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Islamic World News ( 26 Jun 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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‘Let’s Uproot Hate Politics’: At Muslim Parties’ Meet, Tamil Nadu Politicians Join Hands to Fight BJP ‘Hate Politics’

New Age Islam News Bureau

27 June 2022

 

 School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi speaks at the ‘Let’s Uproot Hate Politics’ conference in Tiruchy on Sunday. (Photo | Express)

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• Pakistani Academicians Review Social Media Capacity in Islamic Content Production

• 'Pattern of Hatred': Australian Muslim Advocacy Group Takes Action against Twitter over Islamophobic Complaints

• Abraham Accords Diplomats (United States, Israel and Four Arab Countries) to Meet in Bahrain after Israel Meeting

• Head of Higher Islamic Council in Al-Quds Warns Of Conspiracy Targeting Aqsa Mosque

 India

• ‘I Never Seek Muslim Votes’, Says BJP MLA K.S. Eshwarappa

• Sangh Parivar Trying To Divide Christians, Muslims, Says CPI (M) State Secretary

• Madhya Pradesh HC Asks SDM to Take Decision on Mosque Construction Issue In 2 Months

• Row over Muslim Trader Supplying Bananas to Temple in Mangaluru

• Terrorist 'tasked with attacking police' arrested in J&K; arms, ammunition recovered

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Pakistan

• Fault lines in Pakistan-Taliban ties emerge over acceptance of Durand Line

• Two soldiers martyred, seven terrorists killed in North Waziristan gun battle: ISPR

• Reports surface of ex-ISI chief 'joining' Imran's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf

• Turkiye keen to expand trade with Pakistan

• Banigala staffer 'caught installing spy device in Imran’s bedroom'

• Imran asks workers to teach 'turncoats' a lesson

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Europe

• Bradford Cricketing Icon, Adil Rashid, Choose Holy Mecca for Hajj Instead Of England’s India White-Ball Series

• 27 die trying to cross land border from Morocco to Spain

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Arab World

• Islamic Coin, Shariah-Compliant Digital Currency, Gets Fatwa from Muslim Scholars, Launches Private Sale

• Fearful Memories of Torture Still Fresh For Victims of PKK/YPG Terrorists

• Saudi Arabia's Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khalid Discusses Military, Defence Cooperation with Pakistan Military Chief

• Patriarch Al-Rai, Lebanon’s top Christian cleric, urges politicians to form govt.

• Israel approves housing allowance for South Lebanon Army veterans

• Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince receives Iraqi PM in Kingdom to discuss bilateral ties

• Qatar likely to host Iran-US nuclear deal talks

• Saudi Arabia investment gives yoga a new twist

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Mideast

• Head of Higher Islamic Council in Al-Quds Warns Of Conspiracy Targeting Aqsa Mosque

• Over 150 Israeli settlers intrude into al-Aqsa Mosque in latest act of provocation

• World must take action to stop Israel’s systematic torture of Palestinians: NGO

• Iran: Bombs, Terrorism, Crime US Souvenirs to Afghanistan instead of Technology

• Iran conducts test-launch of satellite carrier ahead of nuclear talks

• Houthis seize properties of late former PM Bajamal

• 15 Palestinian children killed by Israeli regime so far in 2022: Report

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South Asia

• Kabul Optimistic about Formal Recognition amid Heightened Situation 

• Afghan health official warns of disease outbreak among earthquake survivors

• China Issues and Facilitates Visas for Afghan Businessmen

• India can engage the Taliban in a constructive way, says Afghan envoy to India Mamundzay

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Southeast Asia

• Muslims Should Report Dubious Divorces to Religious Affairs If Pronounced On Social Media

• CM: Muslim World League invited to hold conference in Sabah

• Tajuddin case may cause Ismail to hold off on elections

• Indonesia’s president to visit Ukraine, Russia on peace-building mission

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Africa

• Burkina Faso Shia Muslims Are Followers of Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Khamenei: Senior Cleric

• Sudan vows to respond as it accuses Ethiopia of executing seven soldiers, a civilian

• Tunisian judges strike for 4th week to protest sackings

• Libyan leaders urged to establish legal basis for elections

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North America

• Israel to Demand US Funding of Its Laser Weapons during Biden’s Visit

• G7 leaders to discuss prospect of reviving Iran nuclear talks

• Top Turkish, US diplomats discuss bilateral ties, NATO enlargement

• Funds frozen in US: Quake-hit Afghanistan faces disease outbreak

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/bjp-hate-politics-muslim/d/127336

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‘Let’s Uproot Hate Politics’:  At Muslim Parties’ Meet, Tamil Nadu Politicians Join Hands To Fight BJP ‘Hate Politics’

 

School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi speaks at the ‘Let’s Uproot Hate Politics’ conference in Tiruchy on Sunday. (Photo | Express)

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27th June 2022

TIRUCHY:  Cutting across political lines, various party and outfit leaders condemned the BJP spokespersons’ (since suspended and expelled) comments on Prophet Muhammed at the ‘Let’s Uproot Hate Politics’ conference organised by the Tamil Nadu All Muslim Parties and Organisations here on Saturday.

At the event, Minister for Municipal Administration KN Nehru called for like-minded parties to unite against the ongoing “hate politics” in India.  “The BJP is spreading hatred with an aim to consolidate Hindu votes. However, they cannot succeed here as Chief Minister MK Stalin will always stand by the minorities.”

School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi condemned the now suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s alleged comments on Prophet Muhammed and warned that the whole of India would rise against the hatred if such remarks are repeated.

CPI State secretary R Mutharasan said, “The PM has not condemned Nupur Sharma’s remarks yet, which means he is not opposed to them. Being at the helm does not mean you can do whatever you like. In history, we have seen several dictators face a miserable end.”

Madurai MP Su Venkatesan said, “Hatred is the only weapon of the BJP. If we can defuse it, we can liberate the country. The present situation is that the BJP is offering higher posts to those spreading hatred.”

MLA and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi leader MH Jawahirullah said, “Research highlights the reign of Prophet Muhammed as inclusive. He treated people of all faiths with equal respect. In our country, the BJP stoked hatred by passing remarks against the Prophet himself, instead of learning from him how to rule.”

Chidambaram MP and VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan said,

“The Hindu community should mobilise against the BJP because the party is anti-Hindu. They want the country to be a Hindutva nation, which in spirit is against the country’s Constitution. While fraternity is the soul of our Constitution, Governor RN Ravi argues that Sanatan Dharma, which divides the people, is its soul.”

Source: New Indian Express

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

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2022/jun/27/at-muslim-parties-meet-tn-politicians-join-hands-to-fight-bjp-hate-politics-2470167.html

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Pakistani Academicians Review Social Media Capacity In Islamic Content Production

 

A group of mostly young students and professors from Pakistan’s Lahore have participated in a course reviewing capacity of social media platforms in promoting religious activities and Islamic content production.

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June 27, 2022

A group of mostly young students and professors from Pakistan’s Lahore have participated in a course reviewing capacity of social media platforms in promoting religious activities and Islamic content production.

Talking about main features of the course, organized by International Deputy of Scientific and Cultural Foundation, Hoj. Rajaeipour, the instructor of the class, said: “Importance of cyberspace and influence of this media on today’s minds is the key theme of this course”.

He added: “What we tried to convey in this two-session class was to make participants aware of dynamic characteristics of the cyberspace and new methods for production of Islamic contents”.

Pointing to the importance of identifying famous social networks among members of each nation, he stressed: “Based on social and cultural tastes, each nation favors a specific type of social platform. An Islamic activist and a person who wants to be active in the area of Islamic dissemination has to pay attention to this issue carefully”

Introducing some complementary software for creating Islamic and religious contents alongside introduction of some communicative skills were other parts of the class attracting learners’ attention.

Rajaeipour further noted: “It is very important for an Islamic activist or preacher to be reference-oriented in his words. So it is of high significance to be reference-based when producing Islamic contents”.

The 30-person group most of whom were medical and engineering elites was in Mashhad for a one-week pilgrimage-scientific tour called Imam Reza holy shrine ambassadors.

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//pakistani-academicians-review-social-media-capacity-in-islamic-content-production_1270210.html

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'Pattern of Hatred': Australian Muslim Advocacy Group Takes Action against Twitter Over Islamophobic Complaints

 

Twitter has been accused of failing to remove more than 400 pieces of content that claim to incite hatred towards Muslims. Source: AAP / AP / Gregory Bull

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26 Jun 2022

An Australian Muslim advocacy group has taken action against Twitter, alleging the social media giant failed to remove more than 400 examples of content from its platform that showed "a pattern of hatred" towards the Muslim community.

The Australian Muslim Advocacy Network (AMAN) lodged a complaint to Queensland's Human Rights Commission on Friday, accusing Twitter of being responsible for a far-right conspiracy group posting a range of Islamophobic commentary about Muslims being "an existential threat" to the world.

AMAN said these beliefs are drawn from theories that incited the 2019 Christchurch mosque terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 51 people, and the 2011 Oslo terrorist attack, killing 77.

Other comments posted include "Islam means war", motivations to "ban Islam forever", likening the religion to cancer to "spread and kill the body", claiming all Muslims are terrorists, and stating the world is "f---ed unless "drastic action" is taken.

"It's all the same narrative that we've seen in terrorist manifestos and it's being spread through these disinformation operations," AMAN legal adviser Rita Jabri Markwell told SBS News.

AMAN said on three occasions in 2021, it reported 419 pieces of content published by "certain accounts that were inciting hatred, severe ridicule or serious contempt for the Muslim community". In July 2021, Twitter confirmed to the group it would not be removing any of the reported accounts or comments, and that the accounts were "consistent with their policies".

In line with the High Court's landmark ruling last year, social media companies are liable as publishers for content posted by third parties on their platforms. Earlier this month, the Federal Court ordered Google to pay $715,000 to former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro for failing to remove defamatory content about him on YouTube.

This is the second time AMAN has lodged a complaint in Queensland, with former senator Fraser Anning ordered by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to remove 141 hateful posts in 2021 after posting content deemed to incite hatred. Of those, 55 were published on Twitter and were not taken down until legal orders were made.

Twitter's Hateful Conduct policy states that a user "may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of ... religious affiliation".

"We are committed to combating abuse motivated by hatred, prejudice or intolerance, particularly abuse that seeks to silence the voices of those who have been historically marginalized," according to its policy.

But AMAN has argued that Twitter's community guidelines do not match the human rights granted to Australians set out in section 124A of the state's Anti-Discrimination Act.

Ms Jabri Markwell said that gap places an "unfair burden" on marginalised communities to claim justice for their rights.

"It places a really harmful burden on the community's shoulders and we are arguing the harm is created by their product, their platform. They should be responsible for fixing it."

SBS News contacted Twitter for comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.

Ms Jabri Markwell said that "it's painful" to seek recourse for Australian Muslims when it should automatically be afforded to them through existing laws, such as the Online Safety Act.

"It's cruel for Twitter to require people who are targeted by hatred to be the ones who have to read through it and collate the evidence to beg for action to be taken," she said.

AMAN last Friday requested a meeting with the new Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, to push for vilification to be included in online safety legislation.

Source: SBS

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

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/this-muslim-advocacy-group-launches-human-rights-complaint-against-twitter/cs0werdzy

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Abraham Accords Diplomats (United States, Israel and Four Arab Countries) to Meet in Bahrain after Israel Meeting

 

In this file photo, former US president Trump talks with UAE foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed, Bahrain's foreign minister Abdullatif Al Zayani and Israel's former PM Netanyahu before the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020 (Image: Reuters File)

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27 June, 2022

Diplomats from the United States, Israel and four Arab countries will convene in Bahrain Monday, Israeli officials said, three months after they vowed to boost cooperation at a landmark meeting in Israel.

The talks in the Bahraini capital Manama will bring together foreign ministry officials from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco -- which all normalized ties with Israel in 2020 -- and from Egypt, which made peace with Israel in 1979.

In March, they met for the first time on Israeli soil in the Sde Boker kibbutz in the Negev desert, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken joining his counterparts.

The UAE and Bahrain forged ties with Israel under the Abraham Accords, brokered by former US President Donald Trump. Morocco then re-established relations with Israel under a separate Trump-brokered agreement.

The Abraham Accords infuriated the Palestinians, who argued that they marked a betrayal of a decades-old Arab consensus to isolate Israel until it agrees to the establishment of a Palestinian state, with its capital in east Jerusalem.

Washington has said it wanted the meeting to be annual and to include the Palestinian Authority and Jordan -- another Arab nation that recognizes Israel, but which has seen rising criticism over the status of Jerusalem.

Blinken has voiced strong support for the Abraham Accords but cautioned at the Negev meeting that they cannot replace Israeli-Palestinian peace-building.

The meetings aim to deepen cooperation on areas including water, tourism, health, energy, food security and on regional security.

Israel has also found common cause with Gulf Arab states in their tense relationship with Iran.

Monday’s “meeting will also serve as a milestone ahead of the US president’s expected visit to the Middle East,” the Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement.

President Joe Biden will travel to Israel, the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Saudi Arabia from July 13 to 16 -- his first trip to the Middle East since taking office.

Once there, he will attend a Gulf Cooperation Council summit with leaders from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, joined by the leaders of Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, a US official said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/27/Abraham-Accords-diplomats-to-meet-in-Bahrain-after-Israel-meeting

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Head of Higher Islamic Council In Al-Quds Warns Of Conspiracy Targeting Aqsa Mosque

 

Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, head of the Higher Islamic Council in Jerusalem, has warned of a conspiracy targeting the Aqsa Mosque, accusing the Israeli occupation state of exploiting the current Arab impotence and connivance to carry out its plots at the Islamic holy site.

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June 27, 2022

Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, head of the Higher Islamic Council in al-Quds, has warned of a conspiracy targeting the Aqsa Mosque, accusing the Israeli occupation state of exploiting the current Arab impotence and connivance to carry out its plots at the Islamic holy site.

In press remarks on Sunday, Sheikh Sabri added that “the occupation state is carrying out its plots silently at the Aqsa Mosque in the midst of the Muslim nation’s preoccupation with other issues.”

He called on the Palestinian citizens frequenting the Aqsa Mosque to be alert to any malicious Israeli activities taking place at their Mosque and be ready to take action.

Recently, Jerusalemite activists and institutions have raised the alarm about suspicious Israeli diggings threatening the foundations of the Aqsa Mosque, and pointed to the occurrence of new fissures in the western area of the holy site.

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//head-of-higher-islamic-council-in-al-quds-warns-of-conspiracy-targeting-aqsa-mosque_1270207.html

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India

 

‘I Never Seek Muslim Votes’, Says BJP MLA K.S. Eshwarappa

JUNE 26, 2022

Former Minister and BJP MLA K.S. Eshwarappa has said he never went to Muslim streets in Shivamogga city to seek their votes and and would never go in future.

Speaking to presspersons in Shivamogga on Sunday, Mr. Eshwarappa, who represents Shivamogga city in the Assembly, said in most places the BJP was not dependent on the Muslim votes to win. “In Shivamogga city, I have never gone to Muslim streets and I will never go”, he said.

Source: The Hindu

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

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/i-never-seek-muslim-votes-says-eshwarappa/article65567511.ece

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Sangh Parivar Trying To Divide Christians, Muslims, Says CPI (M) State Secretary

JUNE 26, 2022

‘CPI (M) Wayanad committee will probe SFI activists’ attack on Rahul Gandhi’s office’

Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has accused the Sangh Parivar forces of attempting to drive a wedge between Christian and Muslim communities to splinter minority vote and destroy their cohesion against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ‘divisive agenda.’

Interacting with the media after chairing the party’s State committee meeting at AKG Centre on Sunday, Mr. Balakrishnan said Islamist outfits such as the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and Jamaat-e-Islami’s Welfare Party of India (WPI) aided the BJP’s cause by championing a stubbornly insular view of their faith and ‘othering’ those who adhere to a different belief system.

Mr. Balakrishnan said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had changed tack after losing political ground in Kerala. Under the cover of welfare organisations, the RSS tried to woo marginalised communities to their Hindu majoritarian cause. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had sanctioned the creation of well-funded frontal organisations to undertake education, housing and welfare projects for fishers, and those from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. Islamist outfits also pursued a similar strategy. The CPI(M) would thwart their polarising political gambit.

34 persons arrested

The CPI(M) Wayanad district committee would probe the attack by Students Federation of India (SFI) activists on the regional office of Rahul Gandhi, MP, at Kalpetta. However, Mr. Balakrishnan cautioned the local police against overwhelmingly targetting SFI activists at the behest of local Congress leaders.

Mr. Balakrishnan said the Congress had not denounced the Youth Congress bid on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's life on board an aircraft. Instead, the party hailed the attackers as heroes. It pointed to the Congress leadership's guilt in the crime. In stark contrast, the CPI(M) condemned the attack on Rahul Gandhi's office. The government suspended the law and order officer from his duties pending inquiry. The police have so far arrested 34 persons in connection with the incident.

Source: The Hindu

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

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/sangh-trying-to-divide-christians-muslims-says-kodiyeri/article65567467.ece

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Madhya Pradesh HC Asks SDM To Take Decision On Mosque Construction Issue In 2 Months

26 JUN 2022

The Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed authorities in Kevlari in Seoni district to decide on pending complaints and objections related to the construction of a mosque on private land, which has been stayed, within two months. The construction of the mosque was stayed by the Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Kevlari on March 23 this year and it was challenged by the local Auliya Ahl-e-Sunnat Committee through its president Firoz Khan.

The committee, in its plea, had said the SDM must hear it as it wants to raise objections to the complaints against the construction. "My client is constructing a mosque on private land for which the Bhu Adhikar Patra has been issued by the district collector. Some persons have made complaints on different grounds to stop construction," Amanulla Usmani, counsel for the petitioner, said. "As per Section 7(2) of Madhya Pradesh Sarvajanik Dharmik Bhawan Tatha Sthan Viniyaman Adhiniyam 1984, only the district collector has the authority to order halting of construction of a mosque if norms are contravened," Usmani added.

Source: Outlook India

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

https://www.outlookindia.com/national/madhya-pradesh-hc-asks-sdm-to-take-decision-on-mosque-construction-issue-in-2-months-news-204842

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Row over Muslim trader supplying bananas to temple in Mangaluru

June 27, 2022

A controversy has erupted after it came to light that a contract to supply bananas to Ananthapadmanabha temple in Kudupu on the outskirts of Mangaluru city was awarded to a Muslim trader last year.

The temple authorities had given a contract to the lowest bidder to supply bananas on a regular basis needed for various sevas in the temple for a period from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

Realising lately that the contract was given to the Muslim trader, right wing Hindu organisations came out in protest.

The temple authorities said they had invited quotations from traders last year for the supply of bananas. Of the four bidders who submitted quotations, the Muslim trader had quoted the lowest price and was awarded the contract.

The news came out recently that the Muslim trader was supplying the bananas to the temple which went viral, after which Hindu outfits raised protest.

Source: Indian Express

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/row-over-muslim-trader-supplying-bananas-to-temple-mangaluru-7992741/

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Terrorist 'tasked with attacking police' arrested in J&K; arms, ammunition recovered

Jun 27, 2022

JAMMU: A young man with terror links across the border, allegedly tasked with attacking police personnel, was arrested during a naka checking in the district, ahead of Amarnath Yatra, police said on Sunday.

Additional director general of police (ADGP), Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh said as an increased security measure before the Amarnath Yatra, personnel from Doda police station laid a naka on the outskirts of the town where they intercepted a young man carrying arms and ammunition.

"The arrested man has been identified as Fareed Ahmed, a resident of Koti Doda. The security forces have recovered a Chinese pistol, two magazines, 14 live cartridges and one mobile phone from his possession. The accused was taken into custody and a special team started an investigation. It has come to fore that Ahmad received the arms and ammunition from a suspect in March and that he was tasked with attacking police personnel in Doda," the senior police officer said.

He added the initial investigation revealed that the subject is highly radicalised and used to receive calls from terror commanders based across the border. “He was motivated to work for terror outfits in Kashmir valley and Doda region."

A case under relevant sections of law has been registered in Doda police station, ADGP Singh said.

Earlier on February 20, 2022, the security forces arrested a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist, Adil Iqbal Butt, who was a resident of Sazan-Bajarni village, during a similar checking of vehicles at Thathri in Doda district. A pistol, two magazines and nine rounds of bullets were found on him.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/terrorist-tasked-with-attacking-police-arrested-in-jk-arms-ammunition-recovered/articleshow/92484563.cms

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Pakistan

 

Fault lines in Pakistan-Taliban ties emerge over acceptance of Durand Line

June 27, 2022

The refusal to accept the status of the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan (Durand Line) by the Taliban regime has clearly shown the cracks in their relationship.

Pakistan is considered to be the mentor of the Taliban, however, the student (Taliban) is not behaving as per the wishes of his master (Pakistan).

Georgia Leatherdale-Gilholy, an associate writer for Foundation for Uyghur Freedom and a Young Voices contributor, writing in The National Interest said that the Durand Line remains a thorn in Pakistan's side.

Gilholy is also of the view that the tensions between the Taliban-led Afghan state and Pakistan is potentially set to spiral over the coming weeks and months.

Islamabad was partly optimistic in the wake of the Taliban takeover. It hoped that the Taliban regime would accept the Durand Line's legitimacy and leverage its links with the proscribed organization Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to broker a peace agreement.

While Taliban links have facilitated Islamabad-TTP talks, which led to a ceasefire, the Taliban seems reluctant to apply total pressure on the TTP. The Taliban is also in no mood to grant any concessions on the issue, given that skirmishes between themselves and Pakistani troops continue, reported The National Interest.

Perceived as a divisive colonial element intended to divide the larger Pashtun community, the Durand Line is an emotive issue for many Afghans.

While the Pashtun-dominated Taliban regime has yet to announce territorial expansionary designs, many of its leaders make no secret of their desire for the free flow of people, trade, and cultural exchanges across the Pashtun belt.

The region is also home to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). These Wahhabi fundamentalists have pledged allegiance to the Taliban but maintain a separate structure. They also want the restoration of the special status of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and its de-merger with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, not to mention the release of their detained cadres.

Moreover, the refusal to accept the status of the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is not unique to the Taliban regime.

Previous Afghan governments have argued that the Durand Line's legitimacy expired in 1993, as the validity of the agreement, inked on November 12, 1893, was for 100 years.

However, the weakness of recent Afghan governments allowed Pakistan the leeway to construct a fence along the Durand Line, but that does not mean this status quo is set in stone.

Islamabad, disregarding Taliban sentiments on the issue of the Durand Line, has repeatedly asked the Taliban regime to act against the TPP elements currently launching attacks inside Pakistan from Afghan soil.

At the same time, Pakistani forces have insisted on completing the fencing work along the border. Indeed, just as winter set in last December, the temperature began rising along the Durand Line, with Afghanistan and Pakistan once again locking horns.

Pakistani forces reportedly carried out several cross-border violations, including artillery shelling, heavy and light weapons firing, and transgressions in Afghan airspace via reconnaissance aircraft and drones, reported The National Interest.

Reactions to Pakistan's airstrikes and artillery attacks were strong, with Afghan mainstream and social media demanding the expulsion of the Pakistani envoy in Kabul, and the closure of the border with its eastern neighbour.

The Taliban's spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, also warned Islamabad "not to test the patience of Afghans on such issues and not repeat the same mistake again, otherwise, it would have undesired consequences."

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Army chief, Gen Qamar Bajwa, previously complained that "the Taliban and TTP were two faces of the same coin."

As per Gilholy, the Taliban is unlikely to back down from its position on the Durand Line and will continue to obstruct any attempt to complete the fence.

Source: Business Standard

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

https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/fault-lines-in-pakistan-taliban-ties-emerge-over-acceptance-of-durand-line-122062700250_1.html

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Two soldiers martyred, seven terrorists killed in North Waziristan gun battle: ISPR

June 26, 2022

RAWALPINDI: Two soldiers were martyred and seven terrorists killed during an exchange of fire in North Waziristan’s Ghulam Khan Kalle area, the military’s media affairs wing said on Sunday.

According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), soldiers “effectively engaged” the terrorists, killing seven of them and recovering weapons and ammunition from them.

It added that the terrorists were “actively involved” in terrorism activities against security forces.

The ISPR said that Subedar Munir Hussain, 44, resident of Parachinar, and Havildar Babu Khan, 38, resident of Dera Ismail Khan, “fought gallantly” during the battle and were martyred.

“Area clearance is being carried out to eliminate any other terrorists found in the vicinity,” the statement said.

Source: Pakistan Today

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

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/06/26/two-soldiers-martyred-seven-terrorists-killed-in-north-waziristan-gun-battle-ispr/

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Reports surface of ex-ISI chief 'joining' Imran's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf

Jun 27, 2022

Retired Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam, the former chief of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), remained in the media spotlight after reports surfaced that he had apparently waded into the political sphere and "joined" a political party.

However, Gen Islam has not commented on these reports so far, reports Dawn news.

On Sunday, journalist Saleem Safi posted a picture of the former DG ISI on his Twitter account, where the latter could be seen standing at a podium, ostensibly while delivering a speech at a political event, that was emblazoned with the flag of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

Several commenters assumed that the former general had waded into politics and announced his support for PTI, however, the party's information secretary has dispelled this impression.

Former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Gen Islam had participated in a political event in support of a PTI candidate in the upcoming Punjab Assembly by-polls, Dawn reported.

The candidate he is said to have been supporting is Shabbir Awan, who is running for MPA from a Rawalpindi constituency.

Chaudhry told Dawn news there was no truth to rumours that Gen Islam had joined the party, adding that he was merely expressing support for a PTI candidate who happened to be a relative of the retired general.

Gen Islam served as the ISI chief from March 2012 to November 2014.

Source: Tribune India

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

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/world/reports-surface-of-ex-isi-chief-joining-imrans-pakistan-tehreek-i-insaf-407411

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Turkiye keen to expand trade with Pakistan

Khaleeq Kiani

June 27, 2022

ISLAMABAD: As Pakis­tan and Turkiye prepare to conclude the Trade in Goods Agreement (TGA) next month, Ankara is keen on increasing the number of flights from the three existing cities and adding two more destinations in Pakistan while a power distribution company wants to invest in Lahore.

Under the agreement, bil­a­teral trade will be incre­a­sed to $5 billion in three years from about $1bn in 2021.

Senior government officials told Dawn that relevant ministries and agencies were engaged in finalising a visit of the Turkish trade minister to Islamabad early next month along with a large business delegation. The guest minister may sign the TGA, an official said, adding that it was being finalised at the moment.

The two governments had agreed during the visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Turkiye early this month to enhance bilateral trade to $5bn in three years from the present $1.1bn.

The Prime Minister Office (PMO) and the commerce ministry are currently in the process of creating a joint task force comprising relevant politicians, officials and eminent businessmen to achieve the $5bn trade target.

Simultaneously, the Planning Commission, Board of Investment (BOI) and CPEC Authority are also working closely to examine how Turkiye can benefit from CPEC for which the foreign ministry has also been asked to discuss the matter with China at the relevant forums.

Informed sources said Zorlu Energy Group, which currently operates about 55mw renewable energy project in Pakistan, had shared with Prime Minister Sharif during his recent visit that it had a power distribution company which it wanted to bring to Lahore and was interested in setting up electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities in Pakistan.

The sources further said Turkish Airlines had officially requested Islamabad to allow it to increase the frequency of flights from three existing stations – Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad – and also add two more stations – Sialkot and Faisalabad – to its flight portfolio.

Secondly, it had sought permission to ‘maintain profits earned in Pakistan in foreign exchange accounts and repatriate it to Turkiye’.

The Aviation Division, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Ministry of Finance and BOI were looking into these matters.

Officials said the two sides were working closely on convening the 7th High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) – led by the two prime ministers – in September this year in Islamabad to sign about seven agreements and finalise other pacts and memorandums of understanding.

Before that, the two sides have to review the implementation status of the existing agreements as well as the strategic economic framework (SEF) and identifying new areas of cooperation in the SEF.

Some of the upcoming agreements pertain to highway engineering between the Turkish ministry of transport and infrastructure and Pakistan’s ministry of communication, technical cooperation between the central banks, treasury and finance authorities in debt management and knowledge sharing, cooperation in urbanisation, climate change and environment and housing sector investment.

Pakistani authorities are seeking Turkish expertise on how to improve Pakistan’s entire business ecosystem by utilising Turkish experience with the European Union.

Meanwhile, the ministries of railways and commerce have been asked to look into the sustainability of Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (TI) train project and identification of impediments.

The upcoming business delegation would also include top Turkish companies, led by a leading businessman-cum-politician Burhan Kayaturk – a graduate of Lahore University of Technology.

As advance consideration, a leading firm Siyahkalem has proposed investments in solar, wind and hydropower sector besides low cost housing through the Naya Pakistan Housing Development Authority.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1696937/turkiye-keen-to-expand-trade-with-pakistan

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Banigala staffer 'caught installing spy device in Imran’s bedroom'

Ikram Junaidi

June 27, 2022

ISLAMABAD: While former prime minister Imran Khan has alleged that attempts were being made to assassinate him or stop him from speaking against the ruling elite, staff at his Banigala residence on Saturday night caught a man red-handed while installing a spy device in his bedroom.

The chief of staff of the former premier, Dr Shahbaz Gill, handed over the suspect, an employee of Banigala, to the police.

On the other hand, the police on Sunday decided to conduct a medical test on the suspect.

A PTI worker, wishing not to be quoted, said the security head of Banigala was informed that an employee was installing some device in the bedroom of Imran Khan.

“Immediate action was taken and the employee, who used to do cleaning work in Banigala, was caught and a device recovered from him. Later, Mr Gill handed over the suspect to the police along with the device,” he claimed.

Medical test will be conducted on suspect to ascertain his mental health, say police

“The PTI chairman and a number of other leaders of the party have already alleged that Imran Khan’s life is in danger. Security agencies initially took some steps but later eased down,” he said.

When contacted, PTI legislator from Islamabad Ali Awan told Dawn that everyone knew how important was the life of the PTI chairman and efforts were being made to assassinate him.

“Just a month back, efforts were made to arrest Imran Khan and a contingent of police along with a prison van was sent to Banigala. Later, First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered against him and some journalists. It is unfortunate that the government is not willing to provide security to the former prime minister and chairman of the largest political party of Pakistan,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Gill told media that the suspect had been working in the PTI chief’s residence for the last six years and that was why “he was paid to install the device in the bedroom.”

He alleged that Rs50,000 were given to the employee and he was told that once information started coming, more money will be given to him.

Mr Gill said all intelligence and law enforcement agencies were already informed about the threats to the life of Mr Khan.

It may be noted that Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah has already rejected claims that Imran Khan’s life was under threat and said he was enjoying the security of the prime minister’s level.

However, former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has claimed that there is threat to the life of the former prime minister. Meanwhile, according to police sources, the alleged spy was arrested by the Banigala police.

The police claimed that a media person had handed over the person to the police but the suspect was not able to speak properly.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1696893/banigala-staffer-caught-installing-spy-device-in-imrans-bedroom

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Imran asks workers to teach 'turncoats' a lesson

Mansoor Malik

June 27, 2022

LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday formally launched its by-election campaign in Punjab with party chairman Imran Khan making whirlwind visits to four constituencies of Lahore to motivate workers to teach ‘turncoats’ a lesson with a humiliating defeat.

The PTI has pitched four party diehards against dissidents (now PML-N candidates), who ditched the party at a crucial juncture of re-election of Punjab chief minister after Usman Buzdar resigned as chief minister.

In his speeches at each Lahore constituency, Mr Khan said these by-elections were not just politics but a “jihad to win real independence” for Pakistan and in the same breath vowed that he would bring back Rs1,100 billion laundered abroad by the Sharifs who were “forgiven under the NRO-2 through the NAB amendment”.

He said the Rs1,100 billion money laundering allegations against PM Shehbaz Sharif and his son CM Hamza Shehbaz were open and shut cases but they were imposed on the nation through a conspiracy.

Vows to bring back laundered money from abroad

Earlier, he said, the Sharif family had got NRO-1 from former president Gen Musharraf and fled to Saudi Arabia to come back again to plunder the country for 10 more years.

“The entire Sharif family wants to return again for another round of loot and plunder,” he stated.

Imran Khan asked the youth and women to go door to door, bring people out of their homes on the polling day and ensure that the PML-N should not rig the vote with the help of ‘umpires’.

“The PTI needs to defeat all the turncoats who are actually banking on umpires’ help,” he asserted and added that the turncoats had not only violated the Constitution and law but also committed treachery against democracy and voters, who voted them in the 2018 general elections.

He said the nation would never forgive the ‘regime change conspirators’ as they had insulted the country.

He said the whole nation was looking at the 20 by-elections in Punjab, adding that the PTI’s win through massive public support would help topple the fake government of Hamza Shehbaz, regain power and announce fresh general elections.

Mr Khan said the ‘fake’ PML-N government had used state power against the PTI leaders and workers holding peaceful protest march on Islamabad. “The incumbent government wants to terrorise masses so that they should not come out of their homes on the polling day, allowing it to maneuver election results with the help of umpires,” he added.

The PTI chairman also strongly criticized the Election Commission of Pakistan for its `leanings’ towards the PML-N and asked his workers to stay vigilant at polling stations on July 17.

He said the PTI had put the country’s economy on the path to progress and the recent Economic Survey of Pakistan was witness to the fact that every sector, including industries, were booming. “Now the economy is noose diving and inflation sky-rocketing,” he observed.

The dissidents and the PTI diehards contesting by-election from the four constituencies include former PTI senior leader Abdul Aleem Khan, who became MPA from PP-158 (Lahore-XV), had voted for PML-N’s chief minister candidate Hamza Shehbaz and was subsequently de-seated by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Aleem Khan, however, did not find it appropriate to contest a by-election. In this constituency, the PML-N has launched Rana Ahsan against PTI’s Mian Muhammad Akram Usman.

In PP-167 (Lahore-XXIV), the PTI has fielded Shabbir Ahmad against Nazir Ahmad Chohan now contesting on the PML-N ticket. Nazir Chohan had remained critical of the Usman Buzdar government and joined the Jahangir Tareen group.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1696933/imran-asks-workers-to-teach-turncoats-a-lesson

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Europe

 

Bradford Cricketing Icon, Adil Rashid, Choose Holy Mecca for Hajj Instead Of England’s India White-Ball Series

June 27, 2022

Adil Rashid will miss England’s white-ball series against India after being given clearance to make the holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Hajj is an annual journey to the sacred city in Saudi Arabia that all Muslims with physical and financial means are expected to carry out once in their lifetime.

Rashid has found it difficult to make the pilgrimage due to timings and commitments, but the leg-spinner and his wife will make the trip this weekend after he got the green light from both Yorkshire and the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The 34-year-old will miss some of Yorkshire’s Vitality Blast games and England’s Twenty20 and one-day international matches with India but said it felt like a “big boost” to get such backing from county and country.

Rashid told ESPNcricinfo: “I’ve been wanting to do it for a little while, but I’ve found it pretty difficult with the timings.

“This year, I felt as though it was something that I had to do, and something I wanted to do as well.

“I spoke to the ECB and to Yorkshire about it and they were very understanding and encouraging, like: ‘yep, you do what you’ve got to do and then come back when you can’.

“Me and the missus are going and I’ll be there for a couple of weeks.

“It’s a massive moment: each faith has got their own different thing but for Islam and being a Muslim, this is one of the biggest ones.

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//bradford-cricketing-icon-choose-holy-mecca-for-hajj-instead-of-england%e2%80%99s-india-white-ball-series_1270209.html

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27 die trying to cross land border from Morocco to Spain

Alyssa McMurtry  

25.06.2022

OVIEDO, Spain

The death toll of migrants who died trying to cross from Morocco into the Spanish enclave of Melilla rose to 27 on Saturday, according to the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH).

Around 2,000 migrants, many from Sudan, tried to cross the militarized border fence on Friday.

At first, five people were reported dead, but later, Moroccan authorities raised the figure to 18.

Videos from the Moroccan side of the border show what appear to be dead bodies and people with severe injuries strewn out on the ground without receiving medical attention.

Other images show hundreds of people, some with clear injuries, lying in a pile on the ground with their hands tied behind their backs.

“The victims of the tragedy in Melilla agonized for hours under the cruel gaze of those who were supposed to help them and did not do so,” tweeted founder of Walking Borders Helena Maleno Garzon, who also confirmed the report of 27 dead.

Dozens of Moroccan and Spanish police officers were also injured during the storming of the border, where migrants were armed with homemade knives, sticks, stones and hooks to climb the border fence, according to Spanish news agency EFE.

Moroccan police used tear gas to disperse those trying to climb the border fence.

Several NGOs are calling for an immediate investigation into the treatment of migrants during the incident.

“We warn against any attempt to order the burial of the Sub-Saharan and Sudanese migrants who died yesterday without opening a global, rapid and serious investigation to determine responsibilities and shortcomings,” said the AMDH chapter in Nador, Morocco.

This is the largest mass assault on this border since Spain and Morocco boosted their bilateral cooperation after Madrid decided to support Rabat’s position on the independence of Western Sahara.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday applauded the “extraordinary work of the Moroccan government in coordination with Spain to try to stop a violent assault, which was, in this case, well resolved.”

Last summer, Moroccan authorities stood passively by as thousands swam into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta amid a diplomatic spat over Spain treating the separatist leader of Western Sahara for COVID-19.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/27-die-trying-to-cross-land-border-from-morocco-to-spain/2622443

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Arab World

 

Islamic Coin, Shariah-Compliant Digital Currency, Gets Fatwa from Muslim Scholars, Launches Private Sale

By Nicole Buckler

26 June 2022

Islamic Coin (ISLM) is a Shariah-compliant digital currency. The coin has just got itself a Fatwa, from Muslim authorities.

Translated from Arabic, a Fatwa is an “opinion.” It is usually given in response to questions raised by people, businesses or Islamic courts. Fatwas are not binding judgments, but if it is a positive fatwa, then you can carry onwards and upwards with the peace of mind that you have been given the seal of approval from religious leaders.

Islamic Coin has itself a positive Fatwa and will steam ahead. Building the autonomous, immutable independent financial system is Islamic Coin’s Management Board. They will oversee the development of the ISLM coin, which operates on the Haqq blockchain.

The Fatwa from authorities was granted based on its use of proof-of-stake mining, and the decentralized nature of the ISLM coin. And, its charitable activities.

Shariah compliance has been a recurring issue in crypto. Islamic Coin claims to be a world-first, by sticking to the principles of the Quran. And “creating an instrument to serve and empower the Muslim community, while delivering direct value and promoting the principles of Islam via blockchain and innovation.”

Islamic Coin Key Figues

Mohammed Alkaff is the Islamic Coin Co-Founder. “We are proud to build and deliver a Shariah-compliant, immutable, independent financial system that serves the Muslim community and beyond. A pillar of stability, intertwined with values that are future-proof in a changing world.”

Another figure behind the coin is Sheikh Dr. Nizam Mohammed Saleh Yaquby. He is known as ‘The Gatekeeper’ of a $2 trillion market for Islamic financial products.

Also onboard is Islamic Banker of the Year Hussein Mohammed Al Meeza, a key figure of Dubai Islamic Bank. The bank is the first Shariah-Compliant financial institution in the world.

Source: Beincrypto

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

https://beincrypto.com/islamic-coin-gets-fatwa-from-muslim-scholars-launches-private-sale/

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Fearful memories of torture still fresh for victims of PKK/YPG terrorists

26.06.2022

ERBIL, Iraq

Despite the passing of a decade, former prisoners who suffered days of torture by the PKK/YPG in northern Syria, as well as the loved ones of those who died at the hands of the terrorist group, are unable to shake off their memories of those fearful moments.

Ahmed Kurmi, a committee member of Syrian Kurdistan Democratic Party (SKDP), is one of those who were abducted and tortured for two days by the PKK in 2013.

While a group of civil activists, including Kurmi, were protesting the Bashar al-Assad regime in the northeastern border town of Amuda in June 2013, the terrorists surrounded the demonstrators and took three of them away, he told Anadolu Agency.

He also took part in another demonstration against these three detentions. The terror group responded by blocking their way with over a dozen vehicles and shooting into the crowd, Kurmi said.

"The militants started shooting at people. Many of our friends died. The (terrorist) organization did not allow the wounded who were taken to the hospital to be treated, either. That day, five people died and 32 people were seriously injured," he recounted.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, UK and EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK terror group's Syrian offshoot.

Wishing for death

PKK terrorists later also attacked and abducted Kurmi at his home, making off with money and household goods, and taking him to an unknown location.

"They put me in a two-meter cell. We were 30 people in total. When I came to my senses in the prison where we were taken, I saw that my son had also been taken. They also broke his nose.

"Then, they blindfolded me again. I could hear sounds of torture inflicted on my friends. They were constantly screaming because of the pain they were suffering...I knew our torturers by their voices. They were people from our region. I was willing to die because of the torture," he added.

Kurmi and his fellow inmates were later taken roughly 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) east to the city of Qamishli.

"We didn't know exactly where they were taking us because our eyes were closed. There was greater torture there. They tortured us from morning until night with no food or water. We weren't allowed to sleep," he said.

Shortly after his release, he took his family and sought shelter with friends in the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, fearing that he would be killed if he stayed.

Unimaginable torture

Zeyneb Sheikh Khalid is a mother from the town of Afrin, a district liberated from PKK/YPG control by Türkiye's Operation Olive Branch in 2018. Before then, she lost several members of her family, including her son, to the terror group's torture.

In July 2012, 10 PKK terrorists raided Khalid's home and killed her 67-year-old husband and 41-year-old son, Abdurrahman, she told Anadolu Agency.

The terrorists whisked away her other son, Nureddin, who they would kill in their torture chambers.

"After inflicting all manner of torture on my son, Nureddin, they killed him the next day and threw his body in the courtyard of our house.

Describing the gruesome state that they left her son in, Khalid said: "The PKK tortured my son a lot without killing him. He had stab wounds on his body. They gouged out his eyes and cut off his lips."

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/fearful-memories-of-torture-still-fresh-for-victims-of-pkk-ypg-terrorists/2623142

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Saudi Arabia's Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khalid Discusses Military, Defence Cooperation With Pakistan Military Chief

June 26, 2022

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman has dicussed bilateral cooperation in the areas of military and defense with Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa.

Prince Khalid and General Bajwa also reviewed ways to strengthen historic relations between their countries, and discussed issues of common concern, the deputy defense minister tweeted on Sunday.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on the directives of King Salman, decorated the military chief with the King Abdulaziz Medal of Excellent Class on Saturday.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2111111/saudi-arabia

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Patriarch Al-Rai, Lebanon’s top Christian cleric, urges politicians to form govt.

27 June, 2022

Lebanon’s top Christian cleric urged fractious politicians on Sunday to speed up the formation of a government to allow authorities to prepare for presidential elections due before the end of October.

Lebanon’s Najib Mikati was nominated premier for a fourth time on Thursday after securing the support of 54 of parliament’s 128 lawmakers, including the Iran-backed Hezbollah, in consultations convened by President Michel Aoun.

But with splits running deep among Lebanon’s ruling elite, it is widely believed Mikati will struggle to form a government, spelling political paralysis that could hamper reforms agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to unlock aid.

“Again I demand speeding up formation of a national government with the country’s pressing need for it and so that the focus can immediately be on preparations to elect a president who saves the country,” Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai said at a sermon on Sunday.

“We call on all parties to cooperate with the premier designate...,” he added.

Analysts and politicians expect the process of forming a cabinet to be further complicated by a looming struggle over who will replace Aoun, the Hezbollah-aligned head of state, when his term ends on October 31.

This could further delay reforms needed to unlock $3 billion in IMF support needed to ease the country’s financial crisis.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/27/Patriarch-Al-Rai-Lebanon-s-top-Christian-cleric-urges-politicians-to-form-governmen

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Israel approves housing allowance for South Lebanon Army veterans

 27 June, 2022

Israel on Sunday approved housing allowances for South Lebanon Army (SLA) veterans residing in the country, providing “historic justice” to former members of the Christian-led militia, officials said.

The decision, passed by the government, would see some 400 former SLA fighters who did not hold commanding ranks receiving a one-off grant of 550,000 shekels (around $161,000) towards buying a home over the next four years, the Israeli army said in a statement.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said he was “proud” of the approval, hailing it as “historic justice to those who fought shoulder to shoulder with us, and were uprooted from their homes and homeland.”

The army said the grant provides “a solution for the housing shortage of around 400 families that were not properly accommodated upon their arrival in Israel,” noting the assistance would be given to SLA widows too, “provided that they reside in Israel.”

The SLA was formed in 1976 as a splinter from the Lebanese army, whose ranks were divided a year after the start of the civil war. Initially it was called the Free Lebanon Army.

The conflict shifted dramatically when Israel invaded the south in 1978 to stop attacks by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) emanating from Lebanon, and the militia started taking its orders from the Israeli army, which trained, funded and supported it.

When the Israeli army withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000, thousands of SLA members and their families chose to cross the border too, for fear of reprisals from the groups they once fought -- particularly Hezbollah -- and settle in Israel or elsewhere.

In 2019, a committee comprised of relatives of exiled SLA members estimated that between 2,400 and 2,700 Lebanese still lived in Israel.

Many SLA veterans say they feel Israeli authorities have abandoned them in their adopted home, often working in low-paying jobs and unable to return to Lebanon.

The Israeli army said the decision had been four years in the making, with a military task force also inaugurating an SLA monument and advancing a museum dedicated to the militia in Israel’s north.

“We value their contribution to the combat achievements in southern Lebanon,” army chief Aviv Kohavi was quoted in the statement as saying.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/27/Israel-approves-housing-allowance-for-South-Lebanon-Army-veterans

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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince receives Iraqi PM in Kingdom to discuss bilateral ties

26 June, 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and Prime Minister of Iraq Mustafa al-Kadhimi met in Jeddah late Saturday to discuss bilateral ties between the two countries, the official Saudi Press Agency reported early Sunday.

The two leaders also discussed potential areas for joint cooperation and exchanged views and opinions on a number of regional and global issues “which contribute to supporting and strengthening security and stability in the region,” SPA reported.

The Iraqi Prime Minister, along with his delegation, were welcomed at Jeddah’s King Abudlaziz International Airport by the Crown Prince himself and other members of his delegation on Saturday.

The talks were attended by Saudi’s Minister of the National Guard Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz; Deputy defense minister Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz; foreign affairs minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah; Minister of Trade Dr. Majid bin Abdullah al-Qasabi; General Intelligence chief Khalid bin Ali al-Humaidan; and Saudi Ambassador to Iraq Abdulaziz al-Shammari.

The session was also attended by Iraq’s foreign minister Dr. Fuad Hussein; National Intelligence Agency Undersecretary Majid Ali Hussein; Director of the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Private Office Ahmed Najati; and Adviser to the Prime Minister for Protocol Affairs Hassanein Rashid al-Sheikh.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/06/26/Saudi-Arabia-s-Crown-Prince-receives-Iraqi-PM-in-Kingdom-to-discuss-bilateral-ties

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Qatar likely to host Iran-US nuclear deal talks

Syed Zafar Mehdi  

26.06.2022

TEHRAN, Iran

Qatar is most likely to host the upcoming talks between Iran and the US, mediated by the European Union, to close the remaining gaps in efforts to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal.

Nour News, affiliated with Iran's top security body, said in a statement posted on Twitter on Sunday that Doha has a "better chance" of hosting the forthcoming talks than other Gulf countries, given its "ongoing efforts to resume talks on lifting sanctions."

It comes a day after Iran and the EU agreed to break a three-month deadlock in the Vienna nuclear talks, following EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell's meetings in Tehran with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkani.

In a presser after the marathon meetings, the top EU diplomat announced that the next round of talks will be held in coming days in a Persian Gulf country, as it would take place in a format different from the Vienna talks.

The forthcoming talks, he noted, will be between Washington and Tehran, mediated by his EU team, saying the economic and nuclear aspects of the deal have been fixed and now it all boils down to "political difficulties" between the two sides.

"But I still do not know if both will be able to overcome their respective political difficulties," he added.

The key disagreements between Iran and the US that have led to the stalemate include the de-listing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-linked organizations and guarantees that the future US administration won't walk out of the deal again.

Borrell stopped short of specifying the name of the host country, or even the exact date of the talks, fueling speculations that it could be either Oman or Qatar, two allies of Tehran.

Pertinently, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani visited Tehran last month and held wide-ranging talks with Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, which included nuclear deal negotiations.

At a joint press conference, the Qatari leader said his country has "always had a positive view" of talks in Vienna, and believes that dialogue is the only way to reach a deal.

The visit led to speculations about mediation efforts by the Qatari ruler to break the stalemate in the Vienna talks and unfreeze Iran's frozen assets abroad.

Interestingly, his visit to Tehran came a day after EU deputy foreign policy chief Enrique Mora landed in Tehran to hold talks with Iranian officials.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/qatar-likely-to-host-iran-us-nuclear-deal-talks/2622969

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Saudi Arabia investment gives yoga a new twist

SALEH FAREED

June 26, 2022

JEDDAH: Yoga — an ancient art, science and sport combined — is getting a modern twist as Saudi Arabia begins planning specialist academies and training institutes to cater for the growing community of devotees in the Kingdom.

As part of the 8th International Yoga Day, the Saudi Yoga Committee, in cooperation with the Ministry of Sport, launched its own page on the Nafes platform to encourage investment in yoga by opening halls, academies and institutes to train instructors, and to speed up the issuing of licenses for studios and centers.

“Due to the strong demand for yoga in the Kingdom, the committee aims to increase the number of yoga centers and studios in all cities so that it is easier to access and practice yoga,” said Nouf Al-Marwaai, president of the Saudi Yoga Committee.

Al-Marwaai said that these services and centers are concentrated in the main cities, but growing demand has recently been noticed in southern regions in Asir and Abha, in the north in Tabuk and Hail, and in the west in Makkah and Madinah, Yanbu and Rabigh, as well as in smaller cities such as Al-Aflaj and on the outskirts of the Riyadh region.

“They all have a community of yoga instructors and practitioners,” she said.

Al-Marwaai said that the committee has launched other initiatives to promote yoga sports in Saudi Arabia.

“In addition to registering yogaasana players in the Saudi Yoga Committee, and issuing licenses to yoga trainers and teachers in cooperation with the Ministry of Sport on the Nafes platform, we are also inviting all yoga practitioners to participate in the first professional yogasana competition in the Kingdom,” she said.

“The aim of the competition is to create a platform for yoga professionals in the Kingdom, and expand the concept of yoga tournaments and competitions, as the Saudi Yoga Committee cooperates with International bodies such as the Asian Yogasana Sports Federation and the World Yogasana Sports Federation to form local, regional and international championships.”

The competition will be a traditional yogasana competition, consisting of three compulsory poses. The first three winners will be honored with financial prizes and will be added to the Saudi Yoga Committee as professional players.

Entrants simply post a 10-second video while holding the pose on Instagram or Twitter, mentioning the Saudi Yoga Committee account and the following hashtags #Saudi_Yoga_Competition.

Al-Marwaai said that the competition will encourage the practice of different types of yoga.

The competition began on June 21 and results will be announced on July 3.

“The Saudi Yoga Committee expects a great response to these initiatives due to a large number of yoga lovers, practitioners and trainers in the Kingdom,” she said.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2111296/saudi-arabia

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Mideast

 

Over 150 Israeli settlers intrude into al-Aqsa Mosque in latest act of provocation

26 June 2022

More than 150 Israeli settlers, escorted by military forces, intrude into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds in the latest act of provocation against the sacred site.

On Sunday morning, 151 Israeli settlers were inside the al-Aqsa Mosque in groups through its Maghariba Gate and toured its courtyards under full protection of police forces, the Palestinian Information Center, citing local sources, reported.

Israeli settlers received lectures from rabbis about the Temple Mount during their tour of the sacred site, the report further said, adding that some settlers provocatively performed rituals and Talmudic prayers in the Mosque’s courtyards.

According to the report, Israeli police also imposed movement restrictions on Muslim worshipers at the entrances and gates of the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Police closed Maghariba Gate at 10:30 a.m. after the settlers completed their morning tours at the holy site. Later in the afternoon, the same gate was reopened for evening tours by Israeli settlers.

Such mass settler break-ins almost always take place at the behest of Tel Aviv-backed temple groups and under the auspices of the Israeli police in al-Quds.

The al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa is permitted, but according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government in the wake of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited.

Israeli police shoot, wound 3 Palestinians in Tulkarm

Separately on Sunday morning, three Palestinians were injured by Israeli gunfire in Tulkarm in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Information Center said in a separate report.

In a statement, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Israeli soldiers at the Tayba checkpoint in western Tulkarm opened fire at two young men and wounded them. They also wounded another Palestinian youth by a rubber bullet in his shoulder during a raid by Israeli forces on Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarm City.

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/26/684586/Palestine-Israel-settlers-Aqsa-Mosque-Tulkarm

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World must take action to stop Israel’s systematic torture of Palestinians: NGO

26 June 2022

Israel must be held accountable for its systematic torture of Palestinian inmates, a non-governmental organization based in the occupied territories has said.

The Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, also known as ‘Miftah,’ which was established in 1998 as an independent Palestinian civil society institution, issued a report on Sunday to mark the International Day in Support of the Victims of Torture, detailing various forms of ill-treatment of Palestinians by the Israeli prison authorities.

Palestinian inmates are denied basic human rights and continue to languish behind bars. Israel continues to violate international law regarding the treatment of prisoners, the report said.

“Despite the absolute prohibition of torture and ill-treatment under international law, Israeli occupying forces and prison authorities employ various torture and ill-treatment techniques against almost all Palestinian political prisoners and detainees, including women and children, leaving grave physical and psychological damage.”

Those torture techniques include prolonged stress positions, beatings, solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, deliberate medical negligence, physical and verbal sexual abuse, force-feeding, humiliation and threat on family members.

“Israeli prison authorities, occupying forces and interrogators feel emboldened to commit such acts of torture with full impunity knowing that neither the complicit Israeli legal system nor the international community will hold them accountable.”

A large number of Palestinian prisoners are also being held in Israeli jails without any charge or trial under the so-called administrative detention where incarceration periods can be renewed indefinitely.

“Israel also extensively uses administrative detention to detain hundreds of Palestinians for indefinite periods of time with no charge or trial based on ‘secret charges,’ something Palestinian human rights organization Addameer has identified as a cruel form of psychological torture,” the report read.

Advocacy groups describe Israel’s use of the detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on Israel to end its use.

Latest figures show the Israeli regime has arrested over one million Palestinians, including women and children, since 1967.

Elsewhere in the report, Miftah demanded an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the Israeli crimes and its systematic torture of Palestinians.

Over 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, with dozens of them serving multiple life sentences.

The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) keeps Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards. They have also been subject to systematic torture, harassment and repression all through the years of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/26/684581/miftah-palestinian-prisoners

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Iran: Bombs, Terrorism, Crime US Souvenirs to Afghanistan instead of Technology

2022-June-27

Addressing a ceremony marking the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Tehran on Sunday, Vahidi blamed the current dire economic situation in Afghanistan on the US and its allies.

He said that they brought bombs, terrorism and crime to Afghanistan instead of boosting its industries and agriculture.

Vahidi lashed out at the western governments for their “poor performance” in the fight against narcotics trafficking.

He said the main culprits behind the increase in using drugs are certain western intelligence agencies and politicians.

Vahidi thanked the UN for its positive efforts in this regard, but meantime, noted that the West’s fight against narcotics is not genuine.

The interior minister said an important stage in narcotics today is the production of industrial drugs, which is being done at labs in western countries.

Vahidi added that the production of industrial drugs is a lucrative business for the western countries.

He demanded the western banks to control the financial operations of narcotics traffickers, saying it’s questionable that financial institutions in the West turn a blind eye to the issue.

Vahidi said Iran is now alone in the fight against narcotics but instead of being appreciated, it’s getting accused by its adversaries under various pretexts.

He underscored that 3,850 Iranian security forces have been killed in the war against drugs and 12,000 others have been injured.

Vahidi said despite that, Iran has received meager assistance to carry on the fight.

The Iranian anti-narcotics police have always staged periodic operations against drug traffickers and dealers, but the latest reports - which among others indicate an improved and systematic dissemination of information - reveal that the world's most forefront and dedicated anti-narcotic force (as UN drug-campaign assessments put it) has embarked on a long-term countrywide plan to crack down on the drug trade since several years ago.

Iran is in the forefront of the fight against drug trafficking and thousands of Iranian police forces have been so far martyred to protect the world from the danger of drugs.

The Iranian police officials maintain that drug production in Afghanistan has undergone a 40-fold increase since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010406000327/Iran-Bmbs-Terrrism-Crime-US-Svenirs-Afghanisan-insead-f-Technlgy

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Iran conducts test-launch of satellite carrier ahead of nuclear talks

Syed Zafar Mehdi 

26.06.2022

TEHRAN, Iran

Iran on Sunday announced the second test launch of its indigenously-developed satellite carrier Zuljanah.

Defense Ministry spokesman Seyed Ahmad Hosseini said in a statement that the launch was sub-orbital with "pre-determined research objectives.”

He said the three-stage carrier has two stages of solid propulsion and one stage of liquid propulsion and is "technically competitive" with the world's top satellite carriers.

Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami hailed the launch as a "breakthrough" that he said proved Iran's "scientific power", as cited by state media.

The launch comes less than two weeks after the ministry spokesman announced plans to carry out two more launches of the satellite carrier that runs on a hybrid fuel.

The first test launch of Zuljanah was carried out in February 2021, which was broadcast live on Iran's state TV.

Hosseini at the time said the satellite carrier will be able to put payloads weighing up to 220 kilograms into orbit at an altitude of 500 kilometers.

Interestingly, the announcement about two more launches for Zoljanah came after the Intel Lab published satellite imagery showing preparations for a satellite launch at Imam Khomeini Space Center in the central city of Semnan, 216 km east of Tehran.

The US and its European allies have repeatedly expressed concern over Iran's space launch vehicles, calling on Tehran to stop sending satellite carrier rockets into space, and claiming that it violates UN Security Council resolutions.

Iran, however, maintains that its space program is peaceful in nature and not tied to the country's ballistic missile development.

The country has had many failed satellite launches in recent years due to technical issues.

The latest launch came a day after Iran and the European Union agreed to break a 3-month deadlock in talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/iran-conducts-test-launch-of-satellite-carrier-ahead-of-nuclear-talks/2623058

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Houthis seize properties of late former PM Bajamal

June 26, 2022

AL-MUKALLA: An anti-corruption authority controlled by the Iran-backed Houthis in Sanaa has ordered the seizure of assets belonging to Abdul Qader Bajamal, a late former prime minister, accusing him of misusing public funds, Yemeni activists and local media said. 

Ahmed Nagi Al-Nabhani, a Yemeni activist based in the city, told Arab News that the Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption issued a seizure order targeting houses, bank accounts and other properties owned by Bajamal over a failed project during his tenure in 2003.

Bajamal was a senior member of the General People’s Congress, the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s party, and head of three consecutive governments from 2001 to 2006.

Al-Nabhani said that the SNACC had sent the case to the Public Funds Court for prosecution, and called for coordinated local and international rights campaigns, mainly from Bajamal’s party, to pressure the Houthis to allow the former premier’s family to access their assets.

“There must be serious and real solidarity with the family of Bajamal, because they are now, according to the decision of the SNACC, banned from using their father’s property,” Al-Nabhani said.

Bajamal died in September 2020 at the age of 67.

In a condolence message to his family, Mahdi Al-Mashat, head of Houthi Supreme Political Council, described Bajamal then as a “sincere, dedicated” national leader who served his country. 

The seizure order against Bajamal came as the Houthis raided the houses of other late Yemeni officials in Sanaa and areas under their control.

In Sanaa, armed Houthis occupied the house of the late Abdul Rahman Bafadhel, an MP and member of the Islamist Islah party, and expelled his daughter and her husband, citing a seizure order, a friend of the family told Arab News.

Bafadhel died in Saudi Arabia in October 2015 in a car accident.

The militia also raided the house of Ameen Ali Al-Kaderi, a late tribal leader who opposed their rule in the central province of Ibb, his son Salah said.

Since taking power militarily in late 2014, the Houthis have issued hundreds of seizure orders and death sentences against military and security leaders, politicians, journalists and activists who rejected their coup and supported the internationally recognized government of the country and military operations by the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen.

The Houthis sold or rented some of the seized properties, turned others into secret detention centers, and gifted others to their leaders.

Abdurrahman Barman, a Yemeni human rights advocate and director of the American Center for Justice, told Arab News that the latest string of seizure orders against Bajamal and Bafadhel show the Houthis are moving to dispossess families of dead politicians of their property under the pretext of fighting corruption.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2111226/middle-east

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15 Palestinian children killed by Israeli regime so far in 2022: Report

27 June 2022

A notable child rights’ organization says as many as 15 Palestinian children have been killed so far in 2022 at the hands of the Israeli forces.

The Geneva-based Defense for Children International’s Palestine chapter (DCI-P) presented the figure in a report on Sunday.

The report said the occupying regime had been intensifying its aggression against the minors in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, and the holy occupied city of al-Quds since the start of the year.

The fatalities, it said, included five children, whom the occupying regime’s forces have slain in the Palestinian city of Jenin, which is located in the northern part of the West Bank.

So far this year, the regime has also arrested 17 Palestinian children during raids on their homes in Jenin, and injured at least six other Palestinian minors.

Sixteen Palestinian children have, meanwhile, been rendered homeless following the forces’ demolition of their homes across Jenin.

“Israel continues to enjoy impunity and protection for its crimes against Palestinian children, which encourages it to further kill, arrest, and injure Palestinian children,” the organization said.

Support by the United States, Israel’s biggest ally, has on numerous occasions helped the regime evade accountability for its rampant and deadly crimes against Palestinians on the international stage.

Last year’s figures by the DCI-P puts the number of child fatalities caused by the regime at 78, including 60 minors, who were killed during a wholesale war unleashed by the occupying against the Tel Aviv-blockaded Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip.

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/27/684595/Israel-Palestinian-children-killed-2022

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South Asia

 

Kabul Optimistic about Formal Recognition amid Heightened Situation 

By Arif Ahmadi

27 Jun 2022

KABUL, Afghanistan – The acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi said he is optimistic about Islamic Emirate relations with the international community, hopping for world recognition amid ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

While the Taliban government seeks formal recognition, world leaders – including international communities – lay down several conditions which the Taliban government has not yet complied since the takeover last August. 

Muttaqi believes Kabul’s ties with the world is strengthening and some countries are expected to reopen their embassies in Kabul. 

“We have good relations with all the world and our relations are getting better,” he said, as local media quoted. “We hope to have good achievements in the future too.”

The acting foreign minister said the Islamic Emirate maintained formal relation with the world, exclaiming international embassies in Kabul are operational, though no country has yet recognized the group leadership in Afghanistan.

“Our relations are official with the world. Although no one announced our recognition, that is another issue,” he said. “But our embassies are opened in many countries and many countries have their embassies opened in Kabul.”

Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, and Turkmenistan have accredited the Islamic Emirate’s appointed diplomat in recent months, though all had initially refused to recognize the 8-month-old government in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Analysts said for the Taliban government to be recognized, the world leaders look for the group’s “legitimate government” and a “clear” system that assure standard procedures of all governing bodies.

“In order for Afghanistan to be connected with the world and start official activities, the international community and world powers demanded that the Taliban establish a legitimate government and the procedures of governing and that the future government of Afghanistan be clear,” said Javid Sandel, an international relations’ analyst. 

Torek Farhadi, a political analyst, said regional countries are biding to provide numerous assistance – including consultative and possibly intelligence presence – in the country without considering a formal recognition of the group as authorized rulers, which would be in the form of formal relations.

“The regional countries want to have a consultative, trade and even intelligence presence in Afghanistan but this doesn’t mean recognition,” he explained.

Taliban takeover last August lead the United States and other Western countries to shutting down their diplomatic posts in Kabul. They, however, have maintained contact with the group to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aids into the country.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/kabul-optimistic-about-formal-recognition-amid-heightened-situation/

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Afghan health official warns of disease outbreak among earthquake survivors

Jun 26, 2022

WOR KALI: Thousands affected by a deadly earthquake in eastern Afghanistan are in need of clean water and food and are at risk of disease, an Afghan health ministry official said on Sunday, days after a UN agency warned of a cholera outbreak in the region.

At least 1,000 people were killed, 2,000 injured and 10,000 homes destroyed in Wednesday's earthquake, after which the UN humanitarian office (OCHA) warned that cholera outbreaks in the aftermath are of particular and serious concern.

"The people are extremely needy for food and clean water," Afghanistan's health ministry spokesperson Sharafat Zaman told Reuters, adding officials had managed medicines for now but handling those who had lost their homes would be a challenge.

"We ask the international community, humanitarian organisations to help us for food and medicine, the survivor might catch diseases because they don't have proper houses and shelters for living," he said.

The disaster is a major test for Afghanistan's hardline Taliban rulers, who have been shunned by many foreign governments due to concerns about human rights since they seized control of the country last year.

Helping thousands of Afghans is also a challenge for countries that had imposed sanctions on Afghan government bodies and banks, cutting off direct assistance, leading to a humanitarian crisis even before the earthquake.

The United Nations and several other countries have rushed aid to the affected areas, with more due to arrive over the coming days.

Afghanistan's Taliban administration called for a rolling back of sanctions and lifting a freeze on billions of dollars in central bank assets stashed in Western financial institutions.

In Kabul, hospitals more used to treating victims of war have opened their wards to earthquake victims, but a majority of people remain in the areas destroyed by the earthquake.

"Our houses were destroyed, we have no tent... there are lots of children with us. We have nothing. Our food and clothes...everything is under rubble," Hazrat Ali, 18, told a Reuters team in Wor Kali, a village of the hardest-hit Barmal district.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/afghan-health-official-warns-of-disease-outbreak-among-earthquake-survivors/articleshow/92470468.cms

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China Issues and Facilitates Visas for Afghan Businessmen

By Saqalain Eqbal

26 Jun 2022

Wang Yu, the Chinese ambassador to Afghanistan, in a meeting with Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban’s Foreign Minister, stated that the Chinese embassy is preparing to begin issuing Chinese visa to Afghan businessmen.

According to the Taliban official, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the spokesperson of the Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi met with Wang Yu, the Ambassador of China to Afghanistan yesterday, 25th June, in Kabul.

Ambassador Wang offered his sincere sympathies to the families of the deceased and the injured, and he reiterated that China is determined to do its very best to offer immediate humanitarian aid.

The two sides discussed earthquake relief, political issues, Afghanistan-China cooperative trade, Chinese humanitarian aid, and the return of Afghan students to Afghanistan from China, according to the Taliban official.

Foreign Minister Muttaqi called on the Chinese ambassador to expedite the process of issuing Chinese visas to Afghan businessmen to which the Chinese ambassador said that they are getting ready to start granting businessmen from Afghanistan visas.

He also stated that the first consignment of goods will arrive in Afghanistan on the 27th through charter flight when discussing the humanitarian relief being sent to the earthquake victims in Afghanistan, which includes tents, blankets, folding beds, and other necessary supplies.

Source: Khaama Press

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https://www.khaama.com/china-issues-and-facilitates-visas-for-afghan-businessmen-584593/

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India can engage the Taliban in a constructive way, says Afghan envoy to India Mamundzay

NAYANIMA BASU

27 June, 2022

New Delhi: With India re-opening its Embassy in Kabul last week and the Taliban welcoming the move, Afghanistan’s ambassador to India has said that New Delhi should now “engage” the Taliban in a “constructive way” and “encourage” them to accept the rule of law and political inclusivity.

In a freewheeling conversation with ThePrint, Farid Mamundzay, who was appointed as Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India by the former Ashraf Ghani government, said the Afghan people felt “they were left alone” when New Delhi shut its embassy in Kabul in the aftermath of the Taliban takeover on 15 August 2021.

Seated in front of a portrait of Ghani that still adorns the walls of the Embassy in New Delhi, along with the old tricolour Afghan flag of the erstwhile Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mamundzay lauded India’s decision to reopen its Embassy in the Afghan capital, calling it a “positive move”.

This, he said, will enable New Delhi to directly provide aid to the Afghan people, who are reeling under a humanitarian crisis, adding that from India’s own security perspective, the move would allow it to keep a watchful eye at a time when “terrorist activities have increased in Afghanistan”.

Mamundzay also spoke about 15 August 2021 – the day Kabul fell to the Taliban after western troops initiated a hasty withdrawal – and how days before that, the Ghani government was scrambling for more logistical support and arms to keep Taliban fighters at bay. Former president Ghani, along with his entire cabinet, fled Afghanistan on the same day the Taliban entered Kabul.

“The US did not end the Afghan war, they ended their involvement in the war, the war continued. They left us at a stage where we continued with the war and sadly, our part of the world failed due to poor leadership. We were not only failed by the West but there have been instances when we failed ourselves,” he said.

On Afghan missions operating seamlessly despite the crisis in Afghanistan, Mamundzay said that hundreds of Afghan diplomats continue to work relentlessly for lesser compensation, hoping that the “Taliban will give peace a chance”.

India needs to ‘capitalise’ on Taliban’s gesture

Mamundzay, who has been working as Afghanistan’s envoy to India since September 2020, said the Afghan people “have always desired for greater involvement of India” in their country. This is why the Afghans “felt they were left alone” when India left suddenly, he said.

“There have been very close contacts between our people. The [Afghan] Republic doesn’t exist today but their [Afghans’] relation with the people of India exists. It is the relation between India and Afghanistan and not between the Republic of India and the Republic of Afghanistan.

“Those relations are several millennia old. Those relations have been there and will be there regardless of changes in regime and changes in governments,” Mamundzay told ThePrint.

He added: “Our expectations from India were high during the time when Kabul fell. We expected, as a strong and historical friend, India would take certain initiatives to help the Afghan people in their difficult time. Sadly, that did not happen.”

Mamundzay stressed that India did not come forward when the US and European countries were helping common Afghans flee the Taliban last year.

“Afghans needed a helping hand to leave the country; the US helped a great deal, the Europeans – the UK, France, Germany and Italy – and many other European countries came forward and took their share of responsibility. That, sadly, did not happen in the case of India. The Afghans felt that they were left alone,” he said.

He also recalled how India decided to cancel all valid visas issued to Afghan nationals and moved towards a system of e-visas, which led to difficulties for Afghans who wanted to come to India.

“There has been a blanket approach on the part of New Delhi… The entire country did not become Taliban overnight. There were students, there were some very historic friends of India, so they were not supported, they were not given the right assistance at a required time,” Mamundzay said.

However, he said, it is good that India has decided to reopen its diplomatic mission within weeks of a delegation led by J.P. Singh, joint secretary (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran Division), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), arriving in Kabul earlier this month.

“For security reasons, India can’t just turn a blind eye to what is happening in Afghanistan,” he underlined, adding that many regional countries have chosen to maintain their presence in the Afghan capital, including China, Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Russia and Turkmenistan, among others.

“India is too big to be left out of that. The Afghan people desire their presence in Kabul.”

“India can engage the Taliban in a constructive way. As the world’s largest democracy, India has a role to play here and that is to encourage the Taliban to come forward and accept rule of law, accept political inclusivity and encourage them to take steps that are appropriate,” said Mamundzay.

Cautioning that “instability in Afghanistan will cost the entire region”, the Afghan envoy said that India’s outreach is “morally right, it is politically right and Taliban has welcomed India’s involvement”.

“I think India needs to capitalise on that for the greater good of this region and the greater good of Afghanistan,” he added.

‘US ended its involvement in the war, the war continued’

The war in Afghanistan continues and with it, the suffering of the Afghan people, Mamundzay said, referring to the withdrawal of American troops from the country after two decades of fighting.

“The collapse of Afghanistan did not happen overnight, the start of the collapse began when the US reached a peace deal with the Taliban. When the Taliban realised that if they can take over Kabul forcefully, why negotiate? They were given a free hand by the Western generals, by the US,” he said.

Mamundzay explained: “The Taliban realised they could take over the country as soon as the troops left. We relied on the US and other NATO allies for the war machinery, ammunition and logistics. And in the last days [before the collapse], we were having issues with logistics, we were having issues with ammunition. It was not an Army that existed for hundreds of years or half a century. It was an army that had been there for almost 15 years.”

The Afghan army was “more of a counterterrorism force”, he said, adding that it was “not a conventional army”.

“They did their best but were left alone. The US did not end the Afghan war, they ended their involvement in the war, the war continued.”

The Afghan diplomat also blamed Afghanistan’s “poor leadership” at the time for accelerating the fall of Kabul. He, however, said former president Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah – former chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation – are actively talking to the Taliban to bring in a stable political system there.

Terrorism on the rise in Afghanistan

Mamundzay also said that while all eyes are now on the Russia-Ukraine war, terrorist activities in Afghanistan are on the rise with the active presence of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and most importantly, Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) in the region.

As many as 21 terrorist outfits are active in Afghanistan while ISIS-K operatives have doubled their numbers to 4,000 from 2,000 since last August, he said, pointing out that we have seen “increasing attacks on places of worship, including mosques and gurdwaras and other places where Sufism is practised”.

“Afghans are fed up with more conflict… We, Afghans, were never been involved in any major terrorist activities.

“There was not a single Afghan in 9/11, no Afghans hijacked the planes that hit the twin towers; no Afghans were involved in the London bombing 7/7 (2005), Madrid bombing (2004), Taj Palace bombing (26/11), Indian parliament attack (2001), Pulwama (2019) or any other attack in the region or internationally. Yet, Afghans pay the price for those atrocities. We are the victims. So, we require help. Our people are held hostage by terrorist outlets,” he told ThePrint.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/diplomacy/india-can-engage-the-taliban-in-a-constructive-way-says-afghan-envoy-to-india-mamundzay/1012761/

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Southeast Asia

 

Muslims Should Report Dubious Divorces to Religious Affairs If Pronounced On Social Media

26 Jun 2022

ALOR SETAR, June 26 — Netizens or members of the public are urged to report directly to the state or district religious authorities if they know of any dubious Talaq or divorce pronounced via social media.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs), Datuk Idris Ahmad said this would enable the religious authorities to investigate the alleged cases.

"Don’t wait because if we get to know about such cases, Insha’Allah (God willing) we will take action,” he said at a news conference at the Kedah-level Multaqa Murabbi Ummah (MMU) 2022 programme, here, today which was officiated by Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor.

Idris was commenting on DJ Wong or Noor Aziz Johari, 53, and his wife, DJ Sal, 43, reconciliating after he was said to have divorced her with talak tiga through a Facebook live broadcast last April.

On June 19, Harian Metro reported on the couple’s appearance on a live broadcast via the Sal Bollywood FB page, thus raising questions among their fans and followers over the controversy involving the couple’s relationship and marital status.

DJ Sal was reported to have referred Talaq issue to her own family members and Islamic religious experts who then informed that her husband’s divorce pronouncement was invalid.

Asked whether the couple was playing around with the Islamic religion, Idris said the incident might be due to their ignorance but the talak issue should not be treated lightly by Muslims and he hoped the religious authorities would call the couple for clarification on the issue.

Earlier in his speech, Idris said his department and the Malaysia Syariah Judicial Department (JKSM) had re-established the Syariah Court Empowering Committee last Wednesday which had ceased to function since 2018, towards strengthening the Syariah courts.

Source: Malay Mail

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/06/26/malaysian-muslims-should-report-dubious-divorces-to-religious-dept-if-pronounced-on-social-media/14387

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CM: Muslim World League invited to hold conference in Sabah

26 Jun 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 — Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor met with the Muslim World League delegation led by its secretary-general, Sheikh Dr Mohammad Abdul Karim Al-Issa, here on Sunday.

The Chief Minister has extended an invitation to Sheikh Dr Mohammad and the Muslim World League to organise the International Interfaith Conference in Sabah.

Both also discussed matters of mutual interests, amongst others.

Source: Malay Mail

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/06/26/cm-muslim-world-league-invited-to-hold-conference-in-sabah/14380

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Tajuddin case may cause Ismail to hold off on elections

Sean Augustin

June 26, 2022

PETALING JAYA: The removal of Tajuddin Abdul Rahman from the Umno Supreme Council is likely to have strengthened the resolve of Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to delay calling for a general election, a political scientist said.

Wong Chin Huat said Tajuddin’s removal makes clear “who’s the boss” in Umno and Ismail might fear looking like a lame duck now if he agrees to hold the nationwide polls earlier.

“With the president controlling the candidate list in GE15, and Ismail’s loyalists likely to be replaced, he may lose his job after the elections, despite Umno’s promise to make him their poster boy.

“So why should Ismail call for an early election knowing he would likely lose his job even if Umno wins big?” Wong told FMT.

The Barisan Nasional tradition is for the Umno president to be nominated as prime minister. Ismail, however, is a vice-president.

The Umno faction aligned to party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is currently pushing for GE15 to be held as soon as possible.

As to whether Umno could make life difficult for Ismail should he continue delaying the polls, Wong said that at worst, those aligned to Zahid can only ensure that Ismail is disowned in the party election, which will be held six months after GE15

This would be no different from dropping Ismail after an early national election, he said. Umno could not “dish out a greater disincentive” than post-election retaliation against Ismail to force the latter’s hand.

“Umno cannot attack its own prime minister without hurting itself,” he said. Zahid’s faction would be frustrated “but they really can’t do much”.

Wong also said those aligned to Ismail might be banking on Zahid being convicted for graft but the court verdict would not automatically strengthen Ismail’s position.

He said Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan would be automatically named acting president unless the Supreme Council agreed to hold elections, which would be unlikely, he said.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/06/26/tajuddin-case-may-cause-ismail-to-hold-off-on-elections/

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Indonesia’s president to visit Ukraine, Russia on peace-building mission

June 26, 2022

JAKARTA: Indonesian president Joko Widodo said on Sunday he will urge his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts to open room for dialogue during a peace-building mission to the warring countries and ask Russia’s Vladimir Putin to order an immediate ceasefire.

“War has to be stopped and global food supply chains need to be reactivated,” Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, said before leaving for Germany to attend the G7 summit on Monday.

The president also said he will encourage the G7 countries to seek peace in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, and find an immediate solution to global food and energy crises. Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.

Separately, Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi said food and fertiliser products from Russia and Ukraine need to be “reintegrated into the global market, despite the war”.

“It is necessary to secure a grain corridor from Ukraine and open food and fertiliser exports from Russia. All countries must refrain from actions that further exacerbate this food crisis,” Marsudi said in a statement on Sunday.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/world/2022/06/26/indonesias-president-to-visit-ukraine-russia-on-peace-building-mission/

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Africa

 

Burkina Faso Shia Muslims are followers of Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Khamenei: Senior cleric

June 27, 2022

The head of Burkina Faso Shia Muslims says Twelver Shiism has taken root among the people of the West African country ever since the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.

“Some 60% of the population in Burkina Faso are Muslims, with the majority being advocates of Sufism. The next influential Muslim denominations are Shias and Wahhabis”, said Sheikh Ali Badra, a Shia Muslim leader in the landlocked West African country of Burkina Faso, in a meeting with Seyyed Mohammad Zolfaghari, the international deputy of Scientific and Cultural Organization affiliated to Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad, northeast Iran.

The African Shia cleric expressed happiness that the Shia Muslims could freely perform religious activities and rituals in the African country without any government curbs. “The only problem is the troubles and accusations made by Wahhabis against the Shias”.

Sheikh Ali Badra continued: “Backed from outside, the Wahhabis are currently benefiting from television and radio networks and other forms of mass media, which are out of bounds to Shias. Unfortunately, we lack the means to publicize the teachings of the holy Prophet’s Infallible Household among the people in Burkina Faso”. Nevertheless, he asserted that the Shia community was squarely standing up against hostile measures of the enemies in the African nation.

Sheikh Badra stated that Imam Khomeini opened the eyes of people across the world with his revolutionary movement. “Prior to the Islamic Revolution, we didn’t have a clear understanding of Ashura and Karbala. Yet, we’ve been annually holding mourning ceremonies during Muharram (the first month on the lunar calendar) ever since”.

Source: ABNA24

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https://en.abna24.com/news//burkina-faso-shia-muslims-are-followers-of-iran%e2%80%99s-leader-ayatollah-khamenei-senior-cleric_1270203.html

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Sudan vows to respond as it accuses Ethiopia of executing seven soldiers, a civilian

27 June, 2022

Sudan has accused the Ethiopian army of executing seven soldiers and a civilian who it says were captive and vowed to take action.

“In an act that contravenes all laws and customs of war and international humanitarian law, the Ethiopian army executed seven Sudanese soldiers and a citizen who were their captives,” the Sudanese armed forces said in a statement late Sunday.

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The army said “this treacherous act will not pass,” vowing to respond to “this cowardly behavior.”

Relations between Khartoum and Addis Ababa have soured in recent years over the contested border region of Fashaqa, a fertile strip long cultivated by Ethiopian farmers, but claimed by Sudan.

The Al-Fashaqa region, which also borders Ethiopia’s troubled Tigray region, has seen sporadic deadly clashes between the Sudanese and the Ethiopian sides over the past years.

Tensions between the two sides especially rose after fighting erupted in Tigray in November 2020, which sent tens of thousands of refugees fleeing into Sudan.

Khartoum and Addis Ababa have since been locked in a tense war of words, trading accusations of violence and territorial violations.

The border dispute feeds into wider tensions in the region, including over Ethiopia’s controversial Blue Nile dam.

Sudan and Egypt, both downstream countries, have been opposed to the project and have been pushing for an agreement over the filling and operation of the dam.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/06/27/Sudan-vows-to-respond-as-it-accuses-Ethiopia-of-executing-seven-soldiers-a-civilian-

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Tunisian judges strike for 4th week to protest sackings

Yamena Salemi  

26.06.2022

TUNIS, Tunisia

Tunisian judges have extended their strike for a fourth week to protest the sacking of their colleagues by President Kais Saied.

In a statement, the Coordination of Judicial Structures said the move was taken over refusal of the Presidency and the Justice Ministry to respond to their demands.

“The strike will include all courts, administrative, financial and judicial institutions as of Monday,” it added.

The statement called on all judges to abide by the strike “in order to ensure the independency of the judiciary.”

On June 1, the Tunisian president sacked 57 judges, citing corruption and covering up terrorist cases, accusations that were vehemently rejected by judges.

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis that has aggravated the country's economic conditions since Saied ousted the government, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority last year in July. He later dissolved the suspended parliament.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/tunisian-judges-strike-for-4th-week-to-protest-sackings/2622914

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Libyan leaders urged to establish legal basis for elections

Moataz Wanis  

25.06.2022

TRIPOLI, Libya

The United States and four European countries have called on Libyan leaders to accelerate the establishment of a legal basis for holding elections in the war-torn country.

“We call on the House of Representatives, the High State Council, and their leaders to urgently finalize the legal basis so that credible, transparent, and inclusive presidential and parliamentary elections can be held as soon as possible,” said a joint statement by the US, France, Germany, Italy and the UK.

The statement praised progress made in UN-brokered talks of the Libyan constitutional committee held in Cairo last week to agree on a constitutional framework for holding the polls.

“We stress the need for a unified Libyan government able to govern and deliver these elections across the country, achieved through dialogue and compromise as soon as possible,” the statement said.

The five countries reiterated rejection of “actions that could lead to violence or to greater divisions in Libya, such as the creation of parallel institutions, any attempt to seize power through force, or refusal of peaceful transition of power to a new executive formed through a legitimate and transparent process.”

“We urge Libyan political leaders to engage constructively in negotiations, including through the good offices of UNSMIL, to unlock the executive impasse and agree on a pathway to elections,” they added.

Libya has been plagued by turmoil and divisions since the 2011 ouster of strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

A last round of UN-sponsored talks was held in Egypt last week, in an effort to reach a consensus on the constitutional framework to hold Libya’s long-awaited elections.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/libyan-leaders-urged-to-establish-legal-basis-for-elections/2622333

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North America

 

Israel to demand US funding of its laser weapons during Biden’s visit

26 June 2022

The Israeli regime will demand a special budget for its development of new laser weapons and raise concerns about Saudi Arabia’s nuclear ambitions when US President Joe Biden visits occupied Palestine next month, a report unveils.

When Biden visits the Israeli-occupied Jerusalem (al-Quds) next month, he will not only be met with a new face as the regime’s prime minister but also with “a request for a special budget” to help the regime complete its development of laser weapons to intercept rockets and drones and work in parallel to its increasingly ineffective anti-air batteries such as the Iron Dome, US-based military news outlet Breaking Defense reported Friday.

Citing what is referred to as “the visit plan” shared by Israeli military sources, the report said Biden is due to “stop by” an Israeli air force base, where two Israeli weapons makers, Rafael and Elbit Systems, will display the prototypes of laser systems being developed for the interception of rockets and drones but need “more money to complete the development.”

The report further noted that the US annually provides the occupying regime with $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF), “including $500 million for cooperative programs for missile defense.”

The new funding request “is aimed at adding funds to that portion of the FMF pool,” the report pointed out, citing Israeli military sources as adding that the regime “will ask for around $300 million in extra funds.”

According to the report, the Israeli regime has long been seeking the additional US funding for its laser capabilities, which “are not tied directly into a recently-announced regional air defense network, although it is possible that if such a system is made operational, it would be exported down the line.”

Pointing to the recent political upheaval in Israel that has led to the downfall of the regime’s former prime minister Naftali Bennett, the report further underlined, “The common feeling among Israeli politicians and experts is that whoever greets Biden at Ben Gurion airport will not impact the national security priorities that will be discussed.”

“Our working assumption is still that the trip will go forward as planned,” the US Embassy in occupied al-Quds said in a statement as cited in the report.

“The relations between the US and Israel are solid,” added a senior Israeli military source as quoted by the news outlet. “The issues that will be on the table during the visit are of utmost importance to both the US and Israel. I’m confident that the talks will be fruitful for both sides.”

Saudi Nuclear Concerns

According to the report, another issue the Israeli regime officials are expected to raise with the US president during his visit will be “ongoing efforts by Saudi Arabia to achieve nuclear power.”

Noting that “the Saudis are promoting a project to build a nuclear reactor to produce energy” with Russian, Chinese and South Korean companies mentioned as top contenders to win the project, the report further emphasized that the exclusion of the US-based Westinghouse Corporation from the competition has raised concerns in Washington and Tel Aviv.

“When he visits Riyadh, Biden is expected by Israel to raise the issue, as Washington does not want companies from its two biggest rivals to win such a sensitive project with its [Persian] Gulf partner,” the report then emphasized.

It further underlined that the Israeli regime “shares the same concerns,” citing sources within the regime as adding that “the Saudis are unhappy with two US demands for working with the American company: a Saudi commitment not to enrich uranium in its territory and a signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

The report goes on to cite the former director of the Israeli regime’s Atomic Energy Commission, Uzi Eilam, as insisting that Washington would be happy if an American company is selected to build the Saudi nuclear plant.

“The American preference is clear and has a solid reason — with an American company involved the regulations dictated by the international atomic energy agency will be fulfilled in full,” Eilam said as quoted by the news outlet.

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/25/684539/Israel-to-demand-US-funding-of-its-laser-weapons-during-Biden%E2%80%99s-visit

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G7 leaders to discuss prospect of reviving Iran nuclear talks

26 June, 2022

G7 leaders will discuss the prospect of reviving the Iran nuclear talks after the European Union’s foreign policy chief met senior officials in Tehran to try to unblock the stalled negotiations, a French presidency official said on Sunday.

Iran’s indirect talks with the United States on reviving the 2015 nuclear pact will resume soon, the Iranian foreign minister said on Saturday amid a push by the Josep Borrell to break a months-long impasse.

The official said discussions would take place on Sunday at a dinner between the leaders of the Group of Seven rich nations with more detailed talks taking place on Tuesday morning between France, Britain, Germany and the United States.

The three European powers are parties to the nuclear deal, which then-US President Donald Trump pulled out of in 2018. Under the accord Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions.

The pact appeared close to being revived in March when the EU - which is coordinating negotiations - invited foreign ministers representing the accord’s parties to Vienna to finalize an agreement after 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and President Joe Biden’s administration.

But the talks have since been bogged down, chiefly over Tehran’s insistence that Washington remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), its elite security force, from the US Foreign Terrorist Organization list.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/06/26/G7-leaders-to-discuss-prospect-of-reviving-Iran-nuclear-talks

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Top Turkish, US diplomats discuss bilateral ties, NATO enlargement

Mehmet Sah Yilmaz

25.06.2022

Turkiye's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed a range of issues over the phone on Saturday, including bilateral relations and the enlargement of NATO.

Sweden and Finland formally applied to join NATO last month, a decision spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine that began on Feb. 24.

But Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, has voiced objections to the membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting the terrorist groups.

Cavusoglu and Blinken also discussed the shipment of grains stuck in Ukraine. Türkiye has actively engaged with both Kyiv and Moscow to secure the export of millions of tons of grain from Ukraine and prevent a food shortage of global proportions.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/top-turkish-us-diplomats-discuss-bilateral-ties-nato-enlargement/2622680

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Funds frozen in US: Quake-hit Afghanistan faces disease outbreak

26 June 2022

Afghan health officials say thousands affected by a deadly earthquake in eastern Afghanistan are in need of clean water and food and are at risk of disease.

The appeal on Sunday came days after the UN humanitarian office (OCHA) warned of a cholera outbreak in the region.

"The people are extremely needy for food and clean water," Afghanistan's health ministry spokesperson Sharafat Zaman told said.

He said officials had managed medicines for now but handling those who had lost their homes would be a challenge.

"We ask the international community, humanitarian organizations to help us for food and medicine, the survivor might catch diseases because they don’t have proper houses and shelters for living," he said.

At least 1,150 people were killed, 2,000 injured and 10,000 homes destroyed in Wednesday's earthquake.

The disaster is a major test for Taliban rulers amid Western sanctions on Afghan government bodies and banks, cutting off direct assistance which had led to a humanitarian crisis even before the earthquake.

Afghanistan's Taliban administration called for a rolling back of sanctions and lifting a freeze on billions of dollars in central bank assets stashed in Western financial institutions.

Following the Taliban takeover in August, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order, seizing 7 billion US dollars out of more than $9 billion frozen Afghan assets, to pay compensation to 9/11 victims.

China’s permanent representative to the United Nations urged the Biden administration to immediately return Afghanistan's frozen assets.

“The Afghan people need every bit of these resources. That’s why it’s unjustified to freeze Afghanistan’s foreign assets,” Zhang Jun told a UN Security Council session.

He said the UN chief, human rights experts and humanitarian agencies were all univocal in their demand to return the assets without any conditions as soon as possible.

"At a time when the Afghan people are most in need of resources, it is unreasonable, unjustifiable, and unacceptable to freeze their sizable overseas assets. The United States should respond to the appeals of the (UN) secretary-general, human rights experts, humanitarian agencies, and other parties by unconditionally returning Afghanistan's overseas assets as soon as possible," he said.

Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, tweeted Friday, “Saw US officials claim that the US ‘stands with the people of Afghanistan’. Then why not give the $7 billion back to the Afghans?”

China has described the US decision to seize the Afghan nation's money as “robbery.”

The Asian country, itself, aims to provide $7.5 million assistance to Afghanistan in humanitarian aid.

On Saturday, the Taliban renewed their call on the US to unfreeze the nation's foreign funds and lift financial sanctions to help the war-torn country deal with its deadliest earthquake in more than two decades.

"In these testing times, we call on the United States to release Afghanistan's frozen assets and lift sanctions on Afghan banks so that aid agencies could easily deliver assistance to Afghanistan," Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said in Kabul.

According to estimates by the EU commissioner for crisis management, around 270,000 people living in and around the earthquake zone need aid.

The Taliban rulers in Afghanistan have been faced with empty coffers since their return to power last year.

In the absence of Western aid, countries in the neighborhood have been extending relief assistance to support the people of Afghanistan badly affected by the earthquake.

Iran, Pakistan, India, as well as other countries, have sent relief batches that reached Kabul for distribution in the wake of the devastating earthquake.

On Friday, an EU parliament member criticized the West over its massive financial support for Ukraine while failing to provide humanitarian aid to the quake-hit Afghanistan.

“The Americans spent 300 million a day destroying the place and now we are starving them," Mick Wallace said.

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/26/684554/China-US-Afghanistan-Frozen-Assets

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