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Monday, 21 October 2019

21 OCT. NEWS : Moderate Voting, Sporadic Violence, EVM Glitches Mark Polling in Haryana, Maharashtra; Exit polls point to BJP’s return to power / J&K: Modi govt forcing detainees to sign a bond ensuring their silence on ‘recent events’/ AIMPLB moves SC challenging Talaq law


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING 
21 OCT. 2019: 21 Safar 1441: Vol: 12, No: 42
INDIA: ASSEMBLY POLLS
Assembly polls in Haryana, Maharashtra show lower voter turnout compared to 2014;
New Delhi: The voter turnout in both Maharashtra and Haryana showed a slump in today's assembly polls as compared to 2014, indicating that the BJP could hold on to power in both the states.While Maharashtra registered a provisional voter turnout of 60.05% until 6 pm, down from 63.08% in 2014, Haryana scored 65%, down from 76.54% in the previous election. Traditional logic dictates that the incumbent Govt is likely to continue in power if fewer people turn out to vote. Election Commission released these figures even as exit polls showed BJP-led alliances returning to power in both the states, in some instances registering wide-margin victories over their electoral rivals. In Maharashtra, an aggregate of various exit polls gave BJP-Shiv Sena alliance 211 of the state's 288 seats and Congress-NCP just 64 constituencies. In Haryana, it predicted that the BJP is likely to win 66 of 90 seats while the Congress scores 14.Haryana's Gurugram, which figures in the national capital region, registered a voter turnout of just 51.20% as compared to 64.11% in 2014 assembly elections. Mumbai, which has traditionally scrimped on voting, performed even worse at 44.78%. Mumbai's voter turnout remained below 50% in elections held between 1999 and 2009, but improved its tally slightly in 2014 to cross the halfway mark. This year, the city registered its highest-ever turnout in the general elections with 55 % people coming out to exercise their voting rights. Today's performance, however, belied any hope that its voters have turned a new leaf. NDTV
Moderate Voting, Sporadic Violence, EVM Glitches Mark Polling in Haryana, Maharashtra
https://thewire.in/politics/moderate-voting-sporadic-violence-evm-glitches-mark-polling-in-haryana-maharashtra
Exit polls point to BJP’s return in Maharashtra, Haryana with ‘bigger mandate’
BJP looks set to return to power in Maharashtra and Haryana as the exit polls forecast a thumping majority for the saffron party and its allies in both the states while predicting a gloomy picture for the Congress. All the 5 pollsters predicted a return to office for Devendra Fadnavis and Manohar Lal Khattar, giving more than two-third seats for BJP-led NDA in Maharashtra and Haryana.India Today-Axis exit poll projected 166-194 seats for the BJP-Shiv Sena combine and 72-90 for the Congress-NCP alliance in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly.News18-IPSOS exit poll gave the BJP-Shiv Sena 243 seats, with the BJP getting 141 out of it on its own. The poll predicted Congress and NCP to bag 17 and 22 seats respectively. Times Now gave BJP-Shiv Sena 230 seats and predicted 48 seats for Congress-NCP.TV9 Marathi-Cicero poll survey predicted 197 seats for BJP-Shiv Sena while gave Congress-NCP 75 seats. ABP-C Voter predicted 204 seats for the BJP-Shiv Sena and 69 for the Congress-NCP.In Haryana, the BJP is likely to achieve Mission 75 as predicted by Manohar Lal Khattar and return to power with a bigger mandate in the 90-seat Assembly. In Haryana, ABP-C Voter forecast 72 and 8 seats for the BJP and the Congress respectively. CNN-IPSOS projected 75 seats for BJP and 10 seats for Congress. The poll of polls gave the BJP and Congress 66 and 14 seats respectively in Haryana. In Maharashtra, it gave 211 and 64 to the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance and Congress-NCP respectively.indianexpress
BJP set to retain power in Maharashtra, Haryana, show most exit polls
Congress claims several EVMs malfunctioning across Maharashtra
Mumbai: Maharashtra Congress on Monday claimed that EVMs were malfunctioning in several booths across the state. “We have been sitting here in Congress war room since 6 am and have received many complaints of EVMs not functioning properly in various polling booths, some of which were even changed after the complaint,” Avinash Pandey Congress general secretary and the party’s war room in-charge in Mumbai told ANI.Pandey gave the example of a polling booth in the Ramtek assembly constituency.“For example, in booth number 337 in Ramtek assembly seat, a complaint came that while the button against one party’s symbol was being pressed VVPAT showed the symbol of another party. This is a serious fault,” Pandey said.ANI
Haryana: Rahul tweets video of BJP MLA claiming EVMs are manipulated, calls him ‘most honest’
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday tweeted a video clip of a BJP MLA declaring that the votes will be cast in favour of the ruling party irrespective of which button is pressed on the Electronic Voting Machine.MLA, identified as Bakshish Singh Virk, represents Assandh constituency in the Haryana Assembly.“The most honest man in BJP,” Gandhi said in a tweet with the video. His comments came as voting was underway in Haryana Assembly elections.In the 39-seconds video, Virk is heard saying that he would get to know who the people voted for, as both PM Narendra Modi and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar were “very intelligent”. He also claimed that EVMs were manipulated, NDTV reported. “You may vote for whoever you want, your vote will go to the kamal [lotus, BJP’s poll symbol] only,” he told the audience. “Press any button, the vote will go to BJP. We have fixed a purja [part] in EVM machines.”On Sunday, Election Commission issued a notice to Virk for his comments, and also appointed a special observer to the constituency to take “corrective action”, PTI reported. Virk, however, claimed that it was fake video and alleged conspiracy by his rivals to defame him and BJP.scroll.in
“Modi ji’s eyes are very sharp.. You press any button, votes will go to BJP because we have fixed ‘purza’ in EVMs: BJP MLA in video
BSP leader throws ink at EVMs in polling booth in Maharashtra, shouts ‘EVM machine murdabad’
A video of a BSP leader throwing ink at EVMs inside a polling booth in Maharashtra has gone viral on social media platforms. The video was believed to have been shot during today’s assembly polls in the western Indian state.In the viral video, BSP’s Sunil Khambe is seen throwing ink at the voting machines while raising EVM machine murdabad and EVM machine nahi chalega slogans. Khambe, according to ANI, was later taken into custody by police.jantakareporter
Bypoll Battle for 51 Assembly, 2 Lok Sabha Seats: A Test of BJP's Popularity?
New Delhi: 51 assembly seats and 2 Lok Sabha constituencies across 18 states went to the polls on Monday. While the outcome is expected to be determined by regional factors, BJP has tried hard to project it as a referendum on its campaign around national security and the Modi Govt’s decision to dilute Article 370 and bifurcate the state of J&K into union territories. The saffron party is seeking re-election in 30 of 51 seats, while the Congress is fighting to retain 12. The remaining seats were held by different regional parties. thewire
Assembly bypolls: Muslim, Dalit voters, ‘outsider’ tag make Gangoh a tough fight for BJP
Dehradun: Bypoll for Gangoh Assembly segment in UP on Monday is a tough contest for BJP as the electorate comprises Muslims and Jatav Dalits in large numbers. Also, BJP candidate, who is not from Gangoh, is up against local heavyweights.Out of the nearly 3.69 lakh voters in Gangoh 1.20 lakh are Muslims and 80,000 Dalits. Most of these Dalits are Jatavs, considered traditional voters of BSP. Gujjars too make a large share, but among them are 57,000 Muslims. BJP is pinning hopes on Hindu Gujjars and other upper castes to retain the seat it won in 2017 when BJP’s Pradeep Kumar defeated Congress’s Nauman Masood. Pradeep’s election to Lok Sabha necessitated the bypoll. Nauman, twin brother of ex Congress MLA Imran Masood, is once again the party candidate. He is also the chairman of Gangoh Nagar Palika.SP candidate Indrasen is son of former minister Chaudhary Yashpal Singh and BSP nominee Mohammad Irshad is an ex Zila Panchayat chairman and a Gujjar.BJP’s district general secretary Kirat Singh is contesting his first election. “Another drawback is that Kirat is from Rampur Maniharan outside Gangoh. Other prominent candidates are from Gangoh,” said a BJP leader.BJP leader added, “If Muslims unite in support of any candidate to defeat BJP, election will become tough for us. Another concern is that BJP’s traditional voters do not take much interest in bypolls. BJP has lost bypolls in the past due to low turnout.”SP, BSP and Congress are focusing on police encounters and hiked fines after changes to Motor Vehicles Act.indianexpress
Bypolls: Despite 84 FIRs, Azam Khan factor strong in Rampur
Rampur:This high-profile constituency is synonymous with one name for nearly 2 decades- Azam Khan, who has won it 9 times in the past. Now campaigning for his wife, who is ready to step into his shoes, he gets emotional about BJP's all-out effort to stop this formidable Muslim leader in his bastion.No less than 84 FIRs have been lodged against him ever since he became an MP in May this year and the seat fell vacant. The charges range from land-grabbing to theft. While Azam accused the administration and police of targeting his family, BJP terms it all a 'nautanki'. Holding campaign in minority-dominated localities for the first time, BJP candidate Bharat Bhushan reminds people how Azam "harassed them when he was a powerful minister". Rampur constituency has never sent non-Muslim or BJP candidate to assembly since 1952. In this four-cornered fight, BSP has fielded Zubair Masood Khan while Arshad Ali Khan is Congress candidate but locals believe that the main poll issue is Azam and 84 FIRs. TOI
J&K ISSUE & SOUTH asia
J&K: Modi govt forcing detainees to sign a bond ensuring their silence on ‘recent events’
J&K Govt has been asking its detainees to sign a bond that prohibits them from speaking against the “present times” in the state; thus asking them not to speak against Article 370’s abrogation or the communication clampdown.This bond, that the State is compelling detainees, including top politicians to sign is mandatory for their release. As per the bond, they cannot speak against “the recent events” in J&K, which seems like an obvious reference to the recent abrogation of Article 370.Senior lawyers and activists allege that the bond is a modified version of the document that potential troublemakers are asked to sign normally, under Section 107 of CRPC. The Kashmiri detainees will have to undertake that they will “not make any comment(s) or issue statement(s) or make public speech(s) hold or participate in public assembly(s) related to recent events in the state of J&K, at the present time, since it has the potential of endangering the peace and tranquillity and law and order in the state or any part thereof for a period of one year”.The bond asks them to then pay ₹10,000 as surety and then, ₹40,000 in case of a breach. Potential troublemakers normally sign a Section 107 bond, which is called the “Bond to keep peace” but this new version asks the signatories not to “comment, or issue statements or make public speeches or participate in public assemblies, related to recent events in state of J&K.”Rights activist Khurram Parvez said there were about 5,000 to 6,000 people detained during 75-day-old media clampdown, a number of whom have been released under this bond.The Govt has refused to reveal number of detentions during the period but claims it is far less. Khurram said the Govt was also forcing 5 to 20 people to sign a community bond. Telegraph recently spoke to the family of a 9-year-old boy, the youngest victim of the clampdown, who was allegedly detained for two days. The family was forced to bring around 20 people — relatives and acquaintances — to give it in writing that the boy would not commit any offence in future.General Bashir denies having any information about this bond, as per the report in Telegraph.High Court lawyer Altaf Khan, who is the counsel for two women who were released after being forced to sign the bond recently, called it illegal and a contradiction of the Constitution. Khan added that 2 women were also asked to sign an affidavit apologising for protesting and to promise that they would not repeat the action.Iltija Mufti, daughter of Mehbooba, claimed, also tweeted from Mehbooba’s account that “the authorities are also blackmailing them [political detainees] to sign ‘bonds’ under which a gag order will be imposed & political activities will be banned”.nationalheraldindia
In Kashmir, Freedom at a Price: Go Back to Jail if You Speak or Comment on Article 370
Ram Madhav ‘gun’ slur on jailed Kashmir leaders
Srinagar:BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav has accused Kashmir’s jailed mainstream politicians of instigating people to pick up arms against the Indian state, levelling the most damning allegations yet by any senior BJP functionary against the so-called pro-India camp.Addressing a party convention, the first public meeting in the Valley by any prominent BJP face since August 5, Madhav advised the jailed leaders on how to do politics.“Do politics on (demand for) early restoration of statehood.But don’t send secret messages from the SKICC saying the gun needs to be picked up. This is not politics,” Madhav told his audience of less than 300 at Srinagar’s Tagore Hall.“SKICC” at Centaur Hotel where nearly a dozen politicians are detained, among them Ali Mohammad Sagar, Naeem Akhtar, Sajjad Lone and Shah Faesal.Akhtar and Lone were ministers in PDP-BJP Govt that collapsed last year. Lone and Faesal lost their fathers to militants’ bullets.Madhav offered no evidence for his allegation. Nor did any Valley politician come out to defend their jailed colleagues. “If keeping 200-300 leaders behind bars helps maintain peace, let them be there for some time,”Madhav said.telegraphindia
Abdullahs don’t want to be released before others, signal consensus among parties
Srinagar: In an indication of the future of politics in the Valley, ex J&K CM Omar Abdullah and his father and National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah have asked their party men not to seek legal remedy for their release unless other detained leaders in state are released too.NC leader and Anantnag MP Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi said, “We asked them if they wanted us to find any legal remedy for their release. They responded by saying absolutely not. Both of them said that unless and until all political leaders are not released, they too would prefer to remain under arrest.”Masoodi made the comments after a meeting with the father-son duo.While there was talk within the state administration in the second week of October about the release of NC general secretary Ali Sagar, the latter refused to engage saying he would only agree to it if senior leaders from PDP are released along with him, said a source who didn’t wish to be named.NC leaders’ move, however, is not an isolated one.To not seek a legal remedy for detention is part of a larger strategy that is being adopted by mainstream politicians in the Valley who are likely to raise a united front against Modi Govt’s decision to scrap Article 370, ThePrint has learnt.
On 75th Day of Lockdown in Kashmir, A Protest in Delhi for Peace and Freedom in Kashmir
New Delhi;A citizens’ protest was organised here at Jantar Mantar near Parliament House on Saturday to protest against 75 days of lockdown in J&K. Over 200 activists, academics, intellectuals, prominent citizens and students attended the protest. Over 30 representatives of various organisations, intellectuals, activists, artists spoke and performed at the event. Those who spoke included Annie Raja, National Genera Secretary, NFIW, Maimoona Mollah, President, AIDWA, Delhi, Revati Laul, independent journalist, D Raja, CPI, Tikendra Panwar, CPI(M), Shabnam Hashmi social activist Anhad, Aliya Shah Mubarak, Shaikh Abdulla's granddaughter.“Recognising that peoples of J&K are facing a repressive onslaught, and that their lives and liberty are at risk, we, concerned citizens of India on this 75th day of the abrogation of Article 370 & 35A and lockdown of Kashmir, register our protest through poetry, songs of resistance and solidarity with the peoples of J&K,”organizers said in an open and joint statement.The signatories included: J Vijayan, N Sai Balaji, Annie Raja, Shabnam Hashmi, Maimoona Mollah and Nandita Narain.India Tomorrow
J&K: 125 projects cleared on forest land since August, only 97 approved last year
Forest Advisory Committee of the J&K administration has granted clearances to 125 projects involving diversion of forest land for other purposes between August and October, environmental magazine Down To Earth reported on Monday.“In 117th meeting held on Oct.17, 2019, 41 projects were cleared [by the Forest Advisory Committee],” Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, commissioner secretary to the forest, environment and ecology department of J&K, was quoted as saying. “In 116th meeting, 54 projects were cleared and in the 115th meeting, 30 projects were cleared. These clearance recommendations will be sent to the J&K cabinet and then finalised.” These meetings were held between August and Oct.Dwivedi did not share the full details of the projects to be implemented following clearance for diversion of forest land. However, he said that in 117th meeting, around 271 hectares of forest land was decided to be diverted for development projects like laying of transmission lines and drilling of tube wells.The number of clearances issued from August to Oct this year is higher than the total number of clearances issued last year. In 2018, just 97 clearances were issued in eight meetings. However, forest rights advocacy platform Community Forest Rights-Learning and Advocacy took objection to the clearances. “Diversion of forest land without the consent of local communities and gram sabhas cause violation of their forest rights,” Tushar Dash, a member of the organisation said. scroll.in
'We will enter Pakistan if it continues to...':J&K governor Malik
J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik today said that India won't hesitate in entering Pakistan and destroying terror camps if the latter continues to aid and facilitate terrorists' entry into the Indian territory. Malik's diatribe against Pakistan comes a day after Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, claimed 6 to 10 Pakistani soldiers had been killed and at least 3 terror camps destroyed opposite Tangdhar and Keran sectors in J&K in retaliatory action by the Indian forces. Malik said: "If we are not going act, they (Pakistan) will continue what they have been doing all this while," adding "they might even do it even more." "We will obliterate all terror camps, and if they don't desist from such acts, we will go inside," Malik said. Earlier today, Pak military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said Indian Army's assertion that it targeted terror camps in PoK was false. He said India is welcome to take any foreign diplomat or media to the site to prove its claim on ground. "Indian Army chief's statement claiming destruction of 3 alleged camps is disappointing as he holds a very responsible appointment," Ghafoor said. "There are no camps let alone targeting those. Indian Embassy in Pakistan is welcome to take any foreign diplomat/ media to â proveâ it on the ground,"he said. Ghafoor said that "propensity of false claims by senior Indian military leadership especially since Pulwama incident is detrimental to peace in the region." Such false claims by the Indian Army are being made to suit vested domestic interests. This is against professional military ethos, Ghafoor said.outlookindia
Pakistan stops postal mail to India, New Delhi slams move as violative of international norms
New Delhi : In signs of worsening of relations between the two countries, Pakistan has stopped postal mails from and to India, a move that New Delhi slammed as a violation of established international norms.Pakistan has not accepted any postal consignment from India after 27 August in a move seen as a retaliation of scrapping of special status for J&K.Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is also in-charge of the postal department, said Islamabad resorted to stopping postal mail services unilaterally and without giving any prior notice to India. "Pakistan's decision is directly in contravention of world postal union norms. But Pakistan is Pakistan," Prasad said.With Pakistan refusing to accept and send mails through the post, from and to India, Indian postal authorities have been compelled to put mail addressed to the country on hold.Reports suggest Pakistani correspondence was reaching India through services provided by the Saudi Arabian airlines.Prasad confirmed reports that the postal services have stopped for the last two months.Pakistan has, without any prior notice or information, stopped sending postal department's letters to India, prompting India to act accordingly, the minister said.PTI
Kartarpur agreement to be signed on Oct.23: MEA
Ministry of External Affairs today said that the Govt is ready to sign Kartarpur agreement on October so that the corridor can be opened on Nov.12. The Govt has, however, urged Pakistan to reconsider its stand to levy service fee of $20 on pilgrims. “In view of the long pending demand of pilgrims to have visa free access to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib and in the interest of operationalisation of Kartarpur Corridor in time before Nov.12, Govt conveys that we would be ready to sign Agreement on Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on Oct.23,” MEA said.indianexpress
Manmohan would never visit on Pakistan’s invite: Congress
Congress has said that former PM Manmohan Singh would never go to Pakistan on the invitation of the Govt of the neighbouring country. Congress spokesman Pranav Jha, however, said that Singh, as a pilgrim, will be a part of first jattha (group) that will visit the Kartarpur gurdwara along with other Indian dignitaries.He said if Singh had to go for the inauguration ceremony, the invitation has to come from Indian Govt and not on one from Pakistan. “Remember he [Singh] never visited Pakistan even once,” said Jha. Earlier in the day, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that former Indian PM Manmohan Singh was welcome to attend Kartarpur Corridor inauguration as “a common man”. HT
With Pan-Islamism, Turkey has Become One of Pak’s Strongest Allies:CNN-News18
New Delhi: Somewhere in Pakistan, a Turkish couple sat in a café. The woman spoke on a mobile phone, her phone cover painted in the red and white hues of the Turkish flag. Behind her on the wall hung a picture of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The man asked the waiter for the bill. The waiter went up to the manager and told him, in Urdu, that the couple who had just asked for the bill is from Turkey. The manager quietly handed him a note, which the waiter then handed over to the couple. “Our treat to Turkey,” the note read. The confused couple looked up at the Pakistani waiter who then smiled and said, “Paisay Erdogan sahib nay day diye (Erdogan has settled your bill).”This scene was a part of a Turkish TV ad in 2017, a year before Turkey went to polls. The ad also comprised of scenes from different parts of the Islamic world to emphasise to Turks how they had come to be admired by Muslims from all over the world ever since Tayyip Erdogan became their leader. As Turkey’s negotiations to become part of the European Union hit a brick wall, Erdogan has turned his attention to the Islamic world. In these efforts, Pakistan emerged as a major strategic partner. With a clear wish to be a leader for all Muslims, Erdogan found in Imran Khan an ally. It is in this context that Erdogan said "8 million people are under siege" in the Kashmir Valley, which prompted India to cancel PM Narendra Modi's scheduled trip to Ankara and call off a $ 2.3 billion defense deal.“It’s a relationship based on historical ties as well as mutual understanding on practical concerns,” said Qamar Cheema, Pak-based geopolitical strategist. In fact, Cheema said, Turkey is Pakistan’s strongest ally in addition to China. “Pan-Islamism is the binding factor of this new Turkey-Pakistan relationship,” ex Indian Diplomat Vishnu Prakash said. “Erdogan has painted himself as a kind of moderate Islamist leader who has clipped the wings of secularists in Turkey. His is a left-of-center moderate Islamist ideology. He has dreams of being a global Islamic leader now that his dreams of being part of EU are dashed and Turkey’s honeymoon with the West is over.”When Pakistan’s fate hung in the balance at FATF this Friday, a crucial vote from Turkey neutralized Indian and American efforts to have it blacklisted.
Pizza dough to lipstick to biodiesel — India needs Malaysia’s palm oil but traders wary now
Palm oil traders in India are treading cautiously in dealing with Malaysia  following New Delhi’s threats to impose trade restrictions on palm oil imports from the country. The threat comes in the wake of Malaysian PM Mahathir Bin Mohamad’s statements against India’s Kashmir policy, at UN last month.India had already levied 5 % safeguard duty on imports of refined palm oil from Malaysia for 180 days on 5 Sept., following the recommendation of Directorate General of Trade Remedies, the commerce ministry’s investigation arm. DGTR had cited a probe for its decision, claiming there was an alleged jump in imports of the product from Malaysia, after a complaint from Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA).It raised the customs levy on the product to 50 % for 6 months from the existing 40 % on crude palm oil and 45 % on refined palm oil. That, however, was before Mahathir’s speech at UNGA on 28 Sept . That irked New Delhi and palm oil traders now fear an impending quantitative import restriction, which they say might slash their profits by at least 20 %.“Even the imposition of the safeguard duty doesn’t hurt our import prospects that much because of the free trade agreement between the two countries,” a Mumbai trader who imports palm oil from Malaysia told ThePrint. “But it is the impending quantitative import restriction that we fear might slash our profit by at least 20 %,” said the trader who did not wish to be named.The trader said he has already cancelled his previous two months of orders due to a surplus stockpile of refined edible palm oil. “However, from next month onwards I have to find a supplier from either Indonesia or Thailand,” he added. According to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) estimate, Indonesia and Malaysia together make 87 % of the global palm oil production. Indonesia produces 33,000,000 MT of palm oil annually followed by Malaysia, which produces 19,500,000 MT of product in a year.Narendra Taneja, co-chairman of Hydrocarbons Committee of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, told ThePrint, “Currently India imports its palm oil primarily from Malaysia and the rest from Indonesia.”Not only India but a large part of world depends heavily on the palm oil due to its diverse use ranging from cooking oil to pizza dough, detergent, shampoo, lipstick, chocolate and even biodiesel. In India, palm oil is used as the most common cooking medium (Vanaspati).  theprint
ECONOMY
Gross tax revenue for 2019-’20 may fall short by Rs 2 lakh crore: Report
An internal assessment by the Centre has revealed that gross tax revenue for the 2019-’20 financial year may fall short by around Rs 2 lakh crore. Union Budget for the year had estimated the revenue to be around Rs 24.6 lakh crore. The assessment was informally shared with 15th Finance Commission, unidentified officials told Business Standard. The commission had asked Ministry of Finance to give it a revised memorandum, due to the growth slowdown and present economic situation.Gross tax revenue for 2018-’19 had also fallen short of the target. Actual gross tax revenue had been Rs 20.8 lakh crore, as against estimate of Rs 22.7 lakh crore.scroll.in
BSNL CMD expects revival plan to be in public domain within a month
The Govt’s plan to revive BSNL should be in public domain within a month, the chairman of the troubled telecom firm said today.BSNL Chairman and MD PK Purwar also said that the salary of all employees will be paid before Diwali.“BSNL has inner strength on the basis of which it is adding new customers. We are a Rs 20,000 crore plus revenue generating organization. We are passing through turbulent phase which we expect to overcome in a couple of months,” Purwar said while responding to a query on the survival of the company in wake of delay of Govt decision to revive PSU.He later said that “2 month is a long time, it (revival plan) should be in public domain within a month.” PTI
MP: 40% drop in unemployment under Congress Govt, says survey
There is some good news amid the economic slowdown. At a time when the country is facing an unprecedented rise in joblessness, Madhya Pradesh under the rule of the Congress party has set a reverse trend.According to a survey conducted by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), unemployment has dropped sharply in Madhya Pradesh in the last nine months, indicating rapid job creation.Mumbai-based CMIE has stated that unemployment, which was at its peak of 7% in Dec 2018, dropped to 4.2% by the end of September 2019. In contrast to trends in Madhya Pradesh, unemployment climbed to 8.1% by October in the country, claimed the report.Enthused by the findings of the survey, the CM’s office said that in less than a year, the Govt has succeeded in reducing unemployment by 40% in MP. “Employment has been increasing in MP. Kamal Nath govt has trounced unemployment. In a short stint of 10 months, Govt has succeeded in reducing unemployment rate by 40%. In 2018, joblessness was at 7%, which has now declined to 4.2%. This is the result of able leadership of Kamal Nath,”tweeted CMO.nationalheraldindia
PMC Bank: Money stuck for over a month, depositors stare at uncertain future
Nearly a month after RBI clamped down on operations of scam-hit PMC Bank, the depositors say their woes have only worsened, with some unable to pay school fees of their wards, while others finding it difficult to meet medical expenses.Many fear that they might lose their lifetime earnings deposited in savings accounts, or in the form of fixed deposits.Businessmen like MA Chaudhary complained that they were unable to either pay salaries to their workers, nor pay taxes or even electricity bills after the cheques issued by PMC Bank bounced.So far, 3 depositors have lost their lives, apparently due to the crisis. Tek Chand (71), a retired Govt servant and a resident of Janakpuri in west Delhi, said his family has over Rs 18 lakh deposited in the Tilak Nagar branch of the bank.His wife has to undergo dialysis which costs him Rs 10,000 per month and half his monthly pension goes into it.There are many like Chand whose source of sustenance is the interest they get from their fixed deposits.Anuradha Sen (61), a resident of Malviya Nagar in south Delhi, said she deposited Rs15 lakh in bank."My livelihood is dependent on the interest from it,"she said.PTI
Ex-CVC on Reliance Industries board ‘unfortunate’
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh took a swipe at ex central vigilance commissioner K.V. Chowdary joining the board of Reliance Industries, saying it was “unfortunate” and there should be something called conscience.“Actions of people who have been appointed to be custodians of integrity in public life have not only to be proper but seen to be proper. This is undesirable and unfortunate,” Ramesh said in a tweet. “Certainly there should be something called conscience,” he said.PTI
Over 75% of Indians have personal wealth below $10,000: Report
Although India ranks fifth globally in terms of ultra-rich population — those with wealth in excess of $50 million — 78 % of the adult population have personal wealth less than $10,000 or about Rs 7,30,000, according to the latest Credit Suisse report on global wealth. The numbers look better as compared to last year, where about 91% were at the bottom of the pyramid with personal wealth of less than $10,000. Interestingly, only a small fraction of the population — 1.8% of adults or 15.6 million people — enjoy a net worth of $1,00,000 and continue to own a lion’s share of India’s total wealth that increased 4-fold between 2000 and 2019, reaching $12.6 trillion this year.This shows that India’s rich are becoming wealthier, adding 10.8 million people in the bracket, as in 2018 only 0.6 % of adults or 4.8 million people had a net worth of $1,00,000. This also portrays the rising income inequality in the country, with only 4,460 adults having wealth over $50 million and 1,790 cornering more than $100 million. Credit Suisse report has also estimated that millionaires in India could number 1.2 million in 2024, increasing by 56 % over the next five years. “India is expected to grow its wealth very rapidly and add USD 4.4 trillion in just five years, an increase of 43 %,” the report further said. indianexpress
OTHERS
Muslim Personal Law Board moves SC challenging criminalisation of Triple Talaq
New Delhi: All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging the criminalisation of Triple Talaq.The petition was filed by advocate M R Shamshad on the behalf of the law board.The Act makes instant triple talaq a cognizable offense and attracts up to three years of imprisonment and a fine.Under the act, an accused can be arrested without a warrant. ANI/ news 18
SC Allows Muslim Parties to Bring on its Record Written Note in Babri Masjid Land Case
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday allowed Muslim parties, including UP Sunni Wakf Board, to file their written note in the decades-old Babri Masjid land dispute case, in which they have submitted that the verdict will have "consequences" for the future polity of the country.A lawyer for the Muslim parties in the case said that various parties and the apex court registry had raised objection to the filing of the written note in sealed cover."We have now served our written note to all the parties on Sunday," the lawyer said and asked the bench to direct its registry to take their note on record.The bench which also comprise justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer, however, pointed out that the contents of the written note, filed in the sealed cover have already been reported in some sections of media.PTI
Assam: Cattle rearer killed, one injured after allegedly refusing to donate money to tribal group
The police in Assam’s Dibrugarh district have launched a search operation to arrest those responsible for killing a cattle rearer last week, Indian Express reported. The accused allegedly belong to the students’ body of a tribal community.District police officials said the cattle-rearing community in a remote sandbar in Dibrugarh was attacked for refusing to pay donation for the foundation day celebrations of Takam Mising Porin Kebang, the students’ body of the Mising tribe.“A hunt is on to nab the accused, most of whom have fled to other districts,” said SP Gautam Borah.“Group had submitted a letter, requesting donation. Villagers here claimed to have detained two boys of the group which had come to serve the letter.”The members of the students’ group allegedly attacked the villagers in large numbers of Oct.19, and burnt their homes. “One person, Murali Yadav, aged around 55, succumbed to injuries,” Borah said. “Another person was also injured in the attack and is undergoing treatment.”Dibrugarh DCP Pallav Gopal Jha said area was calm at present. He added that the police were hopeful of making arrests soon, and were planning to compensate the victim’s kin.“We have placed a demand of Rs 10 lakh compensation and a job for kin of the deceased,”said All Assam Bhojpuri Parishad head Kailash Gupta. “Also, there should be a police outpost near village – it is very remote.”scroll.in/ Indian Express
Transfer of school headmaster over poem: Will write to authorities to bring him back, say parents
Lucknow :“Main bhi wahi admission loonga (I will also take admission there), says a class V student of the Govt primary school II in Bisalpur block of Pilibhit district after he is told that the headmaster — Furqan Ali — has been transferred to another school.“He is the best teacher. Everyone loves him at school because he is kind and has never hit us,” the students added.Parents of children at the schoolare also batting for the headmaster.Kavita (35), whose two children go to the school — a boy in class II and a girl in class I — says, “My children have told me that master sahab used to get vegetables for school from his own money. After his suspension, every morning, the children wake up and start crying saying they don’t want to go to school. I don’t know what I am going to do.”Another parent, Poonam (33), whose son is in class II, says they are planning to submit a written application to the Block Education Officer. “We are not literate, but we will do what we can to get him back at the school,” she says.On October 14, Pilibhit administration had suspended Ali after local VHP members complained that he made students recite a religious prayer during the morning assembly. They had alleged that particular prayer is recited in madrasas.On Oct.19, Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) of Pilibhit district temporarily revoked Ali’s suspension on “humanitarian grounds” and transferred him to another school.Pilibhit DM Vaibhav Srivastava had said, “Headmaster Ali was suspended because a video went viral on social media in which he is seen and heard saying that because most of the students of the primary school belong to a particular community and following their request, he used to get the Iqbal’s poem recited during the morning assembly.” His father, Irfan, says Ali was the first person in the family to get a Govt job. His right leg afflicted with polio since childhood, Ali was always a “quiet child who kept to his books”, says Irfan. “Now, Ali is the person who pays for my medicines. He did not get married because he says he will do it after all his sisters get married,” he added. Ali is the eldest among seven siblings. Prem Narayan, a fourth-class employee at BEO office on the primary school premises says that Furqan has a “good rapport” with the students. “If he would ask the students to stand in line once, they would. It was not due to fear but because out of respect. I am not surprised that the attendance has dipped since he was removed. One teacher controlling 150-200 students is a big thing,” said Narayan.After Ali’s suspension, the attendance at the school has dipped substantially. A day after he was suspended, only 5 students showed up at the school according to the attendance register.Kavita, whose children refuse to go to school since the suspension, added, “The administration is playing with the future of our children. They don’t care about our children because we are poor.”indianexpress
Supreme Court allows Ravidas temple construction 2 months after it ordered its demolition
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today accepted Centre’s proposal for the reconstruction of Guru Ravidas temple at the same site where it was demolished and directed it to form a committee to oversee its construction. Modifying its earlier proposal, the Centre told the apex court that it is willing to increase the area for the construction of the temple from 200 to 400 square metres. DDA had, in August, demolished the shrine in Delhi’s Tughlakabad area, complying with an order of the top court. It had led to widespread protests across the country.The court said that if any person, who was arrested because of any kind of demonstration against the demolition of Ravidas temple, be released forthwith on a personal bond. It also directed that a committee be set up for building the temple.ANI
Social media regulations to be ready by Jan 2020: Centre to SC
 Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that the entire process of finalising the laws on regulating social media will be completed by Jan.2020, while seeking 3 months more time for notifying the final revised rules in accordance with law.The Govt told the top court that after collating and analysing all the details that have emerged from stakeholders participation and inter-ministerial consultations, the Govt has bonafide belief that a further period of three months would be required for finalising and notifying the final revised rules in accordance with law.In an affidavit, the Govt submitted that the Electronics and IT Ministry has drafted IT Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules 2018, and published the entire draft for public comments on its website on Dec.24, 2018, requesting suggestions and objections from concerned stakeholders and the public.The Govt also said that various rounds of industry consultations and discussions involving various chambers of commerce, associations and social media companies have already taken place.The updated draft rules are under discussion and as it has to be vetted by the Law and Justice Ministry, the entire process will be completed by January 2020.IANS
With No Muslim Residents, People Of Bihar Village Named 'Pakistan' Desperately Want A Name Change
Pakistan wants to change its name. No, not the country. There is a village in Bihar that is named Pakistan and the residents there are tired of facing the problems they do, because of that. Miffed villagers have filed a petition with Govt officials to have the name of their village changed, as they feel ashamed to be addressed as ‘Pakistanis’, according to Gulf News. The village of Pakistan is located in Purnia district which is more than 300 km from the main city of Bihar. Reportedly, there are around 1,200 people in the village and none of them are Muslim. The village was named so in the memory of Muslims who migrated in 1947.“We are caught in an awkward situation. No one wants to marry their daughters with youths from our village. We too feel ashamed of being called Pakistanis while we have nothing to do with Pakistan,” Gulf News quoted a local, Anup Lal Tuddu as saying. indiatimes
Sadhvi Pragya calls Mahatma Gandhi ‘son of soil’, says she follows his footsteps
In a stark contrast to her previous statements, BJP MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur today called Mahatma Gandhi “son of the nation” who needs to be loved and remembered by the nation at all times, India Today reported. Thakur had earlier heaped praises on Gandhi’s killer, Godse, calling him a dekhbhakt (patriot). Bhopal MP made the remark at an event in her constituency where she was asked over her absence from Gandhi Sankalp Yatra organised by her party across the state. “Gandhi is the son of the nation, I admire him and do not need to give any explanation,” India Today quoted her as saying. “Whoever has worked for the nation is admirable to me. I will forever walk the path charted by Mahatma Gandhi. People who have given guidance to us, we will certainly praise them. Follow their footsteps, we pave the way for people,” she added.Earlier in May, when the Lok Sabha elections were underway, Thakur had created controversy by calling Godse a patriot, a remark which was immediately condemned by the BJP and PM Narendra Modi himself.indianexpress
Burkha never an impediment to progress, education: GIO
Nampally:Breaking stereotypes, thousands of burqa clad young women, who attended the city’s first conference of GIO (Girls Islamic Organisation) entitled ‘Your Impetuous Zeal Keeps the World Alive’ held at Exhibition Grounds at Nampally, threw emphasis that their attire was never an impediment to education and progress. Representing different streams of education from medical, engineering, arts and research, some 10,000 girls converged at Exhibition Grounds. Speakers while referring to increased number of cases of atrocities against women across the country, tried to break the notion and pigeonholing that women under burkha were oppressed, as Old City's women proved that in academics they have been producing better results than boys, year after year by remaining secure under the veil. Speakers threw light on subjects covering educational, religious, moral and cultural aspects and felt that all can be balanced with proper focus and dedication, under present scenario. Important topics like harassment of women and solutions, girls facing problems at educational institutions and workplace and problem resolution were discussed. Syeda Falak, Karate Champion, who was one of the guests, gave away awards to students who topped in Telangana Talento'19, festival held earlier this year, where girl students from 550 campuses took part and best students from different colleges were also felicitated. Speaking on the occasion, Khansa Fathima, state head of GIO while expressing concern over women's security in the country, she blamed the prevailing confusion on moral values of the youth, who are caught between the idea of progress by western and traditional standards. the hansindia
SC stays trial against Chhattisgarh CM in ‘sex CD case’
New Delhi :The Supreme Court Monday stayed trial proceedings against Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel in the sex CD case and issued notice on a plea filed by CBI for transferring the case out of the state.On being asked why the probe agency wanted to transfer case, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for CBI, said 2 witnesses in the matter have lodged complaints that they have been threatened for giving statement against the CM.Baghel, along with 4 others, is accused of allegedly circulating a fake pornographic CD of ex state PWD Minister Rajesh Munat.indianexpress
Sunni waqf board chairman denies any influence behind stand in Supreme Court
Lucknow:Denying any kind of influence on him in relation to the Ayodhya case, the chairman of UP Sunni Waqf Board Zufar Faruqui has said that the two cases lodged against him in Rampur recently have no connection with his stand in the Supreme Court. These cases relate to alleged irregularities in transfer of Waqf properties.Faruqui said, “The cases have nothing to do with the issue. The mediation process has been on since March 8. I have been the most active participant. The Rampur cases were lodged in August and March. I cannot disclose what I submitted to the mediation panel because it is confidential. Whatever has been submitted has been done after consultations with eminent personalities and people belonging to the Muslim community.”2 cases have been lodged against Faruqui along with others, including SP MP from Rampur Azam Khan, at Azim Nagar and Kotwali police station in Rampur.A statement by the state Govt Saturday said it has recommended a CBI probe in two cases — one lodged in Prayagraj and the other in Lucknow in 2016 and 2017, respectively. indianexpress
Parliament’s winter session to begin from Nov 18
New Delhi:The winter session of Parliament will commence from Nov.18 and continue till Dec.13. Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs has communicated this to the secretariats of both Houses of Parliament.Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) had met last week at defence minister Rajnath Singh’s residence to discuss the possible schedule for Parliament’s winter session. The winter session is beginning as India stares at an economic slowdown. The opposition and the Govt are also expected to lock horns over the situation in J&K in the aftermath of the revocation of the region’s special status.HT
Kamlesh Tiwari murder: Killer had fake FB account; Reward of 2.50 lakh each declared on his killers
A key suspect in the murder case of former Hindu Mahasabha President Kamlesh Tiwari had befriended him through a fake account on Facebook.According to sources of UP STF, their counterparts in Gujarat have found that one of the assailants identified as Ashfaq Hussain had created the account under the name of 'Rohit Solanki' and befriended Tiwari.Tiwari had agreed to meet 'Solanki' on October 18, the day he was killed. Hussain and Moinuddin Pathan have been identified as the main assailants. Their identities was confirmed through the CCTV footage of the hotel they stayed in and also after the police recovered blood stained clothes and a towel from their room.UP DGP O.P. Singh had earlier stated that the accused knew Tiwari as they spent around 30 minutes with him on the pretext of gifting him sweets.Maulana Mohsin Sheikh, Khurshid Ahmed Pathan and Faizan, the three co-accused, have been arrested from Surat by a joint team of the Gujarat Police and the UP Police.This was the fourth murder of a right-wing leader this month in UP.IANS
Why were Kamlesh Tiwari’s killers so keen to get caught?Faraz Ahmad
#ProphetofCompassion Trends on Internet to Counter Islamophobes
New Delhi:Following the murder of Kamlesh Tiwari, a leader of a little-known rightwing outfit Bharat Hindu Army, in Lucknow, the capital of UP, on Friday, people with Islamophobic bent of mind took to Internet and started making derogatory comments about the holy Prophet (PBUH).Tiwari had made defamatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in 2015 and authorities say that they don’t rule out that being the reason for his murder as revenge. In fact, the police have arrested six Muslim men in this connection from different cities of the country.However, Muslim activists and liberal voices among non-Muslims, saw this as an opportunity to dispel misconceptions and fallacies being peddled about the prophet.On Saturday, a hashtag #prophetofcompassion became a trend on twitter in India.Social media users on twitter brought up stories of the Prophet (PBUH) which highlight compassion, love, equality and justice. The hashtag saw thousands of tweets put out under it to educate people about Prophet (PBUH) in particular and Islam in general.Caravan News
Hashtag inciting hatred trends on Twitter, handles followed by PM, BJP leaders
On Sunday, #मुस्लिमोकासंपूर्ण_बहिष्कार (‘Total Boycott of Muslims’) was one of the top trends on Twitter. This was not the only one hashtag but there were many more trending on Twitter posting abusive and discriminatory posts against the minority community.The messages posted with these hashtags were asking people to boycott buying goods and services from Muslims and demanding ban on the religious teachings. According to a report in The Wire, police are reluctant to act against the individuals currently promoting this hashtag with the intent of malice against Muslims since many of them are followed by prominent politicians – including PM Narendra Modi and various cabinet ministers.Twitter handle ‘@GovindHindu’ used the hashtag to show an inflammatory picture. This twitter account is currently followed by four members of the BJP, with the PM included.Twitter account ‘ExSecular’ put out a tweet promoting a similar sentiment. It has used a photoshopped image of actor Bollywood actor Swara Bhasker to prove that she was calling for hanging of the people accused of Kamalesh Tiwari’s murder. The post didn’t use the hashtag. This account is also followed by PM Modi, along with Kapil Mishra and the office of commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal, reported The Wire.These two Twitter accounts are followed by a range of ministers, the Office of Piyush Goyal happens to have been following a significant number of more such handles. ‘Office of Piyush Goyal’ Twitter handle had drawn a lot of flak in the past too for following unverified accounts, most recent case was that of the instigator of the Zomato episode.Journalist Abhijit Majumder, a verified account shared the same video in a sardonic thread about how Muslim children are being radicalized.However, Abhijit used the hashtag #MuhammadForAll, which was trending in response to the hate-filled hashtag that had flooded Twitter the entire day.This hashtag began an hour after the original hashtag emerged.In a positive turn of events hashtag celebrating the religion had 42,000 tweets – over 14,000 times more than the hate-filled one vilifying it. nationalheraldindia
Aadhaar failure: 35% people in three districts in Odisha denied ration for two months
After Jharkhand, now several hundreds of ration cardholders from three districts in Odisha have been denied their Public Distribution System (PDS) food grains for at least 60 days mostly on the basis of the failure of Aadhaar system.According to a survey conducted in 3 districts—Nabarangpur, Nuapada and Malkangiri— more than 35 % of people in these districts have not received their food grains. Among the 1,626 people that the survey covered, Aadhaar was not seeded with ration cards of 574 members. Most of these families live hand-to-mouth. nationalheraldindia
WORLD
Withdrawing US troops enter Iraq from Syria
Dozens of US armoured vehicles carrying American soldiers crossed into the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq from Syria today.The withdrawing convoy crossed the Tigris River at the Fishkhabur border post near the Turkish frontier, en route to Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous region, which is home to a US base. US forces also moved into Iraq from Syria through the Sahela border crossing in northern province of Dohuk, witnesses said.A Reuters cameraman saw over 100 vehicles crossing. Residents of a Kurdish-dominated Syrian city pelted US troops with potatoes and shouted expletives at them as they drove through. A video posted on Monday by the Kurdish news agency showed a convoy of armoured vehicles driving through Qamishli.Angry residents hurled potatoes and shouted "no America" and "America liar". One vehicle backed up over the pavement, in an attempt to get away from the people."Just like rats, America, run away. Long live the resistance and long live the YPG," a man holding a photo shouted, referring to Kurdish People's Protection Units militia.US defence chief Mark Esper today said some American troops will remain in parts of northeast Syria near oilfields alongside YPG-led SDF to ensure the oil does not fall into the hands of ISIL group."We presently have troops in a couple of cities located right near that area. The purpose is to deny access - specifically revenue to ISIS and any other groups that may want to seek that revenue to enable their own malign activities," Esper told reporters in Afghanistan.US military presence at several bases across Iraq is controversial with numerous political groups and pro-Iran Shia militia demanding their expulsion.aljazeera
US troops bombed own airbase before withdrawing from Syria: Report
US armed forces demolished their own airbase in Al-Hasakah province in northeast Syria before abandoning it and withdrawing troops, Syrian media reported.US bombed its military base with landing facilities for transport aircraft in the Tal Baydar settlement close to town of Tal Tamr, where fighting between US-backed Kurdish forces and the Turkish army is underway.ANI
Prz:Turkey's military operation in Syria not land grab
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has denied any territorial ambition in military operation in Syria, calling the accusation an "insult" to him.Speaking at a forum on Monday, Erdogan also criticised Ankara's allies for not supporting what he calls a fight against "terrorists". "Turkey does not have an eye on any country's territory ... We consider such an accusation as the biggest insult directed to us," he said in Istanbul.Today, Erdogan responded angrily to widespread criticism in the West of Turkey's operation in northeast Syria."The whole of the West, sided with the terrorists and have attacked us - including NATO and European countries," he said."I thought you were against terrorism and terrorists. What happened? Since when have you started to move in line with terror?"He is to meet Vladimir Putin on Tuesday in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. aljazeera
'We've been neutral for years': Dilemma of Syrian Kurds in Turkey
Pelosi, congressional delegation make unannounced trip to Afghan in outreach to allies after Trump’s decision on Syria
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) led an unannounced congressional visit to Afghanistan and Jordan over weekend, highlighting her sharp disagreement with President Trump over his abrupt removal of US troops from northern Syria and Turkey’s subsequent attacks on Kurdish enclaves.In Afghanistan, the delegation met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, top US military commanders and diplomats, senior Afghan Govt officials and civil society leaders. The delegation also traveled to Camp Morehead to meet with Resolute Support Mission troops.  “Our delegation received briefings from Ambassador John Bass and other top diplomats on reconciliation efforts with the Taliban, which has been responsible for violent attacks in Afghanistan. We also heard more about the still-pending status of results from the Afghanistan presidential election in September, which we all hope will be available soon,” Pelosi said in a statement. She added: “Meeting with and hearing directly from our troops and diplomats on the ground is essential for Congress to conduct effective oversight of our mission in Afghanistan. We will return to Washington strengthened with the facts and the first-hand knowledge we have gathered at this critical time for our nation’s Afghan policy and inspired by the courage of our service members and diplomats on front lines.”washingtonpost
Hamas decries Israel's participation in Bahrain summit
Palestinian group Hamas that rules besieged Gaza Strip has decried Israel's participation in a US-led maritime security meeting in Bahrain.Israel's Channel 13 reported that an Israeli delegation would attend the event, due to open in Manama on Sunday.Israel and Bahrain do not have diplomatic relations.In a statement, Hamas spokesman Hazim Qasim said attempts to "integrate the Israeli occupation into the region are doomed to fail".He blamed the parties that "normalise relations with Israel for Israeli assaults on Palestinian people and their holy sites". Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Oman are also expected to participate in 2-day summit, main agenda of which will be "Iranian threat in Persian Gulf".aljazeera
Christian population in Palestine declining due to Israel occupation
Number of Christians in Israel and occupied Palestinian territories is declining as a result of the suppressive political and economic conditions due to the conflict with Israel. According to Afro-Palestine Newswire, indigenous Christian Palestinians once constituted over 19 % of the population of historic Palestine, but number less than 2 % today, as Arab-Israeli conflict has caused majority of Palestinian Christians to leave their homeland. During a conference held in Johannesburg last week hosted by Evangelical Alliance of South Africa (TEASA), Palestinian Christian theologians and activists addressed Israeli restrictions preventing Christians from practicing their faith and being denied the right to worship at their most sacred sites in occupied Jerusalem. Israel also denies Palestinians access to healthcare and employment opportunities, delegates heard, leading to a drastic decline in Palestinian population, including that of Christians.MEMO
4 Sinai civilians killed after Egypt bombs house
At least 4 civilians have been killed and 12 injured after a bomb was dropped on a house in Abu Al-Araj, Sheikh Zuweid, on Saturday.Ten-year-old Mohammed Masoud, 90-year-old Farha Ibrahim, 24-year-old Aya Juma Eid and 28 year-old Rania Juma Eid all died in the drone attack in Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula.For years now the Egyptian Govt has waged a war on Sinai it says is against terrorism, but which locals say is a war on civilians aimed at systematically displacing them from their land.In the last seven years 14 villages in Sheikh Zuweid have been razed by the Egyptian military. According to a Facebook post written by Sinai researcher Ahmed Salem:middleeastmonitor
Lebanon's cabinet approves reforms after protests
Lebanon approved reforms and 2020 budget following five days of protests, PM Hariri announced on Monday. But the raft of reforms announced by PM Hariri did not go far enough for some protesters on Monday. Lebanon's cabinet is expected to halve ministers' wages among other reforms.The package of moves includes a 50 % cut in the salaries of current and former presidents, ministers and politicians, and benefit cuts for state institutions and officials, officials told Reuters news agency.It further provides for the central bank and private banks to contribute $3.3bn to achieve a "near-zero deficit" for 2020 budget. Protesters have said this would not be enough to send them home, demanding the politicians they accuse of rampant corruption to step down.aljazeera
Hong Kong leader apologises for mosque water cannon incident after day of violence
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam apologised today after police hit a major mosque with water canon as they battled protesters during another day of political unrest in the Asian financial hub.Lam visited the mosque before she was due to head to Japan to attend Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony in Tokyo, and as the city cleaned up the mess from violent protests the night before, latest in 5 months of political turmoil.In Sunday's clashes, police used water cannon trucks to disperse protesters, spraying jets of blue dye into the crowds.In one instance, a cannon drenched the front gate and steps of the Kowloon mosque, Hong Kong's most important Islamic place of worship where a few people had gathered including journalists. Blue stains remained on the road in front as worshippers gathered for prayers on Monday.Lam visited the mosque today dressed in a shawl, and apologised to Islamic leaders, according to a spokesman.Chief Imam Muhammad Arshad said the apology was "accepted" and that the Islamic community hoped to continue living in Hong Kong in peace. Reuters
UK PM braces for rough ride over Brexit deal
UK PM Boris Johnson is preparing a second attempt to ram his European Union divorce deal through Parliament of UK and avoid the political damage of delaying Brexit.Another momentous week in the tortuous saga could end with Johnson finally engineering a divorce from Brussels that breaks many of the island nation's economic relations with Europe built over the past 46 years.Alternatively, by the end of this week, he may have been forced to concede and to push for a general election to break impasse in Parliament.aljazeera
Canada election: Trudeau fights to retain power in tight race
Canadians are heading to the polls on Monday to vote in a tight race seen as a test to the leadership of PM Justin Trudeau.Polling stations on the eastern side of the country started. After winning a strong majority in 2015, Trudeau is hoping for a second term but polling indicates his Liberal Party and Andrew Scheer's Conservatives are neck-and-neck.aljazeera
Flash: NEWS, views, Articles
'Kashi-Mathura Baaqi Hain': Why the Ayodhya Verdict Won't Offer Any Respite From Saffron Hatred:Teesta Setalvad
Decision of a judge to recuse is about due process, respecting people’s trust in judiciary:Faizan Mustafa
Savarkar, father of Hindu rashtravad, also represents a tradition of social reformers:Girish Kuber, editor, Loksatta
Who was Allama Iqbal and what was his role in the creation of Pakistan:Mehr Gill
France’s problem with the burqa: Mehr Gill
Only ones happy with 370 move are JeI, separatists:Anand Sahay, journalist in Delhi
What the last imam of Babri Masjid told me a few months before the demolition:SHIKHA TRIVEDY
Ayodhya verdict: Generations will feel impact, go by values laid in Constitution, Mosque sides tells SC
Kamlesh Tiwari was 12 when he first took on Muslims — story of his rise as a Hindu leader:Ananya Bhardwaj
Ministers Follow Hate Accounts That Made Call to Boycott Muslims a Top Twitter Trend:Naomi Barton
Imran Khan pulls off a PR coup: Move to bring Pakistan in from the cold:Hasan Suroor
Kashmir shutdown: Farmers struggle to make a living: Victoria Gatenby , aljazeera
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:17 PM)

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