New Age Islam
Fri Dec 04 2020, 10:21 PM

Islamic World News ( 13 March 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

11 soldiers killed in suicide blast at Iraq army base

Seven killed in bus attack in northwest Pakistan

1 town stands between Gaddafi troops & rebels

Gulf Cooperation Council troops arrive in Bahrain to maintain order

Japan quake, tsunami kill 10,000; economy at risk

US missile strikes kill seven in Pakistan

Bomb kills four Afghans

Wen Jiabao rejects 'Jasmine'-type revolt in China

US crude falls towards $100 as Gaddafi recovers territory

Foes seek Libya-like uprising in Venezuela: Hugo Chavez

Israeli anger over Palestinian film at UN

Ravaged Japan rushes to provide relief

Pakistan says ‘no' to India probe team visit

Babri Mosque incident badly dented BJP's image: Advani laments

Thousands in Beirut call for Hezbollah to disarm

Education Emergency Pakistan

Qaddafi troops take oil town of Brega, France pushes no-fly

Anti-Taliban militias under threat

Arab TV cameraman killed in Libya

‘Honour killings could be curbed by raising literacy’

Oman sultan grants legislative powers to parliament

Bahrain's protesters block financial center

Qaddafi offensive rolls up rebel-held towns

Israel alert as family of 5 knifed to death

Police fire on Yemeni protesters, 100 plus injured

Israel to build 500 settler homes in W. Bank

King sends condolences to Japanese emperor

Building caretaker detained in Makkah with ‘prostitutes’

Libya seeks Italy's help Pro-Gaddafi forces deal a telling blow to rebels

US Muslims find defending themselves exhausting

Naif presents King Faisal Prize to seven

10,000 protest new Turkish health care system

Over 106,000 Saudis get King Abdullah scholarships

Pakistan to sign new agreement for Haj service with Tawafa group

Dalai Lama pleads for right to 'retire'

Afghan Buddha province hopes to attract skiers

Navy rescues 13 crew members from Somali pirates

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/11-soldiers-killed-in-suicide-blast-at-iraq-army-base/d/4281

 

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11 soldiers killed in suicide blast at Iraq army base

Mar 14, 2011

KANAAN (IRAQ): A suicide attacker rammed a truck packed with explosives into an army barracks in Iraq's restive Diyala province on Monday, killing at least 11 troops and wounding 14, a security official said.

The attack took place at around 6 am at an army base at Kanaan, some 70 kilometres (43 miles) northeast of Baghdad, the official said.

"At least 11 soldiers died and 14 others were wounded," he said, adding that the building was totally destroyed and that it was feared more victims could be buried under the rubble.

The bomber drove the truck straight through the checkpoint at the entrance to the base and rammed the main building housing the sleeping quarters of the troops.

An AFP correspondent who arrived on the scene saw a host of ambulances around the barracks and excavators clearing away the rubble. He said the blast had created a crater three metres (10 feet) deep and four metres in diameter.

Authorities also defused a car bomb and two improvised explosives near the blast site, which the official said were intended to go off after the arrival of rescue workers and police, and in order to drive up the toll.

"There was a fault in the security procedure. If the security people had done their job, the vehicle would not have been able to reach the base," said Iman Karkhi, a member of Diyala's provincial council.

"I call on the government to compensate the people for their material losses," she said, adding that at least 150 homes in the vicinity had been damaged.

The provincial council building, which adjoins the base, was also damaged and at least five civilian vehicles were charred by the blast.

In other incidents on Monday, at least eight people were injured when three improvised bombs exploded in Baghdad, an interior minister official said.

One bomb aimed at a police patrol in the eastern district of al-Amin wounded three policemen and two civilians.

Kanaan is situated some 10 kilometres east of Baquba, the chief town of Diyala province, a former al-Qaida stronghold which remains one of the most violent in Iraq because of strong ethnic and religious differences.

The province is part of a long strip of land that extends from Syria to Iran, and dotted with disputed territories claimed both by the central government and the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.

A January 20 bomb attack in Kanaan against a group of pilgrims en route to mourning ceremonies in the southern city of Karbala, killed one pilgrim and wounded three.

Violence has significantly declined since its peak in 2006-2007, but deadly attacks remain a part of daily life.

A total of 197 Iraqis were killed in nationwide violence in February.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/11-soldiers-killed-in-suicide-blast-at-Iraq-army-base/articleshow/7700665.cms

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1 town stands between Gaddafi troops & rebels

Mar 14, 2011

AJDABIYAH (Libya): Muammar Gaddafi's troops seized the strategic Libyan oil town of Brega on Sunday forcing rebels to retreat under a heavy bombardment while world powers considered imposing a no-fly zone.

Brega is 220km south of the rebel stronghold of Benghazi with the town of Ajdabiyah the only sizeable town standing in the way.

Losing Brega and its refinery further limits rebel access to fuel after the insurgents were pushed out of Ras Lanuf on Sunday, another major oil terminal some 100 km to the west along the coast road where all of Libya's important towns are located.

"Brega has been cleansed of armed gangs," a Libyan government army source told state television. Defeated rebel fighters were demoralised "There's no uprising any more," said rebel Nabeel Tijouri, whose heavy-machinegun had been destroyed in the fighting. "The other day we were in Ras Lanuf, then Brega, the day after tomorrow they will be in Benghazi."

Brega is 220km (137 miles) south of the rebel stronghold of Benghazi with the town of Ajdabiyah the only sizeable town standing in the way. From Ajdabiyah there are roads to either Benghazi or Tobruk, close to the border with Egypt.

Libya's flat desert terrain means the government's air supremacy and big advantage in tanks outweighs the rebels' enthusiasm and light weaponry. Only towns and cities provide some cover for the insurgents and partially even the odds. "He's out of Brega. He's on the way, maybe in half an hour his rockets will reach us here," rebel fighter, Masoud Bwisir, at the western gate of Ajdabiyah, referring to the enemy.

The speed of the advance may overtake drawn-out diplomatic wrangling on whether or how to impose a no-fly zone. The US said a call by the Arab League for a UN no-fly zone protect Libyan cities was an "important step". But while Washington said it was preparing for "all contingencies", it remains cautious over endorsing direct military intervention.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/1-town-stands-between-Gaddafi-troops-rebels/articleshow/7696651.cms

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Gulf Cooperation Council troops arrive in Bahrain to maintain order

Mar 14, 2011

MANAMA: Forces from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) arrived in Bahrain on Monday to help authorities restore order after violent clashes erupted between protesters and security forces over the weekend.

The GCC forces are expected to protect strategic facilities, such as oil, electricity and water installations, as also financial and banking facilities, Xinhua quoted Al-Arabiya TV as reporting.

The arrival of GCC forces follows a clash on Sunday between the Bahraini police and a number of Shiite protesters in one of the most violent confrontations since troops killed seven protesters last month.

The protesters on Monday continued with their demand for the resignation of the entire cabinet, blocking the main roads to the Financial Harbor business complex in Manama.

Hundreds of protesters also continue to hold a sit-in at Pearl Square in Manama, the focal point of the demonstrations that started Feb 14.

The six-member regional bloc of the GCC comprises Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.

Meanwhile, the US has strongly condemned the violence in Bahrain, as also in Yemen, urging the two governments to show restraint.

White House spokesman Jay Carney, in a statement said: "The United States strongly condemns the violence that has taken place in Yemen and Bahrain today. We urge the governments of these countries to show restraint and to respect the universal rights of their people."

He also urged the Bahraini government to pursue "a peaceful and meaningful dialogue" with the opposition rather than "resorting to the use of force".

"In particular, we urge our GCC partners to show restraint and respect the rights of the people of Bahrain, and to act in a way that supports dialogue instead of undermining it," Xinhua quoted the spokesman as adding.

In London, the British Foreign Office said it had reports that the Saudi National Guard was poised to enter Bahrain, prompting it to warn all British tourists in Bahrain to remain indoors, DPA reported.

According to the Bahrain News Agency, a number of parliamentarians called on Bahrain's king Monday to impose martial law in the wake of the protests in the country.

The parliamentary bloc asked for three months of martial law, which would include an army presence on the streets and a curfew.

There are growing fears in Bahrain that anti-government protests for constitutional reforms and greater rights has shifted into a sectarian conflict, with the country's Shiite majority clashing with the ruling Sunni minority.

There are also concerns among neighbouring countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which both have small, but significant Shiite populations, that Shiite-led Iran is meddling in the affairs of Gulf countries.

GCC secretary general Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Atiya said the council rejected any foreign interference in the Gulf region's internal affairs, adding that attempts to sow discord among citizens represents a dangerous encroachment on security and stability.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/GCC-troops-arrive-in-Bahrain-to-maintain-order/articleshow/7702463.cms

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Japan quake, tsunami kill 10,000; economy at risk

Mar 14, 2011

FUKUSHIMA: Japan scrambled to avert a meltdown at a stricken nuclear reactor on Monday after a second hydrogen explosion rocked the facility, just days after a devastating earthquake and tsunami that killed at least 10,000 people. ( Read: Second blast at stricken Japan nuclear plant )

Roads and rail, power and ports have been crippled across much of Japan's northeast and estimates of the cost of the multiple disasters have leapt to as much as $170 billion. Analysts said the economy could even tip back into recession.

Japanese stocks closed down more than 6 percent, the biggest fall since the height of the global financial crisis in 2008.

Rescue workers combed the tsunami-battered region north of Tokyo for survivors and struggled to care for millions of people without power and water in what Prime Minister Naoto Kan has dubbed his country's worst crisis since World War Two.

Officials say at least 10,000 people were likely killed in the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that followed it. Kyodo news agency reported that 2,000 bodies had been found on Monday in two coastal towns alone.

"It's a scene from hell, absolutely nightmarish," said Patrick Fuller of the International Red Cross Federation from the town of Otsuchi.

"The situation here is just beyond belief, almost everything has been flattened. The government is saying that 9,500 people, more than half of the population could have died and I do fear the worst."

Crucially, officials said the thick walls around the radioactive cores of the damaged reactors at the nuclear power plant appeared to be intact after the hydrogen blast, the second there since Saturday.

The big fear is of a major radiation leak from the complex in Fukushima, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, where engineers have been battling since the weekend to prevent a meltdown in three reactors.

The core container of the No. 3 reactor was intact after the explosion, the government said, but it warned those still in the 20-km (13-mile) evacuation zone to stay indoors. The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) , said 11 people had been injured in the blast.

Kyodo said 80,000 people had been evacuated from the zone, joining more than 450,000 other evacuees from quake and tsunami-hit areas in the northeast.

"Everything I've seen says that the containment structure is operating as it's designed to operate. It's keeping the radiation in and it's holding everything in, which is the good news," said Murray Jennex, of San Diego State University.

"This is nothing like a Chernobyl ... At Chernobyl (in Ukraine in 1986) you had no containment structure -- when it blew, it blew everything straight out into the atmosphere."

Officials said on Sunday that three nuclear reactors in Fukushima were at risk of overheating, raising fears of an uncontrolled radiation leak.

Engineers worked desperately to cool the fuel rods. If they fail, the containers that house the core could melt, or even explode, releasing radioactive material into the atmosphere.

Nuclear experts said it was probably the first time in the industry's 57-year history that sea water has been used in this way, a sign of how close Japan may be to a major accident.

"Injection of sea water into a core is an extreme measure," Mark Hibbs of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "This is not according to the book."

The nuclear accident, the worst since Chernobyl, sparked criticism that authorities were ill-prepared and the threat that could pose to the country's nuclear power industry.

A Japanese official said before the blast that 22 people were confirmed to have suffered radiation contamination and up to 190 may have been exposed. Workers in protective clothing used hand-held scanners to check people arriving at evacuation centres.

U.S. warships and planes helping with relief efforts moved away from the coast temporarily because of low-level radiation. The U.S. Seventh Fleet described the move as precautionary.

South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines said they would test Japanese food imports for radiation.

NO POWER, NO WATER

Almost 2 million households were without power in the north, the government said. There were about 1.4 million without running water. Tens of thousands of people are missing.

The town of Otsuchi in Iwate prefecture was obliterated. "After my long career in the Red Cross where I have seen many disasters and catastrophes, this is the worst I have ever seen. Otsuchi reminds me of Osaka and Tokyo after the Second World War when everything was destroyed and flattened," Japan Red Cross President Tadateru Konoe told Reuters during a visit to the coastal town.

Whole villages and towns have been wiped off the map by Friday's wall of water, triggering an international humanitarian effort of epic proportions.

"When the tsunami struck, I was trying to evacuate people. I looked back, and then it was like the computer graphics scene I've seen from the movie Armageddon. I thought it was a dream . it was really like the end of the world," said Tsutomu Sato, 46, in Rikuzantakata, a town on the northeast coast.

ENORMOUS ECONOMIC COSTS

Estimates of the economic impact are only now starting to emerge.

Hiromichi Shirakawa, chief economist for Japan at Credit Suisse, said in a note to clients that the economic loss will likely be around 14-15 trillion yen ($171-183 billion) just to the region hit by the quake and tsunami.

Even that would put it above the commonly accepted cost of the 1995 Kobe quake which killed 6,000 people.

The earthquake has forced many firms to suspend production and shares in some of Japan's biggest companies tumbled on Monday, with Toyota Corp dropping almost 8 percent . Shares in Australian-listed uranium miners also dived.

"When we talk about natural disasters, we tend to see an initial sharp drop in production ... then you tend to have a V-shaped rebound. But initially everyone underestimates the damage," said Michala Marcussen, head of global economics at Societe Generale.

Risk modelling company AIR Worldwide said insured losses from the earthquake could reach nearly $35 billion.

Global companies from semiconductor makers to shipbuilders faced disruptions to operations after the quake and tsunami destroyed vital infrastructure, damaged ports and knocked out factories supplying everything from high-tech components to steel.

The Bank of Japan offered a combined 15 trillion yen ($183 billion) to the banking system earlier in the day to soothe market jitters.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Japan-quake-tsunami-kill-10000-economy-at-risk/articleshow/7701058.cms

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Seven killed in bus attack in northwest Pakistan

Mar 14, 2011

HANGU: Seven people were killed and seven others wounded when unidentified assailants opened fire on a passenger bus in the northwest Pakistani district of Hangu on Sunday.

The bus was travelling from Parachinar to Peshawar when it came under attack in the Mamukhar area of Hangu, the Dawn quoted the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mamukhar, as saying.

The injured were shifted to a nearby hospital, where officials said that two were in a critical condition.

Meanwhile, police surrounded the area after the incident and started a search operation in this regard.

The attack took place ten days after nine people, including three police officials, were killed and thirty others were wounded in a suicide bomb attack on a police van in Hangu.

Hangu is one of the sensitive areas in Pakistan, as it is attached with three tribal agencies- Kurram, North Waziristan and Orakzai.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Seven-killed-in-bus-attack-in-northwest-Pakistan/articleshow/7691847.cms

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US missile strikes kill seven in Pakistan

By ISHTIAQ MAHSUD

Mar 14, 2011

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan: Pakistani intelligence officials say two suspected US missile strikes have killed seven militants in the country's tribal region.

The two officials say the Sunday evening strikes also wounded five militants in Spalgah village near Miran Shah in North Waziristan.

The officials say two missiles first hit a vehicle and four more struck a compound, a Pakistani Taleban hide-out. The tribal region is home to several militant groups focused on attacking US and its allied NATO forces across the border in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Taleban have also taken refuge there after an army offensive in their neighboring headquarters of South Waziristan.

Gunmen ambushed a van and killed nine civilians Sunday in a stretch of northwestern Pakistan covered by a new peace deal among rival tribes. Security forces responding to the attack killed three alleged gunmen, police said.

The clash does not bode well for the future of the peace deal in the Kurram tribal region, which stopped a four-year conflict that had cost hundreds of lives. There have been reports that Taleban militants planned to take advantage of the deal to gain more territory along the Afghan border.

Police official Mir Chaman Khan said the attack occurred in Hangu district along the main road from Kurram to the city of Peshawar.

The road had recently reopened after the Toori and Bangash tribes inked the deal with the Mangal and other tribes.  The van was coming from Parachinar, a town in Kurram. Khan declined to speculate on who was behind the attack.

http://arabnews.com/world/article316187.ece

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Bomb kills four Afghans

Mar 14, 2011

KABUL: A roadside bomb killed four Afghan civilians in a car in the country's south, the government said Sunday.

The victims were driving in Kandahar province's Shorabak district when their vehicle struck the bomb Saturday, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. The incident is being investigated, the ministry said.

Civilians have increasingly become the victims of insurgent attacks as Taliban militants wage a violent campaign against international and Afghan forces in the south.

A UN report issued last week said that civilian deaths jumped 15 percent in 2010 to 2,770. The report blamed insurgents for 75 percent of the combat-related killings — saying they were responsible for 2,080 deaths. Deaths attributed to US-led forces dropped by 26 percent to 440 people despite a large increase in fighting.

Two NATO service members have also been killed this weekend. One died in an insurgent attack in the east and another in a bomb attack in the south, the international military coalition said. NATO did not provide further details or identify the nationalities of the dead.

The coalition typically waits for individual nations to identify their casualties. The latest deaths make 13 NATO service members killed so far this month.

http://arabnews.com/world/article316207.ece

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Wen Jiabao rejects 'Jasmine'-type revolt in China

Saibal Dasgupta

Mar 14, 2011

BEIJING: Chinese premier Wen Jiabao has scoffed at attempts to draw analogy between political upheavals in some North African countries like Libya and China. No such political movement is likely in China because people are aware of the massive development strides it has taken in past three decades, he said.

"We have followed closely the turbulence in some parts of western Asia and Africa. It is not right to draw an analogy between china and those countries," the premier said on the conclusion of the annual session of the National People's Congress, the Chinese parliament.

The Communist Party of China has been extremely worried about online calls for "Jasmine revolution" protests although they have not produced any demonstrations in the past three weeks. A large number of people have been detained, and controls over the Internet media has been further tightened.

The premier on Monday talked about the need for political restructuring and ensuring social justice. "Without political restructuring economic restricting will not succeed, and our achievements may be lost," he said.

Wen's remarks seemed to be at odds with a recent statement by Wu Bangguo, head of China's legislature and one of the nine members in the Politburo Standing Committee that rules China.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/Wen-Jiabao-rejects-Jasmine-type-revolt-in-China/articleshow/7701968.cms

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US crude falls towards $100 as Gaddafi recovers territory

Mar 14, 2011

SINGAPORE: US crude fell more than $1 on Monday towards $100 after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi regained control of some territory over the weekend in the country's civil war.

US crude for April fell $1.08 to $100.08 a barrel at 2252 GMT, after sliding $1.54 on Friday, when a massive earthquake shook Japan, shutting refineries and other industrial facilities in the world's third-largest oil consumer and triggering a broader sell-off in commodities.

Brent crude fell 69 cents to $113.15

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/international-business/US-crude-falls-towards-100-as-Gaddafi-recovers-territory/articleshow/7697800.cms

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Foes seek Libya-like uprising in Venezuela: Hugo Chavez

Mar 14, 2011

CARACAS, Venezuela: President Hugo Chavez accused his political opponents on Sunday of trying to divide the military as part of a broader plan aimed at spurring a Libya-like uprising in Venezuela following next year's presidential election.

Chavez said such a conflict would give Washington a justification to lead a military invasion of Venezuela.

"They want to divide the armed forces," said Chavez, referring to Venezuela's opposition. "The Yankee empire, the CIA and the State Department is behind them."

"The empire has a plan that has worked in Libya," he said during his weekly television and radio program. Chavez commonly refers to the United States as "the empire."

Venezuela's opposition leaders deny conspiring to topple Chavez by provoking a military coup attempt, saying they plan to unseat the former paratroop commander-turned-president at the ballot box in December 2012.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Foes-seek-Libya-like-uprising-in-Venezuela-Hugo-Chavez/articleshow/7697591.cms

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Israeli anger over Palestinian film at UN

Mar 14, 2011

UNITED NATIONS: Israel has complained to the United Nations for allowing the US premiere of a controversial film on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the UN headquarters.

A red-carpet showing of "Miral" by award winning American-Jewish director Julian Schnabel will be held at the UN General Assembly hall on Monday.

The film is based on an autobiographical novel by Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal that traces the Arab-Israeli conflict after 1948 from a Palestinian perspective. The lead role is played by Indian actress Freida Pinto of " Slumdog Millionaire" fame.

"This is clearly a politicized decision of the UN, one that shows poor judgment and a lack of even-handedness," Israel's mission to the UN said in a statement which called on General Assembly president Joseph Deiss of Switzerland not to host the event in the headquarters.

General Assembly spokesman Jean-Victor Nkolo denied there was any "political link" to the film, which is a French, Israeli, Italian, Indian co-production.

"It is just a venue," he said. "Several films have been shown at the UN."

But Haim Waxman, Israel's deputy ambassador, said: "We are not aware of any other films with such contentious political content that have received this kind of endorsement from the president of the GA."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Israeli-anger-over-Palestinian-film-at-UN/articleshow/7697313.cms

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Ravaged Japan rushes to provide relief

Martin Fackler & Mark McDonaldMar

14, 2011

A man rides past a fishing boat thrown onto land by Friday's tsunami in Hachinohe.

NAKAMINATO: Two days after the devastating earthquake and ensuing tsunami ravaged northern Japan, the country was mobilizing a nationwide rescue effort to pluck survivors from collapsed buildings and rush food and water to hundreds of thousands of people without water, electricity, heat or telephone service.

Entire villages in parts of Japan's northern Pacific coast have vanished under a wall of water, and many communities are cut off, leaving the country trying to absorb the scale of the destruction.

Japanese news media estimates of the death toll from the natural disasters ranged from 1,300 to 1,700, but the total could rise. Many communities were scrambling to find the missing; in the port town of Minamisanriku, nearly 10,000 people were unaccounted for, according to the public broadcaster NHK. Much of the northeast was impassable, and by Sunday rescuers had not arrived in the worst-hit areas.

Most of the deaths were from drowning, but Japan's self-defence forces and firefighters were working to prevent a higher toll, rushing up the coast in helicopters and struggling to put out fires burning in industrial complexes or sweeping through Japan's many vulnerable wooden homes. Hundreds of thousands of people were being evacuated from the flooding and quake damage.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Ravaged-Japan-rushes-to-provide-relief/articleshow/7697075.cms

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Pakistan says ‘no' to India probe team visit

Mar 14, 2011

Pakistani authorities have declined an Indian request to allow an inquiry commission to interrogate Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six other suspects charged with involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, a newspaper report said on Sunday.

“There is no law under which we could allow the Indian investigators to grill the seven accused, who are already in judicial custody,” a senior unnamed Interior Ministry official was quoted as saying by the Dawn.

India had sent a letter expressing its willingness to allow a Pakistani commission to visit India to interview key officials who probed the 2008 attacks that killed 166 people.

In the same letter, India asked Pakistan to allow its team to visit Islamabad to interrogate the seven accused.

The seven — Lakhvi, Hammad Amin Sadiq, Mazhar Iqbal alias Abu Al-Qama, Abdul Wajid alias Zarar Shah, Mohammad Younas Anjum, Shahid Jameel Riaz and Jamil Ahmed — are being held in the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi.— PT

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/article1535912.ece

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Thousands in Beirut call for Hezbollah to disarm

By BASSEM MROUE

Mar 14, 2011

BEIRUT: Tens of thousands of supporters of Lebanon’s pro-Western opposition thronged downtown Beirut on Sunday, demanding that the Iranian-backed  group Hezbollah give up its weapons.

The rally was a potent show of support for Lebanon’s toppled Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who moved into the opposition after Hezbollah and its allies forced his government to collapse in January.

“We want to place the weapons at the disposal of the state because it is the state that unites us all and it is the army that protects us all,” Hariri said, shouting over the crowd as they cheered and waved Lebanon’s national flag.

Hariri has taken a far stronger public stance against Hezbollah in recent weeks than he did during his 14 months as prime minister, suggesting that the country’s political deadlock is far from over.

Ghaleb Abu Zeinab, a member of Hezbollah’s political bureau, said the group will not respond to Sunday’s gathering.

But a slew of billboards has popped up in Beirut lately, saying “Israel also wants Hezbollah disarmed” — a clear message that Hezbollah sees its weapons as a necessary safeguard against its enemies.

Hariri accuses the militant group, which is backed by Syria and Iran, of using its weapons for intimidation and political leverage.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article316200.ece

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Education Emergency Pakistan

MAR 14, 2011

Today, Pakistan is crippled by an education emergency that threatens tens of millions of children.

No country can thrive in the modern world without educated citizens.

But the emergency has disastrous human, social and economic consequences, and threatens the security of the country.

2011 is Pakistan’s Year of Education.

It’s time to think again about Pakistan’s most pressing long-term challenge.

The economic cost of not educating Pakistan is the equivalent of one flood every year. The only difference is that this is a self-inflicted disaster.

One in ten of the world’s out-of-school children is a Pakistani.  That is the equivalent of the entire population of Lahore.

There is a zero per cent chance that the government will reach the millennium development goals by 2015 on education. On the other hand, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are all on their way to achieving the same goals. India’s improvement rate is ten times that of Pakistan, Bangladesh’s is twice that of Pakistan.

But, despite this gloomy situation, determined efforts can show results in only two years. What is required is an additional spending of Rs.100 billion, a 50 per cent increase over current spending.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/09/education-emeregency-pakistan.html

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Qaddafi troops take oil town of Brega, France pushes no-fly

MAR 14, 2011

TRIPOLI: Muammar Qaddafi’s troops battled rebel fighters for control of the strategic Libyan oil town of Brega on Sunday, as France promised to push harder for a UN-backed no-fly zone over the country.

Government troops advancing east along the coast road took Brega early on Sunday in what looked like an increasingly confident drive towards the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

But the rebels, inspired by the overthrow of the Tunisian and Egyptian presidents to try to end Qaddafi’s four-decade rule, said they had re-taken Brega on Sunday night. There was no way of verifying the rival claims.

The government, whose forces had previously captured Ras Lanuf, another oil town 100 km west of Brega, said earlier it was certain of victory and threatened to “bury” the rebels, whom it linked to al Qaeda and “foreign security services”.

Qaddafi himself met the Russian, Chinese and Indian ambassadors and urged their countries to invest in Libya’s oil sector, badly disrupted by the uprising and the flight of tens of thousands of expatriates oil workers.

Libyan oil exports have been badly disrupted by the fighting, lack of staff, international sanctions and the refusal of international banks to fund trade deals. Some experts say it may take a year for output to recover to its previous level of about 1.6 million barrels per day.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/14/qaddafi-troops-take-oil-town-of-brega-france-pushes-no-fly.html

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Anti-Taliban militias under threat

MAR 14, 2011

PESHAWAR: In the country’s northwest, bands of Taliban-fighting tribesmen are threatening to give up their struggle in the face of a string of attacks and a perceived lack of government help.

Armed with the Kalashnikov rifles that swill around this lawless region and dressed in traditional tribal garb, the militia or “lashkar” members patrol their villages daily to ward off homegrown terrorists and protect communities.

Set up from late 2006 to support the armed forces’ battle, the lashkars in Pakistan mirror efforts being made across the border in Afghanistan where authorities have encouraged armed village forces to keep insurgents at bay.

But their role has made them an obvious target for Taliban attack, and after a string of bomb and suicide attacks, as well as targeted assassinations, many of the villagers who form these private armies say they are ready to quit.

In the Matani district of Peshawar, the gateway city to insurgent-controlled areas of the northwest, a suicide bomber on Wednesday hit a funeral being held for the wife of one militiaman, killing 37 people and wounding 150 others.

Matani’s lashkar is made up of more than 4,000 tribesmen who formed their group in 2007 to fight Taliban mostly based in neighbouring Darra Adam Khel tribal town, where army troops had launched several of their own operations.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\14\story_14-3-2011_pg7_12

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Arab TV cameraman killed in Libya

MAR 14, 2011

DOHA: An Al-Jazeera cameraman was killed in an ambush near the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in eastern Libya, the Arab satellite news channel which has often fallen out with Arab regimes said on Saturday.

It was the first reported death by a foreign media of a journalist in Libya since a revolt against the regime broke out on February 15.

"Ali Hassan al-Jaber has been martyred after his crew was ambushed in the region of Hawari near Benghazi," the television said, without specifying who was behind the ambush or what day it took place.

But the Doha-based channel's director general, Waddah Khanfar, said the killing followed "an unprecedented campaign mounted by the Libyan regime against Al-Jazeera and its employees."

The rebels' February 17 movement, named after the day of their capture of Benghazi, pointed the finger of blame directly at the regime of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi.

"Apparently he (Jaber) was followed because the Kadhafi regime has been accusing them," said Mustafa Gheriani, the media organiser at rebel headquarters. (AFP)

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‘Honour killings could be curbed by raising literacy’

By Asghar Azad

KARACHI: Allah Bakhsh Lashari, a researcher, human rights activist and an advocate of the Sindh High Court (SHC) said that the only viable solution to eliminate the menace of karo-kari (honour killing) lies in raising literacy rate, disregarding early-age marriages and registering FIRs of its cases under the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA).

In an interview with Daily Times, he said that the honour killing was not only the issue of Sindh province but other provinces of the country were also affected by it. “Actually honour killing is not the aboriginal tradition of Sindh but fact is that it came from other areas of this region through migration of people before the British Rule. This menace is most commonly planned killing of a girl or a woman committed by her brother, father or group of males,” he said.

To a query about his research, Lashari said, he had seen from his childhood a very dark picture of that tradition of the society and when he reached at the stage of literacy and became mature, he was gravely concerned over the honour killing menace after which he intended to conduct a research on that menace.

Full report at: The Dawn

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Oman sultan grants legislative powers to parliament

MAR 14, 2011

MUSCAT: Sultan Qaboos granted legislative power on Sunday to the previously toothless Oman Council in his latest action to appease rare protests that flared up last month.

“We grant the Oman Council legislative and regulatory powers,” said a royal decree carried by ONA state news agency, referring to the elected Majlis Ash-Shura consultative council and the all-appointed Council of State.

“A technical committee of specialists is to be formed to propose amendments to the state basic law to this effect,” the decree said, after weeks of anti government protests in the strategic Gulf state.

The committee should present its report to the sultan within 30 days, it said.

The announcement comes a week after the sultan sacked controversial ministers in a major cabinet reshuffle after rare protests flared up last month in the usually placid Gulf nation. The economy and interior ministers were among at least 12 cabinet members to lose their jobs.

The new amendments would give Oman’s representative council the edge over its peers in the Gulf region, where only Bahrain and Kuwait have elected parliaments with legislative and regulatory authorities.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\14\story_14-3-2011_pg7_10

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Bahrain's protesters block financial center

Mar 14, 2011

MANAMA: Thousands of anti-government demonstrators cut off Bahrain’s financial center and drove back police trying to push them from the capital’s central square — shaking the island kingdom Sunday with the most disruptive protests since calls for more freedom erupted a month ago.

Demonstrators also clashed with security forces and government supporters on the campus of the main university. Eight policemen were injured in clashes, said Bahrain's Interior Ministry.

In some neighborhoods, vigilantes set up checkpoints to try to keep outsiders from entering.

Thousands of protesters gathered before dawn to block King Faisal Highway, a four-lane expressway leading to Bahrain’s main financial district in downtown Manama, causing huge traffic chaos during morning rush hour and preventing many from reaching their offices on the first day of the work week.

“No one was able to go to work today. Protesters were blocking the highway,” complained Sawsan Mohammed, 30, who works in the financial district. “I am upset that Bahrain is no longer a stable place.”

Security forces dispersed about 350 protesters “by using tear gas,” the government said. But traffic was clogged until late morning and many drivers sent messages of rage and frustration to social media sites. “I blame the protesters for what’s happened in Bahrain today,” said Dana Nasser, 25, who was caught in the traffic chaos and never made it to her office.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article316217.ece

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Qaddafi offensive rolls up rebel-held towns

By MOHAMMED ABBAS

Mar 14, 2011

AJDABIYAH, Libya: Muammar Qaddafi’s troops seized the strategic Libyan oil town of Brega on Sunday forcing rebels to retreat under a heavy bombardment while world powers considered imposing a no-fly zone.

Losing Brega and its refinery further limits rebel access to fuel after the insurgents were pushed out of Ras Lanouf on Sunday, another major oil terminal some 100 km to the west along the coast road where all of Libya’s important towns are located.

“Brega has been cleansed of armed gangs,” a Libyan government army source told state television.

Defeated rebel fighters were demoralized.

“There’s no uprising any more,” said rebel Nabeel Tijouri, whose heavy-machinegun had been destroyed in the fighting. “The other day we were in Ras Lanouf, then Brega, the day after tomorrow they will be in Benghazi.”

Brega is 220 km south of the rebel stronghold of Benghazi with the town of Ajdabiyah the only sizeable town standing in the way. From Ajdabiyah there are roads to either Benghazi or Tobruk, close to the border with Egypt.

Libya’s flat desert terrain means the government’s air supremacy and big advantage in tanks outweighs the rebels’ enthusiasm and light weaponry. Only towns and cities provide some cover for the insurgents and partially even the odds.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article316249.ece

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Israel alert as family of 5 knifed to death

By MOHAMMED MAR’I

Mar 14, 2011

RAMALLAH/GAZA: The Israeli Army on Saturday announced the West Bank city of Nablus and the surrounding villages a closed military zone following the killing of five Jewish occupiers in a nearby Jewish settlement, Palestinian and Israeli security sources said. Unknown Palestinian attackers broke into a house in the Itamar settlement and stabbed to death five occupiers.

The Palestinian Authority condemned the incident, for which Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades of President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement claimed responsibility.

Palestinian sources said the Israeli Army installed more checkpoints on the roads leading to Nablus and prevented Palestinian vehicles and pedestrians from entering or leaving the city.

The sources added that Israeli forces also broke into the villages of Awarta and Burka in northern Nablus and started searching houses and questioning residents. Troops arrested 20 Palestinians in Awarta.

The Israeli Army also raided several villages to the south of Jenin in search for the attackers. No arrests were reported. The attackers managed to escape after killing the parents and three children aged between three months and 11 years, Israel Radio reported.

The group said in a press statement that “the heroic operation is a natural response to the (Israeli) occupation crimes against our people in West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article315189.ece

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Police fire on Yemeni protesters, 100 plus injured

By AHMED AL-HAJ

Mar 14, 2011

SANAA: Police on rooftops fired live bullets and tear gas at protesters Sunday, injuring more than 100 people who were camping near Sanaa University, the latest in weeks of demonstrations calling for the Yemeni president to step down.

Wielding clubs and knives, police and government supporters also attacked protesters on the ground, said Mohammed Al-Abahi, a doctor in charge of a makeshift hospital near the university.

Among the injured, more than 20 suffered gas inhalation, and one was in critical condition after being struck with a bullet, the doctor said.

The violence came a day after security forces killed seven demonstrators in protests around the country.

In Washington, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley expressed deep concern and said the violence must stop.

“We call on the Yemeni government to quickly investigate these incidents,” he said, adding, “People everywhere share the same universal rights to demonstrate peacefully and to freely assemble and express themselves.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article316086.ece

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Israel to build 500 settler homes in W. Bank

By MOHAMMED MAR’I

Mar 14, 2011

RAMALLAH: The Israeli ministerial committee on settlements affairs approved the construction of 500 new housing units in several West Bank settlements, the Office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

The Palestinian leadership harshly criticized the Israeli decision.

Netanyahu’s office said in a press statement that ministers have decided on Saturday night to authorize construction of a few hundred housing units in the West Bank settlement blocs of Gush Etzion, to the south of Bethlehem, Ma'aleh Adumim, to the east of Jerusalem, Ariel, to the south of Nablus and Kiryat Sefer, to the southwest of Ramallah.

Netanyahu said in several occasions that the settlement blocs would not be detached from Israel under any circumstances. Israel has long been claiming that major settlement blocs in the West Bank would remain under Israeli control under any possible peace agreement with the Palestinians.

The move comes a day after unknown assailants killed five members of an Israeli family in the settlement of Itamar, near the West Bank city of Nablus. The PA has condemned the attack.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article316045.ece

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King sends condolences to Japanese emperor

Mar 14, 2011

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Saturday sent a cable of condolences to Japanese Emperor Akihito on the death and destruction caused by the tsunami that hit the country on Friday.

"I take this opportunity to express our sincere condolences to your majesty, families of the victims and the entire Japanese people on this great tragedy," the king said in his message.

Meanwhile, OIC Secretary-General Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu also sent a similar cable of condolences to the Japanese government.

"I am saddened at the destruction of life and properties in Japan after the country was hit by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake followed by tsunami on Friday, March 11, 2011," Ihsanoglu said.

He offered his heartfelt condolences to the people and government of Japan, in particular to the bereaved families who lost their near and dear ones during these natural calamities of unprecedented magnitude.

He said the Muslim World is shocked as well as saddened and would stand by Japan and its brotherly people during their difficult times. He said that the OIC and its member states would be ready to extend any possible assistance in this regard.

He expressed his hope that under the able leadership of the current government, the people of Japan would soon overcome the tragic situation

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article315210.ece

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Building caretaker detained in Makkah with ‘prostitutes’

By BADEA ABU AL-NAJA

Mar 13, 2011

MAKKAH: Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice arrested an Egyptian man and five Indonesian women for suspected illegal sexual activities in an unoccupied building in Makkah on Sunday.

Members of the commission saw two women entering the building in the central area of the city close to the Grand Mosque on Sunday morning. The members became suspicious as the building is only used during the Haj season and remains unoccupied for the rest of the year.

The members then confronted the building’s caretaker, an Egyptian man, who denied anyone was inside. The members then entered the building and discovered the six Indonesian women. None of the women had valid residence documents.

On questioning them, the women admitted they were waiting for customers. They also said the caretaker was their pimp. All of those arrested have been handed over to the police for further action.

The commission has also called on the authorities to take steps to prevent the misuse of unoccupied buildings that are reserved for pilgrims

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article316270.ece

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Libya seeks Italy's help Pro-Gaddafi forces deal a telling blow to rebels

Mar 14, 2011

CAIRO – Libya's de facto oil minister said on Sunday the country's crude production had fallen "drastically" and that he has reached out to Italian oil giant Eni SpA for help in extinguishing a blaze at an eastern oil facility snatched back from rebel fighters.

The call for help by National Oil Co. head Shukri Ghanem demonstrated the country's dependence on foreign oil companies' expertise and the crippling impact of an exodus of that labor force as a result of the fighting in the OPEC member.

"There's quite a big fire in one of our ... kerosene storage units (at Ras Lanouf), and we're trying to fight it," Ghanem said, adding, "We are asking for some help to try to put it down." "I spoke with Eni's chairman to see if they can help us because it (the refinery) is on the Mediterranean and it affects the environment," he said, adding that he was told "they're deciding whether they can help."

Eni's offices in Milan and Rome were closed on Sunday and company spokesmen weren't answering their cell phones. Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi recaptured Ras Lanouf — a key refining and export complex — after fierce battles against the rebels. It is part of a concerted push to reclaim the eastern part of the country where at least four major export ports are located.

Before the mass protests that have ripped through the Arab world took root in Libya and became an armed rebellion, Eni produced about 244,000 barrels of oil and gas equivalent per day in the North African nation. But Eni, like other foreign oil companies, quickly withdrew its foreign workers as the fighting escalated, with the rebels battling Gaddafi supporters and effectively capturing control of the country's oil-rich east.

Since then, production from virtually all of Libya's oil fields has either been halted or sharply cut, bringing overall output down to roughly a third of its usual 1.6 million barrels per day. Ghanem, who said earlier this week that production was at about 500,000 barrels per day, reiterated that output "went down drastically" in the wake of the weeks of fighting.

http://dailymailnews.com/0311/14/FrontPage/index.php?id=12

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US Muslims find defending themselves exhausting

 

DEARBORN, Michigan: Finishing law school is a challenge for Dewnya Bakri-Bazzi, but being an American and a Muslim can be downright exhausting.

As she crammed before class this week, Bakri-Bazzi caught up on testimony from a congressional hearing on the radicalization of US Muslims. She contends Rep. Peter King, the New York Republican who called it, is ignoring the positive steps Muslims have taken in fighting terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Bakri-Bazzi, president of the Muslim Legal Society at Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s Detroit area campus, says she fears Thursday’s hearing will only spark a backlash against innocent members of her community just going about their lives.

“When people look at me walking down the street, they’ll feel like I’m an al-Qaeda radicalist,” said Bakri-Bazzi, who lives in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, home to one of the largest populations of Arabs and Muslims in the US.

As the profile of American Muslims has been heightened by the 9/11 attacks and subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many Muslims say they too have been inspired to protect their communities against terrorism. They are becoming more active in civic and political causes and more regularly reach out to law enforcement officials.

“No community is working more diligently than the Muslim community,” said Sally Howell, an associate professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and author of several books and essays on Arabs and Muslims in Detroit.

“Really, there is nobody in our society that is more concerned about this than the Muslim community. There have been instances of this coming from their community and they don’t want it to happen.”

Full report at:

Khaleej Times

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Naif presents King Faisal Prize to seven

By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN

Mar 14, 2011

RIYADH: Prince Naif, second deputy premier and minister of interior, presented awards to this year’s winners of the prestigious King Faisal International Prize (KFIP) at a high-profile ceremony on Sunday.

The awards were presented in four categories, except Arabic language and literature, to seven recipients from Malaysia, US, Japan, Turkey and Jordan this year.

In the service to Islam category, Prince Naif presented the prize to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, former prime minister of Malaysia. Two scholars from the US joined the elite ranks of 18 Americans who have so far received the prize in the science category.

Badawi was selected for the prize in recognition of his outstanding services to Islam, both within Malaysia and abroad. Badawi played a major role in reinforcing Malaysian economic development and encouraging Islamic studies.

In his acceptance speech, Badawi said: “It was an honor for me to receive the KFIP for service to Islam.” He said he had made “untiring efforts to promote human capital in the Islamic world.” “I dedicate this prize to peace and stability,” said Badawi, who has supported Islamic legal administration, and strengthened endowment and Haj institutions in Malaysia.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article316325.ece

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10,000 protest new Turkish health care system

Mar 14, 2011

ANKARA: More than 10,000 doctors and medicine students are protesting the Turkish government decision to introducte a new health care system, which they claim compromises the quality of health care.

The protesters, some wearing doctor’s uniforms, gathered outside the Health Ministry in Ankara on Sunday, shouting slogans against the government.

They warn that the quality of care could deteriorate since under the new system health workers would be paid based on the number of patients they care for.

The government says the new system is designed to keep the doctors at state-run hospitals by offering competitive salaries based on their performance and discourage them from treating patients at private clinics.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article316043.ece

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Over 106,000 Saudis get King Abdullah scholarships

By P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR

Mar 13, 2011

JEDDAH: As many as 106,065 Saudis have so far obtained King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship to pursue their higher studies in reputable international universities in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia, China and other countries.

“Among these students 15 percent have joined courses of medicine and medical sciences, 14 percent for computer science courses, 10 percent for engineering courses and 26 percent for administrative and financial courses,” said Abdullah Al-Moussa, deputy higher education minister for scholarship affairs.

He said the foreign scholarship program initiated by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah would contribute to the Kingdom’s efforts to become a knowledge economy. “Its graduates will also meet the Kingdom’s labor market requirements,” he told businessmen at Asharqia Chamber in Dammam.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article316284.ece

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Pakistan to sign new agreement for Haj service with Tawafa group

Mar 14, 2011

MAKKAH: Pakistan's Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah on Sunday discussed arrangements for this year's Haj with Adnan Amin Katib, chairman of the Tawafa Organization for South Asian Pilgrims, in Makkah.

During the meeting they agreed to scrap the previous agreement concerning the provision of special services at a cost of SR700 per pilgrim and decided to sign a new agreement.

The Tawafa organization agreed to provide Haj package and training to Pakistani pilgrims. Officials of the Pakistan's Ministry for Religious Affairs and the Tawafa organization will meet on Wednesday to discuss further cooperation.

Shah said he wished that Pakistani pilgrims be allotted space in old Mina and Arafat on first-come, first-served basis without going through the balloting system of allotment.

The minister said his primary objective was to cut the cost of Haj for Pakistani pilgrims and make it more comfortable for them.

The minister thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for the excellent Haj arrangements made last year.

He also thanked the Saudi Haj minister for an additional 20,000 quota for Pakistani pilgrims.

Katib assured the minister of all possible steps to provide more facilities to Pakistani pilgrims. Shah congratulated Katib on his re-election as the chairman of the Tawafa Organization for South Asian Pilgrims for another four-year term

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article316295.ece

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Afghan Buddha province hopes to attract skiers

 

BAMIYAN: Best known for its historic Buddha statues blown up by the Taliban 10 years ago, the Afghan province of Bamiyan has a fresh attraction which it hopes will draw in tourists — skiing.

Travelling to the slopes in Bamiyan is a risky business due to the security situation in the war-torn country, although the central Afghan province itself, around 130 kilometres west of Kabul, is relatively safe.

While it is short on apres-ski and lifts, organisers are hopeful that adventurous travellers could have their interest piqued by Bamiyan’s dramatic beauty and the promise of wild, ungroomed runs.

Afghans are also taking an interest in the sport, including a handful of women from the more liberal Kabul, despite conservative social codes in the country under which many still wear the burqa in public.

“In Europe and the US, more and more people want to go back to country skiing, wilder, without tens of people on the same piste,” said Henry Charles, a 31-year-old British security worker who regularly skis in Bamiyan. “That is a trend, and Bamiyan is all about that... you get your own line in fresh powder snow, that’s great. We’re at 2,500 metres so the snow stays very well, like sugar, for several days.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\14\story_14-3-2011_pg14_7s

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Dalai Lama pleads for right to 'retire'

Mar 14, 2011

The Dalai Lama pleaded with exiled Tibetan MPs on Monday to accept his resignation as their political leader, warning that a delayed handover could pose "an overwhelming challenge".

In a letter read out to the exiled parliament, the 75-year-old Nobel peace laureate argued that the Tibetan movement was now mature enough for a directly-elected political leader.

"If we have to remain in exile for several more decades, a time will inevitably come when I will no longer be able to provide leadership," he said in the letter read by the speaker.

"Therefore, it is necessary that we establish a sound system of governance while I remain able and healthy, in order that the exiled Tibetan administration can become self-reliant rather than being dependent on the Dalai Lama," he said.

The matter is scheduled to be debated on Tuesday, with the Dalai Lama requesting an amendment to the exiled government's constitution allowing him to step down.

The Dalai Lama's political title is largely symbolic and he will retain the more significant role of Tibet's spiritual leader.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/673247.aspx

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Navy rescues 13 crew members from Somali pirates

Mar 14, 2011

The Hindu INS Kalpeni stands tall at the Southern Naval Command in Kochi. The fast attack craft intercepted Vega 5, a pirate mother vessel and apprehended 61 pirates off the western coast, a navy spokesperson said on Monday. File photo: H. Vibhu

In a significant anti-piracy operation, Indian Navy apprehended 61 pirates and rescued 13 crew members of a merchant vessel, which was being used by the pirates as a mother ship.

On Saturday night, the Southern Naval Command-based Fast Attack Craft INS Kalpeni intercepted Vega 5, a pirate mother vessel, about 600 nautical miles west of India in the Arabian Sea and nabbed the pirates on board.

A naval Dornier maritime recce aircraft on Friday responded to a call from MV Vancouver Bridge under pirate attack and located Vega 5 in the area. Seeing the naval aircraft, the pirates aborted their attack and tried to flee. While the Dornier continued to track the pirate mother vessel Vega 5, the Navy’s missile corvette Khukri and FAC Kalpeni, which had been deployed in the area for anti-piracy patrol, were diverted to intercept and investigate Vega 5, said a defence media release.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1536536.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/11-soldiers-killed-in-suicide-blast-at-iraq-army-base/d/4281


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