News and views across the globe.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

9 May: Assam citizens act: Names of rejected NRC applicants will be kept confidential, says SC/ India could face impact of US decision to pull out of Iran nuclear deal/ Tension at Jamia Millia after anti-Jinnah rally



NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
09 May 2018:22 Shaban 1439: Vol:10, No:17
INDIA
Assam citizens act: Names of rejected NRC applicants will be kept confidential, says SC
Guwahati: Supreme Court has ruled that names of the rejected applicants of final National Register of Citizens (NRC) list will be kept confidential. Applicants will be informed about their application status personally so as to ensure their right to privacy. As per schedule, the second list of the NRC will be published on June 30.On Tuesday, a Division Bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton Fali Nariman took an update on the progress of NRC exercise by State Coordinator Prateek Hajela.Apart from proposal to maintain confidentiality, Hajela also suggested that applicants should be called to designated NRC seva kendras for verification of documents instead of individual household visits, which has been the usual practice up till now.Court has accepted both proposals. NRC, which was first prepared in 1951, is getting an update to detect illegal immigrants in Assam. On Dec.31, 2017, 1.9 crore names out of 3.29 crore applicants were published as part of the first draft of NRC.indianexpress
10,000 fake voter IDs in Karnataka: Cong demands resignation of HRD Minister Javdekar for ‘lying’
 Congress has demanded the resignation of Union HRD Minister Prakash Javdekar after it emerged that house, where 10,000 fake voter IDs were recovered from in Bengaluru, belonged to an ex BJP councilor. BJP on Tuesday urged Election Commission to countermand the assembly election in Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency of Bengaluru suburb after about 10,000 allegedly fake voter IDs were found in the locality. Taking to Twitter Javdekar has written, “BJP demands countermanding of elections in Rajarajeshwari Nagar in light of latest revelations of tens of thousands of fake voter IDs and empty packets of hard currency.This is Congress conspiracy to rig election in the face of their imminent defeat.”However, on Wednesday, the son of ex BJP councilor, Shridhar, told Times Now that Javdekar was wrong to accuse that her mother was ever a Congress member.He said that his mother Manjula was still an active BJP member and had never joined the Congress. He dared Javdekar to furnish evidence in support of his allegation that Manjula had joined Congress in the past.“She’s not campaigning for BJP candidate because of the health issue,” Shridhar added. Shridhar’s cousin, Rakesh, had alleged that Manjula had left BJP and was campaigning for the Congress candidate in this year’s assembly polls. Shridhar said,“Do get me the evidence and then I will talk.”The latest revelation prompted Congress leaders to demand Javdekar’s resignation for ‘lying.” Sanjay Jha, Congress spokesperson, tweeted, “Dear Mr@PrakashJavdekar,You think you should formally tender your resignation for this disgusting farce?' Election Commission on Tuesday had said that it will register an FIR on the matter and take action after investigation. Assembly polls will be held on 12 May, while counting will take place on 15 May.jantakareporter
BJP Members Detained in Assam After Recovery of Flag Asking People to Join ISIS
New Delhi:Assam police has detained 6 alleged BJP members for questioning over recovery of a purported ISIS flag in Lower Assam.As per local media reports, on May 7 night, acting on a tip-off, police in Nalbari district’s Belsor area picked up the BJP members for their alleged role in sticking the flag to a tree in the area. On May 3, villagers found the flag with the message “Join the ISIS” written in Arabic stuck to a tree in a paddy field in Koihata area of the district, following which they informed the nearby Belsore police station. Police took off the flag and told local reporters that it would conduct an inquiry as to who might be responsible for it. The incident created a flutter in the area as 6 similar flags with “ISIS NE” inscribed on them were found in the state’s Goalpara district on May 2.Flags were found just days ahead of the visit of 16-member joint parliamentary committee headed by BJP MP Rajendra Agarwal set up to hear representations regarding Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016. thewire
 India could face impact of US decision to pull out of Iran nuclear deal
India could face the impact of US decision to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal as well as instituting the “highest level of economic sanctions” in several ways:The impact on world oil prices will be the immediately visible impact of US decision. Iran is presently India’s third biggest supplier and any increase in prices will hit both inflation levels as well as the Indian Rupee, which breached ₹67 to US Dollar this week. In the past week alone, crude prices have crossed $70/bbl (barrel) level, touching a 4-year high. India’s moves over the last few years to develop berths at Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar was a key part of its plans to circumvent Pakistan’s blocks on trade with Afghanistan, and the new US sanctions could slow or even bring those plans to a halt depending on how strictly they are implemented. India has already committed about $85 million to Chabahar development with plans for a total of $500 million on the port, while a railway line to Afghanistan could cost as much as $1.6 billion.  Beyond Chabahar, India has been a founder of INSTC since it was ratified in 2002, that starts from Iran and aims to cut right across Central Asia to Russia over a 7,200-km multi-mode network, cutting down transportation and time taken by trade by about 30%. Plans for INSTC sped up after JCPOA was signed in 2015 and sanctions on Iran were lifted. New US sanctions will affect these plans immediately.India joined Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) along with Pakistan last year, and both will be formally admitted in June 2018, when PM Narendra Modi travels to the Chinese city of Qingdao for the SCO summit. This year, Chinese officials say they will consider inducting Iran into 8-member Eurasian security organisation. If the proposal is accepted by SCO which is led by China and Russia, India will become a member of a bloc that will be seen as anti-American, and will run counter to some of the govt’s other initiatives. India has long been a proponent of a “rules-based order” that depends on multilateral consensus and an adherence to commitments made by countries on the international stage. By walking out of JCPOA that was signed by Obama administration, US Govt has overturned the precept that such international agreements are made by “States” not just with prevailing Govt s or regimes. The hindu
Tension at Jamia Millia after anti-Jinnah rally
Tension prevailed at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia after a group of students and alleged right-wing activists yesterday held a rally and shouted slogans against Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Group marched from Okhla’s Sarai Jullena area to the university’s main gate around 5.30pm, reported TOI.They shouted slogans like “Jinnah premi Bharat chhodo”, “Vande Mataram” and “Hinduon ko darana band karo”.“It’s an attempt to repeat what had happened in AMU,” said Mohammad Salim,PhD scholar. AMU campus has been tense ever since members of ABVP and Hindu Yuva Vahini entered the premises demanding that the portrait of Jinnah be removed from the students’ union hall. The protestors at Jamia, on the other hand, said they held the rally against the discrimination that Hindu students face.“We were receiving complaints of Hindu students being harassed and threatened by fellow students at the campus,” Jatin Jain, a BSc student at the university and one of the protestors, told DNA. “Many students were bullied on social media on the basis of their identity for posting something on AMU-Jinnahcontroversy.” Students alleged that most of the protestors were outsiders and demanded that the administration file a police complaint in the matter. “How can outsiders enter our campus and create tension like this,” said Imran Choudhary, head of Jamia’s Students’ Union. “Administration should immediately look into this.” scroll.in
Right-wing activists protest outside Jamia in Delhi over Jinnah row, raise provocative slogans: Report
After AMU, ruckus in Jamia over Jinnah
Why no protests over Jinnah’s portraits in Sabarmati Ashram, Bombay HC, asks AMU VC; meets Rajnath, says students’ stir not linked to Jinnah portrait row
Professor Tariq Mansoor, V-C of AMU slammed the media reports which claimed that protests in AMU campus carried out by university students were in defence of Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s portrait. Mansoor met Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi over the Jinnah portrait row. V-C, while calling it a “non-issue”, is quoted by ANI as saying:“Jinnah’s portrait has been here (in the campus) since 1938. Jinnah’s portrait is at many places including Bombay HC and Sabarmati Ashram. No one was worried about the portraits until now, I think it is a non-issue.” “Students agitation had no relation to Jinnah portrait row, they were protesting against people who came to AMU to disturb peace on May 2. Spoken to chief secretary for a judicial inquiry into the incident,” the V-C added.On Tuesday, AMU V-C had urged students to not let their studies suffer due to the unrest in the varsity. In an open letter to the students, he urged them “not to fall into the trap of certain forces that are bent upon destroying the image of our alma mater and are playing with your bright future”.In his letter, Mansoor said he was pained that a negative image of the university is being propagated through some channels of the media, using “half-truths”.indianexpress, newsx
Muslims Don't Believe In Photos, They Should Not Worry About Jinnah's Portrait': Ramdev
Yoga guru and entrepreneur Baba Ramdev today said Muslims, who do not "attach importance" To pictures or idols, should not worry about portraits of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Ramdev was responding to a query on the controversy over the demand for removal of a portrait of Jinnah from the premises of AMU."The ghost of Jinnah is hogging a lot of limelight. Muslims ought not worry about the Pakistan founder's pictures as they do not attach importance to photographs or idols in keeping with the tenets of their faith," he told reporters here."Jinnah can never be an ideal figure to those who believe in country's unity and integrity," said Ramdev, who was in Nalanda of Bihar to hold yoga classes. "Those having a problem with 'Gayatri Mantra' can practice yoga by reciting the name of Allah. Also, no 'tantra-mantra'(sorcery)is involved in yoga,"he said.Outlook
Fatwa against Jinnah portrai
Amid row over the presence of a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah at AMU, a Bareilly Dargah in UP has issued a fatwa asking Muslims to not stand by Pakistan’s founder.“Dargah Aala Hazrat issued fatwa that any Muslim should not stand by Md. Ali Jinnah, if they do so that’ll be wrong. It also states that putting up his portrait is wrong. Jinnah is not an idol for Muslims, he is founder of an enemy nation,” ANI quoted Aitul from Dargah Aala Hazrat of Bareilly as saying.financialexpress
CJI impeachment: Prashant Bhushan files RTI, asks how Constitution bench was formed
Advocate Prashant Bhushan has filed a Right to Information application seeking details of how a five-judge Constitution bench was formed to hear the petition challenging the rejection of the impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra, reported Live Law. After the court refused to provide a copy of the order on Tuesday, two Congress MPs had withdrawn their petition challenging the rejection.In his RTI query, Bhushan asked two questions. First, if an administrative order listed the petition before the Constitution bench. Second, who passed the administrative order. He has also sought a copy of the order.It is not clear who formed the bench – Misra, being the chief justice and Master of the Roster, decides which cases judges hear, but the petition directly involves him. None of the five senior-most judges of the Supreme Court are on the Constitution bench. Four of them had made allegations against Misra in a press conference in January.scroll.in
Victims of UP extra-judicial killings approach NHRC, activists question police theory
New Delhi: Noted lawyer and human rights activist Prashant Bhushan has said that the so called encounters in UP are not encounters but they are cold-blooded murders under UP govt.After releasing ‘Countering Silence’ report on extra judicial killings in UP in a press conference in New Delhi, Bhushan said that the issue of encounters is very serious.“It is a very serious issue and if it goes on like that then the rule of law can't be maintained here in this country,” he pointed out. Activists believe that over thousand such killings took place in UP since new Govt was formed in March 2017. Over 50 people were killed and many, including some police officials, were injured.Under the guidance of hushan, few victims on Monday approached NHRC pleading for an independent probe these killings. The report was prepared by the human rights forum Citizen Against Hate in which they have documented 16 incidents of extrajudicial killing in UP and 12 cases of Mewat(Haryana)between 2017-18.Report,which is based on family narratives of victim and legal analysis, questions whole narrative of these killings and termed them as ‘pre-meditated extra-judicial executions’.IndiaTomrrow
‘Fake encounters’: 16 in UP, 12 in Mewat, says rights group
40,000 citizens across world urge UN to probe rising attacks on minorities, Dalits in India
London: Urging the UN to pay heed to more than 40,000 signatories, rights group, South Asia Solidarity Group, has demanded the world body to investigate the rising attacks on religious minorities like Muslims and Christians and underprivileged Dalits in India.  Keval Bharadia, campaigner for South Asia Solidarity Group, said:“UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Dr Fernand de Varennes must investigate the human rights violations which target religious minorities, specifically Muslims and Christians, and Dalits are occurring on a vast and horrific scale in India today”.“There is a horrifying rise in the rapes, mutilation, acid attacks and other forms of violence, often followed by murder, of women and girls of all communities, but Dalit women and girls and those from religious minorities are being specifically targeted. Lynchings of Muslims and Dalits, and stripping, flogging and public humiliations have become widespread. Muslim or Dalit and so-called ‘lower-caste’ men in relationships with, or married to, Hindu or upper-caste women have been brutally attacked or murdered – in the name of protecting the purity of the women involved,” he said.Caravan News

Another warning from Gurgaon outfits against namaz in public spaces
Gurgaon:Even as members of the Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti held a press conference on Tuesday, threatening to take to the streets next week if the district administration does not ban reading of namaz on vacant plots and parks, the deputy commissioner of Gurgaon met with representatives of the Muslim community in the city to hear their concerns and reach a solution. “I met some members of the community today to hear their apprehensions. I have asked both parties to create small committees that can recommend solutions, and am scheduled to meet them at different times tomorrow,” said Chander Shekhar Khare, who has stepped in as deputy commissioner since Vinay Pratap Singh is on leave. “We are hopeful that, at some point, we will be able to get both groups in a room together to reach a peaceful solution, but that call has to be taken later.” Members of the Samiti, meanwhile, reiterated their demands and issued a one-week deadline to the administration to designate places for Friday prayers. “Our main demand is that a ban be invoked on reading namaz in the open, and we have given the district administration a week to do this.Else, we will take to the streets and prevent namaz from being read on vacant plots and in parks,” said Sube Singh, former sarpanch of Wazirabad village. indianexpress
Encroachment from land near 19 mosques removed: Gurgaon admin
Gurgaon: A day after Haryana Waqf board's complain to the Gurgaon administration, Deputy Commissioner Chandra Shekhar Khare today said encroachments from land near around 19 mosques have been removed.The administration has asked Waqf board officials to take legal action against encroachers who do not vacate its land."We have made free 19 places which were found encroached by dust, fodders, sand or trash in Gurgaon. We have suggested the Waqf board to take action against people who are not ready to vacate its land."We will provide whatever help the Waqf board needs. Board can use its power immediately, take its possession and make its land free. We will provide police protection also," said Chandra Shekhar.Waqf Board has earmarked 22 lands in Gurgaon belonging to mosques which have allegedly been encroached up on.PTI
Gurgaon DC on namaz in open: Hindu, Muslim groups must work together and recommend solution

‘Telangana, AP must conduct probe on waqf as per SC orders’
Well before a team from Central Waqf Council (CWC) recommended CBI probe into alleged waqf irregularities last month, the Supreme Court had directed the state Govt to order an inquiry into “all affairs” and “transactions” of the state Waqf board, prior to bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, in June 2014. Now waqf rights activists have decided to knock on the doors of the judiciary seeking contempt of court proceedings against the state Govt .“Now that board is bifurcated between AP and Telangana, the orders of the apex court apply to both Telugu states. Neither state has ordered inquiry in pursuant of SC’s orders. We will now approach Telangana and AP Govt s seeking implementation of the judgment, failing which we would move a contempt of court petition,” said waqf protection activist and Supreme Court advocate Khaja Aijazuddin.TOI
SC pulls up Archeology body for failing to take steps to protect Taj Mahal
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today came down heavily on the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) for its failure to take appropriate steps to protect and preserve of the iconic Taj Mahal.The apex court also expressed concern over Taj Mahal being infected by insects and asked the authorities, including the ASI, what steps they have taken to prevent this."This situation would not have arisen if ASI would have done its job.We are surprised with the way ASI is defending itself.You (Centre) please consider if the ASI is needed there or not," a bench of Justices MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta told Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni, who was appearing for Centre.Meanwhile, Nadkarni told the bench that the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) was considering the apex court's suggestion to appoint international experts to look into the issue of protection and preservation of Taj Mahal.The counsel for ASI told the court that the problem of insects was due to stagnation of water of river Yamuna.PTI
Hindu Munnani functionary's murder: NIA raids houses of Muslim youths in Coimbatore
Coimbatore: NIA team investigating sensational murder case of Hindu Munnani functionary C Sasikumar raided the houses of 5 Muslim youths in Coimbatore on the early hours of Wednesday.  According to sources privy to the investigation, NIA raided houses of Aneesh in Bilal estate, Hyder Ali in Sugunapuram and Febin Rahmanin Selvapuram in the city.Similarly, houses of Saddam in Thudiyalur and one Mohammed Ali in Vellakinar on the city outskirts were also raided."The raid is believed to be in connection with the Sasikumar murder case. NIA's findings have revealed the role of a political outfits in connection with the murder.As these youths were believed to be in the network of the four accused arrested in this murder case, NIA has raided their houses to collect evidence for their involvement and connection with political outfit,"sources said.newindianexpress
Kerala: Dalit girl gets a helping hand from mosque committee
Malappuram: A mosque committee has come forward to help a dalit girl from a remote village in Puzhakkattiri near Perinthalmanna continue her studies in a nursing college after she was threatened with expulsion over unpaid fees.Sathyavani, a third year BSc nursing student at a Mangaluru college, had to pay up more than Rs 60,000 pending fees and had no other option but to discontinue her studies when help came unexpectedly from the mosque committee.While Sathyavani was returning home last week of March, the college authorities had warned her that if she did not remit the fees immediately, she would be dismissed.Girl, living along with her mother, a daily wage worker, had lost all her hopes after her efforts to raise funds with the support of local organisations, including political parties, did not yield any result. TOI
RSS and BJP work just like Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood: Rahul Gandhi
Bengaluru: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday drew parallels between the functioning of RSS-BJP and the Muslim Brotherhood (Sunni Islamist forum founded in Egypt). Criticising the BJP Govt  at the centre of attempting to take over institutions, Rahul said that the Muslim Brotherhood followed the exact phenomena in Egypt, Pakistan, Tunisia to destroy democracy. "They (BJP-RSS and Muslim Brotherhood) do this because they know they can come to power once but not return. When they come to power, they want to capture institutions. Another circle of this and there won't be a need for democracy," Gandhi said. newindianexpress
Blackout of parliamentary reports will lead to totalitarianism, says SC
New Delhi:A 5-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court led by CJI Dipak Misra on Wednesday held that the admission of published parliamentary standing committee reports as evidence does not amount to breach of parliamentary privilege.In three separate but concurrent judgments, the Bench unanimously held that the “delicate balance” between the legislature and the judiciary under Doctrine of Separation of Powers will not be upset if the court takes on record a published parliamentary report and examines its contents to better understand and resolve a social evil. Judgments came on a petition about cervical cancer vaccines.thehindu
Delhi’s Akbar Road ‘renamed’ Maharana Pratap road overnight, NDMC to probe
New Delhi:Even though Centre’s proposal in this regard is pending, New Delhi’s famous Akbar Road, which houses several Union ministers, including BJP chief Amit Shah as well as Congress office, was ‘labelled’ Maharana Pratap Road on Tuesday night. A poster — with “Maharana Pratap Road” printed on it — was pasted over Akbar Road signboard leading off to India Gate circle. However, no one has yet taken responsibility for the act. The defacement came, incidentally, ahead of the birth anniversary of the great Mewar warrior on May 9. Poster was removed later in the day.indianexpress
Khattar seeks Israeli investments in Haryana
                                                https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/khattar-seeks-israeli-investments-in-haryana/1304417
Herzliya:CM Manohar Lal Khattar has invited Israeli investors to be a part of Haryana's growth story as he sought to deepen the state's collaboration with Israel in agriculture, water management besides exploring the use of Israeli technology in policing and rescue operations. Khattar is leading a strong delegation from Haryana at the global agricultural technology exhibition, Agritech Israel 2018.Delegations from Haryana, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Punjab are participating in 3-day Agritech 2018 meet alongside representatives of over 100 Indian companies, making Indian contingent largest one at 20th version of annual event. outlookindia
Tremors felt in Delhi, northern India after earthquake near Afghan border
New Delhi:Tremors were felt in several parts of northern India, including Delhi-NCR, on Wednesday afternoon after an earthquake struck Tajikistan near Afghan border, officials said.The earthquake of magnitude 6.2 shook buildings in Afghanistan’s Kabul and was felt in Pakistani cities as well.The tremor hit at a depth of 96km, about 67km south of the provincial capital of Khorugh, US Geological Survey said.There were no immediate reports of any casualties.Tremors were also felt in Punjab, Haryana and J&K, where people rushed out of buildings,around 4:15pm,MeT dept official said.HT
WORLD
Trump declares US withdrawal from Iran nuke deal
US President Donald Trump has announced that the United States is effectively withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, defying last-ditch diplomatic efforts by his European allies to convince him otherwise."I made clear that if the deal could not be fixed, the United States would no longer be a party to the agreement," Trump said in a highly-anticipated address on Tuesday."The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we will know what exactly will happen."Therefore, I am announcing today, that the US will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal," he said.Under deal signed in Vienna with 6 world powers - US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and EU - Iran scaled back its uranium enrichment programme and promised not to pursue nuclear weapons. In exchange, international sanctions were lifted, allowing it to sell its oil and gas worldwide. However, secondary US sanctions remain.IAEA has repeatedly confirmed that Tehran has been meeting its nuclear commitments fully.A White House statement issued after Trump's speech said the US president directed his "administration to immediately begin the process of re-imposing sanctions" related to the deal, formally known as the JCPOA.aljazeera
World leaders react to US withdrawal from Iranian deal
"France, Germany and the UK regret the US decision to leave the Iran’s nuclear deal," French President Emmanuel Macron, a champion of the deal, wrote on Twitter." Nuclear non-proliferation regime is at stake," he added.Germany also reiterated it also wants to uphold the deal. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said "the deal makes world safer", adding that Germany could find no legitimate reason for pulling out of the deal.On Twitter, UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said he regretted the US no longer taking part in the nuclear deal. Top EU diplomat, Federica Mogherini, called on the international community to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.China, one of the countries that signed JCPOA, joined the Europe its response, saying the country is committed to protecting the deal as it stands.Russia, one of the signatories of the deal, said it will try to keep the deal functioning despite Tuesday's decision by the US. Speaking at a press conference in West Jerusalem, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu applauded Trump's decision. Saudi Arabia, a regional rival of Iran and longtime US ally, said that it supports Trump's decision. Riyadh's allies in the Gulf - UAE and Bahrain - also welcomed Trump's decision.UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement that he was "deeply concerned", urging the remaining parties of the deal to abide by their commitments. Both Australia and Japan have also said they regret the US decision. Australia's PM Malcolm Turnbull called on all sides to use restraint in their response.Turkey called Trump's decision "an unfortunate step", adding that the deal was an important step to prevent nuclear proliferation.aljazeera
Iran will quit nuclear deal if European signatories do not offer solid guarantees: Khamenei
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday that Tehran would quit the landmark 2015 nuclear deal unless European signatories offered solid guarantees that trade relations would continue even after US' withdrawal from the pact. In a televised speech, Khamenei said: “We hear that you want to continue the nuclear deal with 3 European countries. I don’t have confidence in these three countries. If you don’t succeed in obtaining a definitive guarantee -- and I really doubt that you can -- at that moment, we cannot continue like this. If you want to conclude an agreement, obtain real guarantees, otherwise tomorrow they will do the same as the US..”AFP
Iran to negotiate with world powers to keep deal in place
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said Tehran will bypass Washington and negotiate with the other signatories of a multinational nuclear deal, calling US withdrawal from landmark pact "unacceptable". aljazeera
Malaysia polls: Vote-counting starts after 'tight' poll
Polls have closed in Malaysia in what is being billed as the country's tightest-ever election, clouded by a corruption scandal linked to one of its leading candidates. With nearly 15 million registered voters, polls opened at 00:00 GMT on Wednesday across the country and closed at 09:00 GMT.Malaysia's 14th general election pits incumbent PM  Najib Razak, who is seeking a third term, against his one-time mentor and former PM  Mahathir Mohamad.Najib, who has been in power since 2009, cast his ballot in the city of Pekan."It's been a calm election in terms of the physical aspect of the election," he told reporters.Najib's ruling right-wing party, Barisan Nasional, has been in power since the country gained independence in 1957.Meanwhile, his main challenger, Mahathir quit his old party and gave the opposition a boost when he forged an alliance with them.92-year-old's return to politics, as chairman of Pakatan Harapan, or Alliance of Hope, gave a new lease of life to the opposition alliance, which had been floundering since its leader Anwar Ibrahim was jailed for sodomy on what his supporters said were politically motivated charges.aljazeera
Syria: Rebels evacuate last opposition-held enclave
A massive convoy of buses carrying thousands of opposition fighters and their families from the besieged city of Homs arrived in Syria's northern rebel-held district of al-Bad.Sixty-six buses carrying 3,194 people arrived on Tuesday a day after leaving the town of Rastan, located roughly halfway between Homs and Hama, media reports said.The evacuation was a part of an agreement reached between several major Free Syrian Army factions and Russia, under which the opposition agreed to surrender medium to heavy military hardware in exchange for safe passage to Idlib province and Jarablus city in northern Syria.Syria's official SANA news agency announced earlier on Tuesday that rebels handed over most of their heavy weapons, including 6 tanks and three armoured personnel carriers.aljazeera
Scholar Tariq Ramadan loses bid for release ahead of rape trial:AFP
Paris: The Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who is being held in France over rape allegations by three women, has lost his bid for early release ahead of trial, his lawyer told AFP. Judges had already refused bail for the 55-year-old Ramadan, who is being treated behind bars for multiple sclerosis, as well as a request for release on health grounds.Oxford University professor, whose grandfather founded Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement, has been held since February on charges that he raped 2 Muslim women in France. In early March, a third woman came forward claiming Ramadan had raped her in Brussels in 2013 and 2014, accusing him of subjecting her to violent and sexually degrading acts during a dozen meetings. Meanwhile, a fourth woman has filed rape charges in Geneva against Ramadan, who is a Swiss citizen.His supporters — including 2 million Facebook followers — have lashed out angrily at his arrest, with many complaining that he has been unfairly targeted because he is Muslim.
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Shia leaders are drawing closer to the Hindutva agenda in UP under Yogi Adityanath’s CM ship:Christophe Jaffrelot

A naked Jain monk spoke in Haryana assembly, but a Muslim can’t offer namaz in public?HARNIDH KAUR

1 Tourist + 36 Civilians + 24 Soldiers + 40 Militants Killed Since Jan 1 = War Zone:SEEMA MUSTAFA



Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:15 PM)

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