New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 17 March 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Saudi Arabia Could Face Arab Spring-Like Spark of Violence: Cleric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arab World

Saudi Arabia Could Face Arab Spring-Like Spark of Violence: Cleric

Egyptian vigilantes hang 2 thieves in public

‘Pharaoh’s Magicians’: Egypt’s TV puts a spell on you, warns Islamist preacher

Qaeda' attack on Iraq ministry killed 30: minister

'Bible-burning' Islamist preacher referred to Cairo Criminal Court

Tension in Lebanon after Sunnis attacked in Shiite areas

High-ranking Syrian general defects from army

Journalists protest assault by Egypt's Brotherhood

Egypt Army cautions against people posing as officers

Syrian opposition opens meeting to choose prime minister

First movie ‘produced’ by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood under attack

‘Ramadan to begin on July 10, Eid Al Fitr on August 9’

 

Pakistan

Sunni school says blasphemy accused should be tried by Shariat Court

Pakistan arrests militant linked to Daniel Pearl murder

Pakistan seeks UN ban on unilateral drone strikes

Pakistani Taliban suspends talks with government

Qadri announces boycott of Pak polls

Thanks to Pakistan, China now world's 5th largest arms exporter

Force is no solution to the Balochistan conundrum

Three MQM activists shot dead in Hyderabad

Those found guilty of blasphemy should be punished, not entire communities: CJ

FATA politics: Voting in the shadow of the Taliban

Pakistan urges Egypt to help end Syria violence

Pakistan court bans President Asif Ali Zardari from political activities

 

India

Academics tell Urdu scholar to not accept Pak honour

Ahead of India visit, Morsy pitches for ‘E-BRICS’

Salman Khurshid hits out at Muslim appeasement policy of U P govt

Kashmir’s ‘curfewed’ media

Pakistan seizes nine boats, detains 55 Indian fishermen

National Awards: Irrfan Khan wins Best Actor

1.7 lakh Indian pilgrims for Hajj this year

 

South Asia

Karzai opponents talk to Taliban, declared terrorist

Former Director of Police Intelligence Sabra Arrested at Male Airport

Blasts, arrests mark Bangladesh general strike

Afghan anti-graft body raps Kabul Bank court ruling

Maldives SC overturns parliament’s dismissal of CSC Chair for sexual harassment

State must prove ‘MC’ Hameed’s dismissal was lawful: Civil Court

 

Mideast Asia

Iran seen bridging divide between Obama and 'Bibi'

Iran to try 18 suspects over killing of nuclear scientists

Hunger-striker to be freed to Gaza: Prisoners’ Club

Egypt military fabric used in ‘children’s clothing:’ Hamas

New Israel housing minister pledges more settlement building

 

Europe

British foundation training Pakistani VCs

 

Africa

Nigeria: Bull with 'Prophet's Name' On Forehead Draws Crowd

Car bomb kills at least eight in Somali capital

Security of Christian Communities 'Precarious' in Libya - Archbishop

Somalia frees journalist held for reporting on rape

Sudan military members go on trial for alleged coup attempt

Terror haven in Mali feared after French leave

 

North America

Chastened Obama returns to Middle East, asks for a 'new beginning'

10 years on, authors of Iraq invasion stand ‘discredited’

US soldier accused of Afghan killings faces ‘sanity’ review

US House Democrat wants lethal aid for Syria rebels

 

Southeast Asia

Rules and exceptions in Indonesia’s counterterrorism

Shahrizat says no reason to apologise to Malaysians

 

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Beware, viewers watching Egyptian satellite channels, for you could be “watching Pharaoh’s spell” at work. (Courtesy: Shourouknews.com)

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/saudi-arabia-could-face-arab-spring-like-spark-of-violence--cleric/d/10808

 

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Arab World

 

Saudi Arabia Could Face Arab Spring-Like Spark of Violence: Cleric

An Arab Spring-like situation is more likely in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia if concerns over detainees, poor services and corruption are not addressed, a Saudi cleric warns

17 Mar 2013

One of Saudi Arabia's leading clerics has delivered a rare warning to the government that it could face "the spark of violence" if concerns over detainees, poor services and corruption are not addressed.

The conservative Islamic kingdom avoided any major unrest among its Sunni Muslim majority during Arab Spring revolts elsewhere after King Abdullah pledged $110 billion in social spending and the powerful clergy backed a ban on protests.

Any signs of public opposition to the government are closely watched in the world's top oil exporter and there have been increasingly frequent small demonstrations in recent months by the families of people held as suspected Islamist militants.

Sheikh Salman al-Awdah, a conservative who was imprisoned from 1994-99 for agitating for political change and has 2.4 million followers on Twitter, expressed his concerns in an open letter on the social media site.

He described a mood of stagnation which he said was caused by a lack of housing, unemployment, poverty, corruption, weak health and education systems, the plight of the detainees and the absence of any prospect of political reform.

"If revolutions are suppressed they turn into armed action, and if they are ignored they expand and spread. The solution is in wise decisions and in being timely to avert any spark of violence," he wrote.

The issue of the detainees has brought some Saudi Islamists and liberals to make common cause against what they see as a punitive approach to state security in Washington's closest Gulf ally.

A week ago two prominent human rights activists were jailed after years of campaigning about the issue.

The Interior Ministry's security spokesman had two days earlier warned that activists were using the internet to rouse up street protests by spreading "false information".

Most demonstrations on the issue of detainees have involved only a few dozen people, but in late February 161 protesters were arrested in Bureidah in the central Qassim Province.

Awdah wrote that Saudis "like people around the world" would not "always be silent about forfeiting all or part" of their rights, before adding "when someone loses hope, you should expect anything from him".

Saudi authorities tolerate little public dissent and the official Wahhabi school of Islam discourages political involvement.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/67059/World/Region/KSA-could-face-Arab-springlike-spark-of-violence-S.aspx

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Egyptian vigilantes hang 2 thieves in public

By Aya Batrawy-Associated Press

 March 17, 2013

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian vigilantes beat two men accused of stealing a motorized rickshaw, stripped them half-naked and hung them by their feet in a crowded bus station in the Nile Delta on Sunday, according to security officials. Both men died.

A witness said some in the crowd of about 3,000 people who watched the lynchings egged them on with chants of “Kill them!”

The lynchings came a week after the attorney general’s office encouraged civilians to arrest lawbreakers and hand them over to police.

It was one of the most extreme cases of vigilantism in two years of sharp deterioration in security following Egypt‘s 2011 uprising. The worsening security coupled with a police strike prompted the attorney general’s call for citizen arrests last week.

The scene was emblematic of the chaos that is sweeping the country, mired in protests over a range of social, economic and political problems and with security breaking down to frightening proportions.

The state-run newspaper Ahram reported on its website that the two men were dragged in the street after being caught “red-handed” trying to steal a rickshaw. It said they were beaten but alive before they were strung up.

Witnesses claimed that the men had kidnapped a girl inside the rickshaw but that she had escaped unharmed.

A photographer who witnessed the scene told The Associated Press that some in the crowd of around 3,000 threatened to kill him if he took pictures of the lynching.

He said that women and children in the crowd watched the men being strung up by their feet and that some even chanted in support of the lynching.

Residents also threatened to lynch another two men accused of being involved in the rickshaw theft.

Photographs from the scene show the two men hanging upside down from a rafter in their underwear at an open-air bus station in the town of Samanod, about 55 miles north of Cairo. They appear badly beaten. Some initial reports said they were hanging from a tree, but photos from the scene showed it was a rafter.

Other photographs show the men then lying on the ground dead in their underwear, with ropes around their feet. Their bodies are covered in dirt, bruises, blood and lacerations as a group of angry looking men gathered around them. One man in the crowd grasped a knife in one fist and another held up a bloodied wooden stick.

The witness said the crowd then took the bodies to a nearby police station and dumped them at the front door.

Ahram reported that police could not reach the site of the hangings because residents had cut off the roads to protest a shortage of diesel fuel, one of Egypt‘s many crises. Earlier in the day, residents of the nearby city of Mahalla had cut off a main train line to protest the fuel shortages.

“The lack of security has created a sense of terror here,” the witness said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. “The entire area is shut down because of protests against the fuel shortages.”

Security officials said those who tried to help free the two men were pushed back by others in a crowd in the small town, which is in the Nile Delta province of Gharabiya.

They said they are preparing for possible blood feuds between residents of Samanod and the nearby village of Mahallahit Ziyad, where the two men were from.

The bodies were taken to the morgue for identification, according to security officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Similar attacks have happened elsewhere in Egypt, though vigilante killings are not frequent.

In 2012 in northern Sharqiya province, police said relatives of a man who was killed when muggers tried to steal his car lynched one of the thieves.

They then burned his body while it hung on a light pole. Another vigilante incident that year was in the Nile Delta province of Mansoura, where relatives of a victim took justice into their own hands and lynched two suspected killers.

Citizens have grown bolder in taking matters into their own hands following the 2011 uprising that ousted longtime authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak. The country’s once powerful and feared police force was left weakened after the revolt.

Egypt is embroiled in another wave of political unrest that also has engulfed the nation’s police force. Thousands of officers and low-ranking policemen have broken ranks, staging protests and waging strikes against what they say is the politicization of the force by President Mohammed Morsi and his interior minister.

Some of the striking police officers allege that the Muslim Brotherhood is attempting to control them. The Brotherhood denies that.

Opponents of the attorney general’s call for citizen arrests fear that it is a prelude to the substitution of police by militias belonging to Mr. Morsi’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood and other allied Islamist groups.

On Sunday, Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, who oversees the country’s police, met with officers and low-ranking policemen to hear their demands.

A statement from the ministry said Mr. Ibrahim thanked the police for their efforts. Two days earlier, Mr. Morsi attended traditional Islamic prayers at a Cairo-based camp for riot police, where he praised the force despite public criticism over their violent response to anti-government demonstrations.

Also on Sunday, dozens of journalists protested outside their syndicate in Cairo against what they claim were assaults on their colleagues by members of the Brotherhood.

Diaa Rashwan, the newly elected head of the syndicate who replaced a figure considered by most journalists as pro-Brotherhood, condemned the alleged assault Saturday evening outside the Brotherhood’s headquarters, where journalists were covering a meeting.

The journalists say that after activists sprayed anti-Brotherhood graffiti on the ground outside the headquarters, the Brotherhood guards attacked with sticks and chains.

The Brotherhood said in a statement that guards outside the building were provoked and insulted by the activists and journalists. Many of the group’s offices were attacked across the country in December during violent protests over the drafting of the constitution.

Police fired tear gas and a police vehicle was torched during Saturday night’s clashes. The Al-Dustor opposition party, led by Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, blamed the Brotherhood’s leadership for allegedly encouraging “militias” loyal to the group to join the fight.

In other developments, the Supreme Administrative Court said a body of judges is reviewing an appeal against suspending parliamentary elections. The voting was slated to begin in April and be held in several stages through June.

Mr. Morsi’s Islamist supporters and some in the public exhausted by the turmoil hope the elections will be a step toward bringing some stability. They accuse the opposition of stirring up unrest to derail the voting.

But the mainly liberal and secular opposition has called for a boycott of the vote, saying Mr.  Morsi first must find some political consensus to ease the wave of popular anger.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/17/egyptian-vigilantes-hang-2-thieves-public/?page=3

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‘Pharaoh’s Magicians’: Egypt’s TV puts a spell on you, warns Islamist preacher

 18 March 2013

We’ve heard of the jinx of the Sphinx, mystic curses from the lands of Ancient Egypt and the odd sprinkle of magic over all things mysterious.

But recent claims from a prominent Egyptian preacher have perhaps reached new heights.

Beware, viewers watching Egyptian satellite channels – warns preacher Safwat Hegazy – for you could be “watching Pharaoh’s spell” at work.

This week, Hegazy called on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip not to watch the channels because they were “Pharaoh’s magicians.”

“Pharaoh (Ramses II) had only one Haman but now there are 1,000 Hamans in Egypt,” Hegazy said in reference to Haman, who along with Pharaoh, were believed by Muslims to have rejected Prophet Moses’ call to worship God.

During the speech, delivered at a conference called “The Palestinian Cause in the Shadow of the Arab Spring,” the preacher criticized Egyptian magazines and dailies that accused Hamas of targeting and killing Egyptian forces during the “terrorist” Rafah attack.

“We in Egypt do not believe what is published in newspapers,” he said, the Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm reported.

Recently, members of Islamist groups in Egypt have spoken out against the many televised news talk shows and presenters that appear to be overtly against the country’s Islamist rule.

“Quality assurance in Egyptian media is direly needed across the board,” Dr H.A. Hellyer, of the Brookings Institution and specialist on Egyptian politics told Al Arabiya English on Monday.

“The irony is, however, that the government that Hegazy directly supports has not taken such reforms seriously at all. If anything, the state media has simply switched allegiances, and pro-Islamist independent media has hardly been leading the way in non-polarizing news,” Hellyer added.

Meanwhile, ties between Gaza and Egypt were shaken after an Aug. 5 attack last year in which gunmen in the Sinai Peninsula, next to Gaza, killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. The incident raised new worries about the smuggling of weapons and militants through border tunnels, and Egypt is investigating whether the assailants had ties to Gaza.

Hegazy also criticized attempts to topple Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule saying, “Even if the revolution falls, Islam will not fall and President Mursi will not fall and (will stay until) the end of his term.”

Hegazy added that Arab Spring revolutions “will succeed” and that Jerusalem will be the capital of the Islamic Caliphate. This was similar to a comment he made last year.

“Peace with Israel is not a strategic option. There will be no peace and no surrender. The Palestinian land will be freed despite the Jews’ [will],” he said.

Previous quirks

Last year, before Islamist Mursi took office, Hegazy caused uproar while he was rallying for Mursi.

In a speech, he said if Mursi became president, Egypt’s new capital would no longer be Cairo; it would be Jerusalem.

“Our capital shall not be Cairo, Mecca or Medina. It shall be Jerusalem with God’s will. Our chants shall be: ‘millions of martyrs will march towards Jerusalem’,” prominent preacher Safwat Hagazy said, according to the video aired by Egypt’s religious Annas TV in June 2012.

“The United States of the Arabs will be restored on the hands of that man [Mursi] and his supporters. The capital of the [Muslim] Caliphate will be Jerusalem with God’s will,” Hegazy said, as crowds listening to him cheered, waving the Egyptian flags along with the flags of the Islamist Hamas group, which rules the Gaza Strip.

“Tomorrow Mursi will liberate Gaza,” the crowds chanted.

More recently, Hegazy also kicked up a fuss when he told Al Arabiya earlier this month that that Shiite Islam “will never exist in Egypt.” He had been commenting on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent visit to Egypt.

“Any country’s intervention in another country to spread its own doctrine means either that this country has a new religion to spread or that it believes the old religion is more valid,” he said.

Hegazy claimed the International Union of Muslim Scholars has researched Shiite Islam within the Sunni world, alleging that “the research includes numbers that refer to what Iran does to turn Sunnis to Shiites.”

“Were there Shiites in Egypt 20 years ago?” he asked rhetorically, before claiming that there were no Egyptian Shiites in 1973 and slamming Shia Islam as “blasphemous” and “wrong.”

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/2013/03/18/-Pharoah-s-Magicians-Egypt-s-TV-puts-a-spell-on-you-warns-Islamist-cleric.html

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Qaeda' attack on Iraq ministry killed 30: minister

 March 18, 2013

BAGHDAD — A brazen attack on the Iraqi justice ministry claimed by Al-Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate killed 30 people and wounded 50, state TV quoted justice minister Hassan al-Shammari as saying on Monday.

Security and medical officials had previously put the toll from the March 14 violence at 18 killed and 30 wounded.

The attack involved a series of mid-day bombings in central Baghdad's Allawi neighbourhood, adjacent to the heavily-fortified Green Zone, which is home to key government facilities and the American and British embassies.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130318157453

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'Bible-burning' Islamist preacher referred to Cairo Criminal Court

Radical preacher Abu-Islam Ahmed Abdullah to face charges of 'denigrating Christianity' and insulting Egyptian women

 17 Mar 2013

Hard-line Islamist preacher Abu-Islam Ahmed Abdullah, who faces charges of 'defaming Christianity,' was referred to the Cairo Criminal Court by prosecutors on Sunday.

The Islamist preacher has been on trial for burning copies of the New Testament last September outside the US embassy in Cairo's Garden City district.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/67101/Egypt/Politics-/Bibleburning-Islamist-preacher-referred-to-Cairo-C.aspx

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Tension in Lebanon after Sunnis attacked in Shiite areas

Following attacks on several Sunni clerics in majority Shiite areas of Beirut, Lebanese army raids the homes of the perpetrators arresting five

18 Mar 2013

Tensions flared in Beirut overnight after three Sunni clerics were attacked in two separate incidents in majority Shiite areas of the Lebanese capital, sparking angry demonstrations.

"Sheikhs Mazen Hariri and Ahmad Fakhran of Dar al-Fatwa were attacked on Sunday evening in the area of Khandaq al-Ghamiq, while on their way to the Mohamed al-Amin Mosque," Lebanon's official National News Agency reported Monday.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/67138/World/Region/Tension-in-Lebanon-after-Sunnis-attacked-in-Shiite.aspx

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High-ranking Syrian general defects from army

AP | Mar 17, 2013

BEIRUT: One of the highest-ranking military officers yet to abandon Syrian President Bashar Assad defected to neighboring Jordan and said in an interview aired on Saturday that morale among those still inside the regime had collapsed.

In another setback for the Assad regime, a leading human rights group accused Syria's government of stepping up its use of widely banned cluster munitions, which often kill and wound civilians.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/High-ranking-Syrian-general-defects-from-army/articleshow/19020733.cms

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Journalists protest assault by Egypt's Brotherhood

March 17, 2013

Dozens of journalists are protesting against what they claim were assaults on their colleagues by members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood from which President Mohammed Morsi hails.

They protested Sunday outside the Journalists' Syndicate in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. The newly elected head of the syndicate condemned the alleged assault, which occurred Saturday evening outside the Brotherhood's headquarters where journalists were covering a meeting.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/africa/Journalists-protest-assault-by-Egypt-s-Brotherhood/Article1-1027839.aspx

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Egypt Army cautions against people posing as officers

 18 March 2013

CAIRO: Egypt’s armed forces yesterday warned citizens to remain vigilant to people posing as army officers after fabrics used to make military uniforms were seized en route to the neighboring Gaza Strip.

Army spokesman Ahmed Mohammed Ali said army troops had confiscated the khaki and white fabrics “similar to those used for uniforms” as they were about to be smuggled into Gaza via tunnels in the Sinai peninsula.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445231

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Syrian opposition opens meeting to choose prime minister

 18 March 2013

Members of Syria's main opposition group opened a meeting in Istanbul Monday to choose a prime minister to head an interim government for large swathes of territory freed from regime control.

Twelve candidates are running for the job of an interim prime minister for areas the rebels control. The candidates are mostly exile-based technocrats, although two of the nominees live in the government-controlled areas.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/2013/03/18/Syrian-opposition-opens-meeting-to-choose-prime-minister.html

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First movie ‘produced’ by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood under attack

 17 March 2013

An Egyptian movie produced by a company linked to the Muslim Brotherhood came under attack by critics this week because it was not submitted to the censorship bureau.

The movie “Al Taqreer” (The Report) is directed by Ezzeddine Douiader and is the first movie theater for the production house “Renaissance Cinema” linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/2013/03/17/First-movie-produced-by-Egypt-s-Muslim-Brotherhood-under-attack.html

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 ‘Ramadan to begin on July 10, Eid Al Fitr on August 9’

(Wam) / 18 March 2013

The Sharjah Planetarium at the Department of Culture and Information announced that the Ramadan Crescent will be seen on July 9 in the evening. The first day of the holy month will be July 10, astronomically, corresponding to Ramadan 01, 1434 H.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-

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Pakistan

 

Sunni school says blasphemy accused should be tried by Shariat Court

March 18th, 2013

LAHORE: Religious scholars belonging to the Sunni school of thought have proposed that accused in blasphemy cases should be tried by the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) and the changes introduced by former president Gen (retd) Musharraf’s regime in the registration of such cases be done away with.

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman condemned the incident in Lahore in which over 150 houses belonging to Christians were burnt down and said the changes made in the FIR had made registration of blasphemy cases difficult, leading to unrest among Muslims.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/03/18/muneeb-says-blasphemy-accused-should-be-tried-by-fsc/

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Pakistan arrests militant linked to Daniel Pearl murder

AFP | Mar 18, 2013

KARACHI: Pakistani security officials said on Monday they have arrested a former senior leader of a banned militant outfit who was allegedly involved in the 2002 murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi.

Qari Abdul Hayee, popularly known as Asadullah and from Karachi's eastern Gulshan-e-Iqbal neighbourhood, was detained in a raid on his hideout on Sunday, said a spokesman for the Rangers paramilitary force.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-arrests-militant-linked-to-Daniel-Pearl-murder/articleshow/19033262.cms

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Pakistan seeks UN ban on unilateral drone strikes

March 18th, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Being more vocal than ever regarding the controversial drone campaign, Pakistan is seeking a ban on the unilateral use of pilotless lethal aircraft against sovereign countries.

Officials have revealed that Islamabad has insisted that increased reliance on drone strikes for combat operations may cause serious harm to global peace and stability.

When the head of the United Nations team investigating civilian impact of drone use travelled to Pakistan last week, Ben Emmerson was not only conveyed Islamabad’s strong opposition but was also told that the use of pilotless aircraft must be discouraged.

 Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/522508/controversial-weapon-pakistan-seeks-un-ban-on-unilateral-drone-strikes/

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Pakistani Taliban suspends talks with government

March 18th, 2013

PESHAWAR: The Pakistani Taliban have suspended peace talks with the Pakistani government, claiming that they are “not serious” with the peace initiative, their spokesman told Dawn.com on Monday.

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan said that the militant organisation has suspended talks with the authorities and claimed that the army and government were not serious in conducting peace dialogue and talks.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/03/18/ttp-suspends-talks-with-government/

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Qadri announces boycott of Pak polls

By Qaswar Abbas in Rawalpindi

 Mar 18 2013

ADDRESSING a huge public gathering in Rawalpindi on Sunday, Pakistan Awami Tehrik ( PAT) chief Tahir- ul- Qadri announced his party’s decision to boycott the forthcoming elections.

He cited the lack of implementation of proposals he had given to the government at the time of ending his days- long sit- in in the federal capital earlier in January this year.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Thanks to Pakistan, China now world's 5th largest arms exporter

 Mar 18 2013

Beijing : China has become the world's fifth-largest arms exporter, a respected Sweden-based think-tank said on Monday, its highest ranking since the Cold War, with Pakistan the main recipient.

China's volume of weapons exports between 2008 and 2012 rose 162 percent compared with the previous five-year period, with its share of the global arms trade rising from 2 percent to 5 percent, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/thanks-to-pakistan-china-now-worlds-5th-largest-arms-exporter/1089789/

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Force is no solution to the Balochistan conundrum

March 18th, 2013

KARACHI.   Earlier this month, Dawn reported that the number of Baloch “missing” persons registered with “Voice for Baloch Missing Persons” has touched the 2,353 mark.

But this number remains disputed. The National Party (NP), led by Hasil Bizenjo maintains that many “missing” people, especially from the tough terrains of Marri and Bugti areas, had in fact migrate to Sindh and Punjab due to unbearable circumstances.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/03/18/force-is-no-solution-to-the-balochistan-conundrum/

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Three MQM activists shot dead in Hyderabad

March 18th, 2013

HYDERABAD: Three Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activists were gunned down and one activist was wounded in a targeted attack at the MQM SITE sector office — a unit of the party’s organisational structure — within the remit of the SITE police station on Sunday, officials and sources said.

The incident took place hours before a 29th central founding day programme of the party to be held in Mirpurkhas on Monday.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/03/18/three-mqm-activists-shot-dead-in-hyderabad/

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Those found guilty of blasphemy should be punished, not entire communities: CJ

March 18th, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said that only those people who are found guilty of blasphemy through due process should be punished, not the entire communities, Express News reported on Monday.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/522612/those-found-guilty-of-blasphemy-should-be-punished-not-entire-communities-cj/

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FATA politics: Voting in the shadow of the Taliban

DERA ISMAIL KHAN:

Despite being the first among seven political agencies and six Frontier regions to start political campaigns for the 2013 general elections, the Taliban’s decade-long presence in South Waziristan’s NA-41 and NA-42 constituencies has left little room for left-wing political parties to support their candidates. This lack of freedom has been unfazed even by the extension of the Political Parties Act to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) in 2012.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/522350/fata-politics-voting-in-the-shadow-of-the-taliban/

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Pakistan urges Egypt to help end Syria violence

Pakistan court bans President Asif Ali Zardari from political activities

 Mar 18 2013

Lahore : A court today asked President Asif Ali Zardari not to take part in political activities till the next hearing on March 29 of a petition challenging his holding of the post of head of the Pakistan Peoples Party.

"The President should follow the court's order by not taking part in political activities," Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial observed while hearing the petition against Zardari.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pakistan-court-bans-president-asif-ali-zardari-from-political-activities/1089836/

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Pakistan court bans President Asif Ali Zardari from political activities

Mar 18 2013

Lahore : A court today asked President Asif Ali Zardari not to take part in political activities till the next hearing on March 29 of a petition challenging his holding of the post of head of the Pakistan Peoples Party.

"The President should follow the court's order by not taking part in political activities," Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial observed while hearing the petition against Zardari.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pakistan-court-bans-president-asif-ali-zardari-from-political-activities/1089836/

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India

 

Academics tell Urdu scholar to not accept Pak honour

 Mar 18 2013

New Delhi : Urdu scholar and author Gopi Chand Narang, chosen for Pakistan’s third highest civilian honour ‘Sitara-i-Imtiaz’, has been urged by a section of academics not to accept the “meaningless” award in light of recent events which have affected Indo-Pak ties.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, several academics from Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Ambedkar University appealed to the government not to grant permission to Narang to go to Islamabad to receive the award.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/academics-tell-urdu-scholar-to-not-accept-pak-honour/1089620/

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Ahead of India visit, Morsy pitches for ‘E-BRICS’

ATUL ANEJA

Mar 18, 2013

Confident of navigating his country’ s post-revolution transition, Egypt’s first elected President Mohamed Morsy arrives in India on Monday to anchor a special relationship and flag his country’s ambition of joining the ranks of the world’s “emerging countries.”

In an exclusive interview to The Hindu ahead of his first visit to India in his imposing presidential office in Cairo’s upscale Heliopolis district, Mr. Morsy visualised a “true partnership” with New Delhi that would boost the revival of Egypt’s economy, reinforce its security and institutionalise its fledgling democracy. “I am looking forward to a unique, strong, institutional and mutually beneficial relationship with India. For Indians, we can be a hub for North Africa and Africa as well,” the President said.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/ahead-of-india-visit-morsy-pitches-for-ebrics/article4521608.ece

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Salman Khurshid hits out at Muslim appeasement policy of Akhilesh govt

TNN | Mar 18, 2013

LUCKNOW: External affairs minister Salman Khurshid and human resource development minister Pallam Raju on Sunday hit out at the appeasement of Muslims by the Samajwadi Party. Emphasising that Muslims must unite and not fall prey to parties who claim to be their "well-wisher", the Union ministers also mentioned the big plans the UPA government has for the uplift of minority communities in the 12th Five Year plan.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Salman-Khurshid-hits-out-at-Muslim-appeasement-policy-of-Akhilesh-govt/articleshow/19026823.cms

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Kashmir’s ‘curfewed’ media

AHMED ALI FAYYAZ

Mar 18, 2013

Despite the turmoil and uncertain political climate of Kashmir, news dissemination has witnessed a boom, which is here to stay

Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children refers to the day when clicking an image of a bridge would make one a suspect. The real world of the 1960s was perhaps more ‘ghostly’ in Kashmir. The barber’s shop beside Palladium Cinema at Lalchowk was a veritable centre of “news”. One needed the government’s license to have a medium wave transistor. Soon the Panchayat Ghars were equipped with community radio sets. People would religiously gather on a lawn and listen to the 7.30 pm news -- strictly from Radio Kashmir Srinagar. Listening to Radio Pakistan was a crime that would make the ‘delinquent’ liable to imprisonment and fine.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/kashmirs-curfewed-media/article4521506.ece

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Pakistan seizes nine boats, detains 55 Indian fishermen

PTI | Mar 17, 2013

AHMEDABAD: Pakistan Marine Security Agency (PMSA) has seized nine Indian fishing boats and apprehended 55 fishermen off Jakhau coast near the international border, a fishermen's body claimed on Sunday.

"The PMSA intercepted nine fishing boats yesterday in the international waters off Jakhau coast near Jamnagar.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-seizes-nine-boats-detains-55-Indian-fishermen/articleshow/19023052.cms

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National Awards: Irrfan Khan wins Best Actor

Sarika Sharma

Mar 18 2013

New Delhi: Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan bagged Best Actor National Award for his role in Tigamnshu Dhulia's Paan Singh Tomar.

Irrfan shares his award with Vikram Gokhale for Marathi film Anumati at the 60th National Film Awards.

Usha Jadhav was named Best Actress for Marathi film Dhag.

John Abraham's debut production venture bagged three National awards at the 60th National Film Awards announced today in the capital.

Vicky Donor, which marked the debut of actors Ayushmann Khurrana and Yami Gautam, won the Best Popular Film.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/national-film-awards-irrfan-khan-wins-best-actor.../1089801/

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1.7 lakh Indian pilgrims for Hajj this year

Mar 18, 2013

Saudi Arabia has allotted a quota of 1.7 lakh pilgrims from India for Hajj this year, even as New Delhi made a formal request for an additional 10,000 slots.

According to the Indian Consulate in Jeddah, Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed called on Saudi Minister of Hajj Bandar Bin Mohammed Al Hajjar on Sunday to discuss the arrangements for this year’s Hajj and to sign the Annual Bilateral Hajj Agreement.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/17-lakh-indian-pilgrims-for-hajj-this-year/article4521822.ece

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South Asia

 

Karzai opponents talk to Taliban, declared terrorist

March 18, 2013

Afghan political parties united against President Hamid Karzai recently opened talks with the Taliban and US-declared terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, hoping to broker peace ahead of next year's exit of international combat troops and a presidential race that will determine Karzai's successor,

Taliban and opposition leaders have informed.

It's the first confirmation that the opposition has opened its own, new channel of discussions to try to find a political resolution to the war, now in its 12th year. And the Taliban too seem to want to move things forward, even contemplating replacing their top negotiator, two senior Taliban officials said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/afghanistan/Karzai-opponents-talk-to-Taliban-declared-terrorist/Article1-1028208.aspx

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Former Director of Police Intelligence Sabra Arrested at Male Airport

“Unprofessional police action” will not turn the tide of public resentment

By Sabra Noordeen | March 17th, 2013

Former Director of Police Intelligence Sabra Noordeen was arrested yesterday (March 16) upon arriving at Male’ International Airport. She was handcuffed for transportation to Dhonidhoo prison on charges of “inciting violence” against police officers on March 5 this year.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/comment-unprofessional-police-action-will-not-turn-the-tide-of-public-resentment-54697

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Blasts, arrests mark Bangladesh general strike

 March 18, 2013

Activists in Bangladesh's capital have detonated several homemade bombs and torched at least one bus during an opposition-sponsored general strike. No injuries have been reported.

The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its 17 partners were enforcing Monday's shutdown, which is aimed at securing the release of 154 opposition leaders and activists detained this month.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/bangladesh/Blasts-arrests-mark-Bangladesh-general-strike/Article1-1028075.aspx

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Afghan anti-graft body raps Kabul Bank court ruling

March 18th, 2013

KABUL: An Afghan anti-corruption watchdog on Sunday criticised court verdicts handed down for a $900 million fraud that caused Kabul Bank, the country’s largest bank, to collapse in 2010.

The foreign-funded Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC) said the court’s action was inadequate in light of the scale of the scandal.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\03\18\story_18-3-2013_pg14_2

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Maldives SC overturns parliament’s dismissal of CSC Chair for sexual harassment

By MinivanNews | March 18th, 2013

President of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Mohamed Fahmy Hassan has returned to office after Supreme Court ruled that parliament’s decision to remove him was unconstitutional.

The CSC confirmed to local media on Sunday (March 17) that Fahmy had returned to work after he had been dismissed by parliament in late November last year.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/supreme-court-overturns-parliaments-dismissal-of-csc-chair-mohamed-fahmy-for-sexual-harrasment-54719

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State must prove ‘MC’ Hameed’s dismissal was lawful: Civil Court

By Minivan News | March 17th, 2013

The Civil Court has ruled that it is the state’s responsibility to prove that former head of police intelligence Chief Superintendent ‘MC’ Hameed’s dismissal was lawful and in accordance with the constitution.

The Police Disciplinary Board dismissed Hameed from his position over allegations he provided confidential information to an opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) report written by the former government’s Environment Minister Mohamed Aslam, and National Security Advisor Ameen Faisal.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/state-must-prove-%E2%80%98mc%E2%80%99-hameed%E2%80%99s-dismissal-was-lawful-civil-court-54695

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Mideast Asia

 

Iran seen bridging divide between Obama and 'Bibi'

While Obama's visit may not ease his frosty relationship with Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, the fear of a nuclear Iran will compel the two to transcend their differences, officials say

 18 Mar 2013

US President Barack Obama's much-anticipated trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories -- his first since becoming president more than four years ago -- begins on Wednesday, just days after the Israeli prime minister's new cabinet was finalised.

Although ties between Israel and Washington remain close, the rapport between the two leaders has been markedly chilly over the last four years with a very public show of differences on both the peace process and how to prevent Iran from achieving military nuclear capabilities.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/67122/World/Region/Iran-seen-bridging-divide-between-Obama-and-Bibi.aspx

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Iran to try 18 suspects over killing of nuclear scientists

AP | Mar 17, 2013

TEHRAN: An Iranian news agency reports the judiciary has indicted 18 suspects on charges of involvement in the killing of nuclear scientists.

Since 2010, at least five Iranian nuclear scientists, including a manager at the Natanz enrichment facility, have been killed. Tehran has accused Israel's Mossad, the CIA and Britain's MI6 of being behind the assassinations. The US and Britain have denied the allegations, but Israel has not commented.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-to-try-18-suspects-over-killing-of-nuclear-scientists/articleshow/19021016.cms

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Hunger-striker to be freed to Gaza: Prisoners’ Club

 17 March 2013

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: A Palestinian prisoner on long-term hunger strike has inked a deal with Israel which will see him freed to exile in Gaza for 10 years, a prisoners’ rights group said Sunday.

Ayman Sharawna is one of four Palestinian prisoners who have been refusing food for months over the conditions of their detention by Israel, whose cases have sparked expressions of concern from the United Nations and the European Union.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445166

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Egypt military fabric used in ‘children’s clothing:’ Hamas

18 March 2013

Military uniform fabrics seized en route to Gaza by Egyptian forces are being used in “children’s clothing,” a Hamas spokesman said Sunday, denying accusations that the group’s militants are using Egypt’s army uniforms to infiltrate Sinai.

Taher al-Nounou, a spokesman for the Hamas government, said in an interview with Egypt’s al-Mihwar television, “This fabric could be used in children’s clothing, and you know children tend to wear such [military] clothing in festivities.”

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/2013/03/18/Seized-military-fabric-used-in-children-s-clothing-Hamas-spokesman.html

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New Israel housing minister pledges more settlement building

18 March 2013

Israel’s new housing minister said on Sunday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s incoming cabinet would keep expanding Jewish settlements to the same extent as his previous government.

The remarks came two days ahead of a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama who has urged Israel to halt settlement on land that Palestinians seek for a state. They suggested that Netanyahu’s new cabinet could prove to be as hawkish as his outgoing coalition.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/2013/03/18/New-Israel-housing-minister-pledges-more-settlement-building.html

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Europe

 

British foundation training Pakistani VCs

March 18th, 2013

A British foundation is training 10 Pakistani public sector institutional heads in a bid to enhance their leadership and strategic planning skills.

The training programme is designed by UK-based Leadership Foundation in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the British Council Pakistan.

The stated purpose is to provide customised in-depth and holistic orientation to the emerging leaders so that they can successfully run their institutions, manage faculty and administrative officials.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\03\18\story_18-3-2013_pg11_6

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Africa

 

Nigeria: Bull with 'Prophet's Name' On Forehead Draws Crowd

BY HAMISU KABIR MATAZU

 16 MARCH 2013

Damaturu — A black bull with what looked like the name of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), formed by white skin, inscribed on its forehead is attracting a lot of people to Nguru, Yobe State, all trooping to catch a glimpse of the animal.

Weekly Trust gathered that the Yobe State government had to intervene and bought the bull after people have turned the house of its owner in Nguru into a Mecca of sorts.

Mohammed Grema Abubakar, the Secretary of the Shari'a committee in Nguru, told Weekly Trust that the discovery of the bull was reported to their office Tuesday night, prompting officials to verify the claim.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201303180938.html

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Car bomb kills at least eight in Somali capital

 March 18, 2013

At least eight people were killed on Monday by a car bomb in central Mogadishu in one of the bloodiest attacks in the war-ravaged capital in recent months, police said.

"We've counted at least eight dead so far. It was a car bomb attack near the National Theatre," said police official Mohamed Duale.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/africa/Car-bomb-kills-at-least-eight-in-Somali-capital/Article1-1028269.aspx

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Security of Christian Communities 'Precarious' in Libya - Archbishop

15 MARCH 2013

Tripoli — Various Christian communities in Libya, as well as some Muslim groups, have been feeling increasingly under pressure from hardline Islamist groups since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011.

"The level of security remains precarious for all foreigners, especially for Christians, because of the presence of some fundamentalist Islamic groups," Giovanni Martinelli, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Tripoli, told IRIN.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201303151042.html?viewall=1

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Somalia frees journalist held for reporting on rape

AFP | Mar 17, 2013

MOGADISHU: Somalia's Supreme Court on Sunday freed a reporter imprisoned for interviewing a woman who alleged she had been raped by soldiers, in a case that has sparked widespread international criticism.

Supreme Court judge Aidid Abdulahi Ilkahanaf said the charges had been dropped and the court "has given journalist Abdiaziz Abdinuur his freedom back."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Somalia-frees-journalist-held-for-reporting-on-rape/articleshow/19020796.cms

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Sudan military members go on trial for alleged coup attempt

A military court begins trial for about 12 members of the Sudanese armed forces on charges of trying to stage a coup against President al-Bashir

18 Mar 2013

About a dozen members of Sudan's armed forces have gone on trial on charges of trying to stage a coup against President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, a defence lawyer told Reuters late on Sunday.

In November, Sudan arrested its former spy chief and other senior military and security officials after foiling what officials said was a plot to incite chaos and target leaders in the oil-producing African state.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/67144/World/Region/Sudan-military-members-go-on-trial-for-alleged-cou.aspx

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Terror haven in Mali feared after French leave

By Eric Schmitt, New York Times | Mar 18, 2013

NEMA (MAURITANIA): With France planning to start withdrawing its troops from Mali next month, western and African officials are increasingly concerned that the African soldiers who will be relied on to continue the campaign against militants linked to al-Qaida there do not have the training or equipment for the job.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Terror-haven-in-Mali-feared-after-French-leave/articleshow/19039558.cms

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North America

 

Chastened Obama returns to Middle East, asks for a 'new beginning'

 March 18, 2013

When Barack Obama last went to the Middle East, he bore a soaring speech for the ages. This time, he says he's just going to listen and will carry no grand plans.

Obama will visit Israel, the West Bank and Jordan this week on his first visit as President, four years after asking in Cairo for a "new beginning" for America with the Muslim world.

In that seminal speech in 2009, Obama brimmed with ambition, telling hard truths to Arabs but also daringly conceded faults of US behavior.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/americas/Chastened-Obama-returns-to-Middle-East-asks-for-a-new-beginning/Article1-1028043.aspx

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10 years on, authors of Iraq invasion stand ‘discredited’

 18 March 2013

WASHINGTON: They were the men who were to remake the Middle East, but 10 years on, the alliance of politicians and neoconservative thinkers who launched the Iraq war are a discredited band.

GEORGE W. BUSH: As US president and commander-in-chief of American forces, George W Bush bears ultimate responsibility for launching the war to topple Saddam Hussein, an act he perhaps hoped would secure his legacy.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445232

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US soldier accused of Afghan killings faces ‘sanity’ review

18 March 2013

SEATTLE: A US soldier charged with killing 16 civilians, most of them women and children, near his Army post in Afghanistan was to undergo a medical review yesterday to determine his state of mind at the time of the killings and ability to stand trial.

The review, known in the military as a “sanity board,” will be conducted by three doctors at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State, and will be completed by May 1, according to a US Army spokesman.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445224

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US House Democrat wants lethal aid for Syria rebels

Although he acknowledged there are risks to arming the rebels, a Democrat on the US House of Representatives says providing military aid to opposition would bring the humanitarian disaster to an end

 18 Mar 2013

The senior Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee is pushing President Barack Obama's administration to train and arm some Syrian rebels, in addition to providing humanitarian assistance.

Representative Eliot Engel will introduce a bill on Monday that would authorize Washington to provide assistance "including limited lethal equipment" to carefully vetted members of the Syrian opposition, aides and activists aware of Engel's plans said on Sunday.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/67131/World/Region/US-House-Democrat-wants-lethal-aid-for-Syria-rebel.aspx

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Southeast Asia

 

Rules and exceptions in Indonesia’s counterterrorism

Ali Wibisono, Nottingham

March 18 2013

Indonesia’s counterterrorism debate has taken an interesting turn lately as it examines the compliance (or noncompliance) of the police counterterrorist unit Densus 88 in the “fight against terrorism”.

The media reported that Densus 88 killed five suspected terrorists in the scarcely developed island of Sumbawa in West Nusa Tenggara as they were said to be resisting arrest with bombs strapped on their bodies. The following day, the head of the National Counterterrorism Body (BNPT) Ansyaad Mbai definitively stated that a network called Mujahidin Indonesia Timur was operating in Poso, Makassar and Bima, and that they trained in Poso and Bima.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/03/18/rules-and-exceptions-indonesia-s-counterterrorism.html

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Shahrizat says no reason to apologise to Malaysians

March 18th, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 ― Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil questioned at the High Court here today the need for her to apologise to Malaysians over the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) scandal.

Rafizi Ramli’s lawyer, Ranjit Singh, said the PKR strategy director had in a press statement dated November 28, 2011 called on the former Cabinet minister to apologise to the rakyat as the alleged abuse of public funds in the cattle farming project had roused public anger.

“I have to apologise to Malaysians for what?” said Shahrizat at the High Court here today.

“Do you ask a certain wife to explain what the husband does in a condo? Do you ask a certain wife to explain what a certain husband does in a condo or several condos?” she added, gesturing angrily.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/shahrizat-says-no-reason-to-apologise-to-malaysians/

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/saudi-arabia-could-face-arab-spring-like-spark-of-violence--cleric/d/10808

 

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