Kuwaiti wheelchair fencer quits World Cup 2022 to avoid Israeli opponent

News Network
May 23, 2022

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Kuwait City, May 23: A Kuwaiti wheelchair fencer has withdrawn from the second International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Cup of 2022 in Thailand over a draw that set her on course for a match-up against an Israeli opponent.

“Kuwaiti player Kholoud al-Mutairi pulled out of the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Cup in Thailand in order not to compete against a contestant from the Zionist entity,” the Kuwait Paralympic Committee wrote in a post published on its Twitter page on Sunday.

The second International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Cup of 2022 kicked off in Thailand’s eastern city of Chonburi on May 19 and will wrap up on May 22.

More than 100 fencers are taking part in the tournament, which includes individual and team medals in foil, épée, and sabre, as well as a new open épée event.

The first IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Cup of the year took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in April and featured a slew of new faces on the podium.

For her withdrawal, al-Mutairi was hailed on social media as a “heroine.”

This is not the first time a Kuwaiti player refuses to face an Israeli opponent.

Earlier this month, Kuwaiti chess player Bader al-Hajri snubbed an Israeli opponent at Spain’s Sunway International Chess Championship, in an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people and a blow to the occupying Tel Aviv regime’s status in the world.

The Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) master, who had secured first place at the 2015 San Sebastian chess tournament in Spain, withdrew on May 3 from the competitions to refuse to face an Israeli competitor.

On social media, Arab activists lauded al-Hajri as a champion of “rejecting Arab countries’ normalization” with the Israeli regime by refusing to face “an Israeli settler.”

The activist said they are “proud of him” while noting that the Israelis must be “mad at him.”

Last month, Kuwaiti fencer Mohamed al-Fadli withdrew from the World Fencing Championships held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the same reason.

Fadli also withdrew from an international tournament in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, in September 2019, after the draw placed him in a group competing with an Israeli player.

Back in May last year, Kuwait’s National Assembly unanimously approved bills that outlaw any deals or normalization of ties with the Tel Aviv regime.

On August 18, 2020, 37 Kuwaiti lawmakers called on their government to reject a normalization deal between Israel and the UAE.

Anti-Israeli sentiments run high in Kuwait. A poll conducted in 2019 by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, an American think tank, showed that 85 percent of Kuwaitis oppose normalizing ties with Israel.

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News Network
June 24,2022

Bengaluru, June 24: BJP leader and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Umesh Katti has said that Karnataka will be divided into two and India will have 50 new states after the next Lok Sabha elections. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself will take the initiative on this issue, Katti added.

Katti, a vocal proponent of separate statehood for north Karnataka, , made the statement at a Belagavi Bar Association event on Wednesday. A video of his speech has now gone viral.

“A debate is trending on social media that over 50 states will be formed in the country after next Lok Sabha polls. It is for sure that North Karnataka will also become a separate state on the basis of population spread across Karnataka. After the 2024 elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself will form new states. Maharashtra will become three, Karnataka two, and Uttar Pradesh will become four states,” Katti said.

Saying that Bengaluru city is overcrowded, lacks water supply for citizens who have to spend hours in traffic jams, Katti said that it was high time that IT companies thought beyond Bengaluru. North Karnataka has huge potential, he said, urging people to join hands to demand a north Karnataka state.

Katti, who represents Hukkeri Assembly constituency, has demanded separate statehood for north Karnataka in the past too, causing embarrassment to the ruling BJP. In 2019, Katti demanded then chief minister B S Yediyurappa award separate statehood to north Karnataka.

In 2021, Katti courted controversy by saying that people “low on confidence” in fighting coronavirus could not be saved.

Siddaramaiah slams

Meanwhile, former chief minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah on Thursday criticised Katti saying “to even think of dividing the state was equivalent to betraying mother, motherland and mother tongue.”

“Many Kannadigas had sacrificed everything to realise a unified Karnataka. To even think of dividing our state is equivalent to betraying mother, motherland and mother tongue. Minister Umesh Katti has revealed that the discussions are being held at Prime Minister @narendramodi’s level to divide Karnataka. This is a very dangerous development,” Siddaramaiah tweeted.

Siddaramaiah also sought a clarification from Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on the issue. “@PMOIndia @CMofKarnataka  @BSBommai should issue clarification about this. This is not the first time Minister Umesh Katti has made such statements,” the former CM said.

CM disowns statement

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday disowned the statement of his cabinet. “There is no thinking or proposal at the government level at all on a separate state of North Karnataka,” Bommai told reporters in New Delhi.   

“This is not the first time Umesh Katti has spoken about it. He has been saying it for many years. He should himself reply to this question”, he shot back to a query posed by reporters.

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News Network
June 29,2022

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Mumbai, June 29: Uddhav Thackeray resigned as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on Wednesday night. 

Thackeray (61), who headed the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance, resigned after a rebellion from his own party members, headed by Eknath Shinde, triggered a political crisis in the state.

Thackeray also resigned as member of Maharashtra Legislative Council. 

After the Maha Vikas Aghadi government collapsed, Uddhav said that he would start sitting in the Shiv Sena Bhavan and rebuild the party. 

According to sources, the BJP is expected to form government in Maharashtra on July 1.

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News Network
June 21,2022

Bengaluru, June 21: Karnataka police have intensified investigations into the drugs case involving Siddhanth Kapoor, the son of actor Shakti Kapoor.

Notices have been served to foreign and Indian models who participated in the rave party organised in a luxury Bengaluru hotel with Siddhanth Kapoor in connection with use and consumption of drugs.

According to police, 150 models and celebrities attended the rave party and notices have been issued to 40 foreign and Indian models. They have been asked to appear for the investigation within a week.

Six female models have already appeared for the investigations and got their statements recorded. The transactions and connections of models and celebrities are found to be suspicious and is being probed, sources say.

The probe has revealed that the foreign nationals who participated in the rave party were staying illegally in the country even after expiry of visa period.

The rave party in which drugs were found was attended by many celebrities and models. The police are still investigating the source of drugs. Though CCTV footage is verified, the police are yet to locate the persons who dumped drugs near the dustbin.

On June 12, the Halasuru police of Bengaluru city conducted raids on a luxury hotel following a tip-off about a rave party where drugs are circulated.

The police had detailed 35 persons, including Siddhanth Kapoor -- also the brother of actress Shraddha Kapoor -- and conducted medical tests. The tests have confirmed consumption of drugs by six persons, including Kapoor.

Later, the accused were released on station bail. Siddhanth Kapoor had told police during the inquiry that someone had given him water and cigarettes laced with drugs. He had also told the investigators that he did not know about it.

Bhimashankar Guled DCP (East) had stated that Siddhanth Kapoor has not agreed that he had consumed drugs. "Kapoor is claiming that it was mixed in his drinks offered by someone and that he did not know about drugs. He said that he had come to Bengaluru 40 times and attended parties as DJ. This was the fourth time he had come to the hotel and was arrested," DCP Guled had said.

"We have taken a guest list and suspicious persons will be called for questioning," he had stated.

The police have sent the mobiles of the accused to the Forensic Science Laboratory for data retrieval. The police are investigating the nexus of Siddhanth Kapoor and others with drug peddling.

The police have also sent notice to the luxury hotel owner and organisers of the rave party. The event management company representatives are also called for investigations.

A case has been registered under IPC Sections 20 A, 22 B, 27 B. The police had arrested Akhil Soni, Business Manager of Mind Fire Solutions, Harjoth Singh, an industrialist, Hani, a digital marketing entrepreneur and Akhil, a photographer.

The police had taken 7 grams of MDMA crystals and 10 grams of Ganja into custody after conducting a raid on a rave party organised at the luxury hotel The Park in Bengaluru on June 12. 

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