23 September 2017


Evening NEWS DIGEST (Early)
23 Sept. 2017: 2 Muharram 1439:Vol:9, No:01
Ex-Muslim Brotherhood chief Mahdi Akef dies at 89
The former leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Mahdi Akef, has died in a Cairo hospital aged 89. Akef, who headed the Brotherhood as supreme guide from 2004 to 2010, was diagnosed with cancer last year."My Father is in God's hands," his daughter, Alia, wrote on her Facebook page on Friday.Akef was among hundreds of Brotherhood figures arrested in a heavy crackdown launched against the political organisation following the military's 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, a member of the group and Egypt's first democratically-elected president.He was initially convicted on violence-related charges and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The verdict was overturned on appeal, and he was facing a retrial.His family had recently launched an online campaign to demand his release for health reasons. Akef was born on July 12, 1928, the same year the Muslim Brotherhood was founded.He became aware of the organisation's teachings in his early teenage years, and joined the Brotherhood in 1940. Akef was imprisoned from 1954 till 1974.For a large part of Hosni Mubarak's 40 years in power, which ended when he was overthrown as Egypt's president in the 2011 uprising, Akef was his main rival. In 2005, under Akef's leadership, the Brotherhood won 20 percent of the seats in Egypt's parliamentary elections. "He has many achievements," said Khalil al-Anani, an academic and researcher of the Brotherhood."One of them was that he was one of the most reformist leaders of the Brotherhood since he took office in 2004. He initiated many changes within the movement and gave it a new flavour," he said.Writing on Twitter, the Palestinian group Hamas, which originated from the Muslim Brotherhood, described Akef's death as "the nation's loss and one of its most prominent figures".Al Jazeera
Mahdi Akef, former General-Guide of Muslim Brotherhood dies
NDTV Denies Reports Of Takeover SpiceJet Owner Ajay Singh, Tells BSE 'No Agreement'
NDTV has denied reports that said Ajay Singh, owner of SpiceJet, has picked up majority holdings in the news channel in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange. It was earlier reported that Singh, who was part of the BJP’s 2014 poll campaign, has picked up majority holding in the news channel. NDTV clarified to the BSE that the company has not entered into any agreement for sale of stake. "With reference to your letter seeking clarification on the news item... we wish to inform you that the promoters of the Company have not entered into any agreement for sale of their stake in the Company to any person," the company has told the BSE. "The Company is mindful of its obligations under Clause 30 of the Listing Regulations and shall promptly intimate you of any event required which is required to be disclosed under the said Regulations," it added. It was said that Singh will take over the news channel along with the editorial rights.Singh has been a vital part of BJP's 2014 Lok sabha election campaign. He is said to have coined the campaign slogan, “Abki baar Modi sarkar”, reported Hindustan Times.Singh had been an officer on special duty to late Pramod Mahajan during the first NDA government and was an important cog in the BJP’s advertising/campaigning team.On June 5, CBI had carried out searches at the residence of NDTV founder Prannoy Roy in New Delhi and in Dehradun for allegedly causing loss to a private bank.The agency registered a case against Roy, his wife Radhika and RRPR Holdings for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 48 crore to ICICI Bank, CBI sources said.In a statement on the CBI action, the channel had said ruling party politicians could not "stomach" the "independence and fearlessness" of NDTV's team.out look
Left-Dalit-Muslim’s  Alliance for Social Justice clean sweeps University of Hyderabad Students Union polls, defeats ABVP
Hyderabad: In a closely fought battle for University of Hyderabad Students Union (UOH-SU), Alliance for Social Justice (ASJ) that stood for Left-Dalit-Muslim unity swept the polls defeating the BJP-affiliated ABVP supported by OBC forum.ASJ presidential candidate Sreerag P, a PhD scholar Regional studies, polled 1,509 votes against K Palsania of ABVP and Anju Rao of Congress-affiliated NSUI who secured 1,349 and 872 votes respectively. A total of 3,846 votes were polled the election.Meanwhile, in a late night development, the university informed that results for the vice-president’s post will be declared later. An official release said that though Lunavath Naresh of ASJ has secured 1,885 votes against Apoorv Jain of ABVP-OBCF who secured 1,624 votes, position has not been declared due to technical reason (grievance pending with the Grievance Committee). Results were reportedly delayed as certain student groups questioned the validity of Lunavath Naresh's candidature alleging that he lacks attendance. ASJ comprised SFI, Ambedkar Students Association (ASA), Dalit Students Union (DSU), Tribal Students Forum (TSF), Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika (TVV), Muslim Students Federation (MSF) and Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) according to NDTV report.The polling which took place on Thursday witnessed 75 percent voter turnout.With 1984 votes, ASJ's Arif Ahammed clinched the general secretary post, while Kiran Kumar secured 1573 votes.For the joint secretary post, Muhammed Ashique polled 1872 votes while Pooja Rani secured 1591 votes.It was a close fight between G Abhishek and Aarti Nagpal for the post of cultural secretary. The former won with a narrow margin of 85 votes, by securing 1792 votes.The sports secretary's post was won by Shravan Kumar against Rupesh Ranjan by a margin of 406 votes with the ASJ candidate securing 1913 against 1507 by ABVP candidate.For the two posts in Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GS-CASH), ASJ candidates Charu Nivedah secured 878 votes and Tinanjali Dam got 482 votes.This year the election witnessed 75 percent voter turnout.Last year, the Student Union elections were held eight months after the suicide of Rohith Vemula and the ASA had contested with NSUI against SFI-led left alliance United Front for Social Justice (UFSJ) and ABVP. UFSJ had won all the posts. Also, ABVP hasn’t won president post since 2009. Newindianexpress/ NDTV
Alliance for Social Justice sweeps UoH student union polls, ABVP defeated
ASJ Trounces ABVP In University Of Hyderabad Students' Union Polls
Hoist tricolour and play national anthem daily: MP education minister appeals to madarsas
Bhopal:Madhya Pradesh Education Minister Vijay Shah has appealed madarsas in state to unfurl the tri-colour and play and sing the national anthem every day to instill sense of patriotism among students. “Regular schools should unfurl the tri-colour and sing the national anthem daily. I appeal all madarsas in MP to unfurl the tri-colour and play the national anthem daily. I don’t think anybody should have any problem with that. Nobody has,’’ the minister said at a function to mark the 20th foundation day of Madhya Pradesh Madarsa Board.Shah said madarsas follow all rules laid by the school education department and should have no problem to emulate the regular schools who unfurl the tri-colour and play the national anthem daily. The minister congratulated the board for working to develop nationalistic ideology among its students and for connecting the minority community to the nationalistic ideology.State Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was the chief guest of the function, said, “How to love one’s country and help it march ahead should be part of school curriculum.” He said Mohammed Paigambar stressed on love for one’s country (vatan).He said education should make students human beings and they should be taught love, brotherhood and patriotism. “We drink the same water and eat the same food and our blood is red. We can follow different faith.’’ indianexpress
Cops to ask puja organisers for immersion nod on Muharram: West Bengal govt
Kolkata:A day after the Calcutta High Court allowed Durga idol immersions on all days from Vijaya Dashami on September 30, the West Bengal government on Friday decided that the police will ask puja organisers to take permission for immersion on Muharram on October 1.At a meeting of top officials presided over by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, it was decided that the police would ask the puja organisers to take permission by this Sunday, a senior state government official said.The meeting, also attended by some ministers and senior police officers, including the state DGP, decided that the SPs in the districts having international border would be put on alert on immersion days to avoid any untoward incident, the official said.PTI
Compensate cow violence victims, punish violators: SC to states
 New Delhi:The Supreme Court Friday said states were under obligation to compensate victims of violence by cow vigilante groups even without any judicial order. “We do not have to say that. All states are under an obligation to compensate victims of cow vigilante violence. At the same time, law and order has to have primacy and anyone violating it must be dealt with sternly,” said a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, while hearing a petition by Congressman Tehseen S Poonawalla and activist Tushar Gandhi who sought direction to states to check cow vigilantism.The bench said states must frame schemes to compensate victims of crime, including those of cow vigilantism as envisaged by the Code of Criminal Procedure.Appearing for Tushar Gandhi, senior advocate Indira Jaising sought a scheme for those victimised by law-breakers. She referred to the case of Junaid, who was lynched on a train in Faridabad, and said “the payment of compensation should have been an automatic process”. The bench, however, observed that individual cases should not be clubbed with the larger issue. Jaising and senior advocate Kapil Sibal also raised the case of Pehlu Khan, who was killed in Rajasthan, and said that far from getting justice, the kin of the victims were being harassed through counter-cases. The apex court also asked states and Union Territories to comply with its September 6 order to appoint nodal officers by October 31 to deal with cow vigilantism. The direction came after the bench was informed that only five states — Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh — had filed reports complying with the earlier order and that Bihar and Maharashtra would be filing it during the day. It asked the Chief Secretaries of the remaining 22 states to file compliance reports in pursuance of its order laying down a mechanism to deal with such groups. “Let the compliance reports be filed… nobody can wash their hands of (duty). We will give directions to all the states,” the bench said. indianexpress
SC says states must appoint police officers to prevent cow vigilantism, pay compensation for violence
UP: Sabi Ahmed 's family says he was lynched, while cops claim no evidence yet
Lucknow:The family of a man, who died of his injuries on Tuesday, has alleged that he was attacked and murdered by a mob after his motorcycle allegedly hit and injured a cyclist in Shahjahanpur. Police, however, say they have no evidence that there was any attack and instead have registered the case as a death following an accident. The alleged incident took place when Sabi Ahmed (60) and his neighbour Azmatullah (57), who was riding pillion, hit Sunil (25) in Madanpur police station area. While Sabi died in a Bareilly hospital the same night, Azmatullah is under treatment in a Shahjahanpur hospital. Sunil is admitted in a Bareilly hospital where his condition is stable.“Sabi Ahmed’s son Shareef Ahmed lodged a complaint against Sunil on charges including causing death by negligence and stated that death occurred due to the accident. Now, families of Sabi Ahmed and Azmatullah are alleging that both were beaten up by relatives of Sunil who reached the place after accident took place,” said SHO of Madanpur police station, Om Prakash Gautam. There has been no complaint from Sunil’s family so far.Shaqeer Ahmed, another of Sabi’s sons, told The Indian Express, “I have been telling the police since after the incident that my father died died after he was thrashed by a group of people. But the police is not ready to register a murder case. My brother agreed over the FIR to be lodged on charges that the death caused due to the accident after police assured us that they would alter the case into that of a murder if they get evidence of an attack.”In the FIR it is mentioned that four other people were present when the alleged incident happened.“Azmatullah’s family member started alleging today that Sunil’s in-laws reached the spot after the accident and assaulted Sabi Ahmed and Azmatullah and that they escaped before the police arrived. indianexpress
2 new observers appointed at Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya
Ayodhya:Two additional district judges have been appointed as observers at the Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi site in Ayodhya by the Allahabad High Court. The observers are Additional District Judge, Basti, Irfan Ahmad and Additional District Judge, Faizabad, Amarjeet Tripathi.They will submit fortnightly reports to the Supreme Court on the disputed site’s status quo and the adjacent excess area that was acquired.Faizabad Divisional Commissioner and Receiver (Authorised Person) of the disputed site, Manoj Mishra told PTI, “On the apex court’s instructions, the Allahabad High Court appointed the new observers.”The judges will start their job as observers from Sunday, he said.A three-judge special bench of the apex court had on September 11 ordered to replace judges T M Khan and S K Singh who were appointed by the high court in March 2003, during an excavation conducted by the ASI at the Babri site.The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra passed the order after senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for the Allahabad High Court registry, informed it that one of the observers has retired and the second one elevated as a judge of the high court.The apex court had on August 11 said it would commence the final hearing in the longstanding dispute from December 5, the eve of 25th anniversary of the Barbi Masjid’s demolition.PTI 

Kerala woman who left home and converted to Islam, now 'returns' to Hinduism


When 23-year-old Athira, a Hindu woman from Kerala's Kasargod district, spoke to media in July, she was clad in a hijab and confidently said that she had converted to Islam upon her own free will. Months later on Thursday, Athira addressed the media a second time. This time, the hijab was gone, and Athira appeared with a bindi and kumkum on her forehead. She was no longer the Islam convert woman who took the name Ayesha, but Athira, who believes in Hindu religion, she said. "Om Namah Sivaya," Athira began, while addressing the press meet in Kochi on Thursday.Athira had left her home in the first week of July, leaving a 15-page letter explaining that she was going to study Islam. On July 27, she surrendered before Kannur police and a local court sent her to a state home for women.Her parents then moved Kerala High Court, seeking her custody. It was granted after Athira said that she was willing to go with her parents, as long as they did not object to her practicing Islam.Speaking to media on Thursday, Athira said that her Muslim friends had misguided her into believing in Islam."They told me that it was stupid to worship a stone, an idol and that Hinduism has many gods, while Islam has only one supreme god. They instilled this doubt in me. When they said that, I felt very curious about it and when I thought about it, I felt what they said was right," she said.Soon, her friends began giving her books on Islam, Athira said. "One of them was about hell. The description of hell in that book was so scary, that I lost my sleep for several nights. I began thinking that if I don't follow Islam, then I will have to go through that hell."Apart from this, Athira claimed that her friends gave her several reading material including a book on coverted women and also watched speeches made by Zakir Naik."I was convinced that Islam was a better religion. I blindly believed that my religion was bad," Athira said.According to her, she got in touch with an Ustad in Malappuram through a friend, after which, she was added to a WhatsApp group called "Hidayat sisters."She said that there had been only 6 or 7 people in that group and one of the girls began texting her personally."She grew close to me and has stayed at my home also. After interacting with her, what I understood is that she converted to Islam because she was in love with a Muslim boy," she said.Apart from reading more about Islam, Athira said that at one point, she also tried to convince her parents to convert."I started telling them that Islam was the only true religion. When they didn't get convinced, I began to be very angry with them. Because according to Islam, non-believers are khafirs. In Quran, it is said that if your parents don't believe in Islam, you needn't show love to them," she said.According to Athira, she knew her parents would protest if she started dressing differently or started praying in the Islamic way. Her friends then told her about three Islamic institutions where she can study the religion, Athira told reporters"They told me I will get certificate from one centre in Ponnani, Tharbiat-ul sabha and Sathyasarani. I was oblivious to my parents' suffering".She also spoke about a Siraj, a worker of PFI, who she claims, helped her with everything. She said that people including Siraj instructed her on how she should give her statement in court, when her family files a complaint."People of Hindu helpline helped my parents and told us about Arsha Vidya Samajam in Ernakulam. They didn't force me at all, but gave me right information. They told me that I should re-read Quran with an open mind and I didn't get the same feeling I used to get before. When I read it rationally, I had many doubts," she said. Following this, she said that she took interest in learning Hinduism in detail and enrolled at the Samajam. "Nobody there forced me to reconvert but they urged me to read Quran with an open mind and I realised what I had believed about Islam was not right," she said. thenewsminute
Cong hears ‘whisper’: EVMs for UP polls to be used in Gujarat
New Delhi :The Congress on Friday told the Election Commission that there is a “whisper in the public domain” that the electronic voting machines sent for the elections in Gujarat are the same as those used in the Uttar Pradesh polls.The party also asked the poll panel to come out with a series of steps to ensure free and fair elections, including barring officers facing disciplinary proceedings or inquiries from being posted in any district after the election notification is issued.A delegation of Congress leaders led by Ahmed Patel and Madhusudan Mistry met the Election Commission and conveyed the party’s concerns regarding the EVMs.They asked the poll panel to clarify whether VVPAT machines would be used in all Assembly segments in Gujarat. The party also wants CCTV cameras to be installed in all polling booths to record the movement of personnel and persons during the election process. indianexpress
‘Treat us like Tibetan and Lankan refugees’: Rohingyas tell SC they have no terror links
New Delhi; Refuting the Indian government’s claims of having terror links with the ISI and Islamic State (IS) and being a threat to the country, a Rohingya refugee filed an affidavit in Supreme Court, asserting that they were refugees and should be treated on par with Tibetan and Sri Lankan ones.The affidavit, filed on Friday, rejected contentions of the government, saying: “No terror links with ISI/ISIS and no Rohingyas in India have indulged in anti-national activities and this assertion is not substantiated with any evidence by government.”The refugee has relied on a statement by Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti in state assembly, which said: “No Rohingya has been found involved in militancy-related incidents. 17 FIRs have been registered against 38 Rohingyas for offences relating to illegal border crossing.”Among the reasons the Rohingya refugees gave in their defence against their deportation to Myanmar, they clarify the distinction between refugees and immigrants – while refugees are individuals who have fled their country fearing persecution, immigrants are individual who voluntarily choose to move out of the country seeking employment opportunities.The apex court is already seized of a PIL filed by two Rohingya Muslim refugees challenging the government’s decision to deport an estimated 40,000 people of the community. While the hearing on their plea is scheduled on October 3, it is unclear when the child rights panel’s petition will come up for hearing.
Peace-loving Rohingyas have no link with crime: SC plea by refugees
Why Centre’s decision to grant Chakma, Hajong refugees citizenship has Arunachal up in arms
A week after the Centre decided to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees living in Arunachal Pradesh, old resentments run high. Politicians and activists, cutting across political allegiances in the state, have claimed the move undermines the rights and interests of Arunachal’s indigenous population.All Arunachal Students’ Union, which has a long history of anti-Chakma agitations, called a state-wide strike on Tuesday to protest against the Centre’s decision. It led to sporadic violence, with vehicles being set alight, and the state nearly ground to a halt, as government offices, schools and markets remained closed.The Centre, acting on a 2015 ruling of the Supreme Court, is reportedly considering “limited citizenship” for the refugee communities in the state, implying that they will not get land rights or be recognised as Scheduled Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.Those who are not recognised as native residents of the state need an Inner Line Permit to enter it. This special travel document, which Indian citizens from other states require to enter Arunachal, Mizoram and Nagaland, flows from of the British-era Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873. Today, the permit system is meant to safeguard the land and resources of the tribal populations of these states.Yet the Supreme Court ruling, citing an earlier Gauhati High Court judgement, categorically states that members of the Chakma and Hajong tribes in Arunachal Pradesh do not “warrant any requirement of inner line permit”. This has given rise to confusion.
Mangaluru:Case booked against Hindu outfit leader for provocative speech
Mangaluru: A suo motu case was registered against an office-bearer of an Hindu outfit on Friday for his alleged provocative speech and derogatory comments about a police official at a protest meeting in Mangaluru, the police said. Hindu Jagaran Vedike (HJV) organising secretary Jagadish Karanth was accused of making “derogatory comments” on the religious status of Abdul Khader, inspector of the Puttur town police station, at a meeting at Puttur near here on September 15, to protest against “attacks” on Hindus.An individual complaint had been filed by one K Aziz asking the police to register a case against Karanth for allegedly using “derisive” language against the police officer identifying him with a religion.PTI
Demonetisation an ‘unnecessary adventure’: Manmohan
Chandigarh:Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday described demonetisation as an “unnecessary adventure” and said such moves had not succeeded anywhere in the world except some Latin American and African nations.Singh’s comments came amid a renewed debate over the efficacy of the BJP-led government’s ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, with then RBI governor Raghuram Rajan too recently speaking out againt the move.“I don’t think it was technically and economically necessary to launch this adventure. If 86% of country currency is withdrawn from the system then there is bound to be a fallout,”Singh said. hindustantimes
Pak summons Indian envoy after firing along LoC that allegedly killed 6 civilians
Islamabad:Pakistan summoned India’s High Commissioner here even as it condemned the alleged firing by Indian forces across the LoC, in which 6 Pakistani civilians were killed.A Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) spokesman said that Acting Foreign Secretary Aitzaz Ahmed summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale over “unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces” in Charwa Sector on Thursday.Ahmed “strongly condemned” the firing which killed 6 civilians, including four women, and injured 26 others, including 15 women and 5 children in Bini Sulariyan village.Many of the affected are seriously injured and the casualties are likely to rise, FO said.“The deliberate targeting of civilians is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws,” he said.PTI
NSA Doval’s ‘double squeeze’ strategy will never succeed: Pakistan at UNGA
UN: Pakistan on Friday said that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s “offensive defense and double squeeze” strategy to make India a regional hegemon will never succeed. Exercising its right to reply in the United Nations General Assembly, Pakistan said it is “unfortunate” that India has chosen to criticise the statement of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Kashmir “which reflects the sentiments and aspirations of the oppressed and suffering people” of the Valley. “The strategy offensive defense and double squeeze floated blatantly by NSA Doval which India believes can make it a regional hegemon can never succeed,” Tipu Usman, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the UN, said. “Indian operators of mayhem and terror such as commander Jadav caught red-handed in Pakistan while spreading sabotage, terrorism and espionage can never fulfill Indian dreams, which will remain just that dreams,” Pakistan said.The diplomat said the “plight” of Kashmiri people at the hands of the Indian security forces is being documented by the international community and rights organisations. He said the people of Kashmir look towards the international community especially members of the UN Security Council to deliver on their pledge to hold a free, fair and impartial plebiscite under the UN’s auspices, to enable them to decide their future.PTI
China calls on India, Pakistan to resolve Kashmir issue bilaterally
New Delhi:Dismissing calls by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for implementation of the UN resolution on the Kashmir issue, China on Friday said the contentious matter should be resolved bilaterally by India and Pakistan through dialogue and communication. “China has noted the relevant report. China’s position on the Kashmir issue is clear-cut,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, in response to a question. “Kashmir issue is left over from history. China hopes India and Pakistan can increase dialogue and communication and properly handle relevant issues and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability,” he said.
Jim Mattis to meet PM Modi, Sitharaman on Sept.26 in Delhi: What to expect
New York:US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will visit India and hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman to reaffirm that Washington considers New Delhi a valued and influential ally. This is the first cabinet-level official’s visit to India under the Trump administration. “The secretary will emphasise that the US views India as a valued and influential partner, with broad mutual interests extending well beyond South Asia,” the Pentagon said in a statement yesterday.During his two-day visit starting from September 26, the Pentagon chief will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the India Gate, and meet the prime minister and Sitharaman in New Delhi. “Secretary will also express US’ appreciation for India’s important contributions toward Afghanistan’s democracy, stability, prosperity, and security,” the Pentagon said.Mattis’ visit to India comes after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, held a bilateral meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly meeting here.PTI
Under ED lens: Moin Qureshi’s transactions in Dubai, Europe
New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate (ED) is preparing to send fresh letters rogatory (LRs) to two foreign countries in connection with its money laundering probe against meat exporter Moin Qureshi. It has already sent two LRs to Dubai and Hong Kong to get details of financial transactions associated with him.Agency sources said that investigators have traced fresh dubious financial transactions related to Qureshi in Dubai and a European country. “The necessary formalities are being done. We will soon ask the competent court to issue LRs. We need further details and evidence on these transactions. We have already sent two LRs to Dubai and Hong Kong in related matters,” an ED official said. The agency had arrested Qureshi on August 26 on charges of money laundering on behalf of public servants. Indian express
Kurd region poll to occur despite opposition, vows :Barzani, president autonomous Kurdistan: aljazeera
The president of Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan has vowed to go ahead with an independence referendum set for next week despite intense opposition by the Iraqi government and international powers. Kurdistan Regional Govt (KRG) plans to hold the referendum on support for independence on September 25 in three governorates that make up the region, and in some disputed areas, including the oil-rich province of Kirkuk and parts of the northern province of Nineveh."Referendum is no longer in our hands or political parties, it is in the hands of people," KRG head Masoud Barzani said on Friday to thousands of cheering supporters who packed the Franso Hariri Stadium in Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan."The same people who are threatening us have not come to ask why we are holding a referendum," Barzani said, according to a report from Kurdish news portal Rudaw.Baghdad is vehemently opposed to the vote, which has also alarmed neighbouring Turkey, which has a large Kurdish minority.
Syrians vote in Kurdish-held northern region
Iraq, Turkey, Iran to coordinate countermeasures to Kurdistan referendum
Iraq, Turkey and Iran have agreed to consider coordination over countermeasures to the Kurdistan referendum on secession from Iraq scheduled for Monday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari said. A statement issued by Al-Jaafari’s office said yesterday: “The Foreign Ministers of Iraq, Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu and Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif have held a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York to discuss the Kurdish planned referendum.”According to the statement, the three ministers have “confirmed their strong commitment to maintaining Iraq’s political unity, territorial integrity and expressed concern about the planned referendum”.The statement stressed that the referendum “jeopardises Iraq’s great and difficult victories against Daesh”.
Muslim Scholars group: Shelling in Iraq is crime against humanity
The Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) has warned that all parties to the conflict in Iraq are responsible for the excessive killing and systematic destruction in the country because they do not hesitate to kill people to achieve personal gains and temporary successes.In a statement issued yesterday, the organisation said the areas of Anah, Rawa and Al-Qa’im, west of Anbar province, have been subjected to indiscriminate bombardment by warplanes and heavy artillery for several days which has killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians and destroying homes, shops and school buildings.The association explained that the same destructive approach is used by the government forces, the Popular Mobilisation Forces and the US-led coalition in dealing with cities controlled by Daesh.The statement quoted media reports which reveal that the government has imposed a tight siege on the city of Anah in preparation for storming it and that government warplanes and artillery carried out intensive and violent shelling against the town.The statement quoted testimonies of civilians who fled the city and said that “the situation in the city is tragic and the killing and destruction is on daily basis”.The people suffer from acute shortages of food and medicines which has affected their lives, they said. The association expressed concern that the situation could get more complicated, especially since dozens of civilians – mostly children, women and the elderly – who had escaped earlier did not find shelters or safe places to flee.middleeastmonitor
Int'l tribunal finds Myanmar guilty of 'genocide'
Kuala Lumpur:An international tribunal found the Myanmar government "guilty of genocide" against the Rohingya and other Muslim minorities."The tribunal ruled that Myanmar is guilty of genocide against the people of Kachin and Muslim groups there," Daniel Feierstein, head of seven-member Permanent Peoples' Tribunal, said.The Permanent Peoples' Tribunal was founded in Italy in 1979 and comprises 66 international members. Since its establishment, the tribunal has held 43 sessions on numerous cases involving human rights and genocide.The tribunal, which convened in Malaysian capital Kuala Lampur for five days, took into account various documentaries, expert evidence and testimony of some 200 victims of the atrocities committed against the Rohingya, Kachin and other Muslim minority groups. Since Aug. 25, some 429,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.
Amnesty: US bombs used to kill civilians in Yemen
A US-made bomb was used to strike a residential building in Yemen killing 16 civilians, Amnesty International has revealed.Assessments made from the remnants of shrapnel left over after the attack on 25 August revealed the use of US-made bombs by Saudi Arabia. The airstrike was targeted in Faj Attan, in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, destroying the building.Saudi Arabia confessed to the attack and claimed that it was a “technical error”. middleeastmonitor
Hamas: delegation’s visit to Russia ‘fruitful’
a Delegation from Hamas concluded a visit to the Russian capital, Moscow, which it described as “fruitful” in a statement issued on Thursday.Hamas stated that the movement’s delegation, headed by deputy head of the political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzook, met with Mikhail Bogdanov, Putin’s envoy to the Middle East and Africa, the Russian deputy foreign minister, and other foreign ministry officials.During the 3-hour meeting, Hamas’ delegation reviewed the developments of the Palestinian reconciliation and the latest developments in Cairo’s meetings, including the decision to dissolve the administrative committee and invite al-Wefaq (consensus) government to come to Gaza Strip and approve to hold the general elections, according to the statement. middleeastmonitor
Report: Hamas fearful after PA’s delay to implement reconciliation: middleeastmonitor
Hamas leaders have conveyed to the Egyptian govt their fears following the Palestinian Authority’s delay in taking positive steps to complete the Palestinian reconciliation process, Rai Al-Youm newspaper reported.The paper said it had learnt from “very well informed” Egyptian sources that Egypt is pressing hard on PA President Mahmoud Abbas and provided him with a timetable with emphasis on the importance of implementing the terms of the reconciliation initiative.According to the paper, Abbas issued directives to send a high-level political and bureaucratic delegation to Gaza Strip to discuss details of power transition after Hamas pledged to dissolve its administrative committee which runs the enclave. According to the newspaper, the delegation is supposed to arrive within 72 hours to begin the talks.
British MPs urge intervention to stop Israeli demolition of Palestinian village
More than two dozen British parliamentarians have urged the government to help thwart a possible Israeli demolition of an entire Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank.Israeli authorities could soon forcibly displace the residents of Palestinian Bedouin community Khan Al-Ahmar, the destruction of which would include the community’s school, made of tyres and mud, which educates 170 children aged between six and 14 years old.The letter to Alistair Burt, minister of state for the Middle East at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, was signed by 26 cross-party MPs from Labour, the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Greens and Scottish National Party.Council for Arab-British Understanding (Caabu), announcing the MPs’ letter, noted that many of the signatories have previously visited the village as part of parliamentary delegations. middleeastmonitor
‘Jewish extremists’ condemned for vandalising Jerusalem church
Council of Catholic Churches in Jerusalem yesterday condemned the attack by “Jewish extremists” on one its houses of worship and called on the Israeli government to do more to curtail the escalating violence against Christians in the holy land.Wednesday’s attack on St. Stephen Church in occupied Jerusalem resulted in the destruction of glass artwork and statues that depict the life of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary.The new patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine, Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, speaking to AsiaNews said that the incident “fits in with the pattern of past incidents” and was carried out by “some fanatics” whom he described as most likely being “Jewish extremists”. middleeastmonitor
Famous Saudi journalist  Khashoggi under fire for criticising govt
Famous Saudi journalist and writer Jamal Khashoggi has come under renewed criticism by Saudis, including Prince Khalid Al Saud after publishing an article on the Washington Post, Rassd.com reported yesterday.On his Twitter account, Khashoggi wrote: “Adherence to the leadership and the country is represented by saying the right word and casting advice. This is what I have done and what I will continue doing.”This post was one of his replies to the tirade of criticism he received following the publication of his article. Prince Khalid Al Saud wrote: “Save your advice for yourself. Our guided leadership does not need advice from you and your likes.” Khashoggis replied:"Be a little more humble Prince. The leadership which does not listen to its subject loses too much and it does not say ‘does not need your advice and your likes.’ All of us are partners in the country."“You advice your country through foreign papers!! You should follow the advice etiquettes in order to achieve your aim. This is how the loyal act.”On the Washington Post, Khashoggi discussed the latest suppressive measures taken by the Saudi regime, including the detention of a number of Muslim scholars. middleeastmonitor
War of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un is like fight between kindergarten children:Russia
Moscow: Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has likened the war of words between US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to a kindergarten fight between children.North Korean leader earlier labelled Trump "mentally deranged" and a "dotard" after Trump threatened to destroy his country. Trump responded with a tweet calling Kim Jong-un "a madman" who "will be tested like never before!Lavrov said a pause was needed, "to calm down the hotheads", BBC reported on Friday."Yes, it's unacceptable to silently watch North Korea's nuclear military adventures but it is also unacceptable to unleash war on the Korean Peninsula," he said.He called for a political process, which he said was a key part of the UNSC process.IANS
Frustrated China imposes limit on oil supply to North Korea as per UN sanctions
New Delhi:In a sign of growing frustration, China on Saturday imposed a limit on oil supplies to North Korea under United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile development, reported news agency AP. China is North Korea’s last major trading partner, diplomatic ally and energy supplier. The Commerce Ministry said the exports of refined petroleum to Pyongyang will be limited to 2 million barrels per year and sales of liquefied natural gas banned outright, effective January 1, 2018.It wasn’t immediately clear how big the reduction might possibly be as China doesn’t disclose details of trade with isolated North Korea. As per AP, ministry also said it will ban textile imports from the North. indianexpress

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:38 AM)


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