Catholic girls becoming victims of love, narcotic ‘jihad’, claims Syro Malabar bishop

News Network
September 9, 2021

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 9: The Syro Malabar Church Pala diocese bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt on Thursday said that Catholic girls in Kerala were now becoming the victims of 'Love and narcotic Jihad'.

He said this while speaking at a Church celebration in Kottayam district's Kuruvilangadu, which comes under his diocese. 

"Wherever arms cannot be used, narcotics are being used and it's here Catholic girls become the victims. And to help this there is a group in Kerala which is functioning. To understand this, one needs to just analyse, how come ladies from other religions reached the IS camps," said the bishop. 

"As part of Love jihad, ladies are getting converted and there is an increased usage of drugs by Catholic youths. All this is being done to see no non-Muslims are there and to help in all this there is a group and all should be cautious," added the bishop. 

He went on to state that any attempt to deny that there exists 'Love Jihad' in Kerala is like closing eyes to reality and is being done by vested interests with a reason. 

"There is a plan going on to forcefully bring in Muslim thoughts and all Catholics should be aware of this and be watchful," said Kallarangatt. 

The news of Keralites joining the IS surfaced after the Kerala government contacted various Central agencies -- IB, NIA and RAW in 2016 about the veracity of reports about 19 missing people from the state, and according to some of the relatives they are believed to have joined the IS. 

These 19 included 10 men, six women and three children and of these, most of them hail from Kasargode and a few from Palakkad districts and includes Christian and Hindu converts. 

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News Network
September 6,2021

Kabul, Sept 6: The Taliban has taken complete control of Panjshir province, the last area in Afghanistan held by rebel forces, says the group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid.

Pictures on social media on Monday showed Taliban members standing in front of the gate of the Panjshir provincial governor’s compound.

There was no immediate word from Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the opposition group resisting Taliban forces.

Earlier on Monday, the last anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan acknowledged suffering considerable battlefield losses and called for a ceasefire, as a top United States diplomat flew to Qatar to try and handle the chaotic aftermath of the US withdrawal.

The National Resistance Front (NRF) proposed in a statement “that the Taliban stop its military operations in Panjshir … and withdraw its forces”.

“In return, we will direct our forces to refrain from military action,” said the statement, according to a report by the AFP news agency.

The NRF includes local fighters loyal to Massoud, the son of the famous anti-Soviet and anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, as well as remnants of the Afghan military that retreated to the Panjshir Valley.

The group said separately in a tweet on Sunday that spokesman Fahim Dashty, a well-known Afghan journalist, and General Abdul Wudod Zara had been killed in the latest fighting.

The NRF has promised to fight the Taliban but also said it was willing to negotiate with the group. But initial contact did not lead to a breakthrough.

The Panjshir Valley is famed for being the site of resistance to Soviet forces in the 1980s and the Taliban in the late 1990s, but observers have said the NRF is struggling.

Bill Roggio, the managing editor of the US-based Long War Journal, on Sunday said while there was still a “fog of war”, with unconfirmed reports the Taliban had captured multiple districts, “it looks bad”.

Former Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who is holed out in Panjshir alongside Ahmad Massoud, has warned of a humanitarian crisis, with thousands “displaced by the Taliban onslaught”.

The Taliban is yet to finalise their new government after rolling into Kabul three weeks ago.

Afghanistan’s new rulers have pledged to be more “inclusive” than during their first stint in power, which also came after years of conflict, first the Soviet invasion of 1979, and then a bloody civil war.

They have promised a government that represents Afghanistan’s complex ethnic makeup.

Women’s freedoms in Afghanistan were sharply curtailed under the Taliban’s 1996-2001 rule.

This time, women will be allowed to attend university as long as classes are segregated by sex or at least divided by a curtain, the Taliban’s education authority said in a lengthy document issued on Sunday.

But female students must also wear an long robe and face veil, as opposed to the even more conservative burqa mandatory under the previous Taliban rule.

As the Taliban comes to grips with their transition from armed uprising to government, it is facing a host of challenges, including humanitarian needs for which international assistance is critical.

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths has arrived in Kabul for several days of meetings with the Taliban leadership, which has promised to help.

“The authorities pledged that the safety and security of humanitarian staff, and humanitarian access to people in need, will be guaranteed and that humanitarian workers – men and women – will be guaranteed freedom of movement,” a statement from UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

The Taliban spokesman tweeted that the group’s delegation assured the UN of cooperation.

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News Network
September 3,2021

Bengaluru, Sept 3: Karnataka’s Youth Empowerment and Sports Minister KC Narayana Gowda today claimed that there was “no real problem” citizens faced with rising fuel and cooking gas cylinder prices.

“Everybody knows why the prices are rising. But, there’s politics taking place on this. Real gas users aren’t on the streets. Politicians are on the streets to do their political drama. Nobody is really facing a problem. This is a political conspiracy. There’s no real problem,” Gowda told reporters.

Gowda’s statement came at a time when the ruling BJP is on the defensive over the hike in the price of domestic liquified petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders.

“Who gave gas to every household? It is PM Modi who gave facilities for women who were suffering from burning eyes and noses,” Gowda said. “Petrol and gas [prices] are flexible. They go up and down at once. This happened under the Congress’ rule also. It’s temporary,” he said.

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News Network
September 15,2021

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India produced the largest amount of social media misinformation on Covid-19 due to the country's higher internet penetration rate, increasing social media consumption and users' lack of internet literacy, according to a new study.

The study, 'Prevalence and Source Analysis of Covid-19 Misinformation in 138 Countries', was published in Sage's International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions journal.

The study analysed 9,657 pieces of misinformation that originated in 138 countries. They were fact-checked by 94 organisations to understand the prevalence and sources of misinformation in different countries.

"Of all the countries, India (18.07 per cent) produced the largest amount of social media misinformation, perhaps thanks to the country's higher internet penetration rate, increasing social media consumption and users' lack of internet literacy," the study said.

Also, the results also showed that India (15.94 per cent), the US (9.74 per cent), Brazil (8.57 per cent) and Spain (8.03 per cent) are the four most misinformation-affected countries.

Based on the results, the study said, it is presumed that the prevalence of Covid-19 misinformation can have a positive association with the pandemic situation.

"Social media (84.94 per cent) produces the largest amount of misinformation, and the internet (90.5 per cent) as a whole is responsible for most of the Covid-19 misinformation. Moreover, Facebook alone produces 66.87 per cent of the misinformation among all social media platforms," it stated.

Earlier, the World Health Organisation had also warned that false information on Covid-19 is spreading and putting people in danger.

The WHO had urged people to make sure to double-check everything they hear with trusted sources.

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