*INDIA- ISLAMOPHOBIA, HUMAN RIGHTS & OTHERS*
Yogi Adityanath To Be Invited For Mosque Event In Ayodhya: Trust
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will be invited to lay the foundation stone for various public facilities at a mosque to be built in Ayodhya's Dhannipur village by a trust formed by the state Sunni Central Waqf Board, one of its officebearers said on Saturday."On the five-acre land in Dhannipur village, which has been given for the construction of a mosque on the Supreme Court's directive, a hospital, a library, a community kitchen and a research centre will also be built. These will be for the public and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will be invited to lay the foundation stone for these projects," secretary and spokesperson of trust -- Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF) -- Athar Hussain told PTI.He said the chief minister will not only participate in programme, but will also assist in the construction of these public facilities.To a question on whether Yogi Adityanath will lay the foundation stone for the construction of the mosque, Hussain said according to the four schools of thought in Islam -- Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi and Maliki -- there is no provision for laying the foundation stone for a mosque.Asked whether the mosque will be named as "Babri Masjid", Mr Hussain said, "There is no such thinking. The name is yet to be finalised.""Barring the Masjid-e-Nabwi (Madina in Saudi Arabia) and a few other mosques, the names of other mosques do not matter. In the eyes of Allah, the ''sajda'' done at the mosques is important, everything else is meaningless," he added.The trust constituted by Uttar Pradesh State Sunni Central Waqf Board to construct the mosque is in the process of setting up an office in the state capital, which will be functional in 10-12 days.PTI
Will Not Attend Ayodhya Mosque Inauguration Even if Invited: Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has said he will not attend the inauguration ceremony of the mosque that the Supreme Court wants built in Ayodhya, even if invited. While he could have attended “as a chief minister”, he will not do so because he is a “Yogi” and a “Hindu”, Adityanath said.While ruling in favour of the Hindu party and paving the way for a Ram temple to be built where the Babri Masjid once stood, the Supreme Court also said in November that a mosque should be built elsewhere in Ayodhya.Adityanath attended and spoke at the Ram temple ‘bhoomi pujan‘ ceremony held on August 5, to mark the beginning of construction. He told ABP News, however, that he would not make a similar appearance at the mosque’s inauguration, whenever that may be, and does not think anyone will invite him either.
Mosque Trust files plaint over malafide social media posts
AYODHYA: The mosque Trust constituted by Sunni Waqf Board lodged a complaint with Lucknow police commissioner on Friday against mischievous and mala fide social media posts against the Trust.Athar Hussain, secretary of the Trust, said, “Some posts were circulated in social media that the Trust was constructing a hospital in the name of Babar and had appointed Dr Kafeel Khan as its administrator. I have lodged a formal complaint with the police commissioner, Lucknow, and released a statement, refuting the rumours on social media. As decided, the Trust will build a mosque, a hospital and community kitchen.”
At Ayodhya Bhoomi Pujan, Modi Became All-in-One; Proper Rituals Not Followed, Allege Pundits
Lucknow: In an unusual move that has left everyone bemused, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose to play an all-encompassing role during the bhoomi pujan in Ayodhya on August 5. He was not only the chief guest but also the master of ceremonies and official yajmaan (patron of a religious ritual) during the ceremony. In certain quarters, an analogy has been drawn between Modi’s participation in the Ayodhya mega event and the presence of India’s first President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, at the inaugural ceremony of the reconstructed Somnath temple in 1951. However, 2 instances cannot be compared. Unlike Ayodhya, there was nothing divisive about the inaugural ceremony at Somnath, since it was not performed at a site that was disputed or mired in a long-standing, contentious legal battle. Conventionally, a prime minister would attend such an event as the chief guest, while the key rituals would be performed by a religious leader present on the occasion – in Ayodhya, it would be someone like Mahant Nritya Gopaldas, who is not only the head of old Ramjanmbhoomi Nyas and the newly formed, government-constituted Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust but also the senior-most seer in the temple town. He has had a long association with the Ram temple movement.
AIMPLB Removes Tweet Comparing Hagia Sophia to Babri Masjid After Backlash
After backlash from its own community members, including senior member of the board and prominent lawyer Zafaryab Jilani, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) deleted its tweet comparing Hagia Sophia in Turkey to the Babri Masjid.However, the board posted another tweet on the issue with exclusion of its earlier comparison.AIMPLB had on Tuesday said that Babri Masjid was and would always be a mosque. Citing the example of Hagia Sophia in Turkey, it tweeted that the land was usurped and termed the judgment as majority appeasing. “#BabriMasjid was and will always be a Masjid. #HagiaSophia is a great example for us. Usurpation of the land by an unjust, oppressive, shameful and majority appeasing judgment can't change its status. No need to be heartbroken. Situations don't last forever. #ItsPolitics,” a tweet by AIMPLB's official twitter handle read.However, after objection from its own members and Jilani, the board deleted the tweet and issued another statement, saying, “Babri Masjid was a mosque and will always be a mosque. Aggressive occupation does not end reality, the Supreme Court has ruled, but it has embarrassed justice,” said AIMPLB in its fresh tweet on Thursday. Meanwhile, Jilani said, “Some of the words of AIMPLB's tweet are objectionable. The board has been asked to remove the tweet. No one can be above the Supreme Court.”Samajwadi Party MP from Sambhal Shafiqur Rahman Burq also said that Babri Masjid was and will remain a mosque.
‘They raised obscene slogans’: On night of Bhoomi Pujan, Northeast Delhi’s fragile calm shatters
It’s been six months since the February carnage in Delhi’s Northeast district. While life is limping back to normal after the pandemic-induced lockdown, the tremors of the riots are still being felt. The Muslim women of Subhash Mohalla in North Ghonda felt it first hand, when saffron flags came up on the gate of their locality shortly after the midnight of August 5, purportedly accompanied by incendiary sloganeering. The local Hindus in the neighbourhood were celebrating the bhoomi pujan of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, and the celebration extended late into the night.It was a sleepless night for the families living in lane 2 of the Subhash Mohalla. “Between 1 and 2 am on August 6, eight to 10 men were sloganeering ‘Jai Shri Ram’ outside our lane,” says Shaheen, 38, who runs a small shop here. “Then they raised obscene slogans like ‘Mullo bahar jao’, ‘Suaron bahar jao’.” Muslims, get out. Pigs, get out. A green thread hangs loosely on the gate. Shaheen says it is a firecracker that the men hung from gate last night and set off to ‘terrorise’ the Muslim residents.newslaundry
UP: Sultanpur tense after clash, some residents prepare to leave
Tension has prevailed in Hanumanganj area of Sultanpur district since a clash broke out between two communities on Wednesday evening. While both sides have given different reasons for the clash, police have lodged a case on the complaint of one side and detained 27 people on charges of breach of peace.Many belonging to the community facing the case have left the area fearing police action, while some others are preparing to leave for “safer places”.SP (Sultanpur) Shiv Hari Meena, when contacted, said a case would be lodged from the other side if needed.SHO Dehat Devendra Singh said that seven people have been named in the FIR — lodged under IPC sections including rioting, attempt to murder and Criminal Law Amendment Act. Saddam, Akram, Waqeel Ahmad, Shami and Wasim have been arrested, and Nadeem and Aslam will be arrested soon, the police said.On Friday, Mohammad Farooq (45), a vegetable vendor, was seen leaving in a hired SUV along with 10 family members. “Why would I stay here? The police have taken action only on one side, and entered our homes and beat up people,” he said.Mohammad Saeed (50), who owns a brick kiln nearby, said, “Most of the Muslims here are leaving due to fear of attack.” His four family members have already left.Several people Indian Express spoke to alleged that police entered homes and misbehaved with women and children.Asia Bano (35), who has four children, alleged the police and some other people entered her house, beat up men and misbehaved with women. “I have sent my husband and sons to a relative’s house,” she said.Regarding the incident on Wednesday, a complaint lodged by one Mohammad Ahmad has alleged that around 80 people, including one Satyendra Upadhyay, burst crackers in front of a mosque and raised anti-Muslim slogans. “They were asked to not do it and a call was made to 112 (police helpline). Then they entered homes and beat up people. Policemen also entered the mosque and indulged in vandalism, this was led by Upadhyay,” says the complaint.indianexpress
3 SDPI members among 4 held for communal posts: UP Police
Lucknow : 4 PERSONS – an office-bearer and two members of SDPI and a madrasa teacher – were arrested from Bahraich and Lucknow for allegedly circulating communal content and images on social media in connection with Ram temple bhoomi pujan in Ayodhya on August 5 and the Babri Masjid demolition, police said on Friday. 3 SDPI men were arrested in Bahraich while a 30-year-old madrasa teacher, Abdul Majeed, was arrested in Lucknow. Police claimed that the comments/posts in question were “against communal harmony and national integrity.”Lucknow police are verifying alleged links of Abdul Majeed with PFI. All four were sent to judicial custody.Meanwhile, police also arrested Abdul Majeed from Kakori area for allegedly posting “objectionable remarks” on social media in connection with the bhoomi pujan. Police said the accused was also running “objectionable” campaigns on social media.
Hyderabad Police Re-Registers Sedition Case Against 2 Muslim Women for Protesting Against Ayodhya Verdict
New Delhi: SIT of the Central Crime Station (CCS) under the Hyderabad police on Thursday re-registered a sedition case against two women from Saidabad which was previously registered by the Saidabad police last year.“We have re-registered a sedition case against the women. The case will be investigated by SIT of CCS,” Avinash Mohanty, joint commissioner of police (detective) told TOI. These two women are Muslim cleric Maulana Abdul Islahi’s daughters, Shabista and Zille Huma. They were booked in Nov.2019 for organising a special congregation Qunoot-e-Nazilah against the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ayodhya title dispute case.After going through videos of the congregation, sub-inspector Din Dayal Singh of the Saidabad police had lodged a complaint against the women, accusing them of promoting enmity on ground of religion and sedition, and registered a case last year.They were also accused of attacking policemen at the Saidabad police station and a non-bailable warrant is pending against them.
UP: 2 held over photo with saffron flag atop Meerut mosque
Noida :Police have arrested two men for allegedly attempting to deface a mosque in Meerut by placing a saffron flag atop the structure. Images of the men, both in their 20s, posing with the saffron flag on a minaret of the structure, known as Kotwali mosque, went viral on social media.SP (Meerut City) Akhilesh N Singh, however, said the photos are from 2019.Singh said, “The social media cell of Meerut’s Crime Branch received a video of two men, purportedly belonging to a different religion, placing a flag at the place of worship of the minority community. Two people seen in that video have been arrested. Prima facie it appears that the video was shot last year and an inquiry is on.” An FIR was registered against the two men. The accused were identified as Ankit Tripathi and Arun, and according to a local BJP leader, Gopal Sharma, they are both activists of the Bajrang Dal.
Autorickshaw driver assaulted in Rajasthan, forced to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’
Police in Rajasthan’s Sikar district have arrested two people for allegedly assaulting a 52-year-old autorickshaw driver on Friday after he refused to chant “Modi zindabad” and “Jai Shree Ram”.According to the police, the two accused have been arrested after an FIR was lodged by Gapphar Ahmad Kacchawa, who also claimed the duo stole his wristwatch and money. Kachhawa was left with broken teeth, a swollen eye and bruises on cheek.“At around 4 am on Friday, my uncle was returning after dropping off passengers to a nearby village when two men who were in a car stopped him and asked for tobacco. However, they declined to take the tobacco that my uncle offered and asked him to say Modi zindabad,” said Shahid, a nephew of Kacchawa.In FIR registered by the police, Kacchawa said that the men slapped him when he refused to comply.“One of the men asked me to chant the slogan ‘Modi zindabad’ and I refused… Then he slapped me hard. I took my taxi and tried to flee towards Sikar. But they followed me on their car and stopped my vehicle near Jagmalpura. They forced me to descend from the vehicle and they badly beat me up…The men abused me and forced me to chant ‘Modi zindabad’ and ‘jai shree Ram’,” Kacchawa said in his complaint.
Cops Drag Sikh Man By Hair, Thrash Him In Madhya Pradesh, Probe Ordered
Bhopal: A video showing a man being dragged by policemen in full public view in Madhya Pradesh's Barwani district has triggered a controversy. In the 50-second-long video, the man identified as Prem Singh is seen at the feet of the policeman, who then pulls him by his hair.The same video also shows another policeman push a turbaned man, who comes to save Mr Singh.Mr Singh is heard shouting in Hindi, "They are beating us, they are killing us, the police are pulling us by our hair… They are not allowing us to set up our stall." He appeals to the crowd to save them.State Congress spokesperson Narendra Saluja tweeted the video and criticised the police. "The concerned man Prem Singh Granthi has long been running a lock-keys shop near the Pulsood police outpost. He was beaten, his turban desecrated and then he was pulled through hair on the road in full public view by cops. This amounts to desecrating religious sentiments of the Sikh community," Mr Saluja tweeted.
Delhi Riots: Media reports on police’s ‘Hindu resentment’ order are against its spirit, says Delhi HC
Delhi High Court today observed that reports by “electronic/ print media” on an order issued by the special commissioner of police (crime) Praveer Ranjan, dated July 8, was against the order’s “letter and spirit”.The court made the observation while disposing of a petition by the family members of two Northeast Delhi residents who were killed during the communal carnage in February earlier this year.In the order, first reported by Indian Express on July 15, Ranjan had cited “intelligence inputs” to alert probe teams investigating the riots to “a degree of resentment among the Hindu community” in Khajuri Khas and Chand Bagh in Northeast Delhi over “the arrests of some Hindu youth”.The order had asked supervisory officers to “guide” investigating officers “suitably”, adding that they should practice “due care and precaution” while “arresting any person” and discuss evidence with the special public prosecutors assigned to the police.In the court today, Justice Suresh Kumar Kait made a critical observation on how the media covered the July 8 order. “I noticed, while going through the present petition, that the electronic/print media has made some news which is against the letter and spirit of the order issued by respondent number 4 (Special CP Ranjan),” he said.
Court rejects bail plea of 4 men accused of killing 85-year-old Muslim woman in Delhi riots
New Delhi: Rejecting the bail petitions of four persons accused of killing an 85-year-old Muslim woman during the Delhi riots that took place in February this year, a trial court has held that, prima facie, it was apparent they were part of a “riotous mob” that targeted the victim’s house.Additional sessions judge Vinod Yadav weighed in on the statement of witnesses and electronic evidence to conclude that the mob, armed with “lethal weapons”, had engaged in vandalism, looting and torching the house of the victim’s family.“A careful analysis of the statements of witnesses prima facie indicates that all the aforesaid four accused persons were very well part of the unlawful assembly which had put the house of complainant on fire after committing robbery therein,” judge said in his order of 6 August.According to the prosecution charges, the four accused — Prakash Chand, Arun Kumar, Ravi Kumar and Suraj Singh — were part of an unlawful assembly that entered the victim’s house on 25 February at 11 am. The victim’s son Mohd Saeed Salmani was not at home when the rioters allegedly broke into the house where a garment factory was also operational.
Delhi riots AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan forms sub-committee for 'correct information' on compensation
New Delhi: Legislative Assembly's Minorities Welfare Committee chairman Amanatullah Khan on Friday formed a sub-committee for gathering "correct information" about compensation paid to the northeast Delhi violence victims, according to a statement. Delhi government officials told the committee members that 53 people lost their lives in the communal violence that erupted in northeast Delhi in February this year, and a compensation of Rs 6.32 crore was paid so far in 47 cases, the Okhla MLA said. The officials further informed the committee, "A total of 377 people were injured out of which 244 were paid compensation of Rs 1.44 crore. A total 1,327 houses were damaged and compensation amount of 7.30 crore was paid in 552 cases," according to the statement from Khan's office.PTI
Every second polled Indian supports CAA, finds Mood of the Nation survey
India Today-Karvy Insights Mood of the Nation (MOTN) survey reveals a change in mood about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the controversial law that had triggered protests across the nation. Now, one in every two persons is in support of the CAA.Fifty per cent of those polled in the MOTN survey said they support CAA, while 15 per cent think it is discriminatory. 25 per cent of the respondents believe India must not grant citizenship to illegal immigrants of any religion, while 10 per cent (5 percentage points down from last survey) remained indecisive on the issue.53 per cent of Hindu respondents were in support of the CAA, while 12 per cent said the law is discriminatory. Among Muslims, a substantial number of respondents (45 per cent) are of the view that the law is discriminatory.Notably, the percentage of people, who considered the Act to be discriminatory, has dropped by over 10 points, as compared to the last MOTN survey. In the MOTN poll conducted in January 2020, 26 per cent of the respondents believed that the Act was discriminatory. However, the tally has slipped to 15 per cent this time.
NIA Court Rejects Akhil Gogoi's Bail Plea in Case on Anti-CAA Protests
Guwahati: A National Investigation Agency special court rejected incarcerated peasant leader Akhil Gogoi’s bail plea on Friday . In the eight-month-old case, Gogoi has been accused sedition while ‘spearheading’ the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in Assam.Gogoi’s counsel will be appealing the decision in the Gauhati high court.
Issued show-cause notice for externment: Civil society members support anti-CAA activist
Ahmedabad :Several civil society members across the country issued a statement on Friday in support of an Ahmedabad-based anti-CAA activist who was issued a show-cause notice for externment in July, for his alleged involvement in criminal activities.Kaleem Siddiqui (39) a resident of Bapunagar, was one of the organisers of the two-month-long Shaheen Bagh-like anti-CAA agitation in Rakhial of Ahmedabad. The protest which started on January 14 was called off on March 14 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.On July 17, the office of M A Patel, Assistant Commissioner of Police (A division), Ahmedabad Police, had sent a show-cause notice to Siddiqui stating that the police department was contemplating to extern him for two years from Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Mehsana and Kheda.Siddiqui on July 30, had presented himself before the police and denied the allegations made against him, in a written response.Expressing solidarity, the civil society signatories to the statement, which include historian Ramchandra Guha, former Amnesty International head Aakar Patel, independent MLA Jignesh Mevani, retired ambassador of India Madhu Bhaduri and others, have stated that the police’s action appears to be an attempt to “silence dissent by civil society actors and the Muslim community,” and is “condemnable and unwarranted.” They have sought that the notice must be revoked immediately.
Govts don't act until they are directed by court, says SC on Tablighi Jamaat case
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday observed that governments in the country don't act until they are directed by the court, adding that this has been the experience of the apex court.The top court made the observation while saying it will pass directions on the pleas alleging that a section of media spread communal hatred over Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, after perusing the findings of Press Council of India (PCI) on around 50 such complaints.A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said it will call for a report from the PCI and on that basis it will give directions.During the course of the hearing, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for a petitioner, said four months have passed since the issue came to light but no action has been taken and this kind of behaviour by the media has gone unchecked."We are not going to give any wrong decision because of time. We would like report from you News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and Press Council of India. Dave's client may also appear before them," the bench said.When Dave said these bodies have no power to take action and that only the government can act in this matter, the bench said, "We have told you we will keep it pending and we will give the directions. We have no control over time. We are not going to rush because of time.''The bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that from the court's experience they know that the government does not act unless they are directed.
Modi govt defends news reports on Markaz event, says they were neither fake nor false
Supreme Court officials pulled up for ‘wrongful listing’ of Bhushan plea against contempt law
New Delhi: Senior Supreme Court registry officials are in the dock for listing a petition filed jointly by advocate Prashant Bhushan, senior journalist N. Ram and former union minister Arun Shourie challenging the Constitutional validity of the Contempt of Courts Act, before a different bench and not the one that is already hearing contempt cases against Bhushan.A senior officer from the top court’s administrative wing told ThePrint that a serious view has been taken of the “wrongful listing” of matter and an explanation has been sought from the officials.SC secretary general S. Kalgaonkar sought a report from the officials concerned, the officer added.According to another officer in the administrative wing, the petition has been listed for hearing on 10 August before a bench of justices D.Y. Chandrachud and K.M. Joseph, while it should have been listed before a bench led by Justice Arun Mishra, who recently reserved its verdict in one of the two contempt cases against Bhushan.The officer said the matter is likely to be deleted from Justice Chandrachud’s work list.
Elgar Parishad: Bombay HC questions state on identical test reports of Anand Teltumbde, Mahesh Raut
Bombay High Court has sought a clarification from the Maharashtra government after the coronavirus test results of academic Anand Teltumbde and activist Mahesh Raut, both accused in the Elgar Parishad case, had identical findings on weight, height and other vital health parameters, PTI reported on Saturday.The state government submitted the test results on August 3 and Raut’s counsel Vijay Hiremath highlighted the discrepancy on August 5. Last month, Teltumbde, Raut and co-accused Vernon Gonsalves had approached the court as they were in close proximity with Telugu poet Varavara Rao inside the Taloja jail. Rao tested positive for the coronavirus on July 16 and is undergoing treatment at the Nanavati hospital in Mumbai.
Elgar Case: DU Professor Hany Babu Gets Judicial Custody Till Aug 21
Mumbai: A special court here on Friday remanded Delhi University (DU) associate professor Hany Babu, who was arrested in connection with the Elgar Parishad case, and is in judicial custody till August 21.Hany Babu Musaliyarveettil Tharayil, 54, an associate professor at the Department of English, was arrested by NIA on July 28 for his alleged involvement in the case.He was sent to judicial custody by Special Court judge D. E. Kothalikar at the end of his NIA remand on Friday.PTI
1300+ signatories register nationwide condemnation of Delhi Police regarding the interrogation of Prof Apoorvanand
Over 1300 professionals have signed an open letter condemning interrogation of Prof Apoorvanand by the Delhi Police on August 3 in connection with Delhi pogrom. A well-known writer, public speaker and Professor of Hindi at Delhi University, Prof Apoorvanand was called by the Special Branch of Delhi Police on August 3 where he was questioned for 5 hours about the February northeast Delhi pogrom. Reportedly, the police have seized his phone. The letter mentions that Prof Apoorvanand has been summoned under section 43F of UAPA, 19 sections of the IPC, two sections each of the Prevention of Damage of Public Property (PDPP) Act, two sections of the Arms Act, and under four different sections of the UAPA. The open letter seeks to oppose the interrogation of several other activists and their intimidation by the BJP government.
Activist Rehana Fathima surrenders before police Kochi
Activist Rehana Fathima surrendered before the police here on Saturday, a day after the Supreme Court dismissed her anticipatory bail plea in cases against her for circulating a video in which she was semi-nude, allowing her minor children to paint on her body.Police said Fathima presented herself before the South Police station under the Kochi Commissionerate this afternoon. The activist will be produced before the magistrate court here after completing formalities of her arrest, they said. The allegation against Fathima, who made an attempt to enter the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa in Sabarimala in 2018, is that she asked her children, a boy and girl aged 14 and 8 respectively to paint on her semi-nude body.The video was shot by her and uploaded on social media. After the video was found by the Cyber Dome of Kochi Police, a case was registered against the activist in June. Dismissing the anticipatory bail petition of Fathima, the Supreme Court on Friday PTI had said the court is a little baffled at the kind of case that has come up before it.
Son in jail for 5 months, Bihar RTI activist says 14-yr-old framed, declared adult; DGP seeks details
Patna :A Bihar RTI activist has been running from pillar to post, saying his minor son was framed and shown as an adult by police who arrested him five months ago and charged him in an Arms Act case with two others. His son has been in Buxar jail ever since. RTI activist, who complained to the state DGP before the lockdown over the pandemic, said his 14-year-old son, after appearing for one of the papers of the Class X examinations on February 29, hitched a ride with two men, from his village, on a motorcycle which was stopped by police in the Rajpur area of Buxar.The police claimed they recovered a country-made pistol from the activist’s son and a live cartridge each from the two men. All three were arrested and sent to Buxar jail. While the men were released on bail later, his son, the activist says, is still behind bars. He says his son secured an overall of 83 per cent marks in the five papers he took before his arrest – he still had one paper to take. The boy, according to his school records, was born in April 2006. The activist, who has been fighting corruption at the local level, alleged his son was framed by the very people he was trying to unmask, and that they were in league with the local police.
Kerala: 9 RSS members accused in RSS worker’s murder sentenced to life imprisonment
A court in Kerala on Friday sentenced the 9 accused in RSS worker Kadavoor Jayan’s killing in 2012 to life imprisonment, The News Minute reported. The accused are also RSS members.Kollam Principal Sessions Court also imposed a fine of Rs 71,500 on each of the nine convicts and said that four more years will be added to their sentence, if they defaulted. The court said that Rs 2 lakh from the total fine amount will be given to Jayan’s mother. A sum of Rs 25,000 will be provided to his brother-in-law Raghunatha Pillai, who was also attacked, the court added.Nine men stabbed Jayan to death near his home in Kollam city’s Kadavoor Junction on January 7, 2012, over political differences. He had sustained 50 injuries. The nine accused in the case are Vinod, Gopakumar, Subramanian, Priyarajan, Pranav, Arun, Ranjith, Dinaraj and Shiju.
UP man held for objectionable post on Prophet
BAHRAICH:A man was arrested here on Friday for making objectionable comments on Prophet Muhammad on the social media.One Mufti Abdullah has complained that an objectionable Facebook post by Guddu Verma of Nanpara township has hurt the religious feelings of Muslims, additional SP Kunvar Jyananjay Singh said.Mufti alleged that comments made by Verma in the post are aimed at creating communal tension in Nanpara township, the ASP said.PTI
Kozhikode plane crash | Black box recovered; probe under way
The crucial black box of the ill-fated Air India Express flight that could throw light on how it overshot the runway here and crashed has been recovered while the toll in the mishap rose to 18 on Saturday with a passenger succumbing to injuries, officials said.Investigations into the cause of the crash are underway with top officials of the airlines and aviation regulator DGCA rushing to Kozhikode while Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri also arrived in this city in north Kerala and took stock of the situation and implementation of the relief measures. AIE flight from Dubai with 190 people on board overshot the tabletop runway at the international airport in Karipur, about 30 kms from here in neighbouring Mallapuram district, while landing in heavy rains and fell into a valley 35 feet below and broke into two portions on Friday night.The State government said the condition of 23 of the 149 injured undergoing treatment at various hospitals was critical while one person succumbed, taking the toll to 18.PTI
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Demands Creation Of 'Special Education Zones' In Muslim Concentrated Districts
NEW DELHI:Stating that India cannot become ‘global knowledge leader’ without giving proper education to 25 crores of Indian Muslims, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind(JIH), India’s leading socio-cultural organization, has suggested setting up of ‘special education zones’ in Muslim concentrated districts across the country along with making proper arrangements for teaching of Urdu and Arabic languages that would open up huge job opportunities in the Gulf and Arabic-speaking African countries. The suggestion was made at a press conference addressed by JIH Education Board chairman Mr Nusrat Ali in connection with the New Education Police-2020 released by the Central government recently.Referring to NEP talking about developing e-content in Eight Indian languages of the country, Mr. Ali expressed his displeasure over excluding Urdu from it. He said that whenever the governments, the Centre or the States, talked of languages, it has become a usual practice to omit Urdu from all government programmes. He demanded that the government should develop contents in all the 22 languages of the country and that should include Urdu as well. Observing that NEP was having a selective approach towards educational history of the country, he pointed out that the medieval history and the contribution of medieval period in education of the country was missing from the NEP’s final draft, with entire focus of the project being to give a particular colour to the new educational programme under the NEP. Though he did not name the ‘colour’, it indirectly suggested that the NEP seemed to be based on recommendations of certain Hindu right organisations.
Days Before National Handloom Day, Centre Scrapped Handloom and Handicrafts Boards
New Delhi: On Friday, textiles minister Smriti Irani shared several pictures of herself and some celebrities dressed in handloom products on her social media pages to mark National Handloom Day. Just a few days prior, though, on July 27, her ministry issued a notification scrapping All India Handloom Board and then, on August 3, it abolished All India Handicrafts Board.The ministry has explained the decision by arguing that it is part of its efforts to strive for a leaner government apparatus. “In consonance with Government of India vision of ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governance’, a leaner government machinery and the need for systematic rationalisation of government bodies, the Government of India has abolished All India Handloom Board with effect from the date of this resolution,” the ministry said. The move, though, has drawn severe criticism from those working for the promotion of Indian handicrafts. “All these years on, it remained the one official forum, however watered down, where the voices and views of weavers and craftspeople could be expressed directly. One place where representatives of the sector were present in considerable numbers, and were actually empowered to advise the Government in policy and sectoral spending,” said Laila Tyabji, chairperson of Dastakar, an NGO that works to support traditional Indian craftspeople.
Parliamentary committee begins discussing EIA draft despite NDA members’ objections
New Delhi : Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change began discussing the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 notification despite objections raised by some BJP-NDA members at a meeting on Friday. The ruling alliance members, it is learnt, argued a discussion is not needed since it is just a draft notification which will undergo changes. BJP-NDA members, while underlining that environment is an important issue, are learnt to have suggested that the committee can discuss the final draft once it is released. They also pointed out that Hindi copies of the draft notification were not made available to them.Jairam Ramesh, chairman of the committee, however, managed to get the discussion going, suggesting the panel was not going to give a report or recommendation immediately and that the members should hear the ministry representatives who had come to brief them.
Mukesh Ambani eclipses richest European to become world’s number 4
Mukesh Ambani has surged past Europe’s wealthiest man, making him the world’s fourth-richest person. Reliance Industries Ltd.’s chairman is now worth $80.6 billion, after amassing $22 billion this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That gives him a bigger wealth pile than France’s Bernard Arnault, whose LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE has suffered from customers curbing high-end fashion purchases faster than the company can cut costs.India’s richest person has already surpassed some of the biggest tycoons in recent weeks — a list that includes Silicon Valley titans such as Elon Musk and Alphabet Inc. co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, as well as the so-called Oracle of Omaha himself, Warren Buffett.Bloomberg
Kerala: Toll in Idukki tea estate landslide rises to 24, search for nearly 50 others underway
The toll in the landslide at the Nayamakkad tea estate in Kerala’s Idukki district rose to 24 on Saturday, Onmanorama reported. A massive search operation for nearly 50 persons is underway. Most of the victims were asleep at the time of the incident, which took place early Friday.The India Meteorological Department has issued a red alert for Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad districts for heavy to very heavy rainfall. The Kerala government has set up a 24-hour control room and said these four districts are prone to landslides. Fishermen have also been advised to not venture into sea.The rescue work was stopped due to bad weather and the hilly terrain on Friday night after 15 bodies were recovered. Four layams, or workers quarters of the tea garden, were buried under debris after a hill, located at a distance of about three km, caved in because of heavy rain. Only 12 of the total 82 residents managed to escape. Three wounded were admitted to the Tata General Hospital at Munnar. Besides this, a woman who was critically injured was admitted to the Kolenchery Medical College.
6 Rajasthan MLAs Knock At Top Court As Mayawati's Party Comes For Them
New Delhi: 6 BSP MLAs in Rajasthan who merged with the Congress in September last year have approached the Supreme Court seeking to transfer their disqualification case to the top court. MLAs in their petition said they want a petition filed in the Rajasthan High Court seeking their disqualification for alleged defiance of the BSP's whip in favour of Congress to be transferred to the Supreme Court.A single bench of the Rajasthan High Court will next week hear the BSP and BJP's petition against the merger of 6 BSP MLAs with Congress in Rajasthan.An appeal by the party led by former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati seeking a temporary freeze on the merger of its six former legislators with Rajasthan's Congress government was dismissed by the High Court on Thursday, which left the decision to the single bench hearing the case.The decision, expected on August 11, will have crucial implications for the Ashok Gehlot government, which is struggling to hold on to its majority in face of the rebellion by Sachin Pilot and his 18 loyalist MLAs.
2 Manipur Cong MLAs Replies to Show Cause: 'We Voted for More Deserving BJP RS Nominee'
Imphal: The two Congress MLAs who had been served show cause notices for voting in favour of the BJP candidate in the recently concluded election for the lone Rajya Sabha seat in Manipur, have replied that they did so because the saffron party nominee was more deserving, but said they remain with the party.The state Congress unit had served show cause notices to MLAs – R.K. Imo Singh and Okram Henry Singh – in connection with reports of them voting for BJP candidate Leishemba Sanajaoba, defying the party whip to support the Congress contestant T. Mangi Babu, who ultimately lost.On Friday, state party sources said that in his reply to PCC Chief , R.K. Imo Singh said, “It is true that I voted in favour of Maharaja of Manipur in the Rajya Sabha election held on June 19, as according to my conscience he is the most deserving person to hold the post of member of Rajya Sabha as he represents the collective will of the people of Manipur”.PTI
Six Rajasthan BJP MLAs shifted to Gujarat’s Porbandar
The BJP on Saturday shifted six of its MLAs to Gujarat’s Porbandar ahead of the Rajasthan Assembly session beginning August 14, according to party sources.The legislators will be staying at a luxury resort there and likely to visit the Somnath temple, the sources said.According to them, 12 party MLAs on Friday had left Rajasthan for Gujarat’s Ahmedabad where they camping at a resort.However, state BJP chief Satish Poonia rejected suggestions that his party has started herding their MLAs to a place like the Congress did ahead of the crucial Assembly session.
Modi is India’s best PM, Adityanath the best CM, finds India Today survey
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the best prime minister India has had to date, said 44 per cent of respondents in India Today’s ‘Mood Of The Nation’ (MOTN) survey released Saturday. 66 per cent already consider him the best choice for the next election while Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was a far second with 8 per cent votes.A high 78 per cent of the people surveyed found the performance of PM Modi ‘outstanding or good’, while 17 per cent considered it ‘average’ and a 5 per cent termed it ‘poor’.Modi’s popularity ratings overtook his own previous best, with 69 per cent calling him ‘outstanding or good’ in the January 2017 MOTN survey.The most significant achievement of the Modi government according to 16 per cent of the respondents was the revocation of Article 370 — a dip of four percentage points from the January 2020 survey.However, the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya has become more popular with time — 13 per cent see it as the most significant achievement, as opposed to the 9 per cent who said so in the January survey.But matters of governance don’t seem to be as much of a hit among PM Modi’s admirers. Only 11 per cent said the ‘improved infrastructure’ was the government’s big achievement and 9 per cent rated the ‘corruption-free governance’ as a grand achievement. Just 1 per cent saw the controversial passage of the CAA in Parliament as a big achievement.Among the government’s failures, 25 per cent indicated the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic as the biggest failure while the migrant crisis during lockdown was scored 14 per cent.
G.C. Murmu sworn in as CAG
Former Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Girish Chandra Murmu on Saturday took charge as the new Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).Mr. Murmu was sworn in as the CAG by President Ram Nath Kovind, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a communiqué.
Files go missing whenever country becomes emotional, says Rahul Gandhi
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Saturday, on the 78th anniversary of the Quit India movement, Mahatma Gandhi’s “do or die” will have to be given a new meaning to convey the fight against injustice without fear.In a separate tweet, Mr. Gandhi attacked the Narendra Modi government saying important files, be it of Rafale or Chinese intrusions, have gone missing whenever the country became ‘emotional’.
*SOUTH ASIA, INDO-PAK & J&K*
India, China generals meet today as ‘PLA keeps up Pangong incursions, blocks army at Depsang’
New Delhi: Senior commanders of the Indian and Chinese armies have been in talks at Daulat Beg Oldi in Ladakh since 11 am Saturday as the two sides look to ease the stalemate in their disengagement dialogue.The talks are being led by Major General-level officers, and come after five rounds of dialogue between corps commanders — led by a Lieutenant General on the Indian side, and a Major General on the Chinese side. The Indian delegation is headed by Major General Abhijit Bapat, General Officer Commanding of the 3 Mountain Division, government sources said. The name of his Chinese counterpart is not known.The fresh round of dialogue comes as India and China have hit a stalemate in military talks with regard to disengagement at multiple flashpoints in Ladakh.Government sources said the meeting will focus on all areas and friction points at LAC, but defence sources claimed the situation at Pangong Tso and Depsang Plains remains a major cause of concern.“The areas of concern are trans-LAC patrolling by China in the area of Finger 4 at Pangong Tso and denial of access to Patrol Points 10 to 13 at Depsang by China,” a top defence source said. The source added that six to eight small Chinese patrols have been coming beyond the claim lines in the area of Pangong Tso and returning after 24-48 hours. Even though the Chinese presence has thinned down from Finger 4 since disengagement efforts began last month, and moved towards Finger 5, they continue to dominate Finger 4.
BJP hired Chinese firms during Lok Sabha election, claims Congress
New Delhi : Congress on Friday accused the government of having surrendered before China, claiming that the BJP had hired three Chinese companies during the Lok Sabha elections — a decision that may have compromised user data. Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, “UC Web Mobile got banned in July this year. According to the expenditure report submitted by the BJP to the Election Commission, they (BJP) hired this company in 2019 to run their campaign. It is the same Alibaba- owned company — UC Web Browser — which was also red flagged by Modi govt in 2017 for sending crucial data of Indians to China. What was the compulsion of involving the same company for elections which you had red flagged two years ago?“There is another company called Gamma Gaana Limited. Po Shu Yueng, one of the directors of this company, is also the director in 10c India pvt ltd. Gamma Gaana Ltd is funded by Tencent of China. Last month, the government banned it, saying the company was directly connected with PLA (People’s Liberation Army). This company too was used by BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” Khera alleged.
Plea saying Congress signed agreement with China party has SC surprised
New Delhi :The Supreme Court on Friday expressed surprise over the averments in a petition which sought a probe into the alleged agreement signed between the Indian National Congress and Communist Party Of China in Beijing on August 7, 2008. “You are saying a political party has entered into an agreement with China!…Within our experience, we have unheard of it that a political party is making an agreement with another country,” CJI S A Bobde remarked when the petition by Advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha and journalist Savio Rodrigues came up for hearing. CJI told Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, who appeared for the petitioners, “We will allow you to withdraw this. However, we must tell you that we want you to examine the averments…” On a query why they had not gone to the High Court, Jethmalani said the issue is serious and was centred around offences related to the UAPA.
Pakistan: 3-Judge Bench to Hear Kulbhushan Jadhav Case
Islamabad: On Friday, a Pakistan court with a three-member bench assembled to hear the petition filed by the government to appoint a legal representative for death-row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav.The decision was taken by the Islamabad high court after a two-member bench led by Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Monday ordered to set up a larger bench to hear the case.On Monday, the court heard the petition filed by the Pakistan government to appoint a lawyer for Jadhav. It also named three senior lawyers as amici curiae in Jadhav’s case as it ordered the Pakistan government to give “another chance” to India to appoint a counsel for the death-row prisoner.The new bench includes Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Auranzgeb. Justice Farooq was added to the previous bench which heard the case on August 3.The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 3.
J&K’s Controversial New Domicile Law Faces a Legal Challenge
Srinagar: The domicile law brought in by BJP-led Central government in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is now facing a legal challenge. Petitioners have said that parliament has not delegated its authority of enacting laws for prescribing employment or appointment for a government job on the basis of residence to the Central government under the J&K ReOrganisation Act. The new domicile rules, enacted by Ministry of Home Affairs through an executive order in March this year, reserves government jobs in J&K for its ‘domiciles’, which also includes non-locals living in the UT for 15 years and children of Central government employees serving here for 10 years.Before the reorganisation of J&K, non-locals were not eligible for jobs in the erstwhile state due to special constitutional safeguards incorporated in the constitution of India through a presidential order of 1954.
Unkept Promises: Pandits in Kashmir battling endless wait for jobs, help, see hope in LG Manoj Sinha
More than 400 Hindu youths in Kashmir are threatening a protest after facing an unending wait for government jobs, despite high court interventions. After years of endless wait, the Pandit community finally sees hope in getting political support with the appointment of Manoj Sinha as the new Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.Kashmiri Pandit Sangharash Samiti (KPSS), representing (non-migrant) Hindus residing in the Kashmir valley, has demanded immediate government intervention regarding rising unemployment. The group has threatened to go on “fast unto death if demands are not fulfilled”."We face mental torture. Years of bureaucratic negligence, the ongoing conflict and now the lockdown has caused immense pain to the Pandit youths. Almost 500 people still await government appointments although the high court granted approval for the same in 2019,” said Sanjay Tickoo, activist and president of KPSS.
Former Malaysian PM Mahathir says he won't apologise for 'contentious' Kashmir remarks
Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday said while his "contentious" remarks on the Kashmir issue have led to strained ties with India, he would not apologise for them. Mohamad said in a series of tweets. "I offer no apology for what I had said though I am sorry that it had affected our palm oil export to India. I don't know if that is a high price to pay for speaking out against such injustices."
Malaysia wants to send Zakir Naik to some other country, not many willing to accept, says Ex-PM Mahathir Mohamad
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia was looking for a country except India to send Zakir Naik, but not many countries are willing to accept the controversial preacher, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has said.Naik, a 54-year-old radical Islamic preacher wanted by Indian authorities for alleged money laundering and inciting extremism through hate speeches, left India in 2016 and subsequently moved to largely Muslim Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency when Mahathir was the prime minister.Claiming that the preacher "would not be safe from the Indian public", 95-year-old politician, who is eyeing a comeback, said he would like to send Naik to some country "where we feel he will be safe.""For the time being he (Naik) can stay here but we would like to send him to some other country where he would be safe. Unfortunately, not many countries are willing to accept him," Mahathir was quoted as saying by WION news channel.When asked whether he would extradite Naik if he becomes Prime Minister of Malaysia again, Mahathir said, "Well, we would like to send him to some country where we feel he will be safe."He once again refused to send Naik to India, saying "at this moment we feel that he would not be safe from the Indian public."PTI
Mood of the Nation: One-third Indians not ready to pay more for non-Chinese goods
Even though a majority of Indians have said they are in favour of boycotting imports from China after the violent Galwan Valley clash in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed, when it comes to paying more for non-Chinese goods, almost one-third are just not ready.While a considerable amount of anger reflected in the India Today Group-Karvy Insights Mood of the Nation (MOTN) 2020 survey where nine out of 10 Indians favoured a boycott of China-made products, only 67 per cent said they were ready to pay more for non-China goods.Of the 12,021 of those surveyed, 30 per cent said no, they were not ready.
25% think Modi govt failed to curb Covid: Mood of the Nation
25 per cent of Indians think the Modi government has failed to curb Covid-19, found the India Today-Karvy Insights Ltd Mood of the Nation (MOTN) poll.India reported its first coronavirus case on January 30 when a Wuhan-returned student was found positive in Kerala's Thrissur. Now, India has over 20 lakh cases of the viral infection. Every month since January 30, India has accounted for a growing share of the world’s coronavirus cases, and now makes up nearly 10 per cent of the world’s total burden, and roughly 20 per cent of new cases each day.In fact, over the past few days, India has reported more Covid-19 cases daily than the US and Brazil, the two worst-hit nations.
India has lost 196 doctors to Covid-19, most of them general practitioners: IMA
Atotal of 196 doctors in India, majority of them being general practitioners, have succumbed to coronavirus so far, said the Indian Medical Association (IMA), requesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's for his attention on the issue.The data collected by IMA reveals that a significant proportion of the population consults general practitioner due to fever and its related symptoms which is why they remain the first point of contact as well as care"As per the latest data collected by the IMA, our nation has lost 196 doctors, out of which 170 of them are above the age of 50 years, with general practitioners attributing to around 40 per cent of it," the IMA said expressing concerns over the safety of doctors losing their lives in the fight against the Covid-19 crisis.
Centre asks states to test grocery shop workers, vendors
Union Health Ministry has asked states and UTs to take up coronavirus testing of grocery shop workers, vegetable and other vendors, stating if undetected they can potentially spread the infection to a large number of people.In a letter to states and UTs, Secretary in Health Ministry, Rajesh Bhushan also stressed the need for operationalising ambulance transport system with oxygen facility and quick response mechanism.He underlined that refusal rate of ambulances must be monitored at a daily basis and brought down to zero.PTI
Mass Testing for Covid in Maharashtra’s Most Backward District
MUMBAI – The administration in Gadchiroli, one of the most backward districts in India, has launched a mass testing programme for Covid-19 to ensure that it does not spread across the region.Gadchiroli, located about 1,000 km from Mumbai, did not have a single Covid-19 case till the first half of May. The district administration too had taken measures to prevent the spread of the disease from other parts of the state.However, the past few days have seen a spurt in Covid-19 cases, with nearly 500 being reported of late.“Covid-19 cases have been on the rise over the past few days mainly because of the entry of security forces from other parts of India and also some residents from outside the district,” Ashok Nete, the sole MP from the district told Clarion India on Saturday. “The tests are going on and more than 400 cases have been reported so far.”Clarion India
Union Minister Kailash Chaudhary tests positive for Covid, admitted to hospital
Jaipur: Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Chaudhary has tested positive for coronavirus, he said in a tweet on Saturday.He is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Jodhpur, he said.“Following the test done last night after showing symptoms, the report for coronavirus has come out positive,” Chaudhary tweeted.
Abhishek Bachchan Tests Negative For COVID-19, Discharged. "God Is Great," Posts Dad Amitabh Bachchan
ew Delhi: Actor Abhishek Bachchan has been discharged from Mumbai's Nanavati Hospital, where he was being treated for COVID-19, after a 29-day stay. 44-year-old actor shared the news in social media posts on Saturday afternoon along with a photo of his health care board from inside the isolation ward and wrote: "I TOLD YOU! Discharge plan: YES! This afternoon I tested COVID-19 NEGATIVE. Thank you all for your prayers and wishes. I'm so happy to be able to go home." Abhishek also added a note of gratitude for the hospital's medical team: "My eternal gratitude to the doctors and nursing staff at Nanavati Hospital for taking such good care of me and my family and helping us beat Covid-19. We couldn't have done it without them."
Tamil Nadu to reopen small places of worship in corporation areas from August 10
Tamil Nadu government on Saturday announced that it would allow small temples, mosques, churches and dargahs in corporation areas to reopen for public worship from August 10, PTI reported.Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami reportedly decided to relax the norms as the number of coronavirus cases in the state have gone down recently. Tamil Nadu has so far recorded 2,85,024 cases and 4,690 deaths. As many as 52,759 people are still undergoing treatment and 2,27,575 people have recovered.
Beirut customs chief, port manager arrested in blast probe
A judge in Beirut ordered the arrest of the director of Lebanese customs and the general manager of the city's port as part of the investigations into Tuesday's explosionBadri Daher, the chief of the customs department, and Hassan Koraytem, the general manager of Beirut's port, will be detained for as long as investigations continue, according to the state-run National News Agency.Daher's predecessor Shafik Merhi was also detained.
Police fire tear gas to break up Beirut protest
Thousands of protesters have gathered in central Beirut seeking justice over Tuesday's catastrophic explosion as riot police fire tear gas at those trying to break through a barrier to get to the parliament building.At least 14 demonstrators have been transported to nearby hospitals from Beirut's protest site, the Lebanese Red Cross said. It added that 44 others are being treated at the scene in central Beirut. Lebanese army issued a statement on its official Twitter account urging protesters not to destroy or damage public and private property. Lebanese authorities have taken into custody 16 people as part of an investigation.US President Donald Trump says he will join a conference call to discuss aid to Lebanon.
Lebanon’s Hezbollah Denies It Had Stashed Weapons at Port
leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah rejected rumors that the militant group had stashed weapons at Beirut’s port before this week’s devastating explosion, which officials have blamed on a vast store of ammonium nitrate.“We don’t have anything at the port, not weapons, missiles or ammunition or nitrate or anything else at all. Not now, not in the past or the future,” Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech.
Hariri verdict, a Russian-owned ship and Hezbollah-Israel animosity: Conspiracy theories abound over Beirut blast: firstpost
The Beirut blast earlier this week has triggered a second chain reaction of devastation, conspiracy theories and outpouring of Lebanese anger on streets. The spotlight is back on the most well-equipped and dangerously armed global terrorist organisation, the Hezbollah, and its connection to the assassination of the country's Sunni prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri by its four suspected members in 2005.The apocalyptic mushroom cloud over Beirut on 4 August, which enveloped the Lebanese in fear and consternation, and killed more than 150 while injuring over 5,000, could push down the once-known "Paris of the Middle East" further into global isolation and earn more opprobrium, triggered by the Iran- and Syria-backed Shia terror group’s bloody past and its entrenchment in the corridors of power in Lebanon.Hezbollah and its allies — Amal Movement, Maronite Christian Marada, Druze Lebanese Democratic Party, Baath Party, Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party, Armenian Tashnag, Free Patriotic Movement (founded by current Maronite Christian President Michel Aoun) and a few independents — command 70 seats in the Parliament of Lebanon. With the selection of Hassan Diab as the Prime Minister of Lebanon, the guerilla group's grip over the government has become dangerously firm.
Tens of thousands sign petition to place Lebanon under French mandate
Nearly 60,000 people have signed a petition calling for their country to be placed under a French mandate for the next 10 years. The move follows the massive explosion that rocked the capital Beirut.The petition calls for the imposition of a French mandate because of the current political and economic crisis, for which the ruling elite is being blamed.“Lebanon’s officials have clearly shown a total inability to secure and manage the country,” says the petition. “With a failing system, corruption, terrorism and militia the country just reached its last breath. We believe Lebanon should go back under the French mandate in order to establish a clean and durable governance.”The popular petition was started after French President Emmanuel Macron visited Beirut yesterday and walked along some of the most damaged streets close to the site of the explosion. He was accompanied by his Lebanese counterpart, Michel Aoun.Hundreds of people gathered to greet the French president, denounce the government and plead with Macron to send aid directly to NGOs such as the Lebanese Red Cross rather than through politicians, who they believe are corrupt. Protests in downtown Beirut saw demonstrators clash with security forces while calling on the government to resign.
Twitter: Arab citizens criticise Macron's actions in Beirut
French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Lebanon sparked controversy over the nature of the visit among social media users.While some believed that this visit carried a message of support for Lebanon after the massive explosion that took place in the Port of Beirut, others believe that it was “not innocent”.Macron visited Lebanon on Thursday and met with political leaders and toured Gemmayzeh Street, which is considered the most affected area in Beirut.The French president spoke with citizens and assured them that France would provide aid to the people, not to politicians.
Lebanon appeals for Arab support after explosion
Lebanese President Michel Aoun called on Arab countries today to support Lebanon in the wake of a massive explosion at the Beirut port, Anadolu Agency reports.“Lebanon needs any help in every field, and there is great hope in the brotherly Arab countries,” Aoun said in statements following a meeting with Arab League Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, at the presidential palace in Beirut.“The scale of the disaster is huge,” he said, going on to call on the Arab countries to contribute in the reconstruction of Beirut.Aboul Gheit, for his part, said that he assured the Lebanese president of the Arab League’s support to Lebanon.The pan-Arab League chief said he will participate in an international conference that France seeks to organise to support Lebanon.
Dutch Ambassador's Wife, Injured In Beirut Explosion, Dies: Netherlands
The Hague: The wife of Dutch ambassador to Lebanon Jan Waltmans has died of wounds sustained in the Beirut bomb explosion, the Netherlands' foreign ministry said Saturday."It is with dismay and great sadness that we report the death of our colleague Hedwig Waltmans-Molier. She succumbed to injuries sustained in the massive explosion in Beirut," a ministry statement said.Waltmans-Molier was hit by debris from the explosion shortly after returning back to Lebanon from holiday with her husband of 38 years."Hedwig was standing in her living room next to her husband when she was hit, sheerly by bad lack, by the explosion," the ministry said.
Yedioth Ahronoth: Israel’s Netanyahu seeks to form new party
Yedioth Ahronoth revealed on Friday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking to form a new right-wing party.The newspaper reported that: “The aim is to participate in the coming elections.” The newspaper quoted sources in the ruling Likud Party as stating: “The move aims to allow another right-wing party separate from Likud to increase the votes of the right-wing bloc in the upcoming elections to reach 61 members, without the need for parties from outside it.”“Netanyahu unofficially seeks to form a new right-wing party, led by one of his former aides, Haim Bibas, who is the mayor of Modi’in and head of its local authority,” added the newspaper.It asserted: “Netanyahu does not trust the entire parties of the right-wing bloc, and he cannot be sure that he will have a 61-member bloc in the Knesset, so he works behind the scenes to establish a right-wing party that gets several seats, and guarantees him a majority in the Knesset.”
Israel: President Rivlin plans to resign to run for prime minister post
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin is planning to resign in order to compete with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the prime minister position, Israeli newspaper Maariv revealed on Friday.Quds Net News Agency reported that Maariv cited Israeli inside sources confirming this plan.The sources noted that there is substantial hope that Rivlin would achieve an overwhelming majority against the Likud Party.
Biden orders removal of Israel occupation reference from election campaign
US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has ordered the removal of any reference to the Israeli occupation in his campaign programme just days before it was released on 15 July, Foreign Policy revealed .Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who withdrew his presidential campaign in favour of Biden, had agreed with Biden that he would include in the Democratic Party platform an assertion that Palestinians had a right to live free of foreign “occupation”, referring to Israel.However, under pressure from pro-Israeli advocacy groups, Biden made a last-minute decision to remove any reference to the Israeli occupation, Foreign Policy reported three sources confirming.
US State Dept asks Saudi Arabia about ex-spy's detained children
United States Department of State said in a letter it has repeatedly requested that Saudi Arabia "clarify the status and nature" of the detention of two children of a former top Saudi intelligence officer exiled in Canada who has alleged that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) wants to assassinate him.The State Department letter came in response to one sent by four US senators last month, calling on President Donald Trump to help free the detained children of Saad al-Jabri, who has worked closely with the US."For years, Dr. Aljabri was the US Embassy in Riyadh's counterpart on shared counterterrorism efforts and responded around the clock to threats against our Mission and personnel," stated the letter by Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Legislative Affairs Ryan M Kaldahl.It says the US appreciates Al-Jabri's "contributions to keeping our citizens safe" and "absent sufficient and compelling justification" will continue to advocate for the wellbeing of Al-Jabri's children.
Saudi hit squad allegations: US says al-Jabri a 'valued partner'
US State Department has voiced its support for a former top Saudi intelligence agent who was reportedly targeted in a foiled assassination attempt.It has described Saad al-Jabri as a valued partner.Al-Jabri filed a lawsuit in Washington on Thursday accusing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of sending a hit squad to Canada to try and kill him.
Revealed: Saudi's MBS pushed Russia to intervene in Syria conflict, despite supporting opposition
Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman reportedly encouraged Russian President Vladimir Putin to militarily intervene in the Syrian conflict, official documents related to a former Saudi intelligence chief have claimed.According to the lawsuit filed to US courts by former Saudi intelligence chief Saad Al-Jabri against the crown prince, Al-Jabri participated in two official meetings with the former CIA Director John Brennan in 2015.In one of those meetings around the month of July, the pair discussed Bin Salman’s recent communication with Putin and Brennan, raising concerns of his alleged encouragement of Russia to intervene in Syria. When Al-Jabri reported back and relayed Brennan’s message to the crown prince, he reportedly “responded with fury” at the topic.
UN: At least nine children killed by air raids in northern Yemen
Air raids in northern Yemen have killed as many as nine children, a United Nations official said, making it the third such attack with significant child deaths in the rebel-controlled region this month.Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said in a statement on Friday a group of mostly women and children were hit while they were travelling by road the previous day.She said the attack was "shocking and completely, totally unacceptable".
Russia, China, Iran work to undermine US election: US intel chief
The top United States counterintelligence official on Friday warned that Russia, China and Iran will all try to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, with Russia already trying to undercut presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden.In an unusual public statement, William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said those countries were using online disinformation and other means to try to influence voters, stir up disorder and undermine American voters' confidence in the democratic process.The statement comes amid criticism from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional Democrats that the intelligence community has been withholding from the public specific intelligence information about the threat of foreign election interference in the upcoming election.
Sperms don’t swim — scientists have been wrong for the last 350 years
Sperm is critical for the fertilisation of almost every living organism on our planet, including humans. To reproduce, human sperm have to swim a distance equivalent to climbing Mount Everest to find the egg. They complete this epic journey simply by wiggling their tail, moving fluid to swim forwards. Though over 50 million sperm will fail to reach the egg – the equivalent to more than six times the entire population of London or New York – it only takes one single sperm in order to fertilise an egg that will eventually become a human being.Sperm was first discovered in 1677 – but it took roughly 200 years before scientists agreed on how humans are actually formed. The “preformationists” believed that each spermatozoa contained a tiny, miniaturised human – the homunculus. They believed that the egg simply provided a place for the sperm to grow.On the other hand, the “epigenesists” argued that both males and females contributed to form a new being, and discoveries in the 1700s showed more evidence for this theory. Though scientists now better understand the role that sperm plays in ew, our latest research has discovered that sperm have actually been fooling scientists this whole time.
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