17 December 2016

17 Dec.2016: 17 Rabiul Awwal 1438: Vol:8, No:64
Kerala HC wants talaq power taken away from Muslim men; recommends Uniform Marriage Code
Kochi: The Kerala high court on Friday recommended for taking away the power of talaq from Muslim men and said a uniform code should be brought in to govern marriages.A single bench of the court made the recommendations after considering four petitions that were filed by spouses involved in triple talaqs. While one of them (WP-C No. 37436 of 2003) had questioned a lower court's order to provide maintenance following a triple talaq using a 'talaq kuri',others had challenged passport authorities' insistence for a court decree to prove dissolution of their marriages, which were carried out through talaqs.Recommending for bringing in a uniform code of marriage, the court said in the judgement, "There are many areas in which religious laws can be reconciled with secular laws without there being a conflict of each other. While emphasizing the need for national oneness in areas where it is possible, and allowing citizens to have their own identity based on religious practices or belief, endeavour shall be made for common code of conduct to regulate behaviour of subjects. The need is for a Common Civil Code; though it is debated at different levels but still it remains a mirage for want of agreement among different groups. This essentially arise out of misconception as to the secular law. It is possible to have a common code at least for the marriage law in India."The HC also suggested that the power to end marriage by pronouncing talaq should be taken away from Muslim man and woman and should be vested with a court. "In the light of the above discussion, there is no difficulty to hold that the right of divorce as permitted in Islamic Law to the husband and wife can be divested from them to restore it to the court. Entrustment to effect divorce through the court in no way would affect the practice of sharia law in accordance with Qur'anic injunction. If the operative cause of the law of permitting husband and wife to effect divorce in accordance with the Qur'anic injunction failed; to achieve its objectives, in the form of Maslahah (public good), task of effecting divorce through court becomes inevitable to sub-serve the purpose of law," the judgment stated. Further, the court said a political system that is not established under the Islamic law can bring in changes to Sharia as it only sets out guidelines. Through the judgment, the court said, "Nowhere in Islam, any form of govt or authority has been singularly pointed out as a political form of establishment. On the other hand Islam only laid down principles relating to the human life in every walks of his life till his death. Therefore, any form of the govt promoting the religious values must be honoured and obeyed by the believer."TOI
Amend Muslim divorce law: Kerala HC
Kerala HC judge says law makers cannot remain mute spectators of injustices suffered by Muslim women
HC seeks codified law for divorce
SC to hear plea for Uniform Civil Code on Jan 3
The Supreme Court agrees to hear the petitions seeking implementation of Uniform Civil Code on 3rd Jan., 2017 BJP spokesperson Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay who is an intervener in the case, mentioned the urgency before a three Judge bench of Chief Justice Thakur and Justice DY Chandrachud. Upadhyay in his impleadment petition in the main case Albert Antony Vs Union of India submitted that the object of the Article 44 is to introduce a uniform personal law for all the purposes of national consolidation. In Albert Antony Case, the petitioner also challenged the legal provision that forces Christian couples to wait for at least 2 years for divorce whereas other religions like the Hindu Marriage Act and the Parsi Marriage and the Special Marriage Act, and Divorce Act prescribed only one year for it. Recently the Law Commission of India has sought public opinion on the exercise of revision and reform of family laws, in view of Article 44 of the Constitution of India which envisions a Uniform Civil Code for all Indian citizens.
IAF regulations not only restrict sporting beard but also tilak on forehead, thread on wrist
Chandigarh: The Supreme Court judgement dismissing the appeal of a Muslim IAF Corporal who wanted to keep a beard has brought into focus the regulations of the defence services which are aimed at maintaining a non-religious appearance while in uniform and also prohibit wearing of tilak or Vibhuti on the forehead, thread on the wrist or arm and any trinket in the ear. SC judgement also quotes the regulations of the IAF which specify the regulations regarding the outward appearance of the personnel and which are also mirrored in the regulations of the Army and the Navy. IAF regulations clearly state that while in uniform, the personal appearance of an individual should not give any religious bias. Hence the restriction on outward appearance has been placed not only for the purpose of sporting beard by the Muslims but also for the personnel of other religions like Hinduism, Sikhism etc. While Sikhs are allowed to keep a beard and sport long hair, there are extensive rules and regulations for the same and those sporting beard and long hair have to abide by them. IAF policy regarding a common code of conduct applicable to all air force personnel was re-examined in February 2003 and a revised policy was issued. The policy clearly stated that only those Muslim personnel who had kept beard along with moustache at the time of commissioning/enrollment prior to Jan 1, 2002 would be allowed to keep beard and moustache.“Such personnel are to maintain it in a manner that it is neat, trimmed and tidy and not more than the length which could be covered by one fist. Muslims who have grown beard after joining service should shave off the beard. Under no circumstances, a Muslim person who had beard at the time of joining service before Jan 1, 2002 shall be allowed to maintain beard without moustache. Moustache would be a part of the beard,” the policy states. Ex-Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Army’s legal branch, Col SK Aggarwal, said that despite restrictions there are relaxations which are given within rules and regulations. “For example there is a provision of taking permission and growing beard by Muslims in Ramzan while keeping roza. The permission is given with the direction that the beard has to be shaved off after the rozas are over else it will be considered an disciplinary offence,” he said.As far as Sikhs serving in the IAF is concerned, the policy says, “Sikh personnel who wear turban and keep beard at the time of commission/enrolment would continue to do so. These personnel must maintain the beard neatly dressed/tied and rolled and not kept flowing. They are to wear the turban while in uniform/civil dress whether inside or outside the camp except during PT/Games and activities related to operations where wearing of turban is not feasible. At all such occasions, Sikh personnel are to wear turban/patka or handkerchief over the knot of hair as appropriate. Sikh personnel keeping short hair and beard are to wear turban as applicable to those maintaining long hair”. indianexpress
IAF officers can’t grow beard, uniformity of personal appearance important: SC
Airforce personnel can’t sport beard: SC; Junks Muslim man’s plea
Russia’s Taliban outreach alarms Delhi 
New Delhi (Iftikhar Gilani): Russia’s open admission that it was maintaining “limited political” contacts with the Taliban has set alarm bells both in Kabul and New Delhi. Russian ambassador to Kabul Alexander Mantytskiy’s revelation comes just two days after the first-ever Pakistan-Russia consultations on regional issues.Reacting cautiously to the development, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “We do not see any downward trend in our bilateral relationship. However, in so far as the Taliban is concerned, they have to respect the internationally agreed red lines, give up terrorism and violence, sever all ties with Al Qaeda, agree to follow democratic norms and not do anything which will erode the gains of the last 15 years. Ultimately, it is for the Govt  of Afghanistan to decide whom to talk to and how.”In Islamabad, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammed Nafees Zakaria welcomed the Russia move, saying Pakistan has repeatedly emphasised the need for a politically negotiated settlement between the Afghan Govt and the Taliban. “Pakistan believes that Afghan conflict has to be resolved through peaceful and political means. The most apt way to move forward in this regard is serious talks between Afghan Govt and the Taliban. For this, Afghan govt needs to send positive signals to the Taliban inviting them to join the peace process along with necessary incentives. In our view, an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process is the best way and not the military option,” he added.It appears that Russia and Iran of late have been seeking Taliban help to prevent Daesh or ISIS taking roots in the war torn country. Taliban control the south western part of Afghanistan, while ISIS has shown its presence in the north eastern part of country. Earlier this month, Russian special envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov at Heart of Asia (HoA) conference at Amritsar had taken a stand at variance from India and Afghanistan, by extending support to support to Pakistan.The most severe reaction to Russia’s Taliban move on Thursday came from Kabul, where the legislative lower house, or Wolasi Jirga, passed a resolution, urging President Ashraf Ghani’s national unity govt  not to allow neighbouring and regional countries to interfere in internal Afghan matters “on the pretext of supporting the Taliban to fight Islamic State.” Afghan foreign ministry also warned that maintaining “any kind of support or contacts” with groups destabilising Afghanistan would undermine regional stability as well. DNA
Russia supports China-Pak Economic Corridor project: Russian envoy Dedov
Islamabad: Russia on Saturday said it "strongly" supports the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project as it was crucial for Islamabad's economy and regional connectivity. PTI
Supreme Court rejects HC ruling: No sovereignty for J-K outside Constitution of India
New Delhi: Snubbing J&K High Court for asserting the state’s “sovereignty” and “sovereign powers”, the Supreme Court Friday said J&K “has no vestige of sovereignty outside the Constitution of India”. A bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and Rohinton Nariman also rejected the J&K High Court’s view that the J&K Constitution was equal to the Constitution of India. “It is clear that the state of J&K has no vestige of sovereignty outside the Constitution of India and its own Constitution, which is subordinate to the Constitution of India… they (residents of state) are governed first by the Constitution of India and also by the Constitution of J&K,” the bench said, referring to the preamble of the Constitution of J&K, 1957.The bench called it “disturbing” that various parts of a judgment in appeal by the J&K HC spoke of the absolute sovereign power of the state. “It is necessary to reiterate that Section 3 of the Constitution of J&K, which was framed by a Constituent Assembly elected on the basis of universal adult franchise, makes a ringing declaration that the State of J&K is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India. And this provision is beyond the pale of amendment,” the judges said.The bench also clarified that J&K residents are “first and foremost” Indian citizens. “It is therefore wholly incorrect to describe it as being sovereign in the sense of its residents constituting a separate and distinct class in themselves.The residents of J&K, we need to remind the High Court, are first and foremost citizens of India… permanent residents of the state of J&K are citizens of India, and that there is no dual citizenship as is contemplated by some other federal Constitutions in other parts of the world,”it said.indianexpress
Black money: Modi govt exempts political parties from paying tax: financialexpress -exempts-political-parties-from-paying-tax/476756/
New Delhi:Even as Centre cracks down against black money generators and hoarders in the country, with numerous seizures and arrests being reported daily and a new Income Declaration Scheme being announced today for them to come clean, the Narendra Modi govt  has exempted political parties and said that all political parties that deposit the banned old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes in their accounts will get full exemption from income tax. Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said deposits in bank accounts of political parties will not be taxed. However, tax exemption on deposits by political parties subject to individual donations will not exceed Rs 20,000 in cash and will be done with proper receipt.The govt  had even ruled that the farmers, exempted from paying tax on agriculture income need to make self-declaration showing their earnings to be less than Rs 2.5 lakh per year to deposit money in the banks without a PAN card. Stating that political party’s deposit will not be taxed, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia also stated that farmers without self-declaration of income will mandatorily have to provide PAN cards for depositing money.
Jaitley hints not all scrapped currency will be remonetised
New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today hinted that not all of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore worth of currency junked will be remonetised through issuance of new notes as he said digital currency will fill the gap. Calling the scrapping of old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes as "a courageous step", he said the govt  could do it as India today has the capacity to take such decisions and experiment boldly. PTI
GST rollout likely between April 1-Sept. 16: Arun Jaitley
Rs 200 crore unearthed in new notes and no one knows where it came from
Income Tax Department, CBI, Enforcement Directorate, and other investigative agencies, have unearthed over Rs 200 crore in new currency notes from businessmen, hawala operators, and even some politicians, since the intensive crackdown on cash hoarders began in the aftermath of demonetization. According to media reports, so far, 586 such searches have been conducted by the I-T department which has found Rs 2,900 crore in old and new cash, and gold.DNA
Gujarat matches the fingerprints of the poor before giving them food. Does the system work?
60 km from Ahmedabad in Gujarat, in a village called Hebatpur in Dholera, 78-year-old Gaguben Zala made 5 unsuccessful attempts to enrol in Aadhaar, the biometrics-based database that assigns a unique 12-digit number to every resident of India. “Each time I tried, the machine would fail to capture my fingerprints and the staff sent me back home,” recalled the gaunt and feisty Dalit woman, with deep wrinkles running through the dry skin of her hands that had hardened from years of farm work.The sixth time, one of the boys working at the enrolment camp came to her help.“He rubbed my dry fingertips against the hair-oil on his scalp for a few minutes,” she said. “After this, the scanner captured my fingerprints.” India is introducing Aadhaar in ration shops. The fingerprints of people like Zala will be matched against their biometric data stored in the Aadhaar database before they are given subsidised foodgrains.This process is called ‘authentication’. The public distribution system, which provides subsidised wheat and rice to 67% of India’s population, is one of the first social welfare delivery systems to use Aadhaar-based authentication. The Centre has asked states to move to the new system by March 2017.In the govt ’s view, this will ensure only real beneficiaries are able to access the foodgrains, bringing an end to theft and pilferage in the system. Scroll
Jamaat chief appeals to stop the massacre in Syria
New Delhi: The President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari has expressed great dismay over the situation in Syria.In response to reports of the recent massacre in Aleppo, the JIH chief said : ‘instead of providing security to its cities, the Syrian govt  is turning them into mass graveyards.This is one of the biggest tragedies in human history. Nobody is allowed to take the lives of innocent civilians by calling them collateral damage.UN human rights charter should be strictly implemented”. JIH chief said: ‘’while Aleppo is burning, the Russian armed forces are attacking Palmyra in which again thousands of Syrians are being killed. There are reports of attacks on hospitals and ambulances, which is most reprehensible. It is indeed regrettable that the UN, the international community and the Muslim countries appear helpless and have remained silent. Russia and its allied forces are hand in hand with the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in carrying outthe massacre of thousands of innocent civilians including women and children in Aleppo. Jamaat appeals to the international community to establish an evacuation process in Aleppo under the supervision of the UN and which would include agencies like the Red Cross’’. PR
Solidarity March for Aleppo at Aligarh Muslim University
Aligarh: A solidarity march was organized in the evening of 15th Dec from Maulana Azad Library to Baab-e-Syed (AMU) in solidarity with the innocent victims of continued persecution in Aleppo (Syria) and ‘Rohingya’ community in ‘Rakhine’ State of Myanmar. A large crowd was gathered at Maulana Azad Library of AMU in the sorrowful evening as the massacre of humanity is going on in Aleppo (Syria) or alike, anywhere else in the world. This disturbing and continued trend of persecution has derived two young students of Women’s College (AMU) – Zahra Sherwani and Ayesha Najeeb to call upon the students of AMU to protest against killings of innocent people from Syria, Myanmar or any war or riot torn region of the world in the mere name of cast, creed, religion or ethnicity. muslimmirror
Nagpur;Muslims rack up numbers, seek education quota
Nagpur: A day after Maratha muk morcha (silent march), a similar rally but pipping the former in numbers was held by Muslims under the aegis of Jamait-Ulema-e-Hind, on Thursday.Though seeking 5% quota in education, the tone was more against any change in triple talaaq and interference in Shariat laws. Unlike rallies by other communities, women were absent here.Organizers said it could have been difficult to control the crowd if women were included. "Women are being misguided in the name of banning triple talaaq," said participants of the rally.As against close to 20,000 participants in the Maratha rally, the number of Muslims was up to 40,000. Organizers say this was a show of strength before taking to the streets.Taking a cue from Maratha rallies that began from June this year, Muslims too started holding silent marches in the state since the last two months.Before Nagpur, the Muslim reservation rallies were held in Bhusawal, Parbhani, Akola and Aurangabad. The rally was the biggest, said Javed Ansari of United Students Association (USA) and a participant.TOI
Muslims organise mega rally in Nagpur for reservation, preserving personal laws
AIMIM strengthens position in Maharshtra; grabs 6 seats in Latur local body elections
Udgir, Latur: AIMIM is continuing its good performance in Maharashtra, and on Thursday emerged victorious on 6 seats of Udgir (District Latur) Taluka local body elections.The winning candidates-Sayed Taher Husain, Dargar Shamsuddin, Hashmi Sayed Reshma, Sambhaji Sangve and Noorjahan Patel-expressed happiness while talking to local press members and credited their victory to voters and the party high command. Imtiyaz Jaleel, legislature of the party informed that they had fielded only 22 candidates in the entire Latur dist, of which 18 were muslims and remainig 4 were Dalit.TCN
Jailed SIMI suspects allege poor services
Bhopal: Suspected Simi activists, currently lodged in Bhopal Central jail, have moved the local court alleging denial of basic services like bath in the prison.The family of 4 jailed Simi suspects filed a petition on Friday in a local judicial magistrate court here, alleging they were neither allowed to take bath nor given food on time in the prison.According to their counsel, Parvez Alam, the petitioners narrated their “ordeal” in the prison alleging that they were not given proper clothes, forcing them to wear same clothes for a month, and that they were not provided with sufficient bed sheets.“We are living in a perpetual fear in the aftermath of killing of eight other Simi activists in an encounter with the police after they fled the jail. We have been subjected to all kinds of harassments by the authorities since the incident,” the petition alleged.“The court has ordered the jail authorities to submit a detail report in this regard by Dec.19,” Alam said, adding that similar petitions have also been filed in district and sessions court here.ASIAN AGE
FBI quizzes Abu Musa:PTI report
New Delhi:Jamaat-Ul Mujahideen Bangladesh activist Mohammed Masiuddin alias Abu Musa has been questioned by the FBI in Kolkata to probe a possible conspiracy being hatched by his Syria-based handler Sultan Abdul Kadir Armar to target American assets and nationals.
3 soldiers killed in Pampore attack: Army
Srinagar : 3 soldiers were killed on Saturday afternoon when militants laid an ambush near Pampore town in south Kashmir. Army spokesman confirmed to The Hindu that three soldiers died in the militant ambush on an army convoy on Srinagar-Jammu highway near Kadlabal in Pampore, Pulwama. Preliminary reports suggest militants were on a bike when they opened indiscriminate firing on the convoy in the afternoon. Immediately after the firing, the army cordoned off some parts of Pampore to nab the attackers. Locals said that a house-to-house search operation was also conducted by Army.thehindu
1 dead in 'Indian shelling' on school van in Kashmir: Aljazeera
A Pakistani school bus driver was killed and several children were wounded in Indian firing along the de facto Kashmir border, Pakistan said.The incident occurred at Mohra village in the Nakyal sector of PoK across the LoC where officials said shelling by Indian troops was continuing."A shell fired by Indian troops hit a school van at LoC in Nakyal sector. The driver has been martyred and eight children wounded," Zeeshan Haider, a senior govt official told AFP.
Omar Abdullah calls for dialogue with stakeholders to resolve Kashmir issue
Srinagar: Noting there is no alternative to political engagement, National Conference working president Omar Abdullah on Saturday said the Centre should start a comprehensive dialogue with various stakeholders in J&K as well as with Pakistan in order to achieve sustainable peace."New Delhi needs to realise that it has to talk to various stakeholders in J&K and resume the dialogue process with Pakistan if it wants to see normalcy and peace in Kashmir," Omar, ex-CM , said addressing party workers in Kupwara, 100 kms from here.PTI
Charge sheet has proof against Amit Shah: CBI
CBI has opposed the discharge plea filed by BJP president Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case, saying it had evidence of his involvement.Its counsel told the special CBI court that there was evidence on record in the charge sheet and statements from witnesses. Shah’s counsel, SV Raju, said that a person cannot be charged based on hearsay and cited relevant sections of the Evidence Act. Earlier, the defence had stated that Indian National Congress (INC) had used the CBI as a tool to implicate Shah in the case.Complainant Rubabuddin Sheikh’s lawyer, Anubha Rastogi, stated in the court that she thought that CBI will continue its arguments for a longer period — it took around 30 minutes — and therefore had not prepared her arguments. She will now make her arguments on Tuesday. The special judge said every party will be given a fair hearing.Amit Shah has been exempted from making a personal appearance in court. According to the CBI’s charge sheet, subsequent to the murder of Hamid Lala, Sohrabuddin and Prajapati continued their criminal activities in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat. However, Sohrabuddin remained elusive. It was, therefore, that the accused, Amit Shah, who was then Gujarat home minister along with police officers, DG Vanzara, S Pandiyan Rajkumar, Dinesh Man and others allegedly entered into a conspiracy to abduct and murder Sohrabuddin. hindustantimes
New Islamic party born in UP ahead of elections
Lucknow: The BJP’s concept of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ may not have cut much ice with the people of the country but a new political outfit called Islam Party has announced that its aim is to establish Islamic rule in India.A poster released by the Islam Party in Azamgarh district categorically states that “there is only one way to establish Islamic rule in India — Islam Party”. The poster carries a picture of the party’s national general secretary, Aftab Qamar Ansari, and urges voters to cast their vote in the name of Islam.Ansari will be contesting the Mubarakpur seat in Azamgarh, which is the Parliamentary seat of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and is also known for a high percentage of Muslim population.asian age
AMU old boys seek Pranab's intervention to restore university's minority character
New Delhi;  A delegation of AMU old boys today sought immediate intervention of President Pranab Mukherjee against the Central Govt's decision to oppose restoration of the minority character of the university in the Supreme Court. "Muslims badly need modern education to be saved from the influence of radical ideologies, and so it would be against national interest that any institution created for such education should be taken away from the community," the delegation told the President in a meeting with him here this morning. The delegation, led by former IGNOU PVC Prof Baseer Ahmad, who is also a former president of the AMU Students Union, told UNI after the meeting that they stressed to the President that granting minority character to any institution did not mean that it would not be imparting secular education or it would be closed to students from other communities. The delegation also complained to the President that funds were not being released to newly created AMU campuses in Kishangarh and Murshidabad. Prof Ahmad said after meeting with the President that he had assured them that he would take up all these matters with HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar. Besides Prof Ahmad, other old boys in the delegation were Irshad Ahmad, Irfanullah Khan,Mudassra Hayat and Khan Khusro.UNI
Bengaluru man with alleged ISIS links held in Kullu:PTI
Shimla: A 23-year-old man from Bengaluru with alleged ISIS links was on Saturday arrested by team of NIA and local police from Banjar area in Kullu district of Himachal. Abeed Khan was arrested from a church where he was staying with a fake identity for the past four-five months, police said.Confirming the arrest, DGP Sanjay Kumar said that Khan is being interrogated by intelligence agencies. Sources said that the man was named by some of his accomplices during interrogation after they were arrested in Delhi.PTI
Anil Dhasmana new R&AW chief; Rajiv Jain to be IB chief
Ending suspense, Modi govt today announced the appointment of Anil Dhasmana as the new R&AW chief and Rajiv Jain as IB chief. Dhasmana and Jain will succeed Rajinder Khanna and Dineshwar Sharma. Anil Kumar Dhasmana is a 1981 batch IPS officer. He was a special secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat. Reports suggest that Dhasmana was supposed to superannuate on October 31, 2017, but with this appointment, he will now retire in December of 2018.Meanwhile, Rajiv Jain, was serving as a pecial Director in the Intelligence Bureau. Jain is a 1980 batch Indian Police Service officer. He was given an apex pay scale of Rs 80,000 in 2015. This was given to remove an anomaly in his salary. Financialexpress
Mr Advani, your resignation would be meaningless. You created this monster: ASHUTOSH, AAP leader
Aleppo evacuation deal 'to resume' after setbacks
A new ceasefire deal to evacuate tens of thousands of Syrian opposition fighters and civilians from the remaining rebel-held pockets of eastern Aleppo has been reached, according to a rebel group official.The rebel official told Al Jazeera on Saturday that the deal would allow for the complete evacuation of the embattled enclaves still held by rebel groups.Speaking to the Reuters, a Syrian govt source confirmed the agreement. Saturday's announcement came after previous agreements brokered by Turkey and Russia fell apart, with the Syrian govt and opposition groups exchanging blame. In addition to eastern Aleppo, the deal will allow for the transfer of civilians from the rebel-besieged towns of Kafraya and Fua, as well as the govt -blockaded towns of Madaya and Zabadani. A day earlier, Syrian state media said more than 8,000 people had been evacuated from the besieged territory when the agreement was suspended. The deal would have allowed for the remaining population of rebel-held neighbourhoods to be transferred through govt -controlled territory to the city of Idlib, where Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as the al-Nusra Front, which was linked to al-Qaeda) and rebel groups control most of the territory. aljazeera
Aleppo's exiles watch rebel collapse, powerless to help
Aleppo is now a synonym for hell: Outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
UN: Describing the war-ravaged Syrian town of Aleppo as a "synonym for hell", UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said international community has collectively failed the people of Syria and the carnage there remains a "gaping hole" in the global conscience.In his last press conference as UN Secretary-General, Ban delivered stark warnings on 2 issues at forefront of international concern--- Syria and South Sudan.He stated that "the carnage in Syria remains a gaping hole in the global conscience and South Sudan faces a risk of genocide as the country leaders have squandered a peace agreement." "Aleppo is now a synonym for hell," Ban said on Saturday, bidding farewell to UN press corps."We have collectively failed the people of Syria.Peace will only prevail when it is accompanied by compassion, justice and accountability for the abominable crimes we have seen,"he said. PTI
Hezbollah paper attacks Hamas’ position on Aleppo
Lebanon’s newspaper Al Akhbar, affiliated with Hezbollah, attacked Hamas due to its condemnation of the “massacres and genocide” committed by the Syrian regime, its Russian ally, and the Shia militias against civilians in Syria’s Aleppo. On Wednesday, Hamas expressed its disapproval of “the killing and genocide innocent civilians in Aleppo are being subjected to”, expressing their solidarity with them.Due to this position, Al Akhbar described Hamas as an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in one of its articles and accused it of launching a widespread arrest campaign against various public figures, writers and journalists in the Gaza Strip.Hezbollah paper considered Hamas’ position condemning the massacres in Aleppo as “an expression of an integral part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s involvement in the battle, as it is not far from Salafist theorisation and is hostile towards the Syrian state and its allies.”It also accused Hamas of interfering in the internal affairs of Arab states, despite the fact that Hamas has reiterated in all of its statements regarding the crisis that it does not interfere in the internal affairs of Arab countries.middleeastmonitor
Aleppo:Hundreds of civilians detained
Syrian regime and pro-regime forces have detained hundreds of civilians in regime-held areas of Aleppo, a local activist said yesterday. Speaking in a video which she published on Twitter, Lina Shamy claimed that a large number of people came back from the evacuation point to the city after the regime and pro-regime forces breached the truce.Stating that there are still thousands of civilians and injured people in the besieged part of Aleppo, she shared images of people returning from the evacuation point.“There is no international monitoring on [the] evacuation,” Shamy claimed.She also claimed that Red Cross and humanitarian organisations have left the civilians alone in regime-held region, adding that those people “could not come back”, and have been threatened with a massacre.middleeastmonitor
Creepy behaviour and double standards at the UN: Yvonne Ridley on Syria
'Palestinisation' of the Syrian people:Robin Yassin-Kassab
Iran threatens Bahrain, Yemen with ‘Islamic conquest’ like Aleppo
A senior Iranian military commander has threatened further wars of conquest after describing the recent collapse of Syrian opposition in Aleppo as an “Islamic conquest”, as footage has appeared showing Syrian refugees attempting to evacuate the ravaged city being shot at by Iran-backed Shia jihadists.In comments to local Iranian media, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) General Hossein Salami said:“It is now time for the Islamic conquests. After the liberation of Aleppo, Bahrain’s hopes will be realised and Yemen will be happy with the defeat of the enemies of Islam.”IRGC commander also said that “the people of Mosul will taste the taste of victory,” in reference to the ongoing Mosul operations. middleeastmonitor
Armed force alone will never vanquish IS: US experts
Washington:If the Islamic State group is to be defeated and prevented from reappearing under some new guise, the root causes behind its birth and growth must be addressed, American experts say. In the face of an uprising that has catalyzed and channeled anger, frustrations and resentments of a significant part of the Sunni world, a uniquely military response will never suffice, however impressive its gains on the ground, according to terror experts.And yet the underlying problems in many parts of the Arab world — starting with chaos, poor governance and poverty — run deep. With places like the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo descending into chaos, no easy solutions are in sight.AFP
US doubles its reward for Daesh leader to $25 million
Turkish army:13 soldiers killed, 48 wounded in bombing
Istanbul: Thirteen Turkish soldiers were killed and dozens more wounded in a car bombing targeting off-duty conscripts being taken by bus on a weekend shopping trip, the latest in a string of attacks to rock Turkey in recent months.48 soldiers were wounded in Saturday's attack in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri, the army said in a statement, adding that there could also be civilian casualties.AFP
Trump picks settlement supporter as Israel ambassador
US President-elect Donald Trump will nominate David Friedman, a right-wing lawyer known for his staunch support for Israel, as US ambassador to Israel.Friedman, who has no diplomatic experience, is a supporter of Israel's Jewish-only settlements - which are considered illegal under international law - in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. More than 530,000 Israelis live in settlements across the occupied Palestinian territory, according to the Israeli rights group B'Tselem. aljazeera
FBI in agreement with CIA that Russia aimed to help Trump win White House
FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. are in agreement with a CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help Donald Trump win the White House, officials disclosed Friday, as President Obama issued a public warning to Moscow that it could face retaliation.New revelations about Comey’s position could put to rest suggestions by some lawmakers that the CIA and the FBI weren’t on the same page on Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s intentions.washingtonpost
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:04 PM)


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