18 March 2019

18 March ND: Goa Congress MLAs meet governor to stake claim to form govt/ No consensus with allies as yet on next Goa CM: Gadkari/NCERT drops 3 chapters from Class 9, one on caste struggles

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
18 March 2019: 10 Rajab 1440:Vol: 11, No:154
Goa Congress MLAs meet governor to stake claim to form govt
Panaji: Goa Congress leader Chandrakant Kavlekar on Monday said since his party has staked claim to form government in the state, the Assembly cannot be kept in suspended animation.Kavlekar, who is Leader of the Opposition in Goa Assembly, led all his party MLAs to Raj Bhawan uninvited to meet Governor Mridula Sinha to stake claim to form government following the death of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar."The governor has not given us an appointment, hence we are meeting her directly to stake claim to form government," Mr Kavlekar told reporters before heading to Raj Bhawan.On the possibility of the Assembly being kept in suspended animation, he said, "When the Congress is staking the claim, where is the question of keeping the House in abeyance?"Congress has given two letters to the Governor since last Friday,staking claim to form govt but the party is yet to receive a response from her."We are the single largest party. We have the numbers, so accordingly the governor should have given us an opportunity to prove it. Since the governor has not given us the appointment, we are directly going to Raj Bhawan," he said.Congress is currently the single largest party in the state with 14 MLAs while BJP has 12 in the 40-member Assembly.The strength of the House has now been reduced to 36 due to demise of BJP MLA Francis D'Souza earlier this year and Parrikar on Sunday, and resignations of 2 Congress MLAs Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte last year.PTI
14 Congress MLAs in Goa march Raj Bhavan to stake claim to form govt
No consensus with allies as yet on next Goa CM: Gadkari
Union minister Nitin Gadkari on March 18 evening said a consensus eluded the BJP and its allies on the next Goa chief minister following the death of Manohar Parrikar. He said the BJP had zeroed in on the next CM candidate but its allies in the state were yet to get on board.He, however, did not reveal who the BJP had chosen.There have been a series of meetings involving Goa Forward Party and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party's three MLAs each, an equal number of Independents, and BJP legislators since March 17 to reach a consensus on Parrikar's successor."We are yet to reach a consensus (with allies) on a candidate for the CM's post. We are in talks with our alliance partners, Gadkari said.Gadkari added that he was in Goa till 6 pm on March 18 and hoped a name for the next CM of the coastal state agreeable to all would be arrived at by then. PTI
UP partners Mayawati and Akhilesh snub Congress over its 7-seat offer, say don’t create confusion
New Delhi:Uttar Pradesh alliance partners BSP’s Mayawati and SP’s Akhilesh, in a strong snub for the Congress, said on Monday that their combine was strong enough to defeat the BJP in politically important Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.The two leaders’ statement came a day after the Congress said it was leaving seven of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP for the SP-BSP combine, which recently formed an alliance and had left two seats – Rae Bareli and Amethi – for the Congress. Ajit Singh’s RLD had also joined the alliance.“Congress is free to put up candidates in all Uttar Pradesh seats, our alliance is strong enough to defeat BJP. The Congress should not create confusion about any alliance with us,” Mayawati tweeted.HT
Advani not to contest Lok Sabha elections due to health reasons: Reports
Former deputy prime minister and senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani has reportedly decided not to contest in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha Elections due to health reasons, sources said on Monday. Advani called up BJP president Amit Shah personally to express his reluctance. Earlier, BJP had held a meeting to field party veterans L K Advani (91), Murli Manohar Joshi (84), Shanta Kumar (85), Kalraj Mishra (77) and Bhagat Singh Koshyari (77) in the election. Currently, 91-year-old Advani is the oldest member of the Lok Sabha.BJP president Amit Shah had met Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and outgoing speaker Sumitra Mahajan to seek their opinion in this regard as the party faces the ‘age-old’ poll quandary.NewsX
Union minister Giriraj Singh rues after being denied ticket from Nawada for Lok Sabha polls
Patna:Firebrand BJP leader and union minister Giriraj Singh was on Monday apparently left sulking after the Nawada Lok Sabha seat, which he represents, went to NDA ally LJP.“Compulsions of seat-sharing may be there.But I wish to underscore that no other union minister from Bihar may have to give up his sitting seat,” the veteran BJP leader told media persons here.“This is despite the fact that I have worked so much to nurture my constituency,” Singh added.PTI
Will vote for BJP if Rajnath candidate: Shias
Lucknow: Amid rising incidents of violence in the name of cow protection, Shia Muslims in Lucknow say while the incidents outrage them, they might still consider voting for BJP if it again fields Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh from the city seat in 2019 elections.There has been speculation that Rajnath Singh, who won convincingly from Lucknow in the 2014 polls - BJP's 7th successive victory in the constituency - may be shifted to Gautama Buddh Nagar seat for these elections. Minister has, however, denied any change. UP Minister Mohsin Razab claimed that the Sunnis don't go out to vote while Shias participate actively "We are confident that about 70,000 votes of Shias will go in favour of BJP," he said, adding that the Muslims "are now feeling that (Modi) govt has given the opportunity to grow".Shia Wakf Board chief Waseem Rizvi also backed BJP, saying "we will vote for Modiji, whoever is the candidate from Lucknow." But, other Shia community leaders have different views. Prominent cleric Yasoob Abbas said, "The way in which BJP MPs and MLAs had targeted Muslim community has broken our heart.""Modi govt had gave a slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'. But BJP leaders raised the issues of temple and mosque and that hurt us. BJP failed to act against such leaders. Even the silence of PM Narendra Modi has polarised voters on the name of religion," he said. Describing incidents of lynching as "very unfortunate", Abbas said that a human being's life is very precious, "but in the state, the price of an animal life is more than the life of a human being".Another prominent Shia cleric, Maulana Saif Abbas, also admitted that they were "unhappy" with the way senior leaders of the party have been silent" over incidents of hate speech by the likes of Sakshi Maharaj and Giriraj Singh.Asked if who they shall vote for, Abbas said, "This time we shall vote very cautiously. All Muslim votes will be decided in coming days. And the candidates of BSP-SP and Congress would also be considered."IANS
NCERT drops 3 chapters from Class 9, one on caste struggles
New Delhi: NCERT has dropped 3 chapters from its Class 9 history textbook, including one that illustrates caste conflict through the struggles of the so-called ‘lower caste’ Nadar women of Travancore, who were forced to keep their upper bodies uncovered. The decision to delete almost 70 pages from the textbook, titled India and the Contemporary World – I, is part of the curriculum rationalisation exercise initiated at HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar’s behest to reduce the burden on students. This is the second textbook review undertaken under the incumbent govt. The revised textbooks will hit the shelves this month, before the new academic session begins. In 2017, NCERT made 1,334 changes, which included additions, correction and data update in 182 textbooks.Of the three chapters deleted, one (Clothing: A Social History) is on clothing and how social movements influenced how we dressed. The second chapter (History and Sport: The Story of Cricket) is on the history of cricket in India and its connection to the politics of caste, region and community. The third chapter (Peasants and Farmers) focuses on the growth of capitalism and how colonialism altered the lives of peasants and farmers.‘Clothing: A Social History’ is the last chapter of the textbook. It shows how changes in clothing in England and India were shaped by their social movements.Section ‘Caste Conflict and Dress Change’, which is on the strict social codes regarding food and dress in India in the past, made headlines in 2016 when politicians objected to references to the “Upper Cloth Revolt” in southern India.Shanars, later known as Nadars, were considered a “subordinate caste”. Its men and women were expected to follow the local custom of not using umbrellas, not wearing shoes and gold ornaments and not covering their upper bodies before the dominant castes. However, under the influence of Christian missionaries, Shanar women converts started wearing tailored blouses.indian express
NCERT to Drop Chapters on Caste Struggles, Colonialism From Class 9 History Book
Jharkhand Citizens: People's Rights Under Attack; Want New Government to Uphold Them
New Delhi:A coalition of over 30 organisations, activists and intellectuals of Jharkhand have expressed the hope that the govt formed after the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, will be committed to protecting people’s rights, upholding secular and democratic values, and preserving the constitution and democratic institutions. The group, Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, has also called upon all the political parties contesting the elections to exhibit explicit commitment towards people’s issues in their election manifestoes. Mahasabha, which works in different parts of Jharkhand for the rights of poor, Adivasis, Dalits, women and minorities, said that it believes that, India in general and the state, in particular, are passing through a phase of an undeclared emergency. “Peoples’ rights and basic tenets of democracy are under attack,”it said.The coalition claimed that the attacks on the rights of the citizens manifested in various forms.A few of these, it said, included the amendment to Land Acquisition Act, starvation deaths,lynching incidents, increasing atrocities on Adivasis, Dalits, minorities and women, state-sponsored communalism, attacks on freedom of expression, harassment of activists and attacks on the traditional self-governance systems of Adivasis.thewire
Hunger strike at Una Town enters Day 7 Dalits on fast for land, govt shows poll code
Rajkot:Even as the hunger strike carried out by Dalit families of Mota Samadhiyala, including those who were flogged by self-claimed cow vigilantes three years ago, entered the seventh day on Sunday in Gir Somnath district’s Una town, local government officials said their hands were tied to take any decision due to the model code of conduct, which is in force in the country ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Dalit families, who have been on a hunger strike outside office of SDM of Una since March 11, are demanding agriculture land from the government for their subsistence.On Sunday, one of the fasting family members of Balu Sarvaiya, who had become the face of Una flogging incident, had to be admitted to a hospital after his health deteriorated. Around 30 members of the extended families of Balu Sarviya and Ashok Sarviya of Mota Samadhiyala village, one from Gir Gadhda, 5 each from Harmadiya and Kandhi villages and one from Ankolali village are on a hunger strike.indian express
‘Don’t take Dalits for granted; give us respect to get our respect’: Ramdas Athawale
Union Minister for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale believes RPI(A) has got a raw deal in Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In an interview, Athawale warns that the Dalit vote base should not be undermined by Shiv Sena-BJP across 48 Lok Sabha seats.`He said, "I am just ventilating the anger of my followers not only in Maharashtra but also other parts of India. RPI(A) has taken the decision to support NDA. But I would like to warn BJP-Sena not to take Dalits’ support for granted. Give us respect. Get our respect. This is our stern message." indianexpress
India-Pak tensions to figure in Qureshi-Wang talks: China
Beijing: China said on Monday that tensions between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terrorist attack would figure in the first strategic dialogue between foreign minister Wang Yi and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday.Qureshi is visiting China, days after Beijing for the fourth time blocked a bid in UNSC on Wednesday to designate Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist" by putting a technical hold on the proposal, a move India termed as disappointing."As neighbour, China would like to see easing of tensions between the two. We would like to see the two countries continue to engage in dialogue for the peace and stability of the region," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing here."I believe the issues causing regional tensions will be discussed," Geng said.To another question whether the issue of listing of Azhar would figure in the talks specially in the backdrop of Chinese ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui expressing confidence that it would be resolved, Geng said, "well I can't prejudge the topics" that are going figure in the talks."But they will discuss issues of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual concern," he said.PTI
Appointment of Lokpal is an election gimmick: Kharge        
Kalaburagi:M. Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, termed the appointment of first Lokpal an election gimmick. He asked why the Centre had kept quiet on the issue for the last five years and suddenly made the appointment ahead of the Lok Sabha election. He was speaking to presspersons in Kalaburagi on Sunday.“The appointment of Lokpal ahead of the election is an attempt to mislead people by claiming that they [BJP] had done all they had promised. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should answer why he had not done it in the last four years. We had demanded a provision in the Lokpal Bill to accommodate the Leader of the Opposition or the leader of the second largest party in the Parliament as a member of Lokpal. The ruling party did not allow it. The present appointment of Lokpal is not done with a commitment to fight corruption. It is just an election gimmick,” he said.Criticising BJP’s ‘Main bhi chowkidar’ [I am also a watchman] campaign, Kharge verbally attacked the PM by once again calling him a thief. “Narendra Modi, who calls himself a chowkidar is, in fact, a ‘chor’. He is looting the country and distributing the loot among his corporate friends. Had he been a real watchman of the country, he would have protected our country and strived for the welfare of its people,” he said.thehindu
Muslim community should exhibit awakening at this critical moment, says Arshad Madani
Hyderabad: In the wake of General Elections of 2019, Maulana Arshad Madani of Jamiat-ul-Ulema made a fervent appeal to the Muslim community to exhibit its awakening. He was addressing the meeting of the Executive Committee of Jamiat in New Delhi. He further told that the country is passing through a critical situation. Conspiracies are being hatched by a section of people to transform the country into a Hindu State. If we resort to negligence, the future historian will never forgive us.He was addressing the meeting after getting elected President continuously for seven terms. He gave the details of the representations made to Govt. on the issues pertaining to Babri Masjid, Citizenship in Assam, release of innocent Muslims and Kashmiri crisis.siasat
Enact Rohith Act to protect minority students: SIO
Nagpur: Students Islamic Organization (SIO), the youth wing of Jamat-e-Islami-Hind, has submitted its election agenda to all parties in the fray demanding that a Rohith Act should be framed to protect students belonging to marginalized sections. The name has been derived from Rohith Vemula, a PhD student from University of Hyderabad, who committed suicide two years ago alleging discrimination on being a Dalit.Based on the case, activists have been demanding that government should frame a Rohith Act on the lines of Nirbhaya Act which deals with gang rape.Nirbhaya law was enacted following the brutal gang rape case in Delhi that had evoked worldwide protests.The SIO agenda also seeks a comprehensive law to deal with violence against religious minorities apart from having schemes to rehabilitate youths who have been falsely implicated in terror cases. The agenda further says a law should be enacted for prevention of discrimination against religious minorities and institutions should be set up for protection of human rights.9-point agenda also includes demands for setting up of a central university in Maharashtra and staring a campus of AMU in the state.TOI
Facebook Bans Modi Critic for Hitler Post, Unbans After Complaint
A leading political Youtube content creator and a frequent critic of the Narendra Modi government and BJP, Dhruv Rathee, was briefly banned from posting on Facebook on 18 March.Earlier on Monday, Rathee had tweeted that the giant social media platform had blocked him from posting on Facebook for 30 days, which included crucial phases leading up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He wrote, "Today, @Facebook banned my account for 30 days. What a coincidence that elections are 30 days away also and what a coincidence that my engagement rates are one of the biggest in India, competing with BJP’s top propganda pages, including Modi’s official page." THE QUINT
Assam: Goalpara Congress MLA Rasid Alom denies encroaching temple land
Congress MLA of Goalpara East constituency in Lower Assam, AK Rasid Alom, categorically denied on Sunday that he has tried to encroach on a plot of land in Goalpara town which stands disputed – it belongs either to a xatra or a temple.MLA stated, “I have not tried to encroach or grab any land that belongs to any religious institutions. This is fake news that has been published in a section of the media.”However, he further added that he has a plot of land at Baidalpara Tiniali on Agia Road in Ward No. IX. “I have a patta land at Baidalpara Road Tiniali and on Thursday I wanted to do earth filling work in a part of the land which lies in a very low-lying area.” He further remarked, “The said land does not belong to any religious institutions and I have all the documents with me. But, few anti-social elements are making such false allegations to foment communal tension so that they can derive maximum mileage out of it.”NortheastNow
Koregaon Bhima riots victim threatened
Koregaon Bhima victim Rama Athawale has alleged that she was threatened by unknown persons and was asked not to oppose the accused’s bail in court. She has filed a complaint regarding the issue in Faraskhana Police station. Cops have filed a non-cognisable offence. Rama Athawale, a victim from Koregaon Bhima riots is currently residing in Pune in a house located in PMC colony in Kasba Peth. The family’s home was vandalised in the riots after which PMC had allocated a home to her family on temporary basis. punemirror
MBS approved 'intervention' against dissidents: NYT
More than a year before the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, approved a secret campaign to silence dissenters, the New York Times has reported.The campaign included surveillance, kidnapping, detention and torture of Saudis, said the report published on Sunday citing the US officials who have read classified intelligence reports about the effort.American officials referred to it as the Saudi Rapid Intervention Group, the Times said.One of the victims of this group was a university lecturer who reported on the situation of women and was tortured last year, prompting her to attempt suicide.Saudi Arabia has a long history of pursuing dissidents, including those based outside the country, but this practice has seen a major upsurge following Prince Mohammed's promotion as the crown prince in 2017.At least some of the clandestine missions were carried out by the members of the team that killed and dismembered Khashoggi in October at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, suggesting his murder was part of a wider campaign against dissidents, the report said, citing the US officials and associates of some Saudi victims.These members were involved in at least a dozen operations beginning in 2017, the officials said, including forcibly repatriating Saudis from other Arab countries.The murder of Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributing columnist, generated global outrage, leading to a call by some US senators for President Donald Trump to designate and punish those responsible.Trump did not comply.aljazeera
Algeria: Muslim Brotherhood demands that Bouteflika step down
Abdul Razzaq Al-Maqri, head of the Society for Peace Movement in Algeria, called on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the ruling party to step down after weeks of mass protests in the country.Al-Maqri, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political branch in Algeria, stated in an online statement, late Saturday, that the legitimacy of the popular protests is greater than that of the constitution, and that the authorities must respond quickly to the people’s demands.He added:“Gang, i.e. the ruling party, refuses to respond to the Algerian people so far. They must hear the Algerians’ voices bursting in the streets and obey their demands as they are the source of power. Al-Maqri warned the Algerian people of some attempts to appropriate popular uprising and to speak on behalf of the people in media outlets, saying: “No one represents the public opinion other than the Algerian people and the will of citizens.” He explained that “Algerians went out to the streets driven by their own will to change. No one pushed them to revolt but they were provoked by the unreasonable imposition of Bouteflika’s candidacy for the fifth term and the state’s continuous policy based on ignoring and turning the back on the people’s demands.”MEMO
Turkey prepares to deport 12 Muslim Brotherhood members to Egypt over violations: sources
CAIRO:Turkish authorities are planning to deport 12 people affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood to Egypt over a number of charges including violating laws of residency, sources told Saudi-owned al-Arabiya. Some of the arrested MB members are also accused of joining jihadist groups and defecting from MB group, according to the sources. All the individuals arrested are facing severe sentences up to life imprisonment in Egypt over involvement in terror acts and violence. Egypt Today
China says 13,000 'terrorists' arrested in Xinjiang since 2014
Authorities in China have arrested almost 13,000 "terrorists" in the restive far western region of Xinjiang since 2014, govt said on Monday.The announcement was made in a lengthy policy paper again defending Beijing's controversial "deradicalisation" measures.China has faced growing international opprobrium for setting up facilities that UN experts describe as detention centres holding more than one million Uighurs and other Muslims.Beijing says it needs the measures to stem the threat of militancy and calls the jails "vocational training centres".Legal authorities have adopted a policy that "strikes the right balance between compassion and severity", government said in its white paper.aljazeera
New Zealand attack: PM Ardern mulls deporting Tarrant; vows gun law reforms in 10 days
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday said she was seeking advice on potentially deporting 28-year old Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant, the White nationalist behind March 15 Christchurch mosques shootings that claimed the lives of 50 people.“I don’t want to go too far down that track while we’re obviously in early stages. Charges have been laid, we can expect additional charges, he’ll be appearing in the High Court on the 5th of April, so there’s obviously a process that needs to be gone through here,” said Arden, when asked by reporters if 28-year-old was likely to be deported to Australia.“But I can say I am seeking advice on what will happen thereafter,” she added.Further, New Zealand PM vowed to unveil reforms to the country's existing gun laws in next 10 days.nationalheraldindia
Christchurch shootings: NZ cabinet backs tighter gun laws
New Zealand Terror Attack Is Turning Out To Be One Of Worst For Indians Abroad, 8 Confirmed Dead
A 25-year-old student from Telangana was among those killed in the terror attack in New Zealand ’s Christchurch, taking the number of Indians and persons of Indian origin who died in the massacre to 8.Ozair Khadir, 25, who belonged to Hyderabad, is the third person from Telangana to have been killed in the attack.Indian high commissioner’s office in New Zealand confirmed his death on Sunday. He was killed in Masjid Al Noor, one of the two mosques that were attacked by Australian gunman Brenton Tarrant.Khadir wanted to follow in his brother’s footsteps and was studying aeronautical engineering in New Zealand. Khadir’s parents have left for the island country.indiatimes
Death Toll of Pakistanis in New Zealand Mosques Terror Attack Rises to 9
Islamabad: 9 Pakistani nationals have been killed in the terror attack on Christchurch mosques in New Zealand, authorities here said.Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said that the number of dead rose to 9 after three more persons were confirmed dead by the New Zealand authorities."A total of 9 Pakistanis were killed in New Zealand terror attack,' he said.PTI
New Zealand rugby's Crusaders to mull name change after mosque massacre
New Zealand’s Canterbury Crusaders rugby team said they would consult with the Muslim community about a potential change of name after criticism following Friday’s massacre.The name of the reigning Super Rugby champions has been questioned in the past, but the club said “we understand the concerns that have been raised” after the mass shooting, which left 50 people dead.Distinctive writing on the attacker’s weaponry included the names of historical figures from the Crusades, the religious wars waged by European Christians against Muslims for control of the Holy Land in the Middle Ages. “In terms of the Crusaders name, we understand the concerns that have been raised,” chief executive Colin Mansbridge said in a statement.“In our view, this is a conversation that we should have and we are taking on board all of the feedback that we are receiving, however, we also believe that the time for that is not right now,” he added.“At an appropriate time, we will thoroughly consider the issues that have been raised and our response to that. That will include conversations with a range of people, including our Muslim community.”japantimes
OIC foreign ministers to meet next week in wake of NZ attacks: Qureshi
Foreign ministers of Muslim nations will meet in Istanbul on March 22 where an emergency meeting of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been called to discuss ways of addressing anti-Islam sentiment following the twin mosque massacres in New Zealand, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced Sunday.Qureshi said that Turkey holding the rotatory OIC presidency decided to summon the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting after consultations."Idea (behind summoning the meeting) is to devise a strategy against Islamophobia, while keeping the Christchurch tragedy in mind, he said, adding that the participants will discuss the root cause of the issue.Qureshi said that Pakistan will observe a day of mourning on Monday for victims of the New Zealand mosque attacks and flags would fly at half-mast.PTI
‘You are my friends’: British man stands guard outside his local mosque after Christchurch attack
In the aftermath of the deadly terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand that claimed the lives of at least 50 people including five Indians, a man standing guard outside the Levenshulme mosque in Machester has received praise online. A picture of him holding a placard that read “You are my friends. I will keep watch while you pray” has gone viral.However, many were curious about the identity of the man which was later revealed by his daughter, Ruth Kyle. “Dear world. This is my Dad @AndrewGraystone and I am so proud, in every way, to be his daughter!” she tweeted in response to many enquiring about him.Graystone shared that he decided to stand outside the Mosque because he wanted people to know that “we can respond with friendship”. “As people walked up, you could see in their eyes that they were looking at somebody standing outside their mosque, thinking, ‘Oh no, is this some kind of protest or whatever’. And then when they saw the message saying ‘You are my friend’, their faces broke and they beamed and smiled,”he told BBC.indianexpress
Eiffel Tower goes dark to pay tribute to the Christchurch victims
Suspected New Zealand mosque gunman visited Israel in 2016
The main suspect in New Zealand’s mosque attacks made a brief visit to Israel in late 2016, Israeli officials said on Sunday.Brenton Tarrant, an Australian national, entered Israel in October 2016 on a 3-month tourist visa and stayed for nine days, an official with Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority told Reuters.The official said there were no further details available on what Tarrant, 28, did during his stay in Israel. Australian embassy and New Zealand consulate in Israel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.MEMO
Over 1 million sign petition for Australian senator removal
Over 1 million people have signed a petition to remove Australian Senator Fraser Anning from parliament after his remarks following Friday's attacks at mosques in New Zealand."Remove Fraser Anning from parliament" petition started on -- world's largest petition platform--by local neurologist Kate Ahmad.Anadolu
1 killed in shooting in Dutch city of Utrecht: Police
One person has been killed and several wounded after a gunman opened fire in a tram in the central Dutch city of Utrecht.Police, including heavily armed officers, flooded the area after the shooting happened on Tuesday morning at a busy traffic intersection in a residential neighbourhood.A witness told local RTV Utrecht that the shooting took place inside the tram at the 24 Oktoberplein in the city's west.Police also said a hunt was underway for the gunman in an incident authorities said appeared to be a terrorist attack.Dutch broadcaster NOS said police surrounded a building where the suspected gunman was believed to be holed up. There was no immediate word on who the gunman was or on the precise number or identity of the victims.aljazeera
1 Israeli soldier killed, 3 injured in West Bank
An Israeli soldier was killed in a shooting in the northern West Bank on Sunday, according to Israeli authorities.A military statement said a Palestinian stabbed and killed an Israeli soldier at the entrance of illegal Ariel settlement before taking his weapon, which he used to wound another soldier and an Israeli settler.The incident began at an intersection near Ariel, a large settlement, where the Palestinian, using the Israeli soldier’s gun, fired at three vehicles, hitting a civilian, the Israeli military said.He then took a car, driving it to another nearby junction where he shot a second soldier before continuing on to a nearby Palestinian village.It was not immediately clear if more than one assailant was involved. Israeli settler officials identified the wounded civilian as a local rabbi. Hospital officials said he was in critical condition.middleeastmonitor
Netanyahu's party leads in polls ahead of Israel ballot
Right-wing Likud party has overtaken Blue and White, a center political alliance, three weeks before Israel's general election on April 9, a new survey showed Monday.The survey published by Kan channel showed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu-led Likud party would win 31 seats in Knesset (Israel's parliament) against 30 seats for the Benny Gantz-led coalition.This is the first time the Likud surpasses Blue and White alliance since the latter was formed around one month ago. Labor Party came in the third place with nine seats. Survey was conducted by an Israeli private company of 583 random Israelis. Israeli govt requires approval of at least 61 Knesset members out of total 120.Anadolu
Israel approves plan to reoccupy Gaza
Israeli occupation army proposed a plan to reoccupy the besieged Gaza Strip during any future offensive, Al-Khaleej Online reported.The plan was approved 14 years after Israel’s unilateral disengagement from the costal enclave.Wallah news website, which is close to the Israeli intelligence, said the plan were prepared when Gadi Eisenkot was the chief of staff while his predecessor Aviv Kofach approved it.The news website reported senior Israeli military officials saying: “Hamas might flareup the region and go for a major confrontation if the truce understandings failed.”middleeastmonitor
Israel: Top court bans Jewish Power's Michael Ben-Ari from polls
Israel's Supreme Court has banned the leader of a far-right ultranationalist party from running in next month's elections.Reversing the decisions of Israel's elections committee earlier this month, the court ruled on Sunday to bar Michael Ben-Ari, the leader of the Jewish Power party, in an 8-1 vote. Ben-Ari has come under fire for comments he made about Palestinian citizens of Israel, which Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit previously said amount to "incitement to racism" and "calling for a violent renunciation of the Arab population's rights".These include a May 2018 speech in which Ben-Ari called Israeli Arabs "enemies from within", according to the Haaretz website. aljazeera
US denies report 1,000 troops to remain in Syria
US's top general denied Sunday a report suggesting the military plans to keep roughly half of its 2,000 troops stationed in Syria following a withdrawal President Donald Trump described in December as immediate and complete.Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford called the reported new force numbers "factually incorrect," insisting there has been no change to the planned 400 troops the White House announced last month."Further, we continue to conduct detailed military planning with the Turkish General Staff to address Turkish security concerns along the Turkey-Syria border," Dunford said in a statement. "Planning to date has been productive and we have an initial concept that will be refined in the coming days."The Wall Street Journal reported earlier in the day that ongoing negotiations between the US, Turkey and European allies over a potential safe zone in northeastern Syria -- a key element of Trump's departure plan -- have yet to lead to a conclusive agreement. Anadolu Agency
Cyclone Idai death toll at 215, Beira city '90% destroyed'
The death toll has risen to at least 215 after Cyclone Idai tore into central Mozambique last week before continuing on to Zimbabwe and Malawi, bringing flash floods and ferocious winds.At least 126 people were killed in Mozambique and Malawi, according to the Red Cross, and Zimbabwe's information ministry on Monday put the number of dead at 89 in the country.aljazeera
Flash: views & NEWS
Anti-Islam fanaticism a growing global trend:Sunanda K Datta-Ray
From Vivekananda to Aurobindo, no one’s idea of Hinduism matched the Hindutva of the RSS:Ashutosh
Why Narendra Modi's #MainBhiChowkidar Campaign Is Sheer Hypocrisy:Swati Chaturvedi
Modi is usually quick to condemn terror attacks on Twitter. So why not for New Zealand?Vijayta Lalwani
The Chapters of History the Government Doesn't Want Students to Read:Tanika Sarkar

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:38 PM)


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