12 August 2020

12 AUG. NEWS: Post about Prophet triggers riots in Bengaluru, 3 killed as police opens fire; CRPF deployed; man behind communal post held. 'Modi govt has endangered ecological security, lives and livelihoods by EIA 2020'. One in 2 youths subject to depression, anxiety says ILO survey on effects of COVID.



12 AUG 2020. 21 ZU AL HIJJAH 1441. Vol-12, No-277


Post about Prophet triggers riots in Bengaluru, 3 killed as police opens fire; CRPF deployed; man behind communal post held




Bengaluru: 3 persons were killed and 3 others grievously injured after the Bengaluru Police opened fire to control riots that broke out late Tuesday, after protests erupted over a social media post allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad. Angry mobs went on a rampage in the Kaval Byrasandra area to protest against the Facebook post, allegedly put up by P. Naveen, nephew of Pulakeshinagar MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy of Congress. 60 police personnel have been left injured after being attacked by mob. Section 144 of CrPC, which prohibits the assembly of more than five people, has now been imposed across the city. After night-long tension following the arson and vandalism in DJ Halli area of Bengaluru, police said Naveen has been arrested. A total of 145 people have been arrested so far in connection with the violence in Bengaluru on Tuesday night. Muzamil Pasha, an SDPI leader has been arrested by police in connection with DJ Halli police station violence in Bengaluru. This has been announced by Mujahid Pasha, convenor of SDPI. Meanwhile, Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa directed police to take strict action against those involved in the incident.As police struggled to contain the vandalism and arson, Karnataka govt gave permission to open fire around midnight as the mob turned too violent. Former minister BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan said the violence was unfortunate. "I am hopeful that police will take action against all those who are responsible for this. I also request everyone to stay calm and maintain peace in the area," Khan tweeted.Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar has said, “I have spoken to our CLP leader Siddaramaiah, we will give full support to government to maintain peace and harmony. I strongly condemn the incident and our party also condemns whatever happened last night. It happened due to a person's post on social media. At this point, it is important to maintain peace.” A senior police official said, “The accused has stated that his account was hacked and he was unaware of uploading the derogatory post. We have retrieved the post which was deleted and a detailed probe is underway. Possibilities of conspiracy cannot be denied at the moment.” Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said police had to resort to firing as a last step to bring the violence under control. “The situation is under control now. 6 more CRPF platoons have been called in from Hyderabad and Chennai to enhance security in Bengaluru. Rapid action force, and Garuda Commandoes have also been deployed in the areas,”he said. Theprint/India Today/Indian Express


‘We live as brothers, sisters’ — Muslims form human chain to save temple amid Bengaluru riots


Bengaluru: A viral video showing Muslim youth forming a human chain to guard a temple during violence that erupted in Bengaluru Tuesday night has emerged on social media. The video shows young men holding hands and ensuring that rioters didn’t attack temple located in Pulakeshinagar. In the video, one can hear people appealing to the protesters and saying — “For God’s sake… Please stay away from here.”  “We have formed this chain to show how we are here for all, but again we do not accept those who are trying to force RSS ideologies on people,” said one of the men who formed the human chain. “We all live as brothers and sisters. We do not have anything against any religion. We are not fighting against any individual or any caste or community. We are only seeking justice as the nephew of MLA Srinivas Murthy has insulted our Prophet. We cannot tolerate that. “This has happened several times earlier. We respect this temple, we respect Hindus. But we are fighting against those who have extremist views against us,” he added.


Delhi riots: HC seeks police reply on Pinjra Tod member''s bail plea


 Delhi High Court has sought the police response on a plea by a member of Pinjra Tod, a women’s collective, seeking bail in a case related to the communal violence in northeast Delhi during protests against CAA. Justice Vibhu Bakhru issued notice to Delhi Police on the plea challenging a trial court’s order which had dismissed the bail application of JNU student Natasha Narwal.“Issue notice. Amit Mahajan, Special PP accepts notice and seeks ten days time to file a status report. Let the same be filed within the said period with a copy to the counsel for the petitioner (Narwal),” the court said and listed the matter for further hearing on August 26. Narwal and another member of the group Devangana Kalita were arrested in the case in May. Kalita has also challenged the trial court’s order denying her bail and the matter is listed for hearing on August 14. PTI


Caravan Reporters Allege Assault, Sexual Harassment In Northeast Delhi; police says will probe before filing FIR


New Delhi: 3 journalists from The Caravan magazine say they were physically assaulted by a mob in Subhash Mohalla in northeast-Delhi on Tuesday afternoon.  At 11:52 pm on Tuesday, Hartosh Singh Bal, political editor of The Caravan, tweeted that despite 2 detailed complaints on assault and sexual harassment by The Caravan reporters, no FIR was registered. On Wednesday morning, Bal told HuffPost India that Delhi Police had not informed them of an FIR in the matter.  A senior police official in northeast Delhi, Ved Prakash Surya, told Indian Express, “They had gone to report on a story and people in the area got annoyed. Police safely evacuated the 3. We got reports they were manhandled but nobody has suffered any major injuries. We will do an inquiry before filing an FIR.” Vinod Jose, Executive Editor of The Caravan, told HuffPostIndia that reporters who were targeted on Tuesday have been contributing to publication’s coverage of the Delhi Riots. “They were told to go back and stop reporting from there,” Jose said. “Caravan has been consistently at it in terms of reporting on Delhi Riots and the targeted violence. The stories were revealing names including one or 2 parliamentarians and police officers.”A Twitter thread, put out by New Delhi-based magazine at 12:01 am on Wednesday, said a mob “physically assaulted its staffers, threatened to kill them, and used communal slurs,” and “one among the mob, dressed in a saffron kurta, claimed he was ‘BJP general secretary. ’” 2 reporters were identified as Prabhjit Singh and Shahid Tantray.


Journalist Tandon questioned in connection with Delhi riots


Delhi Police Special Cell on Monday questioned veteran journalist Prashant Tandon in connection with communal riots that broke out in the Capital in February. His mobile phone has also been seized. Tandon said that he was primarily questioned because he supported the protests against CAA, NRC and NPR. The questioning mostly centred around 2 meetings and a WhatsApp group, he said.  54-year-old journalist residing in east Delhi said that he was served notice on Friday to appear on Saturday. But as he had prior commitments, he requested for a change to 11a.m.on Monday. Tandon was interviewed by three officers, including two Inspectors and one DCP, one after the other. He was finally dropped home by the police around 10:30 pm


'Only His Shoes Survived': Victims Struggle to Recover from Horrors of Delhi Riots


New Delhi:Rukshana Bano's husband was among the 53 people killed in the violence in north east Delhi. Almost 6 months later, there has been no progress in punishing the guilty. On Feb.24, Rukhsana Bano received a call from an unknown number. Violence had erupted in Northeast Delhi and she was worried about her husband, from whom she had not heard for a while. Irritated, she answered on the last ring. It was her husband Firoz, calling to assure her that he was safe and had managed to escape from a mob that had assaulted him. Sighing in relief, Rukhsana calmed her family down. Though she did not know it then, it would be the last time she spoke to her husband.Firoz Ahmed was returning home to Loni in Ghaziabad on the day riots broke out in Northeast Delhi, unaware of what lay ahead for him. He was stopped by a mob, who heckled him and asked him to show his ID cards. After confirming that he was a Muslim, the mob assaulted Firoz. With a broken leg, a severely battered arm and a blackened eye, he dragged himself along the Pushta Road to Shaheed Bhagat Singh Colony in Karawal Nagar, where he hid in an auto.A man called Tauseef Alam and his family sheltered Firoz in their house. They nursed him, fed him and made him call his wife. The next day, on February 25, the horror of the riots came to visit Alam’s home. Fanatic rioters raided Alam’s home, looting and vandalising it. They found Firoz hiding behind a bed and dragged him outside by the broken leg. Alam’s sister Akida Khatoon, an eyewitness to the incident, recounts the words of the mob which assaulted Firoz. Akida says, “They hit him with pipes and rods. They said, ‘Mullay tujhe azaadi chahiye, hum detay hain tujhay azaadi (You want freedom, we will give it to you). They then threw him in an auto and set fire to it.” Speaking to The Wire, Anis, Firoz’s brother-in-law said, “We were only able to recover Firoz’s shoes from Alam’s house.” Still in shock, the family began visiting various hospitals to see if Firoz’s body was there. thewire


Probe officers of Delhi riots, Bhima Koregaon cases get HM’s excellence medal


A Delhi Police officer, who is heading the February last Delhi riots probe team, and an NIA officer leading Bhima Koregaon (Maharashtra) investigation are among the 121 recipients of Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation that was announced Wednesday.Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajesh Deo heads the Special Investigation Team constituted to probe the riots in northeast Delhi, where more than 50 people were killed. Mr. Deo, who was also probing the violence in Jamia Millia Islamia, was reprimanded by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in February.




Modi govt has endangered ecological security, lives and livelihoods by EIA 2020: Congress


Congress has hit out at the Modi government over the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 2020 (EIA 2020) which it said was an assault on India’s ecological security, environment, flora & fauna, forests, fragile ecosystems, millions of poor-Adivasis & disadvantaged and future of the generations to come.Randeep Singh Surjewala, in-charge communications, AICC said, “‘Suit-Boot Sarkar’ has placed ‘money over environment’, ‘expediency over transparency’ and ‘profit over preservation’.”


Massive protest by AASU against CAA and EIA in Tezpur


Tezpur: AASU, Sonitpur District Committee and Tezpur chapter on Monday staged protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), 2020 here at Mission Chariali. AASU activists formed human chains and the air resonated with slogans. They staged a one-hour protest programme at Mission Charial NH-15 from 11 am. More than 200 AASU activists joined the protest. The protesters said, "We oppose CAA tooth and nail, and want its complete withdrawal from the region. The controversial Act will definitely destroy the identity of the indigenous people of the State. It is a ploy of Centre to destroy the identity of the greater Assamese society. They also demand for withdrawal of the proposed draft EIA. The draft EIA notification-2020 is a serious threat to the environment."Sentinel Assam


Draft EIA is A Blueprint for Indiscriminate Loot of the Nation's Resources: SIO


New Delhi: Studeints Islamic Organisation (SIO) of India has said that “draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), 2020 is a virtual blueprint for indiscriminate loot of the nation’s precious natural resources”.“While effective utilisation of resources is a necessity for development, the draft EIA proposes a scheme that drastically scales down environmental safeguards and accountability at all levels”, says SIO in a press statement.“It allows post-facto clearance, effectively meaning large and sensitive projects can begin operations without clearance and drastically reduces the scope of public hearings. It bars citizens from reporting violations and restricts the scope for the public to seek interventions from NGT and other authorities. The categories of projects exempted from EIA process has been vastly expanded without disclosing the rationale and criterion of exemption”, India’s biggest Muslim students’ it said.


EIA draft a threat to sustainable growth goal: Aaditya Thackeray


Mumbai :Objecting to draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 2020 issued by Centre, state Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray has said that it fails to align with the 2016 Paris climate agreement and poses a great threat to the goal of sustainable growth.In a letter to Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, on August 10 — a day before the deadline to file objections and suggestions — Aaditya raised several issues, including the exemption being granted to environmentally destructive activities such as coal prospecting, crushing and screening of iron ore as well as seismic surveys for oil and gas exploration.


Contempt plea says EIA draft not in 22 languages, Delhi HC seeks Centre reply


Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to reply to a plea seeking contempt action against it for alleged “wilful disobedience” of a judicial order to ensure that the draft EIA notification, 2020, is published in all 22 languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution within 10 days from June 30Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva issued notice to the Environment Ministry, which was directed by the court on June 30 to ensure that draft EIA is published in all 22 Indian languages within 10 days, and sought its response to the contempt plea by August 17.


'Am I a Saudi citizen?': Asaduddin Owaisi when asked to condemn Islamic theocracies


On Aug.5, PM Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the upcoming Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. A video from an interview between Asaduddin Owaisi and India Today's Rajdeep Sardesai has come back under the spotlight. MIM Chief can be heard stating that the government should not spend public money on any religion.This is followed by the journalist querying whether Owasi would comment on the blending of religion and politics in other countries such Pakistan or Saudi Arabia."Am I a Saudi citizen? Am I an Iranian citizen? What makes you ask this question? I take strong exception to Rajdeep Sardesai asking this question," Owaisi retorted. He opined that it was because he was a Muslim that such a question had been asked in the first place.Since being posted to Twitter, the video clip has sparked a debate of sorts."An Indian Muslim should wake up every morning and start apologising for every criminal act in the world in every Islamic country. That is a privilege accorded to Muslims in India if they must question fundamentalism in their own country,"commented Rana Ayyub."Give me just one reason why Indian Muslims be made answerable for what Saudi or Pakistan do? Is Indian secularism defined by how other nations treat their citizens? As citizens of India, Muslims want justice and equality as promised to them in d constitution Nothing less, nothing more," commented The Wire's Arfa Khanum. Sardesai has attempted to clarify on the topic, condeding that the questions were "poorly framed". When one suggested that the journalist had taken a stance based on his channel's political and ideological position, he was quick to clear the air."Nothing ‘right’ or ‘ left’ here. I concede questions was poorly framed and Asaduddin Owaisi has no reason to be held accountable in any way for what happens in a Saudi/Iran, but he is every bit accountable if his party plays minority politics: We must reject majoritarianism and minorityism," he tweeted.


Contempt proceedings sought against Muslim leaders for alleged statements against SC’s Ayodhya judgment


New Delhi: A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against some Muslim leaders for allegedly making contemptuous statements against the Ayodhya verdict. The petition filed by advocate Vineet Jindal seeks contempt proceedings against Samajwadi Party MP Shafikur Rehman, Maulana Mohd Wali Rahmani, General Secretary of AIMPLB and Sajid Rashidi, president of All India Imam Association.According to Jindal’s petition, when the foundation of the Lord Ram Temple was laid, alleged contemnors started scandalizing the authority of the apex court by saying: “BJP and RSS on strength of their power have taken decision in their favour from the court and laid down the foundation of temple and killed secularism.”It has further been submitted that “the alleged contemnors are trying to push in the mind of minorities that the judgement of this Hon’ble Court has been obtained by influence of BJP and RSS and thus they are trying to lower the authority of this Hon’ble Court.”India Legal Bureau


Patna Sahib former jathedar faces excommunication calls after Ayodhya event


Amritsar: Dubbing former jathedar of Takht Sri Harimandir Ji, Patna Sahib, Giani Iqbal Singh as a ‘keshdhari’ Hindu, US-based Sikh body American Sikh Council (ASC) has appealed to Akal Takht acting jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh to excommunicate him from the Panth.An ASC office-bearer, who didn’t wish to give his name owing to policy reasons, told TOI on Tuesday, “We are ashamed to call him a Sikh as he is a keshdhari Hindu, an agent of RSS, who has no knowledge of Sikh history. We appeal to the Akal Takht jathedar to declare him tankhayia (guilty of religious misconduct) and expelled from the Sikh Panth.” Iqbal came under fire for calling 10th Sikh master Guru Grobind Singh a descendant of Luv, elder son of Ram, during the bhoomi pujan ceremony of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya on August 5. He had said, “Maryada purshottam Ram Chandar ji ke jo bade puttar Luv they, unke vanshaj hai Guru Gobind Singh Ji, toh woh hamaare to purvaj huye (Guru Gobind Singh was the descendant of Luv, elder son of Ram, so they are our ancestors).” None of Indian Sikh political or religious leadership objected to Iqbal’s comments.The acting jathedar had skipped the bhoomi pujan event despite invition to attend it.Sources informed that various Sikh bodies outside India were lobbying for strict religious action against Iqbal in the light of a sandesh (message) issued by then Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti against Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, an affiliate of RSS. TOI


Meghalaya BJP files complaint with UNHRC on converting


Shillong:BJP in Meghalaya has lodged an official complaint with Chair-Rapporteur Working Committee of Communications, UNHRC, Changrok Soh against the conversion of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia into a Mosque and the start of Islamic prayers there. “There have been many instances where an original place of worship of one religion was converted into a place of worship of another religion by some theocratic leader. Such conversions are a direct violation of one of the most basic human rights – the freedom to practise religion without causing harm to others,” Meghalaya BJP president, Ernest Mawrie stated in his complaint to Chair-Rapporteur Changrok Soh said. “UNHRC should intervene in all such cases around the world, and work to revert the status of such converted places of worship to their original faith and form,” he said.UNI


Ram Temple Trust gets nearly Rs 60 crore, calls from NRIs for donations


New Delhi: Nearly Rs 60 crore has already poured into the account of Sri Ramjanambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust which is inundated with donations, small and big, and queries for the same since Bhumi Pujan ceremony by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Aug.5. At the Trust’s office in Ayodhya, the office in-charge Prakash Gupta told ET on phone that they are getting money orders and cheques from people across the country, online bank transfers, and through PayTm and BHIM UPI too. Trust is also fielding many phone calls from abroad from NRIs on how they can also donate for the Temple’s construction and is applying for FCRA permission to Union Home Ministry now and will notify an NRI account in PNB for getting donations from abroad once the permission comes, Gupta said. The biggest donation so far is from disciples of Morari Bapu who have donated Rs 11 Cr, with another Rs 7 Cr from his foreign disciples being on hold due to lack of FCRA permission so far.ET


Sunni Waqf Board's trust to open bank accounts, seek donations for Ayodhya mosque


Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF), the trust constituted by the Sunni Waqf Board for the construction of a mosque in Ayodhya, is inviting donations and will open two bank accounts for the purpose. The trust will also set up a website with an inbuilt gateway to receive donations online."The Trust has decided to open accounts in two private sector banks for receiving donations. Both will be current accounts. Complying with the Supreme Court's verdict, the Trust will construct a mosque, a hospital, community kitchen, and a library on the 5-acre land allotted to the Waqf Board at Dhannipur village in Ayodhya district," said Trust Secretary Athar Hussain.A financial officer too has been appointed for audit and keep the records of funds received, he said. "... even non-Muslims are welcome to donate. We are already receiving calls from those willing to donate for the proposed mosque and other public facilities."IANS


‘Don’t equate Hindi with nationalism’: BJP’s SM Krishna on airport official’s remark to Kanimozhi


BJP leader and former Minister of External Affairs SM Krishna has asked people not to equate Hindi with nationalism and asserted that not knowing the language does not make one “any less Indian”. His remark came days after a Central Industrial Security Force officer at Chennai airport allegedly asked DMK MP Kanimozhi if she was Indian because she did not know Hindi. Krishna said he was dismayed by the way Kanimozhi was treated at the airport. “Hindi is another Indian language and nothing more,” he tweeted. “Let’s not equate Hindi with nationalism.”


Nagaland talks: Rebel group NSCN (IM) demands Governor RN Ravi’s removal as interlocutor


National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), or NSCN (IM), has launched a sharp attack on Governor RN Ravi, accusing him of creating tensions among the parties involved in peace negotiations. Ravi is also the government’s interlocutor for Naga peace talks. The group demanded that the Centre appoint a new interlocutor to take the peace talks forward. “Indian government should come out with an undertaking that FA [Framework Agreement] is still alive in its original form and will be handled by somebody other than RN Ravi, who is sensitive enough to understand and respect what has been achieved during the past 23 years”, the group said in a statement. Representatives of the group are presently in Delhi to hold talks with the Centre.


UN: will provide humanitarian aid to communities worst-affected by floods in India


UN has said it would provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable communities in India who have been worst-affected by heavy rain and flooding in the region. It also announced a $40 million (approximately Rs 300 crore) response plan to help over 1 million people in Bangladesh, who are experiencing the worst and longest monsoon flooding in years.At a press briefing, UN Secretary-General Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said that rainy season in India has reportedly claimed more than 770 lives. “According to authorities, over 5,00,000 people have been evacuated,” he added. “UN stands ready to provide humanitarian support to the most vulnerable and affected communities in India.”


3 policemen, 5 others arrested for robbery attempt in Delhi


3 Delhi Police personnel along with five others have been arrested for allegedly trying to rob a businessman at gunpoint in south Delhi’s Mahipalpur area, officials said. Sandeep, Manu and Amit are the arrested policemen. One of them is posted at Special Cell of Delhi Police, they said. According to the police, Naveen Sehrawat, director of a business firm, lodged a report on Sunday alleging that four men barged into his office when he was busy working with his staff. The men told him that they were police officials and threatened him to hand over all the valuables.PTI


Odisha makes Aadhaar mandatory for pension, 11 lakh pensioners could lose benefits


More than 11 lakh pensioners could lose their benefits after Odisha government’s decision to restrict the payment of pensions to only those whose accounts are ‘Aadhaar verified’. The government had sent out letters in July and August underscoring need for an Aadhaar card to get the pension under National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) and Madhu Babu Pension Yojana (MBPY).In both the July and August letters from the government to all the districts, Odisha has made Aadhaar mandatory as proof of identity to get the pension. This comes about a month after the starvation death of a tribal widow Dukhi Jani, whose name was struck off pension food ration lists due to the non-seeding of her Aadhaar card with her ration card.In July 2020, in light of the pandemic, the Odisha government announced a “one time” payment of Rs. 1000. However, mandatory Aadhaar linkage and verification threatens to cut even this tenuous line of support.


Angry BSNL employees’ union deplores Hedge’s statement, says BJP leader exposed his ignorance


Hitting back at the controversial BJP leader Anant Kumar Hegde who called state owned BSNL employees “traitors”, BSNL employees union said BJP leader actually exposed his ignorance about the BSNL and its patriotic initiatives. Deploring Hegde’s statement, All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) said, “Whenever, natural calamities like cyclone, floods, etc., struck the nation, it was BSNL which provided service for relief and rescue operations, while the private telecom companies used to shutdown their services”.“Branding the BSNL employees as traitors, only exposes his ignorance about BSNL and its employees,” said AUAB, underscoring apathy on part of the government.


Assam BJP MLA booked for calling scholar, Padma Bhushan awardee ‘intellectual jihadi’


New Delhi: Multiple FIRs have been lodged against Assam’s Hojai MLA Shiladitya Dev for his alleged derogatory remarks against Syed Abdul Malik, a noted scholar and ex president of the Assam Sahitya Sabha.Dev had, last week, allegedly said that Malik was an “intellectual jihadi” after a visit to the Haragouri Devalaya, a renowned Hindu temple in the state.Malik, who died in 2000, was a recipient of the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan.On Sunday, Assam Congress’ minority wing filed an FIR against Dev for fanning communal tensions. Separate FIRs were subsequently filed by the All Assam Goria-Moria-Deshi Jatiya Parishad, All Assam Goria Yuva-Chatra Parishad and Asom Songrami Yuva Manch.The All Assam Students’ Union and Assam Sahitya Sabha have also slammed the legislator for his comments.


Another cough syrup by same Himachal firm, same expiry lands kid in ICU


Shimla:For the last 20 days, a 2-year-old girl from Baddi in Himachal Pradesh is battling for life in an intensive care unit at PGIMER in Chandigarh, where she was admitted after developing renal failure. Her medical report from a few days ago says she is not passing urine due to deranged renal functions and has an altered sensorium (sensory apparatus of a body, or the ‘seat of sensation’), due to which the “critically sick” child has been put on mechanical ventilation, dialysis and medications. To find out the cause of her condition, PGI authorities tested the drugs she had been administered by a doctor in Baddi, and a preliminary assessment found diethylene glycol or DEG, a toxic chemical compound known to attack the renal system, in a cough syrup she had consumed.



India-Nepal set for high-level meeting on 17 August, the first since map row


New Delhi: Come 17 August, India and Nepal are set to hold their first high-level meeting since the map row erupted in May, ThePrint has learnt.According to sources, the meeting will involve India’s Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra and Nepal Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi, but discussions will centre on some of the ongoing projects that New Delhi is developing in Himalayan nation, including large-scale connectivity and infrastructure development projects.Although the first high-level meeting between India and Nepal since Kathmandu released a controversial map that claims 3 Indian territories, the interaction is a “routine” affair that takes place every few months and not the “beginning towards a way forward” on the border dispute, sources said.“This is not a dialogue per se. This is routine. There’s no headquarters component. It is an existing mechanism to review projects,” said a top official who refused to be identified.“We have regular meetings. This is a periodic review we do every six months. Usual and routine. Nothing more, nothing less,” said another official.


Nepal halves entry points for Indians, extends suspension of flights until Aug 31


Kathmandu:Nepal has decided to halve the number of designated entry points for Indian nationals to 10 from the existing 20 and extended the suspension of domestic and international flights until August 31 due to the spike in coronavirus cases in the country.A Cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister's Official Residence in Baluwatar on Monday evening made decisions on the recommendations made by COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC). The government had partially lifted the lockdown 120 days after it was first enforced on March 24 to contain the spread of COVID-19.The government had then announced its plans to resume long-distance public transportation services, domestic and international flights from August 17.PTI


China wants Nepal NGO to audit, asks 'Why are Gurkhas joining Indian Army?'timesnownews


China pulls down yet another dirty trick against India. According to Intelligence reports, Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu has asked the China Study Centre NGO to find out why people of Nepal are joining the Indian Army. They also asked, what was the socio-economic impact on Nepal amidst India-China standoff.The Gurkha regiment is a pillar of strength and security of the Indian Army. The Gorkha Rifles also has the honour of producing three Indian Army Chiefs – General SHFJ Manekshaw, General Dalbir Singh and General Bipin Rawat.


No progress made in India-China major general-level talks, all eyes now on diplomatic parleys


New Delhi: Major general-level talks held between India and China Sunday over the tensions in the Depsang Plains region along LAC achieved no progress, ThePrint has learnt.All eyes are now on the next round of diplomatic parleys for LAC disengagement process to gain some traction.There has not been any significant change in the ground situation in Ladakh, where the Chinese continue to occupy areas on the Indian side of LAC, especially near Pangong Tso, and block Indian patrols in the Depsang Plains.“There has been no progress made even in the major general-level talks. There is not much change on the ground. We are looking forward to WMCC (Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs) talks. Nothing is planned as of now, but dates could be fixed very soon,” a government source told ThePrint. Sources also said no corps commander-level talks are being planned as of now. “The focus is on diplomatic parleys and only then will the focus shift to military-level talks,” a source said.




Galwan incursion planned in advance, Chinese deployed T-15 tanks in Tibet in January: DNA India


The violent stand-off between Indian and Chinese border troops at Galway Valley in Eastern Ladakh was not just a mere coincidence, but a well-planned strategy in advance by China. The neighbouring country had already deployed the latest technology equipped weapons in some areas. According to reports by Indian security agencies and US Intelligence agencies, China had made a lot of preparations before infiltrating Finger 4 to Galwan and Hot Spring areas.


Pak minister’s cancelled briefing on Saudi ties hints the tiff just got wider: HT report


Islamabad: Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is in the eye of a diplomatic storm for his remarks against OIC for its inaction on Kashmir issue, which were seen as an indirect attack on Saudi Arabia, which leads the group.On Tuesday, he postponed his press conference for the second time amid reports that Saudi Arabia, a close ally of Pakistan, reacted strongly to his statements. He is understood to have called the press conference to explain his remarks in a bid to placate the kingdom. The postponement suggests Pakistan would have to do more to rectify the situation. One observer has said his job is now on the line.Last week, Qureshi asked OIC to “stop dilly-dallying” on convening a meeting of its Council of Foreign Ministers on Kashmir.  He said if OIC fails to summon the council of foreign ministers meeting, Pakistan would be ready to go for a session outside OIC. Pakistan’s Foreign Office, asked about Qureshi’s remarks, had later insisted that it was not against diplomatic norms.Qureshi said Pakistan skipped Kuala Lumpur Summit last Dec.on a Saudi request and now Pakistani Muslims are demanding Riyadh “show leadership on the issue”.“We have our own sensitivities. You have to realise this. Gulf countries should understand this,” the foreign minister said, adding that he could no more indulge in diplomatic niceties.Qureshi made it clear that he was not being emotional and fully understood the implications of his statement. “It’s right, I’m taking a position despite our good ties with Saudi Arabia,” he said.HT

Saudi ends a loan and associated oil supply to Pakistan following threats to split OIC: ET



Abdullahs’ habeas corpus petitions: To pleas for release of 16 NC leaders, J&K admin says none detained


Srinagar:Jammu and Kashmir administration has told the high court that none of 15 NC leaders, for whom party president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah have filed habeas corpus petitions seeking their release, had been detained. NC said UT administration’s response was “fallacious and far from reality”, and that the “excuses put forth by the administration in the court of law are misleading and contemptuous”.Farooq and Omar Abdullah had filed petitions in the J&K High Court in July seeking the release of 16 NC leaders and functionaries from house arrest, pointing out that they had remained in detention for more than a year. One of them, Syed Mohammad Shafi, died after the petitions were filed. NC’s counsel Shariq Riyaz said they would file a rejoinder ahead of the next hearing on August 24.


J&K Chief Secretary Subramanyam must cite instances of corruption & fraud by past govts: Saifuddin Soz


Former Union Minister Prof. Saifuddin Soz on Wednesday condemned the recent statement made by J&K Chief Secretary BVR Subramanyam citing corruption in the state as the reason for its backwardness.“Now that Chief Secretary Subramanyam is openly indulging in misconceived political ponzism, his stance must be defeated as fallacious. I think the Kashmir mainstream political class must reject the fallacious concept of Sumbramanyam and ask him to cite examples of J&K Govt. having been managed in the past corruptly and fraudulently,” he said in a media statement released on Wednesday.“I have never been part of the J&K Govt. in my life, although I have been a member of the political class from yester years to the present times.I am certain that Subramanyam has wrongly decided to give grist to RSS/BJP propaganda machine simply to make ‘hay while the sun of political patronage is shining’,” Soz said.






Up Against BJP's Formidable Hindutva Architecture, Rivals Smell Opportunity with Brahmin Discontent Brewing in UP


With less than 18 months to go for UP assembly polls expected in early 2022, it’s the issue of 'Brahmin discontent' that is increasingly becoming a political hot potato under Yogi Adityananth's rule in the state. It has raised concern among the ruling BJP's top leadership and has given the Opposition an opportunity to make some inroads.The question is will the discontent amount to fissures in BJP-RSS’s strongly knit Hindutva architecture or will it be managed through strong religious projection with issues like the Ram temple construction in Ayodhya. At the moment, just days after a highly glorified Bhoomi Pujan event, which also got unprecedented media attention, it seems to have not cut much ice with the electorate. And rival parties have jumped in to tap the discontent.While the Samajwadi Party has announced the construction of the tallest Parashuram statue in Lucknow and may go for more likenesses of the revered Brahmin deity across different districts, BSP chief Mayawati is not far behind.On Sunday, she hurriedly held a media reaction, reminding Brahmins of their past association and being stakeholders in political power sharing in 2007, when the party had stitched a successful rainbow coalition of Brahmins and Dalits.While being a committed socialist, personally not being driven by caste politics, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav is said to be keeping a close eye on changing caste dynamics in the state. A highly placed source in the party said, “Akhilesh ji believes in politics of development. Our government’s tenure form 2012 to 2017 is testimony to the work done. However, in a state where caste has for long been a strong antithesis to communal politics, realities of castes cannot be ignored.Congress, too, has not been lacking in this initiative to tap into alleged Brahmin discontent. Ex-union minister and Young Turk of the party Jitin Prasada has already donned Brahmin cap. Devendra Shukla, general secretary of Akhil Bhartiya Brahma Samaj, said, “Brahmins had a key role in BJP’s success in 2017 state elections, but the community as a whole feels neglected. Even the Brahmin leadership within BJP feels marginalised. In 2019 general elections, the community had forgotten the discrimination and had supported BJP, but in 2022 the community is in a mood to explore new options." news18


Failure of ‘Operation Lotus’ in Rajasthan was defeat of ‘political perversity’: Sena


Shiv Sena on Wednesday said failure of ‘Operation Lotus’ in Rajasthan was the defeat of “political perversity”, days after a meeting between Congress leaders Sachin Pilot and Rahul Gandhi signalled an amicable resolution of the Rajasthan political crisis.An editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot performed “an operation on ‘Operation Lotus’ and taught BJP a lesson”. ‘Operation Lotus’ refers to the alleged attempts by the BJP to engineer defections from other parties.PTI


Chandrashekhar Azad’s Bhim Army to contest all seats in Bihar elections


Patna:Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad Tuesday announced that his Azad Samaj Party will contest the upcoming election on all 243 seats in Bihar. He said there were “a lot of Bahujans” in the state, and they will be able to “stop the double-engine” JD(U)-BJP government. Speaking to reporters, Azad said though his entry for the upcoming Bihar polls was belated because of the Covid crisis, he was confident of mobilising his cadre. “We will contest all seats and divulge our strategy at the right time,” he said.



One in 2 youths subject to depression, anxiety: ILO survey on effects of COVID-19


Half of the world's youth population are subject to anxiety or depression-causing circumstances and more than a third are uncertain of their future career prospects due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey by the International Labour Organisation.The ILO's 'Youth and COVID-19: impacts on jobs, education, rights and mental well-being' survey found that if urgent action is not taken, youths are at the risk of suffering severe and long-lasting adverse impacts from the pandemic."COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives. Even before the onset of the crisis, the social and economic integration of young people was an ongoing challenge. Now, unless urgent action is taken, young people are likely to suffer severe and long-lasting impacts from the pandemic, the report said.The survey found that one in 2 (i.e., 50 per cent) young people across the world are possibly subject to anxiety or depression, while 17 per cent are probably affected by it. PTI


64% Indians with disabilities facing financial difficulties during pandemic: Survey


New Delhi: A nationwide survey conducted by EVARA Foundation, Dashamlav and WeCapable has revealed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown on lives of those with disabilities. The total pool of the survey includes more than 2,000 respondents.Published on 11 August, the study, conducted between 18 and 27 July, reveals that almost 75 per cent of people with disabilities are living with emotional challenges such as anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. The report also notes that “nearly 43.6% of the total respondents of the present survey are not sharing their problems or emotional state with anyone”. The survey recommends that the state government provide psychological counselling to combat the situation.The report states that beyond emotional challenges, 64 per cent of people with disabilities have also faced financial crises, with nearly 60 per cent of them having zero income. It is important to underscore that “64.4% of respondents have earned a graduate degree and above”.



61 security personnel among 96 fresh COVID cases in Arunachal


96 more people, including 61 security personnel, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Arunachal Pradesh, taking the northeastern state’s caseload to 2,327 today. According to data, 337 (52.9%) of the total 637 active cases in Arunachal are from the forces, including Army, CRPF, BSF and others. In Mizoram, of 326 active cases, 201 (61.7%) are from the forces, including Assam Rifles, BSF, CRPF and others. In Meghalaya, 255 (40.7%) of the 626 active cases are from BSF and other forces. Nagaland has reported 3,011 total cases so far, of which 1,372(45.6%) belong to the forces.


Number of deaths by suicide on the rise in Jharkhand amidst COVID


Yet another young girl, belonging to a well-to-do family in Ranchi and pursuing a medical course, committed suicide on Tuesday by jumping into a well. On Wednesday, Manoj Mahto, hanged himself in his house. There have been numerous such cases happening in Jharkhand and as per police records, every day 5 suicide deaths are being reported in Jharkhand for one reason or the other during the period of COVID-19 pandemic.It is widely believed here that the Modi government’s utter failure to address mental health issues on an urgent basis seems to have caused increasing number of suicides, not only in metro cities but in a place like Jharkhand which is considered as a land of salubrious climate where the tribal community, in particular, love festivals, dance and music. But now the ‘Happy Go Lucky’ populace here is found resorting to committing suicides and criminal activities . A majority of the victims in the state are from the younger generation.The cases of suicide in Jharkhand have risen during the past two years for which data is available before the advent of COVID 19. Whereas in 2018 it ended with number of cases standing at 1317, in 2019 it rose to 1646, when the COVID-19 pandemic had yet to hit the world. However, with the dawn of the pandemic, the number of suicide cases has gone up enormously with a data of 1010 cases during a period of merely six months, which comes to 5 people killing themselves every day.


Pranab Mukherjee’s condition remains critical, Sharmistha says ‘may God do whatever is best for him’


Former President Pranab Mukherjee’s health condition continues to remain critical, the Army’s R&R Hospital said on Wednesday. Mukherjee is presently “haemodynamically stable” and on the ventilator, hospital added. Haemodynamically, in medical parlance, means there is a stable blood flow and provides a steady supply of oxygen to all tissues and organs in the body. The former president’s daughter Sharmistha tweeted: “Last year, Aug.8 was one of the happiest day for me as my dad received Bharat Ratna. Exactly a year later, on Aug.10, he fell critically ill. May God do whatever is best for him and give me strength to accept both joys and sorrows of life with equanimity. I sincerely thank all 4 their concerns,”she tweeted.


Siddaramaiah tests negative, will be discharged today


Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah tested negative for coronavirus. Siddaramaiah has “completely recovered”, and according to doctors the throat swab and blood test conducted for the second time, have come negative, a statement said. Leader of Opposition in the state assembly celebrated his 72nd birthday on Wednesday. CM BS Yediyurappa, who was also undergoing treatment for the viral infection at the same Manipal Hospital was discharged on Monday after recovery.


India Coronavirus Updates


India’s COVID-19 tally went past 23 lakh on Wednesday, with a single day increase of 60,963 cases. With 834 casualties in the last 24 hours, the toll has now climbed to 46,091. Of the 23,29,638 cases, 6,43,948 are still active, while 16,39,599 patients have recovered. According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 2,60,15,297 samples have been tested up to August 11 with 7,33,449 samples being tested on Tuesday.


Expert panel to discuss vaccines today


A panel of experts will meet today to discuss procurement and administration of Covid-19 vaccines. The meeting will be chaired by Dr V K Paul, a member of Niti Aayog.


743 Employees of Tirupati Temple Test Corona Positive: No Case for Sealing Off?


New Delhi : The famous Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirumala town in Andhra Pradesh, popularly known as Tirupati temple, has emerged as a major Covid-19 hotspot. Media reports say 743 employees of the temple have tested corona positive ever since its gates were reopened to the public on June 11 after 3 months of lockdown. The reports quoting temple officials also said that 2 of its staff and one former employee had died of Covid-19.“3 employees succumbed to the virus and we are giving the best possible arrangements and treatment to all our employees in the Covid centres,” New Indian Express quoted Anil Kumar Singh, an officer of the temple known officially as TTD, as saying.The figures are alarming. The temple official has talked only of the cases involving its employees. But there is no record of the number of devotees who have come in contact with these employees. Singh said about 2.38 lakh pilgrims from different parts of the country had darshan of Lord Venkateswara in July alone. The news from Tirumala has raised many eyebrows. “Curiously, even as Covid-19 cases keep on shooting up, the temple remains open. After the death of a former head priest on July 17, an adviser of the trust and others urged the temple’s authorities to shut for some time. However, the temple continued to allow devotees in. Critics blamed the temple for risking lives so it could keep earning revenue,” writes journalist Shoaib Daniyal in Scroll.in. He also says that it is difficult to avoid comparing Tirupati to another religious site that emerged as a hotspot early on in the pandemic: Tablighi Jamaat headquarters in Delhi.Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat President Navaid Hamid, too, has raised the same question through a tweet: “743 #TTD staff test positive for Covid-19; 3 dead. Nobody knows about the status of 2.38 lakh devotees who visited TTD. They are not #Jamatis but victims of the deadly virus as the Jamatis were & need prayers of all, not abuses as bigots had hurled on Jamatis.”Nizamuddin headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat continues to be sealed till date. But the temple has not been sealed off and there is no such demand from any quarter. Clarion India


Surat: Rapid Antigen Tests outside temples and mosques in Rander


Surat :With the rise in number of Covid-19 cases in Rander, the Surat Municipal Corporation has started Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) outside temples and mosques where the footfall is high in Rander as well as Adajan.Rander, which was the first zone to go under containment in Surat, is now second only to diamond hub Katargam, which has the highest number of cases in the district. Rander zone has so far recorded 1,656 positive cases, while Katargam recorded 2,572.SMC commissioner BN Pani called a meeting with Rander zonal head CY Bhatt and advised him to implement self-lockdown for shops and business establishments during public holidays and Sundays.


Jammu and Kashmir govt issues guidelines on reopening of religious places from August 16


Policemen and soldiers patrol a road in Srinagar. Govt has allowed to reopen religious places from August 16 onwards. Religious places and places of worship within the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will re-open from August 16, 2020, J&K government informed on Tuesday. The government has made the installation and use of Aarogya Setu App as mandatory for all visitors. However, it said, touching statues, idols or holy books will not be permitted. In fresh guidelines, the Jammu and Kashmir government said:


J&K allows 5,000 pilgrims daily into Vishno Devi shrine


Jammu:Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday decided to allow a maximum of 5,000 pilgrims daily into the Vishno Devi shrine in Trikuta Hills near Katra from August 16 to September 30, days after it announced that places of worship across J&K would be re-opened to the public from August 16. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the order, issued by the secretary of the State Executive Committee of Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Dept, read: “There shall be a ceiling of maximum 5,000 pilgrims per day till Sept.30 this year.” It added that of the 5,000 pilgrims every day, a maximum of 500 pilgrims every day could be from outside the UT.



Andhra: 10 arrested for selling fake sanitiser mixed with methanol that killed 16 in July


Andhra Pradesh Police has said 10 people have been arrested for illegally distributing spurious sanitiser blended with methanol that killed at least 16 people in Prakasam district in July, reported PTI. Those who died had consumed the concoction, either mixed with alcohol or water, as an alternative to liquor as wine shops were closed due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. Prakasam SP Siddharth Kaushal said a special investigation team of the district police found that a particular sanitiser, sold under the name of “Perfect Gold”, caused the deaths as it was made of methanol instead of ethanol. Police first identified the people involved in procuring raw materials for the sanitiser, making and selling it. One Sale Srinivas alias Jajula of Vikarabad district in Telangana, along with his brother Siva Kumar, made the sanitiser illegally and sold it. They had rented a room in Hyderabad city.One Kesav Agarwal was responsible for the distribution of spurious product while Md Dawood and Md Hazi Sab of Jeedimetla in Hyderabad supplied the methanol and other material to Srinivas, said the police.


Coronavirus changed 'great' relationship with China: Trump


US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping has frayed in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic and that he has not spoken to his Chinese counterpart for a long time."I used to have a very good relationship with him," Trump told Fox Sports Radio, citing their phase one trade deal hammered out last year and signed in early 2020. "I had a great relationship with President Xi. I like him, but I don't feel the same way now."Trump said his feelings changed amid COVID-19.


India, US and China generating most Covid-related rumours: study


Misinformation, rumours, stigma, and conspiracy theories related to Covid-19 pandemic have been spreading in at least 25 languages in 87 countries, according to a new study. Most of the rumours were identified from India, while US, China, Spain, Indonesia and Brazil also had their share of misinformation, the report said.The study, published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Monday, said out of the 2,276 reports for which text ratings were available, claims in 1,865 of them (around 82 per cent) were found to be false. Out of 2,311 reports related to the novel coronavirus, 89 per cent were classified as rumours, 7.8 per cent were conspiracy theories and 3.5 per cent were stigma.


WHO in contact with Russia on new COVID-19 vaccine: spokesman


 WHO is in close contact with Russia regarding a possible pre-qualification of world's first COVID-19 vaccine, a WHO spokesman said."We are in close contact with the Russian health authorities and discussions are underway regarding a possible pre-qualification of the vaccine by WHO," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said at a virtual press briefing on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.IANS



Israel begins bulldozing villagers' homes in West Bank; Palestinian Family in cave home faces Israeli eviction



Israeli army has begun bulldozing some villagers' homes in the occupied West Bank. One family's house has already been demolished - and the same is expected to happen to more than 30 other buildings. Israeli government says they have to go because they were built without a permit. Ahmed Amarneh's home, its wooden door leading into cushion-lined rooms, is not the first Palestinian residence in the occupied West Bank to receive a demolition notice from Israel.But it may be the first built inside a cave that Israel has threatened to destroy.Amarneh, a 30-year-old civil engineer, lives with his family in the northern West Bank village of Farasin, where Israel insists it must approve any new residential construction and can tear down homes built without permits."I tried twice to build [a house], but the occupation authorities told me it was forbidden to build in the area," said Amarneh. Oslo peace accords of 1990s gave the Palestinians self-rule in parts of the West Bank. However, about 60 percent of the territory dubbed Area C, where Farasin is located, remains under full Israeli civil and military control. UN considers Area C as occupied Palestinian territory. But Israel has increasingly taken land there for the construction of Jewish settlements - considered illegal under international law.Convinced he would never get Israeli approval to build a home in his village, Amarneh set his sights on a cave in the foothills overlooking Farasin.Amarneh said he figured that because the cave is a natural formation, Israel could not possibly argue it was illegally built, while the Palestinian Authority agreed to register the land in his name.Amarneh sealed the mouth of the cave with a stone wall and installed a wooden door at its centre. After living there for a year and a half, he received a demolition notice from the Israeli authorities in July along with 20 other Palestinian families in Farasin. Amarneh said he was "surprised" to learn that he had built anything illegally. "I didn't make the cave. It has existed since antiquity," he said, holding his young daughter in his arms. Arab residents established the village of Farasin in 1920, said local council head, Mahmud Ahmad Nasser. It was abandoned during the 1967 War, the year the Israeli occupation of the West Bank began. But from 1980s, former residents began to return to the area. Nasser put its current population at about 200. Farasin residents have feared the arrival of Israeli bulldozers for weeks, Amarneh said. Recently soldiers came and told Palestinian people "they had one minute to collect all their things" and leave their house, he said.


Netanyahu: US prevented me from carrying out annexation plans


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that US prevented him from carrying out his plan to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported. Netanyahu said: “It was clear from the start that the application of sovereignty would be done only with agreement from US. Otherwise, I would have already done it a while ago.”According to Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu added: “Trump is now busy with other things, and this [annexation] is not on the top of his mind.”He continued: “I hope that in the near future we will be able to advance recognition of the application of sovereignty as well as other diplomatic issues of importance to Israel.”


Israeli PM’s uneasy alliance seems headed toward collapse


Jerusalem :When PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival, Benny Gantz, agreed to form an ’emergency’ government in May after three bitter and deadlocked election campaigns, the goal was to stabilise Israeli politics in the face of a global pandemic. But less than 100 days later, their fractious coalition government could be headed toward collapse as Israel grapples with a raging coronavirus outbreak, an economic calamity and a wave of public protests.With little common ground and a severe lack of trust, the uneasy alliance now has just two weeks to reach a budget deal or plunge the nation into its fourth election since last year.The differences run so deep that this week’s Cabinet meeting was canceled. Parliament is expected on Wednesday to approve an extension beyond the August 25 deadline to allow the sides more time to reach a compromise. But even if there is a deal, few expect the partnership to last much longer because of the bad blood and many clashes.AP


Political novices drawn to anti-Netanyahu protests in Israel


Jerusalem:In a summer of protests against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the accusations of corruption and calls for him to resign could be accompanied by another familiar refrain: “I’ve never done this before.”The boisterous rallies have brought out a new breed of first-time protesters — young, middle-class Israelis who have little history of political activity but feel that Netanyahu’s scandal-plagued rule and his handling of the coronavirus crisis have robbed them of their futures. It is a phenomenon that could have deep implications for the country’s leaders.“It’s not only about the COVID-19 and the government’s handling of the situation,” said Shachar Oren, a 25-year-old protester. “It’s also about the people that cannot afford to eat and cannot afford to live. I am one of those people.”AP


Israel arrests 11 Palestinians, raids house of Hamas leader


Israeli occupation forces arrested 11 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, raided the house of Hamas leader Hassan Yousef and handed him a summons to the Israeli intelligence office, Quds Press reported.According to an Israeli army statement, the Palestinians who were arrested were being interrogated over their participation in the popular resistance against illegal settlements.Palestinian Prisoners’ Club reported that Faisal Al-Najjar, his wife and sons, Mohammed and Mousa, were among the detainees.In Ramallah, Israeli occupation forces raided the house of Hamas leader Hassan Yousef and handed summoned him for questioning next Tuesday.


Israel attacks Hamas positions in Gaza over fire balloons


Israeli military said it carried out overnight attacks on Hamas targets in Gaza Strip after incendiary balloons were launched from Palestinian enclave.The army today said attacks were "retaliation" for the floating of multiple fire balloons from Hamas-run enclave in recent days.Fighter jets, attack helicopters, and tanks struck a number of Hamas targets including "underground infrastructure and observation posts", a military statement said.No casualties were reported and there was no immediate response from Hamas.


Jewish immigration to Israel surges due to coronavirus


The outbreak of the coronavirus in US and Europe has led to a surge in immigration applications to Israel, Israeli sources revealed.Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organisation which promotes, encourages and facilitates immigration to Israel, said that there has been an 152 per cent rise in the number of applicants for immigration to Israel from US and Canada.The organisation’s data stated that 5,494 Jewish families applied to make the move by the middle of 2020.In 2019, organisation said that 2,283 Jews actually immigrated to Israel –1,450 families, while by mid of 2020, the organisation said, 8,306 Jews immigrated to Israel – 3,654 families.


UNHCR: Reports of at least 34 refugees killed in Beirut blast


United Nations' refugee agency says it is working to verify reports that at least 34 refugees are among some 200 people killed in a massive port explosion that devastated Lebanon's capital a week ago.UNHCR said in a statement on Tuesday at least seven refugees have been reported missing following Aug.4 explosion, while at least 124 refugees had been reported injured in the blast, 20 seriously. The agency was looking into, but had not immediately independently verified, the reports of 34 refugees killed."We fear the death toll among Beirut's refugee population of some 200,000 could rise further," UNHCR said. There are more than 884,000 registered Syrian refugees living in Lebanon, with many fleeing the neighbouring country's ongoing civil war, which began in 2011, according to UNHCR.


Iraq fumes against Turkey after its commanders killed in drone attack


Iraq cancelled a ministerial visit and summoned Turkey's ambassador on Wednesday as it blamed Ankara for a drone attack that killed two high-ranking Iraqi military officers. Iraqi officials called the attack a "blatant Turkish drone attack" in the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, where Turkey's military has for weeks raided positions of fighters it considers "terrorists". 2 border guard battalion commanders and the driver of their vehicle were killed on Tuesday, the army said in a statement, marking the first Iraqi troop deaths since Turkey launched the cross-border operation in mid-June against Kurdistan PKK rebels.Iraq's foreign ministry - which already summoned the Turkish envoy twice over the military action on its soil - said the ambassador would this time be given "a letter of protest with strong words" rejecting the offensive. The ministry also confirmed the Turkish defence minister would no longer be welcomed for a planned visit on Thursday.


US presidential polls:Democrat Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as his choice for vice president


Joe Biden, presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, picked Senator Kamala Harris as his choice for vice president, making her the first Black woman and the first Asian American to compete on a major party's presidential ticket in the United States.The announcement on Tuesday capped a months-long search for a Democratic partner to challenge President Donald Trump in Nov. Biden on Twitter called Harris "a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country's finest public servants"."Together, with you, we're going to beat Trump," he said. Harris, who ran for 2020 Democratic presidential nomination against Biden, said she was "honored" to join the ticket and would "do what it takes" to help him win. Biden could "unify the American people because he's spent his life fighting for us", she wrote on Twitter. In choosing Harris, a 55-year-old first-term senator from California, Biden is acknowledging the vital role Black voters will play in his bid to defeat Trump.


Trump calls Kamala Harris ‘most horrible’ member of Senate


US President Donald Trump has called Kamala Harris, who Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has chosen to be his running mate for the November election, “the meanest and the most horrible” member of the Senate, reported AFP. Harris is the first woman of colour in the role.Trump said he was surprised by Biden’s choice. He added that Harris had failed to impress him when she was vying for the Democratic nomination in primaries.


Minnesota's Ilhan Omar easily wins against well-funded challenger


Ilhan Omar, first Somali-American member of US Congress, survived a stiff Democratic primary challenge from a well-funded opponent, who tried to make an issue of her national celebrity, latest in a string of victories by a new generation of progressive legislators.Omar, seeking her second term in November, easily defeated Antone Melton-Meaux, a lawyer and mediator who raised millions in anti-Omar money, and a third candidate.


Egyptians vote for revived upper house of Parliament


Egyptians have started voting for the Senate, upper chamber of Parliament that was revived as part of constitutional amendments approved in a referendum last year, in an election that comes as the country faces an uptick in daily numbers of new coronavirus cases.The vote is mostly a symbolic exercise as the Senate - unlike the House of Representatives, the lower chamber - has no legislative powers and will act mainly in an advisory role. It replaces Shura Council, which was dissolved in 2014. Billboards promoting little-known candidates have popped up across capital Cairo and other cities in recent weeks, and online videos have explained the Senate's role and urged people to cast their ballots.The balloting will extend for two days to allow for a maximum turnout with 63 million eligible voters who will choose two-thirds of the 300-member Senate, with 787 candidates running for those 200 Senate seats. Egyptian expats voted on Sunday and Monday.


Egypt's Rabaa massacre: Cries for justice unheeded


Aug. 14 marks the seventh anniversary of a peaceful sit-in in Cairo’s Rabaa Square by hundreds of supporters of President Mohamed Morsi, protests that ended in a deadly crackdown.The massacre came weeks after Morsi was deposed by the military as a result of a series of demonstrations against his one-year rule. At least 817 protesters were killed by Egyptian security forces, according to Human Rights Watch, which described the killings as “systematic” and “one of the world’s largest” in a single day in modern history. Opposition figures put the death toll at around 2,000.Despite numerous calls for justice by human rights groups, supporters and the families of the victims, justice has not yet been served. It is believed that since the regime considers the protesters “terrorists,” it has no incentive to grant them rights.Egyptian govt’s narrative about the Rabaa killings has remained along the same lines, which is not surprising considering that the regime’s legitimacy depends on maintaining silence over the massacre. The call for justice continues, despite little hope in achieving it. It is made annually through the media to protests to increase international awareness over the plight of the Rabaa victims, hoping to pressure Egypt to implement the transitional justice law.Anadolu Agency


UN calls for rapid formation of Lebanese government


UN special coordinator for Lebanon called on Lebanese authorities Tuesday to rapidly form a new government following the resignation of Prime Minister Hassan Diab and his cabinet.In a statement, Jan Kubis called for the formation of a new government that meets the aspirations of the Lebanese people and enjoys their support and can address the urgent and many challenges facing the country. Kubis also stressed the importance of avoiding a "prolonged period of governmental vacuum.""There are immediate humanitarian needs that need to be addressed and necessary reforms that need to be undertaken without any delay to restore the trust of the Lebanese people, and of the international community in Lebanon,” he added.


UN: 70 killed in S. Sudan clashes between army, civilians


At least 70 people have been killed and dozens wounded during weekend clashes between South Sudan's army and armed civilians in the north-central Warrap state, according to UN. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday the world body's peacekeeping mission in South Sudan reported that "the violence was sparked by a disagreement over a disarmament exercise being conducted in the area". The disarmament of civilians is part of the most recent peace agreement signed between South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rival Riek Machar, who was appointed vice president in Feb. South Sudan declared independence from Sudan in 2011, but it was plunged into a ruinous civil war 2 years later when Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, fired his deputy, Riek Machar, a member of the rival Nuer community.


US did not fully assess civilian risks when pushing Saudi arms sales-report


US Department of State did not fully evaluate the risk of civilian casualties when it pushed through a massive sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia last year, a govt watchdog’s report said on Tuesday.“OIG (State Department Inspector General) found that Department did not fully assess risks and implement mitigation measures to reduce civilian casualties and legal concerns associated with the transfer of PGMs included in Secretary’s May 2019 emergency certification,”report said.Congress had requested an investigation into the Trump administration’s May 2019 decision to push ahead with more than $8 billion in military sales to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region, sidestepping the congressional review process by declaring an “emergency” over tensions with Iran.Members of Congress blocked some of the sales out of concern that the Raytheon Technologies Corp smart bombs and other equipment might contribute to the heavy civilian toll and humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen’s civil war.The report did not take a position on whether the emergency declaration was merited, and said the State Department did not violate Arms Export Control Act.


*views, Articles, FEATURES*

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Opposing Ram in 1990s was easy. Yadavs’ secularism will be tested with Krishna in 2020: JYOTI YADAV


In 6 years, India’s ties with other South Asian countries have frayed, providing China with an opening:Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Congress leader


Ebrahim Alkazi’s legacy bears testimony to cultural links between Saudi Arabia, India: Saud Bin Mohammed Al Sati


Homeopathic knowledge about viral diseases can be harnessed to combat COVID: Mohammad Qasim


Explained: Reading Supreme Court verdict on Hindu women’s inheritance rights:Apurva Vishwanath


Too Many Questions Remain Unanswered in India's Proposal to Regulate Non-Personal Data:Divij Joshi and Anouk Ruhaak


How Caravan Journalists Were Attacked While Reporting in North East Delhi:Ismat Ara



Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 4:36 PM)


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