New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 22 Sept 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Mid-east crisis: Abbas vs Netanyahu at UN

President Abbas seeks Palestine spring, bids for state

Teen First Female to Die in Syrian Custody: Amnesty

Libya NTC Says to Announce 'Crisis' Government in Days

Kazakh MPs back secular state to counter extremism

Sydney schoolboy claims he was beaten, abused 'for being Muslim'

Emotional scenes as Burhanuddin Rabbani buried in Kabul

President Hamid Karzai takes peace pledge at Rabbani's funeral

Two planes couldn't bring twin towers down: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Harsh Words From Turkey About Israel, and From Iran About United States

Saudi Businesswoman exploring ways to fight unemployment

US signals break with Pak over terror links

Pakistan govt. and army hit back at US: You’re risking the alliance

Pakistan Scorns U.S. Scolding on Terrorism

Pak fumes over US ‘terror tag’ on ISI

US linking ISI with Haqqani network 'very unfortunate': Gen Parvez Kayani

Yemen unrest: 'Troops attack' opposition camp in Sanaa

Turkey seizes Syrian ship with weapons - PM Erdogan

Syrian security forces kill 9 Civilians

Clashes, tension in West Bank before UN speech, 1 killed

Blast kills 4 militants in Pakistan's Khyber region

Iraqi Police: Bombs Kill 5 in Baghdad

Maldives becomes latest country to endorse International Criminal Court

Maldivian Democratic Party requests special prayer for Palestinian statehood

Massacred Village in Indonesia Awaits Dutch Amends

Imam Abdul Rashid: ‘I ran and the Gurjjars chased me, raining lathis on my back’

No clean chit yet to Kishtwar student

Co-accused sent to NIA custody by court in Delhi

HC admits plea to probe Kashmir ‘encounter’, Khoda role

Afzal Guru clemency resolution: PDP-NC pitted against Cong-BJP

Srinagar-bound US broadcaster is deported from New Delhi

IAEA adopts resolution against Mideast atomic bombs

Ahmadinejad: UN nuclear agency does US bidding

'You will lose an ally' if accusations continue, Pakistan warns US

Pakistan strongly rejects allegation of waging proxy war

Target of Karachi blast was SSP CID’s son, claim sources

LeJ leader placed under house arrest in Pak

Killer tricked Rabbani with Taliban peace offer: President Hamid Karzai

Report: Libya conflict, 'Luck' played part in success

NTC faces credibility test at Gaddafi strongholds

U.S. Embassy reopens in Libya; Qadhafi ex-PM caught

Tunisia jails Qaddafi-era premier for illegal entry

Israel boosts security ahead of Palestinian UN membership bid

Omar Abdullah snubs report: Didn't ‘pamper' former PoK PM

Ajmer set to host first global Sufi fest

CPI(M): act against officers behind Gopalgarh firing

J&K to become first State to launch “my stamp” says John Samuel

Kasab appeal: Supreme Court appoints Raju Ramachandran as amicus

Supreme Court dismisses bail plea of Sadhvi Pragya

PDP to support clemency bid for Afzal Guru

Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh returns to Sanaa

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoles Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi's death

Obama address triggers wave of defiance in Arab world

Cell phones tie Afghan embassy attackers to Pakistan

NYPD eyed US citizens in intel. Effort

Third US soldier pleads guilty to Afghan killings

Somali rebels force starving thousands back into famine zone

Shiite Cleric Criticizes Bahrain 'Fake Democracy'

Rabbani: An alternative obituary

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/mid-east-crisis--abbas-vs-netanyahu-at-un/d/5539

 

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Mid-east crisis: Abbas vs Netanyahu at UN

24 Sep, 2011

The debate over a Palestinian bid for UN membership reached a peak on Friday with the Palestinian and Israeli leaders appealing to the 193 nations that make up the General Assembly.

The issue has dominated this year's gathering of world leaders, who crowded into the hall to hear the two men argue their case, writes the BBC's Barbara Plett in New York.

It was clear for which one the audience had greater sympathy.

Scores of envoys leaped to their feet applauding when Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas brandished a letter of application he'd submitted to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, requesting that Palestine be accepted as a UN member state.

Mr Abbas embedded his speech in history. He recounted the gradual acceptance by the Palestine Liberation Movement [also known as Fatah] of a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel and the frustration with the peace process as the way to achieve that goal.

The PLO's decision in 1988 to relinquish its claim on all of Mandate Palestine and settle for those territories captured by Israel in 1967 was a "very painful and difficult step" said Mr Abbas, but "we decided to adopt the path of relative justice, justice that is possible".

'No business as usual'

Now, after 20 years of fruitless negotiations, he said, the Palestinians have concluded that the path to independence is firmly blocked.

With passion, he blamed Israel's "colonial" policy of building Jewish settlements on occupied territory which, he said, was undermining the realistic potential for the existence of a Palestinian state.

Mr Abbas also implied he had no more faith in the American-led process based on the Oslo peace accords, appealing for a greater and more effective UN role.

"It is no longer possible to redress the issue of the blockage of the horizon of the peace talks with the same means and methods… that have proven unsuccessful," he said.

"It is neither possible nor practical to return to conducting business as usual."

And for the first time he warned that the Palestinian Authority could collapse if Israel continued expanding settlements.

"I caution aloud," he said, repeating the phrase for emphasis.

'Useless' proposals

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu countered Mr Abbas with characteristic combativeness, but was rewarded with sparse and often partisan applause.

He framed his speech with Israel's security needs, painting a picture of a growing threat from militant Islam in the region and in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, which is governed by the Islamist Hamas movement.

He dismissed the contention that an Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory would bring peace, saying the opposite had happened when Israel left Gaza.

"The moderates didn't defeat the radicals, the moderates were devoured by the radicals… we didn't get peace, we got war," he said, referring to Hamas rocket attacks on Israel.

Mr Netanyahu told the assembly he needed to ensure the same thing wouldn't happen in the West Bank, which is located closer to major Israeli cities. For that, security arrangements had to be negotiated with the Palestinians, he said, and this must come before they got their state.

The Israeli premier maintained that Mr Abbas had failed to respond to numerous overtures of peace, challenging him again to meet that day in New York, but rejecting the heart of his argument: the core of the conflict is not settlements, he said, but the "refusal of the Palestinians to recognise a Jewish state in any border".

The Palestinians may have won the popular vote in the General Assembly, but the Israelis will win the battle over UN membership.

The Americans have made it absolutely clear they will veto the move in the Security Council, describing "defending Israel" as one of their achievements at the UN in a White House fact sheet.

Hoping to avoid a US veto, the Quartet of Middle East mediators (the UN, Russia, European Union, and America) has issued a proposed framework for reviving peace talks.

But it doesn't explicitly mention settlements or even confirm the 1967 lines as the basis for border negotiations - the two conditions on which Palestinians insist.

With Palestinian officials describing the statement as "useless" and "worthless," and the White House focused on appeasing a pro-Israeli congress ahead of presidential elections, the question of Palestine may continue to return to the UN in the coming months.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15045119

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President Abbas seeks Palestine spring, bids for state

Sep 24 2011

New York : Amidst applause, in a speech translated by an emotional interpreter, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced before the United Nations General Assembly today his people’s bid to become the 194th member country of the international body.

The formal application for statehood, based on 1967 boundaries, had been delivered to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon earlier in the afternoon, before Abbas delivered his speech. His address, asking members of the Security Council to vote for Palestinian statehood, was made after President Barack Obama had left New York for Washington, and did not mention the US or its threat of veto.

The Arab spring must be followed by the Palestinian spring, Abbas said. He recalled Yasser Arafat’s address to the UN in 1974, when he exhorted the nations of the world to help realise “the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people” with the words, “Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand”.

Abbas said that Palestinians had entered into negotiations with Israel only last year, ready with documents, papers and proposals, but the talks had broken down within weeks.

“I do not believe anyone with a shred of conscience can reject our application for full admission in the United Nations,” he said. Amid sustained applause, he held up a copy of the letter he had handed to Ban: “The time has come,” he said.

The Security Council is expected to take up Abbas’s request after Ban submits it, probably next week. The US is working to prevent the Palestinians from getting together the nine votes they need, so that it does not have to cast its veto to stall the proposal. Efforts are on to restart direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians before a vote becomes necessary, diplomats have said.

Among the 15 members, India has already announced its support to Abbas. On the eve of his departure for the UN, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent him a letter saying “India has always supported the Palestinian people in their pursuit of legitimate goals and for development with dignity and self reliance. I assure you of India’s full support in the United Nations.”

Brazil, China, Lebanon, South Africa and Russia too are expected to remain in the Palestinian camp. While the US will vote against, the positions of the five European members, and Colombia, Gabon and Nigeria are not clear.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/abbas-seeks-palestine-spring-bids-for-state/851020/

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Teen First Female to Die in Syrian Custody: Amnesty

Sep 23 2011

LONDON (Reuters) - A Syrian teenager, whose mutilated body was discovered by chance by her family in a morgue while there to identify her brother's corpse, was thought to be the first female to die in custody during recent unrest, a rights group said on Friday.

Zainab al-Hosni, 18, from the city of Homs had been decapitated, her arms cut off and skin removed, Amnesty International said.

She was abducted by men suspected of belonging to the security forces in July in an apparent attempt to put pressure on her activist brother Mohammad Deeb al-Hosni to turn himself in, the group said.

Both died, bringing Amnesty's number of reported deaths in custody to 103 cases since mass protests in Syria began in March this year against President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

"If it is confirmed that Zainab was in custody when she died, this would be one of the most disturbing cases of a death in detention we have seen so far," Philip Luther, Amnesty's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.

Fifteen new death in custody cases have been recorded by Amnesty since late August, with the bodies bearing signs of beating, shooting and stabbing, but Zainab's case was "particularly shocking," Luther said.

Mohammad, 27, had been organizing protests in Homs, which has been at the center of opposition demonstrations calling for political reform.

Assad, a member of the minority Alawite sect has ruled the mainly Sunni Muslim country since succeeding his late father Hafez al-Assad 11 years ago.

Mohammad's mother was summoned by security forces this month to pick up his dead body from a military hospital three days after his arrest.

His body showed signs of torture including bruising on the back and cigarette burns on the body. He had been shot in the right arm, right leg, and three times in the chest, Amnesty said.

His mother unexpectedly discovered Zainab's mutilated body at the same hospital.

She was said to have been made to sign a document saying that Zainab and Mohammad had been kidnapped and killed by an armed gang, the group added.

"There are no signs of torture and murder abating in Syria," Luther said.

The United Nations said 2,700 people had been killed in the unrest, while authorities say 700 police and army have been killed by terrorists and mutineers.

Assad has promised reform and has changed some laws, but the opposition said they made no difference.

The president has repeatedly said foreign powers were trying to divide Syria under the guise of wanting democracy due to Damascus' backing for Arab resistance groups.

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2011/09/23/world/middleeast/international-us-syria-

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Libya NTC Says to Announce 'Crisis' Government in Days

24 Sep, 2011

BENGHAZI/SIRTE, Libya (Reuters) - Libya's interim rulers said on Friday they would announce a "crisis" government within the next few days, signalling a breakthrough in efforts to form a more inclusive administration after the war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

"We've agreed on a number of portfolios and who would hold the most important ones. There will be 22 portfolios and one vice premier," said Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, a spokesman for the National Transitional Council (NTC).

"It will be a compact government, a crisis government."

NTC forces said they had tightened their grip on southern oasis towns which sided with Gaddafi. That progress is overshadowed by unsuccessful efforts to take two remaining strongholds loyal to the ousted leader.

It remains unclear whether the NTC, still based in the eastern city of Benghazi, can unify a country split along tribal and regional lines.

Getting the oil on which the economy relies pumping again is key to building the NTC's credibility and earning more of the cash it needs to build a new state after 42 years of eccentric, one-man rule.

Those efforts were boosted on Friday when France's Total said production at its Al-Jurf offshore field had restarted and that crude shipments were likely to resume in around two weeks.

The company said it still needed to carry out detailed inspections at its onshore sites before being in a position to say when it would restart production. Total has a Libyan crude production capacity of 55,000 barrels per day.

The announcement is the latest step towards getting oil pumping at full capacity again, though wresting control of Bani Walid and Sirte from Gaddafi's forces remains the NTC priority.

"RESISTANCE IS HOPELESS"

A Reuters reporter on the western edges of Sirte saw dozens of cars with civilians leaving the town on Friday. Rebels fired sporadic tank shells and artillery at suspected positions of Gaddafi loyalists. NATO aircraft could be heard overhead.

"In the city, as soon as you leave the main square there is shooting. It is an effort to scare the residents," said Massoud al Adawi, a fleeing resident of Sirte.

"Gaddafi loyalists) don't want people to leave the city. They want to use them as human shields."

Amr al-Aswar, a NTC military commander on the western edge of Sirte, said avoiding civilian casualties in the town was the main problem for his forces.

Until Thursday, some parts of Sabha, the traditional base for Gaddafi's own tribe about 800 km (500 miles) south of Tripoli, had been occupied by fighters loyal to the leader who lost control of the capital and most of the country last month.

"Our revolutionaries are controlling 100 percent of Sabha city, although there are some pockets of resistance by snipers," NTC military spokesman Ahmed Bani said on Thursday in Tripoli.

"This resistance is hopeless ... They are fighting for themselves, not for the tyrant," he told reporters.

The NTC says it also controls Jufra, to the northeast of Sabha, and the nearby oasis towns of Sokna, Waddan, and Houn.

A manhunt for Gaddafi, who has been in hiding for weeks occasionally issuing defiant audio messages through Syrian-based Arrai TV, was drawing closer to its target, said Bani.

The network broadcast a bad-tempered audio message from Gaddafi's daughter Aisha on Friday. It was the first time she had spoken publicly since fleeing into exile in Algeria last month along with two of his sons.

"I reassure you about your leader, oh Libyans," the 35-year-old lawyer said, sounding distressed. "He is well and thank God his spirits are high. He is carrying his weapon and fighting along with his sons at the fronts."

A spokesman for Gaddafi, Moussa Ibrahim, said on Thursday NATO air strikes and interim government forces' shelling of Sirte were killing civilians.

His statement could not be verified as journalists are unable to reach the city. NATO comment was not immediately available.

Interim government fighters near Sirte and residents fleeing the city said pro-Gaddafi forces had been executing people suspected of sympathising with the NTC.

North of Bani Walid, NTC military forces brought forward tanks and Grad rocket launchers for a renewed attempt to take the town although it was not clear when the attack might begin.

The offensive there has been frustrated by stiff resistance from well-drilled loyalist fighters, and also a lack of organisation among the attacking forces. They operate in disparate units based on their home towns, with little overall command.

Many fighters go into battle wearing flip-flop sandals, t-shirts and jeans, and have no military training.

"We don't take orders from the NTC. We listen only to our own commander," said Ziyad Al Khemri, a fighter from Zawiyah, just west of Tripoli.

If the NTC cannot swiftly impose control on the country and its own forces, this may embarrass Western leaders, especially France's Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain's David Cameron, who took a gamble by backing the anti-Gaddafi leadership.

The NTC said last week it would move to Tripoli only after its forces were in full control of Libyan territory, contradicting an earlier pledge to move the interim administration to the capital around mid-September.

"Complete liberation would be announced when we are in control of Sirte and Bani Walid and control all the border crossings," said NTC spokesman Ghoga.

"This means Gaddafi forces would have no control over any of those crossings. I believe it's a matter of few days."

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2011/09/21/world/africa/international-us-

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Kazakh MPs back secular state to counter extremism

Sep 24 2011

ASTANA, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Kazakh lawmakers responded to the concerns of their veteran leader about growing religious extremism by voting on Wednesday to reinforce the division between religion and secular society.

Three weeks after President Nursultan Nazarbayev urged the compliant legislature to adopt tougher laws on religious activity and migration in the mainly Muslim Central Asian state, the lower house voted for a new law on religious activity.

The law, expected to be win swift approval by the Senate, stresses "the historic role of the Hanafi school of Islam and of the Christian Orthodox faith in the cultural and spiritual development of the Kazakh nation".

It bans prayer rooms in all state institutions, only allowing religious ceremonies to take place out of office hours.

Muslims make up 70 percent of Kazakhstan's 16.5-million population, and the vast majority are followers of the Hanafi school of law, considered to be the oldest and most liberal within the Sunni Muslim tradition.

Officials in Kazakhstan, the most prosperous of Central Asia's nations, have voiced concern over the possible advent of radical Islam, which is on the rise in the overpopulated and impoverished Ferghana Valley shared by its former Soviet neighbours Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Full report at:

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL5E7KL4CS20110921

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Sydney schoolboy claims he was beaten, abused 'for being Muslim'

Sep 23 2011

Sydney: A Sydney schoolboy, Hamid Mamozai, has claimed that he was beaten and verbally abused by over 20 fellow students for being a Muslim.

Mamozai, 15, was allegedly thrashed over a dozen times, and racially abused by Asquith Boys' High School students, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

''[They were saying] hit him more, hit him more, he deserves it, you terrorists, go back to where you came from, go blow something up,'' Mamozai said.

Hamid, who became unconscious, was taken to hospital but suffered no serious injuries.

Hamid's sister, Najia, said he was ''emotionally and mentally sick'' of suffering racial abuse at the school for the past two years.

His mother, Hosna said the school did not pay heed to her complaints.

''I just want to know why this is happening, why the principal doesn't care that students are being bullied, why don''t they stop it? I want other parents to know why this is happening,'' she said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sydney-schoolboy-claims-he-was-beaten-abused-for-

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Emotional scenes as Burhanuddin Rabbani buried in Kabul

Sep 23 2011

The funeral of Afghanistan's peace talks chief Burhanuddin Rabbani, killed by a suicide bomber, has taken place in Kabul amid tight security.

President Hamid Karzai joined mourners for the state funeral at the presidential palace.

Rabbani's body was then buried amid emotional scenes on a Kabul hilltop.

Rabbani, the chairman of the High Peace Council, was killed on Tuesday by a bomb hidden in a turban worn by a man claiming to be a Taliban envoy.

Peace pledge

Mr Karzai told the mourners he would continue with the peace process.

"The blood of the martyred and other martyrs of freedom requires us to continue our efforts until we reach peace and stability," he said.

"It is our responsibility to act against those who are enemies of peace."

Mr Karzai accused Rabbani's killers of using "trick and deception", abusing Afghan and Islamic customs.

Servicemen with caps and white gloves had carried the coffin, draped in the national flag, to a dais state outside the presidential palace.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-15031157

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President Hamid Karzai takes peace pledge at Rabbani's funeral

Sep 23 2011

Kabul : Afghan President Hamid Karzai vowed to continue efforts to broker a peace deal with the Taliban today as he led thousands of mourners at the funeral of his assassinated peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Kabul police deployed thousands of extra officers as part of a security lock-down designed to protect the funeral prayers being offered at the presidential palace from increasingly brazen gun and suicide attacks.

Rabbani, president of Afghanistan during the 1992-1996 civil war and chairman of Karzai's hand-picked High Peace Council, was killed on Tuesday by a turban bomber purporting to be a peace emissary from the Taliban leadership.

He was the most senior national leader assassinated in Afghanistan since the 2001 American invasion, depriving Karzai of a key Tajik ally in the increasingly fractious world of ethnically-riven Afghan politics.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/karzai-takes-peace-pledge-at-rabbanis-

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Two planes couldn't bring twin towers down: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Sep 23 2011

Washington: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that as an engineer he's sure the twin towers were not brought down by jetliners.

Ahmadinejad, in an interview with The Associated Press, says it would have been impossible for two jetliners to bring down the towers simply by hitting them. He said some kind of planned explosion must have taken place.

“This was a systematic collapse of those towers”, Ahmadinejad said. “I can say with certainty there must have been explosive material that was set off in sequence.”

Ahmadinejad stopped short of saying the United States staged the disaster 10 years ago. But he said there are questions the world should resolve, and noted there are doubters in the United States as well.

“A few airplanes without previous coordination known to the security forces and the intelligence community in the United States cannot become missiles and target the heart of the United States”, Ahmadinejad said.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted a probe that took six years to complete of the tower collapses; the last report found that fire caused the collapse of 7 World Trade Center, a skyscraper north of the twin towers. In the collapse of the twin towers, the agency found that extreme heat from the jetliner crashes caused some steel beams to lose strength, causing further failures in the building until the entire structure succumbed.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/two-planes-couldnt-bring-twin-towers-

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Harsh Words From Turkey About Israel, and From Iran About United States

By NEIL MacFARQUHAR

Sep 23 2011

UNITED NATIONS — Evidently heedless of American attempts to engineer a thaw in Turkish-Israeli relations, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey used his appearance before the annual General Assembly on Thursday to enumerate a long list of grievances with Israel, a former regional ally.

Mr. Erdogan was the second major Middle Eastern leader addressing the General Assembly, with the widespread focus on the region’s most intractable problem, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, due to culminate Friday with speeches by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority.

Representatives of the so-called quartet — the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia — were still trying late Thursday to reach an agreement on a statement about moving peace negotiations forward, intended to counterbalance the controversial proposal for United Nations membership that Mr. Abbas has vowed to present. The future of the Quartet could be at risk, some diplomats suggested, with the Americans and the Europeans, close to an agreement, ready to abandon the other two members and issue a statement by themselves. It could go down to the very moment after the Netanyahu and Abbas speeches, the diplomats said.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/23/world/middleeast/irans-president-mahmoud-

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Saudi Businesswoman exploring ways to fight unemployment

Sep 23 2011

JEDDAH: Saudi businesswoman Al-Anood Al-Naja is looking for new ways to fight unemployment in Saudi Arabia.

The chief executive officer of Prolinks commercial and administration services said her goal is to place job seekers in their ideal jobs and provide companies with top candidates.

Prolinks’ mission is to close the gap between the expectations of the job seeker and of the business sector through its recruitment and training services and an understanding of the labor market’s dynamic changes.

One of Prolinks’ main services is training and guiding Saudi youths to help make them attractive for the job market.

“We aim to decrease the number of unemployed Saudis, and we do so by studying the Saudi job market, the employer and the candidate,” said Al-Naja.

Al-Naja says that one of the problems why Saudis do not want to get a job is that the government has provided a stable benefit payment for the unemployed.

“Some Saudis earn SR3,000 for an eight hour job. Those are the ones who see that it’s better and easier for them to quit their jobs, stay at home and do nothing,” she said. “They believe that getting the SR2,000 is enough and less of a headache.”

“Our role here is to try to convince them that if they worked harder and improved themselves they will be able to climb the career ladder and earn a better salary. We offer them courses and training sessions to help them meet the labor market’s needs.”

Saudi men and women have great capabilities and they have the urge to work and build a career, according to Al-Naja.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article505296.ece

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US signals break with Pak over terror links

Chidanand Rajghatta

Sep 24 2011

Washington: Amid a rapid unraveling of ties between Washington and Islamabad, the principal architect of the US military partnership with Pakistan has bitterly accused the country of using terrorism as a policy weapon and said it has lost the bet to be a regional player of consequence because of it.

The testimony of US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen before a Senate committee on Thursday was nothing short of stunning. A passionate votary of Pakistani salience in the region (thereby earning the nickname Abu Mullen al-Amriki ),Americas top military officials signaled that he was read to write off the country if it did not abjure its use of terrorism.

In choosing to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy, Mullen said, using a euphemism for terrorism, the government of Pakistan, and most especially the Pakistani army and ISI, jeopardizes not only the prospect of our strategic partnership but Pakistans opportunity to be a respected nation with legitimate regional influence. They may believe that by using these proxies, they are hedging their bets or redressing what they feel is an imbalance in regional power. But in reality, they have already lost that bet, he added.

Swiftly dubbed Sullen Mullen by the twitterati following the gloomy prognosis for a favoured American military ally at one time,the United States commander warned that by exporting violence, they (Pakistan) have eroded their internal security and their position in the region. They have undermined their international credibility and threatened their economic well-being.

Full report at: Times of India

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Pakistan govt and army hit back at US: You’re risking the alliance

Sep 24 2011

Stung by the repeated US criticism of the ISI’s partnership with the Haqqani network in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s civil and military leadership hit back today, telling Washington that its accusations were “not based on facts” and, unless it changes its line, the US will alienate an old ally.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said, “We have conveyed to the US that you will lose an ally. You cannot afford to alienate Pakistan, you cannot afford to alienate the Pakistani people... If they are choosing to do so, it will be at their own cost.”

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Pakistan was crucial to the US war effort in Afghanistan. “They can’t live with us. They can’t live without us.”

The US upped the ante further today, with the White House asking Pakistan to break “any link they have” with the Haqqani network, which the top US commander Admiral Mike Mullen had blamed yesterday for the September 13 attack on the US embassy in Kabul.

Pakistan, army chief Gen Parvez Kayani said Mullen’s remarks were not based on fact, adding that this was “especially disturbing in view of a rather constructive meeting” they had had in Spain recently.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pakistan-govt-and-army-hit-back-at-us-youre-risking-

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Pak fumes over US ‘terror tag’ on ISI

By Badar Alam

Sep 24 2011

PAKISTAN has reacted strongly to US accusations that the ISI had a hand in the recent attacks on American facilities in Kabul.

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said in Karachi on Friday that the “ United States should take care of the feelings of 180 million people of Pakistan while issuing statements or commenting on important issues”. The country’s official news agency ( APP) quoted him as saying that Pakistan wanted relations with the US to be based on mutual respect.

“ The United States should avoid sending wrong messages which could affect bilateral ties,” he said before adding what has now become the template for ties between Islamabad and Washington: “ The US cannot live with us; the US cannot live without us.” So, “ if they can’t live without us, they should increase contacts with us to remove misunderstandings”. The reaction followed a scathing attack by top US military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, who claimed the ISI was actively supporting the Haqqani militants, who are believed to be behind some of the deadliest attacks on American institutions in recent months.

“ The Haqqani network, for one, acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter- Services Intelligence agency,” Mullen told the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

He also claimed that the Haqqani militants — with ISI backing — this month carried out a truck bombing on a NATO base in Afghanistan that wounded 77 Americans; assaulted the US embassy and NATO headquarters in the Afghan capital; and in June staged an attack on the Inter- Continental hotel in Kabul.

Gilani, however, rebuffed the allegations and said Pakistan was part of the solutions in Afghanistan and not a problem.

Full report at: Mail Today

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US linking ISI with Haqqani network 'very unfortunate': Gen Parvez Kayani

Sep 24 2011

The war of words between Pakistan and the US on the ISI's alleged links with the Haqqani terror network escalated today with Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani describing US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen's accusations as "not based on facts."

In a statement issued by the military this evening, the powerful army chief described Mullen's remarks as "as very unfortunate and not based on facts."

He said, "This is especially disturbing in view of a rather constructive meeting with Admiral Mullen in Spain."

The Pakistani military had maintained a studied silence as several US officials linked the Inter-Services Intelligence agency to the Haqqani terror network and called on Islamabad to take action against the Taliban faction based in the North Waziristan tribal region.

Kayani responded a day after Mullen accused the ISI of supporting the Haqqani network in carrying out a string of deadly terror attacks, including an assault on the US Embassy in Kabul on September 13.

Mullen said the Taliban faction was a "veritable arm" of Pakistan's spy agency.

The Pakistani military statement said, "On the specific question of contacts with the Haqqanis, (Kayani) said that Admiral Mullen knows fully well which all countries are in contact with the Haqqanis. Singling out Pakistan is neither fair nor productive."

The statement did not name the other countries that are in contact with the Haqqani network.

Kayani categorically denied US accusations of "proxy war and ISI support to Haqqanis" and said the "blame game in public statements should give way to a constructive and meaningful engagement for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, an objective to which Pakistan is fully committed."

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-linking-isi-with-haqqani-network-very-unfortunate-

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Yemen unrest: 'Troops attack' opposition camp in Sanaa

24 Sep, 2011

Government troops in Yemen have opened fire on protesters in Sanaa, killing at least one person, reports say.

Witnesses and medics say the demonstrators came under gun and mortar attack in the capital's Change Square - the focus of the protests.

They say some tents were on fire and there were also sniper attacks.

The violence comes after President Ali Abdullah Saleh earlier returned from Saudi Arabia three months after surviving an assassination attempt.

"We have six severely injured and one killed in a terrible way by the mortar fire," doctor Mohammed al-Qubati was quoted as saying by Reuters.

There were also reports that late on Friday government troops tried to storm the square, which was being guarded by armed men opposed to President Saleh.

Activists have been camped out in Change Square since January, demanding an end to Mr Saleh's decades-long rule.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15044857

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Turkey seizes Syrian ship with weapons - PM Erdogan

24 Sep, 2011

Turkey has seized a Syrian-flagged ship loaded with weapons, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

He did not say where or when the vessel was stopped, but vowed to confiscate any arms shipments for Syria coming through Turkish waters or airspace.

Mr Erdogan has repeatedly criticised Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over his government's violent crackdown on street protesters.

Last week, Mr Erdogan said the era of oppressive dictators was over.

Contacts cut off

"Turkey has arrested a ship flying the Syrian flag and carrying weapons," Mr Erdogan said in New York where he attended the UN General Assembly, Turkey's Anataolia news agency reports.

"If in the future arms shipments (to Syria) are made by air or land, we will stop and seize them," he added.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15044314

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Syrian security forces kill 9 Civilians

24 September 2011

NICOSIA/AMMAN — Syrian security forces on Friday shot dead nine civilians demonstrating in the Homs area in the centre of the country, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement.

“Nine civilians were killed in the Homs region: six in three districts of the city itself, a girl in Qusseir, a young man in Talbisseh and another in the village of Zaafaraniya,” the Britain-based group said.

Faced with expanding street protests demanding an end to 41 years of Assad family rule, President Bashar Al Assad has sent troops and tanks into cities and towns across the country of 20 million at the heart of the Middle East.               “We have seen more of an all-out effort to crush Homs. But the city is big and its countryside has also risen,” said Hassan, an activist, who gave only his first name. Protesters also came under fire on Friday in the tribal region of Deir Al Zor on the border with Iraq, the city of Hama and in several Damascus suburbs, activists said.            Alarmed by reports of increasing violence by Assad’s forces, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the authorities “to end their brutal crackdown against peaceful demonstrators, end their acts of reprisal against activists and their families.” The president has said foreign powers want to divide Syria under the guise of wanting democracy and that any other country would react to the six-month uprising in the same way.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/September/

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Clashes, tension in West Bank before UN speech, 1 killed

Sep 24 2011

Jerusalem : Thousands of Palestinians massed in front of large television screens in the main squares of cities in the West Bank on Friday to watch President Mahmoud Abbas speak at the United Nations.

Hours earlier, a Palestinian man was killed in a pre-speech clash with Israeli settlers and security forces, and there was concern that violence could spread as the day progressed.

The Israeli military has heavily boosted its presence around the West Bank, worried that the Palestinian move toward international recognition of its statehood might inspire large-scale marches or violence against some of the 330,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank. They were equally concerned that radical settlers could promote confrontations.

A police spokesman said there were 22,000 Israeli police deployed in the West Bank.

At Kalandia, the often-tense crossing point between Ramallah and Jerusalem, Israeli troops used tear gas against several dozen stone throwers. Near the village of Qusra, a dozen settlers from a nearby outpost arrived to pray, an act viewed as a provocation by the villagers. Several thousand Palestinians marched toward them, some with Palestinian flags, and Israeli troops intervened.

Israel barred access to men under age 50 to Jerusal’m’s Al Aqsa Mosque, Isl’m’s third holiest site, afraid of unrest. The prayer sessions ended without incident.

In Gaza, ruled by the Islamist group Hamas, rivals to Abb’s’s Fatah party, Prime Minister Ismail Haniya told reporters after Friday prayers that the UN membership bid was a mistake becaus” “the Palestinian people do not beg for a stat”.” He said the only hope was for a Palestinian state to b” “snatched from the Zionist occupation, not the United Nation”.”

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/clashes-tension-in-west-bank-before-un-speech-1-

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Blast kills 4 militants in Pakistan's Khyber region

Sep 23 2011

Islamabad : At least four suspected militants were killed and another injured on Friday when a bomb exploded in their vehicle in Pakistan's Khyber tribal region.

The blast occurred in the mountainous Tirah valley near the border with Afghanistan. The vehicle was destroyed by the blast, officials said.

It was not clear whether the bomb was planted in the vehicle or the militants were carrying the explosive device.

Supporters of the Lashkar-e-Islam militant group and its rival faction Ansar-ul-Islam routinely target each other mainly because of a sectarian rivalry.

Hundreds of members of both the groups have been killed in the bloody conflict over the past few years.

Security forces have conducted several operations against Lashkar-e-Islam and its chief Mangal Bagh has gone into hiding. The group is accused of having links with the Pakistani Taliban.

Khyber Agency is the main supply route used by NATO trucks and tankers ferrying supplies and fuel to foreign troops in Afghanistan. Militants routinely target these vehicles in the tribal region.

In a separate development, two security personnel sustained minor injuries when a roadside bomb hit a vehicle in southwestern Balochistan province in the morning.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/blast-kills-4-militants-in-pakistans-khyber-

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Iraqi Police: Bombs Kill 5 in Baghdad

Sep 23 2011

BAGHDAD, (AP) — Iraqi officials say five people have been killed in a series of blasts in western Baghdad.

Police officials say five bombs were planted early Friday near three houses and two parking lots in the mostly Sunni neighborhood of Ghazaliyah.

The pre-dawn blasts also wounded 12 people, including three children and two women.

A doctor at al-Yarmouk hospital confirmed the causality figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to release the information.

Violence has ebbed across Iraq, but deadly bombings and shootings still occur almost daily as U.S. troops prepare to leave by the end of the year.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/09/23/world/middleeast/AP-ML-

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Maldives becomes latest country to endorse International Criminal Court

Sep 23 2011

 Maldives today became the latest country to agree to be bound by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the independent, permanent tribunal set up to prosecute individuals accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Indian Ocean archipelago acceded to the 1998 Rome Statute, the legal document establishing the basis for the ICC, in New York today as part of the annual United Nations treaty event aimed at boosting countries’ engagement in the international treaty framework.

Maldives becomes the 118th State Party to the ICC, which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands and can try cases relating to war crimes committed since July 2002.

Malta, which is already a State Party, today acceded to an agreement on the ICC’s privileges and immunities.

Meanwhile, nine other treaty actions took place today at UN Headquarters in New York on the second day of the treaty event, with countries signing up to protocols on conventions on a range of subjects, from human rights to the environment to disarmament.

Full report at:

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39669&Cr=international+criminal&Cr1=

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Maldivian Democratic Party requests special prayer for Palestinian statehood

Sep 23 2011

The ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has asked the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to recite a special prayer after the next Friday prayers to support the Palestinian bid for statehood.

In a letter to Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari, MDP Chairperson MP “Reeko” Moosa Manik said that the Palestinians have been deprived of their basic human right of sovereignty “for the past 60 years.”

A vote on the issue of Palestinian statehood is due to take place at the 66th UN General Assembly on Friday.

The Foreign Ministry has stated that the Maldives strongly supports UN recognition of Palestinian statehood, with Naseem advocating the position before the UN Human Rights Council following the announcement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he will apply to the UN Security Council for full UN membership.

“Let us be clear, the Palestinian people have, like everyone else, the right to self-determination – the right to a state of their own. They have waited long enough for that most basic of rights. When the Palestinians present their case to the UN, the Maldives will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them, and we call on all others to do likewise,” Naseem told the UN Human Rights Council.

Naseem has said the Maldives does not believe that UN recognition of Palestinian statehood will narrow the chances of a negotiated peace.

http://minivannews.com/news-in-brief/mdp-requests-special-prayer-for-palestinian-

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Massacred Village in Indonesia Awaits Dutch Amends

Sep 23 2011

RAWAGEDE, Indonesia (AP) — Six decades have passed, but Kadun bin Siot's voice still trembles as he recalls the morning Dutch troops surrounded his tiny Indonesia village and nearly wiped out its entire male population.

He was 12, peering through the slats of a wooden barn as soldiers flushed his father out of his hiding place in a trash heap, stabbing it with bayonets until he emerged, blood pouring from his face.

"They dragged him away," the 76-year-old farmer said. "I never saw him again."

Dutch troops clinging to their retreating colonial empire arrived in Rawagede by the hundreds just before dawn on Dec. 9, 1947 and opened fire, sending sleepy residents scattering from their homes in panic.

The troops were looking for resistance leader Lukas Kustario, known for ambushing Dutch bases. When villagers said they didn't know where he was, the soldiers rounded up the boys and young men and took them to an open field.

Squatting in rows, with both hands placed on the backs of their heads, they were shot one by one.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/09/23/world/asia/AP-AS-Indonesia-Waiting-for-

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Imam Abdul Rashid: ‘I ran and the Gurjjars chased me, raining lathis on my back’

Sep 24 2011

Gopalgarh : For more than a week now, Imam Abdul Rashid has lain low and rarely ventured outside the relative’s house in Andhvadi in Bharatpur where he had been hiding out since the September 14 riots in neighbouring Gopalgarh.

It is the assault on Rashid the day before — on September 13 — that many, including police officials, consider to be the flashpoint, and Rashid fears reprisals from the Gurjjars and the police. The police have registered an FIR against him for allegedly making provocative speeches from the village masjid before the violence erupted.

At the first Meo Muslim meeting he has attended since the riots, Rashid told The Indian Express that the Gurjjar community in Gopalgarh has been against him for months now.

“I am still very afraid to venture out on the streets or return to my house in Gopalgarh. Those who had attacked me warned before they left that they would repeat this if I returned. I have not been able to register a complaint even,” Rashid said. He showed some scars, a lump on his left temple, a wound on his elbow and bruises on his back.

Rashid’s brother Ali, who runs a mobile phone shop, maintained that it was the assault on his brother that provoked the Meo community.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/-I-ran-and-the-Gurjjars-chased-me--raining-lathis-on-

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No clean chit yet to Kishtwar student

Sep 24 2011

Jammu : A local court on Friday remanded Shariq Ahmed, a Class XI student of Islamia Faridia Higher Secondary School arrested in connection with the September 7 blast at Delhi High Court, in police custody for six more days.

It was widely expected that Shariq would be released as the National Investigation Agency probe team had left him at Kishtwar while they took two others to Delhi for further interrogation. However, Principal District and Sessions Judge M L Manhas gave the remand order on a request by the state police.

The police sought extension of his police remand as investigations into the terror email sent soon after the Delhi blast were in progress. Shariq along with his neighbour and classmate Abid Hussain were arrested by police a day after the terror email was traced to a cyber cafe in Kishtwar.

After six days of questioning, the two were formally arrested by the police who took their remand for custodial interrogation for a week from the court, which was later extended by three more days. This extended remand had come to end on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the NIA team took Abid and Aamir Abbas Dev, who is doing his BA through correspondence course from Moulana Azad Urdu University, to Delhi leaving behind Shariq in police custody at Kishtwar. Aamir was reportedly arrested on disclosures of Abid and duo have been charged with involvement in conspiracy behind the Delhi High Court blast by the NIA.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/No-clean-chit-yet-to-Kishtwar-student/851100/

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Co-accused sent to NIA custody by court in Delhi

Sep 24 2011

New Delhi : Aamir Abbas Dev, an accused in the Delhi High Court blast case, was on Friday remanded in NIA custody for 15 days by a special court in the Patial House Courts complex.

Special NIA Judge H S Sharma remanded Aamir, who was sent on a day’s judicial custody on Thursday, till October 7. The order was passed during an in-camera proceeding, which was attended only by the accused’s counsel Ravi Kazi, besides the NIA investigators. NIA could not secure the custody of Aamir on Thursday as his counsel was not present.

Both Aamir and co-accused Abid Hussain, residents of Jammu & Kashmir’s Kishtwar, were produced in the court on Thursday after being flown into Delhi the day before. Hussain was remanded in NIA custody till October 5.

During the in-camera proceedings, Aamir told the court that he would co-operate in the probe. Later, his lawyer told reporters that he was arrested on September 16 at Kishtwar on the basis of a statement of co-accused Hussain.

The agency, in its remand application, had said that besides sending terror mails to media houses, Aamir was one of the terrorists who had carried out the bomb blast between gate number 4 and 5 of the Delhi High Court. NIA told the court that he was involved in sending emails to the media houses, claiming responsibility of the blast on behalf of banned terror outfit Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI).

Aamir and Abid Hussain have been booked under various provisions of the IPC, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Explosive Substances Act, dealing with conspiracy, murder, attempt to kill, causing hurt and using explosives.

Fifteen persons had died and over 90 received injuries in the blast outside the Delhi High Court on September 7.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Co-accused-sent-to-NIA-custody-by-court-in-

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HC admits plea to probe Kashmir ‘encounter’, Khoda role

Sep 24 2011

Srinagar : Taking up the petition filed by families of three killed in a 1996 Bhaderwah “encounter”, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday called it a “serious matter” and posted it for hearing on September 30. A Crime Branch report on the alleged encounter had indicted DGP Kuldeep Khoda (then DIG, Doda-Udhampur range).

The court asked J&K Advocate General Ishaq Qadri to be present at the next hearing. The petitioners have sought a fresh investigation to “identify the actual accused”, and a probe into the role of Khoda, named as a respondent.

The case was listed for September 30 as no one from the government was present at Friday’s hearing. However, a large number of police officials and its intelligence wing were present. A police vehicle and weapons were allegedly used in the encounter.

A Sessions Court had acquitted the main accused in the case Mohd Ashraf, a police informer. The petition by the victims points out that the Sessions Court had raised several questions on the “silence” of the prosecution on the role of the police.

The Sessions Court had termed the prosecution case “strange”, questioning why Ashraf and his companions were provided all kinds of police assistance, including a police truck, if he was known not to have good conduct.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/HC-admits-plea-to-probe--encounter---Khoda-

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Afzal Guru clemency resolution: PDP-NC pitted against Cong-BJP

MSaleem Pandit

Sep 24 2011

Srinagar: With Peoples Democratic Party announcing support to Parliament attack convict Afzal Gurus clemency resolution to be tabled in the Jammu & Kashmir assembly on September 28, politics in the state surrounding the issue is bound to intensify. Guru was convicted in the December 2001 Parliament attack case and sentenced to death by the Supreme Court.

The resolution filed by independent MLA Abdul Rashid Sheikh of Langate is likely to underscore the sharp differences within the states political class. The National Conference and Congress, which share power, are at the moment on the opposite sides of the divide.

Full report at: Times of India

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Srinagar-bound US broadcaster is deported from New Delhi

Sep 24 2011

Srinagar, New Delhi : United States-based broadcaster and author David Barsamian, known for his trenchant criticism of US foreign policy, was deported on arrival from the Indira Gandhi International Airport early this morning.

Officials said he was deported for allegedly violating the terms of his visa during his last visit. He had published reports on his visit — which needs a journalist’s visa — while he was on a “tourist visa,” they said. This time, too, he had a tourist visa.

Barsamian was scheduled to travel to Srinagar next week, said Khurram Parvez, coordinator of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), in connection with the report by a state human rights probe panel on the over 2000 unmarked graves in north Kashmir.

“He had delivered lecturers here in December 2008 and then again came in February earlier this year,’’ said Parvez. “We were planning to take him to visit the unmarked grave sites. He has done several interviews on Kashmir earlier.”

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/srinagarbound-us-broadcaster-is-deported-from-new-delhi/851079/

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IAEA adopts resolution against Mideast atomic bombs

September 23, 2011

Member states of the UN atomic agency adopted a resolution on Friday calling on all countries in the Middle East to join a global anti-nuclear treaty, after a debate that highlighted deep divisions between Israel and Arab states.

Israel and the United States abstained in the vote on

the Egyptian-proposed text, entitled "Application of IAEA Safeguards in the Middle East", while most others backed it at the annual member state meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Israel is widely believed to harbour the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, drawing frequent Arab and Iranian condemnation. The Jewish state is the only Middle East country outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Israel and the United States regard Iran -- and to a lesser extent Syria -- as the Middle East's main proliferation threats, accusing Tehran of seeking to develop a nuclear arms capability in secret.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/IAEA-adopts-resolution-against-Mideast-atomic-

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Ahmadinejad: UN nuclear agency does US bidding

Sep 23 2011

New York : Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the UN nuclear watchdog of being in the pocket of the United States and illegally releasing the names of three nuclear scientists who were then assassinated by alleged Israeli-trained killers.

In a wide-ranging interview Thursday evening with The Associated Press, he also claimed that explosive material – and not airliners alone – brought down the World Trade Center, attacked US policies from Libya to Afghanistan, and said when his second and final term ends in two years "new elections will be held and someone else will occupy this office.''

The interview took place hours after Ahmadinejad lashed out at America so fiercely in his speech to the UN General Assembly that diplomats from more than 30 countries, led by those from the United States, walked out.

Yet, after calling the US a greedy, arrogant power too ready to use military force, Ahmadinejad told the AP that it isn't too late for President Barack Obama to carry out his election pledge to improve ties with Iran after three decades of enmity.

"I don't believe that this is a chance that has been completely lost,'' he said.

Ahmadinejad said he never received a reply to a personal letter he sent Obama, or to an announced offer to meet him during the General Assembly to open a dialogue, including on the nuclear issue.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ahmadinejad-un-nuclear-agency-does-us-

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'You will lose an ally' if accusations continue, Pakistan warns US

Sep 23, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's foreign minister said on Thursday that the United States risks losing an ally if it continues to publicly criticise Islamabad's performance in the war against militancy.

"You will lose an ally," Hina Rabbani Khar told Geo TV in New York. "You cannot afford to alienate Pakistan, you cannot afford to alienate the Pakistani people. If you are choosing to do so and if they are choosing to do so it will be at their (the United States') own cost."

Khar was responding to a Senate testimony by the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, who said Pakistan's top spy agency was closely tied to the Haqqani Network, the most violent and effective faction in the Afghan Taliban insurgency.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/You-will-lose-an-ally-if-accusations-

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Pakistan strongly rejects allegation of waging proxy war

Sep 23 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Thursday strongly rejected allegations of its participation in any kind of proxy war inside Afghanistan.

Foreign Office spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua, who will soon be leaving for Rome as Pakistan’s ambassador, told reporters here that “the ISI was not using militants in Afghanistan. It is a baseless allegation.”

Tehmina said, “Pakistan had no cooperation with the Haqqani network and was not fighting any war through Haqqanis in Afghanistan.

The spokesperson also pointed out cross-border attacks from Afghanistan and said that the issue had been raised with the United States.

Janjua said Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani will be visiting Afghanistan and will offer condolences over the death of Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Earlier, US officials had claimed that there was mounting evidence that the ISI had been encouraging the Haqqani network to attack targets in Afghanistan.

http://arabnews.com/world/article505363.ece

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Target of Karachi blast was SSP CID’s son, claim sources

Sep 23 2011

KARACHI: Sources claimed on Friday that the real target in the attack on SSP CID Chaudhry Aslam’s house in Karachi was his son, DawnNews reported.

A suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden car into the home of a senior anti-terror police officer in Defence area on September 19, killing eight people, including a woman and her eight-year-old son.

Intelligence agencies recorded a phone call on September 18 which mentioned targeting a Saudi’s son, sources told DawnNews.

Upon investigation it was found that the son of the Saudi consul general was not in Pakistan.

After which, the security was beefed up for all the places whose name started with the letter ‘S’ or the letter ‘C’. These included the Saudi consulate, the Supreme Court, the Sindh High Court, the City court and the Central Police Office.

Sources said that police officers including Chaudhry Aslam carried out raids and search operations to find the terrorists and the explosives-laden car all night.

“Police has found an eyewitness who had seen the suicide bomber’s face while riding in a car,” said sources.

Investigators agree that the code word “Saudi’s son” was used for Chaudhry Aslam’s son.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/23/target-of-karachi-blast-was-ssp-cid%E2%80%99s-son-

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LeJ leader placed under house arrest in Pak

23 SEPTEMBER 2011

A day after banned Sunni extremists group Lashkar-e-Jhanvi (LeJ) claimed responsibility for shooting down 29 Shia Muslims, its chief Malik Ishaq has been placed under house arrest in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Ishaq, who was recently released from a jail in Lahore on the orders of a court, was confined to his home in Rahim Yar Khan for 10 days under the Maintenance of Public Order law, District Police chief Sohail Zafar Chattha said on Thursday.

Punjab Government had issued a directive for Ishaq’s detention due to concerns that he posed a threat to peace, media reports said. The move came a day after the banned LeJ claimed responsibility for the massacre of 29 Shias at Mastung in Balochistan province. It could not immediately be ascertained if Ishaq’s detention was linked to the killings that were widely condemned by the minority Shia community and rights groups

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/8490-lej-leader-placed-under-house-arrest-in-pak.html

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Killer tricked Rabbani with Taliban peace offer: President Hamid Karzai

Sep 23 2011

The suicide bomber who killed Afghanistan’s former President Burhanuddin Rabbani gained access to him by presenting officials beforehand with an audio recording of a purported Taliban peace offer, President Hamid Karzai said on Thursday.

At a news conference, Mr. Karzai said the CD was a trick to allow the assassin to get an appointment with Rabbani, who led the country’s High Peace Council. Mr. Karzai’s remarks offered new details about Rabbani’s death, which dealt a devastating blow to efforts of negotiating a peace settlement with the Taliban to end the decade-long war.

The assassin, who hid a bomb in his turban, killed the 70-year-old former Afghan leader on Tuesday at his home in Kabul.

Mr. Karzai said that before he left for New York last weekend, one of his advisers, Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, told him that the Taliban had a message for the Afghan peace council. Mr. Stanekzai is a top peace council official who was wounded in the attack that killed Rabbani.

“Stanekzai brought me a message that someone had come from the Taliban movement and brought with them an audio CD in which there was a message from a Taliban representative,” Mr. Karzai said.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2476340.ece

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Report: Libya conflict, 'Luck' played part in success

Sep 23 2011

The overthrow of Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi was down to improvisation, innovation and good luck as well as military prowess, a report has said.

Royal United Services Institute said the RAF nearly ran out of a key missile and the Royal Navy had to curb other commitments to deploy warships.

It also said the UK and France each had 40 special forces troops on the ground.

But Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: "Operations in Libya have... shown that we retain our global reach."

The two countries' leaders became "accidental heroes" after the success of the campaign, the think tank added.

The institute said UK Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who pushed Nato to launch air strikes, received a rapturous welcome on a visit to Libya last week.

The UK and France deserved "credit" for their efforts, the report argued.

'Messy and ambiguous'

Operations are still ongoing in Libya, with Nato saying it will extend the air campaign for up to 90 days.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15018143

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NTC faces credibility test at Gaddafi strongholds

23 September 2011

TRIPOLI - Libya’s new government said it had tightened its grip on oasis towns which sided with Muammar Gaddafi, but faced a tough fight to take two remaining strongholds loyal to the ousted leader and bolster its credibility.

Forces of the National Transitional Council (NTC) said they controlled a string of desert towns in Libya’s deep south, although they said Gaddafi loyalists were still holding out in pockets of at least one oasis.

So far they have failed to take the two much larger loyalist strongholds far to the north, Bani Walid and Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, in a series of chaotic offensives which have raised questions about the NTC’s ability to control the country.

Until Thursday, some parts of Sabha, the traditional base for Gaddafi’s own tribe about 800 km (500 miles) south of Tripoli, had been occupied by fighters loyal to the leader who lost control of the capital and most of the country last month.

“Our revolutionaries are controlling 100 percent of Sabha city, although there are some pockets of resistance by snipers,” NTC military spokesman Ahmed Bani said in Tripoli.

“This resistance is hopeless ... They know very well that at the end of the day they will show the white flag or they will die. They are fighting for themselves, not for the tyrant,” he told reporters, referring to Gaddafi.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/Septembe

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U.S. Embassy reopens in Libya; Qadhafi ex-PM caught

Sep 23 2011

The U.S. ambassador to Libya expressed confidence in the country’s new rulers Thursday as the American Embassy reopened in the capital months after it closed down during the fighting to oust Muammar Qadhafi.

Ambassador Gene Cretz acknowledged the North African nation faces many challenges as Mr. Qadhafi remains on the run and fighting with his loyalists continues on three fronts.

“The next few months will be critical as Libyans lay the groundwork for a pluralistic democracy that respects the rights of all of its citizens,” he said in remarks before the flag was raised in front of his residence in Tripoli, which will serve as the interim embassy. “The United States and the international community are ready to help in any way we can.”

The ceremony occurred on the same day that Tunisian authorities jailed Libya’s ex-prime minister, Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, on charges of illegal entry after he was found without a visa as he was trying to flee across the border to Algeria. Libya’s transitional government said it would ask Tunisia to send Mr. al-Mahmoudi home to face justice.

Mr. Cretz said Mr. Qadhafi and his supporters would eventually be routed, but the National Transitional Council would not wait to move forward with efforts to form a new government.

“It’s a question of time before Qadhafi and his remaining loyalists are finished off,” he said.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2478614.ece

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Tunisia jails Qaddafi-era premier for illegal entry

Sep 23 2011

TUNIS: Tunisia has arrested and jailed Baghdadi Al-Mahmudi, who was Muammar Qaddafi's prime minister until the collapse of the Libyan regime last month, officials said Thursday.

Al-Mahmudi, one of the most senior members of the former Libyan regime to have been detained to date, was sentenced to six months in prison for illegal entry, a Tunisian Justice Ministry spokesman said.

Al-Mahmudi, who was arrested Wednesday, "appeared before the state prosecutor in Tozeur (430 km south of Tunis) and sentenced to six months in prison with immediate effect," Kadhem Zine El Abidine said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Hichem Meddeb said Al-Mahmudi "was arrested by security forces with two men Wednesday near Tamaghza at the border with Algeria."

He said the three men did not have a visa in their passports but he was unable to say exactly when and where they had crossed the border.

On Sept. 7, another member of Qaddafi's inner circle, Khouildi Hamidi, was briefly detained at Tunis airport for illegal entry.

Since Qaddafi's 42-year-old regime collapsed last month, many senior officials in his entourage have defected or fled, often transiting through neighboring Tunisia.

Tunisia, also ruled by an interim administration since the shock January ouster of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali that started the Arab spring uprisings, officially recognized the National Transitional Congress (NTC) last month.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article505376.ece

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Israel boosts security ahead of Palestinian UN membership bid

Sep 23, 2011

JERUSALEM: Israel on Friday will raise its level of security alertness in case unrest accompanies Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's application for UN membership for a Palestinian state, police said.

"We will be heightening security by one level in general. This is being coordinated by the military, border police and Israel police," police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said.

He said later that 22,000 police would be deployed nationwide -- representing more than two-thirds of the force -- and that the alert level would be raised to three, just one below the level during times of war.

There will be limited access to the city's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound for Friday prayers and men under 50 will not be allowed.

Rosenfeld said police were also deploying additional personnel in sensitive areas such as cities where Jews and Arabs live in close proximity.

An Israeli army spokesman, Captain Arye Shalicar, said the military would show "restraint" in dealing with unrest, "providing the minimal effective response, using riot dispersal means as required by the severity of the disturbances."

Tens of thousands of Palestinians rallied across the West Bank on Wednesday in a massive show of support for the campaign to become a member state at the United Nations.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Israel-boosts-security-ahead-of-

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Omar Abdullah snubs report: Didn't ‘pamper' former PoK PM

Sep 23 2011

The first-ever visit of a former Pakistan-occupied Kashmir ruler to the Kashmir Valley has generated a controversy, compelling Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to clarify that he did not roll out the red carpet and exhaust the State exchequer to pamper the guest.

A New Delhi-based news channel claimed that the Jammu and Kashmir Government lavishly spent Rs 11 crore to ferry former PoK Prime Minister Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chowdhary to south Kashmir resort of Pahalgam in the State chopper despite the fact that the visiting dignitary was on a private visit to the Valley to attend the marriage ceremony of a leading businessman's son.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah rubbished the claim on lavish spending and instead expressed happiness that former “Azad Kashmir” premier accepted the hospitality of the elected CM of J&K.

“And for the record the Rs 11-crore figure for the flight to Pahalgam & back is complete rubbish. I doubt it would cost that even in an A380,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging website Twitter.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/8399-omar-snubs-report-didnt-pamper-former-pok-

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Ajmer set to host first global Sufi fest

22 September 2011

Mumbai : Qawwali, ghazals, discussions and Sufi music will be offered at the first edition of the International Sufi Festival Oct 21-27 in Ajmer, Rajasthan.

The week-long event will bring together Sufi artists from countries like Britain, Pakistan, Egypt and France with an aim to capture and project the spirit of Sufism.

"I want to bring about the true message of Sufism globally where the core belief and practice is nothing but the acceptance of each other without the barrier of religion," festival director Gulshaa Begum told IANS.

"The core intention is to awaken the spirit of brotherhood, togetherness, thoughtfulness, selflessness and oneness which alone can make life in the world successful. It will revive the message Sufi saint Hazrath Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty," she added.

The event is organised by Divine Abode in collaboration with the Interfaith Foundation, the India and Kashmir Society, the International center for Kashmir Sufism and the International Sufi Festival India.

"International artists from Britain, Pakistan, Egypt and France will perform at the festival."

Why Ajmer?

"Ajmer is the centre for Sufism, spirituality, art and culture. It is the fortunate city, chosen by Hazrath Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty to spread the message of love, peace and oneness globally," said Gulshaa.

http://twocircles.net/2011sep22/ajmer_set_host_first_global_sufi_fest.html?utm_source=

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CPI(M): act against officers behind Gopalgarh firing

Sep 23 2011

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday demanded action against the officials behind the September 19 police firing at Gopalgarh in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan that claimed the lives of nine people.

It also sought compensation for those killed and a government job for a member of each family. After a visit of its delegation to the area and interaction with a cross-section of people, including the sarpanch and police officials, the party came to the conclusion that the atmosphere of peace and communal harmony that prevailed in Gopalgarh over the years was vitiated by this incident.

The delegation was informed that after a compromise was arrived at between two communities over a piece of disputed land, some anti-social elements resorted to spreading rumours intended to create disturbances. People from both sides assembled in large numbers.

“The administration and police officials, instead of checking the veracity of the rumours, resorted to indiscriminate firing at a place of worship. All those killed belong to the Meo community. The district administration and the police are wholly responsible for the killings. Those officials, responsible for ordering the firing, which led to the deaths, should be proceeded against,'' the party said in a statement.

Statements by some senior officials justifying the firing and also stating that no one was killed in the police firing further incensed the people who had borne the brunt of the police attack.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article2477073.ece

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J&K to become first State to launch “my stamp” says John Samuel

SHUJAAT BUKHARI

Sep 23 2011

"We are setting up seven cameras and customers will pick up the stamps and by evening they will get them along with their pictures," says John Samuel Chief Post Master General, J&K Circle.

Jammu and Kashmir will become the first State to formally launch the “My Stamp” concept on September 26 at a four-day-long Philatelic Exhibition. The Department of Posts is coming up with some novel ideas to re-establish connection with the people, which has suffered during the 21 years of turmoil.

In an exclusive interview with The Hindu, Chief Post Master General, J&K Circle, John Samuel said the concept was unveiled in Delhi last year but “we will be the first State to do it in practical terms. It is a novel method to emotionally connect with people, as the customer's picture will appear on the stamp he chooses to buy.” The exhibition will be inaugurated by Governor N.N. Vohra. Army Chief General V.K. Singh will participate.

“We are setting up seven cameras and customers will pick up the stamps and by evening they will get them along with their pictures,” he said. The concept, Mr. Samuel, had been working well in Singapore, United Kingdom and other countries.

The department will also release special covers highlighting tourism in Kashmir. “In total, 14 covers will be released including, on Hangul (Stag), Mughal Gardens, Chinar and other cultural aspects.”

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2477070.ece

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Kasab appeal: Supreme Court appoints Raju Ramachandran as amicus

Sep 23 2011

The Supreme Court has appointed senior advocate Raju Ramachandran as its amicus curiae to assist it in hearing of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack convict Amir Ajmal Kasab’s plea challenging his death penalty.

Kasab, the sole terrorist caught alive during the attack, and convicted for the three-day November 2008 terror siege of Mumbai in which 166 people were killed, had on July 28 this year written a letter to the Supreme Court challenging his conviction and death sentence.

The Supreme Court had earlier refused to pass any order on Maharashtra government’s plea to tag Kasab’s case with its plea against acquittal of two other 26/11 accused.

An Additional Solicitor-General of India from 2002 to 2004, Mr. Ramachandran had also served the Supreme Court as amicus curiae for its hearing of Gujarat riots cases.

Kasab, one of the 10 Pakistani perpetrators of the attack, had been sentenced to death by a special anti-terror court on May 6 last year. His death penalty was later upheld by the Bombay High Court.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2476534.ece

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Supreme Court dismisses bail plea of Sadhvi Pragya

Sep 23 2011

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to grant bail to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, who is facing charges under MCOCA for her alleged involvement in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case.

Dismissing her bail plea, a bench of justices J M Panchal and H L Gokhale said, “There is no merit in the petition”.

The bench passed the order on a petition filed by Thakur contending that Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) had failed to file the charge sheet against her within the mandatory 90 days of her arrest on October 23, 2008.

Counsel for Thakur had further pleaded with the court to grant her bail, saying she had been subjected to “harassment, physical torture and verbal abuse” by the ATS squad during her “illegal” custody from October 10, 2008 onwards.

The Maharashtra government had, however, told the court that Thakur was arrested on October 23 and produced before a magistrate as required under the law.

The bench had reserved its order on September 1 after hearing all the parties, including Maharashtra government which opposed the bail plea.

Seven people were killed in a bomb blast on September 29, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Nasik district of Maharashtra. The probe into the blast had brought into focus the alleged involvement of some right-wing Hindu groups.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2478980.ece

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PDP to support clemency bid for Afzal Guru

Sep 23 2011

Srinagar : Opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) said it will support the resolution seeking clemency for Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.

"We will support the resolution. We have been demanding clemency for Guru right from the time his death sentence was announced," said PDP president Mehbooba Mufti told reporters after a legislature party meeting in Srinagar.

Mehbooba stressed that if the Assembly passes the resolution, it should not become an issue. "Heavens are not going to fall if the resolution is passed appealing the President (Pratibha Patil) for clemency for Guru," the PDP president said.

She said while the death sentence of Nalini, a convict in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, was commuted to life imprisonment, a similar resolution has been passed by Tamil Nadu Assembly seeking clemency for three other convicts in the case.

"Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was no less a symbol than parliament," she said.

The Assembly will debate on September 28 the resolution submitted by independent MLA from Langate Sheikh Abdul Rashid.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pdp-to-support-clemency-bid-for-afzal-guru/850771/

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Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh returns to Sanaa

Sep 23 2011

Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh has returned to the country from Saudi Arabia three months after surviving an assassination attempt, officials say.

Yemen TV said President Saleh arrived in the capital, Sanaa, by private plane at dawn. No other details were given.

He went to Saudi Arabia in June for treatment following a rocket attack on the grounds of the presidential palace.

President Saleh, who has been in power for more than 30 years, has faced months of protests urging him to quit.

Correspondents say his return raises the risk of all-out civil war.

"We're definitely going to have an escalation of violence, but let him come back - we want him to come back and be tried for his crimes," said protest organiser Mohammed al-Asl.

Activists have been camped out in an area of Sanaa dubbed Change Square since January demanding an end to his rule.

Clashes in the capital have recently intensified as elite Republican Guards, led by President Saleh's son Ahmed, fight running battles with army units that have defected to the opposition and tribal fighters who support the protesters.

More than 80 people, mostly unarmed protesters, have been killed since Sunday.

Medics say at least one person was killed overnight and many others wounded when mortars landed in Change Square. Other reports said four people were killed in the northern al-Hasaba district on Friday.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15030899

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoles Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi's death

Sep 23, 2011

NEW YORK: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled the death of former captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi calling him an iconic figure who had brought a new confidence to the Indian cricket scene.

"I am distressed to have learnt of the demise of legendary cricketer Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi. He was a dashing and daring captain, who brought a new confidence to the Indian cricket scene," he said in a condolence message.

"Even after his playing days were over, he remained an iconic figure, an embodiment of poise and polish and a great advocate of sportsmanship," Singh said.

The Prime Minister conveyed his "heartfelt sympathies" to Patudi's wife Sharmila Tagore and members of his family.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Prime-Minister-Manmohan-Singh-condoles-Mansur-

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Barack Obama address triggers wave of defiance in Arab world

ATUL ANEJA

Sep 23 2011

A wave of defiance is building up in the Arab world against the address by the President of the United States, Barack Obama, in the United Nations, where he rejected the anticipated Palestinian bid for a formal international recognition as an independent State by the world body.

In the West Bank city of Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian authority, dozens of protesters slammed Mr. Obama for his rejection in the U.N. of the much expected Palestinian gambit for formal independence. Some of the protesters held signs which castigated Mr. Obama as “the hypocrite”. Others blamed the U.S. President for siding "with killers against victims".

But the impact of Mr. Obama’s address was beginning to be felt far beyond Ramallah. The Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram reported on its website that preparations were underway across the region for a wave of protests.

On Friday, demonstrations in support of Palestinian recognition by the U.N. are expected in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya-three countries which have epitomised the pro-democracy movement that has been sweeping across the Arab world. The activists are expected to reject Mr. Obama’s address during the planned protests. Analysts say that these protests are likely to neutralise the positive impact in the region that had been created by Mr.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2476748.ece

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Cell phones tie Afghan embassy attackers to Pakistan

Sep 23 2011

Washington : The US government has evidence that militants who attacked the US Embassy in Afghanistan last week were in telephone contact with people connected to Pakistan's principal intelligence agency, according to an expert who has advised the White House.

Bruce Riedel, a former senior CIA analyst who advised President Barack Obama on Afghan policy, told Reuters administration officials have told him militants who attacked the US Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul on Sept. 13 telephoned individuals connected with Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) before and during the attack.

Following the attacks, Riedel said, “US security forces collected cell phones which the attackers had used. These are expected to provide further evidence linking militants to ISI.”

Obama Administration spokespeople declined to comment on or confirm Riedel's statements.

A person familiar with private diplomatic discussions between senior US and Pakistani officials who have visited the United States in the last few days said American officials informed their Pakistani counterparts that they had hard evidence linking ISI to the Kabul attacks.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/cell-phones-tie-afghan-embassy-attackers-to-

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NYPD eyed US citizens in intel. effort

Sep 23 2011

NEW YORK: The New York Police Department has subjected American citizens to surveillance and scrutiny, not because of any wrongdoing but because of their ethnicity.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press describe a secret program known as the Moroccan Initiative, which catalogued where people of Moroccan ancestry shopped, ate and prayed.

The documents show police also intended to build intelligence files on other ethnicities.

The documents underscore how New York’s heritage as a place where immigrants assimilated now clashes with a city where police see blending in as a possible priority for would-be terrorists.

http://arabnews.com/world/article505264.ece

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Third US soldier pleads guilty to Afghan killings

Sep 23 2011

Washington: A third member of an alleged rogue US army unit in Afghanistan pleaded guilty Thursday in a plea deal over shock killings of local civilians that embarrassed the US army.

Private First Class Andrew Holmes was accused of being a member of a five-person “kill team” implicated in the slaying of three Afghans while stationed in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province in January 2010.

After negotiations, Holmes pleaded guilty to murder, but not to premeditated murder, during a court-martial hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, in the western state of Washington. He was expected to be sentenced on Friday.

Speaking in a clear voice, the 21-year-old from Boise, Idaho also pleaded guilty to two other offenses: possessing a finger harvested from an Afghan corpse and smoking marijuana in hashish form while deployed.

As part of the agreement, prosecutors dismissed three charges, including the two major charges of premeditated murder and conspiracy.

After entering his pleas, Holmes read a prepared statement explaining his actions on January 15, 2010 and answered questions about the incident from the presiding judge Kwasi Hawks.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/23/third-us-soldier-pleads-guilty-to-afghan-killings.html

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Somali rebels force starving thousands back into famine zone

Sep 23 2011

Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked rebels said Thursday they were moving over 12,000 starving families back into famine zones they had fled, where the UN has warned they will die without help.

Draconian aid restrictions imposed by the extremist Shebab are blamed for turning harsh drought across the Horn of Africa into famine in the areas they control, with 750,000 people at risk of death in coming months, the United Nations has said.

“The mujahedeen fighters, in their bid to help people displaced by drought, started working on plans to send them back home where they will be assisted, God willing,” said Sheik Mahad Abu-Safiya, a senior Shebab official.

The families, estimated to number at least 50,000 people, were “taken back to their homes with packages to feed them for three months,” he added.

Witnesses said the packages included rice, maize and cooking oil. However, the Shebab have refused most international assistance, and blocked people fleeing drought and famine in the Bay and Bakool regions from travelling in search of aid to Mogadishu, where relief efforts are centered.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\09\23\story_23-9-2011_pg4_9

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Shiite Cleric Criticizes Bahrain 'Fake Democracy'

Sep 23 2011

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — A senior Shiite cleric in Bahrain has criticized the Gulf kingdom's Sunni rulers for practicing what he says is "fake democracy" ahead of parliament elections.

The voting is for 18 parliament seats abandoned by Shiite lawmakers six months ago to protest the crackdowns of anti-government protests.

Sheik Isa Qassim says the vote on Saturday is meaningless. The cleric spoke during Friday's sermon in the opposition stronghold of Diraz, northwest of the capital Manama.

Shiite-led groups have called for escalated protests to press demands for greater rights from the Sunni monarchy.

More than 30 people have died since protests started in February on the tiny, but strategically important Gulf island that is home to U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/09/23/world/middleeast/AP-ML-

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Rabbani: An alternative obituary

Carol Mann

Sep 23 2011

Amongst the more sinister-and little known events during Rabbani’s reign, was the massacre of Hazara residents of Kabul which included the rape of countless girls

As we have all seen, the press has been  solemnly covering Burhanuddin Rabbani’s assassination in Kabul on September 20th. To quote just the Guardian: “Afghanistan Peace Process in Tatters”. It won’t take much to view him as a martyr who could have saved Afghanistan, much on the lines of Ahmad Shah Massoud, canonized by the French media, as we know.

Already in the late 60s and 70s, Rabbani was active in Muslim youth movements opposed to progressive Prime Minister Daoud, organizing along with Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was to become his closest ally and  Gulbeddin Hekmatyar demonstrations orchestrated by the Sharia Faculty on the campus of Kabul University. In one of these, Hekmattyar famously threw acid against girls’ legs.

Rabbani was the leader of the Afghan branch of the Jamiat-e-Islami, a political party of strong Fundamentalist leanings, not known for its open-mindedness. His party was one of the seven recognized by Pakistan at the time of the fight against the Soviet Intervention, all competing for American aid and resources and Rabbani positioned himself as the leading Tajik warlord with an agenda of his own.

Full report at:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.viewpointonline.net/

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/mid-east-crisis--abbas-vs-netanyahu-at-un/d/5539


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