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Islamic World News ( 12 Jun 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Iraq Attacks Kill 63 during Shiite Saint Commemoration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arab World

Iraq attacks kill 63 during Shiite Saint Commemoration

‘Ghost’ murderers who butcher women & kids for Syria Prez

Saudi Arabia takes tiny steps on women’s rights

Syria violence kills 72: rights group

Syria conflict: Fighting erupts in Deraa

UN observers 'blocked' from entering Syria's Al-Haffe

Syria’s Sectarian Divide Takes Alarming Turn

Why Obama faces a hopeless war in Syria

 

Pakistan

Cleric says polio vaccination 'un-Islamic, warns of jihad against docs

Pakistan should 'bite the bullet' in NATO routes row: Senior US official

Punjab CM urges Ulema to play role for peace

Suicide attacks declining in Pakistan

Punjab CM stresses on checking substandard publication of holy Quran

PM Stresses more education spending in Muslim world

Conference calls for legislative initiatives to address child labour

Memogate: Pakistan probe panel nails ‘not loyal’ Haqqani

Scheduled caste Hindus demand relief, protection

Rehman Malik denies knowledge of Arsalan Iftikhar film

UNESCO holds workshop for capacity building of govt institutions

‘Pak chief justice’s son ran judiciary like a don’

Departing Pak high commissioner rakes up Kashmir

Ghazal king Mehdi Hassan passes away in Karachi

 

India

A Mosque with English Sermons, Quran on iPads

Rare bilingual, Persian and Telugu, inscription found at Qutb Shahi

India, Pakistan fail to make breakthrough on Siachen

Supreme Court rejects Centre's plea for 4.5% sub-quota for Muslims

Patriotism is indeed the last refuge of a scoundrel

 

South Asia

Islamophobia and the fear of 'the other' in Myanmar

Karzai calls Airstrikes “illegitimate use of force”

Bangladesh guards against another influx of Rohingya Muslims

Five children a day victims of Afghan war: UN

Afghan drug trafficker linked to Taliban jailed in US

NATO chief vows not to abandon Afghanistan

 

Southeast Asia

Convicted Banker Returns to Indonesia from US

 

Mideast Asia

Iran to be given 'clear path' to end nuclear impasse: Hillary Clinton

Iran starts building N-submarine

Yemen retakes bastions of al-Qaeda

'US drone strike' against Qaida in Yemen kills 9

Gaza footballer who dared to dream languishes in Israel prison

International Science Groups Appeal to Iran for Release of Optics Student

 

North America

US Holding 'Hundreds' of Meetings with Jihad-Linked Group

Canadian Muslims Feed Needy

US: Russia sending Syria attack helicopters

US forces to deploy pint-sized drones soon

 

Africa

Tunisia’s ousted president gets 20 years for incitement to murder

Tunisia: Salafist Muslims Riot over Art Exhibit

Somalis Eye Olympics for Pride

 

Europe

Muslim Council of Britain reserves 20% seats for women

London Mosques Host Olympics Iftar

Norwegian far right says Breivik correct to fear Muslims

Diary of a Bad man: 'I'm not a model Muslim, but I make people think'

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: A Mosque with English Sermons, Quran on iPads

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/iraq-attacks-kill-63-during-shiite-saint-commemoration/d/7611

 

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Arab World

 

Iraq attacks kill 63 during Shiite Saint Commemoration

June 13, 2012

BAGHDAD (AP) , Coordinated car bombs struck mainly Shiite pilgrims in several Iraqi cities Wednesday, killing at least 63 people and wounding dozens more in one of the deadliest attacks since U.S. troops withdrew from the country.

The bloodshed was a stark reminder of the political tensions threatening to provoke a new round of sectarian violence that once pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war. The pilgrims were headed to the northern Baghdad neighbourhood of Kazimiyah to mark the anniversary of the death of a revered Shiite saint who is interred there.

The first bomb struck a procession at around 5 a.m. in the town of Taji, north of Baghdad, killing seven people and wounding 2, two police officers said.

That was followed by four more morning blasts that hit other groups of pilgrims across the capital, killing 25 people and wounding more than 70, according to police and health officials.

South of Baghdad, two car bombs exploded minutes apart at dawn in the center of the city of Hillah, killing 21 people and wounding 53, according to two police officers and one health worker.

A parked car bomb also exploded near a group of pilgrims in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of Baghdad, at about 8 a.m., killing two people and wounding 22 others, a police official and health official said.

Two nearly simultaneous car bombs also killed seven pilgrims and wounded 34 in the Shiite town of Balad, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Baghdad, , a police official and health official said.

All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.

Another person was killed in the northern city of Kirkuk when three more bombs exploded, one of them outside the political office of a prominent ethnic Kurdish leader.

The attacks were the third this week targeting the annual pilgrimage that sees hundreds of thousands of Shiites converge on Baghdad on foot to commemorate the 8th century death of revered Imam Moussa al-Kadhim.

Baghdad military command spokesman Col. Dhia al-Wakeel said Wednesday's attacks meant to reignite all-out sectarian bloodshed, "but Iraqis are fully aware of the terrorism agenda and will not slip into a sectarian conflict."

Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks but they bore the hallmarks of Sunni insurgents who frequently target Shiite pilgrimages in Iraq.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/06/13/world/middleeast/ap-ml-iraq.html?ref=global-home&gwh=E5861F65498BEEC371A2F5B3DA0A7408

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‘Ghost’ murderers who butcher women & kids for Syria Prez

 June 13, 2012

MEET the ‘Ghost’ killer thugs pumped up on steroids who are proving key to keeping Syria’s brutal President Bashar al- Assad in power.

Covered in tattoos of images of their leader, they are blamed for roaming the nation, massacring children and women by slitting their throats or shooting them at point- blank range.

Wielding AK- 47s and machetes, they are said to carry out the government’s dirty work so officials can claim the rampages are not being sponsored by the state.

Known as the ‘Shabiha’, translating to ‘ Ghosts’, they wear combat trousers and black T- shirts and are paid the massive sum of ` 11,292 per day.

Their modus operandi sees them swarm into towns after the army has stopped shelling. A source said: “Their mission is to terrorise the civilian population and conduct ethnic cleansing.” A massacre of 108 civilians in Houla two weeks ago, including 49 children, has been blamed on the group who fanatically follow the Muslim Alawite sect. They are also reported to have shot dead 12 workers in Qusayr and 78 villagers in Qubair last week.

Dr Mousab Azzawi, who runs the Syrian Network for Human Rights from London but had treated some of the Shabiha in Latakia, said recently: “ They were like monsters.

They had huge muscles, big bellies and beards. They took steroids to pump up their bodies. I had to talk to them like children as they like people with low intelligence. That is what makes them so terrifying — the combination of strength and blind allegiance to the regime.” Syrian troops attacked a rebel held town on Monday in the centre of the country with helicopter gunships and shelled other restive areas across the country, activists said. The aerial assault targeted the strategic river crossing town of Rastan that has resisted repeated government offensives for months, they added.

It is part of an escalation of violence in recent weeks that comes despite an internationally- brokered cease- fire that was supposed to go into effect on April 12 but never took hold.

“The regime is now using helicopters more after its ground troops suffered major losses,” said Rami Abdul- Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “Dozens of vehicles have been destroyed or damaged since the end of May.”

Known as ‘Shabiha’, meaning ‘ Ghosts’, they wear combat trousers and black T- shirts and are paid a massive sum of ` 11,292 per day

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Saudi Arabia takes tiny steps on women’s rights

13 Jun 2012

By Lisa Anderson

NEW YORK (TrustLaw) - Small cracks have appeared in the political wall separating women from their rights in Saudi Arabia in the last year, but the wealthy and conservative kingdom remains one the world’s most repressive when it comes to women’s freedoms.

An absolute monarchy, heavily influenced by the ultra-conservative Wahhabi form of Islam, Saudi Arabia requires women to submit to male guardianship and guidance in nearly every aspect of their lives from cradle to grave.

This means control by a father, husband, brother, son or other male relative over where a woman goes outside the home, whether she attends school, what she studies, whether she works, whom she marries and even what medical procedures she undergoes.

As such, Saudi Arabia ranks second only to India as worst country for women among the world’s biggest economies, according to a global survey released on Wednesday by TrustLaw, a legal news service run by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Among the top five worst places for women in the 19 countries that make up the Group of 20 richest nations (excluding the European Union), India and Saudi Arabia were followed by Indonesia, Mexico then South Africa, according to the perceptions survey of 370 gender specialists.

“Given Saudi Arabia’s institutionalized and state-supported discrimination against women, it is surprising that Saudi Arabia did not rank lower,” said Yasmeen Hassan, global director of Equality Now, a New York-based organisation working to end violence and discrimination against women.

“Women and girls in Saudi Arabia are treated as perpetual minors living under male guardianship all their lives – with restrictions on employment, political participation, travel, education and healthcare,” added Hassan.

“They do not have the ability enter into marriages of their choice and have extremely limited rights within marriage. They are not allowed to drive or to enter the Olympics.”

She referred to Saudi Arabia’s lack of any state sports programmes for women and girls and its apparent decision to be the only country to send a male-only team to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Taking the Koran, Islam’s holy book, as its constitution, Saudi Arabia follows sharia, or religious, law. The system provides women few legal protections in terms of property, freedom of movement, domestic violence and no guarantee of gender equality.

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s 87-year-old ruler, has engaged in a gradual programme of social reforms, some of them easing some restrictions against women, despite strong opposition from the fundamentalist clerical establishment.

In September 2011, he decreed that Saudi women would have the right to vote in, and stand for office in, municipal elections starting in 2015.

In early 2012, he put into effect a decree that women would replace men as sales clerks in the kingdom’s more than 7,000 lingerie shops, a move that could reduce the 28-percent unemployment rate among Saudi women, according to reports of comments by Labour Minister Adel Faqih.

A similar change is expected to take effect in cosmetics shops this July.

A week after the government deadline to replace salesmen with women in lingerie shops, King Abdullah abruptly fired the hard-line chief of the country’s religious morality police, whose officers reportedly harassed some women who had taken the jobs.

For the new head of the unit, formally known as the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the king appointed a cleric who publicly had expressed more liberal views about women’s employment and the social mixing of men and women.

King Abdullah’s actions and the vocal backlash from conservative clerics may reflect the country’s internal struggle to redefine the role of women and the conflict between tradition and modernity.  However, he decreed no change in the male guardianship system or in the ban on women driving.

Saudi Arabia remains the only country in the world that forbids women to drive a car, a situation that has become symbolic of its discrimination against women.

On 11 June, Equality Now issued an alert calling on the Saudi government to lift the ban on women driving and asking for global support on the first anniversary of the “Women2Drive” campaign launched by Saudi activist Manal Al-Sharif.

On June17, women and men around the world are being asked to drive to Saudi embassies and consulates and honk their horns to protest against the driving ban on women.

In the TrustLaw survey, Canada was ranked the overall best G20 country for women, followed by Germany, Britain, Australia and France. The United States came sixth.

The TrustLaw survey asked respondents to rank the G20 countries in terms of the overall best and worst place to be a woman as well as in six categories: quality of health, freedom from violence, participation in politics, work place opportunities, access to resources such as education and property rights and freedom from trafficking and slavery. Survey respondents came from 63 nations on five continents.

http://www.trust.org/trustlaw/news/saudi-arabia-takes-tiny-steps-on-womens-rights

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Syria violence kills 72: rights group

 June 13, 2012

BEIRUT: At least 72 people, the majority of them civilians, were killed across Syria on Tuesday, a watchdog said, adding that a mother and her five children kidnapped earlier this week were also found dead.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the northern province of Aleppo had seen some of the worst violence as regime forces pounded several villages killing 19 people, including 13 women and children.

“The corpses of a woman and her five children kidnapped on Monday night were found in the village of Qustal Mukhtar” in Aleppo province, the Britain-based group said. It added that among Tuesday’s dead nationwide were 24 regime troops, including an officer.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/13/syria-violence-kills-72-rights-group/

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Syria conflict: Fighting erupts in Deraa

 June 13, 2012

Fresh fighting has erupted in various parts of Syria, activists say, with at least five people reported killed by government shelling in the south.

The violence comes despite both sides rejecting the characterisation of the conflict as civil war by a UN official.

The Syrian government insists it is fighting terror groups and rebels say they are defending a peaceful uprising.

Both sides have predicted a massacre at the western mountain town of Haffa, where rebel fighters are besieged.

On Wednesday activists said the rebels were withdrawing from villages around the town.

Meanwhile the Local Co-ordination Committees, a network of anti-government groups, said the latest violence included shelling in the town of Bosra el-sham near Deraa in the south.

They said at least five people had been killed there on Wednesday.

The LCC also reported shelling by government forces in the city of Rastan, near Homs, and heavy gunfire in Deir al-Zour in the east.

On Tuesday, activists said at least 60 people had been killed across the country.

Such claims cannot be verified independently as Syria severely restricts journalists' freedom of movement.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18421334

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UN observers 'blocked' from entering Syria's Al-Haffe

Jun 12, 2012

DAMASCUS: Pro-regime residents blocked UN observers from reaching Syria's Al-Haffe on Tuesday, as government forces shelled the town for an eighth day, sparking fears of an impending massacre there, monitors said.

"Residents of the pro-regime village of As-Sheer blocked the road and prevented the UN observer team from reaching Al-Haffe," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said people "lay down on the road blocking access to the vehicles of the observers," who then began looking for another route into to the town, in the northwestern province of Latakia.

A local activist told AFP via Skype that residents of As-Sheer, located on the road to Al-Haffe, threw stones at the UN vehicles forcing them to turn back.

"We asked the monitors to tell this to the media, but they said they did not want to," he added.

State television reported that the UN vehicles had run over three residents near Latakia who were trying to explain to the observers the suffering they were being subjected to by "armed terrorist groups."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/UN-observers-blocked-from-entering-

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Syria’s Sectarian Divide Takes Alarming Turn

By Ramzy Baroud

 12 June 2012

The conflict in Syria is giving way to a troubling phenomenon of hastily drawn sectarian lines throughout the Middle East. A perpetual and repugnant war is likely to replace the collective aspirations for equality, freedom and democracy that fuelled the non-violent uprising nearly 15 months ago.

Between May 25 and 26, 108 civilians were remorselessly butchered in the central town of Al-Houla. The majority of them were women and children. The massacre was not the first, and is unlikely to be the last in what has become a Syrian bloodbath with no end in sight. The nature of the dreaded battle is already being defined in sectarian terms. Even carefully-worded statements by UN chief Ban Ki-moon have acknowledged the worrying situation. “The massacres of the sort seen last weekend could plunge Syria into a catastrophic civil war, a civil war from which the country would never recover,” he warned at a forum in Istanbul.

“The Civil War has Begun”

Sectarian conflicts could divide Syria around new political borders.

While intellectuals and political analysts may contend with definitions of “civil war,” ordinary Syrians have no other option but to recognize the horrifying reality. “The civil war has begun,” a Syrian activist told BBC correspondent, Paul Wood, who is reporting undercover in Syria. “We will look back at this time, and say this was when it started,” the activist reportedly said.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/politics/middle-east/457544-syrias-sectarian-divide-takes-alarming-turn.html

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Why Obama faces a hopeless war in Syria

Paul McGeough

June 12, 2012

Here’s what’s going to happen in Syria – in the face of failing diplomacy, moral and emotional pressure will wear down Barack Obama’s reluctance to help the rebels. ”Sensible” doesn’t cut it when women and children are being murdered on YouTube.

First Obama will spirit guns and ammunition over the border. But the pressure will ratchet up and, ultimately, he’ll bomb the bejesus out of the presidential palace in Damascus. That’s how it worked in Libya.

And later on, as the rebel factions carve up the spoils of war in a country that will look more like Libya than Iraq, we’ll wonder what was it all about. That’s how it’s working in Libya.

This is not an argument to deny help for the rebels. But there has to be a reality check, an acknowledgement that war in Syria will be much worse than what’s happening now; and that after the war, those who intervene own its aftermath – an aspect of war that the US and its allies don’t do well. That’s how it worked in Iraq and is working in Afghanistan.

Obama made his Syrian bed when he first called for regime change and imposed sanctions on Damascus. All a president will ever hear after uttering those words is a chorus of: ”So, what are you going to do about it?”

Apart from a lot of hand-wringing, Washington has been supplying the rebels with what we are told is ”non-lethal assistance” and ”communications equipment”. Two massacres later – and doubtless, more to come – and the ”now, what are you going to do” chorus is more strident.

Full report at:

http://muslimvillage.com/2012/06/12/23945/why-obama-faces-a-hopeless-war-in-syria/

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Pakistan

 

Cleric says polio vaccination 'un-Islamic, warns of jihad against docs

Jun 13 2012

Islamabad: A cleric in Pakistan's Punjab province has warned that a jihad would be launched against polio vaccination teams at a time when the World Health Organisation has expressed concern at the emergence of new cases of the disease across the country.

Maulvi Ibrahim Chisti of Muzaffargarh district declared the anti-polio campaign as "un-Islamic" and announced at the local mosque that jihad (holy war) should be carried out against the polio vaccination team.

Chisti made the remarks after finding out that a vaccination team had entered Khan Pur Bagga Sher area of Muzaffargarh and asked families to cooperate with the campaign.

The cleric went to the largest mosque in the area and declared that polio drops were "poison" and against Islam, The Express Tribune reported.

He warned that if the vaccination team forced anyone to participate in the campaign, then jihad was "the only option".

As a result, the polio team returned to Muzaffargarh city without carrying out any immunisation and reported the matter to senior officials.

A police inquiry was ordered and a raid was conducted in the cleric's area.

However, Chisti escaped by the time the police arrived.

Residents said the cleric had tried to convince them that the polio campaign was a "Western conspiracy" to render the population impotent.

After the police raid, the vaccination team returned to the area to implement the immunisation campaign.

The WHO recently expressed concern over a spike in polio cases across Pakistan, particularly the country's restive north-western tribal region, where around 150,000 children have reportedly not been immunised.

According to cases recorded by the National Institute of Health, the total number of polio cases reported this year is at least 21.

Eight cases were detected in the Khyber tribal region. Polio cases have also been reported in areas like Rajanpur district of Punjab and Larkana district of Sindh that were free of the virus since 2004-05.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/961503/

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Pakistan should 'bite the bullet' in NATO routes row: Senior US official

Jun 12, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's civilian government should "bite the bullet" and re-open supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan in order to ease tensions with the United States, a senior US government official said on Tuesday.

The United States said on Monday it was withdrawing its team of negotiators from Pakistan without securing a long-sought deal on supply routes for the war in neighbouring Afghanistan, publicly exposing a diplomatic stalemate and deeply strained relations that appear at risk of deteriorating further.

"If the civilian government in Islamabad would bite the bullet and make the political decision to open the ground lines of communication, that would deflect some of the negativity right now," the official told Reuters.

"It wouldn't automatically turn things around, but that would be an important step."

Pakistan banned trucks from carrying supplies to the war effort in Afghanistan last year in protest against a cross-border Nato air attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, a measure US officials initially hoped would be short term.

Although the US official suggested Pakistan would have to take several steps to repair heavily damaged ties, he said the strategic allies could not afford a rupture.

"We have longer-term interests that we must keep in mind. The interests are nuclear, it is counterterrorism and it is also reconciliation in Afghanistan for a relatively peaceful and stable region," said the US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"So you know, the heightened sentiments in Washington will eventually have to come to a point where people say hold on, we have bigger interests here."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-should-bite-the-bullet-in-Nato-routes-row-US-official/articleshow/14064759.cms

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Punjab CM urges Ulema to play role for peace

June 12, 2012         

LAHORE – Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has called upon Ulema and Mashaikh to come forward and play their due role for peaceful society.

He was talking to a representative delegation of Ulema and Mashaikh led by Pir Aminul Hasnat Shah in his tent office at Minar-e-Pakistan on Monday.

The chief minister said ulema and mashaikh could also play a big role for the religious and intellectual training of the people as well as to help them attend to their responsibilities towards others for the sake of establishing an Islamic welfare society.

Shahbaz Sharif said that Ulema enjoy a prominent status in the society therefore they should spread the universal message of Islam in the light of Uswa-e-Hasna so that Pakistan could emerge as an Islamic role model for the world.

He said that besides provision of education, health and employment opportunities to the people in the light of Islamic principles of welfare state, the provincial government was also paying attention to the welfare and betterment of religious minorities and downtrodden segments of the society.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/lahore/12-Jun------------

 

Suicide attacks declining in Pakistan

Jun 12, 2012

A day after a toy bomb killed a mother and injured three children, Pakistan's northwest was again rocked by a suicide attack which failed to kill a pro-government local leader. These stories might be routine for Pakistan but analysis of causality data for past decade brings out a surprising fact - there is a steep decline in such incidents in the past few years.

According to the data collated by Pakistan Body Count, an organisation that maintains a 'news-report based database' of suicide and drone attacks carried out in the country, the number of incidents as well as causalities, have witnessed a steep decline compared to 2009 and 2010 - the peak years in terms of causalities. The incidents which failed to reach even double digits in the five years spanning between 2002- 2006 suddenly spiked to 57 in 2007. The bombings claimed over 800 lives in that year. They went unchecked for the next two years and reached a peak in 2009 when 90 suicide bombings claimed over thousand lives.

Although the number of incidents started declining in 2010 but the number of fatalities increased. In 2011 there were 44 blasts killing 625 people- nearly half of the 2009 figures. By March 2012, when the data was last updated, there were only 16 such blasts which took 119 lives.

Figures

Year   Total Blasts  Killed Injured

2002   2       27     91

2003   2       65     115

2004   8       82     399

2005   4       83     230

2006   9       161    230

2007   57     842    2008

2008   61     940    2426

2009   90     1090  3462

2010   58     1153  2954

2011   44     625    1386

2012   16     119    254

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Suicide-attacks-declining-in-Pakistan/articleshow/14065049.cms

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Pak Punjab CM stresses on checking substandard publication of holy Quran

 June 13, 2012

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif has said that steps should be taken for checking substandard publication of the holy Quran as well as taking action against the elements involved in its printing on poor-quality paper.

Addressing a meeting of Punjab Quran Board in his tent office at Minar-e-Pakistan on Tuesday, the CM said that besides upholding sanctity of the holy Quran and following its teachings, there was also a dire need to pay attention to its proper publication.

He said that the project of Quran Complex was of vital importance and delay in its execution would not be tolerated.

“The holy Quran teaches a complete code of life, encompassing each and every aspect. It is a beacon of light and not only a model society could be set up but an environment of love and brotherhood could also be created if the teachings of the holy Quran were followed in their proper context,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\13\story_13-6-2012_pg13_4

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PM Stresses more education spending in Muslim world

Sharafat Kazmi

  June 13, 2012

Islamabad—Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on Monday said that there was no need to send any reference against Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

In his brief talk with media after addressing the two day Vice Chancellors’ Forum on higher education in the Islamic world, the prime minister said that he can not make any comment on Arsalan Iftikhar case as the matter is subjudice.

The prime minister said that only a section of the press had been projecting the issue of sending a reference against the chief justice.

Earlier, addressing the forum the Prime Minister Gilani called upon the Muslim countries to invest greatly in the education sector particularly in the Science and Technology for the prosperous future of their peoples.

He pointed out that Muslims constitute one quarters of the world population and possess great resources but their share in the GDP is less than twelve percent.

Full report at:

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=159706

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Conference calls for legislative initiatives to address child labour

 June 13, 2012

LAHORE: The Society for Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) and civil society members called upon the federal and provincial governments to undertake effective legislative and administrative initiatives to address the growing menace of child labour in the country.

They were addressing a press conference held on Tuesday in connection with the World Day Against Child Labour.

Speaking on the occasion, SPARC Regional Manager Sajjad Cheema, Child Labour Programme Manager Rashid Aziz and SPARC VAC Officer Sobia John said that it had become common practice in Pakistan that minors are engaged in both light and hazardous tasks.

Recent estimates indicate that around 11 to 12 million children – half of them below the age of ten – were employed as child labourers across the country, they said, adding that this was a serious cause for concern as underage employment undermined a child’s physical and emotional development and the chances of his/her brighter future.

They said it was high time the authorities concerned undertook policy and administrative initiatives to curb child labour in the country. After the 18th Amendment in the constitution, child labour has become the legislative and administrative domain of the provincial governments, the speakers said, adding that the current government had already declared education as a fundamental right of every individual under Article 25-A of the Constitution of Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\13\story_13-6-2012_pg13_6

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Memogate: Pakistan probe panel nails ‘not loyal’ Haqqani

Jun 13, 2012

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani judicial commission has concluded that the country's former ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, was behind a mysterious memo that sought US help to stave off a feared coup and said he was "not loyal" to the country while serving as an envoy.

The Supreme Court-appointed commission's findings were made public as a nine-judge bench headed by chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry began examining the panel's report on Tuesday morning.

After the sealed report was presented to the bench, the CJ asked attorney general Irfan Qadir to read out its recommendations.

The report said Haqqani was "not loyal" to Pakistan while serving as the envoy in the US and had sought to undermine the security of the country's nuclear assets, the armed forces, the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Constitution.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Memogate-Pakistan-probe-panel-nails-not-loyal-Haqqani/articleshow/14075585.cms

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Scheduled caste Hindus demand relief, protection

 June 13, 2012

KARACHI: Lower caste or scheduled caste Hindus of Sindh have complained discrimination against them in relief and rehabilitation process after 2010 and 2011 floods, and urged the government to take immediate steps to uplift the status of two million scheduled castes.

They demanded protection to the lower caste communities in Sindh during the ensuing 2012 monsoon season.Addressing a joint press conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Tuesday office-bearers of the Upgrade Minorities for Integrated Development (UMID) Shanti Devi and Avinash Hari and Zulfiqar Shah of Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network said it is the responsibility of the state to provide basic rights to each citizen.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\13\story_13-6-2012_pg7_22

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Rehman Malik denies knowledge of Arsalan Iftikhar film

 June 13, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Interior Affairs, Rehman Malik has clarified that that he had no knowledge of any film pertaining to Arsalan Iftikhar, son of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, DawnNews reported.

The adviser to the prime minister on interior categorically denied the government’s knowledge of the film.

In a statement issued by Rehman Malik under oath, he said that neither he nor the federal interior ministry had any information on a film pertaining to Arsalan Iftikhar.

The former federal interior minister also said that the accusations hurled by certain television anchorpersons were unfounded and fabricated. He further directed for an appeal of Rs 3 billion to be filed against respective anchorpersons.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/13/rehman-malik-denies-knowledge-of-arsalan-iftikhar-film/

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UNESCO holds workshop for capacity building of govt institutions

 June 13, 2012

LAHORE: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), in partnership with Punjab government Department of Culture, organised a four-day training workshop for the capacity building of relevant government institutions to implement the 2003 convention of UNESCO for safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage.

The opening session of the training workshop was organised on Tuesday, where eminent experts of cultural heritage sites in Pakistan attended the session. The workshop focuses on understanding the 2003 convention, its implementation and how to benefit from the mechanism of international cooperation established by the convention.

UNESCO Director Dr Kozue Kay Nagata was the chief guest. She mentioned the Indus Valley and Gandhara civilisations and appreciated the deep-rooted history and cultural heritage of Paksitan. “Although the term intangible cultural heritage is relatively new, but the concept is as old as humanity. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity,” said Dr Nagata.

Punjab Government Culture and Information Secretary Mohyuddin Ahmad Wani appreciated the role of UNESCO to protect and safeguard the intangible culture and thanked Dr Kozue Kay Nagata for supporting and organising the workshop.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\13\story_13-6-2012_pg7_10

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‘Pak chief justice’s son ran judiciary like a don’

 June 13, 2012

A DAY after threatening to make public bomb- like evidence against the son of the Pakistan Chief Justice, an Islamabadbased real estate tycoon told the country’s supreme court on Tuesday that his relatives had paid a staggering 342.5 million rupees ( in local currency) to Arsalan Iftikhar, who he claimed was running the judiciary like a don.

The real estate tycoon at the centre of a corruption scandal involving Iftikhar Chaudhry’s son levelled several damning allegations against the judiciary, and said the top judge was aware of the scam for six months but took no action.

Malik Riaz Hussain, the founder of the Bahria Town real estate firm, alleged that the Chief Justice’s son, Arsalan, was running the judiciary like a don and vowed to make more revelations about the judiciary in the coming days.

In a statement submitted to the apex court, which had taken suo motu notice of media reports on improper links between the tycoon and Arsalan, Hussain accused him of blackmailing his relatives.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Departing Pak high commissioner rakes up Kashmir

By Saurabh Shukla

 June 13, 2012

SHAHID Malik, Pakistan’s longest- serving high commissioner to India whose tenure is set to end this week, has raked up the K- word again.

In a candid interview, Malik said Kashmir was still the core issue, and Islamabad hadn’t “ kept it aside or put it on the back- burner”. The resolution of the issue was imperative for peace between the two neighbours, he said.

But he refused to link India’s core issue of terrorism from across the border to the Kashmir issue. The envoy, who was in the middle of the blow- hot- blow- cold relationship between the two countries, said the high point of his stint was that the “ two countries are talking with a sense of purpose”. Calling the Samjhauta Express blast as the low point in his stint, the envoy said: “ Your NIA has investigated and found two individuals guilty. We want them to be brought to justice.” Malik, who spoke on the day the Indo- Pak defence secretaries’ talks on Siachen ended without a concrete outcome, said: “ You need to ask your side on Siachen. We were ready with a solution.” He ducked the controversy about Pakistan dilly- dallying on the issue of visa liberalisation agreement, which was due to be signed at the recent meeting of the home secretaries of the two countries in Islamabad.

“ On the visa agreement, there are certain procedural issues that need to be overcome,” Malik said in defence. The envoy denied that Pakistan was deliberately delaying the 26/ 11 trial and suggested an Indo- Pak cricket series be held “ as soon as possible”.

Mail Today

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Ghazal king Mehdi Hassan passes away in Karachi

June 13, 2012

Karachi: Legendary Pakistani ghazal singer Mehdi Hassan died today in a hospital in Karachi, his family sources confirmed.

Mehdi Hassan had been unwell for the past 12 years, but his condition deteriorated further. He was reportedly suffering from lung, chest and urinary tract ailments.

Mr Hassan came from a family of musicians who migrated from Rajastha to Pakistan after the Partition. He was best known for his ghazals, but also sang thumris and playback for Paksitani films.

He received a number of awards and honours, among them the Saigal Award in India.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/ghazal-king-mehdi-hassan-dies-in-karachi-230873

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India

 

A Mosque with English Sermons, Quran on iPads

Syed Mohammed

 Jun 13, 2012

HYDERABAD: In the city of Nizams that has metamorphosed into a bustling metropolis, this mosque was possibly in the making. Tucked away in a quiet corner of Banjara Hills, a mosque is playing the part of the Pied Piper for the English-speaking believers in the city, offering them an air-conditioned hall to offer namaz and delivering sermons in English even as the devout read the Quran from Islamic applications on their iPads.

The plush interiors of the centrally air conditioned mosque located on Road No. 8 Banjara Hills and with prayer carpets to sink one's feet in, the mosque is a hit with the affluent. Worshippers vouch for the mosque's comfortable ambience which they say is conducive to religious learning. They add that unlike the traditional mullah, the mosque offers lectures and sermons on topical subjects by professionals working with various firms who have a practical approach to religion. Further, a large number of foreign students throng the mosque during Ramzan as lectures are given in English. What clicks with the smart phone-wielding believers here is the contemporary tone of sermons and the practical approach to Islam.

Worshippers at the mosque said that understanding the Friday qutbah at other mosques across the city has become increasingly difficult as is delivered in chaste Urdu. Syed Zaheeruddin, a 28-year-old assistant manager in an MNC in Hi-Tec City said, "Everything the young Muslim does is in English. We were educated in school with English as the medium of instruction. We discharge our professional duties in English. And despite Urdu being our mother tongue, we speak to our children in English at home too. So, everything taught here sinks effortlessly."

The mosque witnesses around 400 worshippers every Friday out of which around 100 are women. Insiya Abdul Raheem, a 23-year-old psychology graduate said, "I am more conditioned to listening to English and understand it better than I understand Urdu. And since I have a thirst for understanding religion, it makes sense that I come to this mosque."

Officials say it was important they reinvented and thus started at the very first step of religious instruction - communication. They added that for Muslims to be able to discharge religious duties, it was important that they understood them first. Mirza Yawar Baig, an IIM-A graduate of 1985 batch and a management consultant serving as both as imam and khateeb of the mosque, said, "The principle of communication is the transmission of ideas and knowledge. English has become the language of the world and of education of the youth. Ironic as it may seem, it made perfect sense to disseminate knowledge of their own faith in the English language. It is important that I speak in a language that people understand since many understand English better than they understand their own mother tongue. The qutbah aims to help Muslims to understand their lives and current events in the context of the Quran, sunnah (teachings of the Prophet) and Islamic history. The purpose of the qutbah is defeated if people don't understand it."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/English-sermons-at-Hyderabad-mosque-a-big-draw/articleshow/14035561.cms

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Rare bilingual Persian and Telugu, inscription found at Qutb Shahi

J. S. IFTHEKHAR

June 13, 2012

The inscription on a pillar in Golconda Fort is in Persian and Telugu

A 16th century bilingual inscription discovered in the Golconda Fort here adds a new dimension to the Qutb Shahi history. It clearly establishes the close bond the Qutb Shahi kings had with their subjects and how they patronised the local language.

Bilingual inscriptions are uncommon and this one containing the Persian and Telugu script is considered a rare find. The Archaeological Survey of India, Hyderabad Circle, stumbled upon the miniature pillar bearing the bilingual inscription among a heap of stones near the camel stable in the fort. The stones had fallen from the fortification wall of the fort. “A chance find and a lucky one,” says R. Krishnaiah, superintending archaeologist, ASI.

Inscriptions engraved on both sides of the pillar are badly eroded and beyond decipherment. ASI authorities have sent a copy of the inscription to its epigraphy branch in Nagpur for interpretation. However, tentative analysis shows that the two-foot inscription belonged to the period of Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah, fourth king, who ruled during 1550-1580.

The script on the miniature pillar measuring 0.25 metre (thickness), 0.26 metre (width) and 0.68 metre (height) is found to match the style of inscription done by Vijayanagar emperors. At the top are embossed symbols of the sun and the moon, a customary practice in Telugu inscriptions.

“It is probably an administrative order issued on an important occasion for the benefit of people,” says Mr. Krishnaiah.

Ibrahim Qutb Shah patronised Telugu poets in his court in a break from tradition. He probably wanted to endear himself to the locals and issued official proclamations in Telugu. “There are poems to show how the locals praised the king as Ibharamdu,” says D. Kanna Babu, deputy superintending archaeologist, who found the inscription.

It is now erected near the office of conservator assistant for public viewing.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/article3520731.ece

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India, Pakistan fail to make breakthrough on Siachen

Jun 12, 2012

NEW DELHI: No ice has been broken on the forbidding glacial heights. With both India and Pakistan remaining steadfast on their respective positions, the two nations on Tuesday merely resolved to carry forward the dialogue in the hunt for the elusive solution to the military stand-off in the Siachen Glacier-Saltoro Ridge region.

"India and Pakistan reaffirmed their resolve to make serious, sustained and result-oriented efforts for seeking an amicable resolution of Siachen," said the anodyne joint statement, after the 13th round of the defence secretary-level talks at Rawalpindi.

While the "atmospherics were good and certain proposals were exchanged", in keeping with "the desire of the leaders of both countries for early resolution of all outstanding issues", the bottomline remained the same. "There was no breakthrough at all...the stalemate continues," said a source.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Pakistan-fail-to-make-breakthrough-on-Siachen/articleshow/14068330.cms

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Supreme Court rejects Centre's plea for 4.5% sub-quota for Muslims

Jun 13, 2012

NEW DELHI: In a setback for the Union government, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay Andhra Pradesh high court order quashing 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities in central educational institutions, including in IITs this year.

The SC said the government's decision to implement 4.5% sub quota from January this year did not prima facie appear to be supported by constitutional provisions.

"We are not inclined to grant stay," a bench comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar said while issuing notices to the petitioner on whose PIL the high court had quashed the 4.5 percent sub-quota for minorities.

It further said that the December 22, 2011 office memorandum on the issue of sub-quota did not have the legislative support.

The apex court said, unlike the 27% reservation to OBCs in central educational institutions, the carving of 4.5% sub-quota is not supported by even a law.

The SC said it appears that the carving out of 4.5% sub-quota was purely based on religious considerations.

With today's apex court decision, the OBC students will get an additional 443 seats in IITs, which were kept aside for Muslims under 4.5% sub-quota.

Wednesday is the last of counselling for IIT admissions and the government ended up disappointed being not able to push through the sub-quota in IITs.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Supreme-Court-rejects-Centres-plea-for-4-5-sub-quota-for-Muslims/articleshow/14085647.cms

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Patriotism is indeed the last refuge of a scoundrel

 June 13, 2012

WHEN terror- accused Qateel Siddiqui was killed by Sharad Mohol, a local gangster from Pune, there were reports in a section of the press that he was killed at the behest of gangster Chhota Rajan who is projecting himself as a ‘ patriotic don'. The Maharashtra ATS, which brought him from the custody of the Delhi police, has denied it. But it is true that gangsters have in the past bumped off people and said that they were doing it as part of their ' patriotic duty'. Supposedly, the reason behind this is that the gangsters want to endear themselves to Indian intelligence agencies like RAW and IB. Men like Rajan, Santosh Shetty, Bharat Nepali, Ravi Pujari are gangsters plain and simple. Their only loyalty is to money.

The agencies should read a letter written by Rajan to a Mumbai tabloid about two decades back on how there is no communal segregation in gangs and that gangsters don't have a religion. The letter was in response to Bal Thackeray's claim that India needed a Hindu Don. Rajan has probably forgotten what he wrote, but India, that has a history of Frankenstein monsters turning against it, cannot afford to forget.

Mail Today

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South Asia

 

Islamophobia and the fear of 'the other' in Myanmar

11 Jun 2012

Francis Wade

Francis Wade is a freelance journalist based in northern Thailand. He has been covering Myanmar for more than two years and keeps a firm eye on the pendulum that is Southeast Asian politics and the people and the powers that keep that region lurching from side to side.

Racial tensions are coming to a head in Myanmar between the Buddhist majority and the Muslim Rohingya minority.

Chiang Mai, Thailand - The mob that set upon and killed a group of Muslims riding a bus through western Myanmar on June 3 displayed a depravity normally the hallmark of the country's military. News reports that emerged in the wake of the incident, allegedly in response to the gang rape and murder of a Buddhist girl by three Muslim men days before, described the ten victims of a frenzied beating being urinated upon before the bus was set ablaze.

Comments that circulated the internet in the wake of the massacre were almost as shocking. "Killing Kalars is good!" one person said, using the pejorative slur that has become a popular and casual way of referring to Muslims of South Asian decent (one that state media also regularly employs). It mattered little that the men accused of the rape had already been arrested.

The attack was a rare incident; the reactions suggest however that heightened levels of resentment towards the presence of Muslims in Myanmar society exist on a much wider scale. This animosity is shared by senior figures in the government - current representative to the UN, Ye Myint Aung, once described the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Arakan state who are singled out for particularly savage treatment, as "ugly as ogres", while since 1982 the government has denied them citizenship, claiming they are "illegal Bengali immigrants". Persecution of the group has been so protracted and debased that Medicins San Frontieres describes them as being among the world minority groups "most in danger of extinction".

While Myanmar's myriad ethnic groups have all suffered egregious treatment at the hands of the military government, which has sought to bring the country "under one flag", the fear of Muslims is a particular one. On the website of The Voice journal, which issued an apology after being bombarded with threats following its coverage of the massacre, one visitor wrote: "We should either kill all the Kalars in Burma or banish them otherwise Buddhism will cease to exist".

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/06/2012610134755390151.html

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Karzai calls Airstrikes “illegitimate use of force”

By SANGAR RAHIMI and ALISSA J. RUBIN

 June 13, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan — President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan issued an impassioned call for the end of international airstrikes in his country on Tuesday, branding them as an “illegitimate use of force” and saying that the need to protect civilian life demanded a complete halt to those operations, even in cases when troops are under attack.

Hours later, the allied commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John R. Allen, reiterated significant changes to rules concerning the use of airstrikes announced earlier this week, issuing a statement in which he said he had given the order that “no aerial munitions be delivered against civilian dwellings.” But he added the caveat that the strikes would be permitted as an absolute last resort in self-defence “if no other options are available.”

The issue of airstrikes and civilian casualties is again figuring into tensions between the Americans and Afghans after an allied strike in Logar Province this month killed 18 people, including 9 children. A meeting of officials from both countries over the weekend led to the announcement of new restrictions on the use of allied airpower.

But Mr. Karzai went further still on Tuesday, insisting that as far as his government was concerned, “an agreement has been reached clearly with NATO that no bombardment of civilian homes is allowed for any reason.” Mr. Karzai spoke in response to a question at a news conference, adding that coalition forces could not use airstrikes “even when they are under attack.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/13/world/asia/afghan-president-karzai-calls-for-an-end-

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Bangladesh guards against another influx of Rohingya Muslims

 12 JUNE 2012

Bangladesh’s frontier troops and coastguards are preventing hundreds of Rohingya Muslims from seeking refuge in the country after ethnic violence in Myanmar’s border State of Rakhine forced them  to flee.

Bangladesh said it was “saddened” by the casualties in the sectarian violence in neighbouring Myanmar where five days of strife between Buddhists and Muslims has claimed 25 lives.

However, as many as 500 hapless refugees have been turned back despite an appeal by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to accept the Myanmarese nationals  who are seeking refuge  in the country.

“The Government of Bangladesh has followed recent developments in the neighbouring Rakhine state of Myanmar and is particularly saddened by the loss of lives and property resulting from the ongoing incidence of violence,” a foreign office statement said here today.

It, however, appreciated the steps taken by Myanmar in containing  the unrest and reaffirmed Dhaka’s “commitment to stand by the government and people of Myanmar in their efforts to restore peace and stability  in Rakhine”.

Full report at:

http://dailypioneer.com/world/72594-bangladesh-guards-against-another-influx-of-rohingya-muslims.html

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Five children a day victims of Afghan war: UN

 June 13, 2012

KABUL: Child casualties in the conflict in Afghanistan rose by more than a quarter last year, the UN said Wednesday, with an average of nearly five youngsters killed or injured every day in 2011.

A UN report on children in armed conflict said a total of 1,756 children were killed or injured in the war in Afghanistan in 2011, an average of 4.8 a day, compared with 1,396 in 2010.

The UN children’s agency UNICEF said more than 300 under-18s were reportedly recruited to fight in Afghanistan, where Taliban militants are waging an increasingly bloody insurgency against the government and its Western backers.

“The death or maiming of a single child is a tragedy. This level of avoidable suffering of children, as is presented in the Secretary General’s report, is simply unacceptable,” said UNICEF Afghanistan Deputy Representative, Vidhya Ganesh.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/13/five-children-a-day-victims-of-afghan-war-un/

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Afghan drug trafficker linked to Taliban jailed in US

Jun 13, 2012

WASHINGTON: A US judge sentenced an Afghan man to life in prison Tuesday for trafficking heroin to more than 20 countries and using the proceeds to fund and arm the Taliban.

Haji Bagcho was convicted in March after a probe found he led a large-scale drug production and distribution ring and funnelled cash, weapons and other supplies to the former Taliban governor of Afghanistan's Nangarhar province and two Taliban commanders, according to the US Justice department.

"Today's life sentence is an appropriate punishment for one of the most notorious heroin traffickers in the world," Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said.

In addition to handing down the sentence, US district judge Ellen Huvelle for the District of Columbia also ordered Bagcho to forfeit both $254.2 million in drug proceeds and his property in Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Afghan-drug-trafficker-linked-to-Taliban-jailed-in-US/articleshow/14072948.cms

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NATO chief vows not to abandon Afghanistan

Jun 13, 2012

SYDNEY: NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen Wednesday vowed not to abandon Afghanistan as foreign nations plan to transition forces out of the country after a decade of conflict.

"We will not abandon Afghanistan, we will not leave behind a security vacuum," he told a National Press Club lunch in Canberra.

NATO plans to withdraw its 130,000 troops by the end of 2014, and Rasmussen said there would also be a likely political transition as Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to step down at the next election, due the same year.

"Yes, we would expect President Karzai to abide by the Afghan constitution which... doesn't allow him to run again for president," he said.

Secretary General Rasmussen said the international community had a "common interest in and a common responsibility" to see the decade-long intervention in Afghanistan through to a successful end.

He said he understood impatience regarding the conflict in which foreign troops have been helping Afghans fight an insurgency by hardline Taliban militants, saying people "want to see the light at the end of the tunnel".

"People want to see progress, so do I," he said, adding that foreign forces had deployed to Afghanistan to prevent the country from once again becoming a safe haven for terrorists from which to launch attacks.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/NATO-chief-vows-not-to-abandon-Afghanistan/articleshow/14084483.cms

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Southeast Asia

 

Convicted Banker Returns to Indonesia From US

 June 13, 2012

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Officials say a former Indonesian banker convicted of a more than $260 million fraud has been extradited from the U.S. to her home country and will begin serving a 20-year prison sentence.

A Jakarta district court sentenced Sherny Konjongian Saroha in absentia in 2002 for misusing bank funds that cost Indonesia more than $260 million. The former director for now-defunct Bank Harapan Sentosa, immigrated to the U.S. in 1999 and settled in California.

The American Embassy in Jakarta said in a statement Wednesday that Saroha was taken into custody in 2010 for failing to be truthful about her employment and arrest history on her permanent residence applications.

Adi Toegarisman of the Attorney General Office said that Saroha arrived in Jakarta early Wednesday.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/06/13/world/asia/ap-as-indonesia-graft-fugitive.html?ref=global-home&gwh=384307DD062638695E3F031B60B9BB2B

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Mideast Asia

 

Iran to be given 'clear path' to end nuclear impasse: Hillary Clinton

Jun 13, 2012

WASHINGTON: World powers will outline to Iran a "very clear path" to resolve the impasse over its suspect nuclear program at talks in Moscow next week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today.

"There is a unified position being presented by the P5+1 that gives Iran, if it is interested in taking a diplomatic way out, a very clear path that would be verifiable and would be linked to action for action," Clinton told a US think-tank.

"I am quite certain that they are under tremendous pressure from the Russians and the Chinese to come to Moscow prepared to respond. Now whether that response is adequate or not we will have to judge," she added.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator today confirmed an agreement had been struck with the EU official representing world powers negotiating with Tehran on the content of upcoming talks in Moscow.

Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton had a telephone conversation late on Monday, Jalili's office said in a statement reported by Iranian state media.

Ashton had met senior officials from the so-called P5+1 group -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany on Monday -- to prepare for the talks in Moscow on Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Iran-to-be-given-clear-path-to-end-nuclear-

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Iran starts building N-submarine

Jun 13, 2012

DUBAI: Iran on Tuesday claimed it had begun work on designing the country's first nuclear-powered submarine, a technology possessed by a select group of nations.

Senior Iranian naval commander, Rear Admiral Abbas Zamini, said the country was at an "initial" phase of manufacturing atomic submarines.

The Admiral claimed that the country had made "astonishing progress" in developing and acquiring civilian nuclear technology for various powergeneration, agricultural and medical purposes, and said such advancements allow Iran to think of manufacturing nuclear-fueled submarines.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-starts-building-N-submarine/articleshow/14075285.cms

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Yemen retakes bastions of al-Qaeda

 June 13, 2012

The Yemeni army seized the al-Qaeda strongholds of Jaar and Zinjibar on Tuesday, officials said, more than a year after the jihadists captured most of Abyan province.

In the first major victories of a month-long offensive, troops backed by armoured vehicles entered the town of Jaar after al-Qaeda gunmen withdrew during the night.

Hours later, they took control of the provincial capital Zinjibar, officials and witnesses said.

Al-Qaeda militants had overrun most of the southern province early last year, taking advantage of the weakening of the central government by Arab Spring-inspired protests in the major cities.

“With the cooperation of the citizens of Abyan... the heroes of the armed forces and the popular resistance committees have taken full control of the city of Jaar,” said the Defence Ministry, quoting southern military commander Salem Ali Qoton.

“Al-Qaeda has suffered heavy losses... and dozens of militants have fled,” said Qoton, adding that thse army had reopened the main road linking Abyan with the southern port city of Aden.

The army then took control of Zinjibar, 12 km to the southeast, another senior officer said. “Zinjibar in total has fallen,” said General Mohammed al-Somali.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3520868.ece

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'US drone strike' against Qaida in Yemen kills 9: Source

Jun 13, 2012

ADEN: A US drone strike on Wednesday on a house and car in Yemen's restive southeastern Shabwa province killed nine people, believed to be al-Qaida militants, a tribal source said.

"A US drone struck a house where al-Qaida militants were meeting, and a car nearby," in the town of Azzan in Shabwa province early in the morning, a tribal source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He said "nine people were killed in the explosions."

A local medic confirmed the toll.

Several hundred al-Qaida militants are believed to have fled to Azzan in the hours before two al-Qaida strongholds in Yemen's southern Abyan province, Jaar and Zinjibar, were recaptured by the army Tuesday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/US-drone-strike-against-Qaida-in-Yemen-kills-9-Source/articleshow/14087535.cms

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Gaza footballer who dared to dream languishes in Israel prison

 June 13, 2012

RAFAH: In 2009, Mahmud Sarsak set out from Gaza to sign on with a West Bank football team, but what he thought was the start of a dream career quickly spiralled into a nightmare.

Three years later, the young athlete is lying in a bed in an Israeli prison clinic after spending more than 80 days without eating in protest at his being held without charge.

With his case drawing more and more attention, the Israel Prison Authority on Monday told AFP that Sarsak had ended his strike.

But the Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners’ Club denied the claim, as did his family, although his lawyer Mohammed Jabarin admitted Sarsak was “drinking milk” in a move which he said did not amount to breaking the strike.

Sarsak, 25, was born in Gaza and dreamed of becoming a professional footballer. As a teenager, he played several times for the Palestinian national team in Europe and the Middle East, attracting favourable attention from coaches.

So when he set out for the West Bank on July 22, 2009, he felt he had a promising career ahead of him.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/12/gaza-footballer-who-dared-to-dream-languishes-in-israel-prison/

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International Science Groups Appeal to Iran for Release of Optics Student

June 12, 2012

The sentencing in Iran of SPIE member Omid Kokabee to 10 years in prison has led to a second letter from a coalition of optics organizations on his behalf.

Bellingham, Washington (PRWEB) June 12, 2012

Iran's sentencing of SPIE member Omid Kokabee to 10 years in prison has led to a second letter from a coalition of optics organizations on his behalf.

Signing the 7 June letter were presidents of the International Commission for Optics, the European Optical Society, the Optical Society (OSA), and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

The letter was addressed to Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in care of the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazaee.

"The international optics community is particularly concerned with the threat to scientific freedom and academic research that Mr. Kokabee's trial and imprisonment represent," the letter says. It raises concerns that Kokabee's imprisonment "may lead to the exclusion of Iranian researchers from international collaboration."

Kokabee, an Iranian graduate student who has been imprisoned in Tehran since February 2011, was sentenced on 13 May for allegedly conspiring with foreign countries against Iran. He had been charged with communicating with a hostile government and receiving illegal earnings.

Full report at:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-

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North America

 

US Holding 'Hundreds' of Meetings with Jihad-Linked Group

By Rachel Hirshfeld

 6/10/2012

President Barack Obama’s deputies are holding “hundreds” of closed-door meetings with a jihad-linked lobbying group that is widely derided by critics as a U.S. arm of the theocratic Muslim Brotherhood, The Daily Caller reported.

George Selim, the White House’s new director for community partnerships, which was formed in January to ensure cooperation by law enforcement and social service agencies with Muslim identity groups in the United States, admitted that the U.S. is, in fact, holding meetings with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

CAIR has a long history of anti-Israel rhetoric, accusing the Jewish state of perpetrating genocide and of being a terrorist state.

CAIR's Florida chapter operates a website titled “Calling Islam,” which features several articles by Harun Yahya, an anti-Semitic Turkish writer who denounces Zionism as a fascist movement akin to Nazism, as well as "a racist and colonialist ideology" that is based on "Social Darwinism,” according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

“There is hundreds of examples of departments and agencies that meet with CAIR on a range of issues,” Selim told The Daily Caller.

Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Steven Emerson, asserted that CAIR is “the group with the worst record of deception and the deepest ties to terrorists.”

Author Robert Spencer added that CAIR, is “the political front of a radically repressive, Jew-hating, woman-hating organization.”

The House of Representatives last month prodded the Department of Justice to end all contacts with CAIR.

“The [appropriations] committee understands that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has an existing policy prohibiting its employees from engaging in any formal non-investigative cooperation with CAIR [and] the committee encourages the attorney general to adopt a similar policy for all department officials,” said the committee report accompanying the 2013 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill, passed in mid-May by the House.

While Selim admitted to the ties, he refrained to explain further. According to The Daily Caller, he walked away, but returned to insist that the reporter refrain from recording his comments. 

CAIR is especially controversial because of its many links to the theocratic Muslim Brotherhood ND In 2009, a judge confirmed the Justice Department’s decision to name CAIR as an unindicted conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation conspiracy to smuggle funds the terrorist group Hamas.

In January, Executive Director of CAIR’s Michigan chapter, Dawud Walid, highlighted the extreme anti-Semitic views of CAIR when he posted a message on Twitter approving the execution of 800 Jewish captives in 627, almost 1,400 years ago, by jihadis in the army created by the Prophet Muhammad.

The murders took place in the Saudi city of Medina. Walid claimed that the killings were proper because the Jewish community broke a deal with Muhammad.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/156722#.T9g25BfrqTk

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Canadian Muslims Feed Needy

11 June 2012

EDMONTON – In an effort to break stereotypes about Islam, dozens of Canadian Muslims in the western city of Edmonton have volunteered to prepare free meals for the city’s poor residents.

“It’s a human obligation,” Ahmed Ali, one of the volunteers, told CBC News.

“We all might succumb to this type of situation, so it’s good to give back.”

Dozens of Muslim volunteers gathered at the Hope Mission on Sunday, June 10, to prepare meals for the needy people in Edmonton.

For the whole day, they managed to prepare and hand out 800 roast beef dinners.

The meal has been a tradition in Edmonton for a decade.

Some of the Muslim volunteers saw the event as a way to repay their community which helped them one day.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/457517-canadian-muslims-feed-needy.html

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US: Russia sending Syria attack helicopters

 June 13, 2012

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration said Tuesday that Russia is sending attack helicopters to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and warned that the Arab country’s 15-month conflict could become even deadlier. 

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the US was “concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on the way from Russia to Syria.”

She said the shipment “will escalate the conflict quite dramatically.”

Clinton’s comments at a public appearance with Israeli President Shimon Peres augured poorly for a peaceful solution to Syria’s conflict.

Officials from around the world are warning that the violence risks becoming an all-out civil war, with Middle East power brokers from Iran to Turkey possibly being drawn into the fighting.

Diplomatic hopes have rested on Washington and Moscow agreeing on a transition plan that would end the four-decade Assad regime.

But Moscow has consistently rejected the use of outside forces to end the conflict or any international plan to force regime change in Damascus. Despite withering criticism from the West, it insists that any arms it supplies to Syria are not being used to quell anti-government dissent.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/13/us-russia-sending-syria-attack-helicopters/

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US forces to deploy pint-sized drones soon

 Jun 13 2012

Washington : US forces are poised to deploy pint-sized drones, small enough to fit into soldier's rucksack, but packed with tiny explosive warheads enough to blast targets with pinpoint accuracy.

The new drones christened 'Switchblade' weighs less than six pounds and take out a sniper on a rooftop without blasting the building and Pentagon has given the go ahead for deployment of these mini killer machines, Los Angeles Times reported quoting Pentagon officials.

The deployment of Switchblades has been made a top priority by Pentagon as Washington is seeking to reduce civilian casualties and collateral damage in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other battle zones.

About a dozen Switchblades were tested last year by special operations units in Afghanistan, according to army officials who said the drones proved effective.

LA Times quoted officials saying that the US army is considering buying USD 100 million worth of these mini drones under a programme called Lethal Miniature Areal Munition System. The Air force and the Marine Corps have also expressed interest in the technology.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/961508/

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Africa

 

Tunisia’s ousted president gets 20 years for incitement to murder

 June 13, 2012

TUNIS: A military court in Tunisia sentenced ousted president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali to 20 years imprisonment in absentia Wednesday on various charges including incitement to murder, the TAP news agency reported.

Ben Ali, who is exiled in Saudi Arabia, was found guilty of “inciting disorder, murder and looting,” the court said in its verdict over the deaths of four youths, shot dead in the town of Ouardaninein mid-January 2011.

Four protestors were shot dead in the eastern coastal town as they tried to prevent the flight of Ben Ali’s nephew Kais, a day after the strongman himself flew out of the country on January 14.

The victims’ relatives have accused the security apparatus of ordering police to open fire on the crowd.

The court also slapped prison sentences of five to 10 years, some in absentia, on several members of the security forces over the same incident.

A military prosecutor is also seeking the death penalty against the former dictator over a similar incident which saw at least 22 people killed in pro-democracy protests in the towns of Thala and Kasserine.

The weeks of protests that started in December 2010 toppled one of the most entrenched autocratic regimes in the Arab world and led to democratic elections in October that saw a moderate Islamist party rise to power.

The strongman’s ouster toppled the first domino in the wave of protests which became known as the Arab Spring and is still sweeping the region.

Ben Ali faces countless trials and has already been sentenced to more than 66 years in prison on a range of other charges including drug trafficking and embezzlement.

He and his wife are the subject of an international arrest warrant, but Saudi authorities have not responded to Tunisian extradition requests.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/13/tunisias-ben-ali-gets-20-years-for-incitement-to-murder/

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Tunisia: Salafist Muslims Riot over Art Exhibit

 June 13, 2012

Thousands of ultraconservative Salafist Muslims, angered by an art exhibition they say insults Islam, rampaged through parts of Tunis, above, and other cities on Tuesday, posing one of the biggest threats yet to Tunisia’s democratic transition and leading the government to impose a night-time curfew on the capital and seven other areas. Protesters hurled rocks and gasoline bombs at police stations, a courthouse and the offices of secular parties in some of the country’s worst clashes since a revolt ousted President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali last year. The Interior Ministry said 162 people had been detained and 65 members of the security forces had been wounded trying to quell the riots. The clashes began after an art exhibit in an upscale suburb provoked an outcry. The work that appears to have caused the most fury spelled out the name of God using insects.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/13/world/africa/tunisia-conservative-islamists-riot-over-art-exhibit.html?ref=africa&gwh=ADB2BA1A85A0EB15F90F9667ECB7F94E&pagewanted=print

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Somalis Eye Olympics for Pride

11 June 2012

MOGADISHU – Training in a bullet-riddled stadium and at the risk of being killed, Somali athletes are vying to join the London Olympics with a dream of creating a new image for their homeland after decades of violence and anarchy.

"I would not be going there to win, but for pride," Zamzam Mohamud Farah told Reuters.

"I would be representing my flag, my soil and its people."

Farah is one of four Somali athletes vying for two slots guaranteed for Somalia at the London games.

She puts her personal best at around 58 seconds in the 400 meters.

The Women's world record stands at 47.60, a gaping difference that leaves her unlikely to contest a podium finish.

Like many of her fellows, she trains in almost dilapidated conditions in a country rocked by more than two decades of violence and anarchy.

"Our facilities are poor,” Somali Olympic hopeful Mohamed Hassan Mohamed said.

Mohamed and his fellow athletes are training in the bullet-riddled Konis stadium in Mogadishu.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/africa/457528-somalis-eye-olympics-for-pride.html

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Europe

 

Muslim Council of Britain reserves 20% seats for women

 11 June 2012

London: The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has re-elected its key officials for another two-year term, at its annual general meeting held in London yesterday. National and zonal representatives were also elected.

Farooq Murad, the returning Secretary General, was joined by Dr Shuja Shafi, also re-elected as Deputy Secretary General, and Harun Khan as Treasurer once more.

The several hundred delegates at the London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel also decided to impose a minimum 20% quota for women on the MCB's key decision-making body, its Central Working Committee (CWC).

Speaking to the packed assembly, Murad said: "Looking ahead, I see before us many opportunities to grow as a confident and emerging Muslim community, and for the MCB as an organisation working on behalf of that community."

Full report at:

http://twocircles.net/2012jun11/muslim_council_britain_reserves_20_seats_women.html

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London Mosques Host Olympics Iftar

12 June 2012

LONDON – As preparations are in full swing for next month’s Olympic Games in London, mosques in the British capital are getting ready to host iftar for thousands of athletes and visitors during the tournament, which coincides with the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

“The fact that you will never have a Ramadan, and Olympics, in London, at the same time, ever again,” British hockey star Darren Cheesman, a Muslim convert, told ABS-CBN news on Tuesday, June 12.

“It's a great way to use something that the whole country is going to be focused on, and saying: 'Hold on, there's another big event going on this month – Ramadan.”

Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, is expected to start on July 20 through August.

It will coincide with the London Olympics, which is scheduled to start on July 27 to August 12.

The iftar program, organized by London's Islamic Cultural Center and London mosques, features hosting thousands of athletes and visitors who will flood the British capital for the sporting event.

Participating mosques will serve Iftars to break the fast to visitors, welcome athletes to their premises and celebrate the event with non-Muslims.

“There's a load of Muslims in this country who are all there and let's use it as a chance to open our doors and build community links and start to show each other what we are really about,” Cheesman said.

Haafizah Ahmed, another scout, was yearning to the experience of fasting Ramadan during the Olympics.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/457531-london-mosques-host-olympics-iftar.html

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Norwegian far right says Breivik correct to fear Muslims

By Balazs Koranyi, Reuters

5 JUNE 2012

(Reuters) – Norwegian far-right leaders told the court trying Anders Behring Breivik on Tuesday the mass killer was right to fear his nation’s “planned annihilation” by Muslims, even if his method of combating it was wrong.

Breivik killed 77 people on July 22, first detonating a car bomb outside government headquarters and killing eight, then gunning down 69 people, mostly teenagers, at the ruling Labour Party’s summer camp on Utoeya Island.

He argued his victims deserved to die because they supported Muslim immigration, which he said is adulterating pure Norwegian blood.

“The constitution has been cancelled, we’re at war now,” Tore Tvedt, the founder of far-right group Vigrid told the court.

Tvedt, 69, with greying hair and moustache, addressed the court in a firm voice.

“When they get their will, the Nordic race will be exterminated,” he said of Muslim immigration.

Full report at:

http://www.islamophobiatoday.com/2012/06/05/norwegian-far-right-says-breivik-correct-to-fear-muslims/

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Diary of a Badman: 'I'm not a model Muslim, but I make people think'

Omar Shahid

 10 June 2012

The comedy video series has made its creator an internet sensation. But not everyone is laughing

Humza Arshad is an unlikely internet star: a self-styled "troubled young man with the mentality of a seven-year-old", whose webcam monologues and sketches touch on issues from arranged marriage, to his aunty's moustache and his contempt for dhal. But his Diary of a Bad Man series, launched late in 2010, has become a worldwide hit, attracting 35 million views to his YouTube channel.

Diary of a Bad Man is a satirical take on British Asian culture, with a twist: the videos all end with a moral message. If there's anyone that deserves your "patience, kindness and respect", he says, "that one person is your mum". Indeed, Arshad's most popular clip features a rap battle between him and his mother (who wears a niqab), in which he raps: "If you wore a cape, you would look like Batman!" Other clips show him mocking his father's vanity when describing how he met his wife in Pakistan, and joking with a devout friend whom he calls Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/shortcuts/2012/jun/10/diary-of-a-badman

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/iraq-attacks-kill-63-during-shiite-saint-commemoration/d/7611

 

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