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14 May 2019

14 May ND: Iran, India explore 'special financial system' as its foreign minister in India for talks after US sanctions/Israeli ‘cunning’ behind Gulf tanker attacks: Iran


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING 
14 May 2019: 08 Ramazan 1440:Vol: 11, No:201
INDIA
Iran, India explore 'special financial system' as its foreign minister in  India after US sanctions
New Delhi:Iran on Tuesday called India as “one of its most important partners”, as External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, and her counterpart from Tehran, Javad Zarif, met in New Delhi to discuss “a special financial system to augment trade and economic cooperation”. Swaraj and Zarif discussed the implication of the US's sanction on crude oil export from Iran on trade and economic ties between India and Iran. They also held discussion on escalating tension in Persian Gulf after US blamed Iran for the sabotage on four oil tankers – 2 Saudi Arabian, one Norwegian and another Emirati – off the coast of UAE.Zarif reached New Delhi late on Monday – hours after France, Germany and UK, as well as the European Union, urged the US to exercise “maximum restraint” and avoid taking any action that could escalate tension in the Persian Gulf region.Swaraj and Zarif also discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan-Pakistan region, in the wake of the peace-process the US launched with the Taliban. Just before his meeting with Swaraj, Zarif said that India was one of the most important “economic, political and regional” partners of Iran. He said that India and Iran had “regular consultations on various issues” and he had come to New Delhi to discuss with External Affairs Minister on “most recent developments” in the region as well as bilateral relations between the two nations.He noted that India was one of the biggest importers of crude oil from Iran. He added that Tehran and New Delhi had designed a special financial system to augment trade and economic cooperation.New Delhi, which is keen to strike a balance between its relations with the US and Iran, has not yet made public the details of the discussion between External Affairs Minister and the Foreign Minister of West Asian nation.“EAM @SushmaSwaraj and Iranian Foreign Minister @JZarif held constructive discussions on all bilateral issues of mutual interest. Good exchange of views on the evolving regional situation,including Afghanistan,” Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of MEA, posted on Twitter. deccanherald
Amid US-Iran heat, Tehran sends its FM to New Delhi
India keeps close watch on US dialogue with Afghan militants
New Delhi:India is keeping a close watch on counter terror guarantees the US is discussing with the Afghan militants because operatives from Pak-backed groups such as JeM and LeT continue to fight alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan, people familiar with the developments have said. US talks come at a time when key players such as China and Russia have stepped up consultations on the situation in Afghanistan with India, which has legitimate security interests in the war-torn country since instability could give a fillip to the activities of JeM and LeT, people said.Even as India continued to engage a wide spectrum of stakeholders in Afghanistan — including President Ashraf Ghani’s government, regional and opposition leaders, and representatives of ethnic groups such as the Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras — China’s special envoy on Afghan affairs, Deng Xijun, made a quiet visit to New Delhi last week for discussions on the peace and reconciliation efforts.“When there were ungoverned spaces during 1996-2001 when the Taliban were in power, groups such as LeT and JeM were able to set up camps and train in Afghanistan. During the assault on Ghazni city last August, there were reports of JeM and LeT elements fighting with the Taliban,” said an official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “India has legitimate security interests because the emergence of similar ungoverned spaces can boost the activities of such groups,” the official added.HT
India, China to discuss Afghan situation, trade protectionism
New Delhi:India and China are stepping up engagements to infuse momentum in bilateral partnership including coordination on key global challenges – Afghanistan, Iran and trade protectionism. Sushma Swaraj is expected to meet her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Kyrgyzstan at SCO Foreign Ministers meet on April 20-21. The two Ministers among other issues could explore measures to fight challenges emanating from US trade protectionism and fallout following withdrawal of waiver for Iranian oil imports.The Foreign Minster meet will set stage for a possible meeting between Indian PM and Chinese President at Bishkek on the side lines of SCO Summit on June 14-15. The two leaders are also expected to meet later in June in RIC and BRICS format on the sidelines of G-20 Summit in Japan. The Chinese President is scheduled to visit India in the last quarter of this year for the second edition of the informal Summit. India wants China to do more on Pak-based terror infrastructure.economictimes
India support for Nigerian Ambassador Muhammad-Bande as UNGA prepares to elect new president
UN:India has expressed support to Nigeria’s Ambassador to UN Tijjani Muhammad-Bande as the next president of the General Assembly and called him to make the body more “action-oriented” to deal with the global scourge of terrorism.The current President of the General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa presided Monday over an informal interactive dialogue with Muhammad-Bande, nominated by Nigeria, where the Member States got an opportunity to discuss his vision statement and question him on his priorities and plans if elected as President of the 74th session of the 193-member General Assembly.India expressed support for the Nigerian Ambassador, describing him a “great friend” and a “well-known son of Africa”, with Permanent Representative to UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin tweeting that India is looking forward to Muhammad-Bande’s election by acclamation on June 4. “India joins in support of this effort,” he said.PTI
LTTE ban extended for another 5 years: MHA
New Delhi: Centre Tuesday extended the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for 5 years, citing its “strong anti-India posture” and “grave threat to security of Indian nationals”. MHA, in a notification, said the Tamil militant group has not abandoned its pursuit for a separate state for Tamils and has been regrouping at a local and international level.It also said the “diaspora continue to spread through articles in the Internet portals, anti-India feeling amongst the Sri Lankan Tamils by holding the Government of India responsible for the defeat of the LTTE and such propaganda through Internet, which remains continued, is likely to impact VVIP security adversely in India”.indianexpress
Malegaon blast case: Victim’s father files plea for ATS to assist NIA in trial
Nisar Ahmed Sayyed Bilal, whose son Sayyed Azhar died in the 2008 Malegaon blast, filed a plea before a special court on Monday, seeking directions to the Maharashtra ATS to assist NIA in the ongoing trial. Bilal, who is an intervener in the trial, has said in his plea that ATS has not been present during the trial proceedings to assist NIA’s special public prosecutor (SPP) despite having conducted the initial probe.“ATS has not been present during the trial proceedings while ATS witness statements are being recorded by this court. It is unfortunate that the investigating agency that recorded material statements and drew panchnamas against the present accused is not interested in the trial proceedings without any cogent reasons,” the application filed by Bilal through lawyer Shahid Nadeem states.So far, over 100 witnesses have deposed in the case, including witnesses whose statements were recorded by ATS.The ATS had first probed the blast. The probe led by then ATS chief Hemant Karkare pointed towards Pragya Singh Thakur, as one of the “principal conspirators” and claimed that others, including Lt Col Prasad Purohit and Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay, were also involved in the conspiracy. indian express
‘Why did media print fake stories about us?’: Kerala men cleared of terror charges after 13 years
On April 13, after spending 3 years and five months in jail, Nizamudeen finally came home after the Kerala High Court cleared him of terror charge. But when he returned to Panayikkulam in Kerala’s Ernakulam, he was in mourning. While he was in prison, mother and sister had died of cancer.“I am the only surviving member of my family,” said Nizamudeen, who now 37. “I have lost everyone. They would perhaps have lived longer had I been around.”Nizamudeen, along with Razik Raheem, Shammas, Ansar and PA Shaduli, was arrested in 2006 for allegedly organising a secret meeting of the banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India in Panayikkulam. The matter attracted wide attention for being the first terrorism case in Kerala to be inquired into by NIA. In 2015, a special NIA court sentenced Ansar and Razik to 14 years in prison for sedition. Shammas, Shaduli and Nizamudeen were given 12 years each under UAPA.4 years later, on April 12, the Kerala High Court acquitted all five men, ruling that there was no evidence against them.While Nizamudeen returned to a desolate home, Razik, who prefers to be known by his first name, and Shammas were welcomed by hundreds of their townsfolk in Erattupetta, Kottayam.scroll.in
Kerala man arrested for pro-IS posts on Facebook
Malappuram: Manjeri police have arrested a 47-year-old man for allegedly posting pro-Islamic State posts on his Facebook account. The arrested person has been identified as Askar (47), a native of Kalathingalpadi near Anakkayam. According to the police, the person was taken into custody on Monday morning after receiving intelligence inputs on his suspicious social media posts. “Askar was under close watch of the cyber wing of the police. He was active on Facebook since 2016 and most of his posts were communal in nature. He regularly supported Islamic State ideologies and the activities of terrorist organisations such as Jaish-e-Muhammed and al Qaida. The details of his involvement in any such activities could be revealed only through a detailed interrogation,” said a police official.TOI
Hyderabad: Plea submitted over demolition of 200-yr-old mosque
Hyderabad: Majilis Bachao Tehrkeek has submitted two petitions to the State Minorities Commission, regarding the demolition of a 200-year-old mosque in Amberpet and the custodial death of a trader from UP in Warangal. In its petition on the mosque demolition, MBT blamed GHMC Commissioner Dana Kishore for the incident. MBT demanded the Minorities Commission to serve notices and register criminal case against Kishore, asking for explanation regarding the issue. It also demanded the Commission to visit the site.The second petition, which MBT along with the kin of the deceased Abdul Mannan, who was allegedly picked up by the Warangal police, Mohammed Arif, urged the authorities to conduct an enquiry into the issue.newindianexpress
Azharuddin cries foul over demolition of masjid
Hyderabad:Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC)working chief Mohammad Azharuddin has demanded the suspension of GHMC Commissioner for allegedly mishandling historical monuments and advised the government to take the responsibility to protect these sites. Azharuddin said that destroying 200-year-old masjid is not a right act."Recently, I came to know that Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has demolished 200 years old masjid at Amberpet, locally known as Masjid-e-Ek-Khana," he said."As per the reports, for the widening of the road, they have demolished an old monument. After protests by locals, a sum of Rs 2.5 crore as ex-gratia was paid to the masjid area encroachers" said Azharuddin. ANI
Lucknow: DIG Aftab Ahmed led group starts signature campaign in favour of Ayodhya talk
Chhattar Manzil of Awadh, once a palace for begums (royal women) which is currently being excavated by Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) as part of a conservation project, is throwing up surprises every day. Recently, 220-year-old monument threw up a 42-feet-long and 11-feet-wide gondola(a traditional, flat-bottomed boat), leaving Lucknow residents awestruck. The excavators have said that it could well have been a royal vessel. However, how the mammoth wooden gondola came to be buried at the royal palace is a mystery.While a 3-member panel set up by the Supreme Court is busy finding an amicable solution to the vexed temple issue in Ayodhya, a group of Muslim intellectuals and professionals have embarked on a signature campaign in support of a negotiated settlement of the Babri Masjid land dispute. The brainchild behind the drive is Aftab Ahmed Khan, DIG, CRPF, who personally experienced and lived through events resulting from the title dispute. The paramilitary force was vested with the task of ensuring security in and around the disputed site from 1990 to 1992. new indian express
Rajasthan Textbooks Will No Longer Call Savarkar a 'Brave Revolutionary'
Jaipur: The Congress government in Rajasthan is all set to undo the changes made by the previous Vasundhara Raje-led Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state board textbooks. The government has decided to remove the reference to RSS icon Vinayak Savarkar as a “brave revolutionary”, and add details of his clemency application to the British.With te BJP coming to power in the Centre in 2014, Raje govt had taken to glorifying the Modi govt and propagating the party’s Hindutva ideology by altering the school syllabus.The state board textbook for Class 10 had given significant space to Savarkar, in the chapter on India’s freedom struggle. He was mentioned as the “only brave revolutionary to be sentenced to two life terms of imprisonment and put in tireless efforts to stop partition”, sidelining Jawaharlal Nehru. In addition, no reference to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination or the Gujarat riots was made in the books.To glorify the Modi govt, textbooks talked about a number of the regime’s decisions – from demonetisation to the surgical strikes – and called them “historical”. No critical analysis of any govt policies was offered.thewire
NRC fear continues to haunt Assam’s religious minorities
Barpeta:Sabibur Rahman was very happy last year as the names of all the members of his family appeared in the final draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC). However, his happiness did not last long as someone had raised an objection to the inclusion of the name of his youngest son Rajdul Islam into the draft NRC, forcing him to appear for the hearing at Chenga revenue circle in the district.What has shocked Rahman is the fact that the objector, who has raised the objection against his youngest son, was not present at the hearing. “How can this happen? How can people who I don’t know and I believe that they also don’t know my family, raise objection against inclusion of my son’s name in the draft NRC?“I am hurt because my citizenship is doubted here. We have submitted all documents to the NRC authorities and hence the names of every member of my family got included in the draft NRC.“Now how can someone doubt about the citizenship of my son? I have requested the officials here to furnish me the details of the person who raised the objection but they refused to give me his details. This is not fair, how anyone can doubt somebody’s citizenship credentials?” Rahman said. Rahman’s is not the only case. Assam’s Barpeta district alone has received over 70,000 objections filed against people, mostly Muslims—most of whose name already appeared in the draft NRC released last year.“This is harassment.I am a poor man from Haldia village and work as daily wage earner. Somebody raised objections against inclusion of my son Dilowar Hussain’s name in the draft NRC. I have come here with my son and some other people from my village as witness but the objector is not present here. “I have lost my wage for a day and spend money in bringing this people to the hearing for witness. We have been genuine Indian citizens and inclusion of our names in the draft NRC proves that. How can some people just doubt our credentials?” said Hasan Ali.Northeast Now
190 declared foreigners in Assam could walk free after Supreme Court order
Guwahati:Around 190 declared foreigners in detention camps in Assam could be set free, an official said on Monday, after the Supreme Court’s order on the conditional release of those who have served three years or more in such centres.Even as the proposed move has come under criticism from local groups, including AASU which said it will encourage illegal immigration, the numbers in detention are swelling up after Assam police activated its task force in districts to nab the absconding declared foreigners.“There are around 190 persons who have served three years or more in detention who are likely to be benefited,” an Assam police official involved in the process said on condition of anonymity.Last Friday, the SC ordered the release of such people in detention if they are able to provide two sureties of Rs 1,00,000 each, verifiable address, and report to the nearest police station every week. The top court is hearing a petition on the abysmal condition of the six detention centres that run out of overcrowded jails in the state.HT
Assam communal clash: Hailakandi administration extends night curfew by 10 days
Hailakandi administration in Assam on Monday extended the night curfew in the region by 10 more days. The curfew was imposed after a Muslim man was killed and 14 people were injured in a communal clash in the area on May 10. It was then extended till Monday morning. Hailakandi Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli had relaxed the curfew between 9 am and 3 pm on Monday based on inputs about the situation in the area. She discussed the situation with members of the local community, political leaders, police officials and organisations on Monday. Jalli said internet services will resume on Tuesday.According to local reports, the tension in the region started when motorbikes owned by Muslim devotees were vandalised on Friday while they were praying inside a mosque.scroll.in
Muzaffarnagar riots: Victim's family demand arrest of all accused
Muzaffarnagar:The family of one of the youths whose death sparked 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots demanded on Tuesday that the police arrest all the accused and implement a court order to attach the properties. Residents of the Kawal village in Jansath area met the Muzaffarnagar senior superintendent of police and demanded the arrest of all the six accused in connection with the death of Shahnawaz. Led by his father, the residents demanded that the property of the accused be attached as directed by a court.According to the complainant's lawyer, Mohsin Zaidi, a local court had ordered to attach the property of all six accused, who failed to surrender before it despite repeated arrest warrants. PTI
Bandipora rape case: Test shows accused not minor, say police
Srinagar:Preliminary medical examination of a youth accused of raping a three-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district has shown that he is not a juvenile, police said Monday. “We are treating the accused as an adult and not as a juvenile,” a senior police official told PTI. He said the preliminary medical examination of the accused, who has been arrested by the police, suggests that he is an adult.“Doctors have given an opinion that he is around 20-years-old,” the official said.He said the police have also detained the principal of a school, who issued a birth certificate for the accused showing his date of birth as 23 July,2009. Meanwhile, state governor Satya Pal Malik has sought exemplary punishment to whoever raped a minor in Bandipora district as widespread protests rocked the Kashmir Valley, shutting down businesses and educational institutions.Former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, separatist leaders as well as a number of social, religious and political groups expressed shock over the incident.HT
Justice Akil Kureshi recommended for appointment as Chief Justice of MP HC
The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended the appointment of Justice Akil Kureshi as Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.Justice Kureshi has been recommended to man the Madhya Pradesh High Court in view of current Chief Justice SK Seth’s imminent retirement. The post will fall vacant on June 9.Kureshi J, the seniormost judge of the Gujarat High Court, is currently serving as a judge of the Bombay High Court after his transfer in November last year.Last year, confusion had reigned after it was revealed that Justice AS Dave – less senior to Kureshi J – would be appointed as Acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court after Justice Subhash Reddy’s elevation to the Supreme Court. At the same time, Justice Kureshi was transferred to the Bombay High Court, even as the Gujarat Bar reacted strongly. Eventually, Justice Kureshi served as Acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court for a short period, until he was expected to assume his duties at the Bombay High Court.barandbench.com
Muslim man breaks fast to donate blood to Hindu patient
New Delhi :As Muslims around the world observe the holy month of Ramzan, a man in Assam broke his fast to donate blood to a Hindu man. 26-year-old Panaulla Ahmad from Mangaldoi district decided to break his fast to help a patient in dire need of blood.Resting after his ‘sehri’ recently, Ahmad noticed his roommate Tapash Bhagawati was worried about something. Bhagawati, who is also an active member of a popular blood donors group in the state called Team Humanity, had received a call the previous night about a patient who needed two units of O-positive blood. However, despite a rigorous search and online appeals, Dhemaji district’s resident Rajan Gogoi’s family failed to procure donors.Both Ahmad and Bhagwati work at Guwahati’s Swagat Super Speciality Surgical Hospital and immediately rushed to another hospital where Gogoi was admitted. Ahmad wanted to donate his blood and wanted to know if he could donate blood while fasting. He was told that while he can donate blood, it was not advisble to do so while fasting. So he chose to help the man recovering from major surgery and broke his fast.Panaulla Ahmad broke his fast during the holy month of Ramadan to help a Hindu man.Before donating blood, Ahmad also reportedly consulted some maulvis who encouraged him to go ahead.indianexpress
ELECTIONS
Delhi: Highest voting in Shakur Basti, healthy turnout in migrant-dominated areas
New Delhi :Pockets and assembly constituencies with a large population of migrants and minorities are ones that registered a higher voter turnout Sunday. Data shared by Election Commission shows that the highest turnout was recorded in Shakur Basti, where the population is a mix of migrants and minorities, along with a few posh pockets such as parts of Paschim Vihar and Rani Bagh.The second-highest turnout was seen in Ballimaran, which largely has a minority population. Both these areas are in the Chandni Chowk seat, where BJP’s Harsh Vardhan is pitted against Congress’s JP Agarwal and AAP’s Pankaj Gupta.In the North East Delhi constituency, where Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari is contesting against Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit and ex AAP Delhi chief Dilip Pandey, highest turnouts were seen in Seelampur,Seemapuri, Mustafabad and Karawal Nagar. These areas are primarily Purvanchali and Muslim dominated.In East Delhi’s Okhla, for example, the turnout went from around 43% in 2014 to around 55% this year. Both AAP and Congress are considered strong in the area.indian express
Muslim dominated areas: Ballimaran tops list with 68 per cent turnout
Desperation showing on Modi’s face: Owaisi
Hyderabad:Predicting the defeat of the BJP in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday said desperation was showing on the faces of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders. Interacting with reporters in Hyderabad, Owaisi said that BJP will not be able to form the government again as it will suffer defeat everywhere.“Desperation is there to be seen on faces of the Prime Minister and other BJP leaders. The results will not be on their expected lines. They wrongly assumed that losses in UP would be compensated in West Bengal and Odisha which is not going happen. Everywhere in India they are going to lose seats,” he said.IANS
RSS in Hinduism is just like ISIS in Islam: Alagari backs Haasan's 'first terrorist was Hindu' remark
Chennai: Tamil Nadu Congress chief KS Alagari jumped on the ‘Hindu terror’ bandwagon lending support to Kamala Haasan’s ‘first terrorist was Hindu’ remark, and drew parallels between the RSS and the ISIS. Alagari on Monday said ISIS what the RSS is to Hinduism, raising a furore. 'They are not only the first terrorists of independent India, RSS, Jana Sangh, Hindu Mahasabha who exist believe that they should destroy who is against their ideology, It's like how ISIS in Arab countries. RSS in Hinduism is just like ISIS in Islam, both are similar. I support and agree Kamal Haasan's statement not only 100%, but 1000%,”Congress TN chief said. Times Now
There is no Hindu, Muslim or Christian terror; it’s only terrorism:Raj Thackeray
Thane: Taking a dig at PM Narendra Modi’ ‘cloud cover’ theory on the Balakot air strike, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray said the whole world was laughing at India. Addressing a party workers camp here on Monday, Thackeray sarcastically added that the United Nations has recently passed a resolution that all warring nations should go to battle during monsoon only.“The cloud cover in monsoon will make it difficult to detect the enemy. The latest technology has been credited to Modi,” Thackeray said to laughter from party activists. He said that the “entire country has become a laughing stock in the international community”.IANS
WORLD
Israeli ‘cunning’ behind Gulf tanker attacks: Iran
Tehran:A senior Iranian official said Tuesday that his country believes that “Israeli cunning” stood behind the alleged targeting earlier this week of 4 oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.According to Iran’s Mehr news agency, Bahruz Nemati, a spokesman for Iran’s parliament, said the assembly had recently discussed the issue in a closed-door session.In a press statement carried by news agency on Monday, Nemati said: “We believe that Israeli cunning stands behind this incident.”He did not elaborate.On Sunday, UAE claimed that 4 oil tankers -- including two Saudi vessels -- had been “sabotaged” off the coast of Fujaira (one of UAE’s 7 emirates).Abu Dhabi did not blame any party for the alleged attacks, which Iran’s Foreign Ministry later described as “worrying and regrettable”. In a statement, Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Sayed Abbas Mousavi also called on UAE to provide more information on the circumstances of the alleged sabotage attacks.Notably, the latest developments come amid mounting tension between Iran and US after Pentagon earlier this week announced the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf.Pentagon justified the naval deployment by citing “intelligence” of a possible looming Iranian attack on US interests in the region.Tehran has responded by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, a main artery for global oil shipments that links the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman.Anadolu agency
Iranian lawmaker blames ‘Israeli mischief’ for tanker attacks off UAE coast
US military probes oil tanker 'sabotage attacks' off UAE coast
US military is investigating the alleged sabotage attacks on 4 oil tankers off the coast of UAE, a US official has confirmed.The move comes as Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif said his country had anticipated an event that would escalate tension in the region. aljazeera
Initial US probe 'blames Iran for UAE ship attacks'
An unnamed US official has said initial assessments suggest Iran was involved in explosions on 4 ships off UAE coast early on Sunday.aljazeera
NYT: White House reviews military plans against Iran
The top US defence official has presented an updated military plan to President Donald Trump’s administration that envisions sending up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, the New York Times and Reuters reported on Monday.Citing unnamed administration officials, the Times said Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented the plan at a meeting of Trump’s top security aides on Thursday. Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Pentagon declined to comment.MEMO
Sri Lanka orders nationwide curfew amid anti-Muslim riots
Sri Lankan government has ordered nationwide curfew for a second night after anti-Muslim riots in the wake of the Easter bombings.The curfew was earlier relaxed on Tuesday in all areas except the North Western Province (NWP) where a Muslim man was killed by a mob on Monday, police said, in a violent backlash against last month's bombings.The 45-year-old died of injuries sustained when a crowd stormed his carpentry workshop in the Puttalam district in the NWP and slashed him, official sources said.Elsewhere in the province, mobs torched dozens of Muslim-owned shops, vandalised homes and mosques in a day of rioting.Al Jazeera's Minelle Fernandez, reporting from Colombo, said "an uneasy calm prevailed in the NWP".Fernandez said that there are reports of 11 individuals arrested for their alleged involvement in the violence.Residents in NWP said crowds attacked mosques and damaged Muslim-owned businesses for a second day on Monday."There are hundreds of rioters, police and army are just watching. They have burnt our mosques and smashed many shops owned by Muslims," a resident, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters. "When we try to come out of our house, police tell us to stay inside."Glass was strewn across the Abrar mosque in the town of Kiniyama that was attacked overnight. All the windows and doors of the soft-pink building were smashed and copies of the Quran were thrown onto the floor.aljazeera
Easter bombings: Lanka bans 3 organisations
In the aftermath of the country’s worst terror attack on Easter, Sri Lankan govt has banned 3 Islamist groups. President Maithripala Sirisena issued an extraordinary gazette banning a number of extremist organisations on Monday. He also prohibited the use of drones in the country until further notice.According to the Gazette the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ),Jamaathe Millaathe Ibrahim (JMI), and the Willayath As Seylani (WAS) organisations have been banned.indianexpress
To be a Sri Lankan is to be Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian: UN officials
UN: 2 top UN officials have voiced alarm over the spate of communal violence in Sri Lanka since the Easter Bombings, saying the govt should ensure that spread of prejudice and hate among groups is not tolerated, as they emphasised that "to be a Sri Lankan" is to be a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian.PTI
Palestinian family slams Israeli plea deal in 2015 arson attack
A Palestinian family has denounced a plea deal to clear an Israeli settler from murder charges in a 2015 arson attack in which a Palestinian baby and his parents were burned alive in the occupied West Bank.Saad Dawabshe, 31, his wife, Reham, 27, and their 18-month-old son Ali were killed in the attack when settlers set on fire their home in the village of Duma in Nablus in July 2015.Their firstborn son, then 4-year-old Ahmad, was the sole survivor and sustained severe burns to over 60 percent of his body.On Sunday, Central District Court in Lod (known as al-Lydd to Palestinians) approved a plea deal between the settler's lawyers and the state prosecutor's office under which he was cleared of the murder conspiracy charges.aljazeera
Israel army expels 15 Palestinian families from Jordan Valley
Israeli occupation forces on Sunday evicted 15 Palestinian families from their homes in Khirbet Hamsa Al-Fawqa in the northern Jordan Valley, east of the occupied West Bank.The forces claimed that the area would be used for military training, which would take place three days a week over a period of 3 weeks. Waleed Assaf, head of the National Committee to Resist the Wall and Settlements, said the eviction is part of Israel’s continuous harassment of the population as a prelude to force them to completely leave the area.Assaf explained that the Israeli authorities want to displace the residents in order to control these areas.MEMO
Pop singer Madonna defends decision to perform at Eurovision in Israel
Pop superstar Madonna has defended her decision to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel this week, saying that she will always speak up to defend human rights and hopes to see "a new path towards peace".Madonna will make a guest appearance on Saturday during the Eurovision finals in Tel Aviv. The venue has prompted calls for a boycott by pro-Palestinian activists who want companies, performers and governments to disengage from Israel.In her first comment on her decision to sing at the event, Madonna said she was a supporter of all human rights." aljazeera
Poland cancels Israel delegation visit over property restitution
Polish Foreign Ministry has cancelled a scheduled visit by Israeli officials to Warsaw saying they intended to discuss “the restitution of Jewish properties” seized during the Holocaust.“Poland decided to cancel the visit of Israeli officials after the Israeli side made last minute changes in the composition of the delegation suggesting that the talks would primarily focus on the issues related to property restitution,” the foreign ministry in Warsaw said in a statement posted on its website.A Polish official said in a statement, that “Israelis will not be prevented from coming to Poland and talking about the issue, but with regards to their desire to talk about restitution, our position is that the Germans are responsible for crimes against Jews committed in Polish territory during the Holocaust. Therefore, if they are interested in restitution, they should talk to the Germans.”middleeastmonitor
Palestinians face Israel restrictions to visit Al-Aqsa for Ramadan
Palestinians under Israeli occupation are facing blanket and confusing restrictions to visit Al-Aqsa for Ramadan, according to a report by Al-Monitor.This year, “men who are under 16 and over 40 years old are allowed to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque”, the report stated. “Women of all ages are allowed to visit the mosque on Fridays.”However, the article continued, “men aged between 30 and 40 need permits to do so, and those 16-29 are ineligible to apply.”According to Al-Monitor, “ten years ago, Israel started to allow Palestinians in the West Bank to enter Jerusalem to pray at Al-Aqsa during the month of Ramadan. Eligibility is generally determined by age group and depends on Israel’s political relationship with the Palestinian Authority.”middleeastmonitor
Risk of war in Gaza Strip still imminent, warns UN envoy
UN Envoy for the Middle East said on Monday that the “risk of war [in Gaza] remains imminent” a week after a ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza was agreed.“The risk of war remains imminent and today we have perhaps the last chance to consolidate the agreements that have been reached,” said Nickolay Mladenov. He made his comments during the inauguration ceremony for a solar power plant supplying electricity to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.“I want to send a clear message to those in the past year who have tried to disrupt the ceasefire discussions,” said the Envoy. “I want to tell them very clearly that if this calm is now disrupted, they will bear the responsibility for what happens after.”middleeastmonitor
Israel spyware firm linked to Khashoggi case used to hack WhatsApp
Software created by an Israeli spyware firm with links to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been used to hack messaging app WhatsApp.WhatsApp discovered earlier this month that potential attackers had been able to install malicious surveillance software on to both iPhones and Android phones by ringing targets using the app’s phone call function, Financial Times (FT) reported yesterday.FT added that the software “could be transmitted even if users did not answer their phones, and the calls often disappeared from call logs”.The software in question was developed by Israel’s NSO Group, famous for manufacturing notorious “Pegasus” spyware.It is thought that NSO’s software took advantage of a loophole in WhatsApp, which the latter was still working to fix as late as this weekend. WhatsApp is now urging its 1.5 billion global users to update their app to reduce the risk of further attacks.The company said in a statement: “WhatsApp encourages people to upgrade to the latest version of our app, as well as keep their mobile operating system up to date, to protect against potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices.”MEMO

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib stands by remarks on Holocaust
US Congresswoman and lawyer Rashida Tlaib has stood by her comments on Israel and the Holocaust after drawing intense criticism, accusing her detractors of purposefully "policing my words, twisting [and] turning them to ignite vile attacks". During an interview with Yahoo's Skullduggery podcast that was released on Friday, Tlaib was asked about her support for a one-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict."There's kind of a calming feeling, I always tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust," she answered."....And the fact that it was my ancestors, Palestinians, who lost their land and some lost their lives,their livelihood, their human dignity. Their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people's passports."I mean, just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post the Holocaust, post the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time, and I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right,in many ways."aljazeera
Syrian gov't 'seeking to sabotage' Turkey-Russia relations
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has accused the Syrian government of "seeking to sabotage" Ankara's relationship with Moscow through its latest offensive in the northwest of the war-torn country.Clashes in Idlib province, the last rebel-held stronghold, have killed at least 42 fighters in 24 hours, UK-based war monitor said on Monday, and the govt bombardment on the region has devastated health services. On Monday, rebels said they mounted a counterattack against government forces in northwest Syria.Idlib's nearly three million residents are supposed to be protected by a so-called "de-militarised" buffer zone through a deal signed last Sept.by Russia and Turkey that was meant to avert a fully-fledged assault on Idlib.During a phone call late on Monday, Erdogan told his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that the offensive by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces "sought to sabotage Turkish-Russian cooperation", according to a Twitter post by Fahrettin Altun, director at Turkish presidency.aljazeera
Political detentions cause political crises:Muslim  Brotherhood, Jordan
Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan called on Monday for the government to release all political prisoners immediately and re-assess the political scene, Al-Sabeel has reported. It condemned the Jordanian govt’s return to the policy of detaining political opponents who demand reform in the Kingdom.According to the Brotherhood, the return to such detentions in the light of the ongoing political deadlock in Jordan complicates the situation and increases the crises, challenges and external pressure. The statement from the group was issued by an anonymous spokesperson, who claimed that the Kingdom is facing different external and internal challenges. On the domestic front, the statement pointed out the lack of any meaningful political reform and the poor economic situation in the absence of effective anti-corruption plans. “iddleeastmonitor
Rohingya Muslim Shops and Schools Set on Fire by Buddhist Vigilante Groups
Myanmar:Buddhist vigilante groups set Rohingya schools and shops on fire in the village of Kun Taing in Myanmar’s Buthidaung town, a report claims. “This is a Muslim village. We have been living here peacefully for generations. We welcome other religious groups in our village. We have never had problems,” an elderly Rohingya man, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, said.The report included a 35-second video that showed residents trying to douse a blaze. The watchdog website said an Islamic school which taught Arabic and Quran was torched to the ground and 41 shops belonging to Muslims were also burned. caravandaily
UN mission urges cutting off financial ties with Myanmar army
A UN fact-finding mission has urged cutting off all business with Myanmar's military as part of efforts to hold the army accountable for human rights abuses.UN Human Rights Council said there had been no progress towards resolving crisis over Myanmar's mostly-Muslim Rohingya minority, more than one million of whom have fled military "clearance operations" the northwest Rakhine region."The situation is at a total standstill," said Marzuki Darusman, chairman of UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar.aljazeera
UN chief visits NZ mosques, says hate speech must be extinguished
Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, has expressed his "support and admiration" for New Zealand's Muslim community as he visited the two mosques where 51 worshippers were massacred in March.Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a self-avowed white supremacist, has been charged over the attacks on Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch,New Zealand.In comments made during his visit on Tuesday, Guterres called for greater efforts to "extinguish" hate speech that spreads like "wildfire" on social media and said he had ordered a UN team be established to develop a "global plan of action". Guterres spent about 30 minutes inside the Al Noor mosque talking to Muslim leaders and survivors of the attacks.aljazeera
'Sicilians have affinity for the Islamic world in their DNA': aljazeera
 Italy:The sound of about 2 dozen children practising Quran recitations fills otherwise empty Islamic Cultural Center of Via Roma in Palermo, Italy. 2 break out of the group and start playing hide-and-seek between a curtain that separates the children's section from the rest of the centre. They are quickly ushered back to their place by Imam Sehab Uddin.Home to over 25,000 immigrants, many from majority Muslim countries such as Bangladesh, Palermo, has become a symbol of multiculturalism and integration that has been built on Sicily's history. A Muslim stronghold for about 200 years between the ninth and 11th centuries,Mediterranean island - of which Palermo is the capital - still bears the marks of Islamic history both physically and culturally.
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:34 PM)

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