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Monday, 22 October 2018

22 OCT ND:Only 1 lakh out of 40 lakh left out of Assam draft NRC list have filed claims so far/ Excluded from Assam NRC, rtd teacher Das ends life to 'escape humiliation'/ PM intervenes in big CBI war, summons top 2 officers/


NEWS DIGEST, MID-DAY 
22 OCT. 2018: 12 Safar 1440: Vol: 11, No:38
INDIA
Only 1 lakh out of 40 lakh left out of Assam draft NRC list have filed claims so far
Guwahati: Just over one lakh out of 40 lakh applicants whose names did not appear in the complete draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam have filed claims for inclusion since the process commenced on September 25. The complete draft which was published on July 30 excluded 40,07,707 persons who risk becoming illegal immigrants unless their claims for inclusion pass the rounds of verification which are likely to start once the process of submitting claims finishes on Nov 28.“Only 1,02,000 people have so far submitted their claims,” said a top NRC official on condition of anonymity quoting the figure as they stood on Saturday.According to the official, the sluggish response could be also because the standard operating procedure for filing claims and objections is yet to be finalized, even as the Supreme Court had ordered that the process should start on Sept. 25.Despite demands, the court is yet to take a call on if five documents including the extract of the 1951 NRC, extract of the voters lists up to March 25, 1971, citizenship certificates, refugee registration cards and ration cards can be submitted afresh for filing claims. Out of the initial list of 15 List A documents, which the applicants could submit with the NRC application, only 10 are being accepted now for the claims exercise after a report by state coordinator Prateek Hajela to the Supreme Court.e Centre, the state Govt , political parties and other pressure groups have demanded that all 15 documents should be allowed. The SC is likely to finalise the SOP in the next hearing scheduled on Oct. 23 after taking into consideration the report submitted by Hajela.Meanwhile, the number of objections filed against those included in the NRC draft is almost negligible. hindustantimes
Excluded from Assam NRC, rtd teacher Das ends life to 'escape humiliation'
A retired school teacher has allegedly committed suicide in Mangaldoi district of Assam as his name did not appear in the updated draft NRC, a senior district police official said on Monday. Nirod Kumar Das, who used to practise as a lawyer after retirement, was found by his family members hanging in his room after he had returned from his morning walk Sunday, SP Sreejith T. said.In a note allegedly left behind by him, 74-year-old Das stated that he was taking the extreme step to “escape the humiliation of being marked as a foreigner after the NRC process,” his family members said.A police official at the local police station confirmed his death by hanging.All his family members, including wife, three daughters, their husbands and children as well as most of his relatives names were included in the NRC, they said.Das was under distress since the exclusion of his name from the complete draft of the NRC, published on June 30 in the state, and more so when the local NRC processing centre gave him a document, about two months back, stating that his name had been put on hold as he had been marked a foreigner, his family members said.In his note, Das blamed no one and listed five people whom he owed Rs 1,200 and asked his family to return the money to them, the family and police said.PTI
Bribery case: CBI arrests investigating officer who reports to special director Rakesh Asthana
 New Delhi :CBI Monday made its first arrest in connection with the bribery case against Special Director Rakesh Asthana, the number two in the organisation. DSP Devender Kumar, the CBI’s Investigating Officer under Asthana, was formally arrested by CBI, a week after he was named as an accused in the case along with Asthana and Dubai-based middleman Manoj Prasad and his brother Somesh Prasad. Although the complaint also mentions Special Secretary of R&AW Samant Kumar Goel, he is not an accused in the case.Asthana has been accused of accepting Rs 3 crore as bribe from a Hyderabad-based businessman Sana Satish for allegedly clearing his name in a case investigated by CBI’s special investigation team. SIT, headed by Asthana, was investigating a corruption case against meat exporter Moin Qureshi, who is accused of paying bribes to influence CBI cases.indianexpress
PM intervenes in big CBI war, summons top 2 officers
New Delhi: Intervening in a massive fight within CBI, PM  Narendra Modi today summoned the agency's top 2 officers, Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana.This is after CBI filed a bribery case against Asthana, who had written to the govt listing several charges against his boss Alok Verma.Asthana, a Gujarat officer dubbed " PM's blue-eyed boy" in a tweet by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi today, was elevated as one of the country's top investigators in controversial circumstances last year and given charge of major cases. Sources in PMO say CBI has not sought permission to act against Asthana, as is required in such cases.ndtv
Mud flies in war within CBI, Asthana sent list against Verma, with over a dozen complaints
New Delhi:As the battle in the top ranks of CBI becomes more vicious, with the lodging of an FIR against Special Director Rakesh Asthana last week, the officer, it appears, has listed more than a dozen charges against Director Alok Verma and other top officials, double the number of complaints against him.Exactly a month ago, CBI had issued a statement informing that its Special Director’s role was being investigated in “at least” half a dozen cases. Days prior to that, it transpires, Asthana had shot off a ‘top secret’ complaint to Cabinet Secretary, listing more than a dozen charges against the Director, including relating to the investigation against meat exporter Moin Qureshi,and regarding two businessmen seeking St Kitts citizenship, and a land acquisition case in Haryana.As the charges and counter-charges fly, hitherto unknown details of cases being investigated by CBI as well as ED are tumbling out. However, top Govt  sources said, while the wars within CBI had “gone too far”, the rumours of either Verma or Asthana being offered alternative assignments were wrong. They said it was up to Vigilance Commission, which supervises CBI’s functioning, to act on the spate of complaints from warring camps.indianexpress
War between CBI No 1 and No 2 brings Moin Qureshi case back in spotlight
CBI case against its top official Asthana rests on 9 calls, many WhatsApp messages
Congress has not declared Rahul Gandhi as its PM face for 2019: P Chidambaram
New Delhi:Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has categorically denied all reports of Rahul Gandhi’ being chosen as the PM ial face of the party for 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In an interview on Monday, former finance minister said the Congress has not yet declared its PM candidate and will only do so after an alliance has been formed to defeat BJP, which is its main objective right now.“We never said that we want Rahul Gandhi to be PM. When few Congressmen were talking about it, AICC intervened and stopped such talk.We want BJP to be ousted. In its place, we want to see an alternative Govt which is progressive, respects freedom of individuals, doesn’t indulge in tax terrorism, gives protection to women and children, and uplifts farmers,” he said.indianexpress
Sabarimala temple closes: Despite SC order, entry of ‘barred’ women remains blocked
New Delhi :This month’s Sabarimala pilgrimage — the first after the Supreme Court lifted the ban on entry of women aged between 10 and 50 in the famed Kerala temple — will end at 10 pm on Monday, even as no woman previously barred could successfully step inside the shrine in the 5 days it remained open. The temple opened its doors for puja at 5 pm on Oct.17.At least 12 women in the age group of 10-50 undertook the trek to the shrine of Lord Ayyapa in vain. Massive security cover could not prevail against the mounting protests by devotees and priests of the temple who blocked the entry, with the head priest-for the first time-threatening to lock the door of the temple if women attempted to enter.On Sept.28, though the Supreme Court struck down the provisions of Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965 that banned women between the age of 10 and 50 from the temple, the historic verdict could not be implemented — at least not this time.indianexpress
Kerala nun rape case: Priest who gave statement against Bishop Mulakkal found dead in Jalandhar
Jalandhar:A Catholic priest, one of the key witnesses in the rape case against Bishop Franco Mulakkal, was found dead under suspicious circumstances at Hoshiarpur district of Punjab on Monday. Father Kuriakose Kattuthara (62) was found lying in an unconscious state by his assistant at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Dasuya sub-division; he was rushed to the hospital where he was declared brought dead. Father Kuriakose had served as a priest in the Jalandhar diocese and had given a statement to the police against Bishop Mulakkal, who has been accused of raping a nun 13 times between 2014 and 2016. The deceased priest had also served as a vocational trainer in a convent belonging to the Missionaries of Jesus, and had offered assistance to other nuns who had expressed their grievances against the Bishop.indianexpress
J&K: Bandh call in Valley today after death of civilians in Kulgam encounter
New Delhi :Separatists in the Kashmir Valley have called for a bandh Monday over the death of 6 civilians in an explosion at an unsanitised encounter site in Kulgam district Sunday. The announcement for the strike was made by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), after three militants were killed in the encounter with security forces.Taking to Twitter, Farooq announced, “To strongly condemn and protest the mayhem unleashed in Kulgam by the ruthless Indian state in which so far five civilians and three armed youth killed, besides injuries to tens of scores of injured, JRL calls for complete #Shutdown tomorrow, JRL will hold a #ProtestSitin on Tuesday at Lal Chowk.”indianexpress           
7 civilians killed in Kulgam explosion: Anger spills out on to streets, people put up barricades
Srinagar: The killing of 7 civilians, including a minor boy, in an explosion at the site of a gun-battle in Kulgam district yesterday has evoked an unprecedented shutdown in the Valley.Authorities today imposed curfew like restrictions in parts of Srinagar, Kulgam and Anantnag districts to foil any protests against Sunday’s civilian killings in Laroo village that have put the Valley on the edge.At many places across the Valley, reports said protesters have set up barricades to block commuters with even the police and paramilitary troopers staying away from such areas to avoid any protests or clashes. “Some measures have been taken because we don’t want to aggravate the situation by going into a confrontational mode,” a senior police officer said, wishing anonymity.Fresh details of the horrifying explosion have revealed that the joint party of Army, police and paramilitary forces abandoned the site of encounter, where three Jaish-e-Mohammad militants were killed, without clearing the debris.Although the J&K Police has already issued advisories against visiting such sites, locals have alleged that no attempt was made to prevent any trespassing of the residential house where the three militants were gunned down.“They (forces) dug the grave for locals. They knew people will search the debris of the residential house for any retrievable item and in the process get killed, so they deliberately left the place in hurry,”Rashid Din, a resident of the Laroo village said over phone.Muneeb-ul-Islam, a photojournalist who was the first to reach the site of bloodbath in Kulgam, said locals started gathering at the encounter site soon after the forces had left along with 3 bodies of militants. “Barely 2 minutes later, an explosion shook the ground followed by painful screams of injured,” he said.More than 4 dozen people were injured in the explosion.  thecitizen
Kulgam encounter: Imran Khan calls for resolution of Kashmir issue
A day after 6 civilians were killed after an explosive went off at an encounter site in Kulgam district of South Kashmir, Pakistan PM  Imran Khan “condemned the killings of innocent Kashmiris”.On Twitter, Khan said, “Strongly condemn the new cycle of killings of innocent Kashmiris by Indian security forces. It is time India realised it must move to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue in accordance with the UN SC resolutions & the wishes of Kashmiri people.”indianexpress
Sushma didn’t consult PMO on engaging Pak: sources
New Delhi:External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj did not consult the PM ’s Office before getting her Ministry spokesman to announce on Sept.20 that there would be a meeting with her Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York, according to a highly ranked South Block source.The Hindu was told that it was this absence of consultation that led to a second statement on Sept.21 from the External Affairs Ministry nixing the meeting between Foreign Ministers. Separately, a Cabinet Minister confirmed to this correspondent that there had been no meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security before the decision to engage Pakistan was taken. Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat during the centenary celebration of Battle of Haifa 1918-2018 at 61 Cavalry Ground in Jaipur on Saturday. A top official in PMO, asked by this correspondent whether PM Narendra Modi or PMO was consulted before the announcement was made, directed all queries to External Affairs Ministry. Asked whether she had held prior consultations before asking for the announcement to be made, Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar chose not to give an immediate response.thehindu
‘Arranged’ halala shameful and un-Islamic: Deoband
Muzaffarnagar: The influential Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a fatwa saying that 'arranged' halala is not Islamic and people doing so must be "ashamed" of this. Under halala, a divorced woman has to marry another man and then get a divorce before she can return to her first husband. Mohammad Usman, a resident of Deoband, asked a question on halala. In answer, a panel of Islamic scholars replied with a fatwa which read, "In divorce cases, some people decide in advance that a woman has to do halala with another man in order to re-marry her earlier husband. This is completely wrong and Islam does not like this deed. It is shameful and forbidden under Islamic law." The clerics also explained women's rights in the fatwa. "If any woman is divorced under triple talaq, she has the right to marry any man excluding her ex-husband. But if the second husband divorces her, she can marry her first husband after an 'iddat; (spending a fixed period of time at home). Forcing such a woman to do halala in order to marry her first husband is forbidden," the fatwa added. timesofindia
Counter oppression with wisdom: Muslim elders
Hyderabad:Muslim leaders has said that all religious groups have the right to enjoy the fruits of Independent India. Condemning the increase in attacks against Muslims, they emphasised that Muslims should not feel dejected and that they should tackle the problem with wisdom. In a public meeting organised in Pahadi Shareef, vice president of All India Muslim Personal Law Board and president of Jamat-e-Islami Hind  Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri said that Muslim community is the second largest in the country and has been living there for centuries. No one can question their patriotism towards the mother land, he said, and added that Muslims should reflect their identity by following the religion and the teachings of Quran tooth and nail, so that the fellow countrymen can understand the true nature of Islam. Referring to the growing incidents of sexual violence against women, he said that Islam does not encourage oppression and does not tolerate violence against women. Pointing out to the ranking of India in this category, he expressed concern and said that everyone should be ashamed of such incidents.“It is the responsibility of every Muslim to counter violence against women and the weaker sections of the society,” he noted.  President of Muslim Majlis-e-Mashawarat Navaid Hamid said that Indian constitution is strong enough to face any conspiracies hatched to paint the nation in saffron colour.He said all religious groups would still share the fruits of independence even though several Govt s changed.Maulana Asghar Imam Mehdi Salafi, head of Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadees, Maulana Mufti Azeemuddin, and others participated in meeting.HansIndia
School Dropout Nowhera Shaikh of Heera Gold Used Ulema to Dupe Investors of Crores
Hyderabad: The turnover of Nowhera Shaikh’s company Heera Gold was Rs 27 lakh between 2010-11 — the year she started the firm in her hometown Tirupati — but in 2017-18, turnover increased to Rs 800 crore and the company was standing in several continents. How? After her arrest this Tuesday, the answer is coming out bit by bit. The latest revelation is that the school dropout Nowhera Shaikh used services of some Ulema and got ‘certificate’ of ‘Halal business’ from them to  lure susceptible rich Muslims.Some duped investors have told the police that they made huge investments with the Heera Group based on the statements of the Ulema.“An investor, Mr Mohammed Abdul Majeed, whose statement was recorded by the Central Crime Station as a witness, said that he was inspired by the Islamic talks and halal trading in the name of Islamic Shariah by Ms Nowhera Shaikh, Moulana Arshad Basheer Madani, Aqil from Jeddah, Moulana Meraj Rabbani of Uttar Pradesh, Moulana Jalaluddin Qasmi and Ms Shahnaz of Mumbai,” says a report in Deccan Chronicle. Heera Group, a consortium of 15 companies, would lure investors with promise of huge halal profits and to convince them, it would show the patronage of Ulema.Further police probe will clear if the Ulema were also cheated by the woman to issue ‘Halal’ certificates or they did so in lieu of money.Majeed claimed he had invested Rs 28 lakh with Heera Retail, Hyderabad Pvt Ltd and Rs 2.5 lakh in Heera Gold Exim Ltd.Nowhera Shaikh’s firms would promise investors that they would get 36% interest per year for every 1 lakh rupees they invest. She initially gave the promised money to some investors, only to allegedly cheat them later. According to Hyderabad police, to evade suspicion, Nowhera had floated 15 companies under different names and cheated investors estimated to the tune of Rs 1000 crores.According to Sakshi, Nowhera’s parents in Tirupati were vegetable sellers. Though she had not completed school, she has a prefix of ‘Dr’. Resident of Tirupati, Nowhera settled down at Banjara Hills in Hyderabad. She started her venture Heera Group of Companies by collecting deposits in 2010. Today she has her business in several countries like China, Canada, Dubai and states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
20k crore scam : Nowhera Shaikh of ‘Heera Gold’ used services of ‘Ulema’ to dupe investors
Muslims descendants of Ram, will face consequences if don't support Ram Mandir: Giriraj
Meerut:Union Minister Giriraj Singh raked up a controversy by making provocative communal comments yet again even warning of “consequences” if Muslims don’t support the construction of Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya. “Muslims are the descendants of Lord Ram and hence must support the construction of the mandir.Most of our Muslim brothers support it and those who don’t should do it. If they don’t then Hindus will hate them.We all know of the consequences if this hatred increases,” he said. As politics intensified on the issue of Ram temple amid increasing calls by various politicians urging Centre to take ordinance route, Giriraj’s comments are seen as provocative. ​There have been calls by various politicians urging the Centre to take the ordinance route to get the temple constructed. Supreme Court will hear title suit case beginning Oct.29. timesnow
Giriraj threat to minorities on Ayodhya
Waseem Rizvi demands legislation for Ram Temple; calls himself Vibhishan for the cause
New Delhi: Amid Hindu seers, saints and right wing organisations including RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and even the BJP pitching for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board chief too demanded legislation for construction of Ram Temple. Syed Waseem Rizvi called Babur a Ravan and himself a Vibhishan to help building Ram temple built in Ayodhya. Rizvi said, "As per Islam, it is sinful to offer prayer on the land occupied forcefully and on the religious places of other faith."He said, "Actually there is lack of humanism among radical Muslims. The fight of Ram temple is with Babri Rawan and Shia Waqf Bard and me is going to play the role of Vibhishan to end Rawan. Because in the year 2019, we will built the Ram temple by making constitutional provisions for the construction of Ram Temple." Yahoonews
Forming Muslim party is infeasible: Mansoorpuri
Kanpur:Forming a Muslim party in India is infeasible. Babri Masjid issue is being raked up ahead of polls. Discrimination has increased in the country, said leader of  Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind Maulana Qari Syed Mohammed Osman Mansoorpuri while speaking to newspersons. He had attended Tahaffuz Khatm-e-Nabuwat and Tahaffuz Hadeeth conference as chief guest. Mansoorpuri said all the religions and sects had jointly struggled for freedom from Britishers.The ideology of Communal harmony is the best for the country for maintaining peace in the country. It will ensure speedy growth.Hence forming a political party which has only Muslims’ role is uncalled for and infeasible. He said Jamiat believes in joining everyone together and unity is the need of the hour,he said.Siasat
Chhattisgarh polls: No Muslim, Christian or Sikh in BJP's candidate list
Raipur: BJP's list of candidates for 78 of 90 Assembly in Chhattisgarh seems to have been influenced by considerations of caste.Farmers, women and younger leaders figure prominently in the list. As many as 53 candidates are from well-off farming backgrounds, 14 are women and those in the fray from 25 constituencies are below the age of 40 years. Interestingly the party has kept its faith in 12 leaders who were defeated in the 2013 polls, while 13 sitting legislators, including Cabinet minister Ramsheela Sahu, have been denied tickets.The party has also released the names for the 29 seats reserved for scheduled tribes and the 10 reserved for scheduled castes in the state.Candidates for the remaining 12 seats are to be declared in the near future, the party stated.Jain community got 3 tickets but none among 78 candidates are Muslim, Sikh or Christian.
Muslim woman denied house on rent by 2 owners in Bengaluru
Bengaluru: A woman has accused two Bengaluru-based landlords of discrimination on the basis of her religion. The house owners allegedly refused to rent out their premises to her family when they got to know that she’s a Muslim.Heena Rehman (name changed), co-founder of an organisation, has posted her ordeal on Facebook and Twitter. The post has gone viral, drawing support as well as criticism.Heena said she found two houses matching her family’s requirements on Nestaway, an online portal for house rental ads, and approached their owners. But they refused to rent out their premises to her, she alleged.“I’m denied 2 houses in Bangalore for rent for my family bcz we are Muslims. Only a fanatic & irrational Hindu house owner can judge me without even talking to me. @nestawayhomes - you were the one who did #HomesThat-DontDiscriminate campaign. It seems that it was just a gimmick!” she tweeted.
Haj committee member resigns citing 'interference' by minority affairs ministry
Lucknow: Alleging "interference" by Union Ministry of Minority affairs in the workings of the Haj committe of India (HCI),it's member Syed Maqsud Ashraf announced his immediate resignation.Ashraf alleged that HCI was an autonomous body but its decisions, in the interest of the Haj pilgrims, were being "overruled" by the ministry."I am resigning with immediate effect as member of HCI. My resignation is to express my concern and dissatisfaction with the management of the HCI as a result of interference by the ministry," he said. outlook
Gurugram :Man jailed for asking Hindu girl about marriage with Muslim boy
Gurugram: The owner of a card printing shop in Gurugram landed in jail for asking a Hindu girl whether she was getting married to a Muslim boy as per her wish or under pressure. The girl from Hindu community got married to a Muslim boy on Saturday as the parents of both of them had no objection over their relationship. The girl told her parents about the card shop owner's query after which they filed a police complaint against him. He was arrested on Saturday and produced before duty magistrate on Sunday who sent him to jail. TOI
Odisha: 9-yr-old boy's head severed by his brother to appease goddess Durga
New Delhi:Odisha Police has claimed to solve the case of a 9-year-old boy whose severed head was recovered from a riverbed in Bolangir district.The victim, according to police, was murdered by his brother and uncle in order to "appease goddess Durga for the fulfilment of their wishes". "We started the investigation suspecting it to be a case of human sacrifice. During the interrogation, one of the two accused confessed to the crime," Titlagarh SDPO Saroj Mohapatra told reporters. The incident took place on Oct.13 at Sundhimunda village which comes under the jurisdiction of Sindehekela police station in Bolangir district.IndiaToday
WORLD
Saudi King, Crown Prince phone Khashoggi's son, condole his death; Saudi admits killing a mistake
Riyadh: King of Saudi Arabia and the Crown Prince sent their condolences to a son of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who died at his country's consulate in Istanbul, Saudi state media reported.Official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said that the Monarch, Salman bin Abdulaziz, and his son, Mohammed bin Salman, telephoned Salah Jamal Khashoggi to express their condolences, reports Efe news.Salah thanked the king and expressed his "sincere gratitude" to Prince Mohammed for the calls, according to separate press releases published by SPA. Saudi's Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said in an interview with Fox channel on the same day that Prince Mohammed had no knowledge of Khashoggi's death.In that interview, al-Jubeir described the death of Khashoggi as "a grave mistake" and said that those responsible will be held to account.Saudi authorities at first denied the death of the regime-critical journalist.UK, France and Germany said on Sunday that Saudi Arabia's version of Khashoggi's death needs to be supported by "facts" to be considered "credible". German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the suspension of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia on the grounds that they cannot be done under the "current circumstances", in reference to the Khashoggi case.Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced that he will reveal details about the Turkish probe of the alleged murder of the journalist on Tuesday.IANS
Germany stops arms exports to Saudi
Saudi:Don't know where Khashoggi's body is
Imran Khan: Pakistan cannot afford to snub Saudis over Khashoggi killing
 Newly installed Pakistani PM  Imran Khan has said that his country must continue to prioritise good relations with Saudi Arabia despite the killing of Jamal Khashoggi because of its dire economic crisis.Khan is due to travel to Riyadh on Tuesday to attend an investment summit that has been boycotted by many western officials and companies following the death of the journalist inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 Oct.And in his first interview with foreign journalists since taking office in August, Khan admitted that he could not afford not to attend.Though shocked by Khashoggi’s killing, he said the Pakistani Govt  needed urgent access to Saudi loans to avoid defaulting on record levels of debt within months.“We’re desperate at the moment,” Khan said.But Khan called on the US to drop its sanctions against Iran, Saudi Arabia’s bitter regional rival, which he said had also been detrimental to the economy of neighbouring Pakistan. Middleeasteye
US-led coalition kills 41 civilians including 10 kids in Syria mosque bombing
At least 41 civilians, including some 10 children, have been killed as a result of US-led coalition last Thursday and Friday, which targeted a mosque in the town of Al-Susah in eastern Syria. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights(SOHR) confirmed the death toll yesterday, stating that many of those killed were Iraqi relatives of Daesh fighters, although some reports have put the figure closer 70. Many of the dead are still trapped under the rubble of Masjid Al-Uthman, which was shelled during the Friday congregational prayers, and neighbouring houses. Some 22 militants were also killed in the blast; the US alleges that the mosque was being used as a base by Daesh operatives as they continue to resist the combined assault by the coalition and US-backed SDF in the province of Deir Ez-Zor.Coalition spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan defended the decision, despite the mosque having been bombed at a popular time for civilians: “Such Daesh misuse of the mosque is another example of their violation of the law of war and made the mosque a valid military target,” he told reporters.He added that the coalition monitored the facility to know when only fighters were present, and it investigates “all credible allegations of civilian casualties”.An aerial and ground campaign conducted by the SDF and the US-led coalition on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River, was launched last month to tackle a pocket of Daesh militants in the Al-Shafah and Hajin area. According to the SOHR, fighting has killed 414 militants and 227 SDF fighters in total since the assault began on 10 Sept.MEMO
Hamas: Egypt seeks reconciliation before truce is reached with Israel
Hamas said Egypt is seeking an internal reconciliation between Palestinian factions before reaching a truce with Israel. Senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouq told Ma’an that Egyptian mediators prefer that a Palestinian reconciliation be achieved before a truce is reached with Israel, although they are not imposing this as a condition.“Their efforts continue in both directions in parallel as the issues are separate from one another,” he added.“No member of the Fatah Central Committee dares to contact Hamas, even by mistake, so as to avoid [Mahmoud Abbas] Abu Mazen’s anger,” Abu Marzouk said.He noted that Egyptian intelligence chief is likely to visit Gaza next week.MEMO
Israel conditionally releases Jerusalem governor
Jerusalem:An Israeli court has ruled to conditionally release Jerusalem’s Palestinian governor, Adnan Ghaith, who was detained without explanation on Saturday, according to a legal source.In a statement, Mohamed Mahmoud, a lawyer for Palestinian Commission for Detainees and Former Detainees, said Jerusalem’s District Court had accepted Ghaith’s appeal against the court’s earlier request to prolong his detention. The court, however, has yet to issue a final release order so as to give prosecutors a chance to challenge the decision, Mahmoud said.On Saturday, the Israeli authorities detained Ghaith -- without explanation -- in Jerusalem’s northern Beit Hanina district.The following day, Jerusalem’s Magistrate's Court requested that Ghaith's detention be extended for another 3 days.Anadolu agency
Israel approves bill to deny visits to Hamas prisoners
Jerusalem:An Israeli ministerial committee has approved a bill to deny visits to Hamas members in Israeli prisons, according to Israeli daily Haaretz on Monday.The bill would block visits to Hamas prisoners by Red Cross representatives and family members, Haaretz said. Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation argued that the bill was approved in response to Hamas’ refusal to allow visits to Israelis held by the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip.Israel says Hamas is holding four Israelis, including two soldiers, in the seaside enclave.The Knesset (parliament) must approve the bill, authored by Likud lawmaker Oren Hazan, in three readings to become law.It remains unclear when the bill will be presented to the Knesset for approval.There was no comment from Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, on the Israeli bill.According to Palestinian figures, some 6,500 Palestinians continue to languish in Israeli detention facilities, including scores of women and hundreds of minors. Anadolu
In protest of Israel land grab, Holy Sepulcher Church threatens closure
The heads of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre have threatened to close the holy site again in protest against a new bill that aims to confiscate land owned by the church, Israel Hayom paper reported.In a letter of protest addressed to Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu the heads of the Church protested against the Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked’s intention to introduce a new bill that allows the state to confiscate land belonging to the Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.Israeli minister claims the law aims to protect buildings situated on land owned by the Church where Israelis live and that the Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem had sold the land to Jewish contractors.The bill calls to nationalise the lands which Israel claims to have been leased by the Patriarchate to the Jewish National Fund, Keren Kayemeth, in 1950s for 99 years.MEMO
Australia's Jerusalem ploy fails to avoid by-election beating, risks Muslim backlash: Reuters
Sydney:In the kosher cafes of Sydney’s east, Australia’s surprise move to mull recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital won some support but not enough votes to prevent a huge backlash against Govt  at a crucial weekend by-election.The results, with about a fifth of the Wentworth electorate switching their vote away from PM  Scott Morrison’s Govt , are on track to plunge the ruling conservative coalition into political chaos and a parliamentary minority.Its Israel gambit could unravel further.Morrison’s unexpected announcement last week that he was open to Australia moving its mission from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as the US did in May, ended some 70 years staying out of one of the Middle East’s thorniest issues.It delighted Israel, infuriated Palestinians and was seen locally, where he trails in opinion polls, as a naked grab for votes in Wentworth, the most strongly Jewish electorate in the country at around 13 percent.It is already showing signs of alienating Muslim voters Govt also needs to win over in an election due within months. reuters
King says Jordan to reclaim land leased to Israel under 1994 deal
Jordan has told Israel that it intends to reclaim two tracts of territories remained in Israeli private ownership under a 1994 peace treaty, King Abdullah II has announced, in a move that was welcomed by activists and civil society groups opposing the deal.As part of the agreement, Israel leased about 405 hectares of agricultural land in the southern sector of its border with Jordan called al-Ghumar, as well as the small al-Baqura area near the confluence of Jordan and Yarmouk rivers.The areas are currently regulated through a "special regime" in the peace treaty where Israel recognizes Jordanian sovereignty with Israeli private land ownership.The territories - water-rich farmlands currently cultivated by Israeli farmers, kept in Israeli hands for 25 years, with a 12-month notice period needed to prevent an automatic extension. The deadline for renewing the leases is Thursday."We have informed Israel of an end to the application of the peace treaty annexes regarding al-Baqura and al-Ghumar," the king said on Sunday, according to the Petra state news agency."Al-Baqura and al-Ghumar have always been on top of my priorities. Our decision is to end the annexes of the peace treaty based on our keenness to take all that is necessary for Jordan and Jordanians," the king added. Following the king's announcement,Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would negotiate with Jordan an extension of the leases, which expire next year."We will enter into negotiations with [Jordan] to option an extension of the existing lease agreement,"he said.aljazeera
Russia warns of arms race if US quits weapons treaty
Russia has warned US President Donald Trump's push to withdraw from a landmark anti-proliferation weapons deal could spark a new arms race between Moscow and Washington. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Russia would be forced to act to restore the balance of military power if US pulled out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty and began developing new missiles.US abandonment of the deal would "make the world a more dangerous place", Peskov told reporters at a press conference in the Russian capital, Moscow.Peskov's comments came ahead of talks between US National Security Adviser John Bolton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.Bolton, who arrived in Moscow on Monday for a two-day summit during which he will also meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, is expected to face intense inquiries from Kremlin officials over Trump's plans for the deal.aljazeera
Egypt arrests economist Farouk over 'critical book'
Egyptian police have arrested economist Abdel Khalik Farouk after the publication of his book in which he is critically analysing the country's economic and social crises, the author's wife and a lawyer said.Farouk's detention on Sunday came days after local media reported that copies of his book - titled, Is Egypt really a poor country? - were seized by authorities from a publisher.Farouq's wife told the Reuters news agency that 3 policemen who came to their home said the arrest was in connection with the book.She was later allowed to deliver food, medicine and clothes to him at a local police station, she said."He was officially arrested and will be presented to the state security prosecutor tomorrow because of this book," AFP cited Gamal Eid, a lawyer, as saying.aljazeera
Opposition parties reject vote results in Iraq's Kurdish region
Erbil:Opposition parties in Iraq's Kurdish region have rejected the final results of the Sept. 30 parliamentary elections.After a delay of three weeks, the regional election commission announced late on Saturday that the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) won the most votes in the elections, securing 45 out of 111 seats in the local parliament.Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) came second, winning 21 seats.Hemin Anwar, a member of the Gorran Movement, which came third in the election with 12 seats, told Al Jazeera that his party does not accept the final results."Falsification was done during the elections," he said. "There are more than 1,000 complaints. Some of them have not been finalised, which could change the result of the elections. So, we will pursue an appeal on the results of the election."After the elections, opposition parties accused KDP and PUK of various electoral violations, including falsification of documents and stuffing ballot boxes.aljazeera
Pakistan ends military operations in Swat valley
Islamabad:Pakistan army on Monday said it "successfully" wrapped up its decade-long anti-Taliban offensive in the restive northwestern valley of Swat."Today is our victory day and we proudly announced that now there is no presence of any terrorist hideouts in Swat as Pakistan military successfully defeated them and destroyed all their hideouts in Swat and other parts of Malakand region," Mehmood Khan, chief minister of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said.His remarks came during a ceremony to mark the end of the operations and handover of powers to civilian authorities after 11 years of military rule in the region.Swat valley, a tourist attraction located in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, used to be known as the "Switzerland of Pakistan".The valley has been a stronghold for the Tehrik Taliban Pakistan -- Pakistani Taliban -- from 2007 to 2009.The Pakistani army deployed armed forces in Swat in 2007 to launch a large-scale operation against Taliban militants.Anadolu

Erdogan ranked world's top influential Muslim
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan ranked first place in the 2019 edition of World's 500 Most Influential Muslims. Prepared annually by the Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, the book notes that Erdogan became Turkey’s first popularly-elected president in August 2014 and then secured a 2nd-term in the 2018 election with 52.5 percent of the vote, where electoral turnout was 86 percent."During his terms, Turkey has seen unprecedented economic growth, constitutional reform, and a re-emergence as a major global power," publication said.Under Erdogan's leadership, it said, Turkey has focused on building stronger relations with all of its seven land-contiguous neighbors, especially Greece, and also all of those countries bordering the Black Sea -- an important trading hub and a geopolitically significant area."In Africa, it has opened up over twenty new embassies and consulates, and when Somalia suffered from a crippling famine and drought in 2011, Erdogan not only gave aid, but also became the first leader from outside Africa to visit Somalia in nearly two decades," it stressed.In the book's editions belonging to previous years, Erdogan was ranked 8th in 2016 and 2017, and 5th in 2018.In the 2019 ranking, King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud was ranked second in being the most influential Muslim, while Jordanian King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein was ranked third.Anadolu Agency
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:22 PM)

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