Why only for mothers? Karnataka govt okays 6 months paternity leave for 'single fathers'

News Network
June 10, 2023

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Bengaluru, June 10: The government of Karnataka will henceforth give paternity leave to single male parents including the ones who are abandoned or ditched by their wives. 

While until now, childcare leave in the form of maternity leave was applicable only to women, from now on single male parents will be eligible for this leave too. 

According to an order issued on Friday, government employees who are single male parents include unmarried, divorcees and widowers.

There were several requests to allow leave for single men who were raising children. The government felt it was a justified demand, the order said. 

Accordingly, single men will be eligible for six months' paternity leave. 

However, if during this leave they get married, their leave will automatically end from that day, the order stated.

Earlier, the government had recognised adopted parents on par with biological parents for leave, by allowing such parents to avail maternity leave as well. 

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News Network
July 16,2024

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More than 9,000 students have been killed and more than 15,000 others wounded in the ongoing Israeli war on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, reports the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

The official Palestinian Wafa news agency, citing the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, reported on Tuesday that a total of 9,241 students had been killed and 15,182 injured since the start of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank on October 7, 2023.

The Ministry reported that over 9,138 students were killed in the Gaza Strip, while 14,671 others were injured there.

With Gaza's education system decimated, some 620,000 school-age Palestinians are out of school and more than 88,000 students are unable to enroll in universities, according to the ministry.

In West Bank, 103 students were killed, 505 injured and around 357 students were detained during the nine months of war.

The report also indicated that a total of 497 teachers and administrators have been reported killed, with 3,426 others injured in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, a total of 353 educational institutions, including government schools, universities, university buildings, and 65 belonging to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees (UNRWA), were targeted in bombings and acts of vandalism.

Out of these buildings, 139 suffered severe damage, 93 were completely destroyed, and 133 government schools in the Gaza Strip were repurposed as shelter centers, according to the report.

In the West Bank, 69 schools and five universities have been attacked and vandalized.

The bloodshed in Gaza’s schools-turned-shelters, which Israel alleges are used by Palestinian resistance movement Hamas as hiding spots, has been a recurring scene throughout the war.

Only in the past 10 days, five UN-run schools have been hit by Israel forces, UNRWA posted on social X platform.

UNRWA in its recent report said that its facilities in Gaza had been attacked by Israel 453 times since the war began last October, and that more than 500 people sheltering in its buildings had been killed. The UN has also said that 80 percent of schools in the territory have been destroyed or damaged.

UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, has recently described the number of wounded children as “staggering” in Gaza.

Israel’s war has killed at least 38,713 people, including nearly 16,000 children, in Gaza since early October last year. Tens of thousands have also been wounded.

Some 21,000 children are also missing while 17,000 have been orphaned. 

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News Network
July 16,2024

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A shooting near a mosque in Oman killed at least four people and wounded several others in a rare act of violence in the Gulf nation.

The attack early on Tuesday took place in Wadi al-Kabir, a district east of the capital city, Muscat, during a major religious event for Shia Muslims.

Video from the scene shows people fleeing near the Imam Ali Mosque, its minaret visible, as gunfire rings out followed by a voice saying, “Oh God!”

Omani police said they’re taking “all necessary security measures and procedures … to handle the situation”. They gave an initial casualty toll of four killed and “several” injured.

“The authorities are continuing to gather evidence and conduct investigations to uncover the circumstances surrounding the incident,” police said on social media platform X.

No motive or potential suspects were identified in the attack. A state of emergency was declared in the area.

‘Remain vigilant’

It appears some of the victims were Pakistani expats as Pakistan’s ambassador “visited three hospitals and met with the wounded”, an embassy statement said, adding, “all Pakistanis residing in Oman are requested to cooperate with the authorities”.

The US Embassy in Muscat issued a security alert following the shooting and cancelled all visa appointments on Tuesday.

“US citizens should remain vigilant, monitor local news, and heed directions of local authorities,” the embassy wrote on X.

Such an attack is rare in Oman, a frequent regional mediator with a low crime rate. It comes during the Muslim day of Ashura when Shia Muslims commemorate the seventh-century battlefield martyrdom of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

Many Shia mark Ashura by performing a pilgrimage to Imam Hussein’s shrine in the Iraqi city of Karbala. Sunni Muslims commemorate the day through fasting. 

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News Network
July 15,2024

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The Pakistan government has announced plans to ban the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, led by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan, citing alleged anti-state activities.  

The announcement by Information Minister Attaullah Tarar on Monday came days after the Supreme Court handed a major legal victory to the PTI by declaring it eligible for a share of seats reserved in national and provincial assemblies.

The PTI has responded sharply, urging the government to “not shake the foundations of Pakistan and stop playing with the constitution.” Seventy-one-year-old Khan has been behind bars in the high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, following his arrest on May 9, 2023.

Here’s what has happened so far:

1. What did the Pakistan minister announce?

Information Minister Attaullah Tarar made the announcement at a press conference in Islamabad. He stated that the federal government intends to ban the PTI for its alleged involvement in anti-state activities and to charge Khan and two senior party colleagues with treason. “In view of the foreign funding case, May 9 riots, and the cipher episode as well as the resolution passed in the US, we believe that there is very credible evidence present to have Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), banned,” Tarar said.

He emphasized that Pakistan cannot progress with the PTI’s existence, saying, “Our patience and tolerance are considered as our weaknesses. The PTI and Pakistan cannot co-exist as the government is trying to stabilize the country politically and economically, while efforts are being made to thwart its efforts.” Tarar added that the federal government would petition the Supreme Court to ban the party.

2. How has the PTI responded?

In response to the government’s move, the PTI warned that banning the party could “uproot the foundations of the country.” The party stated on the X platform, “No patriot can think of banning the largest and most popular party of Pakistan, doing so is tantamount to uprooting the foundations of Pakistan and sending the country towards civil war.”

3. Why has the Pakistan government taken this decision?

The government’s decision follows recent relief given to the PTI by the Supreme Court in the case of reserved seats and to Khan in the illegal marriage case. Last week, the Supreme Court declared that Khan’s PTI was eligible for seats reserved for women and minorities in the national and provincial assemblies. If allotted, the PTI would become the largest party in the National Assembly with 109 seats.

Additionally, on Saturday, a district and session court overturned the conviction of Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi in a case related to the violation of the mandatory waiting period for a Muslim woman between two marriages.

4. What steps will the PML-Nawaz-led government take against the SC order?

Tarar announced that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led government and its coalition partners plan to file a review appeal against the Supreme Court’s decision granting reserved seats to the PTI. “The apex court gave relief to the PTI which had not even asked for it,” Tarar said.

The government is also taking action against individuals involved in the May 9 events and PTI leaders’ attempts to sabotage Pakistan’s deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Referring to the dissolution of assemblies during the no-confidence motion against Khan in 2022, Tarar indicated plans to move a case against the then-prime minister, then-president Alvi, and then National Assembly deputy speaker Qasim Suri.

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