09 January 2021

Islamic scholar, senior ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Dr. Rafat passes away

 JIH Prez calls it a great loss to Islamic Movement, country


New Delhi: Islamic scholar, prolific writer and senior ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), Dr Muhammad Rafat, who recently retired as a professor from Jamia Millia Islamia, passed away on Friday evening at the Al-Shifa Hospital, New Delhi. He was 65 years of old and is survived by three sons, two daughters and his widow. His widow-Nusrat-is the daughter of former President of the JIH and a well-known Islamic scholar, Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari. His funeral prayer will be held on Saturday evening here at the JIH Markaz mosque (Masjid Ishat-e-Islam).


Expressing condolences over his death, JIH President Syed Sadatullah Husaini said: “The demise of Dr Rafat is a great loss for the Muslim Ummah, the Islamic Movement and the entire country. He was a leading intellectual, tremendous leader, firm ideologue and a benevolent mentor. He was an erudite scholar of Islam and a prolific writer. He was blessed among many qualities with a razor sharp memory and an unmatched ability to give speeches on a myriad of topics without any notes in such a coherent manner that it would appear as if he is reading a written essay. He led an extremely simple life and had a very pleasant disposition. He was a teacher of theoretical physics. This subject of science has a deep connection with philosophy, so he made a direct study of philosophy and important ideas of science from its original sources. As one of the foremost ideologues of Jamaat, he always upheld and acted on the basic and core principles of Islam. May Allah forgive his sins and grant him the highest Paradise.”


A native of Khurja in Bulandshahr district of the Western UP, Dr. Rafat did his MSc in Physics from the Aligarh Muslim University in 1976 and PhD from IIT-Kanpur. He joined Jamia Millia Islamia in 1985, one year after receiving his PhD degree. He retired as Professor- Department of Applied Sciences and Humanities from the Jamia Millia on July 31, 2020.

Dr. Rafat, who was associated with the Islamic movement ever since his student days, was a member of the Central Advisory Council, the highest decision-making body of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind from 1999 till his death. He wrote more than 15 books on various subjects in Urdu and English languages.


Besides being director of the Centre for Study and Research (CSR) of JIH, for the last two years, he had also previously worked as chairman of the JIH’s Tasneefi Academy (Authors Academy) and all India secretary of the Jamaat’s Tarbiyah Department (Training Dept.). He also gave his services as the JIH President of Delhi and Haryana from 1995 to 2011. He had also worked as honorary editor of Urdu monthly, Zindagi-e-Nau, an Islamic research magazine, from 2009 to 2019. Besides, he headed several important committees of the JIH for policy-formulation and the creation of new institutions and allied organizations. 

After the news of his death was broken, large number of messages started pouring in on social media and other groups, expressing condolence and remembering his contribution to the Islamic movement in the country.
In a message on the social, Dr. Omair Anas, a Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) alumnus, currently assistant professor in International Relations at Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University, Turkey, compared Dr. Rafat with a “sufi”, having no worldly greed, a man full of humility and simplicity.

JIH’s Public Relation’s Director Mujtaba Farooq, in his condolence message, said that Dr. Rafat was having the qualities of a Muslim “Dervish”. He described him as “confluence of the modern knowledge and Islamic thought because he had very deep knowledge about the modern contemporary issues as well as Islam”.

His colleagues at Jamia Millia Islami remembered him as a genius and yet, a very humble human being always ready to help anyone who approached him with any problem. Prof Masood Alam, who joined the Jamia the same day Dr. Rafat joined, said, “Dr. Rafat was a man of very high quality. It is impossible to find a man like him”. Speaking about his knowledge, Dr. Alam said that while Dr Rafat taught physics, he was having equal command over mathematics and students as well as teachers benefitted from his vast knowledge. “Vo Jamia mein har dil Aziz thay” (He was loved by all in Jamia), said Dr. Alam.

Dr. Musheer Ahmad, former Head of the Department of Physics and Humanities, who gave farewell to Dr. Rafat on his retirement in July 2020, described Dr Rafat as “very nice, supportive, cooperative and humble” human being. He helped every one who came to him with a problem, whether he was a student or a teacher.

Speaking about the vastness of Dr Rafat’s knowledge, Dr. Ahmad said that while Dr Rafat taught physics, in several cases he guided students and teachers in research work on social sciences subject. He said that several years ago, Dr.Rafat provided him material and guided him in preparing a speech on Islam and Christianity at the Carmel Convent school that had a very good effect on the audience.

“Dr Rafat was a thorough gentleman. There is no parallel to his knowledge in physics”, Dr. Ahmad commented about Dr Rafat. PR/Sources/India Tomorrow.

08 January 2021

‘Ghar wapsi’ only after ‘law wapsi’: Protesting farmers dig in heels after 8th round of talks with Centre fail to make headway; next meeting on Jan.15



 ‘Ghar wapsi’ only after ‘law wapsi’: Protesting farmers dig in heels after 8th round of talks with Centre fail to make headway; next meeting on Jan.15

The eighth round of negotiations between the protesting farmer unions and the Centre over the recently-enacted agriculture laws ended on an inconclusive note Friday, with farmers sticking to their key demand of repeal of the farm laws and the Centre insisting to limit the talks to contentious clauses. The next round of talks is likely to be held on January 15.Holding their ground during meeting, the 41-member representative group of the agitating farmers told the government their “ghar wapsi” (return to home) can take place only after “law wapsi“ (repeal of laws) whereas the Centre ruled out a complete withdrawal of Acts. It asserted that a large section of farmers in other states across the country have welcomed the laws and asked the unions to think about the interests of the entire country.“Our ‘ghar wapsi’ can happen only if you do ‘law wapsi’,” a farmer leader said at the meeting, news agency PTI reported. “Ideally, the Centre should not interfere in agriculture matters as various Supreme Court orders have declared farming as a state subject. It seems you (the government) do not want to resolve the issue as talks have been happening for so many days. In that case, please give us a clear answer and we will go. Why to waste everyone’s time,” said another union leader at the meeting.



Will farmers’ protest be a problem like Tablighi Jamaat, top court asks Centre

NEW DELHI: CJI S.A. Bobde on Thursday voiced the Supreme Court’s apprehension that mass gatherings of protesting farmers will lead to a “problem similar to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation” in March last year amid COVID-19. “Same problem will arise from farmers’ protest... Don’t know if they are protected from COVID-19... You must tells us what is happening,” CJI Bobde, heading a three-judge Bench, addressed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for Centre. “We will find out the status,” Mehta responded. The court was hearing a petition filed by a Jammu-based lawyer, advocate Supriya Pandita, represented by advocate Omprakash Parihar, seeking a CBI probe into circumstances leading to the swelling of migrant workers, anxious to leave National Capital for their villages and hometowns, at Anand Vihar Bus Terminal for buses, and Tablighi Jamaat congregation, which even saw foreign delegates attained, in violation of social distancing norms. The court issued notice to Centre and the Delhi govt. It asked Mehta to file a detailed report on its guidelines to prevent COVID-19, including restrictions on mass gatherings. When Parihar submitted that there was “no trace of Maulana Saad”, chief of Nizamuddin Markaz, CJI stopped him, saying “we are interested in preventing COVID and compliance of guidelines here... and you are worried about one person”.The petition accused Centre, Delhi government and the police of failing to protect the spread of the virus.



If govt calls us 700 times we will go, but our demands will not change: Tikait

Ahead of the eighth round of talks with the Central government over the new farm laws on Friday, Bharatiya Kisan Union National Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said the farmers leaders are ready to conduct talks with the Union government 700 times, but their demands will not change.Friday's meeting will discuss two major issues which are directly related to the 3 Central farm laws and the Minimum Support Price (MSP). The meeting is being held at Vigyan Bhavan.Rakesh Tikat told IANS, "If the government meets us 700 times, we are willing to go but the demand of the farmers will not change."IANS



Farmers’ protests Updates: Thousands take part in tractor march ahead of talks

Thousands of farmers are participating in a tractor rally on Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways Thursday in a “rehearsal” for Jan.26, when they will move into the national capital from Haryana, Punjab and UP. Police estimate around 2,500 tractors will be on the expressway during the march. In other parts of Haryana too, farmers will undertake tractor marches to oppose the three central farm laws.Addressing a press conference at Singhu border, where farmers have been camping since Nov.26, Yogendra Yadav, political activist and a member of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, Friday said the tractors would leave from the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders, and Rewasan in Haryana, for Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways, and meet midway. “This may be seen as a rehearsal of what will happen on Jan.26,” he said. The tractor march comes a day ahead of fresh round of talks with the govt. 7th round of talks remained inconclusive Monday over 2 key demands — repeal of the newly enacted laws and provision of legal guarantee on the minimum support price — with the two sides drawing the hard line on their respective positions.



BJP uses ordinance route to ban slaughter of cattle in Karnataka

Bengaluru: BJP government in Karnataka has promulgated Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020, with Governor signing off on the law for a total ban on slaughter of all forms of cattle other than buffaloes above the age of 13 years.The ordinance promulgated on Jan.5 by Governor Vajubhai Vala is exactly in line with Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2020, which BJP passed in the Assembly on December 9 but did not table in Legislative Council where it does not have a clear majority.The ordinance, which will be in effect for 6 months, is considered to be a stop gap arrangement by BJP govt before attempting to get the Bill passed in the Council in another session. Under the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020 cattle has been designated as “cow, calf of a cow and bull, bullock and he or she buffalo”. The only exemptions under the ordinance are buffaloes above the age of 13 years and certified by a competent authority, cattle used in medical research, cattle certified for slaughter by a veterinarian to prevent spread of a disease, and very sick cattle.



Emotions to earthquakes, Einstein waves: A govt body’s cattle class

ANNOUNCED in 2019-20 interim Budget, Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog lists organisation of animal husbandry “on modern and scientific lines” among its prime objectives. Now, taking upon itself the mission “to infuse curiosity… about the importance of cows”, it has announced an online nationwide exam where participants will be tested on, among other things, knowledge of Indian cows’ “superiority” over foreign breeds, including in showing “emotions”; cow dung benefits, including in ensuring people were “not affected” during the Bhopal gas tragedy; the “link” between cow slaughter and earthquakes because of animals generating “Einsteinian Pain Waves”; and how India became a leading beef exporter under “a cow-eating leader”. On Tuesday, the Aayog uploaded on its website a 54-page “reference material” for the Kamdhenu Gau-Vigyan Prachar-Prasar Examination, to be held on Feb.25. The material would help candidates “get maximum awareness about Kamdhenu Gau-Vigyan”, the notice on the website says.The reference material talks at length about the “divinity” of the cow, mentioning Rigveda to the Bible, adding, “Her face epitomises innocence —her eyes reflect peace, her horns, royalty and her ears, intelligence. Her udders are the fountain of ambrosia in the form of milk; her tail, a stairway to the higher regions of being.” Another section lists how the Indian “desi” cow is vastly superior to the “exotic” Jersey variety. Unlike the Indian cows that have many medicinal benefits, the reference material says, the foreign breeds are harmful to health.



Saffron Flag Planted on Muslim Shrine in Madhya Pradesh’s Shajapur District; Police Register Case

NEW DELHI — Members of Hindutva groups on Thursday planted saffron flag on a Muslim shrine in Shajapur district of Madhya Pradesh. The shrine is located in the Sunera area close to highway NH-52.A case has been registered against unidentified persons at the Sonera police station under section 295-A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs). “We have started an investigation,” station in charge Sorav Sharma told Clarion India over the phone on Friday.The incident comes at a time when multiple areas of the state have reported violent rallies by right-wing forces leading to vandalism of mosques and Muslim properties besides communal clashes.When the locals in the area came to know about shrine desecration, they rushed to the spot and started a demonstration demanding legal action against the culprits. A police team arrived on the scene to pacify the people. The police assured the demonstrators that strict action will be taken against those involved.Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, a local Muslim leader, said that planting saffron flags on the shrine was an attempt by the goons to disturb communal harmony in the area. “The incident has sparked anger in the Muslim community,” he said, adding that he appealed to the people to maintain peace.Muslims and Hindus live together but some anti-social elements have tried to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the village, said Rajinder Singh Chokhatya, a local leader of Bahujan Samajwadi Party. “We appeal to the authorities to take strict action against such people,” Chokhatya said while demanding that authorities should restore the shrine to its original position.



'Not One Entitled to Interfere': Allahabad HC Comes to Interfaith Couple's Aid Again

New Delhi: Not for the first time, the Allahabad high court on Wednesday came to the aid of an interfaith couple in Uttar Pradesh and said that no one is “entitled to interfere in their peaceful life.”Hearing the plea of a Muslim man and a formerly Hindu woman who had converted to Islam willingly, the bench of Justice Saral Srivastava said, according to LiveLaw:“The Court has repeatedly held that where the two individuals having attained the age of majority, are living together, nobody is entitled to interfere in their peaceful life.”The couple claimed to be adults and furnished documents reflecting that they were born in 1998 and 1997.Justice Srivastava ordered the Bijnor Superintendent of Police to provide adequate protection to the couple, if necessary, and fixed the matter for hearing on February 8, LiveLaw has reported. The court also directed the husband to deposit a sum of Rs 3 lakh in favour of the wife, although it is not clear exactly why.




‘Anti-conversion law not passed just like that… survey showed need’:UP Governor Anandiben

Lucknow : On completing a year-and-a-half in office, UP Governor Anandiben Patel talks to Indian Express on the new anti-conversion law and security of women. She said, "Whenever a Bill comes, it does not come just like that. There is a survey conducted that shows how many girls married, how many faced problems, how many girls came back, how many girls lodged complaints. Even parents come forward seeking arrests, alleging that the boy changed his name. When such incidents are increasingly reported during a survey, in such a situation such a Bill is brought and is pursued. Women come to me with different issues and if required, I refer issues to the govt. But there are not many complaints."



India welcomes restoration of ties between Qatar, Arab countries

India on Wednesday welcomed the restoration of diplomatic ties between Qatar and four other Arab countries that had imposed an embargo on it in 2017, saying such a move would give a boost to peace and stability in the region. Following the restoration of full ties between 5 Arab countries, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said: “We were pleased to note the positive developments at the recently concluded GCC Summit in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia. We welcome the reconciliation and rapprochement between countries in the region.



For first time in 55 years, chief guest unlikely at Republic Day parade

For the first time in 55 years, India is unlikely to have any chief guest for the Republic Day parade, Indian Express has learnt.New Delhi has come around to this decision, a day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed “regret” that he would not be able to visit India to be chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations. Johnson took this decision in view of the fresh national lockdown in his country, as it responds to the new, more contagious mutant strain of the novel coronavirus.



Suicide case: Arnab Goswami fails to show up in court; plea for exemption from physical appearance junked

An application filed by Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami seeking exemption from physical appearance in the abetment to suicide case of interior designer Anvay Naik has been rejected by the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) at Alibaug.Goswami had been summoned to appear before the CJM on January 7 after the chargesheet filed by the Raigad Police was taken on record. However, he failed to show up.When the case was taken up, advocate Gaurav Parkar, appearing for Goswami, requested the court to exempt his physical appearance considering the ongoing pandemic situation and the existing standard operating procedures, Bar & Bench reported.He submitted that since Goswami was in Delhi and there were quarantine rules in place till January 31, 2021, it would be unsafe for him to travel.




AMU’s Bank Account Seized Over House Tax Dispute, BHU Says “We Don’t Pay House Tax”

NEW DELHI—While the Aligarh Nagar Nigam ( or the Aligarh Municipal Corporation) has seized the bank accounts of the AMU on ground of not clearing house tax dues of several years, the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), which is also a central university like the AMU, says that it never paid house tax.Speaking to India Tomorrow over phone, BHU Public Relations Officer Dr Rajesh Singh said, “BHU has never paid house tax for the buildings on its premises”.Asked if the university has received any notice in the last few weeks from the Varanasi Municipal Corporation (VMC) claiming house tax for the university hostels, residences, laboratories, classrooms and guest houses etc on its premises, Dr. Singh said, “We received a notice in this regard about five years ago as far as my memory goes but the notice was withdrawn after we convinced the municipal authorities that it does not apply to BHU. We never received any notice regarding house tax after that”.“We also did not receive any notice in the last one month or a fortnight”, Dr. Singh informed.Surprisingly, AMU received a notice with regard to Rs. 14.98 crore house tax dues on it a fortnight after Prime Minister Narendra Modi described AMU as “Mini India” and released a commemorative stamp on the university on its centenary celebrations.But the university says that the matter is pending before the Allahabad High Court for adjudication.“The matter is sub-judice “, a statement released by the university said, in reaction to the civic body’s action.






Covid effect: 8.4 lakh migrants back in Kerala from abroad, 5.5 lakh lost their jobs

AMIDST the Covid-19 pandemic-induced economic crisis, 5.52 lakh people who have returned to Kerala from abroad since May last year have given loss of jobs as reason, according to government data.As per figures compiled by the Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs, 8.43 lakh people returned to Kerala from foreign countries between the first week of May 2020 and January 4 this year. Of them, 5.52 lakh said they had lost their jobs — with 1.40 lakh of them returning in the last 30 days. Another big chunk of returnees, 2.08 lakh, stated that their job visas had expired or mentioned other reasons for their return. The rest include senior citizens, or children, and family members of expatriates.





US reports more cases of vaccine allergy, CDC monitoring safety of Pfizer, Moderna doses

With US rolling out 2 major coronavirus vaccines Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for its population, several cases of vaccine allergies have been reported from across the country. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now monitoring the cases and advised those facing allergic reactions, to avoid the second dose. According to reports in US media, CDC has said 28 cases of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, have been detected after these people were administered the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. One person who had received the Moderna coronavirus vaccine has reported allergic reactions so far.



Vaccination doesn't guarantee 100% protection, wearing mask is must: Experts

The second nationwide dry-run for Covid-19 vaccination will he held on Friday. The dry-run is expected to help health departments gear up for mass vaccination, once the vaccines are rolled out.As a note of precaution, experts have cautioned that while India may have approved 2 Covid-19 vaccines - Covaxin and Covishield - for emergency use, vaccination doesn't guarantee 100 per cent protection from the viral disease. Experts say at present, people must continue to wear masks to protect themselves from contracting the disease."It will require another 6-12 months before we can let our guards down completely. Although India is planning to start the vaccination drive soon, it would be only by early 2022 by when a majority of the population would be vaccinated. Till then, we have to be on our guards. Wearing masks, maintaining social distance and avoiding outdoor activities is still important," said Dr Bharesh Dedhia, critical care head, at Mumbai's Hinduja Hospital.



PM Modi to meet CMs on January 11 to discuss Covid vaccination strategy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual meeting with chief ministers of all states and union territories on January 11 to review the preparedness ahead of the rollout of coronavirus vaccines across the country.In what will be the biggest inoculation drive in the world, India is gearing up to begin vaccinating its population against the novel coronavirus. While two mock drills were held across the country, the date of the vaccination rollout is not known yet.



Iran bans COVID vaccines from UK, US

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has prohibited imports of COVID-19 vaccines from the United States and the United Kingdom.In a televised speech on Friday, the supreme leader said he has no confidence in vaccines coming out of the two Western powers since they have some of the highest mortality rates in the world.



China seals off two cities to contain coronavirus outbreak

China has sealed off two cities south of Beijing, cutting transport links and banning millions of residents from leaving, as authorities move to stem the country’s largest COVID-19 outbreak in six months.The pandemic has so far broadly been brought to heel by Chinese authorities since its emergence in Wuhan in late 2019, with small outbreaks swiftly snuffed out using mass testing, local lockdowns and travel restrictions.





Capitol siege: If rioters were Black, ‘hundreds’ would be killed

United States’s stark racial inequality was on display after a mob of predominantly white supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol with ease on Wednesday then left with few immediate consequences, according to Washington residents, activists and politicians, including President-elect Joe Biden.The rioters broke through barricades, smashed windows, snatched souvenirs and entered Congressional offices and chambers, some taking photographs with police.The lack of security and limited police response, despite weeks of promotion of the pro-Trump protest that sparked the riot, was in sharp contrast to the largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, DC six months ago.My mom said if you did this you’d be shot,” said Beatrice Mando, who works for the district and attended BLM protests last year. “She is right. There would be hundreds dead, if not more, had this group been Black.”





US Capitol Police officer dies after clash with pro-Trump mob

A US Capitol Police officer has died of injuries sustained during clashes with supporters of President Donald Trump, who stormed the Capitol building to prevent Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden, police said late on Thursday.Officer Brian D Sicknick had sustained injuries while on-duty, physically engaging with rioters at the US Capitol, the statement said.“He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries” on Thursday night, it said.The death of Sicknick will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch, the Capitol Police and federal investigators.




Biden Win Confirmed, Trump Concedes Defeat Hours After US Capitol Siege; 4 killed

Washington: Congress formally certified Joe Biden as the next US president on Thursday, dealing a hammer blow to Donald Trump whose supporters stormed the Capitol hours earlier,  triggering unprecedented scenes of mayhem in the seat of American democracy.Lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives successfully beat back Republican efforts to deny Biden the electoral votes needed to win, prompting loud cheers when the certification was announced. The affirmation of Biden's 306-232 victory over Trump in Nov.essentially closes the door on the unparalleled and deeply controversial effort by Trump and his loyalists to overturn the results of 2020 election.The president immediately released a statement pledging an "orderly transition" but suggesting he would remain in frontline politics, amid speculation that he may run again in 2024. "Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on Jan.20th," he said. The certification came hours after a mob breached US Capitol and sent lawmakers scrambling for safety. They were able to return hours later, shaken but determined to complete the task. Egged on in an extraordinary rally across town by an aggrieved Trump, a flag-waving mob had broken down barricades outside the Capitol and swarmed inside, rampaging through offices and onto the usually solemn legislative floors.Security forces fired tear gas in a 4-hour operation to clear the Capitol. Police said that one woman, reportedly a female Trump partisan from southern California, was shot and killed and that 3 other people died in the area in circumstances that were unclear.




Indian flag seen amid US Capitol rioters, Varun Gandhi asks why

The unprecedented riots and violence that hit the Capitol building in Washington DC on Thursday has shocked the world even as US President Donald Trump refuses to accept his defeat and ensure a smooth and peaceful transfer of power to Joe Biden.Four people have died in the violence that ensued as Trump supporters barged into Capitol building, an act some alleged was an attempted coup.In the latest, video of a gathering of Trump supporters outside the Capitol has drawn traction in India as it shows a person holding the Indian national flag amid Trump supporters.Dozens have forced their way to the top. More coming up the steps. Police are trying to bolster their numbers through the west doors but someone with a fire extinguisher is dousing them from above. The crowd only keeps cheering. pic.twitter.com/WA526jTBGo



Trump supporters attack Capitol, China mocks US online over 'beautiful sight' of chaos

China's internet erupted in mirth at America's troubled democracy after supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the US Capitol, comparing the chaos to the Hong Kong anti-government protests of 2019.On Thursday morning, state media tabloid Global Times tweeted side-by-side photo comparisons of Hong Kong protesters occupying the city's Legislative Council Complex in July 2019 with Wednesday's Washington riots.The latter saw hardcore Trump fans invade the US Capitol to protest the election defeat, taking selfies, scuffling with security and ransacking parts of the building."@SpeakerPelosi once referred to the Hong Kong riots as 'a beautiful sight to behold'," the Global Times said in the tweet, referring to Speaker of House Nancy Pelosi's June 2019 comment about Hong Kong's mass pro-democracy demonstrations, which were mostly peaceful at that time."It remains yet to be seen whether she will say the same about the recent developments in Capitol Hill."China's Communist Youth League also described the unrest as a "beautiful sight" on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.



US economy sheds 140,000 jobs in December in end to brutal year

As snapshots of the United States labour market go, December’s jobs report is ugly, even by pre-pandemic standards.The economy shed 140,000 jobs last month, the US Department of Labor said on Friday – marking a horrendous end to the most abysmal year for job losses on record.The nation’s unemployment rate held steady at 6.7 percent, as did the number of unemployed persons – some 10.7 million workers.




Iran in no hurry to see the US return to nuclear deal: Khamenei

United States must lift harsh economic sanctions on Iran, the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has asserted less than two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden enters the White House.In a televised speech on Friday, the supreme leader said Iran does not insist on and is in no hurry to see the US return to the 2015 nuclear deal with six big world powers. Khamenei instead demanded that the sanctions must be lifted immediately.“Sanctions are a treachery and crime against the Iranian nation and must be lifted,” the country’s most powerful leader said.“But we must also plan our economy in a way that we could run the country well despite sanctions,” he said in reference to his previous remarks that Iran must focus on “nullifying sanctions” in addition to lifting them.



UAE to reopen land, sea, air borders with Qatar on Saturday

UAE will reopen all of its land, sea and air entry points with Qatar starting on Saturday, state news agency (WAM) reported on Friday.The move comes days after Saudi Arabia announced a breakthrough in ending a bitter dispute between Gulf Arab states and Qatar at a summit on Tuesday.The Saudi foreign minister said at the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Al-Ula that Riyadh and its allies would restore all ties with Doha severed in mid-2017.Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed the embargo on Qatar over allegations that it supports “extremism” and being too close to regional rival Iran. Doha denies the charges and says the boycott was aimed to curtail its sovereignty.




Pakistan says all visa restrictions for Bangladeshis removed

Pakistan has lifted all restrictions on visas for Bangladeshi citizens, a move being seen as an ice breaker in the frosty relations between the two Muslim-majority countries in South Asia.“Pakistan has already removed all restrictions on Pakistani visas for Bangladeshi citizens,” said a statement by the Pakistan High Commission in Bangladesh after a meeting between Pakistani High Commissioner Imran Ahmed Siddiqui and Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Thursday.“The two sides agreed to intensify bilateral contacts at all levels,” the statement added.Speaking to Anadolu Agency after the meeting, Siddiqui said Pakistan is waiting for the same response from the Bangladeshi side.“Bangladesh’s restrictions on Pakistani nationals are still in place, and that is why I informed the state minister that we have already lifted all bars from our side,” he said.






Not fatwa brigade or Islamophobes, scientists and Muslim leaders must set vaccine facts right:Syed Zubair Ahmad



Covid Vaccine: Is it Halal or Not?Asad Mirza




UPDATED BY:  08/01/2021 20:22

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