There was no immediate word from Huthi rebels themselves on whether they accepted Saudi's offer of five-day pause. PHOTO: REUTERS
Malawi Muslims Combat Unemployment with Zakat
Tens of Thousands Flee Fighting in South Sudan, Aid Groups Withdraw
Source: 50 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Eastern Tikrit
Syrian Army Kills Tens of Terrorists in Al-Sweida Province
Scores of Terrorists Killed in Quneitra
Arab League Close To Forming Unified Military Force
Syrian Air Strikes Target Takfiris' Positions in Idlib
Bombings kill at least 8 outside Iraqi capital, Baghdad
Nearly 4,000 Iraqi Turkmen Fighters to Take Part in Mosul Liberation Operations
Syria: Kurds Purge Two Villages near Kobani of ISIL
ISIS trades orange for blue jumpsuits in new execution ‘video’
Six Soldiers Martyred, 128 Militants Killed In Helmand Operation
Bangladesh: Former University Teacher Held for Militant Links
Taliban shadow district governor among 13 killed in Nangarhar
Court postpones verdict of 19 policemen arrested in “Farkhunda Case”
‘Overcrowding In Prisons Leading To Growing Radicalisation’
‘All TTP Centres in Darra, Orakzai Destroyed’
Pakistan’s Military Attaché Says Military Helicopter Not Shot Down by Taliban
PTI chief challenges legality of suit filed by ex-CJP
Balochistan CM concedes failure in tracing ‘missing’ persons
Rigging probe: Ballots printed under army supervision, says PML-N
Government challenges dropping terrorism charges against Qadri
Senior Cleric: Execution of Shiite Cleric Nimr Means End of Saudi Regime
Yemen Rebel Allies Accept Saudi Ceasefire Proposal
Turkish PM Davutoğlu: Turkey will not intervene in Syria
Israeli justice minister considers all Palestinians ‘the enemy’
Yemeni Tribesmen Gain Control of Strategic Border Heights
Palestinians in East of Al-Quds Face Eviction Order
Saudi-led forces target Saleh’s house in Sanaa
Muslim Man Recites Azaan in All US States To Deliver Message of Peace
Leader's Aide: US Generals Not Serious about Fighting ISIL
With No Majority in RS, Can’t Pass Law for Ram Temple: Home Minister
500 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar Wash to Shore in Indonesia
Tudung industry in Malaysia: Cashing in on conservative Islam
No slave camps and mass graves in Malaysia, says Home Ministry
Females outnumber males at first Halal Speed Dating event
French Radio Station Takes on New Role after Paris Attacks
Cleric Banned For Muslim Jibe: Told Pupils That Islamic Students 'Worship the Devil'
EU Slams Israel’s Settlement Construction Decision in East Al-Quds
Five Macedonia policemen were killed in a shootout with ‘terrorists’
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
May 10, 2015
LILONGWE – As levels of unemployment among Malawian youth continue to rise, the country’s Muslim community has launched vocational training programs courtesy of Zakat Fund to equip the youth with skills necessary to create an “independent society” for “future leaders” of the southern African nation.
“The level of unemployment among Young people in the country is quite worrying and depressing. The present situation paints a picture that we are deliberately ignoring their welfare,” Mohamed Osman, National Director for Islamic Zakaat Fund (IZF), told OnIslam.net.
“This situation calls for concerted efforts to change this ugly picture. This program has therefore been introduced to create hope and a spirit of self-reliance among the youth.
“Since independence, the youth of Malawi have been considered to be future leaders, but sadly, there have never been much efforts to empower them in this direction. We have therefore been compelled to roll off this initiative in response to the growing needs of the young people,” said Osman.
“Unless, we create business or employment opportunities for the youth, who are in the majority in the country, the future of Malawi is at stake. Therefore, this program is a step in the right direction.”
Osman warned the country was experiencing a rise in moral decadence among the youth because he noted, most of them have “nothing” to do.
“They are engaged in all sorts of things out of boredom and frustration. These courses will therefore distract their focus from engaging in destructive behaviors,” he said.
“Young people are quite vulnerable to numerous challenges, which unless interventions were put in place to empower them, we will be raising an army of a wasted generation,” Osman added.
Malawi is considered a youthful nation, with about 75% of the country’s 16 million population are youth.
Despite the program is an initiative of Zakaat Fund, Osman confirmed it was open to all young people regardless of their religious leanings.
“This initiative is open to all young people, be it Muslims or Christians. Through this program, we are sending out a message that unity in diversity is possible,” he said.
“Unemployment in this country remains a serious social-economic development challenge which is affecting various aspects of life. We have therefore decided to look beyond religious boundaries to address this pressing challenge.”
Since the program was initiated, according to its principal, Henry Kunje, it has garnered massive interest among young people across the country’s religious spectrum.
“We are inundated with applications from both Muslims and Christians wishing to enroll for various courses of their choice. But due to limited space, we can’t enroll all of them at once. Every year, the youth are finishing their academic pursuits, but they can’t get employed. They are getting disillusioned and turning their anger towards those in political leadership,” Kunje told OnIslam.net.
“They have therefore found hope in this initiative to acquire skills which could enable them to stand on their own. They can either get employed or start their own business enterprises. We are therefore doing all what we can to live up to their aspirations and dreams through this program,” said Kunje.
Out-spoken John Kapito, head of the Malawi Consumer Association (CAMA), said the unemployment crisis could lead to politicians using vulnerable young people to their own advantage.
"It's a potential recipe for turmoil. Most of our young people are poorly educated and at great risk of getting involved in crime to survive and being exploited to violently gain political power. This initiative is a welcome development in this country. We should all support it for the benefit of the country," Kapito told OnIslam.net.
“Malawi has everything: good agricultural soil and plenty of water. We need a bigger program of entrepreneurship, which will create a bigger domestic market so that when our youth produce they can sell," he added.
Various sectors of the Malawi society have taken their turns in praising the initiative, describing it as the “hope for the future.”
“As government, we welcome this initiative, coming a time when employment opportunities are very rare. This is the only hope for the future of the youth of Malawi. It will help to provide solutions to their social-economic needs. As government, we salute this,” Malawi’s Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture, Grace Chiumia told OnIslam.net.
“Young people are the soul of this country. We should therefore at all cost be careful with how we handle them. If we create a room for them to mess up their lives, we are destroying the nation of today and tomorrow. We should all join hands to empower the youth, because the process of leadership begins today,” said Chiumia.
She then appealed to various sectors of the society to explore various avenues to empower youth in various aspects.
“We all have a responsibility to rise up to the challenge of unemployment among the youth. We should strive to explore ways to better their lives for them to emerge productive leaders of Malawi,” the Minister said.
The devastating consequences of sustained youth unemployment are increasingly coming to the fore in the deeply conservative country.
Nelson Zekeyu of Drug Fight Malawi (DFM), which offers substance abuse counseling, said rising numbers of dejected youth are visiting the organization for rehabilitation.
"The easy accessibility of locally grown, high-grade marijuana and cheap alcohol makes many unemployed youth want to escape the reality of their daily lives because they can't cope with it.
“We're seeing girls forced into prostitution due to lack of jobs with serious drug and alcohol problems, which we don't have the resources to address. This vocational training program will therefore help to address matters a great deal,” Zakeyu told OnIslam.net.
“Malawi is tragically losing a lot of its energetic young people, who are critical for the development of its future, to drugs and alcohol. The majority of our young unemployed are very poor and can't afford to pay for skills training," he added.
Implementing policies which match education and training with employer needs are among the International Labour Organization (ILO) report's recommendations.
If young people are to be given a fair chance at a decent job, Malawi will meet its Millennium Development Goals of fighting poverty and inequality.
This is the first initiative of this kind from the Muslim community in the country.
Islam is the second largest religion in the country after Christianity. Muslims account for 36% of the country’s 16 million population.
Juba, South Sudan. Tens of thousands of people have fled fierce fighting in South Sudan’s northern Unity State and humanitarian organizations have withdrawn staff from the area, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other groups said on Saturday.
A political crisis in South Sudan in late 2013 sparked fighting between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels allied with his former deputy Riek Machar. The conflict in the world’s youngest country reopened ethnic fault lines that pit Kiir’s Dinka people against Machar’s ethnic Nuer forces.
A government military spokesman, Philip Aguer, confirmed the fighting in Unity State. A spokesman for the rebels could not immediately be reached for comment.
Doctors without Borders said it had shut down a hospital in the town of Leer amid reports of an imminent attack.
The group said it had closed the same facility last year when staff members fled on foot, carrying critically ill patients on their backs. They hid on the banks of swamps and survived by drinking swamp water, it said in a statement.
“Today, we withdraw again with a heavy heart, because we know how civilians will suffer when they are cut off from critical, lifesaving medical care,” said Paul Critchley, head of the mission.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said separately it had also been forced to withdraw key staff from Leer and that it was concerned for the wellbeing of tens of thousands of people who have reportedly fled the area.
“These communities face a fight for survival, hiding in the bush in unimaginably harsh conditions,” said Franz Rauchenstein, who heads the ICRC’s delegation in South Sudan.
The fighting could also prevent farming communities from planting much-needed crops during the imminent rainy season, he said.
At least 50 terrorists were killed in heavy clashes between the Iraqi army and the ISIL Takfiri group in the Northern city of Tikrit, a military source said.
Iraqi Interior Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that the army troops in cooperation with popular fighters claimed the lives of more than 50 ISIL militants in East of Tikrit late on Saturday.
It said, "The Iraqi troops conducted massive attacks against ISIL militants in Hamrin district and managed to kill 50 elements (of the Takfiri group) in the areas of Alas and Ajil in East of Tikrit.”
The ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently control shrinking swathes of Syria and Iraq. They have threatened all communities, including Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Ezadi Kurds and others, as they continue their atrocities in Iraq.
Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.
The ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.
The Syrian Armed Forces stormed the ISIL terrorists' positions in the Eastern parts of al-Sweida province, and killed tens of the fighters, sources in the Southern province said.
The sources said that the ISIL terrorists' strongholds in the nearby areas of al-Rashidah village were stormed by the Syrian army troops, which resulted in the killing and wounding of several terrorists.
The sources added that terrorists' vehicles equipped with machineguns were also destroyed in the army men's operations.
On Friday, dozens of ISIL terrorists were killed and tens more were wounded in the Syrian Armed Forces' offensives in al-Sweida, provincial sources said.
The sources said that the terrorists' concentration centers in Tloul al-Fadyayn area to the West of Asfar area were stormed by the army men, who killed and wounded scores of the fighters.
The sources further added that a convoy of the terrorists' vehicles leaded with weapons and ammunitions was also destroyed in the abovementioned battlefield.
The Takfiri terrorists' supply routes was also targeted and cut by the army soldiers in al-Badia (desert).
Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fuelled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of over 210,000 people, according to reports. New figures show that over 76,000 people, including thousands of children, lost their lives in Syria last year.
Over 3.8 million Syrians have left their country since the beginning of the crisis. According to reports, more than seven million Syrians have become internally displaced.
The Syrian government forces killed scores of Takfiri militants in the Eastern countryside of Quneitra province on Sunday.
Dozens of terrorists of al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement, al-Furqan Brigades and other terrorist groups were killed in military operation in Mas’hara village in the Eastern countryside of Quneitra.
Arab League close to forming unified military force
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said the Arab League is moving closer to forming a joint Arab military force, pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported Saturday.
“Technical teams are already working to develop a vision to establish a joint Arab force, and this will be ready within the next four months,” Shukri said on the sidelines of a state visit to Eritrea.
Speaking about Yemen, the FM said: “There can be no doubt that the situation in Yemen requires serious effort in order to find a solution to the deteriorating humanitarian situation and the suffering of the Yemeni people. We need to find a way to return legitimacy and restore stability to Yemen.”
“Egypt is continuing its participation in the alliance and is doing everything in its power to stop the escalation,” Shukri said.
“We are in contact with our partners to provide assistance and help reach a political framework conducive to securing a ceasefire, returning Yemen’s legitimate government to power and ensuring Yemeni security and stability,” he added.
In March, Arab leaders said during an Arab League summit in Egypt that they wish to create a joint military force to help maintain security within the region.
The announcement came in the wake of the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen to battle Iranian-backed Houthi militias.
Syrian air force conducted air strikes on positions of the foreign-backed Takfiri militants in many areas in the countryside of Idlib on Sunday.
The Syrian Air Force destroyed concentration centers of Takfiri terrorist groups in al-Sukareyeh, Nakhleh Church and Ein al-Sudeh, and smashed their convoys in the vicinity of Jisr al-Shughour al-Janoudyeh in the countryside of Idlib.
Meanwhile, the army targeted militants’ concentration centers in Ghaniyeh and Ishtabrak areas in the countryside of Jisr al- Shughour, and regained control of a number of significant points, an informed source said.
Officials in Iraq say separate bombings outside the capital, Baghdad, have killed at least eight people.
A police officer said a suicide car bomber attacked a police and army checkpoint Sunday in the town of Tarmiyah, killing five security members and wounding 10.
The town is about 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Baghdad.
Police say another car bomb killed three civilians and wounded eight at an outdoor market in Taji, about 20 kilometers north of Baghdad.
Two medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release the information.
The attacks come amid heightened security in Baghdad to protect thousands of Shiite pilgrims marching to a shrine of a revered Imam to commemorate his 8th-century death.
Commander of the Iraqi Turkmen Popular Forces Yilmaz Najar voiced his forces' readiness to participate in the liberation operations of Mosul.
"The 16th Brigade of the largely Shiite al-Hashd al-Shaabi militia, is preparing its forces for the expected assault to retake Mosul from the ISIL terrorists' control," Najar said.
“Our armed forces, consisting 4,000 fighters, have fought against the ISIL in Kirkuk, Amirli, Tuz Khormato, Bashir and Daquq," Najar said.
As well as the 4,000 Shia fighters under Najar’s command, another 1,500 Sunni Turkmen volunteers have been armed by al-Hashd al-Shaabi, including 800 from Tal Afar and are expected to take part in the offensive to recapture Mosul.
On Friday, Iraqi Defense Minister Brigadier General Khaled al-Obeidi announced that the Arab country's army and popular forces are preparing to launch a new military operation to take the strategic city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, back from the ISIL terrorist group.
"The Iraqi forces will launch fresh operations against ISIL's positions in Nineveh province in next few days to set the region free from the Takfiri terrorists' control," Brigadier General al-Obeidi said.
The Iraqi defense minister underlined that the army will do its best to prevent any harm to the residents of Mosul.
In April, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani in a meeting in Erbil agreed on joint military operations to take back Mosul.
Al-Abadi and Barzani also agreed to set up a joint operation room to set Mosul free.
During the meeting, Al-Abadi reiterated that all the Iraqi people will participate in the operation to set free the capital of the Nineveh province, the ISIL terrorists' last stronghold in Iraq.
Barzani, for his part, vowed to help Iraq's central government with all means to free Mosul.
Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) liberated two villages near Syria's Northern border town of Kobani from the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group.
Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) took the control of Arna and Hadid Southwest of the town following fierce clashes with the ISIL terrorists.
Fresh clashes also broke out between the two sides on the Aleppo-Hasakah road following the ISIL attack on the villages.
Kurdish fighters seized Kobani, known in Arabic as Ain al-Arab, on the border with Turkey on January 26. Since then battles have continued to recapture some 350 nearby villages near the town.
On Saturday, YPG also said in statement that its forces recapture the village of Tel Majdala in the Western countryside of Hasakah in Northeastern Syria following heavy clashes with the ISIL terrorists.
The statement said that the clashes erupted on Friday and lasted until Saturday evening in the villages of Ashra and Majdala.
"The clashes ended with the YPG’s control of the Majdala village," it said.
The Kurdish fighters also killed 38 ISIL terrorists and seized a large amount of weapons and ammunition, it added.
Reports of a new Islamic State execution video have appeared online, with purported screenshots showing the victims blindfolded and wearing blue jumpsuits.
This marks a sharp departure from many of their previous execution videos, which have depicted ISIS captives in orange, a color believed by the Obama administration to be used because of its symbolic link to Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
According to Brian McKeon, U.S. principal undersecretary of defense for policy, President Barack Obama and his national security team all believe that the continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay detention center “is used by violent extremists to incite local populations.”
However, this is not the first time ISIS have used blue suits in their grisly propaganda, as evidenced by the November execution of more than a dozen Syrian soldiers.
The graphic and disturbing screenshots from this new ‘video’ – the authenticity of which have yet to be confirmed - show the 10 captives lined up with 10 masked jihadists standing behind them, before they are forced to kneel and subsequently executed by gunshots delivered from behind.
Six soldiers martyred, 128 militants killed in Helmand operation
Six soldiers embraced martyrdom due to terrorist activities across the country in past 24 hours while 128 militants were killed during military operation in Nahr-i-Siraj District of southern Helmand province in the course of 17 days.
General Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense states in a tweet that six soldiers lost their lives due to a landmine explosion and insurgent fire. The exact location of the terrorist activities is not specified.
Another statement published by the Ministry of Defense this morning states that the military operation which began 17 days before in Nahr-i-Seraj District of Helmand province has ended successfully.
According to the statement 128 killed and 81 others wounded during the operation. 13 villages of this district were also cleared from the presence of the militants.
A terrorist depot containing weapons, bombs and other terrorist materials was destroyed during the operation.
Hundreds of members of Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army and National Directorate of Security took part in the operation.
Bangladesh: Former university teacher held for militant links
Police early yesterday arrested a former university teacher while holding a clandestine meeting allegedly with members of banned militant outfit Hizb ut-Tahrir from Chandgaon residential area of the port city.
Detained Md Sharful Awal, 27, is believed to have links with International terrorist group Islamic State, OC Sairul Islam of Chandgaon police station said. Sharful, however, says he supports ISIS activities as Muslims in many countries have been oppressed.
Hailing from Rangunia, Sharful had been serving as a lecturer at Cox’s Bazar International University’s law department until March this year, police said.
The OC said police were looking for Sharful for a long time because of his ties with Hizb ut-Tahrir, a radical Islamist group banned in 2009. It aims at establishing Caliphate in Bangladesh.
“Acting on intelligence information, police raided his house in Chandgaon residential area early yesterday and held him while holding a secret meeting with three other Hizb ut-Tahrir members, who managed to escape,” the OC said.
Police recovered several Jihadi books, a Hizb ut-Tahrir magazine and many anti-government leaflets and documents from the house.
Recently, elite force Rapid Action Battalion and police busted a number of militant dens in Chittagong and recovered a large amount of arms and ammunition.
Detectives say banned militant groups Hizb ut-Tahrir, JMB and Huji, and Ansarullah Bangla Team with assistance from ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Taliban have been trying to regroup with a view to establishing Islamic State in Chittagong, also incorporating Cox’s Bazar, the three hill districts, and some bordering areas of Myanmar and India.
In December last year, Hizb ut-Tahrir members campaigned across the country asking the army to take over power and establish Caliphate under the leadership of the militant group. After the killing of secular writer Avijit Roy on February 26, RAB arrested Hizb ut-Tahrir leader Shafiur Rahman Farabi for threatening him with death repeatedly.
“Detectives and police have long been looking for this Hizb ut-Tahrir member, who, we think has been an active member of ISIS too,” the OC told the Dhaka Tribune.
“We have found evidences of his ties with the ISIS after searching his Facebook account, mobile phones, email accounts, documents and books,” he said adding that the detainee had admitted his connection with the groups.
“We will place Sharful before a court and seek remand to glean information about his cohorts,” the officer said.
Full report at:
13 Taliban militants, including a shadow district governor of the group, have been killed in a fresh drone strike in eastern Nangarhar province.
Major Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, spokesman for the police headquarters of Nangahar province says that the air strike was conducted in Mach Megi area of Lal Pur District yesterday.
He said that Gul Agha the so-called district governor of Taliban among 13 insurgents was killed in this air strike.
According to Mashriqiwal, the group was involved in several security incidents in the area.
Also, a police vehicle was targeted in a landmine explosion in Shikh Mesri area of Surkh Rud District this morning.
Major Mashriqiwal said that two policemen were slightly wounded in the explosion.
Taliban lost several fighters and commanders due to air strikes in Nangarhar province during the month of May.
The primary court in Kabul has postponed verdict of 19 policemen arrested in connection to the brutal killing of Farkhunda.
Judge Safiullah Mojaddedi announced on Wednesday that verdict of the 19 policemen would be announced on Sunday but today he said that it will be announced in coming days.
Mojaddedi added that the paperwork of these men is not yet completed and therefore the verdict is delayed.
He did not specify if anyone is interfering into the affairs of the court but warned that anyone caught meddling will be dealt with in accordance with law.
A total of 49 people including 19 security officials were arrested after the crime took place during day light near Shah Doshamshera shrine in Kabul on 19 March 2015.
On Wednesday the court announced death sentences to four convicts and 16 years of imprisonment to each of eight others found guilty.
18 people were set free after court could not proof their involvement in lynching Farkhunda. Some suspects are still missing who are under the chase of security forces.
Farkhunda was mercilessly lynched by dozens of angry people after she was accused of burning a copy of the holy Quran. But government bodies rejected all accusations after conducting investigation into the case.
‘Overcrowding in prisons leading to growing radicalisation’
KARACHI: A study on most jails across Sindh has found that overcrowding in prisons is leading to growing radicalisation with hardened convicts and undertrial prisoners being kept in same barracks.
Titled ‘Sindh prisons: a review of the criminal justice system’, the study’s findings were released by an advocacy group, the Legal Aid Office, on Saturday at a seminar held at a hotel.
Based on the study of 18 of the two dozen prisons across Sindh, the research primarily deals with two aspects: the quality of life of undertrial prisoners (UTPs) in Sindh and the reforms to improve their condition. Prison population statistics show that in December 2014, there were around 20,000 prisoners against the total authorised capacity of 12,416 prisoners. Of them, 20 per cent comprised convicts whereas the remaining 80 per cent inmates were on judicial remand facing trial.
With a steady decline in the release of prisoners, this growing trend in prison population has been seen since 2012.
According to the law, prisoners need to be classified on the basis of age, gender, seriousness of the offence and mental factors among others, but the reality remains otherwise in the form of ‘misclassifying prisoners’.
‘All TTP centres in Darra, Orakzai destroyed’
KOHAT: The military has destroyed all the command and control centres of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Darra Adamkhel and adjoining Orakzai Agency.
A senior army officer told Dawn that the law and order situation had gradually improved during the last few years and it was much better these days. He said that there was negligible threat to the public and military now.
The normalcy in Kohat could be gauged from the fact that the army organised a public mela (fair) inside the cantonment.
Such programmes were stopped in cantonment area due to security concerns. A large number of families thronged the three-day gala without any fear near the restricted area of the official residence of corps commander of IXth division.
Residents of Kohat have been demanding some leniency in the entry to the cantonment area, which has the shopping mall, fun and food spots, playgrounds, etc.
AFGHANS HELD: Police arrested six Afghans for staying illegally and three facilitators of absconders on Friday.
Jakarta. The military attaché of Pakistan’s Embassy in Indonesia, Col. Muhammad Said Siddieq, said on Friday the Pakistan military helicopter carrying diplomats to the launch of projects in northern Pakistan had not been shot down by Taliban.
The area where the helicopter crashed is said to be clear of Taliban activities.
“The helicopter crashed, but it was not shot down by Taliban. Everything is still under investigation,” Siddieq said.
“We would like to express our deepest condolences for the death of the wife of Indonesia’s ambassador.”
The crash killed 6 people: two pilots, the ambassadors of Norway and the Philippines, and the wives of the ambassadors of Malaysia and Indonesia. The ambassadors of Poland and the Netherlands were injured.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday challenged the legality of a Rs20 billion defamation suit filed against him by the former Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.
Mr Khan through his counsel Dr Babar Awan filed an application before the district and sessions judge (DSJ) Tanvir Mir that the DSJ could not take cognizance of the defamation suit of Rs20 billion, as under the law it could take up a case worth Rs3 million.
He further contended that former senator Faisal Raza Abidi had leveled similar allegations against Justice Chaudhry, while the latter was the CJP.
The application further contended that Justice Chaudhry did not deny or rebut these allegations, therefore the applicant presumed that whatever Mr Abidi had alleged was correct.
KARACHI: Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch conceded on Saturday his government’s failure in locating the ‘missing’ persons of his province.
Talking to reporters after a book launch here, he said that his government was in talks with the angry Baloch. However, he admitted that success had not been achieved in finding out where the ‘missing’ Baloch persons were.
He said that the people of Balochistan should not be kept in the dark on the issue of Gwadar.
The chief minister was the chief guest at the launch of the book on the life and work of distinguished Baloch poet, journalist and politician Mir Gul Khan Naseer titled Mir Gul Khan Naseer — Zindagi Aur Funn compiled by Yar Jan Badeeni and Tahir Hakeem Baloch.
He read out an excerpt from his article written in the Balochi language on Gul Khan Naseer. He then switched to Urdu and the first thing that he said about the late poet was “he was my ideal”.
ISLAMABAD: Responding to the testimony of the former election commissioner of Punjab, who revealed that extra ballot papers were printed in several of the province’s constituencies, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has said that the ballots were printed under army’s supervision.
In a written reply submitted to a three-member inquiry commission probing allegations of rigging in the 2013 general elections, PML-N’s counsel Shahid Hamid admitted that the process of printing and delivery of ballot papers for the polls was delayed because of outdated printing machines, shortage of manpower and capacity issues.
Claiming that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) took all major decisions in consultation with the political parties, the government in its response made it clear that private corporations printed ballots under the supervision of the army. The ruling PML-N incorporated this aspect repeatedly in its reply to satisfy the qualms of opposition parties.
Citing a letter written by the ECP, the government said that although the Printing Corporation of Pakistan (PCP) and the Pakistan Security Printing Corporation were responsible for printing ballot papers, the election body delegated this task to the Pakistan Post Foundation Press.
According to the government, PCP Islamabad only had one printing machine available which was 40 years old. Since the machine had no numbering function, four million ballot papers had to be processed manually.
May 10, 2015
ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Saturday submitted an amended appeal against Islamabad High Court’s decision to drop terrorism charges against Mumtaz Qadri, a former police guard who murdered Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer in Islamabad in 2011.
The interior ministry, through Advocate on Record (AoR) Siddique Khan Baloch, filed an eight-page appeal under Article 185(3) of the Constitution, contending that Qadri’s acquittal under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 was not in accordance with the law.
“The high court was not right to acquit the convict under Section 7(a) by not appropriately considering the peculiar features of the case, in which the governor of a province, holding constitutional office was murdered mercilessly in a busy commercial area in broad daylight by a person (deputed officially as a security guard) to save and secure the life of the governor,” reads the interior ministry’s appeal, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune.
It argues that Taseer had “particular views on national issues due to which different religious and political groups were propagating against him and threats to murder him were also issued.”
The Express Tribune has learnt that no AoR was initially willing to file this case in the top court until Siddique Baloch agreed to the government’s request.
A senior member of Iran's Assembly of Experts warned the Riyadh government that the execution of the prominent Shiite cleric, Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, would put an end to Al Saud dynasty.
"Some Saudi media have announced that the Riyadh government plans to execute Sheikh Nimr by May 14; the Saudi government should know that taking such a move will put an end to its shameful rule," Ayatollah Seyed Ahmad Khatami told FNA on Sunday.
Khatami, who is a presiding board member of Iran's Assembly of Experts, warned the Saudi government that bloodshed in Yemen and killing a religious scholar is tantamount to following the path of pharaohs and blasphemers.
Ayatollah Khatami called on religious seminaries and intellectuals of the Muslim world to prevent continued crimes by the Saudi regime.
On Saturday, several Saudi rights activists warned Al Saud that Sheikh Nimr's execution would set fire to Saudi Arabia.
Yemen rebel allies accept Saudi ceasefire proposal
SANAA: Renegade Yemeni troops who helped Shia rebels to seize much of the country said on Sunday that they had accepted a Saudi proposal for a ceasefire after more than six weeks of air strikes.
The announcement came as Saudi-led warplanes hit the Sanaa residence of ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is accused of orchestrating the alliance between the renegade units and the rebels.
There was no immediate word from the Huthi rebels themselves on whether they too had accepted Saudi Arabia’s offer of a five-day pause from Tuesday in the devastating air war it has led in support of exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
The truce moves came as the United Nations expressed mounting concern about the civilian death toll from the bombing campaign and the humanitarian impact of the air and sea blockade that Saudi Arabia and its allies have imposed on its impoverished neighbour.
Coalition warplanes pounded the rebels’ stronghold of Saada in the northern mountains for a second straight night on Saturday after declaring the whole province a military target despite aid agency pleas to spare trapped civilians.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has strictly denied reports that Turkey was preparing to directly intervene in the Syrian crisis.
Speaking to a group of reporters on the plane returning from election rallies in the eastern provinces of Bingöl and Elazığ on May 6, Davutoğlu also denied recent media reports claiming a new deal between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
“We have had very good relation with Saudi Arabia since the new king,” Davutoğlu said. There is nothing new, we agreed in the past [on Syria], and the same cooperation is continuing today.”
Davutoğlu said the reports of military intervention were “speculations without any basis.”
“The case is, the situation in Syria is changing fast,” said the prime minister. “The regime has lost control of major parts of the county, and is getting tightly wedged. It now There were reports on the Israeli media that [Syrian President Bashar] Assad could move from Damascus to Latakia. Even the Alawite groups no longer give soldiers to the regime. The balances inside Syria are changing, but no change is in question in Turkey’s stance.”
JERUSALEM: An 11th-hour deal led to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forming the most right-wing government in Israel’s history.
Netanyahu's slim majority in the Knesset was secured after a pact with the Jewish Home party, led by Naftali Bennett, an ultra-nationalist who draws much of his support from Israel's settler population and rejects a two-state solution to the conflict.
One of the terms of the alliance was that Netanyahu would tap Bennett's de facto lieutenant, Ayelet Shaked, to be the next justice minister. This is a move not without controversy, reports Washington Post.
Shaked is known for her extremist views regarding Palestinians and the enfeebled Israeli left. In July, in a controversial post on Facebook, the then-member of the Knesset posted the text of an article by the late Israeli writer Uri Elitzur that referred to Palestinian children as "little snakes" and appeared to justify the mass punishment of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. The post has since been deleted, but an archived version remains.
The leftist site Mondoweiss offers a full translation of Shaked's controversial posting, which quotes Elitzur, a former Netanyahu adviser, here. Some excerpts: “The Palestinian people has declared war on us, and we must respond with war. Not an operation, not a slow-moving one, not low-intensity, not controlled escalation, no destruction of terror infrastructure, no targeted killings. Enough with the oblique references. This is a war. Words have meanings. This is a war ... This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started..."
The Yemeni tribal troops gained control over strategic heights overlooking the Saudi border city of Al-Khobe in Jizan province.
The Yemeni tribesmen seized Toyleq heights inside Saudi Arabia in heavy clashes with Saudi forces.
The seizure of Toyleq heights will pave the way for the Yemeni tribal troops to take control of al-Khobe city.
Senior Yemeni military sources said on Saturday that the country's tribal fighters won control over the city of Ahad al-Masareha in Jizan after exchanging fire with the Saudi forces for only around 3 hours.
The tribesmen have also captured more than 60 Saudi troops after taking the control of the city, the sources added.
Israeli authorities have issued eviction orders to Palestinian Bedouins living in a village east of al-Quds (Jerusalem), telling them to leave their homes within weeks.
Local residents said they would be forced from their land in less than a month, Ma'an News Agency reported on Saturday.
The residing Bedouin families said, however, they would remain on their land.
The forced evacuation is part of Israel’s plan to expand a settlement located near the Bedouin village of Abu Nuwwar.
Dozens of Palestinian families will be forced out of 40 hectares of land to pave the ground for the building of 1,500 settler units.
This comes as Israel continues to press ahead with its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories despite a global outcry. The international community regards all Israeli settlements built on the occupied Palestinian lands as illegal.
On Saturday, the European Union (EU) criticized the Israeli regime for its new plan to continue illegal settlement expansion on the occupied Palestinian lands, saying the plans are in fact an obstacle to the so-called peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.
Two days earlier, Israel approved the construction of 900 new illegal settler units in East al-Quds.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the besieged Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.
10 May 2015
Saudi-led forces conducted air strikes at dawn on Sunday in the Yemeni capital Sanaa targeting deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s house, sources in his political party and residents said, according to Reuters news agency.
Three loud explosions were heard and plumes of smoke were seen rising from the area where Saleh’s residence is located in the capital.
A coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched an air war on Yemen on March 26 to prevent the Iranian-allied Houthis and militias of the deposed president Saleh from seizing territory.
Saudi Arabia had said on Friday a five-day humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen would begin on Tuesday if the Houthi militia it has been fighting agreed to the pause.
Iranian-allied Houthi fighters said in a statement they would deal "positively" with any efforts to lift the suffering of the Yemeni people, a sign that they could accept the five-day humanitarian ceasefire proposed by Saudi Arabia.
A statement issued by the Houthis also asked for a political dialogue under the auspices of the United Nations to resume in order to resolve the conflict.
Muslim man recites azaan in all US states to deliver message of peace
Meet Jameel Syed of Auburn Hills, Michigan, who completed a mission of delivering the azaan or call to prayer in 50 states of the United States from a beach in Hawaii to Disneyland in California.
On Friday night, the 40-year-old father-of-two concluded his journey at the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit in Rochester Hills, where he is the designated caller of prayers, termed ‘muezzin’ in Islam, five times a day.
Syed is believed to be the first person to have recited the prayer in all 50 states.
Speaking of his experience during the 35-day trip across the US, he said, “It was an epic journey on so many levels.”
He also used the opportunity to interact with Muslims belonging to different races and ethnicity as well as non-Muslims, engage them at airports, mosques and even in taxis.
A jubilant Syed said, “I was in awe of the generosity and hospitality and love from people I never knew before”.
The US administration and military commanders aren’t serious about fighting the terrorist groups, specially the ISIL, Top Military Aide to the Iranian Supreme Leader Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi said Sunday.
"We haven’t seen any determination and resolve on the side of the Americans and in their coalition in the war on ISIL," Safavi said, addressing IRGC officials and forces in the Central city of Isfahan today.
He underlined that the US is not only ignorant in fighting the ISIL, but also supports the terrorist group.
Safavi referred to the recent West-sponsored proxy wars by terrorists and Saudi Arabia in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and said that Israelis are happy with the security that they have gained through the massacre of the Muslims in Syria, Iraq and Yemen using the Islamic countries' resources and money.
Safavi also said that the war waged by the Saudis against Yemen is also a proxy war fought for the US, the Zionist regime and their European allies.
With no majority in RS, can’t pass law for Ram temple: Home Minister
Construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya was among the promises made by BJP in its election manifesto.
A dearth of majority in the Upper House of Parliament was coming in the way of BJP to bring in a motion and make law for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, Union Home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said.
Construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya was among the promises made by BJP in its election manifesto which it had released in the run up to last year’s General elections.
Some other contentious issues like abrogation of Article 370 which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir and enactment of Uniform Civil Code were also promised in the party’s manifesto.
“BJP does not have a majority in Rajya Sabha, so this time it is not possible to bring motion in the Parliament to make law for the construction of Ram temple,” the senior BJP leader said.
He was here to take part in a programme of senior Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Nritya Gopal Das.
When asked if BJP will bring the motion for a Ram temple if it gets a majority in Rajya Sabha in the days to come, Mr. Singh said, “It is an imaginary question.”
The ruling party has 45 members in the Upper House and it is unlikely that it will have the numbers during its current tenure. In the House of 243 members, Opposition has at least 132 MPs.
Reacting to a question on underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Mr. Singh said he will speak “some thing on Dawood in a day or two.”
The government was left red-faced for its contradictory reply in Parliament on the whereabouts of Dawood Ibrahim.
Later, minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju said the underworld don lives in Pakistan and the Centre would continue to pursue the case very seriously.
500 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar wash to shore in Indonesia
Boats carrying around 500 members of Myanmar's long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim community washed to shore in western Indonesia on Sunday, with some in need of medical attention, a migration official and human rights advocate said.
Steve Hamilton, deputy chief of mission at the International Organization for Migration in Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, said teams were racing to Mantang Puntong, in Aceh province.
The men, women and children arrived on two separate boats, one carrying around 430 people and the other 70, he said.
Rohingya Muslims have for decades suffered from state-sanctioned discrimination in Myanmar.
Attacks on the religious minority by Buddhist mobs in the last three years have sparked one of the biggest exoduses of boat people since the Vietnam War, sending 100,000 people fleeing, according to Chris Lewa, director of the Arakan Project, which has monitored the movements of Rohingya for more than a decade.
Lewa confirmed that nearly 500 Rohingya Muslims had landed in Indonesia early Sunday.
Some were apparently weak due to lack of food and water, she said.
Though their first stop has in the past been Thailand, where the Rohingya waited in jungle camps while brokers collected hefty "ransoms" from family members before allowing them to continue their journeys onward, tactics have changed in recent months.
They are now being held on boats at sea, Lewa said, estimating that 7,000 to 8,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants are currently parked in the Malacca Straits, unable to disembark because of crackdowns on trafficking networks in Thailand and Malaysia, their primary destination.
Tightly confined, and with limited access to food and clean water, Lewa said she worries that the migrants' health is steadily deteriorating. Dozens of deaths have been reported in the last few months.
KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — Homemaker Siti Noraini Mohd Kamarulzaman camped outside a Fareeda store — a popular brand of tudungs — for three days to buy their latest designs for RM120 a piece, which she would then resell for RM400.
Almost triple the original price
As Fareeda sells only 30 to 40 pieces per colour or print, stocks are limited but demand is high, and those queuing for days to buy the headscarves are able to sell them later on Facebook for two or three times higher, which can net them a cool income of RM5,000 a month.
“During Hari Raya, I can make more than RM10,000,” Siti Noraini, 24, told Malay Mail Online recently while camping outside the Fareeda store in Bangi for the May 1 launch of the brand’s new designs.
The boom in the tudung (also known by its Arabic name, hijab) industry is one of the side benefits of an increasingly conservative brand of Islam practised in Malaysia that frowns on Muslim women who do not cover their heads.
The Home Ministry today refuted media reports that claimed the existence of holding camps and mass graves of illegal ethnic Rohingya migrants on the Malaysian side of its border with Thailand.
Its secretary-general Datuk Alwi Ibrahim said investigations carried out by the Royal Malaysian Police found no such camps or graves on the Malaysian side of the border.
Following the discovery of "death camps" in southern Thailand, there have been news reports saying that there might be similar slave camps housing illegal immigrants on the Malaysian side of the border.
Alwi said Malaysia was targeted as a destination for the smuggling of the foreign migrants via Thailand which was the transit country for the illegal activity.
The Home Ministry wished to clarify that the current scenario at the Malaysia-Thailand border was more inclined towards migrant smuggling activity compared to human trafficking, he said in a statement issued today.
Some were looking for that "special someone", while a few were looking for second wives or were willing to be someone's second wife. Some were even looking for a second wife for their husbands!
These were among the requests received by the organisers of the inaugural “Halal Speed Dating” event which was held at the Talent Lounge in Damansara Perdana, in Petaling Jaya, yesterday.
The event saw 60 female and 20 male candidates, including a non-Muslim, participating.
One of the organisers of the event, Syed Azmi Alhabshi, said prior to the event, they had received requests from husbands looking for second wives while some women had said that they were willing to be second wives.
French Radio Station Takes on New Role After Paris Attacks
CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France — It's called "Beur FM" — after a slang term for Arab people — and has become the voice of France's Islamic community in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
The radio station gives daily doses of talk, music and news, normally catering to the Muslim population. But since terror struck the heart of Paris in January, Beur FM has become a staple for listeners of all walks of life who are hungry for answers about the violence — and how to reconcile alienated immigrants with mainstream society.
On air since 1992, the station has achieved widespread prominence only in recent months as the French turn to it for insights into what could have motivated three Frenchmen of immigrant roots to kill in the name of religion.
The station hasn't clocked a sharp rise in listeners — the current audience stands at about 400,000 listeners a day — but saw a marked rise in retweets, Facebook likes and other social media attention following the attacks, according to marketing director Nabil Bougouss. It's also drawing in a broader range of fans, including Jews and other non-Muslims, he said.
Charlie Hebdo had received threats over the years for publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed. But few expected the spasm of violence that erupted in its offices Jan. 7, when two brothers of Algerian origin burst in shouting "Allahu Akbar" and gunned down 11 people including the editor-in-chief.
A teacher who told a class of teenage girls that he was ‘allergic’ to Muslims and they ‘worshipped the devil’ will be banned from the profession for life this week.
Self-styled cleric the Rev Robert West, who stood for the British National Party in the General Election, made the comments during a discussion on the use of cavalry in the Crusades.
When a pupil said she was allergic to horses, Mr West replied: ‘I’m allergic to Mohammedans.’
And he told another class at Walton Girls High School in Grantham, Lincolnshire: ‘Muslims worship the devil.’
Andrew Colman of the National College for Teaching and Leadership said his remarks were ‘unacceptable’.
West will be banned by the Department for Education this week.
Earlier this week, the 59-year-old stood in the general election contesting the Boston and Skegness seat for the BNP.
But he came last in the poll, receiving only 119 votes of the 43,339 that were cast in the consistency.
He only received 0.3 per cent of the votes meaning he lost the £500 deposit all candidates are required to put down in order to stand.
The seat was held by the Conservatives with Matt Warman gaining almost 44 per cent of the votes.
Overall the BNP, once led by Nick Griffin, fielded just eight candidates in the election and saw its vote share plummet by 99.7 per cent.
The party also polled lower than the Monster Raving Loony Party and the little-known Cannabis Is Better than Alcohol party.
The European Union spokesperson slammed the Israel’s latest construction decision in an East Jerusalem (al-Quds) settlement, stating that Israel’s insistence on settlement construction calls into question its commitment to a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians.
“Israel's determination to continue its settlement policy despite the urging of the international community calls seriously into question its commitment to a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians,” said the spokesperson in a statement, WAFA reported.
The spokesperson affirmed that the EU and its member states are committed to ensure continued, full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation and bilateral arrangements applicable to settlements, stressing that settlements are illegal under international law.
The Israeli District Planning and Building Committee last week took a decision allowing for further settlement expansion in Ramat Shlomo East Jerusalem settlement.
On November 2014, the EU's Foreign Ministers unanimously expressed their concerns at the announcement of new housing units and called on Israel to reverse that decision.
May 10, 2015 11:30 am
Macedonia, hit by a deep political crisis, was further shaken when five police officers were killed in clashes with unidentified gunmen among whom an unknown number also died.
“Five police officers were killed in a shootout with ‘terrorists'” and some 30 were injured in the northern town of Kumanovo, Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska on Saturday told reporters.
“There are victims among the terrorists but for the time being we cannot give the exact number,” she added.
Meanwhile, local papers in the Albanian language reported that five members of an armed group were killed in Kumanovo.
Police said earlier that the armed group illegally entered Macedonia from a neighbouring country, without elaborating.
Local media suggested they came from neighbouring Kosovo, populated mostly by ethnic Albanians.