New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 10:12 PM

Islamic World News ( 24 March 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Over 100 killed in Syria protest

Libya reels under deep air strikes as NATO takes over

Over 60 dead, 90 injured in Myanmar quake

Imam of Kaaba to visit Darul Uloom Deoband today

Suicide hit at Hangu police kills seven

Terrorist plotting WC attack nabbed

Taliban trying to enter India: Malik

US will have to end drone hits: Zardari

BA passes resolution against desecration of the Holy Quran

Syria says may scrap emergency law

Gulf to deport Hezbollah, Iran Guards agents

Germany pulls out Yemen embassy staff

Taliban stop cell phone signals in Helmand

Pak help foils India terror bid

Part of solution in Afghanistan: Gilani

Gaza report fresh Israeli airstrike

Zardari stresses plans to check decline of sanity

Taliban threat shuts mobile networks

Hindu terrorists may target WC final

Clinton to attend Libya conference in UK

Peace is the only option: Indian scholars

US Congressmen call on President Zardari

Nato takes control of enforcing Libya no-fly zone

Zardari wants end to irritants souring US ties

US, Pakistan plan to resume strategic dialogue

Musharraf arrest: Pak seeks Commonwealth’s help       

Taiwan bans food imports from five Japan areas

NATO to head the command and control of Libyan operation

French jets shoot down Libyan plane

Meet on Libya in London

Egypt’s woman protesters forced to take ‘ virginity tests’

Foreign secret agents freely roaming in Pak: Musharraf

Ceasefire or risk attack: Pentagon to Gaddafi forces    

Jordan 'explosive' as Islamists reject govt dialogue proposal

Al Qaeda picks cheaper airline

Nato takes control of enforcing Libya no-fly zone

Qaddafi's tanks elude airstrikes

Saudis told not to visit Japan now

PA arrests 2 Islamic Jihad officials over Jerusalem’s bombing

Arms shipment intercepted in UAE

Tunisia freezes Qaddafi family assets

Few Americans see Obama as strong military leader

Saudi Arabia’s progress a source of strength for Pakistan, says diplomat

US urges Israel-Palestinian peace as rockets fall

Turkey seeks ways to stay in NATO game 

Turkey to attend London summit on Libya after missing Paris

Thousands gather for burials in protest city

Israel vows to respond as Gaza rockets rain down

WB to RI: Do more on disaster prevention

Calls to limit child exposure to alcohol ads

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/over-100-killed-in-syria-protest/d/4342 

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Over 100 killed in Syria protest

MAR 25 2011

NICOSIA: More than 100 people were killed by police gunfire in Syria's southern protest city of Daraa on Wednesday, human rights activists and witnesses said on Thursday.

"There are definitely more than 100 dead and the city will need a week to bury its martyrs," said human rights activist Ayman al-Asswad in Daraa, reached by telephone from Nicosia.

Asswad said security forces had "used real bullets" when firing against demonstrators in Daraa, 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Damascus, and a second activist put the figure as high as "more than 150" killed.

Syrian authorities Thursday told reporters 10 people died in the security forces crackdown on Daraa, a town of 75,000 people that has become a hub for anti-regime protests since

Dubai Police have foiled a bid to smuggle 16,000 guns to Yemen's northern province of Saada, a Shia rebels' stronghold, Police Chief Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim said on Thursday.

Six Arabs have been arrested by Dubai Police who seized the pistols from a warehouse where the shipment was hidden by the gang, Khalfan announced at a press conference.

He said the shipment came from Turkey and was to be sent to Yemen via another Gulf country. However, the gang's original plan did not work due to problems in navigation routes. Following this, they took a detour to Dubai and kept the arms, estimated to be of Dhs16 million, at a warehouse here.

The police chief said he believes that the arms traders were exploiting the current political situation in Yemen so that the pistols of different sizes could be used for assassinations. He said the arrests and the seizure followed a one-week investigation. - Agencies

http://www.statesman.com.pk/topnews/topnews133.htm

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Libya reels under deep air strikes as NATO takes over

March 25, 2011

French fighter jets hit aircraft and a crossroads military base deep inside Libya on Thursday as the U.S. reduced its combat role in the international operation that is working to thwart Moammar Gadhafi's forces by land, sea and air.

Explosions could be heard in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, before daybreak Friday, apparently from airstrikes.

Libya's air force has been effectively neutralized, and the government has taken part of its fight to the airwaves. State television aired pictures of bodies it said were victims of airstrikes, but a U.S. intelligence report bolstered rebel claims that Gadhafi's forces had simply taken bodies from a morgue.

International military support for the rebels is not open-ended: France set a timeframe on the international action at days or weeks — not months.

The possibility of a looming deadline raised pressure on rebel forces. So does a U.N. arms embargo that keeps both Gadhafi and his outgunned opposition from getting more weapons. The rebels were so strapped Thursday that they handed out sneakers — and not guns — at one of their checkpoints.

"We are facing cannons, T-72 and T-92 tanks, so what do we need? We need anti-tank weapons, things like that," said Col. Ahmed Omar Bani, a military spokesman told reporters in Benghazi, the de facto rebel capital. "We are preparing our army now. Before there was no army, from now there is an idea to prepare a new army with new armaments and new morals."

The Gadhafi regime appeared equally hard-pressed, asking international forces to spare its broadcast and communications infrastructure.

"Communications, whether by phones or other uses, are civilian and for the good of the Libyan nation to help us provide information, knowledge and coordinate everyday life. If these civilian targets are hit, it will make life harder for millions of civilians around Libya," Moussa Ibrahim, a government spokesman, told reporters in Tripoli.

Representatives for the regime and rebels were expected to attend an African Union meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Friday, according to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who described it as a part of an effort to reach a cease-fire and political solution.

The U.S. has been trying to give up the lead role in the operation against Gadhafi's forces, and NATO agreed late Thursday to assume one element of it — control of the no-fly zone.

The U.S.-led coalition will still supervise attacks on targets on the ground, though fewer U.S. planes were used in airstrikes Thursday.

"Nearly all, some 75 percent of the combat air patrol missions in support of the no-fly zone, are now being executed by our coalition partners," Navy Vice Adm. William Gortney, told reporters at the Pentagon. Other countries were handling less than 10 percent of such missions, he said.

The U.S. will continue to fly combat missions as needed, but its role will mainly be in support missions such as refueling allied planes and providing aerial surveillance of Libya, Gortney said.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said the international action would last days or possibly weeks, but not months. But he told RTL radio that in addition to protecting civilians, the mission "is also about putting Gadhafi's opponents, who are fighting for democracy and freedom, in a situation of taking back the advantage."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United Arab Emirates would deploy 12 planes for the coalition effort. Clinton thanked the U.A.E. for becoming the second Arab country after Qatar to send planes.

Qatar is expected to start flying air patrols over Libya by this weekend.

Libyan state television showed blackened and mangled bodies that it said were victims of airstrikes in Tripoli. Rebels have accused Gadhafi's forces of taking bodies from the morgue and pretending they were civilian casualties.

A U.S. intelligence report on Monday, the day after coalition missiles attacked Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound in the capital, said that a senior Gadhafi aide was told to take bodies from a morgue and place them at the scene of the bomb damage, to be displayed for visiting journalists. A senior U.S. defense official revealed the contents of the intelligence report on condition of anonymity because it was classified secret.

The French strikes hit a base about 155 miles (250 kilometers) south of the Libyan coastline, as well as a Libyan combat plane that had just landed outside the strategic city of Misrata, France's military said.

Briefing reporters in Tripoli late Thursday, Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim said no Libyan planes have been in the air since the no-fly zone was declared. He said a plane might have been destroyed in an allied attack on an air base.

Kaim said earlier that the "military compound at Juffra" was among the targets hit. Juffra is one of at least two air bases deep in Libya's interior, on main routes that lead from neighboring countries in the Sahara region that have been suppliers of arms and fighters for the Gadhafi regime.

The town of Sabha, about 385 miles (620 kilometers) south of Tripoli, has another air base and international airport and is a major transit point for the ethnic Tuareg fighters from Mali and Niger who have fought for Gadhafi for the past two decades. Malian officials say hundreds of Tuareg men have left to fight in Libya against the recent uprising.

Abdel-Rahman Barkuli, a Libyan in exile originally from Sabha, said communications with his family there were abruptly cut on Wednesday night and heavy security is preventing residents from moving in or out.

He said residents in Sabha reported airstrikes before dawn: two targeted radars and one targeted a military camp. The airstrikes apparently bypassed a mountain facility that stores ammunition and heavy weaponry for the Gadhafi regime.

"Thank God they didn't bomb the mountain because it would be a disaster" for the civilians living nearby, he said.

Barkuli said members of two anti-Gadhafi tribes in the city were rounded up early in the protests that began Feb. 15. "No one knows anything about their whereabouts," he said.

U.N. human rights experts said hundreds of people have disappeared in Libya over the past few months, and said there were fears that those who vanished were taken to secret locations to be tortured or executed.

The disappeared were "mainly people who called for demonstrations and who opposed publicly the regime," one of the independent experts, Olivier de Frouville, told The Associated Press.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the International Criminal Court's prosecutor, said he was "100 percent" certain that his investigation into attacks on Libyan protesters will lead to crimes against humanity charges against the Gadhafi regime.

NATO sailors, meanwhile, were prepared to board any suspect ships that don't voluntarily submit to inspections to enforce the U.N. embargo. Vice Adm. Rinaldo Veri, the commander of the NATO naval blockade, said the effort was "closing the main front door" to weapons and mercenaries for Gadhafi.

"If they should find resistance, the use of force is necessary," he said, noting that the Security Council had mandated all means necessary to enforce the embargo.

The U.N. Security Council authorized the embargo and no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians after Gadhafi launched attacks against anti-government protesters who demanded that he step down after 42 years in power. But rebel advances have foundered, and the two sides have been at stalemate in key cities such as Misrata and Ajdabiya, the gateway to the opposition's eastern stronghold.

Ajdabiya has been under siege for more than a week, with the rebels holding the city center but facing relentless shelling from government troops positioned on the outskirts.

Mohammed Ali, 56, who was among people fleeing Thursday, drove out with his family. "They've cut everything — the electricity, the water. It's getting worse and worse inside."

Late Thursday, a rebel fighter, Ahmed al-Zwei, called the AP and claimed that rebel forces were advancing in Ajdabiya, and government forces were negotiating their surrender. His account could not be verified.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/326780/Libya-reels-under-deep-air-strikes-as-NATO-takes-over.html

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Over 60 dead, 90 injured in Myanmar quake

Mar 25, 2011

YANGON: More than 60 people were killed and dozens injured after a strong earthquake struck Myanmar near its border with Thailand, an official said Friday, as some affected areas remained cut off. ( In pics: Quake rocks Myanmar )

Tremors were felt as far away as Bangkok, almost 800 kilometres (500 miles) from the epicentre, Hanoi and parts of China during the earthquake on Thursday, which the US Geological Survey (USGS) measured at magnitude 6.8.

A Myanmar official said dozens of people were killed in areas close to the epicentre and more than 240 buildings had collapsed.

"The death toll has increased to more than 60 now from those areas including Tarlay, Mine Lin and Tachileik townships," said the official.

"About 90 people were injured from those areas. The officials are still trying to reach some more affected areas. There are some places we cannot reach yet."

Across the border, Thai authorities said a 52-year-old woman was killed in Mae Sai district after a wall in her house collapsed.

Terrified residents across the region fled their homes, tall buildings swayed and hospitals and schools were evacuated during the tremors.

In Yangon Chris Herink, Myanmar country director for the charity World Vision, said there did not appear to be "catastrophic infrastructure damage" in the affected areas of Kengtung and Tachileik, although buildings were cracked and water supplies disrupted in some areas.

"Of real concern though are the more rural areas. There will be more, I am afraid to say, unhappy information coming throughout the day," he said.

"It is a hilly area near the border between Thailand and Laos, the so-called Golden Triangle. There is a lot of commerce that goes on in the area."

World Vision has around 7,000 children sponsored by overseas donors in the affected areas.

"We want to ensure that they and their families are safe, secure and accounted for and to offer assistance to them as a first priority but also to help anyone in the area that has humanitarian needs," he said.

The quake struck 90 kilometres (60 miles) north of Chiang Rai and 235 kilometres (150 miles) north-northeast of Chiang Mai, Thailand's second city and a popular tourist destination.

Thailand's meteorological department on Friday said it had registered six large aftershocks following the initial quake.

Residents in Chiang Rai city raced from their homes again on Friday morning as a large tremor again shook the ground.

Four pagodas in the historic town of Chiang Saen near the northern Thai border were damaged, including Chedi Luang, where its three-metre (10-foot) long pinnacle crashed to the ground.

The shaking was felt throughout China's southwest province of Yunnan, according to state-run China National Radio, but no casualties or structural collapses had been reported as of Friday morning.

However, the earthquake reportedly caused cracks in some homes and schools in and around the rugged Xishuangbanna region which borders Myanmar, and fear of aftershocks forced many people in the area to spend the night outdoors.

Some residents of the Vietnamese capital Hanoi fled their homes when the quake shook the city.

Le Huy Minh, assistant director of the national Global Geophysics Institute in the capital, reported no victims or damage.

"There was big panic among the local residents," as high buildings shook for half a minute, said Nguyen Thai Son, of the institute's office in northwestern Dien Bien town, 350 kilometres from the epicentre.

But he added there were "neither victims nor material losses here".

Laos government spokesman Khenthong Nuanthasing said there had been no reports of casualties in his country from the earthquake.

"In Vientiane it was not strong," he said.

The quake comes two weeks after Japan was hit by a monster earthquake, which unleashed a devastating tsunami that left around 27,000 people dead or missing and triggered a crisis at its Fukushima nuclear plant.

Myanmar and Japan sit on different tectonic plates, separated by the vast Eurasian plate.

No tsunami warning was issued after the Myanmar quake as US seismologists said it was too far inland to generate a devastating wave in the Indian Ocean.

The USGS initially recorded the quake as magnitude 7.0, but later revised it down to 6.8.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Over-60-dead-90-injured-in-Myanmar-quake/articleshow/7784852.cms

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Imam of Kaaba to visit Darul Uloom Deoband today

MAR 25 2011

Shaikh Abdur Rahman Al-Sudais, the Imam of Grand Haram Sharif in Makkah, will be on his maiden visit to Darul Uloom Deoband on Friday 25 March 2011. Darul Uloom Deoband is the most influential Islamic seminary in the sub-continent.

The seminary is all set to give a warm welcome to Shaikh Sudais who arrives here on the morning of 25 March by a special helicopter. Several Saudi elites will be accompanying him. Thousands of common people, and a number of Indian Muslim religious as well as political leaders will also be there to greet Shaik Sudais.

Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani, Acting Rector of Darul Uloom Deoaband, along with other senior teachers of the seminary will receive Shaikh Sudais on his arrival.

A welcome function will be held at Masjid-e-Rashid of the seminary. Shaikh Sudais will also deliver Juma Sermon and lead the Juma prayer. He will leave for Delhi in the afternoon.

Shaikh Sudais is visiting India on the invitation of Maulana Arshad Madani, President of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (Arshad faction), to attend the 'Azmat-e-Sahaba Conference' to be held under the banner of Jamiat on 26 Mar 2011 at Ram Lila Maidan, New Delhi.

Shaikh Sudais will deliver his lecture on the life and status of the companions of the Prophet (SAW) at the conference. He will lead the Maghrib as well as Esha prayers at the venue of the conference.

On March 27, Shaikh Sudai is also scheduled to lead Maghrib prayer at Delhi Jama Masjid. Besides, during his short visit he will also be visiting headquarters of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Markaji Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith and India Islamic Cultural Centre all in New Delhi.

http://www.indianmuslimobserver.com/2011/03/imam-of-haram-to-visit-darul-uloom.html

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Suicide hit at Hangu police kills seven

March 25, 2011

HANGU - At least seven persons were killed and 25 others injured when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a police station in Hangu on Thursday.

The bomber ploughed his car into the main gate of Doaba police station, killing seven people and wounding 25 others including 10 police personnel, sources said. The explosion was so severe that it jolted the surrounding areas of district Hangu and Doaba town. It also demolished a part of the police station and damaged four houses and six shops. Soon after the blast, rescue teams and local people rushed to the site and started rescue work. The injured were shifted to Combined Military Hospital, Tal and DHQ Hospital, Hangu.

The injured included: assistant sub-inspector Jahangir Khan Marwat, sobedar Matiullah, constables Gulzar, Saifullah, Tariq, Shahid, Saadullah Khan, Daulat Khan, Nawaz Khan, Alam Sher, Mohammad Khan, Zahid Khan and Saleh Khan while the names of those who were killed in the attack could not be ascertained till filing of this report.

After the blast, security forces cordoned off the area.

According to bomb disposal squad, around 150 kg explosive material was used in the attack.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/25-Mar-2011/Suicide-hit-at-Hangu-police-kills-seven

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Terrorist plotting WC attack nabbed

MAR 25 2011

ISLAMABAD: A terrorist plotting to target the ongoing cricket World Cup has been arrested, according to Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who claimed there was a "serious attempt" to carry out a terror attack during the tournament.

Malik urged India to provide optimum security to Pakistan cricket team playing in World Cup semi-final match in the Indian city of Mohali on March 30.

Malik, who did not identify the nationality or the affiliation of the alleged terrorist, made the revelation at a joint briefing with Interpol chief Ronald Noble here, saying that the International Police Organisation had helped to uncover the plot.

New Delhi had been informed of the plot, the Malik said, as he also claimed that the Taliban had spread its tentacles to India.

Malik said there were reports that the Taliban had started their activities in India and that he had warned the neighbouring country's government of this menace.

"Let's not forget that terrorists have got no boundary or religion. There are several indications that the Taliban have started their activities in India," Malik said addressing the joint news conference with Noble.

"I am saying this on record and I have also informed India. We must work together to stop the work of terrorists," he added.

He said there was a "serious attempt" at carrying out a terrorist attack during the ongoing cricket tournament and that a terrorist was arrested.

He claimed that the arrested man had no connection with Pakistan and information about the incident was being shared with India.

Full report at:

http://www.statesman.com.pk/topnews/topnews21.htm

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Taliban trying to enter India: Malik

March 24, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Interpol Secretary General Ronald Nobel has revealed that terror bid during world Cup 2011 has been thwarted, Geo News reported.

He was addressing a joint press conference following his meeting with Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

Rehman Malik said that Taliban tried to enter India, adding that some people were arrested but none of them was Pakistani national.

Rehman while demanding immediate action against those fanatics involved in desecration of the Holy Quran urged Interpol secretary general to play his role. Ronald said that this act would encourage terrorists’ agenda.

He said that a man who traveled to Maldives from Karachi was arrested during the world cup, adding that the man had desires to conduct terrorism in Sri Lanka.

On the occasion, Rehman Malik said Pakistani had shared intelligence information to foil terrorism bid.

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13081

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US will have to end drone hits: Zardari

March 25, 2011

ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari Thursday made it clear to the United States that Washington will have to end drone strikes in Pakistan’s border region with Afghanistan.

Zardari made these observations in a meeting with a US Congressional delegation led by Rob Wittman, Member House Armed Services Committee, here at the Aiwan-i-Sadr.

Spokesperson to the President, Farhatullah Babar, said that matters relating to Pakistan-US bilateral relations, war against terrorism, drone attacks and energy requirements of Pakistan were discussed during the meeting.

He said that the President has once again condemned the incident of deliberate desecration of the Holy Quran by what he described as a mentally sick person in Florida.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/25-Mar-2011/US-will-have-to-end-drone-hits-Zardari

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BA passes resolution against desecration of the Holy Quran

MAR 25 2011

QUETTA: The lawmakers of the Balochistan Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution against the desecration of the Holy Quran in the US.

The deputy speaker Syed Matiullah Agha presided over the session. Senior Minister for Planning and Development and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam leader Maulana Abdul Wasey on behalf of all members including minority members Jaffar George and Basant Lal Gulshan moved the resolution.

The resolution read that this house strongly condemns American pastor’s act of blasphemy by desecrating the Holy Quran in Florida. It demanded of the federal government to take up the issue at international level.

Speaking on the occasion, Maulana Abdul Wasey said earlier blasphemy was committed in Denmark and now an American cleric had committed it. He alleged that it was US which created insurgency and chaos in Tunis, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt and Libya. He claimed that an American organisation namely Blackwater was working in Balochistan to meet its nefarious designs. He demanded stopping logistic support to the US led NATO forces in Afghanistan in reaction to the blasphemy act.

The Minister without portfolio Nasreen Khaitran said the cleric who desecrated the Holy Quran was a miscreant and anti-peace person.

Full report at:

http://www.statesman.com.pk/national/national.htm

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Syria says may scrap emergency law

March 25, 2011

DAMASCUS (AFP) - President Bashar al-Assad's government said on Thursday it may scrap the decades-old emergency law following a week of deadly protests in the southern city of Daraa.

"I am happy to announce to you the decisions made today by the Arab Baath party under the auspices of President Bashar al-Assad... which include... studying the possibility of lifting the emergency law and licensing political parties," the president's media adviser told a news conference.

Buthaina Shaaban said the Syrian people's demands were "just." Earlier on Thursday she put the death toll from clashes in Daraa 120 kilometres south of Damascus at 10, whereas activists said that 100 people had been shot dead on Wednesday alone.

Shaaban said Assad had chaired a meeting of the ruling Baath party at which decisions taken included guaranteeing security for the people, and a higher committee to discuss with Daraa residents what had happened and sanction those responsible. "Every decision that is being made has taken into account the people of Daraa," she said. "There are some demands and we will respond to these demands. Some of it will be very quickly. Some of it might take time and discussions.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/International/25-Mar-2011/Syria-says-may-scrap-emergency-law

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Gulf to deport Hezbollah, Iran Guards agents

March 25, 2011

KUWAIT CITY (AFP) - Arab states in the Gulf plan to deport thousands of Lebanese Shias over their alleged links to Hezbollah and Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard force, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported on Thursday.

Al-Seyassah, quoting London-based Arab diplomatic sources, said the measure was being considered because of intelligence reports that Lebanese Shias activists had been involved in protests in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Based on the assessments by the United States, France and Bahrain, alleged Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guard agents were leading the protests along with local Shia clerics in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, it said.

It said Bahrain's decision to suspend flights to Iran, Iraq and Lebanon and its condemnation of remarks by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah had "paved the way for the deportation of thousands of Lebanese Shias from the Gulf."

"No Lebanese Shia linked to or suspected of being associated with Hezbollah and the Revolutionary Guards will remain in the Gulf," the diplomatic sources said, citing high-ranking Bahraini officials.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/International/25-Mar-2011/Gulf-to-deport-Hezbollah-Iran-Guards-agents

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Germany pulls out Yemen embassy staff

March 25, 2011

BERLIN (AFP/Reuters) - Germany said Thursday it had pulled out all but a "core team" from its embassy in Sanaa, as Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle summoned the Yemeni ambassador over violent strife in the country.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that most of its embassy personnel and their families had already returned home to Germany, after a travel warning for Yemen issued February 28 due to deteriorating security.

Only 36 of the 250 registered Germans in Yemen are still in the country, the ministry said.

"Germans in Yemen are strongly urged to leave the country due to the difficult security situation," it said, noting that German aid groups had temporarily evacuated all their employees and their families. Britain said Wednesday it was withdrawing all but a "small core" of staff from its embassy in Sanaa.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has ruled for more than three decades but now faces an escalating campaign for his removal.

The parliament on Wednesday approved a state of emergency declared by the president last week, hours after regime loyalists gunned down 52 protesters near the university.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/International/25-Mar-2011/Germany-pulls-out-Yemen-embassy-staff

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Taliban stop cell phone signals in Helmand

March 25, 2011

KANDAHAR (Reuters) - Mobile phones have fallen silent in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on the orders of the Taliban, telecoms engineers said, a potent reminder of insurgent power in an area chosen as the showcase for a transition to Afghan security.

There has been no service for five days on any network in restive Helmand, where Afghan police and army are slated to take control of the capital, Lashkar Gah, from foreign forces in July, as the first step towards a full handover.

Across Afghanistan, insurgents have destroyed network towers of companies that refuse to shut them down when ordered, arguing foreign forces use the signals to monitor militants.

Night-time blackouts have become a fact of life for Afghans in more insecure areas, but a total stoppage is unprecedented.

"The Taliban threaten us to shut down the network and call us a spy station, on the other hand the government harasses our workers when we listen to the insurgents," said engineer Ahmad Shah, head of mobile phone firm AWCC in the south.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/International/25-Mar-2011/Taliban-stop-cell-phone-signals-in-Helmand

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Pak help foils India terror bid

March 25, 2011

ISLAMABAD - A terrorist plotting to target the ongoing cricket World Cup has been arrested with the help of Pakistan, according to Interior Minister Rehman Malik who claimed there was a “serious attempt” to carry out a terror attack during the tournament.

Rehman Malik, who did not identify the nationality or the affiliation of the alleged terrorist, made the revelation at a joint briefing with Interpol chief Ronald Noble here, saying that the International Police Organisation had helped to uncover the plot. New Delhi had been informed of the plot, the interior minister said, as he also claimed that the Taliban had spread its tentacles to India.

Malik said there were reports that the Taliban had started their activities in India and that he had warned the neighbouring country’s government of this menace. Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/25-Mar-2011/Pak-help-foils-India-terror-bid

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Part of solution in Afghanistan: Gilani

By: Salim Bokhari

March 25, 2011

TASHKENT - Pakistan and Uzbekistan have expressed complete understanding on all issues confronting the two countries in particular and the entire region in general.

These issues include terrorism, extremism, militancy, drug trafficking and organised crime. Both states have resolved to divert major portion of their resources to counter these menaces. Tashkent and Islamabad expressed willingness to jointly face the existing challenges besides agreeing to boost their two-way trade while exploring areas, including the energy sector, where they could enter into joint ventures.

The required goodwill and determination could be witnessed when Prime Ministers Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev met here on Thursday. Their body language and comfort level at the official talks, one-on one meeting, was visible, particularly on the issue of peace and stability in the region, with a focus on Afghanistan.

During a short media interaction at the International Business Centre where the two delegations held discussions followed by signing of MoUs and agreements, the Uzbek Premier said Pakistan is a close and reliable friend of Uzbekistan and the two countries have great potential in all spheres of life.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/25-Mar-2011/Part-of-solution-in-Afghanistan-Gilani

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Gaza report fresh Israeli airstrike

MAR 25 2011

GAZA CITY: Palestinian police in the Gaza Strip say an Israeli airstrike has hit an abandoned rocket launcher in the northern part of the territory, causing no injuries.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

The airstrike Thursday morning followed a series of air attacks earlier in the day. The airstrikes have come in response to a barrage of rockets and mortar shells fired from Gaza on southern Israel.

In recent days violence has escalated to the gravest level seen in the area since Israel went to war in the Palestinian coastal territory two years ago.

Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived Thursday in Israel, one day after an eruption in violence that has complicated his plans to urge progress in the peace process.

The latest spike in attacks began Wednesday with a bus-stop bombing in Jerusalem, followed by Israeli strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza. The events have heightened tensions and added to Israel's anxiety over the wave of rebellion in the region.

Gates is urging Israeli leaders to push forward on the peace talks with Palestinians as a way to get ahead of what one senior defense official called the populist wave crashing across the region. The official said Gates will make the argument that the best way to do that is to negotiate peace, removing that issue from the discourse as old regimes fall and new governments are formed.

Full report at:

http://www.statesman.com.pk/international/inter.htm

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Zardari stresses plans to check decline of sanity

MAR 25 2011

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has once again condemned the desecration of the Holy Quran by what he described as a mentally sick person in Florida and has stressed the need for the United Nations and civilized nations to work out special plans for promoting cultural and religious harmony to arrest the decline of rationality and sanity. During his meeting with a US congressional delegation led by Rob Wittman, Member House Armed Services Committee, at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Thursday the President said that the tendency of intolerance and disharmony were crossing national boundaries and religious divides and its was imperative for the world to act before it was too late. Extremism is being manifested in various forms including violence, intolerance he said and added that disharmony was also increasing. He said that the values of tolerance and harmony were advocated by the civilized world and now that these values were generally receding it was important that UN took note of it and did something with the consensus of the nations. The President said that the Government and the people of Pakistan strongly condemn the incident of desecration of the Holy Quran by a fanatic in Florida. The President termed the incident a serious setback towards the efforts intended to promote harmony. He said that he had asked the Parliament to pass a unanimous resolution against such ugly and abhorrent act in the next meeting and also the Foreign Office has been asked to register protest at all international forums. The President said that no religion can permit such fanaticism which in itself was a reflection of sick mind. The US delegation included Todd Young, Scot Rigell, David Loebsack, Larry Kissel and Professional Staff Members of House Armed Services Committee Ms. Michele Pearce and Paul Lewis. Cameron P. Munter, US Ambassador, was also present during the meeting. Briefing media Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that matters relating to Pak-US bilateral relations, war against terrorism, drone attacks and energy requirements of Pakistan were also discussed during the meeting. The delegation appreciated the country’s struggle against militancy and assured US continued support in this regard to the people and the Government of Pakistan. Babar said that during discussion on war against terrorism, the President highlighting great sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in war against militancy and terrorism reiterated his call for early transfer of drone technology to Pakistan. He said it was time for the two countries to take stock of the existing situation and focus on addressing all issues that contribute towards creating misunderstandings and mistrust between the people of the two countries. Full report at:

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=ts&nid=2228

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Taliban threat shuts mobile networks

MAR 25 2011

All mobile companies in Afghanistan's Helmand province have switched of their networks after a Taliban threat. Helmand has been at the centre of Nato’s effort to fight the Taliban. On Tuesday, President Karzai announced that his forces would take over security from the coalition in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, from July. The BBC reports that a handful of mobile companies are providing vital services to the people of Helmand. Landlines provide only one percent of telephone services in the province. It is for the first time that militants have completely closed down the telephone network in Helmand. It is not clear when they might reopen. The Taliban says their enemies used mobile phones to track their communications. They have enforced similar mobile phone closures in the past, but only during certain times of the day, the BBC reports. Militants say that they will blow up the mobile phone masts of companies defying their ban. Already two phone masts have been burnt down in Helmand belonging to mobile phone companies’ accused of not implementing the ban.

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=an&nid=889

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Hindu terrorists may target WC final

MAR 25 2011

BIGOTED Hindus and extremist Hindutva operatives have been threatening Pakistan’s game in India in the Cricket World Cup from the outset. Balasaheb Keshav Thackeray, the saffron robed Muslim baiter and Shiv Sena stalwart had declared that he would not permit Pakistan to play at Mumbai. Later he had retracted his statement but not his vitriolic barbs and taunts. According to the Indian media, a parrot which forecast cricket world cup matches like Paul the octopus, which had correctly predicted Football World Cup, had predicted Pakistan’s victory in the finals, had been killed on the order of Bal Thackeray. In accordance to information gleaned from Indian dailies and TV News channels, an Indian clairvoyant Parrot known as Maani forecasted Pakistan thrice consecutively as Cricket World Winner this year. The Parrot’s master, following the orders of the Shiv Sena leader, killed his Parrot intended for predicting Pakistan as successful in cricket world cup 2011.The prejudiced Hindu leader was infuriated by the prediction which glorified Pakistan hence he had its neck wringed. Now as the pulsating final match of the current World Cup is scheduled to take place on April 2 at the gigantic Wankhede stadium at Mumbai, there are reports that it will be targeted by Hindu terrorists.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0311/25/Editorial_Column/index.php?id=1

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Clinton to attend Libya conference in UK

March 25, 2011

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will attend a London conference Tuesday to discuss coalition military action against Libya, the State Department said.

The visit was announced Thursday after a four-way telephone conversation between Clinton and foreign ministers William Hague of Britain, Alain Juppe of France and Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey.         

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the conference would discuss the Libyan crisis, implementation of the UN Security Council resolution, and the humanitarian needs of those affected by the conflict.

Davutoglu said Thursday after the call that NATO will take command of the international coalition's military operations in Libya from the United States, which had taken the lead when the air strikes began on Saturday.        

The loosely articulated coalition which is enforcing UN Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect Libyan civilians and enforce a no-fly zone had trouble agreeing on a leadership structure. (AFP)

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13122

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Peace is the only option: Indian scholars

March 24, 2011

LAHORE: Indian scholars here on Thursday said they had started hoping for restoration of ties between India and Pakistan, expressing confidence that the bilateral relations will one day normalize, Geo News reported.

The Indian luminaries were expressing their views at a seminar held here under the auspices of SAFMA.

Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt said despite the fact that the path toward restoration of relations is thorny and those who talk about friendship are labeled as crazy, ‘we will accomplish this uphill task’.

Member of Rajya Sabha Shahid Siddiqui said people have not yet been able to come out of the fear of Mumbai attacks and now they should move on.

Other speakers were of the opinion that if more mistakes were then the coming generations will not forgive. War is not the solution and the only way forward is through peace, they added.

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13112

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US Congressmen call on President Zardari

March 24, 2011

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has once again condemned the incident of deliberate desecration of the Holy Quran by what he described as a mentally sick person in Florida.

He stressed the need for the United Nations and civilized nations to work out special plans for promoting cultural and religious harmony to arrest the decline of rationality and sanity.

During his meeting with a US congressional delegation led by Rob Wittman, Member House Armed Services Committee, here at the Aiwan-i-Sadr on Thursday, the President said that the tendency of intolerance and disharmony were crossing national boundaries and religious divides and its was imperative for the world to act before it was too late.

Extremism is being manifested in various forms including violence and intolerance, he said and added that disharmony was also increasing.

He said that the values of tolerance and harmony were advocated by the civilized world and now that these values were generally receding. It was important that UN took note of it and did something with the consensus of the nations.

The President said that the Government and the people of Pakistan strongly condemn the incident of desecration of the Holy Quran by a fanatic in Florida.

The President termed the incident a serious set-back towards the efforts intended to promote harmony.

He said that he had asked the Parliament to pass a unanimous resolution against such ugly and abhorrent act in the next meeting and also the Foreign Office has been asked to register protest at all international fora.

The President said that no religion can permit such fanaticism which in itself was a reflection of sick mind.

The US delegation included: Todd Young, Scot Rigell, David Loebsack, Larry Kissel and Professional Staff Members of House Armed Services Committee Ms. Michele Pearce and Paul Lewis. Cameron P. Munter, US Ambassador, was also present during the meeting.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13106

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Nato takes control of enforcing Libya no-fly zone

Mar 25, 2011

Nato has agreed to take control of enforcing a no-fly zone in Libya to thwart the forces of leader Muammar Gaddafi, as coalition air strikes targeted Tripoli for the sixth straight day.

Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday that after lengthy negotiations the 28-member alliance reached a deal to enforce the no-fly zone.

"We are taking action as part of a broad international effort to protect civilians against the Gaddafi regime," he said.

Rasmussen said the Nato operation was limited to enforcing the no-fly zone, but a senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity later in Washington, said that Nato reached a "political agreement" to also command all other operations aimed at protecting civilians — meaning strikes against Gaddafi's ground forces.

The news came as anti-aircraft fire raked the Tripoli skies late on Thursday, with at least three explosions shaking the capital and its Eastern suburb of Tajura,journalists reported.

"At least one blast was heard from the centre of the city, while others came from Tajura, home to military bases."

Libyan state television said that 'civilian and military sites in Tripoli and Tajura' had come under fire from 'long-range missiles'.

Fighting also raged in rebel-held Misrata, some 214 kilometres (132 miles) East of Tripoli. A doctor treating the wounded at a hospital said attacks by Gaddafi forces since March 18 "have killed 109 people and wounded 1,300 others, 81 of whom are in serious condition."

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/nato-takes-control-enforcing-libya-no-fly-zone-046

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Zardari wants end to irritants souring US ties

MAR 25 2011

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has called for overcoming difficulties which are souring Pakistan-US bilateral ties.

“It is time for the two countries to take stock of the existing situation and focus on addressing all issues which contribute towards creating misunderstandings and mistrust between the people of the two countries,” President Zardari was quoted as having told a US congressional delegation.

The delegation led by Armed Services Committee member Congressman Rob Wittman had called on him at the Presidency.

Referring to drone attacks, the president said all actions which created mistrust needed to be reviewed since they adversely affected cooperation in the war on terror.

Although there was a general acceptability of drone attacks in the country as an effective way for eliminating militants, last week’s strike in North Waziristan on a tribal jirga revived the opposition to such strikes in Fata.

The attack, which left 40 tribesmen dead, was condemned at the highest level by the civilian and military leadership and Pakistan pulled out of the March 26 trilateral ministerial meeting with the US and Afghanistan in protest.

President Zardari reminded the US delegation of sacrifices rendered by Pakistan’s people and military in the war on terror and said those needed to be respected.

“Our people have been paying the heaviest price in the war against militants both in terms of human as well as material losses.

“The only way to mitigate their sufferings and to meet challenges of the militancy is to provide them, especially the affected people of worst-hit areas, new vistas of opportunities including economic opportunities,” Mr Zardari said.

The government has been asking the West to provide preferential trade and market access for restoring the economy which has been badly hit by the war on terror and improving socio-economic conditions in conflict-ridden areas.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/25/zardari-wants-end-to-irritants-souring-us-ties.html

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US, Pakistan plan to resume strategic dialogue

By Anwar Iqbal

MAR 25 2011

WASHINGTON: The United States and Pakistan are working together to resume their strategic dialogue and other high-level contacts delayed by recent strains in their relations, says US envoy Marc Grossman.

Mr Grossman, the new US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, also indicated that the two countries were working on rescheduling President Asif Ali Zardari`s visit to Washington, which was planned in April but has now been delayed.

Similarly, the two sides are also working on President Barack Obama`s visit to Pakistan, which was announced last year but has not been scheduled yet, he added.

Mr Grossman, who was talking to Pakistani journalists at the Pakistan Day reception at the embassy, returned last week from a visit to Islamabad. He arrived in the Pakistani capital at the height of the Raymond Davis crisis, which at one stage seemed to threaten bilateral ties.

“I hope it has,” said the US envoy when asked if his visit helped reduce these tensions. “This is a very important relationship and we value it.”

He acknowledged that the issues bedevilling bilateral ties figured prominently in his talks in Islamabad but both sides also underlined their desire to overcome these snags and continue this mutually beneficial relationship.

“We have agreed to leave the past behind and further strengthen our relationship,” Ambassador Husain Haqqani, who also participated in the briefing, added. Dawn

Diplomatic sources told that the next round of strategic dialogue might soon be held in Islamabad, although dates had not been finalised yet.

The sources said that the two countries had made `some progress` in overcoming the difficulties highlighted during the Raymond Davis case.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/25/us-pakistan-plan-to-resume-strategic-dialogue.html

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Musharraf arrest: Pak seeks Commonwealth’s help

Mar 25, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has sought the Commonwealth's help in extraditing ex-president Musharraf from UK after a court issued an arrest warrant for him in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case.

Pakistan's high commission in London has written to Commonwealth secretary general Kamlesh Sharma to put pressure on Britain's home department to start criminal proceedings in British courts against Musharraf.

An additional complication is UK's obligations to humanitarian laws of EU, which prohibits extradition of suspects to countries where they are likely to face execution.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Musharraf-arrest-Pak-seeks-Commonwealths-help/articleshow/7784371.cms

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Taiwan bans food imports from five Japan areas

Mar 25, 2011

TAIPEI: Taiwan on Friday imposed a ban on food imports from five Japanese areas near a quake-damaged nuclear power plant due to radiation concerns.

The ban, which takes effect immediately, covers food items from Fukushima, where the plant is located, and four other areas nearby, said Wang Jet-chau, a health department spokesman.

"We will continue monitoring the situation in Japan and might extend the ban if it gets worse," he said.

The move came after the government Thursday detected radioactive particles on a batch of clams imported from Japan. Earlier, a shipment of Japanese fava beans had also been found to be slightly contaminated.

Taiwan follows Russia, Australia, Singapore, the United States and other countries in restricting food imports from Japan amid growing anxiety over food safety.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Taiwan-bans-food-imports-from-five-Japan-areas/articleshow/7785751.cms

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NATO to head the command and control of Libyan operation

March 25, 2011

NATO said it would enforce a Libya no-fly zone but stopped short of taking full command of UN-backed military operations to protect civilians from forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Coalition jets pounded targets in southern Libya on Thursday but failed to prevent government tanks re-en

tering the western city of Misrata, whose main hospital was besieged by armour and government snipers.

Western commanders hope rebel forces in eastern Libya will overthrow Gaddafi, but the return of tanks to Misrata under cover of darkness highlighted the difficulties they face in trying to force the Libyan leader to cease fire.

Rebels, who have set up an alternative government in their eastern stronghold in Benghazi, say they needed more ammunition and anti-tank weapons if they are to end Gaddafi's 41-year rule.

"We need arms and ammunition. This is our only problem," rebel military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Bani told a briefing.

France, Britain and the United States have spearheaded enforcement of the Libya no-fly zone imposed last week by the UN Security Council, which authorised "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians against Gaddafi's forces.

But differences over the scope the UN resolution gave for military action against Gaddafi's army led to days of heated arguments within NATO about its role in the operation.

Turkey had wanted to be able to use its NATO veto to limit military operations against Libyan infrastructure and avoid casualties among Muslim civilians from air raids.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/americas/NATO-to-head-the-command-and-control-of-Libyan-operation/Article1-677410.aspx

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French jets shoot down Libyan plane

Atul Aneja

MAR 25 2011

DUBAI: A sharp escalation of air strikes overnight has, so far, failed to break the stalemate on the battlefield as opposition forces battling troops loyal to Libyan strongman Muammar Qadhafi have been unable to regain ground by capitalising on the western dominance over the skies.

French fighter jets on Thursday shot down a Libyan military plane near the besieged city of Misurata. This is the first such incident since the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution allowing the use of air power to protect civilians in Libya. Reinforcing the French military assertion, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Thursday that the precedent set in Libya should not go unnoticed by autocratic regimes elsewhere, including the ones in Syria and Saudi Arabia. However, he acknowledged operations in Libya were likely to prolong, and could last days or weeks, but not months.

Western military aircraft, under the cover of darkness early on Thursday, launched a fierce attack on regime tanks and heavy weapons that have been shelling opposition-held Misurata, Libya's third largest city. Engaging their attackers in a cat-and-mouse game, Mr. Qadhafi's loyalists initially withdrew their heavy artillery; but later, after the fighter jets left, the artillery blazed again.

There have been conflicting reports about the status of the Misurata port. The pro-Qadhafi forces had apparently established control over the port. But witnesses said the opposition now held this area after two regime warships withdrew, presumably in the wake of the air attacks. The raids by western jets on Ajdabiyah have also been unable to soften the battle lines.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/03/25/stories/2011032564791800.htm

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Meet on Libya in London

Hasan Suroor

MAR 25 2011

LONDON: Britain has called an international conference in London next week to discuss the Libyan crisis, including the humanitarian needs of those affected by the conflict.

A number of Arab and African countries are expected to attend the conference, to be held on March 29, amid reports of divisions and tensions in the western alliance leading the military campaign in Libya.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement the conference would take stock of the implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolution authorising measures to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya and to protect civilians.

In a separate statement in the Commons, Mr. Hague said Britain wanted NATO to take control of the military operations “as quickly as possible''.

http://www.hindu.com/2011/03/25/stories/2011032564721800.htm

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Egypt’s woman protesters forced to take ‘ virginity tests’

MAR 25 2011

WOMEN arrested by the Egyptian police during protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square were subjected to forced “ virginity tests”, Amnesty International said.

Eighteen demonstrators were detained after army officers cleared the square on March 9 at the end of weeks of protest.

Amnesty said on Thursday that the women had been beaten, given electric shocks and then subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers.

They were then forced to take “ virginity checks” and threatened with prostitution charges if medics ruled they had had sex, the charity said.

Salwa Hosseini, 20, said she was arrested and taken to a military prison in Heikstep where she was forced to strip and then searched by a female guard.

She told the charity that a number of male soldiers were watching through two open doors and a window and clicked her photographs.

Hosseini then went on to describe “ virginity tests” being carried out by a man in a white coat.

She claims the women were threatened with charges if they were found not to be virgins.

Full report at:

http://epaper.mailtoday.in/epaperhome.aspx?issue=2532011

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Foreign secret agents freely roaming in Pak: Musharraf

Mar 25 2011

Islamabad : Former Pakistan President and All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) chief Pervez Musharraf has said that foreign secret agents are freely roaming in the country.

Addressing the Pakistani community in Manchester, Musharraf said that foreign secret agents were not allowed to function in the country during his rule, The News reports.

Being president of Pakistan, the APML chief said, he never compromised on national integrity and sovereignty of the country.

During his tenure, he kept ahead national interests for any sort of decision-making and never bowed down before foreign pressure, he added.

Musharraf also said that nine drone strikes were conducted during his regime that caused a few causalities, but during the last three years, approximately 150 drone attacks have been conducted annually, causing hundreds of causalities.

The former military ruler further said that during his regime, the prices of the commodities were stable, but today everything had gone beyond the reach of the common man due to mounting inflation in the country.

He added that foreign investors felt proud while investing in Pakistan during his regime.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/767243/

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Ceasefire or risk attack: Pentagon to Gaddafi forces

Mar 25 2011

Washington : US-led coalition forces have asked Gaddafi forces in Libya to declare ceasefire or risk attack from international partners, a top Pentagon official has said.

"Our message to the regime troops is simple: stop fighting, stop killing your own people, stop obeying the orders of Colonel Gaddafi," Director, Joint Staff Vice Admiral Bill Gortney told Pentagon reporters at a news conference.

"To the degree that you defy these demands, we will continue to hit you and make it more difficult for you to keep going," he said.

Giving details of military operation in Libya, Gortney said coalition forces continue to strike the regime's integrated air defence capabilities as well as command-and-control facilities, logistics nodes and ammunition supplies.

"We are vigorously planning to enable the delivery of humanitarian assistance by interested governments and non-governmental agencies," Gortney said.

"And we will continue to conduct coordinated attacks on regime ground forces that threaten the lives of the Libyan people," he said.

And let me be clear because I think there's still some confusion out there: when and where regime forces threaten the lives of their own citizens, they will be attacked," Gortney asserted.

As many as 10 countries are currently participating in the 'no-fly' zone. These are Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Norway, Qatar and the US.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/767204/

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Jordan 'explosive' as Islamists reject govt dialogue proposal

Mar 24 2011

Amman : Jordan is struggling to stave off growing popular discontent after the Islamists rejected a government-led dialogue plan, while analysts warn of a "risk of explosion."

The government formed a national dialogue commission on March 14 to amend the electoral and political parties laws within three months, in line with King Abdullah II's instructions.

But four Muslim Brotherhood leaders who have been invited to join the talks refused to take part, demanding the panel discuss "constitutional reforms to empower the people," Zaki Bani Rsheid, head of political office of the Islamic Action Front (IAF) said.

To the dismay of the committee, independent political activist Labib Kamhawi refused to join in its work, while the leader of the retired officers' movement Ali Habashnah, has decided to "suspend" his participation, he said.

Senate president Taher Masri, who heads the committee, which now groups 64 members, said on Thursday that he is still trying to convince the Islamists to participate in dialogue.

To encourage them, "the commission decided on Wednesday to include the issue of constitutional amendments to its electoral law discussion," Masri said.

"It will examine the means to enforce judicial supervision of elections, instead of the interior ministry, and review the term of lower house speakership as well as legislative session period - all of which require constitutional amendments," he added.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/766911/

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Al Qaeda picks cheaper airline

Mar 24, 2011

When an admitted Al Qaeda operative planned his itinerary for a Christmas 2009 airline bombing, he considered launching the strike in the skies above Houston or Chicago. But tickets were too expensive, so he refocused the mission on a cheaper destination: Detroit.

The decision is among new details emerging about one of the most sensational terrorism plots to unfold since President Barack Obama took office. It shows that Al Qaeda's Yemen branch does not share Osama bin Laden's desire to attack symbolic targets, preferring instead to strike at targets of opportunity. Like the plot that nearly blew up U.S.-bound cargo planes last year, the cities themselves didn't matter. It's a strategy that has helped the relatively new group quickly become the No. 1 threat to the United States.

After the failed bombing and the arrest of suspected bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the question of why Detroit was targeted had gone unanswered. It was previously reported that Abdulmutallab did not specifically choose Christmas for his mission.

Abdulmutallab considered Houston, where he attended an Islamic conference in 2008, current and former counterterrorism officials said. Another person with knowledge of the case said Abdulmutallab also considered Chicago but was discouraged by the cost. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.

While the target and timing were unimportant, the mission itself was a highly organized plot that involved one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists and Al Qaeda's go-to bomb maker, current and former officials said. Before Abdulmutallab set off on his mission, he visited the home of Al Qaeda manager Fahd al-Quso to discuss the plot and the workings of the bomb.

Al-Quso, 36, is one of the most senior Al Qaeda leaders publicly linked to the Christmas plot. His association with Al Qaeda stretches back more than a decade to his days in Afghanistan when, prosecutors said, bin Laden implored him to 'eliminate the infidels from the Arabian Peninsula'.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/al-qaeda-picks-cheaper-airline-950

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          Nato takes control of enforcing Libya no-fly zone

MAR 25 2011

TRIPOLI: Nato has agreed to take control of enforcing a no-fly zone in Libya to thwart the forces of leader Muammar Qadhafi, as coalition air strikes targeted Tripoli for the sixth straight day.

Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday that after lengthy negotiations the 28-member alliance reached a deal to enforce the no-fly zone.

“We are taking action as part of a broad international effort to protect civilians against the Qadhafi regime,” he said.

Rasmussen said the Nato operation was limited to enforcing the no-fly zone, but a senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity later in Washington, said that Nato reached a “political agreement” to also command all other operations aimed at protecting civilians — meaning strikes against Qadhafi’s ground forces.

The news came as anti-aircraft fire raked the Tripoli skies late Thursday, with at least three explosions shaking the capital and its eastern suburb of Tajura, AFP journalists reported.

At least one blast was heard from the centre of the city, while others came from Tajura, home to military bases, an AFP journalist reported.

Libyan state television said that “civilian and military sites in Tripoli and Tajura” had come under fire from “long-range missiles.”

Fighting also raged in rebel-held Misrata, some 214 kilometres east of Tripoli. A doctor treating the wounded at a hospital said attacks by Qadhafi forces since March 18 “have killed 109 people and wounded 1,300 others, 81 of whom are in serious condition.”

Relentless British, French and US air strikes since Saturday have been targeting Qadhafi’s air defenses in a bid to protect civilians under the terms of a UN resolution.

The strikes also provide cover for a rag-tag band of rebels seeking to oust Qadhafi after more than four decades in power, but who are disorganized and out-gunned by pro-regime forces.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/25/nato-to-enforce-no-fly-zone-over-libya.html

 

Qaddafi's tanks elude airstrikes

MAR 25 2011

TRIPOLI: Western warplanes hit military targets deep inside Libya on Thursday but failed to prevent tanks re-entering the western town of Misrata and besieging its main hospital.

Airstrikes destroyed government tanks on the outskirts of rebel-held Misrata, but other tanks inside the city were not hit, a resident said, underlining the difficulty of the UN backed military mission to protect Libyans from Muammar Qaddafi.

Qaddafi's tanks rolled back into Misrata under the cover of darkness and shelled the area near the hospital, which was also under fire from government snipers.

Rebels said they have killed 30 government snipers in the town and government warships and boats that were in the town's port have now gone. Rebel spokesman Abdulbasset Abu Mzereiq said by telephone: "There were clashes today and our fighters managed to find a way to reach the snipers on rooftops and killed 30 of them.

"They have also managed to make the movement of those left very difficult because they went to the buildings they are positioned on and blew up the stairs of the building so now they are stuck."

About movement at Misrata port, he said: "The warships and the boats are gone now and the coalition forces have informed the (rebel) council that they will secure a safe passage for ships that are coming from Malta carrying aid."

Clashes between rebels and besieging forces continued on Thursday in the eastern front-line town of Ajdabiyah, said Abu Musab, who left the town by car with his family of 10. "There is no water, no power and the bombing is random. Everyone has left," he said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article328838.ece

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Saudis told not to visit Japan now

Mar 25, 2011

TOKYO: The Saudi Embassy in Tokyo has advised Saudis to avoid traveling to Japan as the country is still struggling to cope with the aftermath of a massive earthquake on March 11 that damaged its nuclear reactors leading to the release of unacceptable levels of radiation into the environment.

The embassy also warned Saudi students studying in Japanese institutions to return only after confirming with the Saudi mission that it was safe for them to do so, the Saudi Press Agency reported Thursday.

The Saudi Embassy in Tokyo can be contacted on (0081) 335895241, (0081) 33589 5241, (0081) 90558 33862, (0081) 9061 490641. The telephone number of the Saudi cultural attaché is (0081) 3534 83011.

The embassy’s e-mail is citizens@saudiembassy.or.jp while the cultural attaché’s website is students@saudiculture.jp.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article328873.ece

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PA arrests 2 Islamic Jihad officials over Jerusalem’s bombing

Mar 25, 2011

RAMALLAH: The Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces on Thursday arrested two officials of Islamic Jihad in the West Bank city of Jenin in connection to Wednesday's bombing attack in Jerusalem.

The Islamic Jihad said in a press statement that the Palestinian Preventive Service forces arrested its officials Khalid Jaradat and Tariq Qa’dan in Jenin. “The forces broke into the homes of Jaradat and Qa’dan arrested them, and evacuated them to unknown location for questioning.”

The movement said that the arrest of the two officials is due to Israel’s claims that its military wing, Al-Quds Brigades, is responsible for the attack in Jerusalem that left a British tourist dead and some forty injured.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad expressed support for the attack as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Prime Minister Salam Fayad condemned it.

Fayad said in a statement that he “strongly condemns the terror attack in Jerusalem regardless of the identity of the perpetrators.”

Referring to the possibility that Palestinians were behind the attack, Fayyad said it would it be despicable if any Palestinian party was involved, especially in light of the huge damage that such attacks have inflicted on the Palestinians in the past.”

The deposed Hamas government declared a state of emergency in the Gaza Strip in anticipation of a massive Israeli military response to the bombing and the recent spate of rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israeli communities.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article328906.ece

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Arms shipment intercepted in UAE

Mar 25, 2011

DUBAI: Dubai police said Thursday the Gulf emirate has seized thousands of small arms being smuggled in a sea cargo shipment bound for Yemen.

Authorities said the guns were headed to Yemen's restive Saada region, where rebels have been fighting government forces for years. Dubai's government described the find as the largest arms shipment of its kind discovered in the region.

Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai's police chief, said authorities found the 16,000 Turkish-made pistols in a red cargo shipping container, hidden behind boxes of furniture wrapped in plastic. The weapons were discovered in a Dubai warehouse about two weeks ago, he told reporters.

Police showed photos and a video of thousands of metallic black, silver and gold colored handguns laid out on a concrete parking lot.

The shipment originated in Turkey and passed through an Egyptian port before reaching Dubai's Jebel Ali port, police said. The smugglers had intended to transport the weapons through another Gulf country instead of Dubai but changed their plans to secure a more convenient shipping route, police said.

Tamim declined to name the other Gulf country meant to serve as a transport point, but said it was not Saudi Arabia. He said a number of suspects have been arrested with help from the countries involved.

Jebel Ali is by far the busiest port in the Middle East. It and other Dubai docks serve as major transshipment hubs for cargo traveling between Asia, Europe, Africa and the rest of the Middle East.

It was unclear who ordered the shipment. Tamim said it was unlikely the weapons were destined for the Yemeni government because they were counterfeit knockoffs of legitimate brands.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article328875.ece

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Tunisia freezes Qaddafi family assets

MAR 25 2011

TUNIS: Libya’s neighbor Tunisia has frozen assets belonging to the family of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, a Tunisian government source said on Thursday.

Western countries, the United Nations and the European Union have already frozen Libyan government and Qaddafi family assets as part of a package of sanctions imposed after Libya’s crackdown on a revolt against Qaddafi’s rule.

“Tunisia has frozen the assets of Qaddafi and five members of his family following a decision by the United Nations,” the source, who did not want to be identified, said.

The freezing of assets in Tunisia is likely to have a significant impact because Libya has dozens of investments there, including hotels, a chain of petrol stations and a stake in an oil terminal.

Most of those assets are owned by Libyan state investment vehicles, but many of these are de facto controlled by members of Qaddafi’s family.

Tunisia is also used by Libya’s elite as a base for banking, vacations and health care, a practice which dates back to the 1980s and 1990s when international sanctions on Libya meant they had limited access to these services at home.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article328705.ece

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Few Americans see Obama as strong military leader

MAR 25 2011

WASHINGTON: Only 17 percent of Americans see President Barack Obama as a strong and decisive military leader, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll taken after the United States and its allies began bombing Libya.

Nearly half of those polled view Obama as a cautious and consultative commander-in-chief and more than a third see him as indecisive in military matters.

Obama was widely criticized in 2009 for his months-long consultations with senior aides and military chiefs on whether to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Critics called it dithering, but he said such a big decision required careful deliberation. He eventually dispatched 30,000 more troops.

But Obama is facing mounting discontent among opposition Republicans and from within his own Democratic Party over the fuzzy aims of the US -led mission in Libya and the lack of a clearly spelled-out exit strategy for US forces.

If the Libya mission becomes a foreign policy mess, mixed with perceptions Obama is a weak military leader, it could spell trouble for him in the 2012 presidential election.

The poll also found that 60 percent of Americans support the United States and its allies bombing Libya to impose a no-fly zone to protect civilians from Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s forces.

Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed said the United States and its allies should try to remove Qaddafi, who has ruled the oil-exporting North African country for more than four decades.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article328804.ece

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Saudi Arabia’s progress a source of strength for Pakistan, says diplomat

Mar 25, 2011

JEDDAH: Consul General of Pakistan Abdul Salik Khan has said Saudi-Pak relations are deep rooted in history and culture and that Saudi Arabia’s progress and stability were a source of strength for Pakistan.

Speaking at a reception he hosted at his residence in Jeddah on Wednesday night to mark the National Day of Pakistan, Khan said Pakistan has always been the proponent of global peace and unity among Islamic states and advocated interfaith cooperation and reconciliation.

He thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for always supporting Pakistan in its hour of need.

“March 23 reminds us of the tremendous efforts made by the Muslims of the subcontinent to create their own homeland. It inspires us to dedicate ourselves for the realization of the goals for which Pakistan was established,” the consul general said, addressing the guests.

Head of the Consular Department at the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs Muhammad Nabeel Bukhari was the chief guest at the reception.

Earlier national anthems of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were played. Images depicting Pakistani arts and culture and a documentary, “Vibrant Pakistan,” were also shown on the occasion.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article328748.ece

 

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US urges Israel-Palestinian peace as rockets fall

25 March 2011

TEL AVIV - US Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Thursday to advance stalled peace efforts, even as rockets landed just kilometres (miles) away on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.

Gates’ visit to Israel came as surging violence raised fears of a new war, with Palestinian rockets striking deep inside Israel on Thursday and Israeli aircraft pounding targets in Gaza.

“Israelis will have to make their own decision in terms of how to respond. No sovereign state can tolerate having rockets fired at its people,” Gates told reporters in Tel Aviv, flanked by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak.

A senior U.S. defense official, briefing reporters ahead of the trip, said Washington believed Israeli and Palestinian leaders needed to get ahead of a wave of unrest sweeping the region by advancing peace efforts.

Although uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Libya were focusing for now on domestic political and economic grievances, that could change, the official suggested.

Asked about the dangers of any heavy-handed Israeli response to the rockets, as well as a deadly bombing in Jerusalem on Wednesday, Gates said that militants might want to shift the attention away from internal political problems.

“I think we all just need to be mindful ... that we don’t want to do anything that allows extremists or others to divert the narrative of reform,” Gates said.

Bold action needed

Gates acknowledged that regional instability might be a tempting reason to be more cautious about pursing peace efforts, with talks stalled since September 2010.

“But in my meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, I carry a different message: That there is a need and an opportunity for bold action to move toward a two-state solution,” Gates said.

Netanyahu last year refused to extend a limited freeze on West Bank settlement construction as requested by the Americans after the Palestinians made it a condition for renewing peace negotiations.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/March/international_March1376.xml&section=international&col=

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Turkey seeks ways to stay in NATO game

MAR 25 2011

Turkey’s shift from opposing any NATO operation in Libya to offering the largest group of vessels to the alliance’s mission resulted from Ankara’s desire to not be left out of the international game, experts have said.

Ankara made the proposal to contribute five warships and one submarine to the NATO mission off Libya’s coast as part of a bid to be part of the international decision-making process, they said.

“Turkey does not want to be left outside; she wants to be a part of the decision-making process. We also want to be able get intelligence from the field. We wouldn’t be able to do this without being a part of the NATO forces,” said Salih Biçakçi, an academic from the international relations department at Isik University.

“Turkey is a part of the whole thing now. Turkey cannot take a step back at this point,” Biçakçi added.

Though Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeated his opposition to any kind of NATO intervention in Libya more than once in recent weeks, saying it would trigger dangerous consequences, Turkey’s key position in NATO led it to decide that allowing the alliance to take the lead would give it the most influence in the decision-making process, Biçakçi said.

He added, however, that Turkey’s aim in the middle term is to prevent a ground operation in Libya. “This is one of the main reasons why Turkey wanted the command of the operation to be led by NATO,” Biçakçi said. “If Libya turns out to be a second Iraq, this would damage Turkey’s credibility a lot.”

On March 14, Erdogan said, “Any NATO military operation in Libya would be unhelpful and fraught with risk,” a stance he continued to take in subsequent speeches, calling for an immediate cease-fire in Libya and saying he opposed foreign military intervention.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=analysis--turkey-doesn8217t-want-to-stay-out-of-the-nato-game-2011-03-24

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Turkey to attend London summit on Libya after missing Paris

MAR 25 2011

France has contacted the US and Britain to ensure Turkish participation in a London summit on Libya next week, the Daily News has learned. The change in attitude by the French, who did not invite Turkey to a Paris summit on the subject last weekend, comes after a change in Ankara's attitude, say sources

Turkey has been invited to a Libya summit in London next week, less than a fortnight after France conspicuously failed to invite Ankara to a meeting that preceded airstrikes on the North African country, irking the Turks.

The invitation was extended to Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during a telephone conversation late Wednesday with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, diplomatic sources told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

Turkey looks warmly upon a broad-based meeting including NATO, the Arab League and regional countries, Davutoglu told his British counterpart, according to sources. This was interpreted as meaning that Ankara would be present at the meeting where the political response to the Libya crisis is expected to take shape. 

The Daily News has learned that France has contacted both the United States and Britain to ensure that Turkey attends the meeting after not being invited to the Paris meeting on the weekend.

The French initiative to ensure the Turkish presence suggests that Paris does not want to experience a similar rift with Ankara. The rift has blocked a consensus at subsequent NATO meetings in Brussels since Sunday regarding the implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolution establishing a no-fly zone over Libya as well as the command structure of a NATO-led operation among member states.

“The Turkish position has also changed since the [Paris] summit,” a French diplomatic source told the Daily News when asked why France wanted to include Ankara at the meeting this time.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-to-turn-up-london-summit-on-

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Thousands gather for burials in protest city

MAR 25 2011

Some 20,000 people gathered Thursday in the Syrian city of Daraa for the burial of victims killed by the police gunfire the day before, chanting support for a rising anti-regime movement there, rights activists said.

One activist in Daraa, contacted by telephone, said the mourners made their way from the Omari mosque, where protesters have been holed up for a week, to the burial grounds under pouring rain, chanting: ‘With our souls, with our blood, we are loyal to our martyrs.’

Rights activists have said at least 100 people were killed by gunfire on Wednesday alone in the city, a tribal area at Syria’s border with Jordan that has been the focal point of protests demanding the end of the country’s ruling regime.

‘There are definitely more than 100 dead and the city will need a week to bury its martyrs,’ said human rights activist Ayman al-Asswad in Daraa, reached by telephone from Nicosia.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/international/12802.html

 

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Israel vows to respond as Gaza rockets rain down

MAR 25 2011

Defence Minister Ehud Barak yesterday warned that the Jewish state had no choice but to respond a day after a bombing in Jerusalem and as Gaza militants rained rockets down on southern Israel.

"We have to respond," Barak said at a joint news conference with visiting US Defence Secretary Robert Gates shortly after two Grad rockets slammed into the southern port city of Ashdod.

"Israel will not tolerate these terrorist attacks and we will not allow terror to rise once again," Barak said.

No one was wounded in the strikes which came a day after a bomb ripped through a crowded bus stop in Jerusalem, killing a British tourist and wounding 39 people, in the first such bombing in the Holy City since 2004.

Yesterday afternoon, at least 11 rockets and mortar rounds had landed in southern Israel, the army said, two of them ploughing into Ashdod, Israel's fifth largest city.

Israel's response has so far been muted, with the military launching a few air strikes and raids which have caused limited casualties.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday sought to persuade Russia to scale down cooperation with Israel's arch foes Iran and Syria as he met Russian leaders.

"If the Tehran regime manages to create nuclear weapons, it will never fall," Interfax quoted him as saying.

"If this happens, no one -- neither you (Russia) nor anyone else -- will be safe from threats, blackmail and attacks," Netanyahu added.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=179098

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WB to RI: Do more on disaster prevention

03/25/2011

Indonesia should “do more than it is currently doing” to prevent losses in the event of a disaster, the World Bank says, adding that a disaster insurance policy for the country would help reduce the economic costs of a major catastrophe.

Apurva Sanghi, the bank’s senior economist on global facilities for disaster reduction and recovery, said in Jakarta on Thursday that disaster insurance was “clearly a very relevant issue for Indonesia”, because post-disaster management was a lot more costly than disaster prevention.

“There are obviously day-to-day constraints and problems, including people’s perception of ‘what if something doesn’t happen’ and people might feel that they wasted their premium. But that’s a false perception,” Sanghi told reporters at the launch of “Natural Hazards, UnNatural Disasters: the Economics of Effective Prevention” at the Borobudur Hotel in Jakarta.

The catastrophic disasters that hit Japan this month have prompted Indonesia, which is prone to a variety of natural disasters, to establish an integrated disaster prevention system.

Sanghi said the time frame for implementing an integrated disaster prevention system would depend on the “political will” of the country. “[But,] I’m very hopeful that Indonesia will have disaster insurance as soon as possible.”

Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo said at the same event that his ministry’s Fiscal Policy Agency (BKF) and the Capital Market and Financial Institutions Supervisory Agency (Bapepam-LK) had been studying schemes for disaster insurance since last year.

The insurance scheme would be submitted to the House of Representatives for approval once the assessment had been concluded, he said.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/03/25/wb-ri-do-more-disaster-prevention.html

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Calls to limit child exposure to alcohol ads

MAR 25 2011

A bid to get the government to take a tougher stance on alcohol advertising in the UK has been given the backing of health experts.

Tory backbencher Dr Sarah Wollaston will put forward a private member's bill next week to limit the exposure of children to alcohol marketing.

The bill - based on French legislation - will be tabled on Wednesday.

The British Medical Association and university experts said the move would go a long way to protect children.

Dr Wollaston, who is a GP, will put forward the proposal as a 10-minute rule bill.

This allows her to make a speech in Parliament, although the process rarely leads to legislation being passed but is instead a chance to raise awareness about an issue.

The legislation was introduced in 1991 and bans alcohol promotion through mediums such as television and social media, while allowing it elsewhere.

Professor Gerard Hastings, a social marketing expert at Stirling University, told the British Medical Journal the law had helped to reduce alcohol consumption in France.

"Removing this profoundly unhealthy influence is, unsurprisingly, recognised as a key public health priority. So along with their cafe culture, the Loi Evin is a French innovation that the UK needs."

Ram Moorthy, of the BMA's board of science, agreed, urging MPs from all parties to support the bill.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12849857

URL:http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/over-100-killed-in-syria-protest/d/4342


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