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News in Brief

IFRC completes 27 housing units in Gaza built with Maldivian aid

The International Federation of Red Crescent (IFRC) has completed 27 of the 100 housing units built in Gaza using Maldivian aid, reports Sun Online.

According to an IFRC report on the progress of the project, the 27 housing units – which were completed last month – were handed over to residents of Beit Hanoun on February 15 through the districts municipality and the Palestinian Ministry of Housing.

The 100 units, estimated to provide housing for 700 Palestinians, are being built in areas where Israeli airstrikes destroyed housing, schools, and other infrastructure during the heavy raids in mid-2014.

The ‘Help Gaza’ telethon was launched in the Maldives in response to the destruction caused by last year’s fighting, raising MVR29.4 million (US$1.91 million) before the funds were handed to the IFRC on August 28 last year.

Source: Sun Online

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JSC appoints judges to Criminal Court and the Civil Court

The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has appointed judges to both the Criminal Court and the Civil Court.

According to a statement on the commission’s website, the JSC decided to appoint one judge to the Criminal Court and four judges to the Civil Court in a meeting held last night (February 16).

Ahmed Rasheed of Hulhumalé 14-06 was appointed to the Criminal Court while Hassan Faheem Ibrahim from Haa Dhaalu Maukunudhoo, Ali Abdulla (Galolhu ward, Malé), Abdula Naseer Shafeeq (Lhavyani Kurendhoo), and Mohamed Haleem (Noonu Velidhoo) were appointed to the Civil Court.

An announcement was made for the application of interested candidates to the vacant positions on the benches of High Court, Criminal Court, and the Civil Court on Feburary 1, 2015.

The commission is yet to decide on the appointment of a judge to the High Court bench after the resignation of Judge Yoosuf Hussain – reportedly for health reasons – in early February.

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Maldives and India discusses agenda for a “likely visit” by Indian PM Modi

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon and India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj have discussed the agenda for “a likely visit” by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Maldives.

Indian news outlet The Economic Times reported that the two ministers discussed efforts to strengthen bilateral ties and maritime cooperation during the 45-minute meeting held on Sunday. Dunya is currently on a private trip to India.

“Ocean diplomacy. Maritime neighbours India-Maldives to strengthen ties as they commemorate 50 years of relations,” an Indian external affairs ministry spokesman tweeted regarding the meeting.

It was also reported that the Indian prime minister may travel to the Maldives and Sri Lanka in March of this year although there has not yet been official confirmation.

Source: The Economic Times
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IGMH HIV transfusion case sent back to PG

The Criminal Court has returned to the prosecutor general the case of the IGMH lab technician charged with responsibility for transferring HIV infected blood to a pregnant Maldivian patient.

Court officials told Sun Online that the investigation was incomplete, but that the prosecution of an Indian national – charged under Article 88 of the Penal Code – would be resubmitted after further investigation.

After the transfusion of infected blood occurred in February last year, the Indian lab technician was said to have admitted culpability in the incident.

The technician had been working at the hospital for seven years and had received an award for his performance prior to the incident.

Source: Sun Online

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Fifty bicycles donated to schools in the Atolls

Gili Lankanfushi resort has donated 50 bicycles to the Ministry of Education today.

At a ceremony held at the ministry, General Manager of Gili Lankanfushi Steven Philips said that the bicycles were donated for the use of staff and children of schools in the atolls.

The education ministry said they will give the second-hand bicycles to Haa Alif Atoll Hanimaadhoo School, Afeedudeen School in Haa Dhaalu Kulhudhufushi, Noonu Atoll Kendhikulhudhoo School, Fuvahmulaku Atoll Education Center, and Sharafudeen School in Addu City.

Development Officer at the ministry Aminath Najfa said the schools to which the bicycles would be given were selected after considering the area of land and student population.

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Malé pedestrianised zones in effect from today

The housing ministry will issue permits to park vehicles in the newly pedestrianised zones starting from today, according to a press statement from the ministry.

From today (February 15), Heena Goalhi, Rayvila Magu – both in Henveiru ward, and the narrow road leading from Burevi Magu will be closed to vehicles until June 8.

The decision was made by housing ministry on February 10 after President Abdulla Yameen pledged to introduce vehicle free zones in Malé, with the government saying that more would follow the initial pilot scheme.

The press statement issued by ministry today noted that permits to park in the vehicle free zones would only be issued to those living in the area, while the permit will only be issued after presenting evidence that the person is living in the area and the vehicle registration.

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Adeeb denies connection with former Raajje TV journalist Asward

Tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb has rejected suggestions that he was linked to the recent resignation of Raajje TV journalist and Deputy CEO Ibrahim ‘Asward’ Waheed.

Raajje TV itself tweeted from its official account that Asward had left the channel after it emerged that he was working to establish a media channel with a senior member of the incumbent government.

After rumours on social media suggested Adeeb was the politician in question, he tweeted in response.

Asward – who came close to death following brutal attack in February 2013 – maintains that he left the channel due to its “deviation from the original objective”.

Despite being regarded as as aligned with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Raajje TV’s Senior Advisor and former MDP MP for Velidhoo Constituency Yameen Rasheed recently defected to the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives.

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Majlis’ Ibthihaal investigation postponed until end of recess

The Majlis committee investigating the death of 3-year-old Mohamed Ibthihaal will wait until the house reconvenes in March before holding further meetings.

Chair of the Majlis government oversight committee Riyaz Rasheed told Haveeru that there was “no point” and that “nothing further that can be achieved”, accusing fellow committee member Rozaina Adam of releasing confidential documents.

“I specifically asked the members of the committee at its last meeting to not make any of these documents public,” said the Progressive Party of Maldives MP.

Since the committee’s first meeting was held on February 5 was adjourned to give members more time to study the case’s documents, opposition Maldivian Democratic Party MP Rozaina has accused Rasheed of slowing the committee’s work.

She has also told the media that the documents received from the police contained no details of the toddler’s case prior to his death, despite authorities acknowledging that they were previously aware of his abuse.

Last Thursday, she went on to say that the gender ministry’s report contained  questionable statements, alleging that both the ministry and police had acted in breach of the law.

Ibthihaal was found dead in his home with numerous wounds and bruises on the island of Vaavu Atoll Rakeedhoo on January 28. His mother is mother is charged with murder and is in police custody awaiting further investigation.

Riyaz reiterated that. while parliament’s involvement has been temporarily brought to a halt, the government is looking into the matter and taking necessary action to prevent further incidents of the kind.

Source: Haveeru

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Civil Court halts trials from February 15-19 for administrative overhaul

The Civil Court will halt all trials from February 15 to 19 in order to re-organise the court’s divisions and to settle other administrative matters as ordered by the Supreme Court circular of January 8.

Although all trials will come to a stop, the court will continue to accept new cases said a statement on the court’s website.

The statement came with a work plan which allocates particular works for every day in the time period including evaluation of issues in the sections, refurnishing, reallocation of responsibilities, and the redesigning of forms and other documentation.

These changes yesterday prompted the presiding judge in former President Mohamed Nasheed’s case against the Judicial Service Commission to announce:

“I cannot assure you that I will be sitting on this appeal after the said changes; therefore I cannot give out court summons for the next hearing”.

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Torture victims in the Maldives tell their stories