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Syrian admits to Berlin assault on Israeli wearing kippa

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BERLIN: A young Syrian migrant admitted today to lashing out with his belt at an Israeli man wearing a Jewish kippa skullcap in an assault that stoked fears of resurgent anti-Semitism.

A video of the attack, filmed by the victim on his smartphone, sparked widespread public revulsion as it spread on social media, and later triggered large street rallies to show solidarity with Jews. The defendant, a 19-year-old Palestinian from Syria, is charged with dangerous assault and hate speech in the trial that was to hear eight witnesses and could reach a verdict the same day.

The footage of the April 17 assault shows the attacker, one of a group of three, shouting “Yahudi“, Jew in Arabic, before lashing out at the two men, leaving one injured. “I’m sorry, it was a mistake”, the defendant told a Berlin court, while claiming the victim had insulted him first, reported news agency DPA.

“I didn’t want to hit him, I only wanted to scare him,” he said in his testimony, which switched from halting German to Arabic. “I had smoked some dope, my head was tired.” Grievous bodily harm usually carries jail terms of three months to five years in Germany, but less under the juvenile law which can be applied for defendants up to 20 years of age.

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Crime

News agencies in Europe to fight fake news

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ALBANIA: News agencies in Europe have joined forces to fight the growing threat posed by fake news.

In a resolution adopted last week in Tirana, these commit to developing effective tools and rules to enable journalists and Internet users to fight misinformation as well as to promote reliable media and educate users to surf in the digital environment.

The news agencies that attended the international conference ‘News Agencies vs. Fake News,’ organized by the ATA news agency on 3- 4 December in Tirana, also agreed to cooperate directly to check the news and discover in due time fake news and improve the transparency of online news, which entails a consistent development of professional journalism.

The purpose of these measures is to mitigate the impact of fake news on communities at the local, national and international level, to highlight the entities that are at the origin of the dissemination of fake news and to strengthen the activity and profile of news agencies as real news providers.

The aim is also to raise public awareness of the danger posed by fake news to our societies and to media professionals regarding the impact of the phenomenon on the entire media environment, to enhance the skills of journalists in identifying and avoiding fake news and to promote real, impartial and accurate news.

The resolution, adopted on the last day of the Tirana conference and published on 10 December, was initiated by 13 news agencies: ATA (Albania), PAP (Poland), CNA (Cyprus), ANA-MPA (Greece) , BTA (Bulgaria), KosovaPress (Kosovo), TASR (Slovakia), ANADOLU (Turkey), AzerTac (Azerbaijan), AGERPRES (Romania), TANJUG (Serbia), HINA (Croatia) and UKRINFORM (Ukraine).

The signatories call on all news agencies, whether state-funded or private, as well as international news agencies, to join this Resolution.

The heads of the news agencies present at the Tirana conference insisted on the need to address the global phenomenon of fake news, underlining that new technologies allow the rapid spread of fake and confusing pieces of news that violate one of the fundamental human liberties, namely the right to information.

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Crime

Cancellation of 30-year lease due to non-utilisation

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KARACHI: Secretary Land Utilisation, Government of Sindh, has instructed the concerned authorities to cancel a 30-year lease that is being misused. 

According to the notification “it has come to the notice of this office that the different allottees that had been granted 30-years lease for agricultural/poultry-cattle-dairy farming purpose and not utilizing the same purpose, but unfortunately conditions of the lease agreements are not fulfilled and land is being wrongly utilized for various purposes. In some cases, allottees are involved in sale/purchase of 30 years lease that is totally illegal and causes lost of billions of rupees to government exchequer by occupying and raising construction over the said land.

“Keeping in view, the concerns above you are requested to cancel all leases of 30 years lease as well as short-term leases which have violated the required terms and conditions of the lease. The deputy commissioners are directed to ensure that the conditions set forth in leases referred above may be followed/implemented in letter and spirit. Failure shall remember to ascertain procedure in law. This matter may be given on TOP PRIORITY and report of which may be sent to this department”. 

 

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Crime

Probe against MDs SNGPL, SSGPL

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ISLAMABAD: A 4–member Fact Finding Committee has been constituted to probe the allegations leveled against MD Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited (SSGCL).
According to a notification issued here today, Uzma Adil Khan, chairperson Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has been nominated as chairperson of the committee and members included Qazi Saleem Siddiqui, DG, (PC), Shahid Yousaf DG (Gas) and Imran Ahmed DG (LG). The committee has been directed to submit a report within 72 hours.
The committee has been authorized to get the services of an expert witness to assist in its proceedings. The committee has been constituted in pursuance of presentation to the PM on load management, PLNG supply and demand and off-take of furnace oil. The allegations against MD, SNGPL, and SSGCL included negligence in reporting of facts to the ministry or incompetence to deal with operational issues. Withholding of information from the government and overall systemic governance failure of SNGPL and SSGCL.

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