New Age Islam
Thu Aug 13 2020, 07:31 AM

Islamic World News ( 11 Nov 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

AMU prof's wife threatens suicide with kids, says victim of triple talaq













Photo: Wife of Aligarh Muslim University professor Khalid Bin Yusuf Khan has alleged that she has become a victim of instant triple talaq.

 

Mass graves holding '400 Islamic State victims' found in Iraq

Taliban and ISIS militants suffer heavy casualties in latest airstrikes

Islamic Jihad: Israel's threats against leadership 'a declaration of war'

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India

AMU prof's wife threatens suicide with kids, says victim of triple talaq

Ram temple dispute: Shia Waqf Board to approach SC before Dec. 5

Alwar: Muslim Man Transporting Cows Shot Dead Allegedly By 'GauRakshaks'

Muslim Man Converts to Hinduism for Marriage, Supreme Court Gives No Relief

Saddening that a secular Muslim is always abused by fundamentalists: Javed Akhtar

To introduce NCERT textbooks, madrasas need trained teachers, well-equipped labs, says Muslim cleric

RBI not to pursue proposal to introduce Islamic banking in India

KulbhushanJadhav's father terms Pakistan's decision 'positive'

Pakistan continuing with its antics, but Kashmir situation has improved: Rajnath Singh

Talk of independent Kashmir wrong, PoK belongs to Pakistan: Farooq Abdullah

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Arab World

Mass graves holding '400 Islamic State victims' found in Iraq

Work to restore old glory of Mecca Masjid in full swing

Iraqi Forces Impose Control over Most Important Border-Crossing with Syria

IS recaptures last Syrian urban bastion in fierce fightback

Arab Media: Lebanon to Take Saudi Detention of Hariri to UNSC

West Asia crisis intensifies, Lebanon says Saudis have 'kidnapped' PM

Islamic State members flee western Anbar bastion toward Salahuddin

Some Arab states spent $130 billion to obliterate Syria, Libya, Yemen: Algerian official

Saudi-led strikes hit Yemeni defence ministry

More Militants Endorse Peace with Damascus

Saad Hariri’s ‘resignation’ has not gone as smoothly as Saudis wanted

Saudi Arabia vs Iran: has Sunni-Shia rivalry taken a turn for the worse?

How Saudi Arabia turned on Lebanon's Hariri

Arab Media: Barzani Seeking to Mend Ties with Iran, Worrying US

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South Asia

Taliban and ISIS militants suffer heavy casualties in latest airstrikes

Afghan Air Force to receive 58 armed Black Hawk helicopters

General Dostum to return to Afghanistan soon

Karzai holds talks on Loya Jirga and elections with Russian Ambassador

Mayor of Faizabad in Badakhshan escapes suicide attack unhurt

Explosion targets Taliban leader’s vehicle in East of Afghanistan

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Mideast

Islamic Jihad: Israel's threats against leadership 'a declaration of war'

Iran's Sunni Leader Says Discrimination Is A Big 'Problem'

Iranian President: US, Israel Enraged by Foiled Regional Plots

Weeks after deadly tunnel attack, Israel and Islamic Jihad exchange threats

Iran tells France nuclear deal 'not negotiable'

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank-Egypt 9-month profits jump to 500.7mn pounds

Bahrain calls pipeline blast 'terrorism' linked to Iran

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Europe

Paris suburb tries to stop Muslim street prayers

Concerns over Islamist and far right extremism saw 400 anti-terror referrals by schools

Morons who claim Muslims don’t integrate angered by advert showing Muslims integrating

UN-OPCW report conclusions on alleged use of sarin gas by Syrian gov't baseless: Russia

Geneva hosts global Muslim World League gathering

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North America

Civilians Killed in US Air Raid on Ambulance in Eastern Syria

Bangla-Myanmar talks should lead to return of Rohingya: US

Trump allows US troops to join Afghan raids on Taliban targets

Body of US Soldier Killed in Niger Bound, Likely Executed

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Pakistan

'Foreign spy agency' planning to kill Hafiz Saeed, fears Pakistan

11 ministers agree TPP deal without US

Musharraf's 'grand alliance' falls apart on second day

Nawaz Sharif, BilquisEdhi and Sharmeen among 500 'most influential Muslims'

PPP senator warns govt against falsifying rights situation in Pakistan at UN moot

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Southeast Asia

Safe in a camp, Rohingya children face death by malnutrition

Keep your mouth shut, Malaysian deputy home minister NurJazlan tells Muslim preacher Zamihan

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Africa

Egyptian warplanes destroy 10 arms-loaded vehicles of terrorists on Libyan border: Army

Why Niger and Mali's cattle herders turned to jihad

Lead talks to mend divisions in the country, Mufti Menk tells Muslims

Algiers Grand Mosque: project to be fully delivered before end 2019

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/amu-prof-s-wife-threatens-suicide-with-kids,-says-victim-of-triple-talaq/d/113194

 

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AMU prof's wife threatens suicide with kids, says victim of triple talaq

Anuja Jaiswal | TNN | Updated: Nov 12, 2017

AGRA: Two months after the Supreme Court ruling against instant triple talaq, Yasmeen Khalid, the wife of Aligarh Muslim University professor Khalid Bin Yusuf Khan, has alleged that she has become a victim of it and threatened to commit suicide in front of the vice-chancellor's house along with her kids if "justice is not done" to her.

Yasmeen told TOI on Saturday that Khan, who is professor and chairman at the department of Sanskrit in AMU and has been with the university for 27 years, "wrongly" gave her talaq first on WhatsApp and then as a text message. She said she will have no choice but to kill herself along with her three children in front of VC Tariq Mansoor's house if she doesn't get justice by December 11.

"He (Khan) turned me out of the house and I have been running from pillar to post to get justice. But no one has helped me so far. However, with the help of police I did manage to get access to my house on Friday evening."

Khan denied the allegations. He said, "I had not only given her talaq on WhatsApp and SMS but had also verbally told her in front of two other people and adhered to the time duration as per Sharia."

Claiming to be the real victim in this case, Khan said, "To the contrary, she has been harassing me for the last two decades. She had hidden various facts from me before our marriage. I later got to know that she was not even a graduate, unlike what she had claimed. I will give her the third talaq too, on a proper date, and no one can stop me. I don't care what she does."

Yasmeen said she is not just a graduate, but has done her MA and BEd from AMU.

SSP (Aligarh) Rajesh Pandey said that police managed to get her entry into her house. He added that Yasmeen has not yet lodged a complaint against her husband and has been insisting on counselling. "In such a scenario, there isn't much the police department can do. We have called both of them here."

A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court in August this year termed the practice of triple talaq " unconstitutional" and asked Parliament to make a new law on the issue in six months. If the law doesn't come into force in six months, the SC's injunction on triple talaq would continue, the apex court held. It referred to the abolition of triple talaq in some Islamic countries and asked why "independent India can't get rid of it".

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/amu-profs-wife-threatens-suicide-with-kids-says-victim-of-triple-talaq/articleshow/61609704.cms

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Mass graves holding '400 Islamic State victims' found in Iraq

Nov 11, 2017

HAWIJA (Iraq): Mass graves containing at least 400 suspected Islamic State group victims have been found near the former jihadist bastion of Hawija in northern Iraq, the regional governor said on Saturday.

The string of grisly discoveries was made at a military base around three kilometres (two miles) from the city that the jihadists "turned into an execution ground", Kirkuk governor Rakan Said said.

"Not less than 400 people were executed," he said, adding that some were clad in the uniform of prisoners condemned to death while others wore civilian clothing.

IS was forced out of Hawija -- 240 kilometres north of Baghdad -- by Iraqi forces in October in a sweeping offensive that has seen the group lose the vast bulk of territory it seized in 2014.

As government troops have advanced across Iraq they have uncovered dozens of mass graves holding hundreds of bodies in areas that fell under the jihadists' brutal rule.

The burial pits near Hawija were discovered "thanks to witness accounts from local residents" given to the Iraqi military, General Mortada al-Luwaibi said.

Saad Abbas, a farmer from the area, told AFP that during the three years of IS control the group's fighters could be seen "driving around in cars with their prisoners".

"They would shoot them and then throw them to the ground or burn their bodies," Abbas said.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/mass-graves-holding-400-islamic-state-victims-found-in-iraq/articleshow/61610111.cms

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Taliban and ISIS militants suffer heavy casualties in latest airstrikes

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 12 2017

The Taliban and ISIS militants suffered heavy casualties in latest airstrikes conducted in various provinces of the country, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.

According to a statement by MoD, the airstrikes were carried out in the past 24 hours as part of the ongoing counter-terrorism and clearance operations.

The statement further added at least two ISIS militants were killed and their hideout was destroyed in an airstrike conducted in Achin district of Nangarhar.

At least 8 militants were killed in another airstrike conducted in Tagab district in northeasternKapisa province of Afghanistan.

According to MoD, the security forces also conducted an airstrike in Shindand district of Herat province, leaving at least 5 militants dead and 7 others wounded.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Defense says at least four militants including a local leader of the group were killed in an airstrike conducted in Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz.

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

The Afghan national defense and security forces have stepped up counter-terrorism operations to suppress the insurgency activities of the militant groups.

The US forces based in Afghanistan also conduct airstrikes on militants hideouts as the terror groups attempt to expand their insurgency.

http://www.khaama.com/taliban-and-isis-militants-suffer-heavy-casualties-in-latest-airstrikes-03828

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Islamic Jihad: Israel's threats against leadership 'a declaration of war'

Elior Levy and Yael Friedson|Published:  12.11.17

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group said Sunday that comments recently made by a senior IDF official promising to target its leadership in the event of any “revenge attacks” launched against Israel are tantamount to “a declaration of war.”

"We will not weaken the the leadership of our people and of our land. The threat by the enemy to harm the leadership is on the border of a declaration of war and we will deal with them,” the organization said in a statement.

The statement came in response to a video posted on the internet Saturday evening by Maj. Gen. Yoav (Poli) Mordechai, who said that Israel is “aware of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's plot that is being formed against Israel,” before warning that it is “playing with fire” and that any attack would be met with “force” and “determination” as the IDF targets the group’s leadership.

Speaking in Arabic, Mordechai said both Islamic Jihad and Hamas would be held responsible for any revenge attacks launched on Israel for the IDF’s recent explosion of a terror tunnel that has penetrated into its territory. During the explosion, several Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed.

Shortly after Israel blew up the tunnel, Hamas warned it constituted a “grave escalation.”

Among those killed were senior commanders of terror groups while another 11 were wounded in the explosions.

“Israel exploded a terror tunnel two weeks ago inside its territory under the sovereignty of the State of Israel,” Mordechai said.

“It is playing with fire at the expense of the residents of the Gaza Strip, at the expense of the Palestinian reconciliation agreements and the entire region.

"It should be clear: Any response by Islamic Jihad, whatever it may be, will be responded to by Israel with power and determination, not only against Islamic Jihad but also against Hamas. We advise the Islamic Jihad leadership in Damascus to be careful and get things under control,” he continued.

“Leaders of Islamic Jihad in Damascus—Ramadan ShalahZiadNakhaleh—get your hands around this quickly because you are the ones who will be held responsible.”

According to the latest Islamic Jihad statement, Mordechai’s words revealed "Israel’s real intentions." It further indicated that violent reprisals for the tunnel explosion should be expected.

“These threats show the real intentions of the Zionists. We have a right to respond to any aggression and, therefore, have a right to respond to criminal aggressions against the resistance tunnels that caused the death of 12 fighters from the military wing of Hamas and the (Islamic) Jihad,” the statement read before issuing a stern warning.

“Our message to Israel: Your hands, drenched in the blood of our children, will not stop killing until they are cut off or expelled from our land and country.

“The enemy’s terror and threats do not frighten us and will not deter our leadership from the path of Jihad—the principle of our defense and resistance.”

The “enemy forces,” it concluded, “are violating the ceasefire that was brokered by Egypt in 2014."

Earlier on Sunday, a senior Islamic Jihad official in Gaza, Khaled al-Batash, said his terror organization will have no other choice to “punish” Israel for killing its members.

“Israel has killed 12 Palestinians in Gaza and another one in the West (Bank) over the last two weeks … When they kill men of the resistance, and especially from Islamic Jihad, we have no other choice but to punish the occupier, and continue to strengthen the buildup of forces from a conflict,” al-Batash said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the possible attack in his opening Cabinet remarks Sunday, reiterating that Hamas will bear ultimate responsibility for any attack launched from the Gaza Strip.

“There are people who are still trying to play around with new attacks against Israel. Our hand will be extremely heavy against any element in any place. By element I mean factions, scouters or organizations. We see Hamas as responsible for all attacks that emanate from Gaza against us,” Netanyahu said.

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5041699,00.html

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India

AMU prof's wife threatens suicide with kids, says victim of triple talaq

Anuja Jaiswal | TNN | Updated: Nov 12, 2017

AGRA: Two months after the Supreme Court ruling against instant triple talaq, Yasmeen Khalid, the wife of Aligarh Muslim University professor Khalid Bin Yusuf Khan, has alleged that she has become a victim of it and threatened to commit suicide in front of the vice-chancellor's house along with her kids if "justice is not done" to her.

Yasmeen told TOI on Saturday that Khan, who is professor and chairman at the department of Sanskrit in AMU and has been with the university for 27 years, "wrongly" gave her talaq first on WhatsApp and then as a text message. She said she will have no choice but to kill herself along with her three children in front of VC Tariq Mansoor's house if she doesn't get justice by December 11.

"He (Khan) turned me out of the house and I have been running from pillar to post to get justice. But no one has helped me so far. However, with the help of police I did manage to get access to my house on Friday evening."

Khan denied the allegations. He said, "I had not only given her talaq on WhatsApp and SMS but had also verbally told her in front of two other people and adhered to the time duration as per Sharia."

Claiming to be the real victim in this case, Khan said, "To the contrary, she has been harassing me for the last two decades. She had hidden various facts from me before our marriage. I later got to know that she was not even a graduate, unlike what she had claimed. I will give her the third talaq too, on a proper date, and no one can stop me. I don't care what she does."

Yasmeen said she is not just a graduate, but has done her MA and BEd from AMU.

SSP (Aligarh) Rajesh Pandey said that police managed to get her entry into her house. He added that Yasmeen has not yet lodged a complaint against her husband and has been insisting on counselling. "In such a scenario, there isn't much the police department can do. We have called both of them here."

A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court in August this year termed the practice of triple talaq " unconstitutional" and asked Parliament to make a new law on the issue in six months. If the law doesn't come into force in six months, the SC's injunction on triple talaq would continue, the apex court held. It referred to the abolition of triple talaq in some Islamic countries and asked why "independent India can't get rid of it".

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/amu-profs-wife-threatens-suicide-with-kids-says-victim-of-triple-talaq/articleshow/61609704.cms

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Ram temple dispute: Shia Waqf Board to approach SC before Dec. 5

ANI | Updated: Nov 12, 2017

Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh), Nov.12 (ANI): The Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board along with some Mahantas from Ayodhya will approach the Supreme Court before December 5 with a solution to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.

The decision comes after the Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi on Sunday met several Mahantas in Ayodhya for mutual agreement in the dispute.

Speaking to ANI, Rizvi said, "We are working on a solution and before December 5 we will approach the court with it."

Rizvi met various Mahantas, including MahantaDharamdas and MahantaSureshdas.

Earlier, the Shia Waqf Board proposed to the apex court that a temple can be built at the disputed Ayodhya site and the mosque be located nearby in a Muslim-dominated area.

Various attempts have been made by all the stakeholders till now to resolve the matter amicably but all went in vain.

Earlier, the top court had also suggested that an out-of-court settlement was the best recourse to the dispute.

The apex court will commence the final hearing of the long-standing matter from December 5, a day before the 25th anniversary of the demolition of the medieval-era structure.

The Babri Masjid was built by Mughal emperor Babar in 1528. The Hindus, however, claim that a Ram temple that originally stood there was demolished to construct the mosque.(ANI)

https://www.aninews.in/news/national/general-news/ram-temple-dispute-shia-waqf-board-to-approach-sc-before-dec-5201711121616550003/

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Alwar: Muslim Man Transporting Cows Shot Dead Allegedly By 'GauRakshaks'The incident took place near Rajasthan-Haryana on November 10.OUTLOOK WEB BUREAUAlwar: Muslim Man Transporting Cows Shot Dead Allegedly By 'GauRakshaks'REPRESENTATIVEIMAGEMailPrintShareShareAAA INCREASE TEXT SIZE

A Muslim man was shot dead allegedly by cow vigilantes near GovindhGadh in Alwar district of Rajasthan when he was transporting cows, while his aide has been admitted to a private hospital after being badly beaten up.

According to an initial report by News18, the incident took place near Rajasthan-Haryana on November 10  when the two men – Ummar Khan and Tahir Khan – were transporting the cows to Haryana when they were waylaid by the mob and assaulted. Umar died of a bullet wound. His body was kept in a mortuary.

Relatives of the two men alleged that policemen were also present when the incident took place. They have demanded immediate arrest of the accused, but no FIR in the case has been registered so far.

Sher Muhammad, chairman of the Meo Panchayat of Alwar, told News18 that villagers claimed the people who fired the bullets were not in any uniform. “We are calling it a case of lynching too as they have not only been shot but also beaten up,” said Muhammad.

He said the family will not take the body from the mortuary and bury it until a case is registered to make sure that Ummar’s case does not meet the same fate as that of Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer, who was lynched by cow vigilantes in Alwar'sBehror area in April when he was transporting cows. The police removed names of 6 accused from the FIR after saying that not one of them was even anywhere near the place where he was beaten up.

According to an IndiaSpend content analysis of the English media,  Muslims were the target of 51% of violence centred on bovine issues over nearly eight years (2010 to 2017) and comprised 86% of 28 Indians killed in 63 incidents.

As many of 97% of these attacks were reported after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government came to power in May 2014, and about half the cow-related violence – 32 of 63 cases – were from states governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party when the attacks were reported, revealed their analysis of violence recorded until June 25, 2017.

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/alwar-muslim-man-transporting-in-cows-shot-dead-allegedly-by-gau-rakshaks/304232

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Muslim Man Converts to Hinduism for Marriage, Supreme Court Gives No Relief

November 12, 2017

Muslim Man Converts to Hinduism for Marriage, Supreme Court Gives No Relief A view of the Supreme Court building.

New Delhi: At a time when a ‘Love Jihad’ case from Kerala has been making headlines, another intriguing instance of inter-faith marriage has come up before the Supreme Court, but with a twist.

This time, a Muslim man has converted to Hinduism and married a Hindu girl at an Arya Samaj temple. He recited shlokas and took the seven vows walking around the fire as they got married at Bhopal in April 2016.

But the girl’s family in Madhya Pradesh lodged an FIR, claiming the girl is a minor and that the man kidnapped her. The police then took away the girl and placed her in the custody of her father.

The man then moved the Supreme Court and filed a habeas corpus petition. He submitted that he had validly converted to Hinduism and wanted his wife back.

The 24-year-old, who is a sepoy in Army, also produced letters to show that he did inform his superior in the Army about his religious conversion. The girl’s statement to a magistrate, supporting his version that she was a major, was also shown to the court.

However, his year-long quest reached a dead end, with the Supreme Court dismissing his case without issuing any directive to reunite him with his ‘wife’.

A bench of Justices Adarsh K Goel and Uday U Lalit, which interacted with the girl at least twice during the pendency of the case, closed the case, saying it was not possible for the court to pronounce upon the validity of the marriage since the factors about the man’s conversion and validity of conversion required adjudication.

“Whether the petitioner has factually converted his religion and whether conversion only to marriage is in accordance with law is a dispute which require adjudication. In absence of such adjudication, it is not possible to accept that a valid marriage has taken place between the petitioner and the daughter of respondent No.4 so as to grant the relief sought,” stated the court order last week.

The court also took note of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 1968 which requires a procedure for conversion of religion, under which an intimation has to be sent to the district magistrate about conversion.

It observed that the man would have to first prove before the authorities concerned that he converted to Hinduism and then satisfy that conversion only for the purpose of getting married was a valid act under the relevant law.

“Accordingly, this petition is dismissed without prejudice to any other remedy in accordance with law,” held the bench, wrapping up the case being heard since October last year.

Advocate NS Dalal, who represented the man in court, told CNN-News18 that it was unfortunate that the apex court chose to steer clear of the matter and not exercise its jurisdiction to give justice to the couple.

“While the Kerala ‘Love Jihad’ case is getting so much attention that the Supreme Court has now decided to call the woman to the court only to know about her wishes, this case got shut abruptly even though the girl had expressed her desire and recorded her statement before the magistrate as well,” added Dalal.

Another bench in the Supreme Court has sought the presence of a Hindu woman, who converted to Islam and got married to a Muslim man. Her marriage was annulled on a habeas corpus petition filed by her father. The Supreme Court in August ordered a NIA probe into such cases, but has now decided to hear her side of the story first on November 27.

http://www.news18.com/news/india/muslim-man-converts-to-hinduism-to-marry-supreme-court-gives-no-relief-1574209.html

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Saddening that a secular Muslim is always abused by fundamentalists: Javed Akhtar

PTI Published : Nov 12, 2017

Calling Mughal emperor Akbar a great leader, the veteran lyricist said such a person is always abused by fundamentalists.

New Delhi: Veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar said Saturday that politicians, who think they are bigger than the nation, are wrong and should know that they do not build the nation, but people of the country do.

The 72-year-old lyricist was speaking at SahityaAajTak, where he said that some people have misinterpreted the definition of nationalism.

"The interpretation of nationalism for some people is quite strange. They think that they are the nation. If you oppose them, then you become anti-national.

"These politicians are like the harvesting crop. They change when the crop changes. They don't stay here for eternity. Nation is larger than a political party and a politician. Any politician who thinks that he is the nation, then he is wrong," Akhtar said.

Akhtar, who had last year criticised Union Minister V K Singh for proposing to rename Akbar Road in Lutyens Delhi to MaharanaPratap Road, said the country has produced many great leaders and Mughal emperor Akbar was one of them.

"This country has produced many great leaders and if you make a list of them, then without Akbar that list is incomplete," said Akhtar.

"That man was a huge personality with a vision nobody can match. About 400 years back when Europe had not even heard the word secularism. But here was a man in this country, who was not only secular, but also understood the philosophy and theory of secularism. He was working on it," he added.

Akhtar also said that a secular Muslim, like Akbar, is always abused by the fundamentalists and by people from other religions.

"It is saddening that a secular Muslim is always abused by fundamentalist people and the people from the other side.

"This is a very sorry state of affairs that any Muslim is not considered an Indian. Tipu Sultan is not an Indian and if I do not agree to this thought, then I become anti-national. Then I am an anti-national," he declared.

He said that Akbar was an Indian as he was born here and died contributing to the wealth of the country.

http://www.asianage.com/entertainment/bollywood/121117/saddening-that-a-secular-muslim-is-always-abused-by-fundamentalists-javed-akhtar.html

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To introduce NCERT textbooks, madrasas need trained teachers, well-equipped labs, says Muslim cleric

By NamitaBajpai  |  Express News Service  |   Published: 12th November 2017

While welcoming the Uttar Pradesh government’s move to impart modern education in madrasas, Muslim cleric Maulana Khalid Rashid FarangiMahali told NamitaBajpai of The New Sunday Express that the government must first equip the madrasas with adequate infrastructure and then take a call on what their purpose is.

Excerpts from an interview:

The BJP government has decided to introduce NCERT books in madrasas. What's your reaction?

I welcomed the decision on condition that the government itself should provide trained teachers for the new subjects. In a majority of madrasas, subjects like English, mathematics and science are already being taught, but only at the elementary level. If these subjects have to be taught at a higher level, we would need trained teachers.

Educationists must sit together and decide if it would be possible for a student already studying courses in Holy Quran, Hadees, Islamic law, Islamic history, Arabic and Persian languages and grammar to grasp subjects like mathematics, physics, chemistry, geography, political science and home science. Will it not be too taxing? Why are these subjects being introduced only in madrasas? Why not in religious educational institutions run by Hindus or Sikhs?

Do you think this move is a tool to target a particular community?

I don't want to comment on that. I just want them to decide if a student would be able to study so many subjects at once. It would put too much pressure on a student. At the same time, a call should be taken on the purpose of setting up madrasas. Though I feel that introduction of English and computer science would be relevant, other subjects won’t serve any purpose.

Are madrasa students considered at par with government school students?

The certificate of the UP Madarsa Board is equivalent to Intermediate (Class XII). This certificate is counted while taking admission in institutes of higher education, but passouts with this certificate are not eligible for government jobs. But now the UP deputy CM has said these degrees will be on par with any other degree of a university and these degree holders will be able to appear in all competitive exams and that they will be eligible for government jobs. In that case, I welcome the move.

Will this move be applicable to all madrasas across the state?

There are 19,000 madrasas registered with the UP Madrasa Board. Of the 19,000, nearly 16,000 are registered on the madrasa board portal. The board is applicable to all of them. Besides, there are thousands of madrasas being run by private entities.

Are madrasas equipped to start courses in subjects like physics, chemistry, computers?

No. That is why we request the government not to make a mess of madrasa education. If they are serious, they will have to help out the madrasas with well-equipped laboratories,  trained teachers and lab staff. I wonder if the government would go that far, given the condition of sarkari school and colleges. Moreover, only 3 per cent of Muslim children go to madrasas. What about the other 97 per cent who are either going to school, college and university or are not studying at all. To add to this, decisions like the crackdown on slaughterhouses, demonetisation and GST have rendered thousands of Muslim families bereft of a livelihood. Their children are sitting at home without education. The government should also pay attention to their plight.

Apart from becoming clerics and ulema, where would madrasa passouts get jobs?

They become clerics in mosques or open their own madrasas to teach Islamic jurisprudence and theology to Muslim society. Besides, they are in high demand in European countries and the US as priests.

What is the percentage of madrasa students getting absorbed as clerics and ulema?

All passouts in India get absorbed in masjids and madrasas here and abroad.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/nov/12/to-introduce-ncert-textbooks-madrasas-need-trained-teachers-well-equipped-labs-says-muslim-cleric-1699175.html

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RBI not to pursue proposal to introduce Islamic banking in India

By :Himadri Ghosh November 12, 2017

Islamic or Sharia banking is a financial system based on the principles of not charging or offering interest.

In a reply to an RTI query, the country's central bank said, "Taking into account the wider and equal opportunities available to all citizens to access banking and financial services, it has been decided not to pursue the proposal to introduce Islamic banking further."

The apex bank said that the issue of introduction of Islamic banking in India was examined by both RBI and the Government of India.

Earlier in 2008, a committee on financial sector reforms, headed by the then RBI governor RaghuramRajan, had stressed on the need for a closer look at the issue of interest-free banking in the country, the agency reported.

"Certain faiths prohibit the use of financial instruments that pay interest. The non-availability of interest-free banking products results in some Indians, including those in the economically disadvantaged strata of society, not being able to access banking products and services due to reasons of faith," the committee then said.

As per the central government instruction, an inter-departmental group (IDG) was set up in the RBI to examine the legal, technical and regulatory issues for introducing interest-free banking in India.

Following that the RBI in February 2016 submitted the report to the finance ministry and recommended an "Islamic window" in conventional banks for a gradual introduction of Sharia-compliant banking.

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/rbi-not-pursue-proposal-introduce-islamic-banking-india-749139

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KulbhushanJadhav's father terms Pakistan's decision 'positive'

SandipDighe | TNN | Updated: Nov 12, 2017

PUNE: A day after Pakistan said it would allow KulbhushanJadhav's wife to meet him on "humanitarian grounds", the father of the detained Indian national described it as a "positive decision" and said the family was praying for the safety of its son.

SudhirJadhav, who is a retired ACP, said on Saturday that they were still to get details about the possible meeting from the governments of Pakistan and India. "Until he (Kulbhushan) returns to India, the family will remain worried," JadhavSr said.

Meanwhile, minister of state for defence SubhashBhamre claimed that pressure from both India and the international community had forced Islamabad to allow Kulbhushan's wife to meet him.

'Pak nod for wife to meet Jadhav a surpise for kin'

Reacting to Pakistan saying it would allow KulbhushanJadhav's wife to meet him, his retired ACP father SudhirJadhav told TOI on Saturday, "We can't express our feelings in words. It's a positive thing for us that the Pakistan government has decided to allow my daughter-in-law to meet her husband. But it doesn't mean we are happy. Until he returns to India, we will be praying hard for his safety."

In April, a secret Pakistan military court had sentenced Kulbhushan to death on charges of espionage and subversive activities. However, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stopped Pakistan from carrying out the execution in May.

18. Kulbhushan's mother, Avanti, had sought a Pakistan visa to challenge the verdict, but her request was rejected. When asked about his desire to meet his son, Sudhir said, "I would not like to comment on this aspect at this juncture."

One of Kulbhushan's friends residing in Mumbai told TOI, "Ever since the Pakistan government refused his mother's visa request, the family has been disturbed. They were under the impression that none of them would ever be able to meet him. The Pakistan government has taken a decision on humanitarian grounds, which is really a surprise move for us and the family."

Kulbhushan is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, having joined it in 1987. He completed his BTech in marine engineering from INS Shivaji, Lonavla, and later served at the institute as a staff officer for one and a half years.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/jadhavs-father-terms-pakistans-decision-positive/articleshow/61611812.cms

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Pakistan continuing with its antics, but Kashmir situation has improved: Rajnath Singh

PTI | Nov 11, 2017

LUCKNOW: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said Pakistan was continuing with its antics and making efforts to break India, but in spite of that, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir had improved significantly.

He also said there was a decline in the incidents of extremism and that the credit for this should go to the followers of Islam in the country.

Speaking at an event organised by a newspaper here today, Singh said, "Pakistan is continuing with its antics and making efforts to break us, but the co-ordination among our Army, paramilitary forces, the Jammu and Kashmir Police and intelligence agencies has been excellent."

He said there were 86,000 terror-related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in 1995, adding that over the last one year, the number of such incidents had come down to 300 in that state.

Stating that there had been a significant improvement in the situation in the restive region, Singh pointed out that the Centre had already appointed a special representative (former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma) for a dialogue with all the stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir, including the Hurriyat leaders.

"The special representative will talk to all the stakeholders and recommend to the Government of India as to what should be done to resolve the problems," he added.

Replying to a question pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir, the home minister said, "When we are in the government, there is a direct conversation with the public. We are working in the direction of resolving problems."

On the issue of rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley, he said, "Everyone wants them to be rehabilitated. There were talks with former (Jammu and Kashmir) chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and he had given his consent (to it). Later, the matter got stalled owing to disturbances there."

Singh added that the issue of rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits was discussed with current Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti as well and that the latter had promised effective steps in this regard.

"We want to resolve the Kashmir issue by taking the people of Kashmir into confidence," he said.

On a question on the Rohingya Muslims issue, the BJP leader blamed the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government for the current situation involving the refugees.

He reiterated the Centre's commitment to alleviating poverty and unemployment and said employment would be given to one crore youth of the country through its skill development programme.

"It is possible that the immediate effects may not be visible. But, tough decisions lead to long-term benefits. We want sabkasaath, sabkavikas," Singh said, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for the country.

On extremism, the home minister said, "There has been a decline in the incidents of extremism. The credit for this should go to the followers of Islam in India."

Claiming that terrorism and Naxalism would gradually lose steam and would be eliminated by 2022, he said, "Advanced weapons are being given and advanced training is being imparted to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and other paramilitary forces.

"In the Maoist-hit areas, we have made an effort to reach out to the public and establish a dialogue with them. We are integrating the people with the process of development."

Singh also said the number of battalions of the central paramilitary forces was being increased. "We are laying an emphasis on the use of technology and in this regard, help from other countries is being sought," he added.

On a question over the smog in Delhi-NCR, Singh said, "We want a pollution-free Delhi. Whatever steps are being taken by the Delhi government in this regard, we will support those initiatives."

The home minister also said the world had started realising that India was no longer a weak nation and that it belonged to the club of powerful countries in the world.

"At the international level, India's importance has grown. The world realises that India, at this point of time, has emerged as the biggest economy in the world. India today is no longer a weak country, but in the club of the powerful nations of the world," he said.

Replying to a question, the BJP leader said, "At places, there are more praises and less criticism now. Whatever we had envisaged to achieve, we have achieved it."

On another question pertaining to the performance of the BJP-led government at the Centre over the last three years, Singh said he would not like to evaluate his own performance, but added that overall, the clout and credibility of the country had increased.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pakistan-continuing-with-its-antics-but-kashmir-situation-has-improved-rajnath-singh/articleshow/61608723.cms

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Talk of independent Kashmir wrong, PoK belongs to Pakistan: Farooq Abdullah

PTI | Updated: Nov 11, 2017

HIGHLIGHTS

Abdullah said that while J&K decided to join India out of love, the country "betrayed" the people of Kashmir.

"Internal autonomy is our right & Centre should restore it..only then the peace will return," he said.

Centre's special representative for J&K has held talks, but only talks will not address the issue as the issue is between two countries," Abdullah added.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah (TOI File Photo)Talk of independent Kashmir wrong, PoK belongs to Pakistan: Farooq Abdullah

SRINAGAR: Opposition National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said on Saturday that talk of an independent Kashmir was "wrong" as the Valley is landlocked and surrounded by three nuclear powers -- China, Pakistan and India.

Abdullah also claimed that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) belongs to Pakistan and "this won't change" no matter how many wars India and Pakistan fight against each other.

His statement comes days after Pakistan Prime Minister ShahidKhaqanAbbasi had rejected the idea of an "independent Kashmir", saying it was not based on "reality".

"I am saying that there is nothing like the issue of freedom (independent Kashmir) here. We are landlocked. On one side we have China, Pakistan on the other side and India on the third side," the MP from Srinagar told reporters on the sidelines of a function at the party headquarters here.

"All three of them have atom bombs. We have nothing except Allah's name," he said.

"Those (separatists) who are talking about Azadi, are talking wrong," the former J&K chief minister said.

On the demand for autonomy, he said that while the state decided to join India out of love, the country "betrayed" the people of Kashmir and did not treat them well.

"We should understand that there has been a decision (of accession), but India didn't treat us well. India betrayed us. They did not recognise the love with which we chose to join them. That is the reason behind the current situation in Kashmir," Abdullah said.

"Internal autonomy is our right. They (Centre) should restore it. Only then the peace will return (to the Valley)," he said.

Referring to a statement made by Minister of State for Home HansrajAhir about PoK being part of India, Abdullah invoked the instrument of accession signed by the then Maharaja Hari Singh, with the Indian government.

"You do not remember the instrument of accession and claim the other side of Kashmir administered by Pakistan. If that side is ours, then you should talk about the accession as well. Why do you forget the conditions on which we have acceded?" he said.

Abdullah also claimed that PoK was part of Pakistan and would remain so.

"I tell them in plain terms -- not only the people of India, but also to the world -- that the part (of J&K) which is with Pakistan (PoK) belongs to Pakistan and this side to India. This won't change. Let them fight how many wars they want to. This won't change," Abdullah said.

"And when the situation is such, then they have to talk, so that we live in peace, both parts live in peace and for that it is imperative to grant autonomy to both the parts," he said.

Asked whether the visit of the Centre's special representative for Kashmir DineshwarSahrma to the state was successful, Abdullah said only Sharma could say anything about it.

"I can only say that while he has held talks, only talks will not address the issue as this issue is between two countries -- Pakistan and India. The government of India has to talk to the government of Pakistan as a part of J&K is with them (Pakistan)," he said.

In Video: PoK belongs to Pakistan: Farooq Abdullah

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/talk-of-independent-kashmir-wrong-pok-belongs-to-pakistan-farooq-abdullah/articleshow/61607934.cms

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Arab World

Mass graves holding '400 Islamic State victims' found in Iraq

Nov 11, 2017

HAWIJA (Iraq): Mass graves containing at least 400 suspected Islamic State group victims have been found near the former jihadist bastion of Hawija in northern Iraq, the regional governor said on Saturday.

The string of grisly discoveries was made at a military base around three kilometres (two miles) from the city that the jihadists "turned into an execution ground", Kirkuk governor Rakan Said said.

"Not less than 400 people were executed," he said, adding that some were clad in the uniform of prisoners condemned to death while others wore civilian clothing.

IS was forced out of Hawija -- 240 kilometres north of Baghdad -- by Iraqi forces in October in a sweeping offensive that has seen the group lose the vast bulk of territory it seized in 2014.

As government troops have advanced across Iraq they have uncovered dozens of mass graves holding hundreds of bodies in areas that fell under the jihadists' brutal rule.

The burial pits near Hawija were discovered "thanks to witness accounts from local residents" given to the Iraqi military, General Mortada al-Luwaibi said.

Saad Abbas, a farmer from the area, told AFP that during the three years of IS control the group's fighters could be seen "driving around in cars with their prisoners".

"They would shoot them and then throw them to the ground or burn their bodies," Abbas said.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/mass-graves-holding-400-islamic-state-victims-found-in-iraq/articleshow/61610111.cms

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Work to restore old glory of Mecca Masjid in full swing

Sarthak.G | TNN | Nov 12, 2017

HYDERABAD: Restoration work of Mecca Masjid, a heritage structure that has been in poor condition for a long time, is going on in full swing. The first phase of overhauling the three-century-old mosque in the Old City kicked off two months ago.

The state government has sanctioned Rs 8.48 crore for a complete revamp, according to A K Khan, advisor to the state government (minority welfare). "Mecca Masjid is a major heritage structure, and we should conserve it properly. Unfortunately, the mosque had been in a bad shape for a long time and we are happy that the government has started the restoration that is going on at a brisk pace," said an official of the mosque.

After extensive inspection by government officials, tenders were floated for restoration by the director of archaeology Vishaiakshi. The contract was awarded to the company LaxmiHaricon Pvt Ltd. Srinivas Sulge, managing director of the Mumbai-based company told TOI that Rs 4.5 crore has been allocated for the first phase of the project that will have to be finished as per the 18-month deadline.

The major focus of the restoration in its first phase is refurbishing the mosque's main hall. The engineers are executing the restoration work with the help of "traditional technique", using all organic materials to revamp the "delicate structure that was exposed to the ravages of time. "When we took up the restoration in September, we were shocked to find the damage inside the mosque.

It needs an overall revamp and we are trying our best to protect the heritage structure. "Now we are giving priority to repair the cracks and major damages. Some portions of the sprawling hall would have caved in had the restoration work not started. We are also giving it fresh coat of lime plasters alongside water proofing and chemical conservation," said Sulge.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/work-to-restore-old-glory-of-mecca-masjid-in-full-swing/articleshow/61612903.cms

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Iraqi Forces Impose Control over Most Important Border-Crossing with Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi volunteer forces of Hashd al-Shaabi managed to drive ISIL terrorists out of al-Qa'em-Albu Kamal border-crossing, a Lebanon-based media outlet reported minutes ago.

The Arabic-language website of the AMN reported that Hashd al-Shaabi fighters took full control over al-Qa'em-Albu Kamal border-crossing.

The AMN further said that the Iraqi forces are now capable of preventing ISIL from fleeing Syria's DeirEzzur for the Iraqi province of Anbar following the capture of the border passageway.

Earlier reports said that Iraqi forces launched an offensive to capture one of the last remaining areas under ISIL control in the country.

Iraqi forces seized several villages from the ISIL militants on Saturday in an operation to retake Rawa, the operation's commander said, Al-Jazeera reported.

General AbdelamirYarallah announced that Iraqi troops "launched a major offensive to liberate Rumana and the Rawa area", adding that they have "retaken Rumana and its bridge on the Euphrates" along with 10 other villages.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960821001173

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IS recaptures last Syrian urban bastion in fierce fightback

AFPUpdated November 12, 2017

BEIRUT: The militant Islamic State group recaptured Albu Kamal in eastern Syria on Saturday after a fierce fightback to save the last urban bastion of its collapsing “caliphate”.

The jihadist rebound came as the United States and Russia issued a surprise joint presidential statement saying there was “no military solution” to Syria’s grinding six-year war.

The two countries have long backed opposite sides in Syria, but the Kremlin on Saturday said US President Donald Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin made progress during a brief meeting on the sidelines of a summit in Vietnam.

Trump and Putin also “confirmed their determination to defeat ISIS”, an alternative name for IS.

The jihadist group overran swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq in 2014, but its self-styled “caliphate” has since been whittled down to a pocket of land along the border between the two countries. IS is putting up a fierce defence there, particularly for the vital Syrian border town of Albu Kamal, said the Syrian Observatory for Hu­­m­an Rights monitoring group.

Syrian regime forces and allied militia from Lebanon, Iraq and Iran overran Albu Kamal on Thursday but lost the town again just two days later after a string of IS counter-attacks and ambushes.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1369936/is-recaptures-last-syrian-urban-bastion-in-fierce-fightback

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Arab Media: Lebanon to Take Saudi Detention of Hariri to UNSC

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A leading Arab newspaper quoted informed officials as saying that Lebanon will raise the issue of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri's detention in Saudi Arabia at the UN Security Council if his fate doesn't come to be known soon.

"Lebanese President Michel Aoun has told the visiting diplomatic delegations that he will not wait more than a week to clear the fate of the resigned Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and his return to Lebanon and then he will be forced to take the case to the UNSC," the Lebanese al-Jomhouriyah newspaper quoted the informed officials as saying on Saturday.

Aoun has also stressed during the meetings that Russia and other countries are prepared to help Lebanon, the officials said.

The Lebanese president also said that Hariri has contacted him last Saturday, stressing that he cannot bear the situation and will return to Lebanon in the next 2 to 3 days but he has not been heard of ever since then, the officials added.

A Lebanese government official said on Thursday that authorities believe that former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is being held in Saudi Arabia.

"Lebanon is heading towards asking foreign and Arab states to put pressure on Saudi to release Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri," the unnamed official has said.

The official also said in his interview with Reuters, "Keeping Hariri with restricted freedom in Riyadh is an attack on Lebanese sovereignty. Our dignity is his dignity. We will work with states to return him to Beirut."

Riyadh and Hariri aides have denied allegations that he is under house arrest, but haven't denied that movements are being restricted.

Hariri's resignation came in the wake of a statement by the Saudi minister Thamer al-Sabhan, who stated that Riyadh expected Lebanon to "act to deter" Hezbollah movement, which is included in the country's government, as it is allegedly posing a threat to Saudi Arabia.

Hariri, who was the prime minister from 2009 to 2011 and took office again in November 2016, resigned on Saturday while visiting Saudi Arabia.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960820000765

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West Asia crisis intensifies, Lebanon says Saudis have 'kidnapped' PM

Agencies | Nov 12, 2017

BEIRUT: Lebanon's president called on Saudi Arabia on Saturday to clarify the reasons why the country's PM has not returned home since his resignation last week, announced from the kingdom, as the US and France expressed their support for Lebanon's sovereignty and stability amid heightening tensions between Beirut and Saudi Arabia.

A political crisis has gripped Lebanon and shattered the relative peace maintained by its coalition government since PM Saad al-Hariri's stunning announcement on November 4 from the Saudi capital that he was resigning.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun called on Saudi Arabia to clarify why Hariri hasn't returned home since announcing his resignation saying that "the obscurity regarding Hariri's conditions makes anything that he says or does not reflect truth". It was an indication that Aoun does not recognise Hariri's resignation.

Lebanese officials have insisted on the return home of Hariri from Saudi Arabia amid rumours that he is being held against his will. According to a senior official, Lebanon's president is said to have told foreign ambassadors that Hariri has been "kidnapped" and must have immunity.

Riyadh maintains Hariri is free and had decided to resign because Iran's Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, was calling the shots in his coalition government. Saudi officials have said that their measures against Lebanon are in response to the militant Hezbollah's group support of anti-Saudi rebels in Yemen known as Houthis.

Amid the growing regional crisis, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi dispatched his foreign minister for talks with Arab nations. "The foreign minister's tour comes in the framework of permanent consultations between Egypt and Arab brothers on mutual relations and the conditions in the region, especially in the shadow of developments in Lebanon's political arena," a ministry statement said.

Posters depicting Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, who has resigned from his post, seen in Beirut. The writing on the posters reads, 'We are all with you'. (Reuters photo)

Western countries have appealed for calm and freedom of movement for Hariri. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Washington calls upon "all states and parties to respect Lebanon's sovereignty, independence, and constitutional processes."

Also on Saturday, Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported that French President Emmanuel Macron called Aoun expressing France's commitment to Lebanon's "unity, sovereignty and independence and to help it in preserving political and security stability".

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's energy ministry said on Saturday that pumping to Bahrain had been suspended and the kingdom was stepping up security precautions at its own facilities after its Gulf island neighbour blamed "terrorism" linked to Iran for an oil pipeline blast. Iran denies any role in unrest in Bahrain.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/west-asia-crisis-intensifies-lebanon-says-saudis-have-kidnapped-pm/articleshow/61611660.cms

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Islamic State members flee western Anbar bastion toward Salahuddin

Nov 12, 2017

Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State militants have fled locations in its bastion in western Anbar, as security troops declared invasion intentions, a paramilitary official said.

“IS members evacuated all its locations in Rawa, west of Anbar, and headed toward al-Maleha and al-Sakhriyat regions, south of Salahuddin,” Qutri al-Obeidi, a senior leader with al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) told Ikhnews website on Sunday.

“All the foreign IS members fled Rawa, while only few number of local ones remained in the town awaiting their unknown destiny,” he added.

The militants withdrawal, according to Obeidi, “came after the security troops declared intentions to invade the town over the coming few hours as well as airstrikes by army jets targeting the militants’ hideouts. The snipers also evacuated the high buildings in the town.”

On Saturday, Ikhnews quoted a source as saying that IS legislative mufti, known as abulMuhajir, who is in charge of running the group’s affairs in Rawa, was killed, along with two of his companions in an airstrike as army jets targeted a hideout for IS in central Rawa.

Last week, Hussein al-Okaidi, Rawa mayor, said the number of remaining Islamic State militants is estimated at no more than twenty members.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced, earlier November, the liberation of Qaim in record time. Troops also freed Ebeidi and Krabla regions in western Anbar.

https://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/islamic-state-members-flee-western-anbar-bastion-toward-salahuddin/

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Some Arab states spent $130 billion to obliterate Syria, Libya, Yemen: Algerian official

November 12, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia says some regional Arab states have spent $130 billion to obliterate Syria, Libya and Yemen.

Ouyahia made the remarks on Saturday at a time when much of the Middle East and North Africa is in turmoil, grappling with different crises, ranging from terrorism and insecurity to political uncertainty and foreign interference.

Algeria maintains that regional states should settle their differences through dialog and that foreign meddling is to their detriment.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-sponsored militancy since 2011. Takfirism, which is a trademark of many terrorist groups operating in Syria, is largely influenced by Wahhabism, the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia.

Libya has further been struggling with violence and political uncertainty since the country’s former ruler Muammar Gaddafi was deposed in 2011 and later killed in the wake of a US-led NATO military intervention. Daesh has been taking advantage of the chaos in Libya to increase its presence there.

Yemen has also witnessed a deadly Saudi war since March 2015 which has led to a humanitarian crisis.

Last Month, Qatar's former deputy prime minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said the United Arab Emirates had planned a military invasion of Qatar with thousands of US-trained mercenaries.

The UAE plan for the military action was prepared before the ongoing Qatar rift, but it was never carried out as Washington did not give the green light to it, he noted.

In late April, reports said the UAE was quietly expanding its military presence into Africa and the Middle East, namely in Eritrea and Yemen.

http://en.abna24.com/news/middle-east/some-arab-states-spent-130-billion-to-obliterate-syria-libya-yemen-algerian-official_866371.html

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Saudi-led strikes hit Yemeni defence ministry

AFPUpdated November 12, 2017

SANAA: The Saudi-led coalition carried out air strikes on the defence ministry in Yemen’s rebel-held capital Sanaa late on Friday, witnesses and rebel media said, leaving at least three civilians wounded.

The Houthi rebel media outlet Al-Masirah reported two air strikes targeting the defence ministry. One of the strikes hit a residential area near the ministry, witnesses said.

“I was sitting at home and heard the first strike hit the ministry of defence. Everyone was afraid. Minutes later, another strike hit my neighbour’s house,” resident Mohammed Aatif said.

“My entire house shook,” said Aatif, who fled with his family from the neighbourhood.

He said the strike destroyed his neighbour’s house, leaving an enormous crater, and damaged others.

Witnesses said the number of casualties may rise as wounded are pulled from the rubble.

The coalition has targeted the defence ministry in the past, leaving it heavily damaged, but the fresh strikes come as tensions ratchet up between Saudi Arabia and its rival Iran, which backs the Houthi rebels.

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in neighbouring Yemen in March 2015 with the stated aim of rolling back Houthi rebel gains and restoring the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.

The conflict has left more than 8,650 people dead, including many civilians, and the Houthis continue to control the capital Sanaa and much of Yemen’s north.

The coalition shut down Yemen’s borders earlier this week after Saudi forces on Saturday intercepted a ballistic missile fired by the Houthis near the Riyadh airport.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1369940/saudi-led-strikes-hit-yemeni-defence-ministry

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More Militants Endorse Peace with Damascus

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Representatives of the militants in another region in Central Syria joined the nationwide reconciliation plan, the Russian Defense Ministry’s Center for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides said in a daily bulletin on Saturday.

"Over the last 24 hours, one ceasefire agreement has been signed with representatives of Tal (hill) Ameri region in Homs province. That brings the total number of the regions, settlements, towns and villages that have signed reconciliation agreements with Damascus to 2,266," the ministry said.

The negotiations on the ceasefire agreement continue with field commanders of militant groups in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Homs, Hama and Quneitra, it added.

Also, the number of armed formations claiming that they observe the ceasefire regime remained 234, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Relevant reports said last month that around 100 militants in the Northeastern parts of Aleppo province laid down their arms and turned themselves in to authorities.

The militants formerly fighting in Manbij region in Northeastern Aleppo surrendered themselves and their arms to the Syrian government and filed request for amnesty to return to normal life as the forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad continue gaining ground across the country.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960820000966

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Saad Hariri’s ‘resignation’ has not gone as smoothly as Saudis wanted

Robert FiskUpdated November 12, 2017

THE Saudis may be holding the Lebanese prime minister hostage but their apparent plan to topple the Beirut government has gloriously backfired. Far from breaking up the cabinet and throwing Hezbollah’s ministers to the wolves, the Lebanese nation has suddenly woken up to what it’s like to be united — against the Saudis.

The Lebanese government has announced that it does not accept the resignation statement which Saad Hariri was obliged to make in Riyadh, and overnight hashtags have appeared on several Beirut streets saying “kulnaSaad” — “We are all Saad”. Even the Sunni Muslims of Lebanon are furious at their Sunni counterparts in Saudi Arabia.

President Macron of France was first off the mark by detouring into Riyadh on his way to Dubai to ask 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman what on earth he was doing. Almost the entire two-hour meeting was taken up with why and for what Hariri has been detained — or constrained, or kidnapped or held hostage or treated as an honoured guest of Saudi Arabia (take your pick). For the Lebanese government — and for many tens of thousands of Lebanese — the Saudi decision to present Hariri with a resignation letter to read on the Arabia television channel was a national insult.

The greatest fear in little Lebanon now is that the Saudis, having told their citizens in Beirut to leave the country — there are in fact very few here — will demand that more than 200,000 Lebanese citizens in the Gulf leave Saudi Arabia. These are mainly middle-management people in banks and government, and Saudi Arabia could scarcely do without them. But such an order would have a grave economic effect on Lebanon. The prime minister’s “captivity” — albeit luxurious, since he is at home with his wife and children — has prompted customers to withdraw hundreds of thousands of dollars from his BankMed in Beirut.

American, British, EU and French diplomats have been allowed to visit Hariri, but former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was refused a visit when he was in Riyadh on the grounds that this was a “purely internal Saudi matter” — which it clearly is not. To have Saudi officials now trying to dictate the make-up of another Lebanese government suggests that they want to take on the role played out for decades by pre-civil war Syria. The crown prince may think he is as powerful as Hafez al-Assad used to be. But the Lebanese do not want to be tutored again.

Hariri’s next visitor is likely to be the Lebanese Catholic Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai, who is due in Saudi Arabia on an official visit on Monday. Rai is an ambitious and unyielding cleric who has apparently been told he can see Hariri — though why the Saudis have the right to decide if a Lebanese patriarch can meet his own prime minister remains one of the kingdom’s current mysteries. Macron apparently called Donald Trump in China and asked him to phone the crown prince prior to his arrival in Riyadh. We do not know what Trump said.

But he has already blundered with his usual laziness into tweeting his support for the crown prince. Of the princes, ex-ministers and officials under house arrest for alleged corruption, he said that “some of those they are harshly (sic) treating have been ‘milking’ their country for years!” But Trump obviously did not know — or care — that one of those detained princes, Al-Waleed bin Talal, is an American citizen. Thus has the US president potentially accused one of his own citizens of corruption, words which might help to imprison him.

However, the department of home truths — an institution I regularly visit when writing about the Middle East — would suggest that the Hezbollah are not guiltless in this little drama. They deeply angered Hariri earlier this year when they staged a press trip to southern Lebanon to show journalists armed and uniformed Hezbollah fighters in the UN peacekeepers’ zone along the Israeli border. And some of the speeches made recently by the group’s chairman, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, gave the impression that he thought he was himself the president of Lebanon — the real job is held by ex-general and now President Michel Aoun — or even the prime minister.

And now one more small touch to add to the slightly grim moment of Hariri’s detention exactly a week ago. The Lebanese prime minister — for thus we shall still call him since he was given his resignation statement to read — wears his very expensive and smartwatch on his right wrist. And when he read that statement, the watch was gone. Just as his mobile phone and those of his bodyguards had been taken when his plane arrived in Riyadh last week. Hariri can use his watch to record or even make calls. But when, shortly afterwards, he was filmed meeting King Salman, the watch was back on his wrist. No problem now, it seemed. After all, he had by then resigned.

By arrangement with The Independent

https://www.dawn.com/news/1369876/saad-hariris-resignation-has-not-gone-as-smoothly-as-saudis-wanted

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Saudi Arabia vs Iran: has Sunni-Shia rivalry taken a turn for the worse?

Sun, 2017-11-12 15:14

HemanthaAbeywardena writes from London...

The dramatic – and unprecedented – resignation of SaadHarriri, the Lebanese Prime Minister, in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, rather than his home country, coincided with two major events in the Middle East in the last few days, in the ascending order of anxiety for the wider world.

In Saudi Arabia, it is reported that around 200 people, including princes and bureaucrats were detained at a luxury hotel, being accused of corruption and embezzlement. Then, Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are at war with Saudi Arabia, launched a ballistic missile towards the main international airport in Riyadh, before being shot down by the US supplied missiles.

Even before the missile being blown apart in the skies over Riyadh, political fireworks seem to have started at the heart of House of Saud: among those detained were two favourite sons of late King Abdullah, who used to hold the positions of the Head of the National Guard and Governor of Riyadh respectively and the richest businessman in the Kingdom, Prince Alawaleed bin Talal; in addition, the members of the Royal Family, meanwhile, have been asked not to leave the country.

It goes without saying who was behind the thespian moves; Prince Mohammed Bin Salman al Saud, the Crown Prince, has been consolidating his power for the past three years, while wooing young Saudis, who are fed up with endemic corruption and nepotism.

The prince, known as MBS, has already started radical reforms, ranging from allowing women to drive from next year to making plans for a post-oil era. He is acutely aware of the impact on the Saudi economy due to falling oil prices and seems to be determined to stick to the reform agenda despite the opposition from ultra-conservative Wahabbiclerics .

The missile that Houthi rebels fired at Riyadh International Airport, according to a senior US Air Force official, originated from Iran, something Iran vehemently denies. Even Emmanuel Macron, the French President, who rushed to Saudi Arabia in the wake of SaadHarriri’s sudden resignation, admitted that the missile was of Iranian origin.

As the crisis escalated, Saudi Arabia declared the missile attack as an act of war and accused Iran of its involvement. Saudi Arabia then asked its citizens in Lebanon to return home, implying that a military conflict with Iran is unavoidable, given the current circumstances.

Although, Iran did not take a confrontational approach in return, it wants Saudis to get their house in order before preaching the countries in the region to do so. The question about the source of the missile, however, remains unsolved. If a second missile was fired at Saudi Arabia from Yemen, it would be impossible for Saudis to restrain themselves again – for obvious reasons.

In the event of such a move by Houthi rebels, who had been bearing the brunt of Saudi-led air strikes, things in the Middle East would change fast with plenty of twists and turns.

Against this backdrop, the mysterious resignation of the Lebanese Prime Minister, a Sunni Muslim, in Saudi capital, did very little to stop the speculation. Cynics say that he has been forced to resign by Saudis and is under house arrest in Lebanon.

The decisions taken by the Saudis in recent months have not been very impressive, to say the least: its war in Yemen has been a total disaster; the exercise in isolating Qatar has not been a success either. On the contrary, Qatar has developed stronger ties with Iran and Turkey in order to compensate for the losses it suffered due to land, sea and air embargo by the Saudis.

Although, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, may have lost the support of influential Saudi clerics and some Royals, much needed foreign support seems to be just a phone call away. Not only did President Trump offer his blessings for radical reforms, but also accused those who were detained of ‘milking the system for so long.’

Even on this issue, President Trump does not seem to see eye –to-eye with the State Department; because, Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State, wants a peaceful solution to the existing crisis, being aware of the consequences. President Trump, however, is determined to ‘cut Iran down to size’.

The rising tension in the Middle East, having been polarized by Sunni and Shia factions, shows the presence of perpetual undercurrents, orchestrated by the two sides. They want their sphere of influence to grow with more nations joining them along religious lines.

In this context, if they ever come closer to a full-scale war, every nianation in the region may be sucked into a war – with no clear winners.

http://www.asiantribune.com/node/91243

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How Saudi Arabia turned on Lebanon's Hariri

Reuters | Nov 12, 2017

BEIRUT: From the moment Saad al-Hariri's plane touched down in Saudi Arabia on Friday Nov. 3, he was in for a surprise.

There was no line-up of Saudi princes or ministry officials, as would typically greet a prime minister on an official visit to King Salman, senior sources close to Hariri and top Lebanese political and security officials said. His phone was confiscated, and the next day he was forced to resign as prime minister in a statement broadcast by a Saudi-owned TV channel.

The move thrust Lebanon back to the forefront of a struggle that is reshaping the Middle East, between the conservative Sunni monarchy of Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite revolutionary Iran.

Their rivalry has fueled conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, where they back opposing sides, and now risks destabilizing Lebanon, where Saudi has long tried to weaken the Iran-backed Hezbollah group, Lebanon's main political power and part of the ruling coalition.

Sources close to Hariri say Saudi Arabia has concluded that the prime minister - a long-time Saudi ally and son of late prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005 - had to go because he was unwilling to confront Hezbollah.

Multiple Lebanese sources say Riyadh hopes to replace Saad Hariri with his older brother Bahaa as Lebanon's top Sunni politician. Bahaa is believed to be in Saudi Arabia and members of the Hariri family have been asked to travel there to pledge allegiance to him, but have refused, the sources say.

"When Hariri's plane landed in Riyadh, he got the message immediately that something was wrong," a Hariri source told Reuters. "There was no one was waiting for him."

Saudi Arabia has dismissed suggestions it forced Hariri to resign and says he is a free man. Saudi officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the circumstances of his arrival, whether his phone had been taken, or whether the Kingdom was planning to replace him with his brother.

Hariri has given no public remarks since he resigned and no indication of when he might return to Lebanon.

"NO RESPECT"

Hariri was summoned to the Kingdom to meet Saudi King Salman in a phone call on Thursday night, Nov. 2.

Before departing, he told his officials they would resume their discussions on Monday. He told his media team he would see them at the weekend in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh, where he was due to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the sidelines of the World Youth Forum.

Hariri went to his Riyadh home. His family made their fortune in Saudi Arabia and have long had properties there. The source close to Hariri said the Lebanese leader received a call from a Saudi protocol official on Saturday morning, who asked him to attend a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

He waited for about four hours before being presented with his resignation speech to read on television, the source said.

"From the moment he arrived they (Saudis) showed no respect for the man," another senior Lebanese political source said.

Hariri frequently visits Saudi Arabia. On a trip a few days earlier, Prince Mohammed bin Salman had arranged for him to see senior intelligence officials and Gulf Affairs Minister Thamer al-Sabhan, the Saudi point man on Lebanon.

Hariri came back from that trip to Beirut "pleased and relaxed", sources in his entourage said. He posted a selfie with Sabhan, both of them smiling. He told aides he had heard "encouraging statements" from the crown prince, including a promise to revive a Saudi aid package for the Lebanese army.

The Hariri sources say Hariri believed he had convinced Saudi officials of the need to maintain an entente with Hezbollah for the sake of Lebanon's stability.

Hezbollah has a heavily armed fighting force, in addition to seats in parliament and government. Saudi-backed efforts to weaken the group in Lebanon a decade ago led to Sunni-Shi'ite clashes and a Hezbollah takeover of Beirut.

"What happened in those meetings, I believe, is that (Hariri) revealed his position on how to deal with Hezbollah in Lebanon: that confrontation would destabilize the country. I think they didn't like what they heard," said one of the sources, who was briefed on the meetings.

The source said Hariri told Sabhan not to "hold us responsible for something that is beyond my control or that of Lebanon." But Hariri underestimated the Saudi position on Hezbollah, the source said.

"For the Saudis it is an existential battle. It's black and white. We in Lebanon are used to gray," the source said.

Sabhan could not immediately be reached for comment.

RESIGNATION

Hariri's resignation speech shocked his team.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah ally, told ambassadors to Lebanon that Saudi Arabia had kidnapped Hariri, a senior Lebanese official said. On Friday, France said it wanted Hariri to have "all his freedom of movement".

In his speech, Hariri said he feared assassination and accused Iran and Hezbollah of sowing strife in the region. He said the Arab world would "cut off the hands that wickedly extend to it," language which one source close to him said was not typical of the Lebanese leader.

Hariri's resignation came as more than 200 people, including 11 Saudi princes, current and former ministers and tycoons, were arrested in an anti-corruption purge in Saudi Arabia.

Initially there was speculation Hariri was a target of that campaign because of his family's business interests. But sources close to the Lebanese leader said his forced resignation was motivated by Saudi efforts to counter Iran.

Hariri was taken to meet the Saudi king after his resignation. Footage was aired on Saudi TV. He was then flown to Abu Dhabi to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the Saudi crown prince's main regional ally. He returned to Riyadh and has since received Western ambassadors.

Sources close to Hariri said the Saudis, while keeping Hariri under house arrest, were trying to orchestrate a change of leadership in Hariri's Future Movement by installing his elder brother Bahaa, who was overlooked for the top job when their father was killed. The two have been at odds for years.

In a statement, the Future Movement said it stood fully behind Hariri as its leader. Hariri aide and Interior Minister NohadMachnouk dismissed the idea Bahaa was being positioned to replace his brother:

"We are not herds of sheep or a plot of land whose ownership can be moved from one person to another. In Lebanon things happen though elections not pledges of allegiances."

Family members, aides and politicians who have contacted Hariri in Riyadh say he is apprehensive and reluctant to say anything beyond "I am fine". Asked if he is coming back, they say his normal answer is: "Inshallah" (God willing).

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/how-saudi-arabia-turned-on-lebanons-hariri/articleshow/61612908.cms

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Arab Media: Barzani Seeking to Mend Ties with Iran, Worrying US

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A leading Lebanese newspaper reported that Washington is concerned about former Iraqi Kurdistan region President MassoudBarzani's possible rapprochement with Tehran.

The Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper quoted a source in the US embassy in Baghdad as saying that the American officials are aware and concerned of the secret letters sent by Barzani to the Commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General QassemSoleimani.

The US official didn’t reveal the contents of the letter, but meantime, said that Tehran may accept Barzani's repeated apologies and agree to mediate between Baghdad and Erbil to resolve the problems after the illegal independence referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

Earlier this month, the Arab daily had also quoted the leader of Hezbollah al-Nujaba, a major Iraqi Shiite resistance movement fighting the ISIL, as saying that General Soleimani's talks with different Kurdish sides prevented clashes and bloodshed in Iraq after the referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's efforts to resolve the issue (the problems after the referendum) and the presence of General QassemSoleimani and his talks with all sides led to important achievements and peaceful settlement of problems, prevented bloodshed and kept safe the Iraqi people of all ethnic groups," Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi said.

He also explained about the Iraqi army and popular forces' operations to take back Kirkuk after the independence referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, and said that the Peshmerga forces helped them and the former gained control over the region peacefully.

Al-Kaabi also blasted Barzani for betraying Kurds and implementing the US and Israeli plots.

Also, last month, Representative of the KRG in Tehran NazimDabagh revealed that General Soleimani had warned the Kurdish officials of the consequences of the independence referendum.

"Mr. Soleimani headed meetings with local delegations (in Iraqi Kurdistan region). Mr. Soleimani also had several private meetings with Mr. MassoudBarzani, the president, and NechirvanBarzani, the prime minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan region and the leaders of other parties, including Change (Goran) party," Dabaqh said.

He added that the Iranian side had warned the Kurds not to hold an independence referendum because all powers will stand united against the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

According to Dabaqh, the Iranian side also told the KRG officials and Kurdish groups that Tehran wants the Iraqi Kurds' achievements to be maintained within the framework of the Iraqi constitution.

He lauded General Soleimani and other Iranian officials' efforts to help the Kurds, and said, "We always need relations and friendship of Iran."

Also last month, Dabagh announced that the Kurdish leaders are now ready to resolve the problems created after the independence referendum through talks, lauding efforts made by General Soleimani to this end.

"Mr. Soleimani is the one who has really treated the Iraqi Kurds honestly and he had issued warnings about (consequences of) holding the referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan region before it was held," Dabbagh said.

"It seems that the Islamic Republic of Iran seeks to resolve the problems between the Kurdistan region and the central government in Iraq based on the Iraqi constitution and we assess Iran's measures in this regard as positive," he said.

Meantime, a senior Kurdish Iraqi legislator praised General Soleimani for his mediatory role which led to the settlement of problems after the September 25 independence referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

"Recently, after holding the referendum, a 9-article agreement was signed between Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi Popular forces) Commander Hadi al-Ameri and BafelTalabani, a commander of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) (and son of late Jalal Talabani), under the supervision of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and mediated by QassemSoleimani, the IRGC Quds Force commander, based on which the referendum results were called off until an unspecified time," MassoudHaider wrote on his facebook, Russian news agency Sputnik reported.

Other Kurdish lawmakers were also quoted by Reuters as saying that General Soleimani met leaders from the PUK, one of the two main Kurdish political parties in Iraq and an ally of Tehran, in the city of Sulaimania the day before Premier al-Abadi ordered his forces to advance on Kirkuk.

Reuters reported that General Soleimani told the Kurdish leaders that their Peshmerga forces would not be able to beat Abadi's troops, which had backing from the West and regional powers Iran and Turkey.

"Soleimani's visit...was to give a last-minute chance for the decision makers not to commit a fatal mistake," Reuters quoted one PUK lawmaker as saying.

Ala Talabani, a leading PUK official, said the Iranian General only provided what she described as "wise" counsel in his meetings with Kurdish leaders.

"Soleimani advised us ... that Kirkuk should return to the law and the constitution, so let us come to an understanding," she said on the Arabic language TV station al-Hadath.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960821000506

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South Asia

Taliban and ISIS militants suffer heavy casualties in latest airstrikes

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 12 2017

The Taliban and ISIS militants suffered heavy casualties in latest airstrikes conducted in various provinces of the country, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.

According to a statement by MoD, the airstrikes were carried out in the past 24 hours as part of the ongoing counter-terrorism and clearance operations.

The statement further added at least two ISIS militants were killed and their hideout was destroyed in an airstrike conducted in Achin district of Nangarhar.

At least 8 militants were killed in another airstrike conducted in Tagab district in northeasternKapisa province of Afghanistan.

According to MoD, the security forces also conducted an airstrike in Shindand district of Herat province, leaving at least 5 militants dead and 7 others wounded.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Defense says at least four militants including a local leader of the group were killed in an airstrike conducted in Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz.

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

The Afghan national defense and security forces have stepped up counter-terrorism operations to suppress the insurgency activities of the militant groups.

The US forces based in Afghanistan also conduct airstrikes on militants hideouts as the terror groups attempt to expand their insurgency.

http://www.khaama.com/taliban-and-isis-militants-suffer-heavy-casualties-in-latest-airstrikes-03828

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Afghan Air Force to receive 58 armed Black Hawk helicopters

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 12 2017

The Afghan Air Force is expected to receive 58 armed UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters as part of the $1 billion deal to provide 159 helicopters to the Afghan forces until 2024, it has been reported. (Photo: Stars and Stripes)

According to Stars and Stripes military newspaper, as part of the Black Hawk deal, UH-60A models are being upgraded to a UH-60A+ variant with more powerful engines. Fifty-eight of the aircraft will be fitted with additional rocket pods and machine guns to provide close air support like the Mi-17s.

 Army Maj. Alexmi Lugo, a program manager with NATO’s Train, Advise, Assist Command-Air unit, has told the paper that the training of the Afghan pilots for the helicopters is underway.

This comes as the Afghan government with the support of its international allies and NATO has stepped up efforts to boost the capabilities of Afghan national defense and security forces, particularly the Afghan Air Force.

The NATO defense ministerial also concluded in Brussels last week with the Resolute Support mission mainly consisting train, advise, and assist mission to the Afghan forces being a part of the meeting.

According to a statement by the alliance, the Ministers also agreed on the importance of funding for the Afghan security forces, and welcomed Afghanistan’s intention to make further progress on reforms and reconciliation.

The NATO Secretary General ahead of the meeting had said the alliance will also review progress and discuss what more need to be done to enhance Afghan combat capabilities as he insisted that the alliance will stand united with the conditions-based approach.

http://www.khaama.com/afghan-air-force-to-receive-58-armed-black-hawk-helicopters-03826

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General Dostum to return to Afghanistan soon

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 12 2017

The First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum is expected to return to Afghanistan in the near future as sources close to him informs regarding the conclusion of his medical care in Turkey.

A spokesman for Junbish-e-Millie party KanishkaTurkistani has told BBC’s Afghanistan service that the health condition of Gen. Dostum has improved, his medical treatment has concluded along with some other works in Turkey, and he will return to the country soon as there are no barriers available at the moment for his return.

Dostum left the country for Turkey few months earlier amid ongoing controversies regarding his alleged involvement in the sexual abuse of his rival Ahmad Khan Ishchi.

This comes as reports emerged nearly four months ago suggesting that Gen. Dostum was returning to Afghanistan but his plane was diverted and was no allowed to land in Balkh airport.

In the meantime, informed sources said last week that seven security guards of the first vice president General Abdul Rashid Dostum have been awarded jail terms for their involvement in sexual abuse of ex-governor Ahmad Khan Ishchi.

Sources privy of the development have said the seven security guards of Gen. Dostum were found guilty of the involvement in the torture and abuse of Ishchi by the primary court of the police district of the city.

According to the sources, each of the accused guard has been awarded a jail term of five years for their involvement in the incident.

http://www.khaama.com/general-dostum-to-return-to-afghanistan-soon-03825

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Karzai holds talks on Loya Jirga and elections with Russian Ambassador

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 12 2017

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with the Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan Alexander Mantytskiy in Kabul.

The Office of the Former President in a statement said the Former President discussed the issue of Loya Jirga and upcoming parliamentary elections during his meeting with the Russian envoy.

This comes as Karzai has long been insisting on the government to convene a Loya Jirga or grand council of the elders to discuss the critical issues of the country.

Karzai has stepped up efforts to convene the Loya Jirga specifically after the US President announced the new strategy for South Asia and Afghanistan.

He had earlier said that the new US strategy is against the interests of the region and the country.

President Trump announced the new US strategy late in August and said the consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable.

Trump further added “9/11, the worst terrorist attack in our history, was planned and directed from Afghanistan because that country was ruled by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorists.  A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11th.”

He also added “I concluded that the security threats we face in Afghanistan and the broader region are immense.  Today, 20 U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations are active in Afghanistan and Pakistan — the highest concentration in any region anywhere in the world.”

http://www.khaama.com/karzai-holds-talks-on-loya-jirga-and-elections-with-russian-ambassador-03824

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Mayor of Faizabad in Badakhshan escapes suicide attack unhurt

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Nov 11 2017

A top government official and prominent influential figure escaped unhurt from a suicide attack in northeastern Badakhshan province of Afghanistan.

According to the local authorities, the incident took place in Faizabad, the provincial capital of Badakhshan province earlier this evening.

The officials further added that the influential local figure Gen. NazirNiazi, who is also the mayor of Faizabad, was the target of the attack.

According to the officials, the incident took place as a suicide bomber was attempting to target Gen. Niazi but was identified and eliminated before he manage to target him.

The eyewitnesses in the area are saying that Gen. Niazi had participated in a football match when the incident took place.

No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

Badakshan is among the relatively volatile provinces in northeastern Afghanistan which has witnessed growing violence, mainly due to Taliban-led insurgency during the recent years.

The militants often carry out coordinated attacks, roadside bombings, and other types of insurgency activities occasionally in this province.

http://www.khaama.com/mayor-of-faizabad-in-badakhshan-escapes-suicide-attack-unhurt-03823

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Explosion targets Taliban leader’s vehicle in East of Afghanistan

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Nov 11 2017

An explosion ripped through a vehicle of the Taliban leader in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, the local officials said Saturday.

The incident took place late on Friday night in the vicinity of Ghani Khel district of Nangarhar province.

The provincial govenment media office in a statement said at the local Taliban leader was travelling in area 27 and 28 of the district when his vehicle struck a roadside mine.

The statement further added that the Taliban leader was wounded in the explosion along with three other militants in the explosion.

No further details were given regarding the incident with the Taliban group yet to comment.

Nangarhar is among the relatively calm provinces in eastern Afghanistan but the anti-government armed militant groups have recently increased their insurgency activities in some parts of the province during the recent years.

Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to the other militant groups frequently use improvised explosive device as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces and government workers.

But in majority of such incidents the ordinary people are targeted besides such incidents inflicts casualties to militants, mainly due to the premature explosions.

http://www.khaama.com/explosion-targets-taliban-leaders-vehicle-in-east-of-afghanistan-03822

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Mideast

Islamic Jihad: Israel's threats against leadership 'a declaration of war'

Elior Levy and Yael Friedson|Published:  12.11.17

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group said Sunday that comments recently made by a senior IDF official promising to target its leadership in the event of any “revenge attacks” launched against Israel are tantamount to “a declaration of war.”

"We will not weaken the the leadership of our people and of our land. The threat by the enemy to harm the leadership is on the border of a declaration of war and we will deal with them,” the organization said in a statement.

The statement came in response to a video posted on the internet Saturday evening by Maj. Gen. Yoav (Poli) Mordechai, who said that Israel is “aware of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's plot that is being formed against Israel,” before warning that it is “playing with fire” and that any attack would be met with “force” and “determination” as the IDF targets the group’s leadership.

Speaking in Arabic, Mordechai said both Islamic Jihad and Hamas would be held responsible for any revenge attacks launched on Israel for the IDF’s recent explosion of a terror tunnel that has penetrated into its territory. During the explosion, several Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed.

Shortly after Israel blew up the tunnel, Hamas warned it constituted a “grave escalation.”

Among those killed were senior commanders of terror groups while another 11 were wounded in the explosions.

“Israel exploded a terror tunnel two weeks ago inside its territory under the sovereignty of the State of Israel,” Mordechai said.

“It is playing with fire at the expense of the residents of the Gaza Strip, at the expense of the Palestinian reconciliation agreements and the entire region.

"It should be clear: Any response by Islamic Jihad, whatever it may be, will be responded to by Israel with power and determination, not only against Islamic Jihad but also against Hamas. We advise the Islamic Jihad leadership in Damascus to be careful and get things under control,” he continued.

“Leaders of Islamic Jihad in Damascus—Ramadan ShalahZiadNakhaleh—get your hands around this quickly because you are the ones who will be held responsible.”

According to the latest Islamic Jihad statement, Mordechai’s words revealed "Israel’s real intentions." It further indicated that violent reprisals for the tunnel explosion should be expected.

“These threats show the real intentions of the Zionists. We have a right to respond to any aggression and, therefore, have a right to respond to criminal aggressions against the resistance tunnels that caused the death of 12 fighters from the military wing of Hamas and the (Islamic) Jihad,” the statement read before issuing a stern warning.

“Our message to Israel: Your hands, drenched in the blood of our children, will not stop killing until they are cut off or expelled from our land and country.

“The enemy’s terror and threats do not frighten us and will not deter our leadership from the path of Jihad—the principle of our defense and resistance.”

The “enemy forces,” it concluded, “are violating the ceasefire that was brokered by Egypt in 2014."

Earlier on Sunday, a senior Islamic Jihad official in Gaza, Khaled al-Batash, said his terror organization will have no other choice to “punish” Israel for killing its members.

“Israel has killed 12 Palestinians in Gaza and another one in the West (Bank) over the last two weeks … When they kill men of the resistance, and especially from Islamic Jihad, we have no other choice but to punish the occupier, and continue to strengthen the buildup of forces from a conflict,” al-Batash said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the possible attack in his opening Cabinet remarks Sunday, reiterating that Hamas will bear ultimate responsibility for any attack launched from the Gaza Strip.

“There are people who are still trying to play around with new attacks against Israel. Our hand will be extremely heavy against any element in any place. By element I mean factions, scouters or organizations. We see Hamas as responsible for all attacks that emanate from Gaza against us,” Netanyahu said.

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5041699,00.html

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Iran's Sunni Leader Says Discrimination Is A Big 'Problem'

 

The de facto leader of Iran’s Sunnis, Zahedan’s Prayer Leader Molavi (Mawlana) Abdola-Hamid has again complained of “discrimination and inequality”.

He has reiterated that Sunnis do not get high level government jobs and he is personally under travel restrictions. He also says that there are “no written laws” on such matters.

In an interview published by state run Iranian Students News Agency, ISNA, on Saturday, November 11, the charismatic Sunni clergy has insisted that there is no oral or written order barring him from travelling around.

But when he travels, MolaviAbdol Hamid says, security and intelligence forces interfere and they even create problems for his hosts.

Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, CHRI, had recently reported that MolaviAbdol Hamid has been barred from traveling, except to the capital, Tehran.

It is also reported that Sunni leaders from different parts of Iran are barred to visit his stronghold, Zahedan.

His exclusion from the list of guests at President Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration last August triggered a stream of vitriol among the incumbent’s reformist allies.

Reformists complained that Sunnis, thanks to MolaviAbdol Hamid’s guidance, played a pivotal role in Rouhani’s reelection and he deserved to be invited to the swearing-in ceremony.

Deputy Speaker of the parliament, Ali Motahari also insisted that leaving the Sunni leader’s name out of the list of the inauguration guests was a mistake.

Two weeks before last May’s presidential election, Abdol-Hamid had criticized what he said was discrimination against Sunnis by the ruling system.

“Iran does not belong only to Sunnis or Shi’a or the Persians; Iran belongs to all ethnic groups and religious groups,” he said. “National unity and lasting security depends on the elimination of discrimination and equal treatment of all the nation.”

Four years ago, regions with substantial Sunni populations, such as Kurdish and Turkmen areas and Sistan-Baluchestan Province, gave the highest votes to Rouhani.

However, Rouhani kept Sunnis out of his first cabinet, disregarding the fact that more than 70% of the people in mainly Sunni populated provinces of Kurdistan and Sistan and Baluchestan voted for him.

Keeping Sunni’s away from high positions forced MolaviAbdol Hamid to once again directly write a letter to the Supreme Leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei in August, complaining about discriminations Sunnis suffer from.

Khamenei, who had ignored Abdol-Hamid’s previous letters, this time chose to respond by saying, “the pillars of the Islamic Republic”, based on the Constitution, are “duty bound” to refrain from discrimination against Iranian citizens.

However, according to Article 12 of the Islamic Republic’s constitution, the official denomination of the country is Twelver Imams Shi’a.

Furthermore, Article 115 stipulates that high positions in the Islamic Republic, i.e. the Supreme Leadership and Presidency are exclusive to the Shi’a, therefore Sunnis, as well as followers of other religions and denominations cannot take these key positions.

Moreover, Sunnis have been barred from building their own mosque in the capital, while many Sunni clergy have been detained in recent years.

MolaviAbdol Hamid, recently met EbrahimRaisi, Rouhani’s main challenger in last May’s election, but he told ISNA that the meeting did not necessarily mean Sunnis were going to make a U-turn and vote for the conservatives in next presidential election.

“Supporting a candidate in next election depends on the situation at the time. Yet, both factions [of the ruling system], reformists and conservatives need inner change”, MolaviAbdol Hamid told ISNA.

“Reformists need to fulfill their promises and stop hanging on to their high positions. They should serve the people, as well”, the Sunni top cleric noted, adding “The conservatives should also avoid being illiberal and narrow minded. They should take the international, regional and internal situations and trends into account”.

In another part of his interview, MolaviAbdol Hamid insists, “If we bring women and Sunnis into our cabinet international attitudes towards us will significantly improve. We should not stay behind [other countries]. Currently, there are several women serving in [United Arab] Emirates’ cabinet and one of them is a Baluch emigre. Why not having her in our own government?”

However, many analysts, including former MP and political activist, Hassel Dasseh, believe that a number of Grand Ayatollahs are behind keeping Sunnis out of the Islamic Republic’s cabinets.

In an interview with Campaign for Human Rights in Iran’s website, the reformist former MP has disclosed, “During a gathering with a number of officials, they told me that senior ayatollahs have called government officials, ordering them to ‘wrap-up’ what they labelled as “Sunni shenanigans”.

https://en.radiofarda.com/a/iran-sunni-leader-complains-of-discrimination/28849230.html

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Iranian President: US, Israel Enraged by Foiled Regional Plots

 

TEHRAN (FNA)-Iran''s President Hassan Rouhani expressed pleasure with the regional nations' victories over the terrorist groups and plots to disintegrate their countries, and said that the US and Israel are angry with these successes.

"Today, the Iraqi, Syrian and Lebanese people, supported by their armies and the friendly states, specially the Islamic Republic of Iran, could almost get rid of problems, and the terrorism issue is coming to an end as no other city is in the hands of the ISIL and other terrorists anymore, and they (the terrorists) will be annihilated in the near future," President Rouhani told reporters after a meeting with the heads of the legislative and judiciary in Tehran on Saturday.

Stressing that the enemies also failed in their plots to disintegrate the regional states and change their geographical borders, he said, "Therefore, today we are witnessing a major success in the region and the US and the Zionist regime and their allies are naturally sad and enraged with these successes."

"The conditions in the region show that plots have fallen flat and therefore, they are after other plots in the region and people are needed to keep vigilant," President Rouhani said.

In relevant remarks in October, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani blasted the US officials for their unfounded allegations concerning the ongoing campaign against terrorism and extremism in the region, and said that Washington and Tel Aviv are doing their utmost to hinder the resistance front's removal of the terrorist groups.

"The US and the Zionist regime of Israel feel threatened by any balance shift in the region in favor of regional people and governments engaged in the fight against terrorism,” Shamkhani said in a meeting with Deputy Head of Hamas Political Bureau Saleh al-Arouri in Tehran.

The SNSC secretary expressed the hope that Hamas would continue its revolutionary approach and battle against the Tel Aviv regime and said Takfiri groups and their allies have regretfully carried out inhumane and non-Islamic measures which have tarnished the image of Islam.

Shamkhani emphasized that any measure which would result in the Palestinian cause losing its status as the first priority of the Muslim world or promote reconciliation with the Israeli regime would be an unforgivable act of treachery against all Muslims.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960820000972

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Weeks after deadly tunnel attack, Israel and Islamic Jihad exchange threats

NOV. 12, 2017

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Nearly two weeks after the Israeli army blew up a tunnel that ran between the southern Gaza Strip and Israel, killing 12 Palestinian fighters from the Islamic Jihad and Hamas movements, Israel has continued to exchange threats with the groups, saying that it will “respond with force” to any retaliation from Gaza.

Israeli news website Ynet reported on Sunday that Major General of the Israeli army, Yoav Mordechai, released a video in Arabic on Saturday night vowing to “respond with power and determination” to any “revenge attack” staged by the groups.

“(Islamic Jihad) is playing with fire at the expense of the residents of the Gaza Strip, at the expense of the Palestinian reconciliation agreements and the entire region,” Mordechai said.

Islamic Jihad responded to Mordechai's video on Sunday, calling it a “declaration of war.”

“The threat by the enemy to harm the leadership is a declaration of war and we will deal with them,” the organization said in a statement.

Also on Sunday, Khaled al-Batash, a senior Islamic Jihad official in Gaza, said the organization will “have no other choice to punish Israel for killing its members,” Ynet said.

“Israel has killed 12 Palestinians in Gaza and another one in the West (Bank) over the last two weeks … When they kill men of the resistance, and especially from Islamic Jihad, we have no other choice but to punish the occupier, and continue to strengthen the buildup of forces from a conflict,” al-Batash reportedly said.

Israeli officials have accused Hamas of "preparing" for another war with Israel and have threatened retaliatory measures against the Gaza Strip as a whole. However, despite Hamas' inflammatory rhetoric against Israel, the movement has not officially claimed responsibility for any military action from Gaza against Israel since the 2014 war.

While the tunnels in Gaza are used by Hamas as a source of tax revenue and inflow of weapons, they also supply highly demanded necessities for Gazans -- who have been trapped under Israeli siege for a decade -- including food, medicine, and much-needed infrastructure materials.

The majority of the two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are sealed inside the coastal enclave due to the continuation of the military blockade imposed by Israel and upheld by Egypt on the southern border.

The destruction from three Israeli offensives since 2008, including damage to the enclave’s water, sanitation, energy, and medical facilities, coupled with slow reconstruction due to the blockade, led the UN to warn that Gaza could be “uninhabitable” by 2020.

http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=779472

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Iran tells France nuclear deal 'not negotiable'

November 12, 2017

Iran's nuclear deal is “not negotiable”, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said Saturday in response to remarks by the French president.

Emmanuel Macron called for vigilance towards Tehran over its ballistic missile programme and regional activities, in an interview published Wednesday by the Emirati daily Al-Ittihad.

“We have told French leaders on several occasions that the Iran nuclear deal is not negotiable and that no other issues can be included in the text” of the 2015 agreement, state news agency IRNA quoted Ghassemi as saying.

France, he said, is “fully aware of our country's intangible position concerning the issue of Iran's defensive affairs which are not negotiable”.

In the interview with Al-Ittihad, published during Macron's 24-hour visit to Abu Dhabi, the French president said: “It is important to remain firm with Iran over its regional activities and its ballistic programme.”

Macron also said there was no immediate alternative to the Iranian nuclear deal — long lambasted by US President Donald Trump -- which curbs Iran's nuclear programme.

France has been trying to salvage the 2015 nuclear which Iran signed with six world powers —Britain, China, Germany, France, Russia and the United States.

On October 13, Macron told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a phone call that France remained committed to the deal.

But the French leader stressed it was also necessary to have a dialogue with Iran on other strategic issues, including Tehran's ballistic missile programme and regional security, a proposal ruled out by Iran.

Macron's visit this week to Abu Dhabi came amid renewed tensions between regional arch-rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Iran's nuclear deal saw sanctions imposed on Tehran lifted in exchange for limits on its atomic programme.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1370054/iran-tells-france-nuclear-deal-not-negotiable

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Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank-Egypt 9-month profits jump to 500.7mn pounds

Published Sunday, 12 November 2017 11:31        | Written by Amwal Al Ghad English

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank-Egypt (ADIB) said Sunday its nine-month profits jumped to 500.7 million Egyptian pounds ($28.3 million) from 272.1 million pounds during the same period in 2016.

Net interest income rose to 1.48 billion pounds, compared with 1 billion pounds last year.

http://en.amwalalghad.com/business/banks/60687-abu-dhabi-islamic-bank-egypt-9-month-profits-jump-to-5007mn-pounds.html

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Bahrain calls pipeline blast 'terrorism' linked to Iran

Reuters | Nov 12, 2017

KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia: Bahrain said an explosion which caused a fire at its main oil pipeline on Friday was caused by "terrorist" sabotage, linking the unprecedented attack to its arch-foe Iran, which denies any role in the Gulf island kingdom's unrest.

A key Western ally and host to the US Fifth Fleet, Sunni Muslim-ruled Bahrain has for years grappled with protests and sporadic violence coming from its Shi'ite majority.

"The incident was an act of sabotage and a dangerous act of terrorism aimed at harming the higher interests of the nation and the safety of the people," the interior ministry said on its website.

"Terrorist acts witnessed by the country in the recent period are carried out through direct contacts and instructions from Iran," the statement quoted Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah al-Khalifa as saying.

In Tehran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi rejected the allegations as "false talk and childish accusations", the ministry said on its website.

Bahraini authorities said they had brought under control the fire at the oil pipeline.

State-run Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) closed the flow of oil to the stricken pipeline, the civil defence said in a statement earlier on Saturday.

Residents close to the incident near Buri village, some 15 kilometres (10 miles) from the capital Manama, were being evacuated to a safe shelter, the statement added.

Saudi Arabia's energy ministry said pumping to Bahrain had been suspended and the kingdom was stepping up security precautions at its own facilities.

"The attack on the pipeline ... was followed by the suspension of the pumping of oil to the State of Bahrain," the Saudi Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources said.

"The Ministry of Energy also confirmed that it has increased its security precautions at all its facilities, and that all these facilities enjoy the highest levels of protection and safety," it added in a statement.

After authorities quashed Shi'ite-led "Arab Spring" protests in 2011, militants have launched deadly bombing and shooting attacks against security forces that Manama blames on Tehran.

Iran denies any role in Bahrain's unrest.

Bahrain relies on the Abu Safa oilfield for the majority of its oil. It shares the field with Saudi Arabia. Oil to Bahrain is transported via the 55 km A-B pipeline which has a capacity of 230,000 barrels per day (bpd).

A new 350,000-bpd oil pipeline between the two countries will be completed next year and will serve the planned expansion of Bahrain's refinery capacity.

Arabian Light crude oil will flow from Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq plant via the 115-km new pipeline, 73 km of which will run overland and the rest under the Gulf.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/bahrain-calls-pipeline-blast-terrorism-linked-to-iran/articleshow/61613840.cms

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Europe

Paris suburb tries to stop Muslim street prayers

Sun Nov 12, 2017

Tensions have erupted as residents and the mayor of a Paris suburb on Friday tried to block Muslims from praying in the street, in a dispute that reflects nationwide problems with mosque shortages.

Police formed a human barricade between a few dozen Muslim residents trying to pray in the streets of Clichy-la-Garenne and more than a hundred demonstrators trying to stop them.

As the Muslims chanted "Allahuakbar," or "God is great" in Arabic, the demonstrators sang the French national anthem, La Marseillaise.

Mayor Remi Muzeau led demonstrators to the site where Muslims have been praying for months. Those praying tried to set up on a side street instead, but police pushed them back, prompting minor skirmishes.

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/11/12/541909/Paris-suburb-Muslim-street-prayers

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Concerns over Islamist and far right extremism saw 400 anti-terror referrals by schools

12 NOV 2017

700 North-east referrals were aged under 20 :: Figures released after two Northallerton teens face terror murder plot charges

If Your Child is Addicted to Smartphones, You Must Watch this Video (Flintobox)Revealed: Breathtaking Wives of the World's Richest Men (Hooch)

Up to 700 teenagers were referred to the government’s anti-terror programme in the North-east last year, new figures show.

More than half of the 1,273 people supported by Prevent were under 20 - with a shocking 347 under the age of 15.

The Prevent programme aims to stop people being drawn into terrorism.

And new figures, released by the Home Office, shows that concerns over Islamist extremism drove the majority of the calls in the North-east.

But worryingly, there were more referrals about the extreme far right - 159 - than anywhere else in the country.

More than 400 referrals were made by education professionals in the North-east.

It is the first time the government has published detailed figures on the initiative, created more than a decade ago.

It attempts to de-radicalise those who express extreme views.

Labour’s Naz Shah said the figures reinforced her concerns about the scheme, but security minister Ben Wallace said it had got “real results”.

Chief Constable Simon Cole, the national policing lead for Prevent, said the number of referrals showed that “trust and support is growing” for the programme.

The figures represent a massive jump in referrals - there were only 30 in the North-east in 2014/15, the year before the latest data.

Prevent only release details by the region, and do not provide figures just for the Teesside area.

Earlier this month, two 14-year-olds appeared in court charged with plotting to murder teachers and children in a Columbine School-style attack.

Lawyers for the boys, from Northallerton, North Yorkshire, indicated they will deny conspiracy to murder.

One of the teenagers is also charged with aggravated burglary.

An investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East has been under way since the boys were arrested on Saturday, October 28.

Appearing via video link from Westminster, a prosecutor said the charges were a result of an “extremely disturbing series of events”.

The teenagers, who cannot be identified, were remanded into custody until their next appearance at Leeds Crown Court on December 4.

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/concerns-over-islamist-far-right-13888374

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Morons who claim Muslims don’t integrate angered by advert showing Muslims integrating

 

The latest Tesco advert has ruffled a few feathers in the bigoted community after showing a scene of Muslims exchanging gifts for Christmas, despite that being exactly what the racists keep demanding.

The advert depicts a number of different friends and family groups celebrating Christmas, including a group of Muslim friends, prompting outbursts on right-wing social media nationwide.

Britain First supporter and belligerent idiot Simon Williams took to Facebook to express his emotions in a reasoned and rational manner.

“Bloody Tesco!” he painstakingly typed using only one finger, “Pushing all this inclusive, diversity crap at us.

“I know I’m always going on about how if the Muslims wanna live here they need to speak our language and celebrate our festivals like Christmas, but to actually show them integrating and celebrating our festivals like Christmas on TV is disgusting.

“It’s political correctness gone mad.”

He went on, “If they want to celebrate Christmas – AND THEY BLOODY WELL SHOULD – then we shouldn’t have it thrust down our throats.”

Tesco have responded by saying that if they had wanted to be fully inclusive they would have shown a group of racists standing around struggling to get their heads around the fact that Muslims, Christians and Jews all worship the same God anyway.

http://newsthump.com/2017/11/12/morons-who-claim-muslims-dont-integrate-angered-by-advert-showing-muslims-integrating/

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UN-OPCW report conclusions on alleged use of sarin gas by Syrian gov't baseless: Russia

November 12, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Russian Foreign Ministry said that conclusions of UN-OPCW report which claims the Syrian government responsibility for use of Sarin gas are “baseless”.

The Russian Foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the UN-OPCW report on Khan Sheikhoun focuses solely on justifying the conclusions presented by the US that Damascus is responsible for the chemical attacks and tailors the facts to this version.

The ministry said that the opinions of Russian experts were not taken into consideration during the investigation, though “they are indeed objective, because, unlike the Joint Investigative Mechanism report, they are based on laws of physics, ballistics and technical analysis.” and the conclusions has been published on November 9, in an official document.

“If Mr. Mulet {Head of the United Nations-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM)} does not agree with them, he should present convincing and well-based objections, instead of engaging in innuendo in his contacts with press,” the ministry added.

Moscow has never attempted to impose its conclusions on the investigation of chemical weapons attacks in Syria on the JIM, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

http://en.abna24.com/news/europe/un-opcw-report-conclusions-on-alleged-use-of-sarin-gas-by-syrian-govt-baseless-russia_866345.html

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Geneva hosts global Muslim World League gathering

Arab News | Published — Sunday 12 November 2017

Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, the Vatican’s Permanent Observer in the UN in Geneva, said that the right way to achieve real peace was through religious tolerance.

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League, stressed the importance of approaching the world with more optimism and hope.

GENEVA: Prominent thinkers, authors, diplomats and other personalities gathered to see the Muslim World League (MWL) launch the “Role of Religions in the Reinforcement of Global Peace” forum in Geneva on Thursday.

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the MWL, said in his opening speech that his organization, as an umbrella for Muslim nations, works hard to explain true Islam, to fight extremism and terrorism, to enhance religious and intellectual awareness among Muslim communities, and to communicate with all concerned to promote moderation, tolerance and peace.

Al-Issa stressed the importance of approaching the world with more optimism and hope, working hard to reinforce peace and security, and accepting diversity among people.

In this respect, he pointed that the Kingdom has become a global platform for fighting extremism and terrorism.

Dr. Al-Issa stressed that terrorism must be tracked in the cyberspace, adding that people of different faiths and cultures should resist exclusionism and hate theories, such as Islamophobia, which is currently considered the most difficult hurdle against the efforts of fighting extremism and positive integration of Muslim minorities.

Al-Issa blamed personal ambition and political competition regardless of facts and true conscience for arriving at this situation.

On the other hand, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, the Vatican’s Permanent Observer in the UN in Geneva, said that the right way to achieve real peace was through religious tolerance, stressing that peace and tolerance should be far from force or coercion, and that the promotion of the culture of respect for all religions is important to have peace-loving generations.

Reverend Dr. Olav FykseTveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, talked about the concept of the Abrahamic family and the establishment of peaceful coexistence.

Dr.Tveit stressed that members of the Abrahamic family believe in one God who created humans to live together. “We are here today to share these ideas and display together what our belief means in real practice,” he added.

Next, Dr.Fawzia Al-Ashmawi, professor at the University of Geneva, noted that Jews, Christians and Muslims share a common origin and one founding forefather: Abraham. She stressed that followers of the three religions share this belief. Moreover, she said, Islam considers Jews and Christians as “People of the Book,” recognizes the Torah and Bible as Holy Books, believes in Moses and Jesus as prophets of God who have outstanding positions in the Qur’an, and calls the mother of Jesus Virgin Mary.

Ashmawi stressed the importance of looking for commonalities among the three religions and promoting dialogue in order to live in peace.

The first common point shared by the three religions, she said, is that the three Holy Books have common elements which tackle issues of the hereafter, such as resurrection, reckoning, apocalypse, paradise and hell, among other things.

Ashmawi noted that followers of the three religions should always hold fruitful dialogues on the basis of reaching a common approach.

In the forum’s second session, Michele John talked about the issue of religion against extremism and terrorism.

John said that you should do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

He also stressed that violence, in all shapes and forms, must be condemned, and cited the Italian author Castiglione, who stood against terrorism and is considered one of the founders of peace among religions.

John condemned the actions of groups which conduct violent acts against Muslims in Myanmar.

The forum concluded its sessions by calling for a new international global motto: “Peace for some communities is peace for all communities,” based on the fact that the whole world has become so interconnected that the corruption of one part would necessarily extend to spoil the other parts as well. The forum warned that complacency in promoting justice, freedom, tolerance and peace among all religions and cultures would probably form a basis for an extreme idea or terrorist crime.

The forum called in its recommendations for intensifying the meetings between Muslim scholars and scholars from other faiths in order to discuss outstanding issues and problems and form common concepts about them.

The forum also stressed the importance of getting rid of the effects of the historical conflicts to promote peace and mutual understanding and reject the culture of violence and exclusion.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1192091/saudi-arabia

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North America

Civilians Killed in US Air Raid on Ambulance in Eastern Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The US-led coalition attack drones targeted an ambulance carrying the injured in DeirEzzur province, killing over 10 civilians and several rescuers, local sources reported on Sunday.

The sources said that the drones attacked the ambulance in Tal (hill) al-Shayer region near the village of al-Da'eiji in DeirEzzur province near the border with Iraq, destroying the ambulance and killing 10 civilians and several rescuers.

Local sources confirmed on Saturday that a number of civilians were killed and several more were wounded in the US-led coalition airstrikes in Northern DeirEzzur.

The sources said that the fighter jets bombed the settlement of Harizeh in al-Basireh region in Northern DeirEzzur, killing five civilians and wounding several others.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960821000463

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Bangla-Myanmar talks should lead to return of Rohingya: US

PTI | Nov 12, 2017

WASHINGTON: The talks between governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar should lead to voluntary return of Rohingya Muslims back to the Rakhine State, a senior US diplomat has said.

The diplomat had recently led a high-level US delegation to Myanmar and Bangladesh, where he visited refugees camps and met officials. He had described the situation on the ground as "serious" and the scale of problem as "immense".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to visit Myanmar early next week to hold talks with both the civilian and military officials.

Since August, more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have landed in neighbouring Bangladesh due to alleged atrocities by the security forces in Myanmar's Rakhine State.

Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries of the world, has gone out of the way to provide shelter and humanitarian assistance to these Rohingya refugees. A move which was appreciated by the governments and the humanitarian and relief organisations from across the world.

Given the strain that the refugees crisis has been putting on its economy, the Bangladesh government has been in talks with the government of Myanmar for the return of the refugees.

"I am not going to comment on the relations between the two countries other than to say that we support their talks and they have already held and further talks on solving the Rohingya issue," Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Simon Henshaw told reporters during a teleconference with South Asian media this week.

"We believe these talks should lead to voluntary return of Rohingya people back to Rakhine state. The conditions in Rakhine state must be made secure and stable so that people are willing to return and that people should be able to return to their land and that this process involve political reconciliation inside Rakhine State," he said.

"On the actions of the Bangladeshi government, we much appreciate them and praise the effort they've made to deal with this huge number of people coming into their country," he said, adding that the American delegation spoke with a number of different ministries when they were there.

In Myanmar, the delegation met with government officials, Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine community leaders including a visit to a camp for people who have been internally displaced.

"We urge the Myanmar government to act to restore the rule of law, protect local populations and investigate alleged human rights abuses and violations and to hold those responsible, accountable," he said.

The official welcomed the government's plans for repatriation and encouraged them to implement a peace plan soon as possible emphasising the importance of creating safe conditions that would allow refugees to voluntarily return to their villages.

The US delegation, during its visit to Bangladesh, had met with government officials, international organisation and NGOSs and visited refugee camps near Coxes Bazaar, which he said was so shocking.

"The scale of the refugee crisis is immense. More than 600,000 people displaced from their homes since August 25th and the conditions here conditions are tough with people still in makeshift tents and shelters as far as the eye can see," he said.

"People were suffering. Many refugees told us through tears accounts of seeing their villages burned their relatives kill in front of them. Some of them recalled being shot at as they fled. Despite this trauma many expressed a strong desire to return to their homes in Burma provided that their safety security and rights could be guaranteed," Henshaw said.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/bangla-myanmar-talks-should-lead-to-return-of-rohingya-us/articleshow/61616493.cms

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Trump allows US troops to join Afghan raids on Taliban targets

November 12, 2017

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration is allowing American troops in Afghanistan to participate in joint operations with official Afghan forces and to call in air strikes when needed, US officials say.

Several current and former Pentagon officials told Foreign Policy magazine that the Trump administration is also sending thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan to participate in these missions.

“Hundreds of American troops will accompany Afghan forces on combat missions, where they will be able to directly request bombing raids and artillery fire for their Afghan partners,” the magazine reported.

Last month, the US Air Forces Central Command reported that the number of US air strikes in Afghanistan hit a seven-year high in September as the military acted on President Donald Trump’s new strategy for the country.

US forces dropped 751 bombs against the Taliban and the militant Islamic State (IS) group targets in Afghanistan in September, an increase of 50 per cent from the 503 dropped in August and the most since the Battle of Sangin in late 2010, when more than 100 US and British troops were killed while fighting the Taliban.

Senior US military officers, who spoke to Foreign Policy, say the approach of embedding American forces with Afghan units in the field is modelled on the US-led air war in Iraq and Syria, where American commandos dialed in heavy firepower while local Iraqi and Kurdish forces fought the IS on the ground.

While US special operations troops will continue to participate in this mission in Afghanistan, newly arrived American soldiers will also spread out with with small Afghan units in the field, the magazine reported.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1369935/trump-allows-us-troops-to-join-afghan-raids-on-taliban-targets

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Body of US Soldier Killed in Niger Bound, Likely Executed

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The body of one of four US Special Forces troops killed during an ambush by suspected militants in Niger last month was found with his arms tied and a huge wound at the back of his head, two local witnesses have said, suggested that he may have been executed after being captured.

Adamou Boubacar, a 23-year-old farmer and trader, said some children tending cattle found the remains of the soldier, identified as Sgt. La David Johnson, on October 6, two days after the attack outside the remote Niger village of TongoTongo, which also left five Nigerien soldiers dead, US daily The Washington Post reported Satureday.

The accounts offered by the villagers come as the Niger operation is under intense scrutiny in the United States, with lawmakers expressing concerns that they have received insufficient or conflicting information about what happened.

According to the report, the Pentagon is conducting an investigation into the attack in Niger, where the US military is helping the Nigerien government confront a threat by militants suspected of being affiliated with the Daesh terrorist group and al-Qaeda.

A US military official with knowledge of the probe into the ambush admitted that Johnson’s body appeared viciously battered but cautioned against reaching any conclusions until the probe is completed.

“When the Americans received Johnson, his hands were not tied,” the official said, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.

The accounts, the report adds, could help explain why it to took two days to find Johnson’s body, while the other men’s remains were retrieved several hours after the battle.

Johnson’s widow has stated that US military authorities advised her not to view his corpse, a suggestion often made when remains are badly disfigured.

The widow, Myeshia Johnson, has emerged as a prominent figure in the uproar over the Niger attack, accusing US President Donald Trump of acting cavalierly about her husband in a condolence call, a charge the White House has denied. She also has complained of receiving little information about what happened to her spouse.

Meanwhile, FBI and US military investigators have arrived in Niger to try to determine what happened in the October 4 assault on an 11-member Army Special Forces team and 30 Nigerien troops.

The case has received enormous attention in the United States because of conflicting accounts over whether the soldiers were on a low-risk patrol or had changed plans and set out in pursuit of local insurgents. Questions also have been raised about why the team was lightly armed, given the danger in the area.

Pentagon officials have said the soldiers were on a routine reconnaissance mission. Under US military rules, American troops in Niger are not supposed to go on combat missions in the country, but they can “advise and assist” on missions with local forces where the chance of enemy contact is low.

It was not clear why a team mostly armed with rifles was ordered to assist an operation to nab a dangerous extremist.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960821001236

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Pakistan

'Foreign spy agency' planning to kill Hafiz Saeed, fears Pakistan

Omer Farooq Khan | TNN | Nov 12, 2017

ISLAMABAD: In a veiled reference to India's intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Pakistani authorities responsible for countering terrorism have asked the home department of the Punjab province to beef up security for the detained mastermind of Mumbai terror attacks Hafiz Saeed, claiming that a plan was hatched by a "foreign spy agency" to kill him through members of a banned militant outfit.

Saeed is currently being kept at his residence, 116-E, in Johar town, Lahore.

According to official sources, the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NCTA), Pakistan's internal counter-terrorism authority, has sent a letter to Lahore-based home department of Punjab, claiming that a "foreign spy agency" had paid Rs 80 million to two activists of a proscribed militant group to kill Saeed.

NCTA was formed in 2009 and has been mandated to devise a counter-terrorism strategy to address short, medium and long-term goals for security challenges faced by Pakistan besides plans for their implementation.

It asked the home department to ensure strict security measures in the surroundings of Saeed's Lahore residence, which has been declared a prison for him by the Punjab's government.

Saeed was put under house arrest earlier this year. His banned outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a front for terror organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), had launched the Milli Muslim League this year in August, but the Election Commission of Pakistan had rejected to register it as a political party.

In 2012, the US had announced a $10 million bounty for information leading to Saeed's arrest and conviction. Following his arrest, the JuD had started its activities under the banner of Tehreek-e-Azadi Jammu & Kashmir, but last July it was also declared a banned outfit and was added to the list of proscribed organisations by the home ministry.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/foreign-spy-agency-planning-to-kill-hafiz-saeed-fears-pakistan/articleshow/61611804.cms

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11 ministers agree TPP deal without US

November 12, 2017

DANANG: Ministers from 11 Asia-Pacific countries agreed on Saturday to press ahead with a major trade deal without the United States, as the world’s largest economy seeks to go it alone under President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy.

Trump pulled his country from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) at the start of the year, dismaying allies and casting into doubt an agreement heralded for tying lower tariffs to strong environmental and labour protections.

He has been something of a lone protectionist voice at the APEC summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang where world leaders, including China’s Xi Jinping, have been keen to promote the virtues of free trade and multilateral deals.

In a joint statement on Saturday morning, the remaining countries — dubbed the TPP-11 — said they had “agreed on the core elements” of a deal at the sidelines of the APEC summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang, after days of stalled talks raised fears it could collapse altogether.

The ministers said further talks would be needed to reach a full consensus before inking the deal, which now carries an even longer official name — the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Japan’s lead negotiator ToshimitsuMotegi said the remaining members would still welcome the United States back into their pact.

“This time all the 11 countries are on board and this would send out a very strong positive message to the United States and other Asia Pacific countries in the region,” he said.

Francois-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s trade minister, described the breakthrough in a tweet as “big progress”.

Canada had held out to maintain environmental and labour protections linked to freer markets in the deal.

Those elements were thrown into jeopardy by America’s sudden withdrawal from the deal earlier this year.

Canada had dug in over those progressive clauses. But they are much less attractive to countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Chile and Peru now that the carrot of access to the huge US market has been pulled.

Upended consensus

Trump’s election has upended years of American-led moves to open up global trade.

The US president is among leaders attending the APEC summit in Danang and on Friday he ladled out more of his trademark “America First” rhetoric.

In a strident address he said his country will “no longer tolerate” unfair trade, closed markets and intellectual property theft.

“We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of any more,” he added, taking a swipe at multilateral trade deals.

Shortly after, China’s Xi offered a starkly different vision, casting his country as the new global leader for free trade.

Beijing is not included in the TPP, a deal initially driven through by the former US administration as a counterweight to surging Chinese power in Asia.

China has since sought to fill the free trade gap left by the United States, even if much of its own market remains protected.

Japan, the world’s third largest economy, has been particularly active in pushing for a swift consensus on TPP, fearful that delays could lead to the collapse of the pact after years of negotiations and hand more regional influence to China.

But Canada has pushed back against a quick fix.

“This is about setting the terms of trade for generations,” a Canadian delegation source told AFP.

Analysts say the provisional deal reached in Danang will breath new life into global free trade deals at a time when the United States is turning its back on them.

Deborah Elms, executive director of the Asian Trade Centre, told AFP that even without the US, TPP-11 is “the most important trade agreement signed in the last 20 years”.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1369931/11-ministers-agree-tpp-deal-without-us

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Musharraf's 'grand alliance' falls apart on second day

PTI | Nov 12, 2017

ISLAMABAD: In a setback to Pakistan's former dictator Pervez Musharraf, several parties have dissociated themselves from his AwamiIttehad alliance only a day after he announced the formation of a "grand alliance" of 23 parties.

Two major partners of the alliance - the Pakistan AwamiTehrik and the MajlisWahdat-e-Muslimeen - denied being part of the coalition headed by Musharraf, The News reported.

Addressing media persons through video conferencing from Dubai on Friday, the 74-year-old former president had said all parties representing the Muhajir community should be united.

Musharraf, himself a Muhajir, had left Pakistan for Dubai in March last year after the interior ministry issued a notification to remove his name from the exit control list.

Muhajirs are Urdu-speaking people who migrated from India during the partition.

The grand alliance named Pakistan AwamiIttehad is headed by Musharraf, while Iqbal Dar has been appointed as Secretary General.

The Pakistan AwamiTehrik distanced from the alliance yesterday. Soon afterwards, MajlisWahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) also denied being part of the alliance.

"Neither anyone has consulted us over an alliance nor any of our leaders attended meetings of any political or electoral alliance," the paper quoted the MWM sources as saying.

Sunni Ittehad Council Chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza also clarified that his party's alliance with AwamiIttehad is not meant for the election. He said the election politics will be done from the platform of grand alliance of Ahl-e-Sunnat parties i.e. 'Nizam-e-Mustafa MuttahidaMahaz'.

Musharraf thanked the alliance for appointing him as the chairman and announced that he would return to Pakistan soon, adding that he did not want any security when he does since the country's situation is better now.

The ex-army chief is facing a slew of court cases after returning from five years of self-exile in Dubai to contest the general elections in 2013 which he lost.

Musharraf, who came to power in a bloodless coup in 1999, claimed that he was ready to face all charges as the courts are not under "Nawaz Sharif's control anymore". PTI

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/musharrafs-grand-alliance-falls-apart-on-second-day/articleshow/61615276.cms

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Nawaz Sharif, BilquisEdhi and Sharmeen among 500 'most influential Muslims'

 

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, ex-chief of army staff Gen Raheel Sharif and Malala Yousafzai have been named among the 'World's 500 Most Influential Muslims' 2018, published by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre.

BilquisEdhi, the wife of the late humanitarian Abdul SattarEdhi, has also been recognised for her philanthropy and charity work in the list by the independent research entity, which is based in Jordan.

The list names 31 Pakistanis, including Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, JamiatUlema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief MaulanaFazlurRehman, Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Emir SirajulHaq, human rights activist and lawyer Asma Jahangir, singer AbidaParveen, Dr Adib Rizvi and Maulana Tariq Jameel.

The list acknowledges 'influential Muslims' from 13 different categories of influence, including philanthropy, arts and culture, "extremists", science and technology, politics and the administration of religious affairs.

The Grand Sheikh of the Al-Azhar University, Professor Dr Sheikh Ahmad Muhammad Al-Tayyeb, has been named as the most influential Muslim. King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia is on the second spot while King Abdullah II of Jordan has been ranked third.

Pakistani religious scholar Mufti Mohammad TaqiUsmani has been ranked seventh, and upstart Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman 13th.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1370063/nawaz-sharif-bilquis-edhi-and-sharmeen-among-500-most-influential-muslims

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PPP senator warns govt against falsifying rights situation in Pakistan at UN moot

Amir WasimUpdated November 12, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Farhatullah Babar has warned the government against any attempt to “falsify” human rights situation in Pakistan at the United Nations review meeting beginning in Geneva (Switzerland) on Monday.

Talking to Dawn here on Saturday, Mr Babar said that Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif was heading a 14-member delegation at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) meeting of the UN where he was due “to present and defend” the national report on the human rights situation in the country.

At the UPR meeting, member states will present national reports of human rights situation in their countries and also explain the measures taken to implement the promises made at previous review meetings.

Mr Babar said that at the previous review some five years ago, held during the PPP government’s tenure, Pakistan had agreed to criminalise enforced disappearances but the report was silent on this issue.

“It will be best to make a categorical announcement at the review moot that enforced disappearances will be criminalised before the end of the year,” he suggested.

Similarly, Mr Babar said, the claim that blasphemy laws were non-discriminatory and that no one had been punished under it was “patently false”. “It will be honest to admit that the fair and just implementation of blasphemy laws presents challenges that the state is trying to address,” he added.

Calling upon the government to present the true picture of the human rights situation in Pakistan at the UN review meeting, the PPP senator said this year for the first time the newly-constituted National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) and independent bodies would be present at the review conference.

Therefore, he said, any falsification would be far more difficult than in the past. “It should also be borne in mind that our international trade particularly with the European Union (EU) also hinges on our human rights record,” he said.

Earlier, in a statement issued from the PPP Media Centre, Mr Babar said that on the eve of review by the UN of the human rights situation in Pakistan “it is a grim thought that citizens’ rights have been dangerously abridged by both state and non-state actors in the country”.

Warning against falsifying human rights situation in the country, he said the international community would be sympathetic towards any shortcomings in view of the challenges “we face but it will never condone if we tell downright lies at the review”.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1369989/ppp-senator-warns-govt-against-falsifying-rights-situation-in-pakistan-at-un-moot

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Southeast Asia

Safe in a camp, Rohingya children face death by malnutrition

AFP | Nov 10, 2017

BALUKHALI: Tiny Mohammad Sohail cries uncontrollably as he waits to see a doctor -- one of the thousands of Rohingya children at risk of an agonising death from malnutrition even after reaching the safety of refugee camps in Bangladesh.

His father was killed in the crackdown on Muslims in Buddhist-dominated Myanmar's Rakhine state, forcing his mother Hasana Begum to flee with Mohammad and his brother -- joining some 610,000 other Rohingya who have fled since August.

The family barely ate on their seven-day trek across hills and through jungles to the Bangladesh border where they arrived two weeks ago, and it has taken its toll. Aged just 21 months, Mohammad's ribs nearly poke through his skin. His hands are just skin and bone.

"We walked for days through continuous rain, cold and heat. Both my sons suffered from fever and diarrhoea and have since lost appetite," Begum told AFP.

There are at least 50 other malnourished children like him at the Balukhali camp medical unit.

"The condition of many of these children is very critical. Most of their parents don't even understand the extent of the problem," said paramedic Shumi Akhter.

Medical teams are distributing special high-nutrition baby food packs so Rohingya infants can build some muscle. But it is a desperate battle for all.

The UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, estimates that 25,000 children in the overcrowded Rohingya camps are suffering from severe malnutrition that could easily become a major killer.

"The Rohingya children in the camp -- who have survived horrors in Rakhine state and a dangerous journey here -- are already caught up in a catastrophe," said Edouard Beigbeder, the country head of UNICEF.

"Those with severe malnutrition are now at risk of dying from an entirely preventable and treatable cause. These children need help right now," Beigbeder said.

More than half of the huge influx into the refugee camps are children. Some have died there, but the UN said it had no information on whether malnutrition was a cause.

For widows like Begum who have no extended family, getting food is a new battle as ration queues last between six and eight hours.

"I can't take them to collect the relief as I cannot carry my sons and the heavy sack," the 23-year-old said.

She cannot leave them in the tarpaulin shanty that has become their home either as there is no one to look after Mohammad and three-year-old NurAlam.

"Every neighbour is busy with their own problems. Nobody has spare time to babysit," she said.

"But I get panicky there until I get back home because these boys are everything I have left," she said.

A visit to shanties at Balukhali showed that most refugee families survive on a diet of rice and lentils, with occasional vegetables and dried fish.

"Such a diet is not sufficient for toddlers or breastfeeding mothers. In this camp, the number of malnourished babies is already over the emergency margin line," aid worker Fazle Rabbi told AFP.

Charity workers said the situation was exacerbated by refugees selling food to local Bangladeshis to raise cash for household goods and other essentials.

"Everyday we buy a lot of food from the refugees. We pay them cash in exchange for rice, lentil, sugar, salt, cooking oil, milk powder and baby food," a Bangladeshi wholesaler in the nearby town of Ukhiya said.

Refugees who admitted selling food said they needed cash to buy firewood, clothing, and other necessities.

The Rohingyas are not allowed to seek work in Bangladesh.

Refugee Karim Majhi said: "We don't have any choice but to sell food."

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/safe-in-a-camp-rohingya-children-face-death-by-malnutrition/articleshow/61594663.cms

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Keep your mouth shut, Malaysian deputy home minister NurJazlan tells Muslim preacher Zamihan

 

JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Muslim preacher Zamihan Mat Zin has been told to keep his "mouth shut" and resign from the civil service if he is unhappy with the Malaysian government.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk NurJazlan Mohamed said the ministry was disappointed with Mr Zamihan for uttering words that challenged religion and the royal institution time and time again.

He said that after expressing views that hurt various parties, Mr Zamihan had taken things further by criticising Prime Minister Datuk Seri NajibTunRazak in a new viral video clip.

"My advice to him is to keep his mouth shut and think before speaking and refrain from sensationalising matters. Otherwise, we will have to re-evaluate his role," Mr NurJazlan said during a breakfast session with voters at Taman Cempaka on Sunday (Nov 12).

Mr NurJazlan said Mr Zamihan should hold his tongue after getting the backing from Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who recently said the government still needed the preacher's expertise to help rehabilitate Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant detainees at the Tapah Prison in Perak.

In a two-minute video that surfaced on YouTube on Oct 23, Zamihan was seen criticising Najib for proposing to allot a 16ha piece of land in Putrajaya for Saudi Arabia's King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP) to counter terrorism.

Mr Zamihan has called the move "unrealistic" and "unintelligent".

Mr Zamihan, who works for the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) and helps rehabilitate jailed terrorists, went on in the video to question why the government had not sought the views of academics, security experts and people like him on counter-terrorism.

"Why don't they ask us for our opinion? It is Zamihan who goes in and out of prisons to interact with the terrorists," he said.

"For me, the PM's action is not intelligent. Is it because we have borrowed money from them (the Saudi Arabians) and taken their funds and obtained assistance with the MoU on the haj quota that we have decided to give them the land?" he said.

Mr Zamihan is being investigated by the Malaysian authorities for sedition after he criticised the Sultan of Johor for barring a Muslims-only laundrette from operating in the state.

He was also in the news recently for attacking a mosque official in Penang who allowed non-Muslims to shelter in a surau during disastrous floods.

He has been barred by Johor and Selangor from giving sermons in those states due to his extremist Islamic views.

Last Thursday, however, he was described by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as an "asset" in the country's de-radicalisation programme.

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/keep-your-mouth-shut-malaysian-deputy-home-minister-nur-jazlan-tells-muslim-preacher

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Africa

Egyptian warplanes destroy 10 arms-loaded vehicles of terrorists on Libyan border: Army

November 12, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Egypt’s military says its warplanes have destroyed 10 arms-loaded off-road vehicles belonging to terrorists as they were attempting to infiltrate into the African country through its porous border with volatile Libya.

“The forces detected and pursued 10 four-by-four vehicles loaded with amounts of weapons, ammunition and smuggled material at the western borderline,” said military spokesman Tamer al-Refaay in a statement on Saturday.

He added that the army's air force, in coordination with border guards and intelligence, managed to destroy all the vehicles and kill “the terrorist elements therein.”

The statement went on to say that the strike was part of a continued combing operation to stop any penetration or infiltration by militants through the western border.

Late last month, the army announced an aerial raid on an area some 80 kilometers southwest of the capital Cairo in the country’s Western Desert, where “a large number of terrorist elements” were killed.

The military at the time asserted that the counterterrorism operation was carried out on those who were suspected of involvement in a deadly ambush on Egyptian police less than two weeks earlier around 135 kilometers southwest of Cairo, which was a rare flare-up outside the restive Sinai Peninsula. The Egyptian Interior Ministry said that 16 police lost their lives in the ambush.

However, security sources claim that more than 50 were killed in the September 20 incident. The attack sparked huge public anger in Egypt, with many questioning President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s success in fighting militants across Egypt.

In recent months, there has been an uptick in attacks in Western Desert close to the Libyan border, raising questions as to whether the area has become a second theater of operations for the militants beside the volatile Sinai Peninsula.

Over the past few years, militants have been carrying out anti-government activities and fatal attacks, taking advantage of the turmoil in Egypt that erupted after the country's first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted in a military coup in July 2013.

http://en.abna24.com/news/africa/egyptian-warplanes-destroy-10-arms-loaded-vehicles-of-terrorists-on-libyan-border-army_866340.html

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Why Niger and Mali's cattle herders turned to jihad

Tim Cocks, David Lewis

November 12, 2017

NIAMEY/NAIROBI (Reuters) - When DoundouChefou first took up arms as a youth a decade ago, it was for the same reason as many other ethnic Fulani herders along the Niger-Mali border: to protect his livestock.

A Fulani cattle herder walks with his cows outside the city of Tillaberi, southwest Niger, about 100km south of the Mali border, Niger November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

He had nothing against the Republic of Niger, let alone the United States of America. His quarrel was with rival Tuareg cattle raiders.

Yet on Oct. 4 this year, he led dozens of militants allied to Islamic State in a deadly assault against allied U.S.-Niger forces, killing four soldiers from each nation and demonstrating how dangerous the West’s mission in the Sahel has become.

The incident sparked calls in Washington for public hearings into the presence of U.S. troops. A Pentagon probe is due to be completed in January.

Asked by Reuters to talk about Chefou, Nigerien Defence Minister KallaMountari’s face fell.

“He is a terrorist, a bandit, someone who intends to harm to Niger,” he said at his office in the Nigerien capital Niamey earlier this month.

“We are tracking him, we are seeking him out, and if he ever sets foot in Niger again he will be neutralised.”

Like most gunmen in so-called Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, which operates along the sand-swept borderlands where Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso meet, Chefou used to be an ordinary Fulani pastoralist with little interest in jihad, several government sources with knowledge of the matter said.

The transition of Chefou and men like him from vigilantes protecting their cows to jihadists capable of carrying out complex attacks is a story Western powers would do well to heed, as their pursuit of violent extremism in West Africa becomes ever more enmeshed in long-standing ethnic and clan conflicts.

For now, analysts say the local IS affiliate remains small, at fewer than 80 fighters. But that was also the case at first with al Qaeda-linked factions before they tapped into local grievances to expand their influence in Mali in 2012.

The United Nations this week released a report showing how IS in northern Somalia has grown to around 200 fighters from just a few dozen last year.

The U.S. military has ramped up its presence in Niger, and other neighbouring countries, in recent years as it fears poverty, corruption and weak states mean the region is ripe for the spread of extremist groups.

GENESIS OF A JIHAD

For centuries the Tuareg and Fulani have lived as nomads herding animals and trading - Tuareg mostly across the dunes and oases of the Sahara and the Fulani mostly in the Sahel, a vast band of semi-arid scrubland that stretches from Senegal to Sudan beneath it.

Some have managed to become relatively wealthy, accumulating vast herds. But they have always stayed separate from the modern nation-states that have formed around them.

Though they largely lived peacefully side-by-side, arguments occasionally flared, usually over scarce watering points. A steady increase in the availability of automatic weapons over the years has made the rivalry ever more deadly.

A turning point was the Western-backed ouster of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. With his demise, many Tuareg from the region who had fought as mercenaries for Gaddafi returned home, bringing with them the contents of Libya’s looted armouries.

Some of the returnees launched a rebellion in Mali to try to create a breakaway Tuareg state in the desert north, a movement that was soon hijacked by al Qaeda-linked jihadists who had been operating in Mali for years.

Until then, Islamists in Mali had been recruiting and raising funds through kidnapping. In 2012, they swept across northern Mali, seizing key towns and prompting a French intervention that pushed them back in 2013.

Amid the violence and chaos, some of the Tuareg turned their guns on their rivals from other ethnic groups like the Fulani, who then went to the Islamists for arms and training.

In November 2013, a young Nigerien Fulani had a row with a Tuareg chief over money. The old man thrashed him and chased him away, recalls Boubacar Diallo, head of an association for Fulani livestock breeders along the Mali border, who now lives in Niamey.

The youth came back armed with an AK-47, killed the chief and wounded his wife, then fled. The victim happened to be the uncle of a powerful Malian warlord.

Boubacar Diallo, president of the livestock breeders association of north Tillaberi on the Mali border, goes through a list of over 300 Fulani herders killed by Tuareg raiders in the lawless region, during an interview with Reuters in Niamey, Niger October 31, 2017. REUTERS/Tim Cocks

Over the next week, heavily armed Tuareg slaughtered 46 Fulani in revenge attacks along the Mali-Niger border.

The incident was bloodiest attack on record in the area, said Diallo, who has documented dozens of attacks by Tuareg raiders that have killed hundreds of people and led to thousands of cows and hundreds of camels being stolen.

“That was a point when the Fulani in that area realised they needed more weapons to defend themselves,” said Diallo, who has represented them in talks aimed at easing communal tensions.

The crimes were almost never investigated by police, admits a Niamey-based law enforcement official with knowledge of them.

“The Tuareg were armed and were pillaging the Fulani’s cattle,” Niger Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum told Reuters. “The Fulani felt obliged to arm themselves.”

“SELF-DEFENCE”

GandouZakaria, a researcher of mixed Tuareg-Fulani heritage in the faculty of law at Niamey University, has spent years studying why youths turned to jihad.

Niger Defence Minister KallaMountari poses for a portrait at his office after an interview with Reuters, in Niamey, Niger November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Tim Cocks

“Religious belief was at the bottom of their list of concerns,” he told Reuters. Instead, local grievances were the main driving force.

Whereas Tuareg in Mali and Niger have dreamed of and sometimes fought for an independent state, Fulani have generally been more pre-occupied by concerns over the security of their community and the herds they depend on.

“For the Fulani, it was a sense of injustice, of exclusion, of discrimination, and a need for self-defence,” Zakaria said.

One militant who proved particularly good at tapping into this dissatisfaction was Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, an Arabic-speaking north African, several law enforcement sources said.

Al-Sahrawi recruited dozens of Fulani into the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA), which was loosely allied to al Qaeda in the region and controlled Gao and the area to the Niger border in 2012.

After French forces in 2013 scattered Islamists from the Malian towns they controlled, al-Sahrawi was briefly allied with Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an al Qaeda veteran.

Today, al-Sahrawi is the face of Islamic State in the region.

“There was something in his discourse that spoke to the youth, that appealed to their sense of injustice,” a Niger government official said of al-Sahrawi.

Two diplomatic sources said there are signs al-Sahrawi has received financial backing from IS central in Iraq and Syria.

How Chefou ended up being one of a handful of al-Sahrawi’s lieutenants is unclear. The government source said he was brought to him by a senior officer, also Fulani, known as Petit Chapori.

Like many Fulani youth toughened by life on the Sahel, Chefou was often in and out of jail for possession of weapons or involvement in localised violence that ended in deals struck between communities, the government official said.

Yet Diallo, who met Chefou several times, said he was “very calm, very gentle. I was surprised when he became a militia leader”.

U.S. and Nigerien sources differ on the nature of the fatal mission of Oct 4. Nigeriens say it was to go after Chefou; U.S. officials say it was reconnaissance mission.

One vehicle lost by the U.S. forces was supplied by the CIA and kitted with surveillance equipment, U.S. media reported. A surveillance drone monitored the battle with a live feed.

The Fulani men, mounted on motorbikes, were armed with the assault rifles they first acquired to look after their cows.

http://in.reuters.com/article/uk-niger-mali-security-insight/why-niger-and-malis-cattle-herders-turned-to-jihad-idINKBN1DC068

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Lead talks to mend divisions in the country, Mufti Menk tells Muslims

Nov. 12, 2017

Ismael Musa Menk has asked Muslims in the country to lead reconciliation efforts towards bridging ideological, faith and tribal divisions in the country.

The renowned scholar, popularly known as Mufti Menk, warned Muslims against condoning or promoting corruption and injustices.

He said this during a lecture to thousands of faithful at Kasarani Indoor Arena on Saturday and in Mombasa on Sunday.

"We sometime forget that we related in many ways as human beings, and every tribe believes that is superior than the other leading to divisions," he said.

"Others think they are more special human beings than others and they deserve to live whereas others are not."

Mufti Menk said it is distasteful to draw tribal boundaries yet all humankind belong to one tribe of Adam.

"Tribes were only created in order for us to recognise each other and not to use them to fight each other and those we don't agree with," he added.

He called on the faithful to champion in dispute resolution among various factions by forging, building of bridges and preaching against intolerance.

Mufti Menk said forgiveness remains key to mending fences especially in the wake of the divisions over the disputed October 26 presidential election.

"If you are corrupt and kill others, even if its one person, you are on the path of chaos and destroying humanity," he said calling for patience among people.

"Dont shove things through others throats. It is human to differ but let us sit down and discuss the differences just like we do when dealing with our brothers who have erred."

In the message of tolerance, he said those who are Godly are kind, lenient and promote harmony.

The scholar held separate talks with Tourism CS NajibBalala and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.

https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/11/12/lead-talks-to-mend-divisions-in-the-country-mufti-menk-tells-muslims_c1668405

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Algiers Grand Mosque: project to be fully delivered before end 2019

Sunday, 12 November 2017

ALGIERS- Minister of Housing, Urban Planning and the City AbelwahidTemmar said Saturday in the inspection visit to the construction site of Algiers’ Grand Mosque that the project will be fully delivered before the end of 2019, pointing out that all the technical barriers were lifted allowing a rapid pace of constructions.

http://en.aps.dz/economy/21137-algiers-grand-mosque-project-to-be-fully-delivered-before-end-2019


URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/amu-prof-s-wife-threatens-suicide-with-kids,-says-victim-of-triple-talaq/d/113194

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