New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 21 Aug 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

It was pouring, so Sikhs invited Muslims to offer namaaz in gurdwara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

India

It was pouring, so Sikhs invited Muslims to offer namaaz in gurdwara

MEA wants proof of Pak hand in rumours

Facebook to remove content inciting violence

Google tweets get in touch with Uncle Sam

Cross-border tunnel probe hits a dead end

764 Pakistanis granted Indian citizenship in 3 years: Govt

Raj Thackeray: Bangladeshis behind Aug 11 Mumbai violence

Pune serial blasts a terror act: Govt

The Hindu returns to Africa

 

Pakistan

ISI colonel provided vital help in locating Osama: Book

More than 50 Hindu families migrate to India every month: Pakistan Hindu Council

Taliban dare Pakistan army over raids in North Waziristan

Shia leaders condemn state operation against Shiite Community of Karachi

Development and decay in PM’s Pakistan village

Pakistan violates ceasefire along international border in Samba sector

Violence claims four lives in Karachi

Conspiracy against government to fail: Gilani

Pakistanis know how defend every inch of their motherland: PM

'Undeclared curfew' imposed in Gilgit

US drone strike kills nine in North Waziristan: Officials

 

South Asia

Ex-spy chief hints at Khaleda role in bid to kill Hasina

Mystery grips Urumqi as Apsara statue demolished

Burmese Islamic Group Puts Statement in Gov’t-Run Media

Calculating the Human Cost of the War in Afghanistan

Americans tune out Afghan war as fighting rages on

Brick ‘recycling’ threatens Bangladesh ancient city

Afghanistan’s peace hopes may rest on Taliban captive

 

Mideast Asia

Israel Talking to Egypt Over Sinai Troop Movements

Iranian lawmaker: OIC must show logical reaction to Muslim killing in Myanmar

Hamas: We won’t allow any tampering with the Aqsa mosque

Netanyahu condemns hate attack on Palestinians

Skinny-Dipping in Israel Casts Unwanted Spotlight on Congressional Travel

Iran condemns assassination attempt on Sunni cleric in Iraq

Sheikh Qaouk: Resistance Not Threatened by “Israel”, Zionist Entity Worried

Account of ‘a Lynch’ in Jerusalem on Facebook

 

Arab World

Syria envoy says Assad resignation is up for discussion

Slain Bahraini’s father: Ministry personnel beat my son to death

Egypt villagers confront minister over water poisoning

A Twitter fatwa may seem odd, but it's a sign of our times

Bahrain: "Eid without Kids"… more than 90 children abused behind bars

Bahrain: Embracing Islam as way of life

Eating the democratic crumbs from the Arab ruler's table

Syria Seen as Trying to Roil Lebanon

Doctor Group Is Treating Syrian Rebels and Civilians

Syria regime planes 'pound Aleppo district'

Army kills dozens in Damascus suburb: watchdog

Syrian forces kill 11 in Damascus, say activists

Syrian forces abandon security compounds on Iraq border

 

North America

'Hillary was force behind Osama raid'

Historic Al-Quds Anti-Zionist Rally in Toronto

U.S. downplays Syrian offer to discuss Assad’s resignation

US allows NGOs to send money to quake-hit Iran

'Dark Knight' killer saw 3 mental health experts before massacre

Risks of Syrian Intervention Limit Options for U.S.

Copenhagen: Cinema warns moviegoers about “annoying” Muslims

 

Europe

Syrian government planning talks with opposition: Russia

Violence grips Aleppo as Moscow tells West not to meddle

Islamic TV Station Launches in Russia

Tycoon Asil Nadir convicted of more Polly Peck thefts

UN atomic agency renews effort to inspect Iranian military site

 

Africa

At least 48 Kenyans hacked to death in ethnic clash

South African clerics mediate in mining conflict

Christian/Muslim group visit senior Nigeria Shia cleric Sheikh Zakzaky

Mali Hostages Urge Governments to Negotiate Their Release: Al Jazeera TV

Farmhand Jailed for Life in Killing of South African Supremacist

 

Southeast Asia

Elections Committee Investigates Mosque for Fauzi Promotion

Leap of Faith Into Television Pays Off for Young Papuan Preacher

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Shia leaders condemn state operation against Shiite Community of Karachi

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/by-new-age-islam-news-bureau/it-was-pouring,-so-sikhs-invited-muslims-to-offer-namaaz-in-gurdwara/d/8373

 

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India

It was pouring, so Sikhs invited Muslims to offer namaaz in gurdwara

Aug 22, 2012

NEW DELHI: In a country where one often gets news of religious intolerance and hate, here is a piece of news that touchingly shows the mutual love and friendship between different communities.

Muslim residents of Joshimath in Uttarakhand offered Eid namaaz on Monday in a gurdwara, after being invited in by its head priest, according to local media. There is no mosque or idgah in Joshimath, a town perched above the Alakhnanda deep in the Garhwal Himalayas. Usually its 800-odd Muslim residents offer namaaz at the town's Gandhi Maidan, a public ground.

It had been raining heavily for several days and the festival day too dawned in pouring rain. Gandhi maidan had turned into slush. The Muslim community was groping for a solution when the head of the local gurdwara, the Sikh's place of worship, sent a heart warming message - the Muslims could use the main hall of the gurdwara for offering namaz.

So, at 9:30am, the congregation of Muslims in bright new clothes trooped down to the gurudwara and offered the ritual prayers in the big hall. After the ceremony, they embraced the waiting members of Sikh community. Some Hindus from the town too were present and offered greetings to the other two communities.

Sardar Buta Singh, Prabandhak of the gurdwara, later told media persons that the Muslims were facing trouble due to bad weather, so he asked them in.

Maulvi Asif was quoted by media as saying that by solving their problem, the gurdwara committee had presented an example of humanity and respect towards all religions. He said that the Muslim community was thankful of the committee.

Joshimath is located about 250 kilometers from Rishikesh on National Highway 58. It is close to two important pilgrimage centers - Badrinath of the Hindus and Hemkunt Sahib of the Sikhs.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/It-was-pouring-so-Sikhs-invited-Muslims-to-offer-

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MEA wants proof of Pak hand in rumours

By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury in New Delhi

Aug 22, 2012

THE ministry of external affairs ( MEA), headed by S. M. Krishna, wants an inter- ministerial meeting with the home ministry ahead of his visit to Islamabad from September 7 to 9.

At the meeting, the external affairs ministry wants to collate all information regarding Pakistan’s role in spreading rumours through social networking sites so that it may presented in a dossier to Pakistan during the minister’s visit.

Last weekend, home secretary R. K. Singh had alleged that there was a Pakistani hand behind the rumours that led to exodus of thousands of North- Eastern students from various metropolitan cities in India.

But the MEA refuses to level blanket allegations against Pakistan without concrete information.

“ We are not saying that Pakistan is not behind this heinous act. What we want that India should collate concrete and foolproof information on the rumours before raising the issue it with Pakistan,” a senior diplomatic source said.

The ministry is cautious from its experience of initial dossiers on 26/ 11 where certain information was sketchy.

In a strong indictment, the home secretary had said: “ We want people to know that bulk of these images were uploaded from Pakistan we will raise this issue with Pakistan. I am certain they will decline it but our technical team is definite about the findings.” The home secretary said he was in touch with the MEA to take up the issue with Pakistan on how the inflammatory material could be uploaded from Pakistan.

Subsequently Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik called his Indian counterpart Sushil Kumar Shinde on Sunday and asked India to furnish evidence for Islamabad to take action.

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Facebook to remove content inciting violence

Aug 22, 2012

In the backdrop of appeals by India to remove hate posts, world’s largest social networking website Facebook on Wednesday said it would remove content, block pages or even disable accounts of those users who upload content that incite violence or perpetuate hate speech.

Comprehending the gravity, Facebook’s stern warning to its users comes in the wake of the Indian government bringing to its notice the posting of contents, including inflammatory matters and doctored pictures and videos to create social unrest in the country.

“Facebook will remove content which breaches our terms as set out in our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.Content or individuals can be removed from Facebook for a variety of reasons including issuing direct calls for violence or perpetuating hate speech,” a Facebook spokesperson told PTI.

“We have received requests from Indian authorities and agencies and are working through those requests and responding to the agencies. We encourage people to continue to use our tools to report content they are concerned about so that we can investigate and take action fast,” the spokesperson said when asked about the actions being taken by the company.

Given the gravity of the situation, which the social networking site officials term “an emergency situation” a large number of Facebook employees are working round the clock in both India and the US to review and monitor the content and take necessary action, which the company says is part of its social responsibilities.

In fact, Facebook has already removed quite a significant number of such “inflammatory” and “hate” contents from its website and in some cases blocked pages.

However, because of the company policy and privacy reasons, its official would not quantify the number of such actions.

If any user repeatedly tries to upload such hateful content, Facebook can even disable the account, said an official requesting anonymity as he was not allowed to speak to the press on this issue.

Expressing serious concern over the current situation in India wherein people have tried to use Facebook as a tool to incite violence or spread hate, the official said Facebook has taken a number of measures to prevent this.

The company is taking a cue from its 2010 experience of riots in London wherein it closely worked with local police to prevent its website being used by hatemongers for either gathering purposes or spread rumors.

The Facebook, the official said, is “pretty aligned” with the views of the Indian government on this and have “not run into any issues” with the government.

“We understand the gravity of the situation,” the official said, adding that the company has intensified the monitoring of such content related to India.

Facebook has some 50 million users in India. Company officials urged users to remain alert on any such inflammatory or objectionable posting and keep it informed.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3806766.ece

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Google tweets get in touch with uncle Sam             

By Anuradha Shukla in New Delhi

Aug 22, 2012

Social networking sites don’t give govt details on N- E hate sites

THE UNPRECEDENTED cyber terrorism unleashed against people from the North- East triggered the biggest exodus within the country last week, but the big brothers of the World Wide Web have told the Indian government to dial Uncle Sam if it wants them to share information about the hate mongers.

Citing jurisdiction issues, Google, Twitter and Facebook have asked the government to route its request to share information on the web pages containing inflammatory content through the US government.

Rumours and morphed images circulated on these websites had fuelled a hate campaign against the North- Eastern people, triggering their panic run to their home states from various parts of India.

Proxy servers and Virtual Private Network services, which conceal the user identity operating from a number of countries, appear to have been used for uploading inciting posts and images. The government wants these sites to provide the registration details and access logs of the people who uploaded such content. Most of them were suspected to be from Pakistan.

“ The government had sent a request to the social networking sites to remove the inflammatory content and had also sought information related to web accounts and activities to track down the groups involved in the hate campaign,” a senior ministry of communication & information technology ( IT) official told M AIL T ODAY . “ The websites have refused to comply on the grounds that they are not obliged to part with any such information as the details required are stored outside India.

They have added that any such request for information and details about IP addresses which are outside India must be routed via the US government,” the official said.

Google, which also controls YouTube and Blogspot. com, wants the government to approach it through the US government, with which India has a mutual legal assistance treaty.

“ Google has informed that since it is governed by local laws in the US, it would be difficult for the company to co- operate directly with India. We are approaching the US government through an official request and letter rogatory to block web pages and also provide us the registration details and access logs of the persons who uploaded such content,” a home ministry official said.

Their brazen refusal, as also the government’s reluctance to take a tough stand on the matter, has surprised cyber law experts. “ Going via the US channel is not a good idea. The government must take a tough stand as this is a serious matter of national security,” cyber law expert Pawan Duggal said. “ I think it is high time the government adopted the Chinese way in this regard. If these sites are operating in India and their content is directed towards the Indian audience, they must comply with the country’s IT law. This is the standard practice across the world.

They cannot get away by saying that they operate under the US law. Our IT law has provisions for punitive action in such cases.” Google, on its part, issued a statement on Tuesday saying any content intended to incite violence was already prohibited on its sites, including YouTube videos. “ We understand the gravity of the situation... and continue to work with relevant authorities,” it said.

However, sources in the company added that the government’s request to share information could not be immediately complied with.

We are ready to cooperate on removing such content, but what they are asking for are details of IP addresses and particulars of the users. As these are outside Indian jurisdiction, they have to route the request via the US government,” a senior official in Google India said.

Twitter and Facebook were not available for comment.

But Twitter is proving to be an equally tough nut to crack as the microblogging site has refused block a number of web pages, as asked by the Union home ministry.

Ministry officials said out of the 310 web pages flagged by the government for carrying inflammatory content related to the Assam violence, only 207 have been effectively blocked so far. Twitter was not very keen” to block 28 web pages which still carried content that could incite passions, they added.

The resistance being posed by Twitter is now being taken up with website through a direction being issued again on Tuesday,” a ministry official said.

statement from the ministry of communications and IT said: “ An intermediary social networking has responded that the uploaders of the inflammatory content are outside the jurisdiction of country, thereby implying that they are not obliged to take any constructive step to deal with it.” build a solid case against Pakistan, the government is now banking on the US as well as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, from whose territories the servers seem to be have been used as proxies to upload inflammatory content to cause communal disharmony in India. “ Three organisations in Pakistan — Jamait - e- Islami, Tehreeke- Insaaf and a private TV channel of Pakistan — are under the scanner for uploading such content. We need to establish the chain of such content being uploaded and the US has to help us out in a big way,” the home ministry official said.

While the government might have to wait for US assistance to get the details sought, it has decided to crack the whip on the websites which have refused to remove inflammatory content. “ We have got strict orders from the home ministry to block all such sites. We have shortlisted 350 more such web pages which will be blocked for spreading hate messages,” an IT ministry official said.

The move came a day after the government announced to block 254 web pages for posting inflammatory content.

The IT department had issued an advisory last week to all the intermediaries, including national and international websites, advising them to take necessary action on priority basis to disable inflammatory and hateful content hosted on their websites. But many of such “ inflammatory” web pages have still not been blocked.

SIX Twitter accounts resembling the Prime Minister’s official account PMOIndia’, have been closed down after objectionable content was detected on them. Sources said the PMO had asked the cyber security cell of the IT department to block these accounts as these could be mistaken as the official account of the PMO and have serious ramifications.

These accounts contained certain content having communal overtones and could be dangerous, the source added.

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Cross-border tunnel probe hits a dead end

 Aug 22, 2012

NEW DELHI: Investigation into the over 300 metre-long cross-border tunnel discovered by Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in July in Jammu and Kashmir's Samba sector has hit a dead end. In reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the government informed that it is humanly impossible to find where the tunnel leads to in Pakistan.

The tunnel was discovered by a farmer in Chachwal village in the Samba sector after his irrigated field caved in. Investigations found the tunnel near Border Post no. 170, which is about 340 m from the international border. The tunnel, which had a diameter of five feet, was found at a depth of 25 metres. It was fitted with oxygen pipes, indicating attempts at infiltration.

BSF had started digging the tunnel immediately after it stumbled upon it, and had also sought help from the Army, Geological Survey of India and geo-physics and seismology experts for the task.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Cross-border-tunnel-probe-hits-a-dead-end/articleshow/15594292.cms

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764 Pakistanis granted Indian citizenship in 3 years: Govt

Aug 22, 2012

NEW DELHI: Indian citizenship has been granted to 764 Pakistani nationals during the 2009-11 period, the government on Wednesday told Parliament.

"1290 applications of Pakistani nationals were received from various state government/UTs for grant of Indian citizenship by registration and naturalisation during last three years, ie, 2009-2011. Indian citizenship was granted to 764 Pakistan nationals during this period," minister of state for home M Ramachandran told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

He said all such cases received in his ministry "are processed as expeditiously as possible."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/764-Pakistanis-granted-Indian-citizenship-in-3-years-Govt/articleshow/15599995.cms

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Raj Thackeray: Bangladeshis behind Aug 11 Mumbai violence

Aug 22, 2012

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Tuesday alleged that illegal Bangladeshi immigrants were behind the August 11 violence in which two people were killed in protests against alleged atrocities on Muslims in Assam and Myanmar.

Despite police permission only for a rally, Thackeray led more than 50,000 people on a march along Marine Drive to Azad Maidan, bringing all of south Mumbai to a halt.

Waving what appeared to be a Bangladeshi passport and warning that illegal migration from the eastern neighbour would destroy Mumbai, Mahasrashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Tuesday addressed a massive pro-Hindu rally in answer to the August 11 gathering of Muslims to protest attacks in Assam.

Slamming the violence during the Muslim rally, which like the one on Tuesday paralysed south Mumbai, he said, "There is a boundary which no one should cross. There should be no physical assaults on policemen and officials. My party will always stand by the cops whenever such cases happen," Thackeray said.

Thackeray said the influx illegal Bangladeshi migrants posed a threat to Mumbai. "They have safe havens in UP and Bihar. From there, the illegal migrants come to Mumbai to foment trouble," he said and accused Bangladeshi migrants of playing a major role in the August 11 violence.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Raj-Thackeray-Bangladeshis-behind-Aug-11-Mumbai-violence/articleshow/15594828.cms

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Pune serial blasts a terror act: Govt

Aug 22, 2012

NEW DELHI: The government has for the first time officially called the August 1 Pune serial blasts a terror act. The Centre had maintained so far that all angles were being probed and that the blasts, which injured one person, could be an act of terrorists.

Earlier it had also been suggested, in particular by Pune CP Gulabrao Pol, that the blasts were an act of mischief.

The categorization of the blasts as a terror act by the government was made in reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Investigations into the blasts, being carried out by Maharashtra ATS, have not yet reached any conclusion nor has police made any arrests. However, sources say that circumstances point towards the involvement of banned Indian Mujahideen (IM).

According to sources in the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is conducting a parallel probe into the blasts, the modus operandi and make of the bombs is identical to that carried out by the radical outfit in the past.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pune-serial-blasts-a-terror-act-Govt/articleshow/15594378.cms

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The Hindu returns to Africa

Aug 22, 2012

In keeping with Africa’s growing importance for India and its rising weight in the global economy and international politics, The Hindu has posted a correspondent, Aman Sethi, to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to cover this exciting continent for our readers.

Addis, which is also the headquarters of the African Union, will be our eleventh foreign bureau — we already have reporters in Islamabad, Colombo, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Beijing, Moscow, Dubai, Paris, London and Washington, D.C.

In the 1960s, Batuk Gathani filed regular reports for us from Nairobi and The Hindu’s last Africa correspondent was M.S. Prabhakara, who reported out of post-Apartheid South Africa for a decade till 2002.

Since then, the continent has changed, and so has India. Reporting Africa through Indian eyes means seeing not just the wars and tragedies which is all that the West sees but the hundreds of little triumphs that no one talks about. As Africa struggles to take its rightful place in the world, The Hindu will be there to report the story for you.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3804615.ece

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Pakistan

 

ISI colonel provided vital help in locating Osama: Book

Aug 22 2012

Washington : A colonel in the Pakistan's spy agency ISI had provided vital help to the CIA in tracing Osama bin Laden, a new book has claimed.

The book also claims that Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani may have been briefed by the US on its operation to kill Osama bin Laden, some five months in advance.

'Leading from Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him', penned by eminent American journalist Richard Miniter, hit the stands yesterday.

The new book also says that land of the Abbottabad compound, where the al-Qaeda leader lived with his family, was "carved out" from the Pakistan military academy compound.

"A colonel in Pakistan's feared intelligence service, the Inter-Services Institute or ISI, provided vital help in locating Bin Laden when he walked into the CIA's Islamabad station in August 2010," says the book.

Bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011.

"And Pakistan's Army chief of staff may have been briefed in December 2010, five months before the nighttime raid on bin Laden's concrete castle.

"Far from taking a risk, there are indications that a cover story had been developed with the Pakistani military and that Obama had their tacit consent for the mission," claims Miniter, a former reporter with 'The Wall Street Journal' and 'The Washington Post'.

"In a never-before-reported account, Pakistan was more involved in the bin Laden operation than Obama's team admitted. When the CIA revealed that an ISI colonel had contacted the CIA in Islamabad and offered information about bin Laden, a debate followed," it says. "Was this a secret sign that the head of the ISI himself was pointing out bin Laden's hiding place or was the colonel actually the patriot who hated extremism that he claimed to be? Whatever the motivation, the CIA found bin Laden's hiding place within a month of the colonel's visit," the book claims.

"There was talk about devising a cover story that would allow Pakistan to be helpful while keeping its leaders from political harm.

"The story, according to an official with secondhand knowledge of the White House discussion, was that bin Laden was killed in a drone strike and that the US later sent in a team to recover the body. That was believed to be less politically harmful than a commando team treading on Pakistan's soil," Minter says.

"According to this official, Pakistan's Army chief of staff was alerted in December 2010, months before the operation. No concrete facts about the operation were passed on, but an informal approval was sought," he writes.

"When the SEAL helicopter crashed into bin Laden's compound, the cover story was abandoned," the official said.

The story could not be independently confirmed, but it has the virtue of explaining why the Obama administration did not press to end military aid to Pakistan when bin Laden was found eight hundred yards from its officer training facility," Minter wrote.

According to the book, as the CIA found the Abbottabad compound where Osama bin Laden lived along with his family members and started researching on the property, they found out that the land was carved out from the Pakistan military academy compound.

"The records held another surprise. The land for the bin Laden lair seemed to have been carved out of property owned by the Kakul Military Academy, Pakistan's answer to Sandhurst and West Point," Miniter claimed.

"The bin Laden compound was akin to an isosceles triangle, carved out of the property of the Kakul Military Academy, Pakistan's West Point. The campus's main building sat some eight hundred yards from bin Laden's castle.

"The triangular compound was bordered with concrete walls ranging in height from ten to eighteen feet. The main building, a three-story tower, housed the arch terrorist, his wives, and their children," he wrote.

According to the book it was on March 14, 2011 during a situation room meeting that the US President, Barack Obama, decided that Pakistan "should be kept in dark" while America made its plans.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/isi-colonel-provided-vital-help-in-locating-osama-book/991502/

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More than 50 Hindu families migrate to India every month: Pakistan Hindu Council

Aug 21, 2012

AMRITSAR: More than 50 Hindu families were migrating to India every month due to failure of Pakistan government in finding a tangible solution to the prevailing acute discontentment among them , said President of Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) , a representative forum of Hindu community in Pakistan, Ramesh Vankwani while talking to TOI over phone from Karachi on Tuesday.

He said Hindu population especially those who living in Larkana and Sakkhar divisions of Sindh province were scared of forced conversions, kidnapping for ransom and protection money and the Hindu representatives in government had failed to address their issues.

He said PHC had sent their representatives from where majority of Hindus were migrating to India to instill a sense of security among them but they had a limited role to play in absence of government support.

"We have begun a movement on our own but need government support and help of Hindu representatives in government who could assertively take up the issue in Parliament" he said.

In past two week's time more than 550 Hindu's have arrived India from Pakistan from Attari land border with majority of them informing media about prevailing religious discrimination, lawlessness, feudalism, fundamentalism , crime against Hindus.

A few of them has even openly announced to stay back in India. Vankwani said in wake of some of the recent incidents of atrocities on Hindu's even the poor Hindu families had started migrating to India .

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/More-than-50-Hindu-families-migrate-to-India-

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Taliban dare Pakistan army over raids in North Waziristan

Aug 22, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani Taliban has warned that it would use a team of bombers to target troops if an operation is launched against militants in the restive North Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

In a statement emailed to the media, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said his organization had learnt that the Pakistan army had drawn up plans for an operation in North Waziristan Agency in the near future. The Taliban are prepared to mount a fitting response to any operations, Ihsan said on Monday.

"TTP has also prepared itself for resistance, we have set up a suicide bombers squad to welcome the army. We will defeat our enemy, who is defending the un-Islamic system of Pakistan by (hitting) them back hard," Ihsan said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Taliban-dare-Pakistan-army-over-raids-

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Shia leaders condemn state operation against Shiite Community of Karachi

Aug 22, 2012

 PAKISTAN (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Majlis-e-Wehdat Muslimeen (MWM) leaders on Sunday condemned the law enforcement agencies operation against the Shia community in Karachi and demanded of the government to immediately stop the crackdown.

Addressing the hurriedly called press conference here at Karachi press club, MWM Central leaders Maulana Mirza Yousuf Hussain, Maulana Sadiq Taqvi, Ali Osat, Maulana Mohammad Hussain Karimi and Mohammad Mehdi said that Rangers and Police had failed to maintain the law and order situation of Karachi and to protect the Shia Muslims in the metropolis.

He condemned the crack down of Police and Rangers against the Shiite Muslims in Karachi saying that more than thirty Shia youths were detained by the Rangers and Police from the various areas of Karachi without any warrant.

They warned the government to immediately release the detained Shia men and stop the operation against the Shiite Community saying the Shiite Community of Karachi would take stern action against the government if operation not stopped forthwith.

The leaders claimed that the Rangers and Police had violated the basic rights of the people in the operation and broken the doors and abusive the families in the operation held in Malir, Incholi, North Karachi and other areas.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=338353

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Development and decay in PM’s Pakistan village

Aug 22, 2012 - Khurram Shahzad

For years, Ghulam Muhammad Khan thought his brilliant classmate had been killed in the bloodbath that gave birth to India and Pakistan in 1947, the deadliest end to British colonial rule in history.

But when the world’s biggest democracy elected the softly-spoken Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister in 2004 and he told an interviewer he had been born in a remote Pakistani village, Mr Khan was over the moon. “He was our class monitor and we played together. He was a gentle and brilliant child. Our teacher always advised us to get his help if we couldn’t understand something,” Mr Khan recalled, striding through village maize fields.

Even more incredibly, Dr Singh wanted to help the 2,500 villagers in Gah, on a plateau of muddy rock and bushy forest 100 kilometres southeast of Islamabad near the ultra-modern motorway that runs almost to the Indian border.

“I never imagined Manmohan would one day bring so many blessings to our village. He did what our own government still refuses to do,” recalled Mr Khan, who is Dr Singh’s last surviving classmate left in the village. But the last eight years is a tale of generosity, squandered opportunity and political short-termism that leaves Pakistan with an embarrassing predicament now that President Asif Ali Zardari has invited Dr Singh to visit later this year.

The model village that Dr Singh dreamt of lies in tatters. Buildings that cost tens of thousands of dollars stand empty and unfinished. The only question is what, if anything, will Pakistan do to fix it?

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/ideas/development-and-decay-pm-s-pakistan-village-938

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Pakistan violates ceasefire along international border in Samba sector

Aug 22, 2012

JAMMU: Pakistan troops targeted three Indian posts along the international border (IB) in Samba sector of Jammu and Kashmir violating ceasefire for the 15th time within 18 days.

"There was small arms firing on three Border Out Posts (BoPs) along IB in Samba sector last evening for a brief period of half-an-hour", a BSF official on Wednesday said.

The firing was resorted to by Pakistan Rangers on Narayanpur, Pindi and Stop-2 posts.

BSF did not retaliate, he said, adding, there was no loss of life or damage to property in the firing.

Pakistan has violated the ceasefire 15 times by firing mortars, rockets and small arms in the past 18 days along the international border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

On August 19-20, Pakistani Rangers fired on Indian posts of Mala Bela, Garkhal, Sidra camp and Naka Number-10 along IB in Akhnoor sector of Jammu sector, in which one Pakistan intruder was killed.

On August 19, Pakistan troops violated ceasefire by firing on forward posts in Krishnagati belt along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch sector.

On August 17, there was heavy cross-border small arms firing on Indian posts along the IB in Abdullian and Korotona Border Out Posts (BoPS) from Pakistan in R S Pura sub-sector in which one BSF jawan was killed.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-violates-ceasefire-along-international-border-in-Samba-sector/articleshow/15599552.cms

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Violence claims four lives in Karachi

Aug 22, 2012

KARACHI: Four people, including a woman, were reported killed in incidents of violence across Karachi, DawnNews reported on Wednesday.

One body was found near the city’s old airport. It was reported to be of a 20-year-old girl and bore torture marks.

Another body was found in a gunny bag in a landfill site near the Risala police station. The body bore torture marks and the victim had been shot dead.

A third body bearing torture marks was found near the city’s Old Sabzi Mandi.

However, the bodies, found near Risala police station and the Old Sabzi Mandi could not be identified.

In a separate incident, unknown attackers shot and killed one person standing outside his house in North Karachi’s Sector 4. The man had been shot in the head and had died on the spot.

In another incident that took place in Lyari’s Musa Lane neighbourhood, five people, including a woman, were injured when unknown assailants opened fire during the urs at the tomb of Baba Hussein Shah. The injured were shifted to Civil Hospital, Karachi.

Moreover, a labourer, who had been injured during the April 4 attack on SSP Malir Rao Anwer’s car near Malir Halt, succumbed to his injuries after fighting for his life for four months.

http://dawn.com/2012/08/22/violence-claims-four-lives-in-karachi-2/

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Conspiracy against government to fail: Gilani

Aug 22, 2012

MULTAN: Former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Tuesday that forces which were plotting against the government would not succeed.

Talking to APP before leaving for Lahore, he said there would be no clash among institutions if they work within their constitutional limits.

Gilani categorically ruled out the notion that the differences between PML-N and PTI would benefit the PPP in next election.

“Everyone should not forget the fact that all opposite forces were united against Abdul Qadir Gilani in recent by-polls in NA-151 constituency, but nobody could dent the PPP’s vote bank,” he said.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/22/conspiracy-against-government-to-fail-gilani/

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Pakistanis know how defend every inch of their motherland: PM

Aug 22, 2012

GUJAR KHAN: Rejecting the talk of despondency, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Tuesday said Pakistanis know how to defend every inch of their country and even can sacrifice their lives for this purpose.

“There is no need of any despondency. No nation is more brave, tolerant, courageous and struggling than Pakistanis. Each one from the brave Pakistani nation knows how to defend every inch of their country and sacrifice their lives for this purpose,” Ashraf said while addressing a large public meeting in his hometown.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/21/pakistanis-know-how-defend-every-inch-of-their-motherland-pm/

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'Undeclared curfew' imposed in Gilgit

By Shabbir Mir

 August 22, 2012

GILGIT: All entry and exit routes were sealed and markets closed on Wednesday after three people were killed and two others were injured a day earlier in a fresh wave of sectarian violence that erupted in reaction to the Naran bus attack.

“The step has been taken to overcome target killings,” Ali Sher, a senior police official told The Express Tribune.

“This is understandably a reaction to the Naran bus killings,” he said of the violence that left three people dead and two others seriously wounded in different incidents of target killings in Gilgit on Tuesday. The recent incidents came four days after 19 passengers, mostly Shias, were shot dead by terrorists at point blank range in the Mansehra district.

Authorities denied it was an undeclared curfew, however the restrictions were similar to those imposed during one. People were not allowed to come out of their homes, markets were closed and travelling on vehicles banned as police and other law enforcement agencies kept patrolling the deserted roads of the city.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/424734/undeclared-curfew-imposed-in-gilgit-town/

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US drone strike kills nine in North Waziristan: Officials

By Zulfiqar Ali

August 21, 2012

MIRANSHAH: At least nine militants were killed when a US drone targeted a vehicle in the Humzonee village, about 4km South West of Miranshah headquarters of North Waziristan on Tuesday at 7pm, a security official said.

The security official  told The Express Tribune, that it could not be ascertained whether high-ranking militants were among those killed, but added that four missiles were fired on the vehicle by the drone which destroyed the vehicle.

Humzonnee village is inhibited by the Dawar tribe and is located close to the Miranshah market of North Waziristan.

Earlier on Sunday, at least six militants were killed when US drones fired missiles twice on Sunday in North Waziristan Agency.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/424696/us-drone-strike-kills-three-in-north-waziristan-official/

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South Asia

 

Ex-spy chief hints at Khaleda role in bid to kill Hasina

Aug 22, 2012

DHAKA: A former chief of Bangladesh military intelligence has hinted ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia's involvement in a grenade attack on her archrival and incumbent PM Sheikh Hasina that left 24 people dead in 2004.

"I understood the (then) prime minister (Zia) knew everything beforehand. So left her office not lingering the conversation," former director general of directorate of forces intelligence (DGFI) Sadik Hassan Rumi told a court in Dhaka as a witness in a pre-trial statement.

At least 24 people, including then President Zillur Rahman's wife and senior politician Ivy Rahman, were killed in the blasts at Bangabandhu Avenue and some 200 others were injured.

Hasina, is believed to have been the prime target, but survived with permanent hearing impairment.

Rumi alleged that he was denied permission to investigate the attack case, saying Zia appeared annoyed and virtually rebuked him as he tried to talk to her on the issue. "From where you gathered the ridiculous information... what is your headache if Tajuddin (a key attack plotter) goes to Pakistan or anywhere else?" he recalled Zia as telling him as he tried to confirm a report that the PM herself had ordered safe passage abroad of Maulana Tajuddin.

Rumi's testimony came as the trial was underway with the court indicting a number of high-profile suspects including Zia's 'fugitive' elder son and Bangladesh nationalist Party vice president Tarique Rahman as a mastermind.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Ex-spy-chief-hints-at-Khaleda-role-in-bid-to-kill-Hasina/articleshow/15595249.cms

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Mystery grips Urumqi as Apsara statue demolished

Aug 22, 2012

BEIJING: An 18-feet statue of 'flying Apsara' has been demolished in the Muslim-dominated Urumqi city in western China 11 days after it was put up at a major intersection by the local municipal authorities. No reason for the demolition has been cited but it is possible that authorities faced resistance from local Muslims, sources said.

Local officials said they would henceforth be careful about choosing themes for future statues. Reports in the local media said the 40-tonne statue was demolished by 20 workers, who came with cranes and pickup vehicles to clear the debris.

"We were disappointed that this statue based on Hindu-Buddhist theme was put up in the month of Ramazan. People are still asking who took such an unwise decision," a Uighur Muslim businessman told TOI.

The Chinese media also published unhappy comments from local residents saying it was difficult for "some Muslim ethnic groups to accept a statue of a semi-clad woman'' on a major city intersection. There were thousands of postings on the Chinese internet and micro blogging sites complaining it was ungainly and affected the image of Urumqi city.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/Mystery-grips-Urumqi-as-Apsara-statue-demolished/articleshow/15595238.cms

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 Burmese Islamic Group Puts Statement in Gov’t-Run Media

Aug 22, 2012

The All Myanmar Islam Association – representing five Islamic associations – has called for a peaceful settlement of disputes in Rakhine State, according to an article in the state-run New Light of Myanmar on Sunday.

 (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) -  The All Myanmar Islam Association – representing five Islamic associations – has called for a peaceful settlement of disputes in Rakhine State, according to an article in the state-run New Light of Myanmar on Sunday.

The group is comprised of the Olama Muslim Theologians, the Islam Religions Affairs Council Headquarters, the Myanmar Maulawi Organization Headquarters, the Myanmar Muslim Youth's Religious Organization (MaMala Headquarters) and the Myanmar Muslin National League (MaAhPha Headquarters).

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=338357

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Calculating the Human Cost of the War in Afghanistan

By ANDREW W. LEHREN

Aug 22, 2012

Figuring out how many United States military personnel have died in the war in Afghanistan is not simple.

By one count it is at least 2,094. By another, it is about 1,975. By a third, it is just over 2,000.

The correct figure depends on how you define the boundaries of the war.

Since United States forces began fighting in Afghanistan in early October 2001, at least 2,094 American service members have died in what is known as Operation Enduring Freedom, the American-led campaign against terrorism that has ranged across more than a dozen countries. While the vast majority of those deaths occurred in Afghanistan, others were in the Middle East, the Philippines, the Horn of Africa, at sea or elsewhere.

Limit the count to those inside the borders of Afghanistan, and the number dips below 2,000. According to the Department of Defense, at least 1,977 American service members died in Afghanistan or as a result of episodes or injuries that occurred there. Most of those deaths were combat related, but the number also includes vehicle accidents, aircraft crashes and suicides.

Full report at:

http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/calculating-the-human-cost-of-the-war-in-afghanistan/?ref=middleeast

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Americans tune out Afghan war as fighting rages on

Aug 22, 2012

KABUL: It was once President Barack Obama’s “war of necessity.” Now, it’s America’s forgotten war.

The Afghan conflict generates barely a whisper on the US presidential campaign trail. It’s not a hot topic at the office water cooler or in the halls of Congress — even though more than 80,000 American troops are still fighting here and dying at a rate of one a day.

Americans show more interest in the economy and taxes than the latest suicide bombings in a different, distant land. They’re more tuned in to the political ad war playing out on television than the deadly fight still raging against the Taliban. Earlier this month, protesters at the Iowa State Fair chanted “Stop the war!” They were referring to one purportedly being waged against the middle class.

By the time voters go to the polls Nov. 6 to choose between Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, the war will be in its 12th year. For most Americans, that’s long enough.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/22/americans-tune-out-afghan-war-as-fighting-rages-on/

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Brick ‘recycling’ threatens Bangladesh ancient city

Qurat ul ain Siddiqui   

Aug 22, 2012

MAHASTHANGARH, Bangladesh: When Abdus Sattar built his house in Mahasthangarh village in northern Bangladesh, he used materials that once laid the foundations of one of the world’s oldest and greatest cities.

“I just shovelled into the ground, got these bricks and used them in my new house,” Sattar, 38, said.

“All three rooms of the house were made of the old bricks we found here within the village boundary.”

Mahasthangarh sits on what was once the ancient city of Pundranagar, built 2,500 years ago and, at its height, a renowned seat of learning whose monasteries attracted monks from China and Tibet and trained them to spread Buddhist teachings across south and east Asia.

The oldest archaeological site in what is now Bangladesh, the ruins of the fortified city are a major tourist attraction, but experts fear there will soon be little left for visitors to see.

The stripping away of sections of the ruins by residential encroachment and the casual looting of artifacts has threatened to erase the remains of a city that stood for millennia.

In May, the Global Heritage Fund, which promotes the preservation of historic architectural treasures around the world, listed Mahasthangarh among Asia’s top 10 most endangered sites facing “irreparable loss and destruction”.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/22/brick-recycling-threatens-bangladesh-ancient-city/

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Afghanistan’s peace hopes may rest on Taliban captive

Aug 22, 2012

In the cloistered circles of the Taliban high command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar had no equal.

As military chief of the hardline Islamic movement that once ruled Afghanistan and was ousted by a US-led alliance, he oversaw the campaign of ambushes and roadside bombings that proved his fighters could threaten the most advanced armies.

When the talismanic leader was caught in Karachi in 2010, some Afghan officials hoped the magnetism he forged in war would persuade his former comrades to start talking peace. Indeed, news that Islamabad had allowed Afghan officials to visit Baradar two months ago sparked speculation in both countries of the prospects for a settlement.

Instead, Pakistan’s refusal to hand him over to Afghanistan symbolises one of the biggest obstacles to negotiations: a legacy of bone-deep suspicion dividing the neighbors.

Afghanistan fears that Pakistan is only pretending to support dialogue while its intelligence agencies harbour Taliban leaders to project influence across their shared frontier.

Any move to repatriate Baradar would raise Afghan hopes that Pakistan is willing to play a genuinely constructive role and open the door to other prominent insurgents.

“Releasing Mullah Baradar would encourage other Taliban leaders to embrace reconciliation,” Ismail Qasemyar, an adviser to Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, told Reuters. “It would be a huge symbolic step.”

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/21/afghanistans-peace-hopes-may-rest-on-taliban-captive/

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Mideast Asia

 

Israel Talking to Egypt Over Sinai Troop Movements

Aug 22, 2012

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli official says defense officials are in talks with Egyptian counterparts in hopes of resolving a disagreement over a recent Egyptian troop deployment in Sinai that has strained the peace accord between the two nations.

Israel says Egypt has illegally moved tanks into the Sinai desert near the Israeli border as part of a crackdown on Islamic militants. Under the 1979 peace deal, Sinai is largely demilitarized and such troop movements must be coordinated.

Defense Ministry official Amos Gilad told Israel Radio on Wednesday that talks are ongoing and "the subjects that require clarification are being clarified."

He did not mention the tanks. But another official says Israel has requested they be withdrawn. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing closed diplomatic contacts.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/08/22/world/middleeast/ap-ml-israel-egypt.html?hp&gwh=30FA54A62BBC6512E86231F0CADFD5D8

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Iranian lawmaker: OIC must show logical reaction to Muslim killing in Myanmar

Aug 22, 2012

An Iranian lawmaker has censured the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for remaining silent toward the massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, urging the body to react to such crimes.

 (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - An Iranian lawmaker has censured the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for remaining silent toward the massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, urging the body to react to such crimes.

“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation can show a logical reaction in this regard, but it has not paid attention to this issue due to internal conflicts which are going on in certain Muslim societies, including the Syria crisis,” member of Iran Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, Nozar Shafiei, said on Monday.

He expressed hope that the OIC would not remain indifferent to this ongoing catastrophe which is plaguing the Muslim world.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=338284

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Hamas: We won’t allow any tampering with the Aqsa mosque

Aug 22, 2012

Hamas said in a press release on Tuesday on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the burning of the Aqsa mosque that it won’t allow any tampering with the holy mosque.

 (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) -  Hamas said in a press release on Tuesday on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the burning of the Aqsa mosque that it won’t allow any tampering with the holy mosque.

It said that the mosque would remain the first Muslim Qibla and the third holiest shrine in Islam, and that all Judaization efforts and attempts to forge the history of the holy city of Jerusalem would fail.

Hamas said that Arab and Islamic identity of Jerusalem and the Aqsa mosque would remain forever, adding that it would sacrifice all for the sake of defending the holy site.

Hamas asked the Arab and Islamic masses along with the free people of the world to continue to support the Palestinian people and their steadfastness and to defend the Islamic and Christian holy shrines.

For its part, the popular resistance committees in Gaza issued a statement on the same occasion warning that any tampering with the Aqsa mosque would entail destruction on the “Zionist entity”.

It said in a statement on Tuesday that the “Zionist enemy” was encouraged by Arab and Muslim silence to commit more crimes against the Aqsa mosque.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=338534

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Netanyahu condemns hate attack on Palestinians

Aug 21, 2012

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday strongly condemned a brutal hate attack on young Palestinians last week in Jerusalem, describing it as a combination of 'racism and violence.'

"In the state of Israel we will not tolerate racism nor the combination of racism and violence," he said in remarks relayed by his office.

The attack in Jerusalem's central Zion Square, a busy late-night meeting place in the heart of the city's bar and entertainment district, took place early on Friday.

Dozens of Israelis targeted four cousins from Israeli-annexed Arab east Jerusalem. Press reports said hundreds of onlookers failed to intervene.

One victim, Jamal Julani, 17, remained in a serious condition in hospital on Tuesday.

Netanyahu spoke to the director of the hospital to ask about "the victims of this terrible incident in Jerusalem," his office said.

"This is something that we cannot accept -- not as Jews, not as Israelis. This is not our way," he said, pledging to bring the perpetrators to justice quickly.

The premier noted that "the entire state and all of its leaders come out together against such phenomena."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Netanyahu-condemns-hate-attack-on-Palestinians/articleshow/15588825.cms

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Skinny-Dipping in Israel Casts Unwanted Spotlight on Congressional Travel

By ERIC LICHTBLAU and JODI RUDOREN

Aug 22, 2012

WASHINGTON — The trip was much like any of the hundreds hosted in recent years by a nonprofit offshoot of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful Washington lobby, and the purpose was much the same: to solidify the support of American lawmakers for Israel at a time of Middle East tumult.

For eight expense-paid days, House Republicans visited Israel’s holiest sites, talked foreign policy with its highest officials and dined at its most famous restaurants, including Decks, known for its grilled beef, stunning views of the Sea of Galilee, and now, for an impromptu swim party.

With hundreds of Washington lawmakers having gone to Israel courtesy of the program, the trips have a reputation as being the standard-bearer for foreign Congressional travel. “We call it the Jewish Disneyland trip,” said one pro-Israel advocate in Washington.

But for lawmakers, the attention surrounding last summer’s trip — thanks to reports of a skinny-dipping Kansas lawmaker who was part of the delegation —  has cast an unwanted spotlight once again on the practice of private groups paying for foreign travel, a source of frequent criticism in the past.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/22/us/politics/israel-skinny-dipping-casts-spotlight-on-

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Iran condemns assassination attempt on Sunni cleric in Iraq

Aug 22, 2012

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Monday condemned assassination attempt on Mehdi al-Sumaidaie, the head of Iraq’s Sunni Fatwa Council.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the enemies, through such acts, have been trying to create division among the Muslim Ummah.

He added an intensification of terrorist moves against Iraqi Muslims including Shia and Sunni shows the “true nature” of those who orchestrate such “criminal acts”.

Mehmanparast expressed hope that Iraqi Muslims prevent the enemies from achieving their plots by adhering to “national unity and Islamic solidarity”.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=338204

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Sheikh Qaouk: Resistance Not Threatened by “Israel”, Zionist Entity Worried

Aug 22, 2012

Hizbullah Executive Council Deputy, Sheikh Nabil Qaouk said that ""Israel" is very uneasy to see us untroubled by its threats, especially as it conducts maneuvers and expects to see fear spreading among the people of Iran and the Resistance." Meanwhile, according to the official, such maneuvers emit feelings of fear and insecurity among the ‘Israelis". This fear was reflected as "Israelis" poured to demonstrate in front of the "Israeli" War minister's house, demanding him not to drag "Israel" into war with Iran.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - During a memorial ceremony in the Southern village of Burj Qalaway, Sheikh Qaouk pointed out ""Israel" itself is afraid, because it realizes the Resistance is ready [for any confrontation]; despite all pressure and harsh circumstances the Resistance has succeeded in mounting its military capabilities which in fact increases "Israel's" fear and grudge before an immune Lebanon."

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=338163

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Account of ‘a Lynch’ in Jerusalem on Facebook

By ROBERT MACKEY

Aug 22, 2012

As my colleague Isabel Kershner reports, several Israeli teenagers who appeared in court on Monday following their arrest for beating a young Palestinian unconscious expressed little remorse for the attack after a hearing.

According to the Jerusalem Post, their attitude inside the courtroom was similar. The newspaper reported that a 15-year-old boy admitted beating the 17-year-old victim, Jamal Julani, claiming that it was in response to a perceived slight on his mother. "He insulted my mom," the boy told a magistrate. "So I caught him and beat him. I hit him and I hope he gets it again. I hope he dies. You can't go by Damascus Gate without getting stabbed. So why do they come here? I beat him and I'd beat him again."

A witness to the attack, who described it in an emotional account on her Facebook page, referred to it as "a lynch," using the English loan word that is common in Hebrew. Mairav Zonszein, an Israeli-American writer and translator, included a translation of the witness account in a post on the Israeli news blog +972.

Full report at:

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/account-of-a-lynch-in-jerusalem-on-

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Arab World

 

Syria envoy says Assad resignation is up for discussion

Aug 22, 2012

Syria's deputy prime minister has said the government is prepared to discuss the exit of Bashar al-Assad, but that the president's resignation cannot be a pre-condition for talks.

Speaking on a visit to Moscow, Qadri Jamil also said the West "is looking for a pretext to intervene militarily".

Echoing Russia's foreign minister, he said there must be no intervention.

However, the US said there was nothing new in his remarks, and Washington wanted Mr Assad to go quickly.

"Frankly, we didn't see anything terribly new there," said US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

"Obviously, the longer this goes on, the harder it is, but we still believe that the faster Assad goes, the more chance there is to quickly move on to the day after," she added.

Mr Jamil's comments follow President Obama's warning that the US may intervene if Syria uses chemical weapons.

On Monday, Barack Obama said the deployment of chemical weapons represented a "red line" for the US.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19329637

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Slain Bahraini’s father: Ministry personnel beat my son to death

Aug 22, 2012

The father of slain Bahraini teenager Husam al-Haddad says his son was brutally beaten to death by the country’s Interior Ministry personnel.

 (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The father of slain Bahraini teenager Husam al-Haddad says his son was brutally beaten to death by the country’s Interior Ministry personnel.

“Husam al-Hadad was martyred due to a severe strike on his head by eight passengers onboard a vehicle belonging to Bahrain’s Interior Ministry,” Mohammad Jassim al-Haddad said in an exclusive interview with the Al-Alam news channel on Monday.

He said he had called on the Interior Ministry officials to open a probe into the killing of his son, arguing that Husam was not killed by shooting, but beaten severely to death.

According to the constitution, I have the right to file a complaint against the perpetrators, he noted. "If the Judiciary of Bahrain does not allow me to lodge a complaint, I will file a lawsuit against my son's murderers outside the country."

The 16-year-old was beat to death for attending a peaceful demonstration in Manama and holding up Palestine's flag to mark the International Quds Day and show solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Bahrain’s Interior Ministry confirmed Haddad’s death following the incident.

More than 90 people have been martyred and many others injured in the Saudi-backed crackdown on the peaceful protests in Bahrain.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=338319

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Egypt villagers confront minister over water poisoning

Aug 22, 2012

Egypt's health minister was locked inside a hospital room by villagers on Tuesday after contaminated water left dozens of people ill.

Mohammed Mustafa and Ashraf Hilal, the governor of Minufiya, were visiting sick residents of Sunsaft village when angry relatives confronted them.

They were shown bottles of water and told to "drink it", and were only freed an hour later after police intervened.

Samples of the water the villagers say is polluted is being tested.

Mr Mustafa has ordered the closure of illegal and unlicensed sources of water in Sunsaft, while Mr Hilal has suspended government employees responsible for its main water supply, according to the Associated Press.

The state-run news agency, Mena, said the number of those affected was more than 400, although previously officials put the figure at about 50.

The symptoms include severe diarrhoea, vomiting and high fevers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19340875

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Bahrain: "Eid without Kids"… more than 90 children abused behind bars

Aug 22, 2012

Bahrain marks Eid Al-Fitr occasion while 90 children , who are below the average legal age, have been kept behind bars treating them like adults by detaining them with accusation that do not go with their age.

 (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Bahrain marks Eid Al-Fitr occasion while 90 children , who are below the average legal age, have been kept behind bars treating them like adults by detaining them with accusation that do not go with their age.

All the arrests are related to freedom of expression as many human rights organizations demanded their immediate release as well as the release of all prisoners of conscience specially children.

 The regime in Bahrain violates the basic children rights by assaulting and killing them having no regard to their age.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=338369

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A Twitter fatwa may seem odd, but it's a sign of our times

Nesrine Malik

 21 August 2012

A senior cleric has condemned the practice of purchasing Twitter followers as 'dishonest and mendacious', and he has a point

The practice of purchasing Twitter followers is not only causing controversy for Real Housewives and presidential candidates. In Saudi Arabia, a senior cleric has condemned the practice as "dishonest and mendacious", following a revelation that several high-profile Saudis were buying "phantom followers".

While we mock the surfeit of fatwas emanating from the Saudi clergy – tackling everything from personal grooming to Mickey Mouse – this one seemed to genuinely hit the nail on the head. Prior to his pronouncement, the manager of a Saudi marketing company had told the press that it had sold "bundles" of Twitter followers, Facebook fans and YouTube "likes" to "sportsmen, businessmen, poets and clerics", but preferred not to name names. Soon after this revelation, Sheikh Abdullah declared that not only was buying Twitter followers really sad, it was also sinful and dishonest.

The term "fatwa" may conjure up images of death sentences and men demonstrating with effigies on spikes, but at its most prosaic, a fatwa is merely a religious opinion that deems something to be unacceptable – the Sheikh simply issued a sobering condemnation of online behaviour and the excesses of social networking.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2012/aug/21/twitter-fatwa-cleric

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Bahrain: Embracing Islam as way of life

Aug 22, 2012

SCORES of people in Bahrain have converted to Islam this year. Twenty-two people from all walks of life have already gone through the process and others have also declared their intention to take the life-changing step, according to Discover Islam.

 (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Scores of people in Bahrain have converted to Islam this year. Twenty-two people from all walks of life have already gone through the process and others have also declared their intention to take the life-changing step, according to Discover Islam.

They include seven Filipinos, four Americans, three Sri Lankans and three Indians besides several residents originally from Ethiopia, China, Britain, Moldova and Belarus.

"We receive people from various countries and backgrounds who have several questions about Islam and Muslims," said a Discover Islam spokesman.

"We have been bombarded with calls and e-mails from non-Muslims, who are willing to convert but are afraid to announce it to their families.

"By the grace of Allah, hundreds of people have reverted in the last few years and we are confident many more will come forward."

This year's converts are now looking forward to celebrating Eid after successfully negotiating their first Ramadan - despite concern among a few friends and family members about the path they have chosen.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=338556

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Eating the democratic crumbs from the Arab ruler's table

Amro Ali

22 August 2012

Previous leaders have benefited from circulated tales of personalised democracy, but Egypt's Mohamed Morsi won't be so lucky

Saudi Arabia's revered King Faisal once remarked: "If anyone feels wrongly treated, he has only himself to blame for not telling me. What higher democracy can there be?"

This line of "reasoning" has permeated the thinking of Arab rulers in which somehow they are the personification of a popular mandate and that democratisation is misunderstood by the wider population.

Yet it's one thing when Arab rulers say it, it's another when the Arab public quotes and endorses it.

One of the ideational stumbling blocks to the Arab uprisings and democratic transitions is a public adept at citing a handful of tales to justify the current or past hegemonic orders and repressive figures.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/22/democratic-crumbs-arab-ruler-egypt-morsi

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Syria Seen as Trying to Roil Lebanon

By DAMIEN CAVE

Aug 22, 2012

RAMA, Lebanon — As Syria’s civil war drags on, the recent arrest of a former Lebanese government minister allied with the Syrian leadership on charges that he planned a campaign of bombings and assassinations has led many in Lebanon to conclude that President Bashar al-Assad is trying to push this fragile country into a sectarian war.

The kidnapping of nearly 50 Syrians last week by Shiite tribes seeking to avenge abductions by rebels in Syria — along with deadly shootouts on Tuesday in Lebanon’s second-largest city, Tripoli — has also added to the sense that Lebanon’s tenuous stability is waning. Here among the rolling hills of the border, Sunnis say they are gathering weapons for a wider sectarian battle.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/22/world/middleeast/fears-rise-that-assad-is-trying-to-

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Doctor Group Is Treating Syrian Rebels and Civilians

By SCOTT SAYARE

Aug 22, 2012

PARIS — Working in a converted villa in a town in the Syrian north, an international team of doctors and nurses has been quietly treating Syrian opposition fighters and civilians for the past two months, Doctors Without Borders announced in Paris on Tuesday.

The seven-person team, working in conjunction with a group of Syrian doctors, represents one of the precious few aid groups that have entered Syria and established operations since the conflict began last year. Doctors Without Borders informed the Syrian government of its work shortly after arriving in the country, in secret, but was not authorized to stay.

“They’re aware of our presence,” said Olivier Falhun, a Paris official at Doctors Without Borders, known in French as Médecins Sans Frontières. But the government has indicated that the group’s work will be conducted “at our risks and perils,” Mr. Falhun said. The location of the field hospital has been kept secret.

Of the 300 patients treated at the 12-bed unit since June 22, the first day of operations, most have been the victims of shelling, mortar attacks, rockets or sniper fire, according to Brian Moller, 56, an anesthetic nurse who served as the hospital’s coordinator in July. More recently, doctors have seen an increase in wounds from tank fire and aerial strikes, said Mr. Moller, who left Syria this month.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/22/world/middleeast/doctors-without-borders-reveals-

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Syria regime planes 'pound Aleppo district'

Aug 22, 2012

BEIRUT — Syrian military planes pounded a rebel-held area of the northern city of Aleppo on Wednesday as opposition fighters claimed to have seized parts of a town on the Iraqi border, a watchdog said.

Twelve people were also killed by troops in a raid on a Damascus district, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a day after it reported dozens killed when regime forces stormed another suburb of the capital.

It said rebel fighters had seized control of an intelligence office and checkpoints in the eastern town of Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border.

"The rebels have seized parts of the town, including several checkpoints," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. "But it would be very hard for the rebels to take the whole of it, because there are hundreds of regime forces deployed there."

In Aleppo, fighter jets struck the southern district of Sheikh Saeed after regime forces and rebels clashes near a missiles depot in the area, the Observatory said.

Elsewhere in Syria's second city -- now the epicentre of the 17-month conflict -- the army shelled several other rebel-held districts, including Shaar, Sakhur and Hanano in the east, the Observatory said.

Full report at: Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.

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Army kills dozens in Damascus suburb: watchdog

Aug 22, 2012

BEIRUT: Syrian forces have killed dozens of civilians in a raid on a Damascus suburb, a watchdog said on Wednesday, reporting that many of the victims were summarily executed and others killed at a funeral.

Of at least 198 people reported dead across Syria on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it has documented the names of at least 42 civilians killed when regime forces stormed Maadamiyat al-Sham.

However, dozens more are feared dead in the mixed suburb, which is home to about 200,000 people including Christians, Alawites and Sunni Muslims and lies to the west of Damascus.

“Initial reports say that the army targeted a funeral procession, killing at least 36 people,” the Britain-based watchdog said, adding that it is working to document the victims’ names.

The Observatory also said that dozens of unidentified bodies had been found in a basement in Maadamiyat al-Sham on Tuesday, the latest grisly find as the 17-month conflict becomes increasingly brutal.

It is impossible to verify the claims.

Shelling by regime forces and fighting in the northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday also killed at least 31 civilians, including five women and five children, said the group, which has a network of monitors on the ground.

More than 23,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak of an anti-regime revolt in March last year, according to the Observatory. The UN puts the death toll at 17,000.

http://dawn.com/2012/08/22/army-kills-dozens-in-damascus-suburb-watchdog/

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Syrian forces kill 11 in Damascus, say activists

Aug 22, 2012

Activists say Syrian troops backed by tanks have stormed an upscale Damascus neighbourhood, killing at least 11 suspected rebels.

They said the attack came after regime forces shelled the area with mortars soon after dawn.

An activist, who only wanted to be identified by the name Bassam, said that as many as 22 tanks stormed the Kafar Soussa neighbourhood with about 20 soldiers on foot behind each one. He spoke via Skype from central Damascus.

The British-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 12 were killed by regime forces shelling and shooting in Kafar Soussa.

It was not immediately clear why government forces stormed Kafar Soussa, but there has been a dramatic spike in fighting in Damascus over the past month.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3807197.ece

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Syrian forces abandon security compounds on Iraq border

Aug 22, 2012

AMMAN: President Bashar al-Assad's forces evacuated two security installations at Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border on Tuesday as rebels made gains in the strategically important area after a week of heavy fighting, opposition sources said.

Security forces withdrew from the Airforce Intelligence and Political Security compounds in the town, 120 kms (75 miles) southeast of the city of Deir al-Zor, activists and a Free Syrian Army official said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Syrian-forces-abandon-security-compounds-on-Iraq-border/articleshow/15593337.cms

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North America

 

'Hillary was force behind Osama raid'

Aug 22, 2012

LONDON: US President Barack Obama put off three times operations to kill Osama bin Laden before finally going ahead with the mission at the insistence of secretary of state Hillary Clinton, a new book has claimed.

Citing unnamed sources, Rich Miniter, a former Wall Street Journal and Washington Times reporter, claims that three 'kill' missions were called off by Obama in January, February and March 2011.

The president feared that the daring navy Seals operation "might go tragically wrong" and he would be blamed for it, the Mail Online reported. The book claims the White House's narrative of Obama as a decisive leader who sanctioned Osama's killing was a "myth".

At the start of his presidency, Miniter writes, Obama was "studiously undecided" about whether to kill Osama. "He left critical decisions to the then-CIA chief Leon Panetta, then-secretary of defence Robert Gates and secretary of state Hillary Clinton."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Hillary-was-force-behind-Osama-raid/articleshow/15595208.cms

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Historic Al-Quds Anti-Zionist Rally in Toronto

Aug 22, 2012

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The streets of Toronto were filled with the slogans of ‘Shame Shame Israel”, “Zionism is racism”, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, “Long live Palestine” and “Judaism, Yes, Zionism, No”.  The over 3,000 attendees of the historic and largest Al-Quds rally ever held in North America and Western Europe included Rabbis from Neturei Karta (http://www.nkusa.org) and attendee and speakers from Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Sikh and Anti-war groups who refuse to accept that Judaism is the same as Zionism and that criticism of Israel is the same as Anti-Semitism.

The rally was a huge success in terms of the turnout, the diversity of the speakers and participants, and the organized, legal and peaceful manner in which it was conducted. The speakers denounced efforts by the organizations, representing the Zionist settlers in Canada, to silence the voice of the oppressed. They commended the speaker of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, Mr. Dave Levac for showing character and standing up for the rights of Canadians to express their views freely. The speakers also appreciated the Ontario Legislative Assembly security officers and the Toronto Police Force for protecting the rights of Canadians guaranteed by the constitution.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=338281

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U.S. downplays Syrian offer to discuss Assad’s resignation

Aug 22, 2012

The U.S. has downplayed the latest Syrian offer to discuss President Bashar al-Assad’s resignation through dialogue, saying it sees nothing “terribly new”, Xinhua reported.

Referring to remarks made by Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil about Al-Assad earlier Tuesday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, “Frankly, we didn’t see anything terribly new there.”

The Syrian official, following his talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, had told reporters that Al-Assad’s resignation could only be discussed during a national dialogue, and that the western attempt to force the president’s ouster on the Syrian people would set a “very dangerous precedent”.

“The Syrian government knows what it needs to do, and the Russian government, as you know, joined us in Geneva in setting forth a very clear transition plan,” Nuland said.

She said the meeting with Jamil offered Russia another chance to encourage the Syrian government to follow through the transition plan as envisaged in Geneva.

“But, you know, there’s no need to complicate it, as the deputy prime minister appeared to do there,” she added, noting “We still believe that the faster Al-Assad goes, the more chance there is to quickly move on to the day after.”

Russia and China, both permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, have opposed a forced regime change in Syria and advocated a negotiated settlement of the 18-month conflict.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3806528.ece

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US allows NGOs to send money to quake-hit Iran

Aug 22, 2012

The United States has said it will temporarily lift sanctions for US-based non-governmental organisations that want to send financial aid to help Iran's earthquake relief effort.

Until now US sanctions allowed food and medicines to be sent to Iran for humanitarian reasons, but not money.

Iran initially declined outside aid after two strong quakes hit its northwest, killing at least 300 people.

Tehran has been criticised for responding slowly to the disaster.

The US Department of Treasury order comes after several US-Iranian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) pressed the White House to lift restrictions on sending money so that they could support charities on the ground.

The US has imposed heavy sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear programme, which Washington suspects is aimed at building a nuclear weapon.

Tehran has always denied these accusations, insisting that it is developing nuclear technology for civilian purposes such as energy production.

Current US sanctions on Iran are meant to target Iranian officials and institutions, particularly those that Washington regards as directly involved in Iran's nuclear programme.

'People get hit'

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19339067

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'Dark Knight' killer saw 3 mental health experts before massacre

Aug 22 2012

Denver : James Holmes, who allegedly killed 12 people during the screening of ''The Dark Knight Rises'' at a movie hall in Colorado, United States, saw at least three mental health professionals at the University of Colorado before undertaking the the midnight shooting rampage.

At the University of Colorado, James Holmes had been a PhD student in neuroscience, before he dropped out last June.

According to the CBS News, before he left this campus, he had seen at least three mental health professionals associated with student mental health services.

Only one name has been publicly disclosed, Dr. Lynne Fenton, who is subpoenaed to appear in court in the Holmes case.

According to the report, how long Holmes met with each one the mental health professional and the depth of their involvement is not clear, but it adds to the picture of Holmes being clearly on their radar in the time period leading up to the shootings.

Holmes has been accused of opening fire in a midnight screening of the new Batman movie at a movie hall in a Denver suburb, killing dozens of people and wounding 58 others.

His attorney has claimed that Holmes suffers from an unspecified mental illness and had tried to get help.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/dark-knight-killer-saw-3-mental-health-experts-before-massacre/991588/

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Risks of Syrian Intervention Limit Options for U.S.

By STEVEN LEE MYERS and SCOTT SHANE

Aug 22, 2012

WASHINGTON — Despite President Obama’s warning to Syria not to use its arsenal of chemical weapons or allow them to fall into the hands of extremists, the administration’s options for intervening remain limited by what its officials have described as a simple calculus: It would make the conflict even worse.

American military operations against Syria, officials reiterated on Tuesday, would risk drawing in Syria’s patrons, principally Iran and Russia, at a much greater level than they already are involved. It would allow Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, to rally popular sentiment against the West and embolden Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups now fighting the Assad government to turn their attention to what they would see as another American crusade in the Arab world.

Syria’s deputy prime minister, Qadri Jamil, made the point in Moscow on Tuesday, dismissing Mr. Obama’s warning, and declaring that any foreign military intervention would lead to “a confrontation wider than Syria’s borders.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/22/world/middleeast/risks-of-syrian-intervention-limit-

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NYPD Muslim Spying Admission Confirms Discriminatory Policing

Muslim civil rights group demands immediate accountability and change

8/21/12

(NEW YORK, NY, 8/21/12) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today said that a recent admission by the New York Police Department (NYPD) that its program of spying on the Muslim community produced no criminal leads and did not result in a single terror-related case demonstrates the need for immediate policy changes to protect minority communities.

According to a report today by The Associated Press:

"In more than six years of spying on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and cataloging mosques, the New York Police Department's secret Demographics Unit never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation, the department acknowledged in court testimony unsealed late Monday.

"The Demographics Unit is at the heart of a police spying program, built with help from the CIA, which assembled databases on where Muslims lived, shopped, worked and prayed. Police infiltrated Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques, monitored sermons and cataloged every Muslim in New York who adopted new, Americanized surnames."

The revelation came from a June 28 deposition by Assistant Chief Thomas Galati, who said: "I never made a lead from rhetoric that came from a Demographics report."

Full report at:

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/NYPD-Muslim-Spying-Admission-Confirms-

 

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Michigan Syrians take risks to help refugees

 AUGUST 19, 2012

By SARAH CWIEK

Members of Michigan’s Syrian community are stepping up to help refugees fleeing the bloody conflict in that country.

Some lawyers in particular are helping Syrians seeking “temporary protected status” or political asylum in the United States.

In March, the Obama administration created a new policy allowing Syrians who had been living “continuously” in the United States to seek temporary protected status. Syria is one of only eight countries granted that status.

But Syrians who fled to the US after March are left seeking political asylum—which can be a very difficult process.

But some have been successful—including a Syrian physician now living in Michigan, said Lena Masri, a Syrian-American attorney with the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Masri said that doctor had been targeted by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government because he helped run underground hospitals to care for the wounded.

“He was arrested, and severely tortured for over a month,” Masri said. “And as soon as he was released, he did flee here to Michigan.”

Full report at:

http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-syrians-take-risks-help-refugees

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Chicago and RefugeeOne Speak Out on Burma Persecution of Rohingya Muslims

August 21, 2012

On Tuesday, August 21, CAIR-Chicago and RefugeeOne held a press conference to speak out against and spread awareness about the human rights violations currently taking place against Rohingya Muslims in Burma/Myanmar.

CAIR-Chicago was joined by Imam Malik Mujahid of Burma Task Force USA, CIOGC, and the Council for a Parliament of World Religions, and two Burmese refugees.

he Burmese refugees shared their personal experiences of being refugees and how they witnessed anti-Muslim sentiment and hate in Burma. After telling of their harrowing journeys Mujahid gave the audience background information on the history of the Muslim community in Burma. He explained the need to put pressure on the international community to lift sanctions preventing any and all aid from reaching the Rohingya Muslims.

Since June, the Burmese army and police have led a campaign of persecution targeting Rohingya Muslims through mass arrests and arbitrary violence. 650 Rohingyas have been killed, 1,200 are missing, and more than 80,000 have been displaced.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), RefugeeOne, and the Burma Task Force USA are urging the U.S. State Department and the international community to address the suffering of the almost one million Rohingya in Myanmar (formerly Burma), as well as those who have fled to neighboring Bangladesh.

CAIR also recently sent letters to the governments of Myanmar, Bangladesh and the United States seeking protection for Rohingya Muslims who are facing a renewed wave of ethnic and religious persecution.

http://www.cairchicago.org/2012/08/21/cair-chicago-and-refugeeone-to-speak-out-on-burma-persecution-of-rohingya-muslims/

 

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Copenhagen: Cinema warns moviegoers about “annoying” Muslims

Aug 22, 2012

A poster that appeared in the window of Copenhagen’s Palads theatre Saturday night warned patrons that due to Eid, the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, more Muslims would be in the theatres than normal and they could get loud and become annoying to other cinema guests.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - A poster that appeared in the window of Copenhagen’s Palads theatre Saturday night warned patrons that due to Eid, the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, more Muslims would be in the theatres than normal and they could get loud and become annoying to other cinema guests.

The sign even offered advice as to which of the films on offer could be the noisiest: "Movies like the Batman 3 [Dark Knight Rises], the Bourne Legacy, Total Recall, Abraham Lincoln and Prometheus, but one can never be sure in advance," read the warning.

Guests were advised to contact security guards if they experienced noisy Muslims.

"G4S guards will be available all day, so if you experience unacceptable behaviour, please contact them,” read the notice.

The notice went on to apologise “in advance” to cinema guests for any “bother” that may occur.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=338328

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Europe

 

Syrian government planning talks with opposition: Russia

 Aug 22, 2012

MOSCOW: The Syrian government is preparing for an immediate political dialogue with the opposition, according to Russian foreign ministry.

During his talks with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov here on Tuesday, visiting Syrian deputy prime minister Qadri Jamil stressed that the preparedness of Damascus for "the immediate engagement in the joint work aimed at consent among all the Syrians", Xinhua quoted the foreign ministry as saying in a statement.

The two sides also exchanged views in details on the settlement to the 18-month long Syrian crisis, with both sides expressing the interest in an earliest end to the violence in the country.

"They stressed there was no alternative to the settlement based on the UN Security Council resolutions, the Kofi Annan plan and the Geneva agreements," the ministry said.

Both sides also expressed the hope that newly appointed UN- Arab League special envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi would carry out his mission on the basis of the coordinated roadmap of the Syrian settlement, it added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Syrian-government-planning-talks-with-opposition-Russia/articleshow/15594443.cms

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Violence grips Aleppo as Moscow tells West not to meddle

Aug 21, 2012

ALEPPO: Heavy shelling and fighting erupted across swathes of Syria's second city of Aleppo on Tuesday, as both the regime and rebels claimed they were gaining ground in the key northern battleground.

At least 24 people were reported killed nationwide, among them women and children in Aleppo, as the regime pressed its onslaught on rebel areas a day after US President Barack Obama warned Damascus over its chemical weapons arsenal.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reacted by bluntly telling the West not to meddle in Syria, but also criticised the regime for failing to do enough to end a conflict that has exposed deep rifts among world powers.

On the ground, and heavy shelling was reported in Aleppo, including an area where a Japanese journalist was killed after being caught up in gunfire on Monday, while war planes bombarded the northern town of Marea, activists said.

The rebel Free Syrian Army said Tuesday it controlled almost two thirds of Aleppo, which has been battered by a month of air strikes, shelling and fighting, but a security source in Damascus rejected the claims.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Violence-grips-Aleppo-as-Moscow-

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UN atomic agency renews effort to inspect Iranian military site

Aug 22, 2012

VIENNA: The UN atomic agency is renewing efforts to gain access to an Iranian military site it suspects was used for experiments to develop nuclear arms.

Iran has denied experts of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency permission to visit the Parchin site since their first request early this year, despite repeated meetings between the two sides.

Tehran says a visit is possible only after extensive planning and a detailed outline of procedures _ a caveat IAEA officials describe as a stalling tactic.

The UN agency announced that a new meeting was planned for Friday.

It said on Tuesday that the two sides will meet for talks "to resolve issues relating to Iran's nuclear program" _ terminology that also described previous sessions where the IAEA failed to secure permission to visit the site.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/UN-atomic-agency-renews-effort-to-inspect-Iranian-military-site/articleshow/15593403.cms

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Islamic TV Station Launches in Russia

Aug 22, 2012

Russia's first Islamic television station has begun broadcasting, the channel's chief editor said.

 (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Russia's first Islamic television station has begun broadcasting, the channel's chief editor said.

The station, AL-RTV, is meant to promote Islamic religious and spiritual values, RIA Novosti reported Monday. It was launched Sunday to coincide with the holiday Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Islamic holy month of fasting, Ramadan.

AL-RTV chief editor Rustam Arifdzhanov is also the vice president of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio Broadcasting.

"From day one we started operating as a public TV channel," he said.

The station is funded by a combination of private donations and government grants, RIA Novosti reported. It covers eight Russian regions: Bashkortostan, Tatarstan and six North Caucasus republics.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=338359

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Tycoon Asil Nadir convicted of more Polly Peck thefts

Aug 22, 2012

Former tycoon Asil Nadir has been found guilty of six more charges involving the theft of millions of pounds from his Polly Peck empire more than 20 years ago.

An Old Bailey jury has now convicted Nadir of nine thefts from the former conglomerate totalling £28.5m.

The judge has told the jury to continue deliberating on two remaining counts.

Polly Peck International, once a major UK company, collapsed in 1990 after a Serious Fraud Office investigation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19293067

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Africa

 

At least 48 Kenyans hacked to death in ethnic clash

August 22, 2012

At least 48 Kenyans were hacked or burnt to death in ethnic clashes between two rival groups, the worst single attack since deadly post-election violence four years ago, police said Wednesday.

"It is a very bad incident.... They include 31 women, 11 children and six men," regional deputy police chief Joseph Kitur said of the attack, which took place late Tuesday between the Pokomo and Orma peoples in the rural Tana River district.

Kitur said "34 were hacked to death and 14 others were burnt to death," while several huts were torched after a gang of men launched the attack, the latest in a long history of bitter clashes between the rival groups in the remote area of Kenya.

It was not clear what sparked the attack, but the two communities have clashed before over the use of land and water resources, although the scale and intensity of the killings shocked police.

The attack happened in the Reketa area of Tarassa in Kenya's south-east, close to the coast and some 300 kilometres (185 miles) from the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

In 2001, at least 130 people were killed in a string of clashes in the same district and between the same two communities about access to land and a river.

"Clashes over pasture have been recurrent in this region," said national police spokesman Eric Kiraithe.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/afp/at-least-48-kenyans-hacked-to-death-in-ethnic-clash/539691

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South African clerics mediate in mining conflict

Aug 22, 2012

Religious leaders have launched efforts to mediate an end to the conflict at South Africa's Marikana mine following deadly clashes last week.

A faith-based group said it had arranged "very cordial" talks between mining giant Lonmin and striking workers demanding higher pay.

Police shot dead 34 miners last week, accusing them of instigating violence.

South Africa's Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu accused the police of carrying out a "massacre".

The Bench Marks Foundation, a faith-based group which monitors corporate performance, said talks between Lonmin and worker representatives have been taking place since Monday.

"So far the process was very cordial and both parties listened to each other," the organisation's chairman, Jo Seoka, said.

'Reminiscent of apartheid'

"Negotiations started on Monday to give the workers a platform to present their grievances and demands."

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19341850

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Christian/Muslim group visit senior Nigeria Shia cleric Sheikh Zakzaky

Aug 22, 2012

The Christian/Muslim Youth Peace Initiative who are out to foster peace and understanding among adherents of the two major Nigerian religions have paid a visit to the revered leader of the African Shia Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky at his home in Zaria on 20th August 2012.

 (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The Christian/Muslim Youth Peace Initiative who are out to foster peace and understanding among adherents of the two major Nigerian religions have paid a visit to the revered leader of the African Shia Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky at his home in Zaria on 20th August 2012.

Speaking at the occasion, the leader of the delegation Mr Diji Haruna, who is also the chairman youth wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said that they were there to pay a Eid visit to the revered leader of the Islamic Movement and to extend the message of their association which is to promote peace and understanding among the various adherents of the two major religions in the country.

He said, “We want to be our brother’s keepers because without peace one cannot practice his or her religion perfectly. We therefore resolved to come together to do everything possible to restore lasting peace, not only in Kaduna but in Nigeria at large.”

He explained that their program will cover the entire nation where they hope to have branches in all the state capitals. He said, “After Kaduna state, the next state to benefit from this program is Plateau state. Again we will make sure we have branches in all the states of the federation.”

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=338526

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Mali Hostages Urge Governments to Negotiate Their Release: Al Jazeera TV

Aug 22, 2012

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Three Western hostages seized by al Qaeda militants in Mali last year have urged their governments to negotiate their release, Al Jazeera television reported, showing what it said was footage of the captives.

The three men appeared in good condition in the video broadcast by Al Jazeera on Tuesday night and posted on its website.

The hostages - Sjaak Rijke from the Netherlands, Stephen Malcolm, who has dual South African and British citizenship, and Sweden's Johan Gustafsson - were seized on November 25 while walking along a street in the northern Malian town of Timbuktu. A fourth person in the group was killed.

The kidnapping took place weeks before secular and Islamist rebels, some with links to al Qaeda, took up arms against Mali's government. The insurgents later took advantage of the chaos surrounding a March coup to take control of the country's desert north.

In the footage, Al Jazeera showed the three men arrive on vehicles used by the militants, then walk around and sit down. Their voices could not be heard, and appeared to have been dubbed over with a reporter's voice, quoting them as saying they were being treated well and demanding their governments to negotiate their release.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/08/22/world/africa/22reuters-mali-crisis-

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Farmhand Jailed for Life in Killing of South African Supremacist

Aug 22, 2012

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African court sentenced a black farmhand to life in prison on Wednesday for the axe murder of Eugene Terre'blanche, a white supremacist prominent during the dying years of apartheid.

Chris Mahlangu killed Terre'blanche over a pay dispute in April 2011 at the white farmer's home in Ventersdorp, about 125 km (80 miles) west of Johannesburg.

Judge John Horn said the attack was not racially motivated. Many South Africans see Terre'blanche as a relic from a bygone era and his murder did little to stir racial tension.

Yet the case has served as a reminder of the bitter historical divisions in a country now dubbed the "Rainbow Nation" and ruled by the African National Congress, the party that helped end apartheid in 1994.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/08/22/world/africa/22reuters-safrica-

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Southeast Asia

 

Elections Committee Investigates Mosque for Fauzi Promotion

Febriamy Hutapea & Ronna Nirmala | August 22, 2012

Despite a prohibition against political campaigning at houses of worship, a mosque near Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo’s house has posted a leaflet urging Muslims to vote for the incumbent in the upcoming gubernatorial election.

The leaflet, titled “Guidance to Vote for Jakarta’s Leader,” was the result of a meeting of Muslim clerics, the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) and 500 congregation members at Ahmad Yani Mosque in Menteng, Central Jakarta.

It encouraged Muslims to vote for the candidate who will benefit Jakarta residents and who has more political experience and knowledge in the fields of religion and science.

The group claimed Fauzi satisfied those requirements more than his opponent, Solo Mayor Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi.

Fauzi, the group said, was religious and had close ties to the ulema, or Islamic leaders, as well as a doctorate degree in city planning from Germany and 30 years of experience in Jakarta.

“We want Muslims in Jakarta to be religiously responsible by casting their votes for Fauzi Bowo and [his running mate] Nachrowi Ramli during the second round of the gubernatorial election,” the leaflet said.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/elections-committee-investigates-mosque-for-fauzi-promotion/539611

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Leap of Faith Into Television Pays Off for Young Papuan Preacher

Ulma Haryanto | August 22, 2012

Nurlan Ramaur was 12 years old when he auditioned for Pildacil, short for “Pemilihan Dai Cilik,” a junior preacher’s competition produced and aired by private TV station ANTV.

Hailing from the remote Arar island of Sorong district in West Papua, Nurlan and his mother Nurzila, 37, went to great lengths, literally, to get to Jakarta.

“I was glad to be there, to perform in front of an audience. I also got new material and learned new preaching techniques from the competition,” Nurlan told the Jakarta Globe.

Nurlan’s mother is nothing short of dedicated. With little money and plenty of faith in her son, the duo began their journey with two-hour trip on a rowboat to the nearest harbor before hitching a ride on a truck to the district capital of Sorong, where they spent the night in a mosque.

From there, Nurzila, who normally makes a living by selling fried bananas, went on a search for sponsors to cover travel expenses to Jakarta. A dean at a local college, who belongs to the country’s second-largest Islamic group, Muhammadiyah, agreed to donate some money after asking Nurlan to preach in front of the school.

However, the money was only enough for a plane trip to Makassar, with a stop in Ambon, Maluku.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/leap-of-faith-into-television-pays-off-for-young-papuan-preacher/539535

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/by-new-age-islam-news-bureau/it-was-pouring,-so-sikhs-invited-muslims-to-offer-namaaz-in-gurdwara/d/8373

 

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