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Islamic World News ( 5 March 2023, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Islamic State In Khorasan Province Mouthpiece, "Voice Of Khurasan" Says, Islamic State Terrorists Have Links To Coimbatore, Mangaluru Blast

New Age Islam News Bureau

05 March 2023

 

The Islamic State terrorists are most likely in Kerala and in some parts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. (Representative image)

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• Islamic State In Khorasan Province Mouthpiece, "Voice Of Khurasan" Says, Islamic State Terrorists Have Links To Coimbatore, Mangaluru Blast

• Punjab Govt Won’t Hinder Aurat March In Province, Promises Pakistan Punjab Interim Minister

• ISWAP Kills Over 200 Boko Haram Terrorists, Women, Children In A Deadly Rival Clash In Borno

• British Home Secretary Suella Braverman Alarmed By 'Death Threats' Against Pupils Who Allegedly Damaged Quran

• Israeli Settlers Prepare to Invade Al-Aqsa Mosque Citing Jewish Holidays as Pretext

 

India

• Need To Plan For Community’s Uplift, Tap Govt Schemes: Muslim Scholars

• Muslim Artistes To Perform Play Based On Mahabharata In Bengaluru

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Pakistan

• PTI workers rally as police reach Imran’s Zaman Park residence

• Bajwa’s pledge of ‘neutrality’ holds no credence, says ex-general

• Another reference filed against apex court judge

• While PML-N is undecided, PPP continues poll prep

• Contempt pleas filed in LHC against Imran, Sanaullah

• SC ruling ignores security concerns: KP governor

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Africa

• I was there when Chibok girls were married off, says Rugurugu, ex-Boko Haram commander

• Muslim-Muslim Presidency Not God’s Will For Nigeria – Okowa

• ‘We Feel Ignored’: Lithuanian Mufti On Why There Is Still No Mosque In Vilnius

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Europe

• Reopening Western Europe’s largest Mosque: Masroor Khan, Tiffin School

• UK Government prepares to unveil new powers to ‘stop the boats’

• Need to ‘frighten the pants’ off public with new Covid strain, said Hancock

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Mideast

• Iran pledges to cooperate with IAEA investigation, re-installs cameras

• Islamic State landmines kill 10 truffle hunters in Syria

• Iran to allow more inspections at nuclear sites, U.N. says

• Iran Dismisses UK Navy's 'baseless' Claim Of 'having Seized A Shipment Of Iranian Arms'

• Iran, China planning to spread Persian, Chinese languages

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South Asia

• A Group Of Islamic State Killed In Afghanistan’s Herat Province

• UK govt faces ire of rights groups over delay in relocation of stranded Afghan journalists

• Why it is imperative to restore secularism in Bangladesh

• Bangladesh needs to create political momentum

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Southeast Asia

• Why Raise A Stink Over ‘Mentega Terbang’ Film Now When You Did Nothing For Two Years? Communications Minister Asks Critics

• House Speaker Reviews Essential Goods Prices in South Sumatra Ahead of Ramadan

• Minister Warns Malaysians To Watch Out For Telegram Scammers, Says Their Tactics So Good Even Ex-PM Ismail Sabri Wasn’t Spared

• PM Anwar says no need to declare emergency in Johor as floods under control

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Arab world

• New Initiative Set To Make Literature Accessible Across Saudi Arabia

• Saudi anti-corruption authority arrests several citizens, Bangladeshi residents in criminal case

• 10 startups win $1 million cash prizes at finals of accelerator program in Saudi Arabia

• International conference in Riyadh to explore how justice can harness the power of digital transformation

• Bahrain’s Al Hashemi wins Custodian of Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup

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North America

• Religious Groups Condemn Vandalism At West Oak Lane Mosque

• Top US General Makes Rare Visit To Syria, Says Mission To Combat Islamic State Worth The Risk

• Muslim activist Raquel Saraswati allegedly lied about being South Asian, Arab, and Latin. Her mother said she's 'white as the driven snow.'

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/islamic-state-khorasan-terrorists/d/129249

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Islamic State In Khorasan Province Mouthpiece, "Voice Of Khurasan" Says, Islamic State Terrorists Have Links To Coimbatore, Mangaluru Blast

 

The Islamic State terrorists are most likely in Kerala and in some parts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. (Representative image)

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 Subodh Kumar

Mar 5, 2023

Four months after the Coimbatore blast and approximately three months after Mangaluru blast, the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), through its mouthpiece, "Voice of Khurasan" magazine, has admitted that its terrorists are present in South India and were involved in those two blasts that happened last year.

It’s a publication or mouthpiece that promotes ISIS activity in Central and South Asia. It provokes supporters around the world to commit attacks on behalf of the group. It propagate IS’s global propaganda operations and has markedly increased the international scope of these operations in recent years. Al-Azaim Foundation for Media Productions and Communication is ISKP’s main propaganda arm, which mainly produces books and occasionally publishes videos.

However, the magazine’s article doesn’t specify in which southern state its ‘mujahedins’ are active, but experts say they are most likely in Kerala and may be spreading to some parts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

ISKP mentions that last year’s car explosion in Coimbatore on October 23 and the pressure cooker blast in an autorickshaw in Mangaluru on November 19 were carried out by IS-affiliated militants.

"Do you not consider our attacks in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, in Bangalore [the author of the magazine wrote Bangalore instead of Mangaluru], where our brothers took revenge for the honour of our religion and terrorised kufar [non-Muslims and disbelievers] and its followers?" the magazine reads.

The tacit admission of ISKP speaks volumes about the possibility of terrorists’ presence—those affiliated with the Islamic State—in southern states of India.

The admission comes two weeks after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids and searched over 60 locations in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka for suspected IS sympathizers.

Once again, ISKP, in its latest issue of the magazine, has spewed venom against Hindus, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Indian army, provoking its mujahedins in South India to wage war against them.

The magazine’s article on India sought to take revenge on Hindus (as the article termed them enemies of Allah and his Prophet) and also sought to avenge Kashmir (by targeting non-muslims), Babri Masjid, and Gujarat riots.

"Your transgression has crossed all limits, and your hatred of Islam and its people has been shown in words and deeds," the magazine’s article says.

"Your peace will turn into chaos, your security into fear, and your happiness into sorrow, and by the will of Allah, there will be no security or peace for any disbeliever until you worship Allah alone," the ISKP magazine article further reads.

A dedicated article in the magazine talks about the incidents of Chinese surveillance balloons in US airspace while mocking both countries.

While keeping its tirade against Pakistan and its religious scholars going, the Islamic State’s mouthpiece termed Shahbaz Sharif’s country a "tumor cell in the body of the Islamic Ummah".

It’s an publication or mouthpiece that promotes ISIS activity in Central and South Asia. It provokes supporters around the world to commit attacks on behalf of the group. This publication appeals to younger extremists to join the terror missions of both ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

Source: Indian Express

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

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/isis-terrorists-active-in-south-india-have-links-to-coimbatore-mangaluru-blast-is-mouthpiece-2342719-2023-03-04

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Punjab Govt Won’t Hinder Aurat March In Province, Promises Pakistan Punjab Interim Minister

 

Children participate in Aurat March at Karachi’s Frere Hall on March 8, 2020. Photo via Twitter/Aurat March Karachi

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Adnan Sheikh

March 5, 2023

Punjab Interim Information Minister Amir Mir has promised that the caretaker government will not place any obstacles for Aurat March protesters in the province, adding that all the reservations of the event’s organisers had been addressed.

The Aurat March organising committee had last month requested a no objection certificate (NOC) from the district administration to hold a rally on March 8 at Nasser Bagh, Lahore, followed by a march around the perimeter of the park.

However, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rafia Haider had rejected the plea citing “the current security scenario, threat alerts, and law and order situation, and in light of activities like controversial cards and banners for awareness of women’s rights and the strong reservation of the general public and religious organizations, especially JI’s (Jamaat-i-Islami) women’s and student wings, who had also announced a programme against the Aurat March.”

Subsequently, Aurat March organisers petitioned the Lahore High Court on Saturday night, saying that the DC’s order was “arbitrary, discriminatory and ultra vires” of various constitutional articles.

In a statement released today, Mir said that the government has decided to provide security to Aurat March protesters. “Complete police security will be given to the participants.”

He said that the caretaker government won’t become a hindrance for the demonstrators, adding that “our caretaker government believes in the freedom of all individuals”.

Earlier, civil society, political parties, and rights organisations condemned the deputy commissioner for rejecting the plea to organise Aurat March on International Women’s Day on March 8.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also strongly condemned the Lahore district administration for rejecting Aurat March organisers permission to hold a public rally marking International Women’s Day on March 8.

“It is regrettable that their right to peaceful assembly is routinely challenged by the district administration because ‘controversial’ placards and ‘strong reservations’ from the public and religious organisations ostensibly create law-and-order risks. This is a poor defence.”

The HRCP demanded that the caretaker Punjab government uphold the Aurat March’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly and provide the marchers with full security.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1740526/punjab-govt-wont-hinder-aurat-march-in-province-promises-minister

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ISWAP Kills Over 200 Boko Haram Terrorists, Women, Children In A Deadly Rival Clash In Borno

 

ISWAP members

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March 5, 2023

By Kingsley Omonobi

No fewer than 200 Boko Haram fighters, women and children have been reportedly killed by the Islamic State of the West Africa Province, ISWAP, in a deadly rival clash in Gudumbali, Borno State.

Sources said the ISWAP insurgents targeted hundreds of the Boko Haram terrorists and their families at Choliye village while fleeing ISWAP attacks.

Counter Insurgency Expert and Security in Lake Chad, Zagazola Makama disclosed that the terrorists fled their enclaves between February 26 and 27 amidst deadly attacks targeting their enclaves in Gaizuwa, otherwise known as Mantari, Gabchari, Kashimiri, and Maimusari in Bama Local Government, noting that the sustained attacks had led to the dislodgement of hundreds of the fighters.

The sources said the Boko Haram terrorists, who had scampered to safety, ran towards the Mandara Mountains in the Gwoza axis to seek refuge.

Some of the surviving Boko Haram leaders who fled the attack due to the ISWAP’s superior fighting capacity include Abbah Tukur, the Khaid of Mantari and Maimusari; Abu Isa, Khaid of Ngauri; Alhaji Ali Hajja Fusami, the newly appointed Khaid of Garin Abu Ikliima and Abu Ali.

ISWAP, according to multiple sources, immediately mobilised more fighters to go after the fleeing Boko Haram, who were later intercepted at Choliye village, where they opened fire and killed 200 of them without sparing their families, most of them women and children.

The sources said the onslaught against Boko Haram continued in the Asinari, Ashanari, and Masarmari areas in Konduga, where scores of the fighters were killed in the attacks coordinated on March 1 by one Ba’ana Chingori of the ISWAP.

“In Yale, a village in Konduga LGA, ISWAP Commander Modu Bashir Okocha led another team of ISWAP to attack another Boko Haram position and, as a result, killed 15 of them, seizing their weapons and motorcycles,” one of the sources said.

“The fierce onslaught had forced hundreds of the Boko Haram fighters and their families to surrender to the troops of Operation Hadin Kai in Mafa, Konduga, and other parts of the Theatre while some of them managed to flee through Mafa to Dikwa, Abadam, as well as the Niger Republic in the Lake Chad region.

“Some of the fighters escaped to the camp of Bakura Wulgo, aka Abou Oumaymah, in the axis of Marte and Krenowa while others ran to the Mandara Mountains in Gwoza to seek refuge and protection from Ali Ngulde.”

Source: Vanguardngr

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

https://www.vanguardngr.com/2023/03/iswap-kills-over-200-boko-haram-terrorists-women-children-in-borno/

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British Home Secretary Suella Braverman Alarmed By 'Death Threats' Against Pupils Who Allegedly Damaged Quran

 

Suella Braverman has said she shares the 'alarm' throughout the country

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Tom Gillespie

4 March 2023

The home secretary has also promised to work with education officials on new guidance for schools to make clear that teachers "do not have to answer to self-appointment community activists".

The Department for Education is already believed to be working with Kettlethorpe High School in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, after it suspended four students over the incident.

A copy of the Islamic text was reportedly brought to school by a Year 10 pupil as part of a dare last week and its cover was allegedly slightly torn, while smears of dirt were found on some pages.

The boy's mother - who said he is 14 years old and has "high functioning autism" - has said he received "death threats" over what happened.

Police have recorded the case as a "non-crime hate incident" - a designation officers use to record incidents which do not meet the criminal threshold, according to The Times.

Ms Braverman writes in the paper that she is "not happy with the way non-crime hate incidents are recorded" and promised to announce new guidance for police soon.

The home secretary also said that "the education sector and police have a duty to prioritise the physical safety of children over the hurt feelings of adults".

Ms Braverman added that a "disturbing video" has emerged which showed a meeting about the alleged damage "which looked more like a sharia law trial".

The article continues: "We do not have blasphemy laws in Great Britain and must not be complicit in the attempts to impose them on this country. There is no right not to be offended.

Warning that respect for freedom of speech was "going in the wrong direction", she said Islam should not expect a "special status" to protect the religion from disrespect.

"There is a long, ignoble history of that, which goes back at least as far as the furore over The Satanic Verses", she wrote, in a reference to the novel by Sir Salman Rushdie that led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s.

"It is rooted in a view - actually a bigoted one - that Muslims are uniquely incapable of controlling themselves if they feel provoked. And it has excused agitators using fear to force people to bend to their demands," she said.

Source: News.Sky

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

https://news.sky.com/story/suella-braverman-alarmed-by-death-threats-against-pupils-who-allegedly-damaged-Quran-12825184

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Israeli Settlers Prepare to Invade Al-Aqsa Mosque Citing Jewish Holidays as Pretext

 

Photo: daysofpalestine.

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4 March, 2023

The Union of Temple Mount Groups called Saturday, 4 march 2023 the Israeli settlers to invade Al-Aqsa Mosque during the upcoming Tuesday and Wednesday citing the so-called Jewish Purim holiday as a pretext

Israeli settlers intend to perform provocative Talmudic rituals, read biblical passages aloud and collectively, and conduct evocative dances in Al-Aqsa Mosque yards.

In response, Palestinian activists and officials called on the Palestinain people to intensify their presence at Al-Aqsa Mosque on the coming Tuesday and Wednesday to confront settlers’ widespread incursions.

Last February, more than 3,587 colonial Israeli settlers invaded Al-Aqsa Mosque, performed provocative Talmudic rituals in its yards, and conducted the so-called “epic prostration” at its gates.

In the same context, Temple Mount Groups are mobilizing their colonial settler to carry out large-scale incursions into the Al-Aqsa mosque during the so-called Jewish Passover which coincides with the third week of the holy month of Ramadan between 6-12 April.

Right-wing colonial settlers repeatedly raid the Muslim holy sites in occupied Jerusalem basically Al-Aqsa Mosque, using Jewish holidays as an excuse.

As part of a decades-old accord between Jordan and the Israeli occupation, non-Muslims are not allowed to perform any religious rituals inside the confines of Al-Aqsa Mosque, nor are Israeli symbols allowed to be displayed.

Source: Days Of Palestine

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

https://daysofpalestine.ps/israeli-settler-prepare-to-invade-al-aqsa-mosque-citing-jewish-holidays-as-pretext/

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India

Need to plan for community’s uplift, tap govt schemes: Muslim scholars

By HT Correspondent

Mar 05, 2023

“It is time to plan for future so that our community could come out of poverty and deprivation,” said chairman, Islamic Centre of India, Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali while presiding over a two-day conference of Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) that began in Lucknow on Saturday.

Muslim scholars and intellectuals gathered in the state capital on Saturday and called for need to evolve a plan to help the community come out of poverty.

“It is time to plan for future so that our community could come out of poverty and deprivation,” said chairman, Islamic Centre of India, Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali while presiding over a two-day conference of Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) that began in Lucknow on Saturday.

Source: Hindustan Times

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

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/lucknow-news/need-to-plan-for-community-s-uplift-tap-govt-schemes-muslim-scholars-101677959355448.html

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Muslim artistes to perform play based on Mahabharata in Bengaluru

Mar 5, 2023

MYSURU: 'Kurukshetra' (Dharmarajya Sthapana), a play based on Mahabharata, will be staged at Halenahalli, a remote village in Nelamangala taluk, Bengaluru Rural district, on March 19.

Setting an example of communal harmony and brotherhood, the all-male drama will be enacted by the members of the Mulsim community, who are from different walks of life.

Javed Pasha, a security guard by profession, who will play the role of Srikrishna, said they had planned to stage the drama one-and-a-half years ago but it was postponed due to his brother's demise.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/muslim-artistes-to-perform-play-based-on-mahabharata/articleshowprint/98420450.cms

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Pakistan

PTI workers rally as police reach Imran’s Zaman Park residence

Umer Farooq

March 5, 2023

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday afternoon called all party workers to reach Zaman Park in Lahore as television reports said Imran Khan could be arrested for persistent absences from court hearings in the Toshakhana case.

In a tweet, the former information minister categorically stated that “any attempt to arrest Imran Khan will worsen the situation”.

Terming the “imported” government as the “country’s enemy”, Fawad warned the PDM not to push the country into further crisis and act sensibly.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1740527/pti-workers-rally-as-police-reach-imrans-zaman-park-residence

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Bajwa’s pledge of ‘neutrality’ holds no credence, says ex-general

Atika Rehman

March 5, 2023

LONDON: A retired general on Saturday discarded the former army chief’s pledge that the military would remain out of Pakistani politics, saying he did not attach any importance to what an outgoing chief said.

“Why did [Imran Khan] give an extension to Gen Bajwa? Why did Asif Ali Zardari give an extension to [Gen] Kiyani? I believe that the military should stay neutral and not meddle in politics, but remember that you cannot switch it off,” retired Gen Haroon Aslam said.

Addressing the audience during a session on ‘Civil Military Relations: Co-existence or Confron­ta­tion’ at the Future of Pakistan Conference 2023 — hosted by the student union of the London School of Economics — he also blamed Pakistan’s political leadership for allowing the military to meddle in politics, saying that while the military was not proactively trying to interfere, it was the “civilian component” that gave importance to the military.

When asked about the long-term applicability of retired Gen Bajwa’s farewell pledge of neutrality from the army, Gen Aslam did not mince his words. “I don’t attach any credence to that. He played his innings, then at the end said this. There is no importance of what an outgoing chief says.”

Gen Aslam was the senior-most at the time of former army chief Gen Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani’s retirement. Before that, he remained DG military operations and Bahawalpur corps commander.

At the outset of the session, he raised eyebrows by professing that he had voted for PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the last election, and would do so again.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1740472/bajwas-pledge-of-neutrality-holds-no-credence-says-ex-general

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Another reference filed against apex court judge

Malik Asad

March 5, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The PML-N has filed a reference against Supreme Co­urt Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi after his name surfaced in connection with an alleged audio leak.

Lawyers associated with the party filed the reference before the Supreme Judicial Cou­n­cil (SJC) — the body tasked with hearing and dec­iding complaints aga­inst superior court judges.

The reference, filed under Article 209 of the Constitution, stated that the oath of a superior court judge as prescribed by the Constitution required strict adherence to a code of conduct, any departure from which “may invite misconduct proceeding.”

The reference alleged that Jus­tice Naqvi “deviated from this code” when he refu­s­ed bail to an accused but granted one when the acc­used changed his lawyer.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1740471/another-reference-filed-against-apex-court-judge

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While PML-N is undecided, PPP continues poll prep

Zulqernain Tahir

March 5, 2023

LAHORE: The PPP is forging ahead with its polls’ preparation even as its coalition partner in the Centre, the PML-N, is still mulling its future course of action.

The PPP has sought applications from ‘potential’ candidates for the award of tickets for general elections in Punjab, while the PML-N seems confused about whether to go into polls or challenge the Supreme Court decision.

President Arif Alvi has announced April 30 as the date for polls in Punjab in line with the apex court’s verdict, but the PML-N leadership is reluctant to take a ‘clear stance’ on plans to contest polls.

Even at a party meeting in Gujranwala on Saturday, PML-N Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz Sharif avoided giving any direction regarding preparations for the polls.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1740470/while-pml-n-is-undecided-ppp-continues-poll-prep

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Contempt pleas filed in LHC against Imran, Sanaullah

Staff Reporter

March 5, 2023

LAHORE: A lawyer has filed a petition in the Lahore High Court seeking contempt proceedings against former prime minister Imran Khan for his alleged campaign against the institution of judiciary.

Advocate Nadeem Sarwar pleads in his petition that the former prime minister and his party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), have been running malicious campaigns against the judges and the judiciary since the Supreme Court set aside a ruling of the then deputy speaker of the National Assembly on the no-confidence motion.

He states that the PTI chairman whenever appears before a court of law, after his ouster from the government, his workers hold rallies outside the courts and also damage state properties.

The lawyer argues that the hooliganism and violence committed by the PTI workers at the behest of their party chairman amounts to pressurising the courts to obtain favourable decisions. The petitioner refers to a recent appearance of Khan before a court at Islamabad Judicial Complex where the PTI workers created a law and order situation and damaged the main gate of the complex and other property.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1740509/contempt-pleas-filed-in-lhc-against-imran-sanaullah

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SC ruling ignores security concerns: KP governor

Umer Farooq

March 5, 2023

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Ghulam Ali on Saturday expressed reservations over the Supreme Court ruling that elections in Punjab and KP be held within 90 days, saying that if any untoward incident occurred during that time, then “those who made the decision” would be to blame.

Mr Ali questioned whether the apex court took into account the “security concerns” raised by the provincial government amid a surge in terrorism in the province.

According to the governor, a high-level meeting attended by the KP chief secretary, police chief, and relevant officials, had already briefed caretaker Chief Minister Mohammad Azam Khan on the security situation. The interim CM was apprised that security personnel would be required for the smooth conduct of general elections as well as for the protection of politicians during election campaigns.

“I am bound under the Constitution to propose a date for the general elections which I will do, but those asking for polls and those making a decision in this regard will be responsible if anything [untoward] happens,” Governor Ghulam Ali told Dawn.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1740473/sc-ruling-ignores-security-concerns-kp-governor

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Africa

 

I was there when Chibok girls were married off, says Rugurugu, ex-Boko Haram commander

By Ishaya Ibrahim

March 4, 2023

An ex-Boko Haram commander, Adamu Rugurugu, has advocated for the establishment of a military base inside Sambisa forest as a way of curbing the activities of the dreaded sect.

In an exclusive interview Rugurugu granted Daily Trust, he said the terrorists in Sambisa forest could be checkmated with the establishment of a military base inside the forest.

The ex-Boko Haram commander narrated the role drugs play in their activities, how they amass weapons and the fate of the Chibok girls.

My name is Malam Adamu Rugurugu, I am from Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State. I have two wives and 15 children. I was a top Commander of Boko Haram in Sambisa Forest where I spent 10 years fighting for the Boko Haram sect. We were the first set of people to accept the amnesty window by the state government, which has brought back relative peace. I am among the first batch that repented.

We were listening to the radio when we heard Governor Babagana Umara Zulum saying whoever wants amnesty among militants should surrender, assuring that no harm will come to them and they will be kept safe and be forgiven.

So, I began to preach to my people that this governor is honest and would not deceive us. Prior to that, we made some research that convinced us that we were on the wrong path. We now understood the message and that’s why we surrendered.

It’s been almost two years now. When I came out, honestly, I was received and brought to Maiduguri where we are now camped in a very good manner. The governor was feeding us and giving us some pocket money.

When I realized how we were being taken care of, I began to pass the message to other commanders in the bush to come out and embrace peace, which they later adhered to, and more are still repenting.  Thousands of Boko Haram fighters have surrendered through me.

I used to tell them to surrender if they truly loved their parents, because God knows that Sambisa is not meant for human beings to live. I convinced them to come out and start a new life with their families and take up/continue with farming and other businesses.

At one point, many didn’t know that my real name was Mallam Adamu. You must say Mallam Adamu Rugurugu before they would bring you to me.

They deceived us; they came with the face of religion, saying it’s the work of Allah but we later realized it was wrong. There is no place where Allah said you should harm your brother.

Yes, I am still a Muslim scholar. I have been to many places to preach about Islam in all the LGAs of Borno State. I have a car, with a big sound system on top, and many students and followers in different wards.

Source: The Nicheng

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

https://www.thenicheng.com/i-was-there-when-chibok-girls-were-married-off-says-rugurugu-ex-boko-haram-commander/

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Muslim-Muslim presidency not God’s will for Nigeria – Okowa

March 4, 2023

By Wale Odunsi

Delta Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has stated that the Muslim-Muslim presidency is not God’s will for Nigeria.

The governor also expressed his fears about the closure of the church within the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He spoke on Friday at a meeting with Isoko Church Leaders held at God’s Fountain of Life Mission in Oleh, Isoko South LGA.

President-elect Bola Tinubu and Vice President-elect Kashima Shettima of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, are Muslims.

Source: Daily Post.Ng

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

https://dailypost.ng/2023/03/04/muslim-muslim-presidency-not-gods-will-for-nigeria-okowa/

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‘We feel ignored’: Lithuanian Mufti on why there is still no Mosque in Vilnius

2023.03.04

The Muslim community in Lithuania is growing, but the Vilnius municipality still ignores it and refuses to build a mosque, says Mufti Aleksandras Beganskas. He speaks to LRT.lt about religion, Islamophobia, and migration in Lithuania.

Before entering the prayer rooms, Beganskas, Director of the Islamic Culture and Education Centre, asks me to remove my shoes. We meet after the Friday prayer, which Muslim men are obliged to perform together. This means that not long ago, 350-400 people were gathered in the small rooms of this centre.

“You won’t see portraits or anything like that here because it’s forbidden. The drawing encourages people to be more attached to the portrait and to pray to the piece of paper rather than to God,” says the Mufti, or Islamic jurist.

“We believe that infinity is God, so we cannot draw God. Try to draw infinity – you can start with something, but it still won’t be infinity,” he notes.

Source: Www.Lrt.Lt

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

https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/1927343/we-feel-ignored-lithuanian-mufti-on-why-there-is-still-no-mosque-in-vilnius

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Europe

Reopening Western Europe’s largest Mosque: Masroor Khan, Tiffin School

05-03-2023

The Baitul Futuh complex suffered a major fire back in 2015. After undergoing a massive renovation and reconstruction, the mosque is finally ready to be reopened to thousands of members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the residents of Morden in South-West London.

Today, hundreds of people are expected to attend the long-awaited inauguration of the new complex. The mosque will reopen with a beautiful, geometric mosaic front facade following the £20 million improvement project.

In September 2015, flames damaged more than half of the administration building’s ground floor. 70 firefighters were called upon the scene after a blaze broke out, with smoke billowing for hours before it was extinguished. Thankfully, the mosque itself was left unscathed.

Source: This Islocal London

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https://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/23363492.reopening-western-europes-largest-mosque-masroor-khan-tiffin-school/

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UK Government prepares to unveil new powers to ‘stop the boats’

05 Mar 2023

The Prime Minister has vowed to put an end to the “immoral” illegal migration trade as the UK Government prepares to unveil new powers to crack down on small-boat crossings in the Channel.

The legislation, promised as part of UK Government efforts to tackle illegal migration, could come as soon as Tuesday, as Home Secretary Suella Braverman said that the only way into the UK would be a “safe and legal route”.

He told The Mail On Sunday: “Illegal migration is not fair on British taxpayers, it is not fair on those who come here legally and it is not right that criminal gangs should be allowed to continue their immoral trade.

“I am determined to deliver on my promise to stop the boats. So make no mistake, if you come here illegally, you will not to be able to stay.”

Source: Nation.Cymru

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https://nation.cymru/news/uk-government-prepares-to-unveil-new-powers-to-stop-the-boats/

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Need to ‘frighten the pants’ off public with new Covid strain, said Hancock

By Dominic McGrath

05-03-2023

Matt Hancock told aides he wanted to “frighten the pants off everyone” to ensure compliance with Covid-19 restrictions, in leaked messages which reveal discussions over when to “deploy” details of a new strain.

The latest set of WhatsApp exchanges, published in The Sunday Telegraph, show how Mr Hancock and others discussed how to use an announcement about the Kent variant of the virus to scare the public into changing their behaviour.

The messages, among more than 100,000 messages passed to the Telegraph by the journalist Isabel Oakeshott, show that Cabinet Secretary Simon Case suggested in January 2021 that the “fear” factor would be “vital” in stopping the spread of the virus.

Source: Belfast Telegraph

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https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/need-to-frighten-the-pants-off-public-with-new-covid-strain-said-hancock/1926523884.html

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Mideast

Iran pledges to cooperate with IAEA investigation, re-installs cameras

MARCH 5, 2023

Iran has given sweeping assurances to the UN nuclear watchdog that it will finally assist a long-stalled investigation into uranium particles found at undeclared sites and even re-install removed monitoring equipment, the watchdog said on Saturday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran issued a joint statement on IAEA chief Rafael Grossi's return from a trip to Tehran just two days before a quarterly meeting of the agency's 35-nation Board of Governors.

The statement went into little detail but the possibility of a marked improvement in relations between the two is likely to stave off a Western push for another resolution ordering Iran to cooperate, diplomats said. Iran has, however, made similar promises before that have yielded little or nothing.

Source: Jpost

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https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/iran-news/article-733390

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Islamic State landmines kill 10 truffle hunters in Syria

27 February 2023

DAMASCUS, Syria — Land mines left behind by the Islamic State group in central Syria went off in two locations on Monday, killing 10 workers as they were collecting truffles in the countryside and wounding 12, state media reported.

According to Syria’s state news agency SANA, the two mines exploded east of the central town of Salamiyeh. All the casualties were taken to a hospital in the town, the report added. It wasn’t immediately clear what had triggered the explosions.

It is not uncommon for mines left behind years ago, when IS controlled large parts of Syria, to go off inadvertently, usually when stepped on, inflicting casualties.

Source: Times Of Israel

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https://www.timesofisrael.com/islamic-state-landmines-kill-10-truffle-hunters-in-syria/

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Iran to allow more inspections at nuclear sites, U.N. says

MARCH 4, 2023

The head of the U.N.'s nuclear agency said Saturday that Iran pledged to restore cameras and other monitoring equipment at its nuclear sites and to allow more inspections at a facility where particles of uranium enriched to near weapons-grade were recently detected.

But a joint statement issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran's nuclear body only gave vague assurances that Tehran would address longstanding complaints about the access it gives the watchdog's inspectors to its disputed nuclear program.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other top officials in Tehran earlier Saturday.

"Over the past few months, there was a reduction in some of the monitoring activities" related to cameras and other equipment "which were not operating," Grossi told reporters upon his return to Vienna. "We have agreed that those will be operating again."

He did not provide details about which equipment would be restored or how soon it would happen, but appeared to be referring to Iran's removal of surveillance cameras from its nuclear sites in June 2022, during an earlier standoff with the IAEA.

Source: Cbs News

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https://www.cbsnews.com/news/iran-more-inspections-surveillance-cameras-nuclear-sites-united-nations-says/

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Iran Dismisses UK Navy's 'baseless' Claim Of 'having Seized A Shipment Of Iranian Arms'

By Zaini Majeed

4th March, 2023

Iranian authorities on Saturday rejected what they called UK's "baseless" claim that the Royal Navy has seized a "shipment of Iranian arms" in the Gulf of Oman that was bound for Yemen. UK Navy's, in a statement, said that it "seized anti-tank missiles and fins for ballistic missile assemblies during a raid on a small boat heading from Iran likely to Yemen" in the Gulf of Oman. It further added that US fixed-wing Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform helped in detecting a suspected smuggling vessel travelling at high speed in international waters in the Gulf of Oman during the hours of darkness.

Iran on Saturday, debunked UK's claims, as Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani, in a statement, said  that the countries that supply weapons worth billions of US dollars to the "coalition" [referring to NATO] "cannot exonerate themselves by accusing others." The Iranian Foreign ministry accused the UK of being the "biggest exporter of weaponry and military equipment" in the world's conflict zones. Kanaani alleged that the UK and the US "mislead global public opinion through making unfounded claims and spreading false news," according to the ministry's statement on the website. Kanaani also accused the West of imposing war on the Yemeni people and called for the UK and the US to end the "opportunistic profiteering" approach by waging wars in the Middle east.

Source: Republic World

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https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/rest-of-the-world-news/iran-dismisses-uk-navys-baseless-claim-of-having-seized-a-shipment-of-iranian-arms-articleshow.html

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Iran, China planning to spread Persian, Chinese languages

Mar 4, 2023

Speaking in an interview with Mehr News Agency, Vahid Haddadi-Asl said that so far, China and Iran have not been able to use each other's capacities and potential well.

Referring to President Raeisi's recent visit to China, Haddadi-Asl said that currently, the relations between the two countries are at a good level.

During the meeting, the Iranian president expressed Iran's readiness to expand bilateral educational cooperation with the Chinese side.

Source: En.Mehr News

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https://en.mehrnews.com/news/198062/Iran-China-planning-to-spread-Persian-Chinese-languages

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South Asia

A group of Islamic State killed in Afghanistan’s Herat Province

By Fidel Rahmati

March 4, 2023

Abdullah Insaf, the spokesman of the Security Chief in Herat province, said to Khaama Press on Saturday that the security forces of the Islamic Emirate attacked an ISIS hideout in the 13th district of the province at around 10:00 last night.

He said that during the special operation, six members of the group had been killed, including one woman.

During the operation, one of the Islamic Emirate’s security forces was injured, and several weapons were seized, he added.

Source: khaama Press

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https://www.khaama.com/a-group-of-islamic-state-killed-in-afghanistans-herat-province/

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UK govt faces ire of rights groups over delay in relocation of stranded Afghan journalists

By: C Krishnasai

Mar 05, 2023

The UK government has been facing increasing pressure over the delay in the release of the next phase of the Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme (ACRS ) for hundreds of Afghanistan journalists who supported the West’s mission in the Islamic country.

An estimated 200 Afghan journalists have fled to Iran and Pakistan after the Taliban took over Afghanistan and imposed their own interpretation of Sharia law that bans women from working, reports the Guardian newspaper.

Apart from the UK, Germany, France and Kosovo are among the other countries that have offered refuge to a number of at-risk stranded journalists.

These journalists have expressed frustration against the UK government for not acting fast enough amidst reports that they are being targeted as their visas expire.

Source: Wio News

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https://www.wionews.com/world/uk-govt-faces-ire-of-rights-groups-over-delay-in-relocation-of-stranded-afghan-journalists-568738

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Why it is imperative to restore secularism in Bangladesh

By Newsroom Odisha

Mar 4, 2023

In essence, he was holding aloft the idea that his message of emancipation and national independence for Bangladesh, away from the stranglehold of Pakistan, was fundamentally a reassertion of Bengali cultural and political heritage. It was a principle resting on secularism, the conviction that Bangladesh had returned to being a home for people across the religious divide.

Fifty-two years on, Mujib’s message of a secular Bangladesh calls for serious scrutiny, given that in the decades since his assassination political illiberalism in the form and shape of non-secularism has undermined the spirit of the country. The fact that the Awami League, the party through which Mujib initiated the movement for a secular polity, has been in power without interruption for the past fourteen years has made not much of a difference in a return of the country to secular nationhood.

For one thing, the imposition of Islam on the country as the religion of the state by the Ershad military regime in the 1980s is yet another measure to be done away with. For another, and coming in the light of the state religion factor, right-wing religious parties, with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party beside them, have grown exponentially in the past many decades, to a point where the political discourse is punctuated not a little by their evident desire to see Bangladesh turn into a religion-based or theocratic state.

For all its huge majority in Parliament, the Awami League has remained stymied by the fear that any move toward dismantling the state structure as it was progressively cobbled into shape following the assassinations of 1975, first of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and then of his colleagues who organised the War of Liberation in 1971, will upset the cart.

Source: News Room Odisha

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https://newsroomodisha.com/why-it-is-imperative-to-restore-secularism-in-bangladesh/

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Bangladesh needs to create political momentum

Ahsan Habib

Mar 5, 2023

Bangladesh needs to play a key role at the Doha Conference to create political momentum and translate that momentum into a United Nations resolution with a view to ensuring international support measures for a smooth transition of the graduating least-developed countries, said Debapriya Bhattacharya, a distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue.

"The graduating LDCs need to have various flexibilities for at least a certain period considering the global economic scenario," he said.

The fifth UN conference on the LDCs, a once-in-a-decade event, will take place in Doha, Qatar on March 6-9 where world leaders will gather, alongside entrepreneurs and civil society representatives, to address LDC-specific challenges.

Bhattacharya said the General Assembly took a resolution 10 years ago and the time has come to review that and create a new mandate.

"The mandate will be helpful to have successful completion of other negotiations for the graduating LDCs," he said. The negotiations are currently taking place on various platforms, particularly at the World Trade Organisation.

"And Bangladesh will have to play a pivotal role, if not a leading role, in translating the proposed graduating LDC mandate provided by the Doha Programme of Action (2022-31) into a political directive so that the LDCs and their development partners feel encouraged to implement all the commitments substantively."

He, however, admits that at the end of the day, the primary responsibility of taking the LDCs forward lies with national governments and the international development partners are expected to play a supportive role.

Source: The Daily Star

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https://www.thedailystar.net/business/economy/news/bangladesh-needs-create-political-momentum-3263226

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Southeast Asia

Why Raise A Stink Over ‘Mentega Terbang’ Film Now When You Did Nothing For Two Years? Communications Minister Asks Critics

By R. Loheswar

05 Mar 2023

SHAH ALAM, March 5 — Fahmi Fadzil today called out individuals and political parties playing up racial sentiments, accusing them of doing so to make the Anwar government look bad.

The communications and digital minister noted there are many people who are using Mentega Terbang to stir racial sentiments, claiming there are elements in the local film that are insensitive of Islam, the religion of the majority in Malaysia.

He added that the film was released in 2021 through online streaming service Viu, but observed that nobody raised any complaints until now.

“What I find interesting is this movie has been around since 2021. Who was governing then? Why no action at the time? Where were these people who are raising this issue now back then?

Source: Malay Mail

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https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2023/03/05/why-raise-a-stink-over-mentega-terbang-film-now-when-you-did-nothing-for-two-years-comms-minister-asks-critics/58078

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House Speaker Reviews Essential Goods Prices in South Sumatra Ahead of Ramadan

Petir Garda Bhwana

5 March 2023

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Speaker of the House of Representatives, Puan Maharani, visited Indralaya Market, Ogan Ilir, South Sumatra, on Saturday, to monitor the prices of various essential goods ahead of the Ramadan month.

She visited a number of traders' stalls at the market, where one of the traders said that there had been an increase in the prices of eggs, cooking oil, and rice.

Maharani also listened to the complaints of traders and buyers at Indralaya Market regarding the non-availability of the government-subsidized cooking oil brand Minyakita.

Maharani said that she will coordinate with the central government regarding the issue. According to her, the central and local governments need to coordinate with each other to ensure the availability of subsidized cooking oil.

"It is necessary for this market to be rehabilitated or renovated so it can become cleaner and more comfortable, and this is the task of the local government," she added.

She said that her party will also coordinate with the central government to make the market more appropriate for traders and the community.

During her visit to Indralaya Market, she also distributed assistance in the form of rice packages to shop traders, street traders, motorcycle rickshaw taxi drivers, and the community.

Source: The Daily Star

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https://en.tempo.co/read/1698775/house-speaker-reviews-essential-goods-prices-in-south-sumatra-ahead-of-ramadan

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Minister warns Malaysians to watch out for Telegram scammers, says their tactics so good even ex-PM Ismail Sabri wasn’t spared

By R. Loheswar

05 Mar 2023

SHAH ALAM, March 5 — Scammers these days are so sophisticated that they can even hack into the private accounts of someone as high profile as former prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Communications and Digital minister Fahmi Fadzil said today.

He recalled last August when Ismail Sabri’s Telegram account was infiltrated by a person or persons unknown who pretended to be the then prime minister and asked his friends for money.

“Wan Junaidi, our former law minister, got a message from Ismail saying ‘Assamualaikum, can I borrow RM3000’? He replied with, ‘you must be kidding me’.

“These scammers sent messages to even these former high-ranking officials. They copied their speech patterns and the way you type,” Fahmi said during the launch of the MyDigitalL.KKD programme at UiTM here.

Source: Malay Mail

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https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2023/03/05/communications-minister-warns-malaysians-to-watch-out-for-telegram-scammers-says-their-tactics-so-good-even-ex-pm-ismail-sabri-wasnt-spared/58075

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PM Anwar says no need to declare emergency in Johor as floods under control

05 Mar 2023

SEGAMAT, March 5 — The government has maintained its decision to not declare a disaster emergency in Johor as the weather in the state is seen to be improving, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“The government’s decision to not declare a state of emergency is because rain has started to taper off and floodwaters have begun to recede in several places.

“Although there are also some places where the floodwaters remain stagnant, there is no need for a (disaster) emergency (to be declared) for now,” he told reporters after visiting a relief centre at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Kampung Tengah, here today.

He said this when asked about the latest status of the floods in Johor and whether there was a need to declare a state of emergency due to the increasing number of flood victims in the state.

Source: Malay Mail

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https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2023/03/05/pm-anwar-says-no-need-to-declare-emergency-in-johor-as-floods-under-control/58094

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Arab world

New initiative set to make literature accessible across Saudi Arabia

SULAFA ALKHUNAIZI

March 04, 2023

DHAHRAN: The Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission is set to launch a new initiative called Literature Everywhere to improve access to literary works across the Kingdom.

“Through innovative means, this initiative aims to make literary content available everywhere, such as waiting areas in public places, airport terminals, malls, coffeehouses, universities, playgrounds, public gardens and beaches. Thus, making literature more accessible to our society through various shapes and channels,” he said.

“The Literature Everywhere program expects to contribute to raising cultural awareness directly through the project’s diverse activations (Literary Cloud, Literary Partner and Short Stories), targeting different segments of society, focusing on their sustainability factor while also empowering the private and third sector to contribute,” Alwan said.

Although most of the content is in Arabic, the program does include some English-language productions, including Arab News’ “The Mayman Show” podcast hosted by Hussam Al-Mayman.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2262401/saudi-arabia

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Saudi anti-corruption authority arrests several citizens, Bangladeshi residents in criminal case

ARAB NEWS

March 05, 2023

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority announced on Saturday that it had initiated a criminal case.

The authority, also known as Nazaha, said that two employees of the Ministry of Interior were arrested for allegedly forcing a resident to sign a SR23 million ($6.1 million) financial commitment to a foreign investor, in exchange for receiving SR60,000 from an investor.

“The names of those arrested are Sergeant of the Court Security (Riyadh region police) Metab Saad Al-Ghnoum, Corporal of the Special Missions Forces in Riyadh Hatem Mastoor Saad bin Tayeb, and Palestinian investor Saleh Mohammed Saleh Al-Shalout,” the authority said in a statement.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2262596/saudi-arabia

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10 startups win $1 million cash prizes at finals of accelerator program in Saudi Arabia

MOHAMMED AL-KINANI

March 04, 2023

JEDDAH: Ten startups were recently awarded a funding pool of $1 million by TAQADAM, one of the longest-running accelerator programs in the Middle East.

The award ceremony was held at the program’s annual accelerator showcase, and marked the sixth year of the initiative launched by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in partnership with the Saudi British Bank.

Speaking at the event, SABB’s Chief Digital Officer Saeed Assiri said: “This accelerator is an extension of the social and innovative initiatives adopted by SABB in line with its strategy and strong belief in its social responsibility toward the community.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2262406/saudi-arabia

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International conference in Riyadh to explore how justice can harness the power of digital transformation

MOHAMMED ALSULAMI

March 04, 2023

RIYADH: Over the past decade, the technology sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has grown by leaps and bounds, and with it brought changes that make the lives of Saudi citizens and visitors easier.

Online learning platforms helped children continue their education during the coronavirus pandemic, electronic kiosks aided a million pilgrims in their journey during Hajj 2022 and February’s LEAP tech conference in Riyadh brought tech giants together to discuss the future of technology and AI.

Now, a new conference on the use of digital technologies in the justice sector will explore how the tech and justice fields can merge to increase accessibility and equality in the Kingdom.

The ties between technology and justice will be the focus of the International Conference on Justice in Riyadh, under the theme “Enhancing Access to Justice through the Use of Digital Technologies.”

Source: Arab News

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https://www.arabnews.com/node/2262466/saudi-arabia

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Bahrain’s Al Hashemi wins Custodian of Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup

05-03-2023

Mohamed Abdulhameed Al Hashemi from Bahrain held off a strong Spanish challenge to claim overall victory in the 2023 edition of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup, the flagship endurance equestrian event which took place at Saudi Arabia's ancient city of AlUla, home to the Unesco World Heritage Site, Hegra.

Al Hashemi completed the four loops of the challenging 120km route on his ride Leon in a classified time of 05:47:54, at an average speed of 20.696 km/h, finishing 20 minutes ahead of Spain’s Maria Ponton Alvarez, the highest placed female in second place on Bolchoi El Akim (+00:20:01) and her compatriot Omar Rodrigo Blanco on JM El Sobrino in third (+00:20:02).

The fourth edition of the world-class event was held in the presence of Prince Abdullah bin Fahd bin Abdullah Al Saud, President of the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation.

Prince Abdullah presented trophies to all three podium finishers, AlHashemi, Alvarez and Blanco, alongside Amr AlMadani, CEO for the Royal Commission of AlUla (RCU), and Gérard Mestrallet, Executive Chairman of Afalula.

Source: Trade Arabia

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https://www.tradearabia.com/news/MEDIA_407035.html

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North America

Religious Groups Condemn Vandalism At West Oak Lane Mosque

BY CBS3 STAFF

MARCH 4, 2023

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Local religious and community leaders are standing behind members of a West Oak Lane mosque that was a recent target of vandalism.

A man was caught on surveillance video last Friday spray-painting the words Jesus Christ and a Star of David with an "x" over it on the building.

"It is important to remember that when one of our neighbors is hurting, that it affects all of us," Cantor Brad Hyman from the Congregation Rodeph Shalom said.

Source: Cbs News

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https://www.cbsnews.com/philadelphia/news/religious-groups-condemn-vandalism-at-west-oak-lane-mosque/

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Top US general makes rare visit to Syria, says mission to combat Islamic State worth the risk

Mar 5, 2023

By Reuters: The nearly eight-year-old US deployment to Syria to combat Islamic State is still worth the risk, the top US military officer said on Saturday, after a rare, unannounced visit to a dusty base in the country's northeast to meet US troops.

Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, flew to Syria to assess efforts to prevent a resurgence of the militant group and review safeguards for American forces against attacks, including from drones flown by Iran-backed militia.

While Islamic State is a shadow of the group that ruled over a third of Syria and Iraq in a Caliphate declared in 2014, hundreds of fighters are still camped in desolate areas where neither the US-led coalition nor the Syrian army, with support from Russia and Iranian-backed militias, exert full control.

Thousands of other Islamic State fighters are in detention facilities guarded by Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, America's key ally in the country.

Source: India Today

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https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/top-us-general-makes-rare-visit-to-syria-says-mission-to-combat-islamic-state-worth-the-risk-2342792-2023-03-05

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Muslim activist Raquel Saraswati allegedly lied about being South Asian, Arab, and Latin. Her mother said she's 'white as the driven snow.'

Yoonji Han

Mar 4, 2023

In February, Raquel Evita Saraswati, a Muslim activist, was exposed for posing as a woman of color, The Intercept reported. Saraswati claimed to be of Arab, South Asian, and Latin descent, and was the chief equity, inclusion, and culture officer of the American Friends Service Committee, a peace and social justice organization.

But, according to her friends and family, Saraswati was actually born Rachel Elizabeth Seidel, a woman of British, German, and Italian descent.

Saraswati landed the prominent diversity position at the AFSC because "it seemed that there was an element of lived experience and understanding of the lived experience" of a "queer, Muslim, multiethnic woman," a human resources professional involved in hiring her told the Intercept.

Source: Insider

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

https://www.insider.com/raquel-saraswati-racial-passing-identity-people-of-color-2023-3

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