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Saturday, 18 January 2020

18 Jan. NEWS : J&K: Calls, SMS restored on prepaid mobiles; 153 websites can now be accessed on 2G; No Mainstream News in List of 153 Whitelisted Websites; social media ban remains/ Over 40 Indefinite Sit-Ins Going on Across Country Against CAA-NRC/NPR

NEWS DIGEST, EVENING   
 18 Jan 2020: 22 Jamadi-1, 1441: Vol: 12, No: 110
*J&K AND S. ASIA*
J&K: Calls, SMS restored on prepaid mobiles; 153 websites can now be accessed on 2G in 12 districts
Voice calls and SMS facilities were restored on prepaid mobile networks in J&K today after remaining suspended for over five months. The administration also restored 2G mobile data services, but only for access to a set of 153 “white-listed” websites, in all districts of Jammu division and two districts of Kashmir division – Kupwara and Bandipora. The list of white-listed websites includes four email services, 15 banking websites, 38 education-related websites, three job platforms, 11 entertainment and sports websites, 13 websites for accessing government and other services and 20 travel websites. No news website is listed for access.Mobile internet services will remain suspended in the districts of Budgam, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Srinagar, Kulgam, Anantnag, Shopian and Pulwama.The administration had restored broadband services in institutions dealing with “essential services” on Tuesday night.scroll
Voice call, SMS, 2G mobile internet restored in parts of J&K, social media ban remains
2G Access to 153 Websites Allowed for Post-Paid Mobiles in 2 Kashmir Districts, Across Jammu
No Mainstream News in List of 153 Whitelisted Websites Under Kashmir’s First Govt Firewall
While limited Internet and mobile connectivity services have begun in certain parts of J&K  Union territory, residents will only be able to access 153 government-approved websites.Details of this “whitelist” – which was first announced on January 14, when Internet service providers were ordered to install the necessary firewalls –  have now become public.The websites that have been included the white-list fall under ten categories: mail (Gmail, Yahoo), banking (most prominentbanks), education, employment, entertainment, services, travel, utilities, weather, web services and automobiles. Social media websites like Facebook and Twitter have also not been allowed.thewire
J&K: Union ministers begin to trickle in for Centre’s awareness bid, first batch reaches Srinagar
The first batch of Union ministers, comprising Jitendra Singh, Ashwani Choubey and Arjun Meghwal, arrived in J&K  on Saturday, over five months after the Centre revoked the erstwhile state’s special status, PTI reported. The three are part of a delegation of over 30 ministers, who are expected to educate locals about the development measures and schemes undertaken by the government for region.Singh, Meghwal, and Choubey were supposed to be part of three events in Jammu division and meet Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in the region, Hindustan Times reported. However, their flight was diverted to Srinagar after it could not land in Jammu, unidentified officials said.scroll
Union Ministers' flight to Jammu diverted due to bad weather
4 more J&K leaders released after 5 months of house arrest
Srinagar: J&K  administration has released four more political leaders who were put under house arrest since August 5 last year, the day when Article 370 was revoked from the erstwhile state.The leaders -- Nazir Gurezi of NC, Abdul Haq Khan of PDP, Mohammad Abbas Wani of People's Conference and Congress' Abdul Rashid -- were released on Friday evening.ANI
Davinder Singh arrest: NIA files case to look into police officer caught ferrying Hizbul militants
NIA on Saturday said it has registered a case to probe arrested J&K  Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh and 3 Hizbul Mujahideen militants, PTI reported. The announcement came after reports that the Home Ministry had asked the agency to initiate the process of investigating the case. scroll
India-Pakistan trade shutdown hits thousands: report
At least 9,354 families, roughly 50,000 people, in Punjab and about 900 families in Kashmir have been directly impacted by the shutdown of trade between India and Pakistan across the Wagah-Attari border and LoC Salamabad-Chakhan da Bagh routes in 2019, says a report.The cancellation of MFN (most favoured nation) status to Pakistan and the trade routes’ closure following the February 14 last Pulwama terror attack, as well as Pakistan’s counter-measures, including an airspace ban and suspension of trade relations, have resulted in losses in billions of dollars and hundreds of job days. All these have brought thousands “down to their knees”, according to testimonials from the affected groups comprising traders, custom house agents, truck drivers and helpers, those working at tyre and mechanic stores, local dhabas and motels.“Better to have killed us in one go than to have finished off our livelihood. After the MFN decision was taken, there were homes where the stove couldn’t be lit for four days,” said 72-year-old Kulwinder Singh Sandhu, Attari Truckers Union chief. He was in tears during the launch on Jan.16 of the report called “Unilateral Decisions, Bilateral Losses” as he recounted the impact of the events of 2019 on families engaged in the business near Wagah-Attari border.thehindu
China claims majority of UNSC members voiced concerns over situation in Kashmir
New Delhi: China has defended its decision to raise Kashmir issue at UNSC earlier this week describing it as a “goodwill" gesture aimed at de-escalating tensions between India and Pakistan.At a foreign office briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said Beijing’s move came after "most of the members" of UNSC had voiced concerns over the situation in the Kashmir Valley. Geng’s comments come came a day after India slammed Beijing's latest attempt to raise the Kashmir issue at the UNSC at Pakistan’s behest. On Friday, Geng Shuang said, "China's position is consistent and clear. This issue is a dispute left from history and should be properly resolved following UN charter, UNSC resolutions, and bilateral treaties and in a peaceful way.""As requested by Pakistan, the Security Council reviewed the Kashmir issue on 15 January. The Security Council members are concerned about the current situation and they called the relevant parties to observe the charter and resolve disputes peacefully, through political dialogue and exercise restraint and work on de-escalation," he said.To a question on why China is raising the Kashmir issue at UNSC, when the top leaders of India and China made efforts to improve relations through informal summits, creating a negative perception among Indians, Geng said, "Because we want to work for de-escalation and work for regional peace and stability. This is out of good will. However, if the Indian side interprets it in other way, that will be a wrong interpretation."livemint
Regional stability, situation in Iran, Afghanistan tops the talks between Qureshi and Pompeo
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has stressed on Islamabad’s commitment toward “security and stability” in South Asia as he met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington and held wide-ranging talks on bilateral issues, the situation in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Qureshi called on Pompeo on January 17 during his two-day visit to US He is scheduled to meet US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. On January 16, he met lawmakers at US Capitol.“In my meeting today with US Secretary of State @SecPompeo, discussed engagement between Pakistan and US, its mutual benefit, along with it being a factor for stability in South Asia. Exchanged how stronger trade & investment is imp for an enduring partnership,” Qureshi said in a tweet after the meeting. Qureshi also expressed his “deep concerns” over situation in Kashmir and said that “peace in South Asia is elusive until this is resolved in accordance with UN resolutions & wishes of Kashmiris.”Qureshi, while addressing Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think-tank in Washington on January 16, reiterated Pakistan’s demand that US President Donald Trump should mediate to resolve the Kashmir issue.“Discussed recent developments in ME and reiterated Pakistan will continue to play part for peace in entire region. We are committed to security & stability,” Qureshi said.Pompeo, in a tweet, said they “discussed countering Iranian aggression, the Afghan peace process, trade ties, and regional stability”.PTI
India can nudge US to revive our n-deal: Iran Foreign Minister
Mumbai :Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Friday that if India wanted to play a role in defusing US-Iran tensions, it could “encourage” US to return to the nuclear deal of 2016, from which President Donald Trump walked out in 2018.Expanding on his statements at the Raisina Dialogue in Delhi earlier this week, Zarif reiterated that Iran was not interested in negotiating a new deal with US, but wanted the Americans to honour the one inked after negotiations between 2013 and 2016.“The reason for that is — we had probably the longest dialogue that anybody has had with the US… negotiated a deal with each other that is long, detailed… It wasn’t a deal between Javad Zarif and John Kerry (then US Secretary of State). It was a deal between Iran, US, seven other major members of the international community, and more than that, it became a (UN) Security Council resolution,” Zarif said.indianexpress
Coronavirus outbreak in China: India issues travel advisory
New Delhi :Union Ministry of Health has issued a travel advisory for those travelling to China in view of a Coronavirus outbreak in that country.The advisory asks travellers to maintain good personal hygiene, wash hands frequently, follow respiratory etiquette and avoid contact with people who seem unwell. It also asks travellers to avoid raw or undercooked meat and not travel to farms. All travellers, particularly those to Wuhan city, have been asked to monitor their health very closely. Coronaviruses are a specific family of viruses, with some of them causing less severe damage such as the common cold, and others causing respiratory and intestinal diseases. A pneumonia-like illness has swept Wuhan for some days now, caused apparently by coronaviruses. One person has died.According to WHO, situation is evolving and preliminary investigations suggest link to the sea food market.indianexpress
Over a thousand 'likely' infected by Wuhan virus in China: Study
Opposition denounces CDS Bipin Rawat’s ‘de-radicalisation camps’ remark
India’s first CDS, Gen Bipin Rawat’s remark about the need to “de-radicalise youths of Kashmir” has received sharp criticism from leaders of Opposition parties and member of the civil society.While his comment left Opposition parties fuming, it also contradicted India’s official position of not having any such camps.Reacting to Rawat’s comment, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “This is deeply condemnable and shocking. A military commander has no business saying this. It shows the weakness of the political leadership and is detrimental to India’s case on Kashmir.”Leader of the AIMIM chief Owaisi asked, “Who will de-radicalise the killers of Akhlaq and Pehlu Khan?”Accusing Rawat of undermining civilian supremacy, Owaisi said, “This is not the first ridiculous statement he has made. Policy is decided by civilian administration, not by any general. By speaking on policy/politics, he is undermining civilian supremacy.”Congress leader, Salman Anees Soz questioned PM Modi and said, “Does PM agree with his Chief of Defence Staff who wants to put Kashmiri children in de-radicalisation camps? It appears that it is people like Gen. Bipin Rawat whose radicalisation is complete. Even his dreams seem to be imported from China.”nationalheraldindia
Centre must come clear on de-radicalisation camps: Kashmiri leader Tarigami
Srinagar:CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami todday demanded that Union govt come clear on the de-radicalisation camps operating in India and alleged that they were “illegal and unconstitutional”.The central government should make it clear where these camps are operating, Tarigami, who is here in connection with the 3-day CPI(M) central committee meet, said. He also said that “radicalisation should not be associated just with one religion and the fact is it is taking place in other religions also”.He was responding to disclosure by CDS Gen Bipin Rawat that de-radicalisation camps were operating in the country as “it was necessary to isolate people who are completely radicalised”. Operating such camps is “illegal and unconstitutional” and the Centre must answer where 400 camps are operating, he said.“There are already a lot of jails, camps and police stations in Kashmir. Why do you need more concentration camps? If at all there is radicalisation in Kashmir, it is because of disillusionment,” he said.HT
‘Independent journalism not about charming govts’: Washington Post’s riposte to BJP leader over Bezos jibe
New Delhi :A BJP leader got engaged in a Twitter spat with US daily The Washington Post after the former accused the Jeff Bezos-owned publication of its “biased coverage” against India. The remark came in the backdrop of the Amazon CEO’s recent visit to India where he promised to invest $1 billion in the medium and small enterprises.During an event on January 15, Bezos praised India, saying the 21st century will be the Indian century due to its dynamic and energetic democratic setup. To this, BJP’s foreign affairs department chief Vijay Chauthaiwale took a swipe and said the Amazon CEO should intimate the same to his “employees in Washington DC” else his charm offensive was likely to be a “waste of time and money”.The remark was seen as a dig at The Washington Post, which has recently published several articles critical of the Modi government on issues such as scrapping of Article 370 and the ongoing protests against the CAA.In a sharp retort, Eli Lopez, Senior Editor with The Washington Post’s Global Opinions section, said, “Jeff Bezos doesn’t tell Washington Post journalists what to write. Independent journalism is not about charming governments. But there’s no question the work of our correspondents and columnists fits within India’s democratic traditions.”indianexpress
*anti-citizenship act stir*
Punjab Assembly goes a step beyond Kerala: Scrap CAA, change NPR forms, as CM says read Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf to understand dangers of CAA
Chandigarh :Punjab Assembly passed a resolution Friday demanding the repeal of CAA and went beyond Kerala in seeking amendments to forms/documentation associated with NPR process. In remarks outside the House later, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said like Kerala, his government too would approach the Supreme Court on the issue of CAA. He made it clear that Census in Punjab would be conducted on old parameters and new factors added by the Centre for the purpose of NPR would not be included.Earlier, the Chief Minister, speaking in the House, said: “What is this happening in our country? So many people killed in UP, students protesting all over. This is exactly what happened in Germany in 1930s. Communists were targeted first and then Jews were killed. This is the time to speak up. Germans did not speak then, and they regretted it, but we have to speak now, so that we don’t regret later,” he said.Pointing to the omission of Muslims and such other communities as Jews from the ambit of citizenship under the CAA, the resolution asked for a repeal of the Act "to avoid any discrimination on the basis of religion in granting citizenship and to ensure equality before law for all religious groups in India", according to a release by CMO.Amarinder urged the Opposition, particularly Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), "to read Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf to understand the dangers of CAA.Amarinder said that he would get the book translated and distributed so that all could read and grasp the "historical mistakes that Hitler made."“Where will the 18 lakh people declared illegal in Assam go if other countries refuse to take them? Has anyone thought about it? Has Home Minister even thought about what has to be done with the so-called illegal people,” he asked.He said Muslim blood has been shed to defend this country. “Abdul Hamid, Param Vir Chakra, came from a small family in UP and made the supreme sacrifice in the 1965 Indo-Pak war. Brigadier Usman did so in 1948 war. They did it for their country. What is going on? Where will poor people get birth certificates from? I am sorry to see this in my lifetime. I wish I was not here. You are breaking up the brotherhood,” he said.“Given the apprehensions about NRC and that NPR is a prelude to NRC designed to deprive a section of persons from citizenship of India and implement CAA, this House further resolves that Central govt should amend the forms/documentation associated with NPR to allay such apprehension in the minds of the people and only thereafter undertake work of enumeration under NPR,” resolution stated. indianexpress/ ANI
Akalis tread a middle path: Won’t back NRC, support NPR, demand tweak in CAA resolution
Chandigarh :Having drawn flak in Punjab for supporting the CAA in Lok Sabha, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) took a middle path in the Vidhan Sabha asserting that it would not back a nationwide NRC, defending NPR, and demanding an amendment in the resolution seeking inclusion of Muslims in the list of communities that would be granted citizenship under the amended law.Akalis said they were seeking amendment in govt resolution so that the Muslims also get the benefits being promised to other communities under the CAA.indianexpress
Delhi police granted emergency detention powers under NSA for 3 months
New Delhi: Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal has issued an order giving the Police Commissioner the power to detain individuals under tough National Security Act (NSA), 1980. A notification to this effect was issued on January 10, and the order comes into effect from January 19.Given the daily protests in the national capital against CAA, NPR, and the proposed NRC, the order triggered apprehensions on Friday night that a crackdown was imminent.Delhi Police officers have, however, clarified that the order is routine, and is issued periodically.An identical order was, for example, issued on October 16, 2015, conferring the “powers of detaining authority” upon the Commissioner for the period 19.10.2015 to 18.1.2016. Najeeb Jung was L-G at the time.January 10 notification speaks of “powers conferred by the sub-section (3) of section 3, read with clause (e) of Section 2 of NSA, 1980”.It says that the central or state government may, in order to prevent any person “from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State or… to the maintenance of Public order or… to the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community…, make an order directing that such person be detained”. It says that “the period specified in an order made by the State Government under this sub-section shall not, in the first instance, exceed three months”.However, “State Government may, if satisfied… it is necessary so to do,… extend such period from time to time by any period not exceeding three months at any one time”. January 10 notification mentions “the period 19/01/2020 to 18/04/2020”, i.e. 3 months. indianexpress
‘Wrong, undemocratic’: Chandrashekhar Azad moves Delhi court against bail conditions
New Delhi :Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad has filed a plea seeking modification of the conditions imposed on him by a Delhi court while granting him bail in a case related to his protest against CAA. In a petition submitted late on Friday, advocates Mehmood Pracha and OP Bharti said Azad was not a criminal and claimed imposing conditions were wrong and undemocratic.The plea also referred to Azad’s health problems, saying the Bhim Army leader was undergoing treatment at AIIMS Hospital in New Delhi, and in case of an emergency, it would not be possible to seek the permission of the Delhi Police to return to the national capital.Tis Hazari court, which was supposed to hear the case Saturday, listed the matter for January 21.indianexpress
'Won't Bow Before This Govt': Aazad Promises to Carry on Anti-CAA Movement Before Leaving Delhi
Jama Masjid’s Shahi Imam changes stance on CAA as Chandrashekhar Azad leads protest
New Delhi: Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid Ahmed Bukhari changed his stance on the CAA Friday, speaking out against it before the Jumah prayers. At the same time, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad sat on the stairs of the mosque in protest against the law.Only a month ago, Bukhari had defended the legislation, saying “it has nothing to do with Muslims”. But Friday, he remembered those killed in the anti-CAA violence in Uttar Pradesh. “Innocent Muslim youth sacrificed their lives in Uttar Pradesh fighting against the CAA. Until when will Muslim youth keep sacrificing their lives?” Bukhari said in his address. theprint
Women Protesters Against CAA-NRC Speak From Stairs of Jama Masjid
New Delhi:For the last 15 days, hundreds of young and old women and men have been continuously holding protest demonstration on the stairs of the historic Jama Masjid against the controversial CAA and government’s move for NPR and NRC. The women-centric anti-CAA-NRC protest of Shaheen Bagh has impressed the residents of Jama Masjid area in the Walled City and people in several other towns and cities across the country.Several women protesters of Jama Masjid area talked to India Tomorrow about the issue and their grievances.“I am coming here for the last fifteen days. People from different communities are coming out of their homes against CAA and NRC. There are Dalits, Christians and people from other communities who are coming in support of us”, said Maryam, a teacher from the Walled City area.She is among hundreds of women who come every evening and sit on the stairs of historic Jama Masjid for hours. India Tomorrow
Over 40 Indefinite Sit-Ins Going on Across Country Against CAA-NRC/NPR
New Delhi:Inspired by Shaheen Bagh and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), over 40 protest sit-ins are ongoing in different parts of the country against the CAA as well as NRC/NPR. Women form the major segment of the participants at most places.These sit-ins started after the holding of rallies and street marches against the new citizenship law, which discriminates against Muslims, who also faced a brutal crackdown from the police in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Karnataka in recent days of the protest.Social activist Nadeem Khan, active in this mass movement, said these sit-ins are being organised informally by local people for an indefinite period. “There are sit-ins at over 40 places.This is a people’s movement. People are organising these by themselves. The participants are protesting against CAA-NPR. Now, we are not discussing NRC,” said Khan.Some of these sit-ins in big cities like Allahabad, Patna, Delhi, Bhopal and Kolkata have caught media attention but many sit-ins held in small towns and cities go unreported.The sit-in is on at Seelampur, Jaffrabad, Delhi, Park Circus in Kolkata, Qazi Nazrul Baag, Asansol, Manikbaag, Indore, Iqbal Maidan Bhopal (MP), Mansoor Ali Park Allahabad, Mohammad Ali Park, Kanpur, Islamiya College Bareli, Idgah Maidaan Deoband, (UP), Rakhiyal, Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Shanti bagh, Gaya and Araria, Sabjibagh Patna (Bihar), Aurangabad, Pune, Nanded (Maharashtra), Khandwa, Ghonda, Delhi, Kota in Rajasthan, and Kochi, Kerala.Caravan Daily
Lucknow's 'Shaheen Bagh': Women start sit-in against CAA at iconic clock tower
A women-only protest against CAA at Lucknow’s Hussainabad Clock Tower has sprung up since Friday afternoon. The protest has been likened to the stir at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, which started over a month ago and has been led by women.Without a visible leader, or a call to action, on Friday afternoon, women began trickling to the iconic site, which is India's tallest clock tower, in old Lucknow. By evening, the crowds had swelled and the area was surrounded by the police. Electricity was cut off and the protesters were shivering on a particularly brutal winter evening with dense fog. They were prevented from lighting bonfires to keep warm. In the initial hours of the protest, the police prevented vehicular traffic towards the area and even tried to keep men away. A quick social media call later, journalists and social activists thronged the protest site to register their support for the protesters.Mohammed Nadeem Siddiqui, a freelance journalist who visited the protest site at 6am on Saturday morning, said, “About 200 women were still present at the site. Though some political faces were visible last evening, it is clear that the leadership lies with the women”.When Siddiqui first visited the protest site on Friday evening around 7pm, he says that the cloud of fog was so thick that he couldn’t see a single soul.Pooja Shukla, a protester, said that the protest had started at 12pm on Friday with just a handful of men and women. the week
Why Jamia Millia may become next Shaheen Bagh
 The road outside Jamia Millia Islamia may become the next Shaheen Bagh as the students have now given a call for 24X7 sitin protests against CAA and NRC. The protests against the Act saw its genesis in the city at the university.Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) on Friday declared the protests will carry on 24X7. JCC has also launched a special WhatsApp number +91-9205448022 to share photos and videos from around the country about protests against CAA, NRC and NPR. The students have also called for a nationwide march on January 20 that will begin from Mandi House.TOI
Inspired by Shaheen Bagh, women hold a massive anti-CAA protest at Mumbai’s YMCA ground
Mumbai: Thousands of women, including teachers, homemakers, activists and students, gathered in south Mumbai on Friday to demonstrate against the CAA, NRC and NPR. The protest that began around 6 pm, continued till night.The protest was organised by Mumbai Citizens Forum at the YMCA ground in Agripada.Armed with the Tricolour, the women raised slogans against CAA, NRC and NPR while displaying banners that stated ‘stop dividing the nation’.Shaheen Ansari, a professor of English, said the major concern is that the identity of Muslims will be questioned if CAA was implemented. The protest saw local residents as well as people from south Mumbai, Vasai, Thane and Navi Mumbai participating.Another protester, Gazala Khan (31), added: “We want these protests to show some result. Everything that is happening is not correct.”Feroz Khan, from Mumbai Citizen’s Forum, one of the organisers of the protest, said that several NGOs in south Mumbai got together to form an umbrella organisation to hold the demonstration.indianexpress
Delhi HC directs police to look into Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh blockage
Delhi High Court has asked police to look into the matter of blockage of Kalindi Kunj road due to the protest at Shaheen Bagh and consider the representation of the petitioner and his plight related to those students who have to travel to schools and also have the board examinations.Justice Navin Chawla has directed the Delhi Police to consider representation of Federation of Sarita Vihar Resident's welfare association.In a petition filed through advocate Amresh Mathur, the petitioner told the court that the Board exams for Class 10 and 12 are fast approaching in February and March and pre-board exams are set to take place shortly.indiatoday
Delhi Police urge protesters at Shaheen Bagh to clear road in 'larger public interest'
As the protest at Shaheen Bagh against CAA entered day 35,Delhi Police appealed to protestors to understand the inconvenience caused by complete highway blockade to residents of Delhi and NCR, senior citizens, emergency patients and school-going children. "We appeal to agitators at Road No. 13 A Shaheen Bagh to understand the sufferings that the complete highway blockade is causing to residents of Delhi & NCR, Senior Citizens, emergency patients and school going children," Police tweeted.Police admin. asserted that the matter has also come up before the High Court."We again urge protesters to cooperate and clear the road in the larger public interest," it further said.livemint
‘No cash, no Paytm’ posters at Shaheen Bagh
In order to refute the allegations of being paid, the protesters at Shaheen Bagh have placed posters which read 'No cash, no Paytm'.The posters were displayed at the protest site as it was alleged that women coming to protest were being paid Rs 500 per day. A video regarding this also went viral on social media.Mumtaz, a protester, said: "Taking money via bank account transfer, online transfer or cash is strictly prohibited over here. The posters also say the same. Apart from this, we are repeatedly cautioning the protesters not to take money."The posters are a reply to those who are spreading rumours about the women protesting for a cause here, said Arfa, another protester who is taking care of the arrangements.IANS
#TumKabAaoge: Shaheen Bagh women invite PM Modi for a ‘chai pe charcha’
The colourful dissent: When Shaheen Bagh, Jamia become a canvas for protest
CAA rules not in but UP sends out form to identify migrants, list ‘persecution’
Lucknow :The rules for operationalising the CAA are yet to be framed, but Uttar Pradesh government has already initiated the process of collecting information about refugees and migrants in a prescribed format from district authorities across the state.According to administrative heads of at least 4 districts Indian Express spoke with, the current exercise can be taken as the beginning of the process for implementation of CAA in the state. When the process for citizenship commences, the district authorities would start verification process, they said.Information relating to about 40,000 refugees from more than 15 districts has been provided to the state government, said a senior official in Lucknow, who did not wish to be named.indianexpress
At meeting on NPR, Opposition states object to question on place and birth of parents
New Delhi :Opposition-ruled states raised objections to new questions introduced in 2020 NPR)form at a meeting Friday with Union Home Secretary A K Bhalla and officials of Registrar General of India (RGI).Sources said the states sought clarification in particular on Question No. 13 (II) of NPR form which seeks information on the date and place of birth of an individual’s parents.After the meeting, Rajasthan Chief Secretary D B Gupta said: “We told RGI that asking date and place of birth of parents was impractical as people in this country do not remember their own date of birth. RGI said this question had been asked earlier and remains voluntary.”indianexpress
Citizens can skip question on place of birth of parents in NPR form, says Centre
SC asks government to respond to plea challenging NPR updation
New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Friday asked the government to respond to a petition to declare a Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ notification of July 31, 2019 to update NPR as unconstitutional and violative of the fundamental rights of dignity and equalityThe NPR exercise is scheduled to commence from April 2020. Rule 4 of Citizenship Rules provides for data collected for NPR to be used for NRC.A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde issued notice to the Centre on a petition filed by 20 residents from across West Bengal led by Israrul Hoque Mondal, represented by Supreme Court advocate M.R. Shamshad.The petition, which contended that grant of citizenship on the basis of religion was against the Basic Structure of the Constitution, would be listed on January 22 along with over 60 other petitions challenging the CAA.thehindu
Aadhaar, voter ID not proof of citizenship:Bengal BJP chief
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Friday said Aadhaar and voter ID cards are not proof of citizenship, and whoever has come from Bangladesh will have to apply for citizenship under CAA.indianexpress
After Assam NRC ‘fiasco’, Modi govt changed gears and now talking of NPR: Chidambaram
Congress leader P Chidambaram Saturday launched a fresh salvo against the Centre’s controversial NRC saying that the PM Modi-led government has quickly changed gears and now talking about NPR, after NRC fiasco in Assam.Speaking to reporters after holding a leadership training camp with state party leaders at Bidhan Bhawan, Chidambaram said, “NPR is nothing but NRC in disguise. Our purpose is to fight CAA and NPR and mobilise public opinion against them. We will not agree to NPR being rolled out from April 2020.”Congress leader also said that the Constitutional validity of CAA lies with the Supreme Court.indianexpress
Modi govt not foolish to penalise millions over NPR and census, says Chidambaram
Protestors raise 'Go back Amit Shah' slogan in Hubballi, many detained
Members of Samvidhan Samrakshana Samiti tried to take out a protest rally at Court Circle, raising slogans against Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Wearing black jackets that have anti-CAA and anti-NRC slogans printed, protestors also raised 'Go back Amit Shah' slogan. Police detained Mahesh Pattar, Anwar Mudhol, Vijay Guntral and others who tried to stage the protest.  Earlier, Kasabapet police had detained 11 SDPI members who tried to stage protest in Old Hubballi.deccanherald
Amid anti-CAA protests, Muslims in MP’s Neemuch refuse to show documents
Bhopal:  Amid protests against CAA and NRC, Muslims in Neemuch and adjoining districts in Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh are refusing to show their Aadhar and other identity cards to government personnel during an ongoing survey for ration cards and food eligibility slips, say officials.Neemuch is situated in Malwa region on the MP-Rajasthan border, 428 kilometers North West of Bhopal. The population of Neemuch is about 1.28 lakh according to the 2011 census out of whom about 30000 are Muslims.The survey began on December 31 and would go on more than a month during which each anganwadi worker has to contact as many as 150 families to verify the ration cards with the government records.An anganwadi assistant in Neemuch, Veena Pathrod said, “When we go into Muslim-dominated localities they don’t show their ration cards. They don’t show their aadhar cards and voter I-cards as well with help of which we could verify the credentials of the ration cards and food eligibility slips holders.”HT
MP: Congress govt transfers cops after baton charge on anti-CAA protesters
As a sit-in against the CAA continued in Badwali Chowki area of Indore for the third day on Friday, two policemen, including a senior officer, were shunted out following an alleged baton charge on protesters the day before.ASP Guruprasad Parasher was "line-attached" (transferred) to the police headquarters in Bhopal, an official source said.Sarafa police station in-charge R.N.S. Bhadoria was similarly transferred to the district police.Earlier, the ruling Congress had assured that action would be taken against the police officials responsible for alleged baton charge on Thursday night. The sit-in protest is going on against CAA and NRC in Muslim-dominated Badwali Chowki area."I was told that 6 or 7 persons were injured during a baton-charge on Thursday night. Chief Minister Kamal Nath has expressed concern about it," state Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza told reporters at the protest site.PTI
Kerala teacher tells students to go to Pak over CAA; suspended
A teacher of a government girls school in Kodungallur, Kerala, was suspended after he allegedly asked his students to go to Pakistan if they unwilling to accept CAA.The teacher, Kaleshan K.K. from Kodungallur Girls Higher Secondary School, was suspended after the father of one of the students complained about the incident on social media, prompting an inquiry by the education department deputy director who visited the school on Thursday.Kaleshan was a Hindi teacher at the school, while the students he allegedly made the remarks to were from Class 8.theweek
Allahabad: Ex-IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan detained before event on CAAT
Former IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan, a staunch critic of the Modi government, was on Saturday detained at the Allahabad Airport before he was to participate at an event related to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. He tweeted that the UP police did not allow him out of the Allahabad airport and he been forced to board a flight to Delhi. However, he reminded that he will return yet again to UP. This is the second time in just 2 weeks that Gopinathan has been detained by Uttar Pradesh government and the third time in two months over events related to the CAA.theweek
Christian priest, lecturer from Meghalaya filed PIL against CAA
The contentious CAA faced another challenge in the Supreme Court on January 13. Reverend Kyrsoibor Pyrtuh and Mantre Passah, activists based in Meghalaya, filed a PIL in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the CAA. The duo joined the long list of petitioners who have approached the Supreme Court to challenge the CAA.The petitioners, in their joint statement, clarified that they are challenging the CAA because “it attacks the fundamental rights of the individuals belonging to the tribal communities, with respect to their persecution as a transborder tribal community as well as their status in neighbouring countries”.Transborder tribes include Khasis, Garos, Pnars and Hajongs, who have, for years, lived in Bangladesh. theweek
India citizenship law: Dalits fear 'discriminatory' legislation: aljazeera
Hundreds of thousands of people in India have been protesting against a new citizenship law, saying it discriminates against Muslims.But many Dalits - those in the so-called lowest social group in the Hindu caste system - fear it will also make conditions worse for them.
Recipe for solidarity: How Indian protesters are being fed
Bihar: Youth engaged in survey thrashed on suspicion of gathering NPR related information
Darbhanga: On January 16,  a youth hailing from Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur was thrashed by a group of people on the suspicion of gathering personal details of local residents as part of the CAA and NPR in Karamganj area of Laheriasarai, Bihar.The victim, Prince Singh’s said in a plea that he was working for a private TV news channel and not for any agency related to CAA or NPR, however, he was not heard.However, things didn’t stop there. The people of the resident who consisted majorly of minority community summoned the councilor of ward No 37 and subsequently handed him over. He, in turn, lodged a complaint with Laheriasarai police station accusing him of illegal trespass and misbehavior with women.newsd.in
No right to live in India if you can't chant Vande Mataram: Union minister Pratap Sarangi
Ahmedabad:Union Minister of State for Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) ratap Chandra Sarangi in Surat, Gujarat on Saturday said that "those who do not accept chanting Vande Mataram have no right to live in India".Pratap Chandra Sarangi on Saturday said CAA was a way to "atone for the sin of Partition" committed by the Congress."Free electricity or water will not develop nation," Sarangi said.indiatoday
*OTHERS*
‘RSS to shift focus to two-child policy’ : Bhagwat
Bareilly:After  Ram temple, RSS has said its next area of focus will be to seek policy intervention for the implementation of a two-child norm in the country.“We have been advocating this for quite some time now and want that the country should have a policy on the number of children a couple can have. But then it is for the Centre to take a call and decide whether it wants to enact a law on the issue,” RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is said to have told a select group of the organisation’s volunteers in Moradabad on Friday.While the session was closed to the media, a member who attended said on condition of anonymity the RSS chief spoke on a number of significant issues, including the new citizenship law and abrogation of Article 370.Responding to a member’s query on the country’s population, Sarsanghchalak said a policy to tackle the problem was the need of the hour.HT
If RSS chief wants to implement vasectomy 'forcefully' then PM Modi should enact law: Maharashtra  Minister Nawab Malik
Mumbai: Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik on Saturday took a dig at RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's view on two-child policy and said that if the latter wants to implement vasectomy 'forcefully' then Prime Minister Narendra Modi should enact a law for the same."Bhagwat Ji wants a 2-child law. Maybe he doesn't know that Maharashtra already has several laws on this along with many other states. In Maharashtra, people with a third child cannot fight local body polls.Still, if Bhagwat Ji wants to forcefully implement vasectomies then let Modiji make such a law and make people undergo vasectomy," said Malik while speaking to ANI. "We saw in the past what happened when vasectomy was implemented.Let's see how this law will be passed,"he added. Malik further stated that illiteracy prevails where there are more children, so the government should spend more money on education.freepressjournal
Gujarat: Booklet on 'new Constitution' goes viral, RSS files FIR
An RSS office-bearer on Friday lodged an FIR with Ahmedabad cyber cell police against unidentified people, for making viral on social media a booklet containing “New Constitution of India" with the picture of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.According to FIR, the file falsely claims that under "new constitution" a particular religion will be dominant", "woman and untouchables will not have right to vote", among others.FIR says that the creator of this booklet is trying to undermine the importance of the Constitution and divide society on the basis of religion and caste. It says that someone is trying to take the country towards anarchy. It also says that the content of the booklet has insulted Mohan Bhagwat and RSS as an organisation.deccanherald
JNU extends semester registration date but students’ union refuses to budge
New Delhi :JNU administration Thursday extended its registration for the winter semester till Friday and claimed that a majority of students had already cleared their semester dues. The announcement came even as JNU Students’ Union, in its council meeting, decided to continue the boycott and also seek legal recourse.In a circular, the Assistant Registrar (Evaluation) extended the deadline for registration without paying the late fine to January 17. Afterward, students will have to pay a late fee of Rs 100 per day for the next week, Rs 200 per day for the week after that, and Rs 500 per day for the subsequent week.V-C M Jagadesh Kumar said that out of around 8,500 students, about 6,450 students stayed in hostels.Meanwhile, in a council meeting Thursday, JNUSU office-bearers decided to continue the boycott. “JNUSU…is expediting an immediate legal challenge to IHA Manual… We request the student community therefore…to continue to boycott registration process. Our unity at this juncture is very critical,” they said in a statement.“The classes of the next semester cannot happen unless the backlog of the previous semester is cleared. JNUSU will coordinate with JNUTA to undertake parallel classes… and see to it that the students facing proctorial enquiries and punitive actions…are not victimised and their registration is completed on a priority basis,” JNUSU added.indianexpress
Youth should not remain neutral:JNUSU head Ghosh
JNU Tapes impact: Akshat Awasthi appears before Crime Branch, records statement
New Delhi:Akshat Awasthi, who was caught confessing his role in JNU violence in India Today's sting operation, appeared before Crime Branch today. Akshat Awasthi also recorded his statement before the Crime Branch. Awasthi, who was seen in IndiaTodayTV's  investigation, JNU tapes, had identified himself in the footage of violence as an activist of the ABVP  indiatoday
SC refuses to stay annulment of Azam Khan son’s election
New Delhi :The Supreme Court Friday declined to stay an order of the Allahabad High Court which had annulled the election of Mohammad Abdullah Azam Khan, son of Samajwadi Party MP Mohammad Azam Khan, on an SP ticket to Uttar Pradesh Assembly in 2017.A bench of CJI SA Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant issued notices to Election Commission of India (ECI) as well as to BSP leader Kazim Ali Khan, who had challenged Abdullah’s election from the Suar Assembly constituency in Rampur.The bench said it will go through the HC verdict which “is based on evidence” and hear the matter.Hearing an election petition filed by Kazim, the HC had ruled that Abdullah was not qualified in terms of age to contest the election as he had not turned 25 when he filed his nomination.indianexpress
Unnao rape case: Delhi HC junks Sengar plea to suspend jail term
Delhi High Court on Friday junked expelled BJP leader and Bangermau MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar’s request to suspend his life imprisonment term till the pendency of his appeal before it, saying he is an undertrial in other cases also.A bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sangeeta Dhingra Sehgal also sought the response of CBI on Sengar’s appeal against the lower court order convicting him for the 2017 rape of a minor girl in Unnao. indianexpress
Gudiya Rape Case: Delhi Court Holds 2 Guilty, Says Girl Experienced Exceptional Depravity
New Delhi: 2 men accused of kidnapping and brutally raping a 5-year-old girl in Delhi in 2013 have been held guilty by a court in the national capital today. The POCSO court, which will announce the quantum of punishment on Jan 30, said, "In our society the minor girls are worshipped as goddess on certain occasions but in the present case the victim child had experienced exceptional depravity and extreme brutality."ndtv
‘Missing’ 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts convict nabbed in Kanpur
Lucknow :Uttar Pradesh Police on Friday arrested 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Jalees Ansari from Kanpur, a day after he allegedly went missing from his Mumbai home while on parole.Ansari (70), a medical doctor who is also known as ‘Dr Bomb’ because of his alleged expertise in bomb-making, was serving life imprisonment at Central Jail, Ajmer. He was granted parole in December for 21 days, and ordered to visit Agripada police station in Mumbai every day between 10.30 am and 12 pm to mark his attendance. He was expected to surrender before prison authorities on Friday but he disappeared. After he went missing from his residence on Thursday, his son Zaid filed a missing complaint at Agripada police station.indianexpress
UN lowers India GDP growth forecast for current fiscal
Indian economy is expected to register a GDP growth of 5.7 per cent this fiscal, according to the newly launched UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (UNWESP) report 2020.This will be much lower than the 7.6 per cent GDP growth forecast in WESP 2019.For 2020-21, the new report WESP 2020 has pegged the India GDP growth estimate at 6.6 per cent, lower than 7.4 per cent estimated earlier.thehindubusinessline
India needs structural reforms to boost growth, policymakers should lead way for climate action: UN
More unemployed, self-employed people committed suicides than farmers in 2018: NCRB data
New Delhi:An average of 35 unemployed and 36 self-employed people had committed suicide on a daily basis in 2018, revealed NCRB data. The total number of suicides combining both the groups accounts for at least 26,085 deaths, the data stated.Outnumbering the figures for farmer suicides in the country — which are 10,349 — the unemployed persons suicide rate stood at 12,396 as compared to 13,149 of the self-employed persons suicide rate in 2018, the data showed.“Self-employed category accounted for 9.8 per cent of total suicide victims (13,149),” the report noted.indianexpress
My honour restored, Gupta is no more Punjab police chief: Mustafa
Chandigarh :After Central Administrative Tribunal set aside the appointment of Dinkar Gupta as Punjap police chief, senior IPS officer Mohd Mustafa, who was one of the aspirants for the post, said that “justice has prevailed and his honour restored.”A two-member bench of CAT chairman L Narsimha Reddy and M Jamshed pronounced order on an appeal by Mustafa and Siddhharth Chattopadhyaya, who had challenged Gupta’s appointment as Punjab DGP on the ground that they were “ignored” despite being senior to him.“I am feeling relieved now. Justice has prevailed. My honour has been restored and my position has been vindicated. CAT order has vindicated my stand that I was wronged. I was not against anyone being DGP,” Mustafa said.indianexpress
Twin UP Horrors. Woman, Tied To Cot, Burnt; Another Doused With Acid
Lucknow: The burnt body of a woman, tied to a cot, was found in a village in western Uttar Pradesh's Bijnor district on Friday. Three empty cartridges were also recovered from the spot, suggesting that she was also shot.The body was discovered by villagers near a tubewell on the outskirts of the village last evening. The police say they are still trying to identify the woman.In another shocking incident, the dead body of a young woman, without clothes, was found near a forest in eastern Uttar Pradesh's Bahraich district. The woman's face had burn marks, seemingly from acid, to prevent identification.NDTV
Adityanath’s former aide,  Yuva Vahini's ex head  joins SP; Akhilesh says BJP’s days numbered
Former chief of Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) Sunil Singh and some BSP leaders on Saturday joined the Samajwadi Party. Once seen as the right hand man of Yogi Adityanath, at least till he became the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister three years ago, former chief of HYV Sunil Singh on Saturday joined Samajwadi Party. Singh was inducted into the SP in the presence of party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.Some BSP leaders also joined the SP at the party headquarters here.Welcoming  Singh and others to the SP fold, Akhilesh Yadav said, “The days of the Adityanath government are numbered and the countdown has already begun.”PTI
Muzaffarnagar riots: Trial against 3 BSP leaders, ex-Congress MP to start on Jan 27
Muzaffarnagar: Over 6 years after Muzaffarnagar riots, a local court will frame charges against ten persons, including 3 BSP leaders and a former Congress MP, for allegedly delivering inflammatory speeches in the buildup to the widespread communal clashes in 2013 which left at least 60 dead and scores of others injured. The court has set January 27 for the framing of charges. On the other hand, charges against BJP leader and former Union minister Sanjeev Balyan and some other party leaders accused of making similar inflammatory speeches and violating prohibitory orders are yet to be framed. Several hearings have been adjourned as all the accused failed to appear before the court in the last two years.But, charges have been framed in Kawal murder case, the trigger and flashpoint of the riots.Now, the ten accused, including three from BSP-- former MP Kadir Rana, ex MLA Noorsalim Rana, and Maulana Jameel-- and former Congress MP Saiduzzaman, have been asked to appear before Muzaffarnagar’s additional district sessions court on January 27 for the framing of charges.TOI
MP ATS detains Maharashtra doctor over suspicious envelopes to Pragya Thakur
Madhya Pradesh ATS has detained a doctor from Nanded district of Maharashtra for allegedly sending suspicious envelopes to controversial BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur, police said on Saturday.Thakur had lodged a complaint with MP police on Monday alleging that she had received some envelopes containing poisonous chemicals in them. Police had seized 3 to 4 envelopes from BJP MP’s residence, some of which had letters written in Urdu. Inspector Pradeep Kakade of Itwara police station in Nanded said that during its probe, MP ATS found that Dr Sayyed Abdul Rehman Khan (35), who runs a clinic in Dhanegaon (in Nanded district), had sent these suspicious envelopes to Thakur.“MP ATS detained Khan on Thursday evening from Dhanegaon. He had been on the police’s radar for the last three months, as he had previously written letters to some government officials, claiming that his mother and brother had terror links and they should be arrested,” Kakade said.The officer said that Khan was previously arrested for writing these letters.PTI
No Muslim Candidate Named in BJP’s First List of Delhi Assembly Elections
New Delhi: BJP first list of candidates for the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections on February 8 did not have any Muslim candidates. The party will declare its second list at a later date.BJP had not fielded any Muslim candidate during the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections as well.AAP, in its list released earlier this week, has fielded four Muslim candidates.BJP list, which was released by Delhi party chief Manoj Tiwari, includes former AAP MLA Kapil Mishra and has 11 Scheduled Caste (SC) faces and four women candidates. news18
Osmania University professor Chintakindi Kasim held for alleged Maoist links
Hyderabad: Telangana police on Saturday arrested Chintakindi Kasim (43), a professor of Telugu in Osmania University in Hyderabad, on the charges of having links with outlawed CPI (Maoist) and propagating Maoist ideology in urban areas.A group of policemen in plainclothes, including those from SIB, an anti-Naxalite special police wing, assisted by Siddipet police swooped on the residence of Kasim in the university staff quarters on the OU campus in the early hours and conducted searches for over four hours before taking him into custody. He was booked under the UAPA.HT
Shirdi To Remain Shut Indefinitely From Sunday Amid Row Over Sai Baba's Birthplace
Shirdi: The administrative body of Sai Baba's Samadhi calls for the indefinite closure of the Shirdi temple after Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray reportedly said Pathri in Parbhani is Sai Baba's birthplace."We have announced to close Shirdi against rumours from Jan 19," said B Wakchaure of Saibaba Sansthan Trust.NDTV
Shabana Azmi injured after car rams into truck on Mumbai-Pune Expressway
Veteran Bollywood actor Shabana Azmi was rushed to the hospital after her car rammed into a truck on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway on Saturday evening. Shabana was heading towards Mumbai when her Safari crashed into a truck from her rear as both the vehicles were moving towards Mumbai.As per Khalapur police, she has sustained minor injuries on her face including neck and chin and near the eye, as she was sitting next to the driver. Shabana’s husband and lyricist Javed Akhtar, who was travelling behind her in a separate car, an Audi, was safe and his car was not involved in the crash, said police.HT
*WORLD*
Taliban aim to sign deal with US by end of month: Report
 Taliban are aiming to reach a withdrawal agreement with US by the end of January and are prepared to "scale down" military operations ahead of signing the deal, according to their chief spokesman.The statement by Suhail Shaheen to Pakistani daily Dawn comes as the group and the US held discussions in Doha this week, after insurgent sources told AFP they had offered to initiate a brief ceasefire."We have agreed to scale down military operations in days leading up to signing of the peace agreement with US," Shaheen told Dawn in a report published Saturday.He added that Taliban were "optimistic" a deal with Washington could be signed before the end of the month and that the reduction in fighting across the country would also include the targeting of Afghan forces."It's now a matter of days," said the spokesman.AFP 
US negotiators receive Taliban proposal to reduce violence in Afghanistan:washingtonpost
‘War Will End When US Withdraws,’ Says Taliban’s Chief Negotiator Baradar
US Wants Taliban to Cut Iran Ties: Hekmatyar
US has asked Taliban to cut its ties with Iran and to agree to the presence of some US forces in Afghanistan after a potential peace agreement between the two sides, said Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the reconciled leader of Hizb-e-Islami. Hekmatyar said US brought these two issues as preconditions for signing a peace agreement with the Taliban, and said the preconditions seem to be the main obstruction in the way of both sides signing the peace deal.Meanwhile, White House National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien has said that US and Taliban might finalize a peace agreement during the current year."We were very close to doing a deal last year, and Taliban felt that they could increase pressure on US by blowing up a bunch of people, including an American, right before some critical end-game talks. This president does not respond to that type of tactic." Robert O'Brien said in an interview with Axios.tolonews
All eyes on Berlin as Libya rivals, world powers set for talks
Berlin: The 2 leading parties in Libya's war, as well as representatives from their foreign backers and other nations, are expected to gather in Germany on Sunday for a highly-anticipated summit aimed at ending nine months of conflict in the North African country.Libyan PM Fayez al-Sarraj, head of UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), and Khalifa Haftar, commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), are due to join discussions with Russia, Turkey, France, Italy, US and others on ending the war, which has raged since Haftar's forces began an advance on the capital, Tripoli, in April last year.Sunday's Berlin summit is the latest attempt to restore stability and peace to Libya, which has been splintered between competing factions and militias since former leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed during a NATO-supported uprising in 2011. aljazeera
UN Libya mission 'concerned' over threats to block oil exports
UN mission in Libya has express deep concern over efforts to disrupt oil production in the war-torn country and urged all sides to exercise restraint."This move would have devastating consequences first and foremost for the Libyan people who depend on the free flow of oil for their well-being," the mission said in a statement on Saturday, the eve of a highly-anticipated summit in Germany aimed at relaunching peace efforts.It came after tribes close to renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar, whose forces control much of eastern Libya, called for a blockade of coastal oil export terminals to protest against a Turkish intervention in support of the country's UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).aljazeera
Erdogan warns EU may face 'terror threats' if Tripoli gov't falls
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has warned Europe it could face new threats from "terrorist" groups if Libya's UN-recognised government in Tripoli were to fall, in an article published in Politico.In the article released on Saturday, the eve of a Libya peace conference in Berlin, Erdogan said the European Union's failure to adequately support the Government of National Accord (GNA) would be "a betrayal of its own core values, including democracy and human rights". "Europe will encounter a fresh set of problems and threats if Libya's legitimate government were to fall," Erdogan wrote.aljazeera
Khamenei defends Revolutionary Guard in rare Friday sermon
In his first Friday sermon delivery since 2012, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has defended the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) amid a growing backlash after it mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing all 176 people on board.Khamenei's address comes as Iran and its rulers face intense pressure at home and abroad after the United States assassinated General Qassem Soleimani, former leader of the elite Quds Force, and public anger erupted at Iran's military after its accidental downing of the commercial airliner soon after it took off from Tehran on January 8. Iranian leader's statement drew a quick response from US President Donald Trump, who on Friday evening wrote on social media: "He should be very careful with his words."aljazeera
Several US troops were wounded in Iran missile attack in Iraq
US treated 11 of its troops for symptoms of concussion after an Iranian missile attack targeted an Iraqi base where US forces were stationed, US military has said, after initially saying no service members were hurt.US President Donald Trump and US military had said there were no casualties after the attack on the Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq and a facility in its northern Kurdish region.At the time of the attack, most of the 1,500 US soldiers at the base had been tucked away in bunkers, after advance warning from superiors.aljazeera
Israel army demolishes school to disrupt education for Palestinians
A school that was in the middle of construction in the town of Yatta located in the south Hebron hills of the occupied West Bank has been destroyed by Israeli soldiers, reported the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.The foundations of what would have been an elementary school was built between Yatta and Bani Naim, in an area close to the illegal Israeli settlement of Beni Hefer.The demolition came just one week after Defence Minister Naftali Bennett declared that he was embarking on a battle for Area C of the West Bank to ensure that it remains in Israeli hands.The school was intended to serve children in the remote villages who often have to travel long distances and through rough and hazardous terrain to reach their schools in nearby towns.middleeastmonitor
Christian delegation urges international community to recognise state of Palestine
A group of bishops from across Europe and North America have voiced their deep concerns over Israel’s occupation of Palestine. The group, who visit the region every year to promote dialogue and peace, described at length the grim situation following their return from the occupied territory.“Every year we come to encounter and hear the people of the Holy Land. We are inspired by their enduring resilience and faith in a worsening situation,” announced 15-member group. The delegation conveyed the message of their Christian counterparts in Palestine, who warned that people are facing further “evaporation of hope for a durable solution.” They described that they had: “Witnessed this reality first-hand, particularly how construction of settlements and the separation wall is destroying any prospect of two states existing in peace.”middleeastmonitor
Official: Hamas relations with Saudi ‘estranged’
A member of Hamas’ political bureau Khalil Al-Hayya said that relations with Saudi Arabia are “estranged,” denying enmity with Riyadh.“Perhaps [there] is a rupture of relations that brothers of Saudi have imposed,” Al-Hayya said in an interview published by the movement’s official website.“These are our people, our pride… and we ask them to support our people and their steadfastness and stand by our side,” he said in reference to Saudi rulers, stressing that his movement is interested in maintaining relations with Saudi Arabia based on embracing the Palestinian cause, and not on boycotting any other country, in reference to Iran.MEMO
Leading Muslim scholar Yousuf Deedat dies days after being shot outside Verulam court
Durban: Leading Muslim scholar and activist Yousuf Deedat, 65, who was shot in the head by unknown gunmen outside the Verulam Magistrate's Court on Wednesday,died at St Anne’s hospital in Pietemaritzburg on Friday afternoon. His son Raees Deedat said family and friends were at his bedside when he passed away peacefully at 2.40pm. The details of the funeral are being finalised. "The family conveys their heartfelt gratitude for the support they received from family, friends and the community. May his soul rest in peace," Raees Deedat said.It is not known what Deedat was doing at court when he was shot. The director of private security company Reaction Unit South Africa, Prem Balram, said a man simply walked up to Deedat, shot him, and fled to a vehicle parked along Groom Street. “On arrival, the victim was found lying face down on the pavement,” said Balram.Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said Deedat was walking with his wife when he was shot. Mbele said the motive for the shooting was not known. She confirmed the suspect was still on run.The chairperson of Imam Hussein mosque in Verulam, Azad Seedat, paid tribute to Deedat, who he’s known for 30 years, describing him as a wonderful person. "He got along with everybody. He visited our mosque and supported us during our time of need. We are shocked at what transpired,” Seedat said.The Independent
Pak far-right activists sentenced over blasphemy protests
A Pakistani court has sentenced 86 members of a far right religious party to 55-year prison terms each for taking part in violent protests against the acquittal of a Christian woman in a blasphemy case, party officials say.The verdicts were announced late on Thursday night by a court in the northern garrison city of Rawalpindi, Pir Ejaz Ashrafi, a senior leader of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) party, told Al Jazeera. 86 TLRYA activists were arrested in November 2018, as the party led violent protests against acquittal by the country's Supreme Court of Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who was on death row for having allegedly committed blasphemy in 2009.Days of protests saw TLRYA activists - led by party leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi - block big highways and destroy public property across the country, but mostly centred in the central province of Punjab.aljazeera
Syria ceasefire has failed as civilians killed daily: UN
UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has called for an immediate end to hostilities in Idlib, saying that the latest Syrian ceasefire has "yet again failed to protect civilians"."It is deeply distressing that civilians are still being killed on a daily basis in missile strikes from both the air and ground," Bachelet said in a statement on Friday addressing the ceasefire, which was due to be implemented nearly a week ago.Some 350,000 Syrians, mostly women and children, have fled a renewed Russian-backed offensive in opposition-held Idlib province since early Dec and have sought shelter in border areas near Turkey, UN said in a report. aljazeera
Belt and Road Initiative gets major boost as China and Myanmar ink 33 deals
China and Myanmar today inked 33 deals aimed at speeding up key infrastructure projects to provide Beijing a stepping stone to the Indian Ocean after a meeting between President Xi Jinping and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, as the Communist nation ramped up support to cement its hold over Southeast Asian country under fire for its treatment of Rohingya Muslims.Holding talks with Xi on the final day of his two-day visit, Suu Kyi slammed the western countries for criticising Myanmar over the handling of the Rohingya issue.PTI
'Hundreds of thousands' killed by counterfeit medicine in Africa
WHO says hundreds of thousands of people are killed by fake medicine every year in Africa. The medical trade in West Africa alone is worth $200bn, with the counterfeit drugs coming from China, India and Nigeria. Now, West African leaders are meeting in Lome to sign an agreement aiming to crack down on the trade.aljazeera
*views, Articles, FEATURES*
Protests against CAA are constitutional, they seek to protect its basic structure:CM Pinarayi Vijayan, indian express
The essence of democracy is in protecting minority rights. India is failing to do so:Pranab Bardhan
How pathological criminals like December 16 rape, murder case convicts are products of broken society:Vikram Patel, Harvard, indian express
4 years after Rohith Vemula died, public university is still riddled with crises old and new:Satish Deshpande, indian express
Under Modi-Shah, BJP is back to being the Bharatiya ‘Baniya’ Party:SHEKHAR GUPTA , theprint
Talk of overtaking PoK captures imagination, but remains a distant dream until India strengthens military, boosts global influence: Sreemoy Talukdar , firstpost
UP Police Inflicted 'Enormous Violence' on Muslims During Protests: People's Tribunal, thewire
'They Keep Shattering Hopes': Rohith Vemula's Mother Vows to Continue Fight:Hamna Naseer, thewire
We Need to Ban Facial Recognition Altogether, Not Just Regulate Its Use:Urvashi Aneja and Angelina Chamuah, thewire
Dismal performance by infrastructure sector mars Modi govt’s 5-year Vision Document:Kumud Das
Gurdeep Singh Sappal punctures holes in BJP’s propaganda on CAA-NPR-NRIC
Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions on NPR and NRIC
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:04 PM).   

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