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January 18, 2019

Supreme Court throws out case alleging Modi took cash payments

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Supreme Court on Wednesday threw out a case brought by anti-corruption lawyer Prashant Bhushan that accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of accepting suspicious cash payments, dealing a blow to opposition leader Rahul Gandhi who had latched on to the case.

Bengaluru molestation: Twitterati explains difference between ‘Not All Men’ and ‘Yes All Women’

Delhi/India/Politics by

Representational Image Only. | File Photo

It was not a happy new year for folks celebrating the day at MG road, Bengaluru. The incident of mass molestation has raised several questions about women’s safety and police inaction. But Tuesday saw a new twist to the incident, with Abu Azmi, Mumbai-based Samajwadi Party leader, reacting to the mass molestation with misogynist comments.

“When a few women in half dress come out on the streets at late night with their friends, such incidents do occur,” Azmi said. Azmi has been known for issuing similar statements in the past. For example, “Women are precious like gold. If you expose them, they’ll be looted. Women should not move around like men late night. They are weak, so they should think before they venture out.” In reference to rape cases, he had said, “When villagers come to big cities they see women with lesser clothes and make-up… that’s why such incidents happen in the country.”

In the past, daughter-in-law and former actress Ayesha Takia had condemned his remarks about rape and women’s dressing sense.

While media virally ran his comments on the mass molestation, here’s what Azmi remarked about it late on Tuesday.

Starting 2017 on a sexist note and hearing it from someone like Abu Azmi was enough to incite a twitter war, with two hashtags trending simultaneously- #NotAllMen and #YesAllWomen. 

While #NotAllMen was trying to establish that every man is not a rapist, not a groper, not an eve teaser and so on, #YesAllWomen had strong voices speaking of how several women have undergone assaults no matter what.

Some men on Twitter called out those ‘defending’ their gender with #NotAllMen hash tag and asked them to stop diverting attention from the real issue.  Women too asked how #NotAllMen would fix the problem at hand. 

Here’s a look at some of the tweets-

Ram Gopal hobnobbing with rivals to break the party, says Mulayam

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Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. |PTI

LUCKNOW: Launching a direct attack on expelled Samajwadi Party leader and his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav — who has been acting as CM Akhilesh Yadav’s mentor in the present intra-family feud — SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav accused him of plotting a split in the party. Mulayam charged Ram Gopal with hobnobbing with other political parties to break the party.

Addressing the party workers at SP headquarters here on Wednesday, Mulayam said that Ram Gopal had met the BJP chief thrice in the recent past. The SP patriarch reiterated his resolve of not letting any split in the party he had build with his ‘blood and sweat’. “I will neither change the name of the party, nor seek a new symbol,” Mulayam said adding that it was his party and his ‘cycle’.

Mulayam, however, in a bid to woo Akhilesh back, repeated his statement that the latter would be the next chief minister if SP comes to power after the polls. “Some leaders are trying to split the party. Their intensions were clear when they approached the Election Commission with the proposal of a new name—Akhil Bharatiya Samajwadi Party — and a new symbol ‘Motorcycle’ a few months back,” said the SP chief.

Putting the entire onus of family feud and subsequent crisis in the party on Ram Gopal, Mulayam dragged the son and daughter-in-law of the expelled leader into the controversy saying that Ram Gopal was working on their advice much against the party’s interest.

“Na hum alag party bana rahe hain, na symbol badal rahe hain. Woh (opposing group) dusri party bana rahe hain. Maine unko (opposing group) kaha vivaad mein mat pado. Hum party mein ekta chahte hain. (We are not forming a separate party, nor are we changing the symbol. They are forming another party. I told (Akhilesh faction) them not to get into arguments. We want unity in the party),” the SP leader said.

Meanwhile, Ram Gopal Yadav didn’t respond to Mulayam’s charges saying that he was awaiting the Election Commission’s decision over symbol issue on January 13.

Earlier, flanked by his brother Shivpal Yadav, Mulayam played an emotional card by narrating how he built the party brick-by-brick facing all the hardships and a prolonged struggle.

“Maine gharibi mein pariwaar chhoda aur party banayee. Mere paas jo bhi thha woh maine sab de diya. Ab mere paas kya hai ….Mere paas ab sirf mere karyakartaon ka samarthhan hai (I left my family in penury to build the party. Whatever I had I have already given away. Now I am left with nothing but the support of my party workers),” said the party chief giving a sentimental colour to the entire controversy.

Assuring that he would not let the party break, Mulayam told the party workers how he built the party during emergency when Akhilesh was just two years old. Mulayam told workers who were repeatedly cheering him that he shared their pain.

“Aapki chinta swabhavik hai kyunki Samajwadi Party sangharsh se bani hai. Party ki ekta ke liye humne pura samay diya hai (Your worry is obvious as Samajwadi party has been built after a lot of struggle. I have tried my best to keep the party intact).” “I’m standing here to tell you that the party will not split. It’s not me who is trying to split the party, there are others who are meeting rivals,” he added, referring to Ram Gopal.

The SP chief, however, appealed to the SP workers present in the party office to work with unity to ensure victory of the party candidates in the State Assembly elections.

Germany: 280,000 new migrants last year, far lower than 2015

Delhi/India/Politics/World by

Refugees and supporters sit on the roadway in front of the border station of Obretzje and block the highway between Croatia and Slovenian, in Obretzje in Slovenia. |AP

BERLIN: Germany saw about 280,000 new asylum-seekers arrive last year, less than a third of the previous year’s huge influx of 890,000, the interior minister said Wednesday.

While new arrivals declined, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that the number of rejected asylum-seekers who left Germany was up — though still not to authorities’ satisfaction. In total, 80,000 people either left voluntarily or were deported, he said.

Arrivals declined sharply with the closure of the Balkan migrant route in March and the subsequent agreement between the European Union and Turkey to stem the flow across the Aegean Sea to Greece.

Asylum applications have lagged well behind arrivals and many people who came to Germany in 2015 applied only last year.

Wednesday’s figures showed that 745,545 formal asylum applications were made last year — 268,869 more than in 2015. Those included 268,866 applications from Syrians, 127,892 from Afghans and 97,162 from Iraqis, the biggest single groups by far.

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, which has been beefed up in the course of Europe’s migrant crisis, decided last year on more than 695,000 asylum applications, more than twice as many as in 2015. Nearly 60 percent of applicants were granted either full refugee status or a lesser form of protection.

De Maiziere said that about 55,000 migrants returned home voluntarily last year, compared with the previous year’s 35,000. Another 25,000 were forcibly deported.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faces a national election later this year and still draws criticism for her welcoming approach to migrants in 2015, has promised a “national effort” to ensure that people who aren’t entitled to stay go home.

The number of returns is still too low, de Maiziere said, adding that talks are underway with state authorities — who are responsible for returns — to push it up.

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