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Islamic World News ( 9 March 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Red Alert: Saudi Police Fire On Protesters In Oil Hub

PESHAWAR: Suicide attack on funeral prayer leaves 43 dead

Qaddafi’s forces seize Zawiyah center; at least 40 killed

Muslims welcome hearings by Congressman Peter R. King

Christian-Muslim clashes in Egypt kill 13

Bomb blast kills five in Algeria

US charges Pakistani with illegal nuclear exports

4 Taliban arrested in Karachi

Pakistani, US leaders urge tolerance

JS body for manpower increase in Libya, Egypt, Greece, Tunisia

Punish fatwa abusers: petitioner

Gaddafi offers $400,000 bounty for Libyan opposition leader

Nato forces seize rockets from Iran in Afghanistan

From the streets to the stage, Yemen finds its voice

RIYADH: Women should be allowed to drive: Alwaleed

Yunus appeals to keep job at Grameen Bank

Women of Courage Awardees Set Example for the World

Thousands of Bahrainis protest ‘naturalization’

Lawmaker: Hearings on Muslims in US will be fair

Arab League will weigh all options to deal with Libyan crisis: Prince Saud

BSF jawans gun down intruding Pak militant

Liquor intake heads north in J&K

War on terror slipping from hands: Imran

Briton held for compatriot’s murder in Riyadh

Pak admits majority killed in drone strikes are terrorists

Hillary presses for peaceful resolution to Libyan crisis

Gaddafi would be held accountable even if he steps down: US

NATO watching Libya as no-fly zone demand intensifies

Will unleash a people’s war: Qadhafi

Guantanamo closure unlikely

All Indians in Libya to return by tonight

Fire forces shutdown of Iraq oil pipeline to Turkey

Kasab practises karate to kill time

Militants destroy two schools, bridge in Khyber

Tunisia court dissolves ousted president’s party

Rodin’s $350,000 sculpture is stolen from Israel museum

Emiratis seek right to elect Parliament

Dalai Lama to resign as political head of the exiled Tibetan movement

Tunisia court dissolves ousted president’s party

Fire forces shutdown of Iraq oil pipeline to Turkey

Heavy snowfall paralyzes parts of Turkey

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/red-alert--saudi-police-fire-on-protesters-in-oil-hub/d/4264

 

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Red Alert: Saudi Police Fire On Protesters In Oil Hub

March 10, 2011

Saudi police have reportedly opened gunfire on and launched stun grenades at several hundred protesters March 10 rallying in the heavily Shiite-populated city of Qatif in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province.

The decision to employ violence in this latest crackdown comes a day before Friday prayers, after which various Saudi opposition groups were planning to rally in the streets. Unrest has been simmering in the Saudi kingdom over the past couple weeks, with mostly Sunni youth, human rights activists and intellectuals in Riyadh and Jeddah campaigning for greater political freedoms, including the call for a constitutional monarchy. A so-called “Day of Rage” of protests across the country has been called for March 11 by Facebook groups Hanyn (Nostalgia) Revolution and the Free Youth Coalition following Friday prayers.

What is most critical to Saudi Arabia, however, is Shiite-driven unrest in the country’s Eastern Province. Shiite activists and clerics have become more vocal in recent weeks in expressing their dissent and have been attempting to dodge Saudi security forces. The Saudi regime has been cautious thus far, not wanting to inflame the protests with a violent crackdown but at the same time facing a growing need to demonstrate firm control.

Yet in watching Shiite unrest continue to simmer in the nearby island of Bahrain, the Saudi royals are growing increasingly concerned about the prospect of Shiite uprisings cascading throughout the Persian Gulf region, playing directly into the Iranian strategic interest of destabilizing its U.S.-allied Arab neighbors. By showing a willingness to use force early, the Saudi authorities are likely hoping they will be able to deter people from joining the protests, but such actions could just as easily embolden the protesters.

There is a strong potential for clashes to break out March 11 between Saudi security forces and protesters, particularly in the vital Eastern Province. Saudi authorities have taken tough security measures in the Shiite areas of the country by deploying about 15,000 national guardsmen to thwart the planned demonstrations by attempting to impose a curfew in critical areas. Energy speculators are already reacting to the heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf region, but unrest in cities like Qatif cuts directly to the source of the threat that is fueling market speculation: The major oil transit pipelines that supply the major oil port of Ras Tanura — the world’s largest, with a capacity of 5 million barrels per day — go directly through Qatif.

Source: Stratfor.com

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PESHAWAR: Suicide attack on funeral prayer leaves 43

By Ali Hazrat Bacha

PESHAWAR: A suicide bomber killed 43 people and wounded 52 others in an attack on a funeral prayer for the wife of a volunteer of Qaumi Lashkar in Adezai village near here on Wednesday.

The bomber blew himself up soon after the prayers had begun. It was the second suicide attack on the Lashkar, which has been fighting the Taliban since 2008 in the village, about 35km from Peshawar cantonment.

In Nov 2009, Lashkar’s founder Haji Abdul Malik and 13 others were killed in a blast at Matni.

Peshawar SSP (operations) Ijaz Khan confirmed that it was a suicide blast, but said it was not clear if the bomber was with the mourners or appeared there later.

He said the Lashkar had been supporting law-enforcement agencies for three years in rural areas of Peshawar.

A bomb disposal official said about 8kg explosives and ball bearings had been used in the attack.

An official of the investigation department said that several heads had been found at the site, but the bomber’s head could not be identified.

Peshawar District Coordination Officer Seraj Ahmed said the attack was aimed at eliminating the leadership of the Lashkar.

He said the number of the dead might go up because a few bodies taken away by people were not included in the toll.

Eyewitness Rahim Dad and Tila Mohammad Khan said they had seen the bomber rushing towards the place, calling for delaying the funeral because he wanted to join it.

“We requested the prayer leader to wait for the man and when he joined the second row of the congregation a huge blast took place. We remained unhurt because we were in the last rows.”

They said hundreds of people attended the prayers.

A volunteer security guard Mir Baz Khan was among the dead.

“The bodies of my relatives Ameen Khan and Adnan are missing,” Rahim Dad said.

Dilawar Khan, the head of the Lashkar, said the victims fought for peace and sacrificed their lives for security of the nation.

He said he had informed police about the possibility of an attack but no action was taken.

“I have already informed the government that the peace body will not support law-enforcement agencies if arms, ammunition and ration are not provided to the volunteers,” he said.

Mr Dilawar accused local legislators of the Awami National Party of supporting the militants. The volunteers would have to take steps to protect their families because the government had disappointed them, he added.

He said 47 volunteers had been killed in attacks, encounters and exchange of fire with militants and several others were injured, but the government was yet to compensate their families.

Some of those who died in the funeral attack are: Abdur Rehman (60), Abdul Salam (70), Amin Gul (51), Ayaz Khan (40), Ghulam Mohammad (55), Gul Alam (60), Gul Khan (28), Gul Zada (80), Gul Mast Khan (35), Gul Rehman (80), Habibullah (31), Haji Waris (70), Hayatullah (32), Ibrar (21), Ismail (50), Mohammad Fayyaz (50), Mir Baz Khan (35), Mubarak Khan (26), Murad Khan (52), Musa Khan (42), Naqeebullah (32), Raz Mohammad (22), Said Gul (65), Sanam Gul (60), Shahbaz (30), Sultan Mohammad (70), Taj Mohammad (50), and Waris (42). Six bodies could not be recognised.

The injured were taken to the Lady Reading Hospital.

AFP adds: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani issued a statement condemning the attack and reiterated the government’s “resolve to root out the cancer of terrorism from every nook and corner of the country”.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/10/suicide-attack-on-funeral-prayer-leaves-43-dead-52-injured.html

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Qaddafi's forces seize Zawiyah center; at least 40 killed

By MARIA GOLOVNINA AND MICHAEL GEORGY

Mar 10, 2011

TRIPOLI: Forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi recaptured Zawiyah on Wednesday after a fierce attack on the closest rebel-held city to the capital Tripoli, residents said.

Libyan state television showed footage of Qaddafi supporters waving flags in what it said was a celebratory march in Zawiyah and a rebel fighter told Reuters pro-Qaddafi forces had driven rebels from their stronghold in the central square.

A local doctor confirmed the report and said the death toll in the day’s fighting was at least 40 and probably many more.

“We have pulled back and they are inside the square but we will attack them again and have it back,” the rebel fighter said by telephone. “We will do that tonight. This is not the end.”

The doctor said many dead lay in the streets, including old people, women and children. Al Jazeera television said several members of Qaddafi’s forces were also killed, including a general and colonel.

A witness from Zawiyah told Al Arabiya television there was a new, heavy bombardment on Wednesday evening.

The counter-offensive by Qaddafi, almost three weeks after an uprising began against him in eastern Libya, has halted the rebels’ advance in the east and left others stranded in Zawiyah and another western city, Misrata.

At the same time, the Libyan government appeared to be putting out feelers toward western governments who have tried to isolate Qaddafi with financial sanctions and are discussing further measures to try to stop the violence.

Libyan government emissaries appeared to have flown to Brussels to talk to European Union and NATO officials meeting on Thursday and Friday, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said, suggesting the situation was very fluid.

Portugal’s Foreign Minister was expected to meet another government official from Tripoli, the Lusa news agency said. There were no details of the kind of message they were bringing.

Rebels in the east faced a fresh barrage of artillery fire on their desert frontline outside the oil port of Ras Lanuf.

Dr. Gebril Hewadi of the Benghazi medical management committee told Reuters television at least 400 people had been killed in eastern Libya since clashes began there on February 17, with many corpses yet to be recovered from bombing sites.

The eastern rebels renewed an appeal for outside powers to impose a no-fly zone to at least shield them from air attacks.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear imposing a no-fly zone is a matter for the United Nations and should not be a US -led initiative.

The White House said, however, it believed a UN arms embargo on Libya contained the flexibility to allow the rebels to be armed if such a decision were made.

Qaddafi has said he would die in Libya rather than flee. But that has failed to stem speculation on his plans. A Libyan-born analyst said Qaddafi’s inner circle had approached countries in Africa and Latin America about providing him refuge in the event he had to flee.

“It’s provisional, it’s a testing of the waters, it’s just preparing for the future,” said Noman Benotman, who has contacts among Libyan security officials. “It may also be a deception, to try to unsettle the international community. But the contacts definitely happened.”

A rebel fighter and a resident had said earlier the rebel forces were surrounded in Zawiyah’s main square. “The tanks are everywhere,” the rebel fighter told Reuters by phone.

The resident said the situation was dramatic. “It’s very scary. There are a lot of snipers.”

The government promised several times to escort foreign journalists into Zawiyah, 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli, on Wednesday but repeatedly called off the planned visit.

A Tunisian man who crossed the border on the way from Tripoli to Tunis in mid-afternoon said Zawiyah was encircled and the sound of explosions could be heard.

“The road was okay until we got close to Zawiyah. They’ve encircled the city and dug up the road leading to it so nobody can come in or out of Zawiyah,” said Bachir al Tunesy.

Casualties and refugees

Rising casualties and threats of hunger and a refugee crisis have increased pressure on foreign governments to act, but many are wary of moving from sanctions alone to military action.

“We want to see the international community support it (a no-fly zone),” Clinton told Sky News. “I think it’s very important that this not be a US -led effort.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama agreed in a telephone call to plan “the full spectrum of possible responses, including surveillance, humanitarian assistance, enforcement of the arms embargo, and a no-fly zone.”

Britain and France want a UN resolution on a no-fly zone. UN Security Council permanent members Russia and China are cool to the idea, which could mean bombing Libyan air defenses.

Rebels on the frontline between the rebel-controlled east and Qaddafi’s forces in the west are increasingly frustrated at the failure of Washington and the West to act.

“We will complete our victory when we are afforded a no-fly zone,” Hafiz Ghoga, spokesman for the rebel National Libyan Council, said in the rebel base of Benghazi. “If there was also action to stop him (Qaddafi) from recruiting mercenaries, his end would come within hours.”

Rebels captured Ras Lanuf last week and began pushing down the strategic coastal road toward Sirte, Qaddafi’s home town.

But they were beaten back and are now on a stretch of no man’s land desert between Ras Lanuf and Bin Jawad, 550 km (340 miles) east of Tripoli.

 Rebels try to get organized

Qaddafi loyalists launched a bombardment near rebel positions around the oil terminal of Sidra near Ras Lanuf, on Wednesday, blowing up storage tanks at the facility.

An engineer working at Sidrah said government air strikes had hit the port and destroyed storage tanks as well as facilities such as the power and water plants, Al Jazeera said.

Rebels retaliated by firing back with rockets as a fireball exploded from one of the oil tanks and the sky above the terminal filled with black smoke.

An air strike was reported on Ras Lanuf, which has sustained several attacks in the past days.

Qaddafi has said rebels were drug-addled youths and Al-Qaeda-backed terrorists. One of his sons said if Qaddafi bowed to pressure and quit, Libya would descend into civil war.

But Benotman did not rule out Qaddafi’s departure.

“This move may seem to run against the grain of his current military gains, but Qaddafi is a pragmatist who understands the power of the international community to isolate governments,” said Bentoman, recalling Libya’s isolation in the 1980s and 1990s over Qaddafi’s support of armed groups.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article310065.ece

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Muslims welcome hearings by Congressman Peter R. King

Mar 10, 2011

Mike Ghouse, president of the World Muslim Congress welcomes the initiative by Congressman Peter King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security to hold the hearings on Islamic radicalism.

It is our duty to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen. Hate is one of the many sources of disrupting the peace in a society and it is our responsibility to seek the source of such hate and work to mitigate it.

Indeed, the last few attempts to mess with our nation’s security has come from men flaunting the Muslim label, and as Muslim Americans, it becomes our individual and collective responsibility to participate in ensuring the safety of every American, and we welcome the hearings. We hope it will lead us to find the sources and causes of such erratic behavior, and perhaps point out areas of concerns to be addressed and find lasting solutions.

We have to identify the criminals who are individually accountable for their actions, and need to punish them expediently according to the law.  As a civil society, we must also resist the temptation to blame their family, nation and religion, and not fall for and legitimize their attempts to hide under a religious label for their evil acts. The use of phrases such as Islamic Radicalism is oxymoronic and must be avoided to uphold our civility.

As Americans together and Muslims together, we are planning to organize conferences and workshops on terrorism, anti-Semitism, Sharia, Quran, GLBT, racial profiling, Islamophobia and other issues which pit one American against another. We hope to separate realities from myths to help find solutions.

Mike Ghouse is the founder of America Together foundation, committed to building cohesive societies offering pluralistic solution on the issues of the day.  His work is indexed in 4 websites and 21 Blogs at

http://www.mikeghouse.net/

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Christian-Muslim clashes in Egypt kill 13

Mar 10, 2011,

CAIRO: Clashes that broke out when a Muslim mob attacked thousands of Christians protesting the burning of a Cairo church killed at least 13 people and wounded about 140, officials said Wednesday.

The Muslims torched the church amid an escalation of tensions over a love affair between a Muslim and a Christian that set off a violent feud between the couple's families.

The officials said all 13 fatalities died of gunshot wounds. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The clashes late Tuesday night added to a sense of ongoing chaos in Egypt after the momentous 18-day democracy uprising that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11. The uprising left a security vacuum after police pulled out of Cairo and several other cities three days into the uprising.

The police have yet to fully take back the streets, leaving space for a wave of violent crime and lawlessness in some parts of the nation.

In a separate incident, at least two people were wounded when rival crowds pelted each other with rocks at Cairo's central Tahrir Square, the uprising's epicenter, according to an Associated Press Television News cameraman at the scene. He said the violence pitted youths camping out at the square to press their demand for a complete break with the ousted regime and another group that is opposed to their continued presence at the square.

The Christian protesters on Tuesday blocked a vital highway, burning tires and pelting cars with rocks. An angry crowd of Muslims set upon the Christians and the two sides fought pitched battles for about four hours.

Mubarak handed power to the military when he stepped down, but the military does not have enough troops to patrol every street in Cairo, a sprawling city of some 18 million people that is chaotic at the best of times.

Even before the uprising unleashed a torrent of discontent, tensions had been growing between Christians and Muslims in this country of 80 million.

On New Year's Day, a suicide bombing outside a Coptic church in the port city of Alexandria killed 21 people, setting off days of protests. Barely a week later, an off-duty policeman boarded a train and shot dead a 71-year-old Christian man and wounding his wife and four others.

Egypt's ruling generals have pledged last week to rebuild the torched church and the country's new prime minister, Essam Sharaf, has met the protesters outside the TV building in downtown Cairo to reassure them that his interim government would not discriminate against them.

But the Christians were not appeased. At least 2,000 of them protested on the highway on Tuesday night and a separate crowd of several hundred has been camping out outside the TV building for days to voice their anger at what they perceive to be official discrimination against them.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Christian-Muslim-clashes-in-Egypt-kill-13/articleshow/7660134.cms

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Bomb blast kills five in Algeria

Mar 10, 2011

ALGIERS: A bomb struck a vehicle in Algeria and killed five people, media reported Wednesday, in the deadliest attack in months as the country battles violence blamed on militants.

Three of the people killed in Tuesday’s blast were from the same family, local media reported.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, which struck close to Djelfa, about 270 kilometres south of the capital Algiers.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/09/bomb-blast-kills-five-in-algeria.html

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US charges Pakistani with illegal nuclear exports

March 10, 2011

WASHINGTON: A Pakistani national has been arrested and charged with a scheme to illegally export nuclear-related materials to his home country from the United States, the US Justice Department said on Wednesday.

Nadeem Akhtar, 45, who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, a Washington suburb, was indicted for conspiring with others to illegally export restricted goods and technology to a Pakistani nuclear power plant and a Pakistani research commission.

With an unidentified co-defendant, the alleged scheme began late in 2005 and lasted until March of last year, officials said. Most of the illegal exports took place between 2005 and 2008.

"This arrest is the product of a vigorous, cooperative joint-agency investigation focused on denying and disrupting the illegal export of controlled nuclear technology destined for Pakistan," said Eric Hirschhorn, the undersecretary of commerce for industry and security.

The indictment alleged that Akhtar worked on behalf of the co-defendant who had business relationships with Pakistan government entities and who obtained the items from the United States and other nations.

The indictment alleges that Akhtar and his co-defendant transferred funds from Pakistan and Dubai to bank accounts in the United States.

Akhtar, who owns a company called Computer Communication USA, was specifically accused of illegally exporting radiation detection devices, resins for coolant water purification, calibration and switching equipment, and surface refinishing abrasives.

All of those items require an export license because they can be used in activities related to nuclear reactors and the processing and production of nuclear material, the Justice Department said.

The indictment alleged that Akhtar attempted to conceal the ultimate end use of the items and their true value by putting misleading or incomplete information on documents such as invoices and purchase orders.

If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison for conspiracy to commit export violations and defraud the United States, up to 20 years in prison for unlawful export of goods, and up to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Akhtar had an initial appearance in federal court on Wednesday in Baltimore and was ordered detained pending another hearing on Thursday. (Reuters)

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=12351

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4 Taliban arrested in Karachi

Mar 10, 2011

KARACHI: In the fight against terrorism, the Sindh police have once again struck hard as they arrested four alleged members of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). According to details, Anti-Extremist Cell (AEC) and Counter Terrorism Unit of the Sindh police’s Crime Investigation Department (CID) have disclosed the arrests of four alleged members of TTP and claimed to have recovered one suicide jacket, explosives, hand grenades and weapons from their possession during an encounter in Metrovil area, Orangi Town. The arrests were disclosed on Wednesday during a press conference at the Garden Police Headquarter. AEC Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Omer Shahid said that they raided a house in Metrovil area on a tip-off and arrested four terrorists after an exchange of fire, while some of their companions, including TTP Karachi chapter chief Qari Zaman, hardcore terrorists of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Qari Abid Mehsud, Tayab Mehsud and Shuja Mehsud, managed to escape. The arrested terrorists were identified as Musharraf, Sher Zali, Hameed Ullah and Ahmad Ali. Later, the police recovered a latest suicide jacket, 32 kilogrammes of C-4 explosive, seven hand grenades, one smoke bomb, one detonator, 10-meter detonator wire, three Kalashnikovs, three TT pistols and five-kg hashish from Sohrab Goth on the pointation of the arrested terrorists. The officials said that all the terrorists were linked to Waziristan and often visited Karachi for terror activities. They were planning to attack the offices of intelligence agencies and also high ranking police officials. CID officials further said that these terrorists have also been involved in an attack on intelligence and police officials at Sohrab Goth on January, 15, 2009 when Anti-Violent Crime Unit chief SSP Farooq Awan, accompanied by his team and intelligence officials, had raided terrorists’ hideout at Sohrab Goth to recover an abducted prominent Hindu filmmaker Satish Anand, but the terrorists had attacked them with heavy firing, leaving two policemen dead and injuring one dozen officials, including SSP Awan and intelligence agency’s official. staff report

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\03\10\story_10-3-2011_pg7_3

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Pakistani, US leaders urge tolerance

Mar 10, 2011

WASHINGTON: Pakistani and US leaders pleaded Wednesday for religious tolerance at a memorial service in Washington for Pakistan’s sole Christian government minister Shahbaz Bhatti who was killed in broad daylight.

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, said he decided to hold a service for Bhatti at the embassy as there was an “unconscionable silence” by many Pakistanis who in their hearts are respectful of other faiths.

“When Shahbaz Bhatti was murdered and we remain silent, some of us have died with him,” Haqqani told the service attended by US officials and Pakistani expatriates.

“If we are silent, we allow evil to win,” Haqqani said. “It is unacceptable, it is un-Islamic, it is not what Pakistan was founded for, it is not what Pakistanis living abroad can be proud of as Pakistanis and — if I may use a term that has been abused in Pakistan — it is blasphemy.”

Bhatti, the minister for minorities’ affairs, advocated reforms to blasphemy laws which critics say are used to persecute non-Muslims. Bhatti was shot at least 25 times on March 2 as he was leaving his mother’s home.

Punjab’s governor Salman Taseer, another critic of abuse of the blasphemy law, was shot dead less than two months earlier by an assassin whom well-wishers showered with petals during a court appearance.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/10/pakistani-us-leaders-urge-tolerance.html

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JS body for manpower increase in Libya, Egypt, Greece, Tunisia

March 10, 2011

The parliamentary standing committee on foreign ministry on Wednesday recommended that the government should increase its manpower at Bangladesh missions in Libya, Egypt, Greece and Tunisia on a temporary basis to provide the required assistance to Bangladeshis living in Libya.

The committee at a meeting also recommended that the government should not compel Bangladeshi expatriates in Libya to come back if they are not interested, sources attending the meeting said.

The sources said that according to information available with the foreign ministry, a number of Bangladeshi expatriates were not interested to come back home because of uncertainty and were trying to move to other parts of the world.

The committee members observed that although the situation in Tripoli and Benghazi was unstable, there was no violence in some small cities and a number of Bangladesh were still working in the places.

Full report at:

http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamNewspaper.aspx

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Punish fatwa abusers: petitioner

 

Abul Kalam Azad, who petitioned against the High Court ban on fatwa, has demanded punishment of the abusers of fatwa under the existing laws.

His demand came on the fourth day of hearing on the appeal before the six-member bench of the Appellate Division on Wednesday. Chief justice ABM Khairul Haque heads the bench.

Azad said, ‘We are against repression and torture on women in the name of fatwa. The abusers of fatwa should be punished under the existing laws.’

He, however, said that it was the court’s jurisdiction to declare all sorts of fatwa ‘illegal’. ‘It is a fundamental right as per Sections 39 and 41 of the constitution.’

‘It is an essential part of Islamic lifestyle. Even fatwa exists in many countries like the United Arab Emirates, and in America and Europe.’

He claimed that the Islamic religious scholars and thinkers have been delivering fatwa for years to resolve the issues on which no clear and direct solution is found in the Holy Quran and Hadith.

In a landmark verdict on Jan 1, 2001, the High Court declared all punishments imposed in the name of fatwa illegal.

Full report at:

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/national/11001.html

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Gaddafi offers $400,000 bounty for Libyan opposition leader

Mar 10, 2011

The embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, facing protests against his 41-year regime, has announced a reward of more than $400,000 for capturing the country's top opposition leader, a media report said. According to a Libyan TV channel, Gaddafi offered a half million-dinar ($410,900) for the capt

The bounty would be paid "to whoever captures and hands over" the "agent spy" Abdul-Jalil, and "200,000 Libyan dinars ($164,300) to whoever offers information leading to his actual arrest".

Inspired by the recent overthrow of long-term regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, Gaddafi's opponents are demanding his immediate removal.

International human rights organisations have estimated about 6,000 people have been killed since the anti-Gaddafi protests began February 14. The UN said the toll ranged from 1,000 to 2,000 people.

Gaddafi said Wednesday in an interview with the Turkish TRT media holding that Libya is confronting an attempt by the Al Qaeda terrorist network to destabilise the situation there and in another Arab countries.

Gaddafi also blamed the current unrest in the country on Al Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden, who he said were seeking to turn Libya into a state resembling Afghanistan or Somalia.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/africa/Gaddafi-offers-400-000-bounty-for-Libyan-opposition-leader/Article1-671572.aspx

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Nato forces seize rockets from Iran in Afghanistan

Mar 10, 2011

KABUL: Nato forces in Afghanistan have seized 48 Iranian-made rockets intended to aid the Taliban’s spring battle campaign, the most powerful illicit weapons ever intercepted en route from the neighboring state, officials said Wednesday.

The shipment is seen as a serious escalation in Iran’s state support of the Taliban insurgency, according to Nato officials and described in detail by an international intelligence official.

It’s also an escalation in the proxy war Western officials say Iran is waging against US and other Western forces in Afghanistan, as Washington continues to lobby for tougher international sanctions against Tehran to dissuade it from its alleged goal of building nuclear weapons.

The intercepted 122-millimeter rockets can be fired up to 13 miles (22 kilometers) away from a target, and explode in a burst up to 80 feet (25 meters) wide _ double that of the previous 107-millimeter rockets provided by Iran to the Taliban since 2006, the intelligence official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters.

The rockets, which were shown to an Associated Press reporter, were machined without Iranian markings or any serial numbers, but the official says their technical details match other Iranian models. So far, there is no evidence that the 122-millimeter rockets have been used in Afghanistan, though the Taliban has sometimes used Chinese- and Russian-made rockets of the same range in the fight here, harvested from the multiple weapons caches around the country from Afghanistan’s decades of civil war.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/10/nato-forces-seize-rockets-from-iran-in-afghanistan.html

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From the streets to the stage, Yemen finds its voice

Mar 10, 2011

SANAA: When night falls on Sanaa, one of the Middle East capitals resonating with calls for democratic change, the revolutionaries shift their struggle from the streets to an open-air stage at the university.

The bleachers go up, the lights are hung, the crowds gather and an imaginary curtain rises on the premier theatre in the Yemeni capital, a city without cinemas where entertainment normally revolves around tea and qat.

“I was born when President Ali Abdullah Saleh came to power,” says actor and director Ali al-Saadani, who is among those demanding greater democracy in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula republic.

Like many other privileged young Yemenis, Ali left his homeland to study abroad but when he returned he confronted what his fellow youths now wants to change— a static society where patronage is king.

“I couldn’t get a job with Yemeni TV because I had no support,” says the artist who has eagerly embraced the new spirit of open debate to write satirical sketches lampooning the government.

The shows begin nightly at 9 pm with a performance of devotional songs from musicians of the Al-Islah Islamic party.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/09/from-the-streets-to-the-stage-yemen-finds-its-voice.html

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RIYADH: Women should be allowed to drive: Alwaleed

By ULF LAESSING

Mar 10, 2011

RIYADH: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said on Wednesday that lifting the ban on women’s driving would be a quick first step to reduce the Kingdom's dependence on millions of foreign workers.

Prince Alwaleed said the Kingdom could send some 750,000 foreign drivers home if women could drive.

"A lot of Saudi women want to drive their car in line with strict regulations and wearing a headscarf. But now they need a driver ... This is an additional burden on households," he said.

"The Saudi society wants fewer foreign laborers ... so why the hesitation, why this hesitation (with women driving cars)?" he said.

The ban could only be lifted by the government in consultation with the country's top Islamic scholars.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article310266.ece

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Yunus appeals to keep job at Grameen Bank

Mar 10, 2011

DHAKA: Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus filed an appeal Wednesday with Bangladesh's highest court in a final attempt to keep his job at the microfinance bank he founded.

Last week, Bangladesh's central bank ordered 71-year-old Yunus out of Grameen Bank, saying he was violating the country's retirement laws. A High Court upheld that decision on Tuesday. An outspoken government critic, Yunus has said his dismissal is illegal and alleged that the government is trying to take control of his bank.

The appeal is Yunus' last legal option in his bid to remain Grameen's managing director, a post he has held for nearly 30 years. At issue is whether the central bank was properly consulted when Grameen exempted Yunus from its mandated retirement age of 60.

Supreme Court judge Syed Mahmud Hossain said arguments on the appeal will be heard on March 15.

Yunus and Grameen Bank pioneered the practice of using tiny loans to help lift people out of poverty, inspiring such lending throughout the developing world. The concept won Yunus and the bank the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.

http://arabnews.com/world/article310144.ece

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Women of Courage Awardees Set Example for the World

By JANE MORSE

Mar 10, 2011

Washington: Courage can be contagious, as this year’s winners of the International Women of Courage awards have proven.

Ten women have been honored by first lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for their exceptional courage in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment, often at great personal risk.

Since the inception of this award in 2007, the Department of State has honored 38 women from 27 countries. This is the only Department of State award that pays tribute to women activists worldwide.

At an awards presentation at the State Department March 8, the first lady praised the Women of Courage winners for not standing silent in the face of violence, oppression, poverty or inequality.

“Time and again, these women have discovered a very simple truth: that courage can actually be contagious,” Obama said to an audience filled with diplomats, members of Congress and business people. The first lady used as an example Yoani Sanchez, a writer in Cuba whose blog “caught fire” on the Internet and was being downloaded onto computer flash drives and passed from person to person. When it was censored by the state, she distributed her blog through what she calls a “citizen network” — people outside of Cuba who helped publish her posts. Her writing is now translated into 15 languages.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article310316.ece

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Thousands of Bahrainis protest ‘naturalization’

Mar 10, 2011

MANAMA: Thousands of protesters in Bahrain demanded Wednesday that naturalized immigrants be stripped of their citizenship and sent out of the country.

The latest demand comes after three weeks of marches for political change in the kingdom.

Thousands marched on the immigration office in the Bahraini capital of Manama, carrying slogans that said in Arabic “The naturalized must get out.”

“All those that are naturalized will be pro-government, and those in the police and army will follow their orders even if they are against the Bahraini people,” said protester Khaled Ali.

Protesters said they only oppose settling those foreigners who are recruited to serve in the armed forces.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article310386.ece

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Lawmaker: Hearings on Muslims in US will be fair

Mar 10, 2011

WASHINGTON: The Republican congressman who has organized controversial hearings into radical Islam called Muslims “part of the mosaic” of America Wednesday and said they shouldn’t feel threatened or intimidated by his inquiry.

Rep. Peter King, who heads the House Homeland Security Committee, has come under withering criticism for the hearings scheduled to begin Thursday. Protests have already started, and some are comparing it to overly zealous investigations of communism in the 1950s that led to false accusations that destroyed careers.

“If there is going to be animosity, I would blame it on my opponents,” King said in a nationally broadcast interview Wednesday.

In one appearance on morning television, King was asked if he was singling out the Muslim community rather than focusing on a more generalized terror threat against America.

“It might be politically correct, but it makes no sense to talk about other types of extremism, when the main threat to the United States today is talking about al Qaida,” King said. He noted that Attorney General Eric Holder has said there have been some 50 homegrown terrorists arrested in this country and that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the threat has never been higher.

“It would diffuse and water down the hearings” to broaden the line of inquiry, King said. The congressman said the hearings are aimed at protecting Muslims from being pressured to commit terrorist acts.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article310318.ece

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Arab League will weigh all options to deal with Libyan crisis: Prince Saud

Mar 10, 2011

JEDDAH: The Arab League is studying all options, including one involving military action, to protect Libyan people and end the bloodbath in the country, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters at the Foreign Ministry's office in Jeddah, he said the decision on a possible no-fly zone in Libya would be taken by the Arab League Ministerial Council meeting in Cairo on Saturday.

“The main objective (of this no-fly zone) is to stop the bloodbath and protect Libya's independence and territorial integrity, and it comes under Arab League's responsibility," he said. The GCC foreign ministers who met in Abu Dhabi recently had supported the no-fly zone proposal.

Meanwhile, a high-ranking member of the Libyan military flew to Cairo on Wednesday with a message for Egyptian army officials from Muammar Qaddafi, whose troops pounded opposition forces with artillery barrages and gunfire in at least two major cities.

The two sides in Libya traded barrages of artillery shells and rockets Wednesday afternoon about 20 km west of the oil port of Ras Lanuf, an indication that regime forces were much closer than previously known to that city. Ras Lanuf is the westernmost point seized by rebels moving along the country’s main highway on the Mediterranean coast.

In Cairo, an Egyptian Army official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that Maj. Gen. Abdul-Rahman bin Ali Al-Saiid Al-Zawi, the head of Libya’s logistics and supply authority, was asking to meet Egypt’s military rulers.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article310295.ece

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BSF jawans gun down intruding Pak militant

March 10, 2011

Alert jawans of the Border Security Force on Wednesday morning shot dead one suspected militant along the Indo-Pak border in RS Pura area of Jammu district.

According to BSF spokesman, “The patrolling party of the BSF jawans early morning noticed movement of two infiltrators moving close to Alah-Miya-Di Kotha forward post and challenged them. When infiltrators refused to surrender the BSF troops opened fire on them killing one of them on the spot. The other intruder retreated back leaving behind a consignment of narcotics.”

The BSF troops later recovered an AK rifle, two magazines, 42 rounds and five kilograms of narcotics and two mobile phones from the custody of the suspected militant, BSF spokesman said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/323253/BSF-jawans-gun-down-intruding-Pak-militant.html

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Liquor intake heads north in J&K

March 10, 2011

Mohit Kandhari | Jammu

The ‘Bacchus club’ in Jammu and Kashmir is happily singing ‘cheers’ and ‘bottoms up’ to keep pace with a new social order. Over the last two years consumers across the State have gulped down all varieties of hard drinks including the Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), local whiskey and beer to the tune of approximately Rs 800 crore.

The border State witnessed a business jump of Rs 80 crore in the sale of liquor products in just one year. While 2008-09 had recorded a total business of Rs 360 crore in the sale of liquor, the figure shot up to Rs 440 crore in 2009-10. The sale of liquor and beer bottles in Jammu was higher than in Kashmir.

The Jammu region saw a sale of 83.28 lakh IMFL bottles in 2009-10 valued at Rs 166 crore, while Kashmir region recorded a sale of 8,00,000 bottles in the same year at Rs 15.24 crore.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/323241/Liquor-intake-heads-north-in-JK.html

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War on terror slipping from hands: Imran

March 10, 2011

 PESHAWAR: Chief of Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf Imran Khan Wednesday said the war against terrorism is slipping from Pakistan’s hands and that if escalated to power, he would successfully bring to an end the bomb blasts within 90 days.

“We are losing the war against terrorism due to pursuing a flawed strategy,” Imran Khan said while talking to media men here.

Imran said right way would be to withdraw troops from FATA and then take into confidence the tribes for taking on the real terrorists.

He said innocent people are being killed in the drone strikes and demanded of the Supreme Court to take up the petition against drone strike as soon as possible.

The TI Chief said the actual feud in Pakistan is between the supporters of status quo and its opponents and not between religious extremists and liberals. “I am ready to have a pact with the political parties to fight against status quo,” he added.

He said the country could be pulled out from the political crisis through mid-term polls and expressed support to the bill for making public the details of politicians’ assets abroad.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=12334

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Briton held for compatriot's murder in Riyadh

By MOHAMMED RASOOLDEEN

Mar 10, 2011

RIYADH: Following the fatal shooting of a Briton in a Riyadh compound last week, another Briton who had fled to Bahrain, is now in being held in jail in the Saudi capital on suspicion of murder. He was handed over by the Bahraini police to the Saudi authorities on Friday.

A senior official from the British Embassy here confirmed the death but would not reveal the name of the deceased. The diplomat said that the embassy had not been able to contact the next-of-kin of the deceased as yet and in the circumstances the victim's name could not be disclosed.

According to sources both the victim and the accused were working as teachers for UK's defense firm BAE.

The killing took place on March 1 in a compound located near the highway to King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article309439.ece

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Pak admits majority killed in drone strikes are terrorists

Mar 10, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army has admitted that most of those killed in the CIA-operated drone strikes in northwest Pakistan were "hardcore al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists" notwithstanding the government's public posture that such attacks were causing civilian deaths.

In a rare public briefing on the attacks by pilotless aircraft in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, the Pakistan Army a fairly large number of those killed were of foreign origin including Arabs and Uzbeks.

Maj Gen Ghayur Mehmood, General Officer Commanding of the 7 Division, presented the Pakistan Army's official version of the US drone attacks for the first time during a briefing held at Miranshah, the main town of the restive North Waziristan tribal region, yesterday.

"Myths and rumours about US Predator strikes and the casualty figures are many, but it's a reality that many of those being killed in these strikes are hardcore elements, a sizeable number of them foreigners," Mehmood was quoted as saying by Dawn newspaper.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-admits-majority-killed-in-drone-strikes-are-terrorists/articleshow/7662291.cms

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Hillary presses for peaceful resolution to Libyan crisis

March 10, 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed concern over the unabated violence raging in Libya and called for peaceful resolution to the crisis, reiterating America's support to the people of the strife-torn nation.

“We know that there's a long road ahead for being able to try to resolve this. We'd like to see this resolved peacefully. We would like to see a new Government come peacefully,” Clinton told the Sky News in an interview.

“If that's not possible, then we're going to work with the international community. Now, there are countries that do not agree with that,” she said.

Clinton said US was going to support the efforts of the Libyan people, because “they themselves have to be supported.”

“We know how difficult this struggle is. We've called for Colonel Gaddafi to leave. We believe that he has totally given up any legitimacy to power. When a leader turns against his own people, that is the end,” she said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/323281/Hillary-presses-for-peaceful-resolution-to-Libyan-crisis.html

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Gaddafi would be held accountable even if he steps down: US

March 10, 2011

In a clear message to Muammar Gaddafi and his aides, the US has said they would be held accountable for human rights violations against their own people, even if the Libyan leader leaves the country, putting an end to his over four-decade long regime.

“We want to see Gaddafi step down, and one would infer that in stepping down it is probably best for him to leave the country, to allow a different Government to emerge. Any departure from Libya does not exempt him, his family, or others from responsibility and accountability for what has occurred,” State Department spokesman PJ Crowley told reporters at his daily news conference.

There's nothing preventing Gaddafi from leaving his tent, climbing in an airplane, and leaving Libya so his people can have a better tomorrow than they have today. There's nothing preventing him from doing that, he said. “As we indicated in the UN Security Council resolution, there is a

commission of inquiry underway within the ICC. And within the constraints of US law, we will support that commission of inquiry.

“We are going to hold him accountable. There is a commission of inquiry under the ICC. So my favourite booking would be a trip to The Hague. But we have called for him to step down, and in all likelihood, the best way to end the current violence is for him to leave the country,” Crowley said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/323288/Gaddafi-would-be-held-accountable-even-if-he-steps-down-US.html

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NATO watching Libya as no-fly zone demand intensifies

Yashwant Raj

As the demand grew on Monday for a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent Muammar Gaddafi's air raids on protesters, NATO announced its early warning planes would be watching that nation 24/7 now on. There were reports UK and France were moving speedily towards a UNSC resolution in favour of a no-fly zon

e over Libya even as the US military led by secretary of defense Robert Gates warned off the pitfalls. The US on Monday added "military option" to the list of options on the table.

A no-fly zone, with all its attendant complications, seemed to be emerging as the weapon of choice for the western nations to scare Gaddafi into stepping down. There are no indications yet if it is working.

NATO, a US-led military alliance, met on Monday and decided to watch the situation in Libya closely.

"The decision was made to indeed increase the surveillance of the NATO-AWACS capability to make it 24/7, to have a better picture of what's really going on in this part of the world," said US ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/americas/NATO-watching-Libya-as-no-fly-zone-demand-intensifies/Article1-670801.aspx

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Will unleash a people's war: Qadhafi

Atul Aneja

BENGHAZI: As the international momentum builds up for a no-fly zone, Libyan strongman Muammar Qadhafi has warned of unleashing a people's war that would target the West if he was denied the use of his warplanes to fight a spirited opposition which was fighting to unseat his regime.

In an interview with Turkish television, he said the West wanted to seize Libyan oil, and the imposition of a no-fly zone would be a step in that direction. “If they take such a decision [to impose a no-fly zone], it will be useful for Libya, because the Libyan people will see the truth, that what they want is to take control of Libya and to steal their oil,” Mr. Qadhafi told Turkey's TRT television. He added: “Then the Libyan people will take up arms against them.”

But by Wednesday, in an apparent act of desperation, regime planes have bombed the refinery in Sidra, Al Jazeera reported. In Benghazi, anti-regime protesters said the Sidra bombing will further intensify the demands in the west for the imposition of a no-fly zone.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/03/10/stories/2011031065201600.htm

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Guantanamo closure unlikely

Narayan Lakshman

Washington: United States President Barack Obama found himself in a deeper hole than ever on the subject of Guantanamo Bay prison this week, after he issued an executive order allowing indefinite detention without trial of inmates being held at the U.S. military installation.

The order, which will be applied to 47 out of the 172 prisoners being held at Guantánamo, militates against Mr. Obama's campaign promise to eventually close the Bush-era prison.

While on the one hand the order sought to institute periodic reviews of the case of each inmate, it also recognised that military commissions, not only civilian courts, are an “important tool in combating international terrorists that fall within their jurisdiction.” While 36 inmates at Guantanamo Bay are already due to be tried before military commissions, the remaining 89 were reportedly cleared for eventual release.

In January a civilian court sentenced Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani (36), a Guantanamo Bay detenu and alleged Al-Qaeda member involved in the 1998 bombings of the U.S.' embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, to life in prison despite being acquitted on all 276 murder and attempted murder charges and four conspiracy charges brought against him.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/03/10/stories/2011031065621800.htm

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All Indians in Libya to return by tonight

March 10, 2011

The process of evacuation of all the 18,000 Indian nationals in strife-torn Libya is expected to be completed by Thursday.

“As scheduled, some 14,000 Indians have been evacuated from Libya, including about 1,000 passengers who were flown back last evening and Wednesday morning, from Tripoli, on three Air India special flights,” a Ministry of External Affairs statement said.

As many as 2,400 persons are expected to reach India by Thursday by eight special flights from Tripoli and Sebha in Libya and Alexandria in Egypt, the MEA said. On Wednesday, four Air India planes have left for Libya to ferry back the last batch of nearly 1,000 people from Tripoli and 400 from Sebha.

Indian nationals from Sirte, Misrata, Benghazi and Kufrah have already been pulled out.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/323361/All-Indians-in-Libya-to-return-by-tonight.html

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Kasab practises karate to kill time

March 10, 2011

Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab, who has been awarded death penalty for his role in the 26/11 attacks, is bidding his time by practising karate in the high-security Arthur Road jail here.

“Kasab exercises and practises karate sometimes to kill his time. He also often strikes a conversation with the security guards deployed there to guard him round the clock,” said a jail official.

He appears to be knowing karate kicks very well, the official said.

The lone surviving gunman is currently lodged in a strong bomb-proof ‘anda cell’ inside the jail and a process to shift him to the Yerawada central prison in Pune is underway.

After reviewing Kasab’s security at the Arthur Road jail, police had requested the government to shift the death- row convict to Yerawada, the biggest prison in the state. The official further said Kasab talks a lot sometimes. “However, security guards at the cell avoid speaking to him. He enquires the guards as to from where they are, since how long they were associated with security agencies and so on...,” the official said.

The high court had on February 21 upheld the death sentence to Kasab while dismissing Maharashtra government’s appeal challenging the acquittal of Indian co-conspirators Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed in the terror attack case.

He has decided to file an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the judgement of the Bombay High Court confirming his sentence, awarded by a anti-terror court earlier

http://www.dailypioneer.com/323261/Kasab-practises-karate-to-kill-time.html

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Militants destroy two schools, bridge in Khyber

Mar 10, 2011

LANDI KOTAL: Militants blew up two government-run primary schools in the Khyber tribal region’s Landi Kotal area on Thursday, DawnNews reported.

Moreover, an explosion destroyed the Yousuf Talab bridge in the tribal region’s Bara area.

Security sources said militants had planted explosives underneath the bridge which went off and subsequently disrupted the route between Yousuf Talab and Peshawar.

Security forces then cordoned off the area and started a search operation.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/10/militants-destroy-two-schools-bridge-in-khyber.html

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Rodin’s $350,000 sculpture is stolen from Israel museum

Mar 10, 2011

JERUSALEM: A statue by French sculptor Auguste Rodin was stolen from the Israel Museum during the facility's recently completed renovation, the museum said.

The nude bronze of French novelist Honore de Balzac was one of a series of studies Rodin cast for a monument to Balzac on display in Paris. It was donated to the museum in 1966 by the Jewish-American impresario and lyricist Billy Rose.

The museum said the theft was discovered three months ago and immediately reported to police. The statue is 50 inches high and 24 inches wide and weighs about 65kg. It was molded in 1892 and cast posthumously between 1918 and 1926.

Rodin, who lived between the years 1840-1917, is renowned for masterpieces such as "The Thinker'' and "The Kiss.''

The museum said it could not provide a value for the Balzac piece. But based on Rodin sculptures of similar dimensions it put the estimated value of the stolen item at approximately $350,000. Christopher Marinello, the executive director and general counsel of The Art Loss Register, said it would be very difficult to sell such a high-profile piece of stolen art in the open market without detection.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Rodins-350000-sculpture-is-stolen-from-Israel-museum/articleshow/7668458.cms

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Emiratis seek right to elect Parliament

By K.T. ABDURABB

Mar 10, 2011

ABU DHABI: A group of academics and professionals urged Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the UAE president and ruler of Abu Dhabi, to initiate free and democratic elections in the country.

The group, with a strength of over 100, includes professors and professionals from different sectors.

In their online petition, the group also called for a constitutional amendment “which guarantees full legislative and oversight responsibilities.”

The Federal National Council (FNC) had its election five years ago when about 6,500 people, less than one percent of the Emirati population, elected half of its members. The rest were appointed in 2006. However, the online petition urges more participation.

Meanwhile, the National Election Commission (NEC) has issued a resolution setting the executive guidelines governing the next election of representatives of the federations' seven emirates to the FNC.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article309421.ece

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Dalai Lama to resign as political head of the exiled Tibetan movement

Mar 10, 2011

The Dalai Lama announced on Thursday his plan to retire as political head of the exiled Tibetan movement, saying the time had come for his replacement by a "freely elected" leader.

DHARAMSALA: The Dalai Lama announced on Thursday that he was stepping down as political leader of the Tibetan govermment in exile.

"As early as the 1960s, I have repeatedly stressed that Tibetans need a leader, elected freely by the Tibetan people, to whom I can devolve power," the Dalai Lama said in a prepared speech. "Now, we have clearly reached the time to put this into effect."

The Dalai Lama has long seen himself as "semi-retired" from political leadership with an elected prime minister already in place in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala. He remains Tibet's spiritual leader.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Dalai-Lama-to-resign-as-political-head-of-the-exiled-Tibetan-movement/articleshow/7669004.cms

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Tunisia court dissolves ousted president’s party

Mar 10, 2011

TUNIS: A Tunisian court ruled on Wednesday that the party of former President Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali be dissolved, triggering street celebrations as one of the last vestiges of the ousted leader’s era was dismantled.

The ruling will stop the party, whose activities had already been suspended, putting forward a candidate in future elections.

A judge in the Tunis Court of First Instance Court ruled that Ben Ali’s Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) be disbanded and its funds confiscated, a Reuters witness said.

Hundreds of jubilant demonstrators who had gathered at the court sang the national anthem in celebration after the ruling was read out.

Some chanted “the RCD is dead” and “Tunisia free.” Demonstrators then marched peacefully toward the Kasbah square which has been the epicenter of pro-democracy rallies.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article309425.ece

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Heavy snowfall paralyzes parts of Turkey

Mar 10, 2011

ANKARA, Turkey: The Anatolia news agency says heavy snowfall has blocked access to hundreds of remote villages in eastern and northern Turkey and paralyzed life in the Turkish capital.

Thousands of people had to walk for kilometers (miles) back home Tuesday evening after their vehicles could not climb hilly parts of Ankara. Televisions reported hundreds of accidents in the capital with no serious injuries.

Many drivers abandoned their cars, which were quickly buried under snow.

Authorities predict the snowfall will continue at least until Friday.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article309422.ece

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Fire forces shutdown of Iraq oil pipeline to Turkey

March 10, 2011

A fire of unknown origin forced the shutdown Wednesday of an oil pipeline from northern Iraq to Turkey that accounts for up to a quarter of the country's exports, an oil company official said.

"A technical team has been sent to the site to determine the causes of the fire and whether it was due to a technical failure or an act of sabotage," a Northern Oil Company official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The fire broke at Ninawa, some 110 kilometers west of Kirkuk, and forced the complete shutdown of the pipeline, which transports 450,000 to 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Iraqi pipelines have often been targeted by terrorists in recent years.

The country produces 2.6 million barrels of crude oil per day, of which some 2 million barrels are exported.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=fire-forces-shutdown-of-iraq-oil-pipeline-to-turkey-2011-03-10

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/red-alert--saudi-police-fire-on-protesters-in-oil-hub/d/4264


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