New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 2 Aug 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

China's Xinjiang Puts Restrictions on Ramzan Fasting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Asia

China's Xinjiang Puts Restrictions On Ramzan Fasting

Jailed Islamist cleric Threatens Myanmar Over Rohingya

Bangladesh bans foreign charities helping Rohingya

Bangladesh Nobel Laureate faces fresh probe

Afghan forces thwart Taliban attack on Kabul, kill 8

Afghan Finance Minister Under Scrutiny

Afghan forces capture intelligence data pointing at Haqqani network

Afghan defence, interior ministers face impeachment

Jobless Chitral youth joining Afghan army

Afghan scavengers in Karachi crosshairs

As Burmese Rohingya bleed, immigrants in Karachi share grief

World Bank resumes aid to Myanmar

 

India

‘Threatened’ Pandits in Kashmir Seek Separatist Leader Mirwaiz Help

Muslim Group Leaders Accused For the Recent Bodo-Muslim Violence

Jalandhar Residents Oppose Ramzan Prayers, Tension Prevails

Top LeT commander killed in encounter in J&K

Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed slams India's Pak FDI move

Pune probe focuses on two men who bought cycles, spoke Hindi, Gujarati

1,400 infants died in a year in Srinagar hospital

Four years after 26/11, coastal security to get a boost

Punjabi youth 'sold’ in Kuwait returns, narrates woes

India, Pak to conduct feasibility studies for export of power

Prison murder could hold clues to Pune attack

Pak sends back J&K cop’s body

Did Pune cops ignore attack warnings?

Pune blasts: Wrist watch used, Indian Mujahideen's role suspected

Give relief to kin of man killed in fake encounter: J&K panel

Missing Omar creates a flutter in ‘Twitter verse’

Humble Pune tailor had lived in Jordan

India-Israel sign MoU on research programme

Singh, Zardari likely to meet on margins of NAM summit in Iran

 

Pakistan

Pak judge resigns after his dancing video goes viral

Pakistan is a country in slow meltdown: US expert

Kidnapping fear haunts Balochistan doctors

Burmese Muslim:  ‘Govt has not done enough for us since our arrival in Pakistan’

'Lashkar-e-Jhangvi responsible for Balochistan law and order situation'

Sindhi population under attack by Pak govt bodies: US lawmakers

Cash-strapped Pakistan gets $1.118 billion from US

‘Water car’: Engineer sues doctor for ‘trying to undermine’ his invention

Kayani calls for transparent ties with US

Over 9,000 IDP families relocate to South Waziristan: FDMA

Contempt law case: SC reserves verdict

Pakistan welcomes hostages freed by Somali pirates

Pak-Dane expedition: Climb for ‘friendship and dreams’

Group photography exhibition presents ‘Soul of Pakistan’

 

Southeast Asia

Ramadhan just another month for Indonesian sex workers

Indonesian SC Sentences spiritual guru to 2.5 Years in Prison

Indonesian Band Peterpan Says ‘Noah’ Was Kept Secret for Two Years

 

Mideast Asia

Iranians Should Be ‘Very Fearful For Next 12 Weeks: Ex-Mossad Chief

Turkey Prepares Iraq-Style Attacks Inside Syria

Israeli's Brainwashed Into State Of Apathy

Majority of Israelis dissatisfied with Netanyahu

Yemen tribesmen release Italian officer

‘Interfering states’ made Annan fail in Syria: Iran

Commander: Biggest Threat to Iran Is 'Soft War'

 

Arab World

Saudi Spy Chief Prince Bandar Assassinated

New Egyptian Cabinet Includes Many Holdovers

Iraq attacks kill 33 people: officials

Attacks in West Baghdad Kill 3 Soldiers, Policeman

Resigning as Envoy to Syria, Annan Casts Wide Blame

In Syria, Mortars Kill 21 in Damascus Refugee Camp

Egypt unveils new cabinet, Tantawi keeps defence post

 

North America

KC priest pleads guilty to child porn charges

US think-tank reveals Haqqani, Pakistan nexus

Obama authorized secret aid to Syria rebels?

‘Dark Knight’ killer may be inspired by Batman story

10 yrs after 9/11, FBI's $451m computer system 'finally working'

US holds ‘productive’ talks with ISI chief

 

Africa

US assassination drone strike kills 25 in eastern Somalia

Mali Becoming the Afghanistan of Africa

Somali comedian, who mocked Islamic militants, killed in Mogadishu streets

Hillary Clinton urges Sudan, South Sudan to close gaps

 

Europe

Islamophobia fears after pig heads found outside French mosque

Pak origin ringleader of Asian 'child sex grooming gang' jailed for 22 years

Russia: both sides in Syria violate human rights

Russia to Oppose UN Assembly Syria Resolution – Foreign Ministry

UN assembly to vote on Syria resolution

Russia Said to Send Warships to Syria as Fighting Intensifies

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Chinese Muslims banned from fasting in Ramadan

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/by-new-age-islam-news-bureau/chinas-xinjiang-puts-restrictions-on-ramzan-fasting/d/8143

 

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South Asia

 

China's Xinjiang puts restrictions on Ramzan fasting

Sutirtho Patranobis

 August 02, 2012

Chinese authorities have imposed curbs on religious activities during the ongoing holy month of Ramzan including a ban on fasting in the restive northwestern region Xinjiang. According to notices in Chinese put up on government websites, members of the ruling Communist Party of China

(CPC) in Xinjiang have been directed to restrict fasting and visits to the mosque by members of the ethnic minority Uighurs, who form the majority community in the restive region.

Xinjiang is home to around nine million Uighurs, a Turkic speaking, largely Muslim ethnic minority, many of whom accuse China’s leaders of religious and political persecution.

Reports quoted the translated directive from the government as saying that CPC members should actively encourage people to eat well during the month.

A statement from Zonglang township in Xinjiang’s Kashgar district said that “the county committee has issued comprehensive policies on maintaining social stability during the Ramadan period. It is forbidden for Communist Party cadres, civil officials (including those who have retired) and students to participate in Ramadan religious activities.”

Agency reports said the statement, posted on the Xinjiang government website, urged party leaders to bring “gifts” of food to local village leaders to ensure that they were eating during Ramadan.

Similar orders on curbing Ramadan activities were posted on other local government websites, with the educational bureau of Wensu county urging schools to ensure that students do not enter mosques during Ramadan, reports said.

The holy month began in Xinjiang on July 20. The orders to curb religious activities were sent out across the region at different times, some before the start of Ramadan and some afterwards.

“By banning fasting during Ramadan, China is using administrative methods to force the Uighur people to eat in an effort to break the fasting,” Dilshat Rexit, a spokesperson for a Uighur rights group based abroad, told AFP.

The region has seen sporadic violence in the recent past.  Nearly 200 people were killed in July 2009 as riots erupted between the majority Han Chinese and the minority Uighurs in the capital city of Urumqi.

In June, a police raid on a building where children and teenagers were taught Islamic texts in the restive Xinjiang region in western China on Wednesday left 17 persons including 12 children injured after inmates set off explosives to thwart the raid.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/China/China-s-Xinjiang-puts-restrictions-on-Ramzan-fasting/Article1-907154.aspx

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Jailed Islamist cleric Threatens Myanmar Over Rohingya

August 03, 2012

Jailed Islamist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir threatened to wage war if Myanmar continues to harm Muslim Rohingyas, in a letter to Myanmar President Thein Sein seen on a website on Friday.

The 74-year-old is widely regarded as a spiritual leader of radical Islam in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, and is currently serving a 15-year-jail term for funding terror.

“We’ve heard Muslims screaming in your country because of your acts of evil ... you have taken them out from their homes and are killing them,” he wrote in the letter dated July 22 that was passed on to followers and published on the website voa-islam.com.

“If you neglect these calls, by Allah our Lord, you have witnessed the fall of proud and conceited countries in the hands of our Mujahideen soldiers,” he added.

The letter was confirmed as authentic by Son Hadi, the spokesman for Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT), a group founded by Bashir in 2008 and labelled a terrorist organization by the United States.

An outspoken supporter of violent jihad, Bashir was convicted in 2010 of financing a terror cell in Aceh province. Earlier this year, the country’s top court overturned a lower court’s decision to cut his 15-year term.

“You must know that we are brothers as Muslims. Their pains is our pain, their sorrows are our sorrows, and their blood that you shed is our blood too,” Bashir wrote. “By the will of Allah, we can destroy you and your people.”

Son Hadi said on Friday that the letter was submitted on Monday to the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta. The embassy was not reachable for comment.

About 100 Muslim extremists from the Indonesian branch of pro-Caliphate organization Hizb ut-Tahrir protested on Friday outside the Myanmar embassy and vow a Jihad to stop the “Muslim cleansing.”

“We are ready to die to help our fellow Muslims in Myanmar. A Jihad is the only way to stop this massacre,” one of the protesters on loudspeaker told the crowd, who shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest).

Violence erupted in June in Rakhine state, in western Myanmar, between Buddhists and Rohingya, leaving about 80 people dead from both sides, according to official estimates deemed low by rights groups.

Myanmar security forces opened fire on Rohingya Muslims, committed rape and stood by as rival mobs attacked each other during the recent wave of sectarian violence, New York-based Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

The authorities failed to protect both Muslims and Buddhists and then “unleashed a campaign of violence and mass roundups against the Rohingya,” the group said in a report.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/abu-bakar-bashir-threatens-myanmar-over-rohingya/535139

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Bangladesh bans foreign charities helping Rohingya

 August 2, 2012

DHAKA: Bangladesh has ordered three international charities to stop providing aid to Rohingya refugees who cross the border to flee persecution and violence in Myanmar, an official said Thursday.

France’s Doctors without Borders (MSF) and Action Against Hunger (ACF) as well as Britain’s Muslim Aid UK have been told to suspend their services in the Cox’s Bazaar district bordering Myanmar, local administrator Joynul Bari said.

“The charities have been providing aid to tens of thousands of undocumented Rohingya refugees illegally. We asked them to stop all their projects in Cox’s Bazaar following directive from the NGO Affairs Bureau,” he told AFP.

Bari said the charities “were encouraging an influx of Rohingya refugees” from across the border in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in the wake of recent sectarian violence that left at least 80 people killed.

The charities have provided healthcare, training, emergency food and drinking water to the refugees living in Cox’s Bazaar since the early 1990s.

MSF runs a clinic near one of the Rohingya camp which provides services to 100,000 people.

Speaking a Bengali dialect similar to one in southeast Bangladesh, the Rohingyas are Muslims seen as illegal immigrants by the Buddhist-majority Myanmar government and many Burmese.

They are viewed by the United Nations as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities.

Obaidur Rahman, country head of Muslim Aid UK in Bangladesh, confirmed to AFP that his group had stopped its Rohingya project following the order.

The government says some 300,000 Rohingya Muslims are living in the country, the vast majority in Cox’s Bazaar, after fleeing persecution in Myanmar. About 30,000 are registered refugees who live in two camps run by the United Nations.

In recent weeks, Bangladesh has turned away boats carrying hundreds of Rohingya fleeing the violence in Myanmar despite pressure from the United States and rights groups to grant them refuge.

Myanmar security forces opened fire on Rohingya Muslims, committed rape and stood by as rival mobs attacked each other during the recent wave of sectarian violence, New York-based Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

The authorities failed to protect both Muslims and Buddhists and then “unleashed a campaign of violence and mass roundups against the Rohingya”, the group said in a report.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/416444/bangladesh-bans-foreign-charities-helping-rohingya/

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Bangladesh Nobel Laureate faces fresh probe

 Aug 02 2012

Dhaka: Bangladesh today ordered a fresh probe into the activities and financial transactions of Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of pioneering micro lending agency 'Grameen Bank', and took steps to curtail his powers.

"The cabinet had a threadbare discussion on different issues of the Grameen Bank and asked the concerned departments to submit reports on a number of issues," cabinet secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told newsmen after emerging from a cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

He said the cabinet demanded explanation from concerned government offices about the legality of Yunus's continuation in office as its Grameen's managing director after 61 years of age and amount he drew from the bank as salary and allowances following his retention to the post of Managing Director after 60 years of his age.

"The government decided to examine if it was lawful for Dr Muhammad Yunus to continue holding the office of Managing Director of Grameen Bank beyond the mandated age of 60," Bhuiyan said.

The cabinet, he said, also asked the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to give report to the cabinet about the total foreign exchange Yunus brought in the country as a wage earner and how much tax he paid and how much tax exemption he was given on account of being a 'wage earner'.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/muhammad-yunus-faces-fresh-probe/982931/

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Afghan forces thwart Taliban attack on Kabul, kill 8

Aug 2, 2012

KABUL: Afghan security forces killed at least eight insurgents during an early morning raid in Kabul on Thursday, with authorities saying they had thwarted a Taliban mass attack on the capital after a seven-hour gun battle.

Soldiers from Afghanistan's intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), launched the raid in darkness, entering a building about an hour after midnight in Kabul's Pul-e-Charkhi district which the insurgents were using as a base.

"We have already killed eight insurgents and also seized explosives. They aimed to enter a building in Kabul and launch a combined attack on security forces, government offices or offices belonging to foreigners," an NDS spokesman told Reuters.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Afghan-forces-thwart-Taliban-attack-on-Kabul-kill-8/articleshow/15324961.cms

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Afghan Finance Minister Under Scrutiny

By ALISSA J. RUBIN

Aug 3, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s powerful finance minister came under scrutiny on Wednesday when an Afghan television network broadcast copies of two of his bank account statements that showed sizable payments from businesses and individuals and transfers of money from those accounts to bank accounts in Canada.

It is unclear for now whether the deposits and transfers were legitimate transactions, as Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal insists, or a red flag signaling malfeasance in one of the most critical ministries in terms of driving the country’s future. The Finance Ministry oversees the Afghan budget, the collection of taxes, customs duties and the allocation of money to other ministries.

The report on Tolo Television, which included an interview with Mr. Zakhilwal, showed copies of his bank statements from Standard Chartered Bank and Alfalah Bank from the years 2007-11 and stated that more than $1 million had been deposited into his accounts in that time and that some of the money had been transferred out of the country. The highlighted transactions included a $200,000 deposit from Safi Landmark, an Afghan company that runs hotels and other businesses here.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/02/world/asia/afghan-finance-chief-under-scrutiny-over-

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Afghan forces capture intelligence data pointing at Haqqani network

August 2, 2012

KABUL: Afghan security forces captured intelligence data pointing at the Haqqani network during a raid in Kabul which killed five insurgents and wounded one on Thursday. The authorities said they had thwarted a massive attack.

Soldiers from Afghanistan’s spy agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), launched the raid just after midnight, entering a single-story house compound on the fringes of Kabul which the insurgents were using as a base.

The NDS said target maps and telephone numbers recovered from the compound had numbers for the Haqqani network.

Haqqani network, allied with the Taliban and largely based in northwest Pakistan’s border lands, have been blamed by Nato-led forces in Afghanistan for several high profile attacks in recent months.

“They [insurgents] planned mass attacks in different parts of Kabul disguised in burqas,” the NDS said in a statement.

Police said two insurgents escaped during a gun battle that raged for five hours around the isolated compound, where the insurgents had been amassing weapons in a newly built brick house.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/416518/afghan-forces-capture-intelligence-data-pointing-at-haqqani-network/

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Afghan defence, interior ministers face impeachment

By Tahir Khan

 August 3, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Afghan National Assembly has decided to impeach its defence and interior ministers over cross-border shelling, allegedly by Pakistani forces, correspondents in Kabul said on Thursday.

Afghan authorities say the shelling has displaced hundreds of families. The ministers were summoned to the ‘Wolesi Jirga,’ or lower house of parliament, to brief the house about the security situation. The lawmakers, however, were not satisfied with the remarks of the top security officials and unanimously approved to impeach the defence and interior ministers on Sunday.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Afghan interior minister and chief of army staff were invited to the ‘Masharano Jirga,’ or the Senate, for a briefing on security issues, particularly the shelling of civilian areas in the eastern provinces of Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/416865/afghan-defence-interior-ministers-face-impeachment/

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Jobless Chitral youth joining Afghan army

Aug 3, 2012

PESHAWAR/CHITRAL: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has ordered probe into reports stating that jobless youth of Chitral District have been joining the Afghan National Army. “Yes, it is in our knowledge and official inquiry has been initiated to reach the truth,” KP Information Minister Mian Iftkhar Hussain said. Reports said that a large number of jobless youths from Chitral and other remote areas of KP's Malakand Division have joined Afghan army for “good salary packages”. It also reported that more and more Chitralis were showing interest in the jobs being offered from across the border. The information minister said, “The Home and Tribal Affairs Department has taken a serious note of this development and Malakand commissioner has also been ordered to collect details about all those who had joined the Afghan army so far.” Political observers have said that the revelation could lead to heavy political repercussions for the ruling Awami National Party (ANP) as opposition parties would use the situation to accuse the party of failing to provide jobs to the youth of the province. ANP has already faced embarrassment after major political parties in KP decided to stay away from an all-parties conference it called over energy crisis. s

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\03\story_3-8-2012_pg7_4

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Afghan scavengers in Karachi crosshairs

Aug 3, 2012

KARACHI: Barkat Khan was shot dead as he slept, curled up in the muck in one of the roughest parts of Karachi.

He was a dirt-poor 13-year-old Afghan who never went to school and never dared to dream of a better life.

Friends say he was an innocent victim of an increasingly vicious cycle of what is commonly perceived as ethnic violence in Pakistan’s largest city.

Barkat was one of more than 20,000 children, the vast majority of them Afghans, who work for $2 a day, collecting rubbish dumped by the 18 million residents of Karachi.

They toil from dawn to night, braving the punishing summer climate and health dangers posed by toxic waste.

Without passports and legal status, they have little protection.

And now they are caught up in one of Pakistan’s most under-reported wars: the violence that tears neighbourhoods of the country’s richest city to shreds, trampling underfoot the unknown and the defenceless.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/02/afghan-scavengers-in-karachi-crosshairs/

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As Burmese Rohingya bleed, immigrants in Karachi share grief

Zuha Siddiqui

Aug 3, 2012

Myanmar’s ethnic Rohingya Muslims display placards near the British embassy in Kuala Lumpur on July 19, 2012. Rohingya refugees protested outside the British High Commission to end violence and humanitarian crisis against Rohingya in Arakan State in Burma. — File photo by AFP

As the world rallies in favour of non-violence and mobilises against unjust oppression, a small community in Pakistan’s largest city struggles to raise its voice: these are Karachi’s Rohingya Muslims – a small band of immigrants who managed to escape from the Burmese oppression when the time was right. Today, they helplessly look upon the citizens of the world for a gleam of hope as their kith and kin are persecuted in Myanmar’s Arakan province.

Mahmud, a Rohingya Muslim living in Karachi says that over 90,000 men, women and children have been left displaced in Arakan. “Many were pushed into the water whilst they were trying to escape to neighbouring Bangladesh and several were beaten to death. We know this because we have been using the internet to stay in touch,” he says.

Pakistan’s stance on this issue of contention remains shrouded. Following Tehrik-e-Taliban’s threat directed towards the governments of Myanmar and Pakistan, the Pakistani Foreign Office said in a brief statement on July 26 2012 that there were reports claiming that the situation in Arakan had improved.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/02/as-burmese-rohingya-bleed-immigrants-in-karachi-share-grief/

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World Bank resumes aid to Myanmar

Aug 2, 2012

BEIJING: The World Bank on Wednesday resumed support to Myanmar after a gap of 14 years while announcing an aid of $85 million to the military-governed country.

The Washington-based development bank also said it will support people affected by boundary conflicts, which would include areas across the borders with India, Thailand and China.

The move is expected to benefit India as Myanmar's underdeveloped areas are a source of insurgency for northeastern states. "Development of the border areas will ease tension and reduce militancy on the Indo-Myanmar border" said a source.

The China-Myanmar border has also been a hotbed of violence with several conflicts over the past two years. Some of China's strategies in tackling those skirmishes and opposition to Chinese projects are bound to suffer owing to World Bank's foray into Myanmar, sources said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/World-Bank-resumes-aid-to-Myanmar/articleshow/15322053.cms

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India

 

‘Threatened’ Pandits in Kashmir Seek Separatist Leader Mirwaiz Help

Aug 3, 2012

ALARMED over a letter issued by an unknown militant organisation threatening Kashmiri Pandits with dire consequences if they did not leave the Valley within a week, they approached separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday.

They had called upon Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani to discuss the same on Wednesday.

The separatist leaders assured the Kashmiri Pandits that the Muslim majority is with them. Both Mirwaiz and Geelani described the letter as a conspiracy by agencies to “defame the freedom movement and give it a communal colour.” “A delegation of Kashmiri Pandits visited Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at his residence on Thursday and showed him a letter of a militant organisation. In the letter they had been asked to leave Kashmir,” Hurriyat Conference spokesman said.

Mirwaiz assured the delegation that Kashmiri Pandits are part of the Kashmir.

“Being Muslim and in the majority, it is our responsibility to protect the minorities.

The letter is nothing but a conspiracy to give communal colour to the freedom struggle of Kashmir,” Mirwaiz said.

Mirwaiz added that anti- movement elements were resorting to such tactics to defame the “freedom movement” and asked the Pandits not to panic.

Geelani, on Wednesday, had urged the Pandits that the threats should not get frighten them and should continue staying in the Valley.

Geelani also told the threats were part of a conspiracy to “undermine sacrifices of Kashmir.” He rejected the letter and said the militant organisation that reportedly has issued the threat doesn’t exist in the state. “ No freedom loving person can indulge in such obnoxious activities,” Geelani said.

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Muslim Group Leaders Accused For the Recent Bodo-Muslim Violence

Aug 2, 2012

KOKRAJHAR: Ex-BLT Welfare Association chairman Janamohan Mushahary has demanded the arrest of Ramjan Ali, the self-styled chairman of United Muslim National Army (UMNA), a new militant group, and blamed him for the recent Bodo-Muslim violence which claimed over 50 lives and displaced about four lakh people in lower Assam. Mushahary said anti-India militants are directly involved in the murder of four Bodo youths near Kokrajhar town on July 20 and the subsequent violence that spread like wildfire.

Giving details about the identity of UMNA chairman, Mushahary said: "Ramjan Ali is an alias used by Ratul Ali of Magurmari village under Fakiragram police station. He is directly involved in the communal violence as he fanned communal frenzy. Ali was a constable in Assam Police and was suspended for his alleged involvement in a gun-running racket, production of pornography and even murder. He has, however, been reinstated in the police on high court's orders issued five days before violence hit the BTC region." Giving a chronology of a few violent incidents prior to the large scale violence, Mushahary said Ali built up an explosive environment among Muslims and prepared them to fight against Bodos.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ex-BLT-chief-accuses-Muslim-group-leaders-of-violence/articleshow/15321184.cms

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Jalandhar, Residents Oppose Ramzan Prayers, Tension Prevails

Aug 3, 2012

JALANDHAR: Tension prevailed in Gaazi Gulla area here on Thursday, with Hindu organizations and residents of the locality opposing prayers by Muslims during the month of Ramzan at Punjab Waqf Board land, where the community is also planning to build a small mosque.

Those opposing the mosque and prayers have started a dharna outside the land where Namaz was being held for the last few days. Heavy police force has been deployed in the area and senior officials are holding parleys with both sides.

Pleas of Muslim leaders to let the prayers continue at least during Ramzan month, after which talks could be held afresh to reach a solution, did not cut ice as those opposing it refused to "allow" Namaz even for once.

Punjab Waqf Board member Mohd Afzal told TOI that they had erected a make shift structure with a tin roof where they were offering prayers in the night. "We are planning to build a mosque after raising funds from the community," he said.

"We have even requested that we may be allowed to complete Ramzan prayers and afterwards we can take a relook at the issue for a fresh solution, but that has not been accepted by those opposing it," he said. 'We are in a minority here and we should not be treated like this," Afzal added.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Residents-oppose-Ramzan-prayers-tension-prevails/articleshow/15332618.cms

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Top LeT commander killed in encounter in J&K

Aug 3, 2012

SRINAGAR: A top Lashkar-e-Taiba militant commander was on Friday killed in an encounter with security forces in a village in Kupwara district of north Kashmir.

"Abu Hanzullah has been killed in the operation launched in Rajwar belt of Handwara," inspector general of police S M Sahai said.

Official sources said Hanzullah was one of the top ranking commanders active in Kashmir and involved in several attacks on civilians and security forces in north Kashmir.

Troops of 21 Rashtriya Rifles and Police launched an operation in Rajwar area on Thursday evening following information about Hanzullah's presence there, the sources said.

They said the militant opened fired as he was trapped inside a house. The security forces retaliated, triggering off a gunbattle.

The operation was halted during the night but a tight cordon was maintained around the house to prevent the militant from escaping, the sources said, adding he was eliminated in fresh exchange of fire on Friday morning.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Top-LeT-commander-killed-in-encounter-in-JK/articleshow/15336673.cms

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Mumbai attack mastermind Hafeez Saeed slams India's Pak FDI move

Aug 03 2012

Lahore : Leaders of religious and extremist groups, including JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, have strongly reacted to India's decision to allow investments by Pakistanis, claiming that the move is part of a plan to destabilise Pakistan.

Saeed called on "patriotic citizens and businessmen not to fall into the Indian trap."

He claimed Pakistanis would reject the Indian offer as they would prefer to invest in their own country, and warned the PPP-led government against giving Most Favoured Nation-status (MFN) to India.

"India cannot be Pakistan's friend and the government should keep this in mind. Trade with India means destruction of Pakistan's economy," he claimed.

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hasan said: "India is continuously trying to weaken Pakistan under a plan. Its water aggression against our country is going on as it has built 62 dams over Pakistani rivers and is denying this country its due share of water."

Hasan alleged that India wants to convert Pakistan into a desert and destroy its industries, agriculture and economy to make Pakistan totally dependent on it.

He said the energy crisis had been "created" to compel industrialists to move their capital abroad.

Almost 40 per cent of Pakistan's industry had already shifted to Bangladesh and the rest could be tempted by the Indian offer, Hasan claimed.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/mumbai-attack-mastermind-hafeez-saeed-slams-indias-pak-fdi-move/983262/

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Pune probe focuses on two men who bought cycles, spoke Hindi, Gujarati

Chandan Haygunde

Aug 03 2012

Pune : Investigators probing Wednesday’s multiple low-intensity bomb blasts in Pune are looking for two men suspected to be in their late 20s, who spoke in Hindi and Gujarati and tried to buy second-hand bicycles in the city. They ended up buying three new bicycles as they apparently could not find any old ones on sale.

Three of the six bombs placed on Jangli Maharaj Road on Wednesday evening were kept in the front baskets of these cycles. Of the six, only four exploded and injured one person, while the other two were defused by the police.

Police said that two of the three bicycles were bought from Cycle Trading Company, located in the prime cycle market of the city. Its owner Sujit Deshmukh and his two workers were questioned on Thursday, and sketches of the two men were being prepared based on the description they gave, Joint Commissioner of Police Sanjivkumar Singhal told reporters.

Police sources said that the two men who bought the bicycles were aged between 25 and 30 and wore jackets when they went to Deshmukh’s shop in Budhwar Peth near Fadke Haud, around 10 am, a day before the blasts. The duo were at this shop for about half an hour, and apparently first asked about the availability of second-hand bicycles.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pune-probe-focuses-on-two-men-who-bought-cycles-spoke-hindi-gujarati/983142/

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1,400 infants died in a year in Srinagar hospital

Aug 3, 2012

SRINAGAR: The J&K government appointed inquiry commission headed by Dr Showkat Hussain Zargar to probe the death of infants in Srinagar's GB Pant Hospital on Thursday held that their numbers were much higher than hitherto reported: more than 1,400 in the last one year. The Zargar commission also indicted the former medical superintendent of the pediatric hospital, Dr Javid Chowdhary, describing him as "irresponsible" and "negligent".

The state government had ordered a probe after media reports revealed that hundreds of infants had died in the hospital due to official apathy. The final report has recommended a complete ban on private practice by doctors in state's collegiate hospitals.

Dr Zargar, who is also the director Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, has suggested that no consultant may leave the OPD until four pm, which is when most doctors rush out for their private practice. He also said heads of department of concerned units must educate the faculty about this. Engagement of doctors in private practice was the main cause of infighting among faculty members, which hampered the functioning of GB Pant Hospital, the report said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/1400-infants-died-in-a-year-in-Srinagar-hospital/articleshow/15332283.cms

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Four years after 26/11, coastal security to get a boost

Aug 3, 2012

NEW DELHI: A decade after it was first mooted and almost four years after the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai, the static coastal radar chain and the national automatic identification system (AIS) networks to dynamically detect and track suspicious vessels entering Indian waters is finally taking concrete shape.

The first two radars of the coastal radar chain — 36 radars are to be installed in the mainland, six in Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands and four in Andaman and Nicobar Islands - will finally be commissioned in the Mumbai and Porbandar regions this month.

Ahead of the commissioning, defence minister A K Antony on Thursday reviewed the various coastal security measures, which were finalized after 26/11 but are yet to be fully implemented on the ground, with Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma, defence secretary Shashikant Sharma and Coast Guard director-general Vice-Admiral M P Muralidharan, among others.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Four-years-after-26/11-coastal-security-to-get-a-boost/articleshow/15332144.cms

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Punjabi youth 'sold’ in Kuwait returns, narrates woes

Aug 3, 2012

JALANDHAR: Rackets involving Indian travel agents seem to be thriving in "selling" Indians in Kuwait, after taking them there on the pretext of getting employed in companies. A Punjabi youth, who understood Arabic language after to his stay in Libya for six years, could escape from his owner after he learned that he was actually sold to a prospective employer by the Punjabi agent there.

Daljit Singh of Bhamipur Kalan village near Jagraon said that he was sent to Kuwait by two travel agents - one a woman of Dhaner village near Barnala and other of Delhi — with the promise that he would be employed in a company there as a mason.

"My family took a loan of Rs 45,000 for sending me there. After I reached Kuwait on July 2, I was received by the woman agent's brother Manjit, who took me to a slaughter house on the Kuwait-Saudi border. Manjit took Dirham 200 and left me with the employer. But I overheard the Kuwaiti man talking in Arabic and saying that he had purchased me and that I would now have to work with him for the entire life without getting anything," Daljit said in presence of SAD's senior vice president and former Union minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, who later arranged his return to India with the help of Indian officials in Kuwait.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Punjabi-youth-sold-in-Kuwait-returns-narrates-woes/articleshow/15332582.cms

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India, Pak to conduct feasibility studies for export of power

Aug 3, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Indian and Pakistani experts have agreed to conduct feasibility studies and identify points for the proposed import of 500 MW of electricity from India, officials said today.

The matter was discussed during the second meeting of a group of experts from the two countries in Islamabad on Thursday.

Pakistan is mulling a proposal to import power from India to overcome a crippling energy shortfall that has affected industrial output and triggered violent protests in several cities.

The experts discussed proposals for electricity trade, including the building of a high voltage direct current (HVDC) link to transfer 500 MW from India to Pakistan, officials said.

Besides agreeing to conduct feasibility studies on both sides of the border, the experts discussed the issue of raising funds for fulfilling infrastructure requirements.

All these issues will be discussed further at the next meeting scheduled to be held in New Delhi in October, officials said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/India-Pak-to-conduct-feasibility-studies-for-export-of-power/articleshow/15336158.cms

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Prison murder could hold clues to Pune attack

PRAVEEN SWAMI

Aug 3, 2012

Despite string of high-profile arrests, Indian Mujahideen leadership remains out of reach

Quateel Siddiqui, an erstwhile plumber from the small town of Lalganj in Bihar arrived at Kolkata’s Presidency Jail in December, 2009, armed with cash to fight for a friend’s freedom. Muhammad Ashraf, held by the police on charges of fake-currency racketeering, was known in Darbhanga as a pious man, a practitioner of Unani medicine who was always ready to help the poor. Mr. Siddiqui had been one of his closest friends, and was sent to offer whatever help was needed.

The man Mr. Siddiqui succeeded in bailing out was in fact Muhammad Ahmad Zarar Siddibapa — a former resident of Karnataka’s Bhatkal town wanted by police in four States for his alleged role in multiple bomb-strikes across the country.

According to forensic sources, Wednesday’s serial bombings in Pune were mitigated as rain had degraded the ammonium nitrate in the explosives. Investigators say they have reason to believe the attack otherwise had everything.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article3718496.ece

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Pak sends back J&K cop’s body

Aug 3, 2012

Pakistani authorities on Thursday handed over a Jammu & Kashmir police sub-inspector's body that they had recovered from the Chenab River to the Indian side.

Police said Sunil Khajuria had gone missing on July 28 and that he had been last seen near the river on the Indian side.

They said it was unclear whether he had fallen into the river accidently or he had committed suicide.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-sends-back-JK-cops-body/articleshow/15334063.cms

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Did Pune cops ignore attack warnings?

Aug 3, 2012

PUNE: Top police officers in Pune on Thursday refuted reports of having received a specific report from the State Intelligence Department (SID) or letters warning them about the bomb blasts on the busy Jangli Maharaj road a day earlier.

"We had not received any such report from the SID," Pune police commissioner Gulabrao Pol told TOI. Deputy commissioner of police Makrand Ranade, too, said there were no specific Intelligence inputs about the blasts.

But opposition parties refused to buy these explanations and were quick to point out major security lapses including the non-functional CCTV cameras on JM road and lack of co-ordination between the police department, fire brigade and the local civic body.

Leader of the opposition in the state legislative assembly Eknath Khadse said, "The government should explain to Puneites as to why steps were not taken to prevent the blasts, even after the state intelligence agencies received letters and e-mails about possible threats to Pune."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Did-Pune-cops-ignore-attack-warnings/articleshow/15332115.cms

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Pune blasts: Wrist watch used, Indian Mujahideen's role suspected

Aug 2, 2012

PUNE/NEW DELHI: A wrist watch was used to trigger the explosives in the Pune coordinated serial blasts as evidence gathered by investigators today appeared to point to the involvement of home grown terror group Indian Mujahideen(IM).

Official sources said the manner in which a wrist watch was used as a timer to complete the bomb circuit to trigger the detonators kept on three newly-bought bicycles, two dustbins and a polythene bag was similar to the technique adopted by IM, which has links with terror groups in Pakistan.

Joint Commissioner of Pune City Police Sanjiv Singhal said 33-year-old Dayanand Patil, the lone person injured in the blast near Bal Gandharva theatre, was being 'interrogated'. He also said there has been no arrest or detention so far. Patil's wife Satyakala and some bicycle shop owners in the city's Kasaba peth area were also questioned as part of the investigation. Police said Patil was not being treated as a suspect as of now but was being questioned by police as to how the explosives found its way into his carry bag.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pune-blasts-Wrist-watch-used-Indian-Mujahideens-role-suspected/articleshow/15329034.cms

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Give relief to kin of man killed in fake encounter: J&K panel

Aug 3, 2012

SRINAGAR: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Thursday ordered compensation for the family of a 60-year-old man after concluding that the Army had killed him in a staged encounter in north Kashmir's Kupwara district in October 2010.

The commission said some unknown gunmen had picked Mukhtar Ahmad Shiekh up from his house and taken him to Bhawan Watsar forests in Kupwara, where he was killed in the encounter "staged for vested interests''. It said he was branded a militant though he had nothing to do with militancy.

The SHRC recommended Rs 4 lakh or a government job as compensation for Sheikh's family.

Independent legislator Engineer Rashid, who had filed a complaint in this regard, said the decision has once again proved that the Army ``is behaving as if it has a free hand to kill innocent Kashmiris''.

He said the decision has come at a time when the Army has recently killed another innocent in Bandipora in a fake encounter.

The Army had claimed to have killed Sheikh, who worked as a domestic help, in a "fierce gun battle'' on October 17, 2010.

Rashid had filed the petition on November 15, 2010 and sought a probe into the killing and compensation for Sheikh's family.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Give-relief-to-kin-of-man-killed-in-fake-encounter-JK-panel/articleshow/15331911.cms

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Missing Omar creates a flutter in ‘ Twitterverse’

By Naseer Ganai

Aug 3, 2012

J& K chief minister Omar Abdullah is missing — from Twitter. He has been conspicuous by his absence from the microblogging site for the past two weeks.

There were speculations Omar might not be tweeting because of the Muslim holy month of Ramzan, but he ruled that out, saying: “ I didn’t realise tweeting was against fasting.” He said he had nothing to say about going silent on Twitter. “ It’s strange that when I tweet, people ( read media) say I tweet too much, and when I go quiet, they ask me why I’m quiet,” he pointed out.

The CM’s followers, numbering 1,61,497, have been waiting to hear from the Essex- born tech- savvy Omar who has not tweeted while the Valley has seen the killings of two youths in Bandipora district in the north and south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

Hilal Ahmad Dar, 25, was killed in an encounter by the army in the Aloosa forests.

Dar’s family insists he was taken into custody and then murdered in a staged encounter.

The army has ordered an inquiry.

In the other incident, on July 30, protests erupted in Shopian district against the “ beating to death” of 20- year- old Aaqib Hussain Bhat by CRPF personnel. The police said he had died in an accident.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Humble Pune tailor had lived in Jordan

Aditi Pai/ Pune

Aug 3, 2012

UNTIL Wednesday evening, Dayanand Patil was the sole injured in the serial low- intensity blasts that rocked Pune.

But on Thursday, the ATS and NIA are probing how the 34- year- old tailor, living in a humble house, could have travelled to Jordan and Dubai.

Hours after he was admitted to hospital with injuries on his hands, Patil was at the centre of questioning.

At night, the police searched his house, a 10 x 10 sq ft tenement in Uruli Kanchan, 33 km from Pune city and took in his wife Satyakala for questioning.

What has surprised investigators is his passport which shows he has travelled to and lived in Jordan and Dubai, and also Mumbai.

Locals in the area claimed that the couple and their young daughter hail from Karnataka and moved to the area only over a year ago. The tailor travels to Pune every day for work and rarely mingled with neighbours. Some even claimed that he didn’t possess a ration card.

Patil has reportedly told the police that he was at a gathering of the India Against Corruption near Bal Gandharva theatre when he spotted a polythene bag. As he picked it up, a bomb exploded, leaving him injured.

Mail Today

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India-Israel sign MoU on research programme

P. SUNDERARAJAN

Aug 3, 2012

India and Israel on Thursday entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for launching a programme that would promote collaborative research across a wide range of disciplines from medical and information technology to social sciences, humanities and arts.

The programme, which will run for five years, will provide support up to $1,00,000 a research project for three years.

Chairman of the Israel Science Foundation Benjamin Geiger led a five-member delegation at a two-day seminar here to discuss the areas to be covered under the programme. He told The Hindu that approximately 50 collaborations are expected to be supported under the programme.

The MoU was signed by Professor Geiger and Chairman of University Grants Commission Ved Prakash.

After the signing ceremony, Israeli Ambassador Alon Ushpiz noted that both nations hosted some of the best academic institutions. “The linking of our researchers together comes only naturally,” he said.

The programme was initiated during a recent visit of Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal to Israel, when he met with Israel’s Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar and Chairman of Planning and Budgeting Committee Manuel Trajtenberg.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3718489.ece

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Singh, Zardari likely to meet on margins of NAM summit in Iran

Aug 03 2012

Islamabad : Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are likely to meet on the margins of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in the Iranian capital later this month.

The two leaders will be in the Iranian capital during August 26-31 to attend the NAM summit and they are expected to meet on the sidelines, The News daily quoted its sources as saying.

They are expected to discuss recent developments in India-Pakistan relations and in the region.

Zardari and Singh last met in New Delhi in April when the Pakistani President made a private visit to India to pray at a Sufi shrine in Ajmer.

Last week, Zardari formally invited Singh to visit Pakistan in November.

He is expected to remind the Indian leader about his invitation during their likely meeting in Tehran.

Zardari is also expected to meet his Iranian counterpart Mehmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Pakistan President will travel to Iran after visiting Saudi Arabia for a summit of Muslim countries convened by King Abdullah on August 14.

The rotating presidency of NAM will be conferred to Iran on August 26.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/singh-zardari-likely-to-meet-on-margins-of-nam-summit-in-iran/983319/

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Pakistan

 

Pak judge resigns after his dancing video goes viral

Aug 3, 2012

LAHORE: A Pakistani judge resigned on Thursday after a video showing him dancing with a girl at a party was uploaded on YouTube.

The resignation of civil judge Muhammad Masood Bilal of Khanewal district in Punjab province has been accepted, said a Lahore high court registrar. He said the court had initiated departmental proceedings even before he resigned.

Bilal attended his brother engagement party where he danced with a 'professional dancing girl', officials said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-judge-resigns-after-his-dancing-video-goes-viral/articleshow/15332458.cms

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Pakistan is a country in slow meltdown: US expert

 Aug 03 2012

Washington : Pakistan is a country which is in a slow meltdown, an eminent American expert has told lawmakers, a development which she argued would be extraordinarily bad for the region and for the United States.

"It's a country in a meltdown, or a slow meltdown, if you would, like crumbling. And of course the consequences of a more fundamental crumbling in Pakistan beyond FATA but in Punjab would be extraordinarily bad for the region and for the United States," said Vanda Felbab-Brown, a fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the prestigious Brookings Institute yesterday.

Testifying before House Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Felbab-Brown said that she is saying this despite being well aware of the "game" being played by Pakistan.

"We need to be very conscious of carefully calculating what benefits we would get out of more aggressive, more visible actions on the Pakistani side with respect to the Afghan environment, with what kind of precipitating triggers in Pakistan that could generate -- and I am well aware of the game that Pakistan plays with us, that is, if you push too aggressively, we are too fragile and we will collapse, and so we feel a great deal of restraint," she said.

The eminent American expert said that Pakistan is extremely fragile and there are very few trends that are going right in the country.

"So, unfortunately, we are stuck with treading very carefully across the Durand Line and more broadly in Pakistan," Felbab-Brown said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pakistan-is-a-country-in-slow-meltdown-us-expert/983242/

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Kidnapping fear haunts Balochistan doctors

Aug 3, 2012

QUETTA, Aug 2: Doctors boycotted their duties in government hospitals across Balochistan on Thursday in protest against the kidnapping of psychiatrist Dr Ghulam Rasool on Wednesday.

They did not turn up for work at emergency wards, out-patient departments (OPDs) and operations theatres.

All private medical centres and clinics in the provincial capital and different parts of the province also remained closed.

Doctors organised protest demonstrations and meetings from the platform of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and said they could not perform their duty in a state of perpetual fear of being kidnapped or killed.

The boycott in government hospitals and private clinics badly affected patients.

OPDs and OTs were closed in all hospitals of Quetta, including Helper’s Hospital, Bolan Medical College Hospital, Fatima Jinnah TB Sanatorium and Sandeman Civil Hospital.

Thousands of patients visiting government and private hospitals were not attended despite the fact a number of patients among them were in very serious condition because doctors and paramedics had left the hospitals after taking out procession and holding a protest.

The PMA leadership and protesting doctors said that they would not attend patients until the kidnapped Dr Ghulam Rasool was recovered.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/03/kidnapping-fear-haunts-balochistan-doctors/

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Burmese Muslim:  ‘Govt has not done enough for us since our arrival in Pakistan’

By Rabia Ali

 August 3, 2012

KARACHI: For Noor Muhammad, a Burmese Muslim who migrated in 1979 to Pakistan, setting foot in Karachi was a joyful moment as he thought he would be able to build a better life for his family in the absence of persecution. More than 30 years of living in squalor, he has changed his mind, like many other residents of Korangi’s Arakanabad.

Sitting in a poorly furnished room in the locality, many Burmese Muslims vented their anger and frustration. They live without basic amenities. Electricity is acquired through the kunda system and there is virtually no gas supply. They also have to rely on tankers for water. The houses in Arakanabad are dilapidated, roads are broken and there are no schools. Agitated by the lack of a sewerage system, the residents used their entire savings to lay down pipes in the area five years ago.

“Officials ask for a bribe of up to Rs25, 000 to make or renew our identification cards,” said an angry young man, brandishing his expired card. Most others also feel that the government has not done enough for them since their arrival in the country. “We are grateful that the government gave us shelter. But we haven’t been given any more help since our arrival,” said Noor Mohammad, 65, as others in the room nodded in agreement.

The Burmese Muslims of the city live in 60 squatter settlements which are also home to other ethnic groups. These are mostly located near riverbeds, drains or canals and these people rely on fishing to earn a living, said social activist and sociologist Rana Asif. Arakanabad, which was named after the Arakan province in Myanmar, is one of the more heavily populated areas with around 5,000 Burmese Muslims.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/416694/govt-has-not-done-enough-for-us-since-our-arrival-in-pakistan/

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'Lashkar-e-Jhangvi responsible for Balochistan law and order situation'

By Sunara Nizami

 August 2, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik, while briefing the Senate on Thursday said that the banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) were responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation in Balochistan.

“The Taliban and the proscribed organisations have joined hands with each other. We have evidences about the involvement of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and BLA in sabotage activities,” Malik said adding that international forces have prepared a complete road map to disintegrate Pakistan and the plan is being implemented through the mentioned groups.

He said that powers destabilising Pakistan have made a road map, adding that Taliban presence in Balochistan could not be denied. Quoting some terrorist activities in the province, Malik said that the BLA has claimed responsibility for all the incidents. “Only in 2012, they killed 138 FC personnel, 89 police personnel and 872 civilians, and injured 1,177 people.”

“The Baloch people love Pakistan and they believe in the federation. But, they have fallen victim to the terror of the BLA and I can prove with record and figures that the BLA has killed people,” Malik said. “The BLA has become a killing machine and whole of its supply comes from Afghanistan.”

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/416453/balochistan-unrest-malik-requests-senate-chairman-to-summon-isi-fo/

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Sindhi population under attack by Pak govt bodies: US lawmakers

Aug 03 2012

Washington : With the popularity of the United States inside Pakistan at an all-time low, an influential American lawmaker has asked the State Department to make efforts to reach out directly to the country's population, in particular the Sindhis.

"Pakistan is a nuclear-armed Islamic state on the front line of several conflicts with so many extremist groups.

Pakistan is a pressing international problem for us. My hope is that you are reaching out to the Pakistani people not just in Urdu, which is the politically correct language that the government and the ISI in Pakistan would have you use, but also in the other languages, particularly Sindhi," Congressman Brad Sherman, said during a Congressional hearing Thursday.

Sherman alleged that the people of Sindhi, predominantly those who speak Sindhi language, have been under attack by governmental bodies.

"That's why the government of Pakistan would just as soon you not use that language. They're so helpful in so many ways that perhaps you might want to ignore their advice," he said.

"The US must reach out to Sindh, where the Sindhi language is spoken by more people than Urdu," Sherman said in his remarks at the hearing of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sindhi-population-under-attack-by-pak-govt-bodies-us-lawmakers/983254/

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Cash-strapped Pakistan gets $1.118 billion from US

 Aug 2, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Cash-strapped Pakistan has received USD 1.118 billion from the United States as reimbursement for its expenses on the war on terrorism, the first payment from the Coalition Support Fund since December 2010.

The State Bank of Pakistan received the payment from the US this morning, SBP chief spokesman Syed Wasimuddin said today.

The amount will be reflected in the foreign exchange reserves for next week, he said.

Wasimuddin said this was the first payment from the Coalition Support Fund since USD 633 million was received in December 2010.

Washington released the funds after it signed a memorandum of understanding with Islamabad on Tuesday for transporting supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan through Pakistani soil.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Cash-strapped-Pakistan-gets-1-118-billion-from-US/articleshow/15330075.cms

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‘Water car’: Engineer sues doctor for ‘trying to undermine’ his invention

By Peer Muhammad

 August 2, 2012

ISLAMABAD: A self-proclaimed inventor of a water kit capable of powering a car is suing a former science and technology minister for undermining his work.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Agha Waqar said that Dr Attaur Rehman is baselessly trying to undermine his research, which is why he sent the legal notice. Dr Rehman had rejected the viability of the water kit based on the scientific law of conservation.

Waqar said Dr Rehman has rejected the experiment without personally examining it. “I challenge Dr Atta to physically examine the car as water is its sole source of fuel,” Waqar said. He added that the water kit is a small device attached in the car that separates hydrogen from water and supplies it to the engine.

He claimed that a 1,000CC vehicle will get 40 kilometres per litre of water while a one-KV generator could produce electricity for two hours on a litre of water.

The engineer said the water fuelling system was a “simple technology” in which hydrogen bonding with distilled water produces hydrogen gas to run a car engine.

Pakistan Science Foundation Chairman Dr Manzoor Hussain Soomro, accompanying Waqar, said, “This is an extraordinary breakthrough and we should examine it carefully as the system may have national and international importance.”

However, he said that thorough testing is needed to validate the invention. Many important inventions through time have been made by non-scientists and the team’s work should not be arbitrarily ruled out, he added.

Earlier, a cabinet sub-committee praised the invention and assured the engineer of full support, with the invention due to be presented for approval in the next cabinet meeting.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/416263/water-car-engineer-sues-doctor-for-trying-to-undermine-his-invention/

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Kayani calls for transparent ties with US

Aug 2, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani today called for transparent ties with US based on mutual trust as he met American commander in Afghanistan, days after the two sides struck a deal ending a seven-month blockade of NATO supply routes.

"The Pakistan-US relationship should be based on mutual trust, respect and transparency," Kayani said during a meeting in Rawalpindi with Gen John Allen, chief of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Kayani said his meeting with Allen, the first since Pakistan and the US signed a MoU on transporting NATO supplies to Afghanistan, has "helped towards improving strategic and operational understanding between the Pakistan military and ISAF".

Allen said "significant progress" was being made in improving cooperation with Pakistan, according to a joint statement issued after the meeting.

"I look forward to these visits and am pleased with the upward spiral in our relationship they represent. We are making significant progress toward building a partnership that is enduring, strategic, carefully defined and that enhances the security and prosperity of the region," Allen said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Kayani-calls-for-transparent-ties-with-US/articleshow/15327858.cms

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Over 9,000 IDP families relocate to South Waziristan: FDMA

Aug 3, 2012

PESHAWAR: In all, 9,291 internally displaced families, comprising 42,504 individuals, have resettled in their native areas after restoration of peace in the South Waziristan tribal region, said an official of the Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) here Friday.

Over 44,000 families were displaced from their native towns and homes due to military offensive against militants in the Pak-Afghan border areas.

The internally displaced persons had moved in with their relatives residing in the Dera Ismail Khan and Tank areas.

The FDMA stated that 9,291 families had relocated to their hometowns in South Waziristan’s Sarokai and Ladha areas.

Around 10,672 men, 11,133 women and 20,699 children make up the 9,291 families that have moved back to their native regions.

http://dawn.com/2012/08/03/over-9000-idp-families-relocate-to-south-waziristan-fdma/

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Contempt law case: SC reserves verdict

Aug 3, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its verdict after concluding the hearing of petitions against the recently passed contempt of court law, DawnNews reported.

A five-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and including Justice Shakirullah Jan, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, Justice Jawad S Khawaja and Justice Tassadduq Hussain Jilani, heard 27 identical petitions challenging the Contempt of Court Act, 2012.

The bench is expected to announce the verdict at 3:30 pm today.

During the hearing, Attorney General Irfan Qadir was presenting his arguments before the bench.

Addressing the bench, Qadir said he had utmost respect for the court and that the court “should not be displeased”.

The attorney general moreover said that he could not afford to divert “even an inch away” from the Constitution.

Upon which, Justice Khawaja said: “You end up moving two to three inches away from the Constitution”.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/03/contempt-law-case-sc-resumes-hearing-5/

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Pakistan welcomes hostages freed by Somali pirates

Aug 3, 2012

KARACHI: Families and government officials in Karachi welcomed home on Thursday seven Pakistani crews’ members released by Somali pirates following a $1.1 million ransom payment after being held hostage for 20 months.

The Pakistani crew along with 14 other South Asians and an Iranian on a Malaysia-registered ship were captured by the pirates in the Gulf of Eden in November 2010.

The 15 other crew members – included seven Sri Lankans, six Bangladeshis and one each from India and Iran – are still in captivity.

“The pirates had initially demanded over 10 million dollars – our team negotiated through intermediaries and settled for over a million dollars,” Ishratul Ibad Khan, governor of Sindh province, told reporters.

“We generated the funds through our philanthropists, who were too generous to donate for the cause,” he added.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/03/pakistan-welcomes-hostages-freed-by-somali-pirates/

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Pak-Dane expedition: Climb for ‘friendship and dreams’

Aug 3, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Danish friendship reached new heights Thursday when climbers scaled the Malika Parbat (North Peak), the highest mountain in Hazara Division.

In the first ever joint Danish-Pakistani climbing expedition, Danish climber who is also the Deputy Head of Mission at the Danish Embassy Islamabad, Jens J. Simonsen joined hands with Pakistani climber Imran Junaidi.

While both South and North peaks have been previously climbed by European mountaineers, the expedition made history on the Malika Parbat, which stands at 5,290 metres (17,356 feet) only a few kilometres from Lake Saiful Muluk particularly for Imran Junaidi, who became the first ever Pakistani to ascend the peak.

On return, the Danish climber Jens J. Simonsen stated, “It was really important for me to do this with a Pakistani climber, not only as an expression of my friendship with Pakistani climbers but also as a small concrete expression of friendship between Denmark and Pakistan.”

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/03/pak-dane-expedition-climb-for-friendship-and-dreams/

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Group photography exhibition presents ‘Soul of Pakistan’

Aug 3, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Aug 1: A group show of photography by seven artists was put on display here on Wednesday, featuring a collection of over 35 works at Nomad Art Gallery.

The show titled ‘Soul of Pakistan’ portrayed the artistic skills of Azhar Hafeez, Abdul Razzaq, Abrar Cheema, Kalsoom Aftab, Malik Ayaz Mehmood, Svitlana Plyhun and Umair Ghani.

The participating artists highlighted various aspects of Pakistani culture including heritage, architecture, landscapes and the way of living of people in different areas of the country.

Abrar Cheema explored the beauty, colours, and fascinating culture of Pakistan that continued to inspire him. Being an artist, he decided to use his camera as a tool and started capturing his inspiration to introduce “Real Visage of My Land – Pakistan” and innocence to the outer world.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/02/camera-clicks-present-soul-of-pakistan/

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Mideast Asia

 

Iranians Should Be ‘Very Fearful For Next 12 Weeks: Ex-Mossad Chief

By Times of Israel staff

August 02, 2012 "Times of Israel" -- The former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, who told The Times of Israel in an interview in March that there would be “nothing else left” but a resort to force if the diplomatic track with Iran did not quickly produce a breakthrough, hinted Thursday that the moment of truth on Iran’s nuclear drive was now imminent.

“If I were an Iranian, I would be very fearful of the next 12 weeks,” Halevy, who is also a former national security adviser and ambassador, told The New York Times.

In an Israel Radio interview later Thursday, he added that Israel’s threats of military action had a certain “credibility” and “seriousness.” He said the Iranian nuclear issue, and the Syrian issue, were the key regional concerns, and reiterated that “If I were an Iranian, I would be very fearful of the next 12 weeks.”

The New York Times report, focusing on Wednesday’s talks here by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, said there was “feverish speculation” in Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “will act in September or early October.”

Full report at:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32064.htm

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Turkey Prepares Iraq-Style Attacks Inside Syria

By Rick Rozoff

August 02, 2012 "Information Clearing House" --  Recent reports detail a Turkish military buildup on the Turkish-Syrian border with various accounts mentioning the deployment of troops, tanks, armored personnel carriers and missile batteries two kilometers from Syrian territory, with 25 tanks from the Mardin 70th Mechanized Brigade engaged in exercises along the border.

The Turkish rationale for the military escalation is that forces of the Democratic Union Party, an ethnic Kurdish group that Ankara accuses of being affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party, have assumed control of the Syrian cities of Efrin (Afrin), Kobane and Amude (Amuda) near southeastern Turkey.

The secular, left-wing Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has been struggling for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey since 1978 and is labelled a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union.

Full report at:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32060.htm

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Israeli's Brainwashed Into State Of Apathy

By Haim Baram

August 02, 2012 "Information Clearing House" --  In rare moments of lucidity, even the mythological “average Israeli” feels that our less than splendid isolation is intolerable. We are constantly brainwashed by our establishment, and the endless bombardments combining biblical rhetoric, alarmist prophesies and demagogic evocations of the holocaust confuse even the elitist circles, despite their liberal self-image and professed Western outlook. This increasingly pervasive syndrome can partially account for our sheepish acquiesce with the rampant rumours and speculations about the forthcoming Israeli attack on Iran. The consequences of such aggression are abundantly clear for most educated Israelis, even right-wingers. Yet, the current mood dictates certain apathy, very untypical in saner epochs. What has happened to our judgement, critical faculties and rebellious propensities? How can one reconcile the complete loss of faith with our institutions including the IDF with the fatalistic acceptance of our fate? There is no clear cut explanation, only pessimistic theories and general air of resignation, unprecedented in our country’s history.

Full report at:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32066.htm

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Majority of Israelis dissatisfied with Netanyahu

Aug 2, 2012

JERUSALEM: Public support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hit an all-time low, according to a poll published in Ha'aretz daily, which found that more than two-thirds of the respondents were unhappy with his overall performance.

The poll, conducted by Camil Fuchs from the Tel Aviv University, also showed dismal support for the country's Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, with 67 percent expressing dissatisfaction with his policies, Xinhua reported.

On Monday, the cabinet approved Netanyahu and Steinitz's austerity plan, devised to curb the burgeoning 2012 deficit. It includes tax hikes and budget cuts, as well as increase in the prices of fuel, cigarettes and alcohol.

The Israeli public, however, immediately came out swinging against the programme's tenets.

Another reason suggested for the plummeting support is Netanyahu's siding with ultra-Orthodox coalition partners.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Majority-of-Israelis-dissatisfied-with-Netanyahu/articleshow/15328947.cms

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Yemen tribesmen release Italian officer

August 03, 2012

An Italian embassy security officer kidnapped by Yemeni tribesmen has been released unharmed, a government official said on Thursday, the same day the country's information minister survived an assassination attempt.

The incidents highlight continuing instability in Yemen five

months after former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh was formally replaced by his deputy under a plan designed to forestall a slide into lawlessness.

During the uprising that toppled Saleh, militants associated with al Qaeda strengthened their position in areas of south and east Yemen, further testing central government control in a country riven with tribalism and regionalism.

"The Italian diplomat was handed over to the governor of Maarib and he is in good health and will be transferred to Sanaa later to be handed over to the Italian ambassador," the official told Reuters.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/RestOfAsia/Yemen-tribesmen-release-Italian-officer/Article1-907422.aspx

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‘Interfering states’ made Annan fail in Syria: Iran

Aug 3, 2012

TEHRAN: Iran on Friday blamed “interfering countries” for making Kofi Annan’s mission fail in Syria, and implied it could now be among those taking “a more crucial role” in solving the conflict.

It seems that interfering countries were not satisfied with the efforts made by Annan to halt the shipment of arms into Syria and (to put an end) to terrorist acts,” foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said during a visit to China, according to Iran’s official IRNA news agency.

“Not only did they not put in any effort to implement Annan’s six-step plan… these countries endeavoured to have his mission fail,” he charged.

He did not name any countries, but Tehran in the past has accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of arming Syria’s rebels in collusion with the United States and Israel.

Mehmanparast said that following Annan’s resignation on Thursday as international peace envoy for Syria, “independent countries in the region will now have a more crucial role” in resolving the crisis.

The choice of words implied he was talking about Iran, which is Syria’s key ally in the region and which has provided Damascus with humanitarian, economic and political support.

Those countries, Mehmanparast was quoted as saying, “should prepare the ground for dialogue between the (Syrian) government and the rebels.”

http://dawn.com/2012/08/03/interfering-states-made-annan-fail-in-syria-iran/

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Commander: Biggest Threat to Iran Is 'Soft War'

Aug 3, 2012

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard says the biggest threat to Iran is a "soft war" launched by its enemies.

Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari did not define the term. "Soft war" usually refers to measures like economic sanctions, espionage and sales of faulty equipment, as well as computer viruses.

His comments were posted on the Guard's website Friday.

Jafari said Iran is in a "sensitive and fateful period" and needs the paramilitary Basij forces to protect it.

The West has tightened sanctions to persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium, suspecting that Iran aims to build nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear development program is for peaceful purposes.

Iran's nuclear program has been hit several times by computer viruses. When it acknowledges the attacks, Iran blames Israel and the U.S.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/08/03/world/middleeast/ap-ml-iran.html?ref=global-home&gwh=3D5DD41C757178BF8C66C4BF2A7B1BA3

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Arab World

 

Saudi Spy Chief Prince Bandar Assassinated

By Pepe Escobar

August 02, 2012 "Asia Times" - -Was Prince Bandar "Bush", 63, son of Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz (perennial Saudi Defence Minister,1963-2001), semi-perennial ambassador to Washington (1983-2005), and secretive jihad financier, killed by a Syrian intelligence death squad?

Thunderous silence prevails on Syrian, Iranian and Arab media (most of it controlled by the Saudis). The same applies for al-Jazeera. This is DEBKA's somewhat fanciful take.

Dates are crucial. Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud may have pulled off operation "Damascus Volcano" on July 18. He was definitely promoted to head of Saudi intelligence on July 19. And he might have been killed in a bomb attack on the Saudi General Intelligence HQ in Riyadh on July 22.

One Syrian rumor mill version rules that "Damascus Volcano" came from Saudi intel - with logistics provided by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This is highly unlikely; the CIA is clueless on how to penetrate Assad's inner sanctum. The predominant version circulating in the Syrian capital is this was a white coup.

"Damascus Volcano", by the way, was a flop; the swarm of mercenaries - infiltrated via Jordan - who were supposed to take over the capital had to retreat up north. Now the news cycle is fixated on another faux game-changer - the "Battle of Aleppo".

Full report at:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32059.htm

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New Egyptian Cabinet Includes Many Holdovers

By KAREEM FAHIM and MAYY EL SHEIKH

Aug 3, 2012

CAIRO — Egypt’s president swore in members of his first cabinet on Thursday, marking another milestone in the country’s difficult transition even as reports of deadly violence complicated the new government’s work.

At least three people were killed in separate, unrelated clashes between the security forces and residents, in Cairo and in a village in southern Egypt, witnesses and security officials said.

On Thursday night, President Mohamed Morsi met with his ministers at the presidential palace, the state news media reported. The makeup of the cabinet, which includes longtime state employees and at least six former government ministers, has lowered expectations of a sweeping change in governance that was the promise of last year’s revolt.

The selection of five ministers from Mr. Morsi’s party, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the exclusion of cabinet members from other major political parties seemed likely to revive complaints that the Brotherhood was seeking to dominate Egypt’s new politics. And, despite promises of an inclusive government, only two women were chosen for the cabinet — and one of them was its only Christian member.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/03/world/middleeast/new-egyptian-

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Iraq attacks kill 33 people: officials

Aug 3, 2012

BAGHDAD: Iraq attacks mainly targeting security force personnel killed at least 33 people on Thursday, officials said, after government figures showed July was the bloodiest month in almost two years.

At least 39 people have been killed in violence in the first two days of August, which have seen a number of attacks on security forces and their facilities, including a prison, a military site and checkpoints.

At least nine people were killed and at least 32 wounded in a car bombing in the Husseiniyah area of north Baghdad, medical officials said.

In the northern oil city of Kirkuk, militants attacked the home of a Turkmen family, cutting the throats of a father, mother and two daughters, an AFP correspondent reported.

Gunmen killed seven soldiers and wounded 11 others in three separate attacks south of the city, according to security and medical officials and Shalal Abed Ahmed, mayor of Tuz Khurmatu, where one of the attacks took place.

Gunmen also shot dead four police in Tikrit, north of Baghdad, while three members of the Sahwa anti-Qaeda militia were killed by a bomb near Balad, also north of the capital, security and medical officials said.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/03/iraq-attacks-kill-33-people-officials/

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Attacks in West Baghdad Kill 3 Soldiers, Policeman

Aug 3, 2012

BAGHDAD (AP) — Officials say two drive-by attacks in a western Baghdad suburb have killed three Iraqi soldiers and a policeman as militants seek to undermine government efforts to maintain security.

Two police officers say the first attack took place at dawn Friday, when gunmen in speeding cars opened fire at an army checkpoint just outside the town of Abu Ghraib, killing the three soldiers and wounding five.

They say a joint patrol of Iraqi police and military was targeted in the western Baghdad suburb minutes later. That attack killed the policeman and injured four others. It was not known who the attackers were.

A health official in a nearby hospital confirmed the causalities. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to the media.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/08/03/world/middleeast/ap-ml-

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Resigning as Envoy to Syria, Annan Casts Wide Blame

By RICK GLADSTONE

Aug 3, 2012

Frustrated by the seemingly intractable Syrian conflict, Kofi Annan announced his resignation on Thursday as the special peace envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League, throwing new doubts on whether a diplomatic solution is possible. He also said President Bashar al-Assad of Syria “must leave office.”

In an announcement tinged with bitterness and regret, Mr. Annan tied his decision to what he described as Syrian government intransigence, increasing militance by Syrian rebels and the failure of a divided Security Council to rally forcefully behind his efforts.

“I accepted this task, which some called ‘Mission: Impossible,’ for I believed it was a sacred duty to do whatever was in my power to help the Syrian people find a peaceful solution to this bloody conflict,” Mr. Annan said at a news conference at the Geneva offices of the United Nations.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/03/world/middleeast/annan-resigns-as-syria-peace-

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In Syria, Mortars Kill 21 in Damascus Refugee Camp

Aug 3, 2012

BEIRUT (AP) — Mortars rained down on a crowded marketplace in a Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian capital, killing 21 people as regime forces and rebels clashed on the southern outskirts of Damascus, activists said Friday.

The Britain-based Syria Observatory for Human Rights, which reported the deaths, said the shells hit Yarmouk camp Thursday as shoppers were buying food for the evening meal. The activists with the group would not speculate on who was firing.

"We don't know where the mortars came from, whether they were from the Syrian regime or not the Syrian regime," said Rami Abdul Rahman, director of the Observatory. He added they could also have been strays from the fighting in nearby Tadamon neighborhood.

The state news agency blamed the bombardment on "terrorist mercenaries" — a term the government uses for rebel fighters — and said they had been chased away by security forces.

An online video of the immediate aftermath of the Yarmouk attack showed bleeding and burnt bodies with people rushing about amid the smoke and the sounds of screaming.

Government troops, however, have in the past attacked the camp, home to nearly 150,000 Palestinians and their descendants driven from their homes by the war surrounding Israel's 1948 creation. Palestinian refugees in Syria have tried to stay out of the 17-month old uprising but with Yarmouk nestled among neighborhoods sympathetic to the rebels, its residents were eventually drawn into the fighting.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/08/03/world/middleeast/ap-ml-

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Egypt unveils new cabinet, Tantawi keeps defence post

August 2, 2012

Egypt’s Prime Minister Hisham Qandil Thursday announced the final line-up of his government, after delays that suggested behind-the-scenes wrangling with the country’s powerful military.

Former military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, keeps his post as defence minister in the new cabinet. Six other ministers were retained from the previous government.

The new 35-strong cabinet comprises 28 newcomers including four from the influential Muslim Brotherhood.

The government is the first since President Mohammed Morsi, a former senior official in the Muslim Brotherhood, took office on June 30.

The new premier said that “competence” was the key criteria in choosing members of the cabinet.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3717734.ece

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North America

 

KC priest pleads guilty to child porn charges

By By BILL DRAPER

Aug 3, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest in Kansas City pleaded guilty Thursday to producing child pornography in a federal case that also led to charges against the diocese bishop for failing to report suspected child abuse, and prosecutors said they would recommend that he be sentenced to life in prison.

The Rev. Shawn Ratigan, 46, had been scheduled for trial later this month. He was charged with child pornography in May 2011 in Clay County after police received a flash drive from the priest's computer that contained hundreds of images of children, most of them clothed, with the focus on their crotch areas. Prosecutors alleged he photographed girls, sometimes under their skirts, in and around churches where he had worked in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Under terms of the plea deal, Ratigan pleaded guilty to four counts of producing child pornography and one count of attempting to produce child porn. Eight other counts against Ratigan were dismissed.

Acting U.S. Attorney David Ketchmark said the guilty pleas represent one charge for each of five victims whose abuse started in June 2005 — one year after Ratigan was ordained as a priest.

"With today's guilty plea, the defendant publicly acknowledged for the first time that he sexually assaulted five young children over the course of several years," Ketchmark said at a news conference after Ratigan's plea hearing. "When a defendant who wears a religious collar, who has the trust of a community, engages in conduct of this nature, his crimes are more devastating and more reprehensible."

Full report at: Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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US think tank reveals Haqqani, Pakistan nexus

Aug 3, 2012

NEW DELHI: The Haqqani network in Afghanistan is a deadly source of terror attacks against Indian and US interests. But they are also emerging as a significant economic player in the AfPak region, getting into new businesses like rare earths mining, which are of interest to both India and China, making them a more complicated foe.

It also shows that the Haqqani network is closely intertwined with the state and security machinery in Pakistan. Its resiliency can be credited as much to military prowess as the Haqqanis capacity to network with Pakistans ISI, other militant groups (particularly al-Qaida) and key religious figures, according to a recent study by the CTC, a Pentagon thinktank.

(The study by CTC said that the dreaded Haqqani Network receives financial and logistic support from the Pakistani military. The study also said the Afghan Taliban-linked group has a massive network of "mafia"-style financing operation that relies on extortion, kidnapping, smuggling and ties to legitimate businesses, reports PTI)

The study said a joint US-Afghan geological survey, which estimated Afghanistan to have nearly $1 trillion worth of untapped mineral wealth, located 980,000 metric tonnes of chromium oxide deposits buried beneath the provinces of Logar and Khost. These areas are controlled by the Haqqanis and despite there being no official mining leases being given out by the Karzai government, there are indications that the Haqqanis have entered the mining business unofficially. The report says that there is evidence of chromite being smuggled via Pakistan to China.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/US-thinktank-reveals-Haqqani-Pakistan-nexus/articleshow/15332174.cms

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Obama authorized secret aid to Syria rebels?

Aug 3, 2012

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing US support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Assad's government, sources said. Obama's order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence "finding", permits CIA and other US agencies provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.

This and other developments signal a shift toward growing, albeit still circumscribed, support for Assad's armed opponents. The White House is for now apparently stopping short of giving the rebels lethal weapons, even as some US allies do just that.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Obama-authorized-secret-aid-to-Syria-rebels/articleshow/15332393.cms

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‘Dark Knight’ killer may be inspired by Batman story

Aug 03 2012

Washington : James Holmes, who allegedly killed 12 people during the screening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ at a movie hall in the US, may have drawn inspiration from a twisted and even darker cinematic take on the classic Batman story, it has emerged.

An MTV star has claimed the gunman called him twice before the deadly shooting spree in Colorado to quiz him about his violent Batman spin-off movie.

Dave Aragon, who features in Pimp My Ride, said Holmes phoned him to ask about his upcoming film The Suffocator of Sins, which portrays Batman as a gun-toting vigilante, The New York Daily News reports.

“James Holmes said he had watched the trailer for “The Suffocator of Sins” more than a hundred times,” the report quoted Aragon, as saying.

“He kept pressing if I could give him more information on the story,” Aragon told KNX 1070 radio.

“He wanted to know how many people Batman kills. He wanted to know if it was selective killing. Does he make a list of people he wants to kill, or is it a mass body count?” he added.

Aragon said Holmes was disappointed that this ‘Batman wasn’t blowing away the bad guys with bigger guns.’

Holmes also “talked about the Joker,” Aragon added.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/dark-knight-killer-may-be-inspired-by-batman-story/983317/

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10 yrs after 9/11, FBI's $451m computer system 'finally working'

Aug 02 2012

Washington : Nearly ten years after the Sept. 11, 2001 Al Qaeda-led terror attacks across the eastern part of the United States, the computer systems of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have finally been found to be working properly.

After years of frustration and hundreds of millions of dollars lost on a previous system that didn't work, the FBI has finally deployed a new 451 million dollar computer system called Sentinel.

“The deployment of Sentinel is an important step forward for FBI''s information technology,” ABC News quoted FBI Director Robert Mueller, as saying, in a statement

According to the report, Sentinel follows a previous attempt by the FBI to create an electronic case management system called Virtual Case File, which was abandoned in 2005 after significant management and technical problems with government contractors caused 170 million dollars to be spent on a system that didn't work.

The web-based interface of Sentinel allows agents to widely search all FBI case files and data as they work investigations and track down leads effectively moving FBI agents and analysts away from paper based files to a streamlined computer program.

The FBI was sharply criticized after the 9/11 attacks for failing to piece together information about suspected terrorists obtaining flight training in the United States, the report said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/10-yrs-after-9-11-fbis-451m-computer-system-finally-working/982917/

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US holds ‘productive’ talks with ISI chief

Aug 3, 2012

WASHINGTON: The US and Pakistani intelligence chiefs held “productive” talks on Thursday on ways to work together to fight extremists, a US official said, in a new sign of easing tensions between the countries.

Lieutenant General Zaheer ul-Islam, the new head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, is paying the first visit to Washington in a year by the leader of Pakistan’s powerful spy body.

Zaheer met Thursday with Central Intelligence Agency director David Petraeus and held “substantive, professional and productive” talks, a senior US official said on condition of anonymity.

“The talks provided an opportunity to discuss a number of proposals for how we can enhance our joint efforts against terrorism,” the official said.

“Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work together to counter the terrorist presence in the region that threatens both US and Pakistani national security,” he said.

The official did not go into further detail. The United States has been looking for ways to cooperate with the ISI, whose relationship with US spies has swung from friendly to hostile in recent years.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/03/us-holds-productive-talks-with-pakistan-spymaster/

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Africa

 

US assassination drone strike kills 25 in eastern Somalia

Aug 1, 2012

A US assassination drone attack has claimed the lives of at least 25 people in eastern Somalia, Press TV reports.

The attack took place in Somalia’s Garas Balley district near the capital Mogadishu, leaving at least another 40 injured.

The unmanned aircraft also destroyed two al-Shabab bases in the area.

The US has recently stepped up its drone operations in the famine-stricken Somalia.

Washington has been carrying out assassination drone attacks in other countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen.

The United Nations has slammed the assassination drone attacks as targeted killings, saying that they pose a challenge to international law.

The country has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Strategically located in the Horn of Africa, the country remains among the ones generating the highest number of refugees and internally-displaced persons in the world.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/08/01/253888/us-drone-strike-kills-25-in-somalia/

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Mali Becoming the Afghanistan of Africa

Why is Mali Spiraling out of Control?

By Ramzy Baroud

August 02, 2012 "Information Clearing House" --  'We don't even know who to be afraid of anymore,' said Hama Ould Mohammad Bashir, a refugee from Mali (New York Times, July 18). 'There are a lot of armed people, coming and going all the time.'

Northern Mali promises to be the graveyard of scores of innocent people if African countries don’t collectively challenge Western influence in the region.

Mali is fast becoming the Afghanistan of Africa.

The tragic reality is that Mali—a large but sparsely populated country, with around 15.5 million inhabitants—was until a few months ago paraded as a model of stability and fledgling democracy in west Africa.

What happened to make it a hotbed for terrorism, ethnic cleansing and a civil war which could destabilize the entire region?

On March 22 US-trained army captain Amadou Sanogo led a coup against the now-exiled president Amadou Toumani Toure, accusing him of not doing enough to challenge separatist threats in the country’s north.

Full report at:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32062.htm

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Somali comedian, who mocked Islamic militants, killed in Mogadishu streets

Abdi Guled

Aug 2, 2012

MOGADISHU — On one of his recent radio shows, a popular Somali comedian ridiculed commanders of a ruthless Islamist insurgent group that is notorious for forcibly recruiting boys into its ranks and making them fight.

“Hey young boys, you can’t move back from the enemy shelling … instead just stay there and fight,” the comedian said, taking the role of an al-Shabab commander speaking by phone to his youthful troops from an oceanside spot, far from the front lines.

Such ribbing may have cost comedian Abdi Jeylani Malaq his life. On Tuesday, the 43-year-old Malaq was shot dead near his home in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, by two young men suspected of belonging to al-Shabab, a group that pledges fealty to al-Qaida.

The targeted killing sparked calls for investigations into his death.

Many in Somalia will miss Malaq’s ability to make them laugh as they try to overcome some 20 years of conflict. Mogadishu is enjoying a resurgence in the arts and sports after militants were pushed out of the capital in August 2011.

Full report at:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/08/02/somali-comedian-who-mocked-islamic-militants-killed-in-mogadishu-streets/

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Hillary Clinton urges Sudan, South Sudan to close gaps

Aug 3, 2012

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on the two Sudans to settle the disputes that have brought them close to war, as she briefly visited the South Sudanese capital, Juba.

Mrs Clinton is the highest-ranking US official to visit South Sudan since it gained independence last July.

A UN deadline for the nations to resolve disputes over their border and oil transit fees passed on Thursday.

South Sudan is the second stop of Mrs Clinton's seven-country African tour.

"While South Sudan and Sudan have become separate states, their fortunes and their futures remain inextricably linked," she said after meeting South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.

"It is urgent that both sides, north and south, follow through and reach timely agreements on all outstanding issues.

"Both countries will need to compromise to close the remaining gaps between them."

Arriving from Senegal via the Ugandan capital Kampala, she was due to spend only a few hours in Juba before returning to Uganda.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19107566

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Europe

 

Islamophobia fears after pig heads found outside French mosque

Aug 02 2012

London : The severed heads of two pigs have reportedly been found in a pool of blood outside a French mosque, which left Muslims claiming that 'Islamophobia' is on the rise in the country.

The heads were attached to two pillars at the entrance of the Salam Mosque in Montauban, near Toulouse in France.

According to the Daily Mail, as pigs are considered unclean by Muslims, who are forbidden from eating them, Muslim leaders have condemned the act, while the mayor of Montauban has branded the incident an ''odious and blasphemous act towards the Muslim community''.

Muslim leaders said this kind of vandalism was especially shocking, because it happened during the holy month of Ramadan.

"This was meant to dirty this place of prayer,"Abdallah Zekri, a Muslim leader based in Nimes, said.

It was the first such incident in Montauban, a town with a population of around 56,000, the paper said.

The discovery of the pigs'' heads came a day after officials in the northern Paris suburb of Gennevilliers reinstated four summer camp counsellors who had been suspended for Ramadan fasting, it added.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/islamophobia-fears-after-pig-heads-found-outside-french-mosque/982894/

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Pak origin ringleader of Asian 'child sex grooming gang' jailed for 22 years

Aug 03 2012

London : Pakistani-origin man, who was the ringleader of an Asian gang that preyed on young white girls in Britain, has been jailed for 22 years.

Taxi driver Shabir Ahmed, 59, was convicted of a ‘campaign’ of 30 sex attacks on a child.

He was already serving a 19-year sentence from May for conspiracy, two rapes, aiding and abetting rape, sexual assault and sex trafficking.

His domineering temper earned him the nickname ‘Daddy’ by the white teenage victims, the Telegraph reports.

Ahmed, who called the judge a ‘racist b------‘, was one of nine men jailed at Liverpool Crown Court for a total of 77 years for passing around the youngsters and plying them with drugs and drink.

The Manchester Crown Court heard that Ahmed repeatedly raped and sexually abused a young Asian girl for more than a decade, treating her as a ''possession'' to use for his own sexual gratification.

The court was told that the victim got the courage to report the rapes to police only after an investigation was launched into the sex grooming scandal in Rochdale.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/uk-pak-origin-ringleader-of-asian-child-sex-grooming-gang-jailed-for-22-years/983290/

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Russia: both sides in Syria violate human rights

1 Aug 2012

MOSCOW, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Videos apparently showing rebels killing supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo prove that both sides in the conflict violate human rights, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Wednesday.

"The harsh massacre of supporters of the government by the opposition confirms human rights violations are taking place on both sides," Gatilov said on twitter.

"It would be useful if Western and Arab politicians looked at the situation in Syria from this angle too. Everybody must stop violence," he added.

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/russia-both-sides-in-syria-violate-human-rights/

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Russia to Oppose UN Assembly Syria Resolution – Foreign Ministry

2 Aug 2012

Russia will not support a UN General Assembly draft resolution on Syria proposed by Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as it “intrudes into the UN Security Council’s prerogatives,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Thursday, just a day before the vote is scheduled.

“Moscow believes this document in its current form does not contribute to the stabilization of the Syrian conflict and halting the violence, which is why Russia will not support it,” the Ministry said.

The draft resolution calls for the Syrian government to refrain from using chemical weapons, to halt violence and bring to justice those responsible for human rights violations in Syria. The document, obtained by RIA Novosti, does not however demand President Bashar al-Assad steps down, a point which was included in a previous version of the draft.

Russia said the resolution is “one-sided and unbalanced” as it “places responsibility only on the Syrian authorities, while the opposition is outside the international community’s demands.”

Full report at:

http://en.rian.ru/world/20120802/174930718.html

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UN assembly to vote on Syria resolution

Aug 3, 2012

UNITED NATIONS: Arab nations have dropped an explicit demand for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to quit from a resolution on the Syria conflict to be voted at the UN General Assembly on Friday.

With the international community reeling from the resignation of UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, the Arab League and their western supporters are confident the resolution will be passed in the 193-member assembly. But they have toned it down in a bid to get as big a majority as possible.

Faced with opposition from some Arab and Latin American countries, the resolution, drawn up by Saudi Arabia, has been stripped of the demand for Assad to stand down and for the wider application of sanctions ordered by the Arab League.

Russia and China, which have vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions that could have led to sanctions against Assad's government, are expected to vote against the text.

No country can veto a resolution in the General Assembly however. A resolution passed by 137 votes to 12 on February 16 led to the creation of the special envoy's post that Annan was named to.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/UN-assembly-to-vote-on-Syria-resolution/articleshow/15337283.cms

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Russia Said to Send Warships to Syria as Fighting Intensifies

By ELLEN BARRY and ALAN COWELL

Aug 3, 2012

MOSCOW — Unnamed Russian defense officials told news agencies on Friday that three warships, with 360 marines aboard, have been deployed to the Syrian port of Tartus and will arrive within several days.

The port is not large enough to accommodate all the landing vessels, so two of them will remain offshore and the third will drop anchor, an official told Interfax, on condition of anonymity.

The ships, now in the Mediterranean Sea, are expected to stay for several days and deliver water and food to the small Russian naval base there, then return to the Black Sea port of Novorossisk.

The official did not say whether the marines would remain in Syria or whether there are any plans to evacuate the estimated 30,000 Russian citizens in the country.

News of the Russian deployment emerged as fighting seemed to intensify in parts of Damascus, the Syrian capital, with both government officials and rebels reporting a mortar attack on the Yarmouk Palestinian camp, home to some 150,000 people, in the Syrian capital.

Syria’s state-run SANA news agency blamed the attack on “an armed terrorist group” -- its usual name for foes of President Bashar al-Assad — and identified 12 people it said had been killed.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/04/world/middleeast/russia-said-to-send-warships-to-

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Southeast Asia

 

Ramadhan just another month for Indonesian sex workers

Agus Maryono

 August 03 2012

The Ramadhan fasting month is a holy month for Muslims, where people are encouraged to do more good deeds and refrain from consuming food, drink, or engaging in sexual activity. And this applies to sex workers as well.

“I fast. And I won’t accept any customers during the day,” Yuni (not her real name), 22, told The Jakarta Post on Friday. She said her job had nothing to do with her religious obligation.

“Fasting is a religious obligation that has to be obeyed, while my job is something that I have to do to survive,” she went on.

“A cleric once said that worldly and heavenly matters should be balanced, and that’s what I am trying to do,” said Yuni.

She added that during Ramadhan, she did not get as many customers as in regular months.

Another sex worker, Santi (not her real name), 25, said she became a sex worker due to the economic pressures she has as a single mom.

“Lebaran (Idul Fitri) is coming and I have children who always ask for new clothes and good food for Lebaran, just like in any other normal household. If I’m not working, then how can we celebrate Lebaran properly?” Santi said in a Cilacap detention center.

Santi was among the sex workers who were detained by public order officers during a raid on Thursday night.

She said she had divorced her unemployed husband, and now she was the breadwinner, and the backbone, of her family.

“Who wants this kind of job? But [if I don’t work] who will be responsible if my children die of hunger?” Santi said.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/08/03/ramadhan-just-another-month-sex-workers.html

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Indonesian SC Sentences spiritual guru to 2.5 Years in Prison

Jakarta Globe | August 03, 2012

The Supreme Court overturned a ruling issued by the South Jakarta District Court and sentenced spiritual guru Anand Krishna to 2.5 years in prison.

“He was proven [guilty], violating article 294, sub-article 2, of the Criminal Code on adultery,” Ridwan Mansyur, a spokesman for the Supreme Court, said on Friday, as quoted by Merdeka.com. “He was guilty in accordance with the prosecutor’s indictment.”

Presiding judge, Zaharuddin Utama, along with two other judges, Achmad Yamani and Sofyan Sitompul, agreed with the prosecutor who filed the appeal and issued the appropriate sentence.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/supreme-court-sentences-anand-krishna-to-25-years-in-prison/535031

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Indonesian Band Peterpan Says ‘Noah’ Was Kept Secret for Two Years

August 02, 2012

The Indonesian band Peterpan, which gained a certain degree of fame (or infamy) after lead singer Nazriel “Ariel” Irham was sent to prison for leaked sex tapes, announced on Thursday that they've changed their name to “Noah.”

Ariel, who was just released from Kebon Waru Prison in Bandung last month, said the band decided on the new name two years ago, although they were considering three other names.

But the band decided to make the announcement after Ariel’s release from prison.

Ariel said the band’s five members kept Noah a secret during those two years, even among their closest friends and relatives.

“We had to lie smartly so that the new name wouldn’t be leaked . . . even the people closest to us didn’t know,” Ariel told a press conference at the office of Musica Studio in South Jakarta on Thursday, as quoted by Indonesian news portal kompas.com.

He was accompanied by other members of the band, including Uki, Lukman, David and Reza.

Ariel also said that Noah would launch its new single, “Separuh Aku” (“A Half of Me”), composed by David, on Friday. The song will reportedly be aired by 200 radio stations across Indonesia in unison at 3 p.m. on Friday.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/entertainment/indonesian-band-peterpan-says-noah-was-kept-secret-for-two-years/534862

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/by-new-age-islam-news-bureau/chinas-xinjiang-puts-restrictions-on-ramzan-fasting/d/8143

 

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