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Monday, 16 October 2017

16 Oct.NEWS DIGEST: Complete lack of interest by CBI in finding JNU student Najeeb:HC/Protesting Najeeb's mother, students forcefully evicted by cops

16 Oct.2017: 25 Muharram 1439:Vol:9, No:21
Complete lack of interest by CBI in finding JNU student Najeeb: Delhi high court
New Delhi: Delhi high court on Monday pulled up CBI over the manner of its probe into the disappearance of JNU student Najeeb Ahmad, who went missing in Oct.  last year, saying “there was complete lack of interest” on part of the agency in pursuing the case.A bench of justice GS Sistani and justice Chander Shekhar observed that there was “no result either way. No result even on paper”.The strong remarks came as the bench found contradictions in CBI’s submission in the court and its status report on the issue of analysis of the calls and messages of the suspected students in the case.The agency’s counsel said the call details records (CDR) of the accused in the case was analysed but the court noted that “it is not mentioned in the status report”.It made the remarks while hearing the plea of the missing student’s mother, Fatima Nafees, seeking directions from the court to trace her son, who disappeared from JNU’s Mahi-Mandvi hostel on Oct.16 last year.The student went missing after an altercation with some students belonging to ABVP. Later, students of RSS-affiliated ABVP denied any involvement in his disappearance. Delhi Police registered a kidnapping case and a SIT was formed to trace him. The probe was later handed to the Crime Branch. The reward for information about Najeeb’s whereabouts was increased by the police from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh but no one has come forward with any information.The court handed over the probe to the federal probe agency 5 months ago but there has been no information about 28-year-old whose disappearance remains the most talked-about issue on JNU campus.It said that the agency should reveal what it has found in its investigation so far. Irked by the lack of details in the status report, the court said the DIG was not supervising the investigation properly.“If this is the supervision of the DIG, what will happen when there is no supervision?...We direct the concerned DIG to ensure that the status report is filed under his signature or at least he should read them,” the court observed.The court said it will ask DIG to be present on next date of hearing but later dropped its order after CBI counsel assured it that they will submit a better status report next time. Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, who was representing Najeeb’s mother, told the court that agency has overlooked two aspects in its probe - CDR of 9 accused along with their location on that day and the examination of WhatsApp records of those people. The court also said it was “surprised” at the local court’s listing of the hearing date on the agency’s plea for recording consent of the accused to a polygraph test. hindustantimes
Najeeb's mother forcefully evicted outside Delhi HC
Fatima Nafees, mother of missing JNU student Najeeb, was forcefully evicted along with 30 others, mostly students, on Monday by the Delhi Police. They were protesting outside the high court. Earlier in the day, CBI faced flak from the judges for "complete lack of interest" in tracing him. Nafees and JNU students were detained when they tried to enter its premises, police sources said."Nearly 35 people including Najeeb's mother have been detained," DCP (New Delhi) B K Singh said. He said the detainees, mostly students, were taken to the Police Station. JNU students also alleged that the police "manhandled" Nafees in the name of detaining her and others. "Delhi Police officers told Nafees that this was not the only case they were handling and brutally manhandled her while detaining," Ex-JNUSU head Mohit Kumar Pandey alleged. Nafees had yesterday called for a protest outside the court if the probe agency did not submit a concrete status report. During a protest before the CBI HQRS two days ago, Nafees had warned of launching a larger agitation if the CBI failed to submit a concrete report in today's hearing.Outlook
One Year: Najeeb's Mother Dragged and Pulled by Cops
Najeeb's mother, students detained while protesting outside Delhi High Court
Taj Mahal Built by Traitors, Not Our History: BJP MLA Som
Soon after the UP  Govt courted controversy by leaving the Taj Mahal out of a state tourism booklet, BJP MLA Sangeet Som stirred a fresh debate by saying the Mughal-era mausoleum was built by ‘traitors’, and should find no place in Indian history. During a visit to Meerut district, the legislator from Sardhana said Taj Mahal was built by an emperor who had imprisoned his own father and had targeted many Hindus in his kingdom. Whereas in fact, Shah Jahan built Taj Mahal in memory of his wife and was imprisoned till the end of his days by his son Aurangzeb.The lives and achievement of the "real great men" of the country like Maharana Pratap and Shivaji would be taught in schools and colleges, Som said.Som also said no one can now stop the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya and Krishna Mandir in Mathura.In another debate on News18, Som clarified to journalist Bhupen Chaubey that his remarks were not on Taj Mahal but on the creators of the monument. He told the channel that there is not enough discussion on the sweat of the labourers who built Taj Mahal, and people usually just obsess over its beauty. He further clarified to the channel that history should be retold correctly with fact and Taj Mahal should not become a part of our history.TheQuint
Mughal ‘blot’ in our history is being changed: BJP’s Sangeet Som on Taj Mahal not in UP govt tourism booklet
 ‘Members can hold any view’: BJP distances itself from Som’s Taj Mahal remarks
Lucknow:BJP-led UP  Govt distanced itself on Monday from controversial comments by MLA Sangeet Som, who questioned the Taj Mahal’s place in history and said the iconic monument was built by “traitors” who targeted Hindus. The party also appeared to disown the Sardhana legislator’s remarks and called his comments on the 17th century structure his “individual view”.“ CM has made it clear that the Taj is part of our heritage. My Govt has already sanctioned Rs 155 crore for the development of parks and various facilities in and around Taj,” said state tourism minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi.When asked what she made of the BJP lawmaker’s claims, she said, “Well, every individual is free to make an opinion but as far as the Govt is concerned Taj is very much on our priority list.” Hindustantimes
Will Modi stop hoisting flag at Red Fort, asks Owaisi
Hyderabad:Flaying BJP leader Sangeet Som’s remark that Taj Mahal was built by traitors, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday wondered if PM Narendra Modi would stop hoisting the national flag on Red Fort.Hyderabad MP said it was very unfortunate and shameful that a legislator who had taken oath on the constitution was speaking out of arrogance and ignorance. “If what he says is true then why is Modi going to Red Fort and hoisting national flag because Red Fort was also built by traitors,”Owaisi said.He also challenged the Govt to ask UNESCO to remove Taj from the list of world heritage sites and ask tourists coming to India to stop visiting the monument. Owaisi said Modi should also stop hosting foreign dignitaries at Hyderabad House as this too was built by “traitors”.He said BJP leaders were raking up such issues to divert people’s attention as their Govt at the Centre had failed in providing jobs, tackling terrorism, failed in dealing with China and was also facing flak from common man because of demonetisation and GST.Voicing concern over the continuing attacks by “gaurakshaks” or cow vigilantes, he reiterated that Modi’s statement that attacks should stop was a mere lip service.IANS
Will govt now tell tourists not to visit Taj Mahal: Owaisi on Sangeet Som’s remarks
BJP should also demolish Red fort, Parliament as they were built by 'traitors': Harish Rawat
 Ex-CM of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat on Monday slammed BJP MLA Sangeet Som, who said Taj Mahal was built by "traitors", saying that the BJP should also demolish Red Fort as it was too built by Mughals."The Red Fort in Delhi was also built by traitors; we called them the ruler of India who made Taj Mahal. You have demolished Babri Masjid, so all BJP members should demolish Taj Mahal and Red fort also. Few other traitors have also made Rashtrapati Bhavan and Indian Parliament, they should also be demolished," said Rawat.ANI
Taj Mahal missing from tourist map will cause 25% drop in tourists, caution experts
Taj Mahal has been India’s perennial cash cow for tourism. Almost 70% of visitors to India and domestic tourists have the monument on their must-see list. In fact, say tour operators, visitors choosing the most popular Golden Triangle, Delhi-Agra-Jaipur route, often skip Jaipur but rarely has there been any one who wanted to skip Agra and consequently  Taj.“We have had foreign tourists who have booked the Golden Triangle and then skipped Jaipur and its palaces and forts and extended their time at Agra to see the Taj Mahal,” said Dipak Deva, MD of TCI SITA, Thomas Cook India Group.What is the tourist inflow to Agra and consequently the Taj like? Here are the figures. There was a 4% drop in visitors to the Taj Mahal in 2016, owing to renovation to the famed monument – its dome and minarets. In 2016, number of tourists visiting Agra and the Taj Mahal dropped to 62.42 lakh from 65.14 lakh in 2015.Take away the Taj Mahal from India's tourism map and tourist inflow and revenues will drop by 25% says Deva of Thomas Cook India.Subhash Goyal, president, confederation of Indian Tour Professionals says that they are expecting a 15 to 20% rise in tours to Taj Mahal in the current year. firstpost
Tipu Sultan a greater freedom fighter than Gandhi: Jnanaprakash Swamiji
Bengaluru: Remarks by Jnanaprakash Swamiji of Urilingapeddi Mutt, Mysuru, hailing the ruler of erstwhile Mysore Tipu Sultan and placing him above Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and Jawaharlal Nehru in the freedom fighter’s list, has raised many eyebrows and stoked a new controversy.While addressing a massive gathering during PFI’s grand conference ‘We Also Have Something to Say’ at Palace Ground on Saturday, he said that considering the sacrifices made by Tipu Sultan for the country, his statue should have been installed at Red Fort.“Tipu Sultan fought the British and even pledged his two sons during the freedom struggle. Gandhi and Nehru did not do it. We should have Tipu’s statue installed atop Red Fort,” he said, adding, “We have statues of Rani Channamma, Madakari Nayaka and Sangolli Rayanna, why not of freedom fighter Tipu,” he questioned. Lashing out at BJP, Jnanaprakash Swamiji said, “India has become a kingdom of lies and a country of murderers since the BJP has come to power. Those who were attempting to tell the truth are being silenced through bullets.”Calling for unity among Muslims, Dalits and Christians, the pontiff said that there was a need to change India for better. “India is not Danagala Bharatha, this is Janagala Bharatha (India is not a country of cows, it’s a country of people). We will build a country of people and you Modi build a country of cows,” he lamented.The pontiff further said that those who were killing cows were being jailed and those who were killing people were ruling the country. “In India, there is respect for cows, but not human being. Instead of changing India to a better India, the Modi is calling for Congress-free country. Tomorrow he will call for Muslim-free country and then Buddhist and Jains. They have systematically planned everything,” Swamiji said.Taking a dig at BJP’s slogan ‘Achche Din’, he said it has come only to party president Amith Shah’s son and Ambani.  Deccan Chronicle.
Yashwant Sinha targets Modi govt, wants ‘lokshakti’ to check ‘rajshakti’
Mumbai:Former Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha once again trained his guns on the economic policies of the Modi-led Govt and called for ‘lokshakti’ (people’s power) to check ‘rajshakti’ (govt).Speaking at an event organised by farmers’ NGO Shetkari Jagar Manch at Akola in Vidarbha region on Sunday, he also attacked the central Govt over demonetisation and implementation of GST.Referring to socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan, Sinha appealed for a ‘lok shakti’ movement which will keep a check on ‘raj-satta’ (govt).“Let us start this lokshakti initiative from Akola,” he said, adding: “As it is, we are already facing recession. And what are numbers. Numbers can prove one thing and with the same numbers, the other side can also be proven.”HT
Scholars divided on women attempting Haj without 'mehram': dnaindia
The recommendation of the Central Haj Committee to the Ministry of Minority Affairs to allow women in groups of four above the age of 45 years of age to travel for Haj without a mehram (a close male relative), has led to several Muslim scholars to oppose it, saying Islam does not permit.Uzma Naheed, part of Markazi Majlis-e-Amla (Central Working Committee) of Muslim Majlis Mushawarat, feels that the move might prove to be problematic for women."Travel to Haj is not easy. It requires a lot of physical exertion, and is one of the main reasons why women prefer having a male companion," said Naheed. Maulana Wali Rehman of AIMPLB said that the controversy is unnecessary. "Some schools of thought allow women to travel without a mehram while others do not. The report of the Central Haj Committee does not compel anyone," said Rehman.Kamal Farooqui of the AIMPLB, who was part of the Central Haj Committee, says that there is no compulsion. "Saudi Arabia allows women to travel alone, and there has been no compulsion on anyone in India," said Farooqui.
Delhi tops global survey of worst megacities for sexual violence against women: Reuters
New Delhi/Sao Paulo: Five years after the fatal gang rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi, the Indian capital was on Monday paired with Brazil’s Sao Paulo as the world’s worst megacities for sexual violence against women in a poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.The December 2012 attack of a 23-year-old woman was a watershed in the fight for women’s rights in India, the world’s largest democracy, prompting thousands to take to the streets demanding action against rising sex attacks.The public outcry not only forced authorities to strengthen gender laws, establish speedy courts for rape and set up a fund for rape victims, but also opened up the conversation on sexual violence in the largely conservative, patriarchal nation.However Delhi – a metropolis of more than 26 million people – remains known as India’s “rape capital”.And alongside Sao Paulo, it came joint bottom in the survey when experts on women’s issues were polled about the risk women run of encountering sexual violence in 19 different megacities. “I’m not surprised by the results as they’re based on perceptions. India and Brazil have seen a lot of media attention on sexual violence in recent years,” said Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, head of UN Women in India who also worked in Brazil.“Sexual violence in both these cities is, of course, a reality, but there isn’t any definitive data to suggest that rates are higher in Delhi and Sao Paulo than any other city.”Survey asked 380 experts in cities with populations of more than 10 million to assess the risk of sexual violence and harmful cultural practices to women, as well as rank women’s access to health care and economic opportunities.Public awareness on sex attacks in Delhi has surged since the Delhi bus attack and thrown a global spotlight on gender violence in the world’s second most populous nation.Indian newspapers offer a daily array of sex crimes. Girls molested in school, professional women raped by taxi drivers while commuting home, village teens duped, trafficked and sold to brothels in red-light districts of cities.Brazilians are fed a similar diet, with multiple reports of assaults on women and girls in Sao Paulo – Brazil’s most populous city with 21 million people, according to UN figures.
Denied food because she did not have Aadhaar-linked ration card, Jharkhand girl dies of starvation
An 11-year-old girl in Jharkhand’s Simdega district has died of starvation last fortnight, months after her family’s ration card was cancelled because it was not linked to their Aadhaar number, say Right to Food Campaign activists. With no school mid-day meals available during her Durga Puja holidays, Santoshi Kumari had gone with barely any food for nearly eight days before she died, they said.Santoshi Kumari, who came from an impoverished family in Simdega’s Karimati village, died on Sept.28. With no land, jobs or steady income, the family is eligible for subsidised rations under National Food Security Act. However, according to local news reports and an independent fact-finding report by members of the non-profit Right to Food Campaign and NREGA Watch, the local ration dealer had refused to give Santoshi’s family their rations for the past six months on the grounds that their ration card had not been linked – or “seeded”, as its known in official language – to their Aadhaar number.His move followed a Central Govt order in Feb.making Aadhaar compulsory for accessing subsidised food grain through the Public Distribution System. Even before that, as has extensively reported in its Identity Project series, several ration shops in Jharkhand, Rajasthan and other states have been denying rations to eligible citizens by insisting on biometric authentication linked to Aadhaar instead of accepting people’s ration cards. scroll
Gujarat riots derailed BJP in 2004 polls: Pranab Mukherjee
2002 riots in Gujarat was "possibly the biggest blot" on the Vajpayee Govt and that could have cost BJP 2004 Lok Sabha elections, says former President Pranab Mukherjee. In the third volume of his autobiography titled "Coalition Years 1996-2012", he also feels ruling NDA's "India Shining" campaign spawned the opposite outcome and the Vajpayee Govt was routed in an election against most predictions that predicted a majority to BJP-led coalition. "Throughout this period (of Vajpayee govt) demand for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya had been building up. The heightened communal tension had a distressing fallout in Gujarat which witnessed a communal carnage in 2002."This provoked widespread riots in many cities of Gujarat. Possibly the biggest blot on Vajpayee's govt, it may have been Godhra that cost BJP next polls," says Mukherjee in a chapter on "First Full Term Non-Congress Govt". IANS
Why delay in Gujarat poll dates, Election Commission must explain: JD(U)’s Pavan Varma
New Delhi: JDU national general secretary Pavan Varma Monday morning questioned Election Commission’s decision not to announce dates for elections to Gujarat Assembly along with that of Himachal Pradesh, saying ‘credible answers were needed’.Varma, an official spokesperson for the party, tweeted: “EC must not only be impartial but seen to be so. Why have the dates for Gujarat elections not been announced? We need credible answers.”JD(U), member of ruling NDA, is currently governing Gujarat in alliance with the BJP. indianexpress
Rajnath’s remark is ‘admission’ that Kashmir not part of India: Hurriyat
Srinagar:Syed Ali Shah Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference said Sunday that Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s remark suggesting Vallabhbhai Patel was not allowed to act freely to solve the Kashmir issue, was an “admission” that Kashmir was not a part of India. Singh said had Patel, India’s first deputy PM , been allowed to act freely by then PM Jawaharlal Nehru, India would not have been facing the Kashmir issue on Sunday. Hurriyat Conference spokesman said Singh’s remark was an “admission that Kashmir is not part of India”. He said Kashmir “continues to be a dispute” and India itself took it to the UN.PTI
China, India can help solve Rohingya crisis: Chinese daily
India and China can jointly lead efforts to solve Rohingya crisis by offering humanitarian aid to Myanmar's conflict-ridden Rakhine state, an article in state-run media has said. "Given the interests Beijing and New Delhi share with Myanmar, 2 could cooperate in offering humanitarian aid to Rakhine state, assist Bangladesh in resettlement of refugees, enhance economic cooperation with Myanmar," according to the article in Global Times."...China and India can also promote greater integration of trade and investment in the area, including Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor." IANS
Ram temple in Ayodhya by next Diwali:Subramanian S.
Patna:Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Sunday said construction of the proposed Ram temple in Ayodhya will commence soon and it will be ready to receive devotees by next Diwali. Hurdles in the way of the proposed Ram temple are being removed, Swami said without elaborating. “Construction of the temple is likely to begin sooner than later. This week we will be celebrating Diwali and by next Diwali the Ram temple is likely to be ready to receive devotees,” he said addressing a seminar here organised by the Bihar unit of Virat Hindustan Sangam (VHS), which he has floated. MP said for electoral success “it is essential that the ideology of Hindutva is never lost sight of”.Swami said VHS would make efforts for the construction of a grand temple dedicated to Lord Ram’s consort Sita at Sitamarhi in north Bihar, believed to be her birthplace. “It is impossible to think of Maryada Purushottam Sri Rama without his companion Jagat Janani Janaki”.PTI
‘Assaulted Dalit girl’s father does not want action’
Lucknow:A Dalit man in Muzaffarnagar’s, Pachenda Kala village, whose 19-year-old daughter was allegedly assaulted by 4 Jat women, has said he did not want action against the accused, said police. Police, however, said women had been booked under SC/ST(Prevention of Atrocities) Act on a complaint lodged by the victim’s father Ajay and probe is on. Police said 5 involved in the alleged incident are classmates in college. Circle Officer Rajiv Kumar Gautam said,“ Complainant alleged that one of the accused made casteist remarks on his daughter Pragati. They had an argument Friday and Pragati was allegedly assaulted by four women. She suffered a minor head injury.” The incident had triggered tension in the village, prompting police to tighten security. indianexpress
‘Ahmednagar constable suspended for criticising PM’
Ahmednagar:A police constable was suspended for allegedly criticising PM  Narendra Modi in a WhatsApp post, police said. Ramesh Shinde is posted as a bodyguard of Congress MLA and ex-minister Balasaheb Thorat, they said.Shinde, allegedly criticised Modi in a WhatsApp post recently, police said. PTI
Journalists’ Unions Condemn Defamation Case Filed By Jay Shah Against The Wire
In a resolution passed on Oct. 15, Delhi Union of Journalists and National Alliance of Journalists have condemned the criminal defamation case filed by Jay Shah against The Wire. BJP president’s son filed the case after The Wire published an investigative report detailing the sudden increase in turnover of a company owned by Jay Shah after the Modi Govt came to power.This case, the journalists’ groups said, is part of a larger pattern of defamation cases being filed to “target journalists and news agencies” and “terrorise or browbeat them”. thewire
Assamese Muslims seek NRC entry as original inhabitants
 Guwahati:Leaders of indigenous Assamese Muslim population today demanded that members of the community must be included as ‘original inhabitants’ in National Register of Citizens.They alleged that a section of vested interest circles is trying to mislead the NRC update process which has made the local indigenous population apprehensive about non-inclusion of their names in NRC. Nekibur Zaman said that the Assamese Muslim population has a history of 800 years in India and they must be given a fair deal like any another Indian citizen.“If necessary, a special committee should be formed to streamline the process so that names of no Indian citizen are left out,” Zaman said.“We are the sons of the soil and the State Govt should take necessary and immediate action against those trying to conspire against indigenous Muslim population in the State,” said representatives from Goria Moria Desi Jatiya Parishad. Assamtribune
Alwar Muslim family to get back its 51 bovines 'snatched' 10 days ago
Jaipur: A Muslim family in Alwar district is set to get back its 51 bovines, which were shifted to a cow shelter more than 10 days back, as the district administration has verified it as their rightful owner, officials said. Police had shifted the cows and calves to Shri Krishna Gaushala Samiti in Bambora area on Oct.3 on a complaint by villagers that a road was blocked due to the unattended animals.The cow shelter is owned by Kishan Gupta who is associated with the BJP. Gupta said the police had gone to the cow shelter with villagers and left the animals there.The owner of the bovines, Subba Khan, was not present there at that time and when he came to know about the shifting of the animals, he approached the SDM to get them back.PTI
Kirkuk offensive: Thousands flee as Iraqi army advances
Thousands of people are leaving the Iraqi city of Kirkuk as the Iraqi army advances on Kurdish military positions around the city.Federal forces, backed by Shia militia, have launched a major offensive over two fronts on Monday, aimed at retaking the Kurdish-held city.Al Jazeera's Charles Stratford, reporting from the outskirts of Kirkuk, said an increasing number of Kirkuk residents were trying to flee."Thousands of cars are filling the roads leading out of Kirkuk and the numbers are increasing. There is a lot of fear in the city [due to] the Iraqi army's advance."Iraqi army said it has seized control of the city's airport, in addition to an oil field, the strategic K1 military base and the Taza Khormatu district southeast of Kirkuk. Hundreds of armed Kurdish residents were taking up positions inside the city, anticipating an attack.KRSC said in their statement that "Peshmerga will continue to defend Kurdistan, its people and interests.""This was an unprovoked attack following days of Iraqi military deployments to Kurdistan's borders."Hemin Hawrami, senior assistant to Kurdish Regional Govt (KRG) President Masoud Barzani, also said on Twitter that Peshmerga forces had been ordered "not to initiate any war, but if any advancing militia starts shooting", then they had the "green light to use every power" to respond. aljazeera
Baghdad: Iraqi forces in full control of Kirkuk
Iraqi army says it has taken full control of Kirkuk following a major advance on Kurdish-held territories.The federal Govt in Baghdad and sources inside the city said on Monday that Iraqi security forces had captured the governorate building in the centre of Kirkuk. According to security forces,troops moved inside building with no opposition from Kurdish forces. There was no immediate comment from Kurdish authorities.Aljazeera
Mosul struggles to get back on its feet after IS, nearly 7 lakh still displaced:AFP
Baghdad:Nearly 700000 Iraqis from former jihadist stronghold of Mosul and nearby areas are still displaced despite the city's recapture in July, Norwegian Refugee Council said Sunday. "One year since the start of the battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group, some 6,73,000 Iraqis from the city and its surroundings remain displaced and unable to go back to their destroyed neighbourhoods," it said. "More than half of them may have lost their official civil documents - from birth certificates to property deeds - which will make rebuilding their lives even harder," added humanitarian group.
Israel approves settler housing in the heart of Hebron
For the first time in 15 years, Israel's civil administration has approved the construction of settlement housing units in the Palestinian city of Hebron.Israel is planning to build 31 housing units in the settlement of Beit Romano in Hebron's Old City, on a site that used to be a bus station on Shuhada Street. Next to it, an Israeli military base operates from what used to be a Palestinian school.Shuhada Street, Old City's main commercial artery, has been shut down by the Israeli army since 1994, forcing many shops to close. Palestinians have been banned from accessing the street, costing many their livelihoods and their homes." Decision [to build new settler housing] challenges the international community and violates international laws and agreements," Issa Amro, spokesperson for the Youth Against Settlements activist group in Hebron, said. aljazeera
Following Blair’s comments, Hamas calls for cancelling condition to recognise Israel
After ex-British PM  Tony Blair said the international community was wrong to do as Israel wanted to isolate Hamas, the movement has called for the condition that it recognise Israel before being included in negotiations to be retracted, the Safa news agency reported.On Twitter, member of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Mousa Abu-Marzouk also called on the international community to alleviate the inhumane suffering of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israel’s oppressive siege.In an interview with the British newspaper, the Guardian, Blair said that he, along with world leaders, had committed a mistake when they came under Israeli pressure and did not recognise Hamas’ victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections.“In retrospect, I think we should have, right at the very beginning, tried to pull [Hamas] into a dialogue and shifted their positions,” the Guardian newspaper reported Blair saying. middleeastmonitor
Egypt backtracks on opening Rafah border with Gaza
Egyptian authorities announced that they had decided to postpone the opening of the Rafah border with the Gaza Strip after 6 soldiers were killed in the Sinai province, according to PIC. Despite planning to open the crossing for four days from today, Hesham Udwan, head of the Commission of Crossings and Borders, notified Gazan authorities of the change after clashes between militants and the Egyptian army in the region. Egypt had announced that the crossing was to be opened to allow urgent medical aid through to the besieged coastal enclave, particularly in light of the reconciliation of rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas. Middleeastmonitor
PA official in Gaza to take over running of crossings
Nazmi Muhanna, general director of the Palestinian Crossing and Borders Authority, arrived in the Gaza Strip this morning in accordance with reconciliation agreement in order to assume his duties of managing Gaza’s crossings.Muhanna stated that the delegation has arrived in Gaza in order to implement the agreed upon terms regarding crossings in the Gaza Strip.He also stated that he has come to Gaza on orders by Mahmoud Abbas in order to discuss the first article of the agreement, in the hope of positive results.Muhanna met with DG of Gaza Internal Security Force, Tawfiq Abu Naeem, in order to discuss mechanisms of handing over Gaza’s crossings, in accordance with the reconciliation agreement’s terms, signed in Cairo.MEM
UK academics condemn university’s ‘deference’ to Israeli embassy
43 academics from the University of Manchester (UoM) have signed an open letter condemning senior figures at the university for suppressing free speech in “deference” to Israeli Ambassador, Mark Regev.In the letter addressed to the President of University,Professor Nancy Rothwell, academics protested against senior staff at the UoM who held a meeting with the Israeli embassy prior to an event organised by the university’s student Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign earlier this year.Recounting the incident from this year’s Israeli Apartheid Week, the letter states that “while the event went ahead, speech of a Jewish Holocaust survivor was arrogantly censored and labelled ‘anti-semitic’.”The academics confirmed details of the university’s unwarranted restrictions on free speech saying “the right to superintend the meeting by university academic staff was usurped by institutional appointees, restrictions were placed on advertising the event, and the whole thing was filmed in what amounted to an implicit threat of further action should the institution’s definition of what constitutes reasonable arguments be breached”.middleeastmonitor
Egypt:6 troops, 24 attackers killed in Sinai attacks
At least 6 Egyptian soldiers and 24 attackers have been killed in a series of assaults on security posts in northern Sinai, according to security and hospital officials.Dozens of fighters on Sunday used heavy machine guns and mortars to carry out a series of near-simultaneous attacks at and around the town of Sheikh Zweid. Army said 24 attackers were killed and 1 was wounded, while 2 of fighters' SUVs were destroyed. aljazeera
Thousands of new Rohingya refugees flee violence, hunger in Myanmar to Bangladesh
Hungry, destitute and scared, thousands of new Rohingya refugees crossed the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar early on Monday, Reuters witnesses said, fleeing attacks by Buddhist mobs and hunger that UN has called ethnic cleansing.Wading through waste-deep water with children strapped to their sides, Rohingya said how they had walked through bushes and forded monsoon-swollen streams for days from Myanmar’s Buthidaung region before reaching the border. A seemingly never-ending line entered Bangladesh near the village of Palongkhali. Many were injured, with the elderly on makeshift stretchers, and women balanced family belongings - pots, rice sacks, clothing - on their heads.“We couldn’t step out of the house for the last month because military were looting people. They started firing on the village. So we escaped into another village,” said Mohammad Shoaib. They walked to join some 536,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled Myanmar since Aug.25.Refugees who arrived in Bangladesh today said they were driven out by hunger because food markets in Myanmar’s Rakhine state have been shut down and aid deliveries restricted. They also reported attacks by the military and Rakhine Buddhist mobs. Reuters
Myanmar journalists 'harassed' for reporting on Rohingya crisis: aljazeera
Sitting in a Yangon cafe, Min Min scrolls through old photos of a bombing attack on his house in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state. Journalist told Al Jazeera that he was targeted last year due to his reporting of the Rohingya crisis.It is a risky business, he said."If I keep trying to investigate the truth about issues in Rakhine state, my life could be in danger," Min, the editor of the Rakhine Investigative Agency, said.The young journalist revealed that his monthly political magazine had to reduce its coverage of the mainly-Muslim minority group during the recent incidents in the western town of Maungdaw."We had to be silent, we almost don't cover it because we have to be very careful," Min said.Al Jazeera's Yaara Bou Melhem, reporting from Yangon, said the pro-Govt narrative is evident in the daily newspaper headlines.One was about authorities saying they will continue to fight what they call "Islamic terrorism" in Rakhine state, she reported. aljazeera
Catalan leader refuses to clarify independence stance
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has failed to clarify whether or not Catalonia plans to break away from Spain, and has instead called for talks.Spain's PM Mariano Rajoy had given Puigdemont until Monday to make his position clear and until Thursday to change his mind if he called to secede. Rajoy has threatened that Madrid would suspend Catalonia's autonomy if Puigdemont chooses secession.In his letter to Rajoy on Monday before the deadline, Puigdemont did not directly answer yes or no to whether he is declaring independence, and said the 2 sides should meet "in spite of everything that has happened".Spanish Vice President Saenz Santamaria gave Puigdemont 3 day extension to clarify his stand.aljazeera
 500 casualties in Somalia’s worst bombing: the guardian
The death toll in the bombing that hit the centre of Mogadishu on Saturday continues to rise, with more than 300 people now believed to have been killed and hundreds more seriously injured. The scale of the loss makes the attack, which involved a truck packed with several hundred kilograms of military-grade and homemade explosives, one of the most lethal terrorist acts anywhere in the world for many years.On Monday, Somalia’s information minister announced that 276 people had died in the attack with at least 300 people injured. Within hours, however, Abdikadir,director of Amin ambulances, said his service had confirmed that 300 people died in the blast. The Guardian
Hindu-Muslim marriage stuck in Supreme Court:bbc
SC should not deliver its judgement on Ayodhya before the 2019 election:Ajaz Ashraf
Was Modi’s War on Cronyism Just Another ‘Jumla’?Swati Chaturvedi
NDA govt promised to transform India in 60 months. 40 months later, future looks bleak and bluffing: Kapil Sibal
Vengara bypoll: Resurgent SDPI pushes BJP back to fourth slot: Sanjay Mohan
LIGO and Telescopes Spot Spectacular Neutron Star Cataclysm in Record-Breaking Discovery
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:25 PM)

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