New Age Islam
Thu Aug 13 2020, 06:57 AM

Islamic World News ( 20 Feb 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Bangladeshi Hindu Priest Killed By Suspected Islamist Militants: Police

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Residents look for survivors at a site hit by what activists said were three consecutive air strikes carried out by the Russian air force in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province on Jan. 12. (Photo: Reuters)

 

Australia Issues Security Alert for Malaysia Capital Kuala Lumpur

Syrian Opposition Agrees To Temporary Truce If Russia Stops Air Strikes

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South Asia

Bangladeshi Hindu Priest Killed By Suspected Islamist Militants: Police

Foreign Insurgents among 16 Killed In Afghan Army Operations

Two Taliban Killed By Own Bomb in Paktika

Haqqani network trucks packed with 12,500 kgs of explosives seized in Paktika

Afghan photo journalist dies with family members in Turkish coast

NPC approves 25 contracts worth of AFG636 million

US drone crashes in southern Afghanistan

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Southeast Asia

Australia Issues Security Alert for Malaysia Capital Kuala Lumpur

Indonesian Police Free Dozens of Suspected Militants

Malaysia’s feckless foreign worker policy

Malaysia SMEs urges to consider halal food manufacturing potential in India

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Arab World

Syrian Opposition Agrees To Temporary Truce If Russia Stops Air Strikes

Double Car Bombs Kill 46, Wounds over 100 in Syria’s Homs

35 Militants Killed In Syrian Air Raids in Hama

Kurdish Fighters Capture ISIL Emir East of Syria

Militants Withdraw From More Territories in Syria's Aleppo

Hundreds of ISIL Militants Trapped in Syrian Army's Circle of Forces in Aleppo

Syrian Army Inflicts More Defeats on Militants in Aleppo

Terrorists Admit Casualties in Clashes in Southern Syria

Syria: SDF Fighters Push ISIL Back From More Positions in Hasaka

General Staff Confirms Full Control of Syrian Army over Aleppo Power Plant

Army Wins Back More Strategic Villages in Aleppo Province

Militants' Positions across Eastern Ghouta Razed by Syrian Jets, Ground Forces

Syrian Army Crushes Militants in Key Village in Deir Ezzur

Syria: Gov't Forces Score More Victories against Militants in Lattakia

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Europe

Strain in Turkish-Russian Ties Affects Interests of Ethnic Turks in Bulgaria

UNSC rejects Russian plea to halt Turkey’s actions in Syria

UK deal done, Merkel resets sights on EU migrant plan with Turkey

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North America

US Pulls out B-1 Bombers from ISIS Fight

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Mideast

Turkish Germans Discriminated Against In Housing, Education and Employment

Opposition Leader Warns Turkey In Process Of ‘Pakistanization’

Turkey calls for unconditional US support against YPG

Turkey’s involvement in Syria might destabilize Turkey

Four Syrians arrested for killing Turkish soldier on border

Experts: blurred lines of free speech in Turkey

Iran seeks $45bn in foreign investment

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Pakistan

Lal Masjid Case: Non-Bailable Arrest Warrants for Musharraf Issued Again

Pakistan Property Market Basks In Dubai Slowdown

MQM holds protest outside UN building

NAB can’t be diluted: Musharraf

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India

Ahead of talks, fresh bout of Indo-Pak hostility as Pakistan high commissioner calls off Chennai visit

Lucknow administration cancels Pakistan singer Atif Aslam’s concert

Joblessness highest among Christians, Muslims next in India

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Africa

African leaders push for investments at Egypt summit

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau

URL:  http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/bangladeshi-hindu-priest-killed-by-suspected-islamist-militants--police/d/106418

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Bangladeshi Hindu priest killed by suspected Islamist militants: police

Feb 21, 2016

DHAKA: Suspected Islamist militants stabbed and killed a Hindu priest at a temple in Bangladesh on Sunday, and shot and injured a devotee who went to his aid, police said.

Bangladesh has suffered a wave of militant violence in recent months, including a series of bomb attacks on mosques and Hindu temples.

Some of the attacks have been claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group, which has also said it is behind the killings of a Japanese citizen, an Italian aid worker and a policeman.

In Sunday's attack, five or six motorcycle-borne attackers cut the throat of the priest, Jogeshwar Roy, 55, as he was organising prayers at the Deviganj temple near Panchagar, 494 km north of the capital, Dhaka, police said.

"We suspect that they might be members of the banned Islamist militant group Jamaatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB)," police official Humayun Kabir told Reuters.

JMB could not be reached for comment. No group has so far claimed responsibility.

The motive for the killing was probably to create an unstable situation in the country and ultimately establish a caliphate, Kabir, the deputy director general of police in the area, added.

One devotee who tried to stop the priest's attackers was shot in the leg before the group fled, he said. Police have not yet made any arrests.

The government denies that IS has a presence in the country of 160 million people. Police have blamed earlier attacks on home-grown militants.

dawn.com/news/1240961/bangladeshi-hindu-priest-killed-by-suspected-islamist-militants-police

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Syrian opposition agrees to temporary truce if Russia stops air strikes

February 20, 2016

Syria's opposition has agreed to a two- to three-week truce on condition that Russia stops its air strikes, sieges are ended and access for aid allowed across the country, a source close to peace talks said on Saturday.

Russian air strikes began last September and turned the tide in Syria's five-year civil war in Bashar al-Assad's favour, to the frustration of the United States and its allies who have supported rebels trying to topple the president.

Several attempts to agree a truce have failed in recent months.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/world_syrian-opposition-agrees-to-temporary-truce-if-russia-stops-air-strikes_412858.html

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Australia issues security alert for Malaysia capital Kuala Lumpur

February 21, 2016

The Australian government warned on Sunday that terrorists may be planning attacks in and around the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia has been on high alert since a bomb and gun attack in Indonesia's capital in January, which was claimed by the Islamic State militant group. Malaysia had also arrested a suspected militant who confessed to be planning an attack in the country.

"Terrorists may be planning attacks in and around Kuala Lumpur. Attacks could be indiscriminate and may target Western interests or locations frequented by Westerners," read a travel advisory post on the Australian government website.

Full report at: smh.com.au/world/australia-issues-security-alert-for-malaysia-capital-kuala-lumpur-20160221-gmzs7x.html#ixzz40nztqDaC

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South Asia

Bangladeshi Hindu priest killed by suspected Islamist militants: police

Feb 21, 2016

DHAKA: Suspected Islamist militants stabbed and killed a Hindu priest at a temple in Bangladesh on Sunday, and shot and injured a devotee who went to his aid, police said.

Bangladesh has suffered a wave of militant violence in recent months, including a series of bomb attacks on mosques and Hindu temples.

Some of the attacks have been claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group, which has also said it is behind the killings of a Japanese citizen, an Italian aid worker and a policeman.

In Sunday's attack, five or six motorcycle-borne attackers cut the throat of the priest, Jogeshwar Roy, 55, as he was organising prayers at the Deviganj temple near Panchagar, 494 km north of the capital, Dhaka, police said.

"We suspect that they might be members of the banned Islamist militant group Jamaatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB)," police official Humayun Kabir told Reuters.

JMB could not be reached for comment. No group has so far claimed responsibility.

The motive for the killing was probably to create an unstable situation in the country and ultimately establish a caliphate, Kabir, the deputy director general of police in the area, added.

One devotee who tried to stop the priest's attackers was shot in the leg before the group fled, he said. Police have not yet made any arrests.

The government denies that IS has a presence in the country of 160 million people. Police have blamed earlier attacks on home-grown militants.

dawn.com/news/1240961/bangladeshi-hindu-priest-killed-by-suspected-islamist-militants-police

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Foreign insurgents among 16 killed in Afghan army operations

By Khaama Press - Sun Feb 21 2016

At least sixteen insurgents including foreign nationals fighting with the anti-government armed militants were killed in separate military operations led by the Afghan army in the past 24 hours.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the operations were conducted in Jawzjan, Baghlan and northern Kunduz provinces of the country.

A statement by MoD said a foreign insurgent was killed along with 7 others during an operation in Qosh Tapa district of Jawzjan and two other foreigners were wounded.

At least seven others were killed in a separate operation in Dand-e-Ghori and Dand-e-Shahabuddin district of northern Baghlan province and three others were wounded, MoD said.

MoD also added that one insurgent was killed and two others were wounded in a separate clash in Dasht-e-Archi district of northern Kunduz province.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the report so far.

The Afghan national security forces have stepped up counter-insurgency operations across the country as the Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant during the recent months.

khaama.com/foreign-insurgents-among-16-killed-in-afghan-army-operations-0130

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Two Taliban killed by own bomb in Paktika

Feb 21 2016

By Khaama Press - Sun Feb 21 2016, 12:03 pm

Two Taliban militants have been killed in a bomb blast in the provincial capital of Paktika province.

Spokesperson for the provincial governor said the incident took place in Sali area late on Saturday.

Nabiullah Peerkhil said the militants were busy planting a landmine on on the road that exploded killing both of them killed on the spot.

Taliban have not yet commented on the report.

Paktika which shares along border with Pakistan is a restive province of Afghanistan where terrorist groups including the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, Daesh, Haqqani network and others operate.

Haqqani network which is held responsible for a number of deadly attacks in this province had most recently sent two trucks loaded with 12,500 kilograms of explosives there but the National Directorate of Security (NDS) seized.

Haqqani network has safe heavens across the border from where it plans and executes attacks in Paktika province or elsewhere in the country.

khaama.com/two-taliban-killed-by-own-bomb-in-paktika-4592

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Haqqani network trucks packed with 12,500 kgs of explosives seized in Paktika

By Ghanizada - Sun Feb 21 2016

The Afghan intelligence operatives thwarted a deadly attack plot by the Haqqani terrorist network in eastern Paktika province of Afghanistan by seizing two trucks loaded with 12,500 kgs of explosives.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said the explosives were loaded on two trucks and were confiscated by the intelligence operatives before they manage to use them in an attack.

Full report at: khaama.com/haqqani-network-trucks-packed-with-12500-kgs-of-explosives-seized-in-paktika-0128

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Afghan photo journalist die with family members in Turkish coast

By Khaama Press - Sun Feb 21 2016

An Afghan photo journalist has drowned off Turkish coast along with his family members as they tried to reach Europe, putting the number of journalists to 9 died since the start of the year.

An organization supporting open media in Afghanistan, NAI, reported that the photo journalist, Feroz Muzafari’s boat capsized as he was on his way to Europe.

Calling the death of Muzafari a major loss to media in Afghanistan, NAI, said the family members of Muzafari also drowned off the Turkish coast and their dead bodies were recently taken back to Kabul where they laid to rest.

Full report at: khaama.com/afghan-photo-journalist-die-with-family-members-in-turkish-coast-0133

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NPC approves 25 contracts worth of AFG636 million

By Zabihullah Moosakhail - Sun Feb 21 2016

The National Procurement Commission (NPC) on Saturday approved 25 contracts worth of 636 million Afghanis.

NPC meeting chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani reviewed 36 contracts of 11 ministries and government entities but the remaining were either rejected or recommended for technical rectification.

The commission saved AFG290 million in 21 contracts on maintenance of facilities of the Army Corps.

Full report at: khaama.com/npc-saves-afg290-million-in-21-contracts-4584

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US drone crashes in southern Afghanistan

Feb 21, 2016

KABUL: An unmanned American aircraft crashed at an airfield in southern Afghanistan less than three months after an identical drone went down in November, a United States (US) Air Force spokesman said on Sunday.

After ending its combat mission in 2014, the US military still uses air strikes by drones and other aircraft in Afghanistan to target suspected members of Al Qaeda and the militant Islamic State (IS) group and back up Afghan forces battling a Taliban insurgency.

There were no injuries or civilian damage in the crash of the state-of-the-art $14-million MQ-9 Reaper late on Saturday night, Captain Bryan Bouchard of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing said in a statement.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1240966/us-drone-crashes-in-southern-afghanistan

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Southeast Asia

Australia issues security alert for Malaysia capital Kuala Lumpur

February 21, 2016

The Australian government warned on Sunday that terrorists may be planning attacks in and around the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia has been on high alert since a bomb and gun attack in Indonesia's capital in January, which was claimed by the Islamic State militant group. Malaysia had also arrested a suspected militant who confessed to be planning an attack in the country.

"Terrorists may be planning attacks in and around Kuala Lumpur. Attacks could be indiscriminate and may target Western interests or locations frequented by Westerners," read a travel advisory post on the Australian government website.

Full report at: smh.com.au/world/australia-issues-security-alert-for-malaysia-capital-kuala-lumpur-20160221-gmzs7x.html#ixzz40nztqDaC

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Indonesian police free dozens of suspected militants

February 21, 2016

Indonesian police released Sunday dozens of men caught engaged in ‘military-style’ training in the mountains of Java island due to lack of evidence.

The chief of the criminal section of Temanggung regency police confirmed to Anadolu Agency that the more than 35 men apprehended Saturday on suspicions of being militants had been set free after questioning.

"Yes, they have been released. But we still seize their goods as evidence," said Suharto, who like many Indonesians uses one name.

During the raid, anti-terror police squad personnel had confiscated some air rifles, bayonets, a bag containing of a book and the flag with the symbol of the religious organization in which they are members.

Full report at: turkishweekly.net/2016/02/21/news/indonesian-police-free-dozens-of-suspected-militants/

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Malaysia’s feckless foreign worker policy

21 February 2016

Foreign workers at a wholesale market in Kuala Lumpur. Putrajaya has come under fire over the lack of a clear long-term policy on foreign workers. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 20, 2016.Foreign workers at a wholesale market in Kuala Lumpur. Putrajaya has come under fire over the lack of a clear long-term policy on foreign workers. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 20, 2016.The recent fiasco over Putrajaya's handling of the 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers supposedly meant for Malaysia has highlighted, once again, the haphazardness in which foreign labour policies are made and questions about their effectiveness.

Union and trade groups have said the debacle represented, yet again, the lack of a clear and consistent long-term policy on foreign workers by Putrajaya.

This is despite the Najib administration’s repeated pledge that it wants to cure Malaysian companies of its addiction to cheap foreign labour.

That different ministers said different things on different days about the plan fuelled suspicions of "state capture" – that private interests close to Putrajaya were influencing policy in order to make billions in the lucrative manpower supply industry.

Conflicting statements

Full report at: themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/malaysias-feckless-foreign-worker-policy

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Malaysia SMEs urges to consider halal food manufacturing potential in India

Bernama | Published on February 21, 2016

NEW DELHI: Malaysian companies, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in looking at potential investments in India, have been urged to consider non-traditional sectors, including halal food manufacturing.

The co-chairman of the ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC) Datuk Ramesh Kodammal said with nearly 18 percent of India's 1.27 billion population being Muslims, it could be the next growth area for Malaysian SMEs.

He said AIBC and its counterpart in India are prepared to assist Malaysian manufacturers in getting local business partners after the success achieved in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

"Our SMEs are doing well in these countries and they can extend their experience to doing business here, with the open door policy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government," Ramesh added.

Full report at: english.astroawani.com/business-news/malaysia-smes-urges-consider-halal-food-manufacturing-potential-india-95427

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Arab World

Syrian opposition agrees to temporary truce if Russia stops air strikes

February 20, 2016

Syria's opposition has agreed to a two- to three-week truce on condition that Russia stops its air strikes, sieges are ended and access for aid allowed across the country, a source close to peace talks said on Saturday.

Russian air strikes began last September and turned the tide in Syria's five-year civil war in Bashar al-Assad's favour, to the frustration of the United States and its allies who have supported rebels trying to topple the president.

Several attempts to agree a truce have failed in recent months.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/world_syrian-opposition-agrees-to-temporary-truce-if-russia-stops-air-strikes_412858.html

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Double car bombs kill 46, wounds over 100 in Syria’s Homs

By Khaama Press - Sun Feb 21 2016

At least 46 people have been killed and over 100 others wounded in two car bombs in Syrian city of Homs.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) which monitors the conflict through a network of contacts on the ground said most of those killed appeared to be civilians, adding that the death toll could rise as a number of those wounded are critical.

Pro-Damascus channel al-Ikhbariya showed footage of damaged shop fronts, debris littering the streets, wounded people and charred or burning cars in the city center’s Zahra district.

No group has immediately claimed for today’s attack but the district has been heavy hit by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the past.

The attacks include double explosions which left 32 people killed and more than 90 others wounded in December last year.

khaama.com/double-car-bombs-kill-46-wounds-over-100-in-syrias-homs-4594

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35 Militants Killed in Syrian Air Raids in Hama

February 21, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian fighter jets, in a fresh round of combat sorties, targeted concentration centers of Jeish al-Fatah terrorist group in the Northern part of Hama province, killing 35 militants and wounding many more.

Positions of Jeish al-Fatah near al-Lataminah came under the massive strikes of the Syrian army's aircraft, which ended in the killing of 35 terrorists.

Meantime, the Syrian fighter jets bombed gathering centers of al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham near the town of Kafr Zita and inflicted major losses on the terrorists.

On Saturday, several militants of Ahrar al-Sham, including one of their notorious commanders, were killed in clashes with the Syrian Army and the popular forces in the Southern part of Hama.

Suleiman Adel Shannat, one of the senior military officials in Ahrar Central Command, was killed in the heavy attacks of the Syrian arm and the National Defense Forces in Hirbnafsah.

The attacks also inflicted major damage on the terrorist group's military equipment.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941202000671

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Kurdish Fighters Capture ISIL Emir East of Syria

February 21, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stormed the ISIL positions in Hasaka province, killed or wounded several terrorists and captured one of the militants' senior commanders.

Abu Khatab al-Khazakhi was captured in the SDF's offensive in Kharaz in the Southern side of the newly-liberated town of al-Shadadi.

On Saturday, the town of al-Shadadi in Hasaka province was seized back by the Kurdish forces after they took full control of a large number of villages there.

The Kurdish forces are now in full control of al-Shadadi, informed Kurdish sources said.

On Friday, the Kurdish forces laid siege to al-Shadadi town.

"The Kurdish fighters captured ten villages, including Zahra Olia, Zahra Sofla and Um Hojra villages just three kilometers from al-Shadadi towns," the sources said.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941202000425

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Militants Withdraw From More Territories in Syria's Aleppo

February 21, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian government forces continued to push the ISIL militants back from more lands in the Eastern part of Aleppo province and won back three more villages.

The Syrian Army and the popular forces stormed the ISIL lines of defense near the villages of al-Rezvaniyeh, Reyan, al-Qaroutiyeh and Ein Sabet and forced them to retreat from the positions.

The villages are now under full control of the Syrian government forces.

The ISIL left behind scores of dead and wounded members and fled the battlefront.

In relevant developments in the Northern battlefield of the country on Saturday, the Syrian fighter jets destroyed terrorists' positions and gathering centers in the town of Anadan in the Northern Aleppo province.

The Syrian warplanes also hit and annihilated the terrorists' centers near the city of al-Bab, and the towns of Qabasin, Beza'a and Sousian.

Qabasin witnessed the heavy attacks of the Syrian army and the National Defense Forces on ISIL gatherings, which also left several terrorists dead or wounded and destroyed their military vehicles.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941202000489

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Hundreds of ISIL Militants Trapped in Syrian Army's Circle of Forces in Aleppo

February 21, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army advanced in the Eastern part of Aleppo province and encircled over 800 ISIL terrorists, leaving them with no way out, an acute shortage of ammunition and food supply, military sources said Sunday.

"The Syrian Armed Forces, in very successful operations, imposed full control over Um Tureikiyeh in the vast plains of al-Safira, in which over 800 ISIL terrorists that were fighting the government forces at the strategic city of al-Safira and its nearby village of Tal Aran found themselves encircled for the first time in this war," the sources said.

"The 800 ISIL terrorists have no outlet to retreat and they have no available supply lines; this means, they will either surrender to the Syrian Armed Forces or fight till the death," the sources added.

Reports said on Saturday that the Syrian army alongside popular forces gained full fire control over ISIL's lines of supply in the Eastern part of Aleppo province.

Almost the entire supply lines of the ISIL terrorist group have come under the control of the Syrian government forces, and actually the militant group's members operating in the Eastern part of Aleppo have been trapped with no way to scape.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941202000362

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Syrian Army Inflicts More Defeats on Militants in Aleppo

February 21, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops and the National Defense Forces (NDF) continued to advance against the ISIL terrorists in the Eastern part of Aleppo province and won back more villages and heights in the region.

The ISIL pulled its forces back from their positions near the villages of Haweijineh and Sabihiyeh and the heights of Fa'ouri and Reiman under the heavy attacks of the Syrian government forces.

The ISIL suffered a heavy death toll and its military grid sustained major damage in the attacks.

Also on Saturday, the Syrian army and its allies gained full control over several important towns and villages as well as a silo in Eastern Aleppo.

Scores of militants were killed and injured in heavy clashes with the Syrian government forces in Eastern Aleppo.

The army units took full control of the villages of Zaalaneh and Um Tarakiya in Eastern Aleppo near the thermal power station.

Scores of militants were killed and wounded and their military grid was also destroyed in heavy clashes with the Syrian army and popular forces.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941202000298

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Terrorists Admit Casualties in Clashes in Southern Syria

February 21, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The terrorist groups operating in Syria's Southern provinces admitted on Sunday that they have lost many of their fellow militants, including a number of their senior leaders, during the Syrian army operations in recent days.

The terrorist groups acknowledged on their social media that 18 members of different groups who were fighting with them were killed in the Syrian Army attacks over the past three days in Quneitra and Daraa provinces, among them were some top military commanders.

The news on the militants' loss is circulating as the Syrian Army and its allies are making major advances against the terrorist groups in the Southern province and pushing back the militants from more regions across the bordering provinces.

In a recent development,  the Syrian Army troops and the National Defense Forces (NDF) repelled the militant groups' offensive on government forces' defense lines in Dara'a and inflicted a heavy death toll on the terrorists.

The militants, who had broken through the defense lines of government forces in  Tal Qrein near the town of al-Sanameen, failed to advance in the battlefront after the Syrian army and the NDF opened heavy fire at them.

The militants left behind tens of dead or wounded members and fled the battlefield.

In relevant developments in the Southern battlefield of the country on Thursday, the terrorist groups sustained a growing number of losses in the Syrian army's ground and air assaults across Dara'a province.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941202000500

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Syria: SDF Fighters Push ISIL Back From More Positions in Hasaka

February 21, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) engaged in tough battle with the ISIL terrorists in the Southern part of Hasaka province and took full control of more villages.

The SDF captured the villages of al-Sultanah and al-Taaher after an intense battle with ISIL in the Southern side of al-Shadadi.

In addition to capturing al-Sultanah and al-Taaher, the SDF also imposed full control over 10 farms in the al-Shadadi region, killing several ISIL members in the process.

With their recent gains in Hasaka province, the Syrian Democratic Forces are quickly approaching the Northern part of Deir Ezzur province.

The city of al-Shadadi is approximately 88 km North of Deir Ezzur city.

On Saturday, the town of al-Shadadi in Hasaka province was seized back by the Kurdish forces after they took full control of a large number of villages there.

The Kurdish forces are now in full control of al-Shadadi, informed Kurdish sources said.

On Friday, the Kurdish forces laid siege to al-Shadadi town.

"The Kurdish fighters captured ten villages, including Zahra Olia, Zahra Sofla and Um Hojra villages just three kilometers from al-Shadadi towns," the sources said.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941202000568

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General Staff Confirms Full Control of Syrian Army over Aleppo Power Plant

February 21, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Spokesman for the Syrian Army General Staff Lieutenant General Ali Mayhoub underlined the full control of his soldiers and the popular forces over the Thermal Power Plant in the Eastern part of Aleppo province.

In a statement, Mayhoub said that liberation of the Aleppo power plant came following a series of concentrated and precise operations backed up by the Syrian and Russian Air Forces and the Russian Aerospace Forces.

He further added that the pro-government forces also restored security and stability to a number of towns in the province’s Eastern part after destroying the ISIL bases and concentration centers.

Also on Saturday, the Syrian army regained control of two more strategic villages in the Eastern part of Aleppo province on Saturday.

The army units took full control of the villages of Zaalaneh and Um Tarakiya in Eastern Aleppo near the thermal power station.

Scores of militants were killed and wounded and their military grid was also destroyed in heavy clashes with the Syrian army and popular forces.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941202000242

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Army Wins Back More Strategic Villages in Aleppo Province

February 21, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army regained full control over key villages after fierce clashes with the terrorists in Aleppo province in the last 24 hours.

The popular fighters won back Zaalaneh and Um Tarakiya in the Eastern part of Aleppo province.

Scores of terrorists were killed and injured as the army was purging them from the newly captured areas in Aleppo province.

The Syrian army, popular forces and resistance forces also continued their military gains in other key provinces across Syria, inflicting heavy losses on them.

Aleppo

The Syrian fighter jets destroyed terrorists' positions and gathering centers in the town of Andan in the Northern Aleppo province on Saturday.

The Syrian warplanes also hit and annihilated the terrorists' centers in al-Bab, Qabasin, Beza'a and Sousian towns in Aleppo province.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941202000339

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Militants' Positions across Eastern Ghouta Razed by Syrian Jets, Ground Forces

February 21, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian jets and Army's ground forces attacked vehicles and positions of a Takfiri terrorist group in Eastern Ghouta, informed sources said Wednesday, adding the attacks inflicted major damage on the militants.

"The Syrian Jets tracked and targeted several Jeish al-Islam's vehicles transporting the group's members and their weapons on the roads in the towns of Bait Na'em and Owtaya, in al-Nashabiyah area and near the city of Douma, destroying all the targeted vehicles," the sources said.

The sources added that Syrian air force and the army ground forces destroyed a number of Jeish al-Islam's structures during a series of concerted offensives in Eastern Ghouta near the capital city of Damascus.

In a significant development yesterday, the Syrian fighter jets pounded the command center meeting of Jeish al-Islam terrorists in Eastern Ghouta in Damascus countryside, killing and wounding a number of notorious commanders.

The command center of Jeish al-Islam on the outskirts of Owtaya was razed down by the Syrian warplanes when a meeting of the terrorist group's commander was underway.

Early battlefield reports said several senior commanders of the militant group were killed in the airstrikes.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941202000398

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Syrian Army Crushes Militants in Key Village in Deir Ezzur

February 21, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The terrorist groups have sustained a number of losses and damage in the Syrian army's ground and air assaults across a key village in Deir Ezzur province, battlefield reports said on Sunday.

"The Syrian fighter jets carried out several airstrikes over the concentration centers of the militant groups in al-Meri'eiyeh village in Eastern Deir Ezzur," the reports said.

"Meantime, the Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces continued their push to crush the militant groups' defense lines in the area, killing several terrorists and damaging their military hardware," they further added.

During the operation, the Syrian soldiers managed to track and destroy several militant vehicles moving near their positions in the area, killing several more militants in sniper shooting.

Yesterday, the ISIL suffered heavy casualties in the Russian and Syrian warplanes' coordinated combat sorties in the Western part of Deir Ezzur province.

The Russia air forces targeted the ISIL sites near the village of al-Hassan which ended in the destruction of the militants' vehicles and several terrorists.

The Syrian fighter jets, meantime, bombed the ISIL centers near al-Hassan and al-Janiniyeh, claiming the lives of several terrorists.

The Syrian army, for its part, engaged in heavy fighting with a group of the ISIL near the village of Baqaliyah in the Western side of Deir Ezzur city, which left several terrorists dear or wounded.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941202000288

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Syria: Gov't Forces Score More Victories against Militants in Lattakia

February 21, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army and popular forces pushed the militant groups back from more territories in the Northern part of Lattakia province and took back several villages and heights near the border with Turkey.

The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) stormed the militant groups positions in the mountainous region of the coastal province of Lattakia and imposed full control over the villages of Hamrat, al-Deirouneh, Nahashba and Mahshaba, Ruweisat al-Kitf, Ruweisat Taloukshi and Ruweisat Wata al-Sindianeh and a number of strategic heights.

The militant groups left behind a number of dead and wounded members and fled the battlefields.

In relevant developments in the Northwestern battlefield of the country on Saturday, the Syrian army and popular forces continued to drive the militant groups back from more territories in Northern Lattakia province and took full control of one more key town, military sources said, adding that only a 15 sq/km region is now under terrorists' control in the entire coastal province that also borders Turkey.

The Syrian army troops and the NDF stormed the militant groups' defense lines and inflicted another defeat on them after hours of tough battle which ended in the liberation of Ein al-Qantara in the Eastern side of the newly-liberated Kinsibba.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941202000197

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Europe

Strain in Turkish-Russian ties affects interests of ethnic Turks in Bulgaria

February 20, 2016

Turkey's downing of a Russian jet at the Syrian border last November over airspace violations has not only caused troubled Turkish-Russian relations but also created problems beyond Moscow, as it affected Turkish-Bulgarian relations and the interests of the ethnic Turks of Bulgaria.

Early February this year, the pro-government Turkish press reported a story claiming that the Turkish government banned ethnic Turkish Bulgarian politician Osman Doğan from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (HÖH) party from entering into Turkey due to his close ties with Moscow. Doğan is the honorary chairman of the party and as well as him Bulgarian media mogul Delyan Peevski, also a deputy at HÖH, has also been banned from entering Turkey. Later the Bulgarian press also published stories but stating that there is no official confirmation of such a ban from the Turkish government.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_strain-in-turkish-russian-ties-affects-interests-of-ethnic-turks-in-bulgaria_412793.html

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UNSC rejects Russian plea to halt Turkey’s actions in Syria

February 21st, 2016

MOSCOW: Western powers on Friday turned down a Russian draft resolution calling for an immediate end to cross-border shellings and plans — supported by Turkey — for foreign ground intervention in Syria.

Russia expressed regret that the United Nations Security Council rejected its bid to halt Turkey’s military actions against Syria and vowed to continue supporting government forces against “terrorists”.

“We can only express regret that this draft resolution was rejected”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1240837/unsc-rejects-russian-plea-to-halt-turkeys-actions-in-syria

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UK deal done, Merkel resets sights on EU migrant plan with Turkey

February 20, 2016

With a deal secured to help keep Britain in the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel swiftly refocused her sights on pressing ahead with a joint EU solution to the bloc's refugee crisis in tandem with Turkey.

Along with the deal for Britain, tackling Europe's migrant crisis in collaboration with Turkey was a top priority for Merkel at a two-day EU summit in Brussels that ended late on Friday.

Germany took in over one million migrants last year, many of them fleeing war in Syria and Iraq, and has led efforts to offer money and promises to revive Turkey's long-stalled EU accession talks to get Ankara to prevent more people from embarking from its shores for Europe.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_uk-deal-done-merkel-resets-sights-on-eu-migrant-plan-with-turkey_412850.html

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North America

US pulls out B-1 bombers from ISIS fight

PTI | Feb 21, 2016

WASHINGTON: The US has decided to pull out B-1 bombers, one of the most dependable American weapons, from the battle against ISIS in Syria and Iraq for upgrades.

Commander of US Air Forces Central Command Lt Gen Charles Brown Jr said the fleet of B-1 Lancer bombers had been sent back to the United States from their deployment in the Mideast.

The four-engine bombers are due for upgrades to their cockpits, a process that will keep the jets stateside for an undetermined amount of time, Brown told reporters at the Pentagon via a video link from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-pulls-out-B-1-bombers-from-ISIS-fight/articleshow/51077830.cms

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Mideast

Turkish Germans discriminated against in housing, education and employment

February 20, 2016

The Minority Rights Group International (MRG) still reports “discrimination in employment and housing” in both Germany and Austria, and criticizes the under-representation of Turks and Kurds in institutions of higher learning as well as racially motivated violence towards them.

In the early 1960s Central Europe enjoyed a period of economic growth that had never been seen before. In order to further propel this development, nations such as Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria and Switzerland were in dire need of labor power, so the governments chose to import guest-workers or “Gastarbeiter,” as they were called in German, from elsewhere. At first, most of the hired foreigners were from Italy, Spain and Greece until in 1961 and 1964, respectively, Germany and Austria signed bilateral agreements with Turkey to recruit men and women to help in establishing striving new economies and rebuilding what was destroyed in World War II.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_turkish-germans-discriminated-against-in-housing-education-and-employment_412750.html

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Opposition leader warns Turkey in process of ‘Pakistanization’

February 20, 2016

The leader of Turkey's main opposition party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, slammed the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) leaders for “turning Turkey into a bloodbath” and said they should be tried for “aiding and abetting terrorist organizations.”

In a speech to members of the CHP İstanbul branch, Kılıçdaroğlu said neighboring Syria has become a new Afghanistan, an operational center for all jihadist groups. “They went there under the protection offered by the government. Turkey has become embroiled in a process of Pakistanization,” he said.

The CHP leader noted 234 people were killed in six bombings across Turkey over the past six months. “No country that is not in a war has been through such a deep trauma. How can it be that 234 people have been killed over the past six months but no is held accountable politically?” he said.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/national_opposition-leader-warns-turkey-in-process-of-pakistanization_412857.html

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Turkey calls for unconditional US support against YPG

February 21, 2016

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Saturday called on the United States to give unconditional support in the fight against Syrian Kurdish militants, illustrating growing tension between Ankara and Washington over policy in northern Syria.

Davutoğlu also said Turkey would tighten security across the country, especially the capital, after a car laden with explosives was detonated near military buses in Ankara on Wednesday, killing 28 people.

Turkey says the Syrian Kurdish YPG, which the United States is backing in the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, was involved in the bombing, working with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Full report at: todayszaman.com/diplomacy_turkey-calls-for-unconditional-us-support-against-ypg_412862.html

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Turkey’s involvement in Syria might destabilize Turkey

February 20, 2016

Turkey's conflict with Kurds inside the country already has the potential to destabilize Turkey and its involvement in Syria by shelling Kurdish positions there might further destabilize it, says judge Essa Moosa, who heads an international delegation formed to contribute to a peaceful solution to the conflict with Kurds.

“This is the biggest danger. There is already the possibility of destabilization in Turkey because of the conflict with Kurds inside [the country],” he said in regards to the Turkish government's recent act of shelling the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) positions near the town of Azaz in northern Syria.

Turkey has repeatedly warned PYD forces in recent months not to cross west of the Euphrates River. On Feb. 13, Turkey demanded that the People's Protection Units (YPG) -- the PYD's military wing -- withdraw from areas it had captured in the northern Aleppo region from insurgents in Syria, including the Menagh Air Base, which has been targeted by the Turkish military.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/interviews_moosa-turkeys-involvement-in-syria-might-destabilize-turkey_412717.html

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Four Syrians arrested for killing Turkish soldier on border

February 20, 2016

Four Syrians have been arrested in connection with the killing of a Turkish soldier on the Turkish-Syrian border earlier this month, officials said.

In a statement released on Friday, the Hatay Governor's Office said the suspects, identified as A.N.Ş., E.N.Ş., E.A.F. and M.C.S., were sent to prison after a court in the province ruled for their arrest on the charge of willful murder, punishable by life imprisonment.

Soldier Mehmet Uygun, serving at a border post in Hatay, was killed on Feb. 14 by attackers whom authorities said were people smugglers. Several social media accounts, however, alleged that the soldier was beheaded by extremist fighters after his name and picture were circulated online by users who claimed the soldier was mistreating Syrians.

The Governor's Office said Uygun was killed during an intervention to stop people trying to illegally cross the Turkish-Syrian border in Güveççi village in Hatay's Yayladağı district.

todayszaman.com/national_four-syrians-arrested-for-killing-turkish-soldier-on-border_412855.html

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Experts: blurred lines of free speech in Turkey

February 20, 2016

If speech is hateful or hate-inciting, does it deserve to be silenced? According to British human rights organization Article 19 representative Katie Morris, unless one is inciting genocide, then a person is protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to exercise the right to freedom of expression. Expression that is offensive or even shocking is protected under international law, according to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The line between what is freedom of speech and hate speech was a major topic of discussion during the “Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Religion or Belief” conference that was held in Ankara this past week.

Pınar Ensari of the Hrant Dink Foundation Media Watch on Hate Speech Project explained that Turkish daily newspapers such as Milli, Yeni Akit and Yeni Şafak are exercising their right to freedom of speech by targeting minority groups that do not fit into the Sunni conservative, Turkish nationalist paradigm. Many articles in these papers, particularly columns, contain anti-Semitism or other hate-induced descriptors in their writing, do not even receive so much as criticism from state officials.

Full report at: todayszaman.com/national_experts-blurred-lines-of-free-speech-in-turkey_412788.html

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Iran seeks $45bn in foreign investment

February 21st, 2016

TEHRAN: Iran’s economy minister said his country is seeking $45 billion in foreign investment following the implementation of a landmark nuclear deal with world powers last month.

Ali Tayebnia told reporters Saturday that Iran expects $15bn in direct foreign investment alone in the next Iranian calendar year, which begins March 20.

The historic agreement brought about the lifting of international sanctions last month after the UN certified that Iran has met all its commitments to curb its nuclear activities under last summer’s accord.

Iran expects an economic breakthrough after the lifting of sanctions, which has allowed it to access overseas assets and sell crude oil more freely.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1240817/iran-seeks-45bn-in-foreign-investment

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Pakistan

Lal Masjid case: Non-bailable arrest warrants for Musharraf issued again

February 21st, 2016

ISLAMABAD: An additional district and sessions judge on Saturday issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf for his ‘deliberate’ absence from the proceedings of the murder case of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi.

The judge, Pervaizul Qadir Memon, observed that the conduct of the accused (Musharraf) shows “he is bent upon not to appear before the trial court deliberately and intentionally to face the trial in person and is seeking justice while in his drawing room.”

In September 2013, the Aabpara police registered an FIR against Gen Musharraf on the direction of the Islamabad High Court (IHC). Haroon Rashid, the son of Abdul Rashid Ghazi, had filed a petition with the IHC seeking legal action against the former military ruler for launching a military operation on Lal Masjid. His father Rashid Ghazi and grandmother Sahib Khatoon were killed in the operation.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1240894/lal-masjid-case-non-bailable-arrest-warrants-for-musharraf-issued-again

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Pakistan property market basks in Dubai slowdown

February 21st, 2016

KARACHI: A flow of money from a slowing Dubai property market to Pakistan has pushed up prices, as much as double in some areas.

Property dealers and de­­ve­­lopers said higher demand, especially in Karachi and Islamabad, was driving prices higher on a daily basis.

In contrast, investors said Dubai market had lost attraction, falling by 15 to 20 per cent in recent months.

According to Dubai Ann­ual Market Update Report issued in mid-December, ave­rage residential property rates have fallen 16pc and 14pc year-on-year for apartments and villas, respectively, while overall unit transactions declined by 33pc.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1240831/pakistan-property-market-basks-in-dubai-slowdown

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MQM holds protest outside UN building

February 21st, 2016

NEW YORK: Scores of MQM supporters demonstrated in front of the UN building on Friday afternoon to protest a ban on party leader Altaf Hussain’s speeches and images in the Pakistani media.

During the demonstration, organised by the New York chapter of the party, some activists also staged a symbolic hunger strike in bitter cold weather and biting winds.

“We want to hear Altaf Hussain” and “Freedom of speech is our fundamental human right” were among some of the banners carried by the protesters. They also chanted slogans of “We will wrest freedom” and “Stop killing Muhajirs”.

dawn.com/news/1240922/mqm-holds-protest-outside-un-building

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NAB can’t be diluted: Musharraf

February 21st, 2016

KARACHI: Former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf has said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cannot be diluted.

“Institutions take time to mature and creation of a new institution in its (....NAB’s) place is not a way to solve continuing problems. However, changes can be made in the way it functions,” the former president said during the inauguration ceremony of a civil society forum, Pakistan First Initiative (PFI) here on Saturday.

Appointed ‘democratically’ as the patron of the initiative, he spoke about the growing vacuum for a platform to discuss and debate “burning national issues.”

Held at a hotel in Karachi, the ceremony was attended by former economists, diplomats and ambassadors who are also part of the PFI council and were representing the Council of Professionals (COP) which Musharraf was addressing.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1240923/nab-cant-be-diluted-musharraf

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India

Ahead of talks, fresh bout of Indo-Pak hostility as Pakistan high commissioner calls off Chennai visit

Sachin Parashar | TNN | Feb 20, 2016

NEW DELHI: The hostility between India and Pakistan is threatening to spill over despite the 2 sides insisting that there is no breakdown in communication in the absence of any formal dialogue.

Official sources told TOI on Saturday that Pakistan had forced India's FICCI to call off an exhibition it planned to organize in Lahore. This was even as Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit called off a 3-day visit to Chennai where he was scheduled to meet CM J Jayalalitha because, according to Pakistan sources, India delayed approval for the visit.

Basit had also called off a visit to an institute in Greater Noida this week after a similar delay in approval from the Indian government. Describing India's conduct as unfortunate, Pakistan has alleged that it was MEA which called the institute in NCR to roll back its invite to Basit.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ahead-of-talks-fresh-bout-of-Indo-Pak-hostility-as-Pakistan-high-commissioner-calls-off-Chennai-visit/articleshow/51071730.cms

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Lucknow administration cancels Pakistan singer Atif Aslam’s concert

Arunav Sinha | TNN | Feb 20, 2016

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow district administration has rejected a request letter seeking permission for organizing a programme, which would feature Pakistani singer Atif Aslam on the grounds of security. The programme was to be held at Aashiyana's Smriti Upvan on Sunday.

Additional district magistrate (east) Nidhi Srivastava said that as per the police report submitted to the district administration, a programme on de-addiction is currently underway at the same venue. "More than 30,000 persons would be attending the de-addiction programme," the police report said, and added that hence, from the view of law and order, permission for another programme at the same venue cannot be granted.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/Lucknow-administration-cancels-Pakistan-singer-Atif-Aslams-concert/articleshow/51072369.cms

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Joblessness highest among Christians, Muslims next in India

TNN | Feb 21, 2016

NEW DELHI: Joblessness is highest among Christians in comparison with other religious groups, reveals a government survey.

The unemployment rate in the community stood at 4.5% in villages and 5.9% in cities and towns in 2011-12. Muslims come next with an unemployment rate of 3.9% in rural and 2.6% in urban areas.

Joblessness increased in villages across all religious communities, with the unemployment rate increasing from 1.6% in 2004-05 to 1.7% in 2011-12, according to the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO).

Many view the high unemployment rate among Christians as also a reflection of the higher education levels of community members who are in job market. Christians have the highest percentage of graduates.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Joblessness-highest-among-Christians-Muslims-next/articleshow/51073988.cms

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Africa

African leaders push for investments at Egypt summit

February 21st, 2016

SHARM SHEIKH: African leaders and bankers vowed at an economic summit in Egypt on Saturday to push for trade and investments on the continent despite growing security concerns in the region.

More than 1,200 delegates including some heads of state plan to sign business agreements during the next two days at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, aimed at attracting private sector investment.

Organisers hope the “Africa 2016” conference can build on a 26-nation free trade pact signed last year to create a common market on half of the continent.

Analysts say that despite its economic growth rate of more than four per cent, Africa still accounts for about only two percent of global trade.

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1240843/african-leaders-push-for-investments-at-egypt-summit

 

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