11 November 2020

NEWS : SC Orders Arnab Goswami's Release on Interim Bail. Online News Media, Including Social Sites, Now Under Government Control. Number of Muslim MLAs in Bihar down from 24 to 19



11-11-2020 19:14 IST


 SC Orders Arnab Goswami's Release on Interim Bail,expresssing displeasure at HC, saying courts have duty to intervene when personal liberty is at stake

New Delhi: A Supreme Court bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee on Wednesday ordered the release of Republic TV owner and editor Arnab Goswami and his other co-accused on interim bail, after hearing the appeal against the Bombay high court order denying Goswami interim relief. “The high court was in error in rejecting the application for grant of interim bail,” the bench held. The apex court ordered that a bond of Rs 50,000 is to be executed before the jail superintendent and asked Raigad Police to execute the release order immediately. After a daylong hearing, the SC said that a detailed judgment will be “released later.” The bench expressed displeasure at the Bombay high court order denying Goswami relief, saying that constitutional courts have the duty to intervene when personal liberty is at stake. “SC is unhappy that HCs, which are constitutional courts, are not doing enough in matters where personal liberty is denied…,” Justice Chandrachud said, according to the Indian Express. “If this court were not to interfere today, we are travelling on a path of destruction of personal liberty undeniably… If state govt’s target individuals in this manner, let’s send out a message that SC is there.”Justice Chandrachud also wondered if abetment to suicide charges can be used only based on non-payment of dues, if there is no personal relationship between to the 2 individuals. “To make out a case of abetment, there has to be active incitement and encouragement. If money is owed to a person, is that a case of abetment to suicide? A owes money to B. B due to financial stress commit suicide. Will it attract offence under section 306 IPC? We are dealing with personal liberty here and because he was owed money, Naik committed suicide due to financial stress. Is this a case for custodial interrogation?”judge said, according to LiveLaw.The bench told Kapil Sibal, appearing for Maharashtra, that the state govt should not respond to taunts on TV. “Our democracy is extraordinarily strong and resilient. Govts should ignore tweets and move on. This is not the basis on which elections are fought…If you don’t like a channel then don’t watch it,” Justice Chandrachud said. Goswami and 2 others were arrested in connection with the suicide of architect-interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother in 2018.


"I Don't Watch His Channel But...": Supreme Court On Arnab Goswami Bail



SC Lawyers Back Bar Association Chief’s Plaint Against Quick Listing of Arnab Case

NEW DELHI — Supreme Court lawyers have given the thumbs-up to the concerns raised by the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Dushyant Dave, over the selective listing of the Arnab Goswami case for hearing while many other cases were hanging fire for a long time.Dave on Tuesday dashed off a missive to the Secretary-General of the Supreme Court  against ‘the extraordinary urgent listing’ of the special leave petition filed by Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami in connection with the 2018 case of alleged abetment to suicide of an interior designer.“I have nothing personal against Mr Goswami and I am not writing this letter to anyway interfere in his right to move the Supreme Court. Like all citizens, he also has a right to seek justice from the highest court. The serious issue here is selective listing of matters that the Registry under your leadership is indulging in for the last eight months during the Covid pandemic,” Dave wrote in his strongly-worded letter.“While thousands of citizens remain in jails, languishing for long periods while their matters filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court are not getting listed for weeks and months, it is, to say the least, deeply disturbing as to how and why every time Mr Goswami approaches the Supreme Court, his matter gets listed instantly,” he pointed out.Clarion India



Journalist Siddique Kappan's Wife Points Out 'Double Standard' of Politicians' Arnab Outrage

New Delhi: The wife of Malayalam journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested and charged under UAPA while on his way to Hathras to cover the brutal violence on a Dalit woman, has been the latest to point out the double standards visible in politicians’ protests against the incarceration of Arnab Goswami. Kappan’s arrest has received significantly less attention, by media and politicians. BJP leaders, including most of Modi’s cabinet, have been vocal in support of Goswami, who is known to be pro-govt. Goswami had been held in connection with an abetment to suicide case from 2018. The Telegraph has reported that Raihanath Kappan has taken a dim view of the treatment meted out to her husband.“Our own minister in Delhi, [Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs] V. Muraleedharan, decried the arrest of Goswami and called it an assault on freedom of the press. But he didn’t spare a thought for a man from his own state who has been locked up in a jail in UP,” Raihanath said.


Delhi HC Seeks Govt Stand on Journalist Rajeev Sharma's Bail Plea

Delhi high court on Wednesday sought the response of the state on the bail plea of freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma, arrested in an espionage case under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly leaking sensitive information to Chinese intelligence. Justice Anu Malhotra issued notice to Delhi Police and asked it to file a status report before next date of hearing on Dec.2. Additional Public Prosecutor Kewal Singh Ahuja, appearing for the police, accepted the notice and assured the court that a status report would be filed before the next date of hearing. Sharma, who was arrested on Sept.14, has alleged that the police tampered with and fabricated evidence after he was taken into custody.PTI


Online News Media, Including Social Sites, Now Under Government Control

New Delhi: The government has issued an order bringing online news portals and content providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar under the Information and Broadcasting ministry. The notification, signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, was issued on Monday. The government regulations also apply to news on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Films, audio-visuals, and news and current affairs content on online platforms will come under the domain of the ministry.Until now, there was no law or autonomous body governing digital content.Press Council of India takes care of the print media, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) monitors news channels, the Advertising Standards Council of India is for advertising while the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) takes care of films.Last month, the Supreme Court sought the centre's response on a petition for regulating over-the-top or OTT platforms by an autonomous body. The top court issued notices to the centre, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Internet and Mobile Association of India.OTT platforms include news portals and also streaming services such as Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, which are accessible over the internet or ride on an operator's network.OTT/streaming and different digital media platforms have surely given a way out for film makers and artists to release their content without being worried about getting clearance certificates for their films and series from the censor board, the petition said.





BJP assures Nitish Kumar will head Bihar NDA, JDU says he will take oath as CM after Diwali

New Delhi:As questions are raised if Nitish Kumar will still be the chief minister of Bihar after JDU managed to win fewer seats than BJP in NDA, JDU has said he will be taking oath as chief minister after Diwali.KC Tyagi has said, “Nitish Kumar may take oath as the next CM after Diwali.”Meanwhile, BJP leaders have also said that Nitish Kumar will continue to be CM of Bihar. As Congress leader Digvijaya Singh took a dig at NDA and asked Nitish Kumar to join national politics, BJP leaders such as Giriraj Singh hit back and said Nitish Kumar is still NDA leader.


Digvijaya Singh Urges Nitish Kumar To Quit NDA, "Bless" Tejashwi Yadav

Nitish Kumar should quit BJP-led NDA and back Tejashwi Yadav as Chief Minister, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said today, a day after CM won a fourth term in Bihar but with greatly diminished numbers.In a series of tweets, Digvijaya said BJP had reduced CM Nitish Kumar's stature with its "kootneeti" (strategy) in Bihar."BJP is like a vine, it takes the support of another tree and flourishes while the tree dries up. Nitish ji, Lalu Yadav and you fought together and he went to jail. Give up BJP-RSS ideology and bless Tejashwi. Don't let this vine-like BJP grow in Bihar," Digvijaya tweeted.


Bihar Election Results: All 243 Seats Declared, NDA Wins 125, RJD and Allies 110

New Delhi: results of the Bihar assembly elections, counting for which began on Tuesday, were completed early on Wednesday. In what was an extremely close race, NDA which was always in the lead, no matter how slim, emerged winner with 125 seats, with BJP winning 74 of these, JDU of Nitish Kumar with 43, the Vikassheel Insaan Party 4 and Hindustan Awaam Party (Secular) 4. This puts NDA just above the requisite 122 majority mark needed to form the government. RJD and its allies have won 110 seats. RJD finished as the single-largest party with 75 seats, while Congress won a mere 19 seats. Of the 29 seats Left parties had contested, they won in 16, with CPI (ML-Liberation) winning 12 of them. BJP’s vote share is 19.5%, JD(U) won 15.4%, RJD 23.1% and Congress 9.5%. Chirag Paswan’s LJP has just a single seat. The parties have alleged widespread counting malpractices.


Tejashwi Yadav+ Says Won 119 Seats, Alleges Pressure On Poll Body

Patna: RJD of opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav has accused Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy, Sushil Kumar Modi, of conspiring to put pressure on district and election officials to ensure verdicts in closely-contested seats are declared in favour of ruling JDU-BJP alliance.In a tweet posted late on Tuesday night - as the counting of votes crossed 12-hour mark - RJD attached screenshots of a list of 119 Assembly constituencies the party claimed had been won by either itself or one of its allies. The tweet said that Returning Officers (RO) had initially congratulated these candidates on their "win" but later said they had lost.The officials also refused to hand over election certificates - issued by each constituency to confirm a candidate's victory in that electoral race, RJD added."Returning Officer congratulated them (the candidates) for their victory, but now they are not giving them the certificates and have said they have lost. These same candidates were shown as winning on Election Commission website," RJD tweet read."Such looting will not work in a democracy," the party added. Less than an hour earlier the opposition party accused JDU-BJP alliance of delaying counting and not handing over certificates to winning candidates in at least 10 seats.


Number of Muslim MLAs in Bihar down from 24 to 19

Newly elected Bihar assembly will have 19 Muslim MLAs, down by 5 as compared to their tally in the last assembly, the final election result showed.A total of 24 Muslims belonging to different political parties were elected in 2015 election. Muslim candidates who have won 2020 Bihar elections are 08 from RJD, 04 from Congress, 01 from CPI (ML), 01 from BSP and 05 from AIMIM. JDU had given party tickets to 11 Muslim candidates. But none of them could win 2020 Bihar election.A number of Muslim candidates fielded by JDU are defeated Muslim candidates of AIMIM, RJD and Congress. The total number of Muslims in the newly elected Bihar Assembly is 19 - down by 05 as compared to its tally of 24 in the last assembly election. List of Muslim MLAs: Amour Akhtarul Iman (AIMIM) 52,515. Arariaa Abidur Rahman (Congress) 47,936. Bahadurganj Mohammad Anzar Nayeemi (AIMIM) 45,215. Baisi Syed Ruknuddin Ahmad (AIMIM) 16,373. Balrampur Mahboob Alam (CPI-ML) 53,597. Chainpur Mohd. Zama Khan (BSP) 24,294. Gobindpur Md Kamran (RJD) 33,074. Jokihat Shahnawaz (AIMIM) 7,383. Kadwa Shakeel Ahmad Khan (Congress ) 32,402. Kanti Mohammad Israil Mansuri (RJD) 10,341. Kasba Md. Afaque Alam (Congress) 17,278. Kishanganj Izaharul Hussain (Congress) 1,381. Kochadhaman Muhammed Izhar Asfi (AIMIM) 36,143. Narkatia Shamim Ahmad (RJD) 27,791. Nathnagar Ali Ashraf Siddiquui (RJD) 7,756. Rafigannj Mohammad Nehaluddiin (RJD ) 9,429. Samastipur Akhtarul Islam Shahin (RJD ) 4,714.  Simri Bakhtiarpur Yusuf Salahuddin (RJD) 1,759.  Thakurganj Saud Alam (RJD ) 23,887.



'Big Parties Treated Me Like an Untouchable': Owaisi After AIMIM's 5-seat Win in Bihar

Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM, which was given tags like 'vote cutter' and spoiler in the Bihar assembly polls, won five Muslim-dominated seats on Tuesday and said its critics have got a befitting reply from the people.With the election results on a knife's edge earlier in the day, many thought AIMIM could play a key role in the formation of the next govt in case there was a hung assembly, having captured a sizeable number of seats in the state's Seemanchal region, which was being seen as a stronghold of the grand opposition alliance. The results, however, appeared giving a simple majority to NDA. After the election results, Owaisi said one learned from their mistakes in politics, NDTV reports. "Our Bihar chief personally met with each and every leader of political parties. No one was ready to touch us. Big parties treated me like an untouchable. Our party president met every important Muslim leader as well," he said, adding that despite all the effort, nothing worked. Owaisi said he could not say why nothing worked out, but added that he expected the party to perform better hereafter. AIMIM will decide later which party it will support, he said.


After baptism by fire, Chandrashekhar Azad says focus on emerging as major Opposition force in UP

Lucknow :Though Azad Samaj Party ended third in Bulandshahr Assembly bypoll in UP and did not fare well in the Bihar elections, party chief Chandrashekhar Azad said there was a lack of “strong Opposition” in UP and his outfit would work hard to fill the gap. This was the party’s electoral debut.In Bulandshahr, the party received 6.69 per cent of the votes, and emerged ahead of Congress and Samajwadi Party-RLD alliance.In Bihar, the party contested 24 seats after forming Progressive Democratic Alliance with Pappu Yadav’s Jan Adhikar Party and some smaller parties such as Bahujan Mukti Party and Ansari Mahapanchayat but failed to perform well.



Chirag Paswan Now Says All He Wanted Was "To Make BJP Stronger"

Patna: Chirag Paswan, widely billed as x-factor in the Bihar election, failed to live up to his claims and managed just one of the state's 243 seats but he calls it a win saying he "achieved" what he set out to do. LJP said today that he wanted BJP to emerge stronger from the election and was happy with his party's impact.



Chirag Paswan betrayed and damaged NDA; has chosen a different path: BJP

Is it end of the road for Chirag Paswan in the NDA? Though no straight answer is forthcoming yet, the Bharatiya Janata Party is very unhappy with the Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan, after the Bihar poll results on Tuesday, which made it clear that LJP had eaten into JDU's vote share.BJP national general secretary and Bihar in-charge, Bhupendra Yadav said, "Chirag Paswan has damaged the NDA. He dented us. He has chosen a different path."



"Nitish Kumar Will Be CM, It Was Our Commitment": BJP

Patna: There is no question of replacing Nitish Kumar as Chief Minister of Bihar, BJP said today, a day after it one-upped its ally for the first time in elections in the state. BJP won 74 of Bihar's 243 seats, taking NDA's tally past the majority mark, while Nitish Kumar's JDU was restricted to 43. With Nitish Kumar losing Big Brother status in Bihar and BJP gaining an upper hand for the first time in the state where it has never had a CM, there have been questions about the top job.





India, China Have A 2-Step Ladakh Cool-Off Plan But No Agreement To Implement It

New Delhi: India and China have readied a three-phase plan for disengagement in eastern Ladakh where the two sides have been in a stand-off since May this year, senior government sources have said.However, there is no signature or agreement on the plan's implementation as yet, the sources said. No time period has been agreed upon within which to implement the plan; neither is the extent to which it will happen decided between the two sides.  The disengagement includes the Chinese and Indian forces pulling back armour - tanks and armoured personnel carriers from close to LAC. Chinese would return to the Finger 8 region on the North Bank of the Pangong Lake, vacating their existing positions.  India, in turn, would return to its pre-existing position prior to when the tension began. India would move back forces on the South Bank of Pangong where India dominates the heights to positions before the tension began.



'Betrayed': In Jammu, Growing Regret Over Support for Scrapping of Article 370

Srinagar: On Aug.5, 2019, Rahul Sharma, a resident of Kathua, was ecstatic. He and his friends distributed sweets to celebrate the scrapping of Articles 370 and 35A of the constitution that granted a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.As most parts of the Jammu division erupted in celebration, Sharma, who then called himself a “hardcore” Modi supporter, said he felt it was the beginning of what PM Narendra Modi called “achhe din” for the people of J&K. 15 months later, Sharma feels apologetic and disgusted. “We do not want ‘achhe din’. We want ‘buray din’, back,” he said. “It is for the first time that somebody wants to impose ‘achhe din’ on the people and people are not willing to accept them,” he said, calling the new land laws and the post-August 5 amendments in J&K a human rights violation. “First, it was happening with Kashmiris, now it is happening with the people of Jammu as well.”Sharma is not the only Modi or BJP supporter in Jammu region who previously supported the scrapping of Article 370 and has changed their stance now. Tanya Bandral, an MSC in Chemistry who also tutors students in Jammu’s vicinity, said she was a steadfast supporter of the the BJP. “I celebrated the move,” she said, “but I now regret having done so.”Like Bandral and Sharma, many residents in Jammu feel cheated by the ruling party. Bandral said that BJP exploited their “nationalistic feelings” and “patriotism”. With every new law that Union govt has implemented in J&K, resentment among the people of the Jammu grew, she said.thewire


‘Life itself is in danger’: SC rejects plea challenging ban on firecrackers

New Delhi :The Supreme Court Wednesday rejected a petition challenging the Calcutta High Court’s ban on fire crackers during the upcoming festival season. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee said it understood festivals were important, but “we are in a situation where life itself is in danger”.“We understand these festivals are important… We are in a situation where life itself is in danger… There can be no greater value than preservation of life itself,” Justice Chandrachud said.


NIA arrests Karnataka man accused of West Bengal LeT recruitment case

NIA has arrested a 28-year-old from Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka. According to the central agency, Sayyad M Idris was arrested on Tuesday from Uttara Kannada district in connection with the West Bengal LeT recruitment case.



After HC order, Tablighi case papers being moved to CJM courts in 3 districts

Lucknow: Tablighi Jamaat congregation held in March, attended by over 8000 members from across the world, was then called a super-spreader event of the novel coronavirus.Following an Allahabad High Court order, documents related to cases filed against members of Tablighi Jamaat in different parts of UP are being transferred to Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) courts of Lucknow, Bareilly and Meerut. The court had issued the order on Sept.30. Several cases were filed against Jamaat members across the state after it was alleged that they had attended a congregation at Nizamuddin area of Delhi and then visited several places, which led to the spread of coronavirus. Several foreigners were booked for allegedly violating quarantine rules and acting negligently.So far, the documents of 22 cases have been transferred to the court of Lucknow CJM, while that of 66 cases to Meerut CJM. Following a petition filed by Maulana Ala Hadrami and others, the court in its order had stated that CJMs would decide these matters within a stipulated time frame of 8 weeks.,the%20order%20on%20September%2030.



Azim Premji has donated ₹22 crore per day; emerges as most generous Indian

With a donation of ₹7,904 crore, Azim Premji, founder-chairman of Wipro, topped the list of philanthropists in India for 2020. He donated ₹22 crore per day. "On 1 April, Azim Premji Foundation, Wipro, and Wipro Enterprises have committed ₹1,125 crore towards tackling COVID-19 outbreak. These are in addition to the annual CSR activities of Wipro, and the usual philanthropic spending of Azim Premji Foundation," according to EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2020.“Azim Premji is a role model for Indian philanthropy and is continuing to inspire other entrepreneurs into giving", said Anas Rahman Junaid, managing director and chief researcher, Hurun India.HCL Technologies' Shiv Nadar came second in the list. Nadar donated ₹795 crore for charitable causes. Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd and Asia’s richest man, maintained the third spot by donating ₹458 crore. "On 30 March 2020, Reliance Industries announced a donation of ₹500 crore to PM CARES Fund and ₹5 crore each to CM’s Relief Fund of Maharashtra and Chief Minister’s Relief Fund of Gujarat to support their fights against COVID-19," the report said.





India coronavirus numbers explained: Active cases fall below 5 lakh, half of country’s peak

There are now less than half the number of active cases of coronavirus infections than at the peak, two months ago. The number of active cases fell below the 5-lakh mark on Tuesday, to a level last seen towards the end of July. At its peak, in the second week of Sept, India had 10.17 lakh active cases, with more than 90,000 infections being detected every day. There has been a remarkable turnaround after that, with active cases going down steadily and progressively for the last two months. On Tuesday, the active cases fell to 4.94 lakh. For 39 days at a stretch now, the detection of new cases has been lower than those who are being declared to have recovered from the disease, the main reason why the active cases are going down. In fact, there have been only 5 occasions in the last 54 days, since Sept. 18, when this trend has not held.


Delhi HC Says COVID Situation 'Alarming', Slams AAP Govt for 'Lack of Control'

Delhi high court on Wednesday pulled up AAP government for relaxing norms for public movement and gatherings in the national capital even as COVID-19 cases were increasing and questioned whether it has any policy or strategy in place to deal with the “alarming” situation.A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramanium Prasad said that when Delhi, as city-state, was “hands down beating” Maharashtra and Kerala in the number of daily new cases in the past two weeks, what concrete steps were taken by the government to contain the spread of infection.The court noted that the daily number of new COVID-19 cases received for November 10 was at 8,593 and “still counting” and the number of containment zones in the city were 4,016.



Secondary schools, colleges to reopen in Gujarat from November 23: guidelines

Gujarat government has decided to reopen secondary schools and colleges after Diwali vacations from November 23, state education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said on Wednesday.Schools, which have been shut since March in view of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, will reopen only for students of classes 9 to 12 and attendance is not mandatory, the minister told reporters.A decision on reopening of primary schools for classes 1 to 8 will be taken at an appropriate time, he said.


Himachal govt to shut educational institutions after spike in COVID-19 cases among students and teachers

After witnessing a spike in the COVID-19 cases among school students and teachers, the Himachal Pradesh government on Tuesday finally decided to reclose all educational institutions across the state. The decision was taken in the state Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, in Shimla today.The HP Cabinet decided to close all education institutions including schools, colleges, polytechnical colleges, ITIs, coaching centres from November 11 to 25, an official spokesperson informed.


US: WHO not sharing enough info about China virus probe

A senior US government official complained Tuesday that the World Health Organisation has not shared enough information about its planned mission to China to investigate the animal origins of the coronavirus.Garrett Grisby of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services griped that the criteria for WHO's China mission had not been shared with other nations. He spoke during a weeklong meeting of the U.H. health agency's member countries.PTI


Coronavirus: Sputnik V vaccine 92% effective against infection, says Russia

Russia on Wednesday said that the interim trial results of the Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus showed it is 92% effective in providing protection from the infection.




Saudi Arabia: 4 wounded in bomb blast at WWI memorial in Jeddah

Several people were wounded on Wednesday when an explosive device hit a ceremony commemorating the end of World War I at a cemetery in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah.France’s foreign ministry said several countries had representatives at the commemoration attended by European diplomats.“The annual ceremony commemorating the end of World War I at the non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah, attended by several consulates, including that of France, was the target of an IED [improvised explosive device] attack this morning, which injured several people,” the ministry said.“France strongly condemns this cowardly, unjustifiable attack.”The explosion was confirmed by an official from Greece who declined to be named.“There was some sort of a blast at the non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah. There are four slightly injured, among them one Greek,” the official said, without providing further details.France has urged its citizens in the kingdom to be “on maximum alert” amid heightened tensions after an assailant decapitated a French middle school teacher who showed caricatures of the Prophet in class.


‘Relationship reassessed’: Joe Biden and Saudi Arabia relations

US President-elect Joe Biden has made his position on Saudi Arabia and its war in Yemen clear.In the past two years, Biden has said Saudi Arabia’s government has “very little social redeeming value”, that Riyadh had murdered “children … and innocent people” in Yemen, and it was a “pariah” state.



Veteran activist calls for Biden to support Palestinian rights

Head of the Popular International Committee to Support Gaza called on Wednesday for US President-elect Joe Biden to be just with the Palestinian cause and support Palestinian rights. Dr Essam Yousef told the media that he welcomed the victory of democracy in the US despite the severe polarisation which affected the election.He asked Biden to work towards establishing the rights of the Palestinian people in their own land. The Palestinian issue, explained Yousef, should be dealt with within the framework of international laws and conventions which recognise the creation of a viable Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. America, he said, should amend its foreign policies in this respect and end the clear bias towards Israel.


Peace Now: Netanyahu used Trump's time in office to advance settlements

Peace Now has criticised US President Donald Trump's administration regarding Israel's expansion of its illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territories adding that this has shattering the two-state solution, the organisation said in a report issued on Monday."Unlike previous American administrations, the Trump Administration has almost completely refrained from criticizing Israel's settlement policies and has even supported statements and actions that further develop the settlements," the report said.It added: "In President Donald J. Trump's four years in office, there have been far-reaching changes in the American position on Israeli settlements that have shattered the international consensus around a two-state solution, and which have promoted annexation in all but name."


First official Israel delegation to visit Sudan next week

Israel is planning to send its first official delegation to Sudan on Sunday to start talks about establishing diplomatic relations based on the normalisation deal announced last month, Reuters reported.The two countries are set to discuss, according to the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, a package of cooperation deals to "achieve the mutual interests of the two peoples."When the US President Donald Trump announced that the two countries had reached a normalisation deal, he said that deal would cover agriculture, trade, aviation, and migration issues.


Court hears Netanyahu revealed classified information on Iran to Hollywood producer

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan classified information on Iran, a former head of Shin Bet has said.In a leaked testimony aired on Monday from one of the criminal cases against Netanyahu, Yuval Diskin said in 2010 Netanyahu had sent him to check if a Mossad spy had leaked information to Hollywood's Arnon Milchan, public broadcaster Kan reported."I was at a work meeting with Bibi," he said, using Netanyahu's nickname. "[It was] a time when we had discussions on the Iranian issue. One day he sends everyone out of the room and tells me, 'Listen, I need you to urgently investigate [then-Mossad chief] Meir Dagan.'"



Indian-American Kash Patel Named Chief Of Staff To Acting US Defence Secretary

 Indian-American Kash Patel has been named as Chief of Staff to Acting US Defence Secretary Chris Miller, Pentagon has announced. The new appointment from the Pentagon comes a day after Donald Trump fired Defence Secretary Mark Esper and designated the National Counter Terrorism Center Director, Chris Miller, as Acting Secretary of Defence.Miller took over the functions and responsibilities of the new role on Monday, the Pentagon said on Tuesday. Patel, currently on National Security Council staff, has been named by Acting Secretary Miller as his Chief of Staff, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday.



Trump loyalists get top Pentagon jobs after Esper firing

A day after President Donald Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, three staunch loyalists to the president were named to top defense jobs. Among them was a former Fox News commentator who failed to get through Senate confirmation because of offensive remarks he made, including about Islam. The abrupt changes sent reverberations through the Pentagon as nervous civilian and military personnel waited for the next shoe to drop. And they fueled worries of a wider effort to drum out anyone considered not loyal enough to Trump.The unease was palpable inside the building throughout the day over concerns about what the Trump administration may do in the months before President-elect Joe Biden takes office and whether there will be a greater effort to politicize the historically apolitical military. While radical policy shifts seem unlikely before the Jan. 20 inauguration, the changes could further damage prospects for a smooth transition already hampered by Trump’s refusal to concede his election loss.AP


World's Longest Serving PM, Bahrain's Sheikh Khalifa, Passes Away

Dubai: Bahrain’s Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al Khalifa, the world’s longest serving prime minister and a staunch ally of neighbouring Saudi Arabia and the US, has died, the royal palace announced on Wednesday.Sheikh Khalifa, a dominant figure in the Gulf island’s politics for much of his near half century in power, passed away on Wednesday morning at Mayo Clinic hospital in US, Bahrain’s state news agency said. Khalifa, 84, the uncle of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, had served as prime minister since the Sunni Muslim-led island kingdom declared independence from Britain in 1971, almost half a century. The al-Khalifa family has ruled since 1783. Reuters







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Congress Accuses Owaisi of Cutting Into Muslim Vote of Secular Parties; What Do Numbers Say?Zafar Aafaq | Clarion India





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