New Age Islam
Thu Aug 13 2020, 05:01 PM

Islamic World News ( 18 Jun 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

PPP nominates Shahabuddin for Pakistan PM's post, following a 'judicial coup' against current PM Gilani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

India

Deoband Issues Fatwa against Social Boycott Order to a Man for Divorcing His Wife

Hurriyat Hardliner: Give Us Political Space or Face the Gun

If enclaves between India and Bangladesh are exchanged, only a handful will want to move

Arrested J&K cop was ‘undercover agent’ who planted SIMs used by 26/11 attackers

'Central agencies not given access to arrested Kashmir cops'

India to launch AWACS project to counter China, Pak

India wants Headley to depose via video

Army seeks flag meeting over ceasefire violation along LoC

 

Arab World

Shiite Fortress and Sunni Wasteland in Syria's Homs

Two Egyptians, Saudi beheaded

Iraq suicide blast kills 15 at Shia funeral

Muslim Brotherhood wins in Egypt as army tightens grip

In Syria's Homs, Sectarian Spoils of War at Bargain Prices

Prince Salman is Saudi Arabian crown prince

Syria says it’s ready to evacuate besieged families

Saudi surpassed by Venezuela as the largest holder of oil reserves

 

Pakistan

Google Refuses To Delete Youtube Videos ‘Mocking’ Pakistan Army

A convict cannot decide fate of 180m people: CJP

 ‘Secularism Only Remedy to Present Turmoil in Pakistan’: Forum for Secular Pakistan

Former CM Balochistan Jam Yousaf ends self-exile

Atrocities, Abductions of Innocent Baloch and the Kill and Dump Policy Continues

Taliban ban to leave thousands in Pak without polio vaccines

Manto Praised for Exposing America’s Patron-Client Mentality of Relationships

Pakistan ranks 13 in failed states index

Pak court issues notice to PEMRA on plea to ban two TV anchors

Six killed in incidents of violence in Karachi

Arsalan scandal attempt to defame judiciary: Imran Khan

Sherry reiterates Pakistan’s demand for appropriate US apology, end to drone strikes

 

South Asia

Three men in Afghan police uniforms kill NATO soldier

At least seven Afghan militants killed in base attack

Militants attack checkpoint; 3 Afghan police killed

Kabul accuses Pakistan over suicide attack

Roadside bomb kills eight Afghan civilians

Death sentences in Myanmar unrest murder case

Myanmar journalists win battles, but war not over

 

Southeast Asia

Rohinrya Muslims Dream of Malaysia Home

Four killed, seven buried in Indonesia landslide

58 missing after Indonesia boat sinks

 

Mideast Asia

West Bank Mosque Is Set Ablaze and Vandalized With Warning in Hebrew of a “War”

Iran and world powers seek to break nuclear deadlock

Yemen commander who went after Qaeda assassinated

2 Gazans Found Dead After Israeli Airstrike

18 killed in clashes in southeast Turkey

Al-Sarsak Ends Hunger Strike in Release Deal After 92 Days

Iran taking initial steps towards making nuclear submarine

 

Africa

Libya prospers every day, thanks to new regime

Gunfire in Nigeria's Kaduna as Muslims Demonstrate

Boko Haram claims Nigeria blasts

Gunmen Attack Tunisian Consulate in Benghazi

Somali Rebels Bruised, but May Dodge Knockout Blow

The looming Boko Haram war in Nigeria

Study Finds Parental Factors Crucial in Choosing Circumcision for a Baby

 

Europe

Europe: Hotbed of Islamophobic Extremism

Drone attacks discussed in UN Human Rights Council

German neo-Nazis helped kill Israeli athletes in 1972 Olympics

UN: 90,000 have fled Myanmar ethnic violence

 

North America

US contradicts Taliban, says India did not say no on Afghanistan

U.S. praises Myanmar's response to sectarian clashes

US Muslims Love Story With Basketball

Obama congratulates Saudi king on selecting new heir

Obama, Putin say Syria violence must end, no plan agreed

Obama's nominee to be next US ambassador to Iraq withdraws

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Shiite Fortress and Sunni Wasteland in Syria's Homs

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/ppp-nominates-shahabuddin-for-pakistan-pm-s-post/d/7664

 

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PPP nominates Shahabuddin for Pakistan PM's post

Jun 20 2012

Islamabad : The ruling Pakistan People's Party has nominated senior leader Makhdoom Shahabuddin for the post of premier following the Supreme Court's disqualification of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, according to a media report today.

The decision was made at a meeting of senior PPP leaders chaired early this morning by President Asif Ali Zardari, Geo News channel quoted its sources as saying. The meeting further decided to convene a session of the National Assembly or lower house of parliament on Thursday to formally elect the new leader of the House, the report said.

Pak Supreme Court sacks PM Gilani

There was no official word on the development from the PPP or the presidency. The move came in the wake of two separate meetings of the PPP's central executive committee and the leaders of the ruling coalition led by the PPP.

Both meetings had authorised Zardari, the head of the PPP, to choose the new premier. A formal announcement about the nominee for the post of premier is expected after a meeting of the PPP's parliamentary party scheduled for this afternoon.

Reports said former premier Gilani had expressed reservations over the candidature of Shahabuddin during the meeting of the PPP and its allies last night. Both Gilani and Shahabuddin belong to the southern part of Punjab and political rivalries were believed to be the reason for Gilani's reservations.

Leaders of parties in the ruling coalition have assured Zardari of their full support for the election of the new premier, sources said. The leaders further advised Zardari not to confront the apex court over the disqualification of Gilani, the sources said.

The PPP has plans to carve a new province out of the Seraiki belt in the southern part of Punjab and this is a reason for Shahabuddin's emergence as a strong candidate for the post of premier, sources said.

The sources further said Zardari had ruled out the option of calling an early general election following Gilani's disqualification.

Shahabuddin had yesterday emerged as a strong contender for the post of premier. He has held several portfolios in Gilani's cabinet since 2008. Besides, the top leadership of the PML-Q, a key ally of the PPP, were opposed to the candidature of former Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar due to political rivalries in Punjab, sources said.

During a revamp of Gilani's cabinet in February last year, Shahabuddin was tipped to be sworn in as the Foreign Minister.

However, the party changed its plans after Shah Mahmood Qureshi skipped the swearing-in ceremony on learning that he would not be reallocated the Foreign Ministry.

Like Gilani, Shahabuddin belongs to a spiritual family that is revered and is the custodian of the mausoleum of the Sufi saint Shah Rukn-e-Alam.

PPP insiders said that some party leaders had also suggested the names of former ministers Hina Rabbani Khar, Khursheed Shah and Samina Ghurki for the post of premier.

However, they were not considered front-runners for the position.

A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry yesterday disqualified Gilani in response to several petitions that had challenged National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza's decision not to disqualify the premier following his conviction of contempt.

Bhe bench ruled that the post of premier had been vacant since April 26, when another seven-judge bench had convicted Gilani of contempt for refusing to reopen graft cases in Switzerland against Zardari.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/964317/

 

India

Deoband Issues Fatwa against Social Boycott Order to a Man for Divorcing His Wife

Jun 19 2012

Muzaffarnagar: Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a fatwa denouncing an order by a local community panchayat to socially boycott a man and his family for giving divorce to his wife.

Terming the move as "illegal" and "un-Islamic", the dictate claimed the panchayat had no authority to issue such orders which are not only against the Shariat, but are also the violation of law of the land.

The fatwa was issued on a query by a local resident asking the seminary whether the Panchayat's order was valid or not.

In January this year, a panchayat in Nangla village here had asked people to socially boycott the Muslim man and his family for divorcing his wife Bulkishan in December last year.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/deoband-issues-fatwa-against-panchayats-social-boycott-order/963924/

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Hurriyat Hardliner: Give Us Political Space Or Face The Gun

Jun 19 2012

Srinagar: Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday warned that guns may return to the Valley if the government continues to deny political space to the separatists.

“If this (restrictions on the separatists) continues, our youth will opt for other ways,” Geelani said in a press conference at his Hyderpora residence. Asked if he was hinting at the return of 1990, when militancy was at peak, Geelani said, “There is no need of a hint...it is obvious.”

The Hurriyat hardliner, who is frequently put under house arrest by the J-K government, said the youth who come to meet him ask him about the “other options”.

“Our youth understand what is happening. They ask me how long they will continue to tolerate this,” he said.

Geelani’s warning is significant as he has been advocating a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue for the past three years, saying the “movement doesn’t require guns”.

Geelani had made his first departure from his hardline stand during the 2008 agitation over the Amarnath land row when he distanced himself from Pakistan and stressed for a peaceful struggle. “Our struggle would be peaceful. We neither need the gun of the Mujahideen now, nor the support of Pakistan or its media,” Geelani had said in 2008. However, for the past several months there has been a change in his stand.

At the press conference, Geelani condemned the political killings saying Hurriyat has never opted for confrontational politics.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/963782/

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If enclaves between India and Bangladesh are exchanged, only a handful will want to move

Jun 19 2012

Kolkata: Amid worries expressed by the West Bengal government about the possibility of a huge influx should there be an exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh, here are the first indications of how the people living in those enclaves are inclined.

A door-to-door survey has revealed that 148 Hindu and one Muslim families, respectively representing 738 and five people of the 34,000 living in 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh, would be willing to cross over to India should there be such an exchange. And all 17,000 living in 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in India would rather remain where they are.

The survey was done by the Bharat Bangladesh Enclave Exchange Coordination Committee, an Indian NGO that has worked among enclave dwellers on both sides for 25 years.

The 149 Indian families who want to cross over to their mother country comprise people who are largely landless apart from occupying homesteads, 62 acres between them.

Other than a population census carried out in July 2011, there has been no comprehensive survey by government agencies, apart from occasional attempts to gather intelligence inputs. The NGO has submitted its findings to the high commissions of both countries. It now plans to approach civil society on both sides to mount pressure for implementation of the accord between the two countries.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/if-enclaves-are-exchanged-only-a-handful-will-want-to-move/963636/

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Arrested J&K cop was ‘undercover agent’ who planted SIMs used by 26/11 attackers

Jun 18 2012

New Delhi : Among the four policemen picked up by the Jammu & Kashmir Police for alleged links with militants is a man who as an “undercover agent” earlier “provided SIM cards to the Lashkar-e-Toiba, which were subsequently used by the militants involved in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks”.

However, police now suspect that Mukhtar Ahmad Sheikh — as well as the three other policemen arrested with him — has switched loyalties, and has instead started helping militants recently.

As reported first by The Indian Express on June 16, the police have registered a case and are interrogating these men after their names cropped up in the investigation into an aborted bid to assassinate a former Hizbul Mujahideen commander in Srinagar city recently.

The story of Mukhtar Ahmad Sheikh belongs to the murky world of counter-insurgency, in which the police have been infiltrating militant ranks with their moles to gather intelligence.

Sheikh, a resident of Rang Parestan in Rainawari, Srinagar, was made a ‘follower’ in the police after his brother — who the police considered a “valuable source” — was killed by militants. Before joining the police, Sheikh drove an autorickshaw in Kolkata.

Sheikh was soon promoted to the rank of constable for “exemplary work” in counter-insurgency. Sources said that he had worked with four top police officers, and played key roles in several major operations against militants.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/963343/

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'Central agencies not given access to arrested Kashmir cops'

June 19, 2012

Jammu and Kashmir police have not given access either to the Intelligence Bureau or any paramilitary force for custodial questioning of six recently arrested local policemen, a senior police officer said in Srinagar Tuesday, denying media reports.   "There is no question of

giving access to any other investigating agency until the SIT completes its job," the officer told IANS, referring to the probe by the Special Investigating Team (SIT) into the nexus between some local policemen and subversive elements.

He, however, said that the state police would, "as part of the overall synergy between the various intelligence agencies and the paramilitary forces", share the SIT probe results with them.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Srinagar/Central-agencies-not-given-access-to-

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India to launch AWACS project to counter China, Pak

Jun 19, 2012

NEW DELHI: With Pakistan stealing a swift march in the "eyes in the sky" arena and China already way ahead, India is now going to launch its own full-blown futuristic AWACS (airborne warning and control system) programme.

"Clearances are underway" to initially develop two AWACS aircraft, with four more to follow at a later stage, under the new `AWACS-India' project to be executed by DRDO and its Bangalore-based Centre for Air Borne Systems (CABS).

"Under it, 360-degree AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars will be mounted on large aircraft like IL-76, Boeing or Airbus," said a DRDO source.

Potent force-multipliers like AWACS or AEW&C (airborne early warning and control) systems have changed the entire nature of air warfare because they can detect incoming aerial threats, ranging from fighters to cruise missiles, much before ground-based radars.

They also serve to direct air defence fighters during combat operations with enemy jets and also help in tracking troop build-ups.

Pakistan already has four Swedish Saab-2000 AEW&C aircraft, with four more Chinese ZDK-03 AWACS in the pipeline. China has around 20 AWACS, a mix of new and old systems, say sources.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-to-launch-AWACS-project-to-counter-China-Pak/articleshow/14253161.cms

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India wants Headley to depose via video

Jun 19, 2012

NEW DELHI: India has asked the US to provide it with statements of 13 people associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist David Coleman Headley and his accomplice in the 26\11 Mumbai terror attack case Tahawwur Hussain Rana and explore a possibility of deposing the duo for trial before a court through video-conferencing in a pending NIA case.

Indian investigators believe that the 13 people, including Headley's wife Shazia Gilani, his ex-wife, Rana's associates and his Canada-based relatives, could be potential witnesses against the duo in a NIA case of November, 2009, which looks beyond 26\11.

Both Headley (US citizen) and Rana (Canadian citizen) — of Pakistani origin — are currently lodged in a Chicago jail. They were arrested by the FBI in October, 2009.

The NIA case against them pertains to their involvement in a larger conspiracy to carry out terror attacks in New Delhi and other cities with the help of Pakistan-based terror outfits LeT and HuJI.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-wants-Headley-to-depose-via-video/articleshow/14252360.cms

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Army seeks flag meeting over ceasefire violation along LoC

Jun 19 2012

Jammu : The Army has sought a 'Brigade Commander' level flag meeting with its Pakistan counterpart along the Line of Control (LoC) in the wake of killing of two jawans and injuries to four others in firing during ceasefire violations by Pakistan troops.

“We have sent a hotline message to Pakistan Army and called for a Brigade commander-level flag meeting to discuss the issues of increasing incidents of firing and ceasefire violations in Poonch sector", a senior Army officer told PTI.

The message has been sent to Pakistani authorities yesterday and they were asked to convey the timings of the meeting within two days, he said.

The issue is serious in view of the fact that two jawans have been killed and four others injured in direct firing on them by Pakistan troops, unseen in the past, the senior official said.

The two jawans, including one of BSF, were killed and four others injured in the firing by Pakistan troops in four ceasefire violations since June 11 to June 16 along the LoC in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

Usually, a commandant-level flag meeting is held on the LoC to sort out the differences, but this time we have called for Brigade Commander level meeting, he said.

Earlier, Pakistan had cancelled Commandant (Col) level meeting on Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point in Poonch on June 16 without assigning any reason.

Pakistani troops this time directly fired on Army troops guarding the borderline in Poonch unlike in the past when they used to target posts, the official said adding it was a serious issue.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/963942/

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Arab World

 

Shiite Fortress and Sunni Wasteland in Syria's Homs

19 June 2012

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The view from the rooftops makes the balance of power clear. In some neighborhoods, cars and people scurry about. In others, only the scarred shells of empty homes remain.

After months of fierce military assaults and rebel ambushes in Homs, the centre of Syria's 15-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad has effectively become two cities.

Along the scorched and crumbling skyline is a well-preserved archipelago of districts, home to Syria's minority Alawite sect, the offshoot of Shi'ite Islam to which Assad belongs.

Alawites have mostly sided with Assad and have barricaded themselves in Homs - protected by the Syrian army that has now made their neighborhoods a second home.

"We're always nervous, but we will stay and survive," says Abu Ali, a 60-year old sitting in his mini market in the Alawite neighborhood of Zahra.

"It is the Sunni areas that are empty - at least the ones that asked for 'freedom'," he said, referring to districts that backed the mainly Sunni Muslim uprising against Assad.

The rebellious districts that once belonged to Sunni Muslims are ghost towns. Only about three of the 16 Sunni districts have not been pummeled by military assaults.

Many Alawites say they feel they have no choice but to back Assad, fearing retaliatory slaughter for religious affiliation with the president as the revolt becomes increasingly sectarian.

"The Sunnis have been oppressed," said one Alawite man. "But Alawites will be the victims."

Abu Ali settles in his chair as cans and jars lined up in his store rattle from the daily bursts of gunfire and rockets. Behind him, an Assad portrait adorns the back wall.

"Those other people are the terrorists," he says, pointing to several cases of Alawites being kidnapped or killed by rebels. " I can tell you what is happening: War."

SLEEPING IN BUTCHER SHOPS

More people are starting to agree. The United Nations' peacekeeping chief recently said Syria's conflict looked like a civil war.

While many areas have still escaped sectarian brutality, the heart of Syria's conflict is a chilling glimpse of what the worst case scenario may be: a bloody struggle that tears the country into a jigsaw of warring statelets.

The Syrian government describes rebels fighting Assad as foreign-backed terrorists and accuses international media of misrepresenting the situation as a popular uprising against the president. But it allows little access to the country for foreign correspondents.

The city of Homs was once the country's industrial centre, sitting on Syria's main north-south highway, 30 km (20 miles) east of the border with Lebanon.

It became the stronghold of the armed insurgency that began several months ago and overtook the peaceful protests against 42 years of Assad family rule.

With Sunni areas pounded into a shambles, refugees too poor to leave Homs have few options.

Most end up in the Waar district, a jungle of concrete apartment blocks that housed the Sunni elite. Waar's affluent residents fled the city's chaos. Soon refugees broke in and took over their abandoned apartments.

All down the streets, shops have been seized by refugees. At a butcher shop, a family has hung blankets across the meat hooks outside to cover the glass storefront.

Refugees have even moved into shopping malls, and the former stores are now crammed with blankets and stoves

Outside, Abu Omar looks for handouts for his six children, who have been given shelter in a local mosque.

"We're living off the charity of others. And we are lucky, some people are on the streets," he says.

Homs used to be home to around 1 million people. Now, residents casually estimate that at least half have fled.

MILITARISED ALAWITES

Meanwhile, Alawite areas like Farzat's Zahra district look more like army bases than residential neighborhoods.

Artillery is no longer stored in army barracks on Homs's outskirts but in the middle of Alawite districts, and troops are at the ready to roll them out and fire at nearby rebel areas.

The army has secured the streets connecting Alawite neighborhoods. But its control of Homs is tenuous.

Soldiers dare not go into most Sunni areas, where somewhere unseen in rocket- and bullet-riddled buildings, hundreds of rebels hide, sporadically firing rocket propelled grenades.

"If we wanted to end the Homs problem, we'd have to grind the whole place to the ground. Hundreds of soldiers would die," said an army officer.

He said he was part of the siege of Homs's Baba Amr neighborhood, when an onslaught by tanks and troops drove rebels out of their main stronghold.

"We're worried houses will be mined, like they were in Baba Amr. That struggle cost us many more men than was reported. So now instead, we just shell the rebel areas from here."

In addition to troops, hundreds of pro-Assad militia men have been cultivated in Alawite areas, proudly accepting the tag "shabbiha", from the Arabic word "ghost." They strut down the streets in army camouflage. They speak disdainfully of soldiers they view as treading too cautiously in confronting the enemy.

One shabbiha youth points to the tower overlooking an opposition area, where soldiers used to snipe at rebels.

"Now the shabbiha use it. You can't see people over there, there's no point sniping. We just take a machine gun and spray."

BACK TO SCHOOL

Despite the overt militarization, Alawite residents try to maintain a normal way of life. Most schools are open. Vendors hawk fruit and vegetables on street corners.

Nearby, women browse shops that have become a "Sunni market", where shabbiha bring in stolen furniture and clothes from Sunni areas after the army has raided them.

"These are the spoils of war," one woman shrugs. "It's our right to take them."

But the mood is always tense, and like many other days, the calm shatters along with the glass of a shopfront as an RPG launched by rebels smashes into the street. A bloodied passerby is quickly given first aid and whisked away by ambulance.

The government has pushed for the appearance of normality in the midst of chaos. Homs' Baath University reopened last week after a long closure. For the first time in months, Sunni and Alawite classmates were placed under the same roof.

But the division is as palpable here as in their fractured city. Sunni and Alawite students stick to their own sides, sitting on opposite ends of cafeterias and a campus yard overshadowed by a massive stone statue of former president Hafez al-Assad, Bashar's father who ruled for nearly 30 years.

"I used to have a lot of Alawite friends, but now we don't greet each other. There is nothing more to say," says Ahmad, a 22-year old Sunni engineering student. "But I'm not afraid, it can't get any uglier than this."

Across the yard, fellow engineering student Hassan, an Alawite, fears the worst is yet to come.

"Even my cousins are shabbiha now. I hate that. Neither side deserves power here," he sighs.

Hassan never says he thinks Assad may be toppled, but he believes the future will not be kind to Alawites.

"The slaughter is coming to us."

(Writing by Erika Solomon; editing by Ralph Boulton)

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/19/world/middleeast/19reuters-syria-crisis-

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Two Egyptians, Saudi beheaded

Jun 19 2012

Riyadh : Saudi authorities today beheaded two Egyptians who kidnapped a nine-year-old girl and tortured her for years and executed a national convicted of murder, state news agency SPA reported.

Mohammed bin Nafe and Jamalat bin Nafe, apparently his sister, “kidnapped a nine-year-old girl from the (Muslim) Prophet's Mosque in (the holy city of) Medina, torturing and locking her up at their residence for three years and six months,” the interior ministry said in a statement carried on SPA.

“Mohammed has repeatedly raped her throughout this period and the pair were planning to smuggle her out of the country,” it said.

“They had also neglected the health of their children and committed violence against them, leading to the death of two of Mohammed's sons,” it added.

The two Egyptians were beheaded in Medina.

In a separate statement, the ministry announced the beheading of Ali bin Mohammed al-Qahtani who shot dead a fellow Saudi, SPA reported. The man was executed in the

kingdom's southeastern region of Asir.

Today's beheadings bring to 38 the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on official reports.

Under the AFP count, at least 76 people were beheaded in 2011, while rights group Amnesty International put the number of executions last year at 79.

The death penalty in Saudi Arabia applies to a wide range of offences including rape, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking, as well as murder, as stipulated by Islamic sharia law.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/963970/

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Iraq suicide blast kills 15 at Shia funeral

18 June 2012

A suicide attack has killed at least 15 people at a Shia funeral in Baquba, north of Baghdad, officials say.

Another 40 people were wounded in the blast in the city centre, according to police and hospital sources.

A wave of bombings aimed at Muslim Shia pilgrims and religious sites has killed more than 130 people in Iraq since the beginning of June.

On Saturday, two car bombs targeting Shia pilgrims killed at least 32 people in the capital Baghdad.

The suicide bomber in Baquba detonated his explosive belt in a tent where Shias had gathered to mourn a tribal chief early on Monday evening, a police source said.

About 150 people, including senior politicians and security officials, were present in the tent, Sadiq al-Hussaini, the head of Diyala province's ruling council, told the Associated Press news agency.

Mr Husseini blamed the attack on Sunni militants linked to al-Qaeda.

"Absolutely this is the way of al-Qaeda - targeting innocent people to ignite sectarian unrest," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18494791

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Muslim Brotherhood wins in Egypt as army tightens grip

Jun 18, 2012

CAIRO: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said on Monday its candidate won the country's first free presidential election, but a sweeping legal manoeuvre overnight by Cairo's military rulers made clear the generals planned to keep control for now.

An election committee source told Reuters that Islamist Mohamed Morsy, a US-educated engineer, was comfortably ahead of former air force General Ahmed Shafik with most of the votes tallied. But the count, which would make him the first civilian leader in 60 years, had yet to be officially finalised.

In any event, however, the new president will be subordinate for some time at least to the military council which last year pushed fellow officer Mubarak aside to appease street protests.

In the latest twist on Egypt's tortuous path from revolution to democracy, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued a decree as two days of voting ended on Sunday which set strict limits on the powers of head of state. On the eve of the election, it had already dissolved the Islamist-led parliament.

Liberal and Islamist opponents denounced a "military coup".

"Military Transfers Power, to Military," ran the ironic headline in independent newspaper al-Masry al-Youm.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Muslim-Brotherhood-wins-in-Egypt-as-army-tightens-grip/articleshow/14244782.cms

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In Syria's Homs, Sectarian Spoils of War at Bargain Prices

19 June 2012

BEIRUT (Reuters) - They call it the "Sunni market" - a comic term with a dark undertone.

As rockets and gunfire crackle in the central city of Homs, hardline loyalists from President Bashar al-Assad's Alawite sect steal goods from the shattered neighborhoods of Sunni Muslims, the majority population that led the revolt against him.

Grocery stores and thrift shops become loot markets.

"Maybe I'll nab a bargain," says a 50-year-old woman wandering through a supermarket that now trades in looted furniture. "I found a really nice kitchen table set made of gorgeous old wood. But he wants $200 dollars for it!"

Furniture usually goes for around $50 or less. Clothes and shoes are $5 to $20. Everything is open to negotiation.

The woman haggles with the shopkeeper. "These are the spoils of war. It's our right to take them," she says.

Even shopping now has a sectarian dimension in Homs, heart of the 15-month-old revolt against Assad, where killings and kidnappings based on religion became common.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/19/world/middleeast/19reuters-syria-crisis-

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Prince Salman is Saudi Arabian crown prince

Jun 18, 2012

RIYADH: Saudi King Abdullah named his half-brother Prince Salman as heir to the throne on Monday following the death of crown prince Nayef, state television Al-Ekhbariyah reported.

The monarch appointed Salman "crown prince and deputy prime minister" while also keeping him on as defence minister, it said, adding that Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz would take over from Nayef as interior minister.

Salman, 76, became defence minister in October following the death of Sultan, the then crown prince and long-serving defence and aviation minister, while Nayef was named heir to the throne.

It was the first ministerial post for Salman who had been the governor of Riyadh since 1962.

Nayef died on Saturday in Switzerland of "cardiac problems," according to a medical source in Geneva.

The kingdom's security czar, who was behind an iron-fisted crackdown on Al-Qaeda following a wave of attacks between 2003 and 2006, had frequently travelled abroad for medical treatment.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Saudi-king-names-Salman-as-crown-prince/articleshow/14244507.cms

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Syria says it’s ready to evacuate besieged families

19 June 2012

Syria’s government says it is ready to evacuate civilians besieged in the rebellious central city of Homs without preconditions.

A Foreign Ministry statement carried Tuesday by the state-run news agency SANA blames “armed terrorist groups” of obstructing evacuation efforts coordinated with the U.N. observers’ mission and local authorities.

U.N. mission chief Maj. Gen. Robert Mood demanded Sunday that warring parties allow the evacuation of women, children and sick people endangered by fighting in Homs and other combat zones.

Activists say around 1,000 families have been trapped by ongoing government assaults against rebel-controlled areas of Homs.

The Syrian government regularly refers to the rebels as terrorists.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3546560.ece

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Saudi surpassed by Venezuela as the largest holder of oil reserves

Jun 18, 2012

JEDDAH (Saudi Arabia): Venezuela surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the world's largest holder of proven oil reserves. Canada ranks third with 175.2 billion barrels, according to the statistical review of World Energy 2012 statistical review.

Saudi Arabia now trails Venezuela with a 16 percent share of world proven oil reserves, the report continued.

The 2010 estimate for the Latin America nation increased from 211.2 billion in the previous report and it its deposits were at 296.5 billion barrels at the end of last year while Saudi Arabia held 265.4 billion barrels, the report said.

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela wants to more than double the country's oil- production capacity to 6 million barrels a day by 2019, according to a government plan released June 12.

Venezuela's Oil minister Ramirez has said oil prices need to be higher than $100 a barrel. The recent down ward trend in crude oil price is dangerous for producers, the Oil Minister said in Vienna during the recent meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to decide production quotas for the Organization member countries.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Saudi-surpassed-by-Venezuela-as-the-largest-holder-of-oil-reserves/articleshow/14245100.cms

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Pakistan

 

Google refuses to delete YouTube videos ‘mocking’ Pakistan Army

19 June 2012

Google has said that it removed 640 videos from YouTube that allegedly promoted terrorism in the second half of 2011 after complaints from the British police, however, it rejected many other state requests for action, including one by Pakistan that asked Google to delete six videos that satirized the Pakistan Army and senior politicians, according to a BBC report. The order had come from Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology. The internet search giant said it terminated five accounts linked to the suspect videos following complaints from the UK’s Association of Police Officers. Overall, Google said it had received 461 court orders covering a total of 6,989 items between July and December 2011. It added that it had received a further 546 informal requests covering 4,925 items, of which it had agreed to 43 percent of the cases.

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/06/19/news/national/google-refuses-to-delete-youtube-videos-%E2%80%98mocking%E2%80%99-pakistan-army/

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A convict cannot decide fate of 180m people: CJP

19 June 2012

ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Monday warned Attorney General Irfan Qadir not to repeat his arguments and be wary of his assertions, adding that the apex court could review the speaker’s ruling.

He made these observations while hearing a set of petitions filed to challenge the NA speaker’s ruling regarding disqualification of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

The CJP said a person who had been found guilty could not be allowed to decide the fate of 180 million people. “The petitions are of the view that fate of 180 million people is in the hand of such a person who has been sentenced by a seven-member bench of the Supreme Court.” Earlier, the three-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain resumed hearing in the cases. The court also directed the attorney general to complete his arguments, but Irfan Qadir successfully convinced the court to adjourn the case until today (Tuesday).

Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, the counsel for the prime minister, contended that the court had no power to disqualify a member of parliament. He said the jurisdiction of the Election Commission could not be invoked directly without a reference from the NA speaker. The attorney general in his arguments, contended that the seven-member bench that convicted the prime minister had “travelled beyond its jurisdiction”

as the issue before it was whether the respondent had committed contempt or not. “The issue before the bench was not the disqualification of the PM but it was required to decide whether he had committed any contempt or not,” he added. He said the bench that decided the issue had failed to bring into zoom or sweep the likely consequences of Article 63 (1) (g). He further contended that the Supreme Court had no role to play in matters to be decided either by the NA speaker or the Election Commission of Pakistan. However, the chief justice disagreed with his argument and said the reasons could be taken up in an appeal. Qadir contended that the bench was accepting arguments from the petitioners but it was not accepting his contentions.

Full report at:

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/06/19/news/national/a-convict-cannot-decide-fate-of-180m-people-cjp/

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‘Secularism Only Remedy To Present Turmoil In Pakistan’: Forum For Secular Pakistan

18 Jun 2012

ISMAIL DILAWAR - Pakistan cannot come out of its present turmoil unless its society and polity are organized on genuine democratic and secular values, declared the members of Forum for Secular Pakistan on Sunday.

“We wish to emphasis on secularism without which even democracy does not bear fruits,” said Senator (Retd) Iqbal Haider, president of the Forum while reading out a “Declaration” to a briefing at Karachi Press Club.

Quoting the August 11 (1947) and April 1957 speeches of the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah and then Prime Minister Husseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, who, he said, were the proponents of secularism, Haider stressed the need for a concerted effort to take educational and constitutional reforms in the country to ensure equality of citizens in Pakistan.

He said it was unfortunate that the pronouncement of Mr Jinnah were easily ignored by his successors who in fact moved in quite an opposite direction making Pakistan an obscurantist, clergy-driven and non-democratic state.

The wrong policies and priorities set by the successive governments of past he said had made Pakistan a security state which, he said, was fast degenerating and falling prey to the forces of religious extremism.

Full report at:

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/06/18/city/karachi/%E2%80%98secularism-only-

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Former CM Balochistan Jam Yousaf ends self-exile

19 June 2012

KARACHI: Former chief minister of Balochistan Jam Mohammad Yousaf arrived back here on Monday after ending his self-exile. He had left the country soon after end of Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf’s era and was continuously in self-exile. He had also been nominated in the murder case of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti. Jam Yousaf had recently got his bail before arrest from the Sindh High Court in Bugti murder case through his counsel few days before his return to the country. In a brief talk to the media persons at the Karachi Airport, Jam Yousaf said he has got protective bail from the SHC and will contact the court for confirmation of the bail.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\19\story_19-6-2012_pg12_13

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Military Offensives, Atrocities, Abductions of Innocent Baloch and the State Kill and Dump Policy Continues

On Saturday 16-05-2012 the Pakistani forces have started an operation in several areas of Dera Bugti, Balochistan, including Gopat, Jani Beri, Gazzi and Kattan. Large number of forces’ vehicles laid a siege around these areas and established many check points to stop people from leaving or entering the encircled villages. Sources reported that the entire village if Zahro Bugti was set on fired after looting the valuables from the houses. Women, children and elderly were humiliated, harassed and badly beaten.

At least nine persons were arrested and taken toward undisclosed location. The abducted have been named as Zahro Bugti s/o Mandost Bugti, Jamal Bugti s/o Ganjo Bugti, Ruggah Bugti s/o Buggah Bugti, Leemo Bugti s/o Nasardeen Bugti, Toru Bugti s/o Chaddah Bugti, Rana Bugti s/o Ganjo Bugti and the names of three men of Bakhlani, a sub-tribe of Bugti Baloch tribe, could not immediately been ascertained. According eyes-witnesses account the abducted men for brutally tortured on spot until they were unconscious.

The family member of the men feared that their loved ones will be tortured in notorious torture cells of Pakistani forces and eventually killed and dumped like thousands of other Baloch abducted by intelligence agencies, proxy groups and armed forces of Pakistan.

The area is said be still under siege and military is not allowing people to take the wounded people for treatment. It feared that if the military continues the blockade several wounded people might succumb to their injuries.

Meanwhile, the BRP (Baloch Republican Party) said it has already made it clear that conferences and committees of Pakistan regarding Balochistan issue only generate new ways to intensify the genocide of Baloch people and their only aim is to misguide the world about state atrocities and gross human rights abuses by the state forces in Balochistan.

The Party has once again appealed the international institutions of justice, Human Rights Organizations, United Nations, European Union and other civilized nations of the world to immediately stop all kinds of aid to Pakistan and intervene and play their vital role to put an end to the unending human rights abuses and other crimes against humanity in Balochistan by Pakistan.

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Taliban ban to leave thousands in Pak without polio vaccines

Jun 19 2012

Islamabad : Over 16,000 children below the age of five will miss their polio vaccines in North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan due to a ban on vaccination campaigns by a powerful Taliban commander, according to a media report today.

Hafiz Gul Bahadur, the alleged host of the Haqqani network in North Waziristan Agency, said last week that the 'shura' (council) of militants had decided to ban the vaccination drive as long as US drone strikes continued in the region.

The militants claimed the vaccination campaign was a cover for American spies.

The ban will seriously impact polio eradication efforts in Pakistan, which is among three countries where polio is still prevalent.

Health officials believe the Federally Administered Tribal Areas has become the reservoir of polio because of its difficult terrain and reservations among tribesmen about the vaccination drive, The Express Tribune reported.

A three-day vaccination drive began yesterday in “high risk” areas of the tribal belt, including the Khyber, Bajaur, Mohmand and Kurram Agencies.

The target was to immunise over 777,000 children below the age of five against the crippling disease.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/963943/

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Manto Praised for Exposing America’s Patron-Client Mentality of Relationships

19 June 2012

ISLAMABAD: Manto is as astonishingly prescient today as he was in his own times. It is necessary to rescue and revive the authentic Manto today to challenge the historic and postmodern caricatures of his work in the context of patron-client Pak-US relationship, said Beacon house National University (BNU) lecturer and literary critic Raza Naeem while speaking at the seminar “Manto’s Uncle Sam in his time, and in ours”. It was organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.

Renowned writer and senior SDPI adviser Ahmad Salim chaired the proceedings. Civil-military relations analyst and Adviser to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman Dr Ayesha Siddiqa also spoke on the occasion.

Raza said the year 2012 marks the centennial anniversary of the birth of the great Pakistani writer and social critic, Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-55). He said Manto was the only writer who saw the US policy of arming fundamentalism against communism across the globe and faced the threat of religious fundamentalism and imperialist Uncle Sam simultaneously.

He said Manto wrote these letters when the contours of the Pakistani foreign policy were shaping by un-elected representatives. “His nine letters are remarkable documents of history, politics, and literature which are relevant not only in the Pak-US context but also in the global context of American imperialism,” he added. He said Manto and his work never enjoyed state patronage in contrast to other icons of Pakistani literary establishment like Mirza Ghalib, Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Faiz Ahmad Faiz. He said Manto could not be marginalised completely, despite being prosecuted with the trumped-up charges relating to ‘obscenity and immorality’. He said state’s response to Manto is marked with apathy and Pakistan’s literary establishment, at times, accepted him as a progressive as well as a prude. Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\19\story_19-6-2012_pg11_8

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Pakistan ranks 13 in failed states index

Jun 19, 2012

WASHINGTON: Pakistan, a country which is run by a military obsessed with India and by a civilian elite that steals all it can and pay almost no taxes, has been ranked 13th in the latest ranking of failed states.

The unique ranking compiled by the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine is topped by African countries Somalia (114.9 points), Congo (111.2), Sudan (109.4), Chad (107.6) and Zimbabwe (106.3).

Afghanistan with 106 points is ranked at number 6, followed by Haiti, Yemen, Iraq and Central African Republic.

Pakistan with 101.6 points, the magazine said, is ranked 13, a slight improvement from the previous two years.

In 2011 it was ranked 12th in the list of failed states, while in 2010 and 2009 it was ranked 10th.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-ranks-13-in-failed-states-index/articleshow/14264723.cms

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Pak court issues notice to PEMRA on plea to ban two TV anchors

Jun 19 2012

Lahore : A Pakistani court has issued a notice to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) in response to a writ petition seeking a ban on two anchors who were filmed coaching real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain during an interview.

Malik Ghulam Mustafa filed the petition in the Lahore High Court that alleged anchors Mubashir Lucman and Meher Bokhari of Dunya TV had conducted a rigged interview of Hussain, who has acknowledged paying Rs 342.5 million to the Chief Justice's son to influence cases in the Supreme Court.

Mustafa contended that the anchors' actions had maligned the superior judiciary.

He alleged the interview was an attempt to undermine the supremacy of the judiciary and to give a bad name to it.

The two anchors have been at the centre of a controversy after the emergence of two videos of behind-the-scenes footage that showed them coaching the tycoon and discussing questions with him.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-court-issues-notice-to-pemra-on-plea-to-ban-two-tv-anchors/963920/

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Six killed in incidents of violence in Karachi

19 June 2012

KARACHI: At least six people were killed in incidents of violence in Karachi, DawnNews reported on Tuesday.

Those killed included a worker of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and a cleric.

A body was found stuffed in a gunny bag in Korangi’s Chamra Chowrangi. The man had been abducted and then murdered.

Moreover, another body was found in Federal B Area’s Jauharabad neighbourhood. The victim’s hands and feet had been tied.

In another incident, bodies of three men were recovered from a stationary car on Mirza Adam Khan Road in the city’s Lyari Town.

The three victims, who were residents of Karachi’s North Karachi area, had been tortured and then shot dead.

One of the victims from the shooting incident in Lyari was an active worker of the MQM.

Furthermore, unknown gunmen had shot dead a cleric in the city’s Nazimabad area.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/19/six-killed-in-incidents-of-violence-in-karachi/

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Arsalan scandal attempt to defame judiciary: Imran Khan

19 June 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, while addressing on Monday a protest rally staged to express solidarity with the judiciary, said that Arsalan Iftikhar scandal was an attempt to defame judiciary.

The PTI chief said the whole nation, especially the youth of the PTI, was behind Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and would defy any conspiracy against him.

Flaying President Asif Ali Zardari, he said the scandal was an attempt by President Zardari to defame the chief justice and divert attention of the people from his corruption. Zardari had tried to defame the chief justice by using business tycoon and owner of Bahria Town Malik Riaz as a puppet, but this conspiracy would not be allowed to gain success, Khan said.

He said the president and the chief executive of Bahria Town were close allies and they had joined hands against the judiciary, fearing action against their corruption.

He was of the view that Malik Riaz had committed the same error that had been made by former president Pervez Musharraf in 2007. “After committing criminal negligence, Musharraf had to leave his office” and Zardari would also have to quit his office, he said.

Khan said Zardari had been following the path of Musharraf and making the same mistake that had not only exposed him but his partners as well. Malik Riaz had levelled allegations against son of the chief justice, but he should also tell how much wealth he had used to bribe politicians, journalists and army men, the PTI chairman asked.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\19\story_19-6-2012_pg7_12

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Sherry Rehman reiterates Pakistan’s demand for appropriate US apology, end to drone strikes

19 June 2012

WASHINGTON - Pakistan on Monday sought an end to American unilateral actions on its soil, with the country’s ambassador to the US also reiterating Islamabad’s demand for an apology over Salala incident, to end a lingering deadlock in the relationship.

Spelling out Pakistan’s point of view on several issues in the Pakistan-US bilateral relationship, Ambassador Rehman said currently the two countries are in a “critical phase” of negotiating new terms of engagement and narrowing down their differences. Islamabad had not closed the NATO supply lines into landlocked Afghanistan to “price-gouge” but after the Salala incident, which claimed lives of 24 Pakistani soldiers, Sherry Rehman said.

The gathering of American diplomats, experts on South Asia and Pakistani-Americans at a conference on the Capitol Hill. US Coordinator for non-military assistance to Pakistan Ambassador Robin Raphael also spoke on the occasion. The Pakistani envoy said once the two countries overcome current differences, they have a lot to gain from a mutually respectful and productive relationship in the years ahead. ”These (ground lines of communication) were closed following the Salala incident and remain closed pending a US apology,” Ambassador Rehman said.

Full report at:

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/06/19/news/national/sherry-reiterates-

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South Asia

 

Three men in Afghan police uniforms kill Nato soldier

June 19, 2012

KABUL: Three men in Afghan police uniforms killed a soldier with the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation coalition on Monday, the coalition said, in the latest so-called “green-on-blue” attack.

The three attackers fled after the killing, Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement, and are being sought.

The death takes the toll this year in “green-on-blue” attacks, in which Afghan forces turn their weapons against their Western allies, to 23, in a total of 17 such incidents.

“The International Security Assistance Force confirms that three individuals in Afghan police uniforms turned their weapons against coalition service members in southern Afghanistan yesterday, killing one ISAF service member,” ISAF said.

A police source in southern Kandahar province said two Nato soldiers were killed when the police opened fire on them.

Following its normal policy, ISAF gave no further details of the incident or the soldiers’ nationalities.

Monday’s attack is the first time men in Afghan uniforms have killed Nato soldiers since two Afghan police officers killed two British soldiers in southern Helmand province in May.

An increasing number of Afghan troops have turned their weapons against Nato soldiers who are helping Kabul fight a decade-long insurgency by hardline Taliban militants.

Some of the assaults are claimed by the Taliban, who say they have infiltrated the ranks of Afghan security forces, but many are attributed to cultural differences and antagonism between the allied forces.

ISAF has taken several security measures in response to the shootings, including assigning “guardian angels”, soldiers who watch over their comrades as they sleep.

Nato has around 130,000 soldiers fighting alongside some 350,000 Afghan security personnel against the Taliban-led insurgency, but they are due to pull out of the country in 2014.

The Western coalition is to hand over security in the war-torn country to local forces by mid-2013 and will play a support role up to the final withdrawal by the end of 2014.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/395907/three-men-in-afghan-police-uniforms-kill-nato-soldier/

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At least seven Afghan militants killed in base attack

19 June 2012

KABUL: Nato says seven attackers have stormed a base of the US-led coalition in Kandahar province of southern Afghanistan.   

The coalition says the attackers breached the outer security of the base on Tuesday in Shah Wali Kot district, but were then killed by guards at the compound.

Provincial spokesman Javid Faisal says initial reporting indicates that at least one foreign worker was killed and two other foreigners were wounded, but this could not be independently confirmed.

Earlier, Afghan officials said three Afghan policemen were killed when their checkpoint was attacked Tuesday in Kandahar city.

And US and Afghan officials say three individuals dressed in Afghan police uniforms turned their guns on coalition troops Monday in Zhari district of Kandahar province, killing one Nato service member and wounding several others.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/19/atleast-seven-afghan-militants-killed-in-base-attack/

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Militants attack checkpoint; 3 Afghan police killed

June 19, 2012

Afghan authorities say militants have attacked a police checkpoint in southern Afghanistan, killing three policemen and wounding six others. Kandahar province spokesman Javid Faisal says militants attacked the checkpoint in Kandahar city around 6 am on Tuesday. A gunbattle between

the police and insurgents lasted for an hour.

In Kandahar province, three gunmen wearing Afghan police uniforms killed a NATO service member on Monday.

NATO did not disclose the location of the incident, but Salim Ahsas, an Afghan police chief for the southern region, says it occurred in Zhari district.

Monday's attack is among nearly 20 this year that have raised the level of mistrust between the coalition and their Afghan partners as NATO works to hand over security to local forces.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Afghanistan/Militants-attack-checkpoint-3-Afghan-police-killed/Article1-874612.aspx

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Kabul accuses Pakistan over suicide attack

19 June 2012

KABUL: Afghan authorities on Tuesday said “regional spy agencies” were behind a rare suicide attack targeting Shia Muslims that killed more than 80 people in a veiled reference to Pakistani intelligence.

Attorney General Eshaq Aloko said two men had been arrested over the December attack, which struck a crowd of worshippers on Ashura in Kabul.

President Hamid Karzai blamed Pakistani sectarian extremist outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi for the atrocity, which was unprecedented on such a holy day, and urged Islamabad to act.

Aloko said the attack was planned in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar, by “regional spy agencies” aimed at “provoking sectarian violence”.

“Although the Jhangvi group claimed responsibility, it was masterminded by some spy agencies in our neighbouring countries,” Aloko said.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/19/kabul-accuses-pakistan-over-suicide-attack/

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Roadside bomb kills eight Afghan civilians

19 June 2012

KABUL: A Taliban roadside bombing killed eight civilians, including women and children, in the Afghan province of Helmand, the government said Tuesday.

The blast on Monday in Musa Qala, a Taliban-infested district in the southern province also injured five others travelling through the insurgency-hit region, the interior ministry said.

“Eight of our innocent civilian countrymen are dead and five others are injured in a mine planted by the enemies of Afghanistan,” it said in a statement, referring to the Taliban.

Thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed in a 10-year insurgency being waged by the Taliban to topple the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.

The rebels use roadside bombings to target Afghan and foreign military forces but they often miss their target and kill ordinary people travelling on the same roads.

For the past five years the number of civilians killed in the war has risen steadily, reaching a record 3,021 in 2011 — the vast majority caused by insurgents, according to UN figures.

The US-led Nato force is also responsible for hundreds of civilian casualties every year, mostly in air strikes aimed at insurgents in Afghan villages.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/19/roadside-bomb-kills-eight-afghan-civilians/

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Death sentences in Myanmar unrest murder case

19 June 2012

YANGON: A court in Myanmar has sentenced to death two men in a rape-murder case that triggered a wave of communal violence in western Rakhine state, official media said on Tuesday.

A third defendant hanged himself in prison earlier this month, according to a brief report in the New Light of Myanmar, a government mouthpiece.

In apparent revenge for the attack, a Buddhist mob beat 10 Muslims to death on June 3, mistakenly believing the perpetrators were among them.

Since then, dozens of people have died in clashes between local ethnic Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya.

According to Amnesty International, no death row prisoner in Myanmar is known to have been executed since 1988.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/19/death-sentences-in-myanmar-unrest-murder-case/

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Myanmar journalists win battles, but war not over

19 June 2012

YANGON: These are heady days in Myanmar’s newsrooms, many of them staffed by young women like those at Kumudra newspaper nicknamed after ”Charlie’s Angels” for their tenacity in holding the military-dominated government to account.

Reporters and editors are suddenly enjoying remarkable press freedom, as the country’s new, nominally civilian government launches a rapid succession of reforms, but they also fear they may be inadequately prepared as they enter uncharted, potentially hazardous territory.

The country’s mushrooming media is poised at the crossroads. Media censorship is due to end this month. But journalists fret that the censorship may be replaced by new kinds of repression, including crackdowns—after the fact—over stories that previously would simply never have been published.

”With censorship, we knew our limits. In a way it protected us. Now we will be exposed,” said Nyein Nyein Naing of the 7Day Journal. ”We will need to be more careful, accurate and responsible.”

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/19/myanmar-journalists-win-battles-but-war-not-over/

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Southeast Asia

 

Rohinrya Muslims Dream of Malaysia Home

18 June 2012

KUALA LUMPUR – Escaping humiliation and killing in their home country, Myanmar Rohingya Muslims are feeling to Malaysia where they hope to get refugee rights to end their plight as one of the world's most enduring refugee crises.

“I pray to my god, my Allah, that I can stay in Malaysia forever,” Sharifah binti Hussein, a bubbly 17-year-old Rohingya Muslim, told the BBC on Monday, June 18.

“I don't want to go to other countries where it is not a Muslim place.”

Sharifah shares the miserable life of thousands of Rohingya refugees.

Born in Myanmar, she was denied her simplest rights including a birth certificate.

Sharifah's father says he was harassed by the Buddhist military government and fled to Malaysia in 1994.

The rest of the family tried to join him a few years later. It took two attempts before they could flee.

Sharifah herself travelled alone for a month.

"We would sleep in abandoned buildings," she says.

"It was very scary at night. One night, we stayed in the city, one night in the jungle."

When she arrived in Malaysia her father could not even recognize her.

"When he left me, I was fat. I had lighter skin. I was beautiful. He said I was cute," she says.

"But now I looked like a boy because my hair was short. I was dark-skinned. I was thin and my father didn't recognize me."

The recent violence in Burma's Rakhine state makes it even more unlikely that they can return.

Clashes between Buddhists and Muslims have prompted the Burmese government to declare a state of emergency in the area.

Hundreds of Rohingya refugees showed up at the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur last Tuesday, calling for international intervention.

"We had hoped that opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi would change the situation in Burma," Zafar Ahmead Mohd Abdul Ghani, from the Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia, said at the rally.

"But now, our hopes for her have been banished. We are very scared to go back home."

Hope in Malaysia

Going through a series of life difficulties, Sharifah’s life was not that easy even in Malaysia.

She attended a regular school, but no one wanted to talk to her because she was a refugee.

"They accused me of coming to Malaysia to take away resources from them, taunting me for having darker skin," she says.

Her life improved after she switched to a school for refugees at the Harvest Centre. She now has friends, is earning top grades and dreams of working at the UN to help refugees.

Her favorite subject is learning Malay, the national language of Malaysia.

"If I can, I would like to stay in this country forever, so it's important for me to learn Malay," she said.

For her father, Hussein, 45, life was not much easier in Malaysia.

The country is not a signatory of the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees, so asylum seekers are treated like illegal migrants and are vulnerable to detention.

He struggles to feed his family. He lives in constant fear of the police. Although he holds a refugee card from the UN, it is not a legal document, so immigration officials can still detain him.

International rights groups say arbitrary detentions of refugees and extortion by Malaysian immigration officials are common.

But a 2011 report by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, noted that there have been "significant achievements" by the Malaysian government to reduce the number of arrests of refugees last year.

Though she has been trying hard to fit in Malaysia, Sharifah still feels unwelcome in the country. Yet, she remains hopeful.

"I believe that Malaysia will recognize refugees," she says.

"I don't know why in my heart I believe in this, but I do."

Described by the UN as one of the world's most persecuted minorities, Rohingyas are not allowed to own land.

Rohingya Muslims have been denied citizenship rights since an amendment to the citizenship laws in 1982 and are treated as illegal immigrants in their own home.

They suffer frequent food shortages and they are technically restricted from travel outside of Rakhine.

Every year, thousands of Muslim Rohingyas flee Myanmar in wooden boats, embarking on a hazardous journey to Thailand or Malaysia in search of a better life.

Rohingyas say they are deprived of free movement, education and employment in their homeland.

They are not recognized as an ethnic minority by Myanmar and say they suffer human rights abuses at the hands of government officials.

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/asia-pacific/457607-rohingyas-dream-of-malaysia-home.html

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Four killed, seven buried in Indonesia landslide

Jun 19, 2012

AMBON, INDONESIA: A government official says a landslide triggered by torrential rain in eastern Indonesia has killed at least four people and buried seven others.

Richard Louhenapessy, a mayor in Maluku's provincial capital, Ambon, says five houses were buried when mud gushed down from surrounding hills just after midnight on Tuesday in Soya village of the province.

He said four bodies were found early Tuesday, including a 4-year-old boy. Two people were brought to a hospital with injuries.

Rescuers are still searching for seven people who were buried beneath tons of mud and rocks.

Seasonal downpours cause dozens of landslides and flash floods each year in Indonesia, a vast chain of 17,000 islands where millions of people live in mountainous areas or near fertile flood plains.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Four-killed-seven-buried-in-Indonesia-landslide/articleshow/14264623.cms

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58 missing after Indonesia boat sinks

19 June 2012

The death toll from a capsized boat in eastern Indonesia may be much higher than officials initially believed.

After getting reports from passengers’ relatives, rescue officials say they are still looking for 58 people missing from the overloaded wooden boat that sank Sunday. Earlier they had said only 14 people were missing.

The Putri Ayu boat was travelling from Maluku’s provincial capital, Ambon, to the nearby island of Buru when it capsized after being battered by a 3-metre-high wave.

Twelve people were rescued Sunday, but rescue official Dony Haryanto said Tuesday that nothing has been found since.

The boat was carrying 70 people, but was licensed to carry just 40. The manifest had listed only 27.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3546364.ece

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Mideast Asia

 

West Bank Mosque Is Set Ablaze and Vandalized With Warning in Hebrew of A “War”

By JODI RUDOREN and KHALED ABU AKER

19 June 2012

JERUSALEM — A West Bank mosque was burned and vandalized early on Tuesday, with graffiti warning in Hebrew of a “war” over the impending evacuation of the Jewish settlement of Ulpana.

Police officials said it was the fourth attack on a mosque in the last 18 months and part of a recent uptick in so-called “price tag” incidents by radical settlers.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately condemned the attack as “the work of intolerant, irresponsible lawbreakers,” adding, “We will act quickly in order to bring them to justice.”

Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for the Israeli police, said that several suspects entered Jabaa, a Palestinian village of 4,200 about five miles from both Jerusalem and Ramallah, early on Tuesday, then broke a large window in the mosque and set a fire that burned several yards of a carpet and wall. Outside the building, the slogan “Ulpana war” was written on the right side of the window, and “Price tag” on the left, suggesting the attack was in exchange for the coming evacuation.

Known as the Grand Mosque of Jabaa, the two-story structure was built three years ago to replace a smaller mosque and it has a yellow dome that quickly became a recognizable landmark in the area. Residents said they saw light inside the empty and locked mosque around 1:30 a.m. and broke through the gate to put out the fire. Mr. Rosenfeld said the police arrived at 6 a.m.

Abdul Kareem Bsharat, the mayor of Jabaa, said his is a peaceful village and blamed settlers for the vandalism. “This time we succeeded in controlling the fire, but I don’t feel this is over,” Mr. Bsharat said. “They can do worse than this. Our citizens and their property are in danger.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/20/world/europe/west-bank-mosque-is-set-ablaze-and-

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Iran and world powers seek to break nuclear deadlock

Jun 19 2012

Moscow : Iran and world powers today dug in for a second day of attrition talks in Moscow aimed at breaking an increasingly risky deadlock in the decade-long crisis over the Iranian nuclear programme.

With the United States and Israel refusing to rule out military action and Tehran facing severe economic sanctions, the price of failure in the Russian capital could be high but there was no sign of progress on the first day.

Negotiators from the six world powers asked Iran to scale back its enrichment of uranium, a process which can be used to make nuclear fuel but also the explosive core of a nuclear bomb.

But Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili responded with a five-point power point presentation listing Iran's own demands, an EU official said, apparently leaving

both sides talking at cross purposes.

"The main stumbling block is the fact the positions of the sides are rather complicated and hard to reconcile," the Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying after first round yesterday.

EU delegation spokesman Michael Mann indicated all had not been harmonious: "We had an intense and tough exchange of views."

The talks were due to resume at 0800 GMT with the Iranian side expecting their counterparts to come up with answers to the points that had been laid out the day earlier.

"The P5+1 group will today announce its position on Iran's proposals, and specifically about the issue of Iran's enrichment right," Jalili's deputy Ali Bagheri told the Mehr news agency.

The world powers are the so-called "P5+1" -- permanent UN Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany -- with their negotiating team led by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/iran-and-world-powers-seek-to-break-nuclear-deadlock/963937/

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Yemen commander who went after Qaeda assassinated

 Jun 19 2012

Aden : The commander of military forces in the south of Yemen was killed by a suicide bomber in the port city of Aden on Monday, days after troops drove Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda from their southern strongholds.

The killing of Major General Salem Ali Qatan highlighted the tenuous grip of Yemen’s central authorities on the south despite a month of US-supported bombardments and airstrikes aimed at crushing the militants. The Defence Ministry said a suicide bomber hurled himself at Qatan’s vehicle, also killing two soldiers escorting him. It identified the bomber as a Somali.

Pools of blood coated the street where the bomber struck. A doctor at the hospital where Qatan died said 12 other people, nine of them soldiers, were wounded in the attack in Aden, a port city overlooking oil shipping lanes fewer than 100 km from several cities which Islamists flying al-Qaeda’s banner recently controlled.

Most of that territory is in Abyan province, where fighters calling themselves Ansar al-Sharia seized towns last year, taking advantage of protests against the three-decade rule of then president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/963753/

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2 Gazans Found Dead After Israeli Airstrike

19 June 2012

JERUSALEM (AP) — Two Palestinian men were killed after Israeli aircraft struck the Gaza Strip early Tuesday, as a flare up in violence threatened a brittle cease-fire between the two sides.

The Israeli military spokesman's office said the strike was launched in response to rocket fire at southern Israel, and that targets were hit. It did not elaborate.

Palestinian health official Adham Abu Salmia said the men could not be immediately identified, so it was not clear whether they were civilians or militants. He said they died in an Israeli military strike, and it appeared he and the military were referring to the same attack.

Israel-Gaza violence has flared in recent days, with four Palestinian militants killed Monday in airstrikes launched in retaliation for rocket fire. Over the past 24 hours militants fired six rockets, the military said.

In another development, vandals torched and scrawled graffiti on a Palestinian mosque in the West Bank on Tuesday, Israeli security officials said, and suspicion fell on radical Jewish settlers angry over the looming demolition of an unsanctioned settler enclave.

By July 1, the government has committed to destroying 30 apartments settlers built illegally on privately held Palestinian land. Acts of vandalism against Palestinian property have been expected ahead of that date because radical settlers routinely attack Palestinian targets in retaliation for government settlement policy they oppose.

The Hebrew-language graffiti spray-painted on the mosque in Kfar Jabaa read, "The war has just begun, you'll pay the price," the military spokesman's office said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attack and said authorities would act swiftly to bring the vandals to justice.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/06/19/world/middleeast/ap-ml-israel-

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18 killed in clashes in southeast Turkey

June 19, 2012

Ankara: Kurdish rebels on Tuesday attacked Turkish military units in southeastern Turkey, sparking clashes in which 10 rebels and eights soldiers died, authorities said.

The attack happened in Daglica area of Hakkari province, which borders northern Iraq's Kurdish areas.

Sixteen Turkish soldiers were also wounded in the attack, the governor's office in Hakkari said in a statement.

A similar rebel attack in the same area in late 2007, when 12 Turkish soldiers died, had triggered an eight-day incursion by the Turkish military into Iraq in February 2008.

Rebels use northern Iraq as a base from where to launch attacks on Turkish troops.

The rebel group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, is fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey. Tens of thousands have died since it took up arms in 1984. The attack came amid efforts by the government to try to reconcile with the Kurdish minority through granting more cultural rights.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently announced plans to introduce elective Kurdish lessons in schools, after allowing Kurdish language broadcasts on television.

Turkey refuses demands by Kurdish activists, rebels and politicians of full education in Kurdish, fearing that it could divide the country along ethnic lines. An estimated 20 per cent of Turkey's 75 million are Kurds.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/18-killed-in-clashes-in-southeast-turkey_782742.html

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Al-Sarsak Ends Hunger Strike in Release Deal After 92 Days

June 18, 2012

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Mahmoud al-Sarsak, on hunger strike in an Israeli jail for 92 days, agreed to start eating on Monday in a deal that will see him released on July 10, his lawyer said.

Mohammad Jaberein said al-Sarsak signed the agreement during his visit to the prisoner on Monday. Israeli prison authorities asked al-Sarsak to eat something in their presence to ratify the deal, after which he took a piece of chocolate from the lawyer, Jaberein said.

An Israeli prisons spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.

Under the deal al-Sarsak will visit a civilian hospital for treatment on Tuesday, but the same day will return to Ramle prison clinic until his release on July 10, the lawyer added.

Physicians for Human Rights - Israel say the clinic is not equipped to treat long-term hunger strikers or manage the health risks when they return to eating, and has called for transfer of hunger strikers to civilian facilities.

The 25-year-old soccer player from the Gaza Strip has been imprisoned by Israel without charge or trial since July 2009.

Full report at:

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m88953&hd=&size=1&l=e

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Iran taking initial steps towards making nuclear submarine

Jun 18, 2012

DUBAI: Iran today claimed that it had begun work on designing the country's first nuclear-powered submarine, a technology possessed by a select group of nations.

Senior Iranian naval commander, Rear Admiral Abbas Zamini, said the country was at an "initial" phase of manufacturing atomic submarines.

The Admiral claimed that the country had made "astonishing progress" in developing and acquiring civilian nuclear technology for various power-generation, agricultural and medical purposes, and said such advancements allow Iran to think of manufacturing nuclear-fueled submarines, Iran's Fars News Agency reported.

The comments by the Lieutenant Commander of the Navy for Technical Affairs came as Tehran is at odds with the Western nations over its nuclear programme, with Washington suspecting it of developing weapons technology.

The agency said that Iran had success in repairing heavy submarines and had ability to carry out full or partial repairs of submarines.

He pointed out that using nuclear power to fuel submarines is among the civilian uses of the nuclear technology and all countries are entitled to the right to make such a use.

Only an elite group of nations -- the US, Russia, France, britain and China -- possess the technology to build a nuclear-powered submarine.

India too is nearing the official induction of its indigenous nuclear-powered submarine 'INS Arihant'.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-taking-initial-steps-towards-making-nuclear-submarine/articleshow/14248942.cms

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Africa

 

Libya prospers every day, thanks to new regime

June 18, 2012

In the last few days Libya has been making the world rejoice over its new developments in the field of law, democracy and tolerance. In confirmation of allegiance to the selected course for the bright future a branch of the Red Cross was blown up, and two Russians were sentenced - one for life, the other - for a very long time; employees of the ICC were taken hostage, and the British ambassador was fired at.

On the path of democratic development of the country the Libyan authorities and their sympathizers have spared no effort or time. It is very interesting to watch how the country that was recently groaning under the yoke of a tyrant is moving to the civilized rails. Who said that it looks like the train that had gone downhill? The filthy liar's tongue will be cut off.

Let's take a cursory look at the main achievements. A little over a week ago, the Libyan military court sentenced two Russians for allegedly repairing military equipment for al-Gaddafi, while NATO was struggling to bomb it. Of course, decided the tribunal, such resistance to civilized peace-keeping forces should be punished with all severity.

The trial was swift and fair in the new Libyan way. Why bother with details? Alexander Shadrov was given a life sentence, and Vladimir Dolgov was sentenced to ten years in prison. In addition to Dolgov, another nineteen Ukrainians and three Belarusians were sentenced to the same period.

Full report at:

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m88954&hd=&size=1&l=e

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Gunfire in Nigeria's Kaduna as Muslims Demonstrate

Jun 19 2012

KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigerian Muslims took to the streets in the northern city of Kaduna on Tuesday, firing AK-47s, burning tires and destroying at least one church two days after rioting by Christian youths killed 52 people, witnesses said.

"They are out on the streets, burning tires and shooting. They burned a church," said a witness, who only gave his first name, Suleiman, for fear of reprisals. He said he was caught up in the crowd on his way back home.

A Reuters reporter heard multiple gunshots ricochet across the city, where unrest was triggered on Sunday by a suspected Islamist suicide bombings of three churches in Kaduna state.

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/19/world/africa/19reuters-nigeria-violence-kaduna.html?ref=global-home

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Boko Haram claims Nigeria blasts

19 June 2012

Nigeria’s dreaded Islamist militant group Boko Haram on Monday claimed responsibility for three deadly attacks on churches that left at least 52 people dead and 131 others wounded.

Boko Haram, which wants to impose Islamic sharia law in Nigeria, said Sunday’s attacks in the cities of Zaria and Kaduna were retaliation on Christians for destroying mosques and, according to the group, turning others into “beer parlour and prostitution joints”.

“Let them know that now it’s the time for revenge God willing,” said the group in a statement. “From now on, they either follow the right religion or there will be no peace for them.”

Government and Red Cross figures on the death toll in Sunday’s attacks differed. The Red Cross said the at least 52 people were killed and 131 others wounded in the attacks.

Analysts say Boko Haram is trying to trigger clashes between Christians and Muslims in the country which is equally divided between the two faiths.

The series of attacks began when a suicide bomber drove at high speed through a barricade at the EWCA Goodnews Wusasa Zaria church early morning.

Within minutes, another explosion occurred at the Christ the King Catholic Church in Zaria, according to Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3544015.ece

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Gunmen Attack Tunisian Consulate in Benghazi

19 June 2012

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - A group of armed gunmen stormed the Tunisian consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Monday to protest against an art exhibition in Tunisia which they said insulted Islam, a security guard who works inside the building said.

Kamal al-Gehani said the group of about 20 young men carrying Kalashnikovs forced their way into the building and burned the Tunisian flag inside.

"They knocked on our gates and pushed into the building. It was a holiday so no one was working inside except security," he told Reuters.

Suleiman al-Gehani, an official with the foreign ministry who was called to help defuse the situation, said security officers had to negotiate with the group until they were convinced to leave.

He said no shots were fired and no one was injured.

"We had to convince them this wasn't the civilized way to protest. They were very angry over the art work from Tunisia," he said.

Thousands of hard-line Muslim Salafis rioted in Tunis this week to protest against the art exhibition which features a work that spells out the name of God using insects.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/18/world/africa/18reuters-libya-gunmen-

------

 

Somali Rebels Bruised, but May Dodge Knockout Blow

19 June 2012

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Expelled from a string of strategic towns, cut off from revenue sources and struggling for its survival, Somalia's Islamist militant group al Shabaab is steeling for an anticipated assault on its last bastion by Western-backed African forces.

But while the capture of the southern port and militant stronghold of Kismayu in coming weeks could weaken the al Qaeda-linked rebels, it is unlikely to deliver the knock-out blow hoped for by Mogadishu and its allies.

Kenyan forces operating in Somalia seized the southern rebel stronghold of Afmadow in late May. This opened the way for what Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said would be a "final onslaught" on Kismayu, Somalia's second biggest city which is a hub for al Shabaab and a main base for its foreign fighters.

Kismayu would be taken by August, Odinga said this month.

But some regional diplomats feel this target is over ambitious. There are fears too a wounded al Shabaab will simply redeploy from Kismayu and hit back with guerrilla raids and urban bombings, disrupting efforts to end two decades of violence in the Horn of Africa state.

"The fall of Kismayu might hurt the rebel economy, but they will launch more attacks," said Hassan Farah, a shopkeeper in the coastal city. He said the dense forest surrounding the port would be an easy hiding ground for the rebels.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/19/world/africa/19reuters-somalia-conflict.html?ref=africa

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The looming Boko Haram war in Nigeria

Jun 18, 2012

BY eeudomyahoocom

Again, members of the Boko Haram sect yesterday hit two churches in the northern part of Nigeria, killing no fewer than 10 persons and injuring a dozen more, even as destruction of monumental proportions have also been recorded.

As expected, the Goodluck Jonathan administration has condemned the barbaric acts and assured Nigerians for the umpteen times that our security agents are on top of the situation.

Beyond the repeated assurances, it is obvious to discerning minds that these Boko Haram warriors are targeting Christians and churches in their ambiguous mission to redress what they perceive as injustice against the north by the present regime.

Let me say here and now that marginalization, injustice, oppression, and under development is not limited to the northern part of Nigeria alone. It is a national phenomenon that had existed even before the Goodluck Jonathan regime came on board.

The many avoidable problems of Nigeria were created by our past military and civilian leaders since the country became an independent nation in 1960. The likes of Ibrahim Babangida, Muhammed Buhari, Olusegun Obasanjo Atiku Abubakar, as well as our late statesmen, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and Tafawa Balewa contributed one way or the other to the present mess the country has found itself.

In fairness to some of these leaders, they also contributed positively to the development of the country. You do not have to accept what I have said here, but check the records for the facts.

Full report at:

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/12402961-the-looming-boko-haram-war-in-nigeria

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Study Finds Parental Factors Crucial in Choosing Circumcision for a Baby

By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.

19 June 2012

The crucial factors in choosing circumcision for a baby in western Kenya are whether the father is circumcised and whether both parents agree to the procedure, a new study has found.

Three previous African studies have established that a heterosexual man is about 60 percent less likely to become infected with H.I.V. if he is circumcised. Since then, Western donors have paid for the circumcisions of thousands of adult volunteers. (Traditionally, non-Muslim African tribes that circumcise do so in adolescent manhood rituals.)

Donors like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are now seeking ways to encourage parents to circumcise newborns, when medical care is nearby, the surgery is faster and wound care is easier. (Outside Africa, heterosexual transmission of H.I.V. is rarer, so widespread circumcision is pointless.)

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/health/crucial-factors-in-choosing-circumcision-for-a-

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Europe

 

Europe: Hotbed of Islamophobic Extremism

19 June, 2012

Europeans are not threatened by a Muslim minority. It's the other way round, Gary Younge points out.

How’s this for the fashion police? In late May, in a suburb of Brussels, a Muslim woman was arrested for wearing aniqab-- the garment worn by a tiny proportion of Muslim women that covers all of the face but the eyes. In the subsequent melee, the woman broke an officer’s nose while being frisked. Her arrest sparked clashes between Muslim youth and police in the area. A week later, the hard-right Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang offered a 250 euro bounty to anyone reporting veiled women to the police.

The Belgian law banning theniqab, like measures across Europe ranging from outlawing the wearing of certain face veils in France to the building of more minarets in Switzerland, was ostensibly aimed at integrating Muslim minorities into Western culture.

To the extent these laws have integrated Muslims into their place in the new hierarchy of European racism -- a toxic blend of traditional fascism and Western bigotry posing as secular liberalism -- they’ve been successful. But as a tool for promoting inclusion and equality, these laws have singularly failed. Indeed, this bid to prevent the importation of “radical Islam” has been both laughable and lamentable. The Belgian woman in question was a locally born convert, as were the girls at the heart of the French head scarf law, whose father is Jewish.

The response of Europe’s political class to the presence of Muslim minorities can be described most generously as a moral panic, and most accurately as a repressive legislative and rhetorical onslaught. A number of states from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean have gone to extraordinary lengths to ban what women can wear, what people can say, and where and how they can worship. Disproportionate in scale and disingenuous in conception, these laws -- whatever their stated intent -- were not about tackling any serious threat of Islamic extremism. Switzerland passed a referendum in 2009 outlawing the building of minarets; the country has four. In Denmark the same year, a call for a burqa ban prompted a study revealing that just three women wore it, while only 150 to 200 wore theniqab, a third of whom were Danish converts. “The burqa and theniqabdo not have their place in the Danish society,” insisted Danish Premier Lars Rasmussen a year later. That’s true, but then they never really did.

Full report at:

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=52909

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Drone attacks discussed in UN Human Rights Council

19 June 2012

GENEVA: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navanethem Pillay, in her opening statement to the 20th session of the HRC, while referring to her recent visit to Pakistan, said that she was impressed by “the energy and capacity” available to strengthen human rights and democracy in Pakistan.

The High Commissioner also expressed serious concern over the continuing use of armed drones for targeted attacks, in particular because it was unclear that all persons targeted were combatants or directly participating in hostilities.

The High Commissioner urged states to conduct investigation that were transparent, credible and independent and provide victims with effective remedies.

In his statements, the Permanent Representative of Pakistan, Ambassador Zamir Akram, thanked the High Commissioner for her words of encouragement in commending the efforts made by the Government of Pakistan to strengthen human rights.

He also referred to the fact that the former Special Reporter on Extraordinary, Summary or Arbitrary executions Philip Alston, as well as his successor Christof Heyns, had raised serious concerns regarding the use of drones.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/19/drone-attacks-discussed-in-un-human-rights-council/

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German neo-Nazis helped kill Israeli athletes in 1972 Olympics

Jun 19, 2012

BERLIN: German neo-Nazis helped the Palestinian terrorist organization, Black September, carry out the infamous massacre of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, intelligence files released nearly four decades after the killings revealed on Sunday.

Details from a hitherto secret, 2,000-page document on the massacre, held by Germany's federal office for the Protection of the constitution, were published by Der Spiegel magazine ahead of the 40th anniversary of the athletes' deaths this September.

Two Israeli sportsmen died in the initial hostagetaking. Nine more were killed during a bungled rescue attempt by German police at Munich airport in which five terrorists were also shot dead.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/German-neo-Nazis-aided-Munich-Olympic-massacre/articleshow/14255596.cms

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UN: 90,000 have fled Myanmar ethnic violence

19 June 2012

GENEVA: The UN food agency says 90,000 people who have fled ethnic violence in Myanmar are in need of aid.   

The World Food Program says it has distributed emergency food supplies to 66,000 people in the past week and is now moving additional stocks to the western Rakhine state.

WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday that the agency is planning a three-month operation in the area.

The UN refugee agency says it is scaling up its work to help those fleeing the violence that flared up last month.

UNHCR Spokesman Adrian Edwards says boatloads of Rohingya Muslims continue to strike out for neighbouring Bangladesh.

But Edwards says Bangladesh is refusing to allow the refugees into the country and turned back 139 people on Sunday.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/19/un-90000-have-fled-myanmar-ethnic-violence/

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North America

 

US contradicts Taliban, says India did not say no on Afghanistan

Jun 19 2012

Washington : Terming Defence Secretary Leon Panetta's recent India visit as highly successful, the Pentagon today refuted the Taliban statement that New Delhi resisted his call for greater Indian involvement in Afghanistan.

"I did not hear the word no from the Indians on any specific list. To my knowledge no specific list was presented," the Pentagon Press Secretary, George Little, told reporters during an off camera news conference today.

He was responding to questions on the rare statement made by the Taliban over the weekend in which the terrorist outfit praised India for resisting Panetta's reported call for greater Indian involvement in Afghanistan.

"I am not going to respond directly to the Taliban statement, but let me make it very clear that we had very productive conversations with our Indian partners about the future of strategic partnership with India, about closer military to military co-operation with Indians," Little said.

"And we signaled very clearly, Secretary made it very clear that India has a very important role to play in regional security to include in the transition in Afghanistan. We look forward to working with the Indians. We made that very clear as well. I would put this in the category of a very successful visit," he said.

"The Indians have been training ANSF. We are very grateful of their contribution to that effort," Little said in response to a question.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-contradicts-taliban-says-india-did-not-say-no-on-afghanistan/963904/

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U.S. praises Myanmar's response to sectarian clashes

Jun 19, 2012

(Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday praised Myanmar's response to recent deadly sectarian fighting, despite criticism by rights group Amnesty International that Muslim Rohingyas are still fleeing arbitrary arrest.

The vote of confidence from Washington will be a welcome relief to reformist President Thein Sein after mob violence in western Myanmar last week threatened to derail the country's move towards democracy.

After days of attacks between Rohingyas and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists, the president on June 10 declared a state of emergency in Rakhine state, sent security reinforcements, imposed a curfew and made a televised address.

"This is something we would not have seen in the past. The government is trying to help everybody who needs it whether that is Rakhine Buddhists or Muslims," Michael Thurston, the U.S. embassy's charge d'affaires in Myanmar, told Reuters in his office in Yangon.

Despite the upbeat assessment, much of northern Rakhine state remains a no-go area from which journalists and independent observers are banned, making it impossible to verify the government's version of events.

There has also been no mention in state media of hundreds of Rohingyas attempting to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh, a point London-based Amnesty International highlighted in a report on Tuesday.

Full report at:

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/06/19/myanmar-violence-usa-idINL3E8HJ3YY20120619

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US Muslims Love Story With Basketball

 16 June 2012

CAIRO – American Muslims are increasingly falling in love with basketball, in a relationship that transcends any particular player or team and embraces the sport itself a way to foster their relationship with the wider community.

“Every Muslim community I go to, there’s this obsession for basketball. Almost every mosque you go to, there’s a basketball court outside,” Musab Abdali, a 19-year-old Houston man helping to organize youth programs, told The Kansas City Star on Friday, June 15.

“We have people to look up to. We have Muslims who have won championships and who have set records,” Abdali said.

“Basketball has become more than a sport; it’s a culture for us.”

Basketball has long served as an inspiration for religious minorities in US.

Transcending cultural barriers, American Muslims found basketball as a means to communicate with their community.

For example, Mohamed El-Housiny came to America from Gaza when he was about 5.

Speaking little English, he could communicate in a language Americans understand very well. So, basketball was the language that allowed the kids to play with him and he later picked up more English.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/457590-us-muslims-love-story-with-basketball.html

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Obama congratulates Saudi king on selecting new heir

19 June 2012

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama on Monday congratulated Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah for naming Prince Salman as heir apparent and said he was looking forward to continuing to deepen the US-Saudi partnership.

“I had the pleasure of receiving him at the White House this April and know that he is a man of deep faith who is committed to improving the lives of the people of Saudi Arabia and to the security of the region,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

“The United States looks forward to continuing our strong relationship with Crown Prince Salman in his new capacity as we deepen the longstanding partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia,” the president said.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/19/obama-congratulates-saudi-king-on-selecting-new-heir/

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Obama, Putin say Syria violence must end, no plan agreed

Jun 19, 2012

LOS CABOS, Mexico: US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Monday that the violence in Syria has to end but they offered no new solutions and showed no signs of healing a rift over whether to impose tougher sanctions on Damascus.

With the bloodshed in Syria getting worse and after a week of Cold War-style recriminations between US and Russian diplomats, the talks at a Group of 20 summit in Mexico tested whether Obama and Putin could forge a working relationship.

But the two leaders appeared to share little common ground on the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and their mostly chilly personal encounter suggested a less-than-promising start.

It was their first meeting since Putin's return to the presidency last month, and the two leaders sought to paper over disputes on arming Damascus and the prospects for further UN action.

"We agreed that we need to see a cessation of the violence, that a political process has to be created to prevent civil war," Obama told reporters after the talks, which went on for some two hours - longer than originally planned.

"From my point of view, we have found many common points on this issue (of Syria)," Putin said, adding the two sides would continue discussions.

The talks came as Syrian security forces pounded opposition areas across the country. Intense artillery fire was reported in Douma, a town 15 km (9 miles) outside the Syrian capital that for weeks has been under the partial control of rebels who have joined the revolt against Assad.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Obama-Putin-say-Syria-violence-must-end-no-plan-agreed/articleshow/14261962.cms

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Obama's nominee to be next US ambassador to Iraq withdraws

Jun 19, 2012

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama's nominee to become the next US ambassador to Iraq withdrew his name on Monday after Republican lawmakers questioned his suitability following revelations that he had engaged in an extramarital affair with a journalist who later became his wife.

Brett McGurk, a long-time Iraq expert who had served on the Bush administration's National Security Council, wrote that he was withdrawing "with a heavy heart."

"I believe it is in the best interests of the country, and our life together, to withdraw my nomination and serve in another capacity," McGurk said in a letter to US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Obamas-nominee-to-be-next-US-ambassador-to-Iraq-withdraws/articleshow/14250441.cms

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/ppp-nominates-shahabuddin-for-pakistan-pm-s-post,-following-a--judicial-coup--against-current-pm-gilani/d/7664

 

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