New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 3 Jul 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Special Flight Carrying 46 Indian Nurses Freed By ISIS Militants in Iraq Lands in Mumbai

 

 

 

   

Indian Nurses who were trapped in territory Captured by Islamic Militants wait for the plane to begin their journey home at Irbil International Airport, Iraq AP Photo

 

 

  

Arab World

Special Flight Carrying 46 Indian Nurses Freed By ISIS Militants In Iraq Lands In Mumbai

Indian nurses in Iraq freed, to reach Kerala tomorrow

200 Sunni Militants Reported Killed by Iraqi Army, but Group Seizes Syrian Oil Field

Salafi Fatwas against watching World Cup spark uproar in Arab world

Egyptian army kills 17 Islamist militants in North Sinai

Showing ISIS the Red Card, Baghdad fans cheer on World Cup

Chief of Iraqi Kurds wants independence referendum

ISIS controls all main Syrian oil fields: NGO

Iraq chases Baghdad sleeper cells as ‘zero hour’ looms over capital

Top Iraq cleric says lack of new government "regrettable failure"

Pro-Morsi alliance calls for 'Friday of rage'

Syrian air raid kills four near Lebanese border town: Sources

The fight over Egypt's mosques: The state vs the pulpit

Former Iraq parliament speaker ‘to step aside’ so Maliki can go

Bahrain’s new visa policy to help over 100 nationalities

 

Pakistan

Dr Qadri Announces ‘Civil Disobedience Movement’

Pak, Afghan Armies Vow to Join Hands against Terrorism

Christians, Hindus say Taliban treated them with relative tolerance

I pray for Pakistan to be free of terrorists soon: Altaf

Terminate terrorists in cities, leave no stone unturned: Former DG ISPR

Fazlullah is in Pakistan: TTP

Nawaz Sharif summons meeting of PML-N leaders and advisers

Baby steps: Law and order on the mend in K-P, says police report

 

Mideast

'Murder of Arab Teen Reminiscent Of Jewish Custom of Baking Matzas with Blood'

Interagency report warns over huge funding gap for Syrian refugees in Turkey

Israel warns Hamas against more violence as tension spikes

Turkey’s intel chief first official to learn ISIL release

Turkish drivers return Turkey after 23 days in captivity as ISIL's hostages

 

India

Kashmir neither ‘Jugular Vein,’ Nor ‘Integral Part of either Pakistan or India’:  APHC

After 24 years, Hindu temple reopens in militant hub, north Kashmir

Kashmir is a ‘disputed territory’: Pakistan

ISIS a cause for concern, says Mirwaiz Farooq

Indian nurses being freed, set to return: Kerala CM

'Six Azamgarh men with IM links in Pak'

Kabul airport attacked as SpiceJet aircraft was preparing to fly to Delhi

At SAARC home ministers’ meet, Iraq crisis to dominate

Indo-Pak cooperation: Expert for easing visa regime, opening more transit routes

 

South Asia

China Envoy Denies Xinjiang Muslims Banned From Fasting

PM Sheikh Hasina: Violence not allowed in the name of agitation

Jatiya Party Chairman urges for 'real democracy'

 

Africa

West Africa: 'Caliphate' Claim Sparks New Jihadist Infighting

Jabl Al-Haruj: Libya’s biggest volcanic field

Gambia Supreme Islamic Council President Reaffirms Call to Stop Ramadan Profiteering

Nigerian atheist, sent to psychiatric ward by family, now a fugitive in Muslim north

 

Europe

Secret UK plan to ‘train 100,000 Syria rebels’ exposed

Amnesty: A year after Morsi, Egypt 'failing on every level' in terms of human rights

UK Charities Face Cash Crunch for S. Sudan, Fear Famine

Rights group urges Pakistan to pull ‘repressive’ terror law

 

Southeast Asia

Don’t shame Malaysia again over homeless issue, Christian youth tell Putrajaya

Christian, Muslim NGOs urge ministry to consult civil society on soup kitchens

Most Election Violations during Counting, Constitutional Court Says

 

North America

ISIL poses serious security threat to Iraq, says White House

US opposes independence referendum for Iraqi Kurds

NY cabbie convicted of plotting 'honour killings' in Pakistan

US declines to meet Iran ‘half way’ in final diplomatic push over nuclear crisis

Chomsky says BDS tactics won't work, may be harmful to Palestinians

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey: Iraqi forces can defend Baghdad

TV ad shows Sikhs as vibrant part of US’ cultural tapestry

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/special-flight-carrying-46-indian-nurses-freed-by-isis-militants-in-iraq-lands-in-mumbai/d/97902

 

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Arab World


Special Flight Carrying 46 Indian Nurses Freed By ISIS Militants in Iraq Lands in Mumbai

HT Correspondent and Agencies

Kochi, July 05, 2014

A special Air India flight carrying 46 Indian nurses set free by Sunni militants in strife-torn Iraq and 137 others landed in Mumbai and is scheduled to arrive in Kochi around noon on Saturday, a top airport official said.

The flight carrying 183 Indian nationals from Erbil landed in Mumbai at 8:43am, according to an airport official. After some passengers de-board, it will arrive in Kochi around 11.55am, Cochin International Airport director AKC Nair told PTI.

The flight made a 'technical halt' in Mumbai for refuelling and catering supplies.

The flight left Erbil for India at around 4.30 am IST, he said.

From Kochi, the flight will proceed to Hyderabad and then Delhi, he said.

Besides the nurses, the plane is also carrying 137 other Indian nationals, including 70 from Kirkuk in the northern part of Iraq.

The ordeal of the nurses, who were working at a hospital in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, began when a swift Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) offensive was launched on June 9.

The nurses were moved out on Thursday against their will and detained in the militant-held city of Mosul, 250 km from Tikrit.

The Erbil International airport is about 80 km from Mosul.

A joint-secretary level IFS officer and a female IAS officer from Kerala are among the Indian officials travelling on the chartered flight.

Air India spokesperson in Kochi said there are 183 passengers, including 23 crew members and three government officials, onboard the flight.

The flight will make a 'technical halt' in Mumbai for refuelling and catering supplies.

According to information provided by Air India from Erbil, 46 nurses will get down at Kochi and around 100 other passengers are bound for Hyderabad, the spokesperson said.

Channels of diplomacy

The nurses, all of them from Kerala, crossed into semi-autonomous Kurdish territory at 7pm on Friday and were received by local authorities and Indian officials.

The Isis militants had forced the nurses out of the Tikrit Teaching Hospital on Thursday, threatening to blow up the building they had been holed up in.

The nurses were moved to Mosul, one of the first cities to be overrun by the the al Qaeda splinter group, and kept in a building.

In a move that took the nurses by surprise, the militants on Friday morning told them to get ready to leave for Erbil after breakfast as they were being freed.

Erbil governor Nawaz Hadi said the nurses arrived at a checkpoint and were being cared for by the Kurdish militia fighters, known as peshmerga.

The semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan in the north has escaped the mayhem caused by Isis militants who now control large parts of northern and western Iraq.

Sayona Thomas, a nurse from Palakkad in Kerala, rang up her home early Saturday to say they were being freed.

"We were in constant touch with the parents of the nurses as well. So we knew what was happening throughout," Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy said.

The release took enormous efforts both within and outside Iraq as “conventional tools” of diplomacy did not work on the ground in the conflict zone, external affairs ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.

He refused to go into details but sources said New Delhi was in touch with officials of various countries including the US and Turkey.

The insurgents had Thursday let go of a group of Turkish truck drivers.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was in constant touch with her counterparts in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE to leverage their influence over the Sunii insurgents to seek the release of Indians being held captive, sources said.

The Indian side was in touch with various humanitarian organisations and Kurdish authorities for a safe passage for the nurses.

The militants didn't harm the nurses and offered them water and biscuits, said officials and family members.

Relieved relatives thanked Swaraj, Chandy and MEA for their help.

"We don’t know how to express our gratitude," said Sobha Sasikumar, mother of one of the freed nurses.

As nurses head home, there is little information about the 39 Indian workers who were snatched by Isis three weeks ago.

Akbaruddin said the government would "leave no stone unturned" to bring back the remaining Indian hostages home.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/iraqonthebrink/freed-indian-nurses-head-home-to-reach-kochi-around-noon/article1-1236979.aspx#sthash.be5HJKFn.dpuf

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Indian Nurses in Iraq Freed, To Reach Kerala Tomorrow

TNN | Jul 4, 2014, 02.13 PM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/DELHI: All 46 Indian nurses held captive by Sunni insurgents in Iraq have been freed and will return to India on Saturday, according to reports.

The nurses are with Indian officials and are being taken to Erbil airport, from where they will return to Kerala on a special flight.

Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy also confirmed that the nurses are on their way back home.

Chandy told IANS over telephone from New Delhi that an Air India flight will depart from the Indian capital Friday evening to Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan.

"There will be one official each from the Kerala and central governments on the plane," he said. "The nurses will board the flight at Erbil and the plane will reach Kochi at 7am tomorrow."

Chandy had earlier said that the nurses, all from Kerala, were set to be freed by the insurgents.

The 46 nurses were put in a bus from Tikrit on Thursday afternoon in the company of armed militants and driven to Mosul, where they reached late at night.

On Friday morning, they were given food and allowed to speak over the telephone to their families in Kerala.

(With inputs from IANS)

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200 Sunni Militants Reported Killed by Iraqi Army, but Group Seizes Syrian Oil Field

04 July 2014

BAGHDAD — Almost 200 Sunni militants were killed in battles with the Iraqi Army on Thursday, the Iraqi government said, but the militants’ group gained potentially significant economic ground in their struggle for leverage in the region, taking control of Syria’s largest oil field.

The militants also made good on an agreement with the government of Turkey to release 32 Turkish truck drivers, who were handed over at a United Nations camp in Kurdistan.

The toughest fighting was in the Iraqi city of Tikrit, 85 miles northwest of Baghdad, where residents who had fled their homes for the suburbs said on Thursday that an intense bombing campaign by the Iraqi Army was underway in a fight to retake the city from militants with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

A poster of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, center, hung near a checkpoint outside a mosque on Wednesday in Baghdad.Iraqi Premier Places Unity Second to Fighting ISIS JULY 2, 2014

The remnants of the Ninth Brigade of Iraq’s border guards at Al-Ukhaidir fortress, far from the positions they once held.After Retreat, Iraqi Soldiers Fault OfficersJULY 1, 2014

Shiite militia members on Saturday in the desert region between Kerbala and Baghdad.Iraqi Army, in New Show of Force, Drives Back Insurgents in Major CityJUNE 28, 2014

Children reaching for food handed out by aid workers Wednesday at a camp between Mosul and Erbil.Extremists Attack Iraq’s Biggest Oil RefineryJUNE 18, 2014

The group’s fighters, who took Salahuddin Province, of which Tikrit is the capital, in mid-June, resorted to planting a series of roadside bombs and booby-trapping cars and houses in their effort to slow the Iraqi Army’s advance on the provincial capital. Iraqi forces fired from helicopters anywhere they suspected the militants were present, whether those locations were government buildings or homes, witnesses said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/04/world/middleeast/scores-of-sunni-militants-reported-killed-by-iraqi-army.html

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Salafi fatwas against watching World Cup spark uproar in Arab world

July 4, 2014

Hezbollah watches soccer games free on Israeli TV, avoids Arab pay-per-view channels.

Algeria, the only Arab team to make it to the World Cup this year, but some Salafi clerics have created controversy by issuing fatwas against watching the matches.

According to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) published on Wednesday, Salafi clerics in Saudi Arabia and Egypt issued fatwas and statements against viewing the games before they began.

Egyptian clerics from Al-Azhar University, the leading Sunni center of Islamic learning in the world, countered these voices, saying it is permitted to watch the games and that extremists stating otherwise should be ignored.

“One is not forbidden from spending some of his time entertaining his spirit by watching anything that enlivens one, so long as it is not forbidden sights. We cannot easily accept the statement that watching matches causes a love of infidels, since Muslims are not forbidden from respecting non-Muslims so long as [the latter] do not attack them,” said Dr.

Muhammad Rafat Othman, a senior Al-Azhar scholar.

For the most part it seems that most Arabs are ignoring calls not to watch the games and the Arab media are full of reports about them.

Some Arabs from the Hezbollah stronghold in southern Lebanon watch the games for free on Israeli TV so that they do not have to pay for watching games on Arab pay-perview channels, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Nahar reported.

Ali Al-Sharimi, who writes for the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan, said, “I ask: Does Islam forbid entertainment? Why are some clerics’ fatwas limited to combating joy and killing happiness?” “Why do some of these fatwas play such a negative role and make Muslim life hated and full of hardship and suffering?” he added.

According to the MEMRI report, clerics reason that watching the World Cup will cause Muslims to neglect their religious duties and expose themselves to negative influences.

“There is no doubt that football, played according to [the accepted international rules], has caused Muslims to adopt some of the customs of the enemies of Islam, who are [preoccupied with] games and frivolity. [This game] causes many abominable and corrupt acts,” the Saudi cleric Sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Barrak said in a fatwa published on his website on May 21.

Saudi Sheikh Saleh al-Fawzan opined: “Muslims must set aside games and frivolity and take up God’s work. They must not waste their time following games and frivolity, especially not during the blessed month of Ramadan.

This is true for Muslims in general, and the younger generation in particular... These games have no use, and they are harmful and a waste of time.”

Egyptian Salafi Sheikh Abu Ishaq Al-Heweny based his opinion two years ago on a tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, stating that “every game one plays is futile except for archery, training one’s horse, and playing with one’s wife [foreplay and kissing].”

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Salafi-fatwas-against-watching-World-Cup-spark-uproar-in-Arab-world-361510

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Egyptian army kills 17 Islamist militants in North Sinai

July 4, 2014 

A raid carried out by the Egyptian army in North Sinai has killed 17 Islamic militants and arrested another 12, a military source told state news agency MENA.

The militants – who belonged to a takfiri group, meaning they labeled society and the government as infidels – had been planting bombs in North and South Sinai in attacks targeting security forces and the military, the source told MENA.

The army raid on Thursday falls on the year anniversary of president Mohamed Morsi's ouster. Since his removal, similar Islamic groups have staged an insurgence in the Sinai Peninsula and in other parts of the country, including the capital.

Dozens of police officers and soldiers have been killed in bombings and shootings. The army has waged a broad campaign in response that has killed dozens of militant suspects in air and ground offensives.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/105406/Egypt/Politics-/Egyptian-army-kills--Islamist-militants-in-North-S.aspx

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Showing ISIS the Red Card, Baghdad fans cheer on World Cup

4 July 2014

Defying the dangers posed by militant fighters in Iraq, football fans are continuing to gather to watch the World Cup together.

Meeting in local cafes to watch the matches, Iraqis in the capital are just an hour’s drive away from fighters for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who have been gaining control of large swathes of western and northern parts of the country since June.

One fan, Raad Abdulhussein, told Agence France-Presse that he has been going to the capital's "Facebook Café" every day with his friends to watch the matches, even though there are clearly risks.

A Café owner, Ali Hussein, said that "a lot of clients" visit to watch the tournament, particularly for important matches, and that he regularly caters to a full house, The Independent reported.

Iraq did not qualify for this year’s tournament in Brazil but in 2007 the national team won the AFC Asian Cup and the 2009 UAE International Cup.

"I remember in 2007 everyone was celebrating in the streets, and you wouldn’t know who was Sunni and who was Shia," Hussein said.

ISIS fighters recently announced the establishment of a “caliphate,” referring to the system of rule that ended nearly 100 years ago with the fall of the Ottomans.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2014/07/04/Showing-ISIS-the-Red-Card-Baghdad-fans-cheer-on-World-Cup.html

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Chief of Iraqi Kurds wants independence referendum

July 4, 2014

BAGHDAD: The leader of Iraq’s Kurds set the ball rolling on Thursday for a referendum on their long-held dream of independence, in another setback for international efforts to unite the country’s politicians against a militant offensive.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki broadened an amnesty offer aimed at undercutting support for Islamists, whose onslaught overran areas of the country and who proclaimed a caliphate straddling Iraq and Syria.

The vote will be a weapon, Barzani tells autonomous region’s parliament

Massud Barzani told the autonomous Kurdish region’s parliament that it should make “preparations to begin to organise a referendum on the right of self-determination”. “It will strengthen our position and will be a powerful weapon in our hands,” he said.

The prospect of an independent state is made more attractive by what the Kurds say is Baghdad’s unwillingness to resolve the issue of disputed territory and its late and insufficient budget payments to the region this year.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1116921/chief-of-iraqi-kurds-wants-independence-referendum

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ISIS controls all main Syrian oil fields: NGO

July 4, 2014

BEIRUT: The Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham (ISIS), now known as the Islamic State (IS), is now in full control of all main oil and gas fields in Syria's Deir Ezzor province, bordering Iraq, a monitoring group said.

The ISIS declared an “Islamic caliphate” in areas it controls in Syria and Iraq, where it is spearheading an offensive against government troops.

“The group took control of the Tanak oil field, located in the Sheiytat desert area in the east of Deir Ezzor province,” late Thursday after rival rebels withdrew, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Earlier that day, ISIS seized the major Al-Omar oil field. But they have still not captured the tiny Al-Ward oil field which produces barely 200 barrels of oil per day and is in the hands of a local tribe, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1117035/isis-controls-all-main-syrian-oil-fields-ngo

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Iraq chases Baghdad sleeper cells as ‘zero hour’ looms over capital

Reuters | Baghdad | July 4, 2014

Iraqi insurgents are preparing for an assault on Baghdad, with sleeper cells planted inside the capital to rise up at “Zero Hour” and aid fighters pushing in from the outskirts, according to senior Iraqi and US security officials.

Sunni fighters have seized wide swathes of the north and west of the country in a three-week lightning advance and say they are bearing down on the capital, a city of 7 million people still scarred by the intense street fighting between its Sunni and Shia neighbourhoods during US occupation.

The government says it is rounding up members of sleeper cells to help safeguard the capital, and Shia paramilitary groups say they are helping the authorities. Some Sunni residents say the crackdown is being used to intimidate them.

Iraqis speak of a “Zero Hour” as the moment a previously-prepared attack plan would start to unfold.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/middle-east-africa/iraq-chases-baghdad-sleeper-cells-as-zero-hour-looms-over-capital/

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Top Iraq cleric says lack of new government "regrettable failure"

July 4, 2014 

The inability of Iraq's parliament to agree on a new government in its first session was a "regrettable failure", Iraq's top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said in a Friday sermon delivered by his aide.

"Last Tuesday the first session of parliament convened. People were optimistic that this would be a good start for this council in its commitment to the constitutional and legal texts," his aide, Ahmed al-Safi, said in the sermon.

"But what happened afterwards, in that the speaker and his deputies were not elected before the session finished, was a regrettable failure."

Sistani also reiterated his call that the new government should have "broad national acceptance".

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/105440/World/Region/Top-Iraq-cleric-says-lack-of-new-government-regret.aspx

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Pro-Morsi alliance calls for 'Friday of rage'

July 4, 2014 

A leading pro-Muslim Brotherhood coalition has called on its supporters to protest on Friday after what they described as successful protests the day before.

Thursday marked the first anniversary of the ouster of the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi from the presidency. Protests took place in a number of Egyptian cities, but were limited in number and quickly dispersed by the police.

In a statement, the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy called for a "Friday of rage", describing the Thursday protests as a “tremendous revolutionary saga.”

The statement also described the 3 July protests as a start to a new phase of “siding with the pain of the people”.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/105433/Egypt/Politics-/ProMorsi-alliance-calls-for-Friday-of-rage.aspx

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Syrian air raid kills four near Lebanese border town: Sources

July 4, 2014 

At least four people were killed and seven wounded in overnight air raids by Syrian forces on mountains and valleys near the Lebanese town of Arsal, security sources said on Friday, the latest spillover of violence into the border area.

The five air raids struck close to Arsal, an area sympathetic to the mostly Sunni Muslim rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is from Syria's Alawite minority.

Violence has regularly hit areas around Arsal. In January rocket fire from Syria killed at least seven people in the town and wounded 15.

Lebanon, which was pulled apart by its own civil war from 1975 to 1990, has been struggling to keep itself out of the three-year conflict in its much larger neighbour, which has stoked sectarian tensions across the region.

In Lebanon, groups have split along sectarian lines over the Syrian crisis and the country has faced increased car bombings in recent weeks, some hitting the capital Beirut. .

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/105429/World/Region/Syrian-air-raid-kills-four-near-Lebanese-border-to.aspx

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The fight over Egypt's mosques: The state vs the pulpit

July 4, 2014 

A recently-issued decree restricting preaching to Islamic scholars who are certified by either Al-Azhar's Grand Sheikh or the ministry of religious endowments (Awqaf) has provoked divided views among preachers and Islamists.

The law, which also applies to public spaces used as mosques, further dictates that persons outside of these two institutions can also be allowed to preach, but only according to the endowment ministry's regulations.

Those who violate the law can face from three months to one year in jail and/or a fine of LE20,000-50,000. The punishment is doubled for repeat offenders.

The law, issued by interim president Adly Mansour in late Maya few days before he left office, was followed by a campaign of closing down zawyas, or small mosques, which are common across the country and usually function without supervision from the ministry or Al-Azhar.

Last week, around 600 small mosques were closed in Egypt's second largest city of Alexandria.

Ahmed Baheyi, an imam at Sidi Gaber Mosque in the coastal city, says the new regulations are a "positive" thing and necessary to prevent prayers and sermons being used for political interests.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/105222/Egypt/Politics-/The-fight-over-Egypts-mosques-The-state-vs-the-pul.aspx

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Former Iraq parliament speaker ‘to step aside’ so Maliki can go

4 July 2014

Former Iraqi parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, a major political foe of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said he would not nominate himself for another term to make it easier for the Shiite political parties to replace the premier.

"I appreciate the demands of the brothers in the National Alliance who see that Maliki will insist on holding on to the premiership if I nominate myself for speaker of the Council of the Representatives," he said, according to a text of the speech published on his Facebook page late on Thursday.

The National Alliance is a bloc comprising the country's biggest Shiite parties, including both Maliki's list and his foes.

"Out of respect for them and in order to achieve the interests of the people and the country and to defend the oppressed and those who hold rights, I have decided not to nominate myself," said Sunni Muslim Nujaifi.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/07/04/Former-Iraq-parliament-speaker-to-step-aside-so-Maliki-can-go.html

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Bahrain’s new visa policy to help over 100 nationalities

July 4, 2014 

Bahrain’s new visa policy allows nationals of over 60 countries to obtain visas on arrival, bringing the total number of countries with this option to nearly 100.

The new policy will be implemented in 2015, with the potential to affect over 2.5 billion people who can now obtain one-month visas on arrival, with the ability to renew for another three months.

In particular, the new policy will further enable expatriates who do businesses in Bahrain, to easily travel in and out of the kingdom easily, as well as boosting the tourism industry.

http://www.arabnews.com/news/596306

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Pakistan

 

Dr Qadri announces ‘civil disobedience movement’

July 4, 2014

LAHORE: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leader Tahirul Qadri on Thursday asked the civil servants and personnel of law enforcement agencies to disobey government orders.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Qadri advised the “corrupt government officers” to mend their ways and start performing their duties strictly in accordance with the law and constitution. The controversial cleric asked the security and police personnel to doff their uniforms, and warned that if they do not do so, they would be hanged after his “revolution”. “After my revolution these policemen and civil servants would be hanged, no matter if they are in hundreds and thousands,” Qadri warned.

He said that after his “revolution”, these people would be brought to justice within 15 days. The cleric claimed that the incumbent government and its “corrupt rulers” will be shown the door in the next few weeks. “The government officials take their salaries from the state and not from Raiwind,” the PAT chief snapped. Qadri said the process of accountability will be initiated against the unscrupulous government officials and it will only take fifteen days to complete.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/04-Jul-2014/dr-qadri-announces-civil-disobedience-movement

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Pak, Afghan armies vow to join hands against terrorism

July 4, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Amid exchange of accusations, Pakistan and Afghanistan’s militaries reiterated on Thursday to “build further trust, continue to talk under all circumstances and evolve a robust and effective bilateral border coordination mechanism” against terrorism.

The development that followed the arrival of top Afghan security delegation to Pakistan, surfaced on the heels of Islamabad’s demand to Kabul to either ‘extradite or eliminate’ Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Fazlullah sheltering in Afghanistan in the backdrop of Pakistan’s ongoing drive against the terrorists in North Waziristan Agency (NWA).

A top Afghan security delegation led by Director General Military Operations (DG MO) Major General Afzal Aman and comprising of officials of National Security Council (NSC), Afghan National Army and National Directorate of Security arrived on a day-long visit on Thursday to hold meetings with their Pakistani counterparts led by Pakistan’s DG MO Maj-Gen Aamir Riaz Rana at the General Headquarters (GHQ). The issue of terror sanctuaries in Kunar and Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan, attacks on Pakistani border villages and posts and cross border-shelling from Pakistan in Afghan areas came under discussion during the meeting.

“The Afghan delegation was told that Pakistan only fires back in self defence when Pakistani border posts are physically attacked or fired upon by terrorists from Afghan territory and no indiscriminate firing is carried out,” Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said. Earlier on Tuesday, top civilian and military officials here briefed the foreign media representatives that Pakistan had asked Afghanistan to extradite or eliminate Fazlullah, who, they said, was taking refuge across the border.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/04-Jul-2014/pak-afghan-armies-vow-to-join-hands-against-terrorism

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Christians, Hindus say Taliban treated them with relative tolerance

July 4, 2014

BANNU: Christians and Hindus who fled from a military offensive against militants in North Waziristan say the Taliban treated them with relative tolerance, contrary to the militants' brutal reputation.

Some 2,000 people from the country's often-embattled religious minorities have fled an army operation that began in mid-June in the North Waziristan tribal district for the nearby town of Bannu, where many have taken refuge in Christian schools.

Like nearly half a million other residents who have escaped the fighting, they spoke of the hardship of living in a zone that has been caught in conflict for more than a decade.

North Waziristan, on the border with Afghanistan, has been a haven for Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked militants for years.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1117024/christians-hindus-say-taliban-treated-them-with-relative-tolerance

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I pray for Pakistan to be free of terrorists soon: Altaf

July 4, 2014

KARACHI: In a show of his support for the Pakistan Army, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain said he hopes the army is successful in eliminating terrorists in the country.

“I pray for Pakistan to be free of terrorists soon,” he said, while addressing the media and party members via telephone at the Karachi Press Club.

“I was the first person to speak out against talibanisation,” Altaf said.

He went on to added that “the public has sacrificed their lives in this war against terrorists, thousands of people have lost their lives.”

He spoke out against Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah for denying talibanisation in Karachi. He said that people of all ethnicities had lost their lives following the “grip of the Taliban” in the city.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/730662/i-pray-for-pakistan-to-be-free-of-terrorists-soon-altaf/

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Terminate terrorists in cities, leave no stone unturned: Former DG ISPR

July 4, 2014

ISLAMABAD- Former DG of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General (R) Athar Abbas said Zarb-e-Azb is not merely a military operation; it is an operation with complete national consensus.

Abbas argued that one shouldn’t expect a vast number of terrorist deaths in operation Zarb-e-Azb; however they do need further elimination from cities for the offensive to be successful. He claimed all major cities within the country will be cleared of the threat within a month.

The former DG ISPR added that it was believed at the time of a military operation in South Waziristan that the militants had been isolated, but this was not the reality of the situation. He stressed that forces should be prepared for any possible counter-attack by militants in North Waziristan.

Regarding his statement on the decision of an offensive and General (R) Kayani’s reluctance on the matter, Abbas remarked that his response at that point was to a question asked during an interview by a foreign news agency.

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/03-Jul-2014/terminate-terrorists-in-cities-leave-no-stone-unturned-athar-abbas

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Fazlullah is in Pakistan: TTP

July 4, 2014

PESHAWAR - Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Mullah Fazlullah is currently in the tribal regions of Pakistan, and not in Afghanistan as claimed by Pakistani officials.

In an interview with BBC on Thursday, TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid said that Mullah Fazlullah was not under the influence of the Afghan government even when he was in Afghanistan and added that the TTP has never been aided by any government.

Shahid also said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government treated the negotiations between the government and the Taliban as a joke, saying they mishandled it even more than the governments of Musharraf and Zardari.

Islamabad maintains that Mullah Fazlullah is based in the Kunar province of Afghanistan and has sought extradition of the TTP chief from Kabul as well as the dismantlement of terrorist sanctuaries in Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nooristan.

The Army is currently engaged in a major military offensive against the Taliban in the North Waziristan Agency.

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/04-Jul-2014/fazlullah-is-in-pakistan-ttp

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Nawaz Sharif summons meeting of PML-N leaders and advisers

July 4, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif summoned a meeting of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and advisers to discuss key national and political issues, DawnNews reported.

The meeting in the federal capital city would be attended by Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Federal Information Minister Pervez Rasheed, Federal Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique among other party leaders and advisers.

Reports of a rift in the PML-N have been circulating in the media according to which differences had developed between the party leadership and Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1117028/nawaz-sharif-summons-meeting-of-pml-n-leaders-and-advisers

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Baby steps: Law and order on the mend in K-P, says police report

July 4, 2014

PESHAWAR: The residents of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa had a safer 12 months than they expected; the year before was anything but a prelude to better things to come. Or at least that’s what an annual report of the police department indicates in its comparison of law and order in K-P between July 2012 and June 2013, and July 2013 and June 2014.

The data was collected by the Statistics and Analysis department for an annual performance audit, a feature recently incorporated by IGP Nasir Durrani for internal evaluation.

In contrast to the same twelve-month period between July 2012 and June 2013, there has been a sizeable reduction in terrorist attacks and the consequent loss of lives. However, it is hard to comment on why such a trend emerged, or establish any cause-and-effect relationship, in the absence of a larger analysis of policy and implementation. A more comprehensive version of the report is available with the police for VIP eyes only.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/730874/baby-steps-law-and-order-on-the-mend-in-k-p-says-police-report/

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Mideast

 

'Murder of Arab teen reminiscent of Jewish custom of baking matzas with blood'

July 4, 2014

MEMRI report quotes editor of Hamas newspaper explaining that the Jews have adopted the ideology of the Nazis.

The editor of a Hamas affiliated newspaper Al-Risala wrote an anti-Semitic article on Thursday that claimed the death of a Palestinian teen, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, whose body was found in Jerusalem is connected to the claim that Jews use blood to bake their matzas during the Passover holiday.

According to a Special Dispatch by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), exclusively provided to The Jerusalem Post, the editor of Al-Risala, Wisam Afifa wrote:

“The settlers used the body of 17-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, from Shuafat in northern Jerusalem, to carry out their sacred [act of] vengeance by torturing him and burning him to death, in a crime reminiscent of their holy matzas that became part of their history of betrayal and murder – for the culture of violence and blood grew among the Jews to such an extent that it seeped into their sacred rites and prayers.”

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Murder-of-Arab-teen-reminiscent-of-Jewish-custom-of-baking-matzas-with-blood-361468

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Interagency report warns over huge funding gap for Syrian refugees in Turkey

July 4, 2014

Despite hosting the second largest Syrian refugee population, Turkey has received the lowest level of funding compared to other countries hosting Syrian refugees, U.N. agencies have said.

The report demonstrates the necessity for robust support from the international community as a sign of solidarity and responsibility sharing with Turkey.

Underfunding for Turkey would not only have dramatic consequences for the Syrian refuges, but would also eventually pose a heightened threat to regional peace and security, said a joint press release yesterday by the inter-agency “Syria Regional Response Plan for Syrian Refugees, RRP, Turkey.”

RRP, Turkey is a collaborative effort between Turkey, seven U.N. agencies and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as well as refugees and host communities, under the overall leadership of Turkey and the UNHCR, in close coordination with the donor community, partners and NGOs.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/interagency-report-warns-over-huge-funding-gap-for-syrian-refugees-in-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=68646&NewsCatID=352

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Israel warns Hamas against more violence as tension spikes

July 4, 2014

Israel warned Hamas Thursday against any escalation in violence, reinforcing its Gaza border amid continued rocket fire and heightened tensions after the murder of three Israeli youths and a Palestinian teenager.

"We are looking for calm, not escalation, but if Hamas chooses to act against us, we shall be ready," armed forces chief Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said in remarks tweeted by the army.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing, warned Israel to wind down its Gaza air strikes and widespread West Bank arrests -- mainly of Hamas members.         "What the enemy is doing in the West Bank and Gaza... adds fuel to the fire of confrontation," spokesman Abu Obeida told reporters.

"Idiotic measures by your leaders will be enough for us to turn your localities and sites... into embers."       

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/israel-warns-hamas-against-more-violence-as-tension-spikes.aspx?pageID=238&nID=68659&NewsCatID=352

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Turkey’s intel chief first official to learn ISIL release

July 4, 2014

Turkey’s intelligence chief was the first official in Ankara to learn about the release of 32 Turkish drivers who had been kidnapped by Islamist militants in northern Iraq.

The first signals of the release came on July 1, after which Hakan Fidan, the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), shared the information with the government, stressing that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was likely to release the hostages in Mosul, Hürriyet has learned.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu then briefed the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) highest decision-making body, the Central Decision and Executive Council (MKYK), about the situation on the evening of July 2.

“We have come to the conclusion of the efforts. God willing, we will get the good news as soon as possible,” he reportedly said.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-intel-chief-first-official-to-learn-isil-release.aspx?pageID=238&nID=68651&NewsCatID=338

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Turkish drivers return Turkey after 23 days in captivity as ISIL's hostages

July 4, 2014

All 32 Turkish truck drivers held hostage by militants of the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq flew back home to Turkey on late July 3 following their release after three weeks in captivity.

Islamic militants have released all the drivers abducted in Iraq 23 days ago. The drivers were transported to Ankara via Arbil, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region yesterday.

The truck drivers were kidnapped June 9 in the wake of the militant group’s offensive on the city of Mosul. ISIL also abducted 49 staff members of the Turkish consulate in Mosul on June 11 after seizing the city.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-drivers-return-turkey-after-23-days-in-captivity-as-isils-hostages.aspx?pageID=238&nID=68625&NewsCatID=359

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India

 

Kashmir neither ‘jugular vein,’ nor ‘integral part of either Pakistan or India’:  APHC

July 4, 2014

SRINAGAR – All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has said that Kashmir is neither a ‘jugular vein’ nor is it an ‘integral part’ of either Pakistan or India. “It’s neither a part of India nor of Pakistan,” he said.

In an interview with India’s The Hindu newspaper, Mirwaiz said that there was a need of a new political initiative. “A positive start has been made with Pakistan. But there has to be a serious effort to address the Delhi-Srinagar trust deficit and take a holistic approach,” he said, adding that the Hurriyat can be a bridge vis-à-vis Delhi-Srinagar-Islamabad if India wants to reach out.

About Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to India, the Hurriyat leader revealed that he approached Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi and requested him not to arrange any meeting at this juncture. “Let Pakistan and India take the (peace) process forward. We don’t want to play spoilsport, that everyone says Pakistan and India met for a special occasion and now Hurriyat has come and spoiled the occasion,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/04-Jul-2014/kashmir-neither-jugular-vein-nor-integral-part-mirwaiz

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After 24 years, Hindu temple reopens in militant hub, north Kashmir

Written by Ruwa Shah | Srinagar | July 4, 2014

After remaining shut for 24 years, the Nandkishor Asthapan, a Hindu temple in north Kashmir, was thrown open to devotees Tuesday. This is the first Hindu temple to be reopened in Sopore, a militant stronghold in north Kashmir.

“It was a mesmerising moment to visit this temple after so long,” said Maharaj Krishnan, a Kashmiri pandit who had decided to stay back in the Valley. “My relatives from Jammu wanted to visit the temple, this is the first time after 1990 that we came here.”

The temple in Seer Jagir village in Sopore town was shut after Kashmiri pandits left the Valley in 1990. Security forces then took over the premises.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/after-24-years-hindu-temple-reopens-in-militant-hub/

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Kashmir is a ‘disputed territory’: Pakistan

July 4, 2014

Needling India ahead of Narendra Modi’s first visit to Jammu and Kashmir as Prime Minister, Pakistan on Thursday harped on Kashmir being a “disputed territory”.

“We do not accept the so-called accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India. Kashmir is not an integral part of India. Our position is that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam Khan said during a briefing.

Her remarks came on the eve of Modi’s one-day visit to Jammu and Srinagar.

“People of the State of Jammu and Kashmir have yet to exercise their right to self determination which has been assured to them by almost 20 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council,” Khan said in response to a question on Modi’s visit to the state.

Pakistan’s contention has been outrightly rejected by India which has asserted that J&K is its integral part.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/neighbours/kashmir-is-a-disputed-territory-pakistan/

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ISIS a cause for concern, says Mirwaiz Farooq

SUHASINI HAIDAR

July 4, 2014 

Hurriyat (M) leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq in an interview to The Hindu on Thursday ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir expressed concerns over the situation in the Middle-East. Mr. Farooq said he was concerned by developments in Iraq and the call from the ISIS to build an “Islamic Caliphate” from Syria to Kashmir.

“The rise of the ISIS, this new breed of radicals is a cause of concern. In Kashmir we don't want to be a ground for any movement that would have a different agenda from ours,” he said, also expressing worries about an influx of funding from Saudi Arabia for radicalised education in Jammu and Kashmir.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/isis-a-cause-for-concern-says-mirwaiz-farooq/article6174637.ece

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Indian nurses being freed, set to return: Kerala CM

July 4, 2014 

“The nurses are being taken to the Erbil airport... They are set to return to India”

Forty six Indian nurses held by Sunni insurgents in Iraq are being freed and will be flown to India soon, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced on Friday.

“The nurses are being taken to the Erbil airport,” Mr. Chandy told IANS. “They are set to return to India.”

Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan, is located about 60 km from Mosul, the insurgent stronghold which the nurses reached on Thursday night after being forced out of their hospital in Tikrit.

The Chief Minister said over telephone from New Delhi where he is camping that the latest development took place due to the efforts of the Kerala and the central governments.

Mr. Chandy expressed confidence about the safe return of the nurses after meeting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj earlier in the morning.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indian-nurses-being-freed-set-to-return-chandy/article6176960.ece

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'Six Azamgarh men with IM links in Pak'

Subhash Mishra,TNN | Jul 4, 2014

LUCKNOW: Even as Indian investigative agencies continue to be hot on the trail of Tauqeer, known as the Osama of India, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Uttar Pradesh's anti-terrorist squad (ATS) are concerned over six men from Azamgarh, who are said to have links with Indian Mujahideen (IM) and feared to be in Pakistan now. NIA and ATS sources say two of them have been reportedly picked up by al-Qaida.

Sources told TOI that the six have been identified as Dr Shah Nawaz, Abu Rashid, Khalid, Mohammad Sajid alias Bada Sajid, Mirza Sadab Beg, Azia Khan alias Zunaid. They are wanted by the police in many states and investigating agencies for their suspected involvement in numerous terror attacks between 2005 and 2008 in different parts of the country.

The six have been booked in the serial blasts in Delhi as well as in Gujarat in 2008, for hatching conspiracy and executing attacks aimed at creating fear by causing loss of human lives and damage to government property.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Six-Azamgarh-men-with-IM-links-in-Pak/articleshow/37729988.cms

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Kabul airport attacked as SpiceJet aircraft was preparing to fly to Delhi

July 4, 2014 

NEW DELHI: In a close shave for Indian flyers, a rocket attack took place at Kabul airport on Thursday morning when a SpiceJet aircraft was getting ready to fly to Delhi. Luckily for the over 100 passengers on board the Boeing 737, the rocket landed a safe distance away from the aircraft and hit a hangar.

"Kabul rocket attack near runway today aimed at military target. SpiceJet pax, crew, aircraft safe. Flight will depart with pax (passengers) for DEL (Delhi) soon," SpiceJet COO Sanjiv Kapoor tweeted.

Following this incident, which came close on heels of attacks on Karachi airport and then shots fired at a jet in Peshawar in Pakistan, operations in Kabul were halted by shutting down the runway and sealing off fuelling facilities for some hours. The flight, SG 22, left around 3pm (local time Kabul) instead of the schedule departure time of 11.40am and landed here safely.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kabul-airport-attacked-as-SpiceJet-aircraft-was-preparing-to-fly-to-Delhi/articleshow/37720296.cms

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At SAARC home ministers’ meet, Iraq crisis to dominate

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | July 4, 2014

After SAARC diplomacy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who invited heads of neighbouring countries to his swearing-in ceremony, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to hold talks with his counterparts from SAARC nations at Kathmandu early next month to discuss security challenges in the region and the implications of the growing Iraq crisis.

The increasing influence of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s caliphate in the region, where militants groups from the SAARC region are leaning towards the Sunni militant outfit, is going to be on top of the agenda, an official said. The last meeting between home ministers of SAARC nations was held in 2012 in Maldives. Since then, due to elections in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and India, a schedule could not be worked out, the official added.

A proposal to sign the mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) with neighbouring countries is also being prepared, which will be presented during the conference. Presently, India does not have an MLAT with Nepal and in criminal matters, agencies of both countries have to depend on judicial requests.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/at-saarc-home-ministers-meet-iraq-crisis-to-dominate/

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Indo-Pak cooperation: Expert for easing visa regime, opening more transit routes

July 4, 2014

The newly-formed government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen in improving relations with all members of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (Saarc).

This was stated by Tridivesh Singh Maini, an India-based policy analyst and researcher who delivered a lecture at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute on the evolving political economy of India-Pakistan relations on Thursday.

Maini revealed that political will for improving bilateral ties exists in India but some bureaucratic hurdles still remain which are bound lessen if the two countries pursue a path of building mutual trust.

He termed improvement in the visa regime, opening up more transit routes and facilitating the reunion of divided families as important things in this aspect.

Full report at:

http://www.siasat.info/ReadFreePoliticalNewsLatestPakistaniNews.php?id=26436&Latest-News-about-Express%20(%20Express%20News%20)

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South Asia

 

China envoy denies Xinjiang Muslims banned from fasting

July 4, 2014

Chinese ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Huang Huikang today denied foreign news reports on Wednesday that Muslims in China's Xinjiang region have been banned from fasting during the month of Ramadan.

"I do not think it is true. Which Chinese media have reported the news? It is not Chinese media, right?," Huang (pic) told reporters after attending the Corporate Malaysia Roundtable organised by the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute, today.

However, he assured that the relevant Chinese ministries would be clearing the air regarding the matter.

It was reported that several government departments in Xinjiang have banned Muslim staff from fasting during Ramadan.

The media posted a so-called directive from the Chinese government departments prohibiting the ruling Communist Party's members, teachers and young people from fasting or participating in the religious activities during Ramadan.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/china-envoy-denies-xinjiang-muslims-banned-from-fasting-bernama#sthash.DComzG9S.dpuf

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PM Sheikh Hasina: Violence not allowed in the name of agitation

July 4, 2014

She claims economy upbeat in the face of agitation of BNP, Jamaat

Responding to BNP’s threat of a fresh anti-government agitation after Ramadan, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her government would not allow violence in the name of movement.

“She [Khaleda Zia] is threatening movement all the time. Her party wants to overthrow the government through movement but their movement means killing, arson and bombing. This county is ours, we cannot allow such a situation to continue here,” Hasina said while delivering her concluding address of the budget session.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2014/jul/04/pm-violence-not-allowed-name-agitation

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Jatiya Party Chairmanurges for 'real democracy'

July 4, 2014

Special Envoy to the prime minister and also Jatiya Party Chairman Hussein Mohammad Ershad has urged all to forget the past and establish "real democracy" with everyone’s involvement.

The former dictator made the urge while addressing the closing session of the current budget session in parliament on Thursday afternoon, reports BSS.

The former president, on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition Rawshan Ershad, said his party is working as the shadow government.

Referring to provocation of the Jatiya Party, he said those who are out against his party are criticising democracy.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/politics/2014/jul/03/ershad-urges-real-democracy#sthash.wucrHzrB.dpuf

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Africa

 

West Africa: 'Caliphate' Claim Sparks New Jihadist Infighting

July 4, 2014

Algiers — Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) just declared its support for the group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), El Khabar reported Wednesday (July 2nd).

In a video posted last Friday, al-Qaeda's Maghreb affiliate expressed its support for "the mujahedeen" in Iraq. The message implicitly criticised al-Qaeda central and other branches for not publicly supporting the rising terror organisation.

Abu Abdullah Othman al-Asemi, AQIM's "judge" for the central region, addressed ISIS in the video, saying his companions "want to link with you".

"You're dearer to us than our own families and relatives and we always pray for you," the AQIM figure said.

Al-Asemi, whose real name is unknown and who is believed to have recently joined the group led by Abdalmalek Droukdel, added: "We're still waiting for al-Qaeda branches here and there to show their position and declare support for you."

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201407040589.html?viewall=1

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Jabl Al-Haruj: Libya’s biggest volcanic field

July 4, 2014 

Al-Haruj Al-Aswad or the Black Haruj and Al-Haruj Al-Abyad (the White Haruj) represent the largest volcanic field in Libya. Covering an area of over 40,000 sq. km in central Libya (Figure 1), it is not only an interesting area for volcanologists, geologists and adventure travelers but also – and has been since time immemorial – a valuable territory for people living in the nearby oases, such as Zallah, Hun, Soknah, Waddan (all in the Jufrah area), Al-Fugaha and even as far as Temessah in the southwest.

When it rains in Haruj, hundreds of people from these oases head to the various areas of the vast volcanic field to enjoy their sudden greening and check the water courses which they call Queltas, which result from the rainfall. Many of them hunt game such as rare gazelles, and waddan. Areas with enough rain will be visited regularly and livestock, mainly camels, will be moved there for grazing.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20140704210486

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Gambia Supreme Islamic Council President Reaffirms Call to Stop Ramadan Profiteering

July 4, 2014

The president of the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council (SIC) has reaffirmed his call to end the deeply rooted attitude of some traders in skyrocketing the prices of basic commodities during Ramadan. He described the act as "unfortunate", stressing that the Holy month is not a time for "profiteering".

Imam Momodou Lamin Touray was speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer on Tuesday at his office at the SIC headquarters along MDI Road in Kanifing. Touray's comments came as Muslims begin yet another Holy month of Ramadan, a period characterised by fasting and intense worshipping by Muslims across the world.

During this period, the demand for basic commodities like foodstuff is high among the faithful as every individual or family prepares evening meal for fast breaking. But the culture that has been deeply rooted in The Gambia is that the opportunities that accompany the month are misused, especially on the part of many a trader. Instead of using the month to show compassion to the fasting Muslims by being reasonable with prices, they are instead skyrocketed, taking advantage of the demand for basic commodities during this period.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201407031138.html

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Nigerian atheist, sent to psychiatric ward by family, now a fugitive in Muslim north

LAGOS, NIGERIA — The Associated Press

July 4, 2014

A Nigerian atheist released from the psychiatric ward to which his Muslim family committed him by force said Thursday he is getting death threats for blaspheming against Islam.

Mubarak Bala, a 29-year-old chemical process engineer, said he is in hiding in predominantly Muslim northern Nigeria, where sharia law holds and some interpretations have blasphemy punishable by death.

“People are threatening me, I mean life-threatening threats,” he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. He said he was too frightened of drawing attention and wouldn’t allow an AP video journalist or photographer to come to his hiding place.

Bala said that since he renounced Islam and declared himself an atheist, he has not only lost the trust of his father and elder brother, but many friends.

Full report at:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/nigerian-atheist-sent-to-psychiatric-ward-by-family-now-a-fugitive-in-muslim-north/article19440652/

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Europe

 

Secret UK plan to ‘train 100,000 Syria rebels’ exposed

July 4, 2014 

A plan to train and equip a 100,000-strong rebel army to defeat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was drawn up by Britain, then scrapped as it was deemed too risky, BBC Newsnight reported on Thursday.

The alleged proposal, put forward two years ago, was the idea of General David Richards, then chief of Britain's defense, according to the BBC.

The secret "extract, equip, train" proposal was considered by Prime Minister David Cameron and the National Security Council, as well as U.S. officials, the BBC said, citing Whitehall sources.

As part of Richards’ proposal, the “substantial army” of moderate Syrian rebels would have been trained at bases in Turkey and Jordan.

The United Nations says some 10.8 million people in Syria need assistance, of which 4.7 million are in hard-to-reach areas, while another three million have fled during the three-year uprising against Assad.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/07/04/UK-planned-secret-training-of-100-000-Syria-rebels-.html

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Amnesty: A year after Morsi, Egypt 'failing on every level' in terms of human rights

July 4, 2014 

A year after Egypt's Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted, the London-based human rights body Amnesty International says there has been a "catastrophic decline" in the country's human rights condition.

Amnesty said that a surge in arrests, detentions and harrowing incidents of torture and deaths in police custody signal the sharp deterioration of human rights in Egypt.

"On every level Egypt is failing in terms of human rights," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

"It is up to the new government led by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to turn the tide by launching independent, impartial investigations into all allegations of human rights violations and send a strong message that flouting human rights will not be tolerated and will no longer go unpunished."

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/105412/Egypt/Politics-/Amnesty-A-year-after-Morsi,-Egypt-failing-on-every.aspx

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UK Charities Face Cash Crunch for S. Sudan, Fear Famine

July 4, 2014

British charities warned they faced a massive shortfall in funding to tackle a growing food crisis in South Sudan and said some areas could slide into famine.

The Disasters Emergency Committee, which brings together 13 leading UK aid charities in times of crisis, said it had less than half the £113 million ($194 million) it needs to respond to a potential catastrophe in the world's youngest country, where conflict erupted six months ago.

"We are gravely concerned that millions of people are facing an extreme food crisis in South Sudan this summer and there is a very real risk of famine in some areas," DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said.

The main cause of the crisis is the conflict that broke out in December between factions of the ruling party. The violence has uprooted 1.5 million people including 400,000 who have fled to neighbouring countries. The displaced include many farmers, who have been prevented from planting or harvesting crops.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201407031511.html?aa_source=sptlgt-grid

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Rights group urges Pakistan to pull ‘repressive’ terror law

July 4, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan´s tough new anti-terror law gives a "green light for abusing suspects" and should be withdrawn, a rights group said Friday.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the Protection of Pakistan Bill, passed by the Islamabad parliament on Wednesday, violated the country´s international legal obligations.

The restive nuclear-armed country has wrestled for years with homegrown militants, but its slow and at times dysfunctional legal system has struggled to cope with the challenge.

The new law doubles the maximum sentence for terror offences to 20 years and allows security forces to hold suspects for up to 60 days without disclosing their whereabouts or allegations against them.

HRW said the new law could be used to suppress peaceful political opposition and criticism of government policy.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-152765-Rights-group-urges-Pakistan-to-pull-repressive-terror-law

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Southeast Asia

 

Don’t shame Malaysia again over homeless issue, Christian youth tell Putrajaya

July 4, 2014

Feeling the heat from criticism following his order for soup kitchens to move out of the city centre, the Federal Territories minister is now saying the "move out" order was not meant to stop NGOs from feeding the needy.

Instead, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said that his ministry and KL City Hall would be identifying a suitable food distribution centre so that NGOs could continue their voluntary work.

In a statement on the minister's official website, it was stated this was to help address the hygiene problem caused by the homeless and their unhygienic waste-disposal habits.

He added that new location would also take into account easy access for the homeless and beggars in the city.

According to the statement, the one-stop centre would feature a place to rest and sleep, a medical examination area to ensure that contagious diseases are not spread and a laundry area.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/dont-shame-malaysia-again-over-homeless-issue-christian-youth-tell-putrajay#sthash.eeOcLmeq.dpuf

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Christian, Muslim NGOs urge ministry to consult civil society on soup kitchens

July 4, 2014

Putrajaya should hold discussions with groups that help vagrants before imposing a ban on soup kitchens and ordering the detention of beggars in Kuala Lumpur, two religious non-governmental organisations said.

The Christian Advocacy Network on Poverty Issues (Canopi) and the al-Qayyim Welfare Foundation (IQ) said that the government, particularly the Federal Territories Ministry, should call for discussions with groups working with the city's homeless.

Both warned that the failure of the ministry and Kuala Lumpur City Hall to engage the NGOs involved, and its insistence on going ahead with the ban, would only harm the government's image.

"We ask the government to consult us on this matter for mutual understanding on the type of work required for the homeless," Canopi said in a statement today.

IQ's Abu Hafiz Salleh Hudin said the ministry and City Hall should invite NGOs involved in food distribution to their target groups and discuss with them before imposing penalties.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/christian-muslim-ngos-urge-government-to-consult-civil-society-on-soup-kitc#sthash.Pd6zktgR.dpuf

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Most Election Violations During Counting, Constitutional Court Says

July 4, 2014

Jakarta. The Constitutional Court has warned that based on recent legislative election cases it has handled, most election violations were committed during the vote counting process.

“Our evaluation shows that violations mostly occurred during vote counting, or the recapitulation process at the village, ward and subdistrict level. That’s where opportunities for violations are high. The MK [Constitutional Court] trial did not find many violations committed at the district level,” Chief Justice Hamdan Zoelva said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Although he did not provide statistics, Hamdan maintained that few violations were committed during the voting process as opposed to the vote counting process.

Hamdan expressed his hope that the General Elections Commission (KPU) and Elections Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) would take note of the problems especially now that the presidential election is near.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/election-violations-counting-constitutional-court-says/

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North America

 

ISIL poses serious security threat to Iraq, says White House

Press Trust of India | Washington | July 4, 2014

The ISIL which has gained control over a large part of Iraq and Syria poses serious security threat to the Iraq and Iraqi leadership should quickly come together to form a new government in the country, the White House has said.

“It (the government formation process) is not moving as expeditiously as we would like it to, there is no doubt about that.

Time is of the essence right now because there is a serious threat to the security situation there that is posed by The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Thursday.

So US President Barack Obama and other world leaders have been pressing Iraq’s political leadership not just to come together at a time and place of their choosing, but come together quickly, because it is important for the future of Iraq for them to form that government in line with the process that is laid out by their constitution, he said.

“And once that government is formed, it is important for that government to pursue the kind of inclusive governing agenda that makes it clear to every citizen in Iraq that they have a stake in that country’s future,” he added.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/middle-east-africa/isil-poses-serious-security-threat-to-iraq-says-white-house/99/

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US opposes independence referendum for Iraqi Kurds

July 4, 2014

The United States came against a call by Iraq's Kurdish leader for an independence referendum, saying the country could only repel Islamic State radicals by staying united.

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani earlier told parliament to make preparations for a "referendum on the right of self-determination."      

But the White House, which has been working behind the scenes to try to convince Iraq's Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish leaders to form a unified government in Baghdad, gave the idea a cool reception.

"The fact is that we continue to believe that Iraq is stronger if it is united," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.        

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-opposes-independence-referendum-for-iraqi-kurds.aspx?pageID=238&nID=68661&NewsCatID=359

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NY cabbie convicted of plotting 'honour killings' in Pakistan

July 4, 2014

NEW YORK: A New York cab driver was found guilty of conspiring with relatives in Pakistan to commit ‘honour killings’ of family members of a relative he believed helped his daughter escape back to the United States.

Mohammad Ajmal Choudhry, 61, was found guilty by a federal jury in Brooklyn on charges of conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, transmitting of threats to injure, and visa fraud.

Prosecutors said that for more than three years, Choudhry's daughter, Amina Ajmal, was held against her will by relatives in Pakistan at her father's direction, and forced into an arranged marriage to help a man get a US visa.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1116837/ny-cabbie-convicted-of-plotting-honour-killings-in-pakistan

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US declines to meet Iran ‘half way’ in final diplomatic push over nuclear crisis

July 4, 2014

WASHINGTON – Fewer than three weeks remain for the world’s most weathered diplomats to forge a comprehensive deal with Tehran over its nuclear program, a fact on the minds of all present in Vienna on Thursday, as high-level negotiations resumed.

Delegations from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany – formally known as the P5+1 powers – arrived in Vienna at the beginning of July and will effectively set up camp in the Austrian capital until July 20, a self-imposed deadline for the parties to reach a deal, extend the talks, or go home.

US officials say they are focused solely on the July 20 deadline, though an extension of the talks would likely require a separate negotiation.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Iranian-Threat/News/US-declines-to-meet-Iran-half-way-in-final-diplomatic-push-over-nuclear-crisis-361500

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Chomsky says BDS tactics won't work, may be harmful to Palestinians

July 4, 2014

Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned linguist who has gained a reputation as one of Israel's fiercest critics, believes that those advocating for a boycott of Israel are misguided since their efforts will not be enough to effect a change in policies toward the Palestinians.

Writing in The Nation, Chomsky warns that the boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign could end up harming the Palestinian cause since the demand for a "right of return" for Palestinian refugees has failed to muster significant international support.

Chomsky also said that while Israel critics invoke the South African model of apartheid to describe the situation in the West Bank, "the necessary educational work has not been done," as public opinion in the United States has yet to mobilize against Israel the way it did against South Africa.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Chomsky-says-BDS-tactics-wont-work-may-be-harmful-to-Palestinians-361417

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Army Gen. Martin Dempsey: Iraqi forces can defend Baghdad

July 4, 2014 

WASHINGTON: The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says Iraqi security forces are capable of defending Baghdad but are unable to act unilaterally to launch an offensive to seize back territory occupied by a Sunni insurgent group.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey tells reporters the Iraqi forces are stronger around the capital city as they seek to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking at the same news conference at the Pentagon Thursday, says about 200 US military advisers are now in country assessing the situation. The military leader insists the US won’t be involved in combat operations years after American fighting forces left Iraq, echoing President Barack Obama’s recent statements

http://www.arabnews.com/news/596046

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TV ad shows Sikhs as vibrant part of US’ cultural tapestry

July 4, 2014

A 30-second ad featuring Sikh actor Waris Ahluwalia along side the images of Sikhs around the US is being telecast by a leading cable here to show the community as a vibrant part of America’s cultural tapestry and stop turban wearing people from becoming a target of hatred.

The ad demonstrates through words and images how Sikh-Americans’ values are America’s values, including a love of service, family and community.

The broadcasting firm, Comcast, will donate USD 1 million of airtime on cable channels, according to Sikh American Legal Defence and Education Fund (SALDEF) which provided the script.

The ad will be shown until July 27 in 39 states across the United States.

Sikhs in the US have faced a wave of violence since the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001, with assailants sometimes falsely believing they are radical Muslims due to their turbans and beards. In the worst incident, a white supremacist killed six Sikhs after barging into their Gurudwara in Wisconsin in 2012.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/indians-abroad/tv-ad-shows-sikhs-as-vibrant-part-of-us-cultural-tapestry/

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/special-flight-carrying-46-indian-nurses-freed-by-isis-militants-in-iraq-lands-in-mumbai/d/97902

 

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