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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

17 OCT ND:MJ Akbar resigns as Minister of State for External Affairs amid 20 female journalists come out to testify sexual harassment charges against him in court/ Kashmiri students defer decision to leave AMU en masse after it revokes suspension of students



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17 OCT. 2018: 07 Safar 1440: Vol: 11, No:34
INDIA
MJ Akbar resigns as Minister of State for External Affairs amid 20 female journalists come out to testify sexual harassment charges against him in court 

Journalist turned politician MJ Akbar has resigned as Minister of State for External Affairs.Then resignation comes days after multiple accused Akbar of sexually harassing them while he was the Editor of a newspaper.  “Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge the false accusations levied against me, also in personal capacity. I have, therefore, tendered my resignation from the office of Minister of State For External Affairs,”Akbar said in a written statement shared by ANI.“I am deeply grateful to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for the opportunity they gave me to serve my country,” read the letter. It all began when journalist Priya Ramani and a number of senior woman journalists came out and narrated detailed accounts of alleged sexual harassment they faced from Akbar. In the meantime, 19 other female journalists have come out in support of the women who have levelled serious charges against Akbar when he was an Editor. 19 journalists issued a joint statement urging the court to consider their testimonies also.Akbar sued Ramani for criminal defamation over the charges.The matter is listed for hearing on tomorrow at the Patiala House court in Delhi. The govt maintained silence on the issue despite the charges. Akbar was in Nigeria for an event on Mahatma Gandhi and had returned on Sunday.Born in 1951 in West Bengal, Akbar began his career with Times of India in 1971.In his journalistic career, Akbar edited several English daily and magazines. Akbar launched two daily newspapers: The Telegraph and The Asian Age. Akbar was the Editor at The Telegraph from 1982 to 1989.financialexpress/ Others
Akbar’s defamation suit against Ramani backfires as 19 journalists want to testify against him in court
Kashmiri students defer decision to leave AMU en masse after it revokes suspension of students

Aligarh: Kashmiri students at AMU have deferred their decision to surrender their degrees and leave the campus en masse on Wednesday following revocation of the suspension order of the two students by varsity. The suspension order was revoked on Tuesday night after a 3-member enquiry panel set up by the varsity exonerated Waseem Ayyub Malik and Abdul Haseeb Mir, saying "no credible evidence" of their participation in any "unlawful assembly" in the varsity campus was found,AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai said.They were suspended Friday for allegedly participating in an aborted Namaaz-e-Janaza in the university campus for a slain Hizbul Mujahideen militant, Manan Bashir Wani. Malik and Meer, besides one unknown person, were also booked by police on sedition charges for allegedly raising "anti-India" slogans.Ex-head of AMU Students' Union Mashkoor Ahmad Usmani told reporters that the decision to revoke the suspension order of the two Kashmiri students was a "welcome step" and will have salutary effect not only in AMU, but also in the Kashmir Valley."We are strongly opposed to any anti-national act and we will never allow any such incident to take place at the campus. However, we are strongly opposed to any attempt to harass any student, be it from Kashmir or from any other part of the country."We feel that slapping of a sedition case against the two Kashmiri students by police was hasty, ill conceived and based on flimsy evidence," Usmani said.He said if the police fails to withdraw the cases, the Kashmiri students have decided to re-launch their protest and go ahead with their peaceful resistance by leaving the campus en masse. Ex-vice-president of AMU Students' Union Sajjad Subhan Rather, who hails from Kashmir and led a silent protest Tuesday at the venue of All India AMU Alumni Meet, demanded justice for Kashmiri students."We have come to the AMU to build our careers. Please do not snatch away the 'pens' from our hands,he said. Meanwhile, ex Supreme Court judge, Justice Markandey Katju, who is currently abroad, has made an emotional appeal to the Kashmiri students studying at AMU, urging them not to be "carried away by emotions and abandon their promising futures"."I wish to send my greetings to Kashmiri students since my DNA is same as theirs. They must not get disheartened by the recent unfortunate turn of events," Katju told PTI.He assured the Kashmiri students that if they ever needed his help, he will always be available for them in a just cause.According to AMU officials, J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik is playing a key role in resolving the ongoing crisis at the AMU.PTI
Kashmiri Students Defer Decision To Leave AMU En Masse
7 men from Bihar attacked for wearing ‘lungi’ in Gujarat
Vadodara: Even as state government and police are claiming that hate crime against migrant workers have stopped, a civil engineer and 6 plumbers from Madhubani district in Bihar were attacked by locals in Sama late on Monday night.Police, however, claimed that the attack had nothing to do with the victims’ origin. One of the 3 accused identified as Keyur Parmar was nabbed by cops on Tuesday.Civil engineer Shatrughan Yadav and 6 plumbers are working at a construction site of a primary school of Vadodara Municipal Corporation. On Monday evening when Yadav and others were sitting outside under-construction building, 3 Sama residents including Parmar came there and questioned him about his attire. Yadav and others were wearing a ‘lungi’. The trio got into argument with Yadav followed by a scuffle in which 7 victims received minor injuries. Meanwhile, Yadav called police control room for help.As a PCR van came, 3 assailants fled from there but threatened the migrants to leave the city. Later Yadav and the 6 plumbers went to Sama police station to lodge a case. When they returned, Yadav’s bike, which was given to him by the contractor, and two plastic chairs were set ablaze. Sensing the seriousness of the situation, the contractor living in Surat also rushed to city. “It is difficult to say what could be the reason for attack. They told the engineer and the workers that they have problem because they were ‘lungi’, which is very strange,” said the contractor Mayur Patel. He also alleged that after the bike and plastic chair were set on fire, accused also threatened some 30 to 40 workers who were sleeping on first floor of the under-construction building. TOI
6 Minor Muslim Students Sent to Jail over Student Clashes in UP
6 minor Muslim students of Gandhi Mohammad Ali Inter College in Belthara Road, UP, have been sent to jail for getting involved in clashes. The clashes between the students erupted when a video by a priest of Manas Mandir recording the school not allowing students to chant ‘Vande Mataram’ went viral on social media. In doing so, the priest was digging up a 5 year-old issue of a student allegedly getting beaten up for chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ within the school premises.Video by the priest was recorded on Oct. 5 and the incident happened three days later on October 8, when few students from the school started chanting 'Vande Mataram' and 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'. They alleged that some Muslim students started chanting 'Pakistan Zindabad' and attacked them in response but there has been no evidence or video which has come up, Ballia police claimed on Twitter.6 students who have been put behind bars are Muhammad Kaif, Tanzil Siddiqui, Muhammad Faizan, Muhammad Chand, Akhlaque, Firoz and Bucchi.Speaking with Newsclick, Kausar Usman, who covered the story for Ballia Khabar, said, "Gandhi Mohammad Ali Memorial Inter College which is situated in Belthara Road is hundred years old and since then no communal clash has been reported till now. There are more Hindu students enrolled in the school compared to Muslim students.The reason to target this school is because it is a minority school, carrying a Muslim name. It is also a trick to defame Muslims of Belthara. The priest named Shiv Kumar, who recorded the video to encourage communal enmity, is an accused of a communal clash which had happened in 2013 which had been reported by local media."newsclick
Allahabad to Prayagraj: Renaming 'Islamic-sounding' places not new for Yogi Adityanath
New Delhi:Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's move to have Allahabad renamed Prayagraj is not the first time the BJP leader has tried to saffronise Uttar Pradesh and drop Islamic sounding names.Adityanath justified his decision to rename Allahabad saying that the city's original name was Prayagraj and it was named Allahabad by Akbar during Mughal rule.Barely two months ago, the Adityanath government had sent a proposal to Indian Railways seeking to rename Mughalsarai station after RSS thinker Deendayal Upadhyay."Today is a very big day for BJP as Mughalsarai station, where Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay was killed, has today been named after him. I am happy that under Prime Minister Modi's leadership a memorial is being made for Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay," party president Amit Shah had said when the change came into effect.Adityanath's penchant for replacing Islamic names with Hindu ones dates back to the time when he represented Gorakhpur in the Lok Sabha. In 1998, he went on a renaming spree in his constituency, where he changed the names of localities. While Urdu Bazar became Hindi Bazar, Ali Nagar became Arya Nagar. Similarly, the former head of the Gorakhnath Temple had Islampur renamed Ishwarpur, Lahaladpur became Alahaladpur and Humayun Nagar is now Hanuman Nagar.newindianexpress
Investors panic as Heera Gold chairperson arrested
Dubai/Sharjah/Ras Al Khaimah: Nearly 6,000 investors in UAE are believed to have been affected by the Heera Gold ponzi scam which has left a trail of devastated lives across India and the Middle East.On Wednesday, several investors trooped down to Heera Gold's office in Jumeirah Lakes Towers in Dubai looking for answers.The office, however, remained locked and phones of all their representatives in UAE had been switched off.Visits to their offices in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah also drew a blank.On Oct.16, the arrest of an entrepreneur-cum-politician in India has sparked panic.Dr Aalima Nowhera Shaik, chairperson of Heera Gold, was taken into custody in Hyderabad on Tuesday afternoon after investors took to the street in the city demanding that they get their money back.Meanwhile, scores of investors contacted Gulf News recounting how they've lost their entire lifetime savings in the ponzi schemes peddled by Heera Gold as "halal" investment programmes.An Indian who lives in Abu Dhabi said he is worried about the Dh500,000 he invested with Heera Gold’s Jumeirah Lake Towers office.Another investor who works in Dubai said he fears he had become an unwitting victim of an elaborate Ponzi scheme. “I lost Dh200,000. It was all I had. I am ruined,” he told Gulf News.Some investors said they are weighing legal action against the company. “We have no other choice,” said a Dubai-based businessman.Investors said the company promised them up to 35 per cent annual returns.“They told us they will invest our money in gold and textile and give us monthly profits. I joined them sometime back by investing Dh100,000. Initially they paid me around Dh3,000 monthly but soon the payments dried out,” he said.Nowhera, 45, is also the founder of All India Mahila Empowerment Party, an Indian political party she launched in Nov.2017.Earlier on Tuesday, Hyderabad police held a press conference announcing Dr Nowhera Shaikh’s arrest.Attracted by unusually high returns, thousands across India had invested in the various schemes run by Heera Group over the last few years, said Hyderabad police Commissioner Anjani Kumar.gulfnews
Sri Lanka govt rejects media reports of President Sirisena accusing RAW of plotting to kill him
COLOMBO:The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday rejected as “completely untrue” media reports stating that President Maithripala Sirisena, at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, accused India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of plotting his assassination and opposed awarding a key port project to India.The media reports came ahead of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to New Delhi for talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speed up India-backed projects, including the East Terminal project, in the island nation.At a press conference on Wednesday, Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne dismissed the reports. Mr. Senaratne, also the Minister for Health, read out a statement by Cabinet Secretary S. Abeysinghe that said the President had not said anything about RAW plotting to assassinate him.“The President, as the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers, has paid attention to the printed and electronic media reports on the matters discussed during the Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Secretariat on 16th October 2018. It is stressed that those news are completely untrue.“Any Cabinet paper relating to the infrastructure development projects planned to be implemented in Sri Lanka by the Indian government or Indian companies were not included in the agenda of that Cabinet meeting,” he said. According to the media reports, Mr. Sirisena said he was unhappy with the police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) inquiry into the plot and faulted the Law and Order Minister for what he called the very slow progress of the inquiry.Mr. Senaratne said, ''I think it was uncalled for [to accuse India] because he did not provide any evidence to support his claim, the ministerial source was quoted as saying.“So far, what we have is the figment of someone’s imagination of an assassination plot, the source said. What can now be done is to look at the genesis of this story and how it came about.”PTI
Sri Lankan President Sirisena alleges that RAW is plotting his assassination: the hindu
Kerala: HC acquits prime accused in Islamic cleric disappearance case
Kochi:Kerala High Court has acquitted the prime accused undergoing double life imprisonment in the case relating to the mysterious disappearance of progressive Islamic cleric Chekannur Maulavi over 2 decades ago.According to the case investigated by CBI, Maulavi was abducted on July 29, 1993, from his home at Edapal in Malappuram district and later killed. CBI special court here had found that after Maulavi was killed, his body was disposed of in some mysterious manner so that it can never be recovered.CBI court in 2010 had sentenced VV Hamsa, the first accused in the case, to undergo double life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1 lakh, while the remaining eight accused were acquitted.devdiscourse
Kanhaiya Kumar’s convoy attacked in Bihar
Patna: Former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar’s convoy was attacked on Tuesday night in a scuffle with members of a Dussehra puja organisation in Begusarai district of Bihar.At least three persons were injured in the scuffle and FIRs were lodged in local police stations by both parties. The incident took place when Mr. Kumar was returning to Begusarai from addressing a public meeting Pethiagachhi in Mansoorpur block of the district.When his convoy reached Bhagwanpur block he stopped to meet someone there near a 2-wheeler agency.Locals said his convoy of several vehicles caused inconvenience to the puja organisers on the road and when they protested, a scuffle broke out between them.The local puja organisers pelted stones at vehicles at the convoy in which three people — Nishant, Sumit and Golu — received minor injuries. Windscreens of some vehicles too were broken.thehindu
Sabarimala: Mob attacks journalists on job, media body condemns assault
Police lathicharged protesters, who were opposed to the entry of women in the 10-50 age group to Sabarimala temple, after they turned violent and attacked journalists covering the stand-off on Wednesday.At least 4 women reporters working for The NewsMinute, Republic TV, CNN-News 18 and India Today, were injured when the protesters turned their ire on the media contingent. Even male reporters were injured in the melee.Saritha S Balan from The News Minute was kicked on the spine, Republic TV's Pooja Prasanna was beaten with sticks, NDTV reporter Sneha Mary Koshy and cameraperson SP Babu were heckled and asked to leave, their camera was snatched. Journalists from CNN-News 18 and Aaj Tak were also targeted.nationalheraldindia

Soldier Arrested in UP's Meerut In Connection With BrahMos Spying Case
Meerut: An Indian Army personnel has been arrested in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut today in connection with the BrahMos spying case. The soldier, part of the Signal Regiment, was picked up by the military intelligence (MI) days after an engineer at the BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited in Maharashtra was arrested by the UP police.Kanchan Singh, who is from Uttarakhand, has spent 10 years in the Army, but he had been under the intelligence unit's radar for the last three months. Sources say he was sharing "confidential and vital information" related to the Western Command with the Pakistan intelligence agency ISI.The UP police say the military intelligence officers informed them about the soldier's arrest in the morning. MI officers are said to be questioning him.Nishant Agrawal, the arrested BrahMos Aerospace engineer, had reportedly been interacting with two Islamabad-based Facebook accounts, the UP police's ATS had said. UP police said that Agrawal was in touch with Pakistan's intelligence operatives through these accounts.ndtv
UIDAI asks several payments companies to stop offering Aadhaar-based services: Report
Unique Identification Authority of India has asked several payments companies to stop offering any Aadhaar-based services on their platform, The Economic Times reported. A Supreme Court verdict last month upheld the validity of Aadhaar, but prohibited private companies from using the biometric authentication service.“Since your organisation can no longer use Aadhaar-based authentication services...you may cease all operations with respect to Aadhaar-based authentication immediately, if not already done,” the authority said in a letter sent on October 12, according to the newspaper. It asked the companies for a confirmation of closure and a plan to exit the Aadhaar system.
WORLD
Available evidence indicates Khashoggi killed at Saudi consulate - reports
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu have met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Ankara who briefed them on his talks in Riyadh on Tuesday with Saudi leaders who deny any knowledge of the fate of prominent Saudi journalist and government critic, Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi, a US resident, has not been seen in public since he entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on Oct.2.After his meeting with Pompeo, the Turkish Foreign Minister said the investigation at the Saudi Consul's residence in Istanbul will continue along with all consular vehicles. Cavusoglu said Pompeo communicated US President Donald Trump’s messages and concerns regarding Khashoggi’s disappearance to President Erdogan.Unnamed Turkish officials told CNN on Tuesday that Khashoggi’s body was "cut into pieces" after he was killed at the consular building. Separately, a high-level Turkish official speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity said police have found "certain evidence" during their search of the Saudi Consulate showing that Khashoggi was killed there.The official did not provide details on the evidence that was recovered during the hours-long search at the diplomatic mission that ended early on Tuesday.There is as yet no official word from Turkey or Saudi Arabia, who are jointly investigating the Riyadh critic’s disappearance, whether Khashoggi was actually murdered or killed by accident and whether Saudi Arabia was involved if his death is confirmed.US media, citing anonymous sources familiar with the case reported on Monday that Saudi Arabia was preparing to admit Khashoggi had died during an uncommissioned interrogation at the consulate on Oct.2.However, with the arrival of US President Donald's Trump's top diplomat in Riyadh, the official US narrative has become one of wait and see.trtworld
Khashoggi case: Saudi suspects who went to Istanbul are close to MBS, says report
Some members of the 15 Saudi suspects that travelled to the country's Istanbul consulate are close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.Turkey earlier released the names and identities of 15 Saudis who are allegedly involved in journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance and likely death.One of the suspects, Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, is a diplomat who has travelled with the crown prince, commonly known as MBS, several times.He was part of MBS' entourage when the crown prince made an extensive US tour earlier this year. The Times showed pictures of Mutreb with MBS on tours of Boston, Houston and the United Nations in New York.Another suspect is Abdulaziz Mohammed al-Hawsawi, who works as one of MBS's personal bodyguards, according to the Times report. Two other suspects, Thaar Ghaleb al-Harbi and Muhammed Saad Alzahrani, also operate as royal guards.Yet another suspect, Salah al-Tubaigy, works as head of Saudi Arabia's Scientific Council of Forensics and specialises in mobile autopsies.A Turkish source told Middle East Eye that Tubaigy cut Khashoggi’s body up on a table in a study in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul while he was still alive. middleeasteye
Jamal Khashoggi's killing took 7 minutes: Turkish source
Khashoggi muder: UN calls on Saudi to lift immunity of its diplomats
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) Michelle Bachelet called on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the lift diplomatic immunity of its officials in Istanbul following the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.“In view of the seriousness of the situation surrounding the disappearance of [Jamal] Khashoggi, I believe the inviolability or immunity of the relevant premises and officials bestowed by treaties such as the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations should be waived immediately,” Bachelet said in a statement.The rights chief also called on Saudi Arabia and Turkey to disclose everything they know about “the disappearance and possible extra-judicial killing” of Khashoggi who went missing two weeks ago after entering his country’s consulate in Istanbul.MEMO
Saudi finance conference: Now IMF chief Lagarde says she's not going to attend
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde has deferred a planned trip to the Middle East, which included a stop in Riyadh to attend the “Davos in the desert” investment conference, IMF said in a statement on Tuesday.On Saturday, Lagarde told a news conference in Indonesia that she did not intend to change her travel plans, but was "horrified" by media reports about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was missing after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.middleeasteye
Dissident prince Khaled bin Farhan accuses Saudi of trying to kidnap him
Saudi Prince Khalid bin Farhan Al-Saud has accused his country of trying to kidnap him. These accusations coincided with the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has gone missing since he entered the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago. The dissident prince stated that Saudi officials tried to lure him a few weeks ago to kidnap him and take him to Saudi Arabia. “They spoke to one of my relatives a few days before Khashoggi’s disappearance and told him about a cheque. They told him they wanted to help the prince because of his financial problems,” the prince said. Prince Farhan stated that “They told him that all I had to do was to bring the cheque from the Saudi embassy in Egypt.”He confirmed that he would have disappeared like Khashoggi, in case he responded to this call.middleeastmonitor
Israeli jets pound Gaza after rocket hits home
Israel says its fighter jets have struck 20 targets in the Gaza Strip, killing one Palestinian and injuring eight others. According to Gaza's Health Ministry, Naji Ahmad al-Zaneen, 25, was killed in the attack in northern Gaza early on Wednesday.Among the wounded are six children who were on their way to school in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza.Palestinian sources said several rockets fired by Israeli warplanes targeted sites south of Gaza City, while another blast rocked the central region of the Gaza Strip. A powerful explosion also rocked Khan Younis in southern Gaza.The Israeli army stated that it carried out air raids in response to a rocket that hit a home in Beersheba in southern Israel, causing damage but no injuries.The Israeli army said Hamas, which governs the besieged enclave, bears "full responsibility" for the rocket fire but the Palestinian movement denied their role.aljazeera
Australia undecided on Israel embassy move to Jerusalem
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told Parliament that no firm decision has yet been made on moving his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the city of Jerusalem.The prime minister made his remarks only hours after saying that Australia might consider recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving its embassy from Tel Aviv, following in the footsteps of the US.However, following domestic backlash, Morrison told Parliament that he wants to consult with regional leaders and allies before “the government forms a particular view on this issue”.middleeastmonitor
OIC warns Australia over Jerusalem embassy move
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) warned Australia of “grave consequences” of relocating the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In a statement, the Jeddah-based body called on Canberra “not to take such an illegal step, which constitutes a violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions”. OIC Secretary-General Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen said Jerusalem is part of Palestinian land occupied by Israel in 1967. “[OIC] rejects any action or attempt that would prejudice the legal status of the occupied city of Jerusalem,” he said in the statement. He went on to call on Australia to support the two-state solution with a view to achieving peace and promoting regional and world security. worldbulletin
Indonesia may cancel trade deal with Australia if embassy moves to Jerusalem
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has expressed his country’s concern over Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s remarks that the country may move its embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem. Marsudi called on the Australian government to respect the peace process and UN Security Council resolutions issued in this regard.“Indonesia reiterates that [the political status of] Jerusalem is one of 6 issues that have to be negotiated and decided as a sustainable solution,” she said.“Indonesia asks Australia and other countries to continue supporting the Palestine-Israel peace process in accordance with the principles that have been agreed and to not take steps that may threaten the peace process and world stability.”middleeastmonitor
206 Palestinians secretly held in Syria regime prisons
As many as 206 Palestinian refugees including 20 women from the Yarmouk refugee camp are secretly being held in Syrian regime prisons, a rights group said. The Action Group for Palestinians of Syria said that it has documented the death of 556 Palestinian refugees under torture in the Syrian regime prisons.The group has urged the Syrian regime to disclose the fate of detained Palestinians.In April, the UN warned that the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Syria had been “transformed into a death camp” as Assad regime forces launched a major offensive against Daesh fighters who controlled the area. middleeastmonitor
Amnesty: France violates international law by selling arms to Egypt
France is flouting international law by continuing to sell arms to Egypt, despite evidence that they have been used in brutal crackdowns on civilians, Amnesty International has revealed in a new report.Published yesterday, the report, “Egypt: How French Arms Were Used to Crush Dissent”, provides evidence that Egyptian security forces used French supplied military equipment to violently crush protests between 2012 and 2015.middleeastmonitor
Egypt extends state of emergency for another 3 months
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has ordered the extension of a nation-wide state of emergency for another three months.According to the presidential decree, the state of emergency went into effect yesterday and will last until 15 Jan.2019.“Under the extension, the armed and the security forces shall take the necessary measures to confront all threats and funding of terrorism to maintain security across the country, and protect public and private property and lives of citizens,” the decree read.middleeastmonitor
UN says Rohingya refugee girls are being sold into forced labour in Bangladesh
Rohingya refugee girls are being sold into forced labour to raise money for desperate families in overcrowded camps in Bangladesh, according to the United Nations’ migration agency.The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said it had identified 99 cases of human trafficking during the year starting September 2017, although it cautioned that the true number was likely far greater.A group of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have compiled the first record of Rohingya Muslims killed by Myanmar's military.Of the victims, 35 were girls and 31 were women, the IOM said in a report this week. 31 of the girls ended up in forced labour as did 26 of the women.“The stories we commonly hear are of vulnerable people being approached by traffickers with false promises of work and a better life,” said IOM spokeswoman Dina Parmer, adding some refugees were unaware of the risks.“Others may be aware it is dangerous, but feel their situation is so desperate that they are willing to take extreme measures, perhaps sacrificing one family member for the sake of the rest of the family,” she said in a statement.Reuters
China claimed its re-education camps for Muslim minorities are 'free vocational training' that make life 'colorful'
China has claimed that its controversial re-education camps - where persecuted Muslim ethnic minorities have described being beaten up and forced to chant patriotic songs or starve - were "free vocational training" centers that make life more "colorful."Xinjiang government chairman Shohrat Zakir made the claim to the state-run Xinhua news agency on Tuesday, referring to camps in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, where 11 million members of the Uighur minority live.Zakir said the camps exist "to get rid of the environment and soil that breeds terrorism and religious extremism and stop violent terrorist activities from happening."His remarks are the first detailed description of re-education camps from a Chinese official. His account could not be further from how former detainees and witnesses have described those camps.businessinsider
Blast kills prominent Afghan politician in Helmand
Kabul;A leading Afghan politician and former presidential adviser on military affairs was killed in a Taliban-claimed explosion in Helmand province on Wednesday, an official said.uthorities in Helmand confirmed Abdul Jabbar Qaharmaan, a prominent candidate for the forthcoming Wolesi Jirga (lower house), got killed in a blast caused by explosives hidden under a chair in his electoral office in provincial capital Lashkargah city.Umar Zwak, spokesman for the governor of Helmand, told Anadolu Agency the blast took place at around 09.00 a.m. local time (0400GMT). Qaharmaan along with three other people succumbed to their wounds while eight more people got injured in this incident, he added. Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.AA
Pakistan executes Kasur child rapist and murderer
Islamabad:Pakistan has executed a man convicted of raping and murdering a six-year-old girl in the eastern district of Kasur, jail authorities and the girl's family have said.Imran Ali was hanged at the Kot Lakhpat jail in the eastern city of Lahore early on Wednesday, jail officials told Al Jazeera. They spoke on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorised to speak to the media.Ali, 24, was executed in the presence of Muhammad Amin Ansari, the father of six-year-old Zainab Ansari, whose brutal rape and murder in January sparked a widescale manhunt."He walked by himself to the gallows and stood there comfortably," Muzammil Ansari, Zainab's cousin, told Al Jazeera by telephone."They put the noose around his head, he did not resist. He did not ask for any forgiveness from us."ainab's body was found in a rubbish heap in Kasur on Jan.9, sparking nationwide outrage and protests. In Kasur, riots broke out, police clashing with angry protesters demanding justice be done in the case.Police arrested Ali two weeks later, after closed-circuit television footage showed Zainab being led down a narrow lane in her neighbourhood. Police said that DNA tests also linked Ali to at least six other cases of rape and murder.aljazeera
US announces sanctions against Iranian paramilitary force
US has imposed fresh sanctions on a network of businesses it says provide financial support to an Iranian paramilitary force.Announced on Tuesday, the US Treasury said the sanctions would affect a network of businesses tied to the Basij Resistance Force, a group that the US department said works with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)."The international community must understand that business entanglements with the Bonyad Taavon Basij network and IRGC front companies have real world humanitarian consequences," US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.middleeasteye
Preparing to Step Down, No Regrets About Decisions Made: Maldives President Yameen
Male: The president of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen, said on Wednesday he had no complaints or reservations about any of his decisions while in office, and that he was preparing to step down, despite having challenged his election defeat in court.In a surprise result, Yameen lost his re-election bid last month and initially conceded defeat. Last week, however, his lawyers went to the Supreme Court, saying his supporters had complained about rigging of votes and fraudulent ballot papers.In a televised speech on Wednesday, Yameen said all his decisions when in power were made in the interest of the people.“Even today, as I prepare to take leave from official duties, I would like to say that I have no complaints or reservations about my decisions,” he said.Reuters
US airstrike kills 60 al-Shabaab militants in Somalia
U.S. military carried out an airstrike last week against the al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia, killing at least 60 militants, the U.S. Africa Command announced. The airstrike was launched in coordination with the Somalian government Friday near the Harardere community in Mudug province in central Somalia. "We also currently assess this airstrike did not injure or kill any civilians," said the command in a statement. worldbulletin
FLASH VIEWS & NEWS
Bludgeoning a Butterfly Only Indicates the Desperation of the Attacker:SEEMA MUSTAFA
AMU sedition row: Why Kashmiri students calling for azadi is no crime;Markandey Katju
Why Educated Kashmiri Youth Continue to Join Militancy:Mudasir Ahmad
No concept of self-acquired, ancestral property in Muslim personal law:Aradhana Bhansali

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:02 PM)

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