New Age Islam
Wed Oct 21 2020, 10:07 AM

Islamic World News ( 28 Feb 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Emirati woman embarks on voyage to conquer Antarctica

Death for 11, life sentence for 20 in Godhra train burning case

Battle for Libya Rages as Qaddafi Strikes Back

'Islamism on Facebook, biggest threat'

Kingdom denies offering $150bn to buy Facebook

Major held in US for killing J&K activist

Third day of unrest in Oman

Omani crowd torches supermarket

Blasts kill at least 10 Afghans at dogfight: Official

4 NATO service members killed in Afghanistan

10 killed during clashes in Sudan

Bangladesh turns up heat on Nobel winner Yunus

Post-Davis, 30 US spies halt covert mission, flee Pakistan

Petition filed to make the US party in Davis immunity case

US not to swap Dr Aafia with Davis In U.S.

Libyan opposition rejects U.S. offer of weapons

Libya: West mulls military options

Now, EU slaps sanctions on Libya

Rebels 'down' Libyan aircraft

US moving naval, air forces closer to Libya

'All my people love me,' Gaddhafi says

Gadhafi forces mass, world raises pressure on Libya

Libya replaces ambassador who defected: US

Gaddafi seeks de-recognition of his UN diplomats

Libyan diplomats in Kingdom back Qaddafi

Saudi scholars support Libyan uprising

Holy cow's now fair game, Libyans take aim at despot

Libya Nuclear Deal, a Qaddafi Threat Faded Away

Fourth special flight from Libya returns with 331 Indians

Food prices skyrocket in Tripoli

No UK refuge or visa for Gaddafi

US moves warships closer to Libya, freezes $30bn in assets

Libyan assets frozen in US; no-fly zone on the horizon

No foreign intervention, Libyans tell West

Libya arrests four Jordanians

On Godhra anniversary, Modi rides on Mahatma

We criticize Israel’s policies, but believe in its right to exist

Egypt bans Mubarak travel, freezes assets

Mubarak, family barred from leaving Egypt

Iraq safest Arab country: Maliki

US weapons killing Arab protesters: Iran

Foreign powers involved in Balochistan situation: Gilani

Iraqi court gives Briton 20 years over slayings

NATO oil tanker attacked in Wah

Iran says hopes for further nuclear talks

Compile by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/emirati-woman-embarks-on-voyage-to-conquer-antarctica/d/4210

 

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Emirati woman embarks on voyage to conquer Antarctica

By K.T. ABDURABB

Mar 1, 2011

DUBAI: Dana Al-Hammadi, a 37-year-old mother of five, will be the first UAE woman to land on Antarctica as she is set to start her journey Tuesday from Abu Dhabi.

Al-Hammadi, an employee with Etisalat in Abu Dhabi and a passionate environmental activist, is concerned with climate change and its impact on the UAE. She will celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) on the journey with a diverse group of experts in climate change, journalists and other environmentally conscious travelers. “I am leaving tomorrow morning (Tuesday) with four guides, and I hope I can serve my country in a better way after my trip,” she told Arab News on Monday. “I am honored to be part of this expedition as the first Emirati woman.

Antarctica is exactly the opposite of the world we live in and it is important to sometimes push our limits in order to appreciate our environment and the importance of preserving it for future generations. Upon return, I have committed to spread the message among my Emirati brothers and sisters. We have big plans, and will take more Emiratis to Antarctica next year. I have to express my sincere thanks to Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the president of the Heritage Club, for his relentless support,” she added.

While asked how she is going to launch her campaign after the trip, she said, “After my trip, I will be visiting universities, colleges, schools and offices to share my experience.  I will explain the importance of environmental protection and problems of climate changes … We have to protect our natural resources for the future generation, this will be my theme.”

Today (Tuesday) she will start her journey to Buenos Aires and then to Ushuaia -- the southern-most city in the world. In Ushuaia, she will join a group of approximately 70 current and future leaders. From Ushuaia, after a two-day crossing of 900 nautical miles of the world’s roughest sea infamously called Drake’s passage, they will arrive on the peninsula of Antarctica. For the next 11 days, they will use their zodiacs to conduct approximately 25 landings, visiting incredible locations and experiencing the wildlife.

The expedition leader Robert Swan is a polar explorer and the first person in history to walk to both the North and South Poles.

http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/offbeat/article291297.ece

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Death for 11, life sentence for 20 in Godhra train burning case

Mar 1, 2011

NEW DELHI: A special court on Tuesday pronounced the death penalty for 11 convicted in the Godhra train burning case. 20 others have been awarded the life sentence.

Special judge P R Patel considering the case as "rarest of rare" pronounced death penalty for 11 out of the 31 convicted in the case while 20 others were sentenced to life imprisonment, PTi reported.

"The court looking into their active role in the conspiracy and setting afire the S6 coach of Sabarmati Express train near Godhra, gave death penalty to 11 people," public prosecutor J M Panchal said.

The court also slapped punishment on them under various other sections, which will be concurrent to their life term.

The prosecution had sought death sentence for all the 31 convicts, saying that it was a heinous act.

Thirty-one people were convicted and 63 others, including the main accused Maulvi Umarji, were acquitted on February 22 by a special court here in the 2002 Godhra train burning incident that left 59 people dead and triggered violence in Gujarat that had claimed the lives of over 1200 people, mainly Muslims.

The court acquitted prime accused Umarji while other prominent accused Haji Billa and Rajjak Kurkur were convicted.

Scientific evidence, statement of witnesses, circumstantial and documentary evidence placed on record formed the basis of the judgement.

The trial conducted inside the Sabarmati Central Jail here began in June 2009 with the framing of charges against 94 accused in the carnage that had triggered widespread communal riots in Gujarat.

The accused have been charged with criminal conspiracy and murder in burning of the S-6 coach of the train on February 27, 2002 near Godhra, about 125 km from here in which 59 people were killed.

Defence counsel I M Munshi said the convicts will definitely appeal against the punishment awarded to them.

"It (the punishment) is very difficult to swallow. Till we get the copy of the judgement, we cannot comment much," Munshi said.

"We will definitely appeal against the verdict in the high court. Till the high court confirms the judgement, it cannot be implemented," he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Death-for-11-life-sentence-for-20-in-Godhra-train-burning-case/articleshow/7600059.cms#ixzz1FLZGrmT2

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Battle for Libya Rages as Qaddafi Strikes Back

By KAREEM FAHIM and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

BENGHAZI, Libya — With escalating hostilities bringing Libya closer to civil war, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces struck back at his opponents on three fronts, with special forces, regular army troops and, rebels said, fighter jets.

But the rebels dismissed the attacks Monday as ineffectual, and Colonel Qaddafi faced a growing international campaign to force him from power, as the Obama administration announced it had seized $30 billion in Libyan assets and the European Union adopted an arms embargo and other sanctions.

As the Pentagon began repositioning Navy warships to support a possible humanitarian or military intervention, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton bluntly told the Libyan leader to surrender power “now, without further violence or delay.”

The attacks by the colonel’s troops on an oil refinery in central Libya and on cities on either side of the country unsettled rebel leaders — who have maintained that they are close to liberating the country — and showed that despite defections by the military, the government may still possess powerful assets, including fighter pilots willing to bomb Libyan cities.

But as Western powers debate the possible imposition of a so-called no-fly zone — similar to those enforced in Iraq during the rule of Saddam Hussein — Russia ruled out the idea on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported from Geneva, quoting Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov as saying the proposal was “superfluous.”

Rebel leaders in Libya said the latest attacks by Colonel Qaddafi’s supporters smacked of desperation, and the ease with which at least one assault, on the western city of Zawiyah, was repelled raised questions about the ability of the government to muster a serious challenge to the rebels’ growing power.

In an interview with ABC News, Colonel Qaddafi said he was fighting against “terrorists,” and he accused the West of seeking to “occupy Libya.” He gave no hint of surrender. “My people love me,” he said. “They would die for me.”

Those unyielding words, and the colonel’s attacks on Monday were met with both nerves and defiance by rebel military leaders as the two sides seemed to steel themselves for a long battle along shifting and ever more violent front lines.

The antigovernment protesters, who started their uprising with peaceful sit-ins but have increasingly turned to arms to counter Colonel Qaddafi’s brutal paramilitary forces, have promised a large military response that has yet to come. At the same time, government forces have been unable to reverse the costly loss of territory to a popular revolt that has brought together lawyers, young people and tribal leaders.

Across the region, the tumult that has already toppled two leaders and threatened one autocrat after another continued unabated on Monday. In Yemen, protests drove President Ali Abdullah Saleh to make a bid for a unity government, but the political opposition quickly refused and protesters returned to the streets on Tuesday.An opposition leader, Mohamed al-Sabry, said in a statement that the president’s proposal was a “desperate attempt” to counter Tuesday’s protests..

The enduring impact of the region’s turmoil was evident in Cairo, where Egypt postponed the reopening of its stock exchange again on Tuesday until Sunday. The exchange has been closed for over a month, after antigovernment protests in late January shook investor confidence and drove the value of the country’s benchmark index down 17% in two trading days.

In Bahrain, protesters blocked access to Parliament, according to news agencies. In Oman, whose first major protests were reported over the weekend, demonstrations turned into violent clashes with the security forces in the port city of Sohar, and the unrest spread for the first time to the capital, Muscat.

Libya itself seemed to be brewing a major humanitarian crisis as tens of thousands of mostly impoverished contract workers tried desperately to flee to its neighbors, Tunisia to the west and Egypt to the east. The United Nations refugee agency called the situation a humanitarian emergency as workers hauling suitcases stood in long lines to leave Libya, many of them uncertain how they would finally get home.

The country they left behind faced similar uncertainty, as warplanes took to the sky for the first time in 10 days, according to military officials allied with the rebels. In a direct challenge to claims by those officials, who have asserted that Libyan Air Force pilots were no longer taking orders from Colonel Qaddafi, two Libyan Air Force jets conducted bombing raids on Monday, according to witnesses and two military officers in Benghazi allied with the antigovernment protesters.

Col. Hamed Bilkhair said that the jets, two MIG-23s that took off from an air base near Colonel Qaddafi’s hometown in the city of Surt, struck three targets, but were deterred by rebel antiaircraft fire from striking a fourth at an air base in Benghazi. The jets — a bomber and an escort plane — attacked three other locations, south of Benghazi, and on the outskirts of the eastern city of Ajdabiya.

Colonel Bilkhair said that a weapons depot was struck, but that the other strikes — including one on a water pipeline — were “ineffective.” It was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties, and the airstrikes could not be independently verified.

The colonel said that government special forces took control of the oil refinery at Ras Lanuf on Monday, though he and other rebel leaders played down the significance of the assault, saying the refinery was only lightly guarded. “It was only briefly occupied,” by the rebels, Colonel Bilkhair said. “They occupied it for four days, and they had no weapons.”

The colonel, speaking in an interview on Monday evening, said government troops were in the midst of shelling Misurata, a breakaway city 130 miles east of the capital.

In Zawiyah, a city with important oil resources just 30 miles from the capital, residents said they rebuffed a series of attacks on Monday, suffering no casualties but killing about 10 soldiers and capturing about a dozen others. A government spokesman confirmed the death toll.

“It is perfect news,” said A. K. Nasrat, 51, an engineer who is among the rebels, before adding, “There is no way they are going to take this city out of our hands unless we all die first.”

The first attack took place shortly after midnight, when some pro-Qaddafi soldiers in pickup trucks tried to pass through the city’s eastern gate, Mr. Nasrat said. But they were spotted by rebel sentries who defeated them with help from army and police defectors defending the town. Four soldiers were killed and several captured, with some of the captives readily surrendering their arms and switching sides, he said

Then, in the early evening, several witnesses said, the Qaddafi forces — believed to be led by his son Khamis’s private militia — attacked from both the east and the west. Three pickup trucks tried to enter the narrow city gates from the west, but a rebel-held artillery unit struck one, blowing it up and overturning a second truck, Mr. Nasrat said. Six more pickup trucks tried to breach the eastern gate, he said, but after an exchange of fire the rebels captured two of the trucks and several of the soldiers.

“So about 12 or 14 soldiers were hostages,” he said, “and 8 of them turned over their arms and joined the people. They are on our side now.”

At about 11 p.m. residents of Zawiyah reported in telephone interviews that they heard a renewed outbreak of gunfire from the west lasting 5 to 15 minutes, suggesting that sporadic attacks might continue through the night.

For days, military leaders in Benghazi have said they are preparing to assemble a force of thousands to conduct a final assault on Tripoli; some of the officials have even promised to send planes to bomb Colonel Qaddafi’s fortified compound, Bab al-Aziziya.

But there are few signs that a plan has materialized, though military leaders maintain they are simply waiting for the right time. A fighter pilot sympathetic to the antigovernment protesters, Mohammed Miftah Dinali, expressed some frustration that he had not yet been called on to aid the rebel effort.

“My friends and I are willing to go and do an airstrike on Qaddafi’s compound,” he said. “I cannot just sit and watch this happen.”

Inside Tripoli on Monday, hundreds of protesters joined a demonstration in the working class suburb of Tajoura after a funeral for a neighbor killed by security forces during clashes over the weekend. But a heavy contingent of security forces guarding the neighborhood fired into the air and, some witnesses said, filled the streets with tear gas to disperse the crowd without new fatalities.

Tajoura has become the site of a daily back and forth, as protesters fill the walls each night with graffiti denouncing Col. Qaddafi and government paint crews swing by each day to try to cover it up. Almost every storefront and wall in the neighborhood bore a splotch of brown or red paint covering anti-Qaddafi graffiti. Protesters gathered around a small store at twilight said their newest chant was: “Qaddafi, Qaddafi, patience, patience, we will dig your grave.”

The half dozen protesters filled in more details of what they called a massacre over the last week. Security forces, they said, had repeatedly driven through the neighborhood shooting at crowds or even buildings, usually from double-cabin pick-up trucks but occasionally from the back of ambulances. They said one resident, Fatama Ragebi, had been killed by a stray bullet that entered her home and had been buried on Saturday.

They repeated reports that security forces had not only fired into crowds but then scooped up the dead and wounded, sometimes even removing them from local hospitals.

But residents had mixed views about what might come next. Some said they were awaiting help in the form of weapons from bastions of the rebellion outside of Tripoli, like Benghazi to the east. Others vowed that the “the people are going to free themselves by themselves.” Still others said their destiny was in the hands of God. A man in his 30s who identified himself only as Hisham said the killings had scared more than half of the crowd who turned out last Friday into staying inside since then.

“We need time to organize again,” he said.

Kareem Fahim reported from Benghazi, and David D. Kirkpatrick from Tripoli, Libya. Robert F. Worth contributed reporting from Benghazi, Alan Cowell from Paris, Steven Lee Myers from Geneva, Sebnem Arsu from Istanbul, and Liam Stack from Cairo.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/02/world/africa/02libya.html?ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

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'Islamism on Facebook, biggest threat'

Feb 28, 2011

Oslo, Norway: Islamic extremism, which is becoming more and more radicalised and international due in large part to social networking sites like Facebook, remains the main threat against Norway, intelligence police agency PST said on Monday.

Islamic extremism is ‘our main priority and our main concern,’ PST chief Janne Kristiansen said as she presented the agency's annual risk assessment report.

"Although few people in Norway support Islamic extremism, there are activities within some groups that could contribute to heightening the security risk in 2011," the report said.

According to PST, Islamic extremism is becoming ever more radicalised due to social networking websites like Facebook, ‘which are becoming important arenas for the distribution and discussion of the points of view of Islamic extremists.’

"Since people with opposing opinions rarely participate in the same forums as those used to spread Islamic extremist ideas, the message legitimising and glorifying the use of violence as a political tool rarely meets resistance," the report said.

With increasingly global ambitions, the Islamic extremist threat has meanwhile become ever more mobile, according to PST.

‘Some individuals in Norway have traveled to take part in training or fighting’ in risk countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somali and Yemen, the report said.

NATO member Norway, which counts some 500 troops in Afghanistan, has never suffered an attack at home by Islamic extremists.

However, police last year arrested three Muslim men based in Norway suspected of planning an attack using explosives in the Scandinavian country.

http://www.asianage.com/international/islamism-facebook-biggest-threat-393

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Kingdom denies offering $150bn to buy Facebook

By MUHAMMAD AL-SULAMI

Feb 28, 2011

JEDDAH: A Saudi official denied on Monday that the Kingdom had offered to give SR562.5 billion ($150 billion) to purchase Facebook.

The official, who requested anonymity, said the Kingdom had not made any offer to Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the famous social media.

“The report is totally baseless,” the official told the German news agency, DPA.

The report claimed that Saudi Arabia offered huge amounts to purchase Facebook because of its huge role in anti-government protests in Tunisia and Egypt.

It said the Kingdom is very upset with Zuckerberg for allowing the revolt to get out of control.

According to latest statistics provided by a specialized company, 2.3 million Saudis use Facebook, about eight percent of the Kingdom’s population. In Egypt their number has reached 3.4 million, while in Libya more than 150,000 use Facebook, Bahrain 220,000, Oman 160,000 and Tunisia 1.6 million.

Wael Ghonim, Google’s head of marketing in the Middle East, had played a big role in Egyptian anti-government protests by connecting people and organizing demonstrations through social media.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article291402.ece

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Major held in US for killing J&K activist

M Saleem Pandit

Mar 1, 2011

JAMMU: A former Army major accused of the extrajudicial killing of a Kashmiri human rights activist has been arrested in the United States and would be handed over to Jammu and Kashmir cops within a fortnight, police said on Monday.

Jalil Andrabi's trussed-up body was recovered from the banks of the Jhelum in Srinagar on March 27, 1996, 19 days after he was detained. Andrabi (42) was shot in the head and his eyes were gouged out. He had died at least a week before his body was found.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed the case indicted 35 Rashtriya Rifles' Major Avtar Singh and soldiers under his command for Andrabi's abduction and killing in April 1997. The team found that he could have been involved in six more extra-judicial killings. IG (crime) Raja Ajaz Ali said Maj Singh was arrested in California on wife-beating charges and that an Interpol red-corner notice pending against him in Andrabi's case was found during investigations.

"The accused is in California police's preventive custody. He would shifted to Srinagar in 15 days," said Ali, who is also Interpol liaison officer in Jammu & Kashmir. He said the Interpol and California police have asked them to issue fresh warrants against Maj Singh. "We have got the fresh warrant from a Srinagar court, where the case is being heard." He said they have informed the Union home ministry about the Interpol's alert and got the go ahead for the extradition process.

Srinagar's Chief Judicial Magistrate Mohammed Ibrahim Wani had directed the Union home ministry to issue the Interpol red corner notice against Maj Singh in February last year.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Major-held-in-US-for-killing-JK-activist-/articleshow/7598689.cms#ixzz1FK0jlqrw

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Third day of unrest in Oman

Mar 1, 2011

MUSCAT: Protesters set a supermarket ablaze and gathered in several sites in a seaside town in Oman on Monday in a third consecutive day of unrest that has included deadly clashes in the strategic Gulf nation.

Security forces sealed off main roads to Sohar, about 200 km northwest of the capital of Muscat, in attempts to isolate the protesters and keep crowds from swelling. An official at the state-run Oman News Agency said one person has been confirmed dead on Sunday after police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of demonstrators who took to the streets in Sohar. Witnesses said a supermarket was set on fire on Monday and several hundred protesters “mostly young men” had gathered in the town's main roundabout, demanding higher salaries, jobs for the unemployed youth and changes of some government ministers.

Oman shares control with Iran over the Strait of Hormuz, the route for about 40 per cent of the world's oil tanker traffic. Oman's ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, is moving quickly to try to offer reforms to quell the demands that include more jobs and a greater public voice in government. — AP

http://www.hindu.com/2011/03/01/stories/2011030156461500.htm

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Omani crowd torches supermarket

Mar 1, 2011

SOHAR, Oman: Protesters set a supermarket ablaze and rallied at two places in this seaside town on Monday in a third consecutive day of unrest that has included deadly clashes in the Gulf state.

Security forces sealed off main roads to Sohar, about 200 km northwest of the capital of Muscat, in an attempt to isolate the protesters and keep crowds from swelling.

Omar Al-Abri, an official at the state-run Oman News Agency, said one person was confirmed dead Sunday after police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of demonstrators in Sohar.

Witnesses said a supermarket was set on fire Monday and several hundred protesters — mostly young men — were rallying in the town's main Globe Square, demanding higher salaries, jobs for unemployed youth and the dismissal of some government ministers.

By late afternoon, protests spread to Oman's second largest port in Sohar. Witnesses said about 500 protesters blocked trucks from entering the port, about 12 km from protest's focal point at the roundabout.

Police did not respond to Monday's protest, witnesses said.

State media reported Sohar's civilian guards, including members of women's associations, repelled protesters' attempts to set fire to a health center and several commercial sites.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article291289.ece

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Blasts kill at least 10 Afghans at dogfight: Official

Feb 28, 2011

ARGHANDAB, Afghanistan: Two bomb explosions on Sunday tore through a gathering of villagers watching a dogfight in the southern Afghanistan province of Kandahar, killing at least 10, officials said.

Zemarai Bashary, Afghan interior ministry spokesman in Kabul, told AFP the bombing in Arghandab district targeted villagers and a police vehicle, killing eight civilians and two police.

"There have been two bomb blasts, one at the middle of a gathering and the other on the side of the road nearby. Eight civilians have been killed, two cops have been killed," the spokesman said.

He said a dozen civilians and five police were injured. He did not give details.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-02-27/south-asia/28638291_1_bomb-blasts-dogfight-arghandab

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4 NATO service members killed in Afghanistan

March 01, 2011

KABUL: Four NATO service members, including a 37-year-old Italian lieutenant, were killed across Afghanistan on Monday by roadside bombs and an insurgent attack, the coalition said. In Rome, Italy’s Premier Silvio Berlusconi said four other Italian soldiers were wounded, including three seriously, in a bomb blast about 25 kilometres in western Afghanistan. Berlusconi said the attack made him wonder if Italy’s sacrifice in Afghanistan was worth it, given how “medieval” the nation is. Still, he said the Italian mission in Afghanistan must continue. NATO said two other troops were killed by bombs in the east and south and a fourth died following an insurgent attack in the east. Their nationalities were not released. ap

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\01\story_1-3-2011_pg7_8

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10 killed during clashes in Sudan

By MAGGIE FICK

Mar 1, 2011

JUBA, Sudan: At least 10 people died when a militia attacked a police post in a disputed area of Sudan, a southern government official said Monday.

Deng Arop Kuol, the top government official in the disputed border region of Abyei, alleged the attackers were supported by the northern Sudanese government. Tribesman involved in the attack said the southern government provoked the attack.

The violence underscores the volatility between Sudan’s north and south ahead of the south’s independence in July.

The two sides fought for more than two decades and the civil war claimed around two million lives before it ended in 2005.

Seven police officers and three attackers from the nomadic Misseriya tribe were killed in Sunday’s attack, and fighting continued on Monday, Kuol said. The fertile area is claimed by both north and south Sudan and is near several large oil fields.

Kuol said the Misseriya fighters were using jeeps that belonged to the northern Sudanese Armed Forces when they attacked a police post at Todach. “They used mounted jeeps which our police identified as the ones used by the Sudanese Armed Forces,” said Kuol.

“We conclude (from this) that SAF participated actively in the attack.” Kuol told the AP from Abyei that he did not yet have the death tolls from Monday’s fighting near the town of Todach, but said that “it was more deadly than yesterday and both sides incurred losses.” Saddig Babo Nimr, a senior Misseriya leader, gave a different account of Sunday’s fighting. He blamed the southern government for the violence, saying southerners instigated an attack against a camp of the nomadic cattle herders. He put the death toll at 15.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article291372.ece

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Bangladesh turns up heat on Nobel winner Yunus

Mar 01 2011

Dhaka: Bangladesh moved to force Nobel prize winner Muhammad Yunus out of his pioneering microfinance bank, with the central bank saying he had passed retirement age and had to go.

Supporters of the 70-year-old Yunus, including former Irish president Mary Robinson, say there is a campaign of politically orchestrated attacks on the Nobel laureate after he fell out with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2007.

Bangladesh Bank sent a letter to the finance ministry saying that Yunus, who won the Nobel prize in 2006 for his work making small loans to poor entrepreneurs, should be removed from the Grameen Bank he founded.

"In the letter, the central bank has said professor Muhammad Yunus has been staying as the chief executive of the Grameen Bank for an indefinite period, which is illegal," Grameen chairman Muzammel Huq, a critic of Yunus, said.

Grameen Bank spokeswoman Jannat-E-Quanine denied that the letter suggested Yunus should resign, saying that "a Bangladesh Bank official has expressed an opinion regarding Professor Yunus's term as managing director".

"There is no directive on Professor Yunus to cease functioning as managing director, nor is there any suggestion of his being removed him from this post," she said.

But Huq, who was appointed as the chairman of the board late last year, said the letter clearly said Yunus being the bank's chief executive is "illegal and not valid".

"In the letter – a copy of which has been given to me – the central bank said he no longer can stay as the chief executive of the Grameen Bank because the retirement age of the bank is 60," he said.

The Yunus' Grameen Bank came under the spotlight late 2010 when a Norwegian TV documentary alleged that aid money was wrongly transferred to another part of the bank.

The bank denied all the charges and later, the Norwegian government, one of its main donors, gave an all-clear to the bank.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/756233/

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Post-Davis, 30 US spies halt covert mission, flee Pakistan

Mar 1, 2011

ISLAMABAD: At least 30 suspected covert US operatives have suspended their activities in Pakistan and 12 have left the country following the arrest of CIA contractor Raymond Davis late last month, a media report said on Monday.

In the wake of Davis' arrest in Lahore on January 27 for gunning down two men, Pakistan's intelligence agencies began scrutinising records of Americans living in the country and discovered "several discrepancies" .

This caused "many suspected US operatives to maintain a low profile and others to leave the country" , the Express Tribune newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

The foreign ministry says there are 851 Americans with diplomatic immunity in Pakistan , of whom 297 are not working in a diplomatic capacity . Interior ministry sources said that the number of US non-diplomats is 414.

The majority of these "special Americans" , as the interior ministry refers to them, are concentrated in Islamabad, while others live in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.

Interior ministry records state most of the "special Americans" live in upscale neighbourhoods in Islamabad and Lahore, with smaller presences in Karachi and Peshawar , the report said.

Most of these Americans are "suspected of being operatives of US intelligence agencies who are on covert missions in Pakistan" and report to the US Joint Special Operations Command, according to the sources.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Post-Davis-30-US-spies-halt-covert-mission-flee-Pakistan/articleshow/7598831.cms#ixzz1FK1eR0qg

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Petition filed to make the US party in Davis immunity case

March 01, 2011

LAHORE: A petition was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday to make the United States of America a party in the ongoing Raymond Davis immunity case, DawnNews reported.

The petitioner also stated that the court should issue a notice to the US Ambassador to Pakistan in the case.

Petitioner Advocate Azhar Siddique has filed three different petitions in the LHC.

One petition requests the court to prevent the immunity issue from being heard in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as the case was already being heard in the LHC.

The petition also said that as the United States did not recognise the jurisdiction of the ICJ, hence the international court should not hear the Davis immunity case.

The petition further said that news reports pertaining to Davis’ connections with the CIA should also be included in the case against him.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/01/petition-filed-to-make-the-us-party-in-davis-immunity-case.html

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US not to swap Dr Aafia with Davis

By Anwar Iqbal

March 01, 2011

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration has rejected Pakistan’s proposal to trade Raymond Davis for Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist serving an 86-year term in a US prison, diplomatic sources told Dawn.

The sources said that Pakistan discussed the proposal at “the highest level” in the Obama administration but was told that this was “a non-starter”.

The US government informed Pakistan that they would not entertain the possibility of trading Ms Siddiqui for Mr Davis because “these were two different cases”.

The proposal called for Ms Siddiqui to be transferred to Pakistan, where she would serve the remainder of her sentence in a prison or under house arrest. Ms Siddiqui’s case became a cause celebre in Pakistan last year when Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called for her exoneration and release.

Mr Davis’s arrest in the January 27 shooting in Lahore that led to the death of three Pakistani citizens, however, led to a diplomatic standoff, which threatens to derail US-Pakistan partnership in the war against extremists. Since his arrest both sides have discussed various proposals to break the impasse but have not yet succeeded in doing so.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/01/us-not-to-swap-dr-aafia-with-davis.html

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Libyan opposition rejects U.S. offer of weapons

Atul Aneja

“This revolution will be completed by our people”

DUBAI: The Libyan opposition has asserted that it is fully capable of toppling Muammar Qadhafi, rebuffing calls from influential quarters in Washington for weapon supplies to hasten the collapse of the regime.

The apparent ambitions of the United States to exercise early control over a nascent shadow leadership and the patriotic aspirations of the opposition for a united Libya seemed to have collided on Sunday.

At a press conference in Benghazi to announce the formation of the Libyan National Transitional Council, Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga, who described himself as the organisation's spokesman, said the opposition could do without American intervention in its affairs.

“We are against any foreign intervention or military intervention in our internal affairs,” said Mr. Ghoga. “This revolution will be completed by our people with the liberation of the rest of Libyan territory controlled by Qadhafi's forces.”

Mr. Ghoga, a human rights lawyer, confirmed that around 2,000 volunteers had left for Tripoli by-passing Surt, Mr. Qadhafi's hometown, by taking a desert detour of hundreds of kilometres.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/03/01/stories/2011030156521500.htm

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Libya: West mulls military options

Feb 28, 2011

Paris: Faced with the threat of massacres or a wave of refugees on their Mediterranean flank, Western allies were considering on Monday imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, but will not act without UN approval.

Talk of a blockade came as strongman Moamer Gaddafi's jets were in action, witnesses said, bombing to destroy ammunition dumps in areas that have already fallen to opposition forces bent on overthrowing his 41-year-old rule.

Senior officials, including France's Prime Minister Francois Fillon, said they are considering using NATO air power to control the skies over Libya to stop the beleaguered regime from using air strikes against its own people.

But experts and politicians agree that, while the western alliance would be well-placed to organise such an embargo, any action would need the approval of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for it to have legitimacy.

On Saturday, the Security Council imposed sanctions on Gaddafi's regime and demanded that he halt a bloody crackdown on the uprising against his rule, but did not immediately authorise international military action.

"We're studying all options to ensure that Colonel Gaddafi understands that he has to go. I know that people have mentioned military solutions, and these solutions are being examined by the French government," Fillon said.

"I have heard several observers, for example, evoke the idea of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory. It's an option that is being considered," he confirmed, in an interview with RTL radio.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/libya-west-mulls-military-options-399

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Now, EU slaps sanctions on Libya

March 01, 2011

JOHN HEILPRIN / BRADLEY KLAPPE

The European Union slapped its own arms embargo, visa ban and other sanctions on Monday on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, part of an escalating global effort to halt his bloody crackdown on critics in the North African nation. In a series of fast-paced developments, France pledged to send two planes with humanitarian aid to Libya’s Opposition stronghold of Benghazi while Germany mulled a two-month cutoff of oil payments to Gaddafi’s regime. The moves came after days of increasing protest against the hundreds, and potentially thousands, of deaths caused by Gaddafi’s military resistance against the popular uprising in his country.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the European measures, including a freeze on assets, aimed to reinforced the UN Security Council-mandated sanctions against Libya approved over the weekend.

She said the EU also was putting “an embargo on equipment which might be used for internal repression” and urged coordinated action by nations to help people across North Africa and the West Asia. A more complex set of negotiations, she added, were being held over the possibility of creating a no-fly zone over Libya. Diplomats gathered in Geneva on Monday — including US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ashton, to coordinate action against Gaddafi’s regime. Clinton was pressing European leaders to enact tough sanctions to force Gaddafi to stop his violent attacks and step down after 42 years in power.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/321094/Now-EU-slaps-sanctions-on-Libya.html

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Rebels 'down' Libyan aircraft

Feb 28, 2011

Tripoli: Rebels downed a military aircraft on Monday as they fought a government bid to take back Libya's third city, a witness said, while foreign ministers discussed how to help them oust Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi's forces have been trying for days to push back a revolt that has won over large parts of the military, ended his control over eastern Libya and is holding the government at bay in western cities near the capital Tripoli.

In both Libya's third city, Misrata, 200 km (125 miles) to the east, and Zawiyah, a strategic refinery town 50 km (30 miles) to the west, rebels with military backing were holding the town centres against repeated government attacks.

"An aircraft was shot down this morning while it was firing on the local radio station. Protesters captured its crew," the witness, Mohamed, told media over telephone.

"Fighting to control the military air base started last night and is still going on. Gaddafi's forces control only a small part of the base. Protesters control a large part of this base where there is ammunition."

Foreign governments are increasing the pressure on Gaddafi to leave in the hope of ending fighting that has claimed at least 1,000 lives and restoring order to a country that accounts for 2 per cent of the world's oil production.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/rebels-down-libyan-aircraft-379

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US moving naval, air forces closer to Libya

Mar 01 2011

Tripoli: Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi were massed near the Tunisian border on Tuesday, residents said, and the United States said it was moving warships and air forces closer to Libya.

Residents feared pro-Gaddafi forces were preparing an attack to regain control of Nalut, about 60 kilometres from the Tunisian border in western Libya, from protesters seeking an end to Gaddafi's rule.

The United States and other foreign governments discussed military options on Monday for dealing with Libya as Gaddafi scoffed at the threat to his government from a spreading popular uprising.

In the hardest-hitting US denunciation yet of Libya's leader, US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said Gaddafi was "disconnected from reality," was "slaughtering his own people" and was unfit to lead.

She said Washington was in talks with its NATO partners and other allies about military options. The United States also said about $30 billion in assets in the United States had been blocked from access by Gaddafi and his family.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said his government would work to prepare for a "no-fly" zone in Libya to protect the people from attacks by Gaddafi's forces.

Gaddafi rejected calls for him to step down and dismissed the strength of the uprising against his 41-year rule that has ended his control over eastern Libya and is closing in on the capital Tripoli.

"All my people love me. They would die to protect me," he told the US ABC network and the BBC on Monday.

He denied using his air force to attack

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/756243/

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'All my people love me,' Kadhafi says

March 01, 2011

WASHINGTON: "All my people love me," Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi insisted Monday, ignoring mounting global pressure to step down and perhaps head into exile after four decades at the helm of his country.

"They love me. All my people with me. They love me all. They will die to protect me," the veteran Libyan leader said in halting English during an interview with the ABC television channel, the BBC and The Times of London.

"No demonstrations at all in the streets," claimed Kadhafi, who has ruled his north African country for more than 41 years. "No one is against us, against me for what?"

Those remarks and the Libyan leader's callous lack of concern for the plight of his people were roundly condemned by US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.

"It sounds just frankly delusional, when he can talk and laugh to an American and (an) international journalist while he is slaughtering his own people," Rice said at the White House. "It only underscores how unfit he is to lead and how disconnected he is from reality."

Kadhafi sat down in Tripoli for the interview as world powers ramped up pressure on his regime. He scoffed at a question about whether he would ever use chemical weapons to maintain power.

"We got rid of all that," Kadhafi said. "This is a thing of the past and we have already finished this.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=11876

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Qadhafi forces mass, world raises pressure on Libya

March 01, 2011

TRIPOLI: Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi were massed near the Tunisian border on Tuesday, residents said, and the United States said it was moving warships and air forces closer to Libya.

Residents feared pro-Qadhafi forces were preparing an attack to regain control of Nalut, about 60 km (38 miles) from the Tunisian border in western Libya, from protesters seeking an end to Gaddafi’s rule.

The United States and other foreign governments discussed military options on Monday for dealing with Libya as Qadhafi scoffed at the threat to his government from a spreading popular uprising.

In the hardest-hitting US denunciation yet of Libya’s leader, US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said Gaddafi was “disconnected from reality,” was “slaughtering his own people” and was unfit to lead.

She said Washington was in talks with its Nato partners and other allies about military options. The United States also said about $30 billion in assets in the United States had been blocked from access by Qadhafi and his family.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said his government would work to prepare for a “no-fly” zone in Libya to protect the people from attacks by Qadhafi’s forces.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/01/qadhafi-forces-mass-world-raises-pressure-on-libya.html

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Libya replaces ambassador who defected: US

March 01, 2011

WASHINGTON: The US State Department said it received word Monday that Libya has dropped recognition of its ambassador in Washington after he defected to the opposition, and replaced him with a regime supporter.         

"We were informed by the government of Libya that they have withdrawn their recognition of their ambassador, Ambassador (Ali) Aujali. He no longer represents Libya's interests in the United States," department spokesman Philip Crowley said.

"So now there is a charge d'affaires at the embassy who has been authorized by the government of Libya to represent its interests," Crowley told reporters.

Crowley said it was important for the US government to maintain communication links with Colonel Moamer Kadhafi's regime because such communication may prevent further bloodshed.

He also said that the US State Department was reaching out to Libya's opposition.    

He would not say whether it was communicating with Aujali, even though he said "perhaps now from a de facto standpoint, Mr. Aujali is part of the opposition."

Crowley added: "We are reaching out to contact individuals in Libya who are in active opposition to the Kadhafi government. That is a process ongoing.

"I'm not going to say we talked to this person but not that person, but that the outreach that the secretary indicated yesterday is under way." (AFP)

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=11873

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Gaddafi seeks de-recognition of his UN diplomats

Mar 01 2011

Washington: Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi has sought de-recognition of his top UN diplomats who have defected and now oppose his regime, a top US official in the world body said.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has received the request in this regard from Gaddafi, US Ambassador to UN Susan Rice told reporters at the White House.

"We're dealing now with a request to the Secretary General from Qaddafi to withdraw accreditation for his diplomats in New York who stood up – his Permanent Representative, his Deputy Permanent Representative – to the regime, and have been very clear in calling for the kinds of measures that the Security Council took on Saturday," Rice said.

De-recognizing the Gaddafi regime from the United Nations, however, she said is a complicated process and will take some time.

"The question of recognition is a very complicated one. To recognize or seat a changed government requires a vote of a UN credentials committee. And depending on the murkiness of the situation, that can be more or less complicated," Rice said in response to a question.

"It's too soon to say, in all honesty, how issues of credentials and issues of recognition will be sorted out... It depends on how it evolves. Unless and until there's an obvious alternative, it¿s hard to take from one and give to another because there¿s not a clear other to whom recognition can be given," Rice said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/756238/

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Libyan diplomats in Kingdom back Qaddafi

By IBRAHIM NAFIE

Feb 28, 2011

JEDDAH: Unlike the growing number of Libyan diplomats around the world who have come out in favor of the Libyan uprising, the country's ambassador in Riyadh and its consul general in Jeddah continue to support the Qaddafi regime.

On Monday morning, Ambassador Muhammad Saeed Al-Qashat was in Jeddah to hand a request from Qaddafi's foreign minister, Musa Kusa, to Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu for an OIC fact-finding delegation to visit Libya. Al-Qashat was acting in his other capacity as Libya's official ambassador to the OIC.

At the same time, the country's consul general, Mohammed Al-Homrani, told Arab News by telephone that the consulate stood by the regime of Qaddafi and he had no intention of switching sides, unlike other Libyan diplomats. "We still support Qaddafi's government. At same time we do not face problem with Saudi authorities," Al-Homrani said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article291248.ece

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Saudi scholars support Libyan uprising

By MUHAMMAD AL-SULAMI

Mar 1, 2011

JEDDAH: Saudi scholars have declared their support for the ongoing people’s struggle against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and expressed their concern at the violence unleashed by forces loyal to the embattled administration.

The scholars made their position clear while responding to a recent statement by Qaddafi’s son Seif Al-Islam that before “the rebellion started, some religious preachers and scholars used to visit Libya to lick the boots of the Libyan leader.”

Member of the Saudi Council of Senior Religious Scholars Sheikh Saleh Al-Lehaydan denied that he ever issued a fatwa condemning the Libyan protesters for opposing Qaddafi.

Another scholar, Sheikh Aed Al-Qarni, said that he visited Libya last year to converse with common people in mosques and not to praise Libyan rulers.

“The bloodshed should be stopped. Qaddafi’s government is not Islamic. He is an usurper who rebelled against the Sanusi king about four decades ago and never received the oath of allegiance of the people,” said Al-Lehaydan.

The scholar added that Qaddafi is an evil conqueror who rejected the sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and argued that the Holy Qur’an was enough for them. He added that Qaddafi also refused to accept the ijma (consensus) of the Companions and Muslims on Islamic matters.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article291241.ece

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Holy cow's now fair game, Libyans take aim at despot

Mar 1, 2011

BENGHAZI: Cowed for four decades by Muammar Gaddafi's oppressive rule, eastern Libya is now awash with cartoons and jokes about him, helping people shake off his personality cult and deep fear of his security apparatus.

In Benghazi, Libya's second city, one cartoon on the wall of a state building portrays the Libyan leader as " Super Thief" in a superman costume with a dollar sign instead of an "S" on his chest; another shows him in a dustbin labelled "history" .

Gaddafi's quirky, eccentric style, his penchant for flowing robes, Ruritanian military uniforms and flamboyant women bodyguards, has given cartoonists and others a rich seam of material for mockery. On Benghazi's seafront promenade, a youth dressed in a scraggly Gaddafi wig, aviator sunglasses and holding an umbrella paraded in an open truck, bringing traffic to a near standstill to hoots of laughter and blaring of car horns.

"We're letting off steam, expressing ourselves. He didn't just commit military crimes, but crimes against our minds, thought crimes," said teacher Fatima al-Shaksy , 42.

Protesters have in the past week paraded with a Gaddafi stuffed monkey toy holding an umbrella, and a Gaddafi rat in a cage — Gaddafi has labelled his protester opponents vermin .

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Holy-cows-now-fair-game-Libyans-take-aim-at-despot/articleshow/7598856.cms#ixzz1FK1VJ2YT

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Libya Nuclear Deal, a Qaddafi Threat Faded Away

By DAVID E. SANGER

WASHINGTON — In late 2009 the Obama administration was leaning on Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and his son, Seif, to allow the removal from Libya of the remnants of the country’s nuclear weapons program: casks of highly enriched uranium.

Meeting with the American ambassador, Gene A. Kretz, the younger Qaddafi complained that the United States had retained “an embargo on the purchase of lethal equipment” even though Libya had turned over more than $100 million in bomb-making technology in 2003. Libya was “fed up,” he told Mr. Kretz, at Washington’s slowness in doling out rewards for Libya’s cooperation, according to cables released by WikiLeaks.

Today, with father and son preparing for a siege of Tripoli, the success of a joint American-British effort to eliminate Libya’s capability to make nuclear and chemical weapons has never, in retrospect, looked more important.

Senior administration officials and Pentagon planners, as they discuss sanctions and a possible no-fly zone to neutralize the Libyan air force, say that the 2003 deal removed Colonel Qaddafi’s biggest trump card: the threat of using a nuclear weapon, or even just selling nuclear material or technology, if he believed it was the only way to save his 42-year rule. While Colonel Qaddafi retains a stockpile of mustard gas, it is not clear he has any effective way to deploy it.

“Imagine the possible nightmare if we had failed to remove the Libyan nuclear weapons program and their longer range missile force,” said Robert Joseph, who played a central role in organizing the effort in 2003, in the months just after the invasion of Iraq.

“You can’t know for sure how far the Libyan program would have progressed in the last eight years,” said Mr. Joseph, who left the Bush administration a few years after the Libya events, partly because he believed it had gone soft on nuclear rogue states. But given Colonel Qadaffi’s recent threats, he said on Monday, “there is no question he would have used whatever he felt necessary to stay in power.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/02/world/middleeast/02arms.html?ref=global-home

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Fourth special flight from Libya returns with 331 Indians

Mar 1, 2011

NEW DELHI: Another batch of 331 Indians from strife-torn Libya arrived early on Tuesday, taking the total number of people evacuated by the four Air India special flights to 1083.

Air India flight AI-170 landed at the terminal-2 of Indira Gandhi International Airport here at around 4:30am, bringing 331 passengers, an airport official said. The plane took off from Tripoli airport at around 8:30pm IST.

Earlier, minister for civil aviation Vayalar Ravi said the third special flight with 226 Indians on board arrived here at around 1:30am from Libya.

Ravi, also the minister for overseas Indian affairs, received the passengers of the third special flight, an Airbus 330, at terminal-2 of the IGI Airport.

The AI-800 was originally a Jeddah-Mumbai flight, but it was converted into a special ferry aircraft and diverted to Tripoli to evacuate Indians who are stuck in the African nation, which is witnessing mass anti-government protests.

Three more planes -- two Boeing 747-400 and Airbus 330 -- left on Tuesday morning for Tripoli to airlift Indians who are still there.

Ravi said 1,100 people have been evacuated from Benghazi and ferried by a ship to Alexandria in Egypt.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Fourth-special-flight-from-Libya-returns-with-331-Indians-/articleshow/7599138.cms#ixzz1FK0eNN2t

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Food prices skyrocket in Tripoli

March 01, 2011

Residents of Libya's capital said that prices for basic foodstuffs are skyrocketing and long lines form at bakeries for rationed bread as Muammar Gaddafi loyals clamp down in Tripoli. One resident said that the price of rice, a main staple, has gone up 500 per cent amid the crisis, reaching the equivalent of $40 for a five kilogram (10 pound) bag. Bakeries are limited to selling five loafs of bread per family. She said most Tripoli residents are staying in their homes as pro-Gaddafi security forces man checkpoints around the city of 2 million.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/321093/Food-prices-skyrocket-in-Tripoli.html

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No UK refuge or visa for Gaddafi

March 01, 2011

Britain, which has already revoked Muammar Gaddafi’s diplomatic immunity on Monday, ruled out giving refuge to the Libyan dictator who is “responsible for deaths of hundreds of civilians.” UK has already frozen assets of the leader and his family. Foreign Secretary William Hague said if Gaddafi wants to flee to Britain, he will have to apply for a visa but will be denied entry.

“This means that Colonel Gaddafi and those forming part of his household will not be able to enter the UK,” a Foreign Office official said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/321092/No-UK-refuge-or--visa-for-Gaddafi.html

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US moves warships closer to Libya, freezes $30bn in assets

Mar 01, 2011

Washington: The United States moved warships and aircraft closer to Libya on Monday and froze $30 billion in assets, ramping up pressure on what a top U.S. envoy called a "delusional" Muammar Gaddafi to relinquish power.

In the hardest-hitting U.S. denunciation yet of Libya's leader, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said Gaddafi is "disconnected from reality," is "slaughtering his own people" and is unfit to lead.

The United States also pressed Gaddafi's inner circle to abandon their leader. "You have to think very, very seriously which side you want to be on. ... You will be held accountable," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The military preparations and tougher U.S. rhetoric follow days of criticism of President Barack Obama's administration by Republican lawmakers, conservative commentators and others for an initially cautious response to the turmoil in Libya.

The administration has defended its response, saying it had been reluctant to take any steps that could endanger U.S. citizens in the North African country. Washington imposed sanctions on Libya on Friday just hours after a plane carrying some of the last Americans flew out of the capital Tripoli.

While its position on Gaddafi is now clear, the United States is still struggling to develop a coherent policy toward the various rebel groups. U.S. officials are in contact with them but have ruled out any immediate military aid.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/us-moves-warships-closer-libya-freezes-30bn-assets-486

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Libyan assets frozen in US; no-fly zone on the horizon

Yashwant Raj

March 01, 2011

If the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is delusional, as he seemed in his first interview to a western journalist since the protests broke out, the US had a series of shockers lined up for him on Monday. Gaddafi family assets frozen by the US, said the department of treasury, was worth $30 billion, a

record of sorts. But the Libyan leader probably knows this already, it's his money after all, and that of his children.

How about a no-fly zone? "A no-fly zone is an option we are actively considering," secretary of state Hillary Clinton said, adding, "I discussed it today with allies and partners, and we will proceed with this active consideration."

If Gaddafi still didn't get it, the US military said it was "repositioning some naval and air forces" over the Libyan situation. The US has a regular military presence in the Mediterranean Sea and has two aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf area.

But an armed intervention is imminent, not now at least. Pentagon spokesman Dave Lapan said the movement of the US forces was part of the planning of "options and contingency plans" as violence continues in Libya.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Libyan-assets-frozen-in-US-no-fly-zone-on-the-horizon/H1-Article1-668024.aspx

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No foreign intervention, Libyans tell West

March 01, 2011

Libyan pro democracy protesters say they are determined to unseat strongman Muammar Gaddafi without any foreign military intervention, even at the cost of further bloodshed. With world powers weighing options to end Gaddafi's 41 year hardline rule, protesters who overran Benghazi, Libya's second ci

ty, hoisted a banner spelling out their message loudly and clearly, "No foreign intervention, Libyan people can do it alone."

The devastating sectarian violence that rocked Iraq in the aftermath of the 2003 US led military intervention, that brought down dictator Saddam Hussein, haunts many Libyans. "The Iraqi example scares everyone in the Arab world," said Abeir Imneina, a professor of political sciences at the university of Benghazi.

"We know very well what happened in Iraq, which is in the throes of instability. Following in those footsteps is not appealing at all," she said. "We don't want the Americans to come and then to have to regret (the end of  the rule of) Gaddafi," she added.

The national fibre appears strong in Libya, where on Sunday Gaddafi opponents announced the creation of "national councils" in all freed cities, that would serve as the "face of Libya in the transitional period."

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/No-foreign-intervention-Libyans-tell-West/H1-Article1-668020.aspx

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Libya arrests four Jordanians

Mar 1, 2011

AMMAN: Jordan's Foreign Ministry says four Jordanians have been arrested in Libya. Last week, Jordan urged Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to halt a bloody crackdown on his citizens. Jordan said it holds Libya responsible for the safety of foreigners living there.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Kayed said Monday that the reason for the arrest of the four Jordanians was unclear. He said it appears some were detained in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

Kayed said Jordan's ambassador is pursuing the matter with Libyan authorities.

Of the 9,000 Jordanians who work and study in Libya, about 2,000 have been repatriated during the current rebellion against Qaddafi.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article291411.ece

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On Godhra anniversary, Modi rides on Mahatma

Anil Singh

Mar 1, 2011

AHMEDABAD: Lauding Gandhi as an original and far-sighted thinker, Gujarat CM Narendra Modi on Monday claimed he had fulfilled some of the Mahatma's dreams.

"Gandhiji would have been proud to know that every village in Gujarat has been electrified. When I took over as CM, people used to plead with me to ensure there was no loadshedding at dinner time at least," Modi said at a public event, Gandhi's Hind Swaraj, in Gujarati, English and Hindi. Sharing the spotlight with him was RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Taking a dig at the Congress, he said, "Some people only talk about Gandhi but we have managed to increase khadi sales by 40% by insisting on khadi gifts at government functions and by by mobilizing our party cadre." Modi said Gandhi once refused to inaugurate a leprosy hospital, saying, "Call me when you have to close it." He said he had the satisfaction of doing this when he became the CM.

Speaking after Modi, Bhagwat said that it was important people read the original works of Gandhi. "These days, people just have shallow knowledge as they read abridged versions," he said.

Political observers said while Modi was taking credit for steps by his predecessor Keshbhai Patel the entire event was another step in appropriation of Gandhi by RSS.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/On-Godhra-anniversary-Modi-rides-on-Mahatma/articleshow/7598582.cms#ixzz1FK0r0Dn8

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We criticize Israel’s policies, but believe in its right to exist

By BARBARA FERGUSON

Mar 1, 2011

WASHINGTON: J Street held its second annual conference in Washington DC this weekend.  The “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organization sparked enormous controversy and was solidly criticized by lawmakers and other pro-Israel groups when it announced its support of a proposed UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli housing development on the West Bank.

(Under pressure from key members including Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the Obama administration ultimately vetoed the resolution on Feb. 18.)

J Street even lost the backing of a key politician, Rep. Gary Ackerman, the former chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, over its opposition to the US veto. Ackerman accused J Street of being “so open-minded about what constitutes support for Israel that its brains have fallen out.”

Founded in 2008 as a progressive Jewish political alternative to more conservative pro-Israel organizations, such as AIPAC, J Street often takes heat over its self-definition as pro-Israel while advocating a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians.

“As we see it, the cause of the Palestinian people – the creation of an independent state of their own – is essential to our cause as well,” Jeremy Ben Ami, President of J Street, told reporters Sunday.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article291409.ece

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Egypt bans Mubarak travel, freezes assets

Feb 28, 2011

CAIRO: Egypt on Monday slapped a travel ban on ousted president Hosni Mubarak and his family, and also imposed a freeze on his assets, judicial officials said.

Besides Mubarak, who stepped down on February 11 following weeks of protests, the decision also applied for his wife Suzanne, his two sons Ala and Gamal, and their wives, the same source said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Egypt-bans-Mubarak-travel-freezes-assets/articleshow/7595337.cms#ixzz1FK1x2eZf

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Mubarak, family barred from leaving Egypt

March 01, 2011

Egypt's Prosecutor General Abdel-Mageed Mahmoud has ordered the freezing of assets of former president Hosni Mubarak and his family and banned them from travelling abroad.

Bank accounts of the former president and his family were to be checked, Xinhua quoted Asem el-Gohary, assistant to the justice minister for anti-graft institution as telling MENA news agency Monday.

El-Gohary ordered authorities to investigate the bank accounts related to Mubarak, his wife and sons, and other family members inside and outside Egypt.

The decision came after former parliamentarian Mosutafa Bakry reported to the general prosecutor, accusing Mubarak of exploiting his influences to collect 250 million Egyptian pounds (about $43 million) in Egypt's Al Ahly Bank.

Accounts under the management of Mubarak's wife Suzanne Mubarak have deposits estimated at $145 million.

The top prosecutor had ordered travel bans and assets freeze for a number of former senior officials during and after the protests.

Corruption was one of the major complaints of Egyptian protesters.

Mubarak resigned Feb 11 due to massive protests against his regime which left at least 365 dead and over 5,500 injured.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/321199/Mubarak-family-barred-from-leaving-Egypt.html

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Iraq safest Arab country: Maliki

Feb 28, 2011

Baghdad: Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Monday that Iraq may be the safest country in the Arab world, as protests and violence rage across much of the region.

Maliki's remarks came as he reiterated his optimism that an Arab League summit set to be held in Baghdad on March 29 would go ahead as scheduled, despite the upheaval.

"Iraq could be the safest country (in the Arab world) at this stage," Maliki told a news conference in the capital's heavily fortified Green Zone.

Though violence is much lower than its peak in 2006 and 2007 across Iraq, attacks still occur regularly, and the number of people killed in January, 259, was the highest in four months.

On the Arab League summit, Maliki said: "We are still optimistic about holding the summit in Baghdad, and the Arab League still wants it."

He added Iraq was willing to postpone the summit by one or two months, if necessary.

Several countries in the region have been roiled by massive demonstrations and unrest in recent weeks, starting with the fall of Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, followed by the ouster of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, and now with violence in Libya against the rule of Moamer Gaddafi.

http://www.asianage.com/international/iraq-safest-arab-country-maliki-392

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US weapons killing Arab protesters: Iran

Feb 28 2011

Tehran : Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today said it was weapons manufactured and delivered to "dictators" by the United States that were killing protesters in uprisings around the Arab world.

The hardliner said that the United States and its allies must be blamed for imposing dictatorships on regional countries now in the grip of deadly revolts.

These "dictators who are killing their own people are incapable of manufacturing even simple things and they are killing their people with weapons they bought from America and its allies," the Fars news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

"The American government and its allies should be held accountable for imposing dictatorship on these nations in the past 30 to 40 years... and they (Western officials) are now claiming that they are supporters of people and democracy."

Iranian officials have expressed support for the wave of protests that began in Tunisia and Egypt and have spread around the region, now threatening long-standing regimes in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described the events as an "Islamic awakening."

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/755936/

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Foreign powers involved in Balochistan situation: Gilani

March 01, 2011

By Zeeshan Javaid

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minster Yousaf Raza Gilani on Monday said that there was solid evidence that foreign elements and powers were involved in aggravating the situation in Balochistan.

Acknowledging that a sense of deprivation prevails in Balochistan, Gilani said that the government had presented the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package to address these concerns. Long inter-tribal feuds and mutual differences cannot be ruled out when causes to worsening security situation and discouraging developmental schemes in Balochistan were counted, he said.

Delivering policy statement on the law and order situation in Balochistan, the PM said, “We have started the process (of compensation for Baloch people) and coming generations will complete it.” He was speaking in the National Assembly on the Balochistan situation. He said leaders like Harbiyar and Brahmdagh had taken political asylum in Europe and one Dr Allah Nazar was promoting extremism and giving instructions to the miscreants. He said war in Afghanistan had provided an opportunity to the Baloch youth to get military training in neighbouring countries, which was fueling terrorism in the province.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\01\story_1-3-2011_pg7_1

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Iraqi court gives Briton 20 years over slayings

March 01, 2011

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi court on Monday convicted a British man and sentenced him to 20 years in prison over the shooting deaths of two contractors, making him the first Westerner convicted in an Iraqi court since the 2003 US invasion.

Danny Fitzsimons, 30, was found guilty in the 2009 fatal shootings of a British and Australian contractor who worked with him and with attempting to kill an Iraqi guard. Fitzsimons, who had been facing the death penalty, told The Associated Press as he was being led from the courtroom by Iraqi guards that he was happy with the sentence. But when asked whether he thought the trial was fair, he said: “No.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\01\story_1-3-2011_pg7_2

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NATO oil tanker attacked in Wah

March 01, 2011

WAH CANTT: A tanker carrying fuel for the NATO forces in Afghanistan caught fire when it was attacked during wee hours of Monday, motorway and Wah Cantonment Police said. Talking to APP, National Highways and Motorway Police Chief Patrolling Officer, (CPO) DSP Malik Muhammad Iqbal, said that the oil tanker was fired upon at around 2am on the GT Road near interchange link road. “On receiving the information, patrolling cars of motorway police reached the spot and diverted the traffic to avert any untoward incident,” he added. The CPO further said the firefighting units from Pakistan Ordnance Factories and tehsil municipal administration, Taxila, were also summoned to extinguish the fire. app

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\01\story_1-3-2011_pg7_10

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Iran says hopes for further nuclear talks

1 March 2011

GENEVA - Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said he held fruitful discussions with his European Union counterpart on Monday that he hoped would lead to further talks on Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.

Salehi told reporters in Geneva that Iran has always indicated a willingness to press on with talks with the “P5+1” — the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany.

“I hope that the meeting today will facilitate the work for the upcoming meeting with 5+1,” he said, referring to the meeting he had held with the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/March/middleeast_March5.xml&section=middleeast

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/emirati-woman-embarks-on-voyage-to-conquer-antarctica/d/4210


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