News and views across the globe.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

18 OCT. NEWS: AIMPLB will challenge in HC acquittal of all Babri accused | Govt panel claims COVID has peaked in India, can be controlled by Feb | TRP measuring body accuses Republic TV of misrepresentation

18 OCT. NEWS DIGEST

 INDIA

 AIMPLB will challenge in HC acquittal of all Babri accused

NEW DELHI: All India Muslim Personal Law Board has issued a statement to say that it will challenge in the high court the special CBI court verdict acqutting all accused on the Babri Masjid demolition case.The AIMPLB working committee chaired by the board’s president, Maulana Syed Mohammad Rabey Hasani Nadvi issued a statement saying “members at the meeting expressed their dismay over the decision of the court. The board unanimously decided whether the CBI would challenge this decision or not, the board would challenge this decision in the high court.”The board’s legal committee also presented a detailed note to the working committee on the review of the Sabarimala case saying that “it clearly includes religious freedom, the scope of Article 25 of the Indian Constitution and what is mandatory and important for a religion could be dealt in this ruling. This will affect the religious freedom of the majority, including Muslims and the other minorities. It was thus decided that the board would also be involved in the case as an intervenor.” The Board also decided to hold meetings with religious groups, other minorities and members of civil society other than political parties to discuss the issue of uniform civil code and build awareness among people about “how it can be damaging for a pluralistic society”.The board has decided to set-up a committee to focus on the issue to counter any kind of propaganda around uniform civil code.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/aimplb-will-challenge-in-hc-acquittal-of-all-babri-accused/articleshow/78727502.cms

 

Owaisi targets RSS over plea against Mathura Idgah, says must remain alert

Hyderabad: Targetting RSS after a Mathura court admitted a plea against an Idgah there, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday said that the people must remain alert to the designs of the Sangh.Taking to Twitter, Owaisi said that the Babari Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi verdict has strengthened the resolve of the 'Sangh Parivaar'."What was feared has come true. The verdict related to the Babari Masjid has strengthened the resolve of the 'Sangh Parivaar'. Remember, if we still don't wake up, the Sangh may start another violent campaign on this and Congress will also join the campaign," Owaisi tweeted in Hindi.

https://www.aninews.in/news/national/general-news/asaduddin-owaisi-targets-rss-over-plea-against-mathura-idgah-says-must-remain-alert20201017125638/

 

Madrassas are legacy of Muslim League govt in Assam; govt to regulate privately-run Madrassa: education minister Biswa Sarma

While the Assam government has decided to close down state run Madrassa from November onwards, government also plans to bring in regulation for privately run Madrassa whereby the institutions has to teach science and maths besides complying with constitutional mandates like Right to education.Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday told media persons, “We have decided to shut down state run madrassas based on certain definite research. During survey it was found that most of the students studying their aspire to become doctor, engineers and professors and till class 9 or 10 they are in dark for they do not know this is not the medium through which they can fulfil their aspiration.”He added, “We will disband the Madrassa board and these institutions will be converted to High schools. Privately set up Madrassa can run however there will some regulations like students have to be told why they are here, secondary they must be taught bit of science and maths, these Madrassa have to be registered with the state besides various constitutional mandate like Right to education has be followed.”The education minister added that state run Madrassa is the legacy of Muslim league under Syed Muhammad Saadulla, who was Prime minister of Assam in British India. “Post-independence subsequent congress government increased the number of the state run Madrassa.” ET

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/state-government-to-regulate-privately-run-madrassa-himanta-biswa-sarma/articleshow/78723653.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

 

 

India set to lose Farzad-B gas field in Iran

India has all but lost ONGC Videsh Ltd-discovered Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf after Iran decided to prefer domestic companies over foreign firms for development of the field, sources said.ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas investment arm of state-owned ONGC, had in 2008 discovered a giant gas field in the Farsi offshore exploration block.OVL and its partners had offered to invest up to USD 11 billion for development of the discovery, which was later named Farzad-B.After sitting over OVL’s proposal for years, the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) informed the firm in February this year about its intention to conclude the contract for Farzad-B development with an Iranian company, sources with direct knowledge of the development said.OVL, however, continued its engagements with NIOC over the development of the field and sought terms and conditions of the proposed contract for its evaluation, they said, adding that Iran has so far not responded to the Indian firm’s request.PTI

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-set-to-lose-farzad-b-gas-field-in-iran/story-Y3u7M36m2M4flQ3o3asREN.html

 

Changes to J&K Panchayat Act drops payments to panches, sarpanches

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has amended Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, omitting a provision requiring payment of honorarium to panches and sarpanches (village head) in the newly created Union Territory. The amended law also says that Halqa Panchayat shall be required to get its accounts audited by a chartered accountant every year. Halqa means the area comprising a village or contiguous number of villages determined by the government.Section 10 of the 1989 Act on “remuneration to Sarpanch and Panches,” which said every Sarpanch and Panch shall be entitled to such monthly honorarium as may be specified by the government, has been omitted through an order issued by the MHA on Saturday. Currently, a sarpanch and panch get ₹3,000 and ₹1,000 as honorarium respectively.A senior J&K government official told The Hindu that the omission will not affect the remuneration and the panches will continue to get paid.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/changes-to-jk-panchayat-act-drops-payments-to-panches/article32882586.ece

 

No sign of Assembly polls, Centre floats new local level govt in J&K: District council

Srinagar :With all senior political leaders including Mehbooba Mufti released, the Centre on Saturday amended Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, to facilitate the setting up of District Development Councils (DDC), the members of which will be directly elected by voters in the Union Territory.Each district will be divided into 14 territorial constituencies for which elections will be held, and the winners will elect a chairperson and a vice-chairperson from amongst themselves. The councils will replace the District Development Boards, which earlier (when J&K was a state) were chaired by a Cabinet Minister or a Minister of State and included MLAs, MLCs and Members of Parliament.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/no-sign-of-assembly-polls-centre-floats-new-local-level-govt-in-jk-district-council-6762337/

 

Hathras victim’s family wants to move out of Boolgarhi

The family of 19-year-old Dalit girl who died after being allegedly gang raped in Hathras, now wants to move out of the Boolgarhi village that has been their home for generations.There are about 60 upper caste families and four Dalit families in the village. The accused belong to upper castes and their community has been rallying support for them."It would be impossible to stay on here after the police and the media are gone. It would be easier on us if we went somewhere else," the victim's elder brother said, indicating that they feared a backlash in the days to come.He said that if the case is transferred to Delhi, as they have pleaded in court, they would also prefer to shift to the national capital. He urged the government to help them relocate.IANS

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/hathras-victims-family-wants-to-move-out-of-boolgarhi

 

 

Delhi riots: ED files chargesheet against Tahir Hussain in money laundering case

A Delhi court on Saturday took cognizance of a charge sheet filed by ED against former AAP councillor Tahir Hussain for his alleged role in money laundering, funding protests against CAA; and orchestrating the Delhi riots, which claimed 53 lives and left around 400 injured.Additional sessions judge (ASJ) Amitabh Rawat said there was prima facie, sufficient incriminating material to show the involvement of Hussain and co-accused Amit Guptain these offences. The court directed Tihar jail officials to produce Tahir Hussain before it on October 19.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/delhi-riots-ed-files-chargesheet-against-tahir-hussain-in-money-laundering-case/story-g38bIqbeUqe4UHv1K2HSLJ.html

 

Special court sentences 15 in ISIS recruitment conspiracy case

New Delhi :A Delhi court Friday awarded varying jail terms to 15 people for being members of terror group ISIS and hatching a criminal conspiracy to establish a base in India and recruit youth to carry out acts of terrorism in the country. Special Judge Parveen Singh sent Nafees Khan to jail for 10 years while three convicts — Abu Anas, Mufti Abdul Sami Qasmi and Mudabbir Mushtaq Sheikh — got seven-year jail terms. Amjad and Azhar Khan were awarded six-year imprisonment. According to their lawyer Qausar Khan, the court also awarded five-year jail terms to nine other convicts: Mohd Obedullah, Najmul Huda, Mohd Afzal, Sohail Ahmed, Mohd Aleem, Moinudeen Khan, Asif Ali, Syed Mujahid and Mohd Hussain.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/special-court-sentences-15-in-isis-recruitment-conspiracy-case-6762875/

 

 

6 Months On, Tablighi Markaz in Nizamuddin Remains Closed— Here’s Why

  New Delhi: Nizamuddin Markaz or Bangla Wale Masjid of Tablighi Jamaat had caught national attention after it emerged as a coronavirus hotspot. It has been more than six months since that fateful event but the space is still shut for the general public for prayers and Tablighi work even as the government has allowed opening of religious places across the country.The government authorities had locked up the building and seized the keys amid an uproar by right-wing forces for a punitive action against members of the Tablighi Jamaat resulting in many foreign members being detained and subjected to court trials.The restrictions were lifted gradually as the countrywide lockdown eased up and, eventually, last month, after court interjection, the authorities handed over the keys to the Markaz administration.But the Tablighi Jamaat administration has decided to keep the Markaz closed citing a continuous rise in daily coronavirus cases in the country. According to one of the caretakers, the reason to keep the Markaz closed is that they feel it will be difficult to ensure that covid-19 guidelines are followed while the Tablighi work takes place inside the Markaz.“This is not like any other mosque where people come for namaz and then leave. Here, people stay for night and do gathering and dawat work and not just namaz,” the caretaker said. Clarion India

https://clarionindia.net/six-months-on-markaz-nizamuddin-remains-closed-heres-why/

 

 

TRP measuring body accuses Republic TV of misrepresentation

Designated television ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council, or BARC India, on Sunday denied that it had commented on the ongoing investigation against Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV for allegedly rigging TRPs, and accused the media group of misrepresenting confidential communication between the agency and the channel.“BARC India has not commented on the ongoing investigation and it is providing necessary assistance to the law enforcement agency,” the ratings agency said in a statement. “BARC India is highly disappointed with the actions of the Republic Network by disclosing private and confidential communications and misrepresenting the same. BARC India reiterates that it has not commented on the ongoing investigation and without prejudice to BARC India’s rights, it expresses its dismay at the actions of the Republic Network.”

https://scroll.in/latest/976109/trp-scam-barc-denies-commenting-on-probe-against-republic-tv-accuses-channel-of-misrepresentation

Helping law enforcement agencies in news channel TRP probe, says BARC

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/helping-law-enforcement-agencies-in-news-channel-trp-probe-says-barc-6762625/

 

News channel faces ire of protesting farmers in Patiala

Upset over the lack of coverage on the ongoing agitation against the farm bills, farmers on Saturday blocked journalists from a national media channel from covering stubble burning in Punjab’s Patiala district.Farmers in Daunkalan in Ghanaur block also staged a protest against the channel’s coverage, accusing it of being pro-government. They made the journalists delete the footage of subtle burning before allowing them to leave.“This channel has never highlighted the plight of the farmers who are sitting on the road and sleeping on railway tracks in an attempt to protest against the farm laws. Now, they have come to take visuals of the stubble burning,” said Bharpur Singh, a member of BKU (Ugrahan), a famers union that lead the protest.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/punjab-farmers-protest-stubble-burning-hindi-news-tv-channel-protests-6771333/

 

Seema Mustafa elected president in first polls to Editors Guild

For the first time since it was founded in 1978, the Editors Guild of India chose its three top office-bearers through elections, with Seema Mustafa, editor of The Citizen, elected its president.In the past, presidents, general secretaries and treasurers of the guild have been appointed through consensus.Sanjay Kapoor, editor of Hard News was elected general secretary, and Caravan magazine editor Anant Nath took over as the guild’s treasurer.While elections were held for the posts of president and general secretary on Friday, Nath was elected unopposed.With 87 votes, Mustafa beat M D Nalapat, editorial director of The Sunday Guardian, who received 51 votes.Kapoor defeated ANI editor Smita Prakash 90 to 50. Mustafa will succeed Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief of The Print, while Kapoor and Nath will take over from A K Bhattacharya, editorial director of Business Standard, and Sheela Bhatt, contributing editor of Rediff.com, respectively, the guild said in a statement.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/seema-mustafa-elected-president-in-first-polls-to-editors-guild-6762791/

 

 

Attack on ‘The Caravan’ journalist: Press Club says police officer must be suspended

The Press Club of India on Saturday condemned the alleged attack by the Delhi Police on a journalist of The Caravan inside the Model Town police station in the national Capital.The Caravan said Ahan Penkar was attacked while he was reporting in North Delhi. Additional Commissioner of Police Ajay Kumar allegedly kicked and slapped Penkar inside the Model Town police station premises. Penkar sustained injuries to his nose, shoulder, back and ankle, the magazine said.

https://scroll.in/latest/976081/attack-on-the-caravan-journalist-press-club-says-police-officer-must-be-suspended

 

‘Covering other humanitarian stories helped me process the trauma of J&K, my homeland’

https://www.theweek.in/leisure/society/2020/10/18/covering-other-humanitarian-stories-helped-me-process-the-trauma-of-jandk-my-homeland.html

Ahmer Khan is an award-winning, multimedia journalist from Kashmir. He was nominated for the Emmys 2020 for the Vice News film, India Burning, which focused on the plight of the 200 million Muslims in the country after the rise of Hindu nationalism. Khan is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize by European Commission 2018, AFP Kate Webb Prize 2019, and the Human Rights Press Award 2020. He is also among the finalists for the Rory Peck Award 2020. He has contributed to major international publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian, TIME, SHOWTIME, Al-Jazeera, Radio France International, Amnesty International, The Christian Science Monitor and Vice News, among others. Khan talks to THE WEEK about his career and what it is to be a journalist in Kashmir. Edited excerpts:theweek

 

‘Nothing to do with Jinnah ideology’ — Congress defends its Bihar candidate Maskoor Usmani

New Delhi: The Congress party has come out in defence of its Bihar election candidate Maskoor Usmani, a former AMU student body president who BJP last week accused of being a “Jinnah supporter”.Usmani was the AMU student union chief in May 2018 when the university found itself mired in a controversy over a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah on the premises.Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala hit out at the BJP for raking up the controversy as part of its “hate factory”. Speaking at a press conference in Patna Saturday, Surjewala said Usmani has nothing to do with Jinnah’s ideology.

https://theprint.in/politics/nothing-to-do-with-jinnah-ideology-congress-defends-its-bihar-candidate-maskoor-usmani/526054/

 

Chidambaram invokes Biden: Bihar people should choose hope over fear

Ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections, former Union Finance Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaran has invoked US democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and asked voters to "choose hope over fear"."Joe Biden, the Democratic Party candidate in the US elections, said yesterday that 'We choose hope over fear, unity over division, science over fiction and, yes, truth over lies'," Chidambaram tweeted.IANS

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/chidambaram-invokes-biden-bihar-people-should-choose-hope-over-fear

 

 

UP Priest Faked Attack To Grab Land, 7 Held

Gonda (UP); Gonda police have arrested seven persons after it was revealed that priest Samrat Das had orchestrated an attack on himself on Oct.10 as he wanted to frame one Amar Singh and grab his 120 bigha land, police said on Sunday.The attack had attracted flak from the opposition on Yogi Adityanath government.The Gonda police arrested Munna Singh, Vipin, Neeraj Singh, Sonu Singh, Mahant Sitaram, Shiv Shankar Singh, and Vinay Kumar on Saturday from Haridwar Singh Bagh in Tiremanorama village under Ithiyathok police station jurisdiction.Gonda SP Shailesh Pandey said that Samrat Das would be arrested once he is discharged from hospital for the treatment of a gunshot injury on his shoulder.Police have seized countrymade pistols from Sonu Singh, Mahant Sitaram, and Munna Singh.Munna had allegedly shot at the priest, after which the latter claimed that Amar Singh, along with Mukesh Singh, Bhayharan Singh and Daroga Singh, had attacked him while he was asleep in the temple on October 10-11 night.

https://indiatomorrow.net/2020/10/18/up-priest-faked-attack-to-grab-land-7-held/

 

Ballia Firing Accused Dhirendra, 2 Others, Arrested as BJP MLA Defends Them

LUCKNOW – Dhirendra Pratap Singh, the absconding main accused in the Ballia murder case, was arrested by STF in Lucknow on Sunday morning, police said. Dhirendra, carrying a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head, was arrested near the Janeshwar Mishra Park in Gomti Nagar area.Two other accused, Santosh Yadav and Amarjeet Yadav, were also arrested on Sunday.On Thursday, a 46-year-old man was killed in a firing over a dispute at a meeting for the allotment of ration shops in Durjanpur village in Reoti area in Ballia district.

https://clarionindia.net/ballia-firing-accused-dhirendra-2-others-arrested-as-bjp-mla-defends-them/

 

 

236 Valmikis Quit Hinduism, Embrace Buddhism in UP to Protest Rising Atrocities Against Dalits

NEW DELHI — After rape and murder of a number of Dalit girls in Hathras, Balrampur and elsewhere in quick succession in UP, 236 people belonging to the Valmiki community have bid goodbye to Hinduism and embraced Buddhism in protest against the rising atrocities against Dalits under Yogi Adityanath government.On Wednesday, they adopted Buddhism at a ceremony in Ghaziabad’s Karhera village in the presence of Rajratna Ambedkar, president of the Budhist Society of India and great- grandnephew of the late Dr. B R Ambedkar Dalit leader and Father of the Indian Constitution.The date of conversion—14 October–was chosen for its historical significance. It was on 14 October, 1956, that a mass conversion to Buddhism from Hinduism was organised under the leadership of Dr. Ambdekar.“The data on crimes against Dalits are certainly alarming. Since 2014, crimes and atrocities have increased. After the violence and rape cases against Dalit women in Hathras and Balrampur, Dalits have started to feel more insecure than ever. The demand for conversion to Buddhism has increased manifold across the country, especially in UP. People belonging to the Dalit community and other scheduled castes are opting for leaving Hinduism and embracing Buddhism as an act of liberation and to come out of the cyclic nature of fear and oppression,” Rajratna Ambedkar was quoted by news website mediaindia.eu, as saying.Clarion India

https://clarionindia.net/236-valmikis-quit-hinduism-embrace-buddhism-in-up-to-protest-rising-atrocities-against-dalits/

 

 

AMU students are serving India, fulfilling Sir Syed’s dream: Meghalaya Governor  Satyapal Malik

New Delhi: Meghalaya Governor Satyapal Malik said on Saturday student of AMU are serving the country and fulfilling the dreams of its founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, 18th-century thinker and philosopher.Malik made the comments as he inaugurated the 203rd Sir Syed Day celebration virtually along with AMU’s V-C Tariq Mansoor and registrar Abdul Hameed. “AMU is not just a university, it is a movement,” said Malik, who was the chief guest at the Sir Syed Day celebration.“As a matter of fact, Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of the beautiful bride that is Hindustan. A weakness of any one of them will spoil the beauty of the bride. Sir Syed’s thoughts and vision have contributed to the success of Indians during British rule and after independence,” he said.  The governor also conferred Sir Syed Excellency Awards to historian Dr Gail Minault in the international category and to the Anjuman-I-Islam, Mumbai-based educational conglomerate, in the national category.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/amu-students-are-serving-india-fulfilling-sir-syed-ahmad-khan-s-dream-satyapal-malik/story-cTb9vFwarVuEHxsgCV6c1K.html

 

Man ‘disrupting’ Durga Puja festivities in viral video is not Muslim. Incident from 2019

New Delhi: A video of a man entering a Durga Puja pandal and interrupting the festivities has gone viral on various social media platforms.In the 37-second video, a man in a blue shirt and cap can be seen entering a Durga Puja pandal in Mumbai’s Malwani with another man, and asking people to shut down the music.The man can be heard telling the people present: “Malwani mein rehna hai toh Aslam Bhai, Aslam Bhai kehna hai… yahan Modiji nahi ayenge, Aslam bhai hi ayenge (if you want to live in Malwani, you’ll have to chant Aslam Bhai, Aslam Bhai… Modiji won’t come here, only Aslam Bhai will)”.A Twitter user shared the video and asked if news channels had the courage to show this.

https://theprint.in/hoaxposed/man-disrupting-durga-puja-festivities-in-viral-video-is-not-muslim-incident-from-2019/526230/

 

NEET 2020: Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik calls up topper Soyeb Aftab, wishes him bright future

Bhubaneswar :Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday called up NEET topper Soyeb Aftab and congratulated him on his success. Patnaik also wished him a bright future, a CMO release said. Aftab was elated on receiving a call from the chief minister and thanked him. Aftab of Rourkela topped NEET, results of which were declared on Friday. He created history by scoring 720/720.PTI

https://indianexpress.com/article/education/neet-2020-odisha-cm-naveen-patnaik-calls-up-topper-soyeb-aftab-wishes-him-bright-future-ntaneet-nic-in-6774944/

 

Hyderabad: Floods continue as death toll reaches 50, IMD says heavy rains till October 21

Heavy rains returned to Hyderabad Saturday night after Tuesday's downpour triggered flash floods in the city. Rains had abated since Wednesday with the flood water receding in most parts of Hyderbad but a fresh spell of overnight incessant rains caused flooding on Sunday in parts of the city.While the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and police continue to carry out rescue operations in inundated areas of Hyderabad, the official death toll due to the floods has reached 50.The Met department has forecast more rains in parts of the state till October 21.

https://www.indiatoday.in/cities/hyderabad/story/hyderabad-floods-death-toll-reaches-50-imd-heavy-rains-october-21-all-you-know-1732834-2020-10-18

 

 

*corona & lockdown*

 

 

Govt panel claims COVID-19 has peaked in India, can be controlled by Feb

No fresh lockdowns should be imposed on district or State level to contain the spread of COVID-19 unless there is an imminent danger of healthcare facilities being overwhelmed, according to a government-appointed committee chaired by IIT Hyderabad professor M. Vidyasagar.The committee has also claimed that if all protocols are followed, the pandemic can be controlled by early next year with minimal active symptomatic infections by February-end.10-member panel which conducted a study on “Progression of the COVID-19 Pandemic in India: Prognosis and Lockdown Impacts” has pointed out that with no lockdown, the pandemic would have hit India very hard with a peak load of over 1.40 crore cases arriving in June.The committee has developed an evidence based mathematical model for COVID-19 progression. The national level ‘super model’ is based on various parameters such as timing of the lockdown, alternative lockdown scenarios, impact of migrant workers returning to their homes, and future course of the pandemic including impact of not following safety protocols.PTI

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/no-fresh-lockdowns-recommended-at-local-level-government-appointed-panel-on-covid-19/article32886373.ece?homepage=true

 

 

No fresh lockdowns recommended at local level: Government-appointed panel on Covid-19

No fresh lockdowns should be imposed on district or state level to contain the spread of Covid-19 unless there is an imminent danger of healthcare facilities being overwhelmed, according to a government-appointed committee chaired by IIT Hyderabad professor M Vidyasagar.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/no-fresh-lockdowns-recommended-at-local-level-government-appointed-panel-on-covid-19/story-VPbCk5XYJq2F1r1h5h4zLP.html

 

Coronavirus | Possibility of second wave in winter season cannot be ruled out, says V.K. Paul

The head of National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 stressed on COVID-19-appropriate behaviour during festival season and winter months.The number of new coronavirus cases and deaths have declined in the last three weeks as the spread of the pandemic has stabilised in most of the states, Niti Aayog member V.K. Paul said on Sunday but did not rule out the possibility of a second wave of infections in the winter season.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-possibility-of-second-wave-in-winter-season-cannot-be-ruled-out-says-vk-paul/article32885798.ece?homepage=true

 

9 Months Into the Pandemic, Govt Admits Community Transmission:'Limited to Some States & Districts'

9 months into the coronavirus pandemic, the government on Sunday admitted for the first time that there is community transmission in many parts of the country. The statement was made by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan during his sixth episode of ‘Sunday Samvaad’ while responding to a question on community transmission in West Bengal. The state government has recently said community transmission is being reported from several parts of Bengal.

https://www.news18.com/news/india/nine-months-into-pandemic-govt-admits-community-transmission-says-limited-to-some-states-districts-2978555.html

 

Vaccines against Covid-19 may not need to be administered annually: WHO Official

Ekaterina Ivanova - Any safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19 may not need to be administered annually, unlike vaccines for influenza, Dr. Richard Mihigo, the program area manager for immunization and vaccine development at the WHO Regional Office for Africa, told Sputnik in an interview.“It’s difficult to predict now for how long the effect of the vaccine will last. It’s true that for flu vaccines, most of the time we need to repeat it every year, depending on the different strains of the virus being seasonal for north, west, etc. For the coronavirus, we believe that it may not necessarily be the case,” Dr. Mihigo remarked.ANI

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/vaccines-against-covid-19-may-not-need-to-be-administered-annually-who-official/story-u814G6NXV4s9Wk25OdODoL.html

 

Ailments in covid-19 trials raise questions about vaccine method

Two Covid-19 vaccines stalled by potential side effects have one key feature in common: Both are based on adenoviruses, cold germs that researchers have used in experimental therapies for decades with varying results.Johnson & Johnson said late Monday it would pause its trial to investigate an illness, which it didn’t specify, in a study participant. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca Plc’s U.S. trial of the vaccine it’s developing with the University of Oxford has been halted by regulators for more than a month after neurological symptoms arose in two volunteers.With AstraZeneca in a pit stop, vaccines from Moderna Inc. and the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE partnership have taken the lead in the race to be first out with a shot. Meanwhile, the two paused trials are reviving questions about adenoviral vectors, which have been used in laboratory, animal and human experiments for years. In some cases, the experiments have succeeded, but not always.

https://www.livemint.com/science/health/ailments-in-covid-19-trials-raise-questions-about-vaccine-method-11602987538376.html

 

 

                                                                                  *WORLD*

 

US-Israel team in Bahrain to officially establish Tel Aviv-Manama diplomatic ties

MANAMA:An Israeli delegation accompanied by US treasury secretary arrived in Bahrain on Sunday to formalise nascent relations and broaden Gulf cooperation that Washington has promoted as an anti-Iran bulwark and potential economic bonanza. Israeli delegation, which flew on an El Al Israel Airlines charter flight from Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, was accompanied by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in public remarks to his cabinet, said the delegations would work on cooperation agreements and “establishing the peace treaty”.Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, speaking in Arabic at an arrival ceremony at Manama airport, said: “This is a great day ... We look forward, Inshallah (God willing), to hosting you in Israel soon.” Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayani described the engagement and cooperation as “the most effective, the most sustainable means to bring about a genuine and lasting peace, one which safeguards the rights of the Middle East peoples.” The signing of the declaration, however, drew anger among Bahrainis at home and abroad.Reuters

https://in.reuters.com/article/israel-gulf-bahrain/israel-sends-treaty-delegation-to-bahrain-with-trump-aides-idINKBN273046?il=0

 

 

Lebanese president: ‘We count on Washington’s role in demarcating borders with Israel’

Lebanese President Michel Aoun announced has that his country is relying on US role to reach fair solutions during the negotiations to demarcate maritime borders with Israel.This came during Aoun’s meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs David Schenker in the capital of Beirut, according to a statement issued by the Lebanese presidency.The statement disclosed that the Lebanese president thanked Washington for its support to Lebanon following the Beirut port explosion, and its aid to those affected by the blast.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201017-lebanese-president-we-count-on-washingtons-role-in-demarcating-borders-with-israel/

 

Gantz ‘okay’ after being admitted to hospital

Defence Minister and alternate prime minister Benny Gantz was admitted to hospital on Sunday after feeling “unwell”, i24 News reports.He underwent a series of tests, in hospital, then was discharged and went on to a government meeting.He then went on to post a video of himself on Twitter in his office, assuring everyone he was ‘okay’.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201018-gantz-okay-after-being-admitted-to-hospital/

 

Over 50% of Israelis want Netanyahu to resign

A new poll has indicated that 54 per cent of Israelis want Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign from politics, 35 per cent want him to remain and ten per cent did not have an opinion, Quds Press reported.The poll, which was published by Israeli Hebrew newspaper Maariv, conveyed that 28 per cent of Likud voters who took part in the last elections, and 57 per cent of right-wing voters, want Netanyahu to resign from politics.If the elections took place today, the Likud party, which currently has 36 seats, would only obtain 28 seats according to the poll, and the right-wingers led by MK Naftali Bennett would acquire 21 seats.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201017-over-50-of-israelis-want-netanyahu-to-resign/

 

Saudi believes in ‘eventual normalisation’ with Israel

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud announced that his country believes in “eventual normalisation” of ties with Israel, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy reported.In a virtual meeting with the prince, he conveyed: “I believe that the focus now needs to be on getting the Palestinians and the Israelis back to the negotiating table. In the end, the only thing that can deliver a lasting peace and lasting stability is an agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201017-saudi-arabia-believes-in-eventual-normalisation-with-israel/

 

Morocco denies reports about extradition of Israel criminals

Rabat has denied that it agreed to extradite Israeli criminals detained in Morocco to Israel, Al-Watan Voice reported.Sources speaking to mass media communicated that the reports about the extradition of the two Israeli criminals detained in Morocco: “Are merely propaganda and completely opposite to the truth and reality.”Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post reported that a Moroccan security delegation had visited Israel and met with Israeli police officials to arrange the extradition of Israeli criminals identified as Golan Avitan and Chiko (Moshe) Beit Adah.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201017-morocco-denies-reports-about-extradition-of-israel-criminals/

 

Sudan businessman to visit Israel to accelerate normalisation process

Sudanese businessman Abu Al-Qasim Bortom is preparing a controversial trip to Israel, accompanied by 40 Sudanese citizens from different social backgrounds, in order to accelerate the normalisation process.In the backyard of his home, whose fa├žade resembles the White House, Bortom, the 54-year-old businessman who works in the fields of agriculture and transportation, told Agence France-Press that the trip will include: “University professors, workers, farmers, artists, athletes and Sufis.”

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201017-sudan-businessman-to-visit-israel-to-accelerate-normalisation-process/

 

EU countries condemn Israel’s plan to build 5,000 settlement units

Europe’s main powers has condemned the Israeli intention to approve thousands of settlement units in illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, a joint statement announced.“The expansion of settlements violates international law and further imperils the viability of a two-state solution to bring about a just and lasting peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” revealed the statement signed by the foreign ministers of Germany, France, UK, Italy and Spain.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201017-eu-countries-condemn-israels-plan-to-build-5000-settlement-units/

 

Azerbaijan says  it shot down another Armenian fighter jet, as already violates new cease-fire

Armenian forces have already "grossly violated" a new humanitarian cease-fire only hours old, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said Sunday."During the night, the enemy fired at the vicinity of the city of Jabrayil, as well as the villages of this region liberated from occupation and located along the Araz River, using mortars and artillery," the ministry said in a written statement. Azerbaijan shot down another Armenian Su-25 fighter jet, according to the country’s ministry of defense.Azerbaijan shot down another Armenian Su-25 fighter jet, according to the country’s ministry of defense, the second Su-25 to be downed in recent days.In a statement, the ministry said Su-25 attack aircraft was trying to launch airstrikes on Azerbaijani positions in the Jabrayil region when it was shot down.The jet was destroyed by Azerbaijani forces at around 12:30 p.m. (0830GMT), the ministry said.Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of violating the newly agreed truce, which came into force at midnight on Sunday (20:00 GMT Saturday), following mediation by the co-chairs of the Minsk Group. Defence ministry of the Nagorno-Karabakh region said the death toll among its military has risen to 673.Azerbaijan has spent days trumpeting military successes that give the air of an army on the move.If they don’t leave on their own, we’ll chase them out like dogs,” President Ilham Aliyev said on the eve of the now failed ceasefire after both sides accused each other of immediately breaking.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/18/armenia-accuses-azerbaijan-of-violating-truce-in-nagorno-karabakh

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/azerbaijan-front-line/azerbaijan-armenia-already-violated-new-cease-fire/2010475

 

New clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh; Pompeo says Turkey makes situation worse

Armenian and Azeri forces fought new clashes, defying hopes of ending nearly three weeks of fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Turkey for inflaming the situation by arming the Azeris, Reuters reports.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201018-new-clashes-in-nagorno-karabakh-pompeo-says-turkey-makes-situation-worse/

 

Military: Azerbaijan exerts ‘superiority’ on front line

Armenia suffered heavy losses as Azerbaijan exerted operational superiority along the entire front line of battle, Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said Sunday, Anadolu Agency reported.The ministry said news disseminated by Armenia that Azerbaijani soldiers were surrounded is false and misinformation.“In fact, the real situation is completely different. Azerbaijani army has an operational superiority along the entire front on the side,” the statement stated.A new temporary humanitarian cease-fire took effect at midnight local time (2000 GMT) Sunday.Baku and Yerevan agreed to a cease-fire starting midday Oct. 10 to allow an exchange of prisoners and the recovery of bodies in Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized Azerbaijani territory under Armenia’s occupation.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201018-military-azerbaijan-exerts-superiority-on-front-line/

 

Saudi resumes prayers at Mecca’s Grand Mosque

Saudi Arabia is allowing its citizens and residents inside the kingdom to perform daily prayers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the holiest site in Islam, for the first time in seven months.Sunday also marked the start of the second phase of the gradual return of citizens and residents to performing the Umrah – an Islamic pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina undertaken any time of the year – expanding the capacity to 75 percent.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/18/saudi-arabia-resumes-prayers-in-mecca-for-citizens-residents

 

Yemen rebels say ready to swap all prisoners with government

Yemen’s Houthi rebels said Sunday they are ready to exchange all prisoners with the Yemeni government, one day after a major prisoner swap between the two warring rivals, Anadolu Agency report.“We are ready to exchange all prisoners, including former Defense Minister Mahmoud al-Subaihi,” rebel leader Mohamed Ali al-Houthi said on Twitter.Al-Subaihi was captured by the rebel group in March 2015.Al-Houthi called for forming an independent commission to look into what he described as torture of prisoners held by the Yemeni government and the Saudi-led coalition.On Thursday and Friday, the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels swapped prisoners under the supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201018-yemen-rebels-say-ready-to-swap-all-prisoners-with-government/

 

 

Turkish Cypriots vote in presidential runoff

Turkish Cypriots in Northern Cyprus have started voting in a presidential runoff in a poll that could decide whether they gain control over their own affairs or are pulled even closer to an increasingly domineering Turkey.The presidential vote on Sunday pits the incumbent and favourite, Mustafa Akinci, 72 – who supports the reunification of Cyprus to create a “bizonal bicommunal federation” – against right-wing Turkish nationalist Ersin Tatar.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/18/turkish-cypriots-head-to-second-round-of-polls-to-elect-president

 

Deadly car bomb attack outside Afghanistan police headquarters

At least 12 civilians have been killed and more than 100 people wounded after a car bomb targeting an Afghan police headquarters in the western province of Ghor went off on Sunday.The attack took place in Feroz Koh, the capital of Ghor, a province that has not seen much violence compared with some other regions of the conflict-wracked country.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/18/fatal-car-bomb-attack-set-off-outside-afghan-police-headquarters

 

 

Republican Hindu group scaling back campaign for Trump 

The Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC), which organised the event on October 15, 2016, in New Jersey, is scaling back its campaign for Trump and will not hold events for him unless he gives an assurance on immigration reform, according to its founder Shalabh Kumar.Kumar told IANS that he and the group's members would continue to support Trump and urge Hindus to vote for him, but will not hold any campaign events like the one in 2016 which was attended by over 8,000 people.In the US, electioneering based on religious appeal is legal and common at all levels."We are asking all our members to support Trump in their individual capacity to vote for Trump and for Republicans in general," Kumar said.IANS

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/international/republican-hindu-group-scaling-back-campaign-for-trump

 

 

*OP-ED*

 

Abraham Accords can work only if Palestinians are given their due:Akhtarul Wasey

https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/abraham-accords-can-work-palestinians-given-due

 

‘Name & shame’ posters, Kafeel Khan case, Hathras — 5 times Allahabad HC pulled up UP govt, APOORVA MANDHANI

https://theprint.in/india/name-shame-posters-kafeel-khan-case-hathras-5-times-allahabad-hc-pulled-up-up-govt/525667/

 

Let Modi deliver growth before he can aspire to a place among the pantheon of economic reformers:P Chidambaram

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/india-economy-slowdown-narendra-modi-p-chidambaram-6759229/

 

Hathras atrocity proves yet again that caste solidarity is firmer than anything else:

Suraj Yengde

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/hathras-dalit-woman-death-case-suraj-yengde-6760935/

 

Omar Abdullah: ‘During lockdown, had bubble of two-three homes, kept meeting’

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/omar-abdullah-during-lockdown-had-bubble-of-two-three-homes-kept-meeting-6761073/

 

Interview with Fr. Cedric Prakash On FCRA Amendments

https://indiatomorrow.net/2020/10/18/interview-with-fr-cedric-prakash-on-fcra-amendments/

 

Hathras and Aftermath – A Frankenstein Haunting UP:Irfan Engineer and Neha Dabhade | Clarion India

https://clarionindia.net/hathras-and-aftermath-a-frankenstein-haunting-up/

 

Sri Preston Kulkarni Pleads Ignorance About RSS:Pieter Friedrich | Clarion India

https://clarionindia.net/sri-preston-kulkarni-pleads-ignorance-about-rss/

 

There can be no intra Afghan talks unless Ghani steps aside  :Saeed Naqvi

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/international/there-can-be-no-intra-afghan-talks-unless-ghani-steps-aside

  *******

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