29 March 2020

29 MARCH NEWS : Amid exodus of migrants, govt orders 14-day quarantine for those violating lockdown as death toll in country at 29 with 1,091 cases. Moving migrant crisis deepens at multiple points, worried states scramble to get a grip. Houthis offered Saudi POWs swap for jailed Palestinians, Hamas welcomes.

 29 March 2020: 3 Shahban 1441: Vol:12, No:167
*Coronavirus india*
Amid exodus of migrants, govt orders 14-day quarantine for those violating lockdown
As thousands of migrant workers take to the streets to walk back to their villages across states, the Centre said on Sunday that all those who have travelled during the lockdown period would be put under mandatory 14-day quarantine at government facilities. “Those who have violated the lockdown and traveled during the period of lockdown will be subject to minimum 14 days of quarantine in govt quarantine facilities.Detailed instructions on monitoring of such persons during quarantine have been issued to states,” Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said in a statement. The govt has stressed that states should make arrangements to pay the migrant labourers in the city where they were working and has also stated that rent should not be asked from such labourers or students, advising “action should be taken against those who are asking labourers or students to vacate the premises”.It said in the statement that “states have been also told to ensure timely payment of wages to labourers at their place of work during the period of lockdown without any cut” and “house rent should not be demanded from the labourers for this period”. Coming under heavy criticism from several quarters on migrant crisis, government directed the states “to enforce strict implementation of lockdown”. Even as supply of essentials are being maintained, govt said that “there has been movement of migrant workers in some parts of the country”. Asking the states to make “adequate arrangements for food and shelter of poor and needy people including migrant labourers be made at the place of their work” Union Government said that it has issued orders on Saturday to use State Disaster Relief Funds for the purpose, adding that “sufficient funds are available with states in this head”. indianexpress
Seal Border To Stop Migrants, ensure Lockdown: Centre's Message To States
17 Migrant Workers, Kin Have Died Trying to Return Home Since the Lockdown Started
New Delhi: At least 17 migrant labourers and their family members – including 5 children – have lost their lives so far in the course of their uphill effort to return home since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on March 23 that a 21-day lockdown would kick off within 4 hours. Aside from these deaths, and those of two others who were not migrant workers, an 11-year-old boy also reportedly died of hunger on March 27 in Bhojpur area of Bihar as the family could not arrange for food due to the strict implementation of the lockdown. Total number of deaths due to the lockdown is now 20.On March 23, Modi announced 3-week national lockdown at 8 pm. Since stores and vendors selling essentials typically bring their shutters down in many parts of the country by that hour, particularly in small towns and villages, sudden announcement triggered considerable panic among the public countrywide, forcing people to step out of their homes to procure food and other necessary items that night itself – thus overturning the very principle of social distancing PM had advocated for. thewire
India coronavirus lockdown day 5: Death toll in country at 29 with  1,091 cases
Figures furnished by the Ministry of Family and Health Welfare reveal that the govt has identified 1,091 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus across the country. This number is inclusive of 86 Covid-19 patients who have been treated or discharged in addition to an Italian tourist who decided to return home after undergoing treatment for the infection in India. According to data from State govts the number of deaths due to COVID-19 stands at 29 deaths. On Sunday, total number of confirmed cases in Maharashtra rose to 193 with 12 more people testing positive for Covid-19 in the state. Similarly, 5 new cases were reported each in Madhya Pradesh (39) and J&K (38), and 3 in Gujarat (58) followed by one in Rajasthan. Authorities reported 7 fresh deaths on March 29, one each from Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir. Here is a breakdown of novel coronavirus casualties in India as of yet. The Hindu / indiatoday
Defying Lockdown Is "Playing With Your Life", Says PM On "Mann Ki Baat"
New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi today underscored the need to enforce the restrictions announced to contain the highly contagious coronavirus, saying those who are violating the lockdown are "playing with their own lives'. The warning came as the number of COVID-19 positive people rose to 979, with 61 new cases being detected. The fresh figures from the health ministry came this morning. "People must be wondering what kind of Prime Minister I am ... But lockdown is the only solution in front of us," PM Modi said in his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat. "Many people are still defying lockdown... this is sad...Many people across the world did the same mistake... Those who are defying lockdown are playing with their own lives," he added.NDTV
Rahul writes to PM, highlights grave outcome of total lockdown, suggests nuance approach
As the Modi government on Sunday instructed state governments on Sunday to put migrant labourers returning home after nationwide lockdown was announced under the 14-day mandatory quarantine, Congress leader and member of parliament from Wayanad has written to PM to consider a more nuanced approach to the entire issue.Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in his letter to the prime minister has highlighted the plights of daily wagers and said that although he stands in solidarity with him and the entire country and would like to cooperate as much as he can with the government in fighting the coronavirus, the country and its citizens need much more than a general locdown to survive and at the same time contain the deadly infection.nationalheraldindia
Modi Govt Accountable for Exodus of Migrant Workers: Welfare Party
NEW DELHI:Welfare Party of India on Sunday criticised  Minister Narendra Modi “for creating a man-made crises” which resulted in the exodus of migrant workers and warned of “riots for food” if not properly addressed.“The unprecedented announcement of 21-day lockdown by the Prime Minister has created a situation of panic amongst the migrant workers who violated the government's directions and are walking a great distance to their homes exposing themselves and others to the impending danger,” said National President of Welfare Party Dr SQR Ilyas and held the central government responsible for this “self-inflicted crises.”Dr Ilyas charged that PM Modi is “not aware of the ground realities” and makes quick announcements with little consideration towards the consequences.India Tomorrow
Lock down: Kejriwal Urges Migrant Workers to Stay in Delhi, Says Govt Will Pay Their Rent
As the exodus of migrant workers from several major cities in India to their villages and towns continues, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal today said his government would pay their rent if they are unable to support themselves. Urging people to stay wherever they are in order to arrest the halt of the pandemic, Kejriwal appealed to landlords to not force their tenants to pay rent. "If tenants are unable to pay their rent for one-two months, govt will pay on their behalf," he said, adding an investigation will be carried out against erring landlords. news18
5 Days Into Lockdown, Hundreds Of Migrant Labourers Hit Streets In Kerala
As nationwide lockdown to fight coronavirus or COVID-19 enters fifth day, hundreds of migrants took to streets this morning in Kerala's Kottayam - seeking transport services to go to their hometowns. Policemen were seen trying to control crowds in clips recorded on mobile phones as hundreds gathered on roads and chaos unfolded on streets amid scare over COVID-19 that spreads fast in crowded places.As migrants started gathering around 11:30 am, policemen were seen showing restraint, and along with health officials, they appealed to the migrants to "go back"."Please go back. It's not safe to be out together like this. We will make arrangements for you. I give you assurance... even if it's your north Indian style of food, we will make arrangements. I am giving you my word. But we cannot send you back," Kottayam police chief Jaidev G told them in Hindi as he addressed the migrants.The migrants dispersed about 2 hours later after repeated appeals.NDTV
Migrant labourers in Kerala want to go home, stage protest
Moving migrant crisis deepens at multiple points, worried states scramble to get a grip
As the national coronavirus lockdown entered the fourth day, the Centre and states scrambled to respond to an unfolding human crisis triggered by an unprecedented exodus of migrant workers. Confusion marked the initiatives — unlocking funds, ordering relief camps — with some states arranging transport for returning migrants and others issuing frantic calls asking them not to move because of the danger of infection spreading. Given the scale of the crisis, with 17 days left for the lockdown to end, this now poses as large a logistical challenge as the outbreak itself. More so, because there is no clarity on the level of spread of the virus in this floating population, most of them headed towards villages in UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.On Saturday, the Centre asked states to utilise SDRF to provide food and shelter to the returning migrants.UP government said it deployed 1,000 buses to ferry people stranded on Delhi border — and from Lucknow to other districts. Delhi provided state transport buses to many of these workers to reach the border.Gujarat said it will send back 10,000 migrant labourers on buses either till the border or various districts in the state. “We request that no more migrants try to move from Gujarat now,” Ashwani Kumar,Secretary to CM Vijay Rupani, said. MP police arranged a bus to carry migrants from Gwalior to Jhansi. And Uttarakhand said it was also organising transport for such workers from state.But the governments of Bihar and Chhattisgarh warned that such a move could lead to spread of infection.In other measures, Uttarakhand sanctioned Rs 50 lakh from CM Relief Fund for food and accommodation for workers from the state who are stranded in Delhi.And, following similar requests two days ago from CMs of West Bengal and Odisha, MP govt wrote to all chief ministers, requesting them to provide food and shelter to migrants from the state. indianexpress
Coronavirus Lockdown: 'Food Riots Are a Very Real Possibility,' Says Pronob Sen
Union finance minister’s package of measures offered nothing to directly relieve the dire predicament of migrant daily-wage workers, said Pronob Sen, former Chief Statistician and the present chairman of the Standing Committee on Economic Statistics.If their wives have Jan Dhan accounts, then those accounts will be with banks in their villages and not in the cities where they work. The money can help their families but not them. This means that daily-wage workers who are not registered construction workers — and who will therefore be covered by the construction workers relief fund — have been left to fend for themselves. This is because our system has no mechanism for reaching out to such people, said Sen. Nor, it seems, has the govt attempted to hastily put one in place.In an interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire, Pronob Sen said this is why these daily-wage workers are walking back to their villages in thousands through the temperature is rising and there is no food or shelter available during the journey which will take days. “They’ve lost trust in the system”, he said. They are perhaps hoping that on April 14, when the 21 days lockdown ends, the system will function again but till then they have greater trust in their village social kinship networks than the govt’s ability to look after them. thewire
Stranded workers continue to wait for transport on the Yamuna Expressway
 Hundreds of people remained stranded at Zero Point on Yamuna Expressway on Sunday as migrant workers headed to their homes in Uttar Pradesh, goaded by fears of joblessness and the desire to unite with their families in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic.Zero Point is an unofficially-designated location on Yamuna Expressway, which links New Delhi with Agra, where inter-State buses usually pick up passengers.On Saturday, UP govt announced that they would arrange 1,000 buses to bring back residents, triggering a massive congregation of people and making a mockery of nationwide lockdown imposed on Tuesday. thehindu
Over 500 migrants stuck in limbo at Gujarat border
Nearl10 km from the Maharashtra-Gujarat border at Talasari, over 500 migrants from various parts of the country stuck in limbo, feel let down by the government that did not think of their plight before announcing a 21-day nationwide lockdown to combat COVID-19.The fact that provisions were not made for migrant labourers to get their daily bread or return home while announcing the lockdown on Tuesday, forced many to start walking over 500 km to their homes in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.With state borders closed, migrants, most of them daily wage labourers, have now been kept at refuge places like the Thakkarbappa school at Talasari, where the only fear in the face of a raging pandemic for them is how they would return home. The local authorities’ arrangement for them itself has rendered useless the “social distancing” objective of the lockdown.indianexpress
Special trains to shutdown: Centre and states had early warning
New Delhi :A week before migrant workers took to the streets to walk back to their villages in faraway UP and Bihar in defiance of the lockdown, the Centre had all the indications about a surge in demand from migrant workers to go back home from cities locked down to contain spread of Covid-19.Through 24 hours after the Janata Curfew on March 22, an estimated 10,000 migrant workers from Maharashtra travelled to Bihar in 5 special trains, which had to be run because they showed up at railway stations and wouldn’t leave, bringing railway authorities under pressure in view of the Covid-19 outbreak. indianexpress
FIR against AAP MLA Raghav Chadha for tweet against Yogi Adityanath
New Delhi :An FIR has been registered against AAP MLA Raghav Chadha on Sunday for allegedly making objectionable comments against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. FIR was lodged in Noida based on a complaint filed by advocate Prashant Patel.Chadha, in a Twitter post, alleged that migrants travelling Delhi to Uttar Pradesh are being thrashed on the orders of Yogi Adityanath. “According to sources, Yogiji is getting migrants going from Delhi to UP beaten up. He is saying why did you go to Delhi and you will not be allowed to go to Delhi again. My appeal to UP government is not to do this and not to increase problems in this difficult hour,” he tweeted.However, Chada later deleted the tweet. indianexpress
Coronavirus: Back from Chennai, 7 youths quarantined on tree outside Bengal village
For the past 5 days, 7 youths at Bhangdi village in West Bengal’s Purulia district are living on the branches of a tree outside their village. Bamboo sticks have been used to tie wooden cots to the branches, about 8-10 feet from the ground. Each cot is covered by a plastic sheet and a mosquito net. The tree also has lights and plug points where the youths can charge their phones. They have been given masks too. The youths climb down only to relieve themselves, wash their clothes and when food is served thrice a day.These 7 youths, all of them migrant workers, have been living on the tree ever since they returned from Chennai at a time when COVID-19 infections in the country are on the rise. After doctors asked them to stay under home quarantine, villagers made arrangements on the mango tree.indianexpress
Among those stranded, man whose mother died, group taking relative’s body home
Raipur :When 70-year-old Narayan Patel went to Rameshwaram and Tirupati in first week of March with 17 friends from his village in Raipur, there was little murmur of trouble.The group is now stuck on Odisha-Chhattisgarh border, about 50 km from their village. After walking and hitching rides for over a 1,000 km, their patience is drawing thin.On the Odisha side of border, a medical camp has been set up. Dr Pradyumna Barik, a community healthcare worker, was woken up Thursday night by the sound of vehicles. “At first we thought they were migrant workers, but most of them were over 50. When I asked where they had come from, they said Tirupati,” he said.The group was in Tirupati when Janata Curfew was announced. “We had booked rooms in a lodge, but they told us to leave,” Rajkumar Chandrakar(56) said. indianexpress
Bored in lockdown, 21-yr-old man commits suicide in Jamnagar
Rajkot :Days after prohibitory orders came into force and restricted movement of people, a 21-year-old man allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at his home in Jamnagar city on Saturday with his father claiming that he had got bored due to compulsion of staying indoors.Police said that 21-year-old Kaushik Mandera was found hanging in his house in Gokulnagar area of Jamanagar city on Friday morning. indianexpress
India lockdown: 62-year-old dies after walking home from hospital in Surat
Surat :A 62-year-old man died in Surat on Friday after walking from a hospital to his house for around 8 kms as he could not find any vehicle due to the lockdown imposed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The deceased, Gangaram Yelenge, was returning from New Civil Hospital at Majuragate along with his son Naresh Yelenge (40).He fell unconscious on the road near his house in Pandesara and was taken back to the hospital where he was declared brought dead.According to Naresh, a resident of Adajan area who works as a helper in a plastic shop, he had gone to meet his father, who was ill, on Friday morning.Naresh said that he had to walk for 12 kms to reach Chhatrapati Shivajinagar society in Pandesara, where his father was staying. indianexpress
Lack of liquor in lockdown triggers suicides in Kerala
5 people with an alleged history of alcohol addiction have committed suicide — 5 days into the lockdown in Kerala — and reports point to the health woes of alcohol addicts building up into a major concern on the sidelines of the battle against COVID-19 across state.Reports of suicide attempts by 2 alcohol addicts emerged in Malappuram on Saturday besides a sudden increase in number of admissions at de-addiction centres and mental health units at government hospitals.While Kerala has seen restrictions on liquor in various ways in the past, this is the first time that total prohibition has come into effect in the state due to the lockdown.indianexpress
Over one lakh diamond polishers leave Surat to Saurashtra
Surat :Over one lakh diamond polishers in Surat have left the city to their native places after the nationwide lockdown was imposed in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.Surat Diamond Association president Babubhai Katheriya said, “Around 1.50 lakh diamond polishers had left Surat city till today and still it continues. We feel that these diamond polishers don’t want to spend time in the room and even their outside movements were restricted. They also have to pay the rent and mess charges. With no work in Surat, they decided to back to their villages.’According to Surat Diamond Association sources, there are around 5000 small, big and middle size diamond factories in Surat which have more than 6 lakh diamond workers. indianexpress
Lakhs of unchecked air travellers entered India in two months
After implementing 21 day lockdown to prevent virus spread...government now wakes up to monitor 15 lakh international travellers......who entered India between January 18 to March 23. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has asked states to immediately strengthen surveillance of these travellers. Government realised a "gap" between those being monitored and 15 lakh arrivals during the period. Gauba said, the gap "may seriously jeopardise the efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19". Most positive cases so far in India have history of international travel.Bureau Of Immigration has shared details of over 15 lakh incoming international passengers. A huge number of these travellers have not been monitored. nationalheraldindia
48 truck drivers, cleaners held for assaulting cops, sugar factory authorities
Surat :As many as 48 truck drivers and cleaners were arrested Friday for allegedly assaulting police personnel and Bardoli sugar factory authorities.The incident happened at a sugarcane yard near the factory.According to police, on Friday evening, over 40 trucks and tractors loaded with sugarcane, which was brought from sugarcane fields in Walia in Bharuch district and Uchhal taluka in Tapi district, were returning to factory to unload the stock. Sources said that, on the way, the drivers of the trucks and tractors were allegedly warned by police for plying during the lockdown. The truck driver told the transport committee people that from now, they will not go to collect the sugarcanes from Tapi and Bharuch districts as they face a lot of problems from the police department.Vice-president of the factory Bhavesh Patel along with transport committee members Ravji Patel and Niraj Patel had a talk with the drivers. indianexpress
Railways apprehend "enormous" rush to hospitals soon
Indian Railways apprehend an "enormous" rush to hospitals soon and have decided to hire the services of retired para-medical staff.In a note to all General Managers of Zonal Railways and Production Units, Railway Board on Saturday said "keeping in view the pandemic situation because of the outbreak of Coronavirus disease, it is apprehended that extra para-medical staff will be required for handling the enormous rush expected in few weeks."Railway Board authorities GMs/Chief Administrative Officers/Divisional Railway Managers to engage recited Para-Medical Staff up to the age of 65 years or to hire para-medical staff on Contract basis for a period of one month over and above the sanctioned strength depending upon the requirement. This would be a temporary measure.
Police in Telangana chase away people, imam gathered to offer Friday prayer
Hyderabad:Narayanpet police on Friday recieved information that people have gathered for a Friday prayer at a mosque in Telangana. Police reached the mosque and chased people away. Police also ran after the imam of the mosque.During this, a video was recorded which has now went viral.The video of inicedent shows people are dangerously jumping from one roof to another and the imam is running helter-skelter as the police chase them away.It is alleged that the call given by ulemas (Muslim scholars) not to come to masjid for Friday prayers in view of novel coronavirus outbreak could not reach many Muslims.Majlis Bachao Tahreeq (MBT) leader Amjadullah alleged that there was more confusion after Telangana Waqf Board issued an order allowing imam to conduct Friday prayers with five persons.He pointed out that Narayanpet police should have involved some elders and posted a picket outside the mosque and convinced Muslims, but it did not take any precautions and resorted to lathi charge."I strongly condemn the act of police of beating the imam and Muslims and demand strong action against the said police officers for the cruel act or else MBT will be forced to agitate against this police atrocity on Muslims of Narayanpet,"MBT spokesman Khan said.indiatoday
Issue fatwa to close all mosques: Ex-minorities commission chairperson to Dar-ul-Uloom
New Delhi:Tahir Mahmood, a former chairperson of National Minorities Commission, has urged Dar-ul-Uloom, Deoband, to issue a fatwa for the closure of all mosques in the country in the wake of the coronavirus.In a letter, Mahmood urged the rector of the Islamic university to ask people to offer prayers in their home."I am sending this mail to appeal to Ulama and Muftis of Dar-ul-Uloom to guide the community in this hour of crisis created by corona pandemic by issuing a fatwa for the closure of all mosques throughout the country for the time being," he said.PTI
Medical teams on COVID-19 survey attacked in Jaipur
Jaipur: A medical health team formed to conduct the COVID-19 survey in a minority community area had to run for their lives on Saturday when a big crowd in Kailashpuri area in Jaipur snatched the team members'' phones, manhandled them and tore down the documents they were carrying for the survey, said health officials.The employees of the primary health centre in Gandhinagar submitted a written complaint to Chief Medical and Health Officer Narottam Sharma alleging that Auxiliary Nursing Midwife (ANM), Public Health Nurse, AAsha, and Lady Health Visitor (LHV) employees visited Kailashpuri on Saturday to get the survey done following coronavirus spread."However the people there tore our documents, misbehaved with us and snatched our mobile phones," said the complaint."A section of the minority community thinks the survey is meant for NRC or CAA. Our task is to control the coronavirus spread and we are persuading them. The state police is supporting us," he added.IANS
Communal Amity: Muslim Youths Help Perform the Last Rites of Their Hindu Neighbour
NEW DELHI:Muslim youths in Anand Vihar area of Bulandshahar presented one of the best examples of communal harmony and brotherhood when they not only took out the “anti-yatra”(the funeral) of their neighbor Ravishankar on Saturday but also helped his two sons perform the last rites as none of his relatives could reach due to 21-day lockdown.Ravi Shankar, who was suffering from cancer, died on Friday.As none of the relatives could turn due to lockdown, the Muslim youths carried the body of the old man on their shoulders and took it to the cremation ground while reciting “Ram Naam Satya Hai”.His son Pramod said “as none of our relatives could not reach due to lockdown, my Muslims neighbours helped me in performance of the last rites of my father”.Pramod said that the Muslim youths not only took out the “antim yatra”but also chanted “Ram Naam Satya Hai along with us”. They also helped in performing the last rites  as per Hindu ritual.indiatomorrow

Kashmir under stringent curbs, lockdown for 10th day
 The stringent curbs on public movement and assembly continued for 10th consecutive day in Kashmir to prevent spread of deadly coronavirus pandemic.People preferred to stay indoors in the Valley, where eight more patients tested positive for Covid-19 today.Amid spike in coronavirus cases, the government enforced strict restrictions on public movement and assembly for 10th straight day in a bid to break the chain of the virus spread.The contingents of police and CRPF sealed highways and intersections to enforce restrictions on movement of inter-state and inter-district vehicles. The forces also remained deployed in other towns and rural areas to enforce the restrictions and ensure people don’t flock to markets and roads. Police have detained several people and lodged FIRs registered against them for violating govt's prohibitory orders.In Ganderbal, police lodged an FIR against law some people in Kangan for violating prohibitory orders and offering Friday prayers in a mosque.risingkashmir
Anti-CAA protesters provide food to 210 families
Mumbai:15 volunteers, who were part of protests against CAA and NRC at various sites across the city, have been gathering funds for the poor, needy and the daily wage workers amid the lockdown owing to coronavirus pandemic.Over last 4 days, they have distributed food packets to 170 families at Powai, Vashi, Govandi, Mankhurd and Cheeta Camp.“When we were raising questions against the govt, we were called anti-nationals. But we are patriotic, and it is a trait that those who want something for the country will question those in power,” said Fahad Ahmad, a senior research fellow at TISS. Along with Ahmad, 14 other students from TISS and IIPS, have been raising money through crowdfunding, and by Saturday evening had provided food packets to 210 families. The group has received ₹1.95 lakh through online transfers after it reached out to people through social media. The group also distributed around 100 sanitisers to on-duty police personnel.HT
No, foreign nationals from Italy, Iran weren’t hiding in Patna mosque to avoid coronavirus testing
 In the midst of disturbing news about coronavirus, a video is viral on Facebook and Twitter which shows people coming out of a building. It is being claimed that 50 people from Italy and Iran came to Patna’s Kurji last month and have since been hiding in a mosque. They were apprehended by Digha police, the claim furthers.At 12:15 PM on March 3, News 24 India tweeted the video with the text, “In Patna’s Kurji, 50 foreign nationals of Iran and Italy suddenly came to this colony. There was panic in the colony due to this. They were staying inside a local mosque. Patna police is investigating.”Punjab Kesari, Amar Ujala, Times Now Hindi and News18 informed that 12 foreign nationals, who were hiding in the mosque, were arrested by the police amid the fear of coronavirus. These media outlets, in contrast to News 24 India’s report of 50 foreign nationals, claimed that only 12 people were arrested. Meanwhile, News18 reported,“The number of people who were kept hidden is being said to be 12. Everyone is said to be from Turkestan. People living in the neighbourhood objected when they came to know about them and started creating a ruckus. Local police were informed about the ruckus, after which, police took these 12 people into their custody. Police are conducting raids in the area (translated).”Alt News reached out to SHO Manoj Kumar Singh of Digha police station. He rubbished the claims and reiterated that the individuals are not from Iran or Italy but Krygyzstan. “This is fake news,” said the SHO and informed that they had jamaat going on in the area. “These men preach information about Islam and have come on tourist visas. They had come for a jamaat at the mosque,” said the policeman, adding the group was in Patna since March 6.A section of the media misreported that people from the Muslim community were hiding inside a mosque in Bihar during coronavirus pandemic. These outlets even reported that these men were foreign nationals from Iran, Italy and China. However, they were from Krygyzstan and had arrived in India before the first coronavirus case was reported in the
Malaysian preacher dies in Bihar mosque
Araria:The death of a 65-year-old preacher from Malaysia, who came to Bihar’s Araria along with 9 others, inside a mosque has set alarm bells ringing in the region even though authorities have not yet confirmed the exact cause of his demise.The preacher, identified as Md Khairani Bin Lookman, had reached Araria on March 21 died on Thursday evening. Lookman had landed in Delhi on March 6.“He offered namaz and soon after fell unconscious and died,” a local resident said adding that he was rushed to Araria district hospital where he was declared brought dead. According to sources, Araia district administration forced the doctor to perform an autopsy in the hospital despite several health officials suggesting it should be done at a bigger centre.“We cannot say anything at this point whether the preacher was a Covid-19 patient or not,” the added.However, a senior deputy collector, Araria, Shambhu Kumar said, “The rest 9 Islamic preachers have been quarantined in the mosque where they are staying.”HT
Delhi attendees of Tableeghi Jamaat meet undergo Covid-19 test
New Delhi: Over 200 persons, who are believed to have attended a gathering of Tableeghi Jamaat preachers in New Delhi earlier this month, are being tested for Covid-19.Additionally, over 12 houses with members who came in touch with a group of preachers from Malaysia and Indonesia have been quarantined in the area. Residents of Nizammuddin Basti said the group from Tableeghi Jamat had come and stayed in the mosque and had visited many houses in the basti.Jamat, believes in the message of ‘Deen ki Mehnat’ which means strengthening the Islamic way of life. Delhi govt officials said SDMs are visiting the area every day, and talking to residents to figure out the extent of the gathering. Samples of over 226 people, who were part of the gathering has been, as of now, were sent for testing, an official said.economictimes
Why 4-hour notice for 21-day lockdown, Modiji: Kapil Sibal
With thousands of migrant labourers forced to walk hundreds of km back to their native states, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly making no proper preparations before announcing 21-day nationwide lockdown due to novel coronavirus spread."Modiji why:For Janata Curfew, four-day notice, for 21-day lockdown four-hour notice. No preparations in advance before lockdown."IANS
Coimbatore: 4 Sunnath Jamath leaders booked for violating ban on Friday prayers
Coimbatore police have registered cases against office-bearers of 2 jamaat for allowing Muslims pray together violating prohibitory order in place. Ukkadam police registered a case against Basha, head of Coimbatore Ukkadam Kottai Chinna Pallivasal and Abubacker Siddiq, secretary,for allowing over 120 Muslims pray together on Friday. Ukkadam police registered a case against Haroon Rasheed, head of Kottai Idayathul Islam Sunnath Jamath and secretary Thrarvesh for allowing over 300 people offer prayers in a mosque. TOI
Kanika Kapoor tests coronavirus positive for fourth time
Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor has tested positive for Coronavirus for the fourth consecutive time, causing considerable concern to her family.Kanika, who was hospitalized on March 20 after she tested positive for Coronavirus, had returned from London on March 9 and then travelled to Kanpur and Lucknow and during her stay she developed cough and fever.IANS
*Coronavirus World*
Coronavirus Global Death Toll Crosses 31,000, Over 2-3rd Fatalities From Europe
Worldwide number of officially confirmed fatalities from the novel coronavirus rose to 31,412 on Sunday, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources. More than two-thirds of the deaths from coronavirus have now been recorded in Europe. Over 667,090 declared cases have been registered in 183 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in Dec. Of these cases, at least 134,700 are now considered recovered.While US tops the world in the number of positive cases reported, 5 European countries — Italy, Spain, China, Iran, and France — recorded the highest number of deaths. Italy, which recorded its first coronavirus death in February, has to date declared 10,023 fatalities, with 92,472 infections and 12,384 people recovered.Like Italy, Spain has more fatalities than China with 6,528, as well as 78,747 infections. Spain announced 838 virus deaths in past 24 hours, a new record, according to AFP. China -- excluding Hong Kong and Macau -- has to date declared 3,295 deaths and 81,394 cases, with 74,971 recoveries.The other worst-hit countries are Iran with 2,640 deaths and 38,309 cases, and France with 2,314 deaths and 37,575 cases. US has highest number of infected people with 124,686 diagnosed cases, 2,191 deaths and 2,612 recoveries. Cases there have soared from 41,511 on Monday, making it the country with the fastest progression rate.By continent, Europe has listed 363,766 cases and 22,259 deaths to date, Asia 104,596 cases and 3,761 deaths, the Middle East 46,596 cases and 2,718 deaths, US and Canada together 130,120 cases with 2,250 deaths, Latin America and the Caribbean 13,544 cases with 274 deaths, Africa 4,267 cases with 134 deaths and Oceania 4,208 cases with 16 deaths.
Deadliest day for Europe, America as coronavirus cases surge
Italy's coronavirus death toll passes 10,000
New York-area residents told to avoid travel as US toll jumps
Health authorities in US have urged millions of residents of New York region to avoid non-essential travel due to surging coronavirus infections there as deaths in the country passed 2,000, more than double the level 2 days earlier. The advisory late on Saturday applies to New York City, the hardest-hit US municipality, and the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.The advisory cited "extensive community transmission" in the area and urged residents to avoid travel for 14 days.
New York governor slams quarantine idea as 'anti-American'
Andrew Cuomo slammed Trump's suggestion of a quarantine in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, saying such a lockdown would amount to "a federal declaration of war"."If you start walling off areas all across the country, it would be totally bizarre, counterproductive, anti-American, anti-social," governor of New York told CNN, calling the idea "preposterous" and illegal. Cuomo added that roping off the nation's financial capital could "paralyse the economy" at a time Trump has called for measures to get the economy back on track.
Trump drops idea of coronavirus lockdowns
US President Donald Trump said he will not impose a quarantine on the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but would instead issue a "strong travel advisory" for the region.In a Twitter post, Trump said he made the decision after consulting with the White House taskforce leading the federal response and the governors of the three affected states.He wrote: "I have asked the @CDCgov to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the Federal Government. A quarantine will not be necessary."
UK gov't 'very concerned' after cases surge past 1,000 mark
British govt is "very concerned" following the latest figures which show over 1,000 people had died after testing positive for coronavirus, senior minister Michael Gove said on Sunday."Naturally we are very concerned and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those who have lost loved-ones in the last few days," he told Sky News.
German cases reach 52,547, total deaths 389
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has reached 52,547 after 3,965 people tested positive overnight, according to the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases' latest tally. Meanwhile, the death toll rose to 389 from 325 the previous day.
Switzerland reports 22 deaths, 1,123 new infections
Swiss death toll from coronavirus reached 257 up from 235 people the previous day, according to the country's public health agency.It said infections rose by 1,123 to 14,336.
S. Korea reports 105 new cases, total at 9,583
Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 105 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections throughout the outbreak in the country to 9,583.A total of 5,033 people have fully recovered, while the death toll was 152, the public health agency said.
China worried imported cases could lead to second wave
A spokesperson for Chinese health authority has expressed concern about the possibility of imported cases leading to a second wave of infections. "Chinese already has an accumulated total of 693 cases entering from overseas, which means the possibility of a new round of infections remains relatively big," said Mi Geng of the National Health Commission. The commission reported 45 new COVID-19 cases on the mainland, of which all but one were imported by travelers from overseas.
As cases continue to slow in China, Wuhan reopens rail stations
China's National Health Commission reported 45 new COVID-19 cases on the mainland, of which all but one were imported by travellers from overseas. There were five new deaths in Wuhan, the city that was once at the epicentre of China's outbreak. Life is gradually returning to normal in the city, which has only reported one new case in the past 10 days, according to state media. Wuhan's subway and railway stations reopened on Saturday after two months of suspension, and a China- Europe cargo train departed Wuhan for Germany, carrying medical supplies.Mainland China has recorded 81,439 confirmed cases and a total of 3,300 deaths throughout the outbreak.
Canadian PM's wife recovers from COVID-19
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau said she has received a "clear bill of health" two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. "It's all good for me now," she said in a video posted on Instagram. "We are going through some really rough times, and we are going to stick through it together."
Malaysia announces 150 new cases, 7 deaths
Malaysia has confirmed 150 new coronavirus cases, making it the southeast Asian countries with the most infections at 2,470.Fatalities meanwhile rose by 7 to 34, according to the health ministry.
Indonesia cases rise by 130 to 1,285
Indonesia has announced 130 new coronavirus cases, bringing to total number of infections to 1,285. The death toll meanwhile rose to 144 from 132 previous day, according to Achmad Yurianto, a health ministry official. Yurianto added that over 6,500 people had been tested across the country.
Saudi shuts entry and exit into Jeddah
Saudi Arabia has shut down entry and exit into the Jeddah governorate and brought forward a curfew there to begin at 3 pm local time, the official Saudi Press Agency said.The same measures were applied to Riyadh, Mecca and Medina last week.
Iran to cover 90% of COVID-19 patients' expenses
Iran announced on Saturday that it would cover 90% of health care expenses of each of its citizens diagnosed with coronavirus, Anadolu reports. President Hassan Rouhani said the government had fortified the country’s health care system over the past 6 years, IRNA reported. Rouhani noted that 90% of health care expenses of Iranians diagnosed with COVID-19 who apply to hospitals, would be met by government through health insurance. Blaming U.S. sanctions for difficulties faced in the country, he said that 20% of this year’s budget — translating to 10 trillion rials ($237.5 million)– had been allocated to fight the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, Iran on Sunday said 123 more people had died of coronavirus, thus taking the death toll in the country to 2,640. “Fortunately 12,391 of those who have been hospitalised have now recovered and returned to their families,” a health ministry official said. middleeastmonitor
Palestinian groups cancel mass Gaza rallies due to coronavirus
Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip have cancelled mass rallies planned for next week along the border with Israel amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus in the densely-populated territory, organisers said on Saturday.The rallies were called for March 30 to mark the second anniversary of so-called "Great March of Return" which had prompted weekly protests by Palestinians seeking to regain access to land, now in Israel, from which their ancestors were forced to flee during the Nakba, the Palestinian exodus, in 1947-48.aljazeera
Undocumented in Lebanon: No papers, no coronavirus test
Hospitals on front lines of Lebanon's coronavirus outbreak have either turned away undocumented people or are setting prohibitively high costs for tests, leading them to fear for their health and wellbeing. Al Jazeera spoke with 2 former domestic workers of Ethiopian origin who sought testing at Beirut's Rafik Hariri University Hospital (RHUH), main COVID-19 testing and treatment centre in the country.Both said they were turned away because they did not have identification documents.Many live-in migrant domestic workers in Lebanon are left without documents when they escape abusive employers, because of the pervasive practice of employers confiscating passports and IDs.As of Saturday, Lebanon had recorded 412 cases of COVID-19, with 8 deaths and 27 recoveries, according to government statistics. aljazeera
Qatar confirms first coronavirus death
Qatar on Saturday confirmed the first death in the country due to the coronavirus, Anadolu reports.A Bangladeshi national, who was suffering from chronic diseases, died of virus, known as COVID-19, country’s Health Ministry said in a statement. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases surged to 509, as 28 more people tested positive, while 45 patients have so far recovered and been discharged from hospitals since the beginning of the outbreak, the statement added. middleeastmonitor
Coronavirus cases in Israel near 3,500
The number of COVID-19 cases in Israel has reached 3,460 after 425 more people are diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the statement by the country’s health ministry, Anadolu reports.50 of patients are in critical condition and 89 have recovered, the statement added.Until now, COVID-19 claimed the lives of 12 in the country.As part of measures, all schools have been closed in the country, all meetings in public, open or closed areas with more than 10 people have also been banned.
Israel reopens nuclear bunker in Jerusalem to help fight coronavirus
Israeli occupation government has reopened a nuclear bunker in Jerusalem Hills as part of its fight against the outbreak of coronavirus, Israeli officials revealed. The bunker, called “National Management Centre”, was built more than a decade ago out of concern over Iran’s nuclear programme and missile attacks from Hezbollah and Hamas.
COVID-19: 4 clerics arrested in Pak for violating lockdown rules
Lahore:Police on Saturday arrested 4 clerics and booked 15 others in Punjab and Sindh provinces of Pakistan for violating lockdown rules and holding Friday congregations despite a fatwa issued by a top global Islamic body to suspend them to contain the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus.Four clerics were arrested in Punjab province, while 15 clerics were booked in Sindh province''s Karachi city, police said as the coronavirus cases in Pakistan on Saturday reached 1,408, including 11 deaths.The government had issued a notification limiting the number of people between three to five who can attend Friday and congregational prayers in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. However, religious leaders of the Barelvi and Deobandi sects did not support the decree issued by Al-Azhar  ban on namaz in mosuqes.A number of mosques flouted the order and a large number of people offered Friday congregations in Punjab and other parts of the country.In Islamabad, Friday prayers were held at the Faisal Mosque where nearly 40 people offered prayers by maintaining some distance.There were also reports of people attending Friday prayers in Sindh and Balochistan provinces despite presence of police personnel to discourage people from attending it.Those arrested are Allama Muhammad Abbas Rizvi, Qari Muhammad Sabir, Qari Muhammad Mazhar and Qari Muhammad Usman.PTI
Month after video of Delhi Police assault sparked outrage, 4 survivors have no hope for justice
Of the scores of horrific video clips in circulation of anti-Muslim violence that engulfed large parts of North East Delhi a month ago, one piece of mobile-phone footage has been indelibly seared into our collective memories. Even a country habituated to seeing Muslim victims of lynchings being filmed by their attackers was stunned at the sight of the assailants in this video – men in police uniform. The clip shows 5 severely injured men, lying on the street, being beaten by policemen as they loudly order them to sing the national anthem. One of 5, Faizan, is slumped to the side, unconscious. He died on Feb.27, 2 days after the attack.An injured Rafiq, lying on his back, sings the national anthem as the police prod him with lathis, asking him to do better. One of policemen bends down, capturing the incident on a mobile phone, his visor coming into the frame as he takes a close-up of Rafiq.30-year-old Kausar Ali, lies holding his stomach, bleeding profusely from his head, neck and knees. Another policeman bends down to grab 18-year-old Mohmmad Farhan, lifting his head by his hair, before smashing it on the ground.Youngest, Wasim, just 17, in a black t-shirt and yellow shoes, lies injured as two policemen threaten to beat him again their lathis. A different clip of the same incident shows them raining blows on Wasim’s back and legs.In all clips the policemen are heard swearing at the men, asking them to chant Vande Matram, a poem to Mother India. “You live in India but you want azadi,” one of policemen says. The taunt referring to the popular slogan that gained currency during the nationwide protests against CAA.scroll
Charred houses, layers of dust: Delhi riot victims return home due to coronavirus outbreak
Charred walls, loosely hanging fans with thick layers of soot, blackened steel utensils, ash on the floor - this is how his house looked like when Ansar Malik (35) entered his home in Delhi's Mustafabad after almost a month.Ansar's home was plundered during the recent riots in northeast Delhi which lasted seven days and left 53 people dead.Ansar and his 11 family members, who were living in a relief camp, were forced to go back home after PM Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown in the country owing to the novel coronavirus outbreak.Ansar is not alone, many other Delhi riot victims are also returning home, or whatever is left of it, as the novel coronavirus has taken the world by a storm.The relief camps, where the victims were staying, were shut in the wake of the novel coronavirus, or Covid-19, outbreak.Idgah relief camp in northeast Delhi's Mustafabad, which was set up by the Delhi Waqf Board for riot victims, was cleared out completely on Wednesday. Ansar lived in this relief camp with his family.
HC tells AAP govt to ensure food, shelter for Delhi riot victims
 Delhi High Court has directed AAP govt to ensure victims of the recent northeast Delhi riots, who may be homeless at the moment, are provided with food and accommodation either at community centres or night shelters.A bench of justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh, which conducted the proceedings through video-conferencing, also asked the government to ensure the provision of food, water and medical aid to such individuals. “Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) shall furthermore, individually and jointly, ensure that sanitation, cleanliness and hygiene is properly and regularly maintained at the locations/ centres/ shelters, where the riot victims are to be housed,” the bench said, in its order.The court passed the order while issuing notices to Centre, represented by advocate Amit Mahajan,Delhi govnt, represented by counsel Rahul Mehra, and \EDMC, represented by lawyer Abhinav S Aggarwal.It sought their responses on a plea by Shaikh Mujtaba Farooq seeking direction to authorities to re-open the relief camp at Idgah in Mustafabad and provide proper food supplies, adequate water, sanitation and security to victims. Petitioner, represented through senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, sought direction for EDMC to clean the area and drains twice a day on a war-footing basis. “In the meantime, Govt of National Capital Territory of Delhi is directed to ensure that all the riot victims, who may be shelterless at the moment, are provided with accommodation, either at community centres or at the night shelters operated by Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) in the Northeast District, Delhi,” the court said.The bench asked the authorities to file short replies to the plea and in view of the urgency expressed by the petitioner, list matter for further hearing on March 30.PTI
Provide immediate relief to riot victims at Mustafabad relief camp says Delhi HC
Ram Lalla idol shifted to makeshift temple structure in Ayodhya using eco-friendly imported wood: sunday guardian
New Delhi: As the construction of the grand Ram Temple is set to begin in Ayodhya, idol of Ram Lalla has now been shifted to a makeshift temple structure in Ayodhya, built using eco-friendly wood imported from Germany and Estonia.21×14 feet wooden makeshift temple structure has been built according to Hindu faith and mythology, keeping in mind all the Vastu details, including the direction of entry, the direction and the number of windows and specifics of the Garbha Griha which houses the idol of Ram Lalla.A Ghaziabad-based company, Nature Homes, had been tasked to build this temple by the Uttar Pradesh government earlier this month and the temple structure was built in a record time of just eight days, after which it was inaugurated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday, the first day of Navratri.The temple structure which has been built just 500 metres from the site which is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Rama, has been designed to withstand a wind speed of 150 km per hour and can also withstand an earthquake measuring up to 9 on the Richter scale, according to makers of the temple.Saurabh Sood, Founder of Nature Homes, giving details of the temple structure, said that while building this particular temple structure for Ram Lalla, company has taken particular care of the security of Ram Lalla and all the other security parameters involved in securing place and the temple.sunday guardian
Ancestors of most of the Indians were there during Ramayana age, claims BHU Study: TOI
 At a time when efforts are on for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, a study conducted by experts from 5 prominent institutes, led by Prof Gyaneshwer Chaubey from department of zoology  at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), shows that most of country’s population has been living here since the times of Ramayana.The genetic ancestry of India population shows amalgamation of mainly two different kinds of ancestries—the tribes and Indus valley habitat.The findings have been published in the recent issue of ‘Nature’ research journal (March 27).“Each one of us, barring around 20% people who are found in parts of western India and Haryana and have their ancestry with the Aryans, bear genetic sequencing with one of the three tribes of the country – Kol, Bhil and Gond (which are here for about 60,000 years) – or that with Indus Valley people who were here some 5000 years ago,” Prof Chaubey said.The study, which began in 2013, had the sample size of over 550 Kol and equal number of Gond and Bhil tribes from 3 parts of the country – Koraon (Prayagraj in UP), Siddhi (MP) and Amravati (Maharashtra).
Houthis offered Saudi POWs swap for jailed Palestinians
When the leader of Yemen's Houthi rebels recently offered a surprise prisoner exchange to Saudi Arabia,   announcement brought to light the case of dozens of Palestinians on trial in the kingdom, where they are accused of "supporting terrorism".In a televised address to mark the fifth anniversary of the Saudi intervention in Yemen, Abdul Malek al-Houthi offered to swap a Saudi military pilot and four other prisoners of war held by the Houthis for the Palestinian activists.Al-Houthi said the offer was made because his group stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people against those who "conspire against its legitimate cause".Saudi put dozens of Palestinian activists on trial on March 8, accusing them of supporting Hamas group, which governs besieged Palestinian territory of Gaza and is considered a "terrorist group" by Riyadh. The activists' first court appearance was held in secret without legal representation to defend them against charges, according to the families of the detainees. The next court date is scheduled for May.Hamas sees itself as a "national resistance movement" against the Israeli occupation of Palestine.Hussain al-Bukhaiti, a political analyst who is close to the Houthi movement, told Al Jazeera via telephone from the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, the Houthi initiative is "genuine and is not a show-off offer as some critics have made it out to be".aljazeera
Hamas praises Houthis for offer to free Palestinian prisoners from Saudi Arabia
Palestinian resistance group Hamas has praised the initiative by Iran-backed Houthi militia to convince Saudi Arabia to release Palestinian detainees. A statement issued by Hamas confirmed: “Hamas has followed with interest the much-appreciated initiative launched by Abdulmalik Al-Houthi on Thursday evening, regarding the exchange of prisoners in their possession for the release of Palestinian detainees in the Kingdom of Saudi.”MEMO
Merkel claimed to reject Israel's medical supply demand
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is claimed to have rejected Israeli President Binyamin Netanyahu’s demand for medical respirators, amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Anadolu reports.In a recent phone call between Netanyahu and Merkel, Israel has demanded medical respirators from Germany in the fight with coronavirus, according to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth’s story.The news claimed that Merkel rejected the demand, but did not give further details.On Tuesday, Netanyahu spoke on phone with Merkel, according to Israeli Presidency Office’s written statement. No further details were provided about the phone call.
Regime, Russia kill 387 civilians in Idlib, Syria
Syrian regime and its allies killed hundreds of civilians in northwestern Idlib city between period of two cease-fire deals reached on Jan. 12 and March 6 by Ankara and Moscow, according to a rights watchdog.Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) reported that aggression of Bashar al-Assad regime, Iran-backed foreign terrorist groups, and Russia left 387 civilians dead.While regime forces are responsible for the killing of 174 civilians, Russian strikes killed 213 others; among the dead are 104 children and 62 women.middleeastmonitor
US lawmakers: Saudi  threatens US domination over oil markets
Half a dozen US lawmakers accused Saudi Arabia of waging “warfare” against US dominance over the global energy market.In a letter that was signed and sent to the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the lawmakers wrote: “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have embarked upon economic warfare against US.”They added: “During this time of pandemic and global economic crisis, the Kingdom of Saudi has chosen to settle scores in the oil market.”US lawmakers confirmed that: “Riyadh’s motivation may be multi-faceted – to punish the Russians, to capture near-term market share, to destabilise long-term investment in American energy – but the end result is the same.”“Our nation’s energy dominance, which President Trump has carefully nurtured over the past three years, is now under direct threat from a country that professes to be our ally.”middleeastmonitor
Saudi-led coalition intercepts missiles over Riyadh, Jizan
Saudi Arabia's air defences have intercepted 2 ballistic missiles above kingdom's capital, Riyadh, and the southern city of Jizan, according to a spokesman for Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen. Turki al-Malki, in a statement quoted by the Saudi Press Agency, blamed the foiled assaults on Yemen's Houthi rebels and said the missiles were destroyed around 23:23  on Saturday. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, however.aljazeera
Taliban refuses to talk to newly-formed Afghan government team
Taliban has refused to negotiate with a team announced by the Afghan government, the armed group's spokesman has said, in a potential setback to next steps in US-brokered peace process.Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Saturday the group will not negotiate with 21-member team as it was not selected in a way that included "all Afghan factions".On Thursday, Afghan govt's Ministry of Peace Affairs announced the team, with US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad praising the move as "inclusive". The team, headed by Masoom Stanekzai, former chief of National Directorate of Security and supporter of President Ashraf Ghani, includes politicians, ex officials, civil society representatives-among them 5 women. Negotiations have also been delayed due to a disagreement between Taliban and the govt over the release of prisoners and a possible ceasefire as preconditions for further talks. Mujahid said the fact that the team was announced by the Afghan govt "violated" its agreement with the US and that not all sides had agreed to the team.aljazeera
N Korea fires more missiles than ever amid coronavirus pandemic
North Korea has fired 2 suspected ballistic missiles into the ocean off its east coast - according to South Korea and Japan - the latest in a flurry of weapon launches that Seoul decried as "inappropriate" amid the global coronavirus pandemic. 2 "short-range projectiles" were launched from the coastal Wonsan area on Sunday, and flew 230 kms at a maximum altitude of 30 kms, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff reported. aljazeera
Egyptian journalists: ‘Blocking websites is an attempt to monopolise and silence media’
A number of Egyptian media professionals have rejected the recent media council’s decision to block websites and prosecute social media users, considering it contrary to the law and constitution that stipulates freedom of the press, the right to circulate information and freedom of expression in general. Ex secretary general of the Supreme Press Council, Qutb Al-Arabi commented on the media blackout by explaining that: These decisions come in the context of the blackout policy imposed by the system at the beginning of the epidemic. This comes in the context of preventing freedom of circulation of information, despite the constitution’s stipulation of that. Therefore, some websites have been blocked, but the problem is that it contradicts the official version, although there is correct information on a number of these websites, this matter was hidden and the authorities did not want to publish it, but it was forced to do so after one of the pages published it. middleeastmonitor
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Shaheen Bagh Protest Through the Eyes of a 12-Year-Old:AANYA GUPTA
How Shaheen Bagh Protestors Got Tacit Support From Judiciary:WAJAHAT HABIBULLAH
To Combat COVID-19 Crisis, We Need to Respond With a Unity of Purpose: Kapil Sibal
Challenges of Managing a Hunger Crisis Amidst a Public Health Emergency:Ashwin Parulkar and Mukta Naik
Majoritarian Politics and Ayodhya Verdict:Nayakara Veeresha, EPW
In Delhi, First Came the Pogroms. Then Came Coronavirus:YASHRAJ SHARMA
Workers with money in bank accounts are also starving in some places in Delhi:Faraz Ahmad
Mumbaikars open hearts, purse strings to help pavement dwellers, daily wagers
Old video of interfaith service viral as Trump offers Islamic prayers amid coronavirus pandemic
Afreen Khan led a sustained movement against CAA-NRC in Jharkhand
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:22 PM).


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