15 November 2020

Nitish to take oath as CM tomorrow, BJP MLA Tarkishore Prasad likely to be Deputy CM. New FCRA Rules for NGOs: They are Throttling, Say Activists, Question Govt Motives. 15 Asian Nations Sign China-Backed Trade Pact, India Pulled Out Last Year. Ethnic Armenian villagers burn houses before Azerbaijan takeover



15-11-2020 ,20:55 IST



Nitish to take oath as CM tomorrow, BJP MLA Tarkishore Prasad likely to be Deputy CM

As Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar on Sunday elected NDA legislature party leader and to take oath as chief minister of state for fourth consecutive time on November 16 afternoon, 4-time BJP MLA from Katihar Tarkishore Prasad was elected leader of BJP legislature party. Mr. Prasad may be the next Deputy Chief Minister of the State replacing long time Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi.Soon after being elected as leader of the NDA legislature party, JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar along with leaders of all four alliance partners went to Raj Bhawan and met Governor Fagu Chauhan to submit him latter of support of MLAs and to stake claim for the formation of the new government.“Today after being elected as NDA legislature party I went to meet the Governor to submit him letter of support and stake claim for formation of the next government. The Governor accepted our request and tomorrow (November 16) the oath taking ceremony will be held between 4 to 4:30 p.m. and then after everything will be decided”, Nitish Kumar told media persons after coming out from the Raj Bhawan.Earlier at a meeting of NDA legislators, Anne Marg, official residence of Chief Minister of the State, Mr. Kumar was unanimously elected its leader. Senior BJP leader and union defense minister Rajnath Singh, party’s poll-in charge Devendra Fadnavis and State party in-charge Bhupendra Yadav too were also present in the meeting along with other senior State party leaders.In a surprise move, the four-time BJP MLA from Katihar in northeast Bihar, Tarkishore Prasad was also elected as BJP legislature party leader and Renu Devi, party MLA from Bettiah in West Champaran, as his deputy in the State legislature. Tarkishore Prasad, 64,  is likely to be the next Deputy chief minister of the State. Name of Renu Devi too is doing rounds for the post of Deputy CM in political circle of the State.However, once the meeting was over former Deputy CM and senior State BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi headed straight to State guest house along with Union Minister and party leader Rajnath Singh, Devendra Fadnavis and Bhupendra Yadav for an another round of meeting.Later, BJP leaders went to meet the Governor but avoided direct answer on who would be the next Deputy CM of the State. “You all will know it at an appropriate time”, said Mr. Singh. Earlier when asked, JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar too had said that “it will be known after some time”.Later, the long time Deputy CM of the State Sushil Kumar Modi who is also known as close to CM Nitish Kumar, tweeted that “no one can snatch the position of a party worker from him”. Meanwhile, the buzz doing round in political circle of the State is that Sushil Modi may be shifted to Center and inducted in the union cabinet through Rajya Sabha seat which had got vacant after demise of Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan.



BJP's Tarkishore Prasad, Renu Devi likely to be Bihar Deputy CMs; Sushil Modi to step down



NDA victory in Bihar: Election Commission was complicit, incompetent, says CPI candidate who lost by 484 votes

Election Commission of India (ECI), which is an autonomous and constitutional body, acted as an arm of the Modi government during the counting for Bihar polls, alleged CPI candidate from Bachwara seat Awadhesh Kumar Rai who lost the election by just 484 votes.Speaking to National Herald over phone, Rai, who was leading in the counting till the evening but was declared defeated at the end, said that the ECI used the Covid-19 pandemic as a pretext to rig elections in favour of the BJP-JD(U) alliance.“The Covid-19 pandemic was used as a pretext to put curbs on us (Mahagathbandhan) while for BJP-JD(U), it came as an opportunity,” Rai said.“If I was leading since morning till evening, how is it possible that after the final round of the counting, I was declared defeated?” asked Rai who was defeated by BJP's Surendra Mehta.



Almost 70% of MLAs in Bihar’s new assembly face criminal cases, up 10% from the last one

New Delhi: Nearly 70 per cent of MLAs in Bihar’s newly elected assembly have criminal charges against their names, ranging from murder and attempt to murder to kidnapping and crime against women.According to data analysed by non-partisan NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), about 68 per cent of MLAs — 163 in all — stand accused of criminal acts, which is 10 per cent more than the ratio in the outgoing assembly. ADR has analysed 241 of the 243 MLAs because the affidavits submitted by two of them to the Election Commission are unclear.



 ‘Will anyway fight 2022 polls solo’ — UP Congress leaders after Akhilesh Yadav snub on tie-up

New Delhi: Unmoved by the drubbing it faced in the Uttar Pradesh bypolls last week, Congress leaders say the party will contest the upcoming assembly elections solo and not as part of any alliance.Of the seven seats in the state that went to bypolls on 10 November, the Congress failed to win any of the six it contested. It even lost its deposit on four. BJP won six while the Samajwadi Party (SP) won one — Malhani.Later in the week, former UP chief minister and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said doors are open for an alliance with smaller parties in the 2022 state elections, but ruled out the possibility of trying up with bigger parties. “Adjustment will be done with smaller parties, but there will be no alliance with larger parties,” Yadav said at a press conference. While he did not explicitly mention any party, his statement was seen hinting at the Congress and Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party.



 ‘Moved by Islamophobia’, Rajasthan youth applied for Islamic Studies MA in Kashmir, made history

Srinagar: Shubham Yadav, a 21-year-old from Alwar, Rajasthan, is not oblivious to his achievement. On 29 Oct., he bested 93 candidates to become the first non-Muslim and non-Kashmir resident to top the all-India entrance exam for a Master’s course in Islamic Studies at Central University of Kashmir (CUK). But he doesn’t think it’s a big deal either. “I have been getting several calls, including from journalists, who thought it was a big deal to crack the entrance exams. It really isn’t. It’s like any other subject dealing with law, culture and behaviour,” said Yadav. An aspiring civil servant, Yadav told ThePrint that he got curious about Islam after seeing the “growing Islamophobia and religious polarisation across the world”. “Growing Islamophobia and polarisation have made me think that understanding each other’s religion is extremely important in this day and age. Unfortunately, there is a lot of stereotyping of Islam and Islamic studies as well,” Yadav said. “Islamic Studies is not just about the study of Muslims but an exploration of Islamic law and culture.” “I believe that, in the future, the administration will need conciliatory mechanisms between Hindus and Muslims and, for that, the administration will require people with greater understanding of religion. I would like to be there if that happens,” he added.ThePrint



 PDP founder member Muzaffar Hussain Baig quits party over seat sharing in DDC polls

Srinagar: Founder member of PDP Muzaffar Hussain Baig resigned from the party on Saturday following a disagreement over seat sharing for the forthcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir, party sources said.The sources said Baig informed PDP patron Mehbooba Mufti about his decision of leaving the party with which he has been associated since its inception in 1998.Baig was not immediately available for comment.The party sources said he was upset over seat distribution, especially in north Kashmir, by the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an hurriedly cobbled amalgam of mainstream political parties, including the National Conference, the PDP, the People’s Conference and the CPI(M).



J&K DDC polls| People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration says no rift among parties over seat-sharing

After initial hiccups, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on November 15 reached a consensus over the seat-sharing arrangement for the second phase of the upcoming DDC polls in Jammu and Kashmir and said there is no rift among the alliance partners.Also read: J&K District Development Council polls | Gupkar Alliance fails to reach seat-sharing dealPAGD members on November 14 had failed to finalise the seat-sharing formula for the District Development Council (DDC) polls despite holding a marathon meeting, the third in two days, on the issue.PTI



New FCRA Rules for NGOs: They are Throttling, Say Activists, Question Govt Motives

NEW DELHI – The new FCRA rules notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs on November 10 have drawn sharp criticism from social activists who view it as an attempt by the government to “throttle” the non-government organisations (NGOs), especially those working in critical fields.“This is throttling… a determined attempt by the government to ensure that the voices of NGOs are curbed,” said Henri Tiphange, head of a pan-India NGO called Centre for Promotion of Social Concern (CPSC). Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), a national forum of over 700 movements and NGOs in India, challenged this vague description of the phrase “political nature” in the Delhi High Court and went up to the Supreme Court. In March 2020, the apex court passed an order limiting the scope of the word “political” in the FCRA law to mean only ‘party politics’ or ‘active politics’. The FCRA Rules 2020 notified last week have changed the rules to comply with the apex court order. However, this is not the only change in the new rules. Clarion India



‘That Evening will Come Again’: Safoora Zargar Shares First Facebook Post After Bail

NEW DELHI – Jamia Millia Islamia student and Anti-CAA activist Safoora Zargar, who has largely remained away from the media gaze since her release on bail in late June on Saturday posted a group photo from the days of the protest movement at Shaheen Bagh and elsewhere.It shows Zargar along with her five fellow students, including Ladeeda Farzana and Akhtarista Ansari, the two girls seen in the viral video as saving a photojournalist being beaten by the police in December last year.The photo is captioned: Woh Shaam phir aayegi Inshallah. That evening will come again, God Willing.Commenting on the photo, Farzana wrote, “Insha Allah dear.. can’t wait to see you.”This is her second public activity on Facebook since her release. On October 27, she changed her display picture which showed her and read: “You can jail the revolutionary but you can’t jail the revolution.”



UP Police arrest Bulandshahr man for tweet against Narendra Modi

A 31-year-old man has been arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district for allegedly making objectionable remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a social media post, police said on November 15.Accused Saleem Khan was held by a Kotwali Dehat Police team after a complaint was lodged in the case by the district’s cyber cell on November 14, an official said.“The accused had posted a video on Twitter in which he had made objectionable remarks against the Prime Minister. Several people had notified the matter to the local police regarding the objectionable content after which the action was taken,” SHO Kotwali Dehat Narendra Kumar Sharma told PTI.PTI



Firecrackers, farm fires make Delhi’’s air quality ‘’severe’’; relief likely

Delhi-NCR woke up to the pungent smell of smoke from firecrackers on a hazy Sunday morning as pollution levels in the region crossed the emergency threshold.The air quality had turned "severe" on Saturday evening with stubble burning accounting for 32 per cent of Delhi's PM2.5 pollution, but firecracker emissions and calm winds made the situation even worse.The levels of PM2.5 which is about three per cent the diameter of a human hair and can lead to premature deaths from heart and lung diseases were 396 microgram per cubic metre ( g/m3) in Delhi-NCR at 6 am, above the emergency threshold of 300 g/m3. The safe limit is 60 g/m3.PTI




 Masks mandatory, no physical offerings: Maharashtra issues SOP for places of worship opening tomorrow

With Maharashtra throwing open the doors of places of worship from Monday, the state government has issued a set of guidelines to ensure minimum Covid-19 risk. The SOP states that only shrines located outside containment zones will be allowed to open, and thermal screening and hand sanitisers will be necessary.No physical offerings such as ‘prasad’ distribution or sprinkling of holy water will be allowed inside the religious place.Announcing the reopening of places of worship, which have been shut since April, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday asked people to “strictly follow rules” and ensure discipline. The reopening of places of worship has been a point of contention, with the Opposition as well as the Maharashtra Governor targeting the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government for keeping them shut, despite Central guidelines of June 8 allowing them to be reopened.The state government has over the past few months been firm on not reopening places of worship, fearing that large gatherings, especially during the festival season, could turn into Covid super-spreaders.



"Not Victory Of Hindutva": Sanjay Raut On Reopening Of Religious Places

Mumbai: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has slammed the BJP for claiming the re-opening of places of worship in Maharashtra - closed since March due to the Covid lockdown - as a "victory for Hindutva". Raut said the decision to close places of worship had been taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the interest of public health, and had no relevance to Hindutva."The lockdown was imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the decision to shut temples was also taken by him. There is no reason for the BJP to take credit for the victory of Hindutva as the decision was taken amid the Covid pandemic," the Sena leader told reporters this morning."It was God's will that people stay at home and now it is God's will that places of worship re-open, with precautions," he added, according to PTI.



More ICU Beds, Increased Testing: Centre's 12-Point Covid Plan For Delhi

New Delhi: A 12-point plan to tackle coronavirus in Delhi was adopted at a meeting this evening between Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, which includes infrastructure like extra ICU beds and oxygen cylinders and more medical staff. In a series of tweets, Mr Shah announced the measures -- one of which is also to double coronavirus testing in the city and monitoring people in home isolation.After the meeting, Mr Kejriwal said the Centre will make arrangements for 750 hospital beds will all the facilities of Intensive Care Units for Covid patients in Delhi.




Congress Leader Ahmed Patel, Who Tested Covid Positive, Moved To ICU, Says Son

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, who tested positive for coronavirus on October 1, has been admitted to ICU of Gurgaon's Medanta Hospital, his family said on Sunday.A tweet posted by his son, Faisal Patel, said the veteran politician's condition is "stable" and that he "continues to be under medical observation".



Covid-19: Russia's Sputnik V vaccine to arrive in Kanpur medical college next week for Phase 2, 3 trials

Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for coronavirus is likely to reach Kanpur’s Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Medical College by next week wherein the vaccine’s Phase 2 and Phase 3 human clinical trials will be conducted. Drug Control General of India had granted approval to Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd to conduct late-stage clinical trials of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, in India, the sovereign wealth fund said on Saturday.India Today





15 Asian Nations Sign China-Backed Trade Pact, India Pulled Out Last Year

Hanoi: 15  Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday signed the world's biggest free trade deal, seen as a huge coup for China in extending its influence.Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) includes 10 Southeast Asian economies along with China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia, with members accounting for around 30 percent of global GDP.First proposed in 2012, the deal was finally sealed at the end of a Southeast Asian summit as leaders push to get their pandemic-hit economies back on track."Under the current global circumstances, the fact the RCEP has been signed after eight years of negotiations brings a ray of light and hope amid the clouds," said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang after the virtual signing."It clearly shows that multilateralism is the right way, and represents the right direction of the global economy and humanity's progress."The agreement to lower tariffs and open up the services trade within the bloc does not include the United States and is viewed as a Chinese-led alternative to a now-defunct Washington trade initiative.India pulled out of the agreement last year over concerns about cheap Chinese goods entering the country and was a notable absentee during Sunday's virtual signing.AFP



 Pakistan to seek USD 2.7 bn loan from China for CPEC project

Pakistan has decided to seek USD 2.7 billion loan from China for the construction of package-I of the Mainline-1 project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).Citing government officials, Express Tribune has reported that the sixth meeting of the financing committee on ML-1 project, which includes dualisation and upgrading of the 1,872 km railway track from Peshawar to Karachi, decided that Pakistan would initially request China to sanction only USD 2.73 billion in loan out of the total estimated Chinese financing of about USD 6.1 billion.ANI



Azerbaijan extends Armenian pullout deadline from Kalbajar

Armenia has begun handing over disputed territory to Azerbaijan as part of a peace accord that ended six weeks of fierce fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.Residents of the Kalbajar district, which has been controlled by ethnic Armenians for decades, began a mass exodus from the mountainous province in the days leading up to the official withdrawal date of November 15.But Azerbaijan on Sunday agreed to extend the deadline for Armenians to fully vacate for another 10 days.“Azerbaijan agreed to prolong the deadline for the withdrawal from Kalbajar of Armenian armed forces and of illegal Armenian settlers until November 25,” said President Ilham Aliyev’s foreign policy adviser, Hikmet Hajiyev.He said Aliyev had agreed on humanitarian grounds to grant an Armenian request for the delay following mediation by Russian President Vladimir Putin.



Armenia says it prevented murder attempt on PM Nikol Pashinyan

Armenia prevented an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and the seizure of power by a group of former officials, the country’s National Security Service (NSS) has said.Pashinyan had come under pressure in recent days, with thousands of demonstrators protesting since Tuesday and demanding he step down over a ceasefire that secured territorial advances for Azerbaijan in the disputed region Nagorno-Karabakh after six weeks of intense fighting.



Ethnic Armenian villagers burn houses before Azerbaijan takeover

Ethnic Armenian villagers in Nagorno-Karabakh set their houses on fire on Saturday before fleeing to Armenia on the eve of a deadline that will see parts of the territory handed over to Azerbaijan as part of a ceasefire agreement.Residents of the Kalbajar district in Azerbaijan that was controlled by ethnic Armenians for decades began a mass exodus this week after it was announced Azerbaijan would regain control on Sunday.“Children in Armenia are crying and want to return home, it is such a sorrow,” a tearful resident of Kalbajar told Al Jazeera.In the village of Charektar – on the border with the neighbouring district of Martakert, which is to remain under Armenian control – at least six houses were on fire on Saturday morning with thick plumes of grey smoke rising over the valley.



Israel advances plans in sensitive East Jerusalem settlement

A settlement watchdog group says Israel is moving ahead with new construction of hundreds of homes in an illegal East Jerusalem settlement that threatens to cut off parts of the city claimed by Palestinians from the West Bank.The group, Peace Now, said Israel Land Authority announced on its website on Sunday that it had opened up tenders for more than 1,200 new homes in Givat Hamatos in East Jerusalem.Brian Reeves, a spokesman for Peace Now, said the move allows contractors to begin bidding on the tenders, a process that will conclude just days before US President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Construction could then begin within months.“This is a lethal blow to the prospects for peace,” Peace Now said in a statement, adding Israel was “taking advantage of the final weeks of the President Donald Trump’s administration in order to set facts on the ground that will be exceedingly hard to undo in order to achieve peace”.




Israel attacks Hamas positions after rockets fired from Gaza

2 rockets were fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip late on Saturday, the Israeli army said, although there were no immediate reports of casualties or any damage. Israeli army tweeted that it “struck Hamas underground infrastructure and military posts in Gaza” on Sunday morning – using fighter jets, helicopters and tanks – and it “is conducting an ongoing situational assessment & remains prepared to operate against any terror activity”.



Palestinians torn as Israel seeks Gulf tourists in Jerusalem

Jerusalem :When UAE agreed to normalise relations with Israel, the Palestinians decried the move as a “betrayal” of both Jerusalem, where they hope to establish the capital of their future state, and the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the city’s holiest Muslim site.But with Israel now courting wealthy Gulf tourists and establishing new air links to the major travel hubs of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Palestinians in east Jerusalem could soon see a tourism boon after months in which the coronavirus transformed the Holy City into a ghost town.“There will be some benefits for the Palestinian sector of tourism, and this is what I’m hoping for,” said Sami Abu-Dayyeh, a Palestinian businessman in east Jerusalem who owns four hotels and a tourism agency.AP



Israel hails Saudi 'terror' label of Muslim Brotherhood

Israel on Sunday welcomed a statement by the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars (CSS) labelling the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, Anadolu Agency reports."We are happy in Israel to see such approach that stands against exploitation of religion for incitement and sedition," the Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Twitter."We are in bad need for a discourse that calls for tolerance and mutual cooperation in the region," it added.On Tuesday, the CSS issued a statement designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group and accused the movement of being a destabilizing factor in the region.



NYT: Al-Qaeda number two 'secretly killed' by Israeli agents

Al-Qaeda's number two was killed in Tehran three months ago by two Israeli assassins on a motorcycle, the New York Times revealed on Saturday.Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, known also as Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was shot dead on the streets of Tehran by two Israeli agents at the "behest of the US", on the anniversary of the infamous bombings of US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998, a terror attack that killed over 200 people and injured hundreds, believed to have been masterminded by al-Masri.Five shots from a gun fitted with a silencer were allegedly fired by the two gunmen as he drove home with his daughter Miriam in the evening, of which four bullets entered the car, killing both.




Joe Biden Greets Indians with 'Sal Mubarak' on Diwali, Twitter Divided. Here's What it Means:news18

Barely a week has passed since the Democratic challenger Joe Biden won the United States Presidential Elections 2020, and it seems the President-elect is already facing heat from Indians on Twitter.It all started when Biden, who is set to assume office as the US President in January 2021, put out a tweet wishing Indians a Happy Diwali on Saturday."To the millions of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists celebrating the Festival of Lights, @DrBiden and I send our best wishes for a #HappyDiwali. May your new year be filled with hope, happiness, and prosperity. Sal Mubarak," Biden wrote.Little did he know that his simple tweet was enough to cause controversy in India, where many took issue with Biden use of the term "Sal mubarak" as a Diwali saturation.Many pointed out that "Sal Mubarak" was indeed an "Islamic greeting" and not one used to greet Diwali.However, it seems Desi Twitter got it wrong. "Saal mubarak" is not a reference to any Islamic festival. In fact, Sal Mubarak is used to signify the occasion of Gujarati New Year, celebrated on the day after Diwali in Gujarat. The day is observed by Gujaratis including Paris, Hindus, Jains and Sikhs.



Trump finally acknowledges Biden's US election victory, but says it was 'rigged'

President Donald Trump appeared to acknowledge publicly for the first time on Sunday that Democrat Joe Biden won the November 3 U.S. presidential election but asserted that it was “rigged”, reiterating his false claims of widespread voting fraud.Trump seemed to acknowledge Biden’s victory in a Twitter post in which he listed unsubstantiated allegations of fraud.Reuters



Violence erupts in Washington as Trump supporters clash with counter protesters

Violence erupted on the streets of downtown Washington after thousands of supporters of US President Donald Trump held a protest rally to back his unproven claims of massive voter fraud and electoral malpractices during the 2020 presidential elections. Million MAGA March , held a week after Democrat Joe Biden was declared the winner of the November 3 election, was mainly peaceful throughout the day on Saturday, but by late in the night, clashes erupted between Trump's supporters and counterprotesters.A mass brawl broke out later on Saturday night just five blocks away from the White House as counterprotesters clashed with a group of Trump supporters.According to reports, a man in his 20s, believed to be a Black Lives Matter protester, received serious injuries and was rushed to a hospital after being stabbed in the back during the altercation and two police officers were also injured.PTI



Jamaat-e-Islami Pak Emir Siraj’s mother passes away

LAHORE - Mother of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Emir Senator Sirajul Haq breathed her last on Saturday after a protracted illness.  She was under treatment at a health facility in Peshawar, said JI spokesperson Qaisar Sharif. Her funeral prayer will be offered at her ancestral village Samar Bagh in district Dir on Sunday (today) at 11 am. The JI spokesperson urged people to stay at home due to Covid-19 threats and pray that may Allah rest the departed soul in eternal peace.  He said that Fateha for the departed soul would be offered at JI’s headquarters in Mansoora, Lahore.




Self-proclaimed  ‘Prophet’ wanted for fraud flees to Malawi from South Africa

Controversial millionaire preacher Shepherd Bushiri, out on bail in South Africa in a case of alleged fraud and money laundering, has fled to his native Malawi.The self-proclaimed prophet is known for his “miracles” and wildly extravagant lifestyle and has made huge investments in the mining, telecommunications and luxury sectors.He was arrested for alleged fraud and money laundering in October in a multimillion-dollar case but got bail on November.His wealth comes from donations from followers of his Enlightened Christian Gathering church in the South African capital, Pretoria.Bushiri and his wife, Mary, were granted bail on condition that they would confine themselves to South Africa’s Gauteng province.



France’s Rhetoric on Free Speech not Enough to Conceal Its Shameless Hypocrisy: Amnesty

“French govt’s rhetoric on free speech is not enough to conceal its own shameless hypocrisy,” said Marco Pirolini — a researcher in the rights group — stressed in his comments as criticizing Macron administration’s policies.PARISH – Amnesty International on Saturday accused the French government of not being the “champion of free speech that it likes to think it is,” criticizing recent rhetoric by the government as “shameful hypocrisy.”“The French government’s rhetoric on free speech is not enough to conceal its own shameless hypocrisy,” said Marco Pirolini, a researcher in the rights group, adding that freedom of expression “means nothing unless it applies to everyone.”He accused French President Emmanuel Macron and his government of doubling down on a “smear campaign” against French Muslims over the murder of Samuel Paty, a French teacher who was brutally murdered in mid-Oct.“[They] launched their own attack on freedom of expression,” said Pirolini, citing recent incidents such as the hours-long questioning by French police of four 10-year-old children on suspicion of “apology of terrorism.”



A Third of Muslims Associated with UK’s Labour Party have Witnessed Islamophobia

LONDON – British Muslim Labour Party members and supporters have witnessed Islamophobia within the the country’s biggest opposition party, a recent report has found.An investigation carried out by Labour Muslim Network and reported by ITV News,revealed that more than a third of Muslims associated with the Labour Party have witnessed Islamophobia.Forty-four per cent said they do not believe the party takes the issue of rising Islamophobia seriously, and 48 per cent said they have lost confidence in the party’s complaints structures.Ali Reza Milani, who stood against Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Uxbridge and South Ruislip parliamentary constituency in the last year’s general election, claimed a fellow party member told him Muslims could not be in the parliament because of “their propensity to violence” and asked if he was a terrorist, ITV News reported.IANS





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