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Islamic World News ( 16 Jan 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Hardline Saudi Clerics Call King’s Empowerment of Women a ‘Dangerous Change’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arab World

Hardline Saudi Clerics Call King’s Empowerment of Women a ‘Dangerous Change’

Iraq car bombs kill 12 people, wound 64: Officials

Syrian troops kill dozens of people in central city of Homs

Morsi Says His Slurs of Jews Were Taken Out of Context

Jordan Fears Refugee Exodus if Syrian Regime Falls

International support for Syria ‘loose’

King reshuffles Supreme Judiciary Council and Ulema

Cardiovascular diseases deadly killer in Saudi Kingdom and Middle East

Syrian North Sees Increase in Violence

 

India

No night shifts for women, says Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

Will not give land for building Tipu Muslim University: Karnataka BJP

One killed in Shia-Sunni violence in Lucknow

Maulana Umarji, Godhra attack accused ‘never got over his jail term’

5 years on, 26/11 victim’s family waits for transfer of property

LoC quiet; India yet to respond to Khar's offer for talks

Pak commerce minister’s India visit under cloud

More Indo-Bangla rail projects soon

BSF on alert over Qadri movement in Pak, Republic Day

Curtains for Pak actors at Jaipur fest

Cops dig old cases to grill Owaisi

Prime Minister to decide on talks with Pakistan: Khurshid

Indo-Pak military de-escalation kicks in, diplomatic chill to persist

Pakistan must take 'certain steps' for de-escalation of tension, India says

Undermining peace not conducive for trade ties: India to Pak

US pullout from Afghanistan worries India

Churn in Pak, local pressure behind India’s tough stand

Poonch villagers ask Pakistan to immediately stop repeated ceasefire violations

Amid tension, India returns Pakistani national

Muslims neglected under Gehlot-government: Mahesh Bhatt

Exit warning to West Bengal CM from Muslim group

 

Pakistan

Helicopter shelling in North Waziristan kills five suspected militants

Not enough proof to arrest Pak PM, official tells SC

Pakistan SC to meet over PM Raja Pervez Ashraf's arrest order

Pakistan apex court cites Indian Supreme Court to justify order

FIA launches official probe over Maulana Tahir ul Quadri funding source

Stipend for militants to shun violence

Persons troubling Hindus will be regarded as criminals, says Baloch Liberation Army

Day after Hina Rabbani Khar pleads for peace, India snubs talks offer

Taliban vow to avenge blood of Mullah Nazir

Pakistan: Qadri signals end to Islamabad protest

Parties ranged against Qadri

Tahir-ul Qadri quoted Gita in Modi-land

Qadri says govt delegation coming to hold talks

MQM MPA among two gunned down in Karachi

Pakistan Criticizes Obama’s Plan for Turning over Military Command in Afghanistan

Qadri addresses supporters; police register FIR against TMQ chief

Bara killings: Police, protesters clash outside Peshawar Press Club

Militants warn locals against supporting any operation

Balochistan law and order: FC given ‘free hand’ to launch crackdown

Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy: ‘Curiosity leads to scientific contributions’

Pakistan police disperse families protesting with coffins

Firebrand cleric Tahirul Qadri raises fear of 'soft coup' in Pakistan

2012 bloodiest year for Shias in Pakistan

Stung by Qadri, Pak govt whips out arrest warrant

Govt firm, says polls by May 15

No force against Qadri supporters, says Zardari

Firebrand cleric raises fear of 'soft coup' in Pakistan

 

North America

Afghan peace process ‘hasn’t even begun’: US

Texas Schools Still Pushing Muslim Bias and Need to Be Investigated

U.S. Military Stops Sending Detainees to Some Afghan Prisons on Rights Fears

Tahawwur Rana's sentencing today, terror label key

Divinity School lecture to explore violence in Islamic history

U.S. Sees Hazy Threat from Mali Militants

US Marine pleads guilty to urinating on Afghan corpse

 

South Asia

Acid violence continues despite laws in Bangladesh

Maldives Police arrest 52 year-old man on suspicion of molesting children

Maldives Foreign Ministry halts issuing India visa application tokens

Watchdog organisation drops Maldives, Mali from list of electoral democracies

49 Rohingyas sent back to Myanmar

Mollah verdict any day

 

Africa

Al-Qaida arm abducts 41 foreigners in Algeria

Algerian troops surround Islamists

First Nigerian troops to join anti-rebel operation in Mali

30 Algerian workers held hostage at gas field escape: Reports

Nigeria: Cell Phones for Farmers to Cut Corruption, Deliver Services

Somalia's Shebab say they have executed French hostage

 

Mideast Asia

Israel removes Palestinian encampment outside East Jerusalem

Turkish jets pound PKK targets in northern Iraq

Qaeda suspects kill top Yemen security official

Israeli convicted of murdering two Palestinians

As Israeli Vote Nears, Arab Apathy Is a Concern

Netanyahu Issues Veiled Barb in Response to Reported Criticism from Obama

IAEA's parchin visit only after deal on nuclear tech: Iran

 

Southeast Asia

Hizb ut Tahrir Women’s Conference, “The Khilafah: Protecting Women from Poverty and Enslavement”

Catholic schools in Blitar agree to provide Islamic lessons

Social media users see Mahfud, Kalla, and Prabowo as best Indonesian Presidential candidates

Plight of displaced Sampang Shiites continues

Indonesian Government Accused of Stoking Intolerance

K-pop’s Reach Extends to Muslim Malaysia

 

Europe

EU Governments Agree on Military Training Mission to Mali

Domestic Stability to Remain Kazakhstan’s Main Priority in 2013

Kazakhstan May Join WTO This Year: WTO Chief Lamy

Russia Says Seeking Agreement on Nuclear Talks with Iran

Algeria hostage crisis: Hague condemns Briton's killing

 

Australia

Mosque renovation sparks controversy due to objection from church member in Oz

 

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Saudi Clerics Call King’s Empowerment of Women a ‘Dangerous Change’

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/hardline-saudi-clerics-call-king’s-empowerment-of-women-a-‘dangerous-change’/d/10048

 

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Arab World

 

Hardline Saudi Clerics Call King’s Empowerment of Women a ‘Dangerous Change’

January 16, 2013

Clerics point to ‘dangerous changes in the country’, referring to appointment of women to council

Riyadh: A group of hardline clerics protested outside the royal palace in Riyadh against the king’s decision to appoint 30 women to the kingdom’s top advisory body, a YouTube video posted on Wednesday showed.

The footage of Tuesday’s demonstration showed clerics protesting what they said were “dangerous changes in the country and these latest appointments in the Shura Council that do not represent the philanthropists and the good people.”

“These appointments are not representative of the whole society,” one of the clerics told the small gathering, referring to King Abdullah’s decision on Friday to name 30 women to the 150-seat Shura Council.

The group called for clerics to be granted similar representation on the council, which is appointed by the king to advise him on policy but cannot legislate.

The unidentified cleric said the group had gathered to demand a meeting with the head of the royal court, Khalid Al Tuwejari, to offer him “advice”.

He was also shown criticising the refusal by Saudi officials to meet the protesters who had rallied despite the kingdom’s ban on protests. The video footage showed a police car parked on the opposite side of the road.

Saudi human rights lawyer Walid Abdul Khair said that “the protest was against the appointment of women to the Shura Council.”

Abdullah’s decrees marked a breakthrough in the conservative kingdom that imposes stringent restrictions on females, who are banned from driving and denied the right to travel without male consent.

The monarch took the decisions following consultations with religious leaders in Saudi Arabia, which applies a strict version of Islamic sharia law, according to the decrees.

The 30 chosen women include university graduates, human rights activists and two princesses.

Abdullah had been carefully treading towards change, introducing municipal elections for the first time in 2005.

In 2011 he granted women the right to vote and run as candidates in the next local election, set for 2015, because “we refuse to marginalise women’s role in Saudi society.”

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/saudi-clerics-protest-king-s-empowerment-of-women-1.1133174

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Iraq car bombs kill 12 people, wound 64: Officials

Jan 17, 2013

BAGHDAD: A series of bomb attacks across Iraq killed at least 12 people and wounded 64 others on Thursday, security and medical officials said.

The deadliest of the blasts took place in Dujail, 60 kilometres (35 miles) north of Baghdad, where two car bombs minutes apart killed seven people. Another five people died in a car bomb in Hilla, south of the capital.

Bombings also took place in Hawija and Karbala.

There were no casualties in Hawija, but 17 people were wounded in Karbala, including eight who officials said were Pakistani Shiite pilgrims. The Pakistani embassy did not respond to requests from AFP for confirmation.

The violence comes a day after 42 people were killed in a wave of attacks in Baghdad and north of the capital, Iraq's deadliest day in a month.

Attacks in Iraq are down from their peak in 2006-2007, but they are still common across the country.

The violence comes as Iraq grapples with a long-running political dispute, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki facing several protests hardening opposition against his rule and calls from many of his erstwhile government partners for his ouster.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iraq-car-bombs-kill-12-people-wound-64-Officials/articleshow/18060358.cms

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Syrian troops kill dozens of people in central city of Homs

Published January 17, 2013

Associated Press

BEIRUT – Activists said Thursday that forces loyal to President Bashar Assad swept through a small farming village in central Syria earlier this week, torching houses and killing at least 37 people including women and children.

A government official in Damascus denied the reports of carnage in the hamlet of Haswiyeh just outside the city of Homs, saying no such killings took place at all in the area.

Omar Idilbi of the Local Coordination Committees activist group said the government attack took place on Tuesday, and left at least 37 people dead in Haswiyeh. He said his figure has not been updated since Wednesday and that more bodies have been found since then.

Another activist group, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, put the death toll at 106 people, and said some of the dead were "burnt inside their homes while other were killed with knives" and other weapons. It added that there are reports that "whole families were executed, one of them made up of 32 members."

The area around Haswiyeh witnessed clashes earlier this week between troops and rebels, who still control several neighborhoods in the nearby city of Homs as well as nearby areas. Homs is Syria's third largest city, and has been the site of heavy fighting since shortly after the country's crisis began in March 2011.

Youssef al-Homsi, an activist based in Homs, also said at least 100 people were killed, including dozens of women and children. He sent The Associated Press via Skype a list of 100 names said to have been killed on Tuesday. In addition to whole families, the list included individual names of 15 women and 10 children.

The Observatory and al-Homsi said all of the dead appeared to be Sunni Muslims, suggesting that the killings may have been sectarian in nature. Sunnis make the majority of Syria's 23 million people, while Assad and most of the top officials in his regime belong to the minority Alawite sect, an off-shoot of Shiite Islam.

Al-Homsi said locals have said that many of the attackers came from the nearby village of Mazraa, which he said is predominantly Shiite.

In the capital Damascus, a government official rejected any government role in the alleged killings, and said "the army protects civilians and their properties." The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said troops are suffering casualties around Syria because rebels are using civilians as "human shields. He did not elaborate.

It was not possible to confirm the activist reports because the severe restrictions on journalists to work in Syria.

But the reported killings appear to be similar to those that occurred in the nearby region of Houla in May last year where 108 people were killed in two days. The U.N. described the Houla killings as a war crime perpetrated by the government forces and shabiha militia backing Assad's regime.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/17/syrian-activists-say-regime-troops-kill-dozens-people-in-central-city-homs/#ixzz2IEYjALFs

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Morsi Says His Slurs of Jews Were Taken Out of Context

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

January 17, 2013

CAIRO — A spokesman for President Mohamed Morsi said on Wednesday that inflammatory comments that he made about Jews before taking office had been intended as criticism of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians but had been taken out of context. The spokesman said that Mr. Morsi respected all monotheistic religions and religious freedom.

It was Mr. Morsi’s first public response to news reports that as a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood he had made anti-Semitic statements about Jews and Zionists. A recently resurfaced video of a speech that Mr. Morsi gave at a rally in his hometown in the Nile Delta nearly three years ago shows him urging his listeners “to nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews.” In another video of a television interview he gave the same year, Mr. Morsi criticized Zionists in recognizably anti-Semitic terms, as “these bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.”

Both sets of comments were reported this week in The New York Times. Representatives of the White House and the State Department condemned them. And on Wednesday Mr. Morsi was confronted about the remarks by a visiting delegation of six American seNATOrs led by John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island.

Yasser Ali, the Morsi spokesman, said on Wednesday night at a news conference that Mr. Morsi had told the delegation that the comments were meant as criticism of the “racist” policies of the Israeli government, not as insults to Jews.

“President Morsi assured the delegation that the broadcast comments were taken out of an address against the Israeli aggression against Gaza,” Mr. Ali said, according to The Associated Press. The spokesman said Mr. Morsi also assured seNATOrs of his respect for monotheistic religions as well as for “freedom of belief and practicing religions,” The A.P. said.

At a news conference after the meeting, the seNATOrs declined to characterize Mr. Morsi’s response. But they appeared to feel he had addressed the issue. The seNATOrs emphasized their support for Egypt’s transition to democracy. They also said they would press Congress to provide badly needed financial aid and urge American businesses to invest in Egypt, although they also said that Mr. Morsi’s inflammatory statements in 2010 made both requests tougher to sell.

“The Egyptian people are going to have to showcase your best behavior,” said another seNATOr in the delegation, Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/world/middleeast/egypts-morsi-says-slurs-of-jews-

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Jordan Fears Refugee Exodus if Syrian Regime Falls

January 17, 2013

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan's prime minister says the kingdom will shut its border with Syria in case of violence or a mass exodus of refugees if President Bashar Assad's regime collapses.

Abdullah Ensour's remarks to reporters on Thursday reflect concerns of resources-barren Jordan, which is already hosting 285,000 Syrian refugees and has exhausted its meager health care, education, water and energy resources.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/01/17/world/middleeast/ap-ml-jordan-

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International support for Syria ‘loose’

 17 January 2013

BEIRUT: The deputy head of the main opposition coalition criticized world yesterday for failing to make good on promises to help the group isolate the embattled president.

Pledges of support from states had proven cosmetic and “loose”, the group’s Vice President George Sabra told an Arabic newspaper.

“There is no real political support coming to the coalition to help isolate the regime,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/international-support-syria-%E2%80%98loose%E2%80%99

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King reshuffles Supreme Judiciary Council and Ulema

 15 January 2013

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah yesterday issued a number of royal decrees reshuffling the Supreme Judiciary Council and the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars (Ulema).

Sheikh Ghaihab bin Mohammed Al-Ghaihab has been appointed chief justice of the Supreme Court replacing Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Al-Keliyah, who has been relieved of the position upon his request, one decree said.

“Al-Ghaihab will have the rank of a minister,” the Saudi Press Agency said quoting the decree.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/king-appoints-new-supreme-court-chief-other-officials

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Cardiovascular diseases deadly killer in Saudi Kingdom and Middle East

 17 January 2013

Cardiovascular diseases and their deadly impact in the Kingdom and the rest of the Middle East were the major topics discussed at the recently concluded 1st Tabuk Pharmaceuticals Cardiovascular Convention in Casablanca, Morocco.

Cardiovascular diseases remain the No. 1 cause of death worldwide. It is estimated that by 2030, 25 million people will die from cardiovascular diseases, with 80 percent of deaths taking place in low-to-middle income countries like those in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/cardiovascular-diseases-deadly-killer-region

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Saudi Arabia's Timid Flirtation With Women's Rights

1 JAN 16 2013

Why incremental reform is about the most feminists can expect

On Friday, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah made history when he named 30 women to the kingdom's Shura Council, an appointed advisory body that cannot enact legislation but is still the closest institution to a parliament in that country. He also amended the Shura Council's law to ensure that women would make up no less than 20 percent of the 150-person council going forward.

Full report at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/01/saudi-arabias-timid-flirtation-with-womens-rights/267245/

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Syrian North Sees Increase in Violence

By HANIA MOURTADA and HWAIDA SAAD

January 17, 2013

BEIRUT, Lebanon — At least two dozen people, many of them Syrian government soldiers, died Wednesday when three powerful car bombs exploded in Idlib, according to the opposition, and the government announced it was carrying out new operations in and around Idlib and Aleppo.

Each move signaled yet another escalation in the struggle for control of the northern part of the country, an important area in Syria’s civil war.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/18/world/middleeast/syria-war-

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India

 

No night shifts for women, says Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

Jan 17 2013

New Delhi: After having suggested abolition of co-education and a “sober and dignified” dress code for girls in educational institutions to “ensure safety and security” of women, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind on Wednesday demanded that working women, especially in Delhi and the National Capital Region, should be given only day shifts.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/suggestion-to-verma-panel-no-night-shifts-for-women-says-jamaateis.../1060396/

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Will not give land for building Tipu Muslim University: Karnataka BJP

 Jan 16, 2013

MYSORE/MANGALORE: Ruling BJP in Karnataka on Wednesday said it would not provide land for setting up of Tipu Muslim University proposed by the Centre in Srirangapatna taluk of Mandya district, alleging it will become a "breeding ground for anti-national elements".

However, Union minister for minorities’ welfare K Rahaman Khan said the university would be established.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Will-not-give-land-for-building-Muslim-university-Karnataka-BJP/articleshow/18050667.cms

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One killed in Shia-Sunni violence in Lucknow

 January 17, 2013

One person was killed and three were critically injured in Shia-Sunni violence in Lucknow on Wednesday. The two sides, said the police, exchanged fire after a youth sexually harassed a woman attending a religious gathering in Wazirganj area of the city.

At least five persons sustained bullet injuries, one of who died in a local hospital, a source said. No senior police officials were available for comments.

Unconfirmed reports put the number of dead at two.

As the news of the violence spread, another clash was reported from the old city's Bhawaniganj locality.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/lucknow/One-killed-in-sectarian-clash-in-Lucknow/Article1-990832.aspx

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Maulana Umarji, Godhra attack accused ‘never got over his jail term’

Kumar Anand

 Jan 17 2013

Vadodara: He was looked upon as a father figure by many Muslims in Godhra. For a time, he was also held responsible for the event that earned this small town so much notoriety — the burning of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002, an attack that killed 59 people, mostly kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya, and the trigger for the statewide riots that followed.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/godhra-attack-accused-later-acquitted-he--never-got-over-his-jail-te.../1060277/

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5 years on, 26/11 victim’s family waits for transfer of property

Pranav Kulkarni

 Jan 17 2013

When Sunil Parekh and his sister Sujata Parekh Kumar bought 11, Kahun Road, an old grant property in Pune Camp on March 17, 2008, hardly did they expect the uncertainties that were to follow. In the 26/11 attack in Mumbai, Sunil, then 44, and his wife Reshma were killed at Hotel Oberoi leaving behind their two minor daughters — Anandita, 16 and Arundhati, 14. Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/5-years-on-2611-victim-s-family-waits-for-transfer-of-property/1060602/

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LoC quiet; India yet to respond to Khar's offer for talks

Jan 17, 2013

JAMMU/ NEW DELHI: It was all quiet at the Line of Control (LoC) after Indian and Pakistan forces agreed not to violate the ceasefire, army sources said on Thursday.

There was no incident of firing reported from the LoC on Wednesday night, an Army source said.

"The Director General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan Wednesday had agreed not to violate the ceasefire and exercise maximum restraint," according to an Indian Army spokesperson in New Delhi.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/LoC-quiet-India-yet-to-respond-to-Khars-offer-for-talks/articleshow/18057531.cms

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Pak commerce minister’s India visit under cloud

Jan 17, 2013

NEW DELHI: Economic engagement can be carried forward in an environment of peace and stability and it is for Pakistan to realize where the well-being of its economy lies, commerce minister Anand Sharma said on Wednesday.

Sharma said the incident along the Line of Control was "horrific, unacceptable and highly provocative", but he did not announce any scrapping of trade ties or a pause in the trade dialogue.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-commerce-ministers-India-visit-under-cloud/articleshow/18055729.cms

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More Indo-Bangla rail projects soon

Jan 17, 2013

NEW DELHI: In an effort to increase people to people contact, India and Bangladesh have decided to expedite rail link projects between the two neighbouring nations. At present the ongoing rail link projects between the two countries are Akhaura (Bangladesh)-Agartala (India), Chilahati (Bangladesh)-Haldibari (India), Shahbazpur (Bangladesh)- Mahishashan (India) and Birol (Bangladesh)-Radhikapur (India).

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/More-Indo-Bangla-rail-projects-soon/articleshow/18055323.cms

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BSF on alert over Qadri movement in Pak, Republic Day

Jan 17, 2013

AMRITSAR: The Border Security Force (BSF) has been put on alert all along the India-Pak border in the wake of the internal unrest in Pakistan, following Pakistani cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri's movement and the forthcoming national Republic Day.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/BSF-on-alert-over-Qadri-movement-in-Pak-Republic-Day/articleshow/18054695.cms

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Curtains for Pak actors at Jaipur fest

 Jan 17, 2013

JAIPUR: At least 24 Pakistani artists in Jaipur for a theatre festival set to stage a play on Wednesday are instead on their way back home.

The artistes of Ajoka Theatre of Lahore were participating in the 15th Theatre Utsav, Bharat Rang Mahotsav, organized by the National School of Drama and ministry of cultural affairs. It began on January 7 and was to conclude on January 17.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Curtains-for-Pak-actors-at-Jaipur-fest/articleshow/18054047.cms

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Cops dig old cases to grill Owaisi

 Jan 17, 2013

HYDERABAD/ADILABAD: The Kiran Kumar Reddy government appears to have decided to go after MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi in full zeal. As an indication of this, the Medak police stepped up the gas on Wednesday and sought custody of the MLA to quiz him over an old case dating back to 2005. Based on a petition filed by the Sangareddy police on January 11, a local court in Medak on Wednesday directed that Akbaruddin be produced before it on January 17. Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Cops-dig-old-cases-to-grill-Akbaruddin/articleshow/18053748.cms

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Prime Minister to decide on talks with Pakistan: Khurshid

Jan 17, 2013

NEW DELHI: Talks between India and Pakistan have not been frozen, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid said on Thursday while stating that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would decide on Islamabad's offer of foreign minister-level talks.

"The differences have to be resolved and for that we need to proceed with wisdom, keeping in mind the interest and sentiments of the nation. We will await the prime minister's direction in this regard," Khurshid told CNN-IBN news channel.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Prime-Minister-to-decide-on-talks-with-Pakistan-Khurshid/articleshow/18061616.cms

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Indo-Pak military de-escalation kicks in, diplomatic chill to persist

 Jan 16, 2013

NEW DELHI: In a major climb-down after facing military as well as diplomatic heat from India, the Pakistani army on Wednesday shed its earlier confrontationist attitude to declare its troops would now firmly uphold the ceasefire agreement and exercise restraint on the 778-km-long Line of Control (LoC).

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indo-Pak-military-de-escalation-kicks-in-diplomatic-chill-to-persist/articleshow/18052629.cms

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Pakistan must take 'certain steps' for de-escalation of tension, India says

Jan 16, 2013

NEW DELHI: Pakistan has to take certain "steps" for the situation along the line of control (LoC) to de-escalate. Maintaining the tough stand taken by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday, high-level government officials said on Wednesday if Pakistan considered itself a "civilized country", they would investigate the killing and brutalization of Indian soldiers.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-must-take-certain-steps-for-de-escalation-of-tension-India-says/articleshow/18050392.cms

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Undermining peace not conducive for trade ties: India to Pak

 Jan 16, 2013

NEW DELHI: In a clear message that current strain could impact trade ties, India on Wednesday told Pakistan economic engagement can be enhanced in an environment of peace and stability and asserted "anything which undermines that environment is not conducive" for economic relations.

The remarks by commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's tough message to Pakistan that it cannot be "business as usual" in the aftermath of the beheading of an Indian soldier on the line of control last week.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Undermining-peace-not-conducive-for-trade-ties-India-to-Pak/articleshow/18049785.cms

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US pullout from Afghanistan worries India

Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times

January 17, 2013

Concerns over heightened terrorism from Pakistan, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, post 2014 US pullout, have brought Washington and New Delhi closer. India and US last week decided to set-up a bilateral dialogue on Afghanistan to keep terrorism emanating from Af-Pak area under control and ensure stability of the Kabul government. The first meeting of the official level bilateral dialogue is scheduled next month.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/newdelhi/US-pullout-from-Afghanistan-worries-India/Article1-990830.aspx

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Churn in Pak, local pressure behind India’s tough stand

PranabDhalSamanta

 Jan 17 2013

New Delhi : The government’s decision to adopt a hard line against Pakistan over the killing of two Indian soldiers on the Line of Control was taken on Monday at a hurriedly called meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which resulted in the suspension of the implementation of the new visa agreement and cooling of sporting ties.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/churn-in-pak-local-pressure-behind-india-s-tough-stand/1060423/

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Poonch villagers ask Pakistan to immediately stop repeated ceasefire violations

 Jan 17 2013

Poonch : Indian villagers living in the border district of Poonch have slammed Pakistan, and asked it to immediately stop repeated violations of ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir. Irate due to the firing from across the border that have heightened the difficulties and adversely impacted the livelihood of the residents, locals lashed out at Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/poonch-villagers-ask-pakistan-to-immediately-stop-repeated-ceasefire-v.../1060670/

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Amid tension, India returns Pakistani national

Jan 17, 2013

AMRITSAR: Notwithstanding the brimming tension across Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu following brutal killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani army, India on late Wednesday night repatriated a Pakistani national who had inadvertently crossed into India.

A BSF official Shubhendu Bhardwaj informed TOI on Thursday that Sayed Naseem Hussain Shah, 28, was detained by BSF's Kissan Guard inside Indian territory near Kahangarh check post on Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Amid-tension-India-returns-Pakistani-national/articleshow/18060554.cms

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Muslims neglected under Gehlot-government: Mahesh Bhatt

 Jan 16 2013

Jaipur: Alleging that Muslims were being neglected in Rajasthan, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt today said the ruling Congress government would lose the minority community's support if steps were not taken soon to address their issues.

"Deliver justice to Muslims of the state otherwise the Congress will be opposed in the forthcoming assembly and parliamentary elections," Bhatt said while participating at a sit-in protest organised by Uttar Pradesh-based organisation 'Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis' (FMSA) here.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/muslims-neglected-under-gehlotgovernment-mahesh-bhatt/1060316/

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Exit warning to West Bengal CM from Muslim group

 Jan 17 2013

Kolkata: Furfura Sharif Tells Mamata to fulfil poll promises or prepare to be ‘thrown out’

A Muslim leader who was largely responsible for tilting the minority vote bank in favour of Mamata Banerjee during the last Assembly polls on Wednesday sent out a warning to the chief minister, saying her government would be thrown out just like the CPM’s if she did not fulfil the promises she made to the Muslims before the polls.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/exit-warning-to-cm-from-muslim-group/1060571/

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Pakistan

 

Helicopter shelling in North Waziristan kills five suspected militants

January 17, 2013

PESHAWAR/MIRAMSHAH: Shelling by Pakistan Army’s gunship helicopters in North Waziristan tribal region’s Mir Ali area killed five suspected militants, DawnNews reported on Thursday.

Gunship helicopters targeted several suspected militant hideouts in different areas on Mir Ali tehsil.

Further details were not available till the filing of this report.

http://dawn.com/2013/01/17/gunship-helicopter-shelling-in-n-waziristan-kills-five-suspected-militants/

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Not enough proof to arrest Pak PM, official tells SC

Jan 17, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's anti-graft body NAB's chief on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the evidence in a corruption case involving Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf was weak and unlikely to lead to conviction, a statement that irked the top court which directed him to submit to it all records of the investigation.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman Fasih Bokhari's statement came two days after the apex court directed the anti-corruption agency to arrest the Prime Minister and more than 20 other suspects in connection with alleged graft in the rental power projects.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Not-enough-proof-to-arrest-Pak-PM-official-tells-SC/articleshow/18058449.cms

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Pakistan SC to meet over PM Raja Pervez Ashraf's arrest order

Jan 17, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani anti-corruption officials are to appear before the Supreme Court on Thursday over orders to arrest the prime minister and 15 other people on accusations of graft in 2010.

The country's top judge ordered that all those accused of graft in power generation projects be arrested and for the chairman of the anti-corruption National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to report to the court.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-SC-to-meet-over-PM-Raja-Pervez-Ashrafs-arrest-order/articleshow/18057519.cms

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Pakistan apex court cites Indian Supreme Court to justify order

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times

 January 17, 2013

The ongoing tension between South Asia's two big neighbours has not deterred the supreme court of Pakistan from relying heavily on judgments delivered by India's apex court to justify its verdict ordering the arrest of Pakistan PM Raja Pervez Ashraf on graft charges.

The Pakistan government, however, said on Wednesday that it would serve full term and hold polls by May 15.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/newdelhi/Pakistan-apex-court-cites-Indian-Supreme-Court-to-justify-order/Article1-990849.aspx

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FIA launches official probe over Maulana Tahir ul Quadri funding source

January 17, 2013

ISLAMABAD: After acquiring evidence in connection with the source of funding that has supported the long march and the sit-in in Islamabad, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has launched an official probe against Tahirul Qadri, chief of Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ), The Express Tribune reported on Thursday.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/01/17/fia-launches-official-probe-over-qadri-funding-source-report/

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Stipend for militants to shun violence

January 17, 2013

QUETTA: The Balochistan government, in an effort to entice insurgents to lay down arms, has offered a monthly stipend of Rs10,000 to each militant willing to surrender.

It has also decided to pay compensation by Jan 31 to the heirs of victims of Jan 10’s terrorist attacks.

The decisions were made at a meeting of the high-level apex committee constituted to resolve problems being faced by the province.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/01/17/stipend-for-militants-to-shun-violence/

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Persons troubling Hindus will be regarded as criminals, says Baloch Liberation Army

Jan 17 2013

Islamabad: The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) has said that those who trouble the minority Hindu community will be regarded as criminals and will be punished accordingly. The BLA spokesperson said that three officials of Balochistan Constabulary, who were in the custody of BLA have now been released unharmed, reports the Daily Times.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/persons-troubling-hindus-will-be-regarded-as-criminals-says-baloch-li.../1060650/

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Day after Hina Rabbani Khar pleads for peace, India snubs talks offer

 Jan 17 2013

New Delhi : India does not favour talks between the Foreign Ministers to ease India-Pakistan tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) as proposed by FM Hina Rabbani Khar.

Clearly, unenthusiastic about Khar's offer for a "discussion and dialogue" with him, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said here that direct talks between ministers do not happen in a rush.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/day-after-hina-rabbani-khar-pleads-for-peace-india-snubs-talks-offer/1060808/

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Taliban vow to avenge blood of Mullah Nazir

January 17, 2013

WANA: Taliban in South Waziristan have said that no one will be allowed to spoil peace in the agency and expressed the determination to continue the mission of their former leader Mullah Nazir.

According to a pamphlet in Urdu, distributed in Wana Bazaar, “We inform the tribesmen of South Waziristan generally and Wana sub division particularly that our morale is high on the martyrdom of Ameer Sahib (Mullah Nazir), his slaying didn’t weaken but made us more strong,” it said.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/495184/taliban-vow-to-avenge-blood-of-mullah-nazir/

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Pakistan: Qadri signals end to Islamabad protest

 January 17, 2013

A Pakistani cleric announced that a mass sit-in of tens of thousands of people outside Parliament in Islamabad would end on Thursday, the latest twist in a drama that has gripped the nuclear-armed state.

Tahir-ul Qadri made the announcement as the country's corruption watchdog told the Supreme Court it did not yet have enough evidence to arrest Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on graft allegations, as the top judge had ordered.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan/Pakistan-Qadri-signals-end-to-Islamabad-protest/Article1-991415.aspx

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Parties ranged against Qadri

ANITA JOSHUA

January 17, 2013

Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan cooperate with govt.

Pakistan’s political parties closed ranks on Wednesday in the face of what they saw as an effort by anti-democratic forces to derail democracy through cleric-politician Tahir-ul Qadri. They rejected his demand for reconstitution of the Election Commission and said all political parties — inside and outside Parliament — would be consulted in the formation of the caretaker set-up ahead of the next elections.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/parties-ranged-against-qadri/article4313917.ece

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Tahir-ul Qadri quoted Gita in Modi-land

Mahesh Langa, Hindustan Times

 January 17, 2013

There's a lesser-known side to the Sufi cleric rocking Pakistan's establishment with his fiery speeches and mass marches: he has knowledge of Hindu scriptures and made a controversial visit to Gujarat a year ago.

Tahir-ul Qadri, who on Wednesday called on Pakistan's prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to quit by midnight, has attracted tens of thousands on to the streets of Islamabad to protest against corruption.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/ahmedabad/Qadri-quoted-Gita-in-Modi-land/Article1-990862.aspx

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Qadri says govt delegation coming to hold talks

January 17, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) Dr Tahirul Qadri on Thursday said a government delegation was coming to hold talks with him at 4:45 pm, DawnNews reported.

Earlier, Qadri had given the government a ‘last deadline’ of until 3 pm to meet his demands. He had stated that talks could only be held with President Asif Ali Zardari. However, the government had constituted a four member committee to hold talks with the TMQ chief.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/01/17/rulers-attitude-does-not-allow-space-for-peace-in-pakistan-qadri/

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MQM MPA among two gunned down in Karachi

January 17, 2013

KARACHI: Gunmen on Thursday shot dead at least two people, including a provincial lawmaker belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), in Karachi, DawnNews reported.

Manzar Imam, a member of the Sindh Assembly for the MQM, the largest political party in Karachi, was killed along with another man armed assailants opened fire on his vehicle in Karachi’s Orangi Town area. At least one other person was also reported to have been wounded in the incident.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/01/17/mqm-mpa-among-two-gunned-down-in-karachi/

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Qadri addresses supporters; police register FIR against TMQ chief

January 17, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad police lodged a First Information Report (FIR) on Wednesday against Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, DawnNews reported.

The FIR was registered at the federal capital’s Kohsar police station.

Qadri was delivering an address as his supporters continued their sit-in for the second day at D-Chowk near Parliament House in Islamabad and reiterated his demands.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/01/16/qadri-refutes-link-between-sc-order-long-march/

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Bara killings: Police, protesters clash outside Peshawar Press Club

January 17, 2013

PESHAWAR: Bara protesters and police clashed outside the Peshawar Press club after officials attempted to disperse the crowd on the second day of the protest, Express News reported.

The police fired shells at the protesters and resorted to aerial firing. The protesters, responding in kind, pelted them with stones.

The ensuing chaos resulted in aerial firing from both sides which injured a few among the crowd.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/495291/bara-killings-police-protesters-clash-outside-peshawar-press-club/

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Militants warn locals against supporting any operation

 January 17, 2013

PESHAWAR: Taliban militants have warned locals of Nak Band, a small village on the outskirts of the provincial capital, not to cooperate with the government or police, saying the residents would otherwise be dealt with as criminals.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/495033/pamphlets-militants-warn-locals-against-supporting-any-operation/

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Balochistan law and order: FC given ‘free hand’ to launch crackdown

January 17, 2013

QUETTA: Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Ali Magsi has decided to give police and Frontier Corps (FC) personnel ‘a free hand’ to crack down on elements responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation in the province.

According to an official handout, the decision was taken in a high-level meeting held at the Governor House on Wednesday to solve issues plaguing Balochistan.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/495213/balochistan-law-and-order-fc-given-free-hand-to-launch-crackdown/

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Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy: ‘Curiosity leads to scientific contributions’

 January 17, 2013

KARACHI: Curiosity and inquisitiveness were the traits which earned earlier Muslim scientists their rightful place in the development of science and these are the two qualities which are missing today. Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy shared these views on Tuesday evening while speaking on “Science in Islam: Past, Present and Future” at the Aga Khan University.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/495077/science-in-islam-curiosity-leads-to-scientific-contributions/

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Pakistan police disperse families protesting with coffins

Jan 17, 2013

PESHAWAR: The pre-dawn operation was launched about 13 hours after around 300 people staged a sit-in outside the governor's house in the northwestern city of Peshawar along with bodies of those killed in the raid on Tuesday night.

The protesters blamed security forces and refused to bury the bodies until they get justice.

"We used tear gas and dispersed the protesters because they were creating a law and order situation in Peshawar," senior police officer Kamal Hussain said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-police-disperse-families-protesting-with-coffins/articleshow/18057925.cms

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Firebrand cleric Tahirul Qadri raises fear of 'soft coup' in Pakistan

Jan 17, 2013

ISLAMABAD: To Pakistan's ruling party, a firebrand cleric camped outside parliament with thousands of protesters is looking more and more like the harbinger of their worst fear: a plan by the military to engineer a "soft coup".

In their eyes, Muhammad Tahirul Qadri seems like the perfect candidate for such a mission. A practised orator who has electrified crowds with his anti-corruption rhetoric, the doctor of Islamic law leapt into action to back the last power grab by the army in 1999.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Firebrand-cleric-Tahirul-Qadri-raises-fear-of-soft-coup-in-Pakistan/articleshow/18057436.cms

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2012 bloodiest year for Shias in Pakistan

By Sonya Fatah

 Jan 17, 2013

ISLAMABAD: There are guns ablaze and bombs aplenty across the border these days. The targets vary, but one fissure that goes back some decades is a particularly vile brand of sectarianism that pits Sunni against Shia across Pakistan's terrain.

The US-based, Human Rights Watch records 2012 as the bloodiest year for the Pakistani Shia community with over 400 targeted deaths; some 120 of these were in Balochistan. Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/2012-bloodiest-year-for-Shias-in-Pakistan/articleshow/18055952.cms

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Stung by Qadri, Pak govt whips out arrest warrant

 Jan 17, 2013

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: An arrest warrant has been issued for the fiery cleric Tahirul Qadri, who is leading thousands of supporters in a protest demanding the ouster of the Pakistan government, after police here registered a case against him. A case was registered against Qadri and some 70 unidentified people at Kohsar police station for attacking police officials during the protest in Islamabad.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Stung-by-Qadri-Pak-govt-whips-out-arrest-warrant/articleshow/18055814.cms

------------

 

Govt firm, says polls by May 15

Jan 17, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government said it is determined to complete its five-year term and to hold the polls by May 15. "All the parties and real stakeholders have agreed that assemblies will complete their term on March 16," information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said. Earlier, oppposition parties had demanded that government should announce the schedule for the polls.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Govt-firm-says-polls-by-May-15/articleshow/18055803.cms

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No force against Qadri supporters, says Zardari

 January 17, 2013

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has ruled out the possibility of using force to disperse cleric Tahirul Qadri's followers who are staging a sit-in near parliament.

Zardari told a Geo News TV host over the phone that no use of force would be undertaken against the marchers in Islamabad.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan/No-force-against-Qadri-supporters-says-Zardari/Article1-990936.aspx

------------

 

Firebrand cleric raises fear of 'soft coup' in Pakistan

 January 17, 2013

To Pakistan's ruling party, a firebrand cleric camped outside parliament with thousands of protesters is looking more and more like the harbinger of their worst fear: a plan by the military to engineer a "soft coup".

In their eyes, Muhammad Tahirul Qadri seems like the perfect  candidate for such a mission. A practised orator who has electrified crowds with his anti-corruption rhetoric, the doctor of Islamic law leapt into action to back the last power grab by the army in 1999.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan/Firebrand-cleric-raises-fear-of-soft-coup-in-Pakistan/Article1-990903.aspx

------------

North America

 

Afghan peace process ‘hasn’t even begun’: US

 January 17, 2013

KABUL: A real peace process in Afghanistan has not begun and the United States does not know what has happened to Taliban prisoners released by Pakistan, the US ambassador to Kabul said Thursday.

Pakistan said 26 prisoners were freed late last year in a bid to kick-start peace talks ahead of the withdrawal of US-led NATO troops from Afghanistan, whose government is under pressure from an 11-year Taliban insurgency.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/495316/afghan-peace-process-hasnt-even-begun-us/

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Texas Schools Still Pushing Muslim Bias and Need to Be Investigated

By Meredith Bennett-Smith 

01/16/2013

Over a month after a Texas school district debunked allegations that their third-party curriculum was indoctrinating young students in Islam, the claims of bias refuse to die, and now may be revived by a local politician.

The Irving Independent School District convened a school board session in December after a chain email made the rounds of board member inboxes, alleging that “Christians are going to have to stand up against the pro Islamic teaching in our public schools with CSCOPE curriculum," reports The Dallas Morning News.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/16/texas-schools-pushing-muslim-bias-investigated-official_n_2490002.html

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U.S. Military Stops Sending Detainees to Some Afghan Prisons on Rights Fears

By ROD NORDLAND and THOM SHANKER

January 17, 2013

KABUL, Afghanistan — The American military has suspended the transfer of detainees to some Afghan prisons out of concern over continuing human rights abuses and torture, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said Wednesday in response to questions about the subject.

In addition, the American-led coalition said that it had asked the Afghan government to investigate allegations of torture by Afghan Local Police units that have been trained and advised by American Special Operations forces.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/world/asia/us-military-stops-sending-some-detainees-to-afghan-custody.html?ref=asia&gwh=00697338D644F2DC0397340979DE6441

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Tahawwur Rana's sentencing today, terror label key

Jan 17, 2013

CHICAGO: A Chicago businessman prosecutors say is a terrorist - who supported the group that staged the Mumbai terror attacks - faces decades in prison on Thursday if a federal judge rejects defense arguments that he is a compassionate man who was duped by a friend.

Tahawwur Rana, 52, is being sentenced for his 2011 convictions of providing support to a Pakistani group that carried out a 2008 attack in Mumbai that killed 160 people, as well as for his role in backing a never-carried-out plot to attack a Danish newspaper that printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Tahawwur-Ranas-sentencing-today-terror-label-key/articleshow/18057704.cms

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Divinity School lecture to explore violence in Islamic history

By Susie Allen

JANUARY 15, 2013

At an upcoming lecture at the Divinity School, University of Exeter scholar Robert Gleave will delve into a complex and often misunderstood area of Islamic studies: the role of violence in Islamic history.

The lecture, “Islam, Violence, and the Sacred: Insurgent Shi’ism in Muslim History,” will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan.18 in the Swift Hall Common Room. The event is free and open to the public.

Full report at:

http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2013/01/15/divinity-school-lecture-explore-violence-islamic-history

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U.S. Sees Hazy Threat From Mali Militants

By MARK MAZZETTI and ERIC SCHMITT

January 17, 2013

WASHINGTON — As Islamic militants methodically carved out a base in the desert of northern Mali over the past year, officials in Washington, Paris and African capitals struggling with military plans to drive the Islamists out of the country agreed on one principle: African troops, not European or American soldiers, would fight the battle of Mali.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/world/africa/us-sees-hazy-threat-from-mali-

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US Marine pleads guilty to urinating on Afghan corpse

Jan 17, 2013

CAMP LEJEUNE, NORTH CAROLINA: A Marine who pleaded guilty on Wednesday to urinating on the corpse of a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan will likely be demoted one rank under a plea agreement, although a military judge called for a much harsher sentence.

Staff Sgt Edward W Deptola pleaded guilty to multiple charges at court-martial, including that of violating orders by desecrating remains and posing for photographs with the corpses; and dereliction of duty by failing to properly supervise junior Marines.

 Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-Marine-pleads-guilty-to-urinating-on-Afghan-corpse/articleshow/18057013.cms

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South Asia

 

Acid violence continues despite laws in Bangladesh

January 17, 2013

More effective implementation needed

Yet another woman has made news headlines as a victim of violence. Sharmin Akter Ankhi, an Honours final year student of Eden College, had acid thrown on her face and body and was subsequently stabbed, by an acquaintance named Monir Uddin. The incident occurred at a marriage registrar's office in Chankharpul where the woman was allegedly taken by force, and, upon refusing a marriage proposal made by Monir Uddin, attacked. Though some media reports have attempted, directly or indirectly, to question the relationship between the man and woman and what actually happened, nothing can justify the crime.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=265447

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Maldives Police arrest 52 year-old man on suspicion of molesting children

By Ahmed Nazeer | January 15th, 2013

Police have arrested a 52 year-old man from the island of Bileiydhoo in Faafu Atoll on suspicion of molesting young children on the island.

Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef confirmed the man was arrested yesterday at 1:52pm, after they obtained an arrest warrant from the court.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/society/police-arrest-52-year-old-man-on-suspicion-of-molesting-children-51175

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Maldives Foreign Ministry halts issuing India visa application tokens

By Luke Powell | January 16th, 2013

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to hand back all Indian visa application operations to the Indian High Commission following a decline in visa requests, a Foreign Ministry spokesman has confirmed.

Last month Maldivians were forced to queue outside the Indian High Commission in Male’ – sometimes overnight – to obtain medical visas to travel to India due to tightened restrictions by Indian authorities.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/india-visa-application-tokens-to-be-issued-by-indian-high-commission-only-51241

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Watchdog organisation drops Maldives, Mali from list of electoral democracies

By JJ Robinson | January 16th, 2013

The Maldives is one of two countries to be dropped from Freedom House’s list of electoral democracies, in its annual survey of political rights and civil liberties.

The other, Mali, is a landlocked nation in West Africa which experienced a coup d’état on March 21 and is now battling a surge in Islamic extremism, harsh sanctions and foreign military intervention.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/freedom-house-drops-maldives-mali-from-list-of-electoral-democracies-51257

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49 Rohingyas sent back to Myanmar

January 17, 2013

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) yesterday sent back 49 Rohingyas to Myanmar with food after detaining them in Naikhangchari and Teknaf upazilas of Cox's Bazar for intruding into Bangladesh.

BGB members held 26 Rohingyas at Bhalukhali, Ghumghum and Tambru early yesterday and sent them back around 2:00pm.

Another BGB team sent back 23 Rohingyas around 5:00pm after detaining them in Shah Porir Dweep, Hozaikang and Tekhnaf Sadar upazila.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=265527

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Mollah verdict any day

January 17, 2013

The International Crimes Tribunal-2 will deliver the verdict any day on the war crimes case against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah as the proceedings of the case concluded on Thursday.

The tribunal however did not fix any date for the judgement.

The Jamaat assistant secretary general is facing six specific charges for his alleged involvement in murders and mass killings during the Liberation War in 1971.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=44055

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Africa

 

Al-Qaida arm abducts 41 foreigners in Algeria

 Jan 17, 2013

ALGIERS: Islamist militants attacked a gas field in Algeria on Wednesday, claiming to have kidnapped up to 41 foreigners including seven Americans in a dawn raid in retaliation for France's intervention in Mali, regional media reports said.

The raiders were also reported to have killed three people, including a Briton and a French national.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Al-Qaida-arm-abducts-41-foreigners-in-Algeria/articleshow/18055865.cms

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Algerian troops surround Islamists

 Jan 17, 2013,

ALGIERS: Algerian troops surrounded Islamists holding foreign hostages at a gas field on Thursday, a day after a deadly attack the gunmen said was in reprisal for Algeria's cooperation in French operations in Mali.

Algerian interior minister Dahou Ould Kablia, speaking on national television, insisted Algiers would not negotiate with the "terrorists", who he said were surrounded by the army and security services.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Hostage-crisis-Algerian-troops-surround-Islamists/articleshow/18058630.cms?

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First Nigerian troops to join anti-rebel operation in Mali

January 17, 2013

Close to 200 Nigerian troops are due to arrive in Mali to help fight Islamist insurgents in the country's north.

It is the first West African contingent to join France's anti-rebel operation launched in Mali on Friday.

In total, 3,300 regional troops will be deployed in the conflict under a UN Security Council resolution. Chad has confirmed it will send 2,000 troops.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21054946

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30 Algerian workers held hostage at gas field escape: Reports

Jan 17, 2013

ALGIERS: Thirty Algerian workers have managed to escape from the desert gas facility where dozens are being held hostage by a group affiliated to al-Qaida, Algeria's official APS news agency said on Thursday.

It did not say how they eluded their captors.

Earlier on Thursday, Islamist gunmen holding dozens of Western hostages and scores of Algerians at a gas plant deep in the Sahara desert let some them speak to the media to warn that they would be blown up if the site is stormed.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/30-Algerian-workers-held-hostage-at-gas-field-escape-Reports/articleshow/18061296.cms

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Nigeria: Cell Phones for Farmers to Cut Corruption, Deliver Services

BY TAMI HULTMAN

14 JANUARY 2013

Abuja — Nigeria's agriculture minister today responded to a barrage of criticism about the planned distribution of cell phones to the country's poorest farmers.

Opposition politicians attacked the idea, and news articles and editorials criticized it as ill conceived. Yesterday, for example, the widely read Punch newspaper, said farmers need fertilizer and other goods, not phones. The paper quoted a farmers' association member saying the funds government approves for agriculture are "hijacked" before reaching farmers.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201301150001.html?viewall=1

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Somalia's Shebab say they have executed French hostage

Jan 17, 2013

NAIROBI: Somalia's Shebab Islamists said on Thursday they have executed a French agent they have held since 2009, as France said the hostage was likely killed several days ago in a failed rescue attempt.

"16:30 GMT, Wednesday, 16 January, 2013. Denis Allex is executed," the group said on its Twitter feed Thursday, with the report confirmed by a senior Shebab official who said the group would release audio and video of the "execution."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Somalias-Shebab-say-they-have-executed-French-hostage/articleshow/18060128.cms

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Mideast Asia

 

Israel removes Palestinian encampment outside East Jerusalem

Jan 17, 2013

JERUSALEM: Israeli forces removed Palestinian protest tents on Thursday from land earmarked for Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, having evicted activists from the encampment earlier this week, police said.

"The area was cleared of all tents," said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. "There were no disturbances."

On Sunday, police evicted 50 protesters from the so-called "E1" area outside the Arab suburbs of East Jerusalem, where planned Israeli settlements could split much of the West Bank - a worry for world powers who want to see a Palestinian state set up in the territory seized by the Jewish state in the 1967 war.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Israel-removes-Palestinian-encampment-outside-East-Jerusalem/articleshow/18058193.cms

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Turkish jets pound PKK targets in northern Iraq

 17 January 2013

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey: Turkish jets struck more than 50 Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq in Ankara's largest-scale aerial campaign in recent years, military sources said yesterday.

Northern Iraq is a base for the outlawed separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

“Sixteen F-16 fighter jets took off from their base in Diyarbakir in the southeast at around 2000 GMT Tuesday and bombed the (rebel) targets in Qandil mountain in northern Iraq, 90 kilometers from the border,” a military source said.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/turkish-jets-pound-pkk-targets-northern-iraq

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Qaeda suspects kill top Yemen security official

January 17, 2013

SANAA: Suspected al Qaeda gunmen on a motorbike have shot dead a high-ranking security official in Yemen’s Dhammar province, south of Sanaa, the official Saba news agency reported on Thursday.

“Two gunmen on a motorbike opened gunfire on Colonel (Abdullah) al-Mushki killing him immediately,” Saba quoted a security official in Dhammar as saying about Wednesday’s shooting.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/01/17/qaeda-suspects-kill-top-yemen-security-official/

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Israeli convicted of murdering two Palestinians

January 17, 2013

A court in Jerusalem has convicted a US-born Israeli of murdering two Palestinians in 1997.

Jack Teitel, who lived in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Shvut Rachel, was also convicted of attempting to murder two others.

He was also found guilty of assault with intent and incitement to violence between 1997 and 2008.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21041461

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As Israeli Vote Nears, Arab Apathy Is a Concern

By JODI RUDOREN

January 17, 2013

BAKA AL-GHARBIYA, Israel — There are two distinct strains of voter apathy here in what is known as the Triangle, home to many of Israel’s 1.5 million Arab citizens.

The first is familiar to citizens in many democracies. “No one deserves my vote,” was how Fayez Najmi, who sells fresh fish from a sidewalk in this town of 20,000, put it. “We don’t see any progress or any achievement. We only see the politicians during campaigns.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/world/middleeast/arab-apathy-raises-concerns-about-

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Netanyahu Issues Veiled Barb in Response to Reported Criticism From Obama

By ISABEL KERSHNER

January 17, 2013

JERUSALEM — Days before an Israeli election that he is expected to win, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday directed a veiled barb at President Obama, who was quoted this week as denouncing Mr. Netanyahu’s policies.

Relations between the two leaders have long been marked by tension that has erupted on occasion into open hostility, particularly over the handling of Iran’s nuclear program and Israeli settlement plans. Israeli commentators said the latest exchange of messages suggested that future relations between Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu could be equally fraught.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/world/middleeast/netanyahu-issues-veiled-response-

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IAEA's parchin visit only after deal on nuclear tech: Iran

ATUL ANEJA

January 17, 2013

Iran has virtually denied access to a high-powered visiting delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to its Parchin military complex, saying that it would open up the facility for inspections once a deal on its “nuclear rights” is achieved.

Addressing the media ahead of the IAEA delegation’s visit that commenced on Wednesday, Ramin Mehmanparast, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said that Iran would be ready to remove the alleged concerns about the Parchin military site, if the global powers recognised its right to use peaceful nuclear technology. The IAEA suspects that Parchin facility may have been used for high explosives testing that can be used to trigger a nuclear explosion, based on satellite imagery of the base.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/iaeas-parchin-visit-only-after-deal-on-nuclear-tech-iran/article4312854.ece

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Southeast Asia

 

Hizb ut Tahrir Women’s Conference, “The Khilafah: Protecting Women from Poverty and Enslavement”

 January 16th, 2013

Press Release-Hizb ut Tahrir

Hizb ut Tahrir organized a momentous International Women’s Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday the 22nd of December 2012 entitled, “The Khilafah: Protecting Women from Poverty and Enslavement.” Today a summary booklet was published detailing key points presented during the talks that day. The conference featured nine speeches as well as testimonials, and questions and comments from the audience. Speakers were from South East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, Europe, Turkey, Africa, and the Arab world. Around 1500 delegates attended from across the globe, the majority being influential women, including journalists, politicians, academics, writers, political activists, community leaders, female scholars, representatives of organizations, as well as other influential women. The event was live-streamed and watched by an internet audience from across the world.

Full report at:

http://www.hizb-ut-tahrir.info/info/english.php/contents_en/entry_22313

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Catholic schools in Blitar agree to provide Islamic lessons

Indra Harsaputra

January 17 2013

Six Catholic schools in Blitar municipality, East Java, have finally given in to a local ordinance and will provide Islamic lessons for their Muslim students.

The city ordinance requires all Muslim students to be able to read and write Koranic verses.

The head of the Religious Affairs Ministry’s office in Blitar, Imam Mukhlis, told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that the six schools had finally agreed to provide Islamic teachers for their Muslim students.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/01/17/catholic-schools-blitar-agree-provide-islamic-lessons.html

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Social media users see Mahfud, Kalla, and Prabowo as best Indonesian Presidential candidates

 January 17 2013

Aburizal Bakrie is the most-talked about presidential candidate on social media outlets, but he is also considered by netizens as the least preferable person to become the country’s next leader, according to a study by politicawave.com.

The study, released on Wednesday, found that outgoing Constitutional Court chief justice Mahfud MD, former vice president Jusuf Kalla and Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) chief patron Lt. Gen. (ret.) Prabowo Subianto are the most preferred presidential candidates according to the country’s avid social media users.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/01/17/social-media-users-see-mahfud-kalla-prabowo-best-candidates.html

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Plight of displaced Sampang Shiites continues

Margareth S. Aritonang

January 17 2013

As Amnesty International called on the government to guarantee the safe return of members of the Shia community in Sampang, Madura, the local government has once again decided to cut off food and medical supplies for the displaced victims.

Shia leaders said that the local government in Sampang had cut off the supplies in late December last year. Shia cleric Iklil Al Milal, who is a leader of the local Shia community, told The Jakarta Post that the displaced victims were now depending on private donors to help them pay for food and medical supplies.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/01/17/plight-displaced-sampang-shiites-continues.html

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Indonesian Government Accused of Stoking Intolerance

Bhimanto Suwastoyo | January 17, 2013

Activists and experts on Wednesday said that the national government, including its officials and laws, were to blame for rising intolerance in the country.

Indonesia, a pluralist nation spread over thousands of islands, has been witnessing rising intolerance that has led to violence against minorities, including religious ones.

Father Benny Susetyo, a Roman Catholic priest and executive secretary of the Indonesian Bishops Conference, said a lack of leadership in the country was a key reason for the rising intolerance.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/government-accused-of-stoking-intolerance/566001

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K-pop’s Reach Extends to Muslim Malaysia

January 17, 2013

Sepang, Malaysia. Maznifa Mustaffa doesn’t understand Korean, and would be unable to get away with dressing like her favorite Korean pop stars due to conservative attitudes in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

But that didn’t stop her joining thousands of fans who bought tickets to a K-pop extravaganza costing half a month’s average salary in Malaysia, underlining the phenomenal cross-cultural appeal of Korean entertainment.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/lifeandtimes/k-pops-reach-extends-to-muslim-malaysia/566056

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Europe

 

EU Governments Agree on Military Training Mission to Mali

January 17, 2013

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union governments agreed on Thursday to go ahead with a plan to send hundreds of military personnel to train Malian government forces in fighting Islamist rebels, as a civil war Mali spilled across its borders, an EU diplomat said.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/01/17/world/europe/17reuters-mali-rebels-

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Domestic Stability to Remain Kazakhstan’s Main Priority in 2013

Georgiy Voloshin

ON JANUARY 17, 2013

The year 2012 was certainly rich in events for Kazakhstan. In mid-January, the early parliamentary elections brought two more parties to the country’s legislative body, although none of them gained enough seats to break Nur Otan’s monopoly. While the diversity of opinions within the country’s parliament became undoubtedly wider—with the Kazakhstani government being increasingly confronted with inquiries on behalf of communist MPs and their colleagues from the business community-related Ak Zhol party—Nursultan Nazarbayev has continued to the play the role of a consolidating national figure. Therefore, his legislative proposals were met with almost no opposition from the minority parties currently represented in parliament.

Full report at: Jamestown Foundation

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Kazakhstan May Join WTO This Year: WTO Chief Lamy

January 17, 2013

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Kazakhstan may join the World Trade Organisation this year, WTO director general Pascal Lamy said on Thursday.

"Kazakhstan is at an advanced stage of its accession negotiation. My guess is that this could be doable this year," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Gaidar Forum, an economic conference in Moscow.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/01/17/world/europe/17reuters-kazakhstan-

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Russia Says Seeking Agreement on Nuclear Talks With Iran

January 17, 2013

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia says it is working hard to firm up plans for a new round of talks between global powers and Iran over Tehran's nuclear programme, which the West suspects is aimed at developing nuclear weapons capability.

Iranian news agency ISNA said on Wednesday that Iran and six world powers would resume talks in late January but a European Union official said the two sides had yet to agree a date. No venue has been agreed for the talks, either.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/01/17/world/middleeast/17reuters-nuclear-iran-

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Algeria hostage crisis: Hague condemns Briton's killing

January 17, 2013

Foreign Secretary William Hague has condemned the killing of a Briton by Islamist militants in Algeria as "cold-blooded murder".

Algeria says one of its citizens also died at a gas facility on Wednesday and about 20 foreign workers, including Britons, are now being held hostage.

Mr Hague said the UK and Algeria were working "round the clock" to resolve the crisis.

The government's emergency committee Cobra is discussing the situation.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21055659

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Australia

 

Mosque renovation sparks controversy due to objection from church member in Oz

 Jan 17 2013

Melbourne: A row has sparked in Melbourne over the planned renovation of a mosque in the vicinity of Monash University, in the eastern suburbs of the city, after a prominent member of the local Uniting Church gave a statement that religious extremists and fanatics may be trained in mosques. The controversy began when Mohamed Mohideen, president of the Islamic Association of Monash Mosque, said the university-owned house, where the mosque is based, is too small to host the rapidly growing congregation of worshippers, reports the Age. Soon after that, the chairman of the Monash Uniting Church congregation, Richard Farrell, wrote to the Monash City Council on official church stationary, opposing the planned renovations of the mosque.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/1060653/

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/hardline-saudi-clerics-call-king’s-empowerment-of-women-a-‘dangerous-change’/d/10048

 

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