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Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Venezuelan president seeks Spanish apology over genocide of native peoples


Venezuelan President Maduro accuses Spanish empire of "murdering, banishing and enslaving millions of indigenous peoples".

A supporter of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, holds portraits of him (R) and Venezuela's national hero Simon Bolivar, during a march to commemorate the day of Indigenous Resistance, in Caracas, October 12, 2021.
A supporter of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, holds portraits of him (R) and Venezuela's national hero Simon Bolivar, during a march to commemorate the day of Indigenous Resistance, in Caracas, October 12, 2021. (AFP)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has demanded that Spain's King Felipe VI apologise for the genocide of the native peoples in America.

“We join the voices that are raised in America to demand that the King of Spain rectify, reflect and apologise to Latin America and the Caribbean for the 300-year genocide against indigenous peoples,” Maduro said.

The Venezuelan leader criticised Spain's celebration on October 12 of Dia de la Hispanidad, or Hispanic Day, a national holiday in Spain that commemorates the date when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas in 1492.

According to Maduro, it represents an "immense offense to the memory of the men and women they murdered."

“More than 500 years ago, the Spanish empire killed, banished and enslaved millions of indigenous people. They came here to invade, colonise and massacre our grandfathers and grandmothers. Spain must rectify and apologise to all of America," the head of state said on Twitter. 



Maduro said he will send a letter to the King of Spain to “reflect” on the events that marked colonialism and genocide in Latin America and stressed that "Spain also has a good, glorious, heroic history of struggle against colonialism, against vassalage," so it should understand.

People in various Latin American countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Ecuador took to the streets on Tuesday to demand the vindication of the rights of indigenous peoples who suffered at the hands of European settlers.

Maduro welcomed the mobilisations to commemorate the Day of Indigenous Resistance in Venezuela.

“In the streets of Caracas, a clear message was given: these lands will never again be anyone's colony,” he said.


It is not the first time that a Latin American leader has demanded an apology from Spain.

In 2019, Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sent a letter to Spain's King Felipe VI and Pope Francis asking them to apologise for human rights abuses committed during the conquest of the region 500 years ago.

The Spanish government at the time released a statement saying it “firmly rejected” the assertion

Source: AA


CBI Court reserves order on Ram Rahim's sentencing in 2002 murder case

 Parole to Dera chief Ram Rahim rejected.jpg, pic by google 

On Tuesday, a Special CBI Court in Panchkula reserved its order on the sentencing of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a 2002 murder case. The self-styled godman was last Friday convicted of conspiring the murder of his former manager Ranjit Singh in 2002.

The court set October 18 as the next date of hearing on the quantum of the sentence. Along with Gurmeet Ram Rahim, four other people were also convicted in the murder case.

The special CBI court began hearing in the case to pronounce the quantum of sentence earlier in the day amid tight security. The authorities imposed prohibitory orders in the vicinity of the court anticipating violence by the followers of the convicted godman. As many as 36 people were killed in Panchkula in August 2017 after a local court convicted Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a rape case. This time, the self-styled godman appeared through video-conferencing from Sunaria jail in Rohtak.

A former follower of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Ranjit Singh was shot dead by four assailants on July 10, 2002, at his native village in Kurukshetra's Khanpur Kolian.  

The Central Bureau of Investigation officials in their chargesheet said Ranjit Singh was murdered as Ram Rahim suspected that he was behind the circulation of an anonymous letter highlighting the sexual exploitation of female disciples on the Dera premises. 

Gurmeet Ram Rahim is already serving a 20-year jail term for raping two followers and has been sentenced to life for the murder of a journalist in 2002.

According to a report published in Hindustan Times, at least three cases were lodged against Gurmeet Ram Rahim between 2002 and 2003. While the first case pertains to the sexual exploitation of women disciples, the second involved murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati. The third, the latest in which Gurmeet Ram Rahim was convicted last week, is related to the murder of his disciple Ranjit Singh. 

Source Link


Google, Amazon urged to reject Israel's Project Nimbus


The project "will make the systematic discrimination and displacement carried out by the Israeli military and government even crueler and deadlier for Palestinians," said a group of anonymous Google and Amazon workers in a letter.

Israeli forces detain a Palestinian during a demonstration to protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza and violations in East Jerusalem, on May 18, 2021, in occupied West Bank.
Israeli forces detain a Palestinian during a demonstration to protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza and violations in East Jerusalem, on May 18, 2021, in occupied West Bank. (AA)

A group of anonymous Google and Amazon workers has called on the leaders of both companies "to pull out of Project Nimbus and cut all ties with the Israeli military", according to an open letter published in the British newspaper The Guardian.

Project Nimbus is an Israeli effort to build its own local cloud storage servers. 

"Our employers signed a contract called Project Nimbus to sell dangerous technology to the Israeli military and government," the letter said on Tuesday. 

"The technology our companies have contracted to build will make the systematic discrimination and displacement carried out by the Israeli military and government even crueler and deadlier for Palestinians."

Both Google and Amazon won the bid to set up and operate the "massive state tender" that sees an investment of more than $1.2 billion.

In the letter, the "employees of conscience," said they are from diverse backgrounds and they believe "technology we build should work to serve and uplift people everywhere, including all of our users. As workers who keep these companies running, we are morally obligated to speak out against violations of these core values."

The authors said more than 90 workers at Google and more than 300 at Amazon have signed this letter internally and they have opted to remain anonymous "because we fear retaliation."

The letter stated that Project Nimbus allows for "further surveillance of and unlawful data collection on Palestinians, and facilitates the expansion of Israel's illegal settlements on Palestinian land."

Tech giant urged to publicly support Palestinians

Earlier this year, a group of Jewish employees of Google called on the tech giant to increase its support of Palestinians, during the Israel-Gaza war that left more than 250 Palestinians dead.

In the letter sent to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, employees had called on Google to make a company-wide statement "recognising the violence in Palestine and Israel, which must include direct recognition of the harm done to Palestinians by the Israeli military and gang violence."

"Both Israelis and Palestinians are hurting right now, but ignoring the destructive and deadly attacks faced by Palestinians erases our Palestinian coworkers."

Source: TRT World 

Lawyers owe duty to clients, can't disrupt Court Proceedings and put their interest in jeopardy: SC

 Lawyer, Civil Case, Court, Advocate, 

It is "unprofessional" and "unbecoming" for a lawyer to refuse to attend the court due to a strike or boycott by the Bar Associations as they cannot disrupt court proceedings and put the interest of their clients in jeopardy, the Supreme Court has said.

The Apex Court said that Advocates owe a duty to their clients and strikes interfere with the administration of justice.

The Top Court further observed that an Advocate is an officer of the court and enjoys a special status in the society.

A bench comprising of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice A.S. Bopanna made the observation while hearing a case in which the advocates in the Rajasthan High Court went on strike on September 27, 2021.

" is unprofessional as well as unbecoming for a lawyer to refuse to attend the court even in pursuance of a call for strike or boycott by the Bar Association or the Bar Council. It is further observed that an Advocate is an officer of the court and enjoys a special status in the society; Advocates have obligations and duties to ensure the smooth functioning of the court; they owe a duty to their clients and strikes interfere with the administration of justice," the bench said.

"They cannot thus disrupt court proceedings and put the interest of their clients in jeopardy. Despite the law laid down by this Court in the aforesaid decisions and even the concern expressed by this Court against the strikes by the lawyers, things did not improve...," it said.

The Apex Court took note of the submission of the Bar Council of India Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra that BCI has issued the notice to the Bar Association of the High Court of Rajasthan at Jaipur.

The Senior Advocate stated that there was a call to boycott only one court. The Apex Court said even that also cannot be tolerated.

"To boycott only one court will hamper the independence of the judiciary and there may be a pressure on the particular judge whose court is boycotted and it may lead to demoralization of the judiciary," the bench said.

The bench issued notice to the President, Secretary and the Office Bearers of the Bar Association of the High Court of Rajasthan at Jaipur to show cause why contempt proceedings may not be initiated against them.

The matter is listed for next hearing on October 25.

The apex court directed the Registry to serve notices through the Registrar General of the High Court of Rajasthan at Jaipur.

"The Registrar General of the High Court of Rajasthan at Jaipur is directed to see that the notices upon the office bearers/President/Secretary of the Bar Association of the High Court of Rajasthan at Jaipur is served upon them well in time," the bench said in its October 4 order.

Referring to its earlier decisions, the top court said that to go on strike by the Bar Association and the lawyers is absolutely contemptuous and just contrary to the earlier decisions of this Court.

In its earlier order, the apex court had specifically observed and held that the lawyers have no right to go on strike or even token strike or to give a call for strike.

It had also held that nor can they while holding Vakalat on behalf of clients, abstain from appearing in courts in pursuance of a call for strike or boycott. 

Source Link 

South Korea's 'Squid Game' is Netflix's biggest debut show


The series reached 111 million fans in just 27 days, since its release on September 17, easily outpacing UK costume drama "Bridgerton", which was streamed by 82 million accounts in its first 28 days.

Hit South Korean show "Squid Game" has officially become Netflix's biggest original series launch.

The nine-part thriller, in which cash-strapped contestants play childhood games with deadly consequences in a bid to win 45.6 billion won ($38 million), has become a worldwide sensation for Netflix since its launch less than a month ago.

"Squid Game has officially reached 111 million fans – making it our biggest series launch ever!" Netflix posted on Twitter on Wednesday.

The series has reached a total of 111 million viewers in just 27 days, easily outpacing UK costume drama "Bridgerton", which was streamed by 82 million accounts in its first 28 days.

Viral sensation sparks debate

The dystopian drama has inspired countless memes, Halloween costumes of the ubiquitious green tracksuits worn by contestants and real world recreations of the various games. It has also sparked a debate within South Korea about toxic competitive societies and prompted new interest in the country's culture and language

"We did not see that coming, in terms of its global popularity," said, Netflix's co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos during a tech conference in California, displaying that the streaming service was surprised by how popular "Squid Game" has become.

Netflix provides limited information on viewing figures for its platform and cuts the data it does give in various ways. The 28-day debut numbers it issued for Bridgerton and other shows included any account that watched an episode for at least two minutes.

Previously, South Korean Internet service provider SK Broadband sued Netflix to pay for costs from increased network traffic and maintenance work because of the surge in viewers.

 Source: Reuters


Lakhimpur Kheri Violence: Congress Leaders Meet President Kovind, Demand Ajay Mishra's Dismissal


Union minister of state for home affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra's son, Ashish Mishra, was arrested by UP police on Saturday in connection to the violence at Lakhimpur Kheri.

VP Harris: US should face up to 'shameful past' with tribal nations


European explorers who first landed on American shores "ushered in a wave of devastation for tribal nations, perpetrating violence, stealing land, and spreading disease," says US Vice President Kamala Harris.

Members of Cetiliztli Nauhcampa stand in a circle together before taking part in a Four Directions Ceremony at the first Annual Indigenous Peoples' Day Ceremonial Celebration in Newton, Massachusetts on October 11, 2021.
Members of Cetiliztli Nauhcampa stand in a circle together before taking part in a Four Directions Ceremony at the first Annual Indigenous Peoples' Day Ceremonial Celebration in Newton, Massachusetts on October 11, 2021. (AFP)

US Vice President Kamala Harris has said that the European explorers who first landed on the American shores "ushered in a wave of devastation for tribal nations, perpetrating violence, stealing land and spreading disease."

"We must not shy away from this shameful past, and we must shed light on it and do everything we can to address the impact of the past on native communities today", she told the National Congress of American Indians, the largest US organisation for native peoples.

The Biden administration would renegotiate a memo of understanding about federal funding for job training on tribal lands with tribal nations, she said. 

'That is not the whole story'

It was renegotiated in 2018 between 12 federal agencies but without input from the tribal nations affected.

She spoke the day after Columbus Day, which marks the landing of explorer Christopher Columbus, and the newly-recognised Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Since 1934, "every October the United States has recognised the voyage of the European explorers who first landed on the shores of the Americans," Harris said. 

"That is not the whole story, that has never been the whole story."

Source: Reuters 

'Where Is the Money in PM-CARES Fund Going? We Don't Know': Justice Madan Lokur


The former Supreme Court Justice's remarks came while he addressed an event marking the completion of 16 years of the RTI ACT.

Russia to test Covid-19 vaccine in form of nasal spray – latest updates


Covid-19 has infected more than 239M people and killed over 4.8M globally. Here are the virus-related developments for October 13:

Medical staff members walk past ambulances at a hospital for the Covid-19 infected patients at Kommunarka outside Moscow, on 5 October 2021.
Medical staff members walk past ambulances at a hospital for the Covid-19 infected patients at Kommunarka outside Moscow, on 5 October 2021. (AFP)

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Russia to test Covid-19 vaccine in form of nasal spray

Russia will test a nasal spray form of its Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 among adult volunteers, according to a state document, as the country struggles to rein in rising numbers of infections and deaths.

Russia was quick to develop and launch its Sputnik vaccine when the coronavirus pandemic struck last year, but take-up has been slow, with many Russians citing distrust of the authorities and fear of new medical products.

The nasal spray is to be applied in two doses in a clinic in St Petersburg, according to the document published on the state register of medicines, which did not provide the planned timing of the clinical tests.

President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday Russia needed to speed up its vaccination campaign against Covid-19 as the country recorded its highest single-day death toll since the start of the pandemic.

Russian authorities said in June it a nasal spray vaccine suitable for children aged 8-12 had been tested and the plan was to launch the new product in September.

Sydney races towards 80 percent double-dose vaccination target

New South Wales could ease more restrictions in Sydney a week earlier than planned on October 18 as Australia's most populous state races towards its 80 percent double-dose vaccination target, the government said.

The southeastern state is expected to hit the mark over the weekend, beating forecasts, and officials previously promised to relax further restrictions on vaccinated residents on the first Monday after reaching that milestone.

"If we hit 80 percent, we've always said it will be the Monday following," state Premier Dominic Perrottet told ABC Radio on Wednesday. 

"We will have this discussion with our team on Thursday and we will make a decision to be announced on Friday."

Retail stores, pubs, and gyms can allow more vaccinated patrons when inoculation reaches 80 percent. Mandatory masks will not be required inside offices and nightclubs can reopen for seated drinking, while weddings can have unlimited guests.

Sydney's more than 5 million residents came out of a nearly four-month lockdown on Monday after the 70 percent vaccination target was reached, with state officials promising a phased easing of remaining restrictions after vaccination rates reach 80 percent and 90 percent.

Brazil sees 185 new deaths

Brazil has registered 185 new Covid-19 deaths, and 7,359 additional coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the country's Health Ministry said.

Mexico reports 546 more deaths

Mexico's Health Ministry has reported 546 more deaths due to Covid-19, bringing the country's overall number of fatalities to 282,773.

US judge restrains United from placing employees receiving vaccine exemption on unpaid leave

A US judge in Texas has temporarily restrained United Airlines from placing any employee on unpaid leave who receive religious exemptions from the company for Covid-19 vaccinations until October 26.

The Judge also temporarily restrained the airline from denying any late requests for religious or medical accommodations.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies 

As Violence Against Muslims Escalates, Online Hindutva Propaganda Pushes Economic Boycott


Social media propaganda, complete with hashtags, trends and concocted videos, seems to have one single aim: to boycott Muslim-owned and run businesses.



A day earlier, when a Muslim e-rickshaw driver was assaulted in Kanpur by a mob and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’, the same group urged Hindus to repeatedly share, comment and like Hindutva content on social media to outnumber ‘Leftist Muslims’ in cyberspace. The group also posts content to support Suresh Chavhanke, a firebrand news anchor who is known for his Islamophobia.

In another communally-motivated action, a Facebook group called कट्टर हिन्दू शेरों का परिवार (‘Kattar Hindu Shero Ka Parivar, meaning ‘Family of Rigid Hindu Lions’) posted a video showing factory workers defiling baked goods while packing them. This video was posted at the same time that the #BoycottID hashtag trended and was used to call for the boycott of Muslim workers and business owners. Although the video itself did not explicitly identify the workers in the video as Muslim, the administrators of the page referred to them as Muslims and insulted them by calling them ‘illegitimate children’ and ‘pigs’. The comment trail, similarly, was filled with anti-Muslim remarks.

Platforms of hatred

Of all the social media platforms popular in India, Facebook hosts the most hate-filled anti-Muslim pages and videos that seemingly seldom violate the platform’s community standards.

This was observed long before the former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen told US authorities that the platform was well aware that incendiary anti-Muslim narratives were being promoted on the platform in India.

On September 6, a Facebook group called आएगा तो मोदी ही – Team Namo posted a news clip promoting the behaviour of an AU bank customer who refused to open a fixed deposit because the bank’s advertisements feature the actor Aamir Khan, a Muslim.

This was posted in the same week that ID Fresh battled hashtags such as #BoycottHalal and #BoycottID.

Also instigating anti-Muslim economic behaviour is the page मोदी एवं योगी की भगवा ब्रिगेड – जय श्री राम (Modi and Yogi’s Bhagva Brigade – Jai Shri Ram) which specifically urges Hindus to behave with Muslims the way Myanmar’s authorities behaved with Rohingya Muslims. The page also exhorts Hindus to begin the process of ousting Muslims by the ‘boycott of jihadi Muslims’ and frequently posts statuses such as ‘Na Chalao Goli, Na Chalao Talwar, Sirf Karo Musalmano ka aarthik bahishkaar (No guns, no swords, encourage the economic boycott of Muslims)’.

Adding to the vilification, Jayatu Hindurashtra, a Facebook page with 110,692 followers, posted a video asking Hindus to avoid giving money to Muslim beggars unless they say ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

To further promote an anti-Muslim businesses sentiment, the Hindu Jagruti Org, which has 50,000 followers on Twitter, relayed tweets using the hashtag #HalalEconomy_NationalThreat. This included tweets that instigated Hindus to engage in the economic ostracisation of Muslims amid the surge of similar tweets that followed the ‘Boycott ID’ incident.

Adding to the economic violence, a social media page called Sanatani Hindu posted a video of a man in a temple lecturing attendees yet again on how to keep Muslim vendors away from Hindu women. The man in the video alleged that Muslim vendors ply the roads of Hindu colonies with their carts only to reconnoitre the area, after which they ‘attract’ these women who, in no time, disappear. The page also urged Hindus to ask the names of fruit and vegetable vendors before buying from them, so as to buy from Hindus only.

Even on Twitter, hashtags such as #BoycottHalal, #EconomicJihad, #SayNoToHalal, #Say_yes_to_Jhatka trend frequently. Posts that use these hashtags promote the thought that buyers of halal-certified products indirectly contribute to terrorist activities against their ‘own’ people. Several tweets also declare that halal certification should be banned as it contradicts secularism. Tweets using the #EconomicJihad hashtag claim that halal products are the route to the Islamisation of India, that the adoption of Jhatka meat will lead to the creation of a Hindu rashtra (nation) and that Hindus do not work in places where halal products are made. Meanwhile, some #SayNoToHalal tweets demand a ‘Sanatan Dharmik certification’ for food to cancel halal certification.

Festival warnings

The tweets that use the hashtags listed above began to proliferate around the same time as the ‘Boycott ID’ hashtag, but rather than run out of steam as time passed, their promoters seem to have doubled their efforts just before the Hindu festival period of Navratri, which started last week.

As Hindus prepared for the festival, Hindutva propaganda demanded that they purchase their festival requirements from Hindus only. At the same time, a Facebook group called RSS Karyakarta (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Workers) with 2,78,800 members shared posts on boycotting vendors ‘who would use the money for jihad’.

Another hashtag that has made an appearance since Navratri began is #जिहादी_मुक्त_नवरात्रि (Jihadi Free Navratri). Social media users who tweet with this hashtag allege that the aim of Muslim organisers of Navratri events is to foster ‘love jihad’. The tweets also demand banning the entry of Muslims to Navratri events. Owing to this hashtag, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) instigated the Indore police to book four young Muslim men for entering a Navratri event.

Tweets promoting the #जिहादी_मुक्त_नवरात्रि hashtag also share videos of meat shops being forcibly shut during the Hindu festive period. On Facebook, one Ved Nagar who identifies himself as a supporter of the Hindu Gau Raksha Dal as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BUP), the VHP and the RSS, uploaded videos threatening violence to those who dared to open meat shops during Navratri and instigating those of the ‘Sanatani Dharam’ to take the responsibility of ensuring that these shops remain shut. Nagar’s argument is that meat shops that stay open during the Navratri festival disrespect the feelings of Hindus.

Screengrabs from videos showing rightwing groups forcibly shutting down meat shops for Navratri.

Right-wing support?

As the ‘Jihadi free Navratri’ hashtag continues to trend, the #हिन्दू_राष्ट्र_सन्कल्प_अभियान (Hindu rashtra campaign) births new iterations of Hindutva’s obsession with ‘jihad’. Recently, #JuiceJihad featured a widely-circulated video that accused Muslim juice sellers of using toxic adulterants. On August 23, during the controversy surrounding the assault of a 25-year-old Muslim bangle seller in Indore by a right-wing mob, the hashtag #banglejihad was used not only to call for the boycott of Muslim bangle sellers, but also to provoke Hindu men to beware of Muslims interacting with Hindu women based on an irresponsible tweet by News18 Madhya Pradesh that linked the bangle seller to love jihad.

Trending with #FoodJihad and #EconomicJihad was the incident of the dosa seller in Mathura whose stall was vandalised by one Devraj Pandit because it was named after a Hindu deity. A day later, the same Devraj Pandit bullied a biryani vendor into moving his cart elsewhere. The video of the biryani seller being harassed was also uploaded by Pandit on his Facebook account.


Many of the groups and individuals responsible for anti-Muslim content on social media identify themselves as supporters of organisations affiliated with the right-wing BJP, RSS and VHP. These content producers also exhibit unshakable support for Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, even referring to him as ‘Baba Yogi’. Similarly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is given god-like status by these individuals, who often replace the word ‘Mahadev’ in the Hindu chant ‘Har Har Mahadev’ with ‘Modi’.

As more of these pages and hashtags proliferate and trend, it becomes clearer with every click, share, post, like and follow that those involved in the distribution of content that vilifies Muslims not only enjoy massive acceptance by India’s ruling party, but are also glamorised by the affiliates of the BJP government as foot-soldiers of the Hindu rashtra movement. 


Turkey helped Iraq capture slain Daesh leader Baghdadi's deputy – report


Sami Jasim had been hiding out in northwestern Syria and Turkish intelligence had been key to his capture, says Reuters news agency, citing multiple sources.

Daesh's cross-border 
Daesh's cross-border "caliphate" once spanned a third of Syria and Iraq, inspiring affiliates including one in Afghanistan. (Reuters)

Turkish intelligence helped Iraq capture a senior Daesh leader who had been hiding out in northwestern Syria, three security sources have told Reuters news agency, in an operation that points to closer cooperation against remnants of the terror group.

Iraq announced on Monday that its security forces had captured Sami Jasim, an Iraqi national and in charge of the terror group's finance, in what it described as "a special operation outside the borders". 

It did not give details on when or where he was seized.

Jasim is one of the most senior Daesh leaders to be taken alive. 

He was a deputy to group's founder Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, killed during a US raid in 2019 in Syria's northwest, and a close aide to its current leader Abu Ibrahim al Hashemi al Quraishi, the Iraqi government said.

A senior regional security source and two Iraqi security sources told Reuters that Jasim had been in northwestern Syria and that Turkish intelligence had been key to his capture. 

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing covert operations.

Officials in the Iraqi and Turkish governments declined to comment on the sources' accounts of Jasim's capture. 

Turkey holds big sway in region

Closer cooperation between Iraq, from where many Daesh leaders came, and Turkey, which has influence in northern Syria, could help tighten the noose on remnants of the group, even after the US military has reduced its presence in the region.

Northwestern Syria is the last major bastion of armed opposition who have been fighting Damascus. 

Turkey which holds big sway in the area has sent in troops in a series of campaigns beginning in 2016 and also backs some of the rebels there who are fighting regime leader Bashar al Assad's forces.

The senior regional security source said Jasim was in northwestern Syria when he was caught with help from local security forces – an apparent reference to Syrian opposition forces. 

The two Iraqi sources said he was detained in Turkey shortly after being lured over the border.

One of the Iraqi sources said Iraqi intelligence agents had been tracking Jasim for months. Information from a Daesh prisoner detained last year had contributed to his capture, the second Iraqi security source said.

The sources declined to give further details including when Jasim was captured, saying this would risk future operations.

His capture could yield significant intelligence about the remnants of Daesh which was driven from its cross-border so-called "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq years ago but still carries out attacks in both countries. 

US hails Iraq

Jasim had been flown to Iraq from Turkey in a military plane, the two Iraqi security sources and an Iraqi military source close to the Iraqi military aviation service said.

One of the Iraqi sources shared a photo they said showed Jasim being brought to Iraq on the plane. 

It showed a person in a yellow jumpsuit, their face covered, being escorted from the plane by Iraqi security personnel in balaclavas. 

Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the image.

Asked by Reuters on Monday about Jasim's capture, the US-led coalition said it would not comment on specific operations but applauded Iraqi forces that "regularly lead and conduct destructive blows to the remnants" of Daesh.

According to the website of the US Department of State's counter-terrorism rewards programme, Rewards for Justice, Jasim has been "instrumental in managing finances for ISIS's [Daeesh] terrorist operations". 

The United States had offered $5 million for information on Jasim.

Daesh fundraising

"The Iraqis will be trying to ascertain as much as they can about the networks and links he had in Iraq and across borders. They will be very interested in fundraising in particular," said Raffaello Pantucci, a senior associate fellow at the RUSI security think tank.

Daesh's cross-border "caliphate" once spanned a third of Syria and Iraq, inspiring affiliates including one in Afghanistan. 

But the group was steadily beaten back in Syria and Iraq by regional countries such as Turkey and local forces helped by the US-led coalition.

Source: Reuters 

Uthra Case: Kerala Court Awards Double Life Sentence to Husband for Using a Cobra to Kill Wife


This is the first case anywhere in the entire country where a man has been found guilty of murder by using a snake.

Chile declares state of emergency over Mapuche conflict


Chile deploys troops to two southern regions after clashes between security forces and Mapuche indigenous people, who seek restoration of their ancestral lands and self-determination.

A demonstrator is arrested by riot policemen during clashes following a protest of Mapuche indigenous people in downtown Santiago, on October 10, 2021, amid the commemoration of the Day of the Race.
A demonstrator is arrested by riot policemen during clashes following a protest of Mapuche indigenous people in downtown Santiago, on October 10, 2021, amid the commemoration of the Day of the Race. (AFP)

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has announced a state of emergency and deployed troops to two southern regions where clashes have broken out between Mapuche indigenous people and security forces.

The Mapuche are demanding the restoration of their ancestral lands and self-determination.

"We have decided to call a state of exception" in four provinces of the southern regions of Biobio and Araucania and the deployment of troops to help control "the serious disturbance of public order" there, Pinera said in a speech on Tuesday.

The billionaire right-wing president addressed the nation on a controversial national holiday that marks the "discovery" of the Americas by Christopher Columbus.

It is a day in history that is viewed as a disaster by many indigenous peoples throughout the Americas due to the colonisation that followed.

Pinera, 71, said that the four provinces in question have seen "repeated acts of violence linked to drug-trafficking, terrorism and organized crime committed by armed groups," and that innocent civilians and police officers have been killed in the violence.

The state of exception is initially due to last two weeks in the provinces of Biobio and Arauco in the Biobio region, and in Malleco and Cautin in La Araucania.

Mapuche demand autonomy

The Mapuche are Chile's largest indigenous group numbering 1.7 million out of the country's 19 million population and live mostly in the south.

Their leaders are demanding that land currently owned by farms and logging companies be restored to them.

The lack of a solution to Mapuche demands has prompted radical groups to carry out attacks on trucks and private property over the last decade.

One person was killed and 17 injured on Sunday when clashes broke out in Santiago between security forces and protesters marching for Mapuche autonomy.

Possible escalation

Political analyst Lucia Dammert criticised Pinera's decision, saying that the deployment of troops could further intensify the Mapuche conflict.

"The government has been unable to generate an effective and fair policy to solve the problems that exist in Araucania," Dammert, a professor at the University of Santiago, told the AFP news agency. 

She added that sending troops to the region could lead to "an escalation of violence."

But Luciano Rivas, the ruling party's governor of Araucania, backed the deployment saying there is "a very deep security crisis" in the region.

"Today we are living in a very complex situation where the police are overwhelmed by groups with heavy caliber weapons," Rivas told CNN Chile.

Source: AFP