*SOUTH ASIA, INDO-PAK & J&K*
China claims troops have disengaged in most areas, India says process not yet completed
Reacting to China’s statement that troops had “disengaged in most localities” in eastern Ladakh, Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said even though some progress had been made, disengagement process had not been completed yet. “Some progress has been made, but disengagement process not yet been completed,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.MEA’s reactions comes hours after Chinese ambassador to India Sun Weidong said border troops of both countries “have disengaged in most localities” and China was not a strategic threat to India.indianexpress
China Warns India Against "Forced Decoupling" Of Their Economies
New Delhi: China warned on Thursday that a "forced decoupling" of its economy with India, following a clash in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley last month in which 20 Indian soldiers died in the line of duty, would hurt both countries. The Chinese ambassador said China was not a strategic threat to India and that the "general structure that we can't live without each other remains unchanged".The statement came after Central govt's recent moves to ban Chinese applications, even as de-facto border, LAC, remains tense."China advocates win-win cooperation and opposes a zero-sum game," Ambassador Sun Weidong wrote on Twitter."Our economies are highly complementary, interwoven and interdependent. Forced decoupling is against the trend and will only lead to a 'lose-lose' outcome," he added.Officials say Chinese troops have intruded on to India's territory in remote western region. China, however, claims it has not breached the LAC.Reuters
Bangladesh’s ‘no foe’ diplomacy grows ties with Pakistan: Anadolu Agency report
DHAKA:Recent contacts between Pakistani and Bangladeshi leaders have provided a rare glimpse of a possible, if not yet probable, detente after years of strained ties between the two countries, according to observers.Bilateral ties, however, have seemingly improved as Dhaka follows its constitutional “friendship to all and malice to none” diplomacy with Islamabad in recent weeks. "For the greater interest of our country we will keep relations with all and our constitutional foreign policy is- friendship to all and malice to none,” Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told Anadolu Agency.After a courtesy meeting between Momen and Pakistani High Commissioner in Dhaka Imran Ahmed Siddiqui earlier this month, and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s telephone call to Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina, India's daily The Hindu published a article underlining Dhaka's "growing intimacy with Pakistan and China."It wrote the number of advisors sympathetic to Pakistan has increased in Hasina’s government. As a result, advisors keeping close ties with India have lost importance in the government.Dhaka's top diplomat, however, dubbed the reports as "mere propaganda," saying as a sovereign and independent country, Bangladesh would decide "freely to whom it keep relations and to what level." Pakistan's foreign ministry spokeswoman, Aisha Farooqui, said her country "has a keen desire to see bilateral relations and peoples’ relations with Bangladesh improve and strengthen.""We have a very strong historical connection and we want to have cooperative relations between us," Farooqui told Anadolu Agency
Turkey doesn’t stop at Kashmir barbs, funds radicalisation too, calims Official: HT report
Islamist radical organisations in parts of the country including Kerala and Kashmir are being supported and funded by Turkish outfits backed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s govt in Ankara, people familiar with the development have told Hindustan Times.“There is an effort to radicalise Indian muslims and recruit fundamentalists coordinated from Turkey,” a senior govt official said, underlining that a recent assessment in New Delhi had noted the emergence of Turkey as “the hub of anti-India activities” next only to Pakistan.Officials believe that Erdogan’s political agenda has driven his government to expand its influence with South Asian muslims, particularly those in India. Indian officials said Turkish government had funded Kashmir’s hardline separatist leader such as Syed Ali Shah Geelani for years. But it is the rapidly expanding scale of the effort that recently nudged security agencies to carry out an extensive review. Erdogan govt has been funding religious seminars in India, recruiting fundamentalists to radicalise people and even take freshly-minted radicals on all-expense trips to Turkey to reinforce their learnings. “We are also aware of some people from this group travelling to Qatar to meet some people from Turkey to seek funding for their activities,” a government official said. “That amounts as high as Rs 40 lakh are being offered to preach radical Islam in Kerala”. Besides, officials said Turkey, along with Pakistan, have also been funding Zakir Naik,, via Qatar, a senior official said.
India, China and Russia do not take care of air, says Trump, touts US energy policies
United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused India, China and Russia of not taking care of the air, while pointing out that America does. The president, who had withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, called it a “one-sided, energy-destroying” pact to fight climate change.Trump delivered his remarks at a Double Eagle Energy oil rig in Texas and touted his administration’s energy policies ahead of the November presidential elections. “They want us to take care of our air, but China doesn’t take care of its air,” he said in his address. “In all fairness, India doesn’t take care of its air. Russia doesn’t take care of its air. But we do.”
Hong Kong not allowing flights from India, air bubble discussions on with Kuwait: Aviation ministry
Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Wednesday that Hong Kong continues to prohibit flights from India, as the coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world. It said national carrier Air India has applied for permission with the Hong Kong authorities to operate flights.“Civil aviation access is a matter of reciprocal bilateral arrangements,” the ministry tweeted. “As far as flights to and from Hong Kong are concerned, the problem is that HK [Hong Kong] is not allowing flights from certain places of origin including India. Air India has applied for permission with the authorities.”
Jammu and Kashmir: 4G internet ban to continue till August 19, says new order
Jammu and Kashmir administration has extended the ban on the high-speed 4G internet services till August 19. This came after Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu had last week said that the administration has no objection in restoring 4G internet services in Union Territory, adding that it will not be a security concern. “Restrictions on access to internet through mobile data services have been necessitated in view of its misuse in planning and executing terror acts, including attacks on security forces, political workers and innocent civilians, propagation of ideologies inimical to the interests of the country, misguiding the youth to join terrorist ranks, communicating and coordinating with handlers across the border to facilitate infiltration,” Principal Secretary, Home, Shaleen Kabra said, in order.
Omar Abdullah: 'Govt Tried to Gag Me, Was Asked to Sign a Bond Forcing Me to Stay Silent'
New Delhi: Speaking for the first time about govt attempts to ensure he said nothing critical about dramatic political changes foisted on Jammu and Kashmir last August, former chief minister Omar Abdullah said he was told – two months into his detention in Oct – that if he signed a bond pledging silence “for the foreseeable future” on all developments in the state, he would be released immediately.In an interview to The Wire from Srinagar via video call, Abdullah said “the magistrate came with his rubber stamp and his pen, assuming that i would sign it quite happily and run away. And he gave me the bond and said you sign this and you can leave, and the bond says that I will remain silent on all developments in J&K subsequent to August 5, 2019 for the foreseeable future. Which is basically tantamount to saying I will no longer be a politician. I said no, I am not going to sign this bond because to sign it silences me for the future.”
Not given up Article 370 fight but illogical to ask Modi govt to restore it — Omar Abdullah
Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah has told ThePrint that he has not given up on the efforts to ensure J&K’s special status is restored. Abdullah has been under fire in the Valley since he wrote an opinion piece in The Indian Express, in which he said he won’t be contesting elections as long as J&K remained an union territory. The IE piece even prompted the resignation of former NC minister Aga Ruhullah Mehdi, an influential Shia leader. In an interview to ThePrint Wednesday, Abdullah said NC’s fight to reverse the 5 August decision had already begun.
Saifuddin Soz Calls Out "No Detention" Claim, Cops Blame Curbs On COVID
New Delhi: A day after Jammu and Kashmir administration told the Supreme Court that Saifuddin Soz "is not under detention", Congress leader remained confined to his home and was not allowed by the police to either go out or let anyone in. The police claimed that Saifuddin Soz's movement was being restricted because of coronavirus precautions and asserted that what Jammu and Kashmir administration had told the SC was completely true. "We stand by what the government has said in affidavit before the Supreme Court," said a senior officer. "He is not being allowed to come out because of coronavirus. Mr Soz is a Z-category protectee. We can't provide an escort to him outside his home because a large number of police personnel of the security wing have contracted the virus" he said. Soz was "never detained nor under house arrest" and there are "no restrictions on his movement subject to security clearance," J&K administration told the court.After the administration's statement, the SC closed the case of illegal detention filed by Congress veteran's wife.
3 Assam Rifles personnel killed in ambush in Manipur’s Chandel district
3 soldiers of the Assam Rifles were killed and at least six injured in an attack by militants in Manipur’s border district of Chandel on Wednesday evening, a senior police officer confirmed to Indian Express.The attack occurred at a place called Khongtal which is very close to the Indo-Myanmar border in Chandel at around 6.30 pm on Wednesday, the source said.“The Assam Rifles team was returning to their base at Khongtal when an IED exploded followed by indiscriminate fire,” a police officer in Chakpikarong, under which the area falls, said.Three Northeastern militant outfits Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF), Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) and United Liberation Front of Asom – Independent (ULFA-I) have jointly claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement issued on Thursday. The groups said they were “fighting against colonial ruler India for our independence”.
All About Terror Outfit PLA in Manipur, Its Links With China
Video of Rajasthan Speaker, CM’s Son Goes Viral, BJP Demands Joshi Quit
JAIPUR:A huge controversy erupted in Rajasthan soon after a video of a conversation between Assembly Speaker C.P. Joshi and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav Gehlot went viral in which Speaker was heard talking about how 30 MLAs could have toppled the state government as the situation was tough.He is also seen discussing the fate of Congress government while saying that had 30 MLAs left the Gehlot camp, government would have been toppled. The purported discussion between the 2 can be heard with Joshi saying, “Nothing could have been done had 30 MLAs left the camp. Then, you could have done nothing and they could have toppled the govt.” Sources said that it was Joshi’s birthday on Wednesday and the video was shot at his official residence when Vaibhav Gehlot went to wish him. Meanwhile, BJP has insisted that the Speaker should resign on moral grounds as he appears to be biased in the video when as a Speaker he should be impartial.IANS
"Rajasthan Horse-Trading Rates Have Gone Up": Ashok Gehlot
Jaipur: The "rates of horse trading" in Rajasthan have increased after the announcement of the assembly session set to begin on August 14, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Thursday in a veiled dig at the governor and the BJP. "After the assembly session was announced last night, the rates of horse trading have increased. Earlier, the first instalment was of Rs 10 crore and second was of Rs 15 crore. Now it has become unlimited and all know who is doing horse-trading," Mr Gehlot told reporters. His comment seemed to have been aimed for the opposition BJP, which rules at the centre, and Governor Kalraj Mishra who finally agreed to call an assembly session after rejecting three proposals from the Chief Minister who is anxious to prove his majority and snuff out a rebellion by his former deputy Sachin Pilot. Also targeting BSP chief Mayawati for her statements against him, Gehlot accused the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister of acting at the instance of the BJP. Her complaining is not justified, Gehlot said.The deadlock over convening Rajasthan Assembly ended on Wednesday with Governor Kalraj Mishra agreeing to call a session from August 14.ndtv
Rajasthan HC issues notices to Speaker, 6 BSP MLAs who merged with Congress
Rajasthan High Court Thursday issued notices to Assembly Speaker C P Joshi and six MLAs who contested elections on BSP tickets before they merged with the Congress.This comes a day after the Mayawati-led BSP filed a petition in the court challenging the Assembly Speaker’s decision last year to approve the merger of six BSP MLAs into the ruling Congress. The Speaker and the six MLAs will have to submit their side of the case by August 11. Speaker CP Joshi, meanwhile, rejected the complaint, amidst the current crisis in state where Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is facing a rebellion from former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and battling to retain a majority in 200-MLA assembly.On Tuesday, BSP chief Mayawati had slammed CM Gehlot over his allegation that his MLAs are being poached by the BJP amid present crisis.
6 INC Corporators, One NPP Corporator of Imphal Municipal Corporation Join BJP
Imphal: 6 Congress corporators and one National People’s Party (NPP) corporator of the Imphal Municipal Corporation have joined the BJP.They joined BJP at a function on Wednesday which was attended by chief minister N. Biren Singh and BJP state president Professor S. Tikendra Singh. The chief minister welcomed the corporators and said that they have joined BJP because of their faith in the saffron party. He also said that the corporators joined BJP as they were impressed by the good work done by the BJP government in the state.PTI
Telecom, aviation crumbling, when will Modi govt acknowledge gravity of this economic crisis: Chidambaram
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday said the government should acknowledge what he alleged is a "deepening economic crisis" in the country, pointing out that the telecom and aviation sectors require its intervention.He said the two sectors are struggling and may cost thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
"When will BJP government acknowledge the gravity of the deepening economic crisis in the country? When will the Prime Minister acknowledge his failure and the failure of his economic managers," Chidambaram asked on Twitter.PTI
Bye-polls to two Rajya Sabha seats in UP and Kerala to be held on August 24
The Election Commission of India on Thursday announced that bye-polls for one Rajya Sabha seat each in Kerala and Uttar Pradesh will be held on August 24.The bye-polls are being held for the Rajya Sabha seats left vacant due to the deaths of two Members of Parliament – Beni Prasad Verma from Uttar Pradesh and MP Veerendra Kumar from Kerala.
*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*
NEP: Student, Teacher Bodies Call New Education Policy ‘Anti-democratic’
New Delhi: In response to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 that received the Union Cabinet nod on Wednesday, student and teachers’ bodies have released statements terming the new education policy as ‘anti-democratic’. Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) has said NEP will “dismember” universities by transferring the power over to a board of governors. Student bodies such as SFI said that the policy has a “centralized nature'' and encouraged “radical privatization” while Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) has said that the policy advocates ‘informalization’ of education. Student Islamic Organisation (SIO) has called policy "anti-federal, anti-constitutional and a licence to commercialise education in India".Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved NEP 2020. The policy brings in major changes in the governance and academic structure of school and higher education.SIO, in its statement, said: "While the draft attests the 'public good' nature of education, it does so while positing a commercialised form of education. It fails to redact many of the existing measures which have led to commercialisation, while actively proposing a market model of education in the policy."It also said that the creation of “centralized” bodies proposed in the policy is “against the federal structure of the consitution as education comes under the ambit of both the central and state govts. DUTA has criticized the concentration of powers within a board of governors in universities.DUTA said:“DUTA's opposition to the draft NEP rested, among other things, on its proposal to dismember universities and handover every higher educational institution to a Board of Governors, which is to enjoy all powers hitherto vested in the governing authorities of colleges and universities as well as UGC and other regulating bodies.”DUTA also asked the government to refrain from “bulldozing changes” which will have “grave consequences” for the country. The teachers also criticized “the feedback system” where opinions are “sought” but “not debated” and have asked the government to engage in a dialogue with academia.SFI criticized the government’s passing of NEP without “extensive discussion” despite protests against the policy. All 3 bodies also alleged that the government of using COVID-19 pandemic “to push their [ govt’s] agenda”.
New Education Policy Will Foster Jingoism, Say Teachers, Students
RSS affiliates welcome NEP, say over 60% of their suggestions met
NEW DELHI: Organisations affiliated to RSS working in the area of education have welcomed National Education Policy, calling it a "much-awaited announcement" that will set in motion their next move - a thorough review of curriculum in textbooks to enable necessary changes, while also stating that the implementation of the policy was as important as its announcement.Mainly, they have welcomed the move of the government to rename HRD ministry as the ministry of education, a demand of the Sangh Parivar for many years. A 2016 paper of RSS in a conference on Bharat Bodh organised by Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal (BSM) said it is important not to look at "human beings" as a "resource." In their suggestions, RSS affiliates had actually wanted the ministry to be renamed as the "ministry for education and culture" as it was called at the time of independence, and that both ministries (HRD and culture) be merged by bringing all the 150 cultural institutions imparting education on performing arts under a single ministry. The government has not agreed to that part of the demand. Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal, among the most important affiliates of RSS involved in deliberations of NEP, said "almost 60% of our suggestions have found place in the NEP which include renaming the HRD ministry to education ministry, formation of Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog, formation of National Research Foundation and bringing in flexibility in education."
‘BJP reducing Parliament to…’: TMC after new education policy announcement
In a withering attack on BJP, Trinamool’s Mahua Moitra accused the ruling party of bypassing Parliament by not discussing the “vital” education policy in the House and making a formal declaration on the same.She questioned the tearing hurry behind the move when the monsoon session was just weeks away.“BJP reducing Parliament from RubberStamp to NoStamp. How is something as vital as comprehensive new education policy for India not discussed in Parliament before announcing it? If monsoon session in Aug why not wait few more weeks?” the leader posted on Twitter.
CPM slams New Education Policy: Parliament has been completely bypassed
CPM on Wednesday hit out at the government after the Union cabinet approved the New Education Policy (NEP). Arguing that education is in the Concurrent List in the Constitution, it accused Central government of imposing NEP “unilaterally”, bypassing all the objections and opposition recorded by various state governments.“A new policy of such a nature needs to be discussed in the Parliament. This was assured by the government earlier. The draft is, as per norm, placed on the table of the Houses with a statutory time limit within which Members of Parliament can move amendments/give opinions. The Parliament has been completely bypassed,” the CPM said in a statement.
Ayodhya priest and 16 police officers, involved in Ram Temple event, test positive
A priest and 16 police officers on duty in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya city have tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the ground-breaking ceremony of a Ram temple on August 5, several reports said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the “bhoomi poojan” or the foundation ceremony.Pradeep Das, the priest who has contracted the infection, is the disciple of Acharya Satendra Das. Pradeep Das is also one of the four who gives offerings to the deity every day. Reports claimed that he was supposed to be part of the August 5 event.The priest has been placed in home quarantine and contact tracing is being conducted, according to News18. The police officers, who have tested positive, were on security duty on the temple’s premises.
Ayodhya litigant Ansari, Shia Waqf Board chief to accept Ram Mandir bhoomi poojan invite
New Delhi: 2 of 3 Muslim leaders whose names are on the invitees’ list for the Ram Mandir bhoomi poojan (land worship) ceremony — Ayodhya land dispute litigant Iqbal Ansari and UP Shia Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi — have said they will accept the invitation and attend the grand ceremony on 5 August. However, the third Muslim name on the list, Zufar Faruqui, chairman of UP Sunni Waqf Board, has said he will take a call on whether or not to attend only once he receives the invitation.“We fought for over 70 years, but once the Supreme Court decided that a temple should be built, there is nothing else we can do. I live in Ayodhya, so I would want to continue a peaceful existence here,” Ansari said. “It will be a dream come true for me to be there. I want to stand there with the devotees of Lord Ram, and be a part of the historic occasion,” Rizvi told ThePrint. Zafaryab Jilani, secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), said “individuals are free to participate in the ceremony”.However, Jilani said if he receives an invite, he will not accept it. “I will not participate in such a ceremony as I believe this entire thing is unjust, unfair and against the secularism of the country. But since the SC has granted permission for it, there is nothing we can do about it,” he said.
BJP calls TMC ‘communal’ for lockdown on Ram temple bhoomi pujan day
BJP has accused Mamata Banerjee govt of playing “communal politics” by announcing a complete lockdown on Aug.5 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the bhoomi pujan for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. The state govt had on Tuesday announced seven dates in August when a complete lockdown across the state will be enforced. The list of dates included August 5. BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said, “The state govt is playing with the sentiments of the people in selection of complete lockdown days. Yesterday, we saw that the dates were announced thrice following some changes. According to the government, a complete lockdown will be enforced on August 5 which is going to be a historic day in the country.”
‘Nirman Yagna’ to be held for Ram bhakts later
Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust has said that it will organise a 'Nirman Yagna' in Ayodhya in the coming months and invite all Ram bhakts to attend it. Trust's General Secretary Champat Rai said the decision has been taken since devotees are unable to witness the 'bhumi pujan' ceremony in Ayodhya on August 5 due to the pandemic.IANS
Hundreds of Goats Forced to Die of Thirst, Hunger and Suffocation, Traders Left at Mercy of Police
Mumbay: Maharashtra Government has allowed online purchase of sacrificial goats on the occasion of Eidul Azha but at the same time it has also stopped the entry into the state of trucks load of thousands of animals on the border. Sources say that during the last three days police has stopped 300 trucks loads of animals on Mumbai- Gujarat border because of which more than 100 goats have died of thirst, hunger and suffocation. According to reports, traders are not even being allowed to go back and are being asked to pay penalties. A trader Abu Bakr said, ‘For the last three days trucks with loads of 4,000 goats, are stuck on the boarder of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The police is not letting them in. They are not letting us go back either. When we request them to let us go back, they say: “Who is stopping you from going back but not a single vehicle return without chalan.” Abu Bakr further said: ‘Forget about bringing in goats into Maharashtra, trucks loads of goats are not being allowed to go back. Chalans are being issued against them and in the name of chalan traders are being forced to pay Rs5,000 per goat.’He added: ‘Several trucks have been confiscated and FIRs have been registered against the owners. If you ask the cops they keep repeating Corona as an excuse and “orders from the above.”‘He said: ‘Before this Bajrangdal, animal lovers, RTO police and other officials belonging to government departments connected with animal welfare used to harass us but this time round it is Maharashtra police that is creating problems for us on the border of the state while police in MP, Rajasthan and Gujarat did not give us any trouble.’Abu Bakr further said: ‘Maharashtra Govt is intentionally creating hurdles for Muslims in the celebration of their festival. This is to please and appease a particular community. Why is that on other days goats are allowed to be brought into Maharashtra? Even during the lockdown 70,000 goats used to be brought and soled in Mumbai. Why are then sacrificial goats being stopped?’Urdu Media Monitor
Curbs on Animal Sacrifice, Lockdown Dampen the Spirit of Eid Al Adha in UP
NEW DELHI;4 days before Eid Al-Adha, Muslims of Uttar Pradesh appear to be in a state of confusion over celebration of their second most important festival. That there will be no Eid prayers in mosques and Eidgahs is a given. They have already experienced this during Eid Al-Fitr two months back when mosques were closed because of the Covid-induced lockdown. But this time around confusion, rather apprehension, is about qurbani (sacrifice of animals) and the two-day weekly lockdown being followed in UP since early July. As the first day of Eid Al-Adha falls on Saturday, it has dampened the spirit of Eid festivities.Urdu newspapers are full of reports from different cities in the state that suggest that Muslims are petitioning local administrations demanding relaxation in the lockdown. They are asking the government to either relax the lockdown during the coming week or shift it to some other days. Peace Party, which is quite popular in Muslim-dominated areas of western UP, has even petitioned the Allahabad High Court about this. The party has complained that by not relaxing the lockdown the government of Yogi Adityanath is demonstrating its anti-Muslim bias.
Telangana :No prayers at eidgahs, no hugging for Bakrid
HYDERABAD: Telangana State Waqf Board has sent a list of guidelines to the State government for dissemination ahead of Eid-al-Adha, popularly known as Bakrid, which include barring special prayers at eidgahs as they can ‘cause the spread of coronavirus’, and avoiding converging to buy sheep for ritual sacrifice. “The performance of Eid prayers at eidgahs is not permitted since congregational prayers can cause the spread of coronavirus,” an excerpt reads. While on the one hand the guidelines state that “the general public are advised to offer prayers at their respective homes”, on the other they provide for permitting 50 congregants to offer prayers in mosques “at one time duly maintaining two metres physical distancing”. However, the guidelines recommend prayers in two spells if there are more than 50 congregants. Mosque managing committees have been instructed to keep sanitisers at entry points.
Lt Governor Vetoes AAP Government On Delhi Riots Lawyers' Panel
New Delhi: The Arvind Kejriwal government was vetoed by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal today on the panel of lawyers to represent the Delhi Police in cases linked to the February riots in the capital.Lieutenant Governor has signed off on the six-member panel recommended by Delhi Police - which includes Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi - two days after AAP government rejected it. Delhi government is bound by the constitution to accept the decision, said sources close to Mr Baijal.
Plea challenging validity of Delhi Minorities Commission Act: Delhi HC seeks reply from Centre, Delhi govt
Delhi High Court has directed Delhi Government to file a reply in a plea challenging validity of Delhi Minorities Commission Act. Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan has also sought replies from the Union of India and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, LiveLaw.in reported.The order has come in a PIL filed by one Vikram Gahlaut challenging the validity of the Delhi Minorities Commission Act as being ultra vires of the Constitution.The Petitioner had also sought for the removal of Zafarul Islam Khan from the position of the Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission Act.In the previous order dated 21/05/20, the court had directed Delhi Government to conclude the process under Section 4(4)(f) of the Delhi Minorities Commission Act against Zafarul Islam Khan in accordance with law in two weeks.Today, the Petitioner informed the court that despite the previous order of this court, no decision has been taken by Delhi Government on the prayers moved in the petition. Replying to this submission, Delhi Government informed the court that the reply has been received from Zafarul Islam Khan and now the file is pending before the Law Ministry. The court will now take up the matter on August 31.
Brinda Karat writes to Amit Shah, seeks action against Nageswara Rao for ‘outrageous’ remarks
Senior CPM leader Brinda Karat on Wednesday wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking prosecution of former interim CBI director and serving IPS officer M Nageswara Rao for his “most outrageous politically motivated statements”, which she said go against the spirit of the Constitution and incite “communal feelings”. She also filed a complaint against Rao with the Delhi Police. Karat’s complaint comes days after Rao claimed on Twitter that Indian history had been “distorted” with the “whitewashing” of “bloody Islamic invasions/rule”, naming previous education ministers, including Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who “were in charge of Indian mind space” for 20 “out of 30 years (1947-77)”.Rao’s post alleged this system patronised pro-Left academics and sidelined pro-Hindu nationalist scholars.In her letter to Shah, Karat said Rao, currently DG of Home Guards, Fire Services and Civil Defence, has “insulted heroic freedom fighter Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and other notable educationists belonging mainly to the Muslim community using derogatory language against them and inciting feelings of enmity between two communities”.
Anti-CAA riots:Sanctions to prosecute Sharjeel Imam for sedition awaited, police tells court
Delhi police Wednesday told a court here that the requisite sanctions to prosecute JNU student Sharjeel Imam for sedition and other offences are awaited. Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana granted time till September 1 to procure the sanctions from the authorities concerned in the case related to anti-CAA riots earlier this year. The court also took congnisance of the offence of unlawful activities punishable under section 13 of UAPA. The judge also directed Tihar jail authorities to produce Imam on next date of hearing.PTI
Parvez Parwaz, Petitioner in Adityanath Hate Speech Case, Sentenced to Life Imprisonment
New Delhi: Parvez Parwaz, 65-year-old social activist who had been a co-petitioner in the hate speech case against Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath during 2007 Gorakhpur communal riots, was sentenced to life imprisonment in a two-year-old rape case on Tuesday. District sessions court found primary accused Mahmood alias Jumman Baba and Parwaz guilty of gangraping a woman on June 3, 2018. The complainant, a Muslim vegetable vendor in her 30s, had alleged that both the accused lured her to an isolated place under the pretext of resolving her family problems and raped her. Along with the sentencing, the court also ordered Baba and Parwaz to deposit a fine of Rs 25,000 each, out of which Rs 40,000 will go towards the rehabilitation of the complainant. The details of the judgement are still awaited. However, Parwaz’s friends told The Wire that he was falsely implicated in the case, allegedly because of his persistence in the hate speech case against Adityanath and 4 others – BJP MLA from Gorakhpur Radhamohan Das Agarwal, BJP MP Shiv Pratap Shukla, then-BJP mayor Anju Chaudhary and former BJP MLC Y.D. Singh. Parvaz’s lawyer Miftahul Islam, meanwhile, said that they will be challenging the conviction in a higher court.Islam alleged that the court did not allow the defence to submit written arguments on Tuesday. “Without concluding the arguments, the judgment was pronounced. There were no arguments and we were not allowed to submit our written arguments as well,” Islam said.
Priyanka Gandhi writes to UP CM, seeks justice for Dr Kafeel Khan
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Thursday sought justice for Dr Kafeel Khan who is in detention for allegedly making an inflammatory speech on the Aligarh Muslim University campus during the anti-CAA protests. He was booked under NSA over alleged hate speech. All India Congress Committee (AICC) national general secretary, in a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, said Khan has spent more than 450 days in jail and that the CM should show sensitivity and help him in getting justice.“I expect that while showing your sensitivity, you will try your best to secure justice for Dr. Kafeel,” she said in the letter.
9 dates in 48 days — HC drags feet on Covid bail plea of diabetic heart patient Sudha Bharadwaj
New Delhi: It’s been 48 days since advocate Sudha Bharadwaj, one of 11 activists arrested in connection with Bhima-Koregaon violence in Pune, approached the Bombay High Court for bail on medical grounds.A patient of diabetes who also has a heart condition, Bharadwaj, 59, applied for bail after a fellow woman prisoner at the Byculla jail, Mumbai, tested positive for Covid-19.Her lawyers have pointed to her condition, and the fact that the comorbidities make her more vulnerable to Covid-related complications, to seek an urgent hearing. But it has all been in vain.Since she filed it on 10 June, her bail petition has been listed for hearing nine times. On 5 of these occasions, the petition was not heard at all because the court hours were up before its chance came.
Gujarat Police Issues Externment Notice To Kalim Siddiqui, Activist Threatens to Challenge It In High Court
NEW DELHI: While Gujarat Police have issued an externment notice to journalist-activist Kalim Siddiqui on allegations of his involvement in 10 incidents of criminial intimidation and violence, and police FIRs registered in 2 other cases, the activist has declared to challenge the notice in the Gujarat High Court.Siddiqui has been issued a showcause notice asking him as to why he should not be externed for a period of 2 years from Ahmedabad city, Ahmedabad district, Gandhinagar, Kheda and Mehsana districts.In his reply submitted to ACP(A Division) A M Patel on Thursday, Siddiqui said the allegations levelled by the police are false and not tenable in a court of law.In the showcause notice, police accused that Siddiqui was involved in a case of rioting in Ramol area of Ahmedabad in August 2018 and participated in an unlawful assembly during anti-CAA protest in Rakhial area of Ahmedabad on Dec.19, 2019. In his reply, Siddiqui said that he was acquitted by the court in Ramol case. In case of December anti-CAA protest, there was an FIR registered against 500 unnamed persons.According to Siddiqui, unlawful assembly is not a strong case for which one can be externed. “Morevoer, there are 500 other people also involved. Why only one person is being externed?”, Siddiqui questions.India Tomorrow
A non-existent signature, bogus ‘wanted’ story: How Parvez Khan spent 4.5 years in jail on fake terror charges
Jalgaon: Lockdown, quarantine and a total restriction on movement amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has now become part of our lives. For Parvez Khan, a 45-year-old resident of Jalgaon, however, the current restrictions mean nothing. He is not breaking the lockdown rules of his region. He is happy to accept them because, until July 13, he was being made to pay for a crime that he did not commit. He was serving the fourth year of his 10-year jail stint for crimes under Section 120b of IPC. The story of Khan is a great reminder of how Islamophobia runs rife in our system, where often the only ‘mistake’ that you can commit is that of being a Muslim.To understand the story of Khan, we must go back to 2001, in Jalgaon, Maharashtra, when a few local Muslim youths allegedly joined militancy in Kashmir. Twelve people were named in the FIR lodged by the then Sub-Divisional Police Officer, MIDC Police Station, Jalgaon. The FIR said that five people had received arms training from militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir and when they were arrested, they said they were members of SIMI. On investigation of the said crime, a charge-sheet was filed against 16 accused persons. Interestingly, Khan’s name did not appear in the FIR, but it did in the charge sheet. Two of the sixteen: Parvez Khan and Asif Khan, were said to be ‘wanted accused’. TwoCircles
Karnataka: Controversial Decision to Cut Social Science Syllabus Put on Hold
Karnataka government has put on hold a controversial proposal to drop certain chapters, including on Islam, Christianity, Tipu Sultan and his father Hyder Ali, from social science textbooks to reduce 2020-21 syllabi for students of Classes I to X. Citing COVID-19 and the disruption caused to the academic calendar of the year, the government had earlier dropped the chapter on Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali from the Class VII social science textbook, saying chapters on Tipu Sultan have been retained in Class VI and X textbooks.The move did not go down well with the opposition, which saw certain ulterior motives behind the decision. PTI
Reconstruction of Mosques: Telangana Muslim Leaders Asks CM Not to Test Their Patience
HYDERABAD:Muslim leaders of Telangana have asked Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao not to test their patience and immediately make a categorical announcement for reconstruction of the two mosques demolished in the secretariat premises.United Muslim Forum (MUF), an umbrella grouping of various Muslim organisations and clerics, stated that lack of progress for reconstruction of the mosques even three weeks after their demolition had caused anger and unease among the community.MUF is headed by Moulana Raheemuddin Ansari, who is also president of Telangana Urdu Academy, a government body.
Tamil Nadu: Blanket of Silence Over Caste-Based Atrocities During Lockdown
Chennai: The strict lockdown imposed to control the spread of COVID-19 failed to bring a halt to casteist atrocities against Dalits and tribals in Tamil Nadu, a recent study has shown. The study, released on July 13 by former Madras high court judge Hariparanthaman, was conducted by Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF), which is affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist), between March 25 and early July 2020.The front recorded 81 incidents of caste-based atrocities. Of these 41 were cases of assault, 14 murders, five cases each of rape and attacks on couples who married outside their caste, four deaths of Dalit manual scavengers, three cases each of humiliation of Dalit panchayat presidents and discrimination against Dalit government servants, two cases each of honour killings and desecration of statues of the father of the Indian constitution, Dr B.R. Ambedkar, and one incident each of discrimination in school and bonded labour. In addition, in once instance, Dalits were prevented from burying their dead in a common graveyard; a Dalit graveyard was also desecrated.
Ayurvedic Doctor Devender Sharma, Mastermind Behind Over 50 Murder Cases, Arrested in Delhi
New Delhi: On Wednesday, an Ayurvedic doctor who was allegedly the mastermind behind over 50 murder cases of truck and taxi drivers across the city and neighbouring states was arrested. He was taken into custody from the Baprola area where he was living after jumping parole in Jan. Citing previous media reports, the police claimed that he may have been involved in more than 100 murder cases but could not confirm the exact figure as the cases registered against him in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan were investigated by the respective State Police Departments. Devender Sharma, 62, a BAMS degree holder, hailed from Purreni village in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligrah district and he was apprehended by Delhi Police’s Crime Branch team on Tuesday, six months after jumping parole in a murder case.The police said Sharma was convicted in several cases of kidnapping and murder. He was arrested twice earlier for running a fake gas agency in Uttar Pradesh and was also jailed for running a kidney racket in several other states.When police questioned Sharma about the media reports, he told them that he had lost count after 50 murders and it had become difficult for him to remember the exact number of the killings executed till date. .PTI
CBI Books 4 Navy Officers for Generating Fake Bills to Defraud Western Naval Command
New Delhi: CBI has booked 4 Navy officers and 14 others for allegedly generating fake bills worth Rs. 6.76 crore to supply IT hardware to the Western Naval Command. On Wednesday, Captain Atul Kulkarni, Commanders Mandar Godbole and R.P. Sharma, and Petty Officer LOG (F&A) Kuldeep Singh Baghel allegedly prepared seven fraudulent bills of Rs 6.76 crore. “All these accused naval officers abused their official position to defraud the naval authorities and rob the exchequer of public money which led to pecuniary gain for themselves,” according to CBI FIR. Sources said that the probe agency has also carried out searches in this connection. PTI
Friends Stopped Talking To Me Because of My Religion: Irrfan Khan’s Son
NEW DELHI: 3 months after death of Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan, his son Babil Khan on Wednesday said that his friends stopped talking to him because he belonged to a certain religion and he was scared to talk about the present regime, as it could end his career. In a series of posts on the social media site Instagram, he expressed his anger over the religious division and discrimination that he felt or went through in the country.“Our beautiful secular India’s sudden relapse of religious divide is honestly getting scary. I have friends that have stopped communicating with me because I am of a certain religion. I miss my friends; my Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, human friends…I love India, don’t you dare call me anti-nationalist. I promise you, I am a boxer, I will break your nose,” said Babil, an aspiring actor. He spoke about religious discrimination by citing that the mandatory Eid holiday was cancelled on Friday while the Raksha Bandhan holiday had been given an official nod. Making sarcastic comments on the cancellation of Eid holidays, he said that he would celebrate Friday Eid on Saturday.Clarion India
Over 55 Lakh Affected in Assam and Bihar Floods
New Delhi: 6 people died in Assam and Bihar on Wednesday due to floods which have affected over 55 lakh people in the two states, while heavy rains lashed parts of Kerala inundating low lying areas and partially disrupting rail and road traffic. IMD issued a red alert for Kerala’s high-range Idukki district with a forecast of widespread extremely heavy showers. However, a fresh spell of rains brought relief to the national capital from the sultry weather but caused waterlogging in low-lying areas, affecting traffic movement, electricity and water supply.In Assam, three people drowned in floodwater and close to 17 lakh people across 21 districts remained affected by the deluge despite an improvement in the flood situation across the state, according to an official bulletin on Wednesday. With this, the total number of people losing their lives in this year’s flood and landslide across the state has gone up to 133, of whom 107 were killed in flood-related incidents and 26 died due to landslides. The death toll due to the flood in Bihar rose to 11 with three fresh fatalities while the number of people affected by the calamity reached close to 40 lakh, the state disaster management department said. PTI
Scrap environment impact assessment draft: Green activists
Nearly 50 environmental groups and activists from Himalayan states have opposed a draft environment impact assessment (EIA) notification, saying that it was an attempt to dilute the environmental regulations to facilitate ease-of-doing business. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has put the notification that intends to modify the EIA of 2006.Himalayan region today is in the most vulnerable position with massive climate induced disasters, increasing deforestation, loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, drying of rivers, death of groundwater sources, melting glaciers, hollowing of the mountains, solid and hazardous waste related pollution, said the statement.IANS
More than 1 million people recovered in India : health ministry
Coronavirus cases have crossed the 50,000-mark for the first time on Thursday, pushing India’s COVID-19 caseload to 15,83,792, while the recoveries surpassed 10 lakh, according to Union Health Ministry. The country registered a record increase of 52,123 infections in 24 hours while the death toll climbed to 34,968, with 775 people succumbing to the disease in a day. There are 5,28,242 active cases of coronavirus in the country. The recovery rate among COVID-19 patients stands at 64.44 per cent, the ministry said. The number of tests have crossed the 18-million mark in the country.
Tamil Nadu govt extends lockdown with relaxations, complete shutdown on Sundays
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy extended the lockdown in the state till Aug.31 but with more relaxations, including allowing private establishments to scale up workforce and permitting dine-in services in hotels and restaurants.The development came after CM held consultations with medical, public health experts and other senior ministers at the secretariat on Thursday. Edappadi further said there would be a complete lockdown on all Sundays next month.
ICMR plans national registry of Covid patients to help improve treatment
ICMR, in collaboration with Health Ministry and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, plans to roll out a project to create a rigorous database of Covid-19 patients admitted in hospitals across the country in an effort to understand how treatment can be improved.
UGC won’t alter decision on final-year exams, tells SC the move will protect academic future
New Delhi: UGC Thursday refused to alter its 6 July notification mandating universities to conduct final-year exams by September end, saying the decision has been taken to “protect academic future of students”.In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, the commission claimed that a student’s performance in examinations, especially in final year/ terminal semester, gives her or him confidence.A bench, led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, will Friday consider UGC’s affidavit, submitted in response to a batch of petitions filed against the commission’s guidelines to hold final exams amid the coronavirus pandemic. The lead petition is by 31 students from universities across the country. They have said that UGC’s decision will compel students to appear in exams during the pandemic, posing risk to their health.
Maruti Suzuki posts quarterly loss for the first time in 15 years as coronavirus slumps sales
India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki suffered a first quarter net loss of Rs 249.4 crore – the first time it has registered a loss in at least 15 years, NDTV reported. The company had posted a net profit of Rs 1,435.5 crore for the corresponding period a year ago.The loss this quarter was due to a steep fall in business activity owing to the coronavirus pandemic. The company said it was partially offset by lower operating expenses and higher fair-value gain on the invested surplus.
COVID Herd Immunity Not An Option In A Country Like India, Says Centre
New Delhi: India cannot count on herd immunity to stop the coronavirus pandemic given its demography and scale, Health Ministry said on Thursday, adding that the country will have to rely on a vaccine to fully beat COVID-19."Herd immunity is an indirect protection from a disease. This saves a population from a disease. But it develops when a vaccine is developed or when a population has already suffered and recovered from it. Herd immunity in India is not an option. It can only happen after a vaccine has been developed," a Health Ministry official said.
‘Vaccine nationalism’: Is it every country for itself?
It’s dog eat dog in the world of COVID-19 vaccines.That’s the fear of global health agencies planning a scheme to bulk-buy and equitably distribute vaccines around the world. They are watching with dismay as some wealthier countries have decided to go it alone, striking deals with drugmakers to secure millions of doses of promising candidates for their citizens.The deals – including those agreed by the United States, Britain and the European Union with the likes of Pfizer (PFE.N), BioNtech (22UAy.F), AstraZeneca (AZN.L) and Moderna (MRNA.O) – are undermining the global drive, experts say.“Everybody doing bilateral deals is not a way to optimize the situation,” said Seth Berkley, chief executive of the GAVI alliance which co-leads the scheme called COVAX designed to secure rapid and fair global access to COVID-19 vaccines.Reuters
COVID: Russia planning to launch vaccine for public use by mid August
Russia is planning to register its vaccine for COVID-19 by August 10-12, according to a report in Bloomberg. Thus it will become the first country in the world to approve a COVID-19 vaccine fro public use. Developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, vaccine was likely to be approved for public use “within three to seven days of registration by regulators”, said the report.
Johnson & Johnson starts human safety trial for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate
Johnson & Johnson on Thursday kicked off U.S. human safety trials for its COVID-19 vaccine after releasing details of a study in monkeys that showed its best-performing vaccine candidate offered strong protection in a single dose. When exposed to the virus, six out of six animals who got the vaccine candidate were completely protected from lung disease and 5 out of 6 were protected from infection as measured by the presence of virus in nasal swabs, according to the study published in the journal Nature.Reuters
Pakistan's downward trajectory of active cases continues
Pakistan's downward trajectory of active cases continued, dropping to 25,253, the lowest since May 12.There were 1,114 new cases registered on Wednesday, taking the tally since the outbreak began to 277,402. At least 36 patients died in the last 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 6,018. With the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha to be held over the weekend, authorities in Pakistan are continuing to ask citizens to maintain strict distancing guidelines, to avoid a repeat of an explosion of cases over Eid al-Fitr just over two months ago.
In shadow of coronavirus, Muslims pray on peak day of Hajj
The coronavirus pandemic has cast a shadow over this year's pilgrimage, which last year drew 2.5 million Muslims from across the world to Mount Arafat, where the Prophet Muhammad delivered his final sermon nearly 1,400 years ago. Only a very limited number of pilgrims were allowed to take part in the Hajj amid numerous restrictions to limit the potential spread of the coronavirus. The Saudi government has not released a final figure on the number of pilgrims this year, but has said anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 would be taking part.
Saudi detains 244 people trying to enter Makkah for Hajj
In the light of the strict measures being put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus in the kingdom, Saudi authorities said they had detained 244 people who were attempting to infiltrate Makkah to perform the Hajj, Safa news agency reported.According to local news sites, the Saudi security teams could identify and prove that the people who were detained were preparing to make their way towards Makkah.
Gaza grape farmers suffer amid Israeli blockade, pandemic
It is the peak grape harvesting season in Gaza, but farmers say they are barely covering their expenses.This year has been particularly difficult because of the pandemic and the economic hardships caused by the continuing Israeli blockade. To combat that, the agriculture ministry is trying to encourage people to buy local produce instead of imported grapes.
Israel Knesset rejects amendment of racist Nation-State Law
Israeli Knesset rejected an amend to the racist Nation-State Law to include a clause guaranteeing the equality of all citizens, Arab48 reported.The bill, which was proposed by Yesh Atid-Telem party, saw the Blue and White alliance abstain from the vote. Blue and White had promised, during the election campaign, to amend the Nation-State Law to include equality for all citizens. Nation-State Law declared Israel to be the “historical homeland of the Jewish people” and dropped Arabic as an official language of Israel.The bill was defeated by 53 votes to 21.Arab members of the Knesset who form the Joint List party abstained from voting and said they opposed the bill and would not vote on an amendment to it, adding the Nation-State Law should be cancelled and not changed.
Israel protesters accuse Netanyahu of inciting against them
Black Flag movement protesters in Israel have accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Public Security Minister Amir Ohana of inciting against them, Arab48 reported.Local news reported “attackers, dressed in black, threw stones, glass bottles and pepper-sprayed some of the protesters who had walked from Ohana’s home to the Ayalon Highway, briefly blocking parts of it. The group began beating the demonstrators suddenly and without any provocation.”Haaretz added: “Carrying black flags and wearing hats and masks, the attackers did not identify themselves, with eyewitnesses saying they were right-wing activists who infiltrated the march.”
Israel to make 200 Palestinians homeless in West Bank
Israeli occupation forces will demolish a Palestinian village based in the north of the occupied West Bank, displacing more than 200 people, Wafa news agency reported.Mahmoud Amarneh, head of Farasin village council, told Wafa that Israeli soldiers raided the village this morning and issued 36 demolition orders for entire buildings and ancient water wells.He said the military warned the residents that the demolition will be executed in a few daysThe village, home to 200 Palestinians, is located west of Jenin and consists of a 200-year-old well and several ancient buildings. Therefore, Amarneh is urging international intervention to prevent Israel from committing a massacre in the village.
Tunisia: No-confidence vote fails to remove Ghannouchi
Tunisia's Ennahda party's Rached Ghannouchi maintained his position as the parliament speaker after no-confidence vote session failed to secure majority on Thursday. Ennahda MPs now celebrate failure of no-confidence vote against their leader as the results allow Ghannouchi to continue his term of 2020-2024. Earlier Thursday, the Tunisian parliament began a secret voting on no-confidence for Parliament Speaker Ghannouchi, the head of the parliament's biggest party -- Ennahda. Blocs which had announced they would vote to withdraw confidence from Ghannouchi include Democratic Bloc (Democratic Current and People’s Movement) with 38 seats, Tahya Tounes Bloc with 10, National Reform Bloc 16, and the National Bloc with 11 seats. The four blocs attribute their position to what they call "individually taken decisions by the speaker without consulting the Parliament Office [the assembly's highest body], and issuing statements regarding Tunisia's foreign relations that contradict with the orientation of the Tunisian diplomacy". The blocs failed to secure 109 votes out of 217 to withdraw confidence from Ghannouchi, which was a challenge to the four blocs that championed the vote.
Tunisia MPs receive funds from UAE to withdraw confidence from Ghannouchi
Head of Ennahda parliamentary bloc Noureddine Al-Beheiri revealed what he referred to as “pressure exerted from inside and outside the country” with the temptation of Emirati funds to urge MPs to amend their positions and to withdraw confidence from Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi during the voting session scheduled for Thursday. Al-Beheiri also discussed an Emirati plan to destroy the Tunisian political system, which aims to create a vacuum in parliament by removing its speaker and disrupt the process of granting confidence to the next government, which will create a state of void within the country’s political system, reported Al Jazeera.The leader of the Ennahda movement Ghannouchi is being exposed to a systematic defamation campaign run by the Saudi, Emirati and Egyptian media, in an attempt to discredit the parliament speaker and to disturb the Tunisian political climate, according to a report by Anadolu Agency.
Egypt sends forces to Syria for Assad regime
Egypt has sent nearly 150 soldiers to Syria to fight in the ranks of the Assad regime, according to military sources.Reliable military sources told Anadolu Agency that the soldiers had been sent to the Aleppo countryside, Idlib area in coordination with Iranian Revolutionary Guards via the Hama Military Airport. The troops were later deployed in the Khan al-Asal area in the western countryside of Aleppo and around the city of Saraqib in the southern countryside of Idlib.
Egypt’s top intelligence chief delivers message from Sisi to Sudan
Egypt’s intelligence chief handed a message from President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to the head of Sudan’s transitional Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah Burhan, amid Egyptian concerns over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam that could affect the flow of Nile waters to both Cairo and Khartoum.Sudanese media reported on Tuesday that the Egypt’s intelligence chief Abbas Kamel arrived in Khartoum on a one-day visit .During the surprise visit, Kamel met with the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
EU lawmakers call to protect imprisoned ex-Saudi crown prince Muhammad Bin Nayef
European People’s Party (EPP), the largest parliamentary bloc in the European Parliament, has called to secure the life of former Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Nayef and to immediately disclose his whereabouts. The party said in a statement that it was “deeply concerned” that the current Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, may attempt to kill Bin Nayef, adding that it has obtained evidence suggesting that Bin Nayef’s health has been deteriorating in prison. The party called on the Saudi crown prince to refrain from “eliminating his political opponents”, adding that Ben Nayef’s detention is “a source of concern for European lawmakers”, and called on Saudi leaders to respect their international human rights obligations by holding a fair trial.“The former crown prince is an old friend of the West and Europe, and it is truly sad to hear about his suffering inside prison in Saudi Arabia for unknown reasons,” it added.
Qatar 'perplexed' by Saudi's decision to appeal WTO ruling
Qatar said it was "perplexed" by Saudi Arabia's attempt to appeal last month's World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that found Riyadh actively supporting the beoutQ pirate TV operation.In its judgement published in June, the WTO ruled Saudi government officials and entities, including Saud al-Qahtani, an aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, publicly promoted beoutQ, including with government tweets.Riyadh's initial reaction to the report was that it was "fully vindicated", Qatar's Ministry of Commerce and Industry noted in a statement on Wednesday, adding the Saudi kingdom said in June that it was "pleased with the outcome".
Yemeni Nobel winner Tawakkol accuses Saudis of backing separatists
Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman accused Saudi Arabia of supporting the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Yemen amid a recent agreement between the Yemeni government and STC to accelerate the implementation of Riyadh agreement. "Everything was expected. The Secretary of Saudi Ambassador, [Yemeni PM] Maeen Abdulmalik was assigned to form the government of [President] Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and his advisers, against his will," Karman said Wednesday on Twitter. On Wednesday, Hadi ordered the country's premier, Maeen Abdulmalik, to form a new cabinet in accordance with the Riyadh agreement signed with UAE-backed STC, acceding to a Saudi proposal to its expedite.
Iran launches underground ballistic missiles for first time
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said it launched ballistic missiles from “the depths of the Earth” for the first time, international news agencies reported local media saying.The launch took place, Al Jazeera reported, during the last day of military exercises near Gulf waters.In a statement reported by Al Jazeera, the IRGC said it was “the first time in the world” that such an exercise had been carried out.
Trump suggests postponing Election Day as U.S. economy shows record contraction
US President Donald Trump has suggested postponing November 3 Presidential Election in order to avoid voting by mail, which he has repeatedly called fraudulent, without basis. Mr. Trump tweeted out his suggestion shortly after news broke that the U.S. economy had experienced a record level of contraction in second quarter of this year.“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Trump tweeted just after news emerged that the U.S. economy had shrunk by a post-war record of 32.9% on an annualized basis as per preliminary estimates from Bureau of Economic Analysis. Minutes prior to tweeting out his suggestion, the President had tweeted that voting by mail was a “catastrophic disaster”.“Mail-In Voting is already proving to be a catastrophic disaster. Even testing areas are way off. The Dems talk of foreign influence in voting, but they know that Mail-In Voting is an easy way for foreign countries to enter the race. Even beyond that, there’s no accurate count!” he said on Thursday.
US economy shrank at record-breaking 33% rate last quarter
U.S. economy shrank at 33% annual rate in the April-June quarter — by far the worst quarterly plunge ever — when the viral outbreak shut down businesses, throwing tens of millions out of work and sending unemployment surging to 14.7 %, the government said Thursday.The Commerce Department’s estimate of the second-quarter decline in the gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services, marked the sharpest such drop on records dating to 1947. The previous worst quarterly contraction, a 10 % drop, occurred in 1958 during the Eisenhower administration.AP
Taliban to release all Afghan govt prisoners by Eid
KABUL: Taliban will release all the remaining Afghan government prisoners by Eid as a goodwill gesture, a spokesman of the militant group said."The other side must also complete the process of releasing the pledged 5,000 detainees in accordance with Doha Agreement, and the list, in order to facilitate the start of intra-Afghan talks after Eid," TOLO News quoted Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban's Qatar office, as saying in a tweet on Wednesday.Under US-Taliban peace deal that was signed in Doha, the Afghan government would release 5,000 Taliban members, of which it has so far freed more than 4,400. And the Taliban would release 1,000, of which it has released over 800.IANS
NASA Rover Perseverance blasts off to Mars seeking signs of life
NASA launched its latest Mars rover, dubbed Perseverance, on Thursday, the first step in the space agency’s newest effort to hunt for signs of ancient microbial life and collect samples that will eventually be returned to Earth.The rover blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida atop an Atlas V rocket, beginning its 6 ½ month trip to the red planet. Destined to land in Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, this is the latest effort by US space agency to learn more about the Martian atmosphere and surface. Perseverance is also carrying a small helicopter named Ingenuity, which if successful will be “the first aircraft to fly in a controlled way on another planet,” NASA said. But arguably the most dramatic goal of the mission will be the rover’s attempt to demonstrate a technology that converts carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere into oxygen. Bloomberg
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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:33 PM)