Philippines stops issuing haj passports to Muslim pilgrims

Manila : The Philippines has stopped issuing haj passports for Muslim pilgrims after detention of over 170 Indonesians with fake documents using Manila as a transit to Saudi Arabia.

Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay on Tuesday saud that the issuance of haj passports has become a source of corruption in the Foreign Department.

"This has really been the source of these fraudulent transactions and corruption," he said.

Because of this, the secretary said the government is considering to suspend issuing these kind of documents for good.


Indo-Kuwait Society asks Indian govt. to help rescue stranded labourers

By Amit Kumar and Shafeea Hudawi,

Mohammed Moosa, a young expatriate from Thalassery in Kannur district of Kerala, has now become a familiar face for the labour court officials in Kuwait City. The ‘absconding labourer’ is a usual visitor of the court, seeking help to get a release from Caesar's Restaurant and Bakery, where he had worked till May 2015 as a cook.

Iraq asks Saudi Arabia to replace its ambassador

Baghdad : Iraq has asked Saudi Arabia to replace its ambassador in Baghdad, stressing that his presence would hamper the development of bilateral ties, authorities said.

Ahmed Jamal, spokesman of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, told the state-run Iraqiya channel that Iraqi senior officials sent a request to Riyadh on Sunday to take appropriate measure and replace its ambassador Thamer al-Sabhan, Xinhua news agency reported.

"The presence of Sabhan is an obstacle to the development of relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia," the channel quoted Jamal as saying.


UN General Assembly President-elect to visit India

By Arul Louis

United Nations : Sustainable development will be high on the agenda when General Assembly President-elect Peter Thomson visits India next week and meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"My main interest will be to discuss how the UN can assist and accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," he said in a statement before his departure Wednesday.

The 2030 Agenda is a set of 17 goals for global development adopted in 2015 by world leaders with 2030 as the deadline for meeting them.


Hajj stoning ritual to be shortened: Saudi officials

Riyadh : In the wake of last year's Hajj stampede tragedy that killed hundreds of pilgrims, Saudi Arabia authorities have cut short the stoning ritual period by 12 hours, a media report said.

The symbolic stoning of the devil will be performed as usual over three days beginning September 11 at Mina, about five kilometres east of Mecca's Grand Mosque, Islam's holiest site.

Students from India, Pakistan exchange greeting cards on Independence Day

By TCN News

In an effort to promote peaceful relations among India and Pakistan, Mumbai-based Ecole Mondiale World School sent greeting cards on Independence Day to Unique School Academy, Lahore, Pakistan. This card exchange was facilitated by Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a joint Indo-Pak friendship initiative.

Hasina cabinet okays life term for dishonouring 1971 War, Bangabandhu

Dhaka : The Bangladesh cabinet on Monday approved a draft law with a provision of life imprisonment and Taka 1 crore fine for dishonouring the 1971 Liberation War or the nation's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The proposed Digital Security Act, 2016, law states that anyone spreading propaganda against the Liberation War or Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman using digital devices will face the penalty, Cabinet Secretary Md Shafiul Alam told journalists following the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.


177 Indonesians bound for Haj detained in Manila with fake passports

Jakarta : A group of 177 Indonesians were detained in the Philippines on Saturday after attempting to board a flight to Saudi Arabia for the annual Haj pilgrimage using fake Philippine passports.

The Indonesians were reportedly about to board an early morning flight on Friday to Medina when they were apprehended by immigration personnel at Manila International Airport, who discovered that the group were unable to speak any Philippine language or dialect, EFE news reported.


18 Jamaat activists arrested from Dhaka school

Dhaka : At least 18 Jamaat-e-Islami activists were arrested here on Friday from a school run by executed war criminal Motiur Rahman Nizami's wife, police said.

Police said they were arrested from the Islamic International School and College in Dhaka's Badda locality, bdnews24 reported.

Nizami was hanged on May 11 this year for war crimes including mass murder, rapes, violence etc. He was the third minister to be executed for war crimes.

He was the chief of Jamaat party which actively opposed Bangladesh's liberation from Pakistan during nine months long war in 1971.

Distressed Indian workers in Saudi Arabia have only two options

New Delhi/Jeddah : Indian workers in Saudi Arabia retrenched by three Saudi companies have only two options left -- either to return to India or to relocate to a different company in the Gulf kingdom.

Explaining the situation faced by the retrenched Indian workers of Saudi Oger, Saudi-bin Laden and Saad Group, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in his weekly media briefing in New Delhi on Thursday that Saudi authorities have offered to facilitate speedy repatriation of those seeking to return home or to assist those wishing to relocate.