Tuesday, 20 October 2020

'FCRA Being Used to Deter or Punish NGOs': UN Human Rights Chief Expresses Concern. Hathras Case: Doctor Who Contradicted UP Police Version on Rape Has Now Been Sacked by AMU

 

20 OCT. NEWS DIGEST

  INDIA

 'FCRA Being Used to Deter or Punish NGOs': UN Human Rights Chief Expresses Concern

UN high commissioner for human rights Michele Bachelet has expressed concern that Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) was “being used to deter or punish NGOs for human rights reporting and advocacy” that was critical of the government. Appealing to the Indian government to safeguard the rights of human rights defenders and NGOs and their ability to work on behalf of the groups they represent, Bachelet said that laws were attempting to constrain NGOs’ activities and restrict foreign funding.Maintaining that India had “a strong civil society” which had been “at the forefront of groundbreaking human rights advocacy”, the high commissioner expressed concern over “vaguely defined laws” which were being used to stifle voices.“FCRA has been invoked over the years to justify an array of highly intrusive measures, ranging from official raids on NGO offices and freezing of bank accounts, to suspension or cancellation of registration, including of civil society organizations that have engaged with UN human rights bodies,” Bachelet said. “I am concerned that such actions based on the grounds of vaguely defined ‘public interest’ leave this law open to abuse,” the high commissioner said and added that constructive criticism was the “lifeblood of democracy” and must never be criminalised or outlawed. The office of the high commissioner for human rights also noted that activists and human rights defenders had been subjected to pressure in recent months owing to their participation in protests against CAA last year and that more than many persons had been arrested and charged under UAPA.

https://thewire.in/rights/un-high-commissioner-human-rights-fcra-ngos

 

Jamia's Asif Tanha case: HC turns down Zee News request to give information on Delhi riots report in sealed cover

Delhi High Court Monday turned down Zee News’ request to file an affidavit in a sealed envelope on how one of its journalists had procured an alleged disclosure statement of a February riots accused, after the police denied having shared the same. The channel claimed privilege over the source who had provided it with a copy of the alleged confessional statement of Asif Iqbal Tanha, a student of Jamia Millia Islamia, who has been arrested in connection with Delhi riots.The bench was hearing Tanha’s petition seeking a direction to take down sensitive information connected to the investigations, that was allegedly leaked by the police to the news channel.A bench led by Justice Vibhu Bakhru rejected Zee News’ request even though the channel’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said it was crucial that the affidavit was filed in a sealed envelope to maintain freedom of the press.

https://theprint.in/judiciary/hc-turns-down-news-channels-request-to-give-information-on-delhi-riots-report-in-sealed-cover/526936/

 

Delhi riots: Provide adequate security to Umar Khalid, court directs jail authorities

A Delhi court has directed the Tihar Jail authorities to provide adequate safety and security to former JNU student leader Umar Khalid, arrested under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA, in prison.He has been arrested under the anti-terror law in connection with the communal violence in Delhi.The court’s directions came on an application filed by the accused seeking adequate security in prison so that he was not harmed by anyone in judicial custody.It said in its order passed on October 17 that Khalid be allowed to carry out his daily routine as per the jail rules.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/delhi-riots-provide-adequate-security-to-umar-khalid-court-directs-jail-authorities/story-jdKFYiQPzwL6Fa3rtj585H.html

 

HC grants bail to 60-yr-old man in Delhi riots case

Delhi high court has granted bail to a 60-year-old man accused of participating in an unlawful assembly during communal violence in northeast Delhi, considering his satisfactory conduct during the interim bail.The man was out on interim bail as the high court had earlier considered his age as well as the fact that he was a permanent resident of Delhi and posed no flight risk. Accused Sharif Khan has given his and his daughter's mobile number to IO, continued to report regularly and has not indulged in any unlawful or illegal activity during the period, ASG submitted.PTI

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/hc-grants-bail-to-60-yr-old-man-in-delhi-riots-case/articleshow/78754420.cms

 

Social, political leaders slam Nadda’s statements on CAA implementation

NEW DELHI—Various social and political leaders have slammed BJP chief J P Nadda’s statements that CAA will be implemented. Nadda, addressing BJP workers in West Bengal on Monday, said that CAA implementation was delayed due to coronavirus pandemic. With situation improving in the country, he said that work on framing rules on CAA had begun and it would finally be implemented.  WPI president Dr. SQR Ilyas said, “As CAA is discriminatory, illegal and unconstitutional, it was opposed through a mass protest by people from all communities from Punjab to Kerala and from Assam to Gujarat when the law was brought in December last year”.Denouncing Nadda for his statements, All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat  president Navaid Hamid said, “If they (BJP) think that there would not be protest if CAA is implemented, they are in big illusion. They would be in great surprise because people would definitely oppose this unconstitutional law”.Fr. Cedric Prakash, said that there is no need of CAA as there are already enough provisions to grant citizenship to people coming from outside and stay in India.  “CAA is discriminatory and divisive and pitting one community against the rest of the country”, he said.Malik Moatasim Khan, Secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, warned that “people would not accept it if CAA is implemented”.“Instead of solving problems like increasing unemployment, violence against women, delayed justice in courts and crisis caused by Covid, the government wants to create more problems by announcing to implement CAA”, he stated.India Tomorrow

https://indiatomorrow.net/2020/10/20/social-political-leaders-slam-naddas-statements-on-caa-implementation/

 

How Can Amanatullah, Facing Allegations of Graft, Be Considered for Waqf Chief: HC to AAP Govt

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the AAP government how it can allow MLA Amanatullah Khan to be appointed as chairperson of the waqf board when a special audit has been initiated to look into allegations of irregularities against him. A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad posed the query to the Delhi government during the hearing of a plea seeking quashing of a notification which called for a meeting of the elected waqf board members on Monday evening to elect one of them, including Amanatullah, as the chairperson."Issue is whether a person facing serious allegations of irregularities should be allowed to be made chairperson of the board when the Delhi government has ordered a special audit regarding allegations against him. "Why should he be allowed to be part of the system when there are serious allegations against him," the bench said.

https://www.news18.com/news/india/how-can-amanatullah-facing-allegations-of-graft-be-considered-for-waqf-chief-hc-to-aap-govt-2981867.html

 

NHRC issues notice to MP govt for SIMI prioners’ rights violation and inhuman behaviour

BHOPAL: National Human Rights Commission took suo motu cognizance of health status of SIMI prisoners and issued notice to the state government on Monday to present its medical treatment records within four weeks before the Commission. Commission issued has notice to chief secretary and IGP (prisons) for violation of prioners’ rights and inhuman behavior in the state. Six members of SIMI had begun a hunger strike inside central jail here a week back. They have been shifted to jail hospital. The prisoners have the right to Food and Dignity, which is the basic human right that the state government cannot deny to inmates who are in its lawful custody. A section of the press had revealed that all of them demanded better food, exemption from regular frisking and freedom from high security block.  The jail superintendent, as mentioned in the news report, has stated SIMI prisoners are not allowed to come out of special cell as they raise anti-national slogans and disrespect Constitution. This leads to tension amongst other inmates of the jail.

https://www.freepressjournal.in/bhopal/bhopal-notice-issued-to-the-chief-secretary-and-igp-prisons-for-prioners-rights-violation-and-inhuman-behaviour

 

TRP scam: Former cop files suit to restrain Arnab Goswami, Republic TV from airing material related to the case

Mumbai:Former Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Iqbal Shaikh has approached the city civil court seeking a restraining order against the news channel Republic TV and its editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami from airing any material related to TRP scam. An FIR in the case has been registered at Kandivali police station.Shaikh has moved a suit for defamation against Goswami and the channel for making comments against the police force in connection with the TRP scam. The suit is likely to come up for hearing on Wednesday.Shaikh, in the suit filed through advocate Abha Singh, has alleged that “when a case is under investigation under statutory provisions, Defendant No. 1 (Goswami) cannot be granted the liberty to discuss his own case and arbitrate it in his own TV channels by defaming Mumbai Police.”

https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/trp-scam-former-cop-files-suit-to-restrain-arnab-goswami-republic-tv-from-airing-material-related-to-the-case/story-i79Dw0YhbJ5SCFkCXbgn9J.html

 

Sealing of 'Kashmir Times' office raises outcry in Valley

Srinagar:Jammu and Kashmir administration’s move to seal the Srinagar office of Kashmir Times has evoked strong reactions from the media fraternity in the Valley and political parties.“Estates Department locked the Kashmir Times office without any due process of cancellation and eviction, same way as I was evicted from a flat in Jammu, where my belongings, including valuables, were handed over to “new allottee”. Vendetta for speaking out! No due process followed. How peevish!” its editor Anuradha Bhasin said. Bhasin, who filed a petition before the Supreme Court on the media gag last year, has been at the forefront of fighting against the Internet ban in J&K and for press freedom after the abrogation of J&K’s special status on August 5 last year.According to the Kashmir Times management, nothing in writing was given to the publication.“Estates Department did not give any reasons for the government action. Its employees, who came to the newspaper’s office to lock it, told the staffers to move out. When the management asked for the orders, the Estates Department officials said that they had no orders and asked them to approach the senior officers instead”, the management said.This comes just days after the employees of a wire service, “Kashmir News Service”, were asked to vacate a building “without proper notice”.Journalists’ statementThe journalists in the Valley have condemned the action. “In solidarity with Ms. Bhasin, a group of journalists have offered their professional services free. There are renewed attempts by the state agencies to throttle Kashmir Times, a respected newspaper in both Jammu and Kashmir regions with a rich history of practicing independent journalism.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/authorities-seal-office-of-kashmir-times-in-srinagar/article32898183.ece

 

 

Accused of Harassment, Tihar Jail Authorities Claim Gulfisha Fatima ‘Tried to Overpower’ Staff

New Delhi: Tihar Jail authorities have told a Delhi court that Jamia Millia Islamia student Gulfisha Fatima, arrested under stringent UAPA in connection with the Delhi riots, was allegedly “aggressive” and had misbehaved with the prison staff on several occasions.The submissions were made before Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat during the hearing of an application filed by Fatima alleging that she was being subjected to communal slurs and mental harassment by the prison staff.Tihar Jail Superintendent stated in the reply filed to the application on October 15 that she has been given correctional punishments to “mend her behaviour” earlier for allegedly misbehaving with the staff.“The female inmate is also trying to overpower the jail staff and create nuisance in jail, her behaviour is also aggressive and troublesome. Staff has also been directed to behave politely and not to argue with the inmates. As per record the petitioner has been given correctional punishments to mend her behaviour,” the reply stated. Fatima, through her counsel advocate Mehmood Pracha, had alleged that she was being discriminated against by the staff in the jail. She had also made the submissions directly to the court during the hearing of the case.

https://thewire.in/rights/gulfisha-fatima-aggressive-misbehaved-with-staff-tihar-jail-authorities-tell-court

 

'No Iota of Evidence': Mumbai Court Acquits 20 Foreign Tablighi Jamaat Members

New Delhi: In two separate orders, a metropolitan court in Mumbai on Monday acquitted 20 foreign nationals who are members of the Tablighi Jamaat, observing that the prosecution has not provided even an iota of evidence to support the allegation that they violated the coronavirus-induced lockdown.According to the Indian Express, with the acquittal of these 20 foreigners – 10 each from Indonesia and Kyrgyzstan, all cases against foreign nationals linked to the Tablighi Jamaat in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region have ended “either in acquittals or discharge, being cleared of all charges”.20 foreigners were booked in separate cases in April by the DN Nagar police station in Andheri in two separate cases, which invoked charges such as attempt to murder, culpable homicide not amounting to murder, violation of visa rules and the rules promulgated during the COVID-19 lockdown.

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/tablighi-jamaat-20-foreign-nationals-acquitted-6793925/

https://thewire.in/law/tablighi-jamaat-foreigners-mumbai-court-acquits-20-covid-19-coronavirus

 

 

Hathras Case: Doctor Who Contradicted UP Police Version on Rape Has Now Been Sacked by AMU

New Delhi: Days after publicly contradicting the UP Police version of the Hathras gang rape and murder case, Dr. Azeem Malik, temporary Chief Medical Officer of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital, has been told his services are no longer required at the hospital. His statement that FSL report – samples for which were taken 11 days after October 14 assault – held no value directly contradicted ADG(Law and Order), Prashant Kumar’s statement, who had said the FSL report showed there were no traces of sperm and hence proved that no rape took place. On October 16, Azeem received a letter saying that the proposal to appoint him as temporary CMO at the hospital could not be acceded to. And finally, on October 20, he was given an urgent notice terminating him from his post at the hospital.  On October 5, Dr. Azeem Malik had told the Indian Express, “The samples were collected 11 days after the woman was allegedly raped, while government guidelines strictly say forensic evidence can only be found up to 96 hours after the incident. This report can’t confirm rape in this incident.”  The victim had been admitted to JNMC Hospital for her treatment for 14 days before being shifted to Safdarjung hospital in Delhi a day before her death.

https://thewire.in/women/hathras-case-doctor-who-contradicted-up-police-version-on-rape-has-now-been-sacked-by-amu

 

Hathras ‘rape-murder last straw’, 236 Valmikis in Ghaziabad village convert to Buddhism

Ghaziabad: On 14 October, as many as 236 members of the Valmiki community in Karera village of Ghaziabad read out 22 pledges and changed their religion to Buddhism, all under the tutelage of Rajratna Ambedkar.The day was significant, and symbolic. On that very date, 64 years ago, Rajratna’s great grand-uncle B.R. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism along with 3,65,000 of his followers.The running theme in both events — an “escape from caste oppression”.The Valmikis, who are Dalits, allege discrimination on the part of the ‘upper-caste’ Chauhans, who are the majority in the village. Karera, according to its residents, has a population of about 9,000, of whom 5,000 are Chauhans, while 2,000 are Valmikis. The rest are outsiders who have settled here.

https://theprint.in/india/hathras-rape-murder-last-straw-236-valmikis-in-ghaziabad-village-convert-to-buddhism/526285/

 

China takes note of Australia joining Malabar naval drills

China on Tuesday said it has “taken note” of India’s announcement that Australia will join the annual Malabar naval exercises along with US and Japan, underlining that military cooperation should be “conducive” to regional peace and stability.India on Monday announced that Australia will join the upcoming Malabar exercise which effectively means that all the four-member countries of the ‘Quad’ or Quadrilateral coalition will be participating in the mega drill. US and Japan are the other countries that participate in the annual exercise, which is likely to take place next month in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.PTI

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/china-takes-note-of-australia-joining-malabar-naval-drills-6806424/

 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to visit Sri Lanka, Maldives after Delhi talks

Mumbai :In the final week before US presidential elections on November 3, Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo plans to visit India’s two Indian Ocean neighbours, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, after attending the 2+2 talks in Delhi, The Indian Express has learnt.In Delhi, the talks will involve Pompeo, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper and their Indian counterparts, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Pompeo’s stop in Colombo later comes amid US and Indian concerns at China’s stepped-up engagement with the government of recently elected Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/mike-pompeo-to-visit-sri-lanka-maldives-after-delhi-talks-6795582/

 

Modi should tell when the Chinese army will leave India: Rahul Gandhi

Hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi slammed the prime minister for his lack of courage to name China in context of the ongoing stand off between the two countries in Ladakh. He was addressing the media at Wayanad in Kerala.Reiterating that PM Modi lied to the nation over Chinese incursion, Rahul highlighted contradictions in the government’s approach towards the crisis.“The PM  is lying to the nation. Earlier he said no one has entered into our territory but the army is having meetings with the PLA while the Defence Ministry thinks otherwise,” said Rahul Gandhi while addressing the media in Wayanad, Kerala.

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/modi-should-tell-when-the-chinese-army-will-leave-india-rahul-gandhi

 

 

Farooq Abdulla’s questioning by ED: Rahul slams Centre, says Centre using probe agencies as political weapons

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed the ED questioning National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, accusing the Centre of using its probe agencies as political weapons and saying many, including himself, were facing “this assault”.Enforcement Directorate on Monday questioned the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister for over six hours in connection with a multi-crore scam in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, prompting accusations of “political vendetta” by newly-formed People’s Alliance comprising several mainstream parties.“There is a tendency in the current government to use agencies as political weapons. If somebody is not doing what they want politically, across the board, they feel like they can use the CBI and the ED to pressurise them, threaten them,” Gandhi, on a three-day tour of Kerala, said.PTI

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/rahul-gandhi-farooq-abdullah-ed-questioning-jammu-and-kashmir-cricket-association-6806954/

 

 

J&K government forms committees to plan for district development council elections

Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday initiated the process of holding elections for the newly floated administrative bodies – District Development Councils – by constituting apex and divisional level committees in the Union Territory.In an order, the government said that the committees will draw up a detailed schedule for the council elections and submit its report on October 27.

https://scroll.in/latest/976283/j-k-government-forms-committees-to-plan-for-district-development-council-elections

 

 

Punjab Assembly unanimously passes Bills against farm laws

The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed four Bills and adopted a resolution against the Centre's farm laws.The Bills were passed after an over five-hour discussion, in which BJP MLAs did not take part. The BJP has two legislators in the assembly.The Opposition SAD, AAP and Lok Insaaf MLAs backed the legislations.The state government's legislative counter provides for imprisonment of not less than three years and fine for sale or purchase of wheat or paddy under a farming agreement below the minimum support price.The provisions exempt farmers from attachment of land up to 2.5 acres and provide for prevention of hoarding and black marketing of agricultural produce.

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/punjab-assembly-unanimously-passes-bills-against-farm-laws

 

 

Bihar: Massive fire burns records at Patna’s Secretariat, RJD cries foul

A massive fire broke out at the state Secretariat here, resulting in the destruction of files, reccords and documents of the Bihar Rural Development Department, even as the opposition RJD on Tuesday smelt a conspiracy to "destroy evidence of scams during the NDA rule".According to fire official, the blaze broke out around 11.30 pm on Monday on the ground floor and gradually spread to the first floor of the building. The fire was eventually doused on Tuesday after almost 15 hours. Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal cried foul. Party spokesman Chitranjan Gagan claimed that "it is a criminal conspiracy to destroy official documents and records". IANS

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/national/bihar-massive-fire-burns-records-at-patnas-secretariat-rjd-cries-foul

 

 

BJP MLA says Yediyurappa on way out as Karnataka CM, party denies claim, vows action

Bengaluru: A Karnataka BJP MLA has triggered a controversy with his statement that B.S. Yediyurappa won’t be the state’s chief minister for long now.Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, who represents Vijayapura in north Karnataka, made the remarks at a function in Bijapur Monday. A video of his address has since gone viral. Yatnal’s comments come amid speculation that the BJP brass is looking to replace Yediyurappa because of concerns about his age — he is 77 — and resentment about what is perceived as his unilateral way of functioning.  MLA said Yediyurappa will soon be replaced as chief minister, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has plans to name a leader from north Karnataka as his successor.

https://theprint.in/politics/bjp-mla-says-yediyurappa-on-way-out-as-karnataka-cm-party-denies-claim-vows-action/527525/

 

Delhi’s air quality continues to remain in ‘poor category’, may worsen by Wednesday

Delhi’s air quality index continued to remain in the “poor” category on Monday even as the pollution levels were expected to rise further in the Capital, NDTV reported. The AQI of Delhi was 218 at 3 pm on Tuesday, government-run monitoring agency System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, or SAFAR, said.

https://scroll.in/latest/976277/delhis-air-quality-continues-to-remain-in-poor-category-may-worsen-by-wednesday

 

 

More Rains Add to Woes of People Reeling Under One of the Worst Floods in Hyderabad

HYDERABAD — Rains continue to lash Hyderabad and its outskirts on Tuesday, adding to the woes of people already battered by heavy downpour and flash floods twice last week.As witnessed several times during the last few days, the rains led to inundation of roads, affecting vehicular traffic.Officials said some areas received rains on Monday night and again on Tuesday afternoon, though both the spells were not very intense.The continuing rains added to the problems of thousands of people reeling under one of the worst floods the city has seen in decades.The fresh spells lashed the city even as the rescue and relief operations were on in the worst-affected areas in the old city.Hundreds of houses in Hafiz Baba Nagar and surrounding areas and in Bandlaguda, Mailardevpally, Nadeem Colony and several colonies on the outskirts are still under water.

https://clarionindia.net/more-rains-add-to-woes-of-people-reeling-under-one-of-the-worst-floods-in-hyderabad/

 

 

 

*corona & lockdown*

 

‘Lockdown may have gone but virus has not, Centre preparing to make vaccine available to all’: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday addressed the nation and said that though the lockdown had ended, the threat of the coronavirus was not yet over. “We have come a long way in our fight against Covid-19,” he said. Modi noted that with the upcoming festival season, people needed to remain vigilant. India has maintained a good recovery rate and low fatality rate, we need to continue this, he said. “India is in a stable condition, must not let it deteriorate.” “In many countries we have seen that after a fall in cases, there was a resurgence,” Modi added. “We should continue to be careful and not be callous until a vaccine is created.” He said that the government has been working on a plan to make vaccine available to everyone.

https://scroll.in/latest/976294/lockdown-may-have-gone-but-virus-has-not-centre-preparing-to-make-vaccine-available-to-all-modi

 

 

#BoycottModiBhasan trends on Twitter ahead of PM Modi’s address to the nation

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation Twitterati urged people to boycott PM’s address. At the time of publishing this story #BoycottModiBhasan had 30,000 plus tweets.While some tweets were simply humorous, others raised some important issues on which they wanted some concrete answers, some others had a tinge of satire too.

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/boycottmodibhasan-trends-on-twitter-ahead-of-pm-modis-address-to-the-nation

 

New digital health ID will be used in Covid immunisation, says PM Modi

New Delhi :Two months after he announced that a unique health ID will be provided to every citizen under the National Digital Health Mission, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday indicated that the “digital health ID will be used to ensure immunisation”.Addressing the inaugural function of the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020, the Prime Minister said, “…India is now at the forefront of vaccine development for Covid-19. Some of them are in advanced stages. We are not stopping here; India is already working on putting a well-established vaccine delivery system in place. This digitised network, along with the digital health ID, will be used to ensure immunisation of our citizens.”

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/new-digital-health-id-will-be-used-in-covid-immunisation-says-pm-modi-6795239/

 

 Women allowed to travel in local trains from Oct. 21 in Maharashtra

Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said the national transporter will allow women to travel on suburban trains in Mumbai from Oct.21 between 11 am to 3 pm and after 7 pm. “We were always ready and with the receipt of letter from Maharashtra Govt today, we have allowed this travel,” Goyal said in a tweet. Railway officials said that before the lockdown, 24 lakh women commuters used the suburban railway system daily. Suburban train services were shut down on March 23. Partial resumption of services was announced on June 15. However, only those deemed to be essential service providers are allowed to board these trains after being allotted a special pass.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/coronavirus-india-live-updates-6785675/

 

 

India records lowest test positivity of 4.5% since June, new cases dip below 50,000

India’s test positivity rate fell to 4.5 per cent Tuesday — lowest since June — and the country also saw a significant dip in fresh Covid cases.Over the last 24 hours, 46,790 people have tested positive for the disease. This is the lowest number of daily Covid-19 cases reported since 27 July.The active cases have been declining for about a month, taking the count to below 7.5 lakh. As of Tuesday, the active Covid-19 cases in India fell to 7,48,538.

https://theprint.in/health/india-records-lowest-test-positivity-of-4-5-since-june-new-cases-dip-below-50000/527386/

 

 

Covid puzzles: Jobs back, labour shrinks, demand low but inflation still high

With economic activity picking pace after the easing of lockdown measures, the recovery has thrown up some paradoxes: revival in employment amid a fall in labour force participation, surging inflation rate despite disinflationary impact from weak demand, and improvement in future outlook surveys even as the situation worsens in households.In September, as lockdowns were progressively eased, an unusual labour market phenomenon was observed in India — while several workers got jobs, many who did not went on to leave the labour force, data collated by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) showed. Typically, when more people find jobs, as had happened during September, a greater number should have come in looking for jobs. The reverse seems to have happened, the CMIE estimates suggest.The unusual trend is explained by a rural-urban disaggregation of the data: rural India is seeing an increase in jobs while employment in urban India is on a slide.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/covid-19-coronavirus-economy-inflation-unemployment-migrant-labour-6795031/

 

 

                                                                                 *WORLD*

 

‘Shameful’: Palestinians slam UAE delegation visit to Israel

The arrival of a UAE delegation in Israel has been slammed as “shameful” by Palestinian officials.The delegation – UAE’s first official visit to Israel – was welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Finance Minister Israel Katz at Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday.The five-hour visit would be restricted to the airport near Tel Aviv, due to coronavirus concerns, Israeli organisers said, and it comes after the two countries signed an agreement at the White House to normalise ties last month.The visit will involve signing of a number of agreements.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/20/israel-uae-agree-on-visa-free-travel-for-citizens-in-first-visit

 

PA condemns UAE for visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque under Israeli protection

Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh has criticised a visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem by a UAE delegation under Israeli police protection, Anadolu has reported.“Al-Aqsa Mosque should be entered through the gate of its owners, not through the gate of the Israeli occupation,” Shtayyeh said during the weekly cabinet meeting on Monday. “It is sad to see some Arab delegations entering Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Israeli gate, while Israel denies access for Palestinian worshippers to perform their prayers.”The visit in question happened on Sunday. A video went viral on social media showing Palestinian worshippers pushing the Emiratis out and describing “normalisers” as “rubbish”.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201020-pa-condemns-uae-for-visit-to-al-aqsa-mosque-under-israeli-protection/

 

Fatah region in Jerusalem warns of Emirati money that will support settlements

The Fatah region in occupied Jerusalem warned, of Emirati funds pumped through Israeli channels and used to build settlements.This came in a statement by the Fatah Secretary in Jerusalem, Shadi Mutwar, published on the movement’s official website on Sunday.Mutwar revealed what he described as “a new Emirati intrusion,” in reference to a delegation headed by the UAE’s ministers of economy and finance, which is expected to arrive in Occupied Palestine next Tuesday “carrying more arrows to stab Palestinians”.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201020-fatah-region-in-jerusalem-warns-of-emirati-money-that-will-support-settlements/

 

 

Mossad chief: Israel, Saudi Arabia maintain unofficial peace relations

The head of Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad, Yossi Cohen, has said that Israel and Saudi Arabia maintain peace relations, however they remain outside the official diplomatic framework, Israel’s Maariv newspaper reported.The paper quoted Cohen as saying that the normalisation of relations with Arab countries gives Israel a “strategic depth” to confront the axis of evil led by Iran as well as the dangers it poses, especially the nuclear programme, terrorism and regional expansion.He added that normalisation and bilateral relations with the Arab countries opens new horizons for Israel on the economic and security levels, in addition to launching cooperation activities in all fields.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201020-mossad-chief-israel-saudi-arabia-maintain-unofficial-peace-relations/

 

Saudi , UAE and Bahrain given ‘Friends of Zion’ award

The founder of the Friends of Zion Heritage Centre in Jerusalem announced on Sunday that eleven world leaders have been given the Friends of Zion Award, Al-Quds Al-Araby and news agencies have reported.Among those given the award are the leaders of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain, as well as Morocco and Oman.Mike Evans made the announcement during the Israeli government’s 4th Annual Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem. The award is given to people adjudged to have helped Jews and Israel. The online event was seen by millions of viewers all around the world. Speakers included US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201020-saudi-arabia-the-uae-and-bahrain-given-friends-of-zion-award/

 

Fatah is ‘waiting for Hamas to approve Istanbul understandings’

Fatah’s Central Committee has approved the understandings agreed after talks with Hamas in Istanbul recently, and is apparently waiting for the Islamic movement’s formal approval, Wafa news agency reported on Monday.Senior Fatah official Rawhi Fattouh told Palestine TV that following Hamas’s approval, the President of Fatah, the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, will issue decrees to hold elections.“We still have hope that what has been agreed upon with Hamas in Istanbul will be accomplished,” said Fattouh. He added that all of the Palestinian factions agreed to participate in the parliamentary election, but if any decide not to take part, they will not put obstacles in its way.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201020-fatah-is-waiting-for-hamas-to-approve-istanbul-understandings/

 

Normalisation hasn’t stopped fall in Netanyahu’s popularity

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be marketing normalisation deals with Arab states as “great achievements”, but polls continue to show a sharp decline in his popularity among Israelis, Arab48.com reported on Monday. Even after signing a deal with Bahrain, tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets of Tel Aviv calling for the Israeli leader to resign.Moreover, last week Israeli television station i24 reported a poll reflecting a massive fall in support for Netanyahu’s Likud party. According to the poll, if the elections took place today, Likud, which currently has 36 seats in the Knesset, would only win 27, while right-wingers led by Naftali Bennett MK would win 24.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201020-normalisation-hasnt-stopped-fall-in-netanyahus-popularity/

 

Syria tribes condemn Armenia alliance with YPG, PKK

Fifty Syrian tribes have condemned Armenia’s partnership with Kurdish militant groups and the use of its militants against Azerbaijan, according to Turkish media. The Syrian tribes, who were displaced from their lands during the ongoing nine-year-long Syrian conflict, gathered in a meeting in Turkey’s south-eastern Şanlıurfa province yesterday in which the tribal leaders expressed their concern over Armenia’s recent alleged cooperation with Kurdish groups such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG).

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20201020-syria-tribes-condemn-armenia-alliance-with-ypg-pkk/

 

Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis exposes ASEAN weaknesses: Report

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has failed to respond effectively to the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar thanks to a lack of leadership and the 10-member organisation’s inability to grasp the scale of the human rights abuses, a report from a group of regional lawmakers said on Tuesday.ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights said ASEAN had been hampered by its own institutional structure, which allowed member state Myanmar the space to “set the parameters of ASEAN’s engagement”.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/20/myanmars-rohingya-crisis-exposes-asean-weaknesses-report

 

 

*OP-ED*

 

Modi Govt Diktat on Foreign Funding for Digital Media is Self-Defeating and Anti-Atmanirbhar Bharat:M.K. Venu and Anuj Srivas

https://thewire.in/government/modi-govt-diktat-foreign-funding-for-digital-media-is-both-self-defeating-and-anti-atmanirbhar-bharat

 

The TRP war is a battle of ideas and ideologies:Shazia Ilmi

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/republic-tv-fake-trp-scam-arnab-goswami-6792447/

 

An open letter to Umar Khalid: If you are doing time, you may as well do it well:Aswathi Nair & Anirban Bhattacharya

https://scroll.in/article/976114/an-open-letter-to-umar-khalid-if-you-are-doing-time-you-may-as-well-do-it-well

 

 

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