Welcome to Tuesday, where Chad's president is reportedly killed on the front lines, Minnesota braces for a verdict in the George Floyd murder trial and Switzerland celebrates its mountain-climbing cat. Indian news website The Wire also takes us to Delhi, where real estate dealers are pushing Muslim families to sell their houses and move out, increasing segregation and even ghettoization.
• Doubts over India's COVID death count, France launches travel pass: In India, constant cremations in some states cast doubts on the real number of COVID-related deaths. Meanwhile, France is launching a COVID health pass for travel to its overseas territories, hoping it will be extended to European Union member states.
• Chad's president Idriss Deby reportedly killed:Chad's veteran president was killed while visiting troops fighting rebels in the north of the country, army officials said. The announcement comes just one day after Idriss Deby won a sixth term in office.
• Pakistan weighs expulsion of French envoys: Pakistan's parliament will consider a resolution to expel French diplomats following French President Emmanuel Macron's defense last year of the right to publish satirical cartoons depicting Islam's Prophet. This debate comes amid negotiations with the now-banned far-right and anti-France TLP party, after days of violent protests that saw four policemen killed and over 800 wounded.
• Derek Chauvin trial in jury's hands:Thousands of National Guard members and hundreds of police officers have been deployed in Minneapolis, as the whole nation awaits the verdict in the trial of former police officer Chauvin, charged with murder in the death of George Floyd. Cities across the country are already bracing for protests.
• Former U.S. VP Walter Mondale dies: Jimmy Carter's vice president and longtime Minnesota senator Walter Mondale died Monday at the age of 93. Mondale lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan in the 1984 presidential election.
• German chancellor election: Leader of Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Armin Laschet has been elected as his party's candidate to succeed Angela Merkel in the Chancellery in September's election. Annalena Baerbock has also been selected as Green Party's candidate, as the Greens' popularity keeps rising.
• To the top of the meowntain: A cat lost on the slopes of a mountain in Switzerland tagged along with two hikers and arrived at the top of their 3,000-meter (10,000-ft) climb, before being reunited with its owners at a lower altitude.
Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, features the party's new first secretary Miguel Diaz-Canel, who was chosen to replace Raul Castro, marking the end of six decades of rule by the brothers Raul and Fidel Castro.
How the real estate market ghettoizes Muslims in India
In February 2020, 53 people were killed and thousands more were injured or displaced during some of the worst communal riots in Delhi's history since the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom. A year later, Muslims are being forced out of their neighborhoods, reports Flavia Lopes, a Land and Governance Research Fellow at Land Conflict Watch, in Indian news website The Wire.
This past year, the number of Muslim families selling their homes in riot-hit neighborhoods has increased. Muslims families sold their houses fast at reduced prices — at least 25% below market rates, according to several testimonies including from property dealers, some of whom appear to have encouraged the sales. Mohammed Rizwan, a property dealer who operates from an office near Gali no. 13, a low-income neighborhood in North-East Delhi, said he is looking for buyers for nearly 40 homes put up on sale by Muslim families. He is so busy, he is barely in his office.
The segregation in neighborhoods like in Delhi can result in future violence, as research across the world has shown. "As long as you live in a mixed colony, there is a greater chance to intermingle," says Harsh Mander of the Centre for Equity Studies in Delhi. "Now, the next generation will not even have the opportunity to call a member of the other community as their friend. Then the manufacturing of hatred becomes easy."
Within the last year, real estate dealers have encouraged Muslim families to sell their houses, stoking fears of demographic change within the neighbourhood, said Mukhim, a resident of the lane. Mukhim, who lived in Gali no. 13, said the moment he decided to move out, real estate dealers were badgering him to sell his house even if it meant doing so at a loss. They kept saying, "Shift to your gad (fort), why do you want to risk your own safety," he said. Mukhim hasn't sold his house as it is getting rebuilt. But the property agents are still pushing him to sell, he says.
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