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Saturday, 18 August 2018

18 Aug ND: Kerala floods: CM pegs losses at Rs 19,512 cr, PM Modi grants Rs 500 cr aid// Before Vajpayee’s cremation on Friday, saffron mobs carried out three violent attacks in his name


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
18 Aug 2018:06 Zilhajja 1439: Vol: 10, No:90
INDIA
Kerala floods: CM Vijayan pegs losses at Rs 19,512 cr, PM Modi grants Rs 500 cr assistance
New Delhi: With the death toll touching 173 in flood-ravaged Kerala, PM Narendra Modi Saturday chaired a high-level meeting in Kochi and announced an additional relief of Rs 500 crore, aside from the Rs 100 crore granted by Home Minister Rajnath Singh last week. He also declared compensation for victims’ kin and injured. The meeting was also attended by other dignitaries, including state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Minister Alphons KJ.Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had requested an immediate assistance of Rs 2,000 crore from the Centre. In a meeting convened to assess the flood situation in the state, CM Vijayan had informed PM Modi that the state has suffered a loss of Rs 19,512 crore as per initial assessment.On Friday, CM Vijayan informed Friday that the heavy rains, floods, and landslides have killed a total of 324 people since the onset of monsoon in May. Over 82,000 people were rescued on Friday as multiple rescue agencies relocated people from flooded districts to relief camps. The Centre announced a financial assistance of Rs 500 crore to the flood-ravaged state on Saturday. This is in addition to Rs 100 crore earlier announced by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh last week. PM Modi also announced an additional financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh to the next kin of the deceased individuals, and Rs 50,000 to the victims who have been reported to be seriously injured. This allocation shall be made from PM’s National Relief Fund. Kerala CM had demanded Rs 2,000 crore from the Centre. Vijayan reportedly told the PM that, based on first estimate, losses in the state are as high as Rs 19,500 crore. Meanwhile, rains lashing several parts of the state since this morning is causing concern as it could hamper the rescue and relief operations. Chengannur in Pathnamthitta, Chalakudy in Thrissur and various other parts of Ernakulam district are among the worst hit where rescue efforts are likely to be concentrated today. Indianexpress
Guterres saddened by Kerala flood toll; UN monitoring situation
UN: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is saddened by the loss of lives and the destruction due to the Kerala floods and the world organisation is following the situation very closely, according to his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.The UN “is saddened by the loss of life, destruction and displacement caused by the floods in India,” which is the worst flooding in about 100 years, Mr. Dujarric told reporters on Friday.Asked if India had asked for UN assistance, he said there has been no request for help and added, “as you know India has quite a well-operating machinery to deal with natural disasters.”“But of course our country team — I have been in touch with our Resident Coordinator (Yuri Afanasiev ) they are following closely, they are in touch with partners on the ground,” he said.
Kerala flood:Death toll climbs to 190,over 3 lakh moved to relief camps;red alert issued in 11 districts
Kerala floods: UAE extends helping hand, urges everyone to contribute generously
UAE on Saturday formed a committee to provide relief to the people affected in flood-ravaged Kerala. Vice President His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum took to Twitter to make the announcement and urged “everyone to contribute generously towards this initiative.” The committee will be chaired by the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) and will include representatives from UAE’s humanitarian organisations. The committee will also seek the help of dignitaries of the Indian resident community in the UAE. The president Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan expressed grief and extended condolences to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the loss and damage in the Kerala floods. He also urged the citizens of UAE to extend a helping to Indians. “Ahead of Eid Al Adha, do not forget to extend a helping hand to our brothers in India,” he said. Indian express.
‘Kerala part of our success story’: UAE comes out in support of flood-ravaged state
UP: Day after priests murdered, Qureshi men flee amid raids in Auraiya village
Auraiya : The streets of Auraiya’s Kudarkot village were largely deserted on Thursday, a day after 2 priests were found murdered and another critically injured on the premises of a temple. Amid regular raids by the police, who suspect that the priests may have been targeted for informing local police about alleged cow slaughter near the temple, several male members of Muslim families residing in the village went missing. Some women and children were seen outside. The rest, including the elderly, mostly stayed home. On Wednesday morning, a local resident who had gone to offer prayers found the priests lying in a pool of blood in the verandah of the Bhayanak Nath Mahadev temple, located on the outskirts of the village. They were also tied to their cots, said Bidhoona’s circle officer, Bhaskar Verma.The deceased were identified as Lajja Ram Yadav (65) and Har Bhajan (57). Ram Saran, another priest, is undergoing treatment. In his police complaint, Lajja Ram’s brother Ram Krishna Yadav said his brother and the other two priests used to oppose cow slaughter and had recently informed the police about some local residents being involved in the same. His complaint also mentioned his suspicions that those involved in the alleged cow slaughter, were also behind the murders. Later in the say, angry local residents had resorted to arson and blocked the Auraiya-Etawah road, demanding arrests. A police team rushed to the spot and used tear gas to disperse the crowd. The situation was brought under control when senior police officers assured that the accused will be arrested, said CO Verma.Auraiya SP Nageshwar Singh suspended station house officer of Bidhoona police station Akhilesh Mishra and constable Islam on charges of negligence. Heavy police force was deployed at Kudarkot village as a precautionary measure.Two arrests were made, while seven suspects are absconding. The suspects are members of the Qureshi (butchers) community. The village has a 40% Muslim population.On Thursday, 20 people including men and women were found detained for questioning at Kudarkot police outpost. Among those detained is 30-year-old Mohammad Jabid, who was picked from near his house Thursday. Jabid’s wife Salma told Indian Express that her husband had been out of town for last the two days. She said the police had “wrongly” picked him up.Badshah Alam (65), a resident of this village, alleged that the police are “harassing” members of the Muslim community in the name of investigation. “Members of the Qureshi community, who shifted to Kudarkot village from Dalelnagar area few years back, are involved in the slaughtering business. But police are harassing all Muslim families of the village. Even women members,” he claimed.Kudarkot village head Ravindra Babu said, “Most male members of Muslim families have left the village fearing police action. Women members of some families had come to me today claiming their family members were innocent. I told them I am helpless the because matter is sensitive.”indianexpress
A Massive Protest To Demand Action Against Attackers Of JNU Scholar Umar Khalid
NEW DELHI — Hundreds of youth leaders, students and activists staged a massive protest on Thursday demanding immediate action against those who had attempted to kill JNU scholar Umar Khalid two days before Independence Day in New Delhi.Questioning no action against the attackers so far, protesters alleged that the attack took place with the ‘patronage’ of the  BJP govt and its patron organization RSS. Speaking to Caravan Daily, student leaders expressed surprise as to how such attack took place in a high security area just two day before Independence Day.“That was a blatant attack just before 15th August that too in the area which is supposed to be the most protected area, very close to Parliament House, is surprising as the man with a gun was roaming free,” Geeta Kumari JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) president said.“It is not something that is isolated, for the past two years there has been a vilifying campaign against JNU students especially, Umar, Kanahiya Kumar and Shehla Rashid to project them as anti-nationals. Whoever speaks against RSS and BJP, this is happening to them,” she further said.She said that police did not take Umar’s complaint seriously that he was being threatened regularly.Former General Secretary of JNUSU Rama Naga said that it is a question of the security of all activists.Condemning the attack on Umar, Simone Zoya Khan, vice president of JNUSU demanded immediate arrest of attackers. “Police must take stringent action against them,” she said.Social activist Nadeem Khan from UAH while addressing the gathering said, “We forwarded the video of the two men claiming attack, their Facebook profiles and telephone numbers to Delhi police, but even after that no action has been taken.”“Is police waiting for their surrender?” Khan asked.Caravan Daily
Delhi Student Harassed, Told ‘You’re Muslim, We Won’t Face Action’
24-year-old Daud Arif, a Jamia Millia Islamia graduate, was on 15 August, allegedly assaulted and threatened by 4 men outside his house in New Delhi's Sarai Jullena.When the Independence Day celebrations grew too loud outside his house, Arif requested his landlord to intervene. “You’re a Muslim. Even if we do something to your life, we will escape unscathed,” shouted one of the 4 men, according to Arif.“It was a holiday so there were people celebrating Independence Day right under my house. Five to six men were playing loud music outside my house, and it was only around 8 PM that I asked my landlord to intervene. When I stepped out of my house to approach him, I saw someone had urinated on my door and in front of my house,” Arif told The Quint.Daud Arif narrated the incident in a Facebook post.Arif added, “I went to my landlord and told him that I did not object to any celebration but only to someone urinating in front of my room. I was attacked when my landlord tried to tell this to the men playing the music.”"My landlord and I realised that all of them were drunk. They slapped my landlord and told me that I am a Muslim, so if they try and do something to me, nothing will ever happen to them. I was told this on my country’s Independence Day." He graduated from Jamia, in mass communication, earlier this year.The Quint
Before Vajpayee’s cremation on Friday, saffron mobs carried out three violent attacks in his name
NEW DELHI: When BJP and RSS leaders and their foot soldiers were leaving no stone unturned in their show of respect for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee Friday afternoon, three violent attacks carried out by saffron mobs – one in Delhi, another in Bihar and one more in Maharashtra –unmasked their ‘respect’ to the non-violent ideas of Vajpayee.The first incident occurred outside the headquarters of BJP in the National Capital, which was under highest security cover at that time because the body of Vajpayee was kept there for VIPs and common people to pay their last respect to the departed soul.78-year-old renowned peace activist Swami Agnivesh was assaulted by BJP workers outside the party headquarters where he had gone to pay homage to the former PM Vajpayee. As soon as Agnivesh arrived at the venue on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, BJP workers started raising slogans against him and asked him to go back. In a video that went viral on social media, a woman worker is seen raising her slipper to hit Agnivesh. The Delhi Police then took Agnivesh in a van and moved him to safety.On the assault, people reacted sharply condemning the act of BJP workers. In his own article- “Why I have been assaulted”, published in The Indian Express, Agnivesh explained the incident:“On Friday afternoon, exactly a month after I was assaulted in Pakur (Jharkhand), I was set upon by a group of BJP activists outside the party headquarters in New Delhi. I had gone there to pay my respects to the mortal remains of former prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. I was walking towards the building when they surrounded me and grabbed my shawl and turban. They kept calling me a traitor while beating me. The people who thrashed me were insulting the memory and legacy of Vajpayee,” Agnivesh wrote.Assistant Professor Sanjay Kumar, who teaches at Mahatma Gandhi Central University (MGCU) in Motihari district in Bihar, was brutally attacked by Hindutva activists for a post criticising former PM Vajpayee on Facebook. He was reportedly dragged from the third floor of his house. In the video of the incident that gone viral on social media, the professor can be seen being thrashed, attacked by sticks and kicked. He was almost disrobed by the attackers.But a few students and friends of the professor managed to save him by stopping the assaulters who reportedly attempted to pour petrol on him to set him afire. In the attack, Kumar got severe injuries and was later admitted to AIIMS, Patna. Police have booked 12 people in the case.Following his comment on facebook, Kumar started receiving threat calls and messages on WhatsApp on Friday morning. Mrityunjay, a student of the professor, told The Quint that Prof. Sanjay was getting threat calls from unknown numbers since Friday morning.A group of teachers from Jamia Millia Islamia has written a strong letter to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar seeking action against the attackers. A ruckus was witnessed in an Aurangabad Municipal Corporation general body meeting on Friday when dozen-odd BJP corporators assaulted an AIMIM member who opposed a condolence resolution on former PM Vajpayee. AIMIM said the opposition to the resolution was not the party stand, but demanded action against the corporators involved in the assault.Shortly after the house convened, Bharatiya Janata Party corporators led by Rahul Vaidya moved a condolence resolution on Vajpayee’s death, which was opposed by AIMIM Sayed Mateen.caravandaily
In Nitish Kumar’s Land of Peace, Mob Mauls Assistant Professor for a FB Post
Maharashtra: AIMIM corporator, who opposed motion on Vajapyee, arrested; BJP members booked after ruckus
Atal supported minority character of AMU
Agra: AMU’s minority status might have become the issue now, but the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a strong proponent of the varsity’s minority character. Taking to TOI, director of Urdu Academy, Dr Rahat Abrar, also a former PRO in AMU said that everything is documented. He said, “Atal ji supported the minority character of AMU. In fact, he had promised in the election manifesto to restore the minority character of the University if comes in power.”During the 1979 mid-term elections, its manifesto read, “Janta party will give priority to enacting appropriate legislation to restore the autonomy and original character of the university as institution for Oriental and Islamic studies, and for the promotion of educational and cultural advancement, primarily of the Muslim community.” However, the bill introduced by the Indira Gandhi led government was actually drafted by Jan Sangh leaders such as Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani, who were the part of the Morarji Desai cabinet.  The legislation in question was the AMU (Amendment) Act, which was passed two years later in 1981 by then Congress government. Abrar said that Ram Jethmalani, the then vice president of Janata party even introduced a private member bill to give a minority status to AMU. However, more than 3 decades later, in April, 2016, BJP-led NDA told the Supreme Court that AMU is not a minority institution, seeking to reverse the stance taken by the UPA. TOI
Muslim intellectuals condole Vajpayee’s death
New Delhi: Muslim intellectuals condoled the death of ex-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. President All India Majlis Mushavirat Naveed Hamed while expressing grief over the sad demise of Vajpayee said India lost a great politician. He reminded that Vajpayee had always regretted for not removing chief minister during Gujarat riots.Dr Mufti Mukarram Ahmed termed the demise of Mr Vajpayee a great loss. He said Vajpayee served India for a long period. He used to look all Indians with one eye irrespective of religion.Assistant Secretary Jamat-e-Islami Hind Intezaar Nayeem said Vajpayee was a key leader despite his association with RSS and BJP he preferred Raj Dharma.Maulana Mohsin Naqvi said former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee believed in democratic values.Human Activist and president Citizen for Peace Wasim Ahmed Ghazi said in spite of his association of BJP and RSS Vajpayee sometimes put forth his point against RSS, BJP ideology and above politics. President India Islamic Cultural Centre Sirajuddin Quraishi expressed grief over the demise of ex-PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In a message he said India has lost a great leader and unparalleled towering personality. President All India Muslim Conference and former minister of Bihar Shumail Nabi said Vajpayee was an iron man. He was the harbinger of joint Indian culture.siasat
In India's citizenship test, a spelling error can ruin a family:Reuters
Dhubri: Riyazul Islam says he had to produce family documents going back to 1951 to prove he was an Indian and not an illegal Bangladeshi immigrant. But a draft list of citizens released in July excluded him and his mother, among a total of about 4 million people left off.A wiry 33-year-old living in Assam, Islam says he and his mother have no further documents left to prove they are Indians, although his father and many others in his family have been included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC).“If my father is an Indian citizen how come I am not?” said Islam in an interview in the small Assam town of Dhubri, close to the border with Muslim-majority Bangladesh. “What more proof do they need?”Anguish like this is now commonplace in Assam, where the Hindu nationalist govt of PM Narendra Modi accelerated work on the citizen’s list after coming to power in the state two years ago, promising to act against immigrants accused of stealing jobs and resources from locals.The govt has not given details of the four million excluded from the list. But most are believed to be minority Bengali-speaking Muslims living in the state, which has a total population of 33 million, mostly Assamese-speaking Hindus.Many of those excluded are illiterate and poor, and some are victims of a spelling error in their names or a mistake in their age in documents offered for proof of citizenship, according to a review of their documents by Reuters. Opposition parties say Modi’s BJP is denying citizenship to Muslims through the Assam list, and demonstrating its Hindu nationalist credentials with an eye on a general election due by May. Assam NRC draft has excluded many Hindus too, but last weekend BJP chief Amit Shah assured citizenship to all non-Muslim refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan by framing a new law.It is not clear what will happen to those excluded from the final list of citizens, due to be published by the end of the year. But lawyers say they may end up in detention camps, or at the very least be denied citizenship rights and government subsidies.They could also be struck off voter rolls, which will be an important factor in at least half a dozen Assam constituencies in a general election.In Dhubri, a farming town on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra River upstream from the Bangladesh border, those who did not make it to the list were fearful of discussing it in public.But inside their homes, several of those excluded showed a Reuters reporter tattered pieces of paper, including birth, school and marriage certificates dating back years and preserved carefully in plastic envelopes.Such government-issued documents in the countryside often contain spelling or numerical errors, as the illiterate depend on others to write down details. Getting birth certificates made was also not common until recent years in many parts of the country.Such mistakes can lead to loss of citizenship, said Aman Wadud, a lawyer who has handled dozens of cases of illegal immigration at Assam’s foreigner tribunals.
Marry a Muslim girl, get a reward of 2.5 lakh: BJP Yuva Morcha
New Delhi: A video of BJP Yuva Morcha rewarding Hindu men for luring and marrying Muslims women has created a sensation on social media platforms.The more than one minute video posted on Facebook shows a spokesman of the organization Hindu Yuva Morcha announcing that if any Hindu boy whether it is Brahmin, Kshatriya, Shudra or Vaishya, marries a Muslim girl, then he will get 2.5 lakh rupees. Apart from this, he will also get free food and stay for six months.The spokesman said that the Yuva Morcha would also take the responsibility of protecting the duo.He further said that they are going to start a campaign from today adding a sword and a saffron flag would be there in every house of Indian Hindu.As soon as the video posted, it went viral on social media flood. Siasat
Rajasthan: Citing study, Congress says 42 lakh duplicate electors in state
Jaipur:In Sikar’s Danta Ramgarh Assembly constituency, house number 1312 under booth number 75 has 646 registered voters. Similarly, Ganganagar’s Sadulshahar assembly constituency, which has the distinction of being Assembly constituency number one in Rajasthan, has at least 84 persons named Angej Kaur or Angej Singh or Angrez Singh, and with other similar details, such as the name for a father or a husband.The findings are from a study undertaken by thepolitics.in, which identifies itself as “India’s First Tech Political Start-Up”, for the Congress party. The party has cited the study in its letter to the Chief Election Commissioner.In all, there are 42,08,841 “probable duplicates on the parameters of same name, relative name and gender.” As many as 91,261 records with the same Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) numbers within an assembly constituency were also found. And 14,282 probable duplicates on the parameters of same name, relative name and gender, repeated more than 50 times within a single constituency were also found.indianexpress
Jharkhand: Man beaten up over suspicion of child’s murder, dies
Ranchi :An unidentified man, in his mid-40s, died in a hospital after he was thrashed by a mob on the suspicion that he had murdered a seven-year-old girl. The incident was reported from Barapalasi station in Jharkhand’s Dumka district on Wednesday. The man succumbed to his injuries in Patliputra Medical College and Hospital in Dhanbad on Thursday.The police said they have registered 2 FIRs in connection with the incident. One has been registered on the basis of a complaint lodged by the girl’s maternal grandmother, in which she accused the man of killing the girl. The other FIR has been registered by the police against unidentified villagers who beat up the man . No arrests have been made so far.According to police, the girl went missing on Wednesday and her family members and a few others reached the railway station looking for her. While her body was found inside a toilet on a station platform and the man was spotted outside the toilet, the police said. Suspecting him to be involved in the murder, the men beat him up, the police said, adding that on reaching the spot they took him to hospital where he succumbed.indianexpress
‘Economy grew in double digits twice during UPA decade’: Govt panel
Indian’s economy grew faster during the previous UPA government under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as compared to the average growth recorded in the first four years of the Modi government, according to back series calculations released by a National Statistical Commission panel.The economy grew in double digits twice during the previous UPA regime, the study panel has disclosed. According to the government appointed panel’s report, the average gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 10.23% in 2007-08 and 10.78% in 2010-11.It proves that like-for-like, the economy under BOTH UPA terms (10 year avg: 8.1%) outperformed the Modi Govt (Avg 7.3%) .The UPA also delivered the ONLY instance of double digit annual growth in modern Indian history. The “back series data” or older data based on the new series on GDP has been compiled by the Committee on Real Sector Statistics, which submitted its report to the Centre on July 15. The report was released on July 25.Meanwhile, former Union Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government to match up with the UPA's GDP rate in its fifth year and said that back series calculation of GDP has proved that the best years of economic growth were the UPA years 2004-2014.Quoting figures of the recently released Ministry of Statistics' data, Chidambaram said: "Truth has triumphed. The back series calculation of GDP has proved that the best years of economic growth were the UPA years 2004-2014.""The average growth rate under four governments since 1999 were-- NDA I - 5.68 per cent, UPA I - 8.36% UPA II - 7.68% and NDA II - 7.35 per cent (four years)," Chidambaram tweeted."I wish the Modi government well in its fifth year. It can never catch up with UPA I, but I wish it catches up with UPA II," he added. Chidambaram said that the UPA governments delivered the best ever decadal growth and lifted 140 million people out of poverty and thanked the people for the opportunity to serve them for 10 years.nationalheraldindia
Uttarakhand Cop Gagandeep  Who Saved A Muslim Youth From Lynch Mob Honoured With Police Medal
Gagandeep Singh, the brave Uttarakhand Police Sub Inspector, who had made headlines after he saved a Muslim youth from a mob has been honoured by the state government.On 15th August, on the occasion of Independence Day, he was given the ‘Frontier Service Respect Mark’ medal by DGP Anil Rathudi.Singh was hailed a hero, for saving the life of a Muslim boy in May this year when he was about to be attacked by a group of Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad men in Girija village in Nainital.The mob was infuriated after a rumour spread that he was with a Hindu girl at a local temple.indiatimes
WORLD
Imran Khan sworn in as Pakistan’s 22nd Prime Minister
New Delhi : Imran Khan — cricketer-turned-politician and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief — took oath as Pakistan’s 22nd Prime Minister on Saturday. He was administered the oath by President Mamnoon Hussain at a simple ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr (the President House) in Islamabad. “I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan,” Khan read from the oath, standing next to the President.The ceremony, which was scheduled to begin at 9:30am, started 40-minute late. It commenced with the national anthem, followed by recitation of verses from the Holy Quran. Khan arrived at the President House in a black sherwani from his Banigala residence. He was seen little nervous while taking the oath as he faced difficulties in pronouncing some Urdu words.The PTI chief along with his wife Bushra Imran greeted various guests and proceeded to the Prime Minister’s Office where he was presented the guard of honour. Several high-profile guests including caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan and Naval Chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi were present at the ceremony.Others who were in attendance to witness Khan’s formal ascension to the top ministerial job in the country include — PTI leaders, former Indian cricket star Navjot Singh Sidhu, cricketer-turned-commentator Rameez Raja, legendary paceman Wasim Akram, newly-elected Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, singers Salman Ahmed and Abrarul Haq, actor Javaid Sheikh and former National Assembly speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza. Khan on Friday defeated his only rival and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Shahbaz Sharif in a one-sided election for the top post in the National Assembly. Of the total National Assembly members, 176 voted in favour of Khan, while his opponent, Shahbaz received 96 votes. Hence, making the way clear for the PTI chief to become the new PM.indianexpress
Former UN chief Kofi Annan passes away at 80
New Delhi :Former United Nations chief and Nobel Peace Prize laureate General Kofi Annan passed away at the age of 80, following a short illness. Annan, a Ghanaian national, died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of Saturday. He is survived by his wife and three children.Announcing the news of the leader’s demise, the Kofi Annan Foundation wrote on its Twitter page, “It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan  Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the  United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on  Saturday 18th August after a short illness.”indianexpress

Qatar accuses Saudis of barring haj pilgrims, Riyadh says untrue
RIYADHQatar has accused Saudi Arabia of barring its citizens from this year's haj, something Riyadh denies, saying a diplomatic dispute is not stopping Qataris from making the pilgrimage to Mecca.Although 1,200 Qataris are eligible to perform the haj under a quota system, Qatar says it has become impossible to get permits, blaming the campaign by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to cut trade and diplomatic ties with the country.Abdullah Al-Kaabi of the state-run Qatar National Human Rights Committee said Saudi Arabia had shut down an electronic system used by travel agencies to obtain permits for pilgrims from Qatar.“There is no chance this year for Qatari citizens and residents to travel for haj,” he told Reuters. “Registration of pilgrims from the State of Qatar remains closed, and residents of Qatar cannot be granted visas as there are no diplomatic missions.”A Saudi official said Qatar had blocked several registration links set up for its pilgrims.An official at Saudi Arabia's haj ministry said a group of Qataris had arrived for the pilgrimage which runs from Sunday to Aug. 24, but he did not say how many there were or whether they had travelled directly from Qatar. Last year, 1,624 Qatari pilgrims attended, he said.Saudi Arabia says the Qatari government is using the issue for political ends and it “rejects any effort to politicise the haj or drag political differences” into the pilgrimage, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.Saudi Arabia, and the three other Arab countries, closed land, air and sea links with Qatar in July last year, accusing it of funding terrorism, something Doha denies.REUTERS
Muslim Couple Denied Swiss Citizenship Over Their Refusal to Shake Hands
Geneva: Swiss city of Lausanne has blocked a Muslim couple's bid to become Swiss nationals over their refusal to shake hands with members of the opposite sex.The municipality said it refused to grant the couple's citizenship application over their lack of respect for gender equality, Lausanne mayor Gregoire Junod told AFP.He said a municipal commission had questioned the couple several months ago to determine if they met the criteria for citizenship, but had determined in the ruling made public Friday that they missed the mark on integration.He refused to divulge the couple's nationalities or other identifying details, but said they "did not shake hands with people of the opposite sex." They also "showed great difficulty in answering questions asked by people of the opposite sex," he said.Some devout Muslims argue that Islam does not permit physical contact with a person of the opposite sex, with the exception of certain immediate family members. Junod pointed out that freedom of belief and religion is enshrined in the laws of the Canton of Vaud, which encompasses Lausanne.But "religious practice does not fall outside the law," he stressed.AFP
US sanctions Myanmar military over Rohingya 'ethnic cleansing'
The United States has imposed sanctions on four Myanmar military and police commanders and two army units, accusing them of "ethnic cleansing" against Rohingya and widespread human rights abuses."Burmese security forces have engaged in violent campaigns against ethnic minority communities across Burma, including ethnic cleansing, massacres, sexual assault, extrajudicial killings, and other serious human rights abuses," Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said on Friday."Treasury is sanctioning units and leaders overseeing this horrific behaviour as part of a broader US government strategy to hold accountable those responsible for such wide-scale human suffering," Mandelker added.
FLASH VIEWS & NEWS
How RSS uses BJP and VHP to balance the debate on cow slaughter: Indian express
Why I have been assaulted:Swami Agnivesh, Indian express
A State is Submerged But the Centre Does Not See a ‘Calamity’ (Meanwhile Kerala and Her People Rise to Help Themselves):Shiv Naidu
Across Kerala’s WhatsApp groups, some fake news, but thousands of helping hands

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:32 PM)

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