New Age Islam
Sun Nov 29 2020, 02:58 AM

Islamic World News ( 14 Feb 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Secret tapes expose ISI’s role in Mumbai attacks

Blast at hotel complex in Afghan capital kills 2

US says will provide evidence on Davis’ immunity

Give us Aafia and take back Davis: Pak

Emergence of Hindu Teror a cause of worry: Indian Hime Secretary

Was 7/7 accused a US informer?

Congress condemns Yahya Bukhari’s statement against Digvijay Singh

Innocent Muslim youth should be released immediately

Saffron Muslims preach RSS values in Lucknow

New Disclosures in Ajmer Bomb blast case

Electronic university in the offing: Saudi official

Islamic encyclopedia released in Bangalore

JEDDAH: SR500m car plant planned in Dammam

It’s mayhem in Manama as Bahrain follows Egypt

Muslim teaches Jainism to munis

Pakistan, Afghanistan delay start of trade accord

NATO containers case: 600 FBR officials on ECL

Afghan war costs USD 300 million a day: Pentagon

Strikes pose challenge to Egyptian military

Egypt protests spread across the Arab world

Mullen: U.S. depends on military ties with Israel

To check hawala, cross-LoC barter will now have bank trail

'Mubarak moves assets from European banks to Gulf states'

Police disperse Iranian protesters with tear gas

Qureshi has 'no future' in PPP, says party leader

Dawood's second daughter ties knot with Pak-American

Foreign exchange case: India releases Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Pakistan army turns to war movies to counter jehad

Malaysia arrest Indian activists for protesting against book

Turkey’s suspected ‘coup’ leader held

Cops, protesters clash in Yemen

Yemenis protest against President for 4th day

16 Indian fishermen held by Pak officials

Clinton picks new envoy to Afghanistan, Pakistan

One dead as Iran protesters clash with police

Qureshi affirms loyalty; PPP says he faces no action

US: Time for Iran to 'open up,' follow Egypt

Recruitment from Indonesia suspended

Kingdom endorses anti-piracy code of conduct

Lebanon: Hariri says he will join opposition

Sudan's ex-revolutionaries warn Egyptians to be wary

Palestine: Abbas asks Fayyad to form new Cabinet

Iraqis in Baghdad protest bad services, corruption

Israeli PM: Arab world undergoing ‘earthquake’

Turkey’s Gul, in Iran, urges respect for people power

Armed Yemen govt supporters chase down protesters

Bahrain police disperse demonstrators ahead of major rally

Shoura Council wants ceiling on housing loans increased

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/secret-tapes-expose-isi’s-role-in-mumbai-attacks/d/4122

 

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Secret tapes expose ISI’s role in Mumbai attacks

New Age Islam News Bureau

Washington: According to the tapes issued by an international human rights organisation, Pakistan’s ISI resorts to such activities as the Mumbai terror attacks against its enemies. International Justice Network issued tapes exposing the role of the ISI in the arrest of Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiquee that also mention the Mumbai attacks. With reference of the police officer Imran Shawkat who had arrested Aafia Siddiquee it was said how the ISI used its operatives to conduct terrorist activities against its enemies and steer clear of it. The statement attributed to Shaukat said that they were adept at creating false identities and using impostors. He further said that it was a dual game. ‘We prepare people, train them and then disown the responsibility’, he said. According to the tapes, the Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiquee was arrested by the Karachi police and the ISI and there was no clue about her whereabouts for the next five years. She was seen in Ghazni in 2008.

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Blast at hotel complex in Afghan capital kills 2

By RAHIM FAIEZ

Feb 14, 2011

KABUL: A suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of a Kabul shopping and hotel complex Monday, killing two security guards in the second attack in less than a month to hit the heavily secured Afghan capital.

The Ministry of Interior said the bomber detonated his explosives at the gates of the Kabul City Center shopping mall, which also houses the four-star Safi Landmark hotel.

Two people were wounded in the blast.

“I was just outside my restaurant and suddenly I heard a huge explosion,” said Ahmad Shah, 23, who works in a small eatery near the Safi Landmark. “I saw a large fire right at the gate of the City Center.” An Associated Press reporter at the scene said the building was surrounded by hundreds of Afghan security forces. The blast destroyed the guarded entrance to the building and blew out windows. Several shops nearby also were damaged.

Severed body parts could be seen on the ground near the blast site.

A spokesman for the Taleban, Zabiullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for the attack in a mobile phone text message sent to reporters.

Government officials, businessmen and foreigners regularly hold meetings at the Safi Landmark.

The Safi was heavily damaged a year ago when suicide attackers struck two residential hotels nearby, killing 20 people, including nine foreigners. After that attack, shops at the center, which sell jewelry, electronics and clothing, were closed for months.

Shopkeepers nearby said Monday’s damage appeared to be confined to the guarded entrance area, which was fortified shortly after last year’s attack.

President Hamid Karzai condemned the bombing, which he said was aimed at civilians.

“Targeting a nonmilitary location shows how desperate and hopeless the enemies of Afghanistan have become,” Karzai said in a statement.

It was the first bombing in the capital since Jan. 28, when a suicide attacker blew himself up at an upscale Kabul supermarket, killing eight people.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, NATO said a homemade bomb killed a coalition service member in the south of the country. It didn’t say where exactly the blast occurred or provide the service member’s nationality.

The British Ministry of Defense said two soldiers from the Royal Logistic Corps were killed in a fire at Camp Bastion, the main British military base in Afghanistan. The base is northwest of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province.

A total of 14 NATO troops have been killed this month.

Last year was the deadliest of the nearly decade-long war for international troops, with more than 700 killed, compared with just more than 500 in 2009, which was previously the worst year of the fighting.

In central Afghanistan, an avalanche killed 16 people over the past four days. Fourteen of those killed were members of two families who died when their houses were crushed, said deputy police chief of Day Kundi province, Sayed Bakir Mortazawi.

He said the remote mountainous region where the avalanche occurred lacks adequate health care facilities and snowplows to clear the roads.

Separately in the capital, armed Afghan security forces, prosecutors and representatives of a special court forced their way into the Independent Election Commission and sealed a vote-counting center and a warehouse full of ballots, according to Abdullah Ahmadzai, the chief electoral officer of the IEC.

The incident was the latest in a dispute over a special tribunal, backed by Karzai, that is investigating allegations of fraud in last year’s parliamentary elections. While he hasn’t said so publicly, it is widely believed that Karzai is unhappy with the slate of winning candidates and thinks fraud reduced voter turnout among his fellow ethnic Pashtuns.

Ahmadzai said the group forced their way inside the building, defying his instructions for armed men to remain outside. Once inside, they sealed the data center, a huge hall where about 400 people have worked to count votes and a warehouse where the results of 2,300 polling stations in Kabul are stored, he said.

Ahmadzai said he suspects two events triggered the incident. On Saturday, Afghan lawmakers called the special court unconstitutional and urged Karzai to disband it. On Sunday, Ahmadzai said the IEC received a letter from the attorney general’s office demanding cooperation with the court.

Ahmadzai said the IEC will cooperate with criminal investigations linked to the election, but added that complaints about alleged election fraud have already been probed, the election results have been certified, winning candidates have been seated in parliament, and the legislature has opened.

A statement from the Afghan Attorney General’s office said only that officials with the special court and prosecutor’s office went to the IEC compound to seal ballot boxes and that the IEC had agreed to cooperate with the special court’s investigations. The statement said the special court was continuing its inquiry with the assistance of 14-member panel of legal, judicial, government and election officials.

http://arabnews.com/world/article261480.ece

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US says will provide evidence on Davis’ immunity

Feb 15, 2011

WASHINGTON: The US government has said that it will provide evidence in a Pakistani court that US national Raymond Davis is entitled to diplomatic immunity, television reports said.

US State Department spokesman Philip J Crowley on Monday told reporters that the US government would file a petition for Davis’ release in a court on Thursday and provide evidence regarding Davis’ diplomatic immunity.

Davis enjoys diplomatic immunity and that he should be released from detention, Crowley said, adding that Washington was building a strategic partnership with Pakistan and expected Islamabad to implement the international convention.

“We are building a strategic partnership with Pakistan. We are going to build this relationship for the long term. We respect our international obligations, and we expect other countries, including Pakistan, to do the same.”

Davis shot dead two men in Lahore on January 27 and last week the police rejected his self-defence claim saying it was a clear case of murder.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/15/us-to-provide-evidence-on-davis-immunity.html

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Give us Aafia and take back Davis: Pak

New Age Islam News Bureau

Islamabad: According to reports, a deal is being finalized by the Pakistan government according to which Pakistan is going to offer swapping Davis with Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiquee. The Law Minister Babar Awan said to the journalists that the US had demanded the release of Davis whereas Pakistan wanted that the US release Aafia Siddiquee. The US has sentenced Aafia to 86 years jail for allegedly firing at the US security officers. Davis is accused of killing two persons in Lahore on January 27. The US has been insisting that Davis is a diplomat but Pakistan denies that. The issue has caused bad blood between the two allies.

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Emergence of Hindu Teror a cause of worry: Indian Hime Secretary

February 15, 2011

Emergence of right-wing terror elements in the country is a "cause of worry" for the government which, however, says it is not a "big threat" now.

In an interaction with PTI, Union Home Secretary G K Pillai also made clear that action would be taken against any police official who was found implicating innocent youths on serious charges of blasts in the past.

"Right now, they (right-wing elements) are not that big a threat... Whatever intelligence we are getting. But it is a cause of worry. The more radical and fundamental groups you have in the country, it is a cause of worry. That is something we have to tackle," he said.

India cannot afford to have mushrooming growth of radical groups of whatever hue as it was bad for the country, Pillai said, adding the extent of radical right-wing extremist groups was extremely limited as of now.

"What we understand, it is extremely limited. But even 50 or 100 people who are conspiring in one group or different groups to do this or that... It is itself a cause of concern," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/317699/Emergence-of-right-wing-terror-a-cause-of-worry-Pillai.html

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Was 7/7 accused a US informer?

Feb 15, 2011

LONDON: A US national who trained the July 7 London bombers in Pakistan, has been quietly released before his jail term is over, raising questions whether he was a US informer, a media report said. The Guardian reported that Mohammed Junaid Babar, described as an "American jihadist" , has been quietly released after serving only four and a half years of a possible 70-year sentence.

Babar was reportedly sentenced to "time served" because a New York judge described as "exceptional co-operation " that began even before his arrest. This, the newspaper reported, "raised questions over whether Babar was a US informer at the time he was helping to train the ringleader of the July 7 tube and bus bombings" .

Babar was imprisoned in 2004 after pleading guilty in a New York court to five counts of terrorism.

The report said that he set up the training camp in Pakistan where Mohammad Sidique Khan and several other British terrorists learned about bomb-making and how to use combat weapons.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Was-7/7-accused-a-US-informer/articleshow/7498984.cms

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Congress condemns Yahya Bukhari’s statement against Digvijay Singh

New Age Islam News Bureau

Amroha: The Amroha City Congress yesterday condemned Yahya Bukhari’s statements against Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh who has of late been very vocal against the RSS. The speakers in the meeting expressed their intense resentment against Mr Bukhari. The City President Nirale Mian Ansari said that Bukhari should do introspection before saying anything against anyone. He said that the Muslims had not forgotten that Bukhari had gone to Mumbai with his supporters to help Pramod Mahajan in elections. He had formed Vajpeyee Himayat Committee and visited many cities to woo Muslim support in favour of the BJP and faced the ire of Muslims. He further said that Digvijay Singh was a very secular leader and a sympathiser of Muslims. Muslims are very well aware of the character of Yahya Bukhari and his supporters who are ever ready to sell Muslims to do bargaining with any political party.

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Innocent Muslim youth should be released immediately

New Age Islam News Bureau

New Delhi: Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi, MP has said that after the confession of Aseemanand and the evidences gathered against the Hindutva elements in Ajmer, Makkah Masjid and Samjhauta Express blasts, it has been established that the Muslim youth who were arrested and detained are innocent and so they should be released immediately. He expressed his surprise and disgust at the fact that weeks have passed after that but the youth have not yet been released though after the facts had come to light, the innocent youth should have been released. Issuing a statement, Mr Qasmi said that the government was also silent on this issue which was unfortunate. He said that he had written letters to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and the Home Minister P Chidambaram demanding release of the youth concerned. It should be noted that recently the Cherlapally police tortured them on the pretext of searching cell phones in their cells. Mr Qasmi said that he would meet the Prime Minister, the Chairperson of the UPA and the Home Minister personally in this connection. He said that there should not be any further delay in their release and the real culprits should be punished. Moreover, the police officers who falsely implicate Muslims in terror cases should also be brought to book, he demanded.

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Saffron Muslims preach RSS values in Lucknow

 Feb 12, 2011

Lucknow : Donning skull caps and armed with RSS literature, small groups of Muslims here are on a campaign to preach the values of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh among members of their community.

Under the banner of the Akhil Bharatiya Maha Sufi Sant Sewa Samiti (ABMSSSS), around 75 Muslims are on a door-to-door campaign to project "the spirit and values of RSS".  "You can call our exercise a campaign to link Muslims with the RSS, an organisation that has undertaken several rehabilitation programmes in the country,"  says ABMSSSS president Mohammad Wahid Chisti.

Chisti, an editor of an Urdu daily, said that like him, Muslims from different professional backgrounds were involved in the drive that started with RSS assistance. "Though most of those associated with the campaign are Muslim clerics, small traders, students and social activists are also involved," he said. "Initially, we present an overview of RSS to the Muslims and then provide them the booklets. In our interaction, we emphasize the experiences shared by prominent personalities including Mahatma Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar and Zakir Hussain about the Sangh," said Chisti.

RSS 'pracharak' Umesh Kumar said: "Involvement of  Muslims has immensely helped us. Had we directly approached the Muslims, we would have faced difficulties."

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New Disclosures in Ajmer Bomb blast case

New Age Islam News Bureau

New Delhi: The investigations in the Ajmer Blasts case have made new headway in the role of the key accused Sunil Joshi, Aseemanand and Bharat Bhai Riteshwar. Aseemanand has said that he had cautioned Sunil Joshi about the threat to his life after the blasts. Riteshwar has implicated the RSS leader Indresh in the blasts. During the investigations, Aseemanand told the ATS about two Muslim boys whom Joshi had used in the blasts. Aseemanand had warned Joshi that if he did not keep distance from the two boys they might cause a threat to his life. Riteshwar has claimed that Aseemanand had told him that Indresh was involved in the murder because the senior Sangh leader did not like him much. Recently according to a charge sheet filed by the CBI on the Makkah Masjid case, Riteshwar said that Joshi had told him that he had carried out the blasts on the instructions of Indresh. The conversation had lasted for 15 minutes after the blasts on October 11, 2007. Riteshwar also claimed that Joshi and Aseemanand were very close and had even given shelter to him after the blasts. The Madhya Pradesh police will also investigate Riteshwar’s role in the blast.

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Electronic university in the offing: Saudi official

By P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR

Feb 15, 2011

JEDDAH: The Higher Education Ministry on Monday announced its plan to establish an electronic university shortly. "We have been trying to establish an electronic university for the last one-and-a-half years to provide bachelor and master's degrees," said Muhammad Al-Ouhali, deputy minister for education affairs.

He said the proposed university would establish partnership with internationally renowned electronic universities. "We'll also establish education centers in different parts of the Kingdom to serve students joining the university," he told reporters.

Al-Ouhali was addressing a press conference in Riyadh on the occasion of the second international conference on electronic and distance education, which will be held in the capital city from Feb. 21-24.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article262553.ece

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JEDDAH: SR500m car plant planned in Dammam

By P. K. ABDUL GHAFOUR

Feb 14, 2011

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s second automobile manufacturing company will be established in Dammam with a capital investment of SR500 million, it was announced on Monday.

Commerce and Industry Minister Abdullah Zainal Alireza, chairman of the Industrial Property Authority (Modon), signed an agreement with Japan’s Isuzu Motors Ltd. on Monday for setting up the plant.

The move comes after King Saud University announced last year its plans to set up a $500 million car manufacturing company in Riyadh with the support of a South Korean firm.

ccording to an official statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency, the full-fledged Dammam factory would manufacture cars and light and medium-duty trucks. Isuzu aims to start produce a medium-duty “F-Series” truck by the end of 2012.

Annual production would start at 600 units, eventually reaching 25,000 trucks of varying models, said Qusay Al-Abdul Kareem, manager of the project. He said 40 percent of its products would be exported to regional markets. The plant will create 800 new jobs.

“Covering an area of 120,000 square meters in the second industrial city of Dammam, the plant is one of the major projects aimed at transferring automobile technology,” said the statement.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/article262171.ece

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Islamic encyclopedia released in Bangalore

By M. A. SIRAJ

Feb 15, 2011

BANGALORE, India: A two-volume English language Islamic encyclopedia prepared by a team of scholars was released here on Sunday. The book titled An Educational Encyclopedia of Islam, edited by Syed Iqbal Zaheer, an Islamic scholar from Bangalore who works as an engineer at Dhahran, runs into two volumes of 1,300 pages and is published by the East West Educational Tools.

It covers the religious dimensions of Islam and its developments over the centuries.

Elegantly produced and aesthetically designed, the encyclopedia covers a wide range of subjects like definitions of Islamic terms, life of Prophet Muhammad (praise be upon him), social and political movements in Islam and the Islamic world, Muslim scientists and scholars of the past, Islamic law, Muslim minorities, Islamic history, etc.

The inaugural copy of the encyclopedia was unveiled and released by Justice Mohammad Anwar, judge of the Karnataka High Court.

Speaking at the occasion, Syed Iqbal Zaheer said the monumental effort took 15 years for the entire team of East West Educational Tools to complete.  He said most of the encyclopedic efforts on Islam and Muslims has been done in the West and provides a distorted picture of Islam. He said Brille's was the most exhaustive work - in 12 volumes - so far but portrays Islam in an extremely poor light thereby carrying forward the agenda of the Orientalists. 

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article261552.ece

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It’s mayhem in Manama as Bahrain follows Egypt

February 15th, 2011

Bahraini police used tear gas to disperse protesters in the eastern village of Nuwaidrat, as security forces were deployed in the tiny Gulf kingdom following Facebook calls for a February 14 “revolt.”

These were some of the shock waves from the ouster of presidents in Tunisia and Egypt — where Tahrir Sqaure was finally cleared of protesters who brought down Hosni Mubarak — that continued to roll across North Africa and the Middle East on Monday.

It was the second reported skirmish by Shiites amid sharply rising tensions in the kingdom, base of US Navy’s 5th Fleet. Bahrain’s majority Shiites make up about 70 per cent of the population

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/international/it%E2%80%99s-mayhem-manama-bahrain-follows-egypt-926

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Muslim teaches Jainism to Jain saints

Bharat Yagnik

Feb 15, 2011

AHMEDABAD: This unique student-teacher relationship can itself be the subject of a doctoral thesis! A Muslim assistant commissioner of commercial tax,Intaj Malek,is PhD guide to two Jain munis Chintan Muni and Niranjan Muni helping them understand Jainism in a new perspective.

Unlike other doctoral guides who keep their students on their toes,Malek follows his on-the-move students around the country,meeting them at upashrayas to follow up on the progress.He also carries reference books and laptops for his students.

Chintan Muni,52,is writing his thesis on Austerities in Jainism and other religions a comparative study.Niranjan Muni,45,on the other hand,is studying Bhavna Shata Treatise on 12 reflections of Jainism by Shatavdhani Ratnachandraji Maharaj.

The student-guide relationship happened by accident.The Jain munis of Sthanakvasi Jain Ajramar Sampraday were finding it difficult to register themselves as PhD students with Gujarat University and finding a guide.The two munis have not cleared the standard XII exam,but have bachelors and masters degrees from Jain Vishva Bharati University in Ladnun,Rajasthan.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Muslim-teaches-Jainism-to-munis/articleshow/7499076.cms

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Pakistan, Afghanistan delay start of trade accord

Feb 15, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Afghanistan have delayed the implementation of a long-awaited transit trade deal signed last year due to differences over the issue of bank guarantees for Afghan goods, a senior Pakistani official said on Tuesday.

The US-sponsored trade agreement signed on Oct. 28 was to come in force on Feb. 12, and would have also allowed Afghan trucks to transport exports to India via Pakistan through the sensitive Wagah land route.

The new accord is to replace the 1965 bilateral trade agreement that has governed the transit of goods to landlocked Afghanistan through Pakistan.

Pakistani and Afghan officials met in Islamabad last week to review arrangements for implementing the accord, but failed to agree on the issue of guarantees for goods landing in the port city of Karachi for onward transport to Afghanistan.

Pakistan is seeking bank guarantees from Afghan importers, encashable in Pakistan on transit goods, to ensure the consignments reach Afghanistan and not smuggled back to Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/15/pakistan-afghanistan-delay-start-of-trade-accord.html

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NATO containers case: 600 FBR officials on ECL

Feb 15, 2011

KARACHI: Around 600 FBR officer’s names were put on Exit Control List (ECL) during the investigation of missing Nato containers case, DawnNews reported on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court was hearing the case, and the departmental investigation was underway as well. Thousands of containers carrying Nato supply to Afghanistan though Pakistan went missing after leaving from Karachi port.

The bulk of Nato supplies trucked overland into Afghanistan are shipped to Pakistan’s southern port of Karachi and driven to the northwestern crossing at Torkham or a southwestern crossing at Chaman, Balochistan.

According to the Secretary, Planning Division, a probe to look into the assets of those FBR officials was launched as well.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/15/nato-containers-case-600-fbr-officials-on-ecl.html

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Afghan war costs USD 300 million a day: Pentagon

Feb 15, 2011

WASHINGTON: The withdrawal of American troops from Iraq will allow for a reduced US defense budget in 2012 but the war in Afghanistan still costs the United States close to 300 million dollars a day.

Under the Pentagon's proposed budget, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will drop to USD 117.8 billion for fiscal year 2012, a reduction of 41.5 billion from the previous year.

As the US war effort winds down in Iraq, the budget sets aside USD 10.6 billion for "Operation New Dawn," with the remaining 50,000 US troops there due to withdraw by the end of 2011.

Spending for the Afghan mission calls for USD 107.3 billion, down slightly from the last budget, which requested USD 113.5 billion.

President Barack Obama has vowed to start a withdrawal in July of the roughly 97,000 troops now in Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Afghan-war-costs-USD-300-million-a-day-Pentagon/articleshow/7499099.cms

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Strikes pose challenge to Egyptian military

Feb 15, 2011

Egyptian archaeology graduates protest, demanding employment, in front of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo, on Monday. Photo: AP

A rash of cascading strikes and a call for million strong march on Friday has begun to challenge attempts by military authorities to cap Egypt’s blazing uprising, mirroring a fast intensifying tussle between the army and a hardened set of protesters who are now vying for additional political space.

On Monday, Cairo continued to reel under a spate of strikes, which affected work in factories and hampered services in banks and hospitals as well.

Pro-democracy activist, Hossam El Hamalavy posted on his website pictures of striking workers protesting outside the ministry of petroleum building. He said that thousands of workers are demanding the impeachment of Oil Minister Sameh Fahmy. Apart from several economic demands such as higher salaries, the employees are also airing political demands such as “stopping gas exports to Israel”.

Besides, they are calling for the reinstatement of sacked workers, as well as the right to form independent unions.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article1455387.ece?homepage=true

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Egypt protests spread across the Arab world

Feb 15, 2011

Anti-government protesters clashed with police, demanding political reform and better governance.

Even as the Egyptian Army struggles to disperse labour protesters, the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak has sparked violent agitations in other countries across the Arab world. Anti-government protesters clashed with police, demanding political reform and better governance.

Responding to calls for a “Day of Rage”, Bahrain’s security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters on Monday in advance of plans to stage major rallies and bring the Arab reform wave to the Gulf for the first time. Yemenis took to the streets for the fourth consecutive day demanding the resignation of their President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Reminiscent of the massive protests in Iran in June 2010, Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi have been under house arrest since last week after they asked the government for permission to hold a rally in support of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article1455596.ece

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Mullen: U.S. depends on military ties with Israel

Feb 15, 2011

Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussed the instability in Egypt with Israeli President Shimon Peres on Monday. He said the American—Israeli alliance is "something we both depend on."

The top U.S. military officer says the relationship between the American and Israeli militaries is especially relevant while Mideast nations are steeped in unrest.

Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussed the instability in Egypt with Israeli President Shimon Peres on Monday. He said the American—Israeli alliance is “something we both depend on.”

Following Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation, Israel is fretting the future of its 1979 peace treaty.

Adm. Mullen also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s incoming chief of staff Benny Gantz.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article1455488.ece

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To check hawala, cross-LoC barter will now have bank trail

Tue Feb 15 2011

India and Pakistan are set to monetise the barter trade across the Line of Control between the two Kashmirs to stop these earnings from being used for terror funding or hawala operations.

Early this month, New Delhi sent a proposal to Islamabad identifying J&K Bank as the financial intermediary from the Indian side to handle the remittances through a “nostro” account, so as to track who is paying and who is taking the goods. Since monetising cross-LoC trade would involve both Indian rupees and Pakistani rupees, Islamabad has to mandate a state bank of Pakistan with a branch in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, to maintain a similar account.

The J&K Bank would open a Pakistani-rupee-denominated account in the Islamabad-designated bank and instruct traders there to settle transactions with it. In return, the Pakistani bank would open an Indian-rupee account with the J&K Bank for similar transactions.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/to-check-hawala-crossloc-barter-will-now-have-bank-trail/750099/

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'Mubarak moves assets from European banks to Gulf states'

Feb 14, 2011,

NEW YORK: Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has reportedly moved his family assets from European banks to institutions in Gulf region after Swiss authorities took steps to freeze his foreign accounts.

"We're aware of some urgent conversations within the Mubarak family about how to save these assets," a senior intelligence was quoted as saying by the state-run Iranian channel Press TV.

"We think their financial advisers have moved some of the money around... If he had real money in Zurich, it may be gone by now," he said.

According to channel, former president is believed to have transferred a fortune to friendly Arab states, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The report comes after Swiss authorities have announced to freeze his bank accounts. Estimates of the former Egyptian President's fortune varies -- there is a widespread rumour that it worth as much as $70 billion. However, US officials quote his family's wealth between $2 billion and 3 billion, New York Times said.

Within hours of Mubarak's resignation on Friday, "Swiss officials ordered all banks in Switzerland to search for --- and freeze --- any asset of the former president, his family or close associates," it reported.

Full report at:

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Mubarak-moves-assets-from-European-banks-to-Gulf-states/articleshow/7494257.cms

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Police disperse Iranian protesters with tear gas

Feb 15, 2011,

TEHRAN: Clashes between Iranian police and tens of thousands of protesters wracked central Tehran on Monday with security forces beating and firing tear gas at opposition supporters looking to evoke Egypt's recent popular uprising.

The opposition called for a demonstration Monday in solidarity with Egypt's popular revolt that a few days earlier forced the president there to resign after nearly 30 years in office. The rally is the first major show of strength for Iran's cowed opposition in more than a year.

Police used tear gas against the protesters in central Tehran's Enghelab, or Revolution, square and in Imam Hossein square, as well as in other nearby main streets. Demonstrators responded by setting garbage cans on fire to protect themselves from the stinging white clouds.

"We support you Mousavi," some of the demonstrators chanted, referring to a prominent opposition leader. "An Iranian dies but doesn't accept humiliation" and "Death to the dictator," they said, referring to hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Security forces on motorcycles could also be seen chasing protesters through the streets, according to eyewitnesses.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Police-disperse-Iranian-protesters-with-tear-gas/articleshow/7497970.cms

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Qureshi has 'no future' in PPP, says party leader

Feb 14, 2011,

ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan People's Party has stepped up its tirade against former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for stating that a US official jailed for killing two men has no diplomatic immunity, with a senior leader saying he has "no future" in the party.

Qureshi has "no future" in the PPP and "serious disciplinary action will be taken against him for violating party discipline and humiliating its leadership", PPP spokesperson Fauzia Wahab told the Dawn newspaper.

Wahab said Qureshi had "ditched the party leadership and it was not the first time he had done so".

She said Qureshi's role as foreign minister over the past three years was questionable and that he did not support President Asif Zardari when he faced criticism in the media over his foreign trips.

Despite all of Qureshi's "past acts, the party leadership had decided to include him in the new cabinet" but Qureshi created a crisis just 25 minutes before the oath-taking ceremony at the Presidency on Friday, she said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Qureshi-has-no-future-in-PPP-says-party-leader/articleshow/7494533.cms

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Dawood's second daughter ties knot with Pak-American

S Ahmed Ali

Feb 15, 2011

MUMBAI: Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's second daughter secretly tied the knot with a Pakistani-American in Karachi's tony Clifton area recently.

Mahreen married Pakistan-born Ayub on February 4 and the reception was held at Dawood's palatial bungalow a day later.Sources said the wedding was a low key affair and that a few selected guests including some Pakistan army and ISI officers attended it. "It was a closed door affair at Dawood's palatial bungalow," a source said. Sources said a number of cars were parked outside Dawood's bungalow that day.

Former Pakistan cricketer Javed Miandad, whose son is married to Dawood's first daughter, Mahroof, attended the wedding with his family. "Besides the Miandads, Dawood's brothers and Chhota Shakeel were also present at the wedding," the source said. A few businessmen also attended the wedding that was earlier scheduled for May. "The date was changed after Dawood suffered a massive heart attack a few months ago. He had been insisting on Mahreen's early wedding after recovering," the source said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Dawoods-second-daughter-ties-knot-with-Pak-American/articleshow/7498407.cms

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Foreign exchange case: India releases Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Feb 14 2011,

Pakistani sufi singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and two members of his troupe were released by DRI pending probe, a day after they were detained for their undeclared USD 1.24 Lakh(about Rs 60 lakh).

As investigations continued to find out the source of the huge amount of foreign currency, the three men were freed after being asked by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to surrender their passports and appear again for questioning after three days.

The DRI did not file any case against the detainees and let them go after vigorous questioning. They were also asked not to leave the country.

Pakistani diplomatic channels were also activated and High Commission officials in New Delhi tried to get a Consular access to him, sources said.

Three High Commission officials came to zonal headquarters of the DRI where questioning of the singer was underway but left after about 30 minutes, sources said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/foreign-exchange-case-india-releases-rahat-fateh-ali-khan/749904/

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Pakistan army turns to war movies to counter jehad

Feb 14 2011,

After a night of fighting off a Taliban attack on his remote outpost, the Pakistani soldier lies wounded, with one of the attackers crawling on top of him. He grabs the assailant by the neck, but cannot prevent him from firing seven shots into his chest.

The death of the soldier is the climax of "Glorious Resolve," one of several slickly produced, action-packed films produced by the army to rally Pakistanis against Islamist extremists and counter their propaganda videos.

Aired on private and public TV stations, the films are described as re-enactments of real clashes in the military campaign in northwest Pakistan, which began in earnest in 2009.

"The basic purpose is to highlight the true stories of those valiant heroes of Pakistan," said Brigadier Azmat Ali, executive producer of the series. "And also to let the people know what kind of atrocities they had come across and ultimately how we are guarding against further extremism that is coming on to us."

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pakistan-army-turns-to-war-movies-to-counter-jehad/749907/

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Malaysia arrest Indian activists for protesting against book

Feb 14 2011,

Malaysian police detained 58 members of the outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and a 10-year-old girl for protesting against a proposed school textbook which contains reference to the caste system.

Selangor state police chief Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah said the men were arrested yesterday for joining an illegal assembly for demonstrating and handing out pamphlets against the use of the book "Interlok".

Police said all were released after their statements were recorded. The arrests were made across three states in the country.

A 10-year-old girl was also among those arrested.

Assembly of more than five persons without police permission is considered illegal in this country.

The book,'Interlok', came under criticism following the Education Ministry's decision to use it as a literature text, with several academics and the Malaysian Indian Congress, the country's largest ethnic Indian political party, claiming that it contained words sensitive to the Indian community.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/malaysia-arrest-indian-activists-for-protesting-against-book/749887/

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Turkey’s suspected ‘coup’ leader held

Feb 15th, 2011

Istanbul: The alleged mastermind of a 2003 plot to topple Turkey's government surrendered Monday after an arrest warrant as police targeted opposition journalists as part of a separate coup probe, reports said.

Retired General Cetin Dogan, turned himself in after a court ruled Friday that 163 of 196 acting and retired soldiers, on trial since December for allegedly having plotted to topple the Islamist-rooted government, should be kept in jail while the trial proceeds, Anatolia news agency reported.

The ruling sparked harsh criticism from the defence over the case, already marred by serious doubts over the authenticity of key documents incriminating the suspects.

Gen. Dogan, who rejects the essential evidence against him as fabrication, raised the prospect of lawyers quitting the case in protest.

“The only thing we can do now is to submit applications to the court (to annul the arrest ruling)... Then, depending on the reply, we will ask our lawyers to walk out... and we will not defend ourselves at the (next) hearing on March 14,” he said in televised remarks shortly before his surrender.

Full report at:

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/international/turkey%E2%80%99s-suspected-%E2%80%98coup%E2%80%99-leader-held-961

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Cops, protesters clash in Yemen

February 15th, 2011

SANA’A, Feb. 14: Rocks and batons flew in central Sana’a on Monday as pro-democracy protesters clashed violently with the police and supporters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, witnesses said.

Clashes between the police and protesters also broke out Monday in the city of Taez, south of Sana’a, where thousands of people joined demonstrations against Mr Saleh, witnesses there said.

In Sana’a, around 3,000 protesters marched from the Sana’a University towards Al-Tahrir square in the centre of the capital demanding that Mr Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years, step down. City streets around the square echoed to chants of “After Mubarak, Ali,” referring to the ouster of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak who quit after 18 days of protests by hundreds of thousands of Egyptians centred on Cairo’s main square, also named Tahrir.

Shouts of “No corruption after today,” reverberated through the narrow streets, while some demonstrators brandished banners reading: “The people want to oust the regime” — slogans used by protesters in Egypt.

As the protesters got near the square, baton-wielding riot police moved in and clashes broke out, witnesses said.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/international/cops-protesters-clash-yemen-962

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Yemenis protest against President for 4th day

February 15, 2011

Thousands protested in Yemen for a fourth straight day on Monday, demanding political reforms and the ouster of the US-allied President in demonstrations inspired by the upheaval in Egypt.

The protests come even as the US has embarked on a plan to deepen its involvement in training the country’s counterterrorism force to counteract a local affiliate of al-Qaida that has mounted several attacks against the US.

University students, rights activists and lawmakers marched on Monday in the capital, Sanaa. Lawyers in black robes, led by their union chief, joined the demonstrators shouting slogans against the security forces and “the people want the regime to step down,” a slogan mirroring those used in Egypt and Tunisia. “A revolution of free opinion A revolution of freedom. We should decide,” shouted the protesters.

A counter-demonstration of at least a hundred Government supporters holding up pictures of President Ali Abdullah Saleh confronted the protesters, shouting slogans against terrorism and supporting the Government’s call for dialogue.

The two groups scuffled in front of the university and three people were injured, two from stones and one was stabbed a traditional Yemeni dagger.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/317751/Yemenis-protest-against-President-for-4th-day.html

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16 Indian fishermen held by Pak officials

February 15, 2011

Pakistani authorities arrested 16 Indian fishermen and seized three boats on charges of illegally fishing in the country’s waters today.

The fishermen were arrested in Pakistan’s exclusive economic zone, the Maritime Security Agency said in a statement.

Four of the fishermen were “apprehended for the second time”, the statement said.

Pakistan and India arrest dozens of fishermen every year for violating the maritime boundary.

Many of them languish in prison for years even after completing jail terms given to them.

Islamabad recently repatriated 12 Indian prisoners, including 11 fishermen who had been held in a jail in Karachi for nearly three years even after completing their prison terms.

Another 442 Indian fishermen were freed last year after two Pakistani NGOs petitioned the Supreme Court for their release.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/317743/16-Indian-fishermen-held-by-Pak-officials.html

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Clinton picks new envoy to Afghanistan, Pakistan

February 15, 2011

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has chosen retired diplomat Marc Grossman to replace the late Richard Holbrooke as the United States’ special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

The position has been vacant since Holbrooke, a veteran diplomatic trouble shooter, died suddenly in December.

Clinton met with Grossman at the State Department and expects to announce his appointment in a speech to the Asia Society in New York on Friday, if not before, the Post said.

The newspaper cited administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The State Department had no immediate comment on the report.

Grossman would take over as President Barack Obama’s administration faces a crucial year in its strategy for the troubled region, including an initial US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan due to begin in July.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/15/clinton-picks-new-envoy-to-afghanistan-pakistan-report.html

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One dead as Iran protesters clash with police

February 15, 2011

TEHRAN: Iranian riot police fired tear gas and paintballs at protesters holding anti-government demonstrations in Tehran on Monday, websites and witnesses said, while an Iranian news agency reported that a gunshot killed a bystander.

The report by the Fars news agency said a number of people were also wounded by the gunfire and blamed the outlawed former rebel group, the People’s Mujahedeen.

“The illegal gathering of seditionists, Monafeghin (hypocrites), monarchists and thugs in some streets caused the riots, but the presence of the people forced the elements of sedition and Monafeghin to leave,” the news agency said, using the regime’s standard term of abuse for the People’s Mujahedeen.

Police moved in when crowds of opposition supporters gathered in the capital’s Azadi (Freedom) Square began chanting “Death to the Dictator!” a slogan used against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after disputed official results from a 2009 presidential election gave him a second term.

The website of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, kaleme.com, said that according to “unconfirmed reports, hundreds of protesters were arrested in Tehran.” There was no immediate official confirmation.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/15/one-dead-as-iran-protesters-clash-with-police.html

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Qureshi affirms loyalty; PPP says he faces no action

By Amir Wasim

ISLAMABAD: In what appeared to be a patch-up, former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi affirmed on Monday his loyalty to Pakistan People’s Party and the party said that no disciplinary action had been planned against him.

A statement from Mr Qureshi said he had “no personal grievances” against the party and its leadership over his exclusion from a 22-strong batch inducted on Friday and that he respected their decision to change the cabinet. The statement was issued apparently to counter raging speculations about his political future and even calls from some members of the party for a disciplinary action over his reported refusal to accept a change in portfolio.

And about the same time, a statement from a spokesman for PPP Co-Chairman and President Asif Ali Zardari said reports of a disciplinary action against Mr Qureshi were “wrong”.

But despite his apparent anxiety to clear the fog about his loyalty to the party, Mr Qureshi remained ambiguous about the case of US official Raymond Davis and sought to link his views on immunity for the person sought by Washington to the PPP’s “commitment to the people of Pakistan and their rights”.

A newspaper report had quoted the former minister as saying that “the kind of blanket immunity Washington is pressing for Davis is not endorsed by the official record of the foreign ministry”.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/15/qureshi-affirms-loyalty-ppp-says-he-faces-no-action.html

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US: Time for Iran to 'open up,' follow Egypt

February 15, 2011

WASHINGTON: Top US diplomat Hillary Clinton hailed the "courage" and "aspirations" of anti-government protests in Iran on Monday, and pressed Tehran to follow Egypt's example and "open up" its political system.         

"We wish the opposition and the brave people in the streets across cities in Iran the same opportunity that they saw their Egyptian counterparts seize in the last week," the secretary of state told reporters during a visit to Congress.    

"We support the universal rights of the Iranian people. They deserve to have the same rights" as those demanded by protesters who helped oust Egypt's Hosni Mubarak "and that are part of their own birthright."

Clinton spoke after Iranian riot police fired tear gas and paintballs at protesters staging anti-government demonstrations in Tehran under the pretext of rallies supporting Arab uprisings, websites and witnesses said.

Police moved in when crowds of opposition supporters gathered in the capital's Azadi (Freedom) Square began chanting "Death to the Dictator!" -- a slogan hurled at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after disputed official results from a 2009 presidential election gave him a second term.      

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=11170

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Recruitment from Indonesia suspended

By GALAL FAKKAR

Feb 14, 2011

JEDDAH: The national recruitment committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry has decided to suspend recruitment of Indonesian workers from Monday.

The committee also advised recruitment offices not to receive any work visas for Indonesians as the Indonesian Labor Federation has failed to abide by the terms and conditions of a bilateral agreement.

“We also advise Saudis not to apply for new recruitment visas for Indonesia due to exorbitant charges and lack of qualified workers,” the committee said.

Yahya Hassan Al-Maqbool, chairman of the recruitment committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the new decision came after exaggerated reporting in the Indonesian media on the abuse of Indonesian maids by Saudi sponsors.

There were differences of opinion between Saudi and Indonesian authorities on recruitment charges and salaries to be paid to Indonesian maids and drivers, the main categories of workforce imported from the Southeast Asian country.

Ramli Saud, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Labor Commission, said in a previous statement that Saudi Arabia had recruited nearly one million Indonesians with 97 percent of them representing maids and drivers.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article262313.ece

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Kingdom endorses anti-piracy code of conduct

Feb 14, 2011

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Monday endorsed a code of conduct to fight piracy and armed robbery in the western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

The Council of Ministers, chaired by Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, approved the code on the recommendation of Transport Minister Jabara Al-Seraisry and the Shoura Council, the Saudi Press Agency said.

The code of conduct, which was passed during a meeting of the International Maritime Organization in Djibouti on Jan. 29, 2009, calls for arresting, investigating, and prosecuting people who have committed or are suspected of piracy.

The governments that are signatories to the code should seize pirate ships or aircraft and the property on board, as well as rescue ships and persons held by pirates. It also defines the acts of piracy and armed robbery.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article262156.ece

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Lebanon: Hariri says he will join opposition

By ZEINA KARAM

Feb 14, 2011

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s outgoing prime minister said Monday he is joining the opposition, signaling he will be a fierce opponent of Hezbollah after the Iranian-backed group forced the collapse of his government last month.

Hariri, who is serving as a caretaker until a new government is formed, spoke during a ceremony to mark the sixth anniversary of the assassination of his father, former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Addressing thousands of his supporters in Beirut, Hariri accused Hezbollah and its allies of “lies, betrayal and lack of loyalty.” He called for mass protests on March 14 and made clear he would not take part in a unity government.

“Our mistake may have been that we extended our hand truthfully every time,” Hariri said, speaking of his fallen government, which the US and other Western powers supported. “But we were met every time with deceit, and our genuine intention was taken as a point of weakness and a sign of fear.”

The ascendancy of Hezbollah is a setback to the United States, which has provided Lebanon with a total of $720 million in military aid since 2006 and has tried in vain to move the country firmly into a Western sphere and end the influence of Iran and Syria.

Hezbollah’s opponents maintain having an Iranian proxy in control of Lebanon’s government would be disastrous and lead to international isolation. The group has its own arsenal and is the country’s most powerful military force.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article262087.ece

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Sudan's ex-revolutionaries warn Egyptians to be wary

By OPHEERA MCDOOM

Feb 14, 2011

KHARTOUM: Egypt's protesters should take care that the army and the political parties do not hijack their successful overthrow of Hosni Mubarak and they should not rush to the polls, leaders of Sudan's intifada of the 1980s said.

Before Tunisia's uprising last month and the subsequent revolt in Egypt, Sudan in 1985 was the last Arab country to kick out a president through popular protests.

With the benefit of a quarter century of hindsight, the Sudanese intifada's civilian leaders warned the organizers of the 18-day demonstrations in Egypt that their work was just beginning.

"Egypt is a very strong regime, a strong army, strong security, strong civil service, business and it's all pro-NDP (Mubarak's ruling party)," said lawyer Amin Mekki, who helped organize the 1985 uprising in Sudan.

"So you can easily be fooled and go back to work but then how do you get the people back together in the spirit of today?" he said.

Sudan's transitional government was largely made up of the lawyers, doctors and other professionals who led unions to rebel against Jaafar Nimeiri. The government also included members of Sudan's army leadership who — like in Egypt — eventually sided with the demonstrators despite being part of Nimeiri's regime.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article262144.ece

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Palestine: Abbas asks Fayyad to form new Cabinet

By MOHAMMED MAR'I

Feb 14, 2011

RAMALLAH: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday reappointed Salam Fayyad as prime minister and asked him to form a new government, in an apparent attempt to stave off any unrest in the Palestinian territories.

Earlier on Monday, Fayyad resigned and dissolved his cabinet in a major political shake-up ahead of Palestinian elections to be held by September.

However, Abbas immediately reinstated him as premier and tasked him with forming the new government. "Abbas reappointed Fayyad and asked him to form a new government," an official said.

Sources said that the new government will be formed within two weeks. The sources added that Fayyad will hold consultations with the majority of Palestinian political factions to include them in his new Cabinet.

The new government will also have to tackle plans for holding presidential and parliamentary elections by September — a deadline which was announced on Saturday by the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Last week, the cabinet also approved plans to hold local elections on July 9, in what will be the first time Palestinians have gone to the polls since 2006.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article262057.ece

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Iraqis in Baghdad protest bad services, corruption

By HAMID AHMED

Feb 14, 2011

BAGHDAD: Hundreds of Iraqis rallied Monday in central Baghdad, protesting the rampant corruption and the lack of government services that have plagued the country for years.

Iraqis have been venting their anger at the lack of jobs and government services such as electricity in small-scale protests across the country. The protests are not nearly as large as those that toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, but are nonetheless embarrassing for Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and highlight the many challenges facing his fragile government faces.

“We want reforms to take place,” said Hanaa Adwar, an activist from the nonprofit watchdog group, al Amal. “We have witnessed the popular revolution carried by Tunisian and Egyptian people that led to the toppling of their regime.” She vowed that there would be more protests if the government did not bow to people’s demands.

Despite sitting on some of the world’s largest oil reserves, Iraqis endure electricity shortages that make summer almost unbearable and leave them shivering in winter. There are also water shortages, and garbage is often left on the streets. At the same time, Iraqis are infuriated by the high salaries earned by their elected officials, compared with ordinary Iraqis.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article261400.ece

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Israeli PM: Arab world undergoing ‘earthquake’

Feb 14, 2011

JERUSALEM: Israel’s prime minister says an “earthquake” is under way in the Arab world but that he “hopes for the best.”

In a reference to unrest throughout the region, including the toppling of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak by popular protests, Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Israel hopes to strengthen its existing peace agreements and sign new ones, but remains “prepared for any possibility.”

Israel and Egypt signed a peace agreement in 1979. The accord has been a lynchpin of regional stability for three decades.

After forcing Mubarak to step down, Egypt’s ruling military council said over the weekend that it would honor the accord — easing jitters in Israel.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article261087.ece

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Turkey’s Gul, in Iran, urges respect for people power

Feb 14, 2011

TEHRAN: Turkish President Abdullah Gul used a news conference with his Iranian counterpart on Monday to call on Middle Eastern governments to listen to the demands of their people.

Gul’s first official visit to Tehran coincided with a planned opposition demonstration, in support of popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, which organizers hoped would revive Iran’s reformist “Green” movement.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government, which considers the Green movement “seditionist” after protests against his 2009 re-election, has not authorized the rally.

At a joint news conference, both presidents spoke of their countries’ close relations, but Gul went on to comment on the rise of popular discontent in the Middle East.

“My view is that what is happening should in no way be regarded as a surprise. In this age of communication, in an age where everybody is aware of each other, the demands and desires of the people are very realistic,” Gul said, in response to a question about the state of Middle East affairs.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article261923.ece

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Armed Yemen govt supporters chase down protesters

By MOHAMMED GHOBARI AND KHALED ABDULLAH

Feb 14, 2011

SANAA: Government backers armed with broken bottles, daggers and rocks chased down thousands of anti-government protesters in Yemen’s capital on Monday, turning unrest inspired by Egypt’s uprising increasingly violent.

Police who had been trying to keep the sides apart locked several thousand fleeing protesters inside the Sanaa University campus near where they were rallying to stem the bloodshed.

Five people were wounded in the melee, an opposition source said, and a BBC photographer said he was badly beaten by police.

“Hey Ali, get out, get out!” protesters shouted, referring to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a US ally against Al-Qaeda’s resurgent Yemen-based wing in power for over 30 years.

Protests in impoverished Yemen have gained momentum in recent weeks, sometimes drawing tens of thousands of people, but have become more and more violent since Friday with clashes between rival protesters and police or pro-government groups.

The threat of turmoil in Yemen, already teetering on the brink of failed statehood, has pushed Saleh to offer significant concessions, including a pledge to step down in 2013 and an invitation to the opposition for a reconciliation dialogue.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article261201.ece

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Bahrain police disperse demonstrators ahead of major rally

By BRIAN MURPHY

Feb 14, 2011

DUBAI: Bahrain’s security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets Monday at thousands of anti-government protesters heeding calls to unite in a major rally and bring the Arab reform wave to the Gulf for the first time.

The punishing tactics by authorities underscored the sharply rising tensions in the tiny island kingdom.

Riot police — some firing bird shot pellets — moved against marchers in various sites to prevent a mass gathering in the capital, Manama, that organizers intended as an homage to Egypt’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the popular revolt that drove Hosni Mubarak from power.

Bahrain’s protesters, however, claim they do not seek to overthrow the ruling monarchy but want greater political freedoms and sweeping changes in how the country is run.

Social media sites have been flooded with calls by an array of political youth groups, rights activists and others to join demonstrations later Monday, a symbolic day in Bahrain as the anniversary of the country’s 2002 constitution that brought pro-democracy reforms such as an elected parliament.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article261079.ec

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Shoura Council wants ceiling on housing loans increased

By MD RASOOLDEEN

Feb 14, 2011

RIYADH: The Shoura Council recommended on Monday that housing loans offered by the Real Estate Development Fund (REDF) be increased from the present ceiling of SR300,000 in view of the rising cost of construction and land prices.

In a session presided over by Chairman Abdullah Al-Asheikh, the council made the recommendation after the finance committee presented its findings on the REDF’s annual report for the fiscal year 2009/2010.

The house felt that such a loan scheme should be formulated by the REDF with the active participation of the private sector, including commercial banks in the Kingdom.

The house said the system should be geared to cater to the increasing demand for housing in the Kingdom and should shorten the waiting period for loans from the REDF.

The repayment period of loans should also be adjusted according to the finances of the applicants, members said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article262302.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/secret-tapes-expose-isi’s-role-in-mumbai-attacks/d/4122


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