17 June 2019

17 June: China,India, Pak increasing size of nuke arsenals/ Doctors’ strike: After meeting with Mamata, doctors set to withdraw protest; SC to hear plea tomorrow/ Encephalitis death toll rises to 100 in Muzaffarpur; Union health minister faces protest

17 June 2019: 10 Shawal 1440:Vol: 11, No:223
China, India, Pakistan increasing size of nuclear arsenals: Report
Stockholm:The overall number of nuclear warheads in the world has declined in the past year but nations are modernising their arsenals, a report published Monday said. At the start of 2019, US, Russia, Britain, France, China, India,Pakistan, Israel and North Korea had a total of some 13865 nuclear weapons, according to estimates in a new report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI).That represents a decrease of 600 nuclear weapons compared to the start of 2018.But at the same time all nuclear weapon-possessing countries are modernising these arms - and China, India and Pakistan are also increasing the size of their arsenals. "The world is seeing fewer but newer weapons," Shannon Kile, director of SIPRI Nuclear Arms Control Programme and one of the report's authors, told AFP.The drop in recent years can mainly be attributed to the US and Russia, whose combined arsenals still make up more than 90% of the world's nuclear weapons.This is in part due to the countries fulfilling their obligations under New START treaty - which puts a cap on the number of deployed warheads and was signed by the US and Russia in 2010 - as well as getting rid of obsolete warheads from the Cold War era.START treaty is however due to expire in 2021, which Kile said was worrying since there are currently "no serious discussions underway about extending it".Next year the treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) -- considered the cornerstone of world's nuclear order -- turns 50.The number of nuclear arms has been drastically reduced since a peak in the mid-1980s when there were some 70,000 nuclear warheads in the world. While Kile said progress should not be underestimated, he also noted a number of worrying trends, such as the build-up of nuclear arms on both sides of the border between India and Pakistan, and the danger of a conventional conflict escalating to a nuclear one.AFP
China must maintain status quo on Doklam: Bhutan PM
6 months after he was sworn in as PM of Bhutan, Dr.Lotay Tshering is still treating his patients and had a surgery scheduled just hours before travelling to Brussels for talks with EU leaders. In his interview, Dr. Tshering speaks about major themes in Indo-Bhutan relations, SAARC region as well as PM Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit, widely expected in July.Dr. Lotay Tshering said that if India and Pakistan don’t work together for the region, nothing can move ahead. He said, "We must open our hearts and march together without countering each other. If India and Pakistan don’t work together for this region, nothing can move ahead. So my prayers and wishes from our deeply spiritual country are for the leaders in the region to go ahead together."On Doklam issue, Bhutan PM said, "Anybody in my position will always worry about that, as these are issues that could hamper bilateral relations between any two countries in the world. We are aware of the situation, and whenever we discuss border issues (with China), we stick to our stand that the status quo must be maintained. No side should do anything without informing the other side at the border. The problem comes when you work unilaterally and have a unilateral agenda. So long as the status quo is maintained, there will be peace and tranquillity in the region."thehindu
Multi-disciplinary group to monitor all major terror-related cases in J&K
New Delhi:A multi-disciplinary group to monitor terror will now track the progress of all the terror related cases in J&K. Led by J&K Police, multi-disciplinary group was initially set up to assess the evidence when Jammat-e-Islami J&K and JKLF were declared banned outfits. Multi-disciplinary group will also include representatives from the IB, CBI, NIA and income tax (IT) department. A senior official from the home ministry told Hindustan Times that the multi-disciplinary group will monitor the major terror-related cases and the primary objective of such a group would be to make sure the major cases do not fall behind due to lack of evidence.The group might also track the terror financing cases in Jammu and Kashmir. NIA was recently told that Pakistan regularly sends funds to organise unrest in the state.india today
Doctors’ strike: After meeting with Mamata, doctors set to withdraw protest; SC to hear plea tomorrow
Doctors across West Bengal on Monday agreed to withdraw the ongoing protest after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee agreed to their demands during a meeting at Nabanna. 31 representatives, however, decided to make a formal announcement at NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata, where the death of a patient followed by an attack on two junior attacks triggered the week-long strike.Indian Medical Association (IMA), on the other hand, is observing a nationwide strike, with the withdrawal of non-essential medical services, including OPD services, for 24 hours starting 6 am today. Emergency, casualty and ICU services, will remain unaffected. Doctors at AIIMS in the national capital, who had earlier decided to stay away, joined the protests after a junior doctor was assaulted at its trauma centre earlier today.Meanwhile, the Supreme Court today said it will hear tomorrow a plea seeking safety and security of doctors in govt hospitals across the country. The plea was filed on Friday in the wake of protests by doctors in Bengal against the assault on their colleagues by the family of a patient, who died on Monday night. The petition has also sought directions to Union ministries of home affairs and health and West Bengal to depute government-appointed security personnel at all state-run hospitals across the country to ensure safety and security of doctors. indianexpress
SC to hear plea for safety, security of doctors at govt hospitals tomorrow
Bihar: Encephalitis death toll rises to 100 in Muzaffarpur; Union health minister faces protest
New Delhi:The death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has risen to 100 in Bihar on Monday, reported ANI.The development was confirmed to the agency by Sunil Kumar Shahi, Superintendent at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur. Since Jan.1, 358 children with AES have been admitted to SKMCH and Kejriwal Matrisadan.An official release from the CMO said Nitish Kumar expressed grief over the children’s death in the state and has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh for each of the children killed in the outbreak. He has also directed officials of health department, the district administration and doctors to take all possible measures to tackle the situation.Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Sunday visited SKMCH and assured that a 100-bed children ward would be set up at SKMCH. During his visit, the minister was met with protests from families of patients. Supporters of Jan Adhikar Party also waved black flags at Vardhan. Patients’ relatives complained to the Union Health Minister about the lack of facilities and ill-response from doctors and nurses.indianexpress
Union Minister named in Bihar children deaths case
Patna:Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey face charges of negligence leading to the deaths of children due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in the past fortnight as a case has been filed against them in a court in Muzaffarpur on Monday.The death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has reportedly reached 97 in Muzaffarpur and the adjoining districts in Bihar. Most of the casualties are between the age group of 1-10.Social activist Tamanna Hashmi filed the case in the Muzaffarpur Chief Judicial Magistrate’s (CJM) court on Monday, IANS reports.The petition said that Harsh Vardhan and Mangal Pandey failed to fulfill their duties to control the outbreak of AES, while both had done nothing to create awareness and sensitise people in the affected areas despite the fact that AES had been killing children for years.The court has fixed June 24 for hearing the case.Caravan News
Parliament session: Ruckus in Lok Sabha as BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur takes oath
Monsoon Session of Parliament began on Monday. The first Parliament session of 17th Lok Sabha will end on July 26. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as other Union ministers and newly elected representatives took oath as MPs in the Lok Sabha.“The role of an Opposition and an active Opposition is important in a Parliamentary democracy,”Modi said ahead of the session. “Opposition need not bother about their numbers. Every word the Opposition speaks is of value to us.”BJP MP Virendra Kumar took oath as the pro-tem speaker of the Lok Sabha. He will oversee the oath-taking ceremonies of new Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs.The government will attempt to pass The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 during the session.The bill has caused much controversy, and Congress and BJP ally JDU have stated their intention to oppose
Have left country for medical treatment, not fled; says Mehul Choksi in court affidavit                
New Delhi: Diamantaire Mehul Choksi, accused in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank scam, submitted an affidavit in the High Court of Judicature at Bombay stating that he has not fled the country but left for medical treatment.As per a report in ANI, Choksi has submitted the affidavit with details of his diseases in the court.Citing health reasons Choksi said that he is unable to travel due medical issues and vowed to travel to India as soon he is medically fit. He also stated that the investigative agencies --ED and CBI -- can question him in Antigua, where he is currently residing.'I am currently residing in Antigua and willing to co-operate in the investigation. If court may deem it fit, it may direct the investigating officer to travel to Antigua,' he stated in the affidavit.In several pleas to the court earlier, Choksi had claimed he was unable to return to India due to persistent health problems.Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted by ED and CBI for allegedly defrauding PNB to the tune of Rs 13,400 crore, in collusion with a few of its employees.zeenews
For PM Modi’s madrassa education plan, Mumbai has a few textbook cases
Mumbai:Mohammed Maaz, 15, would have been assisting his father at a tailoring shop in Bhiwandi but for his stint at Madrassa Jamia Tajwidul Quran in Malwani slum in Malad.The madrassa made him a hafiz, one who has memorised the whole Quran. The tailor’s son now aspires to crack UPSC exams and become an IAS officer one day. Maaz’s confidence to take such a leap of faith — from the life of a modest hafiz to a career in the elite civil services — comes because he has recently cleared the SSC or Class 10 state board exams. He is among 13 hafizs educated parallelly at the madrassa and a school, both run by Noor Meher Charitable Trust under one roof. As the Modi government prepares to modernise and mainstream madrassa education by training its teachers in subjects such as English, science, maths and computers, this Malad madrassa, with a few other Islamic seminaries in the city, represent models that show secular education can go hand-in-hand with the sacred.Such experiments in running parallel courses — described by the ulema or religious scholars as ‘taleem’(education) for deen (religion) and duniya (world) — do not meddle with the traditional curriculum but help students get into colleges, gain employment and a set of skills and assist the government in ensuring greater integration. Once a part of the frontline education system, the madrassa students can aspire to become professionals and earn handsome salaries instead of simply living – as most madrassa products have done – the life of maulvis at moribund madrassas or as poorly-paid imams and preachers at mosques. Union minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said in the week just ended that the government’s madrassa programme would be launched in July. TOI
After ordinance, there has been a drop in number of women reporting triple talaq:Muslim Mahila Andolan
Mumbai:As Union Cabinet prepares to introduce a fresh Bill to ban the practice of instant triple talaq, Noorjehan Safia Niaz, co-founder of Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, one of the petitioners in the triple talaq case, speaks to about efficacy of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 and organisation’s fight to bring in a comprehensive law on Muslim marriage. Niaz said, "After the ordinance was brought in by the government there has been a drop in the number of women reporting triple talaq. Another important change that we have seen is men coming to our centres saying that they have issues with their wives and they would like to sort out their differences. Somewhere there is an understanding creeping in that “Yeh ab nahi chalega”. We have also been seeing Qazis increasingly sending couples for arbitration rather than sending divorce notices as in past.In 2016, BMMA’s Mumbai chapter had received 31 complaints from women who said they had been given oral triple talaq.In 2017,when it was made illegal the number came down to 6.In 2018, number was 2 and till June 2019 it was one."indian express
J&K: Army Major killed, 3 soldiers injured in Anantnag encounter
Srinagar:An Army Major was killed while another officer and two troopers were injured in an encounter with militants in south Kashmir Monday, officials said. They said the encounter took place in the Achabal area in Anantnag district of J&K.A Major-rank officer has been killed while another officer of the same rank and two soldiers have been injured, they said. The injured have been rushed to the 92 base hospital of Army in Srinagar, they added.Security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in the area this morning. The search operation led to a gunfight after the militants fired on the forces, who retaliated, they added.PTI
J&K: BJP seeks fresh delimitation, de-freezing of Assembly seats
Jammu:BJP in J&K has sought fresh delimitation of Assembly constituencies and de-freezing of at least eight of the 24 seats in the Assembly reserved for areas in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).A resolution was adopted by party’s working committee, which expressed concern over “gross injustice done to Ladakh and Jammu regions by previous NC govts through inequitable delimitation of Assembly constituencies favouring Kashmir region”.“It has reinforced the party’s demand for fresh delimitation of Assembly constituencies in the state, besides the demand for de-freezing of one-third of 24 seats kept reserved for areas of PoJK(Pakistan occupied J&K),”resolution said, adding that “these Assembly seats shall be allotted to Jammu region where people displaced from PoJK have been living since 1947-48”.The party’s working committee also sought political reservation for Scheduled Tribes in the state, and abolition of practice of Kashmiri Pandit migrants having to fill up ‘M Form’ for voting in the Valley.Muslim Gujjars and Bakarwals comprise a large group among the communities declared STs in the state, and they predominantly inhabit areas in Pir Panjal and Chenab valley, besides Kashmir. Pandits, too, account for a good number in some places in the Valley.indianexpress
No threat to Amarnath pilgrims: separatists
Srinagar:The joint separatist leadership has said there is no threat to Amarnath pilgrims in Kashmir, and accused television channels of running a “smear campaign” against the people of the Valley.The separatists asked Amarnath pilgrims and tourists to not pay heed to “false propaganda” and focus on their Kashmir visit “without any fear or intimidation”.“The warm hospitality of the people of Kashmir is a globally acknowledged fact. The Kashmiri people will continue to retain and nourish this tradition of brotherhood and communal amity,” the joint separatist leadership, comprising two factions of Hurriyat and JKLF, said in a release.“Some electronic channels are hell bent to spread hate and falsehoods on Kashmir. There is no threat to Amarnath Yatris from Kashmiris as reported by some mischievous media outlets from their cozy studios in New Delhi. These pilgrims are very much safe in the Valley.”indianexpress
‘IS module’ in tn: He never had crime record, never faced social media trouble, says arrested man’s kin
Coimbatore :Days after searches by NIA at Ukkadam, a Muslim-dominated area on the outskirts of Coimbatore town in Tamil Nadu,lane leading to the house of Mohammed Azarudeen (32) wore a deserted look Friday. 2 elderly men sat on the portico of his double-storeyed house as his four-year-old son played with other children.Azarudeen, who has been arrested by NIA, is facing probe for a Facebook page he ran — “KhilafahGFX” — to allegedly propagate IS ideology. An NIA statement had alleged that he was the Facebook friend of Zahran Hashim and other members of the module behind the Easter Sunday attack.Besides Azarudeen, NIA has arrested one of his associates and is questioning five others. NIA is also examining items seized during searches,including cellphones, pendrives, laptops, hard disks, a dagger, air gun pellets and pamphlets.Investigators are yet to ascertain if Azarudeen was only a follower of Hashim or they were in touch. According to them, such information would emerge during examination of the seized devices.The elderly man at Azarudeen’s home is his father, a neighbour said. The man refused to identify himself and spoke from the other side of the gate, locked from inside. Stating that he is clueless about the case, he said, “He is married. He has a child. He never had a criminal record. He never faced any trouble for his behaviour in social media too. We do not know, let us not talk about the case.”A woman who lives in house next to Azharudeen’s said, “He is so silent. I never heard his voice.” Another elderly woman said Azardueen “rarely speaks to anyone” unless there was something to convey. “I cannot believe that he can do anything problematic,” she added.“Every second Saturday, half-a-dozen children used to come to his home to learn to recite Quran. He (Azwarudeen)recites Quran beautifully,”said a neighbour. A kilometre from Azarudeen’s home is the office of Qibla Tours and Travels, where he worked. Meanwhile, 3 youths picked up by Tamil Nadu police on Thursday for their alleged activities on social media have been placed under arrest and cases registered against them. 3 had allegedly celebrated the Easter Sunday attack, but police said they were watching them from before that.None of the 3 has any criminal record. One of youths, A Shajahan, lives at Anbu Nagar in Ukkadam. His mother Tajunniza said that about 6 months ago, Shajahan was summoned by police to Chennai. “They said he had shared a friend’s Facebook post. He was in Chennai for two days. We were told that it was a deradicalisation project and police explained to him, with the help of an Imam, to not engage in such social media posts. His phone was confiscated then,” she said.His sisters said that after returning from Chennai, he was scared to use social media or cellphone. “He rarely touched his phone. His laptop was mostly used by us to watch movies. Police team had brought his old phone on Thursday and were checking it with his new phone. After about 5 hours of search, the police team left with him,” said one of his sisters.indianexpress
NIA search operation in Madurai in IS case
Despite Adityanath govt’s big promises; unemployment situation worsens in Uttar Pradesh
Despite Yogi-led BJP govt promised Ram Rajya in UP, unemployment situation is worsening which is directly proportional to education. Thus meaning, more educated a youth is, bigger is the chances of him not getting a job.The recent report of Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) shows that the rural unemployment has increased from 0.9% in 2011-12 to 5.4% in 2017-18.Similarly, in cities, the unemployment rate jumped from 4.1% to 9.5% in that corresponding period. While at the all India level the increase was 3.4% to 7.7%.The figures were released by National Statistical Office.An unemployed person is one who is seeking employment but is not getting the same.The unemployment rate shows the percentage of persons unemployed among the workforce which also includes employed persons.“This figure shows that unemployment figure in UP is much higher than the national figure.This high rate of unemployment is reflected on the social matrix of the state. There has been a flight of talent who are going out of UP to other states in search of jobs. Thus, the investment made by the government on these youth in form of education is going waste,” Dr Ajit Kumar Singh, ex Director, Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow said.nationalheraldindia
4 of Indian-origin family from Andhra found shot dead in US
Hyderabad: 4 members of a family from Andhra Pradesh were found dead with gunshot injuries inside their house in West Des Moines of US’ Iowa state on Saturday, police have said.According to the West Des Moines Police department, the victims have been identified as Chandrasekhar Sunkara, 44, Lavanya, 41 and two boys aged 15 and 10.Preliminary inquiries revealed that Sunkara hailed from Tsunduru of AP’s Guntur district. He had gone to US for higher studies and settled there along with his family. His parents are said to be living in Hyderabad. Further details are awaited. Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s assistant director Mitch Mortvedt said Sunkara worked in the Iowa department of public safety’s technology services bureau.Police said there were other family members, including two adults and two children, were living in the house as guests along with Sunkara, when the incident took place.HT
Retired cop found living with daughter’s corpse in UP’s Mirzapur
Mirzapur:A retired Inspector and his wife were found to be living with their daughters month-old decomposed body in Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh.The neighbours informed the police about a stench coming from Dilawar Siddiqui’s house in Hayat Nagar area. The police forced their way into the house and found the corpse.The body was sent for post mortem.Superitendent of Police Prakash Swarup Pandey said that the neighbours had made similar complaint about a fortnight ago but Siddiqui turned the police away saying all was well in his family.“The couple, it appears, is mentally disturbed and he kept telling us that his daughter was alive and sleeping,” Pandey said.The post mortem report will reveal the cause of death of the deceased and further action would be taken thereafter, he added.The neighbours said that the couple never interacted with them and always remained aloof.IANS
Israel names illegal Golan settlement after Trump
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has inaugurated a new illegal settlement in the occupied Golan Heights named after US President Donald Trump in a gesture of appreciation for the US leader's recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the territory. Netanyahu on Sunday called Trump a "great friend" of Israel and described the Golan Heights, which overlooks northern Israel, as an important strategic asset."The Golan Heights was and will always be an inseparable part of our country and homeland,"he said.The settlement will be called "Ramat Trump", Hebrew for "Trump Heights" and is not exactly new. Currently known as Bruchim, it is over 30 years old and has a population of 10 people."Thank you PM @netanyahu and the State of Israel for this great honor!" Trump tweeted later on Sunday.Israel is hoping the rebranded settlement will encourage a wave of residents to vastly expand it."It's absolutely beautiful," said US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who attended Sunday's ceremony. Noting that Trump celebrated his birthday on Friday, he said: "I can't think of a more appropriate and a more beautiful birthday present." Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in 1981. Most of the international community considers the move illegal under international law.But during a visit to Washington by Netanyahu in March, just weeks before the Israeli elections, Trump changed decades of US policy by signing an executive order, officially recognising the strategic mountainous plateau as Israeli territory.The decision, the latest in a series of US diplomatic moves benefitting Israel, was widely applauded there."Few things are more important to the security of the state of Israel than permanent sovereignty over Golan Heights," Friedman said."It is simply obvious, it is indisputable and beyond any reasonable debate." After a cabinet meeting at the site on Sunday, Netanyahu and Friedman unveiled a sign trimmed in gold with the name "Trump Heights", adorned with US and Israeli flags.Reporting from Jerusalem, Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett said opposition parties have been pointing out that Netanyahu's transitional government, ahead of September's election, doesn't have the authority to enact a new settlement in the occupied Golan Heights."But that hasn't stopped Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He's taken his cabinet up there for what he called a 'festive cabinet meeting' which was attended unusually by US ambassador David Friedman," Fawcett said. Following Sunday's decision to inaugurate the community, developing the settlement still requires overcoming several additional bureaucratic obstacles. With Netanyahu running for re-election in the second national election this year, it remains unclear whether he will be able to complete the task.Zvi Hauser, an opposition legislator who formerly served as Netanyahu's cabinet secretary, called Sunday's ceremony a cheap PR stunt."There's no funding, no planning, no location, and there's no real binding decision," he said.According to Israeli figures, almost 50,000 people live in the occupied Golan Heights, including about 22,000 Jewish Israelis and nearly 25,000 Arab Druze residents.aljazeera
Top Trump envoy backs Friedman on West Bank annexation
US envoy hints Israeli-Palestinian peace plan could be delayed
US President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy has hinted at a further delay until early Nov to the unveiling of a White House peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."I think the logic would still dictate that if we wanted to wait until a new (Israeli) govt is formed, we really do have to wait until potentially as late as November 6," Jason Greenblatt said in a Jerusalem Post interview on Sunday. Trump administration had already delayed its presentation of the plan until after Israel's April 9 polls, which failed to yield a government and a new election is scheduled for Sept.17.A new government will potentially come into the office in early November, following the election of a potential prime minister and negotiations to form a coalition."It's no secret that the Israeli elections have certainly put a new thought into our head," Greenblatt said, in a video of the New York Times interview published online."Had the elections not been called again, perhaps we would have released" details of the deal during the summer, he said.aljazeera
Tunisia demands probe as Israelis tour area where Fatah founder assassinated
Members of Tunisia’s parliament have called for officials to be held accountable after Israeli media reported that a group of Zionists toured the capital Tunis, passing the street where the co-founder of the Fatah movement Khalil Al-Wizar was gunned down in 1988.MP Ziad Lakhdar called last week on the People’s Assembly to take responsibility and summon the Tourism Minister René Trabelsi.Lakhdar said Tunisia has been increasingly exposed to Zionist domination. He continued:“Tunisia’s sovereignty has been taken too lightly and today we are facing a growing Zionist domination over our country and the Arab nation.”“We have to assume our responsibility as we hold others accountable too. It is absolutely unacceptable to allow spies in, under the pretext of the Jewish pilgrimage to El Ghriba Synagogue.” Lakhdar added that the visit to the site where Al-Wizar was assassinated as “disgraceful” and parliament must intervene.middleeastmonitor
Scepticism as Sudan moves to put Omar al-Bashir on trial
Sudan's former President Omar al-Bashir has appeared in public for the first time since his overthrow by the military following months of mass protests against his 30-year-long autocratic rule. Dressed in a white robe and turban, the toppled leader was seen on Sunday as he was escorted under heavy guard from a maximum security prison in Sudan's capital Khartoum to the prosecutor's office.There, prosecutors informed him he faced charges of "possessing foreign currency and acquiring suspicious and illicit wealth", according to the official SUNA news agency. He was given one week to raise objections, questioned on additional unspecified corruption charges, and taken back to Kobar prison.  If al-Bashir does not appeal, he could appear in court as early as next week, Sudan's acting Chief Prosecutor Alwaleed Sayed Ahmed said on Saturday. aljazeera
Iran to surpass uranium stockpile limits within days: AEOI
Iran has said the country plans to quadruple production of low-level enriched uranium and will reach the limit of the stockpile allowed under the nuclear deal within days.The spokesperson for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi, said on Monday Iran would reach the allowed 300kg level of enriched uranium at levels mandated by 2015 deal on June 27."We will go further from that ceiling, not only that but we will also increase production drastically. After we pass the limit of 300kg the pace and the speed of enriched uranium production at the lower rate will also increase," Kamalvandi said on Monday, speaking on television from Iran's Arak nuclear plant.aljazeera
China says reached 'broad consensus' with UN after Xinjiang visit
China and UN have reached a "broad consensus" about counter-terror work,China's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday after a controversial visit by a senior UN official to the restive far western Chinese region of Xinjiang this week.US and other western countries objected to a visit by UN counterterrorism chief to Xinjiang, where UN experts say someone million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held in detention centres.Diplomats said that along with with US several other countries, including Britain, complained about the trip of Vladimir Voronkov, a veteran Russian diplomat who heads UN Counterterrorism Office.US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan spoke with UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Friday "to convey deep concerns" about Voronkov's trip because "Beijing continues to paint its repressive campaign against Uighurs and other Muslims as legitimate counterterrorism efforts when it is not".In a brief statement, China's Foreign Ministry said that Voronkov had visited Beijing and Xinjiang from June 13-15, meeting senior diplomats including Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng.2 sides "had a deep exchange of views on the international counter-terrorism situation and counter-terrorism cooperation between China and UN, and reached a broad consensus",ministry said, without giving details.Reuters
Iran Parliament Speaker hints US could have planned oil tanker attacks
US could have planned the attack on the two oil tankers in Gulf of Oman, IRNA reported Iran’s Parliament Speaker, Ali Larijani, insinuating.“The suspicious actions against the tankers…seem to complement the economic sanctions against Iran considering that [US] has not achieved any results from them,” Larijani said.He added that it was “funny” that US has urged Iran to use diplomacy while the Americans targeted their own ships near Japan during World War II “to create an excuse for hostility”.MEMO
‘I use my pocket as a toilet,’ daughter of senior Brotherhood leader tells court
The detained daughter of deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Khairat Al-Shater told an Egyptian court on Saturday that she is using her pocket as a toilet and has demanded authorities give her full access to amenities within the prison.Aisha Al-Shater was arrested along with her husband, the former spokesperson for the ECFR, in November 2018 after security forces raided her apartment late at night. She was disappeared for 28 days before reappearing in Qanateer women’s prison, just north of Cairo.That night a total of 19 human rights activists were arrested including 60-year-old human rights activist and lawyer Hoda Abdelmonem. Widely circulated photos of the raid depicted overturned cupboards and her personal items strewn across the floor.Since then, Aisha and her husband have been accused of belonging to a terrorist organisation and funding terror groups. Since the Muslim Brotherhood was designated a terror organisation in Egypt in 2013, thousands of its members have been detained. At the end of March Aisha’s detention was renewed for 45 days pending investigation.middleeastmonitor
Turkey FM: Iran, Russia must stop Syria regime attacking outposts
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has called on Russia and Iran to pressure the Syrian regime to stop attacking Turkish military observation points in north-western Syria.During his visit to the southern Turkish province of Hatay, Cavusoglu stated that “Turkey won’t tolerate Syrian regime harassment of its soldiers,” just hours after the attack occurred. He stressed that Ankara “will teach them their place,” but that essentially it is the responsibility of Russia and Iran to halt the attacks.The artillery attack, which Syrian regime forces launched from Tall Bazan in Idlib province to the town of Murak where the Turkish observation post is situation, caused damage to outpost but did not result in any casualties. Shortly after the assault, Turkish forces retaliated against the regime with heavy weapons.MEMO
Lt General Faiz Hamid, the new ISI chief
In a reshuffle in Pakistan Army on Sunday night, Lt General Faiz Hamid was appointed as the new director general of ISI. He is appointed by PM in consultation with the Army chief and is answerable only to the Army chief. He is the de facto number 2 in Pakistan Army, and arguably in the country after Army chief.Lt Gen Hamid replaces Lt Gen Asim Muneer, who was appointed to head ISI only eight months ago and must have had among the shortest stints in that office. Faiz Hamid was promoted to three stars from the rank of Major-General along with 4 others in April 2019. His appointment, announced by ISPR on Sunday night with a host of others in Army, comes five months before General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s 3-year term ends in Nov.2019.Like Bajwa, Hamid is also from Baloch Regiment. He will be among a small group of generals favourably placed for Army’s top job in 2022.indianexpress
Nigeria attack: Triple blasts kill at least 30 in Borno
30 people were killed late on Sunday in a triple suicide attack in northeast Nigeria, emergency services reported, marking the biggest mass killing this year by suicide bombers.Three bombers detonated their explosives outside a hall in Konduga, 25 kilometres from the Borno state capital Maiduguri, where football fans were watching a match on TV."The death toll from the attack has so far increased to 30. We have over 40 people injured," Usman Kachalla, head of operations at SEMA, said on Monday.aljazeera
Qatar attends Arab meeting in UAE amid Gulf crisis
Qatar participated on Monday in an Arab coordination meeting in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE, amid preparations to hold a new session of dialogue between Arab states and China, according to Qatar News Agency.  The Qatari delegation to the meeting was headed by Qatar's permanent representative to the Arab League, Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz al-Sahlawi. An Arab Coordination Meeting is slated for Tuesday as part of preparations for the "fifth session of the Arab-China Political Dialogue and the 16th session of the Senior Officials Meeting of the Arab-China Cooperation Forum," QNA said. Monday's meeting took place as the Gulf crisis has just entered its third year. Anadlu agency
Flash: views & NEWS
Mediation over Ayodhya dispute seems doomed to fail:A G Noorani
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(Released at: 7:21 PM)


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