UAE intercepts Houthi missile attack as Israeli president Isaac Herzog visits

The United Arab Emirates said on Monday it had intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi movement as the UAE hosted Israel’s President Isaac Herzog in a first such visit.

Washington condemned the assault, the third on US-allied UAE within the last two weeks, including a deadly strike on the capital Abu Dhabi on Jan 17, in an escalation of the Yemen war between the Houthis and a Saudi-led coalition.

The Emirati defense ministry said the latest missile attack was intercepted 20 minutes past midnight and that its debris fell on an uninhabited area. It did not say whether it was aimed at Abu Dhabi or Dubai, the region’s business and tourism hub.

It came while Israel’s president was visiting Abu Dhabi where he discussed security and bilateral relations with the UAE’s de facto ruler Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Herzog spent the night in Abu Dhabi, an Israeli official told Reuters. He will continue his UAE visit despite the Houthi attack, his office said.

He is due to visit the Expo 2020 Dubai world fair on Monday.

“While Israel’s president is visiting the UAE to build bridges and promote stability across the region, the Houthis continue to launch attacks that threaten civilians,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a tweet.50px

The UAE, along with Bahrain, signed US-brokered normalization agreements with Israel, dubbed the “Abraham Accords”, in 2020.

The UAE civil aviation authority said air traffic in the Gulf country, a major international travel hub, was normal and all flights operating as usual.

The UAE’s defence ministry said coalition warplanes had destroyed missile launchers that were located in Yemen.

Yemen’s Houthi military spokesman said the group would within hours provide details of a new military operation “deep inside” the UAE.

The UAE is part of the Saudi-led coalition that has been battling the Houthis for nearly seven years in a conflict largely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The Houthis, who have repeatedly launched missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, have warned they would continue targeting the UAE unless it stopped “interfering” in Yemen.

The UAE had largely ended its military presence on the ground in 2019 but continues to hold sway through Yemeni forces it arms and trains and which recently joined battles against the Houthis in key energy-producing regions.

There were no social media posts on Monday’s interception in the UAE.

The public prosecutor has said it summoned several people for sharing videos showing defence systems intercepting a previous Houthi missile attack.

The coalition has also launched deadly air strikes on Houthi-held areas in the past week in the conflict, which has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.

Afghan Taliban to reopen public universities, no word on female students

Afghanistan’s public universities, closed since the Taliban seized power in August, will reopen in February, the Taliban acting higher education minister said on Sunday, without specifying whether female students would be able to return.

Universities in warmer provinces will reopen from Feb 2, while those in colder areas would reopen on Feb 26, the minister, Shaikh Abdul Baqi Haqqani, told a news conference in Kabul.

He did not say what arrangements if any would be made for female students. In the past, Taliban officials have suggested that women could be taught in separate classes.

So far, the Taliban government has reopened high schools for boys only in most parts of the country. Some private universities have reopened, but in many cases, female students have not been able to return to class.

On January 15, Zabihullah Mujahid, who is also the Taliban’s deputy minister of culture and information, had said their education departments were looking to open classrooms for all girls and women following the Afghan New Year, which starts on March 21.

“We are not against education,” Mujahid had stressed, speaking at a Kabul office building in an interview with The Associated Press.

However, a day later Taliban forces had fired pepper spray at a group of women protesters in Afghanistan’s capital demanding rights to work and education. Around 20 women had gathered in front of Kabul University, chanting “equality and justice” and carrying banners that read “Women’s rights, human rights”, an AFP correspondent had reported.

Western governments have made education for female students a part of their demands as the Taliban seek more foreign aid and the unfreezing of overseas assets.

The hardline group took over the country on August 15 as foreign forces withdrew.

Syed Mushtaq Hussain Naqvi elected as President of Taxila|Wah Press Club while Nadeem Zaidi as General Secretary.

Hurmat-i-Qalam Group won the election in Press Club Wah / Taxila by a margin of 15 votes.

Syed Mushtaq Hussain Naqvi of Harmat Qalam Group was elected President while Nadeem Zaidi was elected General Secretary.

Members of the Election Commission held under the supervision of Chaudhry Tauqeer included Prof. Naeem Ashraf, Mufti Muhammad Akram Shakir, Raja Tahir Advocate, Haji Zahid Rafique and Rashid Mughal President TUJ.

Syed Mushtaq Hussain Naqvi for President and Nadeem Zaidi were the candidates for the post of General Secretary from Hurmat Qalam while from Qalam Kaman group Mir Asim Mahmood for President and Sardar Hassan Ali Shah were the candidates for the post of General Secretary.

The qalam Kaman group got 38 votes and Hurmat Qalam Group got 53 ,was declared the winner with a margin of 15 votes.

Naqvi said, The welfare of the journalists is my first priority and there will be no compromise in this regard. It is my mission to unite all the journalists of Taxila Wah on one platform and for this I will use all my energies and abilities.

That Syed Mushtaq Hussain Naqvi has been the President of Press Club Wah Taxila for a long time and this time too he was elected and he maintained his previous tradition.

East Delhi gang-rape victim was living in fear since stalker died by suicide: Family

The 21-year-old woman was allegedly abducted, gang-raped and paraded on a street in east Delhi’s Kasturba Nagar on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old woman, who was allegedly abducted, gang-raped and paraded on a street in east Delhi’s Kasturba Nagar area on Wednesday, was living in hiding for the past one and half months, after a juvenile who used to stalk her died by suicide, and the latter’s family started threatening her.

The woman’s family said she moved to Karkardooma village, nearly four kilometres from Kasturba Nagar, with her husband and child overnight after the 16-year-old boy’s family started threatening her, holding her responsible for the teenager’s death.

Her 17-year-old sister on Wednesday said nobody in the neighbourhood knew her elder sister’s address. She alleged that the family of the alleged stalker assaulted one of their relatives on January 19 when she refused to share the woman’s address.

The 17-year-old girl lives with her father who is bedridden after an accident. They alleged that they had informed the police and also given a written complaint after the January 19 assault, but no action was taken.

Deputy commissioner of police (Shahdara) R Sathiyasundaram said, “A police team visited the area after receiving a call from the family. Both parties resolved the issue amicably in the presence of the police. We will find out what action was taken on the written complaint.”

Meanwhile, after Wednesday’s incident, the family of the woman has been provided with two police guards for their security, the DCP said.

The woman’s family said she got married to a sanitation worker in 2017. However, she mostly stayed at her parents’ home to take care of her ailing father and minor sibling. They were surviving on the income of the woman’s husband and her brother, who lives and works in south Delhi.

According to the family, the teenaged boy from the neighbourhood wanted to be in a relationship with her and began stalking her.

My sister repeatedly told him that she was happily married, and did not want to have anything to do with him, but he kept stalking her. He also used to threaten her,” the woman’s sister said.

On November 12, the teenager left home saying that he was going to kill himself, and ran towards the nearby railway tracks. His family members ran behind him to stop him.

But before they could reach him, he was overrun by a train, police said quoting statements from the woman victim’s family members. 

Police said since the day the boy died, his family members have been abusing and threatening the woman.

The woman’s father said, “My daughter stopped living with us and shifted to her in-laws’ home in north-east Delhi. However, the family members of the boy got hold of that address and began visiting there and threatening her her and her in-laws.

Then, my daughter moved to Karkardooma about a month and a half ago. Except my family members, nobody knew her new address. The boy’s family members often threatened and pressured us to give them that address.”

East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir tweeted on Thursday that he has talked to senior police officers and demanded swift action in the case, “Have spoken to DCP Shahdara over barbaric assault on the 20-year-old woman. Some arrests have been made & more will follow.

I assure that these animals (men & women) will not be spared. Every kind of support will be provided to the survivor,” Gambhir tweeted.