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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

17 July ND:  SC condemns mob lynchings, cow vigilantes, asks Parliament to make law/Section 377: SC reserves order, verdict on constitutional validity likely before Oct


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
17 July 2018:03 Ziqada 1439: Vol:10, No:67
INDIA
‘Violence can’t be allowed’: SC condemns mob lynchings, cow vigilantes, asks Parliament to make law
The Supreme Court today asked Parliament to consider bringing a new law to deal with offences of mob violence and provide deterrent punishment to offenders amid rising attacks by self-styled cow vigilantes and crowds in the country. “Citizens cannot take the law into their hands and cannot become the law unto themselves ... Horrendous acts of mobocracy cannot be allowed to become a new norm and have to be curbed with iron hands,” the bench headed by CJI  Dipak Misra said.The bench, which also comprised justice AM Khanwilkar and justice DY Chandrachud, passed a slew of directions to provide “preventive, remedial and punitive measures” to deal with offences like mob violence and cow vigilantism.“In case of fear and anarchy, the state has to act positively. Violence can’t be allowed,” it said.The top court directed state Govts to designate a senior police official as the nodal officer in each district for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching. It asked them to immediately identify districts, sub-divisions and villages where such incidents have been reported in the last five years. Centre and state Govts were also asked to broadcast on radio, television and other media platforms, including the official websites of the home department and police, that lynching and mob violence of any kind shall invite serious consequence under the law.They must curb and stop the dissemination of irresponsible and explosive messages, videos and other material on various social media platforms which have a tendency to incite mob violence and lynching of any kind, the top court said.It was hearing a bunch of petitions including those by social activist Tehseen Poonawalla and Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, seeking formulation of guidelines to curb such violent incidents in the country.It posted the PIL for further hearing on Aug.28 and asked the Centre and state Govts to take steps to deal with such offences in pursuance of its directions.More than 20 people have been reportedly beaten to death in different parts of the country since the first week of May following rumours, mostly propagated on social media and messaging platforms, that peddle fear of outsiders kidnapping children.HT
SC asks Parliament to bring in spl law against lynching
To end mob lynching, SC gives an 11-point prescription
Agnivesh beaten up by 'BJP youth wing' workers in Jharkhand
Patna:Social activist Swami Agnivesh on Tuesday was beaten up allegedly by the activists of Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM), youth wing of BJP in Jharkhand. The attackers also tore his clothes.Agnivesh was on his way to Litipada in Pakur district of Jharkhand to participate in an event but as soon as he came out of the hotel the right-wing activists surrounded him and allegedly beat him up.Since morning BJYM activists were said to be camping outside the hotel where Agnivesh was staying. They also raised “Jai Sri Ram” slogans. The reight-wing activists were upset with Swami’s visit to the State, and accused him of being hand-in-gloves with Christian missionaries to instigate tribals in Jharkhand.“I’m alive today by God's grace...it was a murderous attack on me…don’t know the reason why they thrashed me”, Agnivesh told journalists.“It seems to be a sponsored attack, a conspiracy...I was not provided any security”, he also added. Agnivesh was later taken to a local hospital for medical attention.Meanwhile, the local police have detained 20 men in connection with the attack on Agnivesh. thehindu
Agnivesh after assault in Jharkhand: I thought it was a peaceful state
Talking to media after the assault, Swami Agnivesh said, “I was told that people from BJYM and ABVP (student wing of BJP) were protesting outside the hotel against me. I told them that they could come and talk to me about their objections, but, nobody came. Just as I came out of the hotel, they came to me and attacked me. I asked them with folded hands as to what the matter was, but they didn’t listen. They hurled abuses at me and beat me up. As I fell down, one of them had picked up a stone, it was my colleague, who protected me. I have called the SP asking him to come here and initiate the legal process, a Deputy SP has come. I want that the guilty should be identified with the help of CCTV camera recordings and the videos taken by media and they should be booked.”indianexpress
Section 377: SC reserves order, verdict on constitutional validity likely before Oct
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today reserved the verdict on pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Section 377 of IPC, which criminalises consensual gay sex. The verdict was reserved by a 5-judge constitutional bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra after 4 days of hearing. The verdict is likely to come before the tenure of CJI Misra expires, which is ending on Oct. 2. During the course of the hearing, Advocate Manoj George, representing 2 Christian organisations, urged the Supreme Court to leave the matter to Parliament. Justice R F Nariman, however, replied, “the moment we are convinced there is a violation of any fundamental right, we cannot leave it to the legislature.” “We would not wait for the majoritarian Govt to enact, amend or not to enact any law to deal with violations of fundamental rights,” the bench observed.George referred to the term “sexual orientation” and said it cannot be read interchangeably with the term “sex” used in article 14 and 15 which deal with the right to equality of the citizen. He said the term sexual orientation was different from the term sex as there have been several kinds of sexual orientation, besides the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer).Appearing for Trust God Ministries, which opposes gay marriage, Senior Advocate K Radhakrishnan said, “Homosexuals spread diseases like AIDS,” to which, Justice Chandrachud responded, saying, “Migrant workers also spread HIV. So by your logic, all sexual intercourse will have to be banned, even heterosexual.” The verdict was reserved while hearing the writ petitions filed by dancer Navtej Jauhar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hoteliers Aman Nath, Keshav Suri and business executive Ayesha Kapur and 20 former and current students of the IITs. They have sought decriminalisation of consensual sex between 2 consenting adults of the same sex by declaring section 377 of IPC as illegal and unconstitutional.indianexpress
Justice Chandrachud says accept homosexual relationships, suppressing them is wrong
Union minister Maneka wants all Missionaries of Charity institutes examined immediately
New Delhi :Taking cognisance of the alleged illegal adoptions carried out by Missionaries of Charity in Jharkhand, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has directed state Govts to ensure that all child care institutions are registered and linked to the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) within the next one month. Ministry of Women and Child Development in a statement said: “Taking cognizance of the recent cases of illegal adoptions carried out by Missionaries of Charity in Jharkhand, Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has instructed the states to get child care homes run by Missionaries of Charity all over the country inspected immediately.”A shelter home in Jharkhand run by the Mother Teresa-founded Missionaries of Charity has been reportedly involved in selling three children for money and giving away a fourth child.The mandatory registration of the child care homes and linking to CARA has been provided in Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 which came into force more than two years ago but some orphanages had challenged the validity of this clause, the ministry said.According to the statement, the apex court has since dismissed the petitions and has upheld the validity, vide their order of Dec.2017. Since then, approximately 2300 child care institutions have been linked to CARA and about 4000 are still pending for linkage.indianexpress
Inspect all childcare homes run by Missionaries of Charity: Centre tells States
Urdu daily says Congress' minority dept chief agrees Rahul Gandhi made 'party of Muslims' remark
New Delhi:The controversy about the Congress being a Muslim party was once again ignited on Monday after an Urdu daily quoted the chairman of Grand Old Party's minority department claiming that Rahul Gandhi indeed made the controversial statement at a meeting with Muslim intellectuals recently. The alleged article in Urdu daily Inquilab has stated that Congress minority department chief Nadeem Javed agreed that Rahul Gandhi indeed made the controversial comment. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra attached the mentioned news article and tweeted, "In an interview to Inquilab, Congress' Minority Cell President Nadeem Javed has reiterated that Rahul Gandhi was right in saying, 'Yes, we are a party of Muslims'. Javed further says Rahul Gandhi is meeting Muslim league and very soon he will be presiding over a Muslim Convention". Meanwhile, the Congress party hit back at the BJP saying that it was a deliberate distortion of facts by the ruling regime.Congress General Secretary Ashok Gehlot said, "They are trying to divert the attention.This is their propaganda. When they can misrepresent Rahul Gandhi's statement, then why not Naveed Javed's statement?"Congress Communication Department chief Randeep Surjewala said, "BJP is the new version of the East India Company. 'Divide and rule' was the ideology of the EIC then, and it is the same ideology followed by the BJP now-- whereas, the Congress party belongs to people of every religion." "Congress is the worst communal party. It has always done communal politics. What Rahul Gandhi has said is against the spirit of the Constitution and against every principle of democracy," HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said.Lashing out at Javdekar's comment, Gehlot said, "BJP knows that they are not able to win in 2019 and so it is restoring to these things. They played the trick of Ache Din in 2014 and now that in the last four years it didn't do any development work, it is now coming back to its original agenda-- that of polarisation and communalisation.Javed, however, has refuted these allegations saying that BJP was spreading lies. "I have not said what the BJP leaders are tweeting," he said. Meanwhile, bureau chief of Inqlab Mumtaz Alam Rizvi said, "I stick with what I have written in my paper. Nadeem Javed has told me the inside story of the meeting."indiatoday
Rahul Gandhi responds to BJP attack of Congress being 'party for Muslims'
New Delhi: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has finally responded to BJP's harsh criticism of his party's "pro-Muslimness", albeit without directly talking about the issue.In a tweet on Tuesday, the Congress chief says he stands "with the last person in line" and expands on that theme.' "I stand with the last person in the line. The exploited, marginalised and the persecuted. Their religion, caste or beliefs matter little to me. I seek out those in pain and embrace them. I erase hatred and fear. I love all living beings. I am the Congress," tweeted Rahul. TOI
Mayawati sacks BSP vice-president, day after he attacked Rahul’s foreign origin
Lucknow: BSP chief Mayawati today removed party national vice-president Jai Prakash Singh from his post, a day after he said that Rahul Gandhi can never aspire to be PM due to his “mother’s foreign origin”. Distancing the party from his remarks, Mayawati said he made them in his personal capacity and they go against BSP’s “humanitarian thinking and policies”.On Monday, attacking Rahul Gandhi at a gathering of BSP workers in Lucknow had said that Rahul’s foreign blood would not allow him to be the king of this country and lead it. The statement was made by Singh at a time when various Opposition parties are trying to forge an alliance against ruling BJP for upcoming Lok Sabha polls.indianexpress
Enforce quota or we will pass relevant orders next month: Scheduled Caste panel to AMU
New Delhi: Implementation of quota for Dalits in AMU was a serious matter and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) would pass relevant orders next month if university authorities did not comply, commission chair Ram Shankar Katheria said."AMU has sought one month after receiving a notice from the commission and the deadline is August 3. The full house of the commission will hold a hearing and pass orders for implementation of quota in AMU just like other central universities," Katheria, who is also BJP MP from Agra, said. Separately, at a press conference on Monday, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar confirmed that the ministry had written to AMU seeking "justification" behind denying quota to eligible students. "The ministry has taken cognisance of the matter and is waiting for AMU's response," he added.Katheria said the controversy was yet another testimony to Congress's "appeasement policy" at the cost of deserving Hindu students. Centre changed its position on AMU's minority status after the Modi Govt assumed office and this, along with commission's latest measures,has set the stage for a showdown.Asked how the commission would ensure compliance of its order, Katheria said AMU would have to follow the order or NCSC would request the Govt to stop grants. "We have already questioned funding to AMU as it is not following the quota policy," he added. He said HRD ministry and the Minority Commission both confirmed that AMU didn't have ‘minority institution' status nor a mandate to deny quota.Katheria said AMU was citing the pending case in Supreme Court, which related to minority status of the institution and had nothing to do with quota policy. "So far, AMU officials have communicated they have no documents to prove minority institution status," he said, citing response of the Govt affidavit in the SC in 2016 confirming that AMU was not a minority institution.TOI
Govt eyes a ‘fruitful’ monsoon session; Triple talaq bill, OBC Commission top agenda
New Delhi:Govt is looking forward to a “fruitful” monsoon session of Parliament, and has already reached out to the Opposition with assurance for debate on any subject of its choice, two ruling coalition leaders said.Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar has called an all-party meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss the agenda for the monsoon session with them. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will meet the leaders separately in the evening. Parliament’s monsoon session will take place from July 18 to Aug.10.BJP-led NDA is keen to push through important legislations that have the potential to offer political dividends for the ruling establishment ahead of the state assembly elections and next year’s Lok Sabha polls. It is particularly keen on the bill to create a national commission for OBC. Centre has also shortlisted the bill to criminalise instant triple talaq for passage during this session.Senior functionaries of the Govt said that top priority in the legislative business would be accorded to get Parliament’s nod on the six ordinances that have been promulgated in the past few months. These are: Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, Criminal Law (Amendment)Ordinance, Commercial Courts Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of HCs (Amendment) Ordinance and National Sports University Ordinance.HT
Opposition to move no confidence motion against Modi govt in Parliament
Unveiling joint strategy of the opposition parties a day before start of the Monsoon session, Congress said it will bring no-confidence motion against Modi Govt in the parliament.Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, briefed the media about the decision.Addressing a conference at the Congress headquarters, he said that the decision to bring a vote of no confidence motion was taken unanimously in the meeting of the opposition parties, held in the parliament on Monday.“All 12 parties present in the meeting have decided to bring a vote of no confidence motion against the Modi Govt in the parliament. 4 parties that could not attend the meeting of the opposition parties will be consulted,” said he.nationalheraldindia
AIMPLB against outlawing of halala, but wants it to be discouraged: TOI
New Delhi: All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) is against the outlawing of Nikah Halala, though it feels that its use should be discouraged and restricted to the "rarest of rare situations". Formalising its stand ahead of the hearing of the issue in the Supreme Court, AIMPLB has said that the "practise is in line with Islamic law".  Members of the board have come forward to say that the "concept of a temporary marriage with intent of remarriage with the first husband does not exist in the shariah". If a marriage is solemnised with intent of divorce so that the woman can return to the first husband then it is "haraam" and nothing short of a crime that should be punished.  "Marriage with another man with the intent to remarry the first husband is a sin as per the Quran. Such couples who do a contract marriage with the intention to remarry the first husband should be punished with the severest of punishment under the Indian Penal Code," Kamal Faruqui, member of the board told TOI. "There is no denying that one hears of few unscrupulous elements in the community misusing halala. This is wrong and unacceptable," Faruqui added.When asked would the board support a ban on nikah halala in Supreme Court, he said, "We are abiding by the SC decision on instant triple talaq by building awareness about marriage and rights of the couple through guidelines in our nikah namah so that they don’t pronounce talaq in one go. Similarly, we will see what SC says on halala."Maulana Saifullah Rahmani, spokesperson of the board said, "We cannot support nikah halala done with the intent of returning to the first husband. We have resolved at our working committee meeting that we need to create awareness on issues like triple talaq and nikah halala." On Sunday, AIMPLB working committee chaired by Maulana Jalaluddin Umri who is the chief of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind met and resolved to promote resolution of marital disputes through the framework of "Darul Qaza" which they call "arbitration centres".TOI
MP Muslim Body Accuses Govt of Apathy, Asks Congress to Field Candidates From Community
Bhopal:MP unit of All India Milli Council, an umbrella organisation of various Muslim bodies, on Monday accused the state Govt of neglecting the community and demanded tickets for Muslim candidates wherever the community population is 60,000 or more.“MP Govt hasn’t done anything for offering employment and education to Muslim kids. Even community’s educated youths are not getting Govt jobs in the state,” Maulana Maseeh Alam, one of the founder members of the council, told reporters on Monday.The council has planned a meeting on July 18 to discuss the attempts made by ‘certain organisations’ to question the nationalism of Muslims and representation to Muslim women in the assembly polls.The council said there are around 25 assembly constituencies where the Muslim population is 60,000 or above. It accused the BJP of not offering tickets to Muslim candidates.It further alleged that there has been a planned conspiracy to destroy Muslim community institutions including Waqf Board, Masjid Committee, Madrasa Board and others. MP Govt, Alam said, has not paid salaries to 1,685 teachers at Madrasas in MP for nearly two years.“We have given a call for Congress and other like-minded parties to offer tickets to Muslim candidates in the minority dominated constituencies during assembly polls and we are open for a dialogue with everyone,” Alam said.News18
Chandan Mitra, former BJP MP, to join Mamata?
Prominent editor, journalist and ex Rajya Sabha MP between 2003 and 2016 Chandan Mitra has resigned his primary membership of the BJP, reported Indian Express today.While attempts to independently verify the report drew a blank, sources confirm that Mitra is all set to join All India Trinamool Congress headed by Mamata Banerjee and is likely to contest for a seat in the Lok Sabha in the next general election.If the reports are correct, Mitra would be joining the growing rank of BJP leaders who are disenchanted with Modi Govt and the BJP. Beginning with Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha and Kirti Azad, there are several BJP leaders who are said to be weighing their options.But even as PM was fulminating against Mamata in Midnapore on Monday, it seems the West Bengal CM had quietly engineered a coup by persuading Mitra to leave the BJP.Though there is no official confirmation that the resignation has been accepted by Amit Shah, it has been an open secret that Mitra was sidelined in BJP. nationalheraldindia
2-month ban on Togadia from public events in Guwahati
Guwahati Police today barred ex VHP leader Pravin Togadia from attending any public function in the state capital for the next 2 months, fearing that his “inflammatory speeches” could disrupt peace.The prohibitory order under Section 144 of CrPC by Guwahati Police Commissioner Hiren Chandra Nath was issued following Togadia’s plans to visit the city and attend a series of programmes from today to July 19, organised by his newly-formed group – Antarashtriya Hindu Parishad (AHP). Stating that the Hindutva leader has been making “sensitive and inflammatory speeches”, Nath said,“…Such inflammatory speeches will hurt the sentiment of the religious minority community, and create a deep sense of insecurity among them, which is very likely to disturb law and order.”indianexpress
Ishrat Jahan fake encounter: Mother files objection to discharge pleas of former Gujarat cops
Ahmedabad: The mother of Ishrat Jahan, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter by the Gujarat Police along with three others, today filed an objection to the discharge applications of two retired police officers accused in the 2004 case.Shamima Kauser filed a plea in a special CBI court here, opposing the discharge applications of retired police officers DG Vanzara and NK Amin, and submitted that there was “clinching” evidence against the 2. The court of special CBI judge J K Pandya, who had reserved his order for today after hearing arguments of the two accused and the CBI, said he would further hear the matter in the light of objections raised from the victim’s side. In her objection plea, filed through her lawyer P I Parvez, Kauser said the two accused should not be discharged as there was “clinching” evidence against them. She said the evidence on record showed that both were present at the site where Jahan and the others were shot dead by the police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in 2004.Kauser, citing call detail records, said the duo was in constant touch with other officers who were named accused in the case. The court had on June 30 concluded hearing arguments of the two accused policemen and the CBI, which probed the case. PTI
Upset with Govt, wife of deceased hockey wizard Shahid to return his Padma Shri
New Delhi. Parvin Shahid, wife of deceased Indian hockey player Mohammed Shahid, said on Tuesday she has decided to return all the awards won by her husband as the Govt has allegedly failed to fulfill any of the promises it made to her after the death of her storied husband. Mohammed was a member of the team that won gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. His on-field performance earned him the title of ‘master dribbler’. He was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 1980–1981 and the Padma Shri in 1986. Parvin alleged that the Govt has failed to fulfill any of the promises it made to her after the death of her legendary husband.Parvin said several ministers from the Centre and the then UP state Govt attended her husband’s funeral and made several promises, including naming a stadium after him. “Ministers came home after his death and made big promises. They promised to start a tournament in my husband’s name in Varanasi. Even PM Modi expressed grief but none of them could fulfill even a single promise made back then,” said Parvin. “He was a Padma Shri, an Olympian gold medalist. Despite this, if a tournament or a stadium can't be named after him, then what's the point of these medals?” she asked. Parvin further alleged that despite several attempts to meet PM Modi during his last Varanasi visit, the administration did not let her do so. She plans to return the awards in Delhi on July 20 , her husband’s second death anniversary. She has sent a letter to the Prime Minister's office, informing them of her decision. TOI
India tells Iran it will defend the nuclear deal in face of US sanctions
Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi has said that India was in favour of continuing trade relations with Iran and backed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between 5 permanent members of UNSC (US, China, Russia, UK and France) and Germany.“There is no doubt that all countries cooperating with Iran are determined to save the deal, and stress to find ways to secure Iran's benefits within the deal's framework; the fact that shows the US isolation,” Araqchi told Iran’s state-backed IRNA on Monday. The comments by the Iranian minister came after he held consultations with India’s foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale in New Delhi, as part of fifteenth round of India-Iran consultations. According to the report, Araqchi also held consultations with Minister of State (MoS) External Affairs MJ Akbar on the same day.“India is one of the biggest customers of Iran's crude; therefore, its needs and Iran's demand are in favour of the two countries' oil trade continuation,” he said, also noting that “US sanctions have caused problems for the trade.”Negotiated during the presidency of previous US President Barack Obama, the incumbent US leader, Donald Trump, in May this year withdrew from the accord, terming it the “worst deal ever.” Trump, an ally of PM Narendra Modi, has asked India to completely wind down on Iranian crude imports by November 4. India is among the top three importers of Iranian crude, but is reportedly said to be buckling under US’ pressure. The latest round of US’ sanctions on Iran come into effect on August 6. nationalheraldindia
JNU slaps ₹10,000 fine on NSUI member for shouting “Jai Bheem” slogan
JNU administration has slapped a ₹10,000 fine on one of its research scholar for allegedly shouting the “Jai Bheem” slogan on Ambedkar Jayanti last year.According to the administration, the incident took place on April 14 last year, when the renaming ceremony of a campus library after BR Ambedkar was being held.The student, Sunny Dhiman, is researching on “Transitions in Agriculture Pest Control Technology Regime in Punjab, India” at the Centre for Studies in Science Policy (CSSP).“The act of Dhiman is serious in nature and unbecoming of a JNU student. It calls for strict against him,” said JNU administration in a letter. Signed by the proctor, the letter, however, states that “keeping his career prospects in mind, the Vice-Chancellor has taken a somewhat lenient view of the matter.”nationalheraldindia
Kathua Case: Key Evidence of Hair Strands of Victim Disappears from FSL-Sealed Envelope
Srinagar: In a mysterious development that may cast a shadow on the trial in the gang-rape and murder case of Kathua child, a FSL-sealed envelope supposed to contain the victim’s hair strands that were produced in a court yesterday turned out to be empty.According to reports, the envelope with seven FSL stamps which was produced by the Special Investigation Team of J&K Police’s Crime Branch before the district and sessions court in Pathankot yesterday, turned out to be empty, creating a flutter in the courtroom.FSL had conducted the DNA test of the victim’s hair which was collected by SIT from Devsthan in Rasana village of Jammu’s Kathua district. According to the police charge-sheet, the victim was held captive in a sedated condition and repeatedly raped by the accused.“When the envelope with seven stamps was produced in the court, the judge ordered it to be opened.There were 4 small envelopes inside, of which three turned out to be empty. Lastly, a plain white paper inside the fourth yellow envelope was also opened which also turned out to be empty,” reports said.thecitizen
Wholesale Inflation Spikes to 4-Year High of 5.77%
New Delhi: Inflation based on wholesale prices accelerated to over a four-year high of 5.77% in June on increasing prices of vegetables and fuel items, raising chances of a rate hike by the RBI in its monetary policy review next month. Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation stood at 4.43% in May and 0.90% in June last year, as per Govt data released today.Inflation is at the highest level since Dec. 2013, when it was at 5.9%.Retail inflation, which the Reserve Bank of India takes into account while formulating its monetary policy, had touched a 5-month high of 5% in June.It is based on Consumer Price Index.PTI
To instil discipline, nationalism: Govt discusses military training plan for disciplined 10-lakh ‘force of youth’
New Delhi :In the name of having a “disciplined” and nationalist “force of youth,” the Govt has discussed a proposal to target 10 lakh young men and women every year with a military training programme, Indian Express has learnt.Billed as the National Youth Empowerment Scheme or N-YES, aimed at “optimising the Indian demographic advantage”, it proposes a slew of incentives to students fresh of Class X and XII and, currently, enrolled in college. The incentives include a fixed stipend for 12-month training and making N-YES an “essential qualification” for jobs in Defence, paramilitary forces and police. Sources confirmed that a meeting on the proposed scheme was called by PMO in the last week of June and was attended by representatives of Defence Ministry, Dept.of Youth Affairs and HRD Ministry.A presentation on the same was made by an officer of Defence Ministry. A senior PMO did not respond to a message. Sources added that reservations were said to have been raised by some officers about N-YES during the meeting following which another suggestion was made to strengthen the existing NCC, instead. According to the proposal, the scheme will instil values of nationalism, discipline and self-esteem into the youth, which, in turn will help make India a “Vishwaguru” (read a universal leader) and achieve PM Narendra Modi’s vision of New India 2022.indianexpress
WORLD
US ready for direct talks with Afghan Taliban
US is ready to join direct negotiations with the Taliban in an effort to end the 17-year-long war in Afghanistan, a senior US commander said.Amid growing speculation about possible peace talks, General John Nicholson's comments on Monday follow increased diplomatic efforts to seek negotiations following unprecedented scenes of unarmed Taliban fighters mingling with Afghan security forces on the streets of Kabul and other cities during last month's surprise ceasefire. Nicholson, who leads the NATO-led Resolute Support mission, said the US recognised it had a key role to play."Our secretary of state, [Mike] Pompeo, has said that we, the US, are ready to talk to the Taliban and discuss the role of international forces," he said."We hope that they realise this and that this will help to move the peace process forward."Al Jazeera contacted the Taliban in Afghanistan but there was no immediate comment. Sohail Shahin, a spokesman for the Taliban's political office in Qatar, said he was still waiting for confirmation of Nicholson's comments but welcomed signs of the new approach."This is what we wanted and were waiting for - to sit with US directly and discuss the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan," Shahin said. He said as a first step he expected to see Taliban leaders removed from a UN blacklist in order to be able to travel.Shahin also said the issue of international troops in Afghanistan would be a major issue and the Taliban would be willing to discuss American concerns.US officials have said President Donald Trump has shown growing impatience with a lack of progress in Afghanistan, where the Taliban control much of the country despite a more aggressive campaign of air raids announced last year. The armed group rejected talks with Govt of President Ashraf Ghani, which it sees as illegitimate, and instead insisted it would only talk to the US.Pompeo has said while the overall peace process must be Afghan-led, Washington would be ready to join talks - a shift from its previous position that only Ghani's Govt had the legitimacy to talk to the Taliban. He also said the US is willing to discuss the position of international forces in Afghanistan, which the Taliban said must leave the country as a condition for negotiations. Many obstacles still remain before a conflict that has killed a record number of civilians this year can end. A total of 1,692 civilians were killed in first half of 2018.aljazeera
Officials: In policy shift, US open to meeting with Taliban
Egypt military officers get immunity over 2013 post-coup crackdown
Egypt's parliament has passed a law that could protect senior military commanders from being prosecuted over the deadly crackdown that followed overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi. The current President, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, will be able to name officers he wants to give lifelong reserve status.They will gain ministerial privileges and immunity for any crimes committed between July 2013 and June 2014.Over 1,000 protesters are believed to have been killed during that period. Between 16,000 and 41,000 other people were reportedly arrested or detained, and hundreds were handed death sentences after mass trials.Most of them were supporters of Morsi's now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, but liberal and secular activists have also been targeted.The legislation approved by parliament on Monday, will allow the president to designate a number of high-ranking officers as lifelong reserves.The officers will be given the benefits and rights of a sitting Govt minister, and will enjoy diplomatic immunity when travelling abroad.They also will be protected from prosecution for any offences committed in the course of duty between 3 July 2013 - the day Sisi led the military's overthrow of Morsi and when Sisi was sworn in as president for the first time.Security forces also reportedly killed 60 protesters gathered outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo on 8 July that year; 95 protesters at the Manassa Memorial on 27 July; and 120 protesters at Ramses Square on 16 August. An Egyptian Govt committee looked into the killings and did not recommend charges against any Govt official or member of the security forces.But Human Rights Watch said the widespread and systematic nature of those killings suggested that they were part of a policy to use lethal force against largely unarmed protesters. bbc
Trump says  meeting with Putin ‘really good’ for Israel
US President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin resulted in a “really good” outcome for Israel, the president told Fox News of the Helsinki Summit yesterday.“We came to a lot of good conclusions. A really good conclusion for Israel. Something very strong,” Trump said of the summit, which was largely expected to discuss the conflict in Syria, and Israel’s security in light of the presence of Iranian militias in the country allied to the Syrian regime.Trump also said that Putin was “a believer in Israel” and a strong supporter of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. “He’s a fan of Bibi,” he said, using Netanyahu’s nickname. “Really helping him a lot and will help him a lot, which is good for all of us.”At a joint press conference with the Russian leader earlier, Trump said Moscow “would like to do certain things with Syria having to do with the safety of Israel…We absolutely would like to work in order to help Israel, and Israel will be working with us. So both countries work jointly [for this purpose],” adding that “creating safety for Israel is something both Putin and I would like to see very much.”“Our militaries have gotten along better than our political leaders for a number of years. And we get along in Syria too,” he concluded of US-Russia relationship.MEMO
'Collective punishment':Israel blocks fuel shipment to Gaza
Israel has further tightened its blockade on the Gaza Strip, preventing gas and fuel deliveries through its only commercial crossing with the Palestinian besieged enclave a week after Israeli authorities announced the closure of the crossing.Kerem Shalom Crossing was shut down on July 9, and initially, items deemed as "humanitarian" would only be allowed to enter Gaza, such as food, hygiene and medical supplies, fuel, animal feed and livestock.  However, the defence ministry announced late on Monday that fuel and gas deliveries will also be suspended, and that the crossing will remain open only for food and medicine on a case-by-case basis."In light of the continued terror efforts of Hamas, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has decided, after consulting with the chief of [military] staff, to close Kerem Shalom for the passage of fuel and gas until Sunday," a statement from the ministry said.aljazeera
EU slams Israeli Govt attempts to conflate terrorism,BDS
European Union foreign minister Federica Mogherini sent a strongly-worded rebuke to Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, slamming his ministry’s “vague and unsubstantiated” claims that Brussels is financing “terrorism” and the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign. The letter, sent to Erdan on 5 July and obtained by Haaretz, also criticises the Israeli Govt for seeking to conflate “terrorism with the boycott issue”, efforts Mogherini described as “inopportune and misleading”, and liable to create “unacceptable confusion in public eye regarding these two distinct phenomena”. Mogherini was responding to a report published in May by the Strategic Affairs Ministry titled “Millions given by EU institutions to NGOs with ties to terror and boycotts against Israel”.MEMO
Minister Education: Israeli jets should drop bombs over the heads of Gaza children
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennet has insisted that Israeli warplanes should drop bombs over heads of Palestinian children flying kites into Israel, Ynet Net News reported. During the meeting of the Israeli Security Cabinet on Sunday, which convened to discuss the latest Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip, Bennet said: “Why not shoot anyone who launches aerial weapons at our communities, and at the cells?“There is no legal impediment. Why shoot next to them and not directly at them?These are terrorists for all intents and purposes.”MEMO
Israel passes bill banning Breaking Silence group from schools
Israeli Knesset has passed a bill banning whistleblowing organisation Breaking the Silence from attending schools, in a bid to clamp down on critics of the military, with detractors hailing the move as a blow to freedom of speech in the country. The bill, passed last night with a majority of 43 to 24, will prevent lectures and activities at local schools that are organised by groups arguing for legal action to be taken against the military for its crimes against the Palestinian population. A last minute addition by Israeli MK Amir Ohana also stipulated that the law should apply to those promoting political proceedings against Israel, such as human rights watchdog B’Tselem which has expressed support for economic sanctions against Israel.middleeastmonitor
Israel pass Facebook Bill which will authorise deleting content considered incitement
Israeli Knesset has passed the first reading of what is called the Facebook Bill which stipulates deleting content from social media, Quds Press reported. The law is to go for its second and third readings in the coming days.Knesset said that the bill, when it becomes a law, would authorise the court to issue orders to delete internet content “if it harmed the human safety, public, economic, state or vital infrastructure safety”.According to the statement the law is to include the content of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other internet platforms.MEMO
Qatari envoy sheds light on US plans for Gaza
Mohammed al-Emadi is the director of a Gaza reconstruction committee set up by Qatar's ministry of foreign affairs to administer a $407m grant from HH Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani to rebuild Gaza's destroyed infrastructure in 2012.Emadi spoke to Al Jazeera about his work in Gaza and his efforts to ease the tension between Israel and Hamas.He said Hamas and Israel were engaged in indirect talks over multiple issues concerning the conflict, and reached a tacit understating to keep their military confrontation at low-intensity and avoid a full-scale war. He also said he met senior White House officials Jarred Kushner and Jason Greenblatt in Doha last month who proposed several infrastructure projects to ease Gaza's worsening economic crisis and create jobs for residents of the enclave.aljazeera
Syrian Govt seizes strategic hill overlooking Golan Heights
Syrian Govt troops have regained control of a strategic hill overlooking Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, state-media and rebels said on Monday.Troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad took control of the al-Haara hill on the second day of an offensive aimed at retaking the remaining pockets of opposition in Quneitra province along the border with Israel.The hilltop, which is the highest ground in Deraa province, fell into rebel hands in Oct.2014, was heavily bombed by Russian and Syrian army air raids over the past two days. aljazeera
Amnesty:US-led coalition in denial over Raqqa’s civilian deaths
US-led coalition is "deeply in denial" about the number of civilians killed during an offensive it launched to remove the ISIL group from Syria's Raqqa last year, Amnesty International has said.  In a statement released by the rights organisation on Tuesday, the group condemned the US-led coalition's position on the findings of a report, published on June 5, about the four-month-long assault to remove ISIL from its self-proclaimed capital in Syria."The coalition's knee-jerk reactions are long on rhetoric and short on detail," Donatella Rovera, a senior adviser at Amnesty International, said today. "They lay bare how deeply in denial the coalition leadership is about its failure to protect civilians caught in conflict," she added. aljazeera

Sharif, Maryam to remain in jail until elections as court adjourns hearing on their appeals
A Pakistani court today adjourned until last week of July the hearing of appeals filed by jailed exPM Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law against their conviction in a corruption case, shattering their hope to come out of jail before polls to boost the campaign of their party.Elections are scheduled to be held on July 25 and 68-year-old Sharif’s PML-N party was banking on his early release to boost its election prospects. Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (retd.) Muhammad Safdar had on Monday filed the appeals in the Islamabad High Court challenging the verdict in the Avenfield corruption case.A two-member bench of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the appeals and issued notices to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and also ordered to present the record of the case.The bench adjourned the hearing till last week of July which effectively means that hearing will be held after July 25 which will be observed as holiday to let people cast votes.PTI
Iran files complaint with ICJ against US over renewed sanctions
Iran has filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the US for reimposing sanctions, said the foreign ministry as quoted by AFP.The complaint was registered on Monday as tweeted by the Foreign Minister of Islamic Republic of Iran Javad Zarif. Zarif has started a diplomatic tour to try to salvage the nuclear deal without the US. So far he's visited China and Moscow as well as met foreign ministers of France, England and Germany in Brussels.“Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of US contempt for diplomacy & legal obligations. It’s imperative to counter its habit of violating int’l law,”Zarif wrote on Twitter.indianexpress
Officials say fighting in Yemen’s Hodeida kills 30 civilians
Yemeni officials and witnesses say heavy fighting between pro-Govt forces and Shia rebels has killed more than 30 civilians, including women and children, in the last two weeks. Govt forces have been trying to seize rebel-held areas along the western coast, while an allied Saudi-led coalition has been targeting rebels, known as Houthis, with airstrikes. AP
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
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In India, WhatsApp stirs up deadly rumours:Nadim Asrar

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:31 PM)

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