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11 April 2019

11 April ND: 1st phase voting: Violence, technical glitches, missing names mar 1st phase of polling/Congress button not working in some EVMs in J&K:PDP,NC/ Sudan's military seizes power from President Omar al-Bashir



NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
11 April 2019: 05 Shaban 1440:Vol: 11, No:173
INDIA:  ELECTIONS
1st phase voting: Violence, technical glitches, missing names mar 1st phase of polling
New Delhi:The first phase of Lok Sabha elections kicked off Thursday as people turned up in huge numbers to elect 91 parliamentarians in over a month-long polling exercise. Voting began in 91 Lok Sabha constituencies across 20 states and Union Territories today in the first of the mega seven-phase general elections. In Andhra Pradesh, at least two people were killed in poll-related violence in Tadipatri after TDP and YSRCP factions clashed outside a polling booth. According to ANI, Manipur recorded highest polling percentage at 78.20 per cent (upto 5 pm) for Lok Sabha elections, followed by Assam at 68 per cent, Lakshadweep at 65.9 per cent, Meghalaya at 62 per cent, Telangana 60.57 per cent followed by others.Hindi heartland states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar recorded poll percentage of 59.77 and 50.26 per cent respectively.Among 8 Parliamentary constituencies of UP that went to poll today, the highest poll percentage was of Saharanpur at 63.76 per cent, followed by Muzaffarnagar at 60.80 per cent, Bijnor at 60.60 per cent and then others. In Bihar, the highest poll percentage was at Jamui (SC) at 53.35 per cent.The polling percentage in Maharashtra was 55.78 per cent with the highest being that of Gadchiroli-Chimur (ST) seat with 61.33%.AP polling percentage remained over 54 per cent.In Odisha, residents of Bhejipadar village in Kalahandi district boycotted the first phase of LS polls today alleging that they are still awaiting a proper road connectivity to their village despite complaining to the administration since 2017. CRPF told ANI that troops of 113 Battalion were fired upon while they were returning from booth number 283 in Tumrikasa Village of Gadchiroli's Dhanora at 4 pm. indianexpress
"Want Right Party To Get My Vote": EVM Glitches Sour Poll Mood On Day 1
Violence, reports of EVM glitches and missing names mar round one of Election 2019
Faulty EVMs, violent clashes mar general elections in AP
Vijayawada:Polling to 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in Andhra Pradesh was marred by violent clashes between YSRCP and TDP workers leading to death of TDP worker in Anantapur and by non- functional EVMs in a large number of polling booths across the State.Faulty EVMs led to delay of commencement of polling in several constituencies. CEO, Gopal Krishna Dwivedi himself faced this problem in a polling booth at Tadepalli in Guntur district. He had to wait to cast his vote for some time till the defective EVM was replaced. Many people returned home without casting their votes due to the technical snags that hit EVMs across the State.The defective EVMs created a situation where voters could be seen standing outside polling booths in long queues but polling percentage hovered around just 10 per cent in the first 2 hours in many of the constituencies.Unlike in the past, they rushed to booths in the morning itself to avoid the scorching sun.This prompted CM N. Chandrababu Naidu to demand re-polling at multiple locations and extension of voting time by 3 hours. In a memorandum to CEO, Naidu blamed EVMs for delayed commencement of polling across the State and estimated the number of such machines at 30%.He insisted that this awkward situation could have been avoided if the ECI opted for the paper ballot system instead of EVMs and VVPATs.In Machilipatnam Assembly segment, the polling staff has reportedly deleted 125 votes that were polled on EVMs by mistake after they learnt that they did not clear the votes that were cast during the mock poll.the hindu
Large-scale malfunctioning of EVMs reported across Visakhapatnam
Naidu slams EC, says 30 per cent EVMs not working
Oppn parties complain of EVMs malfunctioning in J&K;  BSF accused of coercing voters
Opposition parties in J&K, Congress, NC and PDP today alleged that security forces were “coercing” people to vote for BJP and that EVMs in some places malfunctioned.PDP president and ex CM Mehbooba Mufti tweeted a video showing voters raising anti-BJP slogans after they were allegedly “roughed up” by BSF personnel for not voting for the saffron party. “A voter at a polling booth in Jammu was manhandled by BSF because he refused to cast his vote for BJP. Using armed forces at polling stations to coerce people to vote for BJP shows their desperation & hunger to usurp power by hook or crook,” she tweeted.Earlier, NC leader and ex CM Omar Abdullah also shared link on Twitter: “Congress symbol button not working in Poonch polling stations". Congress candidate from Jammu Lok Sabha seat, Raman Bhalla alleged large scale EVM malfunction in Poonch and Mendhar belt of the constituency. He said that people have protested over the issue.Another Congress leader and former state minister Shabir Khan said that the defective EVMs were sent to remote and rural areas of border districts of Rajouri and Poonch. “People held protests against it, but nothing has been done to repair the machines,” he alleged. deccanherald
BSF accused of coercing voters in Poonch, Congress button not working in some EVMs:PDP,NC
BSF 'Forcing' People to Vote for BJP, Congress Button Not Working in Some EVMs:PDP,NC
EVM controversy in Saharanpur after BSP’s vote seen going to BJP, DM says nothing wrong
Saharanpur :One Dhara Singh told reporters that when he reached the polling booth in Saharanpur to cast his vote, he was stunned to see his vote going in favour of the BJP. He told reporters, “I was pressing the elephant (BSP’s election symbol), but my vote was going to BJP. The same happened with five other people. This prompted us to complain to the election officials present there.”Dhara said that around 138 votes had been cast when he noticed the malfunctioning. He said that election officials had refused to act even after he brought the malfunctioning to their attention.The video of Dhara speaking to reporters was shared by senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai on Twitter.jantakareporter
 BSP writes to EC about Dalits being stopped from reaching booths by UP police
BSP has written to the Election Commission saying BSP voters, especially Dalits, were being stopped form reaching polling booths. BSP has reportedly said that the Uttar Pradesh police is stopping the voters on “diktats from higher-ups”. BSP writes to EC: We are receiving info from various polling stations that BSP voters specially dalits are being stopped from reaching polling booths by use of force by UP police. All this is apparently being done on diktat of higher-ups. Immediate intervention is required.huffingtonpost
LS Voting : EC Rejects BJP's Balyan's Claim Of 'Fake Voting' By Women In Burqas In Muzaffarnagar
Election Commission has refuted BJP leader Sanjeev Balyan allegation of “fake” voting was taking place in UP’s Muzaffarnagar because faces of women wearing burqas were not being checked. “Faces of women in burqa are not being checked and I allege that fake voting is being done. If not looked into, I will demand a re-poll,” Balyan said. However, additional CEO BR Tiwari rejected this claim.“If a woman is in a veil, there are women officials who verify their identity and only then allow them to vote. No such incident has come to our notice,” he said, ANI quoted.huffingtonpost
About 81% polling in Tripura: CPI(M), Congress allege massive rigging
Agartala :CPI(M) and Congress alleged massive rigging in west Tripura Lok Sabha constituency which went to polls on Thursday in the first phase. They said extent of malpractices with support of security establishment and administration was unprecedented in the State and criticised Election Commission for lack of measures to hold free and fair polls. Approximately 81.23% electors turned out to cast vote, said election department citing reports available at 5 pm. CPI(M) demanded repolling in 460 of total 1679 polling stations. Congress also accused BJP of rigging, attack and intimidation across the constituency. Party candidate Subal Bhowmik alleged that the election officials, observers and central forces were not seen in areas where booths were ‘captured’.Bhowmik echoed CPI(M) allegation of expulsion of polling agents from most of booths. CCTV cameras were damaged in several booths to hide misdeeds, he added.thehindu
Many observers see 2019 election as inflection point in Indian history: US Congressional report
 Many observers see 2019 election as an inflection point in Indian history, according to a latest US Congressional report which said that a repeat performance by the ruling BJP in the polls could herald a new era of single-party dominance.In the report prepared primarily for US lawmakers, the independent Congressional Research Service (CRS) on the ongoing elections said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi "has become the primary, if not sole target of the opposition", but no individual challenger has emerged. CRS reports warn that a continuation of BJP-led administration could entail an "unwelcome continuation of its perceived illiberal policies"."A repeat performance could thus herald a new era of single-party dominance. Perhaps more crucially, the election pits an unabashedly Hindu nationalist prime minister and ruling party against an array of more secular-minded parties, some focused on the interests of India's large lower-caste and Muslim minorities," said CRS report.CRS is the bipartisan and independent research wing of US Congress which prepares reports on various domestic and global issues for the lawmakers for information purposes only.While Congress president chief Rahul Gandhi, "the inheritor of a family dynasty that includes 3 past prime ministers", has the highest profile among potential leaders of an opposition coalition, CRS report says the opposition's zeal to oust NDA has led to some unusual alliances "In Jan, the leaders of 2 powerful UP-based parties agreed to set aside their bitter rivalry to cooperate in defeating BJP. Other influential regional parties are maneuvering toward a potential opposition grand alliance," said the report dated March 28.Noting that secularism has been a more-or-less enshrined value in India, although its conception in both theory and practice varies widely, the Congressional report says Indian voters may face a landmark choice between two overarching identities for their country-- one,a pluralist, secular polity where religious minorities enjoy full equality; the other, a nation in which roughly 250 million non-Hindu citizens must accept Hindu majoritarianism, with potentially dire consequences for India's civil liberties.PTI
Pakistan ‘supporting’ Modi in LS polls, wants riots to spread in India:Kejriwal
Pakistan and its PM Imran Khan are “supporting” Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls as they want riots to spread in India, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged Thursday. AAP chief also alleged that what Pakistan could not do in 70 years, their “friend” Modi did it in five years — that is damaging India’s brotherhood. His remarks on Twitter came after BJP tweeted that it will ensure implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the country and will “remove every single infiltrator”, except Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs. “Pakistan and (PM) Imran Khan want riots to spread in India. That is why Pakistan is openly supporting Modi in the upcoming polls,” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi. In an interview to a small group of foreign journalists, Imran Khan had said that he believes there may be a better chance of peace talks with India and settle the Kashmir issue if Prime Minister Modi’s party BJP wins the general elections.“Perhaps if BJP….wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached,” the Pakistan premier had said.PTI
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind asks Muslims to support 'secular parties' in UP
Lucknow: A day before the first phase of the Lok sabha elections, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has asked Muslims to support "secular parties" when they go out to vote in UP. State president of JIH, Mohammad Naim told TOI on Wednesday, "JIH has asked all Muslims to vote for secular parties and with SP-BSP ghatbandhan strong in UP, we will be supporting their candidates in the state." Naim who said a detailed presser on the organisation's support to 'secular' parties will be held at its Lucknow office today, also added that not just SP-BSP coalition, but also Congress will receive the body's support in this elections. "On certain seats, where the Congress party is strong, we will extend our support to Congress party there," he added.  JIH earlier in March, had released a Peoples' Manifesto at the Press Club of India, Delhi.TOI
Despite EC’s Rebuke, Yogi Rakes Communal ‘Ali-Bajrang Bali’ Remark
UP CM Yogi Adityanath stoked controversy on Tuesday, dubbing the Muslim League a “green virus” and suggesting that Hindu and Muslim voters are in an “Ali-Bajrang Bali” contest.Attacking BSP leader Mayawati for recently appealing to Muslims to vote for the Opposition alliance in UP, Adityanath said now Hindus have “no option” but to vote for BJP. BJP leader said Dalit-Muslim unity is impossible, and in Bareilly, he accused Mayawati of hurting Dalit sentiments with her call to Muslim voters at a rally in Saharanpur's Deoband.“If the Congress, SP and BSP have faith in Ali, then we too have faith in Bajrang Bali,” BJP leader said at an election meeting in Meerut.Ali is a revered figure in Islam and Lord Hanuman is often called Bajrang Bali.the quint
BJP opposes setting up of Islamic bank by AP govt
Vijayawada: BJP National Spokesperson and MP GVL Narasimha Rao said that the party would oppose the Chandrababu Naidu government’s proposal of setting up of an "Islamic bank" to extend financial help to the Muslims.He said that the RBI would not permit to set up such a bank in India. He alleged that Naidu is following the Congress party for creating a vote bank, ignoring the National interests. “BJP vehemently opposes the proposal of establishing Islamic bank by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister as the law of the country will not permit such entity to be existed in the country”, he added.UNI
RSS Helping Pranab Mukherjee's Son, A Congress Candidate, Contest LS Polls from Jangipur: Mamata
Kolkata: While criticising the Congress for coming to a political understanding with BJP and the CPI(M), West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday claimed that the RSS is helping former President Pranab Mukherjee’s son, Abhijit Mukherjee, to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Jangipur in Murshidabad district.Banerjee said, “Our mission is to oust BJP from Bengal. I would like to tell you that even the Congress has a secret political understanding with BJP… both are the same. The RSS is helping Pranab Mukherjee’s son and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to win this Lok Sabha election from Jangipur and Baharampur.” Abhijit will contest the elections from Jangipur Lok Sabha seat on a Congress ticket. News18
Angry Over Govt's 'Step-Motherly Treatment,' Kashmir's Sikhs to Boycott Polls
Srinagar: Claiming successive state and Central governments have ignored their demands, Kashmir’s Sikh community has now vowed to not participate in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.After Pandits, Sikhs are the second minority community in the state. According to official data, the Sikh population in Jammu and Kashmir is 2.03% – with 0.88% in the Kashmir division. Expressing indignation, Sikh community leaders said their grievances have remained unaddressed for long. Among their major demands – for which the community says they have been fighting for decades – are the extension of the Minority Community Act to the state and the introduction of Punjabi language in schools and colleges. The decision to boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections has been taken by the All Party Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC).thewire
BJP will remove all infiltrators from the country, except Hindus and Buddhists:Amit Shah
BJP President Amit Shah on Thursday said his party will ensure that the National Register of Citizens is implemented across the entire country if it forms the next government. Addressing a rally in Darjeeling district in West Bengal, Shah said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was spreading lies about the NRC.“We have promised in our manifesto that once Narendra Modi forms government once again, we will implement National Register of Citizens in the entire country,” Shah said. “We will remove every single infiltrator from the country. And all the Hindu and Buddhist refugees...we will find each of them, give them Indian citizenship and make them residents here.” Scroll
BJP Will Scrap Article 370, Introduce NRC Across the Country: Amit Shah
PM Modi’s Balakot remark prima facie violation: Poll officer
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal this week in Latur to all first-time voters to “dedicate” their votes to the “brave soldiers” who carried out the Balakot air strike and to the “braves martyred” in the Pulwama terror attack is a violation of the Election Commission’s instructions prohibiting the use of armed forces for political gains, the Osmanabad District Election Officer (DEO) is learnt to have said in his report submitted to the Maharashtra Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).According to sources in the state CEO office, the DEO’s report PM’s Balakot remark prima facie violation, says poll office along with his comments have been forwarded to the EC and the final call on the matter rests with the Commission. Indianexpress

It Is Not a Voter's Concern Where Political Parties' Money Comes From, AG Tells SC
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today reserved its order on a PIL challenging the government’s electoral bond scheme for political funding.A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi said it would pronounce its order tomorrow on the plea filed by NGO, Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).NGO, which has challenged the validity of the scheme, has sought interim relief including that either the issuance of electoral bonds be stayed or the names of the donors be made public to ensure transparency in the poll process.Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, supported the scheme saying the purpose behind it is to eliminate the use of black money in elections.thewire
OTHERS
India’s population growth rate outpaced China in last 9 years: UN report
New Delhi :India’s population grew at an average of 1.2 per cent annually between 2010 and 2019, more than double the annual growth rate of China, a report by the United Nations Population Fund revealed.In the State of World Population 2019 report, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency said India’s population in 2019, stood at 1.36 billion, growing from 942.2 million in 1994 and 541.5 million in 1969.China’s population, on the other hand, stood at 1.42 billion in 2019, growing from 1.23 billion in 1994 and 803.6 million in 1969. According to UN report, the country’s population grew at an average of 0.5 per cent annually between 2010 and 2019.27 per cent of India’s population was in the age bracket of 0-14 years and 10-24 years, while 67 per cent of the country’s population was in the 15-64 age bracket. 6 per cent of the country’s population was of the age 65 and above.In India, the report said, the total fertility rate per woman declined from 5.6 in 1969 to 3.7 in 1994 and 2.3 in 2019. The country registered an improvement in life expectancy at birth. The life expectancy at birth in 1969 was 47 years, growing to 60 years in 1994 and 69 years in 2019. indian express
Ban pellets, PSA, AFSPA in Kashmir not civil traffic on highway: Dy Mayor, Srinagar
 Deputy Mayor Srinagar, Sheikh Muhammad Imran on Wednesday said instead of banning the civil traffic on the highway, government should ban pellet guns, PSA, AFSPA and other black laws in the Kashmir. Imran said instead of banning of these things they should ban the use of pellet guns, AFSPA, PSA and other such black laws in the state. “Highways have never been banned for civil traffic, it is Hitler’s policy and these things should be reviewed again,” he said. He said that BJP should be renamed as Ban Janta Party because they are banning everything in the country. They have banned beef, Triple talaq, Jamaat-I-Islami, Peace Tv, Zakir Naik and other things in the state which is the clear human rights violation.risingkashmir
There’s a drop in Muslims clearing UPSC exam this year, but it’s not all bad news
New Delhi: The number of Muslim candidates clearing the prestigious UPSC exam has fallen to 28 this year from 50 in 2018. But this is a function of the reduction in the total number of candidates recruited, which has also fallen to 782 from 980 last year.The decline does not reflect a reverse trend, said Syed Zafar Mahmood, founder of Delhi-based Zakat Foundation, which provides subsidised coaching to Muslim civil service aspirants. Eighteen of the 28 candidates are Zakat products, including Junaid Ahmed, who secured all-India rank 3.“I think the number is just an aberration. Overall, Muslims are becoming more interested in UPSC than they have been for many decades,” Mahmood, a former civil servant, said.the print
Pakistan Military Takes Media, Foreign Diplomats On Balakot Tour To Disprove India's Strike Claims
Pakistan military on Wednesday took a group of international media personnel and foreign diplomats on a tour of the seminary and its surrounding areas in Balakot, where India carried out a counter-terror operation 43 days ago.According to BBC Urdu, the group was flown from Islamabad in a helicopter to Jabba in Balakot. The visitors trekked for about one-and-a-half hour to reach the madrassa on the top of a mountain surrounded by lush green trees.The group, while going up, also saw a ditch on a hillside where India jets dropped its payload, according to Pakistan military.About 150 students, aged 12-13, were present inside the seminary building and were being taught Quran when the group reached inside the madrassa, they said.The visit by the group lasted for about 20 minutes and the participants were allowed to take pictures and even some of them spoke to the teachers present there. Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor held formal and informal chat with the reporters.“This is an old madrassa and has always been like this,” he said, indicating that Indian claim of hitting it was not true.This was the first formal visit of foreign media and diplomats to the place about which India claimed that its strike killed scores of militants.huffingtonpost
Pakistan High Court says Hindu sisters’ case is not one of forced conversion: Report
A Pakistan High Court on Thursday ruled out forced conversion in the case of the two Hindu teenage sisters whose families had alleged that they had been abducted and forcibly adopted Islam, Dawn reported. The court also permitted the sisters to live with their husbands. The family has said that the siblings are minors, aged between 13 and 15.The siblings and their husbands had moved the Islamabad High Court on March 25 seeking protection from government action after the girls’ family filed a police case alleging abduction and forced conversion. The siblings in their petition said that they belong to a Hindu family in Ghotki, Sindh, and converted as they were “impressed by Islamic teachings”, Dawn had earlier reported.The Islamabad High Court gave its verdict based on the findings of a five-member commission that was tasked with looking into the allegations of forced conversion on April 2. The members are Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, Muslim scholar Mufti Taqi Usmani, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Chairperson Mehdi Hasan, National Commission on the Status of Women Chairperson Khawar Mumtaz and human rights activist IA Rehman.scroll.in
Assam Police Arrests 4 in Shaukat Ali Mob Attack Case, Hunt on to Nab the Rest
New Delhi: 3 more accused have been arrested by Assam police in the April 7 mob attack on an elderly man, Shaukat Ali, where he was also forced to consume pork – which is prohibited by his religion. The mob had also heckled and abused Kamal Thapa, the manager of the local weekly market in Bishwanth Chariali area where Ali has been running an eatery for over three decades.Those arrested on April 10 have been identified as Dipak Koal, Subhal Koal and Jintu Saikia. According to the state police, in all, 4 persons have been arrested so far and the hunt is on to nab the rest of the accused named in the two FIRs filed by Ali’s brother and Thapa. One Dipen Gogoi was the first to be arrested by police in the case (No 80/2019) on April 9 evening. Thewire
WORLD
Sudan's military seizes power from President Omar al-Bashir
Sudan's armed forces have overthrown and arrested President Omar al-Bashir after months of protests against his nearly 30-year rule.In a statement on Thursday, General Awad Ibn Auf said Bashir was taken to a "safe place" after the "toppling of the regime" and also announced the formation of a military-led transitional government, which will rule for two years."The armed forces will take power with representation of the people to pave the way for Sudanese people to live in dignity," said Ibn Auf, the country's vice president and defence minister.He also declared a three-month state of emergency and the suspension of the 2005 constitution, as well the closure of Sudan's airspace for 24 hours and of border crossings until further notice.All of Sudan's government's institutions, including the national assembly and national council of ministers, have been dissolved, Ibn Auf added, assuring that Sudan would soon prepare for "free and fair" elections.Ibn Auf's announcement came against the backdrop of a sixth successive day of anti-government protests outside Sudan's army headquarters in the capital, Khartoum.Demonstrators have staged a mass sit-in outside the complex to call for the army to support their bid to see Bashir peacefully removed from power.Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which has been spearheading the protests, rejected Ibn Auf's move as a "military coup", however, and vowed to hold further demonstrations.Protests against Bashir, who took power in 1989 and is wanted by the International Criminal Court, started in December over rising bread prices but quickly morphed into broader calls for him to step down.Critics accuse the 75-year-old of mismanaging Sudan's economy, resulting in high food prices, regular fuel shortages and widespread cash shortages.Representatives of the Girifna resistance movement, which has helped organise the anti-government protests, said it would continue to demonstrate against the government until its demands were met."We want a four-year transition period where technocrats take over the country to ready it for democracy. We want an army that will protect us rather than rule over us," Hajouj Kouka, a member of Girifna, told Al Jazeera from Kenya."We [the demonstrators] are very specific and untied about this demand."The downfall of Bashir follows the toppling this month of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, also following mass protests after three decades in power. aljazeera
Omar al-Bashir: Sudan military coup topples ruler after protests
Algeria sets presidential election for July 4
Algeria's newly appointed president has set July 4 as the date for the country's postponed presidential election, according to state media.The announcement on Wednesday came a day after Abdelkader Bensalah was appointed as interim president for 90 days, replacing long-time leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika who stepped down last week in the face of mass protests against him. Bensalah, who will not be able to run in the election, signed a decree on the vote shortly after taking the post on Tuesday, official agency APS reported.aljazeera
Israel elections: Netanyahu set to win as rival concedes
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to win re-election after his main rival conceded defeat.With more than 99 percent of votes counted, Netanyahu's Likud party was set to lead a right-wing bloc with 65 of the 120 seats in parliament.His main challenger, Benny Gantz, accepted the result on Wednesday, acknowledging that he had failed to unseat the prime minister."We respect the decision of the people," he told reporters.Although Gantz's Blue and White Party was set to win a similar number of seats to Likud, there was no obvious path for its leader to find a parliamentary majority.A number of right-wing parties expressed their support for Netanyahu and are on course to give him a parliamentary majority.Addressing a jubilant gathering of supporters early on Wednesday, Netanyahu praised the crowd for an "almost inconceivable achievement".Final results are expected to be announced on Thursday.US President Donald Trump phoned to congratulate Netanyahu on his victory, the Israeli leader said later on Wednesday. Trump told reporters at the White House that Netanyahu's re-election improved the chances of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. However, Diana Buttu, a Palestinian Haifa-based analyst and former legal adviser to Palestinian peace negotiators, told Al Jazeera that Netanyahu's renewed mandate will allow him to continue his "policies of apartheid, colonisation and racism".Voter turnout was 67.9 percent, down from 71.8 percent in 2015. Turnout in the Arab community was significantly lower, standing at 46 percent an hour before the polls closed.Despite a low voter turnout among Palestinians, the Arab alliances of Hadash-Ta'al and Ra'am-Balad passed the threshold, gaining 6 and 4 seats respectively.However, their total of 10 Knesset seats is lower than in the 2015 elections, when the Arab Joint List won 13, making them the third-largest faction in parliament.aljazeera
Israeli army detains 19 Palestinians in W. Bank raids
Ramallah:Israeli army rounded up 19 Palestinians in overnight raids carried out across the occupied West Bank, according to a military statement released Thursday.In a statement, the army said that the individuals had been detained for “suspected involvement in popular hostile activities”.It did not elaborate on the nature of these alleged “activities”.AA
Thousands displaced as Haftar's forces advance on Libya capital
Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes in and around the Libyan capital because of fighting between eastern-based forces and troops loyal to the country's internationally recognised government. According to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), at least 4,500 individuals have been displaced since the clashes erupted six days ago, when renegade General Khalifa Haftar ordered his forces to march on Tripoli.Many others remain trapped in their homes, UNOCHA added, with more than 500,000 children deemed to be at "immediate threat".At least 56 people have so far been killed, WHO said.aljazeera
56 killed in weeklong Libya clashes: UN health agency
Julian Assange arrested at Ecuadorian embassy in London
London:WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by police on Thursday after they were invited into the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been holed up since 2012.Police said, “Julian Assange, 47, has today, on Thursday April 11, been arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) at the Embassy of Ecuador.”Assange was arrested after being “invited into the embassy by the Ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum.” He had been taken into custody and would appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court “as soon as is possible,” police said.47-year-old faces allegations that he publicly released secret documents relating to the United States. Assange had sought asylum at the embassy after the Swedish authorities wanted to quiz him over allegations of sexual assault and rape.thehindu
EU leaders agree to Brexit extension until Oct. 31
Leaders of the 27 countries remaining in the European Union and British Prime Minister Theresa May have agreed to extend Brexit until October 31.At an emergency meeting in Brussels that went on for more than six hours on Wednesday, the EU leaders agreed to offer May a six-month extension that was accepted by the British prime minister."EU27/UK have agreed a flexible extension until 31 October. This means additional six months for the UK to find the best possible solution," European Council President Donald Tusk's text read.aljazeera
Yemen air raid: Thousands attend children's funerals in Sanaa
Families have held funerals for the children killed in a Saudi-Emirati coalition attack on a school in the Yemeni capital.The latest attack may have killed several girls under the age of nine in a Sanaa school, but the United Nations says that hundreds of Yemeni children have been killed and injured since the start of 2019.That is despite the UN's repeated calls for the bombings to stop.aljazeera
US resumes air raids in Somalia after brief pause
US Africa Command (AFRICOM) says it has resumed air raids against the al-Shabab group in Somalia after a brief pause that followed a critical report condemning the "shroud of secrecy around civilian deaths" caused by the US military.The latest operation was carried out on Tuesday near Jilib, a town in Somalia's Middle Juba region, southwest of the capital, Mogadishu, and killed one fighter, Africom said in a press release on Wednesday. "Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this air strike," it added.aljazeera
Astronomers capture first-ever image of a black hole
In a major breakthrough, astronomers on Wednesday unveiled the highly anticipated image, which shows a dark core, encircled by a fiery orange halo of white-hot gas and plasma."You have probably seen many, many images of black holes before, but they were all simulations or animations. And this [image] is so precious to all of us because this one is finally real," Professor Heino Falcke of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), an international collaboration behind the image said at a news conference in Brussels.A series of simultaneous press events were held around the world on Wednesday to share the announcement.The supermassive black hole in the photo is 50m light-years away in a galaxy known as Messier 87 (M87). Capturing the image at such a distance is comparable to photographing a pebble on the surface of the Moon. aljazeera
Flash: views & NEWS
As Lok Sabha Elections Begin, the Seats and Candidates to Watch out for:The Wire Analysis
Rafale deal: 3 documents that Govt didn’t want in the public domain
Congress’ Hindutva politics in UP fuels a sense of defeat among its Muslim leadership: caravanmagazine
The importance of IUML:Shajahan Madampat
Jallianwala Bagh massacre: Lost in pages of history, protest tremors that shook Punjab now in Pak: Kamaldeep Singh Brar
If BJP Wins, Modi May Face Some Civil Service Departures from His Office: Sources
In India’s election race Narendra Modi isn’t the strongman the world assumes:Ruchir Sharma

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:53 PM)

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