New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 7 Sept 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Libya clashes break out over Sufi shrine attack by Islamic Extremists

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Africa

Libya clashes break out over Sufi shrine attack by Islamic Extremists

Nigeria phone mast attacks by Boko Haram kill 15, schools burnt

Dozens Killed in Clashes between Sudan Army and Rebels

Thousands rally to demand ‘cleansing’ of Tunisia

Tunisia designs its democracy, painfully

Ethiopia prepares for power transition

Somalia to vote for new president

 

India

India and Pak sign new liberalized visa agreement

RBI permits Indians to invest in Pak

Pakistan refuses visa to Praveen Swami, Resident Editor, The Hindu Daily, Delhi

India-Pakistan to ease visa norms for visitors

Terror groups will try to use sea route to enter India: Manmohan

Krishna renews Sarabjit plea with Zardari

Krishna meets Khar; terrorism high on agenda

Victims of Delhi High Court blast remembered on first anniversary

 

Pakistan

52 murdered in 2 decades over blasphemy charges in Pak: report

1,725 killed in Karachi violence in eight months

Pak F M: We don’t want an identity as a country hostile to India

 ‘25m children out of school in Pakistan’

Pakistan media gives thumbs up to Krishna's visit

Time for India, Pak to show greater understanding: Zardari

85 percent Pakistanis want relaxation of visa between India, Pakistan: IPSS

Two NATO containers set on fire at Mastung

26/11 case: Pak judge adjourns trial for a week

Will consider Sarabjit case: Zardari

Tehrik-i-Insaf splits into two groups in Swat

SC shows concern over grave situation in Balochistan

Islamic book fair opens at Aiwan-e-Iqbal

Pak government will be bowled in one delivery: Imran

 

Central Asia

NATO warns against ‘glorification’ of Azerbaijan killer

 

South Asia

Teen Suicide bomber kills 6 outside NATO HQ in Kabul

B'desh to hand over replicas of Tagore's houseboat to India

Bombs kill four on Afghan national holiday: officials

200 Afghan nationals detained at Dalbandin

 

Arab World

Disabled Saudi youth provides inspiration and optimism

Minority Militias Stir Fears of Sectarian War in Damascus

‘Groom of Taif Prison’ Pardoned for SR 27 Million by the Family of His Victim

Mursi ‘craves’ for instant fame

Kingdom's achieves 96% literacy rate from 60% in 1972

Arab artists: Hussain Madi creates engraved paintings

Egyptian army says it destroyed 31 tunnels during ‘Operation Sinai’

For ‘camel-lovers’ only: World’s first camel club planned in Saudi Arabia

Paralympics: Iraqi athletes spear Paralympic silver, bronze

Syrian Rebels Say They Freed 350 Prisoners, as Others Appeal for Unity

Bahrain Takes Legal Action against Opposition over March

 

North America

Anti-Muslim Activist, Blasts Exhibit for highlighting contributions of Muslim scientists

Canada Closes Tehran Embassy and Orders Iran Envoys to Leave

No plans to designate Pak as state sponsor of terrorism: US

Haqqanis say US listing them as terrorists will hurt Afghan peace

Pentagon escalates case that Osama book writer broke secrecy pledge

War between Pakistan and Afghanistan unlikely, says US general

Sole hospitalised victim of US Gurdwara shooting out of ICU

 

Europe

Russia to push for Geneva peace deal at UN

British and Dutch urge sanctions against Hezbollah

EU 'consensus' to beef up Syria sanctions: Cyprus

 

Mideast Asia

From Israel’s Archives, Papers on Munich Killings

Yemen clashes kill three ‘Qaeda’ militants: official

Barak: Israel could reoccupy parts of Gaza Strip

Iran says may retaliate for Canada's "hostile" cut in ties

From Politics to Ads, Israel Archives Meet YouTube

Yemeni Militia Leaders Survives Attack by Suspected Islamists

Salafist militants claim rockets fired into Israel

Said K. Aburish, Palestinian Journalist, Dies at 77

Yemenis march demanding prosecution of ex-leader

 

Southeast Asia

Justice and H R Minister of Indonesia Victim to Pickpocket

Syrian envoys in Malaysia announce defection from Assad’s regime

 

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Libya clashes break out over Sufi shrine attack by Islamic Extremists

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/by-new-age-islam-news-bureau/libya-clashes-break-out-over-sufi-shrine-attack-by-islamic-extremists/d/8607

 

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Africa

 

Libya clashes break out over Sufi shrine attack by Islamic Extremists

09/08/2012

Three people have been killed in clashes in Libya between local residents and Islamic extremists trying to destroy a Sufi shrine, the interior ministry says.

Officials said residents in the eastern town of Rajma clashed with Salafist Islamists who were trying to destroy the Sidi al-Lafi mausoleum.

It is the latest in a series of attacks on shrines belonging to the mystical Sufi branch of Islam in Libya.

Many Islamists view Sufis as heretics.

In Rajma, 50km (31 miles) south-east of the city of Benghazi, witnesses said armed local residents fought off Salafist extremists who were trying to destroy the mausoleum.

"The clashes left three people dead and several more wounded on both sides," Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharif told AFP news agency.

He said Libyan security forces had brought the situation under control and dispersed the crowd with help from local tribal chiefs.

Earlier this month, two Sufi shrines in Zlitan and the capital Tripoli were destroyed in attacks also blamed on ultra-conservative Islamists.

Such attacks have increased since the end of the eight-month civil war that toppled Col Muammar Gaddafi, as the authorities struggle to control lawlessness.

Last week, Libyan Interior Minister Fawzi Abdelali resigned after Congress criticised his handling of the violence.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19522215

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Nigeria phone mast attacks by Boko Haram kill 15, schools burnt

 Sep 8, 2012

KANO: Attacks claimed by Nigerian religious group Boko Haram targeting mobile phone towers in recent days have also left 15 people dead and buildings burnt, including two schools, officials said Friday.

More than two dozen mobile phone towers for various providers have been destroyed in cities across northern Nigeria this week, marking a new type of attack from a group that has become notorious for deadly gun and bomb assaults. Police said that two primary schools, a fire station, an electoral office and two religious affairs buildings were also burnt in the northeastern city of Damaturu, which has been hard hit by Boko Haram. “The attackers also burnt down two primary schools, an (electoral) office, the fire service, the pilgrims’ welfare board and the ministry for religious affairs,” said Patrick Egbuniwe, police commissioner for Yobe state, where Damaturu is located.

Egbuniwe confirmed that five people were killed during the attacks on the mobile phone towers in Damaturu, but a hospital source put the death toll at 15, including a protocol officer for the state government. “Thirteen bodies were brought to the morgue Wednesday night following explosions and shootings around telecom masts,” the source said on condition of anonymity. “The bodies were brought in by soldiers. Two more bodies were brought Thursday morning. We have 15 bodies in all. They all have gunshot wounds.”

Boko Haram claimed the attacks on mobile phone towers in a statement on Thursday, alleging telecom providers had assisted authorities in investigating the group. It also threatened journalists for Voice of America radio, which operates a Hausa-language service listened to throughout Nigeria’s north.

The threat follows a recent VOA report quoting a supposed Boko Haram spokesman saying dialogue was currently underway with the government.

Boko Haram has previously threatened journalists it accused of misrepresenting it and bombed the Abuja offices of one of the country’s most prominent newspapers in April. The group is accused of killing more than 1,400 people since 2010 in its insurgency. It has demanded the creation of an Islamic state in Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer, though its demands have repeatedly shifted.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\09\08\story_8-9-2012_pg4_3

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Dozens Killed in Clashes Between Sudan Army and Rebels

 Sep 8, 2012

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Clashes erupted between Sudan's army and rebels in the western Darfur region and in a southern state, killing dozens of people including civilians, the sides said on Friday, the latest violence in the country's borderlands.

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is battling an alliance of rebel groups operating in Darfur and two states bordering its neighbor South Sudan.

Sudan accuses South Sudan of supporting the rebels, while Juba says Khartoum funds militias in South Sudan. Diplomats say that both allegations are credible.

South Sudan split from Sudan last year under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war, but the two have remained at odds over a range of issues and conflict has continued to plague their borderlands. The nations came close to war in April.

Sudan's military spokesman al-Sawarmi Khalid said the army killed 77 rebels in two separate clashes on Thursday in South Kordofan, a state bordering South Sudan, and in North Darfur state.

The army is fighting rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-North) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, another state bordering South Sudan.

Khalid said SPLM-North rebels attacked the village of Hajr al-Dum in South Kordofan. He said 45 rebels and 21 civilians were killed in the violence, among them women and children.

"The armed forces are continuing to expel the rebels from the area," he said.

DIFFERING ACCOUNTS

The SPLM-North gave a different account, however. It said its forces had attacked an army position in the area of Hajr al-Dum and had driven out all troops from the area. One soldier was killed and five wounded, spokesman Arnu Lodi said in a statement.

Military spokesman Khalid said the army repulsed a rebel attack on the village of al-Adradib in North Darfur, killing 32 insurgents. Several soldiers were killed or wounded, he told Sudanese state television, without giving any figures.

However, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), one of the biggest Darfur rebels groups, said dozens of soldiers were killed when JEM repulsed an army attack on the village.

"The air forces bombed the area and killed tens of civilians," JEM spokesman Jibril Adam said.

He also said the army attacked the area of Tanga in South Darfur. "Our forces dealt a major blow to the Sudanese Armed Forces and their militias in Tanga," Adam said.

Events in Darfur and South Kordofan are hard to verify due to a lack of access for journalists to the remote areas.

The SPLM-North, JEM and two other Darfur rebels groups formed an alliance last year with the aim of toppling Bashir.

Sudan and South Sudan are currently holding talks in Ethiopia to discuss a border security agreement.

They have already signed an interim deal to restart oil exports, the lifeline for both nations. But Sudan wants a border deal before it will allow its landlocked neighbor to export its oil through northern pipelines.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Pravin Char)

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/09/07/world/africa/07reuters-sudan-

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Thousands rally to demand ‘cleansing’ of Tunisia

07 September 2012

Thousands of people protested in Tunis on Friday, mostly supporters of the ruling Islamist party Ennahda, demanding that Tunisia be “cleansed” of corrupt remnants of the ousted Zine ElAbidine Ben Ali regime.

The crowd gathered in the Kasbah, the site of government headquarters, calling for administrative purges in the media and political opposition, notably members of the exiled dictator’s RCD party that once dominated Tunisian politics, to be speeded up, an AFP journalist reported.

“Tighten the screw,” “RCD get out,” and “The people want the judiciary and media to be cleansed,” were some of the slogans daubed on the placards of the protesters, who also flew Tunisian and Ennahda flags.

The demonstration was organized via social media by an informal movement known as “Ekbes” (“Get a move on,” in Arabic) that is close to the moderate Islamist party, with a number of those present arriving on buses from outside the capital.

A similar rally was held for the first time at the end of August.

Officially at least, Ennahda played no part in the organization of the protest, which was mostly attended by its youth supporters who focused their attacks on the media and political opposition.

“The media do not report the truth about the government’s achievements in the regions,” said Riadh Chaibi, a senior Ennahda official addressing the activists.

The rally was held as Islamists face accusations by opposition and civil society groups of interfering with press freedom, notably by appointing supporters to head state media companies.

The authorities, in response, say that they are simply trying to remove corrupt remnants of the former regime, which was toppled by a mass uprising in January last year.

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/07/236712.html

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Tunisia designs its democracy, painfully

BOUAZZA BEN BOUAZZA

September 07, 2012

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) Tunisia dived into a fierce debate this week over a document that could be an example for the changing Arab world: a long-awaited constitution that will lay out what women are free to do, Islam's role in society and art, and how to share political power after decades of dictatorship.

Differences over how to word the document are already threatening to tear apart the ruling alliance of secular and religious parties that hold Tunisia precariously together, a year and a half after it started the pro-democracy wave of uprisings across the Middle East known as the Arab Spring. Tunisia's experience will be closely watched by the rest of the region.

Amid recent unrest by disgruntled jobless protesters and violent youths pushing their ultraconservative form of Islam, the assembly that was elected last year to run Tunisia and create the constitution reconvened this week.

Full report at:

http://www2.wnct.com/news/2012/sep/07/tunisia-designs-its-democracy-painfully-ar-2586039/

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Ethiopia prepares for power transition, life after Meles

AMAN SETHI

 Sep 8, 2012

The key posts of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of Ethiopia’s ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), rendered vacant after Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s death last month, will be determined by the middle of September, according to a statement released on the EPRDF website.

Meles died on August 20, leaving behind a vacuum in the country that he had ruled for 21 years and transformed into one of Africa’s fasting growing economies. Since his death, his party has been keen to project a united and stable front. At a press conference last month, the Minister for Communications Bereket Simon announced that Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Haile Mariam Desalegn would take over as Acting Prime Minister and lead the country into the general elections in 2015.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3871559.ece

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Somalia to vote for new president

 8 September 2012

Somalia’s 25 presidential hopefuls were campaigning ahead of an election due Monday, the final stage of a UN-backed process to set up a new administration for the war-torn country.

The election has been delayed several times — having already missed an August 20 deadline — but international pressure has increased on parliament to chose a president swiftly, setting the date for Monday.

‘We are only days away from an historic presidential election,’ UN special representative for Somalia Augustine Mahiga said earlier this week, praising efforts to ‘move forward to a new more legitimate and representative’ system.

Analysts have taken a far gloomier outlook on the process, suggesting it offers little but a reshuffling of key figures and positions.

Somalia has lacked an effective central government since president Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991, unleashing cycles of bloody conflict that have defied countless peace initiatives.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-

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India

 

India and Pak sign new liberalized visa agreement

Sep 8, 2012

ISLAMABAD: India and Pakistan today signed the much-awaited liberalized visa agreement, introducing for the first time group tourist and pilgrim visas, separate visa for businessmen and visa on arrival for those over 65 years of age.

The new pact, signed between external affairs minister S M Krishna and Pakistan interior minister Rehman Malik, replaces a 38-year-old restrictive visa agreement and will pave the way for time-bound visa approval and greater people to people contacts and boost trade.

While there was no time-frame for issuance of non-diplomatic visas, the new pact says that visa has to be issued with a period of not exceeding 45 days of application.

Under the new regime, one can visit five places instead of the three at present and those above 65 years of age and children below 12 years of age and "eminent" businessmen are exempted from police reporting.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-and-Pak-sign-new-liberalized-visa-agreement/articleshow/16312202.cms

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RBI permits Indians to invest in Pak

September 07, 2012

Reserve Bank on India on Friday permitted Indians to invest in Pakistan, a move which will help enhance bilateral trade and investment.

The RBI notification comes on a day when external affairs minister SM Krishna is visiting Pakistan aimed at strengthening bilateral

relations.

"It has now been decided that the overseas direct investment by Indian parties in Pakistan shall henceforth be considered under the approval route," RBI said in a notification.

The moves comes days after India allowed investment from Pakistan.

"Necessary amendments to the Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Any Foreign Security), Regulations, 2004 are being issued separately," the RBI said.

Bilateral trade between the neighbours stood at about US$ 3 billion and is expected to reach US$ 6 billion in the next three years.

Earlier, Pakistan had expressed concern over certain issues related with investments from India.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/RBI-permits-Indians-to-invest-in-Pak/Article1-926243.aspx

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Pakistan refuses visa to Praveen Swami, Resident Editor, The Hindu Daily, Delhi

 Sep 8, 2012

It was on MEA’s invitation that “The Hindu” nominated him to accompany Krishna

Pakistan refused a visa to The Hindu’s Praveen Swami, who was to have travelled with the media delegation accompanying External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on his two-day visit to Islamabad that began on Friday.

The Pakistan High Commission gave no reasons for turning down Mr. Swami’s visa application.

The Hindu’s Editor, Siddhartha Varadarajan, said it had been conveyed to him on Thursday that the newspaper could nominate another reporter, and the Pakistan High Commission would arrange the visa for the substitute immediately.

“We refused the offer. It is not acceptable for anyone to dictate who we can send to cover a story,” Mr. Varadarajan said.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3871317.ece

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India-Pakistan to ease visa norms for visitors

Sep 8, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The new visa policy between India and Pakistan, to be signed on Saturday, has eased restrictions on visitors from both the countries.

There will be a single-entry visitor visa for a maximum period of six months but the stay cannot exceed three months at a time and for five places (currently limited to three places).

Also, business visa has been separated from visitor visa, a communique said.

Under a new category, a visitor visa for a maximum of five specified places may be issued for a longer period of up to two years with multiple entries to senior citizens (above 65); spouse of a national of one country married to person of another country and children below 12 accompanying parent(s).

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Pakistan-to-ease-visa-norms-for-visitors/articleshow/16309952.cms

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Terror groups will try to use sea route to enter India: Manmohan

Sep 8, 2012

NEW DELHI: Two days after the Intelligence Bureau talked about India's vulnerability to global terrorists, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday expressed how the terror threat persists unabated with the militant groups' ability to use sea routes to enter the country at the time when they already stepped up their infiltration attempts across the Line of Control and the International Border.

Asking top cops of the country to exercise utmost vigilance not only along land border but also along maritime boundary, Singh said: "There are indications about terrorist groups maintaining their ability to use the sea route".

The Prime Minister also expressed deep concern over increase in communal incidents in the past few months when the country not only witnessed a month long violence in Assam but also felt its repercussions in other parts where certain elements used social media network and SMSs\MMSs to spread inflammatory messages and doctored videos to create panic and social unrest.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Terror-groups-will-try-to-use-sea-route-to-enter-India-Manmohan/articleshow/16308767.cms

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Krishna renews Sarabjit plea with Zardari

Sep 8, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Foreign minister S M Krishna renewed clemency requests for Sarabjit Singh, the death row convict in Pakistan, in his meeting with President Asif Zardari here on Friday.

According to sources, Zardari said he will keep the request in mind while seeing what can be done. Meanwhile, Sarabjit's counsel Awais Sheikh on Friday said the Pakistani government is seriously considering a mercy appeal from the Indian death row prisoner and that he could be released soon.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Krishna-renews-Sarabjit-plea-with-Zardari/articleshow/16304643.cms

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Krishna meets Khar; terrorism high on agenda

 Sep 8, 2012

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna began crucial talks with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar on Saturday to review the second round of resumed dialogue with issues like terrorism to be on top of the agenda.

The one-to-one meeting between Mr. Krishna and Ms. Khar was followed by delegation-level talks between the two sides.

Indian officials earlier said that terrorism will form the core of New Delhi’s discussions, particularly the slow pace of the Mumbai attack case trial.

Other issues include those concerning prisoners as well as trade and border issues.

The talks will culminate in inking of much-awaited new liberalised visa agreement to boost people-to-people contacts.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3873869.ece?homepage=true

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Victims of Delhi High Court blast remembered on first anniversary

 Sep 07 2012

New Delhi : Tearful relatives and friends remembered the victims of the Delhi High Court blast on its first anniversary today, accusing the government of failing to deliver on promises of compensation.

The relatives, who gathered at the High Court premises, complained that they were promised jobs and other facilities but claimed government did nothing for them.

Delhi High Court Acting Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri led judges and lawyers in paying tributes to the victims.

Fifteen people were killed and several others injured when a bomb placed a near reception exploded on this day last year.

Suman Goel, whose father was a blast victim, said the government assured them of a job but "now when we go to a government department and inquire about our compensation and the earning options that we were promised, they treat us like criminals questioning us to the hilt."

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/victims-of-delhi-high-court-blast-remembered-on-first-anniversary/999380/

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Pakistan

 

52 murdered in 2 decades over blasphemy charges in Pak: report

By Umer Nangiana

September 8, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Ever since the introduction of stringent amendments in blasphemy laws under General Ziaul Haq’s rule, more people suffered from communal clashes than ever in the sub-continent. Since 1990 alone, fifty-two people have been extra-judicially murdered on charges of blasphemy.

The number of blasphemy-related incidents shot up during Zia’s rule, during which 80 cases were reported to the courts compared to only seven such cases reported during the British rule from 1851 to 1947.

This information was revealed in a report titled: ‘Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan; Historical Overview’ launched on Friday by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS).

Ahmadis, it was found, after initially being declared a minority in 1974, have suffered the most as a result of blasphemy laws, which were changed by Ziaul Haq. However, those sentenced to death also included Muslim clerics, teenagers and old men, the report stated. Since 1987, more than 247 blasphemy cases were registered or raised, directly affecting the lives of some 435 people.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/433305/crss-report-52-murdered-in-two-decades-over-blasphemy/

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1,725 killed in Karachi violence in eight months

8 September 2012

Pakistan’s commercial capital and the largest city, Karachi, has become city of violent deaths and in the first eight months of this year 1,725 people have lost their lives, according to the latest figures by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

According to the report, the city lost two apolitical residents for every political activist to violence in the first eight months of the year and there seemed to no end to the killings. The report also highlighted the dangerous level of incidents of extortion and in case of non-payment of money people are killed.

The statistics released by the city’s Citizens-Police Liaison Committee are, however, much higher as many cases are not reported.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=/data/international/2012/September/international_September242.xml&section=international

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Pak F M: We don’t want an identity as a country hostile to India

 Sep 8, 2012

India and Pakistan need to move beyond a relationship dictated by the disputes the two countries have, Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar tells Rajeev Deshpande in an exclusive interview. Excerpts:

How would you see progress in the dialogue? Some feel talks have stagnated.

I think this is a cynical approach. The commitment of the political leadership of this country is to move the India-Pakistan relationship beyond a relationship dictated by the disputes the two countries have. Now, the dialogue process is continuing with Krishna arriving in Islamabad. I would say that for 65 years, we have tried everything else which clearly has not worked.

Can this change?

Let me tell you the messages Pakistan has sent to India. First has been that we as a country are capable of moving beyond, ready to take bold steps in a positive direction. We believe that bold steps create the space for more bold steps.

When you speak of moving on, there is 26/11. A speedy trial will be seen as a big CBM.

It is not in our interest to let that fester into an issue. However, there is a judicial process. If you doubt our intentions, look at the case of Samjhauta Express... then maybe you will stop doubting our intentions.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Hina-Rabbani-Khar-We-dont-want-an-identity-as-a-country-hostile-to-India/articleshow/16307136.cms

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‘25m children out of school in Pakistan’

    Sep 8, 2012

KARACHI, Sept 7: Pakistan has the world’s second highest rate of out-of-school children, with Sindh having the worst infrastructure for schools, says a report on children’s status released on Friday.

Almost 25 million children are currently out of school in Pakistan, while seven million of them have yet to receive some form of primary schooling, according to the report, titled ‘The State of Pakistan’s Children Report 2011’, prepared by Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (Sparc).

The report is a grim reminder of how children’s hopes for a better future are fading in the face of persistent government failure to improve governance.

The subjects touched upon in the report include education, violence against children, child labour, health, minorities, floods and juvenile justice.

Citing the National Education Census 2006 data, the report states that the overall net enrolment ratio in pre-primary education is 43pc — 45pc for males and 40pc for females. “Provincially, the net enrolment ratio is the highest in Punjab with 61pc, followed by Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan with 53pc, 51pc and 47pc, respectively,” it says.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/09/08/25m-children-out-of-school-in-pakistan/

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Pakistan media gives a thumbs up to Krishna's visit

Sep 8, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Even before the first things were put in fine print and signed, media in Pakistan on Saturday gave a thumbs-up to the visit of external affairs minister S.M. Krishna visit to Pakistan saying that both countries had reached a milestone.

The context was India and Pakistan finally agreeing to sign the much-awaited visa accord, which will mark a big change in the visa regime and make things simpler for the common people of both countries.

Leading newspaper, The Dawn, which carried a lead story Friday saying that Krishna was arriving amid "low expectations", too lauded the ground covered by both countries to arrive at the visa pact. It talked about the "liberalised visa regime" being signed.

Most newspapers, English and vernacular, had the visit and the visa pact as their lead story with enough space being devoted to related stories, including Krishna's meetings with top political leaders and even his panel discussion with Pakistani media.

The News daily said that both Pakistan and India appeared "upbeat" after talks at the foreign secretaries' level here Friday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-media-gives-a-thumbs-up-to-Krishnas-visit/articleshow/16309174.cms

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Time for India, Pak to show greater understanding: Zardari

Sep 08 2012

Islamabad : President Asif Ali Zardari has said the time has come for India and Pakistan to show greater understanding of each other's concerns and sensitivities and to "move beyond reiteration of their positions to more substantive results" in the peace process.

Finding amicable and just solutions to resolve outstanding issues was important for Pakistan and India to ensure lasting peace and stability in the region, he said.

Zardari made the remarks during his meeting with visiting External Affairs Minister S M Krishna at the presidency last night.

Zardari "emphasised that it was time for the two countries to move beyond reiteration of their positions to more substantive results," presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

"Showing greater understanding of each other's concerns and sensitivities would help in the solutions of mutual issues," Zardari said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/time-for-india-pak-to-show-greater-understanding-zardari/999810/

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85 percent Pakistanis want relaxation of visa between India, Pakistan: IPSS

By Kashif Hussain

 Sep 8, 2012

LAHORE: More than 85 percent of Pakistanis want relaxation in visa policies between Pakistan and India and they term it need of the new geo-political and economic situation of the region.

This was disclosed by the Institute for Peace and Secular Studies (IPSS) during its signature campaign in five big cities of the country, including Lahore, for ending rivalry and to easy visa procedure between the two countries.

IPSS representatives Saeeda Diep and Professor Rahim, while addressing a press conference at Lahore Press Club on Friday, said that they had succeeded in getting more than 85,000 people’s signature and most of them had demanded that governments of Pakistan and India relax their visa regime.

To a query about opponents of the campaign, they said that they visited more than 40 educational institutes and private trade organisations such as FC College, LUMS, BNU, GCU, PU and LCCI and found “hardly one or two percent” opposition to the issue.

They also said that they had received threat calls from some extremists in society while some people tore documents through which they were requested to sign on the resolution regarding relaxation in visa police.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\09\08\story_8-9-2012_pg13_2

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Two NATO containers set on fire at Mastung

 Sep 8, 2012

QUETTA: Two containers carrying military hardware and goods for ISAF and NATOforces stationed in Afghanistan were attacked by unidentified militants at Dasht area of Mastung District, some 20 kilometres away from the provincial capital on Friday. According to sources, two containers from Karachi were heading towards Chaman town, bordering Afghanistan. While on the Quetta–Sibbi road, the containers were stopped by some unidentified armed men riding two motorcycles and attacked with petrol bombs. Resultantly, the containers caught fire and were partly damaged, however, the goods in the containers remained safe. The attackers escaped from the scene. No casualty was reported in the attack. Levies and other law enforcement agencies’ personnel rushed to the spot soon after the incident and cordoned off the area. The rescue workers managed to extinguish the fire to a large extent through the use of private water tankers. A case has been registered against unidentified people and a probe is being carried out into the incident.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\09\08\story_8-9-2012_pg7_4

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26/11 case: Pak judge adjourns trial for a week

 Sep 8, 2012

Just a day after India pushed for a speedy trial of the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court on Saturday adjourned for a week the 26/11 case involving seven suspects, including LeT’s Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, as prosecution witnesses were not available to record their testimony.

Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman adjourned the trial till September 15 during a hearing held behind closed doors at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi after prosecutors told him that four prosecution witnesses were currently out of the country.

Four officials of the Federal Investigation Agency were scheduled to record their testimony during today’s proceedings.

The prosecutors told the judge that the officials were currently abroad for some official work, sources told PTI.

At the last hearing on September 1, an FIA official had told the court how funds were transferred from Pakistan to the U.S. to acquire Voice over Internet Protocol connections that were used by the terrorists who stormed India’s financial hub in November 2008 and killed 166 people.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3874191.ece

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'No plans to designate Pak a state sponsor of terror'

September 08, 2012

There is no move by the US to begin the process of designating Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, officials said, after the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton informed the Congress that the Haqqani network is being designated as a global terrorist organisation.

Such a statement from senior US officials, who spoke to journalists on the condition of anonymity, came as a top Pentagon official had last year termed the Haqqani network as a veritable arm of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan.

"Why isn't this a step towards looking at Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism at this point?" a journalist asked senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the action initiated against the Haqqani network.

"I want to just unequivocally state that this in no way is the consensus, unanimous view of this Administration; that we are making absolutely no effort to begin a process to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism," the senior administration official said.

"If anything they (Pakistan) have been an extremely valuable ally in countering extremism and terrorism, and we are committed to continuing and maintaining and increasing that coordination and cooperation," the official said when a journalist asked about the statement made by Admiral Mike Mullen, the then Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, to the Congress that Haqqani network is a veritable arm of the ISI.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Americas/No-plans-to-designate-Pak-a-state-sponsor-of-terror/Article1-926387.aspx

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Will consider Sarabjit case: Zardari

 Sep 08 2012

Islamabad : Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday assured External Affairs Minister S M Krishna that he will consider the case of Sarabjit Singh, who has been on the death row in Lahore jail.

Singh, whose case was raised by Krishna, also got consular access on Thursday — just a day before Krishna’s arrival — after more than a year.

It is learnt that the Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad found him to be in an “okay condition” when they met him on Thursday.

While Zardari’s prompt response was appreciated by the Indian side, there was some discomfiture about Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s statement that India needs to look at the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks “unemotionally”.

“As far as 26/11 is concerned, we must be able to look at it unemotionally. We would want this issue to be resolved as soon as possible,” Khar told reporters here.

This was viewed by the Indian side as smacking of “lack of concern”. However, New Delhi wants to focus on the positives and the tone was set by Krishna when he landed and said that the leadership of India and Pakistan have mandated building of trust and confidence between our two countries.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/will-consider-sarabjit-case-zardari/999667/

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Tehrik-i-Insaf splits into two groups in Swat

 Sep 8, 2012

MINGORA: Differences have cropped up in Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI), Swat chapter, and it stands divided into two groups with each claiming to be loyal to party chairman Imran Khan.

Sources said that while the party’s provincial leaders, mainly Asad Qaiser and Pervaiz Khattak, are striving to strengthen their personal positions, the PTI also suffered a setback in Swat as it stands divided into Dr Amjad and Dr Inayat groups.

These groups are levelling allegations against each other and holding separate corner meetings to gain support of workers. The Amjad group is supporting Mr Qaiser, while Inayat group is backing Mr Khattak for the party’s provincial slot.

Party sources claimed the Sept 25 visit of Imran Khan to Swat was postponed owing to the tussle between the district leadership.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/09/08/tehrik-i-insaf-splits-into-two-groups-in-swat/

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SC shows concern over grave situation in Balochistan

 Sep 8, 2012

QUETTA: The Supreme Court on Friday expressed concern over the fate of missing persons, sectarian violence and mounting incidents of target killings in Balochistan.

Issuing an interim order, the SC declared the provincial government and FC report about missing persons unsatisfactory and ordered the defence and interior secretaries and the Dera Bugti Frontier Corps (FC) commandant to appear before the court.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry expressed concern over the grave situation of Balochistan and lack of progress in implementation of court’s orders for the improvement of law and order in the province.

“The world community is focusing on our country’s affairs because the constitution and law is not being properly implemented,” the court remarked, adding, “If we implement the law, situation will become normal and no one will interfere in our matters.”

The CJP said, “If our own institutions investigate and make efforts to recover the missing persons it will a good omen for the country.”

Justice Chaudhry also said, “There is no security for the people and their property. Today a Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\09\08\story_8-9-2012_pg7_1

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Islamic book fair opens at Aiwan-e-Iqbal

 Sep 8, 2012

LAHORE: Punjab Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman has said that the hobby of book reading is dwindling due to introduction of modern technology and computers “however there is no substitute of books as they broaden the vision and knowledge of readers”.

He favoured developing book-reading habit, especially Islamic books, among the young generation.

He expressed these views while inaugurating 3-Day Islamic Book Fair at Aiwan-e-Iqbal. The minister said that the complete elimination of terrorism and extremism is necessary for the progress and prosperity of the country. He said that unemployment and poverty could be minimised through eradication of terrorism whereas extremism could be rooted out through promotion of quality education and increasing literacy rate in society.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\09\08\story_8-9-2012_pg13_4

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Pak government will be bowled in one delivery: Imran

Liaqat Ali / 8 September 2012

Irrepressible Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has said the present government in his country will be bowled in just one delivery.

Addressing a gathering at a hotel in Dubai on Friday, Imran said: “Zardaris and Sharifs are hell-bent on keeping Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) out of power but this time it is not going to happen.

“They are joining again to make an interim setup which will suit both the parties. Right now, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is ruling at the centre and the Pakistan Muslim League (N) in Punjab. In the next term, the PML(N) could be sitting in Islamabad and the PPP will rule in Karachi.

“But they will not succeed in their nefarious plans and we shall stop anything like this to happen. The government will be bowled with just one delivery.”

Elections are round the corner in Pakistan and political activities are picking up back home and abroad. Corruption is rampant in Pakistan and the country is looking for a miracle to alleviate the suffering of the common man.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-

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Central Asia

 

NATO wants against ‘glorification’ of Azerbaijan killer

 Sep 8, 2012

BAKU: The head of NATO rebuked Azerbaijan Friday after an Azerbaijani soldier who axed to death an Armenian serviceman was pardoned and given a hero’s welcome following his extradition to Baku.

Ramil Safarov was pardoned, promoted and financially rewarded after arriving in Baku from Budapest, where he had been serving a life sentence for killing the soldier from foe Armenia during a NATOtraining session. “The act he committed in 2004 was a crime which should not be glorified, as this damages trust and does not contribute to the peace process,” NATOSecretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a speech during a visit to Baku.

Rasmussen made the same statement in the Armenian capital Yerevan on Tuesday, where public outrage over the case has sparked protests. The pardon has inflamed tensions between ex-Soviet foes Armenia and Azerbaijan, which are locked in an unresolved conflict over the disputed territory of Nagorny Karabakh where they fought a war in the 1990s. In Baku, Rasmussen warned against renewed hostilities. “Two things are clear. First, that there is no military solution. And second, the only way forward is through dialogue, compromise and cooperation,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\09\08\story_8-9-2012_pg14_1

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South Asia

 

Teen Suicide bomber kills 6 outside NATO HQ in Kabul

 8 September 2012

A teenage suicide bomber struck outside NATO headquarters in Kabul on Saturday, killing six people, including child hawkers, as Afghanistan marked a public holiday, officials said.

The attack took place as government dignitaries assembled in Kabul to commemorate 11 years since the death of Ahmad Shah Massoud, an iconic anti-Taleban commander two days before 9/11.

The blast reverberated through Kabul’s diplomatic quarter, which is home to many Western embassies, shortly after First Vice President Mohammad Qasim Fahim finished an address to scores of dignitaries at an event mourning Massoud.

Afghan security forces sealed off the bomb site in front of NATOheadquarters and close to the Italian embassy, an AFP reporter said.

‘It was a suicide attack that killed six people and wounded five others,’ interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told AFP.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-

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B'desh to hand over replicas of Tagore's houseboat to India

September 08, 2012

The replicas of the famous houseboat extensively used by poet Rabindranath Tagore to inspect his family estate and to pen some of his works in an area now in Bangladesh would be handed over to India next week. The replicas would be handed over to the vice chancellors of Rabindra Bharati

University in Kolkata and Viswa Bharati University in Bolpur by Bangladesh information and culture minister Abul Kalam Azad at separate functions on September 12.

The houseboat occupied a key part of Tagore's life as he used the vessel to sail along the Padma river, carrying out his managerial duties for the Tagore family's estates in Silaidah, Shahzadpur and Patisar for a decade from 1890 and enjoying the breathtaking beauty of rural Bengal which inspired so many of his compositions.

Azad arrives in New Delhi on September 10 for a four-day visit to India and will have separate meetings Information and Broadcasting minister Ambika Soni and culture minister Selja the next day.

The visiting minister will be accompanied by two well-known singers of Bangladesh - Papiya Sarwar and Mamataz, who is also a member of parliament.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/B-desh-to-hand-over-replicas-of-Tagore-s-houseboat-to-India/Article1-926460.aspx

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Bombs kill four on Afghan national holiday: officials

September 08, 2012

Bombs killed four Afghans, including two women, on Saturday as the country marked a national holiday, officials said. Both attacks took place in the south after US officials confirmed the withdrawal of extra "surge" troops, deployed largely to the south, was on track, with 77,000 US and 40,000 non-US troops left in Afghanistan.

In Tirin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan province, two tribal elders were killed when a bomb exploded outside one of their homes.

"A bomb placed at the entrance of Malik Abdul Majid's house killed him and another elder and wounded two of Majid's sons," provincial spokesman Abdullah Hemat told AFP.

A roadside bomb in the Nahri Sarraj district of neighbouring Helmand province killed two women and wounded two others, the governor's spokesman Farid Ahmad Farhang said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Afghanistan/Bombs-kill-four-on-Afghan-national-holiday-officials/Article1-926426.aspx

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200 Afghan nationals detained at Dalbandin

 Sep 8, 2012

CHAGHAI: Levies’ force arrested 200 Afghan nationals under Foreigners Act in Dalbandin area of the district on Friday. Tehsildar Murid Shah told APP that these Afghan nationals were apprehended from two passenger buses during checking at a checkpost. The detained Afghan nationals were trying to cross into Iran illegally and without travelling documents, Levies officials said. They have been handed over to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for further interrogation.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\09\08\story_8-9-2012_pg7_9

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Arab World

 

Disabled Saudi youth provides inspiration and optimism

Friday, 07 September 2012

Ammar Haitham Abdullah, a 26 year old Saudi youth has suffered from paralysis since birth. In an interview with Al Arabiya Haitham says despite being diagnosed with Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, a rare genetic spinal muscular atrophy disease, he has overcome many challenges including surpassing his life expectancy.

Director Bader al-Humoud produced a short documentary film narrated by Haitham as he shares his life story.

Haitham began his education in the United States where he lived, until third grade, and attended normal schools. But he was in for a shock when he came back to live in Saudi Arabia.

“No school would accept me. My grandfather tried very hard, and managed to convince one school principal, who accepted me on the basis of being enrolled but without physically attending classes.”

“What's baffling is how I was an A-student over there (in the U.S.), and here they had wanted me to study in schools for kids with special needs.”

Haitham went on to graduate from high school in top form and memorized the Quran within two years. He can talk with the help of a hearing aid and has managed to succeed in completing undergraduate studies in King Abdul Aziz University.

“Unfortunately there are people with backward mentalities. They cannot deal with the disabled.”

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/07/236701.html

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Minority Militias Stir Fears of Sectarian War in Damascus

September 08, 2012

Damascus. For months, most of Syria’s minority sects stood warily on the sidelines of the revolt by the Sunni Muslim majority against President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite-dominated rule.

But in Damascus, neighborhood vigilante groups are arming themselves in Christian, Druze and Shiite Muslim areas, throwing up sectarian borders across Syria’s capital in alliance with Assad’s forces.

“We protect our area from terrorists. We check all the cars coming in, and anyone we’re suspicious of,” says Sameer, 32, one of four men with rifles sipping tea under a stone archway in the Christian quarter of the historic old city.

By “terrorists” Sameer, a cab driver with the Virgin Mary and a cross tattooed on his arms, means the mostly Sunni rebels who have fallen back to an arc of suburbs on the eastern outskirts after fierce battles with Assad’s forces in July.

Residents fear that far from protecting them, the self-styled popular committees have merely made them targets.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/international/minority-militias-stir-fears-of-sectarian-war-in-damascus/543194

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‘Groom of Taif Prison’ Pardoned for SR 27 Million by the Family of His Victim

 8 September 2012

TAIF: Awad Al-Harbi, a Saudi who has been on death row in a Taif prison for 18 years, has been pardoned by the family of his victim Faraj Al-Subaie whom he murdered in 1994. The family accepted SR 27 million as diya (blood money) which is to be paid in four months, local Arabic dailies reported yesterday.

The four-month period ends on 29 Safar, 1434H (Jan. 17). The pardon document signed by the two parties clearly states that the clemency would be cancelled and the murderer executed if the sum of money was not paid by that date.

“I hope that with the help of philanthropists and welfare loving people, I will be able to collect the required blood money,” Al-Harbi said. He was sure that his family, relatives, citizens of the southern Al-Khomrah region and the various tribes in the area would be able to raise the money before the grace period expired.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/%E2%80%98groom-taif-prison%E2%80%99-pardoned

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Mursi ‘craves’ for instant fame

8 September 2012

CAIRO — Power and water outages are common across Egypt. Crime is rampant. The value of the currency is slipping.

Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi has yet to offer anything concrete on how he plans to tackle some of the nation’s most intractable problems. Instead, he is taking steps to shore up his Muslim Brotherhood group ahead of new parliamentary elections and is trying to project himself as a charismatic Arab leader standing up to authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.

Mursi campaigned on a package of promises that included political inclusion, freedom of expression and a swift end to paralysing traffic congestion, skyrocketing crime and the scourge of garbage uncollected.

Yet in his first two months in office, he has appeared to focus his attention elsewhere. That has raised questions about his priorities at a time when Egyptians’ expectations are higher than ever following the ouster last year of Hosni Mubarak, whose authoritarian regime was widely seen as favouring the rich over the poor during three decades in power.

While  Mursi has done little of substance to address domestic woes so far, he has tried to make his mark on foreign policy. It is a realm where there is little accountability because most of Egypt’s 83 million people are too preoccupied with making ends meet.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-

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Kingdom's achieves 96% literacy rate from 60% in 1972

8 September 2012

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has made major strides in illiteracy eradication over the past 40 years.

“The Kingdom brought down the level of illiteracy in the country from 60 percent in 1972 to 4 percent in 2012,” an statement issued by the Ministry of Education on the occasion of the World Day of Illiteracy Eradication today. The Kingdom started efforts to eradicate illiteracy by educating adults in 1954, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.

According to the ministry’s recent web posting the general realization to get educated has made students join schools in all parts of the Kingdom and pushed up the rate of children going to school to 98.7 percent. “However, the efforts to educate elderly people, who missed their chance to be literate previously, have been continuing without any letup,” Undersecretary for Boys Education at the Ministry of Education Abdul Rahman Al-Barrak said, adding that the efforts would not end until all old people acquire learning skills.

He said the Kingdom succeeded in making a drastic cut in the level of illiterates because of the encouragement received from the government.

The old Qur’an schools and the private schools played a significant role in spreading literacy among all sections of the people until the General Secretariat for Adult Education was established in 1984.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/kingdoms-achieves-96-literacy-rate-60-1972

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Arab artists: Hussain Madi creates engraved paintings

 08 September 2012

Hussain Madi is a Lebanese artist who honed his skills in Italy where he lived for over two decades, before settling back in Lebanon where he currently resides.

Madi was born in 1938 in the village of Chebaa by the Hermon Mountain. He attended the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts where he studied painting and sculpture.

“When taking a break from painting, I switch to sculpting. And when I am tired of that, I create engraved paintings,” he said.

Following his academic studies, he travelled to Rome, Italy, in 1973, and ended up living there for 23 years, where he explored more of the art world and refined his skills. At the Accademia di Belle Arti and San Giacomo Academy, Madi studied fresco, mosaic, and printing techniques.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/08/236785.html

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Egyptian army says it destroyed 31 tunnels during ‘Operation Sinai’

08 September 2012

Egyptian forces destroyed 31 tunnels connecting Sinai with the Gaza Strip during an operation to battle Islamist militants after gunmen killed 16 soldiers at a border outpost on August 5, a spokesman for the country’s military command announced in a press conference on Saturday.

Colonel Ahmed Mohammed Ali said there were about 225 tunnels in Sinai. The tunnels are used to smuggle various kinds of products into the besieged Gaza Strip and the Egyptian authorities have often turned a blind eye to the cross border activity.

But the deterioration of security conditions that culminated in the deadly August ambush in Sinai raised concerns that the tunnels were likely used to smuggle weapons and to facilitate the movement of armed groups.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/08/236807.html

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For ‘camel-lovers’ only: World’s first camel club planned in Saudi Arabia

06 September 2012

A “camel club” set up for camel owners in Saudi Arabia, who rear, race and “love” the animals, is being planned to become the first of its kind in the world, local media reported this week.

The launch of the club sets to raise awareness about the country’s 900,000 camels; their peculiarities, dietary habits, and their survival tactics in the Arabian deserts, Arab News reported on Wednesday.

Club founder Homoud al-Qahtani said the new set-up will “help those who love camels.”

“We want to help those who love camels and want to know about the different species and their different colors,” he told the Saudi-based daily.

“Camel rearing and racing are big hobbies in the Kingdom … Through the formation of such a club we want to bring all camel lovers together and organize joint activities,” he added.

The report did not state when the club is set to be established.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/06/236509.html

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Paralympics: Iraqi athletes spear Paralympic silver, bronze

September 8, 2012

LONDON: Iraqi athlete Ahmed Naas cart-wheeled in celebration on Friday as he broke the men’s F40 Paralympic javelin record but his new world best was still not enough to secure him gold.

With his fifth attempt in the competition, the 20-year-old from Nasiriyah, about 225 miles southeast of Baghdad, threw 43.27m, breaking his own world record, which he marked by performing a triple cart-wheel. But his celebrations were premature, as China’s Wang Zhiming launched a 47.95m throw to shatter the world record and claim the title.

Naas’ teammate Wildan Nukhailawi took bronze. The men celebrated with a lap of honour draped in the red, white and black flag of Iraq, with Naas, who has dwarfism, lifted onto his compatriot’s shoulders. Their efforts took Iraq’s overall medal tally to three, after Farisal Ajeeli won silver in the men’s +100kg powerlifting.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/433134/paralympics-iraqi-athletes-spear-paralympic-silver-bronze/

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Syrian Rebels Say They Freed 350 Prisoners, as Others Appeal for Unity

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

 Sep 8, 2012

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syrian rebels claimed Friday night that they had freed 350 prisoners held in a security building in the divided city of Aleppo, while in the opposition stronghold of Homs the rebels’ supporters held a public protest against the disorganization and lack of unity among their forces.

Taken together, the developments amounted to a rare breakthrough but also a sign of strain for the armed opposition, as the 18-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad appeared to settle into a protracted stalemate, with his forces having the advantage in military might, but being unable to stamp out the insurrection.

A rebel assault on Aleppo that has lasted for weeks appears to have stalled in the face of the Syrian military’s artillery and air power, but rebels there said that after a daylong battle they had captured a military headquarters in the neighborhood of Hanano with the 350 captives inside. The rebels called them political prisoners.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition group based in Britain that tracks the violence, said 4 opposition fighters died in the attack and at least 18 government soldiers were killed. Because Syria bars most foreign journalists from the country, those accounts could not be confirmed independently.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/world/middleeast/syria.html?ref=middleeast&gwh=A5

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Bahrain Takes Legal Action Against Opposition Over March

 Sep 8, 2012

MANAMA (Reuters) - Bahraini authorities are taking legal action against the opposition Al Wefaq group for organizing a banned anti-government march in which six protesters were arrested, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.

It was not immediately clear what the action might entail, but the government has threatened to ban the group in the past and its statement comes despite calls from Washington for Bahraini leaders to pursue a meaningful dialogue with the opposition.

Bahrain, where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based, has been in political turmoil since a protest movement dominated by majority Shi'ite Muslims erupted in February last year.

Opposition parties led by Al Wefaq are demanding full powers for the elected parliament to legislate and form governments. Many Shi'ites complain of being politically and economically marginalized, which the government denies.

Police used teargas and stun grenades to break up Friday's march, which dozens of protesters took part in.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/09/08/world/middleeast/08reuters-bahrain-protest-

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North America

 

Anti-Muslim Activist, Blasts Exhibit for highlighting contributions of Muslim scientists

8 September 2012

Anti-Muslim organizer Pamela Geller has joined forces with Justice Department attorney and author, J. Christian Adams, in a scathing critique of a National Geographic Museum exhibit on the contributions of Muslim scientists, the Washington City Paper reports.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Anti-Muslim organizer Pamela Geller has joined forces with Justice Department attorney and author, J. Christian Adams, in a scathing critique of a National Geographic Museum exhibit on the contributions of Muslim scientists, the Washington City Paper reports.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=345678

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Canada Closes Tehran Embassy and Orders Iran Envoys to Leave

By IAN AUSTEN

 Sep 8, 2012

QUEBEC — Calling Iran “the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today,” Canada’s foreign affairs minister, John Baird, abruptly announced Friday that his government had cut all diplomatic ties with the country.

Mr. Baird told reporters in Vladivostok, Russia, where he was attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting, that Canada had closed its embassy in Tehran and given Iranian diplomats in Canada five days to leave. An online list prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade indicated Friday morning that there were 18 Iranian diplomats in Canada.

The action by Canada contrasts with its decision in 1979 to keep its embassy in Tehran open after the United States Embassy there was seized by students and several diplomats were held hostage. Six Americans found sanctuary in the Canadian Embassy and were eventually smuggled out of the country using Canadian passports.

Mr. Baird offered numerous reasons for his decision, including an attack last November by a crowd on the British Embassy in Tehran, which led to concerns for the safety of Canadian diplomats there.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/world/middleeast/canada-closes-its-embassy-in-

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No plans to designate Pak as state sponsor of terrorism: US

Sep 8, 2012

WASHINGTON: There is no move by the US to begin the process of designating Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, officials said, after the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton informed the Congress that the Haqqani network is being designated as a global terrorist organisation.

Such a statement from senior US officials, who spoke to journalists on the condition of anonymity, came as a top Pentagon official had last year termed the Haqqani network as a veritable arm of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan.

"Why isn't this a step towards looking at Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism at this point?" a journalist asked senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the action initiated against the Haqqani network.

"I want to just unequivocally state that this in no way is the consensus, unanimous view of this Administration; that we are making absolutely no effort to begin a process to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism," the senior administration official said.

"If anything they (Pakistan) have been an extremely valuable ally in countering extremism and terrorism, and we are committed to continuing and maintaining and increasing that coordination and cooperation," the official said when a journalist asked about the statement made by Admiral Mike Mullen, the then Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, to the Congress that Haqqani network is a veritable arm of the ISI.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/No-plans-to-designate-Pak-as-state-sponsor-of-terrorism-US/articleshow/16311795.cms

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Haqqanis say US listing them as terrorists will hurt Afghan peace

 Sep 8, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The United States’ decision to designate the Haqqani network as a terrorist organisation shows it is not sincere about peace efforts in Afghanistan, senior commanders of the group said on Friday. The move will also bring hardship for US Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who is being held by the militants, the commanders said by telephone from an undisclosed location. Senior commanders said the decision to designate the group as terrorists could endanger efforts to reach a peaceful settlement to the Afghan conflict before most NATOcombat troops withdraw by the end of 2014. “It means the United States is not sincere in their talks. They are on the one hand claiming to look for a political solution to the Afghan issue while on the other they are declaring us terrorists,” said one of the commanders.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\09\08\story_8-9-2012_pg1_6

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Pentagon escalates case that Osama book writer broke secrecy pledge

 Sep 8, 2012

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon on Thursday released new details about a secrecy agreement signed by a former Navy SEAL who wrote a book about his role in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, escalating its argument that the commando violated promises not to disclose classified information.

While declining to make public the non-disclosure document signed by Matt Bissonnette, who wrote under the pseudonym “Mark Owen”, a US Defence Department spokesman shared with Reuters a secrecy agreement he said was identical to it.

The spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Todd Breasseale, said Bissonnette violated his pledge simply by sharing the original manuscript of the book, “No Easy Day”, with his publisher and a lawyer outside of government.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\09\08\story_8-9-2012_pg7_6

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War between Pakistan and Afghanistan unlikely, says US general

 Sep 8, 2012

WASHINGTON: The United States does not believe that Afghanistan and Pakistan will go to war over cross-border attacks, says a senior US general.

Lt. Gen. James L. Terry, the deputy commander of US Forces in Afghanistan, told a recent news briefing in Washington that the United States maintained good relations with both the countries and was working with them to curb cross-border attacks.

During the briefing, a correspondent for a US military newspaper, Stars and Stripes, noted that tensions along the Pak-Afghan border had been rising, and the Afghan government had beefed up its forces to stop cross-border attacks. “What contingency plans the US have if fighting was to break  between the two countries?” he asked.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/09/07/war-between-pakistan-and-afghanistan-unlikely-says-us-general/

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Sole hospitalised victim of US gurdwara shooting out of ICU

 Sep 08 2012

Washington : A Sikh worshipper, the sole hospitalised victim of the Wisconsin Gurdwara shooting, is no longer in intensive care unit and is making slow and gradual recovery, his family has said.

"He is no longer in the intensive care unit and now is making a slow and gradual recovery," family members of Punjab Singh said in a statement issued through the local Froedert Hospital where he is receiving treatment.

"Our beloved father, Punjab Singh, was severely injured on that terrible August day. Despite the heroic efforts of emergency responders at the scene and the medical care he received from trauma specialists and other doctors at Froedtert Hospital, he has not fully recovered," it said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sole-hospitalised-victim-of-us-gurdwara-shooting-out-of-icu/999769/

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Europe

 

Russia to push for Geneva peace deal at UN

8 September 2012

Russia will press the UN Security Council to this month endorse a Syria peace accord that was brokered in Geneva and has since split world powers, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.

‘There is a plan to hold a special meeting of the UN Security Council with the participation of ministers on the Syrian issue,’ Lavrov said in the Russian city of Vladivostok after meeting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

‘We stressed in a meeting with the US Secretary of State that Russia will push for the Security Council’s approval of the Geneva communique.’

World powers on June 30 had agreed on a Russian-backed transition plan.

The plan, championed by former Syria peace envoy Kofi Annan and supported by the Kremlin, did not make an explicit call for President Bashar Al Assad to quit power.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-

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British and Dutch urge sanctions against Hezbollah

09/08/2012

FMs call on EU countries to join the United States in imposing sanctions on Hezbollah for providing support to Syria's Assad.

PAPHOS, Cyprus - Britain and the Netherlands urged other EU governments on Friday to join the United States in imposing sanctions on the Lebanese political and militant group Hezbollah for providing support to Syria's President Bashar Assad.

Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said the European Union should brand Hezbollah a terrorist organization, a move that would enable the bloc to freeze the group's assets in Europe.

"We have for quite some time now argued that effective European measures should be taken against Hezbollah," Rosenthal said on the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Cyprus to discuss the EU's response to the Syrian crisis.

The Netherlands considers the Shi'ite Islamist movement, which is a member of the Lebanese government, a terrorist group, while Britain reserves the designation for Hezbollah's armed wing.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=284282

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EU 'consensus' to beef up Syria sanctions: Cyprus

08 September 2012

Muhammad Iqbal

BRUSSELS: EU foreign ministers agreed on the need to beef up sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime at talks in Cyprus on Saturday, said Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis.

"There is consensus also on the increase of sanctions in Syria," she said, after announcing that the bloc's 27 ministers had agreed on the need to massively strengthen humanitarian aid.

She also said European nations were intent on working with Moscow, Assad's main diplomatic and military supporter, despite anger over Russia and China vetoing three UN Security Council attempts to exert more pressure on Syria.

"We also agreed that we have to work with Russia, we have to continue to work with Russia because we want to have them on board," she added.

Emerging from the two-day informal meeting, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also said there was agreement to strengthen punitive measures against the Assad clan, and that details on new measures would be worked out by the office of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Full report at:

http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/1-front-top-news/78013-eu-consensus-to-beef-up-syria-sanctions-cyprus.html

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Mideast Asia

 

From Israel’s Archives, Papers on Munich Killings

By ISABEL KERSHNER

 Sep 8, 2012

JERUSALEM — The instructions from the Israeli government were clear in the hours after Palestinian terrorists killed two Israeli athletes at the Munich Summer Olympics in 1972, took nine others hostage and demanded the release of more than 200 Arab prisoners.

“The Israeli government does not negotiate with terrorists,” read the urgent cable, marked classified and sent to the Israeli ambassador in Bonn, the capital of what was then West Germany, on Sept. 5, 1972. “The government expects the German authorities to do everything in their power to rescue the hostages.”

But a German raid failed and by the early hours of Sept. 6, the hostages were shot dead, apparently by one of their captors as they sat, bound, in a helicopter that was then blown up by a terrorist grenade. One German police officer also died. That night, according to a formerly top secret document, Zvi Zamir, the Mossad chief who witnessed the botched rescue, told Prime Minister Golda Meir and other top officials, “They didn’t make even a minimal effort to save lives, didn’t take even a minimal risk to try to save the people, neither theirs nor ours.”

Now for the first time, these and dozens more classified documents relating to the killing of the athletes have been made public after four decades left sitting in cardboard boxes in the Israel State Archives, the repository of the country’s collective memory and many of its secrets. Their publication last week was timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/world/middleeast/israel-releases-papers-on-72-

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Yemen clashes kill three ‘Qaeda’ militants: official

Sep 8, 2012

ADEN: Clashes between the army and militants in southern Yemen on Saturday killed three suspected al Qaeda members and wounded two soldiers, an official said.

The militants attacked a vehicle carrying troops near the coastal town of Shaqrah, in Abyan province, before army reinforcements arrived and the soldiers killed “three extremists,” said the official on condition of anonymity.

In addition to the two wounded soldiers, a reserve forces member was hit, he added.

The army launched an all-out offensive in May, forcing al Qaeda to withdraw from towns it had captured in Abyan last year, but the network maintains a strong presence in the region.

Suspected US drone attacks in southern Yemen in the past few days have targeted al Qaeda insurgents.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula took advantage of the weakness of the central government in 2011 during protests against ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh to expand its presence in the impoverished country.

Al Qaeda loyalists have carried out a spate of deadly attacks against Yemeni security forces and their militia allies since Saleh’s successor President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi came to power, pledging to crush the militants.

http://dawn.com/2012/09/08/yemen-clashes-kill-three-qaeda-militants-official/

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Barak: Israel could reoccupy parts of Gaza Strip

 09/07/2012

Defense minister says Israel shouldn't go to war "unless we have to"; Ashkenazi urges inclusion of military brass in war planning.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that Israel could reoccupy parts of the Gaza strip in the future, while speaking at a meeting of the Fisher Institute on "Operation Cast Lead" Friday.

Barak also spoke about considerations of military operations in the future, commenting: "Wherever possible, we dot not go to war or perform military operations unless we have to - this is how it should be."

However, he asserted that there are also cases where the opposite is true; it seems as though an attack is not necessary at that moment, yet the consequences of delaying it would be very grave.

Speaking at the same conference, former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi said that the political leadership must involve the military leadership in decision making over possible future wars.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=284227

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Iran says may retaliate for Canada's "hostile" cut in ties

 Sep 8, 2012

(Reuters) - Iran accused Canada on Saturday of "hostile behaviour" under Israeli and British influence after Ottawa cut diplomatic relations, and it raised the prospect of swift retaliation.

Canada said on Friday that it was closing its embassy in Tehran and gave Iranian diplomats five days to leave the country, branding the Islamic Republic as the "most significant threat to global peace and security".

Ottawa cited Iran's disputed nuclear work, which Western states see as a disguised effort to develop atomic bombs, its hostility toward Israel and alleged military aid to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is battling a popular uprising.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the Canadian move was a "continuation of anti-Iranian policies" by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government, which has long had poor relations with Tehran.

"The current government of Canada under the leadership of Mr Stephen Harper is known for extreme policies in the domain of foreign policy," Mehr news agency quoted Mehmanparast as saying.

Full report at:

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/09/08/iran-canada-idINL6E8K808720120908

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From Politics to Ads, Israel Archives Meet YouTube

By ISABEL KERSHNER

 Sep 8, 2012

JERUSALEM — In grainy black-and-white film, David Ben-Gurion, a founding father of modern Israel and its first prime minister, is reading out the new state’s Declaration of Independence for the first time in May 1948. There are crowds in the streets of Tel Aviv and families huddled around their radio sets, hanging on every word. Video: David Ben-Gurion Reads Israel’s Declaration of Independence

Another clip, from December 1961, shows Moshe Landau, the presiding judge in the war-crimes trial of Adolf Eichmann, delivering the verdict: guilty on all counts. Mr. Eichmann can be seen scribbling notes and then reading from them, rejecting the court’s decision. Four days later, he was sentenced to death. Video: Moshe Landau Reads the Adolf Eichmann Verdict

Those handwritten notes are kept in the closely guarded vaults of the Israel State Archives. But in line with its recent policy of giving the public as much access as possible to the historical material, the national archivists, the custodians of the country’s collective memory, have taken to relying on YouTube.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/world/middleeast/from-politics-to-ads-israel-

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Yemeni Militia Leaders Survives Attack by Suspected Islamists

8 September 2012

The commander of a tribal militia fighting Islamists in southern Yemen has survived an assassination attempt by gunmen suspected of belonging to Al Qaeda, a local official said.

Abdul Latif Al Sayed, a commander with the Popular Committees which in June helped the government to oust an Islamist group from the towns of Zinjibar, Azzan and Shaqra after a year-long occupation, was ambushed on a road in Abyan Province on Friday.

The Popular Committees fought alongside government forces battling Ansar Al Sharia, an Islamist group that seized control of swathes of the south during Yemen’s political turmoil last year and gave sanctuary to Al Qaeda fighters.

The United States has used unmanned drones to target the Al Qaeda group in Yemen, which has planned attacks on international targets including airliners and is described by Washington as the movement’s most dangerous wing.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-

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Salafist militants claim rockets fired into Israel

08 September 2012

A Salafist militant group on Saturday claimed responsibility for two rockets fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

“We claim responsibility for firing two rockets on Friday against the region of Sdot Negev,” said the statement signed by the hardline Islamist splinter group called the Mujahedeen Shura Council.

An Israeli military spokesman told AFP on Friday that the two rockets were fired by Palestinian militants, exploding in open fields causing no casualties or damage.

The Salafists also demanded Gaza's Hamas rulers release one of its members, Mohammed Rashwan, who was wounded last month in an Israeli air raid against the southern Gaza town of Rafah.

They accused Egyptian investigators of taking part in Hamas’ interrogation of the prisoner, while urging the “Arab nation to exert pressure on Hamas to stop unfairly pursuing Mujahedeen Shura Council members.”

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/08/236820.html

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Said K. Aburish, Palestinian Journalist, Dies at 77

By DOUGLAS MARTIN

 Sep 8, 2012

Said K. Aburish, an American-educated Palestinian journalist who drew on his experience as an arms dealer in the Middle East to write 11 books on the region, including a portrait of three generations of his sprawling family and indictments of Arab rulers, died on Aug. 29 in Bethany, a West Bank village controlled by the Palestinian Authority. He was 77.

The cause was heart failure, his cousin Amer Aburish said. He had been treated for Parkinson’s disease in the last few years.

Mr. Aburish’s writing was notably blunt. He accused Arab leaders of being “stooges” of Western powers and indifferent to the well-being of their citizens. “There are no legitimate regimes in the Arab Middle East,” he declared.

He described King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, who died in 2005, as “a lazy, corrupt, ignorant drunk” addicted to video games. He called the kingdom “a rotting carcass.”

Reviewing his book “A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite,” published in 1997, the Middle East correspondent Kathy Evans wrote in the British newspaper The Observer that Mr. Aburish had proved to be more “traumatizing” to some Arab states than Salman Rushdie, the author who had depicted the Prophet Muhammad irreverently and gone into hiding to escape an Islamic death decree.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/world/middleeast/said-k-aburish-palestinian-

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Yemenis march demanding prosecution of ex-leader

8 September 2012

Tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets after Friday prayers in the capital Sanaa demanding the prosecution of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the longtime autocratic leader who stepped down in February after a year-long uprising.

Protesters raised banners reading, ‘The trial is coming.’ Witnesses say demonstrators marched in other Yemeni cities as well.

Saleh signed a power transfer deal that gave him immunity from prosecution in return for leaving office.

However, his public appearance earlier this week in a celebration at the headquarters of his ruling party, which he still heads, sparked public anger and renewed calls for his prosecution over the deaths of protesters and over corruption.

Saleh continues to exert considerable influence through family members in key positions in the security forces. Yemen’s new President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has tried since assuming office to purge Saleh associates from key positions, but critics of the ousted president say he is still using his allies to stir unrest.

‘The revolutionary (crowds in the) squares will not permit a continued political role of the ousted president or a return of the old regime,’ said Abdel-Hadi Al Azazi, a leading youth activist.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-

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Southeast Asia

 

Justice and H R Minister of Indonesia Victim to Pickpocket

September 08, 2012

Indonesia’s Justice and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin lost his cell phone to a pickpocket during a visit to Makassar on Friday, police said.

The minister arrived at Karebosi field in South Sulawesi to bolster support for Makassar Mayor Ilham Arief Siradjuddin’s planned campaign for South Sulawesi governor next year. He handed his Galaxy Note smart phone to his assistant, Wahyu, who put it in his pants pocket.

The two pushed through a crowd of supporters.

But when the assistant reached to find the phone, it was missing.

Makassar Police were notified of the theft and began searching for the black and cream Smartphone.

“We’re still investigating this,” Makassar Police chief detective Adj. Sr. Comr. Himawan Sugeha told the Indonesian news portal tempo.co on Saturday.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/justice-and-human-rights-minister-amir-falls-victim-to-pickpocket-in-makassar/543185

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Syrian envoys in Malaysia announce defection from Assad’s regime

 07 September 2012

A number of Syrian diplomats in Malaysia announced their defection on Friday, Al Arabiya said in an exclusive report.

The Syrian Consul in Kuala Lumpur, Emad al-Ahmar, and the diplomatic attaché, Mahmoud Obeid, announced their defection from the Syrian regime.

In a special interview on Al Arabiya from the Egyptian capital, Cairo, Ahmar said that the regime of Bashar al-Assad has been using brutal violence against civilians who call for freedom.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/07/236700.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/by-new-age-islam-news-bureau/libya-clashes-break-out-over-sufi-shrine-attack-by-islamic-extremists/d/8607

 

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