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Islamic World News ( 4 Nov 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Attempt On Imran Khan’s Life Will Further Sully The Political Scene In Pakistan

New Age Islam News Bureau

04 November 2022
An unidentified man being captured after he fired on Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan and PTI

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• Mere possession of jihadi literature not an offence: Court in UAPA case

• Pope aims to foster dialogue between Christians and Muslims during Bahrain visit

• Nigeria bishop addresses the evils of Islamist extremism at interfaith summit

• China's message to US: Ties with Pakistan ‘none of your business’

• Deputy FM: US Sanctions Murdering Hundreds of Iranian Patients

• Australia sees spike in cyber-attacks from Iranian, Russian state-linked groups

• Russia-Taliban in a desperate partnership of convenience

 

Pakistan

• Imran believes Pakistan PM, interior minister, senior army officer behind attack

• Pakistan's history of coups and assassinations

• Maulana Faz-ur-Rehman Condemns Firing Incidents On PTI Rally

• PTI says won’t back down despite attack on chairman Imran Khan

• ANP, JI, PPP leaders condemn bid on Imran’s life

• Dialogues process with Taliban comes to halt: Barrister Saif

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India

• Coimbatore blast: 'In IS style, Mubeen shaved body; wrote about jihad'

• UP: Protests Over Quran Burning, Police Arrest Muslim Man, Claim He Was 'Mentally Ill'

• Kashi madrasa teaches Sanskrit too, along with other subjects

• Muslim body visits Hindu temple in TN's Coimbatore, stresses on communal harmony

• Pavoor Village has set an example of religious harmony in India

• Karnataka HC stern view on kids selling toys

• Delhi prods Canada on terror tag

• ‘Call out those’ providing terrorists safe havens: India targets Pakistan, China

• India celebrates diversity and welcomes world’s persecuted to its shores, says RSS leader Ram Madhav

• India criticises China and Pakistan for ‘unwarranted Jammu and Kashmir references’

• HC Adjourns Hearing On Mosque Committee Plea Challenging Lower Court Verdict In Gyanvapi Case

• Man arrested for sacrilege bid at mosque in Shahjahanpur

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Arab World

• Qatar: Carpet of freebies, but mind the criticism

• Al-Azhar Grand Imam receives Archbishop of Constantinople.

• Qatar condemns attack on ex-Pakistan PM Imran Khan

• Al-Azhar Grand Imam receives UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence

• Lenderking heads to UAE, Saudi Arabia as US looks to extend Yemen truce

• Iran state-linked Telegram channel posts video of simulated attack on Saudi Arabia

• Parliament decides caretaker government can run Lebanon

• Forthcoming elections solely aimed at strengthening tyranny in Bahrain, prominent Shia cleric says

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Africa

• South Africa’s Ethiopian diaspora welcomes agreement for peace

• UN says millions at risk of hunger in South Sudan

• Rights group hails end of war in Ethiopia, demands justice for victims, survivors

• 2023: Islamic group reveals what Pa Fasoranti’s endorsement of Tinubu means

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North America

• Blinken thanks outgoing Israel PM, warns on West Bank violence

• Biden vows to ‘free Iran’ in West Coast campaign speech

• US condemns gun attack on former Pakistani prime minister

• US designates oil smuggling network linked to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Iran’s Quds Force

• US to continue exposing Iran’s role in Ukraine war, including use of drones: Malley

• US approval of F-16 sale to Turkey coming soon: Erdogan spokesperson

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Mideast

• Iran Adds Canadian Top Officials to Sanctions Blacklist for Supporting Terrorism

• IDF shoot dead Islamic Jihad terrorist behind killing of Israeli commando

• Cleric killed in restive Iranian city amid protests

• Israel set for most extremist regime in its history

• President: War, Sanctions Unable to Hinder Iran's Progress

• IRGC Neutralizes Terrorist Cell in Western Iran

• Top Commander: Iran Challenging US Hegemony Across Globe

• Iran Categorically Denies WSJ Report over Military Operation Against S. Arabia

• Envoy Calls UN Anti-Tehran Meeting Interference in Iran's Internal Affairs

• Iranian Movie “World War III" Snatches Main Award at Tokyo Film Festival

• Iran Underlines Constructive Approach, US Destructive Attitude in Talks

• Israeli aircraft strikes several targets in Gaza Strip

• Israeli PM Lapid congratulates Netanyahu as he cements election win

• Many young Iranians lose their fear in struggle for freedom

• Assailant stabs officer in Jerusalem, is shot dead: Israel police

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Europe

• Chairman of Leicester Muslim and Hindu unrest inquiry steps down after online abuse

• Iran plans to supply Russia with arms ‘unacceptable’: NATO chief

• Kremlin says Türkiye's participation in resumption of grain deal 'reason to trust the agreement'

• Czech Republic to close its embassy in Afghan capital

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Southeast Asia

• Indonesia’s soft power diplomacy in R20, promoting Indonesian Islam to the world

• Syed Saddiq: ‘Biggest hypocrisy in Malaysia’ is politicians who send their kids overseas but block changes to education system

• Institutions like Berita Harian have helped Malay/Muslim community improve: DPM Wong

• Malaysia GE15: Perikatan Nasional seeks to win all 8 Negeri Sembilan federal seats

• Hadi finally explains PAS’ reason in choosing Perikatan, says Umno too hungry for power

• Anwar sends legal notice to ex-PKR member over Chin Peng claims

• Tawfik to stand as independent in Bagan Datuk after PH fields own man

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South Asia

• Afghanistan’s opium cultivation grew by 32% after Taliban takeover last year, finds UN report

• Blast in Kabul hits bus carrying Taliban administration employees, injures 7

• UN to Complete Construction of ‘Earthquake-Resilient’ Houses in Afghanistan before Winter

• Bangladesh delves into Gulf to attract foreign students with cheaper tuition

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/imran-khan-political-pakistan/d/128339

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Attempt On Imran Khan’s Life Will Further Sully The Political Scene In Pakistan

Seema Guha

03 NOV 2022

An unidentified man being captured after he fired on Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan and PTI

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The attempt on former Pakistan prime minister and PTI leader Imran Khan’s life has sent shock waves among his supporters and is likely to further enhance his rising popularity. 

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan is at the moment on top of his political game with public support for him skyrocketing. It is no wonder that Farrukh Habib senior party said after the attempt on Khan warned the former prime minister’s enemies to ``remember this is the life of 220 million people.’’ While this incident will further muddy the political debate in Pakistan, whether it will force the government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to hold elections immediately as the Pakistan-Tehreek-e-Islam is demanding is unlikely.

After being ousted from power in a vote of no-confidence in April, Imran Khan has claimed that the Joe Biden administration in Washington has with the support of the country’s discredited political parties (read the Pakistan Muslim League and the Pakistan People’s Party) ousted him from power. It was a conspiracy hatched in Washington and London (Where Nawaz Sharif lives) to rid the country of a Prime Minister who refused to take dictation from the US. He had visited Moscow and met Vladimir Putin on the day Russian troops were ordered into Ukraine. Though there is little evidence of it, Imran Khan has claimed at several rallies that he was hoping to buy oil from Russia at a lower rate, much like what India had done.

This narrative that the corrupt politicians joined hands with the US to oust him, was ironically accepted as the gospel truth by many Pakistanis as ordinary people are today virulently anti-American. Khan has cleverly played into these emotions and despite his government’s dismal economic performance, people do not blame him for their plight. Since his ouster, Khan’s popularity has soared.

This has given him immense confidence and put all his opponents, including Pakistan’s powerful military leaders that he has dared to take on the back foot. 

Khan won the 2018 national elections with the support of the military establishment. But he has now fallen out with army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, who after two extensions is to finally retire this year. Khan was unhappy with Bajwa also over the removal of former spy chief Faiz Hameed, a favourite of the former PM who allegedly helped PTI to form a coalition government and helped to keep the smaller parties in check. But Faiz Hameed was removed not because he had issues with the army chief, but as his chances of becoming army chief a few years down the line would have been affected unless he commanded a corps. He was transferred as Peshawar Corps Commander after his hugely successful stint as Inter-Services Intelligence chief. He played an important role in guiding the Taliban through the Doha negotiations and helped to sort out internal squabbles within the Taliban as the took power in Kabul in 2021.

Khan is no fan of the current low key ISI chief General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum. The PTI leader tore into the Director General ISI after he held an unprecedented news conference aimed at rubbishing much of Imran Khan’s claims. But the PTI leader has now come out strongly against the current military leadership. Many will try to link this with the attempt on his life today. But such speculation is premature and if the establishment was involved, the assassin would possibly not aim at Imran Khan’s legs. One remembers the horror of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination where she was shot in the head, and bombs hurled on her SUV. Who killed her still remains a mystery, though many believe the establishment of that time was involved. That investigation was never completed though her party came to power riding on a sympathy wave.

Imran Khan was on a container truck in Wazirabad, when shots were fired at close range. He was injured in the leg but luckily survived the assassination attempt. He was immediately taken to hospital and is said to be in stable condition. Four to five PTI leaders were also injured. There are also reports of one death.  The gunman was over powered by Khan’s supporters and is now in police custody.

Source:OutlookIndia

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.outlookindia.com/international/attempt-on-imran-khan-s-life-will-further-sully-the-political-scene-in-pakistan-news-234585

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Mere possession of jihadi literature not an offence: Court in UAPA case

Nov 4, 2022

The NIA has also made allegations of terror funding in this case over a transaction of Rs 60,000 between the accused. (File)

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NEW DELHI: A Delhi court has discharged a 26-year-old Kashmiri youth booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), observing that mere possession of jihadi literature having a particular religious philosophy would not amount to an offence unless there was material to show execution of such philosophy to commit terrorist acts.

But the court ordered framing of charges against nine others in the case that pertained to online propagation of Islamic State (IS) ideology.

Discharging Muzamil Hassan Bhat, principal district and sessions judge Dharmesh Sharma said the prosecution could not present any “iota of evidence” to prima facie establish that the accused had been a member of any terrorist organisation, including the IS.

Nine others booked in the case by the NIA — Mushab Anwar, Rhees Rasheed, Mundadiguttu Sadanananda Marla Deepthi, Mohammad Waqar Lone, Mizha Siddeeque, Shifa Haris, Madesh Shanker, Ammar Abdul Rahiman and Obid Hamid Matta — will face charges under UAPA and the IPC. The accused are from Kerala, Karnataka and Kashmir.

The court said the accused had been operating social media platforms as a “toolkit” for spreading the IS ideology to “allure, impress and radicalise” others and had been “furthering the provocative, violent and divisive ideology” of the terrorist group.

The accused, highly radicalised themselves, were in connection with IS operatives and were “purposely, actively disseminating information about its philosophy and ideology”, it further said. They were sharing “highly inflammatory, anti-national and secessionist propaganda” on social media platforms, the court noted.

Source: Times Of India

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/mere-possession-of-jihadi-literature-not-an-offence-court-in-uapa-case/articleshow/95287248.cms

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Pope aims to foster dialogue between Christians and Muslims during Bahrain visit

3 Nov 2022

Pope Francis is escorted by Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa (C-R) as he leaves the Royal Palace in the capital Manama on November 3. – AFP

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Pope Francis, leader of the world's 1.3 billion Catholics, on Thursday began a trip to Bahrain aimed at fostering dialogue between Christians and Muslims.

The first papal visit to the island nation is this pontiff's second voyage as pope to the Arabian peninsula, after a 2019 trip to the UAE also aimed at inter-faith outreach.

The pope, 85, who is using a wheelchair due to knee problems, used an electronic platform to board the plane and broke with his usual practice of greeting journalists on arrival.

Uniformed guards on horseback and Vatican and Bahrain flags lined the route of his short journey to the lavish Sakhir Royal Palace, where he was greeted by a crowd of cheering children.

During his trip, which lasts until Sunday, he will meet the King of Bahrain, hold an open-air mass and lead a prayer for peace at a vast modern cathedral opened last year.

In the days before his visit, international rights groups urged him to speak out against alleged abuses.

Francis is set to conduct a "courtesy visit" with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa following a welcoming ceremony, and then give a speech to authorities, diplomats and members of civil society.

On Friday, Francis will address the "Bahrain Dialogue Forum: East and West for Human Coexistence", organised by the UAE-based Muslim Council of Elders.

Banner of dialogue

Afterwards, he will hold a private meeting with Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb, Grand Imam of the prestigious Cairo-based Al Azhar.

The two religious leaders signed a joint document pledging interfaith coexistence during Francis' UAE trip in 2019.

On Tuesday, Francis asked the faithful assembled on Saint Peter's Square to pray for his upcoming trip, calling it "a journey under the banner of dialogue".

Prayer for peace

Friday's "prayer for peace" will be held at the cavernous Our Lady of Arabia Cathedral in Awali, which seats more than 2,000 people and opened in December.

It was built to serve Bahrain's approximately 80,000 Catholics, mainly workers from southern Asia, including India and the Philippines.

On Saturday, Francis will lead mass at Bahrain's national stadium before a crowd of nearly 30,000 people, where workers on Wednesday were adding finishing touches, including a giant gold cross above Francis' chair.

About 2,000 spots will be saved for Catholics arriving from Saudi Arabia, Bishop Paul Hinder, the apostolic administrator for the vicariate of Northern Arabia, told Vatican News.

Francis will preside over a prayer meeting with Catholic clergy and others on Sunday before returning to Rome.

Source: KhaleejTimes

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.khaleejtimes.com/gulf/pope-aims-to-foster-dialogue-between-christians-and-muslims-during-bahrain-visit

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Nigeria bishop addresses the evils of Islamist extremism at interfaith summit

By Zelda Caldwell

Nov 3, 2022

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of the Diocese of Sokoto, Nigeria | EWTN/YouTube screen shot

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Before a gathering of religious leaders in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, a Catholic bishop from Nigeria gave an account of how his country had become a “cauldron of violence” at the hands of Islamist extremists.

Addressing the G20 Religion Forum in Bali on Nov. 3 in advance of the Group of 20’s meeting later this month, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah testified to the violence committed against both Christians and Muslims caught in intra-sectarian warfare.

“Every day, news of abductions, armed robberies, kidnappings for ransom, murders, and assassinations of our innocent citizens persists. Our sacred spaces have become killing grounds,” the bishop said. “Hundreds of worshippers have been murdered in mosques and churches across the country.

According to a report by the nongovernmental organization Open Doors, 4,650 Christians were killed in Nigeria in 2021— that’s more than the number killed in all of the other countries in the world combined.

The G20 Religion Forum was hosted by Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama political party, which, according to its press release, represents 120 million “moderate” Muslims, or about 40% of the country’s 231 million Muslims.

The conference was convened to “prevent the weaponization of identity” and “curtail the spread of communal hatred,” according to its stated goals.

Kukah, the bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto in the northwest region of Nigeria, where Muslims are in the majority, commended the group for “taking the historic step to address these issues directly,” he said.

In his address, he shared details of some of the recent acts of violence committed by Muslim extremists in his diocese, including the kidnappings of fellow priests and the case of Deborah Samuel, a Christian student who on May 13 was accused of blasphemy and brutally murdered by a mob of Muslim students.

Kukah explained that Muslim elites see secular laws as a threat to Islam and, therefore, disregard them. Nigeria’s constitution includes protections of the freedom of religion and prohibits federal or state governments from adopting any religion as a state religion.

“In northern Nigeria, Muslim elites have tended to see the institutions of the modern state as an alien imposition that attempts to displace their own religion, with Western education as a foreign enemy to Islam. They thus consider the present constitution and secular laws as fundamentally subordinate to Islam, and in practice ignore the written laws of the land as they see fit,” the bishop said.

He urged the world’s religious leaders to work together to oppose those who commit violence out of “grand delusions” that their religion requires it of them.

“This cancer of the weaponization of religion threatens us all. History shows us that empires and emperors have had their day. The world will always be full of men and women with grand delusions about how they have been divinely sent to create a new world at the cost of human blood,” he said.

The Nigerian bishop pressed the religious leaders to “work in collaboration with civil society to “ensure a fairer world for all.”

In conclusion, he called on governments to end religious discrimination and defend their country’s constitutions.

Religious leaders, he said, should also avoid “the manipulation of identities” and instead “encourage areas of integration through education, common citizenship, intermarriages, and other platforms of social cohesion anticipated and enshrined in our constitutions,” Kuha said.

The G20 Religious Forum also featured the testimony of the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Erbil, Iraq, Bashar Matti Warda. In his address, Warda painted a pessimistic picture of Iraq given the majority-Muslim country’s long history of violence.

“Throughout the Islamic world, the reality of structured violence, persecution, and marginalization against the minorities remains, century after century,” Warda said.

“To raise this matter in Western or global audiences is to invite a charge of ‘Islamophobia,’ mainly from social critics speaking theoretically from places far removed from any threat or actual experience. But for we Iraqi Christians this is not an abstract matter,” he said.

Warda continued: “There is a crisis of violence in Islam and for the sake of humanity, including the followers of Islam themselves, it must be addressed openly and honestly.”

There is hope, he said, but only through forgiveness and the renunciation of violence.

“Ours then is now a missionary role, to give daily witness to the teachings of Christ, to provide a living example to our neighbors of a path to a world of forgiveness, of humility, of love, of peace. Lest there be any confusion here I am not speaking of conversion. Rather, I am speaking of the fundamental truth of forgiveness and a renunciation of violence which we Christians of Iraq can share and do so from a position of historically unique moral clarity.

“We forgive those who murdered us, who tortured us, who raped us, who sought to destroy everything about us. We forgive them. In the name of Christ, we forgive them,” the archbishop of Erbil said.

Source:CatholicNewsAgency

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252726/nigeria-bishop-addresses-the-evils-of-islamist-extremism-at-interfaith-summit

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China's message to US: Ties with Pakistan ‘none of your business’

Anwar Iqbal

November 4, 2022

WASHINGTON: The Chinese feel that the United States should not urge China and Pakistan to renegotiate Beijing’s debt and should not ‘bad mouth’ the Pakistan-China relationship, according to the director of the China programme at the Stimson Centre.

Speaking at a two-day seminar on US-Pakistan relations, Chinese foreign policy expert Yun Sun said Pakistan’s relationship with the US was a factor in China’s overall strategy for South Asia, but “China has plenty of confidence that its relationship with Pakistan is going to continue regardless of the modality of US-Pakistan relations.”

She, however, said that China was also adjusting or recalibrating its policy and expectations towards Pakistan, especially in terms of the CPEC.

“And from that recalibration there’s almost a welcoming attitude in China that Pakistan should re-balance its external strategy. And there’s a welcoming attitude that Pakistan is reaching out to the United States again,” Ms Yun said.

“This readjustment of Pakistan’s expectations and external alignment strategy has much approval in China.”

The Chinese, she said, did not believe that the recalibration of US-Pakistan relations would come at the expense of China’s interests in the region “because India’s still there and because CPEC will remain one of the most significant campaigns regardless of how people feel about it.”

About China’s reaction to US-Pakistan interactions, she said, “[it] has more to do with what the US has said, rather than what Pakistan has said.

“This is none of your business,” said Ms Yun when asked about China’s reaction to the US suggestion that Pakistan should renegotiate its debt with Beijing.

She said she had seen multiple analyses from China, claiming that the US intends to sabotage Pakistan-China relations and urging Washington ‘not to bad-mouth Pakistan-China” ties.

“Dan, is it none of our business?” Moderator Shamila Chaudhary asked another panelist, Daniel Markey of the US Institute of Peace (USIP).

“At some level, of course, it is our business… We look at its debt burden… have concerns about the growth of its economy. We see Pakistan going to the IMF and other lenders. So, of course, it’s right that the US asks questions about the other forms of debts that Pakistan holds, including from China,” he said. “Gap in transparency is also a cause of concern for us.”

Pakistan’s envoy in Washington, Masood Khan, however, explained how the end of the war in Afghanistan had created an opportunity for Pakistan and the United States to start afresh.

“Pakistan-US relations have been de-hyphenated from India and Afghanistan,” said Ambassador Khan in his keynote address at the two-day conference, organised by the Center for Security, Strategy and Policy Research (CSSPR), University of Lahore, the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, and Engro Corporation here this week.

“The US policy in the past was based on regional equilibrium,” the ambassador said, adding that the US relationship with India stood on its own. “We are engaged right now to recalibrate, reenergise and rejuvenate a broad-based relationship in the new technological age,” he said.

Others were not as confident. Former Chief of Naval Staff Tahir Afzal suggested correcting past mistakes to build a better relationship. “The relationship needs another event. When there is an event, the relations will be good. When the event is over, we will move from being the cornerstone of US policy to being the most sanctioned country,” he said.

Ms Chaudhary, a non-resident Senior Fellow at Atlantic Council, noted that Pakistan was not even mentioned in the new US national security strategy, released last month, although “there’s a lot of conversation” about the region, as well as Afghanistan and India.

“The strategy is talking around Pakistan, but if you look at the themes of strategy …there’s a lot of fruitful conversation that we can have about how US and Pakistan can collaborate with each other.”

Mr Markey noted that some equate strategic stability in Pakistan with the safety of its nuclear assets. Noting that this was “a very narrow context,” he said, Pakistan was also strategically important to the US because “it’s an enormous country”.

The nuclear issue, however, was “central to the US interests” as it would like to “ensure that these types of weapons are never used”.

The nuclear issue was also “central to Pakistan’s sense of its own security. It is at the core of Pakistan’s security in the region. So, that continues to be a strategic concern,” he said.

Mr Markey noted that the US has a strategic partnership with India, while Pakistan has a strategic partnership with China and this arrangement too has become strategically important as US-China and Pakistan-India relations are strained. The US and Pakistan, he said, “need a firm and established equilibrium… to move forward”.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1718723/chinas-message-to-us-ties-with-pakistan-none-of-your-business

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Deputy FM: US Sanctions Murdering Hundreds of Iranian Patients

2022-November-3

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Baqeri Kani said that the US sanctions have had a dire impact on the health of a some Iranian patients, and added that the embargoes have cost the lives of hundreds of patients in Iran in recent years due to denial of access to needed medicines.

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Baqeri Kani was speaking at a meeting with ambassadors and representatives of other countries to Tehran, which was held at the foreign ministry building on Wednesday and aimed to clarify recent developments in Iran.

The diplomat referred to unilateral coercive measures imposed by the US against Iran, including sanctions on medicine imports, which he noted have resulted in the death of many people, among them children.

"Have you ever asked yourself that despite the fact that in the past few weeks you have heard the name of the Iranian girl 'Mahsa Amini' many times in the positions and stances of Western officials and in the news and reports produced by the Western media, but until now there is no name of the ten-year-old girl 'Zahra Papi' from Lorestan, and another ten year on boy 'Amir Hossein Naroi' from Zabul as well as 623 thalassemia patients who have been murdered since 2018 due to unilateral cruel sanctions and denial of access to needed medicines?" he stated.

"You have definitely not heard of it. The answer is very clear, those imposing sanctions are not willing to admit to the crimes caused by the sanctions, let alone create political and media space for it," the senior official added.

Baqeri Kani unredlined that "the illegal and oppressive sanctions" against the Iranian nation are considered "the world’s biggest project of systematic human rights violations" – the United States is the project manager of the sanctions, with many Western countries running it.

"The purpose of this project is simply to present the Iranian nation with a dilemma: surrender or die!" he stressed.

"Do you know how many of my compatriots have been killed, injured, unemployed, had their income severely reduced or even denied access to humanitarian items by the silent arrows of cruel unilateral sanctions?" the top siplomat underscored.

"Now here is the question posed by the innocent people whose fundamental rights have been violated: Which Human Rights Council’s Member States are going to deal with the systematic, widespread, and incessant violations of the rights of the Iranian people caused by the unilateral sanctions?" Iran's deputy foreign minister asked.

The US launched the so-called maximum pressure campaign of sanctions against Iran in May 2018, after unilaterally exiting the 2015 nuclear deal.

The sanctions have restricted the financial channels necessary to pay for basic goods and medicine, undermining supply chains by limiting the number of suppliers willing to facilitate sales of humanitarian goods to the country.

Iran has repeatedly denounced the sanctions as an act of “economic war”, “economic terrorism”, and “medical terrorism”.

The US launched the so-called maximum pressure campaign of sanctions against Iran in May 2018, after unilaterally exiting the 2015 nuclear deal.

The sanctions have restricted the financial channels necessary to pay for basic goods and medicine, undermining supply chains by limiting the number of suppliers willing to facilitate sales of humanitarian goods to the country.

Iran has repeatedly denounced the sanctions as an act of “economic war”, “economic terrorism”, and “medical terrorism”.

Although Washington and its Western allies claim that humanitarian goods are exempted from sanctions, tens of thousands of patients in Iran have over the years died or developed critical ailments due to the non-availability of essential drugs over the years.

Iranian officials have rejected Washington's claim that it has exempted humanitarian trade from sanctions against Tehran.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010812000245/Depy-FM-US-Sancins-Mrdering-Hndreds-f-Iranian-Paiens

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Australia sees spike in cyber-attacks from Iranian, Russian state-linked groups

04 November, 2022

Employees can be seen in the Security Operation Centre for Telstra, Australia's biggest telecoms firm, which is used to monitor, detect and respond to security incidents, including cyber attacks, during a media event in central Sydney, Australia. (File photo: Reuters)

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Cyber-attacks against Australia from criminals and state-sponsored groups jumped last financial year, with a government report released on Friday equating the assault to one attack every seven minutes.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) received 76,000 cybercrime reports last financial year, up 13 percent from the previous period, according to its latest annual cyber threat report.

While just over half of attacks targeted individuals for fraud and theft, the report warned that state-sponsored attackers made cyberspace a “battleground” and cited attacks from China’s Ministry of State Security, Iran and Russian state-linked groups.

Multiple attacks against Australian essential services were thwarted over the period, including a November 2021 attack on government-owned utility CS Energy, responsible for a tenth of the nation’s electricity output.

“It’s not just about the frauds or the texts that you or I might receive, but real issues around the security of our country going forward,” Cybersecurity Minister Clare O’Neil told state-owned Australian Broadcasting Company on Friday in reference to the report.

“It is a national security focus of the government.”

The ACSC, part of the intelligence-collecting Signals Directorate, reported 95 cyber incidents impacting critical infrastructure last fiscal year.

The third annual report covers the period before high-profile hacks at Australia’s second-largest telecoms company Optus, owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, and its biggest health insurer Medibank Private Ltd, which combined compromised some 14 million customer accounts.

The report underscored accusations that the Optus and Medibank hacks were relatively unsophisticated, blaming the majority of major incidents on inadequate software updates.

Experts told Reuters last week a skills shortage is making it harder for Australia’s understaffed and overworked cybersecurity specialists to stop breaches.

Business losses attributable to cyber crime rose on average 14 percent over the period, with the average crime costing a small business A$39,000 ($24,540).

The jump in attacks and damages is making insurers wary and premiums in Australia jumped 56 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, according to Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/11/04/Australia-sees-spike-in-cyber-attacks-from-Iranian-Russian-state-linked-groups

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Russia-Taliban in a desperate partnership of convenience

By CLAUDIA CHIA YI EN

NOVEMBER 3, 2022

The signing of a provisional deal between Russia and the Taliban in September 2022 marks the Taliban’s first known major international economic deal.

But beyond the announcement that Russia will supply gas, oil and wheat to Afghanistan, the payment and pricing details have not been released to the public. How the two countries will navigate international sanctions and their exclusion from the global banking system remains unclear.

This deal comes against the backdrop of active trade talks between the Taliban and its regional neighbors and Russia’s discussions with several non-Western countries on long-term oil contracts.

The economic value of Afghanistan-Russia trade relations might be dismal, but more bilateral engagements and partnerships are a positive diplomatic asset for Russia and the Taliban. They show the international community that neither country is isolated.

The Taliban has been striving to diversify its trading partners and enhance relations with its regional neighbors. International sanctions, followed by the freezing of assets by the United States, have affected Afghan businesses. Since August 2021, the economy has shrunk by 20% to 30%.

The ongoing humanitarian crisis, along with an increase in violent attacks by other militant parties, has worsened living conditions. The incoming winter pressures the Taliban to hastily secure oil and gas imports.

Negotiations with Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are ongoing. In July 2022, the Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industry signed a contract with a Turkmenistan oil company to supply fuel at a discount and inked an agreement with Iran to purchase oil.

The Taliban initially had high expectations for Chinese investment but this has not materialized. Beijing remains reluctant to invest and harbors suspicions about the Taliban’s commitment to cut ties with the Turkistan Islamic Party, formerly known as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

Khan Jan Alokozay, the vice president of Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Investment, publicly stated that “there has not even been a penny of investment by China.”

Russia is a natural choice for the Taliban because it is an existing trade partner with significant energy resources. The Taliban has remained neutral regarding the Ukraine–Russia conflict, officially calling for restraint on both sides.

Despite being bogged down in the Ukraine crisis and facing ongoing European disentanglement from its oil and gas, the Russian economy seems to be resilient against these shocks. In September 2022, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted that Russia’s GDP will decline by 3.4%, an adjustment from its earlier forecast of an 8.5% fall.

Russian oil companies have been enticing non-Western buyers with discounts, insurance coverage and alternative payment schemes. Countries like Sri Lanka, India, Turkey and China have continued to purchase oil from Russia amid international sanctions.

Cheaper prices are attractive for countries facing rising inflation, supply chain disruptions and economic setbacks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The October 2022 clash between Saudi Arabia and Washington over plans by OPEC+ to cut oil production also drew speculations within the US that Riyadh is siding with Moscow.

Despite their provisional trade deal, it does not appear that the Kremlin will officially recognize the Taliban. The clearest indication yet is the exclusion of the Taliban from the September 2022 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)’s summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Whether Afghanistan will retain its observer status at the SCO is unknown, given that the international community has not recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

Aside from issuing statements on helping the Afghan economy, the summit discussions highlighted that the region is more concerned with how best to protect themselves against any potential spillover of violence from Afghanistan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly expressed his wariness of militants camouflaging as refugees from Afghanistan crossing into neighboring states and plotting acts of terror.

The so-called Islamic State (IS) has reportedly increased its anti-Russia propaganda. They have lambasted Russia as a “crusader government” and “enemy of Islam”, actively encouraging their supporters to inflict harm on the country.

The September 5 suicide bombing of the Russian embassy in Kabul exemplified Russian concerns about the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP)’s expanding presence in Afghanistan. That was the first attack on a foreign embassy since the Taliban takeover of Kabul in August 2021.

Other than undermining Russia’s legitimacy, IS and ISKP are also challenging Taliban rule within Afghanistan. Since 2014, both the Kremlin and the Taliban have shared the view that IS poses a significant threat. Russian officials have publicly acknowledged exchanging information with the Taliban regarding IS.

Reports of former Taliban and Central Asian fighters joining IS ranks have added to the severity of the security threat. The expansion of IS and its anti-Russia messaging further undermine Russia’s sphere of influence in Muslim-dominated Central Asia.

The Taliban still calls for international recognition of its status as the government of Afghanistan. But with the economy in limbo and ongoing hostilities with militant organizations, it is aware that it needs to prioritize the flow of aid and resources into the country. Political and socioeconomic stability is of paramount importance for the Taliban if it is to maintain its hold on Afghanistan.

It is worthwhile noting that Russia’s unwillingness to officially recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan and its classification of the Taliban as a terrorist organization since 2003 have not hindered their bilateral relationship so far. For the time being, Russian–Taliban engagement will continue.

The Taliban views Russia as an attractive economic partner that could offer the cheaper oil and gas supplies that the Afghan economy desperately needs. For Russia, the Taliban is the most stable option in the region’s evolving security matrix and, for now, the only party that could curb the expansion of IS. Both sides have no reason to give up these benefits.

Source: AsiaTimes

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https://asiatimes.com/2022/11/russia-taliban-in-a-desperate-partnership-of-convenience/

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Pakistan 

Imran believes Pakistan PM, interior minister, senior army officer behind attack

Nov 3, 2022

GURJANWALA: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary-General Asad Umar said on Thursday that party Chairman Imran Khan suspects three people -- Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and a senior military officer -- were behind the assassination attempt on him, according to a media report."Imran Khan has said that he had the information beforehand that these people might be involved in the assassination attempt on him," Umar said in a video statement alongside party leader Mian Aslam Iqbal, Geo News reported.

Umar, quoting the PTI chairman, demanded that all three people should be removed from their office, the report said.

The PTI leader added that Khan has warned that if these officials are not removed from their office, the party would hold countrywide protests as Pakistan cannot run in this manner anymore.

"If the demands are not met, all the party workers are awaiting Khan's call, and when he does give that call, protests will take place across the country," Umar said.

Meanwhile, Sharif has condemned the firing incident in Gujranwala and directed Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah to seek an immediate report from the inspector-general of police and chief secretary of Punjab.

Protests erupted in multiple cities across the country after Khan and other PTI leaders were injured in a gun attack during PTI's long march in Gujranwala.

Khan and other PTI leaders were injured after a man opened fire near the PTI reception camp at the Allahwala Chowk during the party's long march, ARY News reported.

Following the gun attack, protests erupted in different cities across the country against the assassination attempt on Khan, the report said.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/imran-believes-pakistan-pm-interior-minister-senior-army-officer-behind-attack/articleshow/95284018.cms

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Pakistan's history of coups and assassinations

Nov 3, 2022

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan was shot at in the shin on Thursday when his anti-government protest convoy came under attack in the east of the country, in what his aides said was a clear assassination attempt.

Pakistan has a history of political coups and unrest. Here are some details.

2007 - Two-time PM Benazir Bhutto is assassinated in a gun and bomb attack after holding an election rally in Rawalpindi. A few months before her death, she survives a suicide bomb assassination attempt in Karachi, where at least 139 people were killed in one of the country's deadliest attacks.

1999 - Former army chief Pervez Musharraf seizes power in a bloodless coup. He is sworn in as president and head of state in June 2001. He resigns in 2008 and Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto's husband, takes over as president.

1988 - Military ruler president Mohammad Zia ul-Haq is killed when the Hercules C-130 aircraft carrying him crashes under mysterious circumstances. Conspiracy theorists have suggested a case of mangoes put aboard the plane shortly before take-off contained a timer device that released gas that knocked out the cockpit crew.

1979 - Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the father of Benazir, who was elected as prime minister in 1970, is hanged on a disputed conviction for conspiring to commit a political murder, by Zia ul-Haq.

1977 - Zia ul-Haq seizes power after a coup against the Bhutto government. He puts Bhutto under house arrest, imposes martial law, suspends the constitution and bans political parties

1973 - Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto elected as prime minister, taking over from General Yahya Khan.

1958 - In Pakistan's first military coup, Governor-General Iskander Mirza enforces martial law with General Ayub Khan as chief martial law administrator. Ayub Khan later assumes the presidency and sacks Mirza, who is exiled.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistans-history-of-coups-and-assassinations/articleshow/95284768.cms

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Maulana Faz-ur-Rehman Condemns Firing Incidents On PTI Rally

Umer Jamshaid 

November 03, 2022

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 3rd Nov, 2022 ) :Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Faz-ur-Rehman on Thursday condemned the tragic incident of firing on the rally of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in Wazirabad.

Maulana Fazl who is also the head of Pakistan Democratic Movement said this incident had left a big question mark on the performance of Punjab government related to the law and order situation in the province.

Source: Urdu Point

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https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/maulana-faz-ur-rehman-condemns-firing-inciden-1589056.html

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PTI says won’t back down despite attack on chairman Imran Khan

Amjad Mahmood

November 4, 2022

LAHORE: The leadership of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) appeared unfazed by the assassination attempt on former premier Imran Khan, who was hospitalised after an injury to his legs but later vowed to continue with his party’s long march towards Islamabad.

The attack on Mr Khan prompted strong protests across the country, with senior PTI leadership stepping forward to express solidarity with the party chief and a dozen more party supporters wounded in the attack near Wazirabad on Thursday.

In a tweet, senior party leader Asad Umar said the rulers could not stop Imran Khan, so “the cowards tried to martyr him”. He added: “The blessing of Allah is with Khan and Allah Almighty has to get a lot of work done for the nation by the Captain [Imran].”

Another PTI senior leader, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, posted on Twitter, “This attack was not on Imran Khan but on the Pakistani nation. After this cowardly act, now Imran Khan will move towards the destination [Islamabad] with more force. God willing.”

In his tweet, PTI leader Ali Mohammad Khan urged the Supreme Court to take notice of the attack on the party chairman. He said that the government was responsible for the security of the former premier and participants of the long march and that the PTI would not rest until the suspects involved in the assassination bid were arrested.

Yasmin Rashid, president of PTI’s Punjab chapter, tweeted: “You cannot deter us. You cannot! [Imran Khan] is injured but safe. There are some critical [injuries], but we will not be deterred and we will take you to task! May Allah protect us all.”

PTI leader Omar Ayub Khan said the PTI would not step back, as it was “not afraid of the cowards’ attacks”. PTI General Secretary Hammad Azhar and Information Secretary Andleeb Abbas also condemned the attempt on Imran Khan’s life, saying the attack on the peaceful ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ march was in fact an “attack on 220 million Pakistanis”.

They said the march could not be stopped by any tactic, as the nation “led by Imran Khan has come out on roads for its real freedom and that peaceful protest is the right of the PTI”. They said the life of the party chairman was saved in the attack because of the prayers of the masses who were standing with the PTI.

The PTI leaders also questioned the narrative that only one shooter — who was apprehended — was involved in the attack on the former prime minister and hinted towards a “larger conspiracy” to eliminate the party chief.

As per Dawn.com, PTI leader Ali Haider Zaidi alleged that there was not just “one shooter” behind the attack on Mr Khan. He also said that if former PTI leader Faisal Vawda had information about the talk, he should be included in the FIR. “Don’t try to deter us. It is going to be a shutdown across the country,” he said.

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry has said that the attack on Mr Khan was a “well-planned assassination attempt”. “It was not 9mm [pistol], it was burst from an automatic weapon, no two opinions about that it was a narrow escape,” he tweeted. In another tweet, he said their movement would continue till the announcement of snap elections.

CM Punjab visits Imran

Separately, Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi visited Imran Khan at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital in Lahore and expressed serious concern at the incident.

He also expressed his resolve that the accused involved in the incident would be brought in a court of law.

PTI leaders Asad Umar and Mian Aslam Iqbal, in a video statement, said Imran Khan had named three officials himself, while Aslam Iqbal said that the PTI would approach the police to register a case against the said officials.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1718780/pti-says-wont-back-down-despite-attack-on-chairman-imran-khan

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ANP, JI, PPP leaders condemn bid on Imran’s life

November 4, 2022

PESHAWAR: Leaders of various political parties have condemned the armed attack on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf ‘Azadi March’ in Wazirabad and called for unveiling the people involved in the heinous crime.

Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali Khan and Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq in their separate statements here on Thursday said that they were strongly opposed to the tendency of violence in politics and added that such incidents needed to be checked strictly.

The ANP chief said his party believed in the non-violence philosophy of Bacha Khan and would follow the principles in future. He said the government should properly investigate the incident to ascertain as to why proper security arrangements not made for former prime minister Imran Khan.

Mr Khan said it was duty of the federal and Punjab governments to take immediate steps for arrest of the accused persons. He also asked for taking action against the relevant police officials for failing to ensure security of the former premier.

Similarly, the JI chief also condemned the attack and said that it was a heinous act.

He said JI never supported violence in politics and always stressed the need for following the teachings of Islam and ethics. He expressed sympathy with the PTI chief and others who sustained wounds in the attack.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1718831/anp-ji-ppp-leaders-condemn-bid-on-imrans-life

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Dialogues process with Taliban comes to halt: Barrister Saif

November 3, 2022

PESHAWAR: Special Assistant of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister, Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif has said that dialogues process with Taliban has come to a halt.

Talking to media in Peshawar on Thursday, he said that proceeding on dialogues with Taliban is expected by end of ongoing month.

Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif said that the provincial government was facing financial issues and if its dues were cleared, it could lessen its economic hardships.

He said that the federal government has stopped 25 million rupees of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Source: Pakistan Today

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https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/11/03/dialogues-process-with-taliban-comes-to-halt-barrister-saif/

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India

Coimbatore blast: 'In IS style, Mubeen shaved body; wrote about jihad'

Nov 4, 2022

COIMBATORE: Jamesha Mubeen, the 29-year-old suspected suicide bomber killed in the car explosion in front of the Sangameswarar temple in Coimbatore on Diwali-eve, had shaved his body before the mission in keeping with the standard practice of Islamic State terrorists sent on such missions, police said on Thursday.

“His body wasn’t charred in the blast. We found enough skin to conclude he had shaved his body before setting out,” said an official privy to the investigation before the NIA was called in.

CCTV footage of Mubeen prior to the explosion, caused by one of two LPG cylinders in the car he was driving, shows him in a shirt and pair of trousers different from what he was wearing during the incident on October 23. “We found the trimmer with which he shaved off his body hair before bathing and changing. He seems to have offered prayers and drawn the IS flag on a slate using chalk,” the official said. He said Mubeen scribbled on the slate in Tamil that “those who dare to touch the house of Allah will be uprooted”.

“We have material that shows he was influenced by videos of Sri Lankan Easter blasts mastermind Maulvi Zaharan Bin Hashim,” he said.

Mubeen also purportedly wrote on a piece of paper about the “the call of duty of jihad”, an officer said. “He mentioned it was the duty of the youth — not children and elderly people — to wage a holy war. He listed humans under two categories in ascribbling—as Muslims and Kafirs. One of the scribblings reads vaal yenthu(wield the sword)”.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/in-is-style-mubeen-shaved-body-wrote-about-jihad-cops/articleshow/95287398.cms

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UP: Protests Over Quran Burning, Police Arrest Muslim Man, Claim He Was 'Mentally Ill'

Asad Rizvi

Nov 4, 2022

Lucknow: Protests broke out in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur on Wednesday, November 2, after four copies of the Quran were found burnt in a mosque. Police arrested one person in connection with the case on Thursday, and described him as a mentally ill Muslim man.

The incident took place in the Masjid Shah Faqre Alam Mia area, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Kotwali police station.

Shahjahanpur Pesh Imam, Huzoor Ahmad Manzari, told The Wire that the arrested person resembles the person seen in the CCTV footage.

Before the arrest

Aggrieved at the desecration, hundreds of people had initially gathered around the mosque and staged protests, demanding the arrest of the accused. Stone pelting was also reported in the area.

Some protesters had also allegedly torched hoardings and banners on the roads. Some of them chanted slogans against the police and blamed them for not responding promptly to their complaint and for arriving at the scene very late.

The police allegedly lathi-charged the protesters in some areas. Policemen also had to extinguish small fires on the streets.

The situation was brought under control after the police and clerics appealed to the mob to maintain peace.

Heavy police forces have since been deployed in various parts of the town.

In a statement on Wednesday, superintendent of police S. Anand said that the police had heard that some pages of a religious book were found desecrated at a place of worship in the area.

He added that the police talked to the people at the protest site and filed a first information report. It also examined CCTV footage to identify the miscreants, he said.

SP Anand told The Wire that “the police have videos of the miscreants who created a ruckus in the town.” He added that they will identify them and “take stern action against them.”

Source: TheWire

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https://thewire.in/rights/up-protests-over-quran-burning-police-arrest-muslim-man-claim-he-was-mentally-ill

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Kashi madrasa teaches Sanskrit too, along with other subjects

Nov 04, 2022

VARANASI: Ensconced in the by-lanes of busy Orderly Bazar (locally referred as ‘Ardali’ Bazar) here, is Madarsa Khanam Jaan. What makes this over 30-year-old institution stand out is the fact that it is perhaps the lone madrasa in Kashi that has been teaching Sanskrit for the past 10 years. Not only this, the management of the madrasa also makes sure that a number of seats are reserved for Hindu children.

“Mazhab nahi sikhata apas mein bair rakhna…(Religion never promotes cultural differences). We strongly believe in this line from the song ‘Saare Jahan Se Accha Hindustaan Humara’. And for this reason, we believe in promoting Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb among the children irrespective of their caste and religion,” said Maulana Salauddin Raza, principal of Madrasa Khanam Jaan or Madrasa Khanam Jaan Arabic School.

Raza said the madrasa management decided to introduce Sanskrit language for the first time almost 10 years ago. “Under the modernization programme, Sanskrit and other languages were introduced,” recollected Raza.

Initially, the management thought there would be no takers for Sanskrit. “But gradually students started showing interest in the language after which the madrasa management decided to hire a dedicated teacher for the subject. Sanskrit is taught along with other languages including Urdu, Arabic, Persian, English and Hindi,” he said.

Namita Srivastava, a senior Sanskrit teacher at the Madrasa said presently there were around 50 students, largely Muslims, who had opted for Sanskrit as a subject. “What I have seen is that non-Hindu children are taking more interest in the language and are doing well,” said Srivastava.

Ayesha Khatoon, a student, said Sanskrit was a classical language of ancient India. “It is one of the most beautiful languages. Those students who opt for French, German and other foreign languages should first learn their own language, that is Sanskrit, and then explore further,” another student said.

The madrasa management also reserves around 30 percent seats for non-Muslim children. “Presently there are around 1476 students, of which over 400 are Hindus. Also there are around 34 teachers of which 7 are non-Muslims,” said Danish Shahab, manager of the Khanam Jaan Madrasa.

At present, there around 207 madrasas here. However, officials of Madrasa Board said that barring Khanam Jaan, they had never come across any madarasa imparting Sanskrit education. “Barring Khanam Jaan, we never came across any madrasa teaching Sanskrit,” said Sanjay Mishra, deputy director,

Source: Hindustan Times

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/lucknow-news/kashi-madrasa-teaches-sanskrit-too-along-with-other-subjects-101667503454441.html

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Muslim body visits Hindu temple in TN's Coimbatore, stresses on communal harmony

03rd November 2022

COIMBATORE: The city jamaat on Thursday strongly condemned the recent car explosion in front of a temple here and said the Hindu-Muslim unity cannot be disturbed by anyone.

A 13-member delegation from the Coimbatore Jamaath, including 'Ulemas' (Muslim scholars), visited the Kottai Eswaran temple here as part of efforts to strengthen communal harmony in the region and spoke to the priests and other authorities over the incident for nearly an hour.

Head priest, Sundareshan and temple secretary Prabhakaran welcomed the members with shawls.

The noble gesture comes days after the cylinder explosion in the car in the communally sensitive Ukkadam area left one person dead, sending shock waves across the state.

The National Investigation Agency is probing the blast, amid the state BJP's claim that the victim is an ISIS sympathiser.

Later, addressing reporters, Jamaat President, Inayatullah said Islam never supported violence and favoured only peace.

The meeting with the priest and others will serve as a platform to maintain communal harmony and peace among all sections of the citizens, irrespective of religion, cast and creed, he said adding that Jamaath wanted Coimbatore to be known for communal harmony.

The members of the Jamaat laid emphasis on peace and brotherhood and said no power on earth can break the Hindu-Muslim bond.

Source:NewIndianExpress

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https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2022/nov/03/muslim-body-visits-hindu-temple-in-tns-coimbatore-stresses-on-communal-harmony-2514659.html

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Pavoor Village has set an example of religious harmony in India

3rd November 2022

Syed Ali Mujtaba

Mangaluru: In the age of anti-Muslim and Anti – Islam rants in Indian media, there is a tiny hamlet called ‘Pavoor,’ in Mangaluru taluk that has set an example of communal harmony in the country.

Members of the Hindu, Muslim, and Christian communities living in Pavoor village have initiated a campaign to promote religious harmony by constructing an entrance arch that’s common to their places of Worship.

As part of the initiative, the single entrance arch will lead the Hindus to the Sri Vaidyanatha Temple, Muslims to Al-Mubarak Juma Masjid, and the Christians to Infant Jesus Church.

‘Residents cutting across religions and political parties have united to construct this arch whose foundation stone ceremony was held recently,’ said Mangaluru MLA UT Khader.

‘Elected representatives, religious leaders, and residents of Pavoor village have come forward to lay the foundation stone of a symbol of religious harmony that is essential to living peacefully in a multi-religious society like India,’ said UT Khader.

The arch is built in memory of my father late UT Fareed who was the MLA of the erstwhile Ullal constituency and an avid campaigner of religious harmony in Dakshin Karnataka, said Khader.

‘Residents of ‘Pavoor’ are making continuous efforts to make their village a more harmonious place to live and they do not pay heed to any religious propaganda to disturb the peace,’ he added.

Pavoor village is an oasis of peaceful coexistence where people live harmoniously without allowing conflicts in the name of religion and politics.

The village has set an example of communal harmony unparalleled in the country. Such kind of communal harmony is needed all over the country which is the foundation of India’s unity in diversity.

Source:Siasat Daily

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https://www.siasat.com/pavoor-village-has-set-an-example-of-religious-harmony-in-india-2448652/

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Karnataka HC stern view on kids selling toys

04.11.22

The city Jamaath on Thursday strongly condemned the recent car explosion in front of a temple here and said Hindu-Muslim unity cannot be disturbed by anyone.

A 13-member delegation from the Coimbatore Jamaath, including Ulemas (Muslim scholars), visited the Kottai Eswaran temple here as part of efforts to strengthen communal harmony in the region and spoke to the priests and other authorities over the incident for nearly an hour.

Head priest Sundareshan and temple secretary Prabhakaran welcomed the members with shawls.

The gesture comes days after a cylinder explosion in a car in communally sensitive Ukkadam area left one person dead.

Jamaath president Inayatullah said Islam never supported violence and favoured only peace. The meeting with priests and others will serve as a platform to maintain communal harmony and peace, he said. PTI Karnataka High Court has taken serious note of children being forced to sell trinkets and toys at traffic signals and street corners and directed the stakeholders to meet and suggest ways to rehabilitate and provide education to such kids.

A division bench of the court headed by Chief Justice P.B. Varale directed the

meeting to be held on November 15 under the aegis of the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA). Stakeholders and organisations working for the protection of child rights would be part of the meeting.

The court was hearing a petition of a child rights foundation from Bangalore. The court noted it had, on earlier occasions, directed the authorities concerned to take

action.

It pointed to a February 18, 2021, direction following which a meeting of stakeholders was held. The state government also filed an action-taken report. But no suggestions on rehabilitation of such children were made, the court noted.

All stakeholders who were part of the earlier meeting would attend the November 15 meeting and make suggestions regarding the government’s report. The meeting would be organised in the high court itself.

2 die in Mathura hotel fire

Two employees were charred to death and at least four persons, including two guests, suffered burn injuries in a fire that broke out at a hotel in Mathura early on Thursday.

The deceased employees of Hotel Vrindavan Garden in Mathura city have been identified as Umesh Kumar, 30, and Veer Singh, 40. Police said they were sleeping in the storeroom of the hotel when the fire started there around 4.30am and engulfed the entire hotel within 15 minutes.

Police sources said around 100 devotees from Haryana and Punjab had been staying in 25 rooms of the hotel since Tuesday.

Piyush Srivastava

Court live-stream plan

Chief Justice of India-designate Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on Thursday said a national infrastructure plan was being formulated to enable live streaming of all court proceedings.

Source:TelegraphIndia

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https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/karnataka-hc-stern-view-on-kids-selling-toys/cid/1896023

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Delhi prods Canada on terror tag

Anita Joshua   |   New Delhi  

04.11.22

The Centre on Thursday urged Canada to designate as terrorists under Canadian law individuals and entities who have already been declared as terrorists under Indian law ahead of the second phase of the “Khalistan Referendum” — scheduled to be held in Toronto on Sunday.

While acknowledging the fact that the government of Canada has conveyed to New Delhi that it will not recognise the “so-called referendum”, external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi iterated that India finds it “deeply objectionable that politically motivated exercises by extremist elements are allowed to take place in a friendly country”.

Bagchi said those already designated as terrorists by India should be treated in the same way by Canada. He did not provide any names. Sikhs for Justice, the organisation that has called for the “Khalistan Referendum”, was banned by India in July 2019.

The Centre on Thursday urged Canada to designate as terrorists under Canadian law individuals and entities who have already been declared as terrorists under Indian law ahead of

the second phase of the “Khalistan Referendum” — scheduled to be held in Toronto on Sunday.

While acknowledging the fact that the government of Canada has conveyed to New Delhi that it will not recognise the “so-called referendum”, external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi iterated that India finds it “deeply objectionable that politically motivated exercises by extremist elements are allowed to take place in a friendly country”.

Source:TelegraphIndia

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https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/delhi-prods-canada-on-terror-tag/cid/1896018

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‘Call out those’ providing terrorists safe havens: India targets Pakistan, China

Nov 4, 2022

UNITED NATIONS: India on Thursday urged the international community to “call out those” who provide safe havens to terrorists and come to their defence including in the UN Security Council sanctions regimes, a veiled reference to Pakistan and China.

Foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra made the remarks while speaking at the open debate held under Ghana’s Presidency of the 15-nation Council on ‘Peacebuilding and sustaining peace: Integrating effective resiliencebuilding in peace operations for sustainable peace. ’

“The threat posed by terrorism… needs a unifiedvoice from the international community. We should strengthen capabilities of the host state security forces, join hands in preventing the terrorist forces from gaining access to financial resources and must collectively call out those who provide safe havens to terrorists ,” he said.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/call-out-those-providing-terrorists-safe-havens-india-targets-pakistan-china/articleshow/95288054.cms

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India celebrates diversity and welcomes world’s persecuted to its shores, says RSS leader Ram Madhav

Ishita Mishra

NOVEMBER 03, 2022

India to host R-20 summit of global religious leaders, parallel to G-20, during its presidency in 2023

India is set to overtake Indonesia as the country with the largest Muslim population, RSS leader Ram Madhav said on Thursday, telling a group of global religious leaders that India celebrates diversity and welcomes the world’s persecuted to its shores.

He was speaking at Religion-20 (R20), a global summit of religious leaders being held parallel to the G20 summit, which is being hosted by Indonesia this year. Next year, when India will hold the Presidency of the G20, it intends to also host the R-20, Mr. Madhav announced.

“We have 180 million Muslims in India, 25 million Christians. The projections say that in 2030, India’s Muslim population will be equal to that of Indonesia and by the end of 2050, we will be the world’s largest Muslim population with 310 million Muslims in India”, said Mr. Madhav, speaking on the concluding day of the summit in Bali.

The RSS leader emphasised that India is a country that doesn’t just tolerate or respect diversity but celebrates it, noting that Indian Muslims have held the roles of President, Vice President and Chief Justice. India gives absolute respect to all religions and diversities, he said.

“India is a mosaic of religion and mother ship of spirituality. India is a country where all religions of the world exists and lives far from the persecution. All the persecuted come to India, came to India and continue to come and take shelter in India,” added Mr. Madhav.

Terming the summit as ‘significant’ and ‘unique’, he hailed the initiative and said that it had unleashed a tectonic force by bringing together leaders of all the important world religions to discuss the important issues of 21st century.

 “It’s not just a religion-centric event but a humanity-centric event. Here, we brainstorm challenges like climate change, terrorism, wars, disharmony, hunger, poverty. These issues require the attention of spiritual, cultural, and religious leaders apart from the leaders of the government,” he said.

Mr Madhav also stressed that humans are entering an era of artificial intelligence which is already making machines that are more intelligent than human beings.

“There is a discussion in psychiatry circles that today’s machines have their own mind and will they also have their own consciousness. Will they start crying, will they start responding to situations? It may sound absurd today but please don’t rule out the ability of humans to create demons. We are entering into that kind of an era,” he added.

He added that in the past, when humanity faced such challenges, there were philosophers and religious leaders, who guided mankind in the right direction.

Source: TheHindu

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https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-will-have-largest-muslim-population-in-the-world-by-2050-ram-madhav/article66091812.ece

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India criticises China and Pakistan for ‘unwarranted Jammu and Kashmir references’

Nov 4, 2022

NEW DELHI: With Pakistan and China again raising the Kashmir issue in a joint statement, India Thursday rejected the “unwarranted references” with the government reminding the two countries that Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh are and always will be integral and inalienable parts of India.

While the joint statement issued after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting with Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif had mentioned the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and their efforts to extend it into third countries, India “resolutely” rejected any attempts to utilise such projects to change the status quo in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-criticises-china-and-pakistan-for-unwarranted-jammu-and-kashmir-references/articleshow/95287273.cms

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HC Adjourns Hearing On Mosque Committee Plea Challenging Lower Court Verdict In Gyanvapi Case

03 NOV 2022

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing on the Gyanvapi mosque management committee's petition challenging the Varanasi district court's order rejecting its objection to the maintainability of a plea seeking daily worship of Hindu deities whose idols are located on an outer wall of the mosque.

The hearing on the matter resumed at 2 pm on Thursday. After some time, the court adjourned the hearing till Friday.

On September 12, the Varanasi district court had said it will continue to hear a petition by some Hindu women seeking daily worship of Hindu deities whose idols are located on an outer wall of the Gyanvapi Masjid, dismissing the mosque committee's argument that the case is not maintainable.

District Judge A K Vishvesh rejected the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee's petition questioning the maintainability of the case, which has reignited the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi Masjid dispute.

The mosque committee's dismissed plea had cited the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 to make its case.

Source: OutlookIndia

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https://www.outlookindia.com/national/hc-adjourns-hearing-on-mosque-committee-plea-challenging-lower-court-verdict-in-gyanvapi-case-news-234581

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Man arrested for sacrilege bid at mosque in Shahjahanpur

Nov 03, 2022

LUCKNOW Tension prevailed in UP’s Shahjahanpur after a copy of the Quran was found burnt in a mosque on Wednesday evening. The police on Thursday claimed to have arrested a man for allegedly damaging the holy book, apparently with the intent to create law and order problem in the district, said police.

The accused, Taj Mohammad, was identified with the help of CCTV footage and later arrested from Barujai locality, Ramit Sharma, IG, Bareilly range, said in a press conference. He said the initial intention behind damaging the holy book was to disturb law and order, but the police were interrogating him to ascertain any other intent behind it.

The incident was reported around 4.30pm on Wednesday when one Nadeem informed the cleric of the Fakhre Alam mosque in Kotwali area of the city that a few pages of the holy book were found torn and burnt. The CCTV footage revealed that a man secretly entered the mosque, burnt a few pages after tearing them from the book and escaped easily without being noticed by anyone, said S Anand, SP (Shahjahanpur).

He said the case was registered against an unidentified person at Chowk police station on the complaint of Nadeem.

After information about the incident, hundreds of people gathered outside the mosque and staged a protest. Some people engaged in arson by pulling down hoardings installed on the roadside. The police had to use mild force to disperse the mob, said the SP.

Source: Hindustan Times

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/lucknow-news/man-arrested-for-sacrilege-bid-at-mosque-in-shahjahanpur-101667482033194.html

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Arab World 

Qatar: Carpet of freebies, but mind the criticism

Tariq Panja  

04.11.22

It is an offer good enough to make any soccer fan stop and listen. Free flights to the World Cup. Free tickets to matches. Free housing during the tournament and even a bit of spending money.

But the offer comes with a catch.

The handpicked fans who accept this trip of a lifetime — financed by Qatar, the host nation of this year’s World Cup — will be required to abide by contracts that will require them to sing what they’re told to sing, to watch what they say and, most controversially, to report social media posts made by other fans critical of Qatar.

Yet despite those rules, hundreds of supporters have signed up.

The invitations went out in late September and targeted some of the most well-connected and well-known fan leaders backing the 32 teams. A Dutch fan told the broadcaster NOS that he had agreed to vet other supporters from the Netherlands. A board member from the American Outlaws, the biggest US supporters’ group, agreed to take part, and then helped sign up fellow members and others.

Fans from all of Fifa’s confederations have accepted the offer; dozens have already travelled to Qatar at least once for luxurious pre-World Cup visits. Those, too, were paid for by tournament organisers.

Other fans, though, have declined. The conditions attached to the offer, one French fan told Le Parisien, felt like a step too far. “Despite the appetising side of the dish, I preferred to stay true to my values,” said Joseph Delage, a member of a prominent French supporters’ group.

Qatar’s offer, which came out of a fan engagement programme started in 2020, is the first time a host nation has paid for groups of fans from all the competing nations to attend the World Cup. But it is not the first time Qatar has worked to fill stadiums with friendly voices; in 2019, migrant workers and schoolchildren were enlisted to fill empty seats at the world track and field championships in Doha.

In exchange for their World Cup perks, this year’s fans — as many as 50 from each country — will be required to perform in a ceremony before Qatar opens the tournament against Ecuador on November 20. Organisers have dedicated five minutes of that celebration to a fan-themed segment that will require the beneficiaries of Qatar’s generosity to perform a chant or song specific to their country, selected not by them but by tournament organisers.

Representatives of Qatar’s World Cup organising committee, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, tried this week to play down the requirements explicit, and implicit, in the offer. “There is no obligation to promote or do anything,” Ahsan Mansoor, the fan engagement director for the 2022 World Cup, said in an interview.

But a closer look at the terms of the relationship revealed that chosen supporters are encouraged to do just that, and also to amplify messaging from the organisers to support the World Cup “by ‘liking’ and re-sharing third-party posts.” At the same time, according to documents and contracts reviewed by The New York Times and authenticated by multiple fans, participants are warned that although they are not being asked to be a “mouthpiece” for Qatar, “it would obviously not be appropriate for you to disparage” the country or the tournament.

The fan leaders have also signed up to be on the lookout for such negativity in comments on their posts; a clause in the code of conduct asks that they “report any offensive, degrading or abusive comments” to the organisers. Where possible, the code says, they should supply screenshots of any offending posts.

Those who breach regulations are warned that they could be dismissed from the programme.

“At best they’re volunteers for the World Cup and at worst they’re a mouthpiece for the Supreme Committee,” said Ronan Evain, the executive director of Football Supporters Europe, an umbrella organisation of fan groups recognised by Uefa. In the dozen years since Qatar was awarded the World Cup, the country has taken pains to shape and defend its national image amid corruption claims, environmental concerns and human rights issues.

Source:TelegraphIndia

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https://www.telegraphindia.com/sports/football/world-cup-carpet-of-freebies-but-mind-the-criticism/cid/1896063

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Al-Azhar Grand Imam receives Archbishop of Constantinople.

03 Nov 2022

Manama, Nov.3 (BNA): Al-Azhar Grand Imam, His Eminence Dr. Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, received at his residence, His Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch, Archbishop of Constantinople.

Dr. El-Tayeb hailed praised the role of religious leaders in promoting interfaith dialogue, stressing support to efforts aimed to achieve global peace and tolerance between people.

Source:BNA

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https://www.bna.bh/en/news?cms=q8FmFJgiscL2fwIzON1%2bDkhMdQaBUO%2fLmgg14vjkGo0%3d

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Qatar condemns attack on ex-Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Ahmed Youssef  

04.11.2022

DOHA

Qatar has condemned Thursday's attack on former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in which he was injured.

"Qatar strongly condemns the attempted assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was wounded in a shooting at his convoy east of the country," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The Gulf country affirmed its position in "rejecting the use of violence in the context of political differences," warned against "falling into a cycle of violence as a result, and stressed its keenness to establish security and stability in Pakistan."

The ministry also wished Khan a "speedy recovery."

A gunman opened fire at a campaign truck carrying Khan in the Wazirabad district in the eastern Punjab province, wounding him in the leg. He was shifted to a hospital in Lahore and is said to be in stable condition.

Leaders of his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, say it was a planned assassination attempt, and have accused the prime minister, interior minister, and an intelligence official of being involved in the attack.

Since his ouster in a no-confidence vote in parliament in April, Khan has held a series of anti-government rallies for "real freedom," and has alleged that he was removed in a US-sponsored conspiracy. The coalition government and Washington have denied the claims.

Source: Anadolu Agency 

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/qatar-condemns-attack-on-ex-pakistan-pm-imran-khan/2729414

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Al-Azhar Grand Imam receives UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence

03 Nov 2022

Manama, Nov.3 (BNA): Al-Azhar Grand Imam, His Eminence Dr. Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, received at his residence, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.

Dr. El-Tayeb hailed scientific, religious and cultural relations binding Al Azhar and the United Arab Emirates, lauded the UAE leaders' efforts to foster the values of fraternity and tolerance and advocate Arab and Islamic causes.

Source: BNA

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https://www.bna.bh/en/news?cms=q8FmFJgiscL2fwIzON1%2bDlf8OPj70cML6hwO%2foMnGHY%3d

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Lenderking heads to UAE, Saudi Arabia as US looks to extend Yemen truce

03 November, 2022

US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking is in the Gulf as Washington looks to renew the UN-mediated truce in Yemen, which expired last month, the State Department said on Thursday.

Lenderking has traveled to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, two countries that have played a pivotal role in trying to end the yearslong war that has pitted the internationally-recognized government of Yemen against the Iran-backed Houthis.

The Houthis refused to extend a fragile truce that had been in place since April.

“We remind the Houthis that the world is watching their actions and urge them to cooperate with the UN and listen to Yemeni appeals for peace,” the State Department said Thursday. “The only path forward to ending eight years of destructive war is through a durable ceasefire and political settlement that allows Yemenis to determine the future of their country.”

Late last month, the Yemeni government said it had intercepted armed drones launched against the al-Dhabba oil terminal in Hadramawt.

The Houthis claimed the attack as a warning to prevent the vessel from “smuggling” crude oil from the port.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/11/03/Lenderking-heads-to-UAE-Saudi-Arabia-as-US-looks-to-extend-Yemen-truce

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Iran state-linked Telegram channel posts video of simulated attack on Saudi Arabia

03 November, 2022

A Telegram channel affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) published on Wednesday a video of a simulated attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia after the US expressed concern about threats from the Islamic Republic against the Kingdom.

The video, posted by an IRGC-affiliated Telegram channel with over 350,000 subscribers, showed a simulated drone attack against Saudi Aramco oil facilities.

A White House spokesperson said Tuesday the US was concerned about threats from Iran against Saudi Arabia.

The Wall Street Journal had first reported that Saudi Arabia had shared intelligence with the US warning of an imminent attack from Iran against the Kingdom.

Iran said on Wednesday reports of Iranian threats against Saudi Arabia were “baseless accusations.”

The chief commander of the IRGC, Hossein Salami, issued a threat against Saudi Arabia on Saturday, saying: “Be careful, we will come for you.”

He accused Riyadh of stoking ongoing anti-regime protests in Iran.

On October 17, Salami accused Saudi Arabia of interfering in Iran’s internal affairs and “provoking” Iranian youth through its media, warning the Kingdom to “be careful.”

Protests sparked by the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini have rocked Iran since her death on September 16. Protesters have been chanting against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and calling for regime change.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/saudi-arabia/2022/11/03/Iran-state-linked-Telegram-channel-posts-video-of-simulated-attack-on-Saudi-Arabia

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Parliament decides caretaker government can run Lebanon

November 03, 2022

BEIRUT: The Lebanese Parliament has decided that the caretaker government headed by Najib Mikati can be handed the powers of the presidency amid the leadership vacuum, according to constitutional principles.

Former President Michel Aoun sent a letter to parliament on Sunday, 24 hours before the end of his term, asking MPs to withdraw confidence in Mikati’s government. He argued that it has no legitimacy and should not assume the duties of the presidency.

Parliament held a session to discuss the letter on Thursday. Some MPs believed that the correspondence was pointless given that the Lebanese constitution gives the government, even a caretaker one, the right to run the country in the light of a presidential vacuum. They stressed that the priority is to elect a president, not discuss governments.

Other MPs, including Aoun’s bloc, the Free Patriotic Movement, said that the letter would transfer the dispute between Aoun and Mikati to parliament.

Many representatives warned against such conflict provoking sectarian strife between the Maronite and Sunni sects.

After Aoun’s letter was read, reformist MPs, the Kataeb Party, and MP Michel Mouawad walked out of the assembly hall on the grounds that “according to Article 75, parliament is now an electoral body only and not entitled to perform any other function.”

Mikati said during the session that if his government fails to carry out its responsibilities, including in caretaker mode, it would be subject to constitutional accountability for violating its duties as explicitly stipulated in Article 70.

Mouawad said: “This is an attempt to create sectarian tension to justify the power vacuum. Those who want to defend the president’s powers ought to abide by the constitution and elect a president.”

Sami Gemayel, head of the Kataeb Party, said: “Aoun’s letter aims to create tension and stir up sectarian conflicts among the Lebanese.

“If the goal is to drag parliament into strife, there is no need to hold this session because our mission is to elect a president.”

The reformist MPs said that electing a head of state should be prioritized over other matters and that holding a session to read and discuss a letter was wrong at this time.

MP Bilal Al-Hashimi said: “We do not want to discuss issues that are now in the past. We need to elect a president because the people can no longer bear the miserable economic and social situation.”

MP Ghassan Hasbani, of the Lebanese Forces, said that the priority is to elect a president without being distracted by side issues.

The session, which was held without the media’s presence, ended with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri's recommendation that any change in the status quo requires a constitutional amendment, and that now is not the time.

A heated debate took place between Strida Geagea, of Lebanese Forces, and Free Patriotic Movement’s head Gebran Bassil, over the next president’s popular representation. Geagea said her husband, Samir Geagea, had the strongest Christian base in terms of popularity.

Bassil defended Aoun’s letter after the session, accusing Mikati of not having wanted to form a government before the end of Aoun’s term and deliberately leading the country into a power vacuum.

Berri withdrew the call for dialogue he had made to agree on a candidate for the presidency, citing objections by the LF and FPM on such discussion between blocs.

The constitutional deadline for electing a new president ended with Aoun’s term, and parliament has so far failed, after four voting sessions, to deliver any candidate.

Hezbollah and its allies deliberately disrupt quorum, cast blank votes, refrain from naming a candidate and accuse other candidates of being provocative.

Berri, who set Nov. 10 as a new date to vote, said: “Starting next week, we will hold a weekly voting session until a president is finally elected.”

Mikati said in his speech at the Arab Summit on Wednesday: “The beacon of light has gone out; the port that was considered the gateway to the East has suffered an explosion; and the lights of the airport, which should be a connection platform, are out due to lack of fuel.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2193236/middle-east

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Forthcoming elections solely aimed at strengthening tyranny in Bahrain, prominent Shia cleric says

03 November 2022

Bahrain’s most prominent Shia cleric has dismissed the country’s upcoming parliamentary polls, saying the ruling Al Khalifah regime wants to maintain its grip on power and strengthen tyranny in the Persian Gulf kingdom by means of the ballots cast in the elections.

“Elections in Bahrain are only meant to reinforce tyranny, and people play into the hands of the ruling regime and are treated as playthings,” Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim wrote in a post published on his Twitter page.

“Does common sense dictate participation in such elections?” he questioned.

Earlier, Bahrain’s main opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, had called for a boycott of the upcoming parliamentary elections in the country, amid an escalation of political repression and absence of meaningful reforms.

In a statement released on September 14, al-Wefaq described the boycott of November 12 polls as a national duty, emphasizing that the ruling Manama regime maintains absolute control over the electoral process and seeks to install a weak legislature, whose main task would be to burnish the image of the corrupt Al Khalifah dynasty and cover up its human rights abuses.

It added that the constitutional and political rift between the Bahraini regime and the nation is deepening day by day, the main reason for which, it said, is the lack of any social agreement between the two sides.

In the absence of a real administration, the Al Khalifah regime continues its authoritarian rule by imposing its political, economic, security and social wills on the Bahraini nation, al-Wefaq said.

Demonstrations have been held in Bahrain on a regular basis ever since a popular uprising began in mid-February 2011.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/11/03/692070/Forthcoming-elections-solely-aimed-at-strengthening-tyranny-in-Bahrain,-prominent-Shia-cleric-says

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Africa 

South Africa’s Ethiopian diaspora welcomes agreement for peace

Hassan Isilow 

04.11.2022

The Ethiopian community in South Africa welcomed news Thursday of the signing of an agreement to end hostilities between their government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

“I am very happy with the outcomes of the peace negotiations. I hope peace will now bring development and stability to my country,’’ Ethiopian businessman based in Johannesburg, Suleiman Hussein, told Anadolu Agency.

He commended African Union facilitators and the South African government for hosting talks and said the war was not good for Ethiopia.

Peace talks between the government and Tigray rebels bore fruit Wednesday as the two warring sides agreed to a new cease-fire deal, in talks hosted in the South African capital of Pretoria.

The two-year civil war that has killed thousands and displaced millions will likely end if parties respect the deal.

“The outcome of the peace negotiations in Pretoria was the best for Ethiopia, Africa and the world. War will never solve any problem for any country,’’ another Ethiopian businessman, Muzeyah Ntulu, told the Turkish news agency.

Olusegun Obasanjo, the high representative of the chairperson of the African Union Commission, announced the outcome of the peace, describing the outcome as a new dawn.

“Today is the beginning of a new dawn for Ethiopia, for the Horn of Africa and indeed for Africa as a whole. Let me hasten to thank God for this new dawn,” the former Nigeria president said Wednesday. “We are seeing in practice and actualization what we have tried to achieve for ourselves over the years – African solutions for African problems. We also see in today’s peace agreement signing exercise the implementation of Agenda 2063 which embodies silencing the guns in Africa.”

An Ethiopian national who identified himself as Jonas, said: “This news has made me homesick. I wish I was in Ethiopia to celebrate in my country. This is very good news. We are one people, all Ethiopians, why should we kill one another?’’

Elizabeth Damos was equally happy and thanked South Africa for hosting talks that began Oct. 25.

South Africa has a very large Ethiopian migrant community involved in different sectors of the economy.

South Africa welcomed the deal in a statement Thursday that said it is honored to have been the host for the talks and will continue to work with all parties to ensure that peace is maintained in Ethiopia.

It said the agreement signals a commitment to ending the use of force to settle differences and disputes and confirms the correctness of South Africa’s principled position that political differences are best resolved through meaningful dialogue and diplomacy.

Source: Anadolu Agency 

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/south-africa-s-ethiopian-diaspora-welcomes-agreement-for-peace/2729377

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UN says millions at risk of hunger in South Sudan

03 November, 2022

Almost eight million people in South Sudan, or two thirds of the population in the deeply troubled country, are at risk of hunger, the United Nations warned in a report on Thursday.

One of the world’s poorest nations, South Sudan has spent more than half of its life as a nation at war, with nearly 400,000 people dying during a five-year civil war that ended in 2018.

“Hunger and malnutrition are on the rise across the flood, drought, and conflict-affected areas of South Sudan, with some communities likely to face starvation if humanitarian assistance is not sustained and climate adaptation measures are not scaled-up,” it said.

The joint report by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN children’s fund UNICEF and the World Food Program said the proportion of people facing high levels of food insecurity and malnourishment “is at the highest level ever,” surpassing levels seen even during the conflict in 2013 and 2016.

It said 7.76 million people are likely to face acute food insecurity during the April-July 2023 lean season while 1.4 million children will be malnourished.

The report blamed a combination of conflict, poor macroeconomic conditions, extreme climate events, and spiraling costs of food and fuel as well as a decline in funding for humanitarian programs.

“We’ve been in famine prevention mode all year and have staved off the worst outcomes, but this is not enough,” Makena Walker, acting country director for WFP in South Sudan, said in a statement.

“South Sudan is on the frontlines of the climate crisis and day in, day out families are losing their homes, cattle, fields and hope to extreme weather,” Walker said.

“Without humanitarian food assistance, millions more will find themselves in an increasingly dire situation and unable to provide even the most basic food for their families.”

The world’s youngest country has grappled with deadly conflict, natural disasters, economic malaise and relentless political infighting since it won independence from Sudan in 2011.

Famine was declared in South Sudan in 2017 in Leer and Mayendit counties in Unity State, areas that have often been a flashpoint for violence.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/03/UN-says-millions-at-risk-of-hunger-in-South-Sudan

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Rights group hails end of war in Ethiopia, demands justice for victims, survivors

Andrew Wasike 

03.11.2022

NAIROBI, Kenya

Amnesty International joined other rights groups Thursday in hailing the end to the war in Ethiopia with a peace deal signed between the government and Tigray rebels.

The rights group said the agreement must deliver justice to victims and survivors of the two-year conflict between the government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) because millions have been displaced and hundreds of thousands killed.

“The signing of a peace agreement on Wednesday is a step in the right direction, yet further strides must be taken to address the accountability deficit that has permeated the conflict since it began,” said the group’s head of East and Southern Africa, Muleya Mwananyanda, in a report.

She said all parties had committed unspeakable abuses, including mass, extrajudicial executions, and sexual violence against women and girls.

“These appalling crimes cannot simply be washed away,” said Mwananyanda.

The report cited that at present, the accord fails to offer a clear roadmap on how to ensure accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity “and overlooks rampant impunity in the country, which could lead to violations being repeated.”

Amnesty advised authorities to grant unrestricted access to human rights investigators, including the UN-mandated International Commission of Human Rights Experts on Ethiopia.

Source: Anadolu Agency 

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/rights-group-hails-end-of-war-in-ethiopia-demands-justice-for-victims-survivors/2729162

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2023: Islamic group reveals what Pa Fasoranti’s endorsement of Tinubu means

November 3, 2022

By Don Silas

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has commended Pa Reuben Fasoranti, former leader of Afenifere, for endorsing All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Ahmed Tinubu, as his preferred presidential candidate for Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election.

MURIC, in a statement by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Thursday, said Pa Fasoranti’s endorsement of Tinubu is capable of uniting the Yoruba people as Christians and Muslims will now rally behind the former Lagos State governor in a united front.

“MURIC commends Pa Reuben Fasoranti for his sportsmanship and broadmindedness. Pa Fasoranti’s name will be engraved in letters of gold for ignoring the illogical, irrational and inexplicable choice of Pa Ayo Adebanjo, who declared support for Peter Obi of the Labour Party,” MURIC’s statement read in part.

“A major significance of Pa Fasoranti’s endorsement of Tinubu is that it is capable of uniting the Yoruba people as Muslims and Christians will now rally behind Tinubu in a united front. The likely fallout of this development is a future payback by Yoruba Muslims who have shown the willingness to support a Christian candidate in future if their Christian counterparts vote for Tinubu, a Yoruba Muslim, in the 2023 presidential election.”

DAILY POST reports that Tinubu recently received the blessing of Pa Fasoranti, who had resigned as the President of Afenifere.

Source: DailyPost Nigeria

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://dailypost.ng/2022/11/03/2023-islamic-group-reveals-what-pa-fasorantis-endorsement-of-tinubu-means/

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North America 

Blinken thanks outgoing Israel PM, warns on West Bank violence

04 November, 2022

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced alarm on Thursday about rising tensions in the West Bank, in a call to thank outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who has conceded defeat in his country’s elections.

Blinken spoke to Lapid to “commend Israel for its free and fair elections, and to thank the prime minister for his partnership,” the State Department said in a statement.

Blinken voiced “his deep concern over the situation in the West Bank, including heightened tensions, violence and loss of both Israeli and Palestinian lives, and underscored the need for all parties to urgently de-escalate the situation.”

The occupied West Bank is witnessing its deadliest period in years, as Israel prepares to form perhaps its most right-wing government in history under Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu’s Likud party and its far-right allies triumphed on Tuesday in the country’s fifth election in four years.

The West Bank has seen near-daily army raids and an increase in clashes and attacks on Israeli forces. Israel on Thursday killed four Palestinians, including an alleged attacker and an extremist fighter, medics and security officials said.

Lapid last year cobbled together a motley coalition united in opposition to Netanyahu.

Also serving as foreign minister, Lapid put a priority on smooth relations with the United States, warning that Netanyahu had alienated Israel’s allies in US President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/04/Blinken-thanks-outgoing-Israel-PM-warns-on-West-Bank-violence

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Biden vows to ‘free Iran’ in West Coast campaign speech

04 November, 2022

US President Joe Biden on Thursday vowed to “free” Iran, and said that demonstrators working against the country’s government would soon succeed in freeing themselves.

“Don’t worry, we’re gonna free Iran. They’re gonna free themselves pretty soon,” Biden said during a wide-ranging campaign speech in California, as dozens of demonstrators gathered outside holding banners supporting Iranian protesters.

Biden did not expand on his remarks or specify what additional actions he would take during the remarks at MiraCosta College near San Diego.

The White House’s National Security Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Seven weeks of demonstrations in Iran were ignited by the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of Iran’s morality police.

The protests triggered by Amini’s death on Sept. 16 have shown the defiance of many young Iranians in challenging the clerical leadership, overcoming fear that has stifled dissent in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The United States on Wednesday said it will try to remove Iran from the 45-member UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) over the government’s denial of women’s rights and brutal crackdown on protests.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/04/Biden-vows-to-free-Iran-in-West-Coast-campaign-speech

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US condemns gun attack on former Pakistani prime minister

Servet Gunerigok  

03.11.2022

WASHINGTON

The US on Thursday "strongly" condemned a gun attack on former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, calling on the parties in the South Asian nation to remain peaceful.

"United States strongly condemns the attack on Imran Khan and the supporters, and hopes for the swift recovery of all who are injured," White House Spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said at a briefing.

Asserting that violence has no place in politics, Jean-Pierre said: "We call on all parties to remain peaceful and refrain from violence."

A gunman opened fire at a campaign truck carrying Khan in the Wazirabad district of the eastern Punjab province, wounding him in the leg. He was taken to a hospital in Lahore and is said to be in stable condition.

Source: Anadolu Agency 

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-condemns-gun-attack-on-former-pakistani-prime-minister/2729148

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US designates oil smuggling network linked to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Iran’s Quds Force

03 November, 2022

The US announced Thursday the designation of members of an international oil smuggling network that facilitated oil trades and generated revenue for Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iran’s Quds Force.

The network includes individuals and several front companies and vessels that worked to blend oil to conceal the Iranian origins of the shipments and exporting it around the world in support of Hezbollah and the IRGC-QF, according to a statement from the Treasury Department.

“The individuals running this illicit network use a web of shell companies and fraudulent tactics including document falsification to obfuscate the origins of Iranian oil, sell it on the international market, and evade sanctions,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson.

“Market participants should be vigilant of Hezbollah and the IRGC-QF’s attempts to generate revenue from oil smuggling to enable their terrorist activities around the world.”

The latest US move against Iranian oil smuggling comes as efforts to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal have stalled and ties between the Islamic Republic and the West are increasingly strained as Iranians keep up anti-government protests.

The move targeted a Gulf-based network of individuals and companies that the Treasury said as of mid-2022 were blending and exporting Iranian oil. The network used storage units in the Port of Sharjah in the UAE and blended products of Indian origin with Iranian oil to obfuscate the origin, Washington said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/03/US-designates-oil-smuggling-network-linked-to-Lebanon-s-Hezbollah-Iran-s-Qods-Force

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US to continue exposing Iran’s role in Ukraine war, including use of drones: Malley

03 November, 2022

The US will continue to expose Iran’s actions in the Russia-Ukraine war, the US Special Envoy for Iran said in an interview with Al Arabiya, after reports of Iran sending drones and missiles to Russia recently emerged.

“I think it’s clear that Iran has moved closer to Russia. We think it’s a very bad bed that Iran has made, but it’s clear to the world today that Iran has sided with Russia and its war of aggression against Ukraine,” the top US diplomat for Iran Rob Malley said.

“It’s something that we have exposed, that others have exposed, and I think … the first step to take is to make sure the world knows to run, and people know what their government is doing. And it’s clear as well that the Iranian government is embarrassed by that because they keep denying that they’ve transferred these drones to Russia in the face of mounting and incontrovertible evidence,” he added.

Ukraine and its Western allies have repeatedly accused Moscow of using Iranian-made drones in attacks on Ukraine in recent weeks.

In September, Ukraine decided to significantly reduce its diplomatic relations with Tehran over alleged arms deliveries to Moscow.

The Ukrainian National Resistance Center reported in October that Russian forces took Iranian instructors to the occupied Kherson and Crimea regions to launch Iranian-made Shahed-136 kamikaze drones.

“We will continue to expose [Iran’s actions], will continue to expose the transfer of drones, or of any other weapons, and as you know, the reports of Iran potentially transferring missiles to Russia,” Malley said, adding that the US will “continue to sanction anyone who is related even tangentially to those transfers.”

“Any economic operator in the region, or elsewhere, should be very careful about involving themselves in such transfers because we will sanction them,” he warned.

“We will take other steps necessary that we deem appropriate to try to stop those transfers. But again, it is a step that Iran has taken. We know that they have transferred those drones.”

“We know that they’ve also trained Russian operators in using those drones and we know that those drones have been used to target civilians and civilian infrastructure. That’s not something I think that the Iranian regime wanted the world to know. The world now knows it.”

Iran is allegedly preparing to deliver more weapons to Russia to be used in its war against Ukraine, CNN reported on Tuesday citing officials from a western country which closely monitors Tehran’s weapons.

It has been estimated that Iran will send around 1,000 weapons to Moscow, some of which include surface-to-surface short range ballistic missiles and attack drones.

According to the officials cited in the CNN report, Iran’s last shipment of arms to Russia included 450 drones that Moscow used in Ukraine. Although it is not yet clear when the weapons in question will be sent to Russia, officials said they expected the transaction to occur before the end of this year.

“There’s no doubt that sanctions are not the perfect solution… But we will continue to sanction because we do think there’s a naming and shaming component that’s important. But there’s also a deterrent aspect,” Malley explained.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/03/US-to-continue-exposing-Iran-s-role-in-Ukraine-war-including-use-of-drones-Malley

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US approval of F-16 sale to Turkey coming soon: Erdogan spokesperson

04 November, 2022

President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said the process of the United States approving the sale of F-16 fighter jets to NATO member Turkey was going well and could be completed within a couple of months.

Turkey made a request to the United States in October 2021 to buy 40 Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighters and nearly 80 modernization kits for its existing warplanes to update its air force after the purchase of F-35s fell through.

CNN Turk cited spokesman Ibrahim Kalin as saying in an interview with the broadcaster on Thursday evening that the administration of President Joe Biden was making sincere efforts on the issue.

“It’s not very easy to give a clear forecast but it appears there is a high probability of the process being completed in the next month or two,” Kalin was quoted as saying when asked if the United States would sell F-16s to Turkey.

“When this happens the F-16 problem, both the modernization and the purchase of new F-16s, will be resolved.”

In September, Erdogan said he had received “positive” feedback from two US senators he met in New York on their potential support for the sale.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/11/04/US-approval-of-F-16-sale-to-Turkey-coming-soon-Erdogan-spokesperson

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Mideast 

Iran Adds Canadian Top Officials to Sanctions Blacklist for Supporting Terrorism

2022-November-3

The foreign ministry announced the sanctions in a statement on Wednesday, saying it has adopted the measures over, inter alia, the targeted individuals' support for the anti-Iran terrorist cult of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group.

After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the MKO terrorist group began its enmity against Iran by killing thousands of Iranians and terrorist activities. Several members of the terrorist group and its leaders are living in European countries now, freely conducting terrorist activities.

The ministry named the sanctioned individuals as Canada's Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino; Minister of National Defense, Anita Anand; Chief Justice, Richard Wagner; Chief of the Defense Staff, Wayne Eyre; Commander of the Royal Air Force, Eric Kenny; Navy Commander, Angus Topshee; Commissioner of the Royal Mounted Police, Brenda Lucki; and Judge David Brown, who has ordered seizure of Iranian assets in Canada.

The sanctioned institution has been named as Canada's National Post, which has been found liable for backing anti-Iran sanctions as part of an Iranophobic agenda.

The targeted individuals and body have also been found responsible for encouraging terrorist and violent activities against the Iranian people, disseminating misinformation about the Islamic Republic, and contributing to enforcement of oppressive sanctions on the Iranian nation.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry's statement obliges all Iranian mechanisms and organizations to comply with the sanctions, including by refusing to issue visas for the targeted entities, preventing them from entering sovereign Iranian territory, enabling closure of the bank accounts that are associated with them, and freezing their Iran-based assets.

Back in October, the Iranian Foreign Ministry blasted Canada's boycotts against the country’s media outlets, and said that the West's sanctions policy is driven by madness.

Reacting to Canada's new sanctions against Iranian media, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana'ani wrote in his Instagram page that the US Administration’s sanctions frenzy has gone viral and is quickly spreading to its friends.

Sanctioning "Tasnim News Agency", "Keyhan Newspaper", "Noor News", "Fars News Agency", the managing editor of Kayhan newspaper, the incumbent and former head of the IRIB and its reporter is the latest sanction list of the Canadian government against Iran and Iranians, the official added.

He noted that this was not the first act of the Canadian government in sanctioning Iranian media, the country had previously sanctioned "Press TV", an English-language Iranian news channel.

"From the point of view of the Canadian government and its anti-Iranian western partners, the Iranians do not have the right to vote and express their opinions in addition to economic sanctions. Unless they speak like them and in their own cultural language, like Iran International, Manoto, etc," Kana'ani said.

"Sanctioning the Iranian media and people is a violation of a part of the fundamental rights of the Iranian people to convey their voice and opinion to the world, and also shows the absurdity of the West's slogan regarding free access to information and freedom of expression," the Iranian diplomat added.

“When [empty] slogans are unmasked and logic becomes weak, there is no option but to resort to force and sanction. Sanction has become the international language of the US and its allies,” the spokesman stressed.

He went on to say that resorting to force and sanctions by Canada in order not to hear the voices of others is not so surprising.

"Canada tends to show its apartheid behaviors occasionally, a proof of which is the discovery of mass graves of indigenous children in that country," the diplomat reiterated.

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010812000185/Iran-Adds-Canadian-Tp-Officials-Sancins-Blacklis-fr-Sppring-Terrrism

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IDF shoot dead Islamic Jihad terrorist behind killing of Israeli commando

03 November, 2022

The security forces on Thursday shot dead a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), who according to the military was responsible for the killing of an Israeli commando.

Faruk Salama, the commander of the Jenin branch of the the Quds Brigade - Islamic Jihad's armed wing, was eliminated during a daytime IDF raid in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank.

Five other terrorists were detained during the raid.

The military entered Jenin to conduct an operation, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said. Soldiers and the Border Police's Yamas special forces unit took part in the raid.

Videos shared on social media appeared to show the sound of heavy exchanges of rifle fire, and air raid sirens being sounded inside the city.

The military said Salama was involved in the killing of Command Sgt. Maj. Noam Raz, a veteran of the elite Yamam counterterror police unit earlier this year.

No casualties among the troops were reported.

Salama is set to have been scheduled to get married this Saturday.

Salama's squad recently gave an interview to CNN, where they talked about the militants' strained relationship with the Palestinian Authority, claiming it isn't "pulling its weight" in the fight against Israel, and "hemorrhaging support" among the populace.

"The Palestinian people have lost faith in the PA and its leaders as a result of the occupation, raids and the continuous creation of far-right governments in Israel," said one of the brigade members.

He noted that the lack of hope is the reason why many Palestinian youths are taking up arms, even those with college degrees, having lost all expectation of living with dignity.

Source: YnetNews

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https://www.ynetnews.com/article/h15yrbbhj

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Cleric killed in restive Iranian city amid protests

November 4, 2022

TEHRAN: A cleric at a Shi’ite Muslim mosque in the restive, mostly Sunni Muslim Iranian city of Zahedan has been shot dead, the official news agency IRNA said, threatening a spike in sectarian tensions complicating government efforts to contain widespread unrest.

IRNA named the dead cleric as Sajjad Shahraki.

“A special task force has been formed for the purpose of identifying and arresting the perpetrators,” said Ahmad Taheri, police commander of Sistan-Baluchistan province.

Zahedan was the scene of one of the deadliest days during a wave of popular protests that have swept the Islamic Republic since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the morality police on Sept 16.

Amnesty International said security forces killed at least 66 people in a crackdown on protesters in Zahedan on Sept 30.

Authorities in the city in Iran’s far southeast sacked its police commander and the chief of a police station afterwards.

The Zahedan deaths were widely criticised, including by a top Sunni cleric who said senior officials in the Shi’ite establishment including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were responsible “before God.”

The nationwide demonstrations, which resound with chants calling for the death of Khamenei, have posed one of the boldest challenges to the state since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran blames its foreign foes and their agents for the protests and accuses them of trying to destabilise the country.

Zahedan, close to Iran’s southeastern border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, is home to a Baluch minority estimated to number up to 2 million people who have faced discrimination and repression for decades, according to human rights groups.

The Sistan-Baluchistan region around Zahedan is one of the country’s poorest and has been a hotbed of tension where Iranian security forces have been attacked by Baluch militants.

Forty prominent Iranian human rights lawyers publicly criticised Iran’s Shi’ite theocracy, saying crackdowns that have crushed dissent for decades will no longer work and protesters seeking a new political order will prevail.

“The government is still drowning in illusions and believes it can repress, arrest and kill to silence,” the lawyers, some inside the country and some outside, said in a statement sent to Reuters.

“But the flood of people will ultimately remove a government because the divine will side with the people. The voice of the people is the voice of God.”

Those inside Iran risk arrest with such comments. However, the lawyers’ statement is the latest example of how an increasing number of Iranians are no longer paralysed by the fear of the state that kept them in line for decades.

Among the lawyers signing the statement is Saeid Dehghan, who has represented dual nationals jailed in Iran on security-related charges. Another is Giti Pourfazel, who was among activists jailed for signing an open letter in 2019 urging Khamenei to resign. She was released in 2021.

‘Every tactic’

In past years major protests, which were violently quelled, focused on election results and economic woes while the current unrest has one main demand – the fall of the Islamic Republic.

Iran has been widening its crackdown, deploying security forces at protests and making arrests of a wide range of Iranians from lawyers to doctors to rappers.

Videos shared on social media show that a crowd of hundreds gathered yesterday in a central avenue of the city of Karaj to pay respects to Hadis Najafi, a young woman who was shot dead by security forces, according to her sister and social media.

Protesters in Karaj, which lies just west of the capital Tehran, were seen in an online video burning and ripping up a brown “abah,” the long robe that Shi’ite clerics wear.

A member of the hardline Basij militia was killed in Karaj and five police officers were wounded during a riot, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

Human Rights Watch said Iranian authorities had escalated their assault against widespread dissent and protests by filing dubious national security charges against detained activists and staging grossly unfair trials.

“Iran’s vicious security apparatus is using every tactic in its book, including lethal force against protesters, arresting and slandering human rights defenders and journalists, and sham trials to crush widespread dissent,” said Tara Sepehri Far, senior Iran researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Yet every new atrocity only reinforces why Iranians are demanding fundamental changes to a corrupt autocracy.”

Rights group Hengaw reported yesterday that a 27-year-old rapper from Kermanshah was charged as being an “enemy of God,” a capital offence under Iran’s Islamic law.

Source:Free Malaysia Today

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https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/world/2022/11/04/cleric-gets-killed-in-restive-iranian-city-amid-protests/

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Israel set for most extremist regime in its history

04 November 2022

Israel’s most extremist former PM and his ultra-right coalition are set to be in power, as former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu won elections while standing charges on corruption and political dysfunction.

In a final swing at the premiership, Netanyahu allied with the extremist MK Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit party and Betzalel Smotrich's Religious Zionism party. His coalition earned a total of 64 out of 120 seats, by that making up the majority of the Knesset.

The elections, which kicked off on Tuesday, are a fifth attempt by Israel in only four years to end a paralyzing political stalemate in the Tel Aviv, amid deep political divisions among the regime’s political parties.

Illegal settlement expansion and extremism

Netanyahu's previous term was marked with sheer expansion of Tel Aviv's illegal settlement activities.

Netanyahu’s major ally, Ben-Gvir, is notorious for his constant provocative raids of Palestinian towns and Islamic Holy Places such as al-Aqsa mosque. He is also infamous for rallying illegal Israeli settlers that call for the death of Arabs and Palestinians and chant racist slogans against Muslims and Arabs.

Moreover, Ben Gvir has links to the late Meir Kahane, the US-born rabbi who openly advocated for the expulsion of Palestinians from Israeli-occupied land. Today, the racist ideas espoused by Kahane and his political descendants have become mainstream among a large segment of Israeli settlers.

In October, he urged Israeli settlers to shoot Palestinians, while brandishing a loaded gun in the occupied East al-Quds neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

The previous Israeli regime, under Netanyahu, sped up annexing Palestinian lands in order to expand settlement projects. Also, Political commentators and Netanyahu’s critics have long criticized him for demonizing the Arab community with his political rhetoric. 

Even the pro-Israeli occupation lobby in the US, AIPAC, which practically never criticizes Israeli politicians, has criticized Netanyahu over his actions.

Concerns remain on what will Netanyahu’s policies towards Palestinians would be like, with a much possible spike in settlement expansions and green light to settler attacks against Palestinians.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

This is at the time the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has assured that the apartheid Israeli regime is an occupying force in its entirety, and that it cannot give legitimacy to its occupation of the Palestinian territories by staging elections.

Pressure to end Netanyahu's trial 

Meanwhile, as Netanyahu claims he will not use his authority to upend the legal process and the charges against him, some of his coalition partners have signaled to have other plans.

They have said they will push to legalize one of the crimes he is accused of committing — or even to end the trial entirely. Therefore, this come back, as his allies imply, would mean politicizing the judicial system to rescue Netanyahu from punishment on charges he faces.

Netanyahu, who is charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in the first such trial of a sitting Israeli prime minister, has denied all wrongdoing, portraying himself as the victim of a politically motivated witch-hunt.

Even though he has long denied the charges, but the scandal delivered a telling blow to his staying power, and eventually saw him being ousted when PM Yair Lapid and his coalition partner Naftali Bennett cobbled together an alliance with others.

Ripping out a fresh deal?

Meanwhile, questions remain on whether Netanyahu will follow Trump’s lead in withdrawing unilaterally from a historic deal; in Netanyahu’s case it would be the recently sealed deal between Lebanon and the Israeli regime on demarcating the maritime borders.

Netanyahu had threatened to "neutralize" the agreement, which came into force last week after some 12 years of indirect US-brokered talks. He has vehemently denounced the agreement, calling it an "illegal ploy" and said that he would not be bound by its terms. However, Lebanon's negotiator Elias Bou Saab, who is also deputy parliament speaker, assures that the maritime deal “cannot easily be canceled."

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/11/04/692126/Israel-set-for-the-most-extremist-regime-in-its-history-

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President: War, Sanctions Unable to Hinder Iran's Progress

2022-November-3

President Rayeesi made the remarks in a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad here in Tehran on Wednesday.

The president stated that the same people who pushed Syria to crisis are working against Iran.

"When the enemies saw that the coup, the Imposed War [with Iraq], and years of threats, terror, and sanctions could not stop the progress of the Iranian nation, they openly carried out the conspiracy to incite riots against the people," he stressed.

Rayeesi noted that Iran will continue the path of progress, justice and resistance with strength, and clarified, "Attempts to destabilise Iran are manifestations of the enemy's anger and desperation to achieve its goals in Iran and the region. These conspiracies will not make the great nation of Iran hesitate in achieving its great goals".

Protests erupted in several cities across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who fainted at a police station in mid-September and days later was pronounced dead at a hospital. The demonstrations soon turned violent.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization announced that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iranian officials blame Western countries for orchestrating the riots to destabilize the country.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the deadly riots, saying they were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.

“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” he added.

In recent days, Iranian officials have blamed the United States, the European Unions, and several Western states for meddling in Iran's internal affairs over the death of Mahsa. They advised the US and its allies against "opportunism and instrumentalization of the issue of human rights" by misusing the incident.

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010812000326/Presiden-War-Sancins-Unable-Hinder-Iran's-Prgress

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IRGC Neutralizes Terrorist Cell in Western Iran

2022-November-3

The IRGC said the three members of the group, who were arrested in the Western border city of Ilam on Wednesday, made explosive devices for attacks on military and security centers.

They were linked to foreigners and planned to carry out counter-security acts and set up operational groups to direct the riots, it added.

Aside from the explosives, fire arms and a large cache of ammunition were also confiscated from the detainees, it noted.

In late October, Iranian security forces defused a bomb in Shiraz that was set to detonate concurrent with a deadly terrorist attack in the Southwestern Iranian city.

The bomb attempt comes as 15 pilgrims, including a woman and two children, lost their lives and at least 19 others were wounded after a heavily-armed terrorist opened indiscriminate fire at Shah Cheragh, a highly revered Shia shrine in Shiraz. Shortly after the attack, the Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) terror group claimed responsibility.

Iran has in recent months identified and arrested several members of spy networks affiliated to foreign secret services.

Back in July, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry announced that it has captured a network of Israeli Mossad agents who had entered the country to conduct terror attacks on sensitive sites.

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010812000470/IRGC-Neralizes-Terrris-Cell-in-Wesern-Iran

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Top Commander: Iran Challenging US Hegemony Across Globe

2022-November-3

Maj. Gen. Baqeri made the remarks in a statement on Thursday, on the eve of the National Day of Fight against Global Arrogance, also known as the National Student Day, which marks the anniversary of the takeover of Washington Embassy in Tehran in 1979.

"Although it has been 44 years after the victory of the independence-seeking and anti-arrogance revolution by the Iranian nation, which led to the departure of the US and its vessel state, the Islamic Revolution has been able to challenge the fake hegemony of the US in the region and the world," he stated.

"The octopus-like hands of this colonialist power [America] are being cut off in countries one after another, in a way that the walls of America’s backyard are crumbling down," the top commander noted.

The Iranian military chief said prominent American institutions, theorists and strategists have acknowledged that the United States is in decline that the US-led unipolar world order is nearing its end.

“They speak of the formation of a multipolar world in the near future, in which the Islamic Republic will be “one of the effective players,” Baqeri continued, adding, “The secret to the conspiracies of the US and its regional lackeys against the Iranian nation lies in this point.”

He was echoing comments by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei who noted that "the US is completely vulnerable".

"The world is approaching a new order in which the US will be isolated and Asia will rise to power," Ayatollah Khamenei stressed.

"The signs of the US decline are obvious. They have economic, social, and moral problems inside the US. There are discords and bloody divisions. These are their domestic problems. And there are their miscalculations in global affairs," the Leader noted.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010812000449/Tp-Cmmander-Iran-Challenging-US-Hegemny-Acrss-Glbe

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Iran Categorically Denies WSJ Report over Military Operation Against S. Arabia

2022-November-3

Kana'ani said  in a statement on Wednesday that the WSJ report was biased and part of psychological warfare against Iran.

The newspaper reported on Tuesday Saudi Arabia has warned US intelligence officials of an imminent attack on its territory from Iran. While no details of the intelligence in question was revealed by the daily, American, Saudi and allied forces in the Middle East have reportedly been placed on high alert.

“Such biased news stories are cooked up by certain Western and Zionist outlets with an aim to poison the atmosphere against the Islamic Republic of Iran, and buck the current positive trends [of growing relations] with regional countries,” Kana'ani noted.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran pursues the policy of good neighborliness with its neighbors on the basis of mutual respect, and within the framework of international principles and rules," the spokesperson continued.

The diplomat further stated that Iran believes that the promotion of stability and security in the region is possible through the establishment of constructive interaction with neighbors, adding that Iran will therefore follow such a policy seriously.

The Wall Street Journal report comes as Saudi-sponsored news outlets, elements and terror groups together with certain Western states have been accused of instigating unrest in some Iranian cities over the past few weeks following the death of Mahsa Amini.

Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC)-affiliated Nour News said in a report on Wednesday that the claim about Iranian threats to Saudi Arabia, for which the American paper has so far failed to provide any evidence to corroborate, is actually an attempt to disseminate news on the basis of accepted principles such as “legitimate defense”, which, of course, has a high credibility factor among the world public opinion.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010812000344/Iran-Caegrically-Denies-WSJ-Repr-ver-Miliary-Operain-Agains-S-Arabia

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Envoy Calls UN Anti-Tehran Meeting Interference in Iran's Internal Affairs

2022-November-3

Iravani made the remarks while speaking at the UN Security Council Stakeout in New York on Wednesday.

He noted that the Arria-formula meeting took place as the US once again resorted to a "disinformation campaign in a blatant hypocrisy".

The Iranian ambassador stated it is ironic that the US has alleged that the event is intended to "protect" human rights in Iran, "while Iranians continue to suffer greatly as the result of the United States’ decades-long brutal sanctions; a true war in which the actual warfare is replaced with food and medicine".

"It has become a standard practice for the US to abuse such valued concepts as human rights and manipulate the UN platforms and resources to advance its ill-based political agenda," the top diplomat emphasized.

Iravani said that the US has never been really concerned about human rights in Iran or elsewhere as the history is self-evident enough to prove it.

The Iranian official reaffirmed the country's strong objection to the politicization of human rights issues and manipulation of the UN system by certain states to advance their short-sighted political objectives, adding that "this is a dangerous precedent, and Iran has already warned against it".

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has always been and continues to be committed to the promotion and protection of human rights. We are determined to continue our efforts in pursuit of these noble goals," he continued.

Iravani stressed that Iran's Constitution recognizes the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly while the government has always supported the enjoyment of these rights by the Iranian people.

He added that Iran has no intention to compare itself to other countries that lag behind it when it comes to respecting human rights, stressing that Tehran seeks to evaluate its situation in relation to the aspirations and values that it revolutionized 43 years ago, as well as the overall administration of justice, morality, and religion.

"We are determined to continue our efforts in promoting and protecting human rights situation," the senior Iranian envoy said.

"All Iranians within and outside the country who are concerned about Iran's territorial integrity, political independence, and national sovereignty are of the view that whilst such enjoyments of rights should be deemed inviolable, protests should not lead to violence and destruction, chaos, or instability," he added, referring to recent riots in the country that followed the death of a young Iranian woman in a police station last month.

Iravani said every government is responsible to protect its people against insecurity and violent and terrorist acts, and upholding the law and order, and that Iran is no exception.

He reiterated that Iran has always made its utmost efforts to address human rights issues and would "continue to give the Iranian people the better living circumstances they deserve and establish a legal framework to alter laws and regulations."

Iranian law enforcement have the ability prevent or manage any unrest and maintain complete tranquility across the country, but they will not do so at any cost, the official added.

The envoy noted that the process of decision-making in Iran is based on the importance of human life and dignity, saying, "Therefore, the restraint displayed by Iranian law enforcement should not be a sign of weakness."

"We believe that exaggerating or underestimating protests in Iran serves only as a diversion from finding a viable solution and resolving the problem," Iravani added, reminding the UNSC of the Iranian government's efforts to present a "thorough solution" to the ongoing problem "by making use of its elite, academic, and scientific resources and capacities".

The ambassador urged the international community to respect and uphold the principles of national sovereignty of states and non-interference in their internal affairs.

Protests erupted in several cities across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who fainted at a police station in mid-September and days later was pronounced dead at a hospital. The demonstrations soon turned violent.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization announced that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iranian officials blame Western countries for orchestrating the riots to destabilize the country.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the deadly riots, saying they were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.

“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” he added.

In recent days, Iranian officials have blamed the United States, the European Unions, and several Western states for meddling in Iran's internal affairs over the death of Mahsa. They advised the US and its allies against "opportunism and instrumentalization of the issue of human rights" by misusing the incident.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010812000381/Envy-Calls-UN-Ani-Tehran-Meeing-Inerference-in-Iran's-Inernal-Affairs

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Iranian Movie “World War III" Snatches Main Award at Tokyo Film Festival

2022-November-3

The 35th edition of Tokyo International Film Festival has conferred its two main rewards to Iranian titles “World War III” and “Butterflies Live Only One Day”.

“World War III" won the special prize of the festival’s jury, while "Butterflies Live Only One Day", directed by Mohammadreza Vatandoust, won the festival’s prize for the best Asian feature film.

The 35th edition of Tokyo Film Festival was held in the Japanese capital between October 24 and November 2.

In September, “World War III" won two awards at the 79th Venice International Film Festival in Italy. (READ MORE)

In the Orizzonti section of the awards at the Venice International Film Festival, which runs parallel to the primary competition, the top honor was given to “World War III". The movie also featured a best actor award winner in Mohsen Tanabandeh, who played the protagonist.

The film tells the story of a worker named Shakib, who loses his wife and child in an earthquake, and then meets a deaf girl called Ladan.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010812000279/Iranian-Mvie-%E2%80%9CWrld-War-III-Snaches-Main-Award-a-Tky-Film-Fesival

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Iran Underlines Constructive Approach, US Destructive Attitude in Talks

2022-November-3

"Iran is ready for conclusion of a strong and durable agreement," Amir Abdollahian told the European Union's Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell during a phone call on Wednesday.

"We have relayed our opinion to the American side through the European Union, with a constructive and forward-looking approach," Iran's diplomat noted.

Addressing Iran's ongoing collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the foreign minister stated that Tehran was working with the United Nations' nuclear agency towards realization of "an agreement over good and strong cooperation" between the two sides.

Borrell, for his part, said, "We will continue our constructive efforts until arrival at the point of a final agreement", adding that the EU was "optimistic" about eventual realization of this prospect.

He also evaluated Iran and the IAEA's ongoing cooperation as a "forward step".

Iran stresses it has not quit the negotiating table with the world powers, but will not put all its eggs in the negotiation basket and will not wait for the United States to return to its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal. Iranian officials stress that Tehran has not left the negotiating table with the world powers, but arriving at a deal requires the US pragmatic attitude.

The United States and Iran have traded responses via the EU to a proposal put forward by Borrell. Tehran submitted its initial answer in mid-August and Washington replied to it about a week later.

Washington claims that Tehran has taken "a step backward" with its latest response to a European Union proposal, calling a near-term agreement "unlikely".

Tehran says its response to Washington's view regarding the EU's proposed draft text was constructive and transparent. Officials stress that receiving guarantees from the Western side is the most important issue in the talks and Iran wants stronger guarantees from the US to clinch an agreement.

Tehran says it will not be able to trust Washington as long as President Joe Biden continues the wrong policy of maximum pressure and sanctions practiced by Donald Trump against Iran. Iranian officials say the Biden administration has yet done nothing but hollow promises to lift sanctions against Tehran. They blast the US addiction to sanctions, and slammed the POTUS for continuing his predecessor's policy on Iran.

Tehran and the five remaining parties to the nuclear deal have held several rounds of negotiations since April last year to restore the agreement, which was unilaterally abandoned by Trump in May 2018.

In quitting the agreement, Trump restored sanctions on Iran as part of what he called the “maximum pressure” campaign against the country. Those sanctions are being enforced to this day by the Biden administration, even though it has repeatedly acknowledged that the policy has been a mistake and a failure.

Iranian officials say the ball is in the US' court, and the Biden administration should assure Tehran that it will not repeat Trump's past mistakes.

Diplomats have also criticized Washington for raising excessive demands from Tehran during the nuclear talks, and blocking efforts to reach an agreement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). They emphasized the Tehran's will to reach a good, strong and lasting agreement, and stressed that the US should lift unilateral sanctions, and assure Iran that it will not repeat its past mistakes.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010812000110/Iran-Underlines-Cnsrcive-Apprach-US-Desrcive-Aide-in-Talks

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Israeli aircraft strikes several targets in Gaza Strip

04 November, 2022

Early Friday, Israeli aircraft struck several targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire Thursday evening from the Palestinian enclave.

The rocket attacks and Israeli airstrikes were the first cross-border violence since a cease-fire ended a round of fighting between Israel and the Islamic Jihad militant group there in August.

The violence flared as Israel completed the counting of votes in national elections held this week, with former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right allies capturing a comfortable majority of seats in Israel’s parliament.

In the West Bank, Israeli troops operating in the Jenin refugee camp, a militant stronghold, killed at least two Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad said one of those killed was a local commander.

Late Thursday, Gaza militants fired a rocket into southern Israel, setting off air-raid sirens in the area.

The Israeli army said the rocket was intercepted, and that three other launch attempts failed and exploded inside Gaza.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but in the past, Islamic Jihad has fired rockets in response to the killings of its members.

In response, the Israeli military said it targeted an underground site used by Gaza’s Hamas rulers as a rocket-making facility.

The airstrikes “will significantly impede” Hamas’ rocket capabilities, it said.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/04/Israeli-aircraft-strikes-several-targets-in-Gaza-Strip

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Israeli PM Lapid congratulates Netanyahu as he cements election win

03 November, 2022

Israel Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday congratulated Benjamin Netanyahu on his election win as final results confirmed the former premier’s triumphant comeback at the head of a solidly right-wing alliance.

Netanyahu’s victory is set to end an unprecedented stalemate in Israel after five elections in less than four years.

This time around Netanyahu, the dominant Israeli politician of his generation, won a clear parliamentary majority, boosted by ultranationalist and religious parties.

Tuesday’s ballot saw out the centrist Lapid, and his rare alliance of conservatives, liberals and Arab politicians which, over 18 months in power, made diplomatic inroads with Turkey and Lebanon and kept the economy humming.

But with the conflict with the Palestinians surging anew and touching off Jewish-Arab tensions within Israel, Netanyahu’s rightist Likud and kindred parties took 64 of the Knesset's 120 seats.

Netanyahu still has to be officially tasked by the president with forming a government, a process that could take weeks.

“The time has come to impose order here. The time has come for there to be a landlord,” tweeted Itamar Ben-Gvir of the far-right Religious Zionism party, Likud's likely senior partner.

He was responding to a stabbing reported by Jerusalem police. In the West Bank, troops killed an Islamic Jihad militant and a 45-year-old man in a separate incident, medics said. Queried on the latter death, the army said it opened fire when Palestinians attacked them with rocks and petrol bombs.

A West Bank settler and former member of Kach, a Jewish militant group on Israeli and US terrorist watchlists, Ben-Gvir wants to become police minister.

Israeli media, citing political sources, said the new government may be clinched by mid-month. Previous coalitions in recent years have had narrower parliamentary majorities that made them vulnerable to no-confidence motions.

With coalition building talks yet to officially begin, it was still unclear what position Ben-Gvir might hold in a future government. Since the election, both he and Netanyahu have pledged to serve all citizens.

But Ben-Gvir’s ascendancy has stirred alarm among the 21 percent Arab minority and centre-left Jews - and especially among Palestinians whose US-sponsored statehood talks with Israel broke down in 2014.

While Washington has publicly reserved judgment pending the new Israeli coalition’s formation, a US State Department spokesman on Wednesday emphasized the countries’ “shared values.”

“We hope that all Israeli government officials will continue to share the values of an open, democratic society, including tolerance and respect for all in civil society, particularly for minority groups,” the spokesperson said.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/03/Israeli-PM-Lapid-congratulates-Netanyahu-as-he-cements-election-win

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Many young Iranians lose their fear in struggle for freedom

03 November, 2022

As a child in Iran, Shideh heard her parents warn her older siblings against taking part in anti-government demonstrations because of the bloody crackdown that would follow. But today, with protests raging across Iran, things have changed.

Both Shideh - now a teenager - and her mother say they have joined seven weeks of demonstrations ignited by the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of Iran’s morality police.

The protests triggered by Amini’s death on September 16 have shown the defiance of many young Iranians in challenging the clerical leadership, overcoming fear that has stifled dissent in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“I have one life and I want to live it freely,” said Shideh,17, who asked that her family name not be used. “We are not scared of being killed. We will eventually change the regime.”

Her sentiment was echoed by a dozen young Iranians from across the country interviewed by Reuters by phone. The students, who asked not to be named, said the protests reflect what many young Iranians see as a darkening future for a country ruled by hardliners seeking to tighten rigid social controls.

Iranian officials, who have blamed Amini’s death on preexisting medical problems, say the unrest has been fomented by foreign enemies including the United States, and accuse armed separatists of perpetrating violence.

Iran’s interior ministry and chief of police’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

The authorities have used tried-and-tested means of quelling dissent - from tear gas and bullets to intimidation and arrests - many young demonstrators have remained unbowed.

“Shoot us! We are not afraid anymore,” shouted a small group of young women kneeling without their headscarves in front of riot policemen in Tehran last week, in one video shared on social media.

More than two-thirds of Iran’s 85 million people are under the age of 30. Even if the latest protests subside, the fearlessness of young Iranians could spell more trouble ahead for the establishment, according to rights activists, analysts and one former moderate official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The power wielded by Iran’s security apparatus still looms large: Shideh and her mother declined to be identified for safety reasons, and also requested their location in Iran not be disclosed.

But for Shideh’s mother, the death of Amini - who was arrested for “inappropriate attire” - marked a turning point.

It “changed everything,” she said.

Too frightened to oppose Iran’s ruling clerics for years, she has joined thousands of women at the forefront of protests that have turned into a revolt against what demonstrators describe as increasing authoritarianism.

“I cried for days for Mahsa. My Shideh could be arrested by the morality police and killed like Mahsa. That thought hit me hard,” said her mother, speaking from her home in central Iran.

“As a mother, I feel I should stay on the streets and reclaim Iran for my daughter, for all Iranian girls.”

Symbol of grievances

Amini’s death has become a symbol for many of the manifold grievances in Iranian society, galvanizing some protesters to demand the downfall of the Islamic Republic.

As a young woman, her death sparked anger among Iranians who do not want their daughters arrested because of how they dress. As a Kurd, her death touched on long-standing minority grievances in Iran, a mosaic of ethnic and religious groups that say they have long faced discrimination by Tehran.

Experts on Iran say the clerical establishment’s staying power has been underpinned since the 1979 revolution by its willingness to use whatever force is necessary to silence dissent.

But “fear has a limit, like repression,” said Saied Golkar, an Assistant Professor of political science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

“There is a turning point when repression and fear don’t work anymore: when people realize they have power when they act collectively and when they fear the gloomy future more than the regime,” he said.

For the first time, schoolgirls have taken into streets, along with thousands of Iranians from all walks of life, including ethnic minorities.

“It’s a revolution to end years of discrimination. We will not remain silent,” said Ziba, 15, who has been protesting in Iran’s Kurdish region. “We want freedom for all Iranians, from Baluchis to Kurds and Turks.”

Breaking taboos

Security forces have fiercely confronted the protesters, killing at least 300 of them - including 45 minors - wounding hundreds and arresting thousands, according to rights groups.

Iranian authorities have denied children were killed during the unrest.

Security forces have raided several schools across the country, detaining schoolgirls, according to videos posted on social media, which Reuters was unable to verify. They fired teargas outside a Tehran school after a clash between staff, students and parents when the principal insisted on checking girls’ phones, according to the one of the videos.

Other social media images have shown schoolgirls tearing up pictures of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the late founder of the 1979 Islamic revolution Ruhollah Khomeini, burning their veils and knocking clerics' turbans from their heads in the streets.

Such taboo-breaking moments reflect a widening gap between Iran's clerical leadership and a young population, analysts say.

Many young Iranians have long called for the lifting of social restrictions, such as internet censorship and strict dress codes.

The dozen schoolgirls and university students from across Iran interviewed by Reuters - drawn from different ethnic groups and backgrounds - expressed hope the protests could be a turning point.

“They can kill us. They can arrest us. But it is the start of their end,” said Farzaneh, 16, in a southern Iranian city.

“Maybe today. Maybe next week or next month. But our revolt is irreversible.”

However, Sanam Vakil, deputy director at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, said she still expected to see a robust pushback by Iran’s security forces, involving “more violence and intimidation and fear.”

Iran’s most widely feared force, the Revolutionary Guards - a hardline military force used by the state to crush political unrest - have yet to be deployed to quell the protests but its top commander warned demonstrators on Saturday to get off the streets.

“Pushing for change”

Yet unrest among university students, who played a major role in toppling the US-backed shah in 1979, is far from dying down, with protests persisting at over 130 universities.

With student numbers swelling in Iran’s young population, such signs of growing dissent cannot be easily ignored by the authorities, a former moderate official said.

“These protests will end eventually but wounds will remain and rifts will deepen. We should be worried about future protests,” he said.

With deepening economic misery, largely because of US sanctions over Tehran’s disputed nuclear work, many young people are feeling the pain of galloping inflation and rising joblessness.

Inflation has soared to over 50 percent, the highest level in decades. Youth unemployment remains high with some 50 percent of Iranians being pushed below the poverty line, according to reports by Iran’s Statistics Center.

By defying state warnings to end protests, students have paid a heavy price. Security forces have raided university campuses, arrested hundreds of students and injured many more, according to witnesses, social media videos and rights groups.

“We’re angry over years of repression, over a dark future,” said a student at Tehran’s Sharif university, where security forces used teargas and pellet guns to disperse students repeatedly. “We want freedom. We want a future.”

Ali Fatholla-Nejad, an Iran expert with American University of Beirut, said the clerical rulers were themselves being engulfed by a “revolutionary process” and would likely face more unrest in the future.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/03/Feature-Many-young-Iranians-lose-their-fear-in-struggle-for-freedom

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Assailant stabs officer in Jerusalem, is shot dead: Israel police

03 November, 2022

An assailant stabbed an officer in Jerusalem’s Old City Thursday before being shot dead, Israeli police said, with two other officers injured at the scene.

Police said the attacker aroused suspicion and was ordered to stop for inspection before he “stabbed one of the officers in the upper body.”

He was then shot by two other officers “and later was pronounced dead,” a police statement said.

Medics from Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency service said they treated three men at the scene and took them to hospitals in Jerusalem.

Shaare Zedek hospital said they were treating a man suffering a stab wound to the torso in moderate condition, and another man who was lightly wounded by a gunshot to the leg, likely from shots fired by police.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/03/Assailant-stabs-officer-in-Jerusalem-is-shot-dead-Israel-police

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Europe 

Chairman of Leicester Muslim and Hindu unrest inquiry steps down after online abuse

Nicky Harley

London

Nov 03, 2022

The newly appointed chairman of an inquiry into unrest between Hindus and Muslims in Leicester has stepped down after receiving online abuse.

Chris Allen, an associate professor in hate studies at the University of Leicester, was due to lead the inquiry into the rioting in September, in which tensions between mainly young Muslim and Hindu men culminated in large-scale disorder in the British city.

It led to police officers being injured and nearly 50 arrests, 158 crimes and nine people being charged.

But, comments made by Dr Allen before his appointment, ruling out Islamist extremism, led to a backlash from Hindus who vowed to boycott the inquiry.

A video also emerged online allegedly showing Dr Allen claiming that the September 11 terrorist attack was a set-up.

In a letter to Leicester's mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, signed by 13 Hindu temples in Leicester, they said they had “little confidence” in the inquiry and said Dr Allen's comments ruling out Islamist extremism in the unrest had “cast strong doubts on his suitability to lead the review”. The letter also said that “to assert a conclusion ahead of the review” raised doubts about his independence.

On Thursday, Dr Allen issued a statement to say he was stepping down.

“I have reluctantly taken the decision to stand down from the role on the basis that I no longer feel confident that my team and I are able to conduct the review in a way that the ensuing findings would meet the necessary levels of academic scrutiny," he said.

“As someone with a long history of undertaking research that is independent and impartial, the need for academic objectivity and rigour are vitally important. In the current climate, I do not believe that it is possible for me to do so in an impartial way and so it is in the interests of the city and the need to find ways to resolution that I have decided to stand down.

“It is important to stress that my decision was not made in response to the unprecedented levels of hate that have been directed towards me in recent weeks or the spurious allegations circulating on social media. While many are outright lies, some are rather more pernicious: distorting and misrepresenting the truth for their own individual and ideological gain.”

The review was set up to uncover the reasons for the unrest and to make recommendations for change.

Sir Peter, who commissioned the review, said the levels of online abuse relating to it were disturbing, and he understood Dr Allen’s decision.

“I am sorry that Dr Allen will not be able to lead the research but understand the decision that he and the university have taken," he said.

"I do think it’s important to proceed with a review, and will be taking soundings locally and nationally as to whether any individual or organisation could take it forward in a way that has the confidence of all parties concerned.”

A spokesman for the University of Leicester said it was concerned over the abuse Dr Allen had received.

“The university fully supports Dr Allen in his decision to stand down from leading the review. We have a duty of care for all of our staff, and it was concerning to see the unwarranted abuse Dr Allen was receiving online, and the effect it might also have on his research team," the university said in a statement.

“Our academic staff have the right to carry out research work without any undue interference, or any suppression, in accordance with their professional responsibility and subject to nationally and internationally recognised professional principles of intellectual rigour, scientific inquiry and research ethics.

“Dr Allen has, for two decades, researched hate extremism and the policies designed to counter them. He is widely published nationally and internationally across both the academic and non-academic spaces. His research has been submitted to various government bodies.

Source: TheNationalNews

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.thenationalnews.com/world/uk-news/2022/11/03/chairman-of-leicester-muslim-and-hindu-unrest-inquiry-steps-down-after-online-abuse/

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Iran plans to supply Russia with arms ‘unacceptable’: NATO chief

04 November, 2022

Iran's plans to supply Russia with weapons including drones and ballistic missiles in its war against Ukraine are “unacceptable”, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.

Kyiv and its Western allies accuse Iran of supplying drones to Russia.

“We see Iran offering drones and considering ballistic missile deliveries to Russia,” Stoltenberg told a news conference in Istanbul.

“This is unacceptable. No country should provide support to Moscow in this illegal war.”

Kyiv has said around 400 Iranian drones have already been used against the civilian population of Ukraine, and Moscow has ordered around 2,000.

Tehran has rejected the allegation.

Stoltenberg added Russian President Vladimir Putin was failing in Ukraine, but “responding with more brutality”.

“In recent weeks, we have seen dozens of drone and missile strikes across Ukraine. Including on critical infrastructure,” he added.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/04/Iran-plans-to-supply-Russia-with-arms-unacceptable-NATO-chief-

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Kremlin says Türkiye's participation in resumption of grain deal 'reason to trust the agreement'

Elena Teslova  

03.11.2022

MOSCOW

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that Türkiye's participation in the resumption of the grain deal is the main reason why Russia trusts the agreement.

Speaking at a press briefing in Moscow, Peskov highly praised the work carried out by Ankara to get written guarantees from Kyiv on the non-use of humanitarian corridor for military purposes.

"The guarantees provided to the Turkish side, for obvious reasons, could not be provided directly to us. So, in his case, Moscow and Ankara are acting as parties to whom these guarantees are given.

"The importance of the deal is emphasized, and, of course, the work that was carried out by Ankara and personally by the Turkish military, Turkish diplomats, and President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan deserves high praise," Peskov said.

Peskov also noted that the resumption of the deal does not mean it will be extended after Nov. 19.

"We still have to discuss the topic of extension officially, the deadline has not been reached yet, it is still working. (...) By the 19th (of November), before making a decision to continue, it will be necessary to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the deal," he stressed.

Meanwhile, the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul reported that the Russian delegation resumed its work and joined the inspections of ships going from and to the ports of Ukraine.

Source: Anadolu Agency 

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/kremlin-says-turkiyes-participation-in-resumption-of-grain-deal-reason-to-trust-the-agreement/2728619

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Czech Republic to close its embassy in Afghan capital

Askin Kiyagan  

03.11.2022

The Czech Republic will close its embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul on Jan. 1, 2023 as no improvement in the country’s security situation is expected anytime soon, local media reported Wednesday.

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky has decided to close the Czech embassy in Kabul, said the Czech News Agency (CTK).

Source: Anadolu Agency 

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/czech-republic-to-close-its-embassy-in-afghan-capital/2728214

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Southeast Asia 

Indonesia’s soft power diplomacy in R20, promoting Indonesian Islam to the world

November 4, 2022

By Jalaluddin Rizqi Mulia

G20 is an annual forum that was originally a meeting to respond to the financial crises which occurred in 1998 and 2008. The formation of G20 initially emerged from expansion in the membership of G8 – eight countries that became the most significant actors in facing the financial crisis (to mention a few: France, Germany, UK, and United States), to become the G20 with the entrance of countries with emerging economies; such as China, India, and Brazil, and also an intergovernmental organization: European Union. The forum, which was originally aimed at dealing with economic issues, has grown to be more comprehensive and multidimensional.

As the role of G20 and its presidency rotation develops, G20 forums are then divided into two tracks: financial track that is attended by the Ministers of Finance and the Central Bank Governors of each member state to coordinate on financial issues; and sherpa track, which discusses non-financial issues. The activities in the sherpa track agendas are determined and set primarily by the country holding the presidency. A country with potential modalities, Indonesia has a significant position in playing its role in this multilateral forum.

Multicultural society as Indonesian modality

Indonesia has valuable resources in particular that other countries rarely have. To be specific: Indonesia is a respected multicultural country. Many view Indonesia as a unique state that unites vastly diverse elements – e.g. ethnicity, religion, to race; and be a unified nation. Erratically, the multiculturalism still maintain boldly despite Islam being the majority of believers. Indonesia has a civilization able to maintain harmony in the midst of diversity. This modality is perceived as reference for serious problems faced by other parts of the world, particularly the Islamic world.

For instance, Indonesia has the Ministry of Religion Affairs (Kementerian Agama) as the overseer of units representing the interests of each official religion. Regarding the social context, culture of tolerance is habituated and quite rooted in the society, in spite of facing differences in identities. To cite an instance, in the context of education, Islamic educational institutions are directed and coordinated to familiarize themselves with the bahtsul masail – a learning model that allows Muslims in Indonesia to interpret fiqh, or Islamic jurisprudence, according to the local context.

Religious traditions in Indonesia, especially Islam, have been studied continually. Clifford Geertz, for instance, introduced his work The Religion of Java which classified the trichotomy of Javanese society at that time: santri (born from the social substructure of the market), priyayi (government), and abangan (village). After the era of Indonesia’s Reformation, according to Masykuri Abdillah, there are three groups of Muslims based on their ideology: some who seek formal application of sharia (structural approach), some approach sharia in the ethical-moral realm only (cultural approach), and some who look up a balanced orientation between Islam and nationality.

Indonesia is well-known for its position as the largest Muslim country in population. Although Indonesia includes different variants of Islam, these conditions cannot be separated from entity of Indonesia itself. Bambang Pranowo, an Indonesian muslim scholar, even exhibits an analogy Indonesian Islam to kue lapis (layer cake) in which consisting of several colorful layers. The parts of the cake don’t have to be the same, and in fact, any part with any color is still the part of that particular cake.

Furthermore, Indonesian Islamic identity does have quite complex and unique attributes. In terms of uniqueness, Indonesian Islam could be characterized to several elements: Islamic character of wasatiyah (moderation), openness, also accomodating local wisdom. One of the latest Islamic discourses in Indonesia is the Nusantara Islam – firstly initiated by the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia: Nahdlatul Ulama (NU). In short, the terminology seeks to reformulate and mainstream the moderate Islamic understanding.

This also reflected in the history of a formed Indonesia in the early days of independence. Indonesia is neither a theocratic or secular state. Nonetheless, built upon the agreement between the nationalists and Islamists, Indonesia became a distinctive religious country; whereas the conceptual framework of state legislation is normally based on religious norms.

Religion Forum (R20) International Summit of Religious Leaders is one of NU’s initiatives as a series of G20 agendas. NU aims that the forum can be a medium for prominent religious leaders to express their voices and concerns; thus forming shared moral and spiritual values. As aforementioned, NU has a unique view on the context of Indonesian Islam – Islam Nusantara, which was firstly released back in 2015. It aims to protect the concept of nation statehood and promote moderate Islamic values. Previously, NU had also held similar programs several times to promote religion as a peacemaking contributor.

Indonesian experiences and R20 as a soft power diplomacy

Indonesia’s skilled diplomacy is a well-known role, exceptionally those related to religious terms and issues. It includes various implementations, including the interreligious dialogue which were carried out during the Rohingya case in Myanmar in accelerating the domestic development of religious harmony. Indonesia has made efforts to establish bilateral and multilateral relations that focus on interfaith dialogues, such as the Asia-European Meeting (ASEM) Interfaith Dialogue. Regarding government cooperation with NU, Indonesia had held the International Conference of Islamic Scholars (ICIS); discussing Islamophobia, conflicts in Muslim countries, and so forth.

Practices of diplomacy can not only be carried out by the government, but by organizations which are then classified as one of non-state actors, namely non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The development of diplomatic capabilities from state to non-state occurs in line with the expanding dimensions of issues in international relations. The R20 activity itself has been directly supported by the Indonesian government, in particular the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The diplomatic process carried out by NGOs tends to be easier in setting public’s attention and opinion due to its close stance to the grassroots than political elites.

Religion is an important issue in global politics. Religious affairs themselves are referred to as intermestic (international and domestic) policy issues. It is also deemed as influencing international relations in the same way as other value systems and ideologies; affecting the behavior of state and non-state actors.

In particular, soft power diplomacy is the ability to influence others by relying on the power of cooperation instead of violence or military power. Soft power is also defined as an indirect or intangible influence; such as culture, values, and ideology. Public diplomacy, as part of soft power, is a vital tool to promote a country’s soft power. Thus, religious issues can be recognized as a form of soft power; creating a new term of religious diplomacy. This understanding is also in line with NU’s concept that religion, on one hand, oftentimes can cause conflicts, but on the other hand has the significant potential to be a force that builds and maintains peace.

According to the R20 committee release, more than 200 distinguished religious leaders and politicians from Indonesia and abroad will attend the forum. The issues raised in R20 focused on placing religion as a solution rather than a problem through raising internal problems in religion, interreligious relations, and seeking shared solutions to humanitarian problems.

Several topics that will be discussed, to mention a few: the process of reconciliation over historical grievances, identification of shared values held by major world religions and civilizations, recontextualization of problematic understandings in religions, up to the values development in guaranteeing world peace. Furthermore, the General Chairman of the NU Central Board, Yahya Cholil Staquf, stated that R20 was indeed designed in such a way that religious leaders honestly convey the problems faced by each religion.

Introducing Indonesian Islam to the world in building peace

Briefly, public diplomacy is an emphasis on efforts to solve problems by seeking common interests and conveyed through messages of peace. Whereas high politics focus on government-centered issues, R20 activities can be viewed from a diplomatic perspective which is more grounded. The impact generated by public diplomacy will be more felt in the community due to its orientation which focuses on the formation of public opinion.

The idea can be seen from the supports that provided by numerous institutions in successing the event; both from the government (Ministry of Religion Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs), to domestic and international religious organizations (such as Muhammadiyah – also a large Indonesian Muslim organizations, and the World Muslim League). In addition, the organized activities are also correlated with the concept of public diplomacy. The international conference, as planned by NU as one of R20 activities, is a form of public diplomacy. In case there are parties who disagree in the forum, it actually aims to produce an agreement that hopes to reduce conflicts and disputes in the future.

Source: ModernDiplomacy

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2022/11/04/indonesias-soft-power-diplomacy-in-r20-promoting-indonesian-islam-to-the-world/

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Syed Saddiq: ‘Biggest hypocrisy in Malaysia’ is politicians who send their kids overseas but block changes to education system

By Keertan Ayamany

04 Nov 2022

PETALING JAYA, Nov 5 — Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has labelled politicians who object to progressive educational reforms but send their children to private schools as “hypocrites” who are damaging the country’s education system.

In an interview with Malay Mail recently, the Muar MP said these politicians — who he did not name — are creating a system where the richest Malaysians have access to quality education while the poor are being left behind.

“The same people who say I’m hurting Islam and Malays when it comes to our education system, are the ones who are sending their children to private schools, international schools, heck, even tadika in France (or) going to boarding school in UK, in Eton College,” he said, using the Malay word for kindergarten.

“And yet they’re saying, ‘Don’t shake the system’.”

“I think that’s the biggest hypocrisy in Malaysia, and I think we have to fight these politicians to ensure that we reset and shape our system for all Malaysians,” he said when met at his office in SS1 here.

Examples of reforms that Syed Saddiq said he supports are extended school hours to focus on core subjects including English and Mathematics, and allowing students to begin on the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) programme earlier.

Currently, students are allowed to begin on TVET in Form 4, however, the government said in August that it is mulling introducing TVET in Form 1.

Source:MalayMail

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/11/04/syed-saddiq-biggest-hypocrisy-in-malaysia-is-politicians-who-send-their-kids-overseas-but-block-changes-to-education-system-video/34756

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Institutions like Berita Harian have helped Malay/Muslim community improve: DPM Wong

Clement Yong

NOV 3, 2022

SINGAPORE - Organisations like Berita Harian and Mendaki have been integral to improving the Malay/Muslim community’s well-being at all levels, said Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong on Thursday.

He said at the Berita Harian Achiever of the Year Awards that many Malay/Muslim organisations have been working closely with the Government to support and uplift the community, putting in practice the idea of mutual support.

This has helped the Malay/Muslim community to continue to progress, whether in school or business, he added.

“This idea of mutual support, by helping one another to progress and succeed, is not new,” he said, adding that Singapore has put this idea at the heart of its approach to help every Singaporean pursue excellence and success.

“In the last 10 years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of Malays among the top 10 per cent of scorers in national exams. We have also seen a substantial increase in Malay graduates at our autonomous universities.”

DPM Wong, who is learning Malay, spoke briefly in the language before transitioning to English.

He said SPH Media’s Malay title Berita Harian, which turns 65 in 2022, has established itself as a well-respected institution which has promoted both the community’s well-being and Malay language and culture.

He said Berita Harian partnered with local asatizahs (religious teachers) to produce socio-religious content on its social media platforms when in-person gatherings at mosques and other places of worship were suspended in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It also recently collaborated with Mendaki to launch a portal offering free educational content for primary school pupils, he noted.

“Good education outcomes lead to better jobs and opportunities,” he said. “And this is also the reason why we are also seeing the incomes of Malay households increase steadily over the years.”

DPM Wong was speaking at the Four Seasons Hotel, where three Malay/Muslim individuals who have excelled in their fields received Berita Harian’s Achiever of the Year Awards.

They are Mr Mohamed Noor Mohamed Yusofe, 85, who received the Lifetime Achiever of the Year award for his 40-year illustrious career in music; Associate Professor Hadijah Rahmat, 64, who was awarded the Achiever of the Year award for her literary work and contributions to bilingual educational policy; and “hawkerpreneur” Lee Syafiq Ridzuan Lee, 30, who was named the Young Achiever of the Year.

DPM Wong also lauded groups such as Mendaki, which helps children from lower-income families, AMP Singapore, which develops Muslim professionals, and the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which nurtures enterprises, for their efforts.

He said he hoped awards such as the Berita Harian achiever awards can inspire more Malay/Muslims to strive for success and excellence in their respective fields, while making sure those who are able to, give back to the community by helping and mentoring others.

Source:StraitsTimes

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/organisations-like-berita-harian-have-helped-malaymuslim-community-improve-dpm-wong

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Malaysia GE15: Perikatan Nasional seeks to win all 8 Negeri Sembilan federal seats

04 Nov 2022

NILAI, Negeri Sembilan: Perikatan Nasional (PN) will contest all the eight parliamentary seats in Negeri Sembilan and it is confident of winning all of them in the coming 15th General Election (GE15), said its state advisor Dr Rais Yatim on Thursday (Nov 3).

Dr Rais told reporters that PN aims to dominate all the eight parliamentary seats in Negeri Sembilan, so that it can help to change the federal government in Putrajaya.

“PN's stance is that we must change the government according to the will of the people, in accordance to the good values they believe in, including against corrupt practices that must be eradicated if Malaysia wants to be back on the global map," Dr Rais was quoted as saying by Berita Harian.

He was speaking to reporters at an announcement ceremony of PN’s GE15 parliamentary candidates for Negeri Sembilan.

According to Dr Rais, PN which is led by former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin has become more energetic to contest in GE15, adding that PN has also become more acceptable by the voters.

In GE15, PN has confirmed that it will field eight candidates for all the federal seats in Negeri Sembilan. Four of the candidates will be from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), three from Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) and one from Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan).

In the 2018 general election, Bersatu while contesting under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition fielded two candidates, but only won one seat. PAS fielded eight candidates but did not win any seat.

In Perak, PN has announced that it will contest all the 59 seats in the state. In GE15, only three states: Perak, Penang and Pahang will have concurrent state elections to elect new members of their respective legislative assemblies. 

According to a Bernama report, Perak PN secretary Zainol Fadzi Paharudin said Bersatu will vie for 26 seats, while PAS and Gerakan will contest 24 and nine seats, respectively.

Before the dissolution of the Perak state assembly, PN held only eight state seats whereas BN held the majority of 25 seats.

Separately, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang announced on Thursday night that several axed BN members will be defending their parliamentary seats as PN candidates. 

Among them are caretaker federal territories minister Shahidan Kassim and caretaker deputy minister of housing and local government Ismail Abdul Muttalib who will contest in Arau, Perlis and Maran, Pahang respectively.

Mr Shahidan said that he chose to represent PN as Mr Abdul Hadi understood his stand, adding that both of them had always remained friends despite having differences of opinion.

“I yearn for the unity of the ummah (Muslim community). I want PAS and UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) in Arau to support me. Let Muafakat Nasional (the mutual cooperation between UMNO and PAS) begin in Arau,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

Mr Shahidan who was dropped from the list of Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates on Tuesday, made a surprise appearance at the announcement of PN candidates in Marang, Terengganu on Thursday night.

On Wednesday, Mr Shahidan said that he wants to be the model to Muafakat Nasional (MN) and those from UMNO should support him because it was his Arau BN’s election machinery that made the effort to make the MN collaboration a success.

According to Bernama, Mr Abdul Hadi has said that more BN leaders have expressed their interest in becoming PN candidates in the coming polls.

He added that PN was processing their applications and would announce their names on Nomination Day on Saturday.

In a Facebook post, PN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin emphasised the need for PN component parties to close ranks and cooperate in order to emerge victorious in GE15.

“This desire will not be achieved if each party moves alone and not in one congregation. Thus I emphasise the need for cooperation among the parties to create one large congregation to lead the country,” said Mr Muhyiddin.

“We must not let Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan come back to power. The people must ensure that any covert plans by them (BN and PH)  to come together to form the government after the election will not happen.”

Source:ChannelNewsAsia

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/malaysia-negeri-sembilan-perak-ge15-pru15-perikatan-nasional-3043766

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Hadi finally explains PAS’ reason in choosing Perikatan, says Umno too hungry for power

By Ashley Yeong

04 Nov 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 — Umno has too many “power crazy” individuals who are willing to pawn their religion for PAS to be able to work with in the 15th general election, the Islamist party’s president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said today.

After months of holding his silence while his party sought to persuade Umno to team up with PAS under their Muafakat Nasional (MN) pact for the common goal of Muslim unity and just a day before nominations and the start to official campaigning, he finally broke his silence on the reason his party chose to stick with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.

“People like this should be rejected in GE-15,” he said in a video post on Facebook.

According to Hadi, it was Umno that requested to meet PAS to explore teaming up under MN when Parliament was dissolved, rather than what the Malay nationalist party had been telling the media all this time.

“Nevermind, we were prepared and we met at the hotel. I and my deputy president, Umno with its deputy president.

“Then they gave the condition that PAS can only be with Umno and break up with other parties, especially Bersatu,” Hadi said.

He alleged that PAS was only given two days to decide.

“If no decision were made, no working together with PAS. They can command us. Later, they wanted to arrange the seats,” he said.

He claimed Umno demanded PAS’ traditional seat in Pasir Putih, Kelantan as well as its Kubang Kerian representative “to return to Jerantut”, which is a parliamentary seat in Pahang.

“Change here, change there. He became our seat arranger.

“Finally, we made a decision, PN not MN. Why we made the decision of PN and not MN is because of the problems earlier. Because things are very complicated,” Hadi said.

MN was formed by PAS and Umno following the two parties’ electoral defeat in 2018, ostensibly as an attempt to unite the Muslim community in multiracial Malaysia, or what they call, the “ummah”.

Ties between the two parties became increasingly thinner when PAS joined hands with Bersatu to form the PN coalition to take Putrajaya following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.

Bersatu is led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, a former Umno deputy president who has been a vocal critics of the Malay nationalist party’s current crop of leaders after his exit.

PN has announced that it will contest in 169 parliamentary seats in the GE15, with PAS to field candidates for 64 seats.

Source:MalayMail

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/11/04/hadi-finally-explains-pas-reason-in-choosing-perikatan-says-umno-too-hungry-for-power/37435

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Anwar sends legal notice to ex-PKR member over Chin Peng claims

November 4, 2022

PETALING JAYA: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim has issued a letter of demand (LOD) to a former party member over a TikTok video which he says contains numerous defamatory statements against him.

In the letter sighted by FMT, he said Faizal Effendi Hasim had made serious allegations against him through his TikTok account @mr_ari11.

Among them were:

That he is capable of sacrificing his principles to become the prime minister;

He had promised earlier that a day after being sworn in as the prime minister, he would send a five-man delegation to Thailand to negotiate the return of Chin Peng (when he was still alive) to Malaysia; and

Faizal’s claim that if he brought Chin Peng back to Malaysia, the people of Sungai Manik, Perak, would be the first to rise against him to defend Malaysians.

Anwar said Faizal’s allegations in the video that went viral were false, libellous and defamatory.

He said the claims meant or implied, among others, that he had abused his powers as an MP, was deceitful and a traitor, and not a good Muslim and a hypocrite.

“You have produced the video clip with a plan to destroy my character, especially during this time when the next general election is coming up. It has caused serious damage,” the LOD sent by his lawyer, SN Nair, said.

Source:Free Malaysia Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/11/04/anwar-sends-legal-notice-to-ex-pkr-member-over-chin-peng-claims/

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Tawfik to stand as independent in Bagan Datuk after PH fields own man

November 3, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Gerak Independent co-founder Tawfik Ismail will be contesting for the Bagan Datuk parliamentary seat as an independent candidate, despite attempts to contest under Pakatan Harapan’s banner.

The son of Malaysia’s second deputy prime minister, Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, expressed disappointment over PH’s decision to field Shamsul Iskandar Akin from PKR as its candidate for Bagan Datuk.

“In order to avoid a split in votes and to ensure the defeat of (Umno president) Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, I had reached out to PH leaders to allow me to contest under the PH banner.

“However, this proved futile as I failed to elicit any response from PH’s top leadership,” Tawfik said in a statement today.

He said his sole purpose in running for the Bagan Datuk seat was to defeat Zahid, whom he described as “the embodiment of corruption”.

“He represents the scourge of Malaysia, especially the way corruption has eaten away the dignity of our rakyat. I cannot stand by and let that happen,” he said.

Zahid will be seeking to defend his seat for a seventh term, having been the Bagan Datuk MP since 1995. So far, he is set to be challenged by Tawifk, Shamsul and Bersatu Supreme Council member Faiz Na’aman.

Tawfik said he was offering Bagan Datuk voters the choice between a clean MP or one who was tainted by corruption and had been slapped with 47 charges of corruption.

“I humbly seek the support of the constituents of Bagan Datuk. I hope they will give me an opportunity to serve them as an MP,” he said.

Previously, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang had urged PH to allow Tawfik to contest under the coalition’s banner against Zahid.

Source:Free Malaysia Today

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/11/03/tawfik-to-stand-as-independent-in-bagan-datuk-after-ph-fields-own-man/

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South Asia 

Afghanistan’s opium cultivation grew by 32% after Taliban takeover last year, finds UN report

SUCHET VIR SINGH

3 November, 2022

New Delhi: A year since the Taliban takeover, opium cultivation in Afghanistan has increased by 32 per cent, found a new report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Around 233,000 hectares of land were used for opium cultivation after the August 2021 takeover. It also meant this 2022 opium crop was the third-highest area under cultivation “since the beginning of systemic monitoring” in Afghanistan starting 1994, the report said. About 56,000 hectares of more land were used for cultivation of opium the previous year, added the report.

“Opium prices have soared following the announcement of the cultivation ban in April 2022,” it noted.

While illegal opium trade has been booming in Afghanistan, despite the Taliban’s ban on it, synthetic drugs such as heroin and crystal meth are also being exported from the country. According to reports, the availability of a shrub called Ephedra has allowed for the production of meth and heroin across Afghanistan.

Farmers’ income triple from opium sales

The UNODC report also found that farmers’ income from opium sales have tripled to $1.4 billion in 2022 from $425 million in 2021. This has been the most profitable poppy cultivation for Afghan farmers since 2017. The surge in income accounted for nearly 29 per cent of Afghanistan agriculture sector’s value in 2021.

However, the total revenue generated from the sale of opium far exceeds $1.4 billion because “larger sums are further accrued along the illicit drug supply chain outside the country”, the report added.

Afghanistan accounts for 80 per cent of the poppy plant produce globally.

“Most of the 2023 opium crop must be sowed by early November; farmers will take decisions on whether and how much opium poppy to plant amid severe economic disruption and humanitarian crisis, continued high prices for opium and uncertainty about how the de facto authorities will enforce the cultivation ban,” the UNODC report said.

Opium cultivation in South-West Afghanistan

The report also said that around 73 per cent of Afghan opium is cultivated in the country’s South-West region. Especially in places such as Hilmand, where 122,045 hectares of opium is cultivated annually.

In Kandahar, opium is grown on 29,229 hectares of land, Nimroz had 2,429 hectares for poppy to grow, while 14,557 and 1,531 hectares were cultivated in Uruzgan and Zabul respectively, the report added.

Western Afghanistan accounted for 14 per cent of overall poppy cultivation, with Baghdis, Farah, Ghor, and Hirat as the predominant provinces.

Afghanistan’s economy has contracted after the Taliban takeover, with figures suggesting a contraction of $5 billion or 21 per cent since 2020. Annual per capita income has also declined by 14-28 per cent in this period.

Source:ThePrint

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://theprint.in/world/afghanistans-opium-cultivation-grew-by-32-after-taliban-takeover-last-year-finds-un-report/1195286/

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Blast in Kabul hits bus carrying Taliban administration employees, injures 7

Nov 02, 2022

A blast hit a bus carrying Taliban administration employees in the Afghan capital on Wednesday morning, police said, injuring seven people.

"Due to a blast on a mini bus from the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, seven have been injured," said Khalid Zadran, Kabul's police spokesperson, adding the explosion was caused by a roadside mine.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast.

Several attacks have taken place in urban areas in recent months. Last month an attack by gunmen on a vehicle in western Afghanistan, which was claimed by the Islamic State, killed five medical personnel employed by Taliban security forces.

The Taliban say they are focused on securing the war-torn nation since they took over the country in 2021.

Source:Hindustan Times

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/blast-in-kabul-hits-bus-carrying-taliban-administration-employees-injures-7-101667373186339.html

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UN to Complete Construction of ‘Earthquake-Resilient’ Houses in Afghanistan before Winter

By Saqalain Eqbal

November 3, 2022

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said that 1,000 “earthquake-resilient” houses are being built for over 8,000 earthquake-stricken people of the Barmal district of Paktika province in southeastern Afghanistan.

The houses will be turned over to the victims, this organization has stated in a series of tweets posted on Thursday, November 3, “before snow isolates the remote regions.”

The construction work of the residential structures started on the 19th of August, this year, in response to the fatal earthquake that devastatingly shook southeastern Afghanistan’s Khost and Paktika provinces.

The UN agency previously stated that these houses are being constructed with a $14 million allocated budget in response to the earthquake that left hundreds dead, thousands injured, and many people displaced.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/un-to-complete-construction-of-earthquake-resilient-houses-in-afghanistan-before-winter-47583/

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Bangladesh delves into Gulf to attract foreign students with cheaper tuition

SHEHAB SUMON

November 03, 2022

DHAKA: Bangladeshi educational institutions are to showcase their facilities to foreigners at an exhibition starting in the UAE on Friday, as the South Asian country is looking to attract more students from the Gulf with cheaper tuition.

Bangladesh has witnessed a gradual growth in international enrolment, with slightly more than 1,600 overseas students — mostly from India, Nepal, Bhutan, and African countries — currently studying at its universities, according to the University Grants Commission, the nation’s higher education regulatory body.

Authorities are seeking to increase numbers and tap into a new market, the Middle East, by offering courses at the country’s 163 state and private universities, 115 medical colleges, and more than 2,500 other higher education institutions.

Bangladesh Education Forum 2022, taking place in Dubai from Nov. 4 to 6, will be the first convention to promote Bangladesh’s higher education in the Gulf.

Officials from the Ministry of Education, the University Grants Commission, and the Association of Private Universities of Bangladesh will be participating in the event which is expected to feature around 1,000 academicians and students.

Bangladeshi Deputy Education Minister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury is scheduled to inaugurate the forum.

“People from the Arab nations mostly don’t know about the education quality and facilities provided by the universities here,” Prof. Biswajit Chanda, a member of the University Grants Commission, told Arab News.

“If we can reach out to the people from the Arab nations, we will receive a good number of students from there in the coming days.”

What may help attract foreign students is the relatively cheap tuition offered by Bangladeshi universities and low costs of living.

“They can have quality education here at a competitive cost, which is even up to 60 percent lower comparing with neighboring countries like India,” Chanda said.

“In similar-standard universities, if a student needs to pay $1,000 per year for having a degree from India, here the student needs to pay between $400 and $600.”

He added that the competitive quality of education in Bangladesh and its ongoing improvement, supported by a government boost in spending on the sector to $4 billion this year.

“In terms of quality, especially for medical, engineering, science, and technology, our teachers are very well-equipped. Some of the teachers have acquired PhDs from different North American universities. So, we have quality faculties as well,” he said.

“In some cases, some students don’t get chances in American and European universities due to very hard competition. For them, our universities can be a good platform for higher studies.”

Saifur Rahman Chowdhury, the chief executive officer of Pan Asian Group, the organizer of Bangladesh Education Forum 2022, said the Dubai event aimed to strengthen the country’s reputation as an alternative destination for quality and cost-effective education and “reposition Bangladesh” in the Middle East.

“Bangladesh Education Forum aims to promote Bangladesh’s higher education in the Gulf region with a target to increase foreign students’ enrolment into Bangladeshi universities, engineering, and medical colleges,” he told Arab News.

Besides the obvious target, which is nationals of Gulf states, the forum will also seek to attract students from Bangladeshi families living and working in the region.

“More than 50,000 Bangladeshi families live in the UAE among the 1.2 million non-resident population,” Chowdhury said.

Source: Arab News

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2193261/world
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