14 April 2019

14 April ND:Opposition parties to approach SC again to demand verification of 50% votes by VVPATs/ Al-Bashir under house arrest in Khartoum: Sudan

NEWS DIGEST, Afternoon 
14 April 2019: 08 Shaban 1440:Vol: 11, No:175
Opposition parties to approach SC again to demand verification of 50% votes by VVPATs
New Delhi: Opposition parties on Sunday held a meeting to discuss the issue of EVM malfunctioning and said they will approach the Supreme Court again to demand that at least 50% of paper trails be verified with EVMs. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who on Saturday met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora to raise the issue of EVM malfunctioning, said 21 political parties have demanded verification of VVPAT paper trails of 50% of the EVMs.Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said opposition parties will approach the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the EC for counting of at least 50% of the VVPAT slips with the EVMs in every assembly segment.He said the opposition parties will carry out a nationwide campaign on the issue of discrepancies in EVMs.“We do not think the EC is doing enough to address issue of EVM malfunctioning,” Singhvi alleged.The Supreme Court Monday directed the EC to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs to five polling booths per assembly segment, from one at present, in the Lok Sabha polls, saying it will provide greater satisfaction not just to political parties but the entire electorate.PTI
Chandrababu Naidu Leads Oppn Offensive Against EVMs, Demands 50% Verification of VVPAT Slips
Nirbhaya Fund Money Isn't Being Spent, Women's Security Schemes Not Implemented
New Delhi: In the year 2012, the horrific Jyoti Singh gang rape had raised serious questions regarding women’s safety. The scale of socio-political movements that erupted in the wake of the gruesome incident rattled the Indian masses to their core.The then UPA government had found it difficult to control public outrage. As a result, the govt hastily formed a committee led by Justice J.S. Verma which recommended stricter laws and measures.The government also set up a special fund for women’s safety called the Nirbhaya Fund. In line with the recommendations of the Justice J.S. Verma committee, the central government – time and again – granted money to various projects related to women’s security.We used to the Right to Information in order to find out how much money the government has used from the Nirbhaya fund and on which projects.To know about it was necessary because Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the slogan ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao‘ (Save girl child, educate girl child) immediately after the present BJP-led NDA government had come to power. It was important to find out whether the Nirbhaya fund was being spent on saving the girl child, on their protection as well as empowerment, or not. If yes, where and how was the money spent? Therefore, we filed several RTI applications on the issue.thewire
Voters question Election Commission after they realise 'indelible' ink vanishes
Many people during the first phase of polling claimed that the "indelible" ink applied to mark the index finger of the voter immediately after casting their vote could be removed just by applying some chemical remover on it.After 2 reporters from News18 demonstrated on TV how the indelible stain on their index fingers disappeared soon after applying some nail polish remover on them, a lookup of Twitter showed that many other people also shared similar experiences on the micro-blogging site. The revelation could have far-reaching implications as the "indelible" ink is meant to ensure that a voter can vote only once. IANS
Jharkhand lynching: ‘We lay motionless, assault continued’
Ranchi :3 days after they were beaten up by a mob near Jhurmu village in Jharkhand’s Gumla district over suspicion of slaughtering a cattle, the three may be safe, surrounded by family members and guarded by plainclothed policemen at the surgical ward of Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, but the horrors of the encounter do not let them sleep.“Maaro saalon ko (beat them)’ is all we had heard when a mob of more than 25 ran up to us, armed with swords, sickle, iron rods,” recalled Janriush Minz, 40, at the hospital.Around him, in other beds, lay Peter Phuljans (50) and Belasus Tirkey (60). The fourth person with them that day — Prakash Lakra — had succumbed to the assault. The police had taken the four — all tribal Christians — to the Community Health Centre in the district’s Dumri block. Lakra was declared dead on arrival.Tirkey does not recall how long they lay outside the police station on Wednesday night, but it was “at least two-three hours” before police help arrived. “I believe it was around 4 am when the policemen arrived and then they took us to the nearest Community Health Centre…. Could Prakash have been saved (had the police help arrived earlier)?”On Friday, 2 of the 7 men charged with Lakra’s murder were arrested.indianexpress
Jailed Kashmiri students to ask Karnataka HC for early bail hearing
Mangaluru :An advocate for 3 Kashmiri students arrested in February in Bengaluru Rural district on charges of sedition and assault following a fight in their college hostel over alleged comments made against the Indian Army after the Pulwama attack, will press for an early hearing of their bail plea in the Karnataka High Court next week.“Our bail plea was rejected by the lower court. An appeal has been filed in the High Court. The case has not come up for hearing. We will press for an early hearing next week,” advocate Muzamil Mushtaq Shah, also from Kashmir, who represented the students when they filed for bail in the Bengaluru Rural sessions court, said.3 students, Haris Manzoor and Gowhar Mushtaq from Spurthy College of Nursing, and Zaqir Maqbool from Chinai College of Nursing located on the outskirts of Bengaluru, were arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by Spurthy Nursing College principal Babu Dharmarajan after a brawl in the hostel over alleged anti-Army social media posts by the students.indianexpress
Need to review narrative about Pakistan in India, will engage with Delhi after elections: Pakistan envoy
New Delhi :Asserting that there was a need to review the narrative about Pakistan in India, Pakistan’s outgoing High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood on Sunday said the Imran Khan-led government was hoping for a “re-engagement” with New Delhi after the Lok Sabha elections. “We hope for re-engagement after the elections in India. Diplomacy and dialogue are indispensable,” Mahmood, who has been appointed as Pakistan’s next Foreign Secretary, said in an interview with PTI.At a time when ties between the two countries are at an all-time low, Mahmood said dialogue between India and Pakistan was the only option to understand mutual concerns and ensure peace, prosperity and security in the region.“Sustained engagement and structured dialogue would enable the two countries to understand mutual concerns and differences, resolve outstanding disputes and build the edifice of durable peace, security and prosperity in the region,” Mahmood said.indianexpress
Pak releases another 100 Indian fishermen as goodwill gesture
Pakistan has released another 100 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture amidst tensions between the two countries after the Pulwama terror attack.The fishermen released on Saturday were part the second batch of 360 Indian prisoners Pakistan has announced to set free in four phases this month.PTI
Sex on false promise of marriage is rape: SC
New Delhi:The fact that the victim and her rapist have married other people and gone their separate ways will not erase the crime. The rapist would still have to answer for his crime, a Bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and M.R. Shah concluded in their recent judgment. The case concerns the rape of a woman by a government doctor in Chhattisgarh in 2013. The man had engaged in a physical relationship with her at his home on the promise of marrying her. At the time of the crime, he was already engaged to marry another woman. He later broke his promise to the victim.On the basis of an FIR filed, the man was convicted of rape. The conviction was confirmed by the High Court. He was sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. The apex court was appealed to.thehindu
Dalit family denied access to cremation ground in Himachal
Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat on Sunday took cognizance of a complaint that a lower caste family was prevented from performing the last rights at the common cremation ground in Dhara village of the Kullu district on Thursday.Devvrat asked the Kullu administration to take appropriate action.The issue came to his notice when a delegation of the Sri Ravidas Dharma Sabha, led by its President Karam Chand Bhatia, apprised him about the incident.According to media reports, the family had to cremate an elderly woman by a rivulet as some upper caste people allegedly prevented them from using the village crematorium. Village comes under the Patlikuhal police station in Kullu district.According to social experts, it's not a stray incident in Himachal Pradesh. The centuries old caste-based attitude continues in the state and the most marginalised communities, including Dalits, are often barred from public places, like temples and water taps, in villages.IANS
Congress complains to EC over ‘suspicious black trunk’ in PM Modi’s helicopter
New Delhi:Karnataka unit of Congress has filed a complaint with the Election Commission alleging transportation of a “suspicious black trunk” in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter during his visit to Chitradurga for a rally last week.Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma on Sunday demanded a thorough probe into the incident and asked PM Modi to come clean on the issue. He also said the Election Commission should inquire into the contents of the trunk.“We saw there were three more choppers escorting the prime minister’s helicopter. After landing, a black trunk was taken out and whisked away in a private car which was not part of the SPG cavalcade,” Sharma alleged.indianexpress
BJP with its noxious agenda of banishing Muslims wants to divide India: Mehbooba Mufti
Srinagar :BJP, with its “noxious agenda” of “banishing” Muslims and minorities wants to “divide” the country, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said on Sunday as she hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks at a rally in Kathua in Jammu region of the state.At an election rally in Kathua, the prime minister slammed the Abdullahs and Muftis, saying the two families “ruined” three generations of Jammu and Kashmir and he will not allow them to “divide” India.“Abdullah family and Mufti family destroyed lives of 3 generations of J-K. The bright future of J-K can be ensured only after their departure. They can bring their entire clan into field, can abuse Modi as much as they want but they won’t be able to divide this nation,” he said, adding that for the better future of the state, they need to be voted out.The prime minister was referring to NC leader Omar Abdullah’s demand for a separate prime minister for J&K.However, Mehbooba  said the prime minister bashes political families before the elections and then sends envoys to stitch alliance with them afterwards.PTI
Do Not Marginalize Us in Delhi, Muslim Leaders to Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi
New Delhi:Muslim leaders from Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee have written an unprecedented letter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi demanding adequate representation within the party.4 leaders have said that they have started feeling the heat of alienation within the Congress, and the denial of seats to minority candidates goes against the ideological strand of the party.The letter has been signed by Asif Mohammad Khan, Shoaib Iqbal, Matin Ahmed, Hasan Ahmed. All these leaders have been former MLA’s from Congress party representing different constituencies of Delhi.Speaking to The Citizen, Asif Mohammad Khan, and former MLA of Okhla Assembly in Delhi said that this declining representation of Muslims as candidates in elections is a threat to democracy and the basic idea of social justice.“We have indeed written to the Congress Chief, Rahul Gandhi demanding at least one Lok Sabha seat be given to a Muslim candidate from Delhi. So far we haven’t heard of even one Muslim candidate and have written in the hope that Rahul Handhi will make sure that justice is done within the Congress party,” Khan said.thecitizen
Despite Respect For Nitish , Bihar's Most Influential Muslim Body Hesitant to Vote for NDA
The most influential Muslim religious body in Bihar, Imarat Shariah, has expressed its dissatisfaction over political parties not providing enough representation to Muslims in proportion to their population while distributing tickets for the Lok Sabha polls.Patna-based body also cautioned that the Muslim community “likes Nitish Kumar but are hesitant to vote for the National Democratic Alliance.”Moulana Anees-ur-Rehman Qasmi, nazim (general secretary) of the Imarat Shariah said, “Nitish Kumar, as compared to others, is considered a very good chief minister by the Muslim community. However, people know that if they vote in favour of Nitish Kumar in Lok Sabha elections, it is the NDA which is going to win at the Centre. Kumar is a very able leader but his personal policies are not reflecting in NDA’s execution. This is where the Muslim community is in two minds.”Qasmi further praised Nitish by lauding his work towards infrastructural development of Bihar. However, he also added a caveat — “Development is not the only key to good governance. All religious and caste-based communities must be satisfied, only then can a government be called successful,” he said.Bihar’s second phase of polling scheduled for April 18 will be in those seats which have a large proportion of Muslim population. Araria, Kishanganj and Katihar have more than 40% Muslim voters each.Imarat Shariah has also in the recent past written to several political parties demanding better representation of the Muslim community. According to Qasmi, the Muslim community should have a representative in the Parliament on at least 70 seats, “but there are very few that we see today,” he adds. News18
 Soni Razdan Faces Criticism Over Her Tweet 'I am Junaid Khan, Muslim boy, killed by mob on train for being Muslim'
Actress Soni Razdan faced criticism on Saturday from netizens after she tweeted about Junaid Khan who was stabbed to death on a train near Ballabhgarh in Haryana in June 2017. Social media users alleged that she was "creating fake news".She posted an image of deceased with a caption: "I am Junaid Khan, Muslim boy, age 15. I was killed by a mob on a train for being a Muslim. Remember me when you vote." Netizens reacted sharply to her post, with several of them posting messages about Hindus killed in violence in various parts of the country.One social media user responded to Soni's post saying she was "creating a fake news" and pointed out that "Punjab and Haryana High court while granting bail to one of the accused in the case said the fight was over seat and nothing related to selectively targeting Junaid on basis of his religion".On June 22, 16-year-old Junaid was allegedly beaten and stabbed to death on a train at Ballabhgarh in Haryana by a group of people.IANS
In Kashmir, Mujahid to counter Chowkidar
It is Mujahid versus Chowkidar in Kashmir. Deputy Mayor of Srinagar Sheikh Mohommad Imran has made a controversial appeal to Kashmiris to prefix Mujahid (warrior) with their names a la Chowkidar."I am changing my name. I am prefixing my name with Mujahid. I am now Mujahid Sheikh Mohommad Imran. I request our youth to respond to Chowkidars by prefixing Mujahid with their names. The definition of Mujahid is one who is engaged in Jihad. Jihad is spiritual fight against the sins or the enemies of Islam," said Imran in a video released on social media platforms. Deputy Mayor noted that Islam and Jihad have been misinterpreted and he was proud to be called a Mujahid. "I want to make it clear that I am a proud Mujahid. Islam is a religion of peace. Our religion has been misinterpreted. Jihad and Mujahid have been misinterpreted.I will not say Jihad is not a fight against Islam. It is a spiritual fight against sins too," he said.Imran won Urban Local Bodies (ULB) polls as an independent candidate last year. He was later elected deputy mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation with the support of Congress party. The elections for ULB witnessed the lowest turnout and some Corporators got single-digit votes, which were from their family members.DNA India
Rajasthan: Communal clashes, violence mar Ram Navami procession
Jodhpur:Police on Saturday used tear gas shells to control the clash which broke out when a group of people allegedly threw stones on a Ram Navami procession in Jodhpur's Soorsagar area.Some vehicles were set on fire and a mob stoned houses and clashed with police injuring two cops in Vyapariyon ka Mohalla in Soorsagar police station.The area around Soorsagar had witnessed some clashes 3 days ago when clashing youths damaged a motorcycle. Some claimed that the clashes over the procession were an extension of the earlier clash which police did not handle properly. Police have detained several people in the matter.india today
NCP manifesto promises to scrap Triple Talaq Bill
NCP has recently released its 23 pages manifesto for ensuing Lok Sabha polls with a lot of sops and promises ranging from complete loan waiver to abolition of Triple talak bill. Tag line of this manifesto was 'Aao Milke Desh Banaye, Hamara Aapka Hum Sabaka Bharat!' While in 2014, NCP had emphasised on Maratha and Muslim reservations. Maratha reservations decision has been completed by the incumbent government but they neglected the 5% Muslim reservations. dnaindia
On 128th birth anniversary, Ambedkar statue taken down, left in Hyderabad dump yard
Hyderabad:  On the eve of the 128th birth anniversary of the father of the Indian Constitution, Dr BR Ambedkar, a freshly-erected 10-ft-tall statue of the leader was not only removed for want of permissions, but also dumped in the garbage by corporation staff. The statue was erected at Punjagutta early on Saturday without obtaining clearance from GHMC. Pictures of the damaged structure being carried from Yousufguda to the Jawaharnagar dump yard in a garbage truck went viral and evoked strong reactions from all quarters.Ambedkar Statue Protection Committee — which installed the structure — led by G Vinod Kumar, staged a protest against its removal at the site near the Punjagutta junction. As a precautionary measure, the police detained at least eight persons, including Kumar. The damaged statue, meanwhile, was taken to the Yousufguda Kotla Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy indoor stadium. Officials say it got damaged while being transported, but members of the association claim it got damaged as it fell off the vehicle.Kumar said they sought permission from the government to erect the statue at the Punjagutta junction, near the statue of former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy. In the absence of a response, the association went ahead and installed the statue on Saturday.newindianexpress
India facing shortage of 6 lakh doctors, 2 million nurses: Study
India has shortage of an estimated 600,000 doctors and 2 million nurses, say scientists who found that lack of staff who are properly trained in administering antibiotics is preventing patients from accessing live-saving drugs.Even when antibiotics are available, patients are often unable to afford them. High out-of-pocket medical costs to the patient are compounded by limited government spending for health services, according to the report by Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) in US In India, 65% of health expenditure is out-of-pocket, and such expenditures push some 57 million people into poverty each year.HT
Bad loans: 80% of write offs in decade came in last 5 years
Mumbai :With the government stepping in time and again to bail out banks by recapitalising them with taxpayer money, banks have stepped up writeoffs of loans taken by rogue borrowers. They wrote off a whopping Rs 1,56,702 crore of non-performing loans during the nine-month ended December 2018, taking the total loan writeoff to over Rs 7,00,000 crore in the last 10 years, according to figures revealed by the RBI.Bulk of the writeoffs, or almost four-fifth of the total amount written off in the last 10 years, have accrued in the last five years since April 2014. In its reply to an application filed by Indian Express, RBI revealed that the total loan  written off in the last five years since April 2014 amounted to  Rs 5,55,603 crore.Eager to show lower bad loans, banks wrote off Rs 1,08,374 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 161,328 crore in 2017-18. In the first six months of 2018-19, they wrote off Rs 82,799 crore. The quantum of writeoff zoomed to Rs 64,000 crore in the Oct-Dec 2018 quarter. Indianexpress
NIA arrests fifth accused in 2017 Lethpora attack case
Srinagar:NIA on Sunday said that it arrested the fifth person allegedly involved in the Dec.2017 CRPF group centre attack in Lethpora, Pulwama.Irshad Ahmad Reshi, a resident of Ratnipora in Pulwama and allegedly an “over the ground worker (OGW)of JeM”, was a key conspirator of 2017 attack, a spokesman of NIA said.HT
Al-Bashir under house arrest in Khartoum: Sudan
Deposed President Omar al-Bashir is under house arrest in Khartoum, the commander of Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSP) has confirmed, Anadolu Agency reports.“Al-Bashir has not left the country,” Lieutenant-General Mohamed Hamdan Daqlo said in televised statements.On Thursday, Sudanese military ousted al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan since 1989, following months of popular protests against his rule.The military also established a military council to run the country for a transitional period of two years.Daqlo said al-Bashir’s crackdown on peaceful protests “has prompted the armed forces to take over the situation and depose him”. Asked about al-Bashir’s trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC), Daqlo said “the decision was up to the Sudanese people”.“Sudan is about to form a new elected government, which will decide the shape of the next stage and will try every criminal who has committed any crime against the Sudanese people, including al-Bashir himself,” he said.middleeastmonitor
Sudan military rulers meet US envoy in Khartoum
The deputy leader of Sudan’s ruling military council, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Daqlo, met in Khartoum on Sunday with US charge d’affaires Steven Koutsis, Anadolu Agency reports.During the meeting, Daqlo briefed the US envoy on developments in Sudan and the reasons behind the formation of the transitional military council, the council said in a statement.He also posted Koutsis on “steps taken by the military council to preserve the security and stability of Sudan”, the statement said.US envoy, for his part, welcomed the role of the military council in achieving stability and underlined the importance of continued cooperation between the two sides to enhance Sudanese-U.S. relations, according to the statement.middleeastmonitor
Sudan opposition submits list of demands to military
Sudan's protest organisers have presented their demands, including the creation of a civilian government, in talks with the country's new military rulers, the group spearheading the demonstrations said.A statement by the Alliance for Freedom and Change, an umbrella group leading the protests, said a 10-member delegation submitted its list of demands to the military during a meeting on Saturday.Thousands remained encamped outside the army headquarters in the capital overnight into Sunday to keep the pressure on the military council that took power after overthrowing long-time President Omar al-Bashir on Thursday.aljazeera
Haftar's forces 'set to push into capital Tripoli'
Forces loyal to renegade General Khalifa Haftar are set to move in on Libya's capital, Tripoli, on Sunday, the head of the country's self-proclaimed eastern parliament said. Haftar announced an attack against Tripoli on April 4 to capture the capital and the entire west of Libya from UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj. "We need to get rid of militias and terrorist groups," Aguila Saleh, head of the House of Representatives allied to Haftar, said on Saturday, using a reference eastern officials often make to describe forces allied to the Tripoli govt. Meanwhile, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met Haftar in Cairo on Sunday to discuss the latest developments,Sisi's spokesperson said. No other details about the meeting were immediately available.aljazeera
OIC calls for dialogue in Sudan after Bashir's ouster
The world's largest Islamic bloc on Sunday called on all parties in Sudan to pursue dialogue to guarantee a peaceful transition of power.On Thursday, the Sudanese army ousted longtime President Omar al-Bashir, who ruled Sudan since 1989, following months of popular protests against his rule.The army also established a military council to run the country for a transitional period of two years.In a statement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) urged all Sudanese parties to "pursue constructive dialogue with a view to maintaining peace and social cohesion in the country and achieving aspirations of the Sudanese people for a peaceful transfer of power".Anadolu Agency
Israeli delegation cancels trip to Bahrain on security grounds
An Israeli delegation composed of businessmen and government officials has cancelled its participation in a conference set to take place in Bahrain.The group, which was planning to attend the gathering organised by the Global Entrepreneurship Network on April 15, said in a statement it was withdrawing from the summit on security grounds."While we advised the Israeli delegation they would be welcome, they decided this morning not to come due to security concerns and a wish not to cause disruption for the other 180 nations participating," the organisation's president Jonathan Ortmans told Reuters news agency on Sunday.The cancellation came after the kingdom's parliament issued a statement rejecting the visit, and some protests against it in the streets of the capital Manama.While Israel does not maintain any diplomatic relations with any of 6-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, analysts say some of the countries are not opposed to normalising ties with Tel Aviv. aljazeera
Israel converts historical mosque into a bar and events hall
Israeli municipality in Safed has turned Al-Ahmar Mosque into a bar and events hall, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported.As one of the most historical mosques in the Arab city, which was occupied by the Jewish gangs in 1948, the building was first turned into a Jewish school, then into a centre for Likud’s elections campaigns and then into a clothes warehouse before finally being converted into a nightclub.London-based newspaper reported that the mosque was turned to a bar and wedding hall by an firm affiliated to Israeli municipality. Its name was changed from Al-Ahmar Mosque to Khan Al-Ahmar.Khair Tabari, secretary of Safed and Tiberias Islamic endowment, said that he had been waiting for the Nazareth court to take a decision regarding a complaint he filed requesting the evacuation of the mosque and returning it to the endowment.He said he attached documents to prove Islamic ownership of the mosque. He called for the different political and popular bodies to increase their cooperation with him in order to save the mosque from violations.Safed was once home to 12,000 Palestinians who were forced out of their homes in 1948.Tabari said that the mosque is now open for use for everything except prayers by Muslims.MEMO
Ex-Iraqi premier calls for disbanding Hashd al-Shaabi
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has called for disbanding the Hashd al-Shaabi, a largely Shia paramilitary force that provides support for government troops, Anadolu Agency reports.“The mission of Hashd al-Shaabi has ended after victory against the Daesh terrorist group,” Allawi, the head of Al-Wataniya coalition, said in statements.He proposed that members of the paramilitary force could join the Iraqi police or military forces.“The dissolution of Hashd al-Shaabi is a move to turn Iraq into a civilian state,” Allawi, whose coalition has 21 seats in 329-member parliament, argued. Established in 2014 with the express purpose of fighting Daesh,Hashd al-Shaabi was formally incorporated into Iraqi army in 2017.middleeastmonitor
Muslim Student Assaulted, Hijab Pulled off by Schoolmate in US
New York: A high school Muslim student's hijab was pulled off allegedly by a schoolmate who also hurled anti-Muslim slurs during a fight in the US, prompting authorities to arrest her, according to a media report.East Brunswick High School girl, whose name and age were not released, got into an argument with another girl on Wednesday because both students wanted the same seat in a common area on campus, the school's Superintendent Victor Valeski said in a statement.As the fight escalated, one of the girls pulled off the other girl's hijab and started screaming anti-Muslim slurs at her, the superintendent was quoted as saying by WNBC-TV.A school security officer broke up the fight, but not before it was caught on video. The video was posted to social media at some point after the fight, the report said.PTI
New Palestinian government sworn in amid factional tensions
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday swore in a new government headed by a loyalist from his dominant Fatah party, a move rejected by Hamas as a blow to unity efforts, Reuters reports.Mohammed Shtayyeh, an economist and longtime Abbas adviser, will serve as prime minister of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA). Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and Finance Minister Shukri Bishara will continue in their positions.Shtayyeh was named Palestinian prime minister on March 10, replacing the independent university president Rami Al-Hamdallah. He will run the ministries of interior and religious affairs until new appointees are named for the two posts.The rival Hamas group that runs Gaza called the move blow to unity efforts that faltered since the 2 groups signed a new reconciliation deal in Cairo in Oct.2017, but disputes over power-sharing had blocked the implementation of the agreement.middleeastmonitor
Regime airstrike injures 5 civilians in Syria's Idlib
5 civilians were injured in a regime airstrike in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, according to the White Helmets civil defense agency on Sunday.The overnight attack targeted the towns of Urum al-Jawz and Bsanqul and Jabal al-Arabaeen, which overlooks the town of Ariha, it said.White Helmets said three children were among those injured in the attack.
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