News and views across the globe.

Sunday, 19 July 2020

19 JULY NEWS: PM Modi to visit Ayodhya on 5 August for ‘bhoomi pujan’ of Ram Mandir. Ashok Gehlot Likely To Call Assembly Session Next Week. AAP, L-G spar over who will argue Delhi riot-related cases in court; AAP leaders say L-G interfering in the matter

NEWS DIGEST EVENING 

19 JULY 2020. 27 ZU AL-QA'DAH 1441. Vol-12, No-261

*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*

PM Modi to visit Ayodhya on 5 August for ‘bhoomi pujan’ of Ram Mandir

https://theprint.in/india/pm-modi-to-visit-ayodhya-on-5-august-for-bhoomi-pujan-of-ram-mandir/464271/

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Ayodhya for the ‘bhoomi pujan’ ceremony of Ram Mandir on 5 August, at least 3 members of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, the body set up to oversee the construction of the temple, told ThePrint.“We have got a confirmation that Prime Minister Modi will be coming to Ayodhya on 5 August to attend the bhoomipujan (foundation stone laying) ceremony of the temple. Because of security concerns, his itinerary is not being made public,” said a senior member of the Trust.Soon after the ceremony, construction work on the temple will officially start. The trust has set a 2024 deadline to complete the work.The date fixed for Ram Mandir ‘bhoomi pujan’, 5 August, also happens to be the first anniversary of the scrapping of Article 370 in J&K. theprint

PM Modi likely to attend ‘Bhumi Pujan’ for Ram temple in Ayodhya on August 5

 

Will delay Ram temple bhumi pujan if PM unable to attend ceremony: Mahant Nritya Gopal Das

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/will-delay-ram-temple-bhumi-pujan-if-pm-unable-to-attend-ceremony-mahant-nritya-gopal-das/story-LLJpd0zKS0ffOTdorenEFL.html

Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust chairman Mahant Nritya Gopal Das’s long wait for construction of Ram temple will end with groundbreaking ceremony likely on August 5. Das wrote an emotional letter to PM Narendra Modi last month, requesting him to visit Ayodhya for bhumi pujan.It was after this letter that the Prime Minister’s Office sought tentative dates from the trust for Modi’s maiden Ayodhya visit for bhumi pujan. Nritya Gopal Das said, "We had planned a grand bhumi pujan for Ram temple like the one organised for the Somnath temple. Then President of India Rajendra Prasad and home minister Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel attended Somanth temple bhumi pujan. The ceremony continued for three days. It was a grand and elaborate event. We wanted something like this. But due to Covid-19 pandemic, this is not possible now. After much effort, we were able to get the PM’s consent to attend the bhumi pujan."HT

 

AAP, L-G spar over who will argue Delhi riot-related cases in court; AAP leaders  say L-G interfering in the matter

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/aap-and-l-g-spar-over-who-will-argue-ne-delhi-riot-related-cases-in-court/

Days after Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking him to take a call on the appointment of 6 public prosecutors recommended by Delhi Police to argue Delhi riot-related cases, AAP leaders said L-G was interfering in the matter. A meeting between Baijal and acting Delhi Home Minister Manish Sisodia to discuss the issue on Friday was inconclusive as neither relented to the other’s demand, officials said. Sources said L-G insisted that the 6 lawyers police have named, including Aman Lekhi and Tushar Mehta, be allowed to represent the force. Sisodia, however, said the Delhi govt’s standing counsel, Rahul Mehra, should represent the state. AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said “L-G and Central government are insisting on the appointment of a panel of special public prosecutors chosen by Centre. This is happening at a time when there are very serious allegations on the response of Delhi Police to these riots as well as how the investigation is going on. There are reports that police are busy implicating some people and trying to save others. It is therefore extremely important that PPs for these cases are independent. If they are under Centre and appointed by Delhi Police itself, their independence is under serious question.”AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha said the power to appoint special PPs lies with the government and not L-G: “Under the law it is very clear that the PP is a representative of the State and not the police… Delhi Police being the investigating agency should have no role in deciding the lawyers.”“Last month, the L-G used his extraordinary powers to appoint 11 Central government lawyers to represent cases pertaining to Delhi riots in the lower courts,” he said. Indian express

 

Burkhas, All 'Markers of Muslimness' Targeted, Report Details Women's Plight in Delhi Riots

https://thewire.in/rights/delh-riots-delhi-minorities-commission-report

A fact-finding report released by Delhi Minorities Commission on the violence unleashed in North-East Delhi has shed light on the collusion between state and non-state actors in a planned and targeted attack on members of Muslim community. It also brought out the deliberate inaction by police officials, and the incitement of violence by members of BJP. The report said, “Any markers of ‘muslimness’ were attacked by the mob.”Women were not being attacked simply because of their sex, but more specifically for their Muslim identity. A woman recounted, “So many sisters told me even when they were running, their burkhas were taken off, their hijabs were pulled off. Me, my children and many other people hid on my terrace.”Several testimonies by women revealed that Hindutva Mobs, armed with weapons, hurled misogynist and communal slurs at them. Women narrated that they were called, “Motherf****r’, ‘Sisterf****r” by the mob.  Another woman said, “They had lathis, swords, they kept chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and “Mullon ko Maaron (Kill the Muslims!).”The testimonies in the report also narrate how mob threatened women by referring to slogans of azaadi (freedom) as a metaphor for sexual assault; “Do you want ‘Azaadi’? Come, we will give you azaadi!” the mob said whilst attacking women.In Shiv Vihar, when women stepped out to protect their husbands and sons, they were physically assaulted and sexually harassed by the mob.The report further said that the mob threw acid on women and children. Several women also said that Muslims were constantly referred to as ‘terrorists’, ‘anti-national’ and ‘foreigners’ by the mob.Women protesters from Chand Bagh sit-in protest site, claimed that they had been beaten up by male police officials. thewire

 

36 Years On, Economic Status of Anti-Sikh Riot Survivors Remains Deplorable: Delhi Minorities Commission Report

https://www.news18.com/news/india/36-years-on-economic-status-of-anti-sikh-riot-survivors-remains-deplorable-minorities-commission-report-2722703.html

Even 36 years after the pogrom that destroyed their lives, 95% of the survivors of the 1984 anti-Sikh carnage don't have enough money to live on, a survey conducted by Delhi Minorities Commission has found. The survey has found that most of the families which suffered the horrors of communal violence in '84 have still not been able to return to even their pre-riots economic status. The survey has also found that many of these families are so poor that they haven't been able to afford education for their children.The report titled, ‘Socio-Economic & Educational Status of Survivors of 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, which was released by the panel on Thursday, sampled 3668 families from eight locations in Delhi. Those areas are-- Tilak Vihar (Widows Colony), Raja Garden, Punjabi Bagh, Chander Vihar, Hari Nagar, Rohini, Khayala and Vishnu Garden. The report found that children of most victims could not continue their education and ended up as low-paid and daily-wage earners, unqualified women were forced to find odd jobs to feed their families and these circumstances placed riot-affected families behind others and it will take many generations for these families to reclaim their position which they enjoyed before the cruel riots, the report stated.

 

Loans to minorities in Delhi have seen 33 per cent year-on-year decrease: panel

https://www.newindianexpress.com/thesundaystandard/2020/jul/19/loans-to-minorities-in-delhi-have-seen-33-per-cent-year-on-year-decrease-says-panel-2171659.html

Delhi Minorities Commission has cited several problems being faced by minorities in getting loans from govt institutions in Delhi and according to the panel, the loans to minorities have seen a sharp 33% yearon- year decrease.The percentage share of advances to the six religious minorities has also shrunk from 6.92 % in the quarter ending on Dec.31, 2019 to 6.73 % in the quarter ending on March 31, 20120. While in Central district, the percentage of advances to minority community in ‘Priority Sector’ increased from 6.92% to 9.52% but in North East district, it has decreased from 8.71 % to 7.11% during the quarter. The panel described as “pittance” the amount of loans being offered to minorities and said the procedure of procuring loans is made more difficult due to required conditions.

 

Delhi Riots: Court Dismisses Bail Pleas of Man, His Son in Mosque Burning Case

https://www.news18.com/news/india/delhi-riots-court-dismisses-bail-pleas-of-man-his-son-in-mosque-burning-case-2722927.html

A Delhi court has dismissed the bail applications of a man and his son who were arrested in a case related to the vandalising and burning of a mosque during the northeast Delhi communal violence.Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav dismissed applications of Mithan and his son Jony Kumar considering the gravity of allegations against them.The court said in its order that the allegations against both the accused were that they were not only participants in the unlawful assembly, but were taking active part and instigating other people in the Khajuri Khas area.It said that Kumar and his father were also involved in 12 other cases in the vicinity of the area where more than 50 houses and shops were vandalised, looted and put on fire."The investigation in the matter is still in progress after the video footage of burning of 'Fatima Masjid' surfaced on social media," the court noted.PTI

 

Delhi police takes custody of Sharjeel Imam from Guwahati

https://newslivetv.com/delhi-police-takes-custody-of-sharjeel-imam-from-guwahati/

Delhi Police special cell took custody of JNU student leader Sharjeel Imam on Saturday. A team of Delhi Police brought back Sharjeel from Guwahati Central Jail to Delhi on Saturday. The team reached Guwahati on Friday. Sharjeel was lodged in Guwahati Central jail in sedition case.

 

Jamia violence: Court grants bail to local politician in 3 cases

https://www.aninews.in/news/national/general-news/jamia-violence-court-grants-bail-to-local-politician-in-three-cases20200718231939/

Delhi's Saket Court on Saturday granted bail to one man accused of violence in the Jamia Millia Islamia, Shaheen Bagh and New Friends Colony during the anti-CAA protest.The court granted regular bail to accused Ashu Khan in all 3 cases related to protests.The court while granting bail, observed that Khan is not required for further custodial interrogation, therefore, no useful purpose would be served by keeping him in custody.The court granted bail to Ashu Khan asking him to furnish a personal bond of Rs 25,000. Ashu Khan, represented by advocates Asghar Khan, Abdul Tahir Khan and Tahir Nasir, had sought bail on grounds of parity that other co-accused were already granted bail.ANI

 

 

Telangana Secretariat building row: Muslim leaders in TRS should resign until they get CM's assurance on reconstruction of mosques at original site, says Congress

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/secretariat-building-row-muslim-leaders-in-trs-should-resign-until-they-get-cms-assurance-on-reconstruction-of-mosques-at-original-site-says-congress/articleshow/77038957.cms

Hyderabad: Congress has demanded that Muslim leaders in ruling TRS should resign from their posts until they get a written assurance from chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao that 2 mosques that were demolished in the old secretariat premises would be constructed in its original sites."The construction of new secretariat complex should begin only after re-construction of both the mosques at the same site," demanded Congress minorities cell city unit chairman Sameer Waliullah.Except for assuring to construct more spaciously the temple and mosque, CM did not talk about re-construction of places of worship at its original sites. “2 mosques were demolished but CM has talked about construction of only one mosque and has been silent on the site of construction. Both the mosques should be reconstructed at its original sites,” Waliullah said. He also condemned Telangana State Wakf Board for its silence over the demolition of mosques despite the fact that both were Wakf properties and one of them was a heritage structure.

 

Telangana secretariat : Asaduddin Owaisi treads cautious path on mosque issue

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/asad-treads-cautious-path-on-mosque-issue/articleshow/77044376.cms

Hyderabad: AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi has managed to stay afloat despite BJP and some Muslim organisations tried to corner him on the demolition of two mosques in the secretariat complex. He asserted that development and communal harmony were of paramount importance and TRS government was doing just that.While terming mosques being razed as an unfortunate incident, Asaduddin said he was convinced by chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s promise of getting a larger mosque built on the same premises along with the new secretariat complex.TOI

 

Census 2021: 2 Ravidassia factions want recognition as different religions

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/census-2021-two-ravidassia-factions-want-recognition-as-different-religions-6513000/

Jalandhar : With a population enumeration exercise (Census 2021) approaching, an intense campaign has been launched by two factions of a single community — Ravidassias — in Doaba region, urging the Centre government to provide them recognition as separate religions. Both factions want separate religion column for themselves and also a unique code for their respective sects.One sect that is making these demand includes two groups — All India Adi-Dharam Mission led by Sant Satwinder Heera as well as All Indian Adi-Dharam Sadhu Samaj led by Sant Nirmal Das. They want to be recognised as Adi-Dharam. The second group is led by Dera Sach Khand, Ballan and they want Ravidassia to be recogined as a separate religion. Both the factions have sent their respective representations to the central government. Further, both are making appeals to the people of their respective sects to mention the name of their respective “religions” during the census survey. Currently they are recognised under Hindu religion, but both argue that they are different from Hindus and belong to Ad-Dharam (Original religion).

 

HRD min's evaluation found Jamia''s performance for 2019-20 outstanding: university

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/hrd-mins-evaluation-found-jamias-performance-for-201920-outstanding-says-university/1898316

New Delhi:An evaluation of central universities done by HRD Ministry for academic year 2019-20 found the performance of Jamia Millia Islamia "outstanding", university said.JMI secured 95.23 per cent in an overall assessment, as indicated in a letter sent to the university by MHRD. V-C Professor Najma Akhtar attributed the achievement to high quality teaching, relevant and focused research and improved perception of the university.She hoped the university would improve its performance in the coming years.Akhtar said the achievement is all more significant because of the challenging time the university went through in the recent past.PTI

 

‘14-year-old was mature enough’: Bombay HC grants bail to Pocso accused

https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/14-year-old-was-mature-enough-hc-grants-bail-to-pocso-accused/story-bYDcJQjOztlZiT29MWUSoO.html

The concept of consent is irrelevant under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, 2012, but high court is empowered to pass orders necessary to secure the ends of justice, Bombay HC said while granting bail to a city resident arrested for raping a minor. Justice Sandeep Shinde granted bail to the rape accused primarily on the grounds that apparently 14-year-old survivor was mature enough and the acts were consensual.  The accused was arrested by Nehru Nagar police in Kurla on July 10, 2019, following statement given by survivor to police that she was raped by the married man and 3 others. The survivor’s stepmother had lodged a missing complaint on June 14, 2019 after the minor left her house as she was purportedly fed up of harassment meted out by the complainant.  In addition, the minor, born to a Muslim couple, had changed both her name and religion and got it declared by Gazette publication. All these revelations prompted HC to believe that 14-year-old was capable of understanding the nature and consequences of the acts that she consented to. HC has, thus, ordered Navghare to be released on submitting personal bond of ₹30,000.

 

Brutal eviction drive shatters hopes of Dalit sharecroppers

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/brutal-eviction-drive-shatters-hopes-of-dalit-sharecroppers/article32131529.ece?homepage=true

Bhopal :Last year’s nightmare returned to haunt the landless, sharecropping Ahirwar family of Guna on July 14. They had then seen the wheat they had nurtured for months being being bulldozed by officials in minutes; destroying not just their harvest but also hopes of earning enough to own a piece of land.This time round, the family's resolve was stronger to protect their 40-bigha field, sown with the year's first crop when revenue officials rolled in with earthmovers and jeeps and escorted by the police.“We requested them to wait for at least another two and a half months for the soyabean harvest,” recalled Sishupal Ahirwar, 20.But officials ignored their request and began measuring the land allotted for the construction of a government college, and began digging up their fields.“I had no option but to consume pesticide. We had taken the land on lease to feed my six children. There was no point in surviving if I couldn’t fulfill my duty as a father,” said Rajkumar Ahirwar, 38, who consumed pesticide along with his wife after being assaulted by the police when they tried to prevent the officials. The couple is now under treatment at Guna district hospital.Outraged at seeing his family abused and roughed up, his brother Sishupal blocked police personnel attempting to move the couple into an ambulance, at which they beat him also with batons. Witness to the violent assault, couple’s children were left wailing as their parents fell unconscious.thehindu

 

MP: OBC man mercilessly thrashed by locals for stealing pesticide in Guna

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/madhya-pradesh-guna-obc-man-beaten-thrashed-stealing-pesticide-1702230-2020-07-19

Guna:Days after a Dalit couple in MP's Guna district consumed pesticide after being assaulted by police, another incident has come to light wherein a man belonging to OBC community was mercilessly thrashed by a group of people in the MP town after he was allegedly caught stealing pesticide from a market.The incident took place on Thursday, 2 days after a Dalit couple consumed pesticide and the husband was beaten by police while being evicted from a government land in Guna.A video of Thursday's incident have now gone viral on social media.Video shows a bleeding man being beaten by 2-3 men and being dragged with a towel tied around his neck until his condition worsened. The men stop beating him only after he falls partially unconscious and lays on the ground.

 

3 Bangladeshi nationals lynched in Assam

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/three-bangladeshi-nationals-lynched-in-assam/article32129223.ece?homepage=true

3 Bangladeshi nationals alleged to be cattle smugglers were lynched by locals in southern Assam’s Karimganj district around midnight on July 18.  4 others from across border escaped.Kumar Sanjit Krishna, the district’s SP said the incident happened at Bogrijan Tea Estate under Patharkandi police station near 134 Battalion of Border Security Force’s E Company. The area is close to the border with Bangladesh and about 1.5 km from the nearest police outpost.“On inquiry, it was revealed that said Bangladeshi nationals crossed the border with a motive to steal cows from Bogrijan area. They were lynched by people yet to be identified,” he said from Karimganj district. The police recovered the bodies of 3 men and a process was on to hand them over to Bangladeshi authorities.This was the second such incident in Karimganj district in less than two months.thehindu

 

Assam flood: Over 54 lakh affected, 81 dead

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/assam-flood-2020-over-54-lakh-affected-81-dead-pm-modi-assures-help-1702175-2020-07-19

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured all support to Assam in dealing with the flood havoc, which has claimed 81 lives and affected over 54 lakh in 30 districts. Modi spoke with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal about the flood situation in the state and expressed solidarity with the people.At least 18 people have died in the current spate of flood in Assam. While 81 people died after drowning in floodwaters, 26 others have died in landslide incidents in the state. The total number of people losing their lives in this year’s flood and landslides in the state has gone up to 107.

U'khand Bridge Collapses, Delhi House Crumbles, Himachal Flood: India Struggles as Rain Wreaks Havoc

 

 

Floods in India, Nepal Displace Nearly 4 Million People, At Least 189 Dead

https://www.news18.com/news/world/floods-in-india-nepal-displace-nearly-4-million-people-at-least-189-dead-2723937.html

Nearly four million people in India's northeastern state of Assam and neighbouring Nepal have been displaced by heavy flooding from monsoon rains, with dozens missing as deaths rose to at least 189, government officials said on Sunday.The overflowing Brahmaputra River, which flows through China's Tibet, India and Bangladesh, has damaged crops and triggered mudslides, displacing millions of people, officials said.More than 2.75 million people in Assam have been displaced by three waves of floods since late May that has claimed 79 lives after two more deaths were reported overnight, a state government official said.

 

Watch: Rainwater Gushes Into UP COVID Ward, Admin Says "Plumbing Failure"

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/watch-rainwater-gushes-into-up-covid-ward-admin-says-plumbing-failure-2265332?pfrom=home-topstories

Bareilly: A coronavirus ward at a hospital in Western Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly was flooded with rainwater after a pipeline installed on the ceiling suddenly burst on Saturday afternoon. Dramatic visuals of the incident, filmed on a mobile phone by a patient inside the ward, showed a heavy stream water falling from a large hole in the ceiling.After the video of the incident went viral on social media Bareilly's Joint Magistrate Ishan Pratap Singh said that the incident occurred at a private medical college functioning as a Covid-19 hospital,  due to a "plumbing failure" during the construction work going on at the hospital.

*INDIAN POLITICS*

Ashok Gehlot Likely To Call Assembly Session Next Week: Sources

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/rajasthan-political-crisis-live-updates-ashok-gehlot-vs-sachin-pilot-latest-news-vasundhara-raje-tweet-congress-bjp-fight-2265177

In a latest development in Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday met Governor Kalraj Mishra, hours after 2 MLAs of a regional party that withdrew support from Congress govt announced that they will back administration." Governor Kalraj Mishra on Saturday evening met CM Ashok Gehlot in his official residence. It was a courtesy meeting. Gehlot informed the Governor about the measures taken by the state government against the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting lasted 45 minutes," Governor's office said. Congress has decided on an alternative if Sachin Pilot and his rebel MLAs get a reprieve from disqualification from Rajasthan HC. The hearing in the case will resume on Monday. Contending that they have not indulged in any anti-party activity, the Sachin Pilot camp had taken Congress in court last week. Sources in Congress's legal team said the party is planning to convene assembly as the next step, if the court favours Mr Pilot's team.In assembly, CM will prove his numbers, which the Congress claims are above the majority mark. Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi, who is also a respondent in the case, will issue a whip to all Congress MLAs to vote in favour of the party.

 

CM Ashok Gehlot ready to face floor test: AICC Rajasthan in-charge Avinash Pande

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajasthan-crisis-ashok-gehlot-ready-to-face-floor-test-says-aicc-member/article32130363.ece?homepage=true

With the Rajasthan political crisis continuing for ninth day, All India Congress Committee (AICC) leader handling Rajasthan, Avinash Pande, on Sunday said the party will decide on ‘merit’ if some rebel MLAs want to return to the Congress fold.  Congress general secretary said Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is fully prepared to demonstrate his strength in Assembly and his government will complete its term of 5 years.Mr Pande, however, declined to comment on whether the Congress would make any further attempt to reach out to former Rajasthan Congress chief, Sachin Pilot.

 

Remove Shekhawat from Union Cabinet over audio clips on ‘horse-trading’: Congress

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/remove-shekhawat-from-cabinet-over-audio-clips-on-horse-trading-congress

Congress on Sunday upped the ante on Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat's alleged role in the attempts to topple the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan and demanded his resignation or removal from the Union Cabinet. Senior Congress leader Ajay Maken put forth pointed questions to the BJP and asked why Shekhawat was still a Union Minister and "resisting" to come forward to give his voice sample after his name cropped up in the audio clippings related to horse-trading of MLAs in the desert state."Isn't it the moral duty of the Prime Minister to divest Shekhawat of his portfolio so that he doesn't interfere in the fair investigation in this case? Also, why is he shying from giving a voice sample despite registration of a case against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act?" Maken said.The former Delhi PCC chief also asked why the Haryana government and Delhi Police were "stopping" Rajasthan Special Operations Group (SOG) team from collecting voice samples of Congress MLAs Bhanwarlal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh who belong to the Sachin Pilot camp."If they are innocent, they too should have no issues in giving their voice samples," he said."Why is the BJP coming into the picture and threatening a CBI probe and also orchestrating ED and IT raids in the state? This proves their nexus."Maken also asked why BJP was demanding a CBI probe into alleged phone-tapping after his party released the audio clips.

 

Special Rajasthan police team formed to probe audio tapes' conspiracy, make arrests

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/india/special-rajasthan-police-team-formed-to-probe-audio-tapes-conspiracy-make-arrests-5566281.html

A special team of Rajasthan police officers has been formed to investigate and arrest the accused in the case registered with the special operations group in connection with audio tapes that revealed a conspiracy to topple the Ashok Gehlot-led state government.8-member team headed by SP CID (Crime branch) Vikas Sharma was formed Friday after 2 FIRs were registered on a complaint by Congress chief whip in the state Assembly Mahesh Joshi.PTI

Home Ministry Seeks Report From Ashok Gehlot Govt On Phone-tapping Allegations

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-home-ministry-seeks-report-from-ashok-gehlot-govt-on-phone-tapping-allegations/356984

Centre has sought a report from the Rajasthan chief secretary on allegations of phone tapping after two audio clips of conversations purportedly regarding a "conspiracy" to topple state's Congress government emerged amidst the ongoing political crisis in the state, officials said.In a communication, the Ministry of Home Affairs told the Rajasthan chief secretary to send a report on the allegations of phone tapping, an official said.The chief secretary has been told to provide the details of the incident after two audio clips emerged, the official added.

 

On Covid-19 Deaths, GDP Figures and Border Row with China, Rahul Says BJP Has Institutionalised Lies

https://www.news18.com/news/politics/bjp-has-institutionalised-lies-rahul-gandhi-on-covid-19-gdp-figures-and-border-row-with-china-2723897.html

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has attacked BJP and accused it of "institutionalising lies" over COVID-19 deaths, GDP figures and the Chinese aggression at the border. Hitting out at BJP over the rise in the number of deaths due to COVID-19, he said India will pay its price when the "illusion" is shattered. "BJP has institutionalised lies. 1. Covid19 by restricting testing and misreporting deaths. 2. GDP by using a new calculation method. 3. Chinese aggression by frightening the media. The illusion will break soon and India will pay the price," Gandhi said in a tweet.He tagged a news report on the coronavirus situation with his tweet.PTI

 

*SOUTH ASIA, INDO-PAK & J&K*

Navy’s forward posture against PLA aggression in Ladakh muscles out Chinese threat on high seas

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/indian-navy-s-forward-posture-against-pla-aggression-in-ladakh-muscles-out-chinese-threat-on-high-seas/story-mRYUXdkrCmGQznQod5lWFK.html

While Indian Army and Air Force are fully deployed on Aksai Chin border, the Indian Navy through its forward posture has ensured that there is no Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy threat in either the Arabian Sea or the Bay of Bengal.According to sources based in Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam and New Delhi, after the June 15 Galwan flare-up, Indian Navy warships including aircraft carrier and submarines adopted an aggressive posture on both eastern and western seaboard to ward off any Chinese Navy threat to India from Malacca Straits to Horn of Africa. PLA Navy warships using the cover of anti-piracy operations operate between Gwadar, their maintenance and logistics base in Balochistan, to acquired Djibouti Naval base on the mouth of Red Sea. PLA warships also enter Indian Ocean through Malacca Straits and operate in the international waters.

 

IAF top brass to discuss Rafale integration, developments in Ladakh during key meet

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/iaf-top-brass-to-discuss-rafale-integration-developments-in-ladakh-during-key-meet-1702199-2020-07-19

Top Air Force commanders led by Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria are scheduled to meet and discuss the situation developing between India and China along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.Among key issues up for discussion will be the deployment of twin-engine fighter assets by IAF. Integration of the Rafale fighter jets due to arrive in India by July-end will also be discussed during the two-day meet.The Air Force will focus on the rapid deployment of Rafale fighter jets for operational roles along northern borders in coordination with other assets, including the Su-30MKI and the Mirage-2000.

 

Security agencies raise alarm over Chinese weapons being supplied to terror groups in Myanmar to target India

https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-security-agencies-raise-alarm-over-chinese-weapons-being-supplied-to-terror-groups-in-myanmar-to-target-indian-assets-2832930

Indian security agencies have expressed concern over the Chinese weapons being provided to the militant groups in Myanmar. In a recent development, a huge cache of Chinese weapons was recovered near Myanmar-Thailand border which was destined to Arakan Army(AA), so that Indian assets including the Kaladan Multimodal Project could be targeted.Myanmar and Thailand police conducted a joint operation last month in June and caught a large consignment of Chinese weapons. Security agencies have arrested a total of 6 people in this case. All arrests revealed that Chinese weapons were transported to Arakan Army operating in Rakhine state adjoining Bangladesh.dnaindia

 

Nepal ruling party’s Standing Committee meeting postponed for 2 more days

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/nepal-ruling-partys-standing-committee-meeting-postponed-for-two-more-days/article32129747.ece?homepage=true

Nepal’s ruling communist party on Sunday once again deferred the crucial meeting of its powerful Standing Committee as the top leaders intensified efforts to negotiate a power-sharing deal between embattled Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and former premier Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.According to a statement issued by Central Office of Communist Party of Nepal, Standing Committee meeting scheduled for 3 pm on Sunday has been deferred for 11 am on Tuesday. This is for the seventh time that the ruling party has postponed its Standing Committee meeting.During an informal meeting on Sunday, party’s top leaders decided to defer the meeting for 2 days in a bid to sort out differences, Standing Committee member Ganesh Shah told PTI.PTI

 

Varanasi man attacked was paid to be part of ‘anti-Nepal’ video: Police

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/varanasi-man-attacked-was-paid-to-be-part-of-anti-nepal-video-police-6512766/

Varanasi Police on Saturday claimed that a man seen getting tonsured in a viral anti-Nepal video the day before suffers from mental disabilities, and had been paid Rs 1,000 to be a part of the clip.In the video, the attackers were seen inscribing “Jai Shri Ram” on the head of the man, who is believed to be from Nepal, and forcing him to chant slogans criticising Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. In the video the victim was heard speaking in Nepali, but the police said he might not be a citizen of Nepal as initially believed.The police said they were in the process of confirming whether the man is of Nepalese origin. The police also arrested two more people in connection with the incident, a day after four were held following the emergence of the clip.An FIR lodged at Bhelupur police station has identified the main accused as Arun Pathak, who has links to Vishwa Hindu Sena Sangathan.

 

Afghanistan: Abducted Sikh released, government hints can use CAA to get citizenship

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/afghan-sikh-released-kabul-government-caa-citizenship-6512642/

Hours after 55-year-old Nidan Singh Sachdeva, an Afghan Sikh who was abducted a month ago from a gurdwara in the Paktia province of Afghanistan, was released Saturday, New Delhi thanked the Kabul government for its efforts and then pointed to the CAA to signal that he could be granted citizenship should he apply. Sachdeva and his family moved to India in 1990s — well before CAA cut-off date of Dec.31, 2014 to be eligible for grant of Indian citizenship. Living in Delhi on a long-term visa, Sachdeva keeps returning to Afghanistan and also does sewa at gurdwaras — at the time of his abduction, he was at Thala Sri Guru Nanak Sahib gurdwara in Chamkani district. After his abduction on June 17, his wife Mahrwanti wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi on June 25, seeking govt assistance to secure her husband’s release. In her letter, she mentioned “Paktia is an epicentre of Taliban insurgency and in the past has been a safe haven for militants from Haqqani network… we apprehend that he may have been abducted by a militant organization”.“Kindly repatriate him to New Delhi immediately after his release and grant us Indian citizenship at the earliest,” Mahrwanti wrote to Modi. Earlier in the day, Nidan Singh’s cousin Charan Singh said, “We don’t know who abducted him and with what motive. We are yet to speak to him in detail.”indian express

 

*CORONAVIRUS- LOCKDOWN*

Coronavirus lockdown compounds kidney patients' woes; 28% skip dialysis, outpatient attendance falls 92%: survey

https://www.firstpost.com/india/coronavirus-lockdown-compounds-kidney-patients-woes-28-skip-dialysis-outpatient-attendance-falls-92-survey-8616351.html

Over 28 percent of kidney patients missed one or more dialysis sessions and over four percent stopped reporting for dialysis during first 3 weeks of the coronavirus lockdown, a new study has revealed.Pre-proof version of a survey of 19 large hospitals across urban India, conducted by nearly two dozen scientists, slated to be published in Kidney International Reports, revealed a steep decline in kidney patients reporting for treatment and check-ups at nephrology units in these hospitals.The attendance for outpatients (those not requiring hospitalisation) in the surveyed hospitals came down by an incredible 92.3 percent and inpatient service reduced by 61 percent during phase one of the lockdown.One can thus, in the absence of a national database of dialysis patients, only imagine the situation in smaller towns with limited infrastructure.Millions suffering from chronic kidney disease could be at risk of cardiac arrest due to missed dialysis sessions and shortage of equipment. At least 2 patients said their usual 4-hour sessions were cut in half as doctors with limited resources scrambled to accommodate more patients.A patient based in Mumbai, speaking on condition of anonymity, said local municipal hospital close to his home, where he received free dialysis under Arogya Yojna, was turned into a COVID-19-only healthcare centre without any prior information or alternative arrangements for patients.Another patient undergoing dialysis at KJ Somaiya Hospital narrated a similar ordeal, saying he faced backlash from staff for demanding an 'extra' dialysis session.The problem compounded with the number of centres offering dialysis dwindling as number of patients needing dialysis further increased. Renal failure increasingly became reported as a serious complication in COVID patients who previously had no history of kidney disease.

 

AIIMS Panel Gives Nod To Human Clinical Trial Of COVID-19 Vaccine 'Covaxin'

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-news-aiims-panel-gives-nod-to-human-clinical-trial-of-covid-19-vaccine-covaxin/356987

AIIMS Ethics Committee on Saturday gave its nod for a human clinical trial of the indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin following which the premier hospital is likely to begin the exercise by enrolling healthy volunteers from Monday. AIIMS-Delhi is among the 12 sites selected by ICMR for conducting phase I and II human trials of Covaxin. In phase I, the vaccine would be tested on 375 volunteers and the maximum of 100 of them would be from AIIMS.

 

7 Indian pharma players race to develop vaccine to cure coronavirus

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/seven-indian-pharma-players-race-to-develop-covid-19-vaccine/article32130198.ece?homepage=true

At least 7 Indian pharma companies are working to develop a vaccine against coronavirus as they join global efforts to find a preventive to check the spread of the virus that has already infected more than 14 million globally. Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute, Zydus Cadila, Panacea Biotec, Indian Immunologicals, Mynvax and Biological E are among domestic pharma firms working on the coronavirus vaccines in India. Vaccines normally require years of testing and additional time to produce at scale, but scientists are hoping to develop a coronavirus vaccine within months because of the pandemic. Bharat Biotech has received approval to conduct phase I and II clinical trial for its vaccine candidate Covaxin, that has been developed and manufactured in the company’s facility in Hyderabad. It last week started human clinical trials.Leading vaccine major Serum Institute of India has said that it is hoping to develop a COVID-19 vaccine by the year-end.PTI

 

India’s Coronavirus case fatality rate drops below 2.5%: Govt

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-indias-case-fatality-rate-progressively-falling-among-lowest-in-world/article32129700.ece?homepage=true

India’s Case Fatality Rate (CFR) has fallen below 2.5% for the first time on Sunday,according to a statement issued by Union Health Ministry. Ministry attributes this reduction to the focused efforts of Centre and State/UT govts on efficient clinical management of hospitalised cases.“Effective containment strategy, aggressive testing and standardised clinical management protocols based on holistic standard care approach has now caused the case fatality rate to significantly dip and India now has one of the lowest case fatality rates in world (2.49%) which is also progressively falling,” it said.

 

WHO reports record daily increase in global coronavirus cases for second day in a row

https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/who-reports-record-daily-increase-in-global-coronavirus-cases-for-second-day-in-a-row-1702216-2020-07-19

WHO reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases for the second day in a row, with the total rising by 259,848 in 24 hours.The biggest increases reported on Saturday were from US, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report. The previous WHO record for new cases was 237,743 on Friday. Deaths rose by 7,360, the biggest one-day increase since May 10. Deaths have been averaging 4,800 a day in July, up slightly from an average of 4,600 a day in June. Total global coronavirus cases surpassed 14 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed nearly 600,000 people in 7 months. The surge means that 1 million cases were reported in under 100 hours.  WHO reported 71,484 new cases in US, 45,403 in Brazil, 34,884 in India and 13,373 in South Africa.

 

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind asks govt to help private school teachers through PM CARES Fund

https://theindianawaaz.com/jamaat-e-islami-asks-govt-to-help-private-school-teachers-through-pm-cares-fund/

New Delhi: India’s prominent Muslim body, the Jamaat-e-Islami has demanded the government to provide aid to private school teachers from PM CARES Fund or launch any other scheme for their welfare. It also demanded that PF department/ EPFO should give an interest-free loan to the teachers of private schools for three years. “The government should also offer interest-free loans to small private schools as it has formulated a scheme on the lines of MSME loan”, the Jamaat said. These suggestions have come from Central Educational Board of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind in a letter to Union HRD Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal. Jamaat said that the proposed suggestions are meant for the smooth running of educational institutions and the education system across the country, during the unprecedented time of pandemic.In a letter to Union HRD Minister, Chairman of Jamaat’s Central Educational Board Mr. Nusrat Ali has proposed various suggestions after extensive deliberation on the issue by experts to overcome negative impact of COVID-19 epidemic on the education system in India. The chairman of Jamaat’s board, in a letter, has suggested the government to evolve a system for home schooling, which has to be regulated and facilitated.

 

MHRD seeks parents’ opinion on when to reopen schools — Aug, Sept or Oct

https://theprint.in/india/education/mhrd-seeks-parents-opinion-on-when-to-reopen-schools-august-september-or-october/464161/

New Delhi: With educational institutions indefinitely shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is now seeking parents’ opinions on when to reopen schools this year. In a letter to education secretaries of all states, the ministry directed them to get the feedback of parents on when they would want the schools to reopen and what changes they expect to be introduced in schools. The letter asked secretaries to ascertain if parents will be comfortable with reopening schools in August, September or October. “What is likely period when they will be comfortable with reopening of schools — Aug./ Sept./ Oct, 2020 and what are the parents expectations from schools as and when they re-open,” read the letter. The ministry asked the states to file their responses by 20 July.

 

Maharashtra: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind urges CM Thackeray to allow Bakra Eid activities in 27 districts

https://www.aninews.in/news/national/general-news/maharashtra-jamaat-e-islami-hind-urges-cm-thackeray-to-allow-bakra-eid-activities-in-27-districts20200719030724/

Mumbai: Jamaat-E-Islami Hind, Maharashtra has requested Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to allow activities related to Eid-ul-Adha, while ensuring that all safety guidelines related to COVID-19 remain in place, in 27 districts in the state. Maharashtra Govt had on Friday issued guidelines for Bakra Eid. Rizwan-ur Rahman Khan, President of Jamaat e Islami Hind, Maharashtra, in the letter, addressed to the CM on July 16 said, "9 out of 36 districts of Maharashtra have 93 per cent cases of COVID-19,therefore we suggest to allow activities related to Eid-ul-Adha in 27 other districts, including Bakra Mandi and slaughterhouses, as usual with certain additional safety measures such as social distancing, wearing of masks, sanitisation etc." The letter stated that organisation believed celebrations will be subdued this time owing to COVID-19 threat and people themselves will abide by guidelines issued by the state government. The organisation further suggested measures for the 9 most affected districts in the state. The measures include allowing to set up "community sacrifice centres" as per the demand in different areas in the nine districts and allowing the purchase and sale of goats to take place in these centres.It also urged the CM to draft a plan for buying and selling of animals, according to local needs and to allow animal markets to be set up on bigger grounds.ANI

 

UP: Very few buyers and sellers in animal markets ahead of Bakrid

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/very-few-buyers-and-sellers-in-animal-markets-ahead-of-bakrid-115093#.XxRDIom1ESk.twitter

Lucknow:The animal markets, which are usually bustling with activity ahead of Bakrid, are desolate this year.COVID-19 has shorn all festivals of public celebrations, and people are apprehensive that the tradition of animal sacrifice may be affected due to social distancing norms.Also there is a massive drop in demand for sacrificial animals due to the financial impact of the crisis.Chairman of All India Jamiat-ul-Quresh Sirajuddin Qureshi urged the government to come out with guidelines for carrying out the celebrations in the traditional way.“It is very difficult to say as to what the government is thinking. ‘Qurbani’ is a matter of faith for the Muslims. We appeal to the govt to deliberate and find a solution. This is a national problem, and our office bearers are speaking to different state governments,” Qureshi said.In the absence of guidelines, not many madrassas are buying animals for sacrifice, he said. Cleric Khalid Rasheed Farang Mahali said he had raised the issue with the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.Rahat Ali, a goat trader from Rajasthan said, thousands of people will be affected due to the reduced demand for animals.Sajid, who supplies goats to various districts in western Uttar Pradesh, said the lockdown has affected the livelihood of people and not many have the money to buy animals for sacrifice. PTI                         

 

ICRA revises estimate for India’s growth to -9.5 %

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/videos/icra-revises-estimate-for-indias-growth-to-95

Rating agency ICRA sharply revised to -9.5%, its forecast for India’s growth in the ongoing fiscal on account of the localised lockdowns announced by various state governments and rising cases of COVID-19.Stating that the developments arrested the nascent recovery that had set in during May-June 2020, the latest estimate took the agency to the lower end of the spectrum of growth expectations for the economy.In May, ICRA had said the country would see a 5% contraction in FY21. “Indian economy had started to recover from the troughs experienced in April 2020, when the lockdown was at its severest, and many sectors seemed to be adjusting to a new normal. However, the unabated rise in COVID-19 infections in the unlock phase and re-imposition of localised lockdowns in several states, appear to have interrupted this recovery,” said Aditi Nayar, principal economist at ICRA.

 

Arunachal extends lockdown in Itanagar till August 3

https://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/arunachal-extends-lockdown-in-itanagar-till-august-3-635456

Arunachal Pradesh government has extended the total lockdown in the Capital Complex for another two weeks in the wake of the spurt in COVID-19 cases in the region, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar announced on Sunday. The restrictions, which were imposed till Monday evening, have been extended till 5 am on August 3, he said addressing a virtual press conference.PTI

 

Activist Varavara Rao, Who Tested Positive For Covid, Moved To Nanavati Hospital

https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/varavara-rao-coronavirus-nanavati-hospital_in_5f13dd4fc5b619afc4024cf1?utm_hp_ref=in-news

Activist and Telugu poet Varavara Rao, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, was moved to Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital from St George’s hospital for neurological and urological treatment, said reports.  81-year-old, who is an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, had been lodged in the Tajola jail since August 2018, with many activists asking for his released amid health concerns and the pandemic.

 

COVID: Ex-DU professor Saibaba moves bail plea in HC

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/covid-19-ex-du-professor-saibaba-moves-bail-plea-in-hc-6513268/

Nagpur :Former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, who is serving life sentence in a prison here for alleged Maoist links, has filed a bail application before the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court, citing his weak health and the outbreak of coronavirus in the jail. After Saibaba filed the bail plea seeking urgent hearing into it, a division bench of Justices Atul Chandurkar and Amit Borkar on Tuesday issued notices to the Maharashtra government and other respondents to file their replies before July 24, when the court will hear the case.PTI

 

Navi Mumbai ‘rape’ victim tests Covid-negative, but kept in same quarantine centre with accused, who tests positive

https://theprint.in/india/navi-mumbai-rape-victim-tests-covid-negative-but-kept-in-same-quarantine-centre-as-accused/463696/

Mumbai: A day after a 40-year-old woman complained of alleged rape while under institutional quarantine for Covid in Navi Mumbai’s Panvel taluka, she is still being kept in the same facility despite testing negative for virus. 25-year-old accused is also kept in the same quarantine centre amid security cover as he has tested Covid-positive. Panvel taluka police booked the accused Friday for allegedly raping the woman on 16 July after she registered a complaint.“The victim has tested Covid-negative. She is still in the same quarantine facility. The accused is there too, but they are kept at different places. It is a large facility,” said Ashok Rajput, senior police inspector at Panvel taluka.A Panvel civic official said the capacity of the quarantine facility is about 2,000 and it is used by several neighbouring local bodies and district authorities, including Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC). The woman was admitted to the centre by PMC. Ashok Dudhe, DCP Navi Mumbai said, “Right now she is there itself. Whether she is to be moved out or not is the doctor’s decision.”

 

Turmeric compound could kill certain coronaviruses

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/health/turmeric-compound-could-kill-certain-coronaviruses

Aficionados of Indian food already know about the medicinal properties of turmeric. Now researchers have found that a natural compound found in this commonly used spice could help eliminate certain viruses.This compound in turmeric, called "curcumin", can prevent Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) -- an alpha-group coronavirus that infects pigs -- from infecting cells, said the study published in the Journal of General Virology.At higher doses, the compound was also found to kill virus particles.Infection with TGEV causes a disease called transmissible gastroenteritis in piglets, which is characterised by diarrhoea, severe dehydration and death.TGEV is highly infectious and is invariably fatal in piglets younger than two weeks, thus posing a major threat to the global swine industry.IANS

 

Coronavirus:China's Xinjiang in 'wartime state'

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/worldwide-coronavirus-death-toll-nears-600000-live-updates-200718232028622.html

Authorities in China's western Xinjiang province have declared a "wartime situation" as the region attempts to clamp down on a sudden spike in coronavirus cases.Xinjiang authorities reported 17 confirmed cases and 23 asymptomatic infections early on Sunday morning, with 269 people under observation.A small spike was observed midweek and by Thursday authorities had placed Urumqi, the region's capital, under lockdown. Flights, underground and other train services were quickly suspended.

 

Iranian health officials play down president's figure of 25 million infections

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/worldwide-coronavirus-death-toll-nears-600000-live-updates-200718232028622.html

Iranian health officials played down President Hassan Rouhani's estimate that some 25 million people have been infected with coronavirus, saying it was based on serological blood tests that measure exposure to the illness and that cannot be relied on to show the current state of disease.25 million figure put forward by Rouhani on Saturday is nearly a third of the population and much higher than official number of COVID-19 cases.Officially, the number of cases is 273,788, with 14,188 deaths, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said.

 

Pakistan's COVID-19 daily tally continues to drop

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/pakistans-covid-19-daily-tally-continues-to-drop/1915240

Pakistan's daily coronavirus tally continued to fall, as the country recorded only 1,579 new cases over the past 24 hours, the lowest single-day sum since May, Health Ministry data said Sunday.With the new cases, the total number of infections reached 263,496, with 1,763 of them in critical condition, the data showed.Another 46 patients lost their battle against the disease across the country in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 5,568. Nearly 70% of patients, or 204,276, have recovered so far.

 

*WORLD*

Israel: Netanyahu corruption trial resumes amid anti-gov't public anger

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/israel-netanyahu-corruption-trial-resumes-anti-gov-anger-200719071849597.html

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial has resumed as the long-serving leader faces mounting discontent over his handling of the coronavirus crisis.The trial at the Jerusalem District Court resumed on Sunday after a two-month break. The court had ruled in May that Netanyahu, the first serving Israeli prime minister to go on trial, would not have to be present during the proceedings.Netanyahu is charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in a series of scandals in which he is alleged to have received lavish gifts from billionaire friends and exchanged regulatory favours with media moguls for more agreeable coverage of himself and his family.The corruption trial resumes as Netanyahu faces widespread anger over his government's handling of the coronavirus crisis. While the country appeared to have tamped down a first wave of infections, a hasty reopening sent infections soaring.The anger has sparked protests over the past few weeks that have culminated in violent clashes with police.On Saturday, police used water cannon to disperse demonstrators around Netanyahu's Jerusalem residence. In Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial hub, thousands gathered to demand better state aid to businesses hurt in the health crisis.

Jerusalem governor arrested in Israel raid

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/jerusalem-governor-arrested-in-israel-raid/1915452

Israeli police detained Jerusalem governor Adnan Ghaith on Sunday in a raid on his home, according to a local NGO.Police raided Ghaith’s home in Silwan neighborhood in Jerusalem and took him into custody, Wadi Hilweh Information Center said in a statement.It was not yet clear the reason for the arrest.This is the third time the Jerusalem governor has been detained by Israeli forces this year. Ghaith had been briefly arrested in April and May.Israeli forces have shut down several Palestinian institutions and arrested prominent figures in recent months as part of a campaign to crack down on Palestinian symbols in Jerusalem.

 

Biden leads by double digits as coronavirus takes a toll on the president, Post-ABC poll finds

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-leads-by-double-digits-as-coronavirus-takes-a-toll-on-the-president-post-abc-poll-finds/2020/07/18/8d041884-c840-11ea-b037-f9711f89ee46_story.html

President Trump faces a significant challenge in his bid to win reelection in November, with former vice president Joe Biden holding a double-digit lead nationally and the president’s approval ratings crumbling amid a spreading coronavirus pandemic and a weakened economy, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.The survey portrays an embattled president whose fortunes have declined markedly since the coronavirus arrived in the United States months ago. Trump’s prospects for winning in November appear to depend heavily on his ability to rally an enthusiastic core base of supporters and on convincing a broader swath of a largely skeptical public that he is dealing effectively with the pandemic. Biden leads Trump 55 percent to 40 percent among registered voters. That compares with a 10-point Biden lead in May and a two-point edge in March, at a time when the pandemic was just beginning to spread rapidly in parts of the country. Among those who say they are certain to vote, Biden’s lead stands at 11 points.

 

India's bid for permanent UNSC seat: Former American diplomat says Joe Biden as US president would help

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/india/indias-bid-for-permanent-unsc-seat-former-american-diplomat-says-joe-biden-as-us-president-would-help-5566351.html

Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden, if elected to power in the November elections, will help shape international bodies like the UN so that India get a permanent seat on the Security Council, a former top American diplomat has said. India has been pushing for reforms of UN, including the Security Council, stating that its composition doesn't reflect the current realities and is not representative enough. UNSC has 15 members, including five permanent members — US, UK, France, Russia and China. China is the only permanent member of UNSC which is opposed to India's inclusion into the powerful grouping. Half of the 10 non-permanent members are elected every year for a two-year term. India, along with Mexico and Ireland, has been recently elected a non-permanent member for a two-year term starting January 1, 2021. "There's no question that under his (Biden) leadership, he would help shape international institutions like UN to give India a (permanent) seat on the Security Council, he would fulfil its (India) status as a major defence partner," former US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said on Saturday.

 

Syrian public left out of Sunday's regime elections

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/syrian-public-left-out-of-sundays-regime-elections/1915511

While the Assad regime on Sunday is holding parliamentary elections for the third time amid the ongoing Syrian civil war, the opposition has blasted the polls as an illegitimate sham.More than half of the Syrian people have been displaced by the Assad regime and so are unable to take part in the elections, which were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.The population of the country before the start of the civil war in 2011 was around 22-23 million, according to UN data. Around 6.7 million Syrian were forced to leave the country and also about 7-8 million people were displaced during the civil war. The elections will not be held in regions controlled by opposition groups.

 

Iran's Zarif in Iraq on his first visit since Soleimani's killing

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/iran-zarif-iraq-visit-soleimani-killing-200719092528110.html

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is visiting Iraq, for the first time since the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Qassem Soleimani in January.Zarif and his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein stressed the necessity for a stable Iraq for the "good of the region" as the two top diplomats discussed their ties and regional developments in Baghdad on Sunday.Zarif is also expected to meet Iraq's president, the speaker of parliament and the prime minister during the visit as regional security, bilateral relations and business investments feature on the agenda.Zarif's visit to Iraq comes amid tensions between US and Iran,which escalated following Soleimani's killing in an air attack in Iraqi capital.In a joint news conference with Hussein, Zarif said a "stable and powerful" Iraq was in the interest of both the countries.

 

France, Germany, Italy threaten sanctions over arms for Libya

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200719-france-germany-italy-threaten-sanctions-over-arms-for-libya/

Leaders of France, Germany and Italy on Saturday threatened for the first time to use sanctions against countries that continued to violate a UN arms embargo on Libya, reported Reuters.French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian PM Giuseppe Conte urged “all foreign actors to end their increasing interference and to fully respect the arms embargo established by UNSC” in a joint statement issued by the French presidency after meeting in Brussels.

 

Sudan's army launches legal action against 'insulting' activists and journalists

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200719-sudans-army-launches-legal-action-against-insulting-activists-and-journalists/

Sudan’s army has started legal action against activists and journalists who have “insulted” the military, it said in a statement on Saturday, according to a report by Reuters.The army ruled Sudan for a few months after removing veteran leader Omar al-Bashir in April 2019, before signing a fragile 3-year power-sharing deal with civilians under pressure from protesters.In a statement on Saturday, the army said that legal action would be taken against activists, journalists and others both inside and outside Sudan. No further information was given, but the army said it would release more details in due course.Activists and rights groups accuse the army of blocking investigations into the killing of scores of protesters on June 3 last year when security forces broke up a sit-in outside the defence ministry. Witnesses say that a powerful paramilitary force played a leading role in the raid.

 

Nations with Islamophobia can't protest H.Sofia move: Malaysian PAS leader

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/world/nations-with-islamophobia-cant-protest-hsofia-move/1915178

Kuala Lumpur:Western countries still plagued by Islamophobia have no place protesting Turkey restoring Hagia Sophia to its historic status as a mosque, said a leading Malaysian politician on Sunday.“These countries remained silent while Israel was planning to demolish al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Now they are protesting Hagia Sophia functioning as a church,” said Abdul Hadi Awang, Malaysia’s special envoy to the Middle East and leader of the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS).In a written statement, Hadi said that after the conquest of Istanbul, Hagia Sophia served as the city’s main mosque for nearly 500 years

 

Bangladesh Jamaat leader Azhar files review petition against death penalty

https://www.thedailystar.net/war-criminal-atm-azharul-seeks-review-death-sentence-1932741

Bangladesh Jamaat Islami leader ATM Azharul Islam has filed a petition with the apex court, pleading to review its judgement that upheld his death sentence initially awarded by ICT-1 for war crimes in 1971. Azharul submitted a 23-page review petition containing 14 grounds for seeking reconsideration of the SC's judgement through his lawyers Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain and Advocate Shishir Manir."We have submitted the review petition for ATM Azharul Islam including 14 grounds on which the Appellate Division may consider to exempt him from the charges brought against him," Shishir Manir told The Daily Star after filing the petition.He said Appellate Division will now decide when it will hold hearing on the review petition. Meanwhile, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam earlier told The Daily Star that his office will oppose the review petition when Appellate Division holds hearing on it.financial express/thedailystar

 

Did Google and Apple Remove Palestine From Maps? Truth is Uglier

https://clarionindia.net/did-google-and-apple-remove-palestine-from-maps-the-truth-is-uglier/

 A section of social media users on Twitter were angry after someone pointed out that Google and Apple had removed Palestine from their maps. They said the tech giants were trying to “erase” Palestine.However, the truth is bitter than what appears.If you search Palestine on Google maps, a geographical boundary named only Israel will crop up with a territory marked by lines with present-day Palestine but without the label. But there is nothing new about it as it has always been like this since Google came up with the maps utility in 2005.Moreover, this has often stirred up a hornet’s nest in the past as well. Netizens accuse Google and Apple of being biased against Palestine while peddling the Zionist cause. Nevertheless, the issue again cropped up on Thursday with supporters of Palestine expressing their outrage against Google and Apple, terming the decision as “disrespectful”.Clarion India

 

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  Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:17 PM)

 

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