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Islamic World News ( 27 March 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Ban on Muslim Vendors: Government Should Break Its Silence and Take Action against Temple Authorities, Otherwise People Will Act, Said BJP MLC

New Age Islam News Bureau

28 March 2022

 

BJP MLC H. Vishwanath

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• Islamic State of Afghanistan Decides To Ban International Media, BBC Asks To Reverse Its Decision

• Islamic State Affiliate Wilayat Sinai Steps up Attacks under New Leader Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi

• Arab World Understands Israel ‘On Side of Peace’: Israeli Prime Minister

• Anti-Islam Rhetoric in French Election Risks ‘Spiral of Hatred’, Says Paris Mosque Rector

 

India

• Pro-People Organisations Come Together To Oppose Ban on Muslim Traders during Festivals

• Hijab Won’t Be Allowed During Class X Boards: Karnataka Minister

• CUET Won’t Take Away Your Admission Powers: Education Ministry To AMU

• J&K Cleric Calls for Ban on the Kashmir Files, Says Muslims’ Blood Ignored For 32 Years

• Terror-funding case: NIA raids house of jailed activist in J&K

• Muslim Man Murdered For Celebrating BJP's Win in UP, CM Yogi Orders Probe

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South Asia

• Mullah Hebtullah Akhundzada, Taliban’s Supreme Leader Orders Ban on Recruiting Teenagers in Military Bases of the IEA

• With Eye to China Investment, Taliban Now Preserve Buddhas

• Impoverished Afghan families; private schools, universities lose students

• Qatar, Indonesia sign letter for providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan

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Arab World

• Iraq building Syria wall to keep out ISIS fighters

• Iraq parliament fails to elect new state president over lack of quorum

• Egypt’s FM to join summit of Arab, US diplomats in Israel

• Lebanese Christian politician says judicial decisions against party unlawful

• Arab Coalition launches airstrikes targeting Houthi strongholds in Yemen’s Hodeidah

• Yemen’s Houthis suspend strikes on Saudi Arabia for three days: Political office head

• Iraqi PM urges political parties to bridge differences to form gov’t

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Mideast

• Nuclear deal may bolster Iranian plots, Israel warns

• US to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons: Blinken

• West must not ignore Iran’s ballistic missiles: Ex-Israeli UN envoy

• Dozens of fanatic Jewish settlers defile Aqsa Mosque

• South Africa, Namibia at UNHRC call for an end to Israeli apartheid

• Two Israeli police killed in attack claimed by Islamic State group

• Iran Increases Oil Production Level to Pre-Sanctions Era

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Europe

• Turkey could be among countries to offer Ukraine security guarantees: Kyiv

• Turkey military finds mine close to border with Bulgaria

• Azerbaijan denies troops pullout from peacekeepers’ zone in Nagorno-Karabakh

• Next round of Ukraine-Russia talks to take place in Turkey, Ukrainian negotiator says

• France holds talks with Saudi Arabia, UAE on diversifying Europe’s energy supplies

• UN condemns attacks on civilian facilities in Saudi Arabia, Yemen

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North America

• US City Of Minneapolis Allows Muslim Call to Prayer from Mosque Speakers

• US envoy for Iran Malley says not confident that a nuclear deal with Iran is imminent

• Daughter of David Haines to confront his alleged Islamic State kidnapper in US trial

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Pakistan

• Three 'Rats' Looting Pakistan for Last 30 Years: Imran Khan Targets Opposition at Islamabad Power Show

• Fazl refutes PM's claim of foreign plot against govt, says PTI chief showed 'fake letter'

• After PM Imran, no-trust motion submitted against Punjab CM Buzdar

• Separated by Partition, brothers reconnect at Faisalabad village

• Siraj, other JI leaders issued notices for violating poll code of conduct

• Pakistan: PML-Q seeks time to decide on no-confidence motion against Imran Khan govt

• Pakistan: JUI-F’s ‘Mehangai’ march enters Punjab province

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Southeast Asia

• Minister of Islamic Affairs Meets With Saudi Universities Graduates In Indonesia

• Sarawak Islamic Council announces mask exemptions for mosque, surau officials on duty

• Unifor removes congregation cap on non-Muslim houses of worship, funerals in Sarawak

• Haj industry players hope quota set for Malaysian pilgrims will be increased

• Melting faster than ever, Indonesia’s little-known glacier may disappear by 2025

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Africa

• Tunisia Says It Has Dismantled 150 Militant Cells In Past Six Months

• Jordan’s king to hold talks in West Bank with Palestinian president

• Two migrants drown off Morocco coast, more than 200 arrested

• Libya's Bashagha says he has ‘good relations’ with Turkiye

• West African bloc issues ultimatums to Mali, Burkina Faso junta leaders

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:   https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/ban-muslim-vendors-temple-mlc/d/126671

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Ban on Muslim Vendors: Government Should Break Its Silence and Take Action against Temple Authorities, Otherwise People Will Act, Said BJP MLC

 

BJP MLC H. Vishwanath

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28th March 2022

BELAGAVI:  Banning Muslims from conducting business on temple premises is illogical. The government should break its silence and take action against temple authorities, otherwise people will act, said BJP MLC H Vishwanath.

After meeting former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi at Gokak on Sunday, he said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the message of ‘Sab Ka Vikas and Vishwas’. But our state is moving in the wrong direction. How are those Muslims, who sell flowers, fruits, and puja material near temples, going to earn their livelihood? It amounts to untouchability.

The government should think beyond party, caste and religion.”  On a ministerial berth being denied to Ramesh Jarkiholi, he said, “Some unknown hands are working behind the scenes, trying to end my and Jarkiholi’s careers. We are the reason for the present BJP government to come to power. We will not tolerate it if the party tries to suppress us. An atmosphere is being created against backward leaders including Siddaramaiah, Jarkiholi and me.”

Source: New Indian Express

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

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/2022/mar/28/ban-on-muslim-vendors-is-untouchability-vishwanath-2434914.html

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Islamic State of Afghanistan Decides To Ban International Media, BBC Asks To Reverse Its Decision

 

Taliban bans international news broadcasts in Afghanistan

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March 28, 2022

The Taliban-led government in Afghanistan has decided to ban the broadcasts of international media outlets being telecasted via local media.

The BBC became the first to stop broadcasts on Sunday night, reports Khaama Press.

In a statement, the BBC has asked the Taliban to reverse its decision, saying it would affect more than six million viewers of Persian, Pashto and Uzbek language service programmes.

The BBC Persian TV channel can still be accessed, but only by the 20 per cent of Afghans who have satellite TV.

"The BBC's TV news bulletins in Pashto, Persian, and Uzbek have been taken off air in Afghanistan after the Taliban ordered our TV partners to remove international broadcasters from their airwaves," Khaama Press quoted the statement as saying.

Besides the BBC, the Taliban has also banned Voice of America, German Deutsche Welle and China Global Television Network from further broadcasts.

Since the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan in August last year, 40 per cent of media outlets in the country, while an estimated 6,400 journalists are currently unemployed, according to the Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

More than 80 per cent of Afghan female journalists have also lost their jobs since the fall of Kabul.

Afghanistan ranked 122 in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index.

In a report published in February, the RSF said that at least 50 journalists and media workers have been detained briefly or arrested by the police or the Taliban's intelligence agency called "Istikhbarat".

Under a decree issued in November 2021 by the Ministry for Promoting Virtue and Suppressing Vice, journalists were forbidden from interviewing commentators who might criticise the Taliban regime, or invite them to take part in TV studio discussions.

Women journalists were told that they must wear full hijab, according to the RSF.

Source: Business Standard

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

https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/taliban-decides-to-ban-international-media-from-airing-in-afghanistan-122032800255_1.html

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Islamic State Affiliate Wilayat Sinai Steps up Attacks under New Leader Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi

 

Egyptians carry the coffin of a soldier who was killed a day earlier in the restive Sinai Peninsula in an attack claimed by the Islamic State, during a funeral ceremony in the 10th of Ramadan city, north of Cairo, Egypt, July 8, 2017. - Mahmoud Bakkar/AFP via Getty Images

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March 27, 2022

Egypt’s security authorities are closely following up on the situation in the Sinai Peninsula following the appointment of Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as the Islamic State’s (IS) new commander after IS-affiliate Wilayat Sinai pledged allegiance to the new leader.

On March 17, IS published on its media mouthpiece Amaq photos of Wilayat Sinai militants pledging allegiance to Qurashi.

Wilayat Sinai was previously known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, before pledging allegiance to IS in November 2014, when the organization was led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at the time.

On March 11, Reuters revealed that the new IS leader is the brother of Baghdadi, who was killed in a US raid in northern Syria in 2019.

On March 10, IS confirmed the death of its leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, who is believed to have blown himself up Feb. 3 during a US raid in the border town of Atmeh in northwest Syria.

Meanwhile, Egyptian media has been busy shedding light on IS’ new leader. Al-Bawaba news reported March 10 that the new IS leader is Iraqi and was one of the leading commanders who were close to the IS founder, Baghdadi.

In its March 11 report, Reuters quoted an Iraqi security official as saying that the new leader “is a radical who joined Salafi jihadi groups in 2003 and was known to always accompany Baghdadi as a personal companion and Islamic legal adviser.”

The source noted that Qurashi (the new leader) “has long been head of IS' Shura Council, a leadership group that guides strategy and decides succession when a caliph is killed or captured.”

It seems the appointment of the new IS leader encouraged Wilayat Sinai to step up its attacks in northern Sinai, as Mada Masr confirmed in a report posted on its Facebook page March 22. Quoting a local source, the media outlet said, “Three days after Wilayat Sinai announced its allegiance to the new IS leader, an armed civilian belonging to the Sinai tribes collaborating with the Egyptian army was killed and another one was wounded in a blast south of Sheikh Zuweid.”

The tribes in Sinai have been recently fighting against Wilayat Sinai under the umbrella of the so-called Sinai Tribes Union, at a time the Egyptian army has refrained from publishing any information on its confrontations with the radical organization.

In a report published Dec. 23, 2021, Mada Masr said, “The Sinai Tribes Union, led by the Tarabin tribe, the largest in Sinai, with the support of the armed forces and security services, is engaged in extensive campaigns in the areas where Wilayat Sinai is heavily present.”

It continued, “The armed forces’ military spokesman did not mention [recently] any military operations involving the Sinai Tribes Union, be they official or supported, in northern Sinai.”

According to the union’s Facebook page, the organization consists of a unified tribal front that includes the vast majority of the Sinai tribes with the aim of confronting extremist organizations and providing logistical support to the Egyptian armed forces in Sinai.

On March 22, the Sinai Tribes Union announced the killing of two tribal members during direct clashes with militants in the east of Rafah in northern Sinai, which also led to the killing of three radical elements.

Al-Araby al-Jadeed reported March 14, “Wilayat Sinai launched successive attacks on different parts of northern Sinai in the past 72 hours, which killed and wounded 10 [Egyptian] soldiers and seven members of the tribal groups supporting the army.”

Maher Faraghli, freelance researcher in jihadi movements’ affairs, told Al-Monitor, “The new IS leader is a symbol for Wilayat Sinai members because he is the brother of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”

He said, “The new leader is a leading figure in the organization, and was influential when his brother was its leader.”

Faraghli noted, “The new IS leader and the group’s members are keen to keep up their jihadi operations in Egypt, given Cairo's importance in the region. Therefore, Qurashi may be interested in keeping jihadi operations going in Egypt, but he will face an obstacle, which is the tight Egyptian army’s security and control.”

He said, “In the next stage following Wilayat Sinai’s allegiance to the new IS leader, the organization may entrench its presence in Sinai, by carrying out more armed operations. Wilayat Sinai relies on sporadic and limited operations in light of the tight security and military control. There is no doubt that these operations will not stop, but they are no longer as influential and painful as they were in the past years.”

He explained, “The Sinai Tribes Union’s participation in the fight against Wilayat Sinai has weakened the radical groups, which exploit the mountainous desert nature in Sinai and direct their strikes against the Egyptian army forces. The tribesmen are very familiar with the Sinai environment and are thus able to repel the attacks of the organization.”

Faraghli added, “The Egyptian [army] succeeded in besieging IS in recent years, and Western countries have welcomed the Egyptian army’s success in confronting the attacks of the radical organization and limiting its organizational capabilities.”

In a February report, the UN Security Council praised Egypt’s role in confronting terrorist organizations, and confirmed that “terrorist activity declined drastically in Egypt, especially those led by IS-affiliated Wilayat Sinai in 2019.”

Source: Al Monitor

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

https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2022/03/islamic-state-affiliate-sinai-steps-attacks-under-new-leader

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Arab World Understands Israel ‘On Side of Peace’: Israeli Prime Minister

 

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (R) receives US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) within the Negev Summit in Tel Aviv, Israel on March 27, 2022. (Photo Credit: GPO)

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Zain Khalil 

27.03.2022

JERUSALEM

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday said that the Arab world understands how Israel is “on the side of peace” and cooperation in the region.

Bennett made his remarks at the opening session of his weekly cabinet meeting ahead of an upcoming summit in Israel with the participation of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Morocco and the US.

"This is a very festive day. We are hosting the Negev Summit here in Israel," Bennett said.

"The Arab world understands more and more that Israel has always been on the side of peace and cooperation," the Israeli premier said. "I would like to welcome all those who are coming here. Welcome to Israel! We are very pleased and moved to welcome you here; our door is always open.”

The Negev summit is expected to take place over two days on Sunday and Monday, which will address the Iranian threat, according to Israeli media.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/arab-world-understands-israel-on-side-of-peace-bennett/2547250

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Anti-Islam Rhetoric in French Election Risks ‘Spiral of Hatred’, Says Paris Mosque Rector

 

A supporter of the far-right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour holds a poster reading ‘So that France remains France’ at a campaign rally in Paris on Sunday. Photograph: Michel Euler/AP

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27 Mar 2022

A rise in anti-Islam rhetoric in the French presidential election campaign risks creating a “spiral of hatred”, scapegoating law-abiding Muslims in a similar way to the discourse against Jews in the 1930s, the rector of the Paris mosque has said.

“I’m extremely worried,” said Chems-eddine Hafiz, the rector of Paris’s historic Grande Mosquée. “We’re in a society that is fractured and searching for itself, a society that is weakened and fearful after the pandemic. The fact of looking for a scapegoat – there have been precedents to that: in 1930 when the finger began to be pointed at Jews who became ‘the problem of a whole society’ … Today it’s no longer Jews, it’s Muslims … I thought in the 21st century we’d be safe from that type of discourse.”

Hafiz published a book this month, With All Due Respect, We’re Children of the Republic, to counter what he called heightened anti-Muslim rhetoric sweeping across the French right during the election campaign.

With the centrist Emmanuel Macron leading the polls and favourite to win re-election next month, some rival candidates have focused on Islam and immigration.

The far-right outsider candidate Eric Zemmour, a former TV pundit who has convictions for inciting racial hatred, refers regularly to the discredited conspiracy theory of the “great replacement”, in which he claims local French populations could be replaced by newcomers, making France a majority Muslim country on the verge of civil war.

In a TV interview after declaring his candidacy, Zemmour called on Muslims in France to renounce the practice of their religion. In a TV debate last month, he told a voter he was standing to “save France from Islam” and from French people’s “replacement”.

The far-right Marine Le Pen, who intends to hold a referendum on immigration and ban the Muslim headscarf from all public places, is shown by polls as the most likely candidate to face Macron in the final vote on 24 April.

Valérie Pécresse, who is running for Nicolas Sarkozy’s traditional right party, Les Républicains, has been criticised for referring to the great replacement theory at a Paris rally. She has vowed to limit the wearing of the Muslim headscarf in some public spaces, including by athletes in sporting events.

All candidates on the right have referenced a mood of fear in France after the Islamist terrorist attacks in Paris 2015 and the horror of the decapitation of a French secondary schoolteacher, Samuel Paty, in 2020.

Hafiz said he was the first to condemn Islamist terrorism and his mosque was at the heart of work to combat radicalisation in France. But he feared that the majority of law-abiding Muslim French citizens were being conflated with terrorist attacks, despite often being the victims of terrorism themselves.

“For several years now, at every election in France, certain candidates have spoken of the ‘problem’ of Islam, linking Islam to immigration or to terrorism,” he told the Guardian.

“French Muslims have faced stigmatisation or insults or the view that Islam is incompatible with the rules of the French Republic, or with the west. But in this election, it’s much more serious because there is a candidate who completely lets loose and talks of the ‘great replacement’ and who affirms with vehemence that Islam and Muslims can’t stay in France, that their place is elsewhere, and if they want to stay in this country they must no longer practise their religion.”

Hafiz said other candidates on the right appeared to compete with Zemmour on Islam, such as during Les Républicains’ internal primary race to choose a candidate. He said that despite the main concerns of French voters being issues such as making ends meet, it had become “almost fashionable” for candidates “to criticise Islam and Muslims, to see them as non-desirables who are dangerous or who bring insecurity.”

He said: “We’re in 2022, we’re in the fourth, even fifth, generation of Muslims in France and they are still considered foreigners.”

There are estimated to be between 800,000 and 1 million people who attend mosques or Muslim prayer rooms in France.

Hafiz said he feared there could be an increase in anti-Muslim acts after the election.

He said other elements of Zemmour’s discourse were worrying, including his claim that the Nazi collaborator Marshal Philippe Pétain saved French Jews rather than aiding their deportation to death camps.

Zemmour, the Paris-born son of Jewish Berbers who emigrated from Algeria in the 1950s, last week responded to Hafiz’s call for Muslims to turn out to vote in the April elections in order to counter hatred. Zemmour tweeted: “The rector of Paris’s Grande Mosquée has appealed to vote against me. Do you intend to obey him?”

Anne Hidalgo, the Socialist party candidate, who is languishing in the polls, visited the Paris mosque recently where she warned against presidential candidates “scapegoating” Muslims. She said she was extremely worried about “hateful” political discourse that damaged “fraternity” in France.

Source: The Guardian

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

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/27/anti-islam-rhetoric-in-french-election-risks-spiral-of-hatred-says-paris-mosque-rector

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India

 

Pro-people organisations come together to oppose ban on Muslim traders during festivals

MARCH 27, 2022

The meeting resolved to appeal to Hassan DC not to pay heed to demands of VHP leaders

Leaders of various progressive organisations in Hassan have joined hands to oppose alleged efforts of the pro-Hindutva forces to spread hatred by demanding a ban on Muslim traders during festivals.

Representatives of the organisations, who met in Hassan on Saturday, have resolved to form a forum for harmony and oppose all attempts to divide society. A few leaders of Vishwa Hindu Parishat and Bajrang Dal recently approached the Belur taluk administration seeking a ban on Muslim traders during the Channakeshava Rathotsava to be held in April. This was in the backdrop of several similar incidents in other parts of the State.

The participants in the meeting have decided to meet Deputy Commissioner in Hassan on Monday and appeal to him not to pay heed to the demands of the Hindutva groups. Besides that, the representatives would go to Belur and stand by the people targeted by the anti-constitutional forces.

The meeting also discussed the ways to reach out to youth and students and make them understand the basic principles of the Indian constitution and the necessity of harmony among the communities. Only pro-people politics could counter the communal politics, the participants concluded.

Source: The Hindu

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

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/pro-people-organisations-come-together-to-oppose-ban-on-muslim-traders-during-festivals/article65264645.ece

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Hijab won’t be allowed during Class X boards: Karnataka minister

Mar 28, 2022

BAGALKOTE: Karnataka primary and secondary education minister B C Nagesh on Sunday said that wearing the hijab (head scarf) will not be allowed during the Class X state board examination. It starts from Monday and ends on April 11.

More than 8. 76 lakh students are appearing for the exam in over 40,000 halls in 3,440 centres across the state.

“After the high court order, we’ve not allowing the (hijab). We’ve given clarification that they (students with hijab) can come to the campus wearing

the same but will not be allowed to wear it in the classroom. The same condition will apply during the exams,” Nagesh said.

He said there would not be re-examination for those who skip the exam.

Replying to a query, he said the Supreme Court lawyers have already argued for the hijab before the full bench of the high court, after which the verdict was delivered.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mangaluru/hijab-wont-be-allowed-during-class-x-boards-karnataka-minister/articleshow/90485131.cms

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CUET won’t take away your admission powers: Education ministry to AMU

By Fareeha Iftikhar

Mar 28, 2022

NEW DELHI: The Union ministry of education has conveyed to the Aligarh Muslim Univesity (AMU) that the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) will not take away its “power to admit students of its choice” as per the existing university norms, officials said on Sunday.

The University had last month written to the education ministry expressing concerns over CUET as the case on its minority status is subjudice. Under Article 30 of the constitution, all minorities, whether based on religion or language, have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. In continuation of that, AMU reserves 50% seats for students of university recognised schools in various undergraduate courses.

However, the University Grants Commission (UGC) on March 21 announced that the CUET will be mandatory for all central universities for undergraduate admissions. The computer based test will be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) in the first week of July in 13 languages.

According to officials at the University, the ministry of education on March 15 wrote a letter to the vice chancellor Tariq Mansoor stating that the subjudice matter “does not bar AMU from participating in any test for selection of candidates.”

“It is mentioned that the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) is in no way going to take away the inherent power of AMU to admit students of its choice, and as per existing eligibility condition/quota rules of the university. The interim order mentioned in your letter also does not bar AMU from participating in any test for selection of candidates as the order is mainly applicable for admission in the context of reservation quota which is not to be affected as the university will follow its own rules, regulations, eligibility condition and quota,” the ministry said in the letter, a copy of which is seen by HT.

The ministry said that those students of university-recognised “Madaris/institutions” who are eligible to take admission in UG course AMU will continue to be eligible.

“CUET will be used only for making merit lists of applicants by the University itself. The CUET is to focus mainly on the undergraduate admissions like B.A, B.Sc, B.Com; the university will continue with its existing practices in other technical admissions (engineering/management, etc.), as well as postgraduate admissions,” the letter added.

The ministry said that the NTA will retain only 10% of the income from application fee over expenditure for maintaining administrative cost and the rest will be shared with the universities. “It will be further ensured that the loss of internal revenue, if any, to the universities due to CUET will be adequately accounted for in future allocation of funds under OH 31,” the letter added.

A senior official at the University, who wished not to be named, said, “The ministry’s letter will be placed before the executive council of the university for further discussion.In all likelihood, AMU will participate in CUET since it is now mandatory for all central universities.”

Source: Hindustan Times

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

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/cuet-won-t-take-away-your-admission-powers-education-ministry-to-amu-101648439395265.html

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J&K cleric calls for ban on The Kashmir Files, says Muslims’ blood ignored for 32 years

Sunil Bhat

March 27, 2022

The row over Vivek Agnihotri’s directorial ‘The Kashmir Files’ continues even after weeks of its release. The movie, which is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 1990s, has kicked a storm in the country. Now, a cleric in Jammu and Kashmir has called for a ban on the film, slamming it for allegedly ignoring the Muslim community’s pain and bloodshed.

Addressing a gathering inside Jamia Masjid in J&K’s Rajouri district, Maulvi Farooq claimed that the pain and suffering of Kashmiri Muslims has been ignored. He further alleged that the movie is divisive and accused it of “demonizing” Muslims.

“We condemn the makers of the movie. Can't they see the pain of Muslims? Why are they just focusing on Pandits?” Maulvi Farooq said.

In his provocative speech, Maulvi Farooq claimed, “We (Muslims) have ruled this country for 800 years. However, the Hindus came to power just 70 years ago. You can't eliminate us or our identity.”

The cleric further alleged that thousands of Kashmiri Muslims have been killed but their pain was ignored. He said, “After 32 years, they saw the blood of Kashmiri Pandits, but in 32 years, how many Muslims were killed, women were widowed, houses were destroyedthey did not see the blood of Muslims.”

He condemned the movie and accused it of being a “conspiracy against Muslims”.

Source: India Today

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

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/j-k-cleric-calls-for-ban-the-kashmir-files-says-muslims-blood-ignored-for-32-years-1930107-2022-03-27

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Terror-funding case: NIA raids house of jailed activist in J&K

Mar 28, 2022

SRINAGAR: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday raided the residence of jailed human rights activist Khurram Parvez in Srinagar’s Sonwar Bagh area in connection with a terror funding case and seized documents related to financial transactions.

The agency, in a statement, said the raids were conducted by a joint team of NIA officers, J&K Police and paramilitary personnel. “The case pertains to collection and transfer of funds by certain NGOs, trusts, societies and organisations on behalf of terrorist outfits to sustain secessionist and terror activities in Kashmir Valley,” said an NIA spokesperson.

A special NIA court in Delhi had earlier sent Parvez to judicial custody in the case. Parvez’s wife worked in the social welfare department under the women empowerment mission of the erstwhile J&K government during Omar Abdullah’s tenure in 2013. She has been drawing a consolidated pay of Rs 40,000 per month. Her brother, a doctor, is the chief medical officer in Srinagar.

Meanwhile, the NIA on Sunday filed a chargesheet against Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Imdadullah alias Ali Babar alias Dujana who was arrested by the Army during a foiled infiltration bid along the LoC in Baramulla district’s Uri sector last year while his aidee was killed. A huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosives was seized from the spot, said an NIA spokesperson.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/terror-funding-case-nia-raids-house-of-jailed-activist-in-jk/articleshow/90481038.cms

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Muslim Man Murdered For Celebrating BJP's Win In UP, CM Yogi Orders Probe

Samarth Srivastava

March 28, 2022

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered an inquiry into the murder of a Muslim man in Kushinagar, for purportedly promoting the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Babar Ali, a 25-year-old Muslim man, died on Sunday after being beaten up allegedly by his neighbours in Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar district for participating in the BJP's election campaign and celebrating its victory in the recently-held state polls, police said.

Source: India Today

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

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/uttar-pradesh/story/muslim-man-murdered-for-celebrating-bjp-win-in-up-cm-yogi-orders-probe-1930268-2022-03-28

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South Asia

 

Mullah Hebtullah Akhundzada, Taliban’s Supreme Leader Orders Ban on Recruiting Teenagers in Military Bases of the IEA

28 Mar 2022

Supreme leader of the Taliban Mullah Hebtullah Akhundzada has ordered military officials of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan not to recruit teenager members to their ranking.

The supreme leader in a decree said no teenager must be allowed in military bases of the IEA and should not be given a part in any military operation.

“Teenagers are unable to conduct military operations and the existence of underage members in the military ranking will lead to intrigue and notoriety.” Reads part of the decree.

In the decree, military officials are strictly asked to implement the order and the military commission has been given the task to disarm those who fail to implement.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/talibans-supreme-leader-orders-ban-on-recruiting-teenagers-6758656/

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With eye to China investment, Taliban now preserve Buddhas

March 27, 2022

The ancient Buddha statues sit in serene meditation in the caves carved into the russet cliffs of rural Afghanistan. Hundreds of meters below lies what is believed to be the world’s largest deposit of copper.

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers are pinning their hopes on Beijing to turn that rich vein into revenue to salvage the cash-starved country amid crippling international sanctions.

The fighters standing guard by the rocky hillside may once have considered destroying the terracotta buddhas. Two decades ago when the Islamic hard-line Taliban were first in power, they sparked world outrage by blowing up gigantic buddha statues in another part of the country, calling them pagan symbols that must be purged.

But now they are intent on preserving the relics of the Mes Aynak copper mine. Doing so is key to unlocking billions in Chinese investment, said Hakumullah Mubariz, the Taliban head of security at the site, peering into the remnants of a monastery built by first-century Buddhist monks.

“Protecting them is very important to us and the Chinese,” he said.

Previously, Mubariz commanded a Taliban combat unit in the surrounding mountains battling with U.S.-backed Afghan forces. When those troops capitulated last year, his men rushed to secure the site. “We knew it would be important for the country,” he said.

The Taliban’s spectacular reversal illustrates the powerful allure of Afghanistan’s untapped mining sector. Successive authorities have seen the country’s mineral riches, estimated to be worth $1 trillion, as the key to a prosperous future, but none have been able to develop them amid the continual war and violence. Now, multiple countries, including Iran, Russia and Turkey are looking to invest, filling the vacuum left in the wake of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal.

But Beijing is the most assertive. At Mes Aynak, it could become the first major power to take on a large-scale project in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, potentially redrawing Asia’s geopolitical map.

Top priority

In 2008, the administration of Hamid Karzai signed a 30-year contract with a Chinese joint venture called MCC to extract high-grade copper from Mes Aynak. Studies show the site holds up to 12 million tons of the mineral.

But the project got tied up in logistical and contract problems, and it never got past some initial test shafts before it ground to a halt when Chinese staff left in 2014 because of continued violence.

Mere months after the Taliban seized Kabul in August, consolidating power over the country, the group’s newly installed acting Minister for Mining and Petroleum Shahbuddin Dilawar urged his staff to re-engage Chinese state-run companies.

Ziad Rashidi, the ministry’s director of foreign relations, approached the consortium made up by MCC, China Metallurgical Group Corporation and Jiangxi Copper Ltd. Dilawar has had two virtual meetings with MCC in the last six months, according to company and ministry officials. He urged them to return to the mine, terms unchanged from the 2008 contract.

A technical committee from MCC is due in Kabul in the coming weeks to address the remaining obstacles. Relocating the artifacts is key. But MCC is also seeking to renegotiate terms, particularly to reduce taxes and slash the 19.5% royalty rate by nearly half, the percentage owed to the government per ton of copper sold.

“Chinese companies see the current situation as ideal for them. There is a lack of international competitors and a lot of support from the government side,” Rashidi said.

China’s ambassador to Afghanistan has said talks are ongoing, but nothing more.

Acquiring rare minerals is key for Beijing to maintain its standing as a global manufacturing powerhouse. While stopping short of recognizing the Taliban government, China has stood out from the international community by calling for the unfreezing of Afghan assets and has kept its diplomatic mission running in Kabul.

For Afghanistan, the contract at Mes Aynak could bring in $250-300 million per year to state revenues, a 17% increase, as well as $800 million in fees over the contract’s length, according to government and company officials. That’s a significant sum as the country grapples with widespread poverty, exacerbated by financial shortfalls after the Biden administration froze Afghan assets and international organizations halted donor funds. Some has since resumed.

Graveyard of empires

At Mes Aynak, a 2,000-year-old Buddhist city sits uncomfortably alongside a potential economic engine. Afghanistan’s tumultuous modern history has gotten in the way of both exploring the archaeology and developing the mines.

Discovered in the 1960s by French geologists, the site was believed to have been an important stop along the Silk Road from the early centuries AD.

After the Soviet invasion in the late 1970s, Russians dug tunnels to investigate the copper deposit; the cavernous bore holes are still visible. These were later used as an al-Qaida hideout, and at least one was bombed by the U.S. in 2001.

Looters then pillaged many antiquities from the site. Still, archaeologists who came in 2004 managed a partial excavation, uncovering remnants of a vast complex, including four monasteries, ancient copper workshops and a citadel. It became clear the area had been a major Buddhist settlement, a crossroads for traders coming from the west, and pilgrims from afar, even China.

To the shock of the non-Taliban technocrats in his own ministry, Dilawar is committed to saving the site and told MCC’s director in Beijing it was an important part of Afghanistan’s history, according to two officials present in one virtual meeting.

He dismissed open-pit mining schemes that would raze the site entirely. The alternative option of underground mining was judged too pricey by MCC. The Culture Ministry has been tasked with presenting a plan to relocate the relics, most likely to the Kabul Museum.

“We have already transferred some (artifacts) to the capital, and we are working to transfer the rest, so the mining work can begin,” Dilawar told The Associated Press.

While the ministry is optimistic a deal can be reached, MCC officials are cautious and pragmatic.

They did not speak to the AP on record, citing sensitivities around the talks happening while international sanctions still prohibit dealings with the Taliban.

They expressed concerns over the feasibility of other contractual obligations, including building a railway to the Pakistan border at Torkham, a coal-fired power plant, and community amenities such as a hospital and schools.

Another issue is how to compensate residents of three villages near Mes Aynak cleared out a decade ago.

Mullah Mera Jan, a 70-year-old local elder, said he is still waiting for funds promised to him by ministry officials after being forced out of his village of Wali Baba.

Still, he too hopes mining will start soon. Villagers were promised 3,000-4,000 direct and 35,000 indirect jobs. The men from his village are on top of the hiring list.

In the ministry’s labyrinthine halls, hopeful investors stand in line, documents ready to stake their claim of Afghanistan’s untapped mineral riches, including large iron deposits, precious stones and — potentially — lithium.

Knocking on Rashidi’s office door these days are Russians, Iranians, Turks and of course, the Chinese.

All are “in a great hurry to invest,” he said. Chinese interest is “extraordinary,” he said. Rashidi has also reached out to China’s CNPCI to revamp an oil contract to explore blocks in Amu Darya near the Turkmenistan border, terminated in 2018.

Dozens of small-scale contracts have been handed out local investors, many of whom have joint ventures with international companies, mainly Chinese and Iranian.

Source: Indian Express

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https://indianexpress.com/article/world/with-eye-to-china-investment-taliban-now-preserve-buddhas-7838600/

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Impoverished Afghan families; private schools, universities lose students

27 Mar 2022

Owners of private schools and universities in the Afghan capital Kabul complain that they have lost 60% of their students as the new educational year has just begun across Afghanistan.

The owners say that the ongoing humanitarian crisis and economic situation in the country have adversely affected the livelihood, thus most of the families have changed their children to study in public schools.

Further, they added they have announced satisfying discount though, less number of students have turned up this year.

Meanwhile, owners of private universities in Afghanistan also complain about the number of students adding most of the students have quit studying.

When it comes to universities, the case is not the same in schools meaning there is no law based on which a student from a private university can be shifted to a public one that is free.

The situation will lead to less number of qualified people will badly affect the future of the country.

Source: Khaama Press

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https://www.khaama.com/impoverished-afghan-families-private-schools-universities-lose-students-7587567/

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Qatar, Indonesia sign letter for providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan

28 March, 2022

Doha [Qatar], March 28 (ANI): Qatar has signed a letter of content with Indonesia based on which both the countries will cooperate in providing humanitarian and development assistance to the people of Afghanistan, local media reported.

The agreement was signed at the sideline of the Doha Forum between Qatar’s Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Shiekh Muhammad Bin Abdurahmand Al-Thani and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Khaama Press reported.

Both sides announced their intentions to offer humanitarian aid and credit to the people of Afghanistan.

The letter aims to establish a cooperative mechanism to support the capabilities of the Afghan people and empower Afghan women, Khaama Press reported citing Qatari news agency.

Both sides also agreed to provide scholarships for Afghan people and give them professional training.

The situation of human rights in Afghanistan has worsened since the collapse of the Afghan government and the Taliban’s return to power in August last year.

Although the fighting in the country has ended, serious human rights violations continue unabated.

The Taliban have committed and continue to commit human rights violations including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture, arbitrary detentions, a massive rollback of the rights of women and girls, censorship of and attacks against the media.

Source: The Print

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https://theprint.in/world/qatar-indonesia-sign-letter-for-providing-humanitarian-assistance-to-afghanistan/891210/

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Arab World

 

Iraq building Syria wall to keep out ISIS fighters

27 March ,2022

Iraq is building a concrete wall along part of its border with Syria to stop ISIS extremists from infiltrating, an Iraqi military source said Sunday.

In the “first stage” of construction, a wall around “a dozen kilometers (seven miles) long and 3.5 meters (11 feet) high was built in Nineveh province,” in the Sinjar area of northwest Iraq, a senior officer told AFP, requesting anonymity.

Iraq, which shares a more than 600-kilometer long border with Syria, seeks to “put a stop to the infiltration of [ISIS] members” into its territory, the source added, without specifying how long the wall would eventually run.

Iraq in 2018 said it had begun building a fence along the Syrian border for the same reason.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the wall’s construction was carried out in an area facing the town of al-Shaddadi, in the south of Syria’s Hasaka province.

In January in the Kurdish-controlled province, ISIS fighters attacked a prison to free fellow extremists, sparking days of clashes that left hundreds dead.

Many prisoners are thought to have escaped, with some crossing to neighboring Turkey or Turkish-held territory in Syria’s north, the Observatory said.

ISIS overran large swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014 before Baghdad proclaimed victory in late 2017 after a grinding campaign.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/03/27/Iraq-building-Syria-wall-to-keep-out-ISIS-fighters-

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Iraq parliament fails to elect new state president over lack of quorum

26 March ,2022

Iraq’s parliament failed again on Saturday to vote for a president after Iran-backed groups boycotted the session, in a setback to an alliance led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr which won the election and threatened to remove them from politics.

Sadr had hoped parliament would elect Rebar Ahmed, a veteran Kurdish intelligence official and current interior minister of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

But only 202 members of parliament out of 329 were present, which is less than the necessary two-thirds quorum needed to choose a new president for the mostly ceremonial post, while 126 lawmakers boycotted the session.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“It is a storm in a cup. Today is a good proof that the party that had claimed that it has the majority had failed to achieve it. It is a bad situation getting worse,” said Farhad Alaaldin, chairman of the Iraq Advisory Council, a policy research institute.

A win for Sadr’s allies would threaten to exclude Tehran’s allies from power for the first time in years.

The delay prolongs a bitter deadlock in Iraqi politics months after an October general election from which Sadr emerged the biggest winner, with his Shia, pro-Iran rivals receiving a hammering at the polls.

The vote on the president was postponed to Wednesday. The current caretaker government will continue to run the country until a new government is formed.

Sadr, a Shia cleric, has pledged to form a government that would exclude key Iranian allies that have long dominated the state, a red line for those parties and militias and the first time they would not have a cabinet place since 2003.

The candidates put forward for president in the months since the election has been viewed by Iran-aligned groups as Western-leaning and a threat to their interests.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/03/26/Iraq-parliament-fails-to-elect-new-state-president-over-lack-of-quorum

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Egypt’s FM to join summit of Arab, US diplomats in Israel

26 March ,2022

Egypt’s foreign minister will take part in groundbreaking talks in Israel from Sunday alongside his counterparts from the US and three Arab states, an Israeli official said.

Sameh Shoukry will be joining US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the foreign ministers of the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco for a series of meetings hosted by their Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid, an Israeli official told AFP on Saturday, on condition of anonymity.

The two-day event will be held against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a conflict that has sparked wider security concerns and sent oil and food prices soaring.

It also comes as the United States is close to reaching an agreement with Iran to restore the 2015 accord limiting Tehran’s nuclear activities in return for removing sanctions on the country.

The United Arab Emirates forged diplomatic ties with Israel in 2020 under a series of US-brokered deals known as the Abraham Accords.

Bahrain and Morocco followed suit, while Sudan also agreed to normalize ties with Israel although it has yet to finalize a deal.

The two-day meeting in Israel follows a three-way summit hosted by Egypt on Tuesday at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, after decades of enmity and conflict. Jordan followed suit in 1994.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/03/26/Egypt-s-FM-to-join-summit-of-Arab-US-diplomats-in-Israel-

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Lebanese Christian politician says judicial decisions against party unlawful

26 March ,2022

Lebanese Christian politician Samir Geagea said on Saturday that recent judicial decisions against his party were against the law.

Speaking at a news conference days after a judge charged him over deadly violence in Beirut in October, Geagea said that the judicial decisions were aimed at tarnishing the image of his Lebanese Forces (LF) party.

“The attempts to isolate, encircle, intimidate and abolish the Lebanese Forces continue to this day... And the latest attempt in this regard was judicial decisions that were born-dead because they are against every law,” he said, without mentioning the charge.

Seven people, all of them followers of the Iran-backed Hezbollah group and its Shia ally the Amal Movement, were killed in the October 14 clashes near an old frontline of the 1975-90 civil war.

Geagea was summoned to a hearing at military intelligence last October over the violence but did not attend.

The October 14 violence began as people were gathering for a protest called by Hezbollah against the judge investigating the 2020 Beirut port blast.

Hezbollah accused the LF of mounting an ambush to try to drag the country to a civil war.

Geagea has said the trouble began when supporters of the Shia parties entered the Christian neighborhood of Ain al-Remmaneh where they vandalized cars and four residents were wounded before a shot was fired.

Geagea was speaking at an event to launch the candidacy of an LF candidate who is running in a May parliamentary election.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/03/26/Lebanese-Christian-politician-says-judicial-decisions-against-party-unlawful

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Arab Coalition launches airstrikes targeting Houthi strongholds in Yemen’s Hodeidah

26 March ,2022

The Arab Coalition said on Saturday it had begun launching airstrikes against the Iran-backed Houthi militia’s strongholds in Yemen’s city of Hodeidah, state news agency (SPA) reported.

The coalition also asked civilians to stay away from the surroundings of the Salif port in Hodeidah.

Earlier on Saturday, the coalition gave the Houthis a three-hour deadline to remove all weapons from the ports of Hodeidah and Salif and the Sanaa international airport.

It also said that keeping weapons in the Sanaa airport and other civilian areas would “end their status” as safe regions not to be targeted by the coalition’s strikes.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/03/26/Arab-Coalition-launches-airstrikes-targeting-Houthi-strongholds-in-Yemen-s-Hodeidah

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Yemen’s Houthis suspend strikes on Saudi Arabia for three days: Political office head

26 March ,2022

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia said on Saturday it was suspending missile and drone strikes on Saudi Arabia for three days, in a peace initiative it said could be a lasting commitment if the Arab Coalition stopped airstrikes and lifted port restrictions.

The group also announced a three-day suspension of ground offensive operations in Yemen, including in the gas producing region of Marib, said Mahdi al-Mashat, the head of the Houthis’ political office, in a speech broadcast on television.

Mashat said the group was ready to release all prisoners, including the brother of Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The announcement came after the Arab Coalition launched airstrikes against Houthi strongholds in Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah and destroyed a weapons warehouse in the vicinity of the Salif Port in Yemen after the Houthis transported weapons to it.

The coalition earlier gave the Houthis a three-hour deadline to remove all weapons from the ports of Hodeidah and Salif and the Sanaa international airport.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/03/26/Yemen-s-Houthis-suspend-strikes-on-Saudi-Arabia-for-three-days-Political-office-head

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Iraqi PM urges political parties to bridge differences to form gov’t

Ibrahim Saleh

27.03.2022

BAGHDAD

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Sunday called on the country’s political parties to bridge their differences to form a new government.

"I call on all political parties to work for forming a government that could function very soon and serve the Iraqi people," al-Kadhimi said in a statement issued by his office.

"We have to look for logical solutions that reflect political maturity and responsibility,” he added.

On Saturday, the Iraqi Parliament failed to elect a new president after dozens of lawmakers boycotted the voting session.

The assembly set March 30 to hold another session to elect the country’s new president.

On Wednesday, the party of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced an agreement with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Sunni Sovereignty Alliance on naming the KDP’s nominee Reber Ahmed for the presidency and Mohammad Jaafar al-Sadr of Al-Sadr party for the position of Iraq’s prime minister.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/iraqi-pm-urges-political-parties-to-bridge-differences-to-form-gov-t/2547336

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Mideast

 

Nuclear deal may bolster Iranian plots, Israel warns

March 28, 2022

AMMAN: The US and Israel “see eye to eye” on preventing Iran from obtaining atomic weapons, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday ahead of talks in Israel with Arab foreign ministers skeptical of a nuclear pact with Tehran.

Blinken sought to reassure Washington’s Gulf allies and Israel that the administration of President Joe Biden is committed to their security ahead of the possible renewal of the international nuclear deal with Iran.

Israel and its neighbors believe any easing of sanctions and the delisting of the IRGC would embolden Iranian-backed militant groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Wadie Abunassar, the Haifa-based director of the International Center for Consultations, told Arab News that countries taking part in the summit “are concerned about the Iran deal.”

He added: “All participants wish to ask the US to introduce additional conditions not only regard- ing Iran’s nuclear program, but also other Iran-related issues such as production of ballistic missiles and drones.”

Blinken met Israeli officials in Jerusalem on Sunday amid growing hints that the tattered 2015 landmark deal Tehran signed with major powers will soon be restored.

Speaking alongside his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid, Blinken said the US believes restoring the agreement is “the best way to put Iran’s program back in the box that it was in but escaped” after the US withdrew from the deal under former president Donald Trump in 2018.

Lapid said Israel had “disagreements” with Washington about the Iranian nuclear issue, which it was airing with its key ally in “open and honest dialogue.”

He added: “Israel will do anything we believe is needed to stop the Iranian nuclear program. Anything.”

Blinken’s remarks came as US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said he was “not confident” that a nuclear deal was likely.

“I can’t be confident it is imminent. A few months ago we thought we were pretty close as well,” Malley told the Doha Forum international conference on Sunday.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2051746/middle-east

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US to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons: Blinken

Ahmed Asmar

27.03.2022

The United States on Sunday vowed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, reassuring Israel against any Iranian threat.

Speaking in a joint press conference with his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid, Blinken said Washington believes that restoring a nuclear deal with Iran "is the best way to put Iran's program back in the box it was in."

Blinken acknowledged that there are "disagreements" with Israel on the Iranian nuclear issue, but reiterated that the US commitment to prevent Iran from "acquiring a nuclear weapon is unwavering."

Lapid, for his part, said that Israel will do anything "needed to stop the Iranian nuclear program."

"From our point of view, the Iranian threat is not theoretical. The Iranians want to destroy Israel. They will not succeed. We will not let them," Lapid added.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/us-to-prevent-iran-acquiring-nuclear-weapons-blinken/2547248

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West must not ignore Iran’s ballistic missiles: Ex-Israeli UN envoy

March 27, 2022

LONDON: Western countries should not overlook Iran’s growing missile capabilities, a former Israeli representative to the UN has warned.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Dore Gold said the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, has failed to prevent the country from building a stockpile of ballistic missiles.

As a result, Iran’s missile capacity has grown “both in number and quality, including the range and accuracy of its missile force,” he added.

Gold drew a comparison with the UN’s treatment of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, where resolutions required that ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 km be “removed or destroyed under international supervision.”

That condition has not been applied to Iran, meaning that it “is already altering the balance of power in the region,” he said.

This was demonstrated in the 2020 attack on the US-controlled Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq and the activities of Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia, Gold added.

He noted comments by Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of the US Central Command, who said this month that Iran’s 3,000 ballistic missiles have become “the greatest threat to Middle Eastern security.”

Gold argued that rather than moderating Iran’s behavior, the JCPOA has had the opposite effect in licensing Tehran to “rapidly increase the number of Shiite militias” and making the Middle East “far more dangerous.”

He said the removal of Western economic sanctions on Iran “prepared the groundwork for funding militias across the region, especially in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.”

Tehran is using the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as “its chosen instrument for spreading the new militancy,” he added.

Under the JCPOA, Gold said, the IRGC was stripped of its terrorist label — a decision that was “morally and factually wrong” and likely to empower the network “to conduct more attacks,” referencing its rocket strike on the US Consulate in Irbil earlier this month.

Source: Arab News

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https://www.arabnews.com/node/2051411/middle-east

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Dozens of fanatic Jewish settlers defile Aqsa Mosque

March 28, 2022

Hordes of Jewish settlers escorted by police forces desecrated the Aqsa Mosque in Occupied al-Quds on Sunday morning.

According to local sources, dozens of settlers entered the Mosque in different groups through its Maghariba Gate and toured its courtyards.

During their tours at the Islamic holy site, the settlers received lectures from rabbis about the alleged temple mount and a number of them provocatively performed Talmudic prayers.

Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation police imposed movement restrictions on Muslim worshipers at the Aqsa Mosque’s entrances and gates.

Source: ABNA24

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https://en.abna24.com/news//dozens-of-fanatic-jewish-settlers-defile-aqsa-mosque_1242663.html

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South Africa, Namibia at UNHRC call for an end to Israeli apartheid

March 28, 2022

On Friday, 25 March, the UN HRC held an Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur, Michael Lynk, under Agenda Item 7: Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories. The dialogue focused on the Special Rapporteur’s report on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) that concluded the policies of the Israeli regime against the Palestinian people amounts to apartheid.

South Africa’s representative at the UN Human Rights Council, Mxolisi Sizo Nkosi, said the following:

“South Africa welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur on the current human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). We remain disappointed that the Special Rapporteur has still not been granted access to the OPT. As the report indicates, the human rights situation of Palestinians in the West Bank, East al-Quds and Gaza was marked by significant deterioration. The amount of violence that Israel is employing in order to sustain its occupation is constantly increasing and impacting the lives of Palestinians in a myriad of different ways.

Mr President, the Palestinian narrative evokes experiences of South Africa’s own history of dispossession, racial segregation and oppression. As oppressed South Africans, we experienced first-hand the effects of racial inequality and discrimination. We are all well aware of the long-term impact and consequences of racial and other forms of discrimination. The fundamental freedoms that many of us take for granted, remain absent for Palestinians living in the OPT.

Regular land dispossession and illegal seizure of homes are similar to apartheid forced removals endured by black South Africans. South Africa urges the international community, and in particular the UN, to ensure the safeguarding of the rights of the Palestinian people. In this regard, we welcome the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur in the report - that the political system of entrenched rule in the OPT which endows one racial national ethnic group with substantial rights, benefits and privileges while intentionally subjecting another group to live behind walls, checkpoints and under permanent military rule, without rights, equality, dignity and liberty - indeed satisfies the prevailing evidentiary standard for the existence of apartheid.

Mr President, sadly those who aided and abetted the apartheid regime in South Africa until 1985 are standing on the wrong side of history yet again. I thank you.”

Namibia’s representative, Julia Imene-Chanduru, was equally strong on this issue:

“Before us today is the historic report of the Special Rapporteur on the OPT confirming that Israel has imposed an apartheid reality on Palestine in a post-apartheid world. The report, simply put, concludes that Israel is an apartheid state. It is clear for everyone to see that the Israeli apartheid system comprises of discrimination, brutal repression, oppression, racism and special rights. These are all done to maintain the dominance of one ethnic group over the other. Mr President, there is an obligation on all of us – including this Human Rights Council – to stop the Israeli apartheid machine. Apartheid constitutes a total negation of the principles and purposes of the United Nations and it is a crime against humanity. We must all take a stand against Israeli apartheid by calling a spade a spade.

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//south-africa-namibia-at-unhrc-call-for-an-end-to-israeli-apartheid_1242662.html

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Two Israeli police killed in attack claimed by Islamic State group

March 27, 2022

by Nir KAFRI

Two police officers were shot dead in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group in the northern Israeli city of Hadera late Sunday as top US and Arab diplomats visited the Jewish state for an unprecedented regional meeting, authorities said.

Police said the two gunmen -- Israeli Arabs identified by Israeli intelligence as local IS operatives -- were killed by counterterrorism officers who happened to be nearby.

"Two members of the Jewish (state's) police force were killed and others were injured in an immersive commando attack," IS said in a rare claim of an attack inside Israel.

Emergency medical responders said "two Israelis" were killed in the attack -- a man and a woman -- with four other people taken to hospital and two more treated at the scene.

Police said "two terrorists arrived at Herbert Samuel Street in Hadera, and began shooting at a police force there," resulting in two deaths.

Members of "an Israeli counterterrorism force happened to be in a restaurant nearby and they ran out and neutralised the terrorists," police said in a statement.

Dudu Boani, the police deputy commander for the region, told reporters the two victims of the attack were police officers. He said the assailants were shot dead.

A government security official said the two assailants were IS operatives from Umm El Fahm, an Arab Israeli city.

Residents of the city, which is located near Hadera, said police had deployed heavily.

Defence Minister Benny Gantz's office said he was conducting a situation assessment with military, police and intelligence chiefs, while Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had arrived in Hadera and been briefed by police on the attack, his office said.

The army said in a statement that it was deploying additional forces in and around the occupied West Bank.

- 'Heinous' attack -

Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, praised the attack, calling it a "heroic operation" and a "natural and legitimate response" to Israel's "crimes against our people".

Islamic Jihad, another Gaza-based militant Palestinian movement, called the attack "an eloquent message from our people against attempts to break our will".

On Tuesday, a man wielding a knife stabbed several people and ran over another in southern Israel, killing four, in one of the deadliest attacks in the country in recent years.

Authorities identified the attacker as an Israeli Arab who had previously been convicted for supporting IS.

As Sunday's attack took place, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was hosting his counterparts from three Arab states that recently normalised ties with Israel, alongside Egypt's top diplomat and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, at a resort in southern Israel, in a gathering that Israel called "historic".

"I briefed the participants of the Negev Summit on the details of the Hadera attack," Lapid said in a statement.

"All the foreign ministers condemned the attack, sent their condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded."

"Tonight's heinous terror attack is an attempt by violent extremists to terrorise and to damage the fabric of life here," Lapid said.

"Israel will uncompromisingly fight terrorism, and we will resolutely stand together with our allies against anyone who tries to harm us."

Source: Al Monitor

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

https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2022/03/two-israeli-police-killed-attack-claimed-islamic-state-group

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Iran Increases Oil Production Level to Pre-Sanctions Era

2022-March-26

The promise of boosting oil production capacity to pre-sanctions level has been fulfilled in the 13th government of President Rayeesi, reaching more than 3.8mln bpd, Public Relations Department of the Iranian Oil Ministry said.

Return of Iran’s oil production capacity to the level before period of unilateral US imposition of sanctions on Iran is one of the promises of 13th government under President Rayeesi, it added.

A senior official said earlier this week that Iran is designing plans and preparing ground for the production of over 4ml barrels of crude per day in the Persian New Year (started on March 21).

Iran’s prospect for the new Persian year is to ramp up crude oil production above 4 million barrels per day, CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) Mohsen Khojasteh Mehr said.

Last week, Iranian Oil Minister Javaf Owji said his ministry planned to raise production capacity of crude and condensates in the new current year to 5.7 million bpd from about 3.7-4 million bpd.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010106000133/Iran-Increases-Oil-Prdcin-Level-Pre-Sancins-Era

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Europe

 

Turkey could be among countries to offer Ukraine security guarantees: Kyiv

28 March ,2022

Turkey is among countries that could offer Kyiv security guarantees as part of any deal with Russia to end the war in Ukraine, a senior Ukrainian official said on Monday.

“Turkey is among those countries that could become guarantors of our security in the future,” Ihor Zhovkva, deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's office, said ahead of peace talks scheduled between Kyiv and Moscow in Turkey.

Kyiv has said it wants legally binding security guarantees that would offer Ukraine protection from a group of allies in the event of a future attack.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/03/28/Turkey-could-be-among-countries-to-offer-Ukraine-security-guarantees-Kyiv

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Turkey military finds mine close to border with Bulgaria

28 March ,2022

A Turkish military dive teams secured a mine detected off the coast of the northern Igneada district, close to the border with Bulgaria, Turkey’s defense ministry said on Monday,

Russia had warned that several mines had drifted away from Ukrainian ports amid the fighting, and authorities on Saturday warned vessels to stay away as a dive team inspected another mine in the region.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/03/28/Turkey-military-finds-mine-close-to-border-with-Bulgaria

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Azerbaijan denies troops pullout from peacekeepers’ zone in Nagorno-Karabakh

27 March ,2022

Azerbaijan on Sunday denied pulling out its forces from a zone policed by Russian peacekeepers in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, contradicting a statement by Moscow which had accused Baku of violating a peace agreement by entering the area.

“There has been no change in the positions of the Azeri army in the village of Farrukh, which is part of the sovereign territories of our country,” the Azeri defense ministry said.

Moscow on Saturday accused Azerbaijan of violating a 2020 peace agreement by entering the zone and striking positions of Nagorno-Karabakh army with drones, although Azerbaijan refuted Russia’s version of events.

On Sunday, the Russian defense ministry said that after negotiations, Azerbaijan had withdrawn its forces from the area.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/03/27/Azerbaijan-denies-troops-pullout-from-peacekeepers-zone-in-Nagorno-Karabakh

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Next round of Ukraine-Russia talks to take place in Turkey, Ukrainian negotiator says

27 March ,2022

The next round of face to face talks between Ukraine and Russia will take place in Turkey on March 28-30, Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamia said on social media on Sunday.

Ukraine described previous talks with Russia, launched after Russia unleashed an invasion last month, as “very difficult.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/03/27/Next-round-of-Ukraine-Russia-talks-to-take-place-in-Turkey-Ukrainian-negotiator-says

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France holds talks with Saudi Arabia, UAE on diversifying Europe’s energy supplies

28.03.2022

By Shweta Desai

PARIS

France held talks Sunday with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on diversifying Europe's energy supplies in order to reduce the continent’s dependence on Russia.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in a phone call with his Saudi and UAE counterparts Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan stressed the importance of coordination with the two Gulf states with a view to diversifying the oil and gas supplies of European states, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

He underlined the “need for strong international mobilization, in all forums and in all circumstances, in the face of the aggression led by Russia in Ukraine, which represents a serious threat to European security,” the statement said.

Le Drian is also scheduled to visit Qatar next week, during which the topic of energy diversification will be discussed, BFMTV news reported. Doha is among the world's top three exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

France is also in the planning stage of installing a floating LNG terminal in the port of Le Havre to increase its LNG landing capacity and reduce its dependence on Russian gas, French news daily Les Echos reported Saturday.

Russia is the leading supplier of crude oil, natural gas and solid fossil fuels to European Union states. The stability of energy supplies is threatened due to the sanctions imposed on Moscow over its war on Ukraine.

Under the French presidency of the European Council, France has declared the goal of pursuing energy independence for the EU in the coming decade, which can be achieved by diversifying supplies and sources of oil and gas.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/france-holds-talks-with-saudi-arabia-uae-on-diversifying-europe-s-energy-supplies/2547573

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UN condemns attacks on civilian facilities in Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Jeyhun Aliyev  

27.03.2022

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday denounced attacks on civilian facilities in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

"The Secretary-General strongly condemns the recent escalation of the conflict in Yemen including Friday’s aerial attacks on civilian and energy facilities in Saudi Arabia by the Houthis and the subsequent Coalition airstrikes in Sana’a, reportedly killing eight civilians, including five children and two women," spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

It noted that the airstrikes resulted in damage to the UN staff residential compound in Sanaa.

"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about reports of ongoing airstrikes in Hudaydah city and the targeting of Hudaydah’s ports, which provide a critical humanitarian lifeline for the Yemeni population. The Secretary-General calls for a swift and transparent investigation into these incidents to ensure accountability," it said.

Noting that the conflict enters its eighth year, Guterres reiterated his calls for all parties to exercise maximum restraint, immediately deescalate, cease hostilities and abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution.

He urged all parties to engage constructively and without preconditions, with his special envoy to reduce violence and urgently reach a negotiated settlement to end the conflict.

Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility Friday for drone and missile attacks on Saudi energy facilities.

One attack targeted an oil storage facility of state oil company Aramco, causing a fire in two storage tanks.

Following the attacks, the Saudi-led coalition launched a military operation in Yemen, including rebel-held Sanaa and the Red Sea port city of al-Hudaydah.

The coalition said the operation aims to stop attacks on Saudi oil facilities and “protect global energy sources.”

The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting Houthis since 2015, one year after the Iran-aligned rebels overran much of Yemen, including Sanaa.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/un-condemns-attacks-on-civilian-facilities-in-saudi-arabia-yemen/2546980

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North America

 

US city of Minneapolis allows Muslim call to prayer from mosque speakers

28.03.2022

By Islam Dogru

NEW YORK

The Muslim call to prayer can now be heard several times a day in one of the biggest cities in the US Midwest.

The call to prayer, also known as the adhan or azan, can be played by local mosques in the city of Minneapolis, the largest in the state of Minnesota.

The city council approved a bill, presented by council member Jamal Osman, allowing the prayer to be played publicly by loudspeaker between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., so long as local noise ordinances are respected.

Calling the measure a step in the right direction for religious equality, Osman said, "We have a lot of work still to do to make sure everyone is enjoying the same rights, every religion is enjoying.”

Under the measure, mosques will be able to make the call the prayer by loudspeaker three times a day, except for morning and night prayers, provided that the volume is below a certain decibel limit.

“The Adhan is one of the most important parts of our faith,” Osman wrote on Twitter, adding that the call can be made at the same hours allowed for Christian church bells.

He called the move “a signal of the equality and community we have built here. This is America and we are allowed to share our faith from the rooftops, just like everyone else.”

The call to prayer was first legalized in the US in 2004 in the city of Hamtramck, Michigan, by a decision of the local government, followed by Dearborn, the only US city in the same state where Muslims are a majority.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-city-of-minneapolis-allows-muslim-call-to-prayer-from-mosque-speakers/2547558

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US envoy for Iran Malley says not confident that a nuclear deal with Iran is imminent

27 March ,2022

US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said on Sunday that he is not confident that a nuclear deal between Western powers and Iran is imminent.

“The sooner we get back into the deal, which is in our interest, and presumably Iran’s interest, the more faithfully we implement it, and the more we can build on it to address the other issues between us and Iran and between Iran and the region,” Malley said speaking at the Doha Forum international conference.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

The United States will maintain sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards even if there is a deal to limit the country’s nuclear program, Malley said.

Iran has insisted that taking the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) off a US terrorist list be part of a revived nuclear accord, which diplomats say is close.

But Malley told the Doha Forum: “The IRGC will remain sanctioned under US law and our perception of the IRGC will remain.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/03/27/US-envoy-for-Iran-Malley-says-not-confident-that-a-nuclear-deal-with-Iran-is-imminent

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Daughter of David Haines to confront his alleged Islamic State kidnapper in US trial

Josh Halliday

Sun 27 Mar 2022

The daughter of a British man murdered by Islamic State will demand to know the whereabouts of his remains when one of his alleged kidnappers goes on trial in the US this week.

Bethany Haines, 24, will fly from her home in Perthshire, Scotland, to Virginia to confront El Shafee Elsheikh in person, nearly eight years after her father, David Haines, was killed.

Haines said she would plead with Elsheikh “to do the right thing” and reveal where the remains of her father and other western hostages lie. “Don’t do it for me,” she will tell him. “Do it for my son, so that he can finally say goodbye to his grandad.”

Elsheikh, one of the so-called “Beatles” group of British IS members, will become the most senior Islamic State fighter to face western justice when his trial gets under way in Alexandria this week.

The 33-year-old from Shepherd’s Bush, west London, is accused of being involved in the murder of 28 British, American and foreign hostages in Syria between 2014 and 2015. He denies the charges.

Haines will be in court every day of the trial and will read out a victim impact statement if Elsheikh is convicted. “I’ve prepared for this for years,” she told the Sunday Times. “I want to be able to see him at all times; to see his facial expressions.”

She doubts Elsheikh will show remorse. “He thinks he’s above this all,” she said. “It’s all beneath him. He even smirked at a witness at an earlier hearing.”

David Haines, a former RAF engineer, was a humanitarian aid worker in Syria when he was abducted in 2013. Footage of his murder was shared around the world.

His daughter said it felt “like a miracle” that Elsheikh would finally face justice. The former IS fighter has told investigators he has specific details about David Haines’ death.

He has also claimed that Mohammed Emwazi, the ringleader nicknamed “Jihadi John”, buried James Foley, a US citizen, and burned the body of Steven Sotloff, a US journalist.

Haines, who has repeatedly travelled to Syria in the search for answers about her father’s death, said she would make clear in court that his murder had nothing to do with religion.

She told the Telegraph: “When it first happened I was young and naive. I thought: Christians don’t go around doing this stuff. But when I travelled to Syria I met so many Muslims who had been affected by IS. It changed my view and woke me up – this has absolutely nothing to do with religion. It’s despicable for them to hide behind that.”

Some families of the victims were frustrated when the US agreed to drop the death penalty in the case in exchange for access to sensitive operational information from British authorities.

She said: “Frankly I just wanted them to be hung from a tree, anywhere. I wanted them to disappear, because prison isn’t going to change their mind. They’re hardened extremists who will never feel anything close to remorse. Why do they deserve to be on this planet when they’ve committed unspeakable crimes?”

Source: The Guardian

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

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/mar/27/david-haines-bethany-to-confront-alleged-islamic-state-kidnapper-us-trial

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Pakistan

 

Three 'rats' looting Pakistan for last 30 years: Imran Khan targets opposition at Islamabad power show

Mar 27, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday launched a scathing attack against the opposition parties ahead of the no-confidence vote and said that "three rats" are looting the country for the last 30 years. He blamed them for seeking amnesty for politicians, political workers who were accused of corruption.

Speaking at a power show in Islamabad, Imran Khan lauded Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers for refusing the opposition's offers to bribe them in return for their votes on the no-trust motion. "I am proud of you," he said.

While referring to the main opposition parties (Pakistan Muslim League (N), Pakistan Peoples Party), he said, "These three rats are looting the country for the last 30 years."

"For the last 30 years, they jointly sucked the blood of the country. They have accumulated millions of dollars worth of property outside the country and have offshore accounts. All this drama is happening for the sake of NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance). They want Imran Khan to kneel in front of them, as (former Pakistan army) General Pervez Musharraf did," Imran Khan said during a rally at the Parade Ground in the capital city.

"From day one, they (opposition) have been trying to blackmail me," he added

The Pakistan PM thanked the participants for responding to his call for the rally and vowed to speak his heart out to discuss the conspiracy against him.

The show of strength by Imran Khan comes as the opposition geared up for a no-trust vote in the National Assembly to oust his government. This comes as the opposition has geared up for a no-trust vote in the National Assembly to oust his government over massive corruption, unemployment, inflation and price hike.

Earlier this week, Imran Khan had claimed that the no-confidence motion was tabled so that the opposition leaders could get an 'easy escape'. "Three rats are trying to hunt me down but what they don't know is that they will be hunted down instead... I will defeat them," he had said during a rally in Mansehra.

Earlier, rumours of Imran Khan resigning from his office were rife after the renaming of Pakistan's Prime Minister's Office YouTube channel to "Imran Khan" on Saturday.

The no-confidence motion was submitted by the Opposition parties on March 8 after the Pakistan People's Party's (PPP) long march in Islamabad. The Opposition has been confident that its motion would be carried as many PTI lawmakers have come out in the open against PM Imran Khan.

As the crucial no-confidence motion session inched closer and uncertainty continued to shroud political alliances, at least 50 ministers belonging to the ruling party had gone 'missing' from the political front.

The Pakistani National Assembly has a total strength of 342 members, with the majority mark being 172. The PTI led coalition was formed with the support of 179 members, with Imran Khan's PTI having 155 members, and four major allies Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) having seven, five, five and three members respectively.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/three-rats-looting-pakistan-for-last-30-years-imran-khan-targets-opposition-at-islamabad-power-show/articleshow/90479310.cms

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Fazl refutes PM's claim of foreign plot against govt, says PTI chief showed 'fake letter'

March 28, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday refuted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s claim of receiving threats to his government and claimed that the letter shown by Mr Khan during the public meeting was “fake.”

Addressing a rally at H-9 sector in Islamabad where the opposition parties are scheduled to hold a public meeting on Monday (today), the Maulana called the prime minister “an agent” of the West and alleged that he had been imposed on Pakistan to meet the agenda of West and destroy the country.

The Maulana, who is also the head of the Pakistan Dem­ocratic Movement (PDM), said the participants of the PDM public meeting could hold a march towards D-Chowk in front of the Parliament House. He, however, said that they would not do so in respect of the Sup­reme Court’s orders whi­ch had barred public gathering at Islamabad’s Red Zone.

Talking about the prime minister’s claim that he was receiving threats and got a letter, the PDM chief said: “He [PM] waved a false letter that he was receiving threats. You are making people fool by writing false chits but no letter can save you,” he added.

The Maulana said it was the prime minister and not the opposition who was seeking an NRO.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1682148/pti-chief-showed-fake-letter-fazl

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After PM Imran, no-trust motion submitted against Punjab CM Buzdar

Umar Farooq

March 28, 2022

After Prime Minister Imran Khan, the opposition has now turned its guns towards Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and submitted a no-confidence motion against him in the Punjab Assembly on Monday.

A delegation of senior lawmakers submitted the no-trust motion against Buzdar with Punjab Assembly Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti. The secretary confirmed that the motion had been submitted, adding that it would be presented to the assembly speaker according to the rules and regulations.

"Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi will take action on the no-confidence motion and requisition [notice] in accordance with the Constitution and the law," he said.

According to Radio Pakistan, the chief minister cannot dissolve the provincial assembly once the motion is submitted while the speaker is bound to convene the session within 14 days.

The requisition notice, a copy of which is available with Dawn, has been signed by PML-N leaders Rana Mashhood, Samiullah Khan, Mian Naseer, and others.

An official handout issued by the provincial assembly stated that 127 lawmakers had signed the no-trust motion against Buzdar while 120 had signed the requisition notice.

"As per the Constitution, the signatures of 74 members are required to requisition the provincial assembly session," Mashhood said in a video, adding that Buzdar can't dissolve the assembly once the no-trust move is submitted.

Speaking to media outside the Punjab Assembly later in the day, Mashhood, along with other opposition members, said that the speaker was now required to call a session of the provincial assembly within 14 days.

"The requisition was submitted at 9:45am today and it is the decision of the people of Punjab, who no longer want Buzdar as the chief minister," the PML-N leader said.

He said that the opposition had collected signatures for the motion back when the no-trust move was being submitted against the federal government. "We have more than 126 signatures and, God willing, on the day it will be tabled, more than 200 people will vote against Buzdar."

PML-N leader Hina Pervez Butt shared a copy of the requisition notice, and said: "We still have to go to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Kashmir."

The move comes just a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan, in what the PTI billed as a historic rally named the Amr Bil Maroof public gathering, alleged that a "foreign-funded conspiracy" was hatched against his government.

On March 8, a delegation of senior opposition lawmakers had submitted the no-trust motion against the prime minister with the National Assembly Secretariat. However, the motion has not been tabled in the lower house of parliament so far.

The NA speaker — who had called the opposition-requisitioned session on March 25, three days after the expiry of the constitutionally mandatory 14-day deadline — had adjourned the sitting until Monday (today). He did not allow the opposition’s no-trust resolution to be tabled after offering fateha for the deceased PTI MNA from Hangu Khayal Zaman as per the parliamentary tradition.

Buzdar vows to face no-trust move

Meanwhile, Buzdar vowed to face the no-trust move. Tweets shared by the office of the chief minister stated that the chief minister was in constant contact with provincial lawmakers who had expressed their trust in him.

"Our numbers are complete," he said, adding that the Chaudhry brothers were well aware of how the Sharifs had broken promises in the past.

"I expect the PML-Q to stick with us," he said. Buzdar also added that the group of lawmakers led by estranged PTI leader Jahangir Tareen were a part of the party and would support him, adding that there was plenty to "suprise" the opposition with in Punjab.

PTI assures ‘Q’ Elahi is their man for Punjab

The move against Buzdar also comes after the government made last-ditch efforts on Saturday to convince their allies, the PML-Q and MQM-P, to support the prime minister.

“A government team led by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has given his words that Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar will be asked to resign in a day or two, and that Elahi is the PTI government’s preferred choice for his replacement,” a PML-Q senior leader told Dawn seeking anonymity.

After some news channels quoted sources as saying that Buzdar had prepared a summary to dissolve the Punjab Assembly, a PML-Q leader claimed: “The Punjab Assembly will not be dissolved, but a change of leader of the house is on the cards.”

“PML-Q secretary general and federal minister Tariq Bashir Cheema told the government team to make a formal announcement regarding Mr Elahi as the candidate for the CM before going for voting on the no-confidence motion in the National Assembly,” a leader of the allied party told Dawn.

At the same time, the PML-Q has also been in contact with the PML-N. On Sunday, the government's key ally at the Centre and Punjab, sought more time for consultations before making a final decision on the issue of no-confidence resolution against PM Imran, stating that it wanted all the allies to make a collective decision.

“We will try to come out with our decision in a day or two,” declared Cheema while talking to reporters after a meeting of the PML-N delegation with PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1682238/after-pm-imran-no-trust-motion-submitted-against-punjab-cm-buzdar

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Separated by Partition, brothers reconnect at Faisalabad village

Tariq Saeed

March 28, 2022

TOBA TEK SINGH: Scores of resident of Chak 255-RB Bogran in the Dijkot area of Faisalabad warmly welcomed Indian citizen Sikka Khan (78) when he arrived at the house of his brother Siddiq Khan (80) on Saturday night after waiting for his entry into Pakistan for two months.

Sikka (real name is Muhammad Habib) and Siddiq Khan were separated during the Partition of India. Their father was killed in the violence, Siddiq and his sister moved to Pakistan while Sikka was left in India along with his mother. Both brothers had met at Kartarpur Corridor on Jan 10 this year with the help of a Pakistani YouTuber Nasir Dhillon and his team. Both the brothers had appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to issue the younger brother a visa for visiting Pakistan. The Pakistan government had immediately issued Sikka a visa for two months. However, he could not come earlier due to the restrictions from the Indian side. His visa was still valid when the Indian government lifted the restrictions and Sikka travelled to Pakistan to meet his brother.

Sikka Khan had crossed Wagha-Attari border on Saturday where he was welcomed by Siddiq and his family, including grandchildren. He was clad holding a long club as a support to walk and wearing a peach turban. YouTuber Nasir Dhillon was also there to welcome him. It took them several hours to reach Chak 255-RB Bogran as there were hurdles on the highways due to political rallies. In the village, as soon as Sikka Khan stepped out of the car, almost all male residents of the village, especially the youth, started dancing on the drumbeats while flowers and currency notes were showered on him. Both brothers were looking very happy after seeing each other for the second time since the Partition.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1682200/separated-by-partition-brothers-reconnect-at-faisalabad-village

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Siraj, other JI leaders issued notices for violating poll code of conduct

March 28, 2022

PESHAWAR: Election Commission of Pakistan has issued notices to several leaders of Jamaat-i-Islami including its chief Sirajul Haq for violating code of conduct during second phase of local bodies’ elections in 18 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Other JI leaders, who were issued notices, included its provincial president Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, MPA Inayatullah Khan and candidate of the party for Barawal tehsil council, Jahan Alam.

The district monitoring officer of Malakand, Ziaur Rehman, also issued third notice to PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to appear before him on March 29 to explain his position regarding violation of code of conduct. The DMO has already issued him two notices but he didn’t turn up.

DIR Upper DMO Sarmad Hassan has issued these notices to the JI leaders for holding a public rally at a stadium and violating code of conduct for the polls.

“It has been brought into the notice of the undersigned (DMO) through monitoring teams and media that you have participated/addressed a public gathering at a stadium in Dir Upper on March 26 which is in violation of the code of conduct,” states the notice issued to JI chief Sirajul Haq.

The notice asked him to appear in person or through counsel on March 28 (today) before the DMO to explain his position for violating code of conduct.

It said that if the JI chief didn’t appear before the DMO or submit written reply by today (Monday), it would be presumed that he had nothing in defence and the matter should be dealt with and decided under the relevant laws/rules and available record in his absence.

The Dir Upper DMO has also served notices on JI provincial chief Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, MPA Inayatullah Khan and JI candidate Jahan Alam for addressing the same public rally. They have been directed to appear before the DMO on March 28.

Similarly, Kolai-Pallas Kohistan DMO Wajid Ali also served notices on PTI MNA Saleh Mohammad Khan Swati, MPA Mufti Obaidur Rehman, MPA Abdul Ghaffar and PTI candidate for Bataira tehsil council Mohammad Iqbal for using state resources in the election campaign.

The DMO has directed them to appear in person or through counsel to clarify their position before him on March 28.

Meanwhile, the district monitoring officer of Mansehra has referred several cases of code of conduct violation to Election Commission of Pakistan for onward proceeding.

Those whose cases were referred to ECP include candidate for Mansehra tehsil council Kamal Saleem Swati, candidate for Balakot tehsil council Mohammad Mushtaq and candidate for Baffa tehsil council Abdul Shakoor Laghmani.

The DMO had directed them to appear on Sunday to clarify their position for violating code of conduct, an official of the provincial ECP said.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1682225/siraj-other-ji-leaders-issued-notices-for-violating-poll-code-of-conduct

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Pakistan: PML-Q seeks time to decide on no-confidence motion against Imran Khan govt

28 March, 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], March 28 (ANI): Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) ally, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), on Sunday sought more time for the consultation before coming to any decision in the no-confidence motion against Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan led government.

Addressing the reporters after a meeting of Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) delegation with PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Dawn quoted Tariq Bashir Cheema, PML-Q member and Pakistan Housing and Work Minister, saying “we will try to come out with our decision in a day or two.”

“Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), the other two allies of the government, have their own issues. We also have some issues. But since we are smaller parties, it is our desire that we all make a collective decision regarding support to the Opposition so that we can have a strong defence line,” Cheema was quoted as saying by Pakistani newspaper Dawn.

Regarding the meeting between PML-N and PML-Q, PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique said that they came to meet the PML-Q chief and the party’s leaders as “they know the affairs of state in a better way”.

Rafique denied the reports that were stating that the PML-N’s supreme leader Nawaz Sharif had rejected the idea of offering Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, the Punjab province Chief Minister’s office.

While responding to the reporter’s question on the offer that PML-N gave to Chaudhry, Rafique said that they had come only to convince PML-Q leadership that it becomes necessary to oust Imran Khan-led government in the wake of prevailing political and economic crisis.

The PML-N leader accused the PTI government of ruining Pakistan’s economy.

A high-level delegation of the Opposition party PML-N met the leaders of PML-Q at the same time when the Pakistani PM was addressing the public rally at Islamabad’s Parade ground, according to Dawn.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) chief Shahzain Bugti, an ally of the ruling government, announced his separation from the government, saying that he will vote in favour of the no-confidence motion against the country’s PM.

Bugti announced that he would support the Opposition in the wake of the no-confidence motion submitted against Imran Khan. Imran Khan’s party is set to face a no-trust motion in the National Assembly. The session is called on March 28.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/pakistan-pml-q-seeks-time-to-decide-on-no-confidence-motion-against-imran-khan-govt/891388/

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Pakistan: JUI-F’s ‘Mehangai’ march enters Punjab province

26 March, 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], March 26 (ANI): The Mehangai (inflation) march of Pakistani Opposition party, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), which started from Karachi, Sindh, has entered Punjab province.

The participants in the JUI-F ‘Mehangai’ march who were joining the joint opposition protest against Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad, received a warm welcome from the JUI-F supporters at the Iqbalabad Interchange on Friday, Pakistani channel Dunya News reported on Saturday.

Tight security was arranged for the participants when they reached Rahim Yar Khan, a city in Punjab province.

After staying a while in Rahim Yar Khan, JUI-F ‘Mehangai’ march left for Multan via motorway. The JUI-F is scheduled to reach Islamabad on March 27, according to Dunya News.

Last year, in November, the alliance of major opposition parties, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) decided to hold a ‘Mehangai’ march in provincial capitals before going ahead with a long march towards Islamabad.

Earlier today, Pakistan’s interior minister Sheikh Rasheed said that voting on the no-confidence motion against Pakistani PM is expected to take place on April 3 or 4.

The federal minister made this comment at a press conference in Islamabad today.

Meanwhile, after the no-confidence motion against Khan was adjourned to March 28, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has intensified its efforts to woo its allies.

A delegation of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) is likely to hold a meeting with Pakistani PM today, ARY News reported citing sources.

The no-confidence motion was submitted on March 8 after the PPP’s long march in Islamabad. The Opposition is confident that its motion would be successful as many PTI lawmakers have come out in the open against PM Imran Khan.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/pakistan-jui-fs-mehangai-march-enters-punjab-province/889716/

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Southeast Asia

 

Minister Of Islamic Affairs Meets With Saudi Universities Graduates In Indonesia

March 28, 2022

JAKARTA — The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh met here Sunday with a number of Saudi universities graduates in Indonesia.

At the outset of the meeting, he conveyed to the participants the greetings of the prudent Saudi leadership, expressing his happiness to see them, and get reassured of their situations.

He also reminded them that he is in fact meeting with preachers who studied in Saudi universities as part of the scholarship program for the Indonesian students, stressing the importance of preachers' adherence to the moderation of faith.

Source: Saudi Gazette

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

https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/618669

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Sarawak Islamic Council announces mask exemptions for mosque, surau officials on duty

28 Mar 2022

KUCHING, March 28 — Wearing face masks continues to be compulsory at mosques and suraus but officials on duty to sound the azan and to lead prayers will be exempt, said the Sarawak Islamic Council (MIS).

In its update of standard operating procedures (SOPs) today, the council said also excluded are khatib berkhutbah and speakers for lectures or forums held in mosques or surau with reasonable physical distancing.

On March 22, MIS had released its state-wide SOPs for the transition to the Covid-19 endemic stage, which mandated the use of face masks in mosques and suraus.

It said that Friday prayers, fardu, sunat, khutbah, and wirid after prayers are allowed without the need for physical distancing.

Other activities allowed to be held on the condition that physical distancing is practised at all times are studies, lectures, talks, courses, workshops, Tadarus, Tahlil, breaking of fast, Moreh, Qiamullail, Sahur, Iktikaf, and Khatamal al-Quran.

MIS also said the organisation of appropriate social activities at mosques and suraus as well as the management and burial of remains unrelated to Covid-19 are permitted but with physical distancing.

Source: Malay Mail

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/03/28/sarawak-islamic-council-announces-mask-exemptions-for-mosque-surau-official/2050013

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Unifor removes congregation cap on non-Muslim houses of worship, funerals in Sarawak

28 Mar 2022

KUCHING, March 28 — The Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) will remove the limit on the number of attendees for non-Muslim houses of worship, as well as funeral and burial ceremonies from April 1, but physical distancing will still be required as the country transitions towards Covid-19 endemicity.

Unifor released its latest standard operating procedures (SOPs) today, allowing the reopening of non-Muslim houses of worship and their administrative offices, as well as for religious activities to be held.

The same set of SOPs is also applicable for the Qing Ming Festival at cemeteries, columbariums, and memorial halls with immediate effect.

The SOPs stated face masks must be used and attendees must constantly wash and sanitise their hands, as well as avoid physical contact.

Attendance must be registered either through MySejahtera or a guest book, except at cemeteries.

Those who are symptomatic are not allowed to attend.

Cleaning and disinfection activities must be done regularly, while good ventilation must be ensured at the premises.

Source: Malay Mail

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/03/28/unifor-removes-congregation-cap-on-non-muslim-houses-of-worship-funerals-in/2050031

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Haj industry players hope quota set for Malaysian pilgrims will be increased

27 Mar 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — Haj package industry players hope that the quota for Malaysian pilgrims to visit Saudi Arabia to fulfil the fifth pillar of Islam will exceed the earlier quota of 32,000 pilgrims.

TH Travel & Services chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Ruzman Ahmad Razali said this was because since 2019 no pilgrims were allowed to enter the Holy land following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This year it is hoped that the Haj pilgrimage restriction is lifted with additional quota given. Haj and umrah travel agencies have suffered the impact when they failed to get customers in 2020, 2021 and this year.

“For the past three years over 90,000 pilgrims were denied and if the quota remains the same (pre-Covid) then many more will have to postpone their trip,” he told reporters at a briefing for haj and umrah tour operators by the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry in Malaysia here today.

The briefing was to introduce a new application that will be launched tomorrow to facilitate haj and umrah travel process and expedite operations of the Saudi Arabian Immigration in Jeddah and Madinah as well as the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Malaysia.

Source: Malay Mail

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/03/27/haj-industry-players-hope-quota-set-for-malaysian-pilgrims-will-be-increase/2049889

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Melting faster than ever, Indonesia’s little-known glacier may disappear by 2025

SHEANY YASUKO LAI

March 27, 2022

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s little-known glacier may disappear as early as 2025, the Meteorological, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency BMKG said on Sunday, with rising temperatures having accelerated the melting of the ice.

The tropical glacier, one of a handful left in the world, lies on a mountain near Puncak Jaya in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua. It has undergone a rapid loss of ice coverage and thickness in the past two decades that could lead to the snow completely disappearing in just a few years’ time.

The Papuan glacier is remnant of glaciers that have existed for around 5,000 years, researchers said. It is one of the few remaining tropical glaciers, with others located in South America and Africa.

Dodo Gunawan, who heads BMKG’s climate change department, told Arab News: “The snow on Puncak Jaya will vanish soon. This is happening because of global warming.”

“Because temperatures at the peak have already increased, it can no longer sustain the snow to compact down into the glacier.”

Though the glacier has been melting for years, increasing global temperatures and reduced rainfall that has been exacerbated by El Nino — a phenomenon that causes tropical ocean water and atmospheric temperatures to get warmer — has sped up the thinning of the glacier.

Donaldi Permana, the agency’s deputy director climate and air quality research, said around the beginning of the industrial revolution, in 1850, the total glacier area on the Puncak Jaya mountain range was estimated at around 20 sq km. By 2002, ice coverage in the area had decreased to around 2 sq km, and was recorded at 0.34 sq km by May 2020.

The thickness of the glacier has been greatly reduced since 2010, when it was at 32 meters, to 22 meters in 2016. The ice thinned to around 8 meters by 2021.

“Under these conditions, between 2025 and 2027, it is likely that the ice will vanish,” Permana told Arab News.

Tropical glaciers are highly sensitive indicators and recorders of climate change, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

The disappearance of the snow-capped peaks in Papua would not only mean the loss of a rare site for Indonesia, but might also affect the fauna and flora in the area, an aspect that Permana said researchers still need to explore further.

It will also be a huge cultural loss for the local Papuan community.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2051526/world

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Africa

 

Tunisia says it has dismantled 150 militant cells in past six months

26 March ,2022

Tunisian police forces have dismantled about 150 militant cells in the past six months, a spokesman for the National Guard said on Saturday.

He added that some of the foreign militants arrested were planning to join “Jond Kilafha,” a group linked to ISIS in Libya and in the mountains on the Tunisian-Algerian border.

“Attempts of attacks targeting neighboring countries were thwarted and a cell that was planning to stab the interior minister in the south of the country was dismantled,” Houssem Eddine Jbebli told reporters.

The North African nation has been under a state of emergency since 2015, after an assault in which a number of presidential guards were killed.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/03/26/Tunisia-says-it-has-dismantled-150-militant-cells-in-past-six-months

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Jordan’s king to hold talks in West Bank with Palestinian president

27 March ,2022

Jordan’s King Abdullah will hold talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank on Monday, the Palestinian Television said.

The visit is widely expected to focus on efforts to reduce tensions in the Palestinian territories and East Jerusalem ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins in April this year.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/03/27/Jordan-s-king-to-hold-talks-in-West-Bank-with-Palestinian-president-

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Two migrants drown off Morocco coast, more than 200 arrested

27 March ,2022

Two migrants drowned after their boat capsized and more than 200 others have been detained as they prepared to leave Morocco by sea, state news agency MAP reported Sunday.

The bodies of the two migrants washed up “after a boat capsized,” MAP reported, without giving further details.

Separately, Moroccan authorities arrested 236 migrants during operations on Friday and Saturday in the southern province of Tarfaya and the city of Laayoune, the main city in the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

The migrants were reportedly seeking to cross to Spain’s Canary Islands.

Tarfaya is located 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Canary Islands and has been a key transit point for migrants hoping to reach Europe.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/03/27/Two-migrants-drown-off-Morocco-coast-more-than-200-arrested-

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Libya's Bashagha says he has ‘good relations’ with Turkiye

Moataz Wanees  

27.03.2022

TRIPOLI, Libya

Libyan Prime Minister-designate Fathi Bashagha said Sunday he has a “very strong relationship” with Turkiye.

In an interview with the local Alwasat TV, Bashagha said there are some parties trying to disrupt his relations with Turkiye, without naming these parties.

“My relationship with Turkiye is strong and we have a very solid friendship,” he said.

“Our relations with the Turkish state have never been affected,” Bashagha added.

The former interior minister said some lawmakers from the Tobruk-based House of Representatives offered to visit Turkiye to clarify the situation in Libya.

“My relationship with Turkiye was built during difficult times and won't change under any circumstances,” he stressed.

Bashagha also revealed that he has received positive signals from both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on his designation as prime minister.

Last month, sitting Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh unveiled a plan to hold elections on June 30 after failing to hold presidential and parliamentary polls on Dec. 24, 2021 amid differences over electoral laws.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/libyas-bashagha-says-he-has-good-relations-with-turkiye/2547299

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West African bloc issues ultimatums to Mali, Burkina Faso junta leaders

James Tasamba and Enoch Fiifi Forson 

26.03.2022

KIGALI, Rwanda/ACCRA, Ghana

West African leaders met Friday to examine the political situation in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea, issuing warnings for failure to restore constitutional order following recent coups in the three countries.

At an extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc in Ghana’s capital, Accra, the bloc’s chairman, Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. described the three countries as recalcitrant members of the bloc.

“Members of the authority of ECOWAS, I want to welcome your excellences back to Accra again to take stock of where we are with our three recalcitrant member states - Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso to make appropriate decisions on the way forward,” he said. “I want to thank you once again for the short notice you responded to the invitation to this meeting, once again a clear indication of your determination to assume your responsibilities for the security of ECOWAS”

The West African leaders gave Mali’s transitional authorities 12 - 16 months to arrange elections, according to the final communique issued after the meeting.

Mali witnessed two coups, in August 2020 and in May 2021.

In Guinea, the military overthrew president Alpha Conde in September.

The junta in Mali initially promised to hold elections in February but later changed that timeline, saying elections would be held in 2026, a move rejected by the ECOWAS.

The bloc invited the transitional president of Mali, Col. Assimi Goita, to attend the meeting Friday in person but he declined, preferring to attend virtually.

The communique said ECOWAS regretted Goita’s failure to honor the invitation to attend the summit to seek a solution to the current situation.

Burkina Faso asked to free former president

The bloc, meanwhile, asked Burkina Faso's interim leaders to reduce a proposed transition period of 36 months to a “more acceptable timeline.”

The leaders also expressed “deep concern over the continued detention of former Burkina Faso leader Rock Kabore since the coup, despite several calls for his unconditional release.”

It demanded the release of Kabore “no later than March 31, 2022 beyond which individual sanctions will be imposed on the transitional authorities.”

ECOWAS also asked Guinea to present an “acceptable timetable for the transition” before the end of April.

After that deadline, individual sanctions would be imposed on members of the government and the National Transitional Council (CNT), it warned.

ECOWAS has already imposed sanctions on Mali and Guinea for delaying the restoration of constitutional order.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/west-african-bloc-issues-ultimatums-to-mali-burkina-faso-junta-leaders/2546248

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