27 January 2019

27 Jan. ND: Post-CBI chief removal,Govt says it has no guideline to handle corruption complaints against CVC/ Bulandshahr violence: Police recovers slain cop’s mobile phone from house of prime accused/ Ayodhya hearing delayed: Judge unavailable, SC not to hear case on Jan.29

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
27 Jan. 2019: 20 Jamadiul-I 1440: Vol:11, No:112
Post-CBI chief removal,Govt says it has no guideline to handle corruption complaints against CVC
New Delhi:Govt cannot act on 2 complaints, received by it over a year ago, against chief vigilance commissioner KV Chowdary as there is no guideline to handle such grievances, personnel ministry has said.It said a process to frame such guidelines has been initiated by the govt.The assertion assumes significance as the PM  Narendra Modi-led panel had on Jan.10 removed CBI director Alok Verma from the post considering a probe report by CVC among other facts."It is informed that presently no guidelines to handle complaints of corruption and other misconduct against Chief Vigilance Commissioner/Vigilance Commissioners are in place," personnel ministry said in response to an RTI query filed by whistle-blower IFS officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi. A process for framing guidelines to handle grievances/ complaints against chief vigilance commissioner/ vigilance commissioners has been initiated by dept.of personnel and training, it said.PTI
ICICI Bank cheating case:2 days before Jaitley took swipe at CBI, probe officer was shunted out
New Delhi:A day after the CBI booked former MD and CEO of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar along with her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon Group’s VN Dhoot for cheating and conspiracy, the officer investigating the case was transferred out.SP Sudhanshu Dhar Mishra, who was part of BSFC of CBI in Delhi and signed the Chanda Kochhar FIR on Jan.22, was transferred to agency’s Economic Offences Branch in Ranchi the very next day.2 days later,Union Minister Arun Jaitley went on social media against CBI FIR suggesting it was “investigative adventurism” and a “journey to nowhere.”On Friday, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman retweeted Jaitley’s comments. Calls and text messages sent to CBI spokesperson did not elicit any response. Govt  sources said that Jaitley’s comments were mere “elderly advice,” and should not be construed as any meddling in the agency. “Jaitley has made a valid argument. You cannot cast the net too wide on the basis of presumptions without any evidence,” said a senior Govt functionary Saturday.Congress accused Jaitley of pressuring CBI and signalling it to “go slow” in the case. MP Anand Sharma said that Jaitley’s remarks amounted to “rebuking” and “threatening” the agency.indianexpress
CBI Officer Investigating Chanda Kochhar Case Transferred a Day After Registering FIR
CBI officer who was probing ICICI-Videocon case under lens for 'info leak'
New Delhi: CBI today claimed that SP Sudhanshu Dhar Mishra, who was probing ICICI Bank fraud involving Chanda Kochhar and registered an FIR in the case on Jan.22, is being probed along with “others” for suspected leakage of information related to raids.The officer was shifted out of Bank Securities and Fraud Cell (BS&FC) Delhi unit, which has been probing Chanda Kochhar preliminary enquiry (PE) since Dec.2017, a day after registration of FIR after a “discreet inquiry”.indiatimes
Chidambaram slams CBI for 'indiscriminately targeting' bankers
Choksi not being sent to India:Antiguan PM's chief of staff
Antigua and Barbuda have put to rest the speculation that India is sending a special long-haul flight to the Carribean islands to bring back fugitive Mehul Choksi. Chief of Staff in PM  Gaston Browne's office, said that his Govt is unaware of any Indian officials flying to Antigua and Barbuda for Mehul Choksi.Emphasising that Choksi now is an Antiguan citizen, Hurst said, "Our understanding is that Choksi has surrendered his Indian citizenship and as a consequence, he may no longer be a citizen of India. Hence, Antigua and Barbuda could not deprive him of his citizenship because he would then become a stateless person and we would not be allowed to do that."businesstoday
Bulandshahr violence: Police recovers slain cop’s mobile phone from house of prime accused
New Delhi: Nearly 2 months after Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was killed in mob violence over alleged cow slaughter in Bulandshahr,UP Police Sunday recovered his CUG mobile phone from the house of Prashant Natt, a cab driver who allegedly shot him. Singh was shot from close quarters after a mob turned against him when he tried to control protests over alleged cow slaughter.Natt was arrested in Dec.from Noida- Bulandshahr border.“Prashant took Subodh’s service revolver and shot him in the head. His confession has been corroborated by other accused who submitted surrender pleas in the last week,” police had claimed. He was also allegedly responsible for creating a ruckus in Chingrawati police station area on day of violence. Police had also arrested Bajrang Dal activist Yogesh Raj, who was on the run. Raj, has not denied his role in stone-pelting outside Chingrawati police booth, which was later torched. Yogesh, who is affiliated with Bajrang Dal, has admitted to calling up acquaintances after he was informed of the alleged cow slaughter in Mahwa on Dec.3, said the sources. Indianexpress
Ayodhya hearing delayed: Judge unavailable, SC not to hear case on Jan.29
New Delhi:The Supreme Court today further delayed the hearing of Ram Janmbhoomi case, stating that the matter won’t be taken up on January 29 due to the non-availability of Justice S A Bobde.The SC had on Friday reconstituted the five-judge bench hearing the dispute by including Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Abdul Nazeer in the case along with CJI Ranjan Gogoi. Besides trio, Justices SA Bobde and DY Chandrachud were also supposed to hear the matter. Justice NV Ramana, who was earlier a part of bench, was excluded from the bench. The SC was to hear appeals challenging the 2010 verdict of Allahabad High Court that ordered a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres in Ayodhya between Nirmohi Akhara sect, Sunni Central Wakf Board, UP and Ramlalla Virajman. indianexpress
Sadhus threaten to boycott VHP’s Dharma Sansad at Ardh-Kumbh Mela
Several prominent sadhus have threatened to boycott VHP’s Dharma Sansad—a much-hyped 2-day conclave of Hindu religious leaders, to be held on 31 Jan. and 1 the Ardh Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. Sadhus are upset with a recent remark by PM  Narendra Modi. In an interview to ANI on 1 Jan.this year, Modi ruled out an ordinance on Ram temple in Ayodhya until judicial process is over. He said that Babri Masjid title suit “is before the judiciary,” and Govt would let that process “be completed” first. “Once it comes from the judiciary, wherever the responsibility of a Govt begins, we are ready to make all efforts,” he said.The statement was at odds with the RSS’ stance. RSS has been attempting to rekindle communally sensitive issue of Ram temple ahead of upcoming LS polls. Sansad is important to RSS’ efforts—Ram temple is VHP conclave’s single-point agenda. The Sansad aims to declare a date for the construction of the temple and ask the Govt  to take appropriate steps to facilitate the process.In the aftermath of Modi’s interview, VHP has launched a massive exercise to placate the sadhus and persuade them of its commitment to the issue. It has mobilised its entire core committee—including its top office-bearers, such as Champat Rai, Rajendra Singh Pankaj, Jiveshwar Mishra, Ashok Tiwari, Dinesh, Vinayakrao Deshpande and Ras Bihari—to convince sadhus that the Sangh Parivar is sincere about the construction of the Ram temple in magazine
KK Muhammed, Archaeologist Firm on ‘Masjid Was Mandir’ Claim, Awarded Padma Shri
New Delhi:Moments after archaeologist KK Muhammed’s name figured in list of Padma Shri awardees, congratulatory messages poured in, lauding him for “speaking the truth”. The “truth” being referred to here is Muhammed’s belief that the Babri Masjid site was originally home to a temple.JNU faculty member Anand Rangananthan tweeted saying, “When Muhammed was told he was going to be suspended for making public the fact that he had discovered temple remnants inside Babri, he replied, I spoke the truth. Death is preferable while on duty’.” He goes where his belief in Ram Janmabhoomi takes him, sometimes quoting poet and philosopher Allama Iqbal when the latter called Ram ‘Imam-e-Hind’. He also cites examples of Muslim-majority South East Asian countries where Ram is popular and “worshipped”. Muhammed has worked with archaeologist BB Lal, ex DG of Archeological Survey of India who led the excavation team that first claimed to have unearthed the remnants of a Hindu temple at the Babri Masjid site in 1976-77.In his lectures, Muhammed bashes Left for not believing in the presence of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.News18
Mizoram Guv, who is Kerala BJP leader, addresses empty ground amidst R-Day boycott
Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan, who is also a Kerala BJP leader, addressed Republic Day functions at Assam Rifles ground, where no civilian and lower rank officials were present in view of the boycott called by an apex NGO body to protest against Citizenship(Amendment) Bill. Republic Day celebrations across Mizoram were at low key as NGO Coordination Committee(NCC)organised demonstrations across state in protest against the Citizenship Bill.Only CM  Zoramthanga, some of his cabinet colleagues, a few legislators and top officials were present in the main functions of RD at the Assam Rifles ground. According to police, in other district HQ,Deputy Commissioners hoisted the national flags, but there were no officials and people in these events.No member from general public attended the function, police said adding that only ministers, legislators and top officials were present. Despite CM and Home Minister Lalchamliana's repeated requests,NCC on late Friday reiterated its previous announcement that it would boycott the RD celebrations "to protest the passing of the Bill in the Lok Sabha".NCC activists demonstrated near Assam Rifles ground in the state capital where Governor unfurled national flag and addressed a very small gathering."In response to the boycott call, the members of the public did not participate in any RD event in the state. However, there were no reports of any untoward incident, a police officer said on condition of anonymity.nationalheraldindia
Assamese singer, who demanded his votes back from BJP, FIR filed against him for allegedly ridiculing Bharat Ratna
A BJP member has filed an FIR against famous Assamese singer, Zubeen Garg, for allegedly making fun of India’s highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna. FIR was lodged against Zubeen Garg by Satya Ranjan Borah of BJP Yuva Morcha after an audio clip of Garg allegedly using derogatory term for Bharat Ratna award went viral on social media platforms. FIR against Garg was filed just days after he took to social media to slam the state’s ruling BJP and demanded his votes back from the saffron party. In his Facebook page, Garg had asked CM Sarbananda Sonowal to return votes that the saffron party obtained by using his song in the last elections.Garg had written, “Dear Sarbananda Sonowal Da, wrote a letter to you few days back. Guess you are too busy counting the black flags to respond.” His reference to black flags was in relation to the state-wide protests over passing of Citizenship  Bill.jantakareporter
Assam’s ‘family planning jihadi’ Dr. Ilias Ali finally gets his dues in form of Padma Shri
Guwahati: Assam’s “family planning jihadi”, who quotes from the holy texts, has finally got his dues, the Padma Shri.For the past many years, Dr. Ilias Ali has been on a holy mission. The retired surgeon of Gauhati Medical College and Hospital traverses like a nomad to advocate birth control, especially among Assam’s rural Muslim populace.63-year-old often adopts unusual but unique methods to motivate people to go for ‘No Scalpel Vasectomy’ (NSV). He quotes verses from the Quran and the Hadith to encourage people to go for NSV. He mostly works in the state’s Bengali Muslim settlements where people view NSV and the use of contraceptive pills as un-Islamic. Resistance is common, yet he has been able to motivate over 55,000 people to go for NSV. “First few years of my mission were very challenging. Those days,my family would get scared when I embarked on a journey to conduct an NSV camp. It feared for my life,” Dr. Ali, who is still a part of Assam’s NSV programme, said.He is happy that Govt has recognised his contribution to society.“I am very happy that my contribution has been recognised. It is an honour to the entire medical team that I have been a part with for years,” he said.newindianexpress
‘Tricolour falls off post during R-Day function in JK’s Rajouri, inquiry ordered’
Jammu : In an embarrassment to Rajauri administration, the tricolour fell off the flag post while being hoisted by the district magistrate during the main Republic Day function Saturday, prompting authorities to order a probe into the episode, officials said.The flag fell on the ground as soon as Rajouri District Magistrate Mohammad Aijaz Asad pulled the string to unfurl it, they said.Officials said the policemen reacted promptly and attached the flag to the post.Taking serious note of the incident, the district magistrate set up a two-member panel to probe into the embarrassing episode, the officials said.Rajouri ADC Sher Singh and ASP Liaqat Kalas have been directed to inquire into the matter and submit their report within a week, the officials said.PTI
Kerala: Former police chief questions decision to award Padma Bhushan to Nambi Narayanan
A former director general of police of Kerala has questioned Centre’s decision to confer Padma Bhushan on former Indian ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan.T P Senkumar on Friday told Asianet News that decision to award Narayanan, who was acquitted in ISRO espionage case last year, the third-highest civilian award was like “mixing poison with nectar”. He also drew parallels between Narayanan and rape and murder convicts.Narayanan and 6 others were accused of selling secrets pertaining to ISRO’s cryogenic programme to women who were allegedly spying for Russia, Pakistan’s ISI and other countries.He and 2 others were arrested in Nov.1994 on charges of espionage.In Sept, the Supreme Court said Narayanan’s arrest was “needles and unnecessary”. “When I was re-investigating the case, I had asked several people in ISRO what his [Narayanan] contribution and everyone replied in negative,” said Senkumar.
Twitter suspends Pro-Khalistan group after Tricolour burning stunt outside Indian embassy in US on R-D
Washington: A small group of Sikh separatists held a protest in front of the Indian Embassy in Washington during which they tried to burn the Tricolour on the Republic Day,a move slammed by local Sikh community. Organised by New York-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), protesters raised "Khalistan Zindabaad" slogans and tried to burn the Indian flag in the presence of a battery of reporters from the local Pakistani media.However, SFJ supporters were outnumbered by Indian-Americans raising 'Vande Mataram' and 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' slogans with Indian flags flying high in their hand.Around 2.30 pm on Saturday, the members of the SFJ in front of a group of Pakistani reporters and cameramen tried to burn the Indian flag. They ended up burning a green flag that had 'S' written on it.With passions running high between Indian-Americans and protesters, local law enforcement officials had warned against any attempt to burn the Indian flag. In fact, they sought additional security personnel as the standoff continued. A group of mounted police were seen standing a few blocks away.It was some tense moments for the local law enforcement officials as the two groups were standing face-to-face in a park just across the road from the Indian embassy in Washington. The standoff lasted for about 2 hours after which the protestors were forced by the local police to move across the road.News18
SC issues notice on a plea alleging communally motivated humanitarianism towards illegal migrants
The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Centre and Tripura Govt  on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015 and Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015, which naturalises illegal migration of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians into India due to religious persecution in Bangladesh and Pakistan, where they are in minority.A bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued notice on a petition filed by the Tripura People's Front, praying that the said Rules and Order be declared discriminatory since they legalise illegal immigration into Tripura and have "introduced religion as a new principle into the citizenship law and can be conveniently branded as "communally motivated humanitarianism"'.In the petition filed through advocate Manish Goswami, Tripura People's Front, represented by its president Patal Kanya Jamatia, said the rules notified in the year 2015 had led to "uncontrolled influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh to Tripura thereby causing huge demographic changes in Tripura. The indigenous people who were once the majority has now become a minority in their own land"
India’s diversity only on paper? asks NALSAR VC
Hyderabad:Though the Constitution was enacted to preserve the country’s diversity, it does not reflect in the various institutions of the country,said NALSAR University V-C Faizan Mustafa at a panel discussion on the Constitution in the Hyderabad Literary Festival. Mustafa said,“Both in Govt jobs and educational institutions, both Muslims and ST, SC and OBCs are grossly under-represented.”In 41 central universities, out of 1,125 professors, we have just 3 SC professors and 8 ST professors. When it comes to associate professors, you have just 130 SC professors and 34 ST professors out of 2,620.”He informed that under current scheme, 15 % seats were reserved in all State Govt  jobs for SC candidates and 7.5 %  for ST candidates.“So, ideally, in any university, we should have 22.5% reservation,” he said. As for Muslims, he pointed out that in IAS, against a total population of 14.2% Muslims, there is just 3% representation from the community. “In IFS the Muslim representation is 1.8 % , in police 4%  and in railways 4.5%,”  he added.“But where are they over represented,” he asked. “I say it with shame that when it comes to death row, death sentence, Dalits and Muslims are over-represented. When it comes to jails and prisons the case is the same. This is not in accordance with the vision of the Constitution,” he said.newindianexpress
Rest of India prefers Modi for PM — but TN, Andhra, Kerala want Rahul, claims FirstPost survey
Even as India gears up for soon-to-be-held parliamentary elections, a ‘National Trust Survey’ conducted by Firstpost-IPSOS has revealed that PM  Narendra Modi is the preferred choice as PM  in 2019 across India, especially in the northern states. Modi was preferred as next PM by 53% while Congress President Rahul Gandhi scored a distant 26.9%.However, in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Rahul Gandhi is the preferred choice for the country’s top job. 14% of those who polled in AP, 19.4% of those polled in Kerala and 10.6 of those polled in Tamil Nadu preferred Modi be re-elected for a second term in office while the rest wanted Rahul Gandhi as PM (68.8% in AP, 62.6% in Kerala and 69.7% in Tamil Nadu). In a significant departure from its neighbouring states, 68.7% of those polled in Telangana wanted Modi as PM while only 15.2% preferred Rahul Gandhi for the job. This was in sharp contrast to states like Assam, Bihar,UP , Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, more than 65% preferred Modi as future PM, in Gujarat 75% wanted Modi back.The survey, published in the inaugural edition of the Firstpost paper, shows that trust is greater in regional parties in Tamil Nadu, AP, Kerala, Telangana as well as Odisha and West Bengal. thenewsminute
India Accounts More Than Half Leprosy Cases Globally: WHO
New Delhi;Even though the number of leprosy cases have steadily declined worldwide, an estimated two lakh cases continue to be reported every year, with India accounting for more than half, said WHO."Leprosy-related discrimination, stigma and prejudice are the most powerful barriers to ending leprosy for good, especially given the disease is 100 %  curable when detected early," said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for Southeast Asia.According to WHO, apart from India, a significant number of leprosy cases are detected in the Southeast Asia region, Brazil, sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific.IANS
Construct hospitals, schools in honour of great leaders instead of statues and memorials:Madras HC
Madras High Court recently endorsed idea of construction of hospitals, schools, colleges and provision of basic amenities/facilities to benefit the public/citizens, in honour and memory of great leaders, instead of building memorials and statues using public money.The bench comprising Justice M Sathyanarayana and Justice P.Rajamanickam observed thus while considering a petition against construction of memorial of ex CM  J.Jayalalitha at a cost of Rs.50.80 Crores on the burial place (Samadhi) at Marina Beach, Chennai by Govt  of Tamil Nadu.Though the bench dismissed the plea holding that Jayalalithaa cannot be termed a convict in a disproportionate assets case, it made an important observation: "The State Govt  may endeavour to take a call/formulate a policy decision in future, to go for construction of hospitals, schools, colleges and provision of basic amenities/facilities to benefit the public/citizens, in honour and memory of great leaders."

Arrests, summons, extrernment notices: Maha police moves against over 200 activists
Mumbai: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis announced in the state assembly last year that cases of a “political nature” registered in the aftermath of Bhima Koregaon violence would be withdrawn. Months later, in November, he announced that the state had decided to take back 592 of the total 655 cases, amounting to a withdrawal of nearly 90% of the cases.But a year later, contrary to the CM ’s claims, the Maharashtra police has begun its combing action, arresting and summoning political leaders and activists from across the state. Anti-caste activists and political leaders have called this sudden action, just 3 months before general polls, a “politically motivated” move initiated only to harass them. Over the last week, over 200 political activists from Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Aurangabad, Nanded and Mumbai received summons to appear before the police station and respective trial courts in connection with cases registered against them. Almost all of them are affiliated with political outfits like RPI(A), BSP, and BHARIP Bahujan Mahasangh and BRSP. Some activists, along with the court summons, have also been served with externment notices, the proceeding that prevents the person from entering the city limits up to one year.Suresh Nikalje, an activist associated with RPI (A) party in Pimpri-Chinchwad against whom three cases of unlawful assembly and rioting were registered, was served an externment notice last week.thewire
Maharashtra arrests: ATS arrests another accused from Thane
New Delhi: Maharashtra ATS arrested a 24-year-old man on Saturday from Thane’s Mumbra. Its sleuths earlier this week arrested 9 people — 8 youths and one juvenile — for the alleged plan to mix toxic chemicals either in food or water to cause mass casualties. The youth was arrested after the probe agency conducted raids in continuation with the ongoing probe into the case. They recovered gadgets like; laptop, tablet, hard disc, pen drives, some mobile phones, also diaries were seized from his home during the search. He will be presented in court today.indianexpress
Karnataka Muslim Jamaat to forge Muslims into power bloc
Bengaluru:The soon-to-be launched Karnataka Muslim Jamaat (KMJ), which its promoters say is an apolitical forum, will press for political representation in proportion to the community’s population. KMJ, which intends to unite the community, is in the process of being launched in Karnataka and a convention to hammer out details of its formation will be held at Quddus (Qadria) Maidan on Millers Road on Sunday. AP Aboobacker Musliyar, who floated a similar forum in Kerala, will inaugurate the convention. “We expect a sizeable number of people to attend,” said SSA Khader, a member of KMJ’s reception committee.  TOI
Khashoggi inquiry seeks access to Saudi consulate, kingdom
A UN human rights investigator leading an international inquiry into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi said on Saturday she requested access to Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, and to visit the kingdom.Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on executions, who begins a week-long mission to Turkey at Govt  invitation on Monday, said she had not yet received a reply from Saudi authorities.On Thursday, she said 3-member legal and forensic panel would seek to establish "states' and individuals' responsibilities" for the killing.Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist living in US, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct.2 where he had gone to collect documents for his planned wedding."I have requested access to Saudi consulate in Istanbul and a meeting with the ambassador of the Kingdom of Saud Arabia in Turkey," Callamard said in an email to Reuters news agency. "I have also sought permission to conduct a similar country-visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."Saudi mission in Geneva and Govt  media office in Riyadh have not responded to Reuters' inquiries about the international investigation."I conceive of this inquiry to be a necessary step, among a number of others, towards crucial truth telling about and formal accountability for the gruesome killing of Khashoggi," Callamard said.aljazeera
US: Muslims offer $50,000 interest-free loans to federal workers
Washington: Local Muslim Community is offering interest-free loans to federal employees in Wisconsin affected by the partial govt shutdown.Masood Akhtar,the president and founder of We Are Many-United Against Hate said that the Muslim community, feel their pain and therefore raised $50,000 in loans for those who are struggling to pay their bills.“All Wisconsinites are like one body,” said Akhtar adding, “If one part of the body aches, rest of the body feels pain.We just want to let our federal employees know that we are feeling their pain and we will try to help them out as much as possible.” Regardless of their faith, color, or ethnicity, these interest-free loans are offered to all workers. “Anybody who is a federal employee who is furloughed can apply for this,” he adds.Muslims in Kentucky and South Carolina came up with a simple gesture to show they care: provided free meals and non-perishable foods to TSA agents were going weeks without paychecks. Over 800,000 federal workers have gone without pay since Dec.22, when the shutdown came into place due to an impasse between Congress and Donald Trump. They are at loggerheads over funding for a wall on US border with Mexico, leading to the shutdown.siasat
Libya’s Head of High Council of State resigns from Muslim Brotherhood Group
Khalid Al-Mishri, Head of the Libyan consultation body of the Govt  of National Accord, High Council of State, has announced his resignation from the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood Group. Al-Mishri said he is leaving Muslim Brotherhood and will remain involved in the political scene in Libya doing his job as the current High Council of State’s Head.Al-Mishri was elected last year to the post of the Head of the High Council of State, replacing Abdelrahman Al-Sweihli.libyanexpress
Palestinian man shot dead during settler violence in West Bank
A Palestinian man has been shot dead, and dozens others have been wounded in the occupied West Bank during a confrontation with Israeli soldiers and settlers in the village of al-Mugheir, northeast of Ramallah.38-year-old, identified as Hamdi Naasan, was shot in the back and succumbed to his wounds shortly after at a hospital in Ramallah, the health ministry said on Saturday.He is survived by his wife and four children.Amin Abu Alya, head of the Mugheir village council, said settlers opened fire before the Israeli army moved in."At the beginning, it was settlers shooting, then the army came and fired tear gas," he told AFP by phone.An Israeli military official confirmed to Haaretz newspaper that settlers used live fire during the confrontation.aljazeera
Turkey resumes flights to Iraq's Sulaimaniyah after 16-month ban
Turkey has resumed flights to the Iraqi city of Sulaimaniyah after a 16-month boycott, officials in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region have said.A Turkish Airlines flight arrived at Sulaimaniyah airport early on Saturday. Tahir Abdullah, the director of the airport, said that the restoration of daily flights from Turkey would revive a key revenue stream to the region after Ankara suspended air traffic to and from the city following a controversial independence referendum."Turkish flight ban has damaged Sulaimaniyah's airport revenue by $5.4 million over the past year," Abdullah said.aljazeera
Twin blasts hit cathedral in Philippines
Over a dozen people have been killed in 2 bomb blasts at a Roman Catholic cathedral on the southern Philippine island of Jolo, where Abu Sayyaf group and other armed fighters are active.Sunday's incident claimed the lives of at least 15 civilians and 5 soldiers, police said, adding that 77 others were injured.The number of fatalities was revised after police said earlier that 27 people were killed.The first bomb went off in or near the cathedral of Jolo, the capital of Sulu province, followed by a second blast outside the compound as Govt forces were responding to the attack, security officials said.No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Bangsamoro, meaning Moro nation, is an expanded autonomous region, that is expected to replace the existing ARMM, which has been criticised as merely nominal, and failed to end the violent conflict that has left at least 120,000 people dead over the past 5 decades. On Friday, it was announced that voters in Mindanao overwhelmingly voted for the creation of the Bangsamoro. However, voters in Jolo and entire Sulu province voted against the new regional unit. aljazeera
Iran inches closer to unveiling state-backed cryptocurrency
Shut out of the global financial system, Iran is inching closer to a workaround to US sanctions with the possible unveiling of its first state-backed cryptocurrency in the near future.Virtual currency is anticipated to be announced at annual 2-day Electronic Banking and Payment Systems conference, which kicks off on Jan.29 in the capital, Tehran. Theme of this year's gathering is "blockchain revolution".Blockchain is a fixed distributed ledger technology that allows a network of computers to verify transactions between 2 parties, as opposed to validating them through a trusted, 3rd -party entity.Details of Iran's new cryptocurrency were revealed last summer, after Trump administration started reimposing sanctions over alleged "malign activities".aljazeera
Coalition strikes kill 42 people in IS Syria holdout: monitor
Beirut: Coalition missile strikes have killed 42 people including 13 civilians in what remains of the Islamic State group's last holdout in eastern Syria, a war monitor said. SDF, with backing from a US-led coalition, are battling to expel the last jihadists from hamlets in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said short-range missiles late Friday hit homes on farmland near the village of Baghouz,killing 42 people. Among them were 13 civilians, the Britain-based monitor said.They included 7 Syrians linked to IS including three children from the same family, as well as 6 Iraqi non-combatants, it said. The coalition was not immediately available for comment, but has in the past said it does everything to avoid targeting civilians.AFP
'Significant progress' made in US-Taliban talks in Qatar: aljazeera
US peace envoy for Afghanistan has hailed "significant progress" in 6 days of talks with the Taliban in the Qatari capital, Doha, aimed at finding a solution to end the 17-year-old war in the South Asian country."Meetings here were more productive than they have been in the past. We made significant progress on vital issues," Zalmay Khalilzad,US special representative for Afghan reconciliation, wrote on Twitter.Taliban said that "withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and other vital issues saw progress.""The policy of the Islamic Emirate during talks was very clear: Until the issue of withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan is agreed upon, progress in other issues is impossible," Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, said in a statement shared with Al Jazeera.Taliban also rejected media reports about a possible "deal on a ceasefire"."Reports by some media outlets about agreement on a ceasefire and talks with Kabul administration are not true," Mujahid said. Earlier on Saturday,Reuters reported that Taliban and US had agreed on a draft peace deal, citing Taliban sources. Khalilzad,US envoy, also denied a draft deal was agreed upon as he prepared to fly back to Afghanistan to discuss the talks."We will build on the momentum and resume talks shortly. We have a number of issues left to work out," he tweeted."Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and 'everything' must include an intra-Afghan dialogue and comprehensive ceasefire." Taliban has been resisting US pressure for announcement of a ceasefire and direct talks with Afghan Govt, a source close to Taliban told Anadolu on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.aljazeera
Malaysia stripped of Paralympic swim tournament over Israel ban
 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has stripped Malaysia of the right to host the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships, after the country banned Israeli athletes from participating.The championships, a qualifier for 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, had been scheduled for Kuching between July 29 and August 4. IPC said on Sunday a new venue would be sought for the same dates, although there might be some flexibility in light of the circumstances."All World Championships must be open to all eligible athletes and nations to compete safely and free from discrimination," said IPC president Andrew Parsons after a meeting of IPC governing board in London.aljazeera
flash: views & NEWS
Stenography lessons: How Mumbai media covered arrest of 9 Muslim youth for alleged IS links:Jyoti Punwani
‘Fear has intensified’: Why Rohingya refugees are fleeing India for Bangladesh:Abhishek Dey
Hindu Sena’s adoration of Queen Victoria shows they don’t know their history:Kaveree Bamzai
Jaitley's Attempt to Influence CBI in ICICI Case Is Yet Another Low for Modi Govt:Ajoy Ashirwad
An Ashok Chakra for Lance Naik Wani. Yet for the Sangh, India Isn't Home for Muslims:Alok Asthana
EVM Debate: Securing Faith in the Basic Institution of Free and Fair Franchise:Badri Raina
'Muslim ban': Two years on, Trump's order still destroying lives:Ali Harb- Dania Akkad
CBI can be adventurous in hounding political targets but not bankers :Rahul Pandey
Citizenship Amendment Bill and the issues of Muslims:Wahidul Islam
Conflict over Centre’s Citizenship Bill creates a new identity of ‘Assamese Bengali’

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:49 PM)


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