News and views across the globe.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

10 July ND: SC agrees to hear petition challenging constitutional validity of Article 370, which gives spl status to J&K/ ADR report: India Inc donated ₹985 crore to political parties between 2016-2018, 93% went to BJP/ 6 deaths in 13 days after the additional exclusion list of NRC is published in Assam


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING 
10 July 2019: 06 Dhul Qadah 1440:Vol: 11, No:242
INDIA
SC agrees to hear petition challenging constitutional validity of Article 370, which gives spl status to J&K
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Article 370 of the Constitution. A 3-judge bench headed by CJI Rajan Gogoi agreed to hear the plea after advocate and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay made a mention before it.Article 370 of Indian constitution gives special status to J&K and limits the central govt's power to make laws for the state.BJP had, on 8 April, promised in its manifesto to strike down Article 370 of the Constitution."We reiterate our position since time of Jan Sangh on the abrogation of Article 370,"read manifesto.The manifesto added that in the last 5 years, Centre had made "all necessary efforts" to ensure peace in J&K  through decisive actions and firm policy.Congress and other Opposition parties as well as regional parties opposed the contention of BJP in connection with this.ANI
No foreign govt has any locus standi in repealing Article 370:govt
Govt has said that “no foreign Govt or organisation has any locus standi” in repealing Article 370 in J&K as matters relating to the Constitution of India are internal and only for the Parliament to deal with.Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy said in a written response in Rajya Sabha that J&K “is an integral part of India.”While responding to a question on whether repeal of Articles 370 and 35A will in any way violate any UN regulation or any international obligation of the country Reddy said, “J&K is an integral part of India.”thehindu
J&K officer who sought stiffer terms for Kathua convicts is transferred
Srinagar: A top police officer in J&K, who was instrumental in securing the conviction of the accused in the Kathua gangrape and murder case, has been transferred a week before the convicts’ appeal comes up for hearing before Punjab and Haryana High Court. IGP(Crime) Ahfad-ul-Mujtaba has been posted as MD J&K Police Housing Corporation. Mukesh Singh, an IPS officer on Central deputation, has been posted as the new IGP Crime. Mujtaba’s transfer has raised eyebrows in official circles because Crime Branch recently wrote to Govt, recommending that acquittal of one of the accused be challenged, and appeal should seek enhancement of punishment of the other convicts. indian express
Kathua rape, murder case: Family of girl to move court for stiffer punishment to convicts
New Delhi:The family of 8-year-old girl, who was gang-raped, tortured and killed in J&K’s Kathua last year, will approach a court for stricter punishment to six men and seek a cancellation of the acquittal of another, their lawyer said today.A district court in Punjab’s Pathankot had in June this year convicted 6 men for the gang rape and murder of the nomadic Muslim girl, crime which stirred nationwide outrage and pushed the central Govt to introduce death penalty for convicted child rapists. HT
Dawood Ibrahim’s illegitimate activities from ‘safe haven’ pose real danger: India to UNSC
India has told UNSC that Dawood Ibrahim’s illegitimate activities from a “safe haven” that refuses to acknowledge even his existence pose a real danger, as New Delhi called for a focussed attention to address the threats by D-Company,JeM and LeT. Terrorist outfits are increasingly involved in lucrative criminal activities such as trading in natural resources and human trafficking to raise funds, India’s Permanent Representative to UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said.PTI
ADR report: India Inc donated ₹985 crore to political parties between 2016-2018, 93% went to BJP
A report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) confirms what is already known,that Indian businesses and corporations overwhelmingly support BJP. Conforming to past patterns, 93% of their voluntary donations, declared to Election Commission by the parties, went to a single party between 2016 and 2018, BJP.The donations disclosed to Election Commission and compiled by ADR do not include the opaque Electoral Bonds, introduced in 2018. Nor do they include any donation made in cash, information of which may have been withheld by the political parties.In these 2 years, as many as 1,731 corporate bodies--- including Torrent group, DLF Group, Dhruvi Securities which is part of the GMR Group, Bharti Airtel, Cadila Healthcare, Wockhardt, DCM Shriram, United Phosphorus and Haldia Energy of RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group—donated a sum of ₹915 Crore to BJP. Congress received ₹55.36 Crore during these 2 years, 16 times less than BJP. India Inc donated ₹985 Crore to political parties between 2016 and 2018 and 93% went to BJP.Businesses and corporate houses prefer to route their donations, at least the official ones, through Electoral Trusts.Trusts clearly function as a post office, disbursing funds to parties the donors direct. Prudent Electoral Trust, for example, disbursed ₹405 Crore to BJP.nationalherald
2.5k minorities from region got citizenship since Dec 2016: Govt
NEW DELHI: As many as 2,447 legal migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who belong to six identified minority communities in their home countries, have been granted Indian citizenship by collectors of 16 districts and home secretaries of seven states since Dec.2016. Junior minister for home Nityanand Rai, in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha , said that many legal migrants belonging to six minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains — from the aforesaid three countries had acquired citizenship of India as per the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955, and rules made thereunder, on becoming eligible for the same. TOI
Centre Evades Question on Re-Introducing Citizenship Bill in Parliament
New Delhi: Even though BJP’s top leadership, during its high octane campaign for the 2019 general elections, reiterated multiple times that it would reintroduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in parliament if it returns to power, the government evaded the issue in the Lok Sabha.BJP MP PP Chaudhary posed a pointed question, asking if the government proposed to introduce the Bill “with a view to give protection to religious minorities harassed in neighboring countries”. Minister of state for home Nityanand Rai avoided a direct answer and instead gave a short history of the Bill after it was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016. He included that a joint committee of parliament was created, that its report was presented to the house on Jan.1, and that the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8 and that it lapsed with the dissolution of the house.thewire
Among those still missing in NRC, son of freedom fighter and Assam agitation participant
Guwahati: 40 years after he took part in the anti-foreigner Assam Agitation (1979-85), Pradeep Bordoloi now figures among 42 lakh names that have failed to make it to National Register of Citizen (NRC), the final list of which will be published on July 31. While over 40 lakh names were not included in the final draft published last year, an additional of 1,02,462 names were dropped from another list published this June.Bordoloi’s family, however, was excluded from the list ever since the first draft was published on the midnight of Dec.31 last year.“I dedicated my life to the Assam Andolan. I was even put in the district jail for one week. We fought for a fair NRC — but is it not sad that today, I am the one suffering the most for it?” asks 62-year-old Bordoloi from his home in Charaibahi in Morigaon district. 6-year-long Assam Agitation, spearheaded by All Assam Students Union, culminated in the Assam Accord of 1985, which set the cut-off date for “legal” Indian citizens of Assam as March 24, 1971. It is on this date that a person’s inclusion in NRC list is based on.Bordoloi and his wife, Pinkumoni (46), along with their 2 children (aged 22 and 24), were shocked when they did not find their names on first draft last year. “When I went to NRC Seva Kendra, they told us our documents were in order and there was nothing to worry about. That assurance was enough to calm me,” says Bordoloi. indianexpress
40-Day-Old Baby Dies as Mother Waits at Assam NRC Centre for 3 Hours
Barpeta:There seems to be no end to the misery of those afflicted by the process of getting their names on Assam NRC. Even the ones who have their names on it have to appear at foreigner tribunals if the names of their extended family members are missing. Such a tedious process has even caused deaths in the state, including that of a 40-day-old baby.In Karwaan-e-Mohabbat’s new video, Anar Hussain and his wife Zabeda Khatun narrate the story of how their baby died of heatstroke. The couple had to travel to a hearing centre in relation to Zabeda’s sister’s name being misspelt in NRC, even though their own names were on the list.The centre in Barpeta was located 50 km away from their residence, and the heat was too much for the baby. According to them, they received no help from other people at the site. Most of their requests for water were turned down, possibly because of ethnicity and religion.caravandaily
6 deaths in 13 days after the additional exclusion list of NRC is published in Assam
People whose names have been excluded in the draft list and additional list of NRC in Assam are distraught and some have taken the extreme step of ending their lives.News of a teenage girl Noor Nehar Begum committing suicide on the same day the additional list was out; sent waves of anguish to the already distressed residents of Assam who have been anxious and distressed all the time about their residential status. Bengali speaking Muslims in Assam are living in perpetual fear of being declared foreigners all the time. The death toll has now risen to 57 people with the recent 6 deaths after the additional exclusion list.TCN News
BJP MP urges Centre to extend NRC to Karnataka
BJP MP Tejasvi Surya todayurged the Centre to extend National Register of Citizen(NRC) to Karnataka citing illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in Bengaluru.At present, NRC, which is a register containing genuine name of Indian citizens, is being implemented only in Assam. Speaking during the Zero Hour, Surya alleged that there are a large number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in entire Karnataka. They have not only become a security threat but also an economic threat as they are taking away jobs of locals, Sury said, urging the Centre to extend NRC to Karnataka to wee out Bangladeshis who are residing there illegally. PTI
UP: ‘Vets, not gau ayog, to issue certificates to cattle transporters’
Lucknow :A day after reports that CM  Yogi Adityanath had asked Gau Sewa Ayog offcials during a meeting in Lucknow to issue certificates to people transferring their cattle from one place to another, an official Govt  spokesperson clarified Tuesday that while CM asked Ayog officials to “prepare a road map” to “curb incidents of mob lynching” in the state, he directed veterinary doctors of the areas concerned to issue certificates to those transporting their cattle.“CM has instructed to prepare a road map with the help of Gau Sewa Ayog to curb incidents of mob lynching. He has said if any farmer has to transfer his cattle from one place to another, certificate from veterinary doctor of the district concerned would be provided,” said clarification issued by CMO.It added, “Gau Sewa Ayog has been asked to conduct a survey on all the points, so that incidents of mob lynching can be stopped.”indian express
On day 3 BJP MPs visit temple, VHP leader says: Can turn Hauz Qazi, Ballimaran into Ayodhya
New Delhi :On a day that 3 BJP MPs visited the area, VHP leader Surendra Jain Tuesday issued a warning to residents of Old Delhi’s Hauz Qazi, where a communal flare-up had ended in the vandalism of a temple last week: “We can turn Hauz Qazi, Ballimaran into Ayodhya…Hindus will not be beaten any longer, they should understand this.”Jain, Joint General Secretary of VHP, was speaking at a Shobha Yatra in Hauz Qazi. The issue also figured on the latest cover of RSS mouthpiece Organiser,with headline ‘#TempleVandalism Perils of Minoritarianism’.indianexpress
Mob lynching false propaganda conspiring to instigate riots against Hindus: VHP
VHP has lashed out at the ‘Khan Market gang’ and politicians of the ‘secular mafia’ for conspiring to instigate riots against Hindus in the country in the name of mob lynching. Surendra Jain, international joint secretary of the outfit, said that the way in which ‘so-called mob lynching’ incidents have been exaggerated and highlighted, goes far to prove that the ‘secular mafia’ is instigating the Muslim community for a violent attack on the Hindus.Referring to the Jharkhand incident, Jain said that it is now clear that the Tabrez Ansari did not die due to public beating. financial express
Karnataka crisis deepens as two more Congress MLAs submit resignations
Bengaluru :The political crisis in Karnataka deepened Wednesday as two more Congress MLAs— MTB Nagaraj and K Sudhakar— submitted their resignation to the Speaker of the Assembly in Bangalore.Both MLAs are considered to be loyalists of former chief minister Siddaramaiah and found places in the coalition government of the Congress-JDS following the intervention of the senior leader. Nagaraj had earlier on Wednesday stated that MLAs were quitting the coalition due to the frequent interference in their constituencies and ministries by Chief Minister Kumaraswamy and his brother H D Revanna. Nagaraj, who is a member of the OBC Kuruba community, is one of the richest MLAs in Karnataka with huge land interests.The second MLA Sudhakar was part of a rebel Congress group that was lured by the BJP in January ahead of an assembly session. He returned to the Congress fold after the BJP aborted its plans to get a large number of MLAs to defect following the release of an audio recording by Kumaraswamy of conversations of BJP leaders negotiating with an MLA’s son.indianexpress
Karnataka LIVE: Mumbai Police release Milind Deora, other Congress leaders, Kumaraswamy hits out at Maharashtra govt for manhandling MLAs
Mumbai Police today escorted Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar away from the gates of Renaissance – Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel where 10 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs are staying. MLAs sought police protection after they came to know that CM HD Kumaraswamy and Shivakumar are coming to the hotel to meet them. After receiving the complaint, the police made it clear that Shivakumar will not be allowed inside the hotel where the rebel MLAs are staying. Maharashtra State Reserve Police Force and Riot Control Police were deployed outside the hotel where 10 rebel Karnataka Congress-JD(S) MLAs are staying.In an attempt to woo rebel Congress and JD(S) leaders and to save the alliance Govt in Karnataka, Minister DK Shivakumar and JD(S) MLA Shivalinge Gowda left for Mumbai on a special flight from Bengaluru today. DK Shivakumar, outside Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel, said he has booked a room at the hotel to hold negotiations with his friends to solve a small problem. Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Shivakumar said the police will do their duty but they have come to meet their friends and there is no question of threatening as they love and respect each other. They were born together in politics and will die together in politics, he added.NewsX
Present situation worse than Emergency:D. Gowda
Slamming the denial of entry to a Congress minister from Karnataka to a Mumbai hotel to meet 12 rebel MLAs, ex-PM and JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda Wednesday said the situation was "worse than Emergency" and he had not seen anything like it in 60 years of public life. Gowda also urged all political parties to come together, setting aside their differences, to "save democracy", which, he alleged, was under threat. "I feel that the present situation is worse than the Emergency. D K Shivakumar (Congress minister) went to the hotel but was denied entry despite having booked a room there... I have not seen anything like this in my 60 years of political life," he said. "All political parties should set aside their differences and come together to save democracy," he added. PTI
80 Family Members of 22 Maha Dalits Working as Bonded Labour Rescued from Haryana
New Delhi:The latest incident of bonded slavery was reported from Haryana where at least 2 dozen Dalit labourers along with their families from Bihar were rescued by an NGO. After being trafficked, these Dalit labourers from Nalanda and Banka districts of Bihar spent 10 months working in Haryana’s Kurukshetra district at brick kiln named Kamla BKO. Labourers had never even dreamt of being treated as slaves in a state as advanced as Haryana. With 22 families consisting of almost 80 labourers including women and children receiving just enough food to get by every day, they were forced into bonded labour by one Minku Gupta. A rescued bonded labourer, Chotu said that they had fallen prey to human trafficking when they had run out of food to feed to their kids in the absence of other employment opportunities in their native state Bihar.Narrating their ordeal, he said, “owner and his goons would beat us as if there was no trace of police and administration in Haryana and the miseries of being poor in Bihar were better than this.”Employer, Minku Gupta not only exploited and took advantage of vulnerable conditions of these labourers but also harassed and physically assaulted them through goons like Munshi and others as they charged them with Laathis and sticks when the labourers complained of sickness and sought rest or asked to be sent home. They were forced to work for more than 17 hours a day and in return they only received a handful of rice or wheat flour! caravandaily
Gujarat: Journalist, his family ‘attacked’ over critical report on govt project
Ahmedabad:A bureau chief of a Gujarati daily in Valsad, his wife and one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, were allegedly assaulted by ex sarpanch and his 2 accomplices on Saturday, days after journalist’s report, critical of a Govt project undertaken by the accused, was published in the newspaper.One person has been arrested in this connection, police said. Harshad Ahir (34), city bureau chief of Gujarat Mitra, his wife Ketna (30) and their child stay in an apartment at Bhagdawada in Valsad. The prime accused have been identified as Dharmesh Patel,ex-sarpanch of Bhagdawada village in Valsad, along with his accomplices Jaydev Desai and Sagar Patel. “Journalist was attacked by ex sarpanch and his accomplices. We have arrested Jaydev, while the other two are on the run,”said Sunil Joshi, SP, Valsad.According to the victim, the accused took offence to a story he had done a few days ago in his paper regarding “inefficient” work carried out in a pond redevelopment project in Bhagdawada. indian express
Malegaon blasts: No labels of my signature on the two motorcycles, says witness
Mumbai:A witness in 2008 Malegaon blast case who had identified 2 motorcycles, including LML Freedom allegedly found at the blast site, told the court on Tuesday that there were no labels of his signature on them. The witness, a Malegaon resident, had conducted the spot panchnama (inventory) of the articles found at the blast site. These included 33 articles, including 5 bicycles and 2 motorcycles, which he identified on Monday. During cross-examination by advocate JP Mishra, representing accused Pragya Singh Thakur, the witness told the court that it was correct to say that he had identified 5 bicycles based on the labels on them bearing his signature. “It is correct to say that the labels bearing my signature are not on 2 motorcycles, though I could identify them. I had seen them on the spot in the same condition then as I did on Monday.”Asked if it was difficult to identify the motorcycles as they were not labelled,witness said: “It is correct to say that it is difficult to identify articles without the labels.”The investigators claim that LML motorcycle was used to plant the bomb, which caused the death of 6 people and injured 101. IE
Despite Acquittals and Lack of Evidence, Minorities Portrayed as Terrorists
The special NIA court at Patiala House in Delhi, on July 2, granted bail to 4 Muslim youths because NIA has failed to file a chargesheet within stipulated period of 180 days.Mohammad Azam, Mohammad Irshad, Rayees and Zaid Malik – who have been accused of terror conspiracy at crowded places in and around Delhi – walked out on bail."We were inside for over seven months, seeing only walls and bars for 24 hours. Now sipping tea whenever I want at home feels like a luxury,” said Azam, a pharmacist, who was sent to prison seven months back. Now, he is unemployed, and with a prison record. Mohammad Irshad, co-accused, said, “We were not convicted, but everyone labelled us ISIS agents, inside the jail and outside, even the media.”In the past, there have been several instances of Muslims being wrongly implicated in terror-related charges. In some cases, the innocent Muslims had to spend more than 15-20 years in prisons for the crime they never committed, thereby posing serious questions about the integrity of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Commenting on the witch-hunt of Muslims, criminal lawyer Abubakr Sabbaq, who deals with such cases, said, "Witch-hunting of Muslims started after Babri mosque demolition in 1992 and since then, around 10,000 Muslims have been wrongly framed under different terror charges. The irony is that 95% of these Muslims have been acquitted because they were not found guilty, but they were forced to spend half of their life in the jail, despite being innocent. In this case also, NIA has miserably failed to provide the material to support the alleged terror charges against the accused."newsclick.in
Pro-Khalistani group Sikhs for Justice banned
New Delhi: Pro-Khalistani group The Sikhs for Justice was on Wednesday banned by Govt for its alleged anti-national activities, officials said. US-based The Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) pushes for Sikh Referendum 2020 as part of its separatist agenda. A meeting of the Union Cabinet decided to declare SFJ as outlawed under the UAPA, a home ministry official said. The group's primary objective is to establish an "independent and sovereign country" in Punjab. It openly espouses the cause of Khalistan and in that process challenges the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India, another official said. PTI
J&K:NIA attaches property of separatist leader Asiya
New Delhi: NIA has attached Srinagar house of Kashmiri separatist leader Asiya Andrabi as “proceeds of crime.”In an order pasted outside the house, NIA said it had reason to believe that the “property represents proceeds of terrorism and has been used in furtherance of terrorist activities of proscribed outfit Dukhtaran-e-Millat.” NIA official said attachment was done as per provisions of law.Her photo could not be attached as she was pardanasheen(veil),NIA said.thehindu
Swiss banks accounts: Indian details to be transferred
The stage is set for the first exchange of banking information between India and Switzerland before Sept.30 deadline.This follows Automatic Exchange of Information(AEOI) pact signed between two countries, and which came into force Jan.2018.In written replies after contacted officials in Swiss Finance Ministry and Swiss Federal Tax Administration (EStV) in Berne, Federal Tax office stated that “several dispatches might be necessary” in the case of India, giving an indication of the volume of details to be shared with Indian tax authorities of all Indians with bank accounts in Switzerland as of 2018 beginning. According to 2 Swiss agencies, India is among 73 countries with whom information on bank accounts will be shared this year — AEOIs were implemented with 36 countries last year. Significantly, Swiss authorities have confirmed that legislative and Parliamentary procedures that need to be carried out prior to the exchange of banking information have concluded, paving way for the exchange of banking details.Hundreds, if not thousands, of banking account details are on the verge of being transferred to India with spokesperson for Swiss Finance office describing the upcoming exchange as an “important milestone in the relationship between India and Switzerland”.I. express
Govt approves changes in POCSO Act, includes death penalty for sexual offences against children
New Delhi:Union Cabinet on July 10 approved amendments to the POCSO Act, which deals with crime against children, and included death penalty for sexual assault on minors, officials said.The amendments in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act also provide for fines and imprisonment to curb child pornography.The changes are expected to discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent due to strong penal provisions incorporated in the Act, the government said.“It intends to protect the interest of vulnerable children in times of distress and ensures their safety and dignity. The amendment is aimed to establish clarity regarding the aspects of child abuse and punishment thereof,” it said.PTI
WORLD
US wants military coalition to patrol waters off Iran, Yemen
US says it is working to form a military coalition to protect commercial shipping off the coast of Iran and Yemen amid heightened tensions in the region following attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf.Under the proposal, a coalition of nations would patrol strategic waters in the Gulf area and the sea between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, the chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Tuesday."We're engaging now with a number of countries to see if we can put together a coalition that would ensure freedom of navigation both in Straits of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandab,"said Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.Dunford said Pentagon had developed a specific plan, and that he believed it would be clear within a couple of weeks which nations were willing to join the effort.The administration of US President Donald Trump has blamed Tehran and its proxies for several attacks on tankers in Gulf in the past few months.aljazeera
Kim Darroch, UK Ambassador to US, quits after diplomatic spat over leaked memos
Britain’s Ambassador to Washington resigned on July 10 after Donald Trump labelled him ”stupid” and “wacky” following the release of confidential memos from the envoy in which he branded the U.S. President’s administration inept.Memos from Kim Darroch were leaked to a British Sunday newspaper, infuriating Mr. Trump who launched a stinging Twitter attack on both the envoy and British Prime Minister Theresa May who had given him her full support.In a growing spat between the two close allies, Mr. Trump said he would no longer deal with Mr. Darroch and called Ms. May “foolish”. In his resignation letter, Mr. Darroch said his position was no longer tenable.“Since the leak of official documents from this Embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador,” he wrote.“I want to put an end to that speculation,” he added. Reuters
UK PM-hopeful:As a ‘passionate Zionist’,I ‘love’ Israel
UK PM hopeful Boris Johnson has said that he “loves” the “great country” of Israel and considers himself a “passionate Zionist”.In an interview with Jewish News, Johnson –former British foreign secretary who is now hoping to lead ruling Conservative Party and, therefore, the country –described himself as a “passionate Zionist” and Israel as a “great country” that “I love”. Johnson also sought to clarify his previous comments about Israel’s 2014 assault on the besieged Gaza Strip, which he once described as “disproportionate”. Johnson claimed “it’s totally unacceptable that innocent Israeli civilians should face the threat of rocket fire and bombardment from Gaza,” adding: “I understand why Israel reacted in the way that it did and I understand the provocation and the outrageous behaviour that occasioned that response.”He continued: “Those of us who support Israel always want Israel to show the greatest possible restraint [but] Israel has a right to respond, Israel has a right to defend itself. Israel has a right to meet force with force.”Johnson also discussed other aspects of UK’s relationship with Israel, saying he was “proud to be the Mayor who led the first ever London-Israel trade mission” in 2015. Johnson served as mayor of UK capital London from 2008 to 2016, but stressed that, if he becomes the UK PM  later this month, he “will be actively supporting trade and commercial engagements of all kinds [with Israel]”.MEMO
Former Israeli defence minister: ‘Our conflict is with the entire Muslim world, with the entire Arab world’
Former Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman, a possible kingmaker in September’s elections, renewed his incitement against Palestinian citizens on Monday, as reported by Times of Israel.Speaking at a campaign trail meeting, Yisrael Beiteinu chair described the “conflict” as “3-dimensional” – “with the Arab countries, with Palestinians and Israeli Arabs”, adding that “third conflict, with Israeli Arabs, is the most difficult”.“We do not have a separate conflict with the Palestinians, and anyone who claims so, does not understand what he is talking about or is being deliberately misleading,” he said. “Our conflict is with the entire Muslim world, with the entire Arab world,” Lieberman declared.MEMO
16 Palestinian kids killed by Israel this year: NGO
Gaza: 16 Palestinian minors have been shot dead by Israeli forces in blockaded Gaza Strip since the beginning of this year, according to an NGO today. In a statement, Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights said 1,233 children have been injured by Israeli gunfire during weekly anti-occupation protests along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone. It said Israeli forces rounded up more than 16 minors over the past six months, documenting 17 Israeli attacks on Palestinian schools and health facilities across the Gaza Strip. Anadolu Agency
UN rapporteur urges US action over Khashoggi
UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard and Hatice Cengiz, fiancee of slain Jamal Khashoggi, have warned that democratic values worldwide would be at risk should Saudi Arabia escape accountability for his murder. At an event in London, they called on the international community to act upon a report published by Callamard on June 19. Her six-month investigation concluded the disappearance of the journalist was a state killing, carried out by agents of Saudi using state resources."I would like you to use this report as a means to prevent an attempt to silence us," Cengiz said at the conference, which took place at Amnesty International's HQ. She urged European countries to "take this report more seriously"."Unfortunately since the report, there have been no serious steps against the criminals who have done this, or support from the member states of the [UN] Security Council," she added.aljazeera
Rapper Nicki pulls out of controversial Saudi concert
US rapper Nicki Minaj said yesterday that she was pulling out of a planned concert in Saudi Arabia next week, citing her support for the rights of women and freedom of speech, Reuters reports.Minaj, known for her raunchy outfits and provocative stage performances, was due to headline the Jeddah World Fest music festival on 18 July , but her plan to appear was criticised last week on social media.“While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia, after better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women,” she said, adding in her statement that she also supported “freedom of expression”. New York-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF) last week urged Minaj to cancel her performance.HRF Chief Executive Thor Halvorssen yesterday welcomed Minaj’s change of heart, praising her “inspiring and thoughtful decision to reject the Saudi regime’s transparent attempt at using her for a public relations stunt.”middleeastmonitor
When doctors don't help: 'Medical negligence' in Egypt's prisons
When former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi died after collapsing in a defendant's cage in a Cairo courtroom this June, the world's attention turned to the dire prison conditions in Egypt.Morsi had been denied necessary medical attention, possibly meeting the threshold for torture in Egyptian and international law, according to a report published by an independent review panel.2 weeks later, ex presidential candidate and leading opposition figure, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, suffered a double heart attack in prison, where he has been since Feb.2018.Shortly before Aboul Fotouh suffered the heart attacks, the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights and Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms submitted a petition to the Egyptian public prosecutor concerning his "deteriorating health condition" and demanded urgent intervention but he was denied adequate medical treatment.UK-based Arab Organisation for Human Rights reports that over 700 Egyptian prisoners have died of medical negligence since 2011.Alejandra Vicente, legal director of REDRESS that seeks justice and reparation for survivors of torture, said that denial of medical care in prisons can amount to torture if it meets the requirements of UN Convention against Torture.aljazeera
HRW deems Qaradawi’s imprisonment ‘unlawful’
Human Rights Watch has said that the detention of Ola Al-Qaradawi is “unlawful” and called for her immediate release. Ola was arrested in June 2017 along with her husband Hosam Khalaf and accused of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ola was kept in solitary confinement in pre-trial detention for two years before a judge ordered that she be released on 3 July on probation.“Egypt’s prosecutors have made a mockery of the law, creating fantastic new charges of Al-Qaradawi’s terrorist activities in prison, just to keep her imprisoned,” said Middle East and North African director of Human Rights Watch, Sarah Leah Whitson.middleeastmonitor
In Sri Lanka and Myanmar, militant aggression in Buddhism on rise:New York Times
Buddhist abbot was sitting cross-legged in his monastery, fulminating against the evils of Islam, when the petrol bomb exploded within earshot.But the abbot, the Venerable Ambalangoda Sumedhananda Thero, barely registered the blast. Waving away the mosquitoes swarming the night air in the southern Sri Lankan town of Gintota, he continued his tirade: Muslims were violent, he said, Muslims were rapacious.“The aim of Muslims is to take over all our land and everything we value,” he said.“Think of what used to be Buddhist lands: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Indonesia. They have all been destroyed by Islam.”Minutes later, a monastic aide rushed in and confirmed that someone had thrown a Molotov cocktail at a nearby mosque. The abbot flicked his fingers in the air and shrugged.His responsibility was to his flock, the Buddhist majority of Sri Lanka. Muslims, who make up less than 10% of Sri Lanka’s population, were not his concern.NYT
Muslim scholar appointed as human rights adviser to Trump administration
Hamza Yusuf, a prominent US-born Islamic scholar, has faced criticism for his decision to be part of a 10-member panel chosen by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to examine the role of human rights in US foreign policy. Pompeo on Monday unveiled the "Commission on Unalienable Rights", saying it was made up of human rights experts of "varied backgrounds and beliefs", and that it has been tasked with reviewing "the role of human rights in American public policy".Critics of the commision have raised concerns of the panel after it appointed Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glandon, a former US ambassador to the Vatican, who led efforts against enshrining abortion as an international human right at 1995 UN Women's conference in Beijing.Dr Usaama al Azami, a lecturer in Islamic Studies who studied at Princeton University in US, said that Yusuf's decision to work with Trump administration was a "troubling development in Western Islam"."For one of the West's most recognisable and once almost universally esteemed Islamic scholars to throw in his lot with the most venal and Islamophobic administration in American history will be viewed by many Muslims as an unforgivable lapse in judgement which will not easily be forgotten," Azami told Middle East Eye.Middle East Eye
Flash: views & NEWS
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No official nomenclature to accord martyrdom status to CRPF men killed in Pulwama attack: Govt
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq
(Released at: 8:04 PM)

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