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Islamic World News ( 5 Apr 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Muslim Women Punished for Failed Marriages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mali’s Tuareg rebels declare independence

China hints at links of Xinjiang militants with Pakistan

China freezes assets of 6 Uyghur militants; hints at Pak link

French terror raids: security or electioneering?

Egypt's Sinai desert is becoming terror zone: Israel

Saudi rules out sending women athletes to London

Mahatma Gandhi inspired Arab Spring, says Yemeni Nobel laureate

Gaddafi son attacked in Libya detention: ICC lawyer

Suicide bomber kills Afghan peace envoy: officials

22 death-row inmates exonerated, repatriated to Indonesia from Saudi Arabia

Women’s welfare organization helping in Makkah urban development projects

Pakistanis burn US flag over LeT bounty

Denial by Pakistan cannot exonerate Hafiz Saeed: Indian External Affairs Minister

3,000 Sikhs to travel to Pak for Baisakhi Fest

‘CIA withheld info about Mumbai-style plot from MI6’

Little proof of hate crime in Iraqi woman's killing in California

Ex-CIA officer charged with leaking secret info to journalists

US denounces Lebanon assassination attempt

Malawi President Mutharika dead: Govt sources

US unsure of Saeed role in 26/ 11 attack

U.S. wants to bring Hafiz Saeed to justice

NATO fuel tanker blaze kills 7 in Afghanistan

Yemen kills 10 militants, Sanaa faces car bomb threat

Balochistan JUP leader Mohammad Qasim shot dead in Quetta

Chilas attack: over 200 people return to Gilgit after two days

ISI had no info on any coup plans in Pakistan: former ISI chief

Hafiz Saeed case an 'internal issue' of Pakistan: Gilani

Why Imran should have duelled with Rushdie

In stinging attack, Zardari calls Sharifs 'Mohajirs' in Lahore

Pakistan smuggling counterfeit currency through Southeast Asian countries

Zardari's India visit raises eyebrows in Pakistan

No compromise on Kashmir: Pak on Zardari visit

Syria crisis: Turkey refugee surge amid escalation fear

Syria fighting rages ahead of UN deadline

Loyalty to Syrian President Could Isolate Hezbollah

Salafist candidate may be disqualified in Egypt's presidential race

Supporters hail Brotherhood bid for Egypt presidency

Questions Swirl Around Malawi’s President After Heart Attack

Turkmenistan Bans Alcohol during 'Happiness Week'

Family of Iraqi Woman Killed in California Was in Crisis, Records Show

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Mali: Tuareg Rebels Declare Independence

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-women-punished-for-failed-marriages/d/7005

 

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Muslim Women Punished for Failed Marriages

By Charlotte Rachael Proudman

Apr 06 2012

Today I received another telephone call from a young Muslim woman, Nasrin, who pleaded with me to help her obtain an Islamic divorce. After fleeing a forced marriage characterised by rape and physical violence, Nasrin applied for an Islamic divorce from a Sharia council; that was almost 10 years ago now. Despite countless emails, letters and telephone calls to the Sharia council as well as joint mediation and reconciliation meetings, the Sharia council refuse to provide Nasrin with an Islamic divorce. Why? Because of Nasrin’s sex. An Imam at the Sharia council told Nasrin that her gender prevents her from unilaterally divorcing her husband, instead the Imam told her to return to her husband, perform her wifely duties and maintain the abusive marriage that she was forced into.

Having represented Muslim women pro bono at Sharia law bodies across the UK to obtain Islamic divorces, I am all too aware of the gender discriminatory experience many Muslim women suffer at some Sharia councils and Muslim Arbitration Tribunals (‘Sharia law bodies’). Unfortunately their experiences have not been highlighted by the media. Instead some Sharia law bodies have been misrepresented by the media as being transparent, voluntary and operating in accordance with human rights and equality legislation. This is not the case.

Many Sharia law bodies rule on a range of disputes from domestic violence to child residence all of which should be dealt with by UK courts of law. Having observed Sharia law bodies ruling on legal disputes it is all too apparent that they operate within a misogynist and patriarchal framework which is incompatible with UK legislation. For instance, the cost of an Islamic divorce is £400 for a woman compared to £200 for a man at the Islamic Sharia Council in East London; this is an example of blatant gender discrimination which is incompatible with the Equality Act 2010.

With over 85 Sharia law bodies operating in the UK, the majority of which charge vulnerable and impoverished Muslim women astronomical fees, Sharia law bodies have become successful and lucrative businesses. For instance the Islamic Sharia Council rules on over 500 Islamic divorces per annum at a cost of £400 for every woman applicant, equating to an annual turnover of £200,000 for Islamic divorces only. If we consider the additional legal disputes they rule upon it is likely some Sharia law bodies have an annual turnover of over £500,000. The majority of women I represent can barely afford a £15 weekly shop let alone £400 for an Islamic divorce. These destitute women have been forced to pawn their jewellery and take out loans from dangerous loan sharks in order to pay for Islamic divorces that are not even guaranteed and ultimately to fund a service that is pricing women out of the Sharia law market.

Diana Nammi, founder of the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation explained that “Sharia law bodies are money-spinning businesses because they afford men more rights than women unlike UK law which is underpinned by a fundamental principle of ‘equality for all’. In most cases women do not receive any practical advice or assistance to help them exit abusive marriages, and instead face further discrimination perpetrated by Sharia ‘judges’”.

According to Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE, partner of Dawson Cornwell a leading family law solicitors firm, “women are forced to apply for Islamic divorces from Sharia law bodies to end their marriages unlike men who are in a position of power as they only have to pronounce talaq (divorce) three times to end their marriages”. However, this is not a quick process, it is time consuming and emotionally draining for many women including Nasrin who applied for an Islamic divorce almost 10 years ago.

By protracting the time it takes for women to obtain Islamic divorces, Sharia law bodies are punishing women for their failure to maintain miserable marriages, and in Nasrin’s case an abusive forced marriage which was flawed from its incept. Rather than freeing Muslim women from the shackles of unhappy marriages they are kept in limbo and are expected to mourn their destructive marriages and to reflect on their failures as wives and mothers. Worryingly some Sharia law bodies are growing cynical business enterprises, which use their position of power to maintain unequal gender relations while profiteering on the misery of Muslim women.

Anne-Marie Waters, Spokesperson for One Law for All commented – “the very process employed by Sharia law bodies is gender discriminatory, flawed and incompatible with UK legislation”. For instance, unlike male divorce applicants, women are requested to bring along two Muslim, male witnesses to corroborate their testimony. I have yet to represent a Muslim woman who is able to comply with this gender discriminatory requirement that is contrary to the Equality Act 2010. Not only are such requirements near impossible to adhere to, but they also reflect Sharia law bodies’ ideology that women are second class citizens. A stark comparison can be drawn between the way in which women are perceived as lacking capacity to give evidence before Sharia law bodies and their inability to give evidence in court to substantiate their own cases in Dickensian times. Women were treated as criminals not citizens in Dickensian times; their belonging to society was rejected as they were portrayed as mad and bad because of their gender. Sharia law bodies are a 21st century example of the patriarchal Dickensian period that eventually prompted the early Suffragettes to engage in feminist activism to bring about gendered change.

Where are the Suffragettes now that we need them? Fortunately we have Baroness Cox’s Bill, which aims to prevent Sharia law bodies from ruling on family and criminal matters. With collective action from politicians, lawyers, human rights and women’s rights organisations it is hoped that Muslim women will be better informed of their right to seek legal remedies under UK law instead of submitting to Sharia law bodies that promote and subsist in a patriarchal framework that runs parallel to UK law.

http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/04/02/sex-and-sharia-muslim-women-punished-for-failed-marriages/

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Mali’s Tuareg rebels declare independence

 Apr 06 2012

Mali’s Tuareg rebels, who have seized control of the country’s north in the chaotic aftermath of a military coup, declared independence early Friday of the Azawad nation.

“We, the people of the Azawad,” they said in a statement published on the rebel website, “proclaim the irrevocable independence of the state of the Azawad starting from this day, Friday, April 6, 2012.”

The military heads of the nation’s bordering Mali met on Thursday in Ivory Coast to start hashing out plans for a military intervention in order to restore constitutional rule and push back the rebels in the north.

The traditionally nomadic Tuareg people have been fighting for independence for the northern half of Mali since at least 1958, when Tuareg elders wrote a letter addressed to the French President asking their colonial rulers to carve out a separate homeland for the Tuareg people. Instead the north, where the lighter-skinned Tuareg people live, was made part of the same country as the south, where the dark-skinned ethnic groups controlled the capital and the nation’s finances.

The Tuaregs fought numerous rebellions, but it wasn’t until a March 21, 2012 coup in the distant capital of Bamako toppled the nation’s elected government that the fighters were able to make significant gains. In a three-day period last weekend they seized the three largest cities in the north, as soldiers dumped their uniforms and retreated.

Their independence declaration cited 50 years of misrule by the country’s southern-based administration and was issued by the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, or NMLA, whose Army is led by a Tuareg colonel who fought in the late Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi’s military.

The group is secular and its stated aim is creating a homeland for the Tuareg people. However, they were helped by an Islamist faction, Ansar Dine, which is now attempting to apply Sharia law to Mali’s moderate north, including in the fabled tourist destination of Timbuktu.

The declaration of independence appears to have even taken the NMLA’s leadership by surprise. Reached by telephone in Paris, Hama Ag Sid’Ahmed, one of the spokesman of the group as well as the head of external relations for the rebels, said that he considered the move “premature.”

“Yes, it’s true that I think it’s premature to speak of this right now, without a consultation and an understanding with some of the actors that are very active on the local level, and with which we need to work, and we need to find common objectives, common strategies,” he said, appearing to refer to Ansar Dine.

In all three of the major cities in the north, residents say they do not know which of the two factions has the upper hand. In Timbuktu, the NMLA first entered the town and put up their flag at the governor’s office. They then retreated from the downtown section of Timbuktu, and set up their base at the airport just outside of town.

Residents say that Ansar Dine arrived later, and when they drove by the governor’s residence, they stopped to pull down the NMLA flag, according to the head of the local radio station Kader Kalil.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3287371.ece

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China hints at links of Xinjiang militants with Pakistan

Apr 6, 2012

BEIJING: China has given rare details of what it says are the links between militant groups in its restive far western region of Xinjiang and neighbouring countries, most likely close ally Pakistan, as it unveiled a list of six wanted suspects.

The Ministry of Public Security published the names of the suspects, all apparently ethnic Uighurs, on its website (www.mps.gov.cn) late on Thursday, along with their photographs and an outline of their alleged crimes.

All six had spent time in what the ministry called "a certain south Asian country" - a likely reference to Pakistan - where they were trained to carry out terror attacks and incited militants in China to carry out suicide bombings and knife attacks.

The ministry said Nuermaimaiti Maimaitimin had been given a 10-year jail term in 1999 in the unnamed south Asian country, but had escaped in 2006 and then proceeded to send a comrade-in-arms back to Xinjiang where he masterminded an attack last year.

"The ministry hoped that foreign governments and their law enforcing departments would help to arrest the six and hand them over to Chinese authorities," the official Xinhua news agency added.

China has blamed incidents of violence in Xinjiang, home to the Turkic-speaking Muslim Uighur people, on Islamic separatists who want to establish an independent state of East Turkestan.

Some Chinese officials have blamed attacks on Muslim militants trained in Pakistan, though the Foreign Ministry has refrained from public criticism of the neighbour.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not immediately answer faxed questions about where the six suspects allegedly operated.

Both Chinese and Pakistani officials have said that the militants based in western China have ties to the Pakistani Taliban and other militants in northwestern Pakistani regions along the Afghan border.

Officials in Kashgar, a city in south Xinjiang, said a stabbing attack there in late July was orchestrated by members of the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement who trained in Pakistan before returning to China.

Exiled Uighur groups and human rights activists say China overstates the threat posed by militants in Xinjiang, which sits astride south and central Asia.

Xinhua said the East Turkestan Islamic Movement was "the most direct and real safety threat that China faces".

Pakistan and China have long been allies but Pakistan has leaned closer to China as its relationship with the United States, Islamabad's main donor, has become more strained.

China sees Xinjiang as a bulwark against the predominantly Muslim countries of central Asia. The region, with a sixth of the country's land mass, is also rich in natural resources, including oil, coal and gas.

The Uighur people account for just over 40 percent of the region's 21 million population. Many chafe at government controls on their culture and religion.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/China-hints-at-links-of-Xinjiang-militants-with-Pakistan/articleshow/12556356.cms

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China freezes assets of 6 Uyghur militants; hints at Pak link

 Apr 06 2012

Beijing : Tacitly pointing finger at its close ally Pakistan, China today froze assets of six absconding terrorists of a separatist outfit in Xinjiang, the native province of Muslim Uyghurs, and called on foreign countries to arrest and hand them over to it.

Chinese police today published a list of six militants, who were stated to be native Uyghurs.

Without directly naming Pakistan, a statement issued by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security said they had spent some time in "a certain south Asian country", where they reported to have undergone training in terror attacks, suicide bombings and knife attacks.

All six are "core members" of the banned East Turkistan Islamic Movement, (ETIM), it said.

"The ministry hoped that foreign governments and their law enforcing departments would help to arrest the six and hand them over to Chinese authorities," an official of Ministry was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.

"The group is the most direct and real threat China faces for its security", he said.

Asked at a media briefing here today whether the Public Security statement referred to Pakistan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei said the question should be referred to relevant Ministry.

But at the same time he said ETIM is a US Security Council listed terrorist organisation and "it is universally recognised in the international community as an organisation has engaged in lot of activities of crime and violence".

ETIM is not only at serious threat to China but also endangered peace security of "relevant countries and the region", he said.

"Fighting ETIM is an important part of the international campaign against terrorism. The international community should unite as one to jointly fight terrorism," he said.

This is the second time in a month that Pakistan's reference surfaced in connection with the Xinjiang militants.

Last month Nur Bekri, Chairman of Xinjiang regional government said here on the sidelines of the Parliament session that China had found "thousand one links" with terrorist groups in Pakistan.

"We have certainly discovered that East Turkestan activists and terrorists in our neighbouring states have a thousand and one links. The Pakistani government has also expressed the willingness to maintain China's sovereignty and core interests in fighting terrorism against China," he has said.

ETIM has carried out some brutal attacks in Xinjiang against the people of main land Chinese Han community, whose growing presence is resented by native Uyghurs, a Turkik speaking Muslim community.

Last July, the local government of Kashghar, a city bordering Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, (POK) said some of the terrorists who took part in the town were trained in Pakistan terrorist camps.

The six "terrorists" who were named today were all core members of the terrorist group the ETIM, the Public Security Ministry statement said and sought the help of the foreign governments in helping to arrest them and hand them over to Chinese security forces.

"The group is the most direct and real threat China faces for its security" a spokesman of the Ministry of Public Security said.

The ministry said the six named have participated in the organisation, planning and execution of terrorist acts against Chinese targets within and outside the country.

ETIM is still conducting propaganda and instigation among members of the "three evil forces" of separatism, extremism and terrorism who live in China, and attempts to stage terrorist acts, the statement said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/933473/

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French terror raids: security or electioneering?

 Apr 06 2012

PARIS: Once again, France woke to news of a string of dawn raids against suspected Islamists across the country, from the old industrial heartlands of the north to Marseille on the southern coast. Days earlier, rolling TV-news and breakfast bulletins broadcast dramatic images as elite anti-terrorist squads in black body armour smashed windows and bashed down doors shouting “Police!”, emerging with hand-cuffed suspects with their faces covered, on residential streets from Nantes to Toulouse.

Less than three weeks before the first round of the presidential election, France is gripped by one of its biggest crackdowns on suspected radical Islamists in recent memory. Amplified by TV coverage, it has been led by an unrelenting Nicolas Sarkozy, who is also battling for re-election. Opposition politicians now openly question whether the timing and TV crews are as much linked to electioneering as anti-terrorist crime prevention.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/04/06/french-terror-raids-security-or-electioneering/

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Egypt's Sinai desert is becoming terror zone: Israel

 Apr 06 2012

Jerusalem : Israel's prime minister warned that Egypt's Sinai desert is becoming a "terror zone" and vowed to strike at militants there after a rocket fired from the area hit a southern Israeli resort town.

The tough talk, however, was tempered by Israel's desire not to disturb the already fraught relationship with Egypt. Israeli officials acknowledged their options are limited as the new government in Egypt one of Israel's few allies in the Arab world tries to secure its sovereignty over the mountainous Sinai Peninsula.

Thursday' rocket attack, the first on Eilat in nearly two years, raised new Israeli concerns about militant activity in Sinai, particularly since the fall of Hosni Mubarak's regime last year.

Israeli security officials have repeatedly warned of a power vacuum in Egypt and say that Islamic militants, including al-Qaeda, have stepped up their activity in Sinai and are now active on Israel's doorstep.

"We are seeing now with Eilat that the Sinai Peninsula is turning into a terror zone," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. "We will strike at those who attack us. There can be no immunity for terrorism; it must be fought and we are doing so."

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak threatened to "strike those responsible for firing (the Grad rocket) at Eilat."

No injuries were reported in the overnight strike against Eilat, a normally tranquil Red Sea vacation spot that is set to welcome thousands of visitors this weekend for the Passover holiday.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/933398/

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Saudi rules out sending women athletes to London

 Apr 06 2012

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — The head of the Saudi Olympic Committee has ruled out sending women athletes from the ultra-conservative kingdom to the London Olympics this summer, local dailies reported on Thursday.

Prince Nawaf bin Faisal said, however, that Saudi women taking part on their own are free to do so and the kingdom's Olympic authority would "only help in ensuring that their participation does not violate the Islamic sharia law."

"We are not endorsing any Saudi female participation at the moment in the Olympics or other international championships," he told a press conference in Jeddah on Wednesday.

The Saudi official was reiterating a position he announced late last year, confirming that Saudi Arabia will be fielding only male athletes in London.

"There are hundreds, if not thousands, of (Saudi) women who practice sports, but in private," he said, adding that the sports body has nothing to do with their activities.

Full report at: Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.

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Mahatma Gandhi inspired Arab Spring, says Yemeni Nobel laureate

Apr 06 2012

New Delhi : Yemenese Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman said that Mahatma Gandhi has been an inspiration for Arab youth.

"I am proud to be in the country of Mahatma Gandhi, who inspired the peaceful struggle world over and it became Gandhi brand name, Gandhi copyright," Karman said at the fifth memorial lecture of veteran freedom fighter Babu Jagjivan Ram.

''The program of a non violent struggle for change and reform, I would to inform, I would like convey to spread of Mahatma Gandhi the greetings of the Arab spring youth, who were inspired by his struggle and who are proud of their peaceful revolution which attracted the attention of the whole world," Karman added.

Karman, 33, an Islamist journalist and rights campaigner, dubbed the "Mother of the Revolution", was an influential figure in the early days of the Yemen's uprising against Saleh last year, and was briefly imprisoned for her involvement in the protests.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/933438/

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Gaddafi son attacked in Libya detention: ICC lawyer

 Apr 06 2012

The Hague : Seif al-Islam, the son of slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, has been attacked in detention in Libya, a lawyer from the International Criminal Court said.

“Gaddafi has been physically attacked,” ICC defence official Xavier-Jean Keita said in a statement accusing Libyan authorities of depriving the country's onetime favourite son of his fundamental rights.

“He also suffers pain due to the absence of dental treatment,” the lawyer said in a statement.

Seif al-Islam is wanted on charges of crimes against humanity for his role in trying to put down the uprising to unseat his father in Libya last year.

Keita, who is from the ICC's Office of Public Counsel for the Defence (OPCD) and is acting as Seif's primary counsel, did not say when the attack took place or give any further details.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/933400/

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Suicide bomber kills Afghan peace envoy: officials

 Apr 06 2012

KABUL: A suicide bomber assassinated an Afghan peace envoy and his son on Friday in an eastern part of the country bordering Pakistan, officials said.

Maulavi Mohammad Hashem Munib, the head of the High Peace Council in Kunar province, was the target, said provincial police chief Ewaz Mohammad Nazari.

“He was on his way home from Friday prayers when he was attacked by a suicide attacker,” he told AFP.

Kunar, which borders Pakistan, is a stronghold of the Taliban-led insurgency against President Hamid Karzai’s goverment and its Western allies.

The national head of the High Peace Council, former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, was assassinated last year by a purported Taliban.

As well as trying to negotiate with insurgents, the High Peace Council runs efforts to reconcile militants by offering them money and jobs.

Mohammad Masoom Stanikzai, a senior official of the National Peace Council, said: “With regret we have been made aware that Maulavi Mohammad Hashem Munib and his son have been martyred in a suicide attack in Kunar province.”

“He was an influential figure in Afghanistan and had drawn many insurgents to lay down arms and join the peace process… He was targeted by the enemies of peace.” Afghan officials frequently use the phrase “enemies of peace” to refer to the Taliban.

http://dawn.com/2012/04/06/suicide-bomber-kills-afghan-peace-envoy-officials/

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22 death-row inmates exonerated, repatriated to Indonesia from Saudi Arabia

Apr 06 2012

Twenty two death row Indonesian inmates in the Kingdom have been exonerated and repatriated back to Indonesia, while 25 maids are still facing death sentences in Saudi Arabia for various offenses.

“Jakarta will be sending a 14-member presidential task force to the Kingdom on April 7 to talk to Saudi officials and to intensify efforts in cooperation with its embassy to rescue the maids,” said Hendrar Pramutyo, spokesman of the Indonesian embassy in Riyadh, on Thursday.

Pramutyo said: “Six housemaids are on death row in Riyadh province alone, whereas about 19 female workers have been handed death sentences in the Western region. We will be attending a court hearing in Dammam next week.”

He added many other workers may not be so fortunate. However, the embassy as well as the Jeddah-based consulate are working hard to secure pardons for the workers, he added.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article605913.ece

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Women’s welfare organization helping in Makkah urban development projects

Apr 06 2012

The Ektefaa women’s welfare organization is taking part in the urban areas development project in Makkah with 121 researchers and development planners.

Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Khudairi, deputy governor of Makkah province, received a delegation from Ektefaa women’s welfare organization and Al-Balad Al-Ameen, the development arm of Makkah municipality, with the report of a field survey on real estate in Jabal Al-Shrashaf and Nakasa area in Makkah.

The aim of presenting the field survey report to the deputy governor was to help in the sustainable development of slum areas in Makkah by identifying the social and economic conditions of the citizens and residents of the area.

Juhra Al-Anqari, president of the society, said the target was to develop a housing project with 21,535 houses for the residents in Jabal Al-Shrashaf and Nakasa area with all facilities needed.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article605879.ece

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Pakistanis burn US flag over LeT bounty

Apr 6, 2012

MUZAFFARABAD: Hundreds of Pakistani Islamist activists took to the streets on Friday, calling for holy war and torching a US flag to condemn a $10 million US bounty on the founder of a terror group.

The Defence Council of Pakistan, an alliance of right-wing, religious and extremist groups, has called for rallies to denounce the move against Hafiz Saeed, whose Lashkar-e-Taiba group was blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

In Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, around 500 activists shouted "Al-Jihad, Al-Jihad (holy war)" as they marched on the city and set fire to a US flag in a main square.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistanis-burn-US-flag-over-LeT-bounty/articleshow/12557226.cms

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Denial by Pakistan cannot exonerate Hafiz Saeed: Indian External Affairs Minister

Apr 6, 2012

BANGALORE: Two days before Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's visit, India on Friday insisted that all the details of involvement of Hafiz Saeed in the deadly 26/11 attacks have been provided and no amount of denial by Islamabad can exonerate the JuD chief's role in the terror strikes.

"The dossier that the Home Minister has provided to the Pakistan government contains every detail of Saeed's involvement in the planning and execution of terrorist attack on Mumbai," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told reporters here.

Krishna was asked about Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's remarks that the matter of Saeed is an "internal issue" and if there is any concrete proof against the outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief then it should be provided to Pakistan.

"So no amount of denial would exonerate them unless there is a judicial enquiry into the whole episode whereby responsibilities can be fixed but unfortunately Pakistan government has not thought it proper to investigate this," he said.

Gilani had made the remarks while responding to points raised by lawmakers during a joint session of Pakistan's National Assembly and Senate about the USD 10 million bounty offered by the US for information that could be used for Saeed's prosecution.

Asked whether Saeed issue will figure in the luncheon meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Zardari in Delhi on Sunday, Krishna said all bilateral issues are likely to figure in the talks.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/No-amount-of-denial-by-Pakistan-can-exonerate-Hafiz-Saeed-SM-Krishna/articleshow/12558132.cms

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3,000 Sikhs to travel to Pak for Baisakhi Fest

 April 06, 2012

Lahore: Some 3,000 Sikh pilgrims are expectedto arrive in Pakistan from India and other parts of the world to participate in the 10-day annual Baisakhi festival starting from April 10 and authorities have completed arrangements tohost them.

"Though special arrangements have been made lodging theSikh pilgrims in Lahore at Ayesha Saddiqua Degree College andtwo schools, we may need to make further arrangements if thenumber of pilgrims increases," said Amir Hashmi, spokesman forthe Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), which is responsiblefor maintaining the shrines and properties of minoritycommunities.

Hashmi said the police and other departments had beenengaged to put in place foolproof security and medical,electricity, water, food and cleanliness measures for the Sikhyatris.

"We have done this so that they can remember the great hospitality of Pakistani institutions and the people even after they return to their native countries," he told reporters.

Besides police, the paramilitary Pakistan Rangers willprovide security to the visiting Sikhs.

Full report at:

http://zeenews.india.com/news/south-asia/3-000-sikhs-to-travel-to-pak-for-baisakhi-fest_768580.html

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‘CIA withheld info about Mumbai-style plot from MI6’

 Apr 06 2012

American spy agency CIA warned its British counterpart MI6 that Al Qaeda was planning a “Mumbai-style” terror attack 18 months ago in the UK, but withheld detailed information because of fears that its secret sources would be exposed, a media report has said.

The CIA warned MI6 that Al Qaeda was planning an attack but withheld detailed information because of concerns it would be released by British courts, the Daily Telegraph reported.

British intelligence agencies were subsequently forced to carry out their own investigations, the report quoted its sources as saying. Several potential terrorists were identified with links to a wider European plot, but it is still not known whether the UK authorities have uncovered the full extent of the threat, it said.

The breakdown in relations came after the release of US intelligence in the case of Binyam Mohamed, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who took legal action over his incarceration, the Telegraph added.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/55385-cia-withheld-info-about-mumbai-style-plot-from-mi6-.html

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Little proof of hate crime in Iraqi woman's killing in California

Apr 6, 2012

EL CAJON(US): An Iraqi family was troubled by relationship issues before the mother was beaten to death in her California home, according to newly released documents that have little evidence the killing was a hate crime.

Shaima Alawadi, 32, planned to divorce her husband and move to Texas, according to the search warrant records obtained by U-T San Diego.

The documents also show the woman's 17-year-old daughter, Fatima Alhimidi, was distraught over her pending arranged marriage to a cousin.

The teenager, who was with her mother at the time of the March 21 attack, called for help after finding Alawadi unconscious.

While police interviewed her after the attack, she got a text message reading, "The detective will find out tell them (can't) talk," according to the search warrant affidavit.

El Cajon police have said little about the investigation since a March 26 news conference. A phone message left by The Associated Press for El Cajon police spokesman Lt Mark Coit wasn't immediately returned today.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Little-proof-of-hate-crime-in-Iraqi-womans-killing-in-California/articleshow/12554089.cms

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Ex-CIA officer charged with leaking secret info to journalists

Apr 6, 2012

WASHINGTON: A former CIA officer who became a focal player in the debate over water boarding as an interrogation technique was indicted on charges he leaked classified secrets to journalists, including the role of an associate who participated in a covert mission to track down a top al-Qaida figure.

The indictment of John C. Kiriakou, returned by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, on Thursday is part of an aggressive Justice Department crackdown on leakers and is one of a half-dozen such cases opened during the Obama administration.

The five-count indictment charges Kiriakou, 47, who was arrested in January, with divulging to journalists _ including a New York Times reporter _ the role of an associate who participated in the capture of suspected al-Qaida financier Abu Zubaydah in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The officer's participation in that mission was classified.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Ex-CIA-officer-charged-with-leaking-secret-info/articleshow/12555862.cms

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US denounces Lebanon assassination attempt

Apr 6, 2012

WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday denounced an apparent assassination attempt against a leading Lebanese opposition figure and said Washington was concerned he may have been targeted because of his opposition to the Syrian regime.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Washington "condemns in the strongest terms what appears to be an assassination attempt targeting Lebanese politician Samir Geagea."

The Christian leader, who heads the Lebanese Forces party, told journalists he had been shot at twice by "snipers" Wednesday as he was walking with bodyguards outside his fortified residence in Meerab, northeast of Beirut.

"While we do not know who was behind the attack at this time, we are deeply concerned that Mr. Geagea may have been targeted because of his outspoken criticism of the Assad regime's murderous repression and Hizballah's destabilizing actions in Lebanon."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-denounces-Lebanon-assassination-attempt/articleshow/12554716.cms

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Malawi President Mutharika dead: Govt sources

Apr 6, 2012

LILONGWE: Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has died after a heart attack, medical and government sources said on Friday.

The 78-year-old was rushed to a Lilongwe hospital on Thursday after collapsing but was dead on arrival, the sources said.

The constitution makes clear that Vice-President Joyce Banda is first in line to take over as head of state in the impoverished southern African nation, although Banda's expulsion from the ruling party in 2010 may complicate the transition.

Mutharika, a former World Bank economist who had been accused of despotism and mishandling the economy in his final months, appeared to have been grooming his Foreign Minister brother Peter as his successor.

Peter Mutharika had tended to deputise in his brother's absence.

Police deployed in force across the capital on Thursday after Mutharika's admission to hospital, while 15 army officers took up position around Banda's residence, witnesses said.

Before his death, Mutharika's condition drew little sympathy on the streets of Blantyre, the commercial capital, where many people viewed him as an autocrat responsible for chronic shortages of fuel, food and foreign exchange.

"Perhaps the end of our suffering is also nigh," said Benson Msiska, a taxi driver stuck in a long queue for petrol in the southern city.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Malawi-President-Mutharika-dead-Govt-sources/articleshow/12557178.cms

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US unsure of Saeed role in 26/ 11 attack

 Apr 06 2012

INDIA may well have jumped the gun in welcoming the American announcement of a $ 10 million bounty on Hafiz Saeed, as the country now says there is no prosecutable evidence available yet to arrest the Lashkar- e- Tayyeba chief.

The US state department made it clear on Thursday that the reward was for anyone who could provide enough evidence to enable Pakistan to arrest Saeed and put him on trial.

“ Just to clarify, the $ 10 million is for information not about his location, but information that leads to an arrest or conviction,” US state department spokesperson Mark Toner said on Wednesday.

“ This is information that could withstand judicial scrutiny, so I think what’s important here is we’re not seeking his location. We all know where he is. Every journalist in Pakistan knows how to find him. But we’re looking for information that can be usable to convict him,” he said.

When asked if he was hinting at a dearth of evidence to prosecute Saeed, Toner added: “ There is information… there is intelligence that is not necessarily usable in a court of law.”

Full report at: Mail Today

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U.S. wants to bring Hafiz Saeed to justice

 Apr 06 2012

The Obama administration on Friday said it announced a bounty of $10 million on Hafiz Saeed to bring him to justice as it was convinced that the LeT founder had played a key role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

“I don’t believe he has (been indicted in a US court), but we certainly want to see him brought to justice,” State Department spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters.

He also clarified that the reward for Saeed was not for his capture but for information that could be used in his prosecution.

“As everyone and their mother know at this point, he’s hiding in plain sight in Pakistan, so we’re not seeking his whereabouts. We certainly know that. We are seeking information that can be used to prosecute him,” Mr. Toner said.

Besides, Mr. Toner went out to list a number of terrorist attacks in the sub-continent in which LeT was involved.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3286755.ece

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Nato fuel tanker blaze kills 7 in Afghanistan

Apr 6, 2012

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan: Seven people were burnt to death in southern Afghanistan on Friday when a fuel tanker supplying a Nato base crashed and set their vehicle on fire, officials said.

The security chief of Panjwayi district and the Kandahar police chief said there was no insurgent activity at the time, and residents later pulled back from claims that the Taliban had attacked with rocket-propelled grenades.

A US soldier serving in Nato's US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was charged this month with 17 counts of murder following a killing spree in the same district of Kandahar province on March 11.

Sardar Mohammad, Panjwayi's security chief, told AFP: "A fuel tanker supplying fuel for ISAF overturned and caught fire, and simultaneously a civilian minivan was passing nearby also set ablaze."

Seven people were killed and three others who were injured were taken to hospital, he said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Nato-fuel-tanker-blaze-kills-7-in-Afghanistan/articleshow/12556481.cms

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Yemen kills 10 militants, Sanaa faces carbomb threat

 Apr 06 2012

SANAA/ADEN, April 5 (Reuters) - At least 10 suspected militants were killed in air strikes in southern Yemen on Thursday, and authorities reinforced security at foreign missions and government sites in Sanaa over warnings of a possible al Qaeda attack in the capital.

A local official in southern Abyan province, partly controlled by an al Qaeda-linked group, said Yemeni warplanes launched two strikes at Islamist targets in the village of Umm al-Jabalayn, near the militant stronghold city of Jaar.

The official said at least 10 militants were killed in the attack. Jaar residents said they saw members of the group, Ansar al-Sharia, bringing bodies back to the city for burial.

In a text message, a group which identified itself as Ansar al-Sharia denied any of its militants were killed in the strike.

But the Ministry of Interior said on its website the number of militants killed during a campaign by the country's military and security forces over the past few days was over 100.

The reported strike is near an area where Ansar al-Sharia last week said it killed at least 20 Yemeni soldiers.

Full report at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/05/yemen-idUSL6E8F5BBS20120405

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Balochistan JUP leader Mohammad Qasim shot dead in Quetta

 Apr 06 2012

QUETTA: Unidentified men shot dead Balochistan Jamiat-e-Ulema Pakistan (JUP) leader Maulvi Mohammad Qasim in Quetta on Friday, DawnNews reported.

The incident happened just before Friday prayers, which the religious cleric was supposed to lead, on Quetta’s Sariab Road.

According to reports, the situation was tense in the area following the leader’s murder as demonstrators came out on the roads and burnt tyres in protest.

http://dawn.com/2012/04/06/balochistan-jup-leader-shot-dead-in-quetta/

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Chilas attack: over 200 people return to Gilgit after two days

Apr 06 2012

GILGIT, April 5: More than 200 people who were travelling in the Gilgit-bound buses attacked by thousands of people near Chilas two days ago reached their destinations safe and sound on Thursday.

Most of the passengers were full of praise for the people of Diamer district.

“We are grateful to them for plucking us to safety from a furious mob.”

A few elders from Diamer escorted the 200 passengers to Gilgit. On the other hand, the administration proceeded with caution for recovery of 32 people from Chilas who were taken hostage in Nagir, 70kms south of Gilgit, by an enraged mob in retaliation for the Chilas killing. A civil judge and a district health officer were among the hostages.

“We cannot use force to recover them as the Chilas incident has infuriated the whole community in Nagir valley. We are in touch with religious scholars as well as public representatives to ensure release of the 32 abducted people,” Ishaq Hussain, the new police chief, told Dawn.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/04/06/chilas-attack-over-200-people-return-to-gilgit-after-two-days/

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ISI had no info on any coup plans in Pakistan: former ISI chief

Apr 6, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's powerful military did not plan a coup after the US raid in Abottabad that killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden in May last year, former ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha has said.

"If there was a threat, the ISI would have known about it," Pasha said while deposing before a judicial commission probing a mysterious memo that had sought US help to stave off a feared military takeover in Pakistan after the killing of bin Laden.

The Supreme Court formed the three-judge commission after American businessman Mansoor Ijaz made public the memo, which he claimed was drafted and delivered to the US military on the instructions of Pakistan's former ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani.

The government has denied Ijaz's claims. Though Ijaz had also claimed that the military was planning a coup after the killing of bin Laden, Pasha told the commission that he rejected the businessman's statement.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/ISI-had-no-info-on-any-coup-plans-in-Pakistan-Pasha/articleshow/12557768.cms

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Hafiz Saeed case an 'internal issue' of Pakistan: Gilani

Apr 6, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the matter of LeT founder Hafiz Saeed is an "internal issue" and if there is any concrete proof against the outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief then it should be provided to Pakistan.

Gilani also cautioned that at a time when Pakistan's parliament is framing new rules of engagement for the US, such "negative messages would increase the trust deficit".

He made the remarks on Thursday while responding to points raised by lawmakers during a joint session of the National Assembly and Senate about the $10 million bounty offered by the US for Saeed, the Lashkar-e-Taiba founder.

He said this was an internal issue of Pakistan and "if there is any concrete proof against Saeed then it should be provided to Pakistan, which has an independent judiciary".

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Hafiz-Saeed-case-an-internal-issue-of-Pakistan-Gilani/articleshow/12556301.cms

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Why Imran should have duelled with Rushdie

 Apr 6, 2012

You know those hard-toforget moments? The ones that appear randomly as flashbacks.

One of my crystallized ones is of the night that Ziaul-Haq's plane crashed. We three siblings were in bedtime mode under the hawklike gaze of my humourless, albeit fatigued mother. My father burst into the room. I remember his voice, uncharacteristically quivering: Shahrukh, Zia-ul-Haq ka crash ho giya hai! We took this as our cue to leap out of bed and do a victory dance.

In fact, Zia's death was cause for celebration. Across our divides, Pakistanis felt the sweet taste of liberation, and when Benazir Bhutto, all of 33 years at the time, said, she felt a shadow had been lifted over her family, we felt that she was speaking for all of us.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Why-Imran-should-have-duelled-with-Rushdie/articleshow/12553351.cms

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In stinging attack, Zardari calls Sharifs 'mohajirs' in Lahore

 Apr 06 2012

LAHORE: President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday launched a scathing attack on opposition PML-N leaders Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif, saying they were 'mohajirs' in Punjab's capital Lahore and were enjoying power because of his Pakistan People's Party.

Addressing a gathering of PPP workers at the governor's house here, Zardari, who is the head of PPP, took swipes at the Sharif brothers and said they had "no political future".

Zardari further said: "Lahore is not a stronghold of the Sharifs and we will prove this in the coming elections".

Lahore is PPP's city and the Sharif brothers were living there as " mohajirs" (migrants), he said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/In-stinging-attack-Zardari-calls-Sharifs-mohajirs-in-Lahore/articleshow/12549508.cms

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Pakistan smuggling counterfeit currency through Southeast Asian countries

Apr 6, 2012

NEWS DELHI: A recent bust of a fake Indian currency note (FICN) racket in Nepal has become a cause for concern for Indian intelligence agencies, revealing that Pakistan is pumping in counterfeit currency through Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia rather than the traditional routes of Bangladesh and Dubai.

As part of the tactical switch, Pakistan is also using nationals of the South-east Asian countries to avoid detection. As always, the plot for India's economic subversion is being executed through Mumbai underworld.

On Tuesday, acting on the inputs provided by India, the Nepal Police arrested a Vietnamese woman with FICN worth Rs 98 lakh at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. The consignment - neatly stuffed in high-end liquor bottles - was delivered to her at Vietnam by conduits working for Pakistani handlers.

The consignment was so smartly concealed that it would have gone unnoticed had it not been for specific information provided by India.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-smuggling-counterfeit-currency-through-Southeast-Asian-countries/articleshow/12553413.cms

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Zardari's India visit raises eyebrows in Pakistan

ANITA JOSHUA

  Apr 06 2012

Visit is part of Pakistan's emphasis on regional dialogue, collaboration, Hina Rabbani Khar tells Parliament

As the advance party for President Asif Ali Zardari's day-long visit to India began packing its bags on Thursday, the government found itself once again on the defensive; warding off criticism that this was yet another indication of the Pakistan Peoples Party's `pro-India' tilt that had resulted in Kashmir being put on the back burner.

All issues are under discussion, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani informed Parliament; assuring members that the legislature would be taken into confidence if discussions are held on any issue with the Indian leadership.

PRIVATE VISIT

Speaking on the President's upcoming visit to India, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told Parliament that this was part of Pakistan's emphasis on regional dialogue and collaboration in the quest for peace. This was true for all of Pakistan's immediate neighbours, including China, Iran, India and Afghanistan. She also clarified that the meeting with Dr. Singh was being held at India's request as the President was essentially going to India on a private visit to offer prayers at the Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3285060.ece

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No compromise on Kashmir: Pak on Zardari visit

 Apr 06 2012

Islamabad : Pakistan on Thursday said it is looking forward to a “constructive engagement” between President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at their upcoming meeting but there would be no compromise on the “core issue” of Kashmir or maintaining credible nuclear deterrence.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told parliament that his government would take the legislature into confidence on the talks and it is committed to discussing all “core issues”, including Kashmir, with India.

Islamabad also said the meeting in New Delhi on April 8 will contribute to intra-regional peace.

“We can assure you that the government is responsible and the dialogue is going on with them (India). We are discussing all the core issues, including Kashmir, Siachen, water and everything, all the issues,” Gilani said while making a statement during a joint session of the National Assembly and Senate.

The President had intended to go on a “private visit” to the Sufi shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer but the Indian PM offered to host him for lunch. “Whatever talks are held with the President, we will take the House into confidence,” he added.

Gilani said his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh had told him to “put all the cards on the table” as he (Singh) was “ready to discuss all issues, including Kashmir”.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/933144/

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Syria crisis: Turkey refugee surge amid escalation fear

Apr 06 2012

Thousands of Syrian refugees have been fleeing into Turkey, officials there say, as UN chief Ban Ki-moon warns the crisis is escalating.

More than 2,300 fled on Wednesday, by far the highest number in one day.

Earlier, the UN called for the Syrian government to "urgently" implement an agreed ceasefire.

The approach of the deadline for a ceasefire seems to have brought an intensification rather than reduction in violence.

In the Jouret al-Shiyah quarter of Homs, shells or rockets were falling at a rate of four in 30 seconds.

Activists accuse the government of trying to complete its crackdown come what may; government officials say it is the rebel fighters who are exploiting the impending withdrawal of the military from towns and cities to improve their position.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17635434

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Syria fighting rages ahead of UN deadline

Apr 6, 2012

DAMASCUS: Fighting raged in Syria on Friday a day after 77 people were killed and envoy Kofi Annan spoke of "alarming" casualties despite the regime accepting an April 10 deadline to withdraw forces from protest hubs.

The Britain-baseed Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported fierce battles in the villages of Al-Tiba, Al-Qabu and Shniyeh in central Homs province.

It said the clashes erupted after militias loyal to President Bashar al-Assad opened fire on a group of seven women, killing two and wounding four.

On Thursday, the UN Security Council, including Russia and China, joined Annan in stepping up pressure on Assad to implement a six-point peace plan even as doubts grew over the Syrian leader's intentions.

Damascus has agreed to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from cities by next Tuesday. Annan said that if this is carried out he would call for a complete halt to hostilities by "0600 hours Damascus time on Thursday April 12."

"I urge the government and the opposition commanders to issue clear instructions so that the message reaches across the country down to the fighter and soldier at the local level," Annan told the UN General Assembly.

Western governments say they have strong doubts that Assad will comply, and Annan said he had no confirmation of a Syrian claim that it had begun a partial withdrawal from the protest cities of Idlib, Zabadani and Daraa.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Syria-fighting-rages-ahead-of-UN-deadline/articleshow/12557262.cms

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Loyalty to Syrian President Could Isolate Hezbollah

By ANNE BARNARD

Apr 06 2012

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Mazen, a carpenter who organizes protests against President Bashar al-Assad in a suburb of Damascus, Syria, has torn down the posters of Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, that once decorated his car and shop.

Like many Syrians, Mazen, 35, revered Mr. Nasrallah for his confrontational stance with Israel. He considered Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group and political party, as an Arab champion of the dispossessed, not just for its Shiite Muslim base but for Sunnis like himself. But now that Hezbollah has stood by Mr. Assad during his deadly yearlong crackdown on the uprising against his rule, Mazen sees Hezbollah as a sectarian party that supports Mr. Assad because his opponents are mainly Sunnis.

“Now, I hate Hezbollah,” he said. “Nasrallah should stand with the people’s revolution if he believes in God.”

Mr. Nasrallah’s decision to maintain his critical alliance with Syria has risked Hezbollah’s standing and its attempts to build pan-Islamic ties in Lebanon and the wider Arab world.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/world/middleeast/hezbollahs-syria-policy-puts-it-at-risk.html?ref=world

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Salafist candidate may be disqualified in Egypt's presidential race

Apr 6, 2012

CAIRO: The presidential candidate of Egypt's radical Islamists appears likely to be disqualified from the race over his mother's American citizenship, giving a clear edge to the Muslim Brotherhood candidate who entered the race late.

The election authority said today that Salafist candidate Sheikh Hazem Abu Ismail could be barred from pursuing his bid for Egypt's presidency as his mother held a US passport, giving the country's closely watched presidential race an unexpected turn.

The development came less than a week after, Abu Ismail marched along with thousands of his supporters to the Presidential Elections Commission to file his nomination.

The potential exclusion of the 51-year-old preacher, highly popular among conservative Egyptians, from the race over his mother's dual citizenship, may turn out to be a favourable development for the Brotherhood's recently nominated candidate, Khairat al-Shater.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Salafist-candidate-may-be-disqualified-in-Egypts-presidential-race/articleshow/12553017.cms

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Supporters hail Brotherhood bid for Egypt presidency

 Apr 06 2012

CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood candidate for Egypt’s presidency was cheered by supporters on Thursday when he registered to run in an election where his main rivals will be other Islamists and candidates who served under the ousted president, Hosni Mubarak.

Khairat al-Shater, 61, a millionaire businessman and leading strategist in the Brotherhood, was named as its candidate last week in a policy reversal by the group that previously pledged it would not participate.

The Brotherhood’s broad grass-roots network, built over decades, ensures Shater is a frontrunner, although he has yet to launch his campaign.

“The people want Shater for president,” the group of about 2,000 supporters chanted. Some lit fireworks.

“This is a historical day for Egypt. Our earlier decision not to field a candidate was for Egypt and its protection. Today, our decision to field a candidate is also for Egypt’s benefit and out of a sense of responsibility” Saad Husseini, a member of the Brotherhood’s party, told reporters.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\04\06\story_6-4-2012_pg4_3

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Questions Swirl Around Malawi’s President After Heart Attack

By LYDIA POLGREEN

Apr 06 2012

JOHANNESBURG — Confusion swirled on Friday around the health and whereabouts of Malawi’s president, who suffered a heart attack Thursday and was hospitalized. The Malawian government announced on state radio and television that he had been taken to South Africa for treatment but remained silent about news reports from Reuters and the BBC citing unidentified government sources as saying that he had died.

The local Nyasa Times said the president had been airlifted to South Africa even though clinically dead but news reports left many questions unanswered.

President Bingu wa Mutharika, a 78-year-old former World Bank economist, was elected in 2004. Credited with turning around the economy of a perpetually impoverished, landlocked, central African nation by helping farmers produce more food, Mr. Mutharika was then re-elected by a wide margin five years later.

But his popularity has faded in the face of declining demand for its main cash crop, tobacco, and accusations that he has mishandled the economy. Rising fuel prices and shrinking foreign exchange reserves have compounded hardship for many among Malawi’s 15 million people, and Mr. Mutharika, who styled himself the country’s “economist-in-chief” resisted advice from the International Monetary Fund to devalue the country’s currency, the kwacha.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/07/world/africa/questions-swirl-around-malawis-president-after-heart-attack.html?gwh=E32937C6A11CC68B2ABDDFF5FDF3A2D9&ref=world&pagewanted=print

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Turkmenistan Bans Alcohol During 'Happiness Week'

 April 06, 2012

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Authorities in Turkmenistan have put a dampener on so-called "Happiness Week" by quietly banning the sale of alcohol.

Shopkeepers said Friday they have been ordered to remove spirits and beer from their shelves in the Central Asian nation as official celebrations mark the "Week of Health and Happiness."

The holiday was created this year to mark the "era of power and happiness" recently announced by the nation's authoritarian and fitness-mad president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.

The shopkeepers in Ashgabat, the capital, say the ban will remain in force until Wednesday, but some are still selling liquor under the table. They requested anonymity to avoid government reprisal.

State media, meanwhile, reported that Berdymukhamedov reached a Cabinet meeting Wednesday after a 5-kilometer (3-mile) run.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/04/06/world/asia/ap-as-turkmenistan-alcohol-ban.html?ref=asia

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Family of Iraqi Woman Killed in California Was in Crisis, Records Show

By WILL CARLESS and IAN LOVETT

Apr 06 2012

EL CAJON, Calif. — When Shaima Alawadi, an Iraqi-born mother of five, was found bludgeoned to death in her home last month with a threatening note beside her, many members of the large Middle Eastern immigrant population here feared a hate crime.

But court documents made public this week instead reveal details of a family in crisis, with talk of divorce and a daughter resisting an arranged marriage, and of Ms. Alawadi’s survivors themselves coming under scrutiny from investigators.

From the beginning, the El Cajon police maintained that a hate crime was only one of the possibilities they were exploring. The search warrant affidavit, which was released by mistake to the Web site U-T San Diego on Wednesday and then to other media outlets on Thursday, revealed that the police obtained warrants to search the family’s house and two cars, as well as their phones.

Ms. Alawadi, 32, had been planning to divorce her husband and move to Texas, a family member told the police, according to the search warrant documents. The police reported finding legal documents in Ms. Alawadi’s car to prepare for a divorce.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/us/shaima-alawadi-court-records-show-

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-women-punished-for-failed-marriages/d/7005

 

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