Tuesday, Feb 20 2018 | Time 21:09 Hrs(IST)
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  • ADGP briefs JK Governor on security management in state
  • Judge opens fire in air in apprehension of attack on him
  • Charge-sheet filed in Maoist terror financing case
  • Bogie of a passenger train derails in Bihar
  • PNB fraud: Bank officials remanded to police custody till Mar 3
  • Sushil Modi directs banks to meet at least 95 percent of annual credit plan`s target
  • Community Child Welfare Centre launched at Metiabruz to mark World Social Justice Day
  • Karnataka IAS officers condemn physical assault on Delhi CS
  • Logistics and Warehousing policy approved by UP cabinet
  • Varanasi to hold a two day Sanskriti Mahotsav on Feb 21 and 22
  • Gram sevak in ACB net in Osmanabad
  • NDA candidates file nomination papers for one Lok Sabha and two assembly seats
  • India cenbank says had issued warnings on possible misuse of SWIFT system
  • Fresh avalanche warning in J&K, Kashmir highway
  • Rahul asks PM to get Nirav Modi to India
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After decades of debate, Turkey starts building mosque in Istanbul square

By Melih Aslan and Osman Orsal

ISTANBUL, Feb 17 (Reuters) Construction began today of a mosque in Istanbul's central Taksim square, a controversial project championed by Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan but mired in years of court battles and public debate.
Cranes moved into the site and first cement was poured at a modest ground-breaking ceremony on the edge of the square, long a rallying point for demonstrations, as riot police with armoured vehicles and water cannon stood guard.
The square was at the heart of large anti-government protests in June 2013, when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to protest a plan to build a replica Ottoman barracks on the adjoining Gezi park.
Plans for a mosque at Taksim have been discussed for decades, with supporters arguing there are not enough Muslim places of worship close to one of the city's busiest hubs.
"As someone who spent his life in Taksim, I have always felt the lack of a mosque here," Ahmet Misbah Demircan, mayor of the surrounding Beyoglu district, said at the ceremony. "I know that all Muslims who live in or come to Beyoglu share this feeling."
Erdogan, himself a devout Muslim who served as mayor of Istanbul in the 1990s, has long argued for a mosque at Taksim.
But opponents see the project as an attempt to stamp a more religious identity on a square that includes a monument to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the modern secular republic.
They have long accused Erdogan and Turkey's mildly Islamist ruling AK Party of trying to roll back Ataturk's legacy, a charge they deny.
Some residents of Taksim suggested the timing of the construction might be meant to rally Erdogan's supporters ahead of an April referendum on boosting his powers.
"The timing of this is deliberate and I don't find that very ethical," said one resident, Dincer, declining to give his family name for fear of publicly criticising Erdogan.
The cost of the project has not been disclosed. Demircan was quoted as saying by Haberturk newspaper that it was going to be funded by a private construction company.
REUTERS CJ PM2056
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Hasina hands 'Ekushey Padak' to 21 Bangladesh personalities

20 Feb 2018 | 8:14 PM

Dhaka, Feb 20 ( UNI) The 21 winners of 'Ekushey padak' the second highest civilian award in Bangladesh have received the trophies from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

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Shaikh Mujib drew plan to introduce Bangla at all levels

20 Feb 2018 | 7:48 PM

By Mir Afroz Zaman
Dhaka, Feb 20 ( UNI) As the struggle for independence was gaining momentum, Father of the Nation Bangladesh 'Bangabandhu' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman drew a specific plan for introducing Bangla at all levels from the very beginning of his government.

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US, SK militaries to conduct joint drills despite detente with NK

20 Feb 2018 | 4:16 PM

Seoul, Feb 20 (UNI) The US and South Korea will go ahead with military drills off the Korean peninsula despite the “Peace Olympics” and the recent thaw in North-South relations, the South’s defense ministry said in a report to the National Assembly, according to Yonhap news agency of South Korea.

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Post-Brexit UK won't be like Mad Max, says Davis

20 Feb 2018 | 3:59 PM

London, Feb 20 (UNI) Britain will not be "plunged into a Mad Max-style world borrowed from dystopian fiction" after it leaves the EU, the Brexit secretary will say in a speech, according to a BBC News report.

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'China in talks with Baloch militants to secure CPEC projects'

20 Feb 2018 | 3:56 PM

Karachi, Feb 20 (UNI) China has been quietly holding talks with Baloch militants for more than five years in an effort to protect the $60-billion worth of infrastructure projects it is financing as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Financial Times has claimed.

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