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Islamic World News ( 10 March 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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ISIS Praises Ukraine War as 'Crusaders against Crusaders' and Says, It Is God's Punishment for Them, As Described In the Qur’an

New Age Islam News Bureau

10 March 2022


ISIS have praised the Ukraine war as a 'divine punishment' for the West which it hopes will destroy the 'enemies of Islam' (file image)


• Radical Cleric, Head of the Islamic Movement: Israel's Judaisation of Al-Aqsa Mosque Is Doomed To Fail

• Islamic State Suicide Bomber of Peshawar Mosque That Killed 64 People Was Afghan: Police

• Jakim Has Developed Plan to Tackle Growing LGBT Issues, Says Minister

• Top EU Diplomat Compares Russian Tactics in Ukraine To Those In Syria


North America

• ‘Becoming Muslim’ Podcast Asks Converts, What Happens After You See The Light?

• On ‘Syria’s Abyss,’ UN Commission Warns Of Escalating Violence, Humanitarian Disaster



• Israeli president visits Turkey to ‘restart’ ties

• Iran Asks for Annihilation of US Chemical Weapons Arsenal

• Iran Calls for Broadening of Cultural Ties with Azerbaijan, Bolivia



• Details of three militants involved in Peshawar mosque attack emerge

• Peshawar Mosque Attack Handler among Three Killed In Khyber

• PM Determined To Continue Jihad Against Corrupt: Farrukh Habib

• Pakistani citizen among 17 foreign nationals rescued by India from Sumy

• Pakistan PM Imran Khan seeks legal opinion on no-confidence motion


Southeast Asia

• VP Emphasizes 4-Pronged Approach to Improve Sharia Insurance Industry

• PPIM concerned over lack of SOP details for mosques in endemic phase transition

• Activists seek Singapore clemency for disabled Malaysian man on death row



• German Chancellor Scholz to visit Turkiye amid Russia-Ukraine war

• World focused on Turkey as Ankara mediates in talks between warring Ukraine, Russia

• 4 convicted in Daesh killing of French priest

• Don’t let Ukraine become another Syria: UN investigators



• "No Hindu-Muslim, We Worked For All": UP Minister on BJP's Record Win

• Bulli Bai case: App creator sought photos of 100 famous women for 'auction', say police

• Terrorist killed in encounter with security forces in J&K's Pulwama

• Seychelles & Indonesia detain 33 fishermen from India for poaching

• Ukraine crisis: Not just Indians, Pakistan, Bangladesh & Nepal students rescued too

• Hijab row: Rachakonda Police sends notice to Twitter on journalist’s video

• BJP wins 20 Assam civic wards dominated by migrant Muslims


South Asia

• Abdul Rahim Muslimdost, Co-founder of Afghan Daesh Downplays Group’s Presence in Afghanistan

• Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan FM Amir Kham Mottaqi Leaves For Turkey

• Taliban bar people from taking souvenir photos in Afghanistan's Ghor

• ADB won’t facilitate in TAPI until Taliban government gets recognized


Arab World

• Egypt’s Al-Sisi and Russia’s Putin Discuss Developments In Ukraine: Presidency

• Saudi Arabia ends Thailand travel ban for citizens

• Saudi defences intercept Houthi drone aimed at Jizan

• Abu Dhabi Crown Prince discusses Ukraine with Belarusian president

• UN dispatches 43 truckloads of humanitarian aid to Idlib, Syria

• Coalition: Saudi defences destroy Houthi drone targeting Jazan

• Lebanon central bank denies halting operations on exchange platform



• Arab League Summit To Hold First Annual Summit For Three Years In Algeria

• Saudi Arabia e-visa app for Hajj, Umrah pilgrims now available in Tunisia

• 7 million people in northern Ethiopia need urgent help: UN

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



ISIS Praises Ukraine War as 'Crusaders against Crusaders' and Says, It Is God's Punishment for Them, As Described In the Qur’an


ISIS have praised the Ukraine war as a 'divine punishment' for the West which it hopes will destroy the 'enemies of Islam' (file image)


By Jack Newman for Mailonline

9 March 2022

ISIS have praised the Ukraine war as a 'divine punishment' for the West which it hopes will destroy the 'enemies of Islam'.

The terror group labelled Russia's savage invasion of its neighbour as 'crusaders against crusaders' in a full-page article in its al-Naba newsletter.

They also said Muslims should not take sides in the war and predicted that there would be 'major consequences' regardless of the result.

The editorial said: 'What is happening today, the direct bloody war between the Orthodox crusaders – Russia and Ukraine – is but one example of God's punishment for them, as described in the Qu'ran.

'Whether long or short, this Russian-Ukrainian war is but the beginning of the next wars between the Crusader countries, and the images of destruction and death we see are but a small scene of the situation in which the great wars begin.'

ISIS added the invasion was 'not surprising', saying it was 'the state of the escalating competition between America and Russia to control the countries of Eastern Europe, especially after the policy of "support and containment" that America pursued'.

Islamic extremists have been debating which side to take in the war.

Putin formed an alliance with Bashar al-Assad against ISIS in the Syrian civil war and Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish and Ukraine is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

ISIS have now made its position clear by hoping for complete destruction on both sides which will unleash global chaos and bring down the West.

The terrorists said the invasion was an 'amusing punishment... upon them for their disbelief in God Almighty'.

The article added: 'The crusader versus crusader is still in its infancy, so, O God, perpetuate their wars and break their hearts.' 

ISIS are also not backing Chechen Muslim forces which have been drafted into the war by Putin.

They branded the fighters, led by Ramzan Kadyrov, 'apostate militias', and compared them to ex-Afghan president Hamid Karzai who fought alongside George Bush and the US against the Taliban. 

Last week, the Kremlin claimed the US was training up ISIS Jihadis to fight alongside Ukraine in the war, as part of Putin's misinformation campaign.

Russia's intelligence service said the US has trained the terrorists in 'subversive and terrorist warfare methods with a focus on the Donbass region'.

Source: Daily Mail

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Radical Cleric, Head of the Islamic Movement: Israel's Judaisation of Al-Aqsa Mosque Is Doomed To Fail


Sheikh Raed Salah


Dalit Halevi


Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, said on Wednesday that Israel's "Judaization" plans at the Al-Aqsa Mosque are doomed to fail.

Salah claimed that Israel continues to strive to exercise full sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa Mosque through increasing Judaization measures aimed at gaining control of the site.

He warned against Israeli policy in Jerusalem and in particular the "break-ins" by Jews into the Al-Aqsa Mosque under police security, and religious worship in the mosque plaza.

"The Al-Aqsa Mosque is one of the permanent things that cannot be changed in the history of the Muslims, and it is God's promise in the Holy Qur'an that oppression cannot flourish in it, so the occupation will end soon," Salah said.

Salah was jailed for incitement to terrorism and served a 16-month prison sentence before being released in December.

Salah has been arrested by Israel several times in the past on charges of incitement. The radical cleric served a nine-month jail sentence after being convicted of encouraging violent attacks and inciting racism in a 2007 sermon.

He has in the past labeled Israeli leaders “terrorists” and “enemies of Allah” in a speech to Muslims in Be’er Sheva, and was also jailed for five months in 2010 for spitting at an Israeli police officer.

The Israeli government outlawed the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, which Salah heads, in November of 2015.

Source: Israel National News

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Islamic State Suicide Bomber of Peshawar Mosque That Killed 64 People Was Afghan: Police


Shiite Muslims take part in a protest against the recent suicide bomb attack on a Shiite mosque in Peshawar on March 6 Abdul MAJEED AFP


March 10, 2022


An Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber who killed 64 people at a mosque in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa last week was an Afghan exile who returned home to train for the attack, police said on Wednesday.

Two senior police officials told AFP that the suicide bomber responsible for Peshawar blast had prepared the attack in Afghanistan. It was claimed by IS.

The officials said the attacker was an Afghan national in his 30s who moved to Pakistan with his family decades ago.

"The bomber went (back) to Afghanistan, trained there and returned without informing his family," one of the senior police officials told AFP.

"Islamic State-Khorasan is becoming a strong threat for us, they are operating from Afghanistan but they have sleeping cells here," he added.

Taliban officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Police said they had killed three "facilitators" of the Peshawar attack in an overnight operation, and arrested 20 others suspected of involvement.

IS also claimed responsibility for what it said was a suicide blast on Tuesday that killed seven paramilitary troops near a site in southwestern Pakistan where the president had visited less than half an hour earlier.

Since the Taliban's return to power in Afghanistan, Islamabad has acted as a key broker between the hardliners and the international community.

Source: Tribune Pakistan

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Jakim Has Developed Plan to Tackle Growing LGBT Issues, Says Minister


Photo: Bernama


10 Mar 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: A plan has been developed by the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to address social problems in the Muslim community such as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) culture, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Idris Ahmad.

The Minister in charge of religious affairs said the implementation of the Islamic Social Action Plan (PTSI) 2019-2025 by Jakim also addresses other societal issues such as drug addiction, teenage pregnancy, abortion, divorce, homelessness, HIV/AIDS transmission, alcohol addiction, free sex, incest, juvenile crime and more.

Idris said the government takes the LGBT issue seriously and that it has become increasingly concerning as of late, adding that homosexuality is also illegal under both the Islamic syariah law and civil law.

“As a nation adhering to Islam as the religion of the Federation and one that holds onto moral values that are based on custom, culture and religion that have been long-practiced by the local society, LBGT goes against the grain of Malaysia’s faith, moral and culture," he said.

“Under Section 377 of the Penal Code, it is an offense for anyone to have carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” he said in a written reply in Parliament on Thursday (March 10).

This was in response to a question by Che Alias Hamid (PN-Kemaman), who asked the Prime Minister to state the government's plan to formulate a special policy to eradicate the spread of the LGBTQ culture, which he claimed is increasingly prevalent in the country.

He also said that the government had made its stance on the LGBT issue known on the global stage, with former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad insisting in his statement on June 16, 2019 at Cambridge Union, United Kingdom, that Malaysia will not give in to any pressure to accept the LGBT practices.

Idris said Mahathir had also stressed that Malaysia should stand firm on moral values based on custom, culture and religion which has long been practiced among the local community.

“Therefore, the government hopes that social issues involving this LGBT group can be given attention by all parties including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the general public,” he said.

Idris added that the implementation of the PTSI by Jakim is also in line with the National Social Policy under the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

Source: The Star

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Top EU Diplomat Compares Russian Tactics In Ukraine To Those In Syria


Josep Borrell


Agnes Szucs  



EU foreign policy Chief Josep Borrell said on Wednesday that the Russian army is bombing Ukrainian cities regardless of civilian casualties like it did in Syria and Chechnya.

Speaking to the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Borrell said the Russia-Ukraine war will end but “will leave a mark on history.”

He explained that the Russian leadership had planned to quickly take over Kyiv and other cities and believed that “Ukraine is weak and servile,” but the “strong resistance” stopped them.

“In response, the Russian army is doing the only thing it knows. It is bombing as it did in Aleppo, across all of Syria and in Chechnya,” Borrell noted, saying Russia will carry out its operation “without any concern for the civilian casualties.”

According to Borrell, the war in Ukraine is a “wake-up call from our dream of development and prosperity” and Europeans have to understand that “our way of life comes indeed with a cost.”

Borrell noted that the bloc has to raise its defense spending and “break the energy ties that paralyze us” and should not allow Russia to “weaponize interdependency.”

He also said that after the illegal annexation of Crimea, the EU should have permanently reduced energy imports from Russia, but it did the contrary.

Now, it needs a “collective commitment” from Europeans to consume less energy and to invest in renewables.

Besides sanctions, the war on Ukraine has drawn international condemnation and spurred an exodus of global companies from Russia.

The EU earlier adopted three sanctions packages against Russia, targeting among others President Russian Vladimir Putin, top diplomat Sergey Lavrov, removing seven Russian banks from the SWIFT international banking system, and banning broadcasting activities of Sputnik and RT media outlets.

The European Commission proposed on Tuesday a plan to replace two-thirds of Russian gas imports until the end of the year by accelerating the bloc’s energy transition to renewables and diversifying the EU’s gas supply.

At least 474 civilians have been killed and 864 others injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war on Feb. 24, according to UN figures.

Over 2.1 million people have also fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, data by the UN refugee agency showed.

Moscow retaliated to the sanctions by issuing a list of states and territories that took “unfriendly actions against Russia, its companies, and citizens.” According to the decree, overseas creditors in these countries can be paid in rubles instead of foreign currencies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also ordered the government to draft a list of imports to be banned or restricted.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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North America

‘Becoming Muslim’ podcast asks converts, what happens after you see the light?

March 9, 2022

By Bob Smietana

(RNS) — Conversion stories are an American tradition.

The stories are often the same, no matter what religion is involved. Someone was lost, then they were found. Or they were wandering in the dark and then, as Hank Williams Sr. once put it, they saw the light.

But what happens next? On the day after? And the day after that? And the year after that?

That’s the question journalist Hana Baba set out to answer a few years ago, when she began reporting on the stories of Muslim converts for public radio station KALW in San Francisco. Baba, who grew up in a Sudanese American Muslim family, wanted to know what it was like for people who choose a religion for their own — how they adapt and how a spiritual transformation plays out in real life.

She found some unexpected answers in a series of stories titled “Becoming Muslim” told on the latest season of “The Spiritual Edge,” a radio program and podcast from KALW. The series relays the inspiring, challenging and sometimes messy conversion stories of ordinary American Muslims. Among them: an older Black man who found Islam during the civil rights era, an aspiring comedian and single mom, the founder of one of the first mosques led by women in the United States and a pair of Hispanic converts, one who found acceptance and community in Islam, the other still struggling to do so.

Baba said she’d heard conversion stories while going to services at mosques and had seen people take their shahada, the confession of faith in Islam and declaration that Muhammad is a prophet. But what she discovered while working on the podcast series is often that simple act of faith came with profound consequences. All of a sudden, she said, people find themselves in a new religion with new rules and expectations that are shaped by culture as much as by faith.

One of the most moving stories in the series features Rabi’a Keeble, who began attending prayer services in the 1990s and struggled to find her place in the community. As a new convert, she had many questions about Islam and how to apply its teaching to her day-to-day life. At the end of Friday, the imam would answer questions from congregation members but when she tried to talk him she was rebuffed.

“I just got very frustrated with it,” she said in the podcast. “The idea that because I’m a female, I can’t talk in God’s house.”

Keeble eventually became convinced the restrictions she faced were more cultural than religious and ended up starting Qalbu Maryam, a mosque where women could learn how to pray and practice their faith.

Another episode tells the story of Abdul Raoof, who became part of the Nation of Islam in the 1960s, an experience that changed his life. He later left the Nation to become a Sunni Muslim. The episode wraps Raoof’s experience within the larger story of Black Muslims in the United States.

Sofie Lovern, an aspiring comedian and mother of three, tells the story of her conversion, which was followed by marriage to a Muslim man she barely knew — a marriage her imam at the time helped arrange. The marriage went poorly in part because the couple came from such different cultures and in part because they were poorly matched. During the episode, the imam now says he had assumed that because both Lovern and her husband were Muslim, things would work — an assumption he now regrets.

Despite her struggles, Lovern describes the way Islam changed her life.

“You know, they say that when you convert, when you take your shahada, that all your sins are forgiven,” she said in the episode. “If I could tell you, that at that moment you can feel it. You can feel it happening. It’s like being washed — not with water, but with light.”

Diana Demchenko, who converted to Islam as a college student, described her conversion and then her decision to study Islam overseas, hoping to find a purer form of the faith in the Middle East. She eventually realized that being an American Muslim meant learning how to practice the faith in her home context.

“I really have to understand that I’m not going to get closer to God just because I’m in Damascus,” she said on the podcast. “I have to be able to feel close to God in Detroit, too.”

Baba — who spent years developing “Becoming Muslim,” along with Judy Silber, executive editor of “The Spiritual Edge” — hosted the podcast series and reported the episodes with help from colleagues. She said that working on the series helped her better understand her own experience of Islam. Her parents came to the United States in the 1970s, and growing up, Baba said, her family was always navigating two worlds in American Islam — one made up mostly of Middle Eastern immigrants, the other of Black Muslims The two worlds rarely mixed, she said.

Because of that, she wanted to make sure the series told the stories of Black Muslims, who have often been overlooked, especially in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks — when Islam was often seen as the religion of outsiders. As a result, Black or Hispanic Muslims and Muslims who are not immigrants felt erased.

“We wanted to focus on the Americanness of these stories,” she said.

One of themes in the series is that converts often feel alone after becoming Muslim. Some of the converts in the story recalled being congratulated when they gave their shahada and feeling loved and embrace in that moment. And then, said Baba, “crickets.”

“There are stories and stories of feeling isolated,” she said.

That led some of the people profiled in the series to be “un-mosqued”­ — practicing Islam on their own because they had not been able to find a Muslim community where they felt at home. Mosques face many of the same challenges of building community and integrating newcomers that congregations of other faiths face — and for some converts, life at the mosque just has not worked.

“They feel like they don’t fit,” said Baba.

Growing up Muslim, Baba said she has at times taken her faith for granted. Working on the series, she said, has reenergized her own spirituality and given her a newfound appreciation for Islam.

Source: Religion News

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On ‘Syria’s abyss,’ UN commission warns of escalating violence, humanitarian disaster



Escalating violence, a plunging economy, and a devastating humanitarian crisis are inflicting new hardship and suffering on Syria’s people, after 10 years of conflict, according to a new report by the UN Syria Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday.

With more than half the pre-war population displaced and over 90% living in poverty, Syrians are staring into “a new abyss,” with 12 million people facing food insecurity and 14.6 million need humanitarian aid, said the report.

Military skirmishes, bombardments, abductions, and killings away from the conflict zones are increasing, it added.

“While parts of Syria are no longer subject to active fighting, make no mistake that violence against civilians continues across the country,” commission chair Paulo Pinheiro said.

He said these range from bombardment in the northwest, north, and northeast, to targeted killings, unlawful detention, and torture.

“Some of you may be asking what lessons can be learned from the Syria crisis – in particular the role of Russia – when we look at what is happening in Ukraine today,” said Pinheiro at a UN news conference.

“Warring parties’ attempts to resolve the Syrian conflict militarily over the past decade have enabled the violation of nearly every core human right, the commission of almost every crime against humanity listed in the Rome statute, and nearly every war crime,” he said.

“We can only hope that world leaders are doing everything they can to avoid a similar fate for Ukraine.” 

Parallels with Ukraine?

The three commissioners were asked if they saw any parallels between the 10-year-old Syrian conflict and the Russia-Ukraine war.

“The conflict may be different in that, the Russian Federation is in Syria, to assist the government. Whereas in Ukraine, they're there to remove it,” said Hanny Megally, one of the commissioners.

“They're using more airpower in Syria, less people on the ground.”

At least 474 civilians have been killed and 864 others injured in Ukraine since Russia launched a war against its neighbor, according to UN figures, with the real toll feared to be higher.

More than 2.1 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, according to the UN refugee agency.

The Syria report also said the failure to respect human rights and international humanitarian law in Syria has eroded the respect for fundamental norms.

It has “exposed a deadly cynicism by armed actors, where might makes right and denial and obfuscation are employed to deflect blame or criticism and undermine accountability.”

Pinheiro said the Syrian population everywhere is enduring crushing poverty which is hitting particularly the internally displaced.

“These are the abysses faced by the Syrian people, caught between warring parties and everywhere being repressed and exploited by armed actors,” he said.

Beyond the active frontlines, daily life for Syrian women, men, and children gets more difficult and dangerous, noted the report.

Some 12 million people are food insecure, and an unprecedented 14.6 million in need of humanitarian assistance.

Violations for monetary gain exacerbate the increasingly desperate economic situation, the report also noted. 

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Israeli president visits Turkey to ‘restart’ ties

March 10, 2022

ANKARA: Israel’s president met Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday, in the first visit by an Israeli head of state to Turkey since 2007, as the countries seek to mend fractured ties.

President Isaac Herzog’s trip to the Turkish capital and Istanbul was planned weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, but the conflict could feature at the talks, with both Israel and Turkey playing mediation roles in recent days.

But bilateral issues may dominate following more than a decade of diplomatic rupture between the Jewish state and Turkey, which is a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause.

“We will not agree on everything, and the relationship between Israel and Turkey has certainly known ups and downs and not-so-simple moments in recent years,” Herzog said before departing.

“But we shall try to restart our relations and build them in a measured and cautious manner,” he added, before a boarding a plane with “peace and cooperation” written in Turkish on its side.

After landing Herzog and Erdogan proceeded through an honour guard at the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk mausoleum, with Herzog writing an inscription that praised Turkey’s first president as a “visionary leader” for choosing “the path of collaboration.”

Source: Dawn

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Iran Asks for Annihilation of US Chemical Weapons Arsenal


Permanent Representative of Iran to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alireza Kazemi Abadi made the remarks on Tuesday, addressing the 99th Session of the Executive Council of the OPCW.

The official stressed that the US as a sole holder of chemical weapons must use all its capabilities to destroy its arsenal of chemical weapons in the shortest possible time in accordance with its undertakings based on the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Expressing satisfaction with Syria's constructive cooperation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, he emphasized the need for the organization to pay attention to the rights of the Syrian government,

Kazemi Abadi also called for resolving the remaining issues between the two sides.

The 99th Session of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons kicked off on Tuesday, March 8 at the headquarters of the Organization in the Hague, the Netherlands, and will continue until Thursday, March 10.

In relevant remarks in January, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Zahra Ershadi reiterated her country's principled position on the need for destruction of all chemical weapons in the world.

Elimination of all chemical weapons worldwide was the prime objective of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and that this goal could be realized only through the treaty’s full, balanced, effective and non-discriminatory implementation, as well as its universality.

It is therefore a source of serious concern that due to non-compliance by the United States, this objective has yet to be realized, Ershadi said, addressing the Security Council briefing on chemical weapons in Syria.

She also stressed that the Israeli regime must be compelled to join the CWC without any precondition or further delay

Warning against the serious impact of politicization on the CWC’s credibility, the Iranian envoy called for de-politicization of the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Iran reiterates is long-standing and principled position on the need to strongly condemn the use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances, she said.

The only absolute guarantee that chemical weapons will not be used again is the total destruction of all chemical weapons across the globe, Ershadi said, adding that all necessary measures should be taken to ensure that such weapons will not be produced and used in the future.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran Calls for Broadening of Cultural Ties with Azerbaijan, Bolivia


During the meeting with Azerbaijan's Ambassador in Tehran Ali Alizadeh, the Iranian culture minister stressed the importance of making efforts to upgrade and revive mutual agreements on cultural cooperation.

"Iran and Azerbaijan enjoy long-lasting relations in the cultural fields," he added.

Referring to Nowruz celebrations as common heritage of the two countries, the minister said Tehran has invited its Northern neighbor to take part in the New Year feast in Iran.

Alizadeh, for his part, said Baku is after fostering cultural ties along with political and economic relations with Iran.

Further, Alizadeh thanked Iran for hosting Fajr international theatre and film festivals where Azerbaijan was also present.

At the end, the Azeri ambassador called for promoting Baku-Tehran media cooperation in order to truly reflect the news.

During his meeting with Bolivian Ambassador to Iran Romina Guadalupe Pérez Ramos, Esmaili said that Iran’s Islamic Revolution has a cultural nature and the Iranian leaders have always stressed cultural issues.

Ramos, for her part, said that Bolivia is after developing relations with Iran within the framework of signing cultural agreements.

She referred to agreements with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), and said, "These agreements are aimed at promoting Iranian culture in Bolivia."

Ramos went on to say that Western media are seeking to wage psychological war and media campaign against Iran and are trying to tarnish Iran’s image.

She expressed readiness for holding cultural events aiming to introduce Iran’s culture.

Ramos stressed joint cooperation in films, plays, and training courses courses.

She suggested establishing Iran-Bolivia friendship houses to teach language, cultural, and artistic topics.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Details of three militants involved in Peshawar mosque attack emerge

March 9, 2022

PESHAWAR: The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) has identified three terrorists who masterminded the Peshawar attack that resulted in the deaths of 62 people.

According to details shared by CTD, a militant, Abdul Wahid alias Ghazi Usman, was involved in the terror act.

“Abdul Wahid has been involved in multiple terror acts including direct involvement in Peshawar blast, murders of ASI Imtiaz Alam and Satnam Singh,” it said.

Another terrorist part of the network has been identified as Muzaffar Shah alias Khalid, who was previously involved in multiple target killings.

“The third terrorist has also been identified as was killed in an operation Silence last night,” the CTD said and added that all three of them are involved in the Peshawar attack.

Two days back, law enforcement authorities (LEAs) identified the suicide attacker and one of the handlers involved in the suicide attack at a Peshawar mosque.

According to sources privy to the development, the suicide bomber has been identified with his alias of Abdullah as he frequently used to change his name.

Source: Pakistan Today

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Peshawar mosque attack handler among three killed in Khyber

March 10, 2022

PESHAWAR: Law enforcement agencies have killed three suspected terrorists, including the main handler behind the gun-and-suicide attack on a Shia mosque in Peshawar, during an operation in a remote area of Khyber district, sources told Dawn on Wednesday.

Sixty-four worshippers lost their lives and more than 190 others were injured when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest inside the Koocha Risaldar mosque on Friday last week. The militant Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Officials said personnel of the Counter-Terrorism Department, police and intelligence agencies had raided a house in the Ghu­reza area of Jamrud tehsil late on Tuesday night. They said a terrorist present inside the house opened fire on law enforcement personnel.

“Three terrorists, identified as Abdul Wajid, Muzaffar Shah and Muhammad Tariq, were killed in the exchange of fire with police, while four others, including two handlers, managed to escape from the scene,” the officials said.

According to them, Abdul Wajid belonged to the Warsak Road area and Muzaffar Shah to the Bhdabher area of Peshawar, while Muhammad Tariq hailed from Bara tehsil of Khyber district.

They said the investigators identified the mosque suicide bomber as Ihsanullah alias Abdullah, an Afghan national hailing from Babu Ghari locality and living in Aabshar Colony of the provincial capital.

The officials said the bomber’s family had fraudulently obtained Pakistani documents. Two handlers of the suicide bomber were identified as Hassan Shah, a resident of the Godar area of Jamrud tehsil, and Tariq alias Khalid.

Police sources said that following the investigation the father of the suicide bomber and a rickshaw driver who drove him to Koocha Risaldar were taken into protective custody.

The bomber’s father told the investigators that his son had studied at Rauzat-ul-Atfal School in Babu Ghari up to primary level.

According to him, Ihsanullah later got admission in FG School near Garrison Park, where he studied till 9th grade. During that time, he came into contact with Wajid and Muzaffar.

The father told police that his son had left for Afghanistan about 18 months ago.

Source: Dawn

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PM Determined To Continue Jihad Against Corrupt: Farrukh Habib

Mar 10, 2022

ISLAMABAD   –   Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib Wednesday said Prime Minister Imran Khan was determined to continue Jihad against the looters, who had plundered the national wealth while in power.

Responding to the press conference of PML-N’s Marriyum Aurangzeb, he said in a statement that three corrupt persons had entered a blind alley by submitting a no-confidence motion against the prime minister. Today the prime minister had fully exposed their true nature, and now there would be more screaming on their part, he added. If Shehbaz Sharif had not committed any corruption then why he was hampering the process of being charge-sheeted, Farrukh questioned, adding frequent requests for the money laundering case adjournment on his part did indicate the other side of the story.

“The thieves trio, including Shehbaz Sharif, will have to face the consequences for ruthlessly looting the national wealth as their final destination is prison,” he added. He said it was questionable as to how many foreign diplomats had met the PML-N leadership in a month and what had transpired in those meetings. He highlighted the opposition’s duplicity its stance on IMF programme. Earlier, when the current government was not going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the opposition was critical of the delay, but now it was again criticizing the government for giving relief to the people, portraying that the latter was exiting the the IMF programme, which was total contradictory, he added. “The opposition leader are, in fact, uncrowned kings of hypocrisy, they have always resorted to telling lies and deception,” he said. He said the 40-year record of inflation had been broken in the United States and Europe but PM Khan was working day and night to provide relief to the people.

The past corrupt rulers had caused massive damage to the national treasury through their corrupt practices and the present government had to take new loans to pay interest on the debts taken by previous regimes, he added.

Farrukh said all the allied parties stood firm with the PTI and despite offers of huge money from the opposition, all the PTI members were steadfast in their support  for the PM.

Source: Nation Pakistan

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Pakistani citizen among 17 foreign nationals rescued by India from Sumy

Mar 9, 2022

NEW DELHI: A Pakistani citizen was among 17 foreign nationals who were rescued by India from Sumy in Ukraine where they were stuck for about a fortnight amid continuous bombing by Russia.

Official sources said besides the Pakistani woman, Asma Shafique, a Nepalese citizen, two Tunisian and 13 Bangladeshi nationals were rescued by India, along with nearly 700 Indian citizens.

All these people were evacuated from Sumy on Tuesday by the Indian Embassy with help from the International Committee of Red Cross, after Russia and Ukraine agreed to create a humanitarian corridor following separate telephonic conversations Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Besides the students, about 20 Indians working in Sumy and their family members were also rescued by India.

These evacuees have boarded a special train from Poltava and are likely to board a flight to India from Poland on Thursday.

The train will take the students to Lviv in western Ukraine, from where they will be taken to Poland in buses, Anshad Ali, a student coordinator, informed.

The distance between Poltava and Lviv is around 888 km.

Covering hundreds of miles across Ukraine, using multiple means of transport, the students are being evacuated from the war-hit east European country after their two weeks of excruciating stay in beleaguered Sumy.

Source: Times Of India

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Pakistan PM Imran Khan seeks legal opinion on no-confidence motion

March 10, 2022

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has met the Attorney General and sought legal opinion on the no-confidence motion submitted by the Opposition parties which have held his government responsible for the uncontrolled inflation.

According to the Dawn newspaper, the government is anxious and making all attempts to foil the Opposition's move to oust the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) regime led by Khan, who has already claimed that the powerful Pakistan Army is backing him.

The no-confidence motion, signed by about 100 lawmakers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), was submitted with the National Assembly Secretariat on Tuesday.

Khan, 69, is heading a coalition government and he can be removed if some of the partners decide to switch sides, which is not unusual in parliamentary democracies.

The report said that besides meeting Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, whose removal has been sought by the Prime Minister's (former) closest confidants in the party, Prime Minister Khan also met Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Javed Khan and sought his legal opinion on the no-confidence motion.

The prime minister is scheduled to meet leaders of the PTI's allies, including the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Grand Demo¬cratic Alliance and party leaders in Sindh, it said.

Opposition parties blame Khan's government for uncontrolled inflation that has broken the back of poor people of the country, while Khan accuses them of trying to remove as he was not willing to condone the alleged corruption by the leading Opposition leaders.

Soon after the Opposition submitted its no-confidence motion in the National Assembly (NA) Secretariat, Khan said that he was going nowhere and that he did not fear the Opposition's move.

“The government will not be ousted, and will emerge stronger,” Khan was quoted as saying.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the prime minister was quite confident that the Opposition would face disappointment and the government would become stronger after he regained confidence in the NA.

Khan also said that he was happy this would be the Opposition's ‘last attempt' to oust him.

“We will defeat them in such a way that they will not be able to recover from it until 2028,” he said, indicating that he would be reelected in 2023 for another 5-year term.

Khan, a former cricketer, came to power in 2018 and elections are to be held in 2023 if he succeeded to ward off the challenge of no-trust move.

The prime minister also said that there were “multiple foreign hands” backing the Opposition, adding he was completely prepared to handle the political situation.

“A Captain doesn't reveal his strategy all at once,” he said.

He also alleged that lawmakers were offered bribes of Rs 180 million (USD 1 million).

He reiterated that the Pakistan Army would never support “these thieves” (Opposition leaders).

“The Opposition does not have the support of the people so they say the establishment is with us.

“What will happen if the no-trust move does not succeed? A mind game is being played, and I am the master of mind games,” Khan added.

On Tuesday, PML-N president and Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif, who was flanked by former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, told a press conference that “We have taken this decision for the people of Pakistan and not for ourselves".

As per rules, signatures of at least 68 Members of Parliament were required to force the Speaker to summon a session, which should be convened between three to seven days to conduct a vote on a no-confidence motion.

In the house of 342, the Opposition needed the support of 172 members to remove the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.

The Speaker of the National Assembly is expected to call the lower house in session by March 22, while voting on the no-confidence motion must take place between March 26 and March 30, the Dawn report said.

Reacting to the Opposition move, Prime Minister Khan said that the country's powerful Army was with him and he was confident that the government was not going anywhere.

The powerful Army, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 73 plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy.

Last year, Khan received 178 votes when he had decided to seek a vote of confidence after a candidate supported by his party lost the Senate election.

On paper, Khan still enjoys that support, comprising 155 members of his PTI and 23 from coalition partners, including seven from Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), five each from Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), three from Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), one each from Awami Muslim League (AML) and Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) and one independent member.

Source: Business Standard

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Southeast Asia


VP emphasizes 4-pronged approach to improve sharia insurance industry

March 10, 2022

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Sharia insurance assets grew amid economic instability due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the sharia life insurance industry's assets reaching Rp589.8 trillion at the end of 2021, Vice President Ma'ruf Amin stated on Wednesday.

Amin laid emphasis on four specific strategies for the sharia insurance industry to improve its performance in future.

"First, strengthen product innovation and expand the market share. Sharia insurance products must be developed to become more competitive," Amin noted at the opening of the 2022 Indonesian Sharia Insurance Association's (AASI's) annual working meeting on Wednesday.

On account of the huge potential of the halal industry, the vice president reminded that literacy related to the benefits of sharia insurance can be further improved, especially for sharia Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) players.

"We must continue to explore the market niche for the halal industry, so that the sharia insurance industry grows and is also integrated into the halal industry ecosystem that is being built," he affirmed.

Secondly, the vice president accentuated the importance of strengthening industrial exposure through cross-sectoral collaboration, such as with sharia fintech and other sectors.

"In addition, we must accelerate the promotion and positioning of sharia insurance through various media channels," he remarked.

Thirdly, Amin deemed it important to improve corporate governance by adopting best practices in developed countries.

“One of the steps is by utilizing technology and implementing digitalization in all sectors. Breakthroughs are needed to increase efficiency as well as overcome capital challenges," Amin noted.

According to the last strategy, as a reflection of the company's image, the vice president urged AASI's human resources to improve their quality and quantity through certification.

"AASI needs to optimize the role of the Sharia Insurance Professional Certification Institute to create more qualified sharia insurance industry players and be actively committed to developing the industry and building public trust," Amin stated.

Source: Antara News

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PPIM concerned over lack of SOP details for mosques in endemic phase transition

Suraya Ali

March 10, 2022

JOHOR BARU: The Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) is concerned about the lack of details on standard operating procedures (SOP) to enter mosques and surau following the Endemic Phase Transition in Malaysia come April 1.

“There is no clear statement or directive regarding the need for Covid-19 vaccination or booster shots as a condition to enter mosques and surau,“ he said.

Nadzim added that in addition to the relaxation of physical distancing SOP, the government has also relaxed mandatory conditions to use the MySejahtera application in public places except areas with high density of visitors.

“Simplify the affairs of Muslims who want to perform prayers, if they are very afraid of Covid-19, perhaps the mosque and surau committee can provide an alternative like a prayer space separately for those who are not fully vaccinated,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Senator Datuk Idris Ahmad welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement on the Endemic Phase Transition in Malaysia come April 1.

In a statement, he said the move showed the government’s efforts to address the Covid-19 health crisis.

“Besides that, the announcement by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob regarding congregational prayer activities in mosque or surau can be implemented without social distancing is something that is highly anticipated by Muslims,“ he said.

Source: The Sun Daily

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Activists seek Singapore clemency for disabled Malaysian man on death row


March 09, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: Rights groups on Wednesday made a clemency plea for a Malaysian man facing execution in Singapore for drug offenses, after an appeal court last week reserved a ruling in the case that has drawn international attention over his mental disability.

Nagaenthran K. Dharmalingam, 34, was arrested in 2009 for trafficking 43 grams of heroin into Singapore, which has some of the world’s strictest drug laws. He was handed the death sentence in 2010.

Dharmalingam was to be executed by hanging in November, but it was stayed after mounting pressure from international rights groups, Malaysia’s prime minister, and the EU.

The clemency appeal was made by rights groups based in Malaysia — including the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network, and Amnesty International — to Singapore President Halimah Yacob through the city state’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

ADPAN said in the petition that Dharmalingam was suffering from “psychosocial and intellectual disabilities,” and pointed out that executing such a person would be against international law and put a “stain” on Singapore’s global reputation.

“To show Nagaenthran mercy would be an act that will not only uplift many souls during these troubled times but also provide proof that this is a city where change for the better is possible,” ADPAN added.

Dharmalingam’s Singaporean lawyer, Violet Netto, had pleaded with the Singapore Court of Appeal last week to show “mercy” by allowing him to undergo an independent psychiatric assessment. The court has yet to issue its ruling.

“From the hearing last week, the judiciary’s reserved judgment suggests Singapore is silently figuring out how to deal with a person of reduced mental capacity,” ADPAN executive director Dobby Chew told Arab News.

Advocates argued that Dharmalingam had been coerced into the non-violent crime. His lawyers said that with an IQ of 69 — a level recognized as a disability — he was not capable of making any intellectual decision. The case put a spotlight on Singapore’s use of capital punishment, triggering international condemnation. If Dharmalingam was hanged, it would be the first execution in Singapore since 2019.

“He should not be executed, and the next course of action is through clemency. They have to act; they cannot sit behind the law and have no action. The Singapore Cabinet has to act soon on this,” Chew said.

Source: Arab News

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German Chancellor Scholz to visit Turkiye amid Russia-Ukraine war

Ayhan Simsek 



German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will make his first official visit to Turkiye next week, diplomatic sources said on Wednesday.

Scholz is scheduled to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, and talks will focus on bilateral ties, regional issues, and diplomatic efforts to end the war in Ukraine, according to the sources.

Scholz replaced longtime Chancellor Angela Merkel in December and has carried out intensive talks in recent weeks to bring about a diplomatic solution to the conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine.

Russia's war on Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, has drawn international condemnation and led to severe financial sanctions on Moscow.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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World focused on Turkey as Ankara mediates in talks between warring Ukraine, Russia

March 10, 2022

ANKARA: The world’s attention will on Thursday be focused on a meeting due to take place in Turkey’s southern resort town of Antalya at which the Turkish, Ukrainian, and Russian foreign ministers will discuss the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe and look at ways to defuse tensions and find middle ground for a peaceful resolution.

Sharing a maritime border with Russia and Ukraine, Turkey has long tried to act as a neutral and balanced mediator between the two countries by upgrading its importance to NATO and at the same time not antagonizing Russia.

Ankara also closed the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits under the 1936 Montreux pact, allowing it to stop some Russian ships from crossing the Black Sea but also limiting Western forces’ access to the zone.

The meeting, to be held on the sidelines of the Istanbul Mediation Conference, will be the first high-level, face-to-face talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmitry Kuleba since Feb. 24 when Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.

In a phone call on March 6 between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s leader expressed his concerns over growing anti-Russian feeling around the world and offered to mediate in peace talks.

On Tuesday, the Turkish and Russian defense ministers also spoke by phone and during their conversation the Kremlin was asked to help secure safe passage to Turkey of Turkish commercial ships loaded with sunflower oil and wheat currently waiting in the Sea of Azov. Later, four ships were allowed to reach Turkey.

Prof. Emre Ersen, an expert on Turkey-Russia relations from Marmara University in Istanbul, told Arab News that Turkey, as one of the few countries that enjoyed close relations with both Ukraine and Russia, had been genuinely trying to play the role of an active mediator between the two countries.

“This meeting also gives the governments of Ukraine and Russia the opportunity to demonstrate to the world that they are still open to diplomatic negotiations with each other,” he said.

Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish research program at The Washington Institute, described Turkey’s Russia-Ukraine policy as “pro-Ukraine neutrality” at this stage, as Ankara sold drones to Ukraine while not sanctioning Russia to balance its economic benefits on both sides.

On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov pointed out that the Antalya meeting between Lavrov and Kuleba was crucial for the negotiation process between Moscow and Kyiv.

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and wait for the meeting,” he said.

However, experts were not expecting ground-breaking results from the talks.

Cagaptay told Arab News: “I do not anticipate a breakthrough regarding the ongoing war because Putin is not ready for that. But it is still a significant accomplishment for Turkish diplomats because they can get the foreign ministers of the warring parties together around a table. It is quite impressive to gather them in Turkey.”

Ersen said: “The Russian and Ukrainian delegations have already met several times in the last few weeks, and it is still very difficult to reconcile the positions of the two sides regarding thorny issues like the status of Crimea, Donbas, and Ukraine’s future relations with NATO.

“Nevertheless, Turkey will likely continue its policy of supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity in a powerful way without alienating Russia.”

On Monday, a humanitarian corridor was opened on the personal request of French President Emmanuel Macron to allow civilians to leave a number of Ukrainian cities. However, the Ukraine government criticized Russia’s announcement of new evacuation routes as some of them would pass through active conflict zones.

Cagaptay noted that the best outcome from Thursday’s meeting in Antalya would be a short-term ceasefire to allow the evacuation of new groups of civilians in Ukraine after recent agreements were violated.

He said: “President Erdogan is quite eager to have the war ended ahead of Turkey’s 2023 elections because he doesn’t want to put the country’s already fragile economic growth at further risk. He needs robust economic growth. Any confrontation with Russia could trigger sanctions on trade and tourism fronts and they could jeopardize growth targets, and that would be a real nightmare for Erdogan.”

On the Bayraktar combat drones that Turkey had provided to Ukraine, Ankara said they were supplied following an agreement between the Ukrainian government and a private Turkish firm.

Meanwhile, pro-government Turkish businessman, Ethem Sancak, recently visited Moscow and spoke to Russian media claiming that the real culprit of the Ukrainian war was NATO, adding that Ankara was unaware that Bayraktar drones would be used against Russians. He also underlined the importance of keeping strong ties between Turkey and Russia.

Russia is Turkey’s top source of natural gas and wheat, and a second source of oil.

The approaching summer season that is expected to bring in tourism income to narrow the current account deficit is also a factor that is being taken into consideration by politicians in Turkey when carefully assessing relations with the Kremlin. Last year, 4.7 million Russians visited Turkey, accounting for one-fifth of the country’s international visitors in 2021.

During his phone call with Putin, Erdogan said Turkey and Russia could conduct trade in national currencies as an alternative method of making payments after several Russian banks were removed from the Swift international payments network.

Source: Arab News

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4 convicted in Daesh killing of French priest

March 09, 2022

LYON, France: Four men were convicted in Paris Wednesday of terrorist conspiracy after the murder of a Catholic priest in a Normandy church in 2016, an attack claimed by the Daesh group.

The four were handed sentences of between eight years and life in prison over the attack on Father Jacques Hamel, 85, who was stabbed in his church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray by two 19-year-olds as he finished Mass.

Two nuns and an elderly couple were held hostage before the assailants slashed the priest’s throat and seriously injured another elderly churchgoer.

The two attackers, Abdel Malik Petitjean and Adel Kermiche, were killed by police as they left the church.

The four men on trial were accused of having helped or encouraged the attack.

The archbishop for the region welcomed the verdict, and the lawyer for the injured man described an unusual spirit of “spirituality” at the trial. Families of victims held hands with the defendants, and the injured man testified that he forgave them, the lawyer said.

Only three defendants were present at the trial, and the other was convicted in absentia.

The three present did not play a role in carrying out the attack, but were part of the attackers’ entourage. During the trial, they asked for forgiveness and admitted that they voluntarily associated with individuals who were preparing to commit terrorist crimes. But they argued that wasn’t enough to mark them as terrorists, too.

Prosecutors disagreed, and the judges found all of them guilty of criminal association with terrorists.

Jean-Philippe Steven Jean-Louis, 25, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for trying to go to Syria with one of the attackers, and for his Islamic proselytism on Telegram.

A cousin of one of the attackers, Farid Khelil, was sentenced to 10 years. Prosecutors said he was informed of the attack plan and that he had supported it. He testified at the trial that he is bisexual, non-religious and spent his time drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis, in an apparent effort to distance himself from the religious extremists.

Yassine Sebaihia was sentenced to eight years, after he had crossed France to join one of the attackers for “religion lessons.”

The biggest punishment was handed to the absent defendant: Rachid Kassim, a Frenchman who was a notorious Daesh recruiter, was sentenced to life in prison. Kassim, believed to have been killed in a drone strike in 2017 in Iraq, is suspected of having used social media to encourage the attack on the priest. Kassim had already received a life sentence in absentia in 2019 for having ordered a failed attack near Notre Dame Cathedral.

The Archbishop of Rouen said in a statement: “Justice was served. ... (the court) had to convict these men for the good of society.”

Source: Arab News

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Don’t let Ukraine become another Syria: UN investigators

March 09, 2022

GENEVA: United Nations investigators on Wednesday urged world leaders to do everything they could to avoid Ukraine becoming another Syria, a country “destroyed” by 11 years of conflict.

Russian forces have been involved in the Syrian civil war since 2015 and the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said it hoped the disregard for civilian casualties would not be repeated in Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Rather than winding down, the investigators said the war in Syria was heating up again and warned that its participants may take advantage of world attention turning away toward Ukraine.

Commission chair Paulo Pinheiro spoke of the millions of people displaced, the more than 100,000 people missing or forcibly disappeared, the poverty rate at an unprecedented 90 percent, human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

“We can only hope that world leaders are doing everything now that they can avoid a similar fate for Ukraine,” he told reporters.

Syrian and Russian forces “operating side by side have continued to indiscriminately bomb densely populated areas in the northwest,” he said.

“Civilians have also been attacked with sophisticated precision-guided weapons and airstrikes — including in strikes where Russian fixed-wing aircraft were identified flying over targeted areas.”

Pinheiro also said Russia and Syria were insisting on humanitarian aid being delivered from Damascus rather than across the border, but “their attacks in the northwest occur along the very road where such humanitarian aid would travel.”

He added: “We are seeing since 2015 similar practices by the Russian Federation in the conflict that we are seeing in another country today.”

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria was mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate and record all violations of international law since March 2011 in the country.

Hanny Megally, one of the three commissioners, said Russian forces were in Syria to help the government, while they were in Ukraine “to remove it.”

Another difference, he said, was that the Russians were using more air power in Syria, rather than the large number of ground forces seen in Ukraine.

Citing indiscriminate attacks on civilians and targeted attacks on medical facilities, he said: “The disregard for civilian casualties is one of our biggest concerns in Syria and I would hope that’s not being repeated in Ukraine.”

The Commission of Inquiry’s latest report covers the second half of 2021.

Megally said regular fighting had increased over the last six to nine months, with increased shelling and aerial attacks by President Bashar Assad’s regime and his Russian allies.

“Our worry is that it’s not a war that’s coming to an end; it’s actually on the uptick again,” said Megally.

Source: Arab News

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"No Hindu-Muslim, We Worked For All": UP Minister on BJP's Record Win

March 10, 2022

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Minister Satish Mahana on Thursday said the BJP's landslide win in the state elections showed the party's appeal went beyond its vote base of the Hindu majority and that its schemes had worked for all communities regardless of their religion.

"This result for our party is because of the leadership of [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi ji and [Chief Minister] Yogi [Adityanath] ji. Yes, we have increased our vote share as numbers suggest. This is because of the trust people have in Yogi ji's leadership. He has delivered on promises and has made UP mafia-free," Satish Mahana said.

"We will now move ahead with development and make UP a leading state in India, especially in manufacturing. From IT to electronics, we have big plans for UP. We have a lot of work to do and we now have a mandate which gives us that support we need to continue with our good work and hard work," he said.

"We stand for everyone - Hindus, Muslims, all... Our schemes are for everyone. We do not distinguish and differentiate on basis of Hindu-Muslim. We work for all and we take everyone along. Under Modi ji and Yogi ji's leadership, everyone benefits and we work for," Mr Mahana added.

Yogi Adityanath is all set to return as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh with the BJP taking an unassailable lead over rivals in India's politically most vital state, as counting of votes entered its fourth hour on Thursday.

Shortly before 9:30 am, NDTV called the election for the BJP, projecting more than 250 seats for the party out of the state's 403. By 10 am, the BJP, it seemed, could cross 300 - the ambitious target set by the party for itself.

Source: ND TV

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Bulli Bai case: App creator sought photos of 100 famous women for 'auction', say police

Mar 9, 2022

MUMBAI: Neeraj Bishnoi, the alleged creator of the Bulli Bai app, had asked a co-accused to send photographs of 100 "famous non-BJP Muslim women" for putting them up for 'auction', Mumbai police has said in its charge sheet.

The city police's cyber cell filed an over 2,000-page charge sheet in the suburban Bandra magistrate's court here last week. Its copy was made available on Wednesday.

The police has so far arrested six people in the case.

Citing a statement given by Niraj Singh, one of the arrested accused, the police claimed that in June 2020 iGiyu (Bishnoi's user id) had told Singh that he was planning to do something big on their social media group.

Bishnoi then asked people in the group to send photos of "100 famous non-BJP Muslim women in India", following which he was sent links and screenshots of several women's Twitter handles.

As per the charge sheet, Bishnoi told them that after a few days, the application or app would be ready and no one would be able to copy or crack it.

Two or three days later, Singh found out from social media that a case had been registered against the app's creators. He then asked all group members to delete their Twitter accounts and posts on the group and stay away from social media for a few days, the charge sheet stated.

The police have also alleged that the accused were asked to spread the word about the so-called auction on social media.

The accused deliberately used words related to Sikhism to make it appear as though the app, which targeted Muslim women, was created by persons belonging to the Sikh community, the charge sheet said.

This was done to create a rift between the two communities and the timely arrest of the accused prevented law and order issues, it said.

The accused allegedly tracked down the accounts of Muslim women who were active on social media, downloaded their photographs without their consent, and conspired to sell them online for "immoral and obscene purposes," the charge sheet stated.

All the accused were tech savvy and each of them had more than one Twitter, Instagram and Gmail accounts.

Source: Times Of India

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Terrorist killed in encounter with security forces in J&K's Pulwama

Mar 10, 2022

SRINAGAR: An unidentified terrorist was killed in an encounter with security forces in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, police said.

Acting on specific inputs about the presence of terrorists in Naina Batpora area of the south Kashmir district, security forces launched a cordon and search operation there, a police official said.

The search operation turned into an encounter after the terrorists fired upon the forces, drawing retaliation.

Source: Times Of India

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Seychelles & Indonesia detain 33 fishermen from India for poaching

Mar 10, 2022

NAGERCOIL: Authorities of Seychelles and Indonesia have detained 33 and eight fishermen respectively, hailing from Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Kerala for illegal fishing, official sources here said on Wednesday.

In three mechanised fishing boats registered in Tamil Nadu, 33 crew members had ventured for fishing from Kochi on February 22 and they were detained on March 7 by Seychelles’ authorities, sources said. Of the 33, one of them reportedly belongs to Thiruvananthapuram, 70km from here.

Source: Times Of India

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Ukraine crisis: Not just Indians, Pakistan, Bangladesh & Nepal students rescued too

Mar 10, 2022

NEW DELHI: “Hi I’m Asma Shafique from Pakistan and want to thank the Indian embassy of Kyiv for supporting us all the way here as we were stuck in a very difficult situation and I also want to thank the Prime Minister of India for supporting us. Hope we get home safely because of the Indian embassy,” Asma, a Pakistani student at Sumy State Medical College said in a video post on Wednesday after her safe evacuation along with Indians and a few more from other countries.

While en route to western Ukraine with fellow batchmates for further evacuation from the country, Asma’s remarks came on the same day that Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina thanked PM Modi for evacuating students of her country along with those from India under “Operation Ganga”.

“PM of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina thanks PM Modi for rescuing its 13 nationals from Ukraine under ‘Operation Ganga’. Nepalese, Tunisian students were also rescued under this operation,” government sources said. The 13 Bangladeshi nationals, who had been stuck in northeastern city Sumy, were evacuated along with 694 Indians brought to Poltava city in Ukraine. Two Tunisians and a Nepalese were also among those evacuated by the Indian authorities.

Sources said they will be brought back to India along with the other Indian nationals from Poland. On Tuesday, the Indian authorities started evacuating its stranded students from Sumy to Poltava after Russia announced a temporary ceasefire from 10 am providing humanitarian corridors in Kyiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mariupol.

The human corridor in Sumy was announced after Prime Minister Modi spoke to the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia to provide a safe passage to evacuate the remaining Indian students who were stuck in Sumy.

According to sources, Prime Minister Modi had asked the relevant officials including the four Union ministers deployed to lead the evacuation exercise to expand the ambit of the evacuation under “Operation Ganga”. “The PM had instructed that anyone from south Asia stuck in the war zone should be evacuated. The exercise witnessed evacuation of two Tunisians also,” a source said.

Source: Times Of India

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Hijab row: Rachakonda Police sends notice to Twitter on journalist’s video

Syeda Faiza Kirmani

9th March 2022

Hyderabad: Alt news co-founder, journalist, Mohammed Zubair received an email from Twitter on Wednesday notifying him of a request from Cyber Crime Rachakonda for the removal of a tweet, they deemed as “sensitive”.

Zubair shared a screenshot of Twitter’s notification over his tweet and also added the video of the hijab-clad girl Muskan retaliating with chants of AllahuAkbar against saffron-clad bullies who heckled her screaming slogans of “Jai Shree Ram“.

When contacted by, Assistant Commissioner of Police Cyber Crimes, Rachakonda, S.Harinath said that the police took the action based on a complaint received by the IT cell.

“The complaint was received over WhatsApp. We hold nothing against the journalist, but we received a complaint about the sensitive content of the video. This was after protests by students of the Unani Medical College at Charminar (against the Hijab controversy in Karnataka), where students held placards of ‘Hijab is my right’, pictures of which surfaced on social media.

“It’s people’s right to protest..I agree..but the disturbance of peace and harmony in such a sensitive city would lead to precipitation of events,” he added.

Speaking about the atmosphere of the city, he further added, “Hyderabad is a sensitive city that strictly follows law and order, and to prevent communal unrest, we sent a notification to Twitter asking them for the removal of the video which may precipitate public unrest.”

The Hijab Row:

The Karnataka High Court bench on February 25 concluded hearing petitions seeking the right to wear a hijab while attending classes and asked all counsel to submit written submissions as it reserved its verdict.

The three-judge bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justices Krishna S. Dixit, and J.M. Khazi heard arguments and counter-arguments for 11 days on a day-to-day basis considering the urgency and sensitivity of the matter.

Counsel appearing for petitioners who are college students maintained that the government order issued in this regard does not have any legal standing and it violated their fundamental right to practice religion and thereby denied the right to education which is paramount. They also argued that the constitution of the College Development Committee (CDC), and the School Development and Management Committee (SDMC) do not have legal sanctity.

The row erupted towards the end of last year after Muslim students of Udupi Government Pre-University College were prohibited from attending classes wearing hijab.

Source: Siasat Daily

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BJP wins 20 Assam civic wards dominated by migrant Muslims

Mar 9, 2022

GUWAHATI: Winning a number of Congress-held municipal boards, and some of those where migrant Muslims are in the majority, has been a major success for the ruling BJP in Assam ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election, said Assam BJP president Bhabesh Kalita.

The Congress on the other hand had to bite the dust in the municipal board areas that are represented by its big leaders, state PCC president Bhupen Borah (Bihpuria), leader of opposition Debabrata Saikia (Nazira) and former Assam Congress president Ripun Bora (Gohpur).

Kalita said the BJP thumped victory in nearly 20 municipal wards, where migrant Muslims are in “dominance”. “The BJP has snatched around 10 municipal boards, including Karimganj, Lala, Dhing and Golaghat from the Congress. Migrant Muslims dominated municipal boards like Dhing and Rangia but now the BJP is in majority there,” he said.

The BJP won in Sarbhog and Barpeta municipal boards, where the CPM had a stronghold. “The results of the urban polls have given the BJP a new level of electoral acceptability. People have voted in favour of development,” he added.

The saffron party’s performance in the migrant Muslim inhabited areas was dismal in last year’s assembly election, following which the party had dissolved its minority wing. Incidentally, the BJP has made a comeback in the municipal elections in these areas.

Kalita said, “The reason behind the comeback is development. Moreover, the urban voters always extend support to the BJP. That is why the BJP was never worried about the results.”

The Congress has conceded defeat and said the electors voted in favour of the ruling party which is at the helm of power in the state and the Centre. Assam PCC general secretary (administration) Apurba Kumar Bhattacharjee said, “We have the support of two independent candidates in Narayanpur and will form the municipal board there,” he said.

Bhattacharjee felt the results were not shocking. “The second successive government headed by the BJP was installed just eight months ago. Bhattacharjee said people still have faith in the Congress and thus, in all the 80 municipal boards Congress candidates fought against the BJP and its allies.

Source: Times Of India

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South Asia


Abdul Rahim Muslimdost, Co-founder of Afghan Daesh Downplays Group’s Presence in Afghanistan

March 10, 2022

Abdul Rahim Muslimdost, one of the founders of the Daesh group in Afghanistan who recently renounced the group and joined the Islamic Emirate, says that Daesh has been suppressed in the country.

In an interview with TOLOnews, Muslimdost suggested that after the withdrawal of foreign troops there was no longer a reason to continue war in Afghanistan, and, therefore, he joined the Islamic Emirate.

“When the media gives reports, those media are being paid by the regional intelligence groups, there are not many people, a few of them remained,” he said.

Muslimdost also said he joined the Islamic Emirate because of the wrong ideology of the Daesh group.

“I tried to refrain from wrongdoing and violence—they didn’t accept it. They didn’t let me display a good image of Islam to the people, they didn’t accept it,” Muslimdost said.

Welcoming Muslimdost’s renouncement of Daesh, the Islamic Emirate called on others to take advantage of the general amnesty announced by the supreme leader of the Islamic Emirate, Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada.

“He (Muslimdost) admits that if he remained in Daesh, he would deviate from Islam,” said Dr. Basheer, head of the Nangarhar intelligence department.

When the Islamic Emirate swept into power, the Daesh group claimed responsibility for many deadly attacks in several provinces.

The Islamic Emirate has repeatedly deemphasized Daesh’s presence, saying that the group is incapable of posing a serious threat to the country.

Meanwhile, eighteen Daesh members accompanied by 24 women and 31 children surrendered to Afghan forces on Friday in Achin district, Nangarhar province, the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The total number of Daesh militants and family members who have surrendered to Afghan forces in the past two weeks is “over 615,” according to the Defense Ministry, which attributes the recent mass surrenders to increased operations against “terrorists” by security forces.

On Thursday, 82 Daesh fighters handed over their weapons and surrendered to Afghan security forces in Achin district of Nangarhar, and were accompanied by 51 women and 96 children.

On Wednesday, ‘at least 300’ Daesh members, including women and children, surrendered to Afghan Special Forces in Nangarhar, according to Commander Waliullah, the Army Special Forces commander in Achin district.

According to Abdulhaq Omeri, a TOLOnews reporter, a number of those 300 Daesh members are Pakistani citizens. But interviews with Daesh members indicate that fighters come from a variety of countries.

Source: Pak Observer

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Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan FM Amir Kham Mottaqi Leaves For Turkey

09 Mar 2022

Acting Foreign Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Amir Khan Mottaqi heading a delegation left Kabul for Turkey on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister in a statement said that Mottaqi has officially been invited by his Turkish counterpart to take part in the diplomatic forum of Antalya.

Amir Khan Mottaqi is supposed to deliver a speech to the forum.

Spokesperson of Afghanistan’s FM Abdul Qahar Balkhi in a series of Twitter posts said the acting foreign minister is supposed to meet with leaders of different countries.

“The forum would be inaugurated and addressed by the Turkish President H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and to be followed by remarks and discussions on various issues by Foreign Ministers and senior delegations from other countries.” Reads a Twitter post.

Source: Khaama Press

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Taliban bar people from taking souvenir photos in Afghanistan's Ghor

March 10, 2022

Taliban has barred people from taking souvenir photos in Afghanistan's Ghor province.

Taliban's press office in Ghor province issued a statement on Tuesday, saying that no one was allowed to take a souvenir photo under the new order, according to the Afghan media.

As per the order, no one is allowed to cut or shave their beard and take a souvenir photo.

Taliban reportedly also demanded full observance of the hijab and warns that violators will be dealt with seriously.

Over the past six months, the Taliban's Ministry has imposed harsh restrictions, especially on women, which have provoked strong reactions.

Meanwhile, reports say that killings, kidnappings of businessmen have increased in Afghanistan.

A senior adviser to the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment was killed at his home in the capital city of Kabul. According to reports, unidentified people shot him dead on March 8.

Apart from it, media reports indicate that Taliban have severely tortured a local journalist named Malouf Ashrafi.

The media survey comes as journalists have been accusing the Taliban of censoring, beating, intimidating, and threatening them while covering stories especially outdoor ones, reported The Khaama Press.

Source: Business Standard

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ADB won’t facilitate in TAPI until Taliban government gets recognized

09 Mar 2022

Asian Development Bank has recently announced that they have postponed all activities in the TAPI project that have been on hold and will not be resumed until the de facto authorities get legitimization from the United Nations and world economic powers.

ADB that was acting as the facilitator and coordinator of the project has paused the project has put the fate of the gas line in limbo.

The news was confirmed by Turkman officials during a meeting between Turkmenistan official delegations headed by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vepa Hajiyev with Pakistani officials headed by Energy Minister Hammad Azhar in Islamabad on January 31st.

In the meantime, a spokesman of ADB confirmed the development saying that the bank’s assistance has been placed on hold.

“ADB has paused its TAPI project due diligence and processing activities until further notice.” Said the spokesperson.

Economic analysts in Afghanistan suggest that the projects form the backbone of the economy of Afghanistan thus; the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan should make all its efforts so that the project not is wasted.

Source: Khaama Press

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Arab World


Egypt’s al-Sisi and Russia’s Putin discuss developments in Ukraine: Presidency

09 March ,2022

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin spoke on Wednesday, the Egyptian presidency said, to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine.

Al-Sisi and Putin also discussed enhancing strategic cooperation frameworks between their countries through joint development projects confirming “historic ties” between them.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi Arabia ends Thailand travel ban for citizens

10 March ,2022

Saudi Arabia announced the end of a travel ban for nationals wanting to visit Thailand, the official Saudi Press agency reported on Wednesday, citing the Kingdom’s General Directorate of Passports.

The governing body also stated that those holding Thai passports will be allowed entry into the Kingdom, according to the SPA report.

The move comes less than two months after Saudi Arabia and Thailand agreed to fully restore diplomatic ties and prepared to exchange ambassadors following a formal meeting between Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Thailand’s Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha on January 25.

It marked the first government level visit in more than 30 years between the two countries.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi defences intercept Houthi drone aimed at Jizan

10 March ,2022

Saudi Arabia’s defense forces intercepted a drone launched by the Iran-backed Houthi militia towards the southern city of Jizan, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported early on Thursday morning.

Shrapnel from the destroyed drone fell onto civilian areas, but did not cause damage, SPA said.

The drone was reportedly launched from the Hodeidah Governate. The Saudi authorities have previously accused the Houthis of launching attacks from a civilian port in the area.

The attempted attack followed the conclusion of the inaugural World Defense Show on the outskirts of Riyadh.

At the exhibition, the Saudi government signed contracts worth $1.8 billion with Chinese, South Korean, and local defense companies.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan includes a provision to localize 50 percent of defense spending by the start of the next decade.

The state-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) announced on Sunday that it planned to build a Saudi-made drone, al-Ekhbariya reported.

Drone and missile attacks by the Houthis have become a common occurrence in the years-long conflict in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has been regularly targeted since it intervened in its southern neighbor’s civil war in 2015, after fighting broke out the previous year.

In January, the Houthis also launched unprecedented attacks on the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the Arab Coalition fighting the militia.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince discusses Ukraine with Belarusian president

09 March ,2022

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed discussed the recent developments in Ukraine during a phone call with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, state news agency (WAM) reported on Wednesday.

Sheikh Mohammed and Lukashenko discussed the Ukraine conflict, its humanitarian repercussions and effects on international security and peace.

According to the report, Sheikh Mohammed voiced the importance of intensifying international efforts to ease the humanitarian situation resulting from the crisis, to facilitate the delivery of aid and preserve the life of civilians.

He reaffirmed his support for peaceful and diplomatic efforts to resolve conflicts and disputes among countries, noting that dialogue must prevail to reach a consensus that guarantees everyone’s interests and serves regional peace and stability.

WAM also reported that Sheikh Mohammed discussed strategic relations between the UAE and Germany during a phone call with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Source: Al Arabiya

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UN dispatches 43 truckloads of humanitarian aid to Idlib, Syria

Ecevit Cemiloğlu  


The UN on Wednesday sent a total of 43 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid to the northwestern Idlib city of war-weary Syria.

The trucks crossed into the region via the Cilvegozu Border Gate of Turkiye’s southern Hatay province.

The humanitarian aid materials will be distributed among needy Syrians in central Idlib and rural areas.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Coalition: Saudi defences destroy Houthi drone targeting Jazan

March 09, 2022

RIYADH: Saudi air defenses destroyed a Houthi drone targeting Jazan, the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy said on Wednesday.

Shrapnel from the drone, launched from Yemen’s Hodeidah province, scattered over civilian objects but did not cause damage, the coalition said.

Source: Arab News

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Lebanon central bank denies halting operations on exchange platform

09 March ,2022

Lebanon’s central bank on Wednesday denied its official foreign exchange platform had halted operations, after the value of the country’s pound sank on the parallel market.

The bank said it was continuing to supply dollars without a ceiling at the official rate announced on the platform. It has intervened to keep the pound broadly stable near that rate since mid-January.

The currency was changing hands at 22,000/22,500 to the dollar on the parallel market, a market participant said, compared to the 20,200 declared by the central bank’s Sayrafa platform on Tuesday. It earlier went as low at 23,000.

Lebanon’s currency has lost more than 90 percent of its value since Lebanon descended into a financial crisis in 2019. It had fallen as low as 34,000 before the central bank intervention began.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Arab League summit to hold first annual summit for three years in Algeria

09 March ,2022

The Arab League will hold its first annual summit for three years in November in Algeria, the bloc said on Wednesday, after the pandemic forced the meetings’ suspension.

The two-day summit is usually held in March and was originally slated for later this month, but will now be held in Algiers starting on November 1, the organization’s chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said.

The last summit was held in Tunis in March 2019.

A meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo on Wednesday discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, citing “the need to reach a diplomatic solution” in a final statement.

But Aboul Gheit warned that the war “must not let us forget the Arab crises that are not over.”

Conflict and crises persist in several Arab countries.

Yemen has been mired in war since 2014. The UN has estimated the conflict killed 377,000 people by the end of 2021, both directly and indirectly through hunger and disease, while millions have been displaced.

Sudan is reeling after a military coup in October that derailed a fragile transition to civilian rule, following the 2019 toppling of longtime strongman Omar al-Bashir.

Libya now finds itself with two rival prime ministers vying for power, in a standoff that threatens a return to violence after a year and a half of relative stability.

Arab countries are also divided over the issue of a return of Syria to the Arab League, following its suspension in 2011 after the brutal repression of peaceful protests spiraled into a complex civil war.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi Arabia e-visa app for Hajj, Umrah pilgrims now available in Tunisia

10 March ,2022

The Saudi Visa bio smartphone application, an electronic visa processing app for pilgrims planning to perform Hajj and Umrah in the Kingdom to self-register their biometric data, has been launched in Tunisia, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday.

Upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia, the pilgrims will only have to match their data at passport control without the need to register their biometric data again, enabling a swift entry procedure.

The Kingdom is the first country to use an application for the self-registration of biometric data for visa application via a smartphone.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministries of Interior, Hajj and Umrah, Tourism, and Communications and Information Technology as well as Presidency of State Security, National Cybersecurity Authority, Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), Digital Government Authority and several Hajj and Umrah offices were involved in the launch.

Source: Al Arabiya

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7 million people in northern Ethiopia need urgent help: UN

Faruk Zorlu  


The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday that 7 million people in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region need urgent help.

"For more than a year, a de facto blockade has deprived 7 million people in Tigray of urgently needed health care, and access to food. People are dying," WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said on Twitter.

Calling on Ethiopia and Eritrea to guarantee immediate and safe access, he said: "Life is precious - everywhere."

A report released by the World Food Programme warns that an estimated 13 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are facing severe hunger due to the driest conditions recorded since 1981.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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