30 April 2020

30 April NEWS : States urge Centre to run special trains to transport millions of stranded migrant workers. Raghuram Rajan says let’s not wait for zero cases, lift lockdown soon as anouther round of it will be devastating. Justice Lokur: 'SC not fulfilling its constitutional role adequately, needs to introspect'


30 April 2020: 6 Ramazan 1441: Vol: 12, No: 195



States urge Centre to run special trains to transport millions of stranded migrant workers


  Centre was today urged by Bihar, Punjab and Telangana among other states to run non-stop special trains for the transportation of lakhs of stranded migrant workers hit by the national lockdown, a day after it allowed their inter-state movement by buses. As Centre''s decision on Wednesday brought cheers to the migrant workers across the country, quarantine centres and shelter homes were also being readied for the returning migrants with Uttar Pradesh alone preparing to receive an estimated 10 lakh people. UP government has deployed buses to bring migrant workers back from some states like Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Asked at a press briefing in Delhi if special trains and private vehicles will also be allowed to transport these people as demanded by some states and others,Punya Salila Srivastava, joint secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA), said the orders issued at present were for "using buses and for group of persons"."State govts will also register such people and concerned states will discuss among themselves for ensuring these movements by road," she said, adding all states and UTs will have to "strictly follow" MHA’s latest guidelines. There are 3.60 lakh workers in 20,826 camps in Kerala and 99 per cent of them, hailing from West Bengal, Assam, Odisha, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, want to return to their respective states, Vijayan noted. In Ahmedabad, some stranded migrants said they have already started packing their bags to return home. The Bihar government urged the Centre to allow running of special trains at least from distant places where the migrant workers from the state are stuck."But the number of those wanting to return is likely to be huge. If we depend on buses, the process could take months to complete,” Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said in a video message.Modi pointed out that the number of people from Bihar stranded is very large, with more than 17 lakh having received financial assistance of Rs 1,000 each from the state government and nearly 10 lakh more applications being under process.Punjab CM urged Prime Minister to arrange for special trains.According to state officials, there are nearly 10 lakh migrant labourers in Punjab. Approximately 70 per cent of these are from Bihar.Noting that there are about 15 lakh migrant workers in Telangana, who hail from states like Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, Telangana Animal Husbandry Minister said it takes about three to five days for them to reach their home states if they travel by buses.Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said in a couple of days Rajasthan got registration of more than 6 lakh migrants from across the country including the four southern states, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Assam. An official spokesperson said in Lucknow that workers stranded in Madhya Pradesh will be brought back on Thursday and those in Gujarat on Friday by buses. Around 13,000 people are also being brought back from Haryana. UP chief minister asked officials to prepare quarantine centres, shelter homes and community kitchens to cater to 10 lakh people.PTI


Rajasthan Helps Move Migrants To Home States Amid Lockdown, 40,000 On Way


Jaipur: A day after Union home ministry gave a go ahead for the movement of migrants, many states, including Rajasthan, have started ferrying out the people. In Rajasthan, nearly 40,000 migrants were sent on their way – the majority to Madhya Pradesh and some to neighbouring Haryana.A total of over 6 lakh migrants have registered with the Rajasthan govt, asking for help to get home.Sources said through morning, nearly 40,000 migrants were moved by Rajasthan Roadways buses. Around 26,000 people were transported to the borders of Madhya Pradesh.ndtv


'Inhuman Act': Migrant Workers Sent Back to Maharashtra Without Consultation


 Maharashtra’s Nandurbar district administration was in for a shock as several trucks began to enter the district limits on the intervening night of April 27 and 28. These trucks were packed with migrant workers sent to the district from across the Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh border. The movement was sudden and the authorities were clueless. By the end of the day, the district administration says, close to 3,000 workers had been pushed into the state limit—some in trucks and others by foot. Workers, belonging to Bhil and Powara tribes, have been working in the sugarcane cooperatives in Surat and Tapi and some as daily wage workers in several districts of Madhya Pradesh. Official figures claim that around 12,000-13,000 workers are stuck in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh for over a month and could not return to Maharashtra because of the nationwide lockdown and also the strict MHA order that no interstate movement can be permitted. This, according to the district administration, is only 20% of the total migration.

 As the wait to return home gets longer, migrant labourers at Vadodara camp refuse to eat


Vadodara :“We are ready to die of starvation,” says Shivam Kumar, a migrant worker at a relief camp in Vadadora.Kumar and several other workers from Uttar Pradesh lodged at the camp refused to have their meals on Thursday to register their protest. And they have only one demand: send them back to their homes.Kumar (18), a native of Etawah in UP, had set off from Karjan in Vadodara along with nine others to their home state, when he was brought to this under construction building for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) by Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) on March 28 after COVID-19 lockdown was imposed.  indianexpress


People returning from other states to be quarantined for 21 days: Punjab CM


Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said people returning from other states will be kept under 21-day quarantine in designated buildings.During a video-conference with district collectors and senior police officers, he directed sarpanchs to identify schools and other buildings in villages for quarantine purposes.The chief minister also appealed to sarpanchs and panchayats to increase village-level surveillance to check further spread of the disease.PTI


60,000 foreign nationals from 72 countries evacuated from India amid lockdown: MEA


About 60,000 foreign nationals from 72 countries were evacuated from India in the midst of the coronavirus lockdown, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.Anurag Srivastava, the spokesperson in the ministry, said the issue of evacuation of Indians stranded abroad is also under discussion and that all the Indian missions are extending all possible assistance to diaspora community.Indian missions are making exceptional efforts to provide assistance to stranded Indians, he said at an online briefing.It is learnt that the government is working on a mega plan to deploy a raft of naval ships as well as military and commercial aircraft to evacuate thousands of Indians stranded in the Gulf and other regions after the nationwide lockdown ends.

Stranded in Uttarakhand for a month, 1,300 plus Nepalese finally reach home


Pithoragarh:A total of 1,357 Nepalese citizens, stranded in Uttarakhand’s remote district of Pithoragarh due to lockdown crossed over to their country today through two bridges in Dharcula and Badiyakot on the Indo-Nepal border in district, said officials.VK Jogdande, district magistrate of Pithoragarh said, “Nepalese citizen who had been staying in 6 relief camps set up in Pithoragarh, Dharchula, Baram, Jaimini and Balakon in the district were handed over to Nepalese authorities at the Indo-Nepal border.”


Raghuram Rajan says let’s not wait for zero cases, lift lockdown soon as anouther round of it will be devastating


Mumbai: Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has said a long-drawn lockdown would not be sustainable for India and advocated restarting the economy at the earliest.In a pre-recorded video interaction with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi that was streamed across all social media platforms of Congress party, the economist warned that in fact cyclical shutdowns can be devastating.“It in fact means that the government has not been successful in curbing the virus. So, it could diminish its credibility. We should not target 100 per cent success and wait for zero new cases before fully opening the economy.”Rajan, who now teaches at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, told Rahul that India must not confuse its priorities with those of West, because, unlike Western countries, it does not have the financial resources to keep itself under lockdown for a long time.“Indian economy does not have the capacity to support people for long. Some 100 million are out of jobs due to the coronavirus lockdown. The govt needs to prioritise opening up the economy in a measured way soon,” he said.The only way out, Rajan said, would be to continue social distancing in workspaces as well as in routine daily life.When Rahul Gandhi asked Rajan about the plight of the poor and the migrant workers, the economist stressed on the need to utilise Direct Benefit Transfers to help them tide over next few months.“Food supply becomes very important in such a crisis. Keeping people fed should be a priority. For that to happen, PDS needs to work well,” he said adding that Rs 65,000 crore would be needed to keep the poor and migrant workers fed in the coming months.Rajan indirectly raised the point of maintaining social harmony during such a crisis period.“For me, social harmony is a public good. One cannot afford to have our house divided in a crisis situation,” he said.deccanchronicle


Justice Lokur: 'SC not fulfilling its constitutional role adequately, needs to introspect'


New Delhi: In the first outspoken criticism of the Supreme Court to emerge from a highly regarded former judge of the court, Justice Madan B. Lokur said he is “disappointed” by the court’s functioning during recent COVID-19 lockdown crisis. “It is not fulfilling its constitutional functions adequately,” he said, adding, “The SC is capable of doing a good job but I think they need to introspect, they need to sit down, brainstorm and figure out how to go ahead… Certainly it should be more pro-active than it has been.”Justice Lokur retired from the apex court in Dec.2018 after a tenure that lasted over six years.In an interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire, Justice Lokur answered a range of questions covering the court’s inadequate enforcement of the right to life of migrant workers, its prioritisation of cases on the basis of which some are heard immediately and others indefinitely deferred, and the inadequate exercise of its power of judicial review over government policies and action.Speaking to The Wire about the three weeks the court took to dispose of a petition on the right to life of migrant workers, Justice Lokur said:“Yes, I think the court let down these migrants. Certainly.”Referring to the court’s anodyne request to the government to “take such steps as it finds fit to help the migrant workers”, Justice Lokur said: “I think the court should have and could have gone much further.” He said for the Supreme Court to say “whatever steps you’re taking is good enough is not an answer, particularly in a situation like this.”


PMO Refuses to Give Details on PM-CARES, Citing Controversial SC Statement


PMO has refused to make documents related to the PM-CARES Fund public. The fund was set up to receive financial aid from the public to fight the coronavirus pandemic.In addition, PMO has also refused to make public details of high-level meetings on COVID-19 and on decision to implement a lockdown, correspondence between Ministry of Health and PMO in this regard, and files related to COVID-19 testing.It is significant to note that PMO has not refused to share information in a straightforward manner but among many reasons, cited a controversial statement made by a bench of the Supreme Court.A resident of Greater Noida and environmental activist, Vikrant Togad, had filed an application under RTI Act on April 21, seeking information on 12 points from PMO. However, PMO hurriedly sent a reply merely 6 days later, on April 27, refusing to furnish information citing that the application contains multiple requests on numerous and varied topics, as a result of which the information could not be provided.


Liquidity needed to stave job losses: Industry leaders on post-coronavirus economy


New Delhi:The global economy is staring at an unprecedented crisis in the form of the aftermath of the novel coronavirus outbreak. While governments across the world are taking steps to revive businesses and re-assure consumers, India is gearing up to lift the lockdown and stride in the direction of normalcy. Multiple steps have been taken by the Centre, state governments and RBI to help industry and commerce get back on its feet after a 40-day nationwide lockdown intended to curb the spread of infection.As part of the E-Conclave Jump Start Series, industry leaders spoke to India Today's Rahul Kanwal about the challenges their respective sectors face and what is the need of the hour to revive the Indian economy.Chairman of the TVS Group, Venu Srinivasan said that the road to recovery has to be led by demand. "If there is no fiscal incentive, I expect the demand to come back in six quarters. If there is no fiscal extraction, I see a contraction in GDP," Srinivasan added.indiatoday


Covid-19: India’s core sector output shrank 6.5% in March, shows government data


India’s core sector output shrank 6.5% in March as the coronavirus took its toll on the economy, government data released on Thursday showed. The index of eight core industries grew at 0.6% for the 2019-’20 financial year, from April 2019 to March 2020, against 4.4% in the previous fiscal year.There was a massive decline in production of natural gas, fertilisers, steel and cement industries in March. Cement production fell by a whopping 24.7% year-on-year. Natural gas output declined by 15.2%, fertiliser production by 11.9%, and steel by 13%.


Covid-19: Crisil Research says pandemic may cause permanent loss of 4% in India’s GDP


Indian analytical company Crisil Research has said that the coronavirus pandemic could lead to a permanent 4% loss in the country’s Gross Domestic Product, The Hindu reported on Thursday.“Base case GDP growth expected at 1.8% for fiscal 2021,” Crisil said in a report. “Risks tilted towards the downside scenario of zero GDP growth. India grew at 4.7% in the third quarter of 2019-’20, but that was before the coronavirus pandemic hit the country. The company said that fiscal support from the government needs to increase, and cover firms as well.”


Over 500 Thalassemia Patients Suffer As Lucknow Hospital Shuts Its Door For Them


Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGI), Lucknow, one of most prestigious medical institutions in the country, has refused to provide blood transition facility to over 500 thalassemia patients, who need blood replacement every fortnight to survive.Incidentally, Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, Union Health Ministry, today, said, “Union Health Ministry had issued a detailed guideline on April 9 for blood transfusion.”“Union Health Minister has told in writing to state health ministers that people with thalassemia, haemophilia and sickle cell anaemia type blood disorder regularly need a blood transfusion. So, it should be ensured that they should get a blood transfusion in a proper and uninterrupted way,” Agarwal noted.For now, it seems that states have turned a blind eye to central govt’s request.


After Centre, Delhi Halts Dearness Allowance Hike Till July 2021 To Fight COVID-19


 After Centre, Delhi government has now put on hold the hike in Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief for government employees and pensioners in view of the country's financial situation amid the coronavirus pandemic. Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief, however, will continue to be paid at the current rate of 17 per cent. The freeze will impact around 2.2 lakh employees and will be on from January this year till July 2021, the finance department said in an order.ndtv


Tablighi case: Delhi Police send fourth notice to Saad


Delhi Police Crime Branch on Wednesday sent a fourth notice to Maulana Saad, the main accused in Tablighi Jamaat case, asking when he would join the investigation. Along with the notice to Jamaat chief Maulana Saad, team led by DCP Joy Tirkey of the Crime Branch investigating the case, also have some new questions for Saad and his colleagues. According to Crime Branch sources, "Most of these new questions are related to the raid on Maulana Saad's farmhouse in Kandhla in UP." Crime Branch team did not get anything significant in that raid.Maulana Saad had sent replies to the earlier three notices by the Delhi Police Crime Branch through his lawyer.According to Delhi Police Crime Branch sources, "Maulana Saad told us that his corona test by a private lab has come out negative."They said, "By law, we have to present the corona test reports of all the accused to the court. The court will not recognise any private lab report. Hence, the accused will now have to submit the corona reports from any government lab to the police."IANS


Tablighis say prolonged quarantine feels like ‘detention’ as many complete 30 days in quarantine centres


New Delhi:Tablighi Jamaat preachers, despite completing 30 days in different quarantine centres in the national capital, are not being released. Keeping them, a majority of whom were tested negative, confined for over twice mandatory coronavirus isolation period of 14 days tantamount to illegal detention, some of them said, questioning if they were being punished for the government’s indecision and lack of vision on how to fight COVID-19 outbreak.Some of the inmates Newsclick spoke with accused administration of being “callous”, adding that they had been “imprisoned” without caring to provide them with proper and timely food, water and medicines. They said while on the one hand, government was“happily” taking their plasma to treat others, they were kept locked like “hard core criminals”.Syed Shahwez, who belongs to Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, was brought to the Narela quarantine centre, one of the biggest ones in North India, from Nizamuddin Markaz on March 30, along with 450 people.He and his 250 fellow Tablighi inmates tested negative. Yet, they have been languishing in quarantine facility where 1170 people have been accommodated in 625 DDA flats. “We are being forced to stay in inhuman conditions for no reason. We have even completed 30 days here, which is more than double the required mandatory isolation period of COVID-19 suspects. Many of us who have now recovered from the infection and have tested negative twice. We have also donated plasma for the treatment of others. This prolonged quarantine is nothing less than detention,” Shahwez told Newsclick, adding that when they took up the matter with district officials, they were promised that a decision on their release was likely to be taken after May 3.Newsclick


BJP MLAs meet Delhi Governor, demand to remove Delhi Minorities Commission chief


New DelhI:A delegation of BJP MLAs on Thursday met Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and demanded removal of Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Zafarul Islam Khan over his controversial social media posts.The delegation of BJP MLAs led by Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ramvir Bidhuri also demanded registration of a case against  Khan.Citing the Facebook post of Khan, delegation alleged that he has “endangered the unity and integrity of country, tried to tarnish the secular image of India and spread hatred among Hindu-Muslims,” said a statement from Bidhuri’s office.The delegation also submitted a letter to Baijal stating that “Khan’s statement is wrong, derogatory and anti-national that Muslims in India are being targeted“.BJP delegation included all 8 party MLAs in Delhi.PTI


I Am a Patriot to the Core, Have Always Defended My Country Abroad: Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan


Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman and veteran journalist Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan on Wednesday issued a clarification statement over his tweet about Kuwait “standing with Indian Muslims”.“I have not complained against my country to any foreign government or organization nor I intend to do so in future. I am a patriot to the core and I have always defended my country abroad. However, at the same time I have always been vocal about the problems in our country like any other country but, I also believe that we and our political, constitutional and judicial system are capable to tackle them,” Dr. Khan said.“According to my knowledge, Indian Muslims have never complained against their country to outside powers. I, like other Indian Muslims, believe in rule of law, the Indian Constitution and the fine institutions our country has,” he said. In the last 2 weeks, several people in the Arab World went to Twitter to condemn incidents of hate crimes in India and attempts to give communal colour to the spread of Coronavirus in the country.Dr Khan had posted his tweet on his Twitter handle on April 28. He charged that some media outlets distorted his views.India Tomorrow

Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan hits back at BJP, threatens to sue TV channels for distorting his statements



Why Arabs are speaking out against Islamophobia in India: aljazeera report


In the past couple of weeks, OIC, Kuwait govt, a royal princess of UAE, as well as a number of Arab activists have called out Islamophobic hate speech by Indians seen to be accusing the country's Muslims of spreading the novel coronavirus. A barrage of tweets and statements from individuals and institutions in Gulf expressing their outrage over the hateful social media posts forced Indian govt to respond, including a Twitter post by PM Narendra Modi in which he stressed that "COVID-19 does not see race [or] religion".It started with right-wing Hindus accusing Muslims of a "conspiracy" to spread coronavirus after dozens of cases were linked to a congregation of Tablighi Jamaat, a Muslim missionary movement, at their headquarters in New Delhi in the middle ofMarch.Hashtags such as #CoronaJihad trended for days on Twitter and panellists in TV debates called them "human bombs", while many called for a ban on Jamaat. Its New Delhi office has been sealed. "Level of hubris of Hindutva fascists shocked people throughout the world, changing previously held opinions,"Dr Farhan Mujahid Chak, who teaches political science in Gulf Studies programme at Qatar University, said."Every year, more than $55bn are transferred to India from the Gulf countries, and more than 120 billion annually from all Muslim countries. Indians (mostly Hindus) are treated well in these countries," Kuwait-based activist Abdur Rahman Nassar tweeted. "In return, how are Muslims treated in India?" he asked.Another Kuwait national, lawyer and director of International Human Rights group, Mejbel al-Sharika, tweeted that he will "adopt the cause of Muslims in India" at UNHRC in Geneva "for free".Sultan Barakat, director of Centre for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at Qatar's Doha Institute, said that people in Gulf countries "felt outraged" over way Indian Muslims were being blamed for coronavirus."Such stupid assertions angered people here, not only because it is Islamophobic but more importantly, because it is counterproductive to a global pandemic that is blind to religion and recognises no borders," he said. India's former ambassador to UAE, Talmiz Ahmed, called Indians who posted comments against Arabs and Muslims in India "extremely foolish individuals with very limited knowledge of politics or international affairs".However,BJP spokesman GVL Narasimha Rao said issue will not have a negative effect on India's relationship with Arab countries.Al Jazeera


Oman orders firing of expats from state sector companies, replacing with locals


New Delhi: In a dramatic development which is being closely studied here, the Gulf monarchy of Oman has asked all state-owned companies to fire expat workers and replace them with local Omanis. Order shows that “Omanisation” campaign, which was launched during the rule of Sultan Qaboos who passed away on January 10, has intensified. Sources, however, claimed that the move was unlikely to immediately affect Omani private sector which also is a major employer of expat workers from South Asia. The order was part of a financial guidelines issued by the government to state-owned companies on Wednesday which laid down path of indigenisation of Omani economy. According to some estimates, around a 3rd of Oman’s 4.6 million residents are expatriates who work in state-owned and private sectors. There are at least 8,00,000 Indian workers in the kingdom and a part of them are likely to be impacted by the order. Though the order is limited to the state-owned companies, it is understood that in the long run, the private sector will be under pressure to follow the state sector. Significantly, Wednesday’s order comes weeks after Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tarik assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi that salaries and well-being of the Indian community in Oman would be protected as the country dealt with the economic downturn which had resulted from COVID-19 pandemic.Oman has been a strategic partner of India, and a large number of local workers are from South Asia. Diplomatic sources said that order was not connected with ongoing COVID-19-related economic downturn in the Gulf.


Covid-19 patients’ recovery rate climbs to 25.19% from 13% a fortnight ago


New Delhi:India’s recovery rate of Covid-19 positive patients has steadily climbed to 25.19%, up from 13% which was the recovery rate of infected patients about fourteen days ago, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Thursday.“A progressive trend in Covid-19 patients’ recovery rate has been noticed in the last few days. The number of recoveries in the last 24 hours stood at 630, taking the total number of people who have recovered to 8,324. The total recovery rate is at 25.19%. So the recovery rate of the country has increased from 13% fourteen days ago to over 25% currently,” Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry said at the daily news briefing. The current case fatality rate is 3.2% for Covid-19 in India, with 65 per cent being men and 35 per cent women, the health ministry data revealed.Although global mortality rate of coronavirus patients is around 7 per cent, India’s mortality rate of 3 per cent extends hope for all those afflicted by the disease.HT



Coronavirus cases in India cross 33,000-mark; death toll rises to 1,075


As many as 67 deaths and more than 1,700 cases of novel coronavirus have taken India’s tally past the 33,000-mark.While the death toll due to the novel coronavirus pandemic rose to 1,075 after 67 more fatalities, the number of cases climbed to 33,610 in India on Thursday.The highest number of confirmed cases in the country continues to be from Maharashtra with 9,915 infections, followed by Gujarat with 4,082, Delhi with 3,439, Madhya Pradesh with 2,660.Rajasthan has 2,438 cases, Uttar Pradesh has 2,203 cases and Tamil Nadu has 2,162. Covid-19 cases have gone up to 1,403 in Andhra Pradesh and 1,012 in Telangana.The number of infections has risen to 758 in West Bengal, 581 in Jammu and Kashmir, 557 in Karnataka, 496 in Kerala, 403 in Bihar and 357 in Punjab.indiatoday


Pak spies use Aarogya Setu app to target Indian military personnel, Army issues warning


Indian Army has issued a warning to its personnel against Pakistani agencies’ nefarious designs to hack the phones of Indian military personnel through a malicious application similar to Aarogya Setu app.“Inimical intelligence agencies have developed a malicious app by the name Aarogya Setu.apk. Such apps were found to be sent by Pakistan-based Pakistani Intelligence Operatives to WhatsApp groups of Indian Army personnel,” the Army has stated in its warning.HT

Reliance Industries Announces Pay Cuts, Chairman Mukesh Ambani To Forego Entire Salary


Reliance Industries has cut the pay of employees by up to 50 per cent as conglomerate battles lower profitability in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The pay cuts were cited in a company note to employees dated April 29. Reliance Industries, headed by India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, has decided that employees earning more than Rs 15 lakh a year will face a 10 per cent salary cut, while senior executives will take salary cuts ranging from 30 per cent to 50 per cent. Employees earning less than Rs 15 lakh per annum will not see any reduction in their compensation.


Punjab: Muslim youths including Students Islamic Organisation distribute Ramzan kits to needy


Malerkotla: A group of Muslim youths in Punjab’s Malerkotla and a few other social service groups came together to make Ramzan kits for distribution among migrants stuck in the town. The group, One for Humanity, has also been serving cooked food to jobless migrant workers in various parts of Malerkotla since the imposition of curfew in the state.“After the imposition of curfew, we started visiting slums and other areas, including Kamal Cinema road, Maler, Majri, Eidgah Road, slums areas opposite old court complex, Alfalah road, Kuti road and Naudharani road, where people from other states live. As we found needy people in these areas, we started distributing cooked food to about 200 migrants with the help of civil administration. Joining hands with Sahara Muslim Welfare Society, Millat Foundation, Samaj, Students Islamic Organisation (SIO), Jamat-e-Islami Hind and SBF, we are making 600 to 700 Ramzan kits and are distributing these to the needy,” said Ijaz Farooq of One for Humanity, which mostly Muslim youths and a few Sikh members.TOI


Mumbai :Volunteer groups including Jamaat Islami  distribute food to the needy during Ramzan


From providing dry rations for the month to daily cooked meals for the elderly, widows and migrant labourers, volunteer groups across the city are now making provisions for iftaar and sehri meals for community members during Ramzan.One group of Bhendi Bazaar residents steps out every evening, before iftaar, and distributes packets consisting of fruits, dates and buttermilk to the needy to help them break their fast. Similarly, volunteers of Saifee Ambulance society step out every day from 4 pm to 7 pm, to distribute cooked food items consisting of pulao or daal, along with some dates, in areas of South Mumbai like Byculla, Pydhonie, Tardeo and Kamathipura, among others.  After Ramzan commenced they started distributing around 2,500 to 3,000 cooked food packets.In Mumbra, 2,000 packets consisting of saalan or rice-based dishes are distributed every evening for daily wage workers stranded in the outskirts of the city. The raw materials for these meals are procured using donations and zakaat money from community members.“A lot of distribution used to happen in the morning hours, but now these special drives have been arranged, wherein on call, our volunteers visit particular localities with food. At some places, some people have appointed a person, who comes and collects food from our collection centre in their vehicle,” said Javed Shaikh, president, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Mumbra.HT


Ready to Surrender All: Mumbai-based Anjuman-i-Islam Gives 6 of its Institutions to Fight Corona


Mumbai:Amid the hate campaign against Muslim community, Mumbai-based Anjuman-i-Islam surrendered its six hospitals, colleges, schools and campuses to Maharashtra government to fight COVID-19.What’s more, educational group, which has around 100 institutions with 3000-strong staff, declared that it is ready to give all of them in the cause of fighting the epidemic.President of the Anjuman, Dr Zahir Ishaque Qazi, told Clarion India that he himself is a doctor by profession and had sensed that the government would need the institutions to fight the outbreak of COVID-19.


Odisha HC orders probe in death of a Muslim who was denied dialysis in lockdown


Orissa High Court has directed the State government to quickly investigate the death of a 70-year-old man with renal malfunction who died after allegedly being denied dialysis at a private hospital in Cuttack early this month over his Muslim identity.In an order, a bench of Orissa High Court asked the Cuttack district collector to inquire into the death of Sayed Abdul Hasan on April 10 due to the alleged denial of dialysis at Shanti Nursing Home in Cuttack town during the Covid-19 lockdown.“The State shall also ensure that no person is denied treatment for any ailment by any hospital of the government or a private entity, if such facility is available with the hospital, and if not available, he or she should be referred to an appropriate hospital, where such facility is available. However, such treatment must be guided by the guidelines or instruction given by the State Government in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic,” said the bench comprising justices Shatrughan Pujahari and KR Mohapatra.


Jaipur Lockdown: 3 Kashmiri Boys 'Beaten Up' by Police While Out on Delivery Duty


Jaipur:3 Kashmiri boys working as deliverypersons in Jaipur’s Hassanpura area were allegedly beaten up severely by local police while they were out delivering food.One of their co-workers, Altaf, who spoke to The Wire, said that the incident is a week old but the condition of one of 3, Ishfaq Ahmad, has deteriorated since then.“All the 3 boys had kept quiet about the incident as they had feared that it would worry their parents back home in Kashmir but today, Ahmad told us that pain in his head has been unbearable. So, we had to speak out,” said Altaf.He said that on April 10, about 14 boys, including the three from Kashmir, were out on their daily duty when local police intercepted them. thewire



Quiet and desolate Ramadan in Kashmir amid back-to-back lockdowns: Aljazeera report


Srinagar:After living through 2 back-to-back lockdowns that have devastated the local economy, people in Kashmir have settled for a quiet Ramadan.The threat of the spread of the coronavirus has emptied usually overcrowded mosques in the picturesque, Muslim-majority valley. For many, sight of deserted mosques in the current lockdown is a never-before experience."Our neighbourhood mosque is completely sealed. Everything is so heartbreaking but it is also a matter of life," said Ghulam Ahmad, a 63-year-old retired govt employee. Ahmad lives in Gund Kaisar, a village in northern district of Bandipora, which remains one of the most affected parts of Kashmir with over 100 cases of COVID-19 disease. Gund Kaisar, like many villages of Bandipora, is under a strict lockdown to contain the spread of the infection that has brought the world to an unprecedented standstill. 2 lockdowns have brought Kashmir's economy to a halt, with large scale employment-generating businesses, such as tourism, suspended for 9 months now. The two lockdowns have also taken a toll on the poorer sections of society, who have lost work in the last nine months. aljazeera


Madhya Pradesh: 14 out of 14 COVID-19 deaths in Bhopal were survivors of 1984 gas tragedy


A few days after Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh advised people to drink immunity booster ‘kadha’ (decoction) and chant ‘bhajan-shlokas’ in order to avoid COVID-19 infection, an alarming revelation has come to light about those who died of COVID-19 in Bhopal in April.According to a joint statement issued by various social-welfare organisations working among the survivors, 14 people who died of COVID-19 in Bhopal between April 6 to April 29 were survivors of 1984 gas tragedy.In a serious indictment of BJP government, an analysis of all COVID-19 deaths along with the name of the hospitals where survivors died and their ailment-history, social organizations said, have alarmed the state government and Central government but “nothing has been done to save the lives of the survivors”.


Video of hit-and-run case in UP shared with false communal angle


A video of a car running over pedestrians after suddenly swerving to the roadside is going viral. It is being shared with the claim that a Muslim woman and her minor daughter were deliberately killed by the driver. Several social media users claim that this incident supposedly underlines the rise of Islamophobia in India. On March 27, Facebook page Youth TV News posted the video with the message, “This video is from UP where a #Muslim woman and her #minor #daughter was #killed by an Alto Car. The driver had deliberately killed the Muslim women and her daughter might be because of Growing Islamophobia? Disturbing visuals: Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon!” At the time of writing this article, the post has garnered over 2,800 shares.Alt News found that the claim to be false. altnews

5 held, over 60 booked for attacking corona warriors in Kanpur: SP


Kanpur: 5 residents of Gulab Ghosi Masjid locality here in the city were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly attacking a team of policemen and health workers, visiting the area for tracing people who had come in contact of a COVID-19 patient earlier, said officials.Besides arresting 5 persons, police also detained 10 others and are ascertaining their roles in attacking the corona warriors and damaging public property, said Kanpur (West) sp Anil Kumar.Kumar said police have booked 10 identified miscreants and 50 other unidentified ones for committing various offences. The incident occurred in Gulab Ghosi Masjid area, where a team of police personnel and medical workers had gone for “contact-tracing” for a COVID-19 patient.PTI


Minor children of Congress leader jailed for ‘questioning’ UP CM Yogi’s handling of COVID-19 move SC


 A petition has been filed by 2 minor children before the Supreme Court seeking the release of their father, Congress leader Sachin Choudhary, who has been detained since April 11 for allegedly "holding a press conference and questioning the methodology" of Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath in handling COVID-19 pandemic, legal news website LiveLaw.in has reported.Filed by Choudhary's two minor children, aged about 2 and 7 years respectively, through their mother, the petition seeks the release of Choudhary who has been in jail since April 11 in connection with an FIR registered against them .The plea also contends that political affiliation of Choudhary is responsible for him being detained. nationalheraldindia


1.6 Billion Risk Losing Jobs Due To Coronavirus Pandemic: UN Labour Body


Almost 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy, nearly half of the global workforce, face an immediate danger of losing their livelihoods due to the continued sharp decline in working hours because of COVID-19 outbreak, the International Labour Organization has said. Over 430 million enterprises in hard-hit sectors such as retail and manufacturing risk "serious disruption",UN agency added. The findings appear in the ILO Monitor third edition: COVID-19 and world of work, released Wednesday.Globally, there are some 3.3 billion workers. 2 billion have jobs in the informal economy, most vulnerable workers in the labour market.The agency said 1.6 billion in informal economy "have suffered massive damage to their capacity to earn a living" as a result of the economic meltdown triggered by COVID-19 pandemic. Due to lockdowns or because they work in hard-hit sectors, these workers globally have seen a 60 per cent drop in income during the first month of the crisis, according to ILO estimates.This translates into a more than 80 per cent decline in Africa and the Americas, 70 per cent in Europe and Central Asia, and 21.6 per cent in Asia and the Pacific, the ILO said.ndtv



US jobless claims top 30 million amid coronavirus crisis


More than 30 million people in US have filed unemployment claims since mid-March after parts of the economy were shut down to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. US registered an additional 3.8 million unemployment claims last week, according to data released by Department of Labor on Thursday, as the economy reels from the coronavirus pandemic. The figure comes on top of more than 26 million claims already filed since mid-March amid efforts by governments to shut down parts of the economy to stem the spread of virus. Eurozone's economy shrunk by 3.8 percent in first quarter, the biggest hit since records began in 1995.Worldwide, the number of confirmed infections stood at more than 3.2 million, with some 228,000 deaths and 991,000 recoveries.aljazeera


Trump told Saudis: Cut oil supply or lose US military support - sources


US pressed Saudi Arabia to end its oil price war with Russia, President Donald Trump gave Saudi leaders an ultimatum.In an April 2 phone call, Trump told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that unless OPEC started cutting oil production, he would be powerless to stop lawmakers from passing legislation to withdraw U.S. troops from the kingdom, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The threat to upend a 75-year strategic alliance, which has not been previously reported, was central to U.S. pressure campaign that led to a landmark global deal to slash oil supply as demand collapsed in the coronavirus pandemic - scoring a diplomatic victory for the White House. Trump delivered the message to the crown prince 10 days before the announcement of production cuts. Kingdom’s de facto leader was so taken aback by the threat that he ordered his aides out of room so he could continue the discussion in private, according to a US source who was briefed on discussion by senior administration officials.Reuters


Covid-19: US won’t extend social distancing rules, hope to hold rallies soon, says Trump


United States President Donald Trump has said that his government will not extend Covid-19 social distancing guidelines, scheduled to end on Thursday, AP reported. He also spoke of plans to hold massive rallies for the presidential elections in next few months.US has reported 60,207 Covid-19 deaths and more than 10 lakh cases, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University. The country accounts for around one-third of all confirmed cases across the world.


Saudi to reopen holy mosques in Makkah and Madinah ‘in days’


Muslim worshippers will be able to return to the two holy mosques in Makkah and Madinah “in days”, head of Saudi Arabia’s General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, announced.“Days (will come) when the sorrow will be driven away from Islamic Ummah and we return to Two Holy Mosques for Tawaf, Sa’i (the ritual of hastening between the hills of Safa and Marwa) and praying at Al-Rawdah Al-Sharifa and greet the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him),” Al-Sudais said in a video posted on social media.He noted that normal life would return, stressing that Riyadh was keen on “creating a sound and healthy environment.” Saudi official called on Muslims “not to rush for freedom from the restrictions enforced as part of the precautionary measures to stem the spread of coronavirus.”middleeastmonitor


Saudi foreign reserves fall to lowest record in 20 years


Saudi Arabia’s Monetary Authority said that the kingdom’s net foreign assets, which include securities such as US Treasuries and foreign deposits, fell by $27 billion in March reaching $464 billion; the lowest levels recorded in 20 years. Saudi Finance Minister Mohamed Al-Jadaan said last week that the kingdom will not withdraw more than $32 billion from its reserves this year and will instead resort to increasing borrowing to about $60 billion to accommodate the growing deficit.


Covid-19: Elon Musk calls lockdown a ‘fascist act’, says it is not democratic


Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has called the lockdown meant to slow spread of coronavirus pandemic a “fascist” action and “an outrage” that infringes on personal freedom, AFP reported.Musk called the stay-at-home orders in US an act of “forcibly imprisoning people in their homes” against all their constitutional rights. The confinement was breaking people’s freedoms in “ways that are horrible and wrong, and not why people came to America or built this country,” Musk said in a call with investors on Wednesday. “It’s an outrage.”Lockdowns would cause “great, great harm but not just to Tesla but any company,” Musk said. “And while people will weather the storm there are many small companies that will not,” he added.


Erdogan defends Turkey's religious directorate head after criticism over his anti homosexuality remarks on pandemic


Ankara; As Muslim world marks Ramadan under the cloud of the coronavirus outbreak, Turkey's powerful Religious Affairs Directorate has emerged as a leading voice in guiding the faithful during the crisis.Such prominence, however, has also shone a critical light on the directorate, known as Diyanet, for its actions during the crisis.Turkey's Human Rights Association and Ankara Bar Association submitted criminal complaints alleging hate speech against Diyanet head Ali Erbas over his televised sermon on the first day of Ramadan, in which he claimed "evils" such as homosexuality spread disease and "decay". The directorate has also come under fire after failing to halt people travelling to Islam's holy sites in Saudi Arabia - trips overseen by Diyanet - as pandemic first emerged in Turkey last month. Diyanet, which manages Turkey's 89,000 mosques, has become increasingly influential under 18-year rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party, seeing its budget quadruple to outstrip those of most government ministries.Defending directorate, govt officials and AK Party supporters characterised criticism as an attack on Islam, using top-trending hashtag "Ali Erbas is not alone". In a speech following a cabinet meeting on Monday, Erdogan backed Erbas for fulfilling his religious duty."If there is someone in our country who should speak for Islam, if there is an institution, it is Directorate of Religious Affairs," he said. He singled out a statement from Ankara Bar Association as a "deliberate attack against Islam" and the state.aljazeera


China opposes international COVID-19 probe that presumes its guilt: vice foreign minister


China “resolutely opposes” any international inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic that presumes its guilt, said Le Yucheng, a vice-foreign minister. Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on its website that Beijing firmly opposes a “politicised” international investigation aimed at stigmatising China.Reuters


Novel Coronavirus not man-made, genetically modified:US


US intelligence community said Thursday it had concluded that novel coronavirus that has swept the globe originated in China but was not man-made or engineered. "The entire Intelligence Community has been consistently providing critical support to US policymakers and those responding to the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China," the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a statement."The intelligence community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified."AFP


European lockdowns 'could avert 11,300 air pollution deaths'


Improved air quality in Europe due to lockdowns to combat the coronavirus pandemic has delivered health benefits equivalent to avoiding 11,300 premature deaths, according to a study published on Thursday.Researchers extrapolated the likely impact on diseases caused or made worse by air pollution, which has fallen dramatically as hundreds of millions of people have stayed at home over the past month.


New York City mayor accused of singling out Jewish community; Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews attend funeral defying restrictions


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is being accused of unfairly singling out Hasidic Jewish community, in enforcing COVID-19 restrictions.He personally called on police to disperse hundreds of mourners, who gathered for a rabbi's funeral, defying social distancing rules.He was furious the gathering took place at all, and mentioned the Jewish community by name in a tweet, saying the time for warnings has passed and arrests would be made of those who gather in large groups.Some called on the mayor to apologize, resign, or called him anti-Jewish. Saying it was unfair for him to single out all Jews when it was just some from the Hasidic Orthodox community who gathered for the funeral. But the issue divided New York: Others expressed support for the mayor, and defended him calling out funeral gathering.Mayor said he was not trying to single out Jewish community, but did not back down from his criticism.aljazeera


Right To Access Internet Not Fundamental Right, Says J&K Administration In SC


J&K administration has invoked “very peculiar geo-political position of Jammu & Kashmir and its geographical proximity with Pakistan” in the Supreme Court as one of the arguments for not restoring high speed internet in Jammu and Kashmir. The government also quoted Professor of Law and Public Policy, Pepperdine University, Gregory S. McNeal that “terrorist organisations have also begun to employ websites as a form of information warfare” in its defence. The administration also said that the right to access internet is not a fundamental right. "It is submitted that the right to access internet is not a fundamental right and thus the type and breadth of access for exercising the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) and/or to carry on any trade or business under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India through the medium of internet can be curtailed," an affidavit filed by the Jammu and Kashmir administration said.The submissions were made in response to a plea filed by Foundation for Media Professionals seeking restoration of 4G internet services in the union territory in view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.The submissions have come after the SC in a landmark judgment in January this year declared access to the internet a fundamental right.   outlookindia



Suspended AAP leader Tahir Hussain moves bail plea in Delhi riots case


New Delhi: Suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain has moved a bail application claiming that he is innocent and was falsely implicated in the case pertaining to violence in northeast Delhi.Hussain and two others, Gulfam and Tanvir, were arrested for attempting to murder and criminal conspiracy on a complaint. The former AAP councillor has six other FIRs registered in his name and is currently in judicial custody.Seeking bail, Hussain, through his counsel Javed Ali, stated: “The applicant is neither directly nor indirectly involved in the case. FIR merely mentions that certain acts of violence were taking place from the house of the applicant at the time when the complainant got injured, rather than the applicant himself firing the shots.”He pleaded the court to grant him bail on the grounds that no recovery of gun, bullets or even empty cartridges have been made from him by the police.The bail plea states that police does not have a “single piece of evidence” to prove Hussain’s role in the alleged crime. “The applicant is an innocent person who has been falsely implicated in the case.”IANS


Delhi Riots: Left with only his burnt leg, covid-19 curbs have kept this woman from burying her father for 2 months


New Delhi: "The tears have dried up. I can’t believe I have not been able to bury my father with dignity. No one can understand my pain. No one cares," says Gulshan. Her father Anwer Kassar was one of the 53 people who died in the Delhi riots. It's been over two months since he was allegedly burnt alive. And all that was found of him was a burnt leg.Now, the coronavirus lockdown has rubbed salt into the wound. The charred remains have still not been released to Gulshan and her family. "The police tells me why are you troubling us, there is a lockdown. They said it’s only a bone that’s left. Why can’t they understand it’s not just a bone, that’s all I have of my father. Doesn’t he deserve dignity in death?," says Gulshan.news18


Activists Slam ‘Communal’ Probe even as Delhi Police Continues Arrests of Anti-CAA Protestors


New Delhi: Already under criticism for its alleged role in the riots that broke out in North-East Delhi on Feb.23, Delhi Police’s probe into the violence has been called  “biased” and “communal” by human rights’ groups and civil society organisations. Arrests have been ongoing in the midst of a lockdown due to COVID-19.Arrested on April 24, Shifa-Ur-Rahman aka Shifa Khan was remanded to 10-day police custody by the Patiala House Court in New Delhi. Aside from organising protests at the various sites, the investigators said that huge funds were pumped in to procure weapons and explosives to cause the riots. Many of those at the forefront of the protests against the controversial CAA, NPR and NRC have been arrested and booked under the stringent UAPA, in addition to severe sections of IPC, Arms Act and PDPPA.The police has also lodged close to 750 FIRs in connection with communal violence in different police stations in North-East Delhi and Shahdara districts.Under 40 FIRs, which have been accessed by NewsClick, investigators have taken around 130 people into custody. Except one, all of them are members of a particular community. 17 of those booked are out on bail.Several rights groups, civil society organisations and lawyers have described the police action “unilateral”, “arbitrary”, “biased” and “discriminatory”.  During the violence in Delhi between Feb.23 and Feb.27, the police had been accused of either inaction or complicity in some instances of violence, mostly in Muslim neighbourhoods. The violence was the worst that Delhi witnesses since 1984 anti-Sikh riots.newsclick


Day After Uddhav's Call To PM, Maha Guv Seeks Polls For 9 Legislative Council Seats


A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the brewing political uncertainty in the state, Governor BS Koshiyari on Thursday requested the Election Commission of India to declare elections to 9 vacant seats of Maharashtra Legislative Council.A statement from Raj Bhavan said that Koshyari requested ECI to declare elections to 9 vacant seats of Maharashtra Legislative Council "at the earliest".The governor made the request to the poll watchdog to fill the nine seats that have been lying vacant since April 24, with a view to end the current uncertainty in the State.In his letter, the governor stated that the Centre has announced many relaxation measures regarding the enforcement of lockdown in the country."As such the elections to the Council seats can be held with certain guidelines," he said.outlookindia


No Cow Urine Product Given Halal Certificate: Jamiat Ulama Issues Clarification about Ramdev's Patanjali


New Delhi:Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind Halal Trust has trashed as fake the news circulating on social media that it has certified cow urine or products which may have cow urine in it, said trust’s secretary Niaz Ahmad Farooqui in a clarification statement about trust’s Halal certificate to yoga guru and entrepreneur Ramdev’s Patanjali products.He, however, said that Jamiat trust has given Halal certificate to some plants and products of Patanjali where cow urine was not being used.“This fake news is being circulated mentioning the name of a company i.e. Patanjali Ayurveda Limited. We wish to assure that all Halal audit procedures and processes have been applied and proper investigation was done before issuing Halal Certificate to many of the plants of Patanjali Ayurveda Limited. We confirm that minimum 2 Muslim Halal auditors including a Food Technologist inspected various Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd plants.We also train their staff regarding Halal Compliance,” said Farooqui in the statement and added that “plants adhere to Islamic Principles and there is no deviation in this regard.”IndiaTomorrow



US Democratic Prez nominee Biden says he'd leave US embassy in Jerusalem if elected


Joe Biden, presumptive US Democratic presidential nominee, said on Wednesday that if he was elected, he would keep US embassy in Israel in Jerusalem even though he does not agree with the context in which US President Donald Trump moved it there from Tel Aviv.“It should not have been moved,” the former vice president said in response to a question asked during a virtual fundraiser with supporters in the Boston, Massachusetts area.“The move shouldn’t have happened in the context as it did, it should happen in the context of a larger deal to help us achieve important concessions for peace in the process," Biden added. Biden’s remarks on Wednesday were among the most detailed explanations of the issue he has given during the 2020 campaign.“Moving the embassy when we did without the conditions having been met was short-sighted and frivolous,” the former vice president said. "But now that is done, I would not move the embassy back to Tel Aviv." Biden also reportedly said he would reopen US consulate in occupied East Jerusalem "to engage Palestinians". aljazeera


US Congress members urge Trump to restore aid to Palestinians


Members of Congress have urged Trump administration to restore aid to Palestinians as they tackle the spread of the coronavirus in the occupied territories, reported Wafa news agency.In a letter addressed to Kelly Craft, US Ambassador to UN, 59 members of Congress called for urgent assistance to help fight the disease in Gaza, the occupied West Bank and neighbouring Arab countries that host Palestinian refugees.“As Covid-19 pandemic numbers continue to rise, we write to seek your assistance in the effort to restart US humanitarian assistance to Palestinians, including UNRWA,” Tuesday’s letter stated.middleeastmonitor


Muslim Brotherhood puts plan against Israeli annexation


Muslim Brotherhood suggested a three-step plan against Israel's annexation plan of West Bank.Muslim Brotherhood's spokesman Talaat Fahmi said in a statement that the Israeli plan to annex occupied West Bank is an attack on Palestinian land and people.Fahmi suggested a three-step plan, which calls for "forming a consensus on Palestine issue, urges Arab countries for serious steps in cutting relations with Israel, UN to support international legitimacy which regards actions that harm the status of occupied land as crimes."Before the early election in the country on March 2, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu promised to "annex" illegal Jewish settlements in West Bank and Jordan Valley.Arab foreign ministers are expected on Thursday to hold an emergency conference via a video link to discuss Israel's annexation plan.AA


Palestinian factions insist that annexation will not pass unnoticed


Palestinian National and Islamic Forces of Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate stressed on Wednesday that Israeli plans to annex illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank will not pass unnoticed, Quds News has reported.“Our people are able to stand firm in the face of the Zionist-American plans,” the factions said in a media statement.At the same time, they noted Israel’s “piracy” of Palestinian tax revenues and stricter measures taken against Palestinian women and girls held prisoner by the occupation state.


Finland rejects 104,000kg of Israel oranges


Finnish customs officers have rejected 104,000 kilogrammes of oranges from Israel after discovering traces of Bromopropylate, a pesticide banned in the EU, on the produce.Authorities say they rejected eight of 16 consignments of oranges received from Israel between February and mid-April because of the presence of the banned pesticide.Bromopropylate is used to repel ticks and mites on citrus and other crops and has been banned in the EU since 2011 because it could not be proven safe for ingestion by customers.


Israel's NSO Group accused of ‘unmistakable pattern of abuse’ in hacking case


WhatsApp has accused Israeli spyware company NSO Group of being “deeply involved” in carrying out mobile phone hacks of 1,400 of its users, including senior government officials, journalists and human rights activists.The allegation was made in a new court filing over the firm’s role in the long running hacking case which grabbed global attention following the murder of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Software created by the Israeli spyware firm was used to hack the phone of a member of Khashoggi’s inner circle which allowed Saudi security officials to track him.US whistle-blower Edward Snowden said that if the NSO Group had refused to sell its technology to Saudi Arabia, Khashoggi would still be alive.


Trump claims China wants him to lose re-election race in November


President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he believes China's handling of the coronavirus is proof that Beijing "will do anything they can" to make him lose his re-election bid in November."China will do anything they can to have me lose this race," Trump said in an exclusive interview with Reuters news agency at the White House.Trump said he was looking at different options in terms of consequences for China over the virus, also known as COVID-19."I can do a lot," he said.


Over 180 rights bodies urge ICC prosecutor to investigate Israel’s crimes in Palestine


More than 180 Palestinian, regional and international human rights coalitions, organisations, and individuals urged International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to investigate Israeli crimes against Palestinians. In a joint open letter initiated by Palestinian coalitions representing over 200 Palestinian civil society organisations, rights groups said they overwhelmingly support the Prosecutor’s findings submitted to Pre-Trial Chamber.


Gantz knew Israeli soldiers would suffer heavy losses in Gaza


Former Israeli Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, current Speaker of the Knesset, has revealed that when he watched his soldiers entering Gaza in 2014 he knew that they would suffer heavy losses, Safa News Agency reported on Wednesday. Gantz made his comments in an interview with Hebrew language newspaper Maariv.When asked about the lessons to be learnt from Israel’s military offensives against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in 2008/9, 2012 and 2014, Gantz replied: “We must be strong, otherwise, we will not live here. We must have morals. Why should we live if we don’t have morals?”



Germany bans Hezbollah, conducts raids to find suspected members


Germany has banned Hezbollah on its soil, designating Iran-backed group a "terrorist" organisation, the Federal Ministry of the Interior said.Police conducted early morning raids in Germany to detain suspected members of the political group, which is based in Lebanon under the leadership of Hassan Nasrallah.Security officials believe as many as 1,050 people in Germany are part of Hezbollah's "extremist wing". Hezbollah does not acknowledge the existence of separate wings.Police searched mosque associations in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Bremen and Berlin which they believe are close to Hezbollah, and private residences of leaders of each association.aljazeera


Syria: Al-Assad accused of disrupting medical supplies


At least 46 people, including 11 children, were killed when a bomb in a fuel truck exploded in the city of Afrin, which has been under the control of Turkish-backed fighters for 2 years.Turkey blamed the attack on the Kurdish YPG group, which says it does not target civilians.UN secretary-general again appealed for an immediate ceasefire in Syria following what he described as the "horrific" bombing of a market in the north of the country.On Wednesday, UN officials warned that with COVID-19 looming, there is an urgent need to end violence and ensure the delivery of critical medical supplies to Syrians.aljazeera


Landmark trial against alleged Syrian war criminals in Germany


Koblenz:This week in Koblenz, a picturesque German town on the banks of the Rhine river, local prosecutors have been demonstrating how the world could try war criminals. During the first few days of a landmark case focusing on crimes against humanity by members of Syrian regime, court heard details of years-long investigations. 2 Syrians - Anwar Raslan, a former colonel who defected from Syrian military intelligence, and Eyad al-Gharib, who allegedly worked for him - are being trialled for their complicity in torture of around 4,000 people and the deaths of 58 others, among other crimes, in Higher Regional Court in Koblenz, south-western Germany. Both had lived as refugees in Germany but were arrested in February last year. They have been in prison since.German prosecutors are using a legal principle called universal jurisdiction, which allows them to bring cases before German judges, regardless of whether the accused or their crimes have a close connection to Germany. The first stage of the trial ended on Wednesday. The next stage resumes in Koblenz on May 18.  Al Jazeera.


Libya's renegade general Haftar announces Ramadan truce


Libyan renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar has said his forces would cease hostilities during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan following international calls for a truce in the war-torn North African nation.Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman Ahmed Mismari said in a television broadcast on Thursday the ceasefire came at the request of international community and "friendly countries"."The commander general announces the halting of military operations from his side," a spokesman for Haftar, who controls large swathes of eastern and southern Libya, said from the eastern city of Benghazi on Wednesday. aljazeera


Afghanistan forced to release prisoners as healthcare collapses


Afghanistan's healthcare system has been battered by decades of conflict and political instability.The coronavirus pandemic is putting more strain on its medical workers.Now, the government is releasing prisoners to stop the virus from spreading in its cramped prisons and to prevent hospitals from becoming even more overwhelmed.aljazeera


Kim health rumours spotlight succession in secretive N. Korea


Seoul:North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was last pictured centre stage at a key political meeting on April 11, but has been out of the country’s state media ever since. Now, after failing to appear at one of the secretive nation’s most important annual events, there is mounting speculation about his health.Kim is thought to be 36 years of age, but obesity and a weakness for cigarettes mean he has long been the subject of rumours about poor health - from fractured ankles to gout and even heart complications.But the latest rumours have proved more worrying than most. Speculation over Kim’s health went into overdrive when a Seoul-based watchdog publication cited an anonymous source stating that the North Korean leader was in a grave condition after heart surgery.aljazeera

*views, Articles, FEATURES*

Princess Hind Al Qassimi: 'I Pray For an India Without Hate and Islamophobia'


Charting history of Indian Muslims and the police: From British era to AMU violence, a story of injustice: Sharjeel Usmani


BJP is Promoting a Divisive Agenda Even During a Disaster: Brinda Karat


Zee News, India TV, News18 India have OCD. They are still stuck on Tablighi Jamaat: Hindi channels not listening to pleas of Modi and Bhagwat:SHAILAJA BAJPAI


March 23 video from Maharashtra shared as Muslims gathering at mosque in Ahmedabad amid lockdown


RTI Questions Whether J&K Reorganisation Denied Right to Participate in Presidential Polls


As Delhi Police crack down on student leaders, courts cite lockdown to justify lack of scrutiny:Sruthisagar Yamunan & Shoaib Daniyal


Fact-check: Did a 26-member Muslim family test positive in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri?


Delhi Violence FIRs Are Like Blank Cheques, to be Encashed By the Police Any Time:Seemi Pasha


In Solidarity with Zafarul Islam Khan, a Great Son of India:ABHAY KUMAR | Clarion India


Does the nation want to know? No, Arnab Goswami will not go to jail:Uttam Sengupta


Will the ‘lockdown’ cure be worse than disease?V.Venkateswara Rao


‘It’s Only Blood, Ready to Die for Nation’: Tablighi Plasma Donor


Why foreign-funded NGOs are confused by government letters seeking help to tackle coronavirus:Aarefa Johari

Battling COVID And Islamophobia When You're A Tablighi Married To A Hindu


Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 9:53 PM)*

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