01 January 2018

01 Jan. ND: Assam recognises 19 million as citizens in first NRC draft, 13.9 million more wait for status/ Triple Talaq bill likely to be tabled in Rajya Sabha tomorrow

01 Jan.2018: 12 Rabial Aakhir 1439:Vol:9, No:87
Assam recognises 19 million as citizens in first NRC draft, 13.9 million more wait for status
Guwahati: A part of a much-awaited list that aims to separate the genuine residents of border state Assam and illegal Bangladeshi immigrants was released Sunday midnight.The first part draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam that came out amid watertight security recognises 19 million people out of a total 32.9 million applicants as Indian citizens.Registrar general of India Shailesh said there was no need to panic as the verification process for the rest of the applicants was underway. “Everybody should be patient to wait for the release of the final draft,” he said.NRC is being updated in Assam for the first time after 1951 with the aim of identifying those who may have entered the state from Bangladesh after March 25, 1971 — a sensitive issue that led to a movement by the state’s indigenous people in the 1980s. Many fear an unabated influx, which has been going on for close to a century, is a threat to Assam’s identity.No timeline has been fixed for the release of the complete draft but officials say the process, which is being monitored by the Supreme Court, could take a few more months.Muslims in the state are worried about whether their names will be included in the list. But with the first part draft getting published and hopes of inclusion of all names in the final draft, there’s a sense of relief.Individuals, who can prove links with family members whose names appeared in 1951 NRC or subsequent electoral rolls till March 25, 1971 will be included in the updated NRC.Physical verification of the updated first draft has begun at over 4,200 NRC centres across Assam. Long queues of people waiting to check their names were seen at several centres since early morning. hindustantimes
1st draft of NRC for Assam with 19 million names released
Mahram for women going to Haj is a religious issue, can't be decided by legislation: AIMPLB
New Delhi: A day after PM Narendra Modi announced the removal of restriction on women who go for Haj without a male guardian, AIMPLB secretary Maulana Abdul Hamid Azhari said that the Haj is a religious issue, which cannot be decided by a legislation.On Sunday, the Prime Minister, while addressing the nation in his monthly radio address 'Mann Ki Baat', had said that his government has removed the discriminatory practice where Muslim women were required to travel for Haj only in the company of 'mahram', or male guardian.Azhari's criticism was seconded by another member of the AIMPLB, Khalid Saif Ullah Rehmanai ."She will be safe and secure if accompanied by 'mahram'. However this is my personal view," Rehmanai said.AIMPLB's objection came close on the heels of a similar criticism raised by Hyderabad-based seminary, Jamia Nizamia. Anwar Ahmed who is a professor in the seminary suggested that the government should, instead, empower the Muslim women through education."Instead of focusing on such issues, the central government should introduce some initiatives like education schemes that will help the Muslim women in real sense, Will the government take of our women in 'mahram' does not go with them?" He had asked.The organisation also said that the decision to allow women to travel without a male escort is against Sharia Rule."According to the Sharia, if a women wants to perform Haj, it should be done in the company of 'mahram'. If women perform Haj without 'mahram' it means that they are not following Sharia," said Obedullah from Jamia Nizamia.TOI
'We follow Islam, not Modi': AIMPLB on allowing Muslim women to travel for Haj without male guardian
No Lottery Requirement For Women Wanting To Go For Haj Without Male Guardian: Govt
PM trying to take undue credit for Saudi Govt relaxing norms for women Haj pilgrims: Cong
New Delhi: Congress on Monday charged Prime Minister Narendra Modi of claiming personal credit for a recent relief granted to women Haj pilgrims by the Government of Saudi Arabia which allows them freedom to travel alone.Reacting to PM's remarks in his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme that the present government had changed the rule that required a Muslim woman wanting to go to Haj to be accompanied by a male guardian, Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed said, 'trying to take undue credit. Saudi Government has relaxed the rule. An Indian woman is free to travel alone, inside or outside the country from before Modi era. For Haj, if rules are not followed Saudi will not issue Visa. Fooling own followers?'UNI
WebQoof: Did Modi Govt Relax Rules For Muslim Women Going to Haj?
Owaisi rejects PM Modi’s claim on Haj journey of Muslim women
Hyderabad: MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday rejected claims by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he had facilitated Muslim women’s travel for Haj without ‘Mahram’.Hyderabad MP said that a regulation by Haj authorities of Saudi Arabia was in force for many years which allow women above the age of 45 years to perform Haj without a ‘Mahram’ if they travel with a group.He told reporters here that women above 45 years of age from Indonesia, Malaysia and several other countries had been performing Haj under this Saudi regulation.MP said if Modi had so much concern for Muslim women, he should do justice to Zakia Jafri, widow of former MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the 2002 Gujarat riots.“This is all tokenism. If Modi is really concerned about Muslim women, he should provide 7 percent reservation for them in education. He has two-third majority in Parliament and he can bulldoze a bill in this regard,” MP said. On the passing of a bill in Lok Sabha over triple talaq, MIM President said that if it became a legislation, it would be the biggest injustice to Muslim women.He argued that since marriage in Islam was a civil contract, there could be no penal provision. He also pointed out that the Supreme Court in its order on the issue did not ask the government to bring a criminal law.“Govt is saying that Muslim countries have banned triple talaq but the fact is that there is no penal provision in any Muslim country.”Owaisi alleged that the real objective of the govt was to do away with all forms of talaq and snatch Sharia from Muslims. MP said abandonment of married women was a bigger problem than divorce. Hindustantimes
Triple Talaq bill likely to be tabled in Rajya Sabha tomorrow
According to reports, the Centre is keen to get the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 passed by parliament in the winter session which ends on Jan.5.The bill was passed with most of the leading parties in the Opposition, including the Congress party, voting in favour of the bill, but with caveats. It was passed after the House rejected a string of amendments moved by various Opposition members.The bill may have been passed without any amendments in the lower house but a tougher numbers game in the upper house awaits the bill as the government lacks majority and the opposition. And if the Opposition insists on vetting the bill by a parliamentary panel, it will lead to delay and be passed only in the next session of parliament. oneindia
Triple Talaq bill: Opposition to meet to decide on stand in Rajya Sabha
Opposition parties such as the Congress, DMK, Left and Trinamool Congress will go into a huddle on Tuesday to decide their stand in the Rajya Sabha on the bill to criminalise the practice of instant triple talaq.Several opposition parties had demanded amendments and sought a review by a standing committee of Parliament before the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill was passed by a voice vote in the Lower House last Thursday.The bill will now be sent to the Rajya Sabha for passage before it is forwarded to the President for signing it into law.“We will take a collective decision after talking to other political parties,” a senior leader of the Congress party said.Sources said that opposition parties may avoid taking an individual stance vis-à-vis the triple talaq bill as it might send a wrong message when the government has pitched the bill as a major step for women rights and empowerment.Also, pushing the bill to a standing committee can also be seen as an effort to delay its passage.HT
Congress wants anti-triple talaq Bill to be diluted before it comes up in Rajya Sabha.
 Anti-triple talaq petitioner Ishrat joins Bengal BJP, targets Mamata
Ishrat Jahan, one of the petitioners in the triple talaq case, has joined BJP, the party's state unit general secretary Sayantan Basu said on Monday. "Ishrat Jahan joined BJP at our Howrah office on Sunday," Basu told PTI. Sources said Ishrat was felicitated by the Howrah BJP unit on Sunday and inducted into the party. Jahan, one of the five petitioners in the case against instant triple talaq, had faced boycott from her community after the Supreme Court verdict, but that has not stopped her from continuing her fight. She said she would use the platform to work for all women, and not just Muslim women. firstpost
AIMPLB thanks DMK leader Stalin for asking Centre to send  talaq bill to standing committee
AIMPLB today thanked DMK working president MK Stalin for having asked the Centre to send the Bill that criminalises triple talaq to a standing committee. Led by Sajjad Nomani, AIMPLB office bearers called on Stalin at his residence here and thanked him, a party release said. Stalin had denounced the Centre for the "haste" shown in getting the 'triple talaq' bill passed in the Lok Sabha and wanted it to be referred to a standing committee. PTI
Triple Talaq bill is unjustified: Geelani
Srinagar:Syed Ali Geelani termed triple talaq bill and allowing the Muslim women without Mehram as unjustified and interference with the religious matters of Muslim community, saying it is also an affront to the Muslim Personal Law. Criminalizing the instant divorce practice and making it punishable offence is condemnable, Geelani as per the statement issued to KNS said, adding that altering and inducing amendments without taking into consideration the Islamic jurisprudence is sheer violation of Islamic practice. Geelani expressed his deep concern and voicing serious reservations over provisions of the bill said that bill passed in Indian parliament were tantamount to infringement on rights of Muslim community in India.Interference in religious matters is unacceptable, saying it has proved beyond doubt that BJP, RSS and Shiv Senna like fanatical factions are promoting their specific and biased dogma and while ignoring the interests and trampling the rights of other communities, are hell-bent to proclaim India as Hindu Rashtra, added Geelani.brighterkashmir
Triple Talaq Bill shuts the door on reconciliation between a Husband and wife:women intellectuals
Lucknow: The women intellectuals from the Muslim community feel that, the triple talaq bill passed by the Lok Sabha actually prevents reconciliation between a wife and her husband. According to the news reported in HT, the women also say that the bill does not provide protection to the Muslim women and it actually disempowers them.Irene Akbar, a former journalist who has initiated the campaign “StandupforMuslimmen’ on the social media, said that “This divorce bill does nothing to empower women. It only disempowers her by letting anybody put her husband in jail, irrespective of whether he actually uttered ‘talaq’ in one-go.”A retired Civil Servant, Parveen Talha, said that “Bill will not ensure protection for women. The Supreme Court has already declared triple talaq unacceptable, which means the marriage can’t be dissolved.”Parveen Talha is also an author of a novel titled ‘A Word Thrice Uttered’ on triple divorce. She further asks that “When divorce has not taken place, how can the man be punished?” siasat
Muzaffarnagar riots: 4 years on, efforts begin for compromise between Muslims and Jats
Lucknow: 4 years after communal riots ravaged Muzaffarnagar, leaders of Muslim and Jat communities have started efforts for a compromise to restore communal harmony in the region.A committee of 20 members, comprising social leaders and riot victims, has been constituted to contact the families of victims as well as the accused in nine riot-hit villages of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts.More than 60 people were killed and over 50,000 rendered homeless during the riots that broke out in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts in Sept.2013 following a girl’s harassment in Kawal village of Charthawal area of Muzaffarnagar. A SIT charge-sheeted many villagers, leaving people worried that cases lodged against the youths from both the communities would spoil their future.Meanwhile, some families of riot victims opposed the efforts for compromise, saying it would deprive them of justice.On Dec.26, a group of riot victims and representatives of both the communities met SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav in Delhi and sought his support for the peace effort.National president of Bharatiya Kisan Mazdoor Manch, Gulam Mohammed Jaula said Yadav assured his support.It was suggested during the meeting that efforts to restore harmony should begin from the worst affected village. Purbaliyan village of Muzaffarnagar, where four people were killed in the riots, was selected to begin the peace efforts.A meeting of social and political leaders was also held in Muzaffarnagar on Sunday, which was attended by Jaula, BSP leader Qadir Rana, former MP Harendra Malik, BKU chief Naresh Tikait and some khap leaders.It was decided that the committee will approach riot victims and also the accused in the affected villages and prepare a blueprint for a compromise. Tikait said efforts were underway to ensure communal harmony in the region. “Violence can never be a solution to any problem. People have realised that riots had its cascading effect on both the communities. Peace and harmony is possible only through dialogue,” he said. hindustantimes
On Mulayam prodding, Muslims, Jats agree to take back riot cases
UP Cow slaughter case: 5 women held, cops probe if two are ‘minors’
Lucknow : An inquiry was ordered on Saturday into the arrest of five women on charges of cow slaughter and attempt to murder, among others, in Khatauli police station area of Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, following allegations that two of those held are minors.In all, nine people were arrested in the case when police conducted a raid at a house in Islam Nagar area on Friday after receiving information on cow slaughter there.Muzaffarnagar’s ASP(Rural) Ajay Sahdev said, “A member of All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen filed a complaint alleging that police had falsely implicated five women in the cow slaughtering case. The complainant alleged that among the five women arrested two are minors.” Sahdev said, “I have directed Khatauli circle officer to conduct an inquiry into the matter. We will decide the next course of action based on the probe.”SHO Prasad said a police team raided the house of jailed gangster Wakeel Ahmed on Friday morning and arrested 9 people. 4 others, including Wakeel’s younger brother Naseemudeen, managed to escape, he said.Among the arrested people are Wakeel’s two wives — Reshma and Afsana; Wakeel’s son Ajeem; Naseemudeen’s wife Sehjadi; and Naseemudeen’s two daughters, who the police claim are adults.SHO said the remaining three arrested accused are local residents: Sehnawaj, Mehtab, Ashfaq. Wakeel is in jail since the last one month on a separate case of cow slaughter. The court sent all the arrested people to 14-day judicial custody. indianexpress
Politics heats up over minor girls jailed in cow slaughter case
Protests in Andhra Pradesh After Muslim Man Murdered Inside Masjid
In a horrifying incident, a man was found bludgeoned to death inside a masjid in Rajamundry, Andhra Pradesh. Although the incident happened a day earlier, it came to light only on Saturday.Sixty-one-year-old Mohammed Farooq, hailing from Bihar, was working as a "muezzin" in Noorani Masjid of Lalacheruvu locality for the past four months, according to locals in the area.Farook was a newcomer to the city and was not known much outside the community. He used to do the chores in the Masjid, one of the locals told TNM.Farooq used to give Hajan (call for Namaaz) early in the morning. But on Friday, as there was no sign of Hajan, one of the neighbours went to check and found him lying in a pool of blood.A case of murder was registered but no arrests have been made yet. Police are investigating the case from all angles and have not ruled out any possibility.thequint
Indian Americans express outrage, revulsion at heinous murder of Muslim cleric in AP
Indian American Muslim Council, an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos today condemned yet another heinous murder of Mohammed Farooq, a cleric at Noorani Mosque in Talacheru village in Rajahmundry district of Andhra Pradesh. According to media sources, Mohammed Farooq was bludgeoned to death and was found lying in a pool of blood inside the mosque. TCN
Delhi High Court convicts man for rape of minor wife
A letter written by a minor Hindu wife from Nari Niketan to her Muslim husband lodged in jail on charges of kidnapping and raping her, led the Delhi High Court to acquit him of the abduction of his minor wife, though it upheld the sentence for raping his below 15-year-old wife.However, the parents of the girl lodged a missing complaint soon after her disappearance in 2008 and after eight months their daughter was found with the man. When asked, the duo said they married each other and also gave a Nikahnama to prove their relationship.The girl said that she had gone with the accused on her own will. She also refused to go along with her parents following which she was sent to the Nari Niketan. The man was arrested and a chargesheet was filed against him under sections 363(Punishment for kidnapping), 366 (Kidnapping) and 376 (rape).The trial court found Sunil Khan, the accused, guilty and sentenced him to seven years of imprisonment for rape among other sentences. Khan filed a plea against his conviction following which Justice Pratibha Rani found that the girl had gone with her own consent with the accused, so it cannot be called abduction. The court also found that the girl had written letters to the accused while he was in jail. It said that the girl had ultimately agreed to accompany her parents only on the condition that no harm would be caused to her husband."Her categorical admission that she was in deep love with the convict is also reflected in the letter sent by her to the convict from Nari Niketan, expressing her love and full support to him in the situation they were placed. She even informed him that she had been medically examined to ascertain her bony age, which was estimated to be 18 years," the court said adding that the investigating officer has not preferred to clarify the situation in this regard.However, the court upheld the sentence awarded to the convict for raping his wife, who was below the age of 15. It modified the sentence for the offence to rigorous imprisonment of two years and since the convict had already served the punishment, he was let free. dnaindia
China’s surveillance network can easily locate targets in Indian Ocean, South China Sea
Beijing:China has established an underwater surveillance network which will help its navy track target vessels more accurately and give it a cutting edge in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, reports on Monday said.Experts believe the technology will “tip the scales in China’s favour” in the disputed South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, where India currently “holds sway”.According to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, the system collects information about the underwater environment, particularly water temperature and salinity, which the navy can then use to more accurately track target vessels as well as improve navigation and positioning.China is flexing its muscles in the world’s seas by claiming the world’s busiest sea routes and establishing foreign naval bases.Although the Chinese navy is still no match for the US, its forays in the world’s sea routes and growing assertiveness has worried Washington, Tokyo, Canberra and New Delhi.IANS
Govt for ‘nationalistic’ curriculum in J&K to counter ‘false narrative’ impacting youth
New Delhi :The Centre is looking at a “nationalist curriculum” in J&K schools to drive development and counter what it believes is a “false narrative” that is impacting youth in the state, a senior official told The Indian Express. Apart from the curriculum, a review meeting by the central government last week also discussed ways to “revitalise” madrasa education and set up more Navodaya institutions and Kendriya Vidyalayas in the state.Chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the discussions on J&K primarily focused on education and connectivity among various development issues, officials said. The review, in which issues related to Left Wing Extremism (LWE) were also discussed, included Union Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Prakash Javadekar, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha and Environment Minister Harshvardhan. indianexpress
"My mother too was not allowed to hug me," Yasin Malik takes up prisoners’ cause
SRINAGAR: Yasin Malik, chief of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, on Sunday wrote an open letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to highlight the conditions of Kashmiri prisoners.Referring to an “emotional” speech Ms. Swaraj made in Parliament on December 25, Mr. Malik said, “In the speech, you illustrated the ordeal of Indian prisoner Kulbushan Jadhav’s meeting with his family in Pakistan. Your words touched the chords of my heart ... I stand for the rights of Mr. Jadhav too.”He said the speech made him recall “his old mother’s ordeal when she was denied a chance to hug me at the Tihar Jail”.“My crying sister too could not tolerate to see me from behind a glass wall at the Jhodpur jail, talking on an intercom just like Mr. Jadhav,” he said.Calling for respecting the rights of the prisoners, Mr. Malik asked the Pakistani authorities “to pay heed to the Koran and the prophet’s sayings on prisoners’ rights, welfare of their families and a fair trial”.He asked Ms. Swaraj to “uphold same principles for prisoners here”. “The kids and the wives of jailed Kashmiris are being humiliated,” said Mr. Malik referring to the recent attempts to meet Shabir Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Altaf Shah, Shahid-ul-Islam, Peer Saifullah and so on by their families. thehindu
Distortion of history a terror of different nature: Historian KM Shrimali,
Attempt made to “fabricate and distort history” is a terror of a different nature, general president of Indian History Congress KM Shrimali said, expressing concern over the shrinking space for reason and debate in the country.The sole agenda behind RSS-BJP trying to rewrite history is to create a Hindu nation, where minorities are treated as second-class citizens, he said.“It is a matter of concern that the space for reason and debate is shrinking in India. We have never witnessed such a disturbing trend. Those with little knowledge about history are trying to fabricate and thrust their idea. It is a terror of a different nature,” the former history professor of Delhi University told PTI. RSS and BJP are determined to divide the nation on religious grounds, Shrimali said, adding that history is a discipline of reason and cannot be written with fabricated truths, imagination or myth-making.Reason and debate have become the biggest casualties in the Sangh Parivar’s interpretation of history, the former professor rued.“There are ways of understanding mythology... Not everything which is part of mythology is history... But you don’t enter into arguments, you try to bully people. That’s not the way to write history,” he said.The historian also explained that Hindutva and Hinduism are different concepts with the former being a political ideology.Shrimali said Hindutva is being used as a tool to access power. The uproar over Ayodhya temple and the film, ‘Padamavati’, is aimed at consolidation of Hindu votes.PTI
Israel's ruling Likud party calls for annexation of parts of West Bank
Israel's governing Likud party has approved a draft resolution urging its leaders to formally annex large parts of the occupied West Bank, a move that is expected to further anger Palestinians.Members of the Likud Central Committee voted on Sunday in favour of imposing Israeli sovereignty over illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.The resolution is non-binding for cabinet ministers but carries some political force within the party of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. Netanyahu himself did not attend the central commitee's meeting.rab members of parliament told Al Jazeera that if the resolution were to go to the Israeli Knesset in its current form, that would signal the end to the peace process."It would really mean that there is no more attempt to try to find a two-state solution to the crisis," Al Jazeera's Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting from West Jerusalem, said."We also spoke with many analysts, who said that ... there is no way that such an inflammatory resolution would actually get to the Knesset in its current form," he added, noting that were "many more questions at this hour than answers" about what is going to happen next.Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law, and are seen as a major stumbling block to peace efforts as they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state. Aljazeera
Abbas condemns proposal to annex West Bank settlements
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday condemned a decision by Israel's ruling party to annex Jewish settlements in occupied West Bank.Abbas said in a statement released from his office that Israel wants "to terminate the Palestinian presence from the historic land of Palestine"."The decision is a brutal aggression against the Palestinian people, land and holy places," he added.Likud party's central committee approved a proposal on Sunday which allows the building of Jewish settlements on Palestinian territories in West Bank.World Bulletin
Palestine recalls US envoy after Trump's Jerusalem move
The Palestinian leadership has said it is recalling its envoy to the United States following Washington's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.Palestinian officials have previously said they will "no longer accept" any peace plan put forward by the US following President Donald Trump's unilateral declaration on December 6.Trump's move sparked deadly protests in the occupied Palestinian territories and major rallies in support of the Palestinians across the Muslim world.A resounding majority of United Nations member states also defied unprecedented threats by the US to declare the US' recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital "null and void".On Sunday, the official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, said that Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian Liberation Organization envoy to Washington, DC, would return for "consultations".Riyad al-Malki, the Palestinian foreign minister, said that discussions would take place "to set the decisions needed by the Palestinian leadership in the coming period regarding our relations with the US".He added that the envoy is expected to return to "his normal work" after the discussions. aljazeera
Palestine recalls US envoy to discuss relations with Washington after Trump’s Jerusalem move

12 killed in Iran protests
TEHRAN: At least 12 people have been killed in the ongoing protests in Iran, and armed protesters have tried to take over police stations and military bases, state TV reported on Monday.The protests began on Thursday in Mashhad over economic issues and have since expanded to several cities. Hundreds of people have been arrested.The state TV report said 10 were killed during clashes Sunday night, without elaborating. Two demonstrators were killed during a protest in western Iran late Saturday.“Some armed protesters tried to take over some police stations and military bases but faced serious resistance from security forces,” state TV reported.Earlier Monday, the semi-official ILNA news agency quoted Hedayatollah Khademi, a representative for the town of Izeh, as saying two people died there Sunday night.AP
Death toll jumps as Iran protests continue
Egypt military court asks Grand Mufti about civilian hangings
A military court on Sunday sought advice from the grand mufti on the possible execution of eight civilians charged with killing a senior police officer, according to a lawyer of the defendants. Osama Bayoumi told Anadolu Agency that eight were referred to the country’s top religious authority; four of the eight civilians were being tried in absentia.The court later set January 17 as the date for issuing a ruling in the case that includes 52 defendants, 16 of whom are fugitives.Among the defendants is Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the head of International Union for Muslim Scholars, and four senior Muslim Brotherhood members, who were not among the eight defendants referred to the grand mufti.Referring to the grand mufti is a preamble to a death sentence; however, the mufti’s opinion is advisory and not an obligation on the judge.The defendants have a right to appeal the verdict before a higher-level court.In October 2014, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a law allowing civilians to be tried in a military court. middleeastmonitor
Syrians continue to flee violent clashes in Idlib
Thousands of Syrian families have fled violent clashes between Daesh and the Syrian forces in the country’s north-western province of Idlib, Anadolu Agency reported. Many have taken refuge in camps scattered along the border with Turkey.Early last week, the Syrian army, backed by Russian air power and pro-Iranian fighters, launched intense airstrikes targeting areas in the southern countryside of Idlib province. Idlib and the eastern countryside of Hama province are the only areas that still remain outside government control.10-day offensive and clashes between the regime army and Daesh fighters have also forced the refugees to head to Idlib’s southern countryside of Sinjar, which was later targeted by the army, displacing at least 6,500 civilians. middleeastmonitor
Assad regime airstrikes kill 9 in Syria’s Idlib
At least nine civilians were killed by Syrian regime airstrikes in the northwestern Idlib province Sunday. Regime warplanes and helicopters also targeted areas in southern countryside of Idlib province and eastern countryside of Hama province.“Seven people were killed in Kafrsajna and two others killed in Maar Tahroma villages,” Mustafa Hajj Yusuf, head of pro-opposition Syrian Civil Defense (White Helmets) in Idlib province, told Anadolu Agency. middleeastmonitor
3,626 Palestinian refugees killed in Syria since 2011
The Task Group for Palestinians in Syria has revealed that 3,626 Palestinian refugees have been killed in the war-torn country since 2011, Arabs48.com reported on Sunday.MEMO
Deadly bombing targets Afghan official's funeral, kills 18
At least 18 people have been killed in a bombing at a funeral ceremony in eastern Afghanistan, according to local media.The blast on Sunday took place as people gathered to pay respects to a former district chief in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, Pajhwok Afghan News reported, quoting provincial Governor Attaullah Khogyani.The explosion left at least 13 people wounded.There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. The Taliban denied any involvement. Aljazeera
Trump threatens to cut Pakistan aid
President Donald Trump suggested Monday he would cut off foreign aid to Pakistan, accusing Islamabad of harboring violent extremists and lying about it."The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools," Trump said in his first tweet of 2018."They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!"US-Pakistani ties have taken a nosedive under Trump, who in August declared that "Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror."World Bulletin
Scholars call for Somalia to be protected from foreign interference
The Commission of Somali Scholars called on Sunday for politicians to protect their country from “foreign interference” and to respect its sovereignty, Anadolu reported on Sunday. In a statement issued in response to the latest upheaval, the scholars expressed their concerns about the “unstable political situation” in Somalia over many months. They called for efforts to adopt the “rule of reason and a constructive policy” instead of one driven by tribal interests. The latter, they said, has taken the country into chaos.Insisting that the Somali government should aim for justice and equality in society, they stressed that it should also respect individual rights. The Muslim scholars added a warning about the use of “extrajudicial forces” leading to “sedition and unnecessary consequences.” middleeastmonitor

Passing of Triple Talaq bill shows failure of Muslim bodies to mobilise secular forces:
M. Burhanuddin Qasmi for TCN

Reading list: Seven articles that examine Assam’s National Register of Citizens

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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:11 PM)


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