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Monday, 16 July 2018

16 July ND: Before SC hearing, Modi govt builds case against polygamy, Halala/ AIMPLB to set up 10 shariat courts, says Nikah Halala is Quranic practice beyond challenge but Nikah with intention to have Halala is not valid, culprits should be arrested


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
16 July 2018:02 Ziqada 1439: Vol:10, No:66
INDIA
Before SC hearing, Modi govt builds case against polygamy, Halala
At a time when the triple talaq bill is expected to be taken up for discussion and passage in the Rajya Sabha in the monsoon session, the Govt is likely to take a firm stand in the Supreme Court against polygamy, contract marriages and Nikah Halala.ET has learnt that in an affidavit to be filed by the additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta as a response to a petition challenging the 2 practices being heard by the top court, the Centre has decided to reiterate its stand taken during the triple talaq case and oppose practices as “unconstitutional” and an attack on gender justice and equality.. In the affidavit, Govt is expected to also highlight the fact that many countries with an overwhelmingly large Muslim population and where Islam is the state religion have undertaken reforms in this area and regulated polygamy and divorce laws. Sources in the know of the matter said the Govt is likely argue that if countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh can have regulating laws around polygamy, so can India.Apart from Pakistan and Bangladesh, Govt affidavit in the top court is likely to list at least 13 other countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey, Indonesia, Iran and Sri Lanka where polygamy has either been banned or regulated by the law. Afghanistan has completely banned the practice of Halala. While expressing its stand against triple talaq when the issue was being heard in the SC, the Govt had stated the same argument expressing its stand then on polygamy and had cited how other countries have regulated their laws on polygamy and divorce. The SC is also slotted to hear a petition filed by Farzana through advocate Vivek Narayan Sharma on July 20. This is among several other petitions in the SC demanding to scrap polygamy and Halala. Economic times  
AIMPLB to set up 10 shariat courts, says Nikah Halala is Quranic practice beyond challenge but Nikah with intention to have Halala is not valid, culprits should be arrested
New Delhi: As the Supreme Court gears up to hear a batch of petitions challenging Nikah Halala, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has drawn the perfect defence, saying the practice “cannot be challenged since it is Quranic”.The board held its review meeting in New Delhi on Sunday where issues pertaining to the community were discussed at length among all 40 leading members.AIMPLB secretary and legal counsel Zafaryab Jilani said after the meeting that “Nikah  Halala cannot be challenged”. “Nikah Halala is a practice where you cannot marry your wife again after divorce unless she marries and consummates the marriage with someone else. It is a must that the wife is divorced again. This is as per the Quran and the board cannot have a different opinion,” said Jilani.However, responding to a question on several Nikah Halala rackets being run for money and the exploitation of women, Jilani added that a “Nikah with an intention to have Halala is not valid” and the “culprits should be arrested as per law”.The board also decided that Shariat courts will be opened across 10 cities in India, with the inauguration of the first scheduled in Surat on July 22. Maharashtra will get a Darul Qaza in Mhearaj by Sept.9 and another by the end of Nov. Darul Qaza centres traditionally deal with matters allowed under Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937. Individuals could bring matrimonial and property disputes before such centres. At present, their scope is limited to seminaries. Shariah refers to Islamic law based on the Quran and the teachings of Prophet Mohammed, known as Ahadith.“There is no question of Shariat courts being unconstitutional. The apex court has itself ruled that Shariat courts are not parallel to the Indian courts established as per the constitution, and hence there is no question of it being illegal,” said Jilani. The board members also discussed the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid case and decided that their legal counsel, senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan, will argue for the matter to be referred to a larger bench and till then, the arguments on the main appeal would not begin.The SC is expected to hear the case of Halala and polygamy from July 20. News18
Homosexuality sin in all religions, should be declared crime: Muslim Law Board Urges Govt.
New Delhi: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Sunday urged the central Govt to take a firm stance in the court against homosexuality as it is a sin in all religions. The Working Committee of AIMPLB that met in New Delhi appealed to the Govt “to take a firm stance in the court against homosexuality.” “It’s a sin in all religions and should be declared a crime. A neutral stance by the Govt is against religions, traditions and ethics of this country,” said the board. caravandaily
SC seeks Centre’s reply on Shia Waqf Board’s plea against ‘unIslamic’ flags
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to respond to the Shia Waqf Board chairman’s plea seeking a ban on hoisting green flags with a crescent and a star at buildings and religious places across the country. A Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan asked the counsel for Shia Waqf Board chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi to serve a copy of the petition to Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to enable him file a reply on behalf of the Centre.Rizvi, in his plea, has claimed that green flags with a crescent and a star are “un-Islamic” and resemble the flag of a Pakistani political party.It claimed that the crescent star flags in green owe their origin to the erstwhile political party, Muslim League, founded by Nawaz Waqar Ul-Malik and Mohammad Ali Jinnah in 1906. In the present day, it was being used by Indian Muslims who were treating it as an Islamic flag, it added.PTI
Congress charges BJP of religious polarisation through NRC updating process
Guwahati: Congress charged BJP-led Govt of using national register of citizens (NRC) to “polarize Assam on religious lines” ahead of Lok Sabha polls by excluding names of people belonging to religious minority in the NRC, despite they have relevant documents on citizenship. Rajya Sabha MP and state Congress president, Ripun Bora on Monday claimed here, “intense” interference of the ruling party in the updating process of NRC has led to the suspicion that many names from religious minority community are going to be dropped. “On the one hand, there has been an increase in serving notices as doubtful voters and suspected foreigners to people especially belonging to minority community despite possessing documents of citizenship, on the other we have collected ground reports of NRC officials not doing verification of documents properly. The motive is to exclude as many people from this particular community as possible,” Bora charged. He said that even after Supreme Court allowed panchayat certificates as linkage documents especially for married women, there were allegations on NRC officials of not accepting this particular document.TOI
'D' voter's tag invites the worst kind of social stigma: Teacher
Guwahati: The tag of 'D' or doubtful voter, besides depriving a person of his voting rights, can also subject him to humiliation in social circles, says Md Nurul Islam, a teacher at a Govt school in Assam's Barpeta district. Islam says he has waged a lonely battle, fighting social stigma and ostracism, ever since he was tagged a 'D' voter in 1997.In a twist of fate, Islam is currently engaged as an investigating officer involved in the process of updating NRC in the state. But there is nothing he can do to clear the 'D' voter's tag, the weight of which he has been bearing like an albatross around his neck for 21 years. "You cannot imagine the kind of mental torture and shame I am subjected to in social circles for being a 'D' voter. Sometimes the reactions I get are torturous and disgraceful. 2 decades of carrying the tag invites the worst form of social ostracism," Islam, a postgraduate teacher at Paschim Moinbari Higher Secondary School in Kalgachia area of the district, said. To add to his tale of woes, Islam is not sure why he was tagged a 'D' voter in the first place. Islam said the name of his father, Abul Hussain, was included in the electoral rolls of 1966 and 1970 besides his NRC legacy data being available. Islam's name also was included in the voters' list of 1997 and he had a serial number of 719. However later that year, he was tagged as a 'D' voter. Islam's case is not unique by any means. Ever since the Election Commission of India in 1997 introduced the practice of tagging people as 'D' voter in the electoral rolls if their citizenship claims are considered to be doubtful, the cases of at least 2,44,144 'D' voters have been referred to the foreigners' tribunals. Among these, 60,000 were found to be genuine Indian citizens while 1,25,333 cases are still pending.Social activists claim that the 'D' voters' tag is slapped on people in an arbitrary manner and in many of the cases, these people are later found to be genuine Indian citizens.TOI
Karnataka lynching: Techie killed half-an-hour after WhatsApp message about ‘child-lifters in red car’
Murki (bidar):“Don’t allow these persons in (the) red car to escape. They are child kidnappers.’’That was the message sent, along with a video of 4 men distributing chocolates to schoolchildren, to WhatsApp groups in Murki and surrounding villages of Bidar district in Karnataka on Friday evening. Within half-an-hour, one of the men, a software engineer, was killed and the other 3 were seriously injured after they were attacked by villagers in Murki. Police said they had traced the WhatApp message to Manoj Patil, a farmer from Handikera village in Aurad taluka. He is among the 30-odd people who have been arrested so far. “Manoj Patil’s provocative message caused the lynching. Patil, a farmer who also does construction work, is the administrator of half-a-dozen WhatsApp groups. He sent this provocative message — that these men are child kidnappers and should not be spared — to WhatsApp groups in Murki and surrounding villages, which triggered the chase and the attack on the men. His message instigated the attack,’’ said Dilip Sagar, Circle Police Inspector of Kamalnagar Circle.The man who was killed was identified as Mohammed Azam Ahmed (32) of Malakpet in Hyderabad, a software engineer with Accenture who was working on a project at Google. While two of the injured, Noor Mohammed (30) and Mohammed Salman (20), are also from Hyderabad, the third is a Qatari national, Salham Eidal Kubaisi (38).Meanwhile, police rubbished the claim of some villagers that they attacked the men because their vehicle hit a villager on a motorcycle. indianexpress
Christian body urges Jharkhand Governor to end action against missionaries in the state
Ranchi: A Christian body has urged Jharkhand Governor Drupdi Mumru for an end to action against missionaries in the state while ruling BJP accused them of “exploitation of tribals”.“There is a conspiracy against the leaders of Christian missionaries. They are being jailed on the basis of wrong charges,” said Ishai Mahasangh President Prabhakar Tirkey.The body demanded the withdrawal of the land Act amendments in the state to ensure protection of the constitutional rights of the tribals, implementation of Sarna religious code on tribals and adoption of a humane approach in the case of Missionaries of Charity in Ranchi in the wake of a controversy over alleged sale of at least 6 children.IANS
Delhi Minorities Commission concerned over meagre loans given to minorities, writes to DSFDC
New Delhi:Concerned over meagre loans given to a small number of minorities in the national Capital, Delhi's minorities body has summoned officials of Govt lending agency, Delhi SC/ST/OBC/Minorities and Handicapped Financial and Development Corporation (DSFDC), to explain reasons behind it.Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Zafarul Islam Khan said in response to the panel's notice, DSFDC has informed them that in 2017-18 fiscal, 18 loan applications from minorities were received, out of which 16 were approved, one was rejected and one application is still under consideration. “The beneficiaries included 14 Muslims and two Sikhs who got loans totalling Rs 15.5 lakh,” Khan said citing the corporation's reply.According to the last Census report, minorities form roughly 20% of Delhi's population. Muslims alone were nearly 13 %  of the total population of the city.“It is clear that these meagre loans to such a small number mean nothing looking at the population of the minority communities in Delhi. This raises questions about the need and justification for such a corporation in NCT of Delhi,” Khan said.The corporation's officials have been called for a meeting to understand its problems and assess its work, he said.PTI
13 teachers detained in Kashmir for allegedly glorifying militancy
Srinagar: 13 teachers of a private school in north Kashmir’s Baramulla town were detained last week for allegedly ‘glorifying militancy’ and motivating students to become militants.Videos doing the rounds on social media showed 13–14-year-old boys being encouraged to act as militants somewhere in the forests of Zandafaran, where they had gone for a school excursion in the first week of July.As some boys played songs eulogising death, some students act as militants, ready to carry out an attack.The school management refused to talk on the matter. Chief education officer, Baramulla, Abdul Ahmad Gani told HT that he will get the matter investigated and “stern action will be taken against the school management”.Police took action as soon as the videos went viral on social media.Though these are mock videos, police officials said these acts could ‘brainwash’ boys to become militants in the future.‘This shows how some teachers with vested interests whose mandate is to turn young boys into disciplined students encouraged them to take guns,” said a police officer on condition of anonymity.Police let go of 11 of the teachers on Sunday after stern warning and intervention of some elders, according to sources. Objectionable material was recovered from the two in custody. One of them is the one who shot the video, they said.HT
Militants release another group photo 2 months after last of ‘Burhan’s boys’ killed
Srinagar:J&K  police are trying to identify 14 young men in a group photograph that militants released earlier this week and which a senior police officer described a ‘leaderless troupe’.2 months after last of the active militants who posed in a famous photograph with Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed militants have come out with another group photo of young men posing with rifles which has been widely shared on social media.While the 11 men in ‘Burhan’s boys’ picture wore camouflage uniforms, 14 young men in the new picture are mostly wearing blue amid a green background - probably an orchard or a forest area.The men in the new picture are not known faces and all are suspected to be newly inducted. One of the men’s face appears to match with that of Shams ul Haq Mengnoo, who was given the code name of ‘Burhan, the Second’ by Hizbul.Mengnoo, who was studying for a Bachelor’s degree in unani medicine in Srinagar and went missing from his home on May 22, is the brother of an Indian Police Service officer posted in the Northeast. Police officials have confirmed his movement with militants. “We have come across the picture. There are 14 faces and we are identifying the people. Many times militants have also used old pictures,” said a senior police officer dealing with anti-militancy operations.HT
AFSPA does not prohibit registration of an FIR against Army personnel: J&K police tells SC
In an affidavit filed with the Supreme Court, J&K  police defended the registration of a FIR against an Army unit over the deaths of three civilians in Army firing in South Kashmir’s Shopian district in Jan. It contradicted the stand taken earlier by the Govt of India.During a hearing before the apex court in March, Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for Union Govt, had said that under Section 7 of J&K  AFSPA, no FIR can be lodged against Army personnel without the prior sanction of the Union Govt. 3-judge bench ordered a stay in the investigations, while noting that “Major Aditya is an Army officer and cannot be treated like ordinary criminals by the J&K police.”scroll.in
Rahul Gandhi, in letter to PM  Modi, offers unconditional support on women’s bill
New Delhi:Congress will offer “unconditional support” to the women’s reservation bill in the upcoming Monsoon session of Parliament, the main opposition party’s president Rahul Gandhi said on Monday.“Our PM says he’s a crusader for women’s empowerment? Time for him to rise above party politics, walk-his-talk & have the Women’s Reservation Bill passed by Parliament. The Congress offers him its unconditional support,” he said.The Congress president also said he has written a letter to the PM on the issue.HT
PM Modi obsessed with issues related to Hindu-Muslim divide: Kejriwal
New Delhi:Delhi CM  Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said no development had taken place during the four years of BJP rule as PM Narendra Modi was busy obsessed with issues related to Hindu-Muslim divide. Addressing a rally in Indore, where he declared activist Alok Agarwal as AAP’s CM candidate, Kejriwal accused Modi of ignoring pressing issues plaguing the country while raking up matters pertaining to communal divide.  “When the world is talking about technology and 5G, our PM is describing the Congress as a party of Muslims and the BJP as a party of Hindus,”said AAP chief. Kejriwal was referring to Modi’s remarks on Saturday, where the PM, accusing the Congress of stalling the triple talaq Bill in Parliament, asked if the party was “only for Muslim men”. Kejriwal’s tacit support to the Congress on the raging issue comes at a time when the Grand Old Party has expressed apprehensions about including AAP in the united fight against BJP ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Congress leadership feels that though it wants a united front to take on the BJP-Modi might in 2019, the party must also be able to retain its own identity and position on necessary issues and it has repeatedly criticised Delhi Govt over its administrative “failures”. “This proves that no development has taken place in 4 years of Modi rule,” Kejriwal said. Indianexpress
RSS office bearers meet to avoid political discussions
Somnath:3-day annual meeting of office-bearers of RSS that began in the temple town of Somnath on Sunday, will avoid discussions on political issues and focus on organisational matters, a Sangh functionary said.Top Sangh leaders, including RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi, apart from 200 delegates of the Hindutva fountainhead that is also the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP at the Centre, are attending “Prant Pracharak” meeting.The annual meet takes stock of the overall performance and policies of the organisation that runs over 58,000 sakhas across the country, and formulates its strategy for next one year.HT
Kasganj: Marriage procession from dalit community after 80 years amidst police protection
UP's Nizampur village witnessed marriage procession from Dalit community after 80 years. Villagers were more than happy. Excitement was all around village for the marriage ceremony. But the marriage procession took place amidst heavy police protection. The protection was needed as the couple received threats from members of an upper caste community. Amidst heavy police protection, the wedding was colourful, loud, and fun filled. The beaming bride said that she is very happy but also scared at the same time as members of another community are trying to create ruckus, but the administration and the cops have been helping them.TOI
Centre plans to amend RTI Law, opposition, activists concerned
Centre is preparing to propose an amendment to the 2005 RTI act in the forthcoming monsoon session which will commence from July 18. According to reports, the Govt is only planning to revise the salaries of RTI officers but the opposition, activists are of the concern about the transparency which this law provides to the democracy. The amendment to RTI act is listed to be taken up in the upcoming monsoon session, will only be focussed on increasing salaries of RTI officers.According to 2005 RTI act, salary of CIC at Centre has the same salary as that of Chief Elections Commissioner but it varies when Chief Election Commissions salaries are compared to Information Commissioners in the states, therefore, the proposed amendment is to revise the salaries of RTI officers. newsx
Bombay HC allows blast convict to go for Haj:
 Bombay high court has allowed Ateef Mulla - a convict in the case of 3 bomb blasts that rocked the city between Dec.2002 and March 2003 and killed 13 people – to travel to Saudi Arabia on Haj pilgrimage. Mulla had approached the HC seeking permission to travel abroad as one of his bail conditions was that he could not travel outside India without the court’s permission.Mulla’s petition read that his 4-and-a-half year old son was suffering from Beta Thalassemia Syndrome and had undergone bone marrow transplantation for the same in 2015. However, his son’s health wasn’t improving and hence, he wanted to visit the holy places of Mecca and Medina to offer special prayers for the recovery of his son.The court had rejected Mulla’s plea last year for the Umrah pilgrimage but it allowed his fresh plea for Haj this time. The division bench of Justice BR Gavai and Justice Sarang Kotwal on Friday allowed Mulla’s application. Last month, the court had already allowed another application of Mulla and directed the registrar (judicial one) and the special POTA court to forward his passport to the concerned passport authorities so that they could decide whether his passport could be renewed or not, and kept his prayer seeking permission to visit haj pending.Mulla’s lawyer, Tahera Qureshi, said, “We had pointed out to the court that he was the first person to get bail on merit in the blast case in 2005. Since then, he had been abiding by all conditions imposed by the court and till date, there was not a single default on any of the conditions.”After being convicted in the blasts case by a special POTA court, Mulla filed an appeal in the high court challenging his conviction and 10-year sentence. While hearing his appeal, HC in 2016, suspended operation of substantive sentence. asianage
Probing attacks abroad, seizures: Govt wants more powers for NIA
New Delhi:Seeking to give more powers to NIA, including allowing it to launch a parallel probe into terror attacks on Indians and their properties abroad, Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is set to introduce amendments in UAPA and NIA Act, 2008, before the upcoming session of Parliament starting from July 18.The proposed amendments will empower NIA director-general to carry out “seizure and attachment of a property representing proceeds of terrorism”.At present, NIA needs the state DGP’s approval for such seizures.NIA will also be empowered to probe cases related to human trafficking.indianexpress
Working on educational empowerment of girls from minority communities on ‘war-footing’: Naqvi
New Delhi:Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Monday, said that for the first time a campaign has been started on “war-footing” to provide basic amenities for ensuring educational empowerment of girls from minority communities in 308 districts across the country. He also said the Govt’s efforts aimed at inclusive growth have ensured that minorities have been brought into mainstream development, according to a statement issued by his office.Addressing a conference here of principal secretaries and secretaries in-charge of states and UTs dealing with minority affairs, Naqvi said the Govt is providing schools, colleges, polytechnics, girls hostels, ITI, and skill development centres under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram’ in those backward and ignored areas which had been deprived of these facilities since independence.PTI
WORLD
UN: All-out war narrowly avoided after Israel-Hamas ceasefire
UN's special envoy has said that all-out war was narrowly averted by the Egyptian-broked ceasefire in Gaza.Israel bombarded more than forty sites and killed at least two Palestinian teenagers because Hamas, which runs Gaza, has not stopped Palestinians from sending burning kites into Israel to protest against the ongoing siege. The kites and balloons have set fire to hectares of crops, but have not caused any fatalities.The ceasefire appeared to be holding, but frustration and anger are mounting as the siege of coastal strip continues.aljazeera
Israel demands end to flaming kites amid reports of ceasefire
How Israel, in dark of night, stole Iran's Nuke secrets :NYT
Tel Aviv:Mossad agents moving in on a warehouse in a drab commercial district of Tehran, Iran, knew exactly how much time they had to disable the alarms, break through two doors, cut through dozens of giant safes and get out of the city with a half-ton of secret materials: 6 hours and 29 minutes.The morning shift of Iranian guards would arrive around 7 a.m., a year of Israeli surveillance of the warehouse had revealed, and the agents were under orders to leave before 5 a.m. to have enough time to escape. Once the Iranian custodians arrived, it would be instantly clear that someone had stolen much of the country’s clandestine nuclear archive, documenting years of work on atomic weapons, warhead designs and production plans.The agents arrived that night, Jan. 31, with torches that burned at least 3,600 degrees, hot enough, as they knew from intelligence collected during the planning of the operation, to cut through 32 Iranian-made safes. But they left many untouched, going first for the ones containing the black binders, which contained the most critical designs. When time was up, they fled for the border, hauling 50,000 pages and 163 compact discs of memos, videos and plans.In late April, PM Benjamin Netanyahu announced the results of the heist, after giving President Donald Trump a private briefing at the White House. He said it was another reason Trump should abandon 2015 nuclear deal, arguing that the documents proved Iranian deception and an intent to resume bomb production. A few days later, Trump followed through on his long-standing threat to pull out of the accord — a move that continues to strain relations between the US and European allies.Last week, at the invitation of the Israeli govt, 3 reporters, including one from New York Times, were shown key documents from the trove. Many confirmed what inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, in report after report, had suspected:Despite Iranian insistence that its program was for peaceful purposes, the country had worked in the past to systematically assemble everything it needed to produce atomic weapons.“It’s quite good,” Robert Kelley, a nuclear engineer and former inspector for the agency, said in Vienna, after being shown some of the documents. “The papers show these guys were working on nuclear bombs.”
9 pro-Assad fighters killed by suspected Israeli strikes in Aleppo: monitor
At least 9 pro-Syrian Govt fighters died in an alleged Israeli rocket strike overnight in northern Syria, a monitor said on Monday. Syrian state media reported that Israel had bombed a military position in Aleppo province late on Sunday.This latest attack marks a rare Israeli attack so far north inside Syria.  Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said that those killed included at least six Syrians.Syrian Govt officials alleged that Iranian fighters were also stationed at base.State news agency SANA on Sunday reported a missile strike near a strategic air base but said there were no casualties. " Zionist enemy... targeted with its missiles one of our military positions north of the Neirab military airport, but the damage was only material," it said, citing a military source.There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military, which very rarely confirms strikes on targets in Syria.Observatory, which relies on a network of sources inside the country, said it had recorded a wave of blasts around Neirab on Sunday night.It said that a suspected Israeli missile strike had targeted "positions held by Syria's regime and its allies at the Neirabairport" and its surroundings.UK-based monitoring group added that the attacks targeted warehouses where weapons belonging to the Syrian army and Iranian militias were kept, Haaretz reported.middleeasteye
Israel strikes Syrian army base in Aleppo
Syria: Govt troops widen offensive near Quneitra
Troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad widened their offensive in the country's southwest to an adjacent province, days after reaching an evacuation agreement with rebels in southern Deraa province.Pro-Govt troops, backed by Russian air support, bombed a rebel-held village in Quneitra - an area adjoining the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights - as they look to recapture a strip of land straddling Deraa and Quneitra provinces still in rebel hands. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighter jets it believes belong to the Russian air force overflew the village of Mashara, located 11km away from the Golan frontier. Hezbollah-linked al-Mayadeen TV said pro-Govt troops were advancing on the elevated Tel Mashara area. Earlier in the day, rebel fighters and family members began evacuating southern Deraa city on buses that will take them to opposition-held areas in northern Syria.A rebel official, Abu Shaima, said at least 500 fighters boarded 15 buses and he was one of those leaving.aljazeera
Turkey stops registering asylum seekers from Syria:HRW
Turkish authorities in several cities, including Istanbul and provinces near the Syrian border, have stopped registering new asylum seekers fleeing war-torn Syria, according to Human Rights Watch.The suspension in new registrations has meant that some Syrian refugees have been coerced to return to Syria, unlawfully deported, or denied health care and education.US-based rights groups, using insider information from local Turkish groups working with refugees, former Govt officials and interviews with Syrian refugees, revealed that provinces had stopped registering asylum in a bid to deter them from seeking refuge to Turkey. This latest development comes as the European Union prepares to release the second batch of $3bn under its March migration deal which includes support for refugees in Turkey. Gerry Simpson, associate refugee programme director at HRW, said Europe was "turning a blind eye to Turkey".middleeasteye
Afghanistan: Civilian deaths hit record high:UN
The number of civilians killed in Afghanistan hit a record high in the first half of the year, despite last month's ceasefire, according to the UN.In the latest figures released on Sunday by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), 1,692 civilians were killed during the first six months of 2018 - the most recorded in the period over the last decade since the agency began documentation. However, with a total of 5,122 casualties, including 3,430 injuries, UNAMA recorded a three % overall decrease in the number of those affected by the violence in the war-torn country.UN figures also showed a 15 % drop in child and women casualties - at 1,355 and 544 respectively - but UNAMA voiced grave concern over the human cost of the conflict.aljazeera
Sri Lanka: Hindu group protests against Muslim teachers wearing abaya
Trincomalee:Fathima Rameez had been teaching at Shanmuga Hindu Ladies College for 5 years and never feared for her safety in Trincomalee, a port city on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka.But that all changed on April 24.Early that morning, near the school, 4 men tried to attack another Muslim teacher with sticks.When Rameez arrived at work, 150 Hindu protesters were outside the school demanding five female Muslim teachers stop wearing their abaya robes."Send the Muslim teachers away," they chanted, "wearing abayas destroys Hindu culture."Some yelled racial epithets at Rameez.The protest led to hate speech on Facebook and inflamed ethnic tensions in Sri Lanka's eastern province.Anti-Muslim violence has grown in Sri Lanka over the past five years, but the perpetrators have mainly been hardliners from the majority Sinhala Buddhist population. aljazeera
UAE prince flees to Qatar, claims threat to life in Abu Dhabi: Report
An Emirati prince is seeking asylum in Qatar after fleeing UAE saying he feared for his life because of a dispute with the rulers of oil-rich Abu Dhabi, the New York Times reported on Sunday.Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad al-Sharqi, 31, is the second son of the emir of Fujairah, one of the seven monarchies making up the UAE.He arrived in Doha on May 16, the report said.Speaking to the New York Times, Sheikh Rashid accused Emirati rulers of blackmail and money laundering but did not offer evidence to back up his claims.He also spoke of tensions within Emirati elites over UAE’s commitment of troops in the war in Yemen.Sheikh Rashid said there had been more UAE war deaths than the 100 that have been reported publicly and said “there have been more deaths from Fujairah than anywhere else”.AFP
Trump, Putin set to meet in shadow of US election hack charges
Just as he did in Singapore with Kim Jong-un last month, US President Donald Trump will kick off his today meeting in Finland with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin alone.After their scheduled one-to-one private talks, which are expected to last for about half an hour, the two leaders will then be joined in Helsinki by Govt officials for an expanded summit, before taking questions from US and Russian media in a joint press conference.In advance of the meeting, a major concern in US is how forcefully Trump will confront Putin in the wake of new information released in Washington, DC, this week over alleged Russian cyberattacks during the 2016 presidential vote. Putin has denied Russian meddling in election,which was won by Trump.aljazeera
Muslims in China’s main Islamic region fear eradication of their faith
Linxia: Green-domed mosques still dominate the skyline of China’s “Little Makkah,” but they have undergone a profound change — no longer do boys flit through their stone courtyards en route to classes and prayers.In what locals said they fear is a deliberate move to eradicate Islam, the atheist ruling Communist Party has banned minors under 16 from religious activity or study in Linxia, a deeply Islamic region in western China that had offered a haven of comparative religious freedom for the ethnic Hui Muslims there.China governs Xinjiang, another majority Muslim region in its far west, with an iron fist to weed out what it calls “religious extremism” and “separatism” in the wake of deadly unrest, throwing ethnic Uighurs into shadowy re-education camps without due process for minor infractions such as owning a Qur’an or even growing a beard.Now, Hui Muslims fear similar surveillance and repression.AFP
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
Sharia courts are an alternative dispute redressal mechanism that responds to the decline of the civil justice system:Faizan Mustafa , Mahendra Shukla
Assam’s NRC process is vitiated by state apathy and prejudice, claims report:Saurav Datta
Modi govt. turned country into “republic of hate”, pushed it towards “economic crises”: report
Karnataka lynching:“Mob Was Baying for Blood, Terrifying” Say Cops, But For BJP MLA There was No Lynching
Modi Will Regret Inviting Trump to India for Republic Day:Bharat Karnad
Venomous Attack By BJP On Muslims (So What Else is New?), But Is the Congress Doing Any Good?Seema Mustafa
With 7 Muslim and over dozen black players, will French national team’s World Cup glory heal country’s racial wounds? Rifat Jawaid
Africans, Muslims delivered you World Cup, now deliver them justice: France urged

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 5:09 PM)

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