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Monday, 3 September 2018

03 SEPT. ND: Matter sub judice: HC questions Maharashtra police’s media briefing in activists’ arrest case/ Karnataka civic polls results: Congress secures majority after close fight, says people rejected ‘jumlas of BJP’


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY  
03 SEPT. 2018:22 Zilhajj 1439: Vol: 10, No:98
INDIA
Matter sub judice: HC questions Maharashtra police’s media briefing in activists’ arrest case
Mumbai:  Bombay High Court raised questions Monday over Maharashtra police’s media briefing on its case against some prominent activists arrested for their alleged links with Maoists.State ADG (Law and Order) Parambir Singh along with the Pune police had addressed the media on the case on Friday.During the press conference, Singh had read out letters purportedly exchanged between the activists. He claimed that the police had “conclusive proof” to link Left-wing activists arrested in June and last week to Maoists.A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and Mridula Bhatkar questioned how the police could read out such documents which may be used as evidence in the case. “How can the police do this? The matter is sub judice. The SC is seized of the matter. In such cases, revealing information pertaining to the case is wrong,” Justice Bhatkar said.Public prosecutor Deepak Thakare said he would speak to the police officials concerned and seek their response. The bench was hearing a petition filed on Friday by one Satish Gaikwad, who claims to be a victim of the Koregaon Bhima violence. He sought a probe by the NIA in the case.Gaikwad urged the high court to restrain the Pune police from further probing the case, and stay the investigation. The bench posted the petition for further hearing on Sept.7.Gaikwad in his petition also alleged that the Pune police were investigating the case unfairly and with malafide intentions.HT
Lawyers question evidentiary value: Activists used dark net to send emails, say Cops
2 days after the Maharashtra Police pointed out to ‘e-mail letters’ exchanged between activists arrested by them in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence as evidence, an officer claimed that the activists were using a portal on the dark net to exchange these letters. A senior officer claimed that the portal ‘rise.in’ that was accessible through the dark net— an internet network that has restricted access, popular for illegal transactions — would ensure that the sender’s Internet Protocol (IP) address was not revealed, thereby maintaining anonymity. However, lawyers, representing the activists, have questioned the validity of the e-mails under the amended Evidence Act, as it is necessary to prove where a particular e-mail was sent from and received to be considered as evidence.The police claimed to have seized “thousands” of documents from password-protected devices from the home of Rona Wilson, an activist who was arrested in June. The allegations made by the police against those arrested about “ending the Modi-raj with a Rajiv Gandhi-type incident” and “seeking money for procuring grenade launchers” are based on an e-mail letter between Rona Wilson and a CPI-Maoist leader, the police have claimed.Advocate Ravindranath Balla, who is representing Varavara Rao, said: “As per the amended Evidence Act, the police have to show which IP address a particular e-mail was sent from and who received it. An independent technical expert should give a certificate to that effect. If they are now saying that IP address is not present it cannot be considered as evidence.”Earlier at a press conference, lawyer Susan Abraham, wife of activist Vernon Gonsalves who had been arrested, had expressed concerns about the police planting evidence in the electronic devices that were seized from their house.indianexpress
Arrests to implicate persons for fighting against corporates takeover of tribal land,resources: Guha
 Bengaluru: After the sudden and undemocratic arrest of several human rights activists and lawyers across the country, Dr. Ramachandra Guha, an Indian historian was one of the first individuals to issue a strong public statement condemning the arrests and calling them ‘undemocratic.’ Following these developments and the many statements issued by different groups and individuals, The Citizen had the opportunity to interview Guha and pose some questions regarding the prevailing circumstances in the country and the on-going debate around dissent and democracy.thecitizen
Shiv Sena questions arrests of 5 activists
Shiv Sena has targeted the Maharashtra Police for the arrests of 5 activists last week claiming they were reportedly "hatching a conspiracy to overthrow the central and state govts" besides allegedly "plotting a Rajiv Gandhi-style assassination of PM Narendra Modi", among others."The police contentions behind the arrests are ridiculous.The erstwhile government of PM Manmohan Singh was voted out and removed by the people — not by the Maoists."As of now... at least, it is still possible to change the government through the democratic processes," the Sena said.IANS
Vigilantes in UP thrash 70-year-old man taking his cow to the vet
New Delhi: Just days after the brutal lynching of 20-year-old Shahrukh Khan in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district, cow vigilantes struck again in the state, this time their target a 70-year-old man in Balrampur district who was taking his cow to the vet. According to reports, and as can be seen in a video on social media, Kailash Nath Shukla, a resident of Lakshmanpur village, was taking his cow to another village for medical attention when he was accused by a group of ‘gau rakshaks‘ of abandoning his cow. The agitated gau rakshaks then started to thrash the septuagenarian with sticks and eventually threw him into a gutter.All the while, Shukla pleaded for them to stop the abuse and tried to communicate repeatedly that he is a Brahmin. According to DNA, people in the village got even more aggravated when someone suggested that his intention was probably to go to the nearby village to sell his cow to a Muslim. The mob then reportedly pulled the farmer from the gutter, blackened his face, shaved his head and chained him.“I was taking my cow to Juathana-Srinagar town in the district for treatment when half-a-dozen villagers surrounded me outside Achanpur-Nandnagar. They accused me of taking the cow somewhere to abandon it and started beating me,” Shukla told reporters.Shukla was then paraded in the village, while the vigilantes can bee seen hooting and whistling in the behind him, prodding him on. The message was clear: anyone who dares to disrespect the cow will meet a similar fate or worse.Reports claim Shukla went to a nearby police station but was unable to lodge an FIR.So far, four persons – identified as Dinesh Shukla, Umesh Tiwari, Jeevan Lal and Nankane Kumar – have been arrested, and Shukla has been admitted to the district hospital with a fractured right arm. According to the Telegraph, all four have been linked by police sources to the Hindu Yuva Vahini, which was founded by chief minister Yogi Adityanath a decade ago when he was an MP.thewire
Wait grows longer as NRC claims process yet to start in Assam: Draft errors unlikely to be fixed soon with SC suggesting re-verification.
Guwahati:Garment shop owner Abdul Kalam Azad’s six-member family sat pretty in Assam’s Bongaigaon district expecting to make it to the National Register of Citizens (NCR) for confirmation of their Indian citizenship. They hoped their genuine paperwork would see them through. But Azad was shocked to see his family excluded from the draft. Inquiries revealed that there had been a mix-up. The acknowledgement number allotted in response to their application for the inclusion in the NRC has been registered under the names of one Bilat Ali’s family. “I have complained. But they are still to rectify it...,” said Azad.Azad’s family is not alone. Many families have been unable it to make it to the NRC because of data entry errors. Complaints have been pouring since the final NRC draft left out over 40 lakh people on July 30. There have been cases wherein some members of a family have been excluded and others included in the draft. Azad’s family is waiting for the claims and objections exercise to begin for having their names included in the NRC. The Supreme Court is yet to decide on a procedure for the exercise. It has asked different stakeholders for their views on the issue.In an order last month, the court suggested re-verification of 10 per cent of 2.89 crore people included in the draft. This is likely to further delay the final NRC. The court has underlined the need for considering verification after going through the district wise data of exclusions.HT
Karnataka civic polls results: Congress secures majority after close fight, says people rejected ‘jumlas of BJP’
New Delhi:After a close fight with BJP, Congress on Monday gained control over a majority of the urban local bodies (ULB) in Karnataka by bagging 982 out of 2662 seats, including the northern region of the state. While the party and Janata Dal (Secular) contested the polls separately, despite being in coalition, they have decided to go for a tie-up post-election in the urban bodies. According to the state election commission, BJP secured 929 seats while JD(S) won 375 seats in the elections which were held on August 31. The remaining seats were bagged by the independent candidates and others. Read HIGHLIGHTS here.Having attained 1,357 seats in total, the Congress and JD(S) have a clear edge over the saffron party and control over ULBs.indian express
Law panel: Rs 4,555 crore needed to buy EVMs for ‘imminent’ simultaneous polls
New Delhi :Law Commission has said over Rs 4,500 crore will be needed to buy new EVMs and paper trail machines for “imminent” simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.In its draft report on simultaneous polls issued last week, the law panel quoted the Election Commission as saying that around 10,60,000 polling stations will be set up for the 2019 general elections.“It (EC) further informed that as of now there is a shortfall of about 12.9 lakh ballot units, 9.4 lakh control units and about 12.3 lakh VVPATs (voter verifiable paper audit trail machines or paper trail machines), if simultaneous elections are to be held,” the report read.According to it, an EVM, which includes a control unit (CU), a ballot unit (BU) and a VVPAT, costs about Rs 33,200.“Thus, EC has informed that an expenditure of about Rs 4,555 crore will be incurred on the procurement of EVMs for an imminent simultaneous election,” the draft report read.PTI
Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow Development Authority trade barbs over madrasa, ownership of land
Lucknow: Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, and the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) are locked in a dispute over ownership of a land under Chowk police station area. Besides, the Islamic institution has also accused the LDA of trying to demolish a madrasa built there, an allegation the civic body has denied. “LDA officials came here on August 29 to demolish the madrasa Mazharul Islam as, according to them, it is situated on a government land. We received a notice in this regard on August 14. However, they couldn’t raze the structure as people from the locality assembled at the spot to prevent them from doing it,” said Dr Shoaib Qureshi, a member of both the working committee and the executive panel of the Ulama. He claimed that the land was purchased by the Ulama through six registries between 1982 and 1991. The madrasa was built in 2005 after the map for the same was passed by the LDA, Qureshi said.“Land was originally owned by four brothers, one of whom went to Pakistan in 1965. In 1982, we first purchased one-fourth of the land and subsequently the rest by 1991.The next year, a primary school was constructed on the land and then a small madrasa was established. In 2005, after the map was passed by LDA, the madrasa Mazharul Islam was built. At present, we have 2 buildings with hostel and library facilities spread over 20,000 sq ft. The rest of the land houses an abandoned factory and makeshift houses where people live,” Qureshi said.When contacted, LDA secretary Mangala Prasad Singh said, “It is confirmed that the land belongs to the government. However, we are not going to demolish the madrasa or any other pucca structure on the land. We only have to construct a boundary wall in the empty space for some government work. Only those living in makeshift houses will be removed. In fact, many of them have already shifted,” Singh said.indianexpress
Catholic priest gives sermon in Kerala mosque, thanks Muslims for help during floods
Kerala: In a sermon of a different kind, a Catholic priest addressed members of Muslim community inside a mosque, thanking them for selflessly feeding the flood victims who had taken shelter at his church.Father Sanu Puthussery, belonging to the Syro-Malabar Church, had visited the Juma Masjid at Vechoor in Kottayam district during jum’ah (Friday prayers) on Aug. 31 and delivered a thanksgiving speech at the prayer hall.As the deadliest floods had lashed the state two weeks ago, over 580 people had sought refuge at St Antony’s Church at Achinakom where Father Puthussery was serving as the priest.However, a day after, the Church authorities faced some shortage of food and water.“I straightaway went to the Masjid, apprised the maulvi about our difficulty and requested his help. After the day’s prayers, Muslim brothers came to the church with a large quantity of food and water,” Father Puthussery said.“I cannot express my gratitude to them in words. That much help and support they had extended during the time of difficulties,” he said. They continued bringing essential items to the relief camp at the church.Besides food and water, the youth attached to the mosque also arranged for medicines, he said.“I went to the Masjid to meet the maulvi and other authorities and thank them personally. But they invited me to their prayer hall and offered me their platform to speak...,” the priest said.It was a different experience for over 250 believers, who were present at the mosque to offer Friday prayers.In his about 10-minute speech, the Catholic priest said, though the floods had snatched away many valuables from people, it also washed away the walls of  differences among them.PTI
Video of Naga Sadhu beaten up by member of minority community fake: Police
Dehradun: A video of a Naga Sadhu being beaten up by a member of a minority community in Dehradun which has emerged on social media is fake, police clarified on Sunday. Police said that those who circulated the video on social media have been identified and action would be taken against them. The video shows a man looking like a Naga Sadhu being beaten up by a man with a stick. Police said that the incident took place on August 24 in Patel Nagar police station area and the man, portrayed as a Naga Sadhu, was actually a beggar and a drug addict. “He entered a house and tried to molest a woman. After she raised an alarm, her brother came and beat him up,” said police. Bollywood actress Koena Mitra had also retweeted the video, saying that the man beaten up in the video is a ‘Naga Sadhu’, adding that, “This happens in our country every day.” Many other people on social media also declared that an innocent Naga Sadhu was brutally beaten up by members of the minority community in Uttarakhand. However, Dehradun police in a statement said that the claims floating on social media were baseless and the man was identified as Sushil Nath, a native of Yamunanagar in Haryana, who was booked for molesting a woman on August 24 under inebriated condition.TOI
Mumbai arms haul terror case: Pangarkar sent to ATS custody till Sept.6
timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/nalasopara-arms-haul-pangarkar-sent-to-ats-custody-till-september-6/articleshow/65658566.cms
New Delhi: Shrikant Pangarkar,ex Shiv Sena corporator, has been sent to ATS custody in the terror conspiracy case till Sept. 6 while as other accused, Vaibhav Raut and Sudhanva Gondhalekar, have been sent to judicial custody for 14 days.Earlier in August, ATS had carried out raids in Nalasopara and Pune and arrested gau rakshak and Sanatan Sanstha sympathizer Vaibhav Raut, his associate Sharad Kalaskar, Pune resident Sudhanwa Gondhalekar, Ghatkopar resident Avinash Pawar and Pangalkar for allegedly stockpiling crude bombs, explosives and firearms.An ATS officer said they are checking if the 5 suspects had attended the training and bomb testing sessions at Jalna farmhouse.TOI
Verdict on 2007 Hyderabad blasts likely tomorrow
Hyderabad:A local court is likely to pronounce on Tuesday its verdict in a case related to the twin bomb blasts at Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park in Hyderabad in 2007 that claimed 44 lives and left 68 injured.On August 27, Second Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge T Srinivas Rao postponed the judgment in the case to Sept. 4.Counter Intelligence (CI) wing of the Telangana Police had investigated the case and arrested five accused, all alleged Indian Mujahideen operatives. The agency had filed 4 charge sheets against the 5 accused and also named two other absconding accused, Riyaz Bhatkal and Iqbal Bhatkal.Those arrested — Mohammed Akbar Ismail Chowdhari, Aneeq Shafique Sayeed, Farooq Sharfuddin Tarkash, Mohammed Sadiq Israr Ahmed Shaik and Tarik Anjum — were produced before the court on August 27 through video conferencing from Cherlapalli Central Prison, where they are currently lodged.The trial against five accused in the case was shifted to a court hall located on the premises of Cherlapalli Central Prison from a court located in Nampally Court complex in June this year.PTI
Saharanpur: Two hurt in Gujjar-Dalit clash over ‘lewd remarks’
Lucknow:A clash took place between members of the Dalit and Gujjar communities in Saharanpur after a group of girls were allegedly harassed on their way back from school. Two people were injured in the incident, and no arrests have been made.A group of Gujjars alleged that Dalit youths had passed lewd remarks about the girls, while the other group denied the allegations, police said. The injured were rushed to hospital and discharged after treatment. SHO of Rampur Maniharan police station, SK Rana said, “Members of Gujjar community alleged that a few Dalit youths of Sarai locality used to pass lewd remarks about girls while the latter were returning from school to their homes in Naurangpur village.A week ago, when the girls complained to their families, heated arguments took place between members of both communities.”He added, “Members of the Gujjar community came to know that when the girls were returning home from school on Saturday, Dalit youths again passed lewd remarks. They then went to Sarai locality, located 1 km away from Naurangpur village, and a heated argument took place. In the meantime, several persons reached the spot in support of the Dalit youths.”indianexpress
Pune Municipal Corporation scraps Haj House plan for second time
Pune:For the past 10 years, the fate of a Haj House, for those going for the holy pilgrimage from southwestern Maharashtra, has been hanging in the balance. While land for it was approved at Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Memorial in Koregaon Park in 2008, it was scrapped in 2016. Then, new land was approved at Kondhwa in 2017, and a formal inauguration conducted. But now, the project has now been scrapped altogether, in favour of a civic cultural centre for all communities. Having come to know of this through RTI, residents of Kondhwa have now written to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and guardian minister Girish Bapat in protest. They are also planning to refrain from casting votes in the upcoming Assembly election.The plan was approved by the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) general body in 2016. But, protests from locals and some Right wing leaders forced authorities to scrap it the same year. Subsequently, another land was finalised in Kondhwa just a month before the civic election in 2017, and a formal inauguration ceremony was conducted by former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar. Work was to be completed within one year. Now, authorities have suspended the project, citing administrative and technical reasons, saying that a religious structure cannot be built on civic amenity space. It was also learnt that the home department has not given a green signal and kept the file pending for a year.Pune Mirror
Youth shot dead in Kashmir Valley clash
A young man was shot dead during clashes between security forces and stone-pelters on Monday in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district after a massive search operation was launched in around two dozen villages, police said.Doctors at S.M.H.S. Hospital said Fayaz Ahmad Wani, who was critically injured in the street clashes, was declared dead on arrival.Security forces used tear smoke shells and pellets to quell the protesters, injuring Wani in Dusoo village. He was first shifted to Pulwama District Hospital, police said.IANS
‘Either you will die or I will’, BJP MLA’s son threatens to shoot Jyotiraditya Scindia
BJP MLA Uma Devi Khatik's son Princedeep Lalchand Khatik, in a social media post on Monday, threatened to shoot Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia.Lalchand Khatik wrote in a Facebook post: "Jyotiraditya Scindia, you have Jiwajirao's blood running in your veins, who killed Jhansi ki Rani. If you step in Hatta then I will shoot you. Either you will die or I will."His statement comes ahead of Scindia's scheduled visit to Hatta district to hold a rally on Sept.5.Uma Devi, BJP MLA from Madhya Pradesh's Hatta Vidhan Sabha constituency told IANS: "This post is unfortunate. Scindia is a respectable MP. I will ask my son to remove the post."nationalheraldindia
Waqf Act, 1995 challenged in Supreme Court
The Constitutional validity of the Waqf Act, 1995 has been assailed in Supreme Court contending violation of Articles 14, 15, 25, 26 and 27.The petition filed through advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain by two individuals has alleged that the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board (UP Waqf Board) taking advantage of powers conferred by the Act under Waqf Act,1995, has captured a number of public properties including religious properties of Hindus.Adverting to Sections 4 and 5 of the Act, the petitioners have contended that the Survey Commissioner under the Act can include any property as waqf property. There are no checks on the powers of the Survey Commissioner and there is no provision made for affording an opportunity of hearing to the members of general public for inclusion or exclusion of any property from the list of waqf, the petition contends. Contending that Act discriminates between waqf property and properties belonging to Trust, Mutts, religious and charitable institutions of non-Islamic faith, the petitioners have prayed that Waqf Act, 1995 be declared unconstitutional insofar as the provisions of Act affects properties held and possessed by members of Hindu community and non-Islamic communities.barandbench
Activist claims names of about 12 lakh Muslims missing from Tamil Nadu voters list
Chennai: A social activist, claiming to be in the possession of the needed facts and figures, said that names of some 12 lakh Muslims are missing from the Tamil Nadu voters lists.Social activist, who shared the information with this writer on the condition of anonymity, said that he has got this information from 25,000 mosques across Tamil Nadu."The mosques have given me the lists of Muslims whose names are not listed in the voters list of the area. This names if added together comes to about 12 lachs in Tamil Nadu", he claimed. Similar claims were made recently in Karntaka before 2018 state elections.Center For Research and Debates in Development Policy (CRDDP) New Delhi, had in fact launched mobile phone app for about 18 lakh Muslims in Karnataka whose names were either missing from the voters list or they didn't have the voter ID cards issued in their name.Likewise, the Madhya Pradesh Congress had claimed that there were as many as 60 lakh bogus voters in the poll bound states.Election Commission of India later dismissed Congress charges.ummid.com
WORLD
No evidence of radicalisation at Rohingya camps in Bangladesh, says UN official
A year since nearly a million Rohingya refugees poured into Bangladesh, the situation is yet to stabilise, and the impending cyclone season could spell disaster for the humanitarian effort, a senior United Nations official based in Cox’s Bazaar has warned.“Even to the naked eye it is clear that we are not just on the brink of disaster, but the disaster is happening around us,” said Sumbul Rizvi, the senior humanitarian coordinator for the Rohingya Refugee Response, making an appeal for more international funding. This year’s UN joint response plan (JRP) has received only 34% of the funds needed, in contrast to about 85% last year, she said.Amidst signs of the flagging global response to the crisis, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres addressed the Security Council on the situation on the ground this week, while a Human Rights Council report said the Myanmar military leadership should be investigated for “genocide” in the violence in August 2017. Over alleged reports of radicalisation of the young boys in Rohingya  camps, Sumbul Rizvi said, "since we work in the camps, I can tell you there is no sign of any such groups inside the camps. Bangladesh is a responsible country and capable of taking measures to counter such a threat.The government has established several police stations and more than 70 senior administration officials who lead the response including the law and order situation. We need to ensure the young boys and girls in the camps must be given access to education. Their complete dependency on food aid, and the lack of a livelihood which in the natural process, would help the community deal with their trauma.But let me tell you, the crime rate in Cox’s Bazaar is way below a population the size of a big city, and we should not be alarmist in our approach to them. I don’t know about credibility of the reports you refer to, but we mustn’t taint a refugee community that has fled such horrific violence themselves."thehindu
Myanmar court sentences Reuters reporters to 7 years in jail
Yangon:A Myanmar court sentenced 2 Reuters journalists to seven years in prison on Monday for illegal possession of official documents, a ruling that comes as international criticism mounts over the military’s alleged human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims.Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had pleaded not guilty to violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act, punishable by up to 14 years in prison. They contended they were framed by police. The verdict was postponed from a week ago because the presiding judge was ill.The case has drawn worldwide attention as an example of how press freedom is suffering under the government of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Her taking power in 2016 had raised hopes for an accelerated transition to full democracy from military rule, but she has since disappointed many former admirers.AP
Secret oil shipments could help Iran cushion US sanctions blow
Discounts, bartering and smuggling are among the tactics Iran may lean on to keep almost 800,000 barrels a day of its oil exports flowing after US sanctions resume in Nov.Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh alluded to this toolbox, which was used in the past, when he said Iran will find “other ways” to keep its crude in the market. The measures won’t be enough to blunt the full impact of sanctions on oil exports, which have already slumped to the lowest level since March 2016.In the last era of oil industry sanctions, the OPEC nation disabled tracking systems on its fleet of tankers, concealing destinations and volumes of oil exports. Millions of barrels of Iranian oil were unaccounted without the trackers.Almost 200,000 barrels a day of the country’s post-sanctions oil sales could be undisclosed, according to Robin Mills, chief executive officer of consultancy Qamar Energy in Dubai. “Exports at these levels will be important in cushioning the financial blow to Iran, but will not have a major impact on the world market.”China, Turkey and India will likely continue to buy Iranian oil after the resumption of sanctions on November 4, with China’s smaller refineries taking some of the murky, undisclosed shipments, according to Iman Nasseri, managing director of the middle east at FGE London. In total, Iran could export 800,000 barrels of oil a day well into 2019, including some 20,000 barrels sent by trucks to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said. History shows that Iran can keep exports going, albeit at a far lower rate, even as Japan, South Korea and most European countries shun its oil months before the resumption of sanctions in November. Many buyers won’t be able to resist steep discounts, and some may revamp a barter trade that was effective earlier this decade. “Barter trade and special funding mechanisms are among ways that could allow payments to Iran to continue within the framework of the sanctions,” said Ehsan Khoman, head of Middle East and North African research at Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. He said India devised agreements between 2012 and 2016 to buy Iranian oil with rupees, and then Iran used the proceeds to import goods from India. Bloomberg
Pak: US aid cut was money owed, not assistance
Islamabad:The significance of United States cancelling $300m in security assistance to the Pakistan has been downplayed by the country's foreign minister who said the amount was a reimbursement and not assistance. Relations between the US and Pakistan have been increasingly frayed since January, when US President Donald Trump suspended more than $1.1bn in security assistance to the country over allegations that it was not acting against armed groups such as the Afghan Taliban.Pakistan denies the charge, saying it has conducted indiscriminate military operations against all armed groups operating on its soil.On Sunday, Pentagon spokesperson Lt-Col Kone Faulkner confirmed that the US would be finally cancelling $300m in Coalition Support Funds (CSF), which was part of the $1.1bn suspended in January, reassigning the funds to other projects, "due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy".aljazeera
Syria's war: Iran calls for Idlib to be 'cleaned out'
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that armed groups must be "cleaned out" of Idlib province in northwestern Syria, Iranian media reports. Zarif made the remarks while visiting Damascus on Monday, where he arrived for talks with Syrian government officials.The top Iranian diplomat was scheduled to hold meetings with President Bashar al-Assad and Prime Minister Imad Khamis on bilateral relations and the latest developments in the war."All of Syrian territory must be preserved and all the sects and groups should start the round of reconstruction as one collective and the displaced should return to their families," Zarif said. Separately, Iran's military attache to Damascus told Iranian media on Tuesday that the country's military advisers would remain in Syria under a defence agreement signed this week."The continued presence of Iran's advisers in Syria is one of the areas covered in the defensive-technical agreement between Tehran and Damascus," said Brigadier-General Abolghasem Alinejad, according to Fars and Tabnak news.aljazeera
Israel may strike Iran targets outside Syria: Defense Minister
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday hinted that Israel could strike Iranian targets outside Syria. Israeli Broadcasting Authority quoted Lieberman as saying: “We aren’t limiting ourselves to Syria. That should be clear.”Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem, the hardline defense minister did not elaborate on the nature of the Iranian targets that Israel might attack.In recent months, Israel has admitted to striking a number of Iranian targets inside Syrian territory. Anadolu Agency
Israel: No deal with Hamas before captives returned
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said there would be no agreement with Hamas before the captive Israeli soldiers are returned. Israeli prime minister's remarks came when he received the parents of the missing Israeli soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, according to a statement released by Netanyahu’s office.The 2 soldiers went missing in Gaza during the Israeli war that took place between July 8 and Aug. 26 in 2014.The Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, unveiled in April 2016 that it holds four Israeli soldiers captive without elaborating on their condition.Anadolu Agency
Jordan rejects US-proposed confederation with Palestine
Amman:Jordan rejected Sunday a U.S. proposal that allegedly calls for the creation of a confederation between Palestine and Jordan, saying it was impossible to join the kingdom with Palestine’s West Bank. Jordanian govt spokeswoman Jumana Ghuneimat told local media that joining Jordan with the Israeli-occupied West Bank was not a matter that is open for discussion, and it was “not possible”.She added that Jordan’s stance, which she said supports a two-state solution regarding Palestine-Israel issue, was fixed and clear.Also, the political wing of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Action Front (IAC) spokesman Murad al-Adailah told Anadolu Agency that formation of the confederation would cause Palestinians to lose their right to “retake their occupied lands”.Anadolu Agency
Netanyahu echoes Hitler: ‘Weak slaughtered strong survive’
Benjamin Netanyahu has caused outrage by echoing Adolf Hitler in a tweet warning that the “weak are slaughtered” and the “strong survive”. Writing on the official Twitter account of the Prime Minister of Israel, Netanyahu said:“The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong.”The comments, derided as fascist, attracted wide attention on Twitter.  Many pointed out that the remarks were reminiscent of Adolf Hitler who also held the weak with extreme disdain. middleeastmonitor
Arab MKs in Europe to lobby support against Israel’s ‘nation-state law’
A delegation of Arab Knesset members from the Joint List yesterday headed for the European Union in order to lobby support for a possible UN resolution to condemn Israel following the passing of the “nation-state bill” last month.“We are going to Brussels to ask Europe to be faithful to its principles regarding the rights of minorities and human rights,” MK Jamal Zahalka said. Zahalka rejected criticism by Israeli political circles saying “they have declared war on us and on our rights through the Jewish nation-state law. We have the right to defend ourselves with international community’s help.”MEMO
Mediterranean refugee numbers drop but crossing is deadlier: UN
Over 1,600 people have died or gone missing while attempting to reach Europe so far this year, UNCHR's new Desperate Journeys report shows. Report released today reveals that while the number of crossings has fallen, deaths have risen, making voyage more deadly in percentage terms for those who venture across.aljazeera
Turkish president proposes non-dollar trade
International trade's dependency on the U.S. dollar should be decreased as it became an obstacle for Turkey, said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. "We are proposing to trade in our own currencies rather than U.S. dollar," Erdogan told Erdogan the 6th Summit of the Turkic Council at Rukh Ordo Cultural Center in Kyrgyzstan.The Turkish leader said Turkey and its friendly countries should not delay fighting the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).The summit is hosted by Kyrgyzstan's President Sooronbay Jeenbekov at Rukh Ordo Cultural Center.Anadolu Agency
Egyptian media: John McCain is real Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood
Egyptian media has accused the late US senator and presidential nominee John McCain of being the ‘Godfather’, ‘leader’, and ‘real Supreme Guide’ of the Muslim Brotherhood.In remarks, he made during a talk show aired on Sada El-Balad TV, the Egyptian media personality and TV host Ahmed Moussa claimed that McCain, recognised in the US as a national war hero and longtime senator, was, in fact, the ‘real Supreme Guide’ of the Muslim Brotherhood.“John McCain is the real Supreme Guide of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood, not Badee and not Akef,” Moussa said. “Today was John McCain’s funeral, which the leaders of the criminal Brotherhood in America have taken part in,”he continued, “and they performed the Absentee funeral prayer for John McCain in Qatar, Turkey, USA, and Britain. ”middleeastmonitor
Iraq's Moqtada Sadr and Haider al-Abadi form biggest parliamentary bloc
timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/iraqs-sadr-and-abadi-form-biggest-parliamentary-bloc/articleshow/65653390.cms
Baghdad: Sixteen political groupings in Iraq, including those of nationalist Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr and outgoing prime minister Haider al-Abadi, late Sunday reached an accord to create the biggest bloc in parliament, capable of forming a new government.A close aide to Abadi told AFP that the bloc consists of 177 deputies, which is more than half of the 329 lawmakers elected in legislative polls.As the largest bloc it would be tasked by the president to form the government.Iraq's political system is designed to ensure that no one person or party can dominate in order to avoid any return of a dictatorship following the ouster of strongman Saddam Hussein.The accord came just several hours before the first session of the Iraqi parliament which was elected in May. Abadi, backed by the West, who came in third in the elections with 42 seats, could possibly remain in his post.AFP
FLASH VIEWS & NEWS
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:07 PM)

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