World Newsletter

19 Sept 2020




UN-designated terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) has warned French

President Emmanuel Macron and "others like him" that they will be targeted

by those ready to be "sacrificed for the honour of the Prophet", said a


The terror group, in an unsigned article published on the website of its

online journal Al Qalam has not only called President Macron a "blasphemer"

but also threatened him for his support for the publication of cartoons of

Prophet Muhammad by the Charlie Hebdo magazine

The article said, "If not today then tomorrow, if not tomorrow then day

after there will be some Abdullah Checheni (the Chechen youth who killed a

teacher in Paris last month), Mumtaz Qadri (who killed Pakistani politician

Salman Taseer in 2011), and Ghazi Khalid (who shot dead Tahir Ahmed Naseem,

an Ahmedi, in a Pakistan courtroom where Naseem was being tried for alleged

blasphemy in July this year)."

The article that goes with the header, 'Muslims: Sacrifice for the Honour of

the Prophet', further stated, "if someone commits the sin of blasphemy, it

gives birth to the Abdullah type of young men. no Muslim will allow you to

burn the Koran or blaspheme against the Prophet."

Even though JeM has been listed as a proscribed organisation by Pakistan's

National Counter Terrorism Authority and the Deobandi JeM and its leader

Masood Azhar are designated terrorist entities under the UN Security

Council's Resolution 1267, its website Al Qalam continues to be available.





Humiliated in courts and forsaken by key Republican officials, defeated US

President Trump continued to thrash about on Twitter, insisting he has won

the election while firing a government official who maintained there was no

large scale fraud in the polls.

"The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election

was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud -

including dead people voting, Poll Watchers not allowed into polling

locations, "glitches" in the voting machines which changed votes from Trump

to Biden, late voting, and many more. Therefore, effective immediately,

Chris Krebs has been terminated as director of cybersecurity and

infrastructure security Agency," he tweeted, firing the official in his own


Trump and his supporters continued to push bogus claims that courts and even

Republican officials are now rejecting. In one particularly egregious case,

Georgia's Republican secretary of state Brad Raffensperger revealed that GOP

leaders are pressuring him to exclude valid ballots with the aim of

overturning the results that turned the state blue.

In Michigan, a 2-2 deadlock between Republican and Democrat officials over

certifying election results was broken after GOP officials backed down,

ending Trump's joy over the impasse and hopes of snatching back the state's

electoral votes.

But the most striking sign that Republican veterans are reconciled to losing

the White House came on the floor of the Senate where several GOP senators

walked up to vice-president elect Kamala Harris to congratulate her, in one

instance Trump acolyte Lindsey Graham giving her a fist bump and a pat on

the back. Harris cast one of her last votes as a Senator (she will have a

tie-breaker vote in the Senate as vice-president) to defeat Trump's nominee

to the Federal Reserve on Tuesday in a roll call that also saw three

Republicans join Democrats.

Most Republicans have indicated they are just waiting for the legal

challenges to conclude so that a formal transition can begin. "We're going

to have an orderly transfer from this administration to the next one,"

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said.

But Trump continued to rage. "I WON THE ELECTION. VOTER FRAUD ALL OVER THE

COUNTRY!" he tweeted.





The United States hit Iran with new sanctions on Wednesday, as Secretary of

State Mike Pompeo made the case that undoing the actions of the Trump

administration would be foolish and dangerous.

The Treasury and State departments announced they had targeted a leading

Iranian charity and numerous of its affiliates for human rights violations.

At the same time, Pompeo released a statement titled "The Importance of

Sanctions on Iran," which argued that the Trump administration's moves

against Iran made the world safer and should not be reversed.

The sanctions announced Wednesday target Iran's Mostazafan Foundation and

roughly 160 of its subsidiaries, which are alleged to provide material

support to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for malign

activities, including the suppression of dissent.

"While (it) is ostensibly a charitable organization charged with providing

benefits to the poor and oppressed, its holdings are expropriated from the

Iranian people and are used by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to enrich his

office, reward his political allies, and persecute the regime's enemies,"

Treasury said in a statement.

Also targeted was Iran's Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, who it said

"played a central role in the Iranian regime's human rights abuses against

Iranian citizens."





Iran will "automatically" return to its nuclear commitments if U.S.

President-elect Joe Biden lifts sanctions imposed over the past two years,

its Foreign Minister said Wednesday.

Tehran's return to its commitments "can be done automatically and needs no

conditions or even negotiations," Mohammad Javad Zarif said in comments

published in the state-run Iran daily.

Decades old U.S.-Iranian tensions escalated after U.S. President Donald

Trump unilaterally withdrew from a landmark nuclear agreement in 2018 and

reimposed, then reinforced, crippling sanctions.

While Mr. Trump has sought to maximise pressure on Iran and isolate it

globally, Mr. Biden has proposed to offer the Islamic republic a "credible

path back to diplomacy".

Mr. Zarif argued that "America is obligated to implement Resolution 2231 as

a member of the United Nations and its Security Council," pointing to the

UNSC resolution that enshrined the 2015 nuclear deal.

"If it does carry out this resolution and sanctions are lifted and there are

no obstacles to Iran's economic activities, then Iran will carry out" its

obligations under the deal, he said.





Japan is on "maximum alert" after logging a record number of daily

coronavirus infections, the prime minister said Thursday, though no

immediate restrictions are planned.

More than 2,000 cases were recorded nationwide on Wednesday, with nearly 500

in the capital Tokyo alone.

While small compared to figures seen in some other countries, the numbers

represent a sharp rise in cases for Japan, where testing is often less

wide-scale than in other parts of the world.

"We are now in a situation of maximum alert," Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga

told reporters.

"I ask you, the Japanese people, to fully implement principles such as

wearing masks," Suga added, urging people to wear them even while talking

during meals in restaurants.

National broadcaster NHK said Suga had asked expert advisers to meet on

Thursday and Friday to examine the growing number of infections before the

government takes any further measures.

Suga said he would support local regions if they asked businesses to close

early, and that restrictions including limiting groups at restaurants to

four people should be considered.

Tokyo is expected to raise its alert level to the highest of a four-tier

scale on Thursday, but the move does not come with automatic restrictions.

Local media said the capital was not likely to request early business

closures for now.





A parliamentary committee has cleared with majority vote the "China Pakistan

Economic Corridor Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020" which was blocked by the

opposition members during the last meeting, a media report said on


The National Assembly's Standing Committee on Planning and Development

presided over by ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Junaid Akbar

took up the government bill on Tuesday. After a detailed discussion, the

committee agreed to decide the fate of the bill through voting.

The Opposition members said their objections over the creation of the CPEC

Authority (CPECA) had not been addressed and the creation of a new authority

would affect CPEC projects instead of expediting them.

The USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is fully funded

by Beijing under the multi-billion One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.

India has protested to China over the CPEC as it is being laid through

Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said the CPECA would have no

powers as all work would be carried out by the line ministries and added

that the authority's operations would not be in conflict with the working of

the line ministries.

The committee chairman then put the bill to vote, saying a comprehensive

discussion had already been held during the previous meeting.

The committee recommended with majority 7:5 votes that the bill may be

passed by the National Assembly, the report said.

Out of total 20 members of the committee, half each from the government and

opposition benches, 13 members were present in the meeting. Out of 10

members from the government benches eight were present while five of the

Opposition members attended the meeting.

Members of the committee belonging to the Opposition Pakistan Muslim

League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) voted against the






China has no theological basis to pick the next Dalai Lama, according to a

top US diplomat, asserting that the Tibetan Buddhists have successfully

picked their spiritual leader for hundreds of years.

"I travelled to Dharamsala, India, to speak to the Tibetan community that

the US is opposed to China picking the next Dalai Lama," Ambassador at Large

for International Religious Freedom Samuel D Brownback said.






Constable Zeena Ali is New Zealand Police's first member to wear a specially

designed hijab introduced as part of the force's uniform to encourage more

Muslim women to join the ranks.

Zeena, 30, was inspired to join the police to help her Muslim community

after the Christchurch terror attack last year in which 51 people were

killed at two mosques in New Zealand.

This week she will not only graduate as a police officer, but will become

the first in New Zealand to don a police-issued hijab as part of her

uniform, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Zeena has worked with police to design a garment that is both functional for

her new role and considerate of her religion, it said.

Zeena believes that the move will encourage other women to apply to the

force as well.

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