04 March 2019

4 March ND: Republic TV issues unconditional apology for hurting Muslims’ sentiments; CNN-News18 alos accused of ‘blasphemy’ with mischievous broadcast/ IAF Doesn’t Calculate Casualties: Air Chief Marshal on Balakot/ Congress slams BJP for ‘milking’ Balakot airstrike

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
04 March 2019: 26 Jamadiul-II 1440:Vol:11, No:142
Republic TV issues unconditional apology for hurting Muslims’ sentiments; CNN-News18 also accused of ‘blasphemy’ with mischievous broadcast
Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV has issued a rare apology after being accused of hurting the sentiments of Muslims with a piece of fake news, which was hugely provocative in nature. The extraordinary apology by Goswami’s channel came amidst Muslims groups also accusing Mukesh Ambani-owned CNN-News18 of committing blasphemy by casting aspersion on the three of the holiest sites for Muslims in the world. Republic TV’s apology came after All India Muslim Personal Board issued a scathing letter accusing the channel of falsely accusing the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind chief Maulana Jalaluddin Umri of being a terrorist. Taking exception to the channel’s ‘mischief,’ several Muslim groups including the Board wrote a letter to the channel condemning its act and demanding an immediate apology. The letter by AIMPLB also condemned CNN-News18 for committing ‘blasphemy’ by linking three of the holiest sites for Muslims to Jaish chief Masood Azhar’s ‘terror factory.’ While posting its letter, AIMPLB wrote, “We strongly condemn @republic channel for falsely accusing Ml Jalaluddin Umri, the vice president of @AIMPLB_ Official, of being a terrorist. We also condemn @CNNnews18. It has committed blasphemy against Madjids (sic) in Mecca, Madina and Quds. Both channels must apologize.”Realising the potential consequences of its fake reporting, Republic moved in with lightning speed and issued a rare apology for hurting the sentiments of Muslims. Its tweet read, “CORRIGENDUM & APOLOGY for taking a wrong image of Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri carried on Republic TV at 4:03 PM. It was an inadvertent error, the video editor concerned carried the wrong image which was wrongly broadcast once & immediately corrected.” In its subsequent tweet, the channel wrote, “Republic TV unconditionally apologises to Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri for the same.”Republic TV appears to have removed the controversial video from its website and has also updated its report on the government’s crackdown on Jamaat-e-Islami in Kashmir by clearly stating that the outfit in the valley had no relation with Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.Elsewhere, CNN-News18, a channel owned by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Group is facing even more serious charges as the AIMPLB accused it of hurting the sentiments of Muslims across the world. In its broadcast on Saturday, the channel claimed to unearth the property details of Jaish chief Masood Azhar. While flashing the headlines ‘JeM terror factory in Bahawalpur,’ the channel showed the photos of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, a mosque in Madina and Al-Aqsa implying that they were part of Azhar’s terror factory. These mosques are considered to be the three most holiest sites for Muslims around the world. Letter by AIMPLB termed the news flash by CNN-News18 as mischievous, deliberately designed to defame Islam and provoke Muslims. The channel has not yet apologised for its incredibly inflammatory broadcast targeting Muslims around the globe. In other words by running the images of three of the most sacred sites of Islam with a caption ‘JeM terror factor,’ the channel sought to link their role with terrorism. jantakareporter
Maulana Umari mulls legal action against Republic TV
Schools, Mosques, Orphanages Run By J&K Jamaat Kept Outside Ambit of Seizure:J&K Admin
Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir government on Sunday said the schools, mosques and orphanages being run by banned Jamaat-e-Islami J&K(JI) have so far been kept outside the ambit of seizure. The clarification came hours after NC leader Omar Abdullah said the ban on JEI "is having a major social impact" in Kashmir and appealed to the government to "urgently review" its decision to seal schools and mosques run by it."Schools, mosques and orphanages have been kept outside the scope of seizures and sealing in the wake of the ban imposed by Government of India on Jamaat-e-Islami, J&K," state government spokesman Rohit Kansal clarified on Sunday evening. He said the action is being taken against offices, assets, properties and other equipment of the banned outfit. "Ban is for 5 years and subsequent orders to do so have been issued by the state government and the deputy commissioners."PTI
IAF Doesn’t Calculate Casualties: Air Chief Marshal on Balakot
For the first time after the aerial strikes by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Pakistan’s Balakot, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa addressed the media in Coimbatore. On Monday, Dhanoa said that IAF had conducted “successful raids”, however he refused to comment on the number of casualties inflicted, calling it “the government’s prerogative.”IAF is not in a postilion to clarify the number of casualties, he said.“The government will clarify that. We don't count human casualties, we count what targets we have hit or not,” he said. Dhanoa’s remarks come amid a lack of clarity on the exact details of the strike. The government has refused to comment on the details of the attack.thequint
Pakistan won’t hesitate to use nuke in face of defeat against India, warns Amarinder
Amritsar: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh has cautioned that Pakistan would not hesitate to use its nuclear arsenal if it felt it was losing out against India in a conventional battle.Refusing to comment on the casualty figure in Indian Air Force strikes in Pakistan, Singh said, “Whether it was one killed or 100, the message had gone out loud and clear – India will not let the killing of its innocent soldiers and citizens go unpunished.”He asserted that neither country could afford a full-scale war.“Pakistan will not hesitate to use its nuclear arsenal if it felt it is losing out against India in a conventional war,” Singh told the media in Amritsar.PTI
Imran Khan: I am not worthy of Nobel Peace Prize, one who solves Kashmir dispute must get it
New Delhi :2 days after a resolution was submitted in Pakistan Parliament to endorse Imran Khan for the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for de-escalating tensions with India, the Pakistan Prime Minister on Monday said the person worthy of the award would be “the one who solves the Kashmir dispute”.Taking to Twitter, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief said, “I am not worthy of the Nobel Peace prize. The person worthy of this would be the one who solves the Kashmir dispute according to the wishes of the Kashmiri people and paves the way for peace & human development in the subcontinent.”indianexpress
Sidhu takes swipe at govt over Balakot strikes: Were you uprooting trees or terrorists?
New Delhi:Congress leaders Navjot Singh Sidhu and Kapil Sibal on Monday joined the growing chorus of Opposition leaders expressing skepticism over the impact of Feb.26 IAF airstrikes in Pakistan’s Balakot. Sibal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should respond to international reports claiming there were hardly any casualties in the IAF’s Balakot airstrike, while Punjab minister Sidhu asked the Centre to come clear if indeed 300 terrorists were killed. indian express
‘Who put out the number of casualties?’: Congress slams BJP for ‘milking’ Balakot airstrike
No minister to receive body, Bihar CRPF inspector’s family is upset
Patna: Although PM Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar mentioned the supreme sacrifice of CRPF Inspector Pintu Kumar Singh at the NDA rally on Sunday, CRPF inspector’s family is upset because no minister from the state government was present at Patna airport to receive Singh’s body.Patna DM and SSP represented the government. Among political leaders, state Congress chief Madan Mohan Jha was present at the airport to pay last respects to the CRPF personnel. Singh, a resident of Bagras Dhyanchakki village of Begusarai, was among five CRPF personnel killed in an encounter with terrorists in Kupwara.When his body reached Patna airport, a government protocol was in place, but there was no minister to pay respects to the paramilitary personnel.indianexpress
Dalit, minority voters missing from electoral rolls in Uttarakhand: opposition parties
Dehradun: Members of various opposition parties in a joint press conference held on Sunday, alleged that names of people belonging to downtrodden sections of society, like Dalits and other minorities, were missing from electoral rolls in Uttarakhand. Leaders claimed that the data emerged after an internal voter survey was conducted ahead of Lok Sabha polls.Former state Congress chief Kishore Upadhyay, along with leaders of other parties like CPI, CPI(M) and Samajwadi Party, demanded that Election Commission must conduct extensive survey and include all missing names in the voting list, or else “democracy would be in danger.”“We conducted a poll survey in January last week in which voters were surveyed in Dharampur, Raipur and Mussoorie assembly constituencies. Out of 298 voters who had voter IDs, it was found that around 12.5% were not present in the voter list. Of these, 90% were Dalits or minorities. If the same proportion applies across the state, among Dalits alone, more than 1,36,000 people will not be able to vote in the upcoming elections,” said Shankar Gopalakrishnan,joint convenor, Chetna Andolan, organisation that had conducted the survey. Kishore Upadhyay, former state Congress chief termed it a “deeply disturbing situation.”“Similar surveys in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and elsewhere have found equally large numbers of people missing from voter lists.In Uttarakhand, recent local body polls saw over 2 lakh names missing from voter lists. If poor people are removed from the voter list in such large numbers, democracy itself will be in danger,” he alleged. TOI
AP: 8 lakh applications for deletion of voters, cases booked
Large-scale applications for deletion of voters in Andhra Pradesh have come under the scanner of the state's Chief Electoral Officer, who on February 4, ordered booking of police cases against those submitting the applications in bad faith.Taking a serious note of 8 lakh applications received for deletions, CEO Gopal Krishna Dwivedi asked police to book 45 cases in nine districts.He said firm action would be taken against those misusing form-7 to seek removal of names of eligible voters. CEO asked officials to identify those sending online applications in bulk seeking deletions of voters. During last 10 days, seven lakh applications under form-7 were received.nationalheraldindia
Pakistan may soon take action against JeM chief Masood Azhar: PTI Report
Lahore: Pakistan government, in order to de-escalate tensions with India, has decided to launch a crackdown on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, according to a top government source. This came on a day a media report said that Islamabad may even withdraw its opposition to the move to list him as global terrorist in the UN Security Council.“The government has decided in principle to launch crackdown on the leadership of the JeM (Azhar),” the source told PTI. He said the action against JeM in the country is “expected any time soon”.“In order to de-escalate the tensions between India and Pakistan, the Imran Khan government has planned action against the JeM,” the source said. “This will be another significant move of the Imran Khan government to de-escalate tensions after handing over the captured Indian pilot to his country.”PTI
India standing taller among Islamic nations, Saudi has raised Haj quota, says PM Modi in Patna
PATNA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said India’s standing has grown taller among Islamic countries in the world lately due to efforts by the NDA government he heads.“For the first time in 50 years, India was invited to a summit of Islamic countries. In these 50 years, India had governments of Congress and its allies,” he said at an NDA rally in Bihar capital Patna, referring to the plenary of the foreign ministers’ conclave of OIC, an influential grouping of 57 Islamic countries.“During the Saudi Crown Prince’s recent visit to Delhi, I asked him to raise the Haj quota from India as more and more Muslims want to go for Haj. He raised it to two lakh. This happened to no other country. India’s voice was heard and respected,” said Modi.​newindianexpress
VHP does not want to solve Ayodhya land dispute:petitioner Haji Mehboob
With the Supreme Court set to pass an order on March 5 on whether the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case should be sent for mediation, Haji Mehboob, a petitioner, has accused VHP of not wanting to settle the issue and keep it on for its own benefits."The main petitioner of the Hindu side, Nirmohi Akhada, wants to solve the issue but VHP wants to keep this issue on forever for its own benefits," he told ANI in Lucknow.Mehboob said, "Talks have been started. The SC has earlier been of the view that the issue should be resolved through dialogue."According to Gautam Vij, a representative of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, "The SC had said that the matter should be solved through dialogue. We have sent the letters to the Muslim law board and Jamiat Ulama president Maulana Arshad Madni."Syed Rafat, president of Intellectual Forum, said, "I am sure that we will succeed. We have sent letters and the parties have told us that they will look into it. I have started a new intellectual forum of Muslims. Nirmohi Akhada is ready to solve the issue."ANI
RSS, BJP bodies mull report card on work done to woo Muslim votes
NAGPUR: In a bid to woo Muslim votes, BJP’s minority wing and RSS’ Muslim Rashitrya Manch (MRM) have drawn up plans for a micro-level campaign in the community.In a meeting held two days ago, the two groups decided to distribute booklets in Muslim households detailing the work done by the BJP government for the community’s upliftment.The booklet would stress that the 10% reservation for the general category would also benefit Muslims.The issues to be highlighted in the booklet were discussed in a meeting attended by senior functionaries of both the organizations of Sangh Parivar. The work done by BJP would be directly compared with Congress’ contribution to the community, said a source. TOI

After sedition charges dropped, UP govt forms SIT to probe AMU clash
Uttar Pradesh government has decided to form a SIT to probe the violent clash between two groups of AMU students, one of them led by a BJP MLA’s son, that occurred on Feb.12. The clash had led to the slapping of sedition charges on 14 students. However, the charges were dropped later for want of credible evidence.Confirming the move, principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar said that he has instructed the Aligarh police to form a SIT to investigate the matter, as the four separate FIRs that were registered are interlinked and related to the same incident.The move to form SIT comes a few days after the police withdrew the sedition charges against 14 AMU students.According to sources, the formation of the SIT is the result of the pressure being exerted by the two groups. While there was political pressure, as one of the complaints is from the son of BJP MLA Dalveer Singh, the teachers and students’ union of the AMU were backing the claims of the other group that they had been falsely implicated in the case. TOI
Train coach set on fire to recreate Godhra attack for ‘biopic on Modi’
Vadodara :A burning railway bogie on the narrow gauge between Pratap Nagar and Dabhoi railway line in Vadodara on Sunday morning had many people watching from their rooftops nearby. The burning bogie was part of a film shoot to re-create the attack on S6 coach of the Sabarmati Express on Feb.27, 2002, in which 59 passengers, mainly kar sewaks returning from Ayodhya, were killed, which set off riots across Gujarat.The Indian Express has learnt that the Western Railways and the Vadodara fire department had given permission to shoot the film, which, according to an executive of the production company, “captures the life of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” It is slated for a social media release ahead of the 2019 elections.Western Railway PRO Khemraj Meena said, “Permission was given to shoot the documentary film here. It was shot at the narrow gauge Vishwamitri railway station. No rail traffic was affected in the process of the shoot and the bogie being used for the shoot was provided by us. It is a mock-drill bogie and was unused.”Indian express

France Reiterates Support for India's Permanent Seat in Reformed UNSC
UN: France, which assumed the March Presidency of the UNSC, has reiterated its support for India as the permanent member of the powerful UN organ, saying the UNSC’s enlargement is the “first crucial part” towards its reform.India has been calling for the reform of the UN Security Council along with Brazil, Germany and Japan for long, emphasising that it rightly deserves a place at the UN high table as a permanent member.Reiterating its support for India, Germany and Japan as permanent members of an expanded Council, France said that enlargement of the powerful UN organ in both permanent and non-permanent categories is the “first crucial part” towards UNSC reform.PTI
59 Nobel Laureates Urge India, Pakistan to 'Defuse Rising Tension'
New Delhi: 59 Nobel laureates have urged the prime ministers of India and Pakistan to “defuse the rising tension” before the situation “escalates to a full-fledged war”, a statement said.A letter signed by the Noble winners, under the aegis of the Laureates and Leaders for Children, a platform founded by India’s Nobel peace laureate Satyarthi, was submitted to India and Pakistan’s Permanent Representatives to the UN on Saturday, it said.Nobel Laureates who have signed the appeal include Leymah Gbowee, Shirin Ebadi, Tawakkol Karman, Malala Yousafzai, Muhammad Yunus, Jos Ramos-Horta, Edvard Ingjald Moser and May-Britt Mose, among others who have been awarded the prize across disciplines, according to the statement.PTI
Muslim school kids called names and told to ‘go to Pakistan’, mothers blame TV hate
New Delhi: ‘Osama’, ‘Baghdadi’, ‘Mullah’, ‘Go to Pakistan’… These are some of the terms that kids are blurting out, often unknowingly, at their Muslim peers in primary schools, leaving parents in extreme distress over the impact of such bullying.Such hate has come and gone cyclically in the past, but in the wake of the escalating India-Pakistan tensions, there has recently been a rise in Muslim kids being subjected to religious slurs, which has left mothers shaken.Most of them squarely put the blame on jingoistic television channels, saying that their “hate mongering” is leading to discrimination and harassment.Nazia Erum, author of the book Mothering a Muslim, spoke about the trend in a Facebook post.“Getting information from various cities that there has been a sharp spike in children being singled out, bullied and being told to ‘go to Pakistan’. From my maid, cousins, friends to Twitter acquaintances — everyone reporting this in,” she had written, stirring up a conversation on social media.Erum said in the last few years, religious discrimination in schools had gone up drastically, prompting her to write the book in the first place.theprint
PM Modi mocks dyslexia persons; political leaders, Twitterati erupt in anger
PM Narendra Modi faced severe criticism for mocking individuals suffering from dyslexia at a video conference at IIT Kharagpur during the finals of the Smart India Hackathon 2019.A student was talking about her project that aimed at helping children with dyslexia to be creative in spite of their learning difficulties. PM Modi asked the student if the project would help children who are between the ages of 40-50 years. When the student responded in affirmation, responded saying, “The mothers of such children will be very happy in that case.”The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) issued a statement against PM Modi for his “distasteful” remark and demanded an apology.NPRD general secretary Muralidharan Vishwanath said the PM’s conduct is uncalled for and his response is totally insensitive as he tried to portray all dyslexic people in a poor light by taking a dig at his political rivals.Leaders and other Twitter users slammed PM Modi for his crass comment on people suffering from dyslexia.nationalheraldindia
First-time voters could hold key to 282 seats in this Lok Sabha elections
New Delhi: The analysis is based on new voters who crossed the eligibility age of 18 years after the 2014 elections and were added during subsequent annual summary revisions of electoral rolls.This Lok Sabha election, the youth may hold the key in as many as 282 seats across 29 states, where there could be more first-time voters than their respective winning margins in 2014, an analysis of Election Commission (EC) data by The Indian Express has revealed.These voters — born between 1997 and 2001 — were not eligible to vote in the last general elections. In fact, there will be an estimated average of 1.49 lakh first-time eligible voters in each Lok Sabha constituency and this figure is larger than the winning margin in 297 seats in 2014. Some of these voters may have got an opportunity to vote during the Assembly elections since 2014, but this will be their first Lok Sabha election.indianexpress
Former BJD MP Baijayant Panda joins BJP
New Delhi :Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and in a major boost to the BJP in Odisha, former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda on Monday joined the saffron party in the presence of Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Panda met BJP chief Amit Shah and joined the party in New Delhi.indianexpress
Air pollution from stubble burning costing India $30 bn annually: Study
Air pollution due to crop residue burning in northern India is a leading risk factor of acute respiratory infections and causes an estimated economic loss of $30 billion annually, according to a study unveiled on Monday.Researchers from the US-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and partner institutes found that living in districts with air pollution from intense crop residue burning (CRB) is a leading risk factor for acute respiratory infection (ARI), especially among children less than five years.PTI
US shuts Jerusalem consulate, downgrades Palestinian mission
United States has officially shuttered its consulate in Jerusalem, downgrading the status of its main diplomatic mission in Palestine by folding it into the US Embassy to Israel.For decades, the consulate functioned as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians. Now, that outreach will be handled by a Palestinian affairs unit, under the command of the embassy."This decision was driven by our global efforts to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our diplomatic engagements and operations," State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino said in a statement."It does not signal a change of US policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Gaza Strip."Palestinian leaders see the decision as another move against them by US President Donald Trump's administration, which they froze contact with after his 2017 decision recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital."Trump administration is intent on leaving no room for doubt about its hostility towards the Palestinian people and their inalienable rights, as well as its abject disregard for international law and its obligations under the law," senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.Palestinian official Saeb Erekat called the move "the final nail in the coffin" for the US role in peacemaking. he symbolic shift hands authority over US diplomatic channels with the West Bank and Gaza to Ambassador David Friedman, a longtime supporter and fundraiser for the West Bank settler movement and fierce critic of the Palestinian leadership.aljazeera
Israeli soldiers kill two Palestinians after alleged car-ramming
Israeli soldiers shot 3Palestinians after a car ramming attack in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army said.Media outlets in Israel said two of the alleged attackers on Monday were killed, while the Israeli military said another was slightly wounded.In a statement, the Israeli army said an officer was critically injured and a soldier slightly hurt when they were hit by the vehicle, about 10km northwest of Palestinian city of Ramallah .Israeli soldiers had stopped their car on the roadside at night - Israeli media reported it had broken down - and were deliberately struck, the military said.aljazeera
Israeli army, settlers 'routinely harass' Nablus students
Nablus:School principal Mohammad Jaser presses a button to open the intercom system and makes a routine announcement."Israeli army has been spotted near the premises," Jaser says, his voice blaring from speakers and into the classrooms of the al-Sawiyeh al-Lebban school near Nablus in the northern West Bank last month. "Stay inside your classrooms, away from the windows, and lock the doors," he instructs the students. "Prepare for an evacuation."The students and teachers at the mixed school, located between the villages of al-Sawiyeh and al-Lebban, have been trained to respond to incidents like this. he school is often the target of Israeli army activity in the area and has faced numerous incidents of armed settlers entering the premises and threatening students.aljazeera
Hamas: Egypt reaffirms its role as mediator pushing Israel to sign truce
Egypt is working to force Israel to commit to previously signed agreements and lift the siege on the Gaza Strip, a senior Hamas official said in a press conference .“Egypt is working to compel Israel to commit to the agreements of the truce and lift the siege on Gaza Strip,” Khalil Al-Hayya said in Gaza City. This came following a meeting between Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh and factions and officials of the High Committee of the Great Return March and Breaking the Siege.Haniyeh returned to Gaza from Egypt on Wednesday after a three-week visit to Cairo and announced that four Palestinians who had been abducted in Sinai would be released following talks.Al-Hayya stated that during his visit to Cairo, Haniyeh stressed on “the Palestinian national constants and the need to put an end to the Palestinian division following the Palestinian common vision, and in accordance with the agreements signed between the factions during the past years.”“Haniyeh also reviewed the dangers threatening the Palestinian issue with the Egyptian officials,” and stressed “the need to end the Israeli siege on Gaza, which has been ongoing for about 12 years.”middleeastmonitor
Israel rejects building permits for Palestinians in Jerusalem
Israeli occupation authorities have rejected applications from Palestinian residents to build homes in occupied Jerusalem, Haaretz reported on Sunday. The Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee, turned down some 20 applications for residential building permits submitted by Palestinians.According to the newspaper, this means “rejecting a long-standing procedure for establishing land ownership in East Jerusalem.” It reported that representatives of the Israeli right-wing parties and the secular Hitorerut ticket on the city’s zoning board voted against the building plans, pointing out that this decision prevents the Palestinians from building any homes in the city in the future. Members of ultra-Orthodox parties, apparently, voted in favour of the applications.MEMO
800 Palestinians allowed to exit Gaza for Mecca pilgrimage
Some 800 Palestinians crossed Sunda from the Gaza Strip into Egypt on their initial stage of a pilgrimage to Mecca, the first time since 2014 Egyptian authorities have granted visas for such a trip. Pilgrims left at around dawn and were to be met by buses on the Egyptian side to bring them to Cairo's airport, from where they would fly to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, said a Palestinian official at the Rafah crossing in the Gaza Strip. 15 Gazans among the 800 were not authorised to cross, according to a Palestinian security official at Rafah, without providing the reasons.Security sources on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing confirmed it was first such permission for Muslim umrah pilgrimage since the start of Egyptian military operations in northern Sinai in 2014. Around 2500 pilgrims are authorised annually to leave Gaza via Egypt for hajj, one of the 5 pillars of Islam that Muslims must undertake at least once in their lifetime. AFP
Khashoggi's body likely burned in large oven at Saudi home
The body of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was likely burned in a large oven at the Saudi consulate general's residence in Istanbul, an Al Jazeera investigation revealed.New details of the writer's murder by a Saudi assassination team were reported in a documentary by Al Jazeera Arabic that aired on Sunday.Turkish authorities monitored the burning of the outdoor furnace from outside the premises as bags believed to be containing Khashoggi's body parts were transferred to the Saudi consul's home after he was killed inside the consulate a few hundred metres away.Al Jazeera interviewed a worker who constructed the furnace who stated it was built according to specifications from the Saudi consul. It had to be deep and withstand temperatures above 1,000 degrees Celsius - hot enough to melt metal.aljazeera
Renowned Egyptian news photographer Shawkan released from prison
Award-winning Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, widely known as Shawkan, has been released in his country after more than five years in prison.The photographer, who was arrested while covering a crackdown on anti-military protests back then, was freed on Monday.He posted a picture on his Twitter with the hashtag "hello asphalt", a phrase used by Egypt's political prisoners when they get freed.Shawkan was arrested in August 2013 while covering clashes between security forces and supporters of the overthrown President Mohamed Morsi that turned into a bloodbath in which hundreds of demonstrators died.aljazeera
No Agreement Reached at US-Taliban Talks in Qatar - Statement
DOHA (Sputnik) - A Taliban negotiating team and US delegates, who continue their talks in Doha, have not yet reached any common understanding or agreed on a joint document, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said."The current round of talks in Doha are advancing on a step-by-step basis. As the issue at hand is immensely crucial and delicate, its progression is taking place with that much care and vigilance. The talks during January saw an agreement regarding withdrawal of occupying forces and preventing Afghanistan from being used against others, but this round of talks are about the details and nature of these two issues. It should be mentioned that no understanding has so far been reached about any agreement or document", Mujahid wrote on Twitter.The new round of the US-Taliban talks kicked off in Doha on 25 February. Three days later, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad described the talks as productive, adding that the sides would take the next two days for internal deliberations and resume talks on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Afghan peace process and prospects for resuming a direct dialogue between the Taliban movement and the Afghan government are being discussed on a number of platforms.Sputnik
Taliban says peace talks with US continue with 'care and vigilance'
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov to hold talks in Qatar                                                
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has arrived in Qatar as part of a tour across the Gulf countries aimed at discussing bilateral trade, energy, investment and regional issues including Syria, Yemen, Libya and Palestine.Lavrov is scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates after his first stop in the Qatari capital Doha on Monday. ussian media reported that Lavrov, in his talks with Qatari officials, would discuss the "implementation of the top-level agreements, projects in the energy sector, industry, agriculture and peaceful use of outer space".aljazeera
Yemen's farmers forced to eat leaves as war devastates harvests
Khalid Abdullah, a 33-year-old resident of Yemen's Hajjah governorate, used to work on the farms he had inherited from his father.He would plant tomatoes, onion, potatoes, corns, and other kinds of vegetables and grains, and never thought he would find himself unemployed and reliant on help from others.But anything is possible when your country is enveloped in conflict, and the outbreak of Yemen's civil war in 2015 turned the lives of farmers in Abdullah's part of the world upside down. Hajjah is a rural governorate, 127km from the capital Sanaa in Houthi-controlled territory.Houthi rebels have been mired in a war with government forces, who have been backed since 2015 by a Saudi-led coalition."I used to provide for my family from farming, but in 2015 the prices of fuel more than doubled and I could not buy fuel for the water pump, so my lands became barren," Abdullah told Middle East Eye."I did my best to bring water by jerrycans to water the farms, but that did not help, and I lost my only source of income because of the expensive fuel."According to UNICEF, 1.8 million children are acutely malnourished in Yemen, including 400,000 who are suffering from "severe malnutrition and urgently need life-saving food to survive". Middleeasteye
The way polygamy is practiced today is unfair to women and children: al-Azhar Imam
Cairo (Egypt): Sheikh Ahmed El Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, stated on his weekly TV show that the understanding of polygamy has been distorted and the way it is currently misinterpreted and practiced is unfair to women and children.“We have to read the verse (of Quran) in full. The part which says, ‘two, three and four wives’, is only part of the verse, and not the entire verse, as having multiple wives oppresses the women and her children", al-Azhar Imam is quoted as saying by Egyptian Streets.“Is the Muslim really free to marry a second and third and fourth? Or is this freedom bound by restrictions and conditions? ” he asked."Those who say that marriage must be polygamous are all wrong," he said.The Quran, he added, states that for a Muslim man to have multiple wives, he "must obey conditions of fairness - and if there is no fairness, it is forbidden to have multiple wives".Egypt's National Council for Women responded positively to his comments, according to

Flash: views & NEWS
Manufactured Audio Clip Used to Claim Pulwama Terror Attack an Inside Job by BJP:Pooja Chaudhuri
With Weary Witnesses, Suleman Usman Bakery Case Goes to Trial After 26 Yrs:Sukanya Shantha
Centre bans Jamaat-e-Islami J&K- What you need to know about this organisation: DNA India
WATCH- PM Modi appears to plagiarise Imran Khan’s speech to woo Muslims in Patna rally? jantakareporter
Pakistan’s Balakot is linked to puritanical Islam – but it also has a syncretic religious tradition:Haroon Khalid
Kashmir needs a robust education system, an honest conversation:Muzamil Yaqoob, Basit Abubakr

Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 6:51 PM)


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