shortened and sent back. “There is a general feeling that such a thing should not have happened. It is expected that there would be discussions on why it happened and to see such things don’t happen in future,’’ he said. Indianexpress
Haryana Waqf Board demands govt to remove encroachment from 19 mosques, its properties for Namaz
Gurugram:Haryana Waqf Board has submitted a list of 19 mosques/properties in Gurugram that are lying unused either due to alleged opposition by locals or encroachments. The step comes in the wake of continued protests by right-wing organisations against offering of namaz in open spaces in the city. The board said that the sites could be used for Friday prayers. Submitting the list, Estate Officer of Gurugram Waqf Board Jamaluddin demanded that local administration remove any encroachment at these sites and provide police protection to those offering prayers at these places. Jamaluddin said that the Waqf Board was ready to renovate or build mosques at these properties and deploy Imams at its own expenses.“If the administration can remove encroachments from these 19 sites, most of the people who are forced to offer prayers in open spaces can be accommodated and the matter can be resolved amicably,” he said.In his letter, Jamaluddin also referred to an over 2-acre plot acquired by HUDA in Chauma village in Palam Vihar. He said that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had already directed the HUDA to provide alternate land to the board in return for the plot.As per the list, 7 mosques have been allegedly encroached upon in Wazirabad, Daulatpur-Nasriabad, Dhankot, Naurganpur, Jharsa, Badshahpur and Farrukhnagar villages. Similarly, 6 mosques are not being used for offering prayers at Bhondsi, Khurampur, Dhankot, Meoka and Garhi Harsaru villages due to alleged opposition by the locals.“Our attempts to build a mosque on Waqf Board plots in Jharsa,Jharsa-Fazilpur, Naurangpur and Meoka have been thwarted by the locals,” said  Jamaluddin.thehindu
Namaz row: Don’t we perform yoga in parks or jagran on roads, asks Congress leader
Gurugram: Remarks attributed to Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday that namaz should be read in “mosques or idgahs” or in “private spaces” evoked sharp reactions from Opposition parties in the state that drew parallels with yoga and jagran sessions being organised in parks or on streets. Both Congress and INLD accused ruling BJP of deliberately playing the communal card to attract Hindu voters ahead of the 2019 general election. Prodded by saffron outfits to make his stand clear, Khattar had purportedly said “namaz should be read in a masjid or an idgah, and if short of space, they (Muslims) should read it in their private spaces.” CM issued a clarification later in the day, saying he had never stopped anyone from offering namaz.“Muslims have been offering namaz in the open for over a decade in Gurugram and everything was smooth until now. With 2019 polls approaching, they want to divide the society on religious lines. This is purely a political game to get the attention of Hindu voters,” said Captain Ajay Yadav, who was the power minister in Congress govt.“Instead of making such statements, CM should allot places large enough for offering namaz. They (Muslims) congregate on the streets because they do not have a place big enough. And why blame them alone? Don’t we do yoga in parks and at times have jagran on the roads?” he asked.  Echoing the Congress, INLD, too, accused BJP of trying to polarise the voters. “BJP is trying to divide the electorate on communal grounds, keeping in mind the approaching elections at the national and state level. It is the govt’s responsibility to ensure the Muslims feel safe and secure. Govt should also find alternative land where namaz can be offered,” said INLD leader Gopi Chand Gehlot.Gurugram administration has said it is in the process of identifying temporary sites where Muslims can offer prayers.Independent MLA and Haryana Waqf board chairman Raees Khan, known for his BJP leanings, claimed he was unaware of the issue until Friday.
Offering namaz with motive of land grab cannot be allowed: Haryana minister Vij
New Delhi:A day after Haryana CM  Manohar Lal Khattar, BJP minister Anil Vij too weighed in on the matter saying “offering prayers at a place with the intention of grabbing land is wrong and will not be allowed”.“Occasionally if people want to read namaz, they have the freedom to practice their religion. However, offering namaz at a place with the intention of grabbing land is not right. No permission can be granted for this,” he said. indianexpress
 ‘Pray in mosques’: Why Gurgaon’s Muslims might not be able to follow Haryana CM’s advice
Khattar does u-turn on Namaz, assures action against those who disrupt
A day after saying that people should not offer Namaz at public places, Haryana CM  Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday took a u-turn on the issue. BJP leader has now said that action will be taken against those who disrupt offering of Namaz.zeenews
2 right-wing Hindu activists held for violence on AMU campus, exams postponed
New Delhi: 2 persons were on Sunday arrested in connection with the violence on AMU campus over Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s portrait on May 2. Aligarh SSP Ajay Kumar Sahni identified the 2 people arrested on Sunday as Amit Goswami and Yogesh Vashney. Javed Khan, SHO, Civil Lines, said that Vashney belonged to the Hindu Jagran Manch. Goswami identifies himself as a right-wing Hindu leader.The students of AMU had alleged in their FIR that around 25 youths, who belonged to the Hindu Yuva Vahini, tried to enter the campus on May 2. AMU students have been protesting outside the campus for the last 5 days demanding the arrest of people who had allegedly stormed into the campus and assaulted students. The students had also alleged that policemen injured more than 12 students in lathicharge on the same day. Meanwhile, a university spokesperson said the examinations for the 2017-18 session will start from May 12. Exams were earlier scheduled to begin from May 7. indianexpress
AMU: Ex-city chief of Yuva Vahini among 2 arrested youth
Muslims who want Jinnah portrait insulting forefathers: Union minister VK Singh
New Delhi: Union minister VK Singh has warned Muslims, who supported the presence of Pakistan founder’s portrait in AMU, and said they were “insulting” their forefathers who had rejected his ideology. “If you are a Muslim and want Jinnah’s portrait on your walls, then this is a huge insult of your forefathers who had rejected his ideology. You are an Indian today because of them,” Singh said in a social media post. “If you are not a Muslim, but support the portrait’s presence because you think that protests against it curbs your freedom, then you should think if you would like on the walls of your house a picture of somebody whose hands are stained with the blood of your own people,” he said in another post.indianexpress
Azadi slogans in ‘AMU video’ against right wing groups, not India: Official
Aligarh:Even as the indefinite protest and boycott of academic activities by students in AMU continued, a video of protesting students shouting slogans of “Azadi”, apparently against right-wing groups, went viral on social media.AMU PRO, professor Shafey Kidwai, said, “Students were on an indefinite protest at Bab-e-Syed gate of the university, and were raising the slogan - Bhagwa Rang aur Aatank se Azadi. These are not anti-India slogans, and do not relate to the unity, integrity and sovereignty of India.”He added, “The students are protesting, so that the police and administration act against the so-called Hindu organisations, which had given provocative speeches and raised highly objectionable slogans. A case was also registered in this context.”PTI
Kashmir University professor among 5 militants killed in Shopian encounter, 5 civilians die in protests
Srinagar: 5 Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including an assistant professor at Kashmir University, were killed on Sunday in an encounter in Shopian district. As protesters clashed with the forces near the encounter site and later across south Kashmir, five civilians were killed and over a hundred were injured. Many of them had pellet injuries in their eyes, said doctors who attended to them in Shopian and Srinagar.J&K CM  Mehbooba Mufti termed the deaths of civilians “depressing” and called for “political intervention”.Encounter and the subsequent killing of the militant commanders triggered massive protests across south Kashmir. 5 civilians were killed and over a hundred were injured when they clashed with police, army and paramilitary forces in several parts of south Kashmir. Shopian CMO Dr Rashid Ahmad SAID that at least 85 people had been brought in with injuries to the district hospital. “We received 73 patients who had been hit by pellets and 12 who had been hit by bullets,” he said. “We referred 25 seriously injured patients to hospitals in Srinagar.”Doctors at SMHS Hospital in Srinagar said they had received around 40 injured people at the hospital today.A doctor in the ophthalmology ward of the hospital said 16 boys had been hit by pellets in their eyes.Separatist organisations have called for a shutdown on Monday across Kashmir Valley and asked people to organise a sit-in outside Srinagar’s Civil Secretariat when it reopens on Monday after govt’s Durbar move from Jammu to Srinagar.On Sunday evening, as the militants were buried in Shopian and Kulgam, thousands of people attended their funerals and militants turned up to offer gun salutes.indianexpress
Shopian encounter: Till 2 days ago, professor taught at Kashmir University
Chunduna (ganderbal):Till 2 days ago, professor taught at Kashmir University On Sunday morning, Rafi, along with his 4 associates, all top militant commanders of the Hizbul Mujahideen, was killed in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Shopian. Rafi had been a militant for only 36 hours.On Sunday morning, Abdul Raheem Bhat got a call from his son Mohammad Rafi Bhat. “I am trapped,” he told his father. “Please forgive me for my mistakes. I am going to meet Allah”.An assistant professor of sociology at University of Kashmir in Srinagar, where he taught for the last 2 years, Rafi had been missing since Friday afternoon. On Sunday morning, Rafi, along with his 4 associates, all top militant commanders of the Hizbul Mujahideen, was killed in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Shopian. Rafi had been a militant for only 36 hours.On Friday morning, Rafi left his home in Ganderbal for the university, where he gave his lectures. When he didn’t return home that day, the following morning, his family filed a missing person report. As news spread, his students at the University took to the streets to protest his disappearance. A worried Kashmir University wrote to DGP SP Vaid requesting help to trace Rafi.But on Sunday morning, the father finally heard from Rafi – he was on the phone, saying he was trapped in Shopian.Rafi had recently been shortlisted for the post of assistant professor at the University of Hyderabad, his name topping the list of those who had made the cut. “On Friday, he told us he was leaving for Hyderabad,” said one of his students, among the mourners at Rafi’s Chunduna village in Ganderbal. “He was a brilliant teacher. Before leaving, he advised us to study hard.”32-year-old Rafi, who completed his doctorate in sociology last Nov.from Kashmir University, had qualified NET twice and was a Junior Research Fellow.“He was a brilliant student and a teacher as well,” said one of his teachers. “He qualified most of the competitive examinations in his subject and had 29 publications to his credit.” HoD of sociology at Kashmir University, Peerzada Amin, said, “Rafi was very competent. His death has came as a very big shock for all of us.”Villagers of Chunduna in Ganderbal remember him as a “pious and down-to-earth” man. indianexpress
Last of Burhan Wani’s boys killed, marking end of the 11 who posed in photo that went viral
Prof’s killing in encounter shows just jobs and development not answer to Kashmir’s issues: Omar
Srinagar:Just providing jobs and ensuring development is not the solution that will end “violence and alienation” in Kashmir, Omar Abdullah said on Sunday referring to the killing in an encounter of an assistant professor who allegedly had joined Hizbul Mujahideen. “Sadly this is also an answer to those who claim jobs & development are the solution to the violence & alienation in Kashmir. This is another tragic development in a steady stream of tragedies in Kashmir,” Abdullah tweeted.PTI
Kathua rape-murder case: Don’t need CBI probe, if not police, who to trust, says Mehbooba Mufti
J&K CM  Mehbooba Mufti has said there is “absolutely no need for a CBI probe” into the rape and murder of an 8-year-old Bakerwal girl in Kathua and “if you don’t trust J&K Police, there is no one left to be trusted in the state”.Mufti said that “to question the officers of Crime Branch team based on their religion or which region they belong to is shameful and dangerous”. “Each time there is a crime, we can’t organise a referendum to choose the team of investigators,” she said, adding, “Those who question Crime Branch probe have a vested interest and their aim is to protect the perpetrators of this heinous crime”.On Monday, the Supreme Court is hearing a petition filed by the biological father of the victim who has sought transfer of the trial to Chandigarh. J&K Govt is against transferring the trial outside the state. A Public Interest Litigation seeking the case to be handed over to CBI has also been filed but the SC is yet to admit it. In its report to the SC, Bar Council of India had claimed that “the demand for a CBI inquiry. appears to be justifiable”. Several leaders associated with BJP and the Sangh have been part of the Hindu Ekta Manch, a group formed in Kathua to support the accused and demand a CBI probe into the case.indianexpress
Have devoted my life to ensure justice for my daughter: Kathua rape victim’s father
Jammu: Father of an 8-year-old girl, who was gang-raped and killed in Kathua in J&K , said on Sunday that he has full faith in the judiciary and has devoted his life to ensure justice is done for his daughter.“I am satisfied with police investigation and will not rest till justice is done in the case. I want the accused to be given exemplary punishment for their brutality,” father of the victim told PTI on phone from Ramban district where he along with his family has been camping for the last few days.PTI
18-yrs old Rehaan’s family alleges police picked up, killed UP ‘gangster’
Muzaffarnagar: The only eyewitnesses to the shootout between two alleged criminals and the UP Police on Muzaffarnagar-Thana Bhawan Road late on Thursday are police themselves. 2 individuals who might have been present along the stretch lined with mango orchards and sugarcane and wheat fields, weren’t there — 35-year-old tubewell operator Waseem, and 60-year-old Mukesh, who was tilling land next to the dirt lane in which the encounter happened, had both gone home early. 18-year-old Rehaan was shot dead by a police SWAT team comprising a sub-inspector and 5 constables. According to police, Rehaan was a member of the Mukeem Kala gang, who was wanted for crimes including murder, and carried a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head.This was the 50th encounter killing of an alleged criminal in UP since Yogi Govt took over in March 2017.Rehaan’s family lives in Shoron village in Muzaffarnagar district’s Shahpur area. On Saturday, a lock hung on the door, and neighbours said the family had moved out of the village to Shahpur town less than a month ago. In the Islamabad neighbourhood of Shahpur town, Rehaan’s brother Afsal said the family had lost touched with Rehaan a few months ago. “We had not spoken to him for about four-five months, and did not know where he was. He had been accused in a couple of cases, and on April 11, the police had come to our Shoron house and taken away a lot of our belongings, including all documents.”Rehaan’s family claimed he was “around 17-18 years of age”. While the official statement on the encounter incident from Muzaffarnagar SSP’s office said the family had been informed about Rehaan’s death, Afsal claimed: “We saw it last night on the news. We haven’t received any call from the police. My brother wasn’t killed in a chase, he had been picked up by the police a couple of days ago. We will prove it. We haven’t been given any documents, FIR or post mortem report.”indianexpress
Kerala woman ‘confined’ by mother for 2 yrs for affair with Muslim rescued
The Police have rescued a 24-year-old Hindu woman, a native of Kerala, who was allegedly confined by her mother in a rented house in Mangaluru for the past two years with the help of some BJP men for having an affair with a Muslim youth. Anjali Prakash was recused on May 1 after the Mangaluru police in Karnataka received a tip off from their counterpart in Kerala that she had been confined in rented house by her mother Vineetha. The woman is a native of Guruvayur in Thrissur.Mangaluru DCP Uma Prasanth said: “Woman was rescued from the custody of her mother. She (Anjali) was produced before a court, which sent her to a rescue home after she refused to go with her mother. We have arrested her mother in the case and are looking for the involvement of others, if any.”In recently released video, Anjali had claimed that she was detained in Mangaluru with the support of BJP. “Such things could not be confirmed now. We are investigating into the allegation she has raised,” DCP said. The incident had come to light Saturday after Anjali sent out a video seeking help.In the clip, Anjali was heard saying that could be her last video. “I have no means to escape. If anything happens to me tomorrow, my mother would be responsible for it. I have suffered enough in the last 2 years for having loved a Muslim. I have been admitted to Amrita hospital for mental treatment for 2 months. After that, for another 2 months, I have been at an orphanage run by RSS. I have been here in Manguluru for last several months. There is full support from BJP…I have suffered enough. I am not allowed to go out. I am languishing in this situation as none has intervened to save me,” Anjali is heard as saying in the video.indianexpress
Adult Couple Can Live Together Without Marriage: SC
The Supreme Court today said that an adult couple has the right to live together without marriage.The top court held that live-in relationships were now even recognized by the Legislature and they had found a place under the provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.Observations came while the apex court was hearing a plea filed by one Nandakumar against a Kerala HCorder annulling his marriage with Thushara on the ground that he had not attained the legal age of marriage.Prohibition of Child Marriage Act states that a girl can't marry before the age of 18, and a boy before 21. Nandakumar, who had approached the top court, will turn 21 on May 30 this year.The HC had also granted the custody of Thushara to her father after noting that she was not Nandakumar's "lawfully wedded" wife.A bench of justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said their marriage could not said to be "null and void" merely because Nandakumar was less than 21 years of age at the time of marriage."Appellant no 1 as well as Thushara are Hindus. Such a marriage is not a void marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and as per the provisions of section 12, which can be attracted in such a case, at the most, marriage would be a voidable marriage...PTI
7 Indian engineers abducted by Taliban in Afghanistan “by mistake”
7 Indians, reportedly working in a power company in Afghanistan, were on Sunday abducted by unidentified armed men in northern Baghlan province with external affairs ministry saying they are in touch with Afghan authorities to ascertain details of the incident.The armed men abducted the employees at Indian company KEC in Bagh-e-Shamal village of the provincial capital Pul-e-Khomre, TOLOnews reported, citing local officials.They were abducted while travelling to the area, where the company owns an electricity sub-station contract, the report said.TOLOnews quoted Bagland governor Abdulhai Nemati confirming that Taliban carried out the abductions, and the insurgent group had moved the Indians to Dand-e-Shahabuddin area of Pul-e-Khumri city.Nemati said that the provincial Govt  was in touch with the Taliban via local people. The report claims that Taliban mistook the Indians for Afghan Govt employees. Tribal elders in the province are reportedly mediating with the Taliban for the release of Indian employees.KEC is one of the largest Indian companies in Afghanistan that is responsible for electricity supply in the country, the report said.nationalheraldindia
Afghan officials working with tribal elders to rescue abducted 7 Indian engineers
From Infrastructure to edu, India’s $2-billion role in Afghan
New Delhi:Abduction of 7 Indians has brought attention to India’s projects in Afghanistan, which have crossed $2 billion in the last 16 years.Last Sept., 2 countries agreed to initiate an ambitious and forward-looking ‘New Development Partnership’, according to which India agreed to take up 116 high-impact community development projects to be implemented in 31 provinces of Afghanistan, including in the fields of education, health, agriculture, irrigation, drinking water, renewable energy, flood control, micro-hydropower, sports infrastructure and administrative infrastructure. indianexpress
Saudi reforms wind yet to impress Indian clerics
While the winds of “reform” are blowing across Saudi desert making headlines every day, Islamic clerics, scholars and academicians in India are unimpressed yet observant of the undergoing changes in the historically conservative society of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). In the recent past, KSA’s crown prince Mohammad-bin-Salman has gained steady admirers for his “progressive” initiatives for Saudi women and culture, his action-oriented approach to curb corruption and initiatives to rein in extremism. Nonetheless, Muslim thinkers in India are not impressed and do not see these changes as “reforms”, let alone consider it as a beginning for “Islamic reformation” to counter religious extremism that has gripped Islam worldwide.Dr Tahir Mahmood, ex-chairman of National Minorities Commission said, “These are not reforms and this is no reformation of Islam. This is restoration of Islam to the religion it was meant to be which until now was distorted by the Saudis. Salim Engineer, General Secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind, said: “Reforms are required in laws made by humans; ‘deen’ does not require reforms. What deen requires is ‘Ijtehad’. It means implementation of the scripture addressing the needs of the prevailing circumstances. So as far as the question of reforms in KSA stands, it looks to me that whatever is happening there is a consequence of their internal matters. It has nothing to do with reformation of Islam.”Most of the clergymen that this paper spoke to did not want to indulge in the subject, saying that this does not concern them. Clerics in India do not see KSA’s social changes as a reformation of Islam, rather as an indicator of a Prince who is taking a lot of heat from US and Israel, suggesting that if the geo-political realities of KSA would not have come under duress, then the kingdom would not have gone about “reforming” its mannerisms. A cleric affiliated with a popular Jamaat based in New Delhi, who did not want to be identified, said, “These so-called reforms are not being seen as a sign of a strong ruler. The media in the West has been applauding the Prince for being progressive and bold enough to be willing to bring change, but we understand that KSA’s reality today is different. Also, allowing women to drive, attend soccer matches have nothing to do with Islam. These were restrictions imposed by their own society; religion had no role to play in it. Islam never said that women cannot drive.”Sunday Guardian
UPSC exam: Muslim aspirants to get free coaching at Haj Houses from nxt year
 New Delhi: Buoyed by 51 Muslim candidates clearing the civil services examination this year, the Haj Committee of India has decided to provide free coaching across states and union territories from next year.UPSC civil services aspirants are being provided free coaching at the committee's Mumbai-based headquarters for the last seven years. 2 of the students who studied there were selected for the prestigious service this year.Haj Committee of India had recently sent a proposal to the Minority Affairs Ministry about providing coaching for the civil services in Haj Houses in all states and union territories. The ministry has accepted the proposal.outlookindia

WORLD
'US Embassy' road signs appear in Jerusalem
'US Embassy' road signs went up in Jerusalem on Monday ahead of next week's opening of the mission in the city.The signs, in English, Hebrew and Arabic, were installed by workmen close to the south Jerusalem location of a US consulate building that will be repurposed as the embassy when it is officially relocated on May 14 from Tel Aviv, Reuters news agency reported.In Dec., US President Donald Trump called Jerusalem the capital of Israel and launched the process to transfer his country's embassy to the city.The move prompted international condemnation and triggered a wave protest in the occupied Palestinian territories.aljazeera
Israel attacks Gaza after flaming kites set farmland alight
Israel has carried out an air raid in northern Gaza Strip, saying it was retaliating for Palestinians setting fire to Israeli land.In recent days, Palestinian protesters have used flaming objects attached to kites to set fire to agricultural land just over the Gaza border.The target of the Israeli strike was a location from where the kites were being launched, according to army spokesperson Avichay Adraee.No casualties were reported on the Palestinian side as a result of the attack. aljazeera
Lebanon: Hezbollah-Amal Movement in lead after elections
The political coalition of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement is leading in preliminary results from Sunday’s Lebanese general elections.The coalition is ahead of President Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement and PM Saad Hariri’s Future Movement, according to preliminary results Anadolu Agency gathered on Monday from sources at various parties. Current results indicate the Hezbollah-Amal coalition will seize more than 34 seats out of 128. Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement is expected to come in second place with at least 26 seats. This suggests a potential coalition Govt  formed by Hezbollah-Amal coalition and Free Patriotic Movement.Meanwhile, Hariri’s Future Movement is expected to claim at least 18 seats.The results also indicated more gains for the Lebanese Forces party lead by Samir Geagea with 15 seats.In an unprecedented move, civil society broke with the traditional political mainstream as seven independent candidates, including 5 women, won seats in parliament.Sunday saw Lebanon’s first parliamentary elections in 9 years with a low turnout of 49.20 % .The polls witnessed a total of 917 candidates from several political parties vying for 128 seats — 64 for Muslims and 64 for Christians — in the national assembly.MEMO
Tunisia's Ennahdha tops landmark local vote: state TV
Tunisia's Ennahdha Movement has scooped the largest share of the vote in the country's first free municipal elections since the removal of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his Govt  in 2011, according to reports on state-run TV.Ennahdha party reportedly won an estimated 27.5% of votes in Sunday's ballot, ahead of the Nidaa Tounes party, which came second with an estimated 22.5 percent.In total, more than 57,000 candidates - half of them women and young people - ran for office in Tunisia's 350 municipalities. Official results are expected to be announced by May 9.Analysts predict that Ennahdha and Nidaa Tounes, Tunisia's 2 political heavyweights, will come out on top in nearly every district. While Tunisia has voted in parliamentary and presidential elections since 2011, municipal polls have been delayed 4 times due to logistic, administrative and political hurdles. Sunday's vote will be followed by legislative and presidential elections in 2019.aljazeera
Ennahda claims victory in landmark local elections
Saudi has been holding thousands in detention without trial for 6 months: HRW
Saudi Arabia has detained thousands of people for at least six months without trial, international non-Govt al organisation Human Rights Watch said on Sunday. As many as 2,305 people have been detained in this way, one of them for over a decade, NGO said. Human Rights Watch analysed data from files belonging to the kingdom’s interior ministry. “If Saudi authorities can hold a detainee for months on end with no charges, it’s clear that Saudi criminal justice system remains broken and unjust, and it only seems to be getting worse,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East &North Africa director of HRW said.“It seems that Mohammad bin Salman’s ‘Vision2030’ plan better describes the length of detentions without charge than an aspirational time horizon for reforms.” NGO said that the number of people in detention without trial had increased drastically since 2014, when only 293 individuals were held for over 6 months. HRW demanded that Saudi authorities stop holding people “arbitrarily”.It said it had written to Sheikh Saud Al-Mojeb, Saudi attorney general in Feb.about the detentions, but received no response. NGO said the detentions violate Saudi’s own Code of Criminal Procedure, which provides that a person may be detained without charge for a maximum of five days, renewable up to 6 months by an order of Bureau of Public Prosecution. “Mohammad bin Salman’s promises to modernise and strengthen the rule of law mean very little when the authorities can lock away thousands of people for years and throw away key,” Whitson said.scroll.in
HRW asks UAE for whereabouts of Dubai princess
HRW has called on UAE authorities to reveal the whereabouts and condition of a daughter of Dubai’s ruler, following reports that she had been forcibly returned after fleeing the Gulf Arab state.The rights group identified the daughter as Sheikha Latifa bin Mohammad al-Maktoum, 32, and said in a statement issued over the weekend that failure to disclose her status could “qualify as an enforced disappearance, given the evidence suggesting that she was last seen as UAE authorities were detaining her”.UAE officials did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.middleeastmonitor
Outcry as UAE, Bahrain send cycling teams in Israel
Palestinian Olympic Committee (POC) has blasted Bahrain and UAE for sending 2 cycling teams to participate in the 101st Giro d'Italia cycling competition, which kicked off on Friday in Jerusalem.For the first time in its history, a competitive leg of the world-famous race was held this year outside of Europe.After starting in Jerusalem, 21-day race continued over the weekend from Haifa to Tel Aviv and from Be'er Sheva to Eilat in the south. The event, which features 176 cyclists from 22 teams, is now set to continue in Italy where it will conclude in the capital, Rome.However, decision to kick off the event in Jerusalem was met with widespread condemnation from Palestinian officials and activists who accused organisers of "whitewashing Israel's ongoing crimes".aljazeera
OIC to assume 'stronger role' over Rohingya crisis
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation(OIC) has expressed regret for not "responding immediately" to the Rohingya crisis, while vowing to assume a "strong" role in dealing with the ongoing situation in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Yousef bin Ahmad al-Othaimeen, OIC secretary-general, urged on Sunday the organisation's member states to defend the Rohingya, hundreds of thousands of whom have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh as a result of what the UN has described as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing" by Myanmar's security forces."We affirm the commitment of OIC to continue to act at all international and regional levels in support of the cause of the Rohingya people," said al-Othaimeen, speaking at the 45th Session of the OIC's Council of Foreign Ministers n the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.Prior to the two-day OIC summit, a delegation from the 57-member organisation visited Rohingya refugee camps in southern Bangladesh.aljazeera
Egypt’s minister: Public debt increased fivefold in last 5 yr
Egypt’s Minister of Finance Amr Al-Garhi has confirmed that his country’s public debt has risen fivefold in the last 5 years and is expected to continue to rise in the foreseeable future. The minister said the Govt is working on a medium-term plan to reduce public debt levels from 107%  of GDP in the previous fiscal year 2016 -2017 to 80%  by 2020.MEMO
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 3:02 PM)

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