New Age Islam
Wed Oct 28 2020, 05:10 AM

Islamic World News ( 26 Dec 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Muslim clerics ban New Year Celebrations in Kyrgyzstan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Central Asia

Muslim clerics ban New Year Celebrations in Kyrgyzstan

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Europe

Al-Qaeda blames France for hostage deadlock

Russia attack: N Ossetia Muslim leader shot dead

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Africa

Nigeria’s Anti-Terror War Meant To Kill Muslims, Alleges Nigerian Islamic Cleric

2012 was a banner year for Boko Haram, but not for Nigerians   

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North America

Jews, Muslims and Christians Unite In Colorado to Fight Anti-Islamic Sentiment

U.S. terror suspects pleads not guilty

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South Asia

Suicide bomber targets NATO base in Afghanistan

Three Afghans dead in new blast at U.S. base in Afghan east

Jamaat-e-Islami leader took part in torching Hindu houses

Filipino housemaid complains employer not honoring work contract

Paris to take in Afghans facing security threats

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India

National Minorities Commission Questions V K Singh On Rape Charges Against Army

Samjhauta suspect claims shooting Kashmiri activist

2012 saw courts doubting its power under anti-terror law

Gujarat HC stays action against Muslim youth who married Hindu girl

Drowned cadet’s kin blame Jamia Millia Islamia

Abu Dhabi tourism to conduct road shows in Indian cities

Pakistani sand likely to be imported, despite HC order

Sarabjit, Kirpal appeal for help from Pak jail

ISI suspect produced before advisory board

Ahmedabad's family stranded in Pakistan

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Pakistan

Pakistan Taliban spokesman outlines conditions to the Govt. for ceasefire

Islam provides a role model and protects minorities’ rights: V C Faisalabad University

Mark Siegel to testify against Gen Musharraf

Five years on the mystery continues: Playing politics with Benazir’s death

MQM starts reviewing decision to join Qadri’s long march

Low-intensity blast damages mosque wall in Karachi, five injured

Christmas celebrations: Merrymaking, hymns and carols colour the day at K-P

Bhutto baton to be passed on to new generation

Blast in Karachi injures at least five: police

Lal Masjid Commission summons witnesses

Benazir’s death anniversary today

Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wal-Jamat rally condemns attack on Farooqi

Lord Mountbatten’s guard awaits pension since 8 months

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Arab World

UAE busts Saudi-Emirati ‘terror' cell

Iraqis block trade routes in protest against Al-Maliki

Mass resignations from Salafist Nour Party

Brahimi says no Russian-American plan on Syria

Syria's Assad sends Russia diplomat to discuss Brahimi proposals

Egypt's Morsi admits mistakes and urges unity

Egypt's parliament convenes after referendum

Egypt's leader signs constitution into law

Bahraini court overturns sentences for protesters

Wounded Syrian minister returns to Damascus

Iraqi sides continue negotiations over tension

Oman citizens foil drug smuggling attempt

Saudi universities have produced some prominent Indonesian figures

An Islamist group ‘bans’ smoking in Sinai

Egypt's Mursi to address parliament on Saturday

Top Syrian general joins opposition

Brazilian cartoonist Latuff defends Egyptian counterpart El-Adl

In Syria, ‘father of martyrs’ speaks of revenge

Tie knot in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Tourism tells Indians

Hit by new unrest, Egypt’s tourism industry worries over future

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Southeast Asia

Churches in Jakarta lament police inaction on intimidation

Japanese tourism now catering to Muslims

Citizen journalism: Indonesian Cultural Day in Istanbul

Greater Jakarta: Terrorist visitor held for carrying sharp weapon

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Mideast Asia

Israeli dig uncovers ancient Judaean temple

Iran bans flights during call to Islamic prayer: report

Iranian ex-president's family sue Ahmadinejad ally over corruption claim

Turkey's border town mobilize for Syrian refugees

Israel approves building of more settlements

In Iran, new movies boost wobbly film sector

Iran plans naval drill in Hormuz

Iran rejects interference accusation by Gulf Arabs

Blogger's death stirs political hornet's nest in Iran

Minister says Turkey will keep buying gas from Iran

Israel skeptical of poison gas use in Syria

Israel to destroy 51 Palestinian homes

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo:  Afghan police carry the body of a civilian into a hospital morgue after the suicide attack in Khost province.

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-clerics-ban-new-year-s-in-kyrgyzstan-as-it-is-not-a-religious-holiday/d/9815

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Central Asia

 

Muslim clerics ban New Year Celebrations in Kyrgyzstan

26 Dec 2012

Muslim clerics in Kyrgyzstan have issued a fatwa against New Year celebrations in the country as they are not related to Islam and are too expensive.

The chief Muslim authority of the central Asian country have called for the ban urging Muslims to ignore the holiday altogether.

“This New Year is not a religious holiday. It is not related to Muslims at all,” said Ravshan Eratov, head of the Kyrgyz Muslims’ Religious Administration.

He also said that Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha and the Jumah (Friday prayer) are the only holidays in Islam.

“Only those are our holidays. The rest is not about Islam," he said.

The Soviet Union, which Kyrgyzstan was formerly a part of, regarded New Year’s Day as the biggest holiday of the year – a tradition which is still practiced in many former Soviet countries including predominantly Orthodox Christian Russia.

Kyrgyzstan is a predominantly Muslim country.

Eratov stated that the money spent on celebrating the New Year cold be put to better use such as helping children and the poor.

Some citizens in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek disagree with the idea of banning New Year celebration.

“They think people will eat non-Muslim food, or go out to the street to light fireworks and cause harm to each other,” said Svetlana Ibrayeva, a teacher.

“They see only bad things about the New year. But I think you can find a lot of good things about the New Year and make a very happy New Year celebration.”

However, some younger people are more willing to take up the advise from Muslim clerics.

“No, if they said it is not allowed according to Sharia then it is not allowed,” said 23-year old Ramil.

“It is not even up for the discussion. If it’s the case, we’d better oblige the Sharia law,” he added.

New Year remains an official public holiday in Kyrgyzstan despite the fatwa.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2012/12/20121226124249715395.html

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Europe

 

Al-Qaeda blames France for hostage deadlock

27 December 2012

PARIS: A leader of Al-Qaeda's North African arm, AQIM, has accused France of failing to engage in negotiations to release French hostages the group is holding in the Sahel.

In a four-minute video message carried by regional news website Sahara Media, Abdel Hamid Abu Zeid said four hostages seized in Niger two years ago were alive and said Paris had not taken up AQIM's invitation to negotiate their release.

"About a year ago we alerted France to our willingness to negotiate and since then we have been waiting for a response," Abu Zeid said in a French transcript provided by Sahara Media, viewed as a reliable news portal with strong militant contacts.

The statement appeared to be in response to a Dec. 8 message from the brother of one of the hostages who said he did not understand why the situation appeared to be deadlocked.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said that Paris is working "discreetly" to try to secure the hostages' release.

AQIM, which operates across the vast Sahara desert and with its allies controls the northern two-thirds of Mali, is holding four Frenchmen seized in a Niger mining town in 2010 and two others kidnapped in northeast Mali in late 2011.

A seventh Frenchman was kidnapped by a separate rebel group, MUJWA, in southwest Mali in November.

AQIM threatened in September to start killing hostages if Paris mounted a military intervention in northern Mali.

Despite that risk, Paris has been a vocal supporter of plans for an international operation to try to wrest back the territory from the rebels' control. Western leaders are concerned the area could become a platform for militant attacks.

The UN Security Council this month authorized a French-drafted resolution for the deployment of an African-led force to retrain Mali's defeated army and ultimately support such an operation.

The four AQIM hostages were working for French nuclear group Areva and Sogea-Satom, a subsidiary of construction group Vinci, in the uranium mining town of Arlit in Niger.

http://www.arabnews.com/al-qaeda-blames-france-hostage-deadlock

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Russia attack: N Ossetia Muslim leader shot dead

27 December 2012

A Muslim spiritual leader has been shot dead in the Russian Caucasus republic of North Ossetia.

Deputy mufti Ibragim Dudarov was hit by several bullets fired at his car as he was driving home late on Wednesday, near the regional capital Vladikavkaz.

There have been similar attacks on Muslim leaders this year in the Russian republics of Dagestan and Tatarstan.

The motive in Dudarov's case is not clear. The mufti said his deputy "was not in conflict with anyone".

He called the attack "a stab in the back", linking it to Dudarov's work in a local Muslim spiritual organisation. But he said Islamist militants - blamed for many attacks in nearby Dagestan and Chechnya - were not active in North Ossetia.

North Ossetia is a mainly Christian republic which was ravaged by fighting between Christian Ossetians and Muslim Ingush in the early 1990s.

Dudarov, 38, lived in the village of Chmi near Vladikavkaz with his wife and four children, the youngest being a girl born just a month ago, Russia's Newsru.com website reports.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20850089

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Africa

 

Nigeria’s anti-terror war meant to kill muslims, alleges Nigerian Islamic cleric

December 27, 2012 by pmnews

A controversial Nigerian Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Ahmad Gumi has described the military campaign against Boko Haram terrorists as a camouflage by Nigerian Christians to wipe out muslims in Nigeria.

Gumi also interpreted the death of Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna state as an intervention by “God Almighty”, to stop the Christian agenda to kill Muslims in Kaduna state, similar as he claimed, to the way ‘muslims have been devoured in Maiduguri”. Yakowa was a Christian, who has now been succeeded by his muslim deputy, Mukhtar Yero.

Dr Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi: controversial comments

The comments were posted on Gumi’s Facebook page on Boxing Day.

The commentary was titled: “Why the Evil of terror may linger’.

Although Gumi described Boko Haram elements as misguided youths, engaged in a campaign of terror that runs against Islamic injunction, he said that the bigger terror, “is that evil that camouflage behind the ‘government’s security agencies’ to kill innocent people either to perpetuate power or score some political goals”.

“For instance in Nigeria we have seen how some Christian elements in the Nigerian security apparatus have been killers of innocent Muslims leaders for political reasons. Such elements are deadlier evil than Boko Haram. They aimed to destroy the Muslims as a whole by decapitating their leadership thus exposing the Ummah to perpetual subservience. That is why, Ababakar Tafawa Balewa, Sardauna, Akintola, and Gen Murtala all went victims of these terrorists.

“These similar terrorists are still the ones now that are supposedly ‘leading’ the war against terror or war against Boko Haram. It is a double edged sword for them. Kill Muslim leaders and kill the youth at the same time all under camouflage. They are entrenched in the security apparatus. They are retiring good Muslims in the armed forces to enable them perfect their evil plans they started since 1966. They think they are in control because they are blinded by hate, rancor and evil, they cannot see that their evil is exposed and evident. They cannot see that Allah Has taken up the fight against them since their intentions are evil. Kaduna was meant to be devoured like Maiduguri when Allah The Al-mighty struck,” he said.

His full commentary is reproduced here.

WHY THE EVIL OF TERROR MAY LINGER

Any entity that employs unauthorized killing as a principle in achieving whatever goal it aspires is EVIL. Henceforth it is evident that the evil of terror is not confined to a small group of fanatical Muslims youth that employ the tools of terror to achieve their goals or revenge any perceived injustice against them or against Muslims as they claim. The Evil of terror is bigger and greater than that. The Evil of terror knows no boundary, religious, ethnic or racial. Evil killers are found everywhere.

For the Muslims, we are very fortunate that only a small fraction of misguided youth have recently adopted this evil ideology. Islam has seriously condemned the unauthorized killing of souls. The authority in Islam only belongs to a government duly elected by the consensus of the Ummah. We therefore see that except for very few instances, Muslims do not commit murder. The rampant murder committed in the west, is as a result of the irreligious life the west has adopted and bears little with the clamor of gun control. In Yemen, the populace is armed yet such murders are not an occurrence because Islam instills in the individual the discipline of self-restrain and control and forbids taking of one’s life and that of the others too. This cannot be said about the other religions.

The more deadly evil, is that evil that camouflage behind the ‘government’s security agencies’ to kill innocent people either to perpetuate power or score some political goals. For instance in Nigeria we have seen how some Christian elements in the Nigerian security apparatus have been killers of innocent Muslims leaders for political reasons. Such elements are deadlier evil than Boko Haram. They aimed to destroy the Muslims as a whole by decapitating their leadership thus exposing the Ummah to perpetual subservience. That is why, Ababakar Tafawa Balewa, Sardauna, Akintola, and Gen Murtala all went victims of these terrorists.

These similar terrorists are still the ones now that are supposedly ‘leading’ the war against terror or war against Boko Haram. It is a double edged sword for them. Kill Muslim leaders and kill the youth at the same time all under camouflage. They are entrenched in the security apparatus. They are retiring good Muslims in the armed forces to enable them perfect their evil plans they started since 1966. They think they are in control because they are blinded by hate, rancor and evil, they cannot see that their evil is exposed and evident. They cannot see that Allah Has taken up the fight against them since their intentions are evil. Kaduna was meant to be devoured like Maiduguri when Allah The Al-mighty struck.

They cannot see that you don’t guaranty your life by killing others; you do that by giving life to others. They fantasize that they can keep power by evil machinations whereas power belongs to Allah. Nigeria can only know peace and stability when such evil elements of the security apparatus are flushed out of the system instead of the good diligent officers. This is the deadliest segment that has been neglected and the public should know and watch. Evil will never prosper.

May Allah protect us all from all Evil.

http://pmnewsnigeria.com/2012/12/27/nigerias-anti-terror-war-meant-to-kill-muslims-alleges-gumi/

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2012 was a banner year for Boko Haram, but not for Nigerians   

If the goal is carnage, Boko Haram has had its best year ever.

Heather MurdockDecember 27, 2012 06:00

ABUJA, Nigeria — If the goal is carnage, Boko Haram has had its best year ever.

Authorities blame Boko Haram, a homegrown Islamist rebel movement with ties to Al Qaeda, for more than 750 deaths in 2012. The militants have obliterated churches, schools, government offices, security forces, media houses, market places and communications infrastructure.

Their methods are growing more and more gruesome by the year. Early in 2012, coordinated bombings of government and security offices in Kano killed nearly 200 people in a single afternoon. More recently, in a northern college town, militants went door to door, interviewing individuals and executing dozens who gave the wrong answers.

Boko Haram has also stoked ethnic tensions and leveled the economies of several cities. There appears to be no end in sight.

While there are no statistics on emotions, it’s safe to say that millions of Nigerians are now living in fear, especially in the north. Taiwo Babatunde, a college lecturer in Damaturu, a northern town hit hard by bombings and battles, said people there now live by a new set of rules.

“Don’t go out at a particular time. Don’t go to certain areas. Don’t try to pass on inflammatory statements that might spite them,” he told GlobalPost, referring to Boko Haram, during a visit to Nigeria’s capital.

Formed among the poverty of northern Nigeria in 2002, Boko Haram was originally a nonviolent organization that rejected Western excesses and education. “Boko Haram,” which roughly translates to “books are sinful,” is a local nickname.

Attacks by Boko Haram began in 2009 as sectarian tensions in the north began to flare. After its spiritual leader, Mohammed Yusuf, was killed in police custody that same year, the group’s militant demeanor took hold. It began to call on Nigeria to implement a harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

These days, Boko Haram’s growing clout as a terror group is doing a number on President Goodluck Jonathan’s reputation. Despite his claims that security forces have prevented 70 percent of planned attacks, his administration is regularly called weak.

For civilians, they only want peace.

Rosemary Ufayo Lawani owns a small grocery store not far from the site of an April bomb attack. She said she’s tired of the constant news of bombings, executions and gunmen firing on civilians. If Boko Haram makes clear and reasonable demands, she said, she would rather the government give in than keep fighting.

“Give it to them, please,” she said. “Do something because we are losing souls every day.”

While there has been some discussion of peace talks between the government and Boko Haram, they haven’t gone far. At one point, news of secret talks leaked in the press, prompting Boko Haram to apparently pull out. Later, the president’s office confirmed that peace talks were ongoing. But Boko Haram denied it.

Members of Boko Haram, however, exist deep in the shadows. There is no clear leadership structure, and no point person for negotiations or communication. Nigerian authorities, at two different times, claimed to kill Boko Haram’s spokesperson, known as Abu Qaqa. But there is no way to verify whether Qaqa is even an actual person.

Boko Haram only communicates with the public through YouTube and blocked, one-way emails and phone calls with journalists.

The Nigerian government now says no talks will be held until leaders identify themselves.

“You can’t discuss with the air,” said Oronto Douglas, a special assistant to the president. “You have to talk with human beings. If members of Boko Haram come out today to say, ‘We are Boko Haram,’ Mr. President will give an audience for a dialogue either directly or through identified committees.”

Clement Nwankwo, the executive director of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Center in Abuja, said he agreed with this sentiment, adding that negotiating with criminals could amount to rewarding the crime.

“I think that if you have a group that is bombing and killing indiscriminately, then I worry [if] you can have a negotiation with that kind of group,” he told GlobalPost.

Nigeria’s security forces, in their haphazard pursuit of Boko Haram militants, are exacerbating the problem, activists say.

In a report released in early November, Amnesty International said Nigerian security forces shoot first and make arrests later, spooking the public and making it more difficult to gather information on Boko Haram organization.

The report accuses security forces of kidnapping, torture, torching homes and extra-judicial executions.

Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, a spokesperson for the northern operation against Boko Haram, referred to an earlier press release, where he denied such accusations.

“Very few cases of unprofessional conduct by some personnel are well documented and those concerned were punished,” the statement read.

For many observers, neither negotiations nor military efforts are enough to stop the violence.  Nwankwo said as long as northern Nigeria continues to grow poorer, disaffected youth will continue to lash out, or take jobs as militants because they have nothing else to do.

It’s a pattern scene the world over, where Al Qaeda-styled groups often tap into disenfranchised populations to fill ranks.

Not only emulating Al Qaeda, Boko Haram appears to now have operational ties with it. The group also boasts ties to Al Shabab, Africa’s premiere terrorist organization, and with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

“It seems to be a very well funded operation,” Nwankwo said. “So it seems to me that it has to be somebody who has a lot of resources to be able to coordinate and execute this.”

In its latest missive to the world at large, Boko Haram posted a video to YouTube with the title, “Glad Tidings, O’ Soldiers of Allah.”

The man believed to be the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, spoke in Arabic on the tape, not his local language.

“Nigeria and other crusaders, meaning America and Britain, should witness, and the Jews of Israel who are killing the Muslims in Palestine should witness,” he said, “that we are with our mujahideen brothers.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/nigeria/121218/boko-haram-nigeria-al-qaeda-bombings-violence

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North America

 

Jews, Muslims and Christians Unite In Colorado to Fight Anti-Islamic Sentiment

BY AL STEFANELLI

ON DECEMBER 26, 2012

In the years since the terrorist attacks in 2001, there has been a growing rift between members of Islam and other religions. In Colorado, three people from differing beliefs have come together to try and dispel some of the misunderstandings, and to promote unity.

In a report filed by ThinkProgress, Rabbi Joe Black, who sits on the board of directors of the ADL and is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanuel got together with Interfaith Alliance of Colorado's Executive Director, Jeremy Shaver, along with Imam Karim Abuzaid, of the Colorado Muslim Society. Together, these leaders of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities stood in Denver’s main mosque on Christmas Eve.

Their purpose was the 'Love Thy Neighbor' advertising campaign that aims to promote tolerance and understanding between the three Abrahamic faiths. The campaign, which features the image at the top of this article, can be seen on city buses.

One of the reasons for the campaign is to combat anti-Islamic ads that have been produced by the controversial group, the 'American Freedom Defense Initiative,' which is responsible for the anti-Muslim ads that recently adorned the New York City subway system, as well as the DC Metro.

Here's an example of an ad that was placed by Pamela Geller's 'American Freedom Defense Initiative':

Geller's ads were in response to the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR), who erected banners depicting a young woman wearing a hijab, with the words, 'Show forgiveness, speak for justice, ignore the ignorant.'

Financing for the pro-Islamic ads was provided by the Colorado Muslim Society, who forked over the $5000.00 cost of producing the banners. The ThinkProgress story states that the ads focus on a 'a shared concept in the three religions.'

The story reveals that other leaders in the religious community, as well as other interfaith groups, have ebraced the message, saying that the ads come at a time when all three faiths embrace love and understanding, and in response to recent national tragedies.

Rabbi Black stated,

“Our country is in the midst of a lot of divisions. Hatred is only going to further violence and the breakdown of society.”

The TP report states the group is following the lead of other groups which have protested anti-Islamic advertising, pointing out that Colorado’s religious leaders also stood together in solidarity after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

For more details, commentary and relevant links, please read the story at ThinkProgress.

http://www.goddiscussion.com/105640/jews-muslims-and-christians-unite-in-colorado-to-fight-anti-islamic-sentiment/

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U.S. terror suspects pleads not guilty

By Melissa Nelson-Gabriel

December 27, 2012

MOBILE, Alabama, United States: A man pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of providing support to international terrorists.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine Nelson set a tentative trial date of March 3 for Randy Lamar Rasheed Wilson, 25. But everyone involved in the case, including the judge, said the trial will likely be delayed because the charges are so unusual and the evidence so vast and complicated.

"This is obviously the first one of these cases I've handled and maybe the first we've had here in this district," Nelson said.

Federal agents arrested Wilson earlier this month as he was boarding a plane with his young family headed to Morocco. Prosecutors allege Wilson planned to travel from Morocco to another African country and support fellow Muslims in waging terrorist activity. The same day, agents arrested Mohammad Abdul Rahman Abukhdair, a 25-year-old Egyptian native and former business partner of Wilson's.

The government alleges the two men plotted with others to travel overseas and join international terrorists. The government also alleges Wilson was influenced by his friendship with fellow Mobile-area native Omar Hammami. Hammami grew up in Alabama and was raised Muslim. He later moved to Somalia and became a leading figure in the group al-Shabab. Hammami is on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists.

Wilson's attorney, Domingo Soto, said Wednesday that Wilson has been unfairly targeted because of his past acquaintance with Hammami and that Wilson only wanted to travel to Morocco to study his religion with his family in an Islamic country.

Soto said he will fight the government's charges and efforts to keep much of the evidence against Wilson under a seal through a protective order claiming it is a national security issue.

"We are going to fight this all the way," he said. "We are going to fight the detention, the indictment and the protective order."

Soto said much of the evidence against Wilson came from statements he made to an FBI informant and to an undercover agent. Wilson's statements were theoretical and there is no proof that he planned any violent actions, Soto said.

"There is a question here about whether you can infringe on free speech to the point of an indictment based on some-sort of amorphous intent," Soto said. "Can you be put in jail for saying something even though you have no intent to do it?"

Soto said that while Wilson and Hammami knew each other as part of the relatively small Muslim community in the Mobile area, there is no evidence they plotted together.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/International/2012/Dec-27/199988-us-terror-suspects-pleads-not-guilty.ashx#ixzz2GEfEuXkv

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South Asia

 

Suicide bomber targets NATO base in Afghanistan

Emma Graham-Harrison

26 December 2012

A suicide bomber driving a minibus full of explosives has attacked a base in eastern Afghanistan used by NATO troops and CIA operatives, killing three Afghan civilians and a security guard and injuring at least seven others.

The attacker struck when his vehicle was detained at a checkpoint a short distance from the east gate of the base in Khost province, also known to locals as "the old airport", the deputy provincial governor Abdul Waheed Patan told the Guardian.

"The security people stopped the bus at the checkpoint, but he kept going for a few more metres then detonated the explosives," Patan said by phone from Khost. "Two drivers who bring passengers from town to the area near the base, one civilian passerby and one security guard were killed."

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/26/suicide-bomber-targets-base-afghanistan

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Three Afghans dead in new blast at U.S. base in Afghan east

Dec 26, 2012

A suicide bomber killed three people in an attack on a U.S. base in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the same base where a suicide bomb attack killed seven CIA employees three years ago.

The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in the eastern town of Khost, saying they had sent a suicide bomber driving a van packed with explosives to the base.

"The target was those who serve Americans at that base," said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

Afghanistan's NATO-led force said the bomber did not get into the base nor breach its perimeter. Police said the three dead were Afghans who were outside the base, which is beside a military airport.

Full report at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/27/us-afghanistan-violence-idUSBRE8BP01320121227

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Jamaat-e-Islami leader took part in torching Hindu houses

December 27, 2012

Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed along with non-Bangalee Biharies and Pakistani army had taken part in torching several Hindu-dominated villages in Faridpur during the Liberation War, a prosecution witness testified yesterday.

“Fifteen to twenty people of these villages were also killed,” Faijuddin Ahmed, the eleventh prosecution witnesses against Mojaheed, told International Crimes Tribunal-2.

“Mojaheed was known to me. On that day, we [he and Mojaheed] exchanged Salam [greetings],” said the 80-year-old witness from Faridpur.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=262759

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Filipino housemaid complains employer not honoring work contract

RODOLFO ESTIMO JR.

27 December 2012

RIYADH: A Filipino housemaid has complained her employer does not respect her contract.

Angeline (not her real name) said that instead of receiving $ 350, she was told she would receive $ 250 (SR 900), and that she would receive her salary every three months. She also does not get a day off.

Earlier reports said the new contract agreement between the Kingdom and the Philippines, which contains 19 articles, guarantees the rights of both the employer and the employee. The latter should receive $ 400 (SR 1,500), to be deposited directly to the housemaid’s bank account.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/filipino-housemaid-complains-employer-not-honoring-work-contract

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Paris to take in Afghans facing security threats

27 December 2012

PARIS: Paris will take in a “few dozen” Afghans who have worked alongside French troops in the war-ravaged country for 11 years and whose security is at risk at home, the Defense Ministry said yesterday.

The ministry did not give exact numbers but said the bulk comprised people who had worked as translators on the ground.

On Dec. 15, France flew its last combat troops out of Afghanistan, two years before allied nations in the 100,000-strong NATO mission led by the United States are due to recall their fighting forces.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/paris-take-afghans-facing-security-threats

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India

 

National Minorities Commission Questions V K Singh On Rape Charges Against

Dec 27 2012

New Delhi : National Minorities Commission Chairman Wajahahat Habibullah today criticised former army chief V K Singh for taking to streets against the gang rape of a girl here asking whether allegations of rape against personnel of the force in Jammu and Kashmir have ever been inquired into.

A former IAS officer of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre, who was also the first Chief Information Commissioner of the country, said a productive way would have been if people like Gen Singh would have advised the government on dealing with such a situation.

"In his (Gen Singh's) case, I am sorry to say so he was Commander-in-Chief of the army. There are, at least in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, massive allegations of rape against army. Were they ever enquired into? Was an effort made to bring justice? Here was a case of rape. Regrettable, yes. But if he wants to join in condemnation of the government against that, has he taken into account various ramifications of that," Habibullah said.

He said it could be possible when Singh was the army chief he was not able to remedy the cases although he may have wanted to.

But that was even more reason to go to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and tell them how to handle it, he added.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/wajahahat-habibullah-questions-v-k-singh-on-rape-charges-against-army/1050947/

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Samjhauta suspect claims shooting Kashmiri activist

27 December 2012

NEW DELHI: A detained Samjhauta Express bomb suspect has confessed to plotting the 2005 firing on prominent Kashmiri rights activist S.A.R. Geelani who survived but lives with several bullets lodged in his body, reports said on Wednesday.

The Indian Express said Rajender Choudhary, currently in the custody of National Investigation Agency, had reportedly told investigators that he along with Ajmer dargah and Mecca Masjid bombings accused Lokesh Sharma had shot at Mr Geelani on February 8, 2005, in Delhi’s Vasant Vihar district, where Geelani had gone to meet his lawyer. The Delhi University teacher had suffered serious injuries and recently had one of the several bullets removed for lead poisoning.

Full report at:

Mr Geelani heads NGOs opposed to capital punishment and prisoners’ rights.

http://dawn.com/2012/12/27/samjhauta-suspect-claims-shooting-kashmiri-activist/

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2012 saw courts doubting its power under anti-terror law

Thu Dec 27 2012

New Delhi : Year 2012 saw the trial courts dealing with several terror cases including those of the 26/11 Mumbai mayhem coordiNATOr Abu Jundal and terror strike on an Israeli diplomat here, while also grappling with an intricate legal question on their powers under the anti-terror law.

As the Delhi Police went about catching many wanted terrorists involved in strikes across India, the year saw a motorcycle-borne terror module sticking an explosive on an Israeli diplomat's car and blowing it up a few hundred yards away from the Prime Minister's official residence, 7, RCR on February 13.

The terror attack led to the arrest of Indian journalist Syed Mohammad Kazmi in March for his alleged role in the blast with the prosecution booking him on charges of various offences under anti-terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Explosive Substances Act and the court denying him bail twice.

As a magisterial court, while denying him bail, also extended the probe period in the case, Kazmi moved a sessions court challenging extension of the probe period in the case beyond 90 days.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/2012-saw-courts-doubting-its-power-under-antiterror-law/1050943/

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Gujarat HC stays action against Muslim youth who married Hindu girl

Dec 27 2012

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court Wednesday stayed criminal proceedings against an Ahmedabad-based Muslim who was booked by police under the provisions of Freedom of Religion Act for allegedly converting a Hindu girl to Islam and marrying her.

A single-judge bench of Justice K M Thaker passed the order in this regard while acting on a petition moved by the accused, identified as Mohsin Abdul Kadar Pathan (22), a resident of Danilimda area of Ahmedabad.

The next hearing in the matter has been kept for February 11.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hc-stays-action-against-muslim-youth-who-married-hindu-girl/1050861/

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Drowned cadet’s kin blame Jamia Millia Islamia

27 DECEMBER 2012

A pal of gloom descended on the families of five students of the Capital as they received the news of the death of their sons on Wednesday evening.

All were part of a national trekking camp of National Cadet Corps (NCC) from Delhi which went to Malayattoor forest range in Ernakulam district of Kerala on the last Friday. They were reportedly bathing in Periyar River and drowned due to sudden strong undercurrents.  However, after the tragic incident, family members of one of the deceased — Dilshad Alam (21) blamed the Jamia Milia Islamia for not keeping an account of the cadets. They said Alam did not know swimming and it was peculiar that he would die saving his friend’s life. “My son had not gone to save the life of his two friends drowning in the river as he did not know swimming,” Shakeela Zabeen, the mother, said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/city/118364-drowned-cadets-kin-blame-jamia.html

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Abu Dhabi tourism to conduct road shows in Indian cities

Thu Dec 27 2012

Dubai : Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) is set to herald the new year with a five-city road show in key cities of India.

The road show is part of Dubai's strategy to build inbound tourism from a market which has now become the second highest in terms of hotel occupancy in UAE.

Between January and November this year, over 1.25 lakh Indian guests stayed in Abu Dhabi's hotels and hotel apartments ¿ a 30 per cent increase on the first 11 months of last year.

The authority, together with its trade partner Lama Tours, will lead a 12-member industry delegation to India.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/abu-dhabi-tourism-to-conduct-road-shows-in-indian-cities/1050949/

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Pakistani sand likely to be imported, despite HC order

By Yudhvir Rana

Dec 27, 2012

AMRITSAR: Despite allowing the state government to auction sand and gravel mines in few districts by Punjab and Haryana high court, the importers here are likely to continue to import Pakistani sand, especially after clearance of import of sand by the customs department.

Due to acute shortage of one of major construction materials, the businessmen here had already imported 5 truck load of sand from Pakistan in November, but the consignment was held at border by the customs department in wake of requirement of certain certificates.

"The commissionerate of customs has now cleared the import of sand and has declared it as a freely importable item," said deputy commissioner, customs Amanjit Singh, while talking to TOI on Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistani-sand-likely-to-be-imported-despite-HC-order/articleshow/17774921.cms

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Sarabjit, Kirpal appeal for help from Pak jail

Dec 27, 2012

AMRITSAR: Indian condemned prisoners Sarabjit Singh and Kirpal Singh who are languishing in Pakistan's Kot Lakhpat Jail for more than two decades have once again appealed to the Indian government to secure their release. They sent the message through Jatinder Singh who was repatriated by Pakistan on Wednesday via the Attari land border.

Talking to TOI, Jatinder Singh said: "Both of them were in poor health but are now recovering." He said that the death sentence awardees were kept separately from other prisoners. He said he got a chance to talk to them and every time they asked him to convey their message to Indian media and government seeking help.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sarabjit-Kirpal-appeal-for-help-from-Pak-jail/articleshow/17774879.cms

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ISI suspect produced before advisory board

Dec 27, 2012

CHENNAI: Thameem Ansari, a suspected Inter-S ervices Intelligence (ISI ) operative arrested in September by 'Q' branch sleuths on spying charges,was on Wednesday produced before a state-level advisory board.Theboard makes inquiries with all those detained under the National Security Act (NSA ) and the Goondas Act.

Ansari, who had been lodged in the Trichy prison, was brought to Puzhal prison few days ago and produced before the advisory board located at the Singaravelar Maaligai on Rajaji Salai on Wednesday morning. Board chairman Raman and members Raghupathi and Maasilamani questioned him and recorded his statement. Subsequently, the investigation officer in the case was summoned and his statement recorded.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/ISI-suspect-produced-before-advisory-board/articleshow/17776731.cms

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Ahmedabad's family stranded in Pakistan

Dec 27, 2012

AHMEDABAD: Altaf Shaikh and his relatives in Gomtipur area of the city have been desperately waiting for five elders of the family, who are stranded in Pakistan for nearly two months now. The elders have not been able to return because two male members have lost their immigration documents, and the entire family from India and Pakistan has not been able to obtain required documents to ensure their return.

Five of this Shaikh family - Dadamiya and his wife Mehrajbibi , Ahmed Hussan and his wife Mehrunnisa, and their sister-in-law Abedabibi left Ahmedabad on October 5 for Pakistan. They boarded a train to Karachi, where they were to see their sister Sakarbibi Rahim Khan.

According to Altaf, their luggage was stolen. "They lodged a complaint with police immediately. The offender was nabbed, but all bags could not be recovered. They got passports of three women back, but documents related to Dadamiya and Ahmed Hussain could not be found."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Ahmedabads-family-stranded-in-Pakistan/articleshow/17776993.cms

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Pakistan

 

Pakistan Taliban spokesman outlines conditions to the Govt. for ceasefire

By Katharine Houreld and Mehreen Zahra-Malik

Dec 27, 2012

The Pakistani Taliban have outlined conditions for a ceasefire, including the adoption of Islamic law and a break with the United States, a spokesman said Thursday, an offer a senior government official described as "preposterous".

The Taliban, in a letter sent to the Pakistan daily The News, also demanded that Pakistan stop its involvement in the war pitting Afghan insurgents against the Kabul government and refocus on a war of "revenge" against India.

The letter from Taliban spokesman Amir Muawiya comes as the focus in Afghanistan shifts from a military push by NATO troops to potential peace talks, and amid speculation of a rift between top Pakistan Taliban leaders.

Full report at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/27/us-pakistan-taliban-idUSBRE8BQ02M20121227

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Islam provides a role model and protects minorities’ rights: V C Faisalabad University

December 27, 2012

FAISALABAD - Islam provides a role model and ideal rules to ensure the rights of minorities that needs to be implemented in letter and spirits with the promoting of interfaith harmony in the society.

This was stated by GCUF Vice Chancellor Dr Zakir Hussian while addressing a function arranged by CSC in connection with the Christmas.

Addressing on the occasion, the VC stressed the need for following interfaith harmony in the society to iron out differences. He said that Islam teaches all Muslims to believe in all the prophets sent by Allah Almighty for the welfare of humanity.  Father Iftikhar Moon, Begum Pervez Rafique, Dean Faculty of Science and Technology Dr Naureen Aziz Qureshi, Dr Ifithar Hussain, Dr Farhat Abbas, Aftab Chattaha, Zahoor Calvin, Khuram Shahzad, and Afzal Akram also present on the occasion.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/27-Dec-2012/islam-protects-minorities-rights

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Mark Siegel to testify against Gen Musharraf

December 27, 2012

ISLAMABAD-American lobbyist Mark Siegel has said that he is ready to record his statement in an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi on January 5 as a prosecution witness in Benazir Bhutto assassination case, TheNation learnt.

An officer of FIA's Counter Terrorism Wing (CTW) said Wednesday that Siegel had been served with notice through Interpol and he was willing to appear in the court on January 5.

Siegel is a key prosecution witness in the case against former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf who is an accused in the Benazir assassination case.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/27-Dec-2012/mark-siegel-to-testify-against-gen-musharraf

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Five years on the mystery continues: Playing politics with Benazir’s death

27 December 2012

RAWALPINDI, Dec 26: A hazy day in Rawalpindi, there was little to indicate that within hours, it would be five years since Benazir Bhutto, PPP’s chairman and the first woman prime minister of Pakistan, was assassinated on this very road.

Only a handful of PPP activists could be spotted on Liaquat Road where she had lost her life. They were busy putting up banners and billboards, ignored by the visitors to the park, who walked past. The lack of energy and exuberance was all the more marked when compared to the buzz of activity on Murree road, nearby. At Murree Road, a horde of construction workers were feverishly working on a flyover being built at the behest of the Punjab government.

The members of the People’s Youth Organisation (PYO), supervised by Central Executive Committee (CEC) member Qazi Sultan Ahmad, appeared lacklustre in contrast.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/12/27/five-years-on-the-mystery-continues-playing-politics-with-her-death/

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MQM starts reviewing decision to join Qadri’s long march

December 27, 2012

ISLAMABAD - JAVAID-UR-RAHMAN- Whether it is the work of Interior Minister’s back channel contacts or some after thoughts in Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) rank and file, as the party has started slow but gradual reviewing of its earlier decision to join Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri long march.

Though they may not speak it publicly as Altaf Hussain, Muttahida’s London based Qauid, had already asked the workers to throng Qadri’s long march, yet sources privy to the background developments in Nine Zero and London Secretariat of MQM say “senior and saner” leaders of the party have advised the Quaid and more sentimental lower ranks to adopt a cautious approach.

“MQM is still indecisive to join Tahir-ul-Qadri’s long march on January 14, as party’s Rabita Committee keeping in view all pros and cons will thoroughly deliberate the matter today (Thursday),” sources in MQM told TheNation.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/27-Dec-2012/mqm-starts-reviewing-decision-to-join-qadri-s-long-march

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Low-intensity blast damages mosque wall in Karachi, five injured

December 27, 2012

KARACHI - A low-intensity blast occurred in Jannat Gull Town of Sohrab Goth which left five people wounded on Wednesday. According to details, a motorcycle was parked near a mosque located in Jannat Gull Town exploded after the Asr prayers. There were over 100 men present inside the mosque at the time of the blast. The blast damaged the wall of the mosque while people inside the mosque remained safe while bystanders outside the mosque were wounded.Following the explosion, a heavy contingent of Rangers and police reached on the spot and cordoned off the area and collected evidence. Volunteers from different welfare associations also reached the blast site and shifted victims to nearby hospital for medical treatment. According to bomb disposal squad, at least three kilogramme’s of explosive is being used without pellets and nuts in the device fixed with the motorcycle and exploded with the timing device

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/karachi/27-Dec-2012/low-intensity-blast-damages-mosque-wall

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Christmas celebrations: Merrymaking, hymns and carols colour the day at K-P

December 26, 2012

SHABQADAR / PESHAWAR / SWAT:

Like elsewhere in the country, Christmas was celebrated with religious fervour across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) on Tuesday.

Hundreds of resident Christians gathered at Swat Church to offer prayers for peace and prosperity of the country. Enthusiastic girls and boys sang carols in a chorus. The grand function was organised after almost five years.

“It’s a special occasion as people are rejoicing in the company of their family and friends after so long,” said Hina Patrus, a social activist. Maryam, a Christian woman who works in the provincial health department, said she was happy to see people celebrating with their loved ones.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/484347/christmas-celebrations-merrymaking-hymns-and-carols-colour-the-day/

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Bhutto baton to be passed on to new generation

27 December 2012

LARKANA / SUKKUR: Amid speculations on the eve of the death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto that President Asif Ali Zardari, who is co-chairman of the PPP, may hand over the party’s leadership to his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Wednesday that it would be an important day for the party and the country as another Bhutto was starting his political career.

Talking to reporters at Sukkur Press Club, he said the journey started by the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and continued by Benazir Bhutto for strengthening the country was full of crises, problems and sacrifices.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/12/27/bhutto-baton-to-be-passed-on-to-new-generation/

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Blast in Karachi injures at least five: police

27 December 2012

KARACHI: At least five people were injured on Wednesday when a bomb apparently fitted in a motorcycle exploded outside a mosque in Sohrab Goth area of Karachi, Pakistan’s commercial capital, police said.

According to reports, the powerful blast, which could be heard from afar, triggered an episode of intense firing in Haji Jannat Gul town area located near Sohrab Goth’s Al-Asif Square.

Five people were injured in the explosion and were moved to a nearby private hospital.

A loud contingent of police and Rangers cordoned off the area and the bomb disposal squad was called to the scene of the blast.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/12/26/two-loud-blasts-reported-near-karachis-sohrab-goth/

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Lal Masjid commission summons witnesses

27 December 2012

ISLAMABAD, Dec 26: A judicial commission headed by Justice Shahzado Shaikh of the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) to probe the Lal Masjid operation, has summoned chief cleric of the Mosque Maulana Abdul Aziz and his wife Umme Hassan, along with 25 witnesses, on December 31 and January 1, for recording of statements.

The commission constituted by the Supreme Court began its proceedings on December 19 and registered over 200 witnesses — majority being the heirs of those people who went missing in the July, 2007, Lal Masjid operation.

The commission had offered people to become witnesses in the probe and the process for the registration of witnesses continued from December 19 to 26.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/12/27/lal-masjid-commission-summons-witnesses/

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Benazir’s death anniversary today

December 27, 2012

LARKANA – The fifth death anniversary of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto would be observed with great reverence throughout the country today (Thursday).Pakistan People’s Party has finalised arrangements for a grand ceremony at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh in this regard.The ruling party is all set to launch its chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari into active politics with an announcement in this regard is expected at Garhi Khuda Baksh today.President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also co-chairperson of the party, has called a meeting of PPP’s central executive committee at Naudero. “Important announcements about PPP’s future plans are expected after the meeting,” sources said.Besides the launch of Bilawal Bhutto, party’s manifesto ahead of general election is also likely to be released. Also, the PPP leadership is expected to reveal key information concerning the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.The main objective of the information will be to pacify party workers and silence the PPP critics who had been demanding the arrest of Benazir’s killers during the party’s four-year rule.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/27-Dec-2012/benazir-s-death-anniversary-today

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Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wal-Jamat rally condemns attack on Farooqi

By: Israr Ahmad

December 27, 2012  

RAWALPINDI – Acting on the countrywide protest call given by Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wal-Jamat (ASWJ), scores of ASWJ activists on Wednesday agitated at Darul-Aloom Taleem-ul-Quran Raja Bazaar against the murder attempt on the party’s Central Secretary Information Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqi and target killing in Karachi.

The prominent among ASWJ protestors included District President Mufti Tanveer Alam, Mufti Munir Muhavia, Maulana Ghulam Mustafa Baloch, Qari Nisar Ahmed and Maulana Bilal Umer.

Holding placards, banners mentioning words against the government and chanting slogans, the charged activists later took out a protest rally from Fawara Chowk, which culminated at Committee Chowk after marching on Liaquat Road and Benazir Bhutto Road (BBR).

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/27-Dec-2012/aswj-rally-condemns-attack-on-farooqi

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Lord Mountbatten’s guard awaits pension since 8 months

By: Mansoor Khan

December 27, 2012

KARACHI - The man who joined Pakistan Army on the very first day of independence in 1947 remains deprived of his pension for the last eight months, as the authority concerned has declared him dead in the government documents, TheNation has learnt here.Soldier Fakharuddin, 82, who started serving Pakistan Army from the first day of independence, said that he had been receiving his pension since he got retirement in 1959 but it had been blocked in April 2012 as the department concerned declared him dead.“As usual, I visited the department concerned for my pension in May, wherein I came to know that I am no more alive,” he said. He said he was shocked to learn that how a living person could be registered as dead.Fakharuddin said that he had not received his pension since April and was suffering due to the negligence of the department concern as he had no other source of income.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/karachi/27-Dec-2012/lord-mountbatten-s-guard-awaits-pension-since-8-months

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Arab World

 

UAE busts Saudi-Emirati ‘terror' cell

December 27, 2012

DUBAI - Security forces in the United Arab Emirates have arrested a cell of UAE and Saudi Arabian citizens who were planning to carry out militant attacks in both countries and other states, the official news agency WAM said on Wednesday.

The US-allied UAE, a federation of seven emirates and a major oil exporter that has supported Western counter-terrorism efforts in the region, has been spared any attack by al Qaeda and other insurgency groups.

But some of its emirates have seen a rise in Islamist sentiment in recent years, and Dubai, a business and tourism hub and cosmopolitan city that attracts many Westerners, could make an attractive target for militants, analysts say. Those arrested had acquired materials and equipment for use in what WAM called terrorist operations.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/international/27-Dec-2012/uae-busts-saudi-emirati-terror-cell

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Iraqis block trade routes in protest against Al-Maliki

27 December 2012

ANBAR: Tens of thousands of Sunni Iraqis blocked main trade route to neighboring Syria and Jordan in a fourth day of demonstrations yesterday against Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.

The massive show of force marks an escalation in protests that erupted last week after troops detained the Sunni bodyguards of Finance Minister Rafaie Esawi, threatening to plunge Iraq deeper into political turmoil.

“The people want to bring down the regime,” chanted thousands of protesters, echoing the slogan used in popular revolts that ended in the toppling of the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

Waving the old flag of Iraq that was changed after Saddam Hussein was overthrown by the US-led invasion of 2003, protesters sat in the road, choking off the main trade route between Iraq, Jordan and Syria.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/iraqis-block-trade-routes-protest-against-al-maliki

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Mass resignations from Salafist Nour Party

26 Dec 2012

The ongoing dispute in Egypt’s Salafist Nour Party continued for the second day in a row with 150 members publicly resigning.

On Tuesday evening, ex-members from the Nour Party issued a statement announcing the mass resignation of leading members from 23 Egyptian governorates.

Mohamed Nour, the resigned and former spokesperson of the Nour Party, stated in a media statement that he and other ex-leading figures from the political party decided to resign quietly, wishing the coalition all the best.

He added in his statement that the reasons behind these resignations had to do with the fact that they had a different political vision for the policies adopted by the Nour Party lately.

“We decided to have our own political group that opens its doors to any Egyptian who wants to work under the Islamic Sharia umbrella,” Nour said without any further details about the new party.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/61332/Egypt/Politics-/Mass-resignations-from-Salafist-Nour-Party.aspx

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Brahimi says no Russian-American plan on Syria

2012-12-27

DAMASCUS, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The UN-Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said Thursday that there is no American- Russian plan on Syria yet.

Brahimi, who set foot in Damascus last Sunday, warned that the "time is on no one's side," calling on all those who have the ability to help Syria "to spare no efforts."

Brahimi arrived in Syria on Sunday for a week-long visit with the aim to discuss the development of the Syrian crisis with Syrian officials and opposition figures.

After meeting with President Assad on Monday, Brahimi said he discussed the steps that he thought would work to solve the crisis. He however stopped short of divulging details on his Full report at:

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-12/27/c_132067116.htm

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Syria's Assad sends Russia diplomat to discuss Brahimi proposals

26 December 2012

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad despatched a senior diplomat to Moscow on Wednesday to discuss proposals made by envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to end the conflict convulsing his country, Syrian and Lebanese sources said.

Brahimi, who met Assad on Monday as part of a series of planned talks with Syrian officials and dissidents in Damascus this week, is trying to arrange a peaceful transfer of power, but has disclosed little about how this might be achieved.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=100847

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Egypt's Morsi admits mistakes and urges unity

26 Dec 2012

Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi has urged all political powers to take part in a national dialogue to resolve lingering tensions and promised to take necessary steps to heal the economy.

At his first address to the nation since the adoption of a new constitution, he said on Wednesday that he was considering possible cabinet changes and planned to introduce incentives to make Egypt a more attractive investment destination.

"The coming days will witness, God willing, the launch of new projects ... and a package of incentives for investors to support the Egyptian market and the economy," he said in a televised speech.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/12/20121226135833376919.html

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Egypt's parliament convenes after referendum

26 December 2012

Egypt's upper house of parliament has convened in its first session after the passing of the country's first post-Mubarak constitution, the first action by a state institution in accordance with a document approves by Egyptians. 

The Shura Council was swearing in 90 new members appointed by President Mohammed Morsi Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=100837

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Egypt's leader signs constitution into law

26 December 2012

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi has signed into law first post-Mubarak constitution he says will help end political turmoil and allow him to focus on fixing the fragile economy.

Anxiety about the deepening economic crisis has gripped Egypt in past weeks, with many people rushing to take out their savings from banks and the government imposing new restrictions to reduce capital flight.

Results announced on Tuesday showed Egyptians had approved the text with an overwhelming 63.8 percent, paving the way for a parliamentary election in about two months.

The win gives Islamists their third straight electoral victory since US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a 2011 revolution, following their earlier wins in parliamentary and presidential elections.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=100822

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Bahraini court overturns sentences for protesters

26 December 2012

A Bahraini appeals court on Wednesday overturned death and prison sentences issued earlier to protesters for their role in a pro-democracy uprising, a defence lawyer said.

Bahrain has been convulsed by unrest since February 2011 following demonstrations led by majority Shi'ites demanding democratic change in the Sunni-led monarchy.

The ruling Al Khalifa family brought in Gulf Arab troops, mainly from Saudi Arabia, and imposed two months of martial law to end the uprising. Thousands were arrested and military trials were instituted during the martial law period.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=100850

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Wounded Syrian minister returns to Damascus

26 December 2012

Syria's interior minister left Lebanon for Damascus on Wednesday, airport authorities said, after receiving treatment in Beirut for wounds sustained in a rebel bomb attack earlier this month.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=100846

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Iraqi sides continue negotiations over tension

26 December 2012

Negotiations continue to end the tension between the regional administration in north of Iraq and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The delegation representing regional administration in north of Iraq has been sent to Baghdad on Wednesday in order to assess the military tension in the "problematic region".

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=100845

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Oman citizens foil drug smuggling attempt

December 25, 2012

Muscat: Alert citizens along Oman’s northern coast foiled an attempt by drug traffickers to smuggle a huge quantity of a narcotic-like drug, according to a Royal Oman Police (ROP) press release.

According to a ROP spokesman, five unnamed citizens tried to intercept a suspicious boat approaching the coast near Saham town, about 111km north of Muscat. “They even sought the assistance from the Coast Guard as they pursued the boat,” he added.

The police spokesman added that sensing trouble the alleged drug traffickers turned back but dumped the drug consignment before speeding off into the regional waters.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/oman/oman-citizens-foil-drug-smuggling-attempt-1.1123471

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Saudi universities have produced some prominent Indonesian figures

ABDUL HANNAN TAGO

27 December 2012

RIYADH: Saudi universities have graduated several prominent Indonesian figures, who served their country and fellow countermen with honor, according to Indonesian Social Affairs Minister Salim Segaf Al-Jufri.

The minister, who is also a former Indonesian ambassador to the Kingdom, revealed this during his visit to Imam Mohammad bin Saud Islamic University (IMSIU) in Riyadh as part of his state visit to the Kingdom.

Al-Jufri was received by the university’s Rector Suleiman bin Abdullah Aba Al-Khail, the Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and a number of significant university officials.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-universities-have-produced-some-prominent-indonesian-figures

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An Islamist group ‘bans’ smoking in Sinai

December 27, 2012

Cairo: An Islamist group in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula threatened to launch a crusade against drug use and cigarette smoking in the lawless desert region on Wednesday, prompting fears about the growing influence of radical groups in post-revolutionary Egypt. The country’s new constitution, adopted this week, states that the principles of sharia, Islamic law, are the main source of legislation.

Rights groups say the document contains vague language, such as references to “national” morals, which they believe hardliners, can take advantage of to impose religious restrictions on people.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/region/egypt/islamists-ban-smoking-in-sinai-1.1124398

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Egypt's Mursi to address parliament on Saturday

26 December 2012

Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi will on Saturday address the upper house of parliament which now holds full legislative powers following the adoption of a new constitution, the council's speaker said.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=100832

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Top Syrian general joins opposition

26 Dec 2012

The general who heads Syria's military police has defected and joined the uprising against President Bashar Al-Assad's regime, one of the highest walkouts by a serving security chief during the country's 21-month uprising, a pan Arab TV station has reported.

Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Jassem al-Shallal appeared in a video aired on Al Arabiya TV late Tuesday saying he is joining "the people's revolution."

Al-Shallal's defection comes as military pressure builds on the regime, with government bases falling to rebel assault near the capital Damascus and elsewhere across the country. On Wednesday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government shelling in the northeastern province of Raqqa killed at least 20 people, including women and children.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/61318/World/Region/Top-Syrian-general-joins-opposition.aspx

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Brazilian cartoonist Latuff defends Egyptian counterpart El-Adl

26 Dec 2012

Internation political cartoonist Carlos Latuff has expressed

solidarity with Egyptian cartoonist Doaa El-Adl, who is being questioned by prosecutor general Talaat Abdallah for critising Islamists in Egypt.

In his statement via Twitter, Latuff condemned the opression practiced against artists and journalists in Egypt. "Solidarity with cartoonist Doaa El-Adl who is charged with critising Islamists," he said.

Latuff drew the veiled Egyptian cartoonist holding her sharpened pencil like a spear to defend her from the attack by an Islamist, which Latuff drew waving his sword angrily at the young artist. "She is being harrassed by Islamists," he added.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/5/25/61264/Arts--Culture/Visual-Art/Brazilian-cartoonist-Latuff-defends-Egyptian-count.aspx

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In Syria, ‘father of martyrs’ speaks of revenge

By Yara Bayoumy

December 27, 2012

AZAZ: After losing three sons and two grandsons, 70-year-old Abdelhalim Hajj Omar has no doubt about the fate he wants for President Bashar Assad.

“I hope Bashar, God willing, doesn’t die until they slaughter his whole family in front of him and they bring him here so that all of Syria can get their revenge from him,” he says in the town of Azaz, on the border with Turkey.

“He destroyed the country and killed its people,” he adds, speaking in his carpentry workshop where stacks of wood are piled up next to finished wooden door frames.

Omar is not alone in his rage. Some 43,000 Syrians have died in the conflict which began in March 2011 as a mostly peaceful uprising and has since turned into brutal civil war, pitting mostly Sunni fighters against Assad’s Alawite forces.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Dec-27/199952-in-syria-father-of-martyrs-speaks-of-revenge.ashx#ixzz2GEfvQPn7

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Tie knot in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Tourism tells Indians

27 December 2012

As if weddings were not enough of an expense, Indian brides and grooms are being urged to leave their shores to tie the knot in the sandy plains of Abu Dhabi as part of a tourism board campaign.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (ADTCA) has also planned a five-city road tour in India with its trade partner Lama Tours from January 7,  and will lead a 12-strong industry delegation in a bid to boost visitor ratings by showing off the city’s tourism potential.

The delegation will visit attractions, hotels and airline sectors across New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/inside.asp?xfile=/data/nationgeneral/2012/December/nationgeneral_December471.xml&section=nationgeneral

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Hit by new unrest, Egypt’s tourism industry worries over future

December 26

CAIRO — At Egypt’s Pyramids, the desperation of vendors to sell can be a little frightening for some tourists.

Young men descend on any car with foreigners in it blocks before it reaches the more than 4,500 year-old Wonder of the World. They bang on car doors and hoods, some waving the sticks and whips they use for driving camels, demanding the tourists come to their shop or ride their camel or just give money.

In the southern city of Aswan, tour operator Ashraf Ibrahim was recently taking a group to a historic mosque when a mob of angry horse carriage drivers trapped them inside, trying to force them to take rides. The drivers told Ibrahim to steer business their way in the future or else they’d burn his tourist buses, he said.

Full report at:

number for the full year is likely to surpass 2011 but is still considerably down from 2010.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/hit-by-new-unrest-egypts-tourism-industry-worries-over-future-between-turmoil-islamists/2012/12/26/0b4e9872-4f86-11e2-835b-02f92c0daa43_story.html

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Southeast Asia

 

Churches in Jakarta lament police inaction on intimidation

December 27 2012

Members of two Christian congregations in Greater Jakarta who faced intimidation when trying to worship in their churches during Christmas have again lamented the police’s failure to protect them.

The parishioners of the Filadelfia Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) in Bekasi, West Java, were showered with sewage and rotten eggs by hard-line locals when approaching their half-built church on Monday, Christmas night.

The incident was the latest in a series of clashes between members of the congregation and locals who strongly object to the construction of the church, declared illegal by the Bekasi administration.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/12/27/churches-lament-police-inaction-intimidation.html

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Japanese tourism now catering to Muslims

by MEGUMI IIZUKA

Source: japantimes.co.jp

December 27, 2012 | Filed under: Featured,Halal,Lifestyle,Travel | Posted by: MV Media

Seeking new opportunities in a global market said to be worth over $600 billion, Japanese food and tourism businesses are turning their eyes to Muslim consumers and starting to offer food and other products and services that follow the Islamic rules of halal.

In a dimly lit Japanese restaurant near Tokyo’s Roppongi district, seven Muslim tourists from Malaysia gathered to enjoy “yakiniku” grilled meat that had been specially prepared and served according to Islamic Sharia law.

For those reserving the halal fare at the restaurant in advance, halal beef placed in a separate freezer is served with plates and glasses that are kept in cupboards apart from other dishes to avoid direct and indirect contact with pork and other nonhalal food.

Ahmad Khuzaimi Abdul Rashid, a tourist from Malaysia who visited the Sumiyakiya Nishiazabu eatery, said, “If it were not for these restaurants, I would need to go for vegetarian or Malaysian food” to be certain the food was halal, despite being keen to taste local Japanese cuisine.

Halal means permitted or lawful according to Islamic Law, which forbids consuming flesh of swine and alcoholic drinks as well as charging and paying interest, among other things.

In terms of meat, animals need to be properly slaughtered by following such procedures as severing veins in the neck with a sharp knife to minimize pain and reciting the name of God, or Allah.

Full report at:

http://muslimvillage.com/2012/12/27/33425/japanese-tourism-now-catering-to-muslims/

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Citizen journalism: Indonesian Cultural Day in Istanbul

December 27 2012

The Indonesian Students Association (PPI) in Istanbul held a cultural day to introduce Indonesia to its hosts. Supported by the Indonesian Consulate General in the city, the event was organized at Istanbul Technical University.

Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) in Istanbul such as Mozaik and Dimes also supported the event.

The Indonesian Cultural Day was held on Dec. 22, started at 2:30 p.m. and finished at 4:30 p.m.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/12/27/citizen-journalism-indonesian-cultural-day-istanbul.html

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Greater Jakarta: Terrorist visitor held for carrying sharp weapon

December 27 2012

JAKARTA: The police arrested on Tuesday a visitor to a convicted terrorist, for carrying a dagger and a face cover when visiting the Jakarta Police detention center in South Jakarta.

City police detective chief Sr. Comr. Toni Hermanto said on Wednesday that the man was planning to visit his older brother, convicted terrorist Ali Miftah.

Ali was sentenced to five years imprisonment in April for planning to poison the police’s food stocks with cyanide.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/12/27/greater-jakarta-terrorist-visitor-held-carrying-sharp-weapon.html

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Mideast Asia

 

Israeli dig uncovers ancient Judaean temple

December 27, 2012

TEL MOTZA - Israeli archaeologists have uncovered a rare temple and religious figurines dating back to the Judaean period nearly 3,000 years ago, Israel's Antiquities Authority said on Wednesday.The discoveries were made at Tel Motza, outside Jerusalem, during archaeological work taking place ahead of new highway construction in the area."The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact that there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judaea," the dig directors said in a statement. Anna Eirikh, one of the directors, told AFP that the discoveries were rare evidence of religious practice outside Jerusalem during the Judaean period.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/27-Dec-2012/israeli-dig-uncovers-ancient-judaean-temple

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Iran bans flights during call to Islamic prayer: report

26 Dec 2012

Iran's parliament has banned airplanes from flying in the country during the Azan call to Islamic prayer, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Wednesday.

"According to the new directive, airplanes are banned from flying during Azan, especially during the call to morning prayers," Mehr quoted the spokesman for parliament's cultural committee Ali Taheri as saying.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/61312/World/Region/Iran-bans-flights-during-call-to-Islamic-prayer-re.aspx

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Iranian ex-president's family sue Ahmadinejad ally over corruption claim

26 December 2012

Four children of an influential former Iranian president are suing a radical politician for describing his family as a corrupt "octopus".

The dispute has rekindled bitterness between backers of the current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and moderates headed by the former leader, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, six months before the next presidential election.

One of the ex-president's sons, Mehdi Rafsanjani, was arrested in late September, a day after he returned to Iran from Britain, on charges of fomenting unrest in the aftermath of Iran's disputed 2009 presidential election. He was released from Evin prison on bail this month, and has not been put on trial.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/26/iran-president-sue-corruption-claim

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Turkey's border town mobilize for Syrian refugees

26 December 2012

Turkey's border city Hatay's Reyhanli town has been mobilized for the Syrian refugees they had been hosting.

Setting a good example of international aid and solidarity, Reyhanli was one of the first places Syrian refugees came after fleeing away from the violence in their country.

Hosting a number of Syrian refugees both in tent cities and in rental houses, Reyhanli residents started an aid campaign for their guests. They share their winter clothes, blankets, shoes and teapots with the refugees who were struggling with the cold weather.

Full report at:

 http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=100843

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Israel approves building of more settlements

26 December 2012

Israeli Interior Ministry approved construction of 1,242 new settlements in Gilo area in Jerusalem.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=100807

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In Iran, new movies boost wobbly film sector

By Jason Rezaian

December 26

TEHRAN — Iran’s acclaimed movie industry is the latest sector to suffer the effects of economic sanctions over the country’s uranium-enrichment program. But as filmmakers warn that they might pause production because of lagging funds, two controversial new releases are breathing life into the domestic cinema scene.

At the close of a year in which increased ticket prices caused a 40 percent drop in cinema attendance, the movies “Facing Mirrors” and “I Am a Mother” are creating a spike in sales at the box office. And their provocative protagonists — a transsexual in the first, and nouveau riche characters who drink alcohol and adopt other taboo behaviors in the second — are driving a wider debate on cinema in the Islamic republic.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-iran-new-movies-boost-wobbly-film-sector/2012/12/25/26e4306a-49dc-11e2-8af9-9b50cb4605a7_story.html

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Iran plans naval drill in Hormuz

December 26, 2012

Tehran: Iran on Tuesday started naval manoeuvres in the Gulf and plans to conduct six days of naval exercise in the strategic Strait of Hormuz later this week to demonstrate its “capabilities”, its top navy officer said.

The drills, dubbed “Velayat 91”, will cover an area that includes the strait, the Sea of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean, Admiral Habibollah Sayari said in remarks reported by the ISNA news agency.

Warships, submarines and missile defence systems will be used and tested during the exercise scheduled to begin on December 28, he said.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/region/iran/iran-plans-naval-drill-in-hormuz-1.1123767

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Iran rejects interference accusation by Gulf Arabs

26 Dec 2012

Iran rejected accusations from Gulf Arab states that it was meddling in their internal affairs, saying those countries were "running away from reality,” an Iranian news agency reported on Wednesday.

Six US-allied states demanded Iran end what they called Tehran’s “interference in the region,” in a statement on Tuesday at the end of a two-day summit of the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), reiterating a long-held mistrust of their main rival.

The GCC is made up of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

The communique did not elaborate, but the most common Gulf Arab complaint relates to Bahrain, which has repeatedly accused Tehran of interference in its internal politics by provoking protests.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/61290/World/Region/Iran-rejects-interference-accusation-by-Gulf-Arabs.aspx

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Blogger's death stirs political hornet's nest in Iran

27 Dec 2012

Like many of his peers, the 35-year-old laborer Sattar Becheshti was devout and lived at home with his mother. But his life changed when he started a blog called "My Life for Iran" last year.

His entries often focused on the struggles of the working class as well as the political restrictions in Iran, sometimes mixed with personal anecdotes from Beheshti's daily life.

As months passed, the tone on the blog became sharper and more political, with unveiled criticism of the establishment and even the Supreme Leader, a red line in the Islamic Republic.

In one recent post, Beheshti criticized a speech made by the leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, at a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran with the title "You presented a bunch of lies instead of a speech" superimposed over a picture of the cleric.

Other posts faulted Iran's unwavering support for Hezbollah in Lebanon or highlighted the plight of human rights activists.

Retaliation quickly followed.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/61347/World/Region/Bloggers-death-stirs-political-hornets-nest-in-Ira.aspx

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Minister says Turkey will keep buying gas from Iran

26 Dec 2012

Turkey will keep buying natural gas from neighbouring Iran as Western allies raise pressure over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Wednesday.

"It is out of question for us to take a step backward," Yildiz was quoted as saying by the ANATOlia news agency. "Furthermore, we have not been asked to take such a step."

Iran is Turkey's second biggest natural gas supplier after Russia, and Yildiz said that Tehran supplies 18-20 percent of the gas that Turkey consumes.

On November 30, the US Senate unanimously approved new economic sanctions aimed at further crippling Iran's energy, shipping and port sectors a year after the Congress passed tough restrictions against Tehran.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/61330/World/Region/Minister-says-Turkey-will-keep-buying-gas-from-Ira.aspx

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Israel skeptical of poison gas use in Syria

December 27, 2012

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel voiced doubt Tuesday about the accuracy of Syrian activists’ reports that chemical weapons had been used against rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad. “We have seen reports from the opposition. It is not the first time.

The opposition has an interest in drawing in international military intervention,” Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Army Radio.

“As things stand now, we do not have any confirmation or proof that [chemical weapons] have already been used, but we are definitely following events with concern,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Dec-27/199953-israel-skeptical-of-poison-gas-use-in-syria.ashx#ixzz2GEg23cmN

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Israel to destroy 51 Palestinian homes

26 December 2012

Israel has decided to pull down 51 houses belonging to Palestinians in several cities in occupied West Bank.

A Palestinian activist Walid Ebu Hammad told AA on Wednesday that Israel decided to pull down 51 houses belonging to Palestinians in Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus.

Hammad said that Israeli soldiers raided Bethlehem and made warning that 20 houses where Palestinians were living would be destroyed, adding that the buildings had been constructed years ago and Palestinian families had been living in them.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=100839

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/saudi-labour-ministry-faces-storm-of-opposition-over-working-women/d/9808

 

 

 

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