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Thursday, 13 December 2018

13 Dec. ND: Election Result : Sonia Gandhi reaches Rahul's residence; CMs announcement soon? / State Assembly results rejection of communal polarisation: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind


NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
13 Dec. 2018:05 Rabiul-II 1440: Vol: 11, No:75
INDIA
Election Result : Sonia Gandhi reaches Rahul's residence; CMs announcement soon?
“The process of electing the Chief Ministers of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh & Rajasthan is presently ongoing. Congress party believes in the democratic process of knowing the view point of each elected legislator,” Randeep Surjewala, the Congress spokesperson told ANI.He added that the CM candidate will be chosen “after consulting everybody” and that the process of loan waiver and “creating new employment opportunities” will start “in accordance with people’s will.” Sachin Pilot has arrived at Rahul Gandhi's residence for the crucial meeting.According to a report by India Today, Sachin Pilot was offered two formulas — holding the chief minister’s post on rotational basis or becoming the deputy chief minister. Both formulas were reportedly rejected by Pilot. The formulas were proposed by observer KC Venugopal. Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.Ashok Gehlot is likely to be named the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, NDTV has reported. Official announcement will be made soon. Meanwhile, TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao has been sworn in as the Chief Minister for the second consecutive time.moneycontrol
Rahul Gandhi, asked to pick 3 CMs, wants to go by MLAs’ choice: Congress
State Assembly results rejection of communal polarisation: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind
New Delhi: Prominent Muslim body Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has said that the results of latest state Assembly elections, in which BJP has been dethroned in three states, show that people have rejected communal politics. It said the ruling party should "pay heed to the people's mandate" and desist from seeking electoral benefits "by demonising minorities and suppressing the marginalised sections" of society. "The results are a setback to the communal politics. The ruling party tried its level best to polarise the electorate using communal issues but they were flatly rejected by the people of this country who are more concerned about their day-to-day issues of poverty, unemployment, education and health," JIH Secretary General Muhammad Salim Engineer said. He added that the people must continue to "reject those who peddle hate" and vote astutely in the parliamentary elections next year. However, MIM head Naved Hamid viewed the results differently."I don't think the BJP's communal politics has lost traction.Though issues like agrarian crisis, unemployment and demonetisation played the major role in BJP's defeat, the party is not likely to abandon its Hindutva agenda," Hamid said. "Neither do I believe that these results would have any bearing on 2019 Lok Sabha polls," he added, also giving credit to the Congress party's election strategy.IANS
Assembly Election Results Flat Rejection of Communal Politics: Jamaat
Telangana Jamaat-e-Islami Hind hails TRS victory
Charminar: Welcoming the results of Assembly elections in the State, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) asserted that the organisation had clearly sensed the under-currents way ahead of anyone and took a decision to back the TRS.Its state president Hamid Mohammed Khan welcomed the verdict of the State’s Assembly elections and affirmed that the decision to back TRS was taken after a series of deliberations within the organisation for several days over the ground situation. “A political study committee was set-up and an exercise on considering the opinions and views of Jamaat’s local leadership at unit and district level was initiated. After which a series of meetings were held, and regular inputs were received from them. A survey was also undertaken up by the youth wing of the organisation in this endeavour. We were far ahead in sensing the undercurrent and remained steady over the decision despite pressure from different sections of the community. We also explained the reasons behind taking such a decision and important factors were also revealed for backing the regional party. The decision was taken after deliberations and hence people also supported our decision, which is reflected in the elections of the Telangana,” said Khan.The Hans India
BJP leader trolls RBI chief on history degree, questions qualification
New Delhi: A Gujarat BJP leader has raised questions about new RBI governor Shaktikanta Das in a series of baffling tweets. Jay Narayan Vyas, who was minister in Narendra Modi's cabinet in Gujarat, has posted a tweet that is bound to embarrass the ruling party.Shaktikanta Das took charge as RBI chief today, three days after his predecessor Urjit Patel abruptly resigned in the middle of a row with the government over the central bank's autonomy and a range of other subjects.Jay Narayan Vyas questioned the credentials of Das, an IAS officer, to head the central bank, referring to his history background.As his tweet caused a flutter and left many wondering whether he was still in the BJP, Mr Vyas did not back down. Vyas said that he was simply congratulating the new Governor. He also clarified that he is still with the BJP."To manage RBI you have to have a fair knowledge of domestic and international economy. I respect IAS, the issue is that they're exposed to a little of many things but the acceptance among international community which earlier Governors commanded (is not there)," he was quoted as telling ANI.ndtv
New RBI Governor: ‘Govt runs country, economy… need to have free, fair discussions with it’
The new Governor of RBI, former bureaucrat Shaktikanta Das said here on Wednesday that he would do everything possible to uphold the autonomy, credibility and integrity of RBI as a “great institution” and take all stakeholders, including the government, along through a consultative process.On maintaining RBI’s autonomy, Das said, “I will ensure that it is intact. RBI is a great institution… has a long and rich legacy.” He was speaking to reporters after taking over as the 25th Governor.“I wouldn’t go into the issues between RBI and govt but every institution has to maintain its autonomy and also adhere to accountability,” he said. Das indicated that he would take the government into confidence while formulating policies. “The government is not just a stakeholder… the government of the day runs the economy and the country,” he said, adding there is a need for free and fair discussions with the govt to resolve contentious issues.indianexpress
Only Modi Can Make Sure India Doesn't Become 'Another Islamic Country': High Court Judge
While considering a petition relating to the refusal of domicile certificate to an army recruit, the Meghalaya high court on Monday observed that anybody opposing the Indian laws and the constitution cannot be considered as a citizen of this country.The court also urged the Centre to bring in a legislation to allow citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, Christians, Khasis, Jaintias and Garos who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, without any question or documents. Justice S.R. Sen directed Centre’s assistant solicitor general, Meghalaya high court, A. Paul to hand over a copy of the judgment to the Prime Minister, home minister and law minister for their perusal and necessary steps to bring in a law to safeguard the interest of these communities.“This Court expects that Government of India will take care of this judgment in the historical background and save this country and its people,” he observed.Further, the government of Meghalaya was directed to follow the guidelines laid down by the court in Rabbe Alam v. State of Meghalaya & Ors. for grant of domicile certificates. The court reiterated that a person residing in the state of Meghalaya permanently or at least for the last five years has every right to receive a domicile certificate. As for issuance of a permanent resident certificate (PRC), it clarified that it should be granted to any person residing permanently in the state of Meghalaya for the last 12 years, without any further questions.“However, if any doubt arises, the Deputy Commissioner may ask for a Police verification to determine how long he has been staying in this State and PRC cannot be issued only for education purpose but it should be applicable for all purposes. I make it further clear that domicile certificate or PRC is not meant only for joining the Army or Paramilitary Force or Education purposes,it is to be granted for all purposes,” it added.Justice Sen began his judgement by tracing India’s partition and asserting that since the division was on the basis of religion, India should have been declared a Hindu country too. thewire
NRC defective, doomsday if India becomes Islamic: Meghalaya HC
Give citizenship to non-Muslim migrants: Meghalaya HC to govt
Guwahati:Meghalaya High Court has asked the Centre to bring in a law to let people of religious and ethnic minority communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to be given citizenship without any cut-off year or any questions asked.Exuding confidence in the Union government's policies, Justice S.R. Sen said: “I am confident that only this government under Shri Narendra Modiji will understand the gravity, and will do the needful as requested above.”Modi government had introduced the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in Parliament which seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, and provide citizenship to migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian extraction. Several parties and organisations in the Northeast are protesting against this Bill.Allowing a writ petition file by Amon Rana, an Army recruit who was denied domicile certificate by the Meghalaya government, Justice Sen said that the Centre should have a law allowing Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, Christians, Khasis, Jaintias and Garos from neighbouring countries to live in India “with full dignity without making any cut-off year and be given citizenship without any question or production of any document”.thehindu
Editors Guild Suspends MJ Akbar, Tarun Tejpal Over Allegations of Sexual Miscount
New Delhi: Editors Guild of India on Wednesday suspended the memberships of former Union minister M.J. Akbar and Tarun Tejpal, former editor-in-chief of Tehelka over allegations of sexual misconduct. While Akbar has been a dormant member of the guild for years, Tejal is among its past presidents,According to Scroll.in, the guild said that it had asked its executive committee (EC) to advise on the action that must be taken against the two as well as senior journalist and former editor Gautam Adhikari.A majority of the executive committee members, the guild said in a statement, suggested suspending Akbar’s membership. “There was also consensus that Tejpal be suspended too, until the conclusion of his trial and the guild should write to Adhikari to seek his response.”The move comes weeks after the guild released an updated list of its members, which included the names of Akbar, Tejpal and Adhikari – all of whom have allegations of sexual harassment levelled against them – evoking calls from within the media body for their removal.thewire
Nirbhaya case: SC dismisses plea seeking immediate execution of death row convicts
New Delhi:The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition seeking directions for the immediate execution of the four men convicted in the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case of 2012.“What kind of prayer you are making?” a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said. “You are making the court a joke,” it added.23-year-old paramedic student was gangraped on the intervening night of Dec.16-17, 2012 inside a running bus in South Delhi by six persons and severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012 at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.On July 9, the SC dismissed the pleas of three convicts — Mukesh (31), Pawan Gupta (24) and Vinay Sharma (25) — seeking review of the SC verdict which upheld the judgements of the Delhi High Court and the lower court in the case.thehindu
Cow protection needed to bring change in country: Union Minister Athawale at launch of 'Muslim Gau Raksha Sangh'
New Delhi: Cow protection needs to be adopted for bringing about a change in the country, Union minister Ramdas Athawale said at the launch of 'Muslim Gau Raksha Sangh' here on Wednesday.The social justice and empowerment minister termed formation of the outfit as a "revolutionary step" that will bring Hindus and Muslims closer."If you want a change in the country, cow protection needs to be adopted. Awareness against cow slaughter needs to be created as it is banned by the law," he said.Athawale also lauded the founders of Muslim Gau Raksha Sangh, saying it was a significant step that people from the minority community themselves have come forward to create awareness against cow slaughter.He also said that incidents of lynching in the name of cow have also happened in the past when the BJP was not in power. "It's not that incidents of lynching in the name of cow are occurring in BJP rule. Such things happened in the past also when BJP was not in power. It cannot be accepted as there are other ways like seeking police help to stop cow slaughter," he said.Founder president of the Muslim Gau Raksha Sangh, Irfan Sheikh, said the idea to form the organisation was seeded by Athawale himself who had viewed that Muslims should also come forward to protect the cow, revered by the Hindus. PTI
Twist in the tale: Sohrabuddin case witness seeks stay on verdict
Mumbai: In a fresh twist a prosecution witness has moved the Bombay High Court seeking a stay on the verdict in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. The special CBI court is set to pronounce the verdict on Dec 21. The witness, Rizwana Khan has said that the trial has ben closed post haste, without the testimony of several witnesses not being recorded as yet. This weakens the case, she said and also added that the case as it is amounts to a mistrial. She said that the petition has been filed on behalf of her husband, Azam Khan also a prosecution witness in the case. She said that her family had been threatened and pressured to influence their deposition in court. Khan had on Nov.3 deposed in court that he was a member of the same gang as Sheikh. He had claimed that Tulsiram Prajapati, also killed in another encounter had killed the then home minister of Gujarat, Haren Pandya in 2003 on Sheikh's orders. Rizwana said that her husband had shared more information, which was not presented during the trial. When Sohrabuddin went against the wishes of Abhay Chudasama, DG Vanzara and other officers involved in this enterprise, he was killed in a conspiracy which had the involvement of politicians and police officers from Gujarat and Rajasthan, her plea states. oneindia.com
Bihar toilet scam: How govt officials, NGOs, bankers stole Rs 15 cr meant for Swachh Bharat
It's raising quite a stink. A probe ordered by Patna district magistrate Sanjay Agarwal has unearthed a scam involving officials of the state public health engineering department(PHED) who allegedly misappropriated Rs 15 crore meant for construction of toilets in poor homes under the Centre's Swachh Bharat Mission. Carried out between May 1 and June 16, 2016, the reported swindle may have gone undetected but for an internal audit this September, which found procedural irregularities in the withdrawal of funds-Rs 15 crore had been transferred in a month in violation of norms. Alerted, Agarwal ordered a physical verification of the toilets and individual beneficiaries.State government officers, NGOs and bankers were allegedly in cahoots. The main accused, executive engineer Vinay Kumar Sinha, and PHED accountant Biteshwar Prasad roped in four NGOs-Adi Shakti Sewa Sansthan, Maa Sarveshwari Seva Sansthan, Satyam Shivam Kala Kendra (Patna) and Shiv Seva Sansthan (Maner)-to siphon off the money. Prasad reportedly issued over 200 cheques and Shiv Kumar Jha, a deputy manager of the State Bank of India, facilitated the transfer of money to the NGOs.And in a routine that is all too familiar now in Bihar, fake beneficiaries were listed to show how the funds were spent. NGOs, after deducting their share, actually transferred the remainder back to Sinha and Prasad's bank accounts. Preliminary inquiries reveal that Sinha took Rs 4.65 crore while Prasad received Rs 20 lakh. On the run since early November, Sinha was finally arrested from a hotel in Deoria (Uttar Pradesh) on November 28. He has reportedly confessed and given investigators details of properties worth more than Rs 100 crore, including 40 flats in Patna and elsewhere. Patna SSP Manu Maharaj says given the huge wealth he has amassed, police are now looking into the possibility of Sinha's involvement in other scams also.indiatoday
Pune: Housing Society ‘blocks’ sale of house to a Muslim
Clover Village Chantilly Terrace Co-operative Society at Wanowrie has refused to issue a no objection certificate (NOC) to one of its members for selling a row house he owns on the property, ‘on the grounds that the buyer is Muslim’. Alleging this, the beleaguered homeowner — who has had many run-ins with the society in the past — informed that this is the latest in repeated trouble he has faced since he bought the property. He says he has struggled to sell it for 13 months now due to the harassment.IT engineer and Baner resident Arunkumar Daswani bought a unit at Chantilly Terrace, which comprises 30 row-houses, in 2006. According to him, though he completed all formalities in keeping with the by-laws, the society chairman and secretary were not willing to issue a share certificate in his name. This, despite paying the entire fee and fulfilling all conditions, he said. A decade later, in May 2016, Daswani spied his name on a share certificate, but alleged that chairman Deepak Chhabria refused to hand it over. In Sept.2017, he again sought and got his membership sanctioned by the society, but the share certificate remained elusive. Frustrated, he filed a complaint with the sub-registrar at the department for co-operative societies, who in turn issued an order in April this year for issuance of the share certificate. Only, the society chairman and secretary did not heed this, pointed out Daswani. It was only after he knocked on the doors of the sub-registrar yet again that he was finally issued the share certificate in July 2018. Meanwhile, Daswani decided to sell the property, but had to let go of the first sale deal in the absence of the said certificate. PUNE MIRROR
Hashimpura case: SC admits convicts' appeals but rejects thier bail pleas
New Delhi:The Supreme Court has admitted the appeals of 4 convicts in the 1987 Hashimpura massacre case, but rejected their bail applications.A Bench of Justices U.U. Lalit and Navin Sinha passed the order after hearing the appeals and bail applications of Samiullah, Niranjan Lal, Mahesh Prasad and Jai Pal on Tuesday. The Delhi High Court on Oct.31 sentenced 16 former policemen to life imprisonment for killing 42 people of a minority community in the Hashimpura area in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.The 4 convicts have already surrendered. In Oct., the High Court reversed the trial court’s verdict of acquittal and found the 16 former personnel of PAC guilty of murder, kidnapping, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence under IPC. It termed the massacre “targeted killing” of unarmed and defenceless persons by the police.thehindu
Fadnavis Gets Top Court Notice For Not Declaring Criminal Cases
New Delhi: Supreme Court today issued a notice to Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on a petition seeking his disqualification as a legislator for his alleged non-disclosure of two criminal cases pending against him.In his petition, lawyer Satish Ukey, alleged that Fadnavis had cases of cheating and defamation pending against him which he did not disclose in his 2014 election affidavit.Fadanavis, a legislator from Nagpur South West constituency, is the second youngest Chief Minister of Maharashtra after Sharad Pawar.A bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and K M Joseph sought response of the Chief Minister on an appeal filed against a Bombay High Court order.Bombay High Court had earlier dismissed the petition seeking annulment of Mr Fadanavis's election to the Maharashtra Assembly on the ground of alleged "non-disclosure of all pending criminal cases against him" in the affidavit. Appearing for the petitioner, Kapil Sibal argued said that Fadnavis didn't "disclose details of the" pending cases and "as per law he had to disclose cases taken cognisance by a court." ndtv
Terror incidents in J&K nearly doubled this year,govt says it’s linked to infiltration, actions against them
Despite a muscular strategy adopted by security forces in the border state of J&K, the number of terror incidents have nearly doubled this year, highlighting the increased attempts by the terrorists and their backers across the border to foil any attempt by the Indian govt to politically stabilise the state.As per the latest official data, 587 terror incidents were reported in J&K till 2 Dec. 2018 in comparison with just 329 terror incidents during the same period last year. In fact, the state reported around the same number of terror incidents in 2016 as well.In 2016 and 2017, 322 and 342 terror incidents were reported from J&K when it was ruled by the coalition of BJP and PDP under CM Mehbooba Mufti.In response to a question in Rajya Sabha, the govt said the increase in the terror incidents is linked to support provided to them from across the border.financialexpress
India’s negative attitude unhelpful in improving ties, says Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua
Accusing India of perpetuating “dynamic rivalry”, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua has said New Delhi’s negative attitude was not only unhelpful for improving bilateral ties, but was also stopping South Asia from making progress and attaining peace. Speaking at a conference on ‘Conflict and Cooperation in South Asia:Role of Major Powers’ hosted by the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI), Janjua said that India, by refusing to attend SAARC summit in Islamabad, was holding regional body’s summit process hostage.Referring to India’s approach on ties with Pakistan, Janjua said India was “spinning hatred” and perpetuating “dynamic rivalry”, according to Dawn. This,she maintained, “was not only unhelpful for improving Pak-India ties, but was also stopping South Asia from making progress and attaining peace”.PTI
Calling her sexual harassment plea false, JNU wants student barred
New Delhi :She should be barred from the JNU campus, her degree should be withdrawn and she should never be employed at the university. These are among the recommendations of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of JNU against the complainant in a case of sexual harassment against her PhD guide.After the student filed a complaint against her guide on April 12 this year, alleging she was “molested, sexually harassed and threatened” by her professor, the ICC last month called her complaint “frivolous” and recommended a series of punitive measures against her. JNU Vice-Chancellor is yet to take a final call on ICC report.The recommendations, dated Nov.5 and signed by ICC Presiding Officer Vibha Tandon, said, “The complainant should be completely debarred from entering in the JNU campus. She shall not be allowed to take up any course or employment in the JNU in future. She should not be allowed to enter in JNU campus to attend any academic or non academic proceedings. She should not be allowed to enter in the JNU campus for her personal reasons what so ever.”ICC further recommended that the complainant apologises to the university and the defendant. “JNU administration…shall not issue any character certificate and no objection certificate to the complainant in future…” ICC said.indianexpress
Kerala: NIA to close probe in North Paravoor conversion case
Kochi: NIA is likely to close the investigation into the the case of alleged forcible conversion of a Pathanamthitta woman, as it has not been able to prove the charges, including the involvement of any extremist organisation. Agency, after completing the investigation, has found that the case is more related to marital dispute, and has decided not to proceed any further.NIA has not been able to gather evidence to file charge sheet under UAPA, said sources. “NIA team conducted the probe, including the involvement of certain individuals in Bengaluru, where the alleged conversion took place. The probe, based on the statements given by the witnesses in the case, could not be proceeded further. The investigation will be closed after obtaining sanction from the NIA headquarters,” sources said. There are 11 accused in the case. Of this, 4 including Muhammed Riaz, who was accused by the woman of forcible conversion, were arrested and released on bail. NIA had checked the locations in Bengaluru, where, according to the woman, the alleged religious classes for conversion took place. “We could not find the involvement of any extremist organisation behind it. The complainant had alleged that there were attempts to sell her as a sex slave to Islamic State (IS). But we could not get any evidence in this regard. The case is more related to marital dispute,” sources said.The complainant alleged that the accused Muhammed Riyas had lured her, threatened her to become disciple of Zakir Naik, forcibly converted her to Islam, married her through deceit by forging documents, created fake passport, illegally confined and threatened her in Kerala before taking her to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2017 August, for joining IS.
India to develop 4 km stretch of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak
India will develop 4 km stretch of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district of Punjab to International Border with Pakistan, Parliament was informed today. The much-awaited corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur – the final resting place of first Sikh guru Guru Nanak Dev – with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India.“Government of India has decided to develop the corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district up to International Border (with Pakistan),” Minister of State for Highways Mansukh L Mandaviya said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.He was replying to a question whether National Highways Authority of India has developed or plans to develop any project on the corridor. indianexpress
WORLD
West Bank shootings kill 3 Palestinians, 2 Israelis
At least two Israelis have been killed and two injured in a shooting in the occupied West Bank, after Israeli forces killed three Palestinians in separate operations overnight on Wednesday.Israel's army said on Twitter that "a Palestinian opened fire at a bus stop killing 2 Israelis, severely injuring 1 & injuring others".Eli Bin, the head of Israel's Magen David Adom emergency services, confirmed to Israeli Army Radio that two people were killed in the shooting. Their identities were not immediately known.The shooting took place near the illegal settlement of Ofra, in the central West Bank. Israeli media reported that a passing car opened fire outside the settlement.On Wednesday night, Israeli forces killed three Palestinians in separate operations over the span of 6 hours. They were suspects in alleged attacks on Israelis.Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man after he injured two Israeli police officers in an alleged stabbing attack before dawn in the Old City of East Jerusalem. One of the officers was moderately injured, the other lightly.Israeli police say security forces also shot dead a Palestinian accused of killing two settlers in the occupied West Bank, following a two-month manhunt.Israeli forces killed Ashraf Naalweh, 23, during the arrest raid early on Thursday in Askar refugee camp in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, according to Palestinian security sources.aljazeera
US Senate rebukes Saudi over Yemen war, Khashoggi murder
Washington:As the US Senate moved to vote on Thursday on a resolution condemning Saudi Arabia for its conduct of the war in Yemen and the assassination of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a bipartisan group of senators vowed to impose concrete sanctions on the kingdom in legislation next year.Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, and Senator Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, said on Wednesday that the group plans to advance legislation imposing financial penalties and prohibiting arms sales when the new Congress begins in January.In some of their strongest comments to date, senators signalled they would like to see Saudi Arabia remove Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from power."To our friends in Saudi Arabia, you are never going to have a relationship with the United States Senate unless things change. And it's up to you to figure out what that change needs to be," Graham, a congressional ally of President Donald Trump, told reporters at a Capitol Hill press conference."From my point of view, the current construct is not working. There is a relationship between countries and individuals. The individual, the crown prince, is so toxic, so tainted, so flawed that I can't ever see myself doing business in the future with Saudi Arabia unless there is a change there," Graham said.aljazeera
Saudi seeks new political bloc in strategic Red Sea region
Saudi Arabia is seeking an alliance with six countries bordering the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, a strategic area vital to global shipping and increasingly an arena of contention with regional rivals like Iran, Turkey and Qatar. Representatives from Egypt, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Jordan gathered in Riyadh on Wednesday to discuss the initiative without reaching a final agreement. A team of experts is expected to meet "soon" in Cairo for technical talks.Eritrea, with Red Sea islands and a mainland coastline of 1,150 km (715 miles), was not present. Nor was Ethiopia, which has no access to the sea but the largest population in the Horn of Africa."This is part of the kingdom's efforts to protect its interests and those of its neighbours and ... to stabilise the region that we live in and to try to create synergies between the various countries..." Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters after a day of closed-door meetings."The more cooperation and coordination that you have among the countries of this region, the less negative outside influence will be on this region," he said.aljazeera
Rohingya facing 'lost generation' of children out of school
Rohingya are facing a "lost generation" as children both in Myanmar and in the refugee camps of Bangladesh struggle to get an education, a new report has warned. Rohingya youth who remain in Myanmar's Rakhine State have faced serious restrictions on access to schooling since the outbreak of violence there in 2012, with children often kept in separate facilities and unable to attend mainstream schools, the Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK) said. Older students are unable to attend university.In Bangladesh, where more than 700,000 Rohingya now live in sprawling refugee camps after fleeing a brutal Myanmar army crackdown last year, authorities have banned formal education and even the construction of any structure that might seem like a permanent school building.aljazeera
Egypt restricts sale of yellow vests amid fear of protests
An Egyptian prosecutor ordered the arrest of a lawyer after the publication of a picture of him wearing a yellow vest similar to those worn by protesters in France, a local rights activist said. The arrest came in the northern city of Alexandria as traders said Egyptian authorities were blocking the sale of the vests to ward off any copycat protests ahead of the anniversary of Egypt's 2011 revolution on Jan.25.The yellow safety vests have become the trademark of French demonstrators whose violent weekend protests since mid-November have forced President Emmanuel Macron to cancel planned fuel tax increases and increase the minimum wage. Rights lawyer Mohamed Ramadan was ordered to be held for 15 days, according to Mahienour El Masry, an activist in Alexandria.Authorities considered the photo an incitement to hold similar protests, she said, adding that Ramadan was also accused of "spreading false news" and "spreading the ideology of a terrorist group".2 security sources told Reuters that eight yellow vests had been found in Ramadan's possession,but the Alexandria prosecutor's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.In central Cairo, traders said they had been stopped from selling the vests to walk-in customers."They madeus sign statements that we won't sell yellow vests,"said one trader who did not want to give his name."Anyone who sells a single vest will put himself in big trouble." aljazeera
Muslim scholar Yousef al-Qaradawi removed from Interpol's wanted list
Doha:Interpol has removed Yousef al-Qaradawi, head of the Doha-based International Union of Muslim Scholars, from its “wanted” list.A source from al-Qaradawi's office confirmed receiving an official notification from the Interpol of lifting the scholar's name from the list, describing the motion as a "positive step".Interpol removed "red notice" for al-Qaradawi on Nov. 30 and dropped arrest warrants issued by the Iraqi and Egyptian authorities.The Egyptian authorities had accused al-Qaradawi of having perpetrated a range of crimes -- including murder and theft -- after Egypt’s 2013 military coup, prompting Interpol to issue a warrant for his arrest.Al-Qaradawi is known for being a vocal critic of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who -- as defense minister -- led the 2013 coup, which ousted Egypt's first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi. Since the coup, during which hundreds were killed, Interpol has issued arrest warrants for several leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood -- of which Morsi was a leading member -- at Cairo’s request.Anadolu Agency
May survives confidence vote over Brexit deal
London:British PM Theresa May has survived a confidence vote by her own MPs but lost the support of one third of her colleagues, signalling the battle she still faces to get her Brexit deal through parliament. May won the backing of 200 Conservative lawmakers, but 117 voted to oust her -- and only after she conceded she would step down before the 2022 election."I'm pleased to have received the backing of my colleagues in tonight's ballot," she said outside her Downing Street office after the result was announced. "A significant number of colleagues did cast votes against me and I've listened to what they've said."She said she wanted to "get on with the job of delivering Brexit", and to see "politicians on all sides coming together".The result, announced after a secret ballot, was met with huge cheers from May's supporters gathered in parliament, while the pound rose on the news.But leading Brexit rebel Jacob Rees-Mogg, one of at least 48 Tory MPs who triggered the vote by writing a letter of no confidence in May, said it was a "terrible result"."She ought to go and see the queen and resign urgently," he told the BBC.Brexit figurehead Nigel Farage tweeted that May "limps on to her next failure, the deal won't pass and the real crisis is close".AFP
Pak rejects US charge over religious freedom
Islamabad: Pakistan has rejected the United States' pronouncement about religious freedom in Pakistan as ‘politically motivated.’ In a statement, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal categorically stated Pakistan does ‘not need counsel by any individual country how to protect the rights of its minorities.’He said besides the clear biases reflected from these designations, there are serious questions on the credentials and impartiality of the self-proclaimed jury involved in this unwarranted exercise.The spokesperson said Pakistan was a multi-religious and pluralistic society where people of diverse faiths and denominations live together. Around 4 percent of our total population comprises citizens belonging to Christian, Hindu, Buddhists and Sikh faiths.He said ensuring equal treatment of minorities and their enjoyment of human rights without any discrimination is the cardinal principle of the constitution of Pakistan.ASIAN AGE
FLASH: VIEWS & NEWS
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Had Congress allied with BSP, it would’ve won 40 more seats across heartland states:Moushumi Das Gupta
Next, A Presidential Contest Between Modi and Rahul: Amulya Ganguli

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 5:23 PM)

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