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News Live Editor To Quit In Wake Of Assam Molestation Coverage

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   News Live Editor To Quit In Wake Of Assam Molestation Coverage     Guwahati: Atanu Bhuyan, editor-in-chief of News Live channel, has announced his decision to quit following widespread criticism of the telecast of the molestation of a teenage girl here July 9.

“I have decided to resign owning any moral responsibility after the channel and one of its reporters was dragged into the controversy over the molestation case on July 9,” said Bhuyan while addressing a press conference at the Guwahati Press Club. He will, however, remain associated with the channel as one of its board members.
Channel reporter Gaurav Jyoti Neog was accused of instigating the mob to strip the teen after she came out of a pub on the busy G.S. Road. Neog resigned Sunday after a probe was ordered by the state government.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Monday accused Neog of being involved in the incident. “After the chief minister’s intervention, I feel that the inquiry against the reporter is not going to be impartial and there might be pressure on News Live from various sections to sack me. So, I have decided to quit,” said Bhuyan, adding, “Prior to the July 9 incident, woman Congress legislator Rumi Nath was attacked in Assam’s Barak Valley. Similarly, Team Anna member Akhil Gogoi was manhandled by a mob in Nalbari. In both the incidents, the chief minister neither named anyone nor ordered any inquiry. However, in the G.S. Road incident, he accused our reporter and promptly ordered an inquiry. Immediately after the chief minister’s statement, Neog was also quizzed by police for four hours.”
The channel head also admitted that his decisions to repeatedly telecast the visuals of molestation on the channel and revealing the identity of the victim were wrong. “I admit that the two decisions taken by me were wrong. But the national channels also did the same thing. While they (national channels) condemned us for the telecast of the visuals, they also telecast the same visuals which were mainly procured from News Live,” said Bhuyan.
Bhuyan justified his move to upload the edited versions of the visuals on YouTube website. “I have uploaded the visuals on YouTube but there is no harm as I did that after the visuals were telecast on channels,” he said.
The visuals went viral on the internet after being uploaded on YouTube. The All India Mahila Congress Monday demanded action against the channel reporter and editor-in-chief for posting derogatory comments against women on Twitter after the July 9 incident.
Bhuyan justified his comment on Twitter and said that it was posted only partially and if someone read the whole remark, he would understand that there was nothing wrong in it.

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SOUTH ASIA

Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin

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Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.

The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.

Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.

Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.

Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.

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Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told

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The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.

The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.

Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.

Islamabad and its nuclear-armed neighbour India “continue to engage in a quantitative build-up and a qualitative improvement” of their atomic stockpiles, added Tony deBrum, a Marshallese government minister.

DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.

The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.

The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.

But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.

It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

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Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus

New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.

Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.

The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.

In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.

According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.

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