Sunday, 25 November 2018

25 Nov. ND: Ayodhya build up, open challenge to court:AIMPLB/ Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat writes to Prez, seeks intervention in Ayodhya situation/ VHP’s Dharma Sabha in Ayodhya

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
25 Nov. 2018:16 Rabiul-I 1440: Vol: 11, No:63
INDIA
Ayodhya build up, open challenge to court:AIMPLB
Lucknow: Terming VHP's "Dharm Sabha" and visit of Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackerey to Ayodhya an open "challenge" to Supreme Court, All India Muslim Personal law Board (AIMPLB) Sunday said a situation is being created against the Muslims."It is not the matter of giving a mosque but its a matter of principle that how many mosques will we have to sacrifice gradually. If we talk to someone, it will withdraw and another one will come."Sri Sri Ravishankar had offered that we should construct a big mosque outside Ayodhya. But later he cornered himself. Just imagine, what had happened, we entered into an agreement with him," AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rehmani said."VHP's dharm sansad and visit of Thackerey and similar such programmes, a situation is being created against Muslims and its also an open challenge to the judiciary (SC)," he said.On Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh yadav's statement that Army should be brought in Ayodhya, Rehmani said "his demand is not unjustified especially keeping in mind the role of the state police and biased action against Muslims.""In such a scenario, it seems Akhilesh is disappointed with the police and has demanded deployment of Army there.Govt will be responsible for communal tension, if any," he added. On talks to resolve the Ayodhya issue, Rehmani said, "as far as talks are concerned we are asked to make mosque outside Ayodhya. This is like dictating terms". There is no talk like "kuch tum peeche hato, kuch ham" (Both compromise a little),he added.Stating that "compromise on Babri mosque" has many drawbacks, Rehmani said, "First, it will be said that if Muslims can leave claim of a mosque when why not on second, third, fourth and so on..Secondly, even if maximum Muslims parties sign for giving mosque's land what's guarantee that non-signatories will not raise for another mosque."Rehmani said a AIMPLB meeting is proposed in Lucknow on Dec. 16 in which the present situation in Ayodhya will be discussed, though it is not in the agenda. PTI
Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat writes to Prez, seeks intervention in Ayodhya situation
Aligarh: All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) on Sunday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking his urgent intervention into the developments in Ayodhya, where VHP has organised a public meeting to press for construction of a Ram temple.An umbrella body of more than a dozen Muslim religious and social organisations, AIMMM said in its letter that the presence of "unruly mobs" in Ayodhya is a clear pointer to the way things are moving in an unchecked manner in UP."If any attempt is made to forcibly change the status quo at the disputed site at Ayodhya, it would tantamount to a gross violation of the orders of the SC," AIMMM chief Navid Hamid said in the letter. It said the lives and safety of thousands of innocent people were at stake and alleged that UP Govt was displaying "total negligence of its responsibility" to maintain peace in the state. PTI
1992 spectre: Some Muslims move out of Ayodhya, Faizabad
Ayodhya: The congregation of right-wing activists in Ayodhya for VHP's mega event for construction of Ram temple has triggered the painful memories of the 1992 tragedy among many residents, with a few Muslim families temporarily leaving the town fearing for their safety. Some Muslim families had left the pilgrim town for good after the large-scale violence that had erupted here post the demolition of 16th-century Babri Mosque 26 years ago on December 6, and now many others have temporarily left their homes, say local residents. Despite high security deployment in Ayodhya and the twin town of Faizabad, many families from minority communities have decided to move out, feeling uncomfortable amid the "din and provocative speeches" surrounding the VHP's 'Dharma Sabha' that is being touted as the largest congregation of "Ram bhakts" in Ayodhya since the 1992 'kar seva', they said.PTI
VHP’s Dharma Sabha in Ayodhya: we want the entire land for temple construction, says Champat Rai
VHP’s ‘dharma Sabha” commenced in the temple town Sunday with senior leader Champat Rai declaring that no formula dividing the disputed land will be acceptable for temple construction. Addressing the sabha after the inauguration marked by chanting of mantras and lighting of lamp, international general secretary Champat Rai said“We want the entire land for temple construction...no formula dividing the land is acceptable.”Though Rai did not spell out the details, his assertions are considered to be in reference to the Allahabad High court verdict dividing the land into 3 parts.PTI

Shiv Sena has no role in temple movement: UP deputy CM Maurya
Ayodhya: UP Deputy CM  Keshav Prasad Maurya on Sunday disapproved of the Shiv Sena's push for constructing a Ram temple, saying the party had no role in the temple movement.Maurya's remarks came a day after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray asked BJP-led NDA Govt to declare a date for the construction of the Ram temple."There is no problem in Uddhav Thackeray catching a glimpse of Ram Lalla... But, had Balasaheb Thackeray been alive, he would have prevented Uddhav from doing whatever he is doing," Maurya told PTI on the phone."Shiv Sena had no role in the temple movement or even in the Dharam Sabha, though Balasaheb Thackeray would support the Vishwa Hindu Parishad," he said.He said Uddhav Thackeray should take the VHP, "which is leading such a large-scale movement, along with his party. There is no point creating a divide".The deputy CM , who was part of the VHP during the Ram temple movement, said, "The devotees of Lord Ram know who can actually make a sacrifice now and who had made a sacrifice earlier."PTI
Ram temple construction not a political issue: Maharashtra CM Fadnavis
Mumbai: Ram temple is not a political issue, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said today and expressed hope that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who is in Ayodhya, would get the blessings of Lord Ram. A senior BJP leader also said that the Sena, which is its ally at the Centre and in Maharashtra, will remain its partner for the Maharashtra and the Lok Sabha polls due next year. "The construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya is not a political issue. Shri Ram is the deity for entire India, Thackeray would get his blessings too," Fadnavis told reporters at Karad in Maharashtra's Satara district.Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP chief Raosaheb Danve said the Shiv Sena's stand on the construction of Ram temple supports the BJP and asserted that both the parties will jointly contest the next year's state and general polls. "It is not like the Sena has backed the BJP recently, but we have been together for decades," Danve told reporters in Jalna district.PTI
Centre will wait till Ram temple matter comes up in SC: MG Vaidya
Nagpur: Amidst mass gathering being organised by Shiv Sena, VHP and some Hindu groups in Ayodhya, RSS ideologue MG Vaidya on Saturday said the central Govt will wait till January when the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit case will come up in the Supreme Court."Currently, it is difficult to tell what will happen after the Dharma Sabha in Ayodhya. But saints and devotees who go there are certain that the Ram temple should be built. I think the Govt will wait till the matter comes up in the Supreme Court in January and then it will decide whether to bring in an ordinance or a law in this matter. People in the Govt can only talk about this, but if they (Govt) want they can bring in an ordinance like the Shah Bano case," said the nonagenarian RSS ideologue.ANI
BJP organising Ram temple movement to divert attention from failures: Mayawati
New Delhi: BSP chief Mayawati attacked BJP by saying that its leaders are orchestrating the present action on Ram Temple in Ayodhya through its allies (Shiv Sena) and affiliates (VHP) in order to divert people's attention from failure in governance ahead of the Assembly and general elections.She added that BJP and PM  Narendra Modi are well aware of the fact that they are losing elections in States and Centre which is why they are resorting to Mandir issue through 'proxies and allies like Shiv Sena, RSS and VHP' as a strategy.ANI
Congress ‘scares’ SC judges with impeachment to delay Ayodhya hearing, claims PM Modi
New Delhi :“When Ram temple case was being heard, Congress leader and a Rajya Sabha member said don’t hear it till 2019 as the country will go to polls in the year. Is it fair to drag country’s judiciary into politics like this?,” the PM  said while addressing a rally in Rajasthan’s Alwar district.Modi, without naming Congress MP Kapil Sibal, said the Congress delays the Ram temple hearing by using scare tactics. “Whenever any SC judge wants to hear in the Ram temple case, the Congress’ Rajya Sabha lawyer used the threat of impeachment to “scare” judges,” he added.indianexpress
Ayodhya: Supreme Court not giving priority to the case, says Mohan Bhagwat
VHP’s ‘Dharma Sabha’ is being touted as the largest congregation of ‘Ram bhakts’ in Ayodhya since 1992 ‘kar seva’, with the Hindu outfit claiming a large number of people will attend it."The matter is in Court, the decision should be given early. It has also been proved that the temple was there. Supreme Court is not giving priority to the case. Justice delayed is justice denied:" said RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at Hunkar Sabha in Nagpur.HT
BJP leader hits back at Shiv Sena, says ‘those who thrash north Indians, how can they serve Lord Ram’
UP govt clears 221-metre-tall Ram statue
While a show of strength is on in Ayodhya by VHP for Ram Mandir, BJP Govt in UP  has cleared a 221-metre-tall statue of Ram, to come up on the banks of the Saryu in the temple town.While the Govt did not reveal the details of cost, funding, or exact location, it announced the expected size of the statue, which seems to outdo 182-metre Sardar Patel statue in Gujarat.Ram statue would consist of a 151-metre statue, a 20-metre umbrella overhead, and a 50-metre pedestal; total being 221 metre, a Govt spokesperson said.thehindu
It is all politics, so even if Ram Temple is built matter will not end there: Katju
New Delhi:Former Judge at the Supreme Court Markandey Katju has said that even if the Ram Mandir is built the matter will not end there. In a Facebook post, Katju wrote that many people had asked him as to why he is against the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya to which he answered, “It is all politics.”Ex-SC judge then wrote that after the construction of Ram Temple the right wing outfits will demand demolition of Gyan Vapi mosque in Varanasi as the carving on the rear wall clearly shows that it was a Hindu temple before. Katju also mentions the name of other religious places which once were Hindu temples.Katju mentioned Shahi-Eidgah at Mathura, Atala mosque in Jaunpur and the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque near Qutub Minar in Delhi.Times Now
Congress’ 'Muslim hardliner' nominee’s temple visit sends ripples across political circles in Bhopal
Bhopal:At the time when Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s temple visits are raising eyebrows in rival parties, another Congress nominee Arif Masood reached a temple as part of the election campaign in Bhopal.An executive member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Masood who has been fielded by Congress from Bhopal Madhya. This constituency has a sizeable Muslim population. He was seen in Hanuman temple in 1100 Quarters area in Bhopal. Area is in close vicinity of posh Arera Colony, representing portions of constituency which has majority Hindu population. Masood’s temple visit has sent ripples across the political circles in Bhopal as he bears an image of being a hardliner who remained in the forefront while opposing triple talaq issue and previously in Bhoshala dispute in Dhar which is equated to Ayodhya issue of Madhya Pradesh. Masood, ex BSP leader, also led the charge against Centre when Muslims were being lynched over “cow slaughter.”Masood is contesting against sitting MLA Surendra Nath Singh whom he lost to in 2013. Singh with his “down to earth” image is giving tough time to Masood, a close aide to senior Congress leader Suresh Pachauri.news18
Gujarat: Accused who supplied bombs used in 2007 Ajmer dargarh blast arrested
New Delhi :Gujarat ATS today arrested an accused in the 2007 Ajmer dargah blast case. Suresh Nair, who was on the run, was held in Bharuch after ATS officers received a tip-off that he was going to visit Shukltirth, a religious place on the bank of Narmada river. Nair has been accused of having supplied the bombs used in the attack that killed 3 and injured 17. NIA had declared Rs 2 lakh reward on his arrest. Nair was one of 3 absconding accused in the case. Other 2 are Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra.A special NIA court in Jaipur had in March 2017 acquitted key accused activist Swami Aseemanand and 6 others, giving them the “benefit of doubt”. Among those acquitted were Harshad Solanki, Lokesh Sharma, Mehul Kumar, Mukesh Vasani, Bharat Bhai and Chandrashekar.Three others were handed life imprisonment. Devendra Gupta, Bhavesh Patel and Sunil Joshi were convicted under various sections of IPC, Explosive Substances Act and UAPA. However, in last week of Aug,Patel of Bharuch and Gupta (42) of Ajmer were granted bail by the Rajasthan HC after their lawyers argued that the men had been convicted on the basis of “human probability… circumstantial evidence… conjectures”.indianexpress
India to Send 2 Senior Ministers After Swaraj Declines Pak's Invite for Kartarpur Ceremony
New Delhi: India has decided to send 2 ministers to Pakistan govt’s ground-breaking ceremony for Kartarpur Sahib corridor project after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj declined Pakistan foreign minister SM Qureshi’s invitation due to “prior commitments”. The construction of the visa-free pilgrim corridor seems to have provided a fresh lease of life to India-Pakistan relations, which were in a comatose state for the last two months.Earlier this week, Indian cabinet approved the proposal for the corridor project as part of the celebrations of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak even as Pakistan too was ready to announce plans to start construction.On Saturday evening, Qureshi issued an invitation to his Indian counterpart and to Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh and Congress lawmaker Navjot Singh Sidhu.Within hours, Swaraj replied: “Due to my prior commitments, including election campaign scheduled in the state of Telangana on that day, I would not be able to travel to Kartarpur Sahib.” However, Swaraj added that 2 of her colleagues, minister for food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal and minister of state for housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri would represent India at the ceremony planned for Nov.28 at Kartarpur.Pakistan PM Imran Khan would conduct the ground-breaking ceremony. On Sunday, however, Punjab CM Singh also expressed his inability to attend the ceremony in his letter to Qureshi. He cited the killing of Indian soldiers at the line of control and “nefarious activities” of ISI in the state, including alleged involvement in a bomb attack last Sunday.thewire
Clashes Between Security Forces, Youth in South Kashmir After 8 Killed in Encounter
Srinagar: A soldier and 6 militants were killed during an encounter on Sunday between ultras and security forces in Shopian district of J&K, police said here.A civilian was also killed while 4 other locals were injured in the cross-firing near the encounter site, sparking massive clashes between groups of youth and security forces in the area, a police official said.Giving details of the operation, official said security forces launched a cordon and search operation at Hipura Batagund village around midnight following specific information about the presence of militants there.As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by militants. Fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight, he said.“Initially, one jawan of 34 RR sustained injuries in the exchange of fire. He was evacuated to hospital and is stated to be stable now. However, one Jawan identified as Nazir Ahmad of 34 RR who got grievously injured in the final phase of the encounter has succumbed, official said.PTI
6 militants among 8 killed in Shopian, J&K
In surprise visit, Norway’s ex-PM meets separatist leaders in J&K
New Delhi:Ex-Norwegian PM  Kjell Magne Bondevik, under whom Norway negotiated peace between the Sri Lankan Govt and LTTE rebels, paid a surprise visit to top separatist leaders in Srinagar on Friday. His visit comes days after India and Pakistan decided to develop the Kartarpur corridor.Bondevik, who was Norway’s PM  until 2005, is currently heading Oslo Centre for Peace and Human Rights. The meeting with Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq took place at Geelani’s Hyderpora residence and was facilitated by spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living.“When we received a call a day before the visit, we were surprised. This is our first such meeting with a foreign dignitary in 6 years. New Delhi had always objected to any such visit to us and for some time now, foreign diplomats would also hesitate to meet us,’’ Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said. “It is clear that this visit was possible only after go-ahead by New Delhi. Sri Sri Ravishankar’s representative was accompanying ex Norwegian PM,’’ Mirwaiz said. “He (Bondevik) told us that main purpose of his visit is to assess the situation on the ground. We explained our viewpoint to him. We don’t know what will be the outcome of this initiative. But we are hopeful that this leads to a meaningful beginning between 2 countries, especially at a time when the opening of the Kartarpur corridor has been the first such positive measure taken by the two countries in some time now,” he said.“He told us that because relations between the two countries (India and Pakistan) have been frozen for some time now, there is a need to help bring it back on track. He said violence is a problem. He talked about the need to take both sides of Kashmir along as well,” he said, adding that Bondevik had come for a day and was accompanied by a representative of the Art of Living from Delhi. “He spoke to us and then had one or two meetings. He told us he would hold a few meetings with officials in Delhi before he heads to Pakistan where he will visit Azad Kashmir as well,”Mirwaiz said.indianexpress
Despite CIC order, PMO refuses to share details on black money brought back from abroad
In its response to a Central Information Commission (CIC) order asking PMO to provide details of black money brought back from abroad within 15 days, the PMO Sunday refused to share details citing a provision of RTI Act that bars disclosure of information that may impede investigation and prosecution of offenders, PTI reported on Sunday.CIC had on Oct.16 asked the office to provide details of black money within 15 days. PMO, replying to an RTI application filed by whistleblower bureaucrat Sanjiv Chaturvedi, said a SIT has already been formed and its investigation is underway.“As such, disclosure of all the action/efforts undertaken by the Govt at this juncture may impede the whole process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders and hence would attract the provision of exemption under Section 8 (1) (h) of RTI Act,”it said. PMO also said that such investigations come under the purview of different Govt intelligence and security organisations which have been excluded from the ambit of the RTI Act.indianexpress
Documentary looks at lynchings across India
New Delhi :Eid of 2017 was like no other in Parakkadavu village of Kerala’s Kozhikode. The celebrations were muted. “It’s like someone very close had left us,” says Ashfaque.On the other end of the country, 15-year-old Junaid Khan had just been lynched on board a Mathura-bound train.“After Eid namaz, there was an announcement from the local mosque that there will be a janaza (funeral in absence) for Junaid,” he says.For Ashfaque and his friend Shaheen, also a Kerala resident, Junaid’s killing was the “tipping point”. “We had this constant thought that we will have to do something,” Shaheen (26), an independent filmmaker, says.Over the next few months, the duo ideated a documentary on the lynchings across the country, and roped in Furqan Faridi (28), a friend from J&K’s Doda.indianexpress
Ex- Union minister C K Jaffer Sharief passes away
Bengaluru :Former Union railway minister C K Jaffer Sharief passed away this morning at a hospital in Bengaluru, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao said.He was admitted to a private hospital here a few days ago after he collapsed while getting into his car for Friday namaz.PTI
Lawyers who defended Kasab in HC yet to get their fees
Mumbai: 2 lawyers who defended Ajmal Kasab in the 2008 Mumbai attack case on the directions of the Bombay High Court are yet to get their legal fees from the Maharashtra Govt.While the state Govt says they have not submitted any bills, the lawyers say that state prosecutors are not supposed to.2 lawyers -- Amin Solkar and Farhana Shah -- were tasked with defending Kasab, hanged to death on Nov. 21, 2012 for killing over 166 people in Mumbai, by Maharashtra State Legal Services Department after they were nominated by then acting Chief Justice of Bombay High Court JN Patel. A notification about their appointment was issued on June 8, 2010 after Kasab had expressed his desire to contest the verdict of the trial court sentencing him to death in the Bombay High Court.According to the notification, Solkar was to receive remuneration equivalent to what is sanctioned for a public prosecutor, who conducts a death confirmation appeal, and Shah was to receive fees on par with an assistant prosecutor. Keeping in tradition with the fairness of the trial, the law allows for appointment of a lawyer from the legal services department if accused is unable to do so. Solkar and Shah had argued for Kasab in the Bombay High Court against his death sentence almost on a day-to-day basis for nearly 9 months before it confirmed the death sentence.When contacted by , both Solkar and Shah said they are yet to receive their fees. PTI
Soldier’s remarried widow who embraced Islam will get pension
Chennai: Being a soldier’s widow, P D Sunantha did not think her remarriage and conversion to Islam would ever come in the way of her continuing to receive her husband’s family pension. Sunantha became Haleema, and her religion became Islam instead of Hinduism in records.However, it was only after Canara Bank denied her pension stating that it faced problems in linking her Aadhaar card which carried her new Muslim name, did Sunantha decide to approach AFT for remedy. AFT came to her rescue, by ordering the local record office to make necessary changes and ensure that she received the family pension.Sunantha, who used to receive her pension through Marthandam branch of Canara Bank in Kanyakumari district, married P Maheen later and embraced Islam. She also changed her name to Haleema. Due changes were made in the Govt gazette in 2015, and she got her name changed in PAN and Aadhaar cards as well. timesofindia
WORLD
Palestine slams Israel’s arrest of Jerusalem governor
 Palestinian Govt has decried Israel’s arrest of Jerusalem governor Adnan Ghaith in a raid in the occupied city on Sunday.“The governor’s arrest is part of [Israel]’s continued policy of targeting the occupied city, its people and holy sites,” Govt spokesman Yousuf al-Mahmoud said in a statement.Israeli forces detained Ghaith in a dawn raid on his home in Silwan neighbourhood in East Jerusalem on Sunday.Israeli military did not provide any details about the reason for the governor’s detention.Palestinian spokesman accused Israeli authorities “of seeking to impose its hegemony and creating the impression that it has the upper hand in Jerusalem”.“Jerusalem represents a symbol of existence and survival in the Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic conscience,” he said.On Thursday, Israeli authorities banned Ghaith from entering the occupied West Bank for a six-month period.Last month, the Jerusalem governor was arrested by Israeli forces and held in prison for two days before being released.MEMO
Hamas officials attend Islamic conference in Tehran
A senior Hamas delegation today attended the inauguration of the International Conference for Islamic Unity in Tehran, Hamas sources and agencies reported.More than 300 officials from 60 countries will attend the opening of the conference, which is named “Jerusalem is the pivot of unity of the ummah”.Members of Hamas’ political bureau Mahmoud Al-Zahar and Salah Al-Bardaweel, have travelled to Tehran for the event.During a speech in the inaugural session of the conference, Head of Hamas’ political bureau Ismail Haniyeh delivered a speech video link.He called for the formation of a “strong and strategic alliance to face all the challenges facing the Palestinian cause,” stressing that “resistance is the current strategy for the movement.”Tehran organises this conference annually to commemorate the birthday of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and invites scholars, officials, factional leaders and muftis from Iran and abroad to attend.middleeastmonitor
Saudis sought to buy Israeli hacking system: Report
ANKARA:Saudi Arabia has allegedly negotiated with an Israeli firm to buy an advanced system that hacks cell phones, Israeli daily Haaretz reported Sunday.The newspaper said two representatives of Herzliya-based NSO Group Technologies met Saudi officials in Vienna in 2017 to promote the Pegasus 3 software.Haaretz identified the two Saudi officials as Abdullah al-Malihi, an associate of Prince Turki al-Faisal – a former head of the kingdom’s intelligence services – and Nasser al-Qahtani, who presented himself as the deputy of the current intelligence chief. During the meeting, the NSO representatives allegedly showed a PowerPoint presentation of the advanced cyber system’s capabilities. The issue came to knowledge as part of a complaint filed to the Israeli police by a man identified as a European businessman with connection in the Gulf. There was no comment from Saudi authorities on the allegation. NSO, for its part, said it “has according to the law and its products are used in the fight against crime and terror."Anadolu Agency 
Haniyeh calls for alliance to save Palestinian cause
GAZA CITY: Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh on Saturday called for building a regional alliance to counter challenges facing the Palestinian cause.  "The Israeli occupation is the common enemy of the Islamic nation and the responsibility of the nation is to besiege the enemy and expose its crimes,” Haniyeh said in a recorded message to the 32nd session of the Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran.  The two-day conference brings together a host of intellectuals and politicians from more than 100 countries from around the world. A host of Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, are also attending the event.  Haniyeh underlined the importance of criminalizing all attempts to normalize ties with Israel.  “The only enemy of the nation is Israel, which occupies the Palestinian land and desecrates Islamic and Christian holy sites,” Haniyeh said.  Anadolu
Israeli education council paves way for more gender segregation in universities
The phenomenon of gender segregation has secured a small but firm foothold in Israeli academia and is expected to expand in scope in coming years after an academic supervisory body approved the spread of the practice, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has reported.In recent years, some Israeli colleges have begun to offer courses open either to only male or only female students, in response to demands from ultra-Orthodox Jews for gender-segregated education options.Israel's ultra-Orthodox community represents some 12 percent of the country's population with an estimated one million members of the faith in 2017 - a number that is only growing.When this protocol was challenged in Israel's Supreme Court in 2014 and 2017, Israel's Council for Higher Education vouched for the practice, stressing that the scope of gender segregation would be limited to separate classrooms for men and women."Implementing gender segregation is possible only in the classrooms, and no segregation will be permitted in public spaces across the campus," the council wrote to the high justices at the time.But of late, the council has reversed its position and granted approval for Israeli universities to further separate men from women as they see fit.Establishing not only classes that are gender-segregated but even whole campuses with gender-segregated pathways between them, would be permissible under the council's new set of standards.middleeasteye
Iran urges Muslim unity against hostile US, Israel; calls Saudi its brother
TEHRAN: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday called for Muslim unity and resistance against what he called "hostile" policies of the United States and Israel."Muslims have no way but to remain united in order to achieve victory over the US and fight its blatant oppression," Rouhani was quoted as saying by Press TV.He made the remarks at the 32nd International Islamic Unity Conference which kicked off in the capital Tehran earlier in the day.Unity and brotherhood among Islamic countries must be assumed as a duty, which could not be achieved through words but requires collective action, Rouhani stressed.Notably, the Iranian president said his country considers Saudi Arabia as its brother and is prepared to work with the Arab kingdom to resolve issues.More than 350 foreign guests from 100 countries attended the ongoing International Islamic Unity Conference.Xinhua
Russia far bigger threat than Islamic State: British army chief General Mark Carleton-Smith
General Mark Carleton-Smith, the head of the British army, has said that Russia was now a “far greater threat” to the UK’s national security than the Islamic State (IS), the media reported on Saturday. In his first interview since being appointed Chief of the General Staff in June, Gen Carleton-Smith said Russia was “indisputably” a bigger threat than Islamic terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and IS, the BBC reported.“Russia has embarked on a systematic effort to explore and exploit Western vulnerabilities, particularly in some of the non-traditional areas of cyber, space, undersea warfare,” he said. “We cannot be complacent about the threat Russia poses or leave it uncontested.”54-year-old former SAS commander led the search for slain Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following the September 11, 2001, terror attacks and was at the forefront of Britain’s role in the campaign to combat the IS in Iraq and Syria.UK has blamed Russia for the poisoning of ex Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury earlier this year.IANS
Sultan Qaboos 'broke Omani law' by hosting Israel's Netanyahu: BDS activists
Oman's Sultan Qaboos al-Said may have breached a law forbidding ties with Israel that he issued himself, when he hosted a surprise visit by Benjamin Netanyahu in Muscat last month, BDS campaigners in the country have told Middle East Eye.  "Law of Boycotting Israel", which prohibits making commercial or fiscal deals, and any other ties with Israel either directly or through foreign channels, was signed into law by Sultan Qaboos in 1972, two years after he came to power following a British-led coup that deposed his father, Said, in July 1970.The law also prohibited the import of any products or goods containing parts manufactured in Israel.The penalties for breaching the law include a prison sentence of between three and 10 years, including a period of hard labour and a possible fine of 5,000 Omani rials ($13,000). Law established the Office of Boycotting Israel in 1975 within the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which was responsible for scrutinising commercial and fiscal deals or transactions for Israeli involvement. Responsibility for running the office was moved to DG of Customs in 1977, but Boycott,Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists in Oman said that the law had not been fully implemented in the decades since then.Middle East Eye
Saudi Prince Turki says CIA cannot be trusted on Khashoggi
A senior Saudi prince cast doubt on the reported CIA finding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, saying the agency could not be counted on to reach a credible conclusion."The CIA is not necessarily the highest standard of veracity or accuracy in assessing situations. The examples of that are multitude," Prince Turki al-Faisal, a senior member of the royal family, told journalists in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.The prince, a former Saudi intelligence chief who has also served as ambassador to the United States, said the agency's conclusion that Iraq possessed chemical weapons before the US invasion in 2003 showed it could be unreliable. "That was the most glaring of inaccurate and wrong assessments, which led to a full-scale war with thousands being killed," he said, speaking at an event hosted by the Beirut Institute think tank."I don't see why CIA is not on trial in the US. This is my answer to their assessment of who is guilty and who is not and who did what in the consulate in Istanbul."CIA has concluded that Prince Mohammed ordered the operation to kill Khashoggi, as first reported by the Washington Post, and briefed other parts of the US Govt on its findings, sources told Reuters news agency last week.Prince Mohammed embarked late on Thursday on his first foreign tour since the killing with a visit to the United Arab Emirates. He is expected to visit Bahrain and Tunisia before going to Buenos Aires on November 30 for the start of the 2-day G-20 summit, where he'll come face to face with world leaders.aljazeera
Syria: Opposition denies launching poison gas attack on Aleppo
A leader in National Liberation Front (NLF), an umbrella organisation of Turkey-backed rebels that includes the Free Syrian Army, has dismissed accusations they used poisonous gas to attack Govt-held Aleppo city.The head of the NLF's legislative office, Omar Huthayfa, told Al Jazeera the coalition does not possess poisonous gas and said the Govt is attempting to frame them."I believe that this is an act carried out by the Govt. We've seen it in Ghouta and in Khan Sheikhoun in the past and the international community remained silent," Huthayfa said."This is why the Govt has the audacity to continue accusing the opposition of carrying out such attacks when it knows that the opposition doesn't possess even light weaponry for self-defence."Al Jazeera
Saudi crown prince to visit Bahrain Sunday
MANAMA:Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is set to arrive in Bahrain on Sunday for talks with King Hamad bin Issa.  The visit is the second leg of the crown prince’s first foreign tour since the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month.  Bin Salman’s talks in Bahrain will tackle bilateral relations and regional, Arab and international developments, the Bahraini Royal Court said in a statement cited by the official BNA news agency.  The crown prince had arrived in UAE on Thursday on the first leg of his tour.  Bin Salman’s tour comes amid international outcry against Saudi Arabia over the murder of Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.  After initially saying he had left the consulate alive, weeks later the Saudi administration admitted he was killed there, blaming a rogue group of Saudi operatives. Anadolu Agency 
5 civilians killed in regime attacks in Syria’s Idlib
IDLIB:At least 5 civilians were killed in attacks by regime forces and allied militias in Syria’s northern Idlib province, according to the White Helmets civil defense agency on Saturday. Regime forces and Iran-backed militias attacked residential buildings and schools in the town of Jarjanazin in the province’s eastern countryside, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter in the area.“Attacks took place as students were leaving schools,” White Helmets official Mustafa Haj Yousuf said.“2 students and 3 women were killed in the attacks,” he said.Anadolu Agency
Karlov assassin received order from FETO 'covert imam'
Ankara:The assassinator of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey received orders on the assassination from a Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) "covert imam" 10 days before the assassination, according to the Ankara Public Prosecutor's indictment.On Friday, Turkish prosecutors indicted 28 suspects, including the terror group’s ringleader Fetullah Gulen, and other senior FETO members, concluding a two-year investigation. According to the indictment on Karlov's assassination, former Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) employee Sahin Sogut was "covert imam" of the assasin Mevlut Mert Altintas in FETO terror group's hierarchy.The indictment included that Altintas and Sogut communicated via their social media and e-mail accounts.Anadolu Agency 

Egypt sentences 9 to death over prosecutor’s death
CAIRO :Egypt’s highest appellate court on Sunday upheld the death sentence against nine people over the 2015 killing of the country’s prosecutor-general. The Court of Cassation confirmed the penalty after being convicted in the death of Hisham Barakat, who was killed in a car bombing in eastern Cairo, according to the official MENA news agency.  The son of senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Taha Wahdan was among those condemned to death. The court also commuted the death sentence against six other defendants to life in prison.  Egypt was roiled by turmoil when the military deposed Mohamed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president, in a 2013 coup.   Barakat was the highest Egyptian official to have been killed in a militant attack since 2013. Anadolu Agency 
EU leaders approve Brexit deal, political declaration
Ankara:27 members of European Union have approved the Brexit deal, the European Council President Donald Tusk announced on Sunday."EU27 has endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future EU-UK relations," Tusk wrote in a Twitter post.Leaders of EU countries were meeting on Sunday in Brussels to finalize UK’s departure from the EU.Following the meeting, the council said in a statement that it invited EU’s institutions -- including European Parliament -- to “take the necessary steps to ensure that the agreement can enter into force on 30 March, 2019, so as to provide for an orderly withdrawal.”Anadolu Agency 

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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:09 PM)

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