11 January 2017

11  Jan.2017: 12 Rabius Sani 1438: Vol:8, No:86
No probe into Sahara diaries case against PM Modi: SC
New Delhi: There will be no probe by a Special Investigation Team into the politically sensitive Sahara diaries case - which involves alleged bribes paid to politicians including PM Narendra Modi when he was the Gujarat CM -- the Supreme Court has said. The top court has said there is not enough evidence in the case."If investigation is ordered on the basis of inadmissible evidence like this, constitutional functionaries can't function and democracy will not be safe," the court said.On Nov.14, the court had said there was not enough evidence to order a probe into the matter. Another hearing took place today after a fresh affidavit was filed by lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan, who sought a court-monitored investigation into the case.Bhushan argued that though the Sahara-Birla documents do not prove that the politicians named in them received kickbacks, a FIR should be filed against the people named and subsequent investigation would bring out the truth.As per a Supreme Court judgment, a FIR has to be filed if any crime has been committed, he added.Appearing for the govt , Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that there is no evidence to prove that Mr Modi was paid by corporate houses. No one in country would be safe if such documents are accepted as legal evidence, he added.The "Sahara diaries" is a collection of papers seized by the CBI and the Income Tax department during raids on Sahara-Birla offices in 2013 and 2014.List reportedly contained names of politicians from different parties, along with amounts paid to them as bribes and included the names of PM Modi while he was Gujarat CM and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit. A huge political controversy grew around the matter following the notes ban controversy when Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi accused PM Modi of "personal corruption". The opposition has alleged that PM has been given unwarranted protection by tax officials, who decided not to investigate the Sahara Group.NDTV
SC dismisses petition seeking SIT probe into IT raids on Sahara, Birla
SC dismisses plea to lift tax exemption for political parties
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said recognised political parties need money to propagate their respective “political regime”, and dismissed a petition seeking to lift “100%  tax exemption” granted to them.A Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar did not find any merit with the petition filed by advocate M.L. Sharma challenging certain provisions in the Income Tax Act and the Representation of the People Act. Mr. Sharma had challenged the constitutionality of Section 13A of Income Tax Act of 1961 and Section 29 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The petition asked the court to decide on why ordinary persons are taxed, while political parties enjoy exemption from tax. thehindu
SC rejects PIL against IT exemptions to political funding
Bihar becomes 1st state to reject Law Commission questionnaire on Uniform Civil Code
Patna: Bihar govt  has refused to accept the 16-point questionnaire on Uniform Civil Code (UCC) sent to it by the Law Commission of India and returned it as it is.“While the Law Commission aims to gather opinion on a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) for all citizens of the country, the purpose of the questionnaire is not clear. Hence, the Bihar govt  has decided not to give any opinion on it,” state law secretary Ujjwal Kumar Dubey said adding that they have written to the Commission to the Law Commission to clarify what it proposes to do. Bihar has become the first state to take an official stand on the UCC. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Bihar cabinet ministers at CM Samvad on Tuesday evening.According to the statement issued by the Bihar govt , “In india, different religions have been following different practices for several centuries. All sects and communities should discuss and debate on the matter and be aware of each other’s opinions, before any recommendation is made in the matter.”Bihar CM Nitish Kumar also wrote a letter to Law Commission of India chairman BS Chauhan on Tuesday to inform him about the developments. “After reviewing the entire matter, it has been found that no discussion has been held with any community. Different religions follow their own customs but only Hindu personal laws have been codified. Other religions are bound by their separate rules and rituals. Hence, a decision on such sensitive subject cannot be taken without consulting all stakeholders,” official sources said while quoting the letter.DNA
Bihar CM Nitish wants a debate on Uniform Civil Code before replying to Centre's questionnaire
Bihar to Centre: Be specific if you want our reply on Uniform Civil Code
Madhavi Diwan, SC advocate, appeared for govt in Triple Talaq case writes on Gender justice, talaq and polygamy
New Delhi: Madhavi Diwan, a Supreme Court advocate, who has appeared for govt  in the Triple Talaq case, advocating his point against tripple talaq, writes in an article, "The problem with triple talaq is that it is premised on the presumption that the man calls the shots in the relationship and can take a unilateral decision to opt out of the marriage without giving his wife the opportunity to approach a court, arbitrator or mediator. Extending the same right to a woman against her husband is of little help. Given her financial and social dependence on her husband, she is unlikely to be in a position to exercise that right. Even if she is, it is equally unfair that a husband should find himself divorced at the whim of his wife, without opportunity for reconciliation or recourse to a court of law. Such arbitrary methods of dissolving a marriage whether at the instance of a man or a woman if she were to be granted that right, are incompatible with the expectation of reasonableness and reconciliation inherent in the institution of marriage. Therefore, if gender justice is the goal, it would be better achieved by doing away with such practices altogether, rather than extending the same arbitrary rights to a woman." The SC advocate opines on polygamy, "Likewise, the argument that if Muslim men are allowed to be polygamous, so should women be permitted to be polyandrous is also deeply flawed for the same reason. This is not about gender equality for the sake of gender equality. Practically, a man is hardly likely to marry a woman who already has a husband. Besides, even equality for equality’s sake is hardly likely to be achieved unless a woman in a polygamous marriage also acquires multiple husbands. What enormous social pandemonium would follow if all men and all women were to be in multiple marriages! Who would live with whom? Who would be parents to children born from multiple marriages? Which set of parents would be responsible for whose children? It would be the end of the institution of family as we understand it. This is a surer recipe for social anarchy rather than for gender equality." He further writes, " Polygamy is also sanctioned under some conditions. So for the very reason that the progressives reject triple talaq i.e. that it is “unqoranic” they will have to accept polygamy as legitimate. As also the right of a husband to beat a disobedient wife. In a secular country, if we are to allow religious texts, any or all of them, to override the fundamental right to equality and a life of dignity, then even the secular law which punishes domestic violence against women of all communities would fall foul of personal law. So should we cast away the Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act 2005 or make it selectively applicable?" the statesman
Worst is yet to come: PM Manmohan on demonetisation
New Delhi:Lashing out at his successor Narendra Modi over the govt 's demonetisation drive, former PM  Manmohan Singh today warned the country that the worst is yet to come."Modi ji keeps on saying he will transform India's economy. We know now that the beginning of the end has come...But the worst is yet to come," Manmohan Singh said at a Congress convention in New Delhi. Congress leader, also a renowned economist, said the govt 's claims of growth is false. "Modi ji's propaganda of national income going up in the last two years has been proven to be hollow," he said."Demonetisation has hurt the country very badly. Things have gone from bad to worse in the past few months. Some say the GDP can be as low as 6.3%. We can imagine that what kind of a disaster demonetisation is," Singh said.IndiaToday
Demonetisation will cause loss of Rs 1.5 lakh crore to GDP: Chidambaram
New Delhi:Ex-finance minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said the GDP of India would take a hit of at least 1% if not two owing to the demonetisation move by PM  Narendra Modi. “We will all have to suffer because of the folly of one person of this country…The country will face a loss of Rs 1.5 lakh crore,” Chidambaram said. He was speaking at Jan Vedna Sammelan organised by the Congress Party to highlight the hardships faced by people across the country. indianexpress
RBI does not decide anything anymore, PM Modi does: Amartya Sen
New Delhi: After two former RBI Governors YV Reddy and Bimal Jalan, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen on Tuesday raised questions on Reserve Bank’s autonomy saying the central bank does not decide anything now and all decisions are taken by PM Narendra Modi.Highly critical of demonetisation, Sen opined that it has failed to eliminate black money though Modi would continue to get the ‘benefit of doubt’.“People think PM  is doing something to eliminate black money... Modi will continue to get benefit of doubt... The idea that rich is suffering is appealing to poor people,” Sen said. India Today
RBI note exposes govt. bluff on note ban; Opposition
New Delhi: A note prepared by RBI that indicates it was the govt  that “advised” it to consider demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 currency notes — rather than the other way around — has raised questions about the autonomy of the central bank while drawing the ire of opposition parties.“Section 26(2) of RBI Act says that on the recommendation of the RBI, the govt  may demonetise a particular series of a currency note,” Congress spokesperson and former Union Minister Manish Tewari said, stressing, “A strict reading of the Act, therefore, makes it plain that it does not give the RBI the power to demonetise an entire denomination, and the RBI has done a command performance without basic application of mind. It is a sad commentary on the inability of the central bank to maintain its autonomy.” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, too, was scathing in his criticism. thehindu
Demonetisation effect: December saw sharpest dip in automobile sales in 16 years
New Delhi:Automobile Sales for December fell the most for a month in 16 years pointing to a possible impact of demonetisation prompting consumers to delay their purchases of cars, motorcycles and trucks.Data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers shows that sales of two-wheelers slid 22%  in Dec.2016 compared to the figure in Dec. 2015, marking the highest monthly contraction since SIAM started recording the data since 1997.Scooters and motorcycles account for almost 75 %  of total vehicle sales and are a significant indicator of rural demand. indianexpress
Demonetisation: Maharashtra farmers are destroying tomato crops on a scale never seen before
On Christmas morning, barely 24 hours after PM  Narendra Modi laid the foundation of the Rs 3,600 crores Shivaji statue in Mumbai, Yashwant and Hirabai Bendkule were slashing and uprooting the tomato vines on their farm in Dhondegaon village of Maharashtra’s Nashik district, just 200 km away.“Since over a month, tomato prices have collapsed,” Yashwant muttered, explaining why the Adivasi couple was destroying a perfectly good crop in which they had invested over Rs 20,000 and labour.scroll.in
BSF jawan video: Constable Tej Bahadur Yadav says he has no faith in BSF inquiry, demands CBI probe
New Delhi: A day after BSF constable’s video went viral on social media, Tej Bahadur Yadav on Wednesday said he has no faith in a BSF inquiry and demanded his allegations should be taken up by CBI or NIA for further probe.  Tej Bahadur on Tuesday accused BSF of irregularities and not providing sufficient food to the cadets at the border. Yadav claimed he had surpassed Bhagat Singh in exposing corruption in the Indian Army.As quoted by TOI, Yadav was quoted saying in a 2.15-minute audioclip on Tuesday “Jo bomb Bhagat Singh ne nahi phoda… woh maine phod diya. Aur ab main peechchhe nahi hatunga (I have done what Bhagat Singh didn’t. Now I won’t back down)”. India.com
BSF jawan’s family backs him; Rijiju says 'there are some issues'
BSF transfers constable who posted video about ‘bad food’
2008 Malegaon blast: Centre urges court to maintain secrecy of files given to Prasad Purohit
Mumbai:Ministry of Defence has approached the special NIA court to maintain the secrecy of documents provided to 2008 Malegaon blasts case accused Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit. Last week, a representative from the ministry wrote to the court, seeking secrecy of the ‘sensitive’ documents, including those pertaining to the Court of Inquiry proceedings carried out by the Army, and urged the court to not reveal them to any third party, including other accused.The court has also sought replies from the accused and will decide on the plea next week. indian express
Lt Col Purohit accuses ATS of fabricating evidence against him: Bombay HC
Mumbai:Former Lt Col Prasad Purohit, arrested in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts case on Wednesday alleged before Bombay High Court that Maharashtra ATS had fabricated evidence against him and even the NIA disagreed with the ATS probe. A division bench of Justices R V More and Shalini Phansalkar Joshi was hearing an appeal filed by Purohit against a sessions court order rejecting his bail application.PTI
Mumbai blasts: Production warrant against Yasin Bhatkal
Mumbai:A special MCOCA court has issued a production warrant against Yasin Bhatkal and 6 others in connection with the 2011 Mumbai triple blasts case. “The court issued a production warrant against Yasin Bhatkal, who is presently lodged in Cherlapally central prison in Hyderabad,” an ATS official said.Special MCOCA judge VV Patil directed that all the 7 accused be brought before him on Jan.27.Riyaz Bhatkal,Dubai-based Muzaffar Kolah and Tehseen Akhtar Shaikh are also the wanted accused in case. PTI
‘Clerical mistake’? CM’s ‘IS spreading activities in Andhra’ remark stumps cops
Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh CM  N Chandrababu Naidu’s statement that the Islamic State has spread its activities to the state has left the police baffled.Top police officials were ill-at-ease on Tuesday trying to dispel the notion and they put the record straight that there has been “no trace” of any IS activity in the state so far.Sources in the NIA, too, pointed out that they have not heard of any activity or modules of the dreaded group in Andhra Pradesh.“There could be one or two sympathisers (of the outfit) in Hyderabad (common capital of Telangana and Andhra for 10 years), but not in AP,” they said.“ISIS...slowly it is establishing its activities (in AP). If you sanction Rapid Action Force(RAF), it will go a long way to control ISIS,” Chandrababu told home minister Rajnath Singh at the foundation-stone laying for NDRF 10th battalion headquarters on Monday.“There is no trace of any Islamic State activity in AP so far. What the CM  said might just be an apprehension,” an ADG of police-rank officer clarified.“He (CM) read out from a note prepared by some clerk, so he spoke about ISIS and using RAF against it. It was a clerical mistake,” the Additional DGP said.RAF is essentially an anti-riot force of the CRPF but the CM  wanted it sanctioned for the state to fight the jihadist group, which is active in Iraq and Syria.“RAF is not an anti-terror force and it was a mistake by the CM to have referred to it. We wanted an RAF battalion for a different purpose,” the Additional DGP, holding a key post, said.Police officials said the CM  might have got confused between SIMI, an Indian outfit, and IS.PTI
Mother sells her newborn for Rs 2000, NHRC issues notice to authorities
New Delhi:NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that a homeless Scheduled Tribe woman, deserted by her husband, was forced to sell her newly born male child to one of her neighbours, for a sum of Rs. 2000/- in the Kendrapara district of Odisha. Reportedly, the woman took this step due to poverty as she is deprived of benefits of the govt  run schemes. She is already mother of two children.The incident came to the notice of the rights panel during its camp sitting at Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha. "The Commission has observed that the contents of the news reports, as brought to its notice by a human rights activist, Akhand Pratap are indeed painful and indicative of violation of right to livelihood and dignity of the poor woman, who is forced by the circumstances to sell her child," said NHRC in a media statement on Tuesday.IndiaTomorrow
EC warns all parties: Will act if you split voters on religion
New Delhil:Warning ALL political parties against dividing voters on communal lines, the Election Commission has said it will not stand by as “a silent spectator” and will take “stern action” if candidates and poll campaigners violate the Supreme Court’s order and the model code of conduct ahead of assembly elections in five states.The EC sent a strongly-worded letter to office-bearers of all recognised political parties on Tuesday, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s order barring parties from seeking votes on caste and religious lines. indianexpress
JNU allows academic registration of 9 suspended students
New Delhi;9 JNU students who were suspended last month for disrupting a council meeting have been allowed to register for next semester but the students union has decided to go on a two-day strike demanding that their suspension be revoked. The administration has, meanwhile, issued more show-cause notices to professors and students, including to JNU Student Union President Mohit Pandey.PTI
Admin block protests: JNU tells 5 teachers to ‘follow rules’
JNU administration has sent letters to five faculty members “requesting” them to “follow the rules” of the university and not address students at the Administrative Block. Professor Nivedita Menon — the first to receive a similar notice on December 30, which stated that such a move would attract “disciplinary action” — is among the five faculty members who got the letter. Official sources had said that a high-level enquiry committee (HLEC) would be set up against professors, especially Menon, for violating university rules.I.Express
India’s Rohingya dilemma: A clash of interests and values
New Delhi: Rohingyas - Muslims of the northern part of Rakhine state - see themselves as an indigenous minority of Myanmar, but the Buddhist-dominated govt  labels them as Bangladeshi migrants. On the issue, both the Myanmar military and Aung San Suu Kyi, currently in a fragile partnership in Yangon, are on the same page. But events of the past few months indicate the crisis has entered a new phase.K Yhome of the Observer Research Foundation who has studied India-Myanmar relations closely says, “India’s position is that this is an internal affair of Myanmar.”But he points out that even as Delhi has maintained a cautious stance, it has been receiving Rohingya refugees and allowing them to settle in different parts of the country over the years particularly after the communal violence in Rakhine state in 2012. In Dec.2012, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid visited Rakhine state and donated $1 milion for relief in the violence hit state.But since the renewed conflict in Rakhine over the past few months, Delhi has not made any official pronouncement.A former official who knows Myanmar well, but insisted on anonymity, explains that the Rohingya issue is very complex. “There are really strong emotions that are tied to it. There is a whole debate about the categorisation of Rohingyas itself. There is an information blackout. Any solution that treats it as only a Myanmar issue and does not bring in Bangladesh will not be acceptable to Yangon regime. To my mind, while it is not in our interest to see the problem fester, it seems almost seems irreconcilable and unresolvable. All that can be done is try to mitigate it.” He argues that India should be wary of getting involved. HT
India should tell Burma to end Rohingya abuses: Meenakshi Ganguly, director  HRW
New Delhi: On the Rohingyas issue, New Delhi has maintained a cautious stance but not made any official pronouncement since the renewed conflict in Rakhine over the past few months. Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director of HRW, said, "Indian foreign policy is rooted in a basic understanding that it cannot ignore its neighbors. Earlier, after the military took control, placed Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest, and threw her supporters in jail, the Indian govt  protested publicly, even refusing to engage with the junta for a number of years. Numerous democracy activists were in exile in India-- some of them under the protection of NDA leader George Fernandes. There are over 50,000 Burmese refugees in India. In recent times, thousands of Rohingya have also arrived in India. As a country that hosts refugees, India should also tell Burma to end abuses which are forcing people to flee their homes.In the past, India has led by example, showcasing its own diversity. Suu Kyi has strong personal ties with India. India should use its influence to encourage her govt to immediately allow unfettered humanitarian access to all parts of northern Rakhine State as UN and others have urged, in order to reach people without adequate access to food, shelter, health care, and other necessities. India should also ask the govt  to press the military and civilian authorities to urgently end abuses and grant access."HT
Kandahar blast triggers speculation of link to upcoming India visit of UAE crown prince Al Nahyan
New Delhi:A brazen attack on UAE diplomats in the Afghan city of Kandahar has triggered speculation of a possible link to the upcoming visit of UAE crown prince Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to India to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade.The attack on Tuesday night killed 11 people, including five diplomats from UAE, and injured the country’s envoy to Kabul, Juma Mohammed Abdullah Al Kaabi.Afghan commentators were quick to note that the attack came days before Al Nahyan is scheduled to arrive in New Delhi to participate in the Republic Day celebrations.There is tremendous symbolism attached to the visit as a contingent from UAE Armed Forces will march with Indian troops during the Republic Day parade.UAE has strengthened security and defence cooperation with India in recent years. Since late 2015, some 10 Indian supporters of the Islamic State have been deported by UAE. This enhanced cooperation is believed to have caused heartburn in Islamabad.Taliban, which has a strong presence in Kandahar, a province that once served as the capital of the militant group, have told the Afghan media that they had no role in Tuesday night’s attack. Commentators also noted that the UAE was one of only three countries to recognise the Taliban govt  in the 1990s. hindustantimes
5 UAE diplomats killed in Afghanistan attack
UAE says 5 of its diplomats died in a bombing in Afghanistan's Kandahar that killed at least 11 people and wounded 17 others, including Juma al-Kaabi, UAE ambassador to Afghanistan. aljazeera
2010 Kashmir protests: Probe panel recommends review of draconian laws
Srinagar;An inquiry commission has blamed security forces for firing on demonstrations in many cases during the 2010 Kashmir street protests without permission from magistrates, while recommending a review of draconian laws that provide them sweeping powers and immunity from prosecution.“…the state govt may consider continuance of two highly controversial laws… AFSPA, 1990, and J&K Disturbed Areas Act, 1992, is necessary or not in the peaceful and less disturbed areas of the state after it is thoroughly analysed by the CID wing of the state,’’ Justice (retired) M L Koul has said in 320-page report submitted to the govt  last week. indianexpress
Want justice, not compensation: Kin of people killed in Kashmir unrest
China not to sit idle if India sells missiles to Vietnam
Beijing: Any moves by India to step-up military ties with Vietnam to counter China will create “disturbance” in the region and Beijing will not “sit with its arms crossed”, state media said today, taking exception to a report that New Delhi plans to sell surface-to-air Akash missiles to Hanoi. “If the Indian govt  genuinely treats its enhancement of military relations with Vietnam as a strategic arrangement or even revenge against Beijing, it will only create disturbances in the region and China will hardly sit with its arms crossed,” an op-ed in the Global Times said, highlighting China’s concerns over reports of supply of Akash surface-to-air missile system to Vietnam.PTI
AP Govt move to demolish Jamia Masjid in Krishna district protested
http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2017/jan/11/govt -move-to-demolish-jamia-masjid-protested-1558417.html
Vijayawada: The leaders of Minorities Democratic Party (MDP) have demanded the govt  to withdraw its decision to demolish the 400-year-old Jamia Masjid at Nidumolu in Krishna district, to convert the Bandar Road into four lanes.A team of Muslim bodies inspected the masjid at Nidumolu on Tuesday and cried foul over the govt ’s decision. Later, addressing the newsmen, MDP State President Altaf Ali Raza wondered as to why the district administration initiated plans to demolish the masjid, in clear violation of the Wakf Board guidelines.It was mandatory for the officials to protect the properties of Wakf properties under GO 18 and the district Collector should own the responsibility in this regard, he stressed. newindianexpress
Telangana : Muslims wait months for loans that TSMFC said it will deliver in 15 days
Charminar: Several months after they applied for loans under various schemes, beneficiaries from the Muslim community are yet to get funds from the Telangana State Minority Finance Corporation (TSMFC). They are upset that the loans, which the govt  promised would be released within 15 days, have still not been disbursed to them."I applied for a minority loan in January 2016 and it was approved on July 4. I submitted that proceeding to the Mehidipatnam branch of Syndicate Bank. The bank manager came to my shop later and took details about my business. I made everything clear to him, but I have still not got the loan amount," Parveen Begum, a resident of Mallepally , said.According to the scheme, the amount has to be credited to the savings account of the minority borrower within a period of 15 days by TSMFC.TOI
Karnataka to set up only 2 tribunals to try wakf property disputes
bengaluru: A year after the Supreme Court directed all states to constitute three-member tribunals to try cases pertaining to encroachment of wakf properties, the state govt  has been dragging its feet by constituting a single tribunal in Bengaluru. Initially, the govt  had promised to form four tribunals in each revenue division to expedite disposal of cases but now it has dropped the idea. It's planning to have only two tribunals, citing paucity of funds.TOI
Gujarat high court raps govt  for not hiring Marathi, Urdu medium teachers
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat high court pulled up authorities for unnecessarily sticking to rules and guidelines of quota system, and depriving students of Marathi and Urdu medium from proper education.The high court has directed Gujarat Municipal School Board to appoint 14 persons having PTC certificates from Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) in Marathi medium as vidyasahayaks in 6 weeks.TOI
Former MP Hashim Kidwai passes away at 95
Former MP and political scientist, educationist, social worker  Dr Hashim Kidwai passed away in New Delhi on Tuesday. He was 95. He was not keeping well for sometime. He is survived by two daughter and two sons. He will be buried in Aligarh after zuhar prayer today.Dr. Kidwai was born in 1921 in Lucknow in a family of religious scholars and civil servants. Both his father, Abdul Majeed and his grandfather, Abdul Qadir were Civil servent in the British India. His uncle and father-in-law, Maulana Abdul Majid Daryabadi, and his great grandfather, Mufti Mazhar Kareem won acclaim for their substantial contribution to Islamic religious scholarship. theindianawaaz
Supreme Court lens on funds of over 30 lakh NGOs
 The Supreme Court ordered the Centre and state govt s on Tuesday to scrutinize the accounts of lakhs of NGOs and voluntary organisations, which together received thousands of crores of rupees of public funds, and take civil and criminal action against all organisations misusing the grants.TOI
School for expats in Saudi wins Muslim woman Pravasi Bharatiya Samman:TOI
It is High Time to Discard the Pernicious Myth of India’s Medieval Muslim ‘Villains’:  Audrey Truschke, historian at Stanford University
Daily Fix: Why do reports of mass rape of Adivasi women by the police fail to elicit outrage?Shoaib Daniyal
In last speech as, Obama warns against racism, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim sentiment under Trump
New Delhi:To deafening chants of "4 more years", US President Barack Obama, in his final address as President today, cautioned against everything that incoming President Donald Trump has publicly espoused, including anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-women, anti-gay, pro-Russian and pro-rich sentiments. As he ascended the stage in Chicago, the crowds roared "4 more years, 4 more years", even as Obama tried to quiet the very emotional gathering of people who had come to see off the man who finally avenged 9/11, made gay marriage legal and ensured healthcare for all Americans. But today, that man failed to quiet the crowd."You can tell I'm a lame duck, because no one is following my instructions," Obama joked, at the start of his address, and followed that up with a big "thank you" to all Americans who gave him a chance to serve as US President. Through most of his speech, Obama was calm and collected - he even joked about people who use social media - but towards the end, as he thanked his wife Michelle, his two daughters and vice president Joe Biden, he teared up.TOI
Obama says Israeli settlements making two-state solution impossible
US President Barack Obama, in an interview aired on Israeli television on Tuesday, said PM  Benjamin Netanyahu policy backing settlements in occupied territory is making a future Palestinian state impossible.“Bibi says that he believes in the two-state solution and yet his actions consistently have shown that if he is getting pressured to approve more settlements he will do so regardless of what he says about the importance of the two-state solution,” Obama said, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname. middleeastmonitor
Trump's pick for Attorney General says he opposes Muslim ban
Jeff Sessions, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's pick for attorney general, vowed on January 10 to stand up to Trump if needed, saying he would oppose a ban on Muslims entering the country.Sessions' comments came during more than 10 hours of questioning by a Senate committee responsible for confirming his appointment.Sessions, a Republican U.S. senator from Alabama, said he would not support banning anyone from the United States on the basis of religion and that Trump's intentions were to restrict people from countries harboring terrorists, not all Muslims. rferl
Jordan Brotherhood to participate in municipal polls
Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political wing of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, will participate in the municipal and provincial elections scheduled late this year.The Palestinian Quds Press agency reported sources in the Islamist movement as saying that the group’s Shura council, its main consultative body, had decided to end a ten year boycott of the municipal elections. Jordanian govt  announced that municipal and provincial elections would be held during July or August, to be confirmed later this year.Provincial elections will be held in Jordan for the first time in the history of the country, and will enable citizens to elect their representatives in local councils of the provinces. IAF participated in the parliamentary elections which took place last September and won ten seats in the House of Representatives, the largest of any single party in the 130 seat legislature. middleeastmonitor
How Afghan is trying to outflank Pak over Taliban:AFP
Kabul: Afghan officials are pushing to create a "safe zone" for Taliban insurgents in a bid to wean them away from traditional sanctuaries inside Pakistan, in a radical and contentious strategy to de-escalate the conflict.The plan underscores desperation in Afghanistan for out-of-the-box solutions to tackle the 15-year insurgency, as peace bids repeatedly fail and US-backed forces suffer record casualties in stalemated fighting.If implemented, the strategy — aimed at undercutting Pakistan's influence over the Taliban — could, for better or for worse, be a game changer in a strife-torn nation where ceding territory to insurgents is seen as tantamount to partition."I urge the Taliban to return to Afghanistan. We should make a safe zone for them and their families," Kandahar police chief Abdul Raziq told a gathering of religious scholars and tribal elders.
Pakistan to be world’s fastest-growing Muslim economy in 2017: Report
New Delhi: In the year 2017, Pakistan will emerge as the world’s fastest-growing Muslim economy.According to a report in The Economist, Pakistan’s estimated GDP growth of 5.3 %  in 2017 puts it ahead of other Muslim countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey and Egypt.The report says that Pakistan’s 2017 GDP growth will be higher than 4 %  GDP growth of Israel.It says that with a GDP growth of 5.3 % , Pakistan will be world’s fifth fastest-growing economy in 2017, only behind India, China and two other countries. indiatvnews
Exclusive: Israel lobby infiltrates UK student movement
Israel is influencing student, activist and parliamentary groups in the UK, offering financial and strategic assistance in order to gather support among young organisers and shape British politics, Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit reveals.For six months, undercover reporter Robin (an alias) infiltrated pro-Israeli groups working to counter the powerful and growing movement against the illegal occupation of Palestinian land.He uncovered a close link between Shai Masot, whose business card described him as a senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in London, and a network of politicians, activists and analysts in Britain who are sympathetic to Israel. aljazeera

 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:52 PM)


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