17 November 2020

NEWS : ‘Love jihad’ bill in Madhya Pradesh Assembly soon, 5 years jail for violators. · I&B Ministry Seeks Compliance of FDI Norms for Digital News Within One Month; Centre's Moves to Regulate Content Could 'Inhibit' Digital News Companies says Digipub. · US military buys location data from popular Muslim apps to track users for 'counterterrorism'



17-11-2020 ,20:35 IST


·     ‘Love jihad’ bill in Madhya Pradesh Assembly soon, 5 years jail for violators

·     Not satisfied with Centre’s affidavit on pleas over media reporting of Tablighi congregation: Supreme Court

·     I&B Ministry Seeks Compliance of FDI Norms for Digital News Within One Month; Centre's Moves to Regulate Content Could 'Inhibit' Digital News Companies says  Digipub

·     ‘Fighting elections in alliance also anti-national now?’: Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah hit back at Amit Shah over ‘Gupkar gang’ jibe

·     Nitish Kumar allocates portfolios, keeps Home & General Administration

·     As Covid cases rise, Delhi govt to LG: Allow us to limit wedding guests to 50, lock down markets that turn hotspots

·     US military buys location data from popular Muslim apps to track users for 'counterterrorism'

·     Peace deals between Gulf, Tel Aviv benefit Israel's army says report

·     Saudi religious body says Muslim Brotherhood terror group which is destabilising region; International Union of Muslim Scholars rejects the claims.




‘Love jihad’ bill in Madhya Pradesh Assembly soon, 5 years jail for violators

Bhopal :Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra Tuesday said the “love jihad” bill will soon be introduced in the state assembly and it includes five years rigorous imprisonment for violators. The charge will be cognizable and non-bailable, Mishra told reporters.“There will be provision to declare marriages taking place forcefully, out of fraud or by tempting someone, for religious conversion, null and void. Those assisting in committing this crime will also be considered a party to the crime,” Mishra said.Other provisions of the Bill include notifying the district collector a month in advance before formalising an inter-faith marriage.Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had earlier hinted at bringing in a new legislation against “love jihad”, a term coined by rightwing outfits opposing inter-faith marriage. However, right to marry a person of one’s choice is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.“Jihad will not be permitted in the name of love at any cost in the state. Necessary legal provisions will be made against love jihad,” he had said.BJP govts in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are also contemplating legal provisions against “love jihad”.Earlier this year, the Government informed Parliament that no cases of ‘love jihad’ have been reported by any of the central agencies and the term is not defined under any existing law.



As BJP States Ready Anti-'Love Jihad' Laws, Hindutva Activists Ramp Up Violent Rhetoric: thewire

New Delhi: “It is certain that India will have a Muslim prime minister in 2029. Do you think that your politicians who cannot say a word against Muslims will save you?” asks Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, chief of the All India Sant Samaj and mahant of the Dasna Devi temple, Ghaziabad. The protest was organised in the memory of the 1966 anti-cow slaughter agitations. However, the topic quickly  shifted to ‘jihadist threats’, population control and love jihad.Narsinghanand went on to say: “Now, you are talking about cow protection, then the cow will only be their food, but your women will be sold in their markets. This community (Hindus) could not keep itself free for even 70 years. And you want to protect the cow! If the cow is holy to you, then why are you waiting for a law? Why are you waiting for a law for your daughter? Those who are harming our women, catch them and start killing them. Then they will ask for a law! And start increasing your population! Then they will ask for the population control bill. If the cow is our mother, then why would the law punish them! Are we hijras (eunuchs)? If the cow is your mother, then take your own revenge. Eat those who eat the cow. The only way we can protect ourselves is by giving birth to more children. And these children should be given some weapon training too!”This is a translation of  the Hindutva activist’s anti-Muslim tirade, part of a 12-minute-long video that has gone viral on Facebook with over 2.7 million views, 94,000 likes, 41,000 shares and 18,000 comments.



Not satisfied with Centre’s affidavit on pleas over media reporting of Tablighi congregation: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court Tuesday expressed displeasure over the Centre’s affidavit in the case related to media reporting of Tablighi Jamaat congregation during the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, and said it should consider setting up a regulatory mechanism to deal with such content on TV. The apex Court asked the Centre to create and apprise it of the mechanism.“First you did not file a proper affidavit and then you filed an affidavit which did not deal with the 2 important questions. It cannot be done this way,” a Bench headed by CJI S.A. Bobde told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. “We are not satisfied with your reply,” the top court said. “We want to know what the mechanism is to deal with these contents on television. If there is no regulatory mechanism then you create one. Regulation cannot be left to organisations like NBSA,” said the Bench, also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian.The Bench, which was hearing the pleas filed by Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind and others alleging that a section of the media was spreading communal hatred over Tablighi Jamaat congregation during the onset of pandemic, asked the Centre to file a fresh affidavit dealing with mechanism to regulate electronic media under the Cable TV Network Act. The top court has posted the matter for hearing after 3 weeks.PTI



‘Parkinson’s is recognised as disabling’: NPRD seeks NHRC’s intervention in Stan Swamy’s case

New Delhi :Seeking National Human Rights Commission of India’s (NHRC) intervention, the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) Tuesday said Stan Swamy, who has been lodged at Mumbai’s Taloja Central Jail since October 9 after his arrest in Elgar Parishad case, should be provided reasonable accommodation as he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. In a letter addressed to NHRC Chairman H L Dattu, NPRD’s General Secretary Muralidharan said, “83-year old Stan Swamy is a person living with Parkinson’s, which is a condition recognised as disabling as per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. As per various laws and conventions to which India is a signatory, it is obligatory that Stan Swamy be provided with requisite age and disability appropriate accommodations, assistive aids including straws and sippers as also human care assistance as required.”



Varavara Rao’s medical report a ‘complete eyewash’, submits Indira Jaising; bail plea adjourned till tomorrow

The medical report prepared by the doctors of Nanavati hospital after examining 81-year old undertrial Varavara Rao through video call is a 'complete eyewash', said his lawyer Senior Advocate Indira Jaising in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, LiveLaw.in has reported.Jaising raised serious objections against the medical report. She submitted before a bench comprising Justices S S Shinde and Madhav Jamdar that a copy of the report was served on the petitioner only today at 1 PM. She argued that there was a non-compliance of the court's order of November 12 as an incomplete medical report was submitted without the test results annexed to it.She submitted that the report was prepared after a video examination of Rao by the doctors of Nanavati hospital which lasted for barely15 minutes. She further submitted that the neurologist and the urologist have not seen Varavara Rao though he has neurological problems and urinary infection."'He has to be seen by specialists and experts. I have categorically said that he suffers from dementia. Where is the report on his dementia?" Jaising submitted.Nanavati hospital itself has suggested tests on November 12, which have not been done yet. The Taloja jail hospital is not equipped to do these tests, she added.



I&B Ministry Seeks Compliance of FDI Norms for Digital News Within One Month

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Monday issued a public notice asking entities involved in the streaming of news and current affairs through digital media to comply with the Centre’s earlier order permitting 26% foreign direct investment under the government approval route to such entities. The ministry, in its notice to the news portals, websites and news agencies, has laid out the detailed actions to be undertaken by eligible entities to comply with the government’s Sept.18, 2019 decision within a month.Under the notice, “entities having foreign investment below 26% may furnish an intimation to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting within one month giving details of the company and its shareholding pattern along with the names and addresses of its directors/shareholders.PTI



Centre's Moves to Regulate Content Could 'Inhibit' Digital News Companies: Digipub

New Delhi: Digipub, an organisation of digital-only news publications that aims to ensure the creation of a healthy and robust news ecosystem, has said the Centre’s moves over the past few months to regulate content and put in place a restrictive regulatory framework could “seriously inhibit its capacity to grow and realise the dream of a digital India with news media companies competing with the best in the world”.The statement issued by the foundation, of which The Wire is a founding member, says the Centre’s notifications, court statements and proposals made in the past few months “will have a profound, lasting impact on the digital media sector”.Among the suggestions that the Centre has made is to regulate content, to bring digital news publishers under the purview of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and limit FDI for Indian digital news publishers.“Despite being in its infancy, the digital news industry in India has done a remarkable job in keeping the nation informed on a variety of otherwise-hidden events and issues, thanks to many committed professionals, journalists and media entrepreneurs. A restrictive regulatory framework could seriously inhibit its capacity to grow and realise the dream of a digital India with news media companies competing with the best in the world,” the statement by Digipub says.



Delhi HC Grants Bail to Riots Accused Saiyad Ifthikar with Weak Eyesight

Delhi High Court has granted bail to one of the accused in a case relating to the riots that broke out in the national capital earlier this year, after observing that there was nothing to establish that he “was available at the site.”A single-judge bench of the high court presided by Justice Suresh Kumar Kait granted bail to one Saiyad Ifthikar on his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs 15,000 with one surety of the like amount to the satisfaction of Trial Court.The bench granted bail to Saiyad while noting that it cannot be believed that a person having such weak eyesight would have clear vision at night without spectacles.“Moreover, CDR is not on record, whereby it could have been established that the petitioner was available at the site,” the bench said.



“I Was Not Allowed To Meet Journalist Siddique Kappan In Mathura Jail”, Says His Lawyer Wills Mathews

NEW DELHI—Even as the Supreme Court has issued notice to State Government of Uttar Pradesh in connection with a writ petition filed by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) seeking release of journalist Siddique Kappan, his advocate Wills Mathews says that he was not allowed to meet his client in the New Mathura Jail where Kappan is currently lodged. Kappan was arrested by UP police on October 5, along with three others, on charges of trying to create communal strife when he was on his way to Hathras to write on the assault and alleged gangrape of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who died during treatment in a Delhi hospital. A case has been registered against Kappan on various charges, including stringent UAPA. Kappan is general secretary of Delhi unit of KUWJ . Kappan’s family members also did not go to Mathura to meet him after they were told that the authorities are not allowing even the advocate to meet him.Speaking to India Tomorrow, Mathews said that after the Supreme Court on October 12 asked the KUWJ to amend the writ petition by incorporating the subsequent developments in the case, he(Mathews) went to Mathura on behalf of the KUWJ to meet Kappan and get more information in the case. However, Chief Judicial Magistrate(CJM), Mathura, allegedly denied him the permission for the meeting with Kappan.  Mathews has submitted this in the form of an affidavit to the apex court.India Tomorrow




‘Fighting elections in alliance also anti-national now?’: Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah hit back at Amit Shah over ‘Gupkar gang’ jibe

Taking exception to Amit Shah calling the alliance of mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir as ‘Gupkar Gang’, former chief ministers of the erstwhile state, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, hit back at the Union Home minister, saying the BJP can stitch as many alliances “in its hunger for power” but “we are undermining national interest”.In a series of tweets, Shah alleged that the Congress party and the ‘Gupkar Gang’ want to take Jammu and Kashmir back to the era of terror and turmoil. “They want to take away the rights of Dalits, women and tribals that we have ensured by removing Article 370. This is why they’re being rejected by the people everywhere,” he tweeted.Mehbooba Mufti, in her response, said, “Fighting elections in an alliance is also anti-national now. BJP can stitch as many alliances in its hunger for power but somehow we are undermining national interest by putting up a united front.”Mufti also said that Shah’s attempt is just to project the Gupkar alliance as “anti-nationals” after BJP’s ‘tukde tukde gang’ narrative. “Old habits die hard. Earlier BJPs narrative was that the tukde tukde gang threatened India’s sovereignty & they are now using ‘Gupkar Gang’ euphemism to project us as anti-nationals,” the PDP leader said.



Maybe Govt Needs New Lesson on Nationalism: Congress Hits Back at Shah's 'Gupkar Gang' Remark

Sounding the poll bugle ahead of local body elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday termed the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration an "unholy global alliance" that along with the Congress wants to return to the era of terror and turmoil. The statement evoked angry reactions from the Congress, NC and the PDP, which dismissed the remarks as baseless and hit out at the minister. In a series of tweets, Shah also labelled the PAGD, a newly formed conglomerate of political parties, the "Gupkar Gang" that is going global and wants foreign forces to intervene in Jammu and Kashmir."Congress and the Gupkar Gang want to take JK back to the era of terror and turmoil. They want to take away rights of Dalits, women and tribals that we have ensured by removing Article 370. This is why they're being rejected by the people everywhere," he said. PTI



J&K: Ahead of Winter, Demolition Drive Leaves Gujjars, Bakarwals Out of Temporary Houses

Srinagar: The demolition drive by the Jammu and Kashmir administration, primarily targeting temporary dwelling places of nomadic communities, has taken off with a series of razing efforts in Pahalgam area in the Valley’s Anantnag district.Kuccha houses belonging to those in the Gujjar and Bakarwal communities, were razed to the ground on Friday.Since last week structures have been demolished in remote areas of Pahalgam like Lidroo, Mamal, Khelan, Movera and Rangward where the nomads make temporarily homes. Many also own lands here for grazing and other purposes.




Nitish Kumar allocates portfolios, keeps Home & General Administration

PATNA:A day after taking oath as Bihar CM, Nitish Kumar on Tuesday allocated portfolios among 14 Ministers, while keeping Home and General administration to himself. His two deputies in the Cabinet, Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi, were given charge of departments such as Finance, Forest & Environment, Backward Caste and EBC welfare along with Industry and Panchayati Raj. However, a controversial induction into Cabinet was that of 2-time JD(U) MLA from Tarapur in Munger district Mewalal Choudhury. In 2017, he was accused in a recruitment scam of assistant professors and junior scientists.  Choudhury, who has been given charge of Education, was the Vice Chancellor of the Sabour Agriculture University from 2010-15. An FIR was lodged against him by the Special Vigilance department at the Sabour Police Station in Bhagalpur in connection with the university scam in 2012-13. He was later suspended from the party.Bihar BJP President Sanjay Jaiswal with Deputy CMs Tarkishor Prasad and Renu Devi, Cabinet Minister Mangal Pandey and other leaders at the party office in Patna, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. Choudhury on Tuesday, however, refused to make any comment on the charges against him.



Bihar poll debacle: Salman Khurshid slams Congress colleagues for 'periodic pangs of anxiety'

New Delhi:Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid on Tuesday slammed his party colleagues for raising questions over the party's recent poll performances after the Bihar poll debacle. In a Facebook post, Salman Khurshid termed the criticisers as "doubting Thomases" who suffer periodic "pangs of anxiety".Former union minister Khurshid, who is among the leaders considered close to the Gandhi family, said if the mood of the electorate is resistant to the liberal values the party has espoused and cherished, it should be prepared for a long struggle rather than look for short cuts to get back into power.Salman Khurshid started his Facebook post with an Urdu couplet of Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, which talks about looking within for flaws that would make one not see others as flawed. He said Bahadur Shah Zafar's words might be a useful companion for many of our party colleagues who suffer "periodic pangs of anxiety".



Gehlot right, Kapil Sibal’s remarks on Congress will only hurt party, says Tariq Anwar

New Delhi:As Congress leader Kapil Sibal continues to face backlash over his scathing criticism against the party leadership and its handling of electoral losses, another fellow party member, Tariq Anwar, has said that he should have given his suggestions to the party high command instead of going to the media.“What Ashok ji said is true. Kapil Sibal is a senior leader. He should understand that if the party lacks something and he wants to give a suggestion, he should meet the party high command and president. If he's giving a statement in the media, it'll only be a loss to the party,” said Tariq Anwar.Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot came out in strong defence of the Congress and Sonia Gandhi, saying Congress is still the only party that can keep the nation united.



From Congress's Anand Sharma, Dissent On Party Policy In China Trade Deal

New Delhi: The very public dissent over leadership issues within the Congress, which has been making headlines since August, has not been only about electoral performance. Its policies have also been brought into question by senior leaders.

Today, Anand Sharma, tweeted that the decision to stay away from RCEP, the world's biggest free-trade deal led by China, was a "backward leap". His critique comes amid the latest round of criticism by the party's senior leader Kapil Sibal, who has advised Congress to "recognize that we are in decline" and converse with "experienced people who understand the political realities of India and get people to listen."The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which includes 10 Southeast Asian economies besides China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia, was virtually signed on Sunday.




Ex-Union minister Jaysingrao Gaikwad Patil resigns from BJP

Aurangabad :Former Union minister and senior BJP leader Jaysingrao Gaikwad Patil resigned from the party on Tuesday.He sent his resignation letter to Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil in the morning.“I am willing to work for the party, but the party is not giving me chance, hence I took this step,” Gaikwad Patil, who lives in Aurangabad, told PTI over phone.PTI




2 suspected militants arrested in Delhi: Police

Delhi Police said on Tuesday that two suspected militants had been arrested on Monday night. Two semi-automatic pistols and 10 live cartridges were recovered from their possession, police said. DCP(Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav said that the two were identified as Abdul Latif, 22, resident of Kashmir’s Baramulla, and Ashraf Khatana, 20, from Kupwara.Police said that a trap was laid at Sarai Kale Khan based on an information after which the two were arrested around 10.15 p.m.




UP: Two Dalit sisters killed, bodies dumped in pond in Fatehpur

Fatehpur : 2 Dalit sisters, both minors, were allegedly killed and their bodies dumped in a pond in a village in the Asodhar area of this Uttar Pradesh district, police said on Monday.The bodies of the victims with injury marks in the eyes were retrieved from the pond late in the evening, they said.ASP Rajesh Kumar said the bodies of Sumi (12) and Kiran (8), daughters of Dilip Dhobhi, a Dalit, were retrieved from the pond.Both the bodies had injury marks in the eyes, he said.The girls had gone to the field in the afternoon to get vegetables but did not return, the police said.The family members of the victims have alleged that the assailants killed the girls after an unsuccessful attempt to rape them, the officer said.The bodies were sent for a post-mortem examination and the report is awaited, the police said.PTI



Trade unions call nationwide general strike on Nov 26; support next week’s farmers’ agitation

Ten central trade unions on Tuesday said they are going ahead with their planned nationwide general strike on November 26 and also announced their support to a two-day farmers’ agitation next week.The meeting of the Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions (CTUs) and Sectoral Independent Federations and Associations was held virtually on November 16, 2020.Unions expressed satisfaction over the tremendous response being received from workers and the people at large throughout the country to the ongoing campaign for the countrywide general strike on November 26, 2020, a joint forum statement said.PTI



Security Council an ‘impaired’ organ; handful of countries stopping UNSC reform: India at UN

A handful of countries are using the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) as a smoke-screen and stopping progress on reforming the Security Council, which has become impaired, India has said, asserting that it is time for a decisive movement to achieve the long-delayed reform of the powerful UN body.India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador T S Tirumurti, speaking in the UN General Assembly on Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council’, lamented that nothing has moved for more than a decade in the IGN except hearing passionate statements on the need for reform.PTI



Second phase of Malabar exercise begins in northern Arabian Sea

The navies of India, US, Australia and Japan on Tuesday began the second phase of the Malabar naval exercise in the northern Arabian Sea involving two aircraft carriers and a number of frontline warships, submarines and maritime reconnaissance aircraft, officials said.The major highlight of the 4-day exercise is participation of Indian Navy’s Vikramaditya carrier battle group and the Nimitz strike group of the US Navy. USS Nimitz is the world’s largest warship.PTI



Non-Muslim tops Islamic studies entrance examination, says important to study each other’s religion

JAIPUR:In a break from the past, a non-Muslim candidate from Rajasthan has topped the all-India entrance exam for a master’s course in Islamic studies at the Central University of Kashmir.Islam is portrayed as a radical religion and there is a lot of misconception about it. The division in the society is growing today and it is really very important to understand each other’s religion, said Shubham Yadav, who would join the course in Kashmir for two years.The result of the common entrance test, held on September 20, was declared on October 29. The university, which had set up the religious studies department, which oversees the course, in 2015, confirmed that Mr. Yadav is the first non-Muslim candidate to top the exam. PTI




Centre Caps Withdrawal From Lakshmi Vilas Bank At ₹ 25,000 Till Dec.16

The central government on Tuesday placed Tamil Nadu-based private sector lender Lakshmi Vilas Bank under moratorium and capped withdrawal from the bank at ₹ 25,000 for one month, Ministry of Finance said in a statement. However, to meet the cost of medical treatment, payment of higher education and to cost marriage expenses, depositors will be allowed to withdraw more than ₹ 25,000 with permission from RBI, Finance Ministry said. In September this year, RBI appointed a three-member committee chaired by Meeta Makhan to run the cash-strapped private sector lender after its shareholders voted out seven directors.



Mumbai Police Withdraw Externment Proceedings Against Activists and Students

Mumbai: 4 months after initiating “chapter proceedings” against student leaders and young professionals in Mumbai for participating in public protests at different locations in south Mumbai in January this year, the MRA Marg police have slowly begun withdrawing these cases. Last week, the assistant commissioner of police, Azad Maidan division, withdrew the externment proceedings against eight persons, including students and anti-caste activist Suvarna Salve.



CBI Arrests Junior UP Engineer for Sexual Abuse of 50 Minors, Selling Child Porn on Dark Web

CBI on Tuesday arrested a junior engineer of Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department for sexually abusing children for the last 10 years and selling videos of the acts on the dark net.Officials said the accused, identified as Ram Bhawan, was arrested from Banda and has victimised over 50 children in the age group of 5-16 in Banda, Chitrakoot and other districts.“Apart from the physical abuse of children, the accused was also allegedly recording the acts using mobile phones, laptops and other electronic devices,” said CBI spokesperson RK Gaur.During searches, the CBI team recovered cash to the tune of Rs 8 lakh, mobile phones, laptops, web cameras and other electronic devices including pen drives, memory cards and several sex toys.CNN-NEWS18



Sikhs Repair 550-Year-old Locked Mosque In Punjab’s Kapurthala, Hand Over to Muslims

KAPURTHALA(PUNJAB)—The Sikh community and their religious leaders have handed over to Muslims a 550-year-old mosque in Sultanpur Lodhi town that was locked and in a dilapidated condition since Partition in 1947.After repairing the mosque, the Sikh community members themselves invited local Muslims as also Muslims religious leaders from different parts of the state to inaugurate the mosque by offering “Shukrana” prayers.There are several memories of Guru Nanak Dev associated with this mosque. Local people say that founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev had himself offered Namaz (Muslim prayer) in this mosque.The decision to reopen the mosque was taken during the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev. A joint function of the Sikh and Muslim religious leaders was held inside the mosque itself in which Sikh and Muslim leaders expressed their views. The Friday congregational prayers that was held before the function, was named “Shukrana” prayers.India Tomorrow



Muslims Equally Concerned for India’s Security, Secularism, Says Islamic Scholar

MUMBAI — Muslims in the country are deeply concerned for the country’s security and secularism despite an onslaught from certain powerful forces questioning their nationalistic credential, said renowned intellectual and Islamic scholar Maulana Mohammad Burhanuddin Qasmi.There is a tendency to keep shifting the terminologies for Muslims — from being orthodox, traditionalists, extremists and now Islamists, said Qasmi, 49, Director of Markazul Ma’arif Education and Research Centre (MMERC), Mumbai.“That has been the global norm since the dawn of human civilisation with the stronger portraying themselves as ‘heroes’ and their weaker counterparts labeled as ‘villains’ always….The new terminologies we are witnessing today are simply marketing of the old poisons in a new wrapper only,” Qasmi told IANS in a freewheeling chat.






As Covid cases rise, Delhi govt to LG: Allow us to limit wedding guests to 50, lock down markets that turn hotspots

With Covid-19 cases rising in Delhi, government wants to withdraw the relaxation given for wedding gatherings and restrict the number of guests to 50, from the 200 allowed since November 1. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the decision taken by the government has been sent to the Lieutenant Governor for approval. The government has also written to the Centre to allow local lockdowns in markets which may emerge as Covid hotspots.“Following the central govt’s guidelines and considering the wedding season, Delhi government allowed 200 guests at wedding functions. Earlier, this number was 50… considering the recent spike in the number of Corona cases, the Delhi government has decided to withdraw this relaxation. I have sent the proposal to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi for his approval,” Kejriwal said in a web address on Tuesday.Positivity rate in Delhi has consistently been above 11 per cent for the past two weeks –– crossing 15 per cent on some days. This had fallen to 6 per cent in September. Experts were expecting the sharp increase, keeping in mind the festival season.



Delhi sees 1 lakh new COVID-19 cases; 1,200 deaths; 94,000 recoveries since November 1

Delhi recorded over one lakh new coronavirus cases and around 1,200 deaths between November 1-16 while nearly 94,000 COVID-19 patients recovered during the same period, according to official data released on Tuesday.The national capital has witnessed a sudden spike in coronavirus cases since October 28 when the daily rise breached the 5,000-mark for the first time and it crossed 8,000-mark on November 11.On November 12, 104 coronavirus-related deaths, the highest in over five months, were recorded in the city.PTI



SC refuses to entertain plea challenging constitutional validity of Epidemic Act

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a plea challenging the constitutional validity of the Epidemic Act and questioned the petitioner as to why he has not moved the high court on the issue.The apex court said high courts have all the power to strike down Central Acts, like the Epidemic Act, and the petitioner should go there first.What kind of petition you have filed Mr Mirashi (petitioner). Don't you have the Bombay High Court to challenge the Epidemic Act? The high court has jurisdiction to strike down the Central Act, a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud told petitioner H N Mirashi.Why can't you go to the high court? You withdraw it from here and file in high court, said the bench, also comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee.PTI




WHO Praises UP Government's "Exemplary" Efforts For Covid Management

Lucknow: WHO has praised the Uttar Pradesh government for its COVID-19 management strategy terming it as a good example for other states to follow, an official statement said here on Tuesday."UP government's strategic response to COVID-19 by stepping up contact tracing efforts is exemplary and can serve as a good example for other states," Roderico Ofrin, WHO Country Representative, said in a statement issued here by the state government.PTI



Chinese Citizen Journalist Jailed for Reporting on Coronavirus Situation from Wuhan

AChinese citizen journalist who’s been detained since May this year for reporting on the novel coronavirus outbreak through social media is facing up to five years in prison.Zhang Zhan was forcibly taken away and detained by the police for criticizing the Wuhan administration over its handling of the virus. She was picked up on suspicion of ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble’.Zhan, a former lawyer, who was hailed for reporting the truth of the Covid-19 crisis has been formally indicted by the Shanghai public prosecutors office for allegedly spreading false information according to an indictment sheet which has now surfaced.



Global warming bigger threat than coronavirus: Red Cross

The world should react with the same urgency to climate change as is to the coronavirus crisis, the Red Cross says, warning that global warming poses a greater threat than COVID-19.Even as the pandemic rages, climate change is not taking a break from wreaking havoc, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said in a report.



Mouthwash can kill COVID-19 in 30 seconds: Study

Their preliminary report, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, supports a study published last week that found mouthwash containing CPC helps in reducing the viral load of people infected with the coronavirus.It comes ahead of a clinical trial on patients at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff to find out whether mouthwash can reduce coronavirus in a patient’s saliva. The findings are expected to be published in early 2021.Dentyl is the only UK mouthwash brand that is part of the clinical trial led by Professor David Thomas from Cardiff University.“Although this in-vitro study is very encouraging and is a positive step, more clinical research is now clearly needed,” Dr Thomas told the PA news agency, as quoted by the Independent newspaper.






US military buys location data from popular Muslim apps to track users for 'counterterrorism'

US military is purchasing private information gathered from apps around the world, including several used by Muslims that have been downloaded nearly 100 million times, a news report says.An investigation by the online magazine Motherboard published on Monday found the US Special Operations Command was procuring location data from several companies.The most popular app among those targeted was a Muslim prayer and Quran app called Muslim Pro, with more than 98 million downloads worldwide. Others included a Muslim dating app.Based on public records, interviews with developers, and technical analysis, the Motherboard investigation noted some companies obtain app location data when advertisers pay to insert their ads into peoples’ browsing sessions.US military confirmed the news report.“Our access to the software is used to support Special Operations Forces mission requirements overseas,” Navy Commander Tim Hawkins was quoted as saying. “We strictly adhere to established procedures and policies for protecting the privacy, civil liberties, constitutional and legal rights of American citizens.”One of the companies involved in selling the location data, X-Mode, has said it tracks 25 million devices inside the United States every month and 40 million elsewhere – including in the European Union, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region.Motherboard installed the Muslim Mingle dating app onto an Android phone and watched as it repeatedly sent exact geolocation coordinates along with the WiFi network name to X-Mode.The investigation found other apps relaying location data include a step-counter app called Accupedo, the weather app Global Storms, and CPlus for Craigslist.US Senator Ron Wyden told Motherboard that X-Mode also admitted selling data it collected to other “US military customers”.The company defended the practice.





UAE's Etihad Airways shows Israel's claimed temple in tourism advert

UAE's state-owned Etihad Airways showed a graphic of Israel's claimed Second Temple in a video promoting tourism in Israel.The video was posted on the official English Twitter account of the company, but it was removed hours later after widespread criticism.Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which posted the video, said that the footage shows a member of cabin crew presenting a quick guide to the city of Tel Aviv. With a small graphic appearing which reads "Second Temple", in reference to the temple Israel claims was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.The video also showed an old alleyway apparently from Jerusalem's Old City which the speaker referred to as part of Israel's tourist attractions.



Peace deals between Gulf, Tel Aviv benefit Israel's army: report

Israel's normalisation of ties with Arab states stimulated American arms sales and supported the Israeli army, Israeli journalist and writer Hagai Amit has written in TheMarker, the economic attachment of Haaretz.Arabi21 reported Amit saying that the Israeli government's ratification of the normalisation deal with Bahrain was a "start of a new stage of the Jewish-Arab spring."In addition to the benefits of the normalisation deals to Israel, they are considered the start of the "honeymoon" for the American arms industry.



Settlers return to settlement in northern West Bank evacuated in 2005

More than 20 Israeli Jewish families today returned to Sa-Nur settlement in the northern occupied West Bank, which was evacuated in 2005, local media reported.The settlers who lived in the illegal Sa-Nur and Homesh settlements entered the area in the early hours of the morning without coordination with the Israeli army, the Times of Israel said, in protest against the evacuation of the settlements.The paper reported far-right Yamina MK Bezalel Smotrich writing on Twitter: "The resumption of settlement in Sa-Nur is a necessary moral, Zionist and security step."



Venezuela backs Palestinians' right to establish independent state, insists president

Venezuela will continue to support the Palestinian people and their right to "self-determination and the establishment of their independent Palestinian state," President Nicolas Maduro said.Maduro's remarks came in a congratulatory telegram which he sent to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the occasion of the 32nd anniversary of Palestine's Declaration of Independence Day.




Palestine court hears case in lawsuit against UK over Balfour Declaration

A Palestinian court held the first session to review a lawsuit filed against the British government over its crimes in Palestine during the British Mandate between 1917- 1948 and the Balfour Declaration which promised Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people.The Court of First Instance in the city of Nablus, in the northern occupied West Bank, heard Palestinian witnesses who had been evicted from their villages in 1948 by Jewish militias and the crimes committed during that period.The United Kingdom did not send a representative to attend the session.The judge postponed the session until 6 December.




Palestinian president praises Pakistan over its refusal to recognise Israel

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has praised Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his country's "consistent and supportive stances" with regards the Palestinian cause and refusal to recognise Israel.In a telegram sent to the prime minister, Abbas said: "We followed with great interest and gratitude your last TV meeting, and your honorable and original statements about the official Pakistani positions that are firm and supportive of the just Palestinian cause.""This matter is not new to the brotherly Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the leadership, government, people and history," he said, adding that Pakistan is "a source of pride" for every Palestinian in the world.



UK's Labour Party suspends critic of Israel

A left-wing member of the governing body of Britain's Labour Party is under investigation for saying that Israel is an apartheid state.Newly-elected National Executive Committee member Gemma Bolton, who was backed by left wing group Momentum, has been placed under investigation by the party for tweeting in 2018: "If I run the risk of getting suspended for calling Israel an apartheid state then so be it. Suspend me. Because that comrades, is a hill I am perfectly happy to die on."




Saudi religious body: Muslim Brotherhood terror group which is destabilising region

Council of Senior Scholars and the General Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta in Saudi Arabia on Sunday renewed its slanderous claims against the Muslim Brotherhood, Aram Media reported.On its official Twitter account, the council posted a recording of its head, Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh, saying: "The Muslim Brotherhood does not have any link to Islam. It is a stray group." Answering a question about those who call on the youth to join the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda, the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said: "These are stray groups. They do not have links to Islam. They profaned blood, violated honour, plundered money and corrupted the land."He reiterated that "anyone calling for joining these groups has committed a mistake and lost the right path."Commenting on the statement, 18 scholar and ulama unions, including the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) issued a joint statement rejecting the claims.The statement reiterated that the Muslim Brotherhood "is a preaching group that works hard to do the right thing, but sometimes commits mistakes. Many senior scholars, preachers and fighters are affiliated to it."Meanwhile, Israel's Foreign Ministry Arabic Twitter account hailed the Saudi council's statement.



Trump expected to order troop reductions in Afghanistan, Iraq

United States military officials expect President Donald Trump to order a further withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, US media outlets reported on Monday.CNN reported that the Pentagon issued a “warning order” to commanders to begin planning to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 by January 15.



NATO chief warns of ‘high’ price of hasty Afghan withdrawal

A “hasty” pullout of US and allied troops from Afghanistan could exact a “high price”, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned amid reports US President Donald Trump is expected to withdraw a significant number of US troops from the war-ravaged country in the coming weeks.“We now face a difficult decision. We have been in Afghanistan for almost 20 years, and no NATO ally wants to stay any longer than necessary. But at the same time, the price for leaving too soon or in an uncoordinated way could be very high,” Stoltenberg said in a statement on Monday.



Saudi minister says nuclear armament against Iran ‘an option’

Saudi Arabia reserves the right to arm itself with nuclear weapons if regional rival Iran cannot be stopped from making one, the kingdom’s minister of state for foreign affairs has said.“It’s definitely an option,” Adel al-Jubeir told the DPA news agency in a recent interview. If Iran becomes a nuclear power, he said, more countries would follow suit.



Armenia, Azerbaijan exchange troops’ bodies after ceasefire

Azerbaijan and Armenia have exchanged 200 bodies of those killed in fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, the Russian state media reported on Tuesday citing the Red Cross.The bodies were exchanged in the presence of Russian peacekeeping troops, according to the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer.A Red Cross spokesperson dealing with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict did not confirm the number of bodies that were exchanged, but said the process began last week.More than 1,000 people have been killed in the six-week flare-up between Azerbaijan and neighbouring Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.



Ethiopia’s PM Abiy promises ‘final’ offensive into Tigray

Ethiopia’s leader has warned that “the final and crucial” military operation will soon be launched against the government of the country’s rebellious northern Tigray region.Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Tuesday a three-day deadline to surrender had expired, paving the way for a final push on Mekelle, the region’s capital.




Pakistan anti-France protests called off after ‘deal’ with gov’t

A far-right Pakistani religious political party says it has called off a sit-in protest in the capital Islamabad after the government agreed to discuss its demands for downgrading diplomatic ties with France over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.More than a thousand Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) protesters, led by religious leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi, had camped out overnight to block a major highway into Islamabad on Monday.The group said it signed a deal with the government early on Tuesday to disband the protest, after extracting promises to consider expelling the French ambassador to Pakistan and to boycott French goods.A Pakistani official involved in the negotiations, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, confirmed the deal to Al Jazeera.The agreement signed between the two sides includes four stipulations. First, that the government will put the question of expelling the French ambassador to Parliament “within two or three months”. It also says that the government “will not appoint its ambassador to France”.The third stipulation concerns the boycott of French goods, a move which has only partially been observed in Pakistan and other countries that have protested against the French caricatures and later comments by French President Emmanuel Macron that were deemed Islamophobic.




US: Nearly 90,000 sex abuse claims filed against Boy Scouts

Close to 90,000 sexual abuse claims have been filed against the Boy Scouts of America as the Monday deadline arrived for submitting claims in the organisation’s bankruptcy case.The number far exceeds the initial projections of lawyers across the United States who have been signing up clients since the Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy protection in February in the face of hundreds of lawsuits alleging decades-old sex abuse by Scout leaders.“We are devastated by the number of lives impacted by past abuse in Scouting and moved by the bravery of those who have come forward,” the Boy Scouts said in a statement. “We are heartbroken that we cannot undo their pain.”





It is unlikely that Biden will have bandwidth to weigh in on Kashmir:C. Raja Mohan



LJP’s Bihar showing was disappointing, but Chirag Paswan emerged a leader:Abdul Khaliq



Bihar AIMIM Chief Akhtarul Iman’s Interview: Creation of Separate Political Identity Only Way Out



Viral videos portray Bihar’s two new deputy CMs in a comic role:Abdul Qadir








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