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Islamic World News (26 Dec 2013 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Haqqani Network Leaders Sexually Abuse Teenager Boys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indian army’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen. Vinod Bhatia (third from right) arrives on the Indian side of the border after a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Maj Gen Aamer Riaz, at Wagah, on Tuesday.

 

 

 

South Asia

Haqqani Network Leaders Sexually Abuse Teenager Boys

16 Militants Killed In Afghan Raids In 24 Hours: Govt

15 Of Awami League, Jatiya Party Demand Arrest of 'Bombers, Terrorists'

Over 500 Taliban prisoners released from Afghan jails

Former President Waheed dissolves GIP, joins PPM

 

Arab World

Around 500 Militants Killed in Fierce Clashes with Syrian Army in Adra Al-Amalieh

US-Backed Terrorists Behead Two Men in Street of Aleppo

Tens of Terrorists Killed in Army’s Ambush in Southern Syria

Assad regime and rebels reach landmark truce in besieged town

Saudi Arabia stands by Egypt in fighting terror

Egypt Brotherhood vows protests despite 'terror' listing

Nearly 10,000 Al-Qaeda Militants Killed in Syria

 

Africa

Sharia must be the main source of legislation says Dar Al-Ifta

At least 40 civilians killed in DR Congo attack

Libyan should join WTO says Islamic trade man

Archbishop and Imam Are United Across Battle Lines in CAR

 

North America

U.S. Sends Arms to Aid Iraq Fight With Extremists

Last Chance for Peace in Syria: Will Obama Sabotage the Geneva II Syria peace talks?

If US troops leave Afghanistan, much civilian aid may go too

American abducted in Pakistan calls for US help

 

Mideast

Zionist Rabbi: Enlisting Women Dangerous, Immoral

Iranian Lawmakers Threaten to Increase Uranium Enrichment Level

Israel says to free Palestinians and build more settlements

Minister: Sunni-Shi’ite nuke race will result if Iranian program isn’t stopped

Probe into Arafat death not over - Palestinian envoy

 

Pakistan

Hindu burial in 'Muslim graveyard' sparks protests in Badin

US drone kills four suspected militants in North Waziristan

Better ties with India top priority: Pak

Concern shown over misuse of blasphemy law against minorities

Two killed in Karachi; 15 suspects arrested

North Waziristan appears close to full-blown conflict

Jamaat-e-Islami to clinch victory in LG polls: Baloch

Pak-India trade talks next month

 

Europe

UN force fires on Ugandan rebels in DR Congo after deadly attack

United Nations says $166 million needed to aid South Sudan

Europe sends envoy to seek peace in South Sudan

Russian experts rule out radiation poisoning in Arafat death

 

India

UN resolution addresses Indian concerns in South Sudan violence

India may make fresh efforts to end Syrian crisis

Maharashtra ATS office on terror group’s radar

Indian Mujahideen had help from SIMI in Bodh Gaya, Patna blasts

Kashmiri student alleges humiliation at Pak University

 

Southeast Asia

Najib must walk the talk on preserving harmony by throwing out Allah ban, says DAP

Bogor Congregation Celebrates Christmas in Temporary Shelter

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

For Details and More Headlines from All Regions, Please click, ‘More’

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/haqqani-network-leaders-sexually-abuse-teenager-boys/d/35016

 

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South Asia

 

Haqqani Network leaders sexually abuse teenager boys

Dec 26, 2013

The Afghan intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) accused Haqqani Network leaders for sexual abuse of children after hiring them for terrorist activities.

NDS following a statement said Thursday, “Haqqani terrorist network members are sexually abusing children in training camps Haqqani’s commanders are sexually abusing teenage boys who are being trained to carry out terror acts.”

The statement further added, “NDS officials arrested a 16 years old boy, Samiullah, who planned to assassinate police commander of Khost.”

Samiullah quoted in the statement of NDS said, “Young boys, including himself, are bring sexually abused by Taliban commanders and senior fighters.”

The arrested teen further added that he was working in a hotel in Khost province and was taken to Miran Shah for military training by Hamayun, a member of Haqaani terrorist network.

He also added that he was sexually abused several times by commanders of Haqqani Terrorist network, each Musa Kaleem and his Brother Mohammad Kaleem.

This comes as the National Directorate (NDS) announced late in September that the suicide bombers are sexually abused and raped while they are trained on how to carry out suicide attack and terrorist activities, in training camps.

A suicide bomber who was arrested in western Herat province of Afghanistan quoted in the NDS statement confessed that he was sexually abused along with many others who were receiving suicide training.

The detained bomber recognized as Nematullah was looking to carry out suicide attack using a motorcycle in western Herat province of Afghanistan.

http://www.khaama.com/haqqani-network-leaders-sexually-abuse-teenager-boys-3215

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16 militants killed in Afghan raids in 24 hours: govt

Dec 26, 2013

At least 16 militants were killed and 7 others were injured during coordinated military operations across the country, interior ministry said on Wednesday.

The militants were killed or injured during the operations conducted during the past 24 hours in various provinces of Afghanistan.

Interior ministry in its statement said, “In past 24 hours, Afghan National Police conducted several anti-terrorism joint operations with Afghan National Army and NDS to clean some of the areas from terrorists and enemies of peace and stability of Afghanistan.”

The statement further addded, “The operations were conducted in Nangarhar, Laghman, Kunduz, Balkh, Maidan Wardak and Helmand provinces, as a result 16 armed Taliban members were killed, seven wounded and 10 others were arrested by Afghan National Security Forces.”

Also, during these operations, Afghan National Police discovered and confiscated light and heavy rounds ammunition, the statement added.

In separate military operations, Afghan National Police discovered and defused nine different types of IEDs placed by enemies of Afghanistan for destructive activities in Helmand, Herat, Faryab and Kapisa provinces, interior ministry said in its statement.

In the meantime, the Taliban group rejected the reports and blamed Afghan security forces for targeting and arresting innocent civilians during the operations.

Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid following a statement said that Afghan and coalition security forces suffered heavy casualties during coordinated attacks by Taliban fighters in various provinces of Afghanistan.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/834082.shtml#.UsoDHtJDsqM

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15 Of Awami League, Jatiya Party Demand Arrest of 'Bombers, Terrorists'

Dec 26, 2013

In a joint statement, 13 Awami League lawmakers and two Jatiya Party candidates of the upcoming polls last night urged law enforcers to arrest bombers and terrorists who “took shelter in Dhaka” and maintain law and order in the capital.

These “terrorists and bombers” had killed people, detonated bombs and carried out arson and mayhem around the country during the BNP-led 18-party's recent hartals and blockades, they said.

They also alleged that these criminals had taken shelter at hotels, relative's houses, messes, hostels and slums in the capital to break down law and order in the capital.

They also urged the capital's residents to remain alert and help law enforcers catch these criminals who “have already arrived or will come to Dhaka centring the opposition's 'March for Democracy'” on Sunday.

The signatories to the statement are Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Rashed Khan Menon, Shahara Khatun, AKM Rahmat Ullah, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Aslamul Haque Aslam, Qamrul Islam, Fazle Noor Taposh, Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, Kamal Ahmed Majumder, Ilias Uddin Mollah, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and Habibur Rahman Mollah of the AL and Kazi Firoz Rashid and Syed Abu Hossain Babla.

http://thedailystar.net/city/15-of-al-jp-demand-arrest-of-bombers-terrorists-4085

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Over 500 Taliban prisoners released from Afghan jails

Dec 26, 2013

The Afghan high peace council has released over 500 Afghan and Pakistani Taliban prisoners during the past one and half year.

The militants were detained in connection to suicide attacks and other insurgency activities, and were released based on president Karzai’s decrees and on the request of the Afghan high peace council.

At least 536 Taliban militants have been released on presidential decrees during the past 15 months, local television network (1TV) reported.

According to the documents obtained by 1TV, at least 224 Taliban militants including Pakistani nationals, who were arrested in connection to suicide attacks, were released on presidential decrees and on request of the Afghan high peace council.

The militants were apparently released to help accelerate the Afghan peace talks with the Taliban group, however majority of those who were released by Afghan government, have returned back to battle field to fight Afghan and coalition security forces.

A number of high level Taliban leaders including close aides of the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar were also among those who were released to assist Afghan peace talks.

However, the Taliban group in Afghanistan has continuously rejected to hold peace talks with the Afghan government and insist for complete withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan to pave the way for reconciliation process.

http://www.khaama.com/over-500-taliban-prisoners-released-from-afghan-jails-3203

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Former President Waheed dissolves GIP, joins PPM

By Mariyath Mohamed | December 25th, 2013

Former President Mohamed Waheed has decided to join the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) after his Gaumee Ihthihaad Party (GIP – National Unity Party) was dissolved by the party’s council.

Waheed signed for the PPM at a special event attended by President Abdulla Yameen held today.

Other members of the GIP’s leadership also signed for the PPM alongside Waheed.

This includes his political advisor Ahmed Thaufeeq, State Minister of Education Abdulla Nazeer, former President’s Office Spokesperson Masood Imad, Maldivian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Hussain Shihab, former Immigration Controllers Dr Mohamed Ali and Ilyas Hussain Ibrahim, Adnaan Ali and Jaufar Easa Adam.

Waheed said his decision to join PPM is in the best interest of the nation at the current time. He praised PPM for winning “a very competitive and difficult election”, saying it is the PPM that is most capable of overcoming obstacles and facing up to challenges.

GIP Council member Thaufeeq informed local media that the council members had unanimously made the decision to dissolve the party as they did not believe it wise to continue running the party in the present political and economic circumstances.

“We agreed that the current political and economic situation makes it difficult for small parties to function here. We believe that dissolving the party would be beneficial to the nation and citizens as the state spends large amounts from its budget on funding small political parties,” Thaufeeq said.

Waheed himself led the meeting attended by all ten council members of the party.

Thaufeeq confirmed that the party would complete sending in all formal documentation needed to dissolve the party to the Elections Commission by Thursday.

According to the Elections Commission (EC) website, the GIP – which was officially registered on September 4, 2008 – currently has 5864 signed members.

The EC has sent a letter to all parties comprising less than 10,000 members notifying them that they will be dissolved within three months after the ratification of the Political Party Act in September.

In March, when the draft of the political party bill was being discussed, several smaller parties began membership drives to reach the limit of 10,000 members, including the GIP, business tycoon MP Gasim Ibrahim’s Jumhooree Party and the religious conservative Adhaalath Party.

Waheed’s GIP was accused of trying to induce people to join throughillegitimate means, in a bid to shore up the party’s membership base. The inducements included offering “music equipment and a place to play for free” as well as “hosting shows and parties” for young people.

Apart from luxurious parties and entertainment, the GIP also allegedly promised highly paid government jobs and promotions in return for joining the party.

http://minivannews.com/politics/former-president-waheed-dissolves-gip-joins-ppm-74040

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Arab World

 

Around 500 Militants Killed in Fierce Clashes with Syrian Army in Adra Al-Amalieh

Dec 26, 2013

TEHRAN (FNA)- Around 500 Al-Qaeda terrorists have been killed in the clashes with the Syrian army in the town of Adra Al-Amalieh in Damascus countryside so far, informed military sources announced on Wednesday.

"A sum of 480 terrorists of the total 2,000 militants stationed in Adra Al-Amalieh have been killed in heavy clashes with the Syrian army so far," an informed Syrian military source told FNA.

The military source pointed to the determination of the Syrian army to continue its military operations in Adra until a complete mop-up of all terrorists, and said, “The Syrian army troops have managed to achieve considerable success in several fronts in Adra.”

On Wednesday, the army units regained control of several buildings in the Eastern side of the Electricity Post of Adra Al-Amalieh after fierce clashes with armed rebels.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921004001398

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US-Backed Terrorists Behead Two Men in Street of Aleppo

Dec 26, 2013

TEHRAN (FNA)- Terrorists in Syria cut off the heads of the people in daylight in Aleppo streets the same day the United States condemned the Syrian government for its aerial attack on Aleppo.

http://english.farsnews.com/player.aspx?nn=13921004000330

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Tens of Terrorists Killed in Army’s Ambush in Southern Syria

Dec 26, 2013

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army killed tens of militants in an ambush in two strategic towns in Reef (outskirts of) Damascus on Wednesday.

The army ambushed 2 armed rebel groups in Kazieh al-Baz region in the Western parts of Adra town in Reef Damascus and killed all the militants.

In another ambush, the Syrian army killed a number of armed rebels in Al-Qaboun town in Damascus countryside and forced a large number of them to flee the area.

On Tuesday, the Syrian army made major advances in the Damascus countryside and regained control of several strategic regions.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921004001216

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Assad regime and rebels reach landmark truce in besieged town

Dec 26, 2013

BEIRUT: The Syrian government and rebels in a besieged town near Damascus have reached a landmark truce agreement to allow aid access to trapped civilians, an activist told AFP.

Under the truce in Moadamiyet Al-Sham, the official flag was raised over the area on Wednesday and will be flown for 72 hours, in exchange for much-needed food supplies for thousands of trapped civilians, said Abu Malek of the town’s opposition Local Council.

“A truce came into force on Wednesday, and the people have accepted as a gesture of goodwill to fly the regime flag over the town’s water towers,” Abu Malek said via the Internet.

“Food should be allowed into the town on Thursday. If this goes well, we will hand over the heavy weapons, but the regime army will not enter the town,” he added.

“Then in the next phase, people who were displaced should be allowed to return home, without being arrested, and the checkpoints around the city must be removed,” said Abu Malek.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/498591

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Saudi Arabia stands by Egypt in fighting terror

 Dec 26, 2013

RIYADH – Saudi Arabia strongly condemned on Wednesday the recent terrorist attacks in Egypt, according to a Royal Court statement.

The Kingdom vowed full support to Egypt in going ahead with its political road map, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, has supported the road map of the Egyptian people with a hope that it would lead to a political solution, the statement said while noting that the King always stressed that the Kingdom wholeheartedly stands by Egypt.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20131226190584

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Egypt Brotherhood vows protests despite 'terror' listing

Dec 26, 2013

A leader of the Muslim Brotherhood vowed that the movement would keep up protests after Egypt's government designated it a "terrorist" group on Wednesday.

"The protests will continue, certainly," Ibrahim Munir, a member of the group's executive council who is in exile in London, told AFP, adding the move was "illegitimate".

"This is an attempt to frame the Brotherhood," Munir said of the decision, taken a day after a suicide bombing of a police headquarters in the city of Mansoura killed 15 people, in an attack claimed by an Al-Qaeda-inspired militant group.

The interim government blamed the movement for the bombing and said on Wednesday that it had "decided to declare the Muslim Brotherhood movement a terrorist organisation".

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/90051/Egypt/Politics-/Egypt-Brotherhood-vows-protests-despite-terror-lis.aspx

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Nearly 10,000 Al-Qaeda Militants Killed in Syria

Dec 26, 2013

TEHRAN (FNA)- The number of Al-Qaeda-linked foreign militants killed in Syria since the onset of the Syrian crisis in early 2011 has exceeded 9,900, a Salafi movement announced.

A sum of 9,936 nationals from Arab and Muslim countries have been killed since March 2011, the Jihadist Salafist Movement in Jordan said.

1902 of the dead militants came form Tunisia, 1807 from Libya, 1432 from Iraq, 800 from Palestine and 202 from Jordan, according to the survey.

The movement noted that 828 of the slain militants were from Lebanon, while 821 were from Egypt.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921004000325

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Africa

 

Sharia must be the main source of legislation says Dar Al-Ifta

Dec 26, 2013

The Dar Al-Ifta, headed by the Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani, has said that the Sharia must be the main source of legislation in Libya and that any law issued that is contrary to it would be considered void.

In a decision, dated 22 December 2013, drawn up by the Dar Al-Ifta’s Research and Religious Studies Council, it said it was not permissible any law to be passed that was contrary to the Sharia which itself had to be placed above the constitution.

The Dar Al-Ifta also said that the wave of assassinations that had taken place in Libya were “major sins, regardless of the entities that stand behind them”.

Full report at:

http://www.libyaherald.com/2013/12/25/sharia-must-be-the-main-source-of-legislation-says-dar-al-ifta/#ixzz2pYfbq3fi

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At least 40 civilians killed in DR Congo attack

26 December 2013

At least 40 civilians have been killed in an attack on a village in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a non-governmental organisation said on Thursday.

"Up to this morning we have found more than 40 bodies, all of them civilians, in the latrines," said Teddy Kataliko, the head of civil society in the Beni region where the attack took place on Wednesday.

"Teams from the Red Cross and the police are searching to see if they find other victims." The attack, which has been blamed on Ugandan rebels, has also left "dozens" of people seriously wounded, he said.

The attack took place in the town of Kamango before dawn, with the civil society blaming it on the Islamist Ugandan rebel group ADF-Nalu, one of the oldest but least-known armed groups operating in the mineral-rich DR Congo.

Full report at:

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_26/At-least-40-civilians-killed-in-DR-Congo-attack-2864/

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Libyan should join WTO says Islamic trade man

Dec 26, 2013

Libya should  be aiming to become part of the World Trade Organisation, a leading Islamic trade official  said on the second day the Economic Diversification conference at Tripoli’s Rixos Hotel.

Houcine Rahmouni, deputy general manager of the Islamic Centre for Development of Trade said: “Libya cannot work without being part of this organisation (WTO). It has to engage itself in the system whose legislation, we all need to respect and which influences us”.

He continued: “Libya has a big opportunity whereby its economy is almost inexistent. Therefore this can be used positively to build its economy on sound bases with good infrastructure, while focusing on legislation to achieve this”.

Full report at:

http://www.libyaherald.com/2013/12/22/libyan-should-join-wto-says-islamic-trade-man/#ixzz2pYhaYGQz

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Archbishop and Imam Are United Across Battle Lines in Central African Republic

By CARLOTTA GALL

2013/12/24

BANGUI, Central African Republic — When the killing began, Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga did what many would have expected of him: He opened his church to hundreds of Christian families fleeing the Muslim militias hunting them.

But he also provided refuge to an unusual friend and partner: the most senior Muslim cleric here, Imam Oumar Kobine Layama, who was under threat himself from vengeful Christians.

For months, the two religious leaders, along with the leading Protestant cleric, tried to head off the brewing sectarian tensions, traveling across the country to instill the message, “We are brothers.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/24/world/africa/archbishop-and-imam-are-united-across-battle-lines-in-central-african-republic.html?_r=0

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North America

 

U.S. Sends Arms to Aid Iraq Fight With Extremists

2013/12/26

The United States is quietly rushing dozens of Hellfire missiles and low-tech surveillance drones to Iraq to help government forces combat an explosion of violence by a Qaeda-backed insurgency that is gaining territory in both western Iraq and neighboring Syria.

The move follows an appeal for help in battling the extremist group by the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who met with President Obama in Washington last month.

But some military experts question whether the patchwork response will be sufficient to reverse the sharp downturn in security that already led to the deaths of more than 8,000 Iraqis this year, 952 of them Iraqi security force members, according to the United Nations, the highest level of violence since 2008.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/26/world/middleeast/us-sends-arms-to-aid-iraq-fight-with-extremists.html?hpw&rref=world&_r=0

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Last Chance for Peace in Syria: Will Obama Sabotage the Geneva II Syria peace talks?

Dec 26, 2013

The war in Syria grinds on, an endless wreckage of shattered limbs and lives. The blood flows across borders, fueling the religious sectarian killing across the Middle East that is the life-blood of the Syrian conflict.

Hopes rose in Syria after Obama’s last minute decision not to “punish Assad” with a missile attack. Then came the U.S.-Iran nuclear peace deal, and it was hoped that peace in Syria was part of the broader shift in U.S. policy, “pivoting” away from the Middle East towards China.

The “Geneva II” Syrian peace talks have been discussed for months, but there always seems to be an endlessly complicated barrier. Contrary to what the media and politicians say, stopping the mass carnage is sadly easy. And it could be done relatively quickly, if the power brokers behind the conflict actually wanted it stopped.

Full report at:

http://truth-out.org/news/item/20844-last-chance-for-peace-in-syria-will-obama-sabotage-the-geneva-ii-syria-peace-talks

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If US troops leave Afghanistan, much civilian aid may go too

 December 26, 2013

WASHINGTON: For years, US officials have pointed to the improvements in the everyday lives of Afghans made possible by billions of dollars in aid from the United States and elsewhere.

In Afghanistan, people now live 20 years longer on average than under Taliban rule, they say; 7 million more children attend school and women are 80 percent less likely to die in childbirth.

The spectre of an abrupt departure of all US and Nato soldiers from Afghanistan at the end of next year now imperils these gains, they warn, and endangers progress on the massive development challenges that remain.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/650852/if-us-troops-leave-afghanistan-much-civilian-aid-may-go-too/

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American abducted in Pakistan calls for US help

AP | Dec 26, 2013

ISLAMABAD: A 72-year-old American development worker who was kidnapped in Pakistan by al-Qaida more than two years ago appealed to US President Obama in a video released Thursday to negotiate his release, saying he feels "totally abandoned and forgotten."

The video of Warren Weinstein was the first since two videos released in September 2012. Weinstein, the country director in Pakistan for J E Austin Associates, a US-based firm that advises a range of Pakistani business and government sectors, was abducted from his house in the eastern city of Lahore in August 2011.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/American-abducted-in-Pakistan-calls-for-US-help/articleshow/27974897.cms

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Mideast

 

Zionist Rabbi: Enlisting Women Dangerous, Immoral

Dec 26, 2013

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, the Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan, has come out with strong statements against mandatory military service for women.

Rabbi Ariel was particularly outspoken regarding combat service for women, but made it clear in an interview with Arutz Sheva that he opposes mandatory non-combat service as well. Female soldiers should serve strictly in a volunteer capacity, he declared.

His declaration came as part of a discussion of this week’s Torah portion, which discusses Jewish slavery in Egypt.

Judaism generally opposes coercion, he said. The prohibition is clear from Torah verses marking the Jews as servants of G-d, he explained. He quoted Jewish sages as attributing to G-d the statement regarding the Jewish nation, “’They are my slaves, and not slaves to slaves.’”

Full report at:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/175572#.UsoLcNJDsqM

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Iranian Lawmakers Threaten to Increase Uranium Enrichment Level

Dec 26, 2013

In response to planned legislation by United States Senators to increase sanctions on Iran, lawmakers in the Islamic Republic have drafted a bill of their own to increase the country’s level of uranium enrichment.

Press TV reported on Wednesday that the bill would oblige the government to produce 60-percent enriched uranium.

The bill was signed by 100 legislators and presented to the Majlis (Iranian parliament) on Wednesday, according to the report.

“If the bill is approved, the government will be obliged to complete nuclear infrastructure at Fordo and Natanz if sanctions [against Iran] are ratcheted up, new sanctions are imposed, the country’s nuclear rights are violated and the Islamic Republic of Iran’s peaceful nuclear rights are ignored by members of P5+1,” Iranian lawmaker Seyyed Mehdi Mousavinejad was quoted as having said.

Full report at:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/175560#.UsoLXtJDsqM

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Israel says to free Palestinians and build more settlements

Dec 26, 2013

Israel will announce plans for new settlement construction next week, coinciding with the release of a third batch of Palestinian prisoners as part of peace talks, an official said Thursday.

Palestinians have warned repeatedly that settlement building destroys the fragile US-brokered peace talks that resumed in July after a three-year hiatus.

"The Israeli government will announce tenders for new construction in the West Bank and in east Jerusalem which will coincide with the release of a third group of Palestinian prisoners," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The comments come days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to push ahead with settlement construction despite calls for restraint by US Secretary of State John Kerry and the European Union.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/israel-says-to-free-palestinians-and-build-more-settlements.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60150&NewsCatID=352

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Minister: Sunni-Shi’ite nuke race will result if Iranian program isn’t stopped

Dec 26, 2013

Kuperwasser: Regional powers feel US turning on its allies, Palestinians not ready for peace.

If Iran remains a nuclear threshold state, there will be a Sunni- Shi’ite nuclear arms race, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Wednesday.

Any agreement with world powers must dismantle Iran’s nuclear program, he continued at a conference on Regional Upheavals, held by the Israel and Middle East studies department at Ariel University.

“The Middle East has gone mad,” said Steinitz, adding that nobody had expected what has happened in the Middle East over the past few years.

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, director-general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, said people in the Middle East do not understand what the US’s policy is, as it has turned on its traditional allies in the region and drawn closer to Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Steinitz-Sunni-Shiite-nuke-race-will-result-if-Iranian-program-isnt-stopped-336202

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Probe into Arafat death not over - Palestinian envoy

26 December 2013

The Palestinian authorities will press on with a probe into the death of Yasser Arafat after Russian experts ruled out the possibility he was poisoned, a Palestinian envoy said Thursday. "I can only say that there is already a decision to continue (the investigation)," Faed Mustafa, the Palestinian ambassador to Russia, told the state RIA Novosti news agency.

"We respect their position, we highly value their work but there is a decision to continue work."

Earlier Thursday Russian forensic experts studying Arafat's remains said the leader died a natural death and ruled out radiation poisoning.

 http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_26/Probe-into-Arafat-death-not-over-Palestinian-envoy-5964/

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Pakistan

 

Hindu burial in 'Muslim graveyard' sparks protests in Badin

2013-12-26

BADIN: The situation in Tando Bago town of Badin district became tense following the burial of a 75-year-old Hindu man, in a local graveyard of Bachal Shah.

Late on Wednesday night, a few people of the town dug the grave and took out the body a resident of village Yar Mohammad Lund, some 4 km off the Tando Bago town, who was buried by his relatives on Monday.

But the body was reburied in the same place by the local police on the wee hours of Thursday, following which the clerics belonging to various mosques of the town made announcements that a Hindu was buried again in their graveyard.

The burial infuriated the Muslim community of the town and its adjoining areas, who gathered in the town and staged a sit-in on the Bago Canal bridge.

Speaking to media persons the protesters threatened to dig out the body from the grave again.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1076542/hindu-burial-in-muslim-graveyard-sparks-protests-in-badin

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US drone kills four suspected militants in North Waziristan

2013-12-26

MIRAMSHAH: At least four suspected militants were killed when a US drone fired two missiles at a compound near Miramshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal agency of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan, DawnNews reported late Wednesday night.

The attack took place around midnight in Qutab Khel village, five kilometres (three miles) south of Miramshah.

News agency AFP, however, reported three deaths.

“A US drone fired two missiles on a militant compound, killing at least three suspected insurgents,” a senior security official told AFP. A security official in Peshawar confirmed the attack and casualties.

Another official in Miramshah put the death toll at four and said a fifth militant was seriously injured.

The identities of those killed in the strike were not immediately known but officials suspect that they were of Afghan origin.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1076332/us-drone-kills-four-suspected-militants-in-north-waziristan

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Better ties with India top priority: Pak

Dec 26, 2013

It said the DGMOs meeting was a positive step

Described the meeting of the DGMOs of the two countries as a “positive step forward”, Pakistan on Thursday said better relations with India is a top priority.

“This meeting is a positive step forward,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said about the December 24 meet between the Directors General of Military Operations to address tensions on the Line of Control (LoC).

The DGMOs had “agreed on the need to maintain peace and tranquillity on the LoC and to stay in touch with each other over (their) hotline”, she told reporters during a weekly news briefing.

Military officials would hold regular flag meetings so that “incidents are not allowed to blow up and they are controlled at the local level”, she said.

Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, separately said that improving relations with India is a top priority.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/better-ties-with-india-top-priority-pak/article5504371.ece

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Concern shown over misuse of blasphemy law against minorities

Dec 26, 2013

LAHORE: The participants at a panel discussion organised by South Asia Partnership (SAP)-Pakistan with members of Punjab Assembly and civil society organisations stressed the need of implementing constitutional and international guarantees protecting the rights of religious minorities.

Panel discussion was held at a local hotel where member National Commission on Status of Women Tanveer Jahan, Bishop Munawwar Rumal Shah Director Center for Human Rights Education Samson Salamat, Members Punjab Assembly Shamila Aslama, Shunila Ruth and others members of different organisations were present. Commenting on hate material, educational curriculum and use of loud speakers, the participants suggested a total ban on the use of loud speakers other than Azaan (prayer call). The participants also expressed concerns about the blasphemy laws which are generally used against the religious minorities.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/punjab/25-Dec-2013/concern-shown-over-misuse-of-blasphemy-law-against-minorities

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Two killed in Karachi; 15 suspects arrested

2013-12-26

KARACHI: At least, two people were gunned down in separate incidents of firing in Karachi Thursday whereas three suspected target killers were arrested by the police, DawnNews reported.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) local office bearer was shot dead near Singer Chowrangi in Karachi’s Korangi Industrial area. He was targeted while he was on his way home after dropping his children to school.

Meanwhile, a man named Tajuddin sustained severe injuries due to firing in North Karachi area near Dou Minute Chowrangi. Later, he succumbed to his wounds in a hospital.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1076518/two-killed-in-karachi-15-suspects-arrested

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North Waziristan appears close to full-blown conflict

Dec 26, 2013

GUNS have fallen silent in Mirali — a bustling town 35km to the east of North Waziristan’s regional headquarters of Miramshah, but now with rows of burnt down and bombed shops and houses.

The sudden flare-up and military’s fierce response to a suicide bombing at one of its main camps in Khajori on Dec 18 have shown that the situation in North Waziristan remains volatile, dangerously close to a full-blown conflict.

That the peace process would be illusive was known to all but what many people fail to understand is just how complex it would be, given the large number of militant groups with different agendas and goals.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1076409/north-waziristan-appears-close-to-full-blown-conflict

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Jamaat-e-Islami to clinch victory in LG polls: Baloch

December 26, 2013

KARACHI - Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general Liaquat Baloch claimed that his party would stand victorious in the upcoming local government elections in Karachi.

He expressed these views while addressing public gatherings at Orangi Town and Malir here on Wednesday. He said that the people had witnessed the tremendous development works carried out during the tenure of JI city Nazim and Mayor Abdul Sattar Afghani and Naimatullah Khan Advocate. He said that the government has failed to overcome the issues like inflation, lawlessness, poverty and unemployment which have aggravated the public woes.

Baloch reiterated that the JI would not accept privatisation of the national institutions including PIA and Pakistan Steel Mills.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/karachi/26-Dec-2013/ji-to-clinch-victory-in-lg-polls-baloch

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Pak-India trade talks next month

Dec 26, 2013

ISLAMABAD - Trade talks between Pakistan and India would resume next month, as State Minister for Commerce and Textile Khurram Dastagir Khan is likely to visit New Delhi to attend the Saarc Business Leaders Conclave.

Sources informed that the state minister would visit India from January 15-17 to attend the event. He would also hold meeting with his Indian counterpart Anand Sharma to discuss the bilateral trade issues, especially trade liberalisation matters.

The government has not decided to grant most favoured nation (MFN) status to India, as it would consider it after 2014 general elections of the neighbouring country, sources said. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has already made it clear that there was no immediate plan to give MFN status to India, saying there was need to normalise relations between the two countries.

Sources informed that government might assure the Indian government to reduce the items on the negative list from exiting 1,209 items from next year 2014. India, at present, can export all items to Pakistan other than the 1,209 items put on the negative list. The Nation tried to contact State Minister Khurram on his cell phone, but he was not available.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/26-Dec-2013/pak-india-trade-talks-next-month

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Europe

 

UN force fires on Ugandan rebels in DR Congo after deadly attack

AFP | Dec 26, 2013

KINSHASA: Helicopters of a special UN force in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday fired on Ugandan rebels to help government troops retake the town of Kamango after an attack that killed civilians.

"South African helicopters in the UN intervention force were asked by FARDC (the DR Congo army) to give them support to recapture Kamango," said a senior officer with the UN mission to DR Congo (MONUSCO) who declined to be identified by name.

"We have already taken back Kamango," said Lieutenant-Colonel Olivier Amuli, a FARDC army spokesman in North-Kivu province, the mineral-rich but volatile region plagued by a number of armed groups.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/UN-force-fires-on-Ugandan-rebels-in-DR-Congo-after-deadly-attack/articleshow/27928762.cms

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United Nations says $166 million needed to aid South Sudan

AFP | Dec 26, 2013

NEW YORK: Aid agencies need $166 million over the next three months to help civilians in violence-wracked South Sudan, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

The money is needed for maintaining health and sanitation, distributing food, as well as managing camps for those displaced by the recent ethnic clashes, the office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs said in a statement.

It would also be used to help some 200,000 refugees from neighbouring Sudan who have fled to the South Sudanese states of Unity and Upper Nile.

"There are at least 90,000 people who have been displaced in the past ten days. This includes 58,000 people who are sheltering in UN peacekeeping bases," said UN humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan Toby Lanzer in the statement.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/United-Nations-says-166-million-needed-to-aid-South-Sudan/articleshow/27937276.cms

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Europe sends envoy to seek peace in South Sudan

Dec 26, 2013

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is sending an envoy to help seek a political solution to ethnic bloodletting in South Sudan and to liaise with neighbouring countries, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

"It is essential that all political leaders commit immediately to a political dialogue to resolve their differences," Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for Ashton, said.

In an emailed statement, she said Ashton had asked EU special representative Alex Rondos to travel to the region immediately and to liaise directly with concerned countries and organisations on the ground.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/90049/World/Region/Europe-sends-envoy-to-seek-peace-in-South-Sudan.aspx

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Russian experts rule out radiation poisoning in Arafat death

Dec 26, 2013

Russian forensic experts studying the remains of Yasser Arafat on Thursday said the Palestinian leader died a natural death, ruling out radiation poisoning.

"We have completed all the studies," said the head of Russia's Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA) Vladimir Uiba. "The person died a natural death and not from radiation," Uiba was quoted as saying by the state RIA Novosti news agency.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/russian-experts-rule-out-radiation-poisoning-in-arafat-death.aspx?pageID=238&nID=60155&NewsCatID=353

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India

 

UN resolution addresses Indian concerns in South Sudan violence

PTI | Dec 26, 2013

UNITED NATIONS: India's strong concerns over the security and mandate of its peacekeepers in South Sudan found support from several UN Security Council members who unanimously passed a resolution that directly addresses the situation faced by Indian soldiers in the strife-torn country.

While India is not in the Security Council, it was able to "influence" the UNSC resolution in a "significant manner", as it highlighted key issues "pro-actively" with the powerful UN body.

India, which has lost seven of its soldiers this year in the world's newest country, highlighted issues related to the mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) specially the difficult conditions in which the Indian peacekeepers work, standing in frontline of the violence.

Sources told PTI that India's views were found to be relevant by the Council, with President of the Council Permanent Representative of France Ambassador Gerard Araud referring to this in his remarks at the beginning of the UNSC meetings on South Sudan.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/UN-resolution-addresses-Indian-concerns-in-South-Sudan-violence/articleshow/27962141.cms

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India may make fresh efforts to end Syrian crisis

Dec 26, 2013

It will join international effort to destroy chemical weapons

India is poised again for a more active role in Syria, after having been involved in unsuccessful attempts to resolve the conflict when it was a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for two years.

India has been informed about its invitation to Geneva II, the U.N.-sponsored international conference on Syria, scheduled for next month. The first meeting resulted in the Geneva communiqué that supported a political transition without insisting on President Bashar-al Assad’s exit and a transition plan. India was also an Observer in Friends of Syria, a grouping that tried to push through regime change.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-may-make-fresh-efforts-to-end-syrian-crisis/article5501187.ece

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Maharashtra ATS office on terror group’s radar

TNN | Dec 26, 2013

MUMBAI: Security has been tightened at the state anti-terrorism squad (ATS) headquarters in Byculla following fresh intelligence alerts. A source said the Indian Mujahideen (IM) has issued a threat to blow up the ATS headquarters. The squad's chief, Rakesh Maria, is reportedly on the radar of the terror group.

After receiving intelligence alerts, the state home department forwarded a proposal to enhance security to the public works department. Commandos have been deployed. "This time we have received reports that the terrorists will attack with weapons, if fail to carry out a blast. We have been asked to be on alert," said a senior ATS officer.

In the wake of recent threats, plans are afoot to shift the ATS office to near Kalachowky at the office of the additional police commissioner (central region) within the next two years. The state government is planning to construct a highly secure headquarters, another source said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Maharashtra-ATS-office-on-terror-groups-radar/articleshow/27933888.cms

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Indian Mujahideen had help from SIMI in Bodh Gaya, Patna blasts

Neeraj Chauhan,TNN | Dec 26, 2013

NEW DELHI: Indian Mujahideen roped in members of the outlawed Islamist outfit, Students' Islamic Movement of India, to carry out the bomb attack on Narendra Modi's October 27 rally in Patna and the Bodh Gaya blasts, a SIMI member has told investigators.

Umair Siddiqui, who was arrested, has told interrogators that IM had used a group of SIMI members led by Abdullah alias Hyder AIi to carry out the July 27 Bodh Gaya blasts and the attack on Modi's rally. Not just that, the SIMI members, mentored by senior SIMI leader and IM co-founder Abdus Subhan alias Tauqeer, had planned to attack a train in Delhi and carry out blasts in all the rallies of Modi. Siddiqui, an active SIMI member who was in regular touch with main co-conspirator Hyder Ali, was arrested from Raipur in November. TOI has accessed exclusive details of his interrogation by intelligence agencies.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indian-Mujahideen-had-help-from-SIMI-in-Bodh-Gaya-Patna-blasts/articleshow/27933468.cms

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Kashmiri student alleges humiliation at Pak university

M Saleem Pandit,TNN | Dec 26, 2013

SRINAGAR: A Kashmiri student at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad has allegedly faced "torture, threats and humiliation" at the hands of his guide there. Ishrat Naveed, who had gone to Pakistan under a SAARC exchange programme three years ago, said this in an email sent to mediapersons here from Islamabad.

"The way my supervisor/guide, Dr Tariq Mehmood (assistant professor, department of plant sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University), behaved during my research is disappointing and difficult to narrate," Naveed said in the email statement. "He emotionally blackmailed, tortured and harassed me. He took all the research samples in his custody in my absence. He used to accuse me that I am an Indian spy who is on espionage mission to Pakistan. My research samples, which included experimental design and optimized protocols, were distributed among [the] favourite students of Dr Mehmood. The stolen samples — including transgenic plants, expression vectors and clones — are worth millions."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kashmiri-student-alleges-humiliation-at-Pak-university/articleshow/27931356.cms

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Southeast Asia

 

Najib must walk the talk on preserving harmony by throwing out Allah ban, says DAP

Dec 26, 2013

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should prove himself a moderate through his actions and not merely paying lip service to the people, DAP's Lim Kit Siang said today.

Lim said that Malaysians were no longer drawn to Najib’s messages of moderation, harmony and co-existence and that he should heed the proposal by Archbishop Emeritus Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam to withdraw Putrajaya’s legal challenge against the church’s use of the word “Allah”.

“This is because the time has come for Najib, in the second term and fifth year as Malaysia's sixth prime minister, to prove that he is a moderate by deed and conviction and not a political chameleon who alternates between moderation and immoderation in his speeches depending on the crowd and occasion,” Lim said in a statement today.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/najib-must-walk-the-talk-on-preserving-harmony-by-throwing-out-allah-ban-sa

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Bogor Congregation Celebrates Christmas in Temporary Shelter

Dec 26, 2013

Bogor. The embattled GKI Yasmin congregation in Bogor, West Java celebrated yet another Christmas in a makeshift worship space this year, in exile from their own church, which remains sealed off despite two Supreme Court rulings in the congregation’s favor.

“It has been several times that we’ve kept our religious conduct hidden, from one place to another place,” Dori Susanto, a 60-year-old congregant, said on Christmas. “We will keep doing this until we can do it in our rightful place of worship.”

The congregation obtained a permit to open the church in 2006, but it was promptly revoked by the municipality, at the behest of Muslim-majority local residents and hardline groups.

Bima Arya Sugiarto, who was elected mayor of Bogor in September, has pledged to review the situation, but he is not slated to assume office until April.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/bogor-congregation-celebrates-christmas-in-temporary-shelter-hopes-for-shuttered-church-remain-strong/

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