New Age Islam
Thu Aug 13 2020, 10:42 PM

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

Islamic Scholar Condemns Gay Marriage as End Time of the Earth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

British University Mulls Alcohol Ban for Muslim Students

Muslim-Canadian student’s artwork sparks controversy over portrayal of Muslim dress

Germany Vows to Monitor Group's Quran Distribution

 ‘Baby factory’ out busted in Nigeria

Film “After the Storm” takes on dark side of war against terror

‘Over 181,000 have fled recent NW Pakistan fighting’: UN Refugee Agency

Shah Rukh Khan's detention: US apologises, India talks tough

New Delhi: Shahi Imam gives in, son-in-law to fight Legislative Council polls

Pakistan: Speaking out against forcible conversion

Riyadh chamber set to have businesswomen as members

Fighters want to try Qaddafi son - Libyan lawyer

Gunmen Kill Seven Shiite Pilgrims in Iraq Ambushes

'Hafiz Saeed's free movement encourages terror': Indian Foreign Secretary

Balochistan governor fears civil war in province

Around 112,000 voters fraudulently registered in Balochistan

Syrians not allowed visiting for Umrah

Four on Trial in Denmark over Mohammad Cartoons Plot

Iraq to aid Libya in destroying chemical weapons

Pakistan Gives U.S. a List of Demands, Including an End to C.I.A. Drone Strikes

Skirmish on Second Day of Fragile Syria Truce

Islamists Rally in Cairo against Mubarak Old Guard

Syrian troops kill protester as thousands march: monitors

Suicide bomber kills five in northern Afghanistan

Four gunned down in Karachi

Outcry over killing of a Bangladeshi labour leader

Pakistan: Three more Hazaras shot dead in Quetta

15 terrorists killed in Kurram

Pakistani students applying for UK visa will face compulsory interview

Whenever at a loss grin like Zardari

Asif Ali Zardari orders 'every possible step' to bring back Khalil Chisti

Pakistani parliament approves proposals on US ties

Over 100 female robbers active in Karachi

US prosecutors seek 15-year sentence for Pak man aiding LeT

MQM Prominent Leader Imran Farooq murder probe so far unsuccessful

Iran officials arrive in Istanbul for nuclear talks

Syria army, rebels in first clashes since truce: NGO

Malawi's New President Takes Charge With Energy

Election Is a New Start for an Aide to Mubarak

Lawmaker presses Pentagon chief on US-Afghanistan pact

US woman charged in Rwanda genocide case freed from prison

Wraps come off special Afghan operations war plan

70,000 newborns in Nigeria are HIV positive

UN’s Ban says onus on Syria to match words and deeds

Iraq Kurdish donkey-themed party unveils statue

Albanian man pleads guilty in US to terror charge

India to allow FDI from Pakistan: Commerce and Industry Minister

India, Pakistan close to new visa agreement

Jalna police arrest Muslim youths who married “major” Hindu girls

Kashmiri farmer invents 'singing lantern'

Rage in Kerala’s Cong over fifth berth to Muslim League

Shehla murder: accused points finger at BJP MLA

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: London Metropolitan University mulls alcohol ban for 'conservative Muslims

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/islamic-scholar-condemns-gay-marriage-as-end-time-of-the-earth/d/7052

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Islamic Scholar Condemns Gay Marriage as End Time of the Earth

13 April 2012

AN Islamic scholar,(Alhaji) Abideen Olaiya, has condemned the proposed gay marriage in the country, saying that it is Un Islamic,  satanic, evil and ungodly act which shows the end time of the earth.

Olaiya who was a guest lecturer at the Walimot Nikah between Sister Nafisat Opeyemi Abdul-Rasaq and Barrister Qasim Hussain Odedeji, the Amir, Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Osogbo branch, Osun State, made this known while delivering his lecture entitled "Challenges of Marriage In our society.”

He maintained that it was the right of men and women to marry each other Islamically on this planet, stressing that it was legal and right in Islam  for a man with necessary powers to marry more than one wife.

According to him, only men endowed by Allah with sexual, intelligent and financial power were allowed by Islam to marry more than one wife, urging the Muslim men with the enumerated powers to marry more than one wife.

He added that people misconceived the egalitarian in marriage in Islam with only capacity to finance the home, as way to scare them from marry more than one wife.

“One man, one wife is not applicable in Islam because it is choice from God that man should marry more than one wife.

“Today, God has destined that in our society, women would be more than men and prediction of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that when it is end time, women would not want to wear cloth again in order to entice men to become their husband at all cost, “he said.

Olaiya who frowned at the Muslim men that engaged in uncontrollable and illegal sexual intercourse with women, urged Muslims to have fear of Allah in their sexual affairs.

The university don described the new couple as true Muslim and noted that  Islam forbids mature man and woman not to marry in their life, praying for the couple to have successful marital life bless with God children.

http://tribune.com.ng/index.php/islamic-news/39187-islamic-scholar-condemns-gay-marriage-in-nigeria

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British university mulls alcohol ban for Muslim students

 Apr 13 2012

A London University may become the first in the country to ban alcohol from part of its campus to attract more Muslim students, its VC has said. London Metropolitan University is considering banning the sale of alcohol from some parts of the campus because a “high percentage” of students consider drinking “immoral”, Professor Malcolm Gillies said.

One-fifth of the university’s students are Muslim, and of those the majority are women. It is an issue of “cultural sensitivity” to provide drink-free areas, Professor Gillies told a conference, adding he was “not a great fan of alcohol on campus”. “It’s a negative experience – in fact an immoral experience – for a high percentage of our students,” he said.

He went on, “Many of our students do come from backgrounds where they actually look on [drinking] as a negative. And given that around our campuses you have at least half a dozen pubs within 200m, I can’t see there is such a pressing reason to be cross-subsidising a student activity which is essentially the selling of alcohol.”

“Because there’s no majority ethnic group, I think it [selling alcohol] is playing to particular parts of our society much more [than to others]”. Professor Gillies said the University was “much more cautious” about the portrayal of sex on campus than universities had been 30 or 40 years ago, the Times Higher Education reported. Many of its female Muslim students “can only really go to university within four miles of home and have to be delivered and picked up by a close male relative”, he said. daily times monitor

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\04\13\story_13-4-2012_pg9_5

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Muslim-Canadian student’s artwork sparks controversy over portrayal of Muslim dress

Apr 13, 2012

By Denise Ryan

Muslim-Canadian Sooraya Graham, a fine arts student at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C., didn’t expect to find herself in the middle of a virtual hostage-taking when her project for a photography class was hung in the hallways of the university’s art department.

Her photo, a mural print of a woman wearing full Islamic dress and holding a bra in her hands while folding laundry, was ripped off the wall by an outraged university staffer.

Graham made the discovery last Friday after overhearing some students discussing the removal of “an offensive poster.”

The 24-year-old discovered the work in question was hers, and that the culprit had left a business card. It was a woman on faculty as an international adviser, said Graham.

“She had taken it to her office and held it hostage. She didn’t want to return it unless I agreed not to hang it up again.”

Graham said the dean immediately went to bat for the work. The photo was returned and hung in a campus gallery, although it had been ripped during its removal.

Christopher Seguin, vice-president of advancement at the university said the institution fully stands behind the work and the incident in no way reflects the views of the university.

“It was an individual acting on their own motivations. When we found out (they) had taken the piece of artwork down, we spoke to (them) and (they) made a commitment to replace it,” said Seguin.

“First and foremost, freedom of expression has to be preserved on our campus.”

Seguin acknowledged the photograph has provoked a heated debate among the student body and in the local Muslim community. “We listen to the concerns of all our stakeholders, but we maintain freedom of expression on our campus. There is nothing condoning hatred in this work, it is not a rude piece of art and we stand behind it.”

Graham says she has been buoyed by support among members of the Muslim student body.

Members of the Saudi Education Centre in Kamloops have spoken out in the media, criticizing Graham’s photo mural and calling for her to post an explanatory note with the photo.

Graham, who is Muslim but not of Saudi origin, said she doesn’t feel the work needs to be explained. She said she selected the photo for the exhibit because “it humanizes the veiled woman.”

“You often see the stereotype of the veiled woman being oppressed. We all wear the same undergarments, do laundry, go shopping. I was leaving it open-ended for others to interpret the photo in their own way,” said Graham, who wears the niqab herself.

Graham received a brief email apology from the staffer who originally removed the art. Although she doesn’t condone the actions of the individual, she said she supports everyone’s rights to discuss and disagree. “I will fight for your right to argue with me on any topic,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons I love Canada.”

Vancouver Sun

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/13/b-c-students-artwork-sparks-controversy-over-portrayal-of-muslim-dress/

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Germany Vows to Monitor Group's Quran Distribution

Apr 13, 2012

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities say a planned distribution of millions of copies of the Quran by an ultraconservative Muslim group is legal but will be carefully monitored.

Interior Ministry spokesman Markus Beyer said Friday authorities are taking the Salafists' actions "very seriously," adding that intelligence services are actively monitoring those groups.

A Salafist movement named House of the Quran has vowed to distribute up to 25 million free copies of the Muslim holy book "to bring the word of Allah to every household in Germany, Austria and Switzerland."

Activists are planning to hand out thousands of copies on city squares across Germany on Saturday.

Security officials have said all terrorists known to German authorities have had contact with Salafist groups.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/04/13/world/europe/ap-eu-germany-quran-distribution.html?ref=global-home

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‘Baby factory’ out busted in Nigeria

 Apr 13 2012

LAGOS: Nigerian police have raided an alleged illegal orphanage where they rescued young women thought to have been forced to bear children with the aim of selling them, a spokesman said Friday.

“We discovered the baby factory in Uruah local government area of the state during a raid following a tip-off,” assistant police superintendent Oyekachi Orji told AFP of the operation in southern Akwa Ibom state.

He said seven women between the ages of 18 and 20, including three who were pregnant, were freed from the home during the April 4 operation. No babies were discovered.

Three suspects including the owner, his wife and another accomplice were arrested, he said.

“The suspects usually lure young girls to get pregnant with a promise of 70,000 naira (340 euros, $445) after having their babies, which they sell to ritualists,” he said.

A number of such “factories” have been discovered in Nigeria, often intending to sell children to childless couples.

Human trafficking is widespread in west Africa, where children are bought from their families to work in plantations, mines and factories or as domestic help.

Others are sold into prostitution, and less commonly they are tortured or sacrificed in black magic rituals.

http://dawn.com/2012/04/13/baby-factory-outbusted-in-nigeria/

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Film “After the Storm” takes on dark side of war against terror

 Apr 13 2012

Kolkata: Mohammad Musarrat Hussain, 35, or Bobby was at work in a printing press when he was picked up by police on March 5, 2002. He was officially arrested on March 7, 2002. He was charged as a conspirator in the firing and killing of policemen at the American Centre, Kolkata. He spent eight years in jail and remained on death row for five years. Finally, Calcutta High Court acquitted him on February 7, 2010.

After the Storm, which was screened at Kolkata Press Club today, tells the tales of Bobby and some other former terror accused -- Mukhtar Ahmed, Md Fassiuddin Ahmed, Umar Farooque, Moutasim Billah, Harith Ansari and Shaik Abdul Kaleem - who are among thousands of Muslim youth arrested, falsely accused and then acquitted by various courts across India.

Documentary filmmaker Shubhradeep Chakravorty, the director of After the Storm, shows Bobby as an example of several Muslim youths facing the ugly side of law. Documentary filmmaker Shubhradeep Chakravorty, director of After the Storm, talks about seven such wrongly accused terror victims in his film.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/film-takes-on-dark-side-of-war-against-terror/936309/

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‘Over 181,000 have fled recent NW Pakistan fighting’: UN Refugee Agency

Apr 13, 2012

GENEVA: More than 181,000 people have fled fighting between government troops and Taliban or al Qaeda-linked militants in northwest Pakistan, the UN refugee agency said on Friday.

“The number of people displaced by an ongoing government security operation in northwest Pakistan has now surpassed 181,000,” said a statement from the office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The agency said that about 10,000 new arrivals were being registered daily by officials at the Jalozai camp near the city of Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

“The vast majority of those registered —85 per cent —choose not live in the Jalozai camp, opting instead to stay with friends, relatives or in rented accommodation,” said the UNHCR.

The body said it had distributed more than 37,000 humanitarian kits and other UN agencies, including Unicef and the World Health Organisation (WHO), were also providing aid.

The fighting started on January 20 when government troops attacked militant groups in the Khyber region

http://dawn.com/2012/04/13/over-181000-have-fled-recent-nw-pakistan-fighting/

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Shah Rukh Khan's detention: US apologises, India talks tough

Apr 13, 2012

NEW HAVEN/ NEW DELHI: The US customs and border protection authorities have expressed "profound" apologies for the Shah Rukh Khan detention incident.

However, taking the incident seriously, external affairs minister SM Krishna has asked the Indian ambassador to US, Nirupama Rao, to take up the matter with the authorities.

Reacting strongly to the detention, Krishna said it has become a policy of detention and apology by the US which cannot continue.

Earlier, Shah Rukh Khan was detained at a New York airport for over two hours by immigration officials after arriving from India in a private plane with Nita Ambani, to address students at Yale University here.

While Nita, wife of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, and the rest of their group were cleared immediately, Khan was stopped and was given immigration clearance only after about two hours, sources told PTI.

46-year-old Khan was to address a press conference at 2pm and deliver his lecture at 4pm at the Yale University.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/news-interviews/Shah-Rukh-Khans-detention-US-apologises-India-talks-tough/articleshow/12648019.cms

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New Delhi: Shahi Imam gives in, son-in-law to fight Legislative Council polls

 Apr 13 2012

Lucknow : Ending the weeklong controversy, Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari agreed to let his son-in-law Umar Ali Khan file his nomination for the Legislative Council elections slated for April 26.

The cleric, who had said Umar would not file his nomination unless the SP named at least two Muslims among its eight MLC candidates, took the decision after his meeting with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday.

The SP refused to change any candidate — it had already announced Umar’s candidature — but said it would nominate a Muslim for the council seat vacated by former CM Mayawati after she was elected to the Rajya Sabha. The CM also assured Bukhari of increasing Muslim representation in the Cabinet to five from the present three and appointing Muslim officials to key administrative posts.

The row began last week after senior SP leader Azam Khan objected to Umar’s candidature, saying he had lost the Assembly polls, leading to a war of words between him and Bukhari.

After landing in Lucknow, Bukhari said: “Muslims had crowned SP in the Assembly elections, but they have been given a raw deal. I will discuss this with Mulayam Singh.” Referring to Azam Khan, he said: “One SP leader tried to create misunderstanding. But it is the concern of Mulayam.”

After the meeting, Bukhari and Akhilesh issued a statement that Umar would file his nomination on Friday.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/936142/

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Pakistan: Speaking out against forcible conversion

By Xari Jalil |

 Apr 13 2012

LAHORE: Prof Ashok Kumar is not afraid of taking a prominent stance on the Rinkle Kumari issue.

Fear, he says, is secondary compared to what is happening to the Hindu community in Pakistan, in particular Sindh. “We can’t just sit back and watch what our community is going through,” he says.

The recent case of Rinkle Kumari is not altogether an uncommon occurrence. Several young Hindu girls have been kidnapped in the dead of night from their homes, and dragged off to be forcibly converted to Islam, as they and their family members have later alleged. Usually this conversion is accompanied by a signing of the ‘nikahnama’ which strengthens the kidnappers’ side of the story, but still does not provide any kind of proof whether the marriage was done under duress or not.

On Thursday, protesters belonging to the Hindu and Christian communities in Lahore, accompanied by representatives of the Joint Action Committee (a group of social organisations), gathered outside the Lahore Press Club and shouted slogans in response to the slow treatment of the case, venting anger at religious fascism, forcible conversion, and a lack of support from the government.

Ashok Kumar, a professor of Sindhi language in the Linguistics Department of the Punjab University, is one of the protesters.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/04/13/speaking-out-against-forcible-conversion-fm/

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Riyadh chamber set to have businesswomen as members

Apr 13, 2012

The Commerce and Industry Ministry is studying a proposal to appoint Saudi businesswomen to the board of directors of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry in response to the continuous demand of the chamber’s women members.

According to a report carried by Al-Eqtisadiah business daily, Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabeeah has been requested to appoint businesswomen to the chamber’s board without their participation in the upcoming elections.

“We need women members on the board in order to make the voice of thousands of businesswomen and women entrepreneurs heard. They had not been represented during the previous terms of the chamber’s board of directors,” a businesswoman said. The new proposal came after three women candidates failed to make it into the board during the last chamber elections. Moreover, the ministry had appointed businessmen who received fewer votes than women candidates to the board.

Analysts say women members of the Riyadh chamber are hesitant in taking part in the upcoming election after some alliances had refused to include women in the last election. Moreover, a substantial number of women members are not interested in chamber polls.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article612202.ece

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Fighters want to try Qaddafi son - Libyan lawyer

 Apr 13 2012

TRIPOLI: While the International Criminal Court wants Libya to hand over Muammar Qaddafi’s son for trial, Tripoli remains unable to prize him out of the hands of the militia fighters who caught him last year.

That’s an obstacle the government is trying to overcome as it works to show that the country can give Seif Al-Islam Qaddafi a trial that meets international standards, the man overseeing the case for the Libyan authorities said on Wednesday.

Libya’s government wants to transfer Seif Al-Islam to the capital and put him on trial there rather than transfer him to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Ahmed Al-Jehani, the Libyan lawyer in charge of the Seif Al-Islam case and who liaises between the Libyan government and the ICC, said that the Zintan fighters who captured and hold Seif Al-Islam in a secret prison in Zintan want him tried locally.

“Some of the Zintanis want to try Saif in Zintan,” Al-Jehani told Reuters on Wednesday. “Some of them say if he is handed over to Tripoli he may escape or he will be helped to escape.”

He said the Libyan government was trying to reason with the fighters by reminding them that they would be doing a disservice to Libya if they didn’t hand Seif Al-Islam over.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article611679.ece

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Gunmen Kill Seven Shi'ite Pilgrims in Iraq Ambushes

 Apr 13 2012

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Armed men killed seven Shi'ite pilgrims in ambushes on Friday, police and hospital sources said, in the latest attacks to highlight underlying sectarian and ethnic tensions in Iraq.

Political tensions in the country have been high since U.S. troops withdrew in December, when Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government moved against two top Sunni officials - seeking the arrest of Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi and the removal of Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq.

The crisis sparked protests in Sunni strongholds and raised fears of a return to the sectarian slaughter that engulfed Iraq a few years ago.

On Friday, two cars blocked a bus carrying pilgrims from Baghdad to a key Shi'ite shrine in the northern, mainly Sunni, city of Samarra. Some seven gunmen opened fire, killing five and wounding six of them in the attack at around 5 a.m. (0200 GMT) near Tarmiya, 25 km (15 miles) north of the capital, a local police source said.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/04/13/world/middleeast/13reuters-iraq-violence.html?ref=global-home

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'Hafiz Saeed's free movement encourages terror'

 Apr 13 2012

The free movement of Jamat-ud-Dawa founder Hafiz Saeed, mastermind of November 2008 Mumbai terror attack, is encouraging terrorism and souring of Pakistan's relations with India, leading Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney said on Thursday.

He told mediapersons on his arrival in Attari that Saeed was roaming freely all over Pakistan and holding public meetings and in such circumstances Pakistan should "reveal the truth" to India in the larger interest of good relations between the two neighboring nations.

Burney suggested both the countries resolve all crucial bilateral issues mutually in a cordial atmosphere.

India's foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai has said that India is willing to advance its peace talks with Pakistan and discuss the Kashmir issue, but the main stumbling block is Islamabad's failure to clamp down on militant groups.

Mathai, in an interview to 'The Wall Street Journal published today, also asserted that Pakistan needs to take serious action against militants using its soil to attack India, he said that it was deeply troubling to India that LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, was able to address public gatherings and appear on television in Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Pakistan/Hafiz-Saeed-s-free-movement-encourages-terror/Article1-839637.aspx

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Balochistan governor fears civil war in province

Apr 13, 2012

QUETTA: Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi on Friday said he feared a civil war would erupt in the province if target killings continued unabated, DawnNews reported.

Speaking to provincial ministers and members of the Hazara Democratic Party, the governor questioned the strength of the cabinet, saying there was no need for a cabinet this large if the provincial government was unable to curtail the deteriorating law and order situation in the province.

“Time and again, more and more people are becoming victims of target killings, and not a single suspect has been taken into custody as yet. This is a proof of our government and law enforcement authorities’ failure,” said Magsi.

“If the military was summoned to restore the law and order in the province, then it will be problematic for the civilian government and the administration,” he added.

Magsi ordered the Provincial Home Secretary Naseebullah Bazai to immediately take notice of target killings and initiate a crackdown on the purported miscreants.

http://dawn.com/2012/04/13/balochistan-governor-fears-civil-war-in-province/

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Around 112,000 voters fraudulently registered in Balochistan

 Apr 13 2012

QUETTA: Provincial Election Commissioner Sonu Khan Baloch on Friday revealed that around 112,000 voters of Karachi have been fraudulently registered in Balochistan, DawnNews reported.

“We are taking steps to rectify the errors,” Khan assured.

Election commissioner said that compiling the list of 85 million eligible voters could have possibility of errors.

Khan urged the political parties to cooperate in this regard rather than being critical.

Earlier Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had lodged a protest outside the provincial election commission urging the commission to immediately prepare new voter lists removing the irregularities in the present lists.

Despite the orders of the Supreme Court, complete voter lists have not been compiled yet, sources said.

http://dawn.com/2012/04/13/around-112000-voters-fraudulently-registered-in-balochistan/

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Four on Trial in Denmark Over Mohammad Cartoons Plot

 Apr 13 2012

GLOSTRUP, Denmark (Reuters) - Four men went on trial in Denmark on Friday accused of plotting a "Mumbai-style" attack on the offices of a Danish newspaper whose publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in 2005 outraged many Muslims.

The three Swedish citizens and one Tunisian pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism and three of the four pleaded not guilty to illegal possession of weapons. Prosecutors have said they could face life sentences if found guilty.

They are accused of plotting to kill a large number of people in an armed attack on the offices of the daily Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen's Town Hall square at the end of 2010 and with trying to terrify the population.

"It is our perception that an unknown number of people were to be killed by shooting," chief prosecutor Gyrithe Ulrich told TV2 News outside the courthouse before the trial began.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/04/13/world/13reuters-denmark-cartoons-trial.html?ref=middleeast&gwh=B125995F08D80D7473F3FDC09EBEE2AA

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Iraq to aid Libya in destroying chemical weapons

 Apr 13 2012

BAGHDAD: Iraq has accepted a request from Libya to provide assistance in disposing of Tripoli’s chemical weapons, Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement released on Thursday.

The Iraqi cabinet has agreed “to provide necessary technical assistance to the Libyan authorities to dispose of their chemical stockpiles, according to the procedures followed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW),” the statement said.

Libya’s representative to the OPCW, Mohammed Jibril, requested Iraqi “help in the diplomatic and technical field to get rid of chemical stockpiles that Libya has which must be destroyed under the supervision” of the OPCW, it said.

Iraq approved the request because Baghdad wants “to provide the necessary assistance ... to Arab brothers at all levels,” the statement said, noting Iraq’s “extensive experience ... in disposing of chemical weapons.”

The OPCW is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), to which Iraq became the 186th state party in 2009, according to the OPCW website.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\04\13\story_13-4-2012_pg4_4

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Pakistan Gives U.S. a List of Demands, Including an End to C.I.A. Drone Strikes

By SALMAN MASOOD and DECLAN WALSH

 Apr 13 2012

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — In a rare show of unity, the government and opposition joined on Thursday to present the United States with a list of stringent demands, including an immediate end to C.I.A. drone strikes, that were cast in uncompromising words but could pave the way for a reopening of NATO supply lines through the country.

After two and a half weeks of contentious negotiations, the main parties agreed on a four-page parliamentary resolution that, in addition to the drone demand, called on the Obama administration to apologize for American airstrikes in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. It declared that “no overt or covert operations inside Pakistan shall be permitted” — a broad reference that could be interpreted to include all C.I.A. operations.

But on the issue of NATO supply lines, the resolution specified only that arms and ammunition cannot be transported through Pakistan, opening the door to the resumed delivery of critical Afghan war supplies like food and fuel for the first time since the November airstrikes. And in practice, arms and ammunition were rarely, if ever, transported in convoys through Pakistan.

“Today’s resolution will enrich your respect and dignity; I assure you that we will get these enforced in letter and spirit,” Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told Parliament, although he stopped short of declaring when the supply route would reopen.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/13/world/asia/pakistan-demands-an-end-to-cia-drone-strikes.html?ref=world&gwh=5443189E984AE39F1CDBE091A3B743B0

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Skirmish on Second Day of Fragile Syria Truce

Apr 13 2012

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad fought rebels near the border with Turkey on Friday, threatening a ceasefire brokered by United Nations peace envoy Kofi Annan.

Opposition activists called for mass demonstrations after Friday prayers to test how Assad's forces will tolerate a return to peaceful protest, as international pressure mounted for Damascus to fully comply with its commitments to Annan, by withdrawing troops and heavy weapons.

The U.N. Security Council was working on a resolution authorizing the dispatch of an advance party of U.N. observers to monitor the truce.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing activists' reports, said fighting broke out in the northwestern province of Idlib, close to the border with Turkey, after troops went to clear rebels out of the area.

Some of the gunmen pulled out when the shooting started, Observatory director Rami Abdulrahman said. There were no immediate reports of casualties and the fighting appeared to have stopped.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/04/13/world/middleeast/13reuters-syria.html?ref=global-home

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Islamists Rally in Cairo Against Mubarak Old Guard

Apr 13 2012

CAIRO (Reuters) - Thousands of Egyptians packed into Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday to protest against a run for the presidency by former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, in an Islamist show of strength against Hosni Mubarak's old guard.

The Muslim Brotherhood - the biggest group in parliament - called the protest after Suleiman announced his candidacy last week. Both Islamists and secular reformists view it as a threat to democratic reform.

"Suleiman, do you think this is the old days?" chanted the protesters gathered in the square, the cradle of the uprising that swept Mubarak from power last year.

Muslim Brotherhood supporters waved the group's green flag and the red, white and black Egyptian national colours. "The people demand the fall of the regime," they chanted, a slogan used during the anti-Mubarak uprising. "Down, down with military rule," they chanted. They also sang the national anthem.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/04/13/world/middleeast/13reuters-egypt-protest.html?ref=global-home&gwh=1856DC4EAE5F0B512149A691557999E1

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Syrian troops kill protester as thousands march: monitors

Apr 13, 2012

BEIRUT: Syrian forces shot dead a demonstrator in the flashpoint city of Hama Friday, as tens of thousands of people marched across the country heeding calls by the opposition to take advantage of ceasefire.

Security forces opened fire at a group of men as they joined a demonstration in Assi square, killing one, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The head of the Britain-based watchdog, Rami Abdel Rahman, said tens of thousands demonstrated in several provinces, a day after a UN-backed ceasefire entered into force.

http://dawn.com/2012/04/13/syria-army-rebels-in-first-clashes-since-truce-ngo-fm/

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Suicide bomber kills five in northern Afghanistan

 Apr 13 2012

KABUL: At least five people, including three civilians, were killed late Thursday when a suicide bomber struck in northern Afghanistan, police said.

The attack in Kunduz city was the latest in a wave of violence recently that has left dozens of Afghan civilians as well as Afghan and foreign security forces dead or injured.

“I confirm that three civilians and two policemen were martyred in a suicide attack in Kunduz city this evening,” interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told AFP, adding that five other civilians were also injured in the blast.

It was not immediately clear who the target of the attacker was, but a local official speaking on condition of anonymity said the head of the provincial rapid reaction force commander Abdullah Guard was among those injured in the blast.

With the traditional fighting season now underway in Afghanistan, considerable violence is taking place in the east and south along the country’s porous border with Pakistan where the Taliban retain safe havens.

But insurgents have also been targeting Afghan and foreign forces in the relatively peaceful northern parts of the country.

On April 4 a suicide bomber struck foreign military forces in northern Faryab, killing at least 12 people including three international troops.

http://dawn.com/2012/04/12/suicide-bomber-kills-five-in-northern-afghanistan/

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Four gunned down in Karachi

 Apr 13 2012

KARACHI: Four more people, including a woman, lost their lives in firing incidents in different parts of Karachi on Friday.

Police came under a hand grenade attack in Layari.

In Korangi sector 21-C, Aqalmand Khan was killed and his companion was injured when unidentified gunmen opened fire on his car.

A woman was killed in Azizabad area. Also, in the city’s area of Baldia, Bashir, a principal of a school, was gunned down.

Police termed his murder as a result of personal enmity.

Meanwhile, panic spread in parts of Lee Market when armed men resorted to aerial firing.

http://dawn.com/2012/04/13/tension-grips-karachi-again-one-man-killed/

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Outcry over killing of a Bangladeshi labour leader

HAROON HABIB

 Apr 13 2012

The alleged murder of a labour leader has invited international condemnation with a leading human rights body demanding that the Bangladesh government bring the perpetrators to book and stop such killings.

The victim, Aminul Islam (39), a well-known labour leader in the country's readymade garments sector, was found dead last week with severe torture marks on his body after his mysterious disappearance from near his workplace in Ashulia, on the outskirt of Dhaka. The family of Islam alleged that law enforcement agencies had tortured him to death and dumped the body. His body was exhumed following a court order.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that Islam, president of the Savar and Ashulia units of the Bangladesh Garment & Industrial Workers Federation, disappeared on April 4, and his tortured body was found two days later in Ghatail, 100 km from Dhaka. The labour leader, who was also an organiser with the Bangladesh Centre for Workers' Solidarity (BCWS), a non-government organisation for workers rights, had been detained in June 2010 and allegedly tortured by members of the intelligence agency, the HRW claimed .

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3308025.ece

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Pakistan: Three more Hazaras shot dead in Quetta

 Apr 13 2012

QUETTA: Three people belonging to the Hazara community were gunned down and another wounded in separate incidents of target killings in the provincial capital on Thursday. According to police, unidentified assailants opened fire on a tea store on Shahrah-e-Iqbal, killing a man on the spot and injuring the owner of the store. The assailants managed to escape from the crime scene. The body and the injured were taken to the Provincial Sandeman Hospital. The injured was later referred to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) because of his critical wounds. The injured, the owner of the store, was identified as Sakhi Dad. A few minutes after the aforementioned incident, armed assailants attacked another shop on Archer Road, about half a kilometre from Shahrah-e-Iqbal. As a result of indiscriminate firing of the attackers, two people belonging to the Hazara community, Nor Ali and Nor Ahmed, died on the spot. The attackers fled the scene. A heavy contingent of police and security forces reached the crime scenes and the hospital to prevent any untoward incident. All shops, trade centres and restaurants on Prince Road, Liaquat Bazar, Abdul Sattar Road and Qandahari Bazar were closed after the incidents. The Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) announced to stage a sit-in outside the Governor’s House and the Chief Minister’s Secretariat today (Friday) to protest the killings.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\04\13\story_13-4-2012_pg1_5

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15 terrorists killed in Kurram

 Apr 13 2012

PARACHINAR: Gunship helicopters on Thursday heavily pounded terrorists positions near the Afghan border, killing 15 terrorists and destroying four hideouts in Central Kurram Agency. Official sources in the local administration said that the choppers targeted terrorist hideouts in Joki Zaranna areas, killing 15 extremists. The dead included terrorists from Waziristan, Kurram, Orakzai, and Khyber tribal agencies, Kohat division and some foreigners. The forces initiated the operation in the area after frequent attacks on security forces by extremists.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\04\13\story_13-4-2012_pg7_9

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Pakistani students applying for UK visa will face compulsory interview

Nicholas Watt

 13 April 2012

Every Pakistani student applying for a visa to come to study in Britain will face a compulsory interview with consular officials following a secret pilot study indicating that up to 40% could be ineligible.

Theresa May, the home secretary, will soon announce that "bogus" students will be blocked from entering Britain when the measures are introduced.

"Britain is open for business to the best and the brightest," one government source said. "But our message to bogus students is clear: you will be found out and you will be stopped from coming. This is an important way of weeding out bogus students."

The home secretary's plan, which, at first, will be run on a short-term basis, is likely to lead to a big increase in resources at Britain's consular operations in Pakistan. For the past five to 10 years visas have been approved via paper applications.

The pilot study, which was carried out by the UK Border Agency, suggests that 40% of applicants for student visas from Pakistan are likely to prove ineligible for the document. The main reason will be their inability to speak English.

At present, on the paper applications, 20% of Pakistanis applying for student visas are found to be ineligible.

"How are they planning to come and study here if they have no English?" one government source said.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/apr/13/pakistan-students-uk-visa-interview

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Whenever at a loss grin like Zardari

BY SUHAS MUNSHI

 Apr 13 2012

The Pak President’s photo- op with the PM could ill conceal the futility of the latest Indo- Pak engagement

Ihave tried hard to spot things like ‘ hope’ and ‘ reform’ that others claim to have seen in the recent photograph of the visiting Pakistan president with the Indian Prime Minister.

To me, standing together in one frame Manmohan Singh and Asif Ali Zardari looked like arguments made for and against cosmetic surgery. The former possessing a face deserted by life and the latter a face botoxed into everlasting ecstasy.

Resolving issues of corruption, starvation and terrorism with such countenances is slightly tricky and seeking diplomatic breakthroughs in Zardari’s latest India visit, pointless. Besides, outside his country Zardari’s words are as futile as a safety pin on a hand grenade and as dangerous as a grenade without a safety pin.

So when there’s no escape from a high- profile meeting with the Indian Prime Minister, the Pakistani President has to get away by calling peace a good thing and terrorism a very very bad thing. And distracting the nonplussed audience with an ever broadening grin.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Asif Ali Zardari orders 'every possible step' to bring back Khalil Chisti

Apr 13, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday ordered authorities to take "every possible step" to bring home Khalil Chishti, an ailing 80-year-old scientist who was recently granted bail by the Supreme Court after being given a life sentence in a murder case.

Zardari directed interior minister Rehman Malik to make "all arrangements to bring back Dr Khalil Chishti to Pakistan", an official statement said.

All expenditures for Chishti's return to Pakistan will be paid by the government, it said.

Officials said Zardari had directed authorities to take "every possible step" to bring Chishti back to Pakistan.

The statement said directions had also been issued to Pakistan's high commissioner in India, Shahid Malik, to take steps for the repatriation of Chishti.

Chishti was accused of involvement in the murder of a man during a brawl in Ajmer in April 1992.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Zardari-orders-every-possible-step-to-bring-back-Khalil-Chisti/articleshow/12649478.cms

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Pakistani parliament approves proposals on US ties

Apr 13, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's parliament has unanimously approved new guidelines for the country in its troubled relationship with the United States, a decision that could pave the way for the reopening of supply lines to NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

The guidelines allow for the blockade on US and NATO supplies to be lifted, but also call for an immediate end to American drone strikes against militants on Pakistani soil. However, the lawmakers on Thursday did not make a halt in the CIA-led missile attacks a prerequisite to reopening the supply lines, as some lawmakers had been demanding.

The government and the army will use the recommendations as the basis for re-engaging with Washington.

Ties between the US and Pakistan all but collapsed in November after US airstrikes inadvertently killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border, after which Islamabad blocked the supply lines in protest. Washington wants the relationship back on track.

 Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistani-parliament-approves-proposals-on-US-ties/articleshow/12648231.cms

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Over 100 female robbers active in Karachi

 Apr 13 2012

KARACHI: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Karachi Police has detected a gang of women involved in committing house robberies in the city, especially in District South. The modus operandi of the ladies’ criminal gang is to seek maid jobs at bungalows and then commit thefts or robberies.

In-charge SIT, Saddar Division, Sub-Inspector Muneer Hussain Chandio in a report submitted to the SP Saddar Division and other senior officers disclosed that 42 FIRs were registered in 2011 at six police stations of district south – namely Defence, Clifton, Darakhshan, Boat Basin, Frere and Gizri.

The SIT in-charge stated that the gang of women thieves and robbers consists of Shahnaz alias Shano wife of Pappu, her sister Sumera alias Booti, daughter of Ruqayya Mumtaz alias Taji, Afshan wife of Waris, Sana daughter of Kaka, Perveen alias Peno wife of Iqbal, Kaneez wife of Ali Sher, Maryam, Irshad, Nazeera wife of Ghafoor, Aasma, Pathani wife of Pehlwan, Basheeran alias Makra, Rani wife of Fareed, Fouzia alias Mafia wife of Zawar, Naseem wife of Fareed, Rehana, Burkhi, Perveen wife of Shani, Niani and Zahida.

In a letter to SP Saddar Division, the SIT in-charge said three accused women, Ruqayya wife of Iftikhar, Farzana daughter of Faraz and Shahnaz were arrested from Cantonment Station area under section 54 CrPC by ASI Imran Mehmood Chaudhry of Frere police station on April 7. They were kept at SIT Saddar Division office.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\04\13\story_13-4-2012_pg12_11

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US prosecutors seek 15-year sentence for Pak man aiding LeT

 Apr 13 2012

US prosecutors are seeking the maximum 15-year jail sentence for a Pakistani man from Virginia who produced propaganda videos for Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and tried to help the terror outfit with recruitment of would-be militants.

The man, 24-year-old Jubair Ahmad, who received instructions from LeT founder Hafiz Saeed’s son, Talha Saeed, is due to be sentenced on Friday. Back in December, he had pleaded guilty to providing material support to LeT.

Ahmad’s defence lawyers, on the other hand, are asking for a prison term of just two years. According to an Associated Press report, the lawyers argued that Lashkar was “essentially a mainstream entity within Pakistan, one that has tacit Government support in the country’s ongoing struggle to gain an upper hand over rival India”.

Support for Lashkar was “common” in Pakistan since the outfit’s “main purpose over the years has been to counter India’s claims over the disputed Kashmir region”, the report said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/57113-us-prosecutors-seek-15-year-sentence-for-pak-man-aiding-let.html

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MQM Prominent Leader Imran Farooq murder probe so far unsuccessful

 Apr 13 2012

LONDON: The Scotland Yard’s investigations pertaining to the murder of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) prominent leader Imran Farooq have so far proved unsuccessful as no solid evidence could be found against the only existing suspect’s involvement in the killing, DawnNews reported on Friday.  

The Metropolitan Police Service London (Met) aka Scotland Yard had arrested a person allegedly involved in the murder of the MQM leader a few days earlier.

However, the Met did not find any evidence against the suspect and have released him on bail, waiving off all charges against him.

http://dawn.com/2012/04/13/scotland-yard-fails-to-solve-imran-farooqs-murder-case/

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Iran officials arrive in Istanbul for nuclear talks

Apr 13, 2012

ISTANBUL: Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator arrived in Istanbul on Friday for his first talks with the world powers in more than a year aimed at easing mounting international tension over the Islamic state’s atomic activities.

Iranian state television showed footage of Saeed Jalili, who heads the country’s delegation for the April 14 talks, getting into a car at the airport of Turkey’s biggest city.

Saturday’s meeting is widely seen as a chance for the six major powers — the United States, France, Russia, China, Britain and Germany — and Iran to start halting a downward diplomatic spiral and help avert the threat of a new Middle East war.

The West accuses Iran of seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability and Israel has hinted at military strikes to prevent its arch foe from obtaining such arms.

Iran, which has come under increasingly tough Western sanctions targeting its oil exports, says its nuclear programme is peaceful and has repeatedly ruled out suspending it.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/04/13/iran-officials-arrive-in-istanbul-for-nuclear-talks/

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Syria army, rebels in first clashes since truce: NGO

 Apr 13 2012

BEIRUT: Clashes between the Syrian army and rebel fighters broke out Friday for the first time since a hard-won ceasefire came into force a day earlier, a monitor said.

“Fighting with heavy machineguns took place in Khirbet al-Joz, located (in Idlib province) on the Turkish border, between regime soldiers and (army) deserters,” Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP in Beirut.

Abdel Rahman, speaking on the phone from Britain where his monitoring group is based, said the fighting was the first between the two sides since the UN-brokered ceasefire took effect at dawn on Thursday.

Opposition activist group Local Coordination Committees reported that dozens of tanks were deployed on the outskirts of Khirbet al-Joz and near the border with Turkey, while heavy gunfire was heard as regime forces attacked a unit of the rebel Free Syrian Army.

On Thursday, army deserters who were guarding a demonstration killed two soldiers who had tried to disperse a demonstration in the village of Bardeej, in central Hama province, Abdel Rahman said.

Apart from the few skirmishes, the ceasefire brokered by UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan appeared to be holding for a second day, after world powers called for swift action to send in UN observers to monitor the fragile truce.

http://dawn.com/2012/04/13/syria-army-rebels-in-first-clashes-since-truce-ngo-fm/

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Malawi's New President Takes Charge With Energy

 Apr 13 2012

BLANTYRE, Malawi (AP) — In less than a week in office, Malawi's first woman president has fired the police chief, information minister and top state broadcaster and opened an investigation into the 2011 death of an activist who had criticized her predecessor.

Joyce Banda's decisiveness and energy is no surprise to those who have watched her rise from being a women's development advocate. She became president of this impoverished southern African country after the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika, with whom she had clashed even as she remained his vice president.

In a largely conservative and patriarchal society, Banda was a surprise choice when Mutharika made her his running mate in 2009. She showed her toughness when Mutharika tried to promote his brother over her as his successor, which many saw as a ploy by Mutharika to extend his influence beyond the constitutionally allowed two terms.

Banda's refusal to endorse Peter Mutharika as a presidential candidate led to her expulsion from the governing Democratic Progressive Party. A senior ruling party official said Malawi was not ready for a female president. First Lady Callista Mutharika derided Banda, saying she was a mere market woman selling mandasi, or fritters.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/04/13/world/africa/ap-af-malawi-new-president.html?ref=africa

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Election Is a New Start for an Aide to Mubarak

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

 Apr 13 2012

CAIRO — Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s former spy chief and briefly its vice president, had all but vanished from the scene. Since surrendering power to a council of generals on behalf of President Hosni Mubarak more than a year ago, Mr. Suleiman, 74, had appeared in public just once: on the ritual pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims are asked to complete before they die, being pushed in a wheelchair.

Then this week, as Mr. Suleiman burst back into public view with a presidential campaign of his own, it became clear that he never went very far after all. Gatekeepers at intelligence headquarters still refer visitors to his office inside. He still rides in an official car, surrounded by military security, to his luxury villa nearby.

His presidential campaign is also being managed by his longtime chief of staff in the intelligence service, apparently from inside its headquarters. And some say that may explain how Mr. Suleiman collected, in just 48 hours, the requisite 30,000 notarized statements of support to qualify his candidacy.

A former general, Mubarak confidant and close ally of Washington, he was a silent pillar behind the scenes of the old government. He fully emerged into the public eye only in Mr. Mubarak’s last days, when Mr. Mubarak appointed him to be his emissary to the opposition and his chosen successor.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/13/world/middleeast/egypts-ex-spy-chief-emerges-as-presidential-candidate.html?_r=1&ref=global-home&pagewanted=print&gwh=DF3D07935DF475C113CE8B9683A1933B

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Lawmaker presses Pentagon chief on US-Afghanistan pact

Apr 13, 2012

WASHINGTON: The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee expressed serious concerns that the US-Afghanistan deal giving Afghans authority over night raids could put Americans at greater risk and undercut intelligence gathering critical in the long war.

In a letter Thursday to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Rep. Howard "Buck'' McKeon questioned elements of the recent agreement, a major step toward finalizing a strategic partnership on how US forces will operate in Afghanistan after combat troops leave in 2014. The Obama administration and Kabul are pushing to complete the partnership before the Nato summit in Chicago next month.

McKeon raised reservations about the establishment of a panel of Afghan security officials, military, government and intelligence services, and giving it the authority to review and approve what raids will take place.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Lawmaker-presses-Pentagon-chief-on-US-Afghanistan-pact/articleshow/12644881.cms

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US woman charged in Rwanda genocide case freed from prison

Apr 13, 2012

LITTLETON, N.H: A New Hampshire woman accused of lying about her role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide was released from prison on Thursday, nearly a month after her immigration fraud trial ended in a mistrial.

Beatrice Munyenyezi, 41, walked out of federal prison in New Hampshire after spending 21 months behind bars following her arrest for allegedly failing to disclose on immigration forms she had participated in killings and other war crimes during the genocide that left 800,000 dead in the central African nation. She has denied any involvement in genocide.

A federal jury deadlocked in the case after defense lawyers argued Rwandan witnesses had manufactured testimony about Munyenyezi's alleged crimes at the behest of Rwandan President Paul Kagame's government.

"She's very excited, she gets to stay at home with her daughters tonight," said David Ruoff, a lawyer for Munyenyezi. "She's still in a little bit of shock and I don't think it will sink in for a day or so."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-woman-charged-in-Rwanda-genocide-case-freed-from-prison/articleshow/12644373.cms

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Wraps come off special Afghan operations war plan

 Apr 13 2012

Admiral Bill McRaven, the head of US special operations, is mapping out a potential Afghanistan war plan that would replace thousands of US troops with small special operations teams paired with Afghans to help an inexperienced Afghan force withstand a Taliban onslaught as US troops withdraw, even as a report from Kabul quoted Afghan President Hamid Karzai as saying on Thursday  that he may call an early presidential election to prepare the ground for handling pullout of foreign combat troops from Afghanistan next year.

While the overall campaign would still be led by conventional military, the handfuls of special operators would become the leading force to help Afghans secure the large tracts of territory won in more than a decade of US combat. They would give the Afghans practical advice on how to repel attacks and intelligence to help spot the enemy.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/57155-wraps-come-off-special-afghan-operations-war-plan.html

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70,000 newborns in Nigeria are HIV positive

Apr 13, 2012

ABUJA: About 70,000 newborns in Nigeria are HIV positive, a top government official of the west African nation has revealed.

Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) John Idoko disclosed this in Nigeria's southwestern state of Ogun on Thursday.

The official also said that HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria were prevalent among Nigerian pregnant women.

He stressed that NACA, the agency set up for curbing AIDS in the country, was ready to partner with the Ogun State government on preventive policy.

Idoko called for the improvement of the State Action Committee on AIDS (SACA) to be able to fight the spread of the scourge.

According to the official, the agency was willing to collaborate with any agency to improve the health status of the Nigerian people.

Idoko urged all levels of government to assist NACA in strengthening the fight against HIV/AIDS and other related diseases, saying that the agency would work hard to eliminate mother-to-child transmission.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/70000-newborns-in-Nigeria-are-HIV-positive/articleshow/12649143.cms

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UN’s Ban says onus on Syria to match words and deeds

 Apr 13 2012

GENEVA: The onus is on Syria’s government to keep to its promise to observe a cease-fire that took effect on Thursday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.

He told a news conference in Geneva that the situation in Syria looked calmer and he was working with the UN Security Council to send a team of truce observers as quickly as possible, once there is a mandate from world powers.

But he warned that the international community must remain unified to avoid Syria descending into chaos.

“I really like to see this cease-fire continue to be sustained. It just today that they have stopped the fighting. We are following it very closely. The world is watching, however, with skeptical eyes since previous promises made by the government of Syria have not been kept,” Ban told reporters.

Syrian troops appeared to be holding their fire in the hours after a UN-backed cease-fire took effect at dawn on Thursday, bringing relative calm to rebellious towns they had bombarded heavily in recent days.

“I am urging President Assad to keep his promise and to exercise maximum restraint,” said Ban. “This cease-fire process is very fragile - it may be broken any time if, and when, there is another gunshot. Even a small gunshot may give both sides a pretext to engage in another fighting.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article612086.ece

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Iraq Kurdish donkey-themed party unveils statue

 Apr 13 2012

SULAIMANIYAH (IRAQ) — A political party in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region called the Donkeys’ Party has unveiled a statue of its four-legged namesake in dress attire in central Sulaimaniyah.

The bronze statue shows the head and shoulders of a donkey dressed in a suit, collared shirt and tie.

At 1.8 metres high and 1.1 metres wide, it took famous Kurdish sculptor Zerak Mira seven months to create and cost $4,000.

It is located on Nali Street, which is named for a famous Kurdish poet who wrote a well-known poem about donkeys.

The statue was revealed at a ceremony attended by a number of Kurdish artists and intellectuals, a journalist said.

Donkeys’ Party secretary-general Omar Kalol said he hopes the statue will encourage people in Kurdistan to better treat animals, especially donkeys.

“The statue of the donkey has more than one meaning,” which will be understood by those who see it, Kalol said.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2012/April/middleeast_April174.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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Albanian man pleads guilty in US to terror charge

 Apr 13 2012

NEW YORK: An Albanian man living in New York has pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge after admitting he tried to go to Pakistan to join a radical jihadist insurgent group.   

Agron Hasbajrami who is an Albanian citizen and a legal US citizen, entered the plea Thursday in federal court to trying to provide material support to terrorists.

He faces up to 15 years in prison. He also has agreed to be deported.

Authorities say he sent more than $1,000 abroad to support terrorist activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan and communicated with someone in Pakistan who said he was a member of an armed group that had killed US soldiers.

Authorities also say he expressed a desire to die as a martyr.

Hasbajrami was arrested at Kennedy Airport in September.

http://dawn.com/2012/04/13/albanian-man-pleads-guilty-in-us-to-terror-charge/

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India to allow FDI from Pakistan: Commerce and Industry Minister

Apr 13 2012

Improving the economic ties between the two nations, India on Friday said it will allow FDI from Pakistan paving the way for industries from the neighbouring country to set up businesses in the growing Indian market.

“India has taken in-principle decision as part of trade normalisation process to allow foreign direct investment from Pakistan...,” Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said after a meeting with his Pakistani counter part Makhdoom Amin Fahim here.

Mr. Sharma said, “Procedural requirements (for FDI from Pakistan) are underway. It will notified soon.”

Besides, talks are underway to allow banks from both the countries to open branches in each other’s territory, he said, adding, “RBI and State Bank of Pakistan are in favour of opening branches...”

Mr. Fahim said, “There has been progress in allowing banking services from both sides. In-principle we have agreed.”

At present, India and Pakistan are engaged only in trade of goods, which has recently been liberalised.

Several Pakistani industries and banks are keen on setting up business in India, which is possible only when a policy decision on allowing cross-border FDI is taken.

Sharma also said that India-Pakistan Business Council will be set up soon, to be co-Chaired by both the countries.

On multiple entry business visas, he said, “There will be a formal signing of agreement soon. It will be for one year initially.”

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/article3310677.ece

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India, Pakistan close to new visa agreement

SUJAY MEHDUDIA

 Apr 13 2012

Businessmen will be given multi-entry visas for more than a year with expanded access

In a development that is likely to bring cheer to people on both sides of the border, Pakistan's Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood on Thursday indicated that India and Pakistan would, in all likelihood, announce a new liberal visa regime by next month to facilitate easy movement of businessmen and give a fillip to trade.

“In principle, the visa details have been finalised. But they need to be formally approved and then announced after Home-Secretary-level talks. This would be done by the Interior Ministry of Pakistan and the Home Ministry of India,” Mr. Mahmood told journalists after the inaugural function of the four-day “Lifestyle Pakistan” exhibition here. The exhibition was inaugurated by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Mr. Mahmood.

MULTI-ENTRY VISAS

Mr. Mahmood said there were possibilities that businessmen from both countries would be given multi-entry visas for more than one year with access to multiple cities. While Mr. Mahmood did not spell out the specifics, officials said these visa holders could be exempted from reporting to the police also.

“We expect that the meeting between the Interior Ministry of Pakistan and the Home Ministry of India would take place this month or in May and this would be formally announced,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3308332.ece

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Jalna police arrest Muslim youths who married “major” Hindu girls

Apr 13, 2012

The Jalna police recently arrested two brothers, Sheikh Khaled and Mohammad Ali Sheikh Mehboob on charges of kidnapping two “underage” cousins and forcing them into marriage. The arrests were made on a complaint filed by the parents of one of the girls.

The police insist that the girls, Poonam and Rita — since sent home to their families — have been medically tested and are underage, despite proof being available of the girls being major at the time of their marriage. A school transfer certificate issued to Poonam shows her date of birth as September 11, 1993. Rita's birth certificate and school leaving certificate show she was born on September 7, 1992. When they got married on February 2 this year, Poonam and Rita were 18 and 19 respectively. Both have PAN cards which reflect these dates of birth. Indeed, in the FIR he lodged with the police, Poonam's father, Ramesh Chandan, entered her age as 20, which the police later said was a mistake.

Jalna superintendent of police Sanjay Mohite said over the phone on Thursday that on February 22, Poonam and Rita eloped and got married to Sheikh Khaled, 23, and Sheikh Mehboob, 26. They also converted to Islam and started living in Washim, near Akola. While in Washim, the girls sent affidavits to the local police asking them not to take cognisance of any complaints by the parents. They said they were old enough to marry, had not been coerced by the boys or anyone else and had voluntarily converted to Islam.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article3308259.ece

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Kashmiri farmer invents 'singing lantern'

Apr 13, 2012

SRINAGAR: Tired of being found naked in his sleep every time soldiers searched his house during operations at the peak of militancy, Gulam Mohammad Mir, a farmer with no formal education, struck an idea to escape his tribulations.

Mir, habitual to sleeping without clothes, developed a 'singing lantern', powered by a dry battery, fitted with a remote sensor that will alert him to human movement near his house in Sagaam village in Kokernag area of Anantnag district and give him enough time to dress up.

The 48-year-old farmer, who recently participated at the innovators' meet at University of Kashmir, claims that the " singing lantern" has saved his life many times.

Over the last 20 years, many Kashmiri men have been killed during nights when they ventured out of their homes without lanterns and walked into army ambushes. Many were beaten, simply, for not carrying the lantern.

Mir knew the new ground rules well and was still beaten many times when the lantern's oil would not last the journey or when the winds would blow out the lantern's flame.

It was when the idea stuck him of having a battery-powered lantern and after several visits to the market for raw material, he began assembling his battery-fitted lantern ready.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kashmiri-farmer-invents-singing-lantern/articleshow/12648527.cms

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Rage in Kerala’s Cong over fifth berth to Muslim League

 Apr 13 2012

War erupted in Kerala’s Congress on Thursday over allocation of a fifth Cabinet berth to the Muslim League in the Cabinet of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Several top Congress leaders stayed away from the swearing-in ceremony of the two new Ministers amid protests all over the State against alleged disruption of community balance in the Government.

Muslim League’s Manjalamkuzhy Ali and Kerala Congress (J)’s Anoop Jacob took oath as Ministers of the Chandy Cabinet on Thursday even as the BJP observed a hartal in Thiruvananthapuram. With this, the minorities’ representation in the 21-member Chandy Cabinet rose to 12 making the majority community (with nine Ministers) a minority in the Government.

In the former 20-member LDF Cabinet led by VS Achuthanandan, the Christian community was represented by three ministers and the Muslims by just two. All the remaining 15 berths were occupied by persons from the majority community. “The Congress-led UDF has lost its political character,” said Achuthanandan referring to the granting of a fifth Cabinet post to League.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/57215-rage-in-keralas-cong-over-fifth-berth-to-muslim-league.html

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Shehla murder: accused points finger at BJP MLA Dhruv Narayan

Apr 13 2012

Indore : Saba Farooqui, one of the accused in the RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case, today alleged that CBI was shielding BJP MLA Dhruv Narayan Singh.

On her way to the special CBI court, Saba, when asked by the reporters who was the main culprit according to her, said, "Dhruv Narayan is the main culprit. The CBI is protecting him."

Saba, an associate of the main accused in the case, Zahida Pervez, added, "If he is not a culprit, then why did BJP seek his resignation as vice president (of the state unit)?"

Stating that Pervez was being falsely implicated, Saba also alleged that CBI had got a certain CD related to the case, but was not disclosing this.

Saba was today produced before the special judge, Judicial Magistrate Shubhra Singh. She, however, refused to give a statement under section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/936408/

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/islamic-scholar-condemns-gay-marriage-as-end-time-of-the-earth/d/7052

 

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