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Monday, 17 September 2018

17 Sept. ND: SC says it will set up SIT if material against 5 activists in Bhima-Koregaon case are found to be cooked up/ Manipur Lynching: Policemen Were Present When MBA Student Farooq Was Assaulted


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY 
17 Sept. 2018: 06 Muhram 1440: Vol: 11, No:05
INDIA
SC says it will set up SIT if material against 5 activists in Bhima-Koregaon case are found to be cooked up
New Delhi: The Supreme Court will definitely set up a special investigation team if the material relied on by the Maharashtra government to raid and arrest five activists on August 28 in Bhima-Koregaon violence case are found to be “cooked up”, CJI Dipak Misra orally observed on Monday.A three-judge Bench, led by the Chief Justice said the court could not be expected to make up its mind unless it saw all the material evidence against the activists.“First of all, we must have a look at the material.. If we see the material and find they are cooked up, we will definitely order the setting up of an SIT... the debate here has to be whether the Criminal Procedure Code was violated. Wherever this court has appointed SIT, there has been grave violation,” the Chief Justice addressed parties.Advocate Prashant Bhushan, for petitioners Romila Thapar and four others, submitted that the arrests have been made on the basis of “cooked up evidence” planted in the media by the police.“We do not go by what comes in the media... Besides, in every criminal case the allegation is the evidence is cooked up. Both sides [petitioners and the State] can place their materials.We will see on Wednesday [Sept.19],”CJI Misra said.The court had entertained the petition to protect the fundamental right to liberty of the five activists. “We have already done so. Our interim orders [to place them under house arrest at their respective homes] will continue,” the Chief Justice observed.The 5 activists are poet Vara Vara Rao, lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Gautam Navlakha.As for the quashing of the cases against them, CJI suggested they (accused) could continue their efforts in competent lower courts. CJI even suggested transferring all the pending cases against the activists to one court while continuing with their house arrests. But senior advocate A.M. Singhvi persisted that the SC should first hear the pettioners.The hearing also saw the Central govt step in and voice its apprehensions about the problem of “naxalism” that has gripped the country.”I [Centre] have come here because the problem of naxalism is not confined to one State, Maharashtra, but affects the entire nation. I have come here considering the overall situation in the country,” Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh submitted. thehindu
 SC to examine ‘material’ against 5 activists, extends their house arrest till Sept 19
Attack on Swami Agnivesh: Supreme Court declines nod for CBI probe, asks him to approach HC
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Monday refused to order a CBI probe into the recent attacks on social activist Swami Agnivesh in Delhi and Pakur district of Jharkhand, saying the state police was already investigating the matter.Agnivesh claimed that the police in Jharkhand was not probing the matter and a state cabinet minister had dubbed him a “fraud”.The top court, however, granted liberty to Agnivesh to make a representation to the competent authority for providing security. A bench of Justices SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao also refused to club the two FIRs registered after attacks on Agnivesh in Pakur on July 17 and Delhi on August 18 and refer it to CBI.“We are not saying what happened to you is right or wrong. But the state police is investigating the matter. We cannot order CBI probe,” the bench said.The court said it cannot club both the FIRs lodged in Delhi and Pakur as they were two different incidents.indianexpress
ABVP members attack JNUSU president Balaji, police refuses to register FIR
Members of RSS and BJP-affiliated student organisation ABVP attacked the newly elected JNUSU president N Sai Balaji on Sunday, hours after the JNUSU poll results were announced.Balaji reported the incident at the Vasant Kunj police station and tried to file an FIR but the police refused, alleged Balaji. He said that even inside the police station RSS-ABVP workers threatened to kill him. Disappointed with the response of the Delhi police, Balaji returned to the JNU campus. A united front of Left student groups won all four central panel posts in the union defeating ABVP by considerable margins on Sunday. Balaji alleged that ABVP members were roughing up an AISA member and when “A couple of students and I intervened, we were assaulted”.Balaji claimed that the ABVP members even attacked students when a PCR vehicle was taking them away from the JNU campus.“Today ABVP students randomly attacked students. I was called to the scene at Sutlej. As the elected JNUSU President, I went to ensure Pawan Meena's safety who was attacked by ABVP students with sticks. Upon reaching, what I saw was mayhem. The mob led by Saurabh Sharma was baiting for the blood of any student they thought was a friend of Pawan Meena and were attacking students with sticks. They openly threatened me, Geeta and other students present there with dire consequences if we intervened to stop the violence. The group now turned into a mob and  started attacking Abhinay, a former JNU student in Jhelum and chased him and almost lynched him on the lawns. I ran with other students to save Abhinay, who had, by then, fallen unconscious after the beating and took him to the ambulance and sent him for medical aid,” said Balaji in a statement.Former JNUSU vice president, Shehla Rashid posted a video of the scuffle on Twitter. However, ABVP claimed that their members were roughed up by AISA activists. ABVP and the AISA have both filed complaints at the Vasant Kunj police station. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Devender Arya said the situation is under control. However, Ranjani Mazumdar, a professor in the School of Arts and Aesthetics, said that ABVP and RSS members had gathered outside the police station and were threatening to kill Balaji the moment he stepped out."PCR got calls about a scuffle between students in JNU around 3 am. Subsequently, we had a discussion with university authorities, students and professors. nationalheraldindia
Clashes at JNU hours after students union poll results
Manipur Lynching: Policemen Were Present When MBA Student Farooq Was Assaulted
Imphal:Frightening videos of the lynching of 26-year-old MBA student Mohammad Farooq Khan are making rounds on social media.Videos show villagers mercilessly beating the young man in Tharoijam village in Imphal West district on 14th Sept. A video shows some armed policemen were present while Khan was lying in a field, moving his body slightly. He died on the spot.After the videos went viral, the Manipur police have suspended four policemen and ordered an inquiry.Media reports say Khan, who was studying MBA in Bangalore and had come home on vacation, was lynched on suspicion of bike theft. Khan hailed from Lilong Haoreibi in Thoubal district, around two hours from the spot where he was lynched.His family, neighbours and human rights activists have sat on dharna demanding justice for him. A candlelight vigil was held in Imphal on Sunday. A big candlelight vigil was observed in Imphal also. caravandaily
Action taken against four policemen in Manipur lynching case
Imphal: 3 days after a 26-year-old Farooque Khan was lynched in Imphal West district on suspicion of being a vehicle lifter, police have suspended a sub-inspector and terminated the services of 3 other officers.The purported video of the incident, which went viral on social media, showed that the 4 police personnel were “present at the spot when the victim was alive and lying unattended”, Imphal West SP Jogeshwar Haobijam said. Local people set afire a car believed to have been used by “2 associates” of Ahmed. “One sub-inspector has been suspended while three personnel of Village Defence Forces were terminated Sunday as one of the several videos of the incident circulating on social media showed that the four personnel were present at the spot when Khan was lying unattended,”  Haobijam said.thehindu
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar free, village still trapped in caste tension
ON MAY 5, 2017, a mob of Thakurs allegedly broke into the two-room house of Paramal Singh, an 85-year-old Dalit, assaulted him and his son, and then set everything on fire. The mob targeted the houses of Dalits in the village after a Thakur youth was killed, allegedly during stone-pelting by Dalits over a rally to commemorate Maharana Pratap.Over 16 months later, Singh sits quietly on a charpoy in his courtyard. His house is empty, except for a change of clothes. With the Rs 7,000 that he got as compensation from the government, he is planning to first fix the doors, which are currently covered by plastic sheets.The family once supplemented its income with the work it got from Thakurs in the village. Singh’s son, who was injured in the attack, is a daily wage labourer who used to work in the farms owned by the Thakurs. “He now goes out of the village to work. We don’t work for Thakurs anymore. We are used to living with less. But dignity is important,” says Singh, with a smile.The incidents of arson and violence in Shabbirpur seem to have caused a lasting social chasm in the village, despite the interdependency of communities.The number of Dalit labourers working for Thakurs has reduced considerably. Thakurs are now forced to work on their fields themselves, or hire labour from outside the village.It was the May 2017 violence that snowballed into an agitation in Saharanpur, and led to the birth of Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar as the new leader of Dalits in Western Uttar Pradesh. Jailed for his alleged role in the violence that followed in Saharanpur, Chandrashekhar was released on Friday, after over a year.While Dalits blame a “Thakur” chief minister for the new-found aggression of the Rajputs, Thakurs feel the rise of the Bhim Army has emboldened them, to the extent that they are provoking them.Dal Singh (62) — his house was gutted and his wife injured in one eye with a sword — now has a new house. Built with assistance from BSP supremo Mayawati and local Congress politician Imran Masood, the house is yet to get doors, for which he is awaiting assistance from the government.“How will there be any settlement if Thakurs keep saying that they have to exact revenge. No Thakur ever came to ask me what I had lost or to apologise for what they did to my house. Earlier, quarrels of the morning would be settled by the evening. Now, nobody is budging,” says Dal Singh.He alleges that the government has been openly partisan, and that is why Thakurs are emboldened. “Local BJP MLA, who is a Thakur, has never come and met a single Dalit villager. It shows where BJP stands,” he says.indianexpress
Ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s wife says no news of him since he was picked up on Sept 5
Gujarat Police on Sept.5 detained former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in Ahemdabad for questioning in a case relating to falsely framing a lawyer in a criminal case in 1998. Sanjiv’s wife Shweta Bhatt on September 15 has said that she had not heard from him after the police had picked up Bhatt .“There is nothing for me to write today. I have no updates at all, I don’t know as to how is Sanjiv, I have not seen him or heard from him in the past 12 days. Today is the 12th day,” tweeted Shweta Sanjiv Bhatt.Shweta has also tweeted a video saying “ I support Sanjiv Bhatt and my voice shall not be silenced.”Bhatt was dismissed from the IPS in 2015 for taking on the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi's administration for the 2002 Gujarat riots.In 2011, Bhatt had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court accusing Modi of being complicit in the 2002 riots.nationalheraldindia
No riots in country if title suit awarded to Ramlalla: RSS leader ‘advises’ SC over Ram Mandir
New Delhi: With the Lok Sabha elections 2019 mere 8 months away, the issue of the construction of Ram Mandir on the disputed land in Ayodhya seems to be back on the forefront for political parties. RSS leader Indresh Kumar stirred a fresh controversy after he insisted that there would be no riots across country “if the Supreme Court awards title to Ramlalla”.Supreme Court is currently hearing matter in Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid dispute. RSS leader said, “There will be no riot across the country if court awards title suit to Ramlalla, paving way for construction of Ram Temple”. Kumar also asserted that Babar was a “foreign invader” and was “not remotely related with Indian Muslims.”  He also claimed that evidence of Ram Temple was found in excavations as well, which proved that a mosque was indeed constructed after “demolishing a temple.” Recently, ex BJP MP and head of Ram Janambhoomi Nyas, Vilas Vedanti said that the construction of the temple will begin before 2019 and that the BJP has resolved to construct Ram Mandir. Times Now 
VHP questions PM Modi’s visit to Bohra mosque
Lucknow: 2 days after PM Narendra Modi visited the Saifee mosque in Indore, Vishwa Hindu Parishad said on Sunday that political leaders should keep the interests of Hindus at forefront since the community formed the majority of Indian state. In his address to the Dawoodi Bohra community, Modi had invoked Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, to emphasise the need for peace and justice. VHP international general secretary Milind Parande told reporters here that nobody knows what was going in Modi’s mind when he visited the mosque.“Woh (Modi) masjid kyun gaye ye poochhna padega... har kisi ko apni astha ke anusar kaam karna chahiye (We will have to ask why he went to the mosque...everyone should work according to one’s faith),” Parandesaid. “Anyone who wants to be in politics in this country will have to think of the interests of Hindus, irrespective of the political party to which one belongs,” he added. PTI
Pune based Muslim techie completes one month of Satyagraha against forced termination
Advocate Shahid Nadeem, lawyer for legal cell of Jamiat Ulma Maharashtra Mumbai has joined in supporting Aman Khan, the techie who was forced to resign from his job in EXFO, Quebec-headquartered multinational company in Magarpatta, Pune.Aaman Khan was harassed mentally by his manager Kishore Kotecha for wearing ‘religious attire’ and for his religious practises in office. The manager said that it was against the company policy when Khan defended that it was his constitutional right to practise his religion. Although there was no such policy of the company in reality.After continuous harassment and threats from the senior Manager Kotecha, Khan was forced to submit his resignation in the  month of June. But Khan however has written to the company at Canada regarding their policy and has so far not received any reply. In the meantime he has also sought intervention from the Labour Commission of India, collector of Pune and Human rights activists.twocircles
Framed in Isro case, Maldivian woman to sue Kerala cops, IB
CHENNAI: 2 days after the Supreme Court ordered compensation of Rs 50 lakh to scientist Nambi Narayanan in the fake ‘Isro spy case’ and asked a judicial committee to probe the role of “erring officers”, Mariam Rasheeda, the Maldivian whose arrest triggered the case in 1994, told TOI over phone from an undisclosed location she would sue the cops and seek compensation.“I was tortured in custody to name Nambi Narayanan. I’ve lost my reputation. I will not leave them,” Mariam said in her first interview since 1998 when the SC exonerated her and six others accused of passing on India’s rocket secrets to Pakistan. On Friday’s SC order, Rasheeda said the compensation was too little for the loss of career and reputation Narayanan suffered. CBI had recommended to the Centre and Kerala government that action be taken against officers who tortured the accused.Rasheeda spent some three-and-a-half years in jail in Kerala, from 1994 to 1998, till the SC exonerated all the accused. CBI’s closure report came in 1996, but she remained in jail because the Kerala government went to the SC seeking a further probe and she chose to stay in prison due to safety concerns.Naming then special investigation team head Siby Mathews (who later became DGP and Kerala chief information commissioner) and then special branch inspector S Vijayan as those who implicated her, Mariam Rasheeda said her lawyers would soon move the appropriate court, but she wouldn’t come to India, which continues to give her the shivers. Asked if she would depose before the Justice Jain committee appointed by the SC, Rasheeda said she would consider that option after taking legal opinion.When asked why she kept silent so far, Rasheeda said initially she was in shock and scared. Later, she was made to believe that there was a window period within which she had to file the case. “I thought the period was over. Now, with the SC verdict, I realised that I can still sue them,” she said. TOI
Militants barge into soldier’s house in Kashmir, shoot him in the head: Cops
Srinagar:An army man was killed by suspected militants in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Monday. Police said that a group of militants barged into the house of Mukhtar Ahmad Malik, a Territorial Army (TA) man, in Kashmir’s Shurat Kulgam and opened fire.“Malik was at home... He was shot in his head,” said a police officer. Malik died before reaching the hospital.He was posted in the state’s summer capital Srinagar with the Territorial Army and was on leave.In June, Army soldier Aurangzeb was abducted from a private vehicle when he was going home for Eid in Shopian. His body was recovered from a Pulwama village.Meanwhile, life was affected in many parts of Kashmir as separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik asked people to observe a shutdown against the civilian and 5 militant killings in southern Kulgam district on Saturday.HT
Army jawan shoots two colleagues dead, commits suicide in Himachal Pradesh
Dharamshala:An army jawan shot dead 2 colleagues before committing suicide in Dharamshala cantonment in Himachal Pradesh in the wee hours on Monday.“A soldier of 18 Sikh Regiment ran amok in the early hours shooting two of his colleagues before killing himself,” a Kangra police official said.“Incident took place around 2:15am inside the cantonment,”he added. Commanding officer of 18 Sikh Regiment, Col Navdeep Brar, when contacted, said prima facie it seems Jasbir Singh, who was on guard duty, had an argument with the other two soldiers after coming back, and shot them in a fit of rage. Later he turned the gun on himself.Sepoy Jasbir Singh fired at Havaldar Hardeep Singh and Naik Harpal Singh with his INSAS rifle before shooting himself.HT
Supreme Court orders protection for halala, polygamy petitioner attacked with acid
New Delhi:Uttar Pradesh Police has been ordered to ensure the safety of a woman who was attacked with acid last week for allagedly refusing to accept triple talaq and undergo nikah halala. SSP of Bulandshahr would be held liable for the safety and security of Shabnam Rani, the Supreme Court said on Monday.She is one of the petitioners in the nikah-halala and polygamy case in the Supreme Court. The attack took place while she was on her way to file a complaint after being allegedly assaulted by her in-laws on Wednesday.She has been living with her in-laws in Bulandshahr despite the talaq.
Parrikar unwell, Congress stakes claim to form government in Goa
Panaji: With CM Manohar Parrikar hospitalised, Goa's main opposition, Congress, submitted a memorandum to governor Mridula Sinha on Monday, staking claim to form an alternate government.The move came at a time when the BJP high command has sent three senior leaders - Ram Lal, B L Santhosh and Vinay Puranik - in Panaji to meet the state party leaders and allies to take stock of the political situation.Parrikar, 62, who is suffering from a pancreatic ailment, is currently admitted in AIIMS in New Delhi for treatment.Congress, which has 16 members in 40-member state assembly, submitted a memorandum to the governor, urging her not to dissolve the assembly and instead invite the party to form the government, leader of opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar said.The state is being ruled by the BJP-led alliance.BJP has 14 seats in the assembly, its allies Goa Forward Party and MGP have three each. 3 Independents and an MLA from Nationalist Congress Party also support the BJP.All the 16 Congress MLAs, led by Kavlekar, went to the Raj Bhavan but could not meet the governor as she is out of the state."The party urged the governor not to consider dissolution of the state legislative assembly, which is a possibility considering internal fighting in the ruling alliance and illness of Parrikar," Kavlekar told PTI.He said the Congress has support of legislators from other parties and can form the government, if given a chance by the governor. PTI
Imran Khan has been propped up by the Pakistan Army:VK Singh
New Delhi :Union minister V K Singh said on Monday that the army still rules Pakistan despite the election of Imran Khan as the new prime minister, adding that it remains to be seen whether “the person” will be able to bring about a change. India is adopting a “wait and watch” approach after the installation of a new government in Pakistan, the minister of state for external affairs said.Responding to a question on incidents of infiltration at the border after the change of government in Pakistan, he said, “Did you all expect a change? I don’t know. After all, the person has been propped up by the (Pakistan) army. The army still rules. So, let’s wait and watch how things go — whether the person remains under army control or doesn’t remain under its control.” He, however, did not refer to Khan by name.PTI
WORLD
600,000 Palestinians harmed as US closes PLO’s office
Some 600,000 Palestinian-Americans were harmed by the closure of the PLO’s office in Washington, Quds Press reported yesterday.A statement released by the Palestinian Council in the United State said that the closure of PLO’s office “is another American step towards liquidating the Palestinians issue”.“The consequences of the closure of the PLO’s office included humanitarian factors related to the consulate services.”The council condemned the US’ decision saying it comes in line with America’s move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and removing the holy city off the negotiating table.In addition, the statement accused the current American administration of siding with the most right-wing Israeli government, “which continues its measures towards liquidating the Palestinian issue and reinforcing the Zionist entity as a regional power.”The statement also accused the US administration of legalising Israeli settlements and calling off the two-state solution.middleeastmonitor
US revokes visas of PLO ambassador's family
US has revoked visas for the family of PLO's ambassador in Washington, DC, the latest measure against Palestinian officials by the Trump administration. Ambassador Husam Zomlot said his family, including his two young children, had left the US after they were informed that their visas, which were due to expire in 2020 were no longer valid.The move follows the US announcement last week to close diplomatic offices belonging to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, which will take effect next month. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of PLO's executive committee, condemned the decision to cancel visas for Zomlot's family."As if the announcement that the US would close our office in Washington, DC was not enough, this vindictive action by the Trump administration is spiteful," Ashrawi said in a statement.Zomlot said in an interview that two of his embassy employees met last week with State Department staff, who had requested the meeting."State Department informed our colleagues, as part of the discussion on the closure, that the visas of my wife and children are dependent on PLO delegation and as such will not be valid after the closure of the office and that if they wanted to stay they would have to change their immigration status," Zomlot said.aljazeera
US cuts aid to 'Palestine-Israel' conflict resolution programmes
US has cut additional aid to the Palestinians for programmes supporting conflict resolution with Israelis, adding to more than $500m in other cuts.The latest cuts come from $10m in programmes on reconciliation involving Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, as well as Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel.The portion of the money involving Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip was being redirected to programmes between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel, a US embassy official said on Sunday. It was not clear how much of the $10m was being redirected.US officials also could not confirm whether the latest cut meant all non-military related aid to the Palestinians had now been eliminated."As announced in August, the administration redirected more than $200 million that was originally planned for programmes in the West Bank and Gaza," a US embassy official said.aljazeera
Imran Khan pledges citizenship to Afghan and Bangladeshi refugees
Karachi: Prime Minister Imran Khan has pledged to implement existing Pakistani laws that would grant citizenship to all Afghan and Bangladeshi refugees who were born on Pakistani soil, a major departure from previous policy. Pakistan is home to more than 1.39 million registered Afghan refugees, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), many of whom have been resident in the country for more than 30 years.There are also more than 200,000 ethnic Bangladeshis in Pakistan, most of whom live in the southern city of Karachi. Many of them were stranded in the city after the war in 1971 when Bangladesh, then East Pakistan, gained independence. Afghan refugees, meanwhile, have poured into Pakistan from its western neighbour for decades, first fleeing the Soviet invasion in the 1970s, and then the civil war that ensued.Since 2001, a fresh influx of refugees followed the US invasion of Afghanistan, and the subsequent Taliban war to take back the country."These poor migrants from Bangladesh, they have been here for more than 40 years, their children are grown now … we will give them passports and ID cards, as well as those Afghans whose children have been raised here, who were born here, we will also give them [citizenship]," said Khan in Karachi on Sunday."This happens in every country in the world, why is it that here we are inflicting such an injustice on these people?"The announcement is a marked departure from the policy followed by previous governments, and could see the prime minister face confrontation with the country's powerful military, which has often blamed Afghan refugees for violence in Pakistan. UNHCR welcomed the development, but said it was awaiting specifics on how Khan's government intended to move forward.aljazeera
Bannon: Saudi, Egypt, UAE prepared to occupy Qatar
UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt were planning to invade and occupy Qatar, remarks made by the Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon confirm.Made 10 months ago, during a meeting at Hudson Institute, a conservative American think tank, Bannon said US President Donald Trump’s summit with Arab leaders in Riyadh held in May discussed a plan to occupy Qatar. His comments only surfaced this weekend.“We went into the summit with UAE, Saudi Arabia and others; the number one thing was that we must take care of this financing of radical Islam, and there can be no more – as President Trump said – no more games,” Bannon said.“You can’t have it both ways. You can’t on one side say you are a friend and an ally and on the other side be financing the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas,” he added, referring to Qatar.“I do not think it’s just by happenstance that two weeks after that summit, you saw the blockade by UAE and Bahrain, Egypt and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Qatar,” Bannon said.middleeastmonitor
Erdogan says Putin meeting will bring 'new hope' to Syria
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his Monday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Syrian war will bring new hope, as he touched down in Sochi for the summit.The two leaders, who back opposing sides in Syria’s seven-year war, are coming together in an ad hoc meeting in the Russian resort city as tensions over the rebel-held Idlib province skyrocket.The Syrian government, backed by Russian air power, appears to be poised to stage an assault on the last major opposition bastion.Turkey, which borders Idlib, supports some rebel groups there and has grave concern over the effects of an operation in the province that holds some 3 million people.Speaking ahead of the meeting, Erdogan played up the content of the joint statement that he is due to issue with Putin, though did not reveal any of its contents.Erdogan and Putin met 10 days ago in Tehran alongside Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, where the Turkish leader publicly called for a ceasefire.Turkish daily Hurriyet on Monday quoted Erdogan as saying he believed his words in the Iranian capital had had a positive effect."The situation in Idlib has been calm for three days. It looks like we obtained a result with the efforts which were made," the newspaper quoted the president as telling reporters on a flight back from Azerbaijan at the weekend. "But we are still not satisfied.”middleeasteye
US: No secret meeting of Trump’s envoy and Qasem Soleimani
US Embassy in Iraq has denied reports of a secret meeting between Iran’s commander of Quds Force,  Major General Qasem Soleimani, and American Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh Brett McGurk, last Tuesday.Through its official Twitter account, the US Embassy in Iraq denied the validity of the news and confirmed that such information is totally misleading. The Embassy is aware of false media reports that Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk and an Iranian General met to discuss forming a new Iraqi government.US Embassy Spokesman Charles Cole said in a statement: “US Embassy has noticed the circulation of wrong media reports about a meeting between special presidential envoy Brett McGurk and an Iranian general to discuss the formation of the new Iraqi government. Such news is baseless, and there has never been such a meeting.”Based on sources familiar with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Al-Kuwaityah newspaper reported in its September 15 edition that the meeting held between Major General Qasem Soleimani and Brett McGurk followed an indirect mutual exchange of messages.middleeastmonitor
Number of prisoners of conscience in Saudi increases to 2,613
The number of prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia has increased to 2,613 detainees, according to Saudi human rights sources.The Twitter account of Prisoners of Conscience concerned with the detainees in Saudi Arabia stated in a tweet that: “the number of prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia has increased to 2,613 detainees.”Twitter account added that “prominent lawyers, judges, academics, Muslim scholars, and media professionals” were among the detainees.It is noteworthy that there are detainees in the Kingdom who have been imprisoned for more than 10 years either under sentences approved by the court against them or without charges and judicial rulings. Since September 10, 2017, there have been hundreds of arrests in Saudi Arabia, despite human rights activists’ denunciation, and calls from international organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to immediately release detainees, and precedent calls to immediately disclose their whereabouts and allow them to communicate with their families and lawyers.MEMO
'Why were they killed?': Saudi-UAE attack hits children in Yemen
After sifting through a home turned to rubble, rescue workers finally found the bodies of 3-year-old Nabil and new-born baby girl Sumood.Just moments earlier on Saturday, a Saudi-UAE military alliance, which has been carrying out air attacks on Yemen since March 2015, bombed their home in Saada province's Marran district, an impoverished area less than 40km from oil-rich Saudi Arabia, footage sent to Al Jazeera by Houthi rebels appeared to show."These were civilians, they were little kids," said one of the rescuers, as their lifeless bodies lay strewn next to him on a rock."What was their guilt, why were they killed?" said another, who managed to rescue other members of their family after the devastating attack.Local news channel Saada News reported that the children were from an internally displaced family who had recently relocated to Marran after their home was previously destroyed.But in what has become the norm for millions of Yemenis, families have had to repeatedly resettle when the sounds of planes pass overhead and bombs dropping intensify.aljazeera
Saudi King, Guterres discuss global peace, stability
JEDDAH:Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz on Sunday met the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.The Saudi monarch received Guterres at his office in the kingdom's western city of Jeddah, the Saudi official news agency (SPA) reported.The two sides, according to the SPA, discussed "the developments on the international scene, and various efforts aimed at achieving global peace and stability."Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki also arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday for a signing ceremony of a historic peace accord between the two countries.The SPA said that King Salman invited Guterres to attend the signing of the agreement between the two African countries, without mentioning the date of the ceremony.Anadolu Agency
Swiss open rape investigation against Tariq Ramadan
Prosecutors in Geneva have opened a rape and sexual misconduct investigation against Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who has been detained in France since February on separate rape charges, Swiss media reported on Sunday.The arrest of the influential academic - a regular on TV debates with more than two million Facebook followers - has rocked the French Muslim community. The married father of four has rejected the accusations, saying he is the victim of a smear campaign.The Tribune de Geneve newspaper cited justice ministry spokesman Henri Della Casa as saying that authorities had decided to open a formal criminal inquiry into allegations that Ramadan raped a woman in a Geneva hotel in 2008."I confirm the opening of an inquiry," the paper quoted Della Casa as saying, a key step that indicated the authorities believed the allegations merit further investigation. The accuser lodged her complaint in April."The prosecutors and Geneva police have worked quickly and worked well," Romain Jordan, the lawyer representing Ramadan's Swiss accuser, told AFP in an email.He described the decision to open a criminal inquiry as "a major advance" that "demonstrates the seriousness of the allegations made by our client".Ramadan, a Swiss citizen and Oxford University professor whose grandfather founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement, has not yet been interviewed by Swiss prosecutors.Jordan said that following the opening of a criminal case, Swiss investigators will now travel to France to hear Ramadan's side of case.56-year-old scholar,a prominent figure, has previously denied any sexual relations with the 2 women in France, saying he met with each of them only once and in public places. middleeasteye
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:45 PM)

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