New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 29 Jul 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Muslim women appointed to sharia court bench in Malaysia

Swiss city fines Muslim parents over swimming classes

Seminar on women's access to parliament in Hodeidah

Rocket from Gaza hits Israeli city

HOW should Islam be taught in private Christian schools?

Saudi mother says Indian cult brainwashed son

Osama held suicide bomber recruitment in Pakistan: Wikileaks

Omar, Mirwaiz assure Sikhs of security

J&K govt bans two local TV channels

On reality TV: How to become an Imam

Afghanistan needs schools, not guns

UN chief sore over security situation in Kashmir

Iraq film directors look to build 'Baghdadwood'

Majority of Pakistanis call India a threat, US enemy

Bangladesh SC bans religious parties, upholds secularism

Parties based on religion face no immediate ban

199 die in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa rains, floods

War Crimes Trial: Jamaat quartet to be produced in tribunal August 2

`LTTE lost because of Al Qaeda'

Abdullah to lead three-way Beirut summit

Israeli plan to attack Iran

Palestinian women dig for new opportunities in Gaza

‘Refudiate' Palin's bigotry

Al Qaeda forms army of 12,000 fighters in Yemen

CBI may file status report in SC today

Geetha Johri summoned by CBI

Wiki logs show not enough cover for Indians in Af

Why don’t allies hit terror bases in Pak asks Karzai

Zardari Govt making Pak look like an ‘international beggar’: PML-N

Sohrab case: CBI to grill top cop Geetha

Valley on fire again, 50 hurt in clashes

AQ Khan’s associates being lured by several countries: Report

`Will raise terror with Pakistan'

Singh blasts Qureshi for talks breakdown

Pentagon unhappy over leaked military documents

Leaked Afghan war files pose ‘dangerous’ risks: Gates

Zardari’s popularity dips further: survey: Nawaz, Gilani and Kayani popular

Aafia’s lawyers seek minimum sentence

Iran ready to stop uranium enrichment: report

Expert help to be sought on constitution amendment

Hefty wedding costs force Saudis to look for foreign brides

Woman missing in Hail surfaces at Egyptian consulate

Play focuses on life of Asir women

Al-Qaeda-linked group claims TV bombing in Baghdad

Lebanon tribunal rejects Hezbollah outcry

Life in war-torn Yemen slowly returns to normal

US now says Pakistani support for Taliban 'in the past'

US asks Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorism

Afghanistan war: USAID spends too much, too fast to win hearts and minds

CBI wants Sohrabuddin case shifted out of Gujarat

Saudi Arabian, Syrian leaders head to Lebanon amid tension

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/muslim-women-appointed-to-sharia-court-bench-in-malaysia/d/3218

 

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Muslim women appointed to sharia court bench in Malaysia

30 July, 2010

Two Malaysian women have been cleared to hear the same cases as their male colleagues in Sharia court.

According to the Christian Science Monitor (CSM), they will join the bench on August 2 and will serve on lower courts in the capital, Kuala Lumpur and the city of Putrajaya.

The Malaysian Government has appointed two female judges to the sharia courts, which operate in parallel with secular courts in this multifaith country after years of debate.

It is hoped that women judges will bring a female perspective to the country's judicial system, which has often faced criticism for its bias against women.

However, in the Muslim world, there are sharp divisions over the role of women in the judiciary.

Countries like Lebanon, Morocco, and Pakistan have appointed women to judge cases in secular and sharia courts. Neighboring Indonesia has scores of female judges. In contrast, Iran and Saudi Arabia insist that only men can sit in judgment in their courts.

Malaysia is known for its tolerant brand of Islam. But, it also has a conservative streak and has drawn attention for caning women for adultery and banning Christians from using the word Allah. Religious minorities often complain discrimination.

Government officials say the addition of female judges is part of a gradual overhaul of Sharia courts, which mostly administer family law for the Muslim majority.

The country's Religious Affairs Minister Jamil Khir says he expects the state authorities to appoint female judges "very soon".

Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Minister for Women, Children, and Community Development, and a former civil court magistrate, said: "Now we have opened the floodgates. I expect to see a tsunami of qualified women in our courts."

At Kuala Lumpur's sharia court, reactions among petitioners are mixed. Female plaintiffs believe that female judges will be more responsive to women in divorce and custody hearings. The male plaintiffs argue that women can't make cool decisions in heated cases.

http://sify.com/news/two-women-appointed-to-male-dominant-malaysian-sharia-court-bench-news-international-kh4muhajibj.html

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Swiss city fines Muslim parents over swimming classes

30 Jul, 2010

GENEVA: Officials in the Swiss city of Basel have fined five Muslim families for refusing to allow their daughters to attend compulsory swimming classes in school, Swiss news agency ATS reported on Thursday. The parents had refused on “religious grounds” to allow their daughters, all of whom were under 10, to take part in the mixed-gender classes, said Christoph Eymann, the head of the city’s education department. In another case, the girl had taken holidays instead of swimming classes even though it was outside the regular school vacation period. Eymann said Basel offers separate classes for children who have reached the age of puberty, but that for younger children, mixed classes are justified, according to consultations with religious organisations. Each parent has been fined $335 per child. If the offence is repeated, a new fine could be imposed.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\07\30\story_30-7-2010_pg7_9

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Seminar on women's access to parliament in Hodeidah

Jul. 30, 2010

HODEIDAH, July 29 (Saba)- A seminar on women's access to the parliament was held in Hodeidah province on Thursday under the slogan "Not me..but you and me".

The seminar, attended by representatives from the local councils, political parties and civil society organizations, aimed to raising awareness of the need for women's representation in the parliament and motivating political parties to nominate more women and increasing the acceptance and support for women's participation in political issues.

In the seminar, papers were presented by Abdu Ali Mansoub on the status of women in Islam, and by Dr. Taibah Barakat about the importance of women's presence in the parliament and by Khalid al-Rimi on the international conventions on women.

The seminar was organized by Human Rights and Democracy Program of the Cultural Development Programs Foundation in cooperation with the European Union and the Supporters' Network to support women's access to the parliament.

http://www.sabanews.net/en/news220979.htm

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Rocket from Gaza hits Israeli city

Jul 30, 2010

JERUSALEM: A rocket fired from Gaza Strip on Friday hit Israel's 5th largest city of Ashkelon, a day after the Arab League gave green signal to resume direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The Grad-type rocket hit an open area near a coastal resort this morning, causing some damage but no casualties. None of the Palestinian groups in Gaza immediately took responsibility for the attack.

At least two people were treated for shock. The northern Negev city has been hit many times by rockets during Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip in 2008-09, but the number of attack has since been subsided.

Four Qassam rockets and two mortar shells were fired at Israel last weekend, but none of them caused any casualties as they hit open areas in the western Negev.

Hamas controls the coastal strip since June 2007 when its fighters vanquished security forces loyal to PA in pitched battles.

Israel has said that it will hold Hamas responsible for any attack directed on it from Gaza.

Meanwhile, American efforts bore fruit yesterday when Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo authorised PA to enter into direct negotiations with Israel, but left it up to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to decide on the timing.

Israel immediately welcomed the decision, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issuing a statement saying he was "prepared to begin direct and honest discussions with the PA in the coming days."

The US, which has been urging Abbas to switch from the current "proximity" talks to direct talks, also praised the move, and said it would seek to convene the direct talks "as soon as possible."

Netanyahu said that it would be possible through direct talks to soon reach an accord "between the two peoples."

Officials in Jerusalem, however, believe that Abbas will bide his time on kickstarting direct talks with Israel keeping a close eye on Netanyahu's decision over the issue of freezing settlement activities in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Explaining the reason behind Arab League's approval of direct talks, Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani said, "We are sure that Israel is not serious about the peace process."

"Israel just wants to waste time. On the other hand, we are confident that the US is serious and we are sure of (US President Barrack) Obama's intentions to achieve peace," al-Thani added.

Hamas opposed the Arab League decision, saying it will only lead to "to more Palestinian suffering as Israel goes on constructing settlements."vmnmcvmvb

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Rocket-from-Gaza-hits-Israeli-city/articleshow/6236673.cms

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HOW should Islam be taught in private Christian schools?

Jul 30th, 2010

I grew up in Metropolitan DC. I dated a Muslim. I had Muslim neighbors. I had Muslim classmates. I taught some Muslims in Virginia. now, I live in Iowa where there are very few Muslims, and I teach at a Christian school. I have some concerns about how these children are being exposed to Islam. The children have been taught to fear, and in some cases, HATE Muslims. Apparently the children are being taught that it's not a sin for Muslims to kill non-Muslims. oh, and there are other negative things the children are learning. The outcome truly scares me, as I heard one of the students say, "I don't associate with Muslims…I mean terrorists." another bluntly stated that, "Islam is a BAD religion."

Does this worry you? I'm against the way these children have been taught about Islam. how do I counteract? I want the children to learn about and accept the culture, not to begin hating the religion!

Full report at:

http://pageonebook.com/2010/07/how-should-islam-be-taught-in-private-christian-schools/

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Saudi mother says Indian cult brainwashed son

By ARJUWAN LAKKDAWALA

Jul 30, 2010

JEDDAH: Umm Ali talks about her son’s experience when he almost became a cult follower without knowing himself.

The Saudi youth, who due to the nature of his work traveled frequently, was told by some colleagues about a center that teaches how to improve one’s health by natural healing. The center was run by an elderly woman who is a famous television personality and who often appears on a Lebanese channel to talk about, among other things, a diet exclusively of grains and pulses.

Encouraged, the youth traveled to Lebanon and joined the center. His mother was not surprised when he changed his diet to grains, pulses, and nonprocessed food. At first she was happy — until she saw the literature her son brought back with him from Lebanon.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article92521.ece

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Osama held suicide bomber recruitment in Pakistan: Wikileaks

Jul. 30, 2010

Contradicting CIA's assertion that it has no intelligence on the world's most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden since 2003, leaked secret US military documents say the al Qaeda chief personally attended a recruitment drive for suicide bombers in Pakistan in 2006.

CIA chief Leon Panetta said in June that the last time the US had precise information on bin Laden's location was in the "early 2000s".

But the US military intelligence reports leaked by the whisteblower website Wikileaks show repeated instances in which US forces saw signs of the al-Qaeda chief in Pakistan. The evidence appears to contradict Penetta's claim last month that there has been no intelligence on al-Qaeda leader since 2003, the Daily Telegraph reported, quoting the leaked documents published by the Guardian.

Full report at:

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/84237/osama-held-suicide-bomber-recruitment.html

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Omar, Mirwaiz assure Sikhs of security

Shujaat Bukhari

30 July, 2010

Protests erupt after miscreants cut the hair of a Sikh youth

Youth was on way to home after work when the incident occurred

The miscreants tried to force him to raise pro-freedom slogans

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and chairman of the Hurriyat Conference (moderate) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday assured the Sikh community of its safety and security.

This came in the backdrop of an incident at Malangpora in Pulwama, in which the hair of a Sikh youth was allegedly cut by a group of youths who wanted him to raise slogans in favour of freedom.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police (South Kashmir Range) Shaqat Watali said the youth from Devar Tral was on way home after work at the Air Force Station. Some youths stopped him and asked him to raise pro-freedom slogans. “But he did not oblige them. They abused him and cut off some of his hair,” he told The Hindu, quoting the complaint filed by the youth.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/07/30/stories/2010073051861400.htm

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J&K govt bans two TV channels

30 July, 2010

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir government has banned the transmission of two local television channels as they were telecasting "provocative programmes".

Authorities directed the Superintendent of Police, Srinagar, to ban the transmission of SEN channel and SEN Awaz for allegedly violating the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act 1995, officials said.

"The two channels have been giving wide coverage to the provocative speeches and activities of secessionist elements for creating law and order problems. The Executive Director of SEN and SEN Awaz has been advised to observe programme code as envisaged under the Cable Television Act," District Magistrate Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo said.

The Chief Editor of SEN channel, Syed Tajamul, rubbished the government claims that they violated any law.

"We were strictly complying with the directions of the authorities and only telecasting news for 15 minutes from 8:00 PM to 8:15 PM. Due to curtailment in news timing, we lost almost all sponsors but we adhered to the government order. I fail to understand why our channels have been banned," he said.

http://786kashmirabg.blogspot.com/2010/07/j-govt-bans-two-tv-channels.html

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On reality TV: How to become an Imam

30 July, 2010

 Bright studio spotlights illuminated the faces of four nervous young men, arms linked as they anxiously awaited their fate.

Cameramen stood poised, ready to capture the climactic moment. Finally, the chief judge broke the suspense.

Two of the contestants had been eliminated. The other two had taken a step closer to their dream. Winners and losers, each clad in crisp, dark suits and formal black hats, took turns hugging each other.

The competition is called Imam Muda, or “Young Leader“ -a Malaysian venture into religious-themed reality TV.

The basic premise may replicate that of reality shows, but here, inside an auditorium at one of Kuala Lumpur's largest mosques, are notable variations on the tried-and-true formula.

Full report at: Hindustan Times

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Afghanistan needs schools, not guns

By Nicholas D. Kristof

Jul. 30, 2010

The war in Afghanistan will consume more money this year alone than we spent on the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War - combined.

A recent report from the Congressional Research Service finds the war on terror, including Afghanistan and Iraq, to be by far the costliest war in U.S. history other than World War II, when all costs are adjusted for inflation.

Those comparisons should be a wake-up call to President Barack Obama. Our military strategy is not only a mess - as the leaked documents from Afghanistan suggest - but more broadly reflects a gross misallocation of resources. One legacy of 9-11 was a distortion of American policy: By the standards of history and cost-effectiveness, we are hugely overinvested in military tools and underinvested in education and diplomacy.

Full report at:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/07/30/1589959/afghanistan-needs-schools-not.html

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UN chief sore over security situation in Kashmir

Jul. 30, 2010

In a departure from diplomatic norms, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has issued a statement voicing concern over the security situation in Kashmir over the past one month.

“In relation to recent developments in Kashmir, the Secretary General is concerned over the prevailing security situation there over the past month,” Farhan Haq, Ban’s pakistani-origin spokesperson, said in the statement.

“He (the UN chief) calls on all concerned to exercise utmost restraint and address problems peacefully,” Haq added. The Secretary General’s unprecedented statement comes in the backdrop of violence in the Kashmir valley which has led to the death of 17 people and repeated shutdown at the behest of separatists.

Composite dialogue

Full report at:

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/84810/un-chief-sore-over-security.html

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Iraq film directors look to build 'Baghdadwood'

Jul 30th, 2010

Iraq film production remains nascent, but two directors are opening the country's first film production center in a bid to lure investors and bring native filmmakers back home.

The windows that would catch a breeze off the Tigris River are cracked, the brick floors covered in debris. But as Oday Rasheed wrests off a padlock and looks around the historic house in the commercial heart of Baghdad, he sees the future of the country's film industry.

Mr. Rasheed points to rusting cans of film stacked in teetering piles and moldering in the heat. They are Iraq's film archives – brought for safekeeping by the Ministry of Culture before the 2003 war. "This is the remains of our heritage – the whole of Iraq's film industry," says Rasheed. He plans to gradually send the celluloid negatives of the hundred or so films dating to 1946 to France to be restored.

Full report at:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0728/Iraq-film-directors-look-to-build-Baghdadwood

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Majority of Pakistanis call India a threat, US enemy

Jul 30, 2010

WASHINGTON: Though terror groups continue to strike in their country, a majority of Pakistanis still consider India as a major threat, view America as an enemy and are far less concerned about Taliban and al-Qaida.

While Pakistanis express serious concerns about the US, they have also deep worries about neighbour and long-time rival India than extremist groups within Pakistan, according to the prestigious Pew Research Centre opinion poll carried out inside Pakistan.

"When asked which is the greatest threat to their country - India, the Taliban or al-Qaida - slightly more than half of Pakistanis (53 per cent) choose India, compared with 23 per cent for Taliban and just 3 per cent for al-Qaida," it said.

However, despite the deep-seated tensions between India and Pakistan, most Pakistanis want better ties with India.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Majority-of-Pakistanis-call-India-a-threat-US-enemy/articleshow/6236494.cms

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Bangladesh SC bans religious parties, upholds secularism

Jul 30 2010

Dhaka : Islamist parties in Bangladesh face a ban from politics after the controversial 1979 Fifth Amendment was struck down by the Supreme Court in a landmark ruling that also paved the way for ensuring secularism as the “cornerstone” of the country’s constitution.

Following the Appellate Division’s decision upholding the High Court’s landmark verdict that declared the Constitution’s 1979 Fifth Amendment illegal, restrictions on formation of organisations based on religion were restored.

“Carrying out activities of any political party based on religion is now punishable offence under the Special Powers Act,” Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said. “Their activities are now punishable offence,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bangladesh-sc-bans-religious-parties-upholds-secularism/653615/

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Parties based on religion face no immediate ban

Jul 30 2010

The Election Commission will cancel the registration of the religion-based political parties if they are declared banned through amendments to the constitution, an official of the Election Commission said on Thursday.

 ‘We have not been a party to the case relating to the cancellation of the fifth amendment [to the constitution] and the highest court has not given us any directives over the matter… so we will go by the laws relating to the registration of political parties,’ election commissioner Sakhawat Hossain said when he was asked whether the EC would cancel the registration of religion-based parties when the fifth amendment to the constitution has been nullified.

Full report at:

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199 die in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa rains, floods

July 30, 2010

PESHAWAR: The death toll from torrential rain and floods in various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the last two days reached 199 as dozens more casualties were reported on Thursday.

The heavy showers that continued for the last 36 hours caused floods in almost all rivers and streams of the province that washed away hundreds of homes and shops, dozens of bridges, roads and destroyed communication networks, besides livestock and standing crops.

According to figures gathered from different reports and dispatches, 60 persons were killed in Shangla, Kohistan and Battagram, 35 in Swat, 11 in Lower Dir and 10 in Upper Dir, 21 in Kohat, nine in Charsadda, five in Haripur, three in Shabqadar, two each in Takhtbhai, Tank and Abbottabad, five were reportedly killed in Mansehra on Wednesday and seven on Thursday, one each in Chitral and Bannu, while in Peshawar district eight people were killed in Jangali and Telaband, three each in Qadirabad, Gulbahar, Matani and Budbher during the last two days, and four persons were electrocuted and 100 others were missing in Nowshera following flood and torrential rains.

Full report at:

http://thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=30376

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WAR CRIMES TRIAL Jamaat quartet to be produced in tribunal August 2

July 30, 2010

The international crimes tribunal on Thursday asked the jail authorities to produce the four top leaders of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, now detained in Dhaka central jail in scores of cases, in the tribunal on August 2 in a case relating to war crimes.

The tribunal of Justice Md Nizamul Huq, Justice ATM Fazle Kabir and AKM Zahir Ahmed, a former district judge, passed the order after a police report was submitted to it on the day, the tribunal’s registrar, Md Shahinur Islam, told reporters.

In the report, Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner stated that the warrant issued by the tribunal on July 26 for the arrest of Jamaat-e-Islami amir Motiur Rahman Nizami, secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and assistant secretaries general Mohammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Molla could not be executed as the four persons were already detained in jail in some other cases.

Full report at:

http://www.newagebd.com/2010/jul/30/front.html

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`LTTE lost because of Al Qaeda'

Sutirtho Patranobis

30 July, 2010

he multi-pronged 9/11 attacks by Al Qaeda on the US in 2001 turned world opinion against armed insurgencies across the world including the LTTE, leading eventually to its decimation, a top Tamil Tiger leader has said.

Currently the senior-most Tiger leader in custody, TS Pathmanathan, widely known as KP, also said that he was in touch with the United Nations during the last days of the war in May, 2009 to work out an arrangement -probably either a surrender or cessation of hostilities -but nothing could be done as chief V Prabhakaran failed to make his move earlier.

Full report at: Hindustan Times

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Abdullah to lead three-way Beirut summit

Jul 30, 2010

DAMASCUS: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah will lead a rare tripartite summit in Beirut on Friday to bring together President Bashar Assad of Syria and President Michel Suleiman of Lebanon in an effort to improve inter-Arab relations.

The reconciliation summit is widely seen as the successful outcome of King Abdullah's diplomatic overtures to strengthen Arab unity and confront the challenges facing the Arab Ummah.

King Abdullah arrived in the Syrian capital on Thursday on the second leg of a four-nation Arab tour and held talks with Assad. The two leaders called upon Lebanese groups to end their conflicts in order to establish peace and security in the country.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article92606.ece

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Israeli plan to attack Iran

Jul 30, 2010

In June 1981 then Israeli chief of staff Rafael Eitan announced the plan of Israeli air force to bomb Iraq's Ozirak nuclear facilities.

He said: "If we do not do that the result would be our destruction." Israel has adopted pre-emptive strike as a strategic option in order to prevent hostile Arab and Middle Eastern countries from obtaining nuclear weapons without any opposition or questioning by the international community, which has been accepting all the demands of the Jewish state.

Twenty years after the Israeli bombing of Iraq's nuclear plants, the Jewish state is facing another nuclear threat from Iran, especially after the United States and Europe have failed to convince Tehran to stop its nuclear program, especially its uranium enrichment program. Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article92474.ece

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Palestinian women dig for new opportunities in Gaza

By NIDAL AL-MUGHRABI

Jul 30, 2010

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip: A group of Palestinian women is breaking new ground in the Gaza Strip by working as ditch-diggers to support their families.

Some 300 women have signed up to dig reservoirs on Gaza farms in a project organized by the internationally funded Union of Agriculture Work Committees, UAWC officials said Thursday.

Although Gaza women have traditionally worked on family farms, picking fruit and vegetables, this is the first time they have hoisted shovels for a job usually reserved for men in the conservative enclave, where unemployment is 60 per cent.

Najah Al-Farra said she became a ditch digger to support her 10 children after her husband left her.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article92564.ece

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‘Refudiate' Palin's bigotry

Jul 30 2010

Sarah Palin's language-bending tweet asking New Yorkers to “refudiate” a proposal to build a Muslim centre near Ground Zero has highlighted the truth that Americans still remain confused and divided in their reactions to Islam. Only two months ago, a Community Board representing Lower Manhattan residents voted in favour of the proposed building whose purpose would be to serve as a meeting point for people of all faiths. This endorsement is not binding but is regarded as a reliable indicator of public opinion. While the proposed 13-storeyed building, planned to come up two blocks from where the Twin Towers stood and named Cordoba House, will have a prayer hall, it is not conceived as a mosque. It will also house a basketball court and a swimming pool. The building that now stands at the site was damaged during the 9/11 attacks. It was bought by a Muslim businessman who is one of the main financiers for the project. Significantly, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has voiced support for building the centre — rightly describing it as being one with the city's tradition of tolerance, its liberal values, and the democratic freedom to practise any religion.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/07/30/stories/2010073053291000.htm

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Al Qaeda forms army of 12,000 fighters in Yemen

Jul. 30, 2010

The Yemen-based wing of militant outfit Al Qaeda has threatened to ''cleanse the land'' with a new army of 12,000 fighters.

"We have a good news for the Islamic nation, that an army of 12,000 fighters is being prepared in Aden and Abyan," Xinhua quoted Mohamed Saied al-Omda, field commander of the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) as saying in an audio recording posted on a website Thursday.

"By this army, we will establish an Islamic Caliphate," said al-Omda, referring to Yemen's southern province of Abyan and the port city of Aden.

"This is a message to the Yemeni government security and the National security Service: our swords are ready and we are resolved to cleanse the land," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/84835/al-qaeda-forms-army-12000.html

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CBI may file status report in SC today

30 July, 2010

New Delhi: CBI,which is questioning Gujarats former home minister Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin encounter case,is likely to file it status report before Supreme Court on Friday.The apex court had set July 31 as the deadline for CBI to submit its status report into the probe.

A CBI team headed by DIG P Kandaswamy reached the agencys headquarters in Delhi on Thursday after which several rounds of discussion took place between CBI director Ashwani Kumar and other senior officials to prepare a final reply for the SC.

Sources said the agency might seek Shahs custodial remand.Shah,who is in judicial custody till August 7,was not cooperating in the probe and there was a need for his interrogation,sources said.Shah is lodged in Sabarmati prison and his questioning is being videographed.According to CBI,most of Shahs replies to the agencys questions were evasive.He has feigned ignorance and loss of memory and is getting away by saying that that I do not know or I do not remember.Citing this,we may ask the court to grant his custody, said a CBI official.

Full report at: Times of India

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Geetha Johri summoned by CBI

30 July, 2010

Senior IPS officer Geetha Johri and former Gujarat DGP P C Pandey have been summoned by CBI for questioning in Sohrabuddin encounter case,amid allegations some cops tried to influence investigations.Johri,who was the investigating officer and headed the probe while she was with state CID in the fake encounter involving Sohrabuddin Sheikh,was directed on Thursday to appear before the agency by August 10.Johri is currently posted as Rajkot police commissioner.She is in the UK at present and is expected to return on August 6.The CBI has already questioned Johri twice before,after it began investigation into the encounter case following the SC order in January early this year.

Times of India

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Wiki logs show not enough cover for Indians in Af

30 July, 2010

New Delhi: They were the face of Indias engagement with a strife-torn Afghanistan but the personnel of Border Roads Organisation who built the Zaranj-Delaram road that provides Afghanistan access to Iran were at the receiving end of repeated attacks by terrorists,and without enough security cover.

As Indian security establishment takes a detailed look at over 90,000 intelligence documents of US and other western militaries from Afghanistan,put up on WikiLeaks.org,one opinion is emerging uniformly across the board that India did not have enough security presence to take care of its interests.For that level of threat,we should have had far more robust security presence and preparedness, said a senior military officer.He wondered why India did not have helicopters and other back-up for quick response to any attack and fast evacuation.

Full report at: Times of India

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Why dont allies hit terror bases in Pak asks Karzai

30 July, 2010

Kabul: Afghan president Hamid Karzai questioned on Thursday the willingness of his western allies to strike insurgent bases in Pakistan given the strong evidence of Islamabads support for the Taliban.

The war against terrorism is not in the villages or houses of Afghanistan... but in the sanctuaries,sources of funding and training (of terrorism ),and they lie outside Afghanistan, he told a news conference in Kabul.

It is a different question whether Afghanistan has the ability to tackle this, he said in response to a question about Pakistan support for the Taliban and why the conflict was dragging on.... but our allies have this capability.The question now is why they are not taking action.

Full report at: Times of India

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Zardari Govt making Pak look like an ‘international beggar’: PML-N

30 July, 2010

Islamabad : The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has blamed the Zardari Government for failing to achieve any concrete results from the 'Friends of Democratic Pakistan' moot.

“Parking of funds for Pakistan with the World Bank is a clear sign that no country in the world is willing to trust this regime,” The Dawn quoted PML-N Central Spokesman Ahsan Iqbal, as saying.

Iqbal added that channelling funds through the World Bank would put added burden on Pakistan since it will have to pay for additional costs in the shape of expensive World Bank bureaucracy overheads.

He also said that the government was facing a ''trust mega deficit'' both at home and abroad due to its lack of transparency, poor governance, and cronyism.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/zardari-govt-making-pak-look-like-an-international-beggar-pmln/522426/

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Sohrab case: CBI to grill top cop Geetha

30 July, 2010

Ahmedabad : The CBI on Thursday issued summons to Geetha Johri, the investigating officer in the fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and killing of his wife Kausarbi, and asked her to appear before the agency by August 10.

Johri, who had headed the probe in the case while she was with state CID, is currently posted as Police Commissioner of Rajkot city is expected to return on August 6.

The CBI, which began investigation into the encounter case following the Supreme court order in January, has already questioned Johri twice before.

She is under the scanner for having tampered with the evidence, which is a charge having extremely serious consequences.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sohrab-case-cbi-to-grill-top-cop-geetha/653360/

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Valley on fire again, 50 hurt in clashes

30 July, 2010

More than 50 persons including a dozen police and paramilitary personnel were injured in clashes between protesters and law enforcing agencies in Kashmir on Thursday amid a complete separatist-sponsored shutdown and imposition of prohibitory orders by the authorities. Normal life continued to remain crippled for the second consecutive day after Tuesday when separatists had lifted the bandh for a day after 28 straight days of shutdown.

Schools, educational institutions and business establishments remained closed and government offices recorded skeletal attendance. Scanty traffic was visible and public transport was generally off the roads.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/272625/Valley-on-fire-again-50-hurt-in-clashes.html

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AQ Khan’s associates being lured by several countries: Report

30 July, 2010

Disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist AQ Khan’s smuggling network may have been disbanded years ago under American pressure, but his erstwhile associates are reportedly in great demand with several countries luring them with exciting post-retirement positions.

Citing US intelligence officials, the Washington Times reports that agents from several countries including Brazil, Iran, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Sudan and Syria have approached Khan’s group of scientists, engineers and financiers with offers.

“They have propositioned them to get them to come out of retirement,” one senior intelligence officer was quoted as saying, amid concerns here in Washington that the development could signal a possible reactivation of the nuclear proliferation ring that was thought to have been busted for good.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/272527/AQ-Khan%E2%80%99s-associates-being-lured-by-several-countries-Report.html

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`Will raise terror with Pakistan'

30 July, 2010

n his first public reaction to the controversial conduct of the press conference following the India-Pakistan Foreign Ministers' talks on July 15, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday that Pakistan's Shah Mehmood Qureshi could have avoided handling it the way he did.

He also said he hoped Pakistan would honour its commitment to disallow its territory from being used for terror against India.

In a joint interaction with the press alongside his British counterpart David Cameron, who is visiting India and with whom he held talks on a range of issues, Singh appealed to the world community to urge Pakistan to tackle terrorism on the Indian border as seriously as it does on its western border.

Full report at: Hindustan Times

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Singh blasts Qureshi for talks breakdown

By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury

30 July, 2010

VIRTUALLY blaming Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi for the breakdown in the recent Indo-Pak talks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the way the press conference was handled could have been avoided.

Utilising the opportunity to send a clear message to Pakistan in the presence of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Singh minced no words when he questioned Qureshi’s conduct at the presser that vitiated the gains of the talks.

“The way the press conference was handled by Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at the end of the talks could have been avoided,” Singh said in his answer to a question on the gains from the recent Indo-Pak foreign ministers meeting.

Singh and Cameron were addressing a joint press conference at the end of what they termed “warm, extensive and productive” discussions.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Pentagon unhappy over leaked military documents

July 30, 2010

 PENTAGON: U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says he has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, to assist in the probe into the leak and publication of classified military documents.

Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen spoke about the issue at a press conference at the Pentagon on Thursday, several days after the Internet website WikiLeaks posted tens of thousands of documents about the war in Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary Gates told reporters that problems highlighted in the leaked documents about the war in Afghanistan have been publicly known for some time.

But he did not downplay the possible damage caused by the release of what he called "a mountain of raw data and individual impressions" that is "devoid of context or analysis."

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/7-30-2010/69189.htm

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Leaked Afghan war files pose ‘dangerous’ risks: Gates

30 Jul, 2010

WASHINGTON: US Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday said leaked US documents on the Afghan war posed grave risks for Americans in battle and for US relationships in the region.

Gates vowed the Pentagon will “aggressively investigate” and prosecute those behind the leak and had asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to help in the probe.

The leak of 92,000 classified documents by the website WikiLeaks contained no surprises and did not call into question the US strategy in the Afghan war, Gates and the US military’s top officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, told a press conference.

Gates, however, said “the battlefield consequences of the release of these documents are potentially severe and dangerous for our troops, our allies and Afghan partners, and may well damage our relationships and reputation in that key part of the world.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/14-leaked-afghan-war-files-pose-dangerous-risks-gates-zj-01

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Zardari’s popularity dips further: survey: Nawaz, Gilani and Kayani popular

30 Jul, 2010

WASHINGTON, July 29: President Asif Ali Zardari’s popularity has dropped further over the past year and he is now viewed unfavourably by a large majority of Pakistanis, says a US survey released on Thursday.

In contrast, PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif remains widely popular, as do Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The opinion survey by Washington’s Pew Research Centre also notes that most Pakistanis hold their country’s military in high regard, while many also express positive attitudes about the media, religious leaders and the court system.

On the other hand, many Pakistanis view the national government and police as having a bad influence.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/zardaris-popularity-dips-further-survey-nawaz,-gilani-and-kayani-popular-070

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Aafia’s lawyers seek minimum sentence

30 Jul, 2010

NEW YORK, July 29: Lawyers for Pakistani neuroscientist Dr Aaifa Siddiqui have appealed to a US court to reduce her sentence to 12 years because she is mentally ill.

They made the request in the US District Court in Manhattan, where she was convicted in February.

The lawyers have claimed that Ms Siddiqui was driven to her crime by mental illness.

They described her behaviour in Ghazni, Afghanistan, as bizarre, saying Ms Siddiqui was cut off from any form of rational thought by her knowledge that US authorities had engaged in the torture of detainees overseas. She is scheduled to be sentenced in mid-August but the date is expected to be moved to September.

Ms Siddiqui was alleged to have taken an army soldier’s M-4 assault rifle, which he had placed on the floor of an Afghan police compound; came out from behind a curtain in the office; and attempted to shoot the assembled FBI agents and soldiers.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/aafias-lawyers-seek-minimum-sentence-070

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Iran ready to stop uranium enrichment: report

30 Jul, 2010

* Turkey’s FM says Iran will halt enrichment if world powers agree to nuclear fuel swap

* Australia tightens sanctions on Iran

ANKARA: Iran pledged to halt enriching uranium if world powers agree to a nuclear fuel swap deal it signed with Turkey and Brazil, a newspaper on Thursday quoted Turkey’s foreign minister as saying.

The assurance came after Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki held talks with his Turkish and Brazilian counterparts Ahmet Davutoglu and Celso Amorim on Sunday in Istanbul, Milliyet newspaper reported on its website.

The UN Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions against Iran demanding that it halt its uranium enrichment programme. Western powers say Iran is hiding efforts to build a nuclear bomb.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\07\30\story_30-7-2010_pg20_3

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Expert help to be sought on constitution amendment

Nazrul Islam

30 Jul, 2010

A special parliamentary review committee at its first meeting on Thursday decided to recommend incorporation of strict provisions in the Constitution to prevent any extra-constitutional state power grabbing including imposition of martial law and suspension of the Constitution in any form.

A committee member told New Age, ‘We discussed the terms of reference of the committee and found it empowers us to update the Constitution, befitting the times and to recommend provisions to prevent any usurpation.’

The committee, he said, would make its recommendations in line with the Supreme Court judgement that had declared ‘illegal’ the fifth amendment to the Constitution brought through martial law proclamations after the August 15, 1975 changeover.

Full report at:

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Hefty wedding costs force Saudis to look for foreign brides

By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN

Jul 30, 2010

RIYADH: The hefty wedding costs associated with marrying Saudi women prompted over 2,100 Saudi men to get hitched to non-Saudi women last year, according to a study conducted by the Ministry of Justice.

A copy of the study obtained by Arab News on Wednesday revealed that Yemeni women were most popular with Saudi men, with 1,017 marriage contracts approved by Shariah courts across the Kingdom in 2009.

Higher dowries in Saudi Arabia and the difference in the standard of living between the two countries are some of the factors behind the higher frequency of Yemeni women marrying Saudi men, according to the research.

For Saudis, marrying Yemeni women is less expensive, the report added. There were 164 marriages involving Syrian women and Saudi men, 145 involving Pakistani women and 104 involving Palestinian women.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article92532.ece

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Woman missing in Hail surfaces at Egyptian consulate

By MD AL-SULAMI

Jul 30, 2010

JEDDAH: An Arab woman who fled from her husband’s house in a Hail village on Saturday has been found.

The Egyptian woman in her 20s, presented herself at the Egyptian Consulate in Jeddah on Thursday.

Arab News reported on July 28 that Hail police had been searching for her since Saturday, after her 31-year-old Saudi husband contacted officers from Nuhaytiah about her disappearance from the village of Ojajah.

The police learned about her whereabouts when they received a call from the Egyptian Consulate.

According to police sources, the woman told diplomats that her husband was suffering from a serious mental illness.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article92524.ece

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Play focuses on life of Asir women

By HAYAT AL-GHAMDI

Jul 30, 2010

ABHA: The theater of Al-Miftaha Cultural Village in Abha will be the venue of a play for women on Friday evening performed by famous Arab actors at the Asir Summer Festival.

The play, “Harimco,” tackles the lives of women in southern Saudi Arabia and the impact of the communications revolution on them. It shows two US-educated women trying to convince women of the region the advantages of using the Internet.

Bahraini actor Muna Shaddad plays the lead role of a woman who had her education in the US while Egyptian Mimi Jamal plays the role of her friend. Kuwaiti actor Suad Al-Ali is a matchmaker who also owns a musical band singing at wedding parties. Her character is a mean woman who broke many marriages. The two US-educated women will try to convince her to use modern technology in promoting herself.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article92525.ece

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Al-Qaeda-linked group claims TV bombing in Baghdad

By SAAD ABDUL-KADIR

Jul 30, 2010

BAGHDAD: An Al-Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility Thursday for a bombing earlier this week targeting the Baghdad offices of a pan-Arab television station, describing the deadly attack that killed six people as a victory against a "corrupt channel."

A statement posted on the website of the Islamic State of Iraq said the operation was carried out by a "hero of Islam" and was intended to hit the "mouthpieces of the wicked and evil." The Arabic-language news channel Al-Arabiya is one of the most popular in the Middle East but is perceived by insurgents as being pro-Western. A suicide bomber driving a minibus Monday drove through at least two checkpoints before pulling up to the front of the station's Baghdad office and blowing himself and his vehicle up.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article92585.ece

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Lebanon tribunal rejects Hezbollah outcry

By ALISTAIR LYON

Jul 30, 2010

BEIRUT: A UN-backed tribunal set up to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese statesman Rafik Al-Hariri on Thursday rejected charges by Lebanon's Hezbollah armed group that its work is politically motivated.

"Experience of other international tribunals has shown that the results of the work of such institutions speak for themselves and contradict the unsubstantiated allegations of hostile interference," Fatima Issawi, spokeswoman for the tribunal, told Reuters in written answers to emailed questions.

"We are convinced that this will also happen in the case of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)."

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and Syrian President Bashar Assad are due to pay an unprecedented joint visit to Beirut on Friday to try to calm a political storm over the tribunal.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article92571.ece

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Life in war-torn Yemen slowly returns to normal

Jul. 30, 2010

SA'ADA, Yemen, 29 July 2010 – When you walk down the Al-Shara'a Al-A'am main road to the old town of Sa'ada, through the main gate of Bab Al-Yaman and pass by the ancient mosque of Emam Al-Hadi, you are immediately drawn into the past. The town, deeply rooted in history, used to be a beacon of Islamic teaching and a symbol of tolerance. From there you idle through the small but bustling 'souq,' or traditional market, and into the maze of the ancient mud houses where you can literally smell the scent of history.

The area also contains a more recent and much darker story. In the old town you'll find yourself deep in the battle area where fierce confrontations between Al-Houthi rebels and the Yemeni army and police force took place recently. Many people were killed or forced to flee. Despite finding their houses had damaged or completely obliterated, many families who returned to Sa'ada after the fighting decided to stay and try to rebuild their lives.

Full report at:

http://reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/EGUA-87TTXY?OpenDocument

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US now says Pakistani support for Taliban 'in the past'

Jul. 30, 2010

With the storm over WikiLeaks revelations refusing to die down, US officials are at pains to suggest that while some people in Pakistan's intelligence community had supported the Taliban, that situation is changing.

"That's been a problem in the past, it's a problem we're dealing with, and [it] is changing," Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview aired on NBC Thursday.

"All those leaks predate our policy," Biden said referring to WikiLeaks revelations that Pakistani spy agency, ISI, supported the Taliban while accepting US funding to fight against them.

"Not one leak is consistent with our policy announced in December." He added that no US money was diverted from its stated purposes in Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/84834/us-now-says-pakistani-support.html

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US asks Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorism

Jul 30, 2010

Expressing concern about the contacts by some elements in ISI with terrorist outfits, US has asked Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorists.

"Our concerns about the ISI and its contacts with some of these elements has been well known. It has been a part of our conversation with Pakistan for some time. Pakistan itself has commented publicly about this," State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters at his daily news conference.

"But we are focused on the decisive action that Pakistan must take to deal with the threat that is within its borders and has, in the last year or two, become clear that it's a threat to Pakistan, and we are satisfied with the aggressive action that Pakistan has taken in response," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/84826/us-asks-pakistan-take-decisive.html

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Afghanistan war: USAID spends too much, too fast to win hearts and minds

Jul 30th, 2010

In the Afghanistan war, it's quantity vs. quality: The USAID battle for hearts and minds is being lost just as President Obama's 'civilian surge' prepares to more than double annual assistance to $5 billion.

The US government strategy for improving its struggling reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan relies heavily on spending more money. More on bigger and quicker projects, more on aid workers, and more on monitors – a "civilian surge" to win hearts and minds.

That should be welcome news to development professionals who have spent careers toiling in ravaged regions with only band-aid budgets.

But in Afghanistan, some aid workers actually argue that the aid flow has become a desperate gambit – throwing too much money with too little thought at the problem. They say that perhaps less money is more.

Full report at:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2010/0728/Afghanistan-war-USAID-spends-too-much-too-fast-to-win-hearts-and-minds

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CBI wants Sohrabuddin case shifted out of Gujarat

Jul 30, 2010

AHMEDABAD: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday submitted its status report on the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case to the Supreme Court.

According to television reports, CBI in its status report has asked for the case to be shifted out of Gujarat as it feels that investigation cannot be carried out in an impartial manner in the State.

The CBI is also learnt to have said that it will investigate the fake encounter of Tulsiram Prajapati, the man who allegedly witnessed the killing of Sohrabuddin.

The apex Court had set July 31 as the deadline for the CBI to submit its status report into the case.

According to sources, former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah, who is in judicial custody till August 7, was not cooperating in the probe and there was a need to interrogate him.

Most of Shah's replies according to the agency were evasive.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/CBI-wants-Sohrabuddin-case-shifted-out-of-Gujarat/articleshow/6237100.cms

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Saudi Arabian, Syrian leaders head to Lebanon amid tension

Jul 30, 2010

BEIRUT: The leaders of Syria and Saudi Arabia were heading to Beirut on Friday in an unprecedented effort to avert a crisis over expected indictments in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Many fear that new violence between Lebanon's Shiite and Sunni communities could break out if the international tribunal investigating Hariri's death implicates the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which is Syria's main ally in Lebanon.

In May 2008, Hezbollah gunmen swept through Sunni pro-government neighborhoods of Beirut, raising fears the country could fall into a new civil war. That crisis was resolved only after fellow Arab countries mediated a truce and political compromise between the two sides that has tenuously held since.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Saudi-Arabian-Syrian-leaders-head-to-Lebanon-amid-tension/articleshow/6237182.cms

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/muslim-women-appointed-to-sharia-court-bench-in-malaysia/d/3218


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