No case against Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan

Pakistan Prime Minister,  Sahid Khaqan Abbasi, yesterday said there is no case registered against  26/11 terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan and so no action can be initiated against him.

 “Action is taken when there is a registered case against someone,” said Abbasi in an interview to Geo TV explaining Pakistan’s decision against detaining Saheed further.

Saeed was released from house arrest on November 24, after the Lahore High Court cited lack of evidence against him in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack case. After his release, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief,  has formed a party named Milli Muslim League (MML)  to contest for the 2018 general election in Pakistan. The party is yet to be registered in the Election commission. The election commission of Pakistan in September refused to recognize the Milli Muslim League as a political party, and also warned candidates from using the front’s name in election campaigns.

The US has designated Saeed as a global terrorist and has offered a bounty of $10 million on his head.  Saeed recently petitioned the global body asking his name to be removed from the terrorist list Stating that none of the allegations against him has been proved in the Pakistani courts.

Sources – NDTV, TOI

Britain appoints its first-ever minister for loneliness

The British Government on Wednesday appointed its first ever minister for loneliness to tackle the isolation problem affecting millions of people in the country.

The UK government has appointed Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society to tackle isolation among all ages.

 Announcing Crouch’s appointment as the minister for loneliness, Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, described loneliness problem as “the sad reality of Modern life”. “I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones, people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with.” She added.

The ministerial appointment follows a recommendation from a committee in memory of Jo Cox, a lawmaker, and mother of two who was brutally murdered by a far-right activist in 2016. Cox had set up a commission to tackle loneliness. After Cox’s death, the commission on loneliness was chaired by conservative MP Seema Kennedy and Labour MP Rachel Reeves, who together continued Cox’s work and called for an action at the national level against this problem.

Sources – The Hindu, NBC News

Moshe, survivor of 26/11, arrives in Mumbai after 9 years Holtzberg, the Israeli child who survived the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, arrived in Mumbai today, to visit the Nairman House in the city.

This is Moshe’s first visit to the city since his parents were gunned down by the terrorist during the siege at the Nairman House by ten terrorists in November 2008.

On his first day in the city, the 11-year-old boy first visited Taj Mahal hotel and then proceeded towards the Nairman House.  He was accompanied by his grandparents. More than 100 Indian and Israeli security personnel were deployed for the visit.

Moshe along with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will inaugurate a memorial dedicated to the victims of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks at Nairman House on January 18. The memorial is expected to be partially complete by the 10th anniversary of the attack.

According to Moshe’s grandfather Shimon Rosenberg, Mose will fly back to Israel with Israeli Prime Minister on January 19.

The visit comes six months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Israel where he met the young boy and extended an open invitation.

Kamala Mills Fire: Third co-owner of 1Above pub arrested

Mumbai Police on Thursday morning arrested Abhijit Mankar, a co-owner of 1Above Pub in Kama Mills where a fire last month killed 14 people.

The three partners of the pub, Kripesh Sanghavi, Jigar Sanghavi and Abhijeet Mankar, were on the run after the police charged them with a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The Sanghavis were arrested on Wednesday and Abhijeet Mankar got arrested this Thursday.

Accusing the police of “destroying the evidence on site and making false reports”, the owners of 1Above pub had written to the President, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Mumbai Police commissioner and the Chief of the cities civic body, demanding the case to be investigated by the central Bureau of Investigation.

The police on Tuesday arrested Vishal Karya, for allegedly helping Mankar escape arrest.

Initially, the police had filed a case against the 1Above pub management but later after the investigation they added the names of the owners of Mojo’s Bistro. Mojo’s Bistro pub is located on the rooftop of a building in Kamal Mills compound.

According to the fire department, the fire started at Mojo Bistro after the charcoal used for hookah set the curtains of the pub ablaze and spread to 1Above pub. Mojo’s Bistro did not have clearance to serve hookah and both the restaurants structures were not built in accordance with fire safety norms.

BBC China editor quits over gender pay gap

The BBC’s China editor Carrie Gracie has resigned from her post, in protest of the gender pay gap at the corporation.

In an Open letter addressed to the BBC audience, Gracie accused the corporation of continuing a “secretive and illegal” culture of unequal salaries. Gracie, who has worked for BBC for more than 30 years, wrote that license fee payers have the right to know that the corporation is not living up to its stated values of trust, honesty, and accountability.

In July 2017, BBC has revealed the salaries of all the employees more than £ 150,000 a year. Gracy said that she was dismayed to learn that male international news editors were being paid 50% more than women in the same role.

Gracie also claimed that when she asked for the international editors to be paid equally, the BBC instead offered her a pay rise which was still less than the men in the same role. She also said she would return to her former post in the TV newsroom where she expects to be paid equally.

Responding to Gracie’s claim, BBC spokesperson said that fairness in pay is important and BBC has already carried out independent judge headed audit of pay for rank and file staff which showed no systematic discrimination against women. The report for the on-air staff will be published soon.

Fire breaks out in Mumbai Sessions Court building

A level-2 fire broke out on the third floor of the Mumbai Sessions Court building on Monday morning.

According to the Mumbai fire brigade, the first call was made at around 7.50 am and five engines were rushed immediately to the spot to douse the flame. The fire was effectively brought under control by 8:30 am and no casualties or injuries were reported.

In the last 20 days, this is the fifth fire related incident reported in the city.

The Mumbai Session Fire came a day after a major fire at the sets of the TV serial Bepanah, at Cinevista studio, Kanjurumarg. The level-3 fire was brought into control after two hours in which a 20 year old crew member was killed. The Cinevista fire followed the January 4 blaze that killed four people and injured five after a fire broke out in an upper floor of a residential building in suburban Marol.

Both of these fire incidents came a week after a major blaze at Kamala Mills on December 18, where at least 12 people were killed after a snack shop in Mumbai’s Saki Naka caught fire.

Almost everyday, incidents of fire have been reported in the city which has put the fire force on high alert.

United States suspends its $ 1.15 billion security assistance to Pakistan

The United States has suspended its security assistance of more than $1.15 billion to Pakistan for failing to take decisive action against the terror groups within its border on Thursday.

The decision of suspending security assistance comes days after the US President Donald Trump tweeted on New Year, accusing Pakistan of lying and deceiving the United States and harboring terror groups like the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network. He also threated to cut off all the military aid to Pakistan.

According to US officials, two main categories of aid, Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and Coalition Support Funds (CSF) are affected by the suspension. FMS funds purchases of US military hardware, training and services and CSF reimburse Pakistan for counterterrorism operations. The officials also stated that the suspension did not affect civilian aid to Pakistan and that the money could go through if Islamabad took decisive action against the groups.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told the reporters on Thursday that the national security assistance to Pakistan is suspended until the Pakistani government takes decisive action against the terrorist groups, including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network. “We consider them to be destabilizing the region and also targeting US personnel, “she said. “The US will not be delivering military equipment or transfer security-related funds to Pakistan unless it is required by law,” she added.


Sources – TOI, CNN