28 March 2019

28 March ND: Samjhauta Express blast: NIA court says ‘dastardly act’ unpunished for want of proof/ Countering China, US draft resolution at UNSC to blacklist Masood Azhar/Let UN ban Masood Azhar only if India agrees to de-escalate, Kashmir dialogue: Pak to China

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
28 March 2019: 20 Rajab 1440:Vol: 11, No:162
Samjhauta Express blast: NIA court says ‘dastardly act’ unpunished for want of proof
Chandigarh:While observing that there were “gaping holes” in the prosecution evidence in Samjhauta Express blast case, Special NIA Court in its verdict, which was made public Thursday morning, has lamented that a “dastardly act of violence” remains unpunished for want of credible and admissible evidence.“Terrorism has no religion because no religion in the world preaches violence. A Court of Law is not supposed to proceed on popular or predominant public perception or the political discourse of the day and ultimately it has to appreciate the evidence on record and arrive at final conclusion on the basis of relevant statutory provisions and settled law applicable thereto,” Additional Sessions Judge Jagdeep Singh has said in the verdict, adding he has to “conclude this judgment with deep pain and anguish”.All accused including Swami Aseemanand were acquitted by the court on March 20. At least 68 people, including 43 Pakistan were killed in blasts that took place on the Samjhauta Express in 2007.The court has also rapped the investigating agencies for what it called a “malaise” to “coin various terms like Muslim terrorism, Hindu fundamentalism, etc.or brand an act of criminal(s) as act(s) of particular religion, caste or community”.“A criminal element, belonging to a particular religion, community or caste,cannot be projected as representative of such particular religion, community or caste and branding the entire community, caste or religion in the name of such criminal element(s) would be totally unjustified and it would be in the best interests of humankind to nip such tenancies in the bud lest we should be heading towards intense civil war or caught in a whirlpool of fratricide,” the judgment reads.Stating that it is high time the world is made a “place of peaceful coexistence lest the sentiments of mutual hatred or false notions of supremacy over one other would engulf the planet,” the judge advocated for “safety and protection of witnesses” and said a sound and workable witness protection scheme needs to be put in place at the earliest. Judge further said, “Indian civilization, which is one of the oldest one, had survived several onslaughts throughout centuries, which testifies vibrancy of its rich heritage and culture and therefore we need to remind ourselves and the world at large the old Indian phrase expressed in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, which aptly conveys that ‘the world is one family’.”Of 299 witnesses in the case, 224 deposed before the court. Of these,51 turned hostile and changed their statements recorded earlier. While 53 witnesses of the total were given up by the prosecution, nine died during the trial and 13 were in Pakistan.Along with Aseemanand, 3 who faced trial were Kamal Chauhan, Rajinder Chaudhary and Lokesh Sharma. 3 accused, Amit Chouhan, Ramchandra Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, have been declared proclaimed offenders. Another accused, Sunil Joshi—NIA called him mastermind — was killed in Dec.2007 in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh.indian express
Spl court states dastardly act of violence remained unpunished for want of evidence in Samjhauta case
Let UN ban Masood Azhar only if India agrees to de-escalate, Kashmir dialogue: Pak to China
New Delhi: Pakistan has told its all-weather ally China to lift technical hold on UN listing of JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist on the condition that India carries out a military de-escalation on the border and resumes bilateral dialogue with Islamabad on all outstanding issues including Kashmir, people familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.The time for China to give specific reasons for its technical hold runs out this week after which the US will exercise other options, including discussing the matter in the open UN General Assembly – a move that could embarrass China. Pakistan’s stance on Azhar has seemed in flux over the past few weeks, with Rawalpindi GHQ telling New Delhi , through back channels on Feb.27, that Islamabad will ask Beijing not to put a hold on Azhar’s listing.However, Islamabad subsequently changed its stance, with a military spokesperson denying that Azhar or JeM were present and active in Pakistan.HT
China slams US for circulating draft on banning Masood Azhar in UNSC
Beijing: China has slammed US for circulating a draft resolution in UNSC designating Masood Azhar, head of JeM, as an international terrorist.“US has by-passed 1267 committee and directly filed draft of the resolution to Security Council. This is not in line with the resolution of the issue through dialogue and negotiations,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in response to a question on Washington’s move.The designation of Azhar as an international terrorist has so far been discussed in 1267 committee of UNSC. But China has repeatedly placed a “technical hold” on banning JeM head, which has already been listed as a terrorist organisation. Geng said Washington’s move had “reduced the authority of (1267) committee as the main anti-terrorism body of the security council”.He added: “This is not conducive to the solidarity and will only complex the issue.”Chinese foreign ministry counseled US “to act cautiously and avoid forcefully moving forward to this resolution draft”. Geng stressed that China had placed a “technical hold” to allow further discussion and resolution of the issue through dialogue.Referring to the joint move by US, France and UK to seek Azhar’s listing,  Geng said that Beijing opted for a “technical hold,” since “China needs more time to conduct an in-depth and comprehensive review…”“The listing of Masood involves a series of complex factors, and China has also been working to seek proper solution through dialogue,” he said.thehindu
Countering China, US draft resolution at UNSC to blacklist JeM chief Masood Azhar
China protecting violent Islamic terror groups from UN sanctions: Mike Pompeo
China abuses over a million Muslims at home, but "protects" violent Islamic terror groups from UN sanctions, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said. He was apparently referring to China blocking a proposal to designate  Masood Azhar a 'global terrorist' at UNSC earlier this month. The world cannot afford China's shameful hypocrisy toward Muslims. On one hand, China abuses more than a million Muslims at home, but on the other it protects violent Islamic terrorist groups from sanctions at UN, Pompeo said in a tweet Wednesday, without mentioning JeM or outfit's chief.PTI
Pulwama attack: Pakistan says no terror camps exist in 22 locations shared by India
Sharing “preliminary findings” of its investigations with New Delhi, Pakistan today said it had examined 22 “pin locations” shared by India but found no terror camps.It also claimed that there were no links to nail the 54 people detained in connection with Pulwama attack. Pakistan is willing to allow visits, on request, to these locations, their Foreign Office(FO) said.“While 54 detained individuals are being investigated, no details linking them to Pulwama have been found so far,” it said.“Similarly, the 22 pin locations shared by India have been examined. No such camps exist. Pakistan is willing to allow visits, on request, to these locations,” FO said.It said that in consistent with its commitment to cooperate, Pakistan on Wednesday shared preliminary findings of its investigations with India along with a set of questions.PTI
4 militants killed in Kashmir
Srinagar:Security forces today encircled a group of militants in Handwara’s Langate, just hours after killing 3 militants in Shopian.One militant has been killed in the Handwara encounter, police said, adding that the operation was on.A police official confirmed that a contact was established with the hiding militants at Yaroo village in Kupwara district. Security forces have searching the area since Wednesday.Authorities snapped internet services in twin police districts of Handwara and Sopore “as a precautionary measure”. Earlier, security forces killed 3 militants in Shopian’s Keller.thehindu
‘Article 35A constitutionally vulnerable, hampers development in J-K’: Jaitley
New Delhi:Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Thursday said Article 35A, which restricts non-permanent residents to buy property in Jammu and Kashmir, is “constitutionally vulnerable” and also hampering economic development of the state.The statement comes amid the BJP pressing for early elections to the state assembly in the state.The state is under President’s rule and the Union Cabinet takes all policy decisions related to the militancy-hit state.In a blog, Jaitley said the seven-decade history of the state of Jammu and Kashmir confronts changing India with several questions.“Was the Nehruvian course, which the state had embarked, a historical blunder or was it the correct course to follow? Most Indians today believe that it is the former.“Does our policy today have to be guided by that erroneous vision or an out of box thinking which is in consonance with ground reality?” Jaitley questioned.PTI
SC to hear on April 8 pleas challenging Centre’s 10% reservation to economically weaker sections
New Delhi :The Supreme Court Thursday said it would hear on April 8 a batch of pleas challenging the Centre’s decision to grant 10 per cent reservation in jobs and admission for candidates of economically weaker sections across all classes.The matter came up for hearing before a bench of Justices SA Bobde and S A Nazeer.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, sought adjournment saying he and Attorney General KK Venugopal were appearing in the matter today before a constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.“I am on my legs before the constitution bench. Please accommodate me,” he told the bench.On the matter whether the batch of petitions on the reservation issue was needed to be referred to a constitution bench, Mehta said AG has “to say something”on it.Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for one of the petitioners, said issue should be heard by a constitution bench.The bench, after a brief hearing, said it would hear the matter on April 8.PTI
Zakir Naik's 'aide' denies charges of money laundering
Mumbai:Abdul Kadir Najmudin Sathak, an alleged aide of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, Wednesday denied that he helped the controversial televangelist with money laundering. Sathak, a jeweller, was arrested Friday under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA). He is accused of helping Naik by transferring "funds of dubious origin from UAE to facilitate production and broadcasting of incriminating videos for spreading communal hatred and radicalisation of a particular community".In his bail plea before special PMLA judge MS Azmi, filed after he was sent in judicial custody, Sathak said there was nothing to show that he "acquired or dealt with any property" obtained through crime.He also claimed to be suffering from Myasthenia gravis a long-term neuromuscular disease.The ED has alleged that Sathak sent about Rs 50 crore to Naik, which the latter illegally routed and laundered.Sathak was the director of Global Broadcasting Corporation FZE LLC that owned Naik's Peace TV channel, it said.The Central agency alleged that Global Broadcasting was "controlled" by Naik (who is stated to be in Malaysia now), through Sathak, his "trusted aide".PTI
Areeb Majeed NIA set up his return, HC calls for cellphone records of officers
Mumbai :Setting aside a special court order, the Bombay High Court Wednesday directed that summons be issued to nodal officers of five telecom companies for production of phone records of calls exchanged between the mobile numbers of NIA officers and the father of Areeb Majeed, who is facing trial for allegedly travelling to Syria to join the Islamic State in 2014.In his defence, Majeed has claimed that while NIA said he was arrested on Nov. 29, 2014, and that he had returned to India to carry out a terror attack, his return, in fact, had been facilitated by the NIA itself. His plea seeking the call detail records (CDRs) of three NIA officers and a number used by his father, Ejaz, had been rejected in January by the special court conducting his trial. indianexpress
Understanding of democracy is shrinking: Economist Dreze after being detained in Jharkhand
Ranchi:Economist and Right to Food activist Jean Dreze and two others were let off Thursday afternoon after being detained in Jharkhand for holding a public meeting without permission, which authorities say is a “violation of Model Code of Conduct(MCC)”. The trio spent around 2 hours in Bishnupura Police Station in Garhwa District of Jharkhand.After being released from detention, Dreze said neither the authorities gave them the permission nor did they reject it in the last 10 days. “It is very important to hold peaceful, non-political meetings during elections. Nowhere in MCC it is written we cannnot hold such meetings.”Dreze pointed out the “double standards” of the Jharkhand Police stating there was a public meeting in the area last evening that the police took no action against it. “This is double standard. This is not newsworthy… the understanding of democracy is shrinking…The issue is that slowly and steadily freedom is being curbed.”DIG Palamu Vipul Shukla said:“They were detained for MCC violation as they were holding a public meeting without SDO’s permission.”indianexpress
BJP General Secretary Among 8 Booked For Allegedly Forging Sitharaman’s Signature
Hyderabad:An FIR was filed against BJP national general secretary P Muralidhar Rao and eight others for allegedly cheating a man of Rs 2.17 crore by promising him a nominated post in the central government, police said Wednesday.However, Muralidhar Rao refuted the allegations and said he has nothing to do with the case.Based on a court-referred complaint lodged by the man’s wife, a case was registered Tuesday against Muralidhar Rao and eight others on charges of cheating, forgery, criminal intimidation and other relevant IPC sections, they said.The complainant alleged that she and her husband were induced by Muralidhar Rao and others by showing a purported letter with forged signature of Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman.She alleged they took Rs 2.17 crore after promising that her husband would be appointed chairperson of Pharma Exil, police said.Denying the allegations, Muralidhar Rao in a series of tweets said, “Regarding the FIR filed - have nothing to do with the present dispute. FIR involving me reportedly is sequel to a private complaint in a court by those who actually are facing criminal charges in the same matter.” huffingtonpost
83 per cent Lok Sabha MPs are ‘crorepatis’, 33 per cent have criminal cases: ADR report
New Delhi :At least 83% of 521 sitting MPs are ‘crorepatis’ and 33 per cent of them have criminal cases against them, according to a report by election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).ADR, an NGO working in electoral reforms, has compiled the report after analysing self-sworn affidavits of 521 MPs out of 543 members elected to the Lok Sabha in the 2014 elections.“Out of the 521 Sitting MPs analysed, 430 (83 pc) are crorepatis. While 227 of them are from BJP, 37 are from Congress, 29 from AIADMK, among others,” the report said.The average assets per sitting MP for Lok Sabha 2014 elections are Rs 14.72 crore. While 32 sitting MPs have declared more than Rs 50 crore worth of assets, only 2 sitting MPs have declared assets less than worth Rs 5 lakh.At least 33% sitting MPs have declared criminal cases against them in the affidavits.“While 106 of them have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, communal disharmony, kidnapping and crimes against women,10 sitting MPs have declared cases related to murder. Out of these, 4 sitting MPs are from BJP, 1 MP from INC, NCP, LJP, RJD, Swabhimani Paksha each and one MP is an Independent,” report said.“14 sitting MPs have declared cases of attempt to murder. Out of these, 8 sitting MPs are from BJP and one MP each from INC, AITC, NCP, RJD, Shiv Sena and Swabhimani Paksha. 14 sitting MPs declared cases related to causing communal disharmony. Out of them, 10 sitting MPs are from BJP and 1 MP from TRS, PMK, MIM and AIUDF each,” it added. PTI
Performance of Muslim MPs in 16th Lok Sabha: Owaisi on Top, Ajmal at No. 2
 New Delhi:In the next few weeks, the country will elect the new Lok Sabha, 17th, and a new national government will be formed at the centre. It’s high time to look back at the performance of people’s representatives in the highest legislature.Here we are analyzing the performance of only Muslim Members of Lok Sabha.But first let’s have a look at the top 10 performers in the entire Lok Sabha.Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch(NEW) released a report on the performance of 16th Lok Sabha and MPs. The report is based on the data obtained and compiled from Lok Sabha website ( For the analysis pertaining to questions asked by MPs, data has been obtained from PRS ( The report has analyzed the data up to the 16th Session of the 16th Lok Sabha, i.e. 20th Dec. 2018.In terms of questions asked by MPs in the House, Supriya Sule of NCP)was at No. 1 with highest number of questions – 1181. Supriya, who represented Baramati constituency in Maharashtra, was followed by 2 Lok Sabha Members of her party at No. 2 and 3 – Dhananjay Mahadik (1170) and Vijaysinh Mohite Patil (1134). There is one each MP from BJP and Congress in the top 10 list. There is no Muslim MP in the top 10. (the list is given below in image form).India Tomorrow
As chowkidar, PM Modi is liable for my son’s safety: Najeeb Ahmed's mother
Lucknow: Her angst against the ruling party and her no-holds barred attacks on PM Narendra Modi make her an attractive campaigner for opposition. However, Fatima Nafees, whose son Najeeb Ahmed went missing from Delhi’s JNU in 2016, says she will keep away from politics.Nafees revealed that many political parties had been approaching her to campaign for them. “However, I am not into politics. I refused everyone. But I do have questions for PM Modi. If he claims that he is a ‘chowkidar’, then he is responsible for the safety of my son. I want to know what action has been taken in my son’s disappearance case. What action has been taken against those who assaulted him a day before he disappeared,” she said.Nafees, who was in Lucknow to speak at the launch of a charter of demands by Muslim women addressed to all political parties, appealed to all women to ensure that their children were given the best possible education so that there is higher representation of Muslims in fields like law, police etc.TOI
Did PM Modi’s Mission Shakti address violate model code? EC decision tomorrow
Election Commission on Friday will decide whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on India successfully testing an anti-satellite missile is a violation of the model code of conduct. Addressing the media today, poll panel officer Sandeep Saxena said the decision will be announced tomorrow. indianexpress
No movie can come in the way of mediation in Ram Janmbhoomi - Babri Masjid matter, remarks SC
The Supreme Court today declined a plea for the early listing of a petition seeking a stay on the release of the movie Ram Ki Janmabhoomi (‘Ram’s Birthplace’). The matter was mentioned by advocate Lily Thomas before the Bench of Justices SA Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer. She said that the release of the movie could impact the mediation ordered by the Supreme Court in Ram Mandir – Babri Masjid case. (Ram ki Janmabhoomi). She sought listing of case submitting that release should be stayed till the mediation is over.The Court, however, refused, saying that release of the movie would not affect the mediation.It, therefore, listed the case after two weeks.The film, directed by Sanoj Mishra reportedly touches upon the Ayodhya/Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid dispute, as well as topics such as Triple Talaq and Nikah Halala. With the Supreme Court declining to entertain the plea for a stay today, the film is set to release tomorrow.   (Ram ki Janmabhoomi) barandbench
Patna HC: Give payscale to all madrassa, Sanskrit school teachers and staff
 Patna high court on Wednesday directed the state government to give payscale instead of a fixed remuneration to all those teaching and non-teaching staff in govt-aided and recognized madrassas and Sanskrit schools appointed on or after Feb.15, 2011. The division bench of Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Anjana Mishra, while hearing a batch of eight writ petitions, quashed the state government’s notification through which it had declared that all teaching and non-teaching staff appointed on or after Feb.15, 2011 would be considered as contractual employees and they would be paid a fixed remuneration. The bench directed the state govt to fix payscale of aggrieved petitioners within three months and clear their arrears as well. The notification for giving fixed pay was issued by education department on Aug.31, 2013 with retrospective effect. The petitioners were represented by Vijay Kumar Singh, Vinod Kumar, SBK Mangalam Niranjan Kumar and others while advocate general Lalit Kishore assisted by Prabhu Narayan Sharma appeared for the state in the matter.TOI
Women Paid 34% Less Than Men with Similar Qualifications and Jobs: New Survey
New Delhi: A new survey throws up a dismal picture, not just for the employment crisis in India but specifically for the crisis for women as labour. Not only are there fewer options for women in the work force, they’re also paid less than men. All this happens in an environment that is not conducive for women’s long-term participation. This and more is discussed in a new report from Oxfam India titled ‘Mind the Gap: The State of Employment in India.’ This is a continuation of Oxfam’s report last year on inequality.On the wage gap, women are paid 34% less than men who have similar qualifications and for the same tasks. According to government data from the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) for 2011-2012, women were paid a daily average of Rs 105 to Rs 123 less than males, in urban and rural areas, respectively. Women are being “left out of the growth narrative,” says Oxfam India’s CEO Amitabh Behar. “Despite the rhetoric of job creation and ensuring gender justice, the reality is sobering on the ground,” he says. thewire
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis has no time to review rationalists’ killing cases: Bombay HC
Bombay High Court today expressed displeasure over the pace of probe into the killing of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, asking whether the chief minister did not have time to take stock of cases.It is "shameful" that almost every investigation requires the court's intervention, a bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and B P Colabawala said. CBI is probing the Dabholkar killing case, while the state CID is probing the Pansare case."What is CM doing? He holds 11 portfolios, including Home, but does not find the time to take stock of the case. His deputies do not have the time to remove obstacles in the probe?" the court said.Noting that a political leader belonged to the state and not just any party, it said, "It is a sovereign function and cannot be outsourced." The court made the remarks after CID lawyer Ashok Mundargi submitted that the agency had doubled the strength of SIT probing Pansare case.He said there were now 35 officers in team. nationalherald
Maoists blow up ex-MLC’s house in Bihar’s Gaya, call for poll boycott
Gaya:Maoists blew up the house of a former member of Bihar Legislative Council (MLC) and BJP leader Anuj Kumar Singh in the state’s Gaya district late on Wednesday as they called for the boycott of Lok Sabha election 2019, police said on Thursday.Singh’s uncle and his family member were beaten up during the attack in Bodhibigha village, about 80km away from the district headquarters, according to police.An armed squad of the outlawed CPI(Maoist) also threatened the villagers with dire consequences if they failed to ensure a total boycott of the Lok Sabha election 2019 across the Magadh division of the state. Their raid of the village under the Dumaria police station continued for two hours.HT
Boy, 12, killed by seniors for stealing biscuits, buried inside school by management
Dehradun:A 12-year-old student of a missionary school was battered to death by two of his seniors in Ranipokhri area of Uttarakhand’s Dehradun district after he allegedly stole a packet of biscuits from a shop, police have said.The incident happened on March 10 and the school authorities buried the Class 7 student inside the school campus on March 11 after his father said he will not be able to take his son’s body home.Police arrested the two Class 12 students and three school staff on Tuesday after the boy’s post-mortem examination revealed on March 23 that he died of internal injuries due to physical assault. The five accused were sent to jail on Wednesday.According to police, the minor boy was a resident of Meerut and senior students, both 19, are from Dehradun.“2 accused students were booked for murder while the school staffers were booked for causing the disappearance of evidence,” station house officer of Ranipokhri PD Bhatt said.The other three accused have been identified as school manager Praveen Messi, PTI teacher Ashok Solomon, hostel warden Ajay Kumar, police said.HT
Hindu population in Pakistan has grown at a faster pace than in India
At a time when India is fuming diplomatically at conversion of two minor Hindu girls to Islam in the Sindh province of Pakistan, a look at the religious composition of Pakistan’s population shows that Hindu population has increased exponentially over a three-decade period. Pakistan in 2017 conducted its first census since 1998. Before 1998, the census was last been held in 1981. According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the country’s population in 2017 was 207 million, growth of 146% from 1981. While Pakistan has not yet revealed the religious composition of its population in the latest census, 1998 census pegged the population of Hindus at 2.1 million. In 1998, Hindus comprised 1.6% of Pakistan’s population which made them the biggest minority group in the country. Assuming that the proportion of Hindus in Pakistan’s total population remained the same, the number of Hindus in Pakistan, according to its latest census, would be around 3.3 million.Since 1981 until the latest census, the Hindu population in Pakistan had grown 93%. Muslim population of Pakistan during the same period had increased one-and-a-half times.Hindu population in India during the three-decade period from 1981 to 2011 grew by 72 per cent. Unlike Pakistan, India has always conducted and published its census on time. The Muslim population in India more than doubled during this period. Even though Muslim populations in both India and Pakistan more than doubled, the Muslim population in India grew at a relatively slow pace of 114 per cent. A majority of Pakistani Hindus live in the Sindh province of
US blasted at UN for recognising Israeli sovereignty over Golan
US came under sharp criticism from 14 other United Nations Security Council nations for its decision to recognise Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights in violation of international law.The Security Council met on Wednesday at the request of Syria, which in a letter to the council called the US move a "flagrant violation" of UN resolutions.President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on Monday in which the US recognised Israel's annexation of the strategic plateau that it seized in 1967 and annexed in 1981.Speaker after speaker at the council session supported Syria's sovereignty over the Golan Heights and opposed Israel's annexation after Trump's proclamation."This unilateral action does nothing to assist in finding a long-term peaceful solution to the conflict in the Middle East," South Africa's UN Ambassador Jerry Matjila said.Syria's closest ally, Russia, urged governments to continue to view the Golan Heights as Israeli-occupied territory."If anybody feels any temptation to follow this poor example, we would urge them to refrain from this aggressive revision of international law," Russia's Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said.France warned any attempt to turn from international law was "doomed to fail", as the US prepares to unveil its Middle East peace proposals.
US approves secret nuclear power work for Saudi
US Energy Secretary Rick Perry has approved six secret authorisations for companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia, according to a copy of a document seen by the Reuters news agency.
Trump administration has quietly pursued a wider deal on sharing US nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia, which aims to build at least two nuclear power plants.Perry's approvals, known as Part 810 authorisations, allow companies to do preliminary work on nuclear power in advance of any deal but not ship equipment that would go into a plant, a source with knowledge of the agreements told Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity.aljazeera
Arab countries should be more open to Israel: UAE official
A senior UAE official has said Arab states made a "very wrong decision" in the past when they had decided to not have formal relations or contact with Israel.Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told Emirati daily The National that relations between Arab states and Israel need to change in order to signify progress towards peace with the Palestinians."Many, many years ago, when there was an Arab decision not to have contact with Israel, that was a very, very wrong decision, looking back," Gargash said, in unusually candid remarks."Because clearly, you have to really dissect and divide between having a political issue and keeping your lines of communication open." aljazeera
Syrian military: Israeli air attack targeted Aleppo
Syrian military said Israel on Wednesday launched raids on an industrial zone in the northern city of Aleppo, causing damage only to materials, while opposition sources said the attack hit Iranian ammunitions stores and a military airport used by Tehran's forces."The Israeli aggression targeted some positions in Sheikh Najjar industrial zone and a number of enemy missiles were brought down," an army statement said.There was no immediate comment from Israel.The blasts caused an electrical blackout in Aleppo, the country's second-largest city and a major industrial hub that bore the brunt of years of fighting and heavy Russian and Syrian aerial bombardment on its former rebel-held areas. aljazeera
New Zealand Mosque leader says Mossad behind Christchurch terror attack
Chairman of the Mt Roskill Masjid E Umar, Ahmed Bhamji, attacked "Zionist business" and the Mossad as those responsible for the shooting spree in Christchurch New Zealand that left 49 Muslim worshipers dead, News Hub reported. Bhamji was speaking at a rally held in Auckland's Aotea Square. One person shouted his consent saying "Israel is behind this!"  Masjid stood by his statement when contacted by News Hub: "Mossad is up to all these things," he said. jpost
Anti-Muslim Hate-crimes Up 593% in Britain After Christchurch Mosques Shooting
LONDON The number of anti-Muslim hate crimes reported across Britain increased after a white supremacist killed 50 worshippers at two New Zealand mosques, according to a monitoring group.The hate-crime watch group Tell Mama has reported that there has been a 593% increase in Islamophobic attacks across Britain in the week following the terrorist attack in New Zealand by a white supremacist.Almost all of the hate crimes reported were linked to the terrorist attack in New Zealand, according to Tell Mama, writes caravandaily
Pakistan minister calls US envoy to Afghanistan ‘little pygmy’ in Twitter spat
New Delhi :Pakistan’s Minister for Human Right Shireen Mazari Wednesday got into a Twitter spat with US Ambassador to Kabul John Bass after he equated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts in Afghan peace talks with ‘ball-tampering’.Pakistan is currently entangled in the peace negotiations between Afghanistan government and Taliban after US decided to withdraw its forces from the region after nearly 20 years. Taking on Imran Khan’s Afghan diplomacy, Bass had tweeted Wednesday, “Some aspects of cricket apply well in diplomacy, some do not. Imran Khan, important to resist the temptation to ball-tamper with the Afghanistan peace process and its internal affairs.”Bass’ comment was allegedly in reaction to Khan’s statement on Monday when he had suggested an interim government in Afghanistan to help smooth the talks process with the Taliban. Indianexpress
13 civilians killed in latest US strikes in Afghanistan
More than a dozen civilians were killed in northern Afghanistan by U.S.-led airstrikes, the UN announced on Monday.UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported that an airstrike conducted by international coalition forces on Friday night in the northeast of the country killed 13 civilians and injured three more.The body indicated that 10 of those killed were the children of a single family that had been displaced by violence elsewhere in the country.AA
Afghanistan war: Alarming spike in civilian deaths
Thai electoral body says pro-military party won popular vote
Thailand's pro-army Palang Pracharat party won the popular vote in Sunday's general election with 8.4 million ballots, the Election Commission said as it released unofficial results of the first election since a military coup in 2014.In a news conference on Thursday, commission did not say how many seats that would translate into. The results represented 100 percent of the ballots counted but would remain unofficial until final results are announced on May 9. aljazeera
Cameroon forces kill 170 in Anglophone region in six months: HRW
Government forces in Cameroon's restive Anglophone regions killed at least 170 civilians over the past six months, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).Civilians in the region were also attacked by armed separatists during the same period, with at least two men being executed, the US-based rights group's researchers said on Thursday. Armed conflict erupted in 2017 in the country's Anglophone North-West and South-West regions after the government violently repressed peaceful protests that begun the year before against perceived marginalisation of English speakers.Cameroon's English speakers have long complained of being treated like second-class citizens and getting less government funding. aljazeera
Somalia: At least 11 killed by car bomb in Mogadishu
A car bomb exploded near a hotel and restaurant in the Somali capital on Thursday, killing at least 11 people, rescue services said.The afternoon explosion on a busy road in Mogadishu sent a huge cloud of smoke into the sky and destroyed two restaurants and cars parked in the area.Witnesses reported seeing bodies strewn on the ground as plumes of smoke rose high into the air. "The death toll we have confirmed so far is 11 people, with 16 others wounded," said Abdulkadir Abdirahman Adan, director of the Aamin Ambulance service, adding that the toll could still rise. "There could be more losses."
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing. Aljazeera
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:20 PM)


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