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Islamic World News ( 27 Jan 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Islamist Rebels Torch Timbuktu Manuscript Library: Mayor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arab World

Egypt president declares a month-long state of emergency after clashes kill dozens

Cabinet Backs Egyptian Army to Make Civilian Arrests: Source

Ten rebels killed in northeast Syria, clashes in capital: NGO

Syria ‘planned to explode bomb during Haj’

Egyptian opposition rejects talks with Morsy

Syrians come up with new ways to live with war

Thousands Attend Funerals in Egypt Port City

UAE charges 'plotters linked to Muslim Brotherhood'

 

Southeast Asia

Amid ‘Allah’ row, Vatican seeks better ties with Muslim-Malaysia

Indonesian President May End Ban on Maids Working In Saudi Arabia

Indonesia's Sexual Education Revolution

Buddhist group wants Putrajaya to end ‘Allah’ row

JAKIM sermon to unite Muslims, not spark hatred, Islamic leader says

POLO Jeddah holds seminar on services for OFWs

Nasharudin says will continue fight for Islam even without PAS post

 

India

Muslim Labour peer under fire for meeting Modi

India and Bangladesh sign extradition treaty, new visa regime

SC reiterates status quo on Ayodhya's Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site

Agni V at R-Day parade unsettling: Pakistani daily

Omar offers to be interlocutor to resolve Kashmir issue

2 Indians sentenced to jail in Saudi Arabia

Muslim scholars challenge Salman Rushdie to debate on Islam

Kashmir IAS topper victim of phishing, duped of Rs. 75,000

Delhi wakes up to polio threat from Pakistan

Signals from Pak to Hurriyat: Avoid talks

Teachers, students from terrorist-affected areas of J&K visit Amritsar

I would have led mob to demolish Taj Mahal: UP minister

 

Mideast Asia

Israel using deadly force on unarmed protesters, watchdog says

Iran denies explosion at underground uranium facility

Israel detains soccer fans over anti-Muslim slogans

Iran 'successfully sends monkey into space'

Israel Girds for Attacks as Syria Falls Apart

Israel's comatose ex-leader Ariel Sharon shows signs of consciousness

Erdogan criticizes pre-trial detention of military officers

Iran arrests 11 reporters over ‘foreign contacts’

 

Europe

France Fears Islamist Rise in Syria Unless Opposition Helped

Russia fumes at 'childish' debate over Iran venue

Justine Greening: countries must put hands in pockets for Syrian refugees

Russia says Assad’s prospects fading

Top UN team in Yemen to push reconciliation

In defence of Scottish Police training the Maldives’ police service

Dutch court to rule in Nigerian farmers’ case against Shell

 

Pakistan

‘Admitting you are a secularist can get you killed in Pakistan’: Civil society representatives

Peshawar Sikhs worried, insecure over kidnappings

Toddler, ASWJ member among 6 killed in Karachi

Four gunned down in Balochistan

Dr. Tahir ul Qadri-govt talks hit stalemate

Govt has turned a blind eye towards sectarian attacks: ASWJ leader

Karachi situation: PM tells Sindh govt to combat extortion

‘No risk, no gain’: Musharraf says will return home before polls

Pak National Assembly to be dissolved before March 16: Kaira

Citing threat to life, Haqqani refuses to return to Pak

Pakistan seeks sustainable peace, security in Afghanistan: General Kayani

Clashes between TTP, Ansarul Islam enter day four

Disappointed Wattoo attacks PML-N over sit-in

PPP leader sees conspiracy to set up ‘unconstitutional’ caretaker govt

Pakistan likely to get P3C Orion aircraft from US this year

At one of Korangi’s govt schools, the field is a place to trip

 

South Asia

Scores hurt as Islamists take to Bangladesh streets over tribunal

Hasina urges Imams to help curb injustice, militancy, terrorism and corruption

Maldivian man alleges torture in Indian prison

Maldives’ future more optimistic than Ginsburg scenarios

China fills Afghanistan vacuum after US retreat

Jamaat-Shibir strikes terror in Motijheel, 3 districts

 

Africa

Islamist Rebels Torch Timbuktu Manuscript Library: Mayor

With Fighters Gone, Malians Welcome Normal Days

Music is vital to political struggle across Africa – not just in Mali

France confirms 20 Mali strikes but not on Islamist's house

 

North America

American pastor sentenced to 8 years in Iran

US defends itself against criticism of letting down India in Headley case

Obama says struggling over whether to intervene in Syria

Olson says US favours free, fair elections in Pakistan

To better understand Pakistan, US students need to come here, says American professor

 

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Amid ‘Allah’ row, Vatican seeks better ties with Muslim-Malaysia

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/islamist-rebels-torch-timbuktu-manuscript-library--mayor/d/10173

 

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Islamist Rebels Torch Timbuktu Manuscript Library: Mayor

January 28, 2013

DAKAR (Reuters) - Islamist fighters fleeing Mali's ancient Saharan city of Timbuktu as French and Malian troops closed in set fire to a South African-funded library there containing thousands of priceless manuscripts, the city's mayor said on Monday.

"The rebels sit fire to the newly-constructed Ahmed Baba Institute built by the South Africans ... this happened four days ago," Halle Ousmane told Reuters by telephone from Bamako. He said he had received the information from his chief of communications who had travelled south from the city a day ago.

Ousmane was not able to immediately say how much the building had been damaged. French and Malian troops were securing the city on Monday.

The mayor said the Islamist rebels, who had occupied the fabled trading town since a Tuareg-led rebellion captured it on April 1 from government forces, also torched his office and the home of a member of parliament.

The Ahmed Baba Institute, one of several libraries and collections in the city containing fragile ancient documents dating back to the 13th century, is named after a Timbuktu-born contemporary of William Shakespeare and houses more than 20,000 scholarly manuscripts. Some were stored in underground vaults.

Fighters from the Islamist alliance in north Mali, which groups AQIM with Malian Islamist group Ansar Dine and AQIM splinter MUJWA, had also destroyed ancient shrines sacred to moderate Sufi Moslems, provoking international outrage.

They had also applied amputations for thieves and stoning of adulterers under sharia law.

(Reporting by Bate Felix in Dakar; Writing by Pascal Fletcher)

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/01/28/world/africa/28reuters-mali-rebels-manuscripts.html?ref=africa&gwh=DCE056F61D1B81508505569742570FE3

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Arab World

 

Egypt president declares a month-long state of emergency after clashes kill dozens

28 2013

Cairo: Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi declared a month-long state of emergency in three cities along the Suez Canal where dozens of people have been killed over the past four days in protests that his allies say are designed to overthrow him.

Seven people were shot dead and hundreds were injured in Port Said on Sunday during the funerals of 33 people killed there when locals angered by a court decision went on the rampage as anti-government protests spread around the country.

A total of 49 people have been killed since Thursday and Mursi's opponents, who accuse his Islamist Muslim Brotherhood of betraying the revolution that ousted long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak, have called for more demonstrations on Monday.

"Down, down Mursi, down down the regime that killed and tortured us!" people in Port Said chanted as the coffins of those killed on Saturday were carried through the streets.

Mursi, who was elected in June, is trying to fix a beleaguered economy and cool tempers before a parliamentary poll in the next few months which is supposed to cement Egypt's transition to democracy. Repeated eruptions of violence have weighed heavily on the Egyptian pound.

In a televised address, he said a nightly curfew would be introduced in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez, starting Monday.

Several hundred people protested in Ismailia, Suez and Port Said after the announcement, in which Mursi also called for a dialogue with top politicians. Activists in the three cities vowed to defy the curfew in protest at the decision.

"The protection of the nation is the responsibility of everyone. We will confront any threat to its security with force and firmness within the remit of the law," he said, offering condolences to families of the victims.

In Cairo the newly appointed Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim was ejected from the funeral of one of the police officers who died during Saturday's clashes in Port Said, according to witnesses and police sources.

A police officer at the funeral said many of his colleagues blame the interior minister for the deaths of at least two policemen during Saturday's clashes as he did not allow the police there to carry weapons and were only given teargas bombs.

SECURITY MEASURES

The violence has exposed a deep rift in the nation. Liberals and other opponents accuse Mursi of failing to deliver on economic promises and say he has not lived up to pledges to represent all Egyptians. His backers say the opposition is seeking to topple Egypt's first freely elected leader.

Distancing itself from the latest flare-ups, the opposition National Salvation Front said Mursi should have acted far sooner to impose extra security measures that would end the violence.

"Of course we feel the president is missing the real problem on the ground which is his own polices," spokesman Khaled Dawoud said. "His call to implement emergency law was an expected move given what is going on, namely thuggery and criminal actions."

The Front, formed late last year when Mursi provoked protests and violence by expanding his powers and driving through an Islamist-tinged constitution, has threatened to boycott the parliamentary poll and call for more protests if its demands are not met, including for an early presidential vote

Mursi had invited 11 political parties, including Islamist, liberal and leftist groups, along with four top politicians to a meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT)to work out a basis for a fruitful dialogue that would resolve the political crisis, according to a statement from his office.

The Front said it will meet earlier on Monday to discuss the invitation.

But some of the Front's top leaders had already announced their position. Hamdeen Sabahy, a leftist politician and former presidential candidate who was one of the four invited by Mursi, said he would not attend Monday's meeting "unless the bloodshed stops and the people's demands are met."

Sabahy's Popular Current movement said in a statement the protests are due to economic and political problems that need to be addressed by policies and not through "security solutions".

Front leader Mohamed ElBaradie described the dialogue "a waste of time" on his Twitter account.

State television said seven people died from gunshot wounds in Port Said on Sunday. Port Said's head of hospitals, Abdel Rahman Farag, told Reuters more than 400 people had suffered from teargas inhalation, while 38 were wounded by gunshots.

Gunshots had killed many of the 33 who died on Saturday when residents rioted after a court sentenced 21 people, mostly from the Mediterranean port, to death for their role in deadly soccer violence at a stadium there last year.

A military source said many people in Port Said, which lies next to the increasingly lawless Sinai Peninsula, possess guns because they do not trust the authorities to protect them. However it was not clear who was behind the deaths and injuries.

In Cairo, police fired teargas at dozens at protesters throwing stones and petrol bombs in a fourth day of clashes over what demonstrators there and in other cities say is a power grab by Islamists two years after Mubarak was overthrown.

In Ismailia city, which lies on the Suez Canal between the cities of Suez and Port Said, police also fired teargas at protesters attacking a police station with petrol bombs and stones, according to witnesses and a security source there.

'KNEE-JERK REACTION'

Most of the deaths since Thursday were in Port Said and Suez, both cities where the army has now been deployed.

Heba Morayef of Human Rights Watch in Cairo said a state of emergency reintroduced laws that gave police sweeping powers of arrest "purely because (people) look suspicious".

"It is a classic knee-jerk reaction to think the emergency law will help bring security," she said. "It gives so much discretion to the Ministry of Interior that it ends up causing more abuse which in turn causes more anger."

The opposition Popular Current and other groups have called for more protests on Monday to mark what was one of the bloodiest days of the 2011 uprising.

Anti-Mursi protesters who have been camped out in Tahrir Square for weeks also demonstrated against Mursi's move to impose a state of emergency, reviving memories of Mubarak's era when emergency codes were in place for three decades and used to crush dissent and detain people without charge.

Protesters say Mursi has betrayed the revolution's aims.

"None of the revolution's goals have been realised," said Mohamed Sami, a protester in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the cauldron of the uprising that erupted on Jan. 25, 2011 and toppled Mubarak 18 days later.

"Prices are going up. The blood of Egyptians is being spilt in the streets because of neglect and corruption and because the Muslim Brotherhood is ruling Egypt for their own interests."

Clashes also erupted in other streets near the square. The U.S. and British embassies, both close to Tahrir, said they were closed for public business on Sunday, normally a working day.

The army, Egypt's interim ruler until Mursi's election, was sent back onto the streets to restore order in Port Said and Suez, which both lie on the Suez canal. In Suez, at least eight people were killed in clashes with police.

Many ordinary Egyptians are frustrated by the violence that have hurt the economy and their livelihoods.

"They are not revolutionaries protesting," said taxi driver Kamal Hassan, 30, referring to those gathered in Tahrir. "They are thugs destroying the country."

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/egypt-president-declares-emergency-after-clashes-kill-dozens/1065681/

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Cabinet Backs Egyptian Army to Make Civilian Arrests: Source

January 28, 2013

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's cabinet has approved a draft law giving the army the right to arrest civilians and assist the police in providing security, a cabinet source told Reuters on Monday after the death toll in five days of anti-government protests rose to 50.

The source said the army would "behave like a police force" meaning that any detainees would go to a civilian and not military court. He did not say if the army's right to make arrests extended across Egypt or just applied to Suez Canal cities where the president has declared a state of emergency.

(Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/01/28/world/middleeast/28reuters-egypt-protests-arrests.html?ref=middleeast

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Ten rebels killed in northeast Syria, clashes in capital: NGO

January 28, 2013

BEIRUT: Ten rebels were killed in combat with government forces in Hasakeh, a majority-Kurdish city in northeast Syria, while fighting raged in a Damascus district on Monday, a watchdog said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the fighting in Hasakeh occurred at the Al-Ghazal roundabout late on Sunday, but gave no further details.

Hasakeh is the capital of a province of the same name that has seen fighting between a complex array of rival forces, including between rebels and the army, between Kurdish popular committees and Islamist rebels on the Turkish border, and between Kurdish militiamen and regime forces.

Syria’s Kurds are divided over the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad. Some support the regime, others back the revolt, and still others seek to remain neutral.

While some activists fear Turkey is using jihadists to fight its own battle against the Kurds, others accuse Syria’s largest ethnic minority of striking a deal with the regime to secure the withdrawal of troops from their areas.

Fighting meanwhile broke out Monday morning between Syrian troops and rebels in the Qadam district in southern Damascus, while the army bombed rebel positions in the area, the Observatory said.

The Local Coordination Committees, a grassroots network of opposition activists, reported that shabiha, or pro-regime militiaman, were carrying out raids in the district.

The fighting and crackdown came after a night of army shelling on Qadam and neighbouring Assali district, said the Observatory, which compiles its reports from activists and medics in civilian and military hospitals on the ground.

The embattled towns of Daraya and Moadamiyet al-Sham, located southwest of the capital near the strategic Mazzeh military airbase, also witnessed clashes after troops bombarded rebel positions there.

Regime forces also shelled opposition strongholds to the northeast of Damascus, and in the southern province of Daraa, the central provinces of Hama and Homs, and the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, the watchdog said.

http://dawn.com/2013/01/28/ten-rebels-killed-in-northeast-syria-clashes-in-capital-ngo/

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Syria ‘planned to explode bomb during Haj’

By Habib Toumi

January 26, 2013

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Manama: Syria had planned to explode a bomb during the Haj (pilgrimage) season last year, a former military officer has said.

Imad Al Haraki, a Syrian officer who worked for the Syrian consulate in the Red Sea resort of Jeddah, told the London-based Al Hayat daily that he had been selected by the Syrian government to carry out the act of terrorism on the ninth day of Dhul Hijja when around three million people gathered at the Arafat Mount, the peak of the pilgrimage rituals.

The former deputy General Consul, Shawqi Shamat, conveyed the mission orders to him, he said.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/syria-planned-to-explode-bomb-during-haj-1.1137932

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Egyptian opposition rejects talks with Morsy

January 28, 2013

The Egyptian opposition on Monday rejected talks with President Mohamed Morsy unless their demands are met on amending the constitution, creating a new government and ending the bloodshed.

Facing his worst crisis since taking office in July, Mr Morsy renewed his call for the opposition to engage in a national dialogue, after almost 50 people were killed in clashes since Friday.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/egyptian-opposition-rejects-talks-with-morsy/article4353404.ece

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Syrians come up with new ways to live with war

January 28, 2013

ALEPPO: Syria’s 22-month war, despite its dehumanising effects, is teaching ordinary people to pull together and come up with innovative ways to survive without electricity or their daily bread.

“Buying bread or stepping out to collect water can be deadly,” said Abu Hisham, a young resident of Aleppo, the strife-torn country’s main northern city and one-time economic capital.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/01/28/syrians-come-up-with-new-ways-to-live-with-war/

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Thousands Attend Funerals in Egypt Port City

January 28, 2013

CAIRO (Reuters) - Thousands of people turned out on the streets of Port Said on Monday to attend the funerals of the latest victims of violence in the Egyptian city where President Mohamed Mursi has declared a state of emergency, state television images showed.

The mourners bore coffins above their heads and some waved teargas canisters at the camera. Seven people were killed on Sunday at funerals for the 33 who had died in riots a day earlier.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/01/28/world/middleeast/28reuters-egypt-protests-

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UAE charges 'plotters linked to Muslim Brotherhood'

Jan 28, 2013

The United Arab Emirates has ordered 94 people to be tried on charges of trying to seize power.

The attorney general said the suspects had formed a group that publicly called on people to observe the teachings and values of Islam, but in secret sought to overthrow the state.

He said they had links to foreigners, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

The UAE has arrested dozens of alleged dissidents, who have said they are victims of false accusations.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21226174

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Southeast Asia

 

Amid ‘Allah’ row, Vatican seeks better ties with Muslim-Malaysia

January 27, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 —The Vatican hopes to strengthen the Catholic Church's interfaith ties with Muslim Malaysia, international newspaper The Wall Street Journal has reported, even as religious tension continues to heighten in the country following the unresolved debate over the usage of "Allah".

In an article last Friday, the paper quoted Archbishop Joseph Marino, the first papal ambassador to Malaysia, as expressing the interest from the Holy See during his first email interview in the country after taking on the post.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/amid-allah-row-vatican-seeks-better-ties-with-muslim-malaysia/

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Indonesian President May End Ban on Maids Working In Saudi Arabia

Jakarta Globe | January 28, 2013

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia and sign an agreement to end the freeze on the recruitment of Indonesian maids there, a Saudi media outlet has reported.

An Indonesian official confirmed that Yudhoyono will visit the country on Thursday, but declined to give details about the president’s agenda.

“He will visit Saudi Arabia, but I don’t know yet whether there will be an agreement,” P.L.E. Priatna, the director of information and media at the Foreign Ministry, told the Jakarta Globe.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/sby-may-end-ban-on-maids-working-in-saudi-arabia/568060

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Indonesia's Sexual Education Revolution

By SARA SCHONHARDT

January 28, 2013

YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA — Dozens of teenagers who had just finished a Planned Parenthood training session met with a local official in this provincial capital and questioned him about the lack of sex education in their schools.

One student held up a poster that read, “We only live once, why marry early?” referring to a common situation in which young couples are forced to wed because of unwanted pregnancies.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/28/world/asia/28iht-educlede28.html?ref=asia

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Buddhist group wants Putrajaya to end ‘Allah’ row

January 27, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 ― A Buddhist group today urged the federal government to resolve the drawn-out dispute over the usage of “Allah”, which has caused division and anxiety between Muslims and Christians here.

In a press statement, the Malaysian Network of Engaged Buddhists (MNEB) said the National Unity and Integration Department (JPNIN), which comes under purview of the Prime Minister’s Department, should step into the fray and end the hostility once and for all.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/buddhist-group-wants-putrajaya-to-end-allah-row/

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JAKIM sermon to unite Muslims, not spark hatred, Islamic leader says

January 27, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 — The federal Islamic authority’s sermon last Friday was not meant to incite hatred against the Christians but to remind Muslims of the sanctity of Islam, a Muslim leader has said amid the ongoing “Allah” row.

In the sermon, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) had labelled non-Muslims who use the word “Allah” to describe their God as “enemies of Islam” and warned that this was an attempt to confuse Muslims into thinking all religions share the same God.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/jakim-sermon-to-unite-muslims-not-spark-hatred-islamic-leader-says/

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POLO Jeddah holds seminar on services for OFWs

 28 January 2013

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Jeddah (POLO-Jeddah) conducted a seminar on labor practices at the Dr. Erfan & Bagedo General Hospital along King Fahd (Sitteen) Road in Jeddah over the weekend.

The event was attended by 40 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)

“We are happy indeed that we have been able to render various services to fellow OFWs working at the hospital which resumed operations recently,” Labor Attache Alex A. Padaen of the POLO in Jeddah, told Arab News yesterday.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/polo-jeddah-holds-seminar-services-ofws

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Nasharudin says will continue fight for Islam even without PAS post

January 27, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 — Former PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa said today he will continue the fight for Islam even if he holds no position in the party.

Reacting to yesterday’s news reports that the Islamist party had revoked his membership in the PAS syura council as part of its disciplinary proceedings, he said the struggle to uphold Islam must go on.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/nasharudin-says-will-continue-fight-for-islam-even-without-pas-post/

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India

 

Muslim Labour peer under fire for meeting Modi

January 28, 2013

Lord Adam Patel, a Labour peer and one of Britain’s most influential Gujarati Muslims, has come under fire from fellow community leaders for meeting the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, on a visit to India, and inviting him to London.

He has been threatened with disciplinary action by the Council of Indian Muslims of which he is the founder and chief patron.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/muslim-labour-peer-under-fire-for-meeting-modi/article4351095.ece

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India and Bangladesh sign extradition treaty, new visa regime

Jan 28 2013

Dhaka : India and Bangladesh today signed a liberalised visa agreement and a landmark extradition treaty that would pave the way for the deportation of jailed ULFA 'general secretary' Anup Chetia and other wanted "criminals".

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde signed the agreement with his Bangladeshi counterpart Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir at the end of their bilateral talks, which also yielded a "revised travel arrangement" under which New Delhi as well as Dhaka eased their visa regimes under several categories.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-and-bangladesh-sign-extradition-treaty-new-visa-regime/1065809/

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SC reiterates status quo on Ayodhya's Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site

 Jan 28 2013

New Delhi : The Supreme Court today made it clear that status quo ordered on 67 acre land adjacent to the disputed site in Ayodhya should not be disturbed while carrying out excavation activity in the vicinity.

"We are hopeful that this status quo will continue. While doing the excavation this status quo should not be disturbed," a Bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sc-reiterates-status-quo-on-ayodhyas-ram-janmabho.../1065792/

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Agni V at R-Day parade unsettling: Pakistani daily

 January 28, 2013

Now is not the time to whip up war clouds, said a Pakistani daily that described India showing the long range nuclear missile Agni V at its Republic Day parade as an "unsettling display of muscle flexing". An editorial in the Daily Times Monday said: "In an unsettling display of muscle flexing, neighbouring India paraded its newest long range nuclear missile Agni V that reportedly can hit anywhere in China and even as far off as some areas in Europe."

"The occasion was India’s Republic Day and it was marked by a barely diplomatic choice of words when Indian President Pranab Mukherjee stated that India was ready to extend the hand of friendship to Pakistan but that the friendship should not be `taken for granted'," it added.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan/Agni-V-at-R-Day-parade-unsettling-Pakistani-daily/Article1-1002786.aspx

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Omar offers to be interlocutor to resolve Kashmir issue

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times

January 27, 2013

First time ever since he took over as the chief minister, Omar Abdullah on Sunday offered to act as interlocutor between Hurriyat and New Delhi for a dialogue to resolve the Kashmir problem.

“If the Hurriyat people give us an indication that they are ready for talks and are waiting for an invitation, I will definitely go to Delhi and talk to the Prime Minister and others to convince them and invite the Hurriyat Conference leaders," said the Chief Minister in an interview to a Srinagar-based wire service on Sunday.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/srinagar/Omar-offers-to-be-interlocutor-to-resolve-Kashmir-issue/Article1-1002604.aspx

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2 Indians sentenced to jail in Saudi Arabia

January 28, 2013

Two Indians have been sentenced to one year in prison each and flogging for manufacturing and selling liquor in Saudi Arabia, where alcohol is strictly prohibited.

A court in Saudi Arabia also ordered the two Indian nationals, who apparently confessed to the illegal manufacture of alcohol, to be deported eventually after their sentence is complete.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/2-indians-sentenced-to-jail-in-saudi-arabia/article4352850.ece

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Muslim scholars challenge Salman Rushdie to debate on Islam

By Mohammed Wajihuddin

Jan 28, 2013

MUMBAI: A group of scholars who are also members of the powerful All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has invited controversial author Salman Rushdie to debate on Islam and the Prophet' s life. This is a significant change of position from the general Muslim view which has opposed Rushdie's visit to India ever since his controversial novel The Satanic Verses created a storm in the 1980s.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muslim-scholars-challenge-Salman-Rushdie-to-debate-on-Islam/articleshow/18213775.cms

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Kashmir IAS topper victim of phishing, duped of Rs. 75,000

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times

 January 27, 2013

Kashmir's poster boy, Shah Faesal, who became first Kashmiri to top the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) in 2010, is aghast with online shopping. Like many other online shoppers, Faesal too has become a victim of phishing, which cost him Rs. 75,000.

Faesal, who is south Kashmir Pulwama district's deputy commissioner, said he received a message this week that he has shopped for Rs. 70,000 in Dubai.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/srinagar/Kashmir-IAS-topper-victim-of-phishing-duped-of-Rs-75-000/Article1-1002549.aspx

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Delhi wakes up to polio threat from Pakistan

By Neha Pushkarna in New Delhi

January 28, 2013

PAKISTAN’S failure to curb polio cases is posing a threat to India, which has not registered any case of the viral disease for the last two years. Pakistan recorded 58 polio cases last year.

With Pakistan connected to New Delhi through road and railways, the Delhi government is taking no chance. It has written to Delhi Transport Corporation ( DTC) and Northern Railways to allow its health department to set up a permanent system at Ambedkar Stadium and Old Delhi railway station to screen children coming from Pakistan or going there.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Signals from Pak to Hurriyat: Avoid talks

 Jan 28 2013

New Delhi : The Hurriyat leaders have come back from Pakistan with “advice” from the Pak Army to not start any direct negotiations with the Indian government for at least another year, signalling the onset of a season of mixed signals from across the border.

The seven-member delegation of Kashmiri separatist leaders led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, had detailed discussions on this with both Pakistani Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as well as ISI DG Lt Gen Zahir-ul-Islam during their visit last month.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/signals-from-pak-to-hurriyat-avoid-talks/1065555/

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Teachers, students from terrorist-affected areas of J&K visit Amritsar

 Jan 28, 2013

AMRITSAR: The educational-cum-motivational tour for a group of more than two dozen students and teachers from different schools of Rafiabad area of north Kashmir's Baramullah district, one of the most volatile and worst hit areas during the turmoil of militancy, experienced new vistas for their destiny, in areas beyond the Valley.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Teachers-students-from-terrorist-affected-areas-of-JK-visit-Amritsar/articleshow/18222114.cms

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I would have led mob to demolish Taj Mahal: UP minister

Jan 28, 2013

LUCKNOW: On a day when Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav expressed his admiration for the Taj Mahal to foreign delegates at the Jaypee Palace hotel in Agra, his cabinet member and parliamentary affairs and urban development minister Muhammad Azam Khan spoke about razing the 17th century architectural wonder.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/I-would-have-led-mob-to-demolish-Taj-Mahal-UP-minister/articleshow/18222799.cms

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

Mideast Asia

 

Israel using deadly force on unarmed protesters, watchdog says

January 28, 2013

Israel is breaking its own rules of engagement by using deadly force to disperse unarmed Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli rights group B'Tselem reported on Monday.

Israeli forces have killed 56 people since 2005 in clashes with rock-throwing Palestinians, said B'Tselem, which accused the military of having "extensively and systematically violated" rules barring deadly retaliation for non-lethal assault.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=44365

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Iran denies explosion at underground uranium facility

January 28, 2013

DUBAI: Iran has denied media reports of a major explosion at one of its uranium enrichment sites, describing them as “Western propaganda” designed to influence upcoming nuclear negotiations.

Reuters has been unable to verify reports since Friday of an explosion at the underground Fordow bunker, near the religious city of Qom, that some Israeli and Western media have said caused significant damage.

Full report at:

enrichment is a significant step towards developing a nuclear weapons capability.

http://dawn.com/2013/01/28/iran-denies-explosion-at-underground-uranium-facility/

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

 

Israel detains soccer fans over anti-Muslim slogans

 28 January 2013

JERUSALEM: Israeli police have arrested three soccer fans for chanting anti-Muslim slogans at a game while protesting the Beitar Jerusalem team's intention to sign two Muslim players.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says two suspects were fined and banned from the stadium for the rest of the season. The additional suspect was scheduled to appear in court yesterday.

Fans unfurled signs alluding to the team's unofficial tradition of not signing Arab or Muslim players. Beitar fans have been punished in the past for similar behavior.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/israel-detains-soccer-fans-over-anti-muslim-slogans

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Iran 'successfully sends monkey into space'

Jan 28, 2013

Iran says it has successfully sent a monkey into space.

The primate travelled in a Pishgam rocket, which reached an altitude of some 120km (75 miles) for a sub-orbital flight before "returning its shipment intact", the defence ministry said.

Iranian state TV showed images of the monkey, which was strapped into a harness, being taken to the rocket.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21230691

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

 

Israel Girds for Attacks as Syria Falls Apart

By JODI RUDOREN and ANNE BARNARD

January 28, 2013

JERUSALEM — At least one Iron Dome missile defense battery was deployed Sunday in northern Israel amid reports of intense security consultations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding Syria and the possibility of chemical weapons falling into the hands of Islamist rebels or being transferred to the militant group Hezbollah.

Silvan Shalom, a vice prime minister, described the movement of such weapons as a “red line” that could lead to Israeli military action.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/28/world/middleeast/refugee-crisis-grows-as-violence-flares-across-syria.html?ref=middleeast

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

 

Israel's comatose ex-leader Ariel Sharon shows signs of consciousness

Jan 28, 2013

JERUSALEM: Seven years after suffering a massive stroke comatose ex-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has surprised his doctors by displaying "a certain degree of consciousness," an expert who examined him using an MRI scan said on Sunday.

The results of tests conducted by a joint Israeli-American team did not mean the former general and right-wing politician turned peacemaker was about to wake up from the coma he has been in since a January 2006 stroke.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Israels-comatose-ex-leader-Ariel-Sharon-shows-signs-of-consciousness/articleshow/18214816.cms

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

 

Erdogan criticizes pre-trial detention of military officers

 28 January 2013

ANKARA: Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has criticized the lengthy pre-trial detention of hundreds of military officers, suggesting it was sapping army morale just as Ankara vows to keep up pressure on Kurdish militants.

During his 10 years in power, Erdogan, whose party has moderate Islamist roots, has brought to heel the once all-powerful armed forces, which see themselves as guardians of secularism and regularly intervened in politics and carried out coups in previous decades.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/erdogan-criticizes-pre-trial-detention-military-officers

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Iran arrests 11 reporters over ‘foreign contacts’

January 28, 2013

TEHRAN: Iran has arrested 11 journalists accused of cooperation with foreign-based, Persian-language media organisations, several chief editors of Iranian outlets said Monday.   

The development is a major escalation in a press crackdown that reflects Iran’s zero tolerance for those who work with dissident media or outlets deemed as unfriendly or hostile.

In recent years, Iran has denounced Voice of America and the BBC’s Persian service, describing them as arms of US and British intelligence agencies, and has warned of severe repercussions for Iranian journalists and activists caught having contacts with these outlets.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/01/28/iran-arrests-11-reporters-over-foreign-contacts/

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Europe

 

France Fears Islamist Rise in Syria Unless Opposition Helped

January 28, 2013

PARIS (Reuters) - France's foreign minister said on Monday Syria risks falling into the hands of Islamist militant groups if supporters of the Syrian opposition do not do more to help it in a 22-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

Addressing the opening of a conference in Paris with senior members of the Syrian National Coalition, Laurent Fabius said the meeting must focus on making the opposition politically and militarily cohesive to encourage international assistance.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/01/28/world/europe/28reuters-syria-crisis-talks.html?ref=middleeast

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

 

Russia fumes at 'childish' debate over Iran venue

January 28, 2013

MOSCOW: Russia on Monday accused world powers and Iran of behaving like capricious children as they delay holding new nuclear crisis talks because of disagreements about where these should be held.

“We are ready to meet anywhere and as soon as possible. We think that the essence of our talks is far more important than any morale boost a particular city may give,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/499699/russia-fumes-at-childish-debate-over-iran-venue/

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Justine Greening: countries must put hands in pockets for Syrian refugees

UK international development secretary says warm words will not be enough to address humanitarian crisis triggered by war

Patrick Wintour, Nicholas Watt and Ian Black

 25 January 2013

Justine Greening, the international development secretary, has toughened the UK tone on foreign aid by warning that countries have got to stop offering warm words and start putting their hands in their pockets to address the serious Syrian refugee crisis. In an interview with the Guardian, Greening produced figures to show the country-by-country response to the UN's biggest appeal for humanitarian aid before a donor conference on 30 January in Kuwait. Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jan/25/justine-greening-hands-pockets-syria

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

 

Russia says Assad’s prospects fading

 27 January 2013

MOSCOW: Russia said the chances of Syrian President Bashar Assad staying in power were growing “smaller and smaller,” as fighting on Sunday in southwestern Damascus shut a main highway from the capital.

Assad has long counted Moscow as an ally and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s remarks were the most vocal Russian statement yet that his days may now be numbered, although they come after predictions from France, an avowed enemy, and from neighboring Jordan that the Syrian president’s downfall is not imminent.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/russia-says-assad%E2%80%99s-prospects-fading

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Top UN team in Yemen to push reconciliation

 28 January 2013

SANAA: A UN Security Council delegation yesterday began a brief visit to Yemen in a clear boost to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi aimed at helping to iron out problems hampering national reconciliation talks.

Thousands, meanwhile, took to the streets on the occasion of the visit, demanding an end to the immunity given to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh who was eased out of office in February 2102 after three decades of rule following a UN-backed and Gulf-brokered deal.

The Security Council delegation, which includes the head and members of the top body, held talks with Hadi, state television said, adding that the team later went on to meet members of the government.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/top-un-team-yemen-push-reconciliation

-----------

 

In defence of Scottish Police training the Maldives’ police service

By John Robertson | January 28th, 2013

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have just become aware of the Guardian article ‘Maldives police accused of civil rights abuses being trained by Scottish police’ and feel obliged to make comment since I am mentioned in it but wasn’t consulted for a view on the matter.

I spent some time in the Maldives as an independent Police Consultant having been invited by the then Commissioner Adam Zahir to conduct a root and branch review of the Maldives Police Service practices and procedures in the capital Male’. My 2006 report made a total of 76 recommendations for improvement, 95 percent of which were later approved by the Force Executive.

Full report at:

opinion piece, please send proposals to editorial@minivannews.com

http://minivannews.com/politics/comment-in-defence-of-scottish-police-training-the-maldives-police-service-51868

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

 

Dutch court to rule in Nigerian farmers’ case against Shell

January 28, 2013

THE HAGUE: A Dutch court will decide on Wednesday whether Shell should clean up oil damage that destroyed a group of Nigerian farmers’ land, a case that could set a precedent for global environmental responsibility.

Thousands of miles from their homes in the Niger delta, four Nigerian farmers and fishermen have dragged the Anglo-Dutch oil giant into court in a civil suit that could open the door for hundreds of similar cases.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/01/28/dutch-court-to-rule-in-nigerian-farmers-case-against-shell/

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

Pakistan

 

‘Admitting you are a secularist can get you killed in Pakistan’: Civil society representatives

January 28, 2013

KARACHI: Urdu linguists have distorted the meaning of the word “secular,” and falsely translated it as la-deen (non-religious). The use of the word is so dangerous now that even mainstream leftist political parties in the country are afraid of talking about it.

Civil society representatives highlighted these points as they participated in a seminar titled ‘Democracy and secularism in Pakistan: Its need and importance’, at the Arts Council on Saturday. The event was organised by the Forum for Secular Pakistan. The participants urged political leaders to push for a secular state, “as there can be no democracy in the country without secularism”.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/499444/admitting-you-are-a-secularist-can-get-you-killed-in-pakistan/

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

 

Peshawar Sikhs worried, insecure over kidnappings

 Jan 28 2013

Islamabad: Insecurity has increased in the minority Sikh community of Peshawar city in northwest Pakistan after the kidnapping of a Sikh man and the killing of another, a media report said today.

Mohinder Singh, a seller of herbal medicines, was kidnapped in Khyber tribal region last November. His mutilated body was found in a deserted location in the tribal belt last month.

Last week, kidnappers took away Raghbir Singh, a 40-year- old cloth dealer, from near his house at Quaidabad on the outskirts of Peshawar.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/peshawar-sikhs-worried-insecure-over-kidnappings/1065741/

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

 

Toddler, ASWJ member among 6 killed in Karachi

 January 28, 2013

KARACHI: Six people were killed, including a two-year-old and a member of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), in firing incidents across Karachi, Express News reported on Monday.

The victims were attacked by unidentified armed assailants near Kashmir Road, Sohrab Goth, Gulistan-e-Jauhar and New Karachi.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/499668/toddler-aswj-member-among-6-killed-in-karachi/

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

 

Four gunned down in Balochistan

January 28, 2013

QUETTA: Four people were killed and one injured during a firing incident in Balochistan, Express News reported Monday.

Unidentified men opened fire in a market located in Pasni in the Gwadar district, killing three.

The victims were reportedly labourers belonging to Punjab.

In a separate incident, a man was shot dead while another was injured during firing on Bugti Street located on Jan Muhammad Road in Quetta.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/499682/four-gunned-down-in-balochistan/

----------

 

Dr Tahirul Qadri-govt talks hit stalemate

January 28, 2013

LAHORE: For influential scholar Dr Tahirul Qadri, the political odyssey that he began two weeks ago is far from over.

On Sunday, Qadri threatened to move the Supreme Court if all his demands were not met.

The government has agreed to two of his demands: dissolution of national and provincial assemblies before March 16 and broad-based consensus on an interim set-up. However, it’s reluctant to reconstitute the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and introduce electoral reforms. The demands were part of the Islamabad Long March Declaration, the agreement signed by Dr Qadri and a team of government negotiators on January 18 which led to the end of a four-day-long dharna outside Parliament House.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/499596/marathon-meeting-qadri-govt-talks-hit-stalemate/

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

 

Govt has turned a blind eye towards sectarian attacks: ASWJ leader

 January 28, 2013

KARACHI: Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), formerly known as outlawed Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, has warned the government that it will stage a sit-in for an indefinite period of time if the men who have targeted the group’s workers are not arrested soon.

The flow of traffic in some areas of Karachi was disturbed on Sunday as ASWJ’s leaders, workers and supporters came out onto the roads to protest against an attack on its 12 Rabiul Awwal procession in Khairpur.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/499472/govt-has-turned-a-blind-eye-towards-sectarian-attacks-aswj-leader/

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

 

Karachi situation: PM tells Sindh govt to combat extortion

 January 28, 2013

KARACHI: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has reiterated the government’s intentions to hold the general elections on time.

In a meeting with Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah at Governor House here on Sunday, Prime Minister Ashraf said the general elections would be conducted according to the schedule given in the Constitution. He added that the interim set-up would also be announced accordingly and the upcoming polls would be fair and transparent.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/499581/karachi-situation-pm-tells-sindh-govt-to-combat-extortion/

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

 

‘No risk, no gain’: Musharraf says will return home before polls

 January 28, 2013

NEW YORK: Former President Pervez Musharraf said Saturday that he would return home some two and a half months before the forthcoming elections to breathe new life into his party – the All Pakistan Muslim League to boost it electoral chances.

Addressing a public meeting here in the hall of Soundview Broadcasting, APML chief said that he was convinced the people of Pakistan were ready for a political change and he would play his role in this regard.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/499583/no-risk-no-gain-musharraf-says-will-return-home-before-polls/

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

 

Pak National Assembly to be dissolved before March 16: Kaira

Jan 28 2013

Lahore: From M Zulqernain

Pakistan's National Assembly will be dissolved before March 16 and the date for the next general election will be announced in the coming ten days, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said today.

"The National Assembly will be dissolved before March 16 and elections be held within 90 days," Kaira told reporters after a team of federal ministers and leaders of parties in the ruling coalition met cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri to discuss electoral reforms.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-national-assembly-to-be-dissolved-before-march-16-kaira/1065520/

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

 

Citing threat to life, Haqqani refuses to return to Pak

January 28, 2013

Former Pakistani envoy to the US, Hussain Haqqani, cannot return to the country to appear in the Supreme Court as he faces threats to his life, his lawyer said on Monday.

Mr. Haqqani’s lawyer Asma Jahangir informed a nine-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry about the threats to the former envoy’s life. The bench was hearing a case related to an alleged memo that purportedly sought U.S. help to stave-off a feared military coup after the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011. The Chief Justice said the apex court had already made it clear that Mr. Haqqani would have to return to participate in the hearing. He referred to orders issued in the past by the court.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/citing-threat-to-life-haqqani-refuses-to-return-to-pak/article4353361.ece

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

 

Pakistan seeks sustainable peace, security in Afghanistan: General Kayani

January 28, 2013

ISLAMABAD: During a meeting with Afghan Defence Minister General Bismillah Khan Mohammadi on Monday, army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani said Pakistan sought sustainable peace and security in Afghanistan, DawnNews reported.

On the occasion, the Afghan defence minister said it was important to increase defence cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/01/28/pakistan-seeks-sustainable-peace-security-in-afghanistan-general-kayani/

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

 

Clashes between TTP, Ansarul Islam enter day four

January 28, 2013

LANDI KOTAL: The clashes between Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Ansarul Islam (AI) militant groups in Khyber tribal region’s Tirah valley area entered their fourth day as the death toll rose to 58 on Monday.

Six militants were killed during the latest clashes. Those killed during the fighting could not be identified until the filing of this report.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/01/28/clash-between-ttp-ansarul-islam-enters-fourth-day/

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

 

Disappointed Wattoo attacks PML-N over sit-in

January 28, 2013

LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) Central Punjab President Manzoor Wattoo on Monday said he was disappointed at the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s decision to lead a sit-in by all opposition parties outside Parliament House, DawnNews reported.

Speaking at a press conference in Lahore, Wattoo said the PML-N’s demand for the replacement of governors of the four provinces was “ridiculous”.

The PML-N had called for the removal of governors of the four provinces, with party leader and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly saying “‘political’ governors should be replaced with non-political ones before general elections”.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/01/28/disappointed-wattoo-attacks-pml-n-over-sit-in/

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PPP leader sees conspiracy to set up ‘unconstitutional’ caretaker govt

January 28, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Senator Raza Rabbani alleged on Monday that a conspiracy was being hatched to set up an unconstitutional caretaker government for the next two to three years.

He added that any steps taken to dissolve the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would also be against the constitution.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/01/28/conspiracy-being-hatched-to-set-up-unconstitutional-caretaker-govt-rabbani/

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Pakistan likely to get P3C Orion aircraft from US this year

January 28, 2013

WASHINGTON: Pakistan is expected to receive maritime surveillance P3C Orion aircraft from the United States this year in an indication of strengthening defence cooperation between the two countries.

Ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman, who has been meeting top American officials as part of efforts to restore the full range of bilateral ties, said both the civil and defence cooperation is gaining momentum.

Full report at:

He hoped the P3C maritime aircraft would depart from the United States soon.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/499584/restoring-ties-pakistan-likely-to-get-p3c-orion-aircraft-from-us-this-year/

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

 

At one of Korangi’s govt schools, the field is a place to trip

 January 27, 2013

KARACHI: “If anyone is caught taking drugs here, he will be dealt with harshly,” warns a message scribbled on the yellowing wall of a dilapidated building in Korangi No. 2. The floor below is a grotesque abstract of needles, empty liquor bottles and cigarette butts.

This is the Government Urdu Boys Primary School, a place of learning during the day and drug addicts’ haunt by the evening. Here, preparing for class entails not only drawing up lesson plans or compiling lecture notes but also spending an hour to sweep away the filth that accumulates daily.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/499443/at-one-of-korangis-govt-schools-the-field-is-a-place-to-trip/

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

South Asia

 

Scores hurt as Islamists take to Bangladesh streets over tribunal

Jan 28, 2013

DHAKA: At least 50 people including policemen were injured in Bangladesh on Monday as Islamist activists protested against the prosecution of their leaders on charges stemming from a war of independence 40 years ago, police and witnesses said.

Protesters set off crude explosives and threw bricks at police who tried to disperse them with teargas, batons and some shots in the air, witnesses said.

"The Islamists vandalised dozens of vehicles and set fire to two buses in Motijheel commercial area and other places in the city," a police officer said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Scores-hurt-as-Islamists-take-to-Bangladesh-streets-over-tribunal/articleshow/18221486.cms

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

 

Hasina urges Imams to help curb injustice, militancy, terrorism and corruption

January 28, 2013

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the country's imams and Muazzins to persuade people to stand against injustice, militancy, terrorism and corruption.

The prime minister was addressing the National Conference for trained best imams (religious leaders) and prize distribution ceremony 2012 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC).

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=266887

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Maldivian man alleges torture in Indian prison

By Luke Powell | January 27th, 2013

A Maldivian man arrested in Trivandrum, India for attempting to take a bag of peacock feathers back to Maldives has alleged he was tortured in prison, local media reported.

Ahmed Ruffan Ali, 23, was arrested at Trivandrum Airport in December 2012 before spending 13 days in an Indian prison.

Speaking to media on his arrival back into Male’ yesterday (January 26), Ali alleged that officers in the prison tortured him due to his refusal to “subject himself to their instructions”, Sun Online reported.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/society/maldivian-man-alleges-torture-in-indian-prison-after-attempting-to-export-peacock-feathers-51799

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Maldives’ future more optimistic than Ginsburg scenarios

By Scott Morrison | January 26th, 2013

Professor Tom Ginsburg’s analysis of the prospects for a democratic Maldives (written August 2012) is unjustifiably pessimistic. This letter outlines why an analysis more optimistic in its conclusions is warranted.

Professor Ginsburg considers the consolidation of constitutional democracy the least likely outcome, with either a series of ‘failed governments’ or domination by a hegemonic faction as more likely. This letter does not dispute that the two less appealing scenarios are real possibilities, nor that that bringing about a more democratic politics will require great effort. Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/comment-maldives-future-more-optimistic-than-ginsburg-scenarios-51772

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China fills Afghanistan vacuum after US retreat

January 27, 2013

China — long a bystander to the conflict in Afghanistan — is stepping up its involvement as US-led forces prepare to withdraw, attracted by the country’s vast mineral resources but concerned that any post-2014 chaos could embolden Islamist insurgents in its own

territory.

Cheered on by the US and other Western governments, which see Asian giant as a potentially stabilising force, China could prove the ultimate winner in Afghanistan — having shed no blood and not much aid.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/afghanistan/China-fills-Afghanistan-vacuum-after-US-retreat/Article1-1002642.aspx

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Jamaat-Shibir strikes terror in Motijheel, 3 districts

January 28, 2013

Over 110 vehicles vandalised, 3 including a police van torched; over 70 cocktails blasted; 50 including Motijheel OC hurt; 57 detained

The Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir men once again swooped on law enforcers in the capital city and three other districts of the country on Monday.

More than 50 people including 33 police personnel were injured and over 57 detained during the clashes.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=44362

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Africa

 

With Fighters Gone, Malians Welcome Normal Days

By LYDIA POLGREEN and PETER TINTI

January 28, 2013

SÉVARÉ, Mali — Residents of Gao, northern Mali’s largest city, poured out of their homes to celebrate the expulsion of Islamist fighters who had held their town for months, playing the music that had been forbidden under the militants’ harsh interpretation of Islamic rule and dancing in the streets.

“Everyone is in the streets,” a Gao resident, Ibrahim Touré, said in a telephone interview. “It is like a party. There is music. There are drums. It’s freedom.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/world/africa/timbuktu-mali-france-conflict.html?ref=europe

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

 

Music is vital to political struggle across Africa – not just in Mali

Banning music in Mali is outrageous, not least because it's crucial to the country's wellbeing

Ian Birrell

 27 January 2013

At dinner last month after a concert by the Congolese rapper Baloji, I found myself sitting next to his drummer, Saidou Ilboudo. As we chatted over the chicken, he told me the remarkable story of how as a teenager growing up in Burkina Faso he had been recruited one day by Thomas Sankara, the country's president, to play in a state band.

Sankara is an almost-forgotten figure these days in the west, but in the mid-80s he was one of the most charismatic leaders of his age, a revolutionary known as "Africa's Che Guevara" who pushed public health, promoted feminism and faced down the global financial institutions causing such damage to the continent.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/27/music-banned-mali

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France confirms 20 Mali strikes but not on Islamist's house

 Jan 28, 2013

PARIS: The French defence ministry on Sunday confirmed carrying out some 20 airstrikes on targets held by armed Islamists in two northern Malian regions, but not against the house of Islamist leader Iyad Ag Ghaly.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/France-confirms-20-Mali-strikes-but-not-on-Islamists-house/articleshow/18215817.cms

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

North America

 

American pastor sentenced to 8 years in Iran

Jan 28, 2013

BOISE, Idaho: The US state department says an American pastor who has been jailed in Iran since September has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Spokesman Darby Holladay said on Sunday that the department is calling on Iran to respect Saeed Abedini's human rights and release him.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/American-pastor-sentenced-to-8-years-in-Iran/articleshow/18216165.cms

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

 

US defends itself against criticism of letting down India in Headley case

Jan 28, 2013

MUMBAI: The United States has defended itself against criticism that it has let down India by not handing over 26/11 perpetrator David Headley and instead sentencing him to 35 years in jail.

In a statement, the US embassy said that the sentence without parole imposed on Headley marks another step in US efforts to bring to justice those responsible for the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks.

This sentence reflects both severe punishment for Headley's role in the heinous 26/11 crimes and a decision by the US department of Justice not to seek the death penalty.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/US-defends-itself-against-criticism-of-letting-down-India-in-Headley-case/articleshow/18220228.cms

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

 

Obama says struggling over whether to intervene in Syria

January 28, 2013

President Barack Obama said he has been wrestling with the question whether a US military intervention in Syria's 22-month-old civil war would help resolve the bloody conflict or make things worse.

In a pair of interviews, Obama responded to critics who say the United States has not been involved enough in Syria, where thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced according to UN officials. Transcripts of both interviews were released on Sunday.

The United States has called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, and has recognised an opposition coalition - but has stopped short of authorising US arming of rebels to overthrow Assad.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=44356

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Olson says US favours free, fair elections in Pakistan

January 28, 2013

LAHORE: US Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson, on Monday said the United States was in favour of free, fair and transparent elections in Pakistan so that the country’s democratic system may strengthen, DawnNews reported.

Pakistan is expected to hold elections by mid-May with the federal parliament due to disband by mid-March. The polls are expected to mark the first democratic transition between two civilian governments in the country’s history.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/01/28/olson-says-us-favours-free-fair-elections-in-pakistan/

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To better understand Pakistan, US students need to come here, says American professor

By Waqas Naeem

January 28, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Two-way linkages between Americans and Pakistanis — especially students — are essential for both nations to better understand each other’s social and cultural complexities.

“The ideal thing would be getting the US and Pakistan to a place — and some of it has to do with security questions — where US students can come here and meet people,” Michael Hannahan, an American professor, said.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/499537/to-better-understand-pakistan-us-students-need-to-come-here-says-american-professor/

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/islamist-rebels-torch-timbuktu-manuscript-library--mayor/d/10173

 

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