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Islamic World News ( 27 Feb 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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As Regimes Fall in Arab World, Al Qaeda Sees History Fly By

115 killed in govt offensive on Somali militants

Gaddafi slams UN sanctions; claims Libya is calm

Libya rebels gear for fight in city near capital Tripoli

Afghan government says Nato op killed 65 civilians

Bahrain protesters block Parliament Obama supports Bahrain King's reform move

US teen sets off 7 bombs, arrested

Hindu rights group rallies in Malaysia, 100 arrested

Tunisian leader resigns amid new clashes

Spy war threatens Pakistan-US ties

Terror trials to be transparent

Three policemen among six shot dead in Karachi

Christians fear Gojra-type incident in Kot Addu

Buddhadeb defends job quota for OBC Muslims

World leaders tell Gaddafi to quit

Gaddafi unflinching: Libyan rebel city fears counter-attack

10,000 fled Libya into Tunisia Saturday: Red Crescent

530 Libyan expats on home turf

Anti-regime forces take west Libyan towns

Libyan opposition forms own government

EU welcomes UNSC sanctions against Libya

Canada to freeze Gaddafi's millions

Sweden sends military plane for Libya evacuations

Gaddafi’s Ukrainian nurse to return to own country

Post-Davis, ISI puts ball in CIA’s court on improving ties

Somali pirate hold Indians hostage for last 7 months

Two judges kidnapped in Balochistan

Gaza militants fire rocket, mortar round at Israel

King’s order to benefit 180,000 temporary employees

Khalifa Fund for Enabling Emiratisation

Oman police fired rubber bullets at protesters, two dead

Maulana Shibli Nomani was the pioneer of the art of Seerah writing

Opposition parties against renaming of Bhopal

Ulema stop nikah with a Qadiani

Seven killed in road accident in Sheikhupura

Protesters clash with police in Oman; 1 killed

Saudi Arabia: Aircraft crashes in Al Ain; 4 dead

Rising groundwater threatening Jeddah buildings

Jordan urges EU pressure on Israel to stop unilateral actions

52 in custody after clashes in Croatia

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/as-regimes-fall-in-arab-world,-al-qaeda-sees-history-fly-by/d/4202

 

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As Regimes Fall in Arab World, Al Qaeda Sees History Fly By

By SCOTT SHANE

For nearly two decades, the leaders of Al Qaeda have denounced the Arab world’s dictators as heretics and puppets of the West and called for their downfall. Now, people in country after country have risen to topple their leaders — and Al Qaeda has played absolutely no role.

In fact, the motley opposition movements that have appeared so suddenly and proved so powerful have shunned the two central tenets of the Qaeda credo: murderous violence and religious fanaticism. The demonstrators have used force defensively, treated Islam as an afterthought and embraced democracy, which is anathema to Osama bin Laden and his followers.

So for Al Qaeda — and perhaps no less for the American policies that have been built around the threat it poses — the democratic revolutions that have gripped the world’s attention present a crossroads. Will the terrorist network shrivel slowly to irrelevance? Or will it find a way to exploit the chaos produced by political upheaval and the disappointment that will inevitably follow hopes now raised so high?

For many specialists on terrorism and the Middle East, though not all, the past few weeks have the makings of an epochal disaster for Al Qaeda, making the jihadists look like ineffectual bystanders to history while offering young Muslims an appealing alternative to terrorism.

“So far — and I emphasize so far — the score card looks pretty terrible for Al Qaeda,” said Paul R. Pillar, who studied terrorism and the Middle East for nearly three decades at the C.I.A. and is now at Georgetown University. “Democracy is bad news for terrorists. The more peaceful channels people have to express grievances and pursue their goals, the less likely they are to turn to violence.”

If the terrorists network’s leaders hope to seize the moment, they have been slow off the mark. Mr. bin Laden has been silent. His Egyptian deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, has issued three rambling statements from his presumed hide-out in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region that seemed oddly out of sync with the news, not noting the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, whose government detained and tortured Mr. Zawahri in the 1980s.

“Knocking off Mubarak has been Zawahri’s goal for more than 20 years, and he was unable to achieve it,” said Brian Fishman, a terrorism expert at the New America Foundation. “Now a nonviolent, nonreligious, pro-democracy movement got rid of him in a matter of weeks. It’s a major problem for Al Qaeda.”

The Arab revolutions, of course, remain very much a work in progress, as the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, orders a bloody defense of Tripoli, and Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, negotiates to cling to power. The breakdown of order could create havens for terrorist cells, at least for a time — a hazard both Colonel Qaddafi and Mr. Saleh have prevented, winning the gratitude of the American government.

“There’s an operational advantage for militants in any place where law enforcement and domestic security are weak and distracted,” said Steven Simon, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and co-author of “The Age of Sacred Terror.” But over all, he said, developments in the Arab countries are a strategic defeat for violent jihadism.

“These uprisings have shown that the new generation is not terribly interested in Al Qaeda’s ideology,” Mr. Simon said. He called the Zawahri statements “forlorn, if not pathetic.”

There is evidence that the uprisings have enthralled some jihadists. One Algerian man associated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the network’s North African affiliate, welcomed the uprisings in a weekend interview and said militants were returning from exile to join the battle in Libya, arming themselves from government weapons caches.

“Since the land is in chaos and Qaddafi is helping through his reactions and actions to increase the hatred of the population against him, it will be easier for us to recruit new members,” said the Algerian man, who uses the nom de guerre Abu Salman. He said that Libyans and Tunisians who had fought in Iraq or Afghanistan were now considering a return home.

“There is lots of work to do,” he said. “We have to help the people fighting and then build an Islamic state.”

Abu Khaled, a Jordanian jihadist who fought in Iraq with the insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, suggested that Al Qaeda would benefit in the long run from dashed hopes.

“At the end of the day, how much change will there really be in Egypt and other countries?” he asked. “There will be many disappointed demonstrators, and that’s when they will realize what the only alternative is. We are certain that this will all play into our hands.”

Michael Scheuer, author of a new biography of Mr. bin Laden and head of the C.I.A.’s bin Laden unit in the late 1990s, thinks such enthusiasm is more than wishful thinking.

Mr. Scheuer says he believes that Americans, including many experts, have wildly misjudged the uprisings by focusing on the secular, English-speaking, Westernized protesters who are a natural draw for television. Thousands of Islamists have been released from prisons in Egypt alone, and the ouster of Al Qaeda’s enemy, Mr. Mubarak, will help revitalize every stripe of Islamism, including that of Al Qaeda and its allies, he said.

“The talent of an organization is not just leadership, but taking advantage of opportunities,” Mr. Scheuer said. In Al Qaeda and its allies, he said, “We’re looking over all at a more geographically widespread, probably numerically bigger and certainly more influential movement than in 2001.”

If Al Qaeda faces an uncertain moment, so does the Obama administration. For a decade, the United States has been preoccupied with the Muslim world as a source of terrorist violence — one reason both the Bush and Obama administrations had friendly relations with the authoritarian governments now under fire.

It was such a dominant theme of American policy that even Colonel Qaddafi, the quixotic and brutal Libyan leader who President Obama said Saturday should step down, had drawn American praise as a bulwark against jihadists. A cable from the American Embassy in Tripoli briefing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice before a 2008 visit called Libya “a strong partner in the war against terrorism,” noting “excellent” intelligence cooperation and specifically lauding Colonel Qaddafi’s efforts to block the return of Libyan militants from Afghanistan and Iraq and to “blunt the ideological appeal of radical Islam.”

Such perceived dividends of cooperation with the likes of Colonel Qaddafi are now history, and that is a point not lost on the C.I.A., the State Department and the White House. As during the United States’ halting adjustment to the fall of Communist governments from 1989 to 1991, officials are scrambling to balance day-to-day crisis management with consideration of how American policy must adjust for the long term.

“There has to be a major rethinking of how the U.S. engages with that part of the world,” said Christopher Boucek, who studies the Middle East at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “We have to make clear that our security no longer comes at the expense of poor governance and no rights for the people in those countries.

“All of the givens,” Mr. Boucek said, “are gone.”

Souad Mekhennet contributed reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/28/world/middleeast/28qaeda.html?_r=1&ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

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115 killed in govt offensive on Somali militants

Feb 28, 2011

MOGADISHU: A government offensive against al Qaeda-linked militants largely subsided Sunday as officials said that at least 115 people had been killed since the violence started several days ago.

Ali Muse, the chief of the Mogadishu ambulance service, said that 49 civilians had died and 157 had been wounded since the government launched the operation Wednesday.

In addition, at least 60 militants have been killed along with six peacekeepers, according to Biyereke Floribert, a spokesman for the Burundian peacekeepers who are serving in the African Union force backing the Somali government.

Muse said heavy fighting had subsided but sporadic gunfire still could be heard. The militants were regrouping to plan retaliatory attacks but “we are ready for them,” Floribert said.

Also on Sunday, al-Shabab spokesman Sheik Ali Mohammed Rage also threatened neighboring Kenya for allegedly helping Somali government troops and their allies attack the militants’ bases. ap

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\28\story_28-2-2011_pg7_32

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Kadhafi slams UN sanctions; claims Libya is calm

February 28, 2011

BELGRADE: Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi on Sunday dismissed UN sanctions as invalid and claimed calm had returned to Libya as the territories held by the opposition were surrounded.       

In a rare statement to foreign media broadcast on Serbian television, Kadhafi also blamed al-Qaeda extremists for the killings since the anti-regime protests began around February 15. 

"The Security Council adopted a resolution which is invalid in accordance with the UN Charter, it is void," Kadhafi told Serbian Pink Television in a 10-minute statement in Arabic that was dubbed in Serbian.        

"How is it possible that the Security Council adopts a resolution based on a media report. It is unacceptable and goes against common sense," he said.         

On Saturday the Security Council called for a travel ban and assets freeze against Kadhafi and his family and associates, and an arms embargo against Libya, where the UN says more than 1,000 people have been killed.         

In his telephone statement to Serbian television the Libyan leader insisted the situation in his North African country was calm at the moment. "There are no incidents at the moment and Libya is completely quiet. There is nothing unusual. There is no unrest," he claimed, adding that while people were killed on both sides it was only a small number

He blamed Al-Qaeda extremists for the violence and repeated his claim that the opposition demonstrators were drugged. "People were killed by terrorist gangs and they are without a doubt Al-Qaeda," he said.     

Of the territory held by the opposition Kadhafi said: "There is a small group (of opponents) that is surrounded, but we will sort that out."   

Kadhafi gave his statement to journalist Miodrag Popovic at Pink, a popular private Serbian TV channel mostly known for its folk music star programmes.(AFP)

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=11838

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Libya rebels gear for fight in city near capital Tripoli

Feb 28 2011

With residents shouting "Free, free Libya," anti-government rebels who control this battle-scarred city nearest to the capital deployed tanks and anti-aircraft weapons on Sunday to brace for an attack by troops loyal to Moammar Gaddadfi. The Obama administration offered "any type of assistance" to Libyans seeking to oust the longtime leader.

Politicians in the opposition stronghold of Benghazi set up their first leadership council to manage day-to-day affairs, taking a step toward forming what could be an alternative to Gaddadfi's regime.

In the capital Tripoli, where Gaddadfi is still firmly in control, state banks began handing out the equivalent of $400 per family in a bid to shore up public loyalty.

"The Libyan people are fully behind me," Gaddadfi defiantly told Serbian TV, even as about half of the country was turning against him and world leaders moved to isolate him. "A small group (of rebels) is surrounded ... and it will be dealt with."

Gaddadfi has launched by far the bloodiest crackdown in a wave of anti-government uprisings sweeping the Arab world, the most serious challenge to his four decades in power. The United States, Britain and the U.N. Security Council all slapped sanctions on Libya this weekend.

A day after President Barack Obama branded Gaddadfi an illegitimate ruler who must leave power immediately, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton kept up pressure for him to step down and "call off the mercenaries" and other troops that remain loyal to him.

"We are just at the beginning of what will follow Gaddadfi. ... But we've been reaching out to many different Libyans who are attempting to organize in the east and as the revolution moves westward there as well," Clinton said. "I think it's way too soon to tell how this is going to play out, but we're going to be ready and prepared to offer any kind of assistance that anyone wishes to have from the United States."

Two U.S. senators said Washington should recognize and arm a provisional government in rebel-held areas of eastern Libya and impose a no-fly zone over the area - enforced by U.S. warplanes - to stop attacks by the regime.

Gaddadfi's son, Seif al-Islam, in an interview with U.S. television, insisted that his father won't relinquish power and that Libya had not used force or airstrikes against its own people.

There were no reports of major violence or clashes on Sunday, although gunfire was heard after nightfall in Tripoli.

The regime, eager to reinforce its view that Libya is calm and under its control, took visiting journalists to Zawiya, 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of the capital of Tripoli on Sunday. The tour, however, confirmed that anti-government rebels control the center of the city of 200,000 people, with army tanks and anti-aircraft guns mounted on pickup trucks at the ready.

Hundreds of people chanted "Gaddadfi out!" in central Zawiya, a key city close to an oil port and refineries. It also is the nearest population center to Tripoli to fall into rebel hands.

The charred hulks of cars littered the city, many buildings were pockmarked by bullets, and most streets were blocked by felled palm trees or metal barricades. Police stations and government offices have been torched, and anti-Gaddadfi graffiti - labeling him a "mass murderer" - was everywhere. In the main square, an effigy of the leader hung from a light pole with the words "Execute Gaddadfi" on its chest.

"To us, Gaddadfi is the 'Dracula' of Libya," said Wael al-Oraibi, an army officer in Zawiya who decided to join the rebels in large part after Gaddadfi used mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa against residents of the city.

The mood in Zawiya was generally upbeat, with chants of "Free, free Libya," although the anticipation of a renewed attempt to retake the city was causing some anxiety among the rebels.

"We are all wanted," said one rebel at the square who did not want to give his name for fear of reprisals. "Zawiya in our hands is a direct threat to Tripoli."

On Zawiya's outskirts were pro-Gaddadfi forces, also backed by tanks and anti-aircraft guns.

About 20 miles (30 kilometers) west of Zawiya, some 3,000 pro-Gaddadfi demonstrators gathered on the coastal highway, chanting slogans in support of the Libyan leader.

Rebels and defecting army forces largely consolidated control of Zawiya on Thursday, after an army unit loyal to Gaddadfi opened fire on a mosque where residents - some armed with hunting rifles - had been holding a sit-in. The square has become the burial site of six of 11 rebels killed by pro-Gaddadfi forces who failed to retake the town that day. Residents reported several skirmishes between both sides since then.

At least six checkpoints controlled by troops loyal to Gaddadfi stood on the road from Tripoli to Zawiya. Each one was reinforced by at least one tank, with troops who concealed their faces with scarves.

Before Zawiya fell to rebel forces, Gaddadfi had scolded its residents on Thursday, saying they were in league with terror mastermind Osama bin Laden.

"Shame on you, people of Zawiya. Control your children," he said.

"They are loyal to bin Laden," he said of those involved in the uprising. "What do you have to do with bin Laden, people of Zawiya? They are exploiting young people. ... I insist it is bin Laden."

In Libya's second-largest city of Benghazi, politicians said Sunday they are setting up a council to run day-to-day affairs in the eastern half of the country under their control. It was seen as the first attempt to create a leadership body that could eventually form an alternative to the Gaddadfi government.

Former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, who defected from the Gaddadfi regime, said Saturday he was setting up a provisional government.

But a prominent human rights lawyer, Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga, held a news conference to shoot down the claim, saying instead that politicians in the east were establishing the transitional council only to manage daily life in the rebel-controlled areas until Gaddadfi falls.

Gaddadfi blasted sanctions against his country and vowed to stay in power, telling Serbia's private Pink TV in a telephone interview that "the Libyan people are still behind me."

"Currently in Libya there are no incidents, now everything is quiet," Gaddadfi said.

His son, Seif al-Islam, again denied in a TV interview that the Libyan regime used force or airstrikes against its own people.

"Show me a single attack. Show me a single bomb," he told ABC's "This Week." "The Libyan air force destroyed just the ammunition sites. That's it."

Human rights groups and European officials have put the death toll since unrest began in Libya nearly two weeks ago at hundreds - perhaps thousands - although it has been virtually impossible to verify the numbers.

The British-educated Seif al-Islam is the most visible of Gaddadfi's children and has been acting as a spokesman for the regime.

"The whole south is calm. The west is calm. The middle is calm. Even part of the east," he said.

Asked about Obama's call for his father to step down, he said: "It's not an American business, that's No. 1. Second, do they think this is a solution? Of course not."

As for the U.S. freeze of Libyan assets, he said: "First of all, we don't have money outside. We are a very modest family and everybody knows that."

Libya's Foreign Ministry said it regretted the U.N. Security Council resolution, saying it was based on "untrue media reports."

Gaddadfi loyalists remain in control of Tripoli, where most stores were closed and long lines formed outside the few banks open for business.

Residents thronged to the banks after state TV promised each family 500 Libyan dinars (about $400), plus the equivalent of about $100 credit for phone service. State TV also said families also will be entitled to 60,000 Libyan dinars (about $49,000) in interest-free loans to buy apartments.

State TV showed video of people handing over identity documents to bank tellers, who processed the information. Some people, however, said they only got vouchers when banks ran out of money.

Libya's Central Bank said in a statement on state TV that payments will be made for the next few days. "Give banks a chance to secure the needed liquidity in its branches at the suitable time," it said.

One resident said Tripoli's calm may be deceptive.

"The situation is being constructed to look natural, but it is not," said a 40-year-old Tripoli businessman who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals. "People are scared and they are waiting for the fall of the regime. People are scared to go out or to gather because some areas have been taken over by armed groups loyal to the regime."

Another Tripoli resident, a 21-year-old Libyan-American who only wanted to be identified by her first name, Rahma, said the city was deserted Sunday. "No one is driving around, no one is out in the streets."

Her aunt, she said, went out and came back to tell the rest of the family that there were pro-regime checkpoints across the city.

A doctor in Libya's third-largest city of Misrata, 125 miles (200 kilometers) east of Tripoli, said residents retrieved two more bodies of those killed in fighting with pro-Gaddadfi forces near the city's air base Friday. That raised the death toll from fighting to 27. About 30 people who took part in the battle remain unaccounted for, said the doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared reprisals.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was due in Washington on Monday to discuss with Obama other possible measures that could be taken against the Libyan government.

U.S. Sens. John McCain and Joseph Lieberman said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the U.S. and its allies should enforce a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent the military from again firing on civilian protesters from the air. Lieberman said Washington should arm the provisional government in rebel-held areas of eastern Libya "to fight on behalf of the people of Libya against a really cruel dictator."

The White House had no immediate comment.

British and German military planes landed in Libya's desert, rescuing hundreds of oil workers and civilians stranded at remote sites over the weekend, while thousands of other foreigners were still stuck in Tripoli by bad weather and red tape. The secret military missions signal the readiness of Western nations to disregard Libya's territorial integrity when it comes to the safety of their citizens.

Thousands of Egyptian and Chinese expatriates, meanwhile, continued to stream out of Libya on its western border with Tunisia into camps near the frontier.

In Ukraine, a nurse believed to have a close relationship with Gaddadfi was reported to have deserted Gaddadfi after his crackdown. Halyna Kolotnytska, 38, arrived in Kiev early Sunday on a plane that evacuated 122 Ukrainians and 68 foreign nationals from Libya.

A U.S. diplomatic cable released last year said the eccentric 68-year-old leader is deeply attached to Kolotnytska, describing her as a "voluptuous blonde" who always travels with Gaddadfi because only she "knows his routine," and it suggested the two may be romantically involved.

The Segodnya daily cited Kolotnytska's daughter Tetyana as saying that her mother was out of danger and planned to return to Ukraine in the near future.

The paper said Kolotnytska moved to Libya nine years ago. She worked at a hospital before Gaddadfi hired her.

"He is employing other Ukrainian women as nurses as well. Mom is one of them," Tetyana was quoted as saying. "For some reason, he doesn't trust Libyan women with that."

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/755783/

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Afghan government says Nato op killed 65 civilians

Feb 28, 2011

KABUL: Sixty-five civilians, including 40 children, were killed in a Nato assault on insurgents in eastern Afghanistan earlier this month, according to findings of an Afghan government investigation released Sunday.

Tribal leaders had alleged that dozens of civilians were killed in the operation in Kunar province, which involved rocket and air strikes, but Nato has not confirmed any civilian deaths.

The incident inflamed tensions between the Afghan government and Nato forces, and both sides opened investigations.

Civilian deaths have been increasing in recent months as insurgents appear to become more indiscriminate in their targets, attacking banks, supermarkets and sporting events. At least three separate attacks Sunday, including one targeting spectators at an illegal dog fight, killed nine Afghan civilians and two Nato service members, officials said.

But allegations of civilian deaths from Nato forces — who pledge to protect the population — often cause much more anger.

Nato has said that video of Kunar operations on Feb. 17 — the main event of more than three days of fighting — showed troops targeting and killing dozens of insurgents, not civilians.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/28/afghan-government-says-nato-op-killed-65-civilians.html

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Bahrain protesters block Parliament

Feb 28, 2011

MANAMA: Hundreds of anti-government protesters have blocked access to Bahrain's parliament and forced officials to cancel a meeting of the ruler's hand-picked envoys.

The demonstration appears part of a strategy to hold rallies at sensitive locations in the capital Manama. The idea is to boost pressure on the monarchy following two weeks of marches and clashes that have left seven dead.

The parliament became a target Monday to coincide with a meeting called by the 40-member upper chamber, which is appointed by Bahrain's ruler.

The session was called off after protesters formed a human chain to block the entrance.

Bahrain's embattled monarchy is appealing for talks with opposition groups to try to end the crisis.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Bahrain-protesters-block-Parliament/articleshow/7593904.cms#ixzz1FFjA6dzu

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US teen sets off 7 bombs, arrested

Feb 28, 2011

HOUSTON: A high school teenager is being held in custody in US until the court determines whether he is a danger to the community following charges that he used internet information to build seven bombs that exploded at different locations during the last two weeks.

18-year-old Michael Ranelli pleaded not guilty to the charges relating to placing and throwing explosives and weapons of mass destruction in the city of Lynn, near Boston. "Your honour , if you want I will go down to probation every single day," he told Lynn District Court Judge James Wexler during the hearing on Friday.

His lawyer Kevin Foley said his client is scared to death, and is still in high school. He says Ranelli ranks top five in his class at the Lynn Vocational Technical Institute and is studying automotive.

Prosecutors say he ordered chemicals to make the bombs online, then fashioned homemade bombs using cardboard rolls and fuses. Prosecutors said the devices were "as strong as a stick of dynamite."

Full report at:

//timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-teen-sets-off-7-bombs-arrested/articleshow/7591728.cms#ixzz1FEYwL6Di

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Hindu rights group rallies in Malaysia, 100 arrested

Feb 28 2011

Malaysian police on Sunday arrested 109 members of a group linked to a banned Hindu rights outfit of ethnic Indians for participating in a rally here to protest the introduction of a controversial book in the country’s school curriculum.

Those arrested belonged to the Human Rights Party (HRP), an offshoot of the outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf). Later, 101 activists were released by the authorities. However, eight others, including P Uttayakumar who heads the HRP, were still being investigated. “They will be freed once the investigations are completed,” police said in a statement here.

The protesters, mostly ethnic Indians, were against the introduction of the Malay language novel Interlok in the senior school curriculum. A section of the minority community, including the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) — the country’s largest ethnic Indian political party, believes the book contains offensive words like ‘pariah’ which they say connotes a caste system that they claim does not exist.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/755655/

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Tunisian leader resigns amid new clashes

Mohammed Ghannouchi

TUNIS: Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi resigned on Sunday, as security forces clashed with protesters in Tunis demanding the removal of some Ministers of his interim government.

Police fired tear gas and warning shots to disperse stone-throwing youths on a third day of violence.

Demonstrators were demanding the removal of members of the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, whose toppling on January 14 after weeks of protests sparked similar uprising across the Arab world.

The Interior Ministry said the three who died on Saturday were among a dozen wounded, with several members of the security forces also hurt in the clashes.

More than 100 people were arrested for involvement in the unrest on Saturday and 88 people after a demonstration on Friday, it said, blaming the violence on “agitators” it said had infiltrated peaceful demonstrators.

The Ministry also said that these agitators had used young high school students as “human shields to commit acts of violence, arson to spread terror among the population and targeting the security forces.”

In the biggest of several rallies against the transitional authority, about 1,00,000 protesters marched down the capital's main avenue on Friday shouting slogans, including against Mr. Ghannouchi who was in Ben Ali's government.

Clashes left 21 police officers injured and three police stations damaged, the Interior Ministry said.

In response to the growing protests, the interim government announced on Friday that it would hold elections by mid-July. — AF

http://www.hindu.com/2011/02/28/stories/2011022858801800.htm

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Spy war threatens Pakistan-US ties

By Zahid Hussain

ISLAMABAD: Four weeks into the Raymond Davis affair, an ongoing and very public spat between the ISI and the CIA threatens to engulf the fraught relationship between Washington and Islamabad.

Partners in the war on militancy, the two spy agencies have never had an easy relationship. But ties hit a new low after the revelation that Davis was part of a clandestine CIA network operating in Pakistani cities.

“We feel betrayed by the CIA operations behind our back,” said an ISI official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

ISI officials claim more than 50 CIA agents are still active in the country and are involved in intensive intelligence gathering without the knowledge of the ISI. “The Davis affair is just a tip of the iceberg,” commented one senor official.

The tensions were further set to escalate in recent days when the ISI prepared a statement — held back from publication at the last moment — in which the agency accused the CIA of being ‘arrogant’ and not showing ‘respect to the host country’.

The unprecedented riposte was meant to counter a comment made by an unidentified CIA official to an American newspaper that the ISI had suspended its cooperation.

However, repeated telephone contacts between CIA chief Leon Panetta and his Pakistani counterpart, Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, in the past week helped prevent a complete breakdown in the relationship.

The meeting last week in Oman between General Kayani and the top US military leadership also helped lower tensions. Although the Oman meeting had been long planned to review the situation in Afghanistan, discussions also focused on the fallout of the detention of the CIA contractor on the relations between the two allies.

According to some high-level sources, the meeting showed the determination of both sides not to let the Davis affair bring down the strategic ties between the two countries. “Sanity has prevailed,” claimed an ISI official.

Relations between the ISI and the CIA, rebuilt after 9/11, have been close in some areas, but a deep mistrust on both sides has remained. “It was a dysfunctional marriage at best,” conceded a Pakistani official.

In recent months, the tensions had once again escalated. A summons issued against Gen Pasha to appear in a New York court in connection with a private lawsuit centring on the Mumbai attacks was followed by the unmasking of the identity of the CIA station chief in Islamabad, forcing him to leave Pakistan.

But even before, for at least the past couple of years, some Pakistani newspapers have been publishing stories leaked by the ISI regarding the influx of US security contractors in large numbers. “They have to dismantle those networks if they really want our cooperation,” said an ISI official. “We have warned them that they cannot do things behind our backs.”

At present, there are some indications Washington is increasingly looking towards the Pakistani military leadership to help resolve the Davis affair. A possible reason is a feeling in Washington that the civilian government here is too weak and unpopular to deliver on the Davis issue.

Further complicating the issue, however, are the divergences between the civil and military leaderships in Pakistan. The military and the ISI now publicly criticise the civilian government’s decision to relax visa policies, a move that has led, according to the military, to scores of undercover US intelligence officials entering the country.

An ISI official claimed that 400 visa applications were processed by Pakistan’s embassy in Washington over a single weekend after the government on July 14, 2010, removed the requirement for intelligence vetting.

But some senior government officials privately blame the ISI for trying to instigate public opinion on the Davis issue.

The multiple power centres in the country has been a major reason for the Davis affair becoming a politically volatile issue, making it more difficult to find a diplomatic solution.

After an initial tough position, the Obama administration seemed willing to step back and negotiate an out of court settlement that would have included a public apology for the incident, the promise of a criminal investigation into the killings under US laws and the payment of compensation to the families of the victims.

But now, four weeks into the crisis, a resolution appears as distant as ever. Privately American diplomats believe it may take months for the Davis issue to be resolved.

“And it will take years to repair the damage the issue has done to Pak-US relations,” said an American diplomat.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/28/spy-war-threatens-pakistan-us-ties.html

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Terror trials to be transparent

Feb 28, 201

JEDDAH: The media will be allowed to cover the trial of suspects held for terrorism and state security-related cases, Justice Minister Muhammad Al-Eissa announced Sunday while opening a forum on justice and the media.

“We’ll make arrangements for the media to attend such trials and will be coordinating with the ministry’s spokesman for this purpose,” he said.

A special anti-terror court in Riyadh has so far issued preliminary verdicts on 442 cases involving 765 suspected Al-Qaeda militants.

According to Abdullah Al-Saadan, the ministry’s spokesman, the accused militants are facing charges such as being affiliated with Al-Qaeda, funding terrorism and providing material support to terrorists.

The preliminary verdicts issued by the court ranged from jail sentences for different terms to capital punishment. The sentences also include fines, a ban on traveling abroad and house arrest in a city of the criminal's choice. The accused have also been given the right to defend themselves by appointing lawyers.

Al-Eissa denied suggestions that there is shortage of judges in the Kingdom.

“Considering international standard, the number of judges in Saudi Arabia is double the required number,” he pointed out.

He said the ministry sticks to a stringent standard while selecting judges, adding that "regionalism or nepotism" does not play a role in these selections.

Al-Eissa also denied that the judges were not following their official working hours. “In fact they are the most prompt among the government employees," he said.

The minister said the decisions taken by a committee at the Ministry of Culture and Information on violation of laws on the dissemination of information would be administrative. “People can approach the court if they are not convinced by those decisions,” he added.

Al-Eissa said the court would have the right either to endorse or nullify the committee’s decisions on the basis of evidence and documents.

“The committee has solved hundreds of cases through reconciliation,” he said.

The minister stressed the need for a judicial media spokesperson. He also pointed out that the media are not allowed to publish details about ongoing cases in the court system.

Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja affirmed the close relation between the media and the judiciary, adding that they complement each other.

The two-day conference is being attended by prominent judicial experts and people from the media.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article289493.ece

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Three policemen among six shot dead in Karachi

February 27, 2011

KARACHI: Six people including three policemen have been killed and four others injured in Karachi since last night, Geo News reported on Sunday.

According to details, two policemen were killed in cross firing between two groups in Quaid-e- Azam Colony near Mobina police station on Saturday night.

Killing took place in Quaid-e-Azam Colony of Gulshan-e-Iqbalarea after firing between two groups. Police rushed to the spot and its mobile came under cross firing. As a result Head Constable Zahir Shah and constable Maqsood received bullet injuries and died in the hospital.

Another police constable identified as Muzafar was shot dead in Gulistan-e-Johar last night.

Two bullet-riddled bodies of unidentified men were also found from Korangi area.( GEO URDU)

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=11818

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Christians fear Gojra-type incident in Kot Addu

By Afnan Khan

LAHORE: Kot Addu police has refused to register a case against the people involved in desecration of the holy relics of the Christian community in the area, victims said.

The victims alleged that the district police officer and the district coordination officer were supporting the miscreants involved in desecration of Bible, Cross and even their graves despite warning from the station house officer that the tension could provoke a Gojra-type incident. Waseem Shakir, Bota Masih and Sajid Masih of Chak-518, Peer Jaggi Morr, Kot Addu, told Daily Times that they were being harassed by a group of illegal occupants who had demolished 150 Christians’ graves.

They regretted that the authorities only registered a case against the group under section 297 of the Pakistan Penal Code instead of the blasphemy law for desecrating Bible, Cross and graves. Waseem Shakir alleged that all authorities, including the local politicians, were supporting the occupants while the Christians also fear a mob attack.

He alleged the local police and the administration were playing in the hands of miscreants. He regretted the step-motherly treatment of minorities, saying “everybody loves his religion”, and that they would continue their struggle for justice while risking their lives.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\02\28\story_28-2-2011_pg7_16

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Buddhadeb defends job quota for OBC Muslims

Feb 28 2011

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee defended his government's job reservation policy for OBC Muslims and said it was now trying to solve the housing accommodation problem of the community.

"There is reservation of jobs for the people belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Communities. There was no reservation for the Muslims in government. There should be equal opportunities. We have provided 10 per cent reservation for Muslims," Bhattacharjee said.

The state government had decided last year to institutionalise 17 per cent job quota for OBCs, including 10 per cent for Muslims, without naming them.

Reservation of jobs for the OBC Muslims is expected to be the centrepiece of the CPI(M)'s drive to win back the minorities who have deserted the Left, as shown from the result of several elections in the recent past.

"A society cannot progress if a part of it is left behind. So backward classes and Muslims had to be taken together if comprehensive development of the state was desired," the chief minister said.

"Muslims face a serious housing problem. Efforts are on to solve it by constructing housing projects for them," Bhattacharjee said in connection with inauguration of a student's hostel here.

The Muslims need not only to be educated, but they need to be imparted quality education as well, he said.

Bhattacharjee said the government would acquire 150 acres of land at Bhangar in South 24 paraganas district to set up Aliah University exclusive for promotion of education among the Muslims.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/755527/

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World leaders tell Gaddafi to quit

28 February 2011,

Libyan protest leaders established a transitional “national council” on Sunday in cities seized from Muammar Gaddafi, as world leaders called on him to quit and protesters closed in on Tripoli.

The chaos engulfing the oil-rich North African state of 6.3 million has fanned fears that Gaddafi’s hold on power could descend into civil war as the United Nations said nearly 100,000 people have streamed out of the country.

The UN Security Council imposed a travel and assets ban on Gaddafi’s regime and ordered an investigation into possible crimes against humanity by the Libyan leader, the first time such a decision has been made unanimously.

In Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States was prepared to offer “any kind of assistance” to Libyans seeking to overthrow Gaddafi.

On Saturday, former justice Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who quit Gaddafi’s regime six days ago, told Al Jazeera television that a transitional government would be formed to lead the country before an election.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/February/international_February1003.xml&section=international

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Gaddafi unflinching: Libyan rebel city fears counter-attack

Feb 28, 2011

TRIPOLI: Libyan rebels awaited a counter-attack by Muammar Gaddafi's forces on Monday, after the country's leader defied demands that he quit to end the bloodiest of the Arab world's wave of uprisings.

Rebels holding Zawiyah, only 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli, said about 2,000 troops loyal to Gaddafi had surrounded the city.

"We will do our best to fight them off. They will attack soon," said a former police major who switched sides and joined the rebellion. "If we are fighting for freedom, we are ready to die for it."

Gaddafi is fighting a rebellion which has swept through his Mediterranean oil producing nation after uprisings toppled entrenched leaders in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt. His fierce crackdown has killed hundreds, triggering U.N. sanctions and Western condemnation, but has not turned the tide of protests.

Residents even in parts of the capital Tripoli have thrown up barricades against government forces. A general in the east of the country, where Gaddafi's power has evaporated, told Reuters his forces were ready to help rebels in the west.

"Our brothers in Tripoli say: `We are fine so far, we do not need help'. If they ask for help we are ready to move," said General Ahmed el-Gatrani, one of most senior figures in the mutinous army in Benghazi.

Analysts say they expect rebels eventually to take the capital and kill or capture Gaddafi, but add that he has the firepower to foment chaos or civil war -- a prospect he and his sons have warned of.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Gaddafi-unflinching-Libyan-rebel-city-fears-counter-attack/articleshow/7594658.cms#ixzz1FFkQ9SlC

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10,000 fled Libya into Tunisia Saturday: Red Crescent

Feb 27, 2011,

RAS JEDIR, Tunisia: More than 10,000 people fled Libya into Tunisia at the Ras Jedir post on Saturday, most of them Egyptians, the Red Crescent said Sunday, calling it a "humanitarian crisis".

"More than 10,000 people passed through Ras Jedir yesterday," the organisation's regional president in Ben Guerdane, the main border town, Monji Slim said.

More than 40,000 have come through this border post in the past week, including more than 15,000 Egyptians. The flood of arrivals was continuing Sunday.

"It is a humanitarian crisis, our capacities to take in people are exhausted, people are sleeping in the open. I appeal urgently for everyone to help resolve this problem. The entire world should mobilise to help Egypt repatriate its nationals," Slim added.

The exodus from Libya, where leader Muammar Gaddafi is battling for survival, began on February 20.

The situation has worsened all week, particularly after Kadhafi's son Seif al-Islam on Monday accused Arab and African expatriates of fomenting the revolt against his father and accused Egyptians and Tunisians of being behind the conspiracy.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/10000-fled-Libya-into-Tunisia-Saturday-Red-Crescent/articleshow/7586047.cms

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530 Libyan expats on home turf

February 28, 2011

In one of the biggest evacuation operations launched in recent years, India has brought back over 530 of its nationals from strife-torn Libya by two special Air India planes, even as 88 others crossed over by road to Tunisia from Libya. There are about 18,000 Indian nationals in Libya.

While the first flight evacuated 291 Indians from Libya and brought them back here on Saturday last night, another Air India plane carrying over 235 people landed at the Terminal 2 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Sunday morning.

The two flights had left Libya on Saturday after the authorities there allowed landing of two flights from India per day till March 10.

Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao received the first batch of passengers at Delhi airport who were helped by Resident Commissioners of 10 States, including Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and officials of External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs Ministries.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/320877/530-Libyan-expats-on-home-turf.html

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Anti-regime forces take west Libyan towns

Feb 28, 2011

NALUT: Forces opposed to Moammer Qadhafi took control of several western Libyan towns, an official said on Sunday as the strongman played down rebel gains after world leaders called on him to quit.

Protest leaders established a transitional “national council” in several eastern and western cities seized from the Qadhafi regime and called on the army to help them take the capital Tripoli.

The United States said it was prepared to offer “any kind of assistance” to Libyans seeking to overthrow Kadhafi as his opponents piece together a transitional body comprising representatives from the liberated cities.

The unrest in the oil-rich North African state has set off a “humanitarian emergency”, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said, as almost 100,000 migrant workers fled Libya in a mass exodus of foreigners.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed the calls of world leaders, including President Barack Obama, for him to quit.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/28/anti-regime-forces-take-west-libyan-towns.html

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Libyan opposition forms own government

Feb 28, 2011

TRIPOLI: Libyan protest leaders moved to form an alternative government on Sunday as the United States explored ways to help such a venture.

International pressure meanwhile mounted on Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to stop the violence his forces unleashed on the people with the United Nations Security Council slapping an arms embargo on the North African nation and Britain revoking diplomatic immunity of Qaddafi and his relatives.

Italy suspended a treaty with Libya that includes a nonaggression clause, removing a possible obstacle to Rome taking part in any peacekeeping operations in Libya, or allowing the use of its military bases.

On Saturday, former Justice Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who quit Qaddafi's regime six days ago, told Al Jazeera television that a transitional government would be formed to lead the country before an election. On Sunday, a spokesman announced the creation of a transitional "national council" in cities seized from Qaddafi's forces.

Abdel Hafiz Ghoqa told a Benghazi news conference that consultations were under way on the new body's composition and duties. "The people of Libya will liberate their cities," Ghoqa said. "We are counting on the army to liberate Tripoli."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration stands ready to offer "any type of assistance" to Libyans seeking to oust Qaddafi. Clinton, however, made no mention of any US military assistance in her remarks to reporters before flying to Geneva.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article289329.ece

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EU welcomes UNSC sanctions against Libya

February 28, 2011

Applauding the UN Security Council’s unanimous vote to slap sanctions on Libya, the 27-nation EU has said it is in talks with its global partners like the US for a “full and immediate” implementation of the tough measures against the Gaddafi regime.

“The EU has already started to work on restrictive measures such as assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo and preparations are already well underway. Formal adoption will take place as soon as possible to ensure full and immediate implementation,” said Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The European Union fully endorses the UN Security Council resolution and will implement the restrictive measures as a matter of urgency, she said in a statement.

The UN Security Council resolution imposes travel ban on 68-year-old Muammar Gaddafi, his family members and officials, besides freezing their assets. It also orders an arms embargo against Libya.

Ashton said she is in constant contact with international partners, including with the UN and the US, to discuss next steps

http://www.dailypioneer.com/320955/EU-welcomes-UNSC-sanctions-against-Libya.html

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Canada to freeze Gaddafi's millions

Feb 28, 2011

 Toronto: Canada on Sunday joined the UN and the US in imposing sanctions on Libya.

The sanctions Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced will freeze millions of dollars reportedly held by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his family in Canadian banks.

Asking the Libyan leader to step down immediately, the Canadian prime minister said Gaddafi 'has blatantly' violated this most basic trust. Far from protecting the Libyan people against peril, he is the root cause of the dangers they face. It is clear that the only acceptable course of action for him is to halt the bloodshed and to immediately vacate his position and authority".

The Canadian leader said, "Canada had called for the Security Council to act and we are pleased that it has done so. The unanimous passing of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970 sends a very clear message: the murder of its own citizens by the Libyan regime, and the gross violations of the population's human rights will not be tolerated by the international community, and will carry serious consequences."

Harper said Canada was going beyond the Security Council sanctions by imposing 'an asset freeze on, and a prohibition of financial transactions with the government of Libya, its institutions and agencies, including the Libyan Central Bank'.

"These actions will help restrict the movement of, and access to money and weapons for those responsible for violence against the Libyan people."

The UN Security Council resolution seeks 'an arms embargo requiring all states to prevent the sale or supply of arms into Libya, or the export of arms from Libya, the inspection of cargo going into Libya, a travel ban on Muammar Gaddafi and 15 individuals closely associated with him; and an asset freeze against Gaddafi and members of his family'.

http://www.asianage.com/international/canada-freeze-gaddafis-millions-281

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Sweden sends military plane for Libya evacuations

27 February 2011,

About 20 of the 40 Swedes living or working in Libya had told authorities they wanted to leave and the first were expected to be moved out on Sunday, ministry spokeswoman Cecilia Julin told AFP.

Others had said they wanted to wait to see how the situation develops or would leave on their own, she said.

Sweden closed its embassy in Tripoli in 1995. 

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/February/international_February982.xml&section=international

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Gaddafi’s Ukrainian nurse to return to own country

February 28, 2011

Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi looks likely to be ditched by yet another close confidant — his Ukrainian nurse who says she will flee the violence in the North African nation and return home.

Halyna Kolotnytska, 38, is joining senior Government officials, diplomats and pilots who have deserted Gaddafi after he violently suppressed anti-Government protests, according a local newspaper report.

A US diplomatic cable released late last year claimed the eccentric 68-year-old leader is deeply attached to Kolotnytska, one of four Ukrainian nurses that take care of him.

The cable published by WikiLeaks described her as a ‘voluptuous blonde’ who always travels with Gaddafi as only she ‘knows his routine’ and even suggested the two may be romantically involved. The Segodnya daily cited Kolotnytska’s daughter Tetyana as saying that her mother was out of danger and planned to return to Ukraine in the near future.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/320953/Gaddafi%E2%80%99s-Ukrainian-nurse-to-return-to-own-country.html

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Post-Davis, ISI puts ball in CIA’s court on improving ties

Feb 28, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The ball is in the CIA's court if it wants to take its relationship with the ISI agency back to the level it was prior to the arrest of US security contractor Raymond Davis for gunning down two Pakistani men, according to a media report on Sunday.

An unnamed military official was quoted by the Dawn newspaper as saying the onus was on the CIA to take the relationship back to the level it was at prior to Davis' arrest last month. Both the official and chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas refused to comment on or deny reports of a direct contact between CIA chief Leon Panetta and ISI head Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

Media reports had said Panetta had spoken to Pasha on phone regarding the controversial issue of Davis. The ISI had also sought a list of all CIA operatives in Pakistan, the reports said.

Relations between the ISI and CIA have been in the eye of the storm since Western media reports revealed that Davis was a security contractor working for the CIA.

Reports also said Pasha had sought details of all CIA operatives in Pakistan during his conversation with Panetta on Wednesday. The unnamed military official said the arrest of another American national from Peshawar, who too is suspected of being a CIA operative , indicated that many more CIA men might be operating inside the country without the knowledge of Pakistan

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Post-Davis-ISI-puts-ball-in-CIAs-court-on-improving-ties-/articleshow/7591660.cms#ixzz1FEZGn8ln

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Somali pirate hold Indians hostage for last 7 months

Deepender Deswal

Feb 28, 2011

ROHTAK: The family members of the Indians, who have been in the captivity of Somali pirates for the last seven months, are yet to get any official assurance for their safe release.

The family members of four of the six Indians, on board the Egyptian cargo ship MV Suez that was hijacked by the Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden on August 2, met the Rohtak MP Deepender Hooda in Rohtak on Sunday evening and urged him to take steps for bailing out their men.

However, the families said that the MP refused to give any assurance even as pirates had given one week's ultimatum to pay Rs 10 crore ransom for their release failing which they could be killed.

Ravinder Gulia, resident of Rohtak town, is one among the six Indian hostages on board the Egyptian cargo ship. The lives of 22 crew of the ship including 11 Egyptians, six Indians, four Pakistanis and one Sri Lankan are at the mercy of the Somali pirates.

The family members including parents and wives of five Indians on board- Prashant Chauhan from Shimla, Satnam Singh of Ambala, MK Sharma of Jammu and Kashmir met at Ravinder Gulia's residence in Rohtak on Sunday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Somali-pirate-hold-Indians-hostage-for-last-7-months/articleshow/7594134.cms#ixzz1FFjPLAsb

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Two judges kidnapped in Balochistan

By Saleem Shahid

Lawyers’ associations have threatened to hold protest rallies if the kidnapped judges and lawyers are not recovered. — File Photo

QUETTA: A district and sessions judge and a civil judge of Sibi were kidnapped in Jaffarabad district on Sunday, while four senior lawyers of the Balochistan High Court, kidnapped five days earlier, are yet to be traced.

Lawyers’ associations have announced a boycott of courts in the province on Monday and threatened to hold protest rallies if the kidnapped judges and lawyers are not recovered.

According to sources, Sibi District and Sessions Judge Jan Mohammad Gohar Yasinzai and Civil Judge Mohammad Ali Kakar were going to Usta Mohammad in a private car to attend a wedding.

They stopped over in Dera Allahyar for some time and left for Usta Mohammad but did not reach there.

Official sources said the judges, who were accompanied by a guard, had been kidnapped from somewhere between Dera Allahyar and Hafizabad area of Usta Mohammad tehsil. Their car has been found in an area in Nasirabad district. “A massive search has been launched for the judges and their guard,” Jaffarabad Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Ayub Jaffar told Dawn.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/28/two-judges-kidnapped-in-balochistan.html

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Gaza militants fire rocket, mortar round at Israel

27 February 2011,

The rocket, which a military spokeswoman said hit a field in the Eshkol region, was fired after a string of Israeli air raids targeting militant training camps across Palestinian enclave on Saturday night.

It was followed by a mortar attack later in the day when “a mortar round exploded in the Sdot Negev area north of the Gaza Strip,” again without causing casualties or damage, she said.

A first set of air strikes on Saturday hit two Islamic Jihad camps, while a second raid targeted two camps belonging to the Ezzedine al-Qassem Brigades, the armed wing of Gaza’s ruling Hamas movement, in the southern city of Rafah.

The second raid wounded four people including a toddler, Palestinian officials and medics said.

A third air strike blasted an Islamic Jihad facility west of Khan Yunis, witnesses said.

The military said Saturday’s attacks “targeted a number of terror hubs... in response to recent rocket fire into Israel.”

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/February/middleeast_February794.xml&section=middleeast

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King’s order to benefit 180,000 temporary employees

Feb 28, 2011

RIYADH/JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Tuesday received princes, Islamic scholars and a group of citizens who came to greet him following his safe return after a three-month-long medical trip abroad.

In an extempore speech, King Abdullah thanked all those who prayed for his quick recovery. “May Allah bless all of you,” he said, and asked his well wishers to excuse him for not shaking hands with them.

“It (shaking hands) is an important thing for me. Forgive me for not doing it. God is Magnificent,” the king told his audience. “I take this opportunity to thank all of you who visited me here as well as those who are in their homes and in different countries. ... I would like to express my sincere love and affection for all of you, including the elderly, women and children.”

Addressing the reception, Abdul Rahman Al-Ghazzi, a member of the Supreme Judiciary Council, commended King Abdullah for his efforts in the service of the country and the Islamic Ummah.

Earlier, King Abdullah ordered to make the status of temporary government employees permanent. The order will benefit close to 180,000 employees currently working in various government departments and projects.

“All Saudi men and women employed under special employment clauses and receiving Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article289334.ece

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Khalifa Fund for Enabling Emiratisation

28 February 2011

 President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has instructed the establishment of the Khalifa Fund for Enabling Emiratisation in support of the empowerment policy he has launched and in completion of the President’s initiatives seeking to advance socio-economic development plans, provision of decent living means and stability to UAE citizens.

The new institution aims to provide financial resources necessary to support programmes and policies for encouraging UAE citizens to enter the private sector labour market, help them to seize job opportunities the private sector offers, and secure required funds for delivering a package of rewards towards achieving that end.

In its meeting today under the chairmanship of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the federal cabinet reviewed the work mechanisms of the new entity, scope of its mandate and executive measures needed to start its operation as soon as possible under the supervision of the National Human Resources Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia).

The package of incentives the Fund will offer includes payment of financial privileges when a UAE citizen joins work at the private sector so as to reduce the pay gap between the public and private sectors, allocation of funds to employers to help them cover a certain percentage of the pay the national private sector employees will draw in the first year, funding part of training and rehabilitation costs of the new national employee when he joins the private sector for the first year and contribution to long and short term training programmes for national job seekers.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/February/theuae_February725.xml&section=theuae

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Oman police fire rubber bullets at protesters, two dead

Feb 28, 2011

MUSCAT: Omani police fired rubber bullets on stone-throwing protesters demanding political reform in an industrial town on Sunday, killing two people, and the military moved in to secure the area, witnesses said. They said at least 1,000 protesters had gathered for a second straight day in a main square in Sohar before police tried to disperse them first with tear gas and batons before firing on them with rubber bullets.

“Two people have died after police fired rubber bullets in the crowd,” one witness, who declined to be named, told Reuters from Sohar. Another witness said the police had used live ammunition, but that could not be confirmed.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said, trying to ease tensions in the normally sleepy Gulf state as Arab unrest spread in the region, reshuffled his cabinet on Saturday, a week after an earlier protest in the capital Muscat.

Protests were also taking place in the southern town of Salalah where demonstrators have been camped out since Friday near the office of a provincial governor.

After the clashes in Sohar, police pulled back from the protest and the crowd, some of whom were carrying petrol and matches, was making its way to a police station, said one witness, who gave his name only as Mohammed. Helicopters circled overhead.

Witnesses said at least eight people had been hurt in the melee in addition to the two fatalities. Roadblocks had been set up on a main road between Sohar and Muscat, they said.

Full report at:

Http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article288588.ece

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Maulana Shibli Nomani was the pioneer of the art of Seerah writing

New Age Islam News Bureau

The standards set by Maulana Shibli Nomani in the art of writing the biography of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is worthy to be exemplified both in terms of content and style. But it is unfortunate that we do not value our great intellectual assets. These views were expressed by the Saudi Cultural attache  Dr Md Ibrahim Al Batshan in the  two-day international seminar on ‘Writing of Prophet’s Biography’ at the National Shibli College Azamgarh. The seminar was inaugurated by Dr Ibrahim Al Batshan while Prof Ahmad Abdul Qadir Shazli (Egypt) presided over it. Dr Batshan said that our history had been written by the employees of rulers that did not fulfill the prescribed conditions. However, he said that the work of the muhadditheen (scholars and preservers of hadiths) and religious jurists were commendable. Allama Shibli Nomani had used the same sources while writing the biography of the Prophet (PBUH) and we should follow the method adopted by Maulana Shibli Nomani while writing the Prophet’s biography (PBUH) keeping in mind the needs of the contemporary world. Prof Abdul Khaliq Rashid (Afghanistan) said that the biography of the holy Prophet (PBUH) was first translated in Pashto 60 years ago and more than two dozen editions of it had been published since then. He said that he took pride in the fact that he was educated in a college (Kabul University) whose foundation stone was laid by the Maulana Shibli’s pupil Syed Sulaiman Nadvi. Prof Abdul Haq said any tradition of writing the Prophet’s biography could not be considered complete without Shibli Nomani. He further said that Maulana Shibli was an answer to the Europe’s attempts to distort the character of the Prophet (PBUH). In his Presidential speech, Dr Shazli said that the seerah (life and character) of the Prophet (PBUH) was the remedy of the conflict the East and the West were going through lied in the practices and messages of the holy Prophet (PBUH). He said that the programme was reminiscent of our golden past that was synonymous with the golden faith that blurred the differences between the whites and the blacks.

It was for the first time that a seminar on such a topic was organised. Intellectuals and scholars from Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, Mauritius and Pakistan participated in the seminar.

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Opposition parties against renaming of Bhopal

Feb 28, 2011

Bhopal: Opposition parties in Madhya Pradesh have opposed the idea to rename capital city Bhopal as Bhojpal saying they would take to streets if the name is changed.

"We will take to the streets if the name of Bhopal is changed to Bhojpal. Bhopal has stood as a witness to Hindu-Muslim unity for the last 300 years," State Congress spokesman Arif Masood told reporters here.

BJP MLA Viswas Sarang told the local media recently that Bhopal should be named Bhojpal after Raja Bhoj of the Paramara dynasty who ruled Malwa region in Central India and also founded a city Bhojpur near Bhopal.

"Who was this Raja Bhoj, 1000 years back, being glorified in hoardings, advertisement and newspapers now," Masood asked, referring to the state government's plan to unveil a statue of the king at Upper Lake area of the city tomorrow.The state government had earlier announced a series of programmes that will be observed to mark completion of 1000 years of coronation of Raja Bhoj.

In a statement, CPI's Bhopal secretary Shaliendra Kumar Shaily said the state government's desire to change the name of Bhopal to Bhojpal was against democratic and secular values.

http://www.munsifdaily.com/

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Ulema stop nikah with a Qadiani

New Age Islam News Bureau

Andhra Pradesh: The ulema in Andhra Pradesh stopped an ‘unIslamic’ nikah here on Sunday. According to reports, the nikah of the daughter of a man called Shaikh Syed was to be solemnized with Sheikh Khwaja of Sarla Bai mouza. It is said that the groom belonged to the  Qadiani sect. The Secretary of Tahaffuz-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Mufti Siddique immediately informed the local ulema of this un-Islamic marriage. Later the ulema and the authorities of Muslim organisations called the guardians of the bride and the groom and advised them not to go ahead with the marriage. Thus the marriage was withdrawn.

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Seven killed in road accident in Sheikhupura

Feb 28, 2011

LAHORE: Seven people, including two women, were killed and 11 were wounded in a crash between an oil tanker and a passenger van in Sheikhupura on Monday, DawnNews reported.

The accident occurred on the Lahore-Sargodha road near Sheikhupura district’s Jamkay area.

The over speeding passenger van was travelling from Farooqabad to Lahore when it crashed into an oil tanker coming from the opposite direction.

Seven people were killed as a result and 11 were wounded, four of them critically.

The wounded were shifted to a hospital in Lahore.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/28/seven-killed-in-road-accident-in-sheikhupura.html

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Protesters clash with police in Oman; 1 killed

February 28, 2011

Omani security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters demanding political reforms on Sunday, killing at least one person in the strategic Gulf country, police officials said.

The clashes mark a significant escalation in two days of protests in Oman, and show that the unrest roiling the Arab world has spread across the Gulf region. Bahrain has been engulfed by anti-government protests for two weeks and demonstrations were reported in Kuwait.

Oman shares authority with Iran over the Strait of Hormuz. About 40 per cent of the world’s oil tanker traffic passes through the waterway at the mouth of the Gulf. Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in the town of Sohar, about 120 miles (200 kilometres) northwest of the capital of Muscat.

Witnesses said police tried to disperse the demonstrators, firing tear gas and rubber bullets.

At least one person was killed in the clashes, a local police official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to brief the media.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/320951/Protesters-clash-with-police-in-Oman;-1-killed.html

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Saudi Arabia: Aircraft crashes in Al Ain; 4 dead

28 February 2011,

According to a statement of GCAA the aircraft departed from Al Ain International airport for Riyadh in Saudi Arabia at 16: 07 UTC on Sunday and shortly after liftoff the aircraft veered to the left and crashed on taxiway kilo. 4 people died in the accident.

The aircraft was destroyed by the impact and subsequent fire, the statement added.

The airport fire & rescue services responded immediately and the accident site was secured by the Al Ain Police.

A GCAA Air Accident Investigation team which was dispatched to the area without delay is leading the investigating into the accident.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/February/theuae_February729.xml&section=theuae

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Rising groundwater threatening Jeddah buildings

Feb 28, 2011

JEDDAH: Several engineers and architects warned that a large number of buildings in Jeddah could collapse due to rising groundwater.

According to a report in Al-Madinah newspaper recently, they said nearly 70 percent of buildings situated in districts with the presence of groundwater are on the verge of collapse. The warning came at a time when a number of building owners urged the authorities to take urgent measures to protect their residential buildings from the dangers posed by ground water.

Municipal officials have said several projects are in the cards to bring down the level of ground water. Most of these projects are concentrated in regions east of the Haramain Expressway. Procedures are under way to implement these projects.

Abdullah Ridwan, chairman of the National Committee for Contractors at the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, underlined the need for adding insulation materials in concrete and iron mixing while constructing foundations.

Engineering consultant Nabeel Abbas, who is the president of the committee in charge of issues pertaining to engineers at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, warned against the partial or total collapse of buildings. He called on building owners to seek the support of engineering offices to construct buildings that fulfill required standards and specifications.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article289306.ece

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Jordan urges EU pressure on Israel to stop unilateral actions

By ABDUL JALIL MUSTAFA

Feb 28, 2011

AMMAN: Jordanian leaders on Sunday urged the European Union to put pressure on Israel to stop all “unilateral actions” that hinder progress in peace talks, during meetings with visiting foreign ministers of Sweden and Portugal.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and his Portuguese counterpart Luis Amado visited Jordan in a bid to appraise prospects for reinvigorating peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel in the light of the ongoing spate of uprisings that swept the Arab world, diplomats said.

They held separate meetings with King Abdallah, Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

“Bakhit underscored the importance of the world community shouldering its ethical responsibility in putting pressure on the Israeli government to stop all unilateral actions that hinder peace efforts and lead to the loss of opportunities at this critical stage through which the region and the world are passing,” a statement from the premier’s office said.

The premier referred mainly to the continued building of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank that prompted the Palestinian Authority to quit the US-brokered direct talks with Israel at the end of September.

Both King Abdallah and Bakhit assured the European foreign ministers that Jordan was embarking on real political and economic reforms to enable citizens a larger say in the decision-making process.

Jordan was recently the scene for a series of demonstrations demanding swift political reforms, including the enactment of a new election law and arranging early general elections.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article289411.ece

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52 in custody after clashes in Croatia

Feb 27, 2011

ZAGREB, Croatia: Croatian police say 52 protesters remain in custody after they were detained during a weekend clash at an anti-government rally.

Police say 36 of the detained face criminal charges for attacking the police, while others are suspected of violating public order. They said Sunday young soccer fans are among those detained.

Clashes erupted Saturday when some of 15,000 protesters tried to break through a police cordon near the government headquarters in capital Zagreb. Some 50 people were injured during the clash.

The violence marked the second time past week that demonstrators clashed with the police in Zagreb. Protesters are demanding the government ouster over economic crisis and alleged corruption.

Croatia is a former Yugoslav republic now seeking European Union membership.

http://arabnews.com/world/article289523.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/as-regimes-fall-in-arab-world,-al-qaeda-sees-history-fly-by/d/4202


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