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Islamic World News ( 30 March 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Bomber hits checkpoint in Pakistan, kills 13

Suicide bomber kills 10 in NW Pakistan

UK expels 5 Libyan diplomats over Qaddafi links

Al-Qaeda: Arab revolts herald 'great leap forward'

Qaida man wanted for Bali bombings held in Pak

Rajasthan govt agrees to hand over Ajmer blast probe to NIA

Kingdom denounces Israeli raids on Gaza

US lawmakers seek answers on Libya

Karzai blasts US troops for gruesome Afghan deaths

Libyan rebels scatter, world mulls sending arms

Gadhafi’s plans for nationalizing oil could have role in military intervention

Blast in Charsadda targets Fazl’s convoy; 12 killed

Terrorism acquired new dimensions

French religious leaders protest debate on Islam

Obama authorizes covert support for rebels

Protesters serving enemies: Assad

Saudis’ interest in Arab upheavals dwindling

Socialist Hamdeen Sabahi for president, Egypt

Armed Forces announces Egypt's interim Constitution

Allies disagree over arming Libyan rebels

Gaddafi forces take key oil port

Blonde bombshell' daughter helping Gaddafi rally troops?

Bangladesh govt alone cannot resolve Yunus issue

Pro-Qaddafi forces push rebels into chaotic retreat

Turkish PM's landmark Iraq visit a 'turning point,

U.S. fears rebels' link with Al-Qaeda

US to seek new term on UN rights panel

Berlusconi vows to Clear Island of illegal migrants

Russia energy industry sees windfall

Egypt’s constitution: A controversial declaration

The National Front launched, aims to defend demands of Egypt's revolution

No major reforms as Syria's Assad warns of 'conspiracy'

Americans worried about Libya conflict

Syrian leader stays defiant

Ouattara forces enter Ivory Coast’s San Pedro port

US prosecutors defend Times Square bombing probe

Mali prime minister resigns

Syria’s Assad warns of ‘conspiracy’

China warns Sarkozy on Libya strikes

Obama authorises covert help for Libya rebels

Pressure to widen Japan’s nuke exclusion zone

Libya war to cost US $40 million per month

Iraqi PM vows to punish Tikrit attackers

Presidential system completely unsuitable for Turkey

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/bomber-hits-checkpoint-in-pakistan,-kills-13/d/4375

 

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Bomber hits checkpoint in Pakistan, kills 13

MAR 31 2011

PESHAWAR, Pakistan: A suicide bomber riding a motorcycle attacked a police checkpoint in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, striking amid a crowd gathered along the road to greet a prominent politician and killing 13 people, police said.

It was unclear if the bomber specifically targeted the supporters of politician Maulana Fazlur Rehman or if they just happened to be there when he hit the checkpoint.

Rehman has been an outspoken supporter of the Afghan Taleban, but some militants in Pakistan have shown a willingness to attack anyone connected to the government.

The bomber detonated his explosives just outside the checkpoint when a policeman told him to halt, said Saeed Khan, a police official at the main communications center in Peshawar city. The blast killed the policeman and 12 other civilians nearby, said Khan. Another 12 people were wounded.

The attack occurred in Swabi town, located some 70 km outside the capital Islamabad. Rehman, the leader of the Jamiat Ulema Islam party, passed through the checkpoint only minutes before the bomber struck and was unharmed, said Khan. Rehman was traveling to Charsadda town to address a public gathering.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing. An attack targeting Rehman or his supporters would be unusual — but not unheard of — because of their hard-line views.

The most prominent militant sympathizer reportedly killed by insurgents was former Pakistani spy Sultan Amir Tarar — better known as Col. Imam — who helped the Taleban rise to power in Afghanistan in the 1990s.

The Pakistani Taleban said in February that they shot and killed Tarar after holding him captive for 10 months in northwest Pakistan because the government failed to meet their demands. The Pakistani Taleban has links to its Afghan brethren but is focused on fighting the Pakistani state.

The Pakistani government disputed the Taleban's claims, saying Tarar died of a heart attack in January while in captivity.

About a year ago, a suicide bomber attacked a rally being held by the Jamat-e-Islami party, another Islamist group that is sympathetic to many of the goals of the Taleban and regularly criticizes army operations against them. The attack killed more than 20 police and civilians. Police speculated the target may have been officers watching over the rally.

http://arabnews.com/world/article336755.ece

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Suicide bomber kills 10 in NW Pakistan

MAR 31 2011

A suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up near a police checkpoint in Pakistan on Wednesday, killing ten people and wounding more than 20, the police and hospital officials said.

The police chief Abdullah Jan said the checkpoint was close to a camp set up by a religious political party for a public meeting in the northwestern town of Swabi, about 10 kilometres east of Peshawar.

‘Seven people died on the spot and three more succumbed to their injuries in the hospital,’ he said. ‘We have recovered the body parts of the suicide bomber.’

Nurul Wahid, the doctor in charge of the emergency ward at the state-run Swabi hospital, confirmed the toll. ‘We have 10 bodies. The dead included two policemen also,’ he said. A total of 21 people were receiving treatment, Wahid added.

The meeting was planned by the hardline Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman. The event was cancelled after the bombing.

Rehman was on his way to the venue when the blast happened, party spokesman Jalil Jan said.

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/13500.html

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UK expels 5 Libyan diplomats over Qaddafi links

MAR 31 2011

LONDON: Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague says the UK has expelled five Libyan diplomats over their support for Muammar Qaddafi’s regime and the intimidation of opposition supporters.

Hague told the House of Commons on Wednesday he had ordered the officials — including the military attache — to leave over concerns that their presence in Britain could “pose a threat to security.” Officials say the Libyan diplomats had close ties to the Qaddafi regime, and had been involved in attempts to harass supporters of the opposition in Britain.

http://arabnews.com/world/article336049.ece

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Al-Qaeda: Arab revolts herald 'great leap forward'

MAR 31 2011

Al-Qaeda's most influential English-language preacher said revolts sweeping the Arab world would help rather than harm its cause by giving Islamists freed from tyranny greater scope to speak out.

Western and Arab officials say the example set by young Arabs seeking peaceful political change is a counterweight to al-Qaeda's push for violent militancy and weakens its argument that democracy and Islam are incompatible.

But al-Qaeda preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, in an article published online on Tuesday, said the removal of anti-Islamist autocrats meant Islamic fighters and scholars were now freer to discuss and organise.

"Our mujahideen brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the rest of the Muslim world will get a chance to breathe again after three decades of suffocation," he wrote, using a term that refers generally to Islamic guerrilla groups or holy warriors.

"For the scholars and activists of Egypt to be able to speak again freely, it would represent a great leap forward for the mujahideen," wrote Awlaki, an American of Yemeni origin who is believed to be hiding in southern Yemen.

He said it did not matter what sort of government succeeded Arab autocracts, as these were unlikely to be as repressive. Imagining that only a Taliban-style regime would benefit al Qaeda was "a too short term way" of looking at events.

"We do not know yet what the outcome would be (in any given country), and we do not have to. The outcome doesn't have to be an Islamic government for us to consider what is occurring to be a step in the right direction," he said.

"In Libya, no matter how bad the situation gets and no matter how pro-Western or oppressive the next government proves to be, we do not see it possible for the world to produce another lunatic of the same calibre of the Colonel (Gaddafi)."

Awlaki said the revolts had broken "the barriers of fear" among Muslims whose "defeatism" under tyranny had deepened after Algeria's crushing of an Islamist uprising in the 1990s.

Awlaki made his remarks in the fifth edition of "Inspire", an online al-Qaeda magazine aimed at Muslims in the West.

The publication is produced by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an arm of al-Qaeda responsible for the group's most spectacular attempted attacks in recent years.

Another writer, Yahya Ibrahim, said al-Qaeda was not against regime changes through protests but was against the idea that the change should be only through peaceful means to the exclusion of the use of force.

Inspire also contained an interview with AQAP military leader Qasim al-Raymi, also known as Abu Hurairah al-Sana'ani, one of the world's most wanted Islamist militants.

He called on Muslims living in the West to kill groups of "Jews and Christians" whenever they heard of US drone strikes in Pakistan or Israeli killings of Palestinians.

Such attacks "would stop the striking, killing, occupation, humiliation and disgrace of our holy places that America and the West perpetrates."

Yemen has been at the centre of Western security concerns after AQAP launched failed plots to bomb cargo airliners in October 2010 and to destroy a U.S.-bound passenger plane in December 2009.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/8910/World/Region/AlQaeda-Arab-revolts-herald-great-leap-forward.aspx

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Qaida man wanted for Bali bombings held in Pak

Mar 31, 2011

WASHINGTON: A senior Indonesian al-Qaida operative wanted in the 2002 Bali bombings has been arrested in Pakistan, a rare high-profile capture that could provide valuable intelligence about the organisation and possible future plots.

Umar Patek, a suspected member of the al-Qaidalinked militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, was arrested this year in Pakistan, foreign intelligence sources said.

It is not clear whether Pakistan stumbled on Patek or his capture was the result of an intelligence tip. Details about what he was doing in Pakistan also remain murky, raising questions about whether he was there to plan an attack with al-Qaida's top operational leaders as the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States approaches.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Qaida-man-wanted-for-Bali-bombings-held-in-Pak/articleshow/7831145.cms

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Rajasthan govt agrees to hand over Ajmer blast probe to NIA

MAR 31 2011

THE Rajasthan home department has agreed to hand over the probe into 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast to the National Investigation Agency ( NIA).

State home minister Shanti Dhariwal said his department had taken a decision to this effect and it has been sent to chief minister Ashok Gehlot for his approval, which was expected soon.

Full report at:

http://epaper.mailtoday.in/epaperhome.aspx?issue=3132011

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Saudi Arabia: Kingdom denounces Israeli raids on Gaza

MAR 31 2011

RIYADH: The Council of Ministers on Monday denounced Israeli airstrikes on residential areas in Gaza, killing innocent people, and urged the international community to take immediate action to stop the continuous Israeli aggression against the Palestinians.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, also called for greater coordination among Arab countries to confront the consequences of new developments in the region and ensure their unity and stability.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article333581.ece

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US lawmakers seek answers on Libya

31 March 2011

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and Democrats pressed senior US officials on Wednesday about the duration of the Libya operation and who the rebels are opposing Col. Muammar Gaddafi as the war raged on for a second week with no end in sight.

As Gaddafi loyalists forced the overmatched opposition to retreat from a crucial oil town, the heads of the Pentagon and State Department faced calls to outline the US role at closed-door, back-to-back briefings for all members of the House and Senate.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/March/international_March1697.xml&section=international&col=

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Karzai blasts US troops for gruesome Afghan deaths

MAR 31 2011

KABUL: Afghanistan’s president on Wednesday condemned the actions of a group of US soldiers charged with murdering three unarmed Afghans, charging they killed for entertainment after taking drugs.

It was Hamid Karzai’s first public mention of the actions of five soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade who have been charged with murder and conspiracy in the deaths of the three men in southern Afghanistan.

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan have created tensions between his government and NATO forces.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article336748.ece

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Libyan rebels scatter, world mulls sending arms

MAR 31 2011

Loyalist forces overran the Libyan towns of Ras Lanuf, Uqayla and Brega Wednesday, scattering outgunned rebels as world powers mulled arming the rag-tag fighters seeking to oust Moamer Gaddafi.

AFP reporters and rebel fighters said Gaddafi’s troops swept through the oil town of Ras Lanuf, 300 kilometres east of Gaddafi’s hometown Sirte, soon after dawn, blazing away with tanks and heavy artillery fire.

Panicked rebels called for coalition air strikes on Gaddafi’s forces as they fled in their hundreds eastwards through Uqayla, where they briefly regrouped, then on to Brega, where they also halted temporarily before charging to the main city of Ajdabiya, 120 kilometres away.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/frontpage/13608.html

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Gadhafi’s plans for nationalizing oil could have role in military intervention

MAR 31 2011

Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi has spoken of the possibility of nationalizing foreign oil operations operating in his country, an expert has said.

“In 2009, Gadhafi called on Libya's General People’s Congresses, the country's top executive and legislative bodies, to vote to nationalize foreign oil firms and opened discussion to dismiss the government and deliver the $30 billion oil revenue directly to the Libyan citizens,” Necdet Pamir, an energy expert and instructor at Bilkent and İstanbul Culture universities told Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review on Tuesday.

Elaborating on whether Libyan energy resources could be a reason for international military intervention to the conflict-hit country, Pamir said oil alone couldn’t be enough of a reason for intervention, but a significant motivation in the energy game of the world powers.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=gadhafi8217s-plans-for-nationalizing-oil-could-have-role-in-military-intervention-experts-say-2011-03-30

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Blast in Charsadda targets Fazl’s convoy; 12 killed

MAR 31 2011

PESHAWAR: A bomb blast targeting the convoy of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, leader of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) party killed at least 12 people and wounded several others in the northwestern Pakistani town of Charsadda on Thursday, police said.

Today’s bombing was the second attack against the politician and his supporters in as many days.

“The bomb blast hit a police vehicle deployed for security of the convoy,” senior police official Nisar Khan Marwat told AFP.

Fazlur Rehman and his companions were unharmed, Marwat said, adding that the politician had gone to the town to address a party meeting.

JUI-F spokesman Asif Iqbal Daudzai confirmed that the party chief and other leaders were not hurt, but two security guards travelling in the vehicle in front were wounded.

“Maulana Fazlur Rehman and others are safe, their vehicle was damaged in the bomb blast,” Daudzai told AFP.

Moreover, Abdul Jalil Jan, a JUI leader told Reuters: “The bomb exploded just when Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s vehicle passed that area. He was on his way to attend a public meeting. He is safe and sound.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/31/blast-in-charsadda.html

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Terrorism acquired new dimensions

MAR 31 2011

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said the threat of terrorism has acquired new dimensions as the new generation of terrorists possesses far greater capability to create networks for sharing knowledge, skills and resources.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=179893

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French religious leaders protest debate on Islam

MAR 31 2011

PARIS: France’s chief religions are protesting plans by President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative party to hold a debate next week on Islam’s role in the country, joining a growing chorus of voices who fear it could stigmatize Muslims and worsen social tensions.

The top representatives of France’s Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists published a joint statement Wednesday saying the debate could add “to the confusion in the troubled period we are traversing.” Muslim leaders in France have said the debate will further stigmatize western Europe’s largest Islamic population, estimated to number at least 5 million people.

The April 5 debate has divided Sarkozy’s UMP party, with some seeing it as pandering to the resurgent far right National Front party. The National Front made electoral gains in local elections Sunday, while the UMP fared poorly.

The debate’s backers say it’s aimed at discussing France’s secular traditions, and how to accommodate Islamic customs.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article336051.ece

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Obama authorizes covert support for rebels

MAR 31 2011

LONDON: Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, one of Muammar Qaddafi’s closest advisers and a former spy chief, flew to Britain on Wednesday and a close friend said he defected because of attacks by Qaddafi forces on civilians.

The move was “a significant blow” to Qaddafi, a British government source told Reuters.

Koussa is one of the most senior members of Qaddafi’s inner circle to defect — a major setback for the Libyan leader who faces a revolt against his 41-year rule in the North African oil producing desert state as well as Western air strikes.

Koussa, who was involved in talks that led to the freeing by the British government of the man convicted over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, is resigning his post and the British government said it hoped more senior figures would join him.

“He traveled here under his own free will. He has told us he is resigning his post,” a Foreign Office spokesman said in a statement. “We are discussing this with him and we will release further detail in due course.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article336963.ece

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Protesters serving enemies: Assad

MAR 31 2011

DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar Assad went on the offensive in a much-anticipated televised address to the nation on Wednesday, avoiding any proposal for concrete reforms and attacking opposition protesters as pawns of foreign interference.

In his first address to the nation since the sweeping protests left dozens dead, Assad spoke for 45 minutes in front of Parliament, departing from his notes for most of his speech — except at the start and when he addressed the issue of reform. Human Rights Watch says at least 73 people were killed in the past 10 days of demonstrations, violently suppressed by government forces.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article336719.ece

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Saudis’ interest in Arab upheavals dwindling

MAR 31 2011

JEDDAH: Saudis say they are gradually losing interest in following the political unrest and demonstrations in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and Jordan, citing their firm support for Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah after they ignored calls for demonstrations on March 11 from people on Facebook and other social networking sites.

“Despite the ongoing hot events around us, my interest in watching the news is dropping fast,” said one Saudi citizen, who did not want his name to be published.

Arab News asked a number of Saudis about their interest in following the political developments in a number of Arab countries and if they were still spending long hours glued to the television.

“I am beginning to get bored watching the continuous telecasts of political unrest and armed conflicts in some Arab countries,” said Essam Al-Haidari, a 35-year-old Saudi educationist.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article336631.ece

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Socialist Hamdeen Sabahi for president, Egypt

MAR 31 2011

Hamdeen Sabahi, head of Karama Socialist Political Party announced today that he is running for presidency in a press conference at the press syndicate noon.

 The press conference started by standing for one minute morning on the Egyptian Maytrs  of January 25 revolution.

“It is my honor to announce running for Egyptian Presidential elections,” said Sabahi starting his speech.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/~/NewsContent/1/64/8943/Egypt/Politics-/Socialist-Hamdeen-Sabahi-announces-he%E2%80%99s-running-fo.aspx

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Allies disagree over arming Libyan rebels

MAR 31 2011

PARIS : Disagreement over arming the rebels battling Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi emerged on Wednesday with at least three of the countries enforcing the no-fly zone over the country opposing the idea.

Russia also criticised the proposal, amid dissent within NATO over the conduct of the whole Libyan operation.

Full report at:

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/1119723/1/.html

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Gaddafi forces take key oil port

MAR 31 2011

NEAR BREGA: Loyalist forces overran the Libyan oil town of Ras Lanuf on Wednesday, scattering outgunned rebels as world powers debated arming the rag-tag band of fighters seeking to oust Moamer Gaddafi.

AFP reporters quoting rebel fighters said Gaddafi’s troops swept through Ras Lanuf, strategic for its oil refinery, blazing away with tanks and heavy artillery fire soon after dawn. Panicked rebels fled in their hundreds through Uqayla, 20 kilometres east of Ras Lanuf, calling for coalition air strikes on Gaddafi’s forces, before driving further away from the front lines through the oil town of Brega and on towards the main city of Ajdabiya, 120 kilometres away.

“We want two things: that the planes drop bombs on Gaddafi’s tanks and heavy artillery; and that they (the coalition forces) give us weapons so we can fight,” rebel fighter Yunes Abdelghaim told AFP.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\31\story_31-3-2011_pg1_5

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Blonde bombshell' daughter helping Gaddafi rally troops?

Mar 31, 2011

LONDON: Colonel Gaddafi is using his sexy blonde daughter as his secret weapon in the war against Libya's rebels.

With revolutionaries fighting to take control of the country, Gaddafi is using pretty Aisha to rally battle-weary troops, reports the Daily Star. Aisha, dubbed the Claudia Schiffer of North Africa, is known for her designer sunglasses and supermodel looks. But with the country in the midst of a bloody civil war, the 34-year-old has ditched her makeup, donned a veil and headed to the war zone.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Blonde-bombshell-daughter-helping-Gaddafi-rally-troops/articleshow/7830870.cms

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Bangladesh govt alone cannot resolve Yunus issue

MAR 31 2011

Dhaka : A top leader of Bangladesh's ruling party has said that "no one-sided" solution to the issue of removal of Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus from Grameen Bank was possible despite the government's willingness for an "honourable settlement".

"We always wanted an honourable resolution to the issue. But one-sided solution to the problem is not possible unless all the sides come forward," local government minister and ruling Awami League's general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam told reporters last night after emerging from a party meeting.

He declined to elaborate on the issue since the matter was pending for a Supreme Court decision but said that "it was not the government, but Yunus who dragged it to the court".

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/769228/

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Pro-Qaddafi forces push rebels into chaotic retreat

MAR 31 2011

BREGA: Forces loyal to Col. Muammar Qaddafi advanced rapidly on Wednesday, seizing towns they ceded just days ago after intense allied airstrikes and hounding rebel fighters into a chaotic retreat.

Having abandoned Bin Jawwad on Tuesday and the oil town of Ras Lanuf on Wednesday, the rebels continued their eastward retreat, fleeing before the loyalists' shelling and missile attacks from another oil town, Brega, and falling back on the strategic city of Ajdabiya.

Full report at:

http://www.statesman.com.pk/topnews/more.htm

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Turkish PM's landmark Iraq visit a 'turning point,

 MAR 31 2011

The timing and substance of the Turkish prime minister’s trip to neighboring Iraq, including visits to the Shiite shrine city Najaf and the Iraqi Kurdish city Arbil, made it a turning point, analysts said Wednesday.

“This visit was quite significant and different from the government’s previous visits to Baghdad, and we will feel its implications in the long run,” Middle East expert Serhat Erkmen told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accompanied by several Cabinet ministers, first visited Baghdad early this week for talks with central government officials and then met with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf. His last stop was Arbil, where he met with Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani and became the first Turkish prime minister to visit the city.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=erdogan8217s-landmark-iraq-visit-a-8216turning-point8217-say-analysts-2011-03-30

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U.S. fears rebels' link with Al-Qaeda

MAR 31 2011

Washington: Intelligence suggests that some opposition forces in Libya that have been receiving support from Western powers and now NATO may have “flickers” of Al-Qaeda influence, according to James Stavridis, United States Admiral and Commander of NATO forces.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/03/31/stories/2011033153911900.htm

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US to seek new term on UN rights panel

MAR 31 2011

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration announced on Wednesday that it will seek a new term on the United Nations Human Rights Council despite concerns that the panel remains a hotbed of anti-Israel sentiment and a forum for repressive nations to deflect attention from abuses they may have committed.

The State Department said the US intends to run in 2012 for another three-year term on the oft-criticized council.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article336779.ece

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Berlusconi vows to clear island of illegal migrants

MAR 31 2011

LAMPEDUSA, Italy: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi promised to clear thousands of illegal Tunisian migrants from Lampedusa by the weekend after an outcry over a humanitarian crisis on the tiny southern island.

Berlusconi, who visited Lampedusa on Wednesday, said the work of moving around 6,000 migrants living in makeshift tent encampments to other centers in Italy had already begun on six ships with a combined capacity for 10,000 passengers.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article336776.ece

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Russia energy industry sees windfall

MAR 31 2011

LONDON: When radiation began to waft over the Pacific from Japan’s earthquake-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, Russia’s energy industry quietly sensed a windfall.

Russia, with energy resources to spare, is seen by analysts as among the best placed global gas powers to profit long term from Japan’s energy supply shortfall.

“The question marks raised over the future of nuclear energy also make gas a much surer option ... playing to Russia’s advantage,” Thierry Bros, senior gas & LNG Analyst at Societe Generale, said.

“So the first one that’s benefitting from this is Russia, is Gazprom.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/article336262.ece

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Egypt’s constitution: A controversial declaration

MAR 31 2011

Eleven days after a referendum in which 77 per cent of voters said “Yes” for a number of constitutional amendments, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued an "Interim Constitutional Declaration” aimed at drawing a new political map for Egypt until a new parliament and head of state are elected.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/~/NewsContent/1/64/8960/Egypt/Politics-/Egypt%E2%80%99s-constitution-A-controversial-declaration.aspx

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The National Front launched, aims to defend demands of Egypt's revolution

MAR 31 2011

Hundreds gathered at the press syndicate on Tuesday to attend the debut of a new Egyptian political coalition, the National Front for Justice and Democracy, which aims to “defend the demands of the revolution.”

The first spokesperson representing the front, Mohamed Waked, explained that there were seven main goals towards which the front will be working:

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/8901/Egypt/Politics-/The-National-Front--launched,-aims-to-defend-deman.aspx

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No major reforms as Syria's Assad warns of 'conspiracy'

MAR 31 2011

President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday blamed conspirators for deadly unrest in Syria but failed to lift emergency rule or offer other concessions in his first speech since protests demanding greater freedoms erupted earlier this month.

In a highly anticipated address to parliament that lasted almost one hour, Assad took aim at social networking websites and pan-Arabic satellite television news channels but made no mention of any plans to lift the state of emergency.

Presidential adviser Buthaina Shaaban had told AFP on Sunday that Syria has also decided to lift emergency rule, which has been in force in the country since 1963.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/8946/World/Region/No-major-reforms-as-Syrias-Assad-warns-of-conspira.aspx

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Americans worried about Libya conflict

MAR 31 2011

A new poll published Wednesday found nearly half of Americans were opposed to US military involvement in Libya, reflecting tricky political ground President Barack Obama is navigating.

But the Quinnipiac University survey also found that most voters were confident the US mission to shield civilians from Muammar Gaddafi could succeed, though there was an undercurrent of concern about a long engagement.

Qunnipiac also uncovered warning signs for Obama over his wider political prospects, with its survey recording its lowest-ever approval rating for the president -- 42 per cent -- down from 46 per cent earlier this month.

Respondents also said by a margin of 50 to 41 per cent that Obama did not deserve to be re-elected in 2012.

"Some reasons for his overall numbers might be that Obama receives negative ratings on his handling of the budget deficit, the economy, foreign policy, health care and energy policy," said Peter Brown, the university's assistant director of polling.

Other recent polls, most taken before the escalation of the US military effort in Libya, show Obama's approval rating between 48 and 51 per cent.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/8921/World/Region/Americans-worried-about-Libya-conflict.aspx

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Syrian leader stays defiant

MAR 31 2011

President Bashar Al Assad defied calls to lift a decades-old emergency law and said Syria was the target of a foreign conspiracy to stir up protests.

Speaking in public for the first time since the start of the unprecedented demonstrations, inspired by uprisings across the Arab world, Assad said he supported reform but offered no new commitment to change Syria’s rigid, one-party political system.

“Implementing reforms is not a fad. When it is just a reflection of a wave that the region is living, it is destructive,” Assad, making clear he would not concede to pressure from mass protests which toppled other Arab leaders.

Ending emergency law, the main tool for suppressing dissent since it was imposed after the 1963 coup that elevated Assad’s Baath Party to power, has been a central demand of protesters.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/March/middleeast_March520.xml&section=middleeast

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Ouattara forces enter Ivory Coast’s San Pedro port

31 March 2011

ABIDJAN - Forces loyal to Ivory Coast’s Alassane Ouattara marched into the major cocoa port of San Pedro overnight, continuing an offensive that has seen them seize swathes of the country to try to oust leader Laurent Gbagbo.

Two residents who saw them said shooting erupted in the town, with forces backing Ouattara, and one said he thought the rebels had already seized control of San Pedro’s airport although this could not be independently confirmed.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/March/international_March1710.xml&section=international&col=

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US prosecutors defend Times Square bombing probe

31 March 2011

NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors have urged a New York judge to deny a request to suppress statements in last year’s Times Square car bombing probe, saying a businessman didn’t need to be read his rights before blurting out he had paid the unsuccessful bomber but wasn’t guilty.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/March/international_March1707.xml&section=international&col=

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Mali prime minister resigns

31 March 2011

BAMAKO - Mali Prime Minister Modibo Sidibe resigned on Wednesday and a new government will be formed soon, President Amadou Toumani Toure said in a communique.

No reason was given for the resignation, which comes a year ahead of presidential elections. Toure has said he does not plan to stand in the 2012 polls.

“A new chapter of government action is beginning for the remainder of my mandate, and Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/March/international_March1706.xml&section=international&col=

 

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Syria’s Assad warns of ‘conspiracy’

MAR 31 2011

The president, Bashar al-Assad, Wednesday blamed conspirators for unrest sweeping Syria but failed to lift emergency rule or offer other concessions in his first speech since pro-reform protests erupted two weeks ago.

In a highly anticipated address to parliament that lasted almost one hour, Assad warned Syria’s ‘enemies’ were targeting its unity but made no mention of any plans to lift the state of emergency.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/13513.html

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China warns Sarkozy on Libya strikes

MAR 31 2011

China’s president Hu Jintao Wednesday warned French leader Nicolas Sarkozy that air strikes on Libya could violate the ‘original intention’ of the UN resolution authorising them if civilians suffer.

The tough talk from Hu came during a meeting at the start of Sarkozy’s mini-tour of Asia, which will include a G20 meeting on global monetary reform and a stop in disaster-struck Japan.

‘The aim of the UN’s resolution is to stop violence and protect civilians,’ state television quoted Hu as saying in a meeting with Sarkozy.

‘If the military action brings disaster to innocent civilians and creates a bigger humanitarian crisis, that would violate the original intention of the Security Council resolution.’

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/13511.html

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Obama authorises covert help for Libya rebels

MAR 31 2011

As Libyan rebels fled in headlong retreat from the superior arms and tactics of Muammar Gaddafi's troops on Wednesday, US officials said President Barack Obama had signed a secret order authorising covert support for the rebels.

While the United States, France and Britain have raised the possibility of arming the rebels, they have all stressed that no decision had yet been taken.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=29143

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Pressure to widen Japan’s nuke exclusion zone

MAR 31 2011

Pressure mounted on Japan on Thursday to expand the evacuation zone around its stricken nuclear power plants after high levels of radiation were found outside the zone and radioactivity in seawater reached more than 4,000 times its legal limit.

The UN nuclear watchdog suggested Japan consider widening its 20-km (12-mile) zone after high radiation was detected at twice that distance from the facility.

Nearly three weeks after an earthquake and tsunami sparked the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986, Prime Minister Naoto Kan is facing heavy criticism for sticking with the original exclusion zone.

The government has encouraged those living in a 20-30 km ring, a population of 136,000, to leave but has not ordered them to do so, advising only that they remain indoors.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=29144

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Libya war to cost US $40 million per month

MAR 31 2011

Washington : The United States has spent $550 million so far on military operations in Libya, but expects costs to stabilize at $40 million per month once US forces are reduced and NATO takes over greater control, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

The Defense Department said about 60 per cent of the money was spent on missiles and bombs used in Libya, where Muammar Gaddafi is battling with rebel forces seeking his ouster. The rest was for bringing troops to the region and operations.

It's fair to say that the operation will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, Admiral James Stavridis, who is NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and commander of US European Command, told a US Senate hearing.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/769246/

 

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Iraqi PM vows to punish Tikrit attackers

MAR 31 2011

Iraq's prime minister vowed yesterday to punish those behind an attack on a provincial council headquarters in which 58 people were killed after gunmen stormed in and took hostages.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=179839

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Presidential system completely unsuitable for Turkey

MAR 31 2011

A U.S.-style presidential system is wholly unsuited to Turkey, according to a leading constitutional legal expert.

“[Recep] Tayyip Erdoğan is a much powerful political figure than [U.S. President Barack] Obama” because he can be the head of both the legislative and executive branches of government without having to compromise so long as he has a parliamentary majority, Professor Serap Yazıcı from Bilgi University told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkish-pm-more-powerful-than-obama-constitution-expert-says-2011-03-30

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/bomber-hits-checkpoint-in-pakistan,-kills-13/d/4375

 

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