New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 28 Oct 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

In Case Of Palestinian Uprising I'll Side with Israel: Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal




















Fatemeh Ekhtesari, left, and Mehdi Musavi are pictured in an undated photo made available by International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

 

Arab World

In Case Of Palestinian Uprising I'll Side With Israel: Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal

35 Killed In Strikes on Syria Hospitals: Doctors without Borders

Kerry: Vienna Talks Chance To Save Syria from ‘Hell’

800 Colombian Soldiers Hired to Join Saudi-Led Forces in Yemen with $1000 Weekly Salary

At Least 9 Terrorists, a Top Commander Killed in Hama

Saudi Arabia, Iran to discuss Syria war face-to-face

Six MSF-supported hospitals targeted in Syria air strikes: MSF

Briton facing flogging in Saudi Arabia to be freed

Syrian Army, Popular Forces Continue Fighting ISIL near Kuweires Airbase

Syrians Return Home as Russian Strikes Force ISIL Terrorists to Flee

Syrian Army, Russian Air Force Preparing for Joint Liberation Operation in Palmyra

Report: Saudi Plot to Attack Damascus Foiled

Qatar Orders Ouster of Ahrar Al-Sham's Chief Commander

Iraqi Forces Kill ISIL Leader

Syrian Army Wins Back Salamiyah-Raqqa Highway with Russia Aerial Backup

ISIL Militants Sustain Heavy Losses in Clashes with Army near Syria's Aleppo

Syrian Forces Target More Terrorists' Positions in Aleppo

Saudi-led coalition drops weapons for allies in Yemen

Syria opposition, rebels not invited to Vienna talks

No immediate increase in Syria anti-ISIS campaign

Illegal expats could be new Daesh recruits

Strong Turkish-Saudi links present enormous economic opportunities

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South Asia

Burma’s Million-Strong Rohingya Population Faces ‘Final Stages of Genocide,’ Says Report

Taliban, IS May Invade Central Asia, Warns Russian Intelligence

Taliban overrun district in quake-hit Afghanistan

NDS arrests Taliban trainer with training materials in Takhar

Landmine explosion martyrs four policemen in Paktia

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Mideast

Iranian Poets Facing Lashes for Shaking Hands with Opposite Sex

Why Some Palestinian Journalists Struggle With When to Put Down the Camera

Yemen to request joining GCC after restoring stability

Turkey may hit Syrian Kurds ‘to block advance’

Iran considered nuclear weapons during 1980s Iraq war, former president says

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Pakistan

Pakistani Hindus Leave for India to Escape 'Religious and Cultural Persecution': BBC

Police Claim Killing Three Outlawed Terrorists in Karachi 'Encounter'

Pakistan Supreme Court Warns Against False Blasphemy Accusations

Beleaguered Community: Jamaat-i-Ahmadiyya to Stay Away From Forthcoming Polls

Jamaat, PTI complain of use of religion in campaign

Italian police hand over APS attack suspect to FIA

Attackers flee after opening aerial fire outside Charsadda schools

7 Pakistani pilgrims still missing: minister

Pakistan loses UN Human Rights Council re-election

Turkey to gift 34 light fighter aircraft to Pakistan

Pakistan, Iran join hands for Afghan peace

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India

Riot Breaks Out After Muslim Barber Refuses To Shut Shop on Tuesday

All India Muslim Personal Law Board to Oppose Uniform Civil Code

Musharraf’s LeT Comments Raise Questions about His Sincerity on Peace with India

Abu Qasim, top LeT commander behind Udhampur attack, killed in encounter: Army

Africa Wish list for New Delhi: Help Us Fight Boko Haram, Rebuild Island, Set Up Hospital

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Africa

Nigerian Troops Rescue 338 People Held By Boko Haram

Somali President Warns Shebab on Joining ISIL

German diplomat to take over Libya peace efforts

Sudan arrests three opposition figures

Tunisian party leader: Tunisia a work in progress

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North America

U.N. Chief Urges ‘Unified’ Effort to Prevent Terrorism

Halloween Anti-Muslim Costume Dropped

NY Islamic Center Seeks Common Ground

US: Muslim Drivers Who Refused To Deliver Beer Win $240,000 Lawsuit

'No illusions' about Iranian activities: US

US: Relationship with Turkey, YPG complicates ISIL fight

US may use ground forces against ISIL

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Europe

Saudi-Led Military Ops in Yemen ‘Coming To Close’: British FM

Ghani Requests Putin to Send Gunships to Fight Taliban

Seven children die after migrant boats sink off Greece

EU's Mogherini warns of 'disintegration' over refugee crisis

UN: Europe fails to properly handle Syrian refugee crisis

Germany: Austria's behaviour on refugees 'out of line'

France, Russia FMs to talk ahead of Syria meeting

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Southeast Asia

In Indonesia, Minorities under Threat from Muslim Hardliners

RM31m for Non-Muslim Groups, Schools in Sabah State

Mosque to Hold Open Day for Non-Muslims

UNESCO acknowledges Asian-African Conference archives as world heritage

Take Care Malays: You Might Be Losing Your Culture to Politicized Islam

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Australia

Australia school criticised after letting Muslim students walk out during national anthem

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/in-case-of-palestinian-uprising-i-ll-side-with-israel--saudi-prince-al-waleed-bin-talal/d/105092

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Arab World

 

In case of Palestinian uprising I'll side with Israel: Saudi prince al-Waleed bin Talal

October 28, 2015

Kuwait City — According to Kuwaiti Al Qabas daily, the flamboyant Saudi Prince and entrepreneur, al-Waleed bin Talal posited that his country must reconsider its regional commitments and devise a new strategy to combat Iran's increasing influence in Gulf States by forging a Defense pact with Tel Aviv to deter any possible Iranian moves in the light of unfolding developments in the Syria and Moscow's military intervention.

"The whole Middle-East dispute is tantamount to matter of life and death for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from my vantage point ,and I know that Iranians seek to unseat the Saudi regime by playing the Palestinian card , hence to foil their plots Saudi Arabia and Israel must bolster their relations and form a united front to stymie Tehran's ambitious agenda," Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA) quoted Prince al-Waleed as saying on Tuesday , adding, Riyadh and Tel Aviv must achieve a modus vivendi , for Saudi policy in regard to Arab-Israeli crisis is no longer tenable.

Iran seeks to buttress its presence in the Mediterranean by supporting Assad regime in Syria, added Prince al-Waleed, but to the chagrin of Riyadh and its sister Gulf sheikhdoms , Putin's Russia has become a real co-belligerent force in Syrian 4-year-old civil war by attacking CIA-trained Islamist rebels. Here surfaces the paramount importance of Saudi-Israeli nexus to frustrate Russia-Iran-Hezbollah axis.

" I will side with the Jewish nation and its democratic aspirations in case of outbreak of a Palestinian Intifada( uprising) and  i shall exert all my influence to break any ominous Arab initiatives set to condemn Tel Aviv , because I deem the Arab-Israeli entente and future friendship necessary to impede the Iranian dangerous encroachment," Al Qabas cited the Saudi media tycoon as he is in a regional tour, visiting the other Gulf Arab littoral states--Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman--to muster support for Saudi-backed Islamist rebels in Syria.

No longer able to justify its illegal military presence in Bahrain – a tiny Arabian Gulf Kingdom, occupied by Saudi forces to stifle the 2011 pro-deaconry movement–, some high-profile Saudi officials, namely Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, voiced their willingness to annex Bahrain. These flagrant statements drew wide condemnation from nearly every quarter of the Arab world.

"…you know the union with Bahrain doesn't explicitly mean to annex our dear neighbors, but in fact we are wary about the future of Bahrain, its people security and well-being. Bahrain is the home to U.S. fifth fleet which its presence is of vital interest for Saudi Arabia, thus we can not permit Iran to wreak havoc in our back yard," said the Saudi Prince, vindicating his previous brash comments regarding the annexation of Bahrain.

http://nation.com.pk/international/28-Oct-2015/in-case-of-palestinian-uprising-i-ll-side-with-israel-saudi-prince-al-waleed-bin-talal

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35 killed in strikes on Syria hospitals: Doctors without Borders

29 October 2015

A “significant increase” of air strikes on Syrian hospitals recently has killed at least 35 patients and medical staff and wounded 72, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Thursday.

The escalation of attacks by air forces the group did not identify, which began in late September, had targeted 12 hospitals in Idlib, Aleppo and Hama provinces, including six supported by MSF, a statement said.

“Overall, six hospitals were forced to close... and four ambulances destroyed,” said the international medical aid group.

“One hospital has since reopened, yet access to emergency, maternity, pediatric and primary health care services remains severely disrupted.”

The statement said “tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes” as a result of the attacks.

“After more than four years of war, I remain flabbergasted at how international humanitarian law can be so easily flouted by all parties to this conflict,” said Sylvain Groulx, MSF chief for Syria.

Russia launched air strikes in Syria on September 30 in support of long-time ally President Bashar al-Assad, whose own forces have been bombing his opponents for years.

And a U.S.-led coalition has also been carrying out an aerial military campaign in the country for more than a year.

Both say they are targeting the extremist ISIS group that has seized large chunks of Iraq and Syria.

More than 250,000 people have died in the Syrian war, now in its fifth year.

Some 6.5 million more are displaced inside the country and another 4.2 million have fled abroad in one of the largest displacement crisis of modern times.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/29/35-killed-in-strikes-on-Syria-hospitals-Doctors-without-Borders-.html

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Kerry: Vienna talks chance to save Syria from ‘hell’

29 October 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned on Wednesday that this week’s international talks on the war in Syria will not find an immediate political solution but nevertheless represent the best hope available.

“While finding a way forward on Syria will not be easy - it’s not going to be automatic - it is the most promising opportunity for a political opening we have seen,” he said in a speech on Middle East policy just before he was to set off for Vienna.

“My friends, the challenge that we face in Syria today is nothing less than to chart a course out of hell.”

Kerry was to meet with his counterparts from a dozen world powers in the Austrian capital for a series of bilateral and multilateral talks on Thursday and Friday to find consensus on a political way forward in Syria.

Speaking to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Kerry noted that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s ally Iran is to take part for the first time, along with Damascus’ other main military backer Russia.

Washington is at loggerheads with Moscow over its stance, accusing Russian forces of concentrating their air campaign on moderate opposition groups opposed to Assad’s rule rather than on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group.

“But it is also clear that Russia and the United States share an amazing amount of common ground on this,” he said, arguing that both want “a united, secular Syria” in which citizens can choose their own leader through elections.

“We agree that all of these steps can only be achieved, and Syria can only be saved, through a political settlement,” he said, arguing that “one man” -- Assad -- cannot be allowed to stand in the way of peace.

Two previous rounds of talks on Syria -- dubbed Geneva I and Geneva II, in June 2012 and January-February 2014 -- agreed on the principle of forming an interim unity government and sidelining Assad.

But Assad, with support from Iran, Russia and the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, has clung on, while the United States and its Arab and Turkish allies have continued to support and arm mainly Sunni rebels.

“Ultimately, to defeat Daesh, we have to end the war in Syria, and that is America’s goal,” Kerry said, using a term for the ISIS based on its Arabic acronym.

The Vienna discussions are expected to be the first time all major international players in the conflict, linked to the nearly five-year war, will participate.

Saudi Arabia and other U.S. allies in the Middle East had previously opposed the involvement of Iran, which they blame for fomenting unrest in several parts of the Middle East, including Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/29/Kerry-Vienna-talks-best-chance-to-save-Syria-from-hell-.html

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800 Colombian Soldiers Hired to Join Saudi-Led Forces in Yemen with $1000 Weekly Salary

Oct 28, 2015

Over 800 Colombian mercenaries could take up front-line positions in Yemen under the Saudi command, the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo said in a report.

The troops are expected to be involved in an ongoing offensive against the revolutionary forces, which currently hold Yemen's capital, Sana'a.

Hundreds of Colombian nationals are fighting alongside the Saudi-led forces in Yemen, the report further added.

The troops include former Colombian soldiers fighting under contract with Saudi Arabia.

The first group of just under 100 Colombian troops arrived in Yemen earlier this month. The troops were set to arrive in the Southern port city of Aden.

In recent days unconfirmed reports have surfaced the number of Colombians in Yemen may have already reached that number (800).

The report said that in addition to the hefty amount of money paid by the Emir of the United Arab Emirates, the Saudis' main and powerful ally, the Colombian forces will earn at least $1000 of weekly salary to combat alongside the Saudi-led coalition forces against the Yemeni army and popular forces.  

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 217 days now to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 6,882 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

Hadi stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision despite calls by Ansarullah revolutionaries of the Houthi movement.

Despite Riyadh’s claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi warplanes are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940806000762

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At Least 9 Terrorists, A Top Commander Killed in Hama

Oct 28, 2015

The army conducted a military operation against a hideout of terrorists from the so-called "Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union" in al-Latamneh town to the North of Hama city, killing at least 5 terrorists, including the terrorist ringleader, Akram Ali al-Mahmoud.

Meanwhile, the army destroyed a hideout of al-Nusra Front terrorists in al-Hbeit village on the border between Idlib and Hama, killing all the terrorists who were inside it. An armored vehicle was also destroyed.

Separately, the army targeted concentration centers of terrorists from the so-called "Jaish al-Islam" in the farms between al-Latamneh and Maarkaba village, killing several Takfiri militants.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940806001009

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Saudi Arabia, Iran to discuss Syria war face-to-face

Oct 29, 2015

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Iran announced they would attend international talks in Vienna on Friday on the civil war in Syria, in the first meeting between the regional adversaries aimed at ending the four-year-long conflict in the country.

Saudi Arabia’s participation in the talks was aimed at gauging the willingness of Russia and Iran, the Syrian government’s main backers, for a peace deal, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Wednesday.

“The view of our partners... was that we should test the intentions of the Iranians and the Russians in arriving at a political solution in Syria, which we all prefer,” Al-Jubeir told a news conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and three of his deputies would attend the multilateral talks, Iranian state news agencies said earlier on Wednesday.

It will be the first time that Tehran attends international negotiations on Syria’s war. Other participants, notably the United States, say President Bashar al-Assad can play no part in Syria’s future.

The Saudi foreign minister added that the kingdom and its allies would hold a separate meeting on Friday to seek “the time and means of Bashar al-Assad’s exit”.

Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, Lebanon, the European Union and France also said they would attend Friday’s talks, which come a day after a smaller round of negotiations between the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Around a dozen participants are expected in total.

It was not clear whether any invitation had been sent to either the Syrian government or the opposition. Neither side was present at the last talks in Vienna.

Speaking at a news conference alongside his Saudi counterpart, British foreign minister Philip Hammond said he hoped the meeting would encourage dialogue between the regional rivals, who back opposing sides in conflicts across the Arab world.

“Saudi Arabia and Iran are the two most important and powerful countries in this region. It is very much in the long-term interests of the region that eventually these two countries are able to talk to each other, are able to discuss differences, are able to seek solutions peacefully,” Hammond said.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216052/saudi-arabia-iran-to-discuss-syria-war-face-to-face

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Six MSF-supported hospitals targeted in Syria air strikes: MSF

Oct 29, 2015

BEIRUT: A "significant increase" of air strikes on Syrian hospitals recently has killed at least 35 patients and medical staff and wounded 72, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Thursday.

The escalation of attacks by air forces the group did not identify, which began in late September, had targeted 12 hospitals in Idlib, Aleppo and Hama provinces, including six supported by MSF, a statement said.

"Overall, six hospitals were forced to close... and four ambulances destroyed," said the international medical aid group.

"One hospital has since reopened, yet access to emergency, maternity, paediatric and primary health care services remains severely disrupted."

The statement said "tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes" as a result of the attacks.

"After more than four years of war, I remain flabbergasted at how international humanitarian law can be so easily flouted by all parties to this conflict," said Sylvain Groulx, MSF chief for Syria.

Russia launched air strikes in Syria on September 30 in support of long-time ally President Bashar al-Assad, whose own forces have been bombing his opponents for years. And a United States-led coalition has also been carrying out an aerial military campaign in the country for more than a year.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216149/six-msf-supported-hospitals-targeted-in-syria-air-strikes-msf

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Briton facing flogging in Saudi Arabia to be freed

October 29, 2015

LONDON:-  Britain’s Karl Andree, who was facing the threat of flogging in Saudi Arabia for being caught with home-made wine, is to be released from custody, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Wednesday. “Delighted to announce Brit Karl Andree will be released from Saudi custody within a week and reunited with his family,” Hammond wrote on Twitter after meeting King Salman on a visit to Saudi Arabia. Prime Minister David Cameron added on Twitter that the news was “good to hear”.–AFP

–AFPThe family of Andree, 74, said he had been told he faced 350 lashes in public after serving a year behind bars for being caught with home-made wine.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/29-Oct-2015/briton-facing-flogging-in-saudi-arabia-to-be-freed

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Syrian Army, Popular Forces Continue Fighting ISIL near Kuweires Airbase

Oct 28, 2015

The ISIL strongholds near the town of Sheikh Ahmad and near the strategic airbase of Kuweires were stormed by the Syrian army troops and the NDF fighters, the sources said.

The sources added that the army is trying hard to hit the militant defense line in surroundings of Kuweires airbase to end its siege by the terrorist groups.

Also on Wednesday, the Syrian forces, backed by the country's warplanes, thwarted an ISIL attack in Aleppo province, leaving scores of terrorists dead.

The army and the National Defense Forces, backed by the Syrian airstrikes, repelled ISIL attack on Jabboul village in Aleppo, and killed scores of Takfiri terrorists.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940806001010

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Syrians Return Home as Russian Strikes Force ISIL Terrorists to Flee

Oct 28, 2015

"Assad praised the actions of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria. He said thousands of terrorists are now fleeing Syria, and refugees are returning," Sablin said in an interview with the Russian newspaper Izvestia, RIA Novosti reported.

Recently, a group of Russian lawmakers visited Syria. During the trip, they met with President Assad and high-profile Syrian officials. A number of issues, including bilateral ties and the fight against terrorism, were on the agenda.

Sablin said he visited Syria in May and since then there have been a lot of changes.

"People in Syria are now discussing their future. They want to rebuild their country," he added.

"People are now walking safely through the streets of Damascus. There are fountains and restaurants open. Before Russia engaged it was terrifying to live there," the senator underscored.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940806001168

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Syrian Army, Russian Air Force Preparing for Joint Liberation Operation in Palmyra

Oct 28, 2015

The commander of the Syrian ground force, National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Russian air force are reviewing the last steps of their joint operation to recapture the ancient city of Palmyra from the ISIL terrorists.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940806000679

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Report: Saudi Plot to Attack Damascus Foiled

Oct 28, 2015

The Saudi deputy crown prince gave his proposal to President Putin in a meeting in Moscow on June 19, the Arabic-language Al-Akhbar newspaper wrote.

It was revealed two weeks ago that Saudi Arabia and Jordan had planned to conduct a blitz on the capital Damascus through the Southern provinces of Daraa and Quneitra after coordinating with the Saudi-backed terrorist Leader Zahran Aloush who is in Eastern Ghouta, the newspaper added.

The Russians who had been informed of Saudi Arabia's plan and after checking with the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement's field information, the Russian fighter jets changed their direction from the North to Southern Syria and pounded the terrorists' positions in Jobar and Eastern Ghouta of the Damascus countryside, specially the towns of Marj al-Sultan and Deir al-Asafir, it said.

Al-Akhbar wrote that the Russian airstrikes resulted in the destruction of terrorists' command centers and foiling the terrorists' attempt to capture Damascus.

On Tuesday, the Russian air force hit rebel positions in Southern Syria, near the Golan Heights, for the first time since it began its air campaign against the Takfiri terrorists last month.

The Russian airstrikes targeted positions of the ISIL and al-Nusra Front in the Golan Heights in Quneitra province near the border with Israel.

Russia's airstrikes were the closest to the occupied Palestinian territories since it started its airstrikes in late September.

Also on Monday, the Russian air force also struck terrorists' positions in Daraa province for the first time in the past month.

Russia's fighter jets hit the Takfiri terrorists' positions in the strategic hilltops of Tal al-Harra and Tal Antar near Deir al-Adas in the Northern countryside of Daraa late Monday.

The Syrian army also carried out attacks on the strategic hilltop of Tal al-Alaqiya in Daraa countryside and managed to fully destroy the terrorists' positions in the region.

The Tal al-Alaqiya hilltop is surrounded by three other strategic areas of Deir al-Adas, Kafar Nasej and Kafar Shams in Northern Daraa.

Political observers believe that he Russian fighter jets' attacks have an important message for Israel while Tal Aviv is trying to pretend that it has reached an agreement with Moscow on Syria's Southern skies.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940806000838

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Qatar Orders Ouster of Ahrar Al-Sham's Chief Commander

Oct 28, 2015

"Ahrar al-Sham's senior commander Abu Saleh al-Tahan will be ousted at the order of the Qatari government, the Arabic-language Al-Safir newspaper quoted an informed source close to Ahrar al-Sham as saying on Wednesday.

The source reiterated that the differences among Ahrar al-Sham's senior commanders have intensified while he did not mention the reason for Qatar's decision to order the change in Ahrar al-Sham's top ranks.

The decision by Qatar to bring about changes in Ahrar al-Sham's leadership came after the radical commanders of Ahrar al-Sham refrained to comply with Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah who had warned that Ahrar al-Sham should not form a coalition with Al-Qaeda and set up a joint operation room with Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda offshoot, the paper wrote.

The decision by Qatar came after sources close to Ahrar al-Sham earlier this month disclosed that Turkey had ordered the Takfiri terrorist group to join the Al-Nusra Front as militants' conditions are deteriorating in Syria.

"Over 200 Ahrar al-Sham terrorists have joined Al-Nusra Front in the past three days, but only 13 of them have acknowledged," the Arabic-language Al-Watan newspaper quoted an Ahrar al-Sham source as saying.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940806001157

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Iraqi Forces Kill ISIL Leader

Oct 28, 2015

The Iraqi army and Saraya al-Salam forces killed the ISIL ringleader in Western Samarra, informed source said.

Reports also said the Iraqi security forces killed 20 ISIL terrorists in military operations in Salahuddin province.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940806000736

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ISIL Militants Sustain Heavy Losses in Clashes with Army near Syria's Aleppo

Oct 28, 2015

The sources said that the Syrian army repelled the ISIL attack near Air Force Academy and killed tens of the terrorists in its counter-attack.

Meantime, the Eastern parts of al-Sfeira witnesses the army's crucial operation against the ISIL, whose members left behind dozens of dead and wounded comrades and retreated from the battlefront.

On Wednesday, the Syrian army launched another phase of its crucial operations to tighten noose around the Takfiri militants in Aleppo province, inflicting heavy losses on the militants in the early hours of the new round of fighting.

The army targeted terrorist positions in the neighborhoods of Salah Eddin, al-Lairamoun and al-Azamiyeh in Aleppo city.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940806001281

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Syrian Forces Target More Terrorists' Positions in Aleppo

October 29, 2015

The army targeted terrorist positions in the neighborhoods of Salah Eddin, al-Lairamoun and al-Azamiyeh in Aleppo city.

The army also targeted terrorists from al-Nusra Front and the so-called "Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement" and "Nour Eddin al-Zanki Movement" in Khan al-Assal and near Bashkoui village in Northwestern Aleppo, destroying a number of their vehicles, some equipped with machineguns.

Also on Wednesday, the Syrian army troops thwarted an ISIL attack in Southeastern Aleppo province, leaving several terrorists dead.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940806001103

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Saudi-led coalition drops weapons for allies in Yemen

28 October 2015

Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition bombed the Iran-allied Houthi movement across Yemen on Wednesday and dropped weapons to Islamist militias battling the group, a day after being accused of bombing the hospital of an international medical aid charity.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab countries have been bombing the Houthis and their army allies loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh since late March.

At least 5,600 people have been killed, but the alliance has made little headway in restoring Yemen's exiled government to the Houthi-controlled capital, Sanaa.

The coalition dropped weapons in the southwestern city of Taiz, Yemen's third largest which has become a major front in the coalition's northward push toward the capital. (VIDEO)

"Coalition forces supplied the resistance with a quantity of high-quality weapons which landed in the south of the city in an area under our control," a senior militia leader told Reuters.

The United Nations and aid groups have expressed alarm at a worsening humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which even before the war struggled with widespread poverty and hunger. They say civilian targets, including markets, factories, houses, schools and hospitals, have been bombed.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/28/Saudi-led-coalition-drops-weapons-for-allies-in-Yemen.html

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Syria opposition, rebels not invited to Vienna talks

29 October 2015

Neither Syria’s main political opposition body nor representatives of the armed opposition have been invited to international talks on the country’s war, an opposition politician and a rebel leader said.

The Syrian government in Damascus has meanwhile yet to issue any official comment on the meeting in Vienna on Friday that will bring together about a dozen countries including Saudi Arabia and Iran, which back opposing sides in the conflict.

The Syrian opposition has objected to Iran’s participation in the talks - the first time it has attended such a meeting on Syria - because of its military support for President Bashar al-Assad.

George Sabra, a member of the Syrian National Coalition, told Reuters the failure to invite Syrians showed a “lack of seriousness”. Asked whether the coalition had been invited to the talks, he said: “That didn’t happen.”

“It is a big weak point in the meeting, because it will discuss the issues of the Syrians in their absence.”

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/29/Syrian-opposition-rebels-not-invited-to-Vienna-talks.html

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No immediate increase in Syria anti-ISIS campaign

29 October 2015

The U.S.-led coalition attacking ISIS militants showed no immediate sign of increasing strikes in Syria, figures released on Wednesday showed, even though the Pentagon chief has said America would intensify its campaign.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Tuesday said the coalition would conduct extra bombing runs against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria, but only two strikes have been conducted in Syria the last six days.

The diminished tempo comes as Russia finishes the first month of its own Syria bombing campaign, and observers have suggested the U.S.-led coalition is worried about flying close to areas of Russian action.

The Pentagon has repeatedly denied this.

“It has nothing to do with the Russians, nothing whatsoever,” coalition spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said. “There has been a reduction in strikes, but it’s tied to operations. ... It’s really more about the ebb and flow of battle.”

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/29/No-immediate-increase-in-Syria-anti-ISIS-campaign-.html

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Illegal expats could be new Daesh recruits

29 October 2015

JEDDAH: Runaway and illegal workers are in danger of being exploited by terrorist groups, according to experts.

These workers, especially women, are the most vulnerable to exploitation by terrorist groups such as Daesh, according to the government’s security agencies, a local publication reported.

The Ministry of Labor’s annual report recently stated that 86,549 domestic workers have absconded from their employers, with women making up 60 percent of this number.

Brig. Saad Al-Shahrani, dean of admissions and registration at Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, said many of these workers are illiterate or have basic education, which make them ideal targets for terrorists because they can be manipulated into taking up arms and carrying out attacks.

He said many workers run away from their sponsors because they are lured by better money and jobs. They are often assisted by compatriots. “Foreign women workers on the run are more easily exploited by these terrorist groups.

“Women also move easily between cities because they are subjected to fewer security checks. This is probably why we need to employ women at check points to deal with this weakness in our system,” he said.

Full Report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/827421

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Strong Turkish-Saudi links present enormous economic opportunities

29 October 2015

RIYADH: Rapidly expanding trade and nascent foreign investment promise stronger economic links between the world’s two fastest-growing G-20 states — Turkey and Saudi Arabia — which are also the two prominent member nations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

“These growing economic ties are strongly backed by identical approaches on the whole range of bilateral and regional issues,” said Yunus Demirer, Turkish ambassador, here.

Demirer, who gave an overview of Saudi-Turkish relations in an interview on the occasion of the Republic Day of Turkey, said that “the two-way trade between the Kingdom and Turkey has been in the region of SR30 billion annually.”

He also spoke about growing Saudi-relations in other sectors, his country’s commitments to help solve regional problems and the support extended to over two million Syrian refugees currently taking shelter in that country.

Referring to the progressively growing commercial relations, the ambassador said that trade between Turkey and Saudi Arabia has been growing consistently.

Around 80 percent of Turkey’s exports to the Kingdom are industrial products whereas agricultural products account for 10 percent in the exports.

On the other hand, the bulk of Turkey’s imports from Saudi Arabia come from crude oil and petrochemical products.

A close observation of that import shows that the share of crude oil in total imports declined from 79 percent to below 40 percent between 2000 and 2014, while the share of petrochemicals increased drastically (the value of imports of polypropylene rose to $1 billion ) in the same period.

On the other hand, the decrease in the last two years was mainly related with the decline in crude oil prices.

Speaking about the upswing in trade and investment, Ambassador Demirer said that there is a genuine opportunity to establish a long-term partnership between Turkish and Saudi business communities.

Saudi visitors feel at ease in Turkey, says the envoy, while adding further that Turkey is among the world’s top 12 producers of building materials such as cement, glass, steel and ceramic tiles.

“As neighbors and two of the world’s oldest civilizations, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have shared a long history of religious, cultural, scientific, and economic linkages,” said the envoy, adding that Turkish imports from Saudi Arabia have been traditionally dominated by mineral fuels.

Petrochemical products are the second largest category of Saudi exports to Turkey as said earlier. On the other hand, Turkish exports to Saudi Arabia are much more diversified.

Steel and iron products tend to dominate Turkish exports, followed by machinery and transport equipment, agricultural and textile products.

He said that “the depth and diversity of our relations, our joint commitment to stability and well-being of the region as well as our intertwined interests lead our two countries to foster the existing relationship to higher and new levels of cooperation.”

Referring to the investment climate in Turkey, a Turkish government report said that the structural reforms carried out by the government in the last decade have improved the investment climate, which in turn attracted substantial Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Legislation on investment was streamlined along global standards.

At present, Turkey has a foreign capital-friendly legislation and transparent regulatory system.

FDI legislation is based on the principle of equal treatment for domestic and foreign investors.

Turkey grants all rights, incentives, exemptions, and privileges available to national businesses to foreign investors.

Turkish law accepts binding international arbitration of investment disputes between foreign investors and the state.

Foreign investors are free to repatriate their capital and profits.

Turkey’s legal system protects and facilitates acquisition and disposal of property rights, including land, buildings and mortgages.

Also, generous tax privileges for free zones and technology development zones have provided a stimulus to the investment therein.

As a result, Turkey has become the commercial/investment hub of the region.

Foreign companies have been using free zones as well as Turkish partners to access the EU market as well as looking for business opportunities throughout the Balkans, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East.

To this end, the report noted that about 400 Saudi firms directly or indirectly operate in Turkey at present.

Saudi companies mainly invest in industrial sector in Turkey in collaboration with Turkish private and public sectors. 

They can also increase their investments in agricultural, finance, tourism and communications sectors.

Turkey, on the other hand, has had a sizeable number of highly-qualified and technologically superior contractors, who are present in every nook and corner of the globe including the Gulf states today.

In the field of tourism, Turkey has been doing very well. A total of 39 million tourists visited Turkey in 2013 and, hence the tourism revenue reached $32 billion.

Turkish tourism sector’s target is to be among the top five countries in the world in terms of attracting the highest number of tourists and receiving the highest amount of tourism revenue by 2023.

It is important to note here that the tourism traffic between the Kingdom and Turkey has also been consistently growing.

“Indeed, tourism is a dynamic and resilient sector in Turkey,” said Ambassador Demirer.

As of today, Turkey ranks 6th in the most-visited global destinations list and tourism relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey are developing quite well. Last year, Turkey attracted more than 250,000 Saudi tourists, which proves that Turkey has been one of the most favorite destinations for Saudi men, women and children.

In fact, the Saudi visitors feel at ease in Turkey, which is a majority Muslim country with halal food found everywhere.

“Our values, history, art, food and way of life easily reach our Saudi brothers,” said the envoy. On the other hand, more than 500,000 Turks visit Saudi Arabia each year, mainly for Haj and Umrah.

This is in addition to a large number of Turkish businessmen, who visit the Kingdom on a regular basis.

Asked about the total number of Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey today, Ambassador Demirer pointed out that Turkey currenlty hosts more than two million Syrian refugees as part of the historical humanitarian effort.

The humanitarian assistance of Turkey to those refugees has now exceeded $5 billion, he noted.

Such in influx of refugees is mainly because of the fact that Turkey has the longest land border with Syria among all its neighbors. Together with Iraq, the length of the border is 1,295 kilometers.

Speaking about Turkey’s global standing in world’s trade and economy, the diplomat said that “due to its globally integrated and solid economy, large and young population, Turkey is a source of new business and development in its region.”

Turkey has shown remarkable performance with its strong growth over the last decade. A sound macroeconomic strategy in combination with prudent fiscal policies and major structural reforms integrated Turkish economy into the global economy.

Besides, Turkey’s dynamic and growing economy creates many opportunities in trade and in other areas of cooperation in the region.

Demirer, while speaking about the economic situation, said that the economic growth has become sustainable through the macroeconomic improvements and fiscal discipline.

During 2002-2014 period, Turkey ranked among the top five countries with its 4.9 percent annual GDP growth rate.

Its 2.9 percent growth rate of 2014 enabled Turkey show better performance compared to 18 European countries.

This comparatively good performance has continued in the first half of 2015 and Turkish economy grew by 3.1 percent.

According to OECD, Turkey is expected to continue its comparatively good economic performance in the next couple of years.

As the GDP levels tripled to $800 billion in 2014, up from $231 billion in 2002, GDP per capita exceeded $10,390, up from $3,500 in the given period.

“Turkey became the 6th largest economy in Europe and the 17th largest economy in the world according to GDP figures in 2014,” said the envoy, adding that Turkey’s geopolitical location and its strong ties with Caucasia, Central Asia, Middle East and EU increase its importance especially as a bridge in economic relation between these regions. Besides being the gateway of energy resources, foreign trade, overseas construction activities and foreign direct investment (FDI) are among the most important sources of this significant economic performance shown by Turkey.

Full Report at:

As of today foreign direct investment stock in Turkey is about $128 billion.

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/827276

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South Asia

 

Burma’s Million-Strong Rohingya Population Faces ‘Final Stages of Genocide,’ Says Report

Oct. 28, 2015

The long-persecuted ethnicity is on the verge of "mass annihilation," say experts, with new evidence indicating government complicity

Despite the U.S.-led rolling back of economic sanctions and internationally backed national elections taking place early next month, more than a million people in Burma are facing state-sponsored genocide, according to a new report.

The Rohingya Muslim community of the military-dominated Southeast Asian nation, which is now officially known as Myanmar, has been systematically persecuted and expunged from the national narrative — often at the behest of powerful extremist groups from the country’s majority Buddhist population and even government authorities — to the point where complete extermination is a possibility, according to a damning new study by the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) at the Queen Mary University of London.

“The Rohingya face the final stages of genocide,” concludes the report.

ISCI uses noted genocide expert Daniel Feierstein’s framework of the six stages of genocide, outlined in his 2014 book Genocide as Social Practice, as a lens through which to view Burma. Through interviews with stakeholders on both sides of what it describes as ethnic cleansing, as well as media reports and leaked government documents, the report enumerates how the Rohingya have undergone the first four stages — stigmatization and dehumanization; harassment, violence and terror; isolation and segregation; systematic weakening — and are on the verge of “mass annihilation.” The sixth stage, which involves the “removal of the victim group from collective history,” is already under way in many respects, the report says.

Stricken from Burma’s 135 officially recognized ethnicities in 1982, the Rohingya have undergone decades of discrimination and disenfranchisement, albeit never to the degree they currently face. The Burmese government’s official position is that the Rohingya are interlopers from neighbouring Bangladesh, despite many having lived in the country for generations, and it refuses to even acknowledge their collective name, preferring the loaded term “Bengali.” The report documents a systematic deterioration of the Rohingya’s situation since communal violence broke out in June 2012 in Burma’s Rakhine (formerly Arakan) state.

Although the Burmese government has painted the strife — which saw hundreds of people, mainly Muslims, slaughtered during two main waves of violence that June and October — as a spontaneous outbreak of long-mounting religious tensions following the reported rape of a Buddhist woman, the ISCI report presents compelling evidence that the attacks were premeditated and possibly even organized by local authorities.

Interviews with some of the perpetrators — none of whom have been prosecuted because of a supposed lack of concrete evidence — reveal that they were bused into Rakhine state’s capital city Sittwe from nearby villages, provided two free meals a day and told it was their “duty as Rakhine to participate in an attack on the Muslim population.”

There are also strong indications that the government not only allowed the violence to take place unabated for almost a week, but that police, military and other state security forces participated in the attacks themselves, the report says.

Since then, close to 140,000 Rohingya have been sequestered in squalid camps outside the state’s capital, heavily guarded and prevented from leaving by security forces. The 4,500 that remain in Sittwe reside in a run-down ghetto with similar restrictions on movement. A majority of the Rohingya, numbering about 800,000, are spread out across two townships in northern Rakhine state — another region completely blocked off from the outside world by the military.

Full Report at:

http://time.com/4089276/burma-rohingya-genocide-report-documentary/

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Taliban, IS may invade Central Asia, warns Russian intelligence

Oct 29 2015

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has warned that Taliban or Islamic State (IS) fighters may invade central Asia.

FSB director Alexander Bortnikov said that a concentration of Taliban fighters, some of whom had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, at Afghanistan’s northern border make the risk of invasion tangible, Russian news agencies reported on Wednesday.

Russia’s biggest concern is Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan towards which Taliban are nearing.

Besides Taliban, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) that recently announced allegiance to IS also operates in the northern part of the country.

 The group is believed to have links with other militant groups such as Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and is considered comparatively a strong group.

It has been reported that IMU was involved in several deadly TTP attacks in Pakistan including one on Karachi airport that left at least 36 people killed in 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in the meeting of Commonwealth of Independent States Council of Heads on October 16 that Situation in Afghanistan is close to critical, adding that  it is important to closely monitor the situation on the CIS’ external borders.

Full Report at:

http://www.khaama.com/taliban-is-may-invade-central-asia-warns-russia-4057

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Taliban overrun district in quake-hit Afghanistan

October 29, 2015

KABUL - Taliban insurgents overran a district in one of the northern Afghan provinces hit by a powerful earthquake this week, underlining the security problems that have hampered efforts to get emergency relief to remote mountainous regions.

Officials said fighters seized control of the district capital of Darqand in Takhar province, on the border with Tajikistan in the early hours of Wednesday, continuing a campaign that has intensified across the country this year.

The area around Darqand is not one where there have been reports of major damage or loss of life from Monday’s earthquake, which killed more than 300 people across broad swathes of northern Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But it is well within the impact zone and at least 15 people have been reported killed and more than 40 injured in Takhar province as a whole.

Abdul Khalil Asir, a spokesman for the Takhar police chief, said security forces had withdrawn from the district after six hours of fighting overnight.

He gave no information on casualties but Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that 12 police were killed and several wounded.

Two Taliban militants were also killed and three wounded, he said.

The Taliban on Tuesday opened the door to allowing aid groups to bring emergency aid to victims of the disaster but continued fighting leaves big questions over how safely they would be able to operate.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/29-Oct-2015/taliban-overrun-district-in-quake-hit-afghanistan

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NDS arrests Taliban trainer with training materials in Takhar

Oct 29 2015

The National Director of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency has arrested a Taliban trainer along with training materials in northeastern Takhar province.

A statement released by NDS on Thursday states that Abdul Rahman S/O Abdul Ghafoor had visited Dasht-e-Arche District of Kundoz province to give bomb making and military training to Taliban militants.

After crossing into neighboring Takhar province, NDS officials detained him.

Two USB flash drives and two memory cards containing instructions for making bombs, using transmitters and other terrorist activities were recovered from his possession, the press release states.

Full Report at:

http://www.khaama.com/nds-arrests-taliban-trainer-with-training-materials-in-takhar-4059

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Landmine explosion martyrs four policemen in Paktia

Oct 29 2015

Four policemen have embraced martyrdom in a landmine explosion in Paktia province.

The province’s police chief says that the incident took place close to the new city in Sayed Karam District on Wednesday.

General Zalmai Oryakhil said policemen were on their way to Gardiz, the provincial capital, when their vehicle ran over a landmine leaving four of them killed and severely damaging their vehicle.

Full Report at:

http://www.khaama.com/landmine-explosion-martyrs-four-policemen-in-paktia-4056

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Mideast

 

Iranian poets facing lashes for shaking hands with opposite sex

October 28, 2015

Two Iranian poets are facing 99 lashes each for shaking hands with people of the opposite sex in one of the latest examples of harsh punishments meted out against writers and artists by Iran's judiciary, according to human rights advocates.

The poets, Fatemeh Ekhtesari and Mehdi Musavi, have also both been sentenced to years in prison for "insulting the sacred" in their writings, a decision slammed by freedom of expression activists.

"Ekhtesari and Musavi's arrests and convictions are a travesty of justice, and send a chill over the already beleaguered creative community in Iran," Karin Deutsch Karlekar, director of Free Expression Programs at PEN American Center, said in a statement earlier this month.

Their cases highlight the contrast between the moderate image projected abroad by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the hardline approach to human rights pursued by authorities inside Iran.

Confessions reportedly made under duress

Many Americans are familiar with Iran's detention of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who's been kept behind bars for more than a year on espionage charges. The newspaper denounced a recent court decision to convict Rezaian, who holds dual Iranian and American citizenship, as "an outrageous injustice."

But other Iranian writers who are less well known in the West have fallen foul of Iranian authorities, according to rights groups.

Earlier this month, Ekhtesari and Musavi, who touched on social issues in their work, received prison sentences of 11½ and 9 years respectively for convictions based on confessions extracted under duress, according to PEN. Both poets legally published books that received approval from the Ministry of Islamic Guidance, the group said.

The flogging sentences came after Ekhtesari admitted to shaking hands with male participants at a poetry event in Sweden, PEN said. Shaking hands with a member of the opposite sex who isn't an immediate relation is considered an "illegitimate sexual relationship short of adultery" in Iran, it said.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/28-Oct-2015/iranian-poets-facing-lashes-for-shaking-hands-with-opposite-sex

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Why some Palestinian journalists struggle with when to put down the camera

Aziza Nofal

While filming the events taking place at the northern entrance to the city of Bethlehem, photojournalist Jad Gado put his camera aside to help an elderly lady who was trying to cross the road before Israeli soldiers threw tear gas bombs at demonstrators there. The woman was unable to breathe and took cover behind a tree on the side of the road; that is when Gado saw her and ran toward her.

Gado, 32, a cameraman for the Palestinian News Network, took off the mask he was wearing to protect himself from the tear gas and gave it to the woman. He then asked the paramedics to come and take her somewhere safe. “The lady was in a spot where it was hard for paramedics to see her. I noticed she was suffocating, so I headed her way to help her,” Gado told Al-Monitor.

Gado was the only bystander who could reach the woman, and he believed what he did was his duty as a human being, as it did not interfere with his job as a journalist. “The lady was simply passing by, and she was not participating in the confrontations. She wasn't carrying any weapon or stones,” he said.

However, Gado was criticized by some journalists under the pretext that his actions did not show professionalism as a journalist in the field.

This kind of criticism represents a controversy that mars the journalism profession, particularly coverage on the ground. During the recent events in the West Bank, journalists find themselves spending more time on the ground covering the events in different Palestinian cities. In this context, the question arises as to whether a Palestinian journalist can separate his profession from his Palestinian identity.

Photojournalist Osama Hassan believes that Gado’s actions did not interfere with the professionalism required of him while covering the confrontations. He said that during his career, he found himself in similar situations and acted exactly like Gado did when he helped the elderly woman.

Hassan works as a freelance photographer, and he has been working for Al Jazeera English during the current intifada. He told Al-Monitor, “In residential areas, we are often forced to help civilians including women, the elderly or children, or call an ambulance for them; I never thought that this affected my professionalism.”

He added, “During the confrontations around the Qalandia checkpoint, soldiers were throwing many [tear gas] bombs at houses, resulting in several cases of suffocation. In such instances, a journalist can offer help, but only if other people cannot make it there or if a paramedic is nowhere to be found.”

Journalist Hussam Izz al-Din, an Agence France-Presse correspondent in the West Bank, believes that when it comes to the Palestinian situation, there is a clear challenge for journalists to separate their professional work from their sense of belonging to the Palestinian cause as well as their national duty.

Full Report at:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/10/palestinian-journalists-professionalism-nationalism.html

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Yemen to request joining GCC after restoring stability

29 October 2015

Yemeni Minister of Planning Mohammed Maytami said Yemen will apply to join the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) after security is restored in the country.

In an interview with Al-Arabiya, the minister said Yemeni President Abdrabbu Mansur Hadi will submit an official request to join the GCC after political stability is achieved and development and construction plans are launched.

“Yemen is today (fighting) a huge political battle. When (we) are done with it, joining (the GCC) will be the next step within the (context) of strategic (plans),” the minister said.

On the timing and process of joining the GCC, he said official procedure requires certain steps that begin with the Yemeni President Hadi filing an official request.

“This measure will be discussed at the right time,” Maytami said.

He said Yemen is currently cooperating with its Gulf partners to discuss joining the GCC secretariat, adding that all Gulf countries welcome this move and that Gulf officials’ statements voice the importance of Yemen’s inclusion in the GCC.

The strategy of joining the GCC follows the same model of the European Union, which is rehabilitating some countries to further empower them, Maytami said, adding that work is underway with Yemen’s Gulf partners to prepare a comprehensive vision via a construction and development plan.

The planning minister said a specialized commission in Yemen is working on meeting Yemen’s needs via a program that addresses healthcare, education, energy and housing services.

“This program is the basic pillar towards achieving (the aim) of joining (the GCC),” Maytami said.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/29/After-restoring-stability-joining-GCC-our-next-step-says-Yemen-minister.html

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Turkey may hit Syrian Kurds ‘to block advance’

29 October 2015

Turkey will “do what is necessary” to prevent U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish rebels from declaring autonomy in the town of Tel Abyad near the Turkish border, including conducting further military operations, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

NATO member Turkey is part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS militants in Syria, but it sees advances by autonomy-seeking Kurds, led by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as a threat to its own national security, fearing they could stoke separatism among Turkish Kurds.

Turkish jets recently hit the Syrian Kurds’ armed People’s Protection Units (YPG) targets twice after they defied Ankara and crossed west of the Euphrates River.

“This was a warning. ‘Pull yourself together. If you try to do this elsewhere - Turkey doesn’t need permission from anyone - we will do what is necessary,’“ Erdogan said, signaling he could defy Washington’s demand that Ankara avoid hitting Syrian Kurds and focus its military might on ISIS targets.

Erdogan, in remarks broadcast live on the Kanal 24 television station, also accused the PYD of carrying out “ethnic cleansing” in the area and said Western support for the Syrian Kurdish militias amounted to 'aiding terrorism.'

Backed by U.S.-led air strikes, YPD fighters captured Tel Abyad in June from ISIS, and this month a local leadership council declared the town part of the system of autonomous self-governing “cantons” run by the Kurds.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/29/Turkey-may-hit-U-S-backed-Syrian-Kurds-to-block-advance-.html

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Iran considered nuclear weapons during 1980s Iraq war, former president says

Oct 29, 2015

DUBAI: Iran considered pursuing a nuclear deterrent when it began its nuclear programme in the 1980s, during an eight-year war with Iraq, a former president has been quoted as saying.

Iran is implementing a deal reached with world powers in July, aimed at curbing its nuclear programme to allay Western fears it was trying to build an atomic bomb.

Throughout the negotiations, Iran insisted its programme had only ever been for peaceful purposes.

In an interview with Iran's Nuclear Hope magazine this week, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani suggested that officials were thinking about a deterrent capability when the nuclear programme first began, but insisted that it never took shape.

"When we first began, we were at war and we sought to have that possibility for the day that the enemy might use a nuclear weapon. That was the thinking. But it never became real," Rafsanjani said in the interview, which was carried by state news agency IRNA on Tuesday.

Iran fought a devastating eight-year war against Iraq in the 1980s.

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the aggressor, had a nuclear programme throughout the war.

He never developed a nuclear weapon but used chemical weapons later in the war.

"Our basic doctrine was always a peaceful nuclear application, but it never left our mind that if one day we should be threatened and it was imperative, we should be able to go down the other path," said Rafsanjani, who was parliament speaker during the war and became president shortly after.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216147/iran-considered-nuclear-weapons-during-1980s-iraq-war-former-president-says

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Pakistan

 

Pakistani Hindus Leave for India to Escape 'Religious and Cultural Persecution': BBC

October 28, 2015

Pakistani Hindus, who have arrived in the Indian capital in recent months, tell BBC Hindi's Zubair Ahmed that they fled their homes to escape discrimination and religious persecution.

Mala Das can just about write her name. At 16, this has been her greatest achievement. "When I came here I was completely unlettered. Today I can write my name," she says.

But Mala is still unsure about numbers - when asked about the year she came to India, she draws a blank.

Her family and neighbours say they arrived in 2011 from the Pakistani city of Hyderabad in Sindh province to escape "religious and cultural persecution and government apathy".

About 1,200 people, who have migrated from Pakistan in the past five years, are housed in three camps in Delhi and many say one of the biggest problems they faced back home was that they were unable to educate their children.

Bhagwan Das, who was among a group of 71 people who reached Delhi three weeks ago, has two growing children with no formal education. He says they were treated like "second-class citizens" in Pakistan.

"Our children don't feel welcome in schools there. Muslims taunt us for being Hindu. Our girls are also sexually harassed," Mr Das says.

There is a primary school in the migrant camp where children are taught how to read and write.

Rajwanti, 13, and other children in the camp allege that Hindu boys and girls are made to read the Quran (Muslim holy book) in Pakistani schools and that Muslim students laugh at their religious practices.

Mala says she is happy to see that Hindus in India can practice their religion openly. "Here Hindus pray without fear in temples and organise religious festivals outdoor. In Pakistan we prayed at home. If we went to temples, we avoided the gaze of our neighbours."

Ishwar Lal, 18, who came to Delhi five months ago, says he feels liberated in India. "We have full religious freedom here. We are free."

Moreover, he says, in India "everyone is respectful of each other's faith".

Pakistan was created in 1947 after being carved out of India's mainly Muslim areas. A huge exchange of population took place during the partition which was often bloody.

Today, Muslims constitute 14% of India's population, while in Pakistan, Hindus are said to be just over 2%.

There is no official estimate of the number of Pakistani Hindus living in India, but over the years, small groups have been crossing the border to reach Delhi or other northern states, such as Rajasthan and Haryana. Once in India, they apply for asylum and, eventually, citizenship.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/28-Oct-2015/pakistani-hindus-leave-for-india-to-escape-religious-and-cultural-persecution-bbc

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Police claim killing three outlawed terrorists in Karachi 'encounter'

IMTIAZ ALI

Oct 29, 2015

KARACHI: Police on Thursday claimed to have killed at least three suspected terrorists in an alleged encounter in Mominabad area of Karachi.

According to SSP Karachi-West Azfar Mahesar, the encounter took place in Rahim Shah Colony of Mominabad where a police party was conducting a search operation.

A least four 'terrorists' opened fire on the police party while police responded with retaliatory firing killing three attackers in the ensuing ‘encounter’. One attacker managed to escape from the site.

Those killed were identified as Umer Ghaffar, Sher Dil Khan and Raheel Abu Bakr, all said to be members of a banned outfit. A huge cache of weaponry and explosive material was recovered from the custody of suspects.

The suspects are reportedly involved in a number of criminal activities, including the recent killings of policemen, extortion and robberies.

Also Read: LEAs claim arrest of 100 outlaws ahead of Muharram

Sindh Home Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal, Additional Inspector General (AIG) Karachi Mushtaq Maher and Inspector General Police (IGP) Sindh Ghulam Hyder Jamali appreciated the efforts of Karachi police while the home minister announced cash reward for the Karachi-West police team that took part in the encounter.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216151/police-claim-killing-three-outlawed-terrorists-in-karachi-encounter

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Pakistan supreme court warns against false blasphemy accusations

28 October 2015

Pakistan’s supreme court has called on the country’s politicians to ensure that hundreds of people facing imprisonment and even execution under controversial blasphemy laws have not been falsely charged, often by enemies wanting to settle personal scores. Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in Pakistan, an Islamic republic, with even unproven allegations provoking mob lynchings and violence.

Critics, including European governments, claim the laws are misused, with hundreds languishing in jails under false charges that could see them face fines, life imprisonment or hanging.

On Tuesday, the supreme court issued a detailed judgment warning that in Islam a false accusation can be as serious as the blasphemy itself.

The judgment came weeks after it upheld the death sentence for Mumtaz Qadri, a former bodyguard who was feted by Islamists after he gunned down a politician who had been calling for blasphemy law reform.

Moderates hailed the Qadri ruling as a blow against religious extremism, and on Tuesday the supreme court appeared to take another step in that direction.

Blasphemy is “abhorrent and immoral”, the judgment said, “but at the same time a false allegation regarding commission of such an offence is equally detestable besides being culpable.”

“It is, therefore, for the State of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to ensure that no innocent person is compelled or constrained to face an investigation or a trial on the basis of false or trumped-up allegations regarding commission of such an offence,” the ruling continued.

Qadri shot the liberal governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, in the capital, Islamabad, in 2011. Taseer had called for reforms to the blasphemy legislation and promised to help Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who had been on death row for five years for blasphemy after an argument with a Muslim woman.

Full Report at:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/28/pakistan-supreme-court-blasphemy-mumtaz-qadri

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Beleaguered community: Jamaat-i-Ahmadiyya to stay away from forthcoming polls

By Rana Tanveer

October 28, 2015

LAHORE: The Jamaat-i-Ahmadiyya (JA) will not partake in the forthcoming local government polls to register its protest against what it calls the step-motherly conduct of the state towards it.

These elections have separate elections only for Ahmadis, says a letter written to the Election Commission of Pakistan, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune. It is strange that Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Christians are included in one electoral roll and only Ahmadis are registered in a separate list.  This not only makes them vulnerable to the target killing but is also a burden on their conscience to vote on condition of denying to be the followers of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the statement says.

Chenabnagar, the Pakistan headquarters of the JA, the largest conglomeration of Ahmadis in the nation, has the status of a municipal committee composed of a dozen wards in the forthcoming elections.  Not a sole Ahmadi is contesting the elections. A candidate would need less than 200 votes to emerge victorious in Chenabnagar due to this.

Sibtain Shah, an independent candidate aspiring to become the Ward- 11 general councillor, told The Express Tribune that he had been the area’s nazim once and a councillor twice. He said the number of registered voters in the ward stood at 1,350. He said only around 300 people in the ward would cast their votes as Ahmadis would abstain from participating in the exercise. Shah said most politicians would have begged the community for votes had it not stayed away from the process. He said this did not bode well for politicians as striving to secure the community’s support would alienate other voters. Shah said this made it convenient for politicians to ensure that the community remained disenfranchised.

Full Report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/980272/beleaguered-community-jamaat-i-ahmadiyya-to-stay-away-from-forthcoming-polls/

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Jamaat, PTI complain of use of religion in campaign

October 26, 2015

LAHORE:

The Jamaat-i-Islami and the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf candidates in union council no199 (Shah Jamal) allege that their rival from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is using religion to seek votes. They also accuse Hafiz Asad Ubaid, who is the administrator of Jamia Ashrafia – a leading Deobandi seminary in the city – of harassing their supporters.

The UC includes upscale areas of Shah Jamal and Shadman Colony, neighbourhoods in the vicinity of Jamia Ashrafia, Ashrafia Park, and a katchi abadi.

JI candidate Ahmed Raza Butt says he has received several harassment complaints from his supporters. He says bands of students associated with Ubaid routinely visit areas where support for his opponents is strong and threaten people with dire consequences if they don’t vote for him.

Butt, a property consultant, was elected a general councillor in 2001 and 2005 elections. “People are tired of those who use religion to do their politics. They are tired of maulvis (clerics),” he says. He says the election in the UC will be highly competitive but he is not worried. “A close election is good for the people of the area. The contestants will be forced to listen to the people’s demands,” he says.

PTI candidate Sheikh Imran, who is contesting his first election, says in one such incident Ubaid’s supporters had fired gunshots in the air to harass his workers and supporters. He says his supporters had registered a complaint with the police.

“He [Hafiz] uses fear to exert his influence,” he says. Imran says he is asking voters to reject old faces. “They have delivered nothing to the people,” he says.

Ubaid, a former nazim, rejects his opponents’ charges and says the firing incident was related to a neighbourhood feud. “It had nothing to do with politics,” he says. In fact, he says, he advocates interfaith harmony and has reached out to the Christian population in his constituency for support. “There are at least 6,000 Christians in the UC,” he says.

Speaking to The Tribune, he says he has been active in politics of the area from early 1990s. He says he has intimate knowledge of the problems faced by people in the constituency.

He says the absence of elected local governments has taken a toll on the state of municipal services in the area. The Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) has a field office in Fazilia Colony, yet the state of water supply infrastructure in the neighbourhood is quite poor.

About his disqualification from the 2005 local government elections on the polling day, Ubaid says it was done as part of a concerted effort by the then federal government to prevent those associated with the PML-N from contesting elections. In the recent NA-122 by-poll, he says he led his party’s campaign in the area.

Full Report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/978918/shah-jamal-jamaat-pti-complain-of-use-of-religion-in-campaign/

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Italian police hand over APS attack suspect to FIA

SHAKEEL QARAR

Oct 29, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Italian police has handed over a man suspected of involvement in the December 2014 Army Public School (APS) massacre to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), security sources said Thursday.

Usman Ghani — who hails from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Mardan district — was escorted to Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) early Thursday by Italian police after being arrested in Italy with Interpol's assistance, the sources said.

Ghani is reportedly wanted for his involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan including the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)-claimed APS attack in which at least 150 people were killed, over 140 of them being children, they said.

After he was handed over to FIA, the suspect has been shifted to the agency's passport cell for investigation, sources added.

Ghani hails from Mardan's Dher village.

Also read: Army claims arrest of key men behind APS attack

In the deadliest terror attack in the country’s history, over 135 schoolchildren and at least 10 other people were killed when heavily armed militants stormed the army-run school in Peshawar.

Principal of the Army Public School & College, Tahira Qazi, was among the staff members killed.

According to a senior security official, nine militants wearing paramilitary uniforms scaled the rear wall of APS on Peshawar's Warsak Road with the aid of ladders, cut the barbed wire at the top of the wall and then ran onto the school premises firing their weapons and throwing grenades in several directions.

The shooting and clean-up operation continued for around seven hours.

“There were nine of them. Six of them were suicide bombers; they blew themselves up and the others were taken down by soldiers of the Special Services Group,” the official had said.

All nine militants, who took part in the attack, were identified, the official had said.

A spokesman for the outlawed Mullah Fazlullah-led TTP had accepted responsibility for the attack.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216142/italian-police-hand-over-aps-attack-suspect-to-fia

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Attackers flee after opening aerial fire outside Charsadda schools

ALI AKBAR

Oct 29, 2015

PESHAWAR: Three attackers opened aerial fire near two schools in the Shabqadar area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Charsadda district on Thursday. No loss of life or property has been reported.

One of the schools was a public girls' school, while the other was a private school.

Announcements were made at local mosques calling for help against the attackers.

Local media quoted District Police Officer Charsadda Shafiullah Khan as saying that the attackers had escaped from the scene after retaliatory firing by area residents. The attackers fled the scene on foot.

Sources said panic prevailed in the neighbourhood and a large contingent of police have cordoned off the area. Army and police personnel are conducting a search operation in the area.

The incident of aerial firing have caused alarm among area residents and security forces as the first anniversary of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan attack on Peshawar's Army Public School draws nearer.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216161/attackers-flee-after-opening-aerial-fire-outside-charsadda-schools

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7 Pakistani pilgrims still missing: minister

Oct 29, 2015

ISLAMABAD: As many as 205 Pakistani pilgrims died during Haj this year because of various reasons, including the Mina stampede and the crane crash, Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Mohammad Yousuf said on Wednesday.

Briefing the National Assembly’s standing committee on religious affairs, he said that seven Pakistanis, four of them Iqama (residence permit) holders, were still missing and two others were under treatment in hospitals in Saudi Arabia.

He said that the Haj arrangements were satisfactory and they would be improved next year. “Did anybody complain about improper residence, food or medical care,” he asked.

Take a look: Karachi pilgrims narrate horror of Mina stampede

Giving a breakdown of the deceased pilgrims, he said 102 had died in the Mina stampede, six in the crane crash and 97 of diseases.

“The ministry will pay a compensation of Rs500,000 to the heirs of each deceased pilgrim,” Mr Yousuf said.

However, he was not clear whether the compensation package earlier announced by the member of the National Assembly, Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, on behalf of the prime minister, was a separate one or included the amount.

Asked by the committee members about the causes of death of 97 ailing pilgrims, the minister said that most were elderly and in weak health.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216114/7-pakistani-pilgrims-still-missing-minister

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Pakistan loses UN Human Rights Council re-election

October 29, 2015

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan failed Wednesday in its bid for re-election to the United Nations Human Rights Council, in a rare defeat for the country which has all along played an active at the UN. The General Assembly elected 18 countries to serve on the 47-member body for a period of three years beginning on January 1, 2016. There were seven candidates contesting for five Asia-Pacific seats on the Council, with minimum 97 votes required for election in the 193-member Assembly.

Mongolia polled highest 172 votes as it was backed by Western states due to its transitions to democracy. UAE secured 159 votes, Kyrgyzstan 147, South Korea 136, and the Philippines 113. Pakistan and Lao People’s Democratic Republic, with 105 votes each, could not get elected. The loss came as a huge shock to the Pakistani delegation that had appeared confident of winning the seat as the country has served three terms on the Council.

Some Arab states of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) didn’t vote for Pakistan in an apparent punishment to Islamabad for refusal to join the military coalition against Yemen. In addition, the Indians actively lobbied to keep Pakistan out of the Council, which is based in Geneva. India is leaving the council on completion of its term.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/29-Oct-2015/pakistan-loses-un-human-rights-council-re-election

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Turkey to gift 34 light fighter aircraft to Pakistan

October 29, 2015

ISLAMABAD/ANKARA - Turkey will provide 34 T-37 aircraft and their spare parts to Pakistan free of cost under a landmark defence cooperation agreement signed between the two countries in Ankara on Wednesday.

Turkish defence ministry spokesman Narita Farhan told media that the T-37 is a jet trainer light combat aircraft and Turkey, on Pakistan’s desire, extended a fleet of 34 aircraft along with spare parts to Pakistan.

The agreement was signed after the conclusion of the 11th Meeting of the Pakistan-Turkey High Level Military Dialogue Group (HLMDG) in Ankara, an official announcement said.

From Pakistan’s side, the agreement was signed by Defence Procurement Director General Major General Naveed Ahmed while Logistics Chief Major General Serdar Gulbas signed the documents from the Turkish side.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/29-Oct-2015/turkey-to-gift-34-light-fighter-aircraft-to-pakistan

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Pakistan, Iran join hands for Afghan peace

October 29, 2015

Maqbool Malik

ISLAMABAD - In significant development, Pakistan and Iran Wednesday agreed on a broad-based dialogue process in Afghanistan to seek durable peace and stability in the region as well as joint struggle in tackling Daesh threat.

“We welcome the Iranian offer for a broad based dialogue process in Afghanistan,” Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told a questioner at a joint press conference with the visiting Secretary of Supreme National Security Council of Iran, Ali Shamkhani, shortly after their talks.

Aziz said Pakistan and Iran have agreed to enhance cooperation in trade, economy and counter-terrorism, adding in view of the security scenario the two countries have agreed to work together through closer coordination on controlling existing terrorist threats.

“Pakistan condemns terrorism in its all forms and manifestations. It is a common enemy and threat, which needs joint and coordinated response. We agreed to cooperate more to tackle this menace and the related problems of smuggling and drug trafficking”, he said. The adviser said Pakistan and Iran already had several institutional mechanisms to enhance cooperation, including Joint Economic Commission, Joint Border Commission and Joint Commission on Road Transport, which will be utilised in future.

“We also agreed to continue exploring new avenues of cooperation while striving to further deepen cooperation in trade and investment fields for the mutual benefit of our peoples,” he added. Answering a question Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan wants a political solution of the Syrian crisis.

The Iranian dignitary told a questioner that Tehran also wants political solution to the Syrian problem.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/29-Oct-2015/pakistan-iran-join-hands-for-afghan-peace

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India

 

Riot Breaks Out After Muslim Barber Refuses To Shut Shop on Tuesday

Sudipto Mondal

Oct 28, 2015

A Muslim barber refused to shut shop “as per custom”, triggering a riot by indignant members of the Hindu community at Nelliyadi village, 70 km from Mangalore, in Karnataka on Tuesday. Though the violence was brought under control a few hours after it erupted around 4 pm, dozens of people were injured and property worth Lakhs destroyed in the melee.

Bajrang Dal leader Ravi Ballya told HT that the trouble started when the barber, Salman, refused to “respect local sentiments” and keep his shop shut on Tuesdays. “It is well-known that Hindus don’t cut their hair on Tuesdays. Salman was initially a nice boy. He used to respect our wishes and close his shop then. But in the last few weeks, he stopped doing that because some PFI (Popular Front of India) leaders filled his head with poison,” Ballya said.

Thukrappa Shetty, the local Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, had a similar story to tell. “Uday Kumar, the leader of the barbers’ association, went to Salman’s shop and politely asked him to shut shop. But Salman and some others abused him instead. It was a clear provocation. What happened next was a spontaneous reaction from local Hindus who had been hurt by their behaviour.”

According to Superintendent of Police Dr SD Sharanappa, a large mob led by Ballya then attacked Salman’s shop as well as other Muslim-owned establishments in the Nelliyadi Jumma Masjid complex. In retaliation, another mob led by the PFI simultaneously indulged in arson and vandalism.

Full Report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/riot-breaks-out-after-muslim-barber-refuses-to-shut-shop-on-tuesday/story-TdTFCBmvWPDpOaM1ZczHsO.html

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All India Muslim Personal Law Board to Oppose Uniform Civil Code

Zia Haq

Oct 29, 2015

The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, an organisation that lobbies for Shariah or Islamic law in family matters, has said it would oppose any move to alter family laws of Muslims as it stands and would approach the Supreme Court to be made a party in case such as move was afoot.

“If any move is being planned by the judiciary, we will obviously be a party and appear before the court. On the face of it, I would say we can never accept any tinkering of Muslim personal laws,” Maulana Wali Rahmani, acting general secretary of the influential law board, told HT.

India allows communities to be governed by their religious norms in family matters such as like marriage, inheritance and divorce. For Muslims, the Shariah Act of 1937 applies. One general concern is that some of these laws are discriminatory towards women.

Full Report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/all-india-muslim-personal-law-board-to-oppose-uniform-civil-code/story-ZqGaZBbX1713soXrX7U67N.html

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Musharraf’s LeT Comments Raise Questions about His Sincerity on Peace with India

Oct 29, 2015

NEW DELHI: Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf's comments acknowledging Pakistani patronage of terrorist organizations like Lashkar-e-Taiba for anti-India operations in Jammu and Kashmir not only support India's stand that Islamabad has long backed terrorism as state policy but also increase scepticism over his claim that India and Pakistan were close to resolving the Kashmir dispute during his tenure.

The former Pakistan army chief's proclivity to fall back on strong anti-India rhetoric has often raised doubts whether he had been sincere about pursuing a peace deal with former Indian PM Manmohan Singh. His comments openly accepting mentorship of LeT and other terrorist groups gives rise to suspicion whether he was ever agreeable to diluting the Pakistan army's position on Kashmir.

Musharraf's remarks hailing slain Al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and his successor Ayman Al Zawahiri as heroes during the jihad against the Soviet Union but who thereafter turned into villains are also revealing as they serve to confirm Pakistan's role in raising and supporting the Taliban which later partnered Osama.

Parliamentary and urban affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu said that for once, Musharraf had spoken the truth and while the reaction was political, it did draw attention to the general's legendary mendacity. In the controversial interview, Musharraf typically mixed references to LeT with the late Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray, blithely ignoring the difference between an internationally banned terror organization and a regional party known for muscular street politics.

Full Report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Musharrafs-LeT-comments-raise-questions-about-his-sincerity-on-peace-with-India/articleshow/49575104.cms

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Abu Qasim, top LeT commander behind Udhampur attack, killed in encounter: Army

by Mir Ehsan

October 29, 2015

The operational chief of Lashkar-e-Toiba, Kasir Abu Qasim, was killed in an encounter in South Kashmir on Wednesday. Qasim was killed at Khudpora village after a brief encounter with security forces. An army spokesman said that Qasim was killed at 2 am after the army and police launched operation in the area. ”The operation is still in progress. It is a big success,” he said.

Full Report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/top-let-commander-and-udhampur-attack-mastermind-abu-qasim-killed-in-encounter/

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Africa wishlist for New Delhi: Help us fight Boko Haram, Rebuild Island, set up hospital

By Shubhajit Roy

October 28, 2015

From help to fight the Boko Haram extremist outfit to expertise in taking care of cattle, African ministers sought India’s help in a variety of sectors as they met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Tuesday. They also asked for help to reconstruct an island destroyed in a volcanic eruption and set up a hospital in the world’s youngest country, as well as better defence technology and private investments in road and highways. The ministers and officials are in New Delhi for the third India-Africa Forum Summit, to be held between October 26 and 30. Foreign ministers from African countries met Swaraj at separate bilateral meetings Tuesday. Cameroon Foreign Minister Lejeune Mbella asked Swaraj for help in fighting Boko Haram, which has spread in Nigeria and several neighbouring countries. “The experts will have to discuss what kind of counter-terrorism or counter-insurgency training we can give. It will have to be discussed whether our experts will go there or their troops will come here,” Ministry of External Affairs joint secretary (southern Africa) Sanjeev Kohli said, adding that Delhi has responded “positively” to the request. Cameroon also sought private sector investments in roads and highways, water and energy conservation. South Sudan Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin asked for Indian assistance in managing livestock in their country, as he felt India has experience in taking care of 14 million cattle. Benjamin also asked for help in setting up a hospital in Juba, South Sudan’s capital.

Full Report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/africa-wishlist-help-us-fight-boko-haram-rebuild-island-set-up-hospital/

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Africa

 

Nigerian troops rescue 338 people held by Boko Haram

October 29, 2015

LAGOS - Nigerian troops have rescued 338 people, almost all of them women and children, held by Boko Haram Islamists near the group's Sambisa forest stronghold in the restive northeast, the army said Wednesday.

"The (army) unit .

.

.

rescued 338 persons that were held captive by the terrorists," the army said of the Tuesday operation, adding that 192 of the survivors were children and 138 women.

The raid targeted "suspected Boko Haram terrorist camps at Bulajilin and Manawashe villages" on the edge of the Sambisa forest, the army said in a statement.

It said that troops killed 30 suspected jihadists and seized a cache of arms and ammunition in the area.

The statement also said four Boko Haram suspects on a suicide bombing mission to Gubula town in nearby Adamawa state were ambushed and killed by government troops.

Some weapons, unexploded ordnances, mortar bombs and some cash were recovered from the suspects, it said.

Boko Haram is believed to be holding more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped in the northeastern town of Chibok in April 2014 in its stronghold in Sambisa forest.

It was not clear whether any of the Chibok girls were among those rescued.

The Nigerian military has in recent months claimed a string of successes against Boko Haram in its quest to end the hardline Islamist group's six-year insurgency.

Early August, the army claimed to have freed 178 people, including more than 100 children, held hostage by Boko Haram, following an operation near Aulari town, about 70 kilometres (40 miles) south of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

The air force said in a statement on Tuesday it had launched strikes on the group's vehicle and fuel depots "in a renewed drive to further degrade" its assets.

Air force chief Sadique Abubakar was quoted as saying the strikes were helping "pave the way for the final onslaught" by Nigerian ground forces.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power in May on a pledge to crush Boko Haram, has given his military commanders until the end of December to defeat the group.

The Boko Haram violence has killed at least 17,000 people and forced more than 2.

5 million to flee their homes since 2009.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/29-Oct-2015/nigerian-troops-rescue-338-people-held-by-boko-haram

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Somali president warns Shebab on joining ISIL

28 October 2015

Somalia's president called on al-Shebab armed group fighters Wednesday to surrender amid reports factions have shifted allegiance from Al-Qaeda to ISIL.

Both militant franchises are "destroyers", President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said in a statement, saying he had followed "with interest the now-public dispute within Al-Shebab, over whether to swear allegiance to Al-Qaeda or the ISIL."

Mohamud said the reported divisions were "symptomatic of a group that has lost its way", and warned that Somalis "do not need a new brand of horror and repression."

The Shebab, East Africa's long-time Al-Qaeda branch, is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, which is protected by 22,000 African Union troops.

The armed group have lost much ground in recent years but remain a threat in both Somalia and neighbouring Kenya, where they have carried out a series of attacks.

The reported division comes at a time when ISIL in Iraq and Syria has become the franchise of choice, attracting fighters from abroad and other militant groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria.

But Al-Qaeda has also recently expanded its territory in Yemen, just across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/165753/somali-president-warns-shebab-on-joining-isil

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German diplomat to take over Libya peace efforts

29 October 2015

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon plans to appoint German diplomat Martin Kobler, who led the U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to head a struggling peace effort in Libya.

Ban on Wednesday informed the Security Council of his decision in a letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

Kobler will succeed Bernardino Leon as special envoy for Libya just as efforts to end years of turmoil in the North African country have run into hurdles over the formation of a unity government.

Libya’s internationally-recognized parliament and the Islamist-backed assembly have rejected the latest U.N. proposals for power-sharing.

A former German ambassador to Iraq and Egypt, Kobler has led MONUSCO, the U.N.’s largest peacekeeping mission, for the past two years.

The 62-year-old former chief of staff to Germany’s ex-foreign minister Joschka Fischer joined the United Nations in 2010, serving as deputy envoy to Afghanistan and later special representative in Iraq, from 2011 to 2013.

Ban gave the 15-member council until Friday to raise any objections to the appointment, which is expected to then be formally announced.

A unity government in Libya is seen as the best chance to tackle migrant-smuggling from Libyan territory across the Mediterranean and the rise of the ISIS.

Libya has had two administrations since August 2014, when a militia alliance that includes Islamists overran the capital, forcing the internationally recognized government to take refuge in the east of the country.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/29/German-U-N-diplomat-to-take-over-Libya-peace-effort.html

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Sudan arrests three opposition figures

29 October 2015

Sudanese security agents arrested three opposition figures in Khartoum on Wednesday, their party said, despite efforts by the government to persuade opponents to join national dialogue talks.

“The armed force of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) arrested three members of the Sudanese Congress Party,” the party said in a statement.

The group had been detained in the Mayo suburb of Khartoum by police on Tuesday for delivering speeches criticizing the government in public, the statement said.

NISS officers arrived at the station in Mayo the day after and took them to an unknown location, the Sudanese Congress said.

Several other party members and politicians have been detained by NISS in recent months for giving similar speeches.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2015/10/29/Sudan-arrests-three-opposition-figures.html

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Tunisian party leader: Tunisia a work in progress

29 October 2015

The leader of Tunisian Ennahda Party said Wednesday that his country has not yet become a complete democracy since the 2011 revolution.

Speaking at the U.S. Peace Institute in Washington D.C,. Rachid al-Ghannouchi said the challenges faced by Tunisia and the region has stunted the progress for the country on the way to becoming a pure democratic country.

"A cooperation between moderates and seculars is a must in order to achieve success in democracy in our region," he said. "Tunisia has not become a safe country yet. Despite our success, there are still many obstacles in front of us."

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/165769/forced-cannibalism-atrocities-in-s-sudan

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North America

 

Saudi-led military ops in Yemen ‘coming to close’: British FM

October 29, 2015

RIYADH - Saudi-led military operations in Yemen are nearing their end as the focus turns to political talks, Britain’s foreign minister said in Riyadh on Wednesday.

“We detect the military phase of this campaign is coming to a close as the coalition forces have established a dominant military position in the country,” Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told reporters after talks with King Salman and other leading members of the royal family.

He said they focused on the need “for now accelerating the political discussion” and ensuring the Yemeni Huthi rebels and their allies join negotiations for “serious and sensible” talks.

The United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, on Friday told the Security Council that the Huthis and backers of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh had “clearly committed” to carrying out Resolution 2216.

The resolution calls for a negotiated withdrawal by the rebels from Yemen’s key cities and a surrender of all heavy weapons to the state.

The UN envoy said the Yemeni government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi had agreed to send a delegation to the forthcoming negotiations, for which no date has been set.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia complained on Wednesday that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had blamed Arab coalition air strikes for hitting a UN-supported hospital in Yemen before the incident had been properly investigated.

Saudi Arabia’s UN Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said the coalition did not carry out Monday’s attack on the hospital.

A Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March to try to restore the government after it was toppled by Iran-allied Houthi forces, but a mounting civilian death toll and dire humanitarian situation has alarmed human rights groups.

In a statement on Tuesday, Ban “condemned the air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition” that hit the hospital in north Yemen’s Saada province, a region controlled by Houthi forces.

No-one was killed in the attack.

The hospital is run by aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) with help from UN children’s agency UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

“We regret the statement that was attributed to the Secretary-General,” Mouallimi told a news conference, adding that he would contact Ban.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/29-Oct-2015/saudi-led-military-ops-in-yemen-coming-to-close-british-fm

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Ghani requests Putin to send gunships to fight Taliban

October 28, 2015

Vladimir Putin has been asked to help the Afghan government in its fight against Taliban insurgents.

In a clear signal of the worsening security situation in the war-torn country, President Ashraf Ghani has appealed for help from the Kremlin.

He asked Moscow for artillery, small arms and Mi-35 helicopter gunships for his country's stuggling military, according to officials.

Russian officials have said they are 'willing to help'.

His request comes after the US and the UK pulled out of the country in October last year - leaving behind military trainers working in a non-combat role.

The UK have also pulled out all their fighter jets - key assets which the Afghan security forces relied on without a strong air force themselves.

Relations with Moscow and the West are already strained after Russia joined in the war in Syria by bombing rebels against President Bashar Al-Assad.

If Moscow start helped the Afghan forces it is likely to add further fuel to the fire, as Putin tries to re-assert Russia's status as a world power.

A US official told the Wall Street Journal: 'Russia is seizing the opporunity.'

The move also reflects Russia concerns that the deterioration of security in Afghanistan could destabilise Central Asia - and bring Islamic extremism closer to its border.

Earlier this month at a summit in Kazakhstan, Putin said the situtation 'was becoming close to critical', with militant groups looking to expand their reach across the region.

He told other Central Asian leaders: 'It is important for us to be ready to react in concert to such a scenario.'

The last Red Army troops withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989.

Alexander Mantytskiy, Russia's ambassador to Afghanistan, said his government is considering the Afghan requests for military assistance.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/28-Oct-2015/ghani-requests-putin-to-send-gunships-to-fight-taliban

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Seven children die after migrant boats sink off Greece

29 October 2015

At least seven children died when boats carrying migrants sank off Greece on Wednesday, as rescue workers battled to save more youngsters on the seashore in the latest desperate scenes in Europe’s refugee crisis.

Three adults also died as four vessels went down on the dangerous sea crossing from Turkey and more than 200 people, many suffering hypothermia, were rescued from one sinking off the north coast of the Greek island of Lesbos.

Images from Lesbos, a major entry point for the huge flow of migrants trying to get to Europe, showed doctors attempting to revive unconscious children on the island’s shoreline.

Later in the evening, a drowned woman and the bodies of two children were found floating off the Greek island of Agathonisi, just a few kilometers from the Turkish coast.

A one-year-old baby remained in a critical condition Wednesday night, according to port police.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/10/29/Seven-children-die-after-migrant-boats-sink-off-Greece-.html

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EU's Mogherini warns of 'disintegration' over refugee crisis

29 October 2015

The European Union risks disintegrating if it fails to respond to its worst migration crisis since World War II collectively, its top foreign policy chief warned in an Italian daily Thursday.

Federica Mogherini said that if the EU merely relied on national responses to a European issue, "the crisis will get worse, with chain reactions from public opinion and national governments".

To prevent this, she told the Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper, the bloc needed to be equipped with "instruments up to the challenge" without which, she warned, "there is the risk of disintegration".

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/165784/eus-mogherini-warns-of-disintegration-over-refugee-crisis

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UN: Europe fails to properly handle Syrian refugee crisis

28 October 2015

The European Union has failed to deal with the humanitarian crisis faced by Syrian refugees, a high-level UN official said Tuesday.

At an event held by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom on the refugee crisis, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said the world must take more responsibility because a refugee crisis exists not only in Syria, but also in Burma, Afghanistan, Sudan, Yemen and Iraq.

The situation in Syria has turned into a humanitarian crisis that European countries have neglected to adequately address.

"Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan are the countries which mostly shoulder the burden of the Syrian refugees," Guterres said.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/165759/un-europe-fails-to-properly-handle-syrian-refugee-crisis

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Germany: Austria's behaviour on refugees 'out of line'

28 October 2015

Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Wednesday hit out at Austria for sending asylum seekers to its border without any warning, saying the neighbouring country's  behaviour was "out of line".

"The behaviour of Austria in recent days was out of line. We have to complain that refugees were driven without any warning after dark to... the German border," he said.

De Maiziere said both sides have discussed the problem, and that "Austria yesterday pledged to return to an orderly process."

"I expect that to happen immediately. We are in constant contact on that aspect," he added.

On Tuesday, authorities of the southern German state of Bavaria had blasted Austria for waving through thousands of refugees to Germany without giving local authorities early notice.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/165752/germany-austrias-behaviour-on-refugees-out-of-line

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France, Russia FMs to talk ahead of Syria meeting

28 October 201

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was set to speak with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the phone later Wednesday ahead of international talks on the Syrian crisis, a government spokesman said.

Spokesman Stephane Le Foll also said France was "in favour" of Iran's involvement in the talks due to take place in Vienna on Thursday and Friday. 

"Laurent Fabius will speak by telephone with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. France maintains a dialogue with everyone, particularly with Russia and Iran," said Le Foll, following a cabinet meeting in Paris.

"France is in favour of Iran being invited. France is pushing for all parties to be present," he added.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/165750/france-russia-fms-to-talk-ahead-of-syria-meeting

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Southeast Asia

 

In Indonesia, Minorities Under Threat From Muslim Hardliners

October 29, 2015

ACEH SINGKIL, INDONESIA:  When a mob of Muslims swooped on a little church deep in rural Aceh in Indonesia this month, the local police were nowhere to be seen, although they had received warnings of a possible attack.

When they did arrive, the police were mostly unarmed and outnumbered by hundreds of activists from the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) group and others who burned the rickety church down.

The FPI made no apology for the incident, saying authorities had ignored repeated complaints about churches and makeshift altars that have popped up without permits in Aceh Singkil, a district in the most conservative province of this Muslim-majority Southeast Asian nation.

In the wake of the attack, authorities gave in to the FPI's demands, and used sledgehammers and axes to demolish 10 other churches in the area that lacked proper permits. The national police chief later said intelligence reports that such an attack was being planned had been received.

The raid, and the aftermath, reflect an increasingly militant attitude towards other faiths in Aceh, where Sharia law now requires non-Muslims to abide by rules forbidding extra-martial sex, homosexual relationships and public displays of affection.

Analysts say the FPI and similar hardline groups, emboldened by government inaction, are using legal pretexts to undermine Christians, Hindus, and smaller Islamic sects.

"These churches have been mushrooming here for years and the Christians are violating laws because they don't have permits," said Muslim Al Thahiry, chief of FPI's Aceh chapter.

"If the police or the government don't do anything about it, then don't blame the Muslims for getting emotional and responding. Islam shouldn't have to be a guest in its own home."

Residents of Aceh Singkil say the number of non-Muslims there has swelled in recent years because of migrants from neighbouring North Sumatra, where Christians make up a third of the population, looking for work in palm oil plantations.

Census data shows the Christian community in Aceh Singkil has nearly doubled from about 6,500 at the turn of the century, when they made up six percent of the population. Today, over 11 percent is Christian, although the overall population of the district has remained static at about 100,000.

Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin acknowledged in an interview with Reuters that the future of Indonesia's minorities could be "fragile" and said the Aceh attack underlined a need for better law enforcement.

"These conflicts should be resolved with dialogue ... and without causing losses to any side, by which we mean everybody's rights should be upheld," he said.

But all dialogue was "forgotten", said one Christian woman who watched as dozens of people were driven from the ill-fated church with petrol bombs and sharpened bamboo sticks.

At least one of the attackers was found dead with a gunshot wound, but it was not clear who killed him. Thousands of Christians in the area fled, and about 1,000 military and police troops later went in to secure the area.

Full Report at:

http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/in-indonesia-minorities-under-threat-from-muslim-hardliners-1237572

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RM31m for Non-Muslim Groups, Schools in Sabah State

October 28, 2015

Kota Kinabalu: Sabahans are advised not to be influenced by groups with malicious intent to cause religious tensions among the people.

"Religious problem is an alien issue in Sabah and should be kept that way. All this while, we in Sabah have been able to live in peace and harmony, respectful of each other's differences, regardless of religious, ethnic and cultural differences to the point that even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak admitted that Sabah is the perfect example of the 1Malaysia spirit," said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

He said this in conjunction with the handing over of the 2015 financial assistance to schools and non-Islamic religious bodies for West Coast South and Lower Interior Region, here, Tuesday. His speech was read by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah.

Musa said the Government treats all religious bodies fairly and without discrimination and hoped all parties act responsibly when discussing issues related to religion and the rights of all citizens as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

"The large allocation for non-Islamic religious bodies is reflective of the government's commitment in upholding religious freedom. With this allocation, I hope non-Islamic religious bodies will continue to encourage spiritual growth among your followers. "Along with Islamic bodies, you play an important role in promoting positive values in the society," he said.

The State Government this year allocated RM31,317,000 for schools and non-Islamic religious bodies in Sabah, with RM14,575,000 for schools including Chinese independent and Mission schools and kindergartens while RM16,742,000 for non-Islamic religious bodies such as churches, Chinese temples, Hindu and Sikh places of worship.

Of the amount disbursed to non-Islamic religious bodies, RM11, 562,000 was allocated to churches, RM5, 015,000 to Chinese temples and RM165,000 to Hindu and Sikh temples.

In terms of disbursement to schools, the largest sum went to independent Chinese schools at RM3.4million, followed by national-type secondary schools (RM2.25m).

National, primary and secondary schools will be allocated RM2.02million, Chinese-medium national-type schools will get RM5, 895,000, Kindergartens RM700,000 and private mission schools received RM310,000.

During the event, 308 recipients in the West Coast South and the Lower Interior Region received their funds from the government.

The breakdown was four Chinese Independent schools, three national-type secondary schools, 30 national primary and secondary schools, 37 Chinese-medium national-type schools, 43 kindergartens, five mission schools, 125 churches, 58 Chinese temples and three Hindu and Sikh temples.

Full Report at:

http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=104104

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Mosque to hold open day for non-Muslims

October 28, 2015

KANGAR: The Alwi Mosque here is planning to hold an open day for non-Muslims, says Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin.

Mohd Asri, who is the mosque adviser, said its management hoped such an opportunity would build closer relations between Muslims and those of other faiths.

He said this at his weekly lecture at the mosque last night.

“Hundreds of Muslims come to the mosque weekly to follow my lecture, but how many of them are helping to explain more about the religion to non-Muslims?” he asked.

Mohd Asri said maybe, there were some non-Muslims who wanted to come to the mosque but did not dare because they were worried they would not be welcome.

Full Report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/10/28/mosque-to-hold-open-day-for-non-muslims/

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UNESCO acknowledges Asian-African Conference archives as world heritage

October 29 2015

UNESCO has officially acknowledged Asian-African Conference archives as a world heritage, an official said on Thursday.

"Asian-African Conference has been acknowledged by UNESCO as a Memory of the World based on a UNESCO session in Abu Dhabi this month," Mustari Irawan, the head of National Archives of the Republic of Indonesia (ANRI), said as quoted by kompas.com.

ANRI had registered in April the archives of the the first Asian-African Conference in Bandung, West Java, in 1955. The agency had initiated and prepared the registration since 2012.

Full Report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/10/29/unesco-acknowledges-asian-african-conference-archives-world-heritage.html

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Take Care Malays: You Might Be Losing Your Culture To Politicized Islam

Mariam Mokhtar

29 October 2015

The majority of Malays do not really know or understand their religion. They do not read enough, nor can they be bothered to discuss pertinent issues, either among themselves or with non-Malays.

They would rather take orders from their political leaders. They place absolute trust in the heads of the various institutions. When things go wrong, they are quick to blame others, but they forget that these problems are the direct consequence of there own inaction.

The result of indoctrination, and an absolute trust in their leaders, has produced the "mentally lazy" Malay.

The Islamisation of Malaysia did not happen overnight. Its roots are in the Iranian revolution of 1979. Suddenly, the world woke up to the Islamic movement, in Iran, which was keen to overthrow the Shah; the puppet of the USA.

The Iranians wanted change and they saw Ayatollah Khomeini, as the agent of change.

PAS has always wanted a Malaysia ruled by syariah law, and the party benefited from the fall-out of the Iranian revolution. One person watching from the sidelines, realised the implications of the Islamic resurgence. He was the former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Mahathir had been expelled from Umno in 1969, but was made a Senator and reintroduced, to Umno, in 1973. He was re-elected to Parliament in 1974, and appointed the minister of education. By 1978, Mahathir was the deputy leader of Umno and the deputy PM.

In 1979, Mahathir looked on in trepidation at the re-energised PAS, and worried that he would lose the battle for Malay votes.

By 1981, Mahathir had become PM. In his sights, he spotted a young firebrand, Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of Malaysia's Islamic youth movement, ABIM.

Mahathir picked Anwar to join Umno, to the disappointment of other Malays. Mahathir had also seen the charismatic Anwar lead the student movement, as it held strikes to highlight the poverty and starvation, in northern Malaya.

He knew that to have Anwar as an ally, was preferable than allowing Anwar to be snapped up by PAS.

By 1982, Anwar was already charting a meteoric rise within the Cabinet. He had numerous ministerial posts, and when he was in the Education Ministry, introduced the tudung.

The resurgence in Islamic fundamentalism continues, today. Malays have forgotten their own culture and adopted Arabic names, Arabic forms of greeting, Arabic modes of dress and Arabic influence, in architecture.

Gone are the rituals which gave the Malays their own identity, like wayang kulit and the practices which the Malays have conducted, for centuries.

Malay women cover themselves from head to toe. Malay men wear Arabic robes and greet one another in Arabic.

Some politicians litter their speeches with incantations in Arabic, while Malays nod in agreement, despite not understanding what is being said

Today, Malay women are told they cannot enter beauty contests, dress in short sleeves or wear swimming suits. They are criticised for wearing leotards, when they do gymnastics. They are under more intense scrutiny than the menfolk.

Malay toddlers are separated at play, and little girls are made to wear the tudung and cover themselves up.

Do the Malays really know what they want? They are keen on the rituals of the religion, but when it comes to personal satisfaction, religion appears to fly out the window.

The Malay men abroad, especially in southern Thailand, is a different person altogether. The ones who take the bus to Thailand, may visit the many houses of pleasure, but when it comes to food, will seek the nearest halal restaurant.

Full Report at:

http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=605664:take-care-malays-you-might-be-losing-your-culture-to-politicized-islam&Itemid=2#axzz3pwd4oBvs

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Australia

 

Australia school criticised after letting Muslim students walk out during national anthem

October 28, 2015

Scott Morrison, a senior Australian government minister, has criticised a school which allowed Muslim students to leave an assembly for the singing of the national anthem during a religious period of mourning.

The head of Cranbourne Carlisle primary school allowed about 30 to 40 Shia Muslim students aged eight to ten to leave the assembly, saying it was the Muharram period for the children, a sacred month when Shia Muslims observe a period of mourning, and they should not be required to take part in “joyous” events.

“It wasn’t a pre-thought-out action,” Cheryl Irving, the school principal, told Channel 10.

“When they came to the assembly, they were caught in a dilemma. They knew that they should not be taking part in music. They also knew that the national anthem had music, so they were caught in a dilemma and didn’t know what to do. Some stood to leave, so the teacher intervened and gave them the opportunity to move out quietly, so they weren’t confused and they weren’t upset.”

The decision angered parents, while Muslim schools said it was standard for all Muslim students to sing Advance Australia Fair, the national anthem.

Mr Morrison, the national treasurer, equivalent to Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, said he was offended by the school’s actions and believed it deserved the “muppet of the year award”.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/28-Oct-2015/australia-school-criticised-after-letting-muslim-students-walk-out-during-national-anthem

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/in-case-of-palestinian-uprising-i-ll-side-with-israel--saudi-prince-al-waleed-bin-talal/d/105092


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