US CITIES IN MICHIGAN ELECT FIRST MUSLIM MAYORS

Two Muslim Arab Americans made history when they were elected mayors in Michigan. Abdullah Hammoud (Dearborn) and Amer Ghalib (Hamtramck) became their cities’ first Muslim mayors. State representative Hammoud, 31, defeated former Wayne County Commissioner Gary Woronchak with nearly 55 per cent of the vote. Hammoud has been serving the community since 2017 as a state representative. His tenure saw him secure 200 million dollars for small businesses and workers who were hard hit by the pandemic, as well as 10 million dollars for public schools. Further, he vehemently advocated for climate change by holding leading companies accountable. His parents are Lebanese immigrants. In Hamtramck, Amer Ghalib defeated Mayor Karen Majewski to become the city’s first non-Polish mayor in a century. Ghalib, a healthcare worker and immigrant from Yemen, defeated Majewski 68-31 per cent. Hamtramck is the only city in America with a Muslim majority population.

US COVERED UP KILLING SYRIAN CIVILIANS FOR OVER TWO YEARS

The United States military has admitted killing dozens of people in Syria, including women and children, in airstrikes conducted during the final days of its declared war against the so-called Islamic State but hid details of its attacks for over two years. The strikes on Baghouz, along Syria’s border with Iraq, were carried out during the Trump presidency on March 18, 2019, and details of the cover-up that as many as 64 women and children were killed among 80 people were pieced together by The New York Times. The findings of one of the worst civilian killings in Syria by the US that could represent a war crime were sent to Central Command, which acknowledged the strikes for the first time but insisted the attacks were justified.

Image with caption: An arsonist tried to set fire to a mosque in the western city of Cologne

ARSONIST TRIES TO ATTACK ON MOSQUE IN COLOGNE

An unidentified arsonist tried to set fire to a mosque in the western city of Cologne, Germany on November 19. Security guards spotted the suspect in the early hours of the day outside the Cologne Central Mosque while he was pouring a liquid, a report cited a police source saying in a statement. The suspect fled on foot after being spotted, and left behind his bicycle with a can of gasoline and several lighters. The police appealed for witnesses and said camera records will be reviewed to identify the suspect. Cologne’s most prominent mosque, which is run by Turkish-Muslim umbrella organisation DITIB, received numerous threat letters in recent years from right-wing extremists and neo-Nazi groups.

UYGHURS’ FRUSTRATION GROWS OVER LACK OF ACTION

Four years after Beijing launched a brutal crackdown that swept more than 1 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities in detention camps and prisons in its western Xinjiang Province, members of the Uyghur diaspora and activists are frustrated over a lack of international recognition for alleged atrocities committed by the Chinese government despite concerns raised by international right bodies and evidence documenting such abuses. The World Uyghur Congress, an international organisation said that the international response has been abysmal and utterly shameful.

Image with caption: ADB approves a $161 million loan to help develop an integrated wastewater management system in Uzbekistan

ADB GRANTS $161 MILLION LOAN FOR UZBEKISTAN

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $161 million loan to help develop an integrated wastewater management system in Tashkent Province in Uzbekistan that will improve access to reliable water supply and sanitation services. Less than 20% of Tashkent Province’s population is connected to sewerage systems, while the rest rely on pit latrines and earth ditches – practices that threaten public health and environmental quality. The sewerage system in urban areas has not been expanded since 1991, while wastewater treatment plants and networks are no longer functional. Rural settlements have no wastewater services, resulting in the discharge of large quantities of untreated wastewater into the environment.

KEDAH SET TO IMPLEMENT BAN ON GAMBLING

Malaysia’s northern Kedah state is set to effectively ban all licensed gambling operators in the state. The state, which is governed by Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) said it would not renew licences for gambling operators there, just a week after the authorities in the capital Kuala Lumpur had imposed a limited ban on liquor sales in stores in the territory. Kedah Menteri Besar Sanusi Md Nor made the announcement saying he wanted Kedah to be “free of gambling” and that gamblers who would like to purchase lottery tickets should instead head to neighbouring state Penang.

KAZAKHSTAN INTRODUCES INSTITUTE OF OMBUDSPERSON

Kazakhstan will introduce an institute of ombudsperson for protection of consumer rights as part of the updated draft law package for the protection of consumer rights. The ombudsperson will directly report systemic violations of the rights of citizens to top government officials. Along with the institute of ombudsperson, the suggested amendments include the creation of National Association of Consumers. According to the results of a sociological survey conducted by the Ministry of Trade and Integration, 56 per cent of the 20,000 respondents were in favour of creating the association and an ombudsperson institute. “Improving the quality of life of the people of Kazakhstan is directly linked to improving the level of consumer protection, which is an indicator of the development of fair and competitive entrepreneurship,” said Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin emphasising that consumers’ confidence in their rights ensures an active demand for quality goods, works, and services which contribute to economic development.

Image with caption: Kazakhstan’s boxer Zhanibek Alimkhanuly takes home the belt

KAZAKH BOXER ZHANIBEK ALIMKHANULY WINS BELT

Kazakhstan’s Zhanibek Alimkhanuly, a boxer with a 10-0 win rate and 6 KOs to his name, competed at a boxing show-match at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and took home the belt. The 27-year-old champion fought with the former WBA middleweight champion, French boxer Hassan Ndam Nzhikam, a boxer with a 38-5 win rate and 21 KOs. The middleweight fight was scheduled for ten rounds, but came to an end sooner than that. Alimkhanuly took the title when he delivered a technical knockout in the eighth round, following up on an early knockdown in the third round. This is the eleventh victory for Alimkhanuly in his professional career.

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