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Islamic World News ( 14 March 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Gaddafi forces press rebels, no-fly diplomacy crawls

Gaddafi forces, rebels fighting over Libyan oil town Brega

Saudi troops enter Bahrain to crush protests

Fire and Damage at Japanese Plant Raise Risk of Nuclear Disaster

Radioactive level at N-plant rises, radiation a threat: Japan PM

40 injured in fresh clashes in Yemen

Malaysia under fire over caning of 30,000 foreigners

Gulf troops enter Bahrain as protests escalate

NAB soft on Zardari as well as Sharifs

PM approves one-year extension in service of DG ISI

'PPP Govt committed to democracy'

Musharraf hits back at Britain

Afghan suicide attack kills 36

UK never told Pakistan to avoid torture: Musharraf

India, U.S. faced off on sharing 26/11 information with Pakistan

Headley may face questions on his many wives

Libyan jets strike rebels

Al Qaeda jihadi mag offers beauty tips

Somali pirates release MV Jahan Moni, 26 crew

Suicide attack on Afghan army centre kills 37

3 soldiers killed in violent protests across Yemen

Meltdown threat rises at 3rd blast rocks Japanese n-plant

Calls mount for prosecution of ‘Day of Rage dissidents’

U.S.-Saudi Tensions Intensify With Mideast Turmoil

‘Davis may have been monitoring LeT activities’

Lahore HC dismisses petitions on CIA contractor Raymond Davis's immunity

Iran Calls Saudi Troops in Bahrain ‘Unacceptable’

US eyes Libyan opposition, allies call for action

Japan's blasts cast doubt on nuclear renaissance

The fate of 300 Indonesians in Miyagi, Iwake unknown

King Abdullah hails ‘peak of loyalty’

Kingdom takes lead to help Bahrain

Japanese ordered indoors in radiation leak crisis

Searching for survivors, counting the dead

Distraught father threatens self-immolation at NSHR meeting

Medvedev bans Qaddafi from Russia

More than 42 fighters dead in raid on S.Sudan town

UK gave tacit approval for torture, says Musharraf

Japan begins to dig for dead amid nuclear crisis

New failure hits Japan nuke plant after 2nd blast

Outrunning the tsunami - a race for survival

Chinese PM: 'No analogy' between China and Mideast unrest

Japan battles nuclear emergency after deadly quake

Jakarta to reassess buildings’ quake resilience

Harbinger of spring blossoms in Istanbul

Global free press outcry is 'defamation,' say Turkish prime minister

Kingdom sets up panel to fight EU’s dumping allegations

Time of one-person rule over: Dalai

Former Israeli PM to be charged in property scandal

Indian family of five stuck in Japan

Anti-government journalism not terrorism, Turkish party co-chief says

Saudi economy is solid: Prince Alwaleed

Winter reluctant to loosen grip, more rains forecast

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/gaddafi-forces-press-rebels,-no-fly-diplomacy-crawls/d/4286

 

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Gaddafi forces press rebels, no-fly diplomacy crawls

Mar 15 2011

Paris/Ajdabiyah : Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces pressed closer to the opposition stronghold of Benghazi while diplomatic efforts to impose a no-fly zone to help the rebels made little headway.

France pressured G8 foreign ministers at a meeting in Paris on Monday to agree action on Libya and back its efforts to speed up a UN Security Council decision on imposing a no-fly zone, but hit pushback from partners like Germany.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called for urgent talks in the Security Council for targeted sanctions on Gaddafi's government, but voiced opposition towards military action.

We are very sceptical about a military intervention and a no-fly zone is a military intervention, he told reporters after the dinner with G8 counterparts.

A divided Security Council also discussed the idea of authorising a no-fly zone, but no consensus emerged among its 15 members and Russia said it had questions about the proposal.

Fundamental questions need to be answered, not just what we need to do, but how it's going to be done, Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin said in New York.

Meanwhile, Libyan government artillery and tanks re-took the small town of Zuwarah, 120 km (70 miles) west of Tripoli after heavy bombardment, resident Tarek Abdallah said by telephone.

Perhaps more significantly, they were shrinking the swathe of eastern Libya still held by revolutionary forces.

They captured the important eastern oil terminal town of Brega late on Sunday, and on Monday Libyan jets flew behind rebel lines to bomb Ajdabiyah, the only sizeable town between Brega and the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

ROAD TO BENGHAZI

Ajdabiyah commands roads to Benghazi and Tobruk that could allow Gaddafi's troops to encircle Libya's second city and its 300,000 inhabitants.

Soliman Bouchuiguir, president of the Libyan League for Human Rights, said in Geneva that if Gaddafi's heavily armed forces broke through to attack Benghazi, there would be a real bloodbath, a massacre like we saw in Rwanda.

Saturday's endorsement from the Arab League satisfies one of three conditions set by the Western NATO alliance for it to police Libyan air space, that of regional support. The other two are proof its help is needed and a Security Council resolution.

Now that there is this Arab League statement, we do hope that it's a game changer for the other members of the council, French U.N. ambassador Gerard Araud said in New York.

Lebanese ambassador Nawaf Salam, sole Arab representative on the council, said Lebanon wanted it to act as fast as possible.

We think it is not only a legitimate request, it is a necessary request, he said. Measures ought to be taken to stop the violence, to put an end to the... situation in Libya, to protect the civilians there.

U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang said in Geneva that Gaddafi's government had chosen to attack civilians with massive, indiscriminate force.

News of humanitarian suffering or atrocities could be taken as a sign that help is needed. But while Human Rights Watch has reported a wave of arbitrary arrests and disappearances in Tripoli, hard evidence is so far largely lacking.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/762620/

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Gaddafi forces, rebels fighting over Libyan oil town Brega

Mar 15, 2011

AJDABIYAH, LIBYA: Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi and rebels seeking to end his 41 years in power were fighting over the oil town of Brega in east Libya on Tuesday with no side in control, rebel fighters said.

"It is still back and forth. No side is in control," rebel fighter Adel Ibriki told Reuters in Ajdabiyah, shortly after returning from Brega about 75 km (47 miles) away.

His comments were echoed by another fighter, Hussein al-Wami. Gaddafi's forces have advanced steadily across a coastal strip to retake other oil towns before moving on to Brega.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Gaddafi-forces-rebels-fighting-over-Libyan-oil-town-Brega/articleshow/7708996.cms

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Saudi troops enter Bahrain to crush protests

Ethan Bronner

Mar 15, 2011

CAIRO: Troops crossed from Saudi Arabia into Bahrain on Monday to help quell protests that sealed off the capital's financial sector there, a move Bahraini opposition groups denounced as an "occupation," while pro-government legislators urged the king to impose martial law.

An unnamed Saudi official told news agency AFP that military vehicles carrying more than 1,000 Saudi troops had crossed the bridge linking Saudi Arabia to the tiny island kingdom. His account was corroborated by witnesses in Bahrain, who said they saw more than 100 trucks crossing the bridge, but there was still no official confirmation from the Bahraini government.

A military-run clampdown would risk further polarizing the strategic island kingdom — home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet — and send a chill through the many international banking and financial companies that use Bahrain as their Gulf hub.

Associated Press reported that a Saudi security official said the troops came from a special unit of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and that they were there to protect critical buildings and installation such as oil facilities.

The opposition statement said it considered the arrival of any soldier or military vehicle "an overt occupation of the kingdom of Bahrain and a conspiracy against the unarmed people of Bahrain".

The pro-government lawmakers, called the Independent Bloc, asked the government to enforce martial law for three months to insure public safety and national stability threatened by what it called "extremist" elements, the state-supported Bahrain News Agency reported.

Anti-government protesters remained in the streets of Manama, the capital, on Monday, a day after thousands clashed with security forces in the worst day of confrontation since demonstrations began a month ago. The protests are part of the regional turmoil against autocracy but are fed in Bahrain by tensions between the majority Shiite population and the Sunni royal family and elite.

The demonstrators on Sunday effectively shut down the roads leading to the capital's financial sector and held rallies at the main campus of the university as well. It was the most serious challenge to the royal family since the beginning of the protests, which have caused deep concern in Saudi Arabia, which has a restive Shiite minority in its eastern, oil-producing region.

Witnesses said the police used tear gas and fired on the protesters with rubber bullets.

"This was a very, very big day," Mohammad al-Maskati, president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, said by telephone from Pearl Square, the epicentre of protests in central Manama. "Now the protesters control these streets. There are walls of rubble keeping out the police and armed groups. People say they will not sleep tonight."

The latest protests occurred a day after US defence secretary Robert Gates stopped in Bahrain and warned the Khalifa family, which has ruled Bahrain for two centuries, that it must go beyond the "baby steps" of reform to meet the economic and political demands sweeping much of the Arab world. Gates said he told the king and crown prince that change "could be led or it could be imposed".

At the same time, Bahrain's leadership is under intense pressure from other Gulf neighbours, particularly powerful Saudi Arabia, not to give ground.

"We want a new constitution, fair and free elections and a government elected directly by the people," Mohammad Mattar, an engineer and member of Bahrain's Waad pro-reform movement, said by telephone. "These are not sectarian demands, but political ones. We want a constitutional monarchy, a clear relationship between the ruling family and society. But the security forces are trying to create a sectarian divide."

Bahrain's crown prince, Sheik Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, meanwhile, renewed a call for national dialogue on Sunday, promising that the talks would address proposals to increase the power of Parliament, Reuters reported. "We have worked actively to establish contacts to learn the views of various sides," he said in a statement that was read on Bahrain TV, "which shows our commitment to a comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Saudi-troops-enter-Bahrain-to-crush-protests/articleshow/7706574.cms

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Fire and Damage at Japanese Plant Raise Risk of Nuclear Disaster

By HIROKO TABUCHI, DAVID E. SANGER and KEITH BRADSHER

March 15, 2011

TOKYO — Japan’s nuclear crisis verged toward catastrophe on Tuesday after an explosion damaged the vessel containing the nuclear core at one reactor and a fire at another spewed large amounts of radioactive material into the air, according to statements from Japanese government and industry officials.

In a brief morning address to the nation Tokyo time, Prime Minister Naoto Kan pleaded for calm, but warned that radiation had already spread from the crippled reactors and there was “a very high risk” of further leakage.

The sudden turn of events, after an explosion Monday at one reactor and then an early-morning explosion Tuesday at yet another — the third in four days at the plant — already made the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl reactor disaster a quarter century ago.

Engineers at the plant, working at tremendous personal risk, on Tuesday continued efforts to cool down the most heavily damaged unit, reactor No. 2, by pumping in seawater. According to government statements, most of the 800 workers at the plant had been withdrawn, leaving 50 or so workers in a desperate effort to keep the cores of three stricken reactors cooled with seawater pumped by firefighting equipment, while crews battled to put out the fire at the No. 4 reactor, which they claimed to have done just after noon on Tuesday.

But late Tuesday, Japan’s nuclear watchdog said a pool storing spent fuel rods at that fourth reactor had overheated and reached boiling point and had become unapproachable by workers at the plant. The fire earlier Tuesday morning was sparked by a hydrogen explosion generated by rising temperatures at the fuel pool, which released radioactivity directly into the atmosphere.

The fourth reactor had been turned off and was under refurbishment for months before the earthquake and tsunami hit the plant on Friday. But the plant contains spent fuel rods that were removed from the reactor. If these rods had run dry, theycould overheat and catch fire. That is almost as dangerous as the fuel in working reactors melting down, because the spent fuel can also spew radioactivity into the atmosphere.

Shigekatsu Oomukai, a spokesperson for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said the substantial capacity of the pool meant that the water in the pool was unlikely to evaporate soon. But he said workers were having difficulty reaching the pool to cool it, because of the high temperature of the water.

Worryingly, temperatures appeared to be rising in the spent fuel pools at two other reactors at the plant, No. 5 and No. 6, said Yukio Edano, the chief cabinet secretary.

Earlier Tuesday, the Japanese government told people living within about 20 miles of the Daiichi plant to stay indoors, keep their windows closed and stop using air conditioning.

Mr. Kan, whose government was extraordinarily weak before the sequence of calamities struck the nation, told the Japanese people that “although this incident is of great concern, I ask you to react very calmly.” And in fact, there seemed to be little panic, but huge apprehension in a country where radioactivity brings up memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the haunting images of post-war Japan.

Radiation measurements reported on Tuesday showed a spike of radioactivity around the plant that made the leakage significantly worse than it had been, with levels measured at one point as high as 400 millisieverts an hour. Even 7 minutes of exposure at that level will reach the maximum annual dose that a worker at an American nuclear plant is allowed. And exposure for 75 minutes would likely lead to acute radiation sickness.

The extent of the public health risk depends on how long such elevated levels persist, as well as how far and fast the radioactive materials spread, and whether the limited evacuation plan announced by the government proves sufficient.

In Tokyo, 170 miles south of the plant, the metropolitan government said Tuesday it had detected radiation levels 20 times above normal over the city, though it stressed that such a level posed no immediate health threat, and that levels had dropped since then.

The government said later Tuesday that radiation levels at the Fukushima plant also appeared to be falling sharply.

Japan has officially requested assistance from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency. But on Tuesday, the United States Forces Japan said the Fukushima plant had turned away two fire trucks that had made their way to the plant to offer assistance.

“They said they didn’t need them,” said Sgt. Maj. Steve Valley of the military public affairs office. “So they came right back.”

The succession of problems at Daiichi was initially difficult to interpret, with confusion compounded by incomplete and inconsistent information provided by government officials and executives of the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company.

But industry executives in close contact with officials in Japan expressed extreme concern that the authorities were close to losing control over the fuel melting that has been ongoing in three reactors at Daiichi, especially at the crippled No. 2 reactor where the containment vessel was damaged.

Tokyo Electric Power said Tuesday that after the explosion at the No. 2 reactor, pressure had dropped in the “suppression pool” — a section at the bottom of the reactor that converts steam to water and is part of the critical function of keeping the nuclear fuel protected. After that occurred, radiation levels outside No. 2 were reported to have risen sharply.

“We are on the brink. We are now facing the worst-case scenario,” said Hiroaki Koide, a senior reactor engineering specialist at the Research Reactor Institute of Kyoto University. “We can assume that the containment vessel at Reactor No. 2 is already breached. If there is heavy melting inside the reactor, large amounts of radiation will most definitely be released.”

Another executive said the chain of events at Daiichi suggested that it would be difficult to maintain emergency seawater cooling operations for an extended period if the containment vessel at one reactor had been compromised because radiation levels could threaten the health of workers nearby.

If all workers do in fact leave the plant, the nuclear fuel in all three reactors is likely to melt down, which would lead to wholesale releases of radioactive material — by far the largest accident of its kind since Chernobyl.

Even if a full meltdown is averted, Japanese officials have been facing unpalatable options. One was to continue flooding the reactors and venting the resulting steam, while hoping that the prevailing winds did not turn south toward Tokyo or west, across northern Japan to the Korean Peninsula. The other was to hope that the worst of the overheating was over, and that with the passage of a few more days the nuclear cores would cool enough to essentially entomb the radioactivity inside the plants, which clearly will never be used again. Both approaches carried huge risks.

While Japanese officials made no comparisons to past accidents, the release of an unknown quantity of radioactive gases and particles — all signs that the reactor cores were damaged from at least partial melting of fuel — added considerable tension to the effort to cool the reactors.

“It’s way past Three Mile Island already,” said Frank von Hippel, a physicist and professor at Princeton. “The biggest risk now is that the core really melts down and you have a steam explosion.”

The sharp deterioration came after a frantic day and night of rescue efforts focused largely on the No. 2 reactor. There, a malfunctioning valve prevented workers from manually venting the containment vessel to release pressure and allow fresh seawater to be injected into it. That meant that the extraordinary remedy emergency workers had jury-rigged to keep the nuclear fuel from overheating no longer worked.

As a result, the nuclear fuel in that reactor was exposed for many hours, increasing the risk of a breach of the container vessel and more dangerous emissions of radioactive particles.

By Tuesday morning, Tokyo Electric Power said that it had fixed the valve and resumed seawater injections, but that it had detected possible leaks in the containment vessel that prevented water from fully covering the fuel rods.

Then an explosion hit that reactor. After a series of conflicting reports about what level of damage was inflicted on the reactor after that blast, Mr. Edano, the chief cabinet secretary, said, “there is a very high probability that a portion of the containment vessel was damaged.”

The steel containment vessels that protect nuclear fuel in reactors are considered crucial to maintain the integrity of the reactor and the safety of the fuel.

Mr. Edano, however, said that the level of leaking at the No. 2 reactor remained small, raising the prospect that the container was sufficiently intact to protect the nuclear fuel inside.

Hiroko Tabuchi reported from Tokyo, Keith Bradsher from Hong Kong, and David E. Sanger from Washington. Matthew L. Wald contributed reporting from Washington.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/16/world/asia/16nuclear.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print

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Radioactive level at N-plant rises, radiation a threat: Japan PM

March 15, 2011

Japan's Prime Minister said on Tuesday that radioactive levels had become high around an earthquake-stricken nuclear power plant after an explosion there, and there was a risk of radiation leaking into the atmosphere. Naoto Kan urged people within 30 km (18 miles) of the facility north of Tokyo to

remain indoors and the French embassy in the capital warned in an advisory that a low level of radioactive wind could reach Tokyo within 10 hours.

Tuesday's explosion was the third at the plant since it was damaged in last Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami.

Authorities have been trying to prevent meltdowns in all three of the Fukishima Daiichi complex's nuclear reactors by flooding the chambers with sea water to cool them down.

As concern about the crippling economic impact of the double disaster mounted, Japanese stocks plunged 7.0 percent to their lowest level in nearly two years, compounding a drop of 7.6 percent the day before.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/restofasia/Radioactive-level-at-N-plant-rises-radiation-a-threat-Japan-PM/Article1-673565.aspx

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40 injured in fresh clashes in Yemen

MAR 15 2011

Almost 40 protesters were injured when police opened fire Monday to disperse demonstrations in Yemen, a strategic US ally in the fight against al-Qaeda, officials said.

The violence came after eight people were killed in weekend clashes with security forces, sparking condemnation and calls for restraint from the United Nations and Western powers.

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/11570.html

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Malaysia under fire over caning of 30,000 foreigners

MAR 15 2011

Malaysia has said it caned nearly 30,000 foreigners since 2005, a revelation that drew condemnation Monday from rights groups who demanded an end to the ‘barbaric’ practice.

Amnesty International says that caning has hit epidemic proportions in Malaysia, where the beatings are administered with a long stick that leaves permanent physical and mental scars.

Rights groups were outraged after it emerged that the government said in a statement to parliament last week that a total of 29,759 foreign workers were caned between 2005 and 2010 for various immigration offences.

‘Judicial caning is a form of torture and ill-treatment against human beings because it causes physical suffering, psychological problems and constant trauma,’ Andika Abdul Wahab from rights watchdog Suaram said in a statement.

‘This form of barbaric solution is prohibited’ by international law, he added.

Suaram said the foreign workers were usually picked up during large-scale crackdowns on illegal migrants. Malaysia is one of Asia’s biggest importer of labour, with workers mostly coming from neighbouring Indonesia.

London-based Amnesty also urged Malaysia to immediately halt judicial caning, which is meted out for serious crimes including murder and rape, as well as for immigration violations.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/11584.html

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Gulf troops enter Bahrain as protests escalate

MAR 15 2011

MANAMA: Armed forces from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates rolled into Bahrain on Monday to help the government there deal with pro-democracy protesters, prompting alarm from the United States.

Television footage showed convoys of unmarked, desert-brown armoured vehicles crossing from Saudi’s Eastern Province into Bahrain, the home of the US Fifth Fleet.

The Saudi government said it had responded to a call for help from its neighbour as Saudi-led forces from the Gulf countries’ joint Peninsula Shield Force crossed the causeway separating the two countries.

“The council of ministers has confirmed that it has answered a request by Bahrain for support,” the Saudi government said in a statement carried by the SPA state news agency.

Under an agreement of the six-country Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), “any harm done to the security of a member state is considered a harm done to the security of all members,” it said.

The United Arab Emirates also said it had sent some 500 police to help “defuse tension,” according to Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan.

It was not clear if the other GCC members Kuwait, Oman and Qatar were also participating.

The Shia-led opposition alliance said any foreign force would be treated as an invading army.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/15/saudi-says-it-responded-to-threat-to-bahrains-security.html

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NAB soft on Zardari as well as Sharifs

Ansar Abbasi

MAR 15 2011

ISLAMABAD: If the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is friendly to President Asif Ali Zardari and his coterie, it is extraordinarily soft on the Sharifs and other opposition leaders, too.

Well-informed NAB sources confided to The News that the NAB, which is not pursuing corruption cases against the Sharifs in accountability courts, has also pended eight investigations and two inquiries regarding alleged corruption and misuse of authority mainly involving PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and in one case against his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif.

The bureau is also in possession of what a source called reasonable ‘meat’ against the Chaudhrys of Gujrat and even JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman but it not proceeding against them too. The NAB is generally criticised for covering up past and present corruption cases of the PPP government including those against President Zardari and many others. However, the sources confirmed that the NAB is also not keen to proceed against the Sharifs and even other major opposition voices.

The sources disclose that in the case of the Sharifs details of all their corruption cases, investigations and inquiries were sought from the NAB, which has already provided all the details to President Zardari, Law Minister Babar Awan and Senate chairman Farooq H Naek.

“Practically the NAB under present regime is not interested in pursuing corruption cases against any politician whether in the government or in the opposition,” they said, adding that the media needs to dig out if there is any unwritten agreement behind the government’s policy of ‘reconciliation’ and PML-N’s ‘friendly opposition’.

Full report at:

 http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=12619

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PM approves one-year extension in service of DG ISI

Muhammad Saleh Zaafir:

MAR 15 2011

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has approved extension in service to Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha for a period of one year. The notification pertaining to the authorisation is expected to be issued today (Tuesday) by the Ministry of Defence. General Pasha’s extended tenure would begin from Saturday next.

General Pasha was selected as military adviser to the UN general secretary in October 2007 but he declined the offer due to his commitments as DGMO, he was performing then. Well-placed defence sources told The News here Monday that the decision to retain Lt Gen Pasha in uniform and ISI DG was due to his commendable role in the ongoing war against terrorism.

Pasha has been DG of the country’s premier intelligence service since October 2008. Defence experts are of the view that General Pasha’s presence would be required for foiling intrigues against Pakistan at the critical juncture of the war against terror.

 http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=12620

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'PPP Govt committed to democracy'

MAR 15 2011

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has stated at the Cabinet meeting held here on Monday that the Government was committed to the ideas of democracy and constitutionalism and believed in sovereignty of the Parliament and independence of the Judiciary.

He stressed that the Government was functioning within the domain defined by the Constitution and fully respected the decisions of the superior judiciary, substantiated by no less the person of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, in his remarks during the hearing of the case where the Government was a party.

Gilani rejected any confrontation between state institutions saying the government was committed to “democracy and constitutionalism” and believed in the sovereignty of parliament and independence of the judiciary.

“This cabinet unanimously dispels the impression that our government is in any mood of confrontation with any state institution,” Prime Minister Gilani told the federal cabinet.

Gilani said the Government was functioning within the domain defined by the Constitution and fully respected the decisions of the superior judiciary.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0311/15/FrontPage/index.php?id=1

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Musharraf hits back at Britain

MAR 15-03-11

LONDON – Former president Pervez Musharraf says he believes Britain gave Pakistan “tacit approval” of its interrogation techniques on terror suspects.

In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) asked Musharraf if he remembers being told by the British government that Pakistani intelligence services should not use torture on British subjects.

In a programme to be broadcast on Monday evening, Musharraf responded “Never, never once.” An ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed alleges Britain was aware he was beaten and tortured while he was held in Pakistan in 2002. Former security official David Ormand, told the BBC that Britain does not practice torture and expects that its partners also respect that.– Agencies

http://dailymailnews.com/0311/15/FrontPage/index.php?id=12

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Afghan suicide attack kills 36

MAR 15 2011

A suicide blast at an army recruitment centre on Monday killed 36 people and wounded another 42 in northern Afghanistan, in the latest attack on local security forces.

Afghan forces are due to take increasing responsibility for stability in their war-torn country between now and 2014, when international combat troops are set to withdraw.

It was the second major incident in four days to hit Kunduz city, which has witnessed increased violence in recent months. On Thursday, the province police chief was killed by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle.

‘There was a suicide attack at the army recruitment centre in Kunduz city,’ Mehboubullah Sayedi, a spokesman for the governor of Kunduz province, said of the latest attack.

‘The preliminary information we have suggests that 33 people were killed and another 42 were wounded.’

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/frontpage/11654.html

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UK never told Pakistan to avoid torture: Musharraf

MAR 15 2011

Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has claimed that Britain never clearly demanded that British citizens not be tortured by his country’s security services, in comments released Monday.

As Britain prepares to open an inquiry into claims that its agents were complicit in the torture of terror suspects, Pakistan’s former military ruler said London’s stance may have been a ‘tacit approval of whatever we were doing.’

In an interview with BBC TV, Musharraf strongly indicated that Pakistani intelligence agents used torture to extract information from terror suspects, although he did not say whether Britons were subjected to such methods.

He claimed he did not recall being told by the British that the ISI, the Pakistani spy agency, should not use torture on British subjects.

‘Never. Never once, I don’t remember it all,’ he said.

‘Maybe they wanted us to continue to do whatever we were doing; it was a tacit approval of whatever we were doing.’

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/11586.htm

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India, U.S. faced off on sharing 26/11 information with Pakistan

NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN

MAR 15 2011

The Hindu File photo shows then U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with then U.S. Ambassador to India David Mulford in New Delhi. On January 3, 2009 Rice instructed the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi to deliver a demarche that the U.S. was making available to it material on the Mumbai attacks provided by the Government of Pakistan.

Suspicious of Islamabad, New Delhi wanted to restrict flow

India was locked in a tussle with the United States over sharing information from the 2008 Mumbai attacks investigation with Pakistan, according to a chain of U.S. Embassy cables accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks.

During the India-Pakistan standoff in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation helped the two sides share information of each other's investigations.

But India, suspicious of Pakistan's intentions, tried as long as it could to fend off U.S. pressure on information-sharing — before relenting, but with some conditions.

Unhappy about those conditions, the U.S. then sought to work around them through a “broad” reading of the assent.

On January 3, 2009 Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice instructed the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi to deliver a demarche (cable 185593: secret) that the U.S. was making available to it material on the Mumbai attacks provided by the Government of Pakistan.

Dr. Rice asked Ambassador David Mulford to tell New Delhi that “this information originated from top Pakistani officials in very sensitive positions and is passed to you with their permission. It represents a genuine willingness on their part to share sensitive and significant information with India.”

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/the-india-cables/article1538390.ece?homepage=true

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Headley may face questions on his many wives

March 15, 2011

Lawyers of Mumbai terror attack suspect Tahawwur Rana have asked a federal judge to make prosecutors turn over e-mails written by co-accused David Coleman Headley so that they may question him about his many wives. Lawyers for Rana, who Headley is expected to testify against, said on Monday that the

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y had received a voluminous number of e-mails authored by Headley, including a portion that made reference to his past relationships.

In seeking more e-mails, lawyer Patrick Blegen said that Rana's team sees relevance if they show Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Headley, who has confessed to his role in the attacks, keeping secrets and selectively disclosing things to his friends, including Rana.

"We want all of them so we can decide" their relevance, Blegen was quoted as saying by Chicago Sun Times.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Headley-may-face-questions-on-his-many-wives/H1-Article1-673581.aspx

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Libyan jets strike rebels

March 15, 2011

Libyan armed forces bombarded the northern cities of Ajdabiya and Zuara Monday, as rebels appealed to the international community for weapons to help them in their battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. News websites reported that fighter jets bombed parts of the city close to residential areas. N

o deaths or injuries were reported.

Opposition news website Libya al-Youm reported that the fighter jets dropped flyers over the city of Ajdabiya after the air strikes, calling on rebels to surrender and urging people take down the rebels’ red, black and green flag.

According to the Brnieq website, the flyers warned that if residents disobeyed orders, Gaddafi’s brigades would march into the city and kill everyone who fights back.

If government forces gain total control of Ajdabiya and other nearby cities, they could advance on to the opposition stronghold of Benghazi.

G8 ministers meet on Libya

The Group of Eight powers gathered in Paris on Monday to decide a common line on possible intervention to ground the warplanes pounding Libya’s rebels. The world’s eight powers were seeking a common front, with host France pushing for a no-fly zone over Libya.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/africa/Libyan-jets-strike-rebels/Article1-673502.aspx

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Al Qaeda jihadi mag offers beauty tips

March 15, 2011

Al Qaeda has launched a magazine for women that not only offers beauty and fashion tips but also gives advice on suicide bombings. The front cover of the glossy magazine, called Jihad Cosmo, features the barrel of a sub-machine gun next to a picture of a woman in a veil, reports the Daily Mail.<

/EM>

There are exclusive interviews with martyrs’ wives, who praise their husbands’ decisions to die in suicide attacks.

The slick, 31-page Al-Shamikha magazine — meaning The Majestic Woman — has advice for singletons on ‘marrying a mujahideen’. Readers are told it is their duty to raise children to be mujahideen ready for jihad. The ‘beauty column’ instructs women to stay indoors with their faces covered to keep a ‘clear complexion’.

More traditional content for a women’s magazine includes features on the merits of honey facemasks, etiquette, first aid and why readers should avoid ‘towelling too forcibly.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/africa/Libyan-jets-strike-rebels/Article1-673502.aspx

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Somali pirates release MV Jahan Moni, 26 crew

Ship sails for Oman

Tushar Hayat . Chittagong

MAR 15 2011

Somali pirates released Bangladeshi ship MV Jahan Moni along with its 26 crew on Monday morning, 99 days after hijacking the vessel from Arabian Sea on December 5, 2010.

‘The pirates left the vessel at about 10:00am Bangladesh time and it sailed for Salalah port of Oman at about 10:30am,’ said Meherul Karim, general manager of the ship’s operator Brave Royal Ship Management Limited, at a briefing.

The company’s managing director, Mohammed Shahjahan, head of crisis management cell Captain Golam Mostafa and marine superintendent Captain Zaidi were present at the briefing.

Meherul said the ship was expected to reach Salalah, its port of refuge, where its 25 crew and wife of a crewman would undergo medical check-up before flying to Chittagong on March 22.

He said another group of crewmen would reach Salalah by this time to take charge of the ship.

The Bangladesh embassy in Muscat is organising their repatriation. Bangladeshi doctors staying in Salalah have been contacted for providing the crew with emergency medical service and advice after they reach the port.

Meherul said that a group of 26 crewmen had already been appointed to operate the vessel from Salalah adding that seven officials of the company would fly to Oman along with them by Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/frontpage/11659.html

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Suicide attack on Afghan army centre kills 37

Mar 14, 2011

KUNDUZ: A suicide attack on an army recruitment centre in northern Afghanistan killed 37 people on Monday, the third major assault in the area in less than a month, the deputy governor said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of the militant Islamist group. Dozens more were wounded, officials said.

A Reuters witness heard gunfire in the area after the attack but Hamdullah Danishi, deputy governor of Kunduz province, said the casualties were all caused by a single suicide bomber.

"The death toll includes new recruits, army soldiers and civilians," Danishi told Reuters. A doctor in the Kunduz provincial hospital said 33 bodies had been brought in.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-03-14/south-asia/28687753_1_suicide-bomber-suicide-attack-kunduz

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3 soldiers killed in violent protests across Yemen

By MOHAMMED GHOBARI AND MOHAMED SUDAM

Mar 15, 2011

SANAA: Scattered clashes broke out across Yemen on Monday, with three soldiers killed in the north, as military forces were deployed to check nationwide protests demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The impoverished Arabian Peninsula state has been rocked by weeks of demonstrations that have undermined Saleh’s 32-year grip on power, with both pro- and anti-government supporters appearing to resort increasingly to violence in the struggle.

Seven demonstrators and three soldiers have died in clashes since Saturday, raising the death toll from unrest above 30.

The United States, which has long seen Saleh as a bulwark against a dynamic Al-Qaeda wing based in Yemen, has condemned the bloodshed and backed the right for peaceful protest, but has insisted only dialogue can end the political crisis.

Two soldiers and an officer were killed as clashes broke out in the northern Al-Jawf province, which borders oil giant Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s state news agency Saba said.

Fighting intensified after protesters stormed a municipal building. Security forces fired on them, wounding 10, but could not stop them seizing the building, a local official said.

In the central Maarib province, where several oil and gas fields of international companies are located, a man stabbed governor Naji Zayedi, critically wounding him as he and police tried to break up a crowd of thousands at a sit-in.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article317252.ece

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Meltdown threat rises at 3rd blast rocks Japanese n-plant

Mar 15, 2011

SOMA, Japan: A third explosion in four days rocked a crippled nuclear power plant in tsunami-ravaged northeastern Japan early Tuesday as authorities struggled to avert a catastrophic release of radiation.

The cascading troubles at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex were set in motion when last Friday’s quake and tsunami knocked out power, crippling the cooling systems needed to keep nuclear fuel from going into full meltdown.

The latest blast happened in the plant’s Unit 2 near a suppression pool, which removes heat under a reactor vessel, plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. No one was reported injured, but plant workers were temporarily evacuated.

Japanese officials said radiation levels at the plant are within safe limits, and international scientists said that while there are serious dangers, there is little risk of a catastrophe like the deadly 1986 blast in Chernobyl in Ukraine, where there were no containment shells to hold back the radiation.

Japanese authorities have been injecting seawater as a coolant of last resort, and advising nearby residents to stay inside to avoid contamination.

“It’s like a horror movie,” said 49-year-old Kyoko Nambu as she stood on a hillside overlooking her ruined hometown of Soma, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the plant.

“Our house is gone and now they are telling us to stay indoors. We can see the damage to our houses, but radiation? ... We have no idea what is happening. I am so scared,”  she said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article317433.ece

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Calls mount for prosecution of ‘Day of Rage dissidents’

By MUHAMMAD AL-SULAMI

Mar 14, 2011

JEDDAH: “May Allah Blacken Your Faces” is the title of a new Facebook campaign launched by a number of Saudi youths against those Saudis who used the social media tool to call for the failed Day of Rage last Friday.

The proposed Day of Rage petered out with citizens all over the Kingdom expressing their love for and allegiance to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. The new campaign coincides with calls for lawsuits against those who called for the Day of Rage.

Internet sites of those who had called for protests and who called their movement the “Hunain Revolution” (in reference to a battle during the time of the Prophet, peace be upon him) remain deserted after their complete failure.

Loyal Saudi subjects have put together over 30 Facebook pages dubbing the alleged revolution "a fake and a failure."

Over 2.3 million Saudis, constituting about eight percent of the Kingdom’s total population, use Facebook.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article317144.ece

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U.S.-Saudi Tensions Intensify With Mideast Turmoil

By DAVID E. SANGER and ERIC SCHMITT

March 14, 2011

WASHINGTON — Even before Saudi Arabia sent troops into Bahrain on Monday to quell an uprising it fears might spill across its own borders, American officials were increasingly concerned that the kingdom’s stability could ultimately be threatened by regional unrest, succession politics and its resistance to reform.

So far, oil-rich Saudi Arabia has successfully stifled public protests with a combination of billions of dollars in new jobs programs and an overwhelming police presence, backed by warnings last week from the foreign minister to “cut any finger that crosses into the kingdom.”

Monday’s action, in which more than 2,000 Saudi-led troops from gulf states crossed the narrow causeway into Bahrain, demonstrated that the Saudis were willing to back their threats with firepower.

The move created another quandary for the Obama administration, which obliquely criticized the Saudi action without explicitly condemning the kingdom, its most important Arab ally. The criticism was another sign of strains in the historically close relationship with Riyadh, as the United States pushes the country to make greater reforms to avert unrest.

Other symptoms of stress seem to be cropping up everywhere.

Saudi officials have made no secret of their deep displeasure with how President Obama handled the ouster of the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, charging Washington with abandoning a longtime ally. They show little patience with American messages about embracing what Mr. Obama calls “universal values,” including peaceful protests.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/world/middleeast/15saudi.html?ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

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‘Davis may have been monitoring LeT activities’

Mar 14 2011

Washington : Raymond Davis may have headed a covert CIA team that was tasked to secretly gather intelligence on the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which the Americans feel is getting out of the shadows of the Pakistan Army to launch a campaign of jihad against the US and Europe.

By covertly monitoring the LeT, Davis might have stepped on the wrong side of the Pakistan Army's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) that has nurtured the Lashkar for years as a proxy force to attack targets and enemies in India, the New York Times reported.

The report said that since the ISI has backed the LeT, the Pakistani spy agency doesn't look kindly on the Americans trying to bust it.

The extraordinary swirl of recriminations that followed the Davis shooting episode confirmed for many Pakistan's suspicions that America has deployed a secret army of spies and contractors inside Pakistan.

"It has also called unwelcome attention to a bigger, more dangerous game in which Davis appears to have played just a supporting role," the paper quoted American officials, who did not elaborate.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/762233/

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Lahore HC dismisses petitions on CIA contractor Raymond Davis's immunity

Mar 14, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The Lahore high court has dismissed petitions pertaining to the diplomatic immunity of the arrested CIA contractor Raymond Davis after the foreign ministry admitted that they have no record of his diplomatic status, a media report said on Monday.

Deputy attorney general Naveed Enayet Malik submitted in the foreign ministry's reply that: "Raymond Davis's correct name is Raymond Allen Davis to whom business visa was given on the US government request."

Raymond Davis was arrested after he gunned down two Pakistani men in Lahore. Following the incident, the US embassy approached the foreign ministry for immediate release of Davis.

Deputy attorney general said that the foreign ministry was fully aware of the rule of law and their responsibility and added that whatever record was available relating to Raymond Davis would be submitted in the court.

The petitioner, Azhar Siddique, raising an objection, said: "Why was the government hesitant in giving a categorical statement relating to the immunity of Raymond Davis."

Malik said that as the trial court was already hearing this case, the decision on immunity would also be taken by the court in accordance with the law.

The chief justice, while dismissing the petitions relating to Davis's immunity, said the trial court will take a decision on this, Geo News reported.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Lahore-HC-dismisses-petitions-on-CIA-contractor-Raymond-Daviss-immunity/articleshow/7701806.cms

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Iran Calls Saudi Troops in Bahrain ‘Unacceptable’

By ETHAN BRONNER and MICHAEL SLACKMAN

March 15, 2011

MANAMA, Bahrain — A day after Saudi Arabia’s military rolled into Bahrain, the Iranian government branded the move “unacceptable” on Tuesday, threatening to escalate a local political conflict into a regional showdown with Iran.

“The presence of foreign forces and interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs is unacceptable and will further complicate the issue,” Ramin Mehmanparast, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman told a news conference in Tehran, according to state-run media.

Even as predominantly Shiite Muslim Iran pursues a determined crackdown against dissent at home, Tehran has supported the protests led by the Shiite majority in Bahrain.

“People have some legitimate demands and they are expressing them peacefully,” Mr. Memanparast said. “It should not be responded to violently.”

“We expect their demands be fulfilled through correct means,” Mr. Mehmanparast added. Iran’s response — while anticipated — showed the depth of rivalry across the Persian Gulf in a contest that has far-reaching consequences in many parts of the Middle East.

On Monday, Iranian state-run media went so far as to call the troop movement an invasion. Saudi Arabia has been watching uneasily as Bahrain’s Shiite majority has staged weeks of protests against a Sunni monarchy, fearing that if the protesters prevailed, Iran, Saudi Arabia’s bitter regional rival, could expand its influence and inspire unrest elsewhere.

The Saudi decision to send in troops on Monday could further inflame the conflict and transform this teardrop of a nation in the Persian Gulf into the Middle East’s next proxy battlefield between regional and global powers. On Tuesday, there was no immediate indication that the Saudi forces were confronting protesters in the central Pearl Square — the emblem of the Bahrain protest much as Cairo’s Tahrir Square assumed symbolic significance in the Egyptian uprising.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/16/world/middleeast/16bahrain.html?ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

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US eyes Libyan opposition, allies call for action

03/15/2011

Under pressure from allies and growing calls for military intervention in Libya, the Obama administration held its first high-level talks with the Libyan opposition on Monday but remained undecided about exactly how much support to lend a group it still knos little about while turmoil and uncertainty increase across the Arab world.

In Paris, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton held a late-night, 45-minute meeting with a senior Libyan opposition figure after discussing the widening crisis with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Sarkozy, along with Bitish Prime Minister David Cameron, meanwhile, stepped up calls for world powers to isolate Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi with a no-fly zone, amid diplomatic differences over how much backing to give rebels.

Clinton's closed-door meeting with opposition figure member Mahmoud Jibril in a luxury Paris hotel was shrouded in secrecy until it happened, with neither the time nor the identity of her interlocutors announced beforehand.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/03/15/us-eyes-libyan-opposition-allies-call-action.html

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Japan's blasts cast doubt on nuclear renaissance

Angela Charlton and John Heilprin

 03/15/2011

Switzerland freezes plans to build new nuclear plants, Germany raises questions about its nuclear future, and opposition to atomic reactor construction mounts from Turkey to South Africa.

Will explosions and other worries at a tsunami-stricken Japanese nuclear plant halt what has come to be known as the nuclear renaissance?

Fears about nuclear safety that took a generation to overcome after the accidents at Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island are resurfacing around the globe. They are casting new doubt on a controversial energy source that has seen a resurgence in recent years, amid worries over volatile oil prices and global warming.

"Europe has to wake up from its Sleeping Beauty slumber" about nuclear safety, Austria's Environment Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich told reporters in Brussels. He suggested an EU-wide stress test for nuclear plants, much like European banks have been tested for their ability to cope with financial shocks.

Yet some experts and officials say those fears are overblown, given the exceptional nature of Japan's earthquake and ensuing tsunami. The Japanese blasts may slow the push for more nuclear plants, but appear unlikely to stop it, given the world's fast-growing energy needs.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/03/15/japans-blasts-cast-doubt-nuclear-renaissance.html

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The fate of 300 Indonesians in Miyagi, Iwake unknown

03/14/2011

The fate of about 300 Indonesians in tsunami-hit Miyagi and Iwake remained unclear, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said Monday.

Data at the Indonesian Embassy in Tokyo showed that there were 414 Indonesians living in Miyagi and Iwake.

More than 100  were sent to Tokyo , while the whereabouts of the others were not known, spokesman of the ministry Michael Tenne said, tempointeraktif.com reported.

”We can’t say whether they are missing or dead,” he said.

He said that the embassy relieve team members who visited hospitals and evacuation sites in  the two prefectures to find out their fate faced problems because many roads were severely damaged and the Japanese government closed several places for security reasons.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/03/14/the-fate-300-indonesians-miyagi-iwake-unknown.html

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King Abdullah hails ‘peak of loyalty’

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Monday highlighted the security and stability in the Kingdom and the cohesive relationship between Saudis and their leadership.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, King Abdullah also noted Saudi Arabia’s strong relations with other countries based on mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs.

“Saudi Arabia rejects any form of interference in its internal affairs, affecting the interests of the nation and its people as well as its systems and laws that are based on the Qur’an and Sunnah,” the king said.

In a statement issued after the meeting, the Cabinet emphasized that such rules and regulations were enacted to safeguard the security and stability of Saudi society and save it from division and sedition.

King Abdullah underscored “the peak of loyalty” expressed by the Saudi people to their leadership. “There is no surprise if they did not heed the calls of instigators and spiteful people,” he added.

The king said Saudis rejected the call for demonstrations on Friday because they knew the vicious objectives behind them.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article317149.ece

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Kingdom takes lead to help Bahrain

Mar 15, 2011

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states started sending security forces on Monday to Bahrain in response to Manama's call for military help to quell anti-government protests that have shaken the country. Bahraini opposition groups including the largest party Al-Wefaq denounced the move to invite GCC forces. But the United States, while urging Bahrain to exercise restraint, said it does not consider the entry into Bahrain of GCC security forces an invasion.

MANAMA/ALKHOBAR: Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states responded positively on Monday to Bahrain’s call for military help to quell anti-government protests that have shaken the country.

“The Saudi Cabinet has confirmed that it has answered a request by Bahrain for support,” said a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The Saudi government said that “any harm done to the security of a member state is considered a harm done to the security of all GCC members.” As reports of GCC troops arriving into Bahrain was broadcast on television, hundreds of highly emotional Bahrainis called up Bahrain TV and radio stations to express their gratitude to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and other GCC heads for their timely help.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article317215.ece

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Japanese ordered indoors in radiation leak crisis

3/15/2011

Radiation leaked from a crippled nuclear plant in tsunami-ravaged northeastern Japan after a third reactor was rocked by an explosion Tuesday and a fourth caught fire in a dramatic escalation of the 4-day-old catastrophe. The government warned anyone nearby to stay indoors to avoid exposure.

In a nationally televised statement, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said radiation has spread from four reactors of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Fukushima province, one of the hardest-hit in Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami that has killed more than 10,000 people.

"The level seems very high, and there is still a very high risk of more radiation coming out," Kan said. "We are making utmost efforts to prevent further explosions and radiation leaks."

This is the worst nuclear crisis Japan has faced since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. It is also the first time that such a grave nuclear threat has been raised in the world since a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine exploded in 1986.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/03/15/japanese-ordered-indoors-radiation-leak-crisis.html-0

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Searching for survivors, counting the dead

Mar 15 2011

Natori : The tsunami that barreled into Japan on Friday was so murderous and efficient that not much was left when search-and-rescue teams finally reached Natori on Monday. There was searching, but not much rescuing. There was, essentially, nobody left to rescue.

The mournful scene in Natori, a farm and fishing town that has been reduced to a vast muddy plain, was similar to rescue efforts in other communities along the coast as police, military and foreign assistance teams poked through splintered houses and piles of wreckage. The death toll from the quake, the strongest in Japan’s history, continued to climb, inexorably so, as officials uncovered more bodies. By Monday afternoon, the toll stood at more than 1,800 confirmed dead and 2,300 missing. Police officials, however, said it was certain that more than 10,000 had died. A leading Japanese daily reported Monday that 20,000 people in two small coastal towns were missing.

Police, for example, found about 700 bodies that had washed ashore on a peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture, close to the epicenter. The bodies washed out as the tsunami retreated. Now they are washing back in.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/762395/

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Distraught father threatens self-immolation at NSHR meeting

By MUHAMMAD HUMAIDAN

Mar 14, 2011

JEDDAH: A Saudi in his 40s barged into a National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) meeting in Jeddah on Monday, poured a gallon of petrol over himself and threatened to set himself on fire if his ex-wife did not return his children to him.

Attendees at the meeting — who were at the time discussing the increasing cases of domestic violence in the Kingdom — negotiated with the man for around 20 minutes. Those present included police officials.

During the standoff, the man said he had been threatened with jail for failing to abide by a court ruling asking him to pay SR45,000 to his ex-wife and children in maintenance. The man said he was unable to pay the sum, that he receives SR800 a month in social welfare benefits and that he had not seen his children for over seven years.

Members of the meeting said they were able to convince the man that they would study his case with an eye of finding a solution at which he handed the lighter to Khaled Al-Ghamdi, head of the Jeddah branch of the NSHR.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article317145.ece

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Medvedev bans Qaddafi from Russia

Mar 14, 2011

MOSCOW: President Dmitry Medvedev banned Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and his family from Russia and from carrying out financial transactions in the country, the Kremlin said on Monday.

The Kremlin chief added Qaddafi and his family to a list of banned people from Russia in a decree signed on March 10.

Qaddafi on Sunday urged Russia, China and India to invest in Libya’s oil sector, state television said.

It said Qaddafi had made the appeal during talks with the ambassadors of the three countries.

“In the discussions with the ambassadors ... a call was made for the companies of those countries to invest in the Libyan oil industry,” it said.

Libya’s oil exports have been heavily disrupted by fighting, lack of staff, international sanctions and refusal of international banks to fund deals in the wake of a bloody uprising.

Crude fell more than $1 a barrel after Qaddafi’s forces regained control of some territory over the weekend

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article316796.ece

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More than 42 fighters dead in raid on S.Sudan town

By REUTERS

Mar 14, 2011

JUBA, Sudan: More than 40 militiamen and two soldiers died when rebel militias raided the capital of south Sudan’s oil-producing Upper Nile state and took more than 100 children hostage in an orphanage, the southern army said.

Renegade fighters attacked Malakal on Saturday in the latest violence to stoke fears for the stability of the south ahead of its independence from the north, due to take place on July 9.

Just short of 99 percent of southern voters chose to declare independence in a January referendum promised in a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war with the north.

Some of the attackers took shelter in an orphanage and briefly held around 130 children inside hostage, UN officials, aid workers and the spokesman for the southern army (SPLA) Philip Aguer said.

“The attackers were trying to hide there. The orphans and staff were later released unharmed,” said Aguer, without going into further detail. Aid workers said a priest led negotiations to free the children.

Aguer said the southern army clashed with the militia and eventually forced them out of the town.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article316745.ece

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UK gave tacit approval for torture, says Musharraf

Mar 14, 2011

LONDON: Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said he believes Britain gave Pakistan “tacit approval” of its interrogation techniques on terror suspects.

In a program to be broadcast Monday, the British Broadcasting Corporation asked Musharraf if he remembers being told by the British government that Pakistani intelligence services should not use torture on British subjects.

Musharraf, who was president of Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, responded “Never, never once. I don’t remember it at all.” He added: “Maybe they wanted us to continue to do whatever we were doing; it was a tacit approval of whatever we were doing.” Human rights groups claim Britain colluded in the torture of terrorism suspects overseas. An ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee, Binyam Mohamed, who is of Ethiopian origin and became a British resident when he was a teenager, alleges Britain was aware he was beaten, subjected to sleep deprivation and had his genitals sliced with a scalpel while he was held in Pakistan in 2002.

Former UK security and intelligence co-ordinator David Omand, told the BBC that Britain does not practice torture and expects that its partners also respect that.

“I am very clear we are not and have not been complicit in torture and I’m in no doubt that all the countries concerned, including Pakistan and the United States, were very well aware of what British policy was, which was we don’t do this and we don’t ask other people to do it,” he said.

http://arabnews.com/world/article317180.ece

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Japan begins to dig for dead amid nuclear crisis

Monday, March 14, 2011

A tide of bodies washed up along Japan's coastline, crematoriums are overwhelmed and rescue workers run out of body bags as the nation faces the grim reality of its mounting humanitarian, economic and nuclear crisis after a calamitous tsunami. Millions of people are facing a fourth night without water, food or heating

This aerial photo shows a pleasure boat sitting on top of a building amid a sea of debris in Otsuchi town of Iwate prefecture following the tsunami. AFP photo

Rescue workers used chain saws and hand picks Monday to dig out bodies in Japan's devastated coastal towns, as Asia's richest nation faced a mounting humanitarian, nuclear and economic crisis in the aftermath of a massive earthquake and tsunami that likely killed thousands.

Millions of people spent a third night without water, food or heating in near-freezing temperatures along the devastated northeastern coast. Meanwhile, a third reactor at a nuclear power plant lost its cooling capacity, raising fears of a meltdown, while the stock market plunged over the likelihood of huge losses by Japanese industries including big names such as Toyota and Honda.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=japan-begins-to-dig-for-dead-amid-nuclear-crisis-2011-03-14

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New failure hits Japan nuke plant after 2nd blast

Monday, March 14, 2011

The upper part of a house washed away by the tsunami in Minamisanrikucho in Miyagi prefecture is looked at by people Sunday, two days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country's northeast coast. AP photo

An explosion rocked a building housing a nuclear reactor at a quake-damaged Japanese power plant Monday, the second such blast in two days, as the cooling system failed at a third reactor.

The new troubles at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, 250 kilometers north of Tokyo, stalled Japan’s efforts to secure the facility after Friday’s massive earthquake and devastating tsunami. Officials said the container surrounding the plant’s number-three reactor was not breached in the blast – which left 11 people injured – and there was no major rise in radiation levels.

The nuclear safety agency ruled out the possibility of a Chernobyl-style accident at the plant, according to national strategy minister Koichiro Genba. But France’s industry minister said the situation was worrying. “It is a serious nuclear accident, since there have been radioactive leaks,” Eric Besson said on France Inter radio. “It is not yet a catastrophe,” he said, but added: “We absolutely cannot rule that out.”

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=japan-nuke-plant-rocked-by-second-blast-2011-03-14

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Outrunning the tsunami - a race for survival

March 14, 2011

Residents shelter in an evacuation center at Sendai city in Miyagi prefectur. AFP photo.

Japanese tsunami survivors who were able to outrun the killer waves that raged out of the sea, have recalled how they saw those behind them consumed by the torrent of mud and debris.

Miki Otomo's sister was one of the fortunate, though the image of victims violently swept away last week by the black tide of wrecked houses and cars near the hard-hit city of Sendai will be forever seared in her memory.

"My older sister was in a bus when the wave came behind them. The bus driver told everybody to get out of the bus and run," said Otomo, a mother of three teens who herself managed to escape the deadly wall of water in her car.

"My sister was able to get away but some people just couldn't run fast enough," she said, adding they were engulfed by the swirling tsunami, which was sparked Friday by a massive earthquake, the biggest ever recorded in Japan.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=outrunning-the-tsunami---a-race-for-survival-2011-03-14

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Chinese PM: 'No analogy' between China and Mideast unrest

March 14, 2011

Premier Wen Jiabao rejected any comparison Monday between China and the unrest-hit Middle East, but admitted his government faced potent risks from inflation and other hot-button issues.

"We face extremely daunting tasks and complex domestic and international situations," Wen told reporters in an annual press briefing after the close of the nation's parliament session. China's ruling Communist Party is grappling with a range of problems such as inflation, rampant corruption, environmental degradation, and land grabs by property developers and local governments who evict existing residents.

"We have followed closely the turbulence in some North African and Middle Eastern countries. We believe it is not right to draw an analogy between China and those countries," Wen said.

Inflation tops the government's agenda, and while pledging further efforts to contain rising prices of food, housing and other essentials in the world's second-largest economy, Wen said inflation was "not easy to control." "Inflation is like a tiger; once it gets free, it is difficult to put back in the cage," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=china-pm-urges-gradual-political-reform-2011-03-14

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Japan battles nuclear emergency after deadly quake

March 13, 2011

Japan's nuclear crisis intensifies as authorities race to combat the threat of multiple reactor meltdowns. More than 200,000 people have been evacuated from the quake- and tsunami-savaged northeastern coast, but officials say the death toll will likely exceed 10,000 in one prefecture alone

An SOS sign is written on the ground of Shizugawa High School in Minamisanrikucho in Miyagi Prefecture (state), northern Japan, on Sunday, March 13, 2011, two days after the powerful earthquake and tsunami hit the area. AP photo

Japan battled a feared meltdown of two reactors at a quake-hit nuclear plant Sunday, as the full horror of the disaster emerged on the ravaged northeast coast where more than 10,000 were feared dead.

An explosion at the ageing Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant blew apart the building housing one of its reactors Saturday, a day after the biggest quake ever recorded in Japan unleashed a monster 10-meter tsunami.

The atomic emergency widened Sunday as the cooling systems vital for preventing overheating failed at a second reactor, and the government warned there was a risk it too could be hit with a blast.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=criticism-done-to-turkey-on-freedom-of-press-unjust-turkish-pm-says-2011-03-14

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Jakarta to reassess buildings’ quake resilience

03/15/2011

In the wake of a massive earthquake that caused widespread destruction in Japan last week, the Jakarta Administration says it plans to assess the earthquake safety levels of buildings in Jakarta.

One city official said Jakarta did not adopt the same building construction standards as Japan, which mandates that buildings have quake-proof architecture.

“For earthquakes, we adhere to the national regulations on earthquakes and not those used in Japan. We are evaluating the guide and the updated version will be issued by the Public Works Ministry,” Pandita from the Jakarta Building Monitoring and Supervisory Agency, said Monday, as quoted by kompas.com.

However, his statement contradicted an earlier statement made by Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo, who said Jakarta's buildings were in fact as safe as those in Japan, because they were built according to Japanese building standards.

“Indonesia's buildings have been using earthquake-proof construction standards since the 1970s, but each country has different standards...” Pandita said.

He added Jakarta’s susceptibility to earthquakes was moderate, unlike higher-risk areas along the southern coast of Sumatra

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/03/15/jakarta-reassess-buildings%E2%80%99-quake-resilience.html.

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Harbinger of spring blossoms in Istanbul

March 14, 2011

One of the world’s only flowers named after a city and endemic to its surrounding area has blossomed in Istanbul’s Aydost Woods this year in a sign of the coming of spring.

The Istanbul Çigdemi – also known by its full name in Latin, Crocus olivieri istanbulensis – was discovered and introduced to the world by British scientist Brian Mathew in 1982. Found only in the Aydost Woods in Istanbul’s Sultanbeyli district, it normally blossoms in February. Typically only 20 to 30 plants are found in the woods each year.

The istanbulensis is “a rare kind [of flower] that requires protection,” said Neriman Özhatay, a botany professor from Istanbul University, adding that the endemic plant is very important botanically. “We should not only protect the flower but also its habitat.”

Noting that Sultanbeyli has used the flower as its logo since 2008, Mayor Hüseyin Keskin voiced regret that its blossoms are so rare. “We intend to inform people about the delicate istanbulensis and protect this rare harbinger of spring,” he said.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=the-flower-of-istanbul-harbinger-of-spring-blossoms-2011-03-14

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Global free press outcry is 'defamation,' say Turkish prime minister

March 14, 2011

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

The foreign press has been contributing to a “defamation campaign” against Turkey with its inaccurate coverage of recent debate on press freedom, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday.

“We notice that the debate started recently in Turkey about the freedom of the press has moved into international platforms, where it has been turned into a systematic defamation campaign against Turkey through unrealistic news and comments,” Erdogan said in his opening speech at the Leaders of Change Summit being held in Istanbul on Monday and Tuesday.

The prime minister called on the foreign press to properly analyze what is going on in Turkey and reflect these analyses in the international arena. “For we know there is no media supporting state coups in developed countries and democracies,” he said.

Both Turkish and foreign media outlets have picked up the press-freedom story following the arrest earlier this month of reporters Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik after raids on their homes and those of other journalists as part of the ongoing probe into the alleged Ergenekon gang, which is accused of plotting to topple the government.

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Kingdom sets up panel to fight EU’s dumping allegations

By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN

Mar 15, 2011 02:01

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced on Monday it had set up a technical panel as part of its drive to defend itself in an anti-dumping row with the 27-member European Commission.

The high-level technical panel will work and coordinate with an international consulting office to explain the position of the Saudi government and exporters, a top official said here.

The announcement follows the EU’s recent move to launch an investigation against Saudi exporters of the polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

A notice of anti-subsidy proceeding concerning imports of certain polyethylene terephthalate has already been published.

“The Ministry of Commerce has received complaints against the Kingdom by the European Union, claiming that the Saudi producers of petrochemicals receive unfair support from the Saudi government in PET exports that contravenes the provisions of the agreement made by the World Trade Organization,” said deputy Commerce and Industry Minister Mohammed Al-Kathiri.

The PET market of the EU, where Saudi PET are allegedly being dumped, exceeds $4.1 billion annually.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/article317184.ece

 

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Time of one-person rule over: Dalai

VARINDER BHATIA

Mar 15 2011

Dharamsala : Formally conveying to the Tibetan parliament-in-exile his decision to devolve his “political authority” to pave way for a democratic system to pursue the cause of Tibet, the Dalai Lama said the “time of one person’s rule is over”.

The Dalai Lama’s message was read out by Speaker Penpa Tsering on the opening day of the parliament session. To resume on Tuesday, the discussion on the spiritual leader’s retirement will continue for three days before a final decision is taken.

The Tibetan government is working on three possibilities — requesting the Dalai Lama to reconsider his decision; accept the retirement; or find a middle-way approach where the elected representatives can take care of all executive affairs and the Dalai Lama continues to remain the political head.

Prof Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister (Kalon Tripa) of the government-in-exile, said: “The separation of Church and State is important for any secular system, but at the same time, the separation of Dharma and Polity is not possible.” When asked if the present leadership of the Tibetan government is capable of accepting the change as proposed by the Dalai Lama, Rinpoche said: “I am not ready to take such a responsibility. But there might be people who feel they are capable... All these discussions will be held in the House.”

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/762530/

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Former Israeli PM to be charged in property scandal

Mar 14 2011

Jerusalem : Disgraced former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who was forced to resign following a string of graft charges against him, will be indicted along with 18 other suspects for allegedly taking bribes in a massive property scandal, the prosecution announced on Monday.

The Tel Aviv District prosecution accepted the police recommendation to put the suspects on trial due to their participation in the alleged bribery scheme involving the "Holyland" residence project in Jerusalem, which was promoted during Olmert's decade-long tenure as the city's mayor.

All the suspects will be indicted for corruption, bribery, and other charges.

The other key suspects in the affair include former Jerusalem mayor, Uri Lupolianski, and Olmert's former bureau chief, Shula Zaken.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/762308/

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Indian family of five stuck in Japan

Mar 14 2011

Karnal : An Indian family of five from Karnal is untraceable in Japan which was devastated by a tsunami and massive earthquake which has claimed thousands of lives.

According to relatives of Narender Kumar, who is running a hotel in the tragedy struck nation, they were not able to contact him through telephone.

Kumar, his wife and three children are in Japan.

Keemti Lal, the brother of Kumar, said, "as we came to know about the tsunami, we talked to one of his friends Neeraj. Since then we have had no contact with him. We have not got any satisfactory answer from authorities."

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/762332/

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Anti-government journalism not terrorism, Turkish party co-chief says

March 14, 2011

Journalists cannot be considered terrorists or coup plotters even if their writing is anti-government, the co-leader of Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party has said following recent arrests of members of the press.

“A journalist may directly aim to hurt or topple a government with his writing. That is legitimate. Nobody can be declared a terrorist for that,” Selahattin Demirtas, co-leader of the Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, told daily Milliyet’s Asli Aydintasbas in an interview.

Supporting journalists such as Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik, both recently arrested in connection with the alleged Ergenekon gang, which is accused of plotting to topple the government, should not be perceived as supporting the gang, Demirtas said.

Even if a journalist’s opinions are in parallel with those of a terrorist organization trying to overthrow the government, that alone does not automatically make the journalist a member of the group, he said.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=-2011-03-14

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Saudi economy is solid: Prince Alwaleed

Mar 15, 2011

RIYADH: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Co. (KHC), discussed the status of the Saudi economy in an interview with CNBC US.

Prince Alwaleed, whose interview was aired on Friday March 11, also said the so-called "Day of Rage’ was in reality the day of allegiance and love for Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.

Emphasizing the Saudi economy remains “solid,” Prince Alwaleed said the Kingdom was capable of meeting the oil shortfall created by Libya’s unrest.

He said there are problems in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya. “Which means four out of 20 Arab countries, around 20 percent, have some problems. We hope that this thing is not contagious and does not spread at all. But clearly, the Arab world has to look at the future and reflect the needs of its people. So just because certain countries are stable doesn’t mean that their leaders have to take their population for granted. They have to also look out for their needs and to reform, and take steps to be in the driver’s seat.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/article317198.ece

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Winter reluctant to loosen grip, more rains forecast

By MD HUMAIDAN

Mar 14, 2011

JEDDAH: More rainfall is predicted across the Kingdom over the next few days, said Mansour Al-Mazroui, head of the Meteorology Department and director of the Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research at King Abdulaziz University.

Some central and northeastern parts of the Kingdom have been in the grip of late winter and spring rains for the last few days, said Al-Mazroui, adding that heavy sandstorms were reported in some parts of the country on Monday.

Al-Mazroui said further rains with isolated showers over the southwestern regions of the Kingdom, including the southern coastal areas of Makkah, are expected on Tuesday. He said this was due to strong southerly wet and warm winds.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article317151.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/gaddafi-forces-press-rebels,-no-fly-diplomacy-crawls/d/4286


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