New Age Islam
Wed Dec 02 2020, 10:25 PM

Islamic World News ( 10 Nov 2019, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Islam and Faith of A Muslim Cannot Be Tested On The Basis Of Any Extreme or Absolute Views, the Supreme Court Held In Its Ayodhya Judgment









  • Stop Islamophobia: 10,000 People Protest In France against Rising Anti-Muslim Stance

  • Pakistan’s Prime Minister Marks Eid Miladun Nabi by Reiterating Vow to Transform Country into Islamic Welfare State

  • Buddha Sculptures Returned To Afghanistan

  • ‘Assalamu Alaikum Is Enough’: Ulema Council Advises Against Other Religious Greetings

  • UAE Warns Iran against ‘False Choice’ Between War, ‘Flawed’ Deal

  • Tehran: Enough Chance Given to Diplomacy, Iran Serious about National Interests

  • Jordan’s King Abdullah Announces ‘Full Sovereignty’ Over Lands Leased By Israel

     

    India

  • Islam and Faith of A Muslim Cannot Be Tested On The Basis Of Any Extreme or Absolute Views, the Supreme Court Held In Its Ayodhya Judgment

  • No Procession on Prophet's Birth Anniversary This Year in Ayodhya: Muslim Leaders

  • Ayodhya verdict: On Muslim parties’ claim, SC quoted ’15 Justice Nazeer order

  • OIC, Muslim Leaders Urged To Make A Stand on Babri Mosque Verdict

  • Not alms but compensation: Kar sevak who was part of Babri demolition hits out at Asaduddin Owaisi

  • Jammu & Kashmir: Two terrorists killed in Bandipora encounter

  • J&K police chief, Army commander discuss security situation post Ayodhya verdict

  • Will decide where & whether or not to take 5 acre land: Sunni Waqf Board

  • Dozens detained in India over holy site social media comments

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    Europe

  • Stop Islamophobia: 10,000 People Protest In France against Rising Anti-Muslim Stance

  • Muslim Student Open House Offers A Look At The Culture Of Islam

  • Newnham research fellow denied by Home Office to remain in UK, sparking outrage

  • Blast in Iraq injures five Italian soldiers: Italian military

  • Pope says he intends to go to South Sudan, urges dialogue

  • UK Conservatives put $1.5 trillion price tag on Labour opposition plans

  • German city elects ethnic Turkish mayor for first time

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  • Pakistan

  • Pakistan’s Prime Minister Marks Eid Miladun Nabi by Reiterating Vow to Transform Country into Islamic Welfare State

  • ‘If You Found Dharna Green Sexy, Wait Till You See My PM Resignation Day Outfit,’ Shehbaz Tells Paparazzi

  • Anti-Khalistan Cell Also Formed Alongside Khalistan Cell after Learning Lahore Also Part Of Khalistan

  • Pakistan Challenges International Tennis Federation's Decision To Shift Davis Cup Tie Vs India To Neutral Venue

  • War Will Continue Against Imran Khan’s Government, Says Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl Chief

  • Plunderers of nation's wealth don't deserve to be spared: PM Imran

  • Marshall of ‘Marshall Law’ also Jemima’s cousin, reveals Mufti Kifayatullah

  • 3 suspected terrorists killed in Quetta after exchange of fire: CTD

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    South Asia

  • Buddha Sculptures Returned To Afghanistan

  • ISIS ‘defeated’ in key Afghan province: Official

  • Airstrikes kill 20 Taliban militants in five provinces

  • 4 Pakistani militants blown up by own bomb in Paktiya province

  • Key Afghan presidential runner boycotts vote recount process

  • ISIS militants including a foreign national surrender to Afghan Special Forces in Nangarhar

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    Southeast Asia

  • ‘Assalamu Alaikum Is Enough’: Ulema Council Advises Against Other Religious Greetings

  • Malaysian PM: Leaders In Previous Administration Deviated From Islamic Teachings

  • Citing GE14, Dr M Says Overthrowing Corrupt Leaders A Muslim’s Duty

  • Chinese man among the last granite Muslim tombstone makers in Malaysia

  • Malaysian court tells former PM Najib to defend himself in 1MDB-linked case

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    Arab World

  • UAE Warns Iran against ‘False Choice’ Between War, ‘Flawed’ Deal

  • Protests erupt in Ahwaz after popular dissident poet dies in Iranian hospital

  • UN urges Iraqi officials to prosecute those behind ‘use of excessive force’

  • Russian air strikes kill 7 civilians in northwestern Syria: Report

  • Hezbollah says its ‘arms won’t be twisted’ as crisis deepens

  • At least 8 killed in car bomb attack in northeast Syria

  • Amnesty calls for urgent end to ‘bloodbath’ in Iraq

  • Nearly dozen mass graves of Kurds killed by Saddam exist in southern Iraq: Official

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    Mideast

  • Tehran: Enough Chance Given to Diplomacy, Iran Serious about National Interests

  • Iran begins building second nuclear power reactor at Bushehr: Report

  • Bombing hits area near Syrian city held by Turkish forces, kills 8

  • Uber’s Khosrowshahi calls Khashoggi death ‘mistake’ then takes comment back

  • Iranian Students Stage Protest in Front of French Embassy to Support Yellow Vests

  • Iran: US-Led Naval Coalition Detrimental to Persian Gulf Security

  • Turkey-Affiliated Forces, Terrorists Clash with Syrian Army in Hasaka

  • Spokesman: HOPE Sent to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Positive Feedback Received

  • Iran, Russia launch new phase of nuclear power reactor construction

  • Palestinian shot in back by Israelis in viral video: I died several times that day

  • Iran expanding saffron cultivation area by 5,000 hectares a year: Official

  • Iran: No decision yet on leaving Non-Proliferation Treaty

  • Iran discovers oil field containing 53bn barrels of crude: President Rouhani

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    Africa

  • Jordan’s King Abdullah Announces ‘Full Sovereignty’ Over Lands Leased By Israel

  • Farmers blocked as Israel-Jordan enclave deal expires

  • Tunisia’s Islamist-inspired party wants leader to be house speaker

  • Malta has deal with Libya coastguard over migrant interceptions: Report

  • Sudan to form new parliament after peace deal with rebels

  • Jordan reclaims sovereignty over two plots of land leased to Israel

  • Turkish drone pounds village in Syria’s Hasakah amid cross-border incursion

  • Manipulation of Lebanon national currency aimed at political objectives: Hezbollah MP

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    North America

  • Muslim Candidates In Michigan Faced Hate During Political Campaigns In 2018

  • Top US army general says 600 troops to remain in Syria

    Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

    URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/islam-and-faith-of-a-muslim-cannot-be-tested-on-the-basis-of-any-extreme-or-absolute-views,-the-supreme-court-held-in-its-ayodhya-judgment/d/120235

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    Islam and faith of a Muslim cannot be tested on the basis of any extreme or absolute views, the Supreme Court held in its Ayodhya judgment.

    The five-judge bench said it is not for a court to interpret Hadees or question the faith of worshippers based on certain unqualified ideas of what is Islam, or how and where namaz should be offered.

    “The true test is whether those who believe and worship have faith in the religious efficacy of the place where they pray. The belief and faith of the worshipper in offering namaz at a place, which is for the worshipper a mosque, cannot be challenged,” said the top court.

    It said that as a secular institution, the Supreme Court, must steer clear from choosing one among many possible interpretations of theological doctrine and must defer to the safer course of accepting the faith and belief of the worshipper.

    “Above all, the practice of religion, Islam being no exception, varies according to the culture and social context,” held the court.

    The occasion for the Bench to make these important statements arose in the wake of attempts by senior advocate PN Mishra, who on behalf of Akhil Bharatiya Shri Ram JanmBhumi Punrudhar Samiti, sought to demonstrate that the Babri Masjid lacked essential features of a valid mosque under Islamic jurisprudence.

    Placing reliance on the texts of the Hadees, Mishra sought to urge that there was a breach of some cardinal principles of Islamic law in so far as the Babri mosque was concerned. He said a mosque must have a Vazoo or place for ablution; it should not contain visual images of idols, floral designs or the human form; no ringing of bells is permissible within the precincts of or in the area surrounding the mosque; on one plot of land, two religious places are impermissible, and many more.

    Advocate Mohd Nizamuddin Pasha, representing the Sunni Waqf Board, controverted Mishra’s arguments as being incorrect interpretation of Hadees, and finally said it is a purely spiritual idea of a worshipper about what makes worship dearer to Almighty Allah.

    The top court then dismissed Mishra’s submissions, stating his argument would require it to embark upon a journey into theological doctrine and to apply the doctrine to deduce whether every one of the features prescribed by the Hadees for the location or construction of a mosque have been fulfilled.

    “During the course of the submissions, it has emerged that the extreme and even absolute view of Islam sought to be portrayed by Mishra does not emerge as the only available interpretation of Islamic law on a matter of theology. Hence, in the given set of facts and circumstances, it is inappropriate for this Court to enter upon an area of theology and to assume the role of an interpreter of the Hadees,” held the bench.

    It went on to say: “It would be preposterous for this Court to question it on the ground that a true Muslim would not offer prayer in a place which does not meet an extreme interpretation of doctrine selectively advanced by Mr Mishra.”

    Cultural assimilation, the court said, is a significant factor which shapes the manner in which religion is practiced. “In the plural diversity of religious beliefs as they are practiced in India, cultural assimilation cannot be construed as a feature destructive of religious doctrine. On the contrary, this process strengthens and reinforces the true character of a country which has been able to preserve its unity by accommodating, tolerating and respecting a diversity of religious faiths and ideas,” said the bench.

    It thus concluded: “There can no hesitation in rejecting the submission made by Mr Mishra. Our Court is founded on and owes its existence to a constitutional order. We must firmly reject any attempt to lead the court to interpret religious doctrine in an absolute and extreme form and question the faith of worshippers. Nothing would be as destructive of the values underlying Article 25 of the Constitution.”

    https://www.news18.com/news/india/preposterous-to-question-where-muslims-should-offer-namaz-sc-junks-extreme-views-in-ayodhya-verdict-2381487.html

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    Stop Islamophobia: 10,000 People Protest In France Against Rising Anti-Muslim Stance

    November 11, 2019

    As the debate over Muslim women wearing veils in public in secular France, which bans wearing any religious symbol in public, grows over 10,000 people turned out north of Paris on Sunday for a march against Islamophobia that drew criticism from both the government and the far right.

    The protest was carried out following last month’s attack on a mosque in the southern French city of Bayonne by an 84-year-old man, a former far-right activist, who shot and wounded two men.

    Many of the protesters carried placards denouncing attacks on Islam, a number of women taking part wore traditional Muslim veils, while others had adopted veils bearing the blue, white and red colours of the French flag. Around 13,500 people attended the march, according to a count carried out by the Occurence consultancy and commissioned by the news media, including news agency AFP.

    The march was called by a number of individuals and organisations, including the Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) which came against a background of several jihadist attacks in France in recent years.

    CCIF in its tweet said, “Historic beauty, dignity and energy have crossed the streets of Paris today. May the emotion that has brought us together turn into profound actions. From this moment. #Le10contrelislamophobie”

    CCIF

    @ccif

    Une beauté, une dignité et une énergie historiques ont traversé les rues de Paris aujourd’hui. Puisse l’émotion qui nous a rassemblés se transformer en actions profondes. Dès cet instant. #Le10contrelislamophobie

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    “We came to sound the alarm, to say there is a level of hate you don’t go beyond,” one marcher, Larbi, a 35-year-old businessman, told news agency AFP. “We are open to criticism, but you mustn’t go beyond certain limits of aggression,” he added. “Scandalous propaganda”

    “We want to be heard,… not pushed to edge of society,” Asmae Eumosid, a veiled woman from the suburbs of Paris. “You hear a lot of nonsense about Islam and about veiled women today,” the 29-year-old, who works as an engineer in the car industry, added. “With or without the veil, we are sick of being the last in line,” said a nurse, Nadjet Fella, who said she had campaigned in Algeria against pressure to wear the veil there. “I chose not to wear it, but it hurts me that those who wear it are picked on,” she added.

    In the southern city of Marseille Sunday, several hundred people staged a similar demonstration, carrying placards that read “Islamophobia kills” and shouting “We are all children of the Republic.” Claudine Rodinson, a 76-year-old pensioner came with a group of the radical left Lutte Ouvriere (Workers Struggle) party.

    “There is a scandalous propaganda waged against Muslims,” she said, adding that jihadist terrorism was deliberately equated with Islam.

    France has between five and six million Muslims, according to the latest studies, which makes it the second largest religion in the country, and the largest Muslim community in Europe. But France is fiercely protective of the secular principles of its constitution, banning the wearing of religious symbols in state schools, for example.

    Last week, the Socialist party formally distanced itself from the demonstration, objecting to a reference to oppressive laws concerning Muslims, thought by some to be a reference to the 2004 law banning the wearing of veils in schools. It said it would organise its own demonstration at a later date.

    Several members of the government meanwhile made it clear they had no sympathy for the march. Gabriel Attal, a junior minister with responsibility for young people denounced what he said was the opportunism of those left-wing politicians supporting the march.

    And Elisabeth Borne, a junior minister for ecology, said the march was only setting people against each other. Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally, also condemned the march in a tweet Sunday. Radical Islamism had killed far more Muslims in France than Islamophobia, she argued. “This reveals the extent of your fraud!” she added.

    Marine Le Pen

    @MLP_officiel

    Avis aux manifestants : l’islamisme a tué beaucoup plus de musulmans en France (Merah, Nice...) que l’islamophobie (qui n’en a fait aucun) ! Ceci révèle l’étendue de votre arnaque ! MLP

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    Critics also accused some of the 50 original signatories to the petition calling for the march of having links to political Islam, including the CCIF itself. A number of far-left politicians, including Jean-Luc Melenchon, the firebrand leader of France Unbowed party, nevertheless joined the Paris rally Sunday.

    https://www.thestatesman.com/world/stop-islamophobia-10000-people-protest-in-france-against-rising-anti-muslim-stance-1502820511.html

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    Buddha sculptures returned to Afghanistan

    Nov 11, 2019

    Ten stolen Buddha sculptures were returned to Afghanistan after they were discovered stashed inside two broken fruit crates at London’s Heathrow Airport.

    Customs officers seized a statue and nine Buddha heads in 2002 believing they might have been used to hide drugs but further investigations revealed they were stolen 1,500-year-old treasures.

    Police said the sculptures from the ancient region of Gandhara, in the Afghan-Pakistan border area, could not be immediately returned to Afghanistan because of the war that followed the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

    Although the return of the items to the National Museum of Afghanistan was first announced in July, they are now being sent back after going on display at London’s British Museum.

    The pieces, which are believed to have originated from Buddhist monasteries in the country, are thought to have been parts of bigger works of art damaged by the Taliban.

    Gandhara was a centre of Buddhism for Asia until Islam increased in significance.

    “We presume that they were beheaded in the Taliban iconoclastic phase of 2001, when figural representations were prohibited, whether in modern media – like television – or from antiquity,” St John Simpson, senior curator at the Middle East department of the British Museum, was quoted as saying in July.

    Detective Constable Sophie Hayes from the Metropolitan Police Art and Antiques unit, said: “This has been a very long and complex case but I am delighted that after 17 years, these ancient and precious items are finally being returned to Afghanistan.”

    The heads, which date back to between the fourth and sixth century AD, were sent in the crates from Peshawar, Pakistan, to a business in London, which was unaware of the nature of items, police said.

    Nobody has been prosecuted over the looting.

    https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/buddha-sculptures-returned-to-afghanistan-1.936111

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    ‘Assalamu Alaikum Is Enough’: Ulema Council Advises Against Other Religious Greetings

    November 10, 2019

    The East Java branch of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has issued a letter advising Muslims against using greetings from other religions, calling the practice a form of bid’ah (heresy).

    In a letter dated Nov. 8, East Java MUI chairman Abdusshomad Buchori recommended that Muslims, especially policymakers, only use greetings of their own religion.

    “For Muslims, it’s enough to say assalamu alaikum,” he wrote. “That way, Muslims can avoid from syubhat [doubtful] actions that can harm the purity of their religion.”

    It is common for government officials to open official speeches with a litany of traditional religious greetings, including assalamu alaikum for Muslims, shalom for Christians, om swastiastu for Hindus and namo buddhaya for Buddhists.

    Abdusshomad said that Muslims should refrain from following the practice, because the greetings were effectively prayers from different belief systems.

    “For example, the Muslim greeting assalamu alaikum means ‘may Allah give you salvation.’ This expression is a prayer that is addressed to Allah, the One Almighty God,” he said. “The Buddhist greeting namo buddhaya, means ‘Homage to Buddha,’ an expression that cannot be separated from Buddhists’ beliefs about Siddharta Gautama.”

    Om swastiastu, he continued, was also a prayer that meant “may Sang Hyang Widhi [the Hindu deity] give you goodness and happiness.”

    “Muslims using greetings from all religions is a new practice that amounts to bid’ah [heresy] that was never practiced in the past and at the very least contains an element of syubhat [doubt] that should be avoided,” Abdusshomad concluded.  (kmt)

    https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/11/10/assalamu-alaikum-is-enough-ulema-council-advises-against-other-religious-greetings.html

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    UAE warns Iran against ‘false choice’ between war, ‘flawed’ deal

    10 November 2019

    Iran should come to the negotiating table with world powers and Gulf countries to seek a new deal that would deescalate regional tensions and revive its economy, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, said on Sunday.

    Tensions in the Gulf have risen since attacks on oil tankers in a vital global shipping lane this summer, including off the UAE coast, and a major assault on energy facilities in Saudi Arabia.

    Washington has blamed Iran, which has denied being behind the attacks on global energy infrastructure.

    On Thursday, Iran said it had resumed uranium enrichment at its Fordow nuclear site, stepping further away from its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers after the US pulled out of it.

    “Further escalation at this point serves no one and we strongly believe that there is room for collective diplomacy to succeed,” Gargash said in a speech in Abu Dhabi.

    He warned against a “false choice” between war and the “flawed” atomic deal.

    The US has imposed fresh sanctions on Iran since pulling out of the pact as part of its “maximum pressure” campaign on Tehran.

    Gargash said new talks with Iran should not just deal with the nuclear issue but also address concerns over its ballistic missile program and regional interventions through proxy groups.

    These topics mean regional countries would need to be involved in the discussions, he said at an annual strategic debate in the UAE capital.

    The UAE, which says Iran is a destabilizing force in the region, backed US President Donald Trump’s maximum pressure campaign against Tehran but called for de-escalation after the attacks.

    “I believe there could be a path to a deal with Iran that all parties might soon be ready to embark on. It will be long, and patience and courage will be required,” Gargash said.

    It was important that the international community be on the same page, especially the US and European Union countries, as well as regional states, he added.

    Washington says it hopes the sanctions, which are aimed at halting all Iranian oil exports, will force Iran into negotiations to reach a wider deal.

    But Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has banned Iranian officials from holding such talks unless the US returns to the nuclear deal and lifts all sanctions.

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2019/11/10/UAE-calls-for-Iran-talks-with-world-powers-region.html

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    Tehran: Enough Chance Given to Diplomacy, Iran Serious about National Interests

    Nov 10, 2019

    “The Islamic Republic has given a fair chance to diplomacy,” Mousavi said this morning, touching upon the fate of the nuclear deal of 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), after Iran’s latest step in reducing its commitments under the deal.

    Since May, Iran decided to scale down its commitments according to it rights stipulated in the agreement, the diplomat added, recounting that despite the fact that reducing undertakings could be either at once or gradual, Tehran decided to do it step-by-step and remain in the JCPOA to respect its obligations.

    Mousavi went on saying that the 4th step has been again within the letters of the JCPOA, reminding that Iran has shown, with undertaking the 4th step, that it is serious about upholding its announced stances. The Islamic Republic “will never compromise Iran’s national interests”.

    “This is the right of the Iranian nation,” he highlighted, underlining, “The door to diplomacy is still open, but we have not pinned hope on anybody. We are doing this based on our inherent responsibility, and we will not wait for promises,” reassured the Iranian diplomat.

    Early on Thursday, Iran resumed injection of UF6 gas into the centrifuge machines installed at Fordow nuclear facility as part of the country's fourth step to modify nuclear deal undertakings.

    The measure at Fordow was taken upon an executive order by President Hassan Rouhani in coordination with the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).

    A cylinder including 2,000 kg of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) was transferred from Natanz to Fordow nuclear site. Then, the cylinder was connected to the feeding lines at Wednesday midnight.

    Following the successful technical overhaul, the gas injection to the chains as well as the centrifuges and producing and gathering enriched uranium began at Fordow under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    After the Thursday move, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reassured that his country will continue its diplomatic engagement with countries interested in preserving the nuclear deal, underlining that the 4th step of Tehran’s reduction in nuclear commitments was a natural response to the US destructive moves and Europeans’ inaction.

    “We have taken the fourth JCPOA step,” Zarif said on Friday night upon arrival in Turkey to attend the 24th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).

    "We had made it clear that if the measures of other parties do not yield results, we'd take the next steps to decrease our JCPOA commitments," the top Iranian diplomat said.

    "The [Iranian] president announced on the first day of scaling back the JCPOA commitments that we will continue the negotiations despite taking our steps within the framework of the JCPOA," he said, adding that Tehran started the talks from the very first day and "did not say no to negotiation."

    "We will hold talks with those parties interested in preserving the JCPOA; the French will continue their consultations on the issue, and we will leave the door open for negotiation and understanding," Zarif noted.

    On Thursday, Iran’s Ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad dismissed the Europeans’ argument of their inability to honor their nuclear deal commitments under US pressures, adding that the terms of the agreement and the ability to deliver on obligations should have been thought of before making a promise.

    “We hope this warning would encourage all other parties to implement their commitments. … Now it depends on the other side — if they don’t take this warning seriously … we will be in a very difficult situation,” he warned.

    The nuclear deal was reached in Vienna in July 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 group of states, the US, Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany. It lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran, which, in turn, voluntarily changed some aspects of its nuclear energy program.

    The US, however, left the accord last May and reinstated its unilateral sanctions against Iran. The European deal partners, meanwhile, have bowed to Washington’s pressure, failing to honor their contractual obligations to protect Iran’s economy in the face of America’s “toughest-ever” bans.

    https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980819000600

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    Jordan’s King Abdullah Announces ‘Full Sovereignty’ Over Lands Leased By Israel

    10 November 2019

    Jordan’s king on Sunday announced “full sovereignty” over two pieces of land leased by Israel, ending a 25-year arrangement spelled out in the countries’ landmark peace agreement.

    King Abdullah II said in a speech to the government’s new Cabinet on Sunday that Jordan would end the “annex of the two areas, Ghumar and Al-Baqoura, in the peace treaty and impose our full sovereignty on every inch of them.”

    Israel, which has controlled the lands for over 70 years, had been permitted to lease the areas under the 1994 peace agreement. One of the areas, a popular visitors’ site in northern Israel, is known in Hebrew as the “Peace Island.”

    But with relations cool, Abdullah announced earlier this year that he would end the lease.

    Israelis were prevented from entering Jordanian border enclaves on Sunday after a deal allowing farmers to work the land there expired.

    Just last month, Amman recalled its ambassador from Israel over the prolonged detention without trial in Israel of two Jordanians. The ambassador returned after the two were released.

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/11/10/Jordan-s-King-Abdullah-II-announces-full-sovereignty-over-lands-leased-by-Israel.html

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    No Procession on Prophet's Birth Anniversary This Year in Ayodhya: Muslim Leaders

    November 11, 2019

    Muhammad's birth anniversary Milad-un-Nabi, were cancelled in Ayodhya on Sunday, some local Muslim leaders said.

    The decision was taken as a "precaution" and also due to "some sadness" among Muslims in the wake of the Supreme Court's Saturday verdict, negating the Muslims' claim over the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land.

    The Ayodhya adminstration, however, maintained that processions were taken out, though they might have been scaled down.

    The community leaders, who vouched for the cancellation of processions in Ayodhya on

    Sunday, included prominent Muslim cleric Mufti Shamsul Qamar Qadri, also the imam of Ayodhya's main mosque.

    "This year, we have taken out no procession on the occasion of Bara Rabiul Awwal. There are two reasons behind this. The first one is to maintain peace (in the city). It was done as a precautionary measure," Qadri, Faizabad's Qazi-e-Shahar, told .

    "Secondly, (it was) to express our sorrow after the Supreme Court judgement. In all, 50-55 processions used to be taken out in the city.

    No procession was taken out today. We celebrated Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi at our respective mosques," added Qadri, also the designated

    Imam-o-Khatib of city's Jama Masjid Tatsah.

    Maajid Ali Khan, an Ayodhya resident and district-level leader of Telangana-based political outfit All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen

    (AIMIM), headed by Asaduddin Owaisi, too corroborated the Muslim cleric statement.

    "Bara Rabiul Awwal procession, which was to be taken out on Sunday, stands cancelled. The reason is that due to barriers erected at various places in Ayodhya, people coming from outside cannot reach here," said Khan.

    "We also wanted that there should be no problem because of the procession. We cancelled it as a precautionary measure," he said "Secondly, there is some sadness among us after the judgement by the Supreme Court. The occasion is Jashn-e-Milad-un-Nabi. It is a joyous occasion, but we can neither celebrate it, nor feel happy. The judgement has come, but not the justice," said Khan.

    Khan said over 50 processions used to be taken out on the occasion of Jashn-e-Milad-un-Nabi in Ayodhya, but they have been cancelled.

    Khan, however, vouched for complete communal amity in the holy town in the wake of the apex court verdict.

    "The atmosphere, however, is absolutely fine here. There is no problem among Hindus and Muslims in Ayodhya," he told .

    Ayodhya District Magistrate Anuj Jha, however, denied that the processions have been cancelled here.

    When contacted, Jha told , "The processions have not been cancelled, but the scale of the processions might have been lowered by the organisers themselves. The processions have already been taken out."

    "We had told organisers to stick to the traditional route and the manner of celebrations. Whatever they are doing, they are doing at their own level," Jha added.

    Babloo Khan, a local Muslim leader, said, "I have been following Quran in letter and spirit. If Kaba is sacred for Muslims, the Ram Janmabhoomi is equally sacred for the Hindus. This is the city of Lord Ram. We welcome the Supreme Court judgment, and each and every citizen should welcome it."  https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/no-procession-on-prophets-birth-anniversary-this-year-in-ayodhya-muslim-leaders/articleshow/71994471.cms

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    Ayodhya verdict: On Muslim parties’ claim, SC quoted ’15 Justice Nazeer order

    by Kaunain Sheriff M

    November 11, 2019

    One of the central arguments presented before the five judge Constitution Bench by the Muslim parties in the Ayodhya matter was that they had “perfected” their claim to the title by “adverse possession”.

    The Bench, however, rejected the claim — holding that the Muslim parties had failed to meet the requirements of adverse possession. In reaching this conclusion, the five-judge Bench relied on an order passed more than four years ago by Justice S Abdul Nazeer, a member of the Ayodhya Bench who was then a judge of the Karnataka High Court.

    In his order passed on July 22, 2015, Justice Nazeer had ruled that adverse possession “must be adequate in continuity”, and “must be actual, visible and exclusive”.

    In the Ayodhya title suit appeal, the Muslim side had argued that the Muslims, by virtue of their “long, exclusive and continuous possession” from the time the mosque was built to the time it was desecrated, had perfected their right to the title by adverse possession.

    Rejecting this argument, the Constitution Bench said: “The plaintiffs in Suit 4 plead adverse possession in the alternative… In a judgment rendered in 2015, one of us (Justice Abdul Nazeer) as a Single Judge of the Karnataka High Court succinctly identified and laid down the pre-requisites of a claim to adverse possession.”

    Justice Nazeer’s 2015 judgment related to property dispute in which a regular second appeal had been filed by legal representatives of one of the plaintiffs (Subbamma). The suit had sought cancellation of the gift deed (the land), and permanent injunction restraining the defendants from interfering with the possession of the disputed property.

    “The concept of adverse possession contemplates a hostile possession i.e., a possession which is expressly or impliedly in denial of the title of the true owner. Possession to be adverse must be possession by a person, who does not acknowledge others’ rights but denies them. Possession implies dominion and control and the consciousness in the mind of the person having dominion over an object that he has it and can exercise,” the Bench cited Justice Nazeer’s 2015 judgment.

    “To prove title to the land by adverse possession it is not sufficient to show that some acts of possession have been done. The possession required must be adequate in continuity, in publicity and in extent to show that it is adverse to the owner. In other words, the possession must be actual, visible, exclusive, hostile and continued during the time necessary to create a bar under the statute of limitation,” the Bench further cited the 2015 judgment.

    Hence, the Constitution Bench concluded, it “was impossible” for the Muslim parties “to set up a case of being in peaceful, open and continuous possession of the entire property”.

    “Dr Dhavan (counsel for the Muslim parties) repeatedly asserted that the Muslims were obstructed in their offering worship at the mosque as a result of the illegalities of the Hindus. For this purpose, Dr Dhavan refers to the incidents which took place in 1856-7, 1934 and 1949 — the last of them leading up to the preliminary order under Section 145.

    Full report at:

    https://indianexpress.com/article/india/ayodhya-verdict-on-muslim-parties-claim-sc-quoted-15-justice-nazeer-order-6113495/

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    OIC, Muslim Leaders Urged To Make A Stand on Babri Mosque Verdict

    November 10, 2019

    KUALA LUMPUR: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Muslims leaders worldwide have been urged to make their stand following the verdict on the 16th century Babri mosque in India.

    In a statement, Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organization president Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, World Mosque in Defence of Al Aqsa chair alliance Datuk Seri Ahmad Awang and Ulama Assembly of Asia chair secretariat Datuk Wira Abdul Ghani Shamsudin also demanded that the Indian government ensure protection of all religious minorities and their places of worship.

    India’s Supreme Court had yesterday ruled that the disputed holy site of Ayodhya in northern India should be given to Hindus who want to build a temple there.

    It was in the old temple town that Babri mosque was demolished by Hindu mobs in 1992, which sparked riots that killed nearly 2,000 people, mostly Muslims.

    “Replacing the mosque with another land does not resolve the dispute.

    “It must also be based on justice for those killed and compensation for the mosque destroyed,” the statement read.

    “The court also declared the demolition of the Babri mosque was against the rule of law.

    “So, why is there a silence on this issue?

    “Those responsible must be brought to justice.”

    The statement also raised concern that the verdict would trigger more claims to avenge historical demands on holy sites.

    “The question now is how does faith determine a land dispute?

    “The rule of law should have ideally determined a property dispute, but in this case a belief took dominance in the court decision,” it said.

    Mohd Azmi, Ahmad and Abdul Ghani also voiced their concern over the growing “hate campaign” against Islam and Muslims in India.

    Full report at:

    https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/11/537377/oic-muslim-leaders-urged-make-stand-babri-mosque-verdict

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    Not alms but compensation: Kar sevak who was part of Babri demolition hits out at Asaduddin Owaisi

    Ashish Pandey

    Hyderabad

    November 10, 2019

    Mohammed Aamir alias Balbir Singh, who had participated in the demolition of the Babari Masjid in Ayodhya and later converted to Islam, on Sunday lashed out at All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi over his 'khairat' remark following the Ayodhya verdict.

    The Supreme Court on Saturday pronounced the Ayodhya verdict. In its verdict, the Supreme Court directed the Centre to give five acres of suitable land to the Sunni Waqf Board for the construction of a mosque.

    Dissatisfied with the Ayodhya verdict, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that the Muslim society struggled for its legal rights and it does not need alms. "We were fighting for our legal right. In my opinion, we should reject this five-acre land offer. Don't patronise us," Asaduddin said.

    A day later, Mohammed Aamir reacted to Asaduddin Owaisi's remarks, saying the land which has been given to the Sunni Waqf Board for the construction of a mosque was not "khairat [alms]" but compensation.

    On December 1, 1992, Aamir had reached Ayodhya to join thousands of kar sevaks coming from across the country. On December 6 that year, according to Aamir, he was the first man to climb the middle dome. He was also given a hero's welcome when he reached home.

    Full report at:

    https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/kar-sevak-who-was-part-of-babri-masjid-demolition-hits-out-at-asaduddin-owaisi-1617624-2019-11-10

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    Jammu & Kashmir: Two terrorists killed in Bandipora encounter

    Nov 11, 2019

    SRINAGAR: A terrorist was killed in an encounter with security forces in Bandipora district of north Kashmir on Monday morning, police said.

    While one terrorist was killed on Sunday during a gunfight between security forces in Lawdara village, about 55km from Srinagar, another was killed this morning, they said.

    The encounter broke out when security forces launched a search operation following specific information about the presence of some terrorists.

    More details awaited.

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/jammu-kashmir-two-terrorists-killed-in-bandipora-encounter/articleshow/72002043.cms

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    J&K police chief, Army commander discuss security situation post Ayodhya verdict

    Nov 10, 2019

    JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir's police chief Dilbag Singh met Army's Northern Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh in Udhampur on Sumday and discussed the overall security situation in the Union Territory following the Ayodhya verdict, officials said.

    The Director General of Police was accompanied by Additional Director General of CRPF Zulfikar Hassan to the meeting, a police spokesman said.

    "Overall security situation of the UT was discussed in the light of the Ayodhaya judgement (during the meeting)," he said.

    Singh later also visited Ramban along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway and held a detailed meeting with senior officers, including Brigade Commander 11 Sector Rashtriya Rifles Brig Niranjan Jog, DIG of Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban range B S Tuti and Deputy Commissioner Ramban Nazim Zia Khan.

    Senior Superintendent of Police of Ramban Anita Sharma and SSP Traffic, National Highway J S Johar also attended the meeting that discussed the security and law and order situation post abrogation of Article 370 and pronouncement of Ayodhya verdict, he said.

    He said the DGP complimented the officers for coordination and synergy between police, civil administration and central forces which resulted in smooth and peaceful handling of the law and order challenges in the area.

    A meeting was also held with the representatives of the construction companies engaged in widening of the national highway, the spokesman said, adding that the meeting took stock of the landslide areas and other potholes on the strategic road requiring immediate attention and repair.

    The landslide-prone areas and the pace with which the work to clear these landslides is done were discussed, the spokesman said.

    He said the concerned construction company management representatives were asked to keep their men and machinery available at all such spots for speedy clearance of the road.

    "Some other areas where the road space has been damaged due to recent rains were also discussed. The representatives were asked to rush more manpower and machinery during winter months so that the road does not get blocked for longer duration," the spokesman said.

    SSP Traffic, National Highway, was directed that whenever, there is blockade of road, information must be shared immediately through various channels to maintain traffic discipline and to avoid inconvenience to the public, he said.

    He said sufficient traffic personnel should be deployed at landslide prone areas.

    Deputy Commissioner and SSP Ramban were asked that necessary deployment of police personnel and magistrates should be made at blockade points to handle any law and order problems, the spokesman said.

    Full report at:

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/jk-police-chief-army-commander-discuss-security-situation-post-ayodhya-verdict/articleshow/71995860.cms

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    J&K police chief, Army commander discuss security situation post Ayodhya verdict

    Nov 10, 2019

    JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir's police chief Dilbag Singh met Army's Northern Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh in Udhampur on Sumday and discussed the overall security situation in the Union Territory following the Ayodhya verdict, officials said.

    The Director General of Police was accompanied by Additional Director General of CRPF Zulfikar Hassan to the meeting, a police spokesman said.

    "Overall security situation of the UT was discussed in the light of the Ayodhaya judgement (during the meeting)," he said.

    Singh later also visited Ramban along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway and held a detailed meeting with senior officers, including Brigade Commander 11 Sector Rashtriya Rifles Brig Niranjan Jog, DIG of Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban range B S Tuti and Deputy Commissioner Ramban Nazim Zia Khan.

    Senior Superintendent of Police of Ramban Anita Sharma and SSP Traffic, National Highway J S Johar also attended the meeting that discussed the security and law and order situation post abrogation of Article 370 and pronouncement of Ayodhya verdict, he said.

    He said the DGP complimented the officers for coordination and synergy between police, civil administration and central forces which resulted in smooth and peaceful handling of the law and order challenges in the area.

    A meeting was also held with the representatives of the construction companies engaged in widening of the national highway, the spokesman said, adding that the meeting took stock of the landslide areas and other potholes on the strategic road requiring immediate attention and repair.

    The landslide-prone areas and the pace with which the work to clear these landslides is done were discussed, the spokesman said.

    He said the concerned construction company management representatives were asked to keep their men and machinery available at all such spots for speedy clearance of the road.

    "Some other areas where the road space has been damaged due to recent rains were also discussed. The representatives were asked to rush more manpower and machinery during winter months so that the road does not get blocked for longer duration," the spokesman said.

    SSP Traffic, National Highway, was directed that whenever, there is blockade of road, information must be shared immediately through various channels to maintain traffic discipline and to avoid inconvenience to the public, he said.

    He said sufficient traffic personnel should be deployed at landslide prone areas.

    Deputy Commissioner and SSP Ramban were asked that necessary deployment of police personnel and magistrates should be made at blockade points to handle any law and order problems, the spokesman said.

    Full report at:

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/jk-police-chief-army-commander-discuss-security-situation-post-ayodhya-verdict/articleshow/71995860.cms

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    Will decide where & whether or not to take 5 acre land: Sunni Waqf Board

    Nov 10, 2019

    LUCKNOW: A day after the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict on the Ayodhya dispute, UP Sunni Central Waqf Board has said that the board will meet and decide whether or not it will take the five acres of alternate land which the apex court has asked the state government to provide for a mosque.

    The board's chairperson, Zufar Faruqi, told TOI that the Board in its general body meeting will also be deciding where it will take the land if it has to.

    "The Board will take a decision on both the points in its meeting to be held soon," said Faruqi when asked if there has been any decision by the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board on will alternate land be taken and where will be taken?

    He also said that the Board will be putting its head together on the sensitive issue on November 26. He added that the date can be advanced too.

    "We have received a few suggestions from various people on the alternate land as observed by the SC. But decisions have to be taken on it in the upcoming meeting," said Faruqi.

    Earlier on the day of the SC verdict, Faruqi as chief of the Board which is one of the primary appellant in the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, had welcomed the verdict.

    Full report at:

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/will-decide-where-whether-or-not-to-take-5-acre-land-sunni-waqf-board/articleshow/71998057.cms

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    Dozens detained in India over holy site social media comments

    November 11, 2019

    Indian police have arrested dozens of people for social media comments that allegedly threatened "communal harmony" after the Supreme Court awarded a holy site once used for a mosque to Hindus, officials said Monday.

    The site in the northern city of Ayodhya has in the past caused communal riots that have left thousands dead, and security forces have been on alert since the verdict was announced on Saturday. Hindu and Muslim leaders have called for calm.

    Police said the social media posts on platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Youtube had threatened "communal harmony".

    At least 77 people were arrested in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh -- where Ayodhya is located -- after the Supreme Court decision, a police statement said.

    The statement added that authorities had acted against more than 8,270 posts, with steps including "reporting the posts to the social media platform" and "directly messaging the user to delete the message".

    Most of the content targeted -- more than 2,800 posts -- was on Twitter. There were 1,355 allegedly inflammatory comments on Facebook, and 98 YouTube videos, authorities said.

    Eight other arrests were reported in the central state of Madhya Pradesh for social media comments.

    A jail warden in the city of Gwalior was also arrested for celebrating with fireworks after Hindus were awarded the site.

    A mosque had stood on the Ayodhya site for almost five centuries. But Hindus claim it was built over the birthplace of the warrior god Rama and a mob tore down the mosque in 1992, setting off riots in which 2,000 people were killed.

    Muslims are to be given a separate plot of land in Ayodhya to build a new mosque under the Supreme Court ruling. Several Hindu nationalist leaders still face trial over the 1992 demolition.

    Full report at:

    https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/11/11/dozens-detained-in-india-over-holy-site-social-media-comments.html

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    Europe

     

    Muslim Student Open House offers a look at the culture of Islam

    By Grace Wyatt

    Nov 10, 2019

    “Please place your shoes on the shelves,” read the sign on the door, greeting visitors to the Muslim Student Open House.

    The Islamic Center of Manhattan partnered with Kansas State’s Muslim Student Association to put on the Muslim Student Open House. On Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the center opened its doors to students and community members for a day of informative fun.

    Once visitors removed their shoes, they were invited inside to watch a brief video explaining the use of the Arabic word “Allah.” Following this, they were free to explore both of the building’s floors.

    Upstairs, participants had the opportunity to view various boards explaining the five pillars of Islam. A speaker accompanied each board to answer questions following their presentations.

    One of the presenters was Mohammad Khan, junior in biology, who also spoke at KSUnite last Wednesday.

    “We are not dangerous,” Khan said. “Even at Kansas State, I get weird looks if I’m out in my own traditional clothing, and that’s fine because I’m used to it, but the only thing I would like for people to know about Islam is that it’s humanity.

    “It’s really kind. … You’re not a Muslim if you’re not humane to people. … Don’t listen to the media, or the president,” he continued. “Go out, meet with Muslims, study the religion, read novels. … Go and experience it, don’t take anyone’s word for it.”

    Khan said he took part in both events to clear up misconceptions and stereotypes about Islam.

    “There’s a lot of negativity about Islam, and we all face it … so we have to be the ambassadors,” he said.

    Attendees who visited the lower level saw a few more presentations focused on women in Islam. Female visitors were invited to try on hijabs. There was a booth for receiving henna tattoos and a booth for learning to write in Arabic.

    Deanna Durler, junior in human resource management, used the open house to do research for a class project.

    “I’m in a class called Diversity in the Workplace, and we’re doing a year-long project where we study another culture we don’t really know anything about,” Durler said. “So, I decided to learn about Muslim culture, because I know absolutely nothing. I heard about this event, and I was like, ‘Hey, this is perfect.’ The information booths have been really helpful in teaching me about hijabs — trying it on was really fun —and learning about the Quran and the Prophet Mohammed.”

    “The people are really nice,” Durler said. “Everyone I’ve met has been super nice. You should definitely go out and meet people who practice Islam and not just learn about it from the media.”

    As they finished their walk through the building, attendees were invited to try traditional Middle Eastern food in a buffet-style line. Some of the samples included manakeesh, known in the West as Arabic pizza, Arabic coffee and baklava pastries.

    On their way out, each guest received a bag containing a copy of the Quran, pamphlets explaining various aspects of Islam and a commemorative mug.

    The Islamic Center of Manhattan is always open to Muslims and non-Muslims alike to answer any questions related to Islam.

    https://www.kstatecollegian.com/2019/11/10/muslim-student-open-house-offers-a-look-at-the-culture-of-islam/

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    Newnham research fellow denied by Home Office to remain in UK, sparking outrage

    November 10 2019

    The UK Home Office has denied a Cambridge research fellow’s application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, requiring that she leave the country when her current visa expires at the end of January.

    Over 100 academics have so far signed an open letter in protest of the decision and calling for its reversal, since it began circulating on Friday. Dr Asiya Islam, a Junior Research Fellow at Newnham who has been resident in the UK for over 10 years, said that the government “is driving away global researchers” with the current political direction under its hostile environment policy.

    Islam, 31, received her PhD in Sociology from Cambridge as a Gates Scholar, and previously studied at the London School of Economics.

    After submitting her application for ILR on 20th September and paying additional fees out-of-pocket for a decision within 24 hours, Islam waited 5 weeks to receive a letter denying her application. The Home Office stated that it was denied on the basis of her being absent from the country for too many days. Islam spent a year in Delhi researching in the field for her PhD at Cambridge. Islam provided letters from the University and the Sociology Department to the Home Office that proved this fieldwork was a necessary part of her research, but the Home Office said that she “failed to provide any exceptional reasons in support of [her] out of time application”.

    The Home Office has said that ILR is normally refused under a Tier 4 (general student) visa if the individual was absent from the country for over 540 days in a decade. However, the open letter cited Home Office guidelines published on 1st October 2019, which states that “the time abroad can be waived for Tier 2 [general work] visa holders in PhD level occupation when they are absent from the UK for research purposes”.

    Islam has said that she subsequently learnt of other international academics being denied permanent residence due to the same problem of absence for research. “Under this government,” she tweeted, “there is an attack on academics”. A spokesperson for Newnham College told The Guardian: “Without talented academics like Dr Islam, the University of Cambridge would not be a global leader in research”.

    The spokesperson added, “Dr Asiya Islam is a highly valued member of the research community at Newnham College and the University of Cambridge. Dr Islam has an impressive academic record: she was a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, was awarded the best degree performance award at the London School of Economics, and received the Dr Zakir Hussain medal for academic excellence from Aligarh Muslim University.”

    Full report at:

    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/18231

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    Blast in Iraq injures five Italian soldiers: Italian military

    10 November 2019

    An explosion in Iraq has injured five Italian soldiers, three of them seriously, the Italian military said on Sunday.

    The military said an improvised explosive devise detonated as a team of Italian special forces passed close by. The wounded men were evacuated to safety by US helicopters and none of them are believed to have suffered life-threatening injuries.

    The group were in Iraq as part of an international mentoring and training mission, which is helping local forces who are battling ISIS, the military said.

    “Our men were training Iraqi security forces engaged in fighting ISIS,” Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said.

    “I am following the situation with sorrow and apprehension,” he wrote on Twitter.

    The military did not say where the incident happened, but the AdnKronos news agency said the attack took place near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

    Full report at:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/11/10/Blast-in-Iraq-injures-five-Italian-soldiers-Italian-military.html

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    Pope says he intends to go to South Sudan, urges dialogue

    10 November 2019

    Pope Francis says he intends to go to South Sudan, where efforts are underway to salvage a peace deal.

    In public remarks Sunday, Francis also urged the African nation's leaders to find “consensus” for the good of the country. South Sudan president Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar last week agreed to postpone forming a coalition government for 100 days to resolve security and governance issues.

    Francis didn’t detail his travel plans, only saying “I must visit” South Sudan “this year.” The pope travels to Asia later this month. In past years, he has spoken of a hoped-for pilgrimage to South Sudan.

    Full report at:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2019/11/10/Pope-says-he-intends-to-go-to-South-Sudan-urges-dialogue.html

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    UK Conservatives put $1.5 trillion price tag on Labour opposition plans

    Nov 10, 2019

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party said the opposition Labour Party would spend an extra 1.2 trillion pounds ($1.5 trillion) over the next five years if it wins power in an election on Dec. 12, British newspapers reported on Saturday.

    The Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Times newspapers quoted Conservative finance minister Sajid Javid as calling Labour’s spending plans “truly frightening” that would push Britain close to bankruptcy.

    However, Labour’s would-be finance minister, John McDonnell, dismissed the Conservative estimates as “ludicrous” and a “mish-mash of debunked estimates and bad maths”.

    Labour has not yet published full policy proposals, and the Sunday Times said the Conservative Party based the 1.2 trillion pound figure on Labour’s manifesto for the 2017 election and more recent policy pledges.

    Britain’s top civil servant barred the finance ministry from publishing a costing of Labour’s policies last week, saying it would breach political impartiality rules.

    McDonnell said in an interview for the Sunday’s Independent that the party’s manifesto would be “the most radical ever” and include a pilot for a universal basic income, and reiterated his desire to block expansion of London’s Heathrow airport.

    The Conservatives currently enjoy a sizeable lead in opinion polls over Labour at the start of the campaigning for December’s election, which Johnson called early in a bid to break the parliamentary impasse over Brexit.

    Separate polls for the Mail on Sunday and Observer newspapers both put the Conservatives on 41% and Labour on 29%, while a Sunday Times poll put the Conservatives on 39% and Labour on 26%.

    Both Javid and McDonnell unveiled significant spending plans last week.

    Javid, a 49-year-old former Deutsche Bank financier, said he would rewrite the country’s fiscal rules so he can spend an extra 20 billion pounds per year, raising borrowing for infrastructure to 3% of economic output from its current 1.8%.

    McDonnell, 68, promised to borrow and spend even more - 400 billion pounds over 10 years. He said interest payments on government borrowing should not exceed 10% of tax revenues.

    Like in many advanced economies, British government borrowing costs are currently close to record lows.

    But on Friday credit ratings agency Moody’s assigned a negative outlook to Britain’s sovereign rating, blaming Brexit-related policy uncertainty and a lack of political will to reduce debt.

    Full report at:

    https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/11/10/610836/UK-Prime-Minister-Boris-Johnson-Labour-Party-

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    German city elects ethnic Turkish mayor for first time

    Ayhan Simsek  

    11.11.2019

    BERLIN

    Voters in Hannover, Germany have elected an ethnic Turkish politician as mayor for the first time in the city’s history.

    Belit Onay, a 38-year-old parliamentarian from the Green Party, claimed nearly 53% of the vote in a runoff ballot Sunday, beating his rival Eckhard Scholz, an independent candidate backed by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party.

    Onay also became the first ethnic Turkish politician to win the mayor’s office in a major German city.

    During his election campaign, he promised to transform Hannover into a climate-friendly city, struggle for affordable housing and improve social cohesion.

    Onay has been one of the most popular young politicians of the environmentalist and pro- immigration Green Party, which enjoys great support among voters with an immigrant background.

    Full report at:

    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/german-city-elects-ethnic-turkish-mayor-for-first-time/1641195

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    Pakistan

     

    ‘If you found Dharna Green sexy, wait till you see my PM Resignation Day outfit,’ Shehbaz tells paparazzi

    November 11, 2019

    LAHORE – Making final preparations to depart for London, Opposition Leader and President of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shehbaz Sharif told the paparazzi on Thursday that if they found his green outfit for the dharna led by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Fazlur Rehman sexy, then they should wait for what he has planned to wear on the day Prime Minister Imran Khan finally resigns.

    Coming out of his Jati Umra residence briefly, where hordes of fashion and showbiz journalists gathered along with the fans of the style icon, Shehbaz Sharif donned the same green suit that he had worn atop the Azadi March container, clearly showing no fear of the fascist government or of repeating his outfit.

    “Think this Dharna Green is sexy? Just wait for my PM Resignation Day outfit,” Shehbaz Sharif said pointing to his clothes, while facing innumerable high definition cameras and smartphones all vying to capture the click of the day.

    The former Punjab Chief Minister further informed the paparazzi and his fans that they should also look forward to his London looks over the coming weeks.

    “Crisis? I always punch crises with a style statement. Whether it’s my flood boots, dengue hat, overhead jumpers or underpass undies,” he added.

    https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2019/11/10/if-you-found-dharna-green-sexy-wait-till-you-see-my-pm-resignation-day-outfit-shehbaz-tells-paparazzi/

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    Anti-Khalistan Cell Also Formed Alongside Khalistan Cell after Learning Lahore Also Part Of Khalistan

    November 11, 2019

    The national security agencies have formed an Anti-Khalistan Cell in addition to their earlier established Khalistan Cell after they gained information from Wikipedia that the geographical boundaries of the Khalistan state also included areas within Pakistan.

    “This is a cause of concern,” said a senior intelligence official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Some are stopping at Lahore whereas others are even talking about Hassanabdal. One city is where I went to Cadet College to and the other is a city where I have been given 5 plots. This needs to be nipped in the bud.”

    “The problem is that we also need to have the Khalistan Cell as well because their work is also necessary, so they have to work simultaneously,” he said.

    This approach is being met with suspicion.

    “They’re going to mess it up, of course,” said another anonymous official from the civilian Intelligence Bureau. “The left hand is not going to know what the right hand will be doing.”

    Full report at:

    https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2019/11/09/anti-khalistan-cell-also-formed-alongside-khalistan-cell-after-learning-lahore-also-part-of-khalistan/

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    Pakistan Challenges International Tennis Federation's Decision To Shift Davis Cup Tie Vs India To Neutral Venue

    11 NOVEMBER 2019

    Pakistan has filed an appeal with the International Tennis Federation (ITF), challenging its decision to shift the Davis Cup tie against India to a neutral venue with the assertion that Islamabad is well-equipped to host the clash.

    (Tennis News)

    The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) President Salim Saifullah told PTI on Sunday that a formal appeal has been filed with the international body and they were expecting a positive response by November 15.

    "We have pointed out that we are fully prepared to host India for the Davis Cup tie as there is no security issue and nor should political ties between the two countries over-ride our chance of hosting a major event," Saifullah said.

    Saifullah said the event-free opening of the Kartarpur corridor on Saturday is a clear indicator that despite the ongoing diplomatic tensions it is possible to host the Indian tennis team in Islamabad.

    "I think our case is very strong because there is no viable argument for shifting the tie to a neutral venue," he said.

    Pakistan was earlier scheduled to host India in the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group-I Tie on September 14-15 at the grass courts of Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad, where matches against Uzbekistan, Korea and Thailand have taken place in 2017 and 2018.

    But the ITF announced early this month that the tie would be held at a neutral venue to be chosen by Pakistan after the All India Tennis Association (AITA) requested the tie to be shifted from Islamabad. The ITF said it had acted on the recommendations of its independent security advisors.

    Saifullah also said if their appeal was not accepted, the PTF had some other options and was working on those.

    "We may tell the ITF that we'll not nominate the neutral venue. We'll request it to ask AITA to choose where its outfit wants to play," he added.

    Saifullah said the Indian officials had used the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl's (JUI-F) ongoing sit-in in Islamabad to convince the ITF that their players would not be able to focus on the matches.

    "They highlighted to the ITF about JUI-F leadership's aggressive attitude. We have a very good chance of beating India on our grass courts and the Indians know this that is why they are using all tactics to delay and shift the tie," he said.

    Pakistan's top players, Aisam-ul-Haq and Aqeel Khan have also criticised the decision of the ITF to allow a shift in the Davis Cup venue.

    https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/sports-news-pakistan-challenges-international-tennis-federations-decision-to-shift-davis-cup-tie-vs-india-to-neutral-venue/342104

    Kajal, whose existing Pakistani ID card is valid until 2023, had to apply for the new smart ID card to fulfil the legal requirement.

    “I fail to understand why my wife’s application is on hold as it is just a renewal of the ID card. She already holds valid Pakistani passport and Pakistani citizenship certificate,” said Rasheed.

    She also has a letter issued from the Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai confirming that she had surrendered her Indian passport and was issued with a Pakistani passport in 2001.

    Kajal is also taxpayer in Pakistan and her name is registered with the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR). Her two children also have Pakistani ID cards and passports.

    Rasheed requested the authorities concerned to help him solve this issue or he will have to appeal in the court. He said that he tried the helpline numbers provided and email addresses but in vain.

    Cross-country marriages

    An architect by profession, 60-year-old Rasheed had come to the UAE from Karachi about 30 years ago in 1989 and opened a supermarket at Al Rigga Road in Dubai.

    He married Kalpana, a Hindu girl, in 1996 in Mumbai - she then changed her name to Kajal and converted to Islam. Rasheed has relatives in India as well.

    Full report at:

    https://gulfnews.com/uae/sharjah-former-indian-woman-faces-pakistani-identity-crisis-1.67735095

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    Plunderers of nation's wealth don't deserve to be spared: PM Imran

    Nov 10 2019

    ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said those who plundered the wealth of the nation deserve no right to be spared.

    Addressing the International Rehmatul-Lil-Alameen (SAW) Conference in Islamabad, the prime minister said no NRO or other relaxations can be given to corrupt people.

    “People have said that I should forgive those who have looted the country, but it is not my money that they have looted,” he said.

    The premier added, people give money to charity but not pay taxes. “If they don’t give taxes how will the country move forward? Those who plundered the wealth of the nation deserve no right to be spared."

    The prime minister added that compassion is for poor and downtrodden segments of society and not for powerful and corrupt people.

    PM Imran further said the state of Medina is a source of inspiration for a progressive society.

    “People keep asking me when Naya Pakistan modeled on the state of Medina will be made and I tell them the state of Medina was not made in one day,” he said.

    “This is a continuing struggle, but at least we have started on the path,” he added. “I will keep working to make this country on the principles on the state of Medina.”

    The state of Medina is a source of inspiration for a progressive society, he added.

    The prime minister further said the greatest role model in the world was the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

    “I used to have some other role models, but now my role model is the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

    “Muslim ruled the world for thousands of years. We must educate our youth about the reality of Islam,” PM Imran said. “Youth must follow the teachings of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). His life is a role model for humanity.”

    "Pakistan, Malaysia and Turkey have decided to jointly create films depicting great Islamic leaders in order to familiarise our population with our great history," the prime minister said.

    He continued, “I did not speak about the state of Medina before the elections because if I had, people would have said he is talking about the state of Medina for votes.”

    The prime minister further said than a person’s mission should not be making money, but instead, it should be about making people’s lives better with the money.”

    The prime minister also urged the lema to guide the government in transforming the country on the basis of Islamic principles.

    Full report at:

    https://www.geo.tv/latest/255641-plunders-of-nations-wealth-dont-deserve-to-be-spared-pm-imran

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    Marshall of ‘Marshall Law’ also Jemima’s cousin, reveals Mufti Kifayatullah

    November 11, 2019

    ISLAMABAD – Clearly in possession of classified family trees released by a yet to be identified whistleblower, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s (JUI-F) central leader Mufti Kifayatullah has further revealed Jemima Goldsmith’s familial connections to turmoil in Pakistan, and by correlation the world.

    After providing conclusive evidence on a TV show that Wiki of WikiLeaks is a cousin of the ex-wife of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Kifayatullah has now told The Dependent in an exclusive interview that ‘Marshall of Marshall Law’ is also Jemima Goldsmith’s cousin.

    “Well second cousin, but they are no less family,” this scribe was corrected by the senior JUI-F leader, who clearly is on good terms with his extended family.

    “Marshall is behind the Marshall Law that has been implemented in the country in the hard form of the past, or the new behind-the-scenes form of the present,” Kifayatullah added.

    Full report at:

    https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2019/11/10/marshall-of-marshall-law-also-jemimas-cousin-reveals-mufti-kifayatullah/

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    3 suspected terrorists killed in Quetta after exchange of fire: CTD

    Syed Ali Shah

    November 05, 2019

    Three suspected terrorists were killed by officials of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on Tuesday during an exchange of fire in Quetta district's Ghabarg village, a spokesperson said.

    The exchange of fire took place earlier today after a suspicious vehicle continued to move despite being signalled by CTD personnel to stop. Security officials said they also recovered weapons and explosives from the possession of the suspected terrorists.

    Full report at:

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1515055/3-suspected-terrorists-killed-in-quetta-after-exchange-of-fire-ctd

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    South Asia

     

    ISIS ‘defeated’ in key Afghan province: Official

    10 November 2019

    The ISIS Afghan branch has been “defeated” in one of the key eastern provinces where it first sought to establish a stronghold, a top Afghan security official said Sunday.

    The claim comes after extremists first burst into Afghanistan’s conflict in 2015, when they overran large parts of Nangarhar and Kunar provinces, near the Pakistan border.

    In the years since, they have claimed responsibility for a string of horrific bombings across Afghanistan, including at a wedding hall in Kabul, and have been continually attacked by US, Afghan and even Taliban forces.

    ISIS “were defeated in Nangarhar, their centers were destroyed”, acting interior minister Massoud Andarabi told reporters in Jalalabad, the Nangarhar provincial capital, amid ongoing operations against the extremists.

    “We will soon destroy their last centers. With the people’s help, we will completely eliminate them. Some of their smaller groups are surrendering, other small groups will be eliminated in other provinces.”

    He went on to say that ISIS were being “completely defeated” in Afghanistan.

    US Forces-Afghanistan, which closely monitors the ISIS footprint in Afghanistan, declined to comment, referring a query back to the Interior Ministry.

    Attaullah Khogyani, the spokesman for Nangarhar’s governor, said 32 ISIS fighters surrendered to government forces on Saturday.

    “They are coming in big numbers,” he told AFP.

    ISIS have suffered a string of major defeats in recent months, including the collapse of their self-proclaimed “caliphate” in Syria and the death of the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed in a US raid in Syria last month.

    Connections between Baghdadi and the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan, better known as ISIS in the Khorasan, or IS-K, have always been murky.

    But Khogyani said Baghdadi’s death had disrupted IS-K’s command and control structure.

    “It has affected the fighters on the ground here, they are either surrendering to the government or going back to their ordinary lives,” he said.

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2019/11/10/ISIS-defeated-in-key-Afghan-province-Official.html

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    Airstrikes kill 20 Taliban militants in five provinces

    11 Nov 2019

    The security forces conducted airstrikes in five provinces of Afghanistan in the past 24 hours killing at least 20 Taliban militants, the military officials said.

    The officials further added an airstrike in Chak-e Wardak district of Wardak province killed four Taliban militants.

    Another airstrike in Zurmat district of Paktiya killed two Taliban militants, the officials said, adding that a similar airstrike in Shinkai district of Zabul killed three Taliban militants.

    The officials also added that an airstrike in Maruf district of Kandahar killed 9 Taliban militants while an air raid in Nad Ali district of Helmand killed two Taliban militants.

    Full report at:

    https://www.khaama.com/airstrikes-kill-20-taliban-militants-in-five-provinces-04324/

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    ISIS militants including a foreign national surrender to Afghan Special Forces in Nangarhar

    11 Nov 2019

    A group of four ISIS militants including a foreign national surrendered to the Afghan forces in eastern Nangarhar province.

    The Special Operations Corps said in a statement the militants surrendered to Afghan Special Forces in Achin district of Nangarhar.

    The statement further added that the foreign member of the group originally hails from Pakistan who surrendered to Special Forces together with his wife and four children.

    The ISIS sympathizers have not commented regarding the surrender of ISIS militants so far.

    This comes as counter-terrorism operations are underway against ISIS and other groups in the restive parts of Nangarhar province.

    Full report at:

    https://www.khaama.com/isis-militants-including-a-foreign-national-surrender-to-afghan-special-forces-in-nangarhar-04323/

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    Southeast Asia

     

    Malaysian PM: Leaders In Previous Administration Deviated From Islamic Teachings

    By Adib Povera

    November 11, 2019

    KUALA LUMPUR: Muslim leaders from the previous administration were voted out in the 14th general election (GE14) because they had deviated from the true teachings of Islam.

    Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Muslim voters made full use of the opportunity and power given by the ballot box to replace the leaders with new ones from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) party.

    “We noted that the deviation from the teachings of Islam (among previous Muslim leaders in Malaysia) was very obvious.

    “It was the duty of the Muslim ummah to reject such leaders. And that was what they did in GE14. Prior to the election, they tolerated Muslim leaders who were not ‘very Muslim’ simply because they (knew the leaders would get away with their misdeeds).

    “However, when the opportunity came to overthrow such Muslim leaders, they did so and were quite brave about it,” he added.

    Dr Mahathir said this during a question-and-answer session after delivering his thematic address at the colloquium on “Demystifying Islamophobia: Towards a Deeper Understanding of Islam” here, today.

    Present was Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim) chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid.

    The colloquium was the fourth in a series of eight by Ikim on a range of issues affecting Malaysia and the Islamic world.

    According to Dr Mahathir, the country had become very weak with regards to finances in the run0up to GE14.

    “This is because money was stolen. We (the present Federal Government) are working hard to bring back the money, as well as rebuilding the administration.”

    Dr Mahathir, nevertheless, said that unlike many countries in the world, Malaysia is progressing accordingly and remains stable, despite a change in the administration.

    “If you care to make a comparison, in many countries, when the incumbent government is overthrown, there would always be a lot of instability.

    “There would be riots, street demonstrations, strikes and even violence taking place. In some countries, it can lead to civil war.

    “Here in Malaysia, we are lucky. When we overthrew the not-so-Islamic leaders, the country was able to see a new government taking over without the use of violence.”

    Dr Mahathir reiterated that the PH government will spare no effort to correct all wrongs committed by the previous administration.

    “We are trying our best to correct all the un-Islamic things that were done before.

    “Of course, we are not perfect. You (the people) can see it. And you can also criticise us (the government) so that we can stay on the right path.

    “This is because we feel it is our duty to bring back the country to the true teachings of Islam; as well as to have good governance where justice is upheld all the time and the people’s welfare is of great importance to the government.

    “We would like to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. We would like to correct all that, but it will take time,” he added.

    https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/11/537550/pm-leaders-previous-administration-deviated-islamic-teachings

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    Citing GE14, Dr M says overthrowing corrupt leaders a Muslim’s duty

    11 Nov 2019

    BY RADZI RAZAK

    KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad asserted today that overthrowing corrupt leaders is part of the duties of the Muslim community, giving the example of the public voting Barisan Nasional (BN) out of Putrajaya last year.

    He also accused political leaders in the previous administration of deviating from Islamic teachings by accepting corruption, and were therefore “punished” by voters in the 14th general election (GE14).

    “The duty of the ‘ummah’ is to reject such [corrupt] Muslim leaders and indeed that was what they did in GE14,” he said in a question-and-answer session at the “Demystifying Islamophobia” Colloquium here.

    “Before that we had to tolerate Muslim leaders who are not very Muslim simply because they will be punished by many means.  But when the opportunity come to overthrow these leaders, they did that, quite brave, did that and replace with another set of leaders,” he added.

    Dr Mahathir had led the Pakatan Harapan coalition to end six decades of power under BN.

    Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi have since been charged with numerous accounts of corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.

    However it has not been a smooth sailing for PH as voters have become increasingly vocal in their criticism against the pact, especially on social media.

    Acknowledging this, Dr Mahathir insisted that the current administration has inherited a broken system enabled by those alleged corrupt leaders.

    However he also reminded the audience that Malaysia has managed to keep the stability during the power transfer, something that is lacking in other Muslim-majority countries following revolutions.

    “In the process the country has become very weak and now in big trouble with regards to finance, because of money stolen,” he said, referring to Malaysia.

    Full report at:

    https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2019/11/11/citing-ge14-dr-m-says-overthrowing-corrupt-leaders-a-muslims-duty/1808868

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    Malaysian court tells former PM Najib to defend himself in 1MDB-linked case

    11 November 2019

    A Malaysian court on Monday ordered former Prime Minister Najib Razak to present his defence against seven counts of criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of power in a case linked to a scandal surrounding state fund 1MDB.

    Najib, who lost a general election last year, faces dozens of criminal charges over accusations that $4.5 billion was stolen from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), which he co-founded in 2009.

    In the first case facing him, Najib has pleaded not guilty to three counts of criminal breach of trust, three counts of money laundering and one count of abuse of power for allegedly receiving illegal transfers of 42 million ringgit ($10 million) from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit.

    “SRC has been wrongfully deprived of the 42 million,” Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohamad Ghazali said. “As such, I now call upon the accused to enter his defense on all seven charges.”

    Najib told the court he would take the stand in his defense. The defense case will start on Dec. 3.

    If convicted, Najib could face hefty fines and jail terms ranging from 15 to 20 years on each charge.

    Full report at:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2019/11/11/Malaysian-court-tells-former-PM-Najib-to-defend-himself-in-1MDB-linked-case.html

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    Arab World

     

    Protests erupt in Ahwaz after popular dissident poet dies in Iranian hospital

    11 November 2019

    Hundreds of people have taken to the streets in the city of Ahwaz after Hassan Heydari, a young popular dissident poet, died in hospital under suspicious conditions a month after his arrest by Iranian authorities.

    Videos on social media showed hundreds of protesters gathering in the streets on Sunday evening after news that Heydari had died in Shafa hospital in Ahwaz, the capital of Iran’s Khuzestan province.

    Radio Farda, the Iranian outlet of the US government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, reported that Heydari was initially arrested by the regime last year but had been recently released on bail.

    According to several Ahwazi activists on Twitter, protesters believe that Heydari was poisoned by the regime’s intelligence ministry during his last arrest.

    IRAN HRM

    @IranHrm

    Hassan Heydari, an Ahwazi Arab poet was suspiciously died in a hospital in Ahwaz, SW #Iran

    Sources say the regime's Intelligence Ministry agents poisoned him. Reports indicate the 29 year old was imprisoned last year for writing political poems. @omctorg @PENamerica

    View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

    39

    2:22 AM - Nov 11, 2019

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    Several videos shared on Twitter showed a number of young men blocking a road in the Kut Abdollah district south of Ahwaz with burning tires and chanting slogans against the Iranian regime.

    One popular chant that could be heard in several videos show protesters shouting, “we will retake Ahwaz”.

    hadi salar

    @azarnooshsa1

    Replying to @IranAlhurra

    November 10, Kut Abdullah -  #Ahvaz

    According to local information, Hassan Haidari, a local poet, was killed by agents of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence in Ahvaz. Citizens went out to condemn this crimepic.twitter.com/64IBRhKaqF

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    2:08 AM - Nov 11, 2019

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    Heydari’s death comes just a day after Iranian authorities arrested Saeed Bawi after a video emerged of him shouting pro-Arab slogans at a football match in Foolad Arena stadium last week.

    The Arab minority population in southwestern Iran has long claimed that they face discrimination from the central government in Tehran.

    Last year, Ahwaz and other cities across the Khuzestan province took part in mass country-wide protests.

    At the time, Amnesty International said authorities arrested and held incommunicado more than 7,000 “protesters, students, journalists, environmental activists, workers, and human rights defenders, including lawyers, women’s rights activists, minority rights activists, and trade unionists,” in what they dubbed the “Year of Shame” for Iran.

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/11/11/Protests-erupt-in-Ahwaz-after-popular-dissident-poet-dies-in-Iranian-hospital.html

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    UN urges Iraqi officials to prosecute those behind ‘use of excessive force’

    10 November 2019

    The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has released a list of recommendations that includes a call to prosecute those responsible for the use of excessive force on protesters and an investigation into cases of abductions.

    The list released on Sunday also called for the immediate release of all peaceful demonstrators detained since October 1 and for authorities to stop targeting protests with the use of excessive force.

    The final immediate recommendation urged authorities to “publicly call for all regional and international parties not to interfere in Iraq’s internal affairs” and to “respect its sovereignty”.

    Representatives of UNAMI, including the agency’s Special Representative Jeanine Hennis, have been in Iraq on a fact-finding mission in recent days.

    Full report at:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/11/10/UN-urges-Iraqi-officials-to-prosecute-those-behind-use-of-excessive-force-.html

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    Russian air strikes kill 7 civilians in northwestern Syria: Report

    10 November 2019

    Air strikes by Syrian regime ally Russia on Sunday killed seven civilians, including three children, in an anti-government bastion in northwestern Syria, a war monitor reported.

    Eight others were wounded in the raids and some of them are in a “critical” condition, said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor.

    The air strikes -- the third wave by Russian aircraft in eight days on northwestern Syria -- struck the village of Kafr Ruma in the extremist-run enclave of Idlib, the Observatory said.

    The Idlib region, which is home to some three million people including many displaced by Syria’s eight-year civil war, is controlled by the country’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate.

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces launched a blistering military campaign against Idlib in April, killing around 1,000 civilians and displacing more than 400,000 people from their homes.

    A ceasefire announced by Russia has largely held since late August, although the Observatory says dozens of civilians have been killed in sporadic bombardment since then.

    Last month Assad said Idlib was standing in the way of an end to the civil war that has ravaged his country through most of the current decade.

    Full report at:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/11/10/Russian-air-strikes-kill-7-civilians-in-northwestern-Syria-Report.html

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    Hezbollah says its ‘arms won’t be twisted’ as crisis deepens

    10 November 2019

    Political talks to agree an urgently needed Lebanese government are still deadlocked, three senior sources said on Sunday, as the Shia group Hezbollah indicated it would not be forced into concessions.

    The latest failure to break Lebanon’s political impasse will worsen pressures on an economy gripped by its deepest crisis since the 1975-90 civil war, amid protests against a political establishment widely regarded as corrupt and inept.

    Since reopening a week ago, commercial banks have been seeking to stave off capital flight by blocking most transfers abroad and imposing curbs on hard-currency withdrawals, though the central bank has announced no formal capital controls.

    A big part of Lebanon’s economic crisis stems from a slowdown of capital inflows which has led to a scarcity of US dollars and spawned a black market where the Lebanese pound has weakened below its official pegged rate.

    A meeting on Saturday evening between caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri and senior officials from Hezbollah and its Shia ally Amal Movement failed to yield any breakthrough towards forming the new cabinet, the sources said.

    “The crisis is deepening,” one source familiar with Hariri’s position said. A senior source familiar with the view of Hezbollah and Amal said: “Nothing has changed. So far the road is completely blocked.” A third senior source said the situation was still deadlocked.

    Hariri quit on October 29 in the face of unprecedented protests fueled by poverty, joblessness and lack of basic services like electricity.

    Hariri wants to lead a technocratic government devoid of other politicians, while Amal, Hezbollah and its Christian ally the Free Patriotic Movement want a government mixing technocrats and politicians.

    ‘Nothing has changed’

    The source familiar with Hariri’s views has said he believes a cabinet composed of both technocrats and politicians would not be able to secure Western assistance and would also anger protesters who want to see a change of leadership.

    Hariri reiterated his position in the meeting with caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil of Amal and top Hezbollah official Hussein Khalil, the senior source familiar with Hezbollah and Amal’s view said.

    Both Hezbollah and Amal communicated their view - that Hariri should return as premier of a new ‘technopolitical’ cabinet - at the meeting. Hariri said he would only agree to head a technocratic cabinet.

    “Practically, what he wants is a government devoid of Hezbollah,” the senior source said. “After 10 days have passed, matters must be decided.”

    The source familiar with Hariri’s position said he believed Hezbollah, Amal and the FPM were seeking the inclusion in the cabinet of politicians rejected by the protesters.

    These include FPM leader Gebran Bassil, foreign minister in the outgoing cabinet and a son-in-law of President Michel Aoun.

    “If these faces return to government we will have pushed the street to return to protest in a greater way,” the source familiar with Hariri’s position said.

    One dollar was buying 1,800 pounds or more on Friday compared to 1,740 on Thursday, two market sources said. The pegged rate is 1,507.5 pounds.

    In a statement apparently referring to the deadlock and to Hezbollah’s loss of fighters in various conflicts, Hezbollah lawmaker Mohammad Raad said: “Our arms will not be twisted nor can we be neutralised from achieving the goals of the martyrs.”

    Lebanon’s highest Christian authority urged the president to hasten the appointment of a prime minister and the formation of a government that meets protesters’ demands.

    Full report at:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/11/10/Hezbollah-says-its-arms-won-t-be-twisted-as-crisis-deepens.html

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    At least 8 killed in car bomb attack in northeast Syria

    10 November 2019

    Turkey’s Defense Ministry says a car bomb has killed at least eight civilians in northeast Syria near the Turkish-held town of Tal Abyad.

    The ministry said Sunday that 20 people were also injured in the attack in the village of Salik Atik, south of Tal Abyad. It blamed the attack on Syrian Kurdish-led fighters.

    Turkey invaded northeast Syria last month to push out Syrian Kurdish-led fighters near the border.

    Ankara considers the Kurdish-led forces to be terrorists because of their links to Kurdish militants fighting inside Turkey.

    The Kurdish groups have called in Syrian government forces to halt Turkey’s advance.

    Full report at:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/11/10/At-least-8-killed-in-car-bomb-attack-in-northeast-Syria.html

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    Amnesty calls for urgent end to ‘bloodbath’ in Iraq

    10 November 2019

    Amnesty International is calling on Iraqi authorities to immediately rein in security forces after at least six protesters were killed in central Baghdad amid a widening security crackdown.

    The deaths, including five by live ammunition, occurred a day earlier during a police operation to clear demonstrations from several bridges and streets near Tahrir Square. In the southern city of Basra, eight protesters have been killed since Thursday.

    Amnesty International said there has been at least 264 protester deaths across Iraq in just over a month and called it a “bloodbath.”

    The statement called on authorities to end the “unlawful use of lethal force” and said those responsible for it must be brought to justice.

    Full report at:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/11/10/Amnesty-calls-for-urgent-end-to-bloodbath-in-Iraq.html

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    Nearly dozen mass graves of Kurds killed by Saddam exist in southern Iraq: Official

    Nov 10, 2019

    Iraq’s Martyrs Foundation says there are nearly a dozen mass graves in the southern Iraqi province of al-Muthanna containing the bodies of dozens of innocent civilians believed to have been killed during the former Ba’athist regime’s deadly Anfal campaign against the Kurds three decades ago.

    Dhiaa Karim Tohmeh, Director of the Department of Mass Graves Affairs and Protection at the foundation, told the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) media on Sunday that the Sheikia area in the desert about 170 kilometers (106 miles) west of the city of Samawa is very vast, and it is thought to be containing more than 10 mass graves.

    “The process of the exhumation of the first mass grave was supervised by a national team specialized in the issue, and consisted of delegates from the Martyrs Foundation, Department of Forensic Medicine, and Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The process went through successfully as it had been planned,” Tohmeh said.

    He added, “The opening of mass graves should be accelerated because the current period is very suitable to start the operation. The coming period will witness rainfall and this will damage the mass graves and prevent the designated teams from exhuming these graves.”

    There are reports that at least 182,000 Kurds were systematically executed by Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath regime in the late 1980s. Tens of thousands were purportedly taken to Iraq’s southern desert provinces, where they were killed and buried en masse.

    The Anfal campaign took place over eight phases, beginning in 1986, reaching its peak in 1988, and culminating in the closing weeks of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88).

    After the collapse of the Ba’athist regime in 2003, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) coordinated with Iraqi officials to uncover graves containing bodies of Kurds killed by the former leader's forces with the help of local witnesses.

    Full report at:

    https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/11/10/610877/mass-graves-Kurds-Iraq

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    Mideast

     

    Iran begins building second nuclear power reactor at Bushehr: Report

    10 November 2019

    Iran’s state TV is reporting that construction has begun on a second nuclear power reactor at its Bushehr plant amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s collapsing nuclear deal with world powers.

    “Nuclear power provides reliable electricity... and each power plant saves us 11 million barrels of oil or $660 million per year,” Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said in a televised ceremony.

    Authorities began pouring concrete for the base of the reactor on Sunday in the presence of journalists in Bushehr, some 700 kilometers (440 miles) south from Iran’s capital, Tehran.

    Bushehr relies on 4.5 percent enriched uranium, which Iran is producing in violation of its 2015 nuclear deal.

    That violation and others come after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord over a year ago.

    Bushehr’s first reactor came online in 2011 with the help of Russia. This new reactor similarly will be built with Russian help.

    The US plans to allow Russian, Chinese and European companies to continue work at Iranian nuclear facilities to make it harder for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, two sources familiar with the matter said in late October.

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/11/10/Iran-begins-building-2nd-nuclear-power-reactor-at-Bushehr-Report.html

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    Bombing hits area near Syrian city held by Turkish forces, kills 8

    Nov 10, 2019

    At least eight people have lost their lives and some 20 others sustained injuries in a bomb explosion in an area of northeast Syria near the Turkish-occupied town of Tal Abyad.

    Turkey’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday that the explosion struck Suluk, a town south of the Syrian city of Tal Abyad, which was captured last month by Turkish troops.

    The ministry blamed Syrian Kurdish militants for the attack, accusing them of “massacring innocent civilians.”

    An emergency worker said a small truck exploded outside a bakery there.

    The attack came more than a week after a similar car bomb attack in central Tal Abyad killed over a dozen people.

    On October 9, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in a declared attempt to push the People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants from border areas. The military offensive has since displaced around 200,000 people.

    Ankara is seeking the establishment of a 32-kilometer “safe zone” clear from the presence of Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria. Turkey wants the area to be used for the relocation of two million Syrian refugees living in Turkey.

    After seizing a 120-km swathe of land along the border, Turkey struck deals with the US and Russia to keep the Kurdish militants out of that so-called buffer zone.

    On October 22, Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted YPG militants must withdraw from the Turkish-controlled “safe zone” within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow would run joint patrols within the area.

    Ankara regards the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in the Anatolian country since 1984.

    Full report at:

    https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/11/10/610885/Syria-Turkey-Tal-Abyad-bombing

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    Uber’s Khosrowshahi calls Khashoggi death ‘mistake’ then takes comment back

    Nov 11, 2019

    Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has backtracked on a comment, calling the murder of dissident Saudi journalist at the Saudi consulate in Turkey a “mistake.”

    He made the comment in an interview with Axios released Sunday but called later to change his mind.

    "It's a serious mistake. [But] you know, we've made mistakes too," Khosrowshahi said in an interview aired Saturday evening, referring to the murder of the US-based journalist. "People make mistakes, it doesn't mean they can never be forgiven. I think they've taken it seriously. "

    He was further pressed about the role Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman had played in the assassination, according to a CIA analysis.

    "I didn't read that part of the CIA report," Khosrowshahi responded.

    Khosrowshahi called later in the day, trying to walk back his comment in the phone call.

    "I said something in the moment that I do not believe. When it comes to Jamal Khashoggi, his murder was reprehensible and should not be forgotten or excused," said the Uber CEO.

    Khashoggi was killed and his body dismembered by a Saudi hit squad after he entered the their consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018 to secure documentation for his marriage to his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

    The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi was a columnist, has also reported that the CIA had concluded that MBS personally ordered the killing.

    Full report at:

    https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/11/11/610902/Uber-CEO-walks-back-Khashoggi-comment

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    Iranian Students Stage Protest in Front of French Embassy to Support Yellow Vests

    Nov 09, 2019

    Some university students wore yellow vests to identify themselves with protesters in their move again the French government and police violence against the protestors in the European country.

    They also carried placards reading 'One Year of Resistance against Capitalism', and chanted 'death to the US', 'death to Israel' and 'Macron commits crime, Trump supports'.

    The Iranian students also sliced a cake prepared on the occasion of the first anniversary of the yellow vest movement in France.

    At the end of the gathering, the students read a statement to denounce capitalism, blasting its influence on the media and policy-making bodies.

    "Capitalism heavily suppresses the yellow vests and any group which can stand against it, making people review capitalist values and principles," the statement said.

    "We, the Iranian students, state outloud that we accompany any voice against this cruel system, which persuades bullying of the rich over the poor, either in countries or on the international scene and believe that enmity towards the capitalist system can be the common language among us who suffer this anti-justice system," it added.

    Participants in the year-old Yellow Vest protest movement have long accused authorities of using heavy-handed tactics that have left dozens of people seriously injured.

    In particular the use of large rubber bullets from so-called "defensive ball launchers," as well as sting-ball grenades, have been particularly controversial.

    Full report at:

    https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980818000998

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    Iran: US-Led Naval Coalition Detrimental to Persian Gulf Security

    Nov 09, 2019

    "History shows that the US-led coalitions have always been nothing but unfit names that have not contributed to security so far and further fomented more insecurity and instability in different parts of the world," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said on Saturday.

    He said the US misuses other countries' name to legitimize its unilateral presence, and noted that the US leadership of a naval coalition in the Persian Gulf indicates Washington's weakness and lack of international legitimacy.

    Mousavi called on the regional states to rely on their own and their neighbors' capacities to establish sustainable and all-out security in the region.

    "The Islamic Republic of Iran as a country with lengthiest coastline in the Persian Gulf will continue safeguarding its economic and security interests, including the security and safety of shipping, with maximum power," he added.

    Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami had also in August warned that the military coalition that the US was attempting to form in the Persian Gulf would undermine regional security.

    "The military coalition that the US is after under the pretext of protecting security of shipping will increase insecurity in the region," General Hatami said in separate phone talks with his Qatari, Omani and Kuwaiti counterparts.

    During the phone conversations, he discussed the latest developments in the region, specially the US provocative moves regarding the Persian Gulf security.

    General Hatami also highlighted Iran’s continued efforts to maintain peace and security all over the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz.

    He stressed that the region’s security should be provided by the regional states, calling for a constructive dialogue among the neighboring countries to boost their cooperation regarding the matter.

    Full report at:

    https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980818000870

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    Turkey-Affiliated Forces, Terrorists Clash with Syrian Army in Hasaka

    Nov 09, 2019

    The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the attacks targeted the village of Tal Sho'air between Tal Tamar and Abu Ra'asin in Hasaka, adding that the Turkish army also supported the offensive with heavy artillery fire, wounding several people.

    It also reported that the Turkish drones bombed several regions between Tal Tamar and Ra's al-Ein in Hasaka on Friday.

    Meantime, the SOHR reported that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syrian army regained control of the village of Um Sha'eifeh from the Turkey-backed militants on Friday night.

    Also, the Arabic-language service of SANA news agency reported that the Syrian army has engaged in clashes with the Turkish forces at around midday today, adding that the two sides exchanged fire with heavy and semi-heavy weapons.

    Meantime, the Arabic-language Qasiyoun news website reported that the Turkey-backed militants started attacks on the villages of al-Davoudiyeh, al-Qasemiyeh and al-Arisheh in Hasaka, adding that they engaged in clashes with the SDF forces in al-Arisheh and several other points in Abu Rasin region.

    Late last week, the Syrian Army continued to reinforce its military positions in the Northern and Northeastern countryside of Hasaka, including Tal Tamr, in order to confront any possible aggression by Turkish occupying forces and also to protect locals from the attacks by Ankara troops.

    In Tal Tamr, the army units are working to fortify their military positions to confront Turkish Army attacks as other army units boosted their positions in an area extending 60 kilometers from al-Aghibish village (West of Tal Tamr) to al-Wasitah village South of Aliyah silos.

    The Syrian Army units strengthened their positions in Um al-Kaif village Northwest of Tal Tamr and Khashm Zarkan village North of the town and Mjeibert Zarkan village in the Northeastern part on the Tal Tamr-Qamishli Road, field sources in the Northern and Northeastern part of Tal Tamr were quoted as saying by the Arab-language media outlets.

    Last Tuesday, the Syrian army took back control of a key oil field in Hasaka province in the Northeastern parts of the country.

    The Arabic-language Radio Sham FM reported that the army had continued to advance in Northeastern Syria and entered al-Ramilan region in Hasaka to take control of its oil field.

    According to the report, the army soldiers have already gained back control of Molla Abbas oil field which is a part of the giant al-Ramilan oil field.

    Full report at:

    https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980818000935

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    Spokesman: HOPE Sent to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Positive Feedback Received

    Nov 10, 2019

    The Hormuz Peace Endeavor, or HOPE initiative, which was first proposed at the UN General Assembly in New York by President Hassan Rouhani, has been sent in full details to all beneficiary countries, including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and we have received good reactions, Mousavi said this morning in Tehran, during his weekly presser.

    The diplomat added that there will be no further details disclosed, reassuring that further examinations are underway inside the country.

    He further voiced hope that the “benevolent step of the Islamic Republic of Iran will be welcomed by these countries to have a safe region” in the future.

    On Saturday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi touched upon HOPE initiative, and said that Tehran believes in collective security and security for all.

    Last Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif again invited all littoral states of the Persian Gulf to join Tehran’s peace initiative, reiterating his country’s wiliness to broaden relations with Southern neighboring countries to promote regional peace and prosperity.

    Speaking to Aljazeera while in Qatar to attend the 2019 Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Doha, Zarif once again invited the regional countries to join the Iran peace initiative, dubbed as Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE), as outlined by the President Rouhani at the UN General Assembly meeting.

    The top Iranian diplomat also warned the United States that a war would benefit no one, while underlining that the US President Donald Trump cannot impose a unilateral agreement on Iran.

    In relevant remarks in September, Zarif had underlined that the Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE) floated by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the UN was vital to prevent war and terrorism in the region.

    Zarif made the remarks, addressing a meeting of United Nations Security Council on “UN Cooperation with Regional Organizations” in New York late in September.

    He urged the countries in the region to join HOPE initiative which is designed to include all countries of the region and aims to expand cooperation beyond regional security.

    "The Initiative is based on the fact that all regional states are duty-bound to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the region. They along with the global community have common interests in maintaining freedom of navigation and transfer of energy," Zarif said.

    The Iranian diplomat stressed that regional cooperation is the key for preventing war, violence, extremism, terrorism and sectarian tensions.

    Commenting on objectives of Hormuz peace initiative, he said that promoting solidarity, mutual understanding and peaceful and friendly relations and cooperation among regional states as well as boosting collaboration in uprooting terrorism, extremism and sectarian tensions and making sure about energy security, freedom of shipping and free flow of oil were among the objectives of the initiative.

    Zarif went on to say that regional cooperation was necessary for fighting terrorism, particularly in areas such as the Middle East and Afghanistan where terrorist groups are more active than any other places.

    Addressing the UNGA late last month, President Rouhani unveiled Iran's new initiative for the establishment of peace and security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, and said, " The goal of the Coalition for Hope is to promote peace, stability, progress and welfare for all the residents of the Strait of Hormuz region, and to enhance mutual understanding and peaceful and friendly relations amongst them."

    "This initiative includes various venues for cooperation, such as the collective supply of energy security, freedom of navigation and free transfer of oil and other resources to and from the Strait of Hormuz and beyond," he added.

    Full report at:

    https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980819000657

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    Iran, Russia launch new phase of nuclear power reactor construction

    10 November 2019

    Tehran and Moscow inaugurated on Sunday a new phase of construction for a second reactor at Iran’s sole nuclear power plant in Bushehr on the Arabian Gulf coast.

    Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), and deputy chief of Russia’s nuclear agency Rosatom, Alexander Lokshin, launched the new stage at a ceremony where concrete was poured for the reactor base.

    The reactor is one of two officially under construction since 2017 at the Bushehr site that is around 750 kilometers (460 miles) south of Tehran.

    The landmark 2015 nuclear deal Iran signed with six major powers, including Russia, placed restrictions on the sort of nuclear reactor Tehran could develop and its production of nuclear fuel but it did not require Iran to halt its use of nuclear energy for power generation.

    “In a long term vision until 2027-2028, when these projects are finished, we will have 3,000 megawatts of nuclear plant-generated electricity,” Salehi said at the ceremony.

    The Islamic republic has been seeking to reduce its reliance on oil and gas through the development of nuclear power facilities.

    Russia built the existing 1,000 megawatt reactor at Bushehr that came online in September 2011 and is expected to undertake construction of a third in future, according to the AEOI.

    As part of the 2015 agreement, Moscow provides Tehran with the fuel it needs for its electricity-generating nuclear reactors.

    Intended to guarantee that Iran’s long-controversial nuclear program would never be used for military purposes, the survival of the deal has been under threat since the United States unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in May 2018, re-imposing biting sanctions.

    Full report at:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/11/11/Iran-Russia-launch-new-phase-of-nuclear-power-reactor-construction-.html

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    Palestinian shot in back by Israelis in viral video: I died several times that day

    11 November 2019

    A young Palestinian man who was shot in the back by Israeli forces in an incident caught on video last year says the footage shows just a small part of what was a horrifying day for him.

    Speaking to The Associated Press after the video emerged last week, Karam Qawasmi said he was run over by a military jeep, then beaten for several hours before troops released him, only to shoot him in the back with a painful sponge-tipped bullet as he walked away. He said Israeli investigators have never contacted him.

    “I died several times that day,” he said in an interview at his home in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. “They tortured me in a way that I felt they are killing me. And when they shot me, I felt it’s my end. I closed my eyes and prayed.”

    Palestinians often charge that Israeli security forces use excessive or unnecessary force against them. But incriminating video evidence is rare, making such claims hard to prove.

    Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast War and has kept it under military occupation for over 50 years. While the Palestinian Authority has limited autonomy in parts of the territory, Israel wields overall security control.

    The incident occurred a year and a half ago, but only came to public attention last week, when Israel’s Channel 13 TV broadcast a leaked video of the shooting, allegedly carried out by a member of the Israeli paramilitary border police unit.

    In the video, a woman is heard screaming at a young Palestinian man to “get out of here” as he slowly walks away with his hands in the air. A male voice tells him to lower his hands as the woman again shouts at him. Some 20 seconds later, a shot is heard as the man crumples to the ground, screaming in pain.

    The shooter is not seen in the video, which appears to have been taken by a member of the security force.

    Qawasmi, 22, said that he was the man in the video, saying his troubles began early on the morning of May 25, 2018.

    He said he had recently completed his accounting studies at a technical college. With few jobs available in the West Bank, he set out from his home in Hebron to the West Bank town of Azayim, outside of Jerusalem, in hopes of finding work at a gas station. After a meeting at the station, he was walking back toward a checkpoint when he says a military jeep pulled up and struck him, tossing him several meters. Border police officers jumped out of the vehicle and grabbed him, he said.

    “They took me into the jeep. They handcuffed me and drove me to a nearby tunnel and started beating me up,” he said. “They twisted my arms, hit me with their hands, boots, and guns all over my body.”

    He said he was carrying a small bag with work clothes, but Qawasmi, who does not speak much Hebrew, says he thinks the forces suspected he was armed with a knife.

    “I recognized some words, like ‘knife,’” he said. “I thought they are going to kill me and leave a knife next to my body.” He said a crowd of policemen beat him up, as one officer recorded it on a mobile phone.

    One female officer was especially aggressive. “She twisted my arms to my back and made me kneel in a very painful way,” he said. Another female officer stood and watched, he said.

    After more than three hours, Karam said the forces gave him his ID card and ordered him to leave.

    “I walked, and when I looked back I saw three soldiers pointing their guns at me,” he said. “I was terrified. I walked slowly, and my heart was beating quickly. One shot me, I was hit in the back. I fell down and thought I’m dying. I stared praying and closed my eyes.”

    A soldier rushed to him and told him to leave. “I stood up terrified and walked. I kept walking for more than an hour,” he said.

    Israeli forces often use sponge-tipped bullets to disperse crowds. The bullets are meant to not be lethal, though they are fired at high velocity and can be extremely painful.

    Qawasmi said he eventually made it to a nearby Palestinian village where he changed his clothes and continued back to Hebron. “I went to the hospital for a checkup. There were bruises everywhere. The rubber bullet hit the end of the spine,” he said.

    He said he recovered at home for a month and suffered nightmares and physical pain for many months afterward. He showed off what he said was the white Adidas T-shirt he wore that day, with a hole in the back where the bullet hit him.

    Covered up case

    Since the video was broadcast, Qawasmi has become a bit of a local celebrity. During the interview, he took a call from an Israeli lawyer offering to represent him. Several people approached him at a restaurant, some jokingly asking how much money he now expects from a legal settlement.

    Israel’s Justice Ministry said last week that it has completed an investigation into the case and will soon announce a final decision on whether to indict officers who were at the scene, including a woman who is believed to have fired the bullet.

    Israeli police said the woman was immediately removed from duty after the force became aware of the incident. They said other officers who were at the scene were reassigned.

    “This is a case that does not characterize in any way whatsoever the behavior or operations of the Border Police,” a statement said.

    Qawasmi said he did not file a complaint against the security forces, believing it would make no difference.

    Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups accuse Israeli security forces of routinely covering up abuses and carrying out half-hearted investigations.

    Qawasmi, for instance, said Israeli investigators have never asked to question him. Justice officials did not respond to a query as to why Qawasmi has not been interviewed.

    In 2016, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem stopped working with the Israeli military on such investigations, accusing it of whitewashing the cases.

    Amit Gilutz, spokesman for the group, said it is common for alleged victims not be interviewed, and rarely are forces seriously punished.

    Full report at:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/features/2019/11/11/Palestinian-shot-in-back-by-Israelis-in-viral-video-I-died-several-times-that-day.html

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    Iran expanding saffron cultivation area by 5,000 hectares a year: Official

    Nov 10, 2019

    A senior official at Iran’s agriculture ministry says the country is increasing its cultivation area for saffron by 5,000 hectares a year as global demand for the Iranian red gold keeps surging.

    Ali Tahmasebi, a deputy to Iran’s minister of agriculture, told the state TV on Saturday that planting saffron was no longer restricted to the three Khorasan provinces located in eastern Iran, adding that cultivation area for saffron had exceeded 115,000 hectares, nearly 20 times more than the land dedicated to the crop in the entire world.

    Images published in the Iranian media over the past days showed farmers picking saffron flowers in various parts of the country, including in Chaharmahal, a cold and mountainous region in central Iran, as well as in Khuzestan, a southern province known for its hot and humid climate. 

    That comes against the backdrop of reports suggesting Iran is not properly benefitting from a lucrative international business of saffron mainly because of bulk production methods and increased smuggling to neighboring countries.

    Officials say two thirds of Iran’s annual production of saffron, around 300 tons, go to the bulk sale, while others suggest around 20 tons are being smuggled outside the country and mainly to the neighboring Afghanistan.

    Sources within the industry say smuggling to Afghanistan has increased mainly because traditional customers of the Iranian saffron, like Spanish companies, seek to avoid direct imports due to the American sanctions imposed on the country.

    Iran exported a total of 280 tons of saffron in the year ending in March 2019, generating 351 million in income, according to the data provided by the ministry of agriculture.

    Full report at:

    https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/11/10/610891/Iran-saffron-cultivation-exports-farming

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    Iran: No decision yet on leaving Non-Proliferation Treaty

    Nov 10, 2019

    Iran says it has not yet decided to pull out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) amid its rollback of commitments under the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Sunday that Iran's steps in partially suspending its obligations in response to the United States and Europe are "calculated."

    "The Islamic Republic of Iran has made no decision yet on leaving the NPT," he told reporters in Tehran during a weekly news briefing.

    "Iran has worked out different scenarios and will implement its intended measures based on time requirements and measures taken by the opposite side," he added.

    Iran signed the NPT –  whose aim is to prevent the spread of nuclear arms and weapons technology – in July 1968 and ratified it in February 1970.

    It also signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with major world powers in 2015 and has been honoring its terms according to reports issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    Since May, however, Iran has been scaling down its commitments in retaliation for Washington's 2018 pullout from the deal and Europe’s failure to protect Iran against American sanctions.

    Tehran says its reciprocal measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the Iranian economy from the sanctions.

    Mousavi rejected claims by Israeli officials about an alleged nuclear warehouse in Turquzabad in southwest Tehran as well as reports that the IAEA had found radioactive traces there.

    Such claims, he said, are aimed at re-opening the so-called possible military dimensions (PMD) file on Iran’s nuclear program

    "The so-called PMD file is closed and the Zionists are trying to re-open it," Mousavi said as he condemned the campaign.

    "Re-opening a file that has been closed is not compatible with international laws and regulations. It is a trap designed by the Zionists and we hope that the International Atomic Energy Agency will exercise necessary vigilance in this regard," he added.

    Missing FBI agent

    Asked about the case of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who disappeared in 2007, Mousavi said the person in question has no judicial or criminal file in Iranian courts, adding Tehran nevertheless has opened  "a missing person" file for him. 

    Full report at:

    https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/11/10/610850/Iran-NPT-Abbas-Mousavi

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    Iran discovers oil field containing 53bn barrels of crude: President Rouhani

    Nov 10, 2019

    President Hassan Rouhani says Iran has discovered a new oil field containing 53 billion barrels of crude in southwestern Khuzestan Province.

    Rouhani told a large crowd of people in the central city of Yazd on Sunday that the discovery was made despite US hostilities which have mainly targeted Iran’s oil sector.

    "It is a large oil field that extends from Bostan to the vicinity of Omidiyeh spanning an area of 2,400 square kilometers with a depth of 80 meters," he said. 

    "Today we are announcing to the US that we are a rich country and despite your enmity and tyrannical sanctions, the Iranian oil industry's workers and engineers have succeeded to discover this vast oil field," Rouhani added.

    The US has unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against Tehran since unilaterally withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

    Rouhani said, "The first thing I would like to emphasize here is that we have withstood the pressure exerted by foreigners over the past year, during which our people had to go through difficult times."

    It’s been one year-and-a-half since President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran and embarked on a policy of “maximum pressure.”

    Trump has been piling sanctions and heating up the rhetoric against Tehran, saying he aims to negotiate a better agreement with Iran and his policy will bring the Iranians to the table for that new deal.

    However, the maximum pressure policy has not succeeded in bringing Iran to the negotiating table or curbing its regional activities across the Middle East as sought by Washington.

    "In fact maximum pressure seems to have backfired and pushed Iran across the edge," British daily The Independent wrote on Saturday.

    According to the paper, "economically, Iran has been able to draw on some of its financial reserves to cushion off the impact of American sanctions."

    Politically, Iran has been able to utilize the theme of nationalism and historic grievances about big power bullying and fend off any unrest, it said.

    On Sunday, President Rouhani called on Iranians not to let "America's wishes rise from the larynx of a few people, even though they are very limited in number."

    He said the Iranian people's "resilience and unity and their ceaseless efforts have brought us to the point where the United States, in my opinion, has become disappointed."

    From an international perspective, The Independent says, the world is more sympathetic to Iran’s position in the nuclear dispute than the United States, because Iran stayed strictly committed to the nuclear deal for one year, after the US left the deal and violated its terms.

    "There is also not much admiration for Mr Trump on the international stage – except among right wing authoritarian and neo-fascist groups – and that also helps Iran," it added.

    The Trump administration’s policy on Iran, the paper said, has isolated the United States and diminished its leverage to enforce the JCPOA, if not open the door to its complete destruction.

    "At the moment, President Trump and his administration are running out of options on Iran. There is not much left to sanction in Iran, and short of military conflict, there is not a lot more pressure that can be applied," it added.

    Meanwhile, statistics show Iran's economic situation is improving and inflation has been contained, President Rouhani said.

    Iran is a founding member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and sits on what were already the world's fourth-biggest oil reserves and second-largest gas reserves.

    Full report at:

    https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/11/10/610840/Iran-Hassan-Rouhani-oil

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    Africa

     

    Farmers blocked as Israel-Jordan enclave deal expires

    10 November 2019

    Israelis were prevented from entering Jordanian border enclaves on Sunday after a deal allowing farmers to work the land there expired, 25 years after a landmark peace treaty.

    Since the two countries signed the deal in 1994, Jordan has allowed Israeli farmers access to the territories of Ghumar in the north and Baqura in the south under a renewable 25-year arrangement.

    In October last year, however, Jordan’s King Abdullah said his country had notified Israel that it wants them back.

    An AFP journalist in northern Israel said the yellow gate to a bridge over the river dividing the two countries, long the portal for Israeli farmers to access Baqura, was locked.

    Baqura, known in Hebrew as Naharayim, lines on a spit of land where the Jordan and Yarmuk rivers meet.

    Ghumar, deep in the Negev desert south of the Dead Sea, is known in Hebrew as Tzofar.

    The lands have been privately owned by Israeli entities for decades, but the 1994 deal saw the kingdom retain sovereignty there.

    Since the heady days of Israel’s second peace treaty with an Arab state - after Egypt - relations with Amman have been strained.

    Opinion polls have repeatedly found that the peace treaty with Israel is overwhelmingly opposed by Jordanians, more than half of whom are of Palestinian origin.

    Just last month, Amman recalled its ambassador from Israel over the prolonged detention without trial in Israel of two Jordanians. The ambassador returned after the two were released.

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2019/11/10/Farmers-blocked-as-Israel-Jordan-enclave-deal-expires.html

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    Tunisia’s Islamist-inspired party wants leader to be house speaker

    10 November 2019

    Tunisia’s Islamist-inspired Ennahda party which last month came top in legislative polls put forward its leader Rached Ghannouchi on Sunday to head the next parliament.

    Ennahda, which won 52 out of 217 seats in October’s parliamentary election - well short of the 109 needed to govern - also insisted that the new prime minister of Tunisia should be selected from the party.

    Ghannouchi, a divisive figure and veteran leader of Ennahda, was proposed as candidate for speaker of parliament by the party’s Shura Council, according to council chief Abdelkarim Harouni.

    Ghannouchi has led Ennahda since it was founded almost 40 years ago, carrying the movement to victory in a 2011 election, just months after the party reemerged from underground following the revolution that ousted autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

    He has never run for office but won a parliamentary seat in Tunis in the October 6 legislative polls.

    Harouni on Sunday reiterated that Ennahda wants one of its own figures to head the new government in the North African country.

    The Islamist-inspired party has until Friday to announce its candidate for the premiership.

    Ennahda has been holding negotiations with other political groups to form a new government.

    But Harouni said “certain parties want to deprive the winner of the legislative election” from heading the cabinet.

    Tunisia’s new parliament is expected to hold its first full session on Wednesday.

    Full report at:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/north-africa/2019/11/10/Tunisia-s-Islamist-inspired-party-wants-leader-to-be-house-speaker.html

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    Malta has deal with Libya coastguard over migrant interceptions: Report

    10 November 2019

    Malta’s armed forces have started cooperating with Libya’s coastguard to turn back migrant boats heading into Malta’s search and rescue zone, a newspaper reported on Sunday, citing a secret government deal.

    The government declined to comment directly on the report in the Sunday Times of Malta, but told Reuters the Mediterranean state had been working with the Libyan coastguard for many years and always operated within the law.

    Under the terms of the deal, when a migrant boat is spotted sailing towards Malta, the island’s armed forces seek the intervention of the Libyan coastguard to intercept them before they enter Malta’s territorial waters, the paper said.

    Non-governmental organizations have denounced previous deals by which Italy has directed the Libyan coastguard to pick up migrant boats in Libyan territorial waters, saying refugees face torture and abuse in the north African country.

    The Malta deal appears to go a step further by encouraging the Libyan coastguard to intervene beyond its own coastal waters, which extend some 22.2 km (14 miles) from its shore, and into the broad search-and-rescue zone operated by Malta.

    “Search and rescue areas are not areas where the coastal state exercises sovereignty or has jurisdiction, but areas forming part of high seas where foreign military assets have every right to investigate any illegal activity departing from their coast,” the Maltese government said.

    Full report at:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/north-africa/2019/11/10/Malta-has-deal-with-Libya-coastguard-over-migrant-interceptions-Report.html

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    Sudan to form new parliament after peace deal with rebels

    Nov 7, 2019

    Sudan's protest movement has agreed to form the country's new parliament only after a peace deal is reached with rebel groups for ending long-running conflicts in three border regions.

    The 300-member parliament was to be formed within three months of a power-sharing deal that was signed on August 17 between protest leaders and the generals who had seized power after the April overthrow of longtime president Omar al-Bashir.

    Since the signing of the so-called "Constitutional Declaration," the transitional government, led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, has engaged in talks with three rebel groups to reach a peace deal to end the wars in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan. Hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions displaced in the rebellions by ethnic minority groups in the three conflict zones.

    As the talks progressed in the South Sudanese capital of Juba, the three rebel groups insisted that the new parliament be formed only after peace deals have been signed.

    The protest movement Forces of Freedom and Change had recently said it was keen to stick to the November 17 date to compose the assembly.

    But on Thursday, a top rebel leader and a leader from the protest movement confirmed that parliament will now be formed after a peace agreement has been reached.

    "The two parties have agreed not to form a parliament until a peace agreement is reached," Yasir Arman, deputy leader of rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) that is engaged in talks with Khartoum, said in a statement.

    A senior leader from the protest movement, Yousef Zain, confirmed to AFP that "we have postponed appointing of members of parliament."

    The rebel groups and protest movement have, however, agreed to go ahead with appointing new civilian governors for the 18 Sudanese provinces, the two leaders said.

    Hamdok's government has made reaching a peace deal to end conflict in the three war zones a priority.

    Full report at:

    https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/11/07/610634/Sudan-New-Parliament-Peace-Deal-Rebels

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    Jordan reclaims sovereignty over two plots of land leased to Israel

    Nov 10, 2019

    Jordan’s King Abdullah II says the lease of two plots of land to Israel, under a bilateral deal signed almost a quarter of a century ago, has ended, announcing his country’s “full sovereignty” over the two regions.

    The Jordanian king made the announcement during a speech he delivered to Jordan’s new cabinet on Sunday.

    “I announce the end of the annex of the two areas, Ghumar and al-Baqoura, in the peace treaty and impose our full sovereignty on every inch of them,” King Abdullah II said.

    Baqoura, also known Naharayim, is an area of six square kilometers in Jordan’s northern Irbid Province, situated south of the Lake Kinneret and to the north of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. Ghumar, also known as Zofar, is another area that covers four square kilometers in the southern Aqaba Province and is located south of the Dead Sea.

    According to the treaty inked by Jordan and the Israeli regime on October 26, 1994, the two pockets of land were leased to Israel for a 25-year renewable period, and the lease was automatically renewable except if one side gave a year’s notice to terminate the deal.

    In October last year, King Abdullah II said that Amman had notified Israel that it would not extend its lease of the two areas to the Tel Aviv regime, stressing that his country was resolute to reclaim both regions under the treaty.

    “We have informed Israel [that we are putting] an end to the application of the peace treaty annexes regarding Baqoura and Ghumar,” he said at the time, adding that Tel Aviv was “informed” regarding Amman’s decision. The two areas “are Jordanian land and will remain” part of the Arab country, the king said.

    Israel had controlled the two regions for over 70 years.

    The results of many opinion polls show that the treaty with the Israeli regime was overwhelmingly opposed by Jordanians.

    Since the 1994 agreement, Israeli farmers had had access to the territories, but they were prevented from entering the enclaves on Sunday.

    Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman al-Safady is expected to hold a press conference on the end of the lease on Monday.

    Israel and Jordan have maintained diplomatic relations since they signed the 1994 treaty. However, many Jordanians strongly oppose ties with Tel Aviv.

    The Israeli mission in Amman was shut down following an incident in July 2017, when two Jordanians were gunned down by an embassy guard, prompting the return of the Israeli ambassador along with the killer to the occupied territories.

    Full report at:

    https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/11/10/610868/Jordan-Israel-lease

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    Turkish drone pounds village in Syria’s Hasakah amid cross-border incursion

    Nov 10, 2019

    A combat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), operated by Turkish military forces, has reportedly launched an airstrike against a residential neighborhood in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah, in the aftermath of a cross-border incursion by Turkish army troops and their allied militants into the Arab country's Kurdish-populated region.

    Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that the drone fired a missile at al-Dardara village on the outskirts of the key border town of Ra’s al-Ayn on Sunday.

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    There were no immediate reports about possible casualties, and the extent of damage caused.

    Separately, a landmine planted by the Turkish forces in al-Assadiya village went off, leaving several people injured.

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    The developments took place only a day after Syrian government troops retook the village of Um Shuaifeh, located near the border with Turkey, from Turkish military forces and their allied militants following intense clashes.

    SANA said the battles involved heavy and medium weapons, noting that Syrian army soldiers finally managed to liberate the village and establish full control over it.

    They forced Turkish forces and their allies to retreat towards the village of Mahmudiya, Syria’s official news agency said, without providing any information about possible casualties.

    A correspondent and two cameramen for the state-run al-Ikhbariyah Syria television news network, identified as Fadel Hammad, Walid Ibrahim and Mohammed al-Khaled respectively, were injured by tank shell shrapnel during the coverage of the clashes.

    On October 9, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in a declared attempt to push militants affiliated with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) from border areas. Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984. The YPG constitutes the backbone of the Kurdish-dominated so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

    On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted YPG militants must withdraw from the Turkish-controlled "safe zone" in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow will run joint patrols around the area.

    The announcement was made hours before a US-brokered five-day truce between Turkish and Kurdish-led forces was due to expire.

    Iranians, Iraqis launch online campaign to stress unbreakable bond

    Nov 10, 2019

    An online campaign launched by Iranian and Iraqi users against foreign meddling has become a top trend on the social networking website Twitter, underlining their intimate bonds after recent attacks on Iran's consulate in Karbala.

    The campaign launched on Friday uses two main Arabic hashtags in support of friendly ties between Tehran and Baghdad.

    On Wednesday, tribal heads in Karbala visited Iran's diplomatic mission to apologize for attacks by a group of assailants on the building during a recent spate of unrest in Iraq.

    According to the online campaign, "some regional countries and their Western allies wrongly believe that they can conceal their repeated defeats against the Axis of Resistance", which includes Iraq and Iran.

    They specifically sought to punish the people of Iraq for hosting millions of Iranians and pilgrims from other countries during annual Arba’een processions, which are held in the holy Iraqi city of Karbala, it said.

    Iraqi cities have been the scene of anti-government protests for days, which were initially peaceful but later turned violent.

    At the start of October, street protests erupted in several Iraqi cities over unemployment and a lack of basic services. An official investigation found that a total of 157 people, including civilians and security forces, had been killed in the first round of the rallies in the capital and other cities.

    Last month, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the Iranian and Iraqi nations are connected through faith and that an enemy plot seeking to sow discord between the two will fail.

    "Iran and Iraq are two nations whose hearts & souls are tied together through faith in God, love for Imam Hussein and the progeny of the Prophet (PBUH). This bond will grow stronger day by day," the Leader's official Twitter account cited Ayatollah Khamenei as saying.

    l Twitter account cited Ayatollah Khamenei as saying.

    Khamenei.ir

    @khamenei_ir

    #Iran and #Iraq are two nations whose hearts & souls are tied together through faith in God & love for #ImamHussain & the progeny of the Prophet (pbut). This bond will grow stronger day by day.

    Enemies seek to sow discord but they’ve failed & their conspiracy won’t be effective. https://twitter.com/ar_khamenei/status/1180922270535032833 …

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    Full report at:

    https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/11/10/610852/Iraq-Iran-unity--unrest-Twitter-campaign

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    Manipulation of Lebanon national currency aimed at political objectives: Hezbollah MP

    Nov 10, 2019

    A lawmaker from the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has warned against the financial crisis in the cash-strapped country, stating that the crisis is being exploited for political purposes.

    On Sunday, Hassan Fadlallah said “playing this card [of financial crisis] will not lead to our surrender,” calling on caretaker Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and the governor of Lebanon’s Central Bank, Riad Salameh, to address the devaluation of the Lebanese pound against major currencies.

    He noted that some officials are still treading a wrong path, irrespective of the mass protests movement in the country and the demonstrators’ demands.

    Fadlallah then called for the abolition of the constitutional and parliamentary impunity in order to enable the judiciary to try those involved in corruption.

    On Saturday, Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian called for the formation of a new emergency government of technical experts, urging authorities to meet demonstrators’ demands, as a mass protest movement calling for an overhaul of the country's political system approached its fourth week.

    “The time has come and is opportune, after this national wake-up call, for the reform process to begin and for those in power to form an emergency national government made up of competent people, without delay to immediately proceed with carrying out the reform package prepared by (caretaker) Prime Minister (Saad) Hariri to solve the country's problems,” Derian said in his message to the nation on the eve of the birthday anniversary of Prophet Muhammad.

    Hariri submitted his resignation to President Michel Aoun on October 29.

    Under the constitution, Hariri’s cabinet would stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed.

    The protests began on October 17 when the government proposed imposing a tax on Whatsapp calls, along with other austerity measures.

    Protesters in Lebanon have stopped blocking roads and setting up barricades, and instead shifted to holding sit-ins at state-affiliated sites.

    They say they will maintain pressure on the political establishment until their demands for the departure of the ruling elite and an end to chronic economic mismanagement and corruption are met.

    Growth in Lebanon has plummeted in the wake of endless political deadlocks and an economic crisis in recent years.

    The country hosts 1.5 million Syrian refugees, and their presence is often blamed for putting pressure on the already struggling economy.

    Unemployment stands at more than 20 percent, according to official figures.

    The Lebanese Finance Ministry says the national debt is hovering around $85 billion, which accounts for more than 150 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

    Full report at:

    https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/11/10/610865/Lebanon-national-currency-political-objectives-Hezbollah-MP

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    North America

     

    Muslim Candidates In Michigan Faced Hate During Political Campaigns In 2018

    Nov. 10, 2019

    When Abdul El-Sayed announced in February 2017 he was running as a Democrat to be Michigan's next governor, it was just a few weeks after President Donald Trump issued his Muslim travel ban.

    The year before, Trump had declared: "I think Islam hates us." And now, some officials with a history of inflammatory remarks about Muslims were in power in the White House.

    Despite the challenging environment, El-Sayed, who is Muslim, forged ahead, but he had to deal with abuse online and on the campaign trail, facing bigoted remarks and death threats that prompted him to hire a bodyguard.

    A new report released last week by several scholars from four universities confirms the experiences that El-Sayed and other Muslim candidates across the U.S. faced during the 2018 political campaigns. Titled "#Islamophobia, Stoking Fear and Prejudice in the 2018 Midterms," the 97-page report details the hatred that 166 Muslim political candidates in the U.S. endured during the midterm elections.

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    While the study portrayed a hostile climate for Muslim candidates, many continue to succeed. Last week, 26 Muslim candidates across the U.S. — including some in metro Detroit in cities like Hamtramck and Dearborn Heights — won local election races, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. A total of 34 Muslim candidates won in 2019. Three Muslims were elected Tuesday to Hamtramck City Council, ensuring the six-member council will remain Muslim-majority, which became so four years ago.

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    Out of the 166 Muslim candidates examined in the study, 29 of them were in Michigan, and out of those, 10 ran for statewide and federal offices, which was the focus of the study. The study was done by professors and researchers at Washington State University, Columbia University, Western Washington University, and Pennsylvania State University, who described it as "a multiplatform study of trolls: social media, fringe media, and the real world."

    The study stressed that hate is found more online than in the real world for many of the candidates, and that much of the bigotry came from a small group amplified by bots.

    Michigan candidates' experiences support study findings

    Michigan's sizable Middle Eastern and Muslim communities have been the targets of attacks for decades, long before Twitter and Facebook existed. But the increasing use of social media has shifted the dynamics, the researchers said.  They are calling upon Twitter to be more proactive in cracking down on accounts seen as extreme and hateful.

    The report said that the social media sites were an increasing source of the online hate, replacing "extreme-right media entities that were the primary source of the anti-Muslim dialogue in the 2016 presidential campaign. They spread hate speech like a virus on social media. ...

    "While many Muslim candidates reported limited encounters with Islamophobia among their constituents, we found a social media narrative of manufactured outrage that was disproportionately Islamophobic, xenophobic, racist, and misogynistic," the report said. "It was heavily influenced by a small number of agents provocateurs, whose hate-filled messages and disinformation were amplified by networks of accounts operating on a scale that signals the involvement of organized networks."

    El-Sayed said the report's findings gel with his personal experiences on the campaign trail.

    "The obstacles people of color and religious minorities face in our current political climate are real," El-Sayed told the Free Press. "On the campaign trail, I was reminded of these obstacles as we dealt with regular death threats. This report critically identifies the tip of the iceberg. But the implicit bias you can’t see is often a bigger obstacle than the biases you can see."

    In a statement to the Free Press, Twitter spokeswoman Katie Rosborough said: "Death threats, incitement to violence, and hateful conduct have no place on Twitter. We believe this behavior undermines freedom of expression and the power of healthy public conversation. People using their accounts to spread this type of content will face enforcement action.

    "While we continue investing in proactive technology, we encourage people to report content they believe violates our rules."

    The new study looked at more than 100,000 tweets posted from about mid-September 2018 to the weekend before Election Day in November 2018. The study focused a lot on two U.S. House Reps. elected last year, Rashida Tlaib of Detroit and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress.

    Some of the other Muslim candidates in Michigan who ran in state or federal races in the 2018 midterms were Fayrouz Saad of Northville, who ran for a House seat in metro Detroit in the 11th Congressional District and was the former director of immigrant affairs for the city of Detroit; state House candidates Hamtramck City Councilman Saad Almasmari, state Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, D-Dearborn, Syed Rob of Hamtramck, Md Alam of Hamtramck; state Senate candidates Abraham Aiyash of Hamtramck, Ghulam Qadir of Northville Township and Hamtramck City Councilman Anam Miah.

    Hammoud was reelected, but the other candidates lost last year. Almasmari and Miah lost their Hamtramck City Council seats this year.

    Six Muslim candidates from Michigan completed the survey the researchers sent out to Muslim candidates, said one of the report's authors, Western Washington University associate professor of journalism Brian Bowe.

    "What’s important here is not simply that someone like Rashida Tlaib is the target of online Islamophobic, xenophobic and misogynist rhetoric, it’s that Twitter makes it easy for bad actors to amplify this rhetoric, which then spills over into news coverage," Bowe told the Free Press. "Some of the most active Twitter conversation about Rep. Tlaib came from far outside the 13th District, as we saw from the thousands of tweets tagging both her and Rep. Omar. This kind of disinformation infrastructure may disrupt and distort local debates over which candidate would best serve the needs of constituents, posing a danger for democracy."

    Twitter and other social media sites have tried to strike a balance as they have faced criticism from both liberals and conservatives over what they allow. Republicans have criticized them for banning some right-wing users while liberals have said they are allowing racism to flourish. Conservatives have argued they should have the right to criticize what they see as extremist views by some Muslim politicians such as Omar and Tlaib.

    Last month, Twitter released a report on transparency that said it is increasingly relying on technology to detect abusive tweets. It said more than 50% of abusive tweets it takes action on are done using technology, compared with 20% a year ago. Also, Twitter said it has seen a 105% increase in accounts locked or suspended for violating its rules.

    "#Islamophobia, Stoking Fear and Prejudice in the 2018 Midterms" noted the campaign of Saad, interviewing her for the report.

    After she announced she was running for a U.S. House seat, Saad said she was inundated with social media messages “from far and wide” that “covered the gamut of Islamophobia,” the study said.

    But within her district, "it was never blatant, to my face," Saad said.

    There was bias that was more subtle, she said.

    “People would say things like, ‘I think so and so,’ who just happens to be a white male, ‘is the most electable or the most likely to win,’ " Saad said.  "It felt like it was an attack on either my gender or my race or my ethnicity. It wasn’t explicit, but it very much felt like that was the implication."

    Tlaib, born to Palestinian immigrants, has faced a torrent of abuse online over the past year.

    She told the Free Press that the "report on Islamophobia online during the 2018 campaign is not surprising — anyone who has ever read my Twitter mentions and replies has already seen the level of hate that exists online."

    The report noted that about one-third of the tweets mentioning Tlaib were Islamophobic or other types of hate speech.

    Last month, Tlaib questioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a congressional hearing on why his company is not doing more to prevent hate groups from using his social media site to promote bigotry and violence.

    "I hope that social media companies will take a serious look at this report and what it means for our democracy," Tlaib said.

    In June, Tlaib shed tears during a House hearing with the FBI and the Department of Justice on "Confronting White Supremacy: Adequacy of the Federal Response," while she was recalling a death threat she received after the New Zealand mass shooting at a mosque.

    Tlaib questioned why federal law enforcement and the Justice Department are not classifying more cases of domestic extremism as terrorism and not doing enough to combat hate crimes.

    In metro Detroit, some minority and Muslim groups have askedthe FBI, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan and local law enforcement to do more to investigate and prosecute white supremacists.

    Bots promote bigotry, candidates press on

    The study's lead author, Lawrence Pintak, a former CBS News Middle East correspondent and author of six books on media and U.S. policy toward the Muslim world, told the Free Press that their research showed that "the cacophony of hate was generated by a handful of accounts and then amplified across Twitter — and then into the media — by a vast bot army run by faceless individuals, organizations or governments."

    Most of the Muslim candidates they surveyed "said they encountered some form of Islamophobia, but overall it was low. That’s a stark contrast to what we found online because these aren’t the candidates’ actual constituents, they are often faceless individuals or organizations somewhere else in the country or the world."

    Pintak called upon Twitter to "shut down some of the sites we monitored. ... If we can identify tweets containing hate speech, so can Twitter."

    The report was released during a week that saw election victories for Muslims in Michigan. In Hamtramck, three Muslim candidates won seats on the Council: business developer Mohammed Alsomiri, Nayeem Choudhury, and Mohammed Hassan, a former City Councilman who lost a mayoral race two years ago.

    During his 2018 gubernatorial campaign, El-Sayed received threats and hate online, but also on the campaign trail, especially from a Republican opponent who repeatedly asserted that El-Sayed has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, claims El-Sayed dismissed as a racist conspiracy theory.

    Speaking in July 2018 to a crowd at the 'My Muslim Vote' rally in Dearborn organized by a Muslim group, El-Sayed said that "some say, 'You know, Abdul, it’s not that we disagree with what you have to say, just that you’re a little bit young, you’re also a little bit brown, a little bit Muslim. How’s that going to work out for you?'

    "When I decided to run, I took a bet on an idea. And that idea is that it didn’t matter, the color of your skin, didn’t matter how you prayed, didn’t matter what your name was, didn’t matter who you loved."

    The week after El-Sayed lost in the August 2018 primary to Gretchen Whitmer, El-Sayed wrote on Twitter in response to a right wing personality who criticized him: "People often ask what I’ve learned on the trail: One thing is that there’s far less hate than the hateful few would have you think. They are few, but they are loud. The second is that they are SO fragile. They howl if you stand up to them."

    https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/11/10/muslim-candidates-faced-hate-michigan-2018-elections/2525982001/

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    Top US army general says 600 troops to remain in Syria

    Nov 10, 2019

    A top US army general says American troop levels in Syria are expected to stabilize at around 600 and that the presence of the military forces in the Arab country is for US national interests.

    "There will be less than 1,000 [US troops], for sure," General Mark Milley, the US army chief of staff, said in an interview with the ABC News on Sunday. "Probably in the 500ish frame, maybe six."

    Milley added that American troops would remain in Syria "for a significant amount of time because it's in our national interest to be there to help out."

    The army general also claimed that it was important for US troops to remain in Syria so long as the Daesh (ISIS) terrorist group has a presence there.

    "There are still ISIS fighters in the region," he told ABC. "Unless pressure is maintained, unless attention is maintained on that group, there's a very real possibility there could be a re-emergence of ISIS."

    The statement comes as US President Donald Trump has recently approved an expanded military mission to secure oil fields in Syria's east, after announcing a complete withdrawal from the country.

    In a major U-turn in US military policy, Trump announced on October 6 that Washington would be withdrawing its forces from northeastern Syria, clearing the path for an expected Turkish incursion into the region.

    Full report at:

    https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/11/10/610892/US-army-General-Mark-Milley-Syria-national-interests

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