23 October 2019

23 OCT. NEWS: On TN govt radar, 2 Hindutva groups that track ‘love jihad’ in schools/ Hajela’s transfer turns NRC ‘radarless’: Ex CM Gogoi/MEA asked Teen Murti Library not to release Kashmir documents of India’s 2nd Army chief:activist

23 OCT. 2019: 23 Safar 1441: Vol: 12, No: 44
On TN govt radar, 2 Hindutva groups that track ‘love jihad’ in schools
Chennai :Tamil Nadu government has directed schools and colleges across the state to prevent communal polarisation in education institutions following reports of Hindutva indoctrination among students and the activities of Hindu Ilaignar Munnani (Hindu Youth Front) and Hindu Manavar Munnani (Hindu Student Front) in campuses to counter allege ‘love jihad’.In a directive issued last month, the School Education Department warned schools and colleges against patronising such activities. The directive came into the public domain on Wednesday.“It has been brought to the notice of the Government about Hindu Ilaignar Munnani and Hindu Manavar Munnai function at schools and colleges to integrate students of secondary and higher secondary level by promoting moral education, devotion, mythology, epics and the history of Hindu leaders. Hindu Ilaignar Munnani would integrate college students (Hindus) by forming units comprising 10 students in every college. Unit would watch the activities of Hindu girl students in the colleges with an aim to prevent any ‘love jihad’ activities,” the circular read.The directive warned educational campuses that condoning such activities and supporting them would be a violation of the rules and guidelines governing such institutions. It asked educational institutions to keep a watch on them and prevent communal polarisation on the lines of religion, creed, and community.The educational institutions were asked to take necessary action in this regard and send an action taken report to the government immediately without any delay.Those reports would be taken up at meeting to review law and order, the circular added.HT
Ayodhya: SC allows 'Nirvani Akahara' to file written note on moulding of relief
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has allowed 'Nirvani Akahara', one of Hindu parties in the decades-old case of Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya, to file a written note seeking the "right to manage worship of the deity" as 'shebait' (devotee) at the site.A counsel for 'Nirvani Akahara' mentioned the matter before a bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi and said his client "miscalculated" the 3-day time granted by the court for filing the written note on moulding of relief -- narrowing down the issues raised during the hearing -- and was now seeking the nod for filing it with the apex court's registry."You file it now," the bench, which also comprised Justices S A Bobde and SA Nazeer, told senior advocate Jaideep Gupta who was representing 'Nirvani Akhara'.Both 'Nirmohi Akahara' and its rival 'Nirvani Akahara' are seeking right to manage and offer 'puja' at the birthplace of deity 'Ram Lalla Virajman' at the site.PTI
Bombay HC: Phone Tapping Permitted Only in Interest of Public Safety
Bombay high court has granted relief to a 54-year-old Mumbai based businessman and quashed three separate orders passed by Union Ministry of Home Affairs allowing CBI to intercept phone calls of the petitioner businessman in a case of bribery involving an official of a public sector bank.A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice N.J. Jamadar directed the CBI to destroy the copies of said call recordings.According to CBI, the petitioner gave a bribe of Rs 10 lakh to the said bank official for credit-related favour. In three separate orders dated October 29, 2009, December 18, 2009, and Feb.24, 2010, interception of telephone calls of the petitioner was allowed. CBI registered an FIR against the petitioner on April 11, 2011.thewire
Hajela’s transfer turns NRC ‘radarless’: Ex CM Gogoi
Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi feels Prateek Hajela’s transfer will render NRC update process “radarless”.NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela has been recently transferred to MP on deputation.“Hajela’s transfer will turn the ongoing NRC update process radarless and headless,” Gogoi told mediapersons at his residence on Tuesday.3-time ex Assam CM said the apex court should have issued the transfer order only after making an alternative arrangement.“I will also blame the Supreme Court. An alternative arrangement should have been made,” said
No evidence of Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander in latest fly-by, says NASA
US’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration said that it found no evidence of Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander in the images taken during the latest fly-by of its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter on Oct.14, PTI reported on Wednesday. The Vikram lander had attempted a soft landing on September 7, but lost communication with the Indian Space Research Organisation minutes before touchdown.“Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter imaged the area of targeted Chandrayaan-2 Vikram landing site on Oct.14 but did not observe any evidence of the lander,” said Project Scientist for the lunar orbiter mission Noah Edward Petro in an exclusive conversation with the news agency. The scientist said that the camera team had carefully gone over the pictures and made use of the change detection technique [using a ratio of a picture from before and after Vikram’s landing attempt].scroll
MEA asked Teen Murti Library not to release Kashmir documents of India’s 2nd Army chief:activist
Answers to a RTI query have revealed that the Ministry of External Affairs has closed public access to files on Kashmir put together by India’s second Army chief Sir Roy Bucher. The papers are in the possession of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in Delhi, which is popularly known as Teen Murti Library.RTI query was filed by Venkatesh Nayak, who is the programme head of Access to Information Programme of non-profit organisation Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. The content of the papers, dating from 1947 till Army officer’s retirement in October 1949, may prove to be crucial to understand Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s role in the 1947-’48 Kashmir crisis. Nehru is often accused of not showing courage to force Pakistani invaders to retreat from Jammu and Kashmir in Sept 1947, Nayak wrote in an article today. In an interview to biographer BR Nanda a few decades after his retirement, Bucher noted that he had two letters from Nehru in which the prime minister requested him to do whatever possible to counter the shelling of Akhnoor and the Beripattan Bridge by Pakistan heavy artillery from within Pakistan, Nayak pointed out. Nehru reportedly suggested that he was prepared to “advance into Pakistan”. In his RTI plea, human rights activist sought a clear copy of list of records, documents, papers, and other material available with Teen Murti Library that were closed to public access on instructions from Centre, or any state or Union. He asked for names of the agencies that had barred the material from public viewing, the date of the instruction, and the duration for every such material to be remain closed to public
Delhi Court takes cognisance of charge sheet against JKLF chief Yasin Malik
A Delhi court on Wednesday took cognisance of a supplementary charge sheet filed by NIA against JKLF chief Yasin Malik and others in the 2017 terror funding case.Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Syal took cognisance of the final report which also names separatist leaders Asiya Andrabi, Shabir Shah and Masarat Alam Bhat as accused.In an in-camera proceeding, the court also extended the judicial custody of some of the accused till November 7 after they appeared before it through video-conference due to security issues, the court sources said.PTI
Satya Pal Malik may be Lt Guv of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh Union territories
The union govt is looking for candidates to take over as L-Gs of Union Territories (UTs) of J&K and Ladakh, carved out following J&K’s reorganisation that will come into effect on Oct 31, according to people aware of the developments.There has been speculation that J&K governor Satya Pal Malik, 73, could preside over both UTs--J&K andLadakh--even as J&K Reorganisation Act provides for separate L-Gs for both UTs.HT
Court orders FIR against Kathua rape investigators: DGP says no torture in probe, court order against team will be followed
Srinagar : Defending the team that probed the Kathua rape and murder case last year, J&K police chief Dilbag Singh on Wednesday said no witnesses were tortured and the court’s directive of an FIR against the investigating police officials would be followed.The police chief’s comments came a day after a Jammu court directed police to register an FIR against 6 members of SIT, which probed the case of the rape and murder of an eight-year-old in Kathua, for allegedly torturing and coercing witnesses to give false statements.The court order is being examined and all necessary action will be taken, Singh told reporters during a briefing about an encounter in which three terrorists were killed in Tral, south Kashmir.He also made it clear that every FIR is not necessarily based on facts. “Sometimes there is an aim, motivation and the Court’s direction came and we will see. We investigate thousands of cases. We have more than 17,000 cases registered every year.“It does not mean that we pick up people and torture them. So there are cases, high-profile cases, where people resort to this kind of actions and reactions. We will certainly take action as per law and there is nothing to worry about,” he said.The Jammu court was hearing an application from Sachin Sharma, Neeraj Sharma and Sahil Sharma, friends of one of the accused, Vishal Jangotra, who was subsequently acquitted.The court directed that an FIR be registered against then SSP RK Jalla (now retired), ASP Peerzada Naveed, Deputy SP Shetmbari Sharma and Nissar Hussain and Sub-Inspectors Urfan Wani and Kewal Kishore. It also asked SSP (Jammu) to give a compliance report by the next date of hearing on November 11.PTI
Silence of Kashmir is ‘not acceptance’: Yousuf Tarigami
New Delhi:Yousuf Tarigami, a CPM central committee member, minced no words while replying to the question why there has been no protest in Kashmir against the decisions to do away with the state’s special status and bifurcate it.Kashmiri politician Yousuf Tarigami on Tuesday said the government should not mistake the silence of Kashmir as “acceptance” of the humiliation unleashed on August 5, adding: “How many times have you seen a protest in Tihar jail?”Visiting Delhi on what he called his “medical visa” for a check-up at AIIMS, the “detained” CPM leader was interacting with a group of journalists at the residence of CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury in the heart of the capital.telegraphindia
Drones track Kashmir protesters
Srinagar:Dozens of unmanned aerial vehicles or drones have been deployed in Kashmir to track the movement of pro-azadi protesters and militants.Police sources said that around 50 DJI MAVIC2 drones were keeping tabs on protesters, helping the government strengthen its surveillance system.Officials said this was the biggest UAV procurement for police, which had been approved by Union home ministry before August 5. DJI MAVIC2 drones have infrared sensing systems with a fully stabilised 3-axis camera, providing both infrared and visual images simultaneously. They can fly at 75kmph and carry a 1.2kg payload.telegraphindia
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar slams TOI journalist during US congressional hearing on Kashmir, terms her claims ‘dubious’
US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has slammed a journalist from Times of India for making ‘dubious’ claims in favour of the Indian govt on the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir. This evoked an angry response from Aarti Tikoo Singh, who felt that her professional integrity was being questioned by the Congresswoman. Responding to Singh’s opening remarks at US congressional sub-committee hearing, Omar reminded the former that the job of a reporter was to find the ‘objective truth about what’s happening and report it to the public.’ “Ms Singh, a reporter’s job is to find the objective truth about what is happening and report it to the public. You have an enormous audience at TOI and you have an enormous responsibility to get it right.I am aware of how the narrative shaped by reporting can distort the truth. I am also very aware of how it could be limited to sharing only the official side of the story. The press is at its worst when it is a mouthpiece for a govt.”Questioning Singh’s ‘version of the story’ on the current situation in Kashmir, Omar said, “In your version of the story, only problems in Kashmir are caused by what you call militants, the only people protesting to break away from India; and are all nefariously backed by Pakistan. You also make the incredibly dubious claim that Indian govt’s crackdown in Kashmir is good for human rights. If it was good for human rights, Ms Singh, it wouldn’t be happening in secret. You make, what I might call, a feminist case for the occupation of Kashmir and communication shutdowns, saying it will be better for women.”jantakareporter
Al Qaeda’s offshoot wiped out from Kashmir Valley: J&K Police chief
J&K DGP Dilbag today announced that Al Qaeda’s offshoot in Kashmir, Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind (AGH), has been eliminated from the Valley with the killing of the group’s chief and two other militants,.In a hurriedly-called presser, a day after the three militants were killed in Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, the police chief said the operation was carried out following a tip-off from the local police.Hameed Lone, alias Hamid Lelhari, was among 3 militants neutralised in Tuesday’s encounter. He was the successor of Zakir Musa, AGH’s founder in Kashmir. Musa had vowed allegiance to Al Qaeda and was killed in an encounter in May this year.Besides Lone, others killed in Tuesday’s encounter are Naveed Ahmed Tak and Junaid Rashid Bhatt. The police chief said the anti-militancy operation had dealt a severe blow to the AGH.indianexpress
Kamlesh Tiwari killing: Trail littered with clues, prime suspects held
Surat : 4 days after Kamlesh Tiwari,  was killed at his Lucknow home, Gujarat ATS arrested the 2 prime suspects, Ashfaq Hussain Jakir Hussain Shaikh (34) and Farid alias Moinuddin Khurshid Pathan (27), near the temple town of Shamlaji on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border Tuesday.Gujarat ATS DIG Himanshu Shukla said: “Both accused will be handed over to UP Police in the coming days as the case had been registered with Lucknow Police. They confessed to us about their involvement in the murder of Kamlesh Tiwari last Friday.”ATS, in a press release, said preliminary questioning of the two men revealed that they committed the crime “in retribution to purported statements by the deceased”.With this, 5 persons have so far been arrested — all from Gujarat — in connection with Tiwari’s killing. Rashid Pathan, Faizan Sheikh and Maulana Mohsin Sheikh, who were arrested from Surat, were produced before a court in Lucknow Tuesday evening. The court sent them to police custody for four days, Lucknow Police said in a statement.indianexpress
Accused in Kamlesh Tiwari murder case believed their action justified: Gujarat Police
Tiwari was stabbed 15 times, shot in face: Autopsy
The post mortem report of Hindu leader Kamlesh Tiwari has revealed the gruesome manner in which he was murdered on Oct.18. Tiwari was stabbed 15 times, shot in the face and there was attempt to slit his throat. Under no circumstance the killers wanted Tiwari to survive.The stabbing was centred on the upper part of body from jaws to chest. All wounds were inflicted within 10 cm of one another while two deep cut marks on the neck points to attempt to slit his throat, the autopsy revealed. The assailants also shot him once to make sure that he did not survive the attack. The bullet was fired in his face and the doctors conducting post-mortem on his body found 0.32 bullet on the backside of the skull.IANS/PTI
Kamlesh Tiwari murder hate posts: 32 FIRs filed, 10 held in three days
Uttar Pradesh Police has lodged as many as 32 FIRs in last 3 days against people from different communities across the state for sharing and posting objectionable, hurtful and discriminatory comments on social media following the killing of Hindu outfit leader Kamlesh Tiwari.Police have arrested 10 people in this connection. Police have also started the process to block 178 social media accounts.“In the 32 cases, police have arrested 10 people so far. Efforts are being made to trace the others who have posted discriminatory comments on social media,” said Praveeen Kumar, IG, Law and Order.In Sitapur, Tiwari’s native place, an FIR was lodged against one Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati and his unidentified followers for allegedly making hateful remarks against the minority community.indianexpress
Kamlesh Tiwari murder: police grills Hubballi man
Hubballi: Internal Security Division (ISD) police have taken into custody a technician from Old Hubballi, Mohammad Jaffer Sadiq, for questioning in connection with the murder of politician, Kamlesh Tiwari. Sadiq, who works as a technician at the Hubballi railway station, was first taken into custody by the Old Hubballi police, who handed him over to ISD, which is questioning him in Bengaluru. Police commissioner,  R Dilip, said the local police was not involved in the investigation and had only handed over Sadiq to ISD on its request. He also clarified that Sadiq had not been formally arrested, but was only being questioned by the ISD.Sadiq has an ailing wife and three children, besides three brothers and two sisters in the city. Upset by the police picking him up for questioning, his family claims he is not involved in any terror activity and that he has only been doing social work through a religious organisation.deccanchronicle.
Western Uttar Pradesh is mini-Pak: Sadhvi Prachi
After claiming to be under threat from jihadi groups, firebrand Hindu leader Sadhvi Prachi on Wednesday said that western Uttar Pradesh has turned into a mini-Pakistan.She said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's next aim after the revocation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, should be to deal firmly with those who issue fatwas."Till now I used to fearlessly move around the country but after the murder of Kamlesh Tiwari in Lucknow and Mukesh Sharma in Meerut, I feel apprehensive," she told reporters.IANS
Mumbai: Only man acquitted in train blasts moves Delhi court after finding name in list of convicted
Mumbai :ABDUL WAHID Shaikh, the only accused to walk out a free man in 7/11 suburban train blasts of 2005, has moved the Delhi High Court after he found his name listed among the convicted accused in the incident which claimed 189 lives. The name was listed in an order imposing a ban on SIMI by a tribunal of the Delhi High Court in July 2019. Tribunal had in July upheld the ban imposed on SIMI and validated a central government notification, issued in Feb this year, extending the ban for another 5 years. Tribunal was appointed by the central govt in Feb.2019 to adjudicate whether or not there is sufficient cause to declare SIMI an unlawful association.In his petition, Shaikh said that in the order, the Tribunal has wrongly recorded that he is one of the 10 of 12 accused convicted of being SIMI members by a Special Judge in Mumbai. He further states that “it is worth pointing out that the Petitioner was the only accused in the case who was acquitted of all charges” and that no appeal was filed by the state against the acquittal. Tribunal order had further been published by Centre in a Gazette of India notification on Aug.27, 2019. Shaikh was arrested in 2006 by ATS and was acquitted by the special court in Sept.2015.The petitioner is seeking an order for the expunction of factually incorrect observations made against him and is also calling for directions to publish said expunction in the Gazette of India.indianexpress
‘Goons’ in Jamia thrash protesting students, one admitted to hospital, five more injured
Protests in Jamia Millia Islamia turned ugly yesterday when students were attacked by goons allegedly hired by the college administration. Many students, including women, alleged harassment at the hands of these hired goons.According to the latest reports, one student–Shah Alam–was admitted to the emergency ward of Holy Family Hospital while five students were taken to the local medical centre for treatment.According to students, the goons who attacked them were hired by the college authorities and the local security staff acted as mere spectators. “When we asked the security people as to why they were not helping us, they said they cannot do anything,” said a student. “The goons were carrying wooden sticks and branches broken from nearby trees and beating everyone in sight including women,” said another student.Jamia administration, meanwhile, denied any wrongdoing and instead blamed the protesting students for the unrest. Ahmad Azeem, PRO-cum-Media Coordinator, JMI said allegations that students were attacked by hired goons were a “totally false allegation.” He blamed student groups for fermenting trouble on campus and said that the security guards were trying to stop the students.Protests in Jamia began when five students were issued a show-cause notice for protesting against the visit of delegates from Isreal during an event. twocircles
40 Lakh Living In Unauthorised Colonies In Delhi To Get Ownership Rights
Around 40 lakh people living in unauthorised colonies in Delhi will be given ownership rights, the government said today. Nearly 1,800 colonies have been marked for the big move, ministers said after a cabinet meeting led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi."Ownership rights will be conferred to people who are living there, whether they are on private or government land," said Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri.People can now take loans to construct homes in these colonies. Puri called it the most "far-sighted, progressive, revolutionary step" for Delhi since independence.The decision, described by the ministers as "historic", comes months before Delhi votes for a new assembly and has predictably set off a fight for credit between the centre and Delhi's ruling AAP, which accuses the BJP of blocking most of its plans. 3 Union ministers who addressed the media denied that the move had anything to do with politics or elections.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said his government had invested much work and funds into these colonies. "We didn't wait for all this colonies to be legal. They lived in inhuman conditions. We invested Rs. 6,000 crore and water, drains and sewer work was done in these colonies," he said.ndtv
BSNL, MTNL to merge, Cabinet announces Rs 29,937-crore revival package
New Delhi :In a bid to revamp state-owned telecom firms, Union Cabinet Wednesday approved the merger of MNTL with BSNL.“MTNL, BSNL are neither being closed nor divested,” Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.Cabinet also approved a revival package of Rs 29,937 crore for the two loss-making telecoms. The revival package includes raising of Rs 15,000 crore sovereign bonds and monetising Rs 38,000 crore of assets in next four years. indianexpress
DK Shivakumar gets bail in money laundering case
Delhi High Court today granted bail to Karnataka Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar, arrested in connection with a money laundering case being probed by ED.Justice Suresh Kumar Kait, while granting bail, remarked that  Shivakumar had been extensively interrogated by the probe agency since his arrest.The judge, however, instructed Shivakumar to cooperate with the investigation and not to leave the country without court's approval. It also directed him to pay a personal bail bond of Rs. 25 lakh with 2 sureties of the like amount.thehindu
Saudi Arabia visa fee increases by 6 times, Haj pilgrimage is now costlier
Saudi Arabia has effected a nearly 6-fold increase in visa fee, an order which can make Haj pilgrimage very costly, according to a media report, which said many Muslim countries were angry over this move. The report said that a single entry visa will now cost $533, up from $93, a multiple entry, 6-month visa would cost $800 and a one-year visa would cost $1,333.The revised visa fees affect all tourists, religious or business visitors, but exempts those travelling for the first time to perform the annual Haj pilgrimage or the lesser, non-mandatory pilgrimage known as Umrah, said the report in Quartz Africa.The pilgrimage involves considerable costs for visitors, especially for transportation and lodging.IANS
Russia urges Kurdish fighters to withdraw from Syria's border after deal between Moscow, Ankara
Russia has warned Kurdish forces to quickly withdraw from Turkey-Syria border - after a deal between Moscow and Ankara - or be crushed by the Turkish army, adding that US had "betrayed and abandoned" Syrian fighters. Wednesday's comments by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov followed a deal agreed on Tuesday between Turkey and Russia that will see Syrian and Russian forces deploy to northeast Syria to remove Kurdish fighters and their weapons from the border.Peskov, reportedly reacting to comments by US President Donald Trump's special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey, complained that it appeared the Americans were encouraging the Kurds to stay close to the Syrian border to fight the Turkish army."US has been the Kurds' closest ally in recent years.[But] in the end, it abandoned the Kurds and, in essence, betrayed them," Peskov was quoted as saying. "Now they [US] prefer to leave the Kurds at the border [Turkey] and almost force them to fight the Turks."If Kurds did not withdraw as per the deal, Peskov said Syrian border guards and Russian military police would have to withdraw, leaving the Kurds to deal with the Turkish army.The Kurdish fighters would be "steamrolled" by the Turks, he said.A column of Russian military police arrived in the city of Kobane in northern Syria, Russia's defence ministry said on Wednesday, according to TASS.The military police will help facilitate the withdrawal of Kurdish forces. Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan today said that Russian President Vladimir Putin assured him that Kurdish fighters will not be allowed to remain in Syria along the Turkish border wearing "regime clothes". aljazeera
‘Exercise utmost caution’: Govt advisory for Indians travelling to Turkey
New Delhi :In the wake of Turkey’s offensive in Syria, the Indian government Wednesday issued a travel advisory asking its citizens to “exercise utmost caution” while traveling to the country. With several people reaching out to the government with queries on the situation, the Minister of External Affairs has put out helpline numbers of the Indian Mission in Ankara and Istanbul for travelers requiring assistance.“Although there have been no reports of the untoward incident in the country so far, involving Indian nationals, travelers are required to exercise utmost caution while traveling to Turkey,” the advisory read.indianexpress
Kurdish YPG seeks Israel’s help against Turkey
Turkey’s operation in northeastern Syria – Operation Peace Spring – to clear the area and to ensure the safe return of millions of refugees, has evoked strong reactions in Israel, says Anadolu Agency.Israeli newspaper The Times of Israel reported that a YPG commander spoke to an Israeli radio station last Thursday, asking help from the Jewish state.Ankara sees YPG as an arm of the PKK and considers both to be terrorist organisations, also listed as a terrorist group by the US, and the European Union.The Army Radio, which broadcasts the message, did not give his full name but mentioned him as “Alef”.  The commander said if Tel Aviv does not intervene, the entire Middle East will be “adversely affected”.Israeli officials and commentators have been outraged by US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from Syria. They believed the decision does not serve the long-term Israeli goals in the region. Israeli columnists have described the act as “stabbing Israel in the back”. Quoting an Israeli official, Israeli media claimed that a YPG/PKK commander called on Tel Aviv on Monday and sought help against the Turkish operation. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed confidence that the Jewish people would not “neglect the plight of Kurds” in northern Syria.Anadolu
US troops will leave Iraq in 4 weeks: Iraqi govt
After meeting US military leader, Iraq's defence minister said on Wednesday American forces withdrawing from Syria into Iraq will depart the country within 4 weeks. Defence Minister Najah al-Shammari made the remarks to AP following a meeting with Mark Esper, who arrived in Baghdad to discuss the status of the US troops.He said the American troops are "transiting" in Iraq and will then head either to Kuwait, Qatar, or back to US. Iraq's military said Tuesday that US forces leaving northeastern Syria don't have permission to stay in Iraq in a statement that appeared to contradict Esper, who had said American forces would continue operations against ISIL to prevent its resurgence in the region. Esper said on Tuesday that Washington plans to eventually bring US troops withdrawing from Syria back to the United States. He did not provide any timelines. "The aim isn't to stay in Iraq interminably.The aim is to pull our soldiers out and eventually get them back home," Esper said. aljazeera
China invites Taliban, Afghan officials for 2-day talks
China has invited Taliban representatives to participate in a 2-day intra-Afghan conference in Beijing after negotiations between the group and the United States to end years of war in Afghanistan collapsed last month. Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban political spokesman, said on Wednesday that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's co-founder, met with Chinese diplomats in Doha, where the group has a political office."China has invited a delegation ... to participate in the intra-Afghan dialogue," Shaheen said. The conference will take place on October 29 and 30.It would be separate from talks between US and the Taliban, which spent the past year negotiating a deal that would have seen US pull thousands of troops from Afghanistan in return for various security guarantees."All participants will be attending the meeting in their personal capacity and they will share their personal opinions for solving the Afghan issue," Shaheen said.There was no immediate reaction from the administration of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, and Shaheen told AFP "it is not yet clear" whether government officials would attend, noting only lower-level officials should be included in the guest list.A spokesman for former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, who attended intra-Afghan talks in Russia in February, said Karzai's office was aware of China's plan for talks and Karzai would attend if invited.aljazeera
UN calls for release of ex-aide to Egypt's Mursi, son jailed since 2013
Genev: An Egyptian Islamist father and his son have been detained unlawfully since 2013 part of the political persecution of ex-aides to deposed president Mohamed Mursi, and should be freed immediately and compensated, UN human rights experts said.UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention posted its findings last week after examining the cases of former Mursi adviser Essam al-Haddad and his son Gihad. The panel said that Egyptian authorities had not responded to its inquiries. A Cairo court overturned life sentences for espionage against Essam and Gihad in 2016.After retrials this year, both were acquitted in September, but Essam was sentenced to 10 years for membership in an illegal group, while Gihad was immediately charged with the same crime and remains in custody, according to a support group’s statement.Haddad cases “appear to fit the pattern of systematic, widespread and grave violations of fundamental human rights directed against the senior figures of the ousted govnt of Mursi and their real or perceived fellow supporters,” UN panel said in an opinion.Their “deprivation of liberty is arbitrary,” it said, calling on Egyptian authorities to report back in six months on compliance with its findings, and adding: “Their trials should never have taken place.”Reuters
Egypt arrests 22 for incitement during martyr of chivalry trial
Egypt’s interior ministry has arrested 22 people for allegedly inciting others against the state following the murder of Mahmoud El-Banna.El-Banna was killed earlier this month in a revenge attack after he intervened to help a student who was being sexually harassed in the street.Later that evening he posted on Facebook “it’s not manly to beat a girl in the street” and in retaliation three boys ambushed him and stabbed him in the neck and stomach.After he died in hospital, El-Banna was dubbed “the martyr of chivalry” and thousands marched in the streets beside his body.His death became the centre of a debate about sexual harassment in Egypt where the government is accused of inaction, despite the alarming rate at which it occurs.middleeastmonitor
'Shock and sadness': 39 bodies found inside lorry in England
Police in southeast England say emergency services have recovered 39 bodies from a container truck believed to have been driven from Bulgaria.Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner said on Wednesday that authorities were in the process of trying to identify the deceased; 38 adults and one teenager. Police were alerted by the ambulance service shortly before 1:40am local time following the discovery of a truck container with people inside at Waterglade Industrial Park, which houses mostly courier and logistics companies. Mariner said the truck entered the country on Oct 19 and that police were "working closely with our partners to investigate".25-year-old driver,from Northern Ireland, was arrested on suspicion of murder,police said.aljazeera
UK protestors face jail for campaigning against Israel owned arms factory
7 people are facing the prospect of three months in prison for protesting against an Israeli-owned arms factory based in UK.The case against the seven activists will be heard in a Folkestone Magistrates Court Kent today. They are expected to plead not guilty of the charge of Aggravated Trespass, an offence which carries a maximum sentence of three months in prison.A number of the activists are locally connected to Kent. The activists were arrested in Aug following a 2-day occupation at Elbit-Instro arms factory, which is newly situated in Discovery Park business park in Sandwich, Kent. Its parent company Elbit Systems supplies military equipment to Israel and activists claim that its products are “backbone” of Israel’s drone fleet.middleeastmonitor
Canada: 18 Sikh leaders elected to Parliament, 5 more than India
As many as 18 Sikhs were voted to Canadian Parliament in the recently-concluded federal elections. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday won a second term after his Liberal Party secured 157 of 338 seats. However, Trudeau will lead a minority government as his party failed to secure the majority of 170. The main opposition, the conservatives, secured 121 seats.The number of Sikhs in the Canadian Parliament’s lower house, the House of Commons, is higher than those in India’s Lok Sabha even though Sikhs make up about 2% of the population in both countries, The Times of India reported on Wednesday. India has 13 MPs in the Lower House.scroll
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:27 PM)


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