15 January 2017

15  Jan.2017: 16 Rabius Sani 1438: Vol:8, No:89
Obama administration lashes out at China for blocking India’s NSG membership
Washington: The outgoing Obama Administration has lashed out at China for blocking India from becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group by describing the Communist giant as an “outlier” in its effort to bring New Delhi on board the elite grouping. “Clearly there is one outlier that needs to be addressed and that is China,” Nisha Desai Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, told PTI. US statement comes a week ahead of the Obama Administration passing on the baton to the Trump Administration.Officials say it is because of the Chinese resistance that India could not become a member of NSG, where all decisions are taken on the basis of consensus. “The President (Barack Obama) has been very clear and unequivocal that he believes that India has met the criteria for NSG and that the United States supports India’s entry that India is ready and India should be brought into the NSG,” she said.“We worked very closely with India to support India’s application into the NSG, but we also recognise that there continue to be some concerns, some reservations that some of the members of the NSG have expressed that need to be worked through,” she said.“We believe we have made substantial progress on that and as we hand the baton over to the next administration the path forward will be found for that. Clearly there is one outlier that needs to be addressed and that is China. As we move through all the other elements of the NSG membership, I think, we’re on a good path forward,” Biswal said.PTI
India-US ‘strategic convergence’ at highest point: Obama admin
China gives Pak 2 ships for security of CPEC sea route
New Delhi: China yesterday handed over two maritime patrol vessels to the Pakistan Navy for joint security along the sea route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Dawn reported.Yesterday, the Chinese vessels were received by the Commander of the Pakistan Navy Vice-Admiral Arifullah Hussaini. The ships are called PMSS Hingol and PMSS Basol after two rivers in the region."The ships have become part of the Pakistan Navy from today and the (Pakistan) navy would become stronger with the induction of these maritime vessels," Hussaini was quoted as saying by the Dawn. He added that the Pakistan-China friendship was becoming stronger and deeper than the ocean, day by day. timesofindia
France wants Masood Azhar to be declared international terrorist by UN
New Delhi: Days after China blocked India's proposal in the UN, the world body's key member France has pitched for designating Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist, saying there are "very strong arguments in favour" of such a move.French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who was on a 4-day India visit, also sent out a veiled message to China without naming it, saying "the international community's determination to combat terrorism must be the same everywhere, regardless of the threat."PTI
ISI backed Kandahar hijackers: Plane crisis negotiator Doval
New Delhi:Indian Airlines flight IC-814 hijackers were actively supported by Pakistan's spy agency ISI, leaving them under no pressure to end the hostage crisis soon, according to NSA Ajit Doval, who was among those tasked as negotiator to defuse the crisis. The Kathmandu-Delhi flight, with 180 passengers and crew on board, was taken over by five hijackers soon after take-off on Dec.24, 1999, spiralling into one of the worst hostage crises in Indian history. Doval said that if the Taliban hijackers did not have ISI support, India could have resolved the crisis. Doval's comments are part of 'Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan lost the Great South Asian War', a new book by Myra Macdonald, former India bureau chief for Reuters. The crisis finally ended with the release of dreaded terrorists Maulana Masood Azhar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Mushtaq Zargar."There were a lot of Taliban on the tarmac with their weapons," says Doval. The negotiating team made another discovery when they landed. timesofindia
India ‘incomplete’ without Sindh: BJP patriarch LK Advani
New Delhi:BJP patriarch LK Advani feels that India appears “incomplete” without Sindh in its territory. 89-year-old leader made the remarks at an event here today while lamenting that Karachi, the capital of the Pakistani province, where he was born in a Sindhi family was not a part of India anymore.“At times I feel sad that Karachi and Sindh are not parts of India anymore. I was very active in RSS during my childhood days in Sindh. It is matter of dismay. I believe that India appears incomplete without Sindh,” Advani said.PTI
Replacing Mahatma Gandhi with Modi on calendar part of ‘Brand Modi’ promotion: Shashi Tharoor
Kolkata;Terming replacement of Mahatma Gandhi’s picture from 2017 calendar and diary of the Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC) with that of PM Narendra Modi’s photo a “marketing exercise”, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said it was part of the all-out efforts to promote “Brand Modi”.“My perception is that they (the Modi govt) have tried to reduce everything to a marketing exercise. This is about promoting Brand Modi and putting the brand on everything the govt  has control of, overlooking the fact of not just popular imagination but a historical fact,” Tharoor told IANS on the sidelines of Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival here.IANS
Jawans taking to social media to complain could be punished: Army Chief Rawat
New Delhi:Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat Sunday said that jawans who take to social media to express their complaints could be punished as their act lowers the morale of those guarding the frontiers of the country. He also said that despite Pakistan’s continuous engagement in proxy war against India, “we want to restore peace on the LoC”.“But we will not hesitate from giving a fitting reply in case of any ceasefire violation,” he asserted. Army Chief was addressing Army Day celebrations here, where he awarded gallantry medals to soldiers who showed extraordinary courage while performing duty.“If any jawan has any grievance, he has been provided with the proper forum to resolve his issue and maintain a balance. If you are not satisfied with the action, then you can contact me directly,” Gen Rawat said.PTI
After second video, Gen. Rawat warns soldiers of airing grievances on social media
Days after constable’s videos: At LoC base, BSF men say ‘at least someone spoke up’
Khet (poonch): BSF constable breaks into a smile at the mention of Tej Bahadur Yadav’s name and says, “He did the right thing, now everything is fine,” before hurriedly boarding a truck headed to Gali Maidan, a forward location along LoC. Days after Tej Bahadur Yadav, a BSF constable of 29 Battalion near Poonch posted clips from a series of four videos — with visuals of a half-burnt parantha and dal that’s “more of turmeric and salt” — and alleged corruption by senior officials, here in Khet, a BSF base 8 km from the battalion HQRS at Mandi in Poonch where Yadav was posted when he shot the videos, there is a quiet admiration among the personnel for what Yadav did.They mostly speak in hushed tones, without giving their names or identities, simply saying that at least someone had the “courage to speak up”. After Yadav’s videos went viral, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had asked the Union Home Secretary to immediately seek a report from the BSF and take appropriate action.indian express
Soldier’s wife on hunger strike demanding justice
Richa Singh, wife of Army jawan Yagya Pratap Singh, who had alleged exploitation by his superiors, sat on hunger strike here on Saturday, demanding justice for her husband.Richa said her husband also sat on hunger strike in Fatehgarh, where he is posted. Lance Naik Yagya Pratap had uploaded a video, in which he had alleged that his seniors forced him to do domestic chores and even polish shoes.Richa claimed her husband was being pressurised and harassed by his seniors after the video went viral on social media.IANS
Bombay HC grants bail to 3 alleged Hindu Rashtra Sena accused of killing Pune's techie Mohsin Sk
Mumbai:Bombay High Court has granted bail to three men, arrested for allegedly attacking a Muslim man after attending a Hindu Rashtra Sena (HRS) meeting in Hadapsar, Pune. “The fact that the deceased belonged to another religion is in favour of the accused, who were provoked in the name of the religion and seem to have committed the murder,” said the court. “The meeting was held prior to the incident of assault. The accused, otherwise, had no other motive, such as any personal enmity, against the innocent deceased. The only fault of the deceased was that he belonged to another religion. I consider this factor in favour of the accused. Moreover, the accused do not have any criminal record and it appears that they were provoked in the name of the religion and have committed murder,” said Justice Mridula Bhatkar.On June 2, 2014, a meeting of the right wing outfit HRS was conducted at Hadapsar, Pune, on account of the alleged defiling of a statue of King Shivaji Maharaj. According to the complaint, one of the co-accused, Dhananjay Desai, had allegedly given instigating speeches at the meet. Following the meeting, the three accused, along with Desai, started roaming around in the area on two wheelers, armed with weapons.Meanwhile, the deceased, Shaikh Mohsin, along with his elder brother Riyaz and his colleague Wasim, was in the area to get dinner. The accused noticed the deceased, who was wearing a pastel green colour shirt and had sported a beard. They allegedly targeted him and his friend Wasim and assaulted them with hockey sticks, bats and stones, said a police report.While Riyaz escaped, Mohsin, who was riding the bike, was badly injured. Later, Riyaz rushed back to the spot and found his brother lying on the road, severely injured.He sought help from passersby who informed the police. Mohsin was shifted to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.The prosecution, however, argued that the accused were indeed involved in the murder of Mohsin and that they should not to be given bail as they have taken the life of an innocent man. indian express
Dadri victim Akhlaq’s brother to attend Vemula’s death anniversary meet in Hyderabad
Hyderabad:Jaan Mohammad, whose brother Akhlaq was lynched at Bisada village in UP’s Dadri district, will attend a public gathering on Jan.17 at University of Hyderabad to pay homage to Rohith Vemula.Vemula was a research scholar who committed suicide on the university campus on Jan.17, 2016. His death was seen as a mark of protest the discrimination against Dalits.Others who will be present include four Dalit youth from Gujarat’s Una, who were flogged by a group of ‘cow vigilantes’ for skinning dead cows in July last year. Students, under the banner ‘UoH Joint Action Committee for Justice for Rohith’, began observing Vemula’s death anniversary on Saturday evening, singing songs of resistance at Velivada, a make-shift platform at the university shopping complex where Vemula and 4 other students had sat on a dharna in protest after they were suspended by the varsity. “The songs of resistance programme will continue on Sunday at the south campus junction, followed by a torch rally on Monday evening on the campus. There will be a protest gathering at the ladies’ hostel late at night,” said JAC leader Sannaki Munna.HT
Compulsory English in schools: Panel takes view opposed to RSS in report to PM Modi
New Delhi:Making English mandatory: Emphasizing the importance of the English, a group of secretaries on education recommended to PM Narendra Modi that the language be made compulsory in all the secondary schools. The group also suggested that there be “at least” one English medium school in all the blocks in the country which are 6,612 in number. In addition to asking for English to be made compulsory, the group also talked of the importance of Science. It asked for a Science education facility to be put in place in a radius of every 5 km. The group includes secretaries of Higher Education and School Education and Literacy as members. The recommendations were made by the group after consultations with state govts.As of now, English is compulsory till only the 8th standard in CBSE affiliated schools and students have to make a choice between English and Hindi after that. The suggestion regarding the language used in schools is in direct contrast with the RSS recommendations last year. Rashtriya Shiksha Sangh, had last year suggested that Hindi must be used as the medium and had also suggested that English should not be made mandatory at any of the level of education. The group also suggested that surveys meant to measure outcomes must be performed annually by “third party”. In one of the biggest structural change, the group suggested that School Education Quality Index (SEQI) be set up to trace state wise performance along with “partial funding to states linked to improvement in their SEQI scores”.Indian Express
Make English must in all schools, one English-medium school per block: Panel
Lessons on ‘nationalism’ by JNU teachers now part of book
New Delhi:What started as an attempt to counter the existing definition of ‘nationalism’ by JNU teachers has now shaped up as a book titled ‘What the Nation Really Needs to Know’. The month-long “nationalism lecture series” was conducted last year by JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) following the alleged “branding” of the university as a “den of anti-nationals” when three of its students were charged with sedition for participating in an event during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised. 24 lectures delivered by eminent academicians, intellectuals and historians including Romila Thapar, Harbans Mukhia, Tanika Sarkar, Jayati Ghosh, Prabhat Patnaik, Amit Sengupta, Mridula Mukherjee, Makaranad Paranjpe and Apporvanand, have been compiled and edited in the book published by HarperCollins India.PTI
Shayara Bano claims Muslim Personal Board member asked her to withdraw petition against triple talaq, polygamy; Board rubbishes claims
New Delhi:A Muslim woman from Uttarakhand, who is spearheading a legal battle against "triple talaq" divorce, says the All India Muslim Personal Board (AIMPLB) and some clerics requested her to withdraw her Supreme Court petition. Shayara Bano, a 35-year-old mother of two, said she promptly rejected their appeal and firmly expressed her determination to carry on with her fight in the interest of lakhs of Muslim women suffering due to the "discriminatory" practice.The SC is hearing a lawsuit seeking a ban on three specific practices permitted under Muslim personal law: triple talaq, polygamy and nikah halala (a woman wishing to wed a man from whom she is divorced must first marry someone else)."A month ago some people talking to me on behalf of the board asked me to withdraw the petition from Supreme Court", Bano told Mail Today."They told me 'when you are not going to gain anything from it personally why are you maligning the Muslim community?' I said to them I may have lost everything but I'm fighting for other women who are going to face such a situation." The board, however, said it has no information about the incident narrated by Bano. A source said some local member in Uttarakhand's Kashipur area where the woman stays may have tried to contact her but there was no such move officially from AIMPLB. There is no need for that when we are legally challenging her petition, which is pending in the Supreme Court," the source said.India Today/Mail Today
UP polls: Deoband bans entry of politicians
Lucknow: Islamic seminary, Darul-uloom Deoband has closed its gates for politicians in the election season. Talking to TOI, spokesperson of the organisation Maulana Ashraf Usmani said, "we are a religious organisation... no candidate can come to us for political reasons." He added that the Rector Maulana Mufti Abdul Kasim Nomani will not meet Muslim leaders of any political party till the elections are on. "We cannot allow politicians to use our alma mater for any kind of electoral mileage. We don't have time for such people till the election are on," the spokesperson said citing Maulana Nomani. In Feb.2016, the institution banned the entry of politicians and people with known political affiliations on its campus. "Students and teachers have been instructed not to participate in any political debates as well," he said. He stated that the decision has been taken in wake of the general elections the model code of conduct for which became effective on Jan.4. Nominations for the first phase is slated to begin on Jan.17. As many as 73 constituencies in western UP including deoband would go to poll on Feb.11. ET/TOI
Jats of UP favour Akhilesh , blame Modi for turning black money into white
Ahead of UP  assembly elections on Feb.11, Khaps of UP  and Haryana met on Jan.8 in Kharad in Muzaffarnagar, to declare that they won’t vote for the BJP again. Around 35 Khap leaders, some who have at least 75 villages under them and thousands of Jats of Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti gathered at the rural convention. In 2014 Assembly elections they had voted for BJP and it helped BJP have a clean sweep in the national scene. After the launch of demonetisation, farmers of UP who are mostly Jats have suffered a lot, according to the farmers who spoke to Indian Express. These farmers were from Shamli-Kairana-Muzaffarnagar belt of UP. Many Muslim Jats also blame Modi govt  of being divisive and said that Jats and Muslims are together in this fight against the Modi govt . They blamed Modi for not acting on the promises he has made to the farmers and also for not offering reservation to Jats. They said that their children are still in jail after the Muzaffarnagar riots and they are not able to do anything about it.Even several problems of poverty, demonetisation has left them confused. Some said that they are afraid that they’ll also have to pay tax and they cannot afford it. In addition to this, they are not well-read and cannot understand the cashless system of transaction and are prone to cheating. Khaps said that at least they have seen “some” development under Akhilesh Yadav’s govt . financialexpress
Sidhu finally joins Congress, Amarinder to take on Badal
Chandigarh: Navjot Singh Sidhu joined the Congress on Sunday, giving the party a major boost ahead of the Assembly elections in Punjab. newindianexpress
'Punjabi Muslims are heirs to a broken civilisation, but Sikhs are on our side'
Elections are not just about politicians. Theyre about people and issues. And what will really drive their vote.Catch is, therefore, starting a People of Punjab series, which will capture what different impact groups across the state are feeling. This is true insight on the Punjab election: up-close and hyper-personal.In British India, Punjab was one of the provinces with the highest population of Muslims. After partition, the only Muslim enclave that remains in Punjab is Malerkotla, a small city in Sangrur district.Hailed as an abode of communal harmony, Malerkotla survived the ghastly communal violence that characterised Indias Partition."In all the other cities, Muslims either migrated or were killed,"says 66-year-old Ramzan Syed.Though he was born a few years after 1947, Syed was witness to the consequences of Partition."It wasnt just a partition of land and people. An entire civilisation was broken," Syed says. A retired school teacher, Syed is now an office bearer with the Malerkotla unit of the Jamaat-e-Islami.Having taught Punjabi for decades, Syed says he is in love with the language. He learned the language in Shahmukhi (Persian) script, he taught it in Gurmukhi for his entire professional life.With language and script being a deeply communalised issue at the time of independence, Shahmukhi was seen as Muslim and Gurmukhi as Sikh."Both Punjabi and Urdu suffered as a result of Partition. How can people truly appreciate Punjabi if they cant read the rich body of literature that is written in Shahmukhi?" he asks."Today, most people here, Muslims as well as others, wont even know what Shahmukhi is," he says.Moving on to Urdu, Syed says: "Punjabs contribution to Urdu language and literature is immense. But that is seldom acknowledged."Syed narrates that in the years following Partition, while Malerkotla continued to remain a haven of peace, "there was an overall atmosphere of hostility towards Muslims and anything constructed as Muslim, be it language, culture or architecture... There seems to have been a clear attempt at denying Punjabs Muslim heritage in the initial decades after Partition," he says."It is quite likely that people on the other side of the border showed similar hostility towards Hindu and Sikh heritage," he adds.According to him, as a result of this trend, for many years, Malerkotla didnt get the kind of respect it deserved.Syed joined the Jamaat-e-Islami in 1970, when he was in his early twenties.  "Today there are hundreds of mosques in Malerkotla and several Islamic-oriented schools. Both the Tablighi Jamaat and Ahl-e-Hadith are very active here. The city also has a very strong Sufi following," he says. Catch News
In Rajasthan, Sufi Barelvis, Deobandi Wahabbis fight over burial right: TOI report
Jaipur: Chittorgarh police averted a major conflict between two Muslim sects— Sufi Barelvis and Deobandi Wahabbis — by mediation after a dispute arose between the two over a burial on Saturday. The family of middle-aged deceased Ahmed Husain alias Munna, who belongs to the Deobandi sect, was denied the right to bury Husain in the graveyard close to Delhi Gate by the Barelvi sect, who constitute the majority among Muslims in Chittogarh. Barelvi Muslims believe in Sufi shrines whereas the Wahabbis consider practices and rituals in Sufi shrines as a perversion of Islam.Munna died in the hospital in the wee hours on Saturday after renal failure. His family faced objections from the opposing sect while preparing to bury him in the city graveyard.The denial sparked tension between the two sects. The situation began to deteriorate after the deceased's wife filed a complaint stating that the opposite sect was illegally obstructing the burial. Throughout the day, the police held individual and group meetings with both the groups to find an amicable solution. "Considering the sensitivity of the matter, we decided to seek an amicable solution," said PK Khamesara, SP Chittorgarh.The situation, however, went out of control when the family of the deceased, whose body was kept at Gol Pyao in the old city centre, demanded burial at the graveyard in the city. timesofindia
Haj budget subsidy should go up to Rs 1,000 crore, Telangana Deputy CM Ali tells Centre
Budget of subsidy for Haj pilgrimage for Muslims should be increased from Rs 690 crore to Rs 1,000 crore, Telangana Deputy CM Mohammed Mahmood Ali on Sunday requested the Centre. He sent a letter to Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Ali explaining that the pilgrims who want to avail this opportunity are very poor Muslims. He said that it is necessary that the facility of extending subsidy for this noble cause should continue.“I request you to kindly look into the matter personally and see that all the measures are taken to continue the facility of providing subsidy and also to increase the subsidy budget from Rs 690 crore to Rs 1,000 crore so that, more number of Muslim minority poor people will be brought under the cover,” he said in the letter. financialexpress
Indo-Israel ties did not start 2 & a half years ago, there has been a change in policy: Israel’s Envoy to India
Israel’s Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon speaks about the change in India’s policy on Israel, what it means for his country to be India’s technological partner, how the two countries have been “suffering from terrorism” more than anyone else, and why he has no “diplomatic immunity” from demonetisation. Israel President Reuven Rivlin’s visit to India in Nov.2016 is expected to pave the way for PM  Narendra Modi’s visit to that country this year, the first by an Indian PM. If that happens, it will mark a shift in India’s Israel policy, which has largely stayed under the radar since the two countries established full diplomatic relations in 1992. As the 2 countries mark 25 years of ties, Daniel Carmon, who was appointed Israel’s ambassador to India in July 2014, says “there was a policy in the past and it has changed”. Indian Express
Barkha Dutt quits NDTV, likely to start her own venture
New Delhi:Senior TV journalist Barkha Dutt has resigned as Consulting Editor of NDTV. As per reports, Barkha is likely to start her own venture. NDTV, in an official statement, issued Barkha’s long stint and contribution in group’s success. “In 1995, Barkha Dutt joined NDTV straight out of college, and now, after 21 wonderful years together, Barkha has requested that she would like to explore some new opportunities, pursue other interests and work on her own ventures. We are certain that Barkha will go from strength to strength and NDTV wishes her all the very best,” said the statement. financialexpress
District courts: 2.81 crore cases pending, 5,000 judges short across India: PTI
In an alarming scenario, a whopping 2.8 crore cases are pending in district courts across the country which are short of nearly 5,000 judicial officers.Situation has led to suggestions in two Supreme Court reports to increase the judicial manpower “manifold” — at least 7 times — to overcome the crisis by appointing about 15,000 more judges in the coming few years.
Patna boat capsize:Toll rises to 24
Patna: Rescuers fished out 4 more bodies from the Ganga Sunday morning taking the toll in Saturday’s boat capsize in Patna to 24. An unspecified number of people are still missing with eyewitnesses insisting that there were two boats involved in the accident although there is no official confirmation.HT
Paris Summit tackles elusive Israel-Palestine peace
Paris: A French-led effort to kickstart long-stalled discussions on a two-state solution between Palestinians and Israelis got under way with the two main players absent from the summit.  Though representatives from 70 countries and organisations arrived, hopes of a breakthrough in the stagnant peace process were low on Sunday without any representatives from either the Palestinian Authority or Israeli govt at the "Conference for Peace in the Middle East" held in France's capital, Paris."We are all aware of the need to mobilise to re-start the peace peace," French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told the delegates."I'm fully aware of the reservations surrounding this conference and doubts about whether it should be held at this time. But there is no time to be lost."It is the second such meeting organised by the govt  of President Francois Hollande after a first in June, which was attended by more than 20 nations and groups. "Mobilisation has constantly grown since the 3rd of June. This has already delivered some significant results," said Ayrault. aljazeera
At Paris meeting, major powers to warn Trump over Middle East peace
Iran repopulates Syria with Shia Muslims to help tighten regime's control
In the valleys between Damascus and Lebanon, where whole communities had abandoned their lives to war, a change is taking place. For the first time since the conflict broke out, people are starting to return.But the people settling in are not the same as those who fled during the past 6 years.The new arrivals have a different allegiance and faith to the predominantly Sunni Muslim families who once lived there. They are, according to those who have sent them, the vanguard of a move to repopulate the area with Shia Muslims not just from elsewhere in Syria, but also from Lebanon and Iraq.The population swaps are central to a plan to make demographic changes to parts of Syria, realigning the country into zones of influence that backers of Bashar al-Assad, led by Iran, can directly control and use to advance broader interests. Iran is stepping up its efforts as the heat of the conflict starts to dissipate and is pursuing a very different vision to Russia, Assad’s other main backer. Theguardian
Russia to upgrade its naval, air bases in Syria: Reuters
 Russia plans to improve and expand its naval and air bases in Syria, Interfax news agency reported on Sunday, citing an unnamed source, as Moscow cements its presence in the Middle Eastern country, its only overseas military deployment.
Syria's main opposition bloc backs Astana peace talks
Syria's main opposition bloc has backed planned peace talks in Kazakhstan's capital later this month between Syrian govt and rebel groups. A nationwide ceasefire began in Syria on Dec.30 to pave the way for new peace talks, which Russia hopes to convene in Astana on Jan.23 with Turkish and Iranian support. After a 2-day meetin Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, High Negotiations Committee (HNC) said on Saturday it would extend its support to an anti-govt  military delegation attending the talks.aljazeera
Chief of staff from 13 countries take part in meeting to fight against Daesh
Saudi Arabia will host chiefs of general staff from 13 countries for a meeting against Daesh on Jan. 15 and 16, according to a statement by Turkish General Staff. The statement issued on Sunday said Turkey’s Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar would attend the meeting. middleeastmonitor
Daesh attacks Syria regime-held Deir Al-Zor, dozens killed
Daesh militants launched their biggest attack in months on the Assad regime-held areas of the Syrian city of Deir Al-Zor today, killing dozens of civilians and regime troops, a war monitor said.At least six large explosions rocked the city since dawn as the militants clashed with the regime’s army and allied Iran-sponsored Shia jihadists, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported.Syrian regime warplanes hit back against Daesh positions, it added. middleeastmonitor
Iraq special forces sweep Mosul University for remaining militants: middleeastmonitor
Iraqi special forces swept the campus of Mosul University on Sunday to clear it of any remaining Islamic State militants after taking full control of the area, a spokesman said.Counter-terrorism service (CTS) troops drove the jihadists back inside the strategically located university complex and seized clusters of buildings including colleges on Saturday, an important gain towards retaking the entire eastern half of the city.
Airstrike kills 30 Iraq civilians in Mosul
Mosul: Residents of the Iraqi city of Mosul said up to 30 civilians were killed in an airstrike on a district held by Daesh this week.The witnesses said it was not immediately clear if the attack was carried out by the US-led coalition fighting Daesh militants, or by air assets backing Iraqi forces that have been making punishingly slow advances against the extremist group in the city. middleeastmonitor
Daesh ambush and kill a senior Iraq officer in Diyala
UN's Yanghee Lee denied access to Rohingya villages
UN special rapporteur on human rights Yanghee Lee has been denied access to some areas in Myanmar's northern Rakhine State, with the govt  citing "security concerns" for its decision. Al Jazeera also learned on Sunday that Lee was only allowed to speak to individuals who were pre-approved by the govt  while she visited Muslim Rohingya villages in the area."These are things that will certainly hamper her investigation," Al Jazeera's crew, reporting from Sittwe, said. "Lack of access will make her job more difficult."As part of her 12-day visit to Myanmar, Lee is spending three days in Rakhine - home to around 1.2 million stateless Rohingya, a Muslim minority that has suffered decades of poverty and repression, and been denied basic rights such as citizenship and freedom of movement. aljazeera
Myanmar Muslims hope UN envoy's visit will bring change
Mosque Set Ablaze in US, Police Arrest a Homeless Man
San Francisco: A 1970s-vintage mosque has been torched in the US city of Seattle and the police have arrested a 37-year-old homeless man, who had previous run-ins with worshippers there, in connection with the incident.Police believe a fire at a Bellevue mosque on Saturday was set by the man but they said there was no evidence of a hate crime. "Nor is there any connection to recent vandalism at a Redmond mosque," Police Chief Steve Mylett was quoted as saying by The Seattle Times. Bellevue police and firefighters responded to the Islamic Centre of Eastside after a witness reported flames coming from 1970s-vintage, wooden building. The fire destroyed the north side of the mosque. Nobody was inside, report said.PTI
US: 15-yr-old Muslim girl allegedly evicted from bus for wearing hijab
Los Angeles;A 15-year-old Muslim girl in the US has claimed she was evicted from a school bus by a driver twice because of her hijab, prompting her family to demand an apology from the school district. Janna Bakeer, a girl who attends Timpview High School in Provo City, Utah, tried to ride a bus home when the bus driver used the bus’s intercom system and said, “Hey you with the blue hair thingie, get off the bus, you don’t belong here,” according Randall Spencer, the family’s lawyer.PTI
Austria's far-right Party calls for ban on 'fascistic Islam"
The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPO) on Saturday called for a law banning "fascistic Islam" and Muslim symbols, comparable to an existing law banning Nazi symbols, saying Islam could wipe out European society.Austria needs "a law which prohibits fascistic Islam", Heinz Christian Strache told several thousand supporters at the party's new year meeting in Salzburg."Let us put an end to this policy of Islamisation... otherwise we Austrians, we Europeans will come to an abrupt end," Strache said, in an apparent reference to the course pursued by the coalition govt Reuters
Has actress Lindsay Lohan converted to Islam?
Hollywood actres Lindsay Lohan recently scrubbed clean her Twitter and Instagram accounts and posted the message “Alaikum Salam” on Instagram, leading to speculation that the actor may have converted to Islam. In 2015, Lindsay Lohan had faced backlash after being pictured with a Quran in her hands. Over the last few days, Lohan deleted all her posts on Twitter and Instagram. The post on Instagram led to a tweets from Muslims around the world, offering her congratulations. Earlier, Lohan has dropped hints about converting to Islam.In the last few years, the actress has been vocal about her interest in Islam and she was also spotted carrying the Koran. In Oct.2016, she posted a picture of herself wearing a headscarf which was a gift from a Syrian refugee. The actress has also moved to Dubai.DNA
Week of anti-Trump protests kicks off in Washington, DC
Thousands of US civil rights activists have kicked off a week of protests ahead of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration with a march in Washington, DC, vowing to keep fighting for equality and justice under the upcoming administration. Chanting "no justice, no peace", protesters headed by the Reverend Al Sharpton marched on Saturday along the National Mall toward the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, about three kilometres from the steps of the US Capitol, where Trump will be sworn in as president on Friday. aljazeera
18 Democratic lawmakers to boycott Trump's inauguration
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 7:06 PM)


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