US ELECTIONS –REACTIONS
US President-elect Biden says win ushers in new era of healing
Joe Biden has vowed to unite people in a deeply divided nation as the next United States president, after a marathon election campaign marked by heated rhetoric. In his first address since defeating Donald Trump to win the White House, Biden said he intends to govern for everyone – and praised the broad range of support he received from people across the country who voted for him in record numbers.“Folks, the people of this nation have spoken. They delivered us a clear victory, a convincing victory, a victory for ‘We the people’,” the Democratic president-elect told a crowd of supporters at a rally in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware on Saturday night.The former US vice president had urged calm this week, as several key states continued to count ballots, while projecting confidence that he and vice-presidential running mate Kamala Harris would ultimately be declared the winners.Thousands joined the physically distanced car rally in Wilmington, cheering and waving US flags and Biden-Harris 2020 posters.“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but unify; who doesn’t see red states and blue states – only sees the US – and who will work with all my heart to win the confidence of the whole people,” Biden said.Trump has not conceded the race, saying earlier on Saturday that “this election is far from over” and vowing to legally challenge the results in several states.Experts have rejected those allegations as baseless, though many of Trump’s supporters have echoed them in protests denouncing Biden’s victory.
US ‘Muslim ban’ set to end ‘on day one’ of Biden presidency
On the first day of his presidency, president-elect Joe Biden intends to rescind Donald Trump’s travel bans on travellers from 13 countries, most either majority-Muslim or African nations.Shortly after taking office in 2017, Trump issued an executive order that banned travellers from seven majority-Muslim nations from entering US.The bans could be easily undone as they were issued by executive order and presidential proclamation, according to policy experts, but lawsuits from conservatives could delay the process.In October, Biden also promised to push politicians for laws to fight the surging number of hate crimes in the US.“As president, I’ll work with you to rip the poison of hate from our society to honour your contributions and seek your ideas. My administration will look like America with Muslim Americans serving at every level,” he said.“On day one, I’ll end Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban.” “Muslim communities are the first to feel Donald Trump’s assault on Black and brown communities in this country, with his vile Muslim ban. That fight was the opening barrage in what has been nearly four years of constant pressure and insults,” Biden said.Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), US’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation, congratulated Biden on his victory on Saturday and said it would hold him to his election promises.“President-elect Biden has pledged to end the Muslim Ban on his first day in office, include Muslims at every level of his administration and address issues of racial and religious discrimination,” said Nihad Awad, CAIR’s national executive director.“We plan to join other American Muslim leaders and organisations in ensuring that the Biden administration fulfils these promises. We also plan to continue holding our government accountable when it errs.”
Biden Plans Immediate Executive Orders To Reverse Trump Policies
President-elect Joe Biden is planning to quickly sign a series of executive orders after being sworn into office on Jan. 20, immediately forecasting that the country's politics have shifted and that his presidency will be guided by radically different priorities.He will rejoin the Paris climate accords, according to those close to his campaign and commitments he has made in recent months, and he will reverse President Donald Trump's withdrawal from WHO. He will repeal the ban on immigration from many Muslim-majority countries, and he will reinstate the program allowing "dreamers," who were brought to US illegally as children, to remain in the country, according to people familiar with his plans.
Joe Biden ‘no saviour’ of the Palestinians:aljazeera
Palestinians eye restoration of US relations but scepticism abounds that Joe Biden’s election win marks a strategic American policy change.In October 1973, newly elected Delaware Senator Joe Biden visited Israel on his first official overseas trip and met Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.The 30-year-old was visibly moved as Meir explained what she said was Israel’s militarily dangerous situation surrounded by “enemy states”, but he cheered up when the Israeli leader revealed what she said was Israel’s secret weapon: The Israelis have nowhere else to go.Biden has retold this story countless times, describing the event as “one of the most consequential meetings I’ve ever had in my life”.It marked the beginning of his unwavering support for Israel and close ties with many Israeli leaders since then.Biden, a self-avowed Zionist, has attended many pro-Israeli lobby group meetings, such as American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and J Street. His victory on Saturday over Donald Trump in one of the closest US presidential elections has been received with a sigh of relief from Palestinian officials– not so much for his winning but more for Trump losing. Several Palestinian news agencies carried statements by Palestinian officials with their perspectives on what President-elect Biden’s victory would mean.Nabil Shaath, special representative of President Mahmoud Abbas, said Palestinian leadership does not expect a strategic change in US policy towards the Palestinians, but getting rid of the era of Trump – which he described as “the worst” – is an advantage.Hanan Ashrawi, a member of PLO Executive Committee, said while the first step is to “get rid of Trump and the danger he poses”, she stressed Biden will not be a saviour for the Palestinians.
Hamas chief urges Biden to scrap ‘deal of the century’
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh has called on US President-elect Joe Biden to pull back outgoing President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century”, Anadolu reports.In a statement, Haniyeh asked the Biden administration to abolish the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the embassy move to the holy city.Trump’s “deal of the century” refers to Jerusalem as “Israel’s undivided capital” and recognizes Israeli sovereignty over large parts of the West Bank.The plan, which has invited a storm of condemnations from the Palestinians, calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the form of an archipelago connected by bridges and tunnels.Haniyeh urged Biden “to correct the path of US unfair policies towards our [Palestinian] people which made the US a partner [to Israel] in oppression and aggression”.
Former Saudi intelligence chief: Biden to disappoint Palestinians
Former Chief of Saudi Intelligence Services Turki Al-Faisal has announced that if Joe Biden becomes US president, he will disappoint Palestinians regarding their struggle with Israel, Al-Arabiya reported.Speaking at the Beirut Forum in Abu-Dhabi, Al-Faisal conveyed that Biden would not cancel Trump’s measures taken in support of Israel, such as recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.“I think that if Biden becomes president, he would not backtrack from Abraham Accords,” referring to the Israeli normalisation deals with the UAE and Bahrain.He stressed: “What is worrying to me is that the Palestinian brothers and friends would be disappointed if they thought that Biden would be different from Trump.”
Palestinians happy with Trump’s election loss
US President Donald Trump’s departure from the White House will be a relief for Palestinians under Israeli occupation, the nation’s leaders said Sunday, Anadolu reports.Nabil Shaath, Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas’ special envoy, told Anadolu Agency that the Trump administration was the worst for Palestinians.“For us, it is a gain to get rid of Trump. However, we don’t expect an essential strategic change in America’s stance towards the Palestinian cause,” he said.Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, called for a re-adjustment of balances in and out of the US. Mustafa Barghouti, General Secretary of Palestinian National Initiative, expressed happiness about US election results and said Trump was the worst American president civilization encountered in modern times.“Trump shattered international relations and politics. The so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ was the worst thing he did for Palestinians,” he said.Mujahideen Movement, part of the Palestinian resistance, also commented on election results and said Trump’s downfall was tantamount to the collapse of all systems that have betrayed their own people and Palestine.
Israel's Netanyahu congratulates Biden on US election win, thanks Trump
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden on Sunday, hailing a strong alliance that could be burdened by differences over policy on Iran and the Palestinians, Reuters reports.“Congratulations @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. Joe, we’ve had a long & warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years, and I know you as a great friend of Israel. I look forward to working with both of you to further strengthen the special alliance between the US and Israel,” Netanyahu said on his Twitter account, which still carries a photograph of him and incumbent US President Donald Trump at its head.
Some Oil-Rich Nations Wary Of Strain Under Biden, Miss "Friend Trump": Report
Key members of OPEC are wary that strains in OPEC+ alliance could reemerge with Joe Biden as US President, sources close to the organisation said, and would miss President Donald Trump who went from criticising the group to helping bring about a record oil output cut.Biden could modify US diplomatic relations with three members of OPEC - de facto leader Saudi Arabia, and sanctioned countries Iran and Venezuela, as well as with key non-OPEC producer Russia.Russia is the leader of oil producers allied with OPEC, a group known as OPEC+. Strict enforcement of US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela has kept millions of barrels of oil per day off the market, and if Biden should relax measures on either in years to come an increase in production could make it harder for OPEC to balance supply with demand.Reuters
"Opportunity To Compensate For Previous Mistakes": Iran On Joe Biden Win
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday said the next US administration has an opportunity to "compensate for its previous mistakes" following Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election."Now there is an opportunity for the future American administration to compensate for its previous mistakes and return to the path of adherence to international commitments," Rouhani said, in a statement on his official website.AFP
Muslim Brotherhood urge incoming US administration to end support for dictatorships
Muslim Brotherhood on Saturday welcomed the outcome of the US elections. A statement issued by the movement’s Deputy General Guide, Ibrahim Munir, said Biden’s victory proves that the American people are still capable of enforcing their will.The statement read: “On this occasion, we call upon the incoming American administration to reconsider previous policies of support for dictatorships around the world. We implore the Biden administration to repudiate the crimes and violations committed by tyrannical regimes against the rights of peoples.”It added, “We regard policies that ignore the free choices of people and which foster relations with authoritarian regimes as absolutely inappropriate. They represent a choice to stand on the wrong side of history.” The Muslim Brotherhood said it remained committed to supporting the free choices of people in the hope that they will lead to stable and just systems in which people enjoy dignified lives and in which the values of justice, democracy, equality, plurality and the protection of human rights are all upheld.
"When My Mother Came From India, She Didn't Imagine...": Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris, who has made history by becoming the first woman, the first Black person and the first Indian-American to become US Vice President, paid tribute to her Indian mother."I'm grateful to the woman most responsible for my presence here today, my mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris. When she came here from India at the age of 19, she maybe didn't imagine this moment. But she believed so deeply in America where moment like this is possible," Kamala Harris said in her first address to the nation as Vice President-Elect."I am thinking about her and generations of women, black women, Asian, White, Latina, Native American women who throughout our nation's history have paved the way for this moment tonight," the 57-year-old said to loud cheering at an outdoor rally in Joe Biden's home city of Wilmington, Delaware.Kamala Harris is the daughter of an Indian immigrant and a Jamaican-born father. She is a Christian, but also attended Hindu temples with her mother.
Kamala Harris may choose to speak out on human rights issues in India, says her uncle
NEW DELHI:Kamala Harris will speak out on issues that are important to her, said the maternal uncle of the Vice President Elect of the US. Speaking to The Hindu, G. Balachandran, policy commentator and technology expert said that Ms. Harris was raised by her mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris who participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s and she may choose to speak out on human rights related issues in India. Mr. Balachandran has worked in Chennai as The Hindu’s Development Correspondent, between 1978 and 1984."She will speak out if she is moved by something. You may not want her to say that but she will say, 'I am sorry but I will have to say this'," said Mr. Balachandran. He pointed out that Ms. Harris would not keep quiet if she finds something happening in India that she disagrees with.The Hindu
Biden's New Plan For H-1B Visas, Green Cards Likely To Benefit Thousands of Indian
Washington:US President-elect Joe Biden plans to increase the number of high-skilled visas, including H-1B, and eliminate the limit on employment-based visas by country, both of which are expected to benefit tens of thousands of Indian professionals impacted by some immigration policies of outgoing Trump administration. With Kamala Harris as his deputy, Biden is expected to reverse the move of the outgoing Trump administration to revoke work permits to the spouses of H-1B visas, which had adversely impacted a large number of Indian families in US.All these are part of a comprehensive immigration reform that the Biden administration plans to work on, either in one go or in separate pieces.
President-elect Biden likely to provide US citizenship to over 5,00,000 Indians
Washington:US President-elect Joe Biden will work towards providing a roadmap to American citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants, including over 5,00,000 from India, and will also establish a minimum admission number of 95,000 refugees annually.As a largely immigrant community, but in some cases with American roots reaching back generations, Indian-Americans know firsthand the strength and resilience that immigrants bring to US, according to a policy document issued by the Biden campaign.“He (Biden) will immediately begin working with Congress to pass legislative immigration reform that modernises our system, with a priority on keeping families together by providing a roadmap to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants—including more than 500,000 from India,” it said.
US Election 2020: Joe Biden administration will place high priority on strengthening Indo-US relationship
The Biden administration will place high priority on strengthening the Indo-US relationship by pushing India to became a permanent member of the UN Security Council, continuing co-operation on terrorism, climate change, health and trade, according to a policy paper released by the Biden campaign during the presidential election.By becoming the US president, Biden has an opportunity of fulfilling his 14-year-old dream to strengthen the India-US ties that he wants to achieve in 2020.PTI
‘Look forward to working together’: Modi, Indian leaders congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated US President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris after several media outlets predicted their victory in the closely-watched elections. Modi said that he looked forward to working with Biden again.“Congratulations Joe Biden on your spectacular victory!” Modi tweeted. “As VP, your contribution to strengthening Indo-US relations was critical and invaluable. I look forward to working closely together once again to take India-US relations to greater heights.”The prime minister said that Harris’ victory made the Indian-American community immensely proud. Congress President Sonia Gandhi wrote a congratulatory letter to Harris. Gandhi told Harris that her success was a “triumph for Black Americans and Indian Americans, humanity, compassion and inclusiveness.”Gandhi also expressed confidence that Harris would work to heal and unite a “bitterly divided nation”.
Arabs doubt Biden will herald change in the Middle East:Reuters
Arab leaders congratulated Joe Biden on his election victory, but some people in the Middle East expressed cynicism over U.S. policy even if he pursues diplomacy rather than President Donald Trump’s blunt approach to the region’s myriad problems.“I was positive that Trump will not make it to a second term. He was too hostile almost towards everybody. He is (more) fit to be a mafia leader than a president of US,” said Adel Salman, 40, a high school English teacher in Baghdad. “Let’s wait and see with the Biden presidency. And I’m saying to all Iraqis don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Is Biden better for Iraq? Let’s wait and see his acts.”Biden may face some of his most complex foreign policy challenges in the region: from wars in Libya and Yemen to reassuring the United States’ Gulf Arab allies that Washington can protect them from enemy Iran, even though he has said he would return to the international nuclear deal with Tehran.
Turkey gives muted first response to Biden win:Reuters
Turkey gave an impassive first reaction on Sunday to Joe Biden’s presidential win, with Vice President Fuat Oktay saying it would not change relations between the old allies although Ankara will keep pressing Washington on Syria and other policy differences.Turkey stands to lose more than most other countries if Joe Biden is elected president since he is expected to toughen the U.S. stance against President Tayyip Erdogan’s foreign military interventions and closer cooperation with Russia.“Nothing will change for Turkey,” Oktay said. “The channels of communication will work as before, but of course there will be a transition period,” he said, adding Ankara would closely monitor Biden’s foreign policy approach.He said Turkey would press the next U.S. administration to abandon support for Kurdish militant groups in Syria, and to extradite Gulen.Erdogan has not yet commented on Biden’s victory.
Turkey's main opposition hails Biden's US election win
Turkey's main opposition leader late Saturday congratulated the incoming US president and vice president on their electoral victory."I would like to congratulate Joe Biden for his election as the 46th President of US and Kamala Harris as Vice-President," Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), said in English on Twitter."I look forward to strengthening Turkish-American relations and our strategic alliance," he added.
Chinese President Xi Orders Faster Work On Rail Line In Tibet, Close To Arunachal: Report
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday instructed officials to expedite the construction of the new USD 47.8 billion railway project connecting the country's southwest Sichuan province to Linzhi in Tibet close to the Indian border in Arunachal Pradesh, saying it would play a key role in safeguarding stability in the border areas.The Sichuan-Tibet Railway will be the second railway line into Tibet after the Qinghai-Tibet Railway project. It will go through the southeast of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, one of the world's most geologically active areas, according to the Chinese official media.The Sichuan-Tibet Railway starts from Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province and travels through Ya'an and enters Tibet via Qamdo, shortening the journey from Chengdu to Lhasa from 48 hours to 13 hours.Linzhi, also known as Nyingchi, is located close to Arunachal Pradesh border.India-China border dispute covers 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control, the de-facto border between the two countries. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of south Tibet which is firmly rejected by India.Linzhi also has an airport which is one of the five airports built by China in the Himalayan region.PTI
No progress in India-China Corps Commander talks
At the eighth round of India-China Corps Commander talks on Friday the two sides had a “candid, in-depth and constructive exchange of views” on disengagement along LAC and agreed to continue the talks, a joint statement issued on Sunday said. With no breakthrough in talks, the standoff in its seventh month now is set to continue into the winter for which both sides have made preparations.“Both sides agreed to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, ensure their frontline troops to exercise restraint and avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation,” the statement said.
3 soldiers, BSF jawan, three militants killed near LoC in Kupwara
SRINAGAR: 3 soldiers and a BSF jawan and three militants were killed in an ongoing gunfight close to LoC in north Kashmir’s Kupwara.“About 1 a.m., a BSF patrol noticed suspicious movement near the Anti-Infiltration Obstacle System (AIOS) near a fence, about 3.5 km away from the LoC. A firefight ensued in which one terrorist was killed. A BSF soldier was also killed in action,” an Army spokesman said.The firefight stopped at 4 a.m., as more troops were rushed to the area for sanitisation.“Terrorists movement was tracked by surveillance devices. Contact was re-established at 10.20 a.m. when heavy fire was drawn by own search parties approximately 1.5 km from the LoC. In the ensuing firefight, two more terrorists were killed. Own troops suffered three casualties and two more were injured,” the Army said.
Bhim Singh meets Gupkar leaders, removed as JKNPP patron
Jammu :Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party chairperson Harsh Dev Singh Saturday removed his uncle Bhim Singh from the post of chief patron after the party founder attended a meeting with members of the Gupkar alliance in the morning.“Panthers Party has nothing to do with Prof Bhim Singh’s meeting with PAGD (People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration) members and he had gone there in his individual capacity,’’ Harsh Dev told reporters in Jammu.“He has grown old and often doesn’t appear to have any control over his statements,” he said, adding that the voices “against India and for restoration of Article 370 and 35-A are not acceptable” to the party.
Arnab Goswami, two others shifted to Taloja jail
MUMBAI:Republic TV managing director and editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami along with two of the co-accused in the case of abetment to suicide has been shifted to Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai by jail officials citing security reasons. Goswami who was arrested on November 4 has been in judicial custody since then and was lodged in the Alibag jail-quarantine centre which is a school run by Alibag Municipal Council.“The shifting decision was by jail authorities. On Monday, we have a hearing on our revision petition before Alibag sessions court and if we are granted police custody, he will have to be brought back,” Raigad Superintendent of Police Ashok Dudhe said.Mr. Goswami was shifted to Taloja jail along with Feroz Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda after their quarantine period in Alibag was over.
Police foil BJP leaders’ attempt to hold protest in support of Arnab Goswami at Rajghat
Police on Sunday detained BJP leaders Kapil Mishra and Tajinder Bagga and foiled their bid to hold a protest at Rajghat here in support of journalist Arnab Goswami, arrested in connection with a 2018 abetment of suicide case of an interior designer. 2BJP leaders were whisked away to Rajender Nagar police station as they tried to stage a dharna near Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial at Rajghat in the morning. PTI
CBI to probe how poor minority students duped of scholarships
The illegal siphoning of the Centrally funded pre-Matric scholarship meant for poor minority students by an alleged nexus of middlemen, bank correspondents, officials and school staff investigated by Indian Express, will now be probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, sources have confirmed.The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs which administers this scholarship – Rs 1400 crore last year nationally — has taken this decision “seeing the scope of the scam,” officials said. Beginning October 31, Indian Express’s investigative series highlighted how the scam siphoned off scholarships meant for schools across Ranchi, Dhanbad, Latehar, Ramgarh, Lohardaga in Jharkhand and Gaya, Darbhanga and Saharsa in Bihar. Several students had their Aadhaar cards and fingerprints taken and scholarships were disbursed in their names but they received only a fraction of the amount — if at all anything. Scholarship meant for students who live in hostels were siphoned off in the name of schools that didn’t have a hostel. A school from Punjab and a Kendriya Vidyalaya from Assam had their names being fraudulently used to divert scholarship money in two districts.Indian Express
AMU Seeks President's Intervention To Mitigate Its Financial Crisis
Aligarh::Aligarh Muslim University teachers have sought President Ram Nath Kovind’s intervention as the varsity’s visitor to mitigate its “unprecedented” financial, which has further accentuated this month.In a letter to the President, AMU Teachers Association on Saturday sought to draw his attention to the fact that thousands of university pensioners have "received only half of their pension money this month causing severe financial crisis and hardships to them".AMUTA secretary Prof Najmul Islam told reporters that AMU received Rs 17 crore less money against the stipulated amount this month. Apart from pensioners, those adversely affected include researchers and all other staffers who have not been receiving a host of other allowances including arrears of pay and leave encashment, Prof Islam said.
AMU violence: Sharjeel Usmani externed from Aligarh under Goondas Act
Lucknow :Aligarh district administration has issued an externment order against Aligarh Muslim University student Sharjeel Usmani, banning his stay in the district for six months under the UP Control of Goondas Act. Usmani (23) was booked in four cases at Civil Lines police station in Aligarh in December last year following a clash between AMU students, police and paramilitary forces in the university during a demonstration against the amended citizenship law and police action on Jamia Millia Islamia campus.“As per report submitted by in charge of Civil Lines police station which has gone through Aligarh SSP, it has been made clear that Sharjeel Usmani comes under the category of a goonda under section 2 of the UP Control Of Goondas Act. This person is reckless and a threat for the public. Hence, people are scared of giving evidence against him. He is a dangerous goonda. His acts are dangerous to the properties of common people,” stated the order, dated October 20 and issued by ADM (City) Rakesh Kumar Malpani.
Social Activist Zainab’s Residence Raided by ATS in UP
Lucknow-based social activist Zainab Siddiqui’s father was arrested by ATS on charges of involvement in the violence against CAA. Along with her 52-year-old father, ATS also took into custody her minor brother.Zainab’s mother alleges that “goons” (men in civil dress) grabbed her husband while he was returning home after evening prayers, and verbally abused her and her daughters.Asma Izaat, an advocate, said that the local police had refused to provide information about the reasons for the alleged arrest. They also allegedly misbehaved with her.
Muslims Have Lowest Enrollment Rates at School, Higher Education: Report
NEW DELHI – A new report titled “A New Agenda for The Education of Indian Muslim in the 21st Century” reveals a gloomy picture of Indian Muslims’ educational status, and shows the way out of this mess.The report, compiled by Pune-based educationist Dr. John Kurrien, noted that Indian Muslims lagged far behind other marginalised communities, and urgent attention and holistic measures are needed to deal with the situation.Noting about the educational backwardness of the minority community, the report said, “Official data indicates that Muslims have now the lowest levels of school and higher education enrolment–even lower than traditionally disadvantaged groups like SCs and STs–and have also the lowest participation rates in all prestigious school and higher educational institutions including KGBVs, central universities, and institutions of national importance”.Citing a pioneering 2018 intergenerational mobility study, the report observed that during the economic liberalisation period, all marginalised communities, including SCs and STs, have made upward mobility gains but for Muslims, these opportunities substantially deteriorated.Clarion India
Kerala: Cong to have regional alliance with Welfare Party in local body polls
Congress high-power Political Affairs Committee which met at the KPCC headquarters Indira Bhavan here on Saturday decided to have local level tie-up with Welfare Party of India (WPI) in the local body elections. However, it decided against inducting P C Thomas into UDF as he will have to merge his party with the PJ Joseph faction of Kerala Congress (Mani) before being allowed into the front. KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran told reporters after PAC meeting that the campaign slogan for the local body elections will be ‘one vote against corruption’ implying that Opposition will be highlighting gold smuggling case, LIFE Mission scam and Bineesh Kodiyeri’s alleged involvement in Bengaluru drug case in its bid to put the ruling LDF on the mat. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala maintained that the alliance with the WPI is being forged only at the local level where directives have been sent the grassroots in time for the local body elections.PAC also decided to highlight the slew of corruption charges against the LDF government in the local body polls.
4 years since demonetisation: PM Modi, BJP defend move, Congress observes ‘Vikshwasghaat Diwas’
November 8 marks the fourth anniversary of demonetisation when the central government decided to ban all Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes in circulation. Just like in 2016, demonetisation continues to divide the country between those who endorsed the move and those who believe it dealt an unnecessary body blow to the Indian economy.Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday took to Twitter to defend the declaration he made on November 8, 2016. In a tweet, PM Modi said, "Demonetisation has helped reduce black money, increase tax compliance and formalisation and given a boost to transparency."In a video released as part of Congress' 'SpeakUpAgainstDeMoDisaster' campaign, former party president Rahul Gandhi criticized demonetisation and alleged that PM Modi lied when he said that the move was meant to strengthen India's fight against black money."Four years ago Prime Minister Narendra Modi began an assault on the Indian economy. He hurt farmers, labourers and small shopkeepers. Manmohan Singh ji said the economy will lose two per cent and that is what we saw," Rahul Gandhi said.
To Ban Religious Conversion For Marriage Is An Attempt To Divert Public Attention By Yediyurappa: Siddaramaiah
Bengaluru – Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah lashed out at CM of Karnataka B S Yediyurappa on his proposal to enact a law criminalizing religious conversion for marriages between a Muslim boy and a Hindu girl (referred to as “Love Jihad” by the Hindutva organizations). In a series of tweets yesterday, Siddaramaiah termed Yediyurappa’s proposal as a frivolous attempt to divert public attention from their miserable administrative and policy failure. Siddaramaiah is the leader of opposition in the Karnataka Assembly.Siddaramaiah further wrote that the BJP wants to mislead people with their wrong interpretation of recent Allahabad High Court judgement. The court only said that the conversion for the sake of inter-religious marriage is wrong, but it ‘does not’ say that inter-religious marriage itself is wrong. Siddaramaiah accused Yediyurappa of taking inspiration from Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi government and wrote, “It is unfortunate that CM of Karnataka and minister are taking inspiration from CM of Uttar Pradesh. Karnataka is always known for its liberal and progressive ideas. Uttar Pradesh, which is known as ‘Goonda Rajya’, can never be an inspiration or a model State.”India Tomorrow
Plea in Supreme Court against Centre’s notification demarcating 56,825 sq. km in 6 States as Western Ghats Ecologically Sensitive Area
A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the 2018 draft notification of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change demarcating an area of 56,825 square kilometre spread across six States as the Western Ghats Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA).The Western Ghats, spread across Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, are recognised by UNESCO as one of the world’s eight most important biodiversity hotspots.The plea filed by an NGO ‘Karshaka Shabdam’ through advocate Suvidutt M.S. sought directions to the Centre and Kerala to not implement the recommendations of Western Ghats Ecologically Expert Panel (WGEEP), also called the Gadgil Committee, and of the High-Level Working Group, also called the Kasturirangan Committee.PTI
NCB arrests Firoz Nadiadwala's wife Shabana Saeed in Bollywood drug probe
Mumbai:Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) carried out a raid at producer Firoz Nadiadwala's house today morning. The officials recovered a commercial quantity of drugs at the producer's home. The producer was not present at home during the raid. His wife Shabana Saeed was taken to the NCB office for questioning.
Facebook flags Himanta Biswa Sarma’s post about ‘pro-Pakistan’ slogans as false information
Facebook on Saturday flagged a video shared by Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma as “false information”. Biswa had claimed that the video showed supporters of AIUDF MP Badruddin Ajmal shouting “pro-Pakistan” slogans.Sarma claimed that the incident took place at the Silchar airport, according to TOI.“Look at the brazenness of these fundamentalists anti-national people who are shouting PAKISTAN ZINDABAD while they welcome MP Ajmal,” he wrote on Facebook, along with the video. “This thoroughly exposes Indian National Congress which is encouraging such forces by forging an alliance. We shall fight them tooth and nail. Jai Hind.”
Ground Report by Activist Highlights Problems Faced by Disabled Persons in Bihar Polls
New Delhi: A disabled independent researcher working with the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in Bihar has highlighted how despite clear instructions and guidelines from the Election Commission of India for making the assembly polls “accessible”, a large number of persons with disability (PwD) faced immense problems in reaching the polling booths and casting their vote. Moreover, Harsh Raj, who surveyed several constituencies in and around Patna and interviewed PwDs during the first and second phase of voting on October 28 and November 3 respectively, also told The Wire that when he visited the office of the chief electoral officer, Patna to highlight the problems being faced by PwDs, he was appalled to note that the office itself was not accessible and had no wheelchairs. “As such, I had to crawl with my hands to the third floor to meet the officials,” he said.
‘Computer Baba’ ashram razed near Indore, Congress cries vendetta, BJP defends demolition
Bhopal: Namdev Das Tyagi, known widely as ‘Computer Baba’, a religious figure who enjoyed ‘minister of state’ status in Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s previous government but has since allied with the Congress, was taken into custody Sunday after he resisted a drive to pull down alleged illegal constructions at his ashram near Indore.Six other ashram functionaries were also charged with obstructing government officials on duty and sent to jail with Computer Baba.Accusing him of encroaching on a piece of government land meant for a gaushala at Jambudi Hapsi, the Indore administration demolished his ashram and adjacent constructions. A government official told reporters in Indore that Tyagi had been served a notice in this regard two months ago. However, the Congress said the demolition exercise was “vendetta” — an allegation denied by the ruling BJP.
Maharashtra CM Thackeray hints at reopening religious places after Deepavali
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday hinted at reopening of places of religious worship, saying a standard operating procedure for avoiding crowds and ensuring physical distancing there will be drafted after Diwali.In a webcast, Mr. Thackeray said he is getting flak for going slow on reopening of places of religious worship.“I am ready for brickbats if it ensures good health and safety of citizens. How to avoid crowds and ensure physical distancing in places of worship will be worked out and a standard operating procedure will be drafted after Diwali.“We are so involved in offering prayers and may neglect COVID-19 safety protocols. What if a coronavirus positive person infects senior citizens from our families who visit the places of worship,” he said.PTI
Coronavirus India Updates: Virus tally zooms past 8.5 million; recovery rate at 92.49 per cent
The coronavirus caseload in India zoomed past 8.5 million after 45,674 cases were reported in a single day. While the overall tally stood at 8,507,754, the number of fatalities also increased to 1,26,121. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease also surged to 78,68,968, pushing the national recovery rate to 92.49 per cent.Meanwhile, twin factors of rising air pollution and a surge in Covid cases have increased the burden on Delhi’s hospitals with the number of vacant beds shrinking fast and out patient departments (OPDs) witnessing a spike in footfall, doctors told news agency PTI on Saturday.
No coronavirus vaccine for common people till 2022, Covid won't vanish, says AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria
AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria, also a member of the national task force on the coronavirus management in the country, has said that common people will have to wait till 2022 for a shot of the coronavirus vaccine. The AIIMS director said it will take "more than a year" for a coronavirus vaccine to be easily available in the Indian markets.In an interview with CNN-News18, Randeep Guleria said for normal people, it will take "more than a year". "In our country the population is large; we need time to see how the vaccine can be bought from the market like a flu vaccine and take it. That will actually be the ideal situation," Randeep Guleria said.
Coronavirus laid bare Western injustice: Turkish leader
The COVID-19 pandemic is laying bare the injustices faced by Western countries, said Turkey’s president on Sunday."Distortion and injustice in Western societies have become much more obvious, especially during the coronavirus pandemic," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a mass opening ceremony in the northwestern province of Kocaeli.Decrying how people in some of the most-developed countries died from COVID-19 due to lack of access to basic healthcare services, he stressed that stoking Islamophobia will not rescue Western countries from this problem."We see that Western countries face serious problems not only with their social fabric and social peace but also economically," he said.Policies of hostility to Islam and xenophobia are of no help tackling such issues, Erdogan added.
Arab nations slam Israel for razing Palestinian village
Palestine, Arab League, Qatar, and Jordan on Saturday strongly condemned Israel’s demolition of a village in occupied West Bank, Anadolu reports.Israel’s recent aggression is “a blatant violation of the rules of international law and international covenants,” Ambassador Saeed Abu Ali, the Arab League’s assistant secretary-general for Palestine and the Occupied Arab Territories told Palestinian news agency WAFA.“The international community must confront this continuous and escalating Israeli aggression which not only targets the Palestinian people and their rights, but also violates the will of the international community, its charters, and laws,” he said.Israeli forces raided a village in occupied West Bank this past Tuesday and razed 11 houses belonging to 23 families.In a statement, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said the demolition was “an illegal act that aims to displace Palestinians and destroy their land in severe violation to international agreements.”Palestine’s Foreign Ministry slammed Israel’s demolitions as acts of ethnic cleansing and crimes to expand its colonial project.Jordan’s Foreign Ministry also strongly criticized the demolition and called on the international community to pressure Israel to end its illegal aggression.
Jordan’s Queen Noor criticises Israel’s demolition of Palestine homes
Jordanian Queen Noor Al-Hussein has slammed the Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem as “disgusting” behaviour, Shehab News Agency reported.Her remarks came as she tweeted a comment on a BBC report about Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes during the last decade.“Disgusting and inhumane violation of international law Israel rebuked for biggest demolition of Palestinian homes in years,” Queen Noor tweeted.UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) also condemned Israel’s largest house demolition campaign in years.
Azerbaijan says it seized Nagorno-Karabakh’s 2nd-largest city
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said on Sunday his country’s forces had taken Shusha, the second-largest city in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Armenian officials immediately denied the claim.If accurate, this would be a major strategic victory over the region’s ethnic-Armenian forces.“With great pride and joy, I inform you that the town of Shusha has been liberated,” Aliyev said in a televised address to the nation, as Armenian officials reported that “heavy fighting” for the city continues.Aliyev said November 8 would “go down in the history of the Azerbaijani people” as the day “we returned to Shusha”.
UAE cancels lenient penalties for 'honour killings'
UAE said it was cancelling lenient penalties for so-called “honour killings” and amending inheritance laws for residents as part of a reform of personal and family laws in the Middle East trade hub.Human rights groups say thousands of women and girls are killed across the Middle East and South Asia each year by family members angered at perceived damage to their “honour”. This could include eloping, fraternizing with men or any transgression of conservative values regarding women.A statement from UAE federal government carried by the official news agency WAM said it had cancelled legal clauses that allowed judges to issue merciful sentences in “honour crimes”. The Emirati government said those crimes will now be treated by courts as normal murder cases.
France’s PM vows to fight ‘relentlessly’ against ‘radical Islam’
French Prime Minister Jean Castex has said his government would keep “fighting relentlessly” against “radical Islam” as he paid tribute to the three victims of a knife attack in the southern city of Nice last month.“We know the enemy. Not only has it been identified, but it has a name, it is radical Islam, a political ideology that disfigures the Muslim religion,” Castex said in a speech during a ceremony for the victims on Saturday.“(It is) an enemy that the government is fighting relentlessly by providing the necessary resources and mobilising all of its forces every day,” he added.French President Emmanuel Macron’s subsequent defence of the right to draw the prophet drew the ire of Muslim communities across the world, with trade associations in several Muslim countries announcing a boycott of French products.In an interview with Al Jazeera, Macron denied that the cartoons were a “government project”, saying they emerged from free and independent newspapers that were not affiliated with the state.
Female Palestine teacher wins Global Teacher Award 2020
Palestinian teacher Asma Mustafa has won the Global Teacher Award 2020, Palestinian news agencies reported.Asma Mustafa, an English Teacher in Halima Al Saadia Intermediate School for Girls, north of the besieged Gaza Strip, graduated from the English language department at the Islamic University of Gaza in 2008.“Palestine deserves to lead global education,” is Mustafa’s vision that stimulated her progress in teaching English and then led her to participate in international conferences.
Rohingya frustrated over polarized elections in Myanmar
Living in squalid makeshift tents in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, more than one million Rohingya have been disenfranchised in the Sunday’s general elections in Myanmar, rising frustration among the persecuted people.“According to international law, voting right is a fundamental right, but we are being denied by the government of Myanmar. We are citizens of Myanmar. So we must deserve the right of voting,” Khin Maung, a Rohingya youth in Bangladesh’s camps, told Anadolu Agency.More than 1.1 million Rohingya refugees have been living in Bangladesh as stateless people, according to government figures.NLD led by Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide victory over the main competitor military-backed USDP in 2015 Myanmar elections.Over 1.3 million minority Rohingya community living in Myanmar till then were disqualified from voting under the controversial 1982 Citizenship Law of the country.Anadolu Agency
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