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Islamic World News ( 23 May 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Iraq Abuse Claims: 'Inadequate Response' By UK Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Belmokhtar group claims Niger blasts, says planning more attacks

 

Arab World

Iraq abuse claims: 'Inadequate response' by UK government

Snake attacks kill at least 60 in southern Iraq

'75 Hezbollah fighters killed in Syria so far'

Fighting dislocates 70-80% of Palestinians in Syria, says UNRWA

Syria opposition in talks on peace initiative as Qusayr battle rages on

Clashes in Lebanon feed fear of Syria spill over

Torture and impunity continue in Egypt: Amnesty

 

Europe

UK mosques attacked in backlash of Woolwich beheading

UK soldier's killing: Attacker was a Christian who converted to Islam

Muslim hardliners ID London terror suspect

London attackers had been on MI5 radar

Exiled cleric who taught UK soldier's killer praises 'courage'

Police make two new arrests in London soldier killing

Head of Muslim group who knew London knifeman blames UK foreign policy

Islamist attackers 'were known to British agents'

Britain braces for copycat attacks after soldier's murder

Syria regime agrees to attend peace conference: Russia

UK fighter jets escort Pakistani plane after midair 'alert'

EU must extend Syria arms embargo, Oxfam says

Human rights group protests US drone killings

Taliban influence in Afghanistan to grow: Russian intelligence agency

London killers had attacked an Indian-origin man mistaking him to be a soldier

 

India

NIA charge sheets four Hindu terror operatives in 2006 Malegaon blasts

Ishrat case: CBI zeroes in on Narendra Modi, Amit Shah

Saudi company to hire 5,000 Indians hit by new labour policy

4 army Jawans, Hizb ul militant killed in encounter

27,000 Indians apply for exit papers to leave Saudi Arabia

US official hints at renewed Iranian sanctions waiver for India

Ulfa man 'Paresh embraced Islam for safe haven in Bangla'

'India must accept enviable friendship between China and Pak'

Indian Embassy issues schedule for verification of Emergency Certificates requests

Paintings have not been replaced with glasswork: Sajjada Nasheen

 

Pakistan

Suicide Attack outside Peshawar Madrasa Kills 3

15 militants, two soldiers killed in Kurram Agency

Violence in Karachi claims six lives

Pakistan Clerics endorse reproductive health education

Gunmen kill NATO driver in Khyber Agency: Officials

Pakistani Taliban claim credit for deadly attack in Quetta

Halt operations to recover Gilani: LeJ

Pakistan remains opposed to drones after Obama speech

If MQM workers don’t reform themselves, they will lose me: Altaf Hussain

Pakistan releases 45 Indian fishermen as goodwill gesture

Balochistan political parties demand re-election in province

 

Southeast Asia

Civil and Shariah laws should be reviewed to prevent child marriage in Malaysia

Religious minorities in Indonesia unite for freedom

MIC president denies “no contest resolution” allegations

Faces of laughter and joy at mass wedding ceremony

Ethnic Indian party in Malaysia faces new rival

 

South Asia

Taliban launch attack in downtown Kabul

Harijans of Bangladesh want quotas at educational institutions

China doesn't rule out investing in PoK

Muslim legislator’s murder sparks protest in Nepal

China 'offers troops' to UN Mali peacekeeping mission

“Serious failings in the justice system entrenched impunity in Maldives”: Amnesty

Khaleda warns of resisting polls without non-party govt

Bangladesh wins UN award for disaster risk reduction success

Bangladeshis leaving country due to rise of communalism

 

Africa

Belmokhtar group claims Niger blasts, says planning more attacks

Clashes in Lebanon’s Tripoli kills 23, says security source

Mali Tuaregs reject army presence in bastion for July vote

Children as young as 8 working in Congo copper mines

300,000 displaced in Sudan’s Darfur in 5 months: UN

UN combat troops in DR Congo in ‘one or two months’: Ban

 

North America

Assad continues to butcher his own people: White House

Barack Obama seeks end to perpetual US 'war on terror'

Obama's drone speech welcomed in Pakistan, Yemen

Obama says US faces real threat from radicalised individuals

Obama lifts ban on transferring Guantanamo Bay detainees to Yemen

Man killed by FBI links Tsarnaev to triple murder: Report

Barack Obama in heated exchanges with Code Pink anti-war protester

 

Mideast

Turkey passes bill restricting alcohol sales, ads

Not ours, says Iran of drone found off Bahrain

Three Palestinian officers held over settler’s murder

Turkey offers to help rebuild Libya military

Iran denies it has forces in Syria

Palestinians should invest in a Plan B

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/iraq-abuse-claims---inadequate-response--by-uk-government/d/11725

 

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Arab World

 

Iraq abuse claims: 'Inadequate response' by UK government

 May 24 2013

The British government's response to claims that British troops abused and unlawfully killed civilians in Iraq was inadequate, the High Court has ruled.

Lawyers representing 180 Iraqi civilians had called for a full public inquiry in Britain.

The court stopped short of ordering such an inquiry, but said there should be a series of further investigations into the allegations.

It said "a new approach" to the inquiry into the allegations was needed.

The allegations of mistreatment include sexual abuse, food, water and sleep deprivation, prolonged solitary confinement, mock executions and being denied clothes.

The Ministry of Defence set up the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) to investigate the claims - but lawyers for the Iraqis had claimed it was not independent.

Although two judges in London rejected that accusation, they concluded that the present IHAT investigation "does not fulfil" the UK's human rights obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

That article covers the duty to investigate suspicious deaths.

The judges, in their ruling, said: "Although we are satisfied... that IHAT has now been structured in such a way that it can independently carry out its investigative and prosecutorial functions, the task of investigating and inquiring into the very large number of deaths occurring at many different times and in different locations requires a new approach if it is to be achieved in a timely, cost-effective and proportionate manner that discharges the very important investigative duties imposed upon the state."

'Competence and integrity'

Speaking about the allegations, the judges said "what happened is often unclear and the subject of dispute.

"Many of the incidents occurred several years ago; the Iraqi witnesses are largely residents of Iraq. Some incidents have been the subject of prosecution and more may be."

After the ruling, Ministry of Defence said it welcomed the court's finding that IHAT was independent and "carries out its duties with competence and integrity".

A spokesperson said: "We are also pleased that the court has agreed that the Secretary of State was justified in concluding that a single comprehensive public inquiry into allegations of abuse in Iraq should not be established. This would have led to unnecessary expense and unacceptable delay.

"The IHAT continues to make progress in its task of investigating allegations which have been made against British troops serving in Iraq."

As of January 2013, the Ministry of Defence had paid out more than £15m to settle more than 200 claims of mistreatment and unlawful detention, with many more cases being negotiated.

'Serious concerns'

Phil Shiner, of Public Interest Lawyers, who represent the Iraqis, also reacted: "The court has expressed its very serious concerns about allegations in these cases of the most serious kind involving murder, manslaughter, the wilful infliction of serious bodily injury, sexual indignities and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

"It has found that the Ministry of Defence have not complied with international and domestic law requiring there to be proper public scrutiny of these cases and the systemic issues arising from them.

"My clients welcome the public inquisitorial process that will now follow."

Two public inquiries have already been launched into similar abuse claims.

The first inquiry was into the death of 26-year-old hotel worker Baha Mousa in UK military custody in September 2003. It concluded in September 2011, with inquiry chairman Sir William Gage blaming "corporate failure" at the Ministry of Defence for the use of banned interrogation methods in Iraq.

Sir William said a "large number" of soldiers assaulted Mr Mousa and the other detainees, and he added that many others - including several officers - must have known what was happening..

And the ongoing Al-Sweady inquiry is looking at allegations that the human rights of a number of Iraqi nationals were abused by British troops in the aftermath of a firefight in 2004 near Majar al Kabir.

The judges said the Baha Mousa Inquiry cost £25m, and the Al-Sweady Inquiry has cost £17m so far.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22655384

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Snake attacks kill at least 60 in southern Iraq

 23 May 2013

A sudden spate of snake attacks has citizens in Sayid Dkheel, a city in southern Iraq in a “dangerous” situation.

Large numbers of deadly snakes have and continue to invade the city as a rise in weather temperature sees them looking for a cooler spot to live.

According to the local health department, at least 60 people have been reported dead due to snake bites.

Many residents have reportedly fled the city after the rise in fatalities, an Al Arabiya documentary reported.

Citizens have complained about the lack of aid from the central governmental, which has yet to provide them with the necessary medication to treat snake wounds.

“This is a very dangerous area, we urge the government to intervene as soon as possible and provide the necessary antidote,” Jassem Mohammed, a local resident said.

The lack of medical equipment at the city’s local hospital made the situation worse and caused the deaths of many, locals told Al Arabiya.

Al Arabiya attempted to contact the health department in the city but they refused to comment.

Cobras were amongst some of the snakes sighted in the southern Iraqi city.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/05/23/Snake-attacks-kill-at-least-60-in-southern-Iraq.html

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'75 Hezbollah fighters killed in Syria so far'

 23 May 2013

BAALBEK, Lebanon: Seventy-five fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah have been killed in Syria since they first became involved in the country’s war months ago, a source close to the Shiite militant group said on Thursday.

“There have been 57 killed and 18 others who have died of their wounds since the start of its (Hezbollah’s) participation in the war in Syria,” the source told AFP.

Hezbollah combatants have become increasingly involved in Syria’s conflict, fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces against an insurgency that flared after a brutal regime crackdown on democracy protests.

Initially Hezbollah said it only wanted to defend 13 Syrian villages along the border where Lebanese Shiites live, and the Sayyeda Zeinab shrine near Damascus, an important Shiite pilgrimage site.

However, its elite fighters later encircled Qusair with regime troops before the launch on Sunday of a withering assault on the strategic border town that is home to 25,000 people.

Hezbollah denied its involvement in Syria for some time, quietly burying fighters killed in Syria.

But the movement stopped hiding its dead when its leader Hassan Nasrallah paid homage to militants killed across the border on April 30.

“Syria has true friends in the region who will not allow Syria to fall into the hands of the United States, Israel and ‘takfiri’ groups,” he said in an interview with the movement’s television channel, Al-Manar.

Waddah Sharara, an expert on the organization, says Hezbollah has some 20,000 fighters, of whom 5,000 to 7,000 have experience of combat. Between 800 and 1,200 of these have been taking part in the battle for Qusair.

http://www.arabnews.com/news/452647

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Fighting dislocates 70-80% of Palestinians in Syria, says UNRWA

23 May 2013

HOMS, Syria: The conflict in Syria has displaced more than two-thirds of Palestinian refugees living in the country, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees said yesterday.

“We have registered approximately 530,000 Palestinian refugees. We believe that almost all of them, certainly maybe 70-80 percent, are displaced from their normal homes,” UNRWA Commissioner General Filippo Grandi told AFP on a visit to Syria.

Between 12 and 15 percent of the Palestinian refugee population has fled the country altogether, Grandi added.

“You can say that 12-15 percent of the refugee population in Syria is now (made) refugee again in another country,” he said, speaking after meeting Palestinian refugees at a camp in central Homs province.

UNRWA has nine registered camps for Palestinian refugees in Syria, housing those who fled or were forced from their homes when the state of Israel was created in 1948, and their descendants.

Some of the camps, including Yarmuk in Damascus, have been the scene of heavy fighting in the conflict that began with peaceful anti-government demonstrations in March 2011.

Grandi said the Palestinians were neutral in the conflict, and urged both government forces and the rebels to respect the neutrality of the refugee population and their camps.

“I really want to appeal to the parties to this conflict, to the government, to the armed opposition groups, to respect the sanctity and the neutrality of the Palestinian refugee camps and not to involve the Palestinians in fighting,” he said.

“The Palestinians are refugees in Syria and as such they must remain neutral. My appeal is also to the Palestinians themselves, they have to remain neutral, otherwise the situation, which is already very difficult, will become even more difficult.”

http://www.arabnews.com/news/452540

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Syria opposition in talks on peace initiative as Qusayr battle rages on

24 May 2013

Syria’s main opposition group is set to hold a second day of talks Friday, mulling a new U.S.-Russian peace initiative to end the two-year civil war while the regime vows to crush the insurgency.

Holding its seventh general assembly meeting since its creation last November, the National Coalition is expected to choose a new president, incorporate new members and decide the fate of an interim rebel government.

The three-day meeting comes as rebels face a massive onslaught by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah in the insurgent bastion of Qusayr, central Syria.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/05/24/Syria-opposition-in-talks-on-peace-initiative-as-Qusayr-battle-rages-on.html

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Clashes in Lebanon feed fear of Syria spillover

23 May 2013

Lebanese supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad fired heavy machine guns and lobbed mortar shells at each other Thursday in some of the worst fighting in the port city of Tripoli in years.

The battles raised the five-day death toll to 16 and fed fears of the Syrian civil war spreading to Lebanon and other neighboring countries.

The violence also added to the urgency to U.S.-Russian efforts to bring both sides of the Syrian conflict to a peace conference in Geneva. Members of the Syrian opposition began three day meetings in Istanbul to hash out a unified position on whether to attend, while maintaining that Assad's departure from power should be the goals of the negotiations.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/05/23/Clashes-in-Lebanon-feed-fear-of-Syria-spillover.html

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Torture and impunity continue in Egypt: Amnesty

SCAF and Morsi took no steps to eradicate torture, according to a report by Amnesty International

 24 May 2013

Amnesty International has criticised what it describes as the continuity of torture in Egypt and a failure to punish those responsible for abuses.

In its annual Egypt report, the human rights group that said torture policies, discrimination and impunity from punishment persisted in Egypt in 2012.

“No legal or policy reforms were implemented to eradicate torture under either the SCAF (Supreme Council of Armed Forces) or President Morsi’s administration,” the report stated.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/72066/Egypt/Politics-/Torture-and-impunity-continue-in-Egypt-Amnesty-.aspx

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Europe

 

UK mosques attacked in backlash of Woolwich beheading

Kounteya Sinha, TNN | May 24, 2013

LONDON: Britain experienced a communal backlash against Muslims within 24 hours of a young, serving soldier being butchered with "stone age savagery" in Woolwich by two radical British Nigerians who had changed from being "devout Christians to Muslims" recently.

Mobs calling themselves English Defence League clashed with riot police after last night's "terror attack". Mosques in Woolwich, Braintree in Essex and Gillingham in Kent were attacked with bricks and bottles.

Fearing such backlash could intensify and affect all Asian communities including Indians, 1,200 extra police officers were posted on the streets of London. Prime Minister David Cameron called for calm saying the incident in Woolwich "has sickened us all".

"The people who did this were trying to divide us. They should know: something like this will only bring us together and make us stronger," Cameron said, adding that the attack wasn't just against Britain but against Islam as well.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/UK-mosques-attacked-in-backlash-of-Woolwich-beheading/articleshow/20237304.cms

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UK soldier's killing: Attacker was a Christian who converted to Islam

AP | May 24, 2013

LONDON: A man seen with bloody hands wielding a butcher knife after the killing of a British soldier on the streets of London was described as a convert to Islam who took part in demonstrations with a banned radical group, two Muslim hard-liners said on Thursday.

Police raided houses in connection with the brazen slaying of the off-duty soldier, identified as Lee Rigby, of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who served in Afghanistan. In addition to the two suspects who were hospitalized after being shot by police, authorities said they had arrested a man and a woman, both 29, on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Police would not say whether it appeared Rigby had been targeted specifically because of his military service. Although he was not in uniform at the time he was killed, he was said by witnesses to be wearing a T-shirt for a British veterans' charity.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/UK-soldiers-killing-Attacker-wielding-butcher-knife-was-a-Christian-who-converted-to-Islam/articleshow/20243264.cms

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Muslim hardliners ID London terror suspect

 May 24, 2013

Two Muslim hardliners say the man seen wielding a bloody butcher's knife after the killing of a British soldier is a Muslim convert who took part in demonstrations with the banned radical group al-Muhajiroun.

Meanwhile, British police on Thursday evening announced the arrests of two more suspects in the case. Police said a man and a woman, both aged 29, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Former al-Muhajiroun head Anjem Choudary told The Associated Press that the man in startling video footage that emerged after the killing as Michael Adebolajo, a Christian who converted to Islam around 2003 and took part in several of the group's demonstrations in London.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/europe/Muslim-hardliners-ID-London-terror-suspect/Article1-1065155.aspx

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London attackers had been on MI5 radar

May 24, 2013

The British government on Friday defended the country's security services against criticism that they missed signs which might have helped prevent the brutal murder of a soldier on a street of south-east London.

MI5 now faces a House of Commons inquiry after it was confirmed the two terror suspects arrested over his murder were known to the national security agency.

But community’s secretary Eric Pickles said it was impossible to control everyone all the time.

"Peers and MPs will do a thorough investigation in terms of what the security forces knew but I've seen experts on security explaining how difficult it is in a free society to be able to control everyone," Pickles was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Europe/London-attackers-had-been-on-MI5-radar/Article1-1065321.aspx

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Exiled cleric who taught UK soldier's killer praises 'courage'

Reuters | May 24, 2013

TRIPOLI (Lebanon): A Syrian-born Islamist cleric who taught one of the attackers accused of hacking to death an off-duty British soldier Lee Rigby on a London street praised the attack for its "courage" and said Muslims would see it as a strike on a military target.

In an interview in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, where he has lived since being banished from Britain in 2005, Omar Bakri, founder of banned British Islamist group Al Muhajiroun, told Reuters he knew suspect Michael Abebolajo from a decade ago.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Exiled-cleric-who-taught-UK-soldiers-killer-praises-courage/articleshow/20245320.cms

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Police make two new arrests in London soldier killing

May 24, 2013

British police made two further arrests on Thursday and raided houses across London following the brutal murder of a serving soldier who survived a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister David Cameron appealed for calm after 25-year-old Lee Rigby was butchered outside a London army barracks on Wednesday, while an extra 1,200 officers were deployed on the capital's streets in a bid to reassure the public.

The intelligence agencies meanwhile came under scrutiny after it emerged that the two murder suspects, who were injured in police gunfire at the scene, had been known to the security services.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/europe/Police-make-two-new-arrests-in-London-soldier-killing/Article1-1065154.aspx

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Head of Muslim group who knew London knifeman blames UK foreign policy

23 May 2013

The head of a banned British radical Islamist group who knew one of the men who hacked a soldier to death on London streets said on Thursday British foreign policy was to blame for the attack.

Anjem Choudary said Michael Adebolajo - filmed with his hands covered with blood, carrying a meat cleaver and knife after attacking an off-duty soldier in broad daylight – had attended lectures run by al-Muhajiroun, Choudhary’s organization, which was banned under anti-terrorism laws in 2010.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2013/05/23/Head-of-Muslim-group-who-knew-London-knifeman-blames-UK-foreign-policy.html

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Islamist attackers 'were known to British agents'

The Islamist attacker who hacked a soldier to death in London were reportedly known to security agencies, a claim denied by government sources

23 May 2013

The two men suspected of butchering a soldier on a London street in a gruesome Islamist attack were known to security agents, government sources suggested on Thursday.

Prime Minister David Cameron hinted that intelligence agencies would face probes into how the attackers slipped under the radar, but said police and security services "will not rest" until they bring those responsible to justice.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/72176/World/International/Islamist-attackers-were-known-to-British-agents.aspx

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Britain braces for copycat attacks after soldier's murder

 May 24, 2013

After the murder of a young soldier on a busy London street on Wednesday, Britain is bracing for clashes with right-wing extremists and possible copycat terror attacks.

London’s Metropolitan Police said more than 1,000 officers will be sent to potential trouble spots with armed response units. But, only a fraction of Britain’s police officers are armed.

Terror analysts say the attackers wanted the publicity to inspire copycat attacks, and that they are already seeing an increase in chatter on extremist sites calling for such attacks. A British government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the increase in such chatter since Wednesday’s attack but added that no specific or credible plots had been detected at this point.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/britain-braces-for-copycat-attacks-after-soldiers-murder/article4746025.ece'

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Syria regime agrees to attend peace conference: Russia

Russia says the Al-Assad regime agreed “in principle” to attend a peace conference on the Syria crisis that is expected to take place in Geneva in June

 24 May 2013

Russia said on Friday that the Damascus regime had agreed "in principle" to attend an international peace conference on the Syria crisis that world powers hope will take place in Geneva in June.

"We note with satisfaction that we have received an agreement in principle from Damascus to attend the international conference, in the interest of Syrians themselves finding a political path to resolve the conflict, which is ruinous for the nation and region," Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/72187/World/Region/Syria-regime-agrees-to-attend-peace-conference-Rus.aspx

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UK fighter jets escort Pakistani plane after midair 'alert'

PTI | May 24, 2013

LONDON: Britain on Friday scrambled its fighter jets to escort a Pakistan International Airlines flight bound for Manchester following a mid-air "security alert".

Fighter jets have escorted the PIA aircraft from Manchester Airport to Stansted Airport, Sky News reported.

There are understood to be 297 passengers on board. The plane was heading west towards Manchester when it was suddenly re-routed near York and headed back out to the North Sea, before travelling south to Stansted.

An Essex Police spokeswoman said: "An incident has occurred on an aircraft. Police and partners are responding."

RAF Typhoon jets have been launched to investigate the incident involving a civilian aircraft within UK airspace, BBC quoted the ministry of defence as saying.

Media reports said the issue was a "security" incident. The reports said two RAF fighters were deployed alongside the Boeing 777 to intercept the plane travelling from Lahore to Manchester.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/UK-fighter-jets-escort-Pakistani-plane-after-midair-alert/articleshow/20247122.cms

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Human rights group protests US drone killings

  May 24 2013

 NEW YORK — A top human rights organization has criticized the Obama administration’s increasing use of drone aircraft for the targeted killing of terrorism suspects overseas and questioned whether it is legal.

Amnesty International, in its global review of human rights issues, said the US drone policy is shrouded in secrecy but the killings appear to amount to extrajudicial executions that violate international rights laws.

“Our view is that the legal basis is quite unclear,” Salil Shetty, the London-based group’s secretary general, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “We have issues with how the United States defines the ‘theater of war,’ which is a very broad definition which allows them a free reign to use drones and other weapons under a very wide set of circumstances.”

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130524167006

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Taliban influence in Afghanistan to grow: Russian intelligence agency

IANS | May 24, 2013

MOSCOW: The Taliban influence in Afghanistan may grow after international coalition forces pull out, while rising radicalism in Syria could lead to the country's disintegration, Russian military intelligence agency GRU has said.

GRU chief Lt. Gen. Igor Sergun said the situation in Afghanistan poses a "serious challenge to international stability" and that the withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in 2014 could increase the threat of terrorism and religious extremism.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Taliban-influence-in-Afghanistan-to-grow-Russian-intelligence-agency/articleshow/20238767.cms

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London killers had attacked an Indian-origin man mistaking him to be a soldier

Kounteya Sinha, TNN | May 24, 2013

LONDON: In a new revelation, a man, believed to be of Indian origin, has said he was on the brink of meeting the same fate as drummer Lee Rigby in the hands of the two killers.

The Woolwich killers - both Britons of Nigerian origin - went out hunting soldiers in weeks before attack, in the same area.

According to 46-year-old Paul Ramsamy, the pair confronted him after apparently mistaking him for a soldier because he was wearing combat trousers and boots. The incident took place in Greenwich as Ramsamy walked home.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/London-killers-had-attacked-an-Indian-origin-man-mistaking-him-to-be-a-soldier/articleshow/20247216.cms

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India

 

NIA charge sheets four Hindu terror operatives in 2006 Malegaon blasts

`No more harassment of innocent in tackling terror’

Bharti Jain, TNN | May 24, 2013

NEW DELHI: The charge sheeting of four Hindu terror operatives by the NIA in the 2006 Malegaon blasts — overturning the Maharashtra ATS's earlier probe that landed nine Muslim suspects in jail for five years — has not only led Central ministers to praise NIA for bringing the probe on track but also seek action against Maharashtra policemen for "erroneously charge sheeting innocent people".

"The Malegaon investigation shows that the government's decision to form the NIA was correct. It is extremely unfortunate that innocent people were earlier arrested and charge sheeted. We hope necessary action is taken so that such instances are not repeated," minister of state for home R P N Singh told TOI on Thursday. Singh also stressed on the need to facilitate discharge of the innocent youth by the relevant court, followed by their social and economic rehabilitation.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/No-more-harassment-of-innocent-in-tackling-terror/articleshow/20237634.cms

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Ishrat case: CBI zeroes in on Narendra Modi, Amit Shah

Prashant Dayal, TNN | May 24, 2013

AHMEDABAD: The CBI has suspiciously gone soft on the cops accused in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, with an eye on information which may implicate their political bosses - former minister of state for home Amit Shah and chief minister Narendra Modi. Sources said both Modi and Shah may be summoned for questioning by the agency shortly.

The CBI did not file chargesheet within 90 days of arrest, thereby opening doors for jailed IPS officer G L Singhal to get default bail. The same relaxation may be extended to his subordinate cops too in the near future. This has raised eyebrows, particularly because five IPS officers, including DIG D G Vanzara, have been incarcerated for six years now in other encounter cases of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kauserbi and aide Tulsiram Prajapati.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ishrat-case-CBI-zeroes-in-on-Narendra-Modi-Amit-Shah/articleshow/20235661.cms

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Saudi company to hire 5,000 Indians hit by new labour policy

IANS | May 23, 2013

DUBAI: A company in Saudi Arabia's eastern province has said it will hire 5,000 Indian workers affected by that country's new labour policy.

The Nasser S Al-Hajri Corp (NSH) is holding a two-day recruiting drive in Riyadh Thursday and Friday, the Arab News reported on Thursday.

"We plan to recruit 27 categories of workers, ranging from technicians to project managers," a company spokesman was quoted as saying.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/middle-east-news/Saudi-company-to-hire-5000-Indians-hit-by-new-labour-policy/articleshow/20228089.cms

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4 army jawans, Hizbul militant killed in encounter

 May 24, 2013

Four army jawans and a Hizbul Mujahideen militant were killed in a fierce gunbattle in south Kashmir's Pulwama district on Friday.

The encounter broke out at Buchoo village in Tral area, 40km from Srinagar, when army troops launched an operation after a tip-off about the presence of a group of ultras, officials said.

"The troops were laying the cordon around the village, when the militants hiding in the nearby forest opened fire, resulting in the death of three jawans," Lt Col Ankur Vashist said.

Another jawan sustained grievous injuries during the operation and later succumbed to injuries at a hospital, Vashist said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Srinagar/4-army-jawans-Hizbul-militant-killed-in-encounter/Article1-1065209.aspx

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27,000 Indians apply for exit papers to leave Saudi Arabia

PTI | May 24, 2013

RIYADH: India will issue at least 27,000 more emergency certificates to enable its citizens to leave Saudi Arabia for home after a new labour policy came into force in the Gulf Kingdom.

The Indian embassy here has released a second list of verification and delivery process of emergency certificates (ECs) for all Indian nationals who have applied at the embassy and at other collection centers across Saudi Arabia.

"The schedule currently announced is for the second batch of delivery upto 24,000 EC applications received in Riyadh and above 3,700 EC applications received in Eastern Province," the embassy said in a statement.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/middle-east-news/27000-Indians-apply-for-exit-papers-to-leave-Saudi-Arabia/articleshow/20242071.cms

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US official hints at renewed Iranian sanctions waiver for India

Reuters | May 24, 2013

NEW DELHI: India has made "tremendous progress" in reducing oil imports from Iran, a senior US government official said on Friday, in a sign the South Asian nation is likely to get a third waiver from sanctions imposed by Washington against Tehran's nuclear programme.

"All of the data is certainly pointing in a positive direction," US under secretary for political affairs Wendy Sherman told reporters when asked about a possible waiver to India.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/US-official-hints-at-renewed-Iranian-sanctions-waiver-for-India/articleshow/20242686.cms

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Ulfa man 'Paresh embraced Islam for safe haven in Bangla'

Prabin Kalita, TNN | May 24, 2013

GUWAHATI: A document of a security agency associated with counter-insurgency operations in the state has revealed that the leader of the anti-talks faction of Ulfa, Paresh Baruah, had to obey Islamic radicals and convert to Islam along with his family members in return for a safe haven in Bangladesh. "Baruah is now friends with those who send illegal migrants to Assam," the document stated.

Paresh's faction was recently christened Ulfa-I.

A source associated with the compilation of the document said that Baruah, a Hindu by birth, after converting to Islam, changed his name to Kamruj Zaman Khan, while his wife Bobby Dutta is now known as Sofian Zaman. The Baruahs converted to Islam when they took refuge in Bangladesh in 2000.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Paresh-embraced-Islam-for-safe-haven-in-Bangla/articleshow/20237370.cms

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'India must accept enviable friendship between China and Pak'

May 23 2013

Beijing: Pakistan continues to play pivotal role in China's South Asia policy and India "must accept" this "enviable friendship" as Beijing cannot scale down its ties with Islamabad merely because of New Delhi's feelings, an official daily here said today.

The high-profile welcome received by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang with JF-17 fighter jets escorting his plane and President and Prime Minister of Pakistan in attendance at the airport to receive him reflects all-weather ties, state-run Global Times said in its editorial.

"The relationship between India and China has grown broader while the Sino-Pakistan relations have gained depth," said the tabloid daily attached to the ruling Communist Party of China."Pakistan's importance to China has never been weakened despite its relatively turbulent political situation and slower economic development compared with China and India in recent years.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/-india-must-accept-enviable-friendship-between-china-and-pak-/1119611/

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Indian Embassy issues schedule for verification of Emergency Certificates requests

 May 24 2013

RIYADH — The Embassy of India in Riyadh has announced the schedule for the verification process of Emergency Certificates (ECs) for a second batch of Indians who have applied for the one-time travel pass at the embassy and other collection centres across Saudi Arabia.

The verification of applications submitted at the embassy will be from 5.30 p.m. onward on the scheduled days, according to an embassy press release.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130524167045

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Paintings have not been replaced with glasswork: Sajjada Nasheen

 May 24, 2013

‘Engraving taken up only on the dome’

The Sajjada Nasheen of the Rouza Munavare, Khurd Syed Shaha Hassan Shabbir Mohammad ul-Hussaini, has clarified that the ancient paintings inside the tomb of the Sufi saint Syed Shaha Qhabululla Hussaini are not being replaced with glasswork.

Reacting to a report in these columns on Tuesday, Mr. Hussaini told presspersons here on Wednesday that the installation of the glasswork had not affected the intricate paintings inside the tomb, which were done over 600 years ago by Iranian artists.

He said the fear expressed by artists such as Rehman Patel that the priceless paintings done using natural dyes were being replaced with cheap glass work was far from the truth.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/paintings-have-not-been-replaced-with-glasswork-sajjada-nasheen/article4740191.ece

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South Asia

 

Taliban launch attack in downtown Kabul

 May 24, 2013

Explosions and gunfire rocked central Kabul Friday as the Taliban launched an attack close to an Afghan intelligence facility and the headquarters of a government force that protects foreign firms. The attack comes a week after a suicide car bomb targeting a foreign military convoy killed

15 people including five Americans in the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital for nearly a year.

The Taliban announced their annual "spring offensive" on April 27, opening a crucial period as local security forces take the lead in the fight against the insurgents.

At least two blasts hit the centre of Kabul at about 4:00 pm (1130 GMT) on Friday, the second day of the Afghan weekend, and gunfire erupted as security forces rushed to the scene.

Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai told AFP the initial blast came close to a hospital run by the NDS intelligence agency and the headquarters of the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF), a government force that provides security for clients including international firms, supply convoys and aid groups.

He said gunmen had occupied a building in the attack, which is ongoing.

Jawed Kazem, a local shopkeeper, said: "I was sitting in my shop when the explosion happened. It was a big explosion which threw me off my chair, minutes later another explosion happened.

"Smoke is rising and gunfire is continuing."

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told AFP that his group was responsible and added that the attack began with a suicide car bombing.

"A group of other mujahideen armed with heavy and light weapons then took position in a building and are firing on several targets including a building in which the foreigners and members of spy agency stay," he said.

The suicide bombing last Thursday was the first major attack in Kabul since March 9 when a bomber on a bicycle killed nine people outside the defence ministry during a visit by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The attacks further underline the capital's vulnerability to militant assaults as 100,000 NATO troops gradually withdraw from Afghanistan ahead of the end of international combat operations next year.

Local forces are increasingly coming under attack from the Taliban as they take over from foreign forces, who will pull out of Afghanistan by the end of next year.

Six members of the APPF were killed on Tuesday in a roadside bombing in western Afghanistan as they travelled to a hydroelectric dam that is under protection from insurgent attack.

More than 11 years after the Taliban regime was ousted in 2001, efforts to seek a political settlement ending the violence have so far made little progress, but pressure is growing ahead of the NATO withdrawal.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Afghanistan/Taliban-launch-attack-in-downtown-Kabul/Article1-1065430.aspx

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Harijans of Bangladesh want quotas at educational institutions

 May 24 2013

Leaders of Bangladesh Harijan Oikya Parishad yesterday urged the government to preserve quotas at all government educational institutions for meritorious Harijan students.

They also demanded that a bill be passed in the current Jatiya Sangsad session to end all sorts of discrimination and ensure human rights of the people of poor and deprived communities.

They were speaking at a programme organised on the occasion of the Parishad’s tri-annual national council and general meeting at Dhakeswari Temple premises in the capital.

In association with Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), Bangladesh Harijan Oikya Parishad and Friends Association for Integrated Revolution (FAIR), a local NGO, jointly organised the event.

Bangladesh Harijan Oikya Parishad Secretary General Nirmal Chandra Das inaugurated the programme.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/harijans-want-quotas-at-educational-instts/

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China doesn't rule out investing in PoK

Saibal Dasgupta, TNN | May 24, 2013

BEIJING: China on Thursday refused to give any guarantees that its investments in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir would not go up merely out of respect for Indian sensibilities. The signal came from the Chinese foreign ministry in midst of premier Li Keqiang's visit to Pakistan after spending three days in India.

"It's for India and Pakistan to sort out their differences concerning Kashmir," the foreign ministry spokesman said in reply to specific questions about why China was making investments in POK, which is claimed by India. Premier Li has signed an agreement with Pakistan about building an economic corridor that would pass through POK.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/China-doesnt-rule-out-investing-in-POK/articleshow/20237240.cms

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Muslim legislator’s murder sparks protest in Nepal

GYANU ADHIKARI

 May 24, 2013

One of Sadrul Miya Haque’s employees who went to see him on Tuesday morning walked in on a gruesome scene of the 55-year-old Constituent Assembly member lying in a pool of blood with his throat slit open and various body parts butchered, in a room above his petrol pump.

The murder has stirred protests among the Muslim community in Nepal. In response, the government has formed a panel to investigate the murder and submit a report within seven days.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/muslim-legislators-murder-sparks-protest-in-nepal/article4740279.ece

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China 'offers troops' to UN Mali peacekeeping mission

 May 24 2013

China has offered soldiers to the new UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, UN officials say.

Talks are underway, and more than 500 Chinese peacekeepers and engineers could potentially take part in the mission, according to UN officials.

Mali's government was deposed in a coup in 2012, and Islamist rebels controlled the north of the country until French troops ousted them in January.

Around 6,000 African troops are currently in Mali providing security.

The UN peacekeeping mission had "received pledges and offers of contributions from a number of countries around the world, including China," UN spokesman Andre-Michel Essoungou told AP news agency.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-22650668

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 “Serious failings in the justice system entrenched impunity in Maldives”: Amnesty

By Ahmed Naish | May 23rd, 2013

Failure to prosecute police officers accused of human rights abuses and “serious failings in the justice system entrenched impunity” in the Maldives during the past year, Amnesty International has said in its annual report.

“These [failings] included the absence of codified laws capable of providing justice equally to all and the appointment of judges who lacked formal training in law without serious scrutiny of their legal qualifications,” the international human rights organisation stated.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/serious-failings-in-the-justice-system-entrenched-impunity-amnesty-international-58388

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Khaleda warns of resisting polls without non-party govt

 May 24 2013

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia last night warned of resisting the next general polls if the government “turned down the majority people’s demand” for a non-party election-time government.

“We want to state clearly that we will not let any election take place without a non-party caretaker government. You [the government] will see how the election is resisted if you go for polls by forcibly ignoring the demand,” Khaleda said at a views exchange meeting with Buddhist leaders at her Gulshan office.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/bnp-wants-govt-to-take-talks-move/

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Bangladesh wins UN award for disaster risk reduction success

 May 24 2013

Bangladesh has won the prestigious UN-Sasakawa Award 2013 jointly with Brazil for successes in reducing disaster risks at community level and championing disaster risk reduction advocacy at global level.

The National Alliance for Risk Reduction and Response Initiative (NARRI), an alliance of 10 international NGOs, led by ActionAid Bangladesh, won the award for Bangladesh for its outstanding collaborative achievement in reducing the impacts of natural disasters in its working area.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/bangladesh-wins-un-award-for-disaster-risk-reduction-success/

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Bangladeshis leaving country due to rise of communalism

 May 24 2013

Indigenous people are leaving the country due to a sense of insecurity against the backdrop of rising incidents centring communalism and fundamentalism, said Jatiya Adivasi Parishad leaders yesterday.

In the last two months, around 100 indigenous families of Godagari Upazila in Rajshahi district and Jhilim union of Chapainawabganj district left the country, said the parishad President Rabindranath Soren.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/indigenous-people-leaving-country-due-to-rise-of-communalism/

-----------

Pakistan

 

Suicide Attack outside Peshawar Madrasa Kills 3

 May 24, 2013

PESHAWAR: Three people were killed and two others sustained injuries in a suicide attack on a madrasa in the Saeedabad area, Peshawar, reported Express News on Friday.

According to Rescue 1122 officials, manager of the madrasa Haji Inayatullah was the target of the attacker. Inayatullah remained unhurt as he was not present near the blast site.

The bomber detonated his explosive jacket close to Haji Hayatullah’s car as worshippers were leaving a mosque following Friday prayers in the city’s congested Faqirabad neighbourhood, local police Chief Liaquat Ali said.

“The bomber blasted Haji Hayatullah’s car from the right side, killing the driver and Hayatullah’s guard,” he said.

Senior police officer Khalid Hamdani confirmed the attack and the casualties.

The bomber carried about six kilograms of explosives.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/553852/blast-on-pachgai-road-in-peshawar/

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15 militants, two soldiers killed in Kurram Agency

 May 24 2013

KURRAM/BAJAUR: At least 15 suspected militants and two security personnel were killed and 18 others soldiers sustained injuries in a clash between militants and security forces in Zarmina area of central Kurram Agency on Thursday. According to security sources, following the clash in central Kurram, jet fighters bombed militant positions, killing 15 suspected militants. Security official said that the injured personnel were rushed to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Thal. Separately in the Bajour tribal region, militants attacked a security check post injuring two Levies men. The power lines were also damaged in an exchange of fire between the two sides, suspending electricity supply in the region.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\05\24\story_24-5-2013_pg7_6

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Violence in Karachi claims six lives

 May 24 2013

KARACHI: At least six persons, including a woman, were killed and two others were killed in various firing incidents in the city whereas three children were injured in a grenade attack on a school in Karachi’s Orangi Town area on Friday, DawnNews reported.

Suspected extortionists lobbed a hand grenade at a private school in Balochi Goth area of Karachi’s Orangi town area, over non-payment of extortion money. Three children sustained minor injuries as a result of the blast.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/05/24/violence-in-karachi-claims-six-lives/

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Pakistan Clerics endorse reproductive health education

 May 24 2013

Karachi: Hayat- Lifeline Campaign held a provincial seminar in a local hotel with the purpose of involving government officers for the implementation of special curriculum on sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) in schools.

Caretaker Sindh Human Rights and Women Development Minister Anis Haroon was the guest of honour and Secretary Education Dr Fazlullah Pecho was a special guest at the seminar.

Participants said that educating youth on SRHR issues was the need of our times and the topic should be incorporated in schools on district, provincial and federal level in the school curriculum.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\05\24\story_24-5-2013_pg12_1

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Gunmen kill NATO driver in Khyber Agency: Officials

 May 24, 2013

PESHAWAR: Gunmen on Friday opened fire on a convoy of NATO containers in a town near the Afghan border, killing a driver and wounding a helper, officials said.

The attack took place at Shagai area, 20 kilometres (12 miles) southeast of Landi Kotal, the main town of the Khyber tribal region.

“Gunmen opened fire from the nearby mountains on the convoy carrying NATO military vehicles after it entered Pakistan from Afghanistan and killed a driver and injured one of the helpers,” local tribal police official Khan Dad said.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/553847/gunmen-kill-nato-driver-in-khyber-agency-officials/

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Pakistani Taliban claim credit for deadly attack in Quetta

 May 24 2013

(Reuters) - The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility on Thursday for a bomb that killed 11 security personnel and two civilians in the southwestern city of Quetta.

Sixteen people were wounded in the attack in the capital of Baluchistan province, and the death toll could rise, police said. The bomb was planted in a three-wheeled auto-rickshaw and blew up as a truck carrying the security men passed by.

Full report at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/23/us-pakistan-blast-idUSBRE94M07020130523

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Halt operations to recover Gilani: LeJ

 May 24 2013

PESHAWAR: Banned militant organisation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi warned on Thursday that it would retaliate if police continued operations to recover the kidnapped son of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

“These operations should immediately be halted, otherwise, we will retaliate,” the organisation issued the warning through spokesman Ali Sufyan in a telephone call to a journalist in Hangu.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\05\24\story_24-5-2013_pg7_13

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Pakistan remains opposed to drones after Obama speech

May 24, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government Friday repeated its view that US drone strikes in its territory were illegal, after President Barack Obama laid out new guidelines for their use.

The US president mounted a firm defence of his covert drone war as legal and just in a major speech on counterterrorism policy on Thursday but warned that undisciplined use of the tactic would invite abuses of power.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/553863/pakistan-remains-opposed-to-drones-after-obama-speech/

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If MQM workers don’t reform themselves, they will lose me: Altaf Hussain

 May 24, 2013

LONDON: If my party workers fail to reform themselves, they will lose me as their leader forever, said Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain said on Friday.

Altaf was speaking to members of the interim Rabita Committee and other party workers.

“I never taught MQM workers to take bribes, be corrupt or put undue pressure on people for favours,” he said.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/553850/never-taught-mqm-workers-to-take-bribes-or-be-corrupt-altaf-hussain/

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Pakistan releases 45 Indian fishermen as goodwill gesture

 May 24, 2013

KARACHI: The Pakistan government on Friday released 45 Indian fishermen, including three children and three other disabled persons.

Ansar Burney and activists of Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) received the freed fishermen, who later left Karachi by a bus to reach Wagah Border, Lahore. They will be handed over to Indian authorities at the Wagah border on Saturday.

Earlier, Prime Minister Justice (R) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso announced to release 51 Indian fishermen on humanitarian grounds as a gesture of goodwill. These prisoners have already served their sentences.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/553868/pakistan-releases-45-indian-fishermen-as-goodwill-gesture/

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Balochistan political parties demand re-election in province

 May 24 2013

QUETTA: In a rather surprising move, almost all the political parties in Balochistan, with the exception of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and National Party (NP), have demanded re-election in Balochistan, rejecting the elections of May 11 as a “well-thought out scheme of establishment to declare certain groups victorious t having no mandate.

During an All-Parties Conference (APC) held at the MPAs hostel in Quetta on Thursday, the central leader of JUI-ideological Maulana Asmatullah, leader of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat Balochistan Maulana Muhammad Ramzan Mengal, Balochistan National Party Mengal’s leader Agha Hassan Baloch, Muhammad Qasim Khan Soori of PTI, Naveed Ahmed of JWP, Molvi Asmatullah Salim of Ahle Sunnat Balochistan, Malik Abdul Rahim, the district leader of PML-N and others expressed their resolve for re-election in Balochistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\05\24\story_24-5-2013_pg7_3

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Southeast Asia

 

Civil and Shariah laws should be reviewed to prevent child marriage in Malaysia

 May 24 2013

KOTA KINABALU: The civil and Shariah laws in the country should be reviewed to allow for stricter regulations on child marriage, Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun.

She said the review was necessary to prevent quarters from taking advantage of the loop holes in the law, including the Shariah laws which allowed child marriage if it met the stipulated conditions.

"We'll get the views of various quarters, including civil and Shariah legal experts, on whether there is a need to formulate a new law or improve the existing laws," she told reporters at a thanksgiving ceremony at her residence in Likas near here Friday.

 Full report at:

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/5/24/nation/20130524190630&sec=nation

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Religious minorities in Indonesia unite for freedom

Prodita Sabarini

May 24 2013

Next to a sealed Ahmadi mosque in Bekasi is a plot of land with leafy trees and damp earth. To get in one has to squeeze through a gap between a tall iron gate and the wall of a residence on the other side.

From this bit of land, Ahmadiyah members send food over the gate to the 19 Ahmadis staying inside the mosque, which was sealed in early April by Bekasi public order officers.

When the officers put up the corrugated iron fence to seal the Al Misbah Mosque, about 40 people were inside, including women and children. The women and children have since been taken out.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/05/24/religious-minorities-unite-freedom.html

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MIC president denies “no contest resolution” allegations

 May 24 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel has brushed off allegations that branches will hold a meeting to pass a 'no contest' resolution for the party's top posts.

Palanivel today denied that he had asked anyone to do such a thing, adding that if they did so, then it would be on their own accord.

"I did not ask them to do such a thing, if they do, then it's their business. If anybody wants to challenge (me), then it's up to them," he told a press conference after chairing the party's central working committee (CWC) meeting here Friday.

Full report at:

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/5/24/nation/20130524185913&sec=nation

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Faces of laughter and joy at mass wedding ceremony

 May 24 2013

MAY 20 might seem like any other day to many Malaysians, but for those who know Mandarin and have a special someone, the date can turn out to be surprisingly romantic.

This is because in Mandarin, May 20 (520) can be read as wu er ling, which sounded like wo ai ni (I love you).

Besides being a lovely day to declare your love for a special someone, 24 blissful couples took the chance to register their marriages during a mass wedding ceremony at the Ipoh Chinese Chin Woo Athletic Association hall.

Full report at:

http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2013/5/24/metroperak/13148253&sec=metroperak

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Ethnic Indian party in Malaysia faces new rival

PTI | May 24, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: The entry of a hitherto shunned ethnic Hindu body into the folds of the prime minister's department has rattled Malaysia's largest Indian-origin political party.

The Malaysian Indian Congress has objected to Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) being given charge of the government's Indian Affairs unit.

The Hindraf is a coalition of 30 Hindu non-governmental organizations committed to the preservation of Hindu community rights and heritage in multiracial Malaysia.

"MIC is the mother party of the Indian community since 1946, and we have been doing a good job, and will continue to eradicate long-standing problems," G Palanivel, MIC party supremo said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Ethnic-Indian-party-in-Malaysia-faces-new-rival/articleshow/20245683.cms

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Africa

 

Belmokhtar group claims Niger blasts, says planning more attacks

24 May 2013

The jihadist group led by Algerian Mokhtar Belmokhtar that claimed twin suicide car bombings in Niger that killed at least 20 people threatened on Friday to launch further attacks in the country.

“We will launch further operations” in Niger, AFP reported the group as saying in a statement posted on Islamist Internet forums. It  also threatened France and countries involved militarily in battling Islamist extremists in Mali.

Belmokhtar, meanwhile, “supervised” twin suicide bombings that killed at least 20 people in Niger on Thursday, AFP reported the Mauritanian news agency Al-Akhbar as saying.

“It was Belmokhtar who himself supervised the operational plans of attacks” on the Agadez army base and a French-run uranium mine, El-Hassen Ould Khalil, spokesman for Belmokhtar’s “Signatories in Blood” group, was quoted as saying.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2013/05/24/Algerian-commander-supervised-Niger-blasts-that-killed-at-least-20.html

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Clashes in Lebanon’s Tripoli kills 23, says security source

24 May 2013

At least 23 people have been killed since Sunday in Syria-linked clashes between Sunni and Alawite residents of the Lebanese port city of Tripoli, a security source told AFP on Friday.

Thursday was the bloodiest day yet in the clashes, with at least 11 people killed in 24 hours, the source said.

At least 167 people have been wounded in the clashes pitting gunmen in the Alawite Jabal Mohsen neighborhood against those in the adjacent Sunni Muslim Bab el-Tebbaneh district.

The violence is tied to the conflict in Syria, where a Sunni-led uprising is fighting to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, an Alawite.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/05/24/Clashes-in-Lebanon-s-Tripoli-kills-23-says-security-source-.html

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Mali Tuaregs reject army presence in bastion for July vote

   May 24 2013

OUAGADOUGOU — Mali’s main Tuareg separatist group says it supports the holding of a nationwide presidential poll in July but ruled out allowing the army in its northern bastion of Kidal for the vote.

A delegation from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) held talks in Ouagadougou, the capital of neighboring Burkina Faso, with the region’s lead mediator in the Malian crisis, Djibrill Bassole.

“We told him that we want both parties — the MNLA and the Bamako authorities — to respect the July 28 date set by Mali’s interim president for the presidential election,” MNLA envoy Ibrahim Ag Mohamed Assaleh.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130524167015

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Children as young as 8 working in Congo copper mines in Democratic Republic of Congo

World Vision has documented the voices of children kept out of school to work in a copper and cobalt artisanal mine in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo and has found that “this type of hard labour is robbing children of their childhood.”

 May 23 2013

Child labour in developing world garment factories is a tragic, known occurrence but a new report on children as young as eight toiling away in African mines sheds light on a forgotten group.

World Vision, a Christian relief organization, documented the voices of children kept out of school in order to work in a copper and cobalt artisanal mine in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Full report at:

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/05/23/children_as_young_as_8_working_in_congo_copper_mines_in_democratic_republic_of_congo.html

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300,000 displaced in Sudan’s Darfur in 5 months: UN

 May 24 2013

KHARTOUM: A resurgence of fighting in Sudan’s western Darfur region has driven 300,000 people from their homes so far this year, UN humanitarian aid chief Valerie Amos said on Thursday.

She was speaking during a trip to a camp for displaced people outside the North Darfur state capital of El Fasher.

“The United Nations estimates at 300,000 people the number of people who have fled fighting in Darfur in the first five months of the year,” Amos said, according to an Arabic translation of her remarks.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\05\24\story_24-5-2013_pg4_6

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UN combat troops in DR Congo in ‘one or two months’: Ban

 May 24 2013

UN chief Ban Ki-moon pledged Thursday that UN troops will be in place within “one or two months” to battle armed rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s volatile east, as he arrived in the flashpoint city of Goma for a brief visit.

Ban’s visit came after three days of sometimes deadly fighting between rebels and government forces that ended months of calm in the mineral-rich east of the country, an area gripped by conflict for more than two decades.

The latest bout of fighting near Goma, which was briefly seized by the M23 rebel group in an armed uprising last year despite the presence of a large UN peacekeeping force, has sent thousands of people fleeing.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\05\24\story_24-5-2013_pg4_7

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North America

 

Assad continues to butcher his own people: White House

 May 23 2013

Washington : Calling for an end to violence in Syria, the White House has said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continued to butcher his own people and therefore he is needed to go.

"There is no question that Bashar al-Assad continues to butcher his own people, to take brutal actions as he clings onto power. And there is no question that Hezbollah is assisting him in that effort," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday.

"I think that demonstrates the kinds of friends that Bashar al-Assad has in the world. We have made clear our views on that," he said. Responding to a question on the German assessment that Assad regime is stronger now, Carney without directly referring to the assessment of a foreign government said, the authoritarian Syrian regime is significantly weaker than it was two years ago.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/assad-continues-to-butcher-his-own-people-white-house/1119554/

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Barack Obama seeks end to perpetual US 'war on terror'

Reuters | May 24, 2013

WASHINGTON: Twelve years after the "war on terror" began, President Barack Obama wants to pull the United States back from some of the most controversial aspects of its global fight against Islamist militants.

In a major policy speech on Thursday, Obama narrowed the scope of the targeted-killing drone campaign against al-Qaida and its allies and took steps toward closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Barack-Obama-seeks-end-to-perpetual-US-war-on-terror/articleshow/20239801.cms

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Obama's drone speech welcomed in Pakistan, Yemen

AP | May 24, 2013

ISLAMABAD: President Barack Obama's speech on the use of drones and the fate of Guantanamo prisoners was largely welcomed Friday in two key countries affected by the policies — Pakistan and Yemen.

But Pakistani officials criticized the president for not ending drone strikes in the country altogether, as they have long demanded.

Obama cast drone strikes against Islamic militants as crucial to US counterterrorism efforts but acknowledged in his landmark speech on Thursday that they are not a "cure-all." The president also said he is deeply troubled by civilians unintentionally killed in the strikes and announced more restrictive rules governing the attacks — measures that his advisers said would effectively limit drone use in the future.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Obamas-drone-speech-welcomed-in-Pakistan-Yemen/articleshow/20245414.cms

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Obama says US faces real threat from radicalised individuals

PTI | May 24, 2013

WASHINGTON: Citing Wisconsin gurdwara shootout last year that killed six Sikh worshippers, the US President Barack Obama, has expressed concern over increasing instances of acts of violence inside the country by home grown terrorists.

"We face a real threat from radicalised individuals here in the United States. Whether it's a shooter at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, a plane flying into a building in Texas, or the extremists who killed 168 people at the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, America has confronted many forms of violent extremism in our history," Obama said on Thursday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Obama-says-US-faces-real-threat-from-radicalised-individuals/articleshow/20240505.cms

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Obama lifts ban on transferring Guantanamo Bay detainees to Yemen

AP | May 24, 2013

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama is lifting his self-imposed ban on transferring Guantanamo Bay detainees to Yemen, a step toward his goal of closing the US military-run prison that he said "has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law."

Nearly 100 of the 166 terrorist suspects held at the prison in Cuba are from Yemen and have had nowhere to go even if they had been cleared for transfer. Obama wouldn't send them home, and no other country was welcoming them. Their hopelessness after a decade or more of imprisonment has contributed to a hunger strike at the detention facility that helped reignite the long-stalled effort to close it.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Obama-lifts-ban-on-transferring-Guantanamo-Bay-detainees-to-Yemen/articleshow/20239332.cms

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Man killed by FBI links Tsarnaev to triple murder: Report

AFP | May 23, 2013

BOSTON: A friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev implicated himself and the Boston bombing suspect in an unsolved triple homicide before FBI agents killed him in a violent altercation Wednesday, local media reported.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said the man initiated a "violent confrontation" during questioning in Orlando, Florida and was killed, and that an FBI agent suffered "non-life threatening injuries."

The man, identified by the Orlando Sentinel newspaper as Ibragim Todashev, 27, was being questioned by the FBI agent, two Massachusetts state troopers and other law enforcement personnel.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Man-killed-by-FBI-links-Tsarnaev-to-triple-murder-Report/articleshow/20228856.cms

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Barack Obama in heated exchanges with Code Pink anti-war protester

Reuters | May 24, 2013

WASHINGTON: The woman who interrupted President Barack Obama's speech on counterterrorism policy on Thursday is well-known around Washington as a perennial protester on national security issues.

Medea Benjamin, a founder of anti-war women's group Code Pink, began demonstrating years ago on Capitol Hill, becoming an almost routine presence at hearings where high-ranking officials of the Bush administration appeared to talk about the Iraq war.

On Thursday, Benjamin got into an argument with Obama, interrupting his remarks at the National Defense University repeatedly to urge him to take faster action in releasing detainees from the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Barack-Obama-in-heated-exchanges-with-Code-Pink-anti-war-protester/articleshow/20239469.cms

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Mideast

 

Turkey passes bill restricting alcohol sales, ads

24 May 2013

Turkey’s parliament has passed legislation to ban all advertising of alcohol and tighten restrictions on sales in the mainly Muslim but secular country.

The legislation, adopted on Friday, bans the sale of alcoholic drinks between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. It also prohibits alcohol sales anywhere close to mosques and educational centers.

The law bars drink companies from promoting their brands and forces the blurring of images of alcoholic drinks on television. It also brings stricter penalties on drunken driving.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/05/24/Turkey-passes-bill-restricting-alcohol-sales-ads.html

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Not ours, says Iran of drone found off Bahrain

 May 24 2013

TEHRAN: Tehran on Thursday denied a Bahraini claim it had found an Iranian drone in the sea near Saudi Arabia, and urged Manama to refrain from making “baseless accusations”, the ISNA news agency reported.

It cited an unnamed foreign ministry source as denying Bahrain’s assertion that the downed aircraft was Iranian.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\05\24\story_24-5-2013_pg14_6

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Three Palestinian officers held over settler’s murder

 May 24 2013

RAMALLAH — Israeli occupation forces Wednesday arrested three Palestinian officers in various West Bank areas for their involvement in the killing of a Jewish occupier two years ago, Palestinian security sources said.

 The sources said that the Israeli forces arrested Nawwaf Bani Odeh from the town of Toubas, Saleh Hamed from Ramallah and Wa’el Dawoud from Qalqilyah. The three are members of the Palestinian national security forces.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130524166996

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Turkey offers to help rebuild Libya military

 Ahmed Elumami

   May 24 2013

TRIPOLI — Libya is considering using Turkish military expertise to boost its border security as well as stepping up military training and rebuilding institutions within the armed forces.

The Defense Committee of the General National Congress Wednesday met the Turkish Ambassador Kemal Aydin to talk about closer military ties.

Aydin confirmed that Turkey is ready to provide greater support in military reconstruction.

As a first step, both sides agreed that the GNC’s Defense Committee chairman and other members should go to meet the Turkish parliament’s  military and security committee in Ankara.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130524166999

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Iran denies it has forces in Syria

Iran says it has no military forces in the war-torn Syria

 24 May 2013

Iran denied on Friday that it had forces in Syria supporting President Bashar al-Assad, one day after foreign backers of his rebel foes demanded Tehran withdraw its fighters from Syrian territory.

"The true enemies of Syria make up these accusations to provoke the people of this country," Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said, quoted by Iranian state television.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/72197/World/Region/Iran-denies-it-has-forces-in-Syria.aspx

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Palestinians should invest in a Plan B

23 May 2013

Daoud Kuttab

One of the most important lessons any negotiator needs to know is that the ability to conduct effective negotiations requires one to have a credible alternative in case negotiations fails.

As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry begins a new round of talks in the region, Palestinian leaders’ need for a plan B has never been more necessary.

Any credible alternative to negotiations must by costly enough to the other side to make it prefer negotiations to the risk of the unknown.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ leadership has made clear that violence is not an alternative, so that means that the only credible alternative has to be of the nonviolent kind. Although not enough effort has been invested in this area, the options in this regard are many.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2013/05/23/Palestinians-should-invest-in-a-Plan-B-.html

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/iraq-abuse-claims---inadequate-response--by-uk-government/d/11725

 

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