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Islamic World News ( 10 Aug 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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SC Grants Nupur Sharma Interim Protection from “Coercive Action”; Clubs FIRs across Different States for Remarks on the Prophet

New Age Islam News Bureau

11 August 2022

 

Suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma

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• Ulema Resolve to Counter Disinformation Campaign against Pak Army: PM’s Special Representative

• Alleged Fourth Islamic State ‘Beatle’ Aine Davis Arrested In UK on Terror Charges

• Iraq Cleric Al-Sadr Calls On Judiciary to Dissolve Parliament by End of Next Week

• US’s Afghan Adjustment Act Allows Afghan Evacuees to Apply for Permanent Status

 

India

• Mosque Located For Nearly 40 Years on Temple Land Faces Threat of Demolition in Chennai

• Chamarajpet Police, Muslim Leaders Hold Peace Meeting

• Big success, say Kashmir police after gunning down 3 LeT terrorists, including wanted Lateef Rather, in Budgam encounter

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Pakistan

• Whosoever Talks Against Army Is an Enemy of Pakistan and Islam: Punjab Chief Minister

• Don’t spread fake news on state institutions — Pakistan watchdog warns in diktat to media

• Pakistan: Protest continues in North Waziristan for 23rd day against target killings

• Ambassador Masood Khan Thanks US Leadership for Standing with Muslims

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Europe

• European lawmakers press for facts on Israeli spyware firms in Greek Cypriot administration

• UK accidentally leaks personal data on Afghan teacher in hiding from Taliban

• Alaska Airlines faces discrimination lawsuit over removal of Muslim passengers from flight

• Pro-Palestine activists in UK urge govt. to introduce anti-Israel sanctions

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Arab World

• Iraq’s Constitution Is Causing a Cycle of Dysfunctionality

• Islamic State leader ‘blows himself up’ in Syria

• Order to seize Hezbollah-allied Lebanon MPs’ property over port blast

• Mass displacement of civilians from YPG/PKK-held areas in Syria: NGO

• Turkish forces 'neutralize' 9 YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Syria

• Saudi charity KSrelief launches medical program combatting blindness in Bangladesh

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North America

• Shock, shame among some Muslims as Afghan accused of New Mexico murders

• A 'primary suspect' in the killings of Muslim men in Albuquerque makes his first court appearance

• Archbishop mourns killings of Muslim men in New Mexico

• American-Egyptian man convicted of murder for killing two teenage daughters

• China delays bid by US and India to sanction Pakistan-based JeM militant at UN

• US uncovers Iran ‘plot’ to kill ex-White House official John Bolton

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South Asia

• Former Afghan President Karzai Says Taliban Seeks US’s Trust but Needs Afghan People’s First

• More Than 70 Economists Ask Biden to Release Afghan Central Bank Funds

• Afghanistan: Two dead, 9 injured following clash between two families

• One year into Taliban rule- misery and disease conquer Afghanistan

• Taliban fighters swap guns for books as hundreds return to school 

• China delays bid by US and India to sanction Pakistan militant at UN

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Mideast

• IRGC Commander Vows to Continue Arming Palestinian Factions

• Iran parliament speaker commends Islamic Jihad on victory in latest Gaza war

• Despite truce, Israeli forces kill commander, three other Palestinians

• Minister: Iran, Russia to Launch Production Line of Khayyam Satellite

• Iran's Human Rights Chief Decries Global Inaction on Israeli Aggression against Palestinians

• Iranians Strongly Condemn Israeli Massacre of Gazans

• Israel 'concerned' over Iran-Russia space cooperation

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Africa

• 42 Malian Soldiers Killed In Suspected Jihadist Attacks

• Tunisian Administrative Court Suspends President’s Dismissal of 50 Judges: Lawyer

• 8 killed, more than 800 prisoners escape after terror attack in Congo

• Algeria says keen to develop ties with Türkiye

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Southeast Asia

• Ex-Navy Chief Rubbishes Claims 2017 LCS Launch Was To Deceive Public

• Too soon to decide on targeted subsidies, says Tengku Zafrul

• MACC’s report led to probe on ministers, civil servants, says witness

• Loke’s stance on joining forces a ‘recognition’ of Umno’s strength, says Ahmad

• Japan provides $3m aid for makeshift clinics in Yemen

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/nupur-interim-firs-prophet-sc/d/127695

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SC Grants Nupur Sharma Interim Protection from “Coercive Action”; Clubs FIRs across Different States for Remarks on the Prophet

 

Suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma

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By: Express News Service | New Delhi

August 11, 2022

THE Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that all existing and future FIRs against suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her remarks on the Prophet should be clubbed together and transferred to the Delhi Police.

The bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala also extended interim protection from any coercive action to Sharma till the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Delhi Police completes its investigation.

Multiple FIRs have been filed against Sharma, across different states including Delhi, West Bengal and Maharashtra, for her remarks on the Prophet during a TV show on May 26.

On July 1, the bench had declined to entertain Sharma’s plea for clubbing the FIRs against her, and had reprimanded her, saying she has a “loose tongue” and is “single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country”. But on July 19, the bench had granted her interim protection from “coercive action”, and clarified that it “never wanted” Sharma to go to “every court” to seek relief in the cases.

“Since this court has already taken cognizance of a serious threat to the life and liberty of the petitioner, and specific instances in relation thereto have been cited in our previous order dated July 19, 2022, besides those contained in the additional affidavit filed by the petitioner today, we direct that all the FIRs…be transferred and clubbed for the purpose of investigation by Delhi Police,” the bench said on Wednesday.

Sharma’s counsel, Senior Advocate Maninder Singh, told the bench that the petitioner had come to know about two more FIRs filed against her. “The most important consideration is threat to life,” he submitted, and urged the court to club all the FIRs with the one registered in Delhi.

Appearing for West Bengal, Senior Advocate Menaka Guruswamy said the FIR registered in Maharashtra was the first one in which Sharma was named as an accused.

However, considering the threats pointed out by Sharma, the court granted her relief, and asked the Delhi Police to ensure that the FIR in Maharashtra and the one filed by its IFSO unit are investigated together, and the other FIRs are clubbed with these.

Referring to the storm over Sharma’s remarks, Guruswamy urged the court to set up an SIT to probe the matter. “…There have been various politicians on either side who have come out in support. May I suggest the constitution of a joint SIT with members from different forces,” she said.

But the bench said that “since IFSO of Delhi Police appears to be a specialised agency, it shall be appreciated if all the FIRs are investigated by the said unit”.

“The IFSO, as a specialised investigating agency, shall be at liberty to collect… any information if so required for the purpose of reaching a logical conclusion,” it said.

Rejecting West Bengal’s request that the investigation be monitored by the SC, Justice Surya Kant said: “Monitoring by the court of investigation of an FIR… even as a High Court judge, I have never appreciated it, because it puts undue and undesirable pressure on the investigative agency. Investigative agencies should have complete faith, trust and independence, and dispassionate atmosphere for investigation”.

The bench said the directions “shall also extend to any other FIR/ complaint which may be registered/ entertained against the petitioner… in respect to the same subject matter… and in that event, the investigation of the FIR or complaint to be registered in future shall also stand transferred to the IFSO unit of the Delhi Police for the purpose of investigation”.

On Sharma’s plea that the FIRs be quashed, the court said she should approach the Delhi High Court.

Guruswamy pointed out that the court had rejected Sharma’s plea earlier. “We would have agreed but for the circumstances that led to our order of July 19. It says ‘petitioner has now filed miscellaneous application… pointing out, inter alia, that it has become nearly impossible for her to avail the alternative remedy granted by this Court and that there is an imminent necessity for this Court to intervene and protect her life and liberty as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. In support of her plea, the petitioner has averred in the miscellaneous application that after the order dated 01.07.2022 passed by this Court, various subsequent events have occurred…’ Today’s affidavit again mentions that. This is the reason that compelled or persuaded us to intervene and give it a kind of a second thought… for limited purposes,” the bench said.

Guruswamy argued that no new circumstance had arisen after the last order and said that “in terms of the threat, we will give whatever security they need. But the problem here is that they are forum shopping”.

“Let’s not create a situation where you are under stress, the entire system is under stress, the states are under stress, the petitioner is under stress,” the court said.

“What has happened to the atmosphere of the rule of law and our constitutional democracy by the petitioner’s statements,” the senior counsel said.

The court said it was confident that the states and constitutional authorities would take care of that.

“Some states are supporting this conduct. That is the problem here,” said Guruswamy.

Source: Indian Express

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/prophet-remarks-row-sc-transfers-firs-against-nupur-sharma-to-delhi-8082627/

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Ulema Resolve To Counter Disinformation Campaign against Pak Army: PM’s Special Representative

 

Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi

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10 Aug 2022

ISLAMABAD, Aug 10 (APP): Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Wednesday said Ulema had resolved to counter disinformation campaign against Pakistan Army through thick and thin.

Addressing a press conference here, Ashrafi who is also the chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC), said Ulema and Mashaykh from all schools of thought in collaboration with PUC, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Muttahida Jamiat Ahlehadis, Jamiat Ulema Pakistan and Jaferia were observing ‘Youm-e-Dua’ on Friday for the departed souls of Pakistan Army officers who lost their precious lives in the helicopter crash in Balochistan while performing beyond the call of duty in the flood affected areas of the province.

He said they will express solidarity with Pakistan Army and counter the negative propaganda drive being run by some miscreants with malafide intentions against them from Mehrab-o-Mimber.

He made it clear that Pakistan Army was redline for all of us and certain elements who were talking to disintegrate Pakistan Army would be no more successful in their nefarious designs come what may.

He said the efforts for creating disintegration in Pakistan Army were not new ones as the anti-state elements were trying their social, political, economical and even religious jargons to meet their purposes since the day one but they had badly failed due to blind trust of the nation on their defense and security forces.

Giving the living example of fall of Libya, Ashrafi said once the Libyan dinar was stronger than the United States dollar but due to division between the people and army, today, it was under irreversible crisis.

He assured that Ulema and Mashaykh were standing by their defense and security forces and give a befitting response to those who were trying to create division between the nation and Pakistan Army at all costs.

He proposed that there were some non-controversial elements, they should come forward and play their role to ease undue hype, raised in the country.

Responding to a question, he said Dr Shabaz Gill had crossed his limits which was totally unjustified, even his party was not standing by his anti-state remarks as Punjab Chief Minister Pervez Elahi had condemned it in the strongest terms.

On the peaceful observation of Muharram processions and gatherings, he thanked the federal and provincial governments including Pakistan Army for providing foolproof security and managing all the affairs in a better way.

He also lauded the Ulema, Mashaykh, Zakir and religious scholars for following the ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan Code of Conduct’ pertaining to Muharram-ul-Haram in letter and spirit.

Ashrafi said the National Minorities Day would be celebrated with zeal and zest across the country in a bid to show solidarity with them on Thursday.
Source: APP

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

https://www.app.com.pk/national/ulema-resolve-to-counter-disinformation-campaign-against-pak-army-ashrafi/

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Alleged Fourth Islamic State ‘Beatle’ Aine Davis Arrested In UK On Terror Charges

 

Aine Davis was detained by counter terror officers at Luton airport on Wednesday night following his release from a Turkish jail CREDIT: HO VIA MET POLICE

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10 August 2022

A British man accused of being a member of a notorious Islamic State terror cell dubbed "The Beatles" has been arrested on terror charges after landing in the UK.

Aine Davis was detained by counter terror officers at Luton airport on Wednesday night following his release from a Turkish jail.

The 38-year-old is believed to have been deported after serving a seven-and-a-half-year sentence for terror offences.

During his trial, Davis denied being part of the Beatles, so-called by their hostages because of their British accents.

The terror cell was infamous internationally for torturing and beheading American journalists and British aid workers in Syria.

Davis is being held in custody after being arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command.

He was detained under the Terrorism Act and was taken to a south London police station and remains in custody.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "We will always ensure the safety and security of the UK, and will not allow anything to jeopardise this."

"We can confirm that a British national has been deported from Turkey to the UK, but it would be inappropriate to comment further while police enquiries are ongoing."

Davis was arrested in Turkey in 2015, hiding in a villa on the outskirts of Istanbul, he was convicted in 2017 of being a senior member of a terrorist organisation.

It is claimed that he is the Islamic State Beatle dubbed "Paul" by the Western hostages, the others being "John", "George" and "Ringo". The four are all though to have grown up in west London.

They are accused of being responsible for beheadings in Iraq and Syria, as shown in the beheading videos of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, in 2014.

The leader of the cell, Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, was killed in an airstrike in 2015.

The two other members, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, were convicted earlier this year in the US of executing hostages, torture and kidnap.

Davis, the son of a school dinner lady and a father who briefly worked for John Lewis, was born in Hammersmith in February 1984 and spent his early years in Fulham.

He was one of 13 children his father had by four different mothers. Aged five, he was sent to Gambia, his father’s birthplace, to live with his grandmother because he was “driving his mother crazy”.

He returned to the UK aged eight before going back to Gambia and then returning to London for good aged 17.

Back in the capital, he became involved in local gangs, adopting the nickname “Biggz”.

He pleaded guilty in 2004 to possessing a firearm after being caught by police travelling in a taxi with a handgun.

At the time he was working for gangsters running Britain’s biggest “gun factory”, selling a handgun a day to gangs, until it was raided by police.

At some stage, he is thought to have converted to Islam and he became increasingly radicalised while in prison.

In all, between 2002 and 2010, he was convicted on six separate occasions of possessing cannabis and on each occasion given a fine.

In April 2010, police responding to reports of gangs “fighting with weapons”, chased Davis from the scene.

As he fled, he threw a large quantity of cannabis from his trousers before being arrested with £680 in his pockets.

He was arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs with intent to supply but was only charged with possession following advice from the Crown Prosecution Service and was given a fine after pleading guilty.

He worked only sporadically.

His private life was just as chaotic. He had two children with one woman before marrying a second he met at a local mosque in west London in 2006.

Davis had by then converted to Islam and was calling himself Hamza.

In 2009, Davis travelled to Yemen, enrolling at a religious Islamic school and later embarked on further travels to the Middle East, visiting Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage, and then Yemen, Egypt and Qatar.

He had two children with his second wife before announcing in 2013 he was off to Syria via Turkey.

Source: Telegraph UK

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

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/10/alleged-fourth-beatle-aine-davis-arrested-uk-terror-charges/

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Iraq Cleric Al-Sadr Calls On Judiciary To Dissolve Parliament By End Of Next Week

 

Iraqi Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr (Image Credit: Reuters)

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10 August, 2022

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on the country’s judiciary to dissolve the parliament by end of next week, he said in a statement on Wednesday.

The judiciary “must dissolve parliament by the end of next week... if not, the revolutionaries will take another stance," al-Sadr said in a statement on his Twitter account, without elaborating.

Al-Sadr has called for early elections and unspecified changes to the constitution after withdrawing his lawmakers from parliament in June.

The withdrawal was a protest against his failure to form a government despite holding nearly a quarter of parliament and having enough allies to make up more than half the chamber.

Protesters rallied by al-Sadr and his Sadrist Movement tore down concrete barriers and entered the Green Zone, which houses government departments and foreign missions, before breaking into parliament last month.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/08/10/Iraq-cleric-al-Sadr-calls-on-judiciary-to-dissolve-parliament-by-end-of-next-week

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US’s Afghan Adjustment Act Allows Afghan Evacuees to Apply for Permanent Status

 

Photo: The Khaama Press

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By Saqalain Eqbal

10 Aug 2022

Prior to the first anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the Afghan Adjustment Act has been sponsored by the US Senate and House of Representatives. This law will allow eligible Afghan evacuees to apply for permanent residence after one or two years of being physically present in the country as parolees.

A pathway to citizenship has been established for thousands of Afghan evacuees who have been granted temporary legal status in the United States, according to the sponsors of legislation that has been submitted in both houses of the US Congress.

The legislation will also broaden eligibility for Special Immigration Visas (SIVs) much further than Afghans who worked for the U.S. government to include commandos and air force professionals who fought with American forces as well as women who operated in special counterterrorism teams.

Similar drafts of the bill were presented days before the first anniversary of the disorderly evacuation operation.

“We are deeply grateful to Congressional leaders for recognizing the urgency and moral imperative to keep our promise to our Afghan allies,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, who is the president of a resettlement agency that has welcomed over 13,500 Afghan refugees.

“This vital legislation addresses the legal limbo that tens of thousands of evacuees still face, and offers them the stability and peace of mind they need to thrive in their new communities,” she further said.

Following the military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, more than 70,000 Afghans were granted “humanitarian parole” status. The status allows them to enter the US temporarily but does not provide a means of obtaining a legal right to stay permanently.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/uss-afghan-adjustment-act-allows-afghan-evacuees-to-apply-for-permanent-status/

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India

 

Mosque Located For Nearly 40 Years on Temple Land Faces Threat of Demolition in Chennai

Mohamed Imranullah S.

AUGUST 11, 2022

Former tenant had played fraud and sold the land to Nungambakkam Muslim Welfare Association in 1981

A mosque located for nearly 40 years on Valluvar Kottam High Road at Nungambakkam, a prime locality in the heart of Chennai city, is facing the threat of demolition since the Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal preferred by Nungambakkam Muslim Welfare Association (NMWA).

What’s more is that the Supreme Court has confirmed the Madras High Court’s January 2017 order declaring that the land on which the mosque had been constructed belonged to the Agastheeswarar Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Devasthanam.

Dismissing NMWA’s second appeal pending since 1998, Justice G. Jayachandran of the High Court had on January 5, 2017, directed it to demolish the mosque and other superstructures and then hand over the vacant possession of the land to the Devasthanam.

Though NMWA was a bona fide purchaser of the property from V.G. Ramalingam, a former tenant of the Devasthanam, in 1981, the High Court ruled that the purchase would get nullified since Ramalingam had obtained a sale deed in his favour through fraudulent means.

The judge agreed with counsel for the Devasthanam A.K. Sriram that Ramalingam had cleverly invoked the Madras City Tenants Protection Act, 1921, and got a fraudulent sale deed executed in his name by the Registrar of Small Causes Court in 1980 without notice to the Devasthanam.

Thereafter, Ramalingam sold the property to NMWA in 1981 for a valuable consideration. Since the former tenant himself had no right to the property, the subsequent sale that had taken place at his instance would naturally have no leg to stand on, Justice Jayachandran held.  

The judge also stated that NMWA would not be entitled to any compensation for the demolition of the mosque because the Devasthanam had filed a suit before the City Civil Court (CCC) as early as in 1982 and yet the mosque was constructed at the risk of being demolished any time.

The original suit was decreed in favour of the Devasthanam by an Assistant Judge of the CCC on November 29, 1991. A subsequent appeal suit, filed by NMWA in 1993, was dismissed by an Additional Judge on September 27, 1996, leading to the second appeal in the High Court in 1998.

A special leave petition was filed in the Supreme Court in 2017 itself against the High Court’s order. After five years, a Bench of Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and J.K. Maheshwari dismissed it on July 28 this year as they did not find any merit in it.

The dismissal by the highest appellate court has now empowered the Devasthanam to file an execution petition before the CCC for the enforcement of its 1991 decree to demolish the mosque and take vacant possession of the land.

Source: The Hindu

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

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/mosque-on-temple-land-faces-threat-of-demolition-in-chennai/article65752765.ece

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Chamarajpet police, Muslim leaders hold peace meeting

11th August 2022

BENGALURU: A day after holding a peace meeting with Hindu groups, including the Sanathana Parishad, Srirama Sene and Chamarajapet Nagarikara Okkoota, the police conducted a similar exercise for Muslim leaders and organisations on Wednesday. The peace meetings are being held after confusion arose over the ownership of Idgah grounds in the area and the decision of a section of residents to celebrate the Independence Day there.

The police said they appealed to the leaders to maintain peace during Independence Day celebrations. If law and order is not maintained, action will be taken as per law, the police told the leaders. The meeting was held by DCP, West, Laxman Limbargi, who warned members of both communities against making any provocative speeches.

Source: New Indian Express

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

https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2022/aug/11/chamarajpet-police-muslim-leaders-hold-peace-meeting-2486332.html

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Big success, say Kashmir police after gunning down 3 LeT terrorists, including wanted Lateef Rather, in Budgam encounter

August 10, 2022

Srinagar: All the three LeT terrorists hiding at Waterhail in the Kahnsahib area in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir have been neutralised. "Bodies being retrieved from the site, identification yet to be ascertained," Kashmir Zone Police said.

Three Lashkar terrorists, including most wanted Lateef Rather gunned down in Budgam encounter

Calling it a "big success" for Kashmir Police, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar said, "Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition recovered. A big success for us."

The encounter broke out in the wee hours of Wednesday. Police said that three terrorists of LeT (TRF), including terrorist Lateef Rather, were trapped in the ongoing encounter in Budgam district.

A police spokesman said security forces launched a cordon and search operation at Waterhail in the Khansahib area of the district after receiving information about the presence of terrorists there.

The police spokesman said that the hiding terrorists fired at the security forces, leading to a gunfight.

Lateef Rather is involved in several civilian killings including that of Rahul Bhat and Amreen Bhat.

Source: Firstpost

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

https://www.firstpost.com/india/big-success-say-kashmir-police-after-gunning-down-3-let-terrorists-including-wanted-lateef-rather-in-budgam-encounter-11039581.html

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Pakistan

 

Whosoever Talks Against Army Is an Enemy of Pakistan and Islam: Punjab Chief Minister

AUGUST 11, 2022

Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi said that the Pakistan Armed Forces are the guarantors to safeguard the frontiers of our country and are also a symbol of our pride adding that only an enemy to the country can indulge into a propaganda against the army. He stated that whosoever talks against the army, should be declared as an enemy of Pakistan and to the religion of Islam. He said that no one can talk against the Pakistan Army under any circumstances.

He denounced that PML-N are making a false and a baseless propaganda. CM highlighted that Imran Khan, PTI and the whole nation is standing with the Pakistan Army. CM stated that we will not allow anyone to attain political motives by defaming the army adding that a false propaganda is being launched from the PML-N media cell.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi personally supervised the security arrangements on Ashura Muharram and remained in touch with the concerned officials till late at night to issue necessary instructions for maintaining peace in the province.

The CM went to the Punjab Safe Cities Authority to monitor the security arrangements for the and expressed the satisfaction that Ashura has passed peacefully. ‘I congratulate the political and administrative team,’ he added.

While appreciating the cabinet committee for law and order for the best arrangements, he expressed satisfaction over the foolproof security arrangements across the province. The police, administration and law enforcement agencies, together, maintained the atmosphere of peace and harmony by maintaining the best security arrangements in every city, he noted. The government ensured the safety of people’s lives and property by working day and night during Muharram, especially on the 10th of Muharram. The law and order situation remained under control as the best coordination was maintained by the line departments to ensure a peaceful atmosphere, he mentioned. The CM noted that the officials of peace committees and parliamentarians also played their role to maintain the atmosphere of harmony during Ashura Muharram. The ulema played their role as well and peace was maintained due to the coordinated work of all sections of the society, he concluded.

Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi has announced eight lakh rupees each for the heirs of seven people who lost their lives in flash floods in the Esa Khel area of Mianwali.

The CM has telephonically contacted Speaker Punjab assembly Sibtain Khan and directed to disburse Rs 5.6 million among the heirs without delay. The damages to houses and crops would also be compensated and the owners of completely destroyed houses would be given financial assistance of six lakh rupees per person. Similarly, owners of partially damaged houses would get four lakh rupees per person and damages to livestock will also be redressed, he added.

The Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi strongly condemned the suicide attack on the military convoy in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan and paid tributes to the martyred security officials.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the CM extended heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved families and added that the nation salutes the brave sons who laid down their lives for the country.

Earlier, Former chairman of Lahore-Chicago sister city committee and former district Nazim Mandi Bahauddin Riaz Asghar Chaudhry and member of Lahore-Chicago sister city committee and central joint secretary of PMLQ Rana Shiraz Hafeez called on Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi.

The methodology of the proposed nurses’ training program in Chicago and the collaboration of American institutions with technical universities of Punjab were discussed.

The CM observed that it is the need of the hour to develop the nursing sector on modern lines and added that the proposal of sending nurses to Chicago for training will be reviewed. The modern training opportunity would help them to find jobs there, he said. In order to improve the quality of the nursing sector in Punjab, there is a need to work on the faculty and syllabus for attaining international standards, he noted. Lahore and Chicago were declared Sister Cities during my previous tenure and we would move forward by finding new avenues of bilateral cooperation, the CM concluded. It may be added that Lahore and Chicago were declared Sister Cities in the previous tenure of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi.

Source: Daily Times Pakistan

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

https://dailytimes.com.pk/979809/whosoever-talks-against-army-is-an-enemy-of-pakistan-and-islam-elahi/

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Don’t spread fake news on state institutions — Pakistan watchdog warns in diktat to media

ANUPRIYA CHATTERJEE

11 August, 2022

New Delhi: Pakistan has released a slew of directives to news channels asking them to refrain from indulging in “spreading misinformation and disinformation” against the state institutions.

In its directives Tuesday, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) hinted at news reports that allegedly “cast aspersions” and “engaged in a planned propaganda campaign” to malign government institutions.

Earlier in the day, PEMRA had issued a show-cause notice to ARY News for its “hateful, seditious and malicious content”. The Pakistani news channel had gone off air in many parts of the country on Monday evening itself after it aired a programme in which Shahbaz Gill, a close aide of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, made what the police called “statements against the state institutions”, “inciting the people to rebellion”.

Karachi Police arrested ARY News head Ammad Yousuf from his residence in the early hours of Wednesday. Later, ARY Digital Network founder and CEO Salman Iqbal and anchors Arshad Sharif and Khawar Ghuman were also booked for sedition.

Several Pakistani journalists have condemned the action and sought immediate restoration of ARY News, which is currently being broadcast on YouTube.

Speaking to ThePrint, one Pakistani journalist said that these events were not new in the country struggling with media freedom.

“Even in the previous government under Imran Khan, media professionals suffered from fear psychosis. Journalists were beaten and often threatened. Some even had to lose their jobs, and all of us have to be very careful with reportage,” the journalist said. “This government is no different. However, the speed with which it acted and slapped sedition charges has shaken the fraternity. The directives are stifling in nature, and will invite court cases in the future.”

Accountability, the journalist added, also lies with media personnel who don’t realise when to draw a line. “They exaggerate and pick up subject matters that will surely provoke the government and people in the wrong manner. TV channels have their own loyalties. There are many channels that engage with topics similar to what ARY had chosen. It is interesting to note that they were never touched by law enforcement agencies,” the journalist added.

Speaking to ARY News Tuesday, Imran Khan condemned the arrest of his aide Gill and the suspension of the news channel’s transmission, saying it is “not acceptable in a democratic society”.

Also Read: Press freedom in Pakistan has latest casualty — the arrest of ARY News journalist

‘Trend in news channels’

There is a “trend” in the media, especially satellite TV channels, where anchors and analysts have indulged in spreading fake news on governmental institutions, the PEMRA observed.

“Such trend on channels not only tantamount to casting aspersions against state institutions but also a planned propaganda campaign against the state institutions. Airing of such content is in violation of the directives issued by the Authority, provisions of PEMRA Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisement) Code of Conduct 2015 and the principles laid down by the Superior Courts,” read the directive shared by PEMRA on Twitter.

It also highlighted how freedom of speech is not absolute in Pakistan and that there are restrictions under the law, which would be used against those flouting sentiments and spreading fake news.

“It is pertinent to mention here that freedom of speech and expression is the fundamental right of every citizen as per Article 19 of the Constitution…. However, this right is subject to restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan, or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to the contempt of court (Commission of) or incitement to an offence,” the directive added.

What led to these actions

A political blame game has started between the Shehbaz Sharif-led Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government and Imran Khan’s PTI ever since Gill criticised the government on air Monday for trying to pitch the former prime minister against the Army and his subsequent arrest.

While PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry had tweeted Tuesday that Gill was allegedly “abducted”, Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan announced that the police have arrested Gill on sedition charges. On Tuesday, Sanaullah Khan also claimed in a tweet that a script was prepared under Khan’s supervision and was propagated by Gill on the news channel.

A day later, an Islamabad court granted two-day custody of Gill to the police.

Khan spoke to ARY News Tuesday about the suspension of the channel’s transmission.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/dont-spread-fake-news-on-state-institutions-pakistan-watchdog-warns-in-diktat-to-media/1077431/

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Pakistan: Protest continues in North Waziristan for 23rd day against target killings

11 August, 2022

North Waziristan [Pakistan], August 11 (ANI): Protests continued for the 23rd day in Pakistan’s North Waziristan against the targeted killings.

Taking to Twitter, the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement said that the locals had busted the fake encounter drama in North Waziristan.

“Protest movement continues on 23th day in North Waziristan against target killings. Locals had busted the fake / staged security situation drama in North Waziristan & deep state role in target killings,” PTM tweeted.

PTM, a rights-based resistance movement in Pakistan, which has been critical of state policies in the tribal belt has ruffled feathers among the Pakistan military with its demand for a probe into gross human rights violations conducted by the Army.

The protests had begun against the growing incidents of targeted killings in the district as dozens of people lost their lives in those incidents.

Earlier, on August 4, tens of thousands of agitators took to roads suspending vehicular traffic for long hours and also burning old tyres. A fifty membered-strong committee led the protest as the residents placed boulders on the Bannu-Miramshah Road, Thall-Mirali Road, Ghulam Khan Road, Razmak Road, and Datakhel Road in the region.

According to Dawn, business centres, markets and shops were closed in Miramshah, Mirali and other small towns of the district on the call of a jirga of the Uthmanzai tribe.

Initially, the residents had organised protests in Eidak village but later extended them to the entire district. Senior officials of the district administration also held several meetings with tribal elders in an attempt to persuade them to call off the protests on Wednesday. However, committee head Malik Rab Nawaz said the North Waziristan Political Alliance, transporters and other associations ‘fully’ supported the protest.

Locals in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal district staged a sit-in blocking the main highway connecting Miramshah with other areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa the previous week as well to protest against the targeted killings and lawlessness in the area.

A 30-member jirga comprising elders of all branches of the Uthmanzai tribe was constituted to discuss the situation with the local officials.

Notably, there have been several cases of such killings in North Waziristan over the past months. Earlier, the workers of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl and Utmanzai tribes also been protesting in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s North Waziristan against the killing of its local leaders and lawlessness in the district.

The protest movement has been started under the direction of the Uthmanzai tribe’s elders, the main tribe from which the Dawar and Ahmadzai Wazir tribes of North Waziristan descend, Dawn reported.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/pakistan-protest-continues-in-north-waziristan-for-23rd-day-against-target-killings/1078082/

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Ambassador Masood Khan Thanks US Leadership For Standing With Muslims

AUGUST 11, 2022

WASHINGTON: Ambassador Masood Khan has thanked New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for the measures taken to apprehend the suspect of recent killings of Muslim men in Albuquerque city. He also paid tribute to Albuquerque Police Department (APD) for their professional excellence and swift action to track the suspect.

“The measures have addressed concerns of the Muslim community, in general, and Pakistani Americans, in particular, living in Albuquerque”, he said.

“We condole with the families of the victims, two of whom are of Pakistani origin. This is an irreparable and unacceptable loss”, he added. “We attach highest importance to the safety and security of Pakistani Community in the US and are grateful to the US authorities for ensuring that”, the Ambassador observed.

The Pakistan envoy also spoke to the families of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain and Naeem Hussein and assured them of full support.

Consul General Abrar Hashmi went to the Albuquerque city where he attended the interfaith and condolence event held at city’s Islamic Center. The event was attended by Governor Michelle Grisham, Albuquerque city officials, relatives of the victims and interfaith community leaders of the city.

In his meetings, he conveyed condolences and assured support from the Ambassador and leadership of Pakistan.

Earlier, in a letter to Governor Grisham, Ambassador Masood Khan thanked her for her resolve in pursuit of justice for the victims and their families as well as her solidarity with the Muslim community at this difficult time. He also urged Albuquerque Police to apprehend the killer(s) as soon as possible.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in their strongly worded statements have denounced those horrific incidents.

President Biden said “these hateful attacks have no place in America”.

Source: Daily Times Pakistan

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

https://dailytimes.com.pk/980056/masood-khan-thanks-us-leadership-for-standing-with-muslims/

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Europe

 

European lawmakers press for facts on Israeli spyware firms in Greek Cypriot administration

Ahmet Gençtürk  

10.08.2022

The European Parliament has demanded an explanation on the presence of Israeli spyware companies in the Greek Cypriot administration and the extent of their operations, local media reported on Wednesday.

The European legislative assembly is tightening its scrutiny into the country, known to be hosting firms that market in illegal phone-hacking spyware.

The company in the spotlight is Intellexa, run by CEO and former Israeli intelligence officer Tal Dilian. It sells notorious Predator spyware, most recently involved in a surveillance scandal in Greece that led to the resignation of the country's intelligence chief.

Greek Cypriot daily Politis reported that the head of the European Parliament's surveillance software committee, Sophie In't Veld, sent a letter to Dilian questioning him on his role in a network of several companies under Intellexa's umbrella, and their operations in the Greek Cypriot administration.

Another of question was about Intellexa's relations with its subsidiaries, Wispears/Passitora and Cytrox Peterbald, and whether they have a corporate presence and/or financial connections to Israel, the daily added.

According to the daily, the questions raised in the letter directly interest the Greek Cypriot administration, as Dilian continues to maintain a corporate presence there.

In a press conference on Tuesday, European Parliament member Dimitris Papadakis of the Movement for Social Democracy demanded the list of people who have been subject to surveillance software provided by Intellexa.

He also asked the government to clarify whether it was true that political parties have purchased such spyware systems.

Papadakis did not rule out the possibility of the EU imposing sanctions on the Greek Cypriot administration over the operations of firms involved in illegal wiretapping.

"We are talking about a very serious accusation, which is accompanied by a violation of individual rights," he said.

Furthermore, Greek Cypriot presidential candidate Giorgos Kolokasides called for more light to be shed on the allegations of illegal spying, saying that officials in Greece have resigned over their role in unlawful surveillance, according to the daily Kathimerini.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/european-lawmakers-press-for-facts-on-israeli-spyware-firms-in-greek-cypriot-administration/2658343

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UK accidentally leaks personal data on Afghan teacher in hiding from Taliban

August 10, 2022

LONDON: An Afghan teacher has been told by a UK government department that his personal details were passed to a member of the public in Afghanistan “in error.”

The man, who has worked abroad, has been in hiding in Afghanistan with his wife and two children since the Taliban takeover in August last year.

The data breach has been acknowledged by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and is the first known leak under the government’s Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, which prioritizes those who have assisted UK efforts in Afghanistan and vulnerable people, including members of minority groups.

Those wishing to apply for transfer to the UK through the scheme must complete an “expression of interest” form. The family’s personal details from this form were leaked to another Afghan citizen, putting them at risk of being found by the Taliban.

The ACRS team alerted the man to the leak, saying: “In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation, I am writing to inform you that some of your personal data has, in error, been forwarded on to another member of the public who had submitted an expression of interest for the ACRS … which contained personal data, including your name and background details.

“We have reviewed our processes in light of this event and taken steps to avoid it happening again.”

The man said: “What is really upsetting and unsettling is the fact that instead of being the source of comfort and sanctuary, the British government has regrettably become the source of unimaginable pain and danger for us. These errors could be lethal.

“I am so frustrated with the blunders and non-responsiveness from the government during such a difficult year. Now I am lost for words that this has happened. I am more exposed and at risk of being misidentified as a British spy, because I worked abroad for so long. We are extremely shocked … It is so distressing for us all.”

The FCDO and the UK Home Office have joint responsibility for processing ACRS applications.

The government says it aims to resettle more than 5,000 people through the scheme in the first year, once the window for expression of interest forms closes on August 15.

Anyone resettled through the scheme will receive indefinite leave to remain in the UK, and under existing rules be able to apply for British citizenship after five years.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2140246/world

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Alaska Airlines faces discrimination lawsuit over removal of Muslim passengers from flight

August 11, 2022

LONDON: Two Muslims have filed a lawsuit accusing Alaska Airlines of discrimination for allegedly removing them from a flight prior to takeoff because they were “talking and texting in Arabic.”

According to Abobakkr Dirar and Mohamed Elamin, the incident occurred after they boarded a flight from Seattle to San Francisco in February 2020. They said the airline’s staff humiliated them “before their fellow passengers by unnecessarily deplaning (them) and allowing (other passengers) to observe plaintiffs surrounded by uniformed law enforcement personnel.”

The men said that they had been talking and texting in Arabic in the first-class cabin when a fellow traveler informed flight attendants about the text messages. They allege that an Alaska Airlines employee subsequently removed them from the flight due to a “ticket issue.”

This is not the first time that Arab passengers have complained about the way they were treated by airline staff in the US. In 2019, for example, Issam Abdallah said he was “humiliated” when an American Airlines flight to Texas he boarded in Alabama was canceled because crew members felt “uncomfortable” with him on the flight.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2140401/world

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Pro-Palestine activists in UK urge govt. to introduce anti-Israel sanctions

11 August 2022 

London rights groups including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa and Stop the War Coalition have joined forces to call on the British government to stop supporting Israel in its aggression against the Palestinians.

The latest Israeli bombardment of Gaza was the worst it’s been since the May 2021 war that killed 260 Palestinians and destroyed thousands of homes and business. This new assault cost the lives of at least 47 Palestinians. A third of the scores killed were children.

Those attending the demonstration near the Downing Street - the official residence of the British prime minister - needed to be present to raise their voice against the injustice.

One of the main themes linking the speakers at this event is the fact that the Israeli aggression is only possible with the tacit support of states like Britain. Palestinian blood remains on British hands.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/08/11/687166/London-rights-group-protest-Gaza-Strip-Israel-bombardment-UK-aggression-

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Arab World

 

Iraq’s constitution is causing a cycle of dysfunctionality

By Ben Joseph

August 10, 2022

The sectarian distribution of the main political offices in Iraq has proved its biggest bane, taking its toll on the war-scarred Middle Eastern nation and its people.

Despite holding polls 10 months ago, the beleaguered country may be heading for another election as the political leadership failed to cobble together a government.

The oil-rich nation’s 2005 constitution, influenced by the US, is only helping to prevent the formation of a unified and representative government.

Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, the patriarch of the Chaldean Church, has said that the quota system (muhasassa) has produced “corruption and injustice.”

Iraq needed new approaches and new ways in which to place its top offices at the service of the people, and not partisan interests, the cardinal said on July 31.

Baghdad's Green Zone, which is home to diplomatic missions and government buildings, including the parliament, has been occupied by followers of Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, whose Saarirun (Arabic acronym for Alliance toward Reform) movement tried to elect a Kurdish president — the first step in forming a government.

The Saarirun, an electoral alliance formed ahead of the 2018 general election, emerged as the largest block in last year’s polls but fell far short of a majority. Al Sadr’s efforts were marred by a rival Shiite alliance, the Coordinating Framework, backed by Iran.

Since 2005, the president has been a Kurd, the prime minister a Shiite, and the president of the parliament a Sunni. However, deep political fissures exist between and within the sectarian groups.

The traditional tensions between minority Sunni and majority Shiite communities have escalated and are spreading to other areas of Iraq as armed factions of both groups are active and thriving in areas outside their geographical and societal boundaries.

Al-Sadr once headed the powerful militia, the Mehdi Army, which fought against the US occupation. Though the Mehdi Army was disbanded in 2008, its armed fighters joined its successor group, the Peace Brigades.

They are roaming freely in the country to take on the rival Coordinating Framework which includes Iran-aligned politicians like former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, paramilitary groups, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and a few Sunni outfits.

The Sunnis and the Kurds, although favoring Al-Sadr’s victory, are leaving no stone unturned to prevent Shiite infighting which may outweigh any potential gains accrued by them from the general election.

Global and regional actors like the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have exploited the strategically weak and divided Iraqi state to their advantage. Iran is hoping to empower the Shiites in Iraq through state-sponsored militias and proxies who have infiltrated the Iraqi military and security services.

After his 73 lawmakers quit to make way for a government by the rival Coordination Framework, it named former cabinet minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as prime minister. This angered the Sadrists and created the current logjam and the occupation of parliament. Al-Sadr opposed his candidacy alleging that al-Sudani would serve the interests of Iran.

On Aug. 5, tens of thousands assembled at the Green Zone as Al-Sadr used the Friday prayers to press for his demand to hold fresh elections. Even Baghdad's 42 degrees Celsius (108 Fahrenheit) heat did not prevent his followers, mostly men, from staging the new power play to score over their rivals.

The Iraqi political blocs must start a national consultation to end the institutional stalemate that is paralyzing the country, before "a tsunami wipes us all away," Cardinal Sako observed.

The scenario is frightening, and delays cannot be tolerated, the Iraqi cardinal said.

As political parties are following narrow sectarian agendas, people in the country are plagued by nepotism, corruption, unemployment; physical insecurity; and a dismal state of affairs in healthcare and education, he said.

When Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, was overthrown in 2003, the Shiites, who are the majority in Iraq, saw it as a chance to take revenge. The Kurds, who feared that any intra-Shiite fighting would backfire on them, capitalized on it to push for autonomy for Kurdistan in Eastern Iraq, and the Sunnis felt sidelined and began to make amends to stave off the repercussions.

The only people left empty-handed in the ethnoreligious political bargaining in Iraq were the minority Christians who ended up with little representation in political institutions, which often came with multiple threats that dramatically dwarfed their number.

Christians are less than 5 percent of Iraq’s population, while Shiites cover nearly 60 percent.

Currently, Iraq earns record oil income because of high prices and the nation has been passing through a period without major conflict since the defeat of the Islamic State group five years ago.

The skyrocketing global oil prices would have helped alleviate the acute social crisis in the country. But there is little appetite for major changes.

According to the Ministry of Petroleum, Iraq exported oil worth US$11.3 billion, a figure not seen for decades, in June-end. State-owned oil firms sold a barrel of oil for $112 in June, while it was a whopping $140 in March.

Source: UCA News

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

https://www.ucanews.com/news/iraqs-constitution-is-causing-a-cycle-of-dysfunctionality/98343

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Islamic State leader ‘blows himself up’ in Syria

10 August 2022

A leader of the Islamic State group blew himself up in southern Syria after being surrounded by government forces, state media reported on Wednesday, citing a security source.

The official SANA news agency said security forces carried out a "special operation" in the Daraa area that led to the death of "the terrorist Abu Salem al-Iraqi".

Iraqi "triggered his explosive belt after being surrounded and wounded", the agency said.

The security source said Iraqi had been the military chief of the extremist group in the country's south.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor, which has a vast network of sources on the ground, said Iraqi died on Tuesday.

It said he had been hiding out in the area since 2018, and had taken part in killings and attacks there.

Daraa province has mostly been under regime control since 2018, but rebel groups still control some areas under a truce deal agreed with Russia, an ally of Damascus.

After a meteoric rise in 2014 in Iraq and Syria that saw it conquer vast swathes of territory, IS saw its self-proclaimed "caliphate" collapse under a wave of offensives.

It was defeated in Iraq in 2017 and in Syria two years later, but sleeper cells of the extremist Sunni Muslim group still carry out attacks in both countries.

Last month, Maher al-Agal, said to be one of the terror group’s ‘top five leaders’, was killed by a US drone strike in Syria.

Source: Telegraph UK

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

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/08/10/islamic-state-leader-blows-syria/

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Order to seize Hezbollah-allied Lebanon MPs’ property over port blast

10 August, 2022

Judicial authorities in Lebanon Wednesday ordered the temporary seizure of the property of two deputies allied with Hezbollah in the case of the deadly explosion which destroyed Beirut port two years ago.

“Judge Najah Itani has issued a temporary seizure order worth 100 billion Lebanese pounds on the property of MPs Ali Hassan Khalil and Ghazi Zeaiter,” a judicial source told AFP.

The source said the decision was issued in the context of a complaint filed by the Beirut Bar Association to question the two for having “used their rights... in an arbitrary manner by filing complaints intended to hinder the investigation.”

Compensation of 100 billion Lebanese pounds is being sought.

On Thursday, crisis-hit Lebanon marked two years since the massive port blast ripped through Beirut.

The dockside blast of haphazardly stored ammonium nitrate, one of history’s biggest non-nuclear explosions, killed more than 200 people, wounded thousands and decimated vast areas of the capital.

After the tragedy, the bar launched legal proceedings against the state on behalf of nearly 1,400 families of victims.

However, an investigation into the cause has been stalled amid political interference and no state official has yet been held accountable over the tragedy.

Khalil and Zeaiter, of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri’s Amal party, filed a total of 20 complaints against Judge Tarek Bitar for obstructing the investigation which he himself was carrying out.

Politicians on all sides have refused to be questioned by the judge.

Officials close to the powerful Hezbollah movement have also curtailed Bitar’s work with a series of lawsuits.

His investigation has been paused since December 23.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/08/11/Order-to-seize-Hezbollah-allied-Lebanon-MPs-property-over-port-blast

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Mass displacement of civilians from YPG/PKK-held areas in Syria: NGO

Mehmet Misto  

10.08.2022

A human rights organization has reported a massive displacement of civilians in areas occupied by the YPG/PKK terrorist group in eastern Syria.  

“Areas held by YPG/PKK have recently seen mass displacement of civilians towards neighboring countries and Europe,” Farhad Osu, head of the Rasd Syria Network for Human Rights, told Anadolu Agency. 

“Most of the migrants are young people who are forcibly recruited by the terror group,” he said. 

Osu said the terrorist group forces migrants to pay hefty sums of money to be allowed to leave their areas “as most traffickers are members of the organization.” 

He also cited the deteriorating economic conditions, taxes imposed by the YPG/PKK and lack of jobs for pushing residents to leave the areas held by the terror group. 

“Arbitrary measures taken by the terrorist group against civilians such as detentions are making the situation even worse,” he added. 

“YPG/PKK terrorists plant landmines in towns and cities and terrorizing residents, making them eager to leave the area in search for safety,” Osu said. 

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/mass-displacement-of-civilians-from-ypg-pkk-held-areas-in-syria-ngo/2658204

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Turkish forces 'neutralize' 9 YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Syria

Zehra Nur Düz 

10.08.2022

Turkish security forces "neutralized" at least nine YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Syria near the Turkish border, authorities said on Wednesday.

The terrorists attempted to attack and infiltrate border line in eastern Mardin province before being "neutralized," the Turkish National Defense Ministry said on Twitter.

Turkish authorities use the term "neutralize" to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkish-forces-neutralize-9-ypg-pkk-terrorists-in-northern-syria/2658006

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Saudi charity KSrelief launches medical program combatting blindness in Bangladesh

August 11, 2022

RIYADH: A new scheme combatting blindness and its causes in Bangladesh was launched on Monday by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief).

The KSrelief voluntary medical team examined 6,600 cases, and performed 150 successful cataract procedures.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2140461/saudi-arabia

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North America

 

Shock, shame among some Muslims as Afghan accused of New Mexico murders

August 10, 2022

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.: Muslims in New Mexico interviewed on Wednesday said they felt shock and shame at the arrest of a Muslim immigrant from Afghanistan in connection with the murders of four Muslim men.

Police on Tuesday said they detained 51-year-old Muhammad Syed. A motive for the killings remains unclear, but police said he may have acted on personal grudges, possibly with intra-Muslim sectarian overtones.

Syed denied being involved with any of the four killings when questioned by police, according to the New York Times.

“We’re in complete total disbelief. Speechless. You know, kind of embarrassed to say he was one of our own,” said Mula Akbar, an Afghan-American businessman who said he had helped Syed settle in the city.

“His hatred of Shiites might have had something to do with it,” Akbar said.

Syed was from the Sunni branch of Islam and prayed together at Albuquerque’s Islamic Center of New Mexico mosque with most of the victims, three of whom were from the Shiite branch of Islam. All four victims were of Afghan or Pakistani descent. One was killed in November, the other three in the last two weeks.

Syed, who made his first appearance in court Wednesday, was formally charged with killing Aftab Hussein, 41, on July 26 and Muhammed Afzaal Hussain, 27, on Aug. 1.

Police said on Tuesday they were working with prosecutors on potential charges for the murders of Naeem Hussain, 25, a truck driver killed on Friday, and Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, shot dead on Nov. 7, 2021, outside the grocery store he ran with his brother in southeast Albuquerque.

It was not immediately clear if Syed had retained a lawyer. His family did not immediately respond to a request for comment but local television station KRQE News 13 quoted them as saying they believed he was innocent.

Palestinian-American Samia Assed said the Muslim community of around 4,000 in the city of over half a million people had work to do to prevent violence they left behind in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“This took me back to 9/11 when I just wanted to hide under a rock,” said the human rights activist after she hosted an interfaith memorial at the Islamic Center of New Mexico (ICNM) in Albuquerque, Albuquerque’s oldest and largest mosque.

“For this to happen it’s like setting us back 100 years,” she said.

The mosque is nonsectarian, serves mainly Sunnis from over 30 countries and has never before experienced violence of this kind, according to congregants interviewed by Reuters.

Police on Tuesday declined to comment on rumors Syed was angry one of his daughters had eloped and married a Shiite man.

Syed is a truck driver, has six children, is from Pashtun ethnicity and arrived in the United States as a refugee about six years ago from Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province, said Akbar, a former US diplomat who worked on Afghan issues and helped found the Afghan Society of New Mexico.

Syed developed a record of criminal misdemeanors over the last three or four years, including a case of domestic violence, police said.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2140386/world

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A 'primary suspect' in the killings of Muslim men in Albuquerque makes his first court appearance

August 11, 2022

The man accused of fatally shooting two Muslim men in Albuquerque appeared in court for the first time Wednesday as investigators continued to search for a motive and probe whether he's connected to two other killings.

Muhammad Syed, 51, of Albuquerque, is the "primary suspect" in the killings of four Muslim men that took place in the city between November and August, according to police.

He is being charged with two of the homicides, the August 1 killing of 27-year-old Muhammad Afzaal Hussain and the July 26 killing of 41-year-old Aftab Hussein.

Syed was arrested Tuesday following tips from the public, authorities said. He was stopped by police while driving near Santa Rosa, New Mexico, more than 100 miles east of Albuquerque.

Authorities found firearms during a search of his home, as well as information showing Syed may have known the victims "to some extent" and that interpersonal conflict may have led to the killings, police said Tuesday

One of the firearms recovered has been linked to bullet casings found at the scenes of two of the killings, while casings for a handgun found in his car when he was stopped were linked to one of the scenes, according to the arrest affidavit.

Syed told police "he was driving to Texas to find a new place for his family to live because the situation in Albuquerque was bad," referring to the killing of Muslim men, the affidavit said.

On Wednesday, he appeared in court via video from a detention center.

Through a Pashto interpreter, he asked to address the court during his hearing. His attorney Megan Mitsunaga followed up asking the court not to take statements from her client.

Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court Judge Renée Torres also advised Syed that remaining silent would be the best thing for him to do. "Sounds good," Syed said in response.

Syed's case will be transferred to a district court. He is being held without bond in the meantime.

In announcing Syed's arrest Tuesday, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said the department is working with the district attorney's office on potential charges in the deaths of the two other men, 62-year-old Mohammad Zaher Ahmadi, killed November 7, 2021, and 25-year-old Naeem Hussain, killed August 5 after attending a funeral for the two other victims.

There is evidence "strong enough that" authorities are continuing to view Syed as the "most likely person of interest or suspect" in those killings as well, deputy commander of the Albuquerque Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division Kyle Hartsock said.

Syed denied any involvement in the killings during an interview with police on Tuesday, according to the arrest affidavit.

The killings and how the investigation unfolded

The killings that Syed is being charged with -- of Aftab Hussein and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain -- happened just days apart and police quickly connected them after determining that casings found at both crime scenes were likely fired from the same firearm, Hartsock said.

"We quickly started looking at other cases that could be similar and identify that there might be a really active public threat," Hartsock added.

That's when police turned their attention to a different unsolved homicide in the city: the November 7 killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, an Afghan man who was found with a gunshot wound in the parking lot behind the business he ran with his brother.

All three of the killings involved Muslim men who were "ambushed with no warning, fired on and killed," Hartsock said.

Aftab Hussein was found July 26 with multiple gunshot wounds, lying next to a car, according to police. Detectives learned the gunman had waited behind a bush near the driveway where the victim usually parked his vehicle and fired multiple times through the bush, according to the complaint.

Muhammud Afzaal Hussain was found on August 1 with multiple gunshot wounds by officers who responded to reports of a drive-by shooting, the complaint states.

While police were still trying to piece together whether the three killings were connected, a fourth Muslim man, Naeem Hussain, was shot and killed before midnight on August 5.

The shootings caused panic within Albuquerque's Muslim community, while also triggering hundreds of tips to law enforcement, authorities said Tuesday.

Who is Muhammad Syed?

Syed is a father of six whose family has been in the US for about six years since moving from Afghanistan, his daughter told CNN.

Hours before police announced Syed was a suspect, CNN was inside his home and spoke to his daughter, who offered insight on her father and what happened when they last saw each other, which was before his arrest and before authorities executed a search warrant on their family's home. CNN has chosen not to name the daughter out of concern for her safety.

"My father is not a person who can kill somebody. My father has always talked about peace. That's why we are here in the United States. We came from Afghanistan, from fighting, from shooting," she told CNN.

The daughter told CNN she married a man in February 2018, and her father was not happy with the marriage at the time but had come to accept it more recently. She said her husband was friends with two victims, Aftab Hussein and Naeem Hussain.

Source: CNN

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https://edition.cnn.com/2022/08/11/us/albuquerque-muslim-men-killings-thursday/index.html

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Archbishop mourns killings of Muslim men in New Mexico

August 11, 2022

During a Mass for peace, Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe decried the killings of four Muslim men in New Mexico since last November.

"We in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and all of us here are appalled at these hateful and horrific crimes and utterly condemn them," Archbishop Wester said at the start of his homily during a Mass Aug. 9 marking the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan.

Police arrested Muhammad Syed, 51, a Muslim immigrant from Afghanistan, Aug. 9 and said in a statement that he was charged with two of the murders. Police continued to investigate whether all four killings were related.

Until the arrest, the murders rattled the Islamic community in Albuquerque, New Mexico's largest city, whose members feared the violence was fueled by anti-Muslim sentiment.

The four victims were either Afghani or Pakistani. One man was killed in November and the other three men in late July and early August.

Authorities said the incidents may have been fueled by sectarian differences and that the investigation was continuing.

During a search of the suspect's home, investigators "discovered evidence that shows the offender knew the victims to some extent and an interpersonal conflict may have led to the shootings," the Albuquerque Police Department said in a statement Aug. 9.

Archbishop Wester offered a prayer for the victims' families and Albuquerque's Muslim community.

Source: UCA News

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https://www.ucanews.com/news/archbishop-mourns-killings-of-muslim-men-in-new-mexico/98355

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American-Egyptian man convicted of murder for killing two teenage daughters

11 August, 2022

A US court in the state of Texas earlier this week convicted an American-Egyptian of capital murder for the 2008 killing of his two teenage daughters, Amina and Sarah.

After a six-day trial, Yaser Abdel Said was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being found guilty of capital murder, according to a statement from the office of Dallas County Criminal District Attorney.

“He must now spend the rest of his days confined to a prison cell living under the control of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice,” the statement said, adding that the jury deliberated for three hours before reaching a verdict.

The 65-year-old man was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in 2014 when he was arrested in Justin, Texas, in 2020. He was identified by the FBI as a capital murder suspect wanted in connection with the homicide of his daughters, 18-year-old Amina and Sarah, 17.

The FBI in 2020 also arrested Yaser’s son, Islam, and his brother, Yassin, for harboring an alleged fugitive.

Said took his daughters for a taxi-ride on New Year’s Day 2008 under the pretext of taking them to get something to eat, according to an FBI statement issued at the time of his capture.

“He drove them to Irving, Texas, where he allegedly shot both girls inside the taxicab. They both died of multiple gunshot wounds,” the statement said.

The girls’ bodies were discovered several hours later in the cab, which was abandoned outside a hotel in Irving.

Before succumbing to her wounds, Sarah managed to make a chilling 911 call in which she was screaming and saying that her father shot her and her sister.

Local media had reported that Said was not satisfied with his daughters’ American lifestyle and alleged that he was very controlling of what they did.

The Associated Press reported that in an email sent on December 21, 2007, Amina told a teacher that she and her sister planned to run away.

“She said they didn’t want to live by the culture of their father, who was born in Egypt, nor did they want arranged marriages, as he planned,” the Associated Press reported.

Her father, she said, had “made our lives a nightmare.” The email added: ”He will, without any drama nor doubt, kill us.”

The girls’ mother, Patricia Owens, told her ex-husband in a victim impact statement given after the verdict and sentence that she was no longer scared of him.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/08/11/American-Egyptian-man-convicted-of-murder-for-killing-two-teenage-daughters

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China delays bid by US and India to sanction Pakistan-based JeM militant at UN

11 August, 2022

China delayed on Wednesday a proposal by the United States and India to sanction at the UN Security Council a top commander in the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group, diplomats said.

India and the United States wanted Abdul Rauf Azhar to be subjected to a global travel ban and asset freeze. Such a move has to be agreed by all 15 members of a Security Council sanctions committee.

“We placed a hold because we need more time to study the case. Placing holds is provided for by the Committee guidelines, and there have been quite a number of similar holds by Committee members on listing requests,” a spokesperson for China’s mission to the United Nations told Reuters.

The US Treasury designated Azhar in 2010, accusing him of urging Pakistanis to engage in militant activities and organize suicide attacks in India.

The United States respects other countries needs to verify that a sanctions proposal meets their “domestic evidentiary threshold to justify a listing at the UN,” a spokesperson for the US mission to the United Nations said on Wednesday.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/08/11/China-delays-bid-by-US-and-India-to-sanction-Pakistan-based-JeM-militant-at-UN

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US uncovers Iran ‘plot’ to kill ex-White House official John Bolton

August 10, 2022

WASHINGTON: The US Justice Department said Wednesday it had uncovered an Iranian plot to kill former White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, and announced charges against a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Justice Department said 45-year-old Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, had offered to pay an individual in the US $300,000 to kill Bolton, the former US ambassador to the UN.

The Justice Department said that plan was likely set in retaliation for the US killing of top Guard commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in January 2020.

Prosecutors say the scheme unfolded more than a year after Soleimani, the head of the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force and an architect of Tehran’s proxy wars in the Middle East, was killed in a targeted airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport in January 2020. After the strike, Bolton, who by then had left his White House post, tweeted, “Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran.”

The allegation came as Iran weighs a proposed agreement in Vienna talks to revive the 2015 agreement that aims to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

For months Tehran has held up the deal, demanding that the US remove its official designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a sponsor of terrorism.

“This is not the first time we have uncovered Iranian plots to exact revenge against individuals on US soil and we will work tirelessly to expose and disrupt every one of these efforts,” said US Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen.

According to the charges, Poursafi tried to arrange Bolton’s murder beginning in October 2021, when he contacted online an unidentified person in the US, first saying he wanted to commission photographs of Bolton.

Poursafi provided the person with Bolton’s office address, including the name and contact information for someone who worked in the office, and took screenshots of surveillance photographs of Bolton’s office, the affidavit says.

He offered $250,000, which was then negotiated up to $300,000.

“Poursafi added that he had an additional ‘job,’ for which he would pay $1 million,” the Justice Department said. 

But that second person, court documents say, was a confidential source for the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The ostensible assassin stalled, waiting for an initial payment, but only in late April did Poursafi send money, paying a total of $100 in cryptocurrency.

Poursafi was charged with the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, which brings up to 10 years in prison, and with providing and attempting to provide material support to a transnational murder plot, which carries a 15-year sentence.

In his own statement, Bolton thanked the FBI and Justice Department for their work in developing the case and the Secret Service for providing protection.

“While much cannot be said publicly right now, one point is indisputable: Iran’s rulers are liars, terrorists, and enemies of the United States,” he said.

He urged President Joe Biden to not restore the nuclear agreement.

Bolton, one of the leading “hawks” of the US foreign policy establishment and a strong critic of Iran, was national security adviser in the White House of president Donald Trump from April 2018 to September 2019.

 In the administration of president George Bush, he was ambassador to the UN from 2005-2006.

He was strongly opposed to the 2015 agreement between Tehran and major powers to limit its nuclear program, and supported the Trump administration’s unilateral pullout from the pact in May 2018.

The court documents indicated Bolton was aware of the plot and cooperated with investigators, allowing photographs of himself outside his Washington office to be sent to Poursafi.

Over the months Poursafi discussed the plot with his US contact, he disclosed that it related to Tehran’s desire for revenge for the US killing of Soleimani.

Since that strike on Soleimani Tehran has vowed to extract revenge, and US officials have said that the country had been looking to kill one or more US officials.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2140076/world

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South Asia

 

Former Afghan President Karzai Says Taliban Seeks US’s Trust but Needs Afghan People’s First

By Saqalain Eqbal

10 Aug 2022

In an interview with American NPR on Monday, the former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, stated that every Taliban leader he had spoken to had expressed an intention for improved relations with the US. But he insisted that there were steps the group needed to take to achieve the trust of their own people first.

“We must make sure that all the Afghan people see themselves belonging to this country and represented by the government, and that we take all the necessary steps to prove to the rest of the world that we mean well for Afghanistan,” former president Karzai said.

One example is the education of girls. The NPR reported that Karzai expressed concern that the ban causes the entire nation to fall behind, saying, “A decade from now, we’ll be worse than what we are now.”

Although it would have been logical if Karzai had expressed concern for his safety as a result of the Taliban, who arrested and killed former president Mohammad Najibullah in 1996 when they seized control of Kabul, the Afghan leader stated he was afraid for his own safety, not because of the Taliban.

Last August, when the Taliban took control of Kabul, the previous government fell and tens of thousands of Afghans fled their homeland. Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan from 2002 to 2014, was not one of them.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/former-afghan-president-karzai-says-taliban-seeks-uss-trust-but-needs-afghan-peoples-first-457484/

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More than 70 economists ask Biden to release Afghan central bank funds

10 August, 2022

More than 70 economists and experts, including Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, called for Washington and other nations to release Afghanistan’s central bank assets in a letter sent to US President Joe Biden on Wednesday.

The letter said foreign capitals needed to return the roughly $9 billion in Afghan central bank assets to Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) to allow the economy to function, despite criticism of behavior by the ruling Taliban towards women and minorities.

“The people of Afghanistan have been made to suffer doubly for a government they did not choose,” the letter said. “In order to mitigate the humanitarian crisis and set the Afghan economy on a path toward recovery, we urge you to allow DAB to reclaim its international reserves.”

The letter, also addressed to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, was signed by 71 economists and academic experts, many based in the United States as well as Germany, India and the United Kingdom.

Among them was former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and Stiglitz, a Columbia University professor who received the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001 and is on the advisory board to the Washington-based think tank the Center for Economic and Policy Research, which organized the letter.

Afghanistan’s economy has plunged deep into crisis since the Taliban took over almost a year ago as foreign forces withdrew. The sudden cut in aid and other factors including inflation driven by conflict in Ukraine have contributed, but economists say the country is severely hampered by the inability of its central bank to function without access to its reserves.

This has resulted in a sharp depreciation of the Afghan currency, pushing up import prices, and led to a near collapse of the banking system with citizens facing problems accessing their savings and receiving salaries.

“Without access to its foreign reserves, the central bank of Afghanistan cannot carry out its normal, essential functions ... the economy of Afghanistan has, predictably, collapsed,” the letter said.

Washington and other capitals say they want to find a way to release the funds for the benefit of the Afghan people while not benefiting the Taliban, whom they have condemned for imposing severe restrictions on women’s freedoms in the last year and allegedly carrying out human rights abuses including vendettas against former enemies.

The Taliban say they respect rights in accordance with their interpretation of Islamic law and that individual abuses would be investigated.

Despite their widely differing stances, both sides are engaged in detailed discussions over plans to possibly release the central bank assets, around $7 billion of which is held in the United States. Roughly half of that is currently set aside as it is the subject of a court battle related to the 9/11 attacks.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/08/10/More-than-70-economists-ask-Biden-to-release-Afghan-central-bank-funds

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Afghanistan: Two dead, 9 injured following clash between two families

10 August, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], August 10 (ANI): Two persons were killed and seven injured following a clash between members of two feuding families, Khaama Press reported.

The two families are residents of the Paktia province of Afghanistan and were reportedly involved in a legal dispute which eventually turned into a violent and fatal confrontation.

As per the local sources, the incident occurred in one of the Zurmat district’s villages in Paktia province on Tuesday, reported Khaama Press.

The Paktia police spokesperson told the media that the incident has left two fatalities and wounded seven other people.

According to a health official in the province, seven injured people and two dead bodies were taken to the Gardiz District Hospital, and as per the local sources five of the wounded were critical. The critically injured were later transported to a hospital in Paktia for treatment.

Under the Taliban’s rule, domestic violence, honour killings, personal and social enmity, family blood feuds, and suicide reports have seen a massive surge recently.

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. Acts of terror, killings, blasts and attacks have become a regular affair with unabated human rights violations involving ceaseless murder of civilians, destroying mosques and temples, assaulting women, and fueling terror in the region.

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

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/afghanistan-two-dead-9-injured-following-clash-between-two-families/1077829/

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One year into Taliban rule- misery and disease conquer Afghanistan

Aug 10, 2022

The heaving wards of a ramshackle clinic in southern Afghanistan are just one sign of the catastrophic humanitarian crisis that has gripped the war-ravaged country since the Taliban returned to power a year ago.

Last month, the Musa Qala District Hospital in Helmand province was forced to shut its doors to all except those suffering from suspected cholera.

The infirmary was soon jammed with listless patients, intravenous drips needled into their wrists as they recuperated on rusting gurneys.

Though the clinic lacks facilities to test for cholera, about 550 patients presented themselves within days, showing symptoms of a disease caused by a lack of basic sanitation needs: clean drinking water and an adequate sewerage system.

"It's very difficult," hospital chief Ehsanullah Rodi, run ragged on just five hours of sleep a night since the influx began, told AFP.

"We didn't see this from last year, or another year."

The United Nations says Afghanistan's humanitarian crisis is the world's worst.

- Hungry children -

Poverty in the country -- felt most keenly in Afghanistan's south -- has been driven to desperate new levels, exacerbated by drought and inflation since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Since the Emirate (Taliban) came into power, we can't even find cooking oil," said one woman, perched on a hospital cot next to her malnourished six-month-old grandson in Lashkar Gah, Helmand's provincial capital.

"Poor people are squashed under their feet," the 35-year-old said.

Her grandchild is being treated for the fifth time at Boost Hospital, a sun-baked maze of paint-peeled buildings run jointly by the health ministry and Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

Many of the beds on the malnutrition ward host two tiny, frail patients -- some suckling gamely on syringes of milk, while others heave onerous breaths as they fight to regain their strength.

"We can't even find dry bread," said Breshna, the mother of another patient, who guesses her age at between 15 and 20.

"We haven't had anything to eat in three or four days."

Assistant nursing supervisor Homeira Nowrozi, fighting to be heard above wailing infants, said staff "have not any rest".

"We have a lot of patients that come in critical," she said, because parents could not afford to travel sooner.

"We don't know how many mortalities ... we have in the districts, because they didn't come to hospital."

- A moral tangle -

Afghanistan's plight began well before August 15, 2021 when the Taliban captured Kabul on the heels of a hasty withdrawal of US-led troops and the collapse of the government they propped up.

But the Taliban's takeover pushed the country -- home to 38 million people -- over the precipice.

The United States froze $7 billion in central bank assets, the formal banking sector collapsed, and foreign aid representing 45 percent of GDP stopped overnight.

Over the past year, would-be donors have grappled with the conundrum of funnelling fresh funding to the ailing nation, which the Taliban rebranded the "Islamic Emirate" in line with their austere theocratic beliefs.

"How do you provide assistance in a country where you don't recognise the government?" asked Roxanna Shapour of the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

Importing humanitarian aid to address crises such as the June earthquake -- which killed more than 1,000 people and left tens of thousands more homeless -- is relatively simple, she said, as it is "non-political, it's life-saving assistance".

Cash is also airlifted to fund food aid and healthcare, but development aid for long-term projects that could transform the economy is more complex.

"If you go in and say, 'I'm going to pay all teacher salaries', that's great. But then what will the Taliban do with the money they save from not having to pay teacher salaries?" asked Shapour.

- A souring mood -

In Musa Qala -- a dusty farming outpost with a shipping container bazaar staffed by child shopkeepers -- the deprivation is visible.

The local economy seems to barely subsist on motorcycle repairs, the sale of pallid poultry carcasses, and canisters of energy drinks kept tepid in grimy chest freezers.

The town witnessed some of the bloodiest chapters of the 2001-2021 war, and is connected to Lashkar Gah by a makeshift track up a desiccated riverbed lined with jagged rocks.

The road begins again further south at Sangin, a place where mud-walled compounds have been so badly ravaged by gunfire and artillery that they are crumbling back into the earth.

In a cruel irony, desperation and the demand for humanitarian services have only deepened with the arrival of peace.

"Now we can visit the hospital whether it's night or day," said Maimana, whose eight-year-old daughter Asia was being treated at Musa Qala.

"Before, there used to be fighting and mines -- the roads were blocked."

Helmand public health director Sayed Ahmad told AFP that the flood of new patients means there is "less space" and that "there are fewer staff, so there are difficulties".

Nevertheless, Ahmad -- a soft-spoken doctor whose office is lined with medical tomes -- insists "the overall situation is better" than under the previous government, when corruption was rife.

He blames economic sanctions against the Taliban for some of their woes, saying "the needs and demands of people have increased".

But analysts say the Islamists are far from blameless.

"The Taliban's repressive social policies have made it more difficult to reach a deal on getting those frozen assets unlocked," said International Crisis Group's Graeme Smith.

"This is really just about the emotions of policymakers -- and shutting millions of girls out of secondary schools really soured the mood."

- Unable to rule -

The Taliban flag now flies openly across Helmand province, staked on bullet-ridden buildings.

But after coveting control for two decades, they are ruling the nation at its most ruined.

Source: Hindustan Times

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

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/one-year-into-taliban-rule-misery-and-disease-conquer-afghanistan-101660115130212.html

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Taliban fighters swap guns for books as hundreds return to school 

11th August 2022

KABUL: Gul Agha Jalali used to spend his nights planting bombs -- hoping to target an Afghan government soldier or, better still, a foreign serviceman.

These days, the 23-year-old Taliban member is studying English and has enrolled in a computer science course in the capital, Kabul.

"When our country was occupied by infidels, we needed bombs, mortars and guns," says Jalali, an employee at the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation.

Now there is a greater need for education, he told AFP.

Since the Taliban swept back to power in August last year, hundreds of fighters have returned to school -- either on their own or pushed by their commanders.

The word "Taliban" actually means "students" in Arabic, and the hardline Islamist movement's name stems from the religious schools in southern Afghanistan it emerged from in the 1990s.

Most Taliban fighters were educated in these madrassas, where studies are largely limited to the Koran and other Islamic themes.

Many conservative Afghan clerics -- particularly among the Taliban -- are sceptical of more modern education, apart from subjects than can be applied practically, such as engineering or medicine.

"The world is evolving, we need technology and development," said Jalali, who planted bombs for five years but is now among a dozen Taliban studying computers at the transport ministry.

- 'Motivated mujahideen' -

The desire of fighters like Jalali to go back to school showed Afghans yearned for education, government spokesman Bilal Karimi said.

"Many motivated mujahideen who had not completed their studies reached out to educational institutions and are now studying their favourite courses," he told AFP.

But education is a hugely problematic issue in the country, with secondary school girls barred from classes since the Taliban returned to power -- and no sign of them being allowed back despite promises from some in the leadership.

While the earlier curriculum largely remains the same, studies on music and sculpture have been scrapped at schools and universities, which are suffering a paucity of teachers and lecturers following an exodus of Afghanistan's educated elite.

But some Taliban students, like Jalali, have big plans.

Kabul's Muslim Institute has a student body of around 3,000 -- half of them women -- and includes some 300 Taliban fighters, many distinctive with their bushy beards and turbans.

On a recent tour, AFP saw one Taliban fighter retrieve a pistol from a locker room at the end of his lessons -- an incongruous sight in a pastel-coloured room adorned with posters of smiling co-ed students.

"When they arrive, they hand over their weapons. They don't use force or take advantage of their position," said an institute official who asked not to be named.

- Desire to study -

Amanullah Mubariz was 18 when he joined the Taliban but never gave up his desire to study.

"I applied to a university in India, but I failed my English test," said Mubariz, now 25, declining to reveal his current position in the Taliban.

"That's why I enrolled here," he said, referring to the Muslim Institute.

Mohammad Sabir, in contrast, is happy to admit he works for the Taliban's intelligence agency despite also being a student at the private Dawat University.

"I resumed my studies this year after the victory of the Islamic Emirate," he says, his long hair and eyes lined with traditional kohl eyeliner peeking out from beneath a white turban.

Like Jalali, he paused his education to join the Taliban and also planted bombs and carried out ambushes with his brother in Wardak province.

Source: New Indian Express

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

https://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2022/aug/11/taliban-fighters-swap-guns-for-books-as-hundreds-return-to-school-2486465.html

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China delays bid by US and India to sanction Pakistan militant at UN

Aug 11, 2022

UNITED NATIONS: China delayed on Wednesday a proposal by the United States and India to sanction at the UN Security Council a top commander in the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group, diplomats said.

India and the United States wanted Abdul Rauf Azhar to be subjected to a global travel ban and asset freeze. Such a move has to be agreed by all 15 members of a Security Council sanctions committee.

"We placed a hold because we need more time to study the case. Placing holds is provided for by the committee guidelines, and there have been quite a number of similar holds by committee members on listing requests," a spokesperson for China's mission to the United Nations told Reuters.

The US treasury designated Azhar in 2010, accusing him of urging Pakistanis to engage in militant activities and organize suicide attacks in India.

The United States respects other countries needs to verify that a sanctions proposal meets their "domestic evidentiary threshold to justify a listing at the UN," a spokesperson for the US mission to the United Nations said on Wednesday.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/china-delays-bid-by-us-and-india-to-sanction-pakistan-militant-at-un/articleshow/93490062.cms

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Mideast

 

IRGC Commander Vows to Continue Arming Palestinian Factions

2022-August-10

Addressing a gathering in Tehran on Tuesday in support of the Palestinians and denouncing the Israeli regime’s latest military raid on the Gaza Strip, Rear Admiral Fadavi said that the IRGC will continue supplying Palestinians with arms.

The general pointed to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei’s emphasis on supporting Palestine and the assistance that late Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani provided for Palestinians, noting that “this process is permanent. The Islamic Revolution (Guards) Corps will steadily support them (Palestinians), and this is our duty".

Top commander then criticized some Islamic governments for supporting the Zionist regime at the expense of the Palestinians.

"The Islamic Revolution of Iran is doing the right thing and the Islamic governments must not follow in the footsteps of the falsehood," Fadavi continued.

He also stated that the “Zionist regime’s evils” took a stupid measure by attacking Gaza and once again suffered a defeat.

He said that the falsehood front will have to accept the terms of the righteousness front, and this happened in the case of the latest Israel war on Gaza which ended after Tel Aviv gave in to a truce.

Iran’s Leader Vows End of ‘Virus of Zionism’ in Near Futurehttps://t.co/5iPxSRavma pic.twitter.com/1dnmfLJH8L

— Fars News Agency (@EnglishFars) May 22, 2020

The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that the Israeli regime’s attacks had since Friday left at least 45 people, including women, children and two senior commander, dead and 350 wounded.

In response to the Israeli strikes, Palestinian resistance forces fired almost 1,000 rockets at the occupied territories, setting off air raid sirens and sending settlers running to bomb shelters.

Iran describes Israel as the root cause of instability in the region, but says the regime's US-supported barbarity will not change the inevitable fate of the Tel Aviv regime.

Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi strongly condemned the new crime committed by Tel Aviv in the Gaza Strip, and noted the Israeli regime is on a fast-track towards decline because of the resistance of the Palestinian people in the besieged enclave.

"Through its crime last night, the Zionist regime once more showed its occupationist and aggressive nature to the world," President Rayeesi stated on Saturday.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010519000329/IRGC-Cmmander-Vws-Cnine-Arming-Palesinian-Facins

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Iran parliament speaker commends Islamic Jihad on victory in latest Gaza war

10 August 2022 

Iranian parliament speaker Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf has commended the Palestinian resistance group Islamic Jihad on achieving an honorable victory in the latest confrontation with the Israeli regime.

Qalibaf made the remarks on Wednesday during a telephone call with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ziad al-Nakhala.

He hailed the Gaza-based resistance group as one of the “most effective” resistance movements fighting the apartheid Israeli regime.

The remarks came after the movement rained hundreds of rockets in response to the Israeli regime’s unprovoked and indiscriminate aggression that killed dozens of civilians and assassination two of the Islamic Jihad commanders.

The counterattack forced the Israeli regime to seek a truce with the movement, on the condition of releasing two of the resistance group's prisoners.

Iran's parliament speaker expressed condolences with Nakhala over the martyrdom of the group’s commanders while commending it for its victory in the face of the occupying regime.

“The Islamic Republic has stood by the Palestinian nation and the Palestinian Islamic resistance under all circumstances and with all its might,” the top parliamentarian asserted. 

The resistance leader, for his part, expressed gratitude to the Islamic Republic for his unwavering support of the Palestinian nation’s resistance against the Zionist regime.

Addressing the issue of the resistance’s defensive operations during the Israeli regime’s recent deadly incursion into Gaza, Nakhala said the Zionist regime "was forced to request a ceasefire and accept the Islamic Jihad’s conditions.”

He also noted how the resistance’s retaliatory rockets delivered blows to the occupying regime “in the depth of the occupied territories".

"The Islamic Jihad showed during the recent battle that it can withstand a great and drawn-out war with the occupying regime and deliver heavy blows to them (the Zionists)," he said in the call.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/08/10/687143/Iran-Palestine-Israel-Qalibaf-Islamic-Jihad-Nakhala

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Despite truce, Israeli forces kill commander, three other Palestinians

August 11, 2022

NABLUS (West Bank): Despite the truce, Israeli security forces on Wedn­esday killed a Palestinian commander and another fighter in a gunbattle in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, the military said, triggering further clashes in which Palestinians said two teens were killed in separate incidents.

Israeli forces surrounded the house of Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, a senior commander of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militant group long on Israel’s wanted list.

The shootout, in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, was the deadliest incident in the West Bank since Israel and the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad ended three days of fighting in Gaza, the worst in more than a year.

Palestinian officials said at least 44 Palestinians, half of them civilians, were killed during three days of Israeli strikes on Gaza, which ended with an Aug 7 truce between Israel and Islamic Jihad.

16 children among 44 Palestinians killed in conflict prior to truce

Al-Nabulsi was a member of the recently formed “Nablus Brigade”, a Palesti­nian militant alliance in the city which also includes Islamic Jihad’s militants. Hours after the shootout, tens of thousands attended his funeral and called for revenge.

Al-Nabulsi, barricaded inside, refused to surrender and was killed along with another militant during a gunbattle with Israeli forces, who also used shoulder-fired missiles in the fighting, the Israeli military claimed.

The gunbattle was followed by clashes during which the military said its troops responded with live fire against Palestinians throwing rocks and explosives at soldiers.

Islamic Jihad said a 16-year-old was killed while participating in a confrontation with Israeli troops.

In the West Bank city of Hebron, Palestinian health officials said a 17-year-old succumbed to his wounds after Israel shot him with live fire.

The military said it responded to a “violent riot” in the area and “a hit was identified”. Palestinian health officials confirmed the four deaths and said 40 more people were injured in total. There were no reports of Israeli casualties.

16 children killed

The latest conflict between Israel and Islamic Jihad militants has left 16 children dead. One of them was five-year-old Ala who was the first to be killed in the three days of intense fighting.

“It was a Friday like any other,” said Rasha Qadoom, 27, the mother of Ala, clutching tight the tiny pink rucksack belonging to her five-year-old daughter.

She said Alaa had been dressed in a pink T-shirt to match her pink bag with a pink ribbon tied in her hair.

“She was happy, she wanted to go to the park with her aunt.” But as she went to her aunt on Friday afternoon, Israel launched an intense “pre-emptive” bombardment of militant positions.

Alaa was knocking on the door of her aunt’s home when a missile smashed down from the sky.

Later that day — hours after Alaa was killed — militants began firing barrages of rockets in retaliation. The violence raged until a tenuous truce came into force on Sunday.

The Israeli army claimed it “only strikes military targets” and that Alaa’s father Abdullah, who was wounded in the strike, was a high-ranking member of Islamic Jihad.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1704260/despite-truce-israeli-forces-kill-commander-three-other-palestinians

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Minister: Iran, Russia to Launch Production Line of Khayyam Satellite

2022-August-10

Zarepour told reporters on Wednesday that plans are underway to launch a joint production line between Iran and Russia to build three updates of the remote sensing satellite with pinpoint accuracy.

The high-resolution Iranian satellite was successfully launched into space from a base in Kazakhstan on board a Russian rocket on Tuesday. The Iranian Ministry of Information and Communications Technology confirmed that first telemetry data from the satellite was received at Iran's ground stations.

Minister noted that the signals have been received “three or four times” at Iran’s Mahdasht station near Tehran.

He also added Iran will test a new satellite carrier within weeks that can place satellites weighing less than 100 kilograms in orbit.

Meanwhile, Head of the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) Hassan Salarieh told a press conference, “The remote sensing 'Khayyam' satellite can fulfill many of the country’s needs that require high-precision data.”

"Iran is planning on domestically designing and manufacturing satellites with the accuracy of the 'Khayyam' satellite within the next few years," he said on Wednesday.

"Since the satellite industry is one of the most important industries, cooperation with the world's leading countries and companies regarding the space industry will continue," he continued.

Also on Wednesday, Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi said the new achievements in the aerospace industries will be unveiled in the future.

"In the future, the country will witness new space achievements," he noted at the cabinet session in Tehran.

Rayeesi described the successful launch of the "Khayyam" satellite into orbit as source of pride and power.

Iranian president underscored the government’s serious determination to advance space technology.

Meantime, the ISA confirmed the proper functioning of the entire systems of the "Khayyam" satellite.

All the systems in the "Khayyam" satellite are functioning properly, according to the initial assessments of technicians at the station. After analyzing the telemetric data received from the satellite it was made clear that all its systems are functioning exactly as programmed and that the satellite's situation is on its ideal orbit.

The first signals from the "Khayyam" satellite were received about 90 minutes after it was launched at Iran’s Mahdasht Space Station that is in charge of controlling the satellite.

Imagery from the "Khayyam" satellite will be used to monitor Iran’s borders and improve the country’s capabilities in management and planning in the fields of agriculture, natural resources, environment, mining, and natural disasters.

Iran Preparing Three Remote-Sensing Satellites for Launch into Orbithttps://t.co/hofC3O9UQX pic.twitter.com/s68q6UZ2Xx

— Fars News Agency (@EnglishFars) August 3, 2022

Iran has taken giant strides in the field of science of technology in recent years, despite US sanctions.

In early June, the ISA announced that work was underway to prepare seven more satellites for launch into the orbit.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010519000620/Miniser-Iran-Rssia-Lanch-Prdcin-Line-f-Khayyam-Saellie

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Iran's Human Rights Chief Decries Global Inaction on Israeli Aggression Against Palestinians

2022-August-10

"Days have passed since the fanatic Israeli regime waged an incessant deadly blitz on innocent Palestinians," Deputy Chief of Iran's Judiciary and head of the country's Human Rights Headquarters wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

"The question is, how many children have to die so that the international community, UNSC (United Nations Security Council) and HRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) hold the bloodthirsty regime accountable for its’ unspeakable crimes?" he asked.

The Palestinian Health Ministry has confirmed that the Israeli regime’s attacks had since Friday left at least 64 people, including women, children and two senior commander, dead and 350 wounded.

Iran Blasts Int'l Community for Keeping Mum on Israeli Aggression Against Palestinianshttps://t.co/U4XK9MPCTD pic.twitter.com/rgIxUe48Kr

— Fars News Agency (@EnglishFars) August 7, 2022

Iran describes Israel as the root cause of instability in the region, but says the regime's US-supported barbarity will not change the inevitable fate of the Tel Aviv regime.

Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi strongly condemned the new crime committed by Tel Aviv in the Gaza Strip, and noted the Israeli regime is on a fast-track towards decline because of the resistance of the Palestinian people in the besieged enclave.

"Through its crime last night, the Zionist regime once more showed its occupationist and aggressive nature to the world," President Rayeesi stated on Saturday.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010519000169/Iran's-Hman-Righs-Chief-Decries-Glbal-Inacin-n-Israeli-Aggressin

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Iranians Strongly Condemn Israeli Massacre of Gazans

2022-August-10

The protesters gathered near Palestine Square in Tehran, where the Palestinian Embassy is located, on Tuesday, carrying placards and flags of Palestine and the resistance movements.

The demonstrators chanted slogans against the US, the UK and the Israeli regime and reiterated their support for the Palestinian people, who stood firm against Israel’s latest wave of strikes on the besieged enclave.

In their final statement, the protesters said the decades-long resistance of Palestine in the face of the usurpers of Al-Quds has today become more powerful thanks to unity among the Palestinian resistance groups.

In the recent Israeli war, the resistance movement fired more than 1,000 rockets and forced the Zionists to humiliatingly beg for a ceasefire based on the conditions of Islamic Jihad, the statement read, adding that this shows the hit-and-run era has come to an end for the Zionists and their supporters.

It noted the enhanced capacities and deterrence power of the Palestinian resistance has changed the equations and showed that the zealous and brave Palestinians would give crushing responses to the slightest moves of the Israeli regime.

Israel unleashed a wave of air raids on the Gaza Strip since Friday, killing more than 40 people, including several children and women, and wounding over 350 others. In response to the Israeli aggression, Palestinian resistance forces fired almost 1,000 rockets at the occupied territories, setting off air raid sirens and sending settlers running to bomb shelters.

After three days of heavy Israeli bombardment on the besieged enclave, the Tal Aviv regime and the Palestinian resistance movement Islamic Jihad declared a truce late Sunday.

The international community has strongly condemned the latest Israeli air raids in the Gaza Strip, voicing its deep concern over the latest rounds of violence by the Tel Aviv regime against Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave.

Iran describes Israel as the root cause of instability in the region, but says the regime's US-supported barbarity will not change the inevitable fate of the Tel Aviv regime.

Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi strongly condemned the new crime committed by Tel Aviv in the Gaza Strip, and said the Israeli regime is on a fast-track towards decline because of the resistance of the Palestinian people in the besieged enclave.

"Through its crime last night, the Zionist regime once more showed its occupationist and aggressive nature to the world," President Rayeesi stated on Saturday.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010519000111/Iranians-Srngly-Cndemn-Israeli-Massacre-f-Gazans

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Israel 'concerned' over Iran-Russia space cooperation

Said Amouri 

10.08.2022

JERUSALEM

Israeli officials on Wednesday voiced concern over Russian-Iranian space cooperation, a day after the launch of an Iranian satellite by a Russian rocket.

The Jerusalem Post newspaper quoted an Israeli official as saying that the satellite would "increase Iran's capabilities to potentially launch intercontinental ballistic missiles."

He warned that such Russian-Iranian cooperation may reduce the ability of Israel's "spies” to penetrate Iran’s border with operations “to hold back its nuclear progress."

On Tuesday, Russia launched Iran’s Khayyam satellite by a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan, according to Russia's space agency.

Russia's Roscosmos space agency chief Yury Borisov hailed the launch as a "landmark event in the Russia-Iran bilateral cooperation that paves the way for implementing new" joint projects.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israel-concerned-over-iran-russia-space-cooperation/2658318

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Africa

 

42 Malian soldiers killed in suspected jihadist attacks

August 11, 2022

BAMAKO, Mali: Forty-two Malian soldiers died in a sophisticated weekend attack by suspected jihadists using drones artillery, authorities said Wednesday, the latest violent incident to rock the troubled Sahel country.

The toll is one of the bloodiest in Mali’s decade-long insurgency, which has spread from the north of the country to the center and south and into neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

A document naming the dead was authenticated to AFP by several senior military officials, while the government later confirmed the toll in a statement that said 22 soldiers were injured and 37 “terrorists” were neutralized.

The attack occurred on Sunday in the town of Tessit, in the troubled “three-border” region where the frontiers of the three nations converge.

On Monday, the army had said 17 soldiers and four civilians had died. Relatives of the victims, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that some of the civilians had been elected officials.

Monday’s statement pointed the finger of blame at the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), saying its members had deployed “drone and artillery support and (used) explosives and an explosives-laden vehicle.”

The last time Mali’s armed forces sustained such losses was in a string of attacks in the same region in late 2019 and early 2020.

Hundreds of soldiers were killed in assaults on nearly a dozen bases, typically carried out by highly mobile fighters on motorbikes.

The raids prompted the Malian, Nigerien and Burkinabe forces to fall back from forward bases and hunker down in better-defended locations.

In January 2020, France and its Sahel allies agreed on a push against the ISGS at a summit in Pau, southwestern France.

Several of its leaders were targeted and killed, including its founder, Abu Walid Al-Sahraoui, but local people say the group has continued to recruit and carry out its operations.

Tessit is one of the hotspots in the three-border area.

The ISGS is fighting for control of the strategic, gold-rich area against an Al-Qaeda-linked alliance, the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM).

In March 2021, 33 soldiers were killed in an ISGS-claimed ambush as units were being rotated, and in February this year, around 40 civilians — suspected by the ISGS of being in league with Al-Qaeda — were massacred.

Mobile phone connections to the area have been frequently cut over the last few years and physical access is hard, especially during the mid-year rainy season.

Thousands have fled Tessit to the nearest large town, Gao, which is located some 150 kilometers (90 miles) to the north.

Across the Sahel, the jihadist campaign has claimed thousands of lives and forced more than two million to flee their homes.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2140371/world

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Tunisian administrative court suspends president’s dismissal of 50 judges: Lawyer

10 August, 2022

A Tunisian court has halted President Kais Saied’s dismissal of around 50 judges, a lawyer said on Wednesday, underscoring the continued independence of courts despite Saied’s moves to assume wider authority over the judiciary.

Saied dismissed 57 judges on June 1, accusing them of corruption and protecting terrorists - charges that the Tunisian Judges’ Association said were mostly politically motivated.

The lawyer, Kamel Ben Massoud, told Reuters that the Tunis administrative court had rejected the appeals of at least seven judges but blocked the dismissal of the others, pending a final ruling by a higher court.

Saied last month pushed through a new constitution through a referendum giving himself nearly unchecked powers, which his critics say will spawn one-man rule and the end of meaningful democracy.

The constitution has given him ultimate authority over both the government and judicial appointments, while making the parliament largely toothless.

The moves, which Saied and supporters say were needed to end years of political paralysis and economic stagnation in Tunisia, formalize temporary powers that he assumed after shutting down the elected parliament a year ago.

Among those moves was the replacement in March of several members of the Supreme Judicial Council, the body responsible for overseeing judges and the guarantor of judicial independence.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/08/10/Tunisian-administrative-court-suspends-president-s-dismissal-of-50-judges-Lawyer

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8 killed, more than 800 prisoners escape after terror attack in Congo

Aurore Bonny  

10.08.2022

DOUALA, Cameroon

Eight people, including two policemen and a civilian, were killed in an attack by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) at the central prison of Kakwangura in Butembo in the Congo, according to an army spokesman.

Eighty members of the "ADF terrorists" attacked the prison overnight Tuesday to free 13 comrades, including 12 women inmates, Capt. Anthony Mualushayi said at a news conference.

The ADF is a terror group affiliated with the Daesh-aligned Islamic State in the Central African Province (ISCAP) that has been committing atrocities for years in Congo.

Congolese media reported that in addition to the deaths, 822 prisoners escaped from the facility, compared to the 874 who were registered at the facility Tuesday.

The military intervened "with a delay" against the enemy who had already broken the prison's door and evacuated the inmates, according to Mualushayi, who was quoted by Congolese media outlet, Actualite.cd.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/8-killed-more-than-800-prisoners-escape-after-terror-attack-in-congo/2658537

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Algeria says keen to develop ties with Türkiye

Abderrazak Boulkemh 

10.08.2022

ALGIERS, Algeria

Algerian Prime Minister Ayman Ben Abdul Rahman said Wednesday he had informed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the desire of his counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune to open new horizons in relations between the two countries.

The Algerian premier conveyed the message during his meeting with President Erdogan on Tuesday on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Islamic Solidarity Games held in Konya, central Türkiye, according to a statement published by the Algerian premier’s Facebook account.

Stating that the meeting focused on many files especially trade and investment, Ben Abdul Rahman said: "I conveyed to him (the Turkish president) the greetings of his brother Abdelmadjid Tebboune and his will to move forward in order to dedicate new horizons to Algerian-Turkish relations."

Ben Abdul Rahman said his participation in the opening ceremony of the Islamic Solidarity Games "reflects the depth of relations between Algeria and Türkiye and the desire to strengthen them."

Tebboune's visit to Türkiye culminated in mid-May, with the signing of 15 cooperation agreements between the two countries, covering various economic, cultural and social sectors.

Tebboune said in a recent interview with the state TV that “Algeria’s strive for developing ties with Türkiye is normal given the long history between the two countries.”

In June, Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay said his country's investments in Algeria reached $5 billion.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/algeria-says-keen-to-develop-ties-with-turkiye/2658260

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Southeast Asia

 

Ex-Navy Chief Rubbishes Claims 2017 LCS Launch Was To Deceive Public

August 10, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Former navy chief Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin has rubbished claims that a 2017 launch event for the littoral combat ship (LCS) project was intended to deceive the public.

Pictures of the launch event in Lumut, Perak, have been making the rounds on social media. Netizens have claimed a fully commissioned ship is seen in the pictures.

However, Kamarulzaman, who was at the launch, said the ship was not fully complete at the time.

“It has long been tradition and practice for the navy to launch and name a warship before it is fully completed,” he said in a statement.

“In fact, this is also a common practice in other countries.”

Kamarulzaman cited the testimony of navy captain Azhar Jumaat in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report, which also stated that it was tradition to launch and name a ship before its completion.

He said any claims that the launch was intended to deceive the public were “untrue”.

“The ship at the launch event in Lumut was a real LCS unit that was under construction, not a dummy,” he said. “All this was explained during the last PAC session.”

The LCS project has come under much scrutiny after PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh recently revealed that not a single ship had been completed although Putrajaya had spent RM6 billion on the project, which was given to Boustead Naval Shipyard through direct negotiations.

Meanwhile, in his testimony to the PAC, Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Bhd CEO Sharifuddin Md Zaini Al-Manaf said the mast on the ship at the 2017 launch event was a “waste of money”.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/08/10/ex-navy-chief-rubbishes-claims-2017-lcs-launch-was-to-deceive-public/

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Too soon to decide on targeted subsidies, says Tengku Zafrul

August 9, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: The decision to introduce targeted subsidies will only be made when the economic situation permits after the rate of inflation can be properly controlled, finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said.

He said it was too early to make a decision to introduce targeted subsidies in the coming 2023 federal budget as it would be inappropriate to do so at a time of high global inflation.

“We also need to understand that non-targeted subsidies in the long-term will not benefit the country’s economic growth.

“We are still in the recovery process and this matter needs to be discussed in the Cabinet as to whether targeted subsidies will be introduced in the 2023 Budget,” he said in an RTM talk show.

He said structural reforms would be implemented to help the vulnerable if the economic situation in 2023 permits, the global geopolitical conflict eases and the country’s economic growth stabilises.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/08/09/too-soon-to-decide-on-targeted-subsidies-says-tengku-zafrul/

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MACC’s report led to probe on ministers, civil servants, says witness

V Anbalagan

August 10, 2022

SHAH ALAM: The High Court in Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s corruption trial heard today that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigated allegations that bribes were paid to ministers and senior civil servants.

Investigating officer V Mahendran said he was directed on Sept 27, 2018 by the then MACC deputy director of special investigations to probe the matter following a report by another MACC officer, S Vijaya Kumar.

“This was in relation to bribes paid by Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) to ministers and civil servants in the home ministry in relation to the processing and issuance of visas for tourists from China,” he said in his witness statement.

“The main aim of this investigation was to secure documents in relation to the contract to process and issue visas to tourists from China from 2010 and 2018 and also to identify the witnesses involved.”

He said the investigation was classified under Section 16(b)(B) of the MACC Act as it is an offence for those holding public office and civil servants to accept bribes.

Mahendran, the 18th and last prosecution witness, said MACC also took statements from several senior officers from the home ministry.

Zahid is facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM42 million) from UKSB as the then home minister to extend the firm’s contract as the operator of the one-stop centre in China and the foreign visa (VLN) system as well as to maintain the contract agreement for the supply of the VLN integrated system.

The Umno president and Bagan Datuk MP is also accused of another seven counts of obtaining for himself S$1.15 million, RM3 million, 15,000 Swiss francs and US$15,000 from the same company in connection with his official duties.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/08/10/maccs-report-led-to-probe-on-ministers-civil-servants-says-witness/

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Loke’s stance on joining forces a ‘recognition’ of Umno’s strength, says Ahmad

August 11, 2022

PETALING JAYA: DAP’s recent stance of not ruling out any cooperation with Umno was a “recognition” of the latter’s strength, its secretary-general, Ahmad Maslan, said.

Ahmad claimed that DAP had finally realised that Umno had the strongest grassroots support compared to other parties.

The Pontian MP said Umno’s 22,000 branches made it difficult for its rivals to topple the party regardless of whether there was a “political tsunami”.

“Whether they like it or not, they are forced to admit this,” he said in an interview last night.

Ahmad said this in response to his DAP counterpart, Loke Siew Fook, stating that DAP and Umno could join forces after the 15th general election due to the absence of a single, dominant party.

In an interview with FMT, Loke said collaboration between different parties was now more likely.

On Aug 7, FMT reported Loke as “implying” that any cooperation between DAP and Umno might happen after GE15 since Malaysian politics had experienced drastic changes post-GE14 with the absence of a single, dominant party.

He said there might be higher chances of cooperation between political coalitions.

DAP was open to working with any party pursuing these same agendas, he said.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/08/11/lokes-stance-on-joining-forces-a-recognition-of-umnos-strength-says-ahmad/

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Japan provides $3m aid for makeshift clinics in Yemen

August 11, 2022

The Japanese government has provided $3m in aid to help set up eight temporary clinics in Yemen.

The cash was provided through the United Nations Office for Project services, the Yemen News Agency (SABA) reported.

The clinics will operate in Aden, Lahj, Abyan, Dhale’, Marib, Shabwa, Hadhramout and Mahra, the Ministry of Public Health said.

Every clinic will be equipped with a fully equipped laboratory, ultrasound and x-ray equipment, and an ECG and examination room.

Meanwhile Yemen’s Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Muamar Al-Eryani has praised Japan’s humanitarian efforts in Yemen during a meeting with Charge D’Affairs of the Japanese Embassy in Yemen Kazohiro Higashe on Wednesday, according to SABA.

The two discussed mutual relations between Japan and Yemen, as well as ways to enhance the countries’ bilateral ties.

Al-Eryani also shared the latest developments in Yemen, including the Houthis’ violations of the UN Truce and the militia’s refusal to end the siege in Taiz, SABA reported.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2140491/world

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