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Islamic World News ( 5 Apr 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Debate on Islam provokes ire in France

Koran burning protest enters fifth day

Ba’asyir will only appear to hear religious expert

40 injured as Jamaat men, cops clash in city

Pak- US caught in another diplomatic row

US doubts Pakistan's plan to defeat Taliban

Zardari for determined efforts to better ties with India

Obama backtracks, 9/11 accused to face military trial

Gulf States step up diplomacy efforts to end crisis in Yemen

Bush invited Osama's son to White House to nab elusive Dad

Libya rebels slam NATO, Gaddafi offers talks

Fresh furore over France’s Muslims as veil ban looms

Pakistan failing to defeat militants: WH

Yemen’s Saleh urges Opp talks amid clashes

Pope mourns death of Indian cardinal

Qaddafi planned to crush protests by killing civilians, says ICC

Libyan Govt says Gaddafi won’t step down

Libya will talk with unarmed rebels: official

Islamists look for gains in Egypt's freer politics

Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in north Gaza

NATO oil tankers attacked in Pakistan: officials

Dozens reported killed in Abidjan violence: UN

Cameron adds to Mush worries, says may extradite him

Legal experts express concern over new Turkish bill on sex crimes

Rebels regain oil hub & prepare to export crude

Sarkozy to take up Yunus issue with Bangladesh

2 Bangladeshi peacekeepers die in Congo plane crash

Turkey, Indonesia call for Libya ceasefire

Afghan civilian killed in Taliban-police gunfight

Airstrike hits Libyan military convoy near Brega

Libya open to reform, rebels pushed back

No letup in deadly clashes; Saleh to attend Saudi talks

Fayyad says Palestinian institutions ready for statehood

Obama, Shimon Peres discuss Middle East peace

US still committed to closing Guantanamo: White House

Angelina visits Tunisian-Libyan border

US commander: Libya mission upset some in Africa

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/debate-on-islam-provokes-ire-in-france/d/4406

 

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Debate on Islam provokes ire in France

APR 06-2011

A debate about the place of Islam in French society on Tuesday became increasingly divisive after Interior Minister Claude Gueant said the number of Muslims in the country was "a problem."

President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP party, which has organized the debate for Tuesday, has been accused of trying to poach votes from the far-right National Front, or FN, party after it made strides in last month's local elections. "It's true that the increase in the number of faithful in this religion (Islam), a certain number of behaviors, poses a problem," Gueant said Monday.

Sarkozy's closest advisor before becoming minister in January, Gueant said that France's secular law dates from 1905 when there were "very few Muslims," while their number today is as high as 6 million.

The SOS Racisme rights group said it would lodge a legal complaint against Gueant, while opposition socialists hit out at the minister's provocative statement. "Since becoming interior minister, every time Claude Gueant says something, there's controversy," said Francois Hollande, a potential Socialist Party candidate in next year's presidential election. "He's obsessed with talking about Muslims."

Gueant in March provoked the ire of political left and rights groups after saying that French people "sometimes no longer feel at home" because of "uncontrolled immigration." Such statements could have come straight from the mouth of FN leader Marine Le Pen, whose anti-immigration party is on the rise according to opinion polls, to the detriment of Sarkozy and his UMP party.

Several polls put Le Pen, who took over as party head in January from her father Jean-Marie, ahead of Sarkozy in a hypothetical first round presidential election. Since taking over the party, Le Pen has tried to align her party with the European far right, axed on the place of Islam in society.

She has repeatedly lashed out at Muslims who, lacking prayer space, worship in the streets of a tiny number of neighborhoods in France. The so-called "traditional" right has picked up the message, with Sarkozy himself condemning praying in the street while UMP head Jean-Francois Cope has vowed to take measures on the matter "in the coming days."

Cope is the driving force behind the contentious debate on Islam the UMP is hosting late Tuesday, which has been criticized by the left and the right, threatening even to implode the UMP. Sarkozy's Prime Minister Francois Fillon will not take part in the debate, having in February warned against any measure that could lead to the stigmatization of Muslims in France. In response, Cope last week accused Fillon of "not being a team player."

Other ministers have sought to distance themselves from the initiative, which will examine 26 UMP proposals on maintaining France's strict separation of religion and state. The UMP wants, for instance, to draw up a law to forbid citizens rejecting a public service employee because of their sex or religion.

Cope said such a measure would resolve what he called "complex situations" in hospitals where "women, often under pressure from their husbands, refuse to be treated by a male doctor." He will also put a draft resolution to parliament, which has no legal weight, solemnly recalling France's cherished secular principles.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=debate-on-islam-provokes-ire-in-france-2011-04-05

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Koran burning protest enters fifth day

APR 06-2011

Fresh protests erupted in the Afghan capital Kabul yesterday over the burning of a Koran by a US pastor, taking angry and violent demonstrations into a fifth day, an AFP photographer said.

Several hundred people gathered at Kabul University chanting "death to America" and "we want the burner of the Koran to be tried" in the wake of previous protests which have left 24 people dead, including seven UN staff.

"A protest has started by Kabul University students in front of the university. It is peaceful and under control at the moment," interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary told .

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=180674

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Ba’asyir will only appear to hear religious expert

APR 06-2011

Terrorist defendant Abu Bakar Ba’asyir says he will only be willing to attend his Wednesday trial hearing during the testimony of an expert witness on religion.

“Yes I will be present, but later, during the questioning of the expert witness on religion from the Religious Affairs Ministry. I will ask my lawyers to be present as well,” Ba’asyir said Wednesday before the hearing, as quoted by tempointeraktif.com.

The hearing that day was scheduled to hear testimonies of at least five witnesses: Mukhtar Ali from the Religious Affairs Ministry, psychology expert Sarlito Wirawan Suwarno, ballistics expert Maruli Simanjuntak, cellular communications expert Slamet Uliyandi and criminal law expert Choirul Huda.

Sonhadi, the Media Center director for Jamaah Anshorut Tauhid, of which Ba’asyir is the chairman, said Mukhtar lacked professional capabilities in the I’dad (preparations) law, because the latter held the Controls Division chief position at the ministry.

“This trial is actually unfit for Ba’asyir and the lawyers to attend. However, because he wanted to respond to the expert witness regarding sharia matters, Ba’asyir needs to be present and to give his response,” Sonhadi said.

Ba’asyir is facing multiple charges related to terrorism, including masterminding and funding an alleged terrorist training facility in a remote part of Aceh.

Ba’asyir and his lawyers have left the courtroom multiple times during past hearings in protest over the presentation of evidence using methods they deemed potentially fabricated and unjust.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/04/06/ba%E2%80%99asyir-will-only-appear-hear-religious-expert.html

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40 injured as Jamaat men, cops clash in city

APR 06-2011

At least 40 people, including two cops, were injured as Jamaat-e-Islami activists were locked in a clash with the police in city’s Paltan area on Tuesday afternoon.

The police charged batons, lobbed tear gas shells and fired rubber bullets to disperse the Jamaat men who were trying to hold a rally at Muktangan demanding release of the party’s detained top leaders, including its amir Motiur Rahman Nizami and secretary general Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid.

Witnesses said huge contingent of riot police equipped with water cannon and teargas shells were deployed in Paltan area, near Muktangan, as the Jamaat was scheduled to hold the rally in the afternoon.

When more than 1,000 leaders and activists of the Jamaat came out through the north gate of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque after Asr prayers, the police intercepted them.

As the Jamaat men still tried to proceed towards Paltan crossing, the police charged batons to disperse them.

At one stage, the Jamaat activists threw brickbats towards the law enforcers, which prompted the police to lob dozens of tear gas shells.

The police also used water cannon and fired several rounds of rubber bullet to bring the situation under control.

During chase and counter chase, about 40 people, including two cops and some pedestrians were injured. Several vehicles were also damaged during the clash.

The police detained over one dozen people from the spot.

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/frontpage/14417.html

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Pak- US caught in another diplomatic row

APR 06-2011

CLOSE on the heels of a spat over a CIA contractor who gunned down two men in Lahore, another diplomatic row is brewing between Pakistan and the US after Islamabad barred several American military personnel from leaving the country.

( They) have been barred from leaving Pakistan because of expired visas and other documentary irregularities, the Dawn newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying.

There are varying claims about the number of US soldiers denied exit. Some sources claimed about 20 to 30 people had been stopped while others put the figure at slightly less than 100.

The personnel were assigned to the US Office of Defence Representative in Pakistan ( ODRP), which oversees bilateral military ties. Most personnel had been working on different projects with the Pakistani military.

Some of the personnel overstayed their visas while a majority of them had expired noobjection certificates ( NOCs).

US personnel posted in Pakistan are issued NOCs by the Joint Services Headquarters that cover the period of their assignment.

Full report at:

http://epaper.mailtoday.in/epaperhome.aspx?issue=642011

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US doubts Pakistan's plan to defeat Taliban

APR 06-2011

WASHINGTON: Pakistan lacks a robust plan to defeat Taliban militants and its security forces struggle to hold areas cleared of the al-Qaida-linked fighters at great cost, according to US report released on Tuesday.

The United States wants Pakistan to subdue Taliban fighters using safe havens in its rugged tribal areas to attack US forces across the border in Afghanistan.

"There remains no clear path toward defeating the insurgency in Pakistan, despite the unprecedented and sustained deployment of over 147,000 forces," President Barack Obama's administration said in a report to lawmakers in Congress.

Major security operations by Pakistani forces along the lawless Afghan border have failed to break Taliban fighters' resolve, a fact underlined by twin suicide bombings of a Sufi shrine in eastern Pakistan on Sunday that killed 41.

The report highlighted concern that even if areas were cleared of militants, fighters were not being kept out.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-doubts-Pakistans-plan-to-defeat-Taliban-Report/articleshow/7881142.cms

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Zardari for determined efforts to better ties with India

APR 06-2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will make "determined efforts" to take forward relations with India in the wake of the "very good meeting" between the Prime Ministers of the two countries on the sidelines of the cricket World Cup semi-final, President Asif Ali Zardari said.

Dialogue was the only way forward to resolve all outstanding issues between Pakistan and India, Zardari said during a meeting with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron at the presidency.

"The dialogue process between Pakistan and India has resumed and our Prime Minister had a very good meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Mohali and we have decided to make determined efforts to move the relations forward across the board," Zardari was quoted as saying in an official statement.

Pakistani premier Yousuf Raza Gilani travelled to Mohali on March 30 at his Indian counterpart's invitation to watch the India-Pakistan semi-final.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Zardari-for-determined-efforts-to-better-ties-with-India/articleshow/7878214.cms

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Obama backtracks, 9/11 accused to face military trial

APR 06-2011

The Obama administration has abandoned its much-touted plan to try the 9/11 attacks mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other plotters in civilian courts. They all will now face military trials at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, the prison that President Obama had pledged to shut down.

Announcing the reversal, US Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday attributed it to Congress imposing stringent restrictions, effectively blocking the administration from bringing any of the detainers to trial anywhere across the US.

The plan to shutter Guantanamo Bay within a year of taking over as President was one of Obama’s promises to move away from the Bush administration’s policies over a broad front. But Republican lawmakers charged him with weakening US counter-terrorism efforts.

“Sadly, this case has been marked by needless controversy since the beginning. But despite all the argument and debate it has engendered, the prosecution of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-conspirators should never have been about settling ideological arguments or scoring political points,” Holder said, asserting that his department was all set to bring a powerful case against the suspects in federal court.

Prosecutors had handed down a federal indictment under seal against the five men in a New York court in December 2009 that has now been dismissed by a judge at the request of the prosecution.

The cases of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a Pakistani national born in Kuwait and the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, along with the other four suspects have now been referred back to the Department of Defence to proceed in military commissions, Holder announced.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/329499/Obama-backtracks-9/11-accused-to-face-military-trial.html

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Gulf States step up diplomacy efforts to end crisis in Yemen

APR 06-2011

Amid mounting pressure on Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to quit, security forces on Tuesday fired on anti-Government protesters seeking the immediate resignation of the embattled leader as the Gulf Arab States stepped up diplomatice efforts to end the crisis. Supporters of the embattled President marched from the presidential area towards the heart of the capital and the headquarters of General Ali Mohsen, a key military commander who has supported the demand for Saleh to quit after 32-years of dictatorial rule.

“They were on foot and in cars. As they approached the gate of the (Mohsen) HQ, people in one of the cars opened fire on the soldiers as well as the pro-and anti-Government supporters who were gathered there,” Al Jazeera channel reported.

“Ali Mohsen’s soldiers, loyal to the pro-democracy protesters, responded with fire. We are hearing that one person got killed, 26 others injured of which four are in a critical condition,” the Arab channel said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/329498/Gulf-States-step-up-diplomacy-efforts-to-end-crisis-in-Yemen.html

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Bush invited Osama's son to White House to nab elusive Dad

APR 06-2011

LONDON: George W Bush invited Osama bin Laden's son Omar to the White House in the final days of his presidency in a last-ditch attempt to track down the world's most wanted terrorist, bin Laden junior has claimed.

The fourth son of the al-Qaida terror network founder has claimed that he received a visit from White House staff in January 2009 at his home in Doha, Qatar. "They invited me to accompany them to the White House, offered to defend, help and protect me, on the condition that I helped them find my father," he told Spanish daily 'La Vanguardia'.

But the 29-year-old said he refused because of filial duty. "I told them I was sorry but it wasn't something I could do. He is my father and I am his son, and as is the way the son must love and respect his father," he said. Omar added: "Even if in many cases a man may be against the ideas of his father."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Bush-invited-Osamas-son-to-White-House-to-nab-elusive-dad/articleshow/7880391.cms

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Libya rebels slam NATO, Gaddafi offers talks

APR 06-2011

Libyan rebels, pounded in besieged Misrata and on the run in eastern oil towns, accused NATO of failing to protect civilians, as the regime offered talks if the insurgents disarm.

The rebel accusation came as they sustained their first significant loss of territory to Moamer Gaddafi’s forces in almost a week, after they were sent fleeing from the edge of the oil town of Brega in a major assault.

Rebel spirits however were boosted when a one-million-barrel supertanker docked in the port of Tobruk, ready to load their first oil export shipment, potentially worth more than 100 million dollars (70.5 million euros).

The top commander of rebel forces, Abdelfatah Yunis, accused NATO-led aircraft of doing nothing while loyalist forces kept up their 40-day long artillery bombardment of civilians in the western city of Misrata.

NATO “is letting the people of Misrata die every day,” Yunis told reporters in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi late on Tuesday.

“If NATO waits one more week, there will be nothing left in Misrata,” he added.

“If NATO wanted to break the blockade of the city, they would have done it several days ago... Every day, civilians — elderly people and children — are dying in Misrata. NATO has done nothing, they have just bombed here and there.”

Doctors said last week that 200 people had been killed in Misrata, Libya’s third largest city located 214 kilometres (132 miles) east of Tripoli, since the uprising began on February 15.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/April/international_April281.xml&section=international

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Fresh furore over France’s Muslims as veil ban looms

APR 06-2011

Karima has a plan. If police stop her for wearing a veil over her face, she’ll remove it, then put it back on once they’re out of sight. If that doesn’t work, she’ll stay home, or even leave France.

For Muslim women who cover their faces with veils, it is the moment for making plans. Starting April 11, a new law banning garments that hide the face takes effect. Women who disobey it risk a fine, special classes and a police record.

The law comes as Muslims face what some see as a new jab at their religion: President Nicolas Sarkozy’s party is holding a debate tomorrow on the place of Islamic practices, and Islam itself, in strictly secular but traditionally Catholic France.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/329497/Fresh-furore-over-France%E2%80%99s-Muslims-as-veil-ban-looms.html

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Pakistan failing to defeat militants: WH

APR 06-2011

WASHINGTON: A new White House report warned Tuesday that Pakistan still had no clear path to triumph over insurgents, and said Afghanistan's Taliban was turning more and more to soft civilian targets.

The semi-annual White House report to Congress is designed to judge progress or otherwise towards key objectives of the war in Afghanistan and operations against Al-Qaeda in Pakistan, now nearly a decade old.

The report noted a deterioration of the situation in inhospitable Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in northwest Pakistan alongside the Afghan border between January and March this year.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13699

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Yemen’s Saleh urges Opp talks amid clashes

APR 06-2011

SANAA – Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh urged the opposition to join talks to try to end a weeks-old political crisis and called for an end to violence as fresh clashes broke out, killing at least three people.

The Gulf Cooperation Council invited the Yemeni government and opposition representatives to talks in Saudi Arabia, at a date yet to be set, with the United States pressing Saleh to negotiate with his opponents.

Saleh, who ignored a transition-of-power plan offered by the opposition on Saturday, accepted the Arab Gulf states' invitation and urged to the opposition to follow suit.

"I promise that we will make every effort to return things to normal through talks with rational people from the Joint Meetings Party (Yemen's main opposition coalition)," he told to supporters in his hometown of Sanhan.

"We repeat our invitation to them to sit at the table of dialogue and we call for a restraint from violence."

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0411/06/FrontPage/index.php?id=10

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Pope mourns death of Indian cardinal

APR 06-2011

VATICAN CITY:Pope Benedict XVI is mourning the death of Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, a leader of the church in India who battled for the rights of Christian minorities.

The Vatican said the 83-year-old prelate died Friday. He had suffered a heart attack a year ago, Indian reports said.

Benedict lauded the cardinal's "dedication and service" to the Syro-Malabar church in India.

Full report at:

http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/viewnews.php?newsid=1719

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Qaddafi planned to crush protests by killing civilians, says ICC

APR 06-2011

BENGHAZI: The International Criminal Court has evidence Muammar Qaddafi’s government planned to put down protests by killing civilians before the uprising in Libya broke out, the ICC’s prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Protests against the government that began on Feb. 15 swiftly descended into civil war after Qaddafi’s forces opened fire on demonstrators. He then put down uprisings in Libya’s west, leaving the east and the city of Misrata in rebel hands.

Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo is to report back to the UN on May 4, and is then expected to request arrest warrants.

“We have evidence that after the Tunisia and Egypt conflicts in January, people in the regime were planning how to control demonstrations inside Libya,” Moreno-Ocampo said. “They were hiding that from people outside and they were planning how to manage the crowds ... the evidence we have is that the shooting of civilians was a pre-determined plan.” “The planning at the beginning was to use tear gas and (if that failed to work) ..., shooting,” he added.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article345625.ece

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Libyan Govt says Gaddafi won’t step down

APR 06-2011

The Libyan Government on Tuesday said it was open to political reforms but rejected Western demands that country’s strongman Muammar Gaddafi step down, saying he was a unifying force and must stay in power to avoid a Somalia or Iraq-style power vacuum.

Gaddafi’s spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said that everything except the exit of the Libyan leader was negotiable, in first concrete comments from the beleaguered regime whose forces have been hit relentlessly by Western missiles and air strikes for weeks.

“The kind of political system which can be implemented in the country is negotiable. We can talk about it,” he told reporters in the capital as rebel forces made a renewed push to recapture the oil town of Brega and the US military withdrew its fighter jets from an international air campaign over the war-torn north African country.

Quoting rebel spokesman, Al-Jazeera said, opposition forces had managed to push into the town seizing half of it.

The control of the oil town is vital to rebel stakes as the capture of the oil pipeline terminus, small refinery and the Mediterranean port could boost the opposition hunt for revenues.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/329502/Libyan-Govt-says-Gaddafi-won%E2%80%99t-step-down.html

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Libya will talk with unarmed rebels: official

APR 06-2011

TRIPOLI: The regime of Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi will talk with the country's rebels about reforms if they lay down their arms, deputy foreign minister Khaled Kaim said.   

"They (the rebels) must lay down their arms. Then they can join the political process," Kaim said during a news conference late Tuesday.

He said the process could be guaranteed by African Union and UN observers "who will dispel any doubts".

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13697

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Islamists look for gains in Egypt's freer politics

APR 06-2011

Islamic hard-liners, some of them heavily suppressed under three decades of Hosni Mubarak's regime, are enthusiastically diving into Egypt's new freedoms, forming political parties to enter upcoming elections and raising alarm that they will try to lead the country into fundamentalist rule.

Some militants, taking advantage of a security vacuum, aren't waiting for te political process. They have attacked Christians and liquor stores, trying to impose their austere version of Islamic law in provincial towns.

The Islamists' newfound energy prompted the ruling military to warn on Monday that Egypt "will not be turned into Gaza or Iran."

Islamists could fare well i parliamentary elections scheduled for September, especially if the various groups run on a unified ticket. Their chances are boosted by the disarray among other groups. Traditional opposition parties were deeply restricted under Mubarak's 29-year rule and have no popular base to speak of. The liberal youth grups behind the 18-day uprising that forced Mubarak to step down on Feb. 11 are still scrambling to organize before voting day.

The Islamists, furthermore, are well funded and organized. The most established fundamentalist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, has years of experience in contesting elections.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/04/06/islamists-look-gains-egypts-freer-politics.html

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Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in north Gaza

APR 06-2011

A Gazan man was killed by Israeli fire in northern Gaza on Tuesday, medical sources said, as Palestinian factions met to discuss tensions with Israel along the border.

‘A Palestinian was killed by an Israeli tank shell near Erez,’ Adham Abu Selmiya said, identifying him as 21-year-old Mohammed Ziyad Shalha.

Earlier, witnesses reported seeing Israeli troops firing at two men in the same area who were said to be collecting gravel, in what was understood to be the same incident.

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/14300.html

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NATO oil tankers attacked in Pakistan: officials

APR 06-2011

QUETTA, Pakistan -Gunmen on motorbikes attacked two tankers carrying oil for NATO forces in Afghanistan on Wednesday, setting the vehicles ablaze in Pakistan’s restive southwest, officials said.

The attack took place near the town of Dadar in Bolan district, 90 kilometres (56 miles) southeast of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, local tribal police official Abdul Aziz told AFP.

Unknown gunmen on motorbikes signalled the vehicles to stop and opened fire when the driver ignored them, Aziz said. There were no casualties, he added.

Local intelligence officials confirmed the attack.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/April/international_April280.xml&section=international&col=

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Dozens reported killed in Abidjan violence: UN

APR 06-2011

The UN human rights office said Tuesday that dozens of people have reportedly been killed over the last few days amid heavy weapons fire in Ivory Coast’s Abidjan, where aid is also being choked off.

‘In Abidjan, we are obviously extremely concerned about the situation of civilians at such a large city, population of millions, with heavy weapons being used inside densely populated urban areas reportedly leading to dozens of deaths in recent days,’ said Rupert Colville, spokesman for

the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

UN agencies also warned that humanitarian access to civilians is being cut across the country, and expressed alarm about the situation in the main city Abidjan.

‘The humanitarian situation has deteriorated again and has become absolutely dramatic in Abidjan where fighting is still continuing,’ said Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

‘The majority of hospitals are no longer working, they lack oxygen, public services are no longer working, the ambulances are no longer functioning and when they work, they are being shot at.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/14306.html

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Cameron adds to Mush worries, says may extradite him

APR 06-2011

ISLAMABAD: UK PM David Cameron on Tuesday said his country could look into London-based former Pakistan president Musharraf's extradition if Islamabad pursues the case legally. "The two countries do not have any formal extradition treaty but UK would look into the matter if Pakistan pursues (it)," he told reporters during his one-day Pakistan visit.

A Pakistani court issued an arrest warrant against Musharraf in former prime PM Benazir Bhutto's assassination case earlier this year.

Earlier, Cameron promised investment and security cooperation with Pakistan in an attempt to improve ties with the country. The ties had soured following his accusation last year that Pakistan was exporting terrorism. Cameron had warned that the UK cannot tolerate Pakistan "to look both ways and is able, in any way, to promote the export of terror" during his India visit last year.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Cameron-adds-to-Mush-worries-says-may-extradite-him/articleshow/7880383.cms

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Legal experts express concern over new Turkish bill on sex crimes

APR 06-2011

Legal experts have expressed concern over a controversial government-sponsored bill that proposes medical measures to reduce the testosterone levels of convicted sexual offenders.

“The human body cannot be used as a tool to punish [an offender] because that is against human rights,” Yücel Sayman, former chairman of Istanbul Bar Association, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Tuesday.

The bill, which proposes increased sentences for sexual offenses along with the medical measures – also known as chemical castration – was passed Monday by Parliament’s Justice Commission.

The ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, plans to pass the bill before Parliament breaks on April 8 ahead of June elections. Party officials, however, admit that the bill might not be passed until after the general polls due to the legislature’s heavy schedule. 

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=legal-experts-express-concern-over-new-bill-on-sex-crimes-2011-04-05

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Rebels regain oil hub & prepare to export crude

APR 06-2011

NATO said on Tuesday that its airstrikes have destroyed a third of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s military weapons. This has helped the rebels to regain control over the oil town of Brega on Tuesday.

“ We have taken out 30 per cent of the military capacity of pro- Gaddafi forces,” said Brig Gen Mark van Uhm, NATO’s chief of allied operations. He said warplanes conducted 14 attacks on Monday, destroying radars, munitions dumps, armoured vehicles and a rocket launcher.

The rebels managed to take part of Brega on Monday, but the rocket and artillery salvos by the government’s forces pushed them back. However, the rebels fought back fiercely again, taking advantage of the coalition strikes, and managed to push into the town, seizing half of it.

The Libyan government said Gaddafi might consider some reforms but would not step down. A government spokesman said any changes must be led by Gaddafi.

“ We could have any political system, any changes: constitution, election, anything, but the leader has to lead this forward,” the spokesman said.

The Opposition has rejected any solution that would involve one of Gaddafi’s sons taking power.

Full report at:

http://epaper.mailtoday.in/epaperhome.aspx?issue=642011

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Sarkozy to take up Yunus issue with Bangladesh

APR 06-2011

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said his government will closely monitor the developments regarding Prof Muhammad Yunus' removal from Grameen Bank and take up the issue with the Bangladesh authorities in the next few days.

In a letter to Yunus, he also expressed his strong support to the founder of Grameen Bank.

Friends of Grameen, a voluntary organisation established to promote microcredit activities of Grameen Bank and its affiliates, circulated the contents of the letter published in the French press yesterday.

“Please allow me to reiterate, once again, how much your model of a "social business" bank, which has enabled poor people in your country to widely access credit, is admired and respected in France,” Sarkozy wrote.

“This has actually done a lot for the prestige and reputation of Bangladesh across the globe: the world needs innovative projects to fight poverty and inequalities, and the creation of the Grameen Bank was an audacious initiative, which has been an ongoing source of inspiration for the international community,” he said.

“I know the difficulties you are going through at the present moment. I trust the institutions of your country will find a fair resolution to these. The French government will closely monitor the situation and will definitely address the issue with Bangladeshi authorities over the next few days.”

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=180682

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2 Bangladeshi peacekeepers die in Congo plane crash

APR 06-2011

Two Bangladeshi peacekeepers were among the 32 people killed in a plane crash at Kinshasa airport in Congo on Monday.

A release from Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate said the deceased were Major KM Ziaul Haque and Corporal Mohammad Yunus Mian, both members of Bangladesh Military Police contingent serving in the UN mission.

The release said a UN plane from Goma crashed while landing in heavy rain at the Kinshasa airport at Bangladeshi time 7:40pm, killing 32 of the 33 passengers and crew members on board.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/frontpage/14420.html

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Turkey, Indonesia call for Libya ceasefire

APR 06-2011

Turkey and Indonesia yesterday called for a ceasefire in Libya and promised to help in rebuilding the country, as rebels and government forces battled for key eastern cities under a UN no-fly zone.

The call came after Muammar Gaddafi's regime on Friday rejected an opposition offer of a truce provided his forces ended their assaults on rebel-held cities.

In a joint statement, the two leaders "stressed the importance of the preservation of the sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity of Libya".

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=180671

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Afghan civilian killed in Taliban-police gunfight

APR 06-2011

GHAZNI (AIP): An Afghan civilian and two Taliban fighters were killed as a result of armed clash between the police and Taliban in Shah Joy district of Zabul province, officials said Tuesday. A clash erupted between the police and Taliban in the district headquarters of Shah Joy yesterday evening, the Zabul Deputy Governor Muhammada Jan Rasulyar told media. He said two Taliban fighters and an Afghan civilian were killed in the gunfight. He maintained investigation was underway to know whether which side of the clash killed the civilian. He said the police did not suffer casualties in the gunfight. Rasulyar said the deceased was an athlete. However, residents of Shah Joy district told media that name of the deceased was Syed Muhammad, and that he was captain of a local football team. Meanwhile, the Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousaf Ahmadi told the AIP their fighters attacked police patrol in Shah Joy district last night, adding two police were killed in the attack. He said a civilian was killed and another injured from the firing of police, and that the Taliban did not suffer casualties in the gunfight. Full report at:

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=an&nid=774

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Airstrike hits Libyan military convoy near Brega

APR 06-2011

An airstrike hit a convoy of Libyan military vehicles moving toward rebel lines outside the eastern oil port of Brega on Tuesday, rebels said as they regrouped outside the city. The regime, meanwhile, insisted Muammar Gaddafi won’t step down but said it is ready to discuss changes in how the country is governed.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/329501/Airstrike-hits-Libyan-military-convoy-near-Brega.html

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Libya open to reform, rebels pushed back

APR 06-2011

Libya's government said yesterday it is ready to negotiate reforms but only as long as Muammar Gaddafi is not forced out, as loyalists troops pushed rebel fighters back from the key oil port of Brega.

Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam meanwhile dismissed former foreign minister Mussa Kussa, who defected to the West last week, as just a "sick and old" man who had succumbed to the psychological pressures of war.

Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim told journalists in Tripoli that everything except the departure of Gaddafi was negotiable, saying he was a unifying figure after ruling the nation for four decades.

"What kind of political system is implemented in the country? This is negotiable, we can talk about it," Ibrahim said. "We can have anything, elections, referendums."

Gaddafi was "the safety valve" for the unity of the country's tribes and people, Ibrahim said. "We think he is very important to lead any transition to a democratic and transparent model."

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=180659

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No letup in deadly clashes; Saleh to attend Saudi talks

APR 06-2011

SANAA: Three people were killed and more than 50 injured on Tuesday when soldiers of Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmer, the commander of the First Armored Division — which defected to the opposition — opened fire on a rally in front of Al-Ahmer’s office in the capital, Yemen’s state media claimed.

The protesters were demanding Al-Ahmer change his mind about backing the opposition.

The dissident general accused Saleh’s forces of trying to kill him. Members of the presidential guard, who had masqueraded as part of the delegation of tribal envoys that was visiting the headquarters of Ahmer’s rebel division, pulled out weapons and opened fire on the general, a statement from his office said.

“Thank God and the vigilance of Gen. Al-Ahmer, this plot was unmasked,” said the statement issued in the name of the “information office of the armed forces supporting the young people’s revolution.” It said there had been “numerous” casualties but gave no precise figures.

The state run agency Saba said tribal leaders, including Al-Ahmer’s elder brother, were trying to meet Al-Ahmer to mediate between him and Saleh but were not allowed to see him.

Meanwhile, Saleh urged his opponents on Tuesday to join GCC-led dialogue to be held in Saudi Arabia to end the political crisis, according to Reuters.

GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani said his organization was awaiting the approval of all parties in Yemen for the mediation. “The GCC wanted to make contributions toward protecting Yemen’s security and stability. These efforts will never be an alternative for what the Yemeni people want for their country,” he said.

“Consequently, the GCC’s mediation requires its acceptance by all relevant parties without any exception,” Al-Zayani said, adding that the date for mediation would be decided after that approval.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article345623.ece

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Fayyad says Palestinian institutions ready for statehood

APR 06-2011

RAMALLAH: Palestinian Authority Prime Minster Salam Fayyad said on Tuesday he is confident his government will have the institutional framework in place by the end of the summer necessary to win global support for an independent Palestinian state.

“It is our goal and our expectation that as a result of what we are doing – getting ready for statehood, developing institutions that delivery services competently and (developing) core values – that our state of Palestine will be founded,” Fayyad said. “I am very happy to tell you that in many areas of governance we are already there.”

Fayyad, the Palestinian Authority’s No. 2, has been cracking down on corruption and inefficiency as part of a two-year-old campaign to gain recognition for a Palestinians state from the United Nations General Assembly, probably in September. Israel is opposed to the plan, saying a state should be achieved through negotiations, even though they have been deadlocked for months.

Fayyad said the PA’s economic bodies, including the Palestine Monetary Authority and Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), were already up to the standards he had set. He cited the Palestinian CBS for special praise, saying it was close to meeting the International Monetary Fund’s IIMF’s) highest benchmarks.

While he jokingly conceded that improvements at the statistics bureau didn’t excite his fellow politicians, Fayyad said it served as a barometer for how well other branches of the government were functioning because it was able to gather information from them in an accurate and timely manner.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article345269.ece

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Obama, Shimon Peres discuss Middle East peace

APR 06-2011

WASHINGTON - As unrest sweeps the Middle East, it is more urgent than ever to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians, President Barack Obama said on Tuesday after meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres.

The meeting occurred even as the U.S. condemned the announcement that new Israeli apartment buildings have been approved for a contested part of Jerusalem, underscoring the grim outlook for peace talks. Palestinians refuse to restart negotiations unless Israel stops building housing in occupied territory that the Palestinians claim for their future state.

Obama did not speak about the housing announcement when he addressed reporters after his White House meeting with Peres, Israel’s ceremonial president and longtime advocate for peace. Obama said the two discussed developments in the Middle East, where uprisings have toppled longtime rulers, including key U.S. and Israeli ally Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.

“He and I both share a belief that this is both a challenge and an opportunity,” Obama said, “that with the winds of change blowing through the Arab world, it’s more urgent than ever that we try to seize the opportunity to create a peaceful solution between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”

Peres, too, said that it was necessary to return to peace talks.

“We don’t want to be in controversy with the Muslim world. We want to make friends with them. We want to have peace,” Peres told reporters outside the White House.

Neither leader had any announcement to make about the prospect for a resumption of talks, which collapsed in 2008, revived briefly in September 2010 under pressure from the Obama administration, and fell apart again when Israel ended a moratorium on settlement construction.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/April/middleeast_April96.xml&section=middleeast

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US still committed to closing Guantanamo: White House

APR 06-2011

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama is still committed to closing down the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention centre, a promise he had made during his presidential campaign, his spokesman said today after his government's U-turn over trial of the 9/11 accused.

"We remain committed to closing Guantanamo because it's in our national security interest, as military commanders have said and as the previous administration said prior to the arrival and the inauguration of this President," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters during an off-camera briefing.

Carney said closure of Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention centre is an "ongoing process".

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-still-committed-to-closing-Guantanamo-White-House/articleshow/7877038.cms

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Angelina visits Tunisian-Libyan border

APR 06-2011

TUNIS: The U.S. actress Angelina Jolie on Tuesday visited the Choucha camp on the Tunisian-Libyan border as a goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the official TAP news agency reported.

She was warmly greeted by refugees of various nationalities when walking through the camp, said TAP.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13698

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US commander: Libya mission upset some in Africa

APR 06-2011

The military force unleashed on Libya by the U.S. and its partners upset several African nations despite the international community's widespread concerns over Moammar Gadhafi's use of force against his own people, the top U.S. commander for the continent told Congress on Tuesday.

Gen. Carter Ham, commander of the U.S. Africa Command, described the mixed reaction from the African Union to the airstrikes and enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya, and his imperative to explain the need for swift action to perturbed nations. His comments came as the U.S. military drastically slashed the number of air and naval forces committed to the operation, now under NATO control.

"I think frankly as we proceed I'm going to have the responsibility, as I engage with our African partners, to have a very frank discussion about what U.S. Africa Command's role was and why we did what we did and just be as truthful and forthright as I can," Ham told the House Armed Services Committee.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/04/06/us-commander-libya-mission-upset-some-africa.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/debate-on-islam-provokes-ire-in-france/d/4406


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