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Monday, 29 April 2019

29 April ND: Centre asks SC to defer Rafale review hearing listed for tomorrow, says needs more time to file affidavit/ EC gets notice on plea over jail term for questioning EVM accuracy/Sri Lanka bans face veils after Easter bombings; HRW condemns ban


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING 
29 April 2019: 23 Shaban 1440:Vol: 11, No:188
INDIA
Centre asks SC to defer Rafale review hearing listed for tomorrow, says needs more time to file affidavit
New Delhi:Centre on Monday asked the Supreme Court to put off the Rafale review hearing listed for Tuesday, saying it needs more time to file its affidavit.The government’s request was mentioned before the bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi. The court hasn’t indicated its mind on the request and asked the Centre to circulate its letter. It will rule on the centre’s request later.The petition to seek a review of the Supreme Court’s December verdict rejecting a court-ordered probe into the deal to buy Rafale fighter jets had cleared its first big hurdle earlier this month when the top court rejected the govt’s counter on the admissibility of some documents used by petitioners. The unanimous judgment by 3-member bench had rejected the argument that the documents should not be considered during the hearing because these were sensitive in nature and had been obtained through “unauthorised photocopying and leakage”.HT
Rafale: SC allows Centre to circulate letter seeking adjournment of Tuesday's hearing
Election Commission gets notice on plea over jail term for questioning EVM, VVPAT accuracy
New Delhi:The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Election Commission on a petition seeking to do away with a rule that puts the onus of proving discrepancy of results between electronic voting machines and voter-verifiable slips.The petitioner, Sunil Ahya, said the threat of jail term up to six months deters voters from making complaints even if they strongly feel there could be a discrepancy in what they entered in the EVM and what is printed on the VVPAT slip.If a voter found a different symbol on the VVPAT slip other than the one for which the person had pressed the button in the EVM, the voter can complain to the polling authorities. The voter would next be asked to press the button again in front of the officials. If both the EVM and the VVPAT showed no discrepancy then, the person could be jailed for up to six months.Ahya said this rule should be scrapped. Section 49 MA of Code of Election Rules says a complainant can be jailed for six months or fined Rs.1,000 if it turned out the machines were working fine."Deviant behaviour and lodging a complaint... is an essential ingredient in a continuous exercise for improving the electoral process,"Ahya said. Last week, 21 opposition parties asked the Supreme Court to review its order on counting the slips of only five EVM paper trail machines in every assembly segment. The parties reiterated its request for counting at least 50 per cent of VVPAT slips, a plea that was turned down by the SC earlier this month.NDTV
EVM, VVPATs’ ‘deviant behaviour’: respond to plea, SC tells ECI
J-K police refuses to share documents related to arrest of school principal killed in police custoday
Srinagar :J&K Police have refused to provide documents regarding its completion of all legal formalities before the arrest of school principal Rizwan Assad Pandit who was killed in police custody last month.The refusal has come in response to an RTI application filed by an activist in the Valley. Calling the application “vague”, the police have also refused to provide a copy of the FIR filed after the arrest of the school principal.“The information sought is vague and doesn’t disclose as to which copy of FIR needs to be provided,” read the police response to the RTI filed by activist Raja Muzaffar.“However, it is to inform that certified copy of FIR can be obtained from the concerned court within whose jurisdiction the alleged offence has been committed. Further, subject (Rizwan) was arrested in connection with FIR,” police added.Raja Muzaffar in his application had clearly asked for the copy of FIR of the offence in which Rizwan was arrested. “Provide certified copy of the FIR which lead to arrest of late Rizwan Ahmad Pandit along with certified copy of arrest memo prepared by the concerned police officers in relation to the arrest as is required under the D K Basu directions issued by Supreme court of India in the matter D K Basu Vs state of West Bengal,” the activist said in his application.indianexpress
Imran Khan more flexible than Modi, must do more about Kashmir: Shahid Afridi
Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi Monday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan must do more about Kashmir and that both the neighbours need to resolve the issue through a Kashmiri-owned, Kashmiri-led peace process, PTI reported.Speaking at the launch of his autobiography, Afridi said, “Kashmir belongs to the Kashmiris. Not to Indians. Not to Pakistanis. That debate comes later. But first and foremost, Kashmir is for the Kashmiri people themselves.”Afridi praised Khan for the steps taken towards rehabilitating the peace with India by opening the Kartarpur corridor and releasing IAF pilot Abhinandan after February’s stand-off. “However, Imran Khan must do more about Kashmir. We have to resolve that issue. We have to save the Kashmiri people, and we must involve them in the peace process. Nobody in the Indian subcontinent has suffered or struggled more than Kashmiris,” he said.“So much resources go into guarding this territory. So much goes into policing the Line of Control. So many mouths can get fed, so many minds can be nourished, if India and Pakistan resolve the Kashmir issue through a Kashmiri-owned, Kashmiri-led peace process,” he writes.Afridi also claimed that Khan is “relatively more flexible than Modi ji” and “he has already proven this”. indianexpress
RTE admissions: Choose minority schools at your own risk, Gujarat government tells parents
Ahmedabad :Gujarat government has this year marked 143 minority schools in red, cautioning applicants under the Right to Education (RTE) Act to choose them “at their own risk”.This as the minority schools across the state have challenged the 25 per cent admission rule under RTE Act in the Supreme Court, but the Gujarat education department allows admission to these 143 institutes, though with the caution.“Since these 143 schools do not have their minority certificates and are denying admissions under RTE Act, we have included them in the admission list, but with a caution that the applicants can apply at their own risk. The admission will depend on the Supreme Court’s order,” said M I Joshi Director, Primary Education.Earlier, there were a total of 178 minority schools, which did not have certificates. But now remaining 35 schools have valid minority certificates from the competent authority or have agreed to take students under the RTE, claimed Joshi.indianexpress
Pune’s German Bakery blast:charges framed against Bhatkal
Pune:After a delay of several years, charges were finally framed against Yasin Bhatkal in connection with the 2010 German Bakery blast case at a court in Pune on Monday.Bhatkal, also known as Ahmed Siddibappa Zarrar, was brought from Tihar jail in Delhi and produced before the court of additional sessions judge K. D. Vadane.The court read out the charges framed against him under the relevant Sections of IPC,Indian Explosives Substances Act and UAPA.Bhatkal, however, rejected the charges and pleaded not guilty.Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar said the Delhi Police had filed an application requesting that further hearing be conducted via video-conferencing, while submitting their inability to bring Bhatkal to Pune due to security reasons. The hearing of this application was scheduled for June 15.Bhatkal’s lawyer, Zahir Khan Pathan, opposed the Delhi Police’s request, stating that the accused must be present during the trial.Pathan submitted that it was the State’s responsibility to provide security and that Bhatkal could be lodged at Pune’s Yerwada Central Jail till his trial ended.the hindu
Call on SIMI cases to be taken on May 3-4 in Pune
Pune:A 3-member UAPA will visit the city on May 3 and 4 to conduct a hearing in connection with the banned SIMI related cases. They will also ascertain whether there was sufficient cause to extend the ban on SIMI as an unlawful association.The tribunal presided by Justice Mukta Gupta had issued a general notice informing the citizens at large and the organisation in question to approach it with any material in support of or against the Centre’s decision to extend the ban on SIMI. Ministry of Home Affairs, had on Feb.21 issued a notification of setting up the tribunal under UAPA, 1967.The hearing will take place at Savitribai Phule Pune University from 10 am on May 3. The commission has requested that those who want to appear before the tribunal must submit their affidavits before the commission.HT
Intel agencies move to track missing Kerala youth after Sri Lanka bombings:HT report
Thiruvananthapuram:In the wake of NIA crackdown on sleeper cells of Islamic State in South India following the serial bombings in Sri Lanka, intelligence agencies are collecting details of 150 youth who have gone missing from Kerala over the last few years, a senior intelligence official said.A Salafi centre in Kozhikkode is under the scanner and agencies are collecting details of some youth who went to Yemen for religious studies in last three years, he said. “We have information that more than 50 people have gone to Yemen for religious studies in last couple of years. Though they can’t be dubbed terrorists, possibilities of radicalization are there,” said a senior state intelligence official tracking fundamentalist outfits in north Kerala. Since India does not have diplomatic relation with war-torn country most of them have slipped out through Iran and other middle-east countries, he said.“Kerala’s middle-east connection is exposing some of the youngsters to outfits like the IS,” he said. There are at least 18 lakh people from Kerala employed in Gulf countries.HT
ELECTIONS
Polling ends for 4th phase of Lok Sabha elections: 62 percent turnout across India; Bihar at 58.94%, Odisha at 64.05%
Polling has concluded peacefully for the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections on Monday. 71 Parliamentary constituencies, spread over nine states and Kulgam district of Anantnag Lok Sabha seat in Jammu and Kashmir went to polls in this phase.Voting took place for 17 seats in Maharashtra, 13 each in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, eight in West Bengal, six each in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha, five in Bihar, and three in Jharkhand in this phase. Voting was also held for the remaining 41 assembly seats in Odisha, by-election to Chhindwara assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh, Nighasan in Uttar Pradesh, and Krishnaganj in West Bengal.Turnout across India  in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections  stood at 61.26 percent at 7 pm.Jammu and Kashmir saw a meagre 9.79 percent turnout in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections.Jharkhand saw 63.77 percent turnout in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Lohardaga constituency saw 64.88 percent, Palamu recorded 64.35 percent turnout, and Chatra witnessed 62.06 percent turnout.Till 6 pm, Mumbai on average, witnessed 50.35 percent turnout. Nandurbar is clearly in the lead with 60.27 percent turnout, Shirdi saw 55.20 percent turnout, Shirur saw 52.05 percent turnout, and Maval saw 51.35 percent turnout. West Bengal sees 76.47% voter turnout till 6 pm. firstpost, newsonair
Lok Sabha Election 2019 LIVE: Phase 4 Records 64% Voter Turnout, Higher Than 2014
Congress accuses PM Modi, Amit Shah of violating poll code, SC to hear plea tomorrow
New Delhi:Congress MP Sushmita Dev Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Election Commission over the alleged violation of poll code by PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. The matter will be taken up for hearing tomorrow.In her plea, Dev accused the poll panel of failing to act against PM Modi and Shah despite multiple complaints lodged against them. “It is in public domain that they have indulged in hate speeches, repeatedly used the armed forces for political propaganda, despite a clear prohibition on the same by Respondent/ECI. Furthermore, PM in blatant violation of the MCC held a rally on the day of polling in Gujarat on April 23rd, 2019 i.e. date of voting in the third phase of the election,” Mahila Congress and MP Sushmita Dev’s plea read.Earlier last week, Congress had said the model code of conduct has become a ‘Modi Code of Conduct’. Indianexpress
In Varanasi, SP fields dismissed BSF constable Tej Bahadur Yadav against Modi
Lucknow:Samajwadi Party on Monday declared dismissed BSF constable Tej Bahadur Yadav as its candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi.The party replaced its candidate, Shalini Yadav, who recently joined it, to make way for Tej Bahadur, who was dismissed from service for indiscipline in 2017 after he posted a video complaining about the quality of food served to the troops in the region along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.He recently announced he would take on Modi in Varanasi.Shalini Yadav is the daughter-in-law of former Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson Shyam Lal Yadav.thehindu
Kannauj: SP alleges VVPAT shows 'lotus' when 'cycle' button pressed, wants DGP removed
Lucknow: Opposition Samajwadi Party on Monday urged the Election Commission to remove Uttar Pardesh's police chief OP Singh from the post alleging he was "favouring" the ruling BJP and affecting elections. The party also alleged that in at least two polling booths the Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machine showed the voting for the BJP when the ballot was cast for the SP. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple is contesting from constituency. Party leader Dharmendra Yadav said DGP was "misusing" government machinery to help the BJP. "We demanded from the EC to remove him immediately," Yadav told reporters here.PTI
Video of voters being forced to vote for number 2 button on EVM in Begusarai goes viral, Kanhaiya Kumar’s number on EVM is 1
A video of voters in Begusarai complaining of poll rigging in favour of Kanhaiya Kumar’s rival has gone viral on social media. In the viral video, a group of voters, mostly Muslims, are seen accusing the local administration of forcing them to cast their votes by pressing the number 2 button on the EVM.Kanhaiya Kumar of the CPI is challenging BJP’s Giriraj Singh and Tanweer Hassan on the RJD. Kanhaiya Kumar’s number of the EVM is one.In the viral video, a voice is heard saying desperately, “We are being forced by aministration to press number 2 button. Please send help urgently to Bamangava panchayat. A young woman voter appeared on screen to allege that she was forced to press number two against her desire.jantakareporter
Amit Shah sticks to Art 370 stand after Ram Madhav says all parties to decide
New Delhi: BJP chief Amit Shah said on Sunday his party will scrap Article 370 that provides special status to Jammu and Kashmir if it retains power in this summer’s Lok Sabha elections, a remark that came a day after his party colleague Ram Madhav said “the issue will be decided by Parliament”.In its election manifesto, BJP has promised to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and annul Article 35A. While Article 370 grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Article 35A provides special rights and privileges to permanent residents of the state.While speaking to the media ahead of the second phase of voting in the state’s Anantnag constituency, BJP general secretary incharge of Jammu and Kashmir Madhav said: “This issue will be decided by Parliament. All parties will decide this issue. We are fighting the election in the state on the agenda of development; so let us right now focus on this”.
Reciting Ali, holding prayers:Congress’s Krishnam Striking Right Note with Muslims in Lucknow
A few youngsters near Ghanta Ghar in Lucknow’s Hussainabad area are busy watching a video on YouTube wherein a man is passionately reciting verses in praise of Hazrat Ali. “my heartbeat and apple of my eye, Ali is as much mine as he is yours,” the man can be heard saying in the video.The man is Congress’s Lucknow candidate Acharya Pramod Krishnam, who enjoys massive popularity among members of Shia community as he is an ardent follower of Hazrat Ali, son-in-law of Prophet Mohammad. There are several YouTube videos of Krishnam that have over a million views in which he can be seen praising Ali.The youngsters watching the video, too, admire the fact that a “non-Muslim is praising Maula Ali”. One of the boys, Naved Abdi, tells News18, “He is probably the first non-Muslim I have seen who has such deep knowledge of Islam and Hazrat Ali.” Sitting next to him is Kashif who nods in affirmation. “We are happy that such people exist in our society who don’t mind speaking good about a religion that they don’t themselves follow,” Kashif says. Krishnam, also the founder of Shri Kalki Foundation and Pitadhishwar of Kalkidham in Sambhal, continues to impress people in Old Lucknow with his detailed knowledge of Islam. He has been meeting people from Akbari gate, Chowk and Nakkhas areas of Old Lucknow has part of his Lok Sabha election campaigning. It is said that the political mood of Uttar Pradesh capital is always set from Old Lucknow, which is considered as the heart of this Nawabi era city.The area houses a sizeable amount of Muslim population, mostly Shia Muslims. Krishnam, known for his deep knowledge of the Shia sect, has been to Najaf – a holy site in Iraq associated with Shias. He has also met 4 big Shia leaders, including Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, Maulana Saif Abbas, Maulana Yasoob Abbas and visited Islamic scholar Maulana Kalbe Sadiq in hospital. News18
Cheetah Mehrat community: Hindus, Muslims in same family; water scarcity main poll issue
Ajmer(R'than):Voters may be getting polarised on religious lines in many parts of the country, but a community in Rajasthan has Hindus and Muslims in the same family and the main election issue for them is not religion, but water scarcity.It is not odd in India to find villages with members of both Hindu and Muslim community living together, but in Ajaysar village -- about 140 km Jaipur-- in Ajmer district, one may find members of both the religions in a family."This has been our culture since centuries,"said Jawahar Singh, a Hindu, whose son, Salahuddin, is a Muslim. He is among the nearly 10-lakh Cheetah Mehrat community spread over Ajmer, Bhilwara, Pali and Rajsamand districts.Like most of the voters, this election season, Cheetah Mehrat community is closely monitoring the parties.PTI
Jharkhand: No mainstream party fields Muslim candidate for Lok Sabha polls
Ranchi: The electoral marginalization of Muslim in India has become a new trend and Muslims in Jhakhand are facing the worst of it .The community constitute nearly 12 per cent of the state population and can sway the poll results in a few seats including Godda, Giridih, Koderma and Dhanbad but none of the mainstream political parties, both ruling and opposition, have put up a Muslim candidate in 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state.Moreover Jharkhand witnessed maximum no of lynching cases during last five years.While BJP never had the history of fielding any Muslim candidiate in the state, not a single partner of the opposition grand alliance including Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), JVM-P and RJD have fielded a minority candidate.siasat
Muslim dominated Jamia Nagar witnessed sea of supporters for AAP’s Atishi
New Delhi: Narrow lanes of Muslim dominated Jamia Nagar could not house the sea of supporters that followed AAP’s East Delhi candidate Atishi.As Atishi goes door-to-door on Saturday evening through the congested lanes of Batla House in Jamia Nagar to drum up support, scores of supporters of the 37-year-old candidate are hopeful that Atishi’s AAP would be able to sail through as she started early in the constituency. Sporting AAP’s trademark white cap, an Oxford University graduate, Atishi was welcomed in Jamia Nagar with rose petals at several points, as “chowkidar chor hai” slogans were raised in the air.Supporters also raise slogans such as ‘Congress, BJP dhoka hai, desh bacha lo mauka hai (vote for AAP to save country from Congress, BJP)’,as per HT reports.Jamia Nagar— a part of the Okhla assembly constituency has 3.6 lakh voters of whom around 2 lakh are Muslims.She asked residents to “make AAP win with a huge margin”. AAP candidate is pitted against Congress Arvinder Singh Lovely, a former education minister and former cricketer Gautam Gambhir of the BJP.siasat
SRI lANKA BLASTs
Sri Lanka bans face veils after Easter bombings; HRW condemns ban
Authorities in Sri Lanka on Monday announced a ban on face coverings under an emergency law passed in the wake of the deadly Easter Sunday attacks.The measures would help security forces to identify people as a hunt for any remaining attackers and their support network continues across the Indian Ocean island, authorities said."The ban is to ensure national security... No one should obscure their faces to make identification difficult," said a statement from President Maithripala Sirisena.The law that takes effect from Monday did not specifically name veils worn by many Muslim women.But there are concerns within the Muslim community that a prolonged ban could fuel tensions in the religiously-diverse nation that emerged from a civil war with ethnic minority Tamil separatists a decade ago."It is a presidential order to ban any dress covering faces with immediate effect," Dharmasri Bandara Ekanayake, a spokesman for President Sirisena, told Reuters. Separately, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is feuding with Sirisena, issued a statement saying he had asked the justice minister to draft regulations to ban face veils worn by many Muslim women.All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), the top body of Islamic scholars in Sri Lanka, said they supported a short-term ban on security grounds, but opposed any attempt to legislate against face veils."We have given guidance to the Muslim women to not to cover their faces in this emergency situation," ACJU assistant manager Farhan Faris said, after the scholars asked the government to drop plans for a law against the veils."If you make it a law, people will become emotional and this will bring another bad impact ... it is their religious right," he told Reuters.Human Rights Watch condemned the ban."That needless restriction means that Muslim women whose practice leads them to cover up now won't be able to leave home," the group's executive director Kenneth Roth tweeted.Reuters  / Aljazeera
'Unacceptable': Sri Lankans share their views on face veil ban:aljazeera
Women asked to avoid burqas, kids skip playtime: Sri Lankan Muslims fear for safety: indiatoday
Muslim residents raised first alert about terror safehouse raided by Lankan army: Indian Express
It was a group of local Muslim youngsters that first raised the alarm about the terrorist safehouse near the coastal town of Kalmunai in Sri Lanka’s eastern Ampara district, leading to a raid by security forces Friday night killing 15 people inside, residents told Indian Express. The alert was sounded by one of the youths who was passing through a street near an iron bridge in the Sainthamaruthu locality when he “saw a man standing with a rifle inside the house”, they said. Within minutes, residents said, they gathered at the house and demanded the IDs of those inside. When they were rebuffed — one of those inside tried to fire in the air — the local masjid committee was called, they said. Soon, someone in the house started throwing fistfuls of currency notes at the crowd, they said.It was then that the police and Army were alerted. The episode lasted about one-and-a-half hours late Friday evening, they said.On Sunday,Indian Express reached Sainthamaruthu, a Muslim-majority area, and found that the entire locality was under Army watch. But the residents were eager to speak out against the “worst thing” that has happened to their country. Indian Express
Church will not allow any revenge attacks against Muslims, assures cardinal
COLOMBO: Catholic Church in Sri Lanka said on Monday that the government should crackdown on Islamic extremists with more vigour “as if on war footing” in the aftermath of the Easter bombings. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, said the church may not be able to stop people from taking law into their own hands.The cardinal said he is not satisfied with the government’s investigations so far and that it must conduct a thorough investigation to prevent further attacks. Urging the government to implement a “proper programme,” he said, “All the security forces should be involved and function as if on war footing. Further, the church assures Muslims that it will not allow any revenge attacks against them,” Ranjith told reporters.AP
Hyderabad Muslims come together to form a human chain and condemn terror attacks in Sri Lanka
After math of deadly attacks in Sri Lanka at churches which took hundreds of innocent lives and created an environment of fear and grief, Muslims from all walks of life from Muslim Jamaats to IT professionals, Housewives to Social organisations & Educational institutions,children and the elderly gathered on Sunday, the time of prayer mass,  at various churches to share love, warmth and express solidarity, support and stand with our brethren during these tough times with a message that no force can break this brotherhood.Social service Organizations like All India Muslim Educational Society, Help Hyderabad, Access Foundation, MS Education institutes, Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) and the common man -all joined hands and gathered at the St Georges Cathedral Church , after a brief meeting in which some speakers addressed the media and the visitors and  condemned the deadly attack and gave the message, “these attacks aim to instil fear and break us but today we want to say it loud and clear that we are together and will always stand together in all the times sharing love and brotherhood.”They also expressed their condolences and presenting flowers near the church, marched to St Georges Grammar school church and visited Rosery Convent school Church and Wesley Church.twocircles
Not your enemy: Hyderabad Muslims condemn Sri Lanka bomb blasts


 Muslims express solidarity with Christians
Mysuru:Muslims gathered outside the iconic St. Philomena’s Church in Mysuru in an expression of solidarity with Christians and victims of the serial blasts that rocked churches in Sri Lanka last week.The gathering, comprising mostly representatives of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s Mysuru unit and other organisations, held aloft placards pledging to stand united with the people of the island nation in grief and sorrow. “We say yes to love and peace and no to terrorism,”stated a placard. Representatives of the Muslim community had apparently taken inspiration from a similar expression by different communities after Muslims were gunned down in mosques in Christchurch in New Zealand recently.The president of unit Munawwar Pasha said they had gathered outside the church on Sunday to send out a message that they were against such inhuman acts.thehindu          
IUMS slams Saudi’s Al-Arabiya TV over fabricated photograph of Sheikh Qaradawi
International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has slammed Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya and Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath news channels after they published fabricating news about IUMS co-founder, Dr. Yousef Al-Qaradawi.The news channels had broadcast a photograph of Al-Qaradawi alongside two men, claiming one of them was Sri Lanka suicide bomber, Zahran Hashim. The two channels claimed that Al-Qaradawi met Hashim in his office.In a statement, the union denied that either of the men in the picture was Hashim and described the report as a “media crime”.The statement said the photograph dates back to 2016, explaining that the persons who appear in the photograph alongside Al-Qaradawi are Dr. Salman Al Husaini Al Nadwi, the well known Indian scholar and professor in the Islamic sciences, and Dr. Adel Al-Harazi, a researcher in Sciences of Sunnah.The union said the two channels have fabricated the news “in a desperate attempt to put prominent scientific figures under the spotlight, adding that Al-Qaradawi has spent his life defending moderation and rejecting extremism and subversive ideas.”MEMO
WORLD
Spain election: Ruling Socialist party wins but no clear majority
Madrid:The governing Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) has won the country's general election with 123 seats after 99.9 percent of the votes were counted. PSOE's historical centre-right rival, the People's Party (PP), won 66 seats in Sunday's election in Spain. Speaking to supporters in Madrid, PSOE leader and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said "the future has won" after his party won about 30 percent of the vote. Turnout was about 75 percent.Supporters chanted "With Rivera, no!" at the rally, referring to Albert Rivera, the leader of Citizens, a party that considers itself centrist but allied with PP and Vox, leading to further criticism that it is far right. PP won 66 seats, a decrease of 71 seats from the previous government.PP leader Pablo Casado told supporters on Sunday evening that the party will "continue to lead the opposition and the centre-right" of Spain. Citizens won 57 seats, a gain of 25, while Vox made historic gains with 24 seats representing the far right's return to Spanish national politics. Sanchez announced that he would soon open talks with other political parties to form a coalition.aljazeera
Ghani opens meeting in Kabul to discuss Taliban peace talks
Afghan president Ashraf Ghani opened a grand council on Monday with politicians, tribal, ethnic and religious leaders meeting in Kabul to discuss negotiations with the Taliban.The four-day gathering, called a loya jirga, included about 3200 representatives from every district in Afghanistan, said Mohammed Omar Daudzai, the presidential adviser for reconciliation. The meeting aims to build consensus among various ethnic groups and tribal factions and is traditionally convened under extraordinary circumstances.Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who shares power with Ghani, and former President Hamid Karzai are among a number of senior figures boycotting the gathering, accusing the president of using it for political ends ahead of presidential elections scheduled for Sept.28.But in his opening remarks, Ghani refuted the allegations.The Taliban has called on Afghans to boycott the meeting."Do not participate in the enemy's conspiracy under the name of jirga, instead find ways to further sideline the shaky administration of Kabul," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.aljazeera
Afghanistan peace deal depends on Taliban ceasefire: US envoy
Any peace agreement with the Afghan Taliban would depend on the declaration of a permanent ceasefire and a commitment to end the country's long war, the US envoy for peace in Afghanistan said.In an interview, Zalmay Khalilzad said on Sunday the Taliban's demands were focused on the withdrawal of US forces from the country."If the Taliban insist on going back to the system they used to have, in my personal opinion it means the continuation of war, not peace," Khalilzad said."Our focus is on terrorism. No agreement will be done if we don't see a permanent ceasefire and a commitment to end the war," he added. "We are seeking peace and [a] political settlement... We want peace to give us the possibility to withdraw."aljazeera
Talks between Sudan's opposition and military council resume
Representatives from Sudan’s protest movement will hold a new round of talks with members of the military on Monday to agree on the formation of a transitional authority, an umbrella group of unions and syndicates said.The Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) announced on Sunday that the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces, a leading opposition group, will meet the ruling Military Transitional Council (MTC) for a third time to set out the two groups’ prerogatives for the short term.Talks between the two were brought to a halt over the opposition’s reservations about members of the old guard taking part in the negotiations.Other points of contention included disagreements over the new body’s composition, with the military adamant that 10 of the 15 members hail from its ranks.aljazeera
Suspected UAE spy arrested in Turkey commits suicide: State media
One of two men suspected of spying for the UAE in Turkey has committed suicide in prison, state media has said.Turkey's Haberturk news website first carried the report on Monday, with senior journalist Cetiner Cetin, who broke the story, saying the suspect hanged himself in Silivri prison on Sunday.The suspect's death was later confirmed by the state-run Anadolu Agency.aljazeera
Turkey, Iran to hold political consultations in Ankara
Political consultations between the Turkish and Iranian Foreign Ministries will be held in Ankara, Turkey's capital, on Tuesday. The consultations will be co-chaired by Sedat Onal, Turkey’s deputy foreign minister, and his Iranian counterpart Abbas Araqchi, said a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement.Issues to be discussed at the meeting include bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues, the statement added.The consultations will be held in the wake of an April 17 visit by Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to Turkey. Zarif met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and was received by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan as part of his official visit.
Libya minister accuses 2 Arab states of bombing Tripoli
Interior Minister of the Libyan Presidential Council, Fathi Bashagha, has accused two Arab states of bombing the capital Tripoli on Saturday.“The accuracy of the air strikes on Tripoli point to warplanes owned by only two Arab countries,” Bashagha said during a press conference in Tunisia, adding that one of the countries “intervene in Libyan affairs”.The Libyan minister said as many as five people were killed and 27 were wounded by a missile fired by the aircrafts”.On Tuesday, a military adviser in General Khalifa Haftar’s forces revealed that Egyptian, Emirati and French military forces as well as security advisers are currently present in eastern Libya, to support Haftar’s campaign against Tripoli and protect oil fields from attacked by government forces.“The war in Tripoli was not started by our government, we found ourselves in a position where we must defend democracy and civil state,” Bashagha explained.The Libyan minister called on France to respect its democratic values and not interfere in Libyan affairs.middleeastmonitor
Palestine refuses to take deducted taxes from Israel
RAMALLAH:Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) on Monday reiterated its refusal to accept deducted tax revenues collected by Israel on its behalf. “Israel is trying to legitimize the deductions from the tax revenues by all means,” President Mahmoud Abbas said during the weekly government meeting in Ramallah. “We will not accept the deduction of a single penny from our money,” he said, describing the current financial crisis caused by the Israeli tax deductions as the “toughest”. “Palestinian Authority has gone through many financial crises, but this was the toughest,” he said. Abbas said the PA has paid 50 percent of employees' salaries in the past months. “We are trying to pay 60 percent of the salaries early next month," he said. The Palestinian leader went on to affirm that the PA is open to dialogue only “if Israel stops violation of agreements”. Anadolu Agency
‘Israel forced 3,000 Palestinians out of their homes in Jerusalem over 15 years,’ says B’Tselem
An Israeli human rights NGO revealed on Sunday that the occupation authorities have forced around 3,000 Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem between 2004 and 2019.“Jerusalem Municipality demolished 830 residential units, and 120 more were demolished by their owners on the municipality’s orders,” explained B’Tselem in a report published on its website. “The municipality deliberately left 2,927 people homeless, 1,574 of them minors.” The report points out that the Israeli-run municipality adopts policies which have deliberately created an acute construction crisis for the city’s Palestinian population,while Jewish neighbourhoods enjoy massive development and substantial funding. “Israel has expropriated more than a third of the land it annexed from the West Bank and has built 11 neighbourhoods exclusively for Jews,” said B’Tselem. It noted that these neighbourhoods are as illegal under international law as Israel’s settlements are in the occupied West Bank.middleeastmonitor
Arab League warns of erasure of Palestinian history in school curriculum
Palestinian history is being wiped out in school text books through the Judaisation of the Arab curriculum, the Arab League warned in a meeting this weekend. During the Palestinian Children Educational Affairs Council meeting, Assistant Secretary-General for Palestine and Arab Territories, Ambassador Said Abu-Ali, said education is the most important type of resistance so Israeli occupation authorities are working to undermine it.Israel is working to impose its syllabus on Palestinian students in Jerusalem in order to erase the Palestinian identity, it also bans new schools from being set up in Arab areas and existing schools from being renovated.Arab League official said that this plan aims to liquidate the Palestinian cause and put pressure on the Palestinians to accept a peace plan which offers them far less  than the two-state solution.MEMO
‘Israel has arrested 50,000 Palestinian children since 1967’
Prisoners’ and Freed Prisoners’ Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation revealed on Sunday that the Israeli occupation authorities have arrested more than 50,000 Palestinian children since 1967, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed has reported. Almost 17,000 of those arrested were detained in the years since the start of Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000.The Committee said that the head of its Studies and Documentation Department, Abdul Nasser Ferwaneh, presented a paper to fifth EU conference in support of prisoners, which is currently taking place in Belgium. Ferwaneh’s paper was titled “Child Detention… Facts and Statistics… Effects on the Reality and Future of Palestinian Childhood”.The detention of Palestinian children, he explained, is practised “systematically” by the Israeli authorities. This has escalated since 2000.middleeastmonitor
Attorney General tells Netanyahu ‘no indictment delay’
Israel’s Attorney General has told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that there will be no delay over his corruption indictment, despite his legal team’s attempts to stall the process. According to Avichai Mandelblit’s office, he wrote a letter to Netanyahu’s lawyers yesterday telling them that “if they wish to conduct a hearing over the investigative files pertaining to [Netanyahu’s] cases, they must coordinate — by May 10, 2019 — a date for the hearing.” The letter also criticised Netanyahu’s legal team for failing to collect the evidence against the Prime Minister, despite the fact that the file has been available since 10 April.The lawyers are currently engaged in a dispute over Netanyahu’s legal fees, after a committee in February ruled that he could not use money donated by his cousin, Nathan Milikowsky. Milikowsky – who is also under investigation in Case 3000, often known as the “Submarine Affair” – is said to have donated $300,000 to cover Netanyahu’s legal costs. The Prime Minister’s legal team opposed the committee’s decision, saying that he should not be prevented from receiving donations because of his personal wealth.middleeastmonitor
Pakistan plans to bring 30,000 madrasas under government control
akistan plans to take control of a network of over 30,000 madrasas as part of a drive to “mainstream” the Islamic schools by bringing them under state control, the military’s spokesman said on Monday.Modernizing madrasa education is a thorny issue in Pakistan, a deeply conservative Muslim nation where religious schools are often blamed for radicalization of youngsters but are the only education available to millions of poor children.Pakistan’s new government, facing pressure from global powers to act against militant groups carrying out attacks in India and Afghanistan, has vowed major reforms and Prime Minister Imran Khan has promised the South Asian nation will no longer tolerate such outfits operating on its territory.“Government of Pakistan ... has decided that these madrasas will be mainstreamed,” spokseman Gen. Asif Ghafoor told reporters at military headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.Reuters
Indonesia floods: At least 29 people dead, thousands displaced
Floods sparked by torrential rains have killed 29 people in Indonesia with a dozen more still missing, officials said on Monday, marking the latest calamity for a disaster-prone nation.Landslides and floods are common, especially during the monsoon season between October and April, when rains lash the vast Southeast Asian archipelago.On Monday, Indonesia's disaster agency confirmed 29 deaths and said at least 13 more people were missing after days of pounding storms on the island of Sumatra.aljazeera
Flash: views & NEWS
Did Modi Break the Same Law that Got Indira Debarred – and Brought on the Emergency?Raghu Karnad, the wire
BJP on their mind, SP-BSP and Congress field fewer Muslim candidates in UP:Virendra Singh Rawat
Watch | Sadak Se Sansad: 'Spread Love, as Much as You Can': Maulana Who Lost His Son in Asansol Riots
Before-and-after photos show how China is destroying historical sites to monitor and intimidate its Muslim minority:ALEXANDRA MA
No, This Is Not One Of The Sri Lankan Suicide Bombers Pictured With Zakir Naik
As Rajasthan goes to polls, silence shrouds the Afrazul hate killing:TUSHAR DHARA
Muslims in Civil Services: Success Stories of Minority Institutions -- Zakat Foundation
Farm distress, particularly the stray cattle menace and the crisis in livestock sector, could dampen the BJP’s performance in UP: Ashok Gulati, indianexpress

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