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Islamic World News ( 17 May 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Egyptian Islamic thinker: Women, free religion important to society

Suicide attack kills more than 20 in Kabul

Pak’s top TV journalist in Taliban tape storm

Shahzad planned to hit four other US targets: Report

Parliament attack: Delhi govt sends Afzal's file to Lieutenant Governor

 ‘PEACENIK’ EDITOR IN NEWS FOR LINKS WITH TALIBAN

New Miss USA: Islamic fundamentalism in a bikini?

Iran agrees to uranium swap in Turkey

Islam Had Contributed To Western Civilization: Malaysian PM

Dual Loyalty, Jihad and veil!

American Muslims must be on guard against radicalization

11 Of Hindu Outfit Face Charges for Goa Blast

India: Probe RSS links, says Congress

E-mails: Shahzad was frustrated with state of Muslim world

Dawood world's 3rd most wanted fugitive

Indonesian president says terror threat remains

Israel acting like totalitarian state: Chomsky

KUALA LUMPUR: Brain drain from Muslim world is serious

Make cyber systems secure, Indian Defence Minister tells Army

Ensure Afzal’s safety, Centre tells Delhi Govt

Iraqi imam beheaded by group linked to Al Qaeda

Obama Honours Daniel Pearl, Signs Press Act

Kargil war & nuclear deterrence

E x-Iran pm killer to be deported

Al-Qaeda man planned World Cup attack from Iraq

Amnesty back in Valley, separatists protest: They are Indians

Focus on cyber security, says Antony

As India warms up, Iran cold

Iran Executes Five Political Prisoners

European Union denounces execution

India: Congress leader Digvijay does a balancing act

India: Cong warns Left, SP & RJD against shedding secularism

Egypt Arrests 16 Palestinian Islamic Jihad Members

12 killed as bomb targets police vehicle in Pakistan

‘Bush a bore when he boozed’

India: Minister opposes Khap’s call for same-gotra marriage ban

'Cell overuse can cause brain cancer'

Time to rethink India’s US policy

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/egyptian-islamic-thinker--women,-free-religion-important-to-society/d/2858

 

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Egyptian Islamic Thinker: Women, Free religion important to society

By Amira Hesham

May 18th, 2010

CAIRO: Mohammed Salim Al-Awa, an Islamic thinker said at an open meeting at a Cairo bookstore on Friday that “women are an important element in making the change and the significance of women in society” cannot be understated. He also praised women’s attitudes to the process over life.

Awa added that he is one of the “strongest advocates for dialogue in general and for Islamic-Christian dialogue in particular, as the idea of dialogue is not only in the face of conflict, but also in facing the isolation,” explaining that the political dialogue with the West is “useless, but dialog individually is different, and is the only category that may not be a dialogue with the Zionist obsession that kills our children.”

Awa denied being an extremist, saying that he adheres to faith and a “return to religion.” He said that if this labels him as a “radical extremists, I am the first.”

On issues of contempt of religion, he said author Youssef Zeidan – who has come under fire from Christians who accuse him of blasphemy in his award-winning Azazeel novel – “is my best friend and it is not he who disdains anything.

“It is not known to look down upon a cockroach,” he added. “Youssef is poor and is like all poor innovators in our country.”

He attributed the presence of sectarian strife in Egypt to the weakness of the state in the face of the Egyptian church.

He added, on the subject of women that when two Egyptian women, Wafaa Constantin, Marie Abdullah, have “raised their Islam and 72 Muslims could not protect them and they were jailed by the church, without any interference.”

He confirmed that he wants to eliminate the discord that comes with what he called the fulfillment of Constantine and Abdullah, and leave the freedom to choose religion open to all in Egypt, “whether Islam or Christianity.”

http://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/?p=12745

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Suicide attack kills more than 20 in Kabul

May 18, 2010

KABUL: A suicide car bomb attack targeting NATO troops in the Afghan capital on Tuesday killed more than 20 civilians in one of the deadliest strikes in Kabul in months, an army doctor said.

The bomber detonated in western Kabul during the busy rush hour, close to an army recruitment centre and a hospital, but the Afghan interior ministry said NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was the target.

"We have five bodies brought to our hospital so far... the number of the dead is more than 20, all civilians. The death toll is very high," Afghan army chief doctor General Ahmad Zia Yaftali said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban militia has made suicide bombings a signature of its nearly nine-year insurgency against the Western-backed Afghan government and US-led troops.

The bombing was the first major attack in Kabul since February 26 when Taliban suicide bombers targeted guesthouses, killing 16 people including Westerners and Indians in one the deadliest attacks on foreigners.

The Islamist militia is waging an increasingly deadly insurgency and attacks have increased over the past 12 months in the heavily guarded capital.

"It was a suicide attack," interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said, adding the target was ISAF in the west of the city.

"There are a number of casualties, civilians killed and wounded," he told AFP. He did not have further details.

ISAF said it was unable to confirm whether there were any NATO casualties in the attack, but said it was assisting with the rescue operation.

Afghan television broadcast footage of the bomb site, where US soldiers and Afghan police were seen inspecting a minivan.

Last month, Afghan authorities announced the arrest of nine would-be suicide bombers who were allegedly plotting attacks on "strategic targets" in Kabul.

The men, aged between 16 and 55, were arrested during a coordinated operation that included raids on at least one madrassa, or religious school, in the capital, a spokesman for the country's spy agency said.

So far this year, 202 NATO soldiers have died, marking the deadliest January to mid-May period in the Afghan war, as the Taliban fight escalates and the West pours thousands more troops into battle.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/South-Asia/Suicide-attack-kills-more-than-20-in-Kabul/articleshow/5943776.cms

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Pak’s top TV journalist in Taliban tape storm

May 18th, 2010

A SHOCKING audiotape of a conversation between Hamid Mir — one of Pakistan’s top television anchors — and a man purportedly linked to the Tehreek- e- Taliban Pakistan, has revealed that negative information Mir passed on to the Taliban could have led to the execution of Khalid Khawaja.

Khawaja, a retired air force officer, was killed by a group calling themselves the Asian Tigers on April 30.

The tape has Mir divulging dirt on Khawaja, ostensibly to someone who is going to cross- examine him. It was posted by a blog, ‘Let Us Build Pakistan’, and picked up by other online publications. It is still unclear who made the tape, with online speculation suggesting it could be the militants or the intelligence agencies.

It is clear, however, that one of the voices on the tape is Mir’s, a fact corroborated by his allusions to events such as his sacking from the daily Ausaf.

In the tape, the person on the other end asks Mir for information on Khawaja. The content of the conversation suggests this call was made before Khawaja’s execution.

Mir goes on to detail what he knows about Khawaja’s background, linking him to the CIA, an international network of Qadianis and an American national of Pakistani origin named Mansur Ejaz who, the news anchor claims, offered to solve the Kashmir issue.

Mir volunteers further information linking Khawaja to the Lal Masjid operation, saying that Khawaja and his wife were responsible for the death of Ghazi Rasheed and the humiliating capture of his brother Maulana Abdul Aziz .

Mir then urges the man to cross-examine Khawaja about his relationship with Ejaz, Qadianis and a CIA agent named William Casey. Mir also mentions Javed Paracha, the Kohat-based Pakistan Muslim League(N) lawmaker who offered to mediate Khawaja’s release.

Towards the end of the tape, the voice on the other end says that he will relay the information (that Mir has given) to Hakimullah Mehsud.

Mail Today

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Shahzad planned to hit four other US targets: Report

May 18, 2010

NEW YORK: Pakistani-American terror suspect Faisal Shahzad had planned to attack four other targets if his bid to detonate a car bomb near Times Square in New York was successful, according to a television channel.

FOX 5 News quoted a source as saying that Shahzad, arrested by the FBI for the May 1 failed bombing, has told investigators that he intended to attack four other locations in the US.

Other locations that he intended to attack were Rockefeller Center, a Grand Central Terminal, the World Financial Center and the Connecticut headquarters of defence contractor Sikorsky, the channel quoted the source as saying.

Sikorsky manufactures helicopters for the US Military, including the Black Hawk. It has headquarters in Shelton and Bridgeport -- the two cities where Shahzad has lived.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Shahzad-planned-to-hit-four-other-US-targets-Report/articleshow/5945399.cms

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Parliament attack: Delhi govt sends Afzal's file to Lieutenant Governor

May 18, 2010

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has cleared the file on the mercy petition of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru and sent it to the Lieutenant Governor's office, four years after its opinion was sought on the issue by the Centre.

"File age chali gayi hei. (The file has been moved for further action)," Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told reporters here. However, she did not respond to queries on where the file has been sent.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Parliament-attack-Delhi-govt-sends-Afzals-file-to-Lieutenant-Governor/articleshow/5945640.cms

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‘PEACENIK’ EDITOR IN NEWS FOR LINKS WITH TALIBAN

May 18th, 2010

HAMID MIR, a leading Pakistani journalist and the winner of this year’s SAARC Lifetime Achievement Award, is in the midst of a controversy after a recording of a telephone conversation allegedly between him and a member of the Pakistani Taliban surfaced late last week.

In the tape, Mir is heard providing information regarding Khalid Khawaja, an abducted former Pakistani air force officer who later became an ISI operative.

Mir, 43, is currently the editor of Geo TV , and is a regular guest on Indian news channels as an expert on Pakistan and issues related to terrorism.

He first shot to international fame when he became, perhaps, the only journalist to interview Osama bin- Laden thrice.

Full report at: Mail Today

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New Miss USA: Islamic fundamentalism in a bikini?

By SHASHANK BENGALI

May 18th, 2010

To win the title of Miss USA, Rima Fakih paraded across a Las Vegas stage in a nearly microscopic bikini. She skirted disaster when she almost tripped in her glittery white evening gown. Finally, she told the judges that health insurance should cover birth control pills.

Fakih, a 24-year-old Arab-American whose family hails from Lebanon, has almost nothing in common with the religious zealots who inspire militant Islam. Yet the tiara had scarcely come to rest on her cascading dark tresses Sunday night when the far reaches of the right wing blogosphere went ballistic.

Debbie Schlussel, a conservative blogger, charged that Fakih was a radical Muslim because she shares her family name with some officials in Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese Shiite Muslim group.

The Jewish Internet Defence Force, a pro-Israeli website, proclaimed it "a dark day for America."

Full report at: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/05/17/1634223/new-miss-usa-islamic-fundamentalism.html

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Iran agrees to uranium swap in Turkey

Sandeep Dikshit

May 18th, 2010

Tehran: Iran on Monday agreed to swap a major part of its low enriched uranium stocks on Turkish soil for an equivalent amount of uranium enriched to 19.75 per cent, potentially ending a stand-off with the U.S. and Europe that threatened to spiral into sanctions.

Iran needs the higher grade enriched uranium to fuel the Tehran Research Reactor, used by it to produce medical isotopes.

The deal was reached after 18 hours of negotiations ending 4 a.m. among Iran, Turkey and Brazil, leaving Washington and its allies red-faced. The U.S. and Europe are pressing for the punitive route and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had predicted last week that the Brazilian-Turkish attempt at mediation would fail.

This point was rubbed in by the Brazilian and Turkish Foreign Ministers who flanked their Iranian counterpart, Manoucher Mottaki, at a press conference just before the commencement of the G-15 summit to announce a trilateral agreement that will now be sent to the Vienna Group and the International Atomic Energy Agency for further action. “The success achieved by Iran, Turkey and Brazil shows there is room for diplomacy. There is no ground anymore for new sanctions,'' Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said. He said that till the uranium swap took place, Turkey would safeguard the Iranian LEU stock as its own property. “We have done this to open the way for constructive dialogue,'' he added.

“This [talks] is the route to peace…we have established the principles of cooperation in future,'' said Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim.

http://www.hindu.com/2010/05/18/stories/2010051858670100.htm

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Islam Had Contributed To Various Aspects Of Western Civilization- Najib

May 18th, 2010

 Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Islam and the civilization of Islam had contributed to the positive development of various aspects of Western civilization.

Najib said it was evident through tolerance and social justice practiced in the United States, including churches.

"The status of women (in Islam) also portrays a lead role in a number of aspects of western civilization.

"Allah created human beings of various ethnics and countries to understand and know each other. The difference is only ones loyalty to Allah," he told reporters after attending a premier level lecture organised by Syarahan Perdana Putrajaya (SPP), titled "A Muslim Century - Myth or Reality".

Full report at: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=499033

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Dual Loyalty, Jihad and veil!

May 18, 2010

By Muna Alfuzai

Dual nationality, Jihad and the veil; three main issues that have become an important topic in the western world today. Unless we Arabs come up with a plan on how to present these three subjects and clear up all the confusion, then these issues are bound to cause us more trouble. Are we, the Muslim world, ready to take on such a challenge?

Unless we Arabs clarify these issues no one will do it on our behalf! Take a look at the Arab World today and you will see an area filled with chaos and conflict. The region is divided on the issues of freedom of speech and expression and how best to use democracy while extremism shakes the region.

Full report at: http://www.kuwaittimes.net/read_news.php?newsid=NzU3MDkzNzA3

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American Muslims must be on guard against radicalization

BY MUQTEDAR KHAN

MAY 18, 2010

 Faisal Shahzad, Major Nidal Hassan and Anwar Awlaki: Is it now official that American Muslims too have become radicalized and are well on their way to becoming Al Qaeda in America?

The recent incidents involving American Muslims may suggest so, and it has triggered panicky responses from Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. John McCain, who have called for the suspension of the Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights (Mirandization).

I guess their line of thinking is: Why wait for the terrorists to destroy our freedoms violently, when we can legislate them away peacefully? I would recommend that before we rush to judgment and look at every Abdullah with suspicion, let's pause, take a deep breath and review the evidence.

Full report at: http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20100518/OPINION09/5180319/1004/OPINION/American-Muslims-must-be-on-guard-against-radicalization

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11 Of Hindu Outfit Face Charges For Goa Blast

May 18th, 2010

The National Investigation Agency Monday filed a chargesheet against 11 members of a Hindu outfit, Sanathan Sanstha, over a Goa blast on October 16 last year in which two persons were killed.

Those chargesheeted include Malgonda Patil and Yogesh Naik, who were killed when the bomb went off accidentally at Margao, 35 km from Panaji, before it could be planted. The charges include criminal conspiracy.

The Diwali-eve took place on a busy thoroughfare close to a place where chief minister Digamber Kamat was present.

The chargesheet named Vinay Talekar, Vinayak Patil, Dhananjay Ashtekar and Dilip Mangaonkar, all of whom are in jail, besides the two who were killed when explosives went off on a scooter.

The absconding accused are Prashant Juvekar, Sarang Akolkar, Jaya-prakash alias Anna, Rudra Patil and Prashant Ashtekar.

NIA investigations showed that Dhananjay Ashtekar prepared 12 circuits of the explosive in Pune, of which five were brought to Goa in August 2009 and exploded in the jungle near Talaulim village on August 24-25, 2009, behind the house of Laxmikant Naik, brother of deceased accused Yogesh Naik.

The investigators found that Malgonda Patil, Yogesh Naik, Vinay Talekar, Dhananjay Ashte-kar, Prashant Juvekar, Sarang Kulkarni, Jayaprak-ash and one other person were present when the explosion took place. The chargesheet says Dilip Maganokar was active in the conspiracy and unexploded material was found on him.

The intelligence agencies are also examining if the Sanathan Sanstha had links with other Hindu extremist outfits.

They are also investigating if this outfit was getting any funds from any other Hindu organisation.

http://www.asianage.com/india/11-hindu-outfit-face-charges-goa-blast-621

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Probe RSS links, says Congress

May 18 2010

New Delhi : In the backdrop of the NIA filing a chargesheet against 11 persons from the right-wing Hindu outfit ‘Sanatan Sanstha’ in the Goa blast, the Congress party on Monday urged the Union government to look “holistically” into the relationship between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and organisations like Abhinav Bharat and Sri Ram Sene.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters here that terror blasts involving extremist Hindu organisations took place before the general elections for “polarisation” on religious lines.

“Time has come for the government to holistically look at the interconnected organisations like Abhinav Bharat, Sri Ram Sene and others as to where they fit in the RSS pantheon. There were blasts at Malegaon in Maharashtra, Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad and Ajmer in Rajasthan. All that happened before the election to polarise the country. Who was to benefit from it? There is a need to look at this nexus in greater and wider details,”

he said.

The AICC spokesman said there was a need to inquire what kind of relationship the RSS and organisations related to the RSS ideology had.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Probe-RSS-links--says-Congress/620160

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E-mails: Shahzad was frustrated with state of Muslim world

S Rajagopalan

May 18, 2010

Pakistani American Faisal Shahzad, now in custody for his bid to bomb Times Square, was frustrated with the state of the Muslim world and sought a way to “fight back”, suggest e-mails sent out by him as far back as early 2006.

In one of the e-mails, first accessed by the New York Times, Shahzad appears troubled by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the plight of Palestinians and the publication of a caricature of Prophet Mohammad in a Danish newspaper.

“Everyone knows the current situation of Muslim World,” he wrote in the mail that was apparently sent to a number of recipients in February 2006, by which time he had spent six years in the US, earned his MBA and started working as a financial analyst with a Connecticut firm.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/256494/E-mails-Shahzad-was-frustrated-with-state-of-Muslim-world.html

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Dawood world's 3rd most wanted fugitive

May 18th, 2010

Mafia and India’s most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim, mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai bombings, figures third on the Forbes’ Most Wanted list which has been topped by Osama Bin Laden.

The list, carried in the latest edition of the Forbes magazine, also has Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman in No.2.

The magazine, which has been releasing a list of most wanted fugitives for the past three years, pointed out that Dawood, who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan, possibly had a hand in aiding LeT execute the 2008 Mumbai attacks and also shares smuggling routes with Al Qaeda.“Though the Pakistani government denies it, Ibrahim is probably in Pakistan, where he has important ties to the powerful intelligence service,” it said.

The article described Dawood as “the most wanted man in India” has for years led a 5,000-member criminal syndicate known as D-Company. “The organised crime group has engaged in everything from narcotics to contract killing, working mostly in Pakistan, India and the United Arab Emirates,” the magazine said. Bin Laden and Guzman hold their top ranks from Forbes’ Most Wanted Fugitives list that first came out in 2008 but Dawood, the most wanted man in India for his suspected role in the 1993 Mumbai bombings, has moved up from the fourth spot to the third.

Hector Gonzalez, an FBI supervisory special agent, told Forbes: “Many of these criminals are hiding behind governments for protection.” The article pointed out that since the 2008 list was published not a single one of the world’s most notorious criminals has been brought to justice.

http://www.asianage.com/international/osama-most-wanted-dawood-no-3-739

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Indonesian president says terror threat remains

By Niniek Karmini AP

May 18, 2010

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesia is still under threat from terrorists despite the recent arrests of key militants, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Monday.

Yudhoyono said convicted terrorists tend to return to their old practices after completing their prison sentences.

"Although the key figures who had made our country insecure for the last 10 years have been disabled, terrorism remains a threat because the perpetrators who have been jailed still repeat the same acts," he said.

Police announced last week that they had foiled a plot to assassinate Yudhoyono, take over hotels, kill foreigners and establish an Islamic state.

Police have arrested 58 suspected militants and killed 13 in a series of raids since February, when authorities broke up a training camp run by a previously unknown terrorist group calling itself al-Qaida in Aceh.

Full report at: http://www.chinapost.com.tw/asia/indonesia/2010/05/18/256946/Indonesian-president.htm

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Israel acting like totalitarian state: Chomsky

May 18th, 2010

RAMALLAH/ TEL AVIV: Noam Chomsky on Monday accused Israel of acting like a “totalitarian state” after an Israeli government decision banning him from entering the West Bank.

Mr. Chomsky (81), a Jewish-American professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a strong critic of Israel, had been invited to lecture at the Palestinian Birzeit University, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, on Monday.

Speaking over the phone from Amman, Jordan, to a press conference in Ramallah, Mr. Chomsky said he was held up for five hours at the Israeli-controlled Allenby Crossing between Jordan and the West Bank on Sunday, only to be told later that he would not be allowed through.

“This very unusual behaviour only happens in totalitarian states,” said Mr. Chomsky, slamming the Israeli move as “an act of interference with the independence of the university”.

He said that while being questioned by Israeli officials, who received their instructions from the Israeli Ministry of the Interior, he got the impression that he was being detained for his opinion on Israel.

“It was clear from the interrogation that there were two things that seemed to trouble the Ministry of Interior, which was sending the questions,” he said.

“One was that they said they didn't like the kinds of things I say about Israel.

“And the second thing that seemed to bother them was that I had accepted an invitation from Birzeit and I was not going on this trip to also give talks at Israeli universities.”

http://www.hindu.com/2010/05/18/stories/2010051862751400.htm

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                          Brain drain from Muslim world is serious: Muhyiddin

By LESTER KONG

May 18th, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: Brain drain from the Muslim world to developed Western countries is a serious concern affecting the competitiveness of Muslim countries.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the phenomenon would ruin Muslim nations' long term economic growth and development, if not checked.

“To reverse the brain drain, we need to create the right liberal ecosystem to stimulate creativity and put in a fair reward system to encourage hard work in our societies,” he said while opening the 6th World Islamic Economic Forum Tuesday.

He added that a flexible ecosystem and infrastructure was also needed to support the various development stages of young people to allow them to excel in their various fields.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/5/18/nation/20100518122605&sec=nation

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Make cyber systems secure, Antony tells Army top brass

May 18, 2010

NEW DELHI: With Chinese and other online espionage agents regularly breaking into Indian computer systems, defence minister A K Antony on Monday asked the top military brass to ensure the country's cyber systems were "as secure and non-porous as possible''.

"The paradigms of security in the age of information technology are seldom constant. The evolving security matrix is complex and calls for cooperation and coordination of the highest level,'' said Antony, while inaugurating the Army commanders' conference here.

"Today, no single service can work in isolation. Cyber-warfare and threats to cyber-security are fast becoming the next generation of threats. We need to make our cyber systems as secure and as non-porous as possible,'' he added.

This comes soon after it was discovered that some classified data about the tri-service Andaman and Nicobar Command and other formations had leaked after an Army major's personal computer was accessed by online espionage agents from Pakistan earlier this year.

China, too, has made cyber-warfare one of its topmost military priorities, with Chinese hackers regularly breaking into sensitive computer networks of India as well as other countries like US, UK and Germany.

A group of Canadian and American cyber-security researchers in their recent report `Shadows in the Cloud' had also held that China-based online espionage gangs have accessed classified documents from several Indian defence and security establishments.

Incidentally, as reported earlier, the armed forces are already on high alert to guard against "focussed large-scale cyber attacks'' that, as per intelligence reports, are being planned on "internet facing'' government organisations, prominent brands and corporate groups.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Make-cyber-systems-secure-Antony-tells-Army-top-brass/articleshow/5941469.cms

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Ensure Afzal’s safety, Centre tells Delhi Govt

Rajesh Kumar

May 18, 2010

‘Life threat from 3 professional killers’

While the Union Home Ministry keeps sending reminders every six months to the Delhi Government seeking its opinion on the mercy petition filed by Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, it’s the last missive from the Centre that has left the officials of the Delhi Secretariat baffled.

In a letter, received by the Delhi Secretariat on Monday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the State Government to examine the ‘safety’ of the convict inside the prison cell. Afzal Guru is currently lodged in a high security ward of the fortified Jail No 2 of Tihar Central Prison.

Sources said the MHA had forwarded to Delhi Government Afzal’s petition in which he had stated that there were three professional criminals in his ward and his life was in danger. Therefore, he wanted that either he should be shifted to another cell or else criminals be transferred. According to Afzal’s plea, he has to put up with three bladebaaz or professional killers in the high security ward.

Since Afzal is on death row, he has a solitary cell within the ward but comes in contact with other inmates several times in a day. It’s only during the night that he is under strict solitary confinement, a jail official revealed. The petition said, “Sabir Ali, son of Ahmed Ali, Sonu, son of Yaad Ram, and Shahzad, son of AB Sattar are professional killers and threatened me on several occasions.”

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/256694/Ensure-Afzal%E2%80%99s-safety-Centre-tells-Delhi-Govt.html

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Iraqi imam beheaded by group linked to Al Qaeda

By DPA, IANS

May 18th, 2010

BAGHDAD - A Sunni imam was beheaded by a group linked to Al Qaeda in Iraq, who then placed his head on an electric pole, security sources said Monday.

Militants stormed the house of Abduallah Jassem Shakour in the area of Saadiya just east of the city of Baquba at dawn.

They attacked Shakour with knives in front of his family members, eventually beheading him and placing his head on an electric pole, Ahmed al-Zarkoushi, the director of the Saadiya area, told DPA.

Shakour, who was believed to be at least 70-years-old, preached at the Saadiya mosque, frequently calling for national unity and forbidding work with al-Qaeda and other armed groups, al-Zarkoushi said.

http://crimewatch.gaeatimes.com/2010/05/17/iraqi-imam-beheaded-by-group-linked-to-al-qaeda-28203/

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Obama Honours Daniel Pearl, Signs Press Act

May 18th, 2010

US President Barack Obama on Monday said that the legacy of Daniel Pearl, the American journalists who was kidnapped, tortured and killed by militants in Pakistan in 2002, lives on. Mr Obama who signed the Freedom of Press Act in his Oval Office also praised family of Pearl for being outspoken and so courageous.

Christened after Daniel Pearl, the Freedom of Press Act requires the state department to now include in its annual Human Rights Reports a listing of countries where press freedoms are threatened and to identify the governments that participate in repression of journalists.

In his brief remarks, Mr Obama said thanks to “Pearl family, who has been so outspoken and so courageous in sending a clear message that, despite Daniel’s death, his vision of a well-informed citizenry that is able to make choices and hold governments accountable, that that legacy lives on.” Members of the Pearl family joined the President in the Oval Office.

http://www.asianage.com/international/obama-honours-daniel-pearl-signs-press-act-725

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Kargil war & nuclear deterrence

V. R. RAGHAVAN

May 18th, 2010

In the Cold War era, nuclear deterrence stabilised around the belief that fighting a nuclear war was not a viable option, since it would result in the devastation of both the adversaries. All this changed after India and Pakistan conducted the nuclear tests in 1998. Western strategic analysts began re-visiting the theories of nuclear deterrence to see how deterrence stability would operate in the India-Pakistan context. The Kargil conflict, initiated by Pakistan within a year of the nuclear tests, provided a testing ground for these deterrence theories. One of the better known axioms of nuclear deterrence was termed the ‘stability-instability paradox,' wherein nuclear weapons contributed to stability by acting as an effective restraint on a full-scale war, but encouraged conflicts or wars at lower levels. There were enough examples of this during the Cold War era.

The Kargil conflict was an excellent model that unfolded the possibilities of dangerous escalation to a larger war — if India had embarked on operations across the Line of Control — and of crisis management so as to avert nuclear exchange. Deterrence optimists as well as pessimists have used the conflict to justify their opinions.

Factual account

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/br/2010/05/18/stories/2010051850201400.htm

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E x-Iran pm killer to be deported

May 18, 2010

France's interior minister will sign an expulsion order on Monday for an Iranian national who is serving a life sentence in France for the 1991 murder of Iran's last prime minister under the Shah, a government source said.

Ali Vakili Rad was convicted in 1994 of stabbing Shapour Bakhtiar to death in the ex-premier's Paris flat.

He came due for parole last year and a court is expected to decide on his release on Tuesday. An expulsion order by Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux would open the way for his immediate return to Iran.

The decision to expel him comes the day after a French teaching assistant flew home to Paris after being detained for 10 months in Tehran on spying charges.

France has denied cutting a deal with Iran to secure the release of 24-year-old Clotilde Reiss.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said last September that France should consider a prisoner swap if it wanted to see Reiss freed.

Full report at: http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2010/05/17/108828.html

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Al-Qaeda man planned World Cup attack from Iraq

May 18 2010

Baghdad : A senior member of al-Qaeda in Iraq who was arrested two weeks ago had been planning an attack against the football World Cup in South Africa next month, an Iraqi security spokesman said on Monday.

Abdullah Azzam Saleh Misfar al-Qahtani, a 30-year-old Saudi, “participated in the planning of a terrorist act in South Africa during the World Cup,” said Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qassim Atta.

He added that Qahtani, who was in charge of “security” for the terror network in Baghdad, was in contact “with the terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri to organise the plan hatched by Al-Qaeda”.

Zawahiri is al-Qaeda’s number two and deputy to Osama bin Laden.

South African police said they were making inquiries into Qahtani’s claims.

“The South African police are still working on getting confirmation,” said Nonkululeko Mbatha, spokeswoman for the national police chief.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/alqaeda-man-planned-world-cup-attack-from-iraq/620206/

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Amnesty back in Valley, separatists protest: They are Indians

Bashaarat Masood P

May 18 2010

Srinagar : A two-member team of Amnesty International (AI) landed in Srinagar for a first-ever visit on Monday, with the freedom to “go anywhere” and “meet anyone” to assess the human rights situation in Kashmir.

The visit by the high-profile international human rights group has come after years of persuasion and lobbying with the Indian government, but the hardline faction of the Hurriyat questioned its credibility, saying the team comprised “Indians” whose report would be “dictated” by the Union Home Ministry.

“The team landed in Srinagar today,” a senior police officer told The Indian Express. “They are free to go anywhere in Kashmir and meet anyone.”

In Srinagar, the AI officials, Bikramjeet Batra and Ramesh Gopalakrishnan, are expected to focus on the preventive detention of political prisoners and the laws that allow such detention. They are likely to meet some youth who have been released after being arrested under the Public Safety Act.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/amnesty-back-in-valley-separatists-protest-they-are-indians/620143/

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Focus on cyber security, says Antony

May 17 2010

New Delhi : With several cyber security breaches by Chinese hackers coming to light, Defence Minister A K Antony on Monday asked the top brass of the Armed Forces to work in unison and make cyber systems “as secure and non-porous as possible”.

“Cyber warfare is becoming a serious threat to security. The paradigm of security in the age of Information Technology is seldom constant. The evolving security matrix is complex and calls for cooperation and coordination at the highest level,” Antony said while inaugurating the biannual Army Commanders’ Conference here.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/focus-on-cyber-security-says-antony/620144/

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As India warms up, Iran cold

May 18 2010

New Delhi : While External Affairs Minister S M Krishna made a special effort to reach out to the Iranian political leadership and re-energise bilateral engagement on the margins of the G-15 meet at Tehran, the response has been rather lukewarm with Iran still holding back from specifying dates for a meeting of the bilateral joint commission. After a meeting between Krishna and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Monday, which lasted for about 25 minutes, it was agreed to have the next meeting of the joint commission here. But no dates were announced, though the assurance of having it at the earliest was expressed.

It may be recalled that an official-level interaction had taken place in March when an Iranian delegation had visited India to hold preparatory talks for the meeting, which has not taken place for a year-and-a-half now. The last such meeting took place in November 2008 when Pranab Mukherjee was the External Affairs minister.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/As-India-warms-up--Iran-cold/620189

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IRAN EXECUTES FIVE POLITICAL PRISONERS

May 18th, 2010

Amnesty International today condemned the executions in Iran of four Kurdish political activists and another Iranian man, all convicted of “moharebeh” (enmity against God)”.

The four Kurds – Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heydarian, Farhad Vakili, Shirin Alam-Holi - along with Mehdi Eslamian, were hanged on Sunday, 9 May at Evin prison in Tehran.

The five were accused of “enmity against God” for carrying out ‘terrorist acts’ and convicted of this vaguely worded charge which can carry the death penalty and is usually applied to those who take up arms against the state.

“We condemn these executions which were carried out without any prior warning. Despite the serious accusations against them, the five were denied fair trials. Three of the defendants were tortured and two forced to ‘confess’ under duress,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“They were then executed in violation of Iranian law, which requires the authorities to  notify prisoners’ lawyers.in advance before carrying out executions.“

Full report at: http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/iran-executes-five-political-prisoners-2010-05-11

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Declaration by High Representative Catherine Ashton on behalf of the European Union on the execution of five individuals in Iran

May 18th, 2010

The European Union strongly condemns the executions on 9 May 2010 in the Evin prison of Iran of Shirin Alamhouli, Farzad Kamangar, Ali Haydarian, Farhad Vakili and Mehdi Eslamian.

The European Union is profoundly concerned by the repeated sentencing to death in Iran of people belonging to minorities, as well as of those who were involved in the post-election protests. The EU is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances.

The European Union urges Iran to comply fully with its international obligations concerning the right to a fair trial and the respect of minimum standards in cases of capital punishment, and calls for an immediate halt to other imminent executions. The European Union furthermore calls on Iran to consider alternative sentences for Mrs Zeynab Jalalian and Mr Hossein Khezri, both sentenced to death for “moharebeh” (“enmity against God”)

and currently in prison.

The EU calls for Iran to introduce a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, in accordance with UNGA Resolutions adopted on 18 December 2007 and 20 December 2008.

The Candidate Countries Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

http://www.eu2010.es/en/documentosynoticias/declaracionespesc/mayo12_individuals_Iran.html

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Digvijay does a balancing act

Bhaskar Roy

May 18, 2010

New Delhi: Better known for his scathing attacks on hardline Hindutva outfits for their role in blasts and an advocacy of speedy trials for those accused in the Indian Mujahideen cases,Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Monday directed his ire against militant Islamic groups as well.

He said fringe militant outfits on either side feed each other and stoke up the cult of violence.Though he criticised Islamic militancy,he made it a point to say,They are two sides of the same coin. He denied he had been vocal only on the militant Hindu groups and claimed he was one of the first to oppose the SIMI brand of extremism.

As Madhya Pradesh chief minister I cracked down on SIMI,banned its conference and arrested a maulana, he told TOI.But again,Singh took care to point out that he opposed Sangh affiliates like VHP and Bajrang Dal also.

Singh hit the headlines last week accusing RSS affiliates of having been responsible for the blasts at a number of Muslim shrines as also for the explosion in Samjhauta Express.In the Samjhauta case,links to Lashkar have been indentified.Interestingly,when Congress attacked the Hindutva links to blasts at Ajmer,Modasa and Malegaon on Monday,it did not include any mention of Samjhauta.

Full report at: Times of India

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Cong warns Left,SP & RJD against shedding secularism

May 18 2010

New Delhi: On a day when a year ago Lok Sabha results showed an emphatic win for Congress,the party chose to emphasise the dangers of secular parties like the Left playing into the hands of communal forces like BJP.

In what sounded like a warning,complaint and even a plea all rolled into one,Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari drew parallels between Left leaders going to the room of Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj (reported by TOI) to the blind anti-Congressism of the 70s and 80s.He said this had led to a troublesome decade of the 90s when Hindutva forces had benefited.

Congress bid to embarrass the Left while also hinting at a willingness to re-engage with the estranged allies was an interesting development on the eve of UPA-2 completing a year in office.While Congress remains wedded to Trinamool Congress in West Bengal,there was some preparedness to keep a line or two open.It was suggested that if the Left kept to a anti-BJP rhetoric,something could be worked out.

Full report at: Times of India

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Egypt Arrests 16 Palestinian Islamic Jihad Members

May 18, 2010

by Saed Bannoura

The Qatar-based Al Jazeera reported that the Egyptian Security Services arrested at the Rafah Terminal 16 members of the Islamic Jihad while heading back to the Gaza Strip after receiving medical treatment in Syria.

 Rafah Terminal -aswarpress.com

A senior Islamic Jihad official told Al Jazeera that the Egyptian authorities moved the detainees to a security prison, and added that he fears they would be tortured the same way Egypt previously tortured six members of the Islamic Jihad and released them after 42 days.

He stated that there are more than 31 Islamic Jihad members detained by Egypt, among them a number of wounded Palestinians.

Full report at: http://www.imemc.org/article/58703

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12 killed as bomb targets police vehicle in Pakistan

May 18, 2010

ISLAMABAD: A suicide car-bomber attacked a police van in the northwestern Pakistani town of Dera Ismail Khan on Tuesday, killing 12 people, including three policemen, a doctor said.

There has been a relative lull in militant violence in recent weeks since government forces stepped up offensives in the Orakzai and Khyber regions of the northwest after largely clearing Pakistani Taliban strongholds in other areas.

The bomber attacked the police van in which an officer and some of his men were travelling to their police station, said policeman Iftikhar Khan.

A doctor at the town's main hospital said 12 dead and 10 wounded people had been brought in.

"We have 12 dead bodies in our emergency room," the doctor, Qibla Khan, said.

Among the dead were three policemen and two children, he said.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack but authorities usually blame such strikes on pro-Taliban militants.

Militants regularly target security forces and police in their bloody campaign against the government in Pakistan's northwest.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/12-killed-as-bomb-targets-police-vehicle-in-Pakistan/articleshow/5943794.cms

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‘Bush A Bore When He Boozed’

May 18th, 2010

Talking for the first time about her husband’s drinking habits, former US First Lady Laura Bush has said that President George W. Bush was a “bore” when he had too much.

Former US President Bush, who was in the White House from 2001 to 2009, has always denied he was an alcoholic, but he gave up drinking when he turned 40 and didn’t drink during his tenure. He was arrested for drink driving in 1976. But, in an interview to a magazine about her life with President Bush, Laura said his love of alcohol left her “disappointed”, although she denied ever giving him an ultimatum about his drinking, the Daily Telegraph reported. Laura said: “George drank the three B’s, a bourbon before dinner, a beer with dinner and then B&B (a mixture of Brandy and Benedictine liquor), a sweet after dinner drink.”

Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/international/%E2%80%98bush-bore-when-he-boozed%E2%80%99-724

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Selja opposes Khap’s call for same-gotra marriage ban

May 18, 2010

A week after Naveen Jindal, the Congress Lok Sabha MP from Kurukshetra, backed the khap panchayats’ (self-styled community councils’) demand to ban same-gotra — a family’s ancestral lineage — marriages, Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja slammed the demand on Monday.

“What are these panchayats?” the Congress MP from Ambala asked mediapersons here when they elicited her views on the khap panchayats.

On the khaps’ demand for amending the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 to ban same-gotra marriages, she said there was no need to amend the Act. “The law of the land is supreme. It has to prevail,” the minister said, referring to the hype surrounding

the khaps, which are known to run a medieval and often barbaric system of community justice.

Full report at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/Selja-opposes-Khap-s-call-for-same-gotra-marriage-ban/Article1-545015.aspx

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'Cell overuse can cause brain cancer'

Kounteya Sinha

May 18, 2010

NEW DELHI: Talking for too long on a mobile phone every day, half an hour or more, could increase the risk of brain cancer. However, a study on cellphone use and brain cancer conducted by World Health Organisation has found no clear link between the two, if used moderately.

WHO's Interphone report, published in the 'International Journal of Epidemiology' this week, said heavy users were more at risk of developing glioma tumours who reported phone use on the same side of the head. A survey of almost 13,000 people between 2000 and 2004 found most mobile phone users did not have an increased risk of developing meningioma — a common and frequently benign tumour — or glioma, a rarer but deadlier form of cancer.

"There were, however, suggestions that using mobile phones for more than 30 minutes each day could increase the risk of glioma. Longer call times appeared to pose a greater risk than the number of calls made," the report said.

The shortcoming of the study, however, is that majority of the subjects in it were not heavy mobile users by today's standards. The median lifetime cumulative call time was around 100 hours with a median of 2 hours of reported use per month. The cut-off for the heaviest 10% of users is 1,640 hours corresponding to half an hour a day. Also, no victims interviewed in the 13 countries were under 30 years while many young people use mobiles for an hour or more every day.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Cell-overuse-can-cause-brain-cancer/articleshow/5942804.cms

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ime to rethink India’s US policy

May 18, 2010

Islamabad’s open defiance of Washington should open New Delhi’s eyes, writes CP Bhambhri

The Fall of Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union led to the United States proclaiming itself as the world's sole economic and military superpower. Stepping into the shoes of their colonial predecessors, the new emperors of America decided to unilaterally export its 'democratic values' to countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.

A military attack was launched on Taliban-controlled Afghanistan with a view to restore democracy through elections and the US involved Pakistan in this enterprise. War in Afghanistan became a common goal of the American-led Nato forces and the Pakistani Army.

The honeymoon between the US and its junior military partner Pakistan has come to an end. On May 1, Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad, who is said to have received training in Pakistan, attempted a car bomb attack on Times Square in New York. On May 8, the US Secretary of State, Ms Hillary Clinton, said: "We've made it very clear that, if, heaven forbid, that an attack like this, if we can trace back to Pakistan, were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences."

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/256586/Time-to-rethink-India%E2%80%99s-US-policy.html

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/egyptian-islamic-thinker--women,-free-religion-important-to-society/d/2858


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