New Age Islam
Thu Aug 13 2020, 09:18 PM

Islamic World News ( 21 Jan 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

'Former Pak Taliban Head among 50 Killed In Military Operations'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Rescue workers collect evidence from a burnt passenger bus on the outskirts of Quetta. -Reuters Photo

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan

'Former Pak Taliban Head among 50 Killed In Military Operations'

Military Bombing: 19 Bodies Found In Tirah Valley

Bus Bombing Kills 24 Shiites in Southwest Pakistan

Seven Levies Men Killed, Spaniard Wounded In Mastung Clash

Five Policemen, Child Killed In Pakistan Blast

Senator questions Council of Islamic Ideology

PTI accuses govt, Taliban of damaging peace process

Grave circumstances: Students in Mardan attend classes in a graveyard

Taliban’s change of heart on polio vaccination

Pakistan won’t accept US aid with strings attached: Ahsan

Prayer leader killed in Karachi

 

Arab World

Saudi King Angry at Bandar’s Incompetency in Controlling Situation in Syria

Most-Wanted Saudi Terrorist Killed in Northern Syria

Syria says torture report 'politicised,' photos 'fake'

Brotherhood left its members to die at Rabaa and Nahda: Salafist preacher El-Borhamy

Iraq PM calls for 'stand' against Qaeda gunmen

Sinai Salafist Terrorist Group: ‘We Will Continue to Inflict Suffering on the Jews’

Air strike on Syria's Aleppo kills 10: NGO

Syria peace conference opens in Switzerland

Egypt confronts pro-Brotherhood Fatwas in media

Iraq presses Qaeda offensive, UN warns on displaced

 

South Asia

Afghan security forces kill 14 Taliban militants in joint operations

China urges respect for ethnic traditions in restive Xinjiang

Afghan MP Khawasi calls on Ghorband residents for Jihad against US forces

Recurrence for state-sponsored Islamisation

HRW Report: Bangladesh backward on human rights

 

India

Religious Muslim Body Rejects Modi Govt Offer on Riot-Hit Shrines

SP, BJP Creating Divide among Voters: Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid

Khurshid to attend UN meet on Syria today

 

Mideast

3 east Jerusalem al-Qaida recruits arrested, 'planned massive bombings'

Egypt and Israel Working Together in Sinai and Gaza to Fight Hamas

After IAF terrorist assassination, Islamic Jihad says 'blood of martyrs not in vain'

Turkish PM Erdogan ‘assures’ EU he will respect rule of law

Nazareth Christians Warned Against 'Slandering' Allah

Netanyahu: Many Arab Countries Now See Israel as a Friend

Mahmoud Abbas’ Public Plan to Destroy Zionism

Abbas: There Will be No Israeli Presence in Palestine

 

Europe

Syria talks about transition government, not terrorism: French FM

Syria talks 'will not be simple, will not be quick': Lavrov

UK Islamic group condemns website featuring cartoons of Prophet Mohamed and Jesus

Russian police kill Islamist militant leader before Olympics

Syria Geneva II peace conference begins with bitter speeches

Barman tries to ‘arrest’ Blair for Iraq war crimes

Pope issues peace appeal to Syria conference

Syria torture report 'extremely alarming': UN

Multiple European Pension Funds Consider Divesting From Israel

 

North America

Kerry at Syria peace talks: No way Assad can be in new gov't

Jewish Groups Rip Economist over ‘Anti-Jewish’ Cartoon, ADL Calls for ‘Full Apology’

Muslim anti-Semitism is only decades old, Obama claims

US military propose to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014

Taliban gaining new grounds, experts warn

Nigeria, Pakistan could delay polio-free goal: Bill Gates

 

Africa

Libyan Islamist party's ministers quit government

South Sudan rebels say govt stalling peace talks

Kiir questions role of U.N. mission in South Sudan

Regional nations approve military force for South Sudan: Kenya

Ethiopian troops join African force in Somalia

At least 5 dead in clashes near Libyan capital

 

Southeast Asia

Philippines govt, Muslim rebels upbeat in tackling last peace hurdle

Agong is not the head of Islam, says constitutional law expert

We must talk to resolve racial-religious tensions, Anwar tells Barisan leaders

Sabah group out to thwart efforts by Muslim groups to convert Christians

Australia must understand Indonesian sovereignty: Minister

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/-former-pak-taliban-head-among-50-killed-in-military-operations-/d/35392

 

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Pakistan

 

'Former Pak Taliban head among 50 killed in military operations'

PTI | Jan 22, 2014

PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD: The former interim chief of the Pakistani Taliban was among 50 militants, including 36 foreign fighters, killed in heavy air strikes in the lawless North Waziristan region, military sources said on Wednesday.

The Pakistan Air Force jets had bombed suspected militant hideouts in North Waziristan — a key haven for Taliban and al-Qaida elements — on Monday night, which was backed by army gunship helicopters.

At least 50 militants were killed in the attack. "Most of the terrorists killed in North Waziristan strikes on night of January 20/21 are foreign fighters which include 33 Uzbeks, three Germans and reportedly important terrorist commanders," a Pakistani military source said.

He named the militant commanders as "Wali Mohammad (predecessor of Qari Hussain), Asmat Shahin Bittani, Noor Badshah and Maulvi Farhad Uzbek".

Bhittani served as the acting TTP chief after the killing of Hakeemullah Mehsud and also headed the Taliban supreme shura (decision-making council).

Wali, alias Toofan, earlier headed the 'fidayeen squad'. Pakistani combat jets had pounded militant bases in the North Waziristan, including the home of Taliban commander Adnan Rashid in retaliation for a string of deadly attacks on security forces.

The operation by air force jets took many by surprise. This was the first time the air force resorted to air strikes in North Waziristan since a ceasefire was finalised with local Taliban chiefs in 2007.

Meanwhile, minister for defence production Rana Tanveer said no military operation is being carried out in North Waziristan.

Talking to mediapersons in Wah Cantonment on Wednesday, he said political and military leadership have unanimity of views with regard to the strategy on Taliban.

He said decision whether talks or the operation will be taken in the next few days.

The minister said some groups have been contacted for the dialogue process.

North Waziristan is one of seven regions in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas governed by tribal laws.

An insurgency led by the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan plagues the region.

Local media reports said many civilians have started moving out from North Waziristan fearing impending full-scale military operations.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Former-Pak-Taliban-head-among-50-killed-in-military-operations/articleshow/29205881.cms

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Military bombing: 19 bodies found in Tirah Valley

 January 22, 2014

TIRAH VALLEY: Nineteen bodies were recovered from a pile of rubble after recent bombing in the Tirah Valley, Express News reported on Wednesday.

The death toll from the military offensive has risen to 35.

Fighter jets and helicopter gunships had earlier bombed hideouts of suspects in the tribal regions of North Waziristan and Khyber.

The air strikes – targeting hideouts in Mir Ali, Miramshah and Tirah Valley – came in response to the recent surge in militant attacks targeting security forces.

A security official had claimed that four hideouts were flattened in the blitz in the Inzar Kor area of the remote valley.

The official had dismissed suggestion that the attacks were a formal launch of a military offensive against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its affiliates.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/661883/military-bombing-19-bodies-found-in-tirah-valley/

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Bus bombing kills 24 Shiites in southwest Pakistan

January 22, 2014

At least 24 Shiite pilgrims returning from Iran were killed and 31 others wounded when a bomb hit a bus in the southwest Pakistan province of Baluchistan on Tuesday, officials said.

The attack took place at Dringhar village on the Pakistan-Iran highway some 37 miles west of Quetta, Baluchistan's capital.

"At least 24 people were killed and 31 others were wounded," provincial home secretary Asad Gilani said.

Gilani said it was not immediately clear what type of bomb was used or whether it was a suicide attack.

He said that two buses had been travelling together with security vehicles provided by the government, and that the bomb struck one of the buses.

Local government official Shafqat Shahwani said 51 passengers had been on board at the time of the blast.

Shahwani said that bomb disposal officials suspect the bomb was planted on the roadside and detonated remotely, but he did not rule out the possibility of a suicide attack.

He added that the driver of the bus told authorities that he did not see any car hitting his vehicle, but felt a sudden blast followed by the cries of women and children amid the destruction.

"We have declared an emergency at hospital and doctors and paramedics are trying to save the wounded," Shahwani told AFP.

Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the bombing in separate messages.

Two people were killed in a similar attack on January 1 when a bomb targeted a bus carrying Shiite pilgrims near Quetta.

A purported spokesman of Sunni militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed the responsibility for Tuesday's attack.

Lashkar-i-Jhangvi is regarded as the most extreme Sunni terror group in Pakistan, and is accused of killing hundreds of Shias since its emergence in the 1990s.

It developed close ties to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, which ruled in Afghanistan from 1996 until the 2001 US-led invasion.

Pakistan formally banned the group in 2001, and there have been numerous crackdowns with arrests and killings of known Jhangvi operatives over the last 20 years.

There has been a rise in sectarian violence in Pakistan after several deadly clashes between Sunni and Shiite Muslim groups near Islamabad in November last year.

Shiites make up around 20 per cent of Pakistan's population, which is largely Sunni Muslim.

Oil and gas-rich Baluchistan has been badly hit by a decade-long Baluch separatist insurgency and sectarian violence, mainly targeting Shiite Muslims from the Hazara ethnic community.

Two huge bomb attacks in Quetta in January and February last year targeting Shiites from the Hazara ethnic community killed nearly 200 people.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/10588722/Bus-bombing-kills-24-Shiites-in-southwest-Pakistan.html

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Seven Levies men killed, Spaniard wounded in Mastung clash

014-01-22

QUETTA: At least seven Levies personnel were killed and ten others, including a Spanish tourist, wounded as a militant kidnapping bid was foiled in Koshak area of Balochistan, DawnNews reported.

Asad ur Rehman Gailani, the Home Secretary Balochistan said the militants opened fire at levies personnel escorting a Spanish tourist in Darin Garh area of Mastung. "Militants wanted to kidnap the Spanish tourist", he added.

At least seven Levies men were killed during the clash whereas ten others including the Spanish national were wounded. The condition of the tourist was reported as critical.

Moreover, one of the attackers was also killed during the exchange of gunfire who was later identified as a Uzbek national.

The Spanish tourist was on his way from Pak-Iran border Taftan to Quetta when the militants tried to abduct him.

"The Spanish tourist is stable and doctors are providing medical treatment to him in a hospital", Gailani said.

All injured were shifted to Civil Hospital Mastung for medical treatment where the condition of one person was reported as critical.

The local administration sought additional deployment of Frontier Corps (FC) and Anti Terrorist Force (ATF) personnel.

Security forces launched an operation in Darin Garh area of Mastung after the incident.

The Home Secretary said Police, Levies and Frontier Corps personnel backed by two army helicopters were engaged in an operation against the militants. He said one levies personnel was also killed in the operation after the first incident.

Road linking Pakistan with neighboring Iran was giving a deserted look as result of operation by security forces. Passengers remained the worst sufferers as long queues of vehicles could be seen of awaiting vehicles.

The attack comes a day after an explosion ripped through a bus carrying Shia pilgrims in Balochistan's restive Mastung district, killing 24 people.

Mastung is considered to be one of the most sensitive districts of Balochistan. Militants have frequently targeted Shia pilgrims, security forces and national installations in the area since more than a decade.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1081943/seven-levies-men-killed-spaniard-wounded-in-mastung-clash

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Five policemen, child killed in Pakistan blast

January 22, 2014

At least five policemen and a child were on Wednesday killed in a bomb blast that targeted a security van in northwest Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

According to police, the blast occurred near a police mobile in Sardheri Bazar area of Charsadda that killed six persons.

Six others including two policemen were also injured in the explosion.

Initial investigation said that militants had fixed explosives in a bicycle that went off when the police mobile crossed the area. The police officers were on their way to provide security to a polio team.

Meanwhile, security forces reached the spot and cordoned off the area and started investigation.

Rescue teams shifted the bodies and injured to the hospital.

Four anti-polio workers were on Tuesday killed in attacks carried out in various parts of Pakistan including two women in Karachi who were carrying out the vaccination programme.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/five-policemen-child-killed-in-pakistan-blast/article5605187.ece

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Senator questions Council of Islamic Ideology

January 22, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Senator Farhatullah Babar questioned recent pronouncements of the Council of Islamic Ideology and asked if the council was a legal entity even after having submitted its final report to parliament in 1997 as required under the constitution.

The task assigned to it by the 1973 constitution has since been completed and it has no business to continue making reports.

Speaking on a motion moved by him to discuss working of the council, Babar recalled four recent pronouncements which he said lent credence to the view that Pakistan was a country where logic and reason were turned upside down.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/21-Jan-2014/senator-questions-council-of-islamic-ideology

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PTI accuses govt, Taliban of damaging peace process

2014-01-22 08:12:23

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has held both the government and the Taliban responsible for damaging the peace process initiated after the all-party conference (APC) held on the issue in September last year.

“The continuing terror attacks by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which are killing innocent citizens and our soldiers, and the government’s continuing vacillation on giving a clear-cut counter-terror policy are both destroying any hope for peace through dialogue,” said a detailed handout issued after the PTI’s core committee met here at the party’s central secretariat on Tuesday.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1081808/pti-accuses-govt-taliban-of-damaging-peace-process

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Grave circumstances: Students in Mardan attend classes in a graveyard

January 22, 2014

KARACHI: Teachers? Check.  Students who are eager to learn? Check. Four walls and a roof? Not so much.

Unable to find proper classroom space, some teachers in Mardan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa give lessons in what would be considered grave surroundings.

These teachers hold their classes in a graveyard where, according to Express News, they teach nearly 125 boys and girls.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/661891/grave-circumstances-students-in-mardan-attend-classes-in-a-graveyard/

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Taliban’s change of heart on polio vaccination

2014-01-22

KUNAR: Apparently on feeling growing pressure from the sympathisers of those affected by the crippling polio disease, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has officially distanced itself from some of the recent attacks on polio vaccinators in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Karachi, saying it has nothing to do with these killings.

But at the same time there are some senior members in the organisation who have not ruled out the possibility of involvement of some “hard-liners” or “overzealous” members for such violent actions against the polio workers.

In fact, there are still several hard-liners within the banned militant organisation who openly justify action against polio workers by describing the vaccination campaign as a ‘Jewish conspiracy’ or an ‘espionage campaign’.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1081820/talibans-change-of-heart-on-polio-vaccination

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Pakistan won’t accept US aid with strings attached: Ahsan

January 22, 2014

ISLAMABAD - Declaring that Pakistan was a sovereign country and both states should respect each other's laws, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Prof Ahsan Iqbal said Tuesday that Islamabad would not accept any US aid with strings attached.  Referring to US decision of linking Pakistan's aid with release of Shakil Afridi, the federal minister said that each other's laws should be respected.

"Pakistan is a sovereign country and will not accept any US aid with strings attached," said Ahsan Iqbal while talking to the media after attending Annual Conference of Pakistan Strategy Support Programme (PSSP).

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/editors-picks/22-Jan-2014/pakistan-won-t-accept-us-aid-with-strings-attached-ahsan

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Prayer leader killed in Karachi

 January 22, 2014

KARACHI: A prayer leader was killed in Karachi’s Orangi Town area on Wednesday.

Qazi Meraj was shot multiple times and he died on the spot.

Two armed men riding a motorbike shot Meraj within the jurisdiction of Pakistan Bazaar police station.

The prayer leader was previously attacked twice in the city.

His body was shifted to Abbasi Shaheed hospital after the incident.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/661896/prayer-leader-killed-in-karachi/

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Arab World

 

Saudi King Angry at Bandar’s Incompetency in Controlling Situation in Syria

Jan 22, 2014

TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is angry at his Spy Chief Bandar Bin Sultan for his failure in controlling the situation in Syria, specially in preventing the death of the Saudi terrorists in the crisis-hit country, sources revealed on Wednesday.

“The Saudi King’s anger at Bandar increased after Interior Minister Mohammad bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud reported that over 3,000 Saudi nationals have been killed in the three-year-long crisis in Syria,” an informed source close to the Saudi monarch who called for anonymity for fear of his life told FNA.

“After hearing the report, the Saudi King summoned Bandar and addressed him with ferocious remarks. "I was not optimistic about your handling of the regional issues since the beginning and the death of such a high number of Saudi nationals (terrorists in Syria) is regretable,” the king told Bandar, according to the source.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921102000974

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Most-Wanted Saudi Terrorist Killed in Northern Syria

Jan 22, 2014

TEHRAN (FNA)- A Saudi terrorist who was in the most-wanted list of the Interpol and several other countries was killed by the Syrian army in Aleppo countryside in the Northern parts of the country.

Abdallah Suleiman Saleh Al-Zobah nicknamed Abu Ali Al-Qossaimi was killed in a Syrian army rocket attack in Al-Bab region in Aleppo.

Saleh Al-Zobah was in the most-wanted list of the Interpol since 6 years ago.

Saleh Al-Zobah and nine other terrorists who were accompanying him were all killed during a chasing operation and in a rocket attack by the Syrian army.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921101000809

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Syria says torture report 'politicised,' photos 'fake'

January/22/2014

Syria's justice ministry on Wednesday dismissed a report alleging mass torture and killing by the country's regime as "politicised" calling the shocking photos in the document "fake".

"The justice ministry completely denies the veracity of the report," Syrian state news agency SANA quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.

"It is a politicised report that lacks objectivity and professionalism," the ministry said.

The comments came in response to the publication of a report alleging the "industrial-scale" torture and murder of 11,000 detainees by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The report put together by a British law firm and commissioned by Qatar -- which backs the Syrian rebels -- says there is "clear evidence" of the starvation, strangulation and beating of detainees in Syrian prison.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syria-says-torture-report-politicised-photos-fake.aspx?pageID=238&nID=61390&NewsCatID=352

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Brotherhood left its members to die at Rabaa and Nahda: Salafist preacher El-Borhamy

Jan 22, 2014

Prominent Egyptian Salafist Sheikh Yasser El-Borhamy has levelled accusations at Muslim Brotherhood leaders for last August's violent dispersals of the group's two sit-ins in Cairo, saying that they are responsible for the hundreds of their members who were killed by security forces whom "they abandoned".

Speaking in the online "Ana Salafi" forum, a popular Salafist site administered by the Salafist Call, which El-Borhamy co-founded, he said that the Brotherhood encouraged its members to stand "in fake persistence against bullets" at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda so that their casualties would drive up the public's hatred of the army.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/92096/Egypt/Politics-/Brotherhood-left-its-members-to-die-at-Rabaa-and-N.aspx

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Iraq PM calls for 'stand' against Qaeda gunmen

Jan 22, 2014

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called on Wednesday for residents of the conflict-hit province of Anbar to "take a stand" against Al-Qaeda-linked fighters, as the UN warned of worsening displacement.

Government forces continued to press assaults against militants who overran parts of the Anbar provincial capital Ramadi more than three weeks ago, while violence elsewhere in Iraq killed eight people.

Diplomats have urged Baghdad to foster political reconciliation to undercut support for the militants, but with elections looming in April, Maliki and others have taken a hard line and focused on wide-ranging security operations.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/92218/World/Region/Iraq-PM-calls-for-stand-against-Qaeda-gunmen.aspx

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Sinai Salafist Terrorist Group: ‘We Will Continue to Inflict Suffering on the Jews’

January 22, 2014

A Salafist terrorist organization operating in the Sinai Peninsula claimed responsibility for Monday evening’s rocket attack against Israel in which two Grad missiles struck Eilat, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Tuesday.

In a statement published by the group, called ‘Ansar Beit al-Maqdis’, Israel is accused of inciting violence inside of Egypt: “Anyone following events in Egypt generally and Sinai in particular, [including] the war on Islam and Muslims, killing of innocent people, desecration of mosques, destruction of homes and the spreading of moral corruption across the country by military infidels [a reference to the Egyptian army operating in the Sinai] should know very well that the main cause of this war are the Jews.”

Full report at:

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/01/21/sinai-salafist-terrorist-group-we-will-continue-to-inflict-suffering-on-the-jews/

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Air strike on Syria's Aleppo kills 10: NGO

2014-01-22

BEIRUT: A government air strike killed 10 people in a rebel-held neighbourhood of Syria's main northern city Aleppo on Tuesday, a monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that some fighters of the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had refused orders to withdraw from a battle with government troops to fight against rival rebels.

“An air strike hit the area of a bus station... in Jisr al-Hajj,” in Aleppo, the Observatory said, with its director Rami Abdel Rahman telling AFP: “We have documented 10 deaths”.

The Observatory distributed amateur video footage showing a huge fire in the area, located in the westernmost part of Aleppo city.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1081929/air-strike-on-syrias-aleppo-kills-10-ngo

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Syria peace conference opens in Switzerland

2014-01-22

MONTREUX, Switzerland: Syria's government and its enemies came face to face on Wednesday for the first time as a peace conference began in Switzerland which world powers hope can at least start a process to end three years of civil war.

There was immediate evidence of sharp differences, as US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that President Bashar al-Assad must step down, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cautioned against outsiders meddling in Syria's affairs.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened what will be a day of speeches at Montreux on Lake Geneva from more than 40 delegations, including the opposing sides in Syria, by painting a bleak picture of the suffering of millions and of abuses of human rights by all the warring parties.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1081954/syria-peace-conference-opens-in-switzerland

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Egypt confronts pro-Brotherhood fatwas in media

January 22, 2014

Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah, the Egyptian religious edict council, has decided to establish a body within the council for monitoring and responding to the fatwas in all TV, print and electronic media.

The move is a response to the fatwas on takfir (regarding other Muslims as non-Muslims) that are being issued for political purposes. The most recent was issued Jan. 5 by prominent Kuwaiti Islamic scholar Sheikh Ajeel al-Nashmi to kill Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Other fatwas have prohibited participating in the constitutional referendum.

In a Jan. 14 interview with Al-Watan, Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam said that in the first weeks of its work, Dar al-Ifta gathered nearly 320 anomalous and takfiri fatwas to refute and respond to in a methodical manner to correct religious misconceptions. Allam stressed that those fatwas are misguided and a danger to society, and must be confronted. He added that Dar al-Ifta should make its rulings known to the public at home and abroad.

Full report at:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/01/egypt-fatwa-observatory-media-brotherhood.html#ixzz2r4xUDPE2

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Iraq presses Qaeda offensive, UN warns on displaced

January 22, 2014

BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces pressed their attack on anti-government fighters holding parts of a city Tuesday as the UN warned of an “exponential rise” in displacement with 22,000 families having fled their homes.

Violence elsewhere killed 10 people, bringing to 700 the number killed in nationwide unrest this month, fuelling fears Iraq is slipping back into the all-out conflict that left tens of thousands dead in 2006 and 2007. Diplomats have urged Baghdad to foster political reconciliation to undercut support for militants, but with elections looming in April, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and others have taken a hard line and focused on wide-ranging security operations. Iraq also announced the execution of 26 men convicted of “terrorism” on Tuesday, the latest in a sharp increase in Baghdad’s use of capital punishment as violence has spiked.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/international/22-Jan-2014/iraq-presses-qaeda-offensive-un-warns-on-displaced

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South Asia

 

Afghan security forces kill 14 Taliban militants in joint operations

Jan 22 2014

At least 14 Taliban militants were killed and 4 others were injured following joint military operations by Afghan national security forces during the past 24 hours.

The interior ministry of Afghanistan following a statement said Wednesday that the militants were killed in various provinces of Afghanistan, during military operations conducted by Afghan police, Afghan army and Afghan intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) operatives.

The statement further added that the operations were conducted in Helmand, Paktiya, Ghazni, Zabul, Kandahar, Kunduz, Nangarhr and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan.

Interior ministry confirmed that 14 Taliban militants were killed, 4 militants were injured and 4 others were detained during the operations.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/afghan-security-forces-kill-14-taliban-militants-in-joint-operations-3333

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China urges respect for ethnic traditions in restive Xinjiang

January 22, 2014

BEIJING, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Ethnic traditions in Xinjiang must be respected, the top official in the restive far western region of China said, despite criticism that government policies there unfairly target the Muslim Uighur ethnic community.

The government must implement "ethnic unity education and propaganda" among all communities, especially among the region's youth, the ruling Communist Party's Xinjiang chief Zhang Chunxian said in comments carried in state media on Wednesday.

" must treat issues of local tradition with respect and resolve issues of violence with rule of law and severe measures," the official Xinjiang Daily cited Zhang as saying.

China has intensified a sweeping security crackdown in Xinjiang, further repressing Uighur culture, religious tradition and language, rights groups say, despite strong government assertions that it offers Uighurs wide-ranging freedoms.

Full report at:

http://www.trust.org/item/20140122082406-2ijv2/?source=hpbreaking

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Afghan MP Khawasi calls on Ghorband residents for Jihad against US forces

Jan 22 2014

An Afghan lawmaker, Abdul Satar Khawasi, who was leading a probe team in northern Parwan province of Afghanistan, calls on the residents of Ghorband district for Jihad against the US forces.

Khawasi along with a number of other parliament members and government officials, were appointed by Afghan president Hamid Karzai to probe the civilian casualties in a joint Afghan-NATO forces operation in this province.

The private Tolo Television Network obtained a video of delegations’ visit to Parwan province, which shows Khawasi is encouraging the residents of Ghorband district to fight against the US forces.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/afghan-mp-khawasi-calls-on-ghorband-residents-for-jihad-against-us-forces-3330

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Recurrence for state-sponsored Islamisation

January 22, 2014

Rights activist Sultana Kamal yesterday alleged that the recent attacks on minority communities, especially Hindus, were continuing due to “state-sponsored Islamisation”.

“Since the annulment of the clause of secularism from the constitution and inclusion of Islam as state religion by former military rulers, the Liberation War's spirit has weakened and the attacks started,” she observed.

The executive director of Ain o Salish Kendra also alleged that spoiling of communal harmony began due to patronisation of communalism in mainstream politics.

She was chairing a rally organised by Samajik Protirodh Committee, a platform of 67 women and human rights organisations, protesting the attacks on the capital's Central Shaheed Minar premises.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/city/recurrence-for-state-sponsored-islamisation-7897

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HRW Report: Bangladesh backward on human rights

Bangladesh tumbled backward on human rights in 2013 as it engaged in a harsh crackdown on members of civil society, the media and political opposition, Human Rights Watch says in its World Report 2014.

The authorities often employed violent and illegal measures against protesters, and failed to initiate any investigations into credible allegations of unlawful deaths at the hands of its security forces, said the report released yesterday.

Measures to protect labour rights after a series of factory deaths fell far short of international standards, it said.

"This year has been tragic for Bangladesh, with political unrest leading to unnecessary deaths of protesters, security personnel, and bystanders," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/bangladesh-backward-on-human-rights-7848

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India

 

Religious Muslim Body Rejects Modi Govt Offer on Riot-Hit Shrines

Saeed Khan,TNN | Jan 22, 2014

AHMEDABAD: After refusing for 12 years to compensate for religious structures damaged during the 2002 riots, the Gujarat government came up with a scheme under which Rs 50,000 would be paid ex gratia in each case.

To this proposal of Rs 50,000 for each shrine, the religious organization, Islamic Relief Committee (IRC), which is also the petitioner in the case, has lodged a strong protest saying that it is "non-commensurate with the loss sustained".

In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court on Monday, the IRC questioned the Gujarat government's sincerity as it had doggedly refused, for nine years despite Gujarat high court's insistence, to formulate a policy to compensate for damaged shrines. Further, the IRC has rejected the government's offer as "pittance" and asserted that the order passed by the Gujarat high court on February 8, 2012 saying that district judges would evaluate the damage on a case-by-case basis, is just.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muslim-body-rejects-govt-offer-on-riot-hit-shrines/articleshow/29173406.cms

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SP, BJP Creating Divide among Voters: Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid

Pankaj Shah,TNN | Jan 22, 2014

LUCKNOW: Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmad Bukhari, has targeted Mulayam Singh Yadav yet again, alleging that he is working in tandem with the BJP to polarize voters ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The imam said the January 23 rallies of Narendra Modi and Mulayam in Gorakhpur and Varanasi respectively is an attempt to play the communal card with an eye on the elections.

"This is certainly an attempt to polarise the Hindu-Muslim vote bank. Earlier it was open, but now political parties are fooling people while polarising the vote bank," the imam said. "While some are dropping names of Muslims to get their vote, others are using their support. But it will be the Muslims who will have to understand and decide their future," Bukhari, who is said to be cosying up to the Congress, told TOI.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/SP-BJP-creating-divide-among-voters-Syed-Ahmad-Bukhari/articleshow/29175430.cms

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Khurshid to attend UN meet on Syria today

Express News Service | New Delhi | January 22, 2014

India will participate in the UN-sponsored International Conference on Syria, beginning today in Switzerland. The conference will bring together all warring parties, domestic and international, to resolve the crisis and find a political solution to the conflict in the Arab country.

Sources said External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will participate in the conference — Geneva II —which India sees “as a convergence of the evolved positions of global and regional powers”, with our own stated position on “supporting a comprehensive political settlement of the crisis”. India is expected to reiterate the approach that there are no military solutions to the crisis and it is for the Syrians to chart out their future. It will extend support for the peace initiative and offer assistance in the implementation of the deliberations of the Syrian parties, sources said.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/khurshid-to-attend-un-meet-on-syria-today/

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Mideast

 

3 east Jerusalem al-Qaida recruits arrested, 'planned massive bombings'

 Jan 22, 2014

Shin Bet arrests men recruited online by Gaza operative working for al-Qaida chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri; suicide and truck bombs part of massive terror plot.

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced on Wednesday that it arrested three Palestinians from east Jerusalem recruited online by an al-Qaida operative in Gaza, who were in the midst of preparations to carry out a string of large-scale bombing and shooting attacks on multiple targets in Israel.

The intended targets included the Jerusalem Convention Center, a bus traveling between the capital and Ma'aleh Adumim, the US embassy in Tel Aviv, and emergency responders who would have arrived at the scene of attacks

The Shin Bet said an Al-Qaeda operative in Gaza, named as as Ariv Al-Sham, recruited the men separately from one another, and had planned to activate three independent terrorist cells via his recruits. Senior Shin Bet sources said they believed Al-Sham received his orders directly from the head of Al-Qaeda's central structure, Ayman Al-Zawahri.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/3-al-Qaida-recruits-arrested-planned-massive-bombings-339002

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Egypt and Israel Working Together in Sinai and Gaza to Fight Hamas

January 22, 2014

JNS.org - Israel and Egypt are working together to defeat Hamas in Gaza and in the Sinai Peninsula, according to reports.

“Cooperation is growing tighter on the intelligence and operational level—in fact, on all military levels,” an anonymous Israeli official told the Times of Israel.

“Both countries want to crush Hamas,” the official added. “But we need to be smart about it.”

Under the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, Egyptian military forces are not permitted to operate in the Sinai. But with the increase of lawlessness and terrorism in the region, Israel has quietly permitted the Egyptian army to patrol the region.

Full report at:

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/01/20/egypt-and-israel-working-together-in-sinai-and-gaza-to-fight-hamas/

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After IAF terrorist assassination, Islamic Jihad says 'blood of martyrs not in vain'

Jan 22, 2014

The Islamic Jihad's military wing said it would avenge the Israel Air Force strike Wednesday that killed a terrorist responsible for a series of rocket attacks on southern Israel.

The terrorist, Ahmed Za'anin was responsible for the rockets fired at the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council shortly after the completion of the funeral of former prime minister Ariel Sharon at the nearby Sycamore Ranch last week.

"The blood of martyrs will not be in vain, but a curse that chases the occupier everywhere," Ma'an quoted the group's military wing the al-Quds Brigades as saying.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon in a statement Wednesday said that two terrorists were killed in the attack. The IDF spokesperson could not confirm that a second terrorist was killed. However a military source said that another individual was present with Za'anin at the time of the IAF strike.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/IAF-airstrike-kills-PFLP-terrorist-responsible-for-rocket-fire-on-Negev-338961

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Turkish PM Erdogan ‘assures’ EU he will respect rule of law

Jan 22, 2014

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave assurances to the European Union to respect the rule of law, judicial independence and the separation of powers amid the government’s move to draft a controversial judicial bill in response to an ongoing graft probe.

“We have followed the events closely, and I have today relayed the European concerns to Prime Minister Erdogan as an honest friend and partner. I was quite happy during the discussion because Prime Minister Erdogan, in a very frank and open manner, addressed all the issues and gave us reassurances,” European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso said during a press statement in Brussels Jan. 21.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-pm-erdogan-assures-eu-he-will-respect-rule-of-law.aspx?pageID=238&nID=61382&NewsCatID=338

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Nazareth Christians Warned Against 'Slandering' Allah

Israel Today Staff

January 22, 2014

As Christians of every stripe in Jesus' hometown of Nazareth begin to again take a real stand for their faith, local Muslims are warning them not to overstep the boundaries of their traditional place in the Middle East (hint: they must remain dhimmis, or second-class).

A large billboard hanging at a central point in Nazareth features a picture of an Israeli stop sign, along with the English translation of a verse from the Koran cautioning Christians (and Jews) to speak only the "truth" regarding Allah.

Full report at:

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/24382/Default.aspx?hp=article_title

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Netanyahu: Many Arab Countries Now See Israel as a Friend

January 22, 2014

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Arab world is changing its position on Israel.

In an hour-long interview with Canada’s CTV News Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme ahead of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Israel, Netanyahu said he is “glad to see the constancy and consistency of Canada’s friendship to Israel” as exemplified by Harper.

He responded to a question about what he thought of those who criticized the Canadian leader for his outspoken support of Israel, by saying, “Those who criticize him are out of sync.”

Full report at:

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/01/17/netanyahu-many-arab-countries-now-see-israel-as-a-friend/

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Mahmoud Abbas’ Public Plan to Destroy Zionism

January 22, 2014

In 1977, Mahmoud Abbas wrote a book called “Zionism: Beginning and End.” It was republished in 2011 and is available to view, today, on his website.

This article describes one of the strategies Abbas spells out in the book for destroying Zionism and asserts that Abbas kept his philosophy years afterwards.

Zionism is based on racism, which carry the seeds of failure in itself, but more importantly is that the Zionist community in occupied Palestine is based on the marginalization of Sephardic Jews who are forced to submit to the elite Western “Ashkenazim.

Full report at:

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/01/22/mahmoud-abbas-public-plan-to-destroy-zionism/

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Abbas: There Will be No Israeli Presence in Palestine

January 22, 2014

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will not accept an Israeli presence in the future Palestinian state.

'"We want an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital that includes all the lands that were occupied in 1967," Abbas said in a joint press conference with the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ramallah.

http://english.pnn.ps/index.php/politics/6688-abbas-there-will-be-no-israeli-presence-in-palestine

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Europe

 

Syria talks about transition government, not terrorism: French FM

Jan 22, 2014

The international peace conference for Syria is about finding a transition government for the country, not about making "unfounded accusations" about terrorism, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said as it opened Wednesday.

"This is not...a way to gain time or make claims without evidence and unfounded accusations. This is about finding a political deal for Syria concerning this transitional authority with full executive powers," Fabius told the Syrian regime during his address at the conference.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/92206/World/Region/Syria-talks-about-transition-government,-not-terro.aspx

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Syria talks 'will not be simple, will not be quick': Lavrov

Jan 22, 2014

Efforts to broker a peace settlement for Syria will be neither simple nor quick, but a peace conference marks a historic opportunity, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

"The negotiations will not be simple, they will not be quick," Lavrov said as the conference got under way in the Swiss lakeside town of Montreux.

"There is a historic responsiblity on the shoulders of all participants," he told delegates from Syria's warring sides and some 40 countries.

"Our common task is to achieve an end to the tragic conflict in Syria, which has brought incalculable pain to the Syrian people," he underlined.

Russia is the leading world power ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who supporters of the three-year Syrian revolt say no longer has a place at the country's helm.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/92200/World/Region/Syria-talks-will-not-be-simple,-will-not-be-quick-.aspx

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UK Islamic group condemns website featuring cartoons of Prophet Mohamed and Jesus

January 22, 2014

One of the most influential Islamic organisations in the UK has slammed a website that publishes cartoons featuring Prophet Mohamed and Jesus.

The website, Jesus and Mo, features a weekly comic strip in which the two prophets debate and joke about the central tenets of Islam and Christianity.

The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) published a statement saying that the images were "extremely offensive to believers" of the two faiths and "potentially inflammatory," and urged the website's operators to take down the comics at once.

The MAB added that the depiction of the two prophets was “as insulting as those published in Denmark," referring to the 12 editorial cartoons depicting Prophet Mohamed that were printed in a Danish newspaper in 2005, sparking widespread anger and protests.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/92083.aspx

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Russian police kill Islamist militant leader before Olympics

Reuters | Jan 22, 2014

MOSCOW: Police have killed a senior Islamist militant in Russia's North Caucasus ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where security forces searched on Tuesday for a woman they fear is planning an attack during the games.

Eldar Magatov, a suspect in attacks on Russian targets and alleged leader of an insurgent group in the Babyurt district of Dagestan, died in a shootout, the National Anti-Terror Committee said on Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin has staked his political reputation on organising a successful Olympics and tightened security nationwide after insurgents who hope to create an Islamist state in the North Caucasus threatened to attack the games, which start on Feb. 7.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Russian-police-kill-Islamist-militant-leader-before-Olympics/articleshow/29178962.cms

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Syria Geneva II peace conference begins with bitter speeches

Jan 22, 2014

Syria's government and main political opposition have traded bitter accusations as a major peace conference begins in Switzerland.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged delegates to engage in constructive discussions, but neither side appeared prepared to abandon their positions.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said there was "no way possible" President Bashar al-Assad could remain in power.

The conflict has left more than 100,000 dead and millions displaced.

The summit is discussing the Geneva communique which lays out a political transition plan for Syria. But the key issue is President Assad's future.

It will hear from about 40 foreign ministers on Wednesday before direct Syrian talks are scheduled to begin in Geneva on Friday.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25836827

----------------

 

Barman tries to ‘arrest’ Blair for Iraq war crimes

Kounteya Sinha,TNN | Jan 22, 2014

LONDON: A bartender at a London restaurant tried to make a 'citizen arrest' on former British Prime Minister Tony Blair when he was having dinner with friends and family.

Twiggy Garcia, the staff member at the upmarket Tramshed restaurant attempted to arrest Blair on Friday for starting the Iraq war.

Garcia made his move while Blair was eating. He said he was greatly influenced by a website arrestblair.org that offered a bounty of £2,150 to anyone who can "arrest" him for crimes against peace.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Barman-tries-to-arrest-Blair-for-Iraq-war-crimes/articleshow/29179919.cms

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Pope issues peace appeal to Syria conference

January 22, 2014

Pope Francis is urging delegates attending the Syria peace conference in Switzerland to do everything they can to negotiate a cease-fire and launch “decisive” steps toward reconciliation and reconstruction.

Francis issued the appeal during his general audience Wednesday.

The Vatican was invited to attend the Syria conference and sent two senior diplomats. Earlier this month, a Vatican-sponsored meeting called for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire in Syria on humanitarian grounds.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/pope-issues-peace-appeal-to-syria-conference/article5606051.ece

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Syria torture report 'extremely alarming': UN

2014-01-22

GENEVA: The United Nations human rights office expressed horror at a report accusing the Syrian regime of killing and torture on an “industrial scale”, saying the allegations must be investigated.

“This report is extremely alarming, and the alleged scale of the deaths in detention, if verified, is truly horrifying,” Rupert Colville, spokesman for UN rights chief Navi Pillay, told AFP in an email.

“Allegations this serious cannot be ignored and further investigation is clearly necessary,” he added.

The report by three international prosecutors, commissioned by opposition-backer Qatar and based on some 55,000 digital images from a defector, charges that President Bashar al-Assad's regime is guilty of the “industrial scale” torture and killing of 11,000 detainees.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1081917/syria-torture-report-extremely-alarming-un

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Multiple European Pension Funds Consider Divesting From Israel

January 22, 2014

JNS.org – Several large European pension funds are considering divesting from Israeli banks.

According to the Financial Times, the pension funds are concerned “that the banks finance illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian-occupied territories.”

The Dutch fun ABP, the world’s third-largest pension fund, and two other major European investors, Nordea Investment Management and DNB Asset Management, want more information from the Israeli banks.

Additionally, Norway’s largest pension fund, KLP, said it would discuss its investments in Israeli banks. PGGM, Holland’s second-largest pension fund, earlier this month became the first large European investor to divest from holdings in Israel’s five largest banks.

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/01/20/multiple-european-pension-funds-consider-divesting-from-israel/

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North America

 

Kerry at Syria peace talks: No way Assad can be in new gov't

Jan 22, 2014

International peace talks to address Syria's almost three-year-old civil war opened in Montreux on Wednesday with opening statements from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

During his opening statement, Kerry said that Syrian President Bashar Assad can have no place in a transition government because he has lost the legitimacy to lead.

Kerry said it was a test for the international community to find a solution to end the fighting.

"We see only one option, negotiating a transition government born by mutual consent," Kerry said. "That means that Assad will not be part of that transition government. There is no way, no way possible, that a man who has led a brutal response to his own people can regain legitimacy to govern."

Ban Ki-moon during in his opening remarks stated that "great challenges lie ahead but they are not insurmountable."

He also called on government forces and rebels to allow "immediate and full humanitarian access to all communities in need".

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Kerry-at-Syria-peace-talks-No-way-Assad-can-be-in-new-govt-338987

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Jewish Groups Rip Economist Over ‘Anti-Jewish’ Cartoon, ADL Calls for ‘Full Apology’

January 22, 2014

Jewish groups sharply criticized the publication by The Economist on Saturday of a cartoon depicting Jewish control over President Obama to the detriment of the United States.

The image, “unmistakably conveys a distinctly anti-Jewish message by inappropriately employing imagery representing an age old anti-Semitic myth of undue Jewish control,” Michael A. Salberg, Associate National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in an email to The Algemeiner. “This message conjures up another classical anti-Semitic myth, the dangerous accusation that Jews have a dual loyalty and, when it comes to Israel, will act on behalf of Israel to the detriment of the security of the US.”

Full report at:

http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/01/20/jewish-groups-rip-economist-over-anti-jewish-cartoon-call-for-full-apology/

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Muslim anti-Semitism is only decades old, Obama claims

January 22, 2014

Experts are scoffing at President Barack Obama’s apparent belief that widespread Muslim hatred of Jews is only decades old.

“Obama reveals that he has no idea, or doesn’t want to give the impression that he has any idea, about the reality of Islamic anti-Semitism,” said Robert Spencer, the author of many books on Islamic ideas and director of Jihad Watch.

“Anti-Semitism is hard-wired into Islam,” from its origins before 700, said Andrew Bostom, author of three books about Islam, including “The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism,” which lists centuries of anti-Semitic hatred, murders, pogroms and apartheid-like discrimination.

Intellectuals, politicians and diplomats are loath to admit the centrality of anti-Semitism in Islamic beliefs, because it fuels conflict with Israel and the West and it can’t be fixed by Westerners, Bostom said. ”You’re dealing with an intractable situation, and people hate intractable situations,” he said, adding “diplomats are the worst.”

Full report at:

http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/21/muslim-anti-semitism-is-only-decades-old-obama-claims/#ixzz2r4ThOpcq

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US military propose to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014

January 22, 2014

According to reports, the US military leaders have proposed to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

The proposal was reportedly submitted by US military leaders to the White House, senior officials confirmed to Fox News.

This comes as the bilateral security agreement between Kabul and Washington is still pending president Hamid Karzai’s signature, after the draft agreement was approved during consultative Loya Jirga which approved the presence of US military bases and personnel in Afghanistan after the US combat mission ends by the end of 2014.

In the meantime, reports suggest both US Department of State and US intelligence agencies have expressed their support for the 10,000-troop plan which was presented to the White House.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/us-military-propose-to-keep-10000-troops-in-afghanistan-beyond-2014-3332

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Taliban gaining new grounds, experts warn

2014-01-22

WASHINGTON: A sudden increase in terrorist attacks in the Pak-Afghan region has raised fears that the United States may be leaving Afghanistan too vulnerable, says a report on a US television channel.

In a commentary on the Monday morning terrorist attack on the headquarters of the Pakistan Army, CBS noted that more than 50 people have been killed in three high-profile attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan this week, 13 in Rawalpindi, 22 in Bannu and 21 in Kabul.

The attacks demonstrate that the region “remains under the threat of the Taliban making considerable new advances,” CBS observed.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1081948/taliban-gaining-new-grounds-experts-warn

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Nigeria, Pakistan could delay polio-free goal: Bill Gates

2014-01-22

NEW YORK: Billionaire software baron turned philanthropist Bill Gates warned on Tuesday that violence in Nigeria and Pakistan could set him back in his goal of eradicating polio by 2018.

In 2013, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a charity that funds medical research and vaccination drives -- made wiping out the crippling disease in the next six years its top priority.

But the Microsoft founder, who has poured a large part of his personal fortune into the drive and encouraged fellow billionaires to contribute, said in an AFP interview that major challenges remain.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1081916/nigeria-pakistan-could-delay-polio-free-goal-bill-gates

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Africa

 

Libyan Islamist party's ministers quit government

Reuters | Jan 21, 2014

TRIPOLI: Libya's Islamist Justice and Construction Party on Tuesday pulled its five ministers, including the oil minister, out of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan's government, complicating efforts to stabilize the OPEC country.

Two years after Gaddafi's fall, the oil-producing North African state has struggled to overcome political turmoil and heavily-armed ex-rebels who fought in the 2011 revolt against the autocrat but now refuse to disarm.

At least two people were killed in clashes on Tuesday west of Tripoli when soldiers and militia allies attacked an area where they said gunmen still loyal to Gaddafi were holed up, a Reuters witness and officials said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Libyan-Islamist-partys-ministers-quit-government/articleshow/29171793.cms

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South Sudan rebels say govt stalling peace talks

January 22, 2014

A spokesman for rebels in South Sudan charges the government is delaying peace talks because it is in a stronger position after winning back rebel-held territory.

Mabior De Garang said Wednesday the government keeps changing the dates for talks in Ethiopia because “they feel they are now strong so they don’t really need the peace process.”

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/south-sudan-rebels-say-govt-stalling-peace-talks/article5606094.ece

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Kiir questions role of U.N. mission in South Sudan

AMAN SETHI

January 22, 2014

South Sudan President Salva Kiir said the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was running a “parallel government” in his country, adding to increasing friction between UNMISS and his ruling party.

“I think the U.N. wants to be the government of the South [Sudan] and they fell short of naming the chief of the UNMISS as the co-president of the Republic of South Sudan,” President Kiir said in a televised speech. “If that is the position of Ban Ki-Moon, they should make it clear that the U.N. wants to take over South Sudan.”

“If they [the U.N.] were the ones who instigated Dr. Riek Machar to take this action then they really misadvised him,” tweeted the official twitter account of the South Sudan government on Tuesday.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/kiir-questions-role-of-un-mission-in-south-sudan/article5602769.ece

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Regional nations approve military force for South Sudan: Kenya

Jan 22, 2014

East African nations have approved a 5,500-strong military force for war-torn South Sudan to end weeks of bitter fighting that has devastated the young nation, Kenya's foreign minister said Wednesday.

"The Security Council within IGAD has already adopted a resolution allowing 5,500 troops into South Sudan," Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohammed told reporters, referring to the seven-member Intergovernmental Authority on Development. Uganda, an IGAD-member, has already sent troops to South Sudan on its own.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/92204/World/Region/Regional-nations-approve-military-force-for-South-.aspx

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Ethiopian troops join African force in Somalia

Jan 22, 2014

Ethiopian troops in Somalia on Wednesday formally joined the UN-backed African Union force amid efforts to boost operations against Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels, officials said.

Hardline Shebab insurgents control large parts of rural southern Somalia, having been driven from a string of towns by the African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM), although guerrilla units stage regular deadly attacks in the capital Mogadishu.

The inclusion of Ethiopia into the force will free up other units to stage a long awaited offensive on Shebab bases in the far southern regions of Lower and Middle Shabelle, with Kenyan units advancing from the south, and Uganda and Burundi pressing from the north.

"Ethiopian troops will constitute AMISOM's sixth contingent," the force said Wednesday, with soldiers re-hatting to join troops from Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

Ethiopia is to contribute a three battalion-strong contingent -- suggesting some 2,000 men -- although the mission has not given exact troop numbers.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/92195/World/International/Ethiopian-troops-join-African-force-in-Somalia.aspx

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At least 5 dead in clashes near Libyan capital

Jan 22, 2014

At least five people were killed and around 20 wounded as armed groups clashed in a western suburb of the Libyan capital, a medical source said.

A security source said the violence broke out during an operation against "armed gangs" including backers of Moamer Kadhafi's regime, ousted in a 2011 revolt.

The operation was carried out by former rebel fighters in the suburb of Werchefana, which is considered a pro-Kadhafi enclave.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/92179/World/Region/At-least--dead-in-clashes-near-Libyan-capital.aspx

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Southeast Asia

 

Philippines govt, Muslim rebels upbeat in tackling last peace hurdle

2014-01-22 08:13:05

MANILA: The Philippine government and Muslim rebels said on Tuesday they were optimistic of clearing the final hurdle to ending a deadly decades-old rebellion, ahead of a fresh round of talks in Malaysia.

The Kuala Lumpur negotiations on Wednesday will tackle a “normalisation” deal detailing how the rebels will hand over their weapons, and the creation of a security force to police what would be a Muslim self-rule area, they said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1081909/philippines-govt-muslim-rebels-upbeat-in-tackling-last-peace-hurdle

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Agong is not the head of Islam, says constitutional law expert

January 22, 2014

Malaysia has no head of Islam and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is only the head of religion in his own home state and in states without rulers, said a constitutional law expert.

Former International Islamic University Malaysia academic Dr Abdul Aziz Bari (pic) said the more appropriate platform to represent the rulers on religious issues is the Conference of Rulers.

"It appears that not all the rulers view the way of the Agong and the Sultan of Selangor," Abdul Aziz said in a statement.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/agong-is-not-the-head-of-islam-says-constitutional-law-expert

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We must talk to resolve racial-religious tensions, Anwar tells Barisan leaders

January 22, 2014

Pakatan Rakyat reiterated its call to rival Barisan Nasional (BN) for a dialogue to come up with solutions on raging racial and religious issues.

Undeterred by the ruling coalition's silence on the proposal so far, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said their offer is sincere and unconditional.

"This is an urgent and national interest issue. I want to reassure all Malaysians, regardless of race or religious affiliation, that we are here to protect their interests and we are willing to work with the government.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/we-must-talk-to-resolve-racial-religious-tensions-anwar-tells-barisan-leade

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Sabah group out to thwart efforts by Muslim groups to convert Christians

January 22, 2014

A Sabah non-governmental organisation is working overtime to create awareness among the largely poor and illiterate Christians in rural areas of increasing efforts by Muslim groups to convert them to Islam.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one of the group's coordinators told The Malaysian Insider that political parties from both sides, churches and non-Muslim NGOs have banded together to thwart conversion efforts by Muslim groups.

"Half a dozen or so Islamic NGOs are behind this forced or induced conversion. They are intent on converting as many Christians to Islam as possible," the coordinator told The Malaysian Insider.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/sabah-group-out-to-thwart-efforts-by-muslim-groups-to-convert-christians

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Australia must understand Indonesian sovereignty: Minister

January 22, 2014

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto has said the government of Australia under the leadership of Prime Minister Tony Abbott must acknowledge and understand Indonesian sovereignty and how it was breached by Australian naval ships.

“On the repatriation of asylum seekers who enter a territory or a country (including Australia), the country must handle it as mandated by United Nations (UN) conventions,” Joko said in a statement on Wednesday as quoted by Antara news agency.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/01/22/australia-must-understand-ri-sovereignty-minister.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/-former-pak-taliban-head-among-50-killed-in-military-operations-/d/35392

 

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