New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 23 March 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Saudi Arabia's top cleric criticizes Twitter users, calls it 'a council for jokesters'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arab World

Saudi Arabia's top cleric criticizes Twitter users, calls it 'a council for jokesters'

Saudi could block Viber, Skype, WhatsApp

Disbanding regime’s authoritarian structure is a must: Syrian Alawite opposition

Only 4% of Saudis in Iraq jails booked for terrorism

Saudi man sentenced to jail, lashes for robbery

Saudi Arab Culture Festival to focus on Islam, people with disabilities

Syrian opposition leader Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib resigns

 

Pakistan

Death toll from Miramshah suicide attack reaches 22

Pak E C appoints an 84-year-old retired judge as caretaker PM

I'm not afraid of cowardly threats: Pervez Musharraf

Activists demanding renaming of roundabout after Bhagat Singh attacked

Barozai takes oath as Balochistan caretaker CM

Tsunami rally ‘attacked’ by heavy storm, rain

Sindhi writers, poets and intellectuals reject island deal

Backdoor deal: ‘Saudi clout’ paving way for Musharraf’s return

 

South Asia

46 Taliban militants killed in Afghanistan

Death toll rises to 32 in Myanmar religious riots

President Karzai to visit Qatar to discuss peace with Taliban

Army can’t be silent observer: Bangladesh Opp Leader

Require a system to take witness testimonies quicker: Maldives Police Commissioner

 

India

Home ministry likely to order probe on Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist's arrest

MLAs held in same bldg as 26/11 accused

‘Will go back to PoK if given a chance’: Akhtar Biwi

Militants attack police party in Sopore, civilian killed

Pact with Iran soon to ship goods to Afghanistan

 

Mideast Asia

Iran denies link to spy cell arrests in Saudi Arabia

Israeli forces dismantle Palestinian ‘Bab al-Shams’ protest camp

Israeli defence minister vows ‘immediate’ answer to all fire from Syria

Dialogue cannot solve Yemen crisis

Yemen a transit point for trafficking

Israel says Syria reason for restoring Turkey ties

 

Europe

Europe Network Against Racism: Islamophobia widespread across Europe

U.N. Myanmar envoy visits ruined city after violence

UN extends mandate of Iran rights monitor

European Union divided over approach to Syria conflict

France confirms with certainty al-Qaeda Abou Zeid is dead

 

Africa

Two suspected Islamists killed in Nigeria blast: Police

Islamist rebels attack Mali town Gao

Central African Republic President flees rebel attack

Suspected Islamists kill 25 in northeast Nigeria: Police

 

North America

Deal reached on U.S. handover of Afghan prison

Kerry in Iraq to press for Syria cooperation

 

Southeast Asia

Unidentified Vandals Damage Advent Church in West Java

 

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Suicide attack kills 17 Pakistani soldiers, Picture: AFP

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/saudi-arabia-s-top-cleric-criticizes-twitter-users,-calls-it--a-council-for-jokesters-/d/10879

 

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Arab World

 

Saudi Arabia's top cleric criticizes Twitter users, calls it 'a council for jokesters'

 23 March 2013

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti has criticized the social media website Twitter as a “council of clowns” and a place for those who “unleash unjust, incorrect and wrong tweets.”

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul-Aziz al-Sheikh made the statements during a speech to Saudi Arabia’s senior religious scholars on Friday, the Saudi-based al-Watan newspaper reported Saturday.

The Grand Mufti argued that most of young people are wasting their time on chatting and using the internet, especially Twitter.

Saudi Arabia has three million Twitter users, more than any country in the Middle East, with a growth rate of 300 percent year-on-year, according to a report by the Social Clinic, a Jeddah-based social media consultancy.

Between 2011 and 2012, the number of Twitter users in the kingdom grew by 3,000 percent. The kingdom accounts for an average 50 million tweets per month most of them written in the Arabic language.

“Saudi Arabia has not been selfish either, with most of the tweets being in Arabic, Saudi Arabia accounts for 30 percent of the global tweets tweeted in Arabic, placing Arabic at the top of the pyramid of the fastest growing languages on Twitter, yes Arabic is the fastest growing language on Twitter,” according to statement published at the consultancy website www.thesocialclinic.com.

The capital Riyadh ranks tenth globally among the cities with most Tweets and is the only Arab city in the top 20 cities, according to the report.

In other social media platforms, with more than 6 million active Facebook users, Saudi Arabia has the highest Facebook user rate in the GCC, according to The Social Clinic.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/2013/03/23/Twitter-is-a-council-of-clowns-Saudi-Arabia-s-Grand-Mufti-.html

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Saudi could block Viber, Skype, WhatsApp

Saudi government vows to control or stop Viber, Skype and WhatsApp

 24 Mar 2013

The Saudi Communication and Information Technology Commission threatened to ban messaging applications, mainly Skype, WhatsApp and Viber, because of a failure to control them, Al-Arabiya reported on Sunday.

The commission, according to Al-Arabiya website, had officially addressed telecommunication companies in order to examine banning possibilities in cooperation with companies owning such applications.

Telecommunication companies were given a one-week time limit to deal with the situation and decide upon the required technical measures. Two sources from local telecommunication companies told the website that this issue was highly prioritized in their meetings with the commission.

The internet-connected messaging channels, along with web social networks, signify a source of concern for the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom. The government has continuously rejected their growing rate of local usage as they have enlarged the severely restricted scale of freedom of expression.

Last month, Saudi Arabia's minister for media and culture, Abdel Aziz Khoga, confirmed censorship of Twitter imposed by a series of government bodies, the Saudi Al-Watan Online reported.

Khoga called on Saudi citizens to "raise their awareness" and contribute to the censorship initiative taken up by the ministry. "People have to take care of what they are writing on Twitter," the minister said.

"It is getting harder to observe around three million people subscribing to the social network in the kingdom," Khoga added.

Also, Saudi intellectuals in January called on Saudi Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz to order the release of Turki Al-Hamad, a liberal Saudi writer, accused of "insulting Islam" on his Twitter account.

"We hope for, demand and expect a quick decision to be made to correct this grave error that has been committed against [Al-Hamad]," a petition signed by almost 500 people said.

According to AFP, the petition described his arrest as "unjust ... condemnable, reprehensible, shameful and unacceptable." Moreover, it called for a "public apology" to Al-Hamad, saying he was targeted by online "incitement" campaigns to arrest and try him.

Hamad was arrested on the orders of Interior Minister Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef Bin Abdel Aziz, who was tipped off by a religious organisation.

The comments Al-Hamad posted had attacked radical Islamists he said were twisting the Prophet Mohammad's "message of love," and what he described as "a neo-Nazism which is on the rise in the Arab world — Islamic extremism".

The postings provoked fierce debate on social networking sites in Saudi Arabia between supporters and detractors.

Online activist Raif Badawi, another Saudi, was arrested last June in Jeddah and accused of apostasy, which carries the death penalty in the Gulf kingdom.

Badawi helped set up a liberal Saudi website that declared a "day of liberalism" on 7 May 2012, calling for protests against the stranglehold of religious officials on public life in the strict Sunni-ruled monarchy.

The government restriction on web channels of expression started two years ago, when three young Saudis who posted online a video on poverty in the oil-rich kingdom have been detained after an opposition television aired part of their documentary.

Firas Baqna, Khalid al-Rasheed and Hussam al-Darwish were arrested by police in Al-Sahaba district, north Riyadh, after London-based Al-Islah television aired part of their YouTube series entitled "Malub Aleina" ("We are being cheated"), activists told AFP.

The government accused them of "were receiving finance from the channel and were taken into custody for interrogation."

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/67609/World/Region/Saudi-could-block-Viber,-Skype,-WhatsApp.aspx

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Disbanding regime’s authoritarian structure is a must: Syrian Alawite opposition

 24 March 2013

Opposition campaigners from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect said disbanding the regime’s authoritarian structure and not only toppling the regime was required.

The Alawite opposition added that it was also required to build a state of citizenship and law, and called for confronting sectarian problems the regime is fueling.

“The last card the regime can play is civil war and dividing the country,” it said.

Alawite opposition figures are meeting this weekend in Cairo to support a democratic alternative to Assad’s rule and try to distance the community from wholesale association with the government’s attempts to crush a two-year uprising.

The two-day meeting is the first by Alawites supportive of the revolt.

As the war takes on an increasingly sectarian bent, severing the Alawite fate from that of Assad could be crucial for the survival of the community, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam that comprises about 10 percent of Syria’s population.

Bassam Yussuf, one of the conference’s organizers, told Al-Arabiya that more than 80 figures will on Sunday discuss ratifying the Syria declaration that will address the country’s future after Assad’s regime falls.

The conference participants will also discuss the possibilities of the regime’s attempt to ignite a civil war and will emphasize that the components of the Syrian people are of one social fabric and that a sectarian war poses a threat to everyone.

Yussuf also accused the Syrian regime of involving the Alawite sect’s sons in the ongoing war and said that Assad forced them to fight alongside the regime troops.

He also called for keeping away from the “criminal” regime of Assad.

Alawite opposition figures who represent Alawite activists in support of the revolution said the meeting in Cairo will come out with important messages.

The most important of these messages is calling on Alawites in Syria to quit supporting the Assad regime and to get involved in the revolution.

Another message is that Assad’s regime does not represent the Alawite sect but only represents itself.

The meeting will also address the international community with the message that guarantees to the Alawite sect are guarantees to the entire Syrian people.

The Alawite opposition has emphasized that there is no future for a democratic Syria unless Assad exits power and unless a pluralistic democratic system is established.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2013/03/24/Syrian-Opposition-Alawites-Disbanding-regime-s-authoritarian-structure-is-a-must.html

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Only 4% of Saudis in Iraq jails booked for terrorism

24 March 2013

Media claims that most Saudis arrested in Iraq are involved in terrorism-related cases are baseless, said Thamer Al-Blaihed, head of the committee on Saudi prisoners in Iraq.

“According to Iraqi Justice Ministry data, 80 percent of Saudi inmates are convicted in criminal charges. I think that if more investigation is carried out, we would find that those involved in terrorism-related issues do not exceed 4 percent of Saudi inmates.”

He also said that eight Saudis are jailed in Iraq without trial and that the recent list of Saudi inmates issued by Baghdad is not authentic.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445893

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Saudi man sentenced to jail, lashes for robbery

24 March 2013

The Riyadh general court sentenced a Saudi man to a 10-year jail sentence with an imposition of 1,000 lashes for robbing a taxi driver at knife-point and stealing money at a gas station in the capital on two separate occasions. The police arrested the criminal in Dirab, 30 km from the city center, following a complaint made by the taxi driver who said that the convict robbed him while he was transporting him to the Fawaz district from Dirab.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445882

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Saudi Arab Culture Festival to focus on Islam, people with disabilities

24 March 2013

The Ministry of Social Affairs has booked space for its pavilion for people with special needs at the upcoming 28th Janadriyah National Heritage and Culture Festival, which kicks off in a few weeks.

The National Guard is organizing the festival under the aegis of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445878

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Syrian opposition leader Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib resigns

 24 March 2013

The leader of the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC), Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, has resigned.

In a statement on his Facebook page, Mr Khatib said he was leaving the job as he wanted to work with more freedom than an official institution allowed.

He had promised the Syrian people he would resign if what he called certain red lines were reached, he said.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21917630

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Pakistan

 

Death toll from Miramshah suicide attack reaches 22

March 24, 2013

A suicide bomber rammed a water tanker bomb at a Pakistani check post late Saturday, killing 22 soldiers in the notorious tribal district of North Waziristan, the military said. Officials initially said six soldiers were killed, but revised the death toll after daybreak. The deaths were announced just hours before former military ruler Pervez Musharraf was due to return to Pakistan after more than four years in exile

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan/Suicide-attack-kills-22-Pakistani-soldiers/Article1-1031391.aspx

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Pak E C appoints an 84-year-old retired judge as caretaker PM

ANITA JOSHUA

24 March 2013

Mir Hazar Khan Khosa, an 84-year-old retired judge, will be Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister till a new National Assembly is elected by mid-May. His name was finalised on Sunday morning by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) after the political class failed to arrive on a consensus over caretaker premiership.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/pak-election-commission-appoints-caretaker-pm/article4544131.ece

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I'm not afraid of cowardly threats: Pervez Musharraf

Mar 24, 2013

DUBAI: Hours after Pakistani Taliban threatened to kill him, Pakistan's former military ruler and president Pervez Musharraf on Saturday appeared unfazed and said he will return home from self-exile to lead his party in the upcoming general election.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Im-not-afraid-of-cowardly-threats-Pervez-Musharraf/articleshow/19159083.cms

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Activists demanding renaming of roundabout after Bhagat Singh attacked

ANITA JOSHUA

24 March 2013

Peace activists, who gathered at Lahore’s Fawara Chowk in the Shadman area, on the 82nd death anniversary of revolutionary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh on Saturday to press for the renaming the roundabout after him were attacked by religious rightwing groups.

According to Saeeda Diep of the Institute for Peace and Secular Studies (IPSS), women were also assaulted. Posters and banners held by the peace activists were torn up and things could have got ugly but for police intervention, said Madeeha Gauhar of Ajoka Theatre.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/activists-demanding-renaming-of-roundabout-after-bhagat-singh-attacked/article4542401.ece

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Barozai takes oath as Balochistan caretaker CM

 March 24, 2013

QUETTA: Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Barozai on Saturday took oath as the caretaker chief minister of Balochistan, DawnNews reported.

Barozai was administered the oath by Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Magsi. Outgoing chief minister Aslam Raisani and some members of his cabinet were also present on the occasion.

Barozai belongs to the Sibi area of Balochistan. His father, Nawab Muhammad Khan Barozai, was the first speaker of Balochistan Assembly in 1970, as well as the chief minister of the province in 1970s.

Barozai was also a caretaker provincial minister in the previous caretaker government in Balochistan.

http://dawn.com/2013/03/23/barozai-takes-oath-as-balochistan-caretaker-cm/

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Tsunami rally ‘attacked’ by heavy storm, rain

Imran vows to build ‘New Pakistan’; makes 6 promises

 March 24, 2013

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Saturday emerged as a fresh alternative to the outgoing Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) who have dominated civilian governments in the country for decades.

The cricket legend pledged before tens of thousands of people at a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan that he will work to build a ‘New Pakistan’ where corruption, oppression, misuse of power and public money and nepotism would have no room to ‘flourish’, as heavy wind and rain forced an early halt to what he said his landmark rally just days before the general election.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\03\24\story_24-3-2013_pg1_1

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Sindhi writers, poets and intellectuals reject island deal

 March 24, 2013

KARACHI: A large number of writers, poets, journalists, fisherfolk on Saturday rejected the selling of two islands on Karachi coast to Bahria Town and a US company for construction of a housing scheme and demanded the provincial government to cancel the deal and develop the area for fishermen and tourism.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\03\24\story_24-3-2013_pg7_18

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Backdoor deal: ‘Saudi clout’ paving way for Musharraf’s return

 March 24, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Former president Pervez Musharraf has chosen a vaguely familiar path to return to Pakistan from his nearly four-year exile, relying on the intervention of the Saudi royal family and its clout over one of his arch-enemies.

Talking to The Express Tribune, a close aide to Musharraf – who is due to arrive at Karachi airport around 12:45pm today – revealed that following closed-door meetings with the Saudi royals, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has agreed to refrain from creating any trouble for the former dictator upon his return. He added that in light of the threats issued against Musharraf by the Taliban, the country’s security agencies would provide security to the former president.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/525539/backdoor-deal-saudi-clout-paving-way-for-musharrafs-return/

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South Asia

 

46 Taliban militants killed in Afghanistan

IANS | Mar 24, 2013

KABUL: Afghan police backed by army and Nato-led forces have killed 46 Taliban militants in operations across the country, the interior ministry said.

The operations took place in Kunduz, Badakhshan, Kandahar, Zabul, Maidan Wardak, Ghazni, Khost and Paktiya provinces, Xinhua cited a ministry statement as saying.

One Taliban man was wounded and 26 were arrested, it said.

However, the statement did not say if there were any casualties among security forces.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/46-Taliban-militants-killed-in-Afghanistan/articleshow/19161648.cms

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Death toll rises to 32 in Myanmar religious riots

 Mar 24, 2013

YANGON: The death toll in a communal riots in Meikthila in northern Myanmar has risen to 32, state-run media reported.

According to Xinhua, the state radio and TV said in a broadcast that many bodies were found while clearing the debris.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Death-toll-rises-to-32-in-Myanmar-religious-riots/articleshow/19161811.cms

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President Karzai to visit Qatar to discuss peace with Taliban

 Mar 24, 2013

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai will travel to Qatar within days to discuss peace negotiations with the Taliban, the Afghan foreign ministry announced on Sunday, as efforts intensify to find a negotiated solution to the war, now in its 12th year.

Karzai's trip to Qatar would represent the first time the Afghan president has discussed the Taliban peace process in Qatar, and comes after years of stalled discussions with the United States, Pakistan and the Taliban.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Afghanistan-President-Karzai-to-visit-Qatar-to-discuss-peace-with-Taliban/articleshow/19167620.cms

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Army can’t be silent observer: Bangladesh Opp Leader

 March 24, 2013

Opposition leader Khaleda Zia said on Sunday that the army cannot play an observer when the country plunges in chaos.

“The army has responsibilities. It cannot act as a silent audience. It cannot only observe the situation because it is also a part of the country,” she said while addressing a roadside rally at Matidali intersection in Bogra Sadar upazila.

Khaleda said army personnel go abroad for maintaining peace. But if there is no peace in their own country, foreigners would then say that the army is only capable of maintaining peace in other countries.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/khaleda-set-to-address-roadside-rally-in-bogra/

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Require a system to take witness testimonies quicker: Maldives Police Commissioner

By Minivan News | March 23rd, 2013

Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz has said authorities require a mechanism to take witness testimonies before they can be intimidated or influenced.

Local media reported that Riyaz expressed “concern” over the way all suspects in the murder case of Ali  Shifan had been acquitted.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/category/news-in-brief

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India

 

Home ministry likely to order probe on Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist's arrest

 March 24, 2013

The Union home ministry is actively considering ordering an independent inquiry by National Investigating Agency (NIA) to verify the claims and counter-claims of Delhi and Jammu Kashmir Police over the “arrest” of alleged Hizbul Mujahideen militant Syed Liyaqat Shah and the subsequent recovery of AK-47 rifles and ammunition from the Walled City in Delhi.

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has asked the Centre to order an independent inquiry into the arrest of Liyaqat Shah.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/jandk/Home-ministry-may-ask-NIA-to-investigate-Liyaqat-s-arrest/Article1-1031355.aspx

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MLAs held in same bldg as 26/11 accused

 March 24, 2013

The only person MLAs Ram Kadam and Kshitij Thakur have for company at Circle 12 – the building where they are detained – in the Arthur Road jail premises, where they will be lodged till Monday, is Abu Jundal, the LeT handler who guided the 10 terrorists involved in the 26/11 terror attacks.  

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/mumbai/MLAs-held-in-same-bldg-as-26-11-accused/Article1-1031315.aspx

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‘Will go back to PoK if given a chance’: Akhtar Biwi

 March 23, 2013

Akhtar Biwi, wife of Liyaqat Shah whose arrest in the Capital has triggered a stand-off between the Jammu and Kashmir government and Delhi Police, has said they had made it clear that the family was travelling after clearance from the authorities under the rehabilitation policy.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/srinagar/Will-go-back-to-PoK-if-given-a-chance/Article1-1031260.aspx

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Militants attack police party in Sopore, civilian killed

March 24, 2013

Militants on Sunday attacked a police party in a busy market area of Sopore town in North Kashmir's Baramulla district, leaving a civilian dead and a policeman critically injured, the fourth attack on security forces in the state this month.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/srinagar/Militants-attack-police-party-in-Sopore-civilian-killed/Article1-1031425.aspx

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Pact with Iran soon to ship goods to Afghanistan

Mar 24 2013

New Delhi : India and Iran have agreed to draw up a transit pact for transporting goods to Afghanistan, which has also resulted in the government moving a cabinet note on investing over $100 million in the expansion of the Chabahar port that could act as a hub for this arrangement.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pact-with-iran-soon-to-ship-goods-to-afghanistan/1092555/

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Mideast Asia

 

Iran denies link to spy cell arrests in Saudi Arabia

Iran says Saudi accusations that Tehran has links to a spy cell dismantled in Saudi Arabia is a repeated scenario for domestic consumption

 24 Mar 2013

Iran has denied any link to a spy cell dismantled in Saudi Arabia, after Riyadh said an Iranian is among 18 suspects arrested on charges of espionage for a foreign country, media reported on Sunday.

"This is without any foundation. It is a scenario that is being repeated... for domestic consumption," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying.

On Tuesday, the interior ministry in Riyadh said authorities had arrested 16 Saudis, an Iranian and a Lebanese in four regions of the country, including the Eastern Province where the Sunni-ruled kingdom's Shiite minority is concentrated.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/67597/World/Region/Iran-denies-link-to-spy-cell-arrests-in-Saudi-Arab.aspx

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Israeli forces dismantle Palestinian ‘Bab al-Shams’ protest camp

 24 March 2013

Israeli military prevented Palestinians from setting up an encampment to protest at Jewish settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, land where they seek statehood. (Reuters)

Israeli security forces dismantled a Palestinian protest camp on the outskirts of Jerusalem overnight, activists and police said on Sunday.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/2013/03/24/Palestine-.html

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Israeli defense minister vows ‘immediate’ answer to all fire from Syria

 24 March 2013

Israel’s new Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon on Sunday vowed an “immediate” answer to all Syrian gunfire onto the Israeli occupied Golan Heights, saying the Damascus regime was responsible.

“Every violation of Israeli sovereignty and shooting from the Syrian side will immediately be answered by silencing the source of fire,” a statement quoted him as saying an Al Arabiya correspondent reported Israeli shells being fired at a Syrian army post.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/2013/03/24/Israeli-defense-minister-vows-immediate-answer-to-all-fire-from-Syria.html

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Dialogue cannot solve Yemen crisis

 24 March 2013

The conference on national dialogue in Yemen will not yield the results hoped for by the Yemenis because elements of internal discord are enormous and transcend the capacity of the conference to deal with the prevailing unrest, a political analyst and adviser to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said.

The absence of equal representation of all parties and factions in Yemen will denote a major weakness of its role to tackle the Yemeni crisis, Ahmed Al-Sufi told Arab News.

He said prospects of a solution are possible if intentions are sincere but that those who have real interests are not equally represented in the conference.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445877

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Yemen a transit point for trafficking

 24 March 2013

Yemen remains a major transit point for the trafficking of Africans into the Kingdom despite security measures taken by Riyadh and Sana'a, a local newspaper reported.

The two countries find it difficult to monitor the mountainous terrain along the border of over 1,400 kilometers. On some of the routes in north Yemen, traffickers force Africans to travel on foot to the Kingdom.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445871

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Israel says Syria reason for restoring Turkey ties

 March 24, 2013

JERUSALEM: Concerns that Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons could reach militant groups bordering Israel and Turkey was the motivating factor in restoring relations with Ankara after a three year rift, Israel’s prime minister said.

Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page Saturday that Israel and Turkey, which border Syria, need to communicate with each other over the Syrian crisis. ”The fact that the crisis in Syria intensifies from moment to moment was the main consideration in my view,” Netanyahu wrote.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/03/24/israel-says-syria-reason-for-restoring-turkey-ties/

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Europe

 

Europe Network Against Racism: Islamophobia widespread across Europe

24 March 2013

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Discrimination against Muslims in Europe is widespread, the report says. According to the study covering 26 national reports, Muslims continue to experience discrimination in a range of areas, more specifically in employment, education and access to goods and services.

This is the first pan-European qualitative survey on Muslim communities in Europe, part of the Europe Network against Racism’s 2011/12 Shadow Report on Racism in Europe and released ahead of International Day against Racial Discrimination.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=402378

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U.N. Myanmar envoy visits ruined city after violence

24 March 2013

The United Nations’ top envoy to Myanmar on Sunday toured a central city that was destroyed in the country’s worst explosion of Buddhist-Muslim violence this year, visiting some of the nearly 10,000 people forced from their homes after unrest left dozens of corpses in the streets, some of them charred beyond recognition.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2013/03/24/U-N-Myanmar-envoy-visits-ruined-city-after-violence.html

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UN extends mandate of Iran rights monitor

 March 22, 2013

Friday's resolution stipulates that Shaheed present a report on the situation in Iran at the council's 25th session a year from now, and to the General Assembly in September. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

GENEVA: The UN on Friday extended the mandate of its special rapporteur on human rights in Iran for another year, lamenting Tehran’s lack of cooperation in granting access to the country or information.

With 26 votes in favour, two opposed and 19 abstaining or not voting, the 47-member UN Human Rights Council agreed to extend the mandate of Ahmed Shaheed, a former Maldives foreign minister who was named Iran monitor in 2011.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/524827/un-extends-mandate-of-iran-rights-monitor/

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European Union divided over approach to Syria conflict

Reuters | Mar 24, 2013

DUBLIN: The European Union was left divided over how to increase its help to the Syrian opposition on Saturday after talks between foreign ministers failed to bridge differences on whether to exempt the rebels from an EU arms embargo.

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt, sceptical of a French and British drive to lift the arms ban on the rebels, said it was very difficult to detect any enthusiasm among EU foreign ministers meeting in Dublin "for further arming of a conflict that is already much too armed".

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/European-Union-divided-over-approach-to-Syria-conflict/articleshow/19161749.cms

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France confirms with certainity al-Qaeda's Abou Zeid is dead

 March 23, 2013

France said on Saturday it could confirm "with certainty" al-Qaeda commander Abdelhamid Abou Zeid was killed in Mali in February.

"The president of the French Republic confirms with certainty the death of Abdelhamid Abou Zeid after an offensive by the French army in the Adrar des

Ifoghas (mountains) in the North of Mali, at the end of February," the Elysee presidential palace said.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/europe/France-confirms-with-certainity-al-Qaeda-s-Abou-Zeid-is-dead/Article1-1031139.aspx

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Africa

 

Two suspected Islamists killed in Nigeria blast: Police

AFP | Mar 23, 2013

KANO, NIGERIA: Two suspected members of Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram were killed Saturday when an explosive they tried to throw at policemen at a checkpoint went off in the flashpoint city of Kano, police said.

The blast happened days after a suicide attack Monday at a bus station in Kano, the most populous city in northern Nigeria that killed at least 41 people and injured 65 others, according to a rescue official.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Two-suspected-Islamists-killed-in-Nigeria-blast-Police/articleshow/19153968.cms

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Islamist rebels attack Mali town Gao

 24 March 2013

Islamist rebels have attacked Gao in northern Mali, officials say.

The rebels were repelled after two hours of fierce fighting, a Malian army official said.

He said the insurgents had slipped past army checkpoints to enter the town. Gao residents had raised the alarm, saying rebels had entered their neighbourhood.

Gao was controlled by an Islamist group for several months before it was liberated in a French-led offensive in January.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21914549

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Central African Republic President flees rebel attack

24 March 2013

Central African Republic’s President Francois Bozize fled the capital early Sunday, hours after hundreds of armed rebels threatening to overthrow him invaded the city, an advisor said.

The rebel alliance, known as Seleka, reached the outskirts of Bangui late Saturday. Heavy gunfire echoed through the city early Sunday as the fighters made their way into the heart of downtown and seized the presidential palace, though the country’s leader of a decade was not there at the time.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/central-african-republic-president-flees-rebel-attack/article4544274.ece

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Suspected Islamists kill 25 in northeast Nigeria: Police

Reuters | Mar 24, 2013

KADUNA/KANO: Suspected Islamist gunmen have launched a series of gun and bomb attacks in a remote town along Nigeria's border with Cameroon, killing at least 25 people, police said on Saturday.

The gunmen carried out four simultaneous assaults on Ganye in Adamawa state on Friday, opening fire on a bar, a bank, a prisoner warder and separately attacking a prison, Mohammed Ibrahim, police spokesman for the western Adamawa state said.

"Twenty five people were killed in total in four different simultaneous attacks by gunmen in Ganye," Ibrahim said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Suspected-Islamists-kill-25-in-northeast-Nigeria-Police/articleshow/19158863.cms

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North America

 

Deal reached on U.S. handover of Afghan prison

By Barbara Starr and Chelsea J. Carter, CNN

March 23, 2013

Washington (CNN) -- An agreement was reached Saturday for handing over control of a U.S.-run prison near Bagram Air Base to Afghan authorities, the Pentagon said.

Under the agreement between Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the United States will transfer control of Parwan prison on Monday, according to a statement released by the Pentagon.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/23/world/asia/afghanistan-prison-handover/

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Kerry in Iraq to press for Syria cooperation

24 March 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a surprise trip to Baghdad on Sunday to push Iraq for more help over the conflict in Syria amid claims of waning American clout barely a year after US troops left.

The visit, his first to Iraq since taking office, will also focus on concerns in Washington that months of protests in the country’s Sunni-majority provinces will give militant groups including Al-Qaeda room to maneuver.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2013/03/24/Kerry-in-Iraq-to-press-for-Syria-cooperation-.html

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Southeast Asia

 

Unidentified Vandals Damage Advent Church in West Java

Jakarta Globe | March 23, 2013

An Advent church in West Java’s city of Tasikmalaya was vandalized by an unknown group early on Friday morning, one day after another church in the same province was demolished by the Bekasi government.

Police said that vandals damaged the church walls, gate and construction materials, which were intended to be used during the church’s renovation.

While the church in Bekasi had no building permit, the Advent church had obtained the proper permit from the Tasikmalaya government. The permit was issued on September 2012 and the church started construction in January.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/unidentified-vandals-damage-advent-church-in-west-java/581598

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/saudi-arabia-s-top-cleric-criticizes-twitter-users,-calls-it--a-council-for-jokesters-/d/10879

 

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