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‘Moderate’ Maldives President Quits Amid Protests

  • New Age Islam News Bureau

    7 Feb 2012

Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has resigned after weeks of demonstrations and a mutiny by some police officers.


  • Radical Muslims 'target young inmates in prison’
  • Eid-el-Maulud: Nigerian President, governors, others urge peace
  • Sex abuse of Priests must be reported to police, Vatican says
  • French minister's xenophobic remarks seen as Muslim putdown
  • India: The Islamic fine print on weavers that Rahul missed
  •  ‘Love for Prophet biggest asset for Muslims’: VC Al-Azhar University
  • The Mistreatment of Women in Muslim Countries
  • Community reaction to Canadian fatwa blasting 'honour killings'
  • Indonesia: Aceh Ulema Warns Muslims against Observing Valentine’s Day
  • Woman minister of Balochistan resigns in protest against killings
  • Jakarta: Agency to close 14 illegal sex shops in Yogyakarta
  • Boko Haram: Bomb blasts in Kano, Maiduguri, Warri
  • Nearly 100 killed in Syria violence: activists
  • Pak: ‘Terrorist’ detained from Milad procession
  • Riyadh: Some women still deprived of inheritance
  • Abbas to head new unity Palestinian government
  • SC grants time to ISI, MI to file reports on Balochistan
  • Iran will not accept Apartheid Israel'
  • US considering formal apology for NATO attacks: Report
  • U.S. Sending Commander to Repair Ties With Pakistan
  • Pakistan gets last fleet of F-16 jets
  • We do not deal with Pakistan through lobbyists: US
  • SC admits for hearing petition against Kayani, Pasha
  • Pak Def. Min. urges reopening border to NATO
  • US says Palestinian deal ‘internal’ matter
  • Lahore: US said to target rescuers at drone strike sites
  • Tanzanian Muslim Clerics Appeal for Peace, Solidarity
  • Hassan Shahriar made CJA President Emeritus
  • Bangladesh: 17 killed, 68 injured in road crashes
  • Pakistan gets new fighter planes from US
  • Pak-American pleads guilty of funding terror groups in J-K
  • South Korean President visit to Riyadh to cement cooperation
  • Egypt must release Americans: US envoy
  • Pakistan 26/11 Mumbai attacks panel fails to turn up
  • Indian consular team to visit Dammam
  • Palestinians move toward end of political rift
  • Turkey opens its doors to all Syrians fleeing regime
  • Nigeria: Boko Haram rubbishes claim of leader's arrest
  • Yemen negotiating Qaeda pullout from Zinjibar
  • Bank Muscat hails CBO model on Islamic banking
  • Nigeria attracts enterprising Indians despite terror
  • Indonesians stay warm in frozen Europe
  • 'BBC journalists' held in Iran
  • Russian Foreign Minister arrives in Syria
  • Assad may witness unwinnable war
  • Avert Syria disaster: KSA
  • Syria central bank to defend pound
  • Fears over Rules Requiring Indonesian Graduates to Be Published

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: 'Moderate' Maldives President quits amid protests




‘Moderate’ Maldives President Quits Amid Protests


7 February 2012

Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has resigned after weeks of demonstrations and a mutiny by some police officers.


In a dramatic development, Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed announced his resignation over television on Tuesday. Vice-President Dr.Waheed will take charge till a new arrangement is made. A new arrangement is expected to be in place over the next few days.

In a message to the people, Dr. Waheed said: “During this dangerous situation facing the nation it is my duty to say a few words. I support the peaceful efforts of a large number of Maldivians trying to protect the Maldives constitution and religion. At this time I call upon all the institutions especially law enforcement agencies (the military) to uphold the constitution and the laws of the country. Refrain from obeying unconstitutional and illegal instructions. During this difficult time no chance should be given to anyone trying to hurt the people of our country or damage their property, especially no room should be afforded to those who would damage news agencies and media. I am saddened that VTV and other places in Male’ have been attacked. I call on those who are involved in this to immediately cease all such activities. As your Vice-President I am prepared to do anything possible to overcome this situation.”

According to residents in Male, there have been pitched battles between police and the military for the past few days. The police were fewer in number, and the country was going nowhere, one of them, a professional resident in Male said. The situation is peaceful now with the Army patrolling the streets, he added.

Earlier in the day about 50 police personnel took control of the state broadcaster in the capital, Male. They had earlier refused to break up a demonstration of opposition supporters. The Army stepped in and reportedly used teargas to break up a demonstration by supporters of ex-President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Tensions have been on the rise since last November since the SAARC summit where monuments of all participating nations were put up. The Opposition said this was an attempt to bring in other religions. The Pakistani monument, which had Buddhist drawings at its pedestal, was among the first ones to be vandalised.

The scene shifted to Male, with the Opposition accusing Mr.Nasheed of being a moderate Islamist who wanted to allow entry of other religions. It did not help that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillai, in her speech at The Majlis, referred to flogging as barbaric and espoused the cause of women’s rights. Again, the opposition flocked to Male.

Male held on because Mr.Nasheed’s support base was mainly in the two cities – Male and Addu. Also, Mr.Nasheed and his team have been at pains to explain that the Opposition’s charges were baseless. Apart from speaking to people, the team went on a slander campaign against the Opposition. The better equipped Opposition was up to the challenge. It responded with a series of charges and behind the scenes moves, including re-activating its people within the government machinery.

Tensions again escalated after the Army arrested a criminal court judge last month. With this arrest, the Nasheed regime alienated the entire judiciary, and lawyers. They too joined in the protests.

There is also a sub-plot in the new drama unfolding in The Maldives. The new outfit floated by the former President Gayoom, PPM, is engaged in a bitter battle with the party he founded, DRP. PPM has been the most active in the recent months, and has been thinking of innovative ways of getting support from across the islands. PPM representatives also have fanned across to Colombo and New Delhi. In Colombo, President Mahinda Rajapaksa refused to grant an audience, according to PPM sources.

Mr.Nasheed has had a hard time since he came to power in 2008. He headed the first democratically-elected government, but did not have adequate support in The Majlis, leading to an impasse on most issues of governance. Mr.Nasheed had had the staunch support of both Colombo and New Delhi so far.

Mr. Gayoom’s supporters are sore that they have been given the cold shoulder by both India and Sri Lanka. They told The Hindu that it would a fallacy for both countries to keep putting all the eggs in the MDP basket.

AP adds:

Vice-President takes charge as President

Vice-President Mohammed Waheed Hassan has taken an oath to be Maldives President after his predecessor Mr. Nasheed resigned after weeks of protests.

Waheed previously worked for the United Nations and led its children’s fund in Afghanistan. He is scheduled to speak shortly.

Radical Muslims 'target young inmates in prison’

By Martin Evans and Duncan Gardham

06 Feb 2012

Jailed terrorists are radicalising vulnerable young Muslims in prison, a report by MPs has disclosed.

Despite being sent to maximum security jails, extremists are preaching hate to new inmates, breeding a fresh generation of radicals willing to launch terror attacks.

A nine-month inquiry by the home affairs select committee into the roots of violent radicalisation found that, in some cases, inmates were being persuaded to carry out suicide missions within days of entering prison.

The findings are published as four radical Islamists are due to be sentenced for plotting a major terror attack before Christmas on the London Stock Exchange, the London Eye and other important landmarks.

Mohammed Chowdhury, 21, Shah Rahman, 28, Abdul Miah, 25, and Gurukanth Desai, 30, will be sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court today for the Mumbai-style terror plot. It is believed Miah was radicalised in prison after being sentenced for drugs and weapons offences.

A former neighbour of his in Cardiff said he had “gone into prison as a petty criminal and came out spouting extremist views”.

Today’s report, “Roots of Radicalisation”, identified prisons as one of the major breeding grounds for terrorism-related extremism.

It also recognised the dangers posed by the internet and the role played by universities, where it was claimed radical preachers were often invited to speak without being “robustly challenged”.

In compiling their report, MPs visited the maximum security Belmarsh Prison in south-east London, which detains some of the most dangerous extremists in the country and where 20per cent of inmates are Muslim.

They said staff at Belmarsh, which currently houses more than 30 terrorist prisoners, believed extremist views were “widely disseminated” among Muslim inmates.

The report found that while staff kept a record of who associated with terrorist prisoners, they intervened only if an individual presented “challenging behaviour”.

One inmate sent to Belmarsh on remand was persuaded to undertake a martyrdom mission within 72 hours of arriving. The unnamed individual was housed three cells away from the radical Jamaican-born preacher Abdullah al-Faisal who convinced him to become a suicide bomber within three days.

The report stated: “He left prison [and] went straight to Yemen desperately looking for jihad, desperately seeking a training camp. Fortunately, the handlers there in Yemen channelled him into an appropriate kind of madrassa… who taught him the correct understanding and sent him back to us.”

MPs also spoke to radical preacher Abu Hamza, who is detained in Belmarsh as he fights extradition to the US on terror charges. Hamza denied that his sermons contributed to radicalisation, telling the MPs he believed “it was enough for people to watch the news to be radicalised”. He claimed that prisoners turned to extremism because of a combination of “grievance, guilt and capability”.

According to the report, Hamza claimed: “Grievances were driven by British foreign policy, relating to Palestine and Afghanistan, and a sense that the Prophet [Mohammed] was being mocked.”

Some 20per cent of the inmates in Belmarsh are Muslim, compared with 12per cent across the prison population.

Michael Spurr, of the National Offender Management Service, told the committee they had “some evidence of individual prisoners who may have attempted to say things or have indicated views that could attract people to a radical cause” but no evidence it was on the increase.

However, Phil Wragg, the governor of Belmarsh, warned MPs that more needed to be done to share information about prisoners once they had been released.

The report stated: “Good aftercare [would ensure] prisoners who may have been vulnerable to violent extremist ideology in prison can make the transition safely into the community.”


Eid-el-Maulud: Nigerian President, governors, others urge peace


As Muslims all over the world commemorate the anniversary of the birth of the Holy Prophet Mohammed, President Goodluck Jonathan has assured that his administration will curb corruption and eliminate waste.

He said efforts would be geared towards redirecting national resources to identify  priority areas such as public infrastructure, power supply, transportation, agricultural development and education.

The president’s pledge was contained in his Eid-el-Maulud message to the nation.

He said Nigerians should reflect on the virtues and ideals which the prophet exemplified and taught.

He said: “The proper internalisation of these virtues and ideals will undoubtedly benefit our nation as we confront current security and developmental challenges.

 “I sincerely believe that we will make faster progress towards the realisation of our shared vision of a strong, united and prosperous nation if our people imbibe the prophet’s lessons of peace, peaceful co-existence with others,  tolerance, honesty, selflessness, sincerity, justice, equity and fairness to all.”

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, called on Nigerians to use the Eid-el-Maulud to rededicate themselves to the ideals of nationhood.

Ihedioha, in his message,  urged Muslims to show love towards all citizens in the spirit of good neighbourliness.

Ekiti State Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi enjoined Nigerians to love one another in the spirit of the celebration.

The Governor also urged the Muslim Ummah to pray for the restoration of peace in  the country.

He said it is important for Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love, peace, unity and tolerance which Islam preaches.

Plateau State Governor Jonah David Jang told Muslims to use the Eid-el-Maulud to reflect on their lives, using Prophet Muhammed’s standard.

Jang said : “Among the virtues of Muhammad are peace and love for one another; and all the major religions in the world propagate these virtues.”

Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State urged Muslims to pray for peace and stability in the country.

He said peace is one of the major ingredients that sustain development and democracy in any society.

The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) urged leaders to ensure that the insecurity in the country is reduced. 

Its National Chairman, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, advised those in authority to make sure that “we resolve to do it right and get it right.  We urge those chosen to lead to do so with the fear of God and the conviction that they must serve with humility and the determination to check insecurity, provide jobs, improve power supply and above all, get Nigeria back on her feet as a leading nation.”

Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly Adeyemi Ikuforiji called on Muslims to live in peace to show that Islam is a religion of peace.

According to him, “as true Muslims, we must eschew chaos and promote peaceful coexistence with fellow Muslims and non-Muslims. Our conduct must radiate peace and love for fellow Nigerians at all times, irrespective of religion or ethnic background.”

Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko said Nigerians should be tolerant and love one another as there are enough examples for mankind to learn from the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

He said tolerance and love for one another are essential components needed for the building of a peaceful and stable nation.

“With peace, tolerance and brotherly love, we can build a country of our dream,” Mimiko said, adding: “We should eschew all forms of vices as we continue our march towards unity, development and self-sustenance.”

Rivers State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi called on Muslims to see Eid-el-Maulud as a time to show love to their their neighbours irrespective of religion.

Amaechi, who is also the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, said the season should be used to cultivate virtues that would promote  unity and understanding.


Sex abuse of Priests must be reported to police, Vatican says


Feb 7, 2012

ROME: Catholic clergy must report paedophile priests to police, a top Vatican official told the Holy See’s first conference on the sex abuse crisis on Monday, but victims’ groups demanded the Vatican face up to its past and publish its files on abuse.

Pope Benedict called for a “profound renewal of the church at every level” in a message delivered to senior churchmen summoned to discuss the Church’s handling of sex abuse cases and accusations the Vatican had encouraged secrecy.

The scandal has led to costly legal action, is blamed for an exodus of believers in some European states, including the pope’s native Germany, and damaged its moral standing in hitherto staunchly Catholic countries.

Cardinal William Levada, the Vatican’s head of doctrine, said clergy guilty of abuses would have to face the secular legal system, not just the canon law which governs church affairs.

“The Church has an obligation to cooperate with the requirements of civil law regarding the reporting of such crimes to the appropriate authorities,” said Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

But an association for victims of abuse dismissed the conference as “window dressing” and said the Vatican should hand over documentation of abuse to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

“After years of promises, meetings and empty apologies, the Vatican cannot do the simplest, cheapest and most child-friendly action possible: make public decades of secret files on clergy sex offenders and enablers,” said Joelle Casteix from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

The four-day symposium in Rome, entitled “Towards Healing and Renewal,” brings together some 200 people including bishops, leaders of religious orders, victims of abuse and psychologists.


French minister's xenophobic remarks seen as Muslim putdown

Elaine Ganley

Tue, 02/07/2012

France's interior minister has walked into a firestorm of controversy with his weekend comments that some civilizations - notably his own - are worth more than others.

Critics saw Claude Gueant's comments as at best, misguided and cynical and, at worst, xenophobic, but he refused to back down Monday, confirming he had made the remarks Saturday at a meeting of right-wing youth and calling his viewpoint "good sense."

"Obvious words to note that not all civilizations have the same worth regarding the humanist values that are ours," Gueant said in an interview in the conservative daily Le Figaro.

As an example, he noted that the rival Socialists failed to vote for legislation that banned Muslim face veils.

"A year ago, UMP (President Nicolas Sarkozy's party) proposed to the National Assembly a bill to forbid the wearing of the face-covering veil, in conformity with (French) values," he told Le Figaro. "The Socialist Party did not vote for it."

The bill passed and burqa-style veils are now banned on the streets of France.

The campaign chief for Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande - the front-runner in polls ahead of presidential elections in April and May - called Gueant's comments "a premeditated, willful, conscious gesture" to build "bridges between the right and the extreme-right."

He's "targeting Muslims, he's targeting Islam," Pierre Moscovici said on LCI television.

Socialist politicians described the comments as a fishing expedition to lure voters from the far-right National Front to Sarkozy's conservative camp.

Sarkozy has yet to declare his candidacy in the presidential election, but is expected to do so by early March.

Too much Islam is a top theme of the National Front, which claims that France's estimated 5 million Muslims - many from former French colonies in North Africa - are gnawing away at French civilization.

Gueant insisted in Figaro on Monday that he wasn't out of his depth discussing foreign civilizations.

"Who can contest that there is a difference in values between a civilization that favors democracy, protects individual liberties ... promotes the rights of women, and a civilization that accepts tyranny, accords no importance to liberties and does not respect equal rights between men and women?" Le Figaro quoted him as saying.

Sarkozy brushed aside the outrage as a "ridiculous argument" in a Monday interview with France 2 TV station.

"The interior minister said that a civilization ... that does not accord the same place and rights to men and to women doesn't have the same value," he said. "I don't want to argue about it."

National Front candidate Marine Le Pen has been silent on the issue. However, Socialists and anti-racism groups expressed contempt.

Socialist Party spokesman Bernard Cazeneuve on Monday denounced the interior minister's effort to "hierarchize humanity."

Last March, Gueant courted similar controversy when, discussing immigration, he said that the "French ... sometimes have the feeling of no longer being in their own home."

Le Pen responded soon after that for his comments he should get "an honorary membership card in the National Front." (nvn)


India: The Islamic fine print on weavers that Rahul missed

Neelesh Misra,

TNN | Feb 7, 2012

UP weavers say they would hardly benefit from Rahul Gandhi’s package.

JAHANAGUNJ (UP): It is a moment that comes frequently these days in the talent-rich but squalid homes of eastern UP's weavers, when families nurturing an ancient craft get crushed under modern day reality.That is the moment when a weaver sells the biggest, most valuable asset he has: his loom, and flees from his life of poverty to menial jobs in West Asia.

The skinny Abu Saad, 23, is fighting that moment and has witnessed it countless times in the weavers' hub of Jahanagunj 70 km north of Varanasi. The most compelling was when his best friend Ansar Ahmed sold his family loom and went away two years ago to work as a hospital sweeper in the Saudi city of Dammam.This winter, Saad has another crucial asset with which he wants to make a statement: his vote.

More than 2.5 lakh weavers - mostly Muslims - have become a key constituency with political parties aggressively reaching out to them ahead of UP's crucial elections. The charge was led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who prodded the Centre into a Rs. 6,230 crore package aimed at 13 lakh weavers countrywide - but timed mainly for the UP elections.But in this rural hub where houses are partly collapsed, looms largely silent, youth sit aimlessly and muck line the streets, Abu Saad said Gandhi's package is an eyewash that won't touch their lives.

Its centerpiece is providing subsidised loans, and other assistance towards better availability of credit. "How can Rahul Gandhi and the government be so out of touch with our lives?" said Saad, as he stood outside the main mosque in the rural hub. "Don't they know that most of us do not like to take loans because the Quran does not allow us?"

The Centre's package will let individuals get credit card-based loans of up to Rs 2 lakh for three years without collaterals. Using an interest subsidy of 3 per cent, banks will be able to lend at 7 to 8 per cent to the weavers. The local traders' association called the package statistical jugglery with no significant new assistance. Even for those who might sign up, none of the gains have yet reached the weavers on election eve."We haven't got anything from this package so far. This is all for middlemen," said 55-year-old weaver Abrar Ahmed.

Eastern UP's weaving industry with the Banarasi sari as its most famous brand has collapsed. Thousands of weavers who were once considered among India's best artisans now live in slums."Earlier people sold jewellery and went to Saudi. Now they sell their looms," said Saad. One loom sells for Rs 50,000 and often three have to be sold to bear the expenses of going to Saudi Arabia.

With no other skill, artisans are forced to lead menial lives there as goat grazers, sweepers or labour.Previously too, politicians have sought to reach out to weavers. As CM, Mulayam Singh Yadav promised them 18-hour electricity. Mayawati has accused the Centre of not doing enough.But little has changed in their disintegrating lives.


 ‘Love for Prophet biggest asset for Muslims’: VC Al-Azhar University

7 February 2012

LAHORE - The 28th International Milad-un-Nabi Conference (SAW), the biggest one in the Islamic world, continued till Fajr prayer on the intervening nights of 11th and 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal at Minar-e-Pakistan under the banner of Minhaj-ul-Quran International. Hundreds of thousands of people including women and children braved the severe cold and rainy weather and remained in attendance. The conference made history as the devotees demonstrated their love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and reminded the world that it is the most precious asset for the Muslims. Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri appeared on the huge screen to deliver his keynote address to the conference at 1:30 am. The people gave him a standing ovation on this occasion.

Full Report At:


The Mistreatment of Women in Muslim Countries

Shari Goodman

February 6, 2012

In examining the attitude of men towards women in Islamic culture it is important for readers to note that Islamic culture is derived from the Quran and codified into law by Sharia which is the civil code for the Quran. It codifies into law every aspect and action of a practicing Muslim's life. Within Islam, there can be no other law that supercedes Quranic doctrine; thus man made laws such as our Constitution would not be recognized and have no standing. It is difficult to separate the norms and mores of Islamic society from the underpinnings of those norms, and the underpinning for Islamic culture and norms is the Quran. When we read the actual passages pertaining to women, the following verses are just a few of the numerous verses that are at odds with the norms and mores of Western civilization.

Full Report At:


Community reaction to Canadian fatwa blasting 'honour killings'

February 5, 2012

Imam Syed Soharwardy of Calgary reads a copy of a fatwa at the Jamia Riyadhul Jannah place of worship in Mississauga, Ont., on Saturday. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)Muslim leaders in Canada have issued a rare religious decree to condemn the so-called "honour killings" that were brought into sharp focus by the Shafia murder trial.

The fatwa, which was issued by a Canadian imam on Saturday, is only the third of its kind in Canada. Previous fatwas denounced Taliban members thwarting girls' education and also terrorists plotting acts of mass destruction.

Full Report At:


Indonesia: Aceh Ulema Warns Muslims Against Observing Valentine’s Day

FEBRUARY 6, 2012

BANDA ACEH (Indonesia),14 Rabi al-Awwal/6 Feb (IINA)-Ulema in Aceh have warned Muslims, the younger generation in particular, that observing Valentine’s Day is not allowed in Islam and against Sharia law that is in force in all of Aceh province.

“It is haram for Muslims to observe Valentine’s Day because it does not accord with Islamic Sharia” Tgk Feisal, general secretary of the Aceh Ulema Association (HUDA), said on Monday.

In Islam, he said, love should not be expressed or shown on a certain day only but every day. “Therefore, Islam’s younger generation should not participate in the celebration of a foreign festivity,” he said.

Faisal Ali who is also chairman of the Aceh branch of Nahdlatul Ulama called on Muslim parents, especially those in Aceh, to instruct and supervise their children in the matter.

“We must prevent the Muslim younger generation in Aceh from being poisoned by a culture that contradicts our Muslim values. Therefore, everybody, parents in particular, should give our youth the proper guidance,” he said.

He also called on the government to uphold and implement Islamic Sharia in “serious and sincere ways and not just out of political expediency or momentarily.”

“Islamic Sharia cannot prevail in Aceh as expected if it is not supported fully by the government and other parties in authority,” he said.

The government must also watch out for youths participating in Valentine’s Day activities in Aceh, he said.


Woman minister of Pakistan resigns in protest against killings

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

QUETTA: Provincial minister without a portfolio Nasreen Khethran tendered her resignation from the cabinet in protest against the assassination of the wife and daughter of MPA Mir Bakhtiar Dombki a few days ago. Addressing a press conference, Nasreen, wife of Sardar Abdul Rehman Khethran, said that there was no justification for her to retain the cabinet post when women were being killed by armed assailants. She said that law and order situation had deteriorated in Balochistan and incidents of violence were reported every now and then. Now Baloch women were being targeted and in such a situation it would be futile to remain in the cabinet, she said. The murder of the wife and daughter of Dombki is a condemnable act, she added. mohammad zafar\02\07\story_7-2-2012_pg7_3


Jakarta: Agency to close 14 illegal sex shops in Yogyakarta

Slamet Susanto,

Tue, 02/07/2012 4

An official said the Yogyakarta’s Public Order Agency plans to close down 14 sex shops for illegal permits and selling sexual enhancement pills, which aren’t allowed by the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency.

“We have filed for the closure of 26 alleged sex shops with the state district court and have been granted the permission to execute 14 of those closures,” Yogyakarta’s Public Order Agency head Suryanto said on Tuesday.

He said besides the closures, the court had also fined these shops between Rp 199,000 and Rp 224,000 per shop.

Suryanto advised people to avoid any product that has been offered by these kinds of shops simply because they could jeopardize health.

“They are usually offering some cosmetics first as gimmick, before offering their real commodities, the sex booster pills,” he said. (dic)


Boko Haram: Bomb blasts in Kano, Maiduguri, Warri

James Bwala

Tuesday, 07 February 2012

ON a day Muslims celebrated the birthday of Prophet Mohammed, the Boko Haram sect on Monday bombed two police stations in Kano and a market in Maiduguri, Borno State.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) also bombed a hotel in Warri, Delta State.

There were multiple bomb blasts near the Gomboru Market in Shehuri ward of Maiduguri Metropolitan Council.

A source who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune by phone said: “From wherever you are in the city of Maiduguri, you can see a billow of smoke rising to the sky. We do not know whether there are casualties or not. But as usual, there were gunshots; perhaps we will have the casualty figure later. But it was so devastating as the whole of Gomboru Market is on fire as a result of the blast.”

The source said he could not count exactly the number of times he heard the blasts, saying those people who ran away from the area of the blasts said that members of the Islamic sect Boko Haram were said to have targeted some soldiers patrolling the area, but could not confirm if there were clashes between the sect members and the military men.

He, however, said that several people were injured, while rushing to safety. “There are more than 20 people in my house right, now who ran for dear lives from flying bullets. In fact, one of them was hit by Keke NAPEP while fleeing from the bullets and his condition is critical but we can’t take him to hospital until we are sure the situation is under control,” he explained.

Full Report At:


Nearly 100 killed in Syria violence: activists

Tue Feb 07 2012, 16:00 hrs

Syria : Nearly 100 civilians were killed in clashes across Syria, activists said, with the majority dying in a fierce onslaught by government troops on the city of Homs.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, 69 people died in Homs yesterday and its nearby villages while other 13 died in the northwestern province of Idlib.

However the Britain-based group said another 16 people died in clashes in other towns including one in Aleppo, and 15 near the capital Damascus.


Pak: ‘Terrorist’ detained from Milad procession

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

RAWALPINDI: An alleged security guard was detained by the police and law-enforcement agencies from central procession of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) on Sunday.

The central procession in connection with birth anniversary of Holy Prophet (PBUH) was carried out from Markazi Jamia Masjid.

Full Report At:\02\07\story_7-2-2012_pg11_5


Riyadh: Some women still deprived of inheritance

7 February 2012

RIYADH — It is made quite clear in the Holy Qur’an and Prophet’s Sunnah that under Islam women are entitled to their full rights to inheritance. Yet some people violate these teachings by depriving women of their inheritance under the pretext of false claims made in the pre-Islamic era. The situation is so typical that courts are seeing many cases filed by women trying to reclaim their inheritance, Al-Jazira Arabic newspaper said. It spoke to some legal experts about their views about this disgraceful behavior.

Dr. Muznah Maizal Al-Eid, assistant professor of Islamic jurisprudence at Princess Noura Bint Abdulrahman University, explained that Islam has brought justice and status to women after they were treated badly and without respect. Islam has given women the right to accept or refuse husbands, to complete their education, to work and to have a share of inheritance.

Full Report At:


Abbas to head new unity Palestinian government

7 February 2012

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal (L-R) talk before an agreement signing ceremony in Doha on Monday. (Reuters)


Published: Feb 6, 2012 16:30 Updated: Feb 6, 2012 20:22

RAMALLAH, West Bank: Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas agreed at a meeting in Qatar on Monday to form a unified Palestinian government for the West Bank and Gaza headed by Palestinian President and Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas, a senior Palestinian official said.

Abbas and Khaled Meshaal, head of the Islamist Hamas, said they were serious about implementing the accord almost a year after the two sides signed a reconciliation deal that languished for months and was reaffirmed only in November.

Full Report At:


SC grants time to ISI, MI to file reports on Balochistan

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday, accepting a plea of Attorney General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq, granted more time to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) to file their reports on the law and order situation in Balochistan.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, heard the petition filed by the Balochistan High Court Bar Association (BHCBA) against the incidents of target killing, kidnapping for ransom and the overall poor law and order situation in the province.

Full Report At:\02\07\story_7-2-2012_pg7_9


'Iran will not accept Apartheid Israel'

Sat Feb 4, 2012

Press TV has interviewed Mohammad Marandi, Professor at the University of Tehran in Tehran to discuss statements made and the general message of the speech made by the leader of Iran with other guests in a news analysis. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Let's start with Iran's support and help for nations and groups that fight Israel. Ayatollah Khamanei said and I quote, “We will continue to support any nations, any groups fighting against the Zionist regime across the world and we are not afraid of declaring this. Iran will stand by and support any nation or group that chooses to stand up to Israel. What do you make of his comment?

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US considering formal apology for NATO attacks: Report

February 7, 2012

KARACHI: Officials in the United States Department of State are said to have been supporting a proposal circulating in the administration for the US to issue a formal apology over the deaths of Pakistani soldiers in the November 26 Nato airstrike, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

The daily quoted a US official, briefed on the State Department’s view, as saying, “We’ve felt an apology would be helpful in creating some space.”

Earlier, the White House had said that US President Barack Obama will not issue a formal apology or condolences on the deaths.

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U.S. Sending Commander to Repair Ties With Pakistan


February 6, 2012

WASHINGTON — A senior American military commander is expected to travel to Pakistan this month in what Obama administration officials say is the first step toward thawing a strategic relationship that has been in effect frozen for more than two months.

Gen. James N. Mattis, the head of the military’s Central Command, will meet Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the Pakistani Army chief of staff, to discuss the investigations of an exchange of fire at the Afghan border that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, as well as new border coordination procedures to prevent a recurrence of the episode.

General Mattis’s visit, the first by a high-ranking American official since the cross-border confrontation in November, was to have begun Thursday, but has been postponed by at least a week pending what is expected to be a spirited debate in the Pakistani Parliament over a new security policy toward the United States.

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Pakistan gets last fleet of F-16 jets

Sikander Shaheen

February 07, 2012

ISLAMABAD - Thelast fleet of three sophisticated F-16 fighter jets arrived in Pakistan on Monday following the completion of $ 2.7 billion programme that oversaw the provisions of 18 aircrafts equipped with Night Precision Attack capability tothe Pakistan Air Force (PAF) by the US Defence Department. The three F-16 aircrafts received at the Shahbaz Airbase in Jacobabad were last in the 18 jets of Block 52 series Pakistan had subscribed to, following the payment of $ 1.4 billion for purchasing and subsequent $ 1.3 billion for sustaining technical costs (including up-gradation and maintenance).With modalities finalised in late 2009, the first fleet carrying three F-16 jets first landed in Pakistan in June 2010 at the Shahbaz Airbase. The completion of handing over all the aircraft to the PAF was scheduled by last month. However, slight delay resulted in speculations that the US had abandoned the deal following a row with Pakistan on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) supplies blockade in the aftermath of November 26 attack on Pakistan's military posts in the Mohmand Agency.

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We do not deal with Pakistan through lobbyists: US

Feb 7, 2012

WASHINGTON: The United States has said that it is not engaged in business with Pakistan through lobbyists and is looking forward to talking to Islamabad after the latter completes internal review of its ties with Washington.

"I don't have any knowledge of the letter one way or the other. But I will tell you that we don't do our business with Pakistan through its lobbyists," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said when asked about a letter written by a lobbyist urging the US to tender an apology to Pakistan for the November 26 NATO raid that killed 24 soldiers.

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SC admits for hearing petition against Kayani, Pasha

7 February 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday admitted for hearing a petition filed in anticipation of a perceived move to sack Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and ISI Director General Lt-Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha against the backdrop of the ‘memogate’ fiasco, DawnNews reported.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, admitted the petition filed by Advocate F.K. Butt for hearing after dismissing the objections raised by the Registrar’s office regarding its maintainability.

During today’s hearing, Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq said that the petition was based on newspaper clippings and conspiracy theories.

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Pak Def. Min. urges reopening border to NATO

7 February 2012

ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar said Pakistan should reopen its Afghan border crossings to Nato troop supplies after negotiating a better deal with the coalition.

Pakistan closed the crossings over two months ago in response to American airstrikes that accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Mukhtar said on Tuesday that the government should negotiate new ”terms and conditions” with Nato and then reopen the border.

He did not provide details. But other Pakistani officials have said the government should levy additional fees on Nato for using the route through the country.

About 30 per cent of non-lethal supplies for US and coalition troops in Afghanistan travelled through Pakistan before the border closed.


US says Palestinian deal ‘internal’ matter

7 February 2012

WASHINGTON:The United States on Monday remained on the sidelines over a deal signed between Hamas and Fatah to end a long-running discord between rival Palestinian movements, saying it was an internal affair.

“As we’ve said many times, questions of Palestinian reconciliation are an internal matter for Palestinians,” said US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

The accord signed in Qatar was welcomed by officials from both Palestinian movements, but Israel warned Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to choose between reconciliation with Hamas and making peace with the Jewish state.

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Lahore: US said to target rescuers at drone strike sites

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

LAHORE: British and Pakistani journalists said on Sunday that the CIA’s drone strikes on suspected terrorists in Pakistan have repeatedly targeted rescuers who responded to the scene of a strike, as well as mourners at subsequent funerals, writes Scott Shane in the New York Times.

The report, by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, found that at least 50 civilians had been killed in follow-up strikes after they rushed to help those hit by a drone-fired missile. The bureau counted more than 20 other civilians killed in strikes on funerals. The findings were published on the bureau’s website and in The Sunday Times of London.

The bureau’s findings are based on interviews with witnesses to strikes in Pakistan’s rugged tribal area, where reporting is often dangerous and difficult. American officials have questioned the accuracy of such claims, asserting that accounts might be concocted by terrorists or falsely confirmed by residents who fear retaliation.

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Tanzania/Islam: Tanzanian Muslim Clerics Appeal for Peace, Solidarity


DAR ES SALAM, 14 Rabi al-Awwal/6 Feb (IINA)-Chief Sheikh Mufti Issa Bin Shaaban Simba has urged Muslims to strengthen unity and solidarity with followers of other religions to maintain peace and tranquility in the country.

In his message on eve of Maulid celebrations to mark the birth of Prophet Mohammed (SAW) at Manyema Mosque in Kilosa District, Morogoro Region, the Mufti asked Muslims to fight discrimination in all its forms. The Chief Sheikh reiterated his appeal during Maulid Baraza in Kilosa, when he strongly denounced unfair treatment of women and children on various issues including inheritance.

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Hassan Shahriar made CJA President Emeritus

Unb, Dhaka

7 February 2012

Three Bangladeshi journalists have been elected to the 15-member Executive Committee of Commonwealth Journalists' Association (CJA) at its triennial conference in Malta.

Hassan Shahriar, a two-term CJA president, has been elected a President Emeritus; Farid Hossain, bureau chief of the Associated Press (AP), Dhaka, a vice-president; and Shyamol Dutta, editor of Bhorer Kagoj, a member; says a press released received here yesterday.

The conference held from January 29 to February 2 elected Rita Payne, a UK-based journalist, president of the CJA for a three-year term.

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Bangladesh: 17 killed, 68 injured in road crashes

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Seventeen people were killed and another 68 injured in road accidents in nine districts yesterday and Sunday.

The districts are Dinajpur, Sirajganj, Chittagong, Pabna, Comilla, Tangail, Noakhali, Rangpur, and Natore.

Our Dinajpur correspondent says: Five people were killed and 35 others injured in two accidents in Phulbari and Chirirbandar upazilas of the district yesterday.

In Phulbari, a Dinajpur-bound bus hit a roadside tree after one of its wheels broke loose at Kurail, killing three unidentified persons and inuring another 35.

Twenty of the injured, six of them critically, were taken to Dinajpur Medical College Hospital, said Biman Karmakar, an assistant superintendent of police (Phulbari circle).

In Chirirbandar, a loaded tractor hit an oncoming crowded rickshaw van on Ranibandar-Khansama road at Chander Dah village, killing a minor boy and a woman yesterday.

The woman aged around 28 died on the spot while the boy of about 8 years of age succumbed to his injuries in Dinajpur Medical College Hospital.

Our Sirajganj correspondent reports: A bus plunged into a roadside ditch at Jhaoil in Kamarkhanda upazila early yesterday, killing three passengers including a woman and her daughter on the spot.

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Pakistan gets new fighter planes from US

IANS | Feb 7, 2012

ISLAMABAD: With an eye to India, Pakistan on Monday received the last of 18 F-16 fighter jets from the US.

Dawn said the primary consideration for purchasing the new aircraft was to improve the fighting capability of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) vis-a-vis the Indian Air Force.

The last F-16D Block 52 aircraft as well as the first two of the upgraded fighter jets have arrived in the country.

The fighter aircraft is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics suite and latest weapons with night precision attack capability.

"One F-16D Block 52 and two F-16 Block 15 MLU (Mid Life Upgrade) aircraft arrived today from the US at PAF Base Shahbaz (Jacobabad)," PAF said in a statement.

"The arrival of last F-16D Block 52 aircraft marked the completion of delivery of 18 aircraft of this category. The other two F-16 Block 15 aircraft ... were earlier sent to USA for Mid Life Upgrade," it further said.

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Pak-American pleads guilty of funding terror groups in J-K

Tue Feb 07 2012

Chicago : A Pakistani-American, charged with sending money to the now-believed-to-be-dead al-Qaeda leader Ilyas Kashmiri, has pleaded guilty before a court here for providing money for terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Raja Lahrasib Khan, a Chicago taxi driver and native of Pakistan who became a naturalised US citizen in 1988, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation, resolving charges that have been pending since he was arrested in March 2010.

Khan, 58, is currently in jail and his sentencing is scheduled for May 30. Born and raised in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Khan faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. He immigrated to the US in 1970s.

His plea agreement calls for an agreed sentence of between five and eight years in prison, and it requires Khan to cooperate with the government in any matter in which he is called upon to assist through the termination of his sentence and any period of supervised release, the Justice Department said.

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South Korean President visit to Riyadh to cement cooperation


Feb 7, 2012

RIYADH: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will arrive in the Kingdom Tuesday, the last stop in his Mideast tour that took in Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, Korean Ambassador to the Kingdom Kim Jong-yong said.

He said the president will join as a guest of honor on Wednesday Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah in the inauguration of the Janadriyah festival on the outskirts of Riyadh.

Though there have been reports that the Korean president visit to the Kingdom intended to secure a stable oil supply in the light of the proposed oil embargo on Iranian oil, Kim stressed the visit came mainly to express dedication to the Saudi leadership and nation for honoring Korea as the guest country of the festival.

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Egypt must release Americans: US envoy


Feb 6, 2012

WASHINGTON/CAIRO: The US ambassador to the United Nations is keeping up the Obama administration’s pressure on Egypt to release 19 Americans facing trial on allegations of encouraging unrest in the country.

Susan Rice tells the “CBS This Morning” show the US citizens involved in the dispute have been working with efforts to build a more democratic society and “have done absolutely nothing wrong.”

Her statement comes in the wake of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s warning Saturday that Egypt could face a cutoff of US financial aid because of the problem.

Rice said Washington has been talking to Cairo constantly, including “in the last days and hours.” She said the situation “has serious consequences for our bilateral relationship.”

Meanwhile, protesters and police clashed again outside Cairo's security headquarters on Monday in the wake of deadly football violence and amid calls by activists for civil disobedience in Egypt.

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Pakistan 26/11 Mumbai attacks panel fails to turn up

TNN | Feb 7, 2012

NEW DELHI: The fate of 26/11 trial in Pakistan is again mired in uncertainty with Islamabad failing to communicate to New Delhi exactly when its judicial commission will visit India to record statement of officials linked with the Mumbai attacks. Government sources confirmed on Monday that Pakistan has only conveyed to India that the visit slated for February 3-6 couldn't take place because of some issues "legal in nature".

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Indian consular team to visit Dammam


Feb 7, 2012

RIYADH: A team of consular officials of Embassy of India, Riyadh, will visit Dammam from Feb. 8-10 to provide welfare and consular assistance to Indian nationals at Dammam Deportation Center with a view to issue emergency certificates to them. This will facilitate their hassle-free departure from the Kingdom.

On Wednesday, the team will visit the Dammam Deportation Center and on Thursday and Friday, the consular official will provide attestation service at VFS’s  Passport Application Centre at Dammam.


Palestinians move toward end of political rift


Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012

RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday took a decisive step toward reconciliation with the Islamic militant Hamas, agreeing to head an interim unity government that would prepare for elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The announcement immediately threw Mideast peace efforts into turmoil. By moving closer to Hamas, the Palestinian leader appeared to be closing the door, for now, to any possibility of peace talks with Israel - although all such efforts have failed to get off the ground during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's three years in office.

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Turkey opens its doors to all Syrians fleeing regime

7 February 2012

Reacting to the Russian and Chinese veto to a United Nations Security Council resolution to stop the killings of civilians by Syrian security sources, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Turkey’s doors were “open to all Syrians who want to flee from oppression.”

“We are ready to host them in our homes if necessary,” Davutoğlu added as part of a new stage to step up pressure on the Bashar al-Assad regime.

The move is interesting since Turkey has announced that there could be only two conditions for Turkish involvement in military action in the Syrian situation; a U.N. Security Council decision based on humanitarian reasoning or a massive flood of refugees into Turkey.

Yet the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a written statement yesterday categorically denying media reports that Turkey and the United States had agreed on a military action plan on Syria in Feb. 4’s meeting in Munich between Davutoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Davutoğlu made no comment on U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman’s statement after he said that his country might consider providing weapons to a Free Syrian Army consisting of defectors from Syrian army and forming the military wing of the Istanbul-based Syrian National Council.

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Nigeria: Boko Haram rubbishes claim of leader's arrest

Saturday, February 04, 2012,

Abuja: Nigeria's radical Islamist sect Boko Haram, which has been involved in a wave of attacks in the country, on Friday rubbished claims that its spokesman has been arrested by the security forces.

The man captured by the Nigerian secret police – State Security Service (SSS)-- was Abu Dadaa, the head of public enlightenment who was on his way to negotiate with a government official, a person who identified himself as the spokesman, Abu Qaqa, told reporters in northern city of Maiduguri.

"We want to react on what security agents said regarding the arrest of one of our members. The person that was arrested was Abu Dardaa and not Abu Qaqa. I am Abu Qaqa, the spokesman of Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad," he told reporters.

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Yemen negotiating Qaeda pullout from Zinjibar

7 February 2012

ADEN — The government is trying to negotiate the withdrawal of Al-Qaeda linked militants from Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province in southern Yemen, tribal and government officials said on Saturday.

The negotiations, taking place through tribal mediators, are "ongoing," a government official told AFP on condition of anonymity, without giving further details.

Last May, the Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), linked to Al-Qaeda, took control of Zinjibar, triggering nine months of deadly clashes between militants and government troops.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the fighting and more than 90,000 residents displaced.

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Bank Muscat hails CBO model on Islamic banking

Mon, 06 February 2012

MUSCAT — Bank Muscat, the flagship financial institution in the Sultanate, has commended the draft Central Bank of Oman (CBO) model of Islamic banking and finance to be adopted by Islamic banks and Islamic windows associated with conventional banks in Oman.

Sulaiman al Harthy, Group GM — Islamic Banking, expressed deep appreciation of the draft model at the fourth seminar on Islamic banking hosted by the Bank at the Ministry of Education. The BankMuscat Sharia board members — Shaikh Dr Ali Qaradaghi, Chairman, Shaikh Essam Muhammad Ishaq and Shaikh Majid al Kindi — addressed the seminar aimed at raising awareness and familiarising people with the main characteristics of Islamic finance.

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Nigeria attracts enterprising Indians despite terror

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Accra: With major Indian interests in Nigeria in the areas of trade and investment, the west African country's huge economic potential continues to be a big draw for Indians despite recent terror attacks, one of which killed 160 people, including an Indian, last month.

Coordinated attacks carried out by the Boko Haram sect, known to have ties with Al Qaeda, targeted the security forces Jan 20 in Kano city. Kevalkumar Kalidas Rajput, 23, who hailed from Gujarat and had been working for Kano-based company M/s Relchem since March 2011, was killed.

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Indonesians stay warm in frozen Europe

Mustaqim Adamrah

Tue, 02/07/2012

Extreme cold weather bashing countries across Europe has killed hundreds of Europeans as temperatures go as low as, for example, minus 36 Celsius in the Ukraine. Luckily, Indonesians living in European countries with extreme weather are reportedly fine.

“There are 55 Indonesian nationals in total across the Ukraine. But Alhamdulillah [Praise God] all of them are safe and sound. We continuously keep an eye on them,” Indonesian Ambassador to Ukraine Nining Suningsih Rochadiat told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

She added that weather in Georgia and Armenia was not as extreme as that in the Ukraine and that there were no Indonesian nationals permanently living in the two other countries, to which she was also accredited.

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'BBC journalists' held in Iran

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Reports from Iran say several people have been detained for alleged links to the BBC's Persian Service, which is banned in the country.

The Mehr news agency says they were involved in newsgathering, recruiting and training for Iranian journalists and had arranged trips abroad for them.

A BBC statement said no BBC Persian journalists were working inside Iran.

It said the reported arrests should be of deep concern to all those who believed in free and independent media.

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Russian Foreign Minister arrives in Syria

7 February 2012

Thousands of Syrians waving Russian flags cheered Russia’s Foreign Minister as he arrived in Damascus on Tuesday for talks with embattled President Bashar Assad on the country’s escalating violence.

Sergei Lavrov’s visit comes days after Syrian allies Russia and China vetoed a Western-and Arab-backed resolution at the United Nations that would have condemned the Assad regime’s crackdown on dissent and calling on him to transfer some of his powers to his deputy. The Syrian government had rejected the Arab plan as intervention in Syria’s internal affairs.

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Assad may witness unwinnable war

February 07, 2012

Beirut, Syria's victory in dodging a UN resolution it deemed a license for regime change may only escalate its internal conflict into a full-fledged civil war that many analysts believe President Bashar al-Assad cannot ultimately win.

With the collapse of the sole diplomatic effort

recognised by Assad's foes - both armed and in a split civilian opposition, the stage is set for deeper diplomatic isolation of Syria and perhaps a new flows of arms and money to Syria's insurgents.

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Avert Syria disaster: KSA

7 February 2012

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah receives a message from King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain during a meeting with Bahrain's Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Muhammad bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa at his palace in Riyadh on Monday. (SPA)


Published: Feb 7, 2012 02:20 Updated: Feb 7, 2012 02:20

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia appealed Monday to the international community to beef up efforts to find a solution to the Syrian bloodshed even though the UN Security Council failed to support Arab efforts to end the crisis.

“The failure of the deliberations of the Security Council to take a decision in support of the Arab initiative should not prevent (all parties concerned) from taking decisive steps to protect innocent lives, stop the bloodshed and the violence in Syria which also poses threats such as instability in the region,” the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers said.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah chaired the meeting held at Yamamah Palace in Riyadh.

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Syria central bank to defend pound

Feb 7, 2012 01:43

KUWAIT CITY: Syria's central bank will intervene to prop up its currency — which has plunged under the mounting pressure of sanctions and violence — and has the reserves to back that strategy, Kuwaiti state news agency KUNA cited Gov. Adib Mayaleh as saying on Monday.

Mayaleh said the black market exchange rate, which last month hit a record low of about 70 to the dollar, reflected attempts to destabilize Syria, where President Bashar Assad is trying to crush an 11-month-old uprising against his rule, the agency reported.

"The exchange rate in the parallel market is fictional, and its goal is to provoke fear and panic among citizens," KUNA quoted him as saying, adding that the bank would be intervening in that market within one week.

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Fears Over Rules Requiring Indonesian Graduates to Be Published

Ronna Nirmala

 February 06, 2012

Millions of undergraduate students in Indonesia will have to work harder to gain a bachelor’s degree with the government’s introduction of an obligation on them to have an article published in a scientific journal.

“As we know, the number of scientific research projects from our universities is still low, far behind that of Malaysia, for instance,” said Djoko Santoso, the director general for higher education at the Education and Culture Ministry.

He said the policy would start in August. While the ministry’s decree, announced last January, is part of an attempt to boost the quality of the university graduates, experts warn that the quality of the country’s universities was too inconsistent to produce standardized articles based on scientific research.

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