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Islamic World News ( 15 Sept 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Respect aspirations of Kashmiri youth: Sonia

ISI affiliated terrorists fuelling insurgency: Afghan Diplomat

Pakistanis Ask What a Lynching Means

Iran ‘stoning woman’ denies being lashed: TV

Taliban call on Afghans to boycott election

Karzai seeks to allay fears of Indian role in Balochistan

No forced return of Afghans from flood-hit Pakistan: UN

Karzai restates intent to engage Taliban 

Somali Town Embodies Enduring Sense of Loss

US drones keep up heat on Haqqani group

Little hope of Babri resolution

UP: Ahead of Babri verdict, schools turn into jails

Five die in firing at Poonch protest

IMF approves $451 million loan for flood-hit Pakistan

Dawood Inc find new ally in war against Chhota Rajan gang

Gay Saudi diplomat seeks asylum in US

Learning with the Times: AFSPA was extended to J&K in the 1990s

SP backs Army, cites threat from China, Pak

Do not withdraw AFSPA: Group of Kashmiri Pandits ask Antony

Pakistani immigrant charged with unwittingly funding NY bomb plot

Zardari offers more intel to Afghans

Bahrain says arrests two over planned car bombings

Water dispute claims 13 more lives in Kurram

Pakistan seeks action against Brahamdagh Bugti

Nothing can be done legally against me: Musharraf

Taliban claim responsibility for journalist’s killing

NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan will be gradual, says Petraeus

Haqqani urges US for sustainable flood relief efforts in Pakistan

One killed during anti-US protest in Afghanistan

Kyrgyzstan holds first trial after ethnic riots

US supports civilian set-up in Pakistan: Holbrooke

UK won’t sideline human rights in hunt for trade

Terror-funding case dropped; Yassin Al-Qadi stands vindicated

Al Arabiya chief Al-Rashed resigns

American freed by Iran plans medical exam in Oman

Psychiatric test ordered for Yanbu serial killer

Local Press: Merkel and the Danish cartoonist

11-year-old killed in accidental gunfire

West hits out at Iran over N-inspection

Women complain about singles sneaking into fun parks for families

Western-backed Lebanese faction slams Hezbollah

US hikers’ mothers urge Iran to bring sons home

West weakened by nine years of fighting: Zawahiri

First Gaza flotilla report sent to UN chief

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/respect-aspirations-of-kashmiri-youth--sonia/d/3437

 

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Respect aspirations of Kashmiri youth: Sonia

Sep 16, 2010

NEW DELHI: Signalling the UPA regime's readiness for reconciliation with the alienated segment of people in the Kashmir valley, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday called for a fresh initiative to appreciate the "legitimate aspirations" of the Kashmiri youth.

Speaking at the all-party meeting on the current spell of violence and disquiet in Jammu & Kashmir, she made clear the ruling coalition's willingness to accommodate and assuage the grievances of the angry youth.

"We must give them hope, we must understand and respect their legitimate aspirations," she said, unfolding a new agenda of providing a healing touch to the younger generation in the Valley.

While she admitted there were provocations from inimical forces within and outside — a clear reference to Pakistan and its proxies, Sonia suggested that the fact should not hold up efforts for fresh political pact with the sullen citizenry in the Valley.

"We must ask ourselves why there is so much anger," she said in an apparent reference to the spectacle of stone-pelting across the Valley.

She appreciated the work being done by the security forces detailed in the Valley for law-enforcement. "We understand the extreme pressures and dangerous circumstances our police and security forces face in protecting our sovereignty and territorial integrity."

However, she also said that efforts should be made to understand the reasons for the mass fury. "We must also ask ourselves why is there so much anger? Why is there so much pain, in particular amongst the youth? The young, especially, belong to a generation that has grown up in the embrace of violence, of conflict and brutality," she said.

"Together, let us arrive at suitable decisions on which we can all agree to break this vicious cycle of violence and suffering," she said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Respect-aspirations-of-Kashmiri-youth-Sonia/articleshow/6563071.cms#ixzz0zfXENNfw

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ISI affiliated terrorists fuelling insurgency: Afghan Diplomat

Sep 16, 2010

WASHINGTON: A top Afghan diplomat accused terrorist groups and extremist elements affiliated with Pakistani spy agency ISI of fuelling the insurgency in his country.

"The terrorist and criminal groups affiliated with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, not Afghan villagers, are fuelling the insurgency," M Ashraf Haidari, the Deputy Chief of Mission at Afghan Embassy in Washington, wrote in The Washington Post.

Haidari said the costs of premature withdrawal from Afghanistan are far greater than the costs of staying the course until Afghans can stand on their own.

"But for the counterinsurgency to succeed, the Pakistani military establishment must be persuaded to end its institutional tolerance of and active support for extremism, e.g. the Taliban," he said and alleged that such elements are being supported by ISI.

Haidari said there will be no permanent peace in Afghanistan and stability throughout the region until state-sponsored terrorism is controlled.

Meanwhile, Governor of the key Wardak province Mohammad Halim Fidai in a video conference with Pentagon reporters said the "ideological and the financial resources" for the terrorism and insurgency is outside the country.

"It is not within the villages of Afghanistan," Fidai said in response to a question.

"However, there are contributing factors to the insurgency, which includes high illiteracy rates, ill-informed religious scholars and ill-informed traditional elders, community health, poverty, unemployment.

"These are the contributing factors that could inflame the insurgency, because the Taliban are using these factors to recruit the young people and also deceive the naive and ill-informed Afghan population," Fidai noted.

"That's why it is very important that the Afghans take the responsibility for their own defence. And we piloted a program in Wardak province, which is called the Afghan Public Protection Force, which is the first layer of defence against the insurgency," he said.

"Haqqani's group is one of the groups that could utilise these opportunities to create a disturbance and violence in different parts of the country, including Wardak province. And also it is very vital that we also take a regional approach to fighting insurgents," he argued.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/ISI-affiliated-terrorists-fuelling-insurgency-Afghan-Diplomat-/articleshow/6564470.cms#ixzz0zg1g7i7x

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Pakistanis Ask What a Lynching Means

By ROBERT MACKEY

Sep 16, 2010

The family of two teenage brothers who were beaten to death last month in Pakistan, after they were mistaken for criminals by an enraged mob, asked that a court-ordered post-mortem be delayed until a new medical expert can be appointed to the case, the Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported.

The chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, had asked for the bodies of the two boys, Muneeb Butt and his brother Hafiz Mughees, to be exhumed because, a report said, local officials had tampered with medical evidence about the killings, which took place in front of several police officers in the city of Sialkot.

While local authorities were initially slow to act, 28 suspects are now in custody, including 10 police officers, Dawn reported on Wednesday.

The brutal killings, which were caught on video, have shocked Pakistanis and led to a debate about what this example of mob rule in Punjab Province says about the state of civil society in the country.

The murders took place on Aug. 15, when the boys, who were carrying cricket equipment in a bag, were mistaken for armed robbers and beaten to death with sticks, rods and bricks. They were then strung up next to an office of Punjab Province’s emergency rescue service.

After video of the incident was shown of television, Danish Farid Khan wrote in a letter to the editors of Dawn, “as much as making videos or taking snaps was good to bring this incident to light, one must question the intent of the people capturing the events unfolding. As a nation it would be safe to say that we are all spectators that would stare and ogle … in amazement or agony, and yet do nothing about it.”

Days later, Fasi Zaka, an opinion columnist for The Express Tribune, an English-language newspaper in Karachi, wrote:

‘Pakistan, you are a failed state. Not because of Zardari. Not because of America. But because you are a failed people, all of us undeserving of sympathy. We are diseased, rotten to every brain stem, world please make an impenetrable fence around us, keep us all in so we don’t spread it to other people, other countries.’

These were words I posted on a social-networking Web site. I have an unusually negative mindset these days. It happened after I saw the video of the two teenage brothers brutally clubbed to death by a crowd frenzied with blood thirst in Sialkot. The police watched gleefully. The video has blurs at certain parts, but even this sensible sensitivity does not prevent one from seeing mists of blood flaying from the heads of these teens as they are hit relentlessly, and remorselessly, again and again.

The murderous crowd was truly representative of the richness of Pakistan. Some wear jeans, others shalwar kameez, some were bearded, others clean shaven. The Pakistanis had gotten together to have some fun.

Do not be shocked. This wasn’t isolated, it’s just that the crowd wanted to make sure their orgasmic moment could be captured for later viewing, at one’s pleasure. We blame our ill-educated brethren for the barbarity we witness, but that’s a self-serving lie.

The next day, George Fulton, an Englishman who has become a television personality in his adopted Pakistan, chimed in, arguing in the same publication that Pakistanis denouncing the crime were being hypocritical:

Oh, the shock! Oh, the disgust! Oh, the outrage over the barbaric killings in Sialkot! The media, the blogosphere, Facebookers have been going into hyperactive overdrive to out condemn one another over the senseless killings of the two teenage boys. Some have frothed with self-righteous anger, some have put the blame on poverty and illiteracy (a self-serving defense that ignores the violent solutions advocated in many a swanky drawing room discussion), some on the breakdown of the social contract between the state and the individual. But all seem shocked by the barbarity on display. But why are we surprised? Why the denial? Hasn’t it always been thus?

We are, and have always been, a barbaric, degenerate nation reveling in blood lust. Our nation was forged during a bloody partition — in which up to one million people were massacred. One just has to read eyewitness accounts of the riots, the train butchery, the brutal rapes and slaughter of that period to get a feel of the heady, almost orgasmic, delight that the perpetrators of these crimes reveled in as the nation was born.

The lynching itself is nothing new. Read any report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and you will see that this is a fairly regular occurrence. Christians, Hindus, homosexuals, suspected pedophiles and robbers have been killed at the hands of mob justice.

In response, Mahreen Aziz Khan, a lawyer, decried what she called “The Liberal Lynch Mob,” writing in The Express Tribune:

This past week has seen columns, in these very pages, promoting a new brand of hatred –- self-hatred –- inciting loathing amongst Pakistanis for themselves and their culture. Using the horrific Sialkot killings, these ‘Western, liberal’ columnists have labeled all Pakistanis as ‘degenerates’ and ‘barbaric,’ hurling abusive and shameful generalizations to justify a verbal lynching of Pakistan, its culture and people. …

These columnists would not dare to write in such sadistic terms about Western cultures. No, they only prey on weak — pure lynch mob mentality — developing nations like Pakistan, battered by natural catastrophe, war and poverty. The reality is that Pakistanis are inherently no better and no worse than any other people. The best amongst us lay down our lives to rescue those in need, open our homes and hearts to complete strangers, protest peacefully for justice. The worst amongst us are as brutal as the mobs which massacred women and children in the streets of Gujarat, with the Indian police looking on, harbor as much bigotry as the preachers of hate, whether they be Christian, Hindu, or Muslim.

When the rule of law is eroded, men, irrespective of race, turn into an unruly mob… police officers turn into executioners and ordinary people into accomplices. Pakistanis will and must maintain pressure to obtain justice in Sialkot. They will do so not out of self-loathing or in response to the verbal lynching liberals, but because they believe it is the right thing to do.

Also writing in the Express Tribune, Salman Masood — who contributes to The New York Times — agreed that the incident revealed the weakness of civil society in Pakistan, but called the blanket denunciations of the whole of Pakistani society unhelpful. He wrote:

Year after year, Pakistan has witnessed a gradual erosion of the state’s authority, deterioration and decay of institutions and fraying of the social and moral fiber of society. We live in a Pakistan where life has become cheaper and expendable, where law is selective and easily manipulated and where bitter realities eclipse any idealistic notions. Often, duplicitous and hypocritical behavior marks day-to-day actions and interactions in society. Tolerance is on the wane and extremism is thriving.

But the sheer brutality of the mob lynching in Sialkot has unnerved the national conscience and there has been a massive outpouring of grief, outrage and condemnation. And, therefore, I would take an exception to Fasi Zaka’s article … where in utter bad taste he belittled Pakistanis as ‘cockroaches.’ He is right, there is a sickening sense of moral superiority in Pakistanis, but collectively denigrating and insulting the whole nation is unfair. George Fulton’s ‘Don’t Be Surprised’ (published the next day) went further in his over-the-top characterization of Pakistanis as ‘brutal’ and ’savage.’

Mr. Masood added:

The outrage over the Sialkot incident demonstrates that those who view the incident as a grave injustice exist in society. Such voices need to be heard, strengthened and amplified. We also need clarity on why social order collapsed in this particular episode. The culprits should be brought to justice according to the law and in absolute terms. Media and civil society should keep the momentum strong enough to force the government to take tangible, meaningful action.

Had the pieces by Mr. Zaka and Mr. Fulton been reflective of national soul-searching, one might have given them credit. But the acerbic and demeaning stereotyping and insinuations screaming out of such articles will do nothing to prevent any future batons that hit those young brothers in Sialkot.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/pakistan-debates-what-a-lynching-means/?ref=world

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Iran ‘stoning woman’ denies being lashed: TV

Sep 16, 2010

 TEHRAN — An Iranian woman claiming to be the one sentenced to death by stoning denied that she was lashed in prison and tortured, in an interview aired on state television on Wednesday.

The woman, wearing a face-covering chador, was said to be Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, the 43-year-old mother of two who has been sentenced to death by stoning.

She denied she was lashed after The Times of London published on August 28 a picture of a woman it identified as her who was not wearing the Islamic headscarf.

By law, women in the Islamic republic must be covered from head to foot, with their hair completely veiled.

Soon after publication of the picture there were reports that Mohammadi-Ashtiani was punished with 99 lashes in prison. Her son, Sajjad, too said on September 6 that he had “heard” his mother was lashed over the published picture.

“No. I do not confirm it. It is all a lie and rumour,” the woman said on television in the Azeri language, with Farsi subtitles.

This was the second such broadcast of what state television said was an interview of Mohammadi-Ashtiani whose stoning sentence has generated an international outcry.

Mohammadi-Ashtiani has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery and has also received a 10-year jail term for participating in the murder of her husband.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has repeatedly said a final decision about her verdict is still pending.

On Wednesday, the woman also denied she was tortured to accept doing the previous interview aired, on August 12.

“I have not been tortured. What I say are my words and no one has forced me to come in front of the camera. What I say is all mine,” she said.

As in the August 12 broadcast, she admitted that a man with whom she was acquainted had offered to kill her husband and that she had let him do it.

Several foreign governments and human rights bodies have denounced her stoning sentence as barbaric, and some have even questioned whether she received a fair trial.

Mohammadi-Ashtiani’s son had expressed fear that his mother would be executed after Ramadan, which ended last week.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/September/middleeast_September356.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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Taliban call on Afghans to boycott election

16 Sep, 2010

KABUL: The Taliban called Thursday for a boycott of Afghanistan's parliamentary election after waging a campaign of violence and intimidation that has left three candidates dead.

“We call on our Muslim nation to boycott this process and thus foil all foreign processes and drive away the invaders from your country by sticking to jihad and Islamic resistance,” the group said in an emailed statement.

More than 2,500 candidates are contesting Saturday's election for the 249 seats in the lower house of parliament in the second poll of its kind since the Taliban were ousted from power in a 2001 US-led invasion.

The insurgents have been fighting the Kabul government for almost nine years, have spread their footprint across most of the country and are widely perceived as having momentum in their favour.

Styling themselves as “the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” as during their 1996-2001 rule, the Taliban said they were “striving to foil these colonialist plans of the invaders including this deceptive process with the help of Allah and your Muslim countrymen”.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/04-afghan-election-taliban-qs-04

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Karzai seeks to allay fears of Indian role in Balochistan

Anita Joshua

Sep 16, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday sought to dispel fears in Pakistan about Afghan territory being used by India to stir trouble in the restive province of Balochistan. In Pakistan with a high-level delegation to discuss ways to root out terrorism from the region ahead of the planned pull out of international forces from Afghanistan, Mr. Karzai and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari maintained the two countries had a common cause in regional peace.

Asked how Afghanistan could accept Pakistani hospitality for years and yet allow India to destabilise Pakistan from Afghan soil, Mr. Karzai said: “I will speak with a clear voice and a clear conscience. Afghanistan will be committing a great wrong to itself if we allow our territory to be used by any other country against Pakistan. This is not in the interest of Afghanistan. Please trust us on that. We will not allow that.”

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/09/16/stories/2010091656010900.htm

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No forced return of Afghans from flood-hit Pakistan: UN

16 Sep, 2010

AZAKHEL: The head of the UN refugee agency, Antonio Guterres, called Thursday for more global relief to help Pakistan after catastrophic floods and ruled out any forced repatriation of Afghans.

Pakistan is home to 1.7 million Afghan refugees —1.5 million of whom live in areas affected by the country's worst humanitarian disaster, which has affected up to 21 million people overall and hit terrain the size of England.

“The government of Pakistan has guaranteed that despite this tragedy Pakistan will not force these refugees to go back to Afghanistan,” Guterres said after meeting elders from the devastated northwestern village of Azakhel.

Azakhel is the largest Afghan refugee camp that the floods destroyed. It had a population of 22,000 people, who lost everything, a UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) official said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/12-no+forced+return+of+afghans+from+flood-hit+pakistan+un--bi-05

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Karzai restates intent to engage Taliban

By Our Staff Reporter

16 Sep, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday castigated Pakistan for the presence of sanctuaries and training camps of militants within its territorial limits. At the same time, he reiterated his government’s resolve to talk with Taliban.

“There are sanctuaries and training camps in our countries. Militants are not coming from Ivory Coast, they are coming from our lands,” he said at the press conference with President Asif Zardari.

Mr Karzai has been accusing Pakistan of doing nothing against militants’ sanctuaries and training camps for several years.

At the press conference, however, the two presidents pledged to work together to eliminate terrorist hideouts.

In reply to a question about his offer of talks to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, Mr Karzai said: “We have made talks offer to those Taliban who are not part of Al Qaeda and are ready to obey the Afghan constitution.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/karzai-restates-intent-to-engage-taliban-690

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Somali Town Embodies Enduring Sense of Loss

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

Sep 16, 2010

WISIL, Somalia — The wind howls here, lifting off the desert, roaring into town, gathering force as it squeezes between the metal shacks along Wisil’s main drag and blasts into people’s faces.

Spectral figures tramp by, their faces wrapped in checkered scarves to keep the sand out of their eyes and prevent it from burning the backs of their throats. Lashed by the wind, donkeys bow their heads.

Against this tableau appears Mohamed Gelle. He is hard to miss. His eyes are pried open with little white straws wedged between his cheek and his eyebrow because, he says, he never wants to sleep. Wisil’s children laugh mercilessly at him as he hunches under a tree and wolfs down a melon, mumbling to himself as the juice dribbles off his chin into the tangle of rags that make up his clothes.

“That man,” said a passer-by, with a sad shake of the head, “used to be the richest man in town. He had five taxis in Mogadishu.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/16/world/africa/16somalia.html?_r=1&hp

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US drones keep up heat on Haqqani group

By Baqir Sajjad Syed

16 Sep, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Apparently frustrated over Pakistan military’s inaction against the Haqqani network, the United States has this month unleashed a relentless wave of drone attacks in North Waziristan, hoping to downgrade the operational capabilities of the group it considers to be the most lethal militant outfit in Afghanistan.

Since Sept 2, there have been 13 strikes by unmanned Predator drones in North Waziristan — the highest number in a month since the US began using them to hit targets in Pakistan in 2004. The number of drone attacks this year has already crossed 70 — the highest figure for a year.

According to military sources, an operation in North Waziristan got delayed because the army was preoccupied with fighting militancy in other tribal areas and flood relief. This window was fully exploited by the group to intensify its activities, defence analysts believe.

“The Americans want to check that freedom of space available to the Haqqanis through intensified drone attacks,” a source said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/us-drones-keep-up-heat-on-haqqani-group-690

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Little hope of Babri resolution

By Piyush Srivastava

Sep 16, 2010

THE COMPLEXITY of the Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid title suit can be gauged from the repeated attempts of the Special Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court to explore chances of an amicable settlement. But the past precedents show little chances of success.

Even after finalising September 24 as the date for the pronouncement of the final verdict, the court summoned the two parties for a meeting on Friday. Earlier, on July 27, the court had asked them to approach it if either party saw any possibility of a harmonious resolution.

But the All- India Babri Masjid Action Committee ( AIBMAC) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad ( VHP) don’t see much hope in Friday’s meeting because similar out- of- court exercises in the past have failed to yield any result.

In fact, the rival parties have discussed the issue several times in the past two decades. Each time, it has only ended in bitterness.

Full report at: Mail Today

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UP: Ahead of Babri verdict, schools turn into jails

Sep 16, 2010

LUCKNOW: An extensive exercise is under way to identify locations that could be transformed into makeshift jails in Uttar Pradesh in view of the Allahabad High Court's crucial verdict on Ayodhya title suit on September 24. These prisons will be used in case of mass arrests which may have to be effected to maintain law and order, said a senior officer of the jails department.

The security cover drafted by the UP government provides for at least two temporary detention centres in every district, one each for men and women, which may be turned into a prison if needed, the officer said. As of now, nine temporary jails are being created in districts which do not have a regular prison.

The officials are looking for sites which at least have five common features: (i) sufficient, unoccupied covered and open area; (ii) located in thinly populated residential area; (iii) has all requirements for putting in place an effective access control system; (iv) has proper road link; and (v) has water, electricity, toilets and bathrooms. The selection criteria is making marriage halls/community centres and educational institutes the first choice for makeshift prisons, said another officer.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/UP-Ahead-of-Babri-verdict-schools-turn-into-jails/articleshow/6562828.cms#ixzz0zfX57mgC

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Five die in firing at Poonch protest

By Arjun Sharma in Jammu

Sep 16, 2010

AT LEAST five protesters were killed and 24 wounded when police fired at a group marching towards a Christian missionary school in Poonch district, reportedly to set it ablaze.

The incident took place on Wednesday when a mob of around 3,500 people gathered near a local mosque in Mendhar town raising slogans against the US over the alleged desecration of the Quran.

The protesters then marched towards the missionary school at Dhar Bathoon in Mendhar.

The police had cordoned off the area and asked them to return.

But when the protesters started pelting stones and marched towards the school, the police fired, killing two protesters on the spot. Three others died on the way to Rajouri district hospital.

Some of the wounded were also airlifted to the Government Medical College in Jammu.

The situation in the Muslim- dominated areas, including Rajouri, Doda, Bhaderwah and Kishtwar became tense as the news of the death of five protesters spread.

Senior police officers including Poonch SSP Manmohan Singh visited the spot to take stock of the situation.

Full report at: Mail Today

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IMF approves $451 million loan for flood-hit Pakistan

Sep 16, 2010

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday announced it would give Pakistan a 451-million-dollar loan to help the country recover from devastating floods.

"The board's approval enables the immediate disbursement of the full amount of this emergency assistance," the Washington-based body said in a statement.

Monsoon floods, which began six weeks ago, have left 10 million people without shelter across the country, according to UN figures, with 21 million people affected and eight million surviving on aid handouts.

The IMF said they hoped the cash would "help the country manage the immediate aftermath of the massive and devastating floods that have hit the country" and spur more lending by international donors.

The loan is designed to help Pakistan fill the budget hole left by flooding.

"Pakistan's economic outlook has deteriorated sharply as a result of the floods. The agriculture sector, which accounts for 21 percent of Gross Domestic Product and 45 percent of employment, has been hit particularly hard" the IMF said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/IMF-approves-451-million-loan-for-flood-hit-Pakistan/articleshow/6563251.cms#ixzz0zfWoBf4n

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Dawood Inc find new ally in war against Chhota Rajan gang

S Ahmed Ali

Sep 16, 2010

MUMBAI: In a major shakeup in the underworld, India's most wanted Dawood Ibrahim gang is believed to have joined hands with fugitive don Bharat Nepali, who was recently in the news for a string of killings in the city, including that of Chhota Rajan's aide Farid Tanashah.

According to sources, Chhota Shakeel, the front man of D-company, had offered a hand to Nepali recently after the latter ordered the killing of Tanashah in Tilak Nagar, fortress of Rajan gang. "Dushman ka dushman dost hota hai" (enemy's enemy is a friend), said a Shakeel aide. Sources said that this development assumes significance in the long ongoing rivalry between Rajan and Dawood gangs.

Shakeel has offered to help Nepali in bailing out four of his accomplices — Devendra Jagtap alias JD, Pinto Devram Dagle, Vinod Yashwant Vichare and Hasmukh Solanki — who were arrested for killing advocate Shahid Azmi. Azmi, who represented a number of alleged terrorists including those arrested for7/11 attacks, was gunned down by the four accused on February 11 this year.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Dawood-Inc-find-new-ally-in-war-against-Chhota-Rajan-gang/articleshow/6563142.cms#ixzz0zfWv32GC

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Gay Saudi diplomat seeks asylum in US

Rebecca Cathcart

Sep 16, 2010

LOS ANGELES: An openly gay Saudi Arabian diplomat in Los Angeles who requested asylum in late August said he had received death threats since making it public on Saturday that he had asked to be allowed to stay in the US.

The diplomat, Ali Ahmad Asseri, was still awaiting word from American officials on his application on Tuesday, and said he feared execution if he returned to his home country.

Asseri sent a letter on Saturday to news outlets saying that employees at the Saudi Consulate had harassed him after they began to suspect that he was gay and after learning that a close friend was a Jewish Israeli woman.

"My life is in a great danger here," Asseri wrote in the letter, "and if I go back to Saudi Arabia, they will kill me openly in broad daylight. I want my voice to be heard, and I want them to know that I am not alone."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Gay-Saudi-diplomat-seeks-asylum-in-US/articleshow/6562693.cms#ixzz0zfWy5esQ

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Learning with the Times: AFSPA was extended to J&K in the 1990s

Sep 16, 2010

Since when has the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) existed?

AFSPA became a law on September 11, 1958. Initially, it was applicable to the seven Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. This was so because in all these states there were movements of ethnic groups demanding separation from India. The government felt that such insurgencies could be checked through deployment of the armed forces, and they would need special powers to carry out their responsibilities. AFSPA was extended to J&K in 1990, on similar considerations.

What are the extraordinary powers given to the armed forces in the AFSPA?

According to section 3 of the Act, any state government or governor or the central government can declare the whole or part of a state disturbed if it is convinced that conditions have become so disturbed or dangerous in the specified area that it's necessary to deploy the armed forces there.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Learning-with-the-Times-AFSPA-was-extended-to-JK-in-the-1990s/articleshow/6562998.cms#ixzz0zfXg0Oji

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SP backs Army, cites threat from China, Pak

Subodh Ghildiyal

Sep 16, 2010

NEW DELHI: Samajwadi Party said the armed forces were an important ingredient of national security and flagged "China's expansionism" and "Pakistan's persistence with cross-border terrorism" to say that nothing should be done to "demoralise" the Army in Jammu and Kashmir.

At the all-party meeting, SP broke ranks with the social justice-Left outfits which led the chorus for withdrawal of AFPSA and reduction of armed forces to restore confidence in the troubled state, a move which left many participants wondering what had inspired the hawkish line.

Ramgopal Yadav, who spoke at the meeting as his brother and SP chief Mulayam Singh sat by his side, made it plain that "dialogue" with separatists, howsoever necessary, had to be within the framework of the Constitution and, armed forces and AFPSA were indispensable in J&K.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/SP-backs-Army-cites-threat-from-China-Pak/articleshow/6561664.cms#ixzz0zfXnKGQg

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Do not withdraw AFSPA: Group of Kashmiri Pandits ask Antony

Sep 16, 2010

NEW DELHI: A group of displaced Kashmiri Pandits on Wednesday met Union defence minister A K Antony and requested him not to withdraw Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from certain parts of the state.

"We have asked the defence minister to not to withdraw AFSPA as there are special circumstances in the Jammu and Kashmir. The Act is a must for them," said Utpal Kaul, founder member of 'Panun Kashmir', a global group of Kashmiri Pandits with over 10,000 member.

The members expressed their grief over the situation in the state and asked the Minister to find out a solution to end the present crises.

"There is a difficult situation in the state. People are on the road. Even protestors are forcing schoolgoers to fight with security forces. We have asked Antony to intervene and find a long lasting solution to the problem," Kaul said.

Members of Kashmir Samiti, another group of displaced Kashmiri people, were also the part of delegation. The meeting with the Defence Minister lasted for about half-an-hour.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Do-not-withdraw-AFSPA-Group-of-Kashmiri-Pandits-ask-Antony-/articleshow/6560571.cms#ixzz0zfXqNmYR

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Pakistani immigrant charged with unwittingly funding NY bomb plot

Sep 16, 2010

NEW YORK: A Pakistani immigrant pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to running an illegal money transfer business between Pakistan and the United States that was used to fund an attempt to bomb New York's Times Square.

Mohammad Younis, 44, of suburban Long Island, provided failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad with money in April to pay for his attempted May 1 car bomb attack, but prosecutors did not accuse Younis of knowing how the money would be used.

Shahzad, a Pakistani-born American, pleaded guilty in June to the attempted car bombing and said the payment he received to fund the attack had been organized by associates of the Pakistani Taliban Islamist extremist group.

"By engaging in the alleged conduct, Mohammad Younis unwittingly funded a terror plot that, if successful, would have caused mass casualties in New York City," US attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Pakistani-immigrant-charged-with-unwittingly-funding-NY-bomb-plot/articleshow/6563030.cms#ixzz0zfY3Uiqy

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Zardari offers more intel to Afghans

Sep 16, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's president said on Wednesday said that his nation's intelligence services are willing to cooperate closer with Afghanistan to fight the Taliban.

President Asif Ali Zardari told reporters after meeting the Afghan leader that the two nations' cooperation had improved since Zardari took office and "we intend to enhance it further."

"We need more security cooperation between our intelligence and their intelligence, which Pakistan is willing to offer," he said.

It was not clear, however, if the offer was endorsed by Pakistan's military and intelligence establishment, which historically wields more power than its civilian rulers. Afghan President Hamid Karzai described the men's meeting as wide-ranging and productive. "This openness in dialogue in fact is a step forward in our relations," he said, saying the discussion was focused on Taliban bases in Pakistan's tribal areas. "These are issues that we should discuss and these are issues that we should fight together," Karzai said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Zardari-offers-more-intel-to-Afghans/articleshow/6562646.cms#ixzz0zfY6TEno

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Bahrain says arrests two over planned car bombings

16 Sep, 2010

MANAMA: Bahrain has arrested two people who the Gulf Arab nation said had planned a series of car bombings to go off during festivities to mark the end of Ramadan.

Bahrain, home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet and a regional offshore banking centre, has seen an increase in violence in recent weeks ahead of parliamentary elections on October 23.

The authorities in August arrested more than 20 Shia opposition leaders in a broad crackdown, accusing them of plotting to overthrow the government by instigating unrest.

On Wednesday Bahrain's Ministry of Interior said two people from a Shia village had prepared explosive devices to detonate ten cars in different areas of Bahrain.

The pair were arrested on Sept 8. Car bombings would be an escalation of the violence beyond the night-time clashes between young Shia protesters and security forces, which are frequent in Bahrain.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/06-bahrain-says-arrests-two-over-planned-car-bombings-rs-05

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Water dispute claims 13 more lives in Kurram

16 Sep, 2010

PESHAWAR: The ongoing water dispute in the Kurram tribal region deepened on Thursday as 13 more tribesmen were killed and 19 others were injured in clashes between the two rival groups.

According to sources, the dispute had taken a new turn after the involvement of militants in the clashes which took place in the tribal region’s Salozan and Tungi areas.

So far, 48 people have been killed and more than 80 injured in the past 13 days.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/provinces/12-water+dispute+claims+13+more+lives+in+kurram--bi-03

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Pakistan seeks action against Brahamdagh Bugti

Sep 16, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Wednesday asked Afghan officials to take stern action against Brahamdagh Bugti, who is involved in insurgency and unlawful activities in Balochistan. Sources told Daily Times that during the meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, Rehman Malik told the Afghan officials that Brahamdagh was the key figure behind the ongoing unrest in Balochistan. “Afghanistan is providing refuge to elements who are involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan,” the sources quoted Malik as saying during the meeting. “Malik also said that the Afghan Taliban belonging to Kunar province were crossing into Pakistan to fight security forces,” the sources said. The interior minister also asked the Afghan authorities to restore the bio-matrix checking system installed at Chaman, Taftaan and Torkham checkposts along the Pak-Afghan border, which were destroyed by the Afghan militia.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\16\story_16-9-2010_pg1_2

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Nothing can be done legally against me: Musharraf

Sep 16, 2010

HONG KONG: Former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday said that he was willing to face any cases on his planned return to Pakistan, but was sure that nothing could be done legally against him.

“I’m prepared to face that (any cases) for the sake of Pakistan. And I know since whatever I did has all the legal backing and legal cover, I’m very confident that nothing can happen legally against me,” Musharraf said, while speaking on the sidelines of an investor conference in Hong Kong.

He said he would announce the establishment of a new party, the All-Pakistan Muslim League, in London on October 1 and outline his political platform.

“My going back is dependent certainly on an environment to be created in Pakistan,” Musharraf said, but added, “I would say with certainty in the next elections, whenever the signs of the next elections come up, I will be there in Pakistan.”

He acknowledged he had lost popularity in Pakistan. However, he said he was confident he could rebuild a support base rooted in youth and others disillusioned with politics.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\16\story_16-9-2010_pg1_7

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Taliban claim responsibility for journalist’s killing

Sep 16, 2010

PESHAWAR: The Banned organization, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility on Wednesday for killing a senior journalist Misri Khan in Hangu district on Tuesday.

The claim for responsibility was made by deputy TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan over a phone conversation to a BBC journalist in Peshawar.

Veteran journalist Misri Khan was shot dead on Tuesday outside his newspaper distribution agency in Hangu city, plagued by sectarian violence.

Ehsan told the BBC journalist that Khan was twisting facts in his reports about the Taliban. “He twisted facts whenever we gave him a report. He has (had) a leaning towards the army in his reports,” explained the TTP spokesperson. Journalists covering the militancy story said that the Taliban commanders expressed anger at certain media organisations for ignoring their viewpoints in the reports.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\16\story_16-9-2010_pg7_6

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NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan will be gradual, says Petraeus

Sep 16, 2010

WASHINGTON: NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan will be gradual and not a brusque ‘lights out’ next August, the commander of international forces there, US General David Petraeus, said on Wednesday. When asked about an exit date, Petraeus told NPR radio “the idea of some date out there is not unprecedented”, mentioning past practice in Iraq. But the idea of an August date for a pullout is not a ‘lights out’ moment, he added. Yet when asked if NATO had dropped the ball on that account, Petraeus said that in the past, they did not have means to carry out the kind of “comprehensive counterinsurgency” that was needed. Now, we can “broadly say that we have the inputs right”, he said.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\16\story_16-9-2010_pg7_10

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Haqqani urges US for sustainable flood relief efforts in Pakistan

Sep 16, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani has urged sustained help for Pakistan’s flood recovery and thanked the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for sending relief assistance worth $3 million for victims of the epic natural disaster.

Haqqani, who flew into the capital of the American state, met the president of the church, Thomas Monson, and praised its work in support of the suffering humanity as an inspiring example for others.

“It (aid for flood victims) symbolises the fact that the people of all faiths can work together and need to strengthen each other in times of humanitarian crisis,” the diplomat noted at a press conference following his meeting with the LDS leaders.

The church had partnered with known aid organizations, including International Relief and Development, the International Medical Corps and Islamic Relief USA, to distribute 400,000 pounds of essential supplies for the flood victims including food, blankets, medical and school items.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\16\story_16-9-2010_pg7_16

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One killed during anti-US protest in Afghanistan

Sep 16, 2010

KABUL: One person was killed and at least five others wounded as police fired into the air to disperse thousands of anti-American protesters in Afghanistan’s capital on Wednesday.

Demonstrators chanted “Death to America”, “Death to Christians”, and “Death to Karzai”, the latter referring to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in the biggest protests since unrest erupted last week over plans by an American pastor to burn copies of the holy Quran. “There are more than 10,000 of the demonstrators and some of them are waving the Taliban flag,” said police officer Mohammad Usman.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the group was aware of the protests but had no role in them. “People may have raised the Taliban flags to show their sentiment and sympathy for the Taliban,” Mujahid told Reuters from an undisclosed location. At the Pul-e-Kandahari, or Kandahar Bridge in Kabul, police were ordered to advance towards one group of hundreds of protesters who were throwing stones and shouting “Death to American slaves” at police.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\16\story_16-9-2010_pg7_3

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Kyrgyzstan holds first trial after ethnic riots

Sep 16, 2010

BISHKEK: The first trial in Kyrgyzstan for those accused of taking part in ethnic unrest in June ended with five people sentenced to life in jail for murder and other charges and long prison terms given to three others.

Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet nation in Central Asia which hosts U.S. and Russian military air bases and lies on a drug trafficking route out of Afghanistan, saw several days of the worst ethnic violence in its modern history three months ago.

Officials say that around 400 people, and possibly hundreds more, were killed. Fierce clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks engulfed the cities of Osh and Jalalabad and nearby villages in southern Kyrgyzstan.

A court in the village of Nooken near Jalalabad found seven men and a woman guilty of killing a policeman, fomenting ethnic hatred, instigating violence and organising public unrest, Kyrgyz human rights activist Sardar Bagshibekov told Reuters.

Judge Nurgazy Alymkulov sentenced five men, including a local human rights advocate, to life in prison. The woman and a man got 20 years each, and one man was sentenced to nine years.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\16\story_16-9-2010_pg20_5

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US supports civilian set-up in Pakistan: Holbrooke

By Habib Khan Ghori

16 Sep, 2010

KARACHI: US Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke categorically stated on Wednesday that his country supported a civilian and democratically-elected government in Pakistan.

Answering a question at a press conference which he addressed after meeting Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah following a visit to some flood-affected areas, Mr Holbrooke also said the US supported the civilian government and “also worked closely with the army which was part of that government”.

The chief minister gave a detailed briefing to the US official on the devastation caused by floods in Sindh.

Referring to his visit to Thatta where he met displaced persons in camps, Mr Holbrooke said that he had extended discussion with leaders in Karachi and Islamabad about the disaster.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/us-supports-civilian-setup-in-pakistan-holbrooke-690

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UK won’t sideline human rights in hunt for trade

Sep 16, 2010

LONDON: UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has said that Britain will defend human rights across the globe, even as it seeks to woo trading partners with sometimes questionable records.

In a major policy speech on Wednesday, Hague said efforts to spur Britain’s economic recovery by bolstering ties to China, India and others won’t lead to a timid stance from diplomats in confronting abuses. Prime Minister David Cameron recently visited India and Turkey to pitch for new trade.

He has also identified the Gulf Arab states and China as important future allies. Rights groups have raised concerns about the conduct of governments in those regions. “We will raise our concerns about human rights wherever and whenever they arise, including with countries with whom we are seeking closer ties,” Hague said, speaking at London’s Lincoln’s Inn – a legal centre.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\16\story_16-9-2010_pg4_5

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Terror-funding case dropped; Yassin Al-Qadi stands vindicated

Yassin Abdullah Al-Qadi

Sep 16, 2010

JEDDAH: A court in the southern district of New York has acquitted Saudi businessman and philanthropist Yassin Abdullah Al-Qadi of terror-funding charges while giving its verdict in a case filed against him by the victims of 9/11 attacks.

“Al-Qadi has succeeded in having dismissed in their entirety the civil claims brought against him in the US on behalf of the families of the 9/11 victims,” a statement issued by the businessman’s lawyers said.

District Judge George Daniels ruled that the claim against Al-Qadi must be dismissed on the ground that the allegations made in the complaint were insufficient to state a claim. He further ruled that the court lacked any personal jurisdiction over Al-Qadi.

Speaking on the occasion, Al-Qadi described the move to incriminate him and others by accusing them of funding terrorism without any evidence as “a financial Guantanamo.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article139435.ece

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Al Arabiya chief Al-Rashed resigns

By WALAA HAWARI

Sep 16, 2010

RIYADH: Al Arabiya Director General Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed resigned on Tuesday following unconfirmed reports that he was asked to stop writing his popular column in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

Al-Rashed is known for his criticisms of extremist views. Recently Al-Arabiya aired an episode of “Islam and the West” that contained what has been perceived as contemptuous statements regarding 18th century scholar Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab, the father of what in the West is often referred to as Wahabism, the austere Salafi movement whose followers take a hard stance against what is perceived as “innovations” (bida) that threatens the original spirit of Islam.

In the controversial episode of “Islam and the West,” a guest suggests that Wahabi ideology plays a key role in why Islam is often associated with terrorism and violence.

Asharq Al-Awsat Editor in Chief Tariq Al-Humaid recently stated that the newspaper has not asked Al-Rashed to stop writing.

Al-Rashed joined Al Arabiya in April 2004 after stepping down as editor in chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. He is perceived by some to be too pro-Western. Al Arabiya, a popular news channel, has issued no statement regarding the resignation.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article139363.ece

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American freed by Iran plans medical exam in Oman

Sep 16, 2010

MUSCAT, Oman: American Sarah Shourd planned a medical exam Wednesday for the first appraisal of her health after more than 13 months in an Iranian prison, said Omani officials after the country's rulers mediated a deal for $500,000 bail to win her release.

Shourd has stayed out of the public eye since arriving late Tuesday aboard a private Omani jet. Her mother — who was waiting at a special royal airfield — says her 32-year-old daughter has serious medical problems, including a breast lump and precancerous cervical cells.

The Omani officials gave no further details of the planned medical attention. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not cleared to brief media.

In the United States, a person familiar with Shourd's case confirmed the plans for a medical exam, but did not elaborate.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article139038.ece

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Psychiatric test ordered for Yanbu serial killer

Sep 16, 2010

JEDDAH: A man who confessed to killing three Indonesian maids in Yanbu is to be examined by a specialized psychiatric panel in Madinah to determine his mental state ahead of his trial, Prosecution and Investigation Commission sources told Arab News on Wednesday.

They said Auda Ahmad might be suffering from psychological disorders, especially as sex and torture were the common denominators in all of his crimes.

“The court will take this into consideration during the trial if he is found to be mentally sick,” one source said.

Meanwhile, an official from the committee that sponsors prisoners, ex-convicts and their families told Arab News that the committee would consider extending financial support to Ahmad’s wife and children if he is convicted.

“We will study the circumstances of the family and provide them with care and support after a final verdict is passed,” he said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article139357.ece

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Local Press: Merkel and the Danish cartoonist

By KHALED AL-SULEIMAN

Sep 16, 2010

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel has honored the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who published cartoons denigrating the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). She said his courage epitomized the freedom of expression Europe is distinguished for.

“Europe is a place where a cartoonist is allowed to draw something like this,” she said.

I don’t know whether Chancellor Merkel would also consider the cartoon denigrating the Holocaust among the “acts of courage” deserving commendation and a part of freedom of expression, or whether she would condemn such an act and consider the cartoonist a person to be tracked down and punished like those who question whether the Holocaust actually happened.

It is a hypocritical vision of freedom of expression the chancellor has commended, a freedom that would allow people in Europe to create doubts about the existence of God Himself, but would not allow any move that would create doubts about the mass murder of six million Jews by Nazis in Germany.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article139349.ece

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11-year-old killed in accidental gunfire

By MUHAMMAD AL-SULAMI

Sep 16, 2010

JEDDAH: An 11-year-old boy was killed in an accidental gunfire while the family was picnicking in Sharma, a village in Tabuk province.

“Sharma police station received a call about the death of a person as a result of gunfire. Security officers rushed to the area and found that the victim was an 11-year-old Saudi boy,” Brig. Saleh Hamid Al-Harbi, spokesman of Tabuk police, said on Wednesday.

He said the gun went off while one of the family members was unloading bags from his car. He did not know the gun was loaded.

“The bullet hit the boy, who died instantly,” Al-Harbi said. The police detained the man responsible pending an investigation.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article139371.ece

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West hits out at Iran over N-inspection

By FREDRIK DAHL

Sep 16, 2010

VIENNA: Western powers and the United States accused Iran on Wednesday of trying to intimidate the UN atomic agency by barring some nuclear inspectors and the United States warned Tehran of possible diplomatic consequences.

The dispute has further strained ties between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and deepened concern about Iran’s nuclear program, which the West suspects is designed to develop atomic weapons.

IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano said earlier this week Iran’s refusal to admit some experienced inspectors was hampering the agency’s work.

Iran, which says its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity, said two inspectors it banned in June had provided false information about its activities.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article139231.ece

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Women complain about singles sneaking into fun parks for families

Sep 16, 2010

DAMMAM: Saudi families have expressed anger over the presence of unrelated bachelors at exclusive areas for women and families at various theme parks and recreational facilities in the Eastern Province.

They claim that the men manage to get in by bribing gatekeepers at these places. They added that these guards sell entry tickets to young men at a premium and the profits go into their own pockets.

The unwelcome presence of these young bachelors was particularly felt at some of the theme parks in Dammam and Alkhobar, which has witnessed a huge flow of holidaymakers during the Eid holidays, according to a report in Al-Yaum Arabic daily.

Several citizens, especially youngsters, are of the view that there should be separate recreational facilities for unmarried young men, away from families and women.

Rakan Al-Qadi, a citizen, says special areas for young men at amusement parks are indispensable.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article139348.ece

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Western-backed Lebanese faction slams Hezbollah

By BASSEM MROUE

Sep 16, 2010

BEIRUT: A Western-backed alliance in Lebanon’s government accused the militant group Hezbollah and its allies Wednesday of trying to take the country back to the days when Syria dominated this tiny Arab nation.

The alliance is struggling to maintain its political clout as Hezbollah and its patrons in Damascus gain strength in Lebanon. The March 14 coalition is named for a day of massive demonstrations in 2005 when millions turned out and forced Syria leave Lebanon after nearly 30 years.

“Lebanon is being subjected at the present time to a wild coup attempt that aims to take us back to the time before the March 14, 2005 independence uprising,” Fares Soeid, a senior March 14 official, told reporters Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article139235.ece

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US hikers’ mothers urge Iran to bring sons home

16 September 2010

WASHINGTON — The mothers of two US hikers held in Tehran urged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday to bring the men with him to New York when he attends a UN meeting next week but the Iranian leader vowed not to intervene.

The US government also stepped up calls for the release of the two 28-year-old men, who remained in custody after Tehran freed Sarah Shourd, arrested with them when they hiked near the Iran border over a year ago.

“There are still two remaining hikers, that have committed no crime, in custody and detained in Iran,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

“There is absolutely no reason that those two shouldn’t be immediately released by the Iranian government.”

However Ahmadinejad remained defiant, telling NBC television in an interview that the case would be left up to the judicial system.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/September/middleeast_September366.xml&section=middleeast

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West weakened by nine years of fighting: Zawahiri

Sep 16, 2010

DUBAI — Nine years of fighting jihadists has weakened Western forces, Al-Qaeda’s number two said in an audio clip four days after the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a US monitoring group said on Wednesday.

“The forces of jihad... have emerged victorious and the forces of the Crusader invasion have emerged weakened by their wounds and exhausted by the haemorrhage of human and financial losses,” said Ayman al-Zawahiri, according to a transcript of the message provided by IntelCenter monitoring service.

Zawahiri did not directly refer to the September 11, 2001 that killed almost 3,000 people but said in the message released after Saturday’s anniversary of 9/11 that attacks had taken place “even on the Westerners’ own soil.”

US troops invaded Afghanistan after the attacks on the United States to oust the Taliban, which Washington accused of sheltering Al-Qaeda.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/September/middleeast_September338.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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First Gaza flotilla report sent to UN chief

16 September 2010

UN — An inquiry panel on Wednesday handed over a preliminary report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Israel’s assault on a Turkish activist ship taking aid supplies to Gaza, which left nine dead and scores wounded, a UN spokesman said.

Former New Zealand prime minister Geoffrey Palmer and a panel which includes representatives from Israel and Turkey is looking into the May 31 attack.

The United Nations did not give details of the report but a spokesman for Ban said the inquiry was proceeding in “in a positive and collegial manner.”

“The panel agreed that in the light of the information so gathered, it would examine and identify the facts, circumstances and context of the incident and make findings and recommendations for the prevention of similar incidents in the future,” said a spokesman for Ban.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/September/middleeast_September363.xml&section=middleeast&col=

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/respect-aspirations-of-kashmiri-youth--sonia/d/3437


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