New Age Islam
Mon Nov 30 2020, 06:19 PM

Islamic World News ( 14 Nov 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Ayodhya Dispute: Fresh Proposal Calls for Mosque, Temple Side-By-Side
















Eight rival militant organizations have formally joined hands and have decided to cooperate with each other against Pakistan. Representative photo

 

Ayodhya Dispute: Fresh Proposal Calls for Mosque, Temple Side-By-Side

Terror Outfits Make Alliance against Pakistan

Duterte Says if Islamic State Comes to Philippines, Forget Human Rights

Syria: Jeish Al-Fatah Declares State of Emergency in Aleppo

 

India

Ayodhya Dispute: Fresh Proposal Calls for Mosque, Temple Side-By-Side

Law Commission Chairman on UCC: Each Religion Would Continue To Have Personal Laws

Indian forces giving befitting reply to ceasefire breach by Pakistan

Azhar sanctions: Uri out of India’s proposal to U.N.

Post demonetisation, decline in separatist-instigated violence in JK: MHA sources

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Pakistan

Terror Outfits Make Alliance against Pakistan

Fellow Pakistanis, Don't Worry About Trump. Worry About Our 'Trumpistan'

Fears for Gulen-inspired Turkish schools in Pakistan grow

War on terror suffering due to govt’s ‘compromising approach’: MWM

Imran agrees to review decision to boycott Erdogan’s address

JIT to investigate Shah Noorani shrine bombing

MQM factions disown pro-Musharraf banners

Security forces defuse bomb in Noshki

Afghan claims arresting three ISIS Pakistani Loyalists

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Southeast Asia

Duterte Says if Islamic State Comes to Philippines, Forget Human Rights

Malaysia, Saudi Arabia To Set Up Centre On Countering Terrorism Ideologies

Jakim D-G Wants Ban on Apps That Could ‘Confuse’ Young Muslims

Malaysia begins pilot job project for Rohingya refugees

After no-show, Muslim convert ordered to appear for child conversion challenge

After 200,000 Join Violent Protest in Indonesia, Questions Follow About Defending Islam

ICMI Chairman Calls on Muslims to Avoid 'Politically Motivated' Protest

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Arab World

Syria: Jeish Al-Fatah Declares State of Emergency in Aleppo

Tens of Nusra Terrorists Killed in Armed Forces' Attacks in Northwestern Syria

More Contradictory Reports Appear on Fate of ISIL Leader Al-Baghdadi

ISIS suicide bomber kills six near Iraq’s Karbala

Syrian Army Not to Extend Deadline in Aleppo, Final Battle against Terrorists Imminent

Saudi bans schools from marking non-Islamic holidays

Egypt parliament provisionally approves a new NGO law; waits for cabinet draft

Russia accuses Syrian rebels of using chemical weapons

Saudi minister denies Lebanese mediation between Saudi Arabia and Iran

Syrian Army to Attack Terrorist Positions in Aleppo City From Nine Flanks

Syrian Army Continues Attacks as Terrorists Defy Ceasefire Terms in Khan Al-Sheih

Syria: Army Underlines Resolve to Maintain Siege of Eastern Aleppo

Rival Terrorists Kick off Military Operation to Capture Jbahat al-Shamia Leader, Commanders

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South Asia

Afghan President Asks UN to Add Taliban Leader Mullah Haibatullah to Sanctions List

Russia, Pakistan and China to Hold Talks on Afghanistan

Kensington’s Bangladeshi community scared of deportation by Trump: Leaders

Bangladesh announces bounty for Hindu temple attackers

War on terror funding started five months ago in Bangladesh

Reforms can make Bangladesh an export powerhouse: WB

Hindu idols ‘vandalised’ in Sylhet, 1 held

Afghan Air Force conducted 129 flights, including combat and training missions

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Africa

Cooperation Results in Light Sentences in Islamic State Case

Nigerian Police, Shi'ite Muslims Clash In Kano State, At Least 9 Dead

Christianity, Islam, support family planning

Somalia: Leaders of Puntland and Galmudug Signs Peace Agreement

Boko Haram displaces 370,389 households in N’East

Somalia: Al Shabaab claims responsibility for the attacks in Burhakabo town

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Mideast

Nation Makes Final Call on Turkey’s EU Membership: Erdogan

Iran, Russia to continue cooperating until terrorism elimination: Rouhani

Turkish jets hit al-Bab amid push to retake Raqqa

Tens of Iranians, Pakistanis and Afghans killed in Syria battles

Yemen forces hit Saudi command center in Najran

US censures Israel over legalizing illegal settlements

Top EU diplomats criticize Turkey over post-putsch crackdown

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North America

New York Vows Islamic State Will Not Ruin Thanksgiving Parade

US protesters march against Trump presidency for fifth day

Attacks on Muslim Americans Fuel Increase in Hate Crime, F.B.I. Says

Muslims in Trump’s America: Fearful but Defiant

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Europe

BBC Will Increase Religious Coverage for Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs after It Was Slammed For Being 'Too CHRISTIAN'

Germany bans Islamic organization, police search 190 sites

Kerry in Oman for Yemen peace talks

Russian fighter jet crashes near Syria shores, pilot survives: Defence Ministry

Trump, Putin agree in phone call to improve ‘unsatisfactory’ relations between their countries, Kremlin says

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:  http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/ayodhya-dispute--fresh-proposal-calls-for-mosque,-temple-side-by-side/d/109106

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Ayodhya Dispute: Fresh Proposal Calls for Mosque, Temple Side-By-Side

November 14, 2016

Faizabad/Ayodhya: A fresh proposal for settlement of Ayodhya dispute was submitted to Faizabad divisional commissioner suggesting that a temple and a mosque be built at the site.

The petition, it is claimed, has been signed by about 10,000 members from both Hindu and Muslim communities with former High Court judge Palok Basu leading the initiative.

Divisional Commissioner Surya Prakash Mishra, who is the receiver of the disputed site, said, “I received a memorandum regarding the dispute of Ayodhya and a bunch of photocopies containing some signatures. I have yet to decide what to do in this matter.” Basu said that they were hopeful that the Supreme Court will take note of it.

The petition, which has 10,502 signatures, was submitted yesterday.

“We have moved this negotiation process in the Supreme Court through the authorized person (Faizabad Divisional Commissioner). We hope that the apex court will honour the public sentiments of peace and harmony,” he said, adding they have proposed that the disputed site will house both Ram temple and a mosque.

In its September 30, 2010 ruling, the Allahabad High Court had awarded two parts of the site, where the Babri Masjid once stood, to Nirmohi Akhara and ‘friend’ of Ram Lalla and one part to Muslims, which went to Sunni Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh. Basu said their “local” effort to resolve the issue started in March 18, 2010.

In the past, the main litigant in Babri Masjid case, Hashim Ansari, had along with Akhara Parishad president Mahant Gyan Das discussed out-of-court settlement which broadly talked about the 70-acres of disputed premises accommodating both mosque and temple with a partition wall which will be 100 feet high.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had rejected the proposal calling it an insult to the high court. Ansari died in July this year.

http://www.siasat.com/news/ayodhya-dispute-fresh-proposal-calls-mosque-temple-side-side-1065076/

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Terror outfits make alliance against Pakistan

Azaz Syed

November 15, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Although the number of terror incidents is fast declining, but militant organizations are again active to strike back at the state of Pakistan.

“Eight rival militant organizations have formally joined hands and have decided to cooperate with each other against Pakistan,” a key militant leader requesting anonymity claimed while talking to Geo News. The claim was later independently verified by other sources on Monday.

The militant leaders joined hands during a formal meeting at Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, which is neighbouring Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan.

The sources claim that the meeting was attended either by the chiefs/Amirs or their second in command. They claim that the meeting was arranged by Mr.Yousaf Mansour Khurasani the chief of Lashkar e Jahangvi Al-Almi (LJA).

Yousaf Mansour who hails from thickly populated metropolitan city of Karachi has hit the media headlines after LJA’s claim of assisting Daesh (Islamic State) in the deadly attack of October 23rd in Quetta. The attack took 62 lives of young police cadets.

The people who attended this meeting included the presence of Javaid Sawati, a close aide of Mullah Fazlullah chief of the defunct Tehreek-e- Taliban Pakistan (TTP), currently hiding in Afghanistan following the military operation in South Waziristan. Sawati was previously heading the TTP Karachi chapter and currently he is coordinator of the group.

Jandullah, another key militant organization mostly active in Balochistan and partly in Karachi was represented by Wajid Mehsud. Likewise Maulvi Khatir of TTP Sajna group, Shahryar Mehsud who leads the TTP Shaharyar group himself was present in the meeting.

The meeting was also attended by Abdul Wali of Jamaat Ul Ahrar, Mufti Ghufran of Khalifa Mansour group, Mullah Daud of Qari Hussain group.

The sources claim that initially the groups have agreed to work jointly however another meeting would be held in December in which probably all the chiefs of the above mentioned organizations would further deliberate their strategy.

The sources claim that most of these groups were based in South Waziristan but they had to flee from the area following the military operation Zarb-e-Azb which started on 15 June, 2014.

https://www.geo.tv/latest/120617-Terror-outfits-make-alliance-against-Pakistan

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Duterte Says if Islamic State Comes to Philippines, Forget Human Rights

Nov 15, 2016

Manila. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned on Monday (14/11) that Islamic State militants driven out of Syria and Iraq could set up in his country, and if that happened he would forgo human rights obligations to keep his people safe.

Duterte said the southern Philippine province of Mindanao was already a hotbed of rebellion and banditry and he was worried about "looming terrorism" and an influx of extremists who could exploit the insecurity.

"Once the terrorists of the Middle East are deprived of the land area, the real estate area where they can sleep... they will wander to other places and they will come here and we have to prepare for that," he said during a speech at a law enforcement agency.

"Remember, these guys, they do not have an iota of what is human rights, believe me. I will not just simply allow my people to be slaughtered for the sake of human rights, that's bullshit."

Human rights have been a touchy subject for Duterte, who has vented daily fury at activists and Western governments that have shown concerns about his war on drugs and the high death toll.

A native of Mindanao and mayor of Davao City for 22 years, Duterte said there was a "very strong" Islamist rebellion there and Abu Sayyaf rebels were taking hostages almost every day.

Abu Sayyaf is holding 21 captives, most of them foreign, and despite an ongoing military offensive to wipe them out, its piracy and kidnappings continue unabated.

Duterte said the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia were working closely to keep foreign extremists at bay.

On Friday, he warned that he may use his executive power to tackle lawlessness in the Philippines by suspending habeas corpus, a legal safeguard against arbitrary arrest and detention.

The constitution allows 60-day suspensions "in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it" and would permit arrests without warrant and detention without charge for three days.

Duterte mentioned habeas corpus in the context of both the southern unrest and his war on drugs and said building cases for arresting suspects took too much time and resources.

The president's office on Monday issued a statement saying Duterte was giving a stern warning to those behind violent acts that he could take "more drastic action" to stop them.

http://jakartaglobe.id/international/duterte-says-islamic-state-comes-philippines-forget-human-rights/

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Syria: Jeish Al-Fatah Declares State of Emergency in Aleppo

Nov 14, 2016

The Arabic language al-Mayadeen reported that Jeish al-Fatah has warned its members to stay on the alert as pro-government troops are preparing to start a fresh phase of operation, urging them to intensify security measures.

Jeish al-Fatah has also called on its fighters to carry out preemptive operation in Aleppo.

A field commander said earlier today that repeated defeats of the Jeish al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups to push the army back in Southwestern Aleppo to help their comrades lift the siege in the Eastern parts of the city proved the power and unbeatable resolve of the pro-government troops.

"Terrorists' large-scale offensives, including Abu Omar Saraqib and the Great Epic Operation, have different names but the same result. Terrorists are not able to lift the army's siege on the militant-held districts of Aleppo," the commander underlined.

"After repelling terrorists' continued attacks on government forces' positions in Western Aleppo and extension of the army's security ring in the Western and Southwestern parts of the city, the army soldiers are now ready to storm militants' centers in Eastern Aleppo," he went on to say.

"Expansion of the Syrian army's rule in the depth of the Western districts of Aleppo has ruined any chance for the terrorists to open their way into the Eastern parts of the city to lift the siege of their comrades," the commander said.

He further added that the Syrian army operation in Aleppo is aimed at meeting two objectives: first, blocking the terrorists' movement through their supply roads to al-Rashedeen neighborhood. This neighborhood is the main supply line of the terrorists from the Southern flank to the Southwest and from there to the regions of al-Mansoureh, al-Bahouth al-Elmiyeh and Khan al-Asal that are the most important strongholds of the terrorists in Western Aleppo.

The second objective of the Syrian army operation is to complete control over all roads in the Southwestern parts of Aleppo and restore security to most quarters in the Western part of the city and immune them against the terrorists' mortar attacks.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950824001366

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India

 

Law Commission Chairman on UCC: Each Religion Would Continue To Have Personal Laws

November 14, 2016

At a time when the clamour against the government's move towards Uniform Civil Code is growing, the Law Commission Chairman Justice BS Chauhan told India Today that they were attempting to bring a synergy between family law and gender equality.

In an exclusive interview to India Today, Chauhan argued that each religion would continue to have its own personal laws.

He said presently, they were only seeking opinions on what should be the direction of the change.

Following is the interview that the reporter conducted with the Chairman of the Law Commission.

Q. The Law Commission is currently seeking public opinion on the Uniform Civil Code. What are the modalities of this survey and how will you counter the argument that the step is an attack on the freedom of religion?

Law Commission of India is currently seeking public opinion on the Uniform Civil code/ Family law reform and we have asked the stakeholders to give their opinion. However, if any amendment is proposed, it would definitely be without affecting the freedom of any religion.

Q. What will the Uniform Civil Code mean if each religion continue to have its own personal laws? Is it some form of standardisation?

Uniform Civil Code, as we have understood, means that there should be no gender discrimination or injustice, and we may not necessarily seek standardisation.

Q. The issue of triple talaq has attracted much debate. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board said it will boycott the survey. What are the various options that the Law Commission is mulling at? Is it open to a complete ban or not even touching the triple talaq issue, if the opinion is against it?

The issue of Triple Talaq, under consideration is instant or spontaneous talaq and not regular talaq prescribed under Islamic Law. It is too early to say what could be the answer to this issue. More importantly, the matter is pending before the Supreme Court of India and we will be not only bound guided by the judgement.

Q. How far has been the response that you have been seeking on the family laws or a civil code? Who are the different stake holders you have consulted?

We have placed all the issues in public domain. Large Number of stakeholders have responded   and it will take some time to know the trends.

Q. Can the reform in uniform civil code and religious freedom co-exist?

The aim of this whole exercise is to find a right answer to that question.

Q. What are the aspects of other religions that are being considered by the Law Commission under this consultation exercise? How will religions like Hinduism and Christianity be affected?

We will consider all aspects related to family laws which may not be in accordance with the mandate of the Constitution. However, no religion or religious faith of any person shall be adversely affected.

Q.Finally, is the reform of personal family law in consonance with constitutional principles of secularism and freedom of religion? How does the Law Commission ensure that it does not become hostage to political ambitions of any parties?

The reform, if any, is bound to be in conformity with the principles of the Constitution, including those of secularism, Freedom of Religion and equality.

Also Read:

Triple talaq affidavit is not about Uniform Civil Code, explains Arun Jaitley in his Facebook post

Triple talaq should be banned immediately, not sure about UCC: Javed Akhtar at Sahitya AajTak

SC decision on triple talaq must be acceptable to all stakeholders: NCP MP Tariq Anwar

Triple talaq: Muslim personal law board to boycott law panel, irks BJP

Agra Muslims slam Modi government's stand on triple talaq 

Reforms in Muslim marriage laws is an idea whose time has come

Triple talaq case: Muslim activists snub clerics on Uniform Civil Code 

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/uniform-civil-code-law-commission-chariman-religion-personal-laws-gender-justice/1/810271.html

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Indian forces giving befitting reply to ceasefire breach by Pakistan

Nov 15, 2016

NEW DELHI: Indian forces are responding "in a punitive manner" to each and every ceasefire violation by Pakistan army and Rangers, inflicting "heavy damage" on military bunkers and posts across the line of control (LoC) and international border (IB), said officials .

This came after Pakistan, in a rare admission of casualties on Monday, said seven of its soldiers were killed overnight in cross-border firing+ by Indian troops in Bhimber sector of the LoC.

"Pakistani troops, while responding to the unprovoked firing, targeted Indian posts effectively (Pak media reports held four Indian soldiers were killed and five posts destroyed)," added the Pakistan army.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indian-forces-responding-to-Pakistan-truce-breach-in-a-befitting-manner/articleshow/55425009.cms

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Azhar sanctions: Uri out of India’s proposal to U.N.

VIJAITA SINGH

SUHASINI HAIDAR

November 15, 2016

Azhar lives in Bahawalpur, Pakistan and also runs a charitable organisation, Al Rehmat Trust, as a cover for the activities of his terrorist outfit, the JeM.

India has decided to drop any reference to the Uri attack from its proposal to be placed before a United Nations sanctions committee to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist, a senior government official told The Hindu.

China had put a technical hold on this proposal in April this year, which was extended on October 1. Within hours of the attack on the Uri Army camp on September 18, where 18 soldiers were killed, the Director-General of Military Operations Lt. General Ranbir Singh told a press conference in Delhi that the attack was carried out by two terrorists belonging to the JeM.

NIA role

The investigations were then handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is yet to conclude its probe. Intelligence officials, however, have said the modus operandi of the Uri attack had tell tale signs that it was carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba, another Pakistan-based terrorist outfit.

Azhar, a resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan, has been accused by Indian agencies of orchestrating several terror attacks here including the attack at the Pathankot airbase on January 2.

“We decided to drop any reference to Uri from the proposal as the NIA investigations have so far not led to any conclusive evidence that JeM was involved. We will stick to the earlier cases registered against him. Initially there was a plan but it will not be there in the final document any more,” said a senior official.

The official said India would apprise the 1267 Taliban/Al-Qaeda sanction committee that Azhar has close links to the Taliban and consequently to Al-Qaeda. His involvement in the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001 has also been included.

Azhar lives in Bahawalpur, Pakistan and also runs a charitable organisation, Al Rehmat Trust, as a cover for the activities of his terrorist outfit, the JeM.

As reported earlier by The Hindu, the Home Ministry had constituted a three-member committee to expedite the procedures required to place Azhar, former Indian Mujahideen member Shafi Armar, who is now said to be the media chief of Islamic State, and Hizbul Mujahidden chief Syed Salahuddin on the United Nations list of proscribed terrorists.

The committee was constituted after Home and External Affairs ministries blamed each other for the delay in sending the proposal to the 1267 Taliban/Al-Qaeda sanction committee. After China put a technical hold on designating Masood Azhar as an international terrorist in April this year, India decided to send a robust proposal to the UN committee, which was put on hold by China again in October, before India could submit it.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/azhar-sanctions-uri-out-of-indias-proposal-to-un/article9346205.ece

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Post demonetisation, decline in separatist-instigated violence in JK: MHA sources

November 14, 2016

Srinagar [India]: Following the Centre step to demonetise Rs 500 and 1000 notes, there has been a decline in violence instigated by separatists in Kashmir Valley, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sources state.

Sources further added that all arrangements have been made by Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir Government to ensure that exams for Class 10th students are held peacefully.

Meanwhile, calling on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to pay no heed to the barrage of attack by the opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday ordered the government to go full ahead with demonetisation and ruled out any chance whatsoever of rolling back the scheme.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to reopen schools in border areas from tomorrow which were closed in the wake of escalation of tension and subsequent increase in the incidents of Pakistani shelling last week.

Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr.Pawan Kotwal told the media that decision has been considered based on the improvement in situation in border areas.

Meanwhile, the annual Class 10th and 12th board examinations in the Valley began today and all arrangements were put in place for the smooth conduct of the examinations.

Officials allayed fears of any trouble or inconvenience to the students appearing for the annual examinations.

As per reports, around 480 examination centres were set up for about 48,000 Class 12 candidates, whereas nearly 550 examination centres were established for Class 10 candidates.

State Education Minister Naeem Akhtar said he is hopeful that the examinations would be conducted in a peaceful atmosphere.

The state government on November 1st had ordered closure of government schools in the border areas over repeated shelling and firing from Pakistan.

On November 8th the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had ordered the government to rope in village education committees to curb the burning of schools in Kashmir.

Full report at:

http://www.siasat.com/news/post-demonetisation-decline-separatist-instigated-violence-jk-mha-sources-1065250/

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Pakistan

 

Fellow Pakistanis, don't worry about Trump. Worry about our 'Trumpistan'

November 14, 2016

Kashif Chaudhry

Many Pakistanis have taken to social media to express their outrage over a Donald Trump Presidency. How will he treat Muslims? Will he follow through on his campaign promises and infringe on the civil liberties of Muslims? Right-wing Pakistanis are most furious. They are suddenly concerned about the treatment of a minority faith group by State officials and policies. The irony beats me.

As a Pakistani American, here is what I have to say to my concerned friends in Pakistan. Please don't worry about us Muslims in America. There are numerous politicians, public figures and religious leaders who are standing in solidarity and support of our rights. Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted earlier that he will become Trump's worst nightmare if the President-Elect thinks about discriminating against Muslims. Many public figures have expressed similar sentiment. Jewish and Christian leaders visited Mosques this past Friday to express their solidarity with Muslim Americans. Following Trump's election, a woman in Nashville, Tennessee used chalk to write messages of love outside a mosque. Many of my colleagues assured me of their support if things ever changed for me as a Muslim in America. And I have received numerous emails from non-Muslims asking for ideas on how to show their acceptance for the Muslim Community.

So dear Pakistani friends, please spare us your concern and work on reaching out to your own forgotten minority groups instead. Embrace them instead. They need you far more than we do. As I have written elsewhere, Mr. Trump only dreams of what Pakistan already enforces and implements with full force against its own minority faith groups.

You don't like Trump's proposal of special IDs for Muslim Americans? How about you call to end the special discriminatory IDs for Ahmadis in Pakistan - IDs that have left them disenfranchised. You don't like him looking at us Muslims with suspicion and fear? How about working to ensure mainstream Pakistani religious clerics and politicians stop rampant fear-mongering of minority faith groups, especially the routine scapegoating of the Ahmadis. Worried about potential anti-Muslim legislation in coming days? Well, stand up and condemn Pakistan's Second Amendment and anti-Ahmadi laws that have already severely limited the religious freedom of Pakistan's Ahmadis. Outraged at me calling them Muslims? Then don't complain if us Muslims are ever denied the right to self-identity as we chose in America. Or if the State forcibly labels us with a slur instead.

You don't like Trump's allies suggesting adhan be banned from mosques. Then speak against the three years jail time that Pakistan imposes on Ahmadis for saying the adhan quietly in their 'places of worship'. You don't like Trump's new chief strategist suggesting mosques be stopped from construction in America? Well, then speak up against the over a hundred Ahmadiyya 'places of worship' that have been forcibly occupied or burned down by Sunni extremists, or sealed or stopped from construction by the State. You are concerned Muslim congregations might be limited by the new American government? Consider that the Ahmadis have been banned from peaceful congregation since 1984. They have been denied permission to conduct their annual conventions (Jalsa Salanas) since then.

I can go on and on. But you get my point.

It is no secret that the intolerance and bigotry - Mullahism - that has plagued Pakistan for the last many decades is is far more putrid, hateful and hurtful than the white supremacy we are having to deal with here in America. Where are the Sunni and Shia politicians, public figures and religious leaders who are speaking up for the rights of Ahmadis in Pakistan? Where are the religious clerics visiting Ahmadiyya 'places of worship' to express their solidarity with Pakistan's Ahmadis? Where are the messages of love being chalked outside Ahmadi houses?

So until your concern for us Muslim Americans is based on principle, thank you my fellow Pakistanis, but no thanks. We will deal with Mr. Trump. You worry about the 'Trumpistan' we have created back home. Thank you for your concern.

Kashif Chaudhry is a physician, writer and human rights activist. He is currently completing his cardiology fellowship in Boston, USA. Kashif is a strong proponent of a tolerant and pluralistic Pakistan, and regularly writes on issues related to Islam, human rights and freedom of conscience. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

http://nation.com.pk/blogs/14-Nov-2016/fellow-pakistanis-don-t-worry-about-trump-worry-about-our-trumpistan

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Fears for Gulen-inspired Turkish schools in Pakistan grow

15-Nov-16

ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan welcomes Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with grandeur on his upcoming visit, officials in Islamabad are perplexed at the way the host country is being pressurised to expel more than 100 Turkish teachers from Pak-Turk schools across the country. They are to be replaced with people from Maarif Foundation- a radical state-run subsidiary of the Turkish government.

Since the failed military coup in July this year, President Erdogan's government launched a massive purge rather than properly investigating the affair. In addition to the officers who were accused of taking part in the coup, thousands of soilders who didn't take part in the coup, tens of thousands of civilians including journalists, teachers, and judges were detained and arrested within days of the failed attempt. In Pakistan, the Turkish government and embassy went for an exaggerated response, demanding closure of around two dozen Pak-Turk schools (housing 10,000 students) that were and are operating under a Pakistani company and has nothing to do with the Turkish government.

But the Turkish government falsely accused Pak-Turk schools for having links with US based cleric Fatehullah Gulen's Hizmet movement whom they blame for being the mastermind behind the July coup. Interestingly, US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated recently that they didn't see any evidence of Gulen's involvement in the coup attempt amidst repeated requests by the Turkish government to extradite him. But the witch hunt in Turkish society continues unabated to now, affecting more than 100,000 people, despite international criticism and condemnation.

Pakistani officials fear during his visit Mr Erdogan will try to use his relations with the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family (especially Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif) to pressurise the government of Pakistan about the Pak-Turk educational institutions across the country. Mr Erdogan, Turkish embassy sources in Pakistan said, will be demanding the transference of these educational institutions to the purpose-founded and state run Maarif Foundation of Turkey. And Ilnur Cevik, chief adviser of President Erdogan, crossed diplomatic limits and norms recently when he wrote in his column "that Pakistan did not close the Turkish schools in spite of Turkey administration demand to close. That is why the visit of Erdogan on 16th Nov is important. He should pull somebody's ear in Pakistan".

Full report at:

http://dailytimes.com.pk/pakistan/15-Nov-16/fears-for-gulen-inspired-turkish-schools-in-pakistan-grow

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War on terror suffering due to govt’s ‘compromising approach’: MWM

November 14, 2016

KARACHI - Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) leader Allama Raja Nasir Abbas has said the government has failed to take action against terrorists in the country and the war against terrorism is suffering due to government’s “compromising approach”.

Speaking at a condolence reference for the victims of a terrorist attack on the shrine of Hazrat Shah Noorani on Sunday, Allama Abbas said that terrorists had once again proved their brutal mindset by murdering peaceful and innocent people. He said that people who considered everyone a heathen except themselves were behind the attack on the shrine of Hazrat Shah Noorani.

He said the MWM condemned this barbarism and announced three-day mourning. He said that saints and their devotees had always spread the message of love, peace and tolerance. “We will not let this message of peace and tolerance die. Blood of the people who were martyred at the shrine of Hazrat Shah Noorani will not go waste; it will ultimately lead to elimination of the terrorist ideology from the country,” he added.

He said that same people were responsible for the killing of innocent people in Sindh, Balochistan and Karachi. He said the plague of terrorism would not end unless abettors and political patrons of terrorists are not identified and taken to task.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/karachi/14-Nov-2016/war-on-terror-suffering-due-to-govt-s-compromising-approach-mwm

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Imran agrees to review decision to boycott Erdogan’s address

AMIR WASIM

Nov 15, 2016

ISLAMABAD: In the face of criticism of the decision to boycott Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s address to the joint session of parliament, both from inside and outside the party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has decided to reconsider the move.

Talking to Dawn here on Monday, PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the party had decided to reconsider the decision at the request of Turkish Ambassador Sadik Babur Girgin.

Mr Qureshi said that a three-member party delegation led by him had called on the Turkish ambassador on Monday afternoon to apprise him of the background of the party’s decision to boycott the Turkish president’s address to the joint sitting.

Party MNAs Shafqat Mehmood and Munazza Hassan were the other two members of the delegation.

PTI convenes parliamentary party meeting today

Mr Qureshi said they told the ambassador that the party had great respect for the Turkish president and that the party had announced the boycott due to domestic reasons.

He said they told the ambassador that the PTI considered Turkey Pakistan’s “sincere friend” and a brother Islamic state and had great respect for the Turkish president.

He said the delegation informed Mr Girgin about the party’s viewpoint on the Panamagate issue currently being heard by a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali.

According to Mr Qureshi, the Turkish envoy told them that he was fully aware of the country’s political situation since he also read newspapers. He said the Turkish ambassador had requested them to reconsider the decision in the larger interest of the relations between the two countries.

Mr Qureshi said that he later informed Mr Khan about the party delegation’s meeting with the ambassador and about his request. Mr Khan, he said, had agreed to reconsider the decision.

The PTI leader said Mr Khan had convened a meeting of the party’s parliamentary group after the hearing of the Panama Papers case in the Supreme Court on Tuesday for consultations.

The PTI had on Saturday announced that its parliamentarians would stay away from the joint session of parliament which would be addressed by the visiting Turkish president.

The party had declared that it could not attend the joint sitting which would be held under a “controversial prime minister” who was facing corruption charges.

The decision taken at a meeting of the PTI’s newly formed ‘strategy committee’ was criticised not only by political opponents, but also by party leaders. A number of PTI parliamentarians expressed their resentment and anger over the abrupt decision which the party leadership had taken without taking them into confidence.

These PTI lawmakers also expressed their anger over the fact that such a major decision had been taken by a so-called “media strategy com-mittee”, which had actually been formed to formulate the party’s response to the day-to-day hearings of the Panama Papers case in the Supreme Court and to respond to the statements of the government ministers over the issue.

Some of the MNAs said that they even did not see any logic in continuing the boycott of the National Assembly after the acceptance of one of the party’s demands that the prime minister present himself for accountability, adding that if the party could cancel its protest after start of the hearing of the Panama Papers case in the Supreme Court, then there seemed to be no logic in continuing the boycott of parliament.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1296422/imran-agrees-to-review-decision-to-boycott-erdogans-address

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JIT to investigate Shah Noorani shrine bombing

SALEEM SHAHID

Nov 15, 2016

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri on Monday announced formation of a joint investigation team (JIT), headed by Khuzdar Deputy Commissioner Sohailur Rehman, to probe the Shah Noorani Shrine suicide bombing.

The bombing left 54 people dead and 103 others injured.

Official sources said that the chief minister presided over a high-level meeting in Karachi on Monday in which Home Minister Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti and Chief Secretary Saifullah Chattah submitted reports following their visits to the shrine.

In the light of reports, it was decided that a team of forensic experts would be invited from Punjab to visit the shrine and collect evidence of the suicide attack.

Mr Zehri directed all divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners to take strict measures for security of all places of worship and shrines in their areas.

The meeting decided to convene a meeting of all commissioners, deputy commissioners and DIGs in the province soon to take measures to prevent such incidents in future.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Bugti visited the shrine and said that forensic teams of Punjab would reach Balochistan within two days to investigate the carnage.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1296421/jit-to-investigate-shah-noorani-shrine-bombing

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MQM factions disown pro-Musharraf banners

AZFAR-UL-ASHFAQUE

Nov 15, 2016

KARACHI: A hitherto unknown organisation put up banners in the city on Monday and suggested that an alliance between retired Gen Pervez Musharraf and the Dr Farooq Sattar-led MQM-Pakistan, with the former having a leading role, would save Pakistan.

The mysterious banners, put up by unidentified men from the so-called Muttahida Qaumi Jirga-Pakistan, came a day after pro-Musharraf graffiti appeared in Karachi, particularly the city’s Central district which is considered an MQM stronghold.

The background of a banner hanging outside the Karachi Press Club reflec­ted the national flag with a crescent, while a picture of Gen Musharraf was superimposed on the star. It also contained relatively small pictures of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Dr Sattar on the right and left corners.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1296410/mqm-factions-disown-pro-musharraf-banners

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Security forces defuse bomb in Noshki

November 15, 2016

NOSHKI :The security forces have thwarted a terror bid by defusing a bomb planted on a motorcycle at national highway.

According to security forces, the militants had planted 8 Kg bomb with a motorcycle on national highway with the aim of targeting pilgrims’ buses leaving for Iran. The Levies officials patrolling in the area found a suspected motorcycle. They informed security forces about suspected motorcycle upon which the bomb disposal squad rushed to the spot and defused the.

http://nation.com.pk/national/15-Nov-2016/security-forces-defuse-bomb-in-noshki

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Afghan claims arresting three ISIS Pakistani Loyalists

November 14, 2016

KABUL: At least three Pakistani citizens associated with ISIS terrorist group were arrested by National Directorate Security (NDS) personnel in Afghanistan.  

NDS released a statement identifying the arrested terrorists as Sher Wali known as Hazifa, Hamza and Noor Hamid Jaan residents of Jandawal region, Bajaur agency.

The Afghan intelligence agency said they wanted to go from Kunar province to Acheen district and cooperate with ISIS terrorist group. However, timely identification enabled the NDS personnel in Asadabad city the provincial capital of Kunar province to arrest them.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/14-Nov-2016/afghan-claims-arresting-three-isis-pakistani-loyalists

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Southeast Asia

 

Malaysia, Saudi Arabia to set up centre on countering terrorism ideologies

Nov 15, 2016

PETALING JAYA: Talks are under way to establish a centre on countering terrorism narratives based on cooperation between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, said Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.  

The Defence Minister, who is on a working visit to Saudi Arabia, said he along with his Saudi counterpart Deputy Crown Prince Mohamad Salman Al Saud spoke on establishing such a centre.

“The centre will further foster cooperation between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia on countering the narratives and ideologies that underpins terrorism and radicalism in Islam.

“We also highlighted the need to promote Islam as a religion of peace and moderation,” Hishammuddin said in a statement on Monday.

Both parties also agreed on the need to rectify the many misconceptions about Islam and its fundamentals, he added.

“We stressed that there is a need to promote Islam in a holistic manner beyond the mere political dimensions which had led the Muslims to be divided especially on what constitutes to be the Islamic State,” he said.

Hishammuddin also paid a courtesy call on King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

“I conveyed Malaysia’s condolences on the passing of Prince Turki Abdulaziz Al Saud recently.

“Prince Turki was a son of the kingdom’s founder King Abdul Aziz Saud,” he said.

Malaysian Army chief Jen Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor also had a separate meeting on the sidelines of the working visit with Chief of General Staff for the Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia General Abdulrahman Saleh Al-Bunyan. 

“He (Raja Mohamed Affandi) highlighted the values in Malaysia’s cooperation with the Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia and both parties agreed to enhance military-to-military relations between both Armed Forces.  

Full report at:

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/11/14/malaysia-saudi-arabia-keen-to-set-up-centre-on-countering-terrorism-narratives/

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Jakim D-G wants ban on apps that could ‘confuse’ young Muslims

November 15, 2016

BANGI, Nov 15 — A deluge of misleading information on Islam via the internet can be confusing to Muslims, a symposium on new media preaching, was told today.

Islamic Development Department Malaysia (Jakim) director-general Tan Sri Othman Mustapha said the preaching of other religions to young Muslims could lead to a conflict.

"These people are using information technology to lull young Muslims into straying from the true Islamic faith.

“The authorities and families should use applications or devices to block the sources of negative information on Islam,” he said when opening the Implications of New Media Preaching Symposium, here today.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/jakim-d-g-wants-ban-on-apps-that-could-confuse-young-muslims

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Malaysia begins pilot job project for Rohingya refugees

14.11.2016

By P Prem Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR

Malaysia’s government will allow some 300 Rohingya refugees in the country to seek employment under a pilot project planned to last over the next three years.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told parliament Monday that the Rohingya refugees -- who fled Myanmar’s troubled western Rakhine State –would be allowed to work in the plantation and manufacturing sectors.

Hamidi, who is also home minister, said the outcome of the pilot project would then determine the government's decision on whether to allow refugees to work.

He described the effort as being part of the government’s humanitarian policy despite Malaysia not being party to the United Nations’ 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol, which the country has been insistent on not signing.

"The government is in the midst of implementing a pilot project to allow 300 Rohingya to work in selected sectors namely plantation and manufacturing sectors, which is expected to take a period of three years,” Hamidi said.

"This is one of the government’s efforts to give preparation to this group before they return to their country or are sent to the resettlement country," he added.

For years, Rohingya -- described by the UN as among the most persecuted minority groups worldwide -- have been fleeing conflict in western Myanmar, with many using Thailand as a transit point to enter Muslim Malaysia and beyond.

In May 2015, thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants were stranded at sea after Thailand launched an anti-trafficking crackdown after discovering the bodies of dozens of migrants near its border with Malaysia.

After initially turning back boatloads of migrants, Indonesia and Malaysia agreed to take Rohingya in for one year, accommodating those deemed to be refugees on the condition that the international community then resettle them.

Hamidi insisted Monday that Malaysia's acceptance of Syrian refugees -- to whom temporary residency and work permits are granted -- should not be compared with the Rohingya, saying Syrian refugees had been offered shelter in the country and were not “illegal immigrants”.

He said the processing of Rohingya and Syrians were two different matters for the government’s consideration, especially in terms of responsibility and the country’s security requirements.

Full report at:

http://aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/malaysia-begins-pilot-job-project-for-rohingya-refugees/685382

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After no-show, Muslim convert ordered to appear for child conversion challenge

BY IDA LIM

November 14, 2016

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 14 ― The Federal Court today gave Muslim convert Muhammad Riduan Abdullah until tomorrow to show up in court for a case challenging the validity of his unilateral conversion of his three children to Islam.

Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, who chaired the five-man panel today, adjourned the hearing and told Muhammad Riduan’s lawyer to get his client to come to court.

“You try, whatever it is, get instructions, can come or not. We will proceed tomorrow with or without him. We are giving him right to reply,” he said.

Today was scheduled to be the start of the Federal Court’s two-day hearing against Hindu mother M. Indira Gandhi’s final challenge against her Muslim convert ex-husband’s unilateral conversion of their three children to Islam.

Earlier, Indira’s lawyer M. Kulasegaran highlighted to the court that there is still a committal order and arrest warrant against Muhammad Riduan over the latter’s failure to comply with a court order to return the third child that he had snatched away from Indira.

“The question is whether he should be allowed to address the court. In the last seven years since the case begun, the appellant (Indira) has not seen her daughter,” Kulasegaran said, later noting that Muhammad Riduan had in the past years failed to appear in court.

Another lawyer acting for Indira, K. Shanmuga, then proposed that the court give Muhammad Riduan until tomorrow to purge his contempt by showing up in court with the snatched child, before the court decides on whether the father should be allowed to be heard in court.

Muhammad Riduan’s lawyer Hatim Musa told the judges that he had only been informed several days earlier that Indira’s lawyers was objecting to his client’s unpurged contempt of court, adding: “If it was told to me earlier, maybe I could advise (him) to come”.

Among other things, Hatim said his client was “afraid” of bounty offers for his capture to be brought to court, further saying he will try to persuade his client to come.

“I have difficulties in contacting him,” he told the court.

When met outside the courtroom, Hatim confirmed that the last time he had been in direct contact with his client was after a Court of Appeal decision last December in his favour, adding that he has since been in contact only through multiple “third parties” — which he did not name.

Hatim told reporters that he was only representing Muhammad Riduan for the child conversion case, while two different lawyers had represented the Muslim convert in two matters regarding custody of the three children and committal proceedings for contempt of court respectively.

He confirmed that he had previously informed the “third party” of today’s hearing date as soon as court dates were fixed.

“Tomorrow the court will ask me to ask him to come but just now I asked for more time because I’m afraid he may be living far away. But I will inform him, whether he wants to come or not, it’s up to him,” he said.

Earlier, Hatim told the Federal Court that he had previously proposed to both sides that the “status quo” be maintained in the interests of the welfare of the children.

He explained to reporters his suggestion, saying: “In this case, two children past the age of 18 are with the mother, only one is with the father.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/after-no-show-muslim-convert-ordered-to-appear-for-child-conversion-challen

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After 200,000 Join Violent Protest in Indonesia, Questions Follow About Defending Islam

14 November 2016

Earlier this month, on Nov. 4, an estimated 200,000 people in Indonesia — the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation — joined a protest in front of the presidential palace calling for the ouster of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (popularly known as “Ahok”), whom hardline Muslim leaders accuse of committing blasphemy.

The rally, organized by the conservative Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), eventually turned violent, and many have since compared the unrest to riots that rocked Jakarta, the country’s capital, in 1998.

Ahok is a Chinese Christian politician who allegedly insulted Islam by citing some passages from the Quran about electing non-Muslims. Ahok’s speech citing the holy Muslim text was recorded on video, which later transcribed with an error that outraged Muslims and used by his opponents against him.

Moderate Islamic clerics from the Nadhlatul Ulama (Indonesia's largest Islamic organization), Muhammadiyah (Indonesia's second largest Islamic organization), and the Grand Imam of Istiqlal Jakarta Mosque (the largest mosque in Southeast Asia) have stated publicly that Ahok didn't insult Islam, in their view, but fundamentalist clerics insist that the governor is guilty of blasphemy, demanding his removal from office by holding a massive protest on Nov. 4.

Indeed, thousands joined the protest in defense of Islam, but some analysts have noted that the rally also attracted the support of thousands more who were evicted from their homes because of Ahok’s aggressive demolition campaign against slum dwellers. Aside from this, Ahok is also known to be the first high-ranking official who formally asked the Home Affairs Ministry to ban the activities of the FPI.

Weeks before the protest, racist messages directed against Ahok circulated online and offline. For example, the pamphlet below asks readers if they would support Ahok's assassination.

Extremist groups like Syrian jihadists have reportedly encouraged followers to punish Ahok and by “igniting” a holy war in Indonesia.

The protest, which was held primarily in the city center, reached the residential areas in the northern part of Jakarta, where Ahok lives. Public facilities were destroyed and corner shops looted, spreading fear among locals, and triggering #safetycheckjakarta on Twitter (for the second time this year, after the Jakarta bombing attack in January). The violence compares to riots in 1998, when an angry mob looted and burned down many Chinese-Indonesian shops.

Extremist groups like Syrian jihadists have reportedly encouraged followers to punish Ahok and by “igniting” a holy war in Indonesia.

Full report at:

https://globalvoices.org/2016/11/14/after-200000-join-violent-protest-in-indonesia-questions-follow-about-defending-islam/

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ICMI Chairman Calls on Muslims to Avoid 'Politically Motivated' Protest

Nov 15, 2016

Jakarta. The chairman of the Indonesian Muslim Scholars Association, or ICMI, Jimly Asshiddiqie, said on Monday (14/11) that Muslims should avoid another massive anti-Ahok rally planned on Nov. 25 as several political groups reportedly intend to use the protest to call for the impeachment of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

A number of Muslim groups are planning the protest on Nov. 25 allegedly to respond to police investigation over Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's alleged blasphemy.

The police said they will announce the result of its initial investigation into the case on Tuesday.

Jimly, who is also a former Constitutional Court chairman, said freedom of speech and expression has to be respected but also pointed out to the possibility that the protest might be more politically — rather than sincerely — motivated.

"If they still want to stage the protest, they should make it smaller. They should avoid looking like what they really want is to impeach the president," Jimly said on Monday.

The previous anti-Ahok protest on Nov. 4 ended up with a number of lawsuits being filed to the police for alleged provocation, treason, insult to state symbol and violence against journalists. The suits were filed against Islamic Students Association members, rock star Ahmad Dani and high-ranking politicians.

Full report at:

http://jakartaglobe.id/news/icmi-chairman-calls-muslims-avoid-politically-motivated-protest/

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Arab World

 

Tens of Nusra Terrorists Killed in Armed Forces' Attacks in Northwestern Syria

Nov 14, 2016

"Fatah al-Sham's centers in the villages and towns at the borders of Lattakia and Idlib with Turkey came under attack by army soldiers and aircraft. The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has turned these border areas into illegal corridors for smuggling troops and ammunition into Syria," the sources said.

The army soldiers destroyed the hideouts and gatherings of Fatah al-Sham in the villages of Karbil, Faleh and Albuyizeh in Northern Lattakia, according to the sources.

"A large number of Jeish al-Fatah terrorists were killed or wounded in the army operation in the villages of al-Najiyeh, Shaqourit and Tal (hill) al-Tanjareh in Jisr al-Shughour region in Southwestern Idlib," they further added.

"The Syrian air force also carried out several combat flights over terrorists' position in the towns and villages of Banish, Kansafreh, Safouhen, Tal (hill) Mardikh, Abu al-Dhohour, Ma'arbou, al-Mouzeh and Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, leaving a number of militants dead.

On Sunday, Syrian strikers carried out tens of sorties over the terrorists' supply roads in Idlib to block transfer of fighters, weapons and ammunition to Aleppo.

As the Syrian army continues anti-terrorism operation in the Western and Southern parts of Aleppo city, the country's air force is carrying out air assaults on the supply routes used by the terrorists near the towns and villages of Saraqib, Ma'arat al-Nu'aman, Khan Sheikhoun, Taftnaz, Banish, Ma'arat al-Harmeh, Jebleh and Ariha.

The Syrian army aircraft are carrying out continued reconnaissance flights over the towns and villages in the region to monitor the roads from Idlib to Aleppo. The air force planes are also conducting similar flights over the roads that  are used by the terrorists to transfer arms and forces from Idlib to Hama, given the army's vast operations in Hama province.

"At present, the terrorist groups in Aleppo are suffering from an acute shortage of fresh fighters and equipment, thinking more defense rather than offense," the source underline. 

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950824001081

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More Contradictory Reports Appear on Fate of ISIL Leader Al-Baghdadi

Nov 14, 2016

"The terrorist, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is in a region between the town of Tal Afar (some 54km North-West of Mosul) and the town of al-Baaj (157km to the South-West of Mosul)," al-Assadi was quoted as saying by Iraq's al-Ma'louma news agency on Monday.

He also said that the operations of the volunteer forces cover an area 14,000 sq/km around Mosul that includes the towns of al-Hazar, al-Baaj and its surrounding regions towards Tal Afar.

Based on an agreement made earlier, the Iraqi popular forces and Peshmarga Kurdish troops will not be part of the invading forces inside the two cities of Tal Afar and Mosul, while they will help tighten and maintain the siege on the rims of the two cities. Various units of Iraq's armed forces, including the army, police and anti-terrorism troops, lead the assault.

Al-Assadi's statement is the last in a string of reports on the fate of the notorious ISIL leader. During the last several months, many contradictory reports have surfaced the media about the health conditions and location of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

A prominent Iraqi military analyst said in late October that Riyadh and Ankara had hatched plots to transfer al-Baghdadi from Mosul to Libya, but the massive presence of the popular forces and Russian fighter jets along the bordering areas of Iraq and Syria dissuaded them.

"The two countries were working to take al-Baghdadi to Turkey either by moving him through Mosul and Kirkuk to the North or through al-Qa'em and al-Ratba corridor to Deir Ezzur in Syria  and then to Turkey to eventually transfer him to Libya," Safa al-A'asam told al-Ma'louma.

He added that the ISIL concluded that transferring al-Baghdadi through Tal Afar region to Raqqa in Syria is also impossible given the massive presence of Hashd al-Shaabi in the Southern front near Baaj district, South-West of Mosul and Northwest of the province of Nineveh, as well as the numerous flights done by the Russian fighter jets over the Syrian bordering areas with Iraq.

"The ISIL is now working to find a different path through the Iraq-Syria borders to take al-Baghdadi to Turkey and then to Libya or any other countries," al-A'asam said.

The statements came as reports from western Iraq said earlier in October that al-Baghdadi has succumbed to his fatal injuries and died in a region along the border with Syria.

"Al-Baghdadi had been severely wounded in the Al-Anbar battle in Western Iraq last month (September), and his wounds were so lethal that he could not move freely at all," a local Iraqi source told the Arabic service of the Russian Sputnik news agency in mid October.

The source said despite long treatment in Mosul, the general health conditions of the ISIL leader deteriorated due to "a deep abdominal cut, damage to his liver and crippling wounds in his left limbs".

The source said al-Baghdad lost his life in the town of Al-Baaj some 100km (60 miles) West of Mosul near the border with Syria, but his death is concealed to avoid the loss of morale among ISIL ranks who are faced with a tough war in Mosul and Syria these days.

There have been numerous reports on the fate or location of the ISIL leader in the last two years. As the war ravages over the self-proclaimed capital of the terrorist cult, Mosul, in Western Iraq, Arab media sources said earlier this month that al-Baghdadi had fled to Raqqa in Syria before the Iraqi army started its operations in Mosul, but his wife was taken.

According to Iraq's Sumeriya News, local sources in Nineveh quoted defected ISIL leaders as saying earlier this year that al-Baghdadi had managed to escape from Mosul to Raqqa, but one of his wives was arrested.

The defected militants stated that senior members of the terrorist group, called the ISIL police, rebelled against al-Baghdadi and called on his supporters to surrender themselves.

The source did not mention who captured Baghdadi's wife, but his words implied that she had been captured during a mutiny and by those who rebelled against the terror leader.

Another report also in early October claimed that “accurate information” showed Baghdadi’s food had been poisoned by unknown individuals and the food was given to him in Baaj district.

Sumeriya News cited a local source in Northwestern Nineveh province as saying that al-Baghdadi and three of his aides had been transferred to an unknown location under strict measures.

Numerous reports had indicated from September or early October that al-Baghdadi and other top commanders of the terrorist cult started evacuating Mosul in anticipation of the Iraqi army's massive attack to take back the city.

The exact location of al-Baghdadi has been a subject of speculation. However the account on sighting al-Baghdadi has intensified the speculations that the ISIL leader was in Mosul before the start of Iraqi forces' operations to retake the strategic city.

Also reports said in June that al-Baghdadi had been seriously wounded in an airstrike in Western Iraq.

Local sources in Iraq's Nineveh province confirmed that Baghdadi and other leaders in the ISIL were wounded in an air raid on one of the ISIL command headquarters close to the Syrian border.

Baghdadi was seriously wounded by an airstrike on March 18, 2015, that killed the three other men he was travelling with.

He was said to be receiving treatment for spinal injuries after being wounded in that strike.

In mid-May, Iraq's local sources disclosed that al-Baghdadi returned to Iraq from Syria and hid in Nineveh province.

"Al-Baghdadi and a group of ISIL commanders have stealthily returned to Iraq's Nineveh province," the Arabic-language Sumeriya News quoted an unnamed local Iraqi source as saying at the time.

Al-Baghdadi returned to Nineveh province through ISIL-controlled desert roads in Iraq and Syria, added the source.

The source noted that Al-Baghdadi hi in an unknown place in Nineveh province.

The ISIL Leader is running a secret life as his life is at stake more than anyone in the world now. Al-Baghdad's terrorist group is under massive airstrike by the Syrian, Russian and Iraqi Air Forces all throughout the Western Iraq and Eastern Syria.

While reports earlier this year said the ISIL leader was always on the move between Iraq's Mosul and Syria's Raqqa - the self-proclaimed capital of the terrorist group - tips and intel revealed in November that al-Baghdadi had moved from the Syrian city of Albu Kamal to the Iraqi city of Mosul in Nineveh province.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950824001257

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ISIS suicide bomber kills six near Iraq’s Karbala

14 November 2016

ISIS has claimed a suicide bombing that killed six civilians near Iraq’s holy city of Karbala on Monday at the start of a major Shiite Muslim ritual.

The Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan said six suicide bombers tried on Monday to infiltrate the holy Shiite city of Karbala, but security forces managed to kill five of them in the rural area of Ain al-Tamr.

Maan added that the sixth bomber, however, broke into a house where he blew up himself, killing six and wounding six.

The attack took place as hundreds of thousands of Shiites were gathering to mark Arbaeen, which comes at the end of a 40-day mourning period for Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.

Huge crowds visit the shrines of Hussein and his half-brother Abbas in Karbala, where they were killed in the 7th century AD, in a revolt against the Umayyad ruler Yazeed.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/14/ISIS-suicide-bomber-kills-six-near-Iraq-s-Karbala.html

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Syrian Army Not to Extend Deadline in Aleppo, Final Battle against Terrorists Imminent

Nov 15, 2016

"Terrorist groups have refuted the entire terms of the ceasefire to pull back their forces from the Eastern Neighborhoods of Aleppo to maintain security of civilians. The militants are still using civilians as human shield and do not allow them to leave the Eastern parts of the city," the source said.

"The 24-hour ultimatum of the Syrian army to the terrorists ended last night (Monday night), so the army's operation will soon start. Reconnaissance planes have carried out tens of flights over the city and its countryside and specified the targets," the source added.

Jeish al-Fatah on Monday ordered all its militants in Aleppo to stay on the alert after reports indicated that the Syrian army is preparing to launch a massive assault in the region.

The Arabic language al-Mayadeen reported that Jeish al-Fatah warned its members to stay on the alert as pro-government troops are preparing to start a fresh phase of operation, urging them to intensify security measures.

Jeish al-Fatah also called on its fighters to carry out preemptive operation in Aleppo.

A field commander said on Monday that repeated defeats of the Jeish al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups to push the army back in Southwestern Aleppo to help their comrades lift the siege in the Eastern parts of the city proved the power and unbeatable resolve of the pro-government troops.

"Terrorists' large-scale offensives, including Abu Omar Saraqib and the Great Epic Operation, have different names but the same result. Terrorists are not able to lift the army's siege on the militant-held districts of Aleppo," the commander underlined.

"After repelling terrorists' continued attacks on government forces' positions in Western Aleppo and extension of the army's security ring in the Western and Southwestern parts of the city, the army soldiers are now ready to storm militants' centers in Eastern Aleppo," he went on to say.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950825000387

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Saudi bans schools from marking non-Islamic holidays

Nov 14, 2016

RIYADH: Saudi education ministry has warned international schools from marking non-Islamic occasions, such as Christmas and New Year, the media reported on Monday.

The ban includes forbidding those schools from providing holidays on such occasions or changing the dates of exams to suit them, Xinhua news agency reported.

The ministry directed all schools to stick to the academic calendars for exams and holidays.

The ministry warned of legal steps against violated schools that could reach to termination of the license.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Saudi-bans-schools-from-marking-non-Islamic-holidays/articleshow/55413633.cms

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Egypt parliament provisionally approves a new NGO law; waits for cabinet draft

14 Nov 2016

Egypt's parliament provisionally approved on Monday a draft law aimed at regulating the performance of NGOs.

The 89-article law was drafted by the chairman of parliament's social solidarity committee Abdel-Hadi El-Qasabi and ‎‎203 other MPs.

El-Qasabi said that MPs has decided not to wait until a cabinet-drafted law on NGOs is submitted to parliament.

"We decided to take the initiative in drafting a law on NGOs and opening a debate on it," said El-Qasabi, adding that the draft law includes two chapters on foreign NGOs.

Parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Al told MPs in a plenary session on Monday that "NGOs can be a blessing or a curse."

"They can be a blessing if their business is confined to raising the awareness of citizens, spreading the culture of democracy and contributing to development in society," said Abdel-Al.

"They can be a curse if they move to spread chaos, disrupt national security and serve personal interests."

Abdel-Al said that parliament should take its time in debating the articles of the new law to guarantee that they are in line with the constitution and international conventions in a way that does not allow NGOs to operate at the expense of national security.

"We will not accept any kind of pressure from inside or outside [the country]," said Abdel-Al, adding that "Egypt's parliament was democratically elected and it stands firm against any pressure."

Abdel-Al said that Israel, which the West likes to describe as the oasis of democracy in the Middle East, has issued a new NGO law that has imposed tough restrictions on foreign funding.

"The prime minister of this country has said that he will not allow any source of foreign funding that might harm his country's national security," said Abdel-Al.

El-Qasabi said NGOs and civil society organisations sent parliament a letter where they denied that NGOs are used as a cover for obtaining corrupt money that can be used as a weapon against ordinary Egyptian citizens and disrupting the country's national security.

"We do not accept [the suggestion] that corrupt people with foreign agendas and with personal interests speak on our behalf," El-Qasabi cited the letter from NGOs as saying.

One of the most controversial articles in the draft law stipulates that foreign NGOs looking to operate in Egypt must get prior approval from a regulatory body entitled the National NGO Apparatus.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/249013/Egypt/Politics-/Egypt-parliament-provisionally-approves-a-new-%E2%80%8ENGO.aspx

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Russia accuses Syrian rebels of using chemical weapons

14 November 2016

Russian defense ministry says rebels in Syria’s Aleppo used chemical weapons against Syrian army.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/14/Russia-accuses-Syrian-rebels-of-using-chemical-weapons.html

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Saudi minister denies Lebanese mediation between Saudi Arabia and Iran

14 November 2016

Minister of State for the Gulf affairs in Saudi Arabia, Thamer al-Sabhan denied any Lebanese mediation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, led by the Lebanese President Michel Aoun.

He indicated to Al Hayat newspaper that the aim of his recent meetings in Beirut is the fortification of Lebanon and the return of a normal political life.

He said that "the Iranian regime knows what the kingdom wants, and knows what the causes of cutting ties.”

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2016/11/14/Saudi-minister-denies-Lebanese-mediation-between-Saudi-Arabia-and-Iran.html

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Syrian Army to Attack Terrorist Positions in Aleppo City From Nine Flanks

Nov 15, 2016

"Our forces, including very well trained units, are deployed in nine different fronts and are waiting for the specified deadline," the command center said in a statement.

Other informed sources disclosed that the Syrian army has prepared a large number of forces, who are expert in street battle and are equipped with lethal weapons, ready to start final the battle with the terrorist groups.

The sources also added that these forces will be backed up by the missile and air support of the Syrian and Russian forces.

Media sources disclosed on Monday that Jeish al-Fatah ordered all its militants in Aleppo to stay on the alert after reports indicated that the Syrian army is preparing to launch a massive assault in the region.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950825000285

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Syrian Army Continues Attacks as Terrorists Defy Ceasefire Terms in Khan Al-Sheih

Nov 15, 2016

Syrian army helicopters targeted terrorists' centers inside the town of Khan al-Sheih, inflicting heavy losses on the terrorists.

The army's artillery units opened heavy fire at militants' positions in Khan al-Sheih's farms, killing several terrorists.

In the meantime, the Syrian army unearthed a 700-meter-long network of terrorists' tunnels in al-Maranah town East of Khan al-Sheih.

Media sources said earlier today that as the army's deadline to the terrorists in Khan al-Sheih to accept the terms of ceasefire ended, fragile calm has prevailed over the town and its surrounding regions.

Pro-government forces have intensified their anti-terrorism operation in Khan al-Shieh region after terrorists intensified offensives irrespective of the peace talks.

Sources privy to the talks said on Sunday that peace talks between the government and militants under siege in the town of Khan al-Sheih in Southwestern Damascus were ending up in failure after continued attacks by the terrorists on army positions.

The terrorist groups' heavy attacks to lift the army siege in Khan al-Sheih are pushing the peace negotiations into failure while talks for relocation or surrendering of the militants in return for amnesty were in a last stage, according to the source.

The government offered the entrapped Nusra (Fatah al-Sham) terrorists a deal to relocate to Idlib or surrender to the army in return for amnesty after laying siege on the suburban Damascus town nearly two weeks ago. Talks were underway between the two sides all throughout the last 12.

"While a number of militants sought to escape the region, the Nusra command center in expectation of reinforcements from comrades in other parts of Western Ghouta in Khan al-Sheih ordered intensifying attack on government troops to close escape paths and meantime win the upper hand in the talks," according to the source.

The terrorists initially requested relocation to Dara'a, but were forced to voice consent to a transition plan to Idlib in later stages of the talks.

The source said the militants sustained "a heavy death toll in their failed attacks as the town is still under the siege of the government forces".

"Following intensified attacks by the terrorists, the Syrian air force and artillery units pounded their positions in Khan al-Sheih in retaliation," he went on to say.

"Damascus is still insisting on ending clashes in Khan al-Sheih just like similar peace agreements in other towns of Western Ghouta, while the Nusra command center in Northern Syria that rejected hosting its units from Khan al-Sheih has ordered its units in the town to continue the fight as Khan al-Sheih is their last major stronghold in Western Ghouta," they added.

Khan al-Sheih is one of the most important bases of the terrorists that connects Damascus, Quneitra and Dara'a provinces to each other.

Reports from Western Damascus said on Thursday that tens of militants are fleeing the battlefield after facing the Syrian army's tightened noose on Khan al-Sheih in Western Ghouta of Damascus and the failure of peace talks in the region.

A number of terrorists could pass through the Syrian army's advanced traps in Khan al-Sheih farms but others didn’t accept to fill their place for the fear of the army's attacks.

After the liberation of Albuyizeh village and its surrounding farms in recent days, the army seized control of al-Darousheh road to Deir al-Khabiyeh, air-defense housing complex, Ale Taqi Mosque, and Khirbet al-Abbasiyeh region and tightened siege on the militants in the region.

After several days of pause in operations to liberate Khan al-Sheih town to hold negotiations with the terrorists to leave the region, the army restarted its attacks and advanced in the area.

Meantime, the Syrian troops, supported by the missile and artillery units as well as helicopters, could advance in al-Abbasiyeh farms.

Sources affiliated to the terrorists also reported that after the failure of the first round of peace talks in Khan al-Sheih and the Syrian air force's resumed airstrikes which killed and wounded several terrorists, including their high-ranking commanders, a new round of talks kicked off between the Syrian government and militants' representatives in Khan al-Sheih to transfer the terrorists to Idlib.

According to the sources, the two sides are at odds over certain paragraphs of a peace agreement, including delivering the militants' heavy and semi-heavy weapons to the Syrian army.

Reports said on Sunday that top commanders of Fatah al-Sham Front (formerly al-Nusra Front) as well as a number of their counterparts in other terrorist groups that are deployed in Idlib voiced opposition to the transfer of the militants, who agreed on Saturday to leave their positions in Southwestern Damascus to relocate to Idlib.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950825000518

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Syria: Army Underlines Resolve to Maintain Siege of Eastern Aleppo

Nov 14, 2016

"Terrorists' large-scale offensives, including Abu Omar Saraqib and the Great Epic Operation, have different names but the same result. Terrorists are not able to lift the army's siege on the militant-held districts of Aleppo," the commander underlined.

"After repelling terrorists' continued attacks on government forces' positions in Western Aleppo and extension of the army's security ring in the Western and Southwestern parts of the city, the army soldiers are now ready to storm militants' centers in Eastern Aleppo," he went on to say.

"Expansion of the Syrian army's rule in the depth of the Western districts of Aleppo has ruined any chance for the terrorists to open their way into the Eastern parts of the city to lift the siege of their comrades," the commander said.

He further added that the Syrian army operation in Aleppo is aimed at meeting two objectives: first, blocking the terrorists' movement through their supply roads to al-Rashedeen neighborhood. This neighborhood is the main supply line of the terrorists from the Southern flank to the Southwest and from there to the regions of al-Mansoureh, al-Bahouth al-Elmiyeh and Khan al-Asal that are the most important strongholds of the terrorists in Western Aleppo.

The second objective of the Syrian army operation is to complete control over all roads in the Southwestern parts of Aleppo and restore security to most quarters in the Western part of the city and immune them against the terrorists' mortar attacks.

Reports said earlier today that Syrian Army troops and the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters inflicted more casualties on Jeish al-Fatah terrorist coalition in Southern Aleppo and captured more lands in the flashpoint city.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950824001214

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Rival Terrorists Kick Off Military Operation to Capture Jbahat al-Shamia Leader, Commanders

Nov 14, 2016

The Nasrat al-Mazloum military operation aims to arrest the leader and senior commanders of Jbahat al-Shamia in the town of Azaz in Northern Aleppo, militant sources said according the Arabic-language Qassiyoun reported.

According to the militant sources, Jbahat al-Shamia uses the town of Azaz as its main headquarters in Northern Aleppo.

The militant groups taking part in Nasrat al-Mazloum military operation said capturing or killing Head of Jbahat al-Shamia's Security Office Abu Amin, the terrorist group's leader Hesam Yassin and its public relations director Mustafa Khaled Kourej is the objective of their assault.

Infighting has intensified among rival terrorist groups in Northern Aleppo, specially in Azaz.  

The ISIL exploded a bomb-laden vehicle near the military positions of its rival terrorists at the entrance gate of Azaz, killing 33 militants and civilians in mid October.

At least 33 people, including rival FSA militants and several civilians, were killed after the ISIL exploded a bomb-laden vehicle at the entrance of the town.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950824001328

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South Asia

 

Afghan president asks UN to add Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah to sanctions list

Nov 15, 2016

Afghanistan's president asked the United Nations on Monday to add the Taliban's new leader to its sanctions list, in a further blow to efforts to revive the stalled peace process.

Afghan forces have struggled to contain the Taliban insurgency, with two deadly suicide bombings claimed by the group at the NATO air base in Bagram and at a German consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif in just the past week.

“We want the UN to add names of terrorists including Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah to its sanctions list,” President Ashraf Ghani said in a statement after meeting with members of the U.N. sanctions committee in Kabul.

Haibatullah was named leader of the Taliban after the death of his predecessor Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour in a US drone strike in May.

One of the Taliban's main demands for peace talks is for their senior commanders to be taken off the UN blacklist that imposes asset freezes and travel bans.

The peace process broke down last year almost immediately after preliminary talks began in Pakistan.

Since then, there have been various efforts to get it started again, including a series of talks involving the United States, Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, but none has so far had any success.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1296347/afghan-president-asks-un-to-add-taliban-leader-mullah-haibatullah-to-sanctions-list

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Russia, Pakistan and China to hold talks on Afghanistan

November 14, 2016

MOSCOW: Russia will hold a series of trilateral talks on Afghanistan next month, its foreign ministry said Monday, as Moscow plans to establish a wider regional partnership on the issue.

Zamir Kabulov, director of the Second Asian Department, told RIA Novosti the next consultation on Afghanistan would take place between Russia, China and Pakistan.

"We are discussing this with the Chinese, the Iranians, Indians, Pakistanis. There is work on specifics… For example, we are planning the next Russian-Chinese-Pakistani consultations in December. They will be held in Moscow," said Kabulov.

The development comes amid a series of massive assaults in Afghanistan by the Taliban, the latest one on the German consulate in Mazar-eSharif, as the militant group refuses to surrender the Afghan government.

The Taliban said the bombing late Thursday, which tore a massive crater in the road and overturned cars, was a "revenge attack" for US air strikes this month in the volatile province of Kunduz that left 32 civilians dead.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/14-Nov-2016/russia-pakistan-and-china-to-hold-talks-on-afghanistan

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Kensington’s Bangladeshi community scared of deportation by Trump: Leaders

November 14, 2016

Members of Kensington’s Bangladeshi Muslim community are afraid the government will deport them or their loved ones following the election of Donald Trump, local leaders said during a community gathering on Friday.

“People are talking about fear,” said Mamnunul Haq, a longtime Kensington resident and a member of Community Board 12. “They’re talking about deportations, Muslim-banning. People with green cards are thinking, ‘If I go to my country, maybe I won’t be able to come back.’ ”

Residents huddled with local pols and activists at Avenue C Plaza, where leaders promised hope and help after Tuesday’s election.

Councilman Brad Lander (D–Kensington) assured the congregation that New York is a “sanctuary” for immigrants, who benefit from the city’s identification card and a Police Department that doesn’t turn over undocumented immigrants for deportation as a matter of policy.

But it was little comfort to members of the neighborhood’s sizable population of undocumented Bangladeshi residents, who are frightened given the president-elect’s previous vows to ban all Muslim immigration and deport people who have come to the U.S. illegally, Haq said.

“People are scared, especially people who don’t have documentat­ion,” he said.

Other speakers offered immigrants comfort by letting them know they do have rights, and there are legal services available to help fight anyone facing deportation.

“A lot of people assume that they don’t have rights and when equipped with that knowledge, they’re quick to wield it,” said Tarek Ismail, a professor at the City University of New York School of Law. “Those in power abuse the fact that people don’t know what rights they have.”

Both Mayor DeBlasio and Gov. Cuomo doubled down on New York’s commitment to providing a safe haven for immigrants after Trump’s win, with DeBlasio promising on Thursday to fight any attempt the president makes to get a hold of the names of undocumented residents in the city’s IDNYC database.

The future Commander in Chief has threatened to withhold unspecified “funding” to cities that don’t cooperate with his deportation plans — although exactly what those will be are a little fuzzy right now.

Full report at:

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/39/47/dtg-kensington-muslims-fear-deportation-2016-11-18-bk.html

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Bangladesh announces bounty for Hindu temple attackers

November 14, 2016

Bangladesh police on Monday announced a bounty of 1 lakh Taka for information leading to the arrest or capture of the attackers of Hindu temples and homes amid mounting protests demanding stern action against the culprits. “We have announced a bounty amounting Taka 1 lakh (USD 1250) for information about whereabouts of the culprits,” Brahmanbaria’s police superintendent Mizanur Rahman told reporters. He added that 78 suspected attackers were so far arrested after detailed investigations but Hindu leaders and civil society feared that several masterminds remained beyond the ambit of law enforcement agencies.

Demonetisation effect: Church comes to public's rescue, throws donation box open for public

 The development came amid speculation that the attacks on Hindu temples and households were staged at Nasirnagar area of the district as part of a conflict between two influential groups of ruling Awami League. “It appears that the culprits were hired to stage the attacks to harm the reputation of the other group,” an official in Nasirnagar told reporters requesting anonymity.

Authorities have launched an intensified campaign to track down the culprits after home minister Asaduzzaman Khan warned that none of the attackers will be spared. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had also urged the people to stand with religious minorities. “As a Muslim-majority country it is the moral responsibility of all of us to take care of the minorities,” she told a conference at her office.

She added, “You have to remain careful so that no such incidents, which are taking place sporadically in different parts of the country, take place anywhere in the country.” Suspected Muslim extremists had earlier this month carried out two subsequent attacks ravaging nearly a dozen Hindu temples and over 20 households at Nasirnagar area of Brahmanbaria over an offensive Facebook post.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/bangladesh-announces-bounty-for-hindu-temple-attackers-4375578/

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War on terror funding started five months ago in Bangladesh

15 Nov 2016

It's no secret that FICN (Fake Indian Currency Notes) are being used by Bangladesh-based terror groups to fund terrorist activities in India. But recently these groups have been feeling the heat. According to intelligence sources, an ongoing "war on terror funding" in Bangladesh, which began five months ago in July this year, has been yielding good results.

Data from security agencies reveal that in July, FICN counterfeiters—operating on the India-Bangladesh border—would sell one lakh fake currency notes for 20,000-25,000 Indian rupees. Today, the self same counterfeiters sell the same one lakh fake currency for Rs 40,000. This suggests counterfeiters are bleeding their pockets dry, thus affecting terror and terrorism activities in both countries.

Security officials confirm this to be the case. A senior NIA official explained to DNA just what danger the FICN networks had been posing to the country: "For years the FICN syndicates have been working in areas along the India-Bangladesh border, where they provided tacit support to terror groups. FICN is important to terror groups as it gives them the power to purchase weapons and a chance to hit the Indian economy where it hurts most."

One of the big reasons for success in stamping out FICN has been the increasing cooperation of the Bangladeshi authorities. Intelligence agencies point out that July 1 terror attack where terrorists opened fire at the Holy Artisan Bakery in Gulshan Park in Dhaka was the tipping point for Bangladeshi authorities. 24 people, including two police officers, were killed in the attack, believed to have been carried out by the terror group, the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

But Indian intelligence officials say it was not until the attack on an Eid congregation in Sholakia Eidgah, in Kishoreganj, Bangladesh, on July 7, that an extensive plan to counter terror activities was devised. A senior BSF official said: "Soon after the attacks in Bangladesh, counter terrorism and transitional crime (CTTC) unit, RAB (Rapid Action Battalion) and the Dhaka metropolitan police started offensive action against terrorists.

The FICN network was clearly affected by the Bangladeshi offensive. On the July 1 attack, one lakh fake currency notes would cost anything between 20,000-25,000 Indian rupees.

On July 27, SWAT, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), Detective Branch of police (DB) and Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) carried out a joint operation in Kalyanpur termed 'Storm 26'. Nine suspected terrorists were killed, ensuring the FICN rates shifted up to Rs 28,000-30,000. The rates further raised in August and September when Bangladeshi authorities intensified their offensive and any party interested in purchasing would pay 35,000-38,000 rupees for one lakh FICN's.

Full report at:

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-war-on-terror-funding-started-five-months-ago-in-bangladesh-2273500

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Reforms can make Bangladesh an export powerhouse: WB

November 15, 2016

Bangladesh can become an export powerhouse like its East Asian neighbours by improving its business competitiveness and trade regime, which will help firms compete globally, the World Bank said in a new report yesterday.

Bangladesh is a wonderful case of how the rise in competitiveness can help cut poverty, said Vincent Palmade, lead economist for trade and competitiveness global practice at the WB, presenting the report at a programme at Le Méridien in Dhaka yesterday.

“Now the challenge for Bangladesh is to continue the success and diversify into other areas.”

The report -- South Asia's Turn: Policies to Boost Competitiveness and Create the Next Export Powerhouse -- identified four policy levers that can help Bangladesh enable its firms to boost productivity and become more globally competitive. These include improving the business environment, connecting firms to global value chain, maximising agglomeration benefits, and strengthening the firms' capabilities.

“With rising labour costs in East Asian countries, investors and buyers are now turning to South Asia, including Bangladesh,” said Palmade.

With over two million youths entering the labour market every year, Bangladesh needs to act now to seize the opportunity and create more jobs, he added.

The WB launched the report jointly with the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh.

Speaking at the launch, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said Bangladesh has been very good in exploiting areas where it has comparative advantages.

In the 1980s, his major concern was how to manage food for the population, and he had to sit with development partners three to four times a year, he said.

“Now I have no worries about food although arable land has narrowed by 10 percent, while the population has doubled over the last three decades.”

Bangladesh's exports increased 13 percent a year in the last decade, according to the report. However, 80 percent of its exports remained concentrated in garment, mostly low-value items. Bangladesh needs to continue to grow its exports by improving the mix and quality of its apparel products, as well as diversify into new labour and skills intensive industries, such as footwear, light engineering and electronics.

While about 80 percent of the firms in Bangladesh practise technological innovation, well above the average in Eastern Europe and Africa, most are limited to imitating existing products and processes, according to the report.

To better connect and expose South Asian firms to international good practices, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries should deepen reforms to improve the capabilities of firms to participate in global value chains, which will require making it much easier for exporters to import what they need, gradually reducing tariff, while improving trade logistics, said the report.

With support from governments, firms can improve their productivity and competitiveness by investing more in training their workers and managers, innovating to introduce new products and processes, as well as making greater use of the internet to buy, sell, market, or manage their inventory, the report said.

“To realise Bangladesh's competitiveness potential, the country needs to start by focusing on improving its trade policy regime and the business environment, and address the acute shortage of industrial land,” Qimiao Fan, the WB's country director for Bangladesh, said in a statement.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/business/reforms-can-make-bangladesh-export-powerhouse-wb-1314868

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Hindu idols ‘vandalised’ in Sylhet, 1 held

November 14, 2016

A young man reportedly vandalised two idols at a Hindu temple in Jakiganj upazila of Sylhet today.

Police detained one Alim Uddin, 40, for allegedly vandalising idols of Hindu Gods Kartik and Ganesha at Durgabari of Sajapur village in Kashkanakpur union, reports our correspondent quoting Mohammad Mobassherul Islam, upazila nirbahi officer of Jakiganj.

However, Mobassherul Islam told The Daily Star that Alim is a mentally disabled person and accidentally fell on the idols at the temple.

Bibhakar Deshmukh, convener of Jakiganj upazila unit of Bangladesh Hindu-Bauddha-Christian Oikya Parishad, also confirmed Alim to be a mentally disabled person adding that they didn’t know why he had vandalised the idols.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/country/hindu-idols-vandalised-sylhet-1-held-1314664

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Afghan Air Force conducted 129 flights, including combat and training missions

Nov 14 2016

The Afghan Air Force (AAF) released its latest operational update on Sunday stating that 129 flights were conducted in the past 24 hours, including combat and training missions.

According to AAF, 15 of the flights were direct combat missions against insurgents while 8 flights were conducted for the training of the Afghan pilots.

AAF further added that 106 of the flights were used to transport 666 Afghan security personnel and 15,382 kilograms of cargo.

The reconstruction and equipment of the Afghan Air Force gained momentum late last year and earlier this year with the arrival of new aircraft, specifically the fixed-wing and rotary-wing equipment.

The Afghan Air Force 3 Mi-25 gunship helicopters from India late in the month of December last year besides the delivery of light attack aircraft by the United States, staring earlier this year.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/afghan-air-force-conducted-129-flights-including-combat-and-training-missions-02277

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Africa

 

Cooperation results in light sentences in Islamic State case

November 14, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS –  Two men who cooperated with authorities investigating a Minnesota-based conspiracy to join the Islamic State group in Syria were rewarded with light sentences Monday, but a third who chose not to help prosecutors got a 10-year sentence from a federal judge who still cut him a break partly because his parents have become active in the campaign against terrorist recruiting within the state's large Somali community.

U.S. District Judge Michael Davis sentenced Abdullahi Mohamed Yusuf, 20, to the 21 months he's already served in jail. Abdirizak Warsame, 21, didn't fare as well, but his sentence of 2½ years in prison was two years less than prosecutors sought. While all three pleaded guilty, Zacharia Abdurahman, 21, got 10 years in prison because he didn't cooperate with the government and refused to testify against against the other members of what Davis called a "terrorist cell."

Davis point-blank asked Abdurahman why he didn't.

"As a man, I made a decision not to do that to my former friends. Your honor, I'm a man of principal. ... Our religion teaches you not to harm another brother," he replied, sniffing and wiping away tears as he stood before the court.

But Abdurahman also apologized to his family and community. He admitted that he was once a committed supporter of the Islamic State and its violent jihadist ideology, which he said eventually abandoned after his arrest. He agreed with Davis that he had been a terrorist.

All three must also serve 20 years on supervised release, starting with up to a year in a halfway house.

All nine defendants were convicted of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The three due for sentencing Tuesday pleaded guilty but did not cooperate. The three due to learn their fates Wednesday went to trial, where each was also convicted of conspiracy to commit murder outside the U.S., which carries a possible life sentence, though prosecutors are seeking sentences for them of 30 or 40 years.

Davis, who has handled all of Minnesota's terror conspiracy cases, had the six defendants who pleaded guilty evaluated by a German expert on deradicalization and is taking those findings into consideration.

U.S. Attorney Andy Luger took the rare step of appearing in court to praise Yusuf and Warsame for cooperating.

The sentencings cap a long case that shined a light on terrorism recruitment in Minnesota, the state with the largest concentration of Somali immigrants in the U.S. The FBI has said about a dozen people have left Minnesota to join militant groups in Syria in recent years. Before that, more than 22 men were recruited to al-Shabab in Somalia since 2007.

Prosecutors said this conspiracy began in spring 2014, when a group of friends began inspiring and recruiting each other to join the Islamic State group. Some of their friends made it to Syria, but the nine didn't.

At the day's first hearing, Davis said it didn't make sense to send Yusuf to prison, where no deradicalization programs are available.

"I hope I'm not wrong," the judge said.

"I will not let you down, your honor," Yusuf promised.

Earlier, Yusuf said he was "not the same naive 17-year-old" who was drawn into the conspiracy.

"ISIL's ideology is flawed," Yusuf said. "There is nothing Islamic about their so-called state."

But the judge said he didn't buy Warsame's claims that he's no longer a radical, suggesting he cooperated only because he could have faced 15 years in prison. Davis characterized Warsame's contention that he'd abandoned his jihadist ideology as merely "another chess move" by a skilled player.

"The problem I have with you is everything has seemed so smooth," the judge said. "... Extremist ideology based on religion doesn't disappear overnight, and you can't convince me otherwise. And that's what you're trying to do."

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/11/14/cooperation-results-in-light-sentences-in-islamic-state-case.html

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Nigerian Police, Shi'ite Muslims Clash in Kano State, at Least 9 Dead

November 14, 2016

KANO, NIGERIA —

Police said nine people were killed in clashes between Shi’ite Muslims and police during a religious procession in northern Nigeria on Monday, but the minority sect said dozens of its members lost their lives.

The clashes occurred on the outskirts of Kano, a city in a state of the same name, as members of the country's largest Shi’ite group, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), conducted an annual procession to Zaria in neighboring Kaduna state.

It was the latest in a series of incidents involving the sect. A judicial inquiry in August reported that 347 IMN members were killed and buried in mass graves after clashes with the army in December 2015, and two sect members were killed in processions in Kaduna state last month.

Kano state Police Commissioner Rabiu Yusuf told reporters that nine people died in Monday's violence — eight IMN members and a policeman. He said several people were injured, including four police officers.

“At first we used tear gas on them. They attacked one of our personnel, who sustained a fatal injury,” he said. Yusuf said IMN members used the dead policeman's weapon to fire at officers and they had “no option” but to use live ammunition in response.

Ibrahim Musa, a spokesman for the IMN — whose 1980s founders were inspired by the Islamic Revolution in Shi’ite Iran — said policemen opened fire on a peaceful crowd and killed "close to" 100 people including women and children.

“We view the unwarranted killings by the police as a continuation of the army pogrom started in Zaria last year,” he said. The exact death toll was unclear, he added, because most of the bodies were "ferried away by the police, possibly for mass burial.”

Full report at:

http://www.voanews.com/a/nigeria-kano-shiite-muslims-kaduna/3595796.html

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Christianity, Islam, support family planning

NOVEMBER 14, 2016

Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole has encouraged Nigerians to engage in family planning stressing that neither Christianity nor Islam disallowed it. Adewole disclosed this while making a presentation at the 4th National Family Planning Conference in Abuja. Adewole also unveiled documents on the Christian and Muslims perspectives on family planning and therefore encouraged the government to invest more. He also unveiled “the Lancet” a maternal health journal. The Minister further disclosed that the Federal Government would revalidate its agreement with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to boost the contraceptive prevalence in Nigeria. He said that the government plans to increase its investment from $3 million to $4 million by 2017. He said the gesture was to increase demand for the services in Nigeria adding that the task before the government was to push for the contraceptive prevalence to 50 per cent. He tasked stakeholders to always emphasize the benefit of planning, which is far beyond child spacing stressing that it cures anaemia and eliminate poverty among others. Speaking earlier, Dr Ejike Oji, Chairman Local Organizing Committee of the conference said has a theme `Family Planning in Nigeria: The journey so far’.

Full report at:

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/11/christianity-islam-support-family-planning/

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Somalia: Leaders of Puntland and Galmudug Signs Peace Agreement

12 NOVEMBER 2016

Presidents of Puntland and Galmudug regional states of Somalia have signed peace agreement that aimed to end the fighting that has been taking place in the divided city of Galkacyo for the month.

Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, Jubaland President Ahmed Mohamed Islam "Madobe" and foreign delegates led by UN Representative to Somalia Michael Keating led the discussions to mediate a peace agreement.

The latest clashes between the two forces have been killed over 40 people and displaced nearly 70,000 families.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201611140407.html

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Boko Haram displaces 370,389 households in N’East

November 15, 2016

At least,   370, 389 households have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.

A don at the University of Ilorin, Dr. Abiola Adimula, stated this in a paper she released to journalists in Abuja on Monday.

  She presented the paper  at the 39th Annual Conference of Fulbright Association at George Washington University in the United States.

Adimula disclosed that as of August,   the number of Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria was  2,093,030.

The don, who is of the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, UNILORIN, described   the management of IDPs camps   as weak.

The university lecturer stated, “The total number of people internally displaced by armed conflicts and violence worldwide was estimated to be 38 million people and  12.5 million IDPs in the 21 sub-Saharan countries.

“Nigeria, in recent times, has experienced a lot of internal displacement of its people, largely arising from the activities of insurgency, militancy, conflicts and to a lesser extent, natural disasters.

“By NEMA-Displacement Tracking Matrix XI DTM  (August, 2016) the number of IDPs  in Nigeria is 2,093,030 being 370,389 households.  The breakdown is as follows: Borno (1,446,829); Adamawa (163,559) and Yobe (135,442);

“Out of the figure, 89.74%  had been displaced by the insurgency alone; 8.85% displaced by communal clashes  and 1.41% by natural disasters.”

According to her,  the problems in IDPs camps include large populations; overcrowded accommodation in tents; lack of structure in terms of care of IDPs; poor access to facilities; and lack of concrete arrangement  for IDPs reintegration.

She stated, “The camp management structure is weak, putting the IDPs in overcrowded accommodation, usually in men and women sections without necessarily separating them in terms of the care the IDPs require, presents a clumsy and ineffective intervention in the camps.

“This leads to poor service of needs most times because the facilities that should have been used for particular IDPs in specific needs are overstretched to cover all, including those that do not require the particular intervention.

“Sometimes, empower-ment training is given to those in traumatic phase and they fail. Camp management does not treat IDPs to align with their actual needs.”

Full report at:

http://punchng.com/boko-haram-displaces-370389-households-neast/

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Somalia: Al Shabaab claims responsibility for the attacks in Burhakabo town

14.11.2016

BURHAKABO, Somalia- Al Qaeda-affiliated militant group Al Shabaab said it killed a senior district official and two soldiers in separate bomb attacks in Burhakbo town in Bay region, Garowe Online reports.

Pro-Al Shabaab media outlets reported that the acting Burhakabo district administrator and two of his security guards were killed in land-mine blast happened at a gathering venue in the town on Sunday afternoon.

On Monday morning, a remote-controlled landmine has ripped through the district police station, killing soldiers and police officers, according to sources.

However, the attack was the second of its kind in Burhakabo district in southern Somalia. Last week the district administrator has died after suffering critical wounds sustained in Al Shabaab group attack.

Full report at:

http://www.garoweonline.com/en/news/somalia/somalia-al-shabaab-claims-responsibility-for-the-attacks-in-burhakabo-town

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Mideast

 

Nation makes final call on Turkey’s EU membership: Erdogan

Nov 15, 2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says a referendum may be held in the country next year over the continuation of membership talks with the EU.

"Let's wait until the end of the year and then go to the people. Let's go to the people since they will make the final call. Even Britain went to the people. Britain said 'let's exit', and they left,” said Erdogan during a televised speech on Monday.

Britons voted to leave the European Union on June 23. The vote, called Brexit, sent shockwaves throughout the world and prompted the EU members to call on the UK to officially begin the withdrawal process as soon as possible.

He made the remarks after EU foreign ministers censured Turkey over its post-coup crackdown and European Parliament President Martin Schulz (seen below) recently threatened to end Turkey’s EU membership process.

"Who are you? Since when do you have the authority to decide on behalf of Turkey?" Erdogan said referring to Schulz’s threats.

“How can you, who have not taken Turkey into the EU for 53 years, find the authority to make such a decision?" he added.

During an exclusive interview with English-language newspaper Hurriyet Daily News on Sunday, Erdogan slammed the 28-member EU over “attempts to compel” Ankara to drop its accession bid, while hinting that continuation of the talks with the EU may be decided in a referendum.

Turkey has been attempting to become part of the EU since the 1960s. Formal EU accession negotiations began in 2005. But the process has been mired in problems, and only 16 chapters of the 35-chapter accession procedure have been opened for Ankara so far. The relations between Turkey and the EU further soured after the July 15 botched putsch, which Ankara claims was organized by US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The coup began when a faction of the military declared it was in control of the country and the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was no more in charge.

Tanks, helicopters, and soldiers clashed with police and people on the streets of Ankara and Istanbul. Between 200 and 300 people were killed on all sides in the attempted coup d’état.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/15/493623/turkey-eu-erdogan-referendum

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Iran, Russia to continue cooperating until terrorism elimination: Rouhani

Nov 14, 2016

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic and Russia will proceed with their “strategic cooperation” in the campaign against terrorism until the elimination of this malicious phenomenon across the Middle East.

“There is strategic cooperation between Iran and Russia to fight terrorism and such cooperation will continue until the eradication of terrorism in the region,” Rouhani said in a meeting with Russia's Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Ivanovna Matvienko in Tehran on Monday.

“Terrorist groups are dangerous for the entire region and the world and we must continue with the fight against these groups along with each other until the eradication of terrorism and the establishment of stability and the will of the Syrian people over their country’s affairs,” he added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian president said Russia is an important friend and neighbor of the Islamic Republic and added that the two countries have common interests in the region and the world.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s resolve is to expand relations with the Russian Federation in all fields,” Rouhani stated.

He urged Tehran and Moscow to make use of the opportunities created after the implementation of last year’s nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed by Iran and the P5+1 group of countries to improve ties in economic, cultural, scientific and technological fields.

He said developing banking and economic cooperation, facilitation of customs-related issues and visa issuance process can speed up trade ties between the two countries.

‘Iran, Russia share stance on terror fight’

The chairperson of Russia's Federation Council, for her part, said Tehran and Moscow have a common stance on the fight against terrorism.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/14/493600/Iran-Russia-Hassan-Rouhani-Valentina-Ivanovna-Matvienko-Zarif

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Turkish jets hit al-Bab amid push to retake Raqqa

14 November 2016

Turkish warplanes struck 15 targets in the al Bab area of northern Syria on Sunday in an operation with Syrian rebels to drive ISIS militants out of the border region, the Turkish military said on Monday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said seizing control of al-Bab, around 30 km south of the border, is a goal of the operation before targeting Manbij, from which Kurdish-led forces recently drove ISIS, and the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.

Ten ISIS defensive positions, command centers and an ammunition store were destroyed in the strikes, the army said in a statement. Nine Syrian rebels were killed and 52 wounded during clashes in the region, it added.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/14/Turkish-jets-hit-al-Bab-amid-push-to-retake-ISIS-Raqqa.html

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Tens of Iranians, Pakistanis and Afghans killed in Syria battles

14 November 2016

Three Iranian military personnel and dozens of the Islamic Republic militias have been killed in recent clashes in Syria’ northwestern Aleppo province, according to media reports.

More than a dozen of religiously devout Shiite militants from Afghanistan and Pakistan, in addition to three Iran’s Revolutionary Guard soldiers were killed east Aleppo, Iran’s local media reported.

The new casualties follow the killing of Iran’s state television reporter, Mohsin Khozaia in Aleppo on Saturday. Khozaia was criticized for inciting sectarianism in his journalism.

Meanwhile, “Idlib Free Army” recently released a video showing an attack targeting a group of Iranian militias with a thermal rocket killing and injuring scores of them.

Iran’s battlefield losses continue to rise in Syria as high ranking officers were killed during recent Aleppo clashes. Some of them were identified as: Brigadier General Hadi Zahid, a commander of the elite IRCG Quds Force, Major General Zaikr Hussein of the Special Units and Brigadier General Mohamm Ali Mohammed Hosseini, a commander of the Commandos Unit.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/14/Tens-of-Iranians-Pakistanis-and-Afghans-killed-in-Syria-battles.html

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Yemen forces hit Saudi command center in Najran

Nov 15, 2016

Yemeni forces have fired two ballistic missiles in counteroffensives against the southwestern Saudi Arabia region of Najran, hitting targets that included a Saudi military command center.

The command center, which hosted the largest number of Saudi troops in the region, was targeted with a Tochka missile on Tuesday, Yemen’s al-Masirah television reported. The forces also fired a Zalzal 3 missile at the Rajla military base there.

Possible casualties were not reported.

The Saudi military, however, later claimed that it had intercepted and destroyed the projectiles before impact.

The Yemeni army and Houthi Ansarullah fighters have been jointly defending Yemen against a war Saudi Arabia has been waging on the country since 2011 in an unsuccessful attempt to reinstate Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch Riyadh ally who has resigned as Yemen’s president.

The war has killed at least 11,400 civilians, according to a recent tally by a Yemeni monitoring group. There have also been countless reports about the deliberate and indiscriminate targeting of civilian infrastructure by Saudi forces and mercenaries.

According to al-Masirah, Yemeni troops also launched a mortar attack against a gathering of Saudi mercenaries in the Dhubab district of the southwestern Yemeni province of Ta’izz.

In two separate locations across Ta’izz, the army’s artillery unit also carried out attacks against pro-Hadi forces and killed an unspecified number of the mercenaries who were trying to advance in the province.

Dozens of the mercenaries also died or suffered injuries when Yemeni forces engaged them as they former were trying to advance through the country’s northwestern Hajjah Province.

Saudi attacks

Meanwhile, Saudi warplanes targeted the College of Military Engineering in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, and pounded the Bani Matar District in Sana’a Province. The aircraft also staged repeated bombings against the Sirwah District of the west-central Ma’rib Province of Yemen.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/15/493648/Yemen-Saudi-Arabia-Najran-command-center

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US censures Israel over legalizing illegal settlements

Nov 15, 2016

The United States has decried a new measure by the Israeli regime to legalize illegal settlements built on the Palestinian land.

US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau reacted Monday to approval of a draft legislation in Israel to grant legal status to the settlements, considered illegal under international law, calling the move "unprecedented and troubling"

"We hope it does not become law," Trudeau said, claiming that Washington is "deeply concerned."

She also suggested that the measure would hamper efforts for a so-called two-state solution, pursued by the administration of US President Barack Obama during the past eight years but to no avail.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/15/493625/US-Elizabeth-Trudeau-raps-Israel-over-illegal-settlements

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Top EU diplomats criticize Turkey over post-putsch crackdown

Nov 14, 2016

The UK government has rejected calls by lawmakers to temporarily stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the Kingdom’s war crimes in Yemen.

Britain has signed off £3.3 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia since March 26, 2015, when it launched a war in Yemen in order to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and restore power to Saudi-backed former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Two committees of MPs recently released a joint report, urging the government to suspend arms sales until the United Nations conducts an investigation into the Saudi atrocities, The Independent reported Monday.

The committees include the International Development and Business Committee, which both sit on a parliamentary ‘super committee’ known as the Committee on Arms Export Control (CAEC).

The Foreign Affairs Committee, a third constituent committee of CAEC, did not endorse the report, but suggested that British courts should decide the legality of the sales.

Meanwhile, a legal challenge has been launched by Campaign Against the Arms Trade, which is set to be heard in the coming months.

The UK government has rejected the calls by the two committees, saying it “is confident in its robust case-by-case assessment and is satisfied that extant licenses for Saudi Arabia are compliant with the UK’s export licensing criteria.”

“We continue to assess export license applications for Saudi Arabia on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking account of all relevant factors at the time of the application,” The Independent quoted the government as saying in an official response.

The government said that it would continue its arms sales to any country, unless its assessments show that the items are being used in violation of UN human rights laws.

“The key test for our continued arms exports is whether there is a clear risk that those exports might be used in a commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL),” it added.

The response was issued by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Defense Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and International Development Secretary Priti Patel.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/14/493616/UK-Saudi-Arabia-arms-sales-Yemen-war-crimes

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North America

 

New York Vows Islamic State Will Not Ruin Thanksgiving Parade

November 15, 2016

NEW YORK: New York City police sought to reassure residents and tourists on Monday that they would be safe attending the city's Thanksgiving Day parade despite the militant group Islamic State calling on its followers to attack the event with trucks.

The largest US city has prepared for such attacks in the past and will be prepared again, John Miller, deputy police commissioner for counter-terrorism, said at a news conference.

"Come to the Thanksgiving Day parade. Have a good time. Bring your family. I always go. I always bring mine," he said.

The holiday celebration, featuring enormous balloons shaped like cartoon characters high above Manhattan, is scheduled to be broadcast nationwide the morning of Nov. 24.

Islamic State, in the latest edition of its online magazine Rumiyah, suggested that readers use motor vehicles to kill and injure people.

The article was accompanied by photos of rented moving trucks and of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which the magazine called "an excellent target."

"What you see is the psychological warfare of printing materials that indicate, 'Be afraid, be very afraid.' We never accede to that," Miller said.

New York police speak regularly with companies that rent trucks, and they use vehicles to block certain roads at large gatherings such as the Thanksgiving Day parade, Miller said.

Security authorities have been on alert for truck attacks since Bastille Day this year, when a delivery man plowed a refrigerator truck into a crowd of revelers in Nice, France, killing 84 people and injuring hundreds more.

Islamic State, which controls swathes of Iraq and Syria and seeks to inspire attacks by others abroad, claimed responsibility for the July 14 attack.

http://nation.com.pk/international/15-Nov-2016/new-york-vows-islamic-state-will-not-ruin-thanksgiving-parade

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US protesters march against Trump presidency for fifth day

Nov 15, 2016

Demonstrators in major US cities took to the streets on Sunday for a fifth straight day to protest President-elect Donald Trump, whose campaign manager said President Barack Obama and Democrat Hillary Clinton should do more to support a peaceful transition.

Following several nights of unrest, crowds of people marched in parks in New York City, San Francisco and Oakland, California, according to social media.

A few thousand joined a march at the south end of Manhattan's Central Park, beginning at a Trump property on Columbus Circle and walking toward the real estate mogul's skyscraper headquarters less than a mile away.

They chanted: “Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcomed here,” and held signs such as “White silence = violence” and “Don't mourn, organize.” One protester said demonstrators were reclaiming what the American flag he was holding stood for.

“The flag means freedom of speech, freedom of religion, equal protection under the law and other values like diversity, respecting differences, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press,” said Daniel Hayman, 31, of Seattle, who was in New York for work.

“We're trying to reclaim the flag and push forward those values.”

Thousands in several cities have demonstrated since the results from Tuesday's election showed Trump, a Republican, lost the popular tally but secured enough votes in the 538-member Electoral College to win the presidency, surprising the world.

Largely peaceful demonstrators in urban areas have said Trump threatens their civil and human rights.

They have decried Trump's often inflammatory campaign rhetoric about illegal immigrants, Muslims and women, as well as allegations, which he denies, that the former reality TV star sexually abused women.

Dozens have been arrested, including 71 in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday night, according to police, and a handful of police injured.

'Let's make waves'

In San Francisco on Sunday, about 1,000 people marched through Golden Gate Park toward a beach where they chanted: “Let's make waves.” They held signs such as “I resist racism” and “Down with the Trumps.”

Across the bay in Oakland, thousands of protesters joined a festival-like atmosphere, holding peace signs and blowing soap bubbles in the sunshine. Many had brought their children, aiming to hold hands around the 5.5-km circumference of Lake Merritt in a popular urban park.

Civil rights groups have monitored violence against US minorities since Trump's win, citing reports of attacks on women in Islamic head scarves, of racist graffiti and of bullying of immigrant children. They have called on Trump to denounce the attacks.

Trump said he was 'so saddened' to hear of instances of violence by some of his supporters against minorities, according to a transcript released on Sunday of an interview with the CBS program '60 Minutes.'

'This man is our president'

Kellyanne Conway, Trump's campaign manager, said on Fox News on Sunday that she was sure many of the protesters were paid professionals, although she offered no proof.

Suggesting a double standard, Conway said on NBC's “Meet the Press” that if Clinton had won the election and Trump supporters had protested, “people would be freaking out that his supporters were not accepting election results”.

“It's time really for President Obama and Secretary Clinton to say to these protesters: 'This man is our president,'” she said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1296280/us-protesters-march-against-trump-presidency-for-fifth-day

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Attacks on Muslim Americans Fuel Increase in Hate Crime, F.B.I. Says

By ERIC LICHTBLAU

NOV. 14, 2016

WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. reported Monday that attacks against American Muslims surged last year, driving an overall increase in hate crime against all groups.

The data, which is the most comprehensive look at hate crime nationwide, expanded on previous findings by researchers and outside monitors, who have noted an alarming rise in some types of crimes tied to the vitriol of this year’s presidential campaign and the aftermath of terrorist attacks at home and abroad since 2015.

That trend appears to have spiked in just the last week, with civil rights groups and news organizations reporting dozens of verbal or physical assaults on minorities and others that appear to have been fueled by divisions over the election.

In its report on Monday, the F.B.I. cataloged a total of 5,818 hate crimes in 2015 — a rise of about 6 percent over the previous year — including assaults, bombings, threats, and property destruction against minorities, women, gays and others.

Attacks against Muslim Americans saw the biggest surge. There were 257 reports of assaults, attacks on mosques and other hate crimes against Muslims last year, a jump of about 67 percent over 2014. It was the highest total since 2001, when more than 480 attacks occurred in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Attacks against transgender people also sharply increased.

Blacks were the most frequent victims of hate crimes based on race, while Jews were the most frequent victims based on religion, according to the F.B.I. data. But the increases in attacks on these groups were smaller than the rise in attacks against Muslims and transgender people.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/us/politics/fbi-hate-crimes-muslims.html

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Muslims in Trump’s America: Fearful but Defiant

Murtaza Hussain

November 14 2016

OVER THE COURSE of Donald Trump’s electoral campaign, the now president-elect repeatedly promised to turn Muslim Americans’ darkest fears into reality. Trump has suggested that under his administration, Muslims may be listed and recorded in a national database, forced to carry special identification cards, and subjected to intensified surveillance in their places of worship. Trump has also suggested that many Muslims could be banned from the United States wholesale, as part of a broader crackdown on immigration.

Trump’s proposals, however vile, at one time seemed almost too outlandish to be accepted by the American electorate. But now, the inconceivable has happened. Donald Trump, the former reality-TV host and real estate mogul, has gone from dark-horse GOP primary candidate to the president-elect of the United States. With Republicans retaining control of Congress, the future President Trump has a mandate to turn many of his proposals into reality.

While many communities have good reason to fear a Trump presidency, for Muslim Americans the fears are particularly immediate. Not only is Trump openly hostile to them, roughly half of American voters have either accepted his message of hatred and xenophobia, or otherwise helped abet it. During the primaries, strong majorities in many states expressed direct support for Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from the country.

The revelation that there is such widespread, demonstrable popular support in the United States for drumming Muslims out of society has been chilling for many.

“I grew up in New England, in a community that was worldly, educated, and prosperous — but the last time I was there, I saw more Trump signs than I could believe. That wasn’t about economics. It was about tribe, race, and privilege,” says Haroon Moghul, a Muslim activist and fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. “I’m afraid for my family and for Muslim Americans generally. To use a cultural reference we can all understand: We feel like we just got voted off the island. Now all we’re doing is waiting for when, and how, they’ll show us out.”

“Will it happen gradually, or all at once? Will it be late at night when no one is watching, or in the middle of the day, to chants of ‘USA, USA’?”

Faiza Ali, a community organizer in Brooklyn, says she was “shocked and terrified” by the results of the election. Like many others, she fears that Trump’s anti-Muslim political platform will lead to the mainstreaming of Islamophobia within American society. “An unabashed bigot who has called for the banning of Muslims and the shutting down of mosques was elected president. When he was running his campaign, there was no place for Muslims in Trump’s America. What does this mean for us now?”

Since Trump’s election, a number of hate crimes targeting visibly Muslim women have been investigated across the country. Many fear that such incidents are only a harbinger of future discrimination, now legitimized by the bigotry of the president-elect himself.

“I fear for communities of color and Muslims, especially women who wear hijab,” Ali says. “Trump ran a campaign based on fear and hate, and without a doubt, fear and hate is exactly what won on Tuesday.”

While the shock of Trump’s election is still reverberating, some Muslim American activists say that Trump’s presidency may offer a small silver lining: the opportunity to forge alliances with other communities to defend civil liberties in the United States. After 15 years of being at the forefront of surveillance and harassment by the FBI, NSA, and other federal government agencies, Muslim Americans are hopeful that the widespread shock over Trump’s election will offer an opportunity to build new alliances with other civil society groups, while turning more Americans against Islamophobia.

“Americans have to understand that when Muslims were depicted as a national security threat to legislate against, with measures like the Patriot Act and NDAA being passed as a result, everyone lost their civil liberties, not just us,” says Maytha Alhassen, a PhD researcher in American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California. “By painting us as an unrelatable community, disconnected from American values, the government made it easy for Americans to vote against their own interests.”

Back in the early post-9/11 period, the Bush administration expanded government powers, including domestic surveillance and watchlisting. The Obama administration has continued and entrenched these measures, which have been accepted by many on the basis of national security. In general, the targets of the most draconian security policies have been Muslims. An NYPD surveillance program that conducted blanket surveillance on Muslim neighborhoods in New York and New Jersey and a national program that permitted the surveillance of Muslim American civil society leaders are among the many examples.

The fact that such programs were revealed largely during a relatively popular Democratic administration blunted much popular criticism. But under a GOP president as divisive, threatening, and bellicose as Trump, there may be an opportunity for a coordinated push against such policies.

Full report at:

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/14/muslims-in-trumps-america-fearful-but-defiant/

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Europe

 

BBC will increase religious coverage for Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs after it was slammed for being 'too CHRISTIAN'

14 November 2016

The BBC is to increase its coverage of religions in a bid to counter claims it is biased towards Christianity.

Earlier this year, the corporation accused itself of being too Christian in its output - and that it was considering adding programmes for Muslim, Hindu and Sikh audiences.

Aaqil Ahmed, the broadcaster's head of religion and ethics, compiled a report following consultation with non-Christians who expressed their belief that the BBC is disproportionate in its religious content.

The feeling is that while there are plenty of shows that celebrate Christianity, there are too few for other faiths.

BBC director general Lord Hall was handed the dossier and is believed to be giving thorough consideration to its suggestions.

He is now inviting religious leaders to be part of discussion to make their coverage more multi-faith.

A BBC source said: 'Faith is remarkably important. The BBC can and must do more to ensure that the important role faith plays is recognised and reflected in our programing.

'The BBC will do more to represent faiths across the broad, and has specifically rejected the notion of in any way diminishing what it does around Christianity.'

Following the publication of the report in May, Ahmed said in a statement: 'Christianity remains the cornerstone of our output and there are more hours dedicated to it than there are to other faiths.

'Our output in this area is not static, though. It has evolved over the years and we regularly assess it.'

As it stands, religious programming across the BBC includes the likes of Songs of Praise, Sunday Morning Live and The Life of Muhammad on television.

Moral Maze, Beyond Belief and Thought for the Day feature on radio.

Ibrahim Mogra of the Muslim Council of Britain welcomed the news and said the BCC could show Friday prayers from a mosque. 

The Board of Deputies of British Jews told The Times: 'We would love to see a program exploring the history of Jewish-Muslim co-operation over the centuries, such as during the Holocaust when many Jews were saved by Muslims.'

In the summer, Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, admitted he was wary about any such changes.

He said: 'There is a real feeling by Christians of being let down by the Establishment.

'Christianity is fighting for its life in western countries.'  

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3933968/BBC-increase-coverage-Muslim-Hindu-Sikh-religious-festivals.html

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Germany bans Islamic organization, police search 190 sites

By Kirsten Grieshaber

November 15, 2016

BERLIN — Hundreds of police officers searched about 190 offices, mosques and apartments of members and supporters of the Islamic group “The true religion” as the German government announced a ban of the organization Tuesday.

Police raided places in 60 cities in western Germany and also in Berlin seizing documents and files, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said. Nobody was detained.

The group — also known as “Read!” — has been distributing German-language copies of the Quran across the country. The interior minister said that more than 140 youths had traveled to Syria and Iraq to join fighters there after having participated in the group’s campaigns in Germany.

“The translations of the Quran are being distributed along with messages of hatred and unconstitutional ideologies,” de Maiziere told reporters in Berlin. “Teenagers are being radicalized with conspiracy theories.”

Young men in long robes and bushy beards handing out German copies of the Quran has been a common sight in downtown and shopping areas across Germany for several years.

The ban of the group comes a week after security authorities arrested five men who allegedly aided the Islamic State group in Germany by recruiting members and providing financial and logistical help. The recent operations suggest that the German government is trying to clamp down hard on radical Islamists.

Full report at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/german-authorities-raid-over-200-sites-of-islamic-group/2016/11/15/5802495a-ab05-11e6-8f19-21a1c65d2043_story.html

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Kerry in Oman for Yemen peace talks

November 15, 2016

MUSCAT - US Secretary of State John Kerry held talks Monday with officials in Oman on efforts to end Yemen’s 19-month conflict, state media in Muscat said.

Kerry and Oman’s Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi discussed the “peaceful and humanitarian role played by the sultanate in Yemen,” ONA state news agency reported.

Kerry is also expected to meet ruler Sultan Qaboos, in one of his last trips as secretary of state before President Barack Obama’s administration ends on January 20.

The US chief diplomat has been pushing for a settlement of Yemen’s deadly conflict, which escalated with the military intervention of a Saudi-led coalition to support the government against Iran-backed Huthi rebels in March 2015.

Oman, one of the few Arab states to have good relations with Iran, has used its links to mediate peace talks between the insurgents and Yemen’s UN-recognised government of president Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi. It is also the only Arab nation in the Gulf not part of the Saudi-led coalition, although it maintains good relations with regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia.

More than 7,000 people have been killed and nearly 37,000 wounded in Yemen since March 2015, and the UN says millions are in need of food aid.

Another 21 million people urgently need health services, according to the UN health agency.

On Monday, 12 civilians, including a child, were killed in an air raid that targeted a convoy of three lorries in the central Ibb province, while nine rebels were killed in an ambush in the same region, military and medical sources said. Five other rebels, three soldiers and one civilian were killed Sunday in renewed violence in the southwestern Taez province, military sources said. After Oman, Kerry will travel to Abu Dhabi for talks on regional conflicts, including Syria.

Meanwhile, at least 14 people were killed in central Yemen on Monday in Airstrikes on fuel trucks by the Arab coalition fighting in the country, medics and witnesses said, with the coalition saying the vehicles were carrying rebel military supplies.

The medics and witnesses said at least 11 other people were wounded in the Monday morning attack in which two tanker trucks parked on a road linking the town of Yarim in Ibb province with the provincial capital, Ibb, were hit.

A medical source at Yarim hospital said the facility received the bodies of 10 people, including one soldier. The official said 15 wounded people were also brought to the hospital, some of them in serious condition.

The official later said that three other people had died.

Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asseri, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, said the convoy was en route from Ibb province carrying ammunition and other supplies for Houthi and allied forces near Taiz city. The attack occurred at about 2 a.m. (2300 GMT Sunday), he said.

“There is a huge network of smuggling those weapons moving around. They try to camouflage ... We were tracking them and when they stopped in the area of the 55th Brigade of the Republican Guard we attacked them in the night,” he said.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/15-Nov-2016/kerry-in-oman-for-yemen-peace-talks

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Russian fighter jet crashes near Syria shores, pilot survives: Defence Ministry

Nov 14, 2016

A Russian fighter jet has crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during a training mission near the Syrian shores, Russia’s Defense Ministry says.

The Russian ministry said in an official statement that the incident occurred when the MiG-29K fighter was attempting to land on the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov off the coast of Syria on Monday.

The ministry said the fighter jet crashed due to a "technical fault" a few kilometers from the carrier during a training flight, adding that the pilot survived after ejecting safely.

“The pilot catapulted was delivered to the air carrier Admiral Kuznetsov by a rescue crew. The pilot was not hurt, and is ready for future missions,” the statement said.

The flagship aircraft carrier leads a fleet positioned in the eastern Mediterranean, which has been conducting reconnaissance missions over Syria since mid-October.

Russia has been engaged in an anti-terror campaign through conducting airstrikes against the positions of terrorists in Syria since September 30, 2015, at the request of the government in Damascus.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/14/493605/Russian-fighter-jet-crash-Mediterranean-Syria

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Trump, Putin agree in phone call to improve ‘unsatisfactory’ relations between their countries, Kremlin says

By Elise Viebeck, Jerry Markon and Karen DeYoung

 November 14

President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in a telephone conversation Monday that relations between their countries were “unsatisfactory” and vowed to work together to improve them, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The statement said the two leaders discussed combining efforts in the fight against terrorism, talked about “a settlement for the crisis in Syria” and agreed their aides would begin working toward a face-to-face meeting between them.

Trump’s office said in a statement that Putin had called to “offer his congratulations” and that the two had discussed “a range of issues including the threats and challenges facing the United States and Russia, strategic economic issues and the historical U.S.-Russia relationship that dates back over 200 years.”

Although Trump’s statement did not mention Syria or other specific issues, it said that he told Putin “that he is very much looking forward to having a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the People of Russia.”

[A less-belligerent Russia might emerge with Trump’s victory. At least for a while.]

The call came as Trump faced a growing backlash against his decision to name campaign chairman and former Breitbart News head Stephen K. Bannon as chief strategist at the White House, a choice critics say will empower white nationalists.

Since his victory last week, Trump has received congratulatory calls from a number of foreign leaders. Putin had initially sent Trump a telegraph last week expressing his desire for a dialogue based on “mutual respect and genuine consideration for each other’s positions.”

During the campaign, Trump repeatedly praised Putin as a strong leader, and said that the two countries should join together to fight terrorists, particularly the Islamic State in Syria. He indicated that closer relations with Russia would keep the Kremlin from establishing tighter ties with China.

Trump appeared to absolve Russia from responsibility for intervention in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, and questioned the relevance of NATO, which has charged Moscow with engaging in provocative air and sea actions on the alliance’s eastern flank.

Giving Putin a free pass on those issues is directly counter to the Russia policy of the Obama administration, which has, among other things, called for an international war crimes investigation of Russia’s actions in Syria. It could also undermine current European negotiations with Moscow over Ukraine, and support for U.S. and European Union sanctions.

Russia is interested not only in getting the sanctions removed, but also in getting global recognition of equal status as a player in the Middle East and elsewhere.

[Obama says new president-elect is committed to NATO]

Equally controversial was Trump’s selection on Sunday of Bannon. A chorus of advocacy groups, commentators and congressional Democrats has denounced Bannon as a proponent of racist, anti-Semitic and misogynistic views as Trump has begun his first full week as president-elect. Trump named Bannon his chief strategist and senior counselor while also appointing Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to be his chief of staff.

“President-elect Trump’s choice of Steve Bannon as his top aide signals that white supremacists will be represented at the highest levels in Trump’s White House,” Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), said in a statement Sunday night. “It is easy to see why the KKK views Trump as their champion when Trump appoints one of the foremost peddlers of White Supremacist themes and rhetoric as his top aide. Bannon was ‘the main driver behind Breitbart becoming a white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill,’ according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

[Donald Trump plans to immediately deport 2 million to 3 million undocumented immigrants]

The statement echoed sentiments from leaders of the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, other Capitol Hill Democrats and some Republican Trump critics such as Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, who tweeted, “Is there precedent for such a disreputable & unstable extremist in [White House] senior ranks before Bannon?”

A spokesman for Trump accused critics and the media of trying to “divide people” following the election when they raise questions about Bannon’s views and history.

Jason Miller, communications director for the Trump presidential transition, said Monday morning that Bannon has done a “fantastic job” since joining Trump’s inner circle.

“If you’ve seen the president-elect since the election, he’s taken a very measured tone,” Miller said in an interview with CNN’s “New Day.”

Kellyanne Conway, who worked closely with Bannon as Trump’s campaign manager, also defended him.

Full report at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/11/14/trump-faces-backlash-over-appointing-bannon-as-a-top-aide-a-choice-critics-say-will-empower-white-nationalists/

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