New Age Islam
Wed Nov 25 2020, 01:39 PM

Islamic World News ( 16 Feb 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Libya latest casualty of Arab world unrest, protesters target Gaddafi

Riot breaks out in Libyan city of Benghazi

Libyan online protesters prepare for “day of rage”

Dar Al-Ifta denies backing Al-Qaeda

Pak Jamiat chief stirs up Deoband battle

Malaysia bars Iranian singer for insulting Islam

Hindi is mother language of the whole country: Census officials to Muslims

J-K sex scandal: Two witnesses turn hostile

Blasts hit Tanzania military depot, casualties unclear

Blasts near Karachi railway station disrupt train services

Muslim, Christian officials warn of continuing Israeli violations in Jerusalem

Blasphemy case against Sherry

Heartbroken Pakistani ends life in Makkah

LeT could hit US, Europe, says Washington

Yunus must quit Grameen Bank: Minister

Pakistan court adjourns US prisoner case

Egyptians air grievances, ignoring army warning

Egypt’s Health Ministry says 365 killed in unrest

Four killed in violent Bahrain crackdown: opposition

35 prisoners flee after beating guards in Tunisia

Iran regime calls for 'hatred' rally against opposition

Hezbollah Egypt cell chief appears at Beirut rally

Somali pirate gets over 33 years in prison

Jilted Pak girl films her lover's brutal murder

Davis case posing ‘difficult questions’ for Pak: Gilani

Toppled Mubarak wants to die in Egypt, claims report

US insists shooting has not harmed Pakistan ties

Eight dead in Mardan flour mill wall collapse

Palestinians say vote Friday on settlements

Security forces attack Bahrain protesters: witnesses

Algeria to lift state of emergency before end of February

Iran warships to transit Suez for Syria, says Israel

Davis is a US govt employee, reveal documents

Anti-government protests spread to Libya

US Powell asks answers over false Iraq info: reports

Afghanistan violence to rise in 2011: Mullen

Hezbollah leader warns of border conflict

Saudi youth struggle to find work raises urgency for reform

Kingdom to continue its efforts to reconcile Iraqis

Obama calls for peaceful response in Middle East

Jordan distances from itself minister’s 'hero' remark

Syria releases activist who called for protests

Mubarak loyalist becomes Egypt’s transition leader

Spain approves new law to battle Internet piracy

Anti-government protests in Yemen spread to south

Egypt military rulers face Iran warship passage

Pak singer to rock Dubai tonight

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/libya-latest-casualty-of-arab-world-unrest,-protesters-target-gaddafi/d/4145

 

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Libya latest casualty of Arab world unrest, protesters target Gaddafi

Feb 17 2011

Protesters take over the governorate building and set it on fire in Kut, 150 km from Baghdad. REUTERS

Hundreds of Libyans calling for the government’s ouster took to the streets early Wednesday in the country’s second-largest city as an Egypt-inspired unrest spread to the country long ruled by Muammar Gaddafi.

In a sign that displayed the severity of the unrest that has spread across the Arab world, three people were killed and dozens were wounded in southern Iraq on Wednesday as protesters demanding better basic services fought with police and set government buildings on fire.

Around 2,000 people took to the streets in the city of Kut, throwing bricks and stones at Iraqi security forces. Some voiced direct anger at Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. “Down, down Maliki’s government. Down, down with corruption,” shouted Ali Abdulla, 36, who led a group of protesters and was bleeding from his head after clashing with the police.

In Libya, witnesses said the protest began Tuesday and lasted until the early hours Wednesday in the port city of Benghazi. Demonstrators chanted “no God but Allah, Muammar is the enemy of Allah” and “Down, down to corruption and to the corrupt.” Police and armed government backers quickly clamped down on the protesters, firing rubber bullets, witnesses said.

The outbreak of protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Iran has roiled the Arab world and brought unprecedented pressure on leaders like Gaddafi who have held unchecked power for decades.

It also posed new challenges for the US, which has strategic interests in each of the countries. As in the uprisings that toppled rulers in two countries flanking Libya — Egypt and Tunisia — Libyan activists are used social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter to rally people. They called for a major protest on Thursday. Libya’s official news agency did not carry any word of anti-government protests. It reported that supporters of Gaddafi were demonstrating Wednesday in Tripoli, Benghazi and other cities.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/libya-latest-casualty-of-arab-world-unrest-protesters-target-gaddafi/751109/

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Riot breaks out in Libyan city of Benghazi

Feb 16, 2011

TRIPOLI: Hundreds of people clashed with police and government supporters overnight in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, a witness and local media said, in a rare show of unrest in the oil exporting country.

Libya has been tightly controlled by leader Muammar Gaddafi for over 40 years but has also felt the ripples from popular revolts in its neighbours Egypt and Tunisia.

Libyan state television said that rallies were held in the early hours of Wednesday morning across the country in support of Gaddafi, who is Africa's longest serving leader.

Reports from Benghazi, about 1,000 km (600 miles) east of the Libyan capital, indicated the city was now calm but that overnight, protesters armed with stones and petrol bombs had set fire to vehicles and fought with police.

The protesters were angry about the arrest of a human rights campaigner and demanded his release.

Gaddafi opponents used the Facebook social networking site to call on people to go out onto the streets across Libya on Thursday for what they described as a "day of rage."

Quryna newspaper, which is based in Benghazi, quoted Abdelkrim Gubaili, the director of a local hospital, as saying 38 people were injured in the clashes, most of them members of the security forces. He said they had all been discharged.

"Last night was a bad night," a Benghazi resident, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters by telephone.

"There were about 500 or 600 people involved. They went to the revolutionary committee (local government headquarters) in Sabri district, and they tried to go to the central revolutionary committee ... They threw stones," he said.

"Now Benghazi is quiet. The banks are open and the students are going to school," the same witness said later.

Some Libyans complain about high unemployment, income inequality and limits on political freedoms, but analysts say an Egypt-style revolt is unlikely there because the government can use its vast energy revenues to placate unhappy citizens.

A video clip posted on the YouTube site by someone who said it was recorded in Benghazi on Tuesday night showed a crowd of people outside what looked like a government building chanting: "No God but God!" and "Corruption is the enemy of God."

HISTORY OF DISTRUST

People in Benghazi have a history of distrust of Gaddafi's rule. Many of his most ardent opponents living in exile, and many of the people jailed for membership of banned Islamist militant groups, are from the city.

According to the reports from Benghazi, the unrest was triggered by the arrest of Fethi Tarbel, a human rights activist who worked with families of people detained in Tripoli's notorious Abu Salim jail.

The prison, used to hold government opponents and Islamist militants, was the scene of violent clashes in June 1996 in which 1,000 inmates were shot dead.

On Tuesday night, a crowd of people in Benghazi who had relatives in the prison marched on local government offices to demand Tarbel's release, Quryna newspaper reported.

It said a local official agreed to free him, but the protesters marched anyway to the city's Shajara square where they clashed with police and government supporters.

The protesters later dispersed and the square was taken over by government supporters who rallied there until the early hours of the morning, Quryna reported.

Libyan state television showed footage of an early-morning rally in the Libyan capital of government supporters.

Participants chanted slogans accusing Qatar-based television news channel Al Jazeera -- which has given wide coverage to revolts that overthrew the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt -- of broadcasting lies.

Libya's state-run Jana news agency said there were also pro-Gaddafi rallies in other cities, including Benghazi.

It said people taking part held up portraits of Gaddafi and chanted: "We sacrifice our blood and souls for you our leader!" and "We are a generation built by Muammar and anyone who opposes it will be destroyed!"

In a possible reaction to the unrest in Benghazi, Libya will free 110 members of banned militant group the Libyan Islamic Fighting group from Abu Salim prison later on Wednesday, a human rights activist said.

Dozens of men accused of membership of the group have been freed since last year, when its leaders renounced violence.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Riot-breaks-out-in-Libyan-city-of-Benghazi/articleshow/7509889.cms

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Libyan online protesters prepare for “day of rage”

17 February 2011

TRIPOLI - Protesters in Libya were planning to take to the streets for a “day of rage,” on Thursday inspired by uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, but rights groups warned of a possible crackdown by security forces.

In a country where public dissent is rare, plans for the protests were being circulated by anonymous activists on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and it was not clear if the demonstrations would materialise.

Libya has been tightly controlled for over 40 years by Muammar Gaddafi — who is now Africa’s longest-serving leader — but the oil exporter has felt the ripples from the overthrow of long-standing leaders in its neighbours Egypt and Tunisia.

Though some Libyans complain about unemployment, inequality and limits on political freedoms, analysts say an Egypt-style revolt is unlikely because the government can use oil revenues to smooth over most social problems.

Witnesses and local media reported that several hundred people clashed with police and Gaddafi supporters on Tuesday night in the city of Benghazi, about 1,000 km (600 miles) east of the Libyan capital.

Late on Wednesday evening, it was impossible to contact witnesses in Benghazi because telephone connections to the city appeared to be out of order.

State media reported there were pro-Gaddafi protests too across the country, with people chanting “We sacrifice our blood and souls for you, our leader!” and “We are a generation built by Muammar and anyone who opposes it will be destroyed!”

Call to join protests

People posting messages on opposition site www.libya-watanona.com, which is based outside Libya, urged Libyans to protest and drew parallels with the uprising this month that toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

“From every square in our beloved country, people should all come together in one city and one square to make this regime and its supporters afraid, and force them to run away because they are cowards,” said a post from someone called Mustafa.

A Facebook page dedicated to the planned protest urged followers to “make it a day of rage in Libya.”

Gaddafi says Libya does not need to import Western concepts of democracy because it is run on his system — known as the Third Universal Theory — under which citizens govern themselves through grassroots institutions called popular committees.

Thursday is the anniversary of clashes on Feb. 17, 2006 in Benghazi when security forces killed several protesters who were attacking the city’s Italian consulate.

Rights group Amnesty International voiced concern about a new crackdown. “The Libyan authorities must allow peaceful protests, not try to stifle them with heavy-handed repression,” it said in a statement.

Libya accounts for about 2 percent of the world’s crude exports. Companies including Shell, BP and Eni have invested billions of dollars in tapping its oil fields, home to the largest proven reserves in Africa.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/February/middleeast_February590.xml&section=middleeast

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Dar Al-Ifta denies backing Al-Qaeda

By MUHAMMAD AL-SULAMI

Feb 17, 2011

JEDDAH: The Permanent Committee for Research and Religious Edicts (Dar Al-Ifta) on Wednesday denied a press report that it had supported Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda.

“This is a totally false report,” said Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, grand mufti and chairman of Dar Al-Ifta.

Al-Asheikh said Dar Al-Ifta did not author a religious edict (fatwa) supporting Bin Laden and his activities.

He said those who circulated on the Internet the false fatwa misusing the names and signatures of Dar Al-Ifta’s members would face the wrath and punishment of God. “Making false statement and attributing it to a person is a big crime and deserves punishment on the basis of Shariah regulations,” the mufti said.

He quoted a Qur’anic verse saying those who make such falsifications would also face punishment in the Hereafter. He highlighted the important role and position of Islamic scholars in society. He described the act of attributing false statement to Islamic scholars as a heinous crime.

“What has been mentioned in the fatwa is a total lie as it goes against the previous statements and fatwas made by Dar Al-Ifta,” Al-Asheikh said in a statement that was carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

Dar Al-Ifta members and other prominent Islamic scholars in the Kingdom have declared several times that Osama Bin Ladin and Al-Qaeda are on the wrong path because of their horrendous crimes. Al-Qaeda’s terrorist operations have resulted in the killing of thousands of innocent people all over the world.

“Their words and actions have caused destruction for Islam and Muslims. Every sane person can easily understand that they are following a deviant path and that no Muslim should join Al-Qaeda or approve its activities,” Al-Asheikh said. The grand mufti considered making falsified comments about Islamic scholars as a serious issue having dangerous consequences.

“It should not be taken lightly because such statements will have a great impact on Muslim individuals and groups,” he added.

He said Dar Al-Ifta issued this clarification in order to protect the faithful from falling into the trap of Al-Qaeda's lies. All Dar Al-Ifta Committee members have signed the statement.

Last April, Dar Al-Ifta issued a statement defining what is terrorism and incriminating all Al-Qaeda terrorist operations including those carried out inside Saudi Arabia and the 9/11 attacks inside the United States. It condemned terror funding and considered those who finance terrorist operations to be as guilty as those who commit terrorist acts.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article266898.ece

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Pak Jamiat chief stirs up Deoband battle

Manjari Mishra

Feb 17, 2011

Maulana Gulam Mohammad Vastanvi from Surat, who holds an MBA and is credited with introducing modern education to Nandurbar, has been elected vice-chancellor of the Darul Uloom Deoband.

LUCKNOW: The chief of Pakistan's Jamiat-ul-Islam, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, has landed in Deoband to broker peace between the two warring factions of Jamiat-Ulema-i-Hind over the continuance of Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi as vice chancellor of the Darul Uloom. Rahman's intervention comes a week ahead of the meeting of the Darul shoora to decide Vastanvi's fate, said a top source at the seminary.

The Pakistani cleric, in Deoband to pay tribute to the late former rector of Deoband, Maulana Maghubur Rehman, met the feuding uncle and nephew of the two Jamiat factions, Maulana Arshad Madni and Mehmood Madni, over lunch on Tuesday. Rehman, is believed to be opposed to Vastanvi, and his association with Arshad Madni goes back almost four decades.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-Jamiat-chief-stirs-up-Deoband-battle/articleshow/7511843.cms

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Malaysia bars Iranian singer for insulting Islam

Feb 16 2011,

Muslim-majority Malaysia has barred an Iranian singer from performing a concert later this week because his work has insulted Islam, authorities said on Wednesday.

Mohsen Namjoo was scheduled to sing Friday in Kuala Lumpur, but a government panel that monitors shows by foreign artists rejected the plan because an Iranian court had convicted the 34-year-old Namjoo in 2009 of "disrespecting religious sanctities" in a song that used verses from the Quran.

"It is not appropriate in terms of religion, culture and the country's cosmopolitan nature," Information Minister Rais Yatim said in a statement.

An official from the government agency that oversees foreign acts said Namjoo's record "clearly shows he insulted the image of Islam."

"If we approve it, it will cause dissatisfaction among the Muslim community in Malaysia," the official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make public statements.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/malaysia-bars-iranian-singer-for-insulting-islam/750848/

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Mother language of the whole country is Hindi: Census officials to Muslims

New Age Islam News Bureau

Mau (UP): More complaints have been pouring in from other areas of the country against the highhandedness and bias of thee Census workers against the Urdu speaking minorities. The Muslims of Mau in UP have now complained that the census officials are filling in the forms with pencils and some of them even have the  photocopies of the forms that are being filled in. Moreover, they have also complained that the census workers are filling the mother language columns with Hindi against the will of the people arguing that the mother language of the whole country is Hindi. Earlier, Muslims of Baghpat and Delhi had reported such anomalies in the census. If this continues, the census will become a farce.

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J-K sex scandal: Two witnesses turn hostile

Feb 16 2011,

Two more witnesses, including a woman special police officer, on Wednesday turned hostile in the trial in the 2006 Jammu and Kashmir sex scandal, taking to four the number of such witnesses.

Counsel for the prosecution and defence told media outside the court that two witnesses, both females, turned hostile in the case.

"Two witnesses did not support the prosecution version in the court," a CBI counsel said.

Both the witnesses told the court that they do not know the alleged kingpin Sabeena, a defence counsel said.

"The witnesses told the court that they were not sexually exploited by the alleged accused," he said.

While one of the witness was a Special Police Officer (SPO) in Jammu and Kashmir, the other witness is a housewife. Both the witnesses are in their twenties.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/jk-sex-scandal-two-witnesses-turn-hostile/750946/

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Blasts hit Tanzania military depot, casualties unclear

February 17th, 2011

DAR ES SALAAM, A series of large blasts struck the main military munitions dump in Tanzania’s commercial capital on Wednesday night but the number of casualties was unclear, defence minister Hussein Mwinyi said on Thursday.

A chain of explosions lit up the night sky and sent thousands of Dar es Salaam residents into a panic, and forced authorities to shut the country’s main airport to aircraft.

The blasts hit the Gongo la Mboto military base in Ilala district, a few kilometres from the Dar es Salaam International Airport.

“The explosions occurred at the main military arms depot in Dar es Salaam. The airport was closed last night as a precaution,” Mwinyi told Reuters by telephone.

“The explosions have now stopped … I cannot confirm the extent of casualties yet.”

The cause of the explosions could not be immediately established, he said.

Roads leading to and from the Dar es Salaam airport were closed after the explosions on Wednesday night.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/17/blasts-hit-tanzania-military-depot-casualties-unclear.html

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Blasts near Karachi railway station disrupt train services

Feb 17, 2011

KARACHI: Two low-intensity bombs went off near a railway station in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi today, damaging tracks and briefly disrupting train services, officials said.

Tracks damaged by the explosions near Landhi railway station this morning were repaired soon after and train services were restored, officials said.

"Train traffic has been normalised," an official at the City Railway Station told reporters.

Railway tracks across southern Sindh province have been targeted with low-intensity bombs several times over the past few weeks.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blasts.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Blasts-near-Karachi-railway-station-disrupt-train-services/articleshow/7514229.cms#ixzz1EDVNmBQU

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Muslim, Christian officials warn of continuing Israeli violations in Jerusalem

By MOHAMMED MAR’I

Feb 16, 2011

RAMALLAH: Muslim and Christian officials on Wednesday warned of rising Israeli violations in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

Sheikh Yousef Id’ais, chief Palestinian judge and head of Islamic courts, said that the Israeli occupation authorities escalated its violations against Jerusalem and its residents.

Id’ais said during a press conference in Ramallah alongside the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine Sheikh Mohammed Hussein and the deputy minister of Christian affairs at the Ministry of Religious and Waqf Affairs, Hanna Issa, that the Israeli authorities intensified in recent months the confiscation of Palestinians’ lands, demolition of homes, expelling of Palestinians from the city and the arrest campaigns.

He added that the Israeli authorities are also continuing the policy of restricting the entry of Muslims into the Al-Aqsa Mosque Complex and the excavations under it.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article266267.ece

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Blasphemy case against Sherry

February 17th, 2011

Islamabad: A Pakistani court has ordered police to register a case against the MP, Ms Sherry Rehman, for committing blasphemy.

Additional sessions judge Mehr Nasir Hussain in Multan directed a case should be registered against Ms Rehman, as she had blasphemed.

“Police has not yet registered the case but will have to do so under the court’s orders. We will register the case when we receive the copy of the order. We have still not received it,” a police official in Multan told this newspaper on Wednesday. Ms Rehman had to go underground in January, as she faced threats to her life for advocating amendments in the blasphemy law on a TV show.

When she came back from hiding from abroad, she announced to withdraw the bill seeking reforms in the blasphemy law. The amendments are vehemently opposed by religious parties and groups in the country who have threatened of killing anybody who proposes such ‘blasphemies’.

Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was assassinated in January by his own bodyguard for ‘committing blasphemy’. The extremists had also threatened Ms Rehman, a former information minister — with the same fate.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/international/blasphemy-case-against-sherry-538

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Heartbroken Pakistani ends life in Makkah

By BADEA ABU AL-NAJA

Feb 17, 2011

MAKKAH: A Pakistani laborer in Makkah’s Shariah district killed himself by drinking insecticide after hearing from a friend back home that his fiancé had married another man, spokesman for Makkah police Maj. Abdul Mohsen Al-Miman announced Wednesday.

He did not identify the man, but said he was installing the decor on a building site when he received the news. The spokesman said after receiving the news, the Pakistani expatriate looked bewildered and left the site. After some time, he called one of his colleagues from his apartment and asked him to visit him immediately.

Al-Miman said when the colleague arrived at the apartment, he found the laborer in a hysterical condition. He added that the man pointed to a glass cup that contained the insecticide before he died.

He added that detectives and the forensics teams were rushed to the scene. He said the man’s death was not suspicious, but added investigations were under way.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article267017.ece

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LeT could hit US, Europe, says Washington

February 17th, 2011

Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Michael Leiter said while Lashkar has the capacity to attack elsewhere, ‘‘we have not yet seen those steps occur.'' - Photo by AP

WASHINGTON: The United States says militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba has the ability to strike in Europe or the United States.

Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Michael Leiter told a Senate intelligence hearing Wednesday there were indications that Lashkar, blamed for the 2008 attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai, was ”expanding horizons beyond the region.”

He said while Lashkar has the capacity to attack elsewhere, ‘‘we have not yet seen those steps occur.”

Leiter said another Lashkar attack on India could be a ”very destabilizing factor” in the region.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/17/let-could-hit-us-europe-says-washington.html

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Yunus must quit Grameen Bank: Minister

Feb 16, 2011

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s finance minister on Wednesday said Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus should stand down from his role in microlender Grameen Bank following alleged irregularities in its operations.

Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith called Yunus a “man of high standing and respect,” but said: “He is now old and we need to redefine the banks role and bring it under closer regulation.”

Yunus, 70, who tried to set up his own political party in 2007, did not respond directly to the finance minister’s comments. “When time will come, any transition will essentially require a friendly environment and support from the inside and outside stakeholders of the bank to ensure that we continue to be totally committed to our mission for and with the poor,” he told Reuters.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article266816.ece

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Pakistan court adjourns US prisoner case

17 February 2011

A Pakistani court adjourned without announcing whether US official Raymond Davis, who shot and killed two Pakistani men last month, is protected by diplomatic immunity.

The Obama administration has piled pressure on leaders in Pakistan, an important US ally against Islamist militants, to arrange for Raymond Davis’ release and avoid a precedent being set for trials of US officials abroad.

The court in Lahore — where Davis, a former Special Forces soldier shot and killed two men on Jan. 27 in what he said was a robbery attempt — adjourned the case until March 14, dragging out the diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

US officials were earlier expected to present a petition to the court, asserting the consulate employee was a diplomat.

But Pakistani lawyers say that Davis, whose fate has galvanized anti-American fury in Pakistan, should be tried by a local court just like anyone else.

“Raymond Davis does not enjoy unfettered immunity,” said Azhar Siddique, a lawyer who will argue before the court.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/February/international_February542.xml&section=international

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Egyptians air grievances, ignoring army warning

Feb 16, 2011

Cairo airport workers protested for better pay Wednesday, textile workers went on strike to demand a corruption investigation.

CAIRO: Cairo airport workers protested for better pay Wednesday, textile workers went on strike to demand a corruption investigation and residents living along the Suez Canal pressed for closure of a chemical factory allegedly dumping toxic waste into a lake in the latest wave of unrest shaking Egypt.

The protests and strikes defied a call two days ago by the country's new military rulers to halt labor unrest. The message was seen as a final warning before an outright ban on strikes and protests that could raise the tension level among many Egyptians who are already growing more nervous by the day over uncertainties about the future.

Since the military took power from longtime leader Hosni Mubarak on Friday, Egyptians have been airing grievances everywhere over just about everything, from meager wages to police brutality and corruption. The ruling military council warned in a communique on Monday that protests and strikes are hampering efforts to improve the economy and return life to normal.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Egyptians-air-grievances-ignoring-army-warning/articleshow/7510084.cms

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Egypt’s Health Ministry says 365 killed in unrest

17 February 2011

CAIRO — At least 365 people died in the 18 days of anti-government protests that pushed out longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, the Health Ministry said Wednesday in the first official accounting of the death toll.

Minister Ahmed Sameh Farid said it was only a preliminary count of civilians killed, and did not include police or prisoners. And while Mubarak is gone, frustration with the quality of life from working conditions to environmental concerns kept demonstrators in the streets as the economy falters.

Airport employees protested for better pay Wednesday, textile workers went on strike to demand a corruption investigation and residents of a Suez Canal city pressed for closing a chemical factory they say is dumping toxic waste into a lake.

The ruling military council issued its second statement in three days calling for an immediate halt to all labor actions. The new warning raised expectations of an outright ban on protests and strikes that could easily raise the tension level between authorities and the protest movement.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/February/middleeast_February584.xml&section=middleeast

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Four killed in violent Bahrain crackdown: opposition

Feb 17, 2011

MANAMA: Riot police stormed through a Manama square in the dark early Thursday firing rubber bullets and tear gas in a harsh crackdown on anti-regime protesters that left four dead, witnesses and opposition said.

Up to 95 protesters were wounded when police launched the operation in the iconic Pearl Square without warning at around 3am (midnight GMT), sending protesters fleeing in panic, they said.

"They attacked the square, where hundreds of people were spending the night in tents," said one witness, 37-year-old Fadel Ahmad.

At the city's main Salmaniya hospital, medical staff were overwhelmed as ambulances and private cars were still ferrying in the injured more than three hours after the assault began.

Relatives of the victims gathered outside the hospital, angry and weeping.

During the operation, explosions and ambulance sirens could be heard a few hundred metres (yards) from the central square, which had been sealed off. Demonstrators fled pursued by security forces, as a helicopter flew overhead.

By dawn Thursday, police officers were clearing away the tents as acrid clouds of tear gas hung over the square.

Security forces were later in the morning deployed across Manama, with armed police blocking roads leading to the square and setting up checkpoints in other streets, causing heavy traffic congestion.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Four-killed-in-violent-Bahrain-crackdown-opposition/articleshow/7513305.cms#ixzz1EDUyTDS2

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35 prisoners flee after beating guards in Tunisia

Feb 17, 2011

TUNIS: Thirty-five inmates held in a prison in southern Tunisia escaped by assaulting guards and making a hole in the wall, a media report said.

Most of the escapees were apprehended following the break-out from the prison in the Mediterranean coastal town of Gabes, said a report Wednesday by TAP, the country's official news agency.

A number of jail breaks occurred during the days when thousands of people filled Tunisia's streets in the protests that would spread to other Arab countries.

On Jan 15, about 1,000 inmates fled a prison in Kasserine, located in central Tunisia.

About a month of daily protests prompted Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who ruled for 23 years, to flee the north African country in January. A vacuum has been filled by a caretaker government, but protests and violence have continued.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/35-prisoners-flee-after-beating-guards-in-Tunisia/articleshow/7513364.cms#ixzz1EDVGPQLh

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Iran regime calls for 'hatred' rally against opposition

Feb 16, 2011

TEHRAN: Iran's regime has called a rally in Tehran on Friday to express "hatred" against the opposition movement, as its two key leaders launched fresh anti-government tirades despite demands they be hanged.

The call for the mass rally came as clashes erupted between regime backers and "apparent" supporters of the opposition at a funeral attended by thousands in Tehran of a student killed in anti-government protests of Monday.

"The noble people of Tehran will take to Enghelab Square after Friday prayers with their solid and informed presence," the Islamic Propagation Coordination Council, which organises regime-backed programmes, said Wednesday.

It said those joining the rally will "scream out their hatred, wrath and disgust against the savage crimes and evil movements of sedition leaders, their Monafeghin (hypocrites) and their monarchist allies."

Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have been in the firing line since they called a rally on Monday in support of Arab uprisings but which quickly turned into anti-government demonstrations and ended in clashes that left two people dead and several wounded.

Iran's prosecutor general Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie warned Wednesday that action would be taken against Mousavi and Karroubi, a day after lawmakers and a radical cleric demanded they be executed.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-regime-calls-for-hatred-rally-against-opposition/articleshow/7509220.cms

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Hezbollah Egypt cell chief appears at Beirut rally

Feb 16, 2011,

BEIRUT: The head of a 22-member Hezbollah cell who escaped from an Egyptian prison during the Cairo uprising appeared on Wednesday at a televised rally of the Iranian-backed group in Beirut.

Mohammed Yusuf Mansour, alias Sami Shehab, was lauded as a "freed prisoner" and a "brother in our struggle" as he joined a group of Hezbollah officials at a gathering to mark the Shiite militant group's martyrs' day, television images showed.

The cell members fled on Febuary 3 along with members of Palestinian group Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and thousands of other convicts during a mass breakout amid anti-government protests in Egypt.

Hezbollah, which has had strained ties with Cairo for decades, has praised Egyptians on their "historic victory" after president Hosni Mubarak's ouster this month.

The Shiite group -- which opposes the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel -- sparked the ire of ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak in late 2008 by accusing him of complicity with Israel during the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Hezbollah-Egypt-cell-chief-appears-at-Beirut-rally/articleshow/7509914.cms

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Somali pirate gets over 33 years in prison

Feb 16, 2011

NEW YORK: A Somali pirate who attacked a US-flagged ship off the coast of Africa in 2009 was sentenced to more than 33 years in prison Wednesday by an emotional judge who said a long sentence was necessary to deter others and punish the only survivor among a group of pirates who "appeared to relish their most depraved acts."

US District Judge Loretta A. Preska sometimes became choked up as she described the harm Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse brought to the crew aboard a merchant ship in the Indian Ocean.

She ordered Muse to serve 33 years and nine months in prison, rejecting a plea for leniency by his defense lawyers.

The tense standoff that ensued after Muse and his fellow pirates held the captain of the Maersk Alabama hostage after the April 8, 2009, attack ended when Navy sharpshooters killed three of Muse's men and freed the captain, Richard Phillips.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Somali-pirate-gets-over-33-years-in-prison/articleshow/7511175.cms

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Jilted Pak girl films her lover's brutal murder

Feb 16, 2011,

ISLAMABAD: Taking revenge on her unfaithful lover, a 17-year-old Pakistani girl hired goons to murder him and then filmed the gruesome act with her cellphone as the murderers chopped his body parts, police said.

Maira Maryam, the jilted girlfriend of Kamran (20) orchestrated his murder, made her accomplices hack his body to pieces, and captured the act on her cellphone, The Express Tribune reported.

Police said pictures of Kamran's body were found on her cell phone and the laptop of one of the suspects, Umair Ali Khan.

Maryam claimed Kamran had trapped her in love, using her to fulfil his sexual appetite, and then dumped her. Later when he began offering her to his friends, she could not tolerate it and decided to kill him, police said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Jilted-Pak-girl-films-her-lovers-brutal-murder/articleshow/7509282.cms

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Davis case posing ‘difficult questions’ for Pak: Gilani

Feb 16 2011

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani today said the case of US official Raymond Davis could be resolved only by the courts or relatives of the dead men, while admitting that his government was facing “difficult decisions” on the issue.

The government has made it very clear that it would accept any decision by the courts or the heirs of the dead men on the issue of US national Raymond Davis, Gilani said while addressing the National Seerat Conference, a gathering of clerics and religious scholars.

“The matter can be resolved if the relatives (of the dead men) grant a pardon or the court decides. We have no role in the matter,” Gilani said.

Davis’ case was before the courts, which would decide the matter after evaluating evidence on whether he has diplomatic immunity, he said.

“Davis also has a lawyer, he will present his case and then the court will decide whether he has immunity or not,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/davis-case-posing-difficult-questions-for-pak-gilani/750912/

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Toppled Mubarak wants to die in Egypt, claims report

February 16th, 2011

Cairo: Longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled in a popular uprising last week, wants to die in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh where he has been living since his ouster, a report said today.

Eighty-two year old Mubarak, who is reportedly suffering from health problems, turned down Saudi Arabia's offer to visit the kingdom, saying he was determined to see out his days in Egypt, Al Arabiya quoted a Saudi official as saying.

"He is not dead but is not doing well at all and refuses to leave. Basically, he has given up and wants to die in Sharm," said the Saudi official on condition of anonymity.

Official confirmation could not immediately be obtained from the Saudi government.

In his last speech on state TV, Mubarak said he would not flee from the his country and vowed to die in Egypt. A number of Egyptian newspapers on Monday reported that Mubarak went into a full coma on Saturday night at his Sharm al-Sheikh residence.

Egyptian daily 'Al-Masry Al-Youm' reported that soon after moving to the resort, Mubarak who ruled Egypt for 30 years was gravely ill and slipped into a coma.

Full report at:

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/international/toppled-mubarak-wants-die-egypt-claims-report-416

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US insists shooting has not harmed Pakistan ties

February 17th, 2011

WASHINGTON: The United States said Wednesday that a row over an incident in which a US official killed two Pakistani men has not harmed ties between the two allies engaged in the fight against extremism.

“We are committed to build a strong and effective partnership with Pakistan. And we certainly do not want to have issues like this (shooting) distract us from our…joint efforts,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.

Asked if the incident — the killing of two Pakistanis by an American official — had proved such a distraction, he replied: “Not so far.”

When pressed whether it has disrupted ties, Crowley replied: “I can’t say it has.”

Crowley also said that annual trilateral talks involving senior officials from Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States and scheduled in Washington for February 23-24 were postponed for “practical” reasons.

“Pakistan dissolved its government, and it has not…repositioned ministers in every ministry that would expect to participate in a trilateral meeting. So we’ve postponed it for that reason,” Crowley said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/17/us-insists-shooting-has-not-harmed-pakistan-ties.html

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Eight dead in Mardan flour mill wall collapse

February 17th, 2011

PESHAWAR: Eight people were killed and eight were wounded when a wall of a flour mill crashed on houses adjacent to it in northwest Pakistan’s Mardan town on Thursday, DawnNews reported.

Two children and a woman were among the dead, police sources said.

Ambulances and rescue teams reached the site of the accident soon after and shifted the injured to a nearby hospital.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/17/eight-dead-in-mardan-flour-mill-wall-collapse.html

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Palestinians say vote Friday on settlements

February 17th, 2011

UNITED NATIONS: The Palestinians said the UN Security Council will vote Friday on a resolution to condemn Israeli settlements, rejecting a compromise proposal by the United States as too little, too late.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN observer, made the announcement after a closed-door meeting late Wednesday of the 22-member Arab Group, which endorsed the decision. He called settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as their capital, the “main obstacle” to the resumption of peace negotiations with Israel and said construction must stop.

Calling for a vote now, Mansour said, “is our effort to respond to what is happening in the Middle East by not putting the issue of the Palestinian question on the back burner but to put it on the front burner.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/17/palestinians-say-vote-friday-on-settlements.html

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Security forces attack Bahrain protesters: witnesses

February 17th, 2011

MANAMA: Two people were killed and at least 50 injured overnight Wednesday as Bahrain’s security forces moved in to clear protesters camped out in a central Manama square, a Shiite opposition spokesman told AFP.

“Two people have been killed and at least 50 others injured, at least 10 of them seriously,” Matar Matar, spokesman for the Al-Wefaq movement, the main Shiite opposition group said.

Bahraini security forces used tear gas as they moved in the protesters, witnesses told AFP, and explosions and ambulance sirens could be heard a few hundred metres (yards) from the square, which had been sealed off.

Journalists saw the protesters leaving the square pursued by the security forces, as a helicopter flew over the area.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/17/security-forces-attack-bahrain-protesters-witnesses.html

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Algeria to lift state of emergency before end of February

February 17th, 2011

ALGIERS: Algeria said Wednesday it will lift by the end of February the state of emergency slapped on the country 19 years ago at the start of a decade-long bloody conflict with militants.

“The lifting of the state of emergency will take place before the end of the current month along with the announcement of several measures regarding housing, jobs and administration management,” the state news agency APS quoted Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia as saying.

The state of emergency was declared in 1992 amid the violence pitting radicals against the military-backed government which claimed at least 150,000 lives over a decade.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika had announced earlier this month he would lift the state of emergency “in the very near future,” among a series of new measures long demanded by the opposition.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/17/algeria-to-lift-state-of-emergency-before-end-of-february.html

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Iran warships to transit Suez for Syria, says Israel

February 17th, 2011

JERUSALEM: Two Iranian warships planned to sail through the Suez canal en route to Syria on Wednesday, Israel said, calling it a “provocation” by the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian naval contingent described by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman would pose no significant military threat to Israel but could spell the closest-ever encounter by the forces of the two old foes, who are geographically distant.

Syria is one of Israel’s neighbouring enemies, whose alliance with Tehran has grown in parallel to increased international censure of the Iranian nuclear programme.

“Tonight, two Iranian warships are meant to pass through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean Sea and reach Syria, something that has not happened in many years,” Lieberman said in a closed-door speech to Jewish leaders, a transcript of which was issued by his office.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/16/iran-warships-to-transit-suez-for-syria-says-israel.html

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Davis is a US govt employee, reveal documents

February 17th, 2011

KARACHI: Documents obtained by DawnNews on Wednesday revealed that Raymond Davis, the US gunman accused of killing two Pakistanis in Lahore, is a permanent employee of the US Overseas Protective Security Services.

The document shows that Davis gets $ 0.2 million per annum as salary.

Meanwhile, government authorities have decided to shift the US official to Adiala Jail where his visiting hours will be limited to three hours.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/16/davis-is-a-us-govt-employee-reveal-documents.html

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Anti-government protests spread to Libya

February 17th, 2011

The protest in Benghazi was triggered by the arrest Tuesday of a Libyan activist but quickly took on an anti-government tone, witnesses and activists said. The protest was relatively small in size, but it signaled anti-government activists have been emboldened by the recent wave of uprisings.

Activists using Facebook and Twitter have called for nationwide demonstrations on Thursday to call for Gadhafi’s ouster, a constitution and comprehensive political and economic reforms.

Tuesday’s demonstration began in front of the local security headquarters after Libyan troops raided the house of rights advocate Fathi Tarbel in Benghazi and took him away, according to a Switzerland-based activist Fathi al-Warfali.

Tarbel was released after meeting with a powerful Libyan security official, Abdullah al-Sanousi, but the protesters proceeded to march through the coastal city to the main downtown plaza, he said.

Independent confirmation was not possible as the government keeps tight control over the media, but video clips posted on the Internet showed protesters carrying signs and chanting: ”No God but Allah, Moammar is the enemy of Allah” and ”Down, down to corruption and to the corrupt.”

Police and armed government backers quickly clamped down, firing rubber bullets and dousing protesters with water cannons.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/16/anti-government-protests-spread-to-libya.html

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US Powell asks answers over false Iraq info: reports

February 17, 2011

LONDON: Ex-secretary of state Colin Powell called on the CIA and Pentagon to explain how he was given unreliable information which proved key to the US case for invading Iraq, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

Powell's landmark speech to the United Nations on February 5, 2003, cited intelligence about Iraq leader Saddam Hussein's bioweapons programme gained from a defector, codenamed Curveball.

But he has now admitted that he lied to topple the dictator, in an interview with the Guardian.

"It has been known for several years that the source called Curveball was totally unreliable," Powell told the British newspaper.

"The question should be put to the CIA and the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) as to why this wasn't known before the false information was put into the (report) sent to Congress, the president's state of the union address and my 5 February presentation to the UN."

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=11262

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Afghanistan violence to rise in 2011: Mullen

February 16, 2011

WASHINGTON: Violence in Afghanistan will rise this year from the record levels seen in 2010, the top US military officer said on Wednesday.

The prediction by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signals an escalation in the nearly decade-old conflict even as the United States prepares to start withdrawing troops in July.

"We expect the violence coming in 2011 to be greater than last year," Mullen said in a statement submitted to the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, without saying whether this implied a rise in US military casualties.

"The fighting will be tough and often costly, but it is necessary to sustain and even increase the pressure we have been placing on the insurgent groups."

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=11256

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Hezbollah leader warns of border conflict

By BASSEM MROUE

Feb 16, 2011

BEIRUT: Hezbollah’s leader told his Shiite guerrilla group Wednesday to be prepared to invade northern Israel if a new war ever breaks out between the two sides.

The comments illustrate the fragile situation along the frontier since Israel and Iranian-backed Hezbollah fought a bitter, six-week war in the summer of 2006. The conflict ended in a UN-brokered truce but officials on both sides of the border have warned hostilities could resume.

“I tell the holy warriors of the Islamic resistance to be ready for a day when, if war is imposed on us, your command might ask you to control the Galilee area,” Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech Wednesday. The Galilee refers to northern Israel, near the border with Lebanon.

Responding to Nasrallah’s threat, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “I have news for you. He won’t.

The last thing anyone should have is any doubt about is Israel’s determination to defend itself and defend its people.” He called Hezbollah an Iran-backed “terror organization” that has taken control of Lebanon.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article267026.ece

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Saudi youth struggle to find work raises urgency for reform

By JOHN SFAKIANAKIS

Feb 17, 2011

Education reform and job creation in Saudi Arabia and across Arab countries could come under the glare of publicity in the coming months as successful popular revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia renew the urgency to address these most-pressing social dilemmas. For years, improving the quality of education in a bid to engage youth in the Kingdom's expanding economy has been a top state priority. Saudi Arabia's budget dedicated to education spending has more than doubled in size since 2005. Allocations for education and training programs in 2011 amount to 26 percent of the country's record SR580 billion budget, or SR150 billion ($40 billion).

With unemployment among Saudis hovering around 10 percent according to the most recent Labor Ministry estimations - and youth unemployment as much as four times greater than that in some age brackets - education and labor market reform are the foremost challenges facing the country.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/article267060.ece

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Kingdom to continue its efforts to reconcile Iraqis

By MAHER ABBAS

Feb 17, 2011

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will continue its efforts to reconcile Iraqi groups and narrow their differences, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said on Tuesday.

“We are in contact with the Arab League to do whatever possible in this respect,” he added.

In a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart Franco Frattini, Prince Saud indicated that such mediation efforts would be conducted after the ongoing Arbil initiative.

“Right now the Iraqis are busy with the Arbil initiative and any new reconciliation talks will be after that initiative,” he said.

Prince Saud underscored the good response to the peace initiative of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah from the Iraqi leaders. “King Abdullah has left no stone unturned to end the bloodbath in Iraq and unify the Iraqi ranks.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article266987.ece

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Obama calls for peaceful response in Middle East

Feb 17, 2011

WASHINGTON: Warily watching protests ripple across the Middle East, President Barack Obama said Tuesday that governments in the vital, volatile region are figuring out that they “can’t maintain power through coercion.” He slammed Iran as an exception, accusing the US foe of beating and shooting protesters.

The public uprisings that toppled the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia have ignited protests and violent clashes in Bahrain, Yemen and Iran. With strategic US interests in each of those countries, Obama conceded he is concerned about the region’s stability. And he prodded governments to get out ahead of the change.

In his most expansive comments yet about the unrest spilling across the Middle East and north Africa, Obama signaled that he would stick with his Egyptian model: Prod governments to allow peaceful protests and to respond to grievances, but stay silent about who should run the countries or what change should look like.

The Egyptian experience has cemented Obama’s doctrine of dealing with countries grappling with upheaval: direction that falls short of dictates. He said the lesson for all the nations is that they will only see lasting change, and gain both international and internal support for it, when it comes through “moral force.” “These are sovereign countries that are going to have to make their own decisions,” Obama said at his first full news conference of the year. “What we can do is lend moral support to those who are seeking a better life for themselves.” Whether moral support is enough is often the issue as the United States tries to help shape events in the Middle East that are out of its control. The unrest in the region, and its potential impact on leadership of friendly and rival nations, can in turn affect US economic, military and security interests.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article266858.ece

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Jordan distances from itself minister’s 'hero' remark

By ABDUL JALIL MUSTAFA

Feb 16, 2011

AMMAN: The Jordanian government on Wednesday dissociated itself from a cabinet minister’s remarks which praised a soldier who killed seven Israeli schoolgirls 14 years ago as a “hero.”

“The Justice Minister Hussein Megalli’s statement concerning Ahmad Dakamseh does not represent the attitude of the Jordanian government but rather reflects his own personal opinion which the atmosphere of freedom and democracy in the country entitles him to express,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Kayed said in a statement.

Dakamseh is currently serving a life imprisonment with hard labor for killing seven Israeli schoolgirls in March 1997, when he opened an automatic weapon on them as they visited Baqura, a scenic peninsula on the Jordan River.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article266863.ece

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Syria releases activist who called for protests

Feb 16, 2011

DAMASCUS, Syria: Human rights groups say a Syrian activist arrested earlier this month for calling for anti-government protests has been released because of health problems.

In a statement, nine local rights group said Wednesday that Ghassan Al-Najjar was released Monday. There were no details on the health of the activist, who is in his mid-70s.

Al-Najjar leads a small group called the Islamic Democratic Current. He was arrested at his home in the northern city of Aleppo on Feb. 2.

The same groups had on Sunday expressed concern over his deteriorating health and urged authorities to release him immediately.

There was no official comment on Al-Najjar’s detention or release. An online campaign calling for protests on Feb. 5 fell flat when no protesters showed up in Damascus.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article266214.ece

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Mubarak loyalist becomes Egypt’s transition leader

By MAGGIE MICHAEL

Feb 16, 2011

CAIRO: A US diplomatic cable reported that the defense minister was known as “Mubarak’s poodle,” a derisive reference to his unswerving loyalty to the former authoritarian president.

Yet huge crowds of Egyptians who demonstrated for 18 days against Hosni Mubarak’s rule saw Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi and his troops as their savior. They appealed to the military to intervene in Egypt’s crisis, and the generals did.

Tantawi, the head of the ruling council that took power from Mubarak on Friday, is the new leader of what many Egyptians hope will be a radical transformation of their nation. The 75-year-old career soldier will be one of the most scrutinized figures in Egypt in the months ahead when his council has promised to steer the country toward a democratic system, sealed by elections.

But he is an unlikely steward for the task, a man said to be resistant to change and out of touch with the younger officer corps.

“Tantawi and the army gave a strong message to the public and Mubarak: We are with the people and their legitimate demands,” said Abdullah el-Sinnawi, editor-in-chief of el-Araby, an opposition weekly newspaper. “He managed to unify the army under his command,” el-Sinnawi added. Some low- and middle-ranking officers did not hide their sympathy for the protesters, cheering and mingling with demonstrators.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article265749.ece

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Spain approves new law to battle Internet piracy

Feb 16, 2011

MADRID: Spain has approved a law that allows authorities to shut down websites offering illegal downloads of copyrighted-protected entertainment material.

The revamped bill replacing an earlier defeated version was passed by parliament late Tuesday after months of opposition from political parties and Internet users.

It aims to appease entertainment industry groups who, backed by the US government, say they are losing millions through Internet piracy.

The law creates a panel which will hear complaints against suspected sites. A judge will have the final word in all phases of each investigation. The bill allows for sites to be closed in the space of 10 days.

Spain’s Association of Internet Users said Wednesday it will appeal the law.

http://arabnews.com/world/article266856.ece

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Anti-government protests in Yemen spread to south

By SAEED AL-BATATI

Feb 17, 2011

SANAA: A demonstrator was killed and at least five others were injured when police fired bullets and tear gas to disperse a demonstration in Al-Mansoura district in Yemen’s coastal commercial capital Aden, local sources said.

Following the killing, angry demonstrators attacked the Al-Mansoura local council building. The demonstrators, who were among other protesters calling for the change of the goverment, stormed  the building and set it ablaze along with four cars parked in the area.

The demonstrators earlier converged on the streets in response to calls by Internet evangelists. Aden could be the first southern Yemeni province that joined the demonstrations that call for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to quit following the resignation of the Egyptian president.

In the capital Sanaa, thousands of students gathered at Sanaa University campus and moved in the capital’s streets. Many of the students were injured  in the intermittent confrontations with the pro-government loyalists who used batons and knives to assault the students.

Meanwhile, newsyemen.net, an independent website, said on Wednesday that Khaled Al-Tamim, the president of Sanaa University, was dismissed from office over the  escalating protests in the university’s campus.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article266846.ece

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Egypt military rulers face Iran warship passage

17 February 2011

CAIRO - Egypt’s new military rulers faced their first unwelcome diplomatic exposure on Wednesday as Israel reported that two Iranian warships were approaching the Suez Canal to pass through for the first time since 1979.

The two navy vessels planned to sail through the canal, one of the world’s busiest waterways and a vital source of foreign currency for Egypt’s economy, en route to Syria, Israel said, calling it a “provocation” by Iran.

Such navy ships have the right to pass under international law, analysts said, but noted the scenario was not the kind of diplomatic challenge the new military rulers would relish.

Egypt was the first Arab country to make peace with Israel in its 1979 treaty and is a pivotal ally of the United States in the Middle East region. The United States and Israel are arch-adversaries of Iran, an ally of Syria.

“For warships to pass through the canal, approval from the ministry of defence and the ministry of foreign affairs is needed and this applies to all warships owned by any country,” a Canal official told Reuters. No notice had been given so far.

Neil Partrick, an independent UK-based Middle East expert, said he presumed Iran decided on the ships’ mission before Egypt was engulfed in the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak last week and that the operation was driven by long-time military and security cooperation between Tehran and Damascus.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/February/middleeast_February586.xml&section=middleeast

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Pak singer to rock Dubai tonight

17 February 2011

dubai — Pakistani rock sensation Atif Aslam will be performing at a unique show tonight at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dubai. Instead of the usual open air concerts, the show will take place in the Jumeirah Ballroom at the hotel. The show called ‘Love sessions unplugged’ will feature some of Atif’s popular romantic songs.

Atif said at a Press conference on Wednesday that he loves performing in Dubai as the audience always gives him a great response. He added: “The aura of the show depends on the audience and I am sure that we will rock the show. Also, a lot of fans complain that I don’t interact with them, so this time I will be doing that as well. ”  Dressed in semi-formals and in a jovial mood, the rockstar spoke to ?Khaleej Times on the sidelines.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/February/theuae_February439.xml&section=theuae

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/libya-latest-casualty-of-arab-world-unrest,-protesters-target-gaddafi/d/4145


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