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Monday, 28 October 2019

28 OCT. NEWS : Govt signals shift, allows European Parliament members to visit Kashmir/ Congress, Kashmir parties question visit of 'Far-Right' EU members when Rahul Gandhi is denied permission / BJP, Sena meet Maharashtra governor separately amid power sharing tussle


NEWS DIGEST, EVENING 
28 OCT. 2019: 27 Safar 1441: Vol: 12, No: 47
INDIA: J&K ISSUE
Govt signals shift, allows European Parliament members to visit Kashmir
New Delhi: Nearly 3 months after its decision on Article 370, Union Govt has decided to allow a delegation of European parliamentarians to travel to Srinagar and see the situation in Kashmir. According to sources in Delhi and Srinagar, a 28-member delegation comprising Members of European Parliament (MEPs) from Italy, Britain, France, Germany, and Poland will visit Srinagar on Tuesday. On Monday, they met PM Narendra Modi and attended a lunch hosted by NSA Ajit Doval. They met a few mainstream Kashmiri leaders, including ex Minister Muzaffar Beigh from PDP and winners of the Block Development Council polls in J&K last week.“PM Modi expressed the hope that [MEPs] have a fruitful visit to various parts of the country, including J&K,” said an official statement. “Their visit to J&K should give the delegation a better understanding of the cultural and religious diversity of the region of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh; apart from giving them a clear view of the development and governance priorities of the region,” it added. EU Embassy in Delhi clarified that MEPs were in India in their “personal capacity” and not as part of an official delegation. The sources said they had been invited by a local NGO called WESTT, which is hosting them. The visit to J&K is being coordinated with NSA’s office, said officials in Srinagar, as he has been the Govt’s point-person on the move to dilute Article 370.The decision to allow MEPs visit J&K marks a significant turnaround in the policy of the Centre, which has faced considerable criticism in the EU and in the US over its Article 370 move. It has thus far refused permission to any foreign journalist to cover the situation in J&K post August 5, and turned down requests from diplomats based in Delhi to visit as well. On Oct.3, it declined a request by visiting US Congressman Chris Van Hollen to visit Srinagar and the issue was brought up by the State Department during a special hearing of US Congress subcommittee on Human Rights that looked into concerns over Kashmir. UN Special Rapporteurs at Human Rights Council have also issued statements protesting the denial of applications to visit. MEA declined to comment on whether other foreign delegation visits were being planned as well.MEPs’ visit comes just a few days before the Presidential ordinance on reorganisation of J&K goes into place on Oct.31, and follows concerns expressed by EU on Article 370 decision. In a speech, delivered on her behalf, EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said EU had taken up its concerns about “situation on the ground, with its restrictions on fundamental freedoms,” directly with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. who visited Brussels prior to the meeting. The hindu
Allowing EU MPs, not Indian leaders, to visit J&K ‘insult to Parliament’: Congress
New Delhi :Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has called European Union delegation’s visit to J&K an “outright insult to India’s own Parliament and democracy” and sought to know why Indian political leaders were prevented from visiting the state after the abrogation of J&K’s special status.“When Indian political leaders have been prevented from meeting the people of J&K, what possessed the great chest-beating champion of nationalism to allow European politicians to visit J&K. This is an outright insult to India’s own Parliament and our democracy!” the Congress leader tweeted.CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury who was part of a delegation of Opposition leaders who were denied permission to visit the valley, asked why Indian political leaders were “repeatedly prevented from exiting Srinagar airport?”“I was allowed to enter Srinagar only when the Supreme Court permitted over my habeous corpus petition. Even today Indian MPs are not allowed while Modi welcomes MEPs!” he said.indianexpress
Kashmir parties question visit of 'Far-Right' EU members when Rahul Gandhi is denied permission
Srinagar:Centre’s ‘Mission Kashmir’ suffered a major setback after political parties questioned the visit of “far-right” Parliamentarians of EU to Kashmir at a time when “even Congress leader Rahul Gandhi” is stopped from visiting people in the valley.“It is not official delegation. I called EU office in Delhi and I was told they are on a private visit. We need to ask, who sponsored them and who facilitated their visit? Why this visit when India says Kashmir is an integral part of the country. They do not allow Rahul Gandhi to visit Kashmir. But they are facilitated some random EU MPs. Some information has come that most of them are pro right and anti-Islam”, said Iltija Mufti, daughter of incarcerated ex J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti. “I do not expect much from this delegation. If they meet detained political prisoners, minors who have been detained and civil society members then it will make sense. Otherwise if they are projecting sanitized version of J&K then it does not matte”, said Iltija.NC said visit will be meaningless if the delegation is not given access to 3 detained former CMs -- Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba -- and common people in the valley.“It will be welcomed only when they are given access to the people, civil society members and 3 CMs who are detained since August 5. On spot assessment will be objective only if they are allowed to meet people, civil society members and political leaders so that they can articulate their viewpoints. Unless they are given free hand,this exercise cannot be meaningful”, said Justice(retd) Hasnain Masoodi, NC MP from Anantnag. India tomorrow
Modi greets Farooq Abdullah on his 82nd  birthday
PM Narendra Modi has sent greetings to National Conference (NC) president and Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah on latter’s 82 birthday.The greetings were conveyed in a letter handed over to Dr. Abdullah in Srinagar last week.Dr. Abdullah’s birthday was on Oct. 21, and Modi, in his greetings, prayed for the former CM’s long and healthy life, party sources said.thehindu
J&K: Grenade attack in Sopore, 20 injured
At least 20 civilians were injured in a grenade attack near a bus stand in Sopore district today, J&K Police said. Security forces have cordoned off the area and a search is underway to nab the attackers. At least 6 persons sustained serious injuries and were referred to a hospital in Srinagar, officials said.indianexpress
Sikh devotees’ procession leaves from Delhi for Nankana Sahib: Pak High Commission
New Delhi:A group of Sikh devotees from India, part of a religious procession, on Monday started off their spiritual journey from Delhi to Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, the birthplace of founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev, the High Commission here said.‘Nagar Kirtan’ (procession) is led by Sardar Paramjit Singh Sarna, ex president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee(DSGMC)  and includes representatives from different sections of the Sikh community in India, the Pakistan High Commission said in a statement.On Monday morning, the procession was sent off by several dignitaries, including Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, it said.PTI
Pak to launch university in honour of first Sikh Guru
Pakistan's PM Imran Khan has laid the foundation stone for a university named after Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, ahead of his 550th birth anniversary next month.The university will be set up in Nankana Sahib district of northeast Punjab province, the birthplace of Baba Guru Nanak, located 75 kilometres from Lahore.The development comes days after Pakistan and India signed an agreement for the opening of a key border crossing for Sikh pilgrims to attend the birth anniversary of their founder, despite heightened tensions between the two rivals over Kashmir."Setting up of an educational institution is the best way to pay homage to Baba Guru Nanak because education is the key to nations' success," Khan said while addressing the ceremony.aljazeera
 Maha, Haryana POLITICS 
BJP, Sena meet Maharashtra governor separately amid power sharing tussle
:Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena senior leader Diwakar Raote separately met governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in Mumbai today morning. Leaders of both the parties said they wanted to extend Diwali greetings to the governor, and denied there would be any discussion on the formation of next state Govt. A Raj Bhavan official said the meetings were "courtesy calls" by the two leaders."This is a festival of lights and Raote will meet governor Koshyari to extend Diwali greetings on behalf of the Sena. There will be no political discussion," a senior leader of the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said earlier.Besides, a close aide of Fadnavis also told PTI that CM will be meeting the governor to wish him for Diwali."Any political discussion is unlikely," he said. As the BJP's tally went down in the Assembly elections held last week compared to its 2014 performance, ally Shiv Sena's chief Uddhav Thackeray raised the pitch for "equal sharing" of power.PTI
Speak the truth on 50:50 formula agreed between Amit Shah, Uddhav Thackeray: Sanjay Raut
Shiv Sena today reiterated its demand for an equal share of power in Maharashtra, and asked the BJP to “speak the truth on the 50:50 power-sharing formula” agreed between Amit Shah and Uddhav Thackeray.The demand by Sena MP Sanjay Raut came shortly after CM Devendra Fadnavis and senior Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Raote met state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, amid the ongoing tussle between the ruling alliance partners over forming the next Govt. Raut also told a channel that there was “nothing political” in Raote’s meeting with the governor.Asked what would happen if BJP were to renege on the power-sharing formula agreed before this year’s Lok Sabha election, Raut said, “BJP evokes name of Ram. You (BJP) are going to build the Ram temple. Ram was satyavachani (embodiment of truth), so they should speak the truth on this (formula).”“You can tear a paper, but you can’t delete this record (of power-sharing formula agreement between BJP and Sena),” Raut said.PTI
Congress will slide no further, can now reverse tide: Salman Khurshid after Assembly polls results
Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls results are indications that Congress’ slide in the country has stopped and it can now look forward to reversing the tide, senior party leader Salman Khurshid said.The party doubled its 2014 tally in Haryana and the Congress-NCP alliance improved its tally in Maharashtra in the recently-concluded Assembly polls.Terming the results as “encouraging”, he told PTI, “It (poll results) gives them (Congress workers) a second breath and I think it’s a reminder to all of us in Congress that there is a lot of life in us and what we need to do now is to get back on our feet and fight with faith and conviction.”indianexpress/PTI
Mumbai: 3 candidates under EC scanner for ‘communal’ poll speeches
Mumbai :During campaigning for the state elections in Mumbai, the Election Commission (EC) prima facie has found at least 3 cases where candidates of political parties appeared to be giving communally-charged speeches, including one by Mumbai BJP president Mangal Prabhat Lodha. In another instance, EC found a man putting up content online that could possibly cause a rift between two sects in Mulund.Of these 4 cases, FIRs have been registered into three instances, while the case of Lodha is still being processed by the EC. According to EC officials, 3 of these cases took place in Mumbai suburbs that has 26 Assembly segments. The first incident took place at Santacruz, where AIMIM candidate Arif Shaikh allegedly made a hate speech during a rally at Daulat Nagar. The local police lodged an FIR against Shaikh under. On Oct. 19, an FIR was registered against BJP candidate Ramesh Singh Thakur for allegedly making a communally-charged speech in Malwani constituency. Aslam Shaikh of the Congress went on to win the seat.indianexpress
OTHERS
Indian banks should exploit untapped potential in Islamic banking: Experts
Singapore:Indian and foreign banks should exploit Islamic banking''s untapped potential to ensure the financial inclusion of “unbanked” populations excluded by the existing financial system, several experts have said. Islamic banking is a finance system based on the principles of not charging interest, which is prohibited under Islam.“Research shows that Islamic finance sector continues to grow and evolve in size and complexity, with Islamic banking offered in more than 60 countries worldwide. It is an excellent opportunity for Indian/foreign banks to expand their footprint in India by venturing into this largely untapped sector,” said Islamic banking expert Hazik Mohamed.He said Shariah instruments like bonds (more accurately, sukuk) and funds that are looking at Shariah-compliant investments will be able to meet the needs of Muslim investors from within India and externally from other parts of the world.Islamic finance, including its interest-free and equity-based banking system, can complement the existing Indian banking and finance system, said Hazik, who has spent the last decade researching financial systems to understand the various types and causes of financial crises. He is currently developing various solutions to reduce such events by implementing Shariah principles through digital technology.“As an alternative financial system, Islamic finance will provide Indian consumers (Muslim and non-Muslim alike) an alternative system to meet their banking needs,” Hazik said. “Islamic banks'' greater resilience to crises and shocks compared to conventional banks are based on empirical data from countries such as Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey, UAE (GCC) where both types of banks exist,” he said. RBI has decided to not pursue a proposal for introduction of Islamic banking in the country. According to Abdur Raqeeb, general secretary of ICIF, an forum pushing for Shariah banking in India, Islamic banking has the potential to contribute towards greater financial inclusion besides providing support to small and medium sized enterprises. If Islamic banking is introduced, he said, the inadequate labour capital ratio for informal sector workers associated with agriculture and manufacturing industries could be resolved through equity finance, which might be a revolution in the Indian agriculture and unorganized sector.“With improved labour capital ratio, our vulnerable workers associated with agriculture and unorganized sector might be able to compete effectively with the formal sector workers. Thus Islamic banking may financially empower majority of Indian workers,” Raqeeb said. Asked about roadblocks behind not starting Shariah-based banking in India, he said Islamic banking has unfortunately been misunderstood in India as a religious charitable venture restricted to the country’s Muslim community.PTI
Popular publication ‘Dawat’ relaunched in new weekly avatar with App
New Delhi:Former Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) chief, Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri, in the presence of his successor, Syed Sadatullah Hussaini, and other top leaders of the organisation, launched the popular Urdu newspaper ‘Dawat’ in a new weekly avatar at a ceremony held here on Saturday evening. The new portal and mobile app of the weekly were also launched on the occasion.Speaking on the occasion, Maulana Umri emphasised that the history of Urdu journalism would be incomplete without a mention of ‘Dawat’, which played an objective and constructive role in shaping the minds of people. Nobody can point a finger towards ‘Dawat’ for yellow or irresponsible journalism since its launch in the early 50s.Explaining the rationale behind winding up the ‘Dawat’ in its old biweekly format and launching it in a new weekly avatar, he said the decision was in tune with the new realities. In the present time, biweekly has lost its importance and value. The Dawat Trust took this decision last year as publishing a biweekly has become an economic burden too on the trust.Maulana Umri said the most popular column “Khabr-o-Nazr” (News & Views) and other important content of the Sehroza Dawat have been retained from one of the oldest Urdu papers.Congratulating the Dawat Trust for the launch of ’Dawat’ weekly, Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission, said there is a crying need of a good daily in the Capital as existing Urdu papers do not reflect the community’s concerns. Dr Khan, who is also a veteran journalist and editor of Milli Gazette, further pointed out that most of the major Urdu dailies serve the interests of the ruling party or other political parties and carry very poor news content. He suggested many good things for the weekly ‘Dawat‘ for improving its content. Former chief editor of ’Dawat’ (biweekly), Abdul Haq alias Parwaaz Rahmani, shed light on the journey of the much loved newspaper. Arguably, the ’Dawat’ was and is the organ of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, but it never ignored other milli (community) organisations’ activities and covered them with open heart, said Rahmani, who served the publication for more than four decades. On the 59-year-old popular column on current affairs, “Khabr-o-Nazr”, he said it was started by its first editor Asghar Ali Abedi in 1955 at the time of its conversion into biweekly from weekly two years after its inception. Rahmani, who inaugurated the ’Dawat’ news portal, said the new format of the ‘Dawat’ would serve the needs of the readers spread not only in India but also in many other parts of the world.Dr Fahimuddin Ahmed, the man behind the new weekly Dawat venture, briefed the audience on the history of Urdu journalism and ’Dawat’ itself. In his presidential address, Jamaat president, Syed Sadatullah Hussaini, said the Jamaat publications have offered remarkable service to the community. Objective and constructive journalism has been the hallmark of the ‘Dawat’ and now it is coming in weekly format to serve the nation and community, he added.Caravan Daily
Dawat Weekly, Its News Portal and Mobile App Launched In Delhi
Renowned Urdu newspaper ‘Dawat’ launched in new weekly format; its portal, mobile app also launched
Islam doesn't believe in concept of 2 children, govt is not giving jobs anyway: AIUDF chief
Guwahati: Responding to Assam Govt's decision of not giving Govt job to people having more than two children, AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal said that Islam doesn't believe in the concept of having only two children. He said, "Islam doesn't believe in the concept of having only 2 children.No one can stop the people who're bound to come to this world." He further added, "There are no restrictions among us. Govt is not giving us jobs anyway and we even don't expect jobs.I would say my people to give birth to as many children as they can and educate them. So they can develop job opportunities and provide jobs to even Hindus."ANI
‘Is he tracing it to the Constitution?’Subramanian Swamy reacts to Ajmal over questioning 2-child law
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday lashed out at Assam MP and AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal for his criticism of Assam Govt’s two-child criteria for availing Govt jobs. Swamy said that a woman’s opinion also matters as she is the one who gives birth.“Is he (Ajmal) agreeing his wife or wives are producing seven-eight children each? Her opinion also matters. After all, a child is borne by the woman for nine months, during which she goes through a lot of pain and anxiety,”he said. Issuing a warning to Ajmal, he said, “He should take his wife or wives’ permission…. until we bring uniform civil code… and then he will have only one wife.” BJP MP also asked Ajmal to clarify what he means when he says “we have the right” to produce as many kids as they want”.“When he says “we have the right”, is he tracing it to the Constitution?” he asked. financialexpress
As Congress awaits Ayodhya verdict, 2 key leaders say they want a temple
New Delhi :Ahead of the upcoming Supreme Court verdict in the Babri Masjid title suit case, two senior Congress leaders, former Union minister Jitin Prasada and ex Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat, have said that they want to see a Ram temple built in Ayodhya, but added the apex court verdict would be supreme and should be accepted by all.The remarks by Rawat and Prasada, members of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), come at a time when Congress has begun discussions to craft its response to the verdict. On Friday, a high-level panel set up by Congress president Sonia Gandhi met to deliberate on the party’s response to sensitive political issues such as the upcoming Ayodhya verdict, NRC and Citizenship Amendment Bill. While the party had been maintaining that the Supreme Court verdict should be accepted by all, at least one top leader said the party’s response will, in fact, be crafted on the basis of the verdict. “The party’s response will depend on the manner in which the court frames its verdict,” leader said.Ex-Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, another member of CWC, said the Ayodhya issue is no doubt an emotional and sensitive one and “we have to take into account all this also… about the sensitiveness, about emotional matters. Any decision has to be taken after thorough discussion…that is my view.”indianexpress
India’s common identity is citizenship, not Hinduism, says Agnivesh on Bhagwat’s remarks
Social activist Agnivesh has lashed out at RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for describing all Indians as Hindus. He said citizenship, not Hinduism, is the “sole common identity” of all Indians. Agnivesh was referring to Bhagwat’s speech on the occasion of Vijayadashami earlier this month.“Pursuing the Hindutva agenda, which flies in the face of the Constitution of India, he [Bhagwat] seeks to erase cultural and religious diversities and unveils RSS hobbyhorse of homogenization: one nation, one language, one culture,” Agnivesh said. He said PM Narendra Modi had likened the Constitution to a national scripture, but now kept silent in the face of the “anti-Constitutional posturing” of Bhagwat. The social activist also said that Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s definition of who is a Hindu is “an insult to Hinduism”.scroll
Muslims in Bengal raise funds for temple demolished for road; a maulvi inaugurates it:HT
Midnapore:The maulvi of local mosque in West Bengal’s Birbhum district inaugurated a temple dedicated to Kali, on a night when the state was observing Kali Puja.The show of communal amity took place in Basapara of Nanoor area, about 160 km away from state capital Kolkata, that often grabs headlines for political fights.“I have inaugurated mosques and madrasas. But this is the first time I have inaugurated a Hindu temple. It’s a different feeling altogether,” Mandal said.Members of the Muslim community in Basapura even raised money to rebuild the Kali temple that was demolished two years ago for widening a village road. They also purchased the land for relocating the temple. After the temple was demolished, locals took up the plan to rebuild it at a new location. Muslims joined the drive to raise funds and, in fact, ended up collecting Rs 7 lakh of the total Rs 10 lakh that was spent to rebuild the temple at a new site.HT
‘Ghar-wapsi’: VHP says ‘reconverted’ 25,000 Muslims, Christians in 2018
A senior VHP leader claimed here on Saturday that the right-wing organisation “reconverted” 25,000 Muslims and Christians to Hinduism in 2018. VHP secretary general Milind Parande said drives for reconversion, which Hindutva outfit calls “ghar-wapsi” or coming back to the “parent faith”, were being held regularly across the country.“25,000 Muslims and Christians were reconverted in 2018,” he said, adding that figures for 2019 were yet to be compiled. Addressing a press conference here, Parande said conversion was a “national problem”, “an attack on the country” and a “conspiracy to divide its people”. He said, “VHP wants a bill which will make it difficult to convert people to other religions.”Asked about the Ram Temple issue, Parande said VHP was expecting a “positive verdict” from the apex Court as all the “archaeological facts” supported the case for existence of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Parande also said an amendment was needed to the Citizenship Bill to “secure Hindus in the country”.PTI
Crackers banned near mosques, hospitals in Guwahati
Guwahati: This Diwali, bursting of firecrackers near a mosque, hospital or public roads may land one in jail in the city. The city police have issued an order to that effect, strictly advising everyone to abstain from any kind of violation of the order or to face legal action, including arrest.The order issued by the city police's (East Police District) deputy commissioner of police Ranjan Bhuyan became effective from Friday and will stay in force till the midnight of Oct. 29. It stated, "Bursting of crackers and fireworks on public roads, marketplaces, inside and near hospitals, mosques and other places of public congregation under the East Police district are prohibited. Any person contravening this order shall be liable to be punished in accordance with the provisions of section 188 of the Indian Penal Code."TOI
Delhi: SC's Limit on Crackers Defied, Air Quality Falls to 'Severe' After Diwali
New Delhi: A layer of haze enveloped the national capital a day after Diwali as the city’s air quality on Monday plummeted to the “severe” category for the first time this season with a large number of revellers brazenly flouting the Supreme Court-enforced two-hour limit for bursting crackers.Delhi’s apprehensions came true despite the top court’s order that only green firecrackers, which reportedly cause 30% less pollution, can be manufactured and sold, and the Arvind Kejriwal Govt organising a mega laser show in an effort to dissuade people from bursting crackers.According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor, SAFAR, levels of PM2.5 tiny particulate matter of diameter 2.5 or less than 2.5 microns that can enter deep into the lungs reached as high as 735 at Delhi University. Delhi’s overall air quality index (AQI) stood at 463 at 11:30 am, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).PTI
Against 'strategic interests' to share details on NGT expert members appointment under RTI
New Delhi: Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change recently refused to make public documents regarding the cabinet’s appointment of two experts to National Green Tribunal (NGT). The ministry said that disclosing such information would affect the “strategic interests” of the state.On September 2, 2019, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued an order stating that the appointment committee of the cabinet has appointed two existing officials of the environment ministry as expert members in NGT for a period of “three years or until the next order”. However, National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 clearly states that the chairman, judicial members and expert members of the NGT will be appointed for five years and once appointed, they cannot be re-appointed.Environmental activists allege that by reducing the tenure of expert members of NGT, Centre is trying to curb its freedom.The Wire filed an RTI application seeking several documents including those related to the appointment process, the names of candidates who applied for the post and their specialisations, and the minutes of meetings of the search committee or the appointment committee formed to shortlist candidates. However, the ministry has refused to supply information on all points.thewire
3 Andhra Labourers Allegedly Commit Suicide; "No Work," Said One In Video
 At least 3 persons, all of whom were believed to be dependent on the construction sector for their livelihood, have killed themselves in separate incidents in the Tenali, Guntur and Mangalagiri regions of Andhra Pradesh this month. Their deaths have been linked by many to the slump in activity in the sector caused by a change in the state's policy on sand - which is required in large quantities to help strengthen buildings and used to make both cement and concrete.One of the victims, Venkatesh, who lived in Guntur district, recorded a selfie before hanging himself. In the video, recorded over three weeks ago but which only became public now, he said he was killing himself because he was unemployed and had no other means of earning a living. According to his wife, Raashi, Venkatesh had been unemployed for the past four months."Our livelihood means was only construction business. My husband did not know any other work. We also have a one-year-old son who is not feeling well and needs medical care," she said.NDTV
Naga National Political Groups ask state MLAs to clarify their position on Centre-NSCN(IM) talks
Naga National Political Groups that have been holding talks with the Centre since 2017 on Monday said state legislators must clarify their position on the dialogue between the insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isaak-Muivah) and Govt, PTI reported.The talks hit a roadblock earlier this month after Centre rejected NSCN(IM)‘s demand for a separate flag and constitution. The Govt has set an Oct. 31 deadline for a final settlement to the Naga dispute.“Unresolved matters should be decided through political and democratic process,” the forum said in a statement. “The position and status of elected representatives of Nagaland cannot remain lukewarm. They cannot choose to hide behind the boulders blocking the way.”scroll.in
Chidambaram discharged after being admitted to AIIMS due to abdominal pain
Former Union minister P Chidambaram, who was admitted to AIIMS in New Delhi following complains of abdominal pain, was discharged later today. The Congress leader is presently in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate in INX Media money laundering case. PTI quoted sources saying that Chidambaram complained of illness and pain and was taken to the RML Hospital in the morning. He was shifted to AIIMS in the evening.While those close to Chidambaram said “his condition is not good”, ED sources claimed “there was nothing serious”, PTI reported.indianexpress
 WORLD
Iraq declares curfew amid ongoing mass anti-Govt protests
Authorities in Iraq have declared a curfew in the capital, Baghdad, where mass anti-Govt demonstrations continue for a fourth day.The renewed protests came weeks after an earlier wave of rallies broke out as a result of widespread anger at high-level corruption, mass unemployment and poor public services. More than 200 people have been killed in this month's demonstrations in Baghdad and several southern cities.As protests continued today, state media quoted the Baghdad Operations Commander as saying that the curfew from midnight to 6am local time will be valid "until further notice". Earlier in the day, at least 2 anti-Govt protesters were reported killed and over 100 people were wounded in clashes with security forces in Baghdad as thousands of students joined in the demonstrations in defiance of a Govt order and tear gas from security forces.aljazeera
Russian Defence Ministry cast doubt on Trump’s assertion of killing Al-Baghdadi: Kremlin says his death a boost for Trump if true
Moscow: Kremlin said on Monday that US President Donald Trump will have made a major contribution to the fight against international terrorism if a US assertion that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead is true.Trump on Sunday announced that Baghdadi had killed himself during a daring overnight raid by elite US special operations forces in Syria and thanked Russia, among others, for its support.Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to say on Monday if US had informed Russia about the operation in advance or provide other details.“If this information (about Baghdadi’s death) is confirmed we can talk about a serious contribution by the president of US to the fight against international terrorism,” said Peskov.Russia’s Ministry of Defence cast doubt on Trump’s assertion on Sunday however, saying in a statement it did not have any reliable information about US operation and citing 4 reasons why US version of events looked suspicious.“The growing number of direct participants in the operation and countries who allegedly took part in this ‘operation’, each with totally contradictory details, gives rise to justified questions and doubts about whether it took place and in particular how successful it was,” defence ministry said.Unlike Kremlin, the ministry also played down Baghdadi’s importance, saying that if his death was confirmed it would have “no operational significance” on the situation in Syria or on the actions of remaining militants in Idlib region.Reuters
Russia raises doubt over al-Baghdadi's "umpteenth death"
Let us see if Baghdadi is really dead: Former Pakistan minister Rehman Malik
Aformer Pakistani minister has cast doubt on American assertions that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, was killed in a raid led by US forces this weekend. Rehman Malik, a Pakistani senator and the former interior minister of the country, said he is yet to seen any "confirmation" from the IS on Baghdadi's death. "I am happy if he is dead... Let us see if he is killed in reality or not," Malik said in a tweet.India Today
ISIL spokesman killed in north Syria raid: SDF
Spokesman of ISIL, was killed on Sunday in northern Syria, a top Kurdish official said, hours after the group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was announced dead.The official with Kurdish-led SDF - who asked not to be named because he is not authorised to speak on the issue - said ISIL spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir was killed after SDF chief Mazloum Abdi said he was "targeted" in a fresh raid."Al-Muhajir, right-hand of Baghdadi and spokesman for IS, was targeted in the village of Ain al-Baydah near Jarablus, in a coordinated operation between SDF intelligence and US army," Abdi said on Twitter.An AFP correspondent in Ain al-Baydah, which is controlled by Turkey-backed Syrian rebels, said two vehicles, a small pick-up truck and a larger truck carrying a small metal container, were hit in air strikes. He saw 2 corpses lying outside first vehicle while a third charred body was in the metal container. He could not identify who was behind the strikes or if they were carried out by warplanes or a drone.Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the death of al-Muhajir, saying he was among five ISIL members who were killed in a US-led operation backed by SDF. Later, in a post on Twitter, SDF spokesman Mustefa Bali said: "We believe ISIS spox. Al-Muhajir was in Jarablus to facilitate Baghdadi's entry to Euphrates Shield area," referring to a zone in northern Syria controlled by Turkey's Syria proxies."The two US-led operations have effectively disabled top ISIS leadership who were hiding" in northwest Syria. "More still remain hiding in the same area," Bali said.  aljazeera
Over  350,000 Afghans displaced in 2019: UN report
The continuous conflict in Afghanistan has displaced more than 350,000 people throughout the war-torn country since Jan. 1, according to data by UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).Overall, 354,664 people were displaced in 31 of the total of 34 provinces, OCHA reported. About 310,000 people were forced from their homes in the same period last year. Most people who fled were in the northeast region with more than 160,000 people displaced, followed by the east with 68,000, the north with 60,000, and west with 29,900. Fighting surged this year during ongoing talks between US and the Taliban about a political solution for the conflict.According to analysts, both sides tried to gain leverage during negotiations through military gains. The talks were called off by US President Donald Trump in early September after an American soldier was killed in a Taliban attack.However, there are signs the talks might resume. US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in the Afghan capital on Saturday and met Afghan officials, including Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah.The visit was Khalilzad's first to Afghanistan since the talks with Taliban were cancelled.aljazeera
EU agrees to delay Brexit until Jan.31 next year
European Council agreed to grant Britain a new Brexit delay to Jan.31 next year. On Monday, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Twitter " EU 27 has agreed that it will accept UK's request for a Brexit flextension (...)The decision is expected to be formalized through a written procedure".Tusk's announcement came as European Union diplomats met in Brussels to sign off on the new delay to Britain's departure from the bloc, which had been due in just three days on Oct. 31.According to a copy of the agreement seen by AFP, if PM Boris Johnson convinces UK parliament to approve an amicable divorce accord before next year, Brexit could be on Nov.30 or Dec.31.But in the meantime London must nominate a senior official to serve on the next European Commission and must agree that the withdrawal agreement it struck last month will not now be renegotiated, according to EU text. aljazeera
US envoy helps open major Israel settlement’s new medical school
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman participated in the official opening ceremony for an Israeli settlement’s new medical school, deep in the occupied West Bank.As reported by Times of Israel, Friedman used the occasion to praise the expansion of Ariel University, named after the illegal West Bank colony in which it is based.“A new medical school has opened in Samaria”, Friedman declared, using the common Israeli terminology for the northern West Bank. “It’s worth saying that again: A new medical school has opened in Samaria! How many people ever thought those words would be spoken?”“The lives of people everywhere, in this region, whether you are Jewish, Muslim, Christian — they have now been improved and will continue to be improved in so many profound ways,” he added.“The United States Embassy enjoys warm relations with Ariel University, and we are inspired by its contributions to Israeli society and to the scientific world,” said the ambassador.MEMO
Malaysia to open embassy to Palestine
Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammad has announced that his country is to open an accredited embassy to Palestine. “We know that Israel will not allow Malaysia to open an embassy in the Occupied Territory. As such, we will open the embassy in Jordan,”he announced. Mahathir revealed that the embassy would be accredited to Palestine, and it would more freely facilitate the extension of aid to Palestinians.Addressing 18th summit of NAM in Azerbaijan, Mahathir criticised the silence of the international community for “doing nothing” against Israeli actions.Leaders and representatives of at least 120 member countries of NAM are meeting in Baku.“I would also like to bring to this occasion the fate that awaits our poor Palestinian brothers. Palestine remains occupied by a brutal regime. This regime continues to expand illegal settlements on land that rightfully belongs to the Palestinians,” he stated.middleeastmonitor/AA
Rights groups accuse Tanzania's Magufuli over rising repression
International rights groups have accused the Govt of Tanzanian President John Magufuli of increasingly repressing political dissent.Since Magufuli’s election in 2015, Tanzania has implemented laws that stifle independent journalism and severely restrict the activities of NGOs and opposition parties, Amnesty International  and Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in two separate reports released on Monday.Civil society activism and public discussions on human rights-related issues have also been suppressed, while the authorities’ “regressive” policies have restricted the playing field for those seeking to challenge the ruling party, they added. "With elections around the corner, people don't feel that they can comment honestly,” said Jehanne Henry, HRW’s East Africa director, referring to Tanzania’s polls scheduled for next year.aljazeera           
Lebanese protesters set up barricades, block main roads
Demonstrators in Lebanon have set up barricades and parked cars across key roads in the capital Beirut and elsewhere in the country as part of the ongoing anti-Govt protests aimed at forcing the resignation of all political leaders. Defying pleas from the country's top politicians, protesters today sought to keep Lebanon on lockdown by cutting off access to some of the main thoroughfares, including the main north-south highway.A poster urging motorists to block roads with their cars began making the rounds on social media on Sunday. Demonstrators accuse the country's political class of mismanagement, wasting public funds and rampant corruption.aljazeera
Egypt’s Sisi extends state of emergency for another 3 months
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has extended the state of emergency nationwide for the ninth time in a row due to the security conditions in the country. It will last at least for another three months.Although the decision to extend the state of emergency every three months is something that Egyptians have been used to since 2017, the latest extension came at a time when Egypt-Ethiopia relations are strained by the Great Renaissance Dam crisis. There is a threat from both sides of a military solution.The state of emergency was originally declared across Egypt after attacks on 9 April 2017 which targeted two Coptic churches in Tanta, north of the capital Cairo, and Alexandria, on the north coast. Forty-five people were killed.middleeastmonitor
IMF says unemployment, sluggish economic growth fuel unrest in Arab states
Unemployment and sluggish economic growth are fuelling social tension and popular protests in several Arab countries, the International Monetary Fund said Monday. The unrest is in turn contributing to slower growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, alongside global trade tensions, oil price volatility and a disorderly Brexit process, IMF said in a report on the regional economic outlook. Earlier this month it lowered the 2019 forecast for the region — taking in the Arab nations and Iran — to a meagre 0.1 % from 1.1 % last year.IMF slashed its outlook for the region’s three largest economies — Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. The risks around the forecast of earlier this month “are skewed to the downside and are highly dependent on global factors,” IMF said in its report on Monday. “The level of growth that countries in the region are having is below what is needed to address unemployment,” said Jihad Azour, the IMF’s director for the Middle East and Central Asia.AFP
China expands footprint in region with new air links with Nepal, Myanmar
China is expanding its air links with South and Southeast Asia, focusing on Nepal and Myanmar, to help enlarge its regional footprint.On Sunday, Himalaya Airlines — a China-Nepal joint venture — landed its maiden flight from Kathmandu to Beijing’s brand new Daxing international airport. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency has reported that the “flight marks the first-ever capital-to-capital direct connectivity between Nepal and China…” The arrival of the flight follows the recent visit to Nepal by China’s President Xi Jinping, which focused on the expansion of connectivity between the two Himalayan neighbours. thehindu
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