Magical First Year at the Movies as Saudi Cinemas Herald Big Screen Revival
Azhar Issue at UNSC Headed For Settlement, But No Apr 23 Deadlines: China
Conference Not A Wedding Party, Taliban Tell Afghan Govt
So-Called ‘Peace’ Plan for Palestine Dead On Arrival
Acting as Al-Qaeda’s Big Brother, Fomenting Bigotry against Muslims'
Amending Native Laws to Set Marriage Age At 18
Protests Presence of Islamic Flag at Jakarta Polling Station
Confirms Islamic Relief Ties To Muslim Brotherhood
Al-Bashir Transferred to Prison in Khartoum: Sources
Pakistan, Makkah Grand Mosque Imam Stresses Media’s Importance in Spreading
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
Pakistan, Makkah Grand Mosque imam stresses media’s importance in spreading
PAKISTAN: Saudi Arabia’s mission is “the message of peace, security and
stability to all the peoples of the world,” Sheikh Abdullah bin Awad Al-Juhani,
the imam of the Grand Mosque, said.
comments came as he inaugurated the Holy Qur’an channel in the Paigham network,
an Islamic educational media group supervised by the Ahl Al-Hadeeth Central
Association in Pakistan.
bin Said Al-Malki, Saudi ambassador to Pakistan, and Sajid Mir, chairman of the
Ahl Al-Hadeeth Association and member of the Pakistan Senate, attended the inauguration
along with officials and heads of Islamic associations.
ceremony took place at the General Assembly of the Ahl Al-Hadeeth Association
stressed on the importance of the media in spreading the Islamic call, and
highlighting the true image of moderate Islam, which fights extremism and
Kingdom under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman “seeks to promote good deeds to the whole world,” he said.
Kingdom’s mission is the message of peace, security and stability to all the
peoples of the world,” he added.
said that the Kingdom has always stood by Pakistan and its people in all
matters, including cooperation in the service of Islam and Muslims.
said: “The Holy Qur’an channel ... will be a permanent link between the viewer
and the book of God, to read the wise verses to everyone’s ears.”
praised the efforts of the Kingdom and its leadership to distribute and spread
the Qur’an, and support those who work in this field.
magical first year at the movies as Saudi cinemas herald big screen revival
seats have been filled, the popcorn bought and, for the past 12 months, the
magic of the movies has been casting a spell over the Kingdom, where the buzz
of the big screen had been a dim and distant memory. It has been a year since,
as part of the country’s Vision 2030 program of reforms, Saudi Arabia lifted a
35-year ban on cinemas, paving the way for theater chains to unveil ambitious
plans to open hundreds of cinemas, with thousands of screens, across the nation
in the next decade. And moviegoers just cannot get enough of it, regularly
packing out screenings at the first venues to open in Riyadh and Jeddah.
mark the first anniversary, Arab News asked entertainment chiefs what they have
learned from Saudi audiences since that historic first screening of Marvel’s
“Black Panther” on April 18, 2018 at the AMC cinema in Riyadh’s King Abdullah
fantasies, comedies and action dramas have proved most popular with audiences,
who have flocked to a mix of global box-office hits and regional films.
Cinemas — Saudi Arabia’s biggest movie operator, with plans to invest SR2billion
($533 million) to open 600 screens by 2023 — said it released 114 films across
the Kingdom in the past year. The biggest money spinner was Marvel superhero
movie “Captain Marvel,” which broke through the billion-dollar global
box-office barrier this month — followed by “Cold Pursuit,” an American
black-comedy action film starring Liam Neeson, and “Aquaman,” another superhero
movie, this time based on a DC Comics character
out the top 10 list was M. Night Shyamalan’s fantasy-drama sequel “Glass,” Egyptian
comedy “Nadi Elregal Elsary,” horror thriller “Us,” science fiction thriller
“Alita: Battle Angel,” US superhero film “Shazam!”, Egyptian comedy “El Badla”
and Hollywood comedy-drama “The Upside,” according to Cameron Mitchell, CEO of
Majid Al-Futtaim Cinemas, of which VOX Cinemas is a subsidiary. “El Badla” had
the distinction of being the longest-running film in the country over the past
Cinemas was granted its license to operate in the Kingdom in April last year
and opened its first multiplex in Riyadh Park in the same month. It has four
screens, including an IMAX screen and VOX Kids, the first dedicated children’s
theater in the Middle East.
launching Saudi Arabia’s first multiplex in April 2018, the Majid Al-Futtaim
group has been delighted by the response from our guests in the Kingdom,” said
Mitchell. “In the 12 months since obtaining our license, Majid Al-Futtaim has
built five locations with a total of 47 screens, and is planning to open at
least another 70 screens this year, on track to reaching our goal of 600
screens in Saudi Arabia by 2023.”
now has three additional locations in Riyadh: a luxury cinema in Kingdom Tower,
which opened this week; Al-Qasr Mall; and The Roof in Alyasmin District. This
year the chain also opened the first multiplex in Jeddah, at Red Sea Mall.
Saudi Arabian team is proving to be talented and passionate, and is offering a
service level and entertainment experience comparable with the highest
international standards, with particularly our VOX Kids and IMAX experiences
delighting guests in Riyadh and Jeddah,” said Mitchell.
are honored to be supporting the 2030 Vision of Saudi Arabia, which noted that
‘culture and entertainment are indispensable to our quality of life,’ and our
teams will continue to work tirelessly to meet our vision of creating great
moments for everyone every day.”
are proving so popular that cinemagoers are having to book well in advance, and
Mitchell said 95 percent of the tickets so far sold for Riyadh Park — which
screened 82 films in 2018 — were booked online.
see this trend continuing with all new openings, as guests want to ensure they
are securing seats,” he added.
now has 39 screens and plans to open a further 110 by the end of the year. These
will include the first multiplexes in the Eastern Region and Tabuk.
VOX and another leading operator in the region, Carnival Cinemas, plan to open
nearly 1,000 screens across the Kingdom, according to experts at the Cinema
Build KSA Forum in Riyadh this month, which was organized to explore
opportunities in the emerging sector.
envisions operating about 300-plus screens over the next five years in the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Sunil Puthan Veettil, the company’s managing
director. “Our mission is to take a good-quality movie-watching experience
close to the people in the country. For this, we have made a study of all the
provinces and identified several locations, subject to approval. Our idea is to
move to all these provinces to set up entertainment centers and to make
Carnival synonymous with cinema across the country.”
the forum, Saudi officials estimated that by 2030, the number of cinemas in
operation could be as high as 350, with as many as 2,500 screens.
operating licenses have also been awarded to: AMC Theaters, an American chain
owned and operated by Wanda Group; the Al-Rashed Empire Cinema Consortium,
which plans to build 30 theaters in the country over the next three years; and
Lux Entertainment, in partnership with Cinepolis, the biggest cineplex chain in
Mexico, Al-Hokair Group for Tourism and Development, a Saudi-based hospitality
and entertainment group, and Al Tayer Group, one of the leading companies in
the field of retail operation in the UAE and the wider GCC.
announced in October plans for 300 screens in 15 cities across Saudi Arabia by
operators, including Gulf-based Novo Cinemas, which has announced it is in
talks to roll out in Saudi Arabia, have also registered an interest.
Sullivan, director of The Light Cinemas, a British independent chain, said it
recently joined forces with new cinema brand Muvi to launch the Kingdom’s “very
first all-Saudi Arabian cinema group,” which plans to open 15 locations across
the country, including in Riyadh and Dammam.
think it is crucial for property owners in particular to understand their
responsibility for figuring out what the cinema will deliver to their assets,
and how to deliver that, rather than abdicate their responsibilities to others,”
the investment opportunities that have opened up in the Kingdom, Sullivan
added: “The market at the moment is emerging; we don’t know where it will go.
I’ve opened cinemas now in 30 countries around the world and every single one
of them is entirely different, so you will not know what’s happening in cinemas
here for probably one to two years; then we will have a better understanding of
Haddad, the managing director of Empire Cinemas, said that the potential Saudi
market “is estimated to be almost as big as the whole (of the rest of the)
when the market opened up for cinemas, all the operators had full eyes on the
Saudi market because it means big numbers,” he added. “We are estimating the
market at least to be up to 2,000 screens, and we are very much interested in
developing this market.
also want to focus on the educational side of cinema; we want to help bring up
the new generation to understand and to live with cinema and perceive it not
only as entertainment, but also as their future careers.”
General Authority for Entertainment has indicated that SR267 billion is needed
to build suitable infrastructure to serve the entertainment sector across the
Kingdom, with expected investments in the sector expected to reach SR18 billion
annually, according to a 2018 report from Flanders Investment and Trade.
month, the Saudi government announced that SR131 billion will be invested in
building cinemas and theaters, mainly in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.
to a study by PwC Middle East, a global advisory firm, the Kingdom’s cinema
industry — which will serve a population of more than 32 million, the majority
of whom are under the age of 30 — is expected to generate $1.5 billion in
annual revenue by 2030.
world is witnessing Saudi Arabia’s confident steps toward an unprecedented era
of social and economic reforms,” said Leila Masinaei, a managing partner at
Great Minds Event Management, which staged the Cinema Build KSA Forum.
lifting of the cinema ban opens doors to untrodden ground for investments and
lucrative revenue streams for the Kingdom.”
reports that it had been given a deadline of April 23 by the US, UK and France
to lift its “technical hold” on the proposal to list Jaish-e-Mohammad chief
Masood Azhar as a global terrorist at the United Nations, China on Wednesday
said the issue was moving towards a settlement.
development comes after reports said P-3 countries — US, UK and France — had
fixed April 23 as the deadline for China to lift its technical hold in the 1267
Committee or else they would press for a discussion on the issue at the UNSC.
need to get clarification from the sources about where you get such
information. China’s position is very clear. This issue should be resolved
through cooperation. We don’t believe that any efforts without the consensus of
members will achieve satisfying results,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang
the Pulwama attack in February, where a Jaish suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF
personnel, a fresh proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda
Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and
China, a veto-wielding member of the UNSC, blocked the bid by putting a
technical hold on the proposal — its fourth overall. However, the key takeaway
for India was that for the first time since 2009, it got 13 co-sponsors for the
the issue of listing Azhar, China’s position remains unchanged. We also stay in
communication with relevant parties. The matter is moving towards the direction
of the settlement,” Kang further said.
this month, after the US threatened to use ‘all available resources’ to get
Azhar designated as a global threat, China said it would further complicate
peace and stability in South Asia.
relevant parties are forcing new resolution through the UN Security Council. We
firmly oppose that. In fact, the relevant discussion in UNSC, most members
expressed wish that this issue should be discussed within the 1267 committee
and they don’t hope to bypass it to handle the issue,” Kang said.
directly referring to the US, Lu said, “We hope the relevant country can
respect the opinion of most members of the UNSC to act in a cooperative manner
and help this issue be properly resolved within the framework of the 1267
conference not a wedding party, Taliban tell Afghan govt
Taliban on Wednesday mocked the Afghan government over the list of 250
delegates for the anxiously awaited intra-Afghan conference in Qatar, saying
that it was not a “wedding party” for which 250 delegates had been nominated,
and added that only a “limited number” of politicians from the list would be
Presidential Palace in Kabul on Tuesday issued a 250-member list for the
meeting with the Taliban in Qatar on April 20-21. Former president Hamid
Karzai, who is one of the main characters behind the intra-Afghan talks, is out
of the long list of participants. However, sources close to the former
president said he was “most likely” to attend the talks. “The creators of Kabul
list must realise that this is an orderly and prearranged conference in a
far-away Gulf country and not an invitation to some wedding or other party at a
hotel in Kabul,” the Taliban said in reaction to the Kabul list.
a limited number of political and national figures from this list are selected
for the finalised list, and only they shall be participating,” Taliban
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.
spokesman accused the Afghan government of “trying to be a spoiler with such
actions”, adding that arranging and publishing such lists signified that the
Kabul administration feared these conferences and progress towards peace.
Taliban also reminded the Afghan government that the hosts of the conference
had explained in both written and verbal forms that no “one will be
representing the Kabul administration in the conference”. “If any participant
is affiliated with the Kabul administration, as was the case in the Moscow
conference, they shall partake in personal capacity and express their own
personal views, as no one is allowed to represent the Kabul administration,”
the Taliban spokesman said.
President Ashraf Ghani, however, defended the list and told several members in
the list that they would represent the Afghan government and the nation in
talks with the Taliban.
described the intra-Afghan talks as a chance for peace and urged the
participants to convey to the Taliban that there was no other option but to
hold talks with the government to end the war, according to the Presidential
have a historic opportunity to resolve our issues through debate and with deep
thinking. National, Islamic, regional and international conditions are set for
peace, and peace is the symbol of courage and power,” the president said.
Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah, speaking on the occasion, hoped that efforts by
the delegates would pave the way for direct talks between the Taliban and the
Qatar conference is significant as government representatives will for the
first time sit face-to-face with the Taliban even if they do not represent the
government, but no one can deny official status of many in the list of 250
Taliban had a tough longstanding stance of not talking to the Afghan
government, and first wanted to solve issues with the Americans. But now they
will directly speak to the government nominees.
Taliban have been criticised for not talking to the Afghans when they started a
dialogue with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay
Khalilzad in October.
the Taliban say they are talking to Afghans to create an understanding and
remove their (people’s) concerns.
Afghan government was unhappy at the intra-Afghan dialogue since it was started
in Moscow in February. So this moot is an opportunity for the officials to meet
the Taliban political envoys.
was in a fix over attending the conference when a senior Qatari official
informed President Ghani of the Taliban’s willingness to accept a Qatari
request to sit with Afghan government delegates. If Ghani’s administration
refused to attend, it would be isolated further. Ghani was critical of the
Moscow round, as it benefited Ghani’s political opponents. Important
personalities like Karzai, Yunus Qanuni, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Muhammad Mohaqiq
and Omar Zakhilwal – who were among the participants of the Moscow talks – are
making an anti-Ghani’s alliance in the elections. The US policy about these
meetings is also not very clear. It does not publicly opposes the process, but
its support is also vague.
Afghans are happy at the process and have pinned high hopes to it, as the
Taliban and their former foes are meeting and creating an understanding. The
Taliban and their opponents had fought in the past, but are now involved in
negotiations that would remove concerns about the future after the Taliban and
the US reached a peace deal.
so-called ‘peace’ plan for Palestine dead on arrival
President Donald Trump’s so-called “peace plan” has been dismissed by Palestinian
authorities before its unveiling at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner said
Wednesday that the plan would be unveiled until June.
will all have to look for reasonable compromises that will make peace
achievable,” Kushner said.
in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah Tuesday, Palestinian
Authority Prime Minster Mohammad Shtayyeh lashed out at Trump’s initiative
allegedly to bring about peace between Israelis and Palestinians, asserting
that it is “born dead.” Trump’s “deal of the century” comes in the backdrop of
his recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of the Israeli regime.
noted that negotiations with the US are useless in the wake f the country’s
relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city, which Palestinians
consider the capital city of their future state.
of the century which was presented to us, which we do not think that there is
anything left of it that was not publicized yet, and if there is anything left
that has not been publicized yet, then it must be worse than what was made
public, and therefore, from the beginning we came to understand that such a
plan will not be accepted by us,” he said. “It's enough that it excluded
Jerusalem from Palestine, we do not want to hear the rest. What kind of
solution and cause does President Trump plan to discuss? I doubt that there is
a point to having discussions with him after he moved the embassy to Jerusalem,
and announced that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel."
Palestinian premier further suggested that Trump’s pro-Israel policies has left
him with no allies among Palestinians or even Europeans.
are no partners in Palestine for Trump. There are no Arab partners for Trump
and there are no European partners for Trump,” Shtayyeh said.
further censured Trump over declaring a “financial war” on the Palestinian
want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East
Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major
sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement
expansion on Palestinian territories.
backtracked on Washington’s support for a “two-state solution” in 2017, saying
he would support any solution favored by both sides.
acting as al-Qaeda’s big brother, fomenting bigotry against Muslims'
Representative Tulsi Gabbard has launched a Twitter attack against US President
Donald Trump, describing him as the “big brother and protector” of the
Saudi-sponsored al-Qaeda terror group, while "fomenting bigotry against
Muslims for political gain."
made the comments in defense of fellow Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who has been
targeted by President Trump because of her recent remarks about the 9/11 terror
a video posted on her Twitter account on Sunday, Gabbard, also a 2020
Democratic presidential candidate, said Trump’s criticism of Minnesota
Representative Omar was “complete hypocrisy.”
Saudi kingdom is reported to have helped plan the 9/11 terror attacks in New
York. Riyadh is also widely believed to be a key sponsor of Takfiri terrorist
outfits operating in the Middle East and elsewhere.
further blasted the Saudis for “spending billions of dollars spreading their
exclusivist, radical” ideology around the world, “the very same ideology that
has been inspiring al-Qaeda and ISIS (Daesh) and other terrorists to carry out
their barbaric acts.”
at the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Sunday, Omar said the
body had been “founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did
something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil
the remarks, Trump launched a Twitter attack against Omar, saying “WE WILL
NEVER FORGET” and accusing her of diminishing 9/11.
noted, “Trump says ‘WE WILL NEVER FORGET (9/11)!’ Yet it is Trump who’s been
acting as al-Qaeda’s big brother and protector in Syria.”
also slammed the US president for having turned “America into the prostitute of
al-Qaeda's biggest supporter: the Saudis.”
yet another damning tweet, Gabbard accused President Trump of
"shamelessly" fomenting fear of all Muslims for selfish and political
Democrats have also condemned the US president for “inciting violence” against
said that Omar’s words about the 9/11 attacks had been taken out of context. It
also condemned Trump’s “life-endangering” tweet, saying he uses “shocking
imagery” to potentially incite violence against a Congresswoman while
“exploiting a national tragedy” at the same time.
amending native laws to set marriage age at 18
KINABALU, April 18 — The Sabah state government said today it will amend
legislation by the next state legislative assembly meeting to ban child
and Native affairs minister Datuk Aidi Mokhtar said that the state is proposing
to amend the Islamic Family Law Enactment and the Native Courts Enactment and
any other relevant laws.
have agreed to raise the minimum marriage age to 18, so we are proposing that
the Islamic Family Law Enactment and the Native Courts Enactment plus any other
relevant laws be amended in the coming state assembly sitting," said Aidi in
his winding up speech at the state legislative assembly here today.
year, Sabah's underage marriage laws became the subject of controversy when
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said the state was considering Sabah
Mufti Datuk Ismail Bungsu Aziz Jaafar's suggestion to reduce the minimum
marriage age for Muslim girls from 16 to 14 years old, with the approval of the
Shafie said the Cabinet has decided to make 18 the minimum marriage age in
the poorer districts of Sabah, culture sometimes dictates that young children
be married off early to help lift the families' burden or in cases where they
cannot afford to continue school.
protests presence of Islamic flag at Jakarta polling station
casting their ballots in polling station (TPS) 110 located within the SMK Yasda
Islamic vocational school compound in Kuningan, South Jakarta, were surprised
to see several Shahada (Islamic creed) flags – which are associated with the
disbanded Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) group – displayed at the site.
was surprising and regrettable. Why are flags from a disbanded organization
being erected at a polling station?” said a 55-year-old voter who wished to
remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue.
woman, who was there with four members of her family, secretly took pictures of
the flags and shared them through messaging apps. She added that other voters
had also conveyed a similar complaint.
didn’t seem to be bothered and I started to question their impartiality,” she
said, referring to the fact that HTI members are known supporters of Prabowo
Subianto, the sole challenger to incumbent candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in
the presidential election.
groups have repeatedly denied that the Shahada flag belonged to one specific
flags have been there [SMK Yasada] for a long time and we don’t think it’s
necessary to take them down because they do not carry any political messages,”
said local poll administrator (KPPS) chief Ahmad Zakarsih.
flags were removed later in the afternoon.
received an order from the Jakarta Police,” said Hamid, a KPPS member.
received 141 votes while Jokowi earned 81 votes at the polling station.
confirms Islamic Relief ties to Muslim Brotherhood
officials have accused Islamic Relief Worldwide of “significant” connections to
the underground Muslim Brotherhood, triggering concerns among politicians over
the diversion of official funds to Islamists.
submission to the Bundesrat revealed that the powerful Federal Court of Audit
was examining official grants to Islamic Relief, which was founded in
Birmingham, UK, that totalled €6.1 million in the years to 2016. The response
said Islamic Relief was connected to Muslim Brotherhood groups not only in
Europe but around the world.
MP Oliver Luksic said the answer was deeply alarming. "It is a scandal
that German taxpayers' money is going to go to Islamists," he said.
centrist party has called on the German government to address the issue as an
“urgent problem” and said its refusal to accept concerns expressed by
parliament was a matter of deep concern.
of the German funding provided to Islamic Relief was designated for projects in
Syria, the statement added.
United Arab Emirates designated Islamic Relief Worldwide as a terrorist
organisation in 2014 over its global links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile
concerns over the provenance of funds led global banking giant HSBC to shut
down Islamic Relief’s accounts as had the Swiss banking corporation UBS four
announcement of a German review into official funding of Brotherhood-related
groups comes amid growing concern over the spreading influence of the group in
the country. The most recent published intelligence assessment said that there
were an estimated 1,040 Brotherhood activists active in the country. It further
said the group exerted active control over 50 mosques or Islamic centres.
concerns about the group’s underground influence at centres in Bonn, Colletta
Manemann, Germany’s Integration Commissioner, warned that mosque-goers were
targeted by the group. “To our knowledge, the Brotherhood is more in the focus
of the security agencies than ever before,” she said. “We welcome that.”
Relief Worldwide rejected the claims and said it was seeking clarification from
surfacing in the German media claiming that Islamic Relief Worldwide has ties
to the Muslim Brotherhood are damaging, defamatory and false," it said.
"Islamic Relief is a purely humanitarian organisation, which categorically
has no ties to any political group.
ensure no abuse of the organisation of any kind occurs, Islamic Relief employs
comprehensive control mechanisms – including screening all staff, trustees and
volunteers and ensuring that financial transfers require multiple approvals –
that preclude any individual from making use of IRW’s projects and/or funds for
extraneous purposes. These control mechanisms have been applauded in
independent audit reports.
independent affiliate office in Germany is in contact with the local
authorities to seek clarifications on this urgent matter.”
its website, the group sets out its history of working with governments since
it was founded in Britain by Egyptian Hany El Banna. It became the first
specialist Muslim charity to gain British government funding for projects in
Africa in 1994.
signed a framework partnership with the EU in 2002 and became a member of the
UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) which distributes funds from
nationwide appeals in 2005. In Britain alone its annual Ramadan campaign raises
more than £10 million annually.
concerns in German over the Brotherhood have led warnings that groups Islamic
Community of Germany, known by the initials IGD, actively seeks to be the
government’s recognised partner in dealing with Muslim-focussed issues of
policy and community relations.
official intelligence report stated as much in 2018 and said members went to
actively concealed their ideological beliefs. “The goal of the IGD is to be the
recognised contact point in Germany for established Islam,” it said. “It
therefore pursues a Muslim Brotherhood ideology-oriented strategy of influence
in the political and social sphere.
public appearances, confessions to the Muslim Brotherhood and any
anti-constitutional statements are avoided. Nevertheless, the activities of the
IGD centres are rooted in the ideological orientation of the Muslim
Brotherhood, including negative attitudes towards Western values and an
antipathy to democracy.”
Beck, a Green Party politician, said the Brotherhood had built up ties with the
main Islamic body for German Turks, using a conference organised in Cologne
late last year as a platform for pan-European ambitions. “At the conference at
the Islamic centre in Cologne there was the presence of the Muslim
Brotherhood,” he said. “This event is quite interesting and a bit terrifying.
They are not anymore trying to organise the Muslims in Germany but on a
al-Bashir transferred to prison in Khartoum: sources
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is being transferred to Kobar prison in the
capital Khartoum, sources told Al Arabiya.
son of Sudan’s main opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi said that President Omar
al-Bashir was under house arrest since his ouster, along with a number of
Muslim Brotherhood leaders, al-Hadath TV reported.
is being held under tight security in solitary confinement, a source at the
his removal by the military last Thursday, Bashir had been detained under heavy
guard in the presidential residence inside the compound that also houses the
Defence Ministry, the family sources said.
military ousted Bashir after weeks of protests against him that culminated in a
sit-in outside the Defense Ministry compound that began on April 6. Protests
are still going on despite his removal.
ambushed a bus and killed 14 passengers after going through their ID cards and
forcing them out on a highway in a remote area of southwestern Pakistan before
dawn Thursday, officials said.
group immediately claimed responsibility for the killings. Prime Minister Imran
Khan condemned the attack in restive Baluchistan province, calling it “an act
of terror.” Separatists in Baluchistan frequently target Pakistani security
forces and also people from neighboring Punjab province.
attack took place as the bus was traveling on the Makran coastal highway
between the port city of Karachi and the Gwadar port in the southwest, local
official Jehangir Dashti told The Associated Press. He said it was unclear who
was behind the killings.
said the passengers targeted in the attack were killed after the assailants
checked their identity cards but he could not confirm if all the slain were
Punjabis. Security personnel also frequently use buses to travel to their jobs
in Gwadar, a port built through investments and help from China.
of gunmen” were involved in the attack and fled the scene afterward, he said.
“In this tragic incident, 14 passengers were forced off the bus, they were
lined up in a nearby open area and killed by the terrorists,” Dashti said.
forces from the nearby town of Buzi Top were dispatched and had reached the
area, about 600 kilometers from the provincial capital, Quetta, he added.
his statement, Prime Minister Khan ordered authorities “to make every possible
effort to identify and to bring the perpetrators of the barbaric act to
Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Pakistan had rendered great sacrifices in the war
on terror, which has not ended yet.
militant groups also operate in Baluchistan. Last Friday, a suicide bomber
targeted an open-air market in Quetta, killing 20 people in an attack claimed
men were arrested in Islamabad on Thursday over their alleged sexual harassment
of a Canadian expat.
Police (SP) Rural Omer Khan said the suspects, identified as Hamza Sohail and
Anas Kamran, were taken into custody and identified by Lahore-based model and
humanitarian worker Assma Galuta, who had filed a case against them after the
two began harassing her and telling her to get into their car in the Bahria
Town Phase 7 area.
The Canadian model who filed a harassment case in Islamabad slams critics for
the FIR filed on April 16, Galuta stated that when she asked them to leave her
alone, they started laughing. She accused them of blocking her from getting
into her Uber and then followed her from Bahria Town to Islamabad. They also
tried to block the driver and asked him for his passenger's drop-off location,
the FIR said.
said in the FIR that she had to change her drop-off location and evade the
suspects in a mall until they were gone before she could return to her
lodgings. She added that she had video and vehicle details as proof.
Imran Khan, Jacinda Ardern named among Time's 100 most influential people of
Minister Imran Khan has been named among the '100 Most Influential People' of
2019 by Time magazine.
list, unveiled on Wednesday, has chosen the "influential people"
under four categories: leaders, pioneers, artists, icons and titans.
Ahmed Rashid wrote the following regarding Prime Minister Khan for Time's 100
most influential people issue.
is at a critical crossroads, and the man in charge is the closest it has to a
rock star. Imran Khan captained the team that won the 1992 Cricket World Cup,
built a world-class cancer hospital in Lahore, then a top-notch university for
kids who could never have dreamed of attending one. Twenty years ago, he
entered politics—a dirty business in Pakistan at the best of times.
he is Prime Minister of an impoverished nation that cannot pay its bills and is
dependent on handouts from rich neighbours like China and the Arab Gulf states.
Critics say Khan is too close to the army and Islamic fundamentalists, and
chooses advisers poorly. Driven by fierce ambition, he can be cold and
calculating. But he still generates the broadest hope among young and old that
he can turn Pakistan around, and help make South Asia an ocean of peace rather
than a state of permanent conflict."
Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who received global acclaim for her
handling of the aftermath of a terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch,
also made it to the annual list.
the other leaders on the list are US President Donald Trump, Pope Francis, American
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Abu Dhabi
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir
Bin Mohamad, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Police investigators probing the Peshawar gun battle have identified four of
the terrorists involved, a senior police official said on Wednesday.
terrorists were killed the previous day and one on Monday night when security
forces besieged a house in the city’s Hayatabad area. A policeman also lost
police official told Dawn that investigators had managed to identify four
attackers, three of whom belong to merged tribal districts of Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa and one of them was an Afghan national.
official said Counter Terrorism Department was investigating the incident.
outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, through an email message, claimed that six
of its members were involved in the gunfight with law enforcement personnel.
gun battle had started at 7.30 on Monday evening after police tried to enter
the house in Hayatabad’s E-sector, Phase-VII, during an intelligence-based
Sub-Inspector Qamar Alam lost his life while trying to enter the house. A
terrorist went down during an initial exchange of fire that triggered a fierce
gunfight, which continued till the killing of the four remaining terrorists on
number of police units, the army’s Special Services Group and the 102 Brigade
took part in the operation.
a delegation of city police visited Hayatabad to thank the residents for their
“patience and support” during the operation.
to a statement, the delegation handed over letters written by the city’s police
chief to thank them for their support and also regretted the pain and trauma
they suffered during the 17-hour-long gun battle.
Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz Wednesday lauded the
statement given by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice
(R) Javed Iqbal for not handcuffing the accused until his guilt to be proved.
said a previous recommendation and an opinion regarding this issue already
existed and on the April 3, the apex body of the Council had further discussed
this issue in detail, a press release said.
CII chairman hoped that the NAB chairman’s recent narrative would improve the
image of the country regarding human rights and respect for the dignity of
will also revive and enhance trust of the nation,” Dr Qibla Ayaz said adding
media especially electronic should adopt responsible attitude so that the
Islamic value of honoring humanity could be given due importance.
and Saudi Arabia sign agreements as King Salman meets PM Abdul-Mahdi
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday and held
talks with King Salman on relations between the two countries.
their talks, the king said he was keen to enhance cooperation between Iraq and
Saudi Arabia, SPA reported. Abdul-Mahdi said he was hoping to develop
"areas of bilateral cooperation."
visit to the Kingdom "symbolizes the Iraqi government's vision in aiming
to bolster ties with the Kingdom in all fields," the Iraqi prime minister
said in a statement on his Facebook account.
two countries signed 12 agreements and memorandums of understanding between
their various ministries. The deals covered many areas including energy,
education, culture and political consultation.
was met at King Khalid International Airport by the Governor of the Riyadh
Region Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, SPA reported.
visit comes as ties continue to improve between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabian delegation visited Iraq earlier this month, when a new consulate
in Baghdad was opened and $1 billion in loans for development projects in Iraq
Syrian Army troops engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL terrorists in
Haribsheh and Shoula Desert in Southeastern Deir Ezzur, killing several of the
militants, battlefield sources in Eastern Deir Ezzur said.
sources said that the Syrian Army is trying to purge the remnants of the
terrorists from the surrounding areas of Bukamal and along the borders with
Iraq through the operation in Southeastern Deir Ezzur.
meantime, said that the Syrian Army has managed to cleanse Palmyra Badiyeh
(desert) in the outskirts of al-Sukhna in Eastern Homs from terrorists.
a relevant development on Monday, the Arabic-language media reports said that
the ISIL terrorist commanders "are using a camp controlled by the Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF) in Hasaka as a base for military operations".
ISIL terrorists and commanders have turned the SDF-controlled al-Hawl Camp as a
venue for holding their meetings and coordinating their movements," the
Arabic-language service of Russia Today quoted an Iraqi intelligence source as
authorities on Wednesday refused to receive a Qatari delegation headed by
Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, a source confirmed to Al
the Sudanese officials refused to receive al-Thani in Khartoum, the Qatari
delegation left the Sudanese capital and returned to Doha.
Sudanese source told Al Arabiya and Al Hadath that the Qatari delegation was
informed that diplomatic protocols require coordination and agreement before
the visit, which did not take place.
Lebanese public sector workers took to the streets of Beirut in protest on
Wednesday ahead of a budget expected to impose painful austerity measures.
2019 draft budget includes “wide reductions” in spending based on the need for
“exceptional austerity measures,” Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said.
Minister Saad Hariri promised “the most austere budget in the history of
said: “It’s my duty to be honest with people. We stand with limited-income
people and the retired, but we want to maintain the lira peg and the salary
scale for general services and national officers. To do so, tough austerity
measures will be needed to the detriment of public expenditure.”
budget is seen as a critical test of the government’s will to enact reforms
that economists say are more pressing than ever for an economy that has
suffered years of low growth. State finances are strained by a bloated public
sector, high debt servicing costs and hefty subsidies spent on the power
said: “If we continue like this we will reach a catastrophe.” Unlike other
states that had suffered financial crises such as Greece, Lebanon would have no
one to save it, he said.
union chief Bechara Al-Asmar, who took part in a protest sit-in in Beirut on
Wednesday, told Arab News: “We raise our voice because the government finds
that the easiest things to do is to jeopardize the public sector.
there are many measures that can be adopted before cutting wages, including a
correctional basket that does not affect Lebanese people. The government always
prevails over the weak, but the public servants will no more be the weak link.”
using Chinese grenades sent by Pak: Intel
is supplying Chinese-made grenades and sophisticated ammunition in large
quantities to terror groups in the Kashmir Valley so that it cannot be blamed
for subversive activities in India, an assessment by agencies conducting
counter-insurgency operations has concluded.
to an internal document accessed by HT, 70 Chinese grenades (64 in 2018 and six
so far in 2019) have been seized by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir since
January 1 last year.
document said security forces had recovered pistols, armour piercing incendiary
(API) shells and tracer rounds of Chinese origin from terrorists belonging to
API includes both mild steel core and hard steel core (which can pierce
bulletproof jackets used by Indian security forces) and its use brings a new
dimension of threat for the security forces,” the document stated.
than the seizures, a dozen incidents documented in the past 15 months involved
either trained terrorists or over-ground workers (OGWs) of terror groups
lobbing grenades at patrol parties, bunkers, vehicles or camps of the Central
Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and other paramilitary forces, Jammu and Kashmir
Police, and the army.
most recent grenade attack in the Kashmir Valley took place on Tuesday, when a
terrorist hurled a grenade at a National Conference election meeting in the
people were killed and 32 injured in a grenade attack at Jammu’s inter-state
bus stand on March 7.
Indian Police Service officer involved in counter-insurgency operations, who
didn’t want to be identified, said: “These attacks had a mix of both grenades
made in China and Pakistan, but there is a sudden spurt in the use of Chinese
the trend, the officer said, “Earlier, Pakistan Ordnance Factories
(POF)-manufactured grenades were easily available to all terror groups but the
Pakistan Army markings on them exposed the western neighbour’s role in
spreading terrorism in the international community. “Now, it uses its agencies
and terror groups to smuggle ammunition of Chinese origin, which do not have
any Chinese ordnance markings. These are low-intensity but still a grenade
causes more damage than a bullet.” The officer added, “The main purpose of
using Chinese grenades is that Pakistan doesn’t want any weapons used in Jammu
and Kashmir to be traced back to it.”
use of grenades to target security forces also suits Pakistan and terror groups
as there is no need to train anyone to use such weapons.
official engaged in counter-insurgency operations, who too didn’t want to be
identified, said: “They hire young schoolboys by paying them a few thousand
rupees, or task OGWs to throw grenades on security personnel. Grenades are easy
to throw, they cause more damage and the suspects cannot be identified from a
distance as they don’t carry any guns, and easily flee the spot.” The second
official added, “Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), Al-Badr and
even Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) are now encouraging their OGWs and terrorists to throw
grenades at security forces’ vehicles, camps and bunkers.”
of the Chinese-origin grenades and ammunition, an officer of the Intelligence
Bureau said, are entering the state through the Line of Control (LoC) or the
international border in Jammu.
Northeast too, particularly Assam, security forces have recovered a substantive
amount of arms, ammunition, grenades and explosives having Chinese markings
during operations over the past two years. Defence expert ?Col Sanjiv Kumar
(retd) said, “There are only two routes for smuggling Chinese arms and
ammunitions into India – Pakistan or Nepal. Nepal’s border is not connected to
Jammu and Kashmir, so all of it is coming from Pakistan. “The fact that Chinese
weapons and ammunition are being used by Pakistan-backed terror groups means
China is not only overtly supporting Pakistan at the UN Security Council (by
blocking JeM chief Masood Azhar’s listing as a global terrorist) but it is
covertly encouraging it to continue its terror activities in India.”
Terrorists fired a grenade at a CRPF camp in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on
Wednesday injuring a personnel of the force, officials said.
said an under-barrel grenade launcher was fired at the Tral-based camp of the
180th battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force.
grenade exploded inside the camp of the 'bravo company' causing minor injuries
to a CRPF head constable, they added.
injured jawan is being provided medical assistance, they said.
UBGL is a weapon accessory and is fitted below the barrel of a gun. It fires a
grenade at a trajectory and causes splinter and blast casualties.
forces have launched a search in the area for the terrorists who carried out
the attack, they said.
broken': Rohingya on hunger strike in Saudi detention
of Rohingya detainees inside a Saudi detention centre have gone on a hunger
strike for the third time in recent months, activists told Al Jazeera.
650 men, most of whom have been kept at the Shumaisi detention centre in Jeddah
since 2012 for not having valid documentation, started the strike on Saturday,
Ro Nay San Lwin, campaign coordinator for the Free Rohingya Coalition, said.
Tuesday night, at least seven had been taken to hospital, he said, as the
strike continued in 10 rooms at the detention camp.
secretly filmed by a detainee and sent to Lwin that was shared with Al Jazeera
showed the Rohingya men lying on the floor.
immigration police are harassing them, saying if you carry on this hunger
strike, we will not even give you water," Lwin said in a phone interview
from Frankfurt, Germany.
Perveen, vice chairman of the NGO European Rohingya Council (ERC), who has also
received video via WhatsApp since Saturday, said the police have now taken away
the prisoners' blankets, pillows, shirts and other necessities.
of the Rohingya entered Saudi Arabia in 2012 following violence breaking out in
Myanmar's western Rakhine state, searching for a better life.
arrival, their fingerprints were registered under a different nationality as
they carried fake passports obtained from brokers in India, Pakistan, Nepal,
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Lwin explained.
stripped the Muslim-majority Rohingya of their citizenship in 1982, rendering
of them entered Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage visas but overstayed to work. They
were detained at various immigration checkpoints and during raids, according to
didn't commit any crime," said Lwin. "Their only crime is they didn't
have the valid resident permit, which is why they were arrested."
from every corner'
Rohingya have faced persecution in Myanmar for decades.
2012, following deadly riots between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya, tens of
thousands of people from the minority have been forced to live in squalid
internment camps in neighbouring Bangladesh.
one million Rohingya were forced to take shelter in Bangladesh after Myanmar's
army, responding to attacks by an armed group, launched a brutal campaign
against the minority in Rakhine state in 2017.
Smith, a cofounder and chief executive of Fortify Rights, said the Saudi
government is "layering human rights abuses on to a community that is
already experiencing genocide in Myanmar".
should be detained for their immigration status and the Saudi authorities
should immediately and unconditionally release all Rohingya that are in
detention for immigration-related reasons," Smith told Al Jazeera by phone
from Washington, DC.
the start of this year, Saudi Arabia has forcibly deported dozens of Rohingya
to Bangladesh - some of whom have been detained upon arrival at the Dhaka
explained that embassy officials from four countries were brought to the Saudi
detention centre, and only Bangladesh agreed to take the Rohingya detainees,
even though they are not from there.
Perveen said countries such as Saudi Arabia and India are "indirectly
helping Myanmar to wipe us out".
groups have slammed India, home to almost 40,000 Rohingya refugees, for handing
them over to the Myanmar government following a Supreme Court ruling in October
people [Rohingya] have not only faced genocide, but they are also going through
post-traumatic stress disorder," Perveen told Al Jazeera in a phone
interview from Hamburg, Germany.
countries are also part of genocide, they are helping Myanmar when they are
taking such an action. They [Rohingyas] are facing the same thing they have
been facing in Myanmar."
military government, which took power following a coup in 1962, stripped the
Rohingya of citizenship in 1982.
the 1982 Citizenship Law, the Rohingya were not recognised as one of the
country's 135 ethnic groups, restricting their rights to study, work, travel,
marry, vote, practise their religion and access health services.
people are trapped from every corner," said Perveen. "We did not want
to leave our country.
had no choice in the sense of security. We Rohingya are wounded enough -
morally, physically and financially. We are broken."
Arabia is home to more than 300,000 Rohingya, but according to activists and
rights groups, the kingdom has stopped issuing residency permits to them in
said the Rohingya are facing "other human rights challenges" in Saudi
Arabia in addition to the "mass detention".
know that Rohingya women have been trafficked to Saudi Arabia and have been
working essentially as indentured servants to families in Saudi Arabia and this
has been going on for some time," he said.
Wednesday at Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh, family members of those detained
urged the Saudi government and King Salman to release their loved ones.
said while legally nothing can be done to help the prisoners, Saudi Arabia
should release them on "humanitarian grounds".
main goal of the hunger strike is "to get freedom", he said.
want to get released as soon as possible. They just want to work there so they
can support their family back in Myanmar and Bangladesh."
least three ISIS Khurasan militants were killed after attacking the security
pots of public uprisign forces in Achin district of Nangarhar province.
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in a statement said ISIS-K militants
on Tuesday attacked the security posts of public uprising forces in Pekha area
of Achin district.
statement further added that the attack sparked a clash which resulted into the
killing of three ISIS Khurasan militants.
anti-government armed militant groups including ISIS Khurasan loyalists have
not commented regarding the clash so far.
former chief of the Afghan intelligence Amrullah Saleh has announced that he
will not participate in the upcoming intra-Afghan talks in Doha, the capital of
remain grateful to president @ashrafghani for adding me in the list of speakers
to represent the Islamic Republic of Afg in Doha conference. However, I won’t
attend. Taliban are the only & the biggest obstacle to peace as they
continue the campaign of massacre & destruction,” Saleh said in a statement
which was posted in his official Twitter account.
said “If the Taliban are not fighting for the interest of a hostile foreign
power then they should agree to direct & focused negotiations with the
Afghan government. Their daily massacre of ordinary Afghans & destruction
of education infrastructure is anything but Islam & Afghan.”
government on Tuesday released the initial list of individuals who are due to
participate in talks with the Taliban group in Qatar.
Taliban militants suffered heavy casualties after their third attack was
repulsed on Dawlatabad district in northern Faryab province.
209th Shaheen Corps in a statement said clashes took place between security
forces and Taliban militants in various areas of Dawlabad district on Tuesday.
statement further added that 11 Taliban militants including their two
commanders identified as Omari and Mawlavi Naeem were killed during the clashes
and 21 others were wounded.
to 209th Shaheen Corps, some senior Taliban leaders including Mawlavi Najeeb
alias Nasir the Red Unit commander of the group for Dawlatabad, Mawlavi
Ehsanullah alias Toofan, and Mawlavi Tahir one of the prominent Taliban leaders
in Qoshtapa district are among those wounded.
Tahir and his fighters had travelled to Dawlatabad district to support the
militants who had attacked the security outposts in the district, the 209th
Shaheen Corps added.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang on Wednesday said that China’s
position on the issue of Masood Azhar’s listing as an international terrorist
is consistent and clear.
China has continued to maintain communication with relevant countries and
things are moving in the direction of resolution.
the recent move by some relevant countries to force the United Nations Security
Council (UNSC) to adopt a new resolution, China has repeatedly expressed its
opposition to this practice, he said at a regular news briefing.
was asked to comment on the report, that the United States, Britain and France
once again demanded that China lift the technical suspension of the resolution
of the listing of Masood in the 1267 Committee of UNSC. It was also asked by a
questioner that if the resolution is passed by the 1267 Committee in UNSC, will
China support it.
to it, Lu Kang emphasised that they are firmly opposed to this approach. In
fact, in the relevant discussions in UNSC, most members have indicated that the
relevant issues should be resolved within the framework of the 1267 Committee
and they do not wish to deal with issues that should have been resolved by the
he added, has urged the countries concerned to respect the opinions of the
majority of the members of UNSC and continue to work in a cooperative manner.
Through cooperation, he added, the relevant issues could be properly resolved
within the framework of the 1267 Committee.
Kang pointed out that UNSC and its affiliates have clear rules of procedure and
relevant disciplinary rules. You are afraid to ask the relevant parties for
your information to verify. The attitude of the Chinese side is very clear.
emphasised that this issue must be resolved through cooperation between the
members of UNSC within the framework of the 1267 Committee.
do not believe that forcing any program that does not reach an agreement will
achieve the results that the promoters hope to see,” he added.
reiterated that the first of all things are moving in the direction of
resolution. Secondly, regarding the current discussions in the 1267 Committee,
UNSC and its subsidiary bodies have clear discipline and procedures for
internal consultations. As members of the council, we should faithfully abide
by these disciplines and procedures, he added.
a question about the “re-education camp” in Xinjiang and having any of its link
to the demolitions of Muslim mosques across China, the spokesperson said, they
have said many times that the vocational skills education and training
institutions established in Xinjiang have a very clear purpose.
other countries in the world, we are taking preventive measures based on the
need to fight terrorism and de-extremism. Such measures may be different in
different countries, but the objectives are the same,” he said.
for your reference to the existence of anti-Islamism in China, the spokesperson
said, there is no such situation. China implements the policy of freedom of
other countries, they manage religious affairs in accordance with the law,
resolutely oppose and combat religious extremism, and at the same time
guarantee the normal religious needs of religious believers and respect the
customs of religious believers.
has more than 20 million Muslims and more than 35,000 mosques. The majority of
religious believers can freely engage in religious activities in accordance
with the law,” he added.
Tulsi Gabbard hammers Trump for turning U.S. into 'prostitute of Saudi Arabia'
Tulsi Gabbard, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, on Wednesday accused
President Trump of prostituting the United States after he vetoed a
congressional resolution this week calling for an end of U.S. involvement in
the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Ms. Gabbard, a former combat veteran who served in
the Iraq War, said Mr. Trump is turning the nation “into the prostitute of
vetoing the war powers resolution, Trump has again proven that he is the
servant of Saudi Arabia, the theocratic dictatorship that spends billions of
dollars every single year spreading the most extreme and intolerant form of
Islam around the world,” the Hawaii Democrat said in a video. “The very same
ideology that motivated al Qaeda and other jihadists.”
her underdog bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Ms. Gabbard has
tried to separate herself from the massive field of contenders by emphasizing
37-year-old joined most of her fellow Democrats in the House and 16 Republicans
in voting for a resolution that invoked the war powers act and directed the
president to remove U.S. armed forces from the hostilities in Yemen within 30
days. The Senate passed the resolution in March.
Tuesday, Mr. Trump vetoed the resolution.
are no United States military personnel in Yemen commanding, participating in,
or accompanying military forces of the Saudi‑led
coalition against the Houthis in hostilities in or affecting Yemen,” he said in
his veto message.
American Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is gaining more support among Democratic
small donors in the wake of her 9/11 fight with US President Donald Trump.
Minnesota Democratic lawmaker in the US House of Representatives, who has been
at the center of a controversy over her fight against using the 2001 terrorist
attacks as a cudgel against Muslim Americans, is gaining more donations from
donors contributing less than $200, Vox reported Wednesday.
earned $830,000, half of which came from donors contributing less than $200,
Omar is one of the top Democratic earners despite raising only $10,000 from
first-term progressive lawmakers following Omar are New York Democratic
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with about $720,000 and Michigan
Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-) with about $300,000.
has accused Omar of minimizing the 9/11 attacks by using a sentence from her
speech and juxtaposing it with a video of the terrorist attacks.
some point in her speech, Omar used the sentence “some people did something” to
describe the terror attack.
Muslim congresswoman has been receiving death threats in the wake of her fight
against Islamophobia after being accused of anti-Semitism.
Democratic 2020 contenders have thrown their support behind the Minnesota
in ten Americans believe Muslims face more discrimination than any other group
in the U.S., according to a poll by the Pew Research Center.
percent of respondents said Muslims face discrimination. Eighty percent of
those surveyed said blacks faced some discrimination.
released the figures Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted a video
that attacked Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar from Minnesota.
video was of a speech delivered by Omar in which she discussed how Muslim
Americans came to be seen as second-class citizens after the Sept. 11, 2001,
terror attacks. The president's tweet mixed in footage from the attacks with
parts of the speech.
is one of the first Muslim lawmakers to be elected to Congress, alongside
Michigan's Rashida Tlaib, and has faced a flurry of attacks since she began in
office this year.
Muslim congresswoman said she has faced more death threats since the president
posted the tweet, sparking criticism that Trump is condoning harmful attacks
against the country's own elected officials.
survey was conducted prior to the president's tweet.
percent of Democrats said there is discrimination against Muslims in America,
with 75% saying there is a lot of discrimination, according to the poll. While
less Republican respondents said the same, 69%, a large majority, agreed.
percentage of people that think Jews face "a lot" of discrimination
nearly doubled since 2016, rising from 13% to 24%, with 64% of respondents
saying there is some discrimination against the group, according to Pew.
played a large factor in predicting how much discrimination a respondent
thought was happening. Seventy-three percent of black respondents said there is
"a lot" of discrimination against blacks and 63% of Hispanics said
the same about discrimination against Hispanics.
among whites, it was partisanship that was the biggest factor in deciding how
Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, announced on
Wednesday that the administration’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan will be
released after Ramadan.
Kushner made his announcement to a group of ambassadors in Washington a week
after the Israeli elections in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scored a
victory, enabling him to remain in office for a fifth term.
ends in the first week of June.
Trump administration has remained tight-lipped about the plan's content.
not going to reveal details of the plan ahead of time,” US envoy Jason
Greenblatt tweeted this week.
@USAmbIsrael & I sincerely appreciate all of the interest in our peace
efforts over the past 2 yrs. But, we're not going to reveal details of the plan
ahead of time. Cont’d speculation doesn't help anyone & harms the effort.
We kindly suggest a stop to the guessing games.
PM - Apr 16, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
chief negotiator Saeb Erekat is expected to visit Washington next week but no
meetings are scheduled with Mr Kushner or his team, The National has learnt.
Palestinian Authority cut communications with the Trump administration after it
announced it would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in December
White House still hopes that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will support
hope Abbas reads the plan, judges it on its merits and comes to the table for
negotiations,” a US official said in February.
plan is expected to have sections on political, economic and security matters,
and the administration is hoping to gain Arab support for the document.
US is also expected to co-ordinate the release of the plan with Mr Netanyahu as
he forms his new government.
Trump peace plan is now likely to be presented in full co-ordination with Mr
Netanyahu,” Daniel Shapiro, of the Institute for National Security Studies in
Tel Aviv, said last week.
Shapiro, an ambassador to Israel under former president Barack Obama,
anticipated that the plan would fall short of meeting Palestinian aspirations,
but could be accepted by the Israeli government.
On Wednesday, Indonesia proves to the world that after a lengthy and often
heated presidential campaign it is still more than able to hold its first
simultaneous presidential and legislative elections—the biggest and most
complex one-day elections in the world—without much hiccups.
to win the hearts of 192.8 million registered voters this year are incumbent
president Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who has been running on a platform of
economic reform and infrastructure drive, and former Army general Prabowo
Subianto, an ally of Islamic parties and hardliner groups.
that identity politics—which both the Jokowi and Prabowo camps have used to
leverage their power—might have created deep ruptures in one the world's
biggest democracy now seem to have been unfounded.
Not Islamic Fundamentalism vs. Tolerance, It's Pure Politics!
Ali Said, a senior figure from Nahdlatul Ulama (NU)—the world's largest Muslim
organization—has dismissed the idea that Indonesian Muslims have been polarized
between liberals wanting to maintain the country's religious tolerance and
conservative Muslims aspiring to see an Islamic rule, even a caliphate.
said that what has happened during the sometimes brutish presidential campaign
is "pure politics."
also pointed out that this was not the first time Islamic populist ideas have
been used by politicians to curry support.
get many political scientists from overseas coming to me. It often feels they
want me to say a conflict is happening between Indonesian Sunni and Shia
Muslims. I tell them no, it is not happening. Our long-maintained tradition to
respect diversity is stronger than that," Asad said.
organization NU claims a membership of more than 60 million Indonesian Muslims.
99 percent of Indonesian Muslims are followers of Sunni Islam. There are only
around one million Indonesian Shia Muslims (0.5 percent of the total Muslim
population), most of whom live in the big cities.
said Western media make a big mistake when they assume that tolerance and
diversity in Indonesia are being threatened by increasing political tension.
people talk about intolerance, what's the parameter? Also, there has been a
misunderstanding that has spread around the world, that Indonesian Muslims want
to implement Islamic rule. That's just an exaggeration," said Asad, who
was also a former deputy chief of Indonesia's Inteligence Agency, known as BIN.
said Islamic values have already been adopted into Indonesia's national
ideology, the Pancasila, and its 1945 Constitution.
Najih Arromadloni, the secretary general of the Indonesian Syrian Alumni
Association (Alsyami), said the argument that there is a battle of Islamic
statehood versus tolerance in Indonesia is a "simplistic way" of
seeing what is really happening in the country.
is reckless to use that argument. We know in Prabowo's camp there are some who
support the idea of an Islamic state, there are some hardliners, but I don't
think Prabowo is the kind of person who will agree to that project. This is
just about riding the wave in politics," Najih said.
own Alsyami has been active in combating political indoctrination by preachers
in mosques around the country.
the eight-month long presidential campaign, some critics have voiced concerns
that political campaign had infiltrated mosques, including those in government
offices and state-owned companies.
might be surprised, but believe me, Indonesians are a lot more tolerant than what
may have been reported by foreign media. One or two cases do not represent the
entire nation," he said.
identity politics was predicted to be a determining factor in the 2019
presidential election after the fall of Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama,
who was a key ally of Jokowi and a renowned reformist, in the 2016 Jakarta
only did Ahok fail to get reelected, he was also charged with blasphemy against
Islam and sentenced to two years in prison.
rise was too fast. His political career peaked at a time when wealth disparity
remained huge, and he wasn't wise with his words, especially over sensitive
matters," Asad said.
the aftermath of the elections, Najih warns that Indonesia's political elites
should try to calm people down. Any violent clash will leave a big rip in the
fabric of Indonesian society.
political elites should forget their traditional rivalry. It might not seem
possible now, but the Democratic Party can join the government. Gerindra
[Prabowo's party] was also once in coalition with PDI-P [Indonesian Democratic
Party of Struggle, Jokowi's backer]," he said.
Democratic Party was founded by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who
in this election has sometimes been seen as a reluctant supporter in Prabowo's
should wise up. We all know that violent clashes at grassroots level can lead
to a deep wound," Najih said.
of the last and bloodiest social conflicts in Indonesian history happened in
1998 when riots broke out in cities around the country after New Order dictator
Suharto was forced to resign after more than 30 years in power.
May that year, looters ransacked shops and properties owned by
Chinese-Indonesians. An investigation by a fact-finding commission (TGPF) found
that at least 52 Chinese-Indonesian women became victims of gang rapes during
the Jakarta riot, but none of the cases ever went to trial.
scholar Komarudin Hidayat also echoed Najih's comments. He said Indonesia's
political elites, public intellectuals and scholars must work together to push
for a reconciliation.
has everything to lose if there are people who want to spoil the elections.
Whoever wins is the best child of Indonesia," said Komaruddin, who was
speaking in a forum attended by NU chairman Said Aqil Siroj and Abdul Mu'ti,
the secretary general of Muhammadiyah, the country's second-largest Muslim
organizations are known for their liberal stance, even though Muhammadiyah
scholar-turn-politician Amien Rais has famously made a turn to the right.
said after the elections, Muslims in Indonesia will start their fasting month,
which he said is a perfect momentum to forget about political differences.
far, voting around the country ran smoothly and no major incident was reported.
Authorities, including the police and the military, have stayed true to their
promise not to tolerate any attempt at provoking violence and spoiling the
LUMPUR - The delay in appointing the head of Malaysia's judiciary threatens to
be the latest in a series of battles between the influential Malay royals and
the 11-month-old Mahathir Mohamad administration that is struggling to maintain
support from the crucial ethnic majority.
told The Straits Times that the Prime Minister submitted the government's pick
to replace outgoing Chief Justice Richard Malanjum early this month but has yet
to receive the King's consent for the candidate.
Sri Malanjum retired last Friday (April 12), leaving the post vacant.
have kept mum, passing back the message that they are no rubber stamps,"
said a source close to a senior monarch, who declined to be named due to the
sensitivity of the matter.
Minister Mahathir has not commented on the matter, merely saying last Friday that
"I already have a candidate".
the previous day, he made a stinging criticism of monarchs wanting
"absolute power", warning that "they may put their own interests
before their states".
close to the issue believe the delay in naming the next Chief Justice is less
to do with the choice of candidate and more about the government's prickly
relations with the royals.
May last year, the appointment of the new Pakatan Harapan government's choice
of Attorney-General, Mr Tommy Thomas, was delayed over concerns that a
non-Malay and non-Muslim would be the government's top lawyer and public
prosecutor. Royal assent was only gained after Parti Keadilan Rakyat president
Anwar Ibrahim, who is supposed to succeed Tun Dr Mahathir as PM, met the then
King, Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan.
aide to the Prime Minister told The Straits Times that "there is no way
the next CJ is non-Muslim", although he did not reveal who the candidate
was. It is speculated that for the first time, Malaysia's top judge could be female
as one of three candidates proposed to the King is a woman.
official explained that factions have arisen within the country's Council of
Rulers - made up of the nine royal houses - due to the sudden resignation of
Sultan Muhammad V as King in January, resulting in disparate views.
seems to be camps among the royals so it will be more difficult to reach a
consensus to fill important roles like (that of the) CJ," he said.
stand-off over judicial appointments could worsen already tense relations
between the Pakatan Harapan government and Malaysia's constitutional monarchy.
this month (April 5), the government was forced to reverse plans to ratify the
Rome statute following weeks of heated public argument with the Johor sultanate
which claimed the accord on genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and
crime of aggression, would undermine Islam, the Malays and the monarchy.
recently, Dr Mahathir and Johor's Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar had a war of
words over who had the final say in appointing the Johor Menteri Besar, who
heads the state government.
silence from the King - appointed by rotation among the nine rulers - could
have repercussions for the entire judiciary.
Malanjum is the first of the country's top four judges who are due to vacate
their post after reaching the retirement age of 66. The King can approve a
six-month extension of service after judges hit the retirement age.
president of the Court of Appeal - the second highest-ranked judge - Ahmad
Ma'arop turns 66 next month, the same month Chief Judge of Malaya Zaharah
Ibrahim's extension expires. Meanwhile, the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak
Wong Dak Wah will be 66 in August.
the rulers remain silent, Malaysia's judiciary could be entirely rudderless
KINABALU, April 18 — With just ten days until nomination for the Sandakan
by-election, Sabah’s Opposition parties are scrambling for consensus on a
single candidate to take on DAP in the federal seat.
PAS, Umno, and former Barisan Nasional component Liberal Democratic Party out
of contention, the parties in the running are now Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS),
Parti Solidariti Tanah Air Ku (Sabah STAR), Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and
are talking, we are hoping to have a decision by next week,” said STAR
president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
are hoping to come out with one Opposition candidate that is acceptable to all,
the best choice,” he said, adding that he was not sure if all the parties will
agree as some were still “testing the electoral mood”.
matter is made complicated by the convoluted arrangements among the state
and PBS are in the Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS) coalition but the former is
also part of the Gabungan Sabah (GS) pact with SAPP, Parti Perpaduan Rakyat
Sabah (PPRS), and Parti Kebangsaan Sabah (PKS).
coalition is yet recognised by the Registrar of Societies, which Kitingan
hope that we can work under one banner eventually. But we will see which coalition
gets registered by the ROS first and we will work with it,” he said.
Election Commission has set polling for May 11. The by-election was triggered
after the incumbent, Sabah DAP chairman Datuk Stephen Wong, died of a sudden
heart attack on March 28.
now, the state DAP looks set to put up his 30-year-old daughter, Vivian Wong,
as its candidate to be his replacement.
previously named economist Jenny Liew as its potential candidate for the seat.
least three independents — ex-Sabah Amanah chairman Hamzah Abdullah, former oil
palm company manager Chia Siew Yung, and youth activist Jufadzil Shi Ahmad —
have also stated their intention to contest for the parliamentary seat.
told Malay Mail he was optimistic as public sentiment has turned against
Pakatan Harapan since its upset general election victory while Chia has said he
wants to represent Sandakan without being obligated to a party.
an outspoken activist, ran for the Tanjung Papat state seat last May after
plans to contest the Sungai Sibuga state seat went awry; he lost the seat to
DAP’s Datuk Frankie Poon and took just 3.7 per cent of the votes cast, losing
delay in appointing the head of Malaysia's judiciary threatens to be the latest
in a series of battles between the influential Malay royals and the
11-month-old Mahathir Mohamad administration, which is struggling to maintain
support from the crucial ethnic majority.
told The Straits Times that the Malaysian Prime Minister submitted the
government's pick to replace chief justice Richard Malanjum early this month
but has yet to receive the King's consent for the candidate.
Sri Malanjum retired last Friday, leaving the post vacant.
(the royals) have kept mum, passing back the message that they are no rubber
stamps," said a source close to a senior monarch who declined to be named
due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Dr Mahathir has not commented on the matter, merely saying last Friday that
"I already have a candidate".
the previous day, he made a stinging criticism about monarchs wanting
"absolute power", warning that "they may put their own interests
before their states".
close to the issue believe the delay in naming the next chief justice (CJ) is
less to do with the choice of candidate and more about the government's prickly
relations with the royals.
May last year, the appointment of the new Pakatan Harapan government's choice
of Attorney-General Tommy Thomas was delayed over concerns that a non-Malay and
non-Muslim would be the government's top lawyer and public prosecutor.
assent was gained only after Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Anwar Ibrahim, who
is supposed to succeed Dr Mahathir as prime minister, met the then King, Sultan
Muhammad V of Kelantan.
aide to the Premier told The Straits Times that "there is no way the next
CJ is non-Muslim", although he did not reveal who the candidate was. It is
speculated that for the first time, Malaysia's top judge could be female, as
one of three candidates proposed to the King is a woman.
this month, the government was forced to reverse plans to ratify the Rome
Statute following weeks of heated public argument with the Johor Sultanate,
which claimed the accord on genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and
crime of aggression, would undermine Islam, the Malays and the monarchy.
recently, Dr Mahathir and Johor's Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar were engaged
in a war of words over who had the final say in appointing the Johor Menteri
Besar, who heads the state government.
Malanjum is the first of the country's top four judges to retire. The King can
approve a six-month extension of service after judges hit the retirement age of
of the Court of Appeal Ahmad Maarop, who is the second-highest judge, turns 66
next month - the same month that Chief Judge of Malaya Zaharah Ibrahim's
the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak David Wong Dak Wah will be 66 in August.
of millions of Indonesians voted in presidential and legislative elections
Wednesday after a campaign that pitted the moderate incumbent against an
ultranationalist former general whose fear-based rhetoric warned that the
country would fall apart without his strongman leadership.
booths closed first in easternmost provinces such as Papua followed an hour
later by central regions including Bali, and finally western provinces and
Jakarta, the capital. Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago of 17,000 islands and
hundreds of ethnic groups, has three time zones.
results based on so-called “quick counts” as votes are publicly tallied at
polling stations were expected to start rolling in within two hours of the
final poll closings. The quick counts from reputable survey organizations have
been reliable in past elections.
193 million people were eligible to vote in elections that will decide who
leads the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation and third-largest
democracy after India and the U.S. Indonesians are voted for Senate and
national, provincial and district legislatures.
elections are a huge logistical exercise, with more than 800,000 polling
stations and 17 million people involved in ensuring they run smoothly.
Helicopters, boats and horses were used to get ballots to remote and
inaccessible corners of the archipelago.
presidential race is a choice between five more years of the steady progress
achieved under Indonesia’s first president from outside the Jakarta elite, Joko
“Jokowi” Widodo, or electing Prabowo Subianto, who was a special forces general
during the era of the Suharto military dictatorship.
polls consistently gave a large lead of as much as 20 percentage points to
Widodo and his running mate, conservative cleric Ma’ruf Amin, though analysts
said the race was likely tighter.
voted for Jokowi because five years in office was not enough for him to
complete his brilliant programs for infrastructure, health and education,” said
Eko Cahya Pratama, 43, after voting in Tangerang on the outskirts of Jakarta.
me, this country is better to be managed by a man with a clean track record
rather than a dirty one in the past,” he said.
campaign highlighted his progress in poverty reduction and improving
Indonesia’s inadequate infrastructure with new ports, toll roads, airports and
mass rapid transit. The latter became a reality last month in chronically
congested Jakarta with the opening of a subway.
strident nationalist, Subianto ran a fear-based campaign, highlighting what he
sees as Indonesia’s weakness and the risk of exploitation by foreign powers or
deserves to get my vote because I was impressed with his commitment to create a
clean government and a great nation,” said Anneka Karoine, 43, after she and
her husband voted for Subianto and his running mate, tycoon Sandiaga Uno. “I
believe they will lead our country better than the current leader.”
voted not long after 8 a.m. in Bogor in West Java province, one of his
strongholds of support, and told reporters he was confident of winning despite
trailing in the polls.
promised that we will work for the good of the country,” he said. “If it’s
chaos or not, it’s not coming from us. But I guarantee that we don’t want to be
cheated anymore, that Indonesian people don’t want to be cheated anymore.”
who voted in Jakarta, held up a finger dipped in inedible ink to show reporters
and said his next stop was playing with his grandson and eating with his wife,
Zealand police on Wednesday ended the routine arming of frontline officers as
the terrorism threat level was lowered a month after the Christchurch mosques
and security agencies reduced the threat level from high to medium, meaning
authorities judge that another attack, violent criminal behavior, or violent
protest remains “feasible” rather than “very likely.”
level is still higher than it was before the March 15 attacks, when the threat
was deemed to be “low.”
Minister Jacinda Ardern said “there is no current specific threat,” but the
security agencies believed the medium level “accurately reflects our current
New Zealand police have historically not carried firearms and many people were
shocked to see them heavily armed after 50 Muslims were gunned down while at
commissioner Mike Bush said with the easing of the security threat level, the
police had reassessed their position on arming frontline staff and the carrying
of weapons would now be decided on a case-by-case basis.
decision was made after “significant consultation” with mosques and Islamic
Centres in relation to ongoing security, although Bush said he would not
was never any intention for the routine carriage of firearms to continue
indefinitely,” Bush said.
this means frontline staff will transition back to our normal approach
regarding carriage and access to firearms.
police also released a timeline of the mosque attacks, showing it took 18
minutes from the time of the first emergency call to the apprehension of the
28-year-old Australian, Brenton Tarrant, a self-avowed white supremacist, faces
50 murder charges and 39 of attempted murder over the attack.
will recall its ambassador to Romania in a show of protest after it announced
plans to relocate its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Jerusalem
al-Quds, reports say.
media outlets reported that King Abdullah II had approved a decision of the
Council of Ministers to call in Saker Malkawi on June 1.
month, the Jordanian monarch canceled a visit to Romania to protest its prime
minister's support for recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's capital.
Royal Hashemite Court said on March 25 that the decision came "in
solidarity with al-Quds”, following the announcement by Romanian Prime Minister
Viorica Dancila. King Abdullah was scheduled to visit Romania later in the day.
made the announcement in a speech in Washington at the annual conference of
American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the main pro-Israel lobby
group in the United States.
Abdullah II, whose country is the custodian of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem
al-Quds, has repeatedly said that the question of the occupied Palestinian city
is key to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
only way to do that, he has said, is by creating a Palestinian state in the
disputed holy city alongside Israel.
mid-March, he called Jerusalem al-Quds a “red line” for Jordan, while the
kingdom's parliament recommended that the government expel Israel's ambassador
in response to "Israeli aggression" at holy sites in the city. Last
May, US President Donald Trump sparked international outrage when he relocated
the US embassy from Tel Aviv.
The uncle of Syrian President Bashar Assad is to stand trial in France on
charges of building up a big property empire in the country using funds from
Syrian state coffers, legal sources said on Wednesday.
investigating magistrate ordered Rifaat Assad to stand trial for organized
money laundering in building the 90 million euro ($102 million) property
portfolio in France, according to the order for the trial seen by AFP.
date has yet to be set.
Assad, dubbed the “Butcher of Hama” for allegedly commanding the troops that
bloodily put down an uprising in central Syria in 1982, has been under
investigation in France since 2014.
a written decision dated March 8, seen by AFP on Thursday, the office of the
financial crimes prosecutor called for Assad to stand trial for laundering the
proceeds of aggravated tax fraud, embezzling Syrian state funds, and failing to
register French security and cleaning staff.
who splits his time between France and Britain, denies the charges.
Syria’s vice president, Rifaat Assad left Syria in 1984 after mounting a failed
coup against his brother Hafez Assad, Bashar’s father who led Syria from 1971
he arrived in Europe, his lavish lifestyle, four wives, and 16 children soon
reported French fortune includes two Paris townhouses, one measuring a vast
3,000 square meters (32,000 square feet), as well as a stud farm and a chateau
near the French capital, and 7,300 square meters (79,000 square feet) of office
space in Lyon.
of that was bought in the 1980s through offshore companies in Panama, Curacao,
Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.
raised concern over recent constitutional changes in Egypt that would allow
President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to remain in power until 2030.
is feared that in the course of these constitutional changes the role of the
executive and armed forces would be expanded, and a peaceful democratic change
in power could be hampered,” Christofer Burger, the deputy spokesman for the
Foreign Ministry, told a news conference in Berlin.
reiterated Germany’s support for Egypt’s stability, but also underlined that it
requires opening more space for civil society and political debate in the
Tuesday, Egypt’s parliament approved sweeping constitutional amendments which
opponents said would reinforce the dominance of military on political affairs
and increase executive control over the judiciary.
changes would extend the duration of presidential terms from four to six years,
and allow President al-Sisi to eventually run for a third term in office.
current constitution, which was ratified in 2014, allowed the president to hold
office for a maximum of two four-year terms.
constitutional change, however, means al-Sisi’s second term in office -- which
he secured in elections last year -- will end in 2024, after which he will be
allowed to run for a third six-year term ending in 2030.
50 Boko Haram fighters killed in Nigeria attack
April 2019 T
than 50 Boko Haram fighters have been killed in an attack on a multi-national
force in northeastern Nigeria, a military spokesperson said Wednesday.
Chadian soldiers belonging to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MMF), an
anti-Boko Haram force combining soldiers from Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and
Nigeria, died in the assault at Cross Kauwa on Tuesday, Colonel Azem Bermandoa
said. Eleven other soldiers were injured.
members of Boko Haram have been killed. Chadian forces have recovered a vehicle
equipped with a heavy weapon and several small arms,” Bermandoa said.
report published by Nigerian newspaper The Nation quoted the Multinational
Joint Task Force (MNJTF ) as saying on Wednesday that 39 Boko Haram terrorists
have been killed as its troops engaged the terrorists at the fringes of lake
Haram’s nearly 10-year insurgency has its epicenter in northeast Nigeria but
has spilled over into Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
has left more than 27,000 people dead and about 1.8 million others homeless. In
late February, more than 500 Chadian soldiers entered Nigeria to aid the
Nigerian army in the fight against the militant group.
Sunday night, seven Chadian soldiers were also killed in a Boko Haram attack in
the town of Bouhama in Chad.
people were killed and five injured when a car loaded with explosives detonated
on a busy road in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, police said on Wednesday.
far we can confirm four dead and five wounded. We offer our condolences to the
victims,” Somalia’s deputy police chief Zakia Hussein wrote on Twitter.
Abdirahman Adan, director of the private Aamin Ambulance service, said his team
had collected 13 wounded people and one dead body. It was not clear if these
victims had been counted by police.
blast was very huge, and I saw smoke and shrapnel everywhere around the area,
the police have cordoned off the road and ambulances were rushing to the scene
to collect casualties,” said witness Mohamed Abdikarin.
explosion occurred along the busy Maka Al-Mukarama road despite a recent
increase in police checkpoints in the capital following a hike in bomb attacks
by Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab militants.
March 28, a car bomb ripped through a restaurant, killing 15 people just days
after Shabaab gunmen attacked a complex housing government ministries, killing
11 people including the deputy labor minister.
have also been several smaller blasts in the capital.
fighters have been fighting for more than a decade to topple the government.
They fled fixed positions they once held in Mogadishu in 2011, and have since
lost many of their strongholds.
military rulers said on Wednesday that two brothers of ousted President Omar
al-Bashir have been arrested as part of a continuing campaign of arrests
against “symbols of the previous regime.”
spokesman for the Transitional Military Council also said that irregular forces
linked to Bashir's former ruling party have been brought under the army or
on Wednesday requested an urgent UN Security Council meeting on Libya after
negotiations on a draft resolution calling for a ceasefire in Tripoli failed to
yield an agreement.
council is expected to meet behind closed doors on Thursday to “consult on the
way forward,” according to a note sent by the German mission to the council and
seen by AFP.
205 people have been killed, including 18 civilians, and 913 wounded in two
weeks of fighting near the Libyan capital of Tripoli, the World Health
Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
will consider offering asylum to ousted Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir despite
his indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC), its foreign affairs
minister said on Wednesday.
would not be apologetic at all for considering an application by Bashir,”
Okello Oryem, Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs, told Reuters in
75, who had ruled Sudan for 30 years after seizing power in a military coup,
was toppled by the military last week after months of street protests.
faces an International Criminal Court arrest warrant over the death of an
estimated 300,000 people during an insurgency in Sudan’s western Darfur region
over a decade ago.
said Bashir had yet to contact Kampala for possible refuge, but added that
there was no harm in considering the fallen Sudanese leader for political
Some 205 people have been killed, including 18 civilians, and 913 wounded in
two weeks of fighting near the Libyan capital of Tripoli, the World Health
Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
slammed into a densely-populated district of Tripoli late on Tuesday, piling
misery on civilians from a two-week assault by commander Khalifa Haftar’s
forces to take Libya’s capital from an internationally-backed government.
Burhan, head of Sudan’s ruling Military Transitional Council (MTC), has praised
his country’s “distinctive” relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
made the remarks at a Wednesday meeting with members of a joint Saudi/Emirati
delegation at Defense Ministry headquarters in the capital Khartoum.
to a subsequent statement released by the MTC, the delegation “delivered a
message of greetings from the leaders of these two brotherly countries, who
expressed their readiness to support Sudan and its people at this critical
of the joint delegation, who arrived in Khartoum on Tuesday for a two-day
visit, also met with MTC deputy leader Mohamed Daglo.
week, President Omar al-Bashir was ousted by the Sudanese army following months
of popular protests against his 30-year rule.
party loses Istanbul after 25 years
Turkey’s main opposition candidate was declared Istanbul’s mayor on Wednesday
after election recounts were finally completed, despite an appeal still pending
by President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party to re-run the vote in the country’s
final result of the March 31 local elections showed a narrow victory for the
secularist opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP) in Turkey’s commercial
hub, ending 25 years of control by the AK Party (AKP) and its Islamist
loss is especially hard for Erdogan, who launched his political career in
Istanbul as mayor in the 1990s and has triumphed in more than a dozen elections
since his Islamist-rooted AKP came to power in 2002.
Turkish lira, which has dipped since the election, firmed on Wednesday.
he formally took office after a campaign which featured months of harsh
rhetoric from Erdogan’s AK Party and more than two weeks of challenges and
recounts, Ekrem Imamoglu promised to work for all 16 million residents of the
never gave up, we never gave up on our battle for democracy and rights,” he
told supporters at Istanbul’s municipality building. “We are aware of our
responsibilities and the needs of this city. We will start to serve
margin of victory — the final count put him some 13,000 votes, or less than 0.2
percentage points, ahead of the AK Party candidate and former prime minister
Binali Yildirim — prompted several AKP challenges.
Tuesday, after 16 days of appeals and recounts, the AKP asked the High Election
Board (YSK) to annul and re-run the election in Istanbul over what it said were
irregularities. Its nationalist MHP allies made a similar request on Wednesday.
are aware there are ongoing processes... We hope the relevant authorities will
complete these processes in the most sensitive and just way,” Imamoglu said.
repeated challenges by the AKP and MHP have fuelled frustration among
opposition supporters which spilled over into football stadiums at the weekend
when fans chanted at top Istanbul derby matches for the mayoral mandate to be
given to their candidate.
are way too many irregularities,” AKP Deputy Chairman Ali Ihsan Yavuz said,
presenting the party’s justification for its demand for a new vote. “We are
saying that organised fraud, unlawfulness and crimes were committed.”
Deputy Chairman Muharrem Erkek responded that there were “no concrete
documents, information or evidence in the AKP appeal for an annulment”. “There
is no legitimate reason at all. You are using your right (to appeal) to damage
the will of Istanbul,” he said.
the AKP was defeated in the battle for Istanbul mayor, results showed the party
had won most seats in its municipal councils. The AKP’s re-run appeal applies
only to the mayoral elections, not those for municipal councils.
Piccoli, co-president of Teneo political risk advisers, said it was puzzling to
call only for a re-run of the mayoral elections, and added that some of the
areas where the AKP claimed fraud took place were under its responsibility.
director-general of the intelligence ministry's office in Kurdistan province
said that 20 teams affiliated to the Takfiri grouplets, specially ISIL, were
dismantled and 20 of their operational and logistical agents were under radar
in the past Iranian year (ended on March 20).
of their terrorist and harassment operations were killed in the bud and a large
amount of equipment and ammunition were discovered and seized from them,"
official, meantime, said that members of 5 groups affiliated to the
anti-revolutionary terrorist grouplets, were identified and the groups were
also added that a number of members of a group affiliated to the PJAK (the
Party for Free Life of Kurdistan) terrorist group were operating in disguise of
an official Iranian party in the province, noting that the group has been
disbanded as well.
Iranian security forces stationed at the bordering areas have dismantled
several terrorist groups in the past few months.
Iranian intelligence ministry announced in February that the country's security
forces had arrested members of two terrorist groups affiliated to the ISIL in
the Western province of Kurdistan who intended to assassinate Sunni clerics in
to Intelligence Ministry statement, the intelligence forces managed to identify
and detain 13 terrorists, affiliated to the ISIL grouplet, who were divided in
two groups to plant bombs, kill people and assassinate certain Iranian Sunni
clerics in Iran.
of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the region would
have been facing an unclear fate had it not been for the Iranian Armed Forces’
efforts against Dash terrorists.
a meeting with military commanders in the capital Tehran on Wednesday ahead of
National Army Day, Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to the presence of the Iranian
Army and the Armed Forces in the region and their contribution to the fight
against “enemies’ seditious acts” and said, “If the Army and the IRGC did not
engage in the fight against Daesh, today what had become of the region and
neighboring countries and who would rule over them?”
and every single country that was engaged [in the fight] countered [terrorists]
and took necessary measures but the role of Iran’s Armed Forces cannot be
ignored,” the Leader added.
Leader said Iran’s Armed Forces were among the “manifestations and elements of
national power,” contrary to many countries even those claiming to be advocates
of freedom and human rights, where the military is the element of power that
counters people, an example of which we see in the Saturday [protests in]
Khamenei said the Armed Forces both in Islam and in the Islamic Republic of
Iran are considered a “safe protection for nations,” noting that’s why enemies
are seeking to disrupt peace of the nation through portraying the Armed Forces
Leader said the US made baseless remarks about Iran to undermine the morale of
United States is struggling with thousands of billions of debt and various
problems, and despite some years after floods and storms in areas such as
Carolina they have not yet been able to deal with these problems, but they are
ranting and raving to weaken the morale of the Iranian nation.”
in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei commended the army and the IRGC as well as
the unprecedented presence of people in flood-hit areas to help their fellow
country men and women.
Leader also underlined the importance of “ever-growing unity” among Iran’s
Armed Forces, He also hailed the unity between the Armed Forces and the IRGC in
the face of a recent move by the US to blacklist the IRGC.
measure that enrages enemy is good and right but all should refrain from any
act that emboldens and bolsters enemy,” Ayatollah Khamenei further said.
United States on Monday officially registered the IRGC as a "foreign
terrorist organization," according to a notice published on the website of
the US Federal Register.
President Trump said in a statement on April 8 that he had designated the IRGC
as a foreign terrorist organization, adding that the Iranian elite forces'
designation "makes crystal clear the risks of conducting business with, or
providing support to, the IRGC. If you are doing business with the IRGC, you
will be bankrolling terrorism."
US measure was met with severe criticism from Iranian officials and military
commanders as well as the nation that voiced support for the IRGC.
Tuesday, the Iranian parliament overwhelmingly approved the general outlines of
a motion devised by the legislature to counter the US blacklisting of the IRGC.
and Ankara have voiced opposition to the US sanctions against Iran as well as
Washington’s terror blacklisting of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps while
reaffirming the need to bolster bilateral ties.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday met with Iran's Foreign Minister
Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is in Ankara on a one-day official visit to discuss
bilateral ties and regional developments.
the meeting, the two sides said that Ankara and Tehran needed to promote
cooperation, including in the economic sector, in line with their agreements in
the face of the US sanctions.
also exchanged views on the ongoing developments in Syria, Yemen and North
Turkish leader also voiced his sympathy with Iran over the recent flooding in
the country, the worst in decades in 25 of 31 provinces.
also hailed the recent successful local elections in Turkey.
in the day, Zarif also held talks and later attended a joint press conference
with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, during which Turkey's top
diplomat said his country has told and will continue to tell the United States
that the sanctions against Iran are “wrong.”
ministers expressed Turkey’s concerns to US counterparts in a recent meeting,”
Cavusoglu said, referring to Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak and Trade
Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, who visited Washington and met with top US officials,
including President Donald Trump, on Monday.
Trump administration has taken a hostile approach toward Iran. That approach
intensified last year when Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the Iran
nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and
imposed sanctions against the country.
White House has also warned its European allies in the JCPOA against seeking to
circumvent anti-Iran sanctions.
in his remarks during the press conference, Cavusoglu said Turkey and
neighboring Iran needed to keep working to raise their bilateral trade to a
target of $30 billion.
also said his country is looking into establishing new trade mechanisms with
Iran, like the INSTEX system introduced by European countries, to avoid US
sanctions, but he did not provide further details.
with the existing mechanisms, we evaluated how we can establish new mechanisms,
like INSTEX ...how we can remove the obstacles before us and before trade,”
Cavusoglu told the news conference. “What is important here is the solidarity
and determination between us,” he added.
Europeans introduced INSTEX as a non-dollar direct payment channel to keep the
JCPOA alive following Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear accord.
late January, Iran’s European partners in the JCPOA -- the UK, France and
Germany-- unveiled INSTEX with the aim of protecting their companies against US
sanctions and enabling them to continue trade with Iran.
has complained about a delay by the European partners to make INSTEX
operational, saying they have "no excuse" for further postponement of
said on Sunday that the Europeans had introduced INSTEX as "a preliminary
measure" as part of their multiple commitments under the JCPOA following
Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear accord, adding that in order to begin
honoring their commitments, the Europeans were required to set up INSTEX.
Iranian structure parallel to INSTEX, called the Special Trade and Finance
Institute (STFI), was launched just last week, Zarif said, noting that the
European signatories have no longer any excuse to delay the start of their job.
the Wednesday press conference, Zarif, for his part, pointed to US’ acts of
obstructionism to hinder Iran’s trade with other countries and said,” We will
not allow Americans to question our trade with other countries.”
top Iranian diplomat said the unilateral US sanctions are in contravention of
UN Security Council Resolution 22331, which endorses the JCPOA, noting,” We
believe the US cannot bring relations among other countries under its control.”
said there were numerous ways for Iran, including INSTEX, to continue
cooperation with other countries as the world was against Washington’s
US illegally imposes its policies on the world. US measures violate Security
Council Resolution  and they should definitely be countered or it (the
world) should wait for the Americans to interfere in all economic relations for
the sake of their own interests,” he said.
Syria, Zarif said that Iran along with Turkey and Russia would work to
contribute to the restoration of peace and stability in Syria.
along with our friends in Turkey and Russia will maintain efforts to promote
peace and stability in Syria. These efforts will continue with the formation of
the [Syrian] Constitutional Committee and support of the peace process,” he
said that he had held extensive talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
during his visit to Damascus before he arrived in Turkey and said he would
brief Erdogan on the negotiations.
agreement should be implemented without delay: UNSC
United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has called on warring parties in Yemen
to withdraw from the embattled port city of Hudaydah “as soon as possible” in
line with a ceasefire deal reached in December 2018.
a statement on Wednesday, the council expressed “grave concern” that the
UN-brokered deal reached between Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and the
country’s former Saudi-backed regime in Sweden has yet to be implemented,
urging the parties to conflict to act on their commitments “without delay.”
council said it will monitor the compliance of all sides with the “redeployment
plans” agreed in the deal as it awaits a report by UN Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres on whether they are upholding their commitments.
council members welcomed Monday’s announcement by UN Special Envoy for Yemen
Martin Griffiths that said fighters of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and
militants loyal to the ex-Yemeni government had agreed to a detailed plan for
the initial withdrawal of forces from Hudaydah.
statement urged the warring sides to engage with Griffiths and the head of the
UN operation monitoring the withdrawals “to swiftly agree on local security
force arrangements” and on the second phase of the redeployment.
also called on the parties “to redouble efforts” to finalize arrangements for a
prisoner exchange and to establish a coordinating committee in southwestern
city of Ta’izz, as called for in the Stockholm agreements.
council further reiterated its concern about “the continued deterioration of
the humanitarian situation across Yemen.”
Houthis have repeatedly complained that the Saudi-led coalition has been
violating the ceasefire. UN diplomats earlier said the Houthis refused to pull
away from Hudaydah ports as part of the first stage, citing fears that forces
linked to the Saudis will move in to take over facilities there.
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates launched the Hudaydah offensive in June
2018 but have been facing strong resistance from Yemeni armed forces, led by
the Houthis, as well as the city’s residents.
a lifeline for millions of Yemenis, has seen some of the heaviest fighting in
the Saudi-led war, which Riyadh began in 2015.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former
President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi
Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah movement has strongly censured US President Donald
Trump's veto of a Congress resolution directing him to end support for the
Saudi-led war against Yemen, describing the measure as a proof that Washington
was behind the conflict.
veto “proves that the United States is not only involved in the war on Yemen
but also was behind the decision to go to war,” Houthi spokesman Mohammed
Abdelsalam wrote in a post published on his Twitter page on Wednesday.
followed that decision and execute the wishes and ambitions of the United
States,” Abdelsalam added, referring to Saudi Arabia and its allies involved in
the military aggression against Yemen.
also held the United States responsible for “massacres, crimes and the unjust
siege of Yemen.”
had for the first time voted to invoke the War Powers Resolution to try and
stop US involvement in a foreign conflict.
Trump vetoed the measure on Wednesday, with the Congress lacking the votes to
resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional
authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service
members, both today and in the future,” Trump said in a statement.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash
(pictured below) later praised Trump's decision.
Trump’s assertion of support to the Arab Coalition in Yemen is a positive
signal of US resolve towards America's allies. Common strategic interests are
best served with this clear commitment,” Gargash wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
also termed Trump's decision as “timely” and “strategic.”
continues to work without interruption to support peace through UN led
Stockholm Agreement & its commitment to the humanitarian & political
dimensions of the Yemen crisis [remains] unshakable,” Gargash asserted.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former
president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing Ansarullah
to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project
(ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has
claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
The Yemeni army killed 70 Houthi militants, including senior officers, on
Tuesday in Al-Dhale province south of Yemen, Saudi state agency SPA reported.
clashes in the Hamak front, which also left 20 Houthis injured, broke out when
the militia tried to block a main road in Al-Nadira district and a secondary
road in Hamak, but Yemeni troops forced them to retract.
the Yemeni parliament held talks in Seiyun to classify the Houthi militia as a
new law would include individuals in any way affiliated to the Houthis or any
of its auxiliary bodies, as well all its higher political bodies, field
workers, and fighters.
any Houthi finances would be held until a decision is made by the court.
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