Friday, October 27, 2017

Australian HC: Dy PM ineligible for parliament over dual citizenship

Australia’s High Court ruled on Friday that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is ineligible to remain in parliament, a stunning decision that cost the government its one-seat parliamentary majority and forced a by-election.
The Australian dollar fell a quarter of a US cent after the court announced its ruling and ordered that Joyce must seek a new mandate in his rural New South Wales state electorate.
That left Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s center-right coalition in the precarious position of a minority government. Turnbull’s Liberal Party is the senior party in a coalition with the smaller National Party, which Joyce led.
Turnbull must now win the support of one of three independent lawmakers to keep his minority government afloat, with two sitting weeks of parliament left until it recesses for the year.
Joyce was one of seven politicians whose eligibility to sit in parliament was thrown into doubt in recent months when it was found they were dual citizens, which bars them from being elected to the national parliament under Australia’s constitution.
Joyce, who renounced his dual New Zealand citizenship in August, said he would stand in the by-election, which is likely to be held in early December.
“It is a tough game, politics,” Joyce told reporters in the rural town of Tamworth in his electorate. “You take the hits and the sacrifices.”
All seven lawmakers accepted they were dual nationals when they were elected last year but had claimed they were unaware of their status at the time. Some were conferred a second nationality by birth, others by descent.
Of the remaining six, who were from the coalition and minority parties, four were also found ineligible to hold parliamentary office.
Some had already resigned. All were senators, which meant seats in the upper house of parliament could be assigned to party alternatives if they were ruled ineligible.
Australian Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue had urged the seven justices of the High Court not to interpret the constitution literally. He argued that five of the seven, including three Cabinet members, should be cleared because they were unaware that they had contravened the constitutional requirement at the time.

Turkish court releases 8 activists on bail

A Turkish court has ordered the release, on bail, of eight defendants, including the director of Amnesty International in Turkey and two foreign nationals, pending a verdict in their ongoing terrorism trial. Eleven activists, most of whom were detained in July, having participated in a digital security workshop held on island off the coast of Istanbul, face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty. The charges include membership of and aid for an “armed terrorist organization.” They were arrested amid Ankara’s crackdown following last year’s failed coup attempt. The next hearing is set for November 22.

Israel will ‘act militarily’ to stop Iran

Israel is willing to take military action to ensure that Iran never acquires nuclear weapons, according to the country’s intelligence minister. “If international efforts led these days by US President Trump don’t help stop Iran attaining nuclear capabilities, Israel will act militarily by itself,” Yisrael Katz said during a visit to Tokyo, as quoted by Reuters. “There are changes that can be made [to the agreement] to ensure that they will never have the ability to have a nuclear weapon,” he added. Katz has asked the Japanese government to support steps led by Trump to change the historic 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and six world powers, which the US president declined to recertify earlier this month. Iran, however, insists its nuclear program is purely for civilian purposes and has repeatedly denied developing atomic weapons.

Iran’s Khamenei warns Iraq not to trust US

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that Iraq should not trust the United States in its fight against Islamic State, state TV reported. “Unity was the most important factor in your gains against terrorists and their supporters… Don’t trust America… It will harm you in the future,” Khamenei told al-Abadi on Thursday, as cited by Reuters. Al-Abadi’s meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei marks his second visit to Tehran in four months.

NATO has no proof of Russia’s alleged support for Taliban – FM

NATO has not provided any documentary evidence in support of its claims that Russia supports the Taliban movement in Afghanistan. “There is no proof, it is mere rhetoric,”Zamir Kabulov, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department, said at the NATO-Russia Council meeting on Thursday, as quoted by TASS news agency.
The accusations that Russia might be supplying Taliban first emerged in February, when General John Nicholson, US Commander in Afghanistan, told a Senate Committee that Russia had significantly increased overt and covert support for Taliban militants with a goal of “undermining the United States and NATO.”
Russian officials have repeatedly denied the allegations. “The accusations of mythical Russian assistance to the Taliban aim to distract the international community from Washington’s numerous mistakes,” the Foreign Ministry in a statement in September.

Pakistan take decisive action against terrorist groups

US State Department official today said the Trump administration has communicated to Pakistan that it must take “decisive” action against terrorist groups and dismantle their safe havens on its soil.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the US has communicated its expectations to Pakistan numerous times that they must take decisive action against terrorist groups based within their own borders. Nauert told this to PTI a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson concluded his maiden trip to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
The spokesperson said that Tillerson on his trip has put the US “expectations” in front of the leadership of Pakistan.

UN: Iraq, Kurds to hold talks

UN Security Council has urged the Iraqi government and regional leaders in Kurdistan to set a timetable for talks to end a crisis triggered by last month’s Kurdish referendum on independence. The appeal from the top UN body came yesterday after Baghdad dismissed an offer from Iraqi Kurdish leaders to freeze the outcome of the referendum, which delivered a resounding yes to independence, and hold talks.
French Ambassador Francois Delattre, who holds this month’s UNSC Presidency, said the Council members noted that the federal and regional governments have both expressed willingness to engage in dialogue.
The Council met behind closed doors at the request of France and Sweden to hear a report form UN envoy Jan Kubis on the crisis.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had, earlier, rejected the Kurdish offer for a freeze and demanded the annulment of the last month’s vote for independence.

US publishes thousands of files on Kennedy, withholds others

US President Donald Trump has decided to keep some files on the assassination of John F. Kennedy secret, following appeals from the FBI and the CIA. The remaining trove of nearly 2,900 records has been published.
John F. Kennedy portrait (REUTERS)
The US National Archives released the secret documents on Thursday, just hours before the legal deadline for their publication was set to expire. The long-awaited release is expected to shine additional light onto the fatal Dallas shooting in 1963, which investigators attributed to Lee Harvey Oswald. The former Marine was himself shot and killed before the trial.
Even today, however, many Americans believe that part of the story is being kept away from the public eye. Some conspiracy theories link the Kennedy assassination with the US intelligence apparatus, the military, or the Italian mafia.
Among the documents released on Thursday, there was a transcript of a November 24, 1963, conversation with J. Edgar Hoover, who was FBI director at the time.
Kennedy's motorcade in Dallas (Reuters/Walt Cisco/Dallas Morning News)
John F. Kennedy and his wife moments before Kennedy was shot
The FBI informed police of a threat against the life of Oswald the night before he was killed. However, the police did not act on the tip, Hoover said.
US President Donald Trump approved the release of a 2,891-document trove, but decided that hundreds of additional documents will remain secret. According to White House officials cited by news agencies, Trump made this decision after the FBI and the CIA urged him to do so.

Little Caesars, business opportunity

Dear Mr. NK,
Trust you are well. We are trying to get in touch with you regarding business opportunity with US based famous Pizza brand by the name of Little Caesars (one of the World’s largest pizza chain Behind Domino’s). They are planning to enter Indian market and looking for a PAN India or Regional partner.
Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars is the largest carryout-only pizza chain in the world and the fastest growing pizza chain in America. Founded in 1959 as a single, family-owned restaurant, Little Caesars operates in all 50 U.S. states, as well as 25+ countries and territories worldwide with 5500+ Outlets. Known for its HOT-N-READY® pizza and famed Crazy Bread®.
Voted Best Value in America 10 years in a row “Highest Rated Chain – Value for the Money” based on a nationwide survey of national quick-service restaurant customers.
We would like to inform you that Mr. Bill Schreiber, (Vice President Worldwide Development of Little Caesars Pizza) is travelling to New Delhi on Tuesday, 7th and Wednesday, 8thNovember to participate in Asia’s largest Franchising & Retail event at Pragati Maidan, Delhi over there 200+ leading International Brands are participating and looking for a partner (Master Franchise and Joint Venture) in India. We would like to organise your meeting with him directly.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Best Regards,
Naseem Choudhary

Dr Subramaniam Swamy, MP to release book on Black Money And Tax Havens

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Black Money & Tax Havens

Dr Subramanian Swamy
to release a book by
Prof R Vaidyanathan
Just how much black money is there in India? Estimates vary from 10% to 20% of our GDP. Conservatively, Rs15 lakh crore (10% of Rs150 lakh crore, our GDP in 2016-17). 
As for Indian money in tax havens around the world?
Around Rs65 lakh crore. Truly astounding figures! Come and Listen to Dr Swamy and Prof Vaidyanathan, two of the distinguished authorities on black money.
For Online Registration click here
Date: Friday, 27 October 2017 Time: 6pm to 8pm
Venue: BSE International Convention Hall, 1st Floor, P. J. Towers, Dalal Street, Fort, Mumbai – 1
RSVP : Shilpa at 022-49205000 or email or Call/SMS/ WhatsApp on +91-7045156415 (Please give your Name. email ID & Contact number)

India will face Kazakhstan in the semifinals at the FIBA U16

India will face Kazakhstan in the semifinals at the FIBA U16 Women’s Asia Championship 2017
Bengaluru, 26th October 2017: The FIBA U16 Women’s Asia Championship 2017 is underway and has reached the knockout stages at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru. The fifth day of this tournament saw 4 quarterfinal matches in division A at the Kanteerava Stadium and 3 division B matches at Koramangala Indoor Stadium.
Hosts India are all set to face Kazakhstan in the semifinals on 26th October. This matchup will be by far India’s most exciting and challenging game as Kazakhstan has lost only one game in the entire tournament whereas India is still unbeaten and reached the semifinals directly after the group phase. Kazakhstan beat Sri Lanka 71-58 today in a tough match-up to reach the semi-finals. The other Semi Final for division B will be between Iran who beat Maldives 129-39 and the winner of the Malaysia-Nepal quarter-final which will be played tonight at 8 P.M.
Division A saw some great quarterfinals’ action with very interesting match-ups. The first game of the day turned out to be a one-sided affair with Australia dominating Hong Kong 123-29, Shyla Jade Heal led the Australian team with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 steals. The next game of the day saw the three-time champions China trying to secure their semi-final spot in a very tough match against Korea who put in all their heart and mind for the semi-final spot but lost 57-72. Australia will now face China tomorrow in the semifinals on their journey towards what could be their second appearance in a women’s Asian championship.
Later in the day Thailand tried hard to get their second win of the tournament and a semifinal spot but fell short to New Zealand who beat them 80-52. Sharne Pupuke-Robati of New Zealand had a double-double consisting of 16 points and 15 rebounds. New Zealand will face Japan who beat Chinese Taipei 82-49 in another game where we say the weaker team giving a tough time to the respective group phase leaders for their semifinal spot. Sakura Noguchi led the Japanese team with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Analysis of Income & Expenditure of Regional Parties for FY 2015-16

This report, prepared by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) focuses on Income and Expenditure of Regional Parties, during the Financial Year 2015-16, as submitted by the parties to the Election Commission of India (ECI).
For details of share of donations above Rs 20,000 in total donations to the party, top sources of income and top items of expenditure of the parties, please refer to the detailed report in English attached herewith.
Executive Summary
  • For the FY 2015-16, the due date for submission of annual audited accounts for the parties was 31st Oct,’16.
  • Out of the total 47 regional parties, only one-third had submitted their audit reports on time. Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) was the first party to submit, on 11th June, 2016 whileAAP was the last party to submit its report, on 13th July, 2017254 days after the due date.
  • 16 Regional parties have delayed their submission by several days, ranging from 22 days to over 8 months or 254 days.
  • 15 Regional parties which have not submitted their audit report to the ECI, till date include some of the major regional political parties like SP, JKNC, RJD, INLD, AINRC, AIUDF, AJSU, MGP etc.

Total Income and Expenditure of Regional Political Parties for FY 2015-16
  • Total income of the 32 Regional Parties for FY 2015-16 was Rs 221.48 crores of which the parties spent Rs 111.48 crores and declared an unspent amount of Rs 110 crores (49.67% unspent of total income).
  • 14 out of 32 regional parties have reported incurring expenditure more than their total income. Out of these, 3 parties, JVM-PJDU and RLD have spent close to 200% of their total income in the FY 2015-16.
  • 3 parties i.e. DMK, AIADMK, and AIMIM, have more than 80% of their income remaining unspent.
Total Income of Regional Parties FY 2015-16
  • DMK has the highest income of Rs 77.63 crores amongst all regional parties, followed by AIADMKwith Rs 54.938 crores and TDP with Rs 15.978 crores.
  • Parties with top three income alone comprise more than 67% of the total income of 32 regional parties, collectively.
Unknown sources of income of Regional Parties for FY 2015-16
  • In order to compute the unknown sources of income of political parties, it is essential to have details of IT returns as well as donations statements of the political parties. Both the details were available only for 18 Regional Parties.
  •  Total income (from known and unknown sources) of 18 Regional parties during FY 2015-16Rs 206.21 cr.
  • Total income of political parties from known donors (details of donors as available from contribution report submitted by parties to Election Commission): Rs 90.74 cr, which is 44% of the total income of the Regional parties during FY 2015-16.
  • Total income of political parties from other known sources (e.g., sale of assets, membership fees, bank interest, sale of publications, party levy etc.): Rs 74.86 cr, or 36% of total income.
  • Total income of political parties from unknown sources (income specified in the IT Returns whose sources are unknown), for the FY 2015-16 is Rs 40.61 cr, which is 20% of the total income of the parties from all over India. National Parties declared collecting 68.57% (Rs 708.48 cr) of their total income from unknown sources during FY 2015-16.
  • Out of the 18 parties, JMM is the only Regional Party not to declare any income under unknown sources during FY 2015-16.
Details of unknown sources of income as declared by the parties in their IT Returns
  • Among the unknown sources of funding, maximum funds were collected under “Voluntary Contributions” by seventeen Regional Parties during FY 2015-16. A total of Rs 28.945 crores was collected under “Voluntary Contributions” which formed 71.28% of the total income from unknown sources of the Regional Parties.
  • The second most preferred unknown source of funding was “Gross Receipts” under which SADcollected a total of Rs 6.59 crores which formed 16.23% of their total income from unknown sources during FY 2015-16.
  • Six regional parties have more than one unknown source of income while eleven have only one unknown source of income.
  • Parties with highest unknown sources of income are: TRS (Rs 7.245 crores)TDP (Rs 6.876 crores) and SAD (Rs 6.59 crores). For TRS and SAD, their income from unknown sources forms more than 81% of their total income.
 Recommendations of ADR
  • The Supreme Court gave a judgment on September 13, 2013 declaring that no part of a candidate’s affidavit should be left blank. Along the same lines, we recommend that the Election Commission India impose rules that no part of the Form 24A submitted by political parties providing details of donations above Rs 20,000 should be left blank.
  • Full details of all donors should be made available for public scrutiny under the RTI. Some countries where this is done include Bhutan, Nepal, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Bulgaria, the US and Japan. In none of these countries is it possible for 75% of the source of funds to be unknown.
  • Any party which does not submit its IT returns or donation statement to the ECI on or before the due date, their income should not be tax-exempted and defaulting parties should be derecognized.
  • Those parties not following the ICAI guidelines for auditing of reports should be scrutinized by the IT department.
  • The Regional political parties must provide all information on their finances under the Right to Information Act. This will only strengthen political parties, elections and democracy.

Iraqi Kurdish oil fields deserted

When the Iraqi army and Iranian-backed Shia militia entered a key oil processing facility in Iraq’s north to retake it from Kurdish Peshmerga forces last week, the installation was deserted and its alarm bells ringing.
Engineers and workers on the facility, which processes oil from two major fields in the Kirkuk area of predominantly Sunni Kurdistan, had fled, fearing the military advance.
“No one wanted to risk their life and decided to evacuate as stories about the militia and Qassem Soleimani were spreading fast,” said a senior Kurdish oil industry source, referring to the head of foreign operations (Quds Force) for Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards. The source declined to be identified.
Iraqi engineers arrived to the sound of alarm bells warning about system malfunctions, prompting them to immediately shut down wells. Now, they need passwords and expertise from their Kurdish counterparts to restore oil output fully.
The loss of control of Kirkuk oil fields is likely to starve the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of vital oil revenue and cause deep concern to global trading houses such as Vitol and Glencore, which have granted the semi-autonomous government billions of dollars in loans against future oil sales.
Baghdad’s lightning military offensive into northern Iraq came after the KRG held an independence referendum last month.
Maj Gen Soleimani, one of the most influential military figures in the Middle East, with reach in Syria and Lebanon, issued tough warnings to Kurdish leaders ahead of the Iraqi military advance.
“We went inside the oilfield facilities after Kurdish workers fled and we found overalls and safety boots thrown on the ground,” said an engineer from the Baghdad-run North Oil Company (NOC), who declined to be named because he was ordered not to speak publicly about the issue.
“It seems that workers took them off and escaped very quickly.”

IOM Turkey Marks Fifth Year of Supporting People Fleeing Conflict

Turkey –  IOM, the UN Migration agency, is marking its fifth year of providing assistance to migrants and refugees in Turkey and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Syria.  Over two million people – migrants, refugees and IDPs – have received help so far.
After years of regional conflict, millions of people fleeing violence do not have access to necessities or services like food, shelter and education.  Each month, hundreds of migrants and refugees continue to risk everything as they take desperate journeys to build a better life.
“Having a family, providing for your loved ones, educating your children, living in peace.  These are the basic foundations on which we build our lives, but for millions of people affected by the Syrian conflict, this is an untenable reality,” said IOM Turkey Chief of Mission, Lado Gvilava.
In September alone, over 190,000 people were displaced inside Syria, bringing the total number of IDPs to just under six million.  Another 3.3 million Syrians have fled to neighbouring Turkey which hosts the world’s largest refugee population. Since 2015, over a million migrants and refugees have arrived on Greece’s shores from Turkey and nearly 150,000 have been rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard.
IOM Turkey’s assistance programmes for migrants, refugees and IDPs initially focused on meeting the immediate needs of those fleeing the conflict.  As the crisis continued, IOM scaled up its programming to focus on protection and resilience support to Syrians and host communities, as well as providing protection services and basic needs for migrants and refugees rescued at sea.
“IOM’s help has given us some time to breathe and my family to find work,” said Hiba, a Syrian refugee living in Turkey.
With over one million migrants and refugees assisted inside Turkey and another million people assisted in northern Syria, IOM Turkey continues to provide basic needs, education, food security, protection, livelihoods and health services.
Watch the commemoration video.
Read “Rebuilding a Future”
For further information. please contact Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email:  

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