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Islamic World News ( 11 Nov 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Muslim Student in Australia Forced To Watch an “Explicit and Blasphemous” Cartoon of Prophet Muhammad

New Age Islam News Bureau

11 November 2022


Mount Ridley College is completing its investigation of the incident. (Mount Ridley College website)


• Afghanistan: Social Media Campaign Calls Out Taliban to Open Secondary Schools for Girls

• US Slams Far-Right Israeli Official for Paying Tribute to Terrorist Organization Founder

• Chinese Spyware Using Tech to Spy On Uyghur Muslims, Claim Cybersecurity Researchers

• Pakistani Slain Journalist Arshad Sharif Brutally Tortured Before Being Shot Dead in Kenya: Report



• Erdogan awarded High-ranking Imam al Bukhari Order in Uzbekistan

• Italian travel blogger arrested in Iran released, to return home

• Ambassadors of UK, France, and US condemn Houthi attack on Yemeni port


South Asia

• UN: Taliban Has Plunged Afghanistan into 'Dire' Conditions

• Around 350 Afghan Refugees Reach Canada’s Toronto

• Taliban Initiates Security Camera Installation Campaign in Afghan Capital

• Residents in Kabul call out Taliban, demands to resume issuing of passports


North America

• New Jersey Teen Charged After Islamist Manifesto Threatened Synagogue Attack

• US lauds Israel’s ‘historic’ flight agreement with Qatar for FIFA World Cup 2022

• US Slams Israel’s Netanyahu Extremist Ally over Controversial Memorial

• Two US B-52 bombers fly across Middle East, CENTCOM announces

• US slams Israeli ultranationalist Ben-Gvir's 'abhorrent' memorial visit


Southeast Asia

• GTA’s manifesto pledges placing chief justice, IGP, MACC chief under Parliament’s purview

• Being an Ulama Doesn’t Necessarily Make You a Good Manager, Says Fuziah

• Tuan Ibrahim threatens to sue Rafizi over RM2bil project claim

• Mocking Malays will only drive them towards Umno, Rafizi warns Pakatan supporters



• Pakistan to Withdraw Appeals against Islamic Court’s Verdict Seeking Interest-Free Banking System

• Pak Army dismisses speculation about another extension for Army chief Gen Bajwa

• Elimination of interest-based system to boost economic activities in country: Ashrafi

• Gen Bajwa bids adieu to more formations on farewell tour

• Imran asks CJP to probe army officer’s role in attack

• Pakistan Govt Issues Diplomatic Passport to Nawaz Sharif, Paves Way For Return: Report



• NIA Searches 43 Places Suspected To Be Linked To Muslim Outfits in TN

• Coimbatore Blast: NIA Searches across TN and In Kerala

• JeM terrorist killed in encounter in J&K's Shopian

• Supreme Court to Hear Today Plea on Extended Cover for Gyanvapi ‘Shivling’

• Terrorist hiring module busted, banned Jamaat properties sealed in J&K

• NIA Files Chargesheet against TRF Terrorist from Baramulla in Delhi Court


Arab World

• Western Sanctions Have Made Debilitating Impacts on Syrians’ Lives: UN Human Rights Expert

• Syrian refugee and supporter of Islamic State sentenced to 17 years for plot to bomb Pittsburgh church

• Saudi Arabia considers public offering to fund Mecca megaproject

• Al Azhar Grand Imam hails SCIA Chairman's efforts to hold Bahrain Dialogue Forum

• Saudi Regime Forces Re-Arrest Distinguished Cleric from Shia-Populated Eastern Province

• Hezbollah to punish Israel for any foolishness on maritime deal: Official

• Lebanese MPs fail for fifth time to elect president

• UAE president invites Israel's Netanyahu to visit Abu Dhabi



• Stories of Trauma, Resilience Spotlighted At Palestinian Film Festival

• Iran Criticizes G-7 Members for Classifying Terrorism as Good, Bad

• Thousands of Palestinians Perform Friday Dawn Prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque After Israeli Settlers' Attack

• Iran Develops Hypersonic Ballistic Missile Able to Overcome All Air Defence Shields

• Iran Warns of Appropriate, Decisive Response to Germany's Meddling

• Iranian President: Cooperation among Independent States Response to US Destabilisation Strategy

• Military Chief: Using Iranian Drones in Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan Dispute Unacceptable to Tehran

• President Underlines Enemies' Failure in Pushing Iran into Chaos

• Iranian Envoy Calls on IAEA to Stay Away from Powers' Grip

• Iran Stresses Necessity for Political Settlement of Russia-Ukraine Crisis

• Israel waging ‘war’ on Palestinian media workers, journalists tell UN investigators

• Iran warns of ‘firm’ response to threatened EU sanctions

• ‘Negligence’ to blame for state-run Turkey mine blast that killed 42: Police

• Iran sets up IAEA visit this month to give answers on probe

• Freedom Flotilla coalition prepares to break illegal Gaza siege again



• Tunisia guard swipes 180,000 Euros as banker visit plumber

• US pushes for elections and stability in Libya

• Ethiopia says it controls 70% of Tigray region in wake of peace deal

• Kenyan court drops $60M corruption case of deputy president

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Muslim Student in Australia Forced To Watch an “Explicit and Blasphemous” Cartoon of Prophet Muhammad


Mount Ridley College is completing its investigation of the incident. (Mount Ridley College website)


11 November 2022

A Muslim student has been left traumatised after an Australian teacher forced her to look at a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad at a school in Australia's city of Melbourne.

During a media studies class at a Melbourne college, the teacher played an “explicit and blasphemous” cartoon to the class that depicted the Prophet Muhammad, the student’s father said.

According to the Herald Sun, the offensive cartoon is believed to be a Charlie Hebdo front page from 2015, which sparked massive protests across the Muslim world.

The Muslim student raised objections to the material but did not leave the class and the teacher continued, according to

“My daughter also tried to express her discomfort at the video but unfortunately the teacher didn’t care and continued to play the video, forcing my child to view the content." the father explained.

"Forcing a child to view content is illegal and against the law. This has aggravated my child and my family’s sentiments in a painful manner and has put us in a painful psychological and mental trauma.”

Public apology demanded

The father has demanded a formal apology and explanation, and an assurance that “such kind of events should not take place in any institutions” in future.

According to the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV), the Department of Education (DET) confirmed that the offensive material taught in the year 11 media studies class is not part of the standard curriculum.

Mount Ridley College is completing its investigation of the incident, and DET will be updated on the outcomes.

ICV said that it has made it clear that, as a minimum, the school should issue a public apology acknowledging the seriously offensive nature of the material presented, and the harm caused to students and the wider school community.

The council also demanded that the school should also outline what steps are being taken to ensure that this type of incident will not happen again.

Source: TRT World

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Afghanistan: Social Media Campaign Calls Out Taliban To Open Secondary Schools For Girls


Representative image


10 November, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], November 10 (ANI): While the Taliban continues to deprive Afghan women and girls of basic rights, a social media campaign called “Let Afghan Girls Learn” is doing the rounds in the country to call out the Islamic outfit to immediately open the gates of secondary and high schools for girls, TOLO news reported.

The campaign, according to the host, Obaidullah Bahir is a non-political move to call out the Taliban to open secondary schools for girls so they can gain entrance for the upcoming Kankor exam which is a university-level entrance and the girls in Kabul can no more attend it due to closure of schools.

“This is a non-political campaign. The goal is to invite different guests for a week, both Afghans and foreigners, knowledgeable professors and any people who will discuss the opening of schools,” TOLO news quoted the host of the campaign, Obaidullah Bahir as saying.

Describing the goal as to get the schools open for Afghan girls as soon as possible, the organizers of the event said the young girls and women have been compromising with their aspirations since the Taliban took control of the country.

According to some students, as girls’ schools were shut down, they were unable to take the Kankor exam, leaving their future uncertain. These students petitioned the Islamic Emirate to create secondary schools for girls so they can get admission for the next Kankor exam since they said this year “thousands of girls were banned from taking the Kankor Exam.”

Nazanin is a 12th-grade student and due to the closing of the schools for girls she could not participate in the Kankor exam.

“We just want the school to be opened, we are worried about our future, we want the schools to be opened so that we can study,” said Nazanin, a student.

“The 11th grader who went to 12th is without a future, the 12th grader who is studying to prepare for Kankor is also unlucky,” said Lima, another student as she described her plight, according to TOLO news.

Taliban has imposed draconian restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly, and movement for women and girls.

The Taliban’s decision to ban female students above grade six from going to school has drawn widespread criticism at the national and international levels. Further, the Taliban regime which took over Kabul in August last year has curtailed women’s rights and freedoms, with women largely excluded from the workforce due to the economic crisis and restrictions.

As a result of this, women and girls in Afghanistan are facing a human rights crisis, deprived of the fundamental rights to non-discrimination, education, work, public participation, and health. Afghan women are staring at a bleak future due to a number of restrictions imposed by the Taliban governing aspects of their lives since taking over.

According to Human Rights Watch, women and girls are blocked from accessing health care as well. Reports suggest that women and girls facing violence have no escape route. Allowing girls into schools and other educational institutes has been one of the main demands of the international community. (ANI)

Source: The Print

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US Slams Far-Right Israeli Official for Paying Tribute to Terrorist Organization Founder


The United States has slammed far-right Israeli politician, Itamar Ben-Gvir, for attending a memorial service for Meir Kahuna. / Photo: Pars Today


11 November 2022

The United States has slammed far-right Israeli politician, Itamar Ben-Gvir, for attending a memorial service for Meir Kahane.

Kahane, a US-born Israeli who was killed in Manhattan 32 years ago this week, founded the Kach terrorist organization.

In the first public rebuke from the Biden administration of the leader of Otzma Yehudit party, who is aiming to become the Israeli regime's next public security minister, the US State Department said on Thursday that "celebrating the legacy of a terrorist organization is abhorrent."

"It is abhorrent. And we remain concerned, as we’ve said before, by the legacy of Kahane Chai (which means "Kahane Lives", an offshoot of Kach founded by Meir Kahane’s son Binyamin after the Rabbi was killed), and the continued use of rhetoric among violent right-wing extremists," Price said, adding, "We’ve condemned incitement, violence and racism in all of its forms."

Till now, the Biden administration has avoided commenting directly on the rise of Ben Gvir’s anti-Arab Otzma Yehudit [Jewish Strength] party, which is expected to play a prominent role in Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu’s next coalition government.

The 46-year-old Ben Gvir, and his faction have long described themselves as disciples of Kahane.

However, the right-wing politician claims he has moderated his political views.

At the ceremony honoring Kahane in Jerusalem on Thursday, Ben-Gvir, who was himself a former member of Kahane's outlawed Kach organization, was booed for disavowing the late terrorist leader's call for the mass expulsion of Arabs by announcing, "I do not support the expulsion of all Arabs."

"It's no secret that today I am not Rabbi Kahane, and don't support expulsion of all the Arabs and will not pass laws for separate beaches for Arabs and Jews," he said, drawing boos from members of the audience, several of whom wore Kach T-shirts. However, there were cheers from the audience when he repeated his election promise to deport "terrorists", a term he has used for Palestinian stone-throwers and representatives of Israel's Arab population.

Also, speaking at the event was a former political partner of Ben Gvir, right-winger Baruch Marzel. He demanded the expulsion of over 300,000 Arab Israelis who voted for the Balad and Ra’am parties in last week’s election. “Nothing will stop unless we drain the swamp.”

Members and supporters of the Kach terrorist group, and its offshoot Kahane Chai, killed, attacked and threatened or harassed, Arabs, Palestinians and some Israeli regime officials.

Source: Press TV

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Chinese Spyware Using Tech to Spy On Uyghur Muslims, Claim Cybersecurity Researchers


For years, China has engaged in mass monitoring of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.


Nov 11, 2022

Cybersecurity researchers said they have found evidence of Chinese spyware in Uyghur-language apps that can track the location and harvest the data of Uyghurs living in China and abroad.

Uyghurs are a Turkic Muslim minority predominantly in China's north-western region of Xinjiang, where a recent UN report said Beijing may have committed crimes against humanity.

The United States and lawmakers in other Western countries say China's treatment of the Uyghurs amounts to genocide.

A Thursday report by San Francisco-based cybersecurity firm Lookout claims that since 2018, multiple Uyghur-language Android apps have been found to be infected with two strains of spyware linked to Chinese state-backed hacker groups.

They include dictionaries, religious apps, maps and even pirated versions of WhatsApp available on third-party stores or shared on Uyghur-language channels on Telegram.

They were not available on the official Google Play store, which is blocked in China, leading Chinese users to use third-party app stores.

The spyware enabled hackers to collect sensitive data including a user's location, contacts, call logs, text messages and files, the report said, and could also take photos and record calls.

Researchers said the apps could have been used to detect evidence of religious extremism or separatism, for which Uyghurs have been imprisoned, some for decades, as part of a sweeping anti-terrorism crackdown in Xinjiang which observers say amounts to a mass detention campaign.

Large Uyghur diaspora populations also live in central Asia and Turkey.

"The campaign appears to primarily target Uyghurs in China. However, we found evidence of broader targeting of Muslims and Uyghurs outside of Xinjiang," the report said.

"Several of the samples we analyzed masqueraded as mapping apps for other countries with significant Muslim populations, like Turkey or Afghanistan."

Surveillance state

For years, China has engaged in mass monitoring of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, creating a province-wide surveillance platform that vacuums Uyghurs' personal data from their phones and tracks their movements through facial recognition.

Several Chinese surveillance and camera firms have been sanctioned by the US for alleged complicity in human rights violations.

Uyghurs living abroad have spoken of attempts at cross-border surveillance and coercion from Chinese police back in Xinjiang.

Liu Pengyu, a spokesperson at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, told Bloomberg News "we oppose wild guesses and malicious slurs against China", adding the country opposes "all forms of cyber attacks".

Samples of the infected apps were dated from 2018 onwards, and the vast majority of apps infected with one strain of spyware were discovered in the second half of this year, the report said.

"Despite growing international pressure, Chinese threat actors operating on behalf of the Chinese state are likely to continue to distribute surveillance ware targeting Uyghur and Muslim mobile device users through Uyghur-language communications platforms," Lookout researchers wrote.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Pakistani Slain Journalist Arshad Sharif Brutally Tortured Before Being Shot Dead in Kenya: Report


Earlier, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said evidence suggested Arshad Sharif was the victim of a targeted killing in Kenya.(AFP)


Nov 10, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif, who was killed in Kenya, was brutally tortured for hours before being shot dead, a media report said on Thursday citing post-mortem reports.

Sharif, 49, a former reporter and TV anchor with ARY TV, and known for his proximity to former Prime Minister Imran Khan, had fled to Kenya after he was booked on charges of sedition and peddling an "anti-state" narrative by Pakistan's security agencies earlier this year.

He was shot dead at a police checkpoint at an hour's distance from Nairobi on October 23, creating a storm in the country.

Sharif was killed last month in Kenya and the local police claimed that it was a case of mistaken identity.

The Express Tribune reported that Dunya TV host Kamran Shahid in his talk show on Wednesday night claimed that Sharif was shot at close range and that this was not a case of mistaken identity but a 'planned murder'.

Citing his post-post-mortem reports, Shahid claimed that Sharif was brutally tortured for hours before being shot dead, the paper said.

He further claimed that the slain journalist's fingernails were pulled out and his fingers and ribs were broken during torture.

The senior journalist, on his show, further stated that around '10 American instructors and trainers' were present at the shooting range on the day of Sharif's murder.

According to Shahid, Sharif's contact in Kenya decided to take a longer route back to the city on the day of the murder instead of the oft-used Magadi Highway route.

The private TV programme further claimed that the Kenyan authorities did not cooperate with the investigation either, adding that they also avoided giving information about the persons present at the range.

Earlier, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said evidence suggested Sharif was the victim of a targeted killing in Kenya, not an accidental shooting, though he still needed more information on the incident.

Kenyan police spokesman Bruno Shioso declined to respond to the minister's comments on the death of the TV journalist.

A police report a day after the shooting said police officers hunting car thieves opened fire on the vehicle that Sharif was traveling in as it drove through their roadblock without stopping.

Shioso said the case was now being investigated by the police watchdog, the state Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA). A spokesperson at the IPOA did not immediately respond to calls and a message seeking comment.

The Pakistan government has formed an investigation team to look into the matter while the interior minister said the Kenyan police had not yet given Pakistani investigators all of Sharif's recovered belongings.

Source: Times Of India

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Erdogan awarded High-ranking Imam al Bukhari Order in Uzbekistan

NOV 10, 2022

Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on Thursday conferred the country's High-ranking Imam al Bukhari Order on his Turkish counterpart President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan is in Samarkand to participate in a summit of Turkic states.

In his address, Mirziyoyev said the award was being given to Erdoğan for protecting and contributing to the welfare and prosperity of Muslims globally.

He added that Erdoğan has "a great reputation and influence" not only in Türkiye, but in the entire Muslim world.

"This is a great honor that this precious order is given to me on the behalf of Imam Bukhari," Erdoğan said after receiving the award.

The president underlined that he is accepting the order as a symbol of "eternal and strong brotherhood' between Türkiye and Uzbekistan.

Thanking Mirziyoyev and the people of Uzbekistan, Erdoğan said: "I fully believe that we will take our relationship, which we have raised to the level of a comprehensive strategic partnership, to even higher levels."

Uzbekistan awards scientists, researchers, writers, as well as leaders of foreign countries and governments for their special services with the High-ranking Imam al Bukhari Order.

Erdoğan on Thursday arrived in Samarkand, Uzbekistan to attend the Ninth Summit of Turkish State Organizations.

Erdoğan was welcomed at Samarkand International Airport by Uzbekistan's Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, Deputy Prime Minister Jamshid Khodjaev, and Deputy Foreign Minister Gayrat Fazilov as well as Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Türkiye's Ambassador to Tashkent Olgan Bekar, and Uzbekistan's Ambassador to Ankara Alisher Agzamhodjayev.

The president was accompanied by first lady Emine Erdoğan, Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, National Education Minister Mahmut Özer, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Trade Minister Mehmet Muş, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, and Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın.

The theme of the summit will be "New Era for Turkish Civilization: Towards Common Development and Prosperity."

At the summit, important decisions that will form the first five-year implementation guide of the vision document, which constitutes the 20-year roadmap of the organization, will be taken, and the term presidency will be transferred from Türkiye to Uzbekistan.

Decisions will also be taken on several important issues as well as "finalizing various agreements and official documents of the organization's projects in the fields of economy, trade, transport, and customs."

Ahead of the group's ninth summit, Türkiye's foreign minister on Thursday urged close cooperation among members of the Organization of Turkic States.

"We are going through a difficult time. We must maintain close consultations and develop medium- and long-term strategies that will make us resilient in the face of shocks," Çavuşoğlu said during a meeting of the group's foreign ministers in Samarkand.

The Turkic World Vision 2040 document, which was approved by the organization's heads of state at its eighth summit in Istanbul last November, was an "important step for the long term," Çavuşoğlu said.

Finalizing the strategy document, which is the first five-year implementation guide of the bloc's vision document, was one of the priorities of Türkiye's term presidency of the bloc, Çavuşoğlu noted, adding: "It is our common duty to ensure that these decisions are implemented."

Çavuşoğlu underlined that recent developments also present opportunities for the member states.

"We have to develop connections and transport corridors between member countries. This target is an important element of both the vision document and the strategy document," he added.

Çavuşoğlu also welcomed three agreements to be adopted by member countries on Friday, including the trade facilitation strategy document, simplified customs corridor, and international combined freight transportation.

"Türkiye attaches importance to its trilateral processes with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan," Çavuşoğlu said, adding that the country is determined to maintain these mechanisms.

"The institutional transformation of the Turkic Council into the Organization of Turkic States requires us to take visionary steps," Çavuşoğlu noted, saying significant works were carried out in accordance with this purpose during Türkiye's term presidency.

With the group's ninth summit, member countries will carry the efforts in this direction to a further point, Çavuşoğlu noted.

Also, the decision to establish a Turkish investment fund was one of the important steps of Türkiye's term presidency, Çavuşoğlu said. "The asset management company model will be the best choice in terms of both more efficient management of funding resources and international funding."

Source: Daily Sabah

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Italian travel blogger arrested in Iran released, to return home

10 November, 2022

A young Italian woman arrested in Iran during nationwide protests in late September has been released, the government in Rome said Thursday.

“After intense diplomatic efforts, today Alessia Piperno was released by Iranian authorities and is preparing to return to Italy,” a statement from Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s office said.

Meloni called her parents to tell them their daughter had been released and was returning home, her office said.

Piperno, 30, was arrested and jailed in Tehran days after authorities there said nine foreigners had been held over nationwide protests.

Street violence flared across Iran after the death in September of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini following her arrest by the morality police for allegedly flouting the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women.

Iran has accused outside forces of stoking the nationwide protests, which have led to dozens of deaths, mostly among demonstrators but also among the security forces.

Piperno’s parents said at the time that they had lost contact with her after speaking to her on September 28, her birthday.

They then received a phone call on October 2 to say she was in jail.

“They arrested me. I am in a prison in Tehran. Please help me,” Piperno told them, according to Il Messaggero, Rome’s daily newspaper.

She added: “I’m fine but there are people here who say they have been inside for months and for no reason. I fear I won’t be let out again. Help me.”

Her father, Alberto, said that she had been planning a birthday picnic with friends from France, Poland and Iran.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Ambassadors of UK, France, and US condemn Houthi attack on Yemeni port

November 10, 2022

LONDON: The British, French, and American ambassadors to Yemen strongly condemned a Houthi attack targeting an oil tanker in Qena port, Shabwa on Thursday.

Yemen’s foreign ministry said in a statement that the Houthis launched a drone attack on the southern Qena port in Shabwa on Wednesday.

“By launching yet another assault on international shipping and the flow of fundamental necessities, the Houthis have once again demonstrated their abject failure to prioritize the Yemeni people,” Richard Oppenheim, Jean-Marie Safa, and Steven Fagin said.

“Attempting to deprive millions of Yemenis from accessing basic goods through economic warfare will only exacerbate the conflict and humanitarian crisis,” the ambassadors said.

Source: Arab News

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South Asia


UN: Taliban Has Plunged Afghanistan Into 'Dire' Conditions

Nov 11, 2022

UNITED NATIONS: The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution Thursday accusing the Taliban of violating the human rights of Afghan women and girls, failing to establish a representative government, and plunging the country into “dire economic, humanitarian and social conditions.”

The resolution also pointed to persistent violence in the country since the Taliban takeover 15 months ago and the presence of terrorist groups such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State and their affiliates as well as the presence of “foreign terrorist fighters.”

Germany's UN ambassador, Antje Leendertse, had hoped the 193-member General Assembly would approve the German-facilitated resolution by consensus.

But a vote was requested and it was adopted 116-0, with 10 countries abstaining — Russia, China, Belarus, Burundi, North Korea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Nicaragua, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Sixty-seven countries did not vote.

General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, unlike Security Council resolutions, but they do reflect world opinion.

The adoption came the same day that the Taliban, which already banned girls from middle school and high school, prohibited women from using gyms and parks.

Before the vote, Leendertse told the assembly that since the Taliban came to power in August 2021 Afghanistan has seen “a massive economic contraction and humanitarian crisis” which has left half the population facing “critical levels of food insecurity.”

“We expect a harsh winter and levels of needs that we have not seen in the last decades with little prospect for economic recovery and reduction of poverty,” she warned.

Introducing the resolution, Leendertse told the assembly that the Taliban control the country but aren't living up to their responsibility toward meeting the needs of the Afghan people.

“The resolution is a clear call to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, develop inclusive governance and fight terrorism,” she said. “It contains a clear message that without that, there cannot be business as usual and no pathway toward recognition.”

The resolution pledges continued UN support for the Afghan people “in order to rebuild a stable, secure and economically self-sufficient state, free of terrorism, narcotics, transnational organized crime, including trafficking in persons, and corruption, and to strengthen the foundations of a constitutional democracy as a responsible member of the international community.”

It calls for improved access for aid workers and recognizes the need to help address Afghanistan's economic challenges, including efforts to restore the banking and financial systems and enabling Central Bank assets -- held mainly in the United States -- to be used to help the Afghan people.

The resolution expresses deep concern at human rights abuses against women and girls, including sexual violence, and calls on the Taliban to promote “full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women in all aspects of Afghan society.”

It condemns all attacks, reprisals and violence against journalists and media workers and calls for their perpetrators to be brought to justice.

Source: Times Of India

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Around 350 Afghan Refugees Reach Canada’s Toronto

By Saqalain Eqbal

November 10, 2022

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Department of Canada announced that 347 Afghan refugees from Tajikistan had reached Toronto, the provincial capital of Canada’s Ontario.

On Thursday, November 10, the Canadian government announced that it had flown a large number of Afghan refugees from Tajikistan to Toronto on a chartered flight.

According to the statement of the Canadian Department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, the newly relocated Afghan refugees are going to be settled in 39 communities across Canada.

Some of these Afghan refugees will stay in Toronto, while others will settle in Calgary in Alberta, Montreal in Quebec, and Richmond Hill in Ontario provinces of Canada.

The Canadian government previously announced that 2 chartered flights carrying Afghan nationals landed safely in their new “home”, Canada.

Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, reported that, excluding the flight on November 10, which transported about 350 Afghan nationals to Canada, the Canadian government had relocated 23,500 Afghan refugees.

“We’ll continue to work hard to safely resettle at least 40,000 individuals by the end of 2023,” Fraser previously said.

Source: Khaama Press

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Taliban Initiates Security Camera Installation Campaign in Afghan Capital

By Saqalain Eqbal

November 10, 2022

As the Taliban has put CCTV cameras at crossroads in an attempt to improve security, the group has asked Kabul residents to install security cameras in their houses.

The Taliban-controlled Afghanistan National Television broadcasted an interview with the spokesperson of the Taliban Kabul Police Chief Office, Khalid Zadran, on Thursday, November 10.

In the interview, Khalid Zadran stated that the Taliban has begun a campaign to install security cameras around Kabul city and that about 2,000 CCTV cameras have already been set up in several areas of the city’s police district 15.

According to Khalid Zadran, the Taliban security officials have initiated this campaign as an attempt and effort to improve the security situation, starting from the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul.

In the interview with National TV, Khaled Zadran asked Kabul citizens to install security cameras in their houses as a sign of their participation in providing and preserving security.

He emphasized that as the campaign is not mandatory, only households with the necessary financial resources could participate to install security cameras and that those without the resources were not obligated to do the installation.

Source: Khaama Press

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Residents in Kabul call out Taliban, demands to resume issuing of passports

10 November, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], November 10 (ANI): Residents of Kabul called on the Taliban to resume issuing passports as the General Department of Passports in Afghanistan halted the distribution temporarily one month ago, reported TOLO news.

“The frequent closing of the passport department, its reopening and closing many times–which we don’t know the reason for–will pave the way for fraud,” said a passport applicant, Zabiullah highlighting the plight of Afghans.

“We call on the Islamic Emirate officials to resume passport distribution through transparent ways,” said Massihullah, another passport applicant.

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August last year, the distribution of passports has been halted more than five times, reported TOLO news.

However, refuting the claims regarding the halt on the distribution of passports, a spokesman for the General Department of Passports, Noorullah Patman said that the process of passport distribution has been halted due to technical reasons.

“The process of passport distribution has been halted based on the order of the general head of the passport department due to technical problems, and the technical teams are working on it,” said Noorullah, TOLO news reported.

Since the Taliban seized power in Kabul last year, the human rights situation has been exacerbated by a nationwide economic, financial and humanitarian crisis of unprecedented scale.

The Taliban dismantled the system to respond to gender-based violence, created new barriers to women accessing health care, blocked women’s aid workers from doing their jobs, and attacked women’s rights protesters.

With the US troops’ withdrawal from the country, large-scale violence has been unleashed creating political uncertainty in different parts of the country.

Source: The Print

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North America


New Jersey teen charged after Islamist manifesto threatened synagogue attack


11 November 2022

JTA — Federal prosecutors have arrested and charged a New Jersey teenager with extremist Islamist views with making the threat that led to a sweeping FBI warning for the state’s synagogues last week.

Omar Alkattoul, 18, of Sayreville, New Jersey, is charged with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce for an extremist manifesto he shared on Nov. 1 on an undisclosed social media network. He faces up to five years in prison.

Alkattoul had pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State and researched how to obtain firearms and past mass shootings, according to the criminal complaint against him filed Thursday by the US Attorney’s Office in New Jersey. The complaint alleges that Alkattoul published a manifesto online that had been written as though he had already carried out an attack.

The detection of his manifesto caused the FBI to warn the Jewish community in New Jersey, which immediately activated security protocols at communal institutions. A day later, the FBI said the threat had been eliminated.

“No one should be targeted for violence or with acts of hate because of how they worship,” US Attorney Philip Sellinger said in a statement. “There is nothing the US Attorney’s Office takes more seriously than threats to our communities of faith and places of worship.”

Titled, “When Swords Collide,” Alkattoul’s manifesto was written as if he had already attacked a synagogue, according to prosecutors. Multiple extremists have published manifestos immediately prior to committing violent attacks, including against Jews.

“I am the attacker and I would like to introduce myself,” the manifesto reads. “I am a Muslim with so many regrets but I can assure you this attack is not one of them and Insha’Allah many more attacks like these against the enemy of Allah and the pigs and monkeys will come.”

The manifesto continues, “I did target a synagogue for a really good reason according to myself and a lot of Muslims who have a brain. Let’s be aware of the fact that the Jews promote the biggest hatred against Muslimeen even in the west.” The manifesto included a section on “why hatred towards Jews is a good thing even if they’re not Zionists.”

Federal investigators probed Alkattoul’s devices and interrogated him several times to understand his views and help determine his level of commitment to carrying out attacks against Jews.

He told investigators his radicalization had happened over a year on social media following his encounter with a video showing followers of the late Israeli extremist Meir Kahane “laughing and sharing photos of dead Arab children and praising the people who killed them,” according to the criminal complaint against Alkattoul.

Alkattoul was also found to have praised Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who murdered nine Black worshippers at a South Carolina church in 2015.

Source: Times Of Israel

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US lauds Israel’s ‘historic’ flight agreement with Qatar for FIFA World Cup 2022

11 November, 2022

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called an agreement allowing Israelis to travel to Qatar to attend the World Cup a “historic step” that promises “to bolster people-to-people ties and economic integration.”

FIFA made the announcement on Thursday, saying Palestinians and Israelis can travel on the charter jets to the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East.

Direct charter flights will operate between Tel Aviv and Doha during the World Cup, allowing Israelis and Palestinians holding match tickets and a valid Hayya fan ID to board flights that will operate direct from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport to Doha’s Hamad International Airport by an airline with pre-existing landing rights in Qatar.

The announcement drew praise from US senior officials.

In a tweet, Blinken said: “I welcome FIFA’s announcement of direct flights between Qatar and Israel for the World Cup. This step bolsters people to people ties and economic integration, while encouraging freedom of travel for all, both Israeli and Palestinians.”

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also welcomed the announcement.

“Excited about this important step to further build people to people ties and integrate Israel into the region. We will be cheering on Team USA!”

Thursday’s announcement was confirmed by Israel’s premier Yair Lapid and world football’s governing body, FIFA.

“Today’s historic announcement provides a platform to improve relations across the Middle East,” said Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, at the time.

“Direct charter flights will be temporarily operated between Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and Hamad International Airport in Doha by an airline with existing landing rights in Qatar for the duration of the FIFA World Cup, subject to Israel’s security requirements and operational capabilities,” the FIFA press statement said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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US Slams Israel’s Netanyahu Extremist Ally over Controversial Memorial

11 November, 2022

The United States on Thursday criticized as “repugnant” the appearance of Israel’s hardline firebrand Itamar Ben-Gvir, a likely member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s new coalition government, at a memorial to a Jewish extremist.

“Celebrating the legacy of a terrorist organization is abhorrent. There is no other word for it,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said when asked about the issue at his press briefing.

Washington remains “concerned, as we’ve said before, by the legacy of Kahane Chai (the political party founded by Orthodox Rabbi Meir Kahane who was assassinated in 1990) and the continued use of rhetoric among violent right-wing extremists,” Price added as he urged Israeli groups to “maintain calm” and not exacerbate tensions.

Known for his anti-Arab diatribes, Ben-Gvir is in prime position to demand a coveted cabinet seat in a prospective government led by former premier Netanyahu and may well secure a portfolio relating to the simmering Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

At the ceremony held Thursday in Jerusalem, according to the Israeli press Ben-Gvir said he believed Kahane’s “main characteristic was love... love of Israel without compromises or any other considerations.”

He was reportedly jeered at the event after saying “I do not support the expulsion of all Arabs.”

Ben-Gvir draws his ideology from that of American-born extremist Meir Kahane, a former Israeli MP whose Kach party was banned in Israel after the 1994 murder of 29 Palestinians praying in Hebron by one of his supporters.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Two US B-52 bombers fly across Middle East, CENTCOM announces

11 November, 2022

The US military announced Thursday that two B-52H bombers flew over the Middle East and carried out a Bomber Task Force mission, signaling its readiness to “meet any challenge decisively.”

Two B-52H Stratofortress aircraft from the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, integrated with 13 partner nation air forces, conducted the mission.

“This Bomber Task Force mission demonstrates our commitment to regional security and the collective capabilities of our military partners in the region,” US Central Command chief General Erik Kurilla said in a statement.

Kurilla said CENTCOM could “very quickly” put a significant amount of combat power in the air alongside its partners. “We can do the same on the ground and at sea to meet any challenge decisively.”

Despite not mentioning Iran, the exercise was seen as sending a signal to Iran as it continues to send weapons to Russia, increase uranium enrichment for a potential nuclear weapon, and support militias in the Middle East.

Iran-backed militias have also attacked US forces in the region on several occasions.

The Israeli military said two of its F-35 fighter jets escorted the B-52 bombers during the exercise on Thursday. “As part of the increasing cooperation with the U.S. Armed Forces, this flight is part of a series of joint exercises to strengthen our readiness toward all scenarios,” the Israeli army said in a tweet.

Source: Al Arabiya

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US slams Israeli ultranationalist Ben-Gvir's 'abhorrent' memorial visit

Michael Hernandez



The US sharply rebuked an incoming far-right Israeli minister Thursday, saying Itamar Ben-Gvir's visit to a commemoration event for a late terrorist leader is "abhorrent."

"Celebrating the legacy of a terrorist organization is abhorrent. There is no other word for it. It is abhorrent," State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters. "We remain concerned, as we said before, by the legacy of Kahane Chai."

Kahane Chai, or Kach, is an ultranationalist racist Israeli terrorist organization founded by Israeli-American orthodox rabbi Meir Kahane, who died in 1988. Kahane espoused a violent anti-Arab ideology that has grown among the Israeli right in recent years.

While the US removed Kahane Chai from its Foreign Terrorist Organizations list, it has been deemed a Specially-Designated Global Terrorist organization under US law since 2001.

Ben-Gvir attended a commemoration event for Kahane on Thursday, expressing admiration for the terrorist leader and receiving cheers for supporting the deportation of "terrorists" from Israel.

Ben-Gvir leads the far-right Jewish Power party in Israel and is slated to receive a ministry following Israel's Nov. 1 elections.

The ultranationalist lawmaker's support was key to propelling incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to electoral success. The Jewish Power party is the second-largest in Netanyahu's coalition and the third largest in Israel.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Southeast Asia


GTA’s manifesto pledges placing chief justice, IGP, MACC chief under Parliament’s purview

By Rex Tan

10 Nov 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) has today launched its 15th general election (GE15) manifesto, which pledged among others to put the country’s top officials under the purview of the Parliament.

Its chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the coalition listed these posts as those under Parliament: the chief justice, inspector-general of police, attorney general, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief, chief of the Armed Forces, chief secretary to the government, Treasury secretary-general, auditor-general, and Bank Negara Malaysia governor.

“GTA is committed to cleaning Malaysia from wrong elements such as abuse of power, corruption, administrative fraud, and untrustworthiness.

“And we are committed to strengthening the concept of separation of powers and integrity in MACC, the police, the judiciary, the Attorney General, the Council of Malay Rulers and establishing a royal commission for integrity and anti-corruption,” said Dr Mahathir at its launch event tonight.

The manifesto had among others said that the leadership of the country and the Malay community must fall with a Malay leader that is trustworthy, while at the same time giving a chance for upcoming young Malay leaders.

It had also listed the coalition’s pledge to ensure that the position of Islam and the Malay community be the foundation of the country.

Dr Mahathir also claimed that its manifesto is realistic and achievable, unlike other coalitions that have given big promises that cannot be achieved or will burden the country’s administration.

Source: Malay Mail

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Being an ulama doesn’t necessarily make you a good manager, says Fuziah

Reshna Reem Ganesan

November 10, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Being well versed in Islamic jurisprudence and Islam does not automatically translate to being adept at governance or management, a former deputy minister said.

Fuziah Salleh said that when it comes to the issue of governance and management, a certain level of understanding was required.

“Good people don’t necessarily make good managers. (Being) an ulama or lawyer won’t automatically make you understand good governance,” she told FMT.

Fuziah, a former deputy religious affairs minister, was elaborating on her recent TikTok video where she said that a combination of Islam and good governance would help in improving Islamic agencies.

She said that without a proper understanding of what constituted good governance, it would be “hard to make things happen”.

“You can preach, but it doesn’t mean you can manage agencies to rectify what’s wrong,” she said.

Elaborating on this, Fuziah cited environment and water minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man as an example.

She described him as a “nice gentleman and friend”.

“But that doesn’t make him someone who will understand best practices and what they mean.

“He may be easily misled into thinking it is okay to carry out direct negotiations when he is a caretaker minister, for example.”

Fuziah said it was important that all government agencies practiced good governance, including Islamic agencies.

She then referred to the mismanagement of Tabung Haji (TH) under the Barisan Nasional administration.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Tuan Ibrahim threatens to sue Rafizi over RM2bil project claim

November 10, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Environment and water minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has demanded Rafizi Ramli apologise over his claim that the PAS deputy president had approved a RM2 billion project after Parliament was dissolved.

According to PAS mouthpiece HarakahDaily, the letter of demand had been sent to Rafizi through the legal firm Yusfarizal Aziz & Zaid.

Tuan Ibrahim demanded that Rafizi, within seven days, issue a public apology in a media statement and a letter of undertaking that he would not repeat the allegation on any platform.

He also wanted the PKR deputy president to propose a reasonable amount to pay in damages over his allegation.

“If you fail to comply with these demands, our firm has strict instructions from our client to take further action, which includes initiating legal action against you.”

This involves Rafizi’s claim that Tuan Ibrahim was in the process of awarding a RM2 billion flood mitigation project to an Umno-linked company.

The Pandan candidate claimed that the project, which is related to a flood barrier at Sungai Langat, was the second contract awarded to the same company in the past six months.

Tuan Ibrahim denied Rafizi’s allegation and challenged the former MP to lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). He added that the caretaker government could not approve any financial allocation as it was against a Treasury circular.

In his suit, Tuan Ibrahim contended that Rafizi’s allegation was slanderous, malicious, and aimed at tarnishing his reputation.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Mocking Malays will only drive them towards Umno, Rafizi warns Pakatan supporters

By Justin Ong

11 Nov 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — A small but undeniable section of Pakatan Harapan supporters were doing Umno a favour by ridiculing the Malay community for supporting the latter, PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli said.

The PH candidate for Pandan said this included blanket statements claiming Malays did not care about corruption or were easily bought off, sometimes for just RM50.

While insisting they were few, he said it was undeniable that this group was making it hard for Malay voters to approach PH and vice versa.

“Avoid racial topics. It would be best if non-Malays not launch personal attacks against rival Malay leaders, especially those with religious backgrounds. The sensitivity can be twisted to portray non-Muslims mocking Islam. Let us Muslims take the lead and expose,” he said in a video today.

“Also avoid commenting on Malay institutions, including the constitutional monarchy, national language, and the position of Islam.”

Rafizi urged supporters to understand that the Malay leaders and members of PH will expose and challenge their counterparts in Umno, PAS, and Bersatu on these matters, and could do so openly without exposing PH to misleading counterattacks.

He acknowledged that his remarks today would not be universally welcome in PH, but insisted that he needed to say this as a Malay son from a village in Terengganu.

“I emphathise with the sensitivities of these Malay voters,” he said.

Source: Malay Mail

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Pakistan to withdraw appeals against Islamic court’s verdict seeking interest-free banking system

10 Nov, 2022

ISLAMABAD – Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced that the government will withdraw the appeals filed against a verdict of Pakistan’s top Islamic court regarding interest free banking system in the country.

Taking to Twitter, the financial minister said that the decision has been taken under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in consultation with the Governor State Bank.

They also decided to promote interest-free banking system in the country on fast track basis.

In April this year, the Federal Shariat Court issued a landmark ruling, declaring the Interest Act 1839 of Pakistan un-Islamic, directing the government to replace the Riba-based financial system with Islamic system in five years.

The full bench of the top Islamic court headed by Chief Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanzai, and comprising Justice Dr. Syed Muhammad Anwar and Mr. Justice Khadim Hussain M. Shaikh had announced the judgment.

Justice Syed Muhammad Anwar announced the verdict, stating introducing interest-free banking system in Pakistan is possible as it is being practiced by some institutions in the country.

The court ruled that elimination of Riba is base of the Islamic system, adding that interest taken on any type of loan falls within the category of Riba, which is prohibited in Islam.

Source: Daily Pakistan

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Pak Army dismisses speculation about another extension for Army chief Gen Bajwa

Nov 10, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army on Thursday put to rest speculation about its chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa getting another extension, saying the Chief of Army Staff is paying farewell visits to various garrisons as part of the tradition.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is poised to pick the new Army chief after Gen. Bajwa's term is scheduled to end on November 29.

Gen. Bajwa, 61, is to retire after serving two successive three-year terms as the Army chief, but speculation is rife that he may get a brief extension to oversee the next elections as demanded by former premier Imran Khan.

However, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Army's media wing, said in a statement that Gen. Bajwa was already paying farewell visits to various garrisons as part of the tradition.

"General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) visited Sialkot and Mangla garrisons as part of his farewell visits to various formations," read the statement, adding that he met officers and men at two garrisons and addressed the troops.

The Army chief appreciated formations for their excellent performance during various operations, training and natural calamities. He also advised troops to keep serving the nation with the same zeal and commitment no matter what the circumstances.

The Army spokesperson had already confirmed more than once that General Bajwa would retire at the end of his tenure on November 29.

Even Bajwa has also made it clear he would not be seeking another extension in his tenure.

However, after the latest statement, it is expected that uncertainty regarding the new Army chief would end and the process of appointing his successor would pick up pace.

Constitutionally, the incumbent prime minister is authorised to nominate the Army chief and send the summary for the signature of the president who cannot reject the nomination.

In a related development, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is in London to meet his elder brother and former three-time premier Nawaz Sharif to consult on the key appointment among other issues.

The Geo TV reported that he had two back-to-back meetings with the elder Sharif who had been living in London since 2019 on the pretext of medical treatment.

The Express Tribune newspaper reported that a summary carrying the names of potential candidates for the top job will likely be moved about a week before General Bajwa's retirement.

However, given past practice, the formal announcement of the new chief will likely be made closer to his retirement date.

Nevertheless, some officials claim that there was a possibility of the new chief being announced sooner rather than later, according to the newspaper.

Bajwa was initially appointed in 2016, but after three years of tenure, the then-government of Imran Khan in 2019 extended his service for another three years.

In September, former prime minister Khan said that Gen Bajwa should be given another extension until the new government is elected while reiterating calls for early elections.

When Khan was in power, the Opposition accused him of trying to bring an Army chief of his choice who could support his alleged agenda of victimising opposition leaders.

Since he lost power in April this year, the equation has changed and now Khan is saying that the coalition government wants to install an Army head of its choice to protect looted wealth and steal general elections.

Whatever the political meaning of the rival rhetoric, the fact is that an Army chief is seldom a silent spectator of the political games in the country.

Source: Times Of India

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Elimination of interest-based system to boost economic activities in country: Ashrafi

10 November,2022

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Thursday said the elimination of interest-based system would help boost economic activities in the country.

Addressing a presser, Ashrafi who is also the chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council, thanked the government, particularly Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl Chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman who is also the head of ruling collation, Pakistan Democratic Movement and Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani ’s unflinching efforts to get rid of this anti-Islam system from our financial institutions.

The withdrawal of appeal of national and state banks against the Federal Shariat Court’s decision on Riba (interest) had infused a wave of happiness not only in the country but in the Islamic world. This bold step had raised the prestige of Pakistan in the Muslim Ummah all around the world, he added.

“It was a longstanding demand of the people to make our society free from this interest-based economic system,” he added.

In the light of Quran and Sunnah, Maulana Ashrafi said the interest-based system was in contradiction to Islam and its adaptation was considered as an open war with Allah Almighty and His last Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him.

He, on behalf of the Ulema and Mashaykh, assured the government’s team to provide all-out support to transform the economic system in accordance with Islamic laws and divine commands.

Regarding the visit of Saudi Arabia’s Prime Minister and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to Pakistan which is expected on November 21, this month, he said the Saudi Leadership was not only a state guest but he was a distinguished guest of the entire nation. “He must be given an overwhelming welcome on his arrival to Pakistan,” he urged.

Shedding light on the significance of this highly valued visit, Ashrafi said Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif had three meetings with the Saudi Crown Prince in a couple of months in which they had discussed wide-range of economic cooperation including establishment of oil refinery and investment.

He informed that to highlight the importance of Pak-Saudi relations which are based on faith and belief, the Pakistan Ulema Council was organizing the fifth ‘International Conference on Message of Islam, Pak-Saudi and Islamic World Relations’ on November 16, here in the federal capital in which the most renowned religious scholars and leaders of the Muslim Ummah would participate as keynote speakers.

Terming senior journalist and anchorperson Arshad Sharif as martyr of the entire nation, Ashrafi said the culprits of his murder should be brought to justice and facts, behind his murder, should be disclosed to the nation.

He hinted that India and its intelligence agency’s influence were not hidden to anyone in Kenya. The enemy’s negative propaganda of creating anarchy and maligning the national security institutions was properly countered by the government as it has appealed to the Supreme Court to form a judicial commission on the matter.

He said nobody should be allowed to do politics on the blood of Arshad Sharif to meet his personal gains. As per reports, Arshad Sharif’s murder was a part of gigantic conspiracy and it should be investigated thoroughly, he added.

He said the sad incident of firing on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s convoy in Wazirabad was condemned by the government apparatus in its strongest terms but the way, government, Pakistan Army and national security institutions being targeted, was not acceptable at all.

He said if someone had evidences, he should present in the apex court instead of fueling the anti-state agenda of maligning the national defense institutions.

Source: Dunya News

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Gen Bajwa bids adieu to more formations on farewell tour

Baqir Sajjad Syed

November 11, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The army on Thursday once again tried to put to rest any speculation that Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa had plans to stay on, by stating that he was already on his farewell tour.

“General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), visited Sialkot and Mangla garrisons as part of his farewell visits to various formations,” ISPR said in a statement.

On Thursday, the army chief met officers and men at both locations and addressed the troops. He appreciated formations for their excellent performance during various operations, training and natural calamities. The COAS advised troops to keep serving the nation with same zeal and commitment no matter what the circumstances.

Earlier, upon his arrival at Sialkot, the COAS was received by Lieutenant General Muhammad Aamer, while Lieutenant General Ayman Bilal Safdar greeted him at the Mangla garrison.

Gen Bajwa is retiring on Nov 29 at the end of his extended tenure. He had several months ago indicated that he planned to retire this year.

His retirement plan was later confirmed by ISPR on at least a couple of occasions and the general had himself in last few months twice made it clear that he had no intentions to carry on — once during his visit to the United States and then again, while speaking at the National Security Workshop at National Defense University.

But no one was ready to believe it, mostly because of the prevailing uncertainty in the political domain. Doubts have been so strong that even former prime minister Imran Khan, when faced with vote of no confidence, suspected that the political move against him was linked to Gen Bajwa’s impending retirement. He had, therefore, offered indefinite extension to Gen Bajwa in a bid to pre-empt the then opposition’s vote against him, as per a recent presser by senior military officials.

Also read: Army chief visits Peshawar Corps headquarters

Gen Bajwa finally started his farewell visits to formations on Nov 1 with a visit to the Army Air Defence Command and followed up the next day with a visit to Armed Forces Strategic Forces Command. Since then, he has quietly toured a number of formations.

His visit to Peshawar Corps on Wednesday came close on the heels of the last corps commanders conference (on Tuesday), which was being closely watched by political observers.

The Peshawar trip, many believe, was strategically timed to signal that the succession process was about to start after the meeting of the top brass, which in all likelihood would be the last one with formal agenda to have been chaired by Gen Bajwa.

Source: Dawn

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Imran asks CJP to probe army officer’s role in attack

Mansoor Malik

November 11, 2022

LAHORE: As Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) long march resumed after a week from Wazirabad on Thursday, party Chairman Imran Khan addressed the participants from his Zaman Park residence here through a video link, reiterating his accusation that a senior army officer was behind his attempted assassination.

He said “army officer Maj Gen Faisal Naseer masterminded and monitored my assassination plan”, and demanded the chief justice of Pakistan investigate and uphold justice to ensure that the country did not become a banana republic.

Mr Khan urged the country’s top judge to investigate how a former prime minister could not get a first information report (FIR) registered wherein he had accused an army officer among the three suspects behind the plot to kill him.

Asking whether Maj Gen Naseer was above the law, he said the chief of the military’s media wing had termed his claims an insult to the institution of the armed forces.

“This institution will be insulted when it will not take action against a suspect, or consider itself above the law of the land,” he remarked.

“If an ex-PM is not able to get an FIR registered as per his information then one can imagine what will happen to a common man in Pakistan.”

He further alleged that since Maj Gen Naseer and Inter-Services Intelligence Islamabad Sector Comm­ander Brig Faheem were posted in Islamabad, “they unleashed torture on us as if we were terrorists”.

“If such people will rem­ain here, terrorism will not be controlled, but will grow.”

The former premier also urged the Sup­reme Court chief justice to investigate the humiliation of Senator Azam Swati and the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya.

Referring to the purported videos showing the torture on Mr Sharif, Mr Khan asked how those videos got to a TV anchor when the post-mortem report had yet to reach the mother of the slain journalist. He questioned who was upset with the investigative reporting of Arshad Sharif and nurturing hatred against him that led to his torture before killing.

“Only the Supreme Court can investigate, as the nation has lost faith in the credibility of investigating agencies,” he claimed, and wondered that the PTI was a coalition partner in the Punjab government, but its police were being “controlled from somewhere else”.

Asking when the justice system will protect the common people, Mr Khan stressed this was a matter of the country’s future that now rested in the hands of the Supreme Court.

Earlier, he once again explained his allegations that the plan for his assassination, which was executed in Wazirabad, had been hatched in September and that he had exposed it in two public meetings.

He claimed the forensic report of the container that was fired upon in Wazirabad suggested there were two shooters instead of the one captured from the crime scene. Certain army officers, besides the prime minister and interior minister, had planned to give his murder attempt the colour of religious fanaticism, but, he said: “Man proposes, God disposes.”

Now, the PTI chief said, the party’s long march would not stop and continue getting aggressive to ensure rule of law and that every powerful person was held accountable for their wrongdoings.

Source: Dawn

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Pakistan govt issues diplomatic passport to Nawaz Sharif, paves way for return: Report

Nov 11, 2022

The Pakistan government has issued a diplomatic passport to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who has been living in self-imposed exile in London since 2019.

According to reports in Pakistani media, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has issued a diplomatic passport to Nawaz Sharif for a period of five years, sources in his family said. This will enable him to return to his country.

Interestingly, Nawaz Sharif is the elder brother of current prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, and also the supreme leader of the ruling party, PML-N. The two brothers met in London on Thursday, flanked by a coterie of top ministers.

Pakistan's interior ministry had issued an ordinary passport to the three-time premier earlier this year. On the other hand, Nawaz claims that he had already acquired a diplomatic passport after his own had expired in February 2021, and was not renewed by the Imran Khan-led regime.

Several corruption cases had been launched by the government of ex-prime minister Imran Khan against the 72-year-old supremo of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz since his ouster from office by the Supreme Court in July 2017 in the Panama Papers case.

In November 2019, Nawaz Sharif left for London after the Lahore High Court granted him a four-week permission allowing him to go abroad for his treatment.

He had given an undertaking to the Lahore High Court to return to Pakistan, citing his record to face the process of law and justice within four weeks or as soon as he is declared healthy and fit to travel by doctors.

Source: India Today

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NIA searches 43 places suspected to be linked to Muslim outfits in TN

11th November 2022

COIMBATORE/CHENNAI:  The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing into the car explosion in front of a temple in Coimbatore on October 23, conducted searches at 43 places suspected to be linked to various Muslim outfits in eight districts across Tamil Nadu on Thursday.

According to a press release issued by the NIA on Thursday, Jamesha Mubeen, who killed himself in the blast, had taken bayyat or pledge with the ISIS, and was planning suicide attacks to cause extensive damage to symbols and monuments of a particular religious faith with the intention to strike terror among a particular section of the community. A case initially registered at the Ukkadam police station in Coimbatore was referred to NIA and the central agency re-registered the case on October 27, the release said. 

Several materials, including digital devices, were seized during searches carried out at 33 places in Coimbatore by a team of around 100 NIA officials, which arrived from Chennai and Kochi, with the support of the city police. Searches were also conducted in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Tiruppur, Nilgiris, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and at one location in Kerala’s Palakkad district, sources said.

In Coimbatore city, NIA officials searched properties of suspects linked to Mubeen and six others held in the case at Kottaimedu, Ukkadam, Ponvizhanagar, Rathinapuri Al-Ameen Colony, GM Nagar, Karumbukadai, HMPR Street, Rose Garden, Podanur, Kuniyamuthur, Kurichi and Selvapuram. The search operation which started at 4.30am ended at most places in Coimbatore within two hours. At a few places, the search continued till afternoon.

In Tiruppur, a house belonging to Mohammed Yousuf, brother-in-law of Mubeen, located on Venkateswara Nagar Sixth Street along Kangeyam Road, was searched by officials. The officials later took Yusuf to Tiruppur South Police station and released him after several hours of questioning. A mobile phone and some documents were seized from him, sources said.

“The six suspects arrested in the case had conspired with Jamesha Mubeen to procure different chemicals and other substances for the fabrication of improvised explosive devices, including a vehicle-borne IED, from online shopping platforms to commit sensational terrorist acts. Further investigation is on,” the NIA press release said. NIA officials have also planned to move court to take all the six suspects lodged at Coimbatore Central Prison into custody for a detailed inquiry, sources said.

In Chennai, NIA sleuths searched houses and shops in Otteri, Thiruvottiyur, Mannady and seized some mobile phones and laptops. Two houses could not be searched as they were locked, sources said. The suspects whose premises were searched had been in touch with the accused, sources said.

The Chennai police, meanwhile, carried out separate searches at two places in Thiruvottiyur and one place in Pulianthope, including those belonging to two brothers, based on intelligence alert about their possible link to illegal activities.

Source: New Indian Express

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Coimbatore blast: NIA searches across TN and in Kerala

Nov 11, 2022

NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday conducted searches at 43 locations across eight districts of Tamil Nadu and one location in Kerala, in the case relating to a car bomb blast that took place in the vicinity of a temple in Coimbatore on October 23.

The searches were carried out across Chennai, Coimbatore, Thiruvallur, Thiruppur, Nilgiris, Chengalpatu, Kanchipuram and Nagapattinam districts of Tamil Nadu and in Palakkad district of Kerala.

Preliminary investigation into the blast in an explosives-laden car in front of Kottai Eswaran temple has revealed that a deceased accused, Jamesha Mubeen, after taking ‘bayath’ or oath of allegiance to IS, was planning to “carry out suicide attacks and cause extensive damage to symbols and monuments of a particular religious faith and with the intention to strike terror among a particular section of community,” the NIA said on Thursday.

Source: Times Of India

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JeM terrorist killed in encounter in J&K's Shopian

Nov 11, 2022

SRINAGAR: A foreign Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, police said.

The militant has been identified as Kamran Bhai alias Hanees, they said.

An encounter broke out between militants and security forces in the Kapren area of Shopian district in the early hours of Friday, a police official said.

Source: Times Of India

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Supreme Court to hear today plea on extended cover for Gyanvapi ‘Shivling’

Nov 11, 2022

NEW DELHI: Hindu parties on Thursday requested the Supreme Court to extend its May 17 interim order directing the Varanasi district magistrate to seal off the wuzu (ablution) area inside the Gyanvapi mosque to protect the ‘Shivling’ which was purportedly discovered during a trial court ordered survey.

Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain requested a bench headed by CJI D Y Chandrachud to extend the May 17 interim order during the pendency of the issue in the trial court and the Allahabad HC. While the trial court is seized of a suit filed by five Hindu women seeking right to worship goddess Shringar Gauri inside the mosque, the committee of management of the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid (Gyanvapi mosque management) has moved the HC challenging the trial court’s decision to appoint the local commissioner for survey of the mosque and has sought quashing of the report.

The CJI said the plea for extension of interim order needs to be heard by the bench, which also comprised Justices Surya Kant and P S Narasimha, which had last heard the matter. He posted it for hearing on Friday at 3pm.

Balancing the sentiments of Hindus and Muslims, the SC on May 17 had ordered Varanasi district magistrate to seal off the wuzu khana area, where a ‘Shivling’ was purportedly found during a recent survey, but had allowed Muslims free access to the mosque for offering namaz by lifting the trial court order capping the number of Muslims offering Namaz to 20 at any given time.

Four days later, the SC had shifted the trial of a suit by Hindu parties seeking enforcement of their right to worship inside Gyanvapi mosque from civil judge (senior division) to the district judge, even as it observed that the survey of a structure to ascertain its religious nature is not barred under the Protection of Places of Worship Act,1991.

Source: Times Of India

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Terrorist hiring module busted, banned Jamaat properties sealed in J&K

Nov 11, 2022

SRINAGAR: A terrorist funding and recruitment module was busted and six men were arrested in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district Thursday, while two schools and seven other properties of the outlawed Jamaat-e-Islami outfit were sealed and confiscated in the southern district of Shopian as part of counter-terrorism operations in the Valley.

The Jamaat, a socio-political and religious organisation, was banned for its alleged ties with terrorist outfits. It runs several schools through its affiliate Falah-e-Aam Trust (FAT). Their activities have been under the scanner and authorities had searched their properties as recently as September.

On Thursday, revenue officials sealed two schools and plots of land owned by the Jamaat.

In Kupwara, a combined team of policemen and Rashtriya Rifles soldiers captured six men for allegedly running terrorist funding and recruitment module. The team caught the first suspect Bilal Ahmed Dar and he gave away the names of the others tied to the group operating “under the garb of a fake NGO called Islahi Falahi Relief Trust (IFRT) that claimed to provide monetary assistance to poor and needy families”, police said.

“Bilal revealed his accomplices as Wahid Ahmed Bhat, Javed Ahmed Najar, Mushtaq Ahmed Najar, Bashir Ahmed Mir, and his cousin Zubair Ahmed Dar,” a police note said.

They were arrested in a swift swoop and “a huge quantity of arms, ammunition, and raw material to prepare IEDs” were seized from them. The group was said to be doing the bidding of its Pakistani backers to help Tehrik-ul-Mujahideen Jammu and Kashmir, an outfit that reportedly seeks J&K’s merger with Pakistan.

Source: Times Of India

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NIA Files Chargesheet against TRF Terrorist from Baramulla in Delhi Court

Nov 11, 2022

SRINAGAR: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a chargesheet against a terror operative of The Resistance Force (TRF), an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, in the NIA special court in New Delhi.

In the supplementary chargesheet filed on Wednesday, Muzamil Mushtaq Bhat alias Hamza alias Daniyal, a resident of J&K’s Baramulla district, has been charged under various sections of IPC, Arms Act and Explosive Substances Act, besides the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

A NIA spokesperson said the case was registered on November 18 last year and the investigations revealed that the accused had radicalised, motivated and instigated vulnerable youth to join terro groups, including TRF, in Kashmir.

Bhat entered into a conspiracy with active militant commanders to train the Kashmiri youth to fabricate IEDs/explosives using locally available chemicals and also facilitated the transfer of weapons for terror activities in India.

Source: Times Of India

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Arab World

Western sanctions have made debilitating impacts on Syrians’ lives: UN human rights expert

10 November 2022

A senior UN human rights expert has warned about the deleterious impacts of the Western sanctions against Syria, saying the ongoing unilateral coercive measures have caused dire humanitarian consequences for Syrian citizens who are seeking to rebuild their lives.

Alena Douhan, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, on Thursday called for the removal of sanctions against Syria, warning that they were perpetuating and exacerbating the destruction and trauma suffered by the Syrian nation since the onset of the foreign-sponsored conflict in March 2011.

“I am struck by the pervasiveness of the human rights and humanitarian impact of the unilateral coercive measures imposed on Syria and the total economic and financial isolation of a country whose people are struggling to rebuild a life with dignity, following the decade-long war,” Douhan said in a statement following her 12-day visit to Syria.

Douhan said 90 percent of Syria’s population was currently living below the poverty line, with limited access to food, water, electricity, shelter, cooking and heating fuel, transportation and healthcare; and warned that the country was facing a massive brain-drain due to growing economic hardship.

“With more than half of the vital infrastructure either completely destroyed or severely damaged, the imposition of unilateral sanctions on key economic sectors, including oil, gas, electricity, trade, construction and engineering have quashed national income, and undermine efforts towards economic recovery and reconstruction,” she noted.

The UN rights expert said blocking of payments and refusal of deliveries by foreign producers and banks, coupled with sanctions-induced foreign currency reserves, have caused serious shortages in medicines and specialized medical equipment, particularly for chronic and rare diseases.

She also warned that rehabilitation and development of water distribution networks for drinking and irrigation had stalled due to the unavailability of equipment and spare parts, creating serious public health and food security implications.

“In the current dramatic and still-deteriorating humanitarian situation as 12 million Syrians grapple with food insecurity, I urge the immediate lifting of all unilateral sanctions that severely harm human rights and prevent any efforts for early recovery, rebuilding and reconstruction,” Douhan said.

“No reference to good objectives of unilateral sanctions justifies the violation of fundamental human rights. The international community has an obligation of solidarity and assistance to the Syrian people,” she underlined.

Syria has been in the throes of foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. While the Daesh terrorist group was crushed by the Syrian government, the militant groups continue to hold sway in some parts of the country under the patronage of Western powers.

Numerous reports have pointed to the US’ role in transferring Daesh terrorists to the war-ravaged country and even airlifting supplies to the group.

Last year, the US government imposed sweeping economic sanctions against Syria amid the Arab nation’s uphill battle for reconstruction and recovery.

The controversial Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, signed into law by former President Donald Trump, targeted individuals and businesses anywhere in the world that participated either directly or indirectly in Syria’s economy.

Source: Press TV

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Syrian refugee and supporter of Islamic State sentenced to 17 years for plot to bomb Pittsburgh church

November 10, 2022

A Syrian refugee has been sentenced to more than 17 years in what authorities said was a plot to bomb a Christian church in Pittsburgh.

Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 24, was sentenced Tuesday to 17 years and four months on a guilty plea last year to a federal charge of attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State group, a militant extremist organization.

Authorities said Alowemer, who was born in Syria and came to the United States in 2016, had detailed plans in 2019 to bomb the Legacy International Worship Center, a small Christian church on the city’s North Side. Prosecutors said he wanted to inspire other U.S. supporters of the Islamic State group to conduct similar actions.

Alowemer gave someone he thought was a fellow IS supporter instructions about how to build and use explosives in May 2019, but that person was in fact with the FBI, prosecutors said. A month later, they said, he purchased nails and nail polish remover to build an explosive device, they said.

In a June 2019 meeting with an FBI agent and an FBI confidential source, Alowemer gave them maps with arrival and escape routes, and a handwritten, 10-point plan about how he would deliver the explosives in a backpack. He was arrested about a week later.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that U.S. District Judge Marilyn Horan told Alowemer on Tuesday that the case had brought "nothing but tragic impact" on him and his family, as well as the community.

"You knew full well what you were doing," she sad. "All of your actions were knowing, intentional and deliberate."

Prosecutors sought the maximum term of 20 years. The defense argued for an eight-year term, arguing that years of trauma had left Alowemer with post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder as well as survivor's guilt that made him obsessed about what was happening in his homeland.

"At the time of his offense, he was sick, and that sickness contributed to his offense," assistant public defender Andrew Lipson said. "That sickness distorted the world around him."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Soo Song acknowledged that he had endured trauma but said what he planned was not only "an act of terrorism" but had the hallmarks of a hate crime in targeting a Christian church to try to retaliate for actions against ISIS in Nigeria. Other potential targets he identified included classmates and U.S. soldiers, she said.

In court, Alowemer apologized to the church's pastor and congregation as well as the community and the government.

Source: Fox News

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Saudi Arabia considers public offering to fund Mecca megaproject

10 November 2022

Saudi Arabia has asked US investment bank Lazard for ways to fund construction of its $500bn futuristic desert-city Neom, as well as a $27bn megaproject in the holy city of Mecca.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) is considering selling debt from the projects and an initial public offering on the Saudi stock exchange. The sovereign wealth fund is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and has more than $600bn in assets.

Bloomberg first reported Lazard was advising the sovereign wealth fund on Neom.

Neom is a centrepiece of the crown prince's efforts to transform the oil-rich kingdom's economy away from petrodollars.

The project includes a 170km straight-line city, touted to be 33 times the size of New York City, an eight-sided city that floats on water, a ski resort with a folded vertical village, and other eyebrow-raising ideas, such as flying elevators and an urban spaceport.

The project has been moving slowly and there has been little headway on some of the more lavish initiatives such as flying cars. Meanwhile, employees at Neom have complained of a toxic work culture.

Neom CEO Nadhmi al-Nasr once threatened to "pull out a gun and start shooting if he wasn't told who was to blame" for two e-sports companies cancelling a partnership with Neom over human rights concerns.

Mecca megaproject

On Tuesday, Reuters reported Lazard was also developing financing options for Masar, a 1.2 million square metre urban development project in the western part of Mecca.

The project is centred around the construction of a 3,650-metre pedestrian boulevard leading to Al Haram Mosque, flanked on each side by new roads. The development will include retail, commercial, and residential units, with a focus on tourism. A new bus and metro line will also be constructed.

About two million people visit Mecca each year to perform the Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj. Saudi Arabia has hoped that its existing religious tourism industry will give it an edge as it looks to diversify the sector and compete with established regional tourism players such as the UAE and Egypt.

The new project is expected to receive 80 percent of visitors to Mecca as well as more than 60 percent of vehicles arriving from Jeddah.

According to Reuters, Masar was planning an IPO for next year, but the timing may be pushed back as financiers try to determine the value of the project.

Working on Neom and Masar is a coup for Lazard, which has been cultivating the Saudi market since it hired Citigroup’s former chief executive in the kingdom, Wassim al-Khatib, who was a central player in Aramco's record $29.4 bn initial public offering in 2019.

Saudi Arabia is enjoying an economic boom on the back of rising energy prices and business reforms. The IMF predicts Saudi Arabia will have the fastest rate of growth among G20 countries this year.

Unlike previous oil-fuelled upswings, which traditionally saw an increase in handouts to citizens and public salaries, this time round the kingdom is investing in its economic diversification.

Source: Middle East Eye

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Al Azhar Grand Imam hails SCIA Chairman's efforts to hold Bahrain Dialogue Forum

10 Nov 2022

Manama, Nov.10 (BNA): Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA) Chairman Shaikh Abdulrahman bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Khalifa received a cable of thanks from His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb, Sheikh of Al Azhar Al Sharif and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality, hailing efforts to host the Bahrain Dialogue Forum.

HE Dr. Al Tayeb commended the SCIA's role in fostering moderate thought, confronting extremist ideology, supporting coexistence and human acquaintance, and service of Islam and Muslims.

Source: BNA

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Saudi regime forces re-arrest distinguished cleric from Shia-populated Eastern Province

11 November 2022

Saudi security forces have reportedly re-arrested a distinguished Shia scholar in the country’s oil-rich Eastern Province, as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its heavy-handed crackdown on members of the religious community.

The Arabic-language Mirat al-Jazeera news website, citing informed local sources, reported that the forces detained Sheikh Muhammad al-Abbad in al-‘Umran city of al-Ahsa province without a warrant, and took him away to an unknown location.

Sheikh Abbad had been arrested on September 16, 2019. The Supreme Court sentenced him at the time to two and a half years in prison, and slapped a travel ban of the same period against him. He was imprisoned for nearly 3 years before being released last March.

The Shia cleric is known for his strong and courageous stances in defense of citizens' rights, and speaking fearlessly against abuses and misappropriation of organizational power by state authorities.

This comes as activities have warned that the fate of an imprisoned prominent Shia scholar from Eastern Province remains unknown.

They said they had "no information" about the whereabouts of Hashim Muhammad al-Shakhs.

Back in December 2020, members of the General Intelligence Presidency cordoned off the area around the house of Shakhs in the city of al-Ahsa, before breaking in and arresting the cleric.

The sources added that the Saudi regime forces ransacked the house, terrorizing the entire family.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution, and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners, in particular in the Eastern Province.

The province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the region.

The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown, with regime forces increasing security measures across the province.

Ever since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has arrested dozens of activists, bloggers, intellectuals, and others perceived as political opponents, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnations of the crackdown.

As a result, Islamic scholars have been executed, women’s rights campaigners have been put behind bars and tortured, and freedom of expression, association, and belief continue to be denied.

Source: Press TV

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Hezbollah to punish Israel for any foolishness on maritime deal: Official

11 November 2022

The Deputy Secretary General of Lebanon’s Hezbollah Sheikh Naim Qassem has warned that the resistance movement will punish the Israeli regime and bring it back to its senses in case of any foolishness in terms of the maritime borders demarcation agreement with Lebanon.

The second-in-command of the resistance movement reiterated on Thursday that Hezbollah is ready to confront the Israeli regime, and it is the strength and unity in Lebanon that has allowed the crisis-hit country to deal with its problems as well as guarantee the demarcation of its maritime borders.

“If Israel creates an issue in the maritime border demarcation agreement, Hezbollah has enough power to punish and prevent any foolishness [of this regime]," he said.

On another note, Sheikh Qassem, deputy of Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah pointed out the US oppresses all the people of the world.

Sputnik quoted Sheikh Qassem as saying, “We will never accept to be under US command or obey its orders. The coming future will prove that the US will not be able to implement its plans in a region where resistance is present and there are nations that do not accept American hegemony.”

He stated that the US is confronting Hezbollah due to Hezbollah's struggle with Israel, explaining “Israel was created by the West to be its tool and through it to dominate the future and destiny of this region.”

“In breach of human rights and humanity, the West uses Israel as a tool whenever it wants to achieve its criminal goals without having to pay direct costs,” he noted.

Commenting on the Israeli regime’s elections, Sheikh Qassem emphasized “these elections will not change anything. There is one problem and that is; there is an occupier in our region called the Israeli regime. Therefore, it does not matter who is the prime minister.”

Sayyed Nasrallah's deputy considered Benjamin Netanyahu's threats to be nothing more than “a sound bomb” that has no effect.

On Lebanon’s future president, Sheikh Qassem said the president to-be “must be a nationalist and must reject any foreign meddling in Lebanon’s affairs. He should not be under US control.”

'Deal does not end tensions'

Meanwhile, US mediator in the file of the maritime border dispute Amos Hochstein said on Thursday that the maritime agreement does not resolve the pending disputes between Lebanon and Israel and does not end tensions between Hezbollah and the Israeli regime.

However, he claimed that the deal with enhance security in the region.

In remarks to Al-Jazeera television, Hochstein said he is confident that the Israeli regime will continue to abide by the sea border demarcation agreement with Lebanon despite Benjamin Netanyahu’s return to power.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promise to “neutralize” the maritime deal made with Lebanon a few weeks before he was tapped to form a new cabinet in the Israeli apartheid regime.

He underscored that gas companies will start working in Lebanon and that foreign investments will flow into the country to boost its prosperity.

Experts believe this agreement would put Lebanon on the map of oil exporters.

Lebanon’s outgoing President Michel Aoun stressed in a statement that demarcating the southern maritime border is a technical matter that has no political implications and therefore no diplomatic bonds.

Source: Press TV

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Lebanese MPs fail for fifth time to elect president

10 November, 2022

Lebanon’s divided parliament failed Thursday to elect a new president for the fifth time, with the post vacant since the mandate of Michel Aoun expired last month.

Michel Moawad, whose father Rene Moawad served as president, was the frontrunner in the 128-seat parliament with 44 votes on Thursday, still far short of the two-thirds majority – or 86 ballots – needed to win.

Parliament is split between supporters of the Lebanese Hezbollah and its opponents, neither having a clear majority.

Hezbollah rejects the candidacy of Moawad, who is seen as close to the United States, and calls for a “compromise candidate” to be found.

In the meantime, most lawmakers from its bloc spoilt their ballots.

“Neither camp can impose a candidate, A compromise must be found and an understanding reached on a candidate acceptable to everyone,” deputy speaker Elias Bou Saab told AFP in an interview on Tuesday.

Aoun’s own election in 2016 followed a more than two-year vacancy at the presidential palace as lawmakers made 45 failed attempts to reach consensus on a candidate.

But this year’s vacancy comes as Lebanon is gripped by an unprecedented financial crisis that has pushed much of the population into poverty since 2019.

During a vacancy, the powers of the president fall to the cabinet.

Source: Al Arabiya

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UAE president invites Israel's Netanyahu to visit Abu Dhabi

Said Amouri  



Israel's former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who won the last Knesset elections, has said UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed invited him to visit Abu Dhabi to strengthen bilateral ties.

“I have now spoken with my friend, the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, and we have agreed to further promote relations after the historic peace agreement we reached together,” Netanyahu tweeted on Thursday.

“Sheikh bin Zayed invited me to visit his country so that we can advance our relations together. I thank him for the conversation and the excellent relationship between us!” he added.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan congratulated Netanyahu "on his victory in the recent Knesset elections, stressing the UAE's keenness to strengthen positive partnerships in the region,” according to the state-run Emirates News Agency.

Netanyahu and his right-wing bloc secured an outright majority in the 120-seat Knesset, allowing him to form the upcoming government.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Stories of trauma, resilience spotlighted at Palestinian film festival

11 November, 2022

The fate of a Palestinian girl forced into exile during the 1948 war of Israel’s creation remains unknown. But her story took on new life in a film about her experience that captured the big screen at this year’s Palestine Cinema Days festival.

Hundreds of viewers flocked to the closing ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday to watch “Farha,” a coming-of-age feature inspired by true events from the conflict more than 70 years ago.

In a mass event known to Palestinians as the “Nakba,” or “catastrophe”, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes during that war, leaving scars that remain raw generations later.

“This is a very special moment for all of us, to have the film screened in Palestine to a Palestinian audience,” said Deema Azar, one of the film’s producers, told Reuters.

The Jordanian director and screenwriter, Darin J. Sallam, based the plot on a woman her mother encountered decades ago at the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, Azar said. Her mother later lost touch with the woman and it is unclear where she is now or if she is still alive.

The team sensed that building their film around the Nakba would be challenging, Azar said, but they carried on “because we knew it was an important story to tell”.

The festival, now in its ninth year, was organized by Film Lab: Palestine, which cultivates cinema culture and supports Palestinian filmmakers. It launched on November 1 with the 2023 Oscar-nominated “Mediterranean Fever,” a drama by Maha Haj from Nazareth exploring mental health and masculinity.

‘Preserve our narrative’

The week-long program drew thousands of guests and showcased 58 films across the Israeli-occupied West Bank, blockaded Gaza as well as Israel in cities that are separated by checkpoints and travel restrictions hindering many from leaving their own areas.

“Unfortunately, our audience cannot travel freely,” said Hanna Atallah, Film Lab’s founder. “In order not to deny audiences in other cities enjoying these films, we decided to go to them.”

The goal of the festival, which has been drawing new followers each year, is “to preserve our narrative and see how others are dealing with their own issues through the language of cinema,” Atallah said.

For Hazem Abu Hilal, 38, a social and political activist from Ramallah who attended the festival for the first time this year, “Farha” managed to animate a personal history that he is well versed in.

“We’ve heard the stories but these scenes made them seem more real,” he said.

But before the hall fell dark and silent for “Farha,” the crowd roared with applause as the winners of this year’s Sunbird competition, celebrating film productions related to Palestinians, were announced.

Mashal Kawasmi, 28, who took home the top $10,000 prize in the production category for “The Flag,” said hearing his family and colleagues cheer when his name was called was “the most heartwarming feeling.”

“It means that I am getting somewhere, that someone believes in the story,” the first-time director from Jerusalem said as filmmakers and guests snapped final photos on the red carpet.

“Our voices deserve to be heard and this festival is helping us do that.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran Criticizes G-7 Members for Classifying Terrorism as Good, Bad


Kana'ani on Wednesday strongly condemned and rejected a recent statement by the G-7 over the latest developments in Iran.

Foreign ministers of the G-7, which consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain, and the US, issued a statement at the end of their meeting in Germany in early November, condemning Iran for what they called a crackdown on rallies that followed the death of Mahsa Amini. The statement also condemned Iran for what they described as “destabilizing activities” and criticized Tehran for the alleged transfer of weapons to Russia for use in the Ukraine war.

In response, the Iranian diplomat noted that all those allegations are "unfounded and fabricated", adding that the G7 statement violates the UN Charter.

"The statement practically encourages riots and terrorist attacks in Iran, and that those issuing the statement should be held accountable over their stance," he continued.

Kana'ani said that the majority of the G-7 member states refused to even condemn the October terrorist attack in the Southern city of Shiraz that left several people dead.

"It shows the G-7 members divide terrorism to good and bad, which by itself is indicative of contradiction in their words and actions," he added.

At least 15 pilgrims, including a woman and two children, were martyred and 19 others wounded in the terrorist attack on the famous shrine.

Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) terror group has claimed responsibility for the assault in a statement on their telegram channel.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Thousands of Palestinians perform Friday dawn prayers at al-Aqsa mosque after Israeli settlers' attack

11 November 2022

Thousands of Palestinians worshipers reached al-Aqsa Mosque early morning on Friday in occupied East al-Quds and performed Friday dawn prayer in its courtyards amid strict Israeli measures and following attacks by illegal Israeli settlers the night before.

Palestinians started to flock from the different surrounding cities since early dawn hours to make sure they make it on time to the congregation. Israeli occupation police and strict checkpoints were deployed in the streets of al-Quds in an attempt to hamper their arrival to the holy site, according to Quds Press. Nevertheless, several thousands of them managed to reach the mosque.

Meanwhile, dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the complex on Thursday, local sources said. The illegal settlers forced their way into the holy site through the Bab al-Maghariba under tight protection of several groups of Israeli soldiers and special police forces, and carried out provocative acts in order to infuriate Palestinians.

Illegal settler incursions under police protection to the al-Aqsa mosque have been on the rise, which has led to daily confrontations with Palestinians at the mosque, with many injured, arrested and killed. Palestinians have said that their continued presence at al-Aqsa, a holy place of Worshiping for Muslims, is imperative.

It has been a major flash-point between the Israeli occupation and Palestinians for decades, and was the epicenter of the 2000-2005 Palestinian Intifada, also known as the uprising.

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.

Back in May 2021, frequent acts of violence against Palestinian worshipers at the al-Aqsa Mosque led to an 11-day war between Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli regime, during which the regime killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.

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.

Source: Press TV

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Iran Develops Hypersonic Ballistic Missile Able to Overcome All Air Defence Shields


Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Brig. Gen. Hajizadeh noted Iran has managed to develop cutting-edge hypersonic ballistic missile which is capable of penetrating advanced missile interception systems and hit the targets.

The top commander stated that the missile, newly manufactured by Iranian experts, is very fast and able to maneuver both in the space and outer space.

“The missile can target the enemy’s anti-missile systems and is a great generational leap in the missile field,” he added.

“I don’t think any technology would be found for tens of years capable of countering it,” the IRGC commander declared.

Brigadier General Hajizadeh went on to say that the Iranian ballistic missile targets the enemy’s anti-missile systems, describing it as a huge leap in the development of a new generation of missiles.

Iranian officials praises the development of the country's defense capabilities in recent decades, and stress that Tehran's defense power is not negotiable.

Military comanders say Iran stands among the world's top states manufacturing drones and precision-striking missiles, and add different types of home-made military equipment are favored by world powers.

The Islamic Republic’s military doctrine holds that the country’s armed capability solely serves defensive purposes.

Iranian military experts and technicians have in recent years made substantial headway in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient in the weaponry sphere.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran Warns of Appropriate, Decisive Response to Germany's Meddling


“Provocative, interventionist and undiplomatic stances don’t signal sophistication and wisdom," Amir Abdollahian wrote on Twitter addressed to Baerbock on Thursday.

He warned that undermining old ties between the two countries has long-term consequences, and added that Berlin can choose between engagement to address shared challenges or pursue confrontation.

“Our response will be proportionate and firm,” the Iranian diplomat pointed out.

On Wednesday, Baerbock voiced support for the recent unrest in Iran, noting the EU will seek to adopt new sanctions against Tehran next week.

Protests erupted in several cities across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who fainted at a police station in mid-September and days later was pronounced dead at a hospital. The demonstrations soon turned violent.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization announced that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iranian officials blame Western countries for orchestrating the riots to destabilize the country.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the deadly riots, saying they were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.

“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” he added.

In recent days, Iranian officials have blamed the United States, the European Unions, and several Western states for meddling in Iran's internal affairs over the death of Mahsa. They advised the US and its allies against "opportunism and instrumentalization of the issue of human rights" by misusing the incident.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iranian President: Cooperation Among Independent States Response to US Destabilisation Strategy


In a meeting with Russia’s visiting Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in Tehran on Wednesday, Rayeesi noted that the improvement of regional cooperation is the best way to create peace and stability, urging Tehran and Moscow to boost their strategic and economic relations.

He said Iran and Russia are determined to improve the level of strategic relations in various fields, adding that the ties are growing and have a clear prospect.

"Cooperation among independent nations is the most decisive answer to the sanctions and destabilization policy of the United States and its allies," Rayeesi told Patrushev.

The Iranian president once again reiterated the Islamic Republic’s core policy of opposing any war, stressing, "The expansion of the scope and escalation of war is a cause of concern for all countries.”

Patrushev, for his part, said Russia is working very actively to develop cooperation with Tehran in the political, commercial, energy, agricultural and transit fields.

He added that the Iran-Russia Joint Economic Commission is following up on the implementation of the agreements reached between the two countries’ presidents.

The senior Russian security official expressed hope that Tehran and Moscow would expand relations in regional circles and organizations.

He emphasized that the creation of a multipolar world would be beneficial to all countries in the world.

Since Tehran and Moscow enjoy common interests in economic, military, and security affairs as well as friendly relationship pursue common policies on regional and international developments especially when it comes to taking stances in the face of the United States’ unilateral and interventionist strategies.

Iranian officials say Tehran and Moscow, both subjected to tough economic sanctions by the Western countries, are determined to deepen their economic cooperation, adding that there are great capacities for increasing the volume of bilateral trade.

Iran and Russia have grown exchane of visits by officials to speed up expansion of relations in recent months.

In late May, Iranian and Russian officials in a meeting in Tehran inked 3 important Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) to further develop the two countries' energy and banking ties.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in June visited Iran for talks on boosting trade and energy cooperation.

During a visit to Moscow in late August, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian discussed the status of the relations with Lavrov, including Tehran's commercial, economic, transit, defensive, and security relations with Moscow.

The Iranian diplomat noted that Tehran and Moscow enjoy abundant capacities for expansion of ties and that a cooperation document of the two countries will be put into force in the near future after being examined in the parliaments of both countries.

Lavrov stated that Moscow-Tehran comprehensive document of relations is in the final stage, and added that the relationship between Iran and Russia is on track to enhance to strategic levels.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Military Chief: Using Iranian Drones in Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan Dispute Unacceptable to Tehran


Maj. Gen. Bagheri held a telephone conversation with the Kyrgyz Defense Minister General Lieutenant Baktybek Bekbolotov on Wednesday.

The chief of staff of Iran's Armed Forces noted that Tehran is ready to peacefully resolve the border dispute between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Pointing to the issue of delivering Iranian drones to Tajikistan, he stated that “Ababil 2” drones have only reconnaissance capability and are not equipped with weapons and offensive equipment.

"The Iranian Armed Forces have always emphasized that the Tajik Armed Forces should not use 'Ababil 2' drones in the border disputes against Tajikistan," the top commander stressed.

General Lieutenant Bekbolotov, for his part, said political relations between Iran and the Kyrgyz Republic are based on bilateral relations and trust.

He added that the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan is ready to develop cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In mid-September, fresh clashes erupted in joint border areas between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Both sides accused each other of using tanks, mortars, rocket artillery, and assault drones to attack outposts and nearby settlements.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have announced that tens of their citizens have been killed and tens of thousands evacuated from the conflict zones.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iranian Envoy Calls on IAEA to Stay Away from Powers' Grip


Iran's envoy made the remarks at the UN General Assembly plenary meeting on the report of the IAEA for 2021 on Wednesday.

"The IAEA’s duty to verify member states’ activities and concerns over nuclear proliferation should not turn into a hurdle in the way of peacefully using nuclear energy as an inalienable right of the member states," he said.

Speaking about Iran’s cooperation with the UN nuclear agency, Iravani stated that no issue has remained regarding safeguards agreement between Tehran and the IAEA.

He noted that Tehran has dispatched a delegation to Austria's capital to negotiate and reinforce cooperation with the nuclear agency.

"The IAEA should act as an impartial, independent and professional body, staying away from control of powers so that all countries can enjoy the technical support of the agency in developing their peaceful nuclear programs," the diplomat stressed.

"Iran has remained committed to its safeguards’ obligations, and is ready to fully implement the nuclear deal if other parties fulfill their obligations fully," he added, referring to the 2018 US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and the imposition of sanctions against Iran

Speaking about the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists by the Zionist regime in the past years, the senior diplomat called on international organizations, including the UN, to condemn the regime’s crimes.

He also blasted the Zionist regime for refusing to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and stated that the IAEA should deal with this issue without taking sides.

Iranian officials blame the IAEA for making excessive demands beyond the scope of the Safeguards agreement from Tehran, and blast the nuclear wathchdog for adopting political approach over technical issues.

Iran has always had full cooperation with the IAEA and allowed it to visit the country’s nuclear sites, but calls the nuclear agency's approach unconstructive and destructive.

Back in September, Eslami said the IAEA's reports confirm that there is no deviation in Iran's nuclear program.

The IAEA, under the pressure of the Western parties and the Zionist regime, has always made claims about undeclared nuclear activities in Iran, which, of course, are not consistent with the records of cooperation between Iran and the nuclear agency, the nuclear chief noted.

"According to the repeated reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency, there are no deviations in Iran's nuclear program, so they cannot advance their goals by adhering to Mob Rule Ochlocracy," he added.

In June, Eslami said that heightened propaganda against Tehran's peaceful nuclear program, including the recent resolution at the UN nuclear watchdog, is part of the Western states' maximum pressure policy against the Iranian nation.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran Stresses Necessity for Political Settlement of Russia-Ukraine Crisis


Speaking in a phone conversation with Italy's Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani on Wednesday, Amir Abdollahian noted that Iran's "principled and unchangeable" policy concerning the conflict rests on "the need for its political resolution and cessation of the war".

"Tehran would, therefore, continue its efforts towards advancement of the political process that could spell an end to the warfare," Iran's foreign minister concluded.

The senior diplomat also thanked Tajani over Italy's condemnation of the late October terror attack on a popular Shia shrine in the Southern Iranian Fars Province that led to the death of 15 pilgrims.

Tajani, for his part, underlined Tehran's role in the enhancement of peace and stability in the West Asia region.

The top Italian diplomat also addressed the issue of the ongoing European Union-mediated talks that are aimed at potential restoration of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world countries.

He vowed that his country would "do its utmost" so the negotiations would lead to an agreement that meets the interests of all the concerned parties.

Iranian officials have emphasized that Tehran takes no sides in the bloody conflict and avoids any steps that may result in an escalation of the crisis. They reiterated their opposition to war between the two countries.

Iranian diplomats reiterated that Tehran has not provided Moscow with weapons for the war in Ukraine, and cautioned Ukraine to be careful about extreme European politicians' attitude towards Tehran-Kiev dispute.

Tehran has also asked Kiev to submit evidence for the use of Iranian drones by Russia in the war, and cautioned that arming Moscow or Kyiv will prolong the conflict between the two neighbors.

In Late February, President Vladimir Putin stated in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.

The US, the EU, the UK and a number of other states have imposed sanctions against Russian legal entities and individuals. They also increased supplies of weapons to the Ukrainian authorities. Russia has officially become the most sanctioned country in the world, surpassing Iran, Syria and North Korea, after launching a military operation against Ukraine.

Back in September, Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi cautioned that the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a serious threat to the stability and security of nations.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran warns of ‘firm’ response to threatened EU sanctions

10 November, 2022

Iran on Thursday warned of a “proportionate and firm” response after Germany said the European Union was seeking to adopt new sanctions against it over a deadly crackdown on protests.

“Provocative, interventionist and undiplomatic stances don't signal sophistication and wisdom,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian tweeted.

“Undermining old ties has long-term consequences. Germany can choose engagement to address shared challenges -- or confrontation. Our response will be proportionate and firm,” he added, without elaborating.

Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Wednesday that the European Union was “working flat out on the next package of sanctions” against Iran in response to its crackdown on the protests ignited by Mahsa Amini's death.

“We won't let up,” she tweeted. “We stand with the men and women of Iran, not only today, but as long as it is necessary.”

EU foreign ministers are due to meet in Brussels on Monday.

The 27-nation bloc had already imposed sanctions in mid-October against Iran's “morality police” and 11 officials including the telecommunications minister.

Amini died in the custody of the morality police on September 16, three days after falling into a coma following her arrest in Tehran for allegedly breaching the Islamic republic's hijab dress rules for women.

Dozens of people, mainly protesters but also members of the security forces, have been killed since the start of the protests.

Source: Al Arabiya

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‘Negligence’ to blame for state-run Turkey mine blast that killed 42: Police

10 November, 2022

A blast that killed 42 people at a Turkish state-run coal mine in mid-October was caused by a “chain of negligence,” concluded a police report seen by AFP on Thursday.

The blast ripped through the mine near the small coal town of Amasra on northwest Turkey’s Black Sea coast on October 14.

The concentration of methane in the mine exceeded the warning threshold of one percent on 85 occasions on the day of the accident, the report said.

A mine employee said he was unable to reach the miners to warn them in the minutes before the explosion, citing telecommunication dysfunction and understaffing.

“Upon review of the overall operation (of the mine), it is possible to speak of a chain of negligence,” said the 240-page police report.

Failures in the ventilation system may have led to a build-up of methane gas.

A new ventilation system was supposed to have been delivered in March, but the contracted supplier requested a delay, which expired on November 6.

“The prevalence of rule violations and failure of supervision have long allowed a lack of discipline in the company, generating apathy, especially in occupational health and safety,” the report said.

The authors interviewed a total of 350 people, including survivors of the accident, mine employees and managers, and families of the victims.

Eight people have been formally charged in connection with the disaster, including the manager of the mine and several of his deputies.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged a full inquiry into the blast, saying those responsible would not “be spared” but has also said he believes such incidents are the result of fate.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran sets up IAEA visit this month to give answers on probe

10 November, 2022

Iran has agreed to a visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency this month to provide answers the UN watchdog and its 35-nation board have long called for on the origin of uranium particles found at three sites, an IAEA report on Thursday seen by Reuters said.

Iran has yet to provide new material, however, and its offer came before next week’s quarterly meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors at which diplomats say they expect Western powers to push for a resolution calling on Iran to cooperate, a move that Tehran usually bristles at.

“The Agency has reiterated to Iran that at this meeting it expects to start receiving from Iran technically credible explanations on these issues, including access to locations and material, as well as the taking of samples as appropriate,” one of two confidential IAEA reports on Iran sent to member states on Thursday ahead of the board meeting said.

The issue of the unexplained uranium particles has become an obstacle in wider talks to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, since Tehran now seeks a closure of the IAEA’s investigation as part of those negotiations, Western powers say.

The IAEA has said it will not yield to political pressure and its job is to account for all nuclear material. The fact material that has not been accounted for appears to have been present at these sites is therefore an issue it must keep looking into until it is resolved.

The (IAEA) Director General (Rafael Grossi) is seriously concerned that there has still been no progress in clarifying and resolving the outstanding safeguards issues,” the report said, referring to the uranium traces.

“In that context, he takes note of Iran’s proposal to hold a further technical meeting with senior Agency officials in Tehran before the end of the month, but stresses that this meeting should be aimed at effectively clarifying and resolving those issues.”

The 2015 deal restricted Iran’s atomic activities in exchange for relief from Western sanctions. In 2018, then-President Donald Trump ordered a US withdrawal from the deal, reimposing US sanctions against Tehran. Iran responded by breaching and going well beyond the deal’s restrictions.

In recent months Iran has installed hundreds more advanced centrifuges, machines that enrich uranium, at its underground plants at Natanz and Fordow. The move increases the pace at which it can enrich.

The 2015 deal only lets Iran produce enriched uranium with more basic, first-generation centrifuges.

The other IAEA report, issued on Thursday and also seen by Reuters, showed Iran’s stock of enriched uranium had shrunk slightly, decreasing by around 267 kg to an estimated 3,673.7 kg, still far beyond the 202.8 kg allowed by the deal.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Freedom Flotilla coalition prepares to break illegal Gaza siege again

11 November 2022

The Freedom Flotilla Coalition is set to challenge the Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, in light of the worsening situation and the increasingly brutal repression in occupied Palestine.

Zaher Birawi, president of the International Committee for Breaking the Siege on Gaza declared that the Freedom Flotilla Coalition will soon be back to sailing in order to “break the illegal, immoral and inhuman siege of Gaza,” following a halt of activities due to the corona virus lockdown.

Birawi made his comments following meetings held by the Coalition on the 6th and 7th of November to discuss its plan to resume efforts to break the siege in the coming year of 2023, especially the naval blockade.

“Our goals remain full human rights for all Palestinians, and in particular, freedom of movement within historic Palestine and the right of return,” said Birawi, who is also founding member of the Freedom Flotilla.

Assuring that the sole permanent solution is the total removal of the siege, he added “at the time some of our partner organizations are actively involved with important programs addressing the most urgent needs of Palestinian children traumatized by the blockade and murderous Israeli attacks on Gaza, we recognize that a lasting solution requires an end to the blockade.”

The meeting was attended by representatives of the international coalition in Sweden, Norway, France, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Malaysia, Turkey, Canada, South Africa and the US, in addition to the International Committee to Break the Siege on Gaza. British and international pro-Palestine solidarity organizations (including Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB), popular conference for Palestinians Abroad, Miles of Smiles) also took part in the meetings.

Several vessels have tried to break the siege on the Gaza Strip as part of the Freedom Flotilla, however Israeli occupation forces confronted them and prevented them from reaching Gaza's shores.

In 2010, Israel brutally raided the Mavi Marmara ship bound for Gaza and left a dozen activists killed. The attack occurred on a flotilla that comprised six civilian ships and sent the Ankara-Tel Aviv ties into a tailspin.

Israel has enforced a crippling blockade on some two million Palestinians in Gaza for supporting Hamas movement in parliamentary elections.

Source: Press TV

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Tunisia guard swipes 180,000 Euros as banker visit plumber

10 November, 2022

A Tunisian hired as a security guard despite a long criminal record is suspected of fleeing with 180,000 euros as the banker he was accompanying made a detour to meet his plumber.

The unfortunate banker had been tasked with delivering the cash, a mix of dollars and euros, to another branch of his bank, said a court official in Manouba, the region of Tunis where the robbery happened.

The banker was accompanied by a driver and the security guard, but when he received a call from his plumber, the banker requested that they make a detour to his home, where he got out of the vehicle -- leaving the bag.

When he returned, he found that the guard charged with protecting the delivery had given the driver the slip and fled with the cash, Sondos Nouioui, Manouba court spokeswoman, told Tunisian media.

The driver and the banker have been detained.

Source: Al Arabiya

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US pushes for elections and stability in Libya

10 November, 2022

The US special envoy to Libya, Richard Norland, said on Thursday he shared the frustration of Libyans over delays to the country’s long-awaited elections.

Speaking at a news conference at the headquarters of the Libyan High National Elections Committee in Tripoli, Norland urged all parties to move swiftly towards producing “a successful outcome.”

On the economy, he said oil revenues in Libya amounted to between 100 million and 150 million US dollars per day, and that the money is accumulating in Libya’s bank account abroad.

“We are seeing a greater interest than ever in trying to come up with a mechanism whereby Libyans can agree on how that money should be spent and how to have an accountability and oversight mechanism for transparent management of those funds,” he added.

He also discussed the country’s security situation with the National Unity Government, the Presidential Council and the State.

“Libyans truly want to see progress on the issue of departure foreign mercenaries, foreign fighters and foreign forces,” he added.

Oil-rich Libya is split by rival administrations, one in the east, backed by military commander Khalifa Hifter, and a UN-supported administration in the west, in capital of Tripoli.

Each side is supported by different militias and foreign powers.

Libya’s current political crisis stems from the failure to hold elections in December 2021 and the refusal of Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah, who led a transitional government in Tripoli, to step down.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Ethiopia says it controls 70% of Tigray region in wake of peace deal

Mohammed Dhaysane



Ethiopia’s government on Friday announced that its forces now control 70% of the country’s northern Tigray regions in the wake of a peace deal.

Redwan Hussein, national security adviser to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, said that the Ethiopian National Defense Force took control of most of the Tigray region and that humanitarian aid is flowing “like no other times.”

He said the aid is also reaching areas not yet held by the Ethiopian National Defense Force.

“Thirty-five trucks of food and 3 trucks of medicine arrived in (the city of) Shire. Flights are allowed. Services are being reconnected,” Hussein said on Twitter.

He added that the recent agreement between the government and the Tigray rebels provided opportunities to enhance services.

On Nov, 2, peace talks between Ethiopia's government and the Tigray rebels bore fruit, ending a two-year war that killed over half a million people and displaced many others.

Getechow Reda, adviser to the Tigray president, speaking days after the peace agreement was reached, said everything they do, every move they make, is driven by the need to ensure the interests of the people of Tigray.

“Peace is what our people need more than anything. Whether we will deliver on our promise in a manner that satisfies our people, time will tell,” he said on Twitter.

“If a peace agreement can ensure our survival, why not give it a try?” he added.

The Tigray conflict has also displaced millions more since November 2020.

There have been allegations that Ethiopian forces committed atrocities during the conflict, claims are denied by Addis Ababa.

In a report released on Oct. 29, the UN said that 2.75 million people in Ethiopia are internally displaced and 12.5 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Kenyan court drops $60M corruption case of deputy president

Andrew Wasike



A Kenyan court on Thursday dropped a $60 million corruption case against Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, citing insufficient evidence.

Anti-corruption Magistrate Victor Wakulile also rebuked the prosecution, saying that Kenya’s judicial system should not be treated as a “doormat.”

Gachagua was among four people who were charged with corruption in July 2021, before he became the deputy president. They were all released on bail in August last year.

Wakulie said that they may be rearrested if any evidence against them is acquired by the court in the future.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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